Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Mission Impossible 2
Productgroup: DVD
Mission Impossible 2 - movie DVD cover picture
How could anyone Possibly not Enjoy MI: 2.

Why do I Love MI: 2 so much, Let me Count the Reasons. (One one thousand, Two one thousand... That's a Roger Rabbit joke in case you were wondering) Is it because it was Filmed in Sydney, Australia, were I Live... No, that ain't it. Is it because I'm not a Cry-baby Film Critic Wannabe like the people who bash this film... Maybe. Or is it because this film features some of the Greatest Action Sequences of All Time, Top-Notch Directing, Awesome Performances, a Cool Soundtrack, Spectacular Scenery, Breathtaking Stunts, a Cool-as-Ice Bad guy, his Equally Cool henchman (the Wonderfully Versatile Aussie Richard Roxburgh), a Tough-as-Nails Good Guy and a Sexy-as-Sin Leading Lady resulting in one of the Greatest Sequels Ever Produced by Hollywood... Yes, That is the Reason.

Studio: Paramount Home Video
Director: John Woo
Tom Cruise

DVD title: The Lord of the Rings - The Two Towers (Widescreen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
The Lord of the Rings - The Two Towers (Widescreen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Craig Parker

Part of the fun of home theater is recreating the movie experience from buttered popcorn to the thunder of hooves produced by your subwoofer.
Sometimes the trailer is better than the actual movie itself. Cut out some of the needless cast chitchat and give us back all of the trailers! Now I'm going to have to skip the extended edition with DTS (a major plus) for the crappy dolby digital version which has the trailers. Thanks for nothing!

Studio: New Line Home Entertainment
Director: Peter Jackson
Elijah Wood
Ian McKellen
Viggo Mortensen

DVD title: Quatermass and the Pit
Productgroup: DVD
Quatermass and the Pit - movie DVD cover picture
Does Mars REALLY need women? Ask James Donald

The combination of elements in this movie (alien invaders, the supernatural, cranky but brilliant scientists) are the reason DR. WHO and THE X-FILES became such wonderful successes. Indeed, the plot resembles (and probably inspired) any of several DR. WHO plots from the early 70s. The issues explored in the film are fascinating and relevant, and the acting and script are terrific. Without dissing Andrew Keir, Barbara Shelley, or Julian Glover (who are all fantastic--and damned attractive, in Shelley's case), this movie was probably the best showcase for the underrated James Donald, who had important if glum roles in THE BRIDGE OVER THE RIVER KWAI and THE GREAT ESCAPE. Here, the director lets him cut loose and be one of those great scientific yet moral figures that are littered throughout British literature and history. Also, I, too, found the contrasting trailers at the end (with the American emphasis on "Mars Needs Women!") gutwrenchingly hilarious. Having heard of the TV series, and reading the other reviews, I'm extremely anxious to check out the original 50s version of the story. Still, as far as feature films go, this is one of the best possible "midnight movies" ever.

Studio: Anchor Bay Entertainment
Director: Roy Ward Baker
James Donald
Andrew Keir

DVD title: Road to Perdition (Widescreen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Road to Perdition (Widescreen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
This film is going all the way to the oscars.

"Road to Perdition" is a very well-made picture driven by skilled direction, great performances and canvas-like cinematography. The only thing that seems to be missing is a greater depth to the fine and dignified, but ultimately disappointing screenplay. The simple plot details feel merely like little graph points to lead the story down its necesarry path...all the way to its (intentionally) predictable ending. But thanks to Tom Hanks (in the lead) and, especially, the legendary Paul Newman, the script seems, in places, better than it really is. For all of its hypnotic beauty and stellar acting, it's almost a wonder that this great (in fact, near-excellent) film leaves you feeling kinda...empty.

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: Sam Mendes
Tyler Hoechlin
Tom Hanks

DVD title: The Lord of the Rings - The Fellowship of the Ring (Widescreen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
The Lord of the Rings - The Fellowship of the Ring (Widescreen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Not as good as the book, but a fabulous movie...

I loved this movie. If you are a fan of the books, be prepared for some cuts to both characters and humor. Yet, the movie stands on its feet and succeeds. Great time with beautiful special effects.

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Peter Jackson
Ian McKellen

DVD title: The Sweetest Thing (Rated Version)
Productgroup: DVD
The Sweetest Thing (Rated Version) - movie DVD cover picture
five stars for funny!

This movie literally had me howling in rapturous glee and disbelief! I couldn't get enough. Sure, it's not even close to Oscar material, and the three seasoned actresses, Cameron, Christina, and Selma have definitely seen better days, but hey, who cares when you're rolling on the floor laughing. This is a major guilty pleasure, a bonafide chick-flick, and a surefire way to take life less seriously for a good hour and a half (approximately). Go ahead, knock yourself out! Poke fun at love and all the things people do for it! It's all in good fun! Who needs sex when you can laugh yourself into orgasm with this movie?

Studio: Columbia Tristar Hom
Director: Roger Kumble
Cameron Diaz
Christina Applegate
Thomas Jane

DVD title: Where Eagles Dare
Productgroup: DVD
Where Eagles Dare - movie DVD cover picture
A magnificent film

This is a really good war movie and a good match up of stars. I would really love to own this on dvd.

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Brian G. Hutton
Richard Burton
Clint Eastwood

DVD title: Into the Woods
Productgroup: DVD
Into the Woods - movie DVD cover picture
Not just entertaining but profound, believe it or not

Musical theater can frequently delight you and occasionally move you but how often does it actually instruct you? "Into The Woods" has more valuable life-wisdom to impart than all but the greatest dramatic plays and novels. It's an amazing piece of work. (And the tunes are infernally catchy to boot...)
That said, I'll indulge myself with a few trifling criticisms. Bernadette Peters sings well enough but she frequently panders to her "theatrical" fan base with campy line readings that may be good for a cheap laugh but instantly propel me out of the story. Chip Zien as the Baker is irritatingly nebbishy, using the same trembly-panicked inflection over and over again. And while you hardly need extras when the primary content is this rich, the absence of any DVD commentary from the extraordinarily gifted creators seems like a tragically wasted opportunity.

Studio: Image Entertainment
Director: James Lapine
Bernadette Peters
Chip Zien
Joanna Gleason

DVD title: Maria Callas - La Callas... Toujours
Productgroup: DVD
Maria Callas - La Callas... Toujours - movie DVD cover picture

There remain only a handful of videos of Maria Callas in performance. This Paris, 1958 debut is one of the most important, compelling, and satisfying. The evening begins with three operatic selections in concert: from NORMA, Casta Diva; from IL TROVATORE, D'amor sull-ali rosee and the subsequent Miserere, and from BARBER OF SEVILLE, Una Voce Poco Fa. These are all performed with deep insight and characterization that one would expect of a fully staged and complete opera performance. The gestures, facial expressions and attitudes that Callas uses, telegraph to the viewer immediately why this woman was and is still today a one of a kind genius of vocal and visual dramatic expression. No one with the possible exception of Renata Scotto has begun to achieve the total involvement and commitment on stage which seemed to be second nature to Callas. Some may quibble about her voice and although admittedly in good voice, this evening finds Callas in slightly less pristine voice than I'm sure she would have wished on such an important occasion. However, after the Bellini, Callas seems at her vocal best with more vocal flashes of color and changes of mood than one can imagine in any present day singer. For example, just try and imagine anyone today jumping from the dramatic suffering of Leonora's Misere to the coy, capricious and comic coloratura roulades of Rosina's aria in a matter of minutes, as Callas does with total success. After this first half of the evening is over, we are treated to the complete and fully staged second act of Puccini's TOSCA -- with nonother than Tito Gobbi in the role of Scarpia. Although costumed and quaffed rather dubiously, Callas gives a totally authoritative performance by which all others should be judged. What a shame no footage of an Act I or Act III exists. (Another Act II from Covent Garden in 1964 exists and will be released shortly on EMI DVD.) Admittedly, this video is from 1958 and in Black and White, so don't expect to be stunned by visual quality. DO expect to be stunned by WHAT you are watching rather than the quality of the actual telecast. Enough praise cannot be given to EMI for releasing this concert, her Hamburg concerts from 1959 and 1962 and the upcoming Convent Garden material from 1962 and 1964. Collect them all; listen, watch and learn.

Studio: EMI Distribution
Maria Callas

DVD title: Enemy at the Gates
Productgroup: DVD
Enemy at the Gates - movie DVD cover picture
Enemy at the gates is best!

I think that Enemy at the Gates is the greatest movie ever! I love it so much, and I dream about it every night. It is a movie you don't forget, because it's the best! The actors are so good, and the background is great, and the story is so hilarious and beautiful and great!!!! I love the movie, and I can see it on and on again!/Nea

Studio: Paramount Home Video
Director: Jean-Jacques Annaud
Jude Law
Ed Harris
Joseph Fiennes

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