Film DVD related reviews


DVD title: Sleepaway Camp
Productgroup: DVD
Sleepaway Camp - movie DVD cover picture
I Don't know whether to give it 1 or 5 stars!


Sure the movie wasn't all that great but.... the ending has got to be the most shocking ending in cinematic history! this isn't just your ordinary Friday the 13th knockoff! What's the ending? I'm not saying anything. It's still got me paralyzed with its absurdness!

Studio: Anchor Bay Entertainment
Director: Robert Hiltzik



DVD title: Firefly - The Complete Series
Productgroup: DVD
Firefly - The Complete Series - movie DVD cover picture
Strong series...weak network...


Not sure what the executives at Fox were thinking when they micro-managed this puppy right into the ground and then canceled it. I'm a middle-of-the road sci-fi fan, but even apart from the "sci-fi" label, this show was/is extremely well-written and extremely well-acted, something SO many shows can't actually boast.
I didn't actually see this when it aired other than maybe 10 minutes one night when I was channel surfing, and I later moved overseas, so I had NO chance to see it after that. What prompted me to buy it was I remembered the previews to the show and thinking it looked cool, and mostly a review written about the DVD collection, and how unfortunate it was that the show was canceled. And here I am writing pretty much the same thing.
Yeah, even though the premise (a western in the future, basically) and some of the plots are a little cheesy, the acting and writing pulls it together. And there are weaker members of the cast, but as a whole supporting team, they also gelled pretty well.
Very unfortunate that the Fox executives didn't see the potential rapport this show would build with the audience. But so it goes. They're out to make money, and if they're conditioned by the expectations of brain-dead couch potatoes, then they'll try to deliver the product they think the brain-dead couch potatoes want. It is a business afterall.
If you like Farscape or Picard/Voyager-era Star Trek, you'll like this. With the exception of a few choice Star Trek episodes, I'd say Firefly is even better.

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox Home Video
Actors:
Nathan Fillion



DVD title: The Lord of the Rings - The Return of the King (Platinum Series Special Extended Edition Collector's Gift Set)
Productgroup: DVD
The Lord of the Rings - The Return of the King (Platinum Series Special Extended Edition Collector's Gift Set) - movie DVD cover picture
Im a Tolkien purist and I support these films.


People have been saying stuff to me like "These movies are terrible because Frodo and Sam never went to Osgiliath" or "Peter Jackson's an idiot. He screwed the trilogy way up." Well Im a huge fan of the book, and I love these movies. People never think about just how hard it would be to make the movies exactly like the book and not be 14 hrs. long and really boring. What Peter Jackson has done is brilliance. Basically, some people think that just because the films are not word for word from the book, they are obsolete. If you're a fan of the books, these movies are definately worth checking out. The 2 extra discs are almost as good as the movies. Oh yeah, after you watch the movies a few times, watch the cast commentary. That stuff is the best.

Any how, I support Peter Jackson's vision of the Lord of the Rings. These movies are far more in depth than anything I have ever seen.

Studio: New Line Home Entertainment
Director: Peter Jackson
Actors:
Elijah Wood



DVD title: Brother to Brother
Productgroup: DVD
Brother to Brother - movie DVD cover picture
Remarkable Film that Radiates Intelligence, History, Passion


Rodney Evans has created a wondrous little independent film, that sort of film that is born out of insight, devotion, research, and passion for the story. This is a fine work of art on every level from the research, writing and directing by Evans to the consistently superb cast.

The Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s was a period during which African American artists bonded and overcame a doubting world to produce some of the finest work of the past century. Some artists of that period and the years following included Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, Wallace Thurman, Bruce Nugent and (stretching the time frame a bit) James Baldwin and Malcolm X. But the driving force of the intelligentsia of Black America was solidified by the first four who managed to be proudly Back, write about the taboo gay aspects of the community, and come together in the Journal FIRE! produced by the brilliant Thurman.

The film opens in contemporary times with Perry (Anthony Mackie) as a young gay artist, disowned by his family for his sexual preference, living in Harlem as a painter while supporting himself by working for a Homeless Shelter. Perry's friend Marcus (Larry Gilliard, Jr) is a poet and a firm supporter of Perry and even is supportive of Perry's involvement with a white young man Jim (Alex Burns) who becomes his mate. Perry thrashes about his homophobic environment, struggling with oppression and artistic block, until he encounters an old man at the Shelter who happens to be Bruce Nugent (Roger Robinson), a giant of a poet from another era.

Nugent informs Perry about the same issues of being black and gay that he had during the Harlem Renaissance and this is done through a series of effective black and white flashbacks where we meet the young Bruce (Duane Boutte), Lankston Hughes (Daniel Sunjata), Wallace Thurman (Ray Ford), and Zora Neale Hurston (Aunjanue Ellis) along with clips of the real James Baldwin, Malcolm X etc. It is this circle of continuity, relating historical social problems and artistic successes between the old and the present Harlem, which brings this film such resonance. The bond of brotherhood as personified by Perry and the older Bruce is pure magic, especially as portrayed by Mackie and Robinson.

The DVD includes a wonderfully informative commentary by Rodney Evans which is a stimulus to watch the movie again immediately. The film has message, style, class, and quality that make it one of the finer films about class, gender, and racial dichotomies and how very wasteful those prejudices are. Highly Recommended. Grady Harp, June 05

Studio: Wolfe Video
Director: Rodney Evans



DVD title: Desperate Housewives - The Complete First Season
Productgroup: DVD
Desperate Housewives - The Complete First Season - movie DVD cover picture
A reason to stay glued to your TV


Desperate Housewives is a phenomenon and a true master of the TV industry. This DVD set is a recap and more of the episodes on TV. Each character is well-developed, each with his or her troubles and problems. The setting is perfect and the show is well-balanced with tearful scenes and shocking revelations. Funny lines are present too, mostly in the characters of Edie Britt (Nicolette Sheridan)and Bree Van De Kamp (Marcia Cross). The show is not without its level of darkness and mystery. Who killed Mary Alice Young? What is Paul Young hiding? What exactly is Mike Delfino doing in Wisteria Lane? The plot is good, and there is massive eye candy in the form of John the gardener (Jesse Metcalfe) and Mike Delfino (James Denton). The flawless, snappy script and perfect, true acting from the actors and actresses (especially Teri Hatcher) form a great TV series that is even better when you watch it on DVD.

Studio: Walt Disney Home Video
Actors:
Teri Hatcher



DVD title: The Police - Every Breath You Take
Productgroup: DVD
The Police - Every Breath You Take - movie DVD cover picture
Great SURROUND (hint, folks) mixes. Nice extras


Just want to point out to the people who wrote the first few reviews: The reason the mix sounds so strange is you probably aren't hearing it in true surround. I thought something was strange with songs like "Spririts In The Material World" with no keyboards, or "Synchronicity II" without the opening guitar feedback, until I realized I had it setup in the STEREO mix, but not the 5.1. Make SURE you listen to this in 5.1! Certain instruments/parts have been "relegated" to their own channels.As far as the videos go, I've seen these millions of times, having owned the original video of this collection. Same feeling many others have--the early videos are cheesy; goofy, and the later ones are superb. The transfer is great--very clear! Would've been nice to find the original negatives of the early videos and clean up a bit of noise, but the color transfer and clean up is nice. The extras are GREAT. Monsterrat documentary--A+; Old Grey Whistle Test, same. "Can't Stand Losing You" sounds closer to the record than how it developed live over the years. Let's keep rolling out more Police DVDs. I see the Hatfield concert is coming out; How 'bout that Synchonicity concert with bonus material next?

Studio: Universal Music
Actors:
Police
Sting




DVD title: The Bourne Identity (Widescreen Collector's Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
The Bourne Identity (Widescreen Collector's Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
A MUST MUST MUST MUST SEE!


Matt Damon in his first "action hero" role is very good as the amnesiac Jason Bourne, who wakes up on a fishing ship not knowing anything about his past. As in all covert agent movies, Bourne is being hunted by his superiors to eliminate him since he failed in his mission. Damon has the right amount of boyish exuberance and masculine machismo to infuse life and credibility into his unbelievable predicament. Franka Potente is a good foil and companion for Damon in her role as his reluctant sidekick; her transformation from coquettish flirt to persistent helper is well done. Clive Owen in a small role as an assassin has a very good scene in which he extols the life of the undercover agent just before he bites the dust. Academy award winner Chris Cooper joins such notables as Al Pacino (Recruit), James Caan (Eraser) as the superior who will go to any lengths to tidy up a mess. Brian Cox and Julia Stiles round out the cast, but their performances are merely acceptable and nothing other talented actors couldn't have done..maybe even better.I didn't see the first version of this (with Richard Chamberlain), so I can't compare; I also haven't read Mr. Ludlum's book..but this is a well done, well directed action movie, and I look forward to the sequel.

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: Doug Liman
Actors:
Matt Damon
Franka Potente




DVD title: The Mary Tyler Moore Show - The Complete First Season
Productgroup: DVD
The Mary Tyler Moore Show - The Complete First Season - movie DVD cover picture
True Gem From the Golden Age of TV!


The 1960's and 1970's truly were the golden age of television. The Mary Tyler Moore Show is certainly a shining emblem of the era. Premiering in 1970, I do remember some of the original airings as a 3 year old child. Of course, not many 3 year olds can understand or appreciate the comedic qualities of this show! Now, as an adult, I am thrilled to own the first season, and hope the second season follows soon!Moore stars as Mary Richards, a young woman who relocates to Minneapolis following a broken engagement. Richards moves into a one-room apartment in a building with some interesting neighbors, feisty Rhoda Morganstern, played by Valerie Harper, and daffy Phyllis Lindstrom, played by the very sexy Cloris Leachman.Richards gains employment as an associate news producer at WJM-TV, working for the grouchy but likable Lou Grant, played by Ed Asner, who is simply perfect in his role.The comedy pool draws from the everyday work experiences of the characters, and the hopeless love lives of the single female characters. Oh, yes, let's not forget Mary's dull house parties!Some of the episodes have commentary from production personnel in a separate audio track. As one of the producers points out, Moore is such a talented and generous actress that she does not attempt to corner all the laughs and attention. Indeed, the MTM show bred three spinoffs of moderate success: "Rhoda," "Phyllis," and "Lou Grant." Moore's ability and willingness to allow the other actors to strongly develop their roles certainly contributed to this.Gavin MacLeod, who played newswriter Murray Slaughter, went on to a successful role on "The Love Boat." Ted Knight, who played the inept anchorman, Ted Baxter, is fabulous, despite having had a limited acting career, mostly as a TV character actor.Most of the minor actors on the show turn out a quality performance. John Amos appears fairly regularly as Gordy Howard, WJM's meteorologist.All in all, this is 100% a top quality, funny, entertaining program. The DVD picture and sound quality are excellent, too.

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox Home Video
Actors:
Mary Tyler Moore



DVD title: God of Cookery
Productgroup: DVD
God of Cookery - movie DVD cover picture
Drunken Master meets Yan Can Cook


What a wonderful movie--one that's very conscious of its own environment and genre. Despite genre limitations, "God of Cookery" is refreshing and quite unpredictable. Even the grammatical lapses and convoluted English subtitles all contribute to an enjoyment of a subtitled film. This is better than being dubbed.
Watching it, there's never a dull moment. Most of all, the meticulous attention to details was quite impressive, and so was the cinematography.

Studio: Tai Seng Video



DVD title: Something to Talk About
Productgroup: DVD
Something to Talk About - movie DVD cover picture
Just wonderful!


I just love this movie. It is well acted, and the cast is amazing! Worth every penny!

Studio: Warner Studios
Director: Lasse Hallström
Actors:
Julia Roberts
Dennis Quaid




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