Film DVD related reviews


DVD title: Live:At the Top
Productgroup: DVD
Live:At the Top - movie DVD cover picture
I have watched this for years!!!


The reason I can give this a superb review is because I have watched it for years since it's original airing on tv (pbs?) in the USA. I remember exactly where I was sitting as a kid and the way I felt when I saw the show. I cannot rave enough about it. It blew my mind when I heard they were coming out with a DVD because the VHS tape I have is in very poor condition.

Studio: Navarre Corporation/
Actors:
Maynard Ferguson



DVD title: MTV - Viva La Bam - The Complete First Season
Productgroup: DVD
MTV - Viva La Bam - The Complete First Season - movie DVD cover picture
This is the best. Really.


What is the matter with you people who say this isn't funny?! I am a fan of anything and everything Bam Margera and his psychotic ensemble do. These DVDs are absolutely hysterical. Even my DAD laughed. My dad doesn't laugh. I watch the first DVD without commentary, then with commentary, and then the second DVD. I've done this 8 full times in the past 3 weeks. Maybe I'm a slightly unstable loser with too much time, but so what? This is funny. I recommend you all watch it. Because you'll laugh harder than ever before.

Studio: Paramount Home Video



DVD title: The Office - The Complete Collection (First And Second Series Plus Special)
Productgroup: DVD
The Office - The Complete Collection (First And Second Series Plus Special) - movie DVD cover picture
A Triumph


Although Americans are often (justly) criticized for refusing to see foreign films, comedy is a different matter. So much of what's funny depends on culture and heritage and shared experiences, and this is often difficult to port to another country.

It is truly amazing, then, that The Office is so funny to me, an average American viewer. I think that anyone who has worked in an office environment can easily identify with the boredom and alienation of such a setting. There's smoldering romance, ample frustration, and the quintessentially horrible boss played by Ricky Gervais. If you haven't seen the series, here's how to imagine David Brent: picture a boss who is completely incompetent, to start with. Then, picture a man who lacks manners, humor, or grace. Then, imagine that he thinks that he is the funniest, smartest, and sexiest man ever to walk the Earth. That's David Brent, and his inability to be embarassed leads him to say some of the most dreadful things imaginable. These things, though, are quite funny to us, the viewers.

Talk about an anti-sitcom. Much of the humor derives from Brent's faux pas, such as his "performance" combining Flashdance and MC Hammer dance moves at a company party, or singing a song called "Freelove Freeway" during a motivational seminar. In that same episode, he plays Sting's "Every Breath You Take" to try to comfort someone on the rocks in a relationship--that's pretty much him in a nutshell. The other cogs in the machine are the office toady Gareth, played by Mackenzie Crook, the receptionist Dawn, played by Lucy Davis, and the likeable Tim, played by Martin Freeman. They all contribute a lot, but this is David Brent's show, and we wouldn't have it any other way.

This collection includes the two series and the special, and is an excellent buy. Come on, check out the inspiration behind the remake.

Studio: BBC
Actors:
Ricky Gervais



DVD title: I'll Remember April
Productgroup: DVD
I'll Remember April - movie DVD cover picture
Wonderful story with wonderful acting


"I'll Remember April" is one of the most uplifting movies I've ever seen. We learn enough about the characters to actually care about them, especially the lead character Duke Cooper(who is portrayed brilliantly by one of the best child actors around,Trevor Morgan,who has a wide range as an actor)and his best friend Willy.I give praise to the writers and everyone who worked on this film.This is truly a classic.

Studio: Pioneer Video
Director: Bob Clark (III)



DVD title: October Sky
Productgroup: DVD
October Sky - movie DVD cover picture
the best family movie of the 90's


There isn't a better family movie than October Sky. It was enjoyed by all three of my sons who range fron 10-18. My sons have asked to read the book. What better recommendation is there than that. The movie captures the Sputnik moment and helps kids of the 90's to understand their parents' generation better. But even more importantly, it lets kids understand that anyone can make a success of himself if he is focused and will try hard. I thoroughly enjoyed this movie the first, second, and third time I saw it, and so did my kids.
The characers are terrific. The four heroes, the Rocket Boys, led by Homer Hickham spend weeks developing their rockets, scrounging material, and testing their science by trial and error. The movie provides some subplot relief with typical teenage problems including girls, parents, and being made fun of at school, but the movie, like the Rocket Boys, stays focused on the main event, launching a successful rocket and competing in the national science fair.
Even though you feel you know the ending before the movie finishes, it keeps your attention because the characters are human and you can identify with them. If you are looking for a movie for you and your kids or parents to enjoy together, this is it. It may be one of the 10 best family movies of all time not just 90's.

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: Joe Johnston
Actors:
Jake Gyllenhaal
Chris Cooper




DVD title: Fleetwood Mac - The Dance
Productgroup: DVD
Fleetwood Mac - The Dance - movie DVD cover picture
AWESOME!


I've always been somewhat of a fan of Fleetwood Mac,especially Stevie Nicks. While watching this DVD I was truly inspired by them. Why didn't I ever go see them in person? They were just awesome the way they performed together on this stage. Mick is still an animal on the drums. Lindsey can hold his own too. And Stevie...well need I say more. Her performance with Gold Dust Woman brought a tear to my eye. The encore of this concert is un-believable...worth getting the DVD just for the last 3 songs.

Studio: Wea/Warner Bros.
Director: Bruce Gowers
Actors:
Lindsey Buckingham
Christine McVie
John McVie
Stevie Nicks
Mick Fleetwood
Lenny Castro
Brett Tuggle
Neale Heywood
Sharon Celani
Mindy Stein




DVD title: A Bug's Life (Collector's Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
A Bug's Life (Collector's Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Digital delight!


The direct digital transfer to DVD produces the best picture I have ever seen on television, one that actually is better than in the theater, with more color saturation and detail. The full-frame version, too, fills the screen and yet retains the entire image. An extraordinary film.

Studio: Disney/Pixar
Actors:
Dave Foley
Kevin Spacey




DVD title: Flash Gordon - The Deadly Ray from Mars
Productgroup: DVD
Flash Gordon - The Deadly Ray from Mars - movie DVD cover picture
The Best of the Flash Gordon series


A modern day approach to this classic from the past cannot do justice when compared to the attitude and actions of the American audience in the 1930's. I interviewed people who lived through the experience as teens when they went to the movies to see "Flash Gordon Goes to Mars". The response can only be compared to the excitement level generated by "Indiana Jones" or "Star Wars". People were looking for escape. Flash Gordon provided the vehicle to take them away. Despite special effects that look silly today, people were thrilled with them in the 30's. The monsters were scary and the idea of life on Mars with "Clay people" filled them with fear. One fact you should keep in mind. The largest money maker in the movies was not the best picture in 1938 or any other of that year,it was a re-hash of "FLASH GORDON". Audiences talked about the adventures of Flash as we would today of "Indy". This DVD is a nice piece of work and the copy lets you relax. It is typical stuff from the 30's and characters such as newsmen, scientists, government officials and butlers can be expected to behave like the idiots Hollywood portrayed them back then. This series of "Flash" was cheaply produced but made a fortune in the movies. The strangest of the three but perhaps the most interesting due to our familiarity with our neighbor, Mars as opposed to far off Mongo. Grab a Martian flying cape and try not to laugh, people did at one time think this was sci fi at it's artistic best!

Studio: Image Entertainment



DVD title: Lone Wolf and Cub-Baby in the Land of Demons
Productgroup: DVD
Lone Wolf and Cub-Baby in the Land of Demons - movie DVD cover picture
Best of the Series


I think all the Lone Wolf & Cub movies are great, but this is definitely the best one in my book. All the films in the series managed to combine a strong period feel, and a sort of delicate and solemn beauty with the outrageous and brilliant action scenes, but this one really manages to bring out the former without losing touch with the latter. To put it bluntly, this is one of the very best action movies I've ever seen, Asian or otherwise.

I won't bother going into the plot. It doesn't matter much. Suffice to say, Ogami has been given another contract, and he must kill a great many people along the way in order to make his final hit. (as usual) All of the LW&C movies had westerny feel to them, but this one is totally a Leone film set in feudal Japan. The cinematography in the series has always been good, but 'Babycart in the Land of Demons' easily tops any of the other entries. They make full use of the widescreen format, almost never shooting anything in a perfunctory fashion, with lots of beautiful long shots, varied angles and unusual framing. This makes the whole film have a sort of poetic grandiosity which I really like. The natural scenery isn't quite as striking as in some of the other films, but it's still quite nice, and the extra effort that was put into filming it more than makes up for this slight shortcoming. The earlier portion of the film contains a great many one-on-one duels, further enhancing the Leone-esque feel, and they are all quite nicely done, if brief. (as you'd expect) The fight choreography is more consitently excellent than in most of the other films, though it isn't quite as action oriented as some of the other entries. This isn't to say it has the very best action scenes, but they are all good. The big fight at the end, while certainly not as huge as some of the others in the series, is quite excellent, and is a very fitting climax to the film. The grue is quite entertaining still, but not found in quite as great of volume as it was in some of the other films. However, I actually think this is a good thing, as the gore, while amusing in and of itself, can detract from the mood of the film sometimes.

Ogami and Daigoro are as compelling and likable as ever. Ogami Itto is an action hero equal to any you'll find in the genre. The taciturn, incredibly skilled and violent yet honorable man with no past is a typical action hero, but Wakayama Tomisaburo plays him as well as you could hope. Though I generally dislike children in movie's, I can't help but love little Daigoro. He's a very cute kid, for sure, but he's also a real character. Sure, he's not a remotely believable character, but I'm more than willing to suspend my disbelief. The acting is generally quite capable. The guy who plays Lord Retsudo is much better than he was in the first film, which was the only real problem in the whole series. Still, his look is a bit distracting, as his eye-patch, powdered face and wild hair make him look rather like a Japanese zombie-pirate. Of course, that's not really much of a problem. Thematically, self-sacrifice is an extremely prominent concept, and it can be quite affecting at times. (Particularly the brief subplot involving Daigoro and a pickpocket)

In his B-Movie guide, Joe Bob Briggs says, of the LW&C series, something like, 'famed for it's geysers of blood, but also beautiful and moving' That sums it all up pretty well, I think, and is particularly applicable to 'Baby Cart in the Land of Demons'. Mandatory viewing for any action fan.(The whole series is, really, though it doesn't make much difference what order you go in, provided you know the basic setup)

Studio: AnimEigo
Director: Kenji Misumi



DVD title: Fight Club (Single Disc Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Fight Club (Single Disc Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
The Reason to Get a DVD Player


Let's leave aside the fact that "Fight Club" is one of the best films of the past 10 years, it is the reason I bought a DVD player. Disc one is the movie in all it's glory, with several commentaries that are very worth listening too. I truly enjoy the banter that goes on between Pitt and Fincher, similar to the commentary in "Se7en" (another stellar DVD...). The second disc is a varitable candy store for fans of this movie. As a girl, I was told that I was going to hate this movie, or like it just because of Brad Pitt shirtless (but in all honesty I am much more a Norton fan!), but I have proved them wrong. "Fight Club" is a movie for a lost generation. The cast is stellar, the filming is dark and moody- perfect for the film, and the script translates the idea of the book to the screne admirably. The book, on that thought, is also really wonderful. Though the movie differs from the book slightly, if you enjoy one you'll undoubtably enjoy the other. Buy this DVD and put aside a few hours to explore it....and be quite content doing it!

Studio: Fox Home Entertainme
Director: David Fincher
Actors:
Edward Norton
Brad Pitt




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