Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Jesus of Nazareth
Productgroup: DVD
Jesus of Nazareth - movie DVD cover picture
Jesus of Nazareth

When it first aired on TV I was a 13 year old boy. I remember seeing Jesus of Nazareth and would see it every year and just loved it. Now, I own the DVD and refer to it often for various scenes, as I study the new testament.
Robert Powell (actor who played Jesus) is superb in this movie. When I think about what Jesus may have looked like I picture Robert Powell; he's so terrific as Jesus. Every scene is fantastic but two stand out in my mind as breath taking in this movie. 1) The story Jesus tells while at Matthew's house of the two sons... one demands his inheritance and squanders it... and 2) When Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead.
Each scene moves me beyond words. If you're looking for a great movie to coincide with the bible and your journey into it, this is a must own.

Studio: Lions Gate Home Entertainment
Director: Franco Zeffirelli
Robert Powell
James Mason
Laurence Olivier

DVD title: The Complete James Dean Collection (East of Eden / Giant / Rebel Without a Cause Special Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
The Complete James Dean Collection (East of Eden / Giant / Rebel Without a Cause Special Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Timeless Collection!

This is a great dvd collection for the James Dean fan! The special features are long and fun to watch. Also, the quality of the movies themselves is excellent!

Studio: Warner Home Video
James Dean

DVD title: The Transformers - The Movie
Productgroup: DVD
The Transformers - The Movie - movie DVD cover picture
Marvelous animated film

In the 1980s, it's no surprise that Transformers ruled television screens while simultaneously causing every kid to want to go out and buy the toys. I am one of the ones that grew up watching my favorite Transformers duking it out for the fate of mankind. I loved every minute of it, even if some of the episodes were really corny. However, this review isn't about the show; it's about the movie, originally released in 1986. The movie brought forth new circuits for us to admire while also killing off several of the old characters, including the beloved Optimus Prime.
The animation is ten times more advanced than that of the original show. Optimus Prime and Megatron have never looked sleaker and it's quite a shame they didn't last very long in the movie (well... Megatron turned to Galvatron... you get the idea.). Even by today's standards, they haven't aged badly at all. The voice cast is a list of well-known actors and most of them put in fine performances. While Robert Stack's portrayal of Ultra Magnus seemed somewhat bland, Leonard Nimoy's portrayal of Galvatron was nothing less than excellent. You also have to consider they were probably brought to the project based on the pay, not for the art. Other actors included Judd Nelson as Hot Rod (another good voice performance), Lionel Stander as Kup, Eric Idle as Wreck-Gar (Yes, THAT Eric Idle), and of course, Casey Kasem and Scatman Crothers as Cliffjumper and Jazz, respectively. But of course, let's not forget the legendary Orson Welles voicing the most bad(...) Transformer of them all: Unicron. The planet eating monster that transforms from planet killer to robot and vice versa. In fact, this was Orson Welles' final performance. That means Transformers is the last credit on his resume. How cool is that??
The music score was contributed by Vince DiCola, back in the day when synthesized scores were becoming huge. He previously did the score for "Rocky IV" and additional music for "Staying Alive." I really like the score and it's quite a shame that Mr. DiCola has not done many film scores since. Speaking of which, the DVD features an interview with him that's somewhat interesting for the diehard Transformers fan. The songs are from largely unknown musicians; the most notables ones are Stan Bush, who did the songs "Dare" and the hit single "The Touch," and Spectre General, who performed "Nothin's Gonna Stand in my Way" and "Hunger." Spectre General is actually a pseudonym for Canadian rock band Kick Axe. Sound familar now? They did two albums and toured with Judas Priest before their breakup (they were also produced by Spencer Proffer, the producer of Quiet Riot, which explains his credit on the two songs).
The storyline does seem a bit Star Wars-ish. But seriously, who really cares? And more importantly, what sci-fi HASN'T? It does have a few holes and/or mistakes that seem like lazy writing (for example, jettisoning injured Decepticons to "make room and less weight" doesn't apply to space; it's called MASS), but the overall good versus evil story was pretty good. It also sports some impressive dialogue like Springer's "I've got better things to do tonight than die!" or the infamous "Ba Weep Granna Weep Nini Bang" greeting the Junkions use.
The infamous (...)has been restored back in the film. The picture quality has been greatly enhanced and so has the sound quality. Including the interview, the DVD comes with the original theatrical trailer and original storyboards. My ONLY complaint with this DVD is that it doesn't come with a widescreen version. Didn't Sunbow claim they found the widescreen print? Why didn't Rhino include it? Oh well. Perhaps in the future.
A memorable piece of 80s nostalgia and a must for diehard fans. Looking back on it now, it's a pretty good animated film. I must admit I almost cried when my favorite hero, Optimus Prime, bit the dust, but it's pretty awesome they brought him back at the end of Season 3. Any Transformers fan will enjoy this. If you don't, you are an overanalyzing critic. Go back to your "Titanic," critic.

Studio: Rhino Video
Director: Nelson Shin

DVD title: 3 X 3 Eyes Collection
Productgroup: DVD
3 X 3 Eyes Collection - movie DVD cover picture
classic anime

I really don't know what the person meant when they said the characters were weak, and that this was a bad animation....the anime was created back in the 80s, so of course it's not going to be as hi-tech as some animes out there now. The storyline is great; good character development, especially from the first dvd to the 2nd dvd (perfect collection). The drawings are one of the best out there- again, since it's from the 80s, this means it's an older style, but is a better quality. More hand-drawn stuff than computerized.
The perfect collection does not go into as much depth as the manga (there are at least 35 graphic novels that I know of) so you may think the storyline sucks, if you dont know about the graphic novels.
Give it a try- you will not be disappointed!

Studio: Pioneer Video
Three By Three Eyes

DVD title: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Full Screen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Full Screen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture

It was better the second time. I wasn't really sure about going to see the acclaimed "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" just by the way my friend described the books. It seemed sort of creepy that earth would be blown up to make way for a galatic highway which ends up ablysmally failing, but with the effects we have today, I was anxious just how well they could do a movie that was intended to have plenty of special effects with a budget of $50,000,000. Even the new Star Wars series had an average of $115,000,000, more than double of that. But I went anyway.

Seconds before Earth's sudden and inevitable destruction to make way for a new galatic highway, Authur Dent and Ford Prefect survive the blast, and find themselves lost in space with nothing but their towels in their posession. No doubt, Earth's blast was shocking, but Authur knows there has to be something more than just Earth being in the way of a new highway.

Meeting up with an old girlfriend who also survived Earth's sad end, Authur is not only forced in taking a ride with his newfound friends into the endless universe with a mere book to guide him, but also finds that Earth's end was not just for the galatic highway (which ended up failing) but for something much more complexed, and he may be the only one to save what is left of Earth, and make sure it's purpose is never discovered. Being sole survivor, it is his choice.

Besides straying pretty far away from the book, I found that this version is much funnier than intended. The comedic actions taken during the course of trying to survive the Vogons in space is pretty funny. Not to mention, by trying to understand everything, you are forced to wonder exactly what you watched while trying not to laugh so much so you can concentrate. I had to watch it a second time over, but once I did, everything was suddenly much more clear. It was understandable, and that was good because a movie that needs a lot of explanation isn't good.

The plot of the new "re-thought" version was actually the screenplay that Douglas Adams himself wrote. It may seem as if they had done a lot of rewriting on purpose, but there wasn't. It was all done by Adams which I was happy to find out because when a movie strays too far away from a book on purpose, it just isn't enjoyable that way either, even if the book is always better than the movie.

As for the characters, I was really happy to see they didn't change the character of the manic-deppressive robot Marvin at all. He is perfect, and almost how I pictured him in the book. I pictured him a little smaller, but he's great. I didn't expect Ford to black, but I think he's better that way, more enjoyable, and funnier. Had he been white, I don't think he would've stood out as much. Plus, I think everyone in the book is white, so I think the filmmakers probably wanted to draw the line somewhere considering how long ago the book was written.

The effects are awesome! With the "low-budget" they had for this kind of movie, they made it Star Wars worthy of effects. Even the effects in this are sometimes better than a lot of higher budget films that take less special effects. Even though they can sometimes get very low (such as the effects of a sperm whale falling from the sky), a lot of the time, it looks really really good, and never fails to amaze you. If you don't like the movie, you can't admit that the effects didn't blow you away, especially of earth being blown up, the Vogon ships flying from hyperspace, the Vogon city, and a scene where the characters come out of hyperspace as a ball of yarn, and everyone has been knitted into yarn characters (which is probably the best CGI). Low-budget CGI will probably never work for another film. It sure didn't work for Sky Captain and the world of tomorrow, and that had a budget of $40,000,000.

As for acting, it's awesome. It never really loses your interest on how well the actors play them. Sam Rockwell who plays President Zaphod, is completely awesome and insane! I was also happy that they stayed with the fact that the characters are from England like in the book. Mos Def is incredible as Ford, a sort of difficult role to play. Zooey Deschanel as the innocent Trillian was also very good in being a kind girl gone bad when she finds out Zaphod has blown up the planet (by being stupid). Then there's the up and coming Martin Freeman as Aurther. Awesome english actor also as an innocent character finding out too much at one time. If you have fun watching comedy scifi, you're going to have plenty of fun in Hitchhiker's guide. I thought it was going to be stupid, but I liked it. A lot.

Studio: Buena Vista Home Video
Director: Garth Jennings
Warwick Davis
Mos Def
Zooey Deschanel
Martin Freeman (II)

DVD title: Friends - The Complete First Season
Productgroup: DVD
Friends - The Complete First Season - movie DVD cover picture
Best Season of the Show

I just purchased the dvd package of "Friends" Season 1 Complete Season. There are serious flaws with this dvd package. Having only had time to play DVD 1 - the last 3 episodes refuse to play with the exception of about 40 seconds of a scene from each of the missing episodes. I have to say I'm very disappointted that Warner Brothers never bothered to check the quality of their product. I luv Friends - but this dvd package is a disaster ! ! !BUYER BEWARE ! ! !

Studio: Warner Home Video
Lisa Kudrow

DVD title: Foxfire
Productgroup: DVD
Foxfire - movie DVD cover picture
ThiS MoViE RuLeS!!

hey people...if you want a cool movie about some ass kicking girls..this is the one to see. i love this movie because the girls are all so different, but form a friendship that lasts forever. watch this movie once..and you'll love it for a lifetime....i know i did.

Studio: Columbia/Tristar Studios
Director: Annette Haywood-Carter
Hedy Burress
Angelina Jolie

DVD title: Traffic
Productgroup: DVD
Traffic - movie DVD cover picture
A good film

Americans make some of the best films in the world. They are however known for films which do not deal with real issues. Comedies, Action films and Romances are the sorts of things which generally come from American Cinema.
It was thus a surprise to see a film that dealt with a serious issue the war on drugs in a realistic and intelligent way.
Traffic is not preachy, it is fast paced and engaging despite using experimental techniques such as hand held cameras and processing the film for some scences in a bleached or non realistic way.
The issue with the drug was is that the margin on drug sales is such that drug runner can afford to lose half of their shipments and still make a profit. Detecting a high percentage of drug imports is close to impossible so that the long term price of drugs continues to fall and the purity rises. The film shows clearly the mechanics of the drug trade and why it is so difficult to stop.
Drug selling also makes huge amounts of money for suppliers. This gives them power especially in poorer countries and one of the films strengths is to show how easily the corruption can flow from the profits in the trade.
So many films show the drug war as a battle between some defined villians and Bruce Willis heroes. This film is able to convey a far greater sense of evil than any films of that type. A top notch film that mixes engrossing entertainment with an intelligent discussion of a real issue.

Studio: Universal Studios Ho
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Benicio Del Toro
Michael Douglas

DVD title: Journey to the Center of the Earth
Productgroup: DVD
Journey to the Center of the Earth - movie DVD cover picture
Excellent classic fun

Although it deviates (!) from Verne's story, this film is a classic. James Mason does his usual outstanding acting -- for once as a good guy rather than a villain -- and there's a good bit of humour, not least provided by Pat Boone as one of Mason's students. Suspend disbelief for an afternoon and watch this light romp. Rated 'G' for sure.

Studio: Fox Home Entertainme
Director: Henry Levin
Pat Boone
James Mason

DVD title: Pirates of the Caribbean - The Curse of the Black Pearl (2-Disc Collector's Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Pirates of the Caribbean - The Curse of the Black Pearl (2-Disc Collector's Edition) - movie DVD cover picture

Overall I thought this movie was fantastic. When I first saw the previews I thought that it looked babyish but my sister loves Orlando Bloom so I went with her. It was awesome! Johnny Depp was hilarious and ...Orlando Bloom was ... too. You will laugh 'til your side hurts.

Studio: Walt Disney Home Video
Director: Gore Verbinski
Johnny Depp
Geoffrey Rush
Orlando Bloom
Keira Knightley
Jonathan Pryce

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