Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: The Shaolin Temple
Productgroup: DVD
The Shaolin Temple - movie DVD cover picture
Jet Li's Debut

This was Jet Li's debut as an action star along with several excellent martial artists. The choreography and Li's techniques in Shaolin Temple 2: Kid From Shaolin are far better, but as a freshman effort this is very good.

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
Just say, "Yes!"

This is the film that should have been released to theaters. In many extended director's cuts the additional material is a waste of time. Every bit of added material included in this DVD either advances the plot or provides further insight into the hobbits/middle earth that Tolkienaphiles will love. This DVD may become the biggest seller of all time, even at the expensive price. I haven't even had a chance to look at the other three discs of background material or listened to the commentary. I can't wait!!!

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Peter Jackson
Ian McKellen

DVD title: Dawn of the Dead - U.S. Theatrical Cut (Anniversary Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Dawn of the Dead - U.S. Theatrical Cut (Anniversary Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Zomibes RAWK

This movie is the best Zombie film EVER. Buy it and the 2004 remake you will not be disappointed. The best zombie flicks ever = Dawn of the Dead, Day of the Dead, Night of the living Dead, then Dawn of the Dead (2004). The rest are just fillers till the next big one comes out =)

Studio: Anchor Bay Entertainment
Director: George A. Romero
David Emge
Ken Foree

DVD title: Amadeus
Productgroup: DVD
Amadeus - movie DVD cover picture
"Terrifying and wondeful to watch"

I first saw this movie when I was in the 5th grade, and when I found out my parent's had taped it way back when, I was almost exstatic. I absolutely love this movie. I could probably recite the lines start to finish without a problem..that's how many times I've seen it! The monologues in this film are wonderful, and the Opera scenes are great! The innacuracies are numerous, but Peter Scaffer said himself that it was not meant to be a good for him. I recommend this to anyone who wants to see the only good movie ever made.

Studio: Warner Studios
Director: Milos Forman
F. Murray Abraham
Tom Hulce

DVD title: Gang Related
Productgroup: DVD
Gang Related - movie DVD cover picture
This is one of the Best movies ever

Shakur and Belushi put in exceptional performances in an otherwise ignored forgotten movie by the late, great, Tupac Shakur 2 thumbs up!!!
"Keep the faith in me, I will not let u down"
Tupac Amura Shakur 1971-1996

Studio: Mgm/Ua Studios
Director: Jim Kouf
James Belushi
Tupac Shakur

DVD title: Fight Club (Single Disc Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Fight Club (Single Disc Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
A Great Movie But May Be To Disturbing For Most People

David Fincher's Fight Club is a very well made movie it pushes the limits in every way and the ending is just out of this world. Its hard to watch the last scene of the movie do to what happend in New York on Sep 11. But its still a great movie the DVD is one of the best DVD made so far. The violence is extremely bad and the film is for adults only.

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

DVD title: Star Wars Trilogy (Widescreen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Star Wars Trilogy (Widescreen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
The Must-Have DVD Collection

The original Star Wars Trilogy on DVD is a must-have for any fan. Some of the features include the original trailers as well as informative documentaries on the creation and the impact of these movies. In my opinion, the minor changes made to the films are greatly appreciated and necessary when considering the continuity of the saga as a whole. In RETURN OF THE JEDI for example, having the younger Anakin Skywalker and the planet Naboo during the ending celebration make for a more fitting conclusion to the films. In THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, the most needed change was replacing the actor used for the Emperor with Ian McDiarmid who portrays the character in the other films. Many people are disappointed that George Lucas will not release the original versions of the films on DVD but they are after all his films and changing tiny details that he deems necessary shouldn't stop the true fans from appreciating these fantastic movies.

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox Home Video
Harrison Ford

DVD title: Cat Stevens - Majikat (Earth Tour 1976)
Productgroup: DVD
Cat Stevens - Majikat (Earth Tour 1976) - movie DVD cover picture
Life-sustaining music and rapture

It was midway thru watching this outstanding live performance that my young daughter turned her head towards me and asked "how come he moves his head so much?". It then ocurred to me that Cat was really singing from another place, another plane of reality. The man loves the music, the music takes him to where his heart wants to be. He's the dervish here, dances each and every song with reverence and joy, the joy of being alive. So, no matter how many times Cat may be removed from planes/flights by the forces of darkness, the music and life lives on and on. That which does not perished and cannot be severed.

Great sound. Lastly, watch for the hard jammin' of Cat in "Tuesday's dead" where a string finally breaks off his Ovation guitar...which does not stop him!

Studio: Eagle Vision
Cat Stevens
Yusuf Islam

DVD title: Last Life in the Universe
Productgroup: DVD
Last Life in the Universe - movie DVD cover picture
Unlike Anything You've Ever Seen

I saw Last Life In The Universe when it was released for a week long engagement here in LA and was immediately captivated by it. It's rare to watch a movie these days and find yourself so cpmpletely enthralled by its beauty that the story takesa back seat to simple character interactions, and the sound of the ocean. That is not to say the movie lacks a plot, rather the plot is not focused on, or explained, but rather derived by the viewer who is willing to piece together a tapestry of unspoken facts. I won't ruin the film for you, rather I will simply say that watchingLast Life is like relaxing under a shady tree, beautiful, serene and enjoyable in a way that cannot really be described.

Studio: Umvd/Visual Entertai
Director: Pen-Ek Ratanaruang
Tadanobu Asano
Sinitta Boonyasak
Takashi Miike

DVD title: Casablanca
Productgroup: DVD
Casablanca - movie DVD cover picture
It just gets better every time.

"Casablanca" is one of those films that is not good just in spite of its many defects, but almost because of them. The many qualities it shows push it still further ahead of most films, and it has remained not only a classic, but and enduringly popular one. The acting is excellent, the black and white cinematography is magnificent, and the direction is inspired. When one finds out how this film was really produced, how many rewrites there were, how ignorant everybody was about the ending, it appears incredible that such a film should flow so beautifully. And flow it does on the strength of a peculiar love-story that relies on terribly faulty history to get to us.
Rick (Bogart) is a romantic hero with a chance to help those whose causes he has defended his entire life. He is a bitter and reluctant hero, though: being on the side of the losers in Spain, and then being dumped by Bergman in Paris just as the Germans were marching in, have done a good job of turning him into a cynic. Enter Bergman once again into his life, waltzing into his cafe in French-administered Morocco during WWII. This is a romantic story and a romantic view at the world at a time when the world was facing a true hour of darkness. In hindsight, this is all about losers and losing, and it has touched most of us because we can identify with not getting all that we want, with losing big, with great dreams and harsh realities, with big hopes and small results, and, in spite of everything, we can look at Rick and say "Yes, I wish I could be like him, even if it meant losing, again, as he does." The problems with the film are historic: letters of transit signed by General DeGaulle, who was a sworn enemy of Vichy France and the Nazis, were not going to be respected by the colaborationist French or their German overlords. When Peter Lorre's character explains the wonderful nature of these two letters, it is clear that incredible confusion guided much of "Casablanca" along. When Bogart walks with Claude Rains at the end in what could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship, Rains mentions a French garrison in Brazzaville that they can join, but such garrison was actually pro-Vichy. Errors like these can sink a movie that pretends to be factual, but "Casablanca" aimed from the beginning at being a fictionalized account of the struggle at a time when victory for the Allies was uncertain at best.
Bogart loses, but wins. Claude Rains (the police inspector) wins his dignity and a friend. Bergman has her husband, loses Bogart, and goes on. Czechoslovakia will get rid of the Nazis only thanks to the Soviets, and it will take it four decades to get rid of its "liberators" and to recover its democracy. France will lose its empire. Germany will lose the war.
There are no happy endings in "Casablanca." The love story is there but the lovers rise far above their "hill of beans" and become truly noble, particularly Rick, the cynic who still hopes. The only true happy ending is that the Allies did win, but at the time of production that was very much in doubt. Such a memorable film produced memorable lines, like "Round up the usual suspects," "Vultures, vultures everywhere," "I stick my neck out for nobody," "Here it's looking at you, kid," etc., although Rick never says "Play it again, Sam." The players are there, as well, in other related films: Bogart in "To Have and Have Not" against a Vichy police inspector, played by the same actor whose role was to be the doorman to Rick's Cafe in "Casablanca." Paul Henreid (Lazslo) plays a nazi in "Night Train to Munich," and Ingrid Bergman and Claude Rains will face each other again in "Notorious."
As in literature, classic films are those pieces of art that seemingly without effort weave in the right moments with the mistakes, the faultless details with the obvious errors. Classics are human; they have to be. Like us, their mistakes only help them get closer to the people they were created for. "Casablanca" has many errors. The whole is and feels almost perfect. My third favorite film truly gets better every time I watch it.

Studio: Warner Studios
Director: Michael Curtiz
Humphrey Bogart
Ingrid Bergman

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