Film DVD related reviews


DVD title: I Love Lucy - The Complete Fifth Season
Productgroup: DVD
I Love Lucy - The Complete Fifth Season - movie DVD cover picture
John Wayne, NYC, Europe, the Queen, Grapes & Cheese


Over 50 years ago during the early years of broadcast television, the very inspired talents of Lucille Ball (1911-1989) and her then husband Desi Arnaz (1917-1986) were showcased on their hilarious television show "I Love Lucy". TV execs had initially rejected the plausibility of the show because of Desi and because they intended to tape the shows. However, thanks to the tireless efforts of Lucille Ball and Desi's obvious talents, the show first aired in 1951 and quickly became one of the most successful TV shows during all six of its regular seasons. As Lucy and Ricky Ricardo on "I Love Lucy", Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz were joined by William Frawley (1877-1966) and Viviane Vance (1909-1979) as their best-friends/apartment landlords of Fred and Ethel Mertz.

The fifth season of "I Love Lucy" that aired between 1955 and 1956 has 26 memorable episodes:

1. "Lucy Visits Grauman's": With Ethel's help, Lucy steals John Wayne's footprints from Grauman's Chinese Theater.

2. "Lucy and John Wayne": Lucy and Ethel try to return the footprints that they stole, but they break; so Ricky enlists the help from John Wayne (himself) to make a new set. More than one may be needed.

3. "Lucy and the Dummy": After Ricky backs out of a party where Lucy wants her big break, Lucy makes a dummy of Ricky to dance with at the party.

4. "Ricky Sells the Car": After Ricky sells the car, Fred & Ethel think they'll have to ride a motorcycle back to NYC; but Ricky buys train tickets for all.

5. "The Great Train Robbery": Thinking there's a jewel thief on board the train to NYC, Lucy can't stop pulling the emergency brake cord. (Train conductor played by Frank Nelson, 1911-1986.)

6. "Homecoming": Upon returning to NYC, Ricky is a big star, but Lucy initially doesn't share in everyone's worship of him.

7. "The Ricardos Are Interviewed": Ricky & Lucy consider moving and Ricky is to be interviewed on a prestigious show.

8. "Lucy Goes to a Rodeo": After Ricky can't help Fred with a rodeo-themed show for his lodge, Lucy & Ethel volunteer to help.

9. "Nursery School": After Lucy's fear of Little Ricky getting sick at nursery school comes to pass, she is determined to stay with him at the hospital.

10. "Ricky's European Booking": When Ricky can't afford to take Lucy on his European tour, she & Ethel dream up a raffle to help the "Ladies Overseas Aid", which they think is themselves.

11. "The Passports": Lucy can't find her birth certificate so that she can get her passport.

12. "Staten Island Ferry": To help Fred overcome seasickness, Lucy takes him onto the Staten Island Ferry; but she gets seasick herself and may be late to the passport office. (Passport clerk played by Charles Lane.)

13. "Bon Voyage": When the ship leaves port for Europe, Lucy is inadvertently left behind; so she'll have to get to ship via a helicopter. One of the best fifth-season episodes!

14. "Second Honeymoon": Lucy wants the Atlantic cruise to be a second honeymoon, but Ricky is too busy with the band.

15. "Lucy Meets the Queen": After Lucy misses seeing the queen at Buckingham Palace, Ricky gets invited to met the queen, but not Lucy. Of course, when has "no" ever stopped Lucy?

16. "The Fox Hunt": Bragging that she can ride, Lucy gets to show how well she can actually ride a horse in a fox hunt.

17. "Lucy Goes to Scotland": Lucy wants to travel to Scotland to meet her distant McGillicuddy relatives. The dream sequence that unfolds is unforgettable.

18. "Paris at Last": Not having any French currency, Lucy, Ethel & Fred exchange money with a so-called French artist (Shepard Menken, 1921-1999), who turns out to be a counterfeiter. The translation sequence is priceless, as is Lucy's introduction to escargot!

19. "Lucy Meets Charles Boyer": Lucy & Ethel are star-struck when they encounter Charles Boyer (himself) at a sidewalk cafe.

20. "Lucy Gets a Paris Gown": When Lucy goes on hunger strike to force Ricky to buy her an expensive French-designed dress, Ricky & Fred have dresses custom-made out of burlap. (A fantastic episode!)

21. "Lucy in the Swiss Alps": Lucy, Ricky, Fred & Ethel get trapped in an avalanche while mountain climbing until they here "La Cucaracha" being played.

22. "Lucy Gets Homesick in Italy": In this heart-warming episode, Lucy misses Little Ricky during his birthday, so a little Italian shoeshine boy (Bart Bradley) and his friends get to celebrate with her.

23. "Lucy's Italian Movie": In one of the best episodes of all time, Lucy takes "getting some local color" a little literally when she travels to an old-fashioned Italian winery to press grapes to impress an Italian film director. (Italian wine stomper played by Theresa Tirelli, 1907-1989).

24. "Lucy's Bicycle Trip": Lucy has trouble crossing back into France when she can't find her passport.

25. "Lucy Goes to Monte Carlo": When Lucy picks up a chip in a Monte Carlo casino, she inadvertently wins thousands of French franks.

26. "Return Home From Europe": To sneak home a 30-pound cheese, Lucy dresses it up as baby to fly home to NYC; but the passenger (Mary Jane Croft, 1916-1999) next to her flips out when the cheese disappears.

Paramount Home Video's superb job of packaging all 30 episodes of the fourth season of "I Love Lucy" onto 5 DVD's is a good indication as to how they will similarly package the fifth season onto 4. Overall, for superb packaging and a great price, I rate the "I Love Lucy: The Complete Fifth Season" DVD box set with an anticipatory 5 out of 5 stars and highly recommend it!

Studio: Paramount Home Video
Actors:
Lucille Ball



DVD title: Nosferatu, The Vampire
Productgroup: DVD
Nosferatu, The Vampire - movie DVD cover picture
Yikes


Unlike the later Universal horror masterpieces, which were more tragic than scary, this one is really creepy. Some of it is downright frightening in a way no other film has been. The use of natural settings and lack of dialogue only heightens the sense of unease. Of course, don't watch it with the lights on.

Studio: Image Entertainment
Director: F.W. Murnau
Actors:
Max Schreck
Greta Schröder
Ruth Landshoff




DVD title: Breakfast at Tiffany's
Productgroup: DVD
Breakfast at Tiffany's - movie DVD cover picture
Good old days


I watch Breakfast at Tiffany's once or twice in a year, everytime I have the same feeling, after it's finished. Sadness 'cause I don't live there those times, and relaxation like the same after a glass of warm milk. I definitely suggest you should own this wideo.

Studio: Paramount Studio
Director: Blake Edwards
Actors:
Audrey Hepburn
George Peppard




DVD title: The Mark of Zorro
Productgroup: DVD
The Mark of Zorro - movie DVD cover picture
Silent movie viewer's guide


I am afraid that silent movies are not for every taste. But complaining about a silent movie being bad because it is, well, silent is like complaining that a talking movie is bad because it, well, talks.
As with any entertainment from a different era, silent films require patience and an open mind to get the proper feel of. Some people can do this, some people can't, that does not make either side an inferior species.
After having just rewatched this film, I must say that I still find it quite enjoyable. (I have seen every readily available version of Zorro) This is still the best of the lot in my opinion for several reasons. First, no pretentions. Second, very good action. Third, wildly imaginative stunts for the time.
I do hope you will give this movie a fair chance, silent films are a fascinating intellectual challenge to a modern filmgoer and will widen your film appreciation. Set your mind back to 1920 and savour the taste of the era.

Studio: Image Entertainment
Director: Fred Niblo
Actors:
Douglas Fairbanks
Marguerite De La Motte




DVD title: American Dreams - Season One (Extended Music Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
American Dreams - Season One (Extended Music Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Top-notch entertainment


This dvd set is priceless. This is a quality TV show. I don't hesitate to say it is my all-time favorite, and I'm a 27-year-old male, married-with-children war veteran. My only disappointment was that there was only commentary for the pilot episode, but it does have a "timeline" and a bandstand flashback attatched to each enthralling episode. My favorite extra is the music video with Brittany and Vanessa as back-up singers. I'm in Iraq right now, and any time I need a smile, I watch these dvds. I'm very much looking forward to purchasing the rest of the seasons as they are released.

Studio: Universal Studios Ho



DVD title: Drive By Truckers - Dirty South - Live at the 40 Watt
Productgroup: DVD
Drive By Truckers - Dirty South - Live at the 40 Watt - movie DVD cover picture
Like bein' there


Lighting? It's a dang rock show. Why change the lighting, it's done for a reason.

This is a fantastic document of a live Drive by Truckers show. It really couldn't be better. Well, maybe if they had included "Let there be Rock." Can't have it all, I guess. The encore is one of the most intense live performances you will ever see on film. Think Who at the Isle of Wight and Jimi at Monterey and, yup, even the Led Zep DVD and you will get an idea of the intensity level of the two performances that were used for this DVD.

Studio: Red Distribution, In
Director: Eleanor (II)



DVD title: Finding Forrester
Productgroup: DVD
Finding Forrester - movie DVD cover picture
I'll take Poor assumptions for 800 Alex.


I wasn't sure what to expect from this film. My wife has wanted to see it for some time and I finally relented.Hell I wanted to see Charlie's Angels. But I have to say that I was amazed at how good it was. I thought while watching it that it had a similar idea to Good Will Hunting. A movie that I only thought was ok and very over-rated. Maybe it just didn't connect with me like Finding Forrester did. I thought the story was very clever, and above all the acting was incredible. The only one in the whole film who I thought was lacking was the love interest. Everyone keeps telling me how great she is because of The Piano. But her acting to me is dull, flat and utterly without emotion. The film is a wonderful mix of drama, laughs and the human heart. An enchanting film all round. Well worth a watch.

Studio: Columbia/Tristar Studios
Director: Gus Van Sant
Actors:
Sean Connery
Rob Brown (VI)




DVD title: Once Upon a Time in China 2
Productgroup: DVD
Once Upon a Time in China 2 - movie DVD cover picture
Excellent sequel!


Every bit as good as the first, if not better. Jet Li's poise and martial arts ability are astounding and are generously displayed in the superb fight sequences towards the end. Throughout the film the audience is treated to an excellent picture of the cultural and social problems facing China at the turn of the century, as well as some exposure to Eastern medicine. My only personal disappointment is that Yuen Biao, a major actor in the first film and a fantastic martial artist in his own right, does not appear in this sequel. Overall, stunning!

Studio: Tai Seng Video
Director: Hark Tsui
Actors:
Jet Li



DVD title: John Carpenter's Ghosts of Mars
Productgroup: DVD
John Carpenter's Ghosts of Mars - movie DVD cover picture
Action, Violence, Comedy make Ghosts one of Carpenters Best!


I just got back from seeing Ghosts of Mars at my local theater. Unfortunately. I am all but convinced that John Carpenter has totally lost the film making skill that once established him as the true "master of terror". This film has few interesting moments and I actually started to fall asleep a couple of times. Let me start by commenting on the only thing I enjoyed during this 90 minute attrocity. I enjoyed seeing Carpenter return to his roots in the form of stalking camera shots similar to those he used in his utter masterpiece Halloween. The posession theme prominent in the plot combined with the POV/stalking camera shots reminded me alot of Sam Raimi's classic Evil Dead series (only nowhere near as great). The rest of the movie, however, is a (thankfully) short and dissapointing effort. There was one scene where Desolation (Ice Cube) wasn't sure if Natasha Henridge was possessed or not. This, I felt, was a strong nod to Carpenter's 1982 remake of THE THING, and I wonder if the screenplay for "Ghosts" was nothing more than an intended THING sequel that carpenter ended up scrapping and piecing together again in the form of GHOSTS OF MARS to pay the rent. Ice Cube is horrible and the dialogue is even worse. Hopefully us horror fans will have something to look forward to in the upcoming genre films Jeepers Creepers, From Hell, House of 1000 Corpses, Halloween 8, Soul Survivors, Brotherhood of the Wolf, and Jason X.

Studio: Columbia Tri-Star
Director: John Carpenter
Actors:
Natasha Henstridge
Ice Cube
Pam Grier




DVD title: I Married a Strange Person
Productgroup: DVD
I Married a Strange Person - movie DVD cover picture
Great movie


One of the funniest and weirdest movies and very well done, suggest seeing it to everyone. i saw it in the theater when it came out during a film festival and could not laughing about it and remembering it. haven't seen it in a while so i think i will buy it.

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: Bill Plympton



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