Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Kaleido Star - Welcome to the Kaleido Star (Vol. 1)
Productgroup: DVD
Kaleido Star - Welcome to the Kaleido Star (Vol. 1) - movie DVD cover picture
Kaleido 5 STARS

i was so prepared to hate this anime becuase it looked so silly. but i really did end up enjoying it. sora is sweet and determined and her initial failings make her even more endearing (unlike the sort of heroines who always succeed at everything they try, really making you want to slap them).
i'm not sure what charles solomon is referring to in his review about sora being "something of a klutz". it's true she hadn't studied ballet or trapzeeze. she's a gymnast. so it's natural that she'd mess up a few times when she's trying ballet or trapeze. and the initial screw-ups on the trampoline are due to a serious case of stage fright. i'd say that her opening scene with the roller-skates proves she's not a klutz.
this is certainly not the most deep or involved plotline i've ever seen, but for some reason i'd get strangely excited to see the scenes where they were performing. the animation is above-par, particularly the motion sequences (like when the guy rips off sora's luggage) and the voices are spot-on for each character (though i've only watched the japanese version). i'd highly recommended it.

Studio: A.D. Vision

DVD title: Cardcaptor Sakura - The Clow (Vol. 1)
Productgroup: DVD
Cardcaptor Sakura - The Clow (Vol. 1) - movie DVD cover picture
CardCaptor Sakura, Vol1

As you probably know, CardCaptor Sakura is the original TV show from Japan. Those of us who live in USA and Canada have the inadvantage of watching the butchered version of this wonderful show CardCaptors. If you want to see the original, you can buy the volumes seperately, but I recomend you buy the TV series set.
For this volume we have episodes:
1. Sakura and the Mysterious Magic Book
2. Sakura's Wonderful Friend
3. Sakura's Heart-throbbing First Date
4. Sakura's Tiring Sunday
1st episode explains the plot of the story. Sakura Kinomoto is a normal 10 year old girl living it Toemeda, Japan, She is a cheerleader in school and her best friends are Tomoyo, Rika, Chiharu, Naoko and Takashi. She lives with her Big Brother Touya and Father, Fujitaka. Touya has a best friend, Yukito, and Sakura has a bit of a crush on him.
Sakura is coming home from school and notices that both her Dad and Brother will be staying late at work. She is just getting a snack when she hears strange noises from her fathers studies. Armed with a baton, she goes downstairs to investigate. She finds no one downstairs, but when she turns to leave, a book in a shelf starts to glow. Sakura opens it and finds funny looking cards (which kind of look like tarrot cards.) She picks up the top one and reads the name "Win...Wind... WINDY?" Suddenly a wind picks up and all the cards blow out of the book, going through the roof and scattering all over the town. Sakura drops the book in astonishment. While she is looking at the card still in her hand. the book starts glowing again and a small teddybear with wings comes out from the cover. He introduces himself as Keroberous, Gardian beast of the seal. Sakura tells him what happened to the cards, and he tells her thst she has to help him get them back. Keroberous names her a CardCaptor and tells her all about the clow cards. As he is saying this, a huge wind comes through the window. Keroberous tells her it is the FLY card, and as he is saying this, a huge bird flys overhead. Sakura is scared at first, but over comes her fear and captures the FLY card.
2nd episode is basically about Tomoyo finding out about Sakura being a CardCaptor and Sakura goes on to capture the Shadoe card. This is also the first episode for battle costumes.
3rd episode is about Sakura going on a date with her crush, Yukito. There is also continuous trouble with the water card...
4th episode is one that made the lame Cardcaptors dub. Sakura is stuck at home doing chores when she finds two clow card that have been blow under furniture in her house. But what is this tree sprouting from the basement...
Do me a favor and buy this volume or the CardCaptor Sakura TV series. It is definently worth the money. Episodes are subtitled in english and all the voice acting is really good. I really appreciated Tange Sakura preformance, although all the rest were good too. An excellent TV show that unfortunatly was not shown here in North America.
Ja Ne, minna-san!!

Studio: Pioneer Video
Cardcaptor Sakura

DVD title: The Sopranos - The Complete Second Season
Productgroup: DVD
The Sopranos - The Complete Second Season - movie DVD cover picture
A great second Season

I reviewed season 1 of the Sopranos and I said that it was a modern masterpiece. I still stay true to what I said with that. Season 2 carries story lines from Season 1and as with any piece of work the characters all progress. We are introduced to new characters such as Richie Aprile & Janice Soprano.
I think that the main theme of Season One was to introduce you to Tony and his crew and what they were about. Season 2 goes deeper and I would say simply the main themes are that Tony has a huge mess on his hands. If you don't want to spoil things don't read the rest of this paragraph. He still doesn't know what causes his panic attacks and Dr. Melfi doesn't want to treat him.His sister Janice is in town from Seattle and she is being a pain in Tony's ass by trying to take their mom's house and her inheritance. Tony's old friend Richie, brother of the late former mob boss Jackie, is in town and he wants a big piece of action and wants what Tony has. Most of all Tony is trying to figure out if he has a rat on his hands with Big Puss. With that said there are alot of other themes going on but those are the biggies.
This season transends perfectly from season 1 and it is the second best season of the show. It never will bore you (atleast not for me). All of the characters mature and grow.
Now that I said my piece for season two, I will discuss a bit about the actual dvds. The Soprano's Season 2 was released back in late 2001 and it is a four disk set. The menus are animated nicely and look pretty slick. The downside is that there aren't many special features and I think that they could have created a few for the viewers. I mean there is a featurette that is pretty boring and a few directors commentaries. Nothing really special in that department.
This season is definetly worth your money, even though it is quite expensive. I suggest you buy Season 1 before buying this season. Just so you know whats going on. This is a great season and there are a few plot twists and the season finale of this show is memorable and might be the image of the show. So buy it now you will not regret it if you are a fan of the show, mafia movies, great acting, and dark humor.

Studio: Warner Home Video
James Gandolfini

DVD title: 12 Monkeys
Productgroup: DVD
12 Monkeys - movie DVD cover picture
A masterpiece

The world's population is practically wiped out by a killer virus. The survivors are forced to live in underground communities. James Cole ( Bruce Willis) is a time traveler from the year 2035. He is forced against his will, to go into the past and obtain a sample of the pure virus, to help the scientists find a cure. Along the way, he manages to cross paths with a beautiful psychiatrist ( Madeline Stowe), and an extremely unstable mental patient ( Brad Pitt). With danger closing in, Cole must race to find a radical group linked to the disease known only as The Army of the 12 Monkeys.

"12 Monkeys", is probably one of my favorite science fiction films. It features an incredible script that takes us back and forth between the past and the present and we see the lives of the main characters all intertwined over a period of six years. The film is quite complex, and even strange at times. But the one thing that it never fails to do is entertain you. The set designs and stunning visuals are one of the film's best features. The costume designs from the future could only be created by Terry Gilliam. He is the master of the unusual. The ending to the film is very shocking and ties all the events of the film together perfectly. While it will be upsetting to some, it was extremely satisfying and it made perfect sense.

Bruce Willis gives the performance of his career with James Cole. There are so many things about the role that are pleasing. The first being his adjusting to the past, and living above ground. Willis accurately captures the suprise one in his situation would feel. The second being his fight to prove what he is saying about the present time is true. This is where she shows fierce determination. The third being his fight to remain sain and rational. Willis actually could pass for a mental patient. The transition from sane to insane is amazing to see. Madeline Stowe is sexy and intelligent as Dr. Kathryn Railly. Watching her go from skeptical doctor, to helping James on his mission is great. But the best performance however was given by Brad Pitt. Pitt is truly off of his rocker for the entire film and will not only make you laugh, but amaze and shock you with what he does as well.

"12 Monkeys" is a complex and beautiful masterpiece in the science fiction genre. The acting, complex story, effects and visuals, and outstanding ending all equal one thing : perfection. The Collector's Edition DVD is amazing. The best feature is "The Hamster Factor". It is a short film about the making of "12 Monkeys". You also get cast and crew biographies, the original theatrical trailer, production notes, and more.

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: Terry Gilliam
Bruce Willis
Madeleine Stowe
Brad Pitt

DVD title: Invasion of the Body Snatchers
Productgroup: DVD
Invasion of the Body Snatchers - movie DVD cover picture
need script

does anyone have the script or know where I can get one????

Studio: Republic Studios
Director: Don Siegel
Kevin McCarthy
Dana Wynter

DVD title: The Fall of the House of Usher
Productgroup: DVD
The Fall of the House of Usher - movie DVD cover picture
Amazing Movie

This is the first film in Roger Corman's famous Edgar Allen Poe adaptations that went so well in the 1960s. Vincent Price starred in nearly all of them. Of the first batch, this is undeniably the best. The DVD features a great audio commentary by Corman himself. The only shame is that so many of our great actors have passed on before these times - imagine Vincent Price doing an audio commentary on this film...oh well.

Studio: MGM/UA Video
Director: Roger Corman
Vincent Price

DVD title: Led Zeppelin
Productgroup: DVD
Led Zeppelin - movie DVD cover picture
Historic / Amazing / Powerful - Histórico/Asombroso/Poderoso

THIS IS the most powerful band in history. Perhaps the best band of all times, after the Beatles, and right there with Floyd, this is a wonderful document of the Fab Zep. For the starters, you won't believe what you hear and see in this dvd. For the fans, what an amazing document we have here.
All the phases of the group are covered, in different vision/sound quality, which made this even more interesting.

?STA es la m?s poderosa banda de la historia. Quiz? la mejor banda de todos los tiempos (despu?s de los Beatles), ah? juntito a los Pink FLoyd, ?ste es un hermoso documento de los fabulosos Zeppelins. Para los prinicipiantes, uds no podr?n creer lo que ven y escuchan en este dvd. Para los fans, ?que gran documento es este!. Todas las fases del grupo est?n cubiertas, en diferentes calidades de sonido y visi?n, lo que lo hace a?n m?s interesante.

Studio: Wea Corp
Director: Jimmy Page
Dick Carruthers

DVD title: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
Productgroup: DVD
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland - movie DVD cover picture
An Adventure For ALL Ages!

I found this at Wal-Mart for $1.00 and I still think that this is THE BEST Alice In Wonderland EVER made. I enjoyed watching it (again) as much as my kids!

Studio: Bci Eclipse Company
Dudley Moore

DVD title: The Wind and the Lion
Productgroup: DVD
The Wind and the Lion - movie DVD cover picture
Mulay Achmed Mohammed el-Raisuli the Magnificent

This adventure centers on the grandeur of the time around the turn of the century prior to World War I and the great personalities who shared it. Sean Connery is a fantastic "Lord of the Rift and Sultan to the Berbers" despite his thick Scottish accented rendition. Candice Bergen is the American woman in an impossible predicament trying to protect herself and her children from harm while being ransomed in a far away land. Brian Keith portrays the larger than life Teddy Roosevelt who backs down to no earthly menace. Their strength of will, content of character and faithfulness to honor make this film a feel good story filled with people we wish we could be. This includes the U.S. Marines who give no quarter, take no excuses and betray all odds showing why they are the few.
With it's big stars, great story line and touch of romance, I will never understand why this film is not given the recognition it deserves. When it comes out on DVD, I will have a copy for myself and one for everyone I know who has a DVD player.

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: John Milius
Sean Connery
Candice Bergen

DVD title: The Vikings
Productgroup: DVD
The Vikings - movie DVD cover picture
Superior Swashbuckler

Historically, 'The Vikings' is largely nonsensical, from its title sequence misapprhension of the centuries-later Bayeux Tapestry to its hash of the succession to the throne of Northumberland. But this film is great good fun! - a superior swashbuckler with a sound plot, breathtaking art direction, costuming, sets, & cinemaphotography, & solid acting & direction.
Kirk Douglas gives a menacing yet humane portrayal of the Viking prince Einar whose falcon-disfigured milky eye inspires fear & loathing. Tony Curtis is, as far as looks go, perhaps a bit miscast but his energetic, seething performance amply redeems his presence. Ernest Borginine's Ragnar is fabulous - and one should keep in mind that Borgnine gave Ragnar life long before this sort of Borgnine role later turned him into a caricature of himself; Ragnar gives the film terrific heart & vitality. Janet Leigh is just...beautiful, despite the script's relegation of her female lead role into what is chiefly a plot device to motivate the action scenes. James Donald succeeds at fleshing out his character, but some of his lines are the only clichés in the script & yet he manages to rise above them with his careful elocution. And the ever-malevolent, narrow-eyed Frank Thring (Pontius Pilate in 'Ben-Hur', & a creep in 'Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome') does yeoman service as the conniving, spineless pretender to the throne. Alexander Knox's small role as the priest isn't much dramatically, but it's pivotal in the plot development, & his diction is at its customary excellence. Also memorable is the rune-reading Viking woman saga-teller whose moonlit face & sepulchral voice in the tidal crab-nibbling scene give the plot & its Norsemen their spiritual anchor.
The DVD's special features are interesting, informative, & enjoyable.
The supporting cast of Norwegian unknowns, all of them hulking & sweaty & masculine & lusty, lends a muscular depth to the action sequences & even, suprisingly, to the dramatic ones. Norwegian fjords & their sparkling waters & towering precipices provide a majestic setting for the action. And the dénouement at the English castle is one of the finest mediaeval assault & swordplay sequences on film, rarely rivalled, as for example, by those in the Charlton Heston film 'The Warlord'.
Most of all, who can forget the long ships? Painstakingly recreated from the best archaelogical evidence available at the time of filming, these rakish craft are in themselves stars of 'The Vikings' & they give ample evidence to why the Norsemen dominated the seas. The 'walking of the oars' sequence is not only unique, but it's one of the most enjoyable bits of all of cinema's swashbucklers.
'The Vikings' isn't history, but it sure is top-shelf entertainment chock full of style & panache. Kids & grown-ups will all enjoy its scenic majesty & full-blooded characerizations.

Studio: MGM
Director: Richard Fleischer
Kirk Douglas
Tony Curtis

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