Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: The Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection, Vol. 6
Productgroup: DVD
The Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection, Vol. 6 - movie DVD cover picture
Keep it up,Rhino!!

A perfect selection of MST3K eps and shorts in this volume.Now how about if you keep doing it with more obscure eps?? Highly recommended to anyone out there who loves to laugh and loves bad movies..Great writing from a wonderful puppet show!! Keep it up!! Thanks!

Studio: Wea Corp

DVD title: Puccini - Manon Lescaut / Sinopoli, Domingo, Te Kanawa, Allen, Royal Opera Covent Garden
Productgroup: DVD
Puccini - Manon Lescaut / Sinopoli, Domingo, Te Kanawa, Allen, Royal Opera Covent Garden - movie DVD cover picture
I highly recommend this for Puccini and Manon lovers!

Manon Lescaut is one of the early works of Puccini and I feel that it's somehow neglected in comparison to Tosca, La Boheme and Turandot. Puccini's Manon is different from both Abbe Prevost's (author of the novel) and Massenet's Manon, she is more sensitive and passionate.
This DVD impressed me much, but I wasn't sure whether Te Kanawa was expedient for this role as she is grande lyric. However, her acting ability convinced me besides her flawless voice. Domingo is the best De Grieux I could think of.

Studio: Kultur
Director: Brian Large

DVD title: I Spy
Productgroup: DVD
I Spy - movie DVD cover picture

this movie was not too shabby. and eddie murphy is hilarious from this movie.

Studio: Columbia Tristar Hom
Director: Betty Thomas
Eddie Murphy
Owen Wilson
Famke Janssen

DVD title: Murphy's Romance
Productgroup: DVD
Murphy's Romance - movie DVD cover picture
Charming and relaxed

This is one of my favorite movies. James Garner and Sally Field are just great, the writing is very good (Garner's lines are just great), the pacing is relaxed but not slow, and the theme music by Carole King is as good as you'd expect (see if you can spot King in a cameo). What makes it all work wonderfully, however, is the excellent supporting cast. Everyone is a fully realized individual, the town feels like a real community, and there's not a bad actor in the bunch. If you want a love story that's about love and not hormones, buy this DVD. You'll be glad you did.

Studio: Columbia/Tristar Studios
Director: Martin Ritt
Sally Field
James Garner

DVD title: Igby Goes Down
Productgroup: DVD
Igby Goes Down - movie DVD cover picture
Can you come out and play, Igby?

Igby Slocum (Kieran Culkin) is a smart-mouthed, obnoxious, spoiled brat rich kid whose only saving grace is his intelligence and his, what I?ll call, negative charm and good looks. He hates his over-bearing mother, Mimi (Susan Sarandon) and brother Ollie (Ryan Phillipe) but seems to genuinely love his mental hospital patient father (Bill Pullman) mostly I think because his dad is a lost soul unable to cope with his life, however privileged it is. Dad ultimately lands in a mental institution when he irrevocably breaks with reality in a brilliant, harrowing scene witnessed by Igby as a small child.In many ways, Igby is also a lost soul and he obviously recognizes his father in himself when he says, and I?m paraphrasing here: ?I?m just waiting to go crazy, also.?Burr Steers the director of ?Igby? had a tough road to hoe as it were, in developing this story in that his ?hero? has to be ultimately sympathetic if we are going to care at all about him or the movie he?s in. Steers is not remaking ?Henry, Portrait of a Serial Killer? after all, even though so much about Igby and his behavior is negative, bratty stuff.So, what makes Igby run? Some of this back-story is cleverly and swiftly revealed during the film?s title sequence. Smart and Witty. Also, Igby?s scenes with his Mom are very well written and reveal much about Igby?s place in the family Slocum. Susan Sarandon as Mimi is on the other side of the world, character-wise from her role in ?The Banger Sisters.? Here she is the ultimate NYC Upper Eastside Wasp Matron dripping with superiority and condescension while Bill Pullman is heartbreaking as her weak husband and Igby?s Dad. Among the supporting roles, it is great to see that Clare Danes has survived the debacle of ?The Mod Squad? with all her luminous qualities intact. But ultimately the movie can only succeed or fail based on the strength or weakness of the actor playing Igby. Kieran Culkin does a superb job of balancing Igby?s obnoxious traits with his basic humanity and caring. Culkin?s Igby is, in the balance, more sinned against than sinning. There?s a real and palpable intelligence emanating from Culkin that cannot be faked. Watch him as he listens?check out his eyes and more importantly what he is projecting from beneath his eyes.?Igby Goes Down? is the blackest of black comedies with definite references to 50?s style melodrama. ?Igby? is what ?The Royal Tenenbaum?s? aspired to be: a witty, sharp, brilliantly written dissection of a particular family at a particular time in its very specific life.

Studio: MGM/UA Video
Director: Burr Steers
Kieran Culkin
Jeff Goldblum
Susan Sarandon

DVD title: Chicago/Earth Wind & Fire - Live at the Greek Theatre
Productgroup: DVD
Chicago/Earth Wind & Fire - Live at the Greek Theatre - movie DVD cover picture
Chicago and Earth, Wind & Fire `Make Me Smile' in new DVD concert

Q: Take a rock `n' roll band with horns, mix it with a mystical funk group and what do you get?
A: A sparkling new concert DVD combining the music of two classic horn bands-Chicago and Earth, Wind & Fire "Live at the Greek Theatre." (Shelf date: June 28, 2005)
In the show taped in high-definition at the conclusion of their 2004 summer tour, the two-band powerhouse has the Greek Theatre crowd on its feet for most of the three-plus-hour concert. The show was originally recorded for a pay-per-view concert that aired on cable systems in early 2005.
The two-disc DVD set opens with the groups hitting the stage en masse-complete with six horn players, two drummers, three percussionists, two bass players, three guitarists, et al., launching into Chicago's "Beginnings."
"When we open and both bands are on stage, people are like agog," Chicago founding member and trumpet player Lee Loughnane said during the 2004 tour. "They're like `oh my God, you guys really are playing together.'"
Putting two bands on stage at once is often a train wreck in the making. A muddy sound mix can plague the effort or whole sections of one band or the other get left out.
Instead listeners are treated to a sparkling mix and interplay among the horn players that only adds to the classic tunes. Clearly the sum is greater than the already exceptional parts.
Next is EWF's majestic "In the Stone," cross-pollinated with Chicago's "Dialogue." Like a club DJ, the bands somehow mix the two songs together with stunning results, using an a cappella bridge.
After some friendly banter-and a coin flip-between Chicago's Robert Lamm and EWF's Philip Bailey about who should play next, Chicago leaves the stage and Earth, Wind & Fire launches into a funk-filled set - mixing in classics like "Getaway," "Boogie Wonderland," and "That's the Way of the World."
Chicago's Bill Champlin returns to the stage and takes over lead vocals on the EWF hit "After the Love is Gone" - a song he penned before he joined Chicago in the early `80s.
Given that a DVD mixes sight AND sound, EWF is the more entertaining band visually. Verdine White is a special effect in his own right, prompting some to call the lanky bassist the "Energizer Bunny" of the band. The man absolutely never stops moving.
Motown-like moves and cajoling of the audience to dance and sing along play into the party atmosphere that marks an EWF show.
While the members of EWF are better entertainers than their counterparts in Chicago, both bands are peers musically. Earth, Wind & Fire are just more fun to watch.
Starting on disc two, Chicago powers its way through its own impressive catalogue of hits, stringing together "Make Me Smile," "Colour My World," "Saturday in the Park," and "Hard to Say I'm Sorry" as part of its set - mostly focusing on their early hits.
"Let's get lost in the 70s," says keyboardist Robert Lamm to the cheers of the audience filled with graying baby boomers, as he introduces "Call on Me" and "Alive Again."
The bands again swap vocalists on "If You Leave Me Now," with Bailey and his soaring tenor making the ballad sound better than it has since Peter Cetera left Chicago two decades ago.
The two bands claim combined sales of more than 150-million records and albums. Both have collected their share of Grammies and American Music Awards. EWF was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000.
But despite their credentials, it is not a pairing that immediately evokes the same sort of "that's a great idea" response as the "Piano Men" tours of Elton John and Billy Joel in past years did.
During their heydays in the 1970s, Chicago and Earth, Wind & Fire were the yin and yang of the pop music world-both with dominant horn sections, but radically different approaches to their music.
When Chicago formed in the Windy City in 1967, members came together with the idea of being "The Beatles with horns."
As Maurice White started pulling together EWF in 1969 - also in Chicago-his musical vision included Afro-centric themes, astrology and black pride wrapped around a tight funk base, spiced with hints of Motown and gospel.
The real fireworks of the concert come appropriately during the six-song encore - both bands fully energized and on stage together again. It's an impressive closing set.
Trading hits, the tour de force powers through: "September," "Free" with dueling sax solos by Chicago's Walter Parazaider and EWF's Gary Bias, "Singasong," "Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?" "Shining Star" and a free-for-all version of "25 or 6 to 4," with each of the three guitarists taking a turn on lead.
During last summer's pairing, EWF drummer John Paris said, "We seem to bring out the best in each other."
The chemistry is obvious as both bands, energized and challenged by each other, far outshine their previous DVD concert performances.
And the fans agree.
"There's a reason bands like Chicago and Earth, Wind & Fire are still around after all this time," said Roberto Fernandez, who drove six-hours from Jacksonville, Fla. to see the July 11, 2004 show in Atlanta. "It's called talent."
The pairing was such a success that both bands will tour again together this summer, starting June 24 in Chicago and not wrapping up until late September.

Studio: Image Entertainment

DVD title: Chasing Amy - Criterion Collection
Productgroup: DVD
Chasing Amy - Criterion Collection - movie DVD cover picture
Kevin Smith Delivers with Meaningful Yet Hilarious Flick

Kevin Smith is one of the funniest screenwriters (and directors, etc.) out there; he has the best ear for snappy dialog today and delivers with well-timed absurdity and humor. Whereas Mallrats is perhaps his funniest film, Chasing Amy combines that humor with a deeper meaning as he explores the nature of relationships.
The story of a comic book artist who falls for a lesbian, wins her heart, but then cannot deal with her sordid past, the film has both touching and hilarious moments. Perhaps the funniest is delivered in a rant about the lack of black figures in comic books that includes Smith's obligatory Star Wars reference, and the most touching a solioquoy spoken by the normally demure Silent Bob (played by Smith).
The performances are superb from Ben Affleck as Holden, the comic artist who falls for Joey Lauren Adams' lesbian character to Jason Lee as Affleck's angry comic "tracer" friend to Smith and friend Jason Mewes as the drug-dealing duo of Silent Bob and Jay.
Don't overlook this film as did so many in theaters. If you enjoy a film with snappy, well-done dialog and a sense of humor, then Chasing Amy is for you.

Studio: Miramax
Director: Kevin Smith
Ben Affleck
Joey Lauren Adams

DVD title: Poison - Greatest Video Hits
Productgroup: DVD
Poison - Greatest Video Hits - movie DVD cover picture
This DVD is "Something to Believe In"

As a child of the 80's, this band has been a great influence. Poison rocks, and so does this DVD. Everyone of the videos that we used to watch on MTV (back when MTV PLAYED videos) is on here. This is a MUST SEE for ANY poison fan.

Studio: Emd/Capitol

DVD title: Shark Tale (Full Screen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Shark Tale (Full Screen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Go OSCAR!!!!!!!!

Now I'm not going to compare this to "Finding Nemo" but for the record I wasn't a big fan of FN anyway. But I will state that if you think about the sharks in "Finding Nemo" then think of this movie, it seems like sort of a back story or etc. Its just the way it feels. Like Lenny was the one to start it all.

The animation was pretty good and the fish look pretty close to their human voices. I especially thought Oscar looked pretty close to Mr. Smith.

It was overdone on music, especially since at times I don't think the music really fit the situation. Mr. Smith wasn't the funny actually, which was a disappointment.

While I realize Lenny is suppose to be a vegan shark, I think they were going for much more then vegan, but wanted to try and keep it more kiddish. I really didn't care. Though while I'm a huge fan of Mr. Black he wasn't to funny either.

I guess overall the biggest let down was that it wasn't all that funny. In fact I believe the biggest laugh I got was from the worm at the beginning and the shrimp later in the movie.

Its not a bad watch, but its definitely more of a rental to see if it fits your taste type movie. I had big hopes for it.

I'm really looking forward to when Pixar gets from under Disney and really starts spreading its wings, then I think DW and Pixar will start putting out quite a bit better stuff.

As one last comment, I think one problem was they were trying to play to both an adult and child audience, except since it was a big green lovable guy with his ass, it just didn't work well, it was more forced or rushed.

Studio: Umvd/Dreamworks
Will Smith
Robert De Niro
Renée Zellweger
Angelina Jolie

DVD title: Muriel's Wedding
Productgroup: DVD
Muriel's Wedding - movie DVD cover picture
A must see - even for non abba fans

Definitely one of my alltime favorites. Toni Collette plays a wonderfully convincing Muriel Heslop, a young girl who is determined to transform her life from an ugly duckling existence into the glamorous fantasy life she dreams about - the central key to this transformation being, according to Muriel, getting married. After taking off from her dead-end life in the small town suburban Australia, we follow Muriel as she starts over again in the city, with new friends, a job and a newly gained self-confidence. But despite its incredibly humourous episodes and witty dialogue, this film leaves you with a bittersweet aftertaste, as the events take a tragic turn, especially towards the end.
If you love ABBA, the soundtrack of this film is an extra bonus - but if you don't, don't let this deter you from watching an extraordinary film.

Studio: Miramax Home Entertainment
Director: P.J. Hogan
Toni Collette
Bill Hunter
Rachel Griffiths

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