Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Futurama - Volumes 1-3
Productgroup: DVD
Futurama - Volumes 1-3 - movie DVD cover picture
Kibbles'n Snouts

"You are all fools of the highest caliber." -Ethan "Bubblegum" Tate, Volume 3, Episode 14 "Time Keeps On Slipping"

Well, whoever canceled "Futurama" certainly was.

I am a devout fan; I was hooked from the first epsiode and own all four seasons on DVD, among other Futurama accoutrements and kitsch. The war in my office wages as to who the top cartoon is: Simpsons, Family Guy, or Futurama. My money is on Futurama. Who can resist a show featuring an unstoppable eating machine (Nibbler,) an unidentifiable creature who claims to be an expert on humans (Dr. Zoidberg) and celebrity heads in jars, including Matt Groening himself?

Adult humor at it's best, Futurama makes many references to things that target a certain age-group. There have been times when yes, my parents have laughed and I haven't, but that in and of itself proves its appeal. Witty, entertaining and delightfully wacky, Fry, Leela, Bender and the rest of the gang are guaranteed to act out, encounter, and become the unlikely.

Studio: 20th Century Fox
Billy West (II)

DVD title: Beauty and the Beast - The Enchanted Christmas
Productgroup: DVD
Beauty and the Beast - The Enchanted Christmas - movie DVD cover picture

This movie occurs at a time within the original movie, before Belle has won over the Beast's heart. It is a story about Belle's love for Christmas and her quest to bring it to the Beast's castle - with the help of the enchanted objects.

The Beast and Forte dislike holidays. Forte does his best to stop Belle from bringing the spirit of Christmas to the castle. There are some scary parts for the very young, however my 4 & 5 year old girls didn't seem to be bothered by them.

This movie has wonderful music, excellent animations, and a happy ending!

1smileycat :-)

Studio: Disney Studios
Director: Andy Knight
Paige O'Hara
Robby Benson

DVD title: Party of Five - The Complete First Season
Productgroup: DVD
Party of Five - The Complete First Season - movie DVD cover picture
TV at its best

"Party of Five: Season One" is a must-have gift for the upcoming holiday season. After watching all of the episodes in the set, I remember why it was that so many people supported the show when it was thought it would be pulled from the Fox lineup at the end of the first season. It's TV at its finest, and full of quality storylines. Watching each character go through changes and grow up at such a young age is moving, and this ensemble of actors does it well.

Studio: Columbia Tristar Hom
Neve Campbell

DVD title: The Lord of the Rings - The Two Towers (Widescreen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
The Lord of the Rings - The Two Towers (Widescreen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Much better than the theatrical release

I've been waiting for this DVD ever since I saw it in the theaters last year. Personally, I felt somewhat let down by the theatrical release of TTT since everything seemed so rushed and incohesive. I figured that just like my experience with FOTR, I'd like the extended DVD version better.
It turns out I was right. WHY oh WHY didn't they show this version in the theaters? Then I wouldn't have to suffer for a year waiting for the extended version to come out. Sure it's longer, but it also makes more sense. I don't want to go over the additions here and give anything away, though.
If you bought the regular version, you're cheating yourself out of a much better extended version.

Studio: New Line Home Entertainment
Director: Peter Jackson
Elijah Wood
Ian McKellen
Viggo Mortensen

DVD title: Hedwig and the Angry Inch (New Line Platinum Series)
Productgroup: DVD
Hedwig and the Angry Inch (New Line Platinum Series) - movie DVD cover picture
Need more than 5 stars, ...

Think there's nothing new under the sun? THINK AGAIN. I'm 43, and my 16-year old daughter and I are hardcore Hed-heads. This story and music haunts us (could it be because we haven't taken the soundtrack out of our CD players for 5 months? perhaps--). This is just the greatest movie. Mitchell and Trask have created something you've never ever seen before. OK, so maybe you are not (or don't even know) a transsexual. SO?? Haven't you ever wondered about love? Have you ever wondered about your "other half" and who that might be? Have you EVER experienced learning to accept yourself for who you really are? OK, then you can love this movie.
And buy the soundtrack, too. You'll need it.

Studio: New Line Home Entertainment
Director: John Cameron Mitchell
John Cameron Mitchell
Miriam Shor

DVD title: Pieces of April
Productgroup: DVD
Pieces of April - movie DVD cover picture
Pieces of Genius

Wow. How this incredibly satisfying little independent film didn't garner more attention during its brief theatrical release is an absolute mystery to me. I heard of it via the Golden Globe and Academy Award nomination for Patricia Clarkson (whose work I've always been attracted to), and I picked it up for a view before the Academy Awards to see what she had done. Little did I know that virtually every performance in this sweet film could easily have garnered a Best Supporting nod.
April (the ever-more-lovely Katie Holmes) -- the black sheep of the typical American family -- faces the daunting challenge of 'piecing' together a Thanksgiving day meal for her family. As it turns out, the meal will more than likely be the last for her mother (Clarkson) as she is suffering from terminal cancer. The narrative gravitates between three storylines: (1) April racing around the apartment building desperately in need of help in completing the dinner; (2) her boyfriend's quest to find a great looking suit with which to make a great impression on April soon-to-arrive family; and (3) April's family driving from wherever to April's seedy city apartment for dinner.
What works best about PIECES OF APRIL is the story: entirely believeable and poignant, the viewer gets captured by April's antics at dealing with unreasonable neighbors as well as Clarkson offering tips about 'rolling a better joint' to her young "photog" son. All of these moments are infused with as much whimsy as they are heartache; these moments point up the utter chaos that IS the modern family, but they also point toward a hope for the future in, as Oliver Platt puts it, "building new memories."
The urban aspect to APRIL works but basically serves as a narrative hook against which to compare and contrast the expectations the small-town family has. Largely, it serves as a source for laughter, which works, too.
The ending, however, really deserves mention. It trickles up almost unpredictably, and it delivers such an emotional wallop -- sensitive without being senselessness -- that I would find anyone hard pressed to walk away from this film without a serious lump in the throat.
Immediately after viewing, I went out and bought my own copy. It's just that good.

Studio: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Director: Peter Hedges (II)
Katie Holmes
Patricia Clarkson
Derek Luke
Oliver Platt

DVD title: Kino's Journey - Idle Adventure (Vol. 1) - With Series Box
Productgroup: DVD
Kino's Journey - Idle Adventure (Vol. 1) - With Series Box - movie DVD cover picture
i thought i would like this anime, but i ended up loving it

i have to admit i had my doubts when i read the description and saw "talking motor-bike". that sounded so cheesy. but it's not bad at all (at least in japanese, i've not seen this anime in english). i thought the episodes would be neatly tied-up stories about different countries and trivial little problems. not so, the stories are involved and feel more like chapters in a book than just dollops of plot. this is one of the most pleasant surprises in anime i've seen in a while. definitely worth a look.

Studio: A.D. Vision

DVD title: The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc
Productgroup: DVD
The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc - movie DVD cover picture

If looked from a historical point of view, the movie has little to offer. But if you want to see some Middle Ages action flick, it's almost as good as it can get thanks to incredible battle scenes. As one reviewer noted before, it's on par with those seen in Braveheart. Movie is a bit too long and sometimes I though they should have skipped some parts, esspecially after Joan was taken prisoner. Overall, a decent action movie on a historical theme that is fun to watch. But if the history is what you are looking for, my best advise is to look somewhere else.

Studio: Columbia Tri-Star
Director: Luc Besson
Milla Jovovich
John Malkovich

DVD title: Mulan (Disney Gold Classic Collection)
Productgroup: DVD
Mulan (Disney Gold Classic Collection) - movie DVD cover picture
Mulan Gold Collection DVD

"Mulan" is one of the strongest entries by Disney in the late 90's. Aside from fantastic animation, what really makes this movie so great is it's intense epic-like unfolding (which should attract adults), with the Disney comedic angle (Mushu, the Dragon) to attract the kids.
Disney's 36th Animated release, also offers a strong message that I really don't think any of their films have had since Pinocchio. A child, whether being a wooden-boy or in this case a teenaged girl, can have courage and be unselfish when it comes to helping or protecting their family.
The DVD edition has a great picture presentation, and the Surround Sound is very effective. Especially during the stampede, which seemed to come out of "The Lion King".

Studio: Disney Studios
Eddie Murphy

DVD title: Wirey Spindell
Productgroup: DVD
Wirey Spindell - movie DVD cover picture
A revelation.

If the world liked Eric Schaeffer as much as Eric Schaeffer liked Eric Schaeffer, every univeristy and private college in North America would have its own General ed Western-civ course on this director's work. This man's self delusion reaches to such levels of grandeur it is almost like witnessing a natural wonder such as the Aurora Borealis or a solar eclipse. He is so amazing in his confidence that one can not look away, despite the hackneyed content. He is a cinematic Hitler.

Studio: Fox Lorber
Director: Eric Schaeffer

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