Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: King Kong (2-Disc Special Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
King Kong (2-Disc Special Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
King Kong: A Film of Indelible Images

When film lovers discuss the merits of KING KONG, they often focus on the 'big' scenes, Kong on the Empire State Building, Kong bursting out of his shackles on stage in New York, Kong battling a series of prehistoric beasts on Skull Island. KING KONG surely is deservedly known for these, but the movie's enduring power to enthrall each new generation of viewer is based on the movie's more subtle, yet equally mesmerizing lesser scenes, not all of which involve him. What is astounding to a generation of contemporary audiences jaded by computer enhanced special effects is the way the movie has held up over the decades. The stop-motion animation of Willis O'Brien shows a Kong as seamless as any computer could project today, and certainly as far superior to the 1976 King that groped Jessica Lange. One of the reasons that this more recent Kong failed to resonate with modern audiences is that the somber, brooding mood of the original was reflected in the gauzy, hazy photography that showed the jungle of Skull Island to be every bit the Jurassic danger that Spielberg envisioned for his theme park. Repeated viewings of the sailors that slug their way through the jungle to find Ann Darrow emphasize the lurking monsters behind every tree and hill. Directors Schoesdsack and Cooper (both of whom had bit parts as the pilot and machine gunner who shot Kong off the Empire State Building) would introduce each succeeding reptilian threat from a distance, almost lulling the sailors and the audience into a false security that the beast was not a threat. But then, they would focus the camera on a twitch of the beast's head. One could see and hear the beast sniff the air as a preparation to attack. When it did attack, the assault came on like a runaway train. Sometimes the guns of the sailors killed or drove it away, and sometimes they didn't. It is this constant sense of menace that permeates Skull Island that serves as a prelude to meeting the King himself. The sailors and natives saw Kong first, of course, when he grabbed Ann Darrow, but they had to experience the power of those outsized simian thews as Kong rolled them off the log into an unknown, dank horror below. As many scenes of subtle, psychological power as there are on Skull Island there are an equal number in New York, a city which contains more deadly dragonflies than his home stomping grounds. As one sees Kong rage over his abducted girlfriend both on Skull Island and in New York, one can see that Kong is not much more different from any guy who sees another dude swipe her. His reaction each time is predictably violent. As his violence increases, so does his ability to think rationally decrease. Kong is a beast, sure, but he is a thinking, rational one who in the parlance of lawyers seeking to explain the murderous behavior of their clients, has 'lost it' since he was pushed beyond the limits of simian endurance. But what elevates Kong beyond his more human killer counterparts is his inner sense of inherent nobility that comes out at crucial moments. There is no doubt that he is a self-sacrificing creature who would unhesitatingly lay down his life for his mate. He proves that on Skull Island and on the Empire State Building. When Kong lays Ann down to face the swirling attack planes, he meets them as one king to another. He beats his chest, roaring out his defiance, knowing full well that the power that overwhelmed the prehistoric beasts on Skull Island would fail him here. For that brief moment, Kong transcends a beast out of his element. The audience applauds a creature who in years to come would morph into John Wayne, Rocky, and every other hero worshipped by audiences in the theater with every bit of the fervor worshipped by the natives behind their huge wooden gate. Kong was the king in every sense of the word in both his island in the Pacific and the island off the Atlantic.

Studio: Warner Home Video

DVD title: V - The Complete Series
Productgroup: DVD
V - The Complete Series - movie DVD cover picture

I remember the commercials for the original mini-series. They took the Spielberg approach...not reaveling anything but building up your anticipation so that you would have to watch and see exactly what was going on. That's the same anticipation that I felt for this series coming to DVD.

So, how do I feel now that it's here and I've watched the episodes? I LOVE it still! Sure, there are some cheesy things about the series. Sure, some of the cut away clips are re-used over again. Sure, even some of the acting is over the top. But you know what? It works.

I've read a few of the other reviews for the set and here's my take on some things that I did notice. One, the WWII allegory is prevailent throughout the series.

One reviewer stated that this wasn't the case. From food (concentration) camps, to genetic testing, to appeasement it's all there. Another stated that they started killing off the main characters half way through. Well, this happens with war. ON another level it also happened many times in the two mini-series. Just because you are a "regular" or "good guy" doesn't make you safe.

Finally, another stated that the writers were not as good as the writers of the mini-series. Guess what, they are the same.

Over all I would LOVE to see a revived mini-series come back to NBC or Sci-fi.

Studio: Warner Home Video
Marc Singer

DVD title: Yu-Gi-Oh! - The Movie
Productgroup: DVD
Yu-Gi-Oh! - The Movie - movie DVD cover picture
The best movie!

First of all, I would like to point out that this movie has absolutly nothing to do with the manga or anime. It is its own seperate story with some hints and some plotline reguarding that of what it is based on (Yu-Gi-Oh of course)

For instance, how Yuugi solved the Millennium Puzzle, was very different compared to Kazuki Takahashi's original written works. In short, manga characters such as Ushio/Ushio and Jounouchi/Joey and the missing piece have nothing to do with it in the movie. Yuugi just solved it, and then some monsters appear, followed by Yami (voice potrayed by Dan Green) and that is the end of it.

The movie's animation proves to be incredibly different, lacking the beloved quality and style of the anime-- obviosly revealing Four Kid's (pathetic) to attempt at performing Yu-Gi-Oh animation. The movie, however, does have some violence that you wouldn't expect to see in the US Dub. Such scenes include Atem/Yami getting stabbed by Kaiba's (voice potrayed by Eric Stuart) Pentan the Dark Clown in great detail, along with Anubis decaying at the very end of the film. However, do not confuse the mythology with true Egyptian Mythology, for "Osiris" was the King of the Underworld and "Anubis" was the funeral god.

Probably what I liked most about the movie (other than getting Sorcerer of Dark Magic with my ticket at the theater ^^;;) was Pegasus's (voice potrayed by Darren Dunstan) role in the film. With all honesty, I thought he was the best part. His funny quotes (such as, "Oh my, sounds like someone needs a hug," and "That's it: no more white wine spritzers before bedtime for me") and personality were actually quite humorous.

Over all, the movie is (with all honesty) most likely a cheesy Konami and Four Kid's marketing scam-- but for Yu-Gi-Oh fans, it will bring 'some' joy to them. However, if you are an Otaku Yu-Gi-Oh fan, by all means, stear clear. Also, it is my belief that this movie is and is only for Yu-Gi-Oh fans-- everyone else should stay away or start with the animated series.

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Hatsuki Tsuji
Dan Green (III)
Eric Stuart (III)
Amy Birnbaum

DVD title: Battlestar Galactica (2003 Miniseries)
Productgroup: DVD
Battlestar Galactica (2003 Miniseries) - movie DVD cover picture
A Brilliant and Daring Re-imagining of the Original Series

I wasn't sure about this new take on Battlestar Galactica at first. I loved the old series, even with its cheesy, over-used dogfight footage and campiness. I didn't have the Sci-Fi Channel when the mini-series originally aired, so I bought the DVD when it was released last month. Wow, what a great buy! The updated storyline is crafted with a perfect blend of history, mystery and style. There are multiple nods to the original series, and that combined with beautiful special effects (the Cylons centurians are just awesome) and multi-dimensional characters make this the most satisfying DVD purchase I've made all year (and that includes my renewed obsession with Criterion's Pickup on South Street). If you enter this with a love for the original series and the open mind to allow a new storyteller to enhance the original story, I guarantee that you will be tuning in every week as the series continues with new episodes in 2005.

Studio: Universal Studios Ho
Director: Michael Rymer

DVD title: My Baby Know-it-All - Colors and 123's
Productgroup: DVD
My Baby Know-it-All - Colors and 123's - movie DVD cover picture
Just an Awesome DVD!

My 14 month old is mezmorized by this DVD. It introduces numbers, colors, the 4 seasons, parts of the body and more in such a cute way. There are lots of kids on the DVD from a newborn to 4 years old and we all know kids love watching other kids. It's narrated, there are lots of rhyms in the narration and the music is nice in the background. When showing any of the topics, such as colors, the word is shown on the screen. This would be a great baby shower gift.

Studio: Ventura Distribution
Natasha Henstridge

DVD title: Portrait of Jennie
Productgroup: DVD
Portrait of Jennie - movie DVD cover picture
In Delirium

Did any man ever love a woman the way Selznick loved Jennifer Jones? Movie after movie he produced as a testament to her beauty and his inflated opinion of her talent. Back in the day, people scoffed, but looking at the movies now, for the most part, Jones meets or exceeds Selznick's expectations. She really could do almost anything, and even if she couldn't she gave it her best shot. We admire her for being game, if nothing else, though this enthusiasm leads sometimes to tastelessness, such as her impersonation of Eurasian Lin Yutang in LOVE IS A MANY SPLENDORED THING, or trying to imitate a young teen girl in this film, PORTRAIT OF JENNIE, a sensitive attempt but one doomed to failure, she just comes off as a little nutty and Joseph Cotten's interest in her a little prurient.

He's playing Eben Adams, a painter without a subject, evidently a dilemma dreamed up by someone who was never a painter and knows nothing about the way painters work. And yet the movie makes you believe this, makes you feel Eben's pain, indeed we see it as part of a general postwar malaise, as though Adorno had spoken that there would be no subjects in painting after Auschwitz. Through the months to come Eben undertakes a course in humility from his art dealer, Peggy Guggenheim-no, no, I mean Ethel Barrymore! She's the one who advises him that he's all about empty formalism and that he needs soul.

Which he gets in spades from the lovely Jennie Appleton. I wonder if Selznick first became interested in Robert Nathan's novel primarily because of the coincidence of its heroine's name, how closely it resembled his wife's? Remember that he changed her name already, from Phyllis Isley, the name under which she first acted in her earliest films, and then when she met Selznick he named her Jennifer Jones. Dieterle's film is a "portrait of Jennie" in every sense, from child to old woman, from love object to passionate embodiment of lust, from black and white to Technicolor, from living to dead and back again. She is everything and this movie has enough ambition, drive, and melancholy to displace all other movies in its wake. Long live Jennifer Jones, long live cinema!

Studio: Anchor Bay Entertainment
Director: William Dieterle
Jennifer Jones
Joseph Cotten

DVD title: Final Fantasy - The Spirits Within (Special Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Final Fantasy - The Spirits Within (Special Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
A graphical feast

Okay, I'll come out straight away with it. I loved this movie. The animation is just unsurpassed. This is the first animated movie I have seen with such realism. Plenty of action is backed up with (dare I say it) a good story line. The choice of actors voices for the characters is excellent and the music score is very nice as well. The DVD is a quality compilation of special features. A DVD I have revisited a number of times and will do so again in the future. A valued DVD in my collection. Very Highly Recommended.

Studio: Columbia Tri-Star
Alec Baldwin
Steve Buscemi

DVD title: The Court Jester
Productgroup: DVD
The Court Jester - movie DVD cover picture
Danny Kaye is the BEST!

Once again good comedy wins out. This movie is timeless in its charm and sheer belly laughs. Danny Kaye, as well as the rest of the cast, is a master of timing and facial expressions. We have enjoyed the DVD a number of times, and it is now the grandchildren's favorite popcorn and snuggles movie!

Studio: Paramount Studio
Danny Kaye
Glynis Johns

DVD title: The Running Man
Productgroup: DVD
The Running Man - movie DVD cover picture
The best movie EVER!

The book was great...Steven King was ahead of it's time. And the MOVIE was ahead of it's time. Too bad it was made pre-DVD time, because the "extras" are total crap. But it's worth it just to see Arnold say "once sub zero!".

Studio: Republic Studios
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Maria Conchita Alonso

DVD title: Pirates of the Caribbean - The Curse of the Black Pearl (2-Disc Collector's Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Pirates of the Caribbean - The Curse of the Black Pearl (2-Disc Collector's Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
The best of 2003

The Movie, The Pirate of the Caribbean: The curse of the Black Pearl, will blow you away. This was truely the best movie that I saw in 2003! If you have not seen it yet, you have no clue what your missing. Enjoy!

Studio: Walt Disney Home Video
Director: Gore Verbinski
Johnny Depp
Geoffrey Rush
Orlando Bloom
Keira Knightley
Jonathan Pryce

TopSellers at Amazon - Action and Adventure movie DVD disks

A Pleasant Shade Of Gray : A Novel of the NYPD
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TopSellers at Amazon - Comedy movie DVD disks

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TopSellers at Amazon - Sci-Fi and Fantasy movie DVD disks

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Book 6)
The Time Traveler's Wife
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Fahrenheit 451
The Traveler : A Novel
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Harry Potter (J.K. Rowling))
The Chronicles of Narnia
Knife of Dreams (Wheel of Time, Book 11)

Top 10 yahoo news about movie DVD-s

Yemen short-lists six for GSM award (
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Photo Release -- Servinova, a Cisco Systems Registered Partner Company Has Started Network Testing on CISCO Aironet (PrimeZone via Yahoo! Finance)
2N Intros GSM VOIP Support (
Wireless: Making a living from cellphone innards (International Herald Tribune)
Photo Release -- Servinova, a Cisco Systems Registered Partner Company Has Started Network Testing on CISCO Aironet (RedNova)
Group Helps Fight AIDS in Zambia; Four From Vancouver Join Christian Program (RedNova)
Docomo seeking overseas suppliers (Electronic Engineering Times Asia)
Bharti to outsource call-centres business for Rs 1,100 crore (Financial Express)

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