Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Ran
Productgroup: DVD
Ran - movie DVD cover picture
King Lear in Japan

Ran is a great film for anyone who has not seen a Japanese foreign film or who never not yet seen any of Kurosawa's work.
Loosely based on King Lear mixed with a good dash of Macbeth, the story revolves around a warlord, and his sons who conspire to control his fiefdom. The battle scenes are nothing short of miraculous cinematography. Since there is little dialog and a lot of fighting, this film should appeal to people who normally hate subtitled or foreign films. There is also a completely wonderful Lady Macbeth character who goads her husband and sons into revenge for her clan's annihilation.
Once you get a taste for Kurosawa, other films such as Seven Samurai, Sanjuro (kind of a sequel) and Rashomon are good ones to follow up with. Kagemusha (Shadow Warrior) is similar to Ran and also a late Kurosawa work.

Studio: Fox Lorber
Director: Akira Kurosawa
Tatsuya Nakadai
Akira Terao
Jinpachi Nezu
Daisuke Ryu

DVD title: Grave of the Fireflies
Productgroup: DVD
Grave of the Fireflies - movie DVD cover picture
Prepare To Cry

Takahata Isao is the unsung partner of Studio Ghibli. He takes scripts that could easily be created with live actors and makes them art through animation. This story is amazingly presented with terror, sadness, and compassion. The DVD format provides wonderful Subtitles as well as the dubbed version. The story starts with the line, "September 21, 1945....That was the night I died," and gets more depressing from there, but in the end the heartbreak is worth it.

Studio: Cpm/Us Manga Corps
Director: Isao Takahata
Tsutomu Tatsumi
Ayano Shiraishi
Akemi Yamaguchi

DVD title: Burnt by the Sun
Productgroup: DVD
Burnt by the Sun - movie DVD cover picture
5 Stars and Probably No More

This is a film that really brings us into the Russian way of life. It may not be as absorbing as Summer or 27 Missing Kisses, nor is it as shocking as those movies from early Georgia, but still it is transcendal enough.
A few episodes, especially those political ones, are quite out of sort with the rest. But one would expect that to be a norm in Russia there and then. Perhaps as observed by some reviews, the acting is not great. But having scarcely been to Russia, the characters do look to a foreign viewer to be real or even typical. The plot is coherant and rhythm is reasonably fast. Russian country life in resort as depicted is quite a treat. How else can we have a glimse of them Russians, of the role of music, art, love and above all politics in their life?

Studio: Columbia Tristar Hom
Director: Nikita Mikhalkov
Nikita Mikhalkov
Ingeborga Dapkunaite

DVD title: Crossroads
Productgroup: DVD
Crossroads - movie DVD cover picture
Bring on the BLUES

This is the first (and so far, ONLY) movie to successfully profile the history of Blues music, as well as the legend of Robert Johnson and his deal with the devil. The story has several underlying plots, including coming of age, facing hard times, and redemption.
While Ralph Macchio shows some slight mechanical flaws, he can (for the most part) successfully pull off guitar-playing abilities. Joe Senaca is great as an elderly Willie Brown, trying to deal with his own demons (although one can't help compare the character to Miyagi, given Macchio's presence).
The number one reason for watching this film, above anything else, is the music. It's Ry Cooder's guitar playing and the delta-blues soundtrack that makes this movie, even when the plot itself seems a bit slowed.
All in all, this is a GREAT movie!

Studio: Columbia Tristar Hom
Director: Walter Hill
Ralph Macchio
Joe Seneca

DVD title: The Horse Whisperer
Productgroup: DVD
The Horse Whisperer - movie DVD cover picture
terrific, electric, wonderful, like falling in love

This is a movie worth seeing, over and over and over. Open your heart and enjoy.

Studio: Disney Studios
Director: Robert Redford
Robert Redford
Kristin Scott Thomas

DVD title: The Simpsons - The Complete First Season
Productgroup: DVD
The Simpsons - The Complete First Season - movie DVD cover picture
the simpsons rule

this is the best show ever yes the first season is crudly drawn and some of the stories aren't as good as newer episodes but this is a great show and you have to show respect to the early years I grew up with this show its great

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
Dan Castellaneta

DVD title: Firefly - The Complete Series
Productgroup: DVD
Firefly - The Complete Series - movie DVD cover picture
Love this show!

I bought the Firefly season after reading an interview with Joss Whedon. He spoke somewhat sadly of a little show called Firefly that got cancelled after only 11 episodes. This sparked my interest so I bought it and watched the whole thing in one weekend.

Firefly stars an ensemble cast of actors that compliment eachother so well that the audience can't help but be drawn into their world. The scripts are well-written and involve moments that can be touching to downright hilarious. The sets and costumes are done so well that the Firefly 'verse is completely believable despite the show's sci-fi genre.

I highly recommend these dvds to anyone. At best this show will leave a lasting impression that will have people waiting with baited breath for the movie to come out (September 30, 2005), at worst, its a show with no commercials.

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox Home Video
Nathan Fillion

DVD title: Quantum Leap - The Complete Second Season
Productgroup: DVD
Quantum Leap - The Complete Second Season - movie DVD cover picture
A fascinating series...

Despite its short run (March 1989 - May 1993), Quantum Leap is nevertheless one of the more memorable dramatic series in television history. Although the show borrows from a concept employed in other realms, such as Highway To Heaven (with its theme of a mysterious force interceding to transform a single life), it adds a unique twist by utilizing elements of science fiction. Created by Donald P. Bellisario (creator of Magnum, P.I., JAG, and countless other hit shows), Quantum Leap developed a loyal cult following, making its short network run all the more difficult to understand...

Quantum Leap stars Scott Bakula as Dr. Samuel "Sam" Beckett, a cutting-edge experimental researcher in the field of physics. Developing a theory that an individual can travel throughout the span of his life, Beckett builds the Quantum Leap Accelerator and uses himself as the test subject. But rather than traveling within his own lifetime, Beckett finds himself mysteriously transported into the lives of various individuals, each of whom faces a problem Beckett must rectify (thus changing history for the better). When he does, he can make his next "quantum leap" (which he hopes will restore him to his pre-experiment self). Aiding Beckett on his various missions is Rear Admiral Albert "Al" Calavicci (Dean Stockwell), one of the quantum leap experiment observers who periodically appears as a hologram in order to communicate with Beckett. With each new episode, Beckett finds himself in a new body, facing new circumstances, with a new mission he must decipher and complete if he ever hopes to return home...

The Quantum Leap (Season 2) DVD features a number of action-packed episodes including the season premiere "Honeymoon Express" in which Sam is teleported into the life of a New York City police officer on his honeymoon. Sam must save himself from a jealous and murderous ex-husband. Meanwhile, Sam learns that he must prevent a U2 flight from being shot down over Russia, or else risk being stranded in his current state due to the cancelled funding of the Quantum Leap Project... Other notable episodes from Season 2 include "Blind Faith" in which Sam becomes a blind concert pianist forced to save his girlfriend from a killer despite his disability, and "So Help Me God" in which Sam leaps into the body of a 1950's attorney defending a poor black woman accused of killing the son of one of Louisiana's most powerful men...

Below is a list of episodes included on the Quantum Leap (Season 2) DVD:

Episode 10 (Honeymoon Express - April 27, 1960)
Episode 11 (Disco Inferno - April 1, 1976)
Episode 12 (The Americanization of Machiko - August 4, 1953)
Episode 13 (What Price Gloria? - October 16, 1961)
Episode 14 (Blind Faith - February 6, 1964)
Episode 15 (Good Morning, Peoria - September 9, 1959)
Episode 16 (Thou Shalt Not - February 2, 1974)
Episode 17 (Jimmy - October 14, 1964)
Episode 18 (So Help Me God - July 29, 1957)
Episode 19 (Catch a Falling Star - May 21, 1979)
Episode 20 (A Portrait for Troian - February 7, 1971)
Episode 21 (Animal Frat - October 19, 1967)
Episode 22 (Another Mother - September 30, 1981)
Episode 23 (All Americans - November 6, 1962)
Episode 24 (Her Charm - September 26, 1973)
Episode 25 (Freedom - November 22, 1970)
Episode 26 (Good Night, Dear Heart - November 9, 1957)
Episode 27 (Pool Hall Blues - September 4, 1954)
Episode 28 (Leaping in Without a Net - November 18, 1958)
Episode 29 (Maybe Baby - March 11, 1963)
Episode 30 (Sea Bride - June 3, 1954)
Episode 31 (M.I.A. - April 1, 1969)

The DVD Report

Studio: Universal Studios Ho
Scott Bakula

DVD title: That '70s Show - Season One
Productgroup: DVD
That '70s Show - Season One - movie DVD cover picture
One great show

I don't watch much TV since most of it is crap, but this is one show I love. Looking forward to season 2.

Studio: Fox Home Entertainme
Ashton Kutcher

DVD title: Catch Me If You Can (Widescreen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Catch Me If You Can (Widescreen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
This is a great movie

I wanted to see it again and again. Not everyone will feel the same way I feel about this movie, I understand, but if you've ever had the desire to be above the law, so to speak, be sure to watch this.

Studio: Umvd/Dreamworks
Director: Steven Spielberg
Leonardo DiCaprio
Tom Hanks
Christopher Walken

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