Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Tarzan
Productgroup: DVD
Tarzan - movie DVD cover picture
Learning More About Animated Features

If you're like me, then you love animation! One of the enjoyable parts of the Disney Collector's series of DVDs, is that they give you an opportunity to look behind the scenes and see how these animated features are made.
One of the most interesting aspects of this particular DVD is watching the original Story Treatment and comparing it to the final version. Disney even gives the veiwers an opportunity to see the scenes that did not make the final feature.
A highlight for any animation enthusiast will be the Production Progression Demonstration that allows viewers to move through the various stages of production to the final feature.
A must have for collectors!

Studio: Disney Studios
Tony Goldwyn
Minnie Driver

DVD title: Green Acres - The Complete First Season
Productgroup: DVD
Green Acres - The Complete First Season - movie DVD cover picture
Like A Red Wagon Going Up A Steep Hill...

I don't have a lot to say that hasn't already been written about this show. I loved it when I was young and remember many summers watching it and The Addams Family during the early afternoon. It was easy enough to dismiss it as just another funny but mindless comedy that was played to death in rerun. Add the superficially "hick" nature of the show, and you'd think it would have just sunk into TVLand history. But as an adult, I realize that nothing could be further from the truth! Green Acres worked on so many levels that I never recognized. I can watch them as an adult and realize now that it wasn't just about funny farm people, a talking pig and a crabby city slicker out of his element. At the same time, my 6 year old daughter enjoys watching it with me for those exact elements. It can be enjoyed for its zaniness and slapstick, but it works equally well as an absurd, surrealistic twist on reality. I don't mean the latter in an ironic sense- you can look back at some old shows and movies and view them as absurd because they are so dated and simplistic. Not so with Green Acres- they clearly intended for the show to work on these various levels. And they succeeded without being remotely pretentious or contrived. I love the idea where a show exists within the realities of its own universe- The Simpsons, Drew Carey, Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm seem to follow this trend. The characters are literally insane and the world they live in defies all reality, but somehow they are able to exist and survive because everyone around them is exactly as they are. Mr. Douglas, the only "sane" person on the show, is the oddball and the one who has the most difficulty coping. Speaking of Mr. Douglas, I didn't remember how obtuse and dense he was. He may have been "sane", but he sure lacked common sense and had a terribly idealistic and romantic notion of farming that was not shared by his neighbors in Hooterville. Eddie Albert and Eva Gabor are incredibly likable personalities and great comedic actors with just the right timing and dry wit. And what a great supporting cast- Mr. Haney, Mr. Drucker, Eb, Mr. Kimball the County Agent (the most insane one of the whole bunch), Uncle Joe, the Ziffels! The chemistry among the whole cast is perfect. I'd love to see bloopers from the show, because I don't know how they ever kept straight faces. I also love the fact that these DVDs are available with so many episodes for such a low price. I've got to think that you could sell a huge amount this way- they seem to be scarce on the shelves at local stores, so people must be picking them up. I can look past the lack of extras or perfect picture/sound quality if they sell entire seasons of shows like this for such reasonable prices. I'm really looking forward to later seasons, when the show became even more absurd and into its own reality. And you gotta love that opening theme song. Just try not to sing along with it. Just try it...

Studio: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

DVD title: The Jackal - Collector's Edition
Productgroup: DVD
The Jackal - Collector's Edition - movie DVD cover picture
Intense suspense and exceptional story.

Rex Stewart Movie Review: Jackal This is a great story line, poorly executed. During my first viewing, I was not impressed by any aspect of the movie, except its potential to be a great movie. The story line has resulted in a Line of Fire wanna-be. Pro's: Best Gun this decade.
Director: 3/10 The Director really falls down in what could have been a great movie. I do not know all of the limitations imposed, but clearly he had the budget for a great cast of characters. He does a poor job of maintaining the drama. The pace is maintained. The movie is reasonably exciting, but a relatively smooth sine wave. I am surprised that in the light of the poor writing and directing the Director did not resort to more violence and high impact theatrics. After all, he does have the best gun of the decade. The Director and writers fail to generate empathy for the protagonist, a common failing of potentially great movies. (see Indochine). Leading Actor: 4/10 I really like Bruce Willis, but he was mis-cast and mis-written for the part. The character just is not the Jackal. (See John Malkovich, Line of Fire). Supporting Actor: Richard Gere. I think I would like R. Gere if I met him (and lord knows he is a heart throb, for some), but I am rarely impressed by his acting. 5/10.
Movie Rating: ** It is very watchable, and I could watch it again without complaint, but it does not live up to its potential. Even the critics can be wrong, Rex Stewart
Rex Stewart rating Scale Overall movie rating: 0 Not worth watching 1 Worth watching once. Assuming $1 rental on a slow Sunday afternoon. 2 Could watch it twice within three years without complaint. 3*** Worth a full price theatre ticket. 3 * . 4* An excellent movie. Worthy of purchase or multilpe rentals over several years. 5* Blockbuster. Overwhelming. Would own the movie and watch it for a lifetime.
Other movie aspects: 5/10 Meets expectations for the movie as I believe it is projected.

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: Michael Caton-Jones
Bruce Willis
Richard Gere

DVD title: Battlestar Galactica - Season One (2004)
Productgroup: DVD
Battlestar Galactica  - Season One (2004) - movie DVD cover picture
I just could not wait

The end of September release is just too long to be deprived of the DVD - whatever the marketing 'logic' is for delaying its release it is unfair to one who appreciates the series.

Thus, I drove 93 miles to my nearest 'Best Buy' store to purchase the reformatted UK DVD. The hardest part was listening to my daughter, in the back seat, enjoying the first episode on the drive home.

Excellent quality, apart from flashbacks to the miniseries - they seem a bit washed out. The story lines and characterisations make this a treasured possession to be viewed again and again, perchance detecting a subtle nuance here and there.

What the heck, save a month of one's life with 3 hours of driving - anytime!

Studio: Universal Studios
Edward James Olmos

DVD title: Firefly - The Complete Series
Productgroup: DVD
Firefly - The Complete Series - movie DVD cover picture
Something to love..

This is a must for all fans of Joss Whedon, sci-fi, or camp. Cancelling this show was a farce. I highly suspect Fox will end up regretting that move. Firefly will be around for a long time...

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox Home Video
Nathan Fillion

DVD title: Excalibur
Productgroup: DVD
Excalibur - movie DVD cover picture
A Mesmerizing Epic

Excalibur has long been one of my favorite films, filled with mystery, action, and a sense of visual magic that few films have achieved to capture. Excalibur is a dazzing re-telling of the legend of King Arthur and his kingdom. Nigel Terry makes a dashing and noble King Arthur. From his time as a young squire who pulls the legendary sword from the stone to his final battle, Terry captures the noble essence of the destined and conflicted King. Nicol Williamson is memorable as the mercurial wizard Merlin. Helen Mirren as the sinister and wicked Morgana, Cheri Lunghi is Guinivere and Nicholas Clay as Lancelot. Also featured in the cast are Liam Neeson, Patrick Stewart and Gabriel Byrne.
John Boorman really creates the definative cinematic tale of King Arthur. The visual atmosphere is breathtaking, both dark and foreboding and teeming with brilliant colors. The Production design is simply awe inspiring and really takes the viewer to another time and place. The original music by Trevor Jones and music of legendary composer Richard Wagner perfectly captures the mystery and larger than life adventures of King Arthur and the knights of the round table.
This DVD edition is overall quite excellent. The picture and sound quality is excellent and includes John Boorman's commentary about the making of this powerful film. My only quibble is the the changing of the cover art. The original and evocotive illustration has been replaced in favor of a rather lame and uninspiring photo composite.

Studio: Warner Studios
Director: John Boorman
Nigel Terry
Helen Mirren

DVD title: Stuart Saves His Family
Productgroup: DVD
Stuart Saves His Family - movie DVD cover picture
Stuart Smalley is hilarous.

This movie is so cool. Because Stuart has this kind of humor that's is hard to get but still the plot, and the people in it are hilarous. I love his friend hte girl because I haven't seen her since pretty woman and she was totally awesome. I also love Stuart's little sayings.

Studio: Paramount Home Video
Director: Harold Ramis
Al Franken
Laura San Giacomo
Vincent D'Onofrio

DVD title: Kathy Smith - Timesaver Lift Weights to Lose Weight
Productgroup: DVD
Kathy Smith - Timesaver Lift Weights to Lose Weight - movie DVD cover picture
My Personal Trainer would approve!

Kathy Smith's Dual Track system is very adaptable! I started out with Track One using 12-oz. soup cans for weights. When I got stronger I bought dumb-bells and ankle weights and graduated to Track Two. After a few weeks I felt stronger. After a few months my husband complimented my "buff" figure and my clothes fit better.
This tape has no warm-up. I start with a cardio workout including stretching exercises, so another warm-up and stretch would be a waste of time for me. However, the tape does include post-exercise stretching. Theri are no "Dancey" maneuvers to follow. What a relief! This tape is suitable for coordination-challenged people like me.

Studio: Sony Music (Video)

DVD title: The Ring (Widescreen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
The Ring (Widescreen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
What gives!?

THE STORY: A reporter investigates an evil videotape, rumored that if you watch it, you will die in one week. What she discovers is quite shocking. That's all that I will tell you about the story.

MY THOUGHTS: WHAT'S WITH ALL OF THE NEGATIVE REVIEWS?!!!?!? Come on! This was a great film! It was spooky, had a great atmosphere, and it had an original story! And to anybody that says, "Ringu is better", well, Ringu is a great foreign film, but I like the Ring better. Maybe because I'm used to English. After all, The Ring was more chilling than Ringu.

PS. There is an Easter Egg on the main menu of the DVD. Press 6 on the menu. Something cool will happen!

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: Gore Verbinski
Naomi Watts
Martin Henderson
Brian Cox

DVD title: The Nightmare on Elm Street Collection
Productgroup: DVD
The Nightmare on Elm Street Collection - movie DVD cover picture
Perfect box set for a great series

Every horror movie fan just HAS to own this awesome box set of Freddy madness. My only grievances? Part 5 & 6 and the irritating to navigate bonus disc. At least they included the 3D sequence from "Freddy's Dead" (Take note PARAMOUNT for your upcoming Friday the 13th box set!!!)

The commentaries, the extras and the quality of the DVDs are awesome. You have to own it.

Freddy's baaaack.

Studio: New Line Home Entertainment
Robert Englund

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