Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: The Slayers Next Collection (Episodes 27-52)
Productgroup: DVD
The Slayers Next Collection (Episodes 27-52) - movie DVD cover picture
Left a much sweeter taste in my mouth

Truthfully, I didn't like the original Slayers series all that much. Sure the characters were interesting and the humor was a nice change of pace from your typical anime, but the second half of first season was an almost carbon copy of the first. By the end of it I was just about fed up with Lina Inverse and her little gang.
Fortunately I decided to give them another try with Slayers Next. Wow, what a difference a season makes. Slayers Next strikes the perfect balance between humor, action and good old-fashioned adventure. The plot starts out rather silly but quickly becomes more serious and by the end I was wondering if I was still watching the same series or if I had accidentally slipped in Escaflowne. It's safe to say that I was impressed by the remarkable dynamics of the characters and the fact that the story carried a lot more dramatic tension then the first seasons'. I also liked the addition of Xellos who always kept me interested as to his next move.
Not all is roses though in this fantasy adventure. Martina is a great character but she is completely wasted as the comic relief (not to mention redundant; the whole cast is comic relief). Also, the video transfer smacks of VHS and anyone who is listening to the dub ought to shoot themselves right now; you're giving the series a bad name just by existing.
Otherwise I was very impressed by this second outing and I am looking forward to purchasing the third series Slayers Try. Viva season three!

Slayers Next

DVD title: Clerks (Collector's Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Clerks (Collector's Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Clerks is on my top 5

I thought Clerks was tied for the best Kevin Smith movie along with Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. Although all of Kevin Smith"s movies were great , this one is especially! I mean Dogma was good, but a lot of it wasn't all that funny which would leave that at a 9.1/10. Chasing Amy was good too, but it was my least favorite Jay and Silent Bob movie because they were only in it 1 time which would leave that movie at a 8.9 or a 9.0 out of 10. As for Mallrats that to was an excellent film , but it just wasn't as good as Clerks. the scene where Jay and Silent Bob were running from the LaFours was great and so was the dis on Batman, but Mallrats still wasn't as good as Clerks, I would give it a 9.5/10. As for Jay and Silent Bob Strike back that was equally as good because of the amount of other celeberties (Will Ferell,Jason Biggs,Seann William Scott,Shannon Elizabeth, ,Ben Affleck,Chris Rock and Jamie Kennedy being my personal favorites) (due to the many other good movies they have starred in) Anyway Clerks is on my top 5 best movies. I have no reai favorite, but whenever someone askes me I always start with Clerks and say a few others. This is my review on Clerks.

Studio: Miramax Home Entertainment
Director: Kevin Smith
Brian O'Halloran
Jeff Anderson

DVD title: The Fifth Element
Productgroup: DVD
The Fifth Element - movie DVD cover picture
Seriously UNDERATED!!!!

The Fith Element is a true classic in the cinema world. The story line is so amazing with the correct music put to great scenery. This film is similar to Blade runner but the only thing that comes closes to blad runner is the flying cars in the futuristic city of New York but thats it, and i must say that the effects look much better than Blade Runner pluse it's well put together even for a movie that was made in a time that certain technologies weren't available which I mean that this movie did open the doors for new technics to use in movies the effects are awsome.The scene that I loved most was when Inva Mulla Tchako an Opera singer makes a cameo apperance in the film this is one of the most coolest scenes and if your thinking that theres Opera music in this movie think again as the movie has an awsome and avant-gard score by Eric Serra/Mallory Wayte the composers and conductors turned the song that she performed into a techno rock song it's so very well married into each other. It starts off soft original Opera then dies down and starts turning into trance techno music so trust me it's a pretty cool scene and I aswell recomend the soundtrack to because it includes this song and it will take you into a futuristic world. Bruce Willis is so cool in this movie he just brings a good charector to life (corban Dallas)which he portrays and the beautiful actress/model Milla Jovovich (Resedent Evil) brings to life an amazing charector to life (Liloo) as she is called in the movie she portrays and exotic and futuristic girl who try's to find the Fith Element so it is an awsome adventure full of fun and excitment. I give this film 100 stars and 5 thumps up it is a true classic especially in the SCIFI world. I also recomend The Messenger: the story of Joan of Arc and Deep Blue two other beautiful achivments from Director Luc Besson.

Studio: Columbia/Tristar Studios
Director: Luc Besson
Bruce Willis
Gary Oldman
Milla Jovovich

DVD title: From Russia With Love
Productgroup: DVD
From Russia With Love - movie DVD cover picture
Come For The Movie, Stay For The Extras

From Russia With Love, the second James Bond film, is one of the best (in my view, second only to Goldfinger). Unlike the later films in the series, From Russia With Love is extremely faithful to the Ian Fleming novel with only slight variations on the story. In order to obtain a Russian decoding machine, 007 must travel to Istanbul, Turkey to aid a beautiful Russian defector ... even though he and the British Secret Service know it's probably a trap. But unbeknownst to Bond SPECTRE is playing the Russians and the British against each other. This is the most realistic of the Bond films with a story that could probably happen in the real world of espionage. The film does contain a gadget -- a trick briefcase (also in the Fleming novel) that contains throwing knives, ammunition, a folding sniper's rifle, 50 gold sovereigns and a tear gas cartridge that explodes when the case is opened improperly. The film, however, takes a very realistic approach to the story with none of the cartoon antics present in many of the later Bonds.
Terence Young, who also helmed Dr. No and Thunderball, does an outstanding job of directing. He makes wonderful use of the locations, especially in Istanbul. As with his other two Bond efforts, Young eschews a cartoon approach to the action in favor of a more brutal, realistic approach. And unlike many later Bond directors, Young concentrates on developing characters, making them real people with real emotions. The audience feels for the characters emotionally -- something unheard of with the cardboard cutout characters of the later films.
Peter Hunt's editing is a marvel. The action scenes are tightly edited and the film's pacing and continuity are flawless. In addition, the DVD documentary shows just how much Hunt helped shape the final project. He went beyond simply editing the film and actually helped shape and improve the story.
However, the best thing about the film is the casting. Young must have taken great care to properly cast From Russia With Love because every part matches their novel counterpart down to the last detail. Sean Connery, of course, is, and always will be, the best James Bond. Newcomer Daniela Bianchi is terrific as pseudo defector Tatiana Romanova. She is beautiful, sexy and appealing. It's too bad she didn't have more of a screen career. Lotte Lenya (Threepenny Opera), the famed German musical star, does a wonderful villainous turn as Rosa Klebb, former SMERSH agent who is now working for SPECTRE. Robert Shaw (A Man for all Seasons, Black Sunday, Jaws) is chilling as SPECTRE assassin Red Grant. And Pedro Armendariz (the Mexican who says "who don't need no stinking badges!" in Treasure of the Sierra Madre), in the performance of his career, plays Ali Karim Bey, the head of Station T, Turkey. Aremedariz's performance is especially poignant because he was dying of cancer during the filming. He shot himself while in the hospital soon after he was through filming.
From Russia With Love is not only a good Bond film, but a good film alone, apart from the series. Along with Dr. No and Goldfinger, From Russia With Love represents a high point that the later films never quite matched.
The DVD tranfer is spectacular, with terrific sound and picture quality. What makes the DVD special, however, are the special features which include three documentaries, trailers, TV and radio spots and cast & crew profiles. The main documentary is especially interesting as it details how the filmmakers drastically changed the story progression during the shoot. As with all of the Bond DVD's, MGM has done a superb job, giving the buyer much, much more than just the film to view.

Studio: MGM/UA Video
Director: Terence Young
Sean Connery
Lotte Lenya
Robert Shaw

DVD title: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2-Disc Widescreen Edition) (Harry Potter 3)
Productgroup: DVD
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2-Disc Widescreen Edition) (Harry Potter 3) - movie DVD cover picture
The best of the series

This was my favorite book so far in the Harry Potter series. The movie was fair, and I noticed that the characters seemed to be more into their parts, so to speak. The acting to me seemed a lot better, and reminded me of the book in many cases.

I was a little dissapointed in Professor Lupin and Sirius Black though. I have heard (according to the interviews on the DVD) that neither of the actors read the books before they started acting in the movie. Professor Lupin didn't seem nice and understanding like he was in the book. He actually seemed kind of cold, and didn't seem to care much for Harry. Sirius Black was just a crazy wizard escaped from the Azkaban prison and also seemed distant. I was a little upset about the fact that it completely left out Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot, and Prongs, so I suppose the director expected everyone to have read the book who saw the movie to understand all these finer points.

I understand that Dumbledore is a new actor, but his character has changed dramatically. In the first two movies he was a wise, quiet man, and I will say that the new Dumbledore seems more like the lively one in the book, but his character has just completely changed.

Before I saw the movie, I heard that it was going to be the "darker side" of Harry Potter, but the director has taken this and tried to stick in something funny in every scene. I am dissapointed massively in Ron's charater, who seems to have been reduced to the one who is oblivious to all going around him and says "bloody ****" in nearly every two scenes you see him in. Ron seems to just be in here for the comic relief.

A hairless werewolf? The special effects were great, but I was a little dissapointed in the way they turned out. The werewolf didn't look very threatening, and more just like a half-starved chupacabra. The Grim loked pretty mangy, and not very wolf-like as he appears in the book (it actually looked pretty crazy, but I suppose it was to better portray Sirius Black). Harry's Patronus looked alright, but when it saved him from the dementors, I had hoped it would literally charge the dementors, rather than just standing on the banks and shining lights at them. The dementors looked great. What's with the shruken heads? Just add more cursing to the movie and they didn't move too well either. Buckbeak looked great, and I liked the flying scene (I just wish his legs had a little more feathers; he looked goofy)

This movie was alright and adventurous, but like all books made into movies, it loses the feeling you get when you read it for yourself. Definitly read the book before seeing this movie.

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Alfonso Cuarón
Daniel Radcliffe
Rupert Grint
Emma Watson (II)

DVD title: Hero (UMD Mini For PSP)
Productgroup: DVD
Hero (UMD Mini For PSP) - movie DVD cover picture
Great movie

This review is based on the Chinese version DVD, with English subtitles.

This is a great movie based on a true event, one of the most famous assassination attempts on Qin Shihuangdi (pronounced "chin shr-hwang-dee"), the first emperor of China. When the story starts, a warrior referred to as Nameless is being rewarded for killing three of the most wanted assassins. What they don't tell you in the movie is that Qin Shihuangdi was afraid of death, and he hired alchemists to create the Elixir of Life so he can live forever. So as his first reward, he gets to drink within 20 paces of Qin Shihuangdi (normally the people are only allowed within 100 paces of him.) The first half of the story is Nameless telling Qin Shihuangdi his story of how he killed the three assassins, Sky, Broken Sword, and Flying Sword. After he tells his story, the emperor tells his side of the story, where he throws an interesting twist into it.

According to my East Asian History teacher, this film is historically accurate. The film portrays the ancient Chinese ideals of Confucianism, Legalism, and qi (pronounced "chee") energy, among others. (Note: yes, they are supposed to look like they are flying, that is supposed to represent qi energy.)

The plot of the film is great, and I was kept in suspense throughout the two stories, and afterwards. The special effects are nothing to write home about (again, the movie is trying to be realistic), but they add great effect to the movie. I can't speak for the voice acting, as I watched it in Mandarin Chinese (and it's pretty hard to express emotion in Mandarin Chinese, what with the 5 tones and all.) Highly recommended.

Studio: Buena Vista Home Video
Director: Yimou Zhang
Jet Li
Tony Leung Chiu Wai
Maggie Cheung
Ziyi Zhang
Daoming Chen
Donnie Yen

DVD title: Chariots of Fire (Full Screen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Chariots of Fire (Full Screen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture

This movie ranks among my all-time favorites. Filled with the passion of sports and the feats of excellence of the Olympic Games, it remains at its core a story of integrity, loyalty, and idealism. (Forget about relating to this film if these qualities do not appeal to you at least somewhat.)
And the acting, the costumes, the sets and background scenes - every bit of it was elegant and satisfying.
I give Chariots of Fire five stars, wishing I could rate it much, much higher.

Studio: Warner Studios
Director: Hugh Hudson
Ben Cross
Ian Charleson

DVD title: La Bella y la Bestia (Beauty and the Beast - Special Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
La Bella y la Bestia (Beauty and the Beast - Special Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Tale as old as time

Beauty and the Beast has been regarded as one of the best animated features of all times. Without going too far, we can assure it's one of the ten best and now we can have it on a Special Edition DVD, restored with remastered sound.

For those who don't know the story: Belle is a beautiful girl living with her father (an inventor) in a XVIII France town. She's a fan of books, and has captured the attention of the town most coveted bachelor, Gaston, but is not willing to become a simple housewife. When her father is being kept in a horrible Beast's castle, Belle decides to save him taking his place as the Beast's prisoner. The Beast is actually a spoiled prince under a spell. Once in the castle, belle makes a few friends (servers under the spell too) and learns that true beauty lies inside people.

Wonderful music numbers, a perfect story which balances comedy and drama and exquisite animation makes Beauty and the Beast a true cinematic gift for everyone, regardless of age.

Beauty and the Beast is a wonderful experience to relive; capable of giving us so many emotions as no other picture of its time has accomplished (the exception could be The Lion King). The only animated feature to receive a Best Picture Nomination, it has an endless charm.

Studio: Walt Disney Home Video
Robby Benson
Paige O'Hara

DVD title: Once Around
Productgroup: DVD
Once Around - movie DVD cover picture
Omce Around

While some ppl saw Dreyfuss' role as obnoxious, imho it began that way . . . but ended on a truly different note. Love and humility won out in the end. This film has become a favorite of ours and we do hope it will be released on dvd.

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: Lasse Hallström
Richard Dreyfuss
Holly Hunter

DVD title: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Full Screen Edition) (Harry Potter 1)
Productgroup: DVD
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Full Screen Edition) (Harry Potter 1) - movie DVD cover picture
Harry Potter, when is the fame going to end?

That answer may be difficult to answer. All material things have a end, and for Harry Potter I do not see it's end any time soon. I am deeply awaiting the arrival of this DVD because I am a great fan and have been waiting forever to enjoy this movie. It kept faithfull to J.K. Rowling and for that I rate it 5 stars. The production might not have been very good to everyone's eyes, but I held it accounted because the movie was faithfull to the book, if it was made into a 'Hollywood Version' perhaps the production would have been better, but fans everywhere including myself would have left disappointed. So over all I think that the movie was great, gave fans a in depth look at the Magival World of Harry Potter for the many years that we have been dreaming about.

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Chris Columbus
Daniel Radcliffe

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