Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: The Testament Of Dr. Mabuse - Criterion Collection
Productgroup: DVD
The Testament Of Dr. Mabuse - Criterion Collection - movie DVD cover picture
Little known Lang masterpiece

"The Testament of Dr. Mabuse" may be the greatest film you've never heard of. In addition to being a cinematic triumph, director' Fritz Lang's film is steeped in actual pre World War II history. The Nazis, only recently having assumed power in Germany, banned this film. Lang claimed that Propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels delivered the news along with an offer to make movies for the Third Reich. The claim is probable though undocumented. The ban prompted Lang to leave Germany and bring his magnificent directorial skills to the United States.

One can easily see what so disturbed the Nazis about this second Mabuse film (Lang had earlier made a far less political silent version about the diabolical doctor). It is a brilliant allegory of the Nazi rise and their intent to exercise power through a "criminal empire" of fear and terror. It is an amazing triumph for Lang especially when one considers people were only just beginning the true nature of Nazi ideals and intent.

But politics aside (as if that is possible with such a film) Mabuse is a highly entertaining crime thriller with elements of the horror genre and a love story thrown in.

As always in a Lang film characters are well developed but exist to forward the story, not to dominate the screen. Otto Wernicke reprises his role as Inspector Lohman from Lang's "M." The cinematography is also true to Lang form, (indeed perhaps at its best) starting with a stunning opening scene.

This two-disc edition includes a French version made simulatelously by Lang, a relevant segment of a 1964 interview with the director, excellent commentary by David Kalat and more. The great people at Criterion have outdone even themselves with this package.

Anyone who appreciates "The Testament of Dr. Mabuse" will be doing himself or herself a huge favor by purchasing this excellent DVD edition.

Studio: Criterion Collection
Director: Fritz Lang
Rudolf Klein-Rogge
Otto Wernicke

DVD title: Firefly - The Complete Series
Productgroup: DVD
Firefly - The Complete Series - movie DVD cover picture
Looking forward to Serenity (FireFly motion picture Sep 30, 2005)

I miss FireFly!

Star Trek was good but it always seemed to present such a one-sided view of the future. The main characters didn't have flaws, they had blemishes. They always rose above their blemishes to do the right things at the end of an hour. Good and bad were pretty much black and white.

Now FireFly showed a much more realistic possibility of the future. The characters were more real, flaws and all. There were so many indications of storylines to come that I was waiting each week for the new, the entertaining, and the sometimes silly. What had happened to River and where was she heading? The relationship between the Captain and the Companion? The Shepherd that wasn't always a shepherd? What did Wash do during the 'War'? Bubbly Kaylee and the insecure Doctor? They were an eclectic and an amazing group of people gathered for cross purposes, but became part of the family.

My favorite moments was seeing the whole cast gathered around the mess table enjoying a great laugh. But while the possibilities of potential stories was endless, the patience of a network to allow a new, and intricately creative, show find it's legs lasted only 11 shows. It was a shame! Fox gives something like Arrested Development two whole seasons to find an audience, but can't give FireFly 22 episodes.

This DVD is great! Being able to watch them in the order envisioned by their creative team was a blessing. The extras add a little, but the real beauty is being able to watch each episode and the three never aired episodes. It was well worth the price! Share this with your friends who may have missed the short life of the series.

Don't forget fan support convinced a lot of people to support a feature film of FireFly. It's called "Serenity" ( and it's being released on September 30, 2005. Who knows maybe some network exec will see it and say "Why don't we turn that movie into a series?"

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox Home Video
Nathan Fillion

DVD title: Happiness
Productgroup: DVD
Happiness - movie DVD cover picture

wow, what a great movie. i love comedies, and this has got to be the darkest of comedies. if you liked that american psycho movie or any kind of movie where you had to actually get the joke and hate these stupid tim allen and, to a more recent extent, ben stiller movies, give this one a shot. i loved it. i guess in summary its kind of like ghost world, another good one, in that it follows a group of people in their own little lives as they search for something that makes them happy.

Studio: Vidmark/Trimark
Director: Todd Solondz
Jane Adams (II)
Jon Lovitz
Philip Seymour Hoffman

DVD title: The Big Red One
Productgroup: DVD
The Big Red One - movie DVD cover picture
Excellent Movie Of The Big Red One

I've been watching this movie since it was released and also own the DVD.

I'm glad that the new 2-disc version is now available, the movie is better with the rounding out this new release allows.

When someone such as Samuel Fuller puts a production on the screen that comes from his own life and takes the number of years it consumed of his life, the end result is as close to WWII combat and real life in combat as we will probably ever get.

I would recommend this movie to one and all interested in the North African and Italian (Sicily) campaigns of WWII. Their orders were to smash Rommel and his elite desert troops and drive the Axis back to Fortress Europe. But always one more battle seemed to be waiting, and finally with the beaches of Normandy and the greatest airborne invasion the world had ever seen it began to come to an end.

Strong story, strong movie, strong acting.

Note: For more on the Big Red One, see my review of the Bantam War Book: One More Hill by author Franklyn Johnson.


Studio: Warner Studios
Director: Samuel Fuller
Lee Marvin
Mark Hamill
Robert Carradine

DVD title: Buffy the Vampire Slayer - The Complete Third Season
Productgroup: DVD
Buffy the Vampire Slayer - The Complete Third Season - movie DVD cover picture
Gotta Have Faith

Season Three of Buffy The Vampire Slayer opens up with Buffy (Sarah Michelle Gellar) being missing after killing Angel (David Boreanaz) and her friends trying to find her. The first two episodes, "Anne" and "Dead Man's Party" don't really portray the power of the entire season. "Anne" deals with Buffy hiding out in Los Angeles working as a waitress. She meets Lily who was a part of a vampire worshipping cult in Sunnydale. Buffy finds that there is a demon factory where humans are slaves and a hundred years pass for one day on Earth. She frees the slaves and then decides to go home where the episode ends with her showing up at home. "Dead Man's Party" deals with the resentment Buffy's friends feel toward her and an ancient mask her mother brought home that acts as a homing device for zombies. The season really starts with episode three "Faith, Hope & Trick" in which we are introduced to yet another slayer, Faith (Eliza Dushku) and another vampire Mr. Trick (K. Todd Freeman). Faith is a fiery slayer, who unlike Buffy, loves being a slayer. She is all super ego to Buffy's id. Faith will add a spark of energy to the show and push Buffy and her friends to the limit. In the fourth episode, "Beauty & The Beasts", Angel is freed from hell and returns to Earth where Buffy discovers him. Spike (James Marsters) returns to Sunnydale in "Lover's Walk" and we find that he has been dumped by Drusilla. He kidnaps Willow (Allyson Hannigan) to put a love spell on Drusilla. He also captures Xander (Nicholas Brendan) and is going to kill them. While they are trapped, they realize their mutual feelings and kiss. While they are kissing, their respective partners, Oz (Seth Green) & Cordelia (Charisma Carpenter) walk in on them. This leads to the next episode, "The Wish", where Cordelia is heartbroken over Xander's & Willow's kiss that she determines that Buffy is the cause of her problems and wishes that she never came to Sunnydale. Anyanka (Emma Caufield) a vengeance demon appears and grants Cordelia her wish. We find an alternative Sunnydale, where, since Buffy never came to, The Master escaped from his prison and rules a vampire lead city. We also find that Xander and Willow are vampires and Giles (Anthony Stewart Head), Oz and Larry (Larry Bagby III) are the protectors of the innocent. This is one of the all time best Buffy episodes and it is a testament to the show's supreme writing. Another powerful episode is "Helpless" where on her 18th birthday, Buffy unknowingly must survive a life threatening battle without her slayer powers. Buffy learns of the ritual as Giles, unable to deal with the torment Buffy is going through, advises of her what is happening and that he participated in it by drugging her. She feels betrayed and turns on Giles, but manages to survive the test. Giles is not as fortunate as he is relieved of his duties as Buffy's Watcher by the Council as he has become too emotionally attached to her. "Bad Girls" is the episode that sets up the crux of the season. Buffy's new watcher, the stuffy Wesley Wyndham-Pryce (Alexis Denisof) is brought to train her. Buffy rebels against him and with the prodding of Faith goes on a reckless rampage on a mission to stop a demon from getting an amulet. While on their rampage, they rob a store for weapons and in the ultimate reckless act, Faith kills an innocent human, the mayor's deputy. This leads to the next episode, "Consequences", where Buffy tries to face up to her actions, but Faith continues to believe that the law does not apply to her. Angel steps in and tries to help Faith, but Wesley and the council capture her and are prepared to transport her to England. Faith escapes and ends up at the door of the evil mayor, Richard Wilkins (Harry Groener), to whom she pledges her services. The rest of the season details the gang's attempt thwart the Mayor's ascension and Buffy battling Faith. The season ends with the excellent two parter, "Graduation Day" in which the gang graduates from Sunnydale High and they battle to mayor to once again save the world. Also, in the final episode, Angel leaves Sunnydale to set out on his own. This sets up David Boreanaz's spin off series Angel that Charisma Carpenter and Alexis Denisof also join the cast. Season three of Buffy is the best and most consistent season of the show. The acting is first rate especially by Ms. Dushku and Mr. Groener is wickedly funny as the mayor. Ms. Gellar is spurred on by Ms. Dushku and provides a stellar season that was worthy of Emmy consideration as was the show as a whole.

Studio: Fox Home Entertainme
Sarah Michelle Gellar
David Boreanaz
Eliza Dushku

DVD title: Salsa: Advanced Variations DVD
Productgroup: DVD
Salsa: Advanced Variations DVD - movie DVD cover picture
Exceptional Combinations

Unable to purchase this Video in Manchester, England, I took a chance and ordered Josie's Salsa Advanced Variations Video. I was very excited and pleased to see the high class dance sequences that both Josie and Rogelio teach. Step by Step, they go through the moves, first the lady, then the man, then partnered. The shines for both women and men are so professional and challenging to the advanced salsa enthusiast. At last I found someone who can teach high quality salsa at it's best! I wouldn't hesitate to buy this Video.

Director: Josie Neglia

DVD title: Survivor - The Complete First Season
Productgroup: DVD
Survivor - The Complete First Season - movie DVD cover picture

All I have to say is finally, I have been waiting for this dvd since the first season has ended. Ever since the borneo ended i have been taping every season on tape, now i finall dont have to worry about that. I think this dvd is going to be great, we finall get to hear from Richard Hatch and Rudy Boesch again. We also get to hear from Jeff Probst on how he felt the first season was, It's going to be intresested on what he has to say. And for 35 bucks for five dvd's thats a good deal so i deff recomend this to any survivor fan out there so enjoy it.

Studio: Paramount Home Video
Jeff Probst

DVD title: Degrassi: The Next Generation (Season One)
Productgroup: DVD
Degrassi: The Next Generation (Season One) - movie DVD cover picture
Degrassi is amazing

If you love the show, you gotta get this so you can watch it alllllll the time :-D

Studio: Funimation Productio
Pat Mastroianni

DVD title: Jackass - The Movie (Widescreen Special Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Jackass - The Movie (Widescreen Special Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
The Funniest Pure Comedy Ever.."Realistic Comedy"

Jackass made me laugh for the whole 2 hours of the movie. Actually, it's not exactly a movie but rather a realistic stunts performed and made by the cast of Jackass the MTV show. Well, Jackass the movie rocks by all means, it delivers pure jokes and very funny stunts and moves. They always keep showing "Don't try this at home" Warning description, well for God's Sake, who in the world will try these at home, I am not insane like these guys :o) Deadly stunts and sometimes you wanna puke after you see them. Jackass: The Movie is much much better than the tv show by all means, because in the movie they show you everything without censoring a $***, but in the tv show they put those beeps when the cast say a cuss word or if the stunt is too hot to show or graphic to show they blur it or put censorship on it. So I Highly Recommend Jackass: The Movie with the addtion to Don't Try This At Home: Steve-O Volumes 1 and 2. FOREVER LONG LIVE JACKASSES >Crew-Cast-Fans<5 *****A TRUE JEWEL MOVIE for your Spectacular DVD Collection of Comedies.

Studio: Paramount Home Video
Director: Jeff Tremaine
Johnny Knoxville
Bam Margera
Chris Pontius

DVD title: Logan's Run
Productgroup: DVD
Logan's Run - movie DVD cover picture

Yes, Logan's Run is a bit dated. Most movies don't stand the test of time. There are too many contemporary cultural references in most movies to avoid this. And Logan's Run is no exception.
However, for quality of story, acting and action, Logan's Run is still excellent. The characters are engaging and they develop depth as the story proceeds. Many of the themes are timeless. Our youth-oriented culture, ecological disaster and fear of government are just a few of the elements presented here.
Up until Star Wars, Logan's Run was in select company as far as science fiction went. Perhaps only 2001 surpassed it prior to 1977. I still count this film among my top 20 or so favorites of all time and very highly recommend it.

Studio: Warner Studios
Director: Michael Anderson
Michael York
Jenny Agutter

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