Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Mozart - Die Zauberflote (The Magic Flute) / Levine, Battle, Serra, Metropolitan Opera
Productgroup: DVD
Mozart - Die Zauberflote (The Magic Flute) / Levine, Battle, Serra, Metropolitan Opera - movie DVD cover picture
Manfred Hemm steals the show!

If you are looking to enter the world of opera, this is the greatest way to do it. I use this video with my 4th grade music classes, and although sung in German, the kids love the plot and the music (what's not to like about Mozart?). The cast is strong all the way around, but for my money Manfred Hamm is the best Papageno I have ever seen. Great voice, but even better comic acting! Enjoy this finely staged production of a delightful opera.

Studio: Uni/Deutsche Grammophon
Director: Brian Large

DVD title: You've Got Mail
Productgroup: DVD
You've Got Mail - movie DVD cover picture

Loved it! Loved it! Loved it! Have plenty of Kleenex and a nice, warm body to cuddle up to!

Studio: Warner Studios
Director: Nora Ephron
Tom Hanks
Meg Ryan

DVD title: Moulin Rouge (Single Disc Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Moulin Rouge (Single Disc Edition) - movie DVD cover picture

Ewan McGregor does an astounding job as the ideal man, a romantic poet intent on having a star prostitute (Nicole Kidman) fall in love with him. It's very original, with brash colors and contrasts to help juxtapose the beautiful romance. My personal favorite touch was the modern pop music in an 1899 French setting. If you want to fall back on a traditional soft-colors romance, look elsewhere. A romantic soul with an open mind will truly appreciate this masterpiece. The only complaint I had with the movie was the "Like a Vigin" scene, which was stupid and unneeded.

Studio: Fox Home Entertainme
Director: Baz Luhrmann
Nicole Kidman
Ewan McGregor

DVD title: Halloween III - Season Of The Witch
Productgroup: DVD
Halloween III - Season Of The Witch - movie DVD cover picture
Awesome Movie

Just great, it doesn't have Michael in it but it is SOOOOO INTERESTING! and gruesome, horror at its best!

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: Tommy Lee Wallace
Tom Atkins
Stacy Nelkin

DVD title: UHF
Productgroup: DVD
UHF - movie DVD cover picture
The greatest comedy ever written

It really isn't fair that UHF isn't being released anymore-It's a great movie that I wish I had bought 10 years ago. Al is GOD.

Studio: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Director: Jay Levey
Weird Al Yankovic

DVD title: Bye Bye Birdie
Productgroup: DVD
Bye Bye Birdie - movie DVD cover picture
We're going to be on Ed Sullivan."

Ann-Margret shines in this adapted stage to screen version. She has a great voice, beautiful body and a damn good actress. I also saw her live years ago at Radio City Music Hall and she brought the house down....but i digress.Paul Lynde as Kim's father is priceless and it is so wonderful to have his performance perserved on film for all times. His wonderful sense of humor is one of a kind and he brings the fathers character to a new height.Dick Van Dyke and Janet Lee are as consistantly wonderful as always with their humor and singing ability.I found the sound to be excellent in 5.1 filling my living room with beautfiul sound from this musical comedy.You will not be disappointed if you buy this. It's a fun time..

Studio: Columbia/Tristar Studios
Director: George Sidney (II)
Dick Van Dyke

DVD title: Bandits
Productgroup: DVD
Bandits - movie DVD cover picture
Don't Let the Trashy Cover Fool You

these ladies kick a**! The Bandits are four imprisoned German women with wildly different personalties who play in a prison rock band. When an opportunity to escape presents itself, they take it, led by the luscious Katja Riemann, a major star in Germany. While they're on the run, a record producer puts out a CD of the demo tape they've sent him and they become overnight hits. From here on out it's sort of "Thelma & Louise" meet "A Hard Days Night", with humor. The actresses wrote most of the songs, which are in English, and perform all the vocals and instrumentation. This is a movie that can be enjoyed by feminists and male chauvanists alike.

Studio: Columbia/Tristar Studios
Director: Katja von Garnier
Katja Riemann
Jasmin Tabatabai
Nicolette Krebitz
Jutta Hoffmann

DVD title: Blade Runner (The Director's Cut)
Productgroup: DVD
Blade Runner (The Director's Cut) - movie DVD cover picture
The Movie, The whole movie, and nothing but the movie. Great

`Blade Runner', directed by Ridley Scott and starring, in one of his most important roles, Harrison Ford, is quite probably one of the best science fiction movies ever. I would easily put it in the top five with Fritz Lang's `Metropolis', Forbidden Planet', `2001 A Space Odyssey', and another Phillip K. Dick inspired story, `Minority Report'.

I was originally disappointed with this movie when I saw it in the theatre, as it was based on one of Dick's most famous stories, `Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?' and the screenwriters took significant liberties with the story. But one of the surest ways of identifying a high quality movie is when it `grows' on you after repeated viewings. I have probably seen the original theatrical release on VCR and DVD and on broadcast TV at least five times, and I look forward to every viewing. The things which grow in my appreciation of the film as time goes by are Ford's performance and Ridley Scott's great invention of a very dark Los Angles some fifty years (from the time of the filming) in the future. The dark settings are a Ridley Scott trademark and they show up most dramaticly in `Alien', `G.I.Jane', and `Black Sun'. While the effect is great in the Sci-fi and Horror flicks, it really doesn't work in `G.I.Jane', but that's another movie.

`Blade Runner' seems to have embedded itself into our collective unconsciousness. I happened to see an Alton Brown / Food Network special on TV yesterday where our golden boy, AB quoted a line from Sebastian's geneticly engineered minatures in `Blade Runner'.

This movie seems to be the sort of work where everything just seems to hang together very, very well, from the set design to the music to the acting. Virtually all the roles in the movie are small compared to Ford's character, the Blade Runner, Deckard, but there are some which make one wish they had larger parts. Joe Turkel fits his part perfectly as the founder of the Tyrell Corporation. M. Emmet Walsh is also perfectly cast as Deckard's former captain of the Blade Runner unit who calls him back into service. Sean Young does well as Tyrell's closet replicant. The greatest little pleasure outside Ford's role is the performance of William Peterson, much better known as the Larry of the three brothers, Larry, Darryl, and Darryl on the `Newhart' TV show. Brion James, a lesser character actor similarly carries his part well. The two most difficult parts to assess are those by Rutger Hauer and Edward James Olmos. I suspect Olmos is given a major visibility in the credits for this movie more due to his widely recognized part in `Miami Vice' than to his role in this movie itself. Regarding Hauer, I often thought this was by far his best performance and that his whole career is based on the recognition he got from doing this movie. But, having recently seen `The Hitcher' again, I sense that while Hauer does well in these very sinister roles, his acting range is really limited and, like Whoopie Goldberg in `Ghost', the acclaim should go not to the actor but to the casting director.

Oddly, I suspect one of the biggest differences between the theatrical release and the director's cut is to make just a little more of Olmos' role in the movie. The theatrical release doesn't even add any lines for Olmos, just a few more for Ford / Deckard to explain Olmos' character. In general, the theatrical release added just a little more voiceover dialogue to explain things early in the movie and to give the ending a slightly more upbeat resolution.

I was really disappointed with the extras on these DVDs, as missing is my favorite feature, a voiceover commentary by director which explains the scenes in the movie. I suspect that unlike Kevin Smith's movies which make more money in DVD release than in the theatre (and who therefore puts a lot of effort into DVD extras) `Blade Runner' is so good, the DVD producers feel no need to pile on the goodies.

This is a truly great movie whose value increases as time goes by and other filmmakers are unable to top it's story and great atmospheric interpretation of a classic Sci-Fi hypothesis.

Studio: Warner Studios
Director: Ridley Scott
Harrison Ford
Rutger Hauer
Sean Young

DVD title: Full House - The Complete Second Season
Productgroup: DVD
Full House - The Complete Second Season - movie DVD cover picture
Full House gains some more momentum

Lots of people like to bash this show, but compared to the crap that's on TV today, Full House was and still is a fantastic show that teaches good values to kids and adults. I would rather have my kids watching Full House than watching some of the violent TV shows on at night these days. The 2nd season is where Full House really begins to make some great episodes and continues to improve. We also meet Rebecca Donaldson for the first time (played by Lori Loghlin).

Studio: Warner Home Video
Ashley Olsen

DVD title: Jackie Chan's First Strike
Productgroup: DVD
Jackie Chan's First Strike - movie DVD cover picture
one of Jackie Chans funest movies

There is only one word to describe this movie:fun.Unlike Operation Condor, which had cheezy jokes, and a boring plot, not to mention its terrible dubbing,this movie is very good.This movie has Chan, a secret agent, trying to stop a nuclear weapon from being launched or something.Other than Rumble In The Bronx, this is Chans most action packed movie.The last forty minutes are none stop action.First Strike also features Chans more impressive stunts;using a ladder as a weapon,fighting on stilts,and battling bad guys underwater.Its also one of the funnier Chan movies.My only complaint is that the dubbing could use a little work, but by the first half hour, you dont really mind.(5 OUT OF FIVE STARS)

Studio: New Line Home Entertainment
Director: Stanley Tong
Jackie Chan

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