Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: The Phantom of the Opera (Widescreen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
The Phantom of the Opera (Widescreen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture

Although I've always wanted to see the Phantom on stage, I probably never will have that opportunity, but I am in love with this production! The entire film is mesmerizing from beginning to end. The cast could not be better. I am not going to pick it apart, build it up or tear it down. It caught me from the get go and the characters work together, the mood is excellent, the emotional ride is good. It's a great movie!

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Joel Schumacher
Gerard Butler
Emmy Rossum
Patrick Wilson

DVD title: Steve Austin's Greatest Hits
Productgroup: DVD
Steve Austin's Greatest Hits - movie DVD cover picture
Stone Cold ? Year One: Austin vs. Adams

Long before he revolutionized the world of Sports Entertainment as the middle-finger sticking, beer guzzling, "What" yelling, Rattlesnake of the WWF, even long before his semi-fame as a member of the Dangerous Alliance and Hollywood Blondes in WCW, Steve Williams was "Stunning" Steve Austin, a hot rookie in the legendary WCCW/USWA promotion based out of Dallas, Texas. This bargain priced DVD chronicles 6 matches out of his rookie year (app. 1990) in the USWA, including his legendary feud with his teacher/trainer, the late Texas legend "Gentlemen" Chris Adams.
Here are the contents of this DVD:
1. Austin vs. "Gentlemen" Chris Adams: "Come As You Are Street Fight." Austin's first big program was his legendary feud with his trainer Chris Adams where the two men were embattled in a bizarre love triangle which involved Adam's ex-wife Jeanie Clark and his new wife Toni. This street fight was awesome. Austin's in football pads and Adam's in a judo gi. Tons of arena-sprawling action. 11 minutes. 4 stars.
2. Austin and "Missouri Tiger" Jeff Gaylord vs. Chico Torres and Frogman LeBlanc: Typical mid-card tag match. Nothing much became of the other workers. Decent action. 5 minutes. 2 stars.
3. Eric Embry and Steve Austin w/ Tojo Yamamoto vs. "Gorgeous" Gary Young and "Superstar" Bill Dundee: Embry was THE top star of the USWA in the late 80's and early 90's. Young and Dundee were stars out of the Memphis territory (which merged with World Class to form the USWA). This is a good old-school tag match. The match itself gets off to a slow start but totally picks up toward the middle to a really hot finish. Notable thing about this match: Dr. Tom Pritchard, currently a WWE official, was doing color commentary for this match. One of his quotes (paraphrased), "I'm very impressed with this rookie Austin. He'll be big one day." I don't think even Pritchard had any idea... 12 minutes. 3 ? stars.
4. "Missouri Tiger" Jeff Gaylord, Sheik Braddock and Austin w/General Skandor Akbar vs. "Gentleman" Chris Adams, "Maniac" Matt Borne and Eric Embry: Gaylord and Braddock were two USWA workers. Akbar was a top heel manager in the territory for YEARS. Borne was a prolific worker throughout the South and had a stint in WCW as Big Josh. He is probably best known though as the original Doink the Clown in the WWF. This was a solid match with tons of nice spots and great action. The crowd was very hot for this one. 12 minutes. 3 stars.
5. Recap of the Austin - Adams feud/love triangle with tons of highlights of confrontations between the two men. Highly entertaining.
6. Austin and Jeanie Clark vs. Chris and Toni Adams: Decent action with TONS of crowd heat. 10 minutes. 4 stars.
7. Austin and Jeanie Clark vs. Chris and Toni Adams: Re-match. Again tons of crowd heat and solid action. Percy Pringle (WWE's Paul Bearer) on commentary. Chris Von Erich, Jeff Jarrett and Iceman King Parsons post-match run-ins. 10 minutes. 4 stars.
THE DVD Extras
The extras on the DVD are somewhat laughable. Included on this DVD are:
1. Austin's biography (a quick paragraph or two summarizing his career and childhood).
2. An Austin photo gallery consisting of 4 pictures.
In other words, the extras are all right for a look but otherwise are worthless...
Overall, at a cover price this DVD is a bargain. The matches and extras are a little sparse, but they are golden for wrestling nostalgists. The matches themselves are solid. The Adams - Austin feud was one of THE best storylines to come out during that era in the USWA (and wrestling in general), almost on par (though on a much smaller stage) with the subsequent (and much bigger) legendary Austin - McMahon feud of the late 90's WWF.
This DVD is definitely must viewing for Stone Cold fans/enthusiasts/completists. Fans of the WCCW/USWA circa `89/'90 will also appreciate this DVD. It is definitely recommended for anyone interested in seeing a very well-booked storyline.
Highest Recommendation.

Studio: Uav Corporation
Steve Austin

DVD title: Enemy at the Gates
Productgroup: DVD
Enemy at the Gates - movie DVD cover picture
The Battle of Stalingrad brought to life!

I just got back from seeing the movie, and my first thoughts after leaving the theatre was that this movie was excellent. The opening battle sure gave you an idea about how the movie was going to be. The commanders would shout out something like; "the first man with the rifle shoots, the other man follows.. when the first man is killed, the second man grabs the rifle and shoots". It was quite graphic, basically on the same level as Saving Private Ryan.
There are numerous battle sequences throughout the movie. Most are short, which was kind of a bummer, I was hoping they would be longer.
The bombing raids were awesome. I thought those had the best special effects in the whole film, second would be the dive bombers attacking the boats on the Volga River.
The whole plot of this movie is a duel between a Russian and German sniper. Much of it was very suspensful and exciting. Unfortunatly there are breaks in the film which slow it down, but I guess all that love triangle stuff was put in to attract women viewers to the movie.
Some of the other reviews I've read complained about the story. Overall I thought it was very good, and didn't take anything away from it. Another thing about this movie is how well they re-created the look of Stalingrad at that time. Those sets must have been huge, because hardly any of it looks like it was computer generated. Just an awesome look and feel, even better than SPR in that department.
This is a great film, I highly recommend it.. I'm definetly going to go see it again!

Studio: Paramount Home Video
Director: Jean-Jacques Annaud
Jude Law
Ed Harris
Joseph Fiennes

DVD title: X-Men
Productgroup: DVD
X-Men - movie DVD cover picture
A Splendid Movie!

I could not wait until x-men made it to the big screen. The movie was wonderful. The cast did exceptionaly well in bringing out the character's persona. Hugh Jackman did a wonderful job in potraying Wolverine. And of course you cannot not forget Patrick Stewart as Xavier. He seems to do well no matter what movie he's in. The only thing that I did not like about this movie (which is a very small thing) is that the movie ended just as it was getting started. I felt like it should have lasted a little longer. For me the climax and falling action came a little too soon; however, this did not take away of how good of a movie this is. Hence the 5 stars. A must see!

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox Home Video
Director: Bryan Singer
Hugh Jackman
Patrick Stewart
Ian McKellen

DVD title: Frasier - The Complete Second Season
Productgroup: DVD
Frasier - The Complete Second Season - movie DVD cover picture
Best Show Ever

I'm so looking forward to recieving the Second series of the best show ever. I loved the First Series and have watched it so many times it's hard to keep count. I hope they release other series in the near future as I'm addicted to the show and can't wait to own them all.

Studio: Paramount Home Video
Kelsey Grammer

DVD title: Quiz Show
Productgroup: DVD
Quiz Show - movie DVD cover picture
A time of innocence and the deception of the pubic

Directed by Robert Redford and nominated for several Academy Awards, this 1994 film tells the true story of the quiz show "21" in the 1950s and how the contestants were given the answers ahead of time and coached for the show. As a child at the time I remember the hoopla and how whole families would watch this show together, holding their collective breaths during the competitions for big money. It was a time of innocence and the viewing community was deceived. And never again have the networks won that kind of public trust.

Paul Attansio adapted the screenplay from the book written by Richard N. Goodwin who was the government investigator at the time. In the film this role is played by Rob Morrow who is determined to uncover the deception. All the other actors are excellent too - most notably John Turturro who is cast as a Jewish man from Queens who is allowed to win for seven weeks before being replaced by Charles Van Doran, a professor at Columbia who came from a long line of scholars. Paul Scofield also shines in the role of Van Doran's father, who stands by his son even though the family is disgraced by the publicity.

It's not just the quiz show phenomenon that comes alive in this film. It is the nature of the times as well as the anti-Semitic undercurrent and cultural conflict that was endemic. Usually, when I see a film about the fifties, it looks like someone's imagination of what those times were like. But this film was different. I really felt I was right back there, many years before computers or even color television, sitting wide-eyed in front of that black and white set and admiring the contestants for being so smart. Times have changed. Now, we know we're being manipulated. And there is no outrage.

I was unprepared to love this film so much. There is tension throughout and consistently wonderful acting. The dialog was authentic and the actors all played their roles with subtlety. They became the characters in the film and I wound up caring about all of them. "Quiz Show" is a simply wonderful film and I give it one of my highest recommendations. Don't miss it.

Studio: Hollywood Pictures
Director: Robert Redford
John Turturro
Ralph Fiennes

DVD title: Baraka
Productgroup: DVD
Baraka - movie DVD cover picture
visually stunning

I'm sure you read the editorial review for this product, so I will keep my comments short. I personally enjoy the IMAX dvd's but, I'm glad I picked this one up. It's one of the most stunning things I've seen in quite awhile. This is probably the closest you will ever get to visual art on a dvd. And to top it all off, the soundtrack helps to completely immerse you within it. I believe this was released over 8 years ago, but it is a timeless work- it could have been done yesterday, and I'd be none the wiser. One thing about the editorial review I'd like to point out- it is a little frustrating not knowing where you are sometimes during the DVD- it even comes with a little insert that shows the world, and all the areas where filming took place- if it really doesn't matter where they are, then I wish that they did not include that- because it does become irksome trying to match up the places that they list, with what you were watching. So don't bother with that =) crank up the surround sound, turn off the lights, and enjoy

Studio: Mpi Home Video
Director: Ron Fricke

DVD title: Brother Bear (2-Disc Special Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Brother Bear (2-Disc Special Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
The story of a boy who became a man by being a bear

"Brother Bear" was a great Disney film of high calibur.

A warrior hunter who hunts bears becomes one himself and sees the tests and tribulations that threatened the species of the nature the bear. During this time, the hunter, becomes aware of his crimes against the bear and the animals who roam the wilderness. Throughtout the movie , Keinai (Jaoquin Phoenix)\
then goes through a transformation of spirituality, morals
and good will.

Kenai is part of a warrior hunter that also shows how Native
American people love animals, contrary to what other people
in states do, huting animals for sport in the US. Sitka
(voice of DB Sweeney) is older and wiser native American soldier that was killed by an enormous bear although he loved the fauna. Kenai (voice of Joaquin Phoenix) demands justice and hunts
for bears.

He looks for the bear that killed his brother in spite of its other brother, objections of Denahi. Kenai finds the bear possible that killed its brother. Kenai during this fight with
the bear obtains a vision of the ghost of Sitka. Kenai causes possible the death of this bear. Despite a its shock, Kenai transforms into a bear!

Then Kenai he sees what it is like to live like a bear and sees some of his own false ideasand prejudices agaisnt the bear and nature itself. Kenai sees that bears like man, these animals have families who take to well-taken care of from their own means. Kenai also sees its own crime in killing a bear when he
learns that the bear has a cub named Koda. Koda is an orphaned lazy bear that is lost its mother. The twist for Koda and Kenai (now as bear) comes near the end when both make what really happened to the mother of Koda.

Eventually Kenai learns the wrong that he did and comes to grips
with it and eventually changes his mentality against the bears.

The 2 disc DVD for Brother Bear is nothing short of beautiful,
showing featurettes, deleted scenes, commentary track and much
more. Buy these dvd's now.

Studio: Walt Disney Home Video
Joaquin Phoenix
Jeremy Suarez
Rick Moranis

DVD title: Cowboy Bebop Complete Sessions Collection ( Exclusive)
Productgroup: DVD
Cowboy Bebop Complete Sessions Collection ( Exclusive) - movie DVD cover picture
Perfect can't begin to describe it

I first experienced Cowboy Bebop on Cartoon Network's Saturday edition of Adult Swim. I was flipping channels between bad SNL sketches and commercials when I came to Cartoon Network. What I saw was unlike any other thing that I had seen before. I was hooked from my first glance, and for the first two minutes of it I did not blink. At 11:45, a commercial came on and I waited in anticipation to discover the title of a work so great. When the commercial ended, I heard from the TV, "Cowboy Bebop now continues." It was right then that I realized that Cowboy Bebop is the greatest anime that I have ever seen. At the time, I was watching Session 4, but the next Saturday at 11:30, I saw possibly the best episode ever; Session 5: Ballad of Fallen Angels. It was this Cowboy Bebop episode that forced me to get more in touch with the phenomenon that I saw. Ever since, I have watched Adult Swim every week, and with every episode of Cowboy Bebop, I learn to love it more and more. Session 5 was the best, but with each coming episode, I have not grown dissapointed. If you want to see a great anime and a great show, watch Cowboy Bebop. You won't be dissapointed.

Studio: Pioneer Video
Director: ShinichirĂ´ Watanabe
Kôichi Yamadera
Unshô Ishizuka
Megumi Hayashibara

DVD title: Buffy the Vampire Slayer - The Complete Sixth Season
Productgroup: DVD
Buffy the Vampire Slayer - The Complete Sixth Season - movie DVD cover picture
TwentySomethings in Sunnydale - A Dark, Erotic Time

Every reviewer and most BTVS fans hate Season 6. I loved it. I thought it showed the many choices we have in our 20s - to delve into the dark side of erotica, to dabble in substances that take us on flights of fancy, to turn a blind eye rather than dealing with our daily drag of a life. The writing and acting here is superb as always. Ok, I could do without Dawn whining and I missed Giles terribly. But as Joss said, this was the "Oh Grow Up!" year, and everyone did. I highly recommended purchasing this season. It is worth a second look.

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox Home Video
Sarah Michelle Gellar

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