Film DVD related reviews


DVD title: The Lord of the Rings - The Fellowship of the Ring (Widescreen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
The Lord of the Rings - The Fellowship of the Ring (Widescreen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Mind-boggling creativity! Tolkien AND Jackson


Having heard about Tolkien's works only vaguely, and having missed this film in theaters when it came out, I am hardly a "fan" either of the genre, or of Tolkien. But, oh my goodness, my nephew pestered me to accompany him to watch the Two Towers, and when the movie was over, I sat dumbfounded in my seat for a while - for I was angry that the magic was over. :)) And I watched the extended edition of the FOTR, and now I've become a hard-core Tolkien geek, explaining (unasked) to people, as to how Aragorn and Elrond have maia,elf and human blood in their veins, much to the annoyance of my nephew and my friends. But much more importantly, in this 21st century culture, bereft of either subtlety or refinement, the loftier realms in which tolkien's moral universe has been anchored, need to be brought to life, if only for how it could influence today's younger generation - the virtues of friendship, honor, the will to renounce power, steadfastness, valor and so on and so forth. The whole is MUCH grander than the sum of its parts - its a matter of the story,casting,technology,location and direction coming together to arrive at such a LANDMARK. Truly. This is probably the DVD(set) that justifies the development of DVD technology, for content and quality.

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Peter Jackson
Actors:
Ian McKellen



DVD title: The Corrs - Unplugged
Productgroup: DVD
The Corrs - Unplugged - movie DVD cover picture
Excellent - worth every star


I've always liked the Corrs but this DVD really highlighted their talent (and beauty!) even more. Unplugged/acoustic music DVD's are always a measure of how much is real talent and musical proficiency. Especially with singing, there's no hiding a lack lustre performance behind sound effects and noisy crowds. Andrea's singing is spot on and the viewers are small in numbers so as she puts it, it is "intimate" giving it a different atmosphere to a concert of thousands.
I think their set list worked well to, also giving Andrea a break by having the other two sisters perform a duo.
I'd really like them to do another unplugged/acoustic set with some of their material as its been a few years now since this DVD was recorded.
The Corrs are real musicians and artists. No need for lip syncing here. If you're a Corrs fan, and can only afford one DVD, this is the one to get.

Studio: Music Video Distribu



DVD title: Zulu (Michael Caine)
Productgroup: DVD
Zulu (Michael Caine) - movie DVD cover picture
An historical and dramatic masterpiece


Zulu is one of the finest historical dramas and war films ever made. With excellent performances by Stanley Baker, Nigel Greene, Jack Hawkins and (at the time) newcomer Michael Caine, you feel the anquish, fear, desperation and exhiliration of men thrust into the brutality of a hopeless situation yet emerging triumphant. The costumes and weapons for both the British and Zulu warriors are stunning and accurate and both sides are portrayed in very human terms. The locations are also quite authentic. The John Barry soundtrack, written before his later awesome soundtracks for the early James Bond pictures, is terrific and will carry you along, both up and down, with the action in the film. Richard Burton does the brief narration at the beginning and end. There are many exciting and dramatic scenes recounting true events from the battle of Rourke's Drift. The scene where the Zulus sing their battle song and the British respond by singing "Men of Harlech" as a sign of their own courage sounds stunning and is filled with real tension. You'll want to watch this one many times!!!

Studio: Front Row Video, Inc
Director: Cy Endfield
Actors:
Richard Burton
Stanley Baker
Jack Hawkins




DVD title: He Touched Me - The Gospel Music of Elvis Presley
Productgroup: DVD
He Touched Me - The Gospel Music of Elvis Presley - movie DVD cover picture
A must have


If you want to get to know the soul of the real Elvis Presley, "He Touched Me" is a must. To hear the personal interviews with the people who worked and preformed with Elvis, tell of his kind and giving spirit it will bring a tear to your eye. His real friends tell the story of a much different Elvis Presley than the books drag through the dirt. They speak of a down to earth warm and giving person who deeply loved God and cared about people from all walks of life. "He Touched Me" is sure to touch you.

Studio: Emd/Chordant
Actors:
Elvis Presley



DVD title: The Concert for Bangladesh
Productgroup: DVD
The Concert for Bangladesh - movie DVD cover picture
You Might Want To Hold Off....


A new version of this great film with lots of new extra material is to be released at the end of 2005! Re-mastered and re-edited. I'm gonna wait a couple of more months!

Director: Saul Swimmer



DVD title: Scaramouche
Productgroup: DVD
Scaramouche - movie DVD cover picture
wonderful tale


It's all about the story. Sabatini used to crank these out - Scaramouche, Captain Blood, The Black Swan - and they were great as books and they have made great movies. This is one of the best. Of course, they have to do some movie shorthand. Stewart Granger (Moreau) has to wind up with Janet Leigh (Aline), so what do they do with Eleanor Parker (Lenore) who has saved his life and has been sharing his adventures through the most of the flick? Watch her skirts getting shorter all through the final duel! I'm not making this up! She starts out floor length and winds up in a tutu! She's obviously not the kind of girl the hero settles down with at the end.
Ignore this, or don't. This is still a spectacular movie. The villain is vile. The setting is exciting. The tale is lurid. The acting is delightfully overdone. Sabatini could really spin a yarn and the old Hollywood could really deliver it.

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: George Sidney (II)
Actors:
Stewart Granger
Janet Leigh




DVD title: Rapid Fire
Productgroup: DVD
Rapid Fire - movie DVD cover picture
Make way for Mr. Lee!!


RAPID FIRE is definitely a kung fu movie classic, and right now, my favorite Brandon Lee movie (Just about to watch the rather under-recognized LASER MISSION.) Brandon Lee stars as college student/martial arts master Jake Lo, who refuses to join Chinese Democracy activists, since his father was murdered for the very same cause. Lo becomes entangled in a web of diaster when mafia druglord Antonio Serrano (Nick Mancuso) murders the chief distributor of a competing drug lord Kinman Tau (Tzi Ma, from RUSH HOUR)to get ahold of his drug trade. Lo has the unenviable misfortune of witnessing the whole damn thing and must join forces with crusty chicago cop Ryan (Powers Booth) and his beautiful partner (Kate Hodge) to take down both Serrano AND Tau. Once the action starts, it doesn't stop. I think the climatic battle between Brandon and asian bad guy Al Leong (whose had duels with guys like Jean-Claude Van Damme and Bruce Willis) is this movies best and easily the best in '92, and finally one of the best ever. One of the quite abundant brawls even occurs on the chicago el, where Brandon and his opponent mostly just use steel rods as their weapons. A kung fu flick to be cherished by kung fu fans, as well as Brandon Lee fans all over the world. Buy this one right now, you won't regret it.

Studio: Fox Home Entertainme
Director: Dwight H. Little
Actors:
Brandon Lee
Powers Boothe




DVD title: The James Bond Collection, Volume 1
Productgroup: DVD
The James Bond Collection, Volume 1 - movie DVD cover picture
get it. get it now.


7 bond movies in one attractive box, and more on the way from MGM. not all the movies are top notch, like live and let die, but it keeps this collection diverse and entertaining. too bad lazenby isn't included in this set, but this box will keep you entertained for hours. and after you've seen the movies, don't forget to look at the tons of extra stuff on each dvd. if you want to build up a bond collection (and who doesn't?), start here.

Studio: Mgm/Ua Studios
Actors:
James Bond



DVD title: The Thin Red Line - DTS
Productgroup: DVD
The Thin Red Line - DTS - movie DVD cover picture
One of the most beautiful films ever made


I first saw TRL in the cinema in 99 and I came out half bored and very unsure about what I'd just seen, with my mates branding it a complete waste of time and money. Despite this i was still thinking about it 2 weeks after. 6 months later it still remained in my mind: images, sounds, faces, voices.Curiously, I got it out on video and watched it again and slowly began to appreciate it more and more, like i was slowly opening my eyes, the film had captured something truly unspoken, something deep and resonant, a certain quality you might sense in certain moments from your favourite films or in those peaceful or happy moments of your life. I've now watched it close to 25 times (and still haven't met anyone who actually likes it) and i've never said this about any film before but it gets better every single time i watch it, something new in it always lies waiting to be discovered or interpreted differently, or with new experience related to more intimately, giving it a whole new feeling.
It uses such a different narrative style to anything i've seen,the way it flows, the way is draws its characters and use of voiceovers is so unconventional it's no wonder that so many viewers are taken aback by it the first time they see it, we're so attached to the conventional narrative structure and rules its hard for us to appreciate or understand something so completely different in its telling, which is why i think it gets criticised as pretencious, boring...: it's a knee jerk reaction to something different, that we don't understand - hell, i had the same reaction.
For me the film is like a dream, like a river that flows, making the film almost organic. There's such life and power, deep feelings and emotions in this film that they don't wash away like your usual drama. Its use of symbols - both intelligent and profoud, the actors, especially jim caveizal, ben chaplin and sean penn, truly amazing, just the look on their faces, those moments of silence between characters speaks volumes. Unlike SPR this film doesn't stereotype the enemy but lets us see their tragedy as well in this war, making them real ppl, a true anti war film. I watch SPR again, despite thinking it great when I first saw it, it now feels so boring to me, so crassly American, so untrue. Now, the first 20 minutes doesn't carry the same impact anymore whereas trl's 40 minutes still resonates powerfully, like explosions of consciousness.
Sometimes i wish all films were like trl, and whenever I see a film that makes me depressed about the status of films today I quickly remember the Thin Red Line. So please, give this film a chance, see it a second time or a third time, let it take you with it, let it sweep you up, throw away your expectations, forget everything you've seen, the journey will be one you'll remember.

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
Director: Terrence Malick
Actors:
Sean Penn
James Caviezel
Nick Nolte




DVD title: Grease (Widescreen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Grease (Widescreen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
One of the classics!


I think this movie is such a fun representative of life "back in the day". Who would have thought that you could make a movie simply about a group of kids going through their senior year of school. It is a classic American tale.

Studio: Paramount Home Video
Director: Randal Kleiser
Actors:
John Travolta
Olivia Newton-John




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