Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Monstruos, Inc. (Monsters, Inc. - Spanish Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Monstruos, Inc. (Monsters, Inc. - Spanish Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
More Family Magic from Pixar! Great DVD Extras!

"Monster's, Inc." combines a fantastic cast, cutting edge imagination, and a tender storyline into a wonderful, delightful family film . . . it may even cure the nighttime frights of your wee ones!
Most of us were scared stiff at some point in our childhood by the spooky, imaginary "monsters in the closet," usually after we've read "Where the Wild Things Are" for the first time. "Monsters, Inc." plays on that near-universal fear by creating a rational explanation -- monsters live in a parallel universe, connected to ours by closet doors, and they power their land by the energy contained in human screams. Makes perfect sense!
Sulley (the hilarious John Goodman) is a celebrity in Monstropolis as the leading scare-getter for Monster's, Inc. Sulley is generally a lovable big blue yeti-bear-creature, but he can be quite terrifying. Blissfully unaware of the terror he unleashes, he enjoys his job. Basking in Sulley's reflected glory is his sidekick and assistant, Mike Waznowski (Billy Crystal, perfect as ever). Mike is a lime-green-yellow glob with one giant eye and an even larger mouth. He helps Sulley get the screams and stay one step ahead of the competition.
And the competition is fierce. The dragon-chameleon Boggs (Steve Buscemi, suitably creepy without being too scary for the kids) is right on Sulley's heels to be the scream champion, and he's willing to go to any lengths to beat his nemesis.
All is well in Monstropolis until Boo, a human child, accidentally finds her way through the closet and into Monstropolis. It seems that as scared as kids are of monsters, the monsters are equally scared of the kids -- their touch (allegedly) brings death and ruin. (This misunderstanding leads to great comic scenes as X-Files-type HAZMAT crews invade every time there's a kid sighting, usually to the woe of the monster who has seemingly been infected by the kid!)
Like all Pixar films, the glories are in the details. Check out the gentle satire of Hollywood celebrity culture, of mindless bureaucracy, and the perils of romance in the office. The animation is also wonderful -- Pixar continues to evolve with every picture. For example, Sulley's fuzzy hair is fully articulated as he zooms through various escapades.
The story is fast-paced, with enough jokes to keep the adults laughing . . . which is good, 'cause your kids will likely keep throwing this into the DVD player.
Speaking of the DVD -- there are lots of fun extras on this two-disc set. Personal favorites include the fake "outtakes," similar to those at the end of "A Bug's Life," a short film featuring Mike showing Sulley his new hi-tech car (with hilarious consequences), and an Oscar-winning short film, "For the Birds," which shows how funny animation can be, even in short doses. There are additional extras that will keep the kiddies occupied for hours.
All in all, a must for the family's DVD library.

Studio: Walt Disney Home Video
John Goodman
Billy Crystal

DVD title: The Silence of the Lambs - Criterion Collection
Productgroup: DVD
The Silence of the Lambs - Criterion Collection - movie DVD cover picture
An Exceptional Psychological Thriller!

After recently seeing "Hannibal" in the movie theater I was drawn to the original movie and storyline staring Jodie Foster as Clarice Starling a rookie FBI agent, along with Anthony Hopkins as the master of etiquette and grace that we have come to know as "Hannibal the Cannibal". The movie opens with agent Starling running alone through the woods, the music is suspenseful and she keeps looking off through the trees and over her shoulder. This sets the precedent for a movie that is more of a psychological roller coaster ride than a gore flick.
Starling is assigned to meet with the serial killer Hannibal Lector who has a tendency to eat his victims. Our first shot of him is another masterful stroke of cinematography. He stands demurely in the center of his cell, his arms by his sides, a small figure of a man, not quite the animal he has been built up to be. What follows is an intricate dance of verbiage between Clarice and Lector that lasts till the surprise ending. At one point Clarice tells a co-worker that she has no fear of Lector killing her that she is confident that he would find that unacceptable and rude. The relationship is certainly an interesting one as he helps Starling capture a serial murderer that has plagued the area. Of course it is all a word game and she has to figure out his clues.
This was a suspenseful and entertaining movie, not the type of movie I usually enjoy but it was so well done I have to give it 5 stars. 3/2/01

Studio: Home Vision Entertainment
Director: Jonathan Demme
Jodie Foster
Anthony Hopkins

DVD title: A Knight's Tale
Productgroup: DVD
A Knight's Tale - movie DVD cover picture
Absolutely Fantabulous

This film is the best and i have seen it many times. All the characters play excellent parts and it has a excellent setting. My favourite actor/actress in this film is Heath Ledger because is not only is he mighty fine he is an awsome actor and person. He actually looks like he loves the lady. Nobody gives him the credit he deserves. I think that the plot of a thatchers son 'changing his stars' and becoming a knight is fabulous. As yet i have not had a chance to buy the DVD but i have it on video and reguarly watch it.

Studio: Columbia/Tristar Studios
Director: Brian Helgeland
Heath Ledger
Mark Addy

DVD title: Patlabor - The Mobile Police, The TV Series Boxed Set (Vols. 1-4)
Productgroup: DVD
Patlabor - The Mobile Police, The TV Series Boxed Set (Vols. 1-4) - movie DVD cover picture
Excellent content, but so-so DVD transfer

Patlabor is certainly one of the best series of its time. You'll find some great characters here, along with memorable episodes of both drama and comedy. Don't go into this expecting a lot of giant robot battles and explosions, though. Patlabor has a few of those, but this series is mostly about the people, not the robots. If you like character-driven anime, this is the series for you.
The first few episodes of this DVD set aren't quite the best Patlabor has to offer, but the series finds its feet very quickly, so much so that this set has some of the best of the 47 episode run of this series. The two-part plot of "Eve's Trap" and "Eve's Shudder" will please action fans, and "Ota's Afternoon of Puzzlement", "You Win!", and "Captain Goto is the Target" are some of the funniest episodes of Patlabor. The rest of the episodes on the disc are also great.
The DVD transfer is just about average, though. There aren't many obvious video or audio errors, but the menus are a bit lacking, and the extras are weak. The subtitles are also slightly off. They miss almost all of the onscreen text, making a few scenes hard to understand if you can't read Japanese. Unfortunately, this DVD version is also saddled with a terrible English dub. As if overacting and cheesy delivery weren't enough, most of the actors can't seem to properly pronounce the characters' names. A real shame, especially considering the sterling quality of the original Japanese voice acting. Be sure to watch this one with subtitles!
All in all, I give this DVD set 5 stars for content, and three for presentation. It's too bad that Central Park Media didn't spend more time on the production for these DVDs... but this set is still the best way by far to see this classic series, so don't hesitate to buy.

Studio: Wea Corp

DVD title: Sting - All This Time
Productgroup: DVD
Sting - All This Time - movie DVD cover picture
Beautiful Music by wonderful musicians

For any listener who loves positive and soothing music, this is Sting at his best. The DVD includes a documentary of Sting, practice sessions with the band and an excellent concert! The concert takes place in Sting's home(located in Tuscany) with his family and friends as the honorary guests. All of these elements result in a peaceful and loving concert. There is also a good mixture of Sting's past and present music. Lastly, the visual and sound quality is really great.

Studio: Uni/A&M
Director: Jim Gable

DVD title: Weird Science
Productgroup: DVD
Weird Science - movie DVD cover picture
Hilariously funny!!!!

This is a hilarious movie it is about Anthony Michael Hall one of my favorite 1980's actors he and his friends wear bras on their heads and get on the pc and create a woman and this woman is Kelly LeBrock she is created and she has special powers and she does whatever and whenever she wants to people she is so funny Gary and Wyatt are her masters she gives them whatever they want and she teaches them courage and she really fixes Wyatt's brother Chet very good she turns him into an ugly lizard and then he learns how to treat Wyatt more better and the movie is just so hilarious I would truly recommend anyone to buy this movie I really did enjoy it . If you grew up in the 1980's and if you are an Anthony Michael Hall fan I would truly recommend that you buy this dvd!!!!

Studio: Image Entertainment
Director: John Hughes
Anthony Michael Hall
Kelly LeBrock
Ilan Mitchell-Smith

DVD title: 24 - Season One
Productgroup: DVD
24 - Season One - movie DVD cover picture
Best Television in Years!

What can I say that hasn't already been said about this show? In a television universe filled to overflowing with tired cop/doctor/lawyer dramas, "24" is an intense breath of fresh air. Never before have I been kept on the edge of my seat while watching a television program as I did when I first saw "24." It is intelligent, well-written and beautifully shot, but the format gives it time to develop itself unlike so many of the action movies one might see in the theater.

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox Home Video
Kiefer Sutherland

DVD title: Freddy vs. Jason (New Line Platinum Series)
Productgroup: DVD
Freddy vs. Jason (New Line Platinum Series) - movie DVD cover picture
Loved it!

If you love this kind of movie, which I do, you won't be disapointed!So many have reviewed it, don't have that much to add, but I do like the fact that they brought some Asian tallent into the mix for the fight scenes, not that it has become a karate movie in the least, but unlike the other Freddy, and Jason movies, this one is in part about a fight, and no one does physical battles better!

Studio: New Line Home Entertainment
Director: Ronny Yu
Ken Kirzinger
Robert Englund
Kelly Rowland

DVD title: Grand Illusion - Criterion Collection
Productgroup: DVD
Grand Illusion - Criterion Collection - movie DVD cover picture
Just an interesting fact

This film was made about 65 years ago, so those looking for explosions, bullets, and butchery had better go with something more recent. For modern viewers to watch this, they'll have to have patience. Most of what you see here has been replayed many times over since this came out. There's the rag-tag bunch of prisoners in POW camps; the escape attempts; the prisoner/captor repartee; the escapee/refuge love interest. Once you get into though, it becomes engrossing.
And when it's over, you'll find this a beautiful film. And I'm not talking cinematography (although it is very good). I'm talking about the beauty of humanity. There is something about this film that displays humanity in its noble, respectful glory. You don't see the hate and violence of war; you see the duty and honor of country and individuals. People are treated like fellow humans, not like cattle let to the slaughter. It's actually quite touching, I must say. Althought, while not being totally naive about the horrors of war, since this film was set in WWI and came out prior to WWII and most of the Nazi abominations, that may explain some of its respect for life.
Ok, back to beauty. Criterion has done a magnificent job with this transfer. The picture is sharp and, for the most part, scratch-free. The before-and-after comparison is impressive. There are the typical extras found on the DVD, including an introduction by the director himself, Jean Renoir, and an interesting story about the film's history.
Typically with Criterion DVDs, it is expensive. But for those who want a cinematic classic and aren't concerned with the price, it's a must-have. Five-star recommendation. At least try to rent it.

Studio: Criterion Collection
Director: Jean Renoir
Jean Gabin
Dita Parlo

DVD title: Spirited Away
Productgroup: DVD
Spirited Away - movie DVD cover picture
just wow!

I rented this movie on hearing that it was supposed to be good. I was a big fan of anime in my high school days and have kind oif gotten out of that loop. My general disappointment with most anime is that translation is bad and before DVD usually all you could get was the English dub. Then usually the English dubs are terrible. I was veryimpresed though with the ability to view the film in both english and japanese with english subtitles. Also, the English dub is rather impressive. It almost word for word matches the Japanese subtutles and takes a little bit of lisence making the language more natural. The subtitles are very cut and dry. The English language track on the DVD is one of the best I've heard. Disney really went all out on this one. The story is really an amazing one. It's very compelling. One would think that a 2 hour animated film is toomuch but this movie is well worth the 2 hours. It is really a great film. All i can say is wow. Though the second disc of the set is really kind of worthless. There are a couple neat little things but all in all there isn't too much to get excited about, but the movie makes up for it! It's awesome!

Studio: Walt Disney Home Video
Director: Hayao Miyazaki
Miyu Irino

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