Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Firefly - The Complete Series
Productgroup: DVD
Firefly - The Complete Series - movie DVD cover picture
Must-see ex-TV

Thank god for DVD. I somehow missed this show when it was first aired. The show has a huge cult following, and now I see why. Joss Whedon is a master of the drama-action-comedy genre. As with the fantasy element in Buffy and Angel, the sci-fi part of the show is great fun, but it's not the heart of the show. The characters and the relationships between them are great and complex. The dialog is zippy. And each scene has incredible detail in language, costuming, sets, and plot, so you can find something new each time you watch it. It's a masterpiece, and I can't wait for the spinoff movie Serenity to arrive (...)

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox Home Video
Nathan Fillion

DVD title: Monk - Season Three
Productgroup: DVD
Monk - Season Three - movie DVD cover picture
MONK - Season Three

We've been MONK fans, so when I saw the DVDs I knew I had to get them. My first purchase was the Third Season because there were episodes that just blew me away. "I've got NATURE -- on my HANDS!" is just one of the many gems. Tony Shalhoub is wonderful in his betrayal of a man whose amazing abilities are "a gift, and a burden". The transition from Sharona to Natalie was feared by the die-hard fans, but I really like Natalie. She "babies" less but still takes good care of Mr. Monk. DVDs of TV shows are wonderful to watch - you can stay in the game the whole way.
Whether you are already a fan, or new to his world, I HIGHLY recommend MONK-Season Three.

Studio: Universal Studios Ho
Tony Shalhoub

DVD title: Jeff Costa's Cardio Strip Tease Workout
Productgroup: DVD
Jeff Costa's Cardio Strip Tease Workout - movie DVD cover picture
Good Workout

I like Jeff's style and I found the work out really got my heart rate up and my muscles working. I do work out regularly - at least 5x a week and do weight training every other day, and I am not new to aerobics. I love this workout because it is NOT a traditional aerobics workout and it IS fun. The time goes by much faster and, for those like me who hate traditional aerobics and count down the minutes until its over, this one does not find me waiting for the time to end. Well worth the cost (and it is well priced), fun to do, and a true workout. What more can you say.

Studio: Ventura Distribution
Jeff Costa

DVD title: Batman - The TV Series
Productgroup: DVD
Batman - The TV Series - movie DVD cover picture
Da-da-da season one!!

Season one of Batman is chock-full of fun for the whole family. Kids are going to love the comic book appearance, and older viewers are going to appreciate the double entendres and in-jokes flying at them faster than the batcopter.

Bruce Wayne (Adam West) is the caped crusader. Together with young ward Dick Grayson (Burt Ward) as Robin, he protects Gotham from crime. Police Commissioner Jim Gordon (Neil Hamilton) and Police Chief O'Hara (Stafford Repp) are incapable of fighting crime on their own.

The dynamic duo lives at Wayne Manor with Alfred Pennyworth (Alan Napier) and Aunt Harriet (Madge Blake). The `Aunt Harriet' character was created specifically for this series so any suggestion that Batman and Robin were gay icons would be defused. Personally, superhero sexuality had never crossed my mind while watching this TV series, I was only interested in seeing Batman and Robin save the day (as usual).

This season (1966) has 34 episodes of comical hjinks. Each episode was a 2-parter which aired on different nights during the same week. This filming technique allowed for a greater scripting depth than would have been expected from a comedy genre made in the pop-wild 60's. Camp was indeed king in this Gotham City.

My favorite episodes include "The purrfect crime/better luck next time" which introduces us to the Catwoman (played by Julie Newmar during both this season and season 2). It also hints at the sexual tension existing between Catwoman and Batman. They are on opposite sides of the law, but this pair still feels for each other.

`Instant Freeze/Rats Like Cheese' has Batman and Robin battling Mr. Freeze (George Sanders) who for the sake of this TV series is really Dr. Shimmel instead of Victor Friese. This episode is memorable because Batman and Robin (despite all of their bat-gadgets) cannot recover from being frozen on their own and subsequently must receive treatment from the `Super-Hypotherm-De-Icifier Chamber Mark VII' machine located at Gotham City Hospital. Batman and Robin are crime-fighting superheroes, but they are not invincible or immortal.

Series aficionados will want to note the important trends begun during this season.

`The curse of Tut/The pharaoh's in a rut' is important because it is the first episode creating all-new villains specifically for this TV series instead of attempting to borrow from the Bob Kane detective series (which WASN'T happy go-lucky). At this point this villain roster expansion does not date itself as being set in the 1960's.

Jerry Lewis provides the first batclimb cameo appearance in `The bookworm turns'. These episodes had ironically aired during National Library week 1966. Lewis sticks his head out a building window to briefly chat with the dynamic duo while they are in hot pursuit of a criminal. A whole galaxy of stars and public figures followed his appearance in later episodes. It became a race to see who could get on the television.

The criminal lairs are always filmed `crooked' but there is not any violence as is measured by today's TV standards. Comic-book exclamations conveniently appear whenever there is a fight and no blood is spilt during any of the scenes.

The bat computer is now-obsolete, but for the 1960's and then to a 1980's child making do with a Commodore 64, it was really hi-tech.

Adam West

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

Tale of a young girl in Paris with uncanny intuition who finds herself in a state of boredom which she cures by helping others who are leading turbulent, unsatisfying lives. In doing so, she meets a man who touches her soul and eventually leads to love.

Look for how she firsts set up a meeting of the man through mystery.

Great movie for a date, assuming you're both romantic.

The director mentioned this started as a thriller but he so much enjoyed the love tale that he went with it. Good thing.

Studio: Miramax Home Entertainment
Director: Jean-Pierre Jeunet
Audrey Tautou
Mathieu Kassovitz

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

One word sums up the DVD. Excellent. This movie had a larger than life story to live up to and did an excellent job. I am a huge tolkien and have read all his books. I watched the movie with a critical eye. This movie had some slight changes in comparsion to the book but overall stayed true to the story line and charecter development. A MUST SEE.

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Peter Jackson
Ian McKellen

DVD title: Kiki's Delivery Service
Productgroup: DVD
Kiki's Delivery Service - movie DVD cover picture
A Breezy Adventurous Ride

Kiki's Delivery Service, by my favorite anime creator Hayao Miyazaki, is excellent and perfect for carrying a hidden message underneath the light weight action and drama. Kiki is a thirteen year old witch-in-training. As is customs, she is sent to live by herself in a city. Kiki chooses a delightful European city bustling with buzz. She makes an impression on the townfolk by blowing in with a broomstick, along with her wisecracking cat, Gigi. She searches for a job, and finds one as a delivery girl for a local bakery. Kiki encounters what all teenagers go through: insecurity, loneliness, boredom, and eventually loses her greatest talent--flying. From that experience, she learns from a former struggling artist that you need to do what you love from the heart. Voice acting is brilliant. Kirsten Dunst sounds believable as Kiki, and Phil Hartman is hilarious as Gigi. Unlike other animes, the voices aren't too squeaky or sound really stupid. Also, there is a great message, as I mentioned earlier, underneath this movie. There are wonderful role models and rememberable characters that will stay in your heart, whether you like it, or not.

Studio: Walt Disney Home Video
Director: Hayao Miyazaki
Minami Takayama

DVD title: Tremors 2: Aftershocks
Productgroup: DVD
Tremors 2: Aftershocks - movie DVD cover picture
Return Of The Graboids

In Tremors 2, Earl is asked to take a quick trip to Mexico for some Grabboid extermination. For newbies to Tremors, Grabboids are huge killer worms that live underground that are REALLY strong and have long snake-like tongues to attack surface dwellers. After Earl and his new partner realize they need some help. Burt, one of Earl's partners from the first Grabboid attack. Burt the one-man army brings enough ammo to start a nuclear holocaust. After some more Grabboid hunting. Earl and his new partner, Grady, find a Grabbid that seems to be sick. Shortly after, it releases six new creatures from its insides. These creatures are small, two legged animals with Infrared(Heat) sensors on their heads. Named "Shriekers", they prove more of a nuisance than the Grabboid since they travel above ground, are nearly as strong, and travel in groups. Earl and Grady find themselves stranded as they wreck their car and the shriekers take out the radio tower. Burt also runs into trouble in an ambush situation. Tremors 2 proves to lie up to the previous installment and mixes Thrills with Comedy. A definant FIVE STARS.

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: S.S. Wilson
Fred Ward

DVD title: Strange Brew
Productgroup: DVD
Strange Brew - movie DVD cover picture
Very Funny, entertaining.

How can you go wrong with donuts and beer? A must see for all young teenagers looking to pick up a bad habit. If you don't like it, just release a jar of moths in your living room and and you'll get your money back. So just sit back, grab some corn and its uh movie time. Oh geez i gotta whiz.

Studio: Warner Home Video
Dave Thomas
Rick Moranis

DVD title: The Awful Truth
Productgroup: DVD
The Awful Truth - movie DVD cover picture
Screwball at it's best!

One of the great screwball comedies-right up there with Bringing Up Baby, His Girl Friday and the films of Preston Sturges. Cary Grant is hilarious and Irene Dunne is equally inspired. Very, very funny-see/buy it right now!

Studio: Columbia Tristar Hom
Director: Leo McCarey
Irene Dunne
Cary Grant

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Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Harry Potter (J.K. Rowling))
The Chronicles of Narnia
Knife of Dreams (Wheel of Time, Book 11)

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