Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: McMillan & Wife - Season One
Productgroup: DVD
McMillan & Wife - Season One - movie DVD cover picture
My Favorite finally on DVD

As a fan of Susan Saint James, I have been waiting a long time for this to be released on DVD. Season 1 was probably the best of the series, but hopefully 2-5 will be forthcoming soon. Quality of the picture is excellent, although some dirt and grain is visible in many scenes. No extras are provided, nor are there any additional flyers inside the package. Fans of the show will be very pleased nonetheless. In my opinion this is the series that elevated Susan Saint James' career and spotlighted her incredible beauty!

Studio: Universal Studios

DVD title: The Royal Tenenbaums (The Criterion Collection)
Productgroup: DVD
The Royal Tenenbaums (The Criterion Collection) - movie DVD cover picture
Tasty little morsel of a movie

I knew nothing about this movie before seeing it...just the few trailers I had seen on television.
I was delightfully surprised. This movie entertained, had a great cast with good lines, a good sound track, and provided a bit of food for thought. It was not a straight comedy, and there were some sad situations within this strange and dysfunctional family. This viewer felt a whole range of emotions while watching the film.
It was a different kind of comedy, one without huge belly laughs -- more subtle and quirky than the run-of-the-mill comedy. While sometimes a bit awkward, I thought this reflected how the neurotic members of this family actually were--not really comfortable with each other but loving in their own unique way.
Glad I saw it.

Studio: Buena Vista Home Vid
Director: Wes Anderson
Gene Hackman
Gwyneth Paltrow

DVD title: Kill Bill, Volume 1
Productgroup: DVD
Kill Bill, Volume 1 - movie DVD cover picture
Here Comes The Bride!

One of the greatest films of the past year has to be Quentin Tarantino's epic "Kill Bill - Volume 1." Proudly dubbed as 'The 4th Film By Quentin Tarantino,' the film is both a masterpiece is modern day action cinema and also in popular culture associations. By blending many themes and genres, Tarantino creates one of the most exciting and enjoyable films of the past decade. A film that breaks new ground and raises the bar for future action films whilst simultaneously giving birth to an icon in the form of The Bride.
In the early 1990's Tarantino reigned supreme as the ultimate director of pop culture smashes. "Reservoir Dogs," "Pulp Fiction" and "Jackie Brown" made him the hottest man to work with, and even though he only made three films in the space of this decade, he certainly changed the 90's. I was too young to witness any of these movies being only a youngster at the time, but as 2003 rolled on, I knew I had to see his fourth film. Just something about the trailer made it a must-see. Maybe it was the settings? The dialogue? The costumes? The overpour of blood, contrasted with the yellow of The Bride's jumpsuit? Whatever the reason, I knew this would be a good film...
In "Kill Bill - Volume 1," Uma Thurman stars as The Bride (real name 'unknown') who is on a non-stop, blood-thirsty killing spree of revenge to claim justice on the people who left her for dead four and a half years previously. The Bride was once a loyal member of the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad (DIVAS) of which Bill (David Carradine) was the boss. She was previously known as Black Mamba and decided she wanted to leave to start a family and get married. Bill didn't take too kindly to this, and on the day of her wedding, Bill sent four of his top murderers to dispatch of her. They nearly succeeded in their quest, slaughtering all the guests. However, The Bride survived and lay in a coma for four and a half years, until she woke up, and - realising she had lost her child - sets out to exact her revenge on all those who tried to kill her off.
This is where the film truly begins, but one must take into account that the film is sliced up into five different sections, all muddled up, which makes it a difficult film to follow in terms of sequencing. After your first viewing though, you'll get a grip of it. Uma Thurman pulls off her role as The Bride exceptionally well and you get a real sense of authenticity portrayed through her character. Helping her on her quest around the world for revenge is the Samurai sword expert Hattori Hanzo (Sonny Chiba). This character brings about the oriental feel to the film, and also humor through his bickering with his annoying assistant. The first scene we witness is the killing of Vernita Green aka Copperhead (Vivica Fox) in her home, kitchen utensils and all. It's a fantastic scene and the gruesome display of blood is shockingly realistic, preparing the viewer for the real action that is to happen. There's also the fantastic scene between The Bride in her comatose state of mind when the evil nurse, Elle Driver, aka California Mountain Snake (Daryl Hannah) proceeds to inject her in one of the most brilliant scenes of the film. Then there's the gruesome scenes between Buck (Michael Bowen) and a welcome return from Michael Madsen as Budd, aka Sidewinder.
Under Bill are killers like O-Ren Ishii, aka Cottonmouth (Lucy Liu), whose introduction, via the Japanese Animation, was great. After this we see one of the greatest scenes of the entire film after about an hour when Cottonmouth dispatches of Boss Tanaka (Jun Kunimura) who works on her team. He questions her Chinese/American heritage and is unhappy about a female boss leader, and the speech she delivers after his beheading is truly a classic! Under Cottonmouth is her personal assistant, lawyer and translator, Sofie Fatale (Julie Dreyfus), who was present at the slaughtering of The Bride. When The Bride sees Sofie once again, she is pretty bitter about what Sofie let have happen to her. What we hear has happened to Sofie at the hands of The Bride is truly unbelievable.
Another of Cottonmouth's women is a little girl, Go Go Yubari (Chiaki Kuriyama), who is more deadly than she looks. Her school girl sound and look is very interesting, while her confrontation with The Bride highly entertaining and definitely one of the highlights of the entire film! The violence is at a real high here and the ball-and-chain moments are truly tense. The final demise of Cottonmouth is truly spectacular in the Japanese garden, decorated with snow and feeling very authentic and representative of the popular culture of Western martial arts flicks. The fight scenes just before this with Cottonmouth's company of masked men is truly amazing too, but the scenes of black and white are a big disappointment. I know they had to be censored because of violence, but it still takes away from the overall brilliance of the film.
Overall Kill Bill - Volume 1 is one of the best films I think that I have ever seen. It was definitely the best film of 2003, only overshadowed by The Return Of The King! People are moaning about this film containing too much violence. These are obviously the conservative losers of Middle America who think that violence doesn't exist! We live in a world filled with it! God knows everyone knows it in the current world we live in...
People need to stop thinking of this film as trashy, because it is anything but! The film itself is based on old martial arts film and obviously incorporates that cheesy factor, but this only adds to its brilliance. Quentin certainly knows how to make his money as this film was originally going to be a 3 hour long epic, but he decided to split it in two! Therefore, he makes twice as much money at the box office and on DVD sales. He's not stupid! Look out for a Box Set of Volume 1 and Volume 2 some time this year with tons of special features. There isn't many on this release for a reason! The Soundtrack is also excellent, but that's another review for another time...

Studio: Miramax
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Uma Thurman
Lucy Liu
Daryl Hannah
David Carradine
Michael Madsen

DVD title: Spider-Man (Full Screen Special Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Spider-Man (Full Screen Special Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Spider-Man swings to the top of the super-movie heap.

Perhaps the best super-hero movie made to date, Spider-Man delivers on the hype with an updated and interesting take on the wall-crawler's origin and a wonderful performance from both Toby Maguire as Spidey/Peter Parker and Wilem Dafoe as the nemesis Green Goblin/Norman Osborn.The characters seem to stay true to their classic motivations as backed up by some 40-odd years of mythology. There is something for all movie fans in this film, as the love-interest played by Kirsten Dunst as Mary-Jane Watson provides nice counterpoint to the battle scenes with Spider-Man and his various contagonists.Also, in a small but dead-on role, the actor that plays J.Jonah Jamison, the editor of the paper 'The Daily Bugle' looks like he could have been cloned right from the comic book page, if such a thing were possible. His part is fun and funny. It seemed like all the actors were having a good time with this project and it shows in the performances. I wouldn't take my 5 year-old, though. The Green Goblin would scare the teeth out of his mouth!Go see this movie as soon as you can.

Studio: Columbia Tri-Star
Director: Sam Raimi
Tobey Maguire
Kirsten Dunst

DVD title: Fahrenheit 9/11
Productgroup: DVD
Fahrenheit 9/11 - movie DVD cover picture
Who Slants the Facts?

Moore has made a good movie. Is he in your face? Yes. Does he care? No. Sounds like someone called Bush. Anyway, I enjoyed the movie and knew he would slant toward his viewpoint. That is ok. At least he didn't lead us into a war with his slant of the facts.

Studio: Columbia Tristar Hom
Director: Michael Moore (II)
Michael Moore (II)

DVD title: The Missing (Widescreen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
The Missing (Widescreen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture

In "The Missing", art really does imitate life, as solid writing, combined with director Ron Howard's methodic, upstanding work behind the camera are apt to prove. As for the film's content and storyline, one can truly tell Ron Howard is a master of study, who really did his homework on the Native American and his struggle of hardship and war. Sides are formed, as two tribes go to war. As hostages are taken by the Navajo tribe, an honorable Apache (Tommy Lee Jones) sees to it to capture his tribesmen, and that no casualties are lost. A local villager (Cate Blanchett) takes to him immediately, and somehow copes with all that befalls her. Battle lines are then drawn, as further lives are jeopardized in the process. As director, Ron Howard should be given utmost credit in helping establish said battle lines, letting the viewing audience draw them inside this dangerous zone. Also, Mr. Howard should be given extraordinary kudos, as for his various use of pan camera angles thoughout the picture, creating dramatic turns at various points in the story. As one could tell, Mr. Howard did not want to waste the audience's time by dealing with minor issues, such as tribal customs and culture of the Navajo and Apache tribes (ex: clothing styles, such as moccasins, vests, feathers, etc., culinary "cuisine", Native American artwork, and other items). All of the above would have just dragged the picture along, creating a plodding effect. Instead, focusing on the trials and tribulations of family and war added key elements to "The Missing"'s storyline - to which nothing's missing at all. The only minor problem with the story, is the use of weaponry during the battle scenes. I'm quite sure that in 1855, rifles were in use, and not handguns (such as magnums or colt 45's). An interesting point: Weren't tomahawks in use at that time? It is because of these minor qualms why "The Missing" gets a 4 1/2 star rating instead of 5. Also, where are the cowboys? You can't have Indians without cowboys, especially in a Western-oriented motion picure such as this. So instead, we are saddled with ordinary, plain-clothesed "frontiersmen". Regardless, in spite of such minor flaws, I hope Ron Howard decides to direct another Western in the future, simply because he captured the realism of the Native American spirit so perfectly. In conclusion, you don't want to be one of "The Missing", but instead one of "The Present & Accounted For" at your local theater today! This title has "Best Picture of 2003" honors written all over it, which means you'll want to own a copy on video in the not-too-distant future as well.

Studio: Columbia Tristar Hom
Director: Ron Howard
Tommy Lee Jones
Cate Blanchett
Evan Rachel Wood

DVD title: Yu Yu Hakusho - Old Rivals, New Problems (Uncut)
Productgroup: DVD
Yu Yu Hakusho - Old Rivals, New Problems (Uncut) - movie DVD cover picture
YYH The Adrenaline Rush!

In this DVD, Yuske and Sensui Clash in a fight to stope the tunnel between the worlds. To me, the character to keep an eye on would be either Kurama or Yuske. I was hoping that Yoko would return but they run into an old rival (Hence the DVD title)that Kurama has to deal with and knew he was present in another one of "the seven" psychics in the area. Keep an eye on the fight between Yuske and Sensui, It is like a roller coaster, one turn after another in this DVD. I can't wait for the next DVD "In the Blood."

Studio: Funimation Productio

DVD title: A Bridge Too Far
Productgroup: DVD
A Bridge Too Far - movie DVD cover picture
The Best Color War Film Ever Made

Unlike Saving Private Ryan, A Brigde Too Far focus on warfare rather than focus a group of soldiers in WWII. An all-star team of actors and actresses gathered in this epic-making war film since The Longest Day. It was the most expansive, most cast member and most extras in a single film. No such movie will ever be made again. A Bridge Too Far is about Operation Markets Garden--an operation that could end WWII early before Christmas. Watch the inception of the operation, the planning, the opposing force, the air drops, the bombardment, etc.

Studio: Mgm/Ua Studios
Director: Richard Attenborough
Michael Caine
Sean Connery
Gene Hackman
Ryan O'Neal
Laurence Olivier

DVD title: The Wonder Years
Productgroup: DVD
The Wonder Years - movie DVD cover picture
I hope they make it bilingual

In Mexico City, "the wonder years" was an amazing Hit, and the translation was excellent in spanish. I hope they gave us a Box Set and i hope they make it bilingual, or in any case put the subtitles....

Dan Lauria

DVD title: Real Genius
Productgroup: DVD
Real Genius - movie DVD cover picture
what more could you want?

Lasers, a government conspiracy, an indoor beach party, a crazy guy who lives in the closet, fake ids, hilariously clever pranks, an evil professor, wacky inventions, popcorn... what more could you want in a comedy film?Seriously, this movie is a genuine classic of 1980s teen comedy, enough so that I impulse-bought it on the basis of a very dim memory of having watched it at a party once, long ago. I have never once come close to regretting the purchase.Underappreciated and generally regarded as a cult classic among brainy sorts, this movie is the story of a bunch of college geniuses who, upon discovering that their professor intends to turn their physics project over to the military to be used for EVIL, plot hilarious revenge. If you're looking for intelligent satire, look elsewhere, but if you want college-film laughs, impeccably-delivered one-liners, and a very, very funny Val Kilmer (seriously, I had no idea he was capable of being so incredibly funny) in the days before he became a big star, look no further.I've always wanted to bring the tape in to my high school physics teacher and ask him if any of the science holds up.

Studio: Columbia Tristar Hom
Director: Martha Coolidge
Val Kilmer

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