Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Napoleon Dynamite
Productgroup: DVD
Napoleon Dynamite - movie DVD cover picture
Napolean, go make yourself a quesodilla!

AHHHH! I love this movie! It is so out there and not your normal movie. The actor who plays Napolean is absolutely superb. He has "mad skills!" I have to say ... you will either love or hate this movie. There is no in-between. PS Make sure you see the version with the "new" ending (it has a wedding!)

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox Home Video
Director: Jared Hess
Jon Heder
Jon Gries
Efren Ramirez

DVD title: The Masque of the Red Death / The Premature Burial
Productgroup: DVD
The Masque of the Red Death / The Premature Burial - movie DVD cover picture
Corman's the man...

I just bought this double-movie DVD and am most impressed. The films, themselves, are entertaining, but the greatest feature is that on each film, Corman has an interview describing his motivations regarding each film. This in itself is wonderful, as I've always admired Corman...indeed, he is one of our finest to create a substantial body of work as somewhat of an "indpendent", not relying on studio politics. I found his observations as riveting as the films themselves. FOR EXAMPLE: I always wondered why "The Premature Burial" starred Ray Milland instead of Price. Corman explains that he wanted this as an independent break from AIP, and Price was under contract with AIP. That it was ultimately made by AIP is another interesting point (see for yourself). ALSO: Floyd Crosby was the cinematographer for most of Corman's Poe films; he was ruined by the McCarthy witch-hunt, though an oft-decorated war hero, and Corman didn't care. All he saw here was a talented photographer. ALSO: He tried out a new and up-coming cinematographer for "Masque", the wonderful Nicholas Roeg, whose reputation now speaks for itself. ALSO: "Masque" was supposed to be the second in the Poe series, but Corman's favorite and most-admired director, Ingmar Bergman, had just released "The Seventh Seal", and Corman thought there might be comparisons. I don't want to tell you too much about these wonderful interviews with Corman, but I would recommend you watch these before each film. The insight is most profound. "The Premature Burial" has never been released on VHS or DVD, so this is a first. The transfer is excellent, and the use of color is quite stunning...the reddist reds, deepest browns, and the usual Corman eeriness, i.e., lots of fog. I liked this one, though it was never my favorite of the Poe films. It's definitely worth your attention, with a twist ending. "Masque" is one of Corman's most admired Poe films. Corman admits that it's the only screenplay that required re-writes, adding the "Hop-Toad" sequences. Jane Asher is gorgeous, as is Hazel Court (in both films), and there's a wonderfully nasty featured role by Patrick McGee. Corman also had a bigger budget and more time to make this. Here again, the use of color is prevalent, but not red as you might think. The greens and blues seem to represent bad guys. Both films are presented in a good Panavision 2.35:1 LBX, which is great, especially in "Masque", which borrowed the sets from "Becket" and "A Man for All Seasons". (You COULD do worse...). They're gorgeous. This is a great package, not only for the very reasonable price. The interviews with Corman are essential to the ultimate appreciation of these films. Watch them first; then, enjoy! ALSO NOTICE: Maybe it's just me, but the vivid colors of the candles in the candlabras (in both films) seem to stand out. Great color photography!

Studio: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Director: Roger Corman
Vincent Price

DVD title: 10 Things I Hate About You
Productgroup: DVD
10 Things I Hate About You - movie DVD cover picture

You just HAVE to see this movie! It's one of the best I have ever seen in my life! Julia Stiles made the person that she played beleiveable! It's cool that it's the same plot as the Shakespeare The Taming of the Shrew. I saw 10 Things I Hate About You over and over! It's THE BEST MOVIE!!!!

Studio: Touchstone Video
Director: Gil Junger
Heath Ledger
Julia Stiles

DVD title: The Deer Hunter
Productgroup: DVD
The Deer Hunter - movie DVD cover picture

This is easily among the best movie of all time. this is a powerful piece of film-making and a rare treat: a 'war' movie with nostalgia. Great performances all around, but especially DeNiro and Walken. While 3 hours long it is never boring, it shows you what's happening before, during and after the Vietnam War, in a small Pennsylvania town. It also shows you what happens to men after a war and the impact it leaves in their personalities. Great direction by Cimino, and a low-key score make it enjoyable. A must-see, one of the greats. From a scale of 1-10 I give this movie a 10!

Studio: Umvd
Director: Michael Cimino
Robert De Niro
Christopher Walken

DVD title: The Matrix
Productgroup: DVD
The Matrix - movie DVD cover picture
Excellent Effects

This is one of the first DVDs I saw and I must say that this film is exceptionally remarkable when viewed on this media. Ok, so some people have pointed out anamolies in the story line. Honestly, when you see this film, you may wonder about or debate these small points, but I think that is part of the whole idea. Not only do you enjoy the wonderful effects, the storyline is intellectually stimulating as well, notwithstanding the possible gaps in logic. A great DVD to rent or own.

Studio: Warner Studios
Keanu Reeves
Laurence Fishburne
Carrie-Anne Moss

DVD title: Friends - The Complete Second Season
Productgroup: DVD
Friends - The Complete Second Season - movie DVD cover picture
The Complete Second Season (1995-1996)

"Friends" became a bigger hit than anybody had expected it to be. After the first season, ratings were sky high. The cast came back in September of 1995 for their long, anticipated second season.

Our six best friends are back in their second season. Picking up where the final episode of the first season had left off, Rachel anxiously waits at the airport for Ross, who is flying back to the states from China. Rachel is so anxious to tell him that she knows about his love for her and that she feels the same way, hoping she and Ross could start dating. But Rachel is heartbroken when she finds Ross stepping off of the plane with another woman named Julie.

For the first few episodes, Ross continues to date Julie, while Rachel angrily bickers over it. We also learn that Phoebe is secretly married to a gay Canadian ice dancer named Duncan. He only married Phoebe for his greencard. Phoebe spends time with Duncan after a night of performing. He tells Phoebe that he needs a divorce because he met someone else...a woman. Turns out that Duncan was not gay. The woman he is seeing is about to become his future wife. Also, Monica and Rachel's annoying neighbor, Mr. Heckles, who lives one floor below them, passes on. Mr. Heckles was a lonely hermit. Chandler learns that when Heckles was young, he dismissed woman that had features that just didn't sit right with him. Chandler realizes that he does the exact same thing. He calls Janice, wanting to get back together with her, wanting to make a commitment, but Janice couldn't wait around for Chandler. Janice had gotten married to the boss of Mattress King. The two have a kid on the way.

Rachel learns that her ex-fianc?, Barry, is engaged to her best friend, Mindy, who was supposed to stand as Rachel's maid of honor. Ross suddenly finds out about Rachel's feelings for him. He breaks up with Julie and hopes to date Rachel, but Chandler and Joey talk him into making up a list of pros and cons between the girls. Rachel becomes angry and then dismisses the idea of dating Ross. But she changes her mind when she and Monica watch the home video of their Senior Prom. Rachel's date practically never showed up, forcing Ross to vow to take Rachel. But when Ross comes downstairs, finally dressed. Rachel's date shows up, leaving Ross heartbroken. Feeling terrible about knowing this, Rachel decides to give the romance a chance with Ross.

Monica, with Phoebe's help, caters for a party, held by Dr. Richard Burke. Richard is an ophthalmologist, who is best friends with Monica and Ross' dad. But Richard and Monica find love in each other's eyes and the two begin a healthy relationship, despite the 25-year age difference. Joey is offered a small role on one episode of Days Of Our Lives as a cab driver, but the producers changed their minds and gave Joey the permanent role of Dr. Drake Ramoray on the same show. But Joey was killed off early, when he revealed that he changes his lines. Rachel finds out that her mother and father are getting a divorce. Sandra Green, Rachel's mother, only tells Rachel because she hoped Rachel would understand. Rachel asks her why, of all people, would she understand. Sandra reveals that, "...You didn't marry your Barry, dear. But I married mine." At the same time, Ross finds out that Carol and Susan want to get married. Ross is less enthused about it, but he comes to Carol's rescue when her parents decide not to show up and give her away. Ross stands in and gives Carol away.

Barry and Mindy's wedding has arrived. Mindy has requested that Rachel be her maid of honor. Rachel has no intentions of showing up, but decides to do so in order to redeem herself in front of Barry's family. Ross goes along with Rachel to the wedding, with the company of Monica and Richard. Monica talks to Richard about a future. Richard agrees with Monica until Monica brings up one little thing: children. Monica really wants children, but Richard already has two children: Timothy Burke and Michelle Burke. Richard is not up to doing it all again, forcing Monica to make the painful decision she does not want to make. They sadly break up. At that time, Chandler has an all-night online conversation with a woman, who he seems to really like. He discovers that she is married, which leaves him devastated, but his hopes are brought back up when she tells him that she's getting a divorce. They set up a meeting at the coffeehouse. Chandler's mystery internet girl is...Janice. Chandler discards Janice's annoying characteristics and develops a long-term relationship with her.

More fun is to be seen in the second season. Buy the complete second season and laugh yourself to death over again. Guest stars include: Tom Selleck, Adam Goldberg, Julia Roberts, Brook Shields, Chris Isaack, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Steve Zahn, Elliott Gould, Christina Pickles, Rob Leiban, Giovanni Ribisi, Lorraine Newman, & Marlo Thomas.

FRIENDS: The Complete Second Season (1995-1996) (episode guide)
The One With Ross' New Girlfriend
The One With The Breast Milk
The One Where Heckles Dies
The One With Phoebe's Husband
The One With Five Steaks And An Eggplant
The One With The Baby On The Bus
The One Where Ross Finds Out
The One With The List
The One With Phoebe's Dad
The One With Russ
The One With The Lesbian Wedding
The One After The Superbowl (Part 1)
The One After The Superbowl (Part 2)
The One With The Prom Video
The One Where Ross And Rachel...You Know...
The One Where Joey Moves Out
The One Where Eddie Moves In
The One Where Dr. Ramory Dies
The One Where Eddie Won't Go
The One Where Old Yellar Dies
The One With The Bullies
The One With The Two Parties
The One With The Chicken Pox
The One With Barry And Mindy's Wedding

Studio: Warner Home Video
Lisa Kudrow

DVD title: Mario Frangoulis - Sometimes I Dream (Live in Concert)
Productgroup: DVD
Mario Frangoulis - Sometimes I Dream (Live in Concert) - movie DVD cover picture
Tears in the audience, the ultimate ovation

When you get your DVD look at the faces in the public. They are ecstatic. Many women are literally CRYING, out of the power of his voice, his lyrics, his orchestration. Tears in the eyes of the public are the best testimony of the greatness of this concert. I just hope there will not be too much wait until I can attend a live concert here in the US.

This is music that will empower your soul. Not only Mario Frangoulis voice is spectacular, but his stage presence takes his music to new heights. He has charisma. He is the show. No need for "artsy" settings. Mario Frangoulis singing his hearth out, beautiful lyrics, a great orchestra. With songs like "Vincer?, Perder?", "Non Sar?", "Buon giorno principessa", my favorites, he unleashes such an emotional power that you will feel yourself soaring to the sky. Or, at least, this is my case. I first watched the live concert on T.V., then I ran to order the CD album. Now, a few days ago I discovered the DVD. Terrific sound and image quality. If you love music, but specially if you "live" the music you listed to, this is a must have. God bless music.

Studio: Sony Music Entertain
Justin Hayward
Mario Frangoulis

DVD title: Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
Productgroup: DVD
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat - movie DVD cover picture
Introducing musicals to kids

Joseph is a wonderful way of introducing your child to musicals. This musical has so many ways of reaching the child inside all of us. My mother gave this VHS to my child as a birthday present. We watch it at least once a week if not every day if my child could. The length of this musical is such that it keeps even really young children entertained for it's duration. My child now sings some of the songs and has asked her music teacher in school to get a copy. Thank you Mr. Webber and Mr. Rice.

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: David Mallet

DVD title: Constantine (2-Disc Deluxe Edition with Comic Book)
Productgroup: DVD
Constantine (2-Disc Deluxe Edition with Comic Book) - movie DVD cover picture
Just call him 'Lou'...

I was really looking forward to this in the weeks leading up to it's release- I'm happy to report that it exceeded my expectations in every aspect. Excellent work from all involved-great plot and Ideology throughout, not to mention some stunning visuals (especially towards the end). Rossdale and Swinton were great- but it was Peter Stormare who stole the movie in the last ten minutes, as an eccentric, bats***t crazy lucifer. I swear, this guy is my new favorite actor-brilliant work. A must see for all.

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Francis Lawrence (II)
Keanu Reeves
Rachel Weisz
Djimon Hounsou

DVD title: Judgment Night
Productgroup: DVD
Judgment Night - movie DVD cover picture
Hard to resist

The main thing I loved about this movie was the environment. The chaotic ghost-town alleyways, the dark city streets, and the realism of how life truly is in the slums of America. I could almost smell the factories, the worn down apartment buildings, and the stormdrains. I think it also represents the human spirit, and how when all Hell breaks loose, you can't back down from a battle that could save your very life, and the lives of your dearest friends. Denis Leary is my favorite comedian (not to mention one of the best actors around), and Jeremy Piven plays a wonderful character actor. Leary plays the small-time gangleader with a hostile temper, yet a wickedly demented comedic side, while Piven plays the too-sure-of-himself businessman, who meets his tragic end due to Leary's temper. I first saw this movie when it was available to rent (never knew it existed until I saw it in Blockbuster), and it wasn't too long after I owned it on VHS, and just recently on DVD. I can watch this movie over and over again and never get bored with it. Now if I was some movie critic, I'd say thumbs up, but I'll just resort to rating it with 5 stars, and I recommend it to any great suspense movie fan.

Studio: Goodtimes Home Video
Director: Stephen Hopkins
Emilio Estevez
Cuba Gooding Jr.
Denis Leary

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