Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: The Lord of the Rings - The Return of the King (Widescreen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
The Lord of the Rings - The Return of the King (Widescreen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Near Perfect Conclusion

WOW--For all those who have awaited the last segment of the trilogy--the wait is over and happily the resulting spectacle is well worth the wait. Director Peter Jackson, does not bore his audience with any kind of recap, he moves the story along from the endpoint of "The Two Towers", beginning this offering with a little flashback of Smeagol/Gollum's personal history with the ring that segues marvelously back to Frodo, Samwise and Gollum--fantastically recreated as a utterly believable computer generated being grafted with actual human acting---as they trek forward towards Mount Doom. Jackson successfully flips the story back to the others in the original fellowship as they prepare to participate in the ultimate battle for Gondor. New characters, Denethor, the steward of Gondor and characters we barely glimpsed at like Faramir, Denethor's son and the younger brother of Boromir (of the original Fellowship) add poignancy and strife during a crucial time in the War of the Ring as Gandalf continues to bolster and utlitilize the weaknesses of man with his ultimate strength, trust and reliance on the powers of the truest archetype of "Good". Indeed, Jackson succeeds in presenting his audience with a panorama of Tolkien archetypes without offense--except perhaps in his very valid albeit slow representation of true-hero Samwise's steadfastness in the final advent to Mount Doom sequences. Most notable is Ian McKellan's Gandalf---a flawless performance that magically integrates with his snow-white light as well as other special Gandalf-effects: the calling of the eagles, the use of the staff to disperse the enemy and escort Faramir and his riders back through the Gate of Gondor. These are rendered wonderous, yet utterly believable. Slithering Gollom steals any scene that he is computer-generated into--I loved his crazy mutterings to himself and his utter hatred of "the fat one". The pluckiness of the Lady Eowyn and her utter desperation at the fall of her uncle during the battle for the Gate contrast admirably and most realistically. Her brave stand against the Witch King ranks as one of the film's most exciting moments; her love for Aragorn is displayed genuunely by the moistest eyes and the simplest gestures. Also shown poignantly is Aragorn's reluctance to relinquish his Ranger persona and take the reins of his kingship; his trek through the mountain pass on the eve of battle is remarkably fascinating and his love for his lady rings out clearly in the kingmaking pagentry at the the near end of the film. Arwen Evenstar's choice to become mortal or take ship when the time of the Three Rings has passed is depicted most stirringly in scenes with Elrond, her father---I still cannot get over the realism of all the elven people--the fine characteristics emphasized by the diffused lighting and the use of Tolkien's wonderful Elvish tongue---simply magical!Jackson wraps up all the ends of his Tolkien interpretation expertly. If his presentation has a flaw it is only in his lingering on moments between Frodo and Samwise in the Mount Doom sequence and in their last moments together before Frodo departs with Gandalf. Although true to the book, while watching these moments, I felt as if I had already gotten the point and wanted to move on--more importantly after three and a half hours I simply wanted to move my legs! Bottom line: This film and the others in the trilogy are masterpieces. All characters and special effects are utterly convincing--and will be watched over and over again. Bravo Mr. Jackson; I sincerely hope you are garnered with many awards this season!

Studio: New Line Home Entertainment
Director: Peter Jackson
Viggo Mortensen
Ian McKellen
Elijah Wood

DVD title: The Professional
Productgroup: DVD
The Professional - movie DVD cover picture
Excellent movie

It was only by accident that I caught this movie showing on television. If it was released theatrically, I never saw it. Which is a shame, for this is an excellent movie. Well written and well acted, this is a must-see film for anyone who likes suspense and adventure.

Natalie Portman plays a young girl who is the only witness to a mass murder. The killer is a policeman. Leon, an excellent French actor, plays a professional assassin whose only companions are a green plant and his contact, played by Danny Aiello. His is a lonely life until the little girl comes to him for safety. She doesn't give him much choice in the matter.

Grateful to him, and fascinated by his way of life, she begins to learn his trade, with great alacrity. More than once they are forced by circumstances to move from their apartment, always taking the plant, careful not to damage it. Always in the back of her mind, though, is the policeman who killed her family. Her desire for vengeance and the growing love between her and the assassin, complicate their lives, leading to a final, explosive confrontation.

The characters are well-drawn and sympathetic. The story line is interesting from beginning to end, and very believable.

Viewers who find this movie interesting might also enjoy Gloria with Gena Rowlands.

Studio: Columbia/Tristar Studios
Director: Luc Besson
Jean Reno
Gary Oldman
Natalie Portman

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

All you people that say its a bad video just shut up. If you don't like it don't watch it. I'm 14 and I've seen it about 24 times. Every time I watch it I want to see it again. Its the best movie ever and I think everyone should see it. And yes, thats what real life is like now, accept it.

Studio: Vidmark/Trimark
Director: Larry Clark
Leo Fitzpatrick
Justin Pierce
Chloë Sevigny

DVD title: Air Force One
Productgroup: DVD
Air Force One - movie DVD cover picture
Impenetrable. Invincible. In Trouble

Air Force One was release in 1997. The approximate run time is 124 minutes.Harrison Ford, Glen Close, Gary Oldman, and Wendy Crewson star in this radiant production.Directed by Wolfgang Petersen.ColorGenre - Drama
The President of the USA goes to Moscow and gives a stirring speech outlining the USA's new "Zero-tolerance" policy with respect to terrorism. On the flight home, terrorists take over Air Force One (the President's official indestructible plane) and take the passengers including his wife and daughter hostage. The terrorists plan to execute one hostage every half-hour unless/until their demands are met. However, the President is a former Medal of Honor winner, so the terrorists are in for a surprise. He manages to deploy the escape pod empty. After searching through luggage to locate his cell phone, he calls the White House. The operator does not believe the president is calling so he convinces her to trace the call. This is a hilarious scene. While receiving instruction as to how to connect wires to release fuel, the battery on the cellular phone goes dead. The terrorists kill people with the speaker on so that the other hostages can hear. It is very nerve wrecking and keeps you on the end of your seat. After managing to get in the room where his staff is, he discovers the terrorist have his wife and daughter with them. He has an idea but in order for the hostages to be able to parachute off he must communicate to the White House to lower the altitude to 15,000 when refueling. One of his staff suggests sending a fax since fax lines are separate from the phone lines and could easily be overlooked. Not sure as to whether or not the message was communicated, the hostages prepare to parachute off of the plane. Once the terrorists realize what is happened, they capture the president and put a gun to his daughter's head. Suspense fills the air; you can hardly stand to watch. He starts counting, 1...2, and the president can't stand it anymore. He gives in to the terrorist and calls to request the release of the General. The terrorist admits he lied and does not plan to release the president nor his family. You see the look on Harrison Ford's face, and know he is not only mad but not going to put up with this. While being tortured and beaten, the president manages to pick up a piece of glass to use to free himself. He recovers Air Force One just in time to stop the release of the General. Not only does he not have a pilot to fly the plane but also due to the damage to the engines Air Force One is not able to land. The rescue mission begins with a cable connecting from one plane to the other. His family is safe but there is only time for one more person. The question is will the president escape or will the American on Russia's side interfere? This is a must see movie.

Studio: Columbia/Tristar Studios
Director: Wolfgang Petersen
Harrison Ford
Gary Oldman

DVD title: Laws of Attraction
Productgroup: DVD
Laws of Attraction - movie DVD cover picture
this one is a keeper

Starring Julianne Moore and Pierce Brosnan as two divorce lawyers who find love, I couldn't help wondering how these two talented people could have agreed to act in such a silly bit of fluff. But I guess they're entitled to make their own choices.

Laws of Attraction is one of those lightweight confections that are upbeat, lively and has zippy background music. It's an old fashioned theme with classic gags and the comedy depends on the rhythm of the dialogue.
Even though the plot was set in modern times, and Julianne Moore cast as successful attorney, the romance was controlled by the Pierce Brosnan character. She was made to look stupid and childish and ridiculous in every scene. He's super confident and arrogant; she is insecure and vulnerable to panic attacks. Both of them eat junk food and they find love only after lots and lots and lots of alcohol.

Fans of romantic comedy might get a chuckle out of this but I was bored throughout.

Studio: New Line Home Entertainment
Director: Peter Howitt (II)
Pierce Brosnan
Julianne Moore
Parker Posey

DVD title: Ben-Hur
Productgroup: DVD
Ben-Hur - movie DVD cover picture
Finally on DVD!

Epic lovers have waited far too long for this all-time award winning movie to come out on DVD. The widescreen format, sound, and color are excellent. The extras are fun and informative. I was surprised at the flimsy packaging, lack of any booklet material, and the extra small lettering indicating the side of the disc (a or b). Other than that, Ben Hur has held up well to be over forty years old. The no special effects chariot race may never be surpassed. The movie provides great acting by all.

Studio: Warner Studios
Director: William Wyler
Charlton Heston
Jack Hawkins
Stephen Boyd

DVD title: Rage Against the Machine: The Battle of Mexico City
Productgroup: DVD
Rage Against the Machine: The Battle of Mexico City - movie DVD cover picture
MUST own

let me preface this review by saying that i am 21 years old and a fanatic of ALL forms of music. unfourtunatley my generation has produced very few music artists of any signifigance, in any genre of music. the small amount of truly talented artist in this day and age rarley have any new ideas or anything meaningfull to say.... That is not the case with Rage Against The Machine. They rank very high on my list of the great music acts of all time. And that is what is so unfortunate about the departure of front man zach de la roche. But you can still see RATM at the pinnacle of there careers in this DVD. I personaly feel privlidged to live in a society where one of the greatest live bands of all time can capture what is proboly their greatest live preformance on on a media such as DVD. We don't have a DVD video of the Doors at the wiskey-a-go-go, or of billie holiday in the clubs od harlem, or of robert johnson in the whiskey shacks on plantaions of the deep south, but we do have RATM live in mexico city. I would suggest that fans of great music, ecspecialy of great live music, purchase this DVD. you will not be disapointed.

Studio: Sony/Epic
Rage Against the Machine

DVD title: Star Trek - The Motion Picture (The Director's Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Star Trek - The Motion Picture (The Director's Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Star Trek: The Master Piece

Robert Wise's remastering of Star Trek: The Motion Picture rights a wrong imposed on him by Paramount Pictures demands for a quick release of the film in December of 1979; he wasn't allowed to edit the film into the masterpiece that it is now. Paramounts blunderous decision to trade quality for box-office profits obviously dissapointed William Shatner, Gene Roddenberry, Star Trek fans and most of all, Robert Wise.
I remember seeing the original in 1979 when I was six years old. At that age, even I though the movie dragged on for a long time. The later TV version only slowed the film down even further.
The new effects perfectly blended into the special-effects from 1979. Unlike the re-released Star Wars films, the CGI is invisible which is a big plus.
Another big plus is the musical score. The tempo of the original score was way too slow for "Star Trek". Now the tempo of the score is speeded up to the score used in the Next Generation films. The horns in the orchestra seem a little heavy but make the theme even better and richer.
The opening credits are terrific and replace the original films flat and lifeless opening credits.
The extras on the 2nd Disc are a bonus for those of you interested in the history of the "lost" 2nd Star Trek Series and the making of the movie.
Definitely add this to your Star Trek DVD collection. You won't regret it.

Studio: Paramount Home Video
William Shatner

DVD title: Batman Returns
Productgroup: DVD
Batman Returns - movie DVD cover picture
Batman Returns (1992)

This is good for a sequel. It made more movie than the first one and still had a good plot. The story to this one HOWEVER is more centered on the villan than batman. Who doesn't want to see more of Catwoman and the Penguin? The costumes were wonderful, and the acting was overly well.

Studio: Warner Studios
Director: Tim Burton
Michael Keaton
Danny DeVito
Michelle Pfeiffer

DVD title: King Crimson: Eyes Wide Open
Productgroup: DVD
King Crimson: Eyes Wide Open - movie DVD cover picture
Adrian Belew Goes to Another Level

I'm not a huge believer in Crimson lately. I find parts of their last two studio albums sophomoric, I find their music generally veering too close to heavy metal for my tastes, I rue the departure of Bill Bruford and Tony Levin.
That said, I am enjoying this DVD very much. The band remains an interesting live act, and the performances captured herein are exciting, intense, and different from what other bands are able to do with electronic guitars and drums. I particularly enjoy Adrian Belew's contributions - he has been and remains a great musician, and this band challenges him unlike what another band could.
The two concerts are quite good, but what really makes this a 5-star DVD and must-see is the "Improvising Crimson" section on Disc 2, which features roughly 10 song-length improvisations from different cities done by the band on their 2000 tour. THIS is what this band is and was about, and to see the improvs one after the other is a fairly awesome musical experience. Generally Mastellato and Gunn establish a nice groove of electronic drums and touch bass, Fripp does some typically intense soloing, and Belew plays staggering, creative, scarifying inside-out amplified blues from space. Belew's soloing on some of these tracks is music at the highest level. The band as well as Adrian reach some real heights on these improvised sections. I don't think there's another living guitarist who could play the rather amazing solos that Adrian plays.

Studio: Bmg Distribution (VI

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