Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Nero Wolfe - The Complete Second Season
Productgroup: DVD
Nero Wolfe - The Complete Second Season - movie DVD cover picture
Nero Wolfe Season Two is Very Satisfactory

Producers Michael Jaffe and Timothy Hutton continue with their superb adaptations of Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe stories in the second season of "Nero Wolfe." With outstanding performances by Maury Chaykin as Nero Wolfe and Timothy Hutton as Archie Goodwin, some of Stout's best stories such as "The Silent Speaker" and "Death of a Doxy" are brought to the screen

The Season Two DVDs are every bit as fine as the Season One set in audio and video quality. Season Two has the added fillip of bonus material which was sadly lacking in the Season One set. This set includes "The Golden Spiders," the 2000 TV movie which led to the series, and "The Making of Nero Wolfe," a short documentary which offers interviews with Timothy Hutton, Maury Chaykin, and others involved in the production of this marvelous series. Also included as a "bonus" is a widescreen version of "The Silent Speaker." (It is unfortunate that A&E did not see fit to offer all of the episodes in widescreen.)

After enjoying Nero Wolfe Season Two you'll want more adaptations of Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe done by Jaffe, Hutton et al. You'll also wonder what fit of nincompoopery came over A&E and made them cancel this exemplary series.

Studio: A & E Home Video
Bill Duke
Maury Chaykin
Timothy Hutton

DVD title: Once Upon a Time in China #1
Productgroup: DVD
Once Upon a Time in China #1 - movie DVD cover picture
You Must Own This

If you enjoy martial arts movies at all, you must own this movie. The cinematograpy is excellent, the fight scenes are superb, and the movie as a whole is top-notch. I enjoyed the gratuitous playing of the theme song throughout the movie; it really added to the atmosphere. Tsui Hark and Jet Li bring to life the story of the great Chinese folk here, Wong Fei Hung. I particularly recommend the DVD version.

Studio: Tai Seng Video
Director: Hark Tsui
Jet Li
Biao Yuen
Rosamund Kwan

DVD title: Killer Klowns from Outer Space
Productgroup: DVD
Killer Klowns from Outer Space - movie DVD cover picture
cult classic

Classic 80's film that is a must for any collection. This could be the reason so many people are afraid of Clowns.



Studio: Mgm/Ua Studios
Director: Stephen Chiodo

DVD title: His Girl Friday
Productgroup: DVD
His Girl Friday - movie DVD cover picture
Outstanding Transfer from Columbia Tristar

"His Girl Friday" is Howard Hawk's inspired remake of the award-winning Broadway play and previous movie release of "The Front Page". In this revamp, it's all about a rapid fire newspaper editor, Walter (Cary Grant) and his star reporter and ex-wife, Hildie Johnston. Hildie has decided to retire to the country with her soon to be new husband (Ralph Belamy). But when a prison break captures the imagination of a troupe of cutthroat reporters, all rabid for the real scoop, Hildie sets aside marital bliss for one last hurrah as a cub reporter.
THE TRANSFER: BEWARE OF THIS DVD! There are no less than 12 bootlegged versions of "His Girl Friday" being sold through various vendors on DVD. In all but one case the image quality looks as though the entire print had been fed through a meat grinder. The version you want is the one from Columbia Tri-Star Home Video. Its packaging features a disclaimer that reads "mastered from the original camera negative."
This version of "His Girl Friday" exhibits - in short - exemplary video quality. The B&W picture has been completely restored. Age related artifacts are nonexistent. The gray scale, black and contrast levels are perfectly realized. Fine detail will astound. There are no digital anomalies. The audio is mono but very nicely cleaned up.
EXTRAS: This version also includes some very nice - if all too brief - featurettes on the careers of stars Rosiland Russell and Cary Grant and the making of the film. There's also the original theatrical trailer.
BOTTOM LINE: This girl is worth seeking out!

Studio: Columbia Tri-Star
Director: Howard Hawks
Cary Grant
Rosalind Russell

DVD title: Sailor Moon R - The Movie
Productgroup: DVD
Sailor Moon R - The Movie - movie DVD cover picture

First, let me tell you about the movie. Its about the Sailor scouts and a child hood friend of Dariens(fiore)Darien is taken from earth and its up to serena and the others to save him.I bought the video and when i got home i watched it then again. It just never gets old. Its typical imaginative genius and if u dont buy the movie from here buy it somewhere!!My reveiw doesnt do it justice!!!

Studio: Pioneer Video
Director: Kunihiko Ikuhara

DVD title: True Stories
Productgroup: DVD
True Stories - movie DVD cover picture
David Byrne is an alien

as a writer and filmmaker, seeing this film for the first time when i was 13 changed everything for me. it was the first time i realized that a film could do more than just tell a story. beautifully shot and scored, with simply wonderful performances, this is a film that even now i never get tired of.
minor carp: warner's dvd edition is rather shoddy. although the sound is excellent, the image is pan-and-scan and the video transfer itself seems to be nothing more than the original 80's transfer dumped on dvd. that's a shame. sadly it's the only option available at the moment. i'm still hoping for a criterion edition ...

Studio: Warner Studios
Director: David Byrne
David Byrne

DVD title: Playing by Heart
Productgroup: DVD
Playing by Heart - movie DVD cover picture
An Underseen Film with an Undeniably Great Cast

Playing By Heart is one of those little movies that you find at the video store by accident and are so glad you did. I remember seeing the previews for it, and laughing out loud at the scenes between Gillian Anderson, the heavenly Jon Stewart, and a big dog, who commenced to share the bed with Stewart. The film had those laughs, and much more. It is not a deep film, or a great classic, but it is a fun little romantic comedy about how to find love and how to make it last.
If for no other reason, you should see it for the actors. Where else can you find such a talented cast raging in age from late teens to mid-60's, from former James Bonds, to Angelina Jolie, to one of the ER docs, to Dana Scully herself? (I have to say it was mighty funny to see Gillian Anderson acting nerdy and awkward. She's usually so confident, and half of America is in love with her! But she did great.)
The actors all do a nice job with this film. You get the impression that it was their treat film they made for themselves for fun, in between other projects. You can tell they loved working together.
Ryan Phillipe and Angelina Jolie both do wondrously as a hip young couple (he has blue hair, she has pink hair!) in an emotionally charged on-again, off-again relationship. Jay Mohr gives a solid and realistic performance as a terminally ill man coming to terms with his illness with the help of his mother. I think this part of the film reminds us that life is short, and that love is the most important thing, and that we shouldn't take either for granted. Madeleine Stowe is good as the lonely housewife who is bonking a pastor (Anthony Edwards). Dennis Quaid, as her husband, does a nice job, shall we say, "acting out." Gena Rowlands is, as always, touching and elegant, and her hubby, Sean Connery, is cute as a button. They look so good together, I'm surprised they're not actually married!
This film is a great pick-me-up film. A probable chick flick, but I know guys who've liked it a lot.

Studio: Miramax Home Entertainment
Director: Willard Carroll
Angelina Jolie
Dennis Quaid
Gena Rowlands
Sean Connery
Gillian Anderson
Anthony Edwards
Ellen Burstyn
Jay Mohr
Ryan Phillippe

DVD title: Fat-Blasting Yoga
Productgroup: DVD
Fat-Blasting Yoga - movie DVD cover picture
Denise Austin-Fat-Blasting Yoga : 21 Days to a Yoga Body

This is a great video ! I honestly HATE working out, but I LOVE yoga. I already had a wonderful yoga video, but it was too long of a work out to fit into my schedule. I like the way this one is broken up into 3 short workouts. I like the way Denise keeps her moves simple, but effective. This video is EXCELLENT for your back. You feel pain free and thoroughly stretched after these workouts. I think Denise Austin is a sincerely sweet and motivating person. I recommend her videos to anyone who wants a realistic workout that you can stick with. As far as the stability ball, a large kids' ball works great.

Studio: Lions Gate Home Entertainment
Denise Austin

DVD title: Nosferatu, The Vampire
Productgroup: DVD
Nosferatu, The Vampire - movie DVD cover picture
This is for the Alpha Video Distributors DVD...

1) The Movie: It's Nosferatu. It's great. 'Nuff Said.

2) This particular version has no extras and the chapter list seems not to start at the beginning of the film.

3) The print, for the most part, is quite clear.

4) The score is intersting to say the least (kind of Jazzy in a way).

5) I was able to pick it up for under $7

All-in-all, for the money it can't be beat.

Studio: Image Entertainment
Director: F.W. Murnau
Max Schreck
Greta Schröder
Ruth Landshoff

DVD title: Sweet November
Productgroup: DVD
Sweet November - movie DVD cover picture
San Francisco stars

OK, admittedly the plot of this movie is implausable, unlikely and unbelievable. But, if you are either a Keanu Reeves fan, a Charlize Theron fan or a San Francisco fan it is worth watching. The city is lovingly photographed and it is a joy to watch the colors and hills of S.F. unfold along with the (corny, sappy) story. I've lived in the area of the films final sequence (just above Dolores Park) and can attest that the film is successful in capturing the essence and heart of both the Mission and Potrero Hill districts of the city.
Charlize Theron has since proved to be an A-list actress, and Keanu Reeves is so good looking it's a pleasure to watch him in anything. If you are in the mood for a getaway to the light and color of San Fran, and maybe shed a tear or two, this movie is just the ticket.

Studio: Warner Brothers Home Video
Director: Pat O'Connor
Keanu Reeves
Charlize Theron

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