Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: North by Northwest
Productgroup: DVD
North by Northwest - movie DVD cover picture
Never been surpassed

This is the first movie I ever saw in a theater. I was five years old and went with my older sister. I thought the movie was stupendous. It still is. As we had no color TV in 1958, I never forgot the shock of the colors on screen. Bright primary (Taxicabs). This movie is still visualy rich. The story unfolds like a delightful puzzle. The performances, direction, production are superb. The DVD has an informative "making of..." feature. The screenwriter portion is especially rich. Alas, there was only one Hitchcock.

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Cary Grant
Eva Marie Saint

DVD title: .hack//SIGN (Vol. 1) - Limited Edition Boxed Set
Productgroup: DVD
.hack//SIGN (Vol. 1) - Limited Edition Boxed Set - movie DVD cover picture
Excellent series, the best deal

Very first off, incorrectly state that .hack//SIGN is based on a PlayStation2 game. This is not true. .hack//SIGN is a story about an online PC game called THE WORLD. The direct sequel to .hack//SIGN is a PlayStation2 game called .hack//INFECTION. Someone at, clearly someone who did not see the series before writing the review, got these points confused and they will not accept corrections of their editorial review, just the title and some technical details.
First off let me preface this by saying I don't like Anime. Usually it is too silly, too violent, or too "adult" for me, so I'd never been into an Anime series had kind of a medieval look to it, so that interested me. Plus, this friend of mine had told me basically what it was about; an online RPG where one user can't log out. So when I had the first episode, I watched it, and I liked it. I ended up watching the whole 26 episodes, in Japanese, with English subtitles, translated and captioned by fans.
Being my first Anime experience, I realized one major difference between "cartoons" and this Anime is that while cartoons are self containing - that is, you don't have to see them in order, and the plot starts at the beginning and ends at the end of each episode. Kind of like Star Trek was, only no multi-part episodes. ;) Rather, Hack Sign was like an 8 hour 40 minute animated superfeature, with ending and opening themes inserted every 20 minutes.
Before I point out some of the flaws in the series, let me point out that the objectives in making a successful film script are radically different between an 8 hour 40 minute script and a 2-3 hour script. That said, character development is unusually slow. The characters very slowly reveal themselves, but then again, it is an online video game, and people on the Net like to be anonymous except with businesses and close friends. Also, while it was happening, the plot was somewhat hard to follow. A lot of scenes were unnecessary and redundant. One episode was a "recap" episode which was highlights from the ones previous. Correction. 8 hour 20 minute animated superfeature. It's still longer than the original Star Wars Trilogy. ;) And more fun to watch, I must say.
Most of what Hack Sign is about, I've already covered. I can't reveal too much about the story without spoiling it, and that is even more so true with this DVD that contains only the first 5 episodes. By themselves, the first 5 episodes will leave a new Hack Sign fan more disappointed than the end of Fellowship of the Ring did. They should have put the whole series on one or two DVDs. If you want to see the whole story, you'll have to collect all the DVDs. With 26 episodes, there should be 5 DVDs. I doubt Bandai will be stupid enough to market a DVD #6 with only Episode 26 on it and maybe some bomb special features, but sadly enough I confess I'd buy it, especially as the last episode is the best one. :)
As far as the special edition. You can get the DVD with the episodes for $... most places, more if you go to a mall. This is...more than that, but it is such a great deal. The first thing you see when you open the box from is the air padding. Yep! Better than bubble wrap, you get air padding. Those are always fun to have around. No, seriously, the first thing is the black hexagonal box. It is a very sturdy box, made of thick cardboard, with high quality prints on all sides, Three of the sides say .hack//SIGN and the other 3 have character animations. When you open the box, which is held shut with an elastic band and a lilte mushroom post, the first gift you see is the Grunty plush. He's about 4" long and 2-3" tall and wide. He doesn't stand on all four legs well, as he's rather front-heavy, but it can be done. Next you get a nice envelope which contains stickers, and three postcards you'd be a fool to nail. Mine are up on my wall, taped on the back so they don't get damaged. After that, a demo disc of Hack Infection, the PlayStation2 sequel for Hack Sign. Next, the first Soundtrack to .hack//SIGN complete with lyrics and artwork. There is a second Soundtrack and an Extra soundtrack which contains instrumentals and remixes, but these are not included. I have HEARD that Soundtrack 2 will ship with the second set of episodes, which will be great because both are awesome albums, and funny enough, I don't typically like Anime music either! Next is the DVD itself, which contains 5 episodes, the textless (no credit overlays) opening and closing themes, previews for three unrelated Animes, a video preview of the Playstation2 game, and most interestingly of all, you can watch the episodes in not only English and Japanese, but the Instrumental Score as well which is NO lines, NO sound effects, JUST the music! It's cool! Throw the English subtitles on so you know what they're saying, and enjoy! Finally, there is a T-shirt (mine was Size XL) with .hack//SIGN on the front, and Mimiru on the back with Bear and Tsukasa in the background.
If you like Hack Sign, I strongly recommend getting this. If you don't know Hack Sign yet, you really should get this because it's the complete set and everything in it is above and beyond awesome...I was very happy with Amazon on this deal! Thanks again Amazon!

Studio: Bandai Entertainment
Director: K├┤ichi Mashimo

DVD title: Star Wars Trilogy (Widescreen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Star Wars Trilogy (Widescreen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
This Heart Needs a 2nd Chance

38 Special sure had it right. Haven't any of you people ever wished you could go back in life and get a "do over" because you were wronged in some way? According to the films' creator, had George Lucas been given the finances he requested and "final cut" (an industry term refering to who gets to get final say in the editing process that usually goes to the studio), these dvd versions would've been the ones released originally. Now be honest with yourselves -- do any of you REALLY believe in your heart of hearts that had these versions been the ones you saw first that you WOULDN'T still be huge fans or still be buying this product? Come on. The guy has earned the power to be able to get his "do over." Why don't we just give it to him and admit that these were the versions we were meant to see in the first place and that the changes ultimately don't impact why the world fell in love with the saga... because of the story and the characters.

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox Home Video
Harrison Ford

DVD title: UHF
Productgroup: DVD
UHF - movie DVD cover picture
ha ha ha ha

quite easily one of the funniest films ive ever seen!
if you are looking for a film to watch as you eat junk food and nearly wet your pants with laughter then this needs to be on your shortlist.
good fun

Studio: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Director: Jay Levey
Weird Al Yankovic

DVD title: The Miles Davis Story
Productgroup: DVD
The Miles Davis Story - movie DVD cover picture
A Great Documentary

Brilliant. This documentary is an exceptional portrait of the life of a genius. If you want to know more about his life, this DVD is a great start. If you want to dig deeper, read his excellent auto-biography, (Miles, Simon & Schuster, available on Amazon). Ignore some of the useless bad ratings given by some individuals about this DVD: if people want to listen to Miles music, they'd better buy his albums. This documentary is about Miles' life, featuring interesting interviews with his family members, fellow musicians (from Dizzy Gillespie to John Mc Laughlin), ex-girlfriends etc. A great document. A must have. Ciao!

Studio: Sony Music Entertain
Director: Mike Dibb

DVD title: The O.C. - The Complete First Season
Productgroup: DVD
The O.C. - The Complete First Season - movie DVD cover picture
I heart O.C.

For someone who had almost given up television altogether, The O.C. was the evil equivalent to a delicious chocolate cake during a diet, tempting me and eventually sucking me right back in.

As a twenty-something year old, I have a lot of fun watching the other twenty-something year olds play high schoolers, balanced off with more scandals that go on with the adults. And to this might I add: it's NOT a teen drama!(for goodness' sake, there's more adults in this than teens) So anyone over 20, don't be intimidated or feel silly watching this show; it's great!

Much wittier, funnier and enticing than 90210, Felicity, Dawson's Creek or any of those shows that it gets compared to. And with a much cuter cast too. I've already gotten so many of my friends hooked!!!

Studio: Warner Home Video
Peter Gallagher

DVD title: Anarchy TV
Productgroup: DVD
Anarchy TV - movie DVD cover picture
Anarchy TV

The film is a quite funny and refreshingly affirmative counter-culture take on religious hypocracy, police brutality and racism. It contains an amusing send up of so-called family values. I took my 14 year old son to see it. It is a healthful antedote to the banal and unimaginative twaddle on TV and in the movies.

Studio: Ventura Distribution
Director: Jonathan Blank

DVD title: Splendor in the Grass
Productgroup: DVD
Splendor in the Grass - movie DVD cover picture
Middle-aged stars outshine glamorous leads

The plot of Splendor in the Grass revolves around the fateful love between two teens, Bud and Deanie, in late 20s Kansas. Seemingly destined to be together, they are thwarted by repressive sexual mores and their overbearing parents. Deanie suffers a nervous breakdown over their separation and Bud winds up a failure at Yale, eventually becoming a dirt farmer. This occurs against a backdrop of 20s financial speculation, culminating in the stock market crash and depression. Beatty is adequate as Bud, while Natalie Wood gives a deeply sensitive portrayal as Deanie. However, both principals are upstaged by the actors portraying their dominant parents. Pat Hingle, always excellent, plays Bud's wealthy father, a crude oil man. Audrey Christie is Deanie's mother, constantly vigilant about her daughter's purity. Both manage the difficult task of portraying sincerely loving parents who nevertheless have a baneful influence on their children's lives. I'd also like to put in a good word for Fred Stewart playing Del Loomis, Deanie's father. His role as the small town grocer is small, but he does subtle wonders in a scene at the end of the movie where he overrules his wife's objection to Deanie's seeing Bud again. One wants to weep at his paternal love. If the film's diatribe against sexual repression is no longer fresh, its depiction of the banality of smalltown life remains so. This is skillfully shown in the second scene, where the Loomises' frame house is shown behind a large graphic reading "Southeast Kansas 1928." By vaguely mentioning the story's setting, rather than specifying a town, the director, Kazan, emphasizes the generic quality of the setting and makes it more insignificant and insipid. Snoopy, gossiping neighbors, drunken oil workers, and insensitive classmates all contribute to this mood. The one character who attempts to break free from this stifling atmosphere, Bud's wayward sister, Ginny, comes to grief, as if to emphasize the impossibility of escape. Despite the somewhat pedestrian plot, the film is redeemed by the performances. The final scene, where Deanie, home after being cured of her breakdown, visits Bud, now married and living on a dusty farm, is very poignant. It's a vivid depiction of lovers separated by destiny. I would also like to praise David Amram's evocative, bluesy theme music. Played over the opening credits, it mightily prepares the viewer for the story he's about to see. I can't close this review without complaining that I was unable to access the theatrical trailer promised on my DVD box. I've never had this problem with any other DVD special features, and can only guess this was the manufacturer's fault, not mine.

Studio: Warner Studios
Director: Elia Kazan
Natalie Wood
Warren Beatty

DVD title: Fire and Ice
Productgroup: DVD
Fire and Ice - movie DVD cover picture
definately a good movie

this was very good african american movie. hats off to everyone who participated in making this movie a success. a definate keeper.

Studio: Ventura Distribution
Director: Bryan Goeres

DVD title: The Simpsons - The Complete Fifth Season
Productgroup: DVD
The Simpsons - The Complete Fifth Season - movie DVD cover picture
Captions *are* available

Surrendermonkey, and anyone else looking for the subtitles, find them by accessing an episode's sub-menu from the main menu, then choosing Languages, then choose English audio, then English subtitles.

Great set, by the way!

Studio: Fox Home Entertainment
Dan Castellaneta

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