Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: The Last Detail
Productgroup: DVD
The Last Detail - movie DVD cover picture
Nicholson at his best

Even with a reusume that includes other great films like "One Flew Over The Cucukoos Nest" and "As Good As It Gets", for me "The Last Detail" still remains Jack's best. I first saw this film as a kid working as a usher in a movie theatre. I let my Dad, a former swabby, in and he ended up staying to watch it again at the next show. He told me "If you ever want an idea of what it's like in the Navy, this is it." I have no doubt he was right. I lost my Dad 18 months ago, but I couldn't help but think of him drinking 16 oz. Schlitz with these 3 characters and fitting right in. An excellent movie with a perfect cast, if you don't mind the salty language that matches the characters, watch this film and enjoy! One of my favorites since 1973!

Studio: Columbia/Tristar Studios
Director: Hal Ashby
Jack Nicholson
Randy Quaid

DVD title: Yoga Conditioning for Weight Loss - Deluxe DVD Edition
Productgroup: DVD
Yoga Conditioning for Weight Loss - Deluxe DVD Edition - movie DVD cover picture
A good way to better health

This is a great tape to start if you are out of shape and mildly obease. It moves at a good pace and contains modifications for all fitness levels. You will defiitely need a block, a strap, and a mat to practice on. If you are in good shape already and quite flexable you can work up to a no props workout. I like to do this tape when I want a longer workout. I suggest Living Arts stress relief for beginners with Suzanne Deason for a nice easy 20min. workout.

Studio: Living Arts
Suzanne Deason

DVD title: Jesus
Productgroup: DVD
Jesus - movie DVD cover picture
Beautiful Portrayal

Okay, as a non spiritual person, rather i am just a total movie nut, i must say that this film was beautifully done. Regardless of your faith, or how you choose to express it, the movie blends impressive scenery with heart-wrenchingly superb acting. Jeremy Sisto as Jesus after his his former roles, was quite a thrill to experience. I found myself watching him throughout the movie and saying to myself "that would be the face of Jesus." The simple kindness and joy in his expressions, the truth so eloquently expressed. The additional cast leading a truly enjoyable landscape upon which this film was carried, left me wanting so much more, i ran out and bought the remaining bible movies made by TriMark. So, whether you are a religous person looking for a new face to add to your ideas of the bible, or just a movie-holic like myself, i truly believe this movie is worth watching.

Studio: Vidmark/Trimark
Director: Roger Young

DVD title: The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc
Productgroup: DVD
The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc - movie DVD cover picture
simply great

this the best historic,religious,godly movie i have ever seen.the cast is superb.milla jovovich has done excellent work.i reccomend this as a must see

Studio: Columbia Tri-Star
Director: Luc Besson
Milla Jovovich
John Malkovich

DVD title: Picnic
Productgroup: DVD
Picnic - movie DVD cover picture
Don't pass this one up!

This wonderful movie satisfies on many levels. It calls us back to a simpler time in our minds. It is Americana. It actually is a very strong love story, almost steamy at times (at least for it's day) - believable yet still cinematic. It is an excellent character study. It is funny, and it is sad. It is a movie THE WHOLE family can watch and enjoy, which these days is saying a lot. Although it is easy to see that "Picnic" was derived from a play, this point does not detract - in fact it enhances the film.
The casting is excellent. Rosalind Russell as the spinstery school teacher is flawless, and her hen-pecked boyfriend (Arthur O'Connell) is great too. As another reviewer noted, Verna Felton, who plays "Mrs. Potts", allows us to put everything into a peaceful perspective......even the "chaos" that ultimately ensues is a normal part of life, as her stable persona continually demonstrates. Cliff Robertson is fine as Alan Benson - he does not allow his role to overtake that of Holden and Novak....a lesser-known actor may have worked better for his role.
Holden (and I must admit to being a huge William Holden fan) is superb. Just enough cockiness and false-bravado contrasting with a genuine naivet? of the real world around him (he's "experienced" with football and women, inexperienced with just about everything else). So many of his scenes are gems - his first confrontation with "Bomber", his "women" stories to Alan, and my personal favorite, the scene where he and Millie (his "unofficial date" for the picnic) are driving to the fairgrounds. After singing a rendition of "Old McDonald" together, Holden turns to Millie and says "Hey kid, here's one my old man taught me". Then, after a pause (and realizing he is with a 15 year old girl), Holden shakes his head and instead starts up another verse of "Old McDonald". Priceless!!
If the movie has any "problems" at all, they are minor. Susan Strasberg ("Millie"), who is supposedly Kim Novak's bookwormy, unattractive sister, is anything but unattractive. It will take more than a pair of pointy horn-rimmed glasses to put her out of Madge's league! And there is something a little "stand-offish" about Novak's performance at times, although I have never been quite able to identify what it is.
But this movie is 5 stars all the way. Sit back and enjoy a movie for the ages, when actors could still act and a great and enjoyable story was still told. If you need violence or vivid sexual imagery to hold your attention, don't bother. Otherwise, you may love this film!

Studio: Columbia/Tristar Studios
Director: Joshua Logan
William Holden
Kim Novak

DVD title: The Doom Generation
Productgroup: DVD
The Doom Generation - movie DVD cover picture
violent, sexual, thought provoking and radically different

Violent, sexual, thought-provoking and radically different. This movie is a must see! Rose Mc Gowan before she was in Scream looks like a fallen angel with the personality of Cleopatra. Both Jonathan and James are played to the point of brilliance, Araki (director) out did himself.

Studio: Vidmark/Trimark
Director: Gregg Araki
James Duval
Rose McGowan
Johnathon Schaech

DVD title: Team America - World Police (Special Collector's Widescreen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Team America - World Police (Special Collector's Widescreen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Trey Parker and Matt Stone have done it again!

If you are a fan of "South Park" you shouldn't even be reading this review, you should be watching this movie as we speak. This is the funniest movie of the year. There were multiple times throughout the course of this movie where I missed some stretches of dialogue because I was on the floor weeping (because of the laughter mind you, not deep seeded emotional problems). This is the most spot on action satire I have ever seen. There are also very catchy songs in this movie as well. I should tell you that this is not a movie you bring the whole family to, but once again if you watch "South Park" you should know that. If you are a fan of puppet swearing, violence, and sex then run to the local cineplex and enjoy. If you are very uptight and love America......... I don't know watch the presidential debates or something.

Studio: Paramount Home Video
Director: Trey Parker
Trey Parker
Matt Stone
Elle Russ

DVD title: I Love Lucy - Seasons 1-5
Productgroup: DVD
I Love Lucy - Seasons 1-5 - movie DVD cover picture
154 Episodes, 26 Discs, Countless Laughs

Meet Lucy and Ricky Ricardo. They live in an apartment in New York where Ricky works as a nightclub bandleader. Their closest friends are Fred and Ethel Mertz, who also happen to be their landlords. Lucy wants a career in show business as well, and is always trying to get into Ricky's act. Even when she isn't trying to do that, she's involved in one wacky scheme or another. And the two couples have some great battles of the sexes.

This set is five of the six seasons from the classic show. Season one starts a little slow with Lucy often carrying the show alone. As the writers get more comfortable with the other characters, their parts expand and the show finds it's footing. Even with a slow start, this show has some classic moments. Lucy tries to learn "The Ballet" and a burlesque act to get into Ricky's show. The couple makes a bet over who can go longer without gossiping. Lucy gets trapped in a freezer. Ricky puts Lucy on a time schedule. And of course, "Lucy does a TV Commercial" for Vitameatavegamin with hilarious results. Also included in this set is the original unaired pilot.

Season two starts out with a bang as Lucy works in a chocolate factory in "Job Switching." Ethel and Lucy both via for the presidency of their club. Lucy has trouble deciding on anything. The couples fight over a washing machine. Of course, the most famous storyline of season 2 was Lucy's pregnancy and the birth of Little Ricky. Brought on by Lucy's real life pregnancy, this was very daring for the time. How things have changed in the last 50 years.

Season three brings with it it's own classic moments. Lucy and Ethel buy the same dress for a TV show. The couples fight over "Equal Rights." "Lucy Tells the Truth" with unintended consequences. The girls attend a "Charm School." "Ricky Loses His Temper" in an episode that should nominate him for sainthood. When Ricky's band gets booked to Hawaii, Lucy and the Mertzes scheme to go, too. The couples find a "Bonus Buck" their local paper is running. And the girls want to learn to play golf so they can hang out with the boys.

Early in season four, a storyline is introduced that changes the course of the season. Ricky gets a movie offer in Hollywood, so the gang travels cross-country, stopping in Ohio, Tennessee, and New Mexico before finally making it. Once there, Lucy starts stalking the stars with hilarious results. She once more tries to get into the act, this time a movie. And she does a classic routine with Harpo Marx.

Season five finishes up the California episodes with a funny visit from John Wayne and a classic trip home. They're hardly home before Ricky and his band are booked to Europe, and Lucy and the Mertzes tag along. Once there, they get involved in a "Fox Hunt," get accused of counterfeiting in Paris, get caught in an avalanche, and have trouble with a boarder crossing. Most famously from this trip, Lucy gets a little more local color then she bargained for when she decides to research wine making for what she is sure will be her big break.

Anyone who loves this show will love these DVDs. The picture is black and white and the sound is mono, but anything else would ruin this classic. And the picture has been cleaned up. I've never seen it look this sharp with only the occasional dust and grain. Each disc is loaded with extras including information on the guest cast, mistakes that made it on air, behind the scenes facts, deleted scenes, original openings, and episodes from Lucy's radio show "My Favorite Husband."

This show has been entertaining people for 50 years, and it shows no signs of letting up. I am thrilled to have this show in such wonderful shape. No matter how many times I see them, I still laugh through every episode. Don't miss a chance to own a true TV classic.

Studio: Paramount Home Video

DVD title: Kitaro - Kojiki: A Story in Concert
Productgroup: DVD
Kitaro - Kojiki: A Story in Concert - movie DVD cover picture
Simply Fantastic!

Even though technical quality of this dvd in both video & audio is under average, this one still deserves more than five stars. The music is simple but beautiful and inspiring, and is like a symphonic poem. The rendition is wonderfully done using synthesizers, various kinds of drums including traditional ones, electric guitar and violin. It's good to see the handsome violinist who always smiles. I think Kitaro is ingenious in mixing music with oriental emotion. So, I'm ready to buy his next dvd; "Enchanted Evening(vol. 1)". Maybe I could say I'm one of Koreans who tend not to be generous to Japanese people because of a sad history in the past between two countries, but now I'd like to recommend any of you to buy this title and watch it especially in the evening or in the middle of the night after darkening your room.

Studio: Pioneer Video

DVD title: Undeclared - The Complete Series
Productgroup: DVD
Undeclared - The Complete Series - movie DVD cover picture
My College Experience

First off, I have to credit this show for its accuracy. I finished my freshmen year of college a few months ago, and I have to say that many of the things that happened in this show either happened to me or someone I knew. The writers must have really done their homework for this show (or didn't do a lot of homework in college and instead lived out these episodes), and the result is a pitch-perfect and hilarious look at college life.
The show is centered around the undeclared Steven Karp (Jay Baruchel), a tall and thin kid (who is actually built very similarly to myself) who was a bit of a geek in high school. He says the word wicked a lot, has a tendency to talk with his hands, and looks uncomfortable in any situation. He lives in a suite style dorm, so he has a roommate, a private lounge, and two other people he shares the lounge with. Lloyd Haythe (Charlie Hunnam), his roommate, is a British pretty boy who is a theater major. In the room on the other side of the lounge lives spacey music major Marshall Nesbitt (Timm Sharp) and calculating Ron Garner (Seth Rogen). The four guys become fast friends, yet they never pass up an opportunity to make fun of each other. Across the hall lives their female companions, Lizzie Exley (Carla Gallo), Rachel Lindquist (Monica Keena), and later Tina Ellroy (Christina Payono). Lizzie is a somewhat hyperactive girl who always tends to have the upper hand in relationships (her boyfriend Eric, played by Jason Segel, is always afraid that she will dump him, even though he's older than her by at least 10 years). Rachel, on the other hand, is more subdued. She is prone to anxiety attacks from being away from home, and she lets it all out by going a little nuts at parties. Tina, who joins the group later, is a bit of a loser, but she doesn't know it. She likes to listen to old songs on an endless loop and is "holding out" for Lloyd. Finally, Steven's dad Hal Karp (Louden Wainwright) is a recently divorced wreck who always seems to end up looking cooler than his son. Lloyd even invites Hal to party with them from time to time.
The side characters are also great. Perry (Jarrett Grode) is sort of the jack-of-all-trades in the dorm, and he really knows how to rub it in. Books (Samm Levine) is a vindictive frat president who takes out his rage on Steven and his fellow pledges, Lucien (Kevin Rankin) is the floor's goofy RA, Hilary (Amy Poehler) is the head RA who isn't quite right, and Eric is a lovable loser who just can't seem to get things to go his way.
The stories and jokes are hilarious. I especially liked the fraternity episodes. I didn't rush, but I remember going to frat parties, and all of the brothers were really nice to me and wanted me to pledge. However, I heard awful things about hell week. In the episodes, Steven decides to pledge, and is in for a surprise when Books pulls a Jeckyll and Hyde on him. In another episode, Marshall hooks up with a Japanese girl named Kikuki (Youki Kudoh) who doesn't speak any English. The two have to communicate using a pair of English/Japanese translaters. Finally, the guys actually write a detailed script in order to "spontaneously" start a game of truth or dare with the girls.
One of the most innovative and original things about Undeclared is the way the characters were written. Unlike every other show, the characters were not written at all before the actors were cast, and the pilot episode was only partially completed prior to casting. While they always knew that they wanted someone to be a Steven-esque character, no other character was planned. Then, they hired the actors who, among other things, were good at improv, and wrote the characters around the actors.
Improv was a big part of this show. There were solid scripts, but the actors were pretty much allowed to make up their own lines as they went along, provided they followed the overarching story. In the extensive extras section, we can watch some of the rehersal footage and see the different lines that were thought up.
We are treated to plenty of extras in this set. Each episode has a commentary track and unaired footage. There is a director's cut of one episode, a panel discussion with the cast, a script, and a booklet with essays from creator Judd Apatow and actor Jay Baruchel.
It's too bad that this show was cancelled so quickly. Time Magazine named it one of the Top 10 New Shows of 2001, and with good reason. Sadly, the show was on FOX, the network that unjustly cancelled Firefly, Wonderfalls, Tru Calling, Greg the Bunny, Andy Richter Controls the Universe and so on. Now that Apatow is making movies, maybe we will get a big-screen version, but it is unlikely. Anyway, enjoy these 18 episodes from a lost TV gem.

Studio: Sony Music (Video)

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