Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Hero (UMD Mini For PSP)
Productgroup: DVD
Hero (UMD Mini For PSP) - movie DVD cover picture
No comparisons

This is an excellent film and should not be compared to Hidden Dragon, also excellent, as many critics and reviewers are doing. Where as Hidden Dragon was a story, this is a philosphical meditation on action versus peace. And, even though the same composer is used, the music is not comparable--Hero is a far more nuanced invesigation of Chinese culture. (The way the blind musician shakes the robs back from his hands is itself a stunning look at the martial arts "body state" that internal arts aim for. The King of Qin is amazing to watch even though he largely just sits there and talks.) Another film that Hero is being compared to is Roshimon, because retellings of the tale that is the heart of the movie. This too is incorrect. The point of the retellings is not to reflect different vantage points and interests, but rather to provide the set-up for the climax and to explore the three themes (equal to the three stages of martial arts the King of Qin sees in the giant caligraphy): passionate action, extreme committment, and, ultimately, serene peace.

Studio: Buena Vista Home Video
Director: Yimou Zhang
Jet Li
Tony Leung Chiu Wai
Maggie Cheung
Ziyi Zhang
Daoming Chen
Donnie Yen

DVD title: Celine Dion - CBS Special
Productgroup: DVD
Celine Dion - CBS Special - movie DVD cover picture
Just be patient! Release date in 2010 can't be true

To my knowledge this dvd won't be from her show in Las Vegas but indeed the one at the Kodak Theater. I just quit working for Sony Music and have talked about it with a colleague of mine. They have not decided yet if it will be released at all. So 2010 written by amazon is not right. It won't take them about 7 years to decide.If it will be produced then I can garanty it is worth buying it 'cause I saw it on TV.

Studio: Sony Music (Video)
Celine Dion

DVD title: Once Upon a Time in America (Limited Edition Collector's Set)
Productgroup: DVD
Once Upon a Time in America  (Limited Edition Collector's Set) - movie DVD cover picture
Best hard times/ganster picture ever made!

A 3 hour+ epic that spans the lives of a group of young street kids in turn of the century New York. No movie I've ever seen has better character developement than this one. Robert DeNiro as "Noodles", James Wood as "Max" and Elizabeth McGovern as "Deborah" are the main characters. The way that Max "worked" Noodles, for his own agenda, rang loud and clear to me from my own similar life experiences. Deborah is Max's lifelong love, but___well, see the movie. There are some very violent scenes and some graphic sexual content, but it is necessary for this movie. The short version doesn't have the rough sex or violence, but it doesn't have much of anything else either. If you can't handle the full length version, pick another movie. Lastly, where's the d__n DVD of this movie?

Studio: Creative Design Art,
Director: Sergio Leone
Robert De Niro
James Woods

DVD title: Battlestar Galactica - Season One (2004)
Productgroup: DVD
Battlestar Galactica  - Season One (2004) - movie DVD cover picture
Incredible show

This is definately one of the best shows on television. It is an intelligent show and has one of the most complicated plots I have ever seen. There are many plots, sub-plots, and plot twists with many things that are yet to be revealed. It is almost nothing like the original series back in the 70's except for the core plotline. And personally, I thought the original sucked. I am also very impressed with the amount of research they put into the military way of life and military terminology and how they adapted it to fit the show. Plus all the women are really hot. Even if you're not a sci fi fan, you will love this show. It's a smart show and it'll keep you thinking and talking.

Studio: Universal Studios
Edward James Olmos

DVD title: The Ultimate 3-D Collection (Haunted Castle / Alien Adventure / Encounter in the Third Dimension) (Large Format) (Includes H3D Viewing System)
Productgroup: DVD
The Ultimate 3-D Collection (Haunted Castle / Alien Adventure / Encounter in the Third Dimension) (Large Format) (Includes H3D Viewing System) - movie DVD cover picture
Wow! Easy to set-up & looks GREAT

Read some of the previous reviews for the details of setting up. But, it was very easy. 1st the bad part. There seems to be ONLY these 3 titles (that come in this package). Let's hope there are more. Now the good news. This 3D WORKS. It's ALMOST as good as being at the Imax theater. I have a DVD player and S-VHS TV, so it does look really good. However, the room must really be dark to get the full impact. A little pricy, but it includes everything! If you're a 3D fan, get this thing!!!

Studio: C.A.V. Distribution
Ben Stassen

DVD title: The High and the Mighty (Two-Disc Collector's Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
The High and the Mighty (Two-Disc Collector's Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Predecessor of the 'Airport' movies

The High and the Mighty was ahead of its time in 1954. John Wayne was well cast as 'an ancient pelican' whose leadership is tested in making the right decisions to land a troubled aircraft safely. Diminti Tionkin's haunting theme masterfully scores the drama. This is my all-time favorite movie, I can't watch it enough!

Studio: Paramount Home Video
Director: William A. Wellman
John Wayne
Claire Trevor
Laraine Day

DVD title: Vanity Fair
Productgroup: DVD
Vanity Fair - movie DVD cover picture
The best television has to offer

I read William Makepeace Thackeray's novel "Vanity Fair," the only novel of his I have read, back in February of this year. I was hesitant to do so at first because I heard many negative comments about the book from several people whose opinions I respect. I am happy to report that the book is a splendid novel, full of vibrant characters that soon come to feel like living, breathing creatures under Thackeray's masterful pen. The book was so spectacular that when I learned an American film version starring Reese Witherspoon is set to arrive sometime next year I looked forward to seeing it. Fortunately, an individual with fantastic knowledge about foreign films quickly alerted me to the existence of this BBC adaptation of Thackeray's masterpiece. Released over here in the U.S. by A&E, "Vanity Fair" runs for nearly six magical hours. The first time I watched this production, back in the summer, it took me only one day to view because I simply couldn't turn it off. I recently watched "Vanity Fair" again and realized I really ought to put this on my Christmas list because it is that good. I would start watching American television again if I could see productions of this caliber on a regular basis.
"Vanity Fair," set in the years surrounding Napoleon's resurgence in Europe, traces the rise and fall of two young British women, Rebecca Sharp and Amelia Sedley. The two young ladies meet in a sort of finishing school and when the time to reenter society arrives, Amelia takes Rebecca home with her to meet the family. The Sedley clan is comfortably upper middle class, with the father earning a nice living speculating on government bonds. Also home in time to greet the two is Amelia's buffoonish brother Jos, recently returned from his minor government post in India. Becky, an orphan who is essentially a gold digger of epic proportions, attempts to attach herself to the portly and arrogant Jos with hilarious results. Amelia looks forward to reacquainting herself with George Osborne, the son of one of her father's business partners and a first class cad. Nearby is William Dobbin, George's best friend and a decent man who has a huge crush on the clueless Amelia. Jos soon ruins any chance he has with Becky when he gets drunk on a group outing. From this point forward, a vast array of hilarious yet contemptible characters prance across Thackeray's stage.
As Dobbin and Osborn head off to continental Europe to fight against Napoleon, Becky obtains a job as a governess for a deteriorating noble family called the Crawleys. Sharp's job soon finds her embroiled in the tumultuous politics of this clan as all of the family members vie with each other in an attempt to curry favor from the rich but ailing Miss Crawley. It isn't too long before Becky receives a marriage proposal from the patriarch of the family at about the same time she runs off with the man's son. As Sharp navigates through the convoluted realms of the rich and powerful in an effort to secure for herself a better social position, Amelia encounters her own problems. The family loses its money with Napoleon's defeat and must find a way to survive. The quick marriage between Amelia and George ends just as rapidly when Osborne dies on the battlefield, leaving behind a pregnant Amelia and an infuriated elder Osborne who wants nothing to do with his son's widow. Caught in the middle is Dobbin, who desperately wishes to make Amelia his own but cannot bring himself to compete with the memory of dearly departed George. The fun of reading and watching "Vanity Fair" is in seeing how all of these disparate threads come together in the end.
The BBC production of Thackeray's work does a wonderful job of adapting his novel to television. Only a few scenes in the book fail to make an appearance here, something I consider as a sign of a successful production. Where "Vanity Fair" the television movie succeeds most is in the cast chosen to portray the diverse characters. I happened to read a version of the book that included the original drawings that accompanied Thackeray's story, and I must say that it is obvious the producers of this movie studied these sketches in detail. One need only look at the resemblance actor Gerard Murphy's Lord Steyne has to the pictures in the novel to recognize how closely the producers followed Thackeray's vision. The whole cast does a marvelous job of mirroring the characters in "Vanity Fair," but Natasha Little as Rebecca Sharp deserves special mention. Her performance is tremendous, and the transformation she undergoes from a slightly pretty schoolgirl to a stunning beauty with social rank is amazing. Moreover, Little captures perfectly Becky's barely contained scorn for those around her. With a roll of the eyes, a slight shrug of the shoulders, and a mischievous grin she devastatingly disparages all of the nonsense going on around her. You simply cannot help but like her. As bad as Becky Sharp is as a person, Thackeray throws you a curve ball at the end that upends everything we think we know about her.
I liked the DVD presentation, although there aren't any extras to speak of on the discs. One thing that did surprise me about this production was the booming background music that fires up from time to time. It's a type of spicy music replete with blatting horns, and the first time it came on it nearly blew my speaker system out. I ended up enjoying the music, though, as it seemed to add an element of whimsy to many scenes that are, frankly, whimsical. I simply don't have anything bad to say about this movie. It is a must see.

Studio: A & E Home Video
Director: Marc Munden

DVD title: The Omen
Productgroup: DVD
The Omen - movie DVD cover picture
One of the Best Horror Films Ever

I consider "The Omem" the third of the "Great 3 Horror Films" of all time. The other two being "Rosemary's Baby" and "The Exorcist." Like the other two films, "The Omen" is a religiously based horror film. It's based on the coming of the anti-Christ.
THe story-line revolves around a US ambassador to Great Britain whose wife gives birth to a supposed stillborn baby, so out of desperation, he secretly adopts another newborn. The baby is normal until his fifth birthday when his nanny hangs herself at his birthday party *in a very disturbing scene.* Another nanny takes her place who happens to be the nanny from Hell *literally!* Death ensues in some of the goriest death scenes of the time period. The film closes with one of the most downer endings of any other film.
Highly recommended horror film. The cast, story, and haunting musical score work together to create a truly creepy and disturbing film.

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox Home Video
Director: Richard Donner
Gregory Peck
Lee Remick
Harvey Stephens (II)

DVD title: Sleeping Beauty (Special Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Sleeping Beauty (Special Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
My favorite Disney movie has gotten better!

I have always loved this movie, and having owned it on VHS, I am so pleased with the DVD version! It's crisper, the music is clearer, and the colors are brighter. My husband and I are expecting our first child, and I have been collecting all the Disney DVDs I can so that my child will be able to watch them longer--some of my VHS tapes are warped from hours of use. If you love Disney as much as I do, it is worth the money--plus, there is usually a $5.00 rebate for the DVD if you already own the VHS format.

Studio: Walt Disney Home Video
Director: Clyde Geronimi
Mary Costa
Bill Shirley
Eleanor Audley

DVD title: National Lampoon's Animal House
Productgroup: DVD
National Lampoon's Animal House - movie DVD cover picture

The average person can see Animal House in two ways. For Someone over the age of 21. It's makes one think that college is a wonderul place to party and go nuts. For a parent, it's means sending your child to sodom and gamora and having to pay for it.

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: John Landis
John Belushi
Karen Allen

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