Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Vamp
Productgroup: DVD
Vamp - movie DVD cover picture
Not an objective review...clouded by nostalgia @ dvd extras

Second in a trio of "toothy comedies" which spawned the 80s vampire revival, Vamp was released a few months after Fright Night and preceded The Lost Boys by a year. Of the three, I actually liked Vamp the best. The unique look and feel, offbeat characterisations and solid acting of the film fleshes out and over shadows the admittedly silly premise.
Rather than using old horror (like Fright Night) or fairytales (Lost Boys) as its main influence, Wenk's influences were more the black comedy of Scorsese's After Hours and Landis' Into the Night -- this enabled him to populate the film with amusingly offbeat eccentrics. The leads studied coolness and wit also differed from the hysteria and paranoia of film characters that populated the "Teen Horror Comedy" subgenre of the 80s.
Then there is Grace Jones - 'nuff said.
Besides his eye for style, his choice of soundtrack was equally inspired, using old pop standards was another smart/ironic stylistic choice.
Besides the director and the cast, this is also the begining of SFX artist Greg Cannom's long association with movie vampires. He would move onto The Lost Boys and ultimately, Coppola's Dracula.
As for the Anchor Bay DVD,
Another job well done! The image transfer is impeccable, esp. for what is a low budget "throaway" fare. The sound is not state of the art but not distractingly so. But the best part of the dvd has to be one of the most entertaining commentary i have heard in a long time, not exactly the most imformative but Wenk and the cast was clearly having a ball, it was almost like watching Mystery Science Theatre 3000!
Everyone seems to put more into the film than it was expected of them and their enthusiasm made the film and dvd a fun and nostalgic experience.

Studio: Anchor Bay Entertainment
Director: Richard Wenk
Chris Makepeace
Sandy Baron

DVD title: Time After Time
Productgroup: DVD
Time After Time - movie DVD cover picture
Sci Fi, Thriller, and High romance!

I really enjoyed this one! It is sort of a view from the other side on the book The Time Machine. It is H.G.Wells and his good friends at dinner and one of his surgeon friends high-tails it into his time machine as the "Bobbies" arrive on the trail of Jack Ripper. The Machine comes back without the erstwhile friend because an important element was not attached. So, horrified and feeling responsibility for this monster in the "innocence" of the future world he packs up and goes forward in time to catch him. Much to his surprise he finds himself in a San Francisco museum in a 1970's exhibit on H.G.Wells! The museum has borrowed some of his furniture and the time machine for the exhibit !That's the premise and he goes from there. MacDowell and Steenbergen are terriffic. SEE IT!

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Nicholas Meyer
Malcolm McDowell
David Warner
Mary Steenburgen

DVD title: My Fair Lady
Productgroup: DVD
My Fair Lady - movie DVD cover picture
The Fair Lady IS still loverly at 40!

This special edition of the 1964 Oscar winner, MY FAIR LADY us worth every penny! A great film deserves to be made into a special edition DVD like this classic! The extras include that wonderful documentary about the restoration of this classic! Warner Bros Home Video went all out for this one! Kudos to them! I STRONGLY RECCOMEND THIS SPECIAL EDITION TO ALL MY FAIR LADY/AUDREY HEPBURN FANS OUT THERE!

Studio: Warner Studios
Director: George Cukor
Audrey Hepburn
Rex Harrison

DVD title: A Knight's Tale
Productgroup: DVD
A Knight's Tale - movie DVD cover picture
It Has Been Weighed, It Has Been Measured And Found Perfect!

Movie Summary: William Thatcher is a squire. He is part of the "pit crew" for a knight. They make enough money to eat by winning at jousting tournaments. When William's knight dies right before his last run in a tournament leaving him and the other two squires with nothing but the promise of empty bellies, William takes his place in order to feed them. He succeeds and it goes to his head. He convinces the other two squires to continue the charade. From tournament to tournament they go pretending that William is of noble birth so that he can compete. Along the way they make friends as well as enemies. In the end they all learn that nobility isn't found on a piece of paper but is instead found in the heart.
My Opinion: I found this movie to be awesome! For reasons which I will try to relate, I just love it. The movie opens with an eye rolling scene in which the peasant fans at a jousting match are singing and clapping along to the Queen classic "We will rock you". I thought I was in for a stinker at this point, but the movie hit its stride instantly after this. Two of the great things about A Knight's Tale are the characters and their relationships. The three main characters William, Roland, and Wat are very likable and their relationship is great. The friendship that they have is very cool and their interaction is very entertaining. When Geoffrey Chaucer is added to make it a foursome, it only gets better. Chaucer is played perfectly by Paul Bettany. He is instantly likable and adds color to every scene he is in. Next we get Kate, the female blacksmith trying to make it in a male dominated profession and world. She adds depth to the group of friends. The camaraderie between this team spilled off the screen and infected me. As for the bad guy, he's just bad enough. This may sound simple, but it's so often mishandled. He's not a buffoon, and he's not so evil that it throws the entire balance of the movie off. He's well done. The plot is also something that is very easy to screw up. In A Knight's Tale, the plot is also well done. There is a well defined conflict, and goal. The story steadily moves forward toward the goal and a resolution of the conflict. Nothing too bad happens to the heroes and the villain doesn't get the upper hand for too long. All this sounds simple, but any one of them can ruin a movie. Here they all serve to make it better. Finally, and probably most importantly, it's entertaining. It grabbed a hold of me and didn't let go. I went right out and bought the DVD after watching the rental one because I had to have it in my collection.
DVD Quality: Widescreen Anamorphic 1.85:1 with excellent video quality, Sound is DD5.1. Extras include deleted scenes which fill out a couple of areas of the plot, trailer, production notes, making of featurettes, music video, and commentary. The menus are cool making the entire DVD a really great release.
What You Should Do: See this movie. The DVD is awesome and well worth the price, so don't hesitate to buy it.
Related Movies To Check Out: The Magnificent Seven, Varsity Blues, Excalibur, The Blood of Heros

Studio: Columbia/Tristar Studios
Director: Brian Helgeland
Heath Ledger
Mark Addy

DVD title: The Best Years of Our Lives
Productgroup: DVD
The Best Years of Our Lives - movie DVD cover picture
You CAN Go Home Again

"The Best Years of our Lives" is a "Wartme" classic set in an eponymous Midwestern town immediately after WW2. Firmly directed by William Wyler, it concerns the struggles of 3 returning veterans to readjust to civilian life - and to their families. The leads are Fredric March, Dana Andrews and Harold Russell. Mr. Russell plays a disabled vet who in real life was a disabled Navy seaman. The pace of BY is leisurely, giving the cast time to "adjust" to their surroundings. Viewers should not notice the nearly 3 hour run time. Andrews has the most difficult adjustment, coming home to a wife he doesn't know and who had plainly been unfaithful during his absence. Vietnam era vets will quickly surmise that "Jody" had been around! One aches for Andrews as he returns to work at that cloying drug store, unable to find a better spot. There are few jobs for ex fighter pilots! March has the most nuanced role, since he is an "old married man" with a wife and kids. His wife, Myrna Loy, is strong and faithful. She will have to be! March too, is less than enthusiastic about returning to his bank job. Credit his grandfatherly boss, Ray Collins, for not only holding a job for him but also handing him a promotion! March has a painfully obvious struggle with the bottle and is a lucky man to have such a great boss and patient wife! March needs all the support he can get when the unhappily married Andrews gets involved with his daughter! She is "good girl" Teresa Wright. The most interesting role is Russell's. Wounded in real life when his aircraft carrier was attacked, he was discovered by Director William Wyler at a War Bond rally. The most touching moment in BY is when Russell shows fianc?e Cathy O' Donnell how is hand hooks work. BY swept the 1946 Academy Awards winning Best Picture, Director (Wyler), Best Actor (March), Best Supporting Actor (Russell), Best Screenplay, and Best Dramatic Score. Russell was also given a Special Award for "bringing hope and courage to his fellow veterans". He remains the only actor to receive 2 awards for the same role. It's too bad that Andrews and Loy went empty handed. Both quietly played their roles to perfection, especially Loy in dealing with a hard husband struggling to settle down. A final compliment should be given to Virginia Mayo, Andrew's bad girl wife. It's hard playing such a witchy woman but she does to virtual perfection. Viewers should observe Wyler's camera work. BY is shot in deep focus: there is almost always action in the rear of a scene, especially in that awful drugstore! Credit goes to Mike Mayo's "War Movies" for that observation and the background on Mr. Russell. BY is highly recommended. It captures the way we were in a very special time in this country's history. Amazoners are encouraged to devote 165 minutes to watching it. The beauty of video is that one can watch over 2 or 3 sittings. This reviewer was tempted to deduct a star for that absolutely hokey fadeout, which is not divulged here. We all like "happy endings" but please! Still, viewers must not let those silly 30 seconds detract from 164.5 minutes of Hollywood gold.

Studio: Mgm/Ua Studios
Director: William Wyler
Fredric March
Dana Andrews

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

Okay, the actual dvd isn't available yet, I've just pre-ordered mine. Anyway, if you love BDSM, then I think you'll love this movie. It's a great movie to watch with your sub, Dom, Top, or bottom. I think it tends to speak more to the younger crowd, but don't let that stop you. I attended a showing of this movie a few months ago, and am happy to see it is finally available for purchase. I'm not a big movie buyer, but this was on my list of "Worth Owning".

Studio: Lions Gate Home Entertainment
Director: Steven Shainberg
James Spader
Maggie Gyllenhaal

DVD title: And Now For Something Completely Different
Productgroup: DVD
And Now For Something Completely Different - movie DVD cover picture
well, well, well

I think we've all been here......or have we?? This is indeed the very best of Monty Python's Flying Circus.Even though it is kind of different, it's splendid.

Studio: Columbia/Tristar Studios
Director: Ian MacNaughton
John Cleese
Michael Palin

DVD title: Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie
Productgroup: DVD
Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie - movie DVD cover picture
"Mike Broke the Hubble!"

All I can say is "Good one, NELSON!" after Mike destroys the famous Hubble.
Mike, Crow and Tom Servo are in the SOL, obiting the Earth high above. In Deep 13, Dr. Forrester (no TV's Frank here) sends Mike and the bots a movie entitled "This Island Earth" The three of them make wisecracks while the movie is playing. You even see the three sitting in the Theater on the SOL, which looks a little different on the TV series. There are only 2 breaks in the movie which Mike and Crow goes to Tom's room, and when Mike flies the SOL right into the hubble telescope. The Movie ("This Island Earth") is about a guy and a gal find aliens in a big house, try to escape but is captured by the UFO that looks like a cowboy hat. They are taken to "Metaluna" ("I've never met a luna i didn't like" Mike says) Metaluna is in trouble. It could've been longer, but the MST3K gang edited it a bit.

Studio: Image Entertainment
Director: Jim Mallon
Trace Beaulieu
Michael J. Nelson

DVD title: Portrait of Jennie
Productgroup: DVD
Portrait of Jennie - movie DVD cover picture
Wonderfully Mysterious

This is one of the old classics that is probably most often missed. I remember seeing it a long time ago and it was so mysterious, I wasn't sure I had even seen it. No one I ever asked had seen it. I thought it was a love story, but found out it was a horror movie. A Must see.

Studio: Anchor Bay Entertainment
Director: William Dieterle
Jennifer Jones
Joseph Cotten

DVD title: South Central's Finest Raw From L.A.
Productgroup: DVD
South Central's Finest Raw From L.A. - movie DVD cover picture


Studio: The Orchard

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