Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: The Brothers Quay Collection: Ten Astonishing Short Films 1984-1993
Productgroup: DVD
The Brothers Quay Collection: Ten Astonishing Short Films 1984-1993 - movie DVD cover picture
Nothing else like it.

Well, trying to review these films is very difficult to do. They are very strange and trying to make any sense out of them seems to be pretty much futile. That said, I enjoyed these films (with the exception of "The Epic of Gilgamesh", something about the ambiance I suppose) but I can't say why exactly. They are interesting and I would recommend watching them one at a time (unless it's the really short "Still Nacht" series) and late at night. Unlike other viewers, my DVD player doesn't have any problems with the DVD. Oh, I almost forgot to mention that the stop motion animation itself is excellent. If you're looking for something different (VERY different...and creepy), then it would be hard to go wrong with this.

Studio: Kino Video

DVD title: I Spy - The War Lord
Productgroup: DVD
I Spy - The War Lord - movie DVD cover picture
The Culp Collection, A Must Have!

The Commentary on this second of the Culp Collection discs is amazing! Even better than the the first one. Robert Culp gets more into the personal relationships on the show, and the material on Sheldon Leonard, France Nuyen and others is nothing less than fascinating. The behind the scenes material is a real treasure, and the technical information on writing for series television is like a university course. If you're an I Spy fan do yourself a favor and get them both. As usual with this Image Entertainment DVD series the show looks breathtakingly beautiful. They did a superb job on these discs. And Mr.Culp, if you're reading this, thank you for all the great work, and there has to be a behind the scenes book in this milestone series! We're dying to read it!

Studio: Image Entertainment
Robert Culp
Bill Cosby

DVD title: Buffy the Vampire Slayer - The Complete Third Season
Productgroup: DVD
Buffy the Vampire Slayer - The Complete Third Season - movie DVD cover picture
Third Time's a Charm...

Season three: How can the cast of Buffy even hope to top the glorious second season? Well, for starters the very first episode is great. In "ANNE", still hurting from the events that occurred at the end of season 2, Buffy tries to forget her past and lives in another town working a waitress job until a girl recognizes her and asks for her help. Buffy realizes who and what she is and returns to Sunnydale, where the Scoobies have been filling in for the Slayer's absence. Then there is the addition of a new Slayer, Faith (Eliza Dukshu...remember her in True Lies? All grown up!!) who appears in Sunnydale as a powerful ally for the Buffy and the scoobies. This is short-lived though, as she soon becomes one of their greatest threats. The foreshadowing of plotlines in the second season become apparent as this season's villain is introduced...none other than the mayor of Sunnydale, who is attempting to ascend into a true/pure demon.
This season boasts many of the show's strongest episodes such as "The Wish", where Cordelia unknowingly makes a wish to a vengeance demon (Anyanka, who becomes the Anya we all love to laugh at later) and wishes that Buffy never came to Sunnydale. This episode is grand, as we see an alternate reality where Buffy left California and never stopped the Master from rising and as a result, he succeeded in opening the Hellmouth. Truly one of the better episodes. We also are given a taste of foreshadowing in later episodes...Buffy's sister Dawn (to come in season 5) is mentioned in a glimmer of dialogue that will remain meaningless until two years later (can you find the episode? Hint...listen to both Faith and Buffy talk in the later epsiodes). Faith is terrific as Buffy's nemesis, a Slayer just like her. Oh, did I mention Angel returns from a hell dimension as well?
The scoobies get their own star time as well. In "THE ZEPPO", Xander proves that he is more than just the weak part of the group, adept at getting them donuts and not much else. In "THE WISH" and "DOPPLEGANGLAND", we get to see a Vamp Willow...very interesting and two of the season's best episodes. This season also brings us more of the Watcher's Council, the mysterious group that Giles works for including Wesley, who later leaves to aid Angel and Cordelia in Los Angeles in the spin-off show Angel. And finally, we get to see the Scoobies graduate in a very typical Sunnydale fashion...with a huge battle. It was hard to top season two, but this season is more of Joss Whedon's masterpiece of television; let people and critics shun it...we all know great TV when we see it.

Studio: Fox Home Entertainme
Sarah Michelle Gellar
David Boreanaz
Eliza Dushku

DVD title: Viva Las Vegas
Productgroup: DVD
Viva Las Vegas - movie DVD cover picture
Elvis' Best Film

Elvis Presley's films were a largely a hit or miss affair, but this 1964 gem is easily The King's best (in my opinion anyway, since I know a lot of people will tell you it's "Jailhouse Rock"). "Viva Las Vegas" features great songs (which include the timeless title song and a sizzling if inferior cover of the Ray Charles classic "What I'd Say"), a working plot, and best of all, Elvis' best onscreen costar and one of the sexiest women ever to grace the silver screen, Ann-Margret.

"Viva Las Vegas" stars Elvis as Lucky Martin, a down on his luck mechanic who needs dough to buy a new engine for his car, which he plans to compete with in an upcoming race. While working at the shop, he encounters Rusty Martin (Ann-Margret), a swimming instructor who works at a ritzy hotel. Lucky is immediately smitten with her (best line: Rusty: Can you help me? My engine's whistling. Lucky: I don't blame it.), but Rusty at first feels nothing for him (the duet "The Lady Loves Me" is the funniest scene in the whole movie). However, Rusty quickly changes her mind and the two become an item, until Lucky refuses to drop out of the race for her, despite her concern that it's unsafe. When she leaves him for a smoothtalkin' Italian racecar driver (Ceasre Denova) Lucky tries desparately to get her back. The film culminates with some brilliant racing shots and a happy ending.

This is absolutely a must have for any dvd collection. Elvis fans or nots, this film will appeal to mostly everybody.

Studio: Warner Studios
Director: George Sidney (II)
Elvis Presley

DVD title: Strait-Jacket
Productgroup: DVD
Strait-Jacket - movie DVD cover picture
So bad, it's fabulous

Of all the trashy, early '60s horror movies featuring great actresses from the golden age in the twilight of their careers (think _Baby Jane_ and _Woman In A Cage_), none excels at sheer entertainment value more than this one. Anything starring Joan Crawford at this point in her career is bound to be a howl, and this is no exception. _Strait-Jacket_ is a masterpiece of classic trash which, alongside _Female On The Beach_, shows La Crawford at her very best. An absolute must for anyone who understands that, sometimes, a film can be so awful, it's brilliant.

Studio: Columbia Tristar Hom
Director: William Castle

DVD title: Memento (Limited Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Memento (Limited Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
movie that will be talked about

This movie made me write my first review for Being a fan of movie that have interesting stories, I just fell in love with this. This is the movie that would just keep you at the edge of your seat. This definitely is not an overrated movie. It is right up with movies like usual suspects and fight club, that become more enjoyable at the second viewing(in the days of price hike in movie tickets you have to careful what you watch). The geek from LA confidential(guy pearce) plays a insurance investigator looking for the killer of his wife. "I have this condition". He is incapable of making any memories but he remembers what happened before the death of his wife. To help him remember he photograph all the new people he meets. He has all these permanant tattoes on his body. The visuals are great. The movie grabs you right at the first scene when the bullet flies out of the body back in the gun. Joe pontaliano is a great actor, I have liked him since "bound". He was also in "Matrix". Carrie Ann Moss is perfect as the femme fatale. In the summer where most movies are coming out just to earn money,(that doesn't mean all of them are brainless), this is the movie you don't mant to miss if you enjoy using your brain while watching a movie.

Studio: Columbia Tristar Hom
Director: Christopher Nolan
Guy Pearce
Carrie-Anne Moss
Joe Pantoliano

DVD title: The X-Files - The Complete First Season
Productgroup: DVD
The X-Files - The Complete First Season - movie DVD cover picture
24 classic episodes in a superb set!

There's something special about having a box set tucked away in your DVD collection. It's nice knowing you have every episode available to watch at any time. This set is simply superb. The entire first series of the X-Files is spread across seven discs with a host of extras and even a couple of DVD-ROM games for your computer. Season One of the X-Files was probably the best; it was a hundred times more fresh and original than some of the trite that has been doled out in the past seasons, notable six and seven. Every x-phile has a soft spot for Season One. It's hard to believe it is seven years old now. These episodes were made before David Duchovny could afford acting lessons and before the series' success forced them to dumb down the storylines for the general viewer. If you're a serious x-phile then you'll already own this set, but for the curious newcomer who missed out and wants to know what all the fuss is about (where have you been?) then this is by far the best place to start. There is no doubt whatsoever that the X-Files revolutionised the way TV looks and feels. This set is a fantastic way to own 18 hours of the best television ever made. See what it was like before everyone involved succumbed to the swinish flu of commerce. Don't even think about complaining about the price; seven DVDs for that price is an absolute bargain. You could never get a whole season on VHS for that price. Picture and sound quality in this set are excellent - for those people who have complained about it, remember that it was filmed seven years ago on a modest budget so the picture is never going to be truly crystal clear but it's the best you will ever see it. So, take the plunge and buy it. Completists beware though, you'll have to save up for the 7 subsequent box sets like me! It's worth every cent.

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
David Duchovny

DVD title: Suicide Club (Suicide Circle)
Productgroup: DVD
Suicide Club (Suicide Circle) - movie DVD cover picture
"every day we push buttons that execute a million commands"

Suicide Club opens with 54 Japanese school girls jumping off a subway platform in front of an oncoming train and just gets better from there. As a horror fan, I loved this movie for it's disturbing violence and genuine creepiness, but the social commentary and philosophy behind it is equally effective.

The opening scene was mindblowing for obvious reasons. But what made the movie even better after that was seeing how this effected the rest of society. If this actually happened, it would probably have an intense effect on everyone in the culture, in ways such as what we see here: it begins a wave of suicides across Tokyo.

At the heart of the story is a group of very young children, who make mysterious phone calls to the police, and ask questions with philosophical ramifications which would seem far beyond the comprehension of their tender years. While this seems ridiculous, I believe this group is shown as children because they represent truth and purity. If they had been adults, they would immediately appear to be sinister, and I don't feel that they were. While they seem connected to the suicides, it becomes clear that this is, in no way, their intention. The theme they present is that of being "connected to yourself" and "connected to everyone else." It is difficult for some people to maintain one connection without severing the other. How do I assert my individuality without alienating myself from my family, and from society? How do I take care of everyone around me without conforming to the will of the group? These are some of the issues the characters in this film are struggling with.

There is a scene later on that asks the age old parent-to-teenager question, "If all your friends jumped off a building, would you do it, too?" and answers it with disturbing results. The idea of being "connected to yourself" as an individual is examined here, and in the recurring theme of the J-pop group, Dessart. When the suicides begin to occur at a more rapid rate, one of the kids in the Japanese Junior Spice Girl group says, "Everybody's acting funny lately. We hope this song cheers everyone up!" Up to this point, I was looking at that little girl and saying to myself, "Yeah, right! You hope that song drives everyone to suicide!" But by the end, I was not so sure.

If we listen to the lyrics of Dessart, what we find is nothing so deep and philosophical, but something to appeal to people who may be lost because they are having trouble maintaining the connections the children are concerned with. The first song we hear, "Mail Me," says, "By phone or PC, MAIL ME, you should know as friends go yours is the best hello, MAIL ME, I need to hear from you now, or I'LL DIE." This is something that young people would be able to relate to if they were connected to others, but not to themselves. It is possible to be connected to someone else, but you will still be alright by yourself if you do not hear from that person. You will not die without communication from someone else. The inclusion of the J-pop group further illustrates this idea of connections--you can value the ideas of everyone around you without owning a pop group's CD just because "everyone has one." And the theme of suicide, committed because others are doing it--I can have empathy for that person feeling his/her life was not worth living without coming to the conclusion that my own life cannot be worth living.

The philosophy about connections becomes physically manifest in a clue the police keep finding--a chain of rectangular pieces of skin sewn together. It symbolizes pieces of individuals, all slighly different from each other, literally connected to each other.

At one point, the movie goes off on a tangent into a scene with a serial killer named Genesis, who performs a violent and Rocky Horror-esque musical number. This awesome, if puzzling, interlude is actually an example of a person who is completely connected to himself, but not to other people. Genesis has completely asserted his own individuality, but lacks a connection to human kind. He does what he wants without respecting the lives of others, and so he kills.

As the film progresses, it becomes apparent that the strange goings on do seem to be leading back to the cult of children. But it doesn't seem to be the children and their message that is causing the suicides, but rather a failure on part of those who speak to them to fully digest the message for themselves. When they ask, "If you die, would your connection to your loved one remain? If yes, then, why are you living?" they mean to make people understand that their connection to themselves is valuable to their life. Instead, people come away thinking that there is, in fact, no reason to live, because the connection they have to people would not be severed by their own death.

In the end, Dessart gives a final performance, and says, "Our final message to you: LIVE AS YOU PLEASE." Is Dessart connected to the mysterious children? The ending would tell you, probably so. In spite of their best efforts, their message was being corrupted and misinterpreted, and causing people more pain, so the children choose to end their mission.

Director Shion Sono examimes many themes present in Japanese culture, so it will help if you know a little bit about this before viewing Suicide Club. However, most of what he deals with, peer pressure, conformity, suicide, have universal interest. This is a brilliant movie, but takes a few viewings to fully absorb.

Studio: TLA Releasing
Director: Shion Sono

DVD title: New Line Platinum Series Box Set (Austin Powers - International Man of Mystery/The Spy Who Shagged Me)
Productgroup: DVD
New Line Platinum Series Box Set (Austin Powers - International Man of Mystery/The Spy Who Shagged Me) - movie DVD cover picture
ian's review

Very Shagedelic! Yeah Baby, Yeah!!
Seriously. Watch them with the Mike Meyers commentaries. Very good.

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Jay Roach
Mike Myers
Elizabeth Hurley

DVD title: WWE Survivor Series 2002 - Elimination Chamber
Productgroup: DVD
WWE Survivor Series 2002 - Elimination Chamber - movie DVD cover picture
Great PPV

People might say SummerSlam or WrestleMania was better but they didn't have non stop action for every match like the Survivor Series was from Madison Square Garden.
Survivor Series Intro
6 Man tag team table match - Fun!!!
kidman vs Noble - great mat wrestling and cruiserweight action.
trish stratus vs victoria - great match, the women's division is so awesome these days.
big show vs Brock Lesnar - first encounter for these two,worth watching!!
wwe tag team title triple threat - amazing!!!
Scott Steiner debuts - entertaining segment
Elimination Chamber - Witness history.
DVD EXTRAS- they're ok, post match interviews and stuff but the event is extremly entertaining. Buy Now.

Studio: Sony Music (Video)
Director: Kevin Dunn (III)

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