Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: When We Were Kings
Productgroup: DVD
When We Were Kings - movie DVD cover picture
Not quite the whole truth

This fight was one of the first distinct memories of my childhood. The damn thing took forever to come on TV (my father and his friends had gotten it on closed circuit in Germany) and I fell asleep at least once waiting for the fighters to finally make it into the ring. I was too young to understand everything that went on in the leadup to the "event" (and that's what it was) and I was absolutely delighted to learn that this film was going to be released so I could catch up.
And it is a truly great film. It is a great film because it documents a great time in American and African history and because the things it documents are inherently dramatic and exciting. That said, this is also a terrific film from a filmmaking point of view; wonderful camera work, in your face documenting, and intelligent editing. It's not as "artsy" as Leni Riefenstahl's classic documentation of the 1936 Berlin Olympics, but that event had a totally different cultural and historical context.
As a sport film, this movie is also important because it documents one of the greatest fights of all time; Ali correctly noted after the fight that his rope-a-dope strategy would go down in the annals of boxing.
All in all a wonderfully entertaining, informative, and inspiring way to spend about 90 minutes of your time.

Studio: Universal Studios Ho
Director: Leon Gast
Muhammad Ali
George Foreman

DVD title: Birthday Girl
Productgroup: DVD
Birthday Girl - movie DVD cover picture
Sumptuous sex-comedy/thriller

THis is a beautifully crafted film! A fantastic and thrilling narrative that defies conventional categories. The writer/director tends to call it the movie a "sex-comedy", but that does an injustice to the wonderful element of tension and suspense this film carries with it. Ben Chaplin plays a dillignet but boerd bank employee living in the British countryside. Chaplin's character John sends away for a charming, well educated Russian Bride and ends up with a chain smoking woman that doesn't speak a word of English.
I honestly didn't realize how obscenely talented and dedicated Nicole Kidman is as an actor. The Screenwriting is also superb. Every element of the storyline fell beutifully into place at just the right moments. The movie has a great romantic storyline that doesn't make the mistake of trying too hard to actually be romantic.
Aslo, I was rather impressed after finding out that the actors that played Alexi and Yuri were both Frenchmen -- they pulled of the Russian convincingly and effortlessly. IN fact all of the performances, including Nicole Kidman's come off stunningly, without the slightest stench of pretense or effort.

Studio: Buena Vista Home Vid
Director: Jez Butterworth
Nicole Kidman
Vincent Cassel

DVD title: Star Wars - Episode II, Attack of the Clones (Full Screen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Star Wars - Episode II, Attack of the Clones (Full Screen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
The best yet......

This is by far the best star wars movie to be released. For the people who didn't like it ,well, I really don't give a f***. I love every single Star Wars movie but this is beyond all of them, by a little bit. Ewan Mcgregor as Obi Wan is just genius casting, and Hayden Christianson does a fine job as well. I think that star wars movies get better and in that logic, Episode 3 will probably be the best one. (George Lucas must of left the best for last.) In conclusion, this movie is awesome and if you think otherwise you suck.

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox Home Video
Director: George Lucas
Ewan McGregor
Natalie Portman

DVD title: Spirit - Stallion of the Cimarron (Full Screen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Spirit - Stallion of the Cimarron (Full Screen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
tears of happiness

When the movie ended, my 12 yr old daughter turned to me and stated simply, "that was the first time I ever cried tears of joy"....we both cried, tears of joy AND sadness at this lovely animated picture.

Studio: Universal Studios
Matt Damon

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
Now I lay me down to sleep........

Finally !

The wait is over... Aug. 2, 2005

FYI - You can go to the Paramount site, and see all the DVD details and extras - quite a list. You will have to do a search for the title on the Home Entertainment page. It is not on the upcoming releases page yet.

For everyone reading this under the age of 45, you have to remember. A lot of people my age watched this movie a bunch of times on TV growing up in the 50s and 60s. It was a great story at that time, with lots of realistic scenes that were not the norm then. Ernest Gann, the writer and technical consultant, was an airline pilot. The director, William Wellman, flew with the Lafayette Escadrille during WW I. These guys made "real" movies during the fifties, that inspired guys like me to grow up and be a part of aviation into the new century. William Wellman's movies, especially Public Enemy, the Ox-Bow incident, and Battleground, brought something to Hollywood unheard of at the time of each movie - realism. A bunch of us have read all of Ernest Gann's (and Robert Serling's) aviation books. The High and the Mighty, and Fate is the Hunter are the best of the best of that time. The High and the Mighty managed to wrap an incredibly authentic aviation story around a pretty good "Hollywood" dramatic potboiler about a bunch of people re-evaluating their soon to be short lives... It has been copied hundreds of times since. If you are looking for today's version of realism - "American Idol" or "Blind Date", go back to your TV and tune them in. You will not be happy with any 50s movie, much less this one. If you liked "Casablanca" in black and white, or you have an incurable fondness for airplane flicks over the years like "Twelve O'Clock High" or "The Battle of Britain", both recently released on DVD, you will like "The High and the Mighty". In fact, you will love it. John Wayne limping off towards the darkness of the airport arrival gate, whistling the title song, is one of those things indelibly etched in my mind. So long Ancient Pelican - It's getting a little past my bedtime.

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

DVD title: American History X
Productgroup: DVD
American History X - movie DVD cover picture
best movie ever

In the first few minutes of the movie, I thought this would be just another violent movie about rasicsm. However, as the movie progressed I was drawn to the various hidden themes that the movie had to offer. I also loved the way black and white was used to represent past scenes and color was used to represent present. If you haven't seen this movie yet, you really are missing a valuable lesson.

Studio: New Line Home Entertainment
Director: Tony Kaye
Edward Norton
Edward Furlong

DVD title: The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex
Productgroup: DVD
The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex - movie DVD cover picture

'Elizabeth and Essex' is a magnificent,sweeping epic film. The screenplay, based in Maxwell Anderson's award-winning play of tragic love is beautiful prose. The art direction and cinematogaphy are near perfect. The music and sound direction are flawless. Bette Davis give bravura performance as the legendary queen; she shines brilliantly. The supporting cast is just right. Highly recommended for an evening's enjoyment.

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Michael Curtiz
Bette Davis
Errol Flynn

DVD title: Standing In The Shadows of Motown
Productgroup: DVD
Standing In The Shadows of Motown - movie DVD cover picture
Feeling the real sound of Motown

I have just view this DVD today and was totally blown away. Born and raised in Detroit area I grew up with Motown and loved everything connected with it. It is still one of my favorite music venues and brings back great memories. With all the stars up front like the Four Tops my (ultimate favorites) I was unaware of the backbone of Motown. Thank you for bringing me to light of the wonderful talent of the great Funk Band.

Studio: Lions Gate Home Entertainment
Director: Paul Justman
Jack Ashford
Joe Hunter
Uriel Jones

DVD title: WWE Unforgiven 2003
Productgroup: DVD
WWE Unforgiven 2003 - movie DVD cover picture
Goldberg is champ... finally

WWE Unforgiven was easily the best "brand-only" ppv this year.
1. Dudley's v. La Resistance (handicap table match for tag titles)***Very entertaning match. The "french" tag team beat the Dudley's way too many times and were the worst tag team champs EVER!Winner: New Champs Dudley's
2.Scott Steiner v. Test**Someone kill this storyline please! Match was only saved by the chairshot by Stacy to Steiner.Winner: Test
3. HBK v. Randy Orton***1/2Awesome wrestling match. Sadly, the match was hurt by Flair's constant interference. Winner: orton
4.Lita-Trish v. Molly-Gail Kim***Great tag match. Molly, Trish, and Lita did well, while Gail Kim should learn to wrestle or leave. Winner: Lita-Trish
5. Shane v. Kane (Last Man Standing)*****One of the two BEST matches of the ppv. Very dramatic and brutalmatch with a real "holy-s***" ending. Winner: Kane
6. Y2J v. RVD. Christian (IC title)****Awesome triple-treat match. Watck for a spot involving all three wrestlers. Winner: IC Champ Christian
7. J.R . and King v. Coach-Al Snow(BORING)Worst match of the year.
8. Goldberg v. Triple H (World Title)*****If Goldberg loses, he must retire from wrestling.The best Raw main event of the year. Crowd was behind Goldberg from the getgo. Goldberg pinnd HHH. to FINALLY end "The Game"Winner: New World Champ Goldberg.

Studio: Sony Music (Video)

DVD title: Burn Up W
Productgroup: DVD
Burn Up W - movie DVD cover picture
Good Anime

This is a Very nicely done Anime. One of the better ones I think but not for children. So if you are 18 and older you would enjoy it very much. The animation on it is wonderful and the story line is basic. Not hard to understand. I would not hold your breath for it to be on American TV. Go get the DVD ot tape.

rated 16 and up: (nudity, profanity, sexual humor, violence, violence against women)

Studio: A.D. Vision
Director: Hiroshi Negishi

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