Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Sphere
Productgroup: DVD
Sphere - movie DVD cover picture
One for many

This movie is for those that like a challenge while viewing, and it helps to have a working knowledge of basic physics, biology, or to just be able to understand and appreciate laws/theories of science. The acting is great, the suttle allusion made between Hoffman and Stone's characters lightened up the dialogue, Samuel Jackson is one of my favorite actors and definitely didn't dissappoint me with this one. This movie will bore you if you don't like engaging in conversations (or even just thinking alone) about scientific "what if's?" or just don't appreciate thinking about the psychological dillemmas and dynamics that occur between humans that become confronted with a near, present, and unpredictable (insurmisable) danger. But I say this, you don't have to be an MIT graduate to appreciate this Sci-Fi movie (my best friend went to MIT, I went to Brown, so maybe that's why I liked it), but if you're an intellectual, this movie provides you with something to see and think about.

Studio: Warner Studios
Director: Barry Levinson
Dustin Hoffman
Sharon Stone
Samuel L. Jackson
Peter Coyote

DVD title: Aliens (Special Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Aliens (Special Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
preferable to even the heart-pounding original

You've probably seen Aliens already, but not like this. The "lost" footage (probably so the movie would fit on a VHS tape) finally explains why the Aliens don't simply break the barricades, why Newt knows the layout of colony air ducts and why Ripley cares so much about Newt in the first place. It's still just as much a thrill ride as ever, only now it makes more sense too.
The video is clear and crisp as if it was shot yesterday, and Cameron knows how to do action scenes that stand the test of time. This is a DVD worthy of any action fan's library.

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
Director: James Cameron
Sigourney Weaver
Michael Biehn

DVD title: The Bridge on the River Kwai
Productgroup: DVD
The Bridge on the River Kwai - movie DVD cover picture
Of War, Honor, and Disillusionment

David Lean masterfully recreates Pierre Boulle's classic novelset in the Burmese jungle of World War II. The movie provides one ofthe great character studies ever captured on film. Two men, Colonel Saito played by Sessue Hayakawa, and Colonel Nicholson played by Alec Guinness, clash in an epic struggle of duty, honor, and will. Saito, a brutal, driven and reclusive prison camp commander stands in stark contrast to the equally driven but erudite and charismatic Nicholson. Upon arriving at the camp, Nicholson demands humane treatment for his troops in accordance with the conventions of war. Saito strikes the British Colonel and confines him in a small, sweltering tin box in an effort to break his will. As the days pass, the tension in the camp builds as the British soldiers, in forced labor, sabotage their Japanese captor's efforts to construct a railway bridge over the River Kwai. Saito, humbled and desperate, finally summons the emaciated Nicholson to meet in a gripping scene over dinner. The men ultimately reach a compromise to build the bridge, a compromise that sows the seeds for their eventual destruction. Hayakawa and Guinness, through sheer force of talent, depict the sense of honor and agony that consumes each of their characters.
The musical score, cinematography, and direction only accentuate the dramatic force of this movie. If you have never seen the film, I envy your first experience. If you have, then you know the satisfaction you derive from watching it again and again...

Studio: Columbia Tri-Star
Director: David Lean
William Holden
Alec Guinness

DVD title: La Ley - MTV Unplugged
Productgroup: DVD
La Ley - MTV Unplugged - movie DVD cover picture

Molto efficiente la qualit? di AMAZON, che mi ha spedito questo DVD molto prima del tempo previsto, e poi sulla scheda diceva che era solo nel formato "zona 1" ma in realt? il DVD ? per tutte le zone, questo ? valorabile ...
La Ley ? un gruppo formidabile e questo UNPLUGGED lo dimostra ...

Muy eficiente la calidad de AMAZON que me ha enviado el DVD mucho antes del tiempo declarado, ademas en la ficha del producto decia que era solo "zona 1" pero en realidad es para todas las zonas del mundo, genial ...
La Ley es un grupo buenissimo y en este UNPLUGGED lo demuestra

Studio: Wea Corp
La Ley

DVD title: Horror of Dracula
Productgroup: DVD
Horror of Dracula - movie DVD cover picture
Horror Of Dracula

I have seen this movie over a thousand times during my short eighteen years on this planet, not because my real life surname is in league with one of the characters, but because of the way Stokers two great nemesis always kept one step ahead of the other. I saw the (31) version and believe me it was the most boring one I've seen-next to jack palances performance! here terance fisher chose the right actor to play the most evil, ruthless, monster the world had ever came across. Christopher Lee is far better than Loguse, Langella, Oldman and Palance put together. I found him so scary that I had night mares for over two weeks, it was the pure evil in his eyes that convinced me that he was perfect for the role! I guess There is also one Professor VanHelsing on the screens, and Yes it has to be Peter Cushing! I've watched him in all the Dracula movies and I will most certainly have him in my family to protect against the evil that is Dracula! Both the character of Dracula and VanHelsing are perfectly portraid by Lee and Cushing. They are like Holmes, versus Moriarty and like those two nemesis Lees Dracula is a Formidable apponant for Cushings Vanhelsing! I just now rediscovered Horror of Dracula and Ladies and Gentle- men, I will never get tired of it..I loved it and still do!!

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Terence Fisher

DVD title: We Were Soldiers
Productgroup: DVD
We Were Soldiers - movie DVD cover picture

This is an absolutely stunning movie, giving a better depiction of how the Army initially went into the Vietnam War. In the early stages of this war, the Army itself was ready and willing to fight this fight. This is not one of those earlier films, showing the later stages of the war where the Army was demoralized by the politicians and the poor leadership put in place by those inept politicians. Mel Gibson gives another stunning performance of a true field grade officer, who was born to do what he was doing. He again shows that when you want to make a film of epic proportions, he's the one you want in the leading role. Along with the disheartening scenes of what happens to soldiers in a war, the scenes with the wifes at home receiving telegrams from a taxi were very painful and gut wrenching. Being a soldier myself, I think it would be worst for my wife to get that kind of notification, than being the one killed. Again, one of the best war movies of all time, and Mel Gibson should get an oscar for this performance.

Studio: Paramount Home Video
Director: Randall Wallace
Mel Gibson

DVD title: Staind - MTV Unplugged
Productgroup: DVD
Staind - MTV Unplugged - movie DVD cover picture
Breaking The Cycle

I was one of the unlucky fans not able to see the aired version of Staind Unplugged. So sadly I missed out. until I came across this DVD. Staind was already great band. but by going acoustic and pulling it off (Which few bands have done),Staind proved to be a even greater band. This emotional 72 minute set is really great. Hearing the impact on a stripped down version of "Home" and the 2 unaired "Pressure and Suffer". Or the emotion of a new acoustic "Outside". This DVD is one of the best unplugged sessions ever. If you think they broke the cycle before. then wait til you get a glimpse at it being broken through a acoustic view point. And yes for the staind fans this will defintely hold you over til the next album.

Studio: Wea/Elektra Entertainment

DVD title: The Best Years of Our Lives
Productgroup: DVD
The Best Years of Our Lives - movie DVD cover picture
The definition of "Classic"

This is probably the best post-war film ever made, not shying away from the real difficulties that faced military men returning from World War II. It was actually made to educate civilians to these problems. This effort on behalf of the country's servicemen earned eight Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Actor for Frederic March, and two for Harold Russell (Homer)--one for Best Supporting Actor, and another for "bringing hope and courage to his fellow veterans."
This is the story of three soldiers played by Frederic March, Dana Andrews, and Harold Russell (in his debut role). These three were able to survive in a military setting, but when they arrive home they find that they have changed, and yet everything else is still the same. They deal with their discoveries in wildly different ways.
I was watching this film wondering why one has to go back fifty years to find a film with the poignancy, truth, and quality of this one. There have been wars since then, so why haven't there been movies like this one? Yes, there's Coming Home, but what else, and that was over twenty years ago. And does a movie have to be about war to be a deeply emotional--not romantic, but everyday emotion?
If you are looking for something like that--a film with real drama, believable characters, excellent writing, and unintrusive direction--you must see The Best Years of Our Lives.

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

DVD title: Yu Yu Hakusho:Ghostfiles Born Anew Vo
Productgroup: DVD
Yu Yu Hakusho:Ghostfiles Born Anew Vo - movie DVD cover picture
Surprises at every turn

This new addition to the Chapter Black saga has so many turns and twists, it'll make your head spin. Why has King Yama, ruler of the dead, sent his most elite force to the Human World? How are Hiei, Youko Kurama, and Kuwabara faring with the power-mad Sensui? Why is there a monstrous blue phoenix protecting the seemingly dead Yusuke? Find out this and more on the next Yu Yu Hakusho! (Sorry! ^^ Couldn't resist!)

Studio: Funimation Productio

DVD title: Alice at the Palace (Broadway Theatre Archive)
Productgroup: DVD
Alice at the Palace (Broadway Theatre Archive) - movie DVD cover picture
The best of the best - Papp, Swados, Streep, pure GENIUS!

I saw this and taped it on VHS when it first came out as a Peacock Presentation on television. I was delighted at the opportunity to replace my old VSH tape with a new DVD and the "remastered" DVD is crisp and clean, with sharp sound and great color.
If you're a purist, be forewarned that this is an inovative and creative production of ALice and it takes liberties..and yet, amazingly, the whole thing works, revolving around the theme of identity, childhood, growing up, feeling small and the crazy/scary world of childhood. It is also a musical production, so if you prefer spoken theatre to musicals, you should be aware that this is primarily sung, with brief periods of dialogue.
It was a pleasure seeing Streep and so many other talented performers at their best -and, not incidentally, starring in a performance of Alice that goes beyond what Lewis Carroll may have had in mind - with the potential to reach a whole new generation of viewers.
Streep is a wonder, absolutely chameleon-like in her ability to change moods in the twinkling of an eye, from pouting child to spunky adolescent.
This particular staging required a great deal of manual dexterity on the part of the the performers and there are unexpected delights to amaze even those who think they've seen every variation of Alice in Wonderland. The caterpiller,for instance, is made up of a group of people, waving their arms in very caterpiller-like fashion, while the head of the caterpiller sings in a...unique..chanting...way.
And the music is simply stellar, the kind of tunes you find yourself humming long afterwards, ranging from joyouus to haunting. I loved "Soup of the Evening" in particular.
This production is a musical in the best sense of the word, drawing from all aspects of theatre and musical history, everything from traditional songs to variations on Jewish melodies and so forth. In the process, the production weaves a spell on the audience - for me, it opened my eyes to the various types of consciousness we all experience, including feelings lurking just below consciousness that Swados somehow manages to encourage her ensemble to discover and to...well, simply have a heck of a lot of fun in the process (but it must have been incredibly difficult to stage).
This is a true rarity in theatre performances, revealing Streep's talent and versatility early on...and I only wish directors and performers still had the encouragement and financing to take such risks today. Hard to imagine anything this original and daring on television (even cable) these days.

Studio: Kultur
Director: Emile Ardolino

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