Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Silk Stockings
Productgroup: DVD
Silk Stockings - movie DVD cover picture
One of my favorite musicals of all time!

After starring together in the movie "Bandwagon" (1953), Fred Astaire and Cyd Charisse are back, better than ever! For lovers of musical/comedies, "Silk Stockings" is not to be missed!
When the Russian offficials find out that their beloved composer Peter Boroff (Wim Sonneveld) does not want to return to Russia after staying in Paris, they decide to take action. They send three comrades Bibinski (Jules Munshin), Brankov (Peter Lorre), and Ivanov (Joseph Buloff) to bring him back. But little do they realize that Boroff had secretly agreed to compose music for director Steve Canfield's (Fred Astaire) new Peggy Daiton (Janis Paige) movie. Steve then gets a plan to make a fake document saying that Boroff is actually half French! He easily convinces Bibinski, Brankov, and Ivanov to stay in Paris while settling the dispute of Boroff's nationality. Meanwhile the three Russians are having the time of their life smoking cigars, going to nightclubs, and enjoying themselves. The Russians take action by sending in envoy extraordinaire Ninotchka (Cyd Charisse) to once and for all bring by not only Boroff but also the other three comrades. Extremely cold and very 'Russian', Ninotchka is disgusted with the decadent Capitalistic Paris. But Steve who starts to fall in love with her, is determined to break her ice and to show her how to live... and to love.
Everything is just so totally fantastic about this movie! From the fun-loving Fred Astaire, the icy Cyd Charisse, the three bumbling and hilarious Munshin, Lorre, and Buloffe, and of course, who can forget Janis Paige in her very wacky and outgoing part as the swimstar actress, Peggy Daiton! And of course there are the musical numbers! Here are the dance numbers (Not in any order):
"All of You": Beautiful number done by Fred Astaire and Cyd Charisse. Steve certainly finds out that Ninotchka can really dance!"Siberia": Hilarious number done by the Russian trio! It's so amazing seeing Peter Lorre singing and dancing in a musical number! And he seems to be enjoying himself so much!"Silk Stockings": Cyd Charisse showcases her ballet talents in this very well done and beautiful dance."Red Blues": Very fun song and dance with the seemingly dull Russians having a great time."Too Bad We Can't Go Back to Moscow": I just love this song and Fred Astaire gets to dance with three Parisian girls who definitely know how to dance!"Fated to Be Mated": Another Fred Astaire and Cyd Charisse dance number."Ritz Rollin' Rock": There of course has to be a dance routine where Fred Astaire taps solo. And boy does he tap! "Stereophonic Sound": Janis Paige and Fred Astaire say the three qualities that are needed nowadays in movies."Satin and Silk": Peggy Dainton is desperate to have Boroff's music made into popular songs. This is the number where she 'convinces' him."Josephine": The popular song that is made from Boroff's music, "Ode to a Tractors". We never really get to hear the whole thing though.
Here are some of my other favorite musicals/comedies which I highly recommend. "Take Me Out to the Ballgame", "Bandwagon", "Cover Girl", "Tea for Two", "Singin' in the Rain", "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers", "The Barkleys of Broadway", the three "That's Entertainment" videos, and "Guys and Dolls". Of course there's plenty more!

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Rouben Mamoulian
Fred Astaire
Cyd Charisse

DVD title: Apollo 13 (DTS)
Productgroup: DVD
Apollo 13 (DTS) - movie DVD cover picture

this movie is just great. it is realistic, it has great performances. it's drama with some nicely spaced comedic moments. it's just uplifting. it tels of how people can just automatically pull together, and it all actually happened. i just loved it

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: Ron Howard
Tom Hanks
Bill Paxton
Kevin Bacon
Gary Sinise
Ed Harris

DVD title: Pirates of the Caribbean - The Curse of the Black Pearl (2-Disc Collector's Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Pirates of the Caribbean - The Curse of the Black Pearl (2-Disc Collector's Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Pirates Rock!!

This was one of the best action movies we have seen in a long while. Not only was the action great but the humor was too. We absolutely loved this film. Johnny Depp was phenomonal as "Captain" Jack Sparrow, Kiera Knightly was a great addition, and of course, Orlando Bloom was outstanding in his own right...The lines have been long, showtimes sold out, and people really enjoyed the movie. You could not believe the detail Disney put in to the pirates alone. Each time they hit the moonlight, they became skeletons. The second they go into darkness they return to human form. In every scene. It is awesome. This film rocks. I have not told enough people yet how great it is, and that they need to see it... GO SEE THIS MOVIE!!

Studio: Walt Disney Home Video
Director: Gore Verbinski
Johnny Depp
Geoffrey Rush
Orlando Bloom
Keira Knightley
Jonathan Pryce

DVD title: Family Guy, Vol. 1 (Seasons 1 & 2)
Productgroup: DVD
Family Guy, Vol. 1 (Seasons 1 & 2) - movie DVD cover picture
Thank God the Griffins were released on DVD

This show was so funny, I had always wondered what happened to it. It would be on, then on at a different time. Then it would skip a few weeks, be back on the air at another time. You never knew when it would be on.
Now I don't have to worry about it. The Griffins are at my fingertips for all time.What a deal this is too, 28 episodes for under forty bucks is a steal.
If you are not familiar with the show, be warned. It makes the Simpsons look like the Teletubbies. It is crude, rude, and outrageously funny. You will have an offensive joke thrown at you no mater who you are. White, Black, Southern, European, Jewish, Mexican, American Indian, etc. It doesn't matter, this was a no holds barred show that even FOX couldn't handle. Peter Griffin makes Homer Simpson look like Hugh Beaumont from Leave it to Beaver.
This show will shock and offend as it laughs at the rules of political correctness. When you have a talking alcoholic dog, a murderous one year old, a sexist man, a retarded teenage boy, an insecure girl, and a sexy woman all in the same family, what the heck would you expect?
This cartoon series blows away Kng of the Hill, The Simpsons, and Futurama. This was by far the best animated series FOX ever had. Bravo!

Studio: Fox Home Entertainme
Seth Macfarlane

DVD title: Reiki 2nd Level Attunement Learn and Use the Reiki Sacred Symbols
Productgroup: DVD
Reiki 2nd Level Attunement Learn and Use the Reiki Sacred Symbols - movie DVD cover picture
Powerful attunement!

I have now purchased Steve Murray's... "Reiki Healing Attunement", "Reiki 1st Level Attunements", "Reiki 2nd Level" and "Master Attunement".I was very impressed with the healing energy that comes forth through these much needed DVD'S of Reiki attunements. However, if you are looking for information on the history of Reiki, you will not find it here. There are many wonderful books out there for that kind of knowledge, but if you are truly interested in receiving Reiki attunements then these are the DVD's I recommend. If you are wanting attunements to be able to heal yourself, others and this beautiful world we live in, then Steve's DVD's are for you. I was blown away by the love I felt and the flow of positive energy. The attunements are powerful! I am so eternally thankful someone stepped outside their comfort zone and made Reiki attunements available at such an affordable price. Reiki is needed now more than ever. This is truly healing for the now and the future. If you are interested in making a positive difference in yourself, and others, I urge you to get these Reiki attunements. And don't let people tell you that to be able to receive attunements you have to do it in secret, and it has to cost a lot of money. Reiki energy is a gift from God and is a free, loving energy to anyone that has a desire for healing. I thank Steve for having a vision for the betterment of everyone! This will honor you where you are, and inspire you to go beyond your impossibilities!

Studio: Body & Mind Producti

DVD title: Queer as Folk - The Complete First Season (Showtime)
Productgroup: DVD
Queer as Folk - The Complete First Season (Showtime) - movie DVD cover picture

I have a 29 year old gay son who got me hooked on this show and that is why I'm buying the dvd's. It's only fair sinceI hooked him on SEX AND THE CITY. This show is so good ...I saw another review from some writer in LA complaining about this show. My son and all of his straight and gay friends watch this show. It's so good I hope they run it forever. The writing is so good it's better than some of the so called best shows on regular tv. Thank God Showtime had the guts to put this show on the air. I've told a lot of my friends to watch just for the characterizations alone. I can't wait for the 2nd season to start. I'll be making a lot of long distance calls again to my son as we talk about this show.

Studio: Showtime Entertainment 2
Queer As Folk
Hal Sparks

DVD title: The Lord of the Rings - The Return of the King (Widescreen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
The Lord of the Rings - The Return of the King (Widescreen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
I have actually seen the movie--VERY MINOR SPOILER

I saw the film on December 4, 2003, in Minneapolis; Barry Osborne had arranged a screening to benefit Carleton College, his alma mater.
As with the others, I looked forward to this movie--wouldn't miss it for anything--with the repeated thought, "Don't let them mess it up; PLEASE don't let them mess it up." I should have had more faith. Peter Jackson didn't mess it up. I recommend it wholeheartedly.
It starts with the backstory of Smeagol and Deagol, telling the tale of the evolution of Gollum. It continues to highlight the character as even more manipulative than he is in the book. I found Gollum's increased influence and a few other changes in detail confusing at first, but these things did serve to heighten the suspense for one who already knows the story well. Of course the movie has to omit things that were in the book; time is limited, after all. But these necessary changes were handled in a simple and elegant way, making the flow of the story smooth and impressive. This film is extremely heroic in theme and action; as a result, some of the subtlety of the earlier movies is lost in the more direct appeal to the emotions of the viewers.
The acting was. as always, excellent; in particular, Billy Boyd gave depth to the character of Pippin far beyond what he was called upon to do in the first two films. David Wenham (Faramir) also was outstanding.
I liked it very much. Most likely, if Hollywood runs true to form, some other movie will win the Academy Award for best picture. But Return of the King actually IS the best picture of 2003, award or no award.

Studio: New Line Home Entertainment
Director: Peter Jackson
Viggo Mortensen
Ian McKellen
Elijah Wood

DVD title: Lord of the Wu Tang
Productgroup: DVD
Lord of the Wu Tang - movie DVD cover picture
Definately A Master !

This is definately one of the most entertaining Jet Li movies that I have seen to date, it even parralells Fist of Legends. The fighting is fast furious and the effects are off the scale. The only thing wrong with this movie is that it ends too soon! I have heard that there was going to be a sequel but there were disputes between directors... Well I pray that one day they'll sort that out and bring us a sequel.

Studio: Front Row Video, Inc

DVD title: Once Upon a Time in the West
Productgroup: DVD
Once Upon a Time in the West - movie DVD cover picture
I knew a DVD version would be released soon!

Back in late April I got word that this epic movie would be shown once on the 22nd of June, a Sunday, on TCM (Turner Classic Movies) at 6PM Eastern. Generally, I don't remember such details, but a movie like OUTW is a rare film that should be considered by ANY lover of the cinema, especially those interested in independent flicks, cinematic musical scores or film production. I made mention in a forum discussing OUTW in June that a DVD should be coming out soon since the wide screen transfer (which looked like a direct transfer from the original print), was aired on TCM and discovered now that it would finally be released!
About letterboxed and pan & scan: If you liked the movie while watching the butchered versions on television from years ago, you'll be amazed at the wide screen transfer, since the movie was filmed in Techniscope @ 2.35:1. Some of you shudder at the new "letterbox" release of movies, feeling that the film is not filling your standard TV screen, but this reviewer is a photographer who understands how cropping kills what an image is trying to show. You'll actually be getting the other part of the movie that the television execs chopped off to fit the movie onto your screen. Some still don't understand how this works, so at the bottom, I'll give you an example that might help.
Sergio Leone intended this movie to be seen in widescreen on a large screen, and your 19" typical television really doesn't do justice to the film. I'm sure he's smiling more now since his films can be appreciated on larger screen TVs or the projection monitors in the aspect he had intended. But make no mistake. You should easily be entertained by watching OUTW on any screen because it's simply that great.
From Sergio Leone to Carlo Leva (an uncredited member of the set decoration team) and from Henry Fonda to Luana Strode (the Indian woman, uncredited in the movie and actually the wife of late actor Woody Strode, who plays Stony [the bald man] in the opening scene), every member of the cast and crew gave their all in the production of this movie, which I consider one of the best epic movies ever made. Why? Everything comes together. The story, lighting, framing, acting, and those amazing close-ups in which Leone brought out the intensity of the eyes. Watch the eyes, because the way the actors used theirs is incredible.
You'll see that the film grabbed you when you start whistling or humming the music (Ennio Morricone's scores) even decades after watching it. The music is still in my head after I first saw it on TV in the 1970s. A particular thanks and sincere homage to Leone, Fonda, Strode, Frank Wolff, Jason Robards, Al Mulock, and most recently, Charles Bronson. They and all others involved in OUTW who have passed are timeless with the production and release of this beautiful movie.
Okay, for the ones who want to understand about letterbox... this is a crude but effective way to demonstrate what happens when a movie is "reformmated to fit your screen." Find a business envelope and draw a simple sunset scene where the sun is on the extreme left and two stickfigure people are on the extreme right. Imagine the scene as real in your mind and then with your pretty scene facing you, stand in front of your TV set and hold it between you and the set until the vertical edges of the envelope match up with the edges of the screen. As you mask the TV with the envelope, you'll see those same bars above and below on your set which demonstrates the letterboxing on your TV. Now, pull your picture towards you until 3 sides of the envelope meet up with 3 of the 4 sides of the edges of your screen behind it. Once you do that, fold the envelope back where the remaining 4th edge of the screen meets behind your drawing. The 2/3rds of the picture you folded back represent your TV screen format. The other part (either the sunset or the people enjoying it) would be cropped if your image were transferred to your TV screen to fill it. The envelope's size represents what the film format of OUTW is. That part of the envelope you folded back is the amount of movie that has to be cropped out, or "reformmatted" to fit your TV, which effectively kills the moment. The cropped areas are what should be restored in the DVD, scenes that enhance the enjoyment of what Leone intended you to really see.

Studio: Paramount Home Video
Director: Sergio Leone
Henry Fonda
Charles Bronson

DVD title: The Wood
Productgroup: DVD
The Wood - movie DVD cover picture
Never heard of this place but the movie was good!

This movie turned out to be a lot better than I thought it would be. When I first saw the commercials I thought it would be just another flick with the same old stuff.....but I was wrong. There was comedy(plenty), Drama, and even some deep moments. Watching this reminded me of when I was in highschool beacsue of all the things they went through like school fights, checking out the girls, and standing in front the class to say something. It plays through all this before it gets to the real story of the movie.......kinda like past to present ..then future like the movie "Scroge". Overall I think that anybody will enjoy this and if you don't buy this at least check it out. You might be suprised.

Studio: Paramount Studio
Director: Rick Famuyiwa

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