Film DVD related reviews


DVD title: Million Dollar Baby (Widescreen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Million Dollar Baby (Widescreen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
One of the Most Moving Films of All Time


MOVIE: A man and a woman who are alone in this world find each other in Clint Eastwood's Best Picture winner, Million Dollar Baby. Frankie (Eastwood) is an aging trainer who is afriad of moving on to the future and dwells on his past, which is really never told to the audience in the film. All we know is that he and his daughter are not getting along, and each week he sends a letter only to have it returned to sender unopened. Maggie (Swank) is the opposite, a young woman who also has a bad relationship with her family, but instead wants to move on from her past instead of trying to mend broken wounds. She is poor, lives in a one room place, and is a waitress who pockets the leftovers for herself. After Frankie's boxer moves onto another manager due to the fact that he felt that Frankie was holding him from a championship, Frankie feels lost. His only friend is an aging boxer, Eddie (Freeman), who lost one eye because his manager left him and couldn't "protect" him. Frankie feels that the number one rule in boxing is to "protect yourself", and Eddie feels that Frankie can't always protect his boxers from everything because he's protecting himself from a championship. While reluctant to train Maggie at first, he ends up taking her under her wing and she slowly becomes one heck of a fighter. The relationship of these two build and build, and the audience really sees how they fit each other perfectly. Maggie's father is dead, and her mother lives in a trailer ignoring her, Frankie has no family it seems (but the audience never really knows) and her daughter never answers his letters. The film is told through partial narrations from Morgan Freeman's character, who is really the only person who knows Frankie. He lives in the gym that Frankie owns, and serves as the janitor. The theme of boxing is used as a symbol for the punches that life throws at you, and that is why it is important to always "protect yourself". This is not a boxing movie, but a film about the troubles of life that all of us can relate to. The ending is very beautiful, very sad, very moving. I am a huge film fanatic and usually see Oscar contenders before the ceremony, but I missed this one, in fact it was the only one I missed. Now I wish I saw it before because it would have had my vote. The film is beautiful, just beautiful, probably the most moving film in the last 10 years. I don't remember a film where I was as touched as I was from Million Dollar Baby. Even when I watch the trailer now I get tears in my eyes. If you haven't seen the film, I cannot stress enough the journey you are missing.

ACTING: Hilary Swank deserves the Oscar, and so does Morgan Freeman. I thought DiCaprio gave the best performance of the year before I saw Clint Eastwood here, and he was definately more deserving than Jamie Foxx or DiCaprio. The chemistry is perfect between all three of them. The sweetness of the relationship betwen Frankie and Maggie are so real and it never feels forced or unreal. While Swank's character is 32 in the film, you'd swear she was a little girl, and that is what really sparks the father/daughter relationship the two share through these times in their lives even though they're not related. Morgan Freeman, while a washed up boxer, is the wisest of the characters, always providing insight in every situation that is befitting. The acting is top notch, and Clint Eastwood is magnificent.

BOTTOM LINE: Eastwood's production company is called Mal Paso, which translates from Italian as Bad Choice. This is a tribute to Sergio Leone because everyone in his life back then told him that doing those Spahgetti Westerns was a bad choice, and would ruin his career. Well, I guess they weren't such a mal paso after all. Eastwood is more accomplished as a director than he is an actor, while he was America's (and Italy's) tough guy, here he shows his emotional side and his brilliant perspective on drama, which is equivelent to life. Isn't It? I mean drama in films and books are meant to tell a story based on one's view on life, so drama is life. Clint Eastwood sees this, and that's why his films touch close with everyone.

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Clint Eastwood
Actors:
Clint Eastwood
Hilary Swank
Morgan Freeman




DVD title: White Chicks (PG-13 Rated Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
White Chicks (PG-13 Rated Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
AMAZON, WE'VE GOT TO TALK!!!!


I'd like to breifly say somthing in context to this review, and that is that this film is one of the most hilarious Blacksplotation films since "I'm Gonna Git You Sucka!"
The film is a great example of how two B-Rate director/writers like the Wayans can turn a lame story and script into a gut-bustingly Black comedy.

Now for the bad news.


THIS IS A MESSAGE TO THE HEADS OF AMAZON. COM. The audio sample clips have been removed from your music section, and I am one PISSED OFF customer. How are we as consumers to know what were buying if we can't even sample our CDs?!
I DEMAND to have these clips (in both instrumental and artist recordings) returned, in full album, or else my membership (along with a good number of my also PISSED internet advocates) and shopping selection at Amazon.com, to be cut.

Be sure that my numerous reviews and stars will also be withdrawn.

--Mary Simm,( Detroit Daily Chronicle,) aka "GIGI"


Studio: Columbia Tristar Hom
Director: Keenen Ivory Wayans
Actors:
Shawn Wayans
Marlon Wayans
Busy Philipps
Maitland Ward




DVD title: Samurai X - Trust (Rurouni Kenshin)
Productgroup: DVD
Samurai X - Trust (Rurouni Kenshin) - movie DVD cover picture
A definate must see for all Kenshin fans


If you have been following the Kenshin series and are curious as to how he came to be the Hitokiri Battousai, why he has a scar on his cheek, and what he was doing while he was the Battousai then this is a must see!! It has everything Kenshin has 'cept a bit more blood for those gore fans. The fighting scenes are well done, the animation is great, the music my favorite score, it gets you emotionally envolved, everything about this OVA is great! The extras aren't the best but who's complaining? My advice to you tho' is to watch this subtitled as to Kenshin's US voice doesn't really fit his personality. Mayo Suzukaze(his Japanese voice actress) is the part for that as I've said many times before. Plus if you have the subtitles going at the same time you'll notice they don't follow the Japanese script at all. It seems like they were aiming towards the people who are just into fighting like Ninja Scroll fans or something(no offense to you Ninja Scroll fans ^^() )
Anyway it's a great anim? to have in your collection even if you don't necessarily like the Kenshin TV series.
Ja-ne! ^^x

Studio: A.D. Vision
Actors:
Samurai X



DVD title: Monty Python and the Holy Grail
Productgroup: DVD
Monty Python and the Holy Grail - movie DVD cover picture
A Load of Rubbish


THE MOVIENo explanation needed. This is, without a doubt, one of the funniest movies ever made. It's completely mindless and stupid, and that's why you should love it too.
PICTURE/SOUNDAll very nice, nothing special, but for it's age, it looks great.
EXTRASAlright, here's the real review. On Disc One, there are two commentaries included. One is by the co-directors, Terry Jones and Terry Gilliam. The other is by the other 3 (surviving) Python members, Eric Idle, Michael Palin, and John Cleese. Also on Disc One are some oddities such as subtitles from "Henry IV, Part II."On Disc Two is the documentary, "The Quest for the Holy Grail Locations" whcih includes Terry Jones and Michael Palin traveling the English countryside, visiting the sites used in the movie and reliving old memories. It's good, I promise!Along with that is another documentary, shot on location in 1974 by the BBC on the production of the film, entitled "On Location with the Pythons." Not much gets done, but it's fun to watch, and Graham Chapman goes off to catch a large do-do like creature, you know, with a beak. Not really, he just describes it.There is an education film, called "How to Use Your Coconuts" hosted by Michael Palin and a friend. Not really educational at all, is it!? But watch it anyways.A short little segment with LEGO people performing the "Camelot" song.A little segment about "Unused Locations" which means Python members talking nothingness over video of various things from the mid-70s...I mean, unused locations.Three of the musical segments of the film, with lyrics included!A -LOT- of pictures from the film, and not all by Terry Gilliam! It includes promotional material and a whole bunch of other stuff.Oh, and a Cast Directory.Oh! Oh! And Theatrical Trailers!
Good stuff. Get it.

Studio: Columbia/Tristar Studios
Actors:
Terry Gilliam
Terry Jones
Graham Chapman
John Cleese
Eric Idle
Michael Palin




DVD title: Legally Blonde
Productgroup: DVD
Legally Blonde - movie DVD cover picture
Legally Blonde


This is funny and fresh. New and exciting! It's number one in my book!

Studio: Mgm/Ua Studios
Director: Robert Luketic
Actors:
Reese Witherspoon
Luke Wilson




DVD title: Wagner - Der Ring des Nibelungen / Levine, Metropolitan Opera (Complete Ring Cycle)
Productgroup: DVD
Wagner - Der Ring des Nibelungen / Levine, Metropolitan Opera (Complete Ring Cycle) - movie DVD cover picture
best available for the forseeable future


the orchestra is the best in the world (and not coincedentally, the best paid.) The singers are the best available. The recorded sound is spectacular on DTS, and the format the state of the art (although the original video is not).
No need to buy any more "rings" in my lifetime.

Studio: Universal Music & VI
Actors:
James Levine



DVD title: Left Behind II - Tribulation Force
Productgroup: DVD
Left Behind II - Tribulation Force - movie DVD cover picture
An EXCELLENT Movie!


"Left Behind II: Tribulation Force" (LB II: TF) is the latest movie from the independent Christian Film Studio, Cloud Ten Pictures (CTP). I was recently provided an advance screener copy of the film and, in one word, I would describe it as "excellent."LB II: TF takes place one week after the events of the first film in the series, "Left Behind: The Movie" (LB: TM) While that film focused on the events of "The Rapture" (the disappearance of all true believers from the Earth), this movie continues the story of those who were "left behind."
One of the things that is immediately apparent is the return of the entire cast from the first film: Kirk Cameron, Brad Johnson, Clarence Gilyard, Chelsea Noble, Janaya Stephens, and Gordon Currie. After compelling performances in LB: TM, their characters are incredibly solidified in LB II: TF. It would be difficult to see anyone else in those roles again. The acting is truly top-notch and the cast is to be lauded for their heart-felt and very real performances. These are not actors playing characters, these ARE the characters.
The pacing of this film is much different than its predecessor. This is not action-fare, it is great story-telling. Any of the qualms some may have had concerning the plot of LB: TM will be quite pleased with the tightness of the script. Much of this is the result of the decision made by CTP to divide the story of the novel, Tribulation Force, into two movies. This allows better concentration on the story, which is the mission of the Tribulation Force to spread God's truth to as many who will hear it. This involves a daring mission to Israel and the announcement by revered scholar, Rabbi Tsion Ben-Judah concerning the Messiah. Everyone has their part to play as the world enters the Tribulation Period. This story is played out beautifully on-screen.
And what about the story? How good is the adaptation from book to movie? Again, in a word, "excellent." As in all adaptations, there is some liberty taken, but we see many of our favorite scenes from the book brought to life. The powerful sermon of Pastor Barnes at New Hope Village Church, the early courtship and struggles of Buck & Chloe, the first meeting with the Two Witnesses (and the fiery aftermath!), the speech by Dr. Ben-Judah - all are presented in high quality.
The strongest point of LB II: TF is the unashamed presentation of the Gospel message. Again, anyone who may have been concerned with the lack of a stronger message in LB: TM will have no problems here. There are clear, reproducible conversions which are both powerful and personal. I was greatly moved by these scenes (even to tears).
Simply put, "Left Behind II: Tribulation Force" is by far the best Christian film I have ever seen. As entertainment, it's moving. As filmmaking, it's dynamic. As an evangelistic tool, it's potential is absolutely limitless. Cloud Ten Pictures has raised the bar yet again, and they are to be commended and applauded for this excellent film.

Studio: UNITED AMERICAN VIDEO
Director: Bill Corcoran



DVD title: The Lord of the Rings - The Fellowship of the Ring (Widescreen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
The Lord of the Rings - The Fellowship of the Ring (Widescreen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
ASTONISHING


The second greatest film ever made (behind "The Two Towers") gets the royal treatment: a four-disc set that cronicles the entire creation of the film. The new 208 Minute Extended Edition blows the 178 Minute Theatrical Version away. Tons of awesome special features. You're sure to enjoy. Prepare to be amazed in November 2003 by "The Two Towers" Extended Edition! Movie/DVD Grade: A+

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Peter Jackson
Actors:
Ian McKellen



DVD title: A Clockwork Orange
Productgroup: DVD
A Clockwork Orange - movie DVD cover picture
Why is it Region 1?


A great classic. However, its region code shows why Hollywood is run by lying crooks. Region codes are supposed to protect against the viewing of new films in areas where they haven't been released yet. Yet this film was released everywhere over 30 years ago! Therefore, it should be an all regions DVD not region 1. Hollywood lies again!

Studio: Warner Studios
Director: Stanley Kubrick
Actors:
Malcolm McDowell
Patrick Magee




DVD title: Yu-Gi-Oh, Vol. 12 - Match of the Millennium Part 1
Productgroup: DVD
Yu-Gi-Oh, Vol. 12 - Match of the Millennium Part 1 - movie DVD cover picture
Yugi Defeats Pegasis


In this movie, Yugi crushes Pegasis by playing the most powerful Magician in Duel Monsters, the Magician of Black Chaos. Yogi's Magician obliterates Pegasus' Thousand Eyes Restrict in a tension-filled duel that looks impossible for Yugi to win. Pegasus is so shocked that he wasn't able to bring his wife back to life.

Studio: Funimation Productio



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