Film DVD related reviews


DVD title: Sherlock Holmes - The House of Fear
Productgroup: DVD
Sherlock Holmes - The House of Fear - movie DVD cover picture
One of the most atmospheric of the series


Adapted from the Conan Doyle novel 'The Five Orange Pips' this movie opens with Holmes and Watson being visited at Baker Street by an insurance agent who relates to the crime solving duo the strange occurances at a seaside manor house. Meeting there is a group of men who have entered into life insurance policies naming the others as their beneficiaries.
Now the men are all being murdered one by one, immediately after receiving envelopes filled with orange pips. This strange factor picques Holmes' interest and he sets off with Watson to visit Scotland and solve the mystery.
Rathbone is in fine form here and the scenes at the manor contain some of the most atmospheric moments in the series. This is highly recommended for fans of the worlds most famous consulting detective

Studio: Mpi Media Group
Director: Roy William Neill



DVD title: The Civil War - A Film by Ken Burns
Productgroup: DVD
The Civil War - A Film by Ken Burns - movie DVD cover picture
A Masterwork of Historical Documentary


I've added a clause to my will stipulating that my son be asked to watch this complete series. Truly conveys the emotional power of the civil war experience and the towering leadership demonstrated by Abraham Lincoln to hold this noble experiement together. Should be required viewing for any congressional or presidential candidate.

Studio: PBS Home Video
Actors:
Ken Burns



DVD title: David Kirsch's Sound Mind Sound Body Ultimate Fitness Boot Camp
Productgroup: DVD
David Kirsch's Sound Mind Sound Body Ultimate Fitness Boot Camp - movie DVD cover picture
David Kirsch will change your life!


Exercise is more than working out your body, it is also a way to create peace for your mind. This is what I have learned from David Kirsch. There are few people as knowledgeable about the mind-body connection in conjunction with fitness. Everyone who has ever met David speaks about how he has changed their lives. The video is a 45 minute overall body workout, which is enhanced by David Kirsch's book "Sound Mind Sound Body."

Director: Cal Pozzo
Actors:
David Kirsch



DVD title: The Goonies
Productgroup: DVD
The Goonies - movie DVD cover picture
Why isn't this on DVD?


A classic for children of the 80's. Nerve-wracking, compassionate, and adventurous.

Studio: Warner Studios
Director: Richard Donner
Actors:
Sean Astin
Josh Brolin




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
Just one word: Excellent!


Ok, I've been an avid Tolkien fan since 1991, when I read The Hobbit and the three sequels, The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers and The Return of the King. Back in the late 70's, an attempt was made to adapt these books into films. Or rather, The Hobbit and Return of the King were. Though good in themselves, these films were a great disappointment to avid fans of Tolkien. There were those that saw the movies and were ever afterward convinced that Tolkien's work could never be adapted to film in a satisfactory manner. Then along came Peter Jackson. I don't remember exactly when he began work on this project, but it was his goal to turn each of the three Lord of the Rings novels into a movie, and not to make just one movie for them all. This, in my opinion, was a good idea. Not only that, with technology being considerably more advanced now than it was at the time of the first LOTR movie, much more could be done with it. To say that this is a very good movie would be something of an understatement. Even though I can't see (and therefore can't appreciate the visuals), I was much more impressed with this adaptation. Partly it's because... Jackson's choice of actors was right on. Though I never imagined Elijah Wood as a hobbit, he does an excellent job of capturing Frodo, while Ian McKellan is perfect in the shoes of Gandalf. Christopher Lee is also perfect for the role of Saruman. The plot is right out of Tolkien's book. I've heard people say they hated this movie because it didn't include every little thing from the book, but those are fanatics. You couldn't include everything from one of Tolkien's books in a movie without adding unnecessarily to the playing time. The music in this film is some of the best I've heard since the Star Wars films. Whoever was the composer must really have had Tolkien in mind. The only other recent movie whose soundtrack really caught my attention is Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, and that film's score was composed by the same guy who did the Star Wars music. The sound effects were also very excellent. Though not a perfect adaptation of the novel (as I said you couldn't do that without totally ruining the movie), this is definitely well worth the money. To name some of the film's high points, the duel between Gandalf and Saruman at the top of the tower of Orthank. It wasn't included in the book, but it fit right in. In fact, the movie goes into a bit more detail than even the novel did. Jackson must have also read the Silmarillion. I recommend that you rent this movie and watch it, then buy it if it meets with your standards. I admit I was a little dubious, but the excitement outweighed that by a considerable amount.

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



DVD title: Daughters of Darkness
Productgroup: DVD
Daughters of Darkness - movie DVD cover picture
Glamour and Horror never looked better


Sometimes it's better to suspend belief and enjoy the images put forward. Who cares if the story doesn't make sense?The visual beauty of this film will make you forget all aboutsilly things like plots! We must remember, Vampires don't really exist everyone! And if they did, lets hope they are as beautifulas the Countess is in this film. Lush costumes, hair, and make-upcan definatley save many a vampire film as can erie locationsand haunting photography. Reminds one of the Mario Bava filmsof the 60's but a little hipper.I loved it and all those technical snobs can stuff it!

Studio: Anchor Bay Entertainment
Director: Harry K├╝mel
Actors:
Delphine Seyrig



DVD title: Finding Neverland (Widescreen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Finding Neverland (Widescreen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Finding Neverland is an awfully great adventure.


Some movies are great because of their fine acting, some because of their fascinating stories, others because of their depth of character and still others because of the moods they evoke. And then there are those rare films that seem to have it all.

This movie has it all.

From amazing performances, to believable and likeable characters, to a fascinating, original storyline, to laughter and tears, Finding Neverland does not disappoint on any level.
Johnny Depp is truly amazing. There is no other actor who can create original characters and make them multidimensional the way Depp can. Depp's Barrie is a shy, sensitive, creative genius filled with warmth and humor. I can't imagine any other actor who could play Barrie with that kind of believability. Pitt? Too shallow and untested. Cruise? Too self-involved. Crowe? Too rough around the edges. (Pay attention during the parlor scene in Sylvia's house when James relates to Sylvia the story of his mother after the death of James's brother. He has never spoken of his unique fantasy--Neverland--to anyone before this, he tells her. Depp's delivery is remarkable. Watch the subtle movements in his expression. The eyes, the shy smile. Incredible.)

And Kate Winslet puts in an outstanding performance as Sylvia, a woman who has her priorities in the right places. She made me want to go home, trade my PC for Play-Doh and spend my time with my kids.

Although I don't think Depp and Winslet are an obvious couple, and there's never anything physical between Sylvia and James, the depth of love shown by these characters is obvious and genuine. Once again, it would be hard to picture other actors in their places.

Freddie Highmore's performance as Peter is garnering all the attention, and rightfully so, but all the boys are extraordinary. They are so convincing that it is hard to believe these boys are from the present century. There's not a one who doesn't represent his character as if he were in fact a Llewellyn Davies.

The scenery and the music also evoke another, more innocent era, strengthening the mood of the film.

Even the fringe characters--Radha Mitchell as cold Mary Barrie, Dustin Hoffman as James's dry-humored business manager, and Julie Christie as Sylvia's stern, protective mother--hit the mark.

And director Marc Forster was robbed of an opportunity to win an Oscar, having not even been nominated. The scenes are so original, so well-thought-through, they are Oscar worthy by far.

Anyone who appreciates a warm story filled with rich performances will find Finding Neverland rewarding.

Studio: Miramax
Director: Marc Forster
Actors:
Johnny Depp
Kate Winslet
Julie Christie




DVD title: Never Been Kissed
Productgroup: DVD
Never Been Kissed - movie DVD cover picture
Drew brings another hilarious performance to the screen


Drew Barrymore just brings every movie that she stars into life, to hell with what the critics say. Drew's performance as Josie Gellar or as they called her in high school "Josie Grossie" was very believable. Watching her in the movie playing a girl who was always trying to desperately to fit in, in high school but never could and always was the butt of someone's joke. All grown up Josie is now successful and working as a reporter, she is given an assignment by her boss wonderfully played by Gary Marshall to do a story undercover, the catch: she is going back to high school. Hoping to redeem herself, Josie tries to be cool and fit in with everyone, but instead looks like a fool.She soon meets a nice guy, who happens to be her english teacher and soon their friendship turns into more than a friendship. The rest of the story is pretty much Hollywood formula romance, but it is still an enjoyable film. There are also some amazing supporting performances by John C. Reilly and Molly Shannon as Josie's coworkers Gus and Anita, David Arquette as Josie's brother Rob, Jessica Alba and Michael Vartan as Josie's teacher and love interest. Never Been Kissed is a great movie, and is something I can relate to, growing up in elementary and junior high I was never the popular one, but then I realized now that it doesn't matter if you're popular or what people think about you. As long as you have confidence in yourself, it doesn't matter what other people think. This movie does not only have good laughs, but a great message as well. Never Been Kissed proves that being a nerd is such a cliched word, that we all are nerds in our own way and that it isn't always the popular ones that find true love in the end.

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
Director: Raja Gosnell
Actors:
Drew Barrymore



DVD title: There's Nothing out There
Productgroup: DVD
There's Nothing out There - movie DVD cover picture
If you liked Scream, you'll love There's Nothing Out There


Check this film out! "There's Nothing Out There" makes you wonder where Wes Craven's team came up with some of their ideas for "Scream" ("There's Nothing Out There" was released five years before "Scream")...hmmmm, I wonder. It's good campy fun.

Studio: Image Entertainment
Director: Rolfe Kanefsky



DVD title: Gilbert & Sullivan - Patience / Douglas, Olsen, Warlow, Australian Opera
Productgroup: DVD
Gilbert & Sullivan - Patience / Douglas, Olsen, Warlow, Australian Opera - movie DVD cover picture
Bravo!


From Sydney, a very recommendable Patience. Bunthorne and Grosvenor, Patience and Lady Jane are memorably played. The sets and costumes are a delight to the eye, as befits an opera on 19th century aesthetes. The whole thing is fresh and full of humor: cast and audience are obviously enjoying themselves tremendously, and the fun is infectious. After borrowing a copy of this production from the library I went out and bought one for myself.

Studio: Image Entertainment
Director: Cameron Kirkpatrick



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