Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome
Productgroup: DVD
Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome - movie DVD cover picture
Pockyclipse Now

Unlike many of its contemporaries from the mid-80's glut of sci-fi action pics (usually starring Jean-Claude Van Damme, Dolph Lundgren or Gov. Schwarznegger), "Beyond Thunderdome" has aged well and holds up as a genuine genre classic. This is definitely the slickest entry (production-wise) of the "Mad Max" trilogy; not quite as reliant on the action sequences, but enhanced by a little more complexity of plot that gives the story a grander, almost "Lawrence Of Arabia" sweep. The film's visual centerpiece is the imaginatively realized, believably organic (refreshingly CGI-free) frontier city "Bartertown", whose inhabitants are a sort of S&M/punk rock version of George Lucas' infinitely more cuddly vison of a "rough" bar crowd. Tina Turner (nor her famous gams, nor her huge hair) will never be more perfectly cast than she is here, playing the very strict "Auntie", Bartertown's unofficial mayor (actually closer to Chief Dominatrix-contrary to what some reviewers have insinuated, this one is NOT for the kiddies!). Mel Gibson sets a new record for hair extensions but stays faithful to the character he had created in the two previous films, an interesting morph of Clint Eastwood's "Man With No Name", Toshiro Mifune's Samurai in "--" (pick your film) and David Carridine's enigmatic drifter from "Kung-Fu". Excellent transfer/sound on the DVD; no extras, but fairly priced.

Studio: Warner Studios
Mel Gibson
Tina Turner

DVD title: Saving Private Ryan
Productgroup: DVD
Saving Private Ryan - movie DVD cover picture

"Saving Private Ryan" was gold, Steven Spielberg's best work ever. Anybody who walks away from this 1998 account of America saving the world on D-Day, without a glowing respect for what we sacrificed, is an idiot or a "useful idiot."

Studio: Dreamworks Skg
Director: Steven Spielberg
Tom Hanks
Matt Damon

DVD title: Akira (Limited Special Edition Tin)
Productgroup: DVD
Akira (Limited Special Edition Tin) - movie DVD cover picture
The Anime Movie That Started It All

First and foremost I'd like to state that Akira is not the movie to play as a way to kill time with youngters, this movie is far too graphic and violent for the 12 and under crowd. However it is what many people consider to be the best anime movie ever.
Regardless of your or anyone's opinion this IS the movie that started a generation of anime. It was NOT Princess Mononoke (but that WAS a rather good movie nonetheless). The year was 1988 and Tokyo recovering from the devastation that was world war three, was destroyed by a powerful entity named Akira...
A generation later in the depths of the old city of Neo Tokyo rival biker gangs run rampant in the streets. Among these gangs are two childhood friends Kenada and Tetsuo. In a battle with the rival gang the clowns, Tetsuo gets seperated from his friends and comes across a strange boy. The boy is in fact a secret military project and he has latent phsycic abililties. He injures Tetsuo, and afterwards Tetsuo is abducted by the military, he is subjected to tests that give him powers that rival Akira's (who has long since died) now Kenada must stop Tetsuo as he threatens the world and in higher perspectives the entire universe and the very fabric of time.
In short this movie has great animation and characters although it may be hard to understand without subtitles as all anime movies are. The bikes in this movie are simply AWESOME and I definitaly recommend this movie to you.

Studio: Pioneer Video
Director: Katsuhiro Ôtomo
Mitsuo Iwata
Nozomu Sasaki
Mami Koyama

DVD title: Oz - The Complete Second Season
Productgroup: DVD
Oz - The Complete Second Season - movie DVD cover picture
Oh you still thought you were in Kansas?

You are not in the Land of Oz you are used to. You won't find a cowardly lion, or a tin man here. However, you will find plenty of folks with no heart!!!

Season 2 finds the smoke clearing from the aftermath of the prison riots that ended Season 1. Tension is high, but what else can you expect from Oz? Oz is trying to recover from the riots, and Oz is being threatened with being shut down. 2 officers are killed, 6 prisoners are dead and 34 wounded. Governor Devlin gets Alvah Case (Charles S. Dutton) to investigate what happened to lead to the riot. Of course when it's all said and done, he will find no one is to blame. The Governor is not happy about that one bit. He is not happy unless he can make heads roll. Inmates are suffering from drug withdrawals. The mole will try to dig his way out of Oz. Wangler can't read, and he thrives on being ignorant. He hides his shame of his illiteracy by being tough. The drug war between the blacks and Italians reach a fever pitch, while the Arians attempt to regain their dominance in Oz. Beecher is introduced to his new cell mate Chris Keller (Christopher Meloni) in a love hate relationship that will leave your head spinning. Ryan O'Reilly's finds himself caring and protecting for his mentally ill brother Cyril.

McManus is hoping to make some changes to make Em City function better. He creates 10 groups residing in Oz: the Muslims, the gangsters, the Latinos, the Italians, the Irish, the Aryans, the Bikers, the Christians, the Gay, and Others. 4 members from each group will live in Oz, and one member of the 4 will represent it's respective group win weekly meetings so they can talk about what's going on in Oz.

Oz continues with intricate story lines that will shock and keep you riveted to the screen. Ryan O'Rielly finds out he has breast cancer. As manipulative as he is, you find yourself feeling sorry for him, then he does something that will make you upset for feeling sorry for him. Glynn's daughter is raped, and someone in Oz knows who committed the crime. Glynn is determined to find out who did it. There was one line that narrator Hill says that is funny. Hill has a cell mate his having major flatulence issues and he says "Smelly farts are a sign of something seriously wrong on the inside."

Said is trying to help Hill get out of prison. Poet Arnold Jackson gets his poetry published, and it can be his key to freedom. Ryan hits on Gloria mistaking her care for his health for affection. This will continue a story line of obsession that is very creepy. Shabetta and Adebesie can't stand one another. Judge Grace Lima wanted to see Beecher, felt she gave him a bad sentence. Keller is working with Schillinger being a spy, but he is developing real feelings for Beecher. Female inmate Shirly Bellinger is an interesting character. She is the only female inmate on death row at Oz. She was sentenced to die for killing her daughter. Arnold Jackson is granted parole, and vows he will not return to Oz. He promises to make the most of his second chance. It's later found out that Ryan had Cyril kill Gloria's husband, all in the name of love. I felt the weakest Prisoner story line was Prisoner Jiggy Walker (LL Cool J). Jiggy Walker links drugs to Governer Dublin, turns out he was lying. His story line was a strange one being he only appeared on the show once.

Some guy gets into Adebesi's head. Ribido has a grandson who has leukemia and his grandson wishes to go to Disney World. The inmates come through and help Ribido to raise the funds for the trip. Alvarez cuts out the eyes of a CO in a horrid and shocking scene. Poet returns to Oz disappointing [black muslem guy]. Some of CO's in the prison are as criminal as the inmates, even more so. Ryan is always being manipulative. Something he does best. He will only donate blood if his brother is released from solitary. If you disliked Adebesi in season 1 you will really find yourself disliking him more in season 2!!! His role is a lot more prominent. Luis Guzman is Prisoner Raul Hernandez. When Hernandez arrives Alverez finds himself on the outside looking in. He is willing to do whatever it takes to impress Hernandez so he can belong. Peter Schibetta enters Oz and his main mission is to find out who murdered his father Nino. Needless to say, Peter and Adebesi will be at odds with each other.

One of the best performances to me is Beecher. In season 1 he is a new prisoner, the lawyer who was sent to Oz for killing a young girl while under the influence of alcohol. Season 2 you find Beecher much harder after having to deal with Vernon Schillinger. He is sick and tired of being the victim and decides it's time to be the tormentor and sets about getting revenge against Schillinger anyway he can. His wife dies, commits suicide leaving his children to be raised by his parents. He is so despondent over her death, he starts drinking again.

The Characters I like: Hill, Beecher, Said (love him!!!!), McManus, Rebadow, Sister Pete, Dr. Nathan, Poet, Arif to name a few, Alvarez (you end up feeling sorry for him).

The Characters you will love to hate: Schillinger, Adebisi, O'Reilly, Schibetta, Glynn (okay I'm on the fence, sometimes I love him, sometimes I hate him)

New Characters: Jiggy Walker, Nappa, Keller, Hoyt, Cyril, Busmalis, El Cid, Shirley Bellinger, Guerra, Pancamo, Kirk, Coushaine.

I'm a fan of the show, so I enjoyed season 2 immensely. If you own season 1, then season 2 is worth having. To play the Deleted Scenes extras a play all feature would have been really nice. I also like how you get a quick recap of the previous show before watching the new episode. This is an awesome drama.

Studio: HBO Home Video
Lee Tergesen

DVD title: Funny Games
Productgroup: DVD
Funny Games - movie DVD cover picture
funny games until someone gets hurt

I finished to film hours ago, and i can tell it will be with me for the next few days to come. if you decide to watch it, you may want to watch it again just to catch all the little details you missed while reading the subtitles. this film just brings to light how bad american cinema is in its present state consisting of mtv editing and scripts writen for people with ADD. funny games keeps your gut tied in knots with anticipation and then gives you plenty of time to think about what you just watched once the games are played. be patient, and co-operate with the plot and you won't get hurt, and please don't be afraid to share it with a friend.

Studio: Fox Lorber
Director: Michael Haneke
Susanne Lothar
Ulrich Mühe
Arno Frisch
Frank Giering

DVD title: Andrew Lloyd Webber - The Royal Albert Hall Celebration
Productgroup: DVD
Andrew Lloyd Webber - The Royal Albert Hall Celebration - movie DVD cover picture

this presentation of works by webber had to be the best i have seen in a long time. every performer was great and i especially enjoyed antonio banderas and looking forward to his portrayal of the phamtom. cannot choose which song/performer was my favorite as they all were.

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: David Mallet

DVD title: Signs (Vista Series)
Productgroup: DVD
Signs (Vista Series) - movie DVD cover picture
One of my favorites!

I absolutely loved this movie. I didn't know what to expect when I went in to see it, so I had no pre-conceived notion of what it was about.
The movie is really about someone who lost faith in the world and life (sure, religion is in there, but I felt it was just an overall feeling of being let down by life). The science fiction aspect was not the main point of the film, yet it was very eerie and creepy!! I loved how everything tied together.
I don't understand how people go into movies trying to pick apart every detail and LOOK for flaws. NO movie is perfect, so just sit back and enjoy the ride. :)

Studio: Touchstone Pictures
Director: M. Night Shyamalan
Mel Gibson
Joaquin Phoenix

DVD title: La Femme Nikita
Productgroup: DVD
La Femme Nikita - movie DVD cover picture
A very different French Foreign Legionnaire

Nikita (Anne Parillaud) is a drug-addicted street urchin who commits murder during a robbery attempt. She is convicted, imprisoned, and executed by lethal injection. Nikita awakens in a Government facility, learns that her family attended her burial, and learns that she has a choice -- become a (disposable) Government agent/assassin or die. Nikita reluctantly chooses life. Nikita is trained in weaponry, hand-to-hand combat, and charm. Nikita accepts all of her training with apathy and disdain, but Nikita survives her training and becomes a Government agent/assassin. And Nikita's missions continuously tear her life apart ...
French director Luc Besson's film "La Femme Nikita" is the basis for the American remake "Point of No Return" starring Bridget Fonda, and also for the "La Femme Nikita" television series. Luc Besson's version is *superior*. Anne Parillaud grows throughout her transformation from hostile street urchin to reluctant Government agent/assassin, combining toughness with *fragile femininity*. Jean-Hugues Anglade plays Nikita's friend Marco who loves and emotionally supports his woman of mystery. Jean Reno ("The Professional") plays 'The Cleaner', the assassin who arrives when one of Nikita's missions goes horribly wrong.
Eric Serra's wonderful jazz score, the European setting, the flowing French dialogue, and Anne Parillaud's tough but fragile femininity combine to make "La Femme Nikita" a memorable film.

Studio: Mgm/Ua Studios
Director: Luc Besson
Anne Parillaud

DVD title: The Sixth Sense (Collector's Edition Series)
Productgroup: DVD
The Sixth Sense (Collector's Edition Series) - movie DVD cover picture
Easily, one of the best movies of all time

The outstanding performances contribute to the disturbing atmosphere. The best child actor ever. He was robbed at the Golden Globes.
Visuals: There aren't too many special effects. But that's no the type of movie this is. Cinematography is splendidly done.
Overall Visuals grade: A-
Screenplay/Story: One of the best horror stories in years. The only thing more suprinsing than the first 45 mintues of the movie, are the last 5!
Overall Screenplay/Story Grade: A+
Acting: Some of the best acting you could ever seen on the big screen. Haley Joel Osment's acting makes you shiver AND scream at the same time.
Overall acting grade: A+
Sound/Film Editing: The ghost sound effets make you jump and the musical score is creepy and eerily presented. The film editing is flawless.
Overall Sound/Film Editing Grade: A+
Comments: My personal favortie. You may think otherwise, but I still think you'll like. WAY too scary for kids under 12.
MPAA RATING: PG-13 for intense thematic material and violent images. The thematic material is many death related elements. The violent images include people hanging from a cieling and one shooting. Also, the back of a ghost kid's head is rather bloody.

Studio: Walt Disney Home Video
Director: M. Night Shyamalan
Bruce Willis
Haley Joel Osment

DVD title: DJ Qbert's Wave Twisters
Productgroup: DVD
DJ Qbert's Wave Twisters - movie DVD cover picture
awwww damn!

This movie is a great example of cross-media collaborations. DJ Q-Bert who was just recently made a Grand MixMaster put out the album Wave Twisters quite some time ago...perhaps one or two years ago. The movie is animated to the album, so basically they made a movie for a soundtrack instead of the other way round. If you are a DJ fan this is a must have. The B-Boy animation is really solid, and the scratches and beats are top quality. BUY NOW!

Studio: Image Entertainment
Yogafrog, D-Styles, DJ Qbert
DJ Flare

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