Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Saving Private Ryan
Productgroup: DVD
Saving Private Ryan - movie DVD cover picture
Powerful, stunning, emotional and memorable

This is a movie for the ages but certainly not for the faint hearted or the squeamish. From the explicit bloodshed and graphic violence of Normandy, to the casual grousing of the enlisted men, to Ambrose's band of brothers mentality that clearly emerges, one can't help but admire this generation and the deft handling of the topic by Speilberg. Small, overwhelming scenes include Ryan's mother collapsing on the porch upon the appearence of her minister bearing obviously terrible news and George Marshall's somber reading of Abraham Lincoln's letter to another war mother, eighty years earlier. As Captain John Miller, Tom Hanks' mission is the basis for the film, to save the one survising brother of the decimated Ryan family, a mission both simple yet daunting. And as great as Tom Hanks filled this role, my helmet goes out to Ted Sizemore for his "we're in business!" gung ho attitude and skills.
Miller may have died due to his own humanity in sparing a German prisoner. Private Ryan had to be haunted by Captain Miller's dying whisper, "Earn this!" When Ryan, fifty years later, turns to his wife and pleads: "Tell me I've lived a good life," my eyes well with tears of respect and admiration for all concerned with the real and imagined Private Ryans.
See it. Buy it. Remember it.

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

DVD title: Sonny and Cher - Nitty Gritty Hour
Productgroup: DVD
Sonny and Cher - Nitty Gritty Hour - movie DVD cover picture

This is a really good video! Any Sonny & Cher fan should definitely have it!

Studio: View, Inc.

DVD title: Toy Story & Toy Story 2 (2 Pack)
Productgroup: DVD
Toy Story & Toy Story 2 (2 Pack) - movie DVD cover picture
Disney Magic at Its Best

When Toy Story was first released, I was living in southern California, so I was able to live the magic of the movie through frequent visits to Disneyland during the holiday season. I had never before seen such lines at a theatre, and such fuss, as was given to Toy Story, considering that it was "supposed" to be a child's movie. Although, after seeing it, I fell under its spell, as only Disney can cast upon a person!
It's still hard to imagine that the entire movie, down to the outside shots, and the tiniest details, were all created within a computer. The feel of the movie was real, and I was pulled in to its world.
So...naturally (given the dismal rate of failure for most sequels), I was a bit skeptical when I first heard about Toy Story 2. How could Disney possibly capture the magic of the original, with an original script, and new characters to love? Who can ever explain the blessed Disney? They just do it...they take a dream and make it a reality. Toy Story 2 exceded my expectations on many levels, and holds its own as a revered Disney classic. Kudos to Disney and Pixar! Keep up the amazing work!

Studio: Disney/Pixar
Director: John Lasseter
Tom Hanks
Tim Allen

DVD title: Jane Eyre
Productgroup: DVD
Jane Eyre - movie DVD cover picture
Best yet!

This is my favorite book of all time. I have seen several versions of the movie, and although some of the details from the book are missing, this is the best version out there. Cirian Hinds and Samantha Morton are just fabulous in their portrayals. If you liked the book, this is the movie version that you will enjoy most of all.

Studio: A & E Entertainment
Director: Robert Young (III)

DVD title: Stephen King's The Stand
Productgroup: DVD
Stephen King's The Stand - movie DVD cover picture
The best of Stephen King. By Daniel F. Khouri

This is Stephen King at his best; the story goes around the possibility of a military airborne virus. Now unlike other movies, in this one every one dies... King try's to mix between the Bible's revelations, and movie fiction. It may surprise you, but in my opinion he succeeds. I am a big fan of Stephen King, and I have read most of his novels, well the Stand was his best in writing, and now on film. If you are looking for something that is religious, and fiction, you came to the rite place. I would give the acting three stars out of five, the production a four, and the script a five. Enjoy.

Studio: Republic Studios
Director: Mick Garris
Gary Sinise
Molly Ringwald

DVD title: Ginger Snaps
Productgroup: DVD
Ginger Snaps - movie DVD cover picture
Intense, Frightening, And Extremely Clever...

GINGER SNAPS ranks just under AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON in my list of the best werewolf movies ever made. It's amazing to see such a well-made horror film that centers on young people, especially these days. It takes its subject very seriously, yet still manages to inject shades of dark humor at times. My favorite aspect of this film is that things never happened the way I expected them to, and given that I'm a lifelong horror fan, that's not something I normally see. I highly recommend GINGER SNAPS to anyone who likes to get scared while not having their intelligence insulted.

Studio: Fox Home Entertainme
Director: John Fawcett
Emily Perkins
Katharine Isabelle

DVD title: The Homecoming
Productgroup: DVD
The Homecoming - movie DVD cover picture
The Homecoming is perfect holiday viewing

I could not have said it better than the fine previous review. All I would add would be to mention Jerry Goldsmith's excellent score, and to say that this is quite simply one of the finest Christmas movies ever made.It should be on everyone's Christmas viewing list. If you've never seen it, you have missed something very special.I would also point out that Paramount has been notorious for pulling this title from the market with the previous vhs releases, so I wouldn't wait to add this dvd release to your collection.

Studio: Paramount Home Video
Director: Fielder Cook

DVD title: Touched by an Angel - The Complete First Season
Productgroup: DVD
Touched by an Angel - The Complete First Season - movie DVD cover picture

I have over 4000 DVD's in my collection. The biggest hole is not owning Touched By An Angel. This was one of the very very few programs on network TV that my family and I watched in the last 10 years. I don't know how to emphasize enough how great this series was. When it was on, the program was not understood by the network elite, it was wholesome, uplifting and presented God in an accurate, biblical manner (how horribly politically incorrect!). Message to who it may concern: while on TV, there was a huge audience for the program of people like me who did not watch the normal trash on TV, and there will be a huge demand for this on DVD if you will just make it available. Please do.

Studio: Paramount Home Video
Roma Downey

DVD title: The X-Files - The Complete Second Season
Productgroup: DVD
The X-Files - The Complete Second Season - movie DVD cover picture
Total Package

As an X-Files fan, not a fanatic, I'll defer criticism of the 25 episodes in this set to other, much better qualified reviewers below. But you don't need to be a rabid fan of this series to appreciate the quality and thought that has obviously gone into the packaging of this product.
All 25 episodes and a bunch of extras come on seven discs. The one-sided discs each feature unique artwork from one of the episodes they contain. The discs nest in a very nifty container made of seven panels, one for each of the discs. This *container* is over two feel long and folds in on itself. Additionally, there's a pocket to hold a slim booklet which includes production information that only the aforementioned fanatics will care about. Finally, there is a sleeve that fits over the folded package to keep it from unfurling.
The paper stock is luxurious and lavished with artwork and stills from the show. All told, the entire set has dimensions approximating three stacked DVD cases. Contrast this to Paramount's bumbling release of a mere 79 episodes of the original Star Trek on FORTY separate discs.
All the hay that's been made about viewing movies on DVD is completely deserved, but the format's service to television has yet to be fully appreciated. For starters, the picture quality is much better than broadcast or even cable. Watching a season's worth of episodes in rapid sequence will give you a new appreciation for the subtle changes in Mulder and Scully's characters and at least a fighting chance at understanding the series' underlying "mythology" story arc.
This is a superb product. Lets just hope the other studios pick up a few clues from Fox when releasing their TV catalogs.

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox Home Video
David Duchovny

DVD title: Sakura Wars Broadcast Series - Return of the Spirit Warriors (Vol. 1)
Productgroup: DVD
Sakura Wars Broadcast Series - Return of the Spirit Warriors (Vol. 1) - movie DVD cover picture
Anime goes to the Theatre

The Sakura Wars first released in America was the Sakura Wars 1 (coming to our year!) OVA. This one takes place during the Sakura Wars 2 game. Sakura Wars is about a team of women (and their guy captain Ohgami) protecting the capital from evil in their steam-powered robots called Oobus. Unlike the first OVA series, there are no real Oobu fights which is good because the characters are really the best thing about this cartoon/video game series.
This DVD contains 3 (out of 6) episodes of the Sakura Wars 2 OVA.
Episode 1: Ohgami finds a brooch with a bullet inside and remembers Maria. Maria's past is brought back when a man from her past comes back and causes trouble by putting a bomb in the theater! Will Maria realize that caring for people is not a weakness after all? Can Kohran disarm the bomb? Will Kanna and Sumire even fight on stage?? (Duh.) I loved this episode so much! Maria is so cool! XD/ Plus you gotta love the 'Dandy' group's spoof of Grease. "You idiot! All foreign gangsters dance around their territory!"
Episode 2: This time, Ohgami remembers Reni (a new character from Sakura Wars 2). Basically, this episode is about Iris' relationship with Reni. Iris blames Reni for her poor performance and soon, that leads them into a mess of trouble. A cute episode.
Episode 3: Ohgami remembers Sumire and Kanna. As usual, Sumire's ego is causing a disturbance in the team. Meanwhile, is there a ghost haunting the studio?? Sumire denies the story and gets haunted by the ghost along with the others. I loved this one because it was a great story.
The extras are great! Which should be expected since there are only three episodes in this DVD. There are 4 Japanese promos, the first one being my favorite. The first promo is one for one of the Sakura Wars stage shows (and so is the third one). The other two promos are for the Sakura Wars 1 and 2 games. Also ADV included a moving "sketchbook" which is okay and the Japanese boxes art. Along with that there are the usual ADV previews and character info (which isn't very extensive as it should be).
Now the dubbing of the series is medicore. (Which is expected since this is ADV.) Most of the English lines don't match up to the Japanese lines and the characters say dumb things like "sistah" and other valley girl or whatever sayings. But the actors weren't bland at all, they actually seemed to be enjoying it. Kohran's accent is horrible but Ohgami's voice actor was pretty good (yay!). The Japanese version is fantastic! Lots of kewl accents and some of the best acting around makes the characters come more to life. Without their talent, the characters would be nothing.
The menus are pretty and the basic setup is well done. Meanwhile, what's cool about the theme songs is that when a character is going to be the main star in the episode, they play their part of the Sakura Wars 2 theme song. For example, the first episode's theme song is sung by Maria since the episode completely stars her.
All in all, Sakura Wars is a gem in the anime world. I applaud the people who made these OVAs for not making them feel too 'gamish' like other video game animes.

Studio: A.D. Vision

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