Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Punky Brewster - Season One
Productgroup: DVD
Punky Brewster - Season One - movie DVD cover picture
Punky Power- is back

When I heard Punky Power is back, I almost cried. I remember watching Punky when I was about 10 years old. I love her. I have a little girl know. She is 7 years old and the messages on Punky Brewster are fantastic for her. I can't wait until June, 1st 2004. I probably will watch it more than my daughter will and I'm 28 years old. Don't get me wrong. Punky Brewster! Punky Power! is great for any age. I'm so happy she's back. Thank you so much for bring back probably the only part of my childhood that was great.

Studio: Sony Music (Video)

DVD title: Bewitched - The Complete First Season (Black and White)
Productgroup: DVD
Bewitched - The Complete First Season (Black and White) - movie DVD cover picture
Surprising controversy

I am a little surprised about the continuing discussion as to which version is better, the colour or black-and-white. To each his own, I suppose, but for me there is no choice--I'll watch the show as originally shot. I'm not even curious to see it in colour. A note, however, to those people who say that if you don't like the "enhanced" version, just to turn off the colour on your television set. Well, that doesn't work, really. When colour is added, the original image is altered--values of light and dark are changed, etc. So watching the colourized version on a black-and-white set will NOT give you the same effect as watching an original black-and-white print.

Studio: Columbia Tristar Hom
Elizabeth Montgomery

DVD title: The Couch Trip
Productgroup: DVD
The Couch Trip - movie DVD cover picture
a far-fetched plot, an Aykroyd ego-trip, but great support .

THE COUCH TRIP is a movie with a far-fetched plot, with an Aykroyd ego-trip, but with great support. "I did not realize," my wife said, "that Dan Aykroyd only plays one role in every film, the supercilious social misfit who is going to be in trouble when he has to quit acting like a teen-ager." Having said that, my wife, who points out matters like acting ability; she said and I agree that the support of Walter Matthau and Charles Grodin kept this feature on the funny track. The far-fetched plot has one of those incredible twists that you simply can't resist; the mental patient who out-psychs the Psychiatrists. But, thanks to Director Michael Ritchie it is a well managed far-fetched plot. It was performed as well as that other Aykroyd film with a weird plot, "Trading Places." I laughed and was entertained by this flic.

Studio: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Director: Michael Ritchie
Dan Aykroyd
Walter Matthau

DVD title: What's Up, Doc?
Productgroup: DVD
What's Up, Doc? - movie DVD cover picture
close to mad mad world

i am so upset because i ordered this movie on dvd and they decided not to release it so they cancelled my order. this is one of the funniest slapstick comedies you will ever see. i wish they would change their mind and put it on dvd.

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Peter Bogdanovich
Barbra Streisand
Ryan O'Neal

DVD title: The Italian Job (Widescreen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
The Italian Job (Widescreen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
A must see movie!

This movie was great! It had a lot of action, a good plot, suspense, and good characters. Simply stated, I'd have to say "it was a lot of fun." It was like an adventure, that you feel like you're a part of. Though I haven't seen "Ocean's Eleven," I was told it is a lot like it in that respect. Great movie...has everything.

Studio: Paramount Home Video
Director: F. Gary Gray
Mark Wahlberg
Charlize Theron
Donald Sutherland
Jason Statham
Seth Green
Mos Def
Edward Norton

DVD title: Excalibur
Productgroup: DVD
Excalibur - movie DVD cover picture

My daughter says that watching this movie is like watching a dream. It's diffcult for me to express how truly amazing this movie is. When one considers the legends extend back 1500 years and have been told by the Celts, the Breton poets, and countless wandering bards all over Europe it becomes apparent that there is no one "Arthurian" tale. In 1135 Geoffrey of Monmouth, an Englishman, wrote his version of Arthur in Latin. It was later translated into French and then English. In the 1160s Chretien de Troyes, a Frenchman, wrote his poems about Arthur and his knights. These accounts are significantly different. The version most people are familiar with is Sir Thomas Malory's "Morte D'Arthur" which was written in English.

Add in all the other minor versions that were mixed in coming from all over Europe and you get an editor's nightmare when it comes to weaving a single coherent tale that can incorporate most of the main story points. The way John Boorman has done this is quite frankly an extraordinary achievement.

Now when you add in the superb acting, magnificent cinematography and the passionate music of Wagner you get an epic that can inspire one to wonder and yearn for a life filled with the quest for something greater than oneself.

I reccomend watching this movie. All other movies about Arthur are pale compared to "Excalibur". Some like "True Knight" and the most recent "Arthur" are ludicrous.

There are some who don't like this movie. They can't help what they feel. You have to feel sorry for them.

Studio: Warner Studios
Director: John Boorman
Nigel Terry
Helen Mirren

DVD title: The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries - Season One
Productgroup: DVD
The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries - Season One - movie DVD cover picture
Oh, the joy...

For those of us who are nostalgic fans of this 1977-1978 ABC Sunday night show, the word that this first season would be released on DVD is pure magic. This is the great first season, when Parker Stevenson/Shaun Cassidy alternated with the beautiful Pamela Sue Martin in a series of weekly detective adventures. This is the season with the underrated, divine Lisa Eilbacher as Callie Shaw, the Hardy Boys' best friend and frequent helper. This is a show one could never have expected would come to DVD. Until now there were SOME episodes on videos (not all easy to find), and the usual Ebay bootleg crowd with lousy picture quality. So, if you were a fan of this great late '70s innocent fun, get ready for March...we've waited a long time for this.

Studio: Universal Studios Ho

DVD title: The Movies Begin - A Treasury of Early Cinema, 1894-1913
Productgroup: DVD
The Movies Begin - A Treasury of Early Cinema, 1894-1913 - movie DVD cover picture
The Movies Begin

To the casual movie viewer, the history of cinema begins in the 1930s, when silents were totally replaced with the new talkie medium. Beyond an occasional showing of The Phantom of the Opera or a few Keaton or Chaplin movies, silents- and especially early silents- are a part of the murky past. This collection is a real eye opener to either a movie fan who wants to broaden their knowledge or someone who, like me, is a silent movie fan who wants to see how it all began.
This collection offers a broad variety. From early melodramas and comedies to newsreel footage and special effects vehicles. The two most famous early silents- The Great Train Robbery and A Trip to the Moon- are shown here but other, more unusual films such as the Golden Beetle and the Grass Widower are also allowed to shine. The picture quality is excellant especially considering the age of these films.
The music by Robert Israel is wonderful, always appropriate and quite a bit less sober than most silent movie music. Even my mother, who likes silents but dislikes silent movie music enjoyed it. It should please both purists and casual fans.
One fault I found with this collection is that some movies have narration whether you want it or not. It surely would not have been difficult to include an on/off function for the commentary track. Also, at points the sound is badly mixed so that the music drowns out the narrator. However, this fairly minor flaw did not ruin my enjoyment of the collection.
I particularly enjoyed the pre-WWI French films, it is easy to see why the French imports could outshine much of the American output. They are beautifully produced, make no bones about their staginess and have an element of playful fantasy. The last disc has a film of the wonderful French comedian Max Linder, it's a shame that he never regained his pre-war popularity because his comedy is spurisingly modern and he has obvious charisma.
The newsreels are also a highlight, Russia in the winter, various "working dogs", an english biscuit factory... all are valuable historically as well as very amusing.
This set is cheap at the price and while not all of the films can be called masterpieces, they are all important in reconstructing a period of cinema history that is too often ignored. If you have any interest in the story of earlky cinema, I recommend this set without reservation.

Studio: Kino International
Film Preservation Associates

DVD title: Curse of the Demon / Night of the Demon
Productgroup: DVD
Curse of the Demon / Night of the Demon - movie DVD cover picture
British version not all it's "cut up" to be

For years, I had enjoyed CURSE OF THE DEMON and had heard that the original British cut did not show the demon, leaving its appearance up to the imagination. I thought this was a wise move, especially given the fact that the depiction of the demon in the "American cut" was silly enough to harm the film's overall effect. When the dvd of the British cut came out, I figured it would be demonless. I was misled. The ridiculous, stuffed demon appears in this cut as well, and most of the other changes seem centered on a reordering of some of the scenes in the middle. Is there another cut out there, or was I just mistaken all these years? No matter! The film still stands with THE WICKER MAN as one of England's best horror films.

Studio: Columbia Tristar Hom
Director: Jacques Tourneur
Dana Andrews
Peggy Cummins

DVD title: Godspell
Productgroup: DVD
Godspell - movie DVD cover picture

The story of Jesus of Nazareth has been made and remade so many times over the course of time. This version provides, in my opinion, a more grass-roots approach. Based on the Gospel According to St. Matthew, Godspell takes the story and provides a fresh look at the story of Jesus and the lessons he taught and the things he experienced. The play, while simple on the surface, is rich in symbolism (the fact that Jesus wears a "Superman" shirt, that he is represented as a clown, that John the Baptist and Judas are played by the same actor, etc.) and an opinion of the film (and the play) should be formed after one has seen it more than once. Many of the original Broadway cast is represented here including a very young and vibrant Victor Garber. The music remains full of life and meaning and the tale remains poignant and meaningful even though the hippie culture which inspired the version has long since past.

Studio: Columbia Tri-Star
Director: David Greene
Lynne Thigpen
Katie Hanley
Victor Garber

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Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Harry Potter (J.K. Rowling))
The Chronicles of Narnia
Knife of Dreams (Wheel of Time, Book 11)

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