Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Queer as Folk - The Complete Third Season (Showtime)
Productgroup: DVD
Queer as Folk - The Complete Third Season (Showtime) - movie DVD cover picture
QUEER AS FOLK - Proves That 3s A Charm!!!

The Second season ended with a few cliffhangers. Will Justin leave Brian? Will Emmet and Ted get together? Both these cliffhangers are answered in this wonderful 14 episode season. If you haven't heard about the show yet it is about a group of gay and lesbian friends living in Pittsburgh USA. There are a lot of graphic scenes, but do not be fooled, this show is for EVERYONE as it deals with real life problems. This season deals with a lot of issues that concerns people in the gay community. Politics - the evil politician taking over Liberty Avenue. Crystal drug addiction that takes the best of dear old Teddy, and much much more. Not only are the episodes great, but we are given (though not the best) at least decent extras.

Commentary on the final episode
Hot Summer Days
Wrap party Reel
Enter Babylon: Los Angeles
Music Video
Season 4 Trailer

Let's hear it for the boy(s) let's give THEM ALL a hand! for a fantastic 3rd season!

Studio: Showtime Entertainme
Hal Sparks

DVD title: Band of Brothers
Productgroup: DVD
Band of Brothers - movie DVD cover picture
A Brilliant and Superb Miniseries!

Good directing, good writing and excellent performances by the cast.....what more can I say? This has to be the best miniseries I've ever seen in my life. Frankly, I've never been a fan of war dramas, but I'm completely overwhelmed by BOB, because of its realism and complexity. I was really surprised to discover that Damian Lewis (who plays Major Dick Winters) is actually British, because he was so convincing as an American in this drama! Kudos to Ron Livingston (Captain Lewis Nixon), Frank John Hughes (Sgt. Bill Guarnere) and the rest of the cast members of BOB for giving such memorable performances. The special features of the DVD BOX SET are not to be missed ....Ron Livingston's Video Diaries are really amusing, but it's the documentary 'We Stand ALone' featuring interviews with the actual WW2 veterans of Easy Company that one must definitely watch.

Studio: HBO Home Video

DVD title: Hackers
Productgroup: DVD
Hackers - movie DVD cover picture
dis was the best movie ive ever seen

it is the best movie in the world deffenitly get it its really cool and RULES all other hacking moves and computer videos this is the DOPE STUFF GET IT GET IT GET IT GET IT GET IT

Studio: Mgm/Ua Studios
Director: Iain Softley
Jonny Lee Miller
Angelina Jolie

DVD title: Arrested Development - Season One
Productgroup: DVD
Arrested Development - Season One - movie DVD cover picture
Life among the rich and stupid

As reality TV continues rearing its ugly head on every major network, Arrested Development has arrived at just the right time for those of us itching for something intelligent to come over the airwaves. With corporate malfeasance (rightly or wrongly) assuming so much of the public spotlight over the past several years, Arrested Development casts a light on the people behind such shady goings on, and in this case the picture is not pretty. It's loosely classifiable as a sitcom, but Arrested Development is shot with more of a documentary/reality show style, giving it a distinctive look and feel that you just won't find in most of network TV's decidedly formulaic fare. Not since The Simpsons was in its prime about a decade or so has a show so effortlessly balanced wit, randomness, and unapologetic vulgarity (as of this writing, rumors that The Simpsons is still on have yet to be substantiated).

At the center of everything is Jason Bateman as genial widower Michael Bluth, the one sane member of a wealthy but deeply dysfunctional family, charged with holding it together after his corrupt father's incarceration. It's not easy, as Michael is surrounded by a collection of screwballs the likes of which you can scarcely imagine. Fortunately, the characters on Arrested Development are far more than just zany caricatures; they're all brilliantly drawn and distinctive, aided by some masterful performances from the show's cast. Yes, they're all isolated from reality and toxically self-absorbed, but the Bluth family still manages to come across as sympathetic. Michael's twin sister Lindsay (Portia de Rossi, who rarely fails to make my eyeballs bulge) is a pretentious "liberal activist" whose advocacy of fashionable causes is in sharp contrast to her vanity and terrible parenting. Her husband Tobias (David Cross, whose fake mustache is a hysterical running joke in itself) is an utterly oblivious husband and father who's just left his psychiatry practice to pursue his pipe dream of becoming an actor. Michael's older brother George Oscar (Gob) Bluth II (Will Arnett) is a smarmy, womanizing magician who never fails to take advantage of Michael's decency. The youngest brother, perpetual student Buster (Tony Hale), is prone to outlandish panic attacks and hasn't managed to separate himself from his mother quite yet.

Speaking of the family matriarch, Jessica Walter turns in arguably the best performance of them all as Lucille Bluth, easily one of the most delightfully evil characters in TV history. Domineering, manipulative, and occasionally downright cruel, Lucille is the most narcissistic member of a family full of narcissists. She plays her children against each other, shows questionable loyalty to her husband, grubs money relentlessly, and constantly makes cutting remarks about Lindsay's weight in spite of her awe-inspiring gorgeousness. For his part, George Sr. (Jeffrey Tambor), in addition to his amoral business practices, isn't exactly the best father in the world. In one especially hilarious series of flashbacks, we see his way of imparting everyday lessons to his children, which always involved some horrible simulated tragedy befalling a one-armed friend of his. And while the relationship between Michael and his awkward son George-Michael does provide a bastion of tenderness amidst all the screwiness, it's also worth noting that George-Michael has a forbidden crush on his rebellious cousin Maeby.

But wait, there's more! We're also treated to some hilarious and out-of-left-field special guest appearances, including Henry Winkler as the family's incompetent attorney Barry Zuckerkorn; Julia Louis-Dreyfuss as the "blind" prosecutor on the Bluths' case; Liza Minelli as Lucille's vertigo-plagued best friend/social rival who briefly becomes Buster's girlfriend in one of TV's all-time great mismatches; and Carl Weathers as, well, Carl Weathers. I feel I'd also be remiss if I didn't mention "Annyong," Lucille's adopted Korean son who gets his name from the Korean word for "hello," which happens to be all he says for his first five episodes or so.

There isn't one episode on this season that's not up to par, not one. All are brilliant in their own way, juggling plot strands in a Seinfeld-esque manner, but with non-linear plot structures more akin to the shamefully neglected classic Andy Richter Controls the Universe. With numerous flashbacks and the deadpan narration of Ron Howard filling in any gaps, Arrested Development is able to truly go where network comedy has rarely gone before. While many episodes do end with important life lessons, generally centering around the importance of family togetherness, the morals don't come until after various plot strands have come together in an all-hell-breaks-loose climax. Some of the more outlandish climactic set pieces include a phony drug bust involving a bunch of male strippers in phony cop outfits; George Sr. attempting to escape from a Christmas pageant while dressed as a character in a painting; Michael and Gob wrestling ineptly over a woman while Buster desperately tries to get himself punched in the face; and Gob's failed attempts to trick the family's accountant into thinking he's killed a stripper.

Accompanying the twenty-two episodes of this first season are a bevy of extras, almost all of which are worth watching. Most notably, we get an extended version of the pilot (complete with dirty words), commentaries that consist largely of the cast members ripping on each other and making off-color remarks, a behind-the-scenes featurette, and some loving tributes from TV Land. On the whole, the special features provide a great deal of insight into how the show's unique look and feel were created, how the cast was selected and how they interact, how reams of material are cut down to one 20-minute-or-so episode, and scads of other random information. Suffice to say that Mitchell Hurwitz, the show's creator, is clearly one very smart man.

With the Simpsons still in decline and Family Guy yet to return, I think I can safely go out on a limb and proclaim Arrested Development the best show on network TV right now. By defying virtually every television convention known to man, Hurwitz & Co. have created something truly innovative and warped, which is no small task with cable channels relentlessly pushing the envelope. Unfortunately, shows this original and challenging to the viewer don't typically last too long, but here's hoping this one proves to be an exception. So far the second season has been almost as good as this one, so if there's any justice Arrested Development will succeed in catching on where previous excellent Fox series like Andy Richter Controls the Universe and Undeclared failed.

Studio: Fox Home Entertainme
Jason Bateman

DVD title: Trigun Vol. 1 - The 60 Billion Dollar Man
Productgroup: DVD
Trigun Vol. 1 - The 60 Billion Dollar Man - movie DVD cover picture
Hesitant? Don't be.

You're probably wondering just how much of an action this is, or just how funny it really is. Well, let me just start off by saying, don't let the McFarlane Toys action figure fool you. When I saw that toy, I thought Trigun would be a really brutal guns & bullets anime with a hip sci fi theme.
In actuallity, after investigating the anime and then buying & watching it myself, it turned out Trigun is a western. Now, in this western we have a fair amount of action, with some very cool weapons. It's not terribly bloody, just violent at times. Also, there is a good deal of comedy thrown in, in the same way "Lethal Weapon" does. The difference between Vash the Stampede and Mel Gibson is that Vash is a lot goofier.
I enjoyed this anime very much and look forward to seeing the other volumes. The animation is very nice, the characters are personable, and it is a lot of fun. It wasn't as humorous as I expected, but I wasn't disappointed, either. It's not "Dragon Half" or "Wicked City"....there is comedy and there is violence, but it doesn't lean one way or the other. Keep that in mind, as people seem to be fooled by the cover.
Anyway, it is an enjoyable anime and I recommend it. The DVD edition is great, too. It has perfect dubbed and subtitled versions (the subtitled version is the best, of course), as well as some nice bonus features, including character sketches. Be sure to check Trigun out!

Studio: Pioneer Video
Satoshi Nishimura

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
Look no further...

Whether you've seen the theatrical version of FOTR or not, the extended version is a MUST. Not only the additional scenes, but the extended scenes make this version much richer than the already incredible theatrical release. A few days after watching the extended edition I caught the end of the movie on TV, as it was playing Boromir's death scene. Just as he dies, Aragorn stands, tears running down his face. As I waited to hear "They will look for his coming at the white tower, but he will not return..." it cut to the next scene. It was almost painful to watch. I know that in the book the line isn't spoken for another chapter or two, but it made the scene far more powerful and emotional. What is too bad is that New Line didn't feel that LOTR fans would tolerate another 20 or 30 minutes in the theatre. I would love to see all three movies in their extended versions on the big screen.
Regardless, buy this movie and The Two Towers in the extended versions. And let's hope it's not too long before we see Return of the King in the same format.
By the way, be sure to watch as many of the special features as possible. Especially the cast commentary. It's a riot!

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Peter Jackson
Ian McKellen

DVD title: M - Criterion Collection (Special Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
M - Criterion Collection (Special Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
An Incredible Restoration of a Classic

Like the Murnau-Foundation's restoration of Lang's
"Metropolis," this American-edition sparkles like the finest
of nitrate-prints! It is so silvery, soft, and the range of hues and contrast are as one would expect from first-generation
materials. There must be hundreds of shades-of-gray here. Hardly a pumped-up rip-off, this joint-restoration with the Bundesarchiv and a Dutch production-house is going to difficult to top, unless some lost-materials surface. This isn't likely, as in the case of "Metropolis."Audio is also vastly-improved over the earlier-restoration,
and isn't shrill or harsh as in the soundtracks of such early
sound-films-- probably due to the fact that original, first-or-second-generation materials were used. Without-a-doubt, this film has gone through some cleaning-up with computers, but I didn't notice any obvious-tweaking, the materials are already
very solid.It's also obvious that a lot of the restoration-work was in photographic-labs, long-before digital-tranfers were
The extras are all exceptional here, and most directors would be green-with-envy over such an edition of their craft. The film speaks-for-itself--and better-than-ever--and is
timeless. It is seminal, and is still copied today by lesser-lights in cinema. 1931:This is the true-beginning of the modern crime-film, things would never be the same.

Studio: Criterion Collection
Director: Fritz Lang
Peter Lorre

DVD title: A Man and a Woman
Productgroup: DVD
A Man and a Woman - movie DVD cover picture
Got It All--music, photography, action and passion

This film won the Grand Prize at the Cannes Film Festival in 1966, and within minutes you'll see why. Claude LeLouche directs Anouk Aimee in this passionate story of a single mother with a small daughter who meets a Formula One race car driver who has a small son at the kids' private school and the story begins. The music is by Francis Lai and is absolutely THE BOMB. Buy the soundtrack CD, too. Although it was originally filed in French, it is dubbed in English-although you can understand the French even if you don't speak it. This is a fabulous film.

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Claude Lelouch
Anouk Aimée
Jean-Louis Trintignant

DVD title: Dogma
Productgroup: DVD
Dogma - movie DVD cover picture
One of my Top 10 favorite Movies of all Time!

Dogma is director Kevin Smith's 4th movie feauring his and Jason Mewes' characters, Jay, and Silent Bob, since his directorial debut in the movie business with his independent film, ''Clerks'', which became a cult classic.
Like Smith's previous cross-genre film, ''Chasing Amy'',which crossed the genres of comedy and romance, Dogma crossed Comedy with Fantasy, with a winning plot about a decsendent of Jesus Christ who has lost her faith (Linda Fiorentino), who must stop two fallen angels (Afleck and Damon) from reentering heaven via a loophole that they have found, which would destroy humanity.
Chris Rock plays Fiorentino's guide and side kick, Rufus the 13th apostle who was left out of the bible and looking for some changes to be made. Mewes and Smith who reprise there roles as stoner pals, Jay and Silent Bob, also tag along.
Very funny, and Very fun, Dogma is a film that should not be missed.

Studio: Columbia Tri-Star
Director: Kevin Smith
Matt Damon
Ben Affleck
Linda Fiorentino

DVD title: Pearl Harbor
Productgroup: DVD
Pearl Harbor - movie DVD cover picture
I love you.

Absolutely one of the greatest accounts of the incident regarding Pearl Harbor.The DVD made you feel like you were there.Such truth in every scene.The actors were great and the love story was done with great heart.It was definately a movie worth owning and watching over and over again.

Studio: Walt Disney Home Video
Director: Michael Bay
Ben Affleck
Kate Beckinsale

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