Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Stephen King's It
Productgroup: DVD
Stephen King's It - movie DVD cover picture
Quality Horror

Alright, look, I was only gonna give this two stars, but since there aren't that many made-for-television movies that are even HALF as good as this, I decided to bump my rating up to three stars. The premise of the movie and some of the first half is pretty genuinely frightening, 'specially if you have quite an imagination like I do, and Tim Curry REALLY takes on the role of Pennywise well. In fact, if you watch this movie for anything at all, watch it for Curry as the deranged killer clown, as it is, hands-down, the most memorable performance in the movie. But, other than that, the most entertaining aspect is director Tommy Lee Wallace's stylish camerawork, and jus' watching the story unfold, as each of the character's begin to lose their grip on reality. I mean I'm not a fan of Stephen King's novels or movies at all (aside from 'The Shining', the movie, NOT the book, course that was more Kubrick than King), but he really laid down a pretty original and chilling tale here, that will really play on your psyche. But it's ruined by too much melodramatic dialogue, cheesy, unconvincing love stories, and all around hammy acting from the main players. The only really decent performance I saw of the seven friends was Harry Anderson, whose sarcasm and dry wit was DESPERATELY needed to give some spark to the lifeless and emotionless dialogue. Go 'head an' rent this one if you feel the urge, but, personally, I'd leave it at that. Is' jus' not somethin' I'd watch over and over again.

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Tommy Lee Wallace
Annette O'Toole
Tim Reid
Richard Thomas

DVD title: Frankenstein
Productgroup: DVD
Frankenstein - movie DVD cover picture
a classic horror flick with no filth.!

This is what horror is meant to be. No blood and gore, no bad launguage. I haven't seen this but I've heard it's truly a horror classic. Buy it!

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: James Whale
Colin Clive
Mae Clarke
Boris Karloff

DVD title: The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension (Special Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension (Special Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
To the ... who didn't like it - BUCKAROO RULES!

I've tried and failed to explain this movie to people who had never heard of it. That's part of its charm: it is such a melange of comic book uber-achieving characters, science fiction distorted reality, tongue-in-cheek wierdness, and a steady torrent of subliminal jokes (think "Airplane") that it defies easy explanation. That complex mixture also makes this as rewarding in its thirtieth viewing as its first, and has made this a regular favorite at Science Fiction & Fantasy Conventions and at Mensa Gatherings. The reviews can tell you the plot; I'll tell you why I liked it. I'll also tell you that you're likely to either love or loathe this movie. You'll be in the first group if you 1)pay close attention to dialog and details, 2) thought that B-movie science fiction needs a send-up, 3) appreciate (or can at least tolerate) some inspired weirdness, and 4) want to see what an "all star" cast can do with some of the most (intentionally, I think) insipid lines ever placed in a script. This is the movie that gave us that gem, "No matter where you go, there you are."
I jumped up and down in the store when I first saw that Buckaroo Banzai (easier to say than the full title, or even TAOBBATED) on DVD, and plunked down my money immediately. I was not disappointed. The quality is exceptional after all those years of VHS viewing. (The Anamorphic Letterbox presentation also fixes that disturbing compression of the end titles that marred earlier tape releases). The Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack was a pleasant bonus. The DVD includes the expected outtakes, director's commentary, alternate beginning with Jamie Lee Curtis, and other goodies to keep the faithful entertained for hours!
All of that doesn't detract from the fact that this is one of the oddest movies of the last two decades. The alternate beginning helps only a little in the initial impression that the viewer missed the first third of the film. That disorientation causes many to miss some good throw-aways that serve as the film's visual wallpaper. (For example, the computer displays during the countdown [in a test of Buckaroo's Jet-powered, oscillation overthruster-equipped pickup truck] show status as "Sined", "Seeled" and "Delivered".) I can get choked up just thinking of Dr. Banzai's resume: Brain Surgeon, Particle Physicist, Test Pilot, frontman of the hard-rocking (and heat packin') Hong Kong Cavaliers, and leader of an elite team that mobilizes to save the world, with a posse of Blue Blaze Irregulars (whom I believe discovered their calling from an ad in the back of a comic book.) If you're not sold yet, maybe you should rent this movie first--it's not for everyone!

Studio: MGM/UA Video
Director: W.D. Richter
Peter Weller
John Lithgow
Ellen Barkin

DVD title: Will & Grace - Season One
Productgroup: DVD
Will & Grace - Season One - movie DVD cover picture
The Start Of Something Special

In 1998, a new comedy called "Will & Grace" made its official debut on US comedy channel NBC. The series was widely talked about. I live in the UK, and Will & Grace has only been on our television screens for little over two years, but - as in America - the show has made a huge impact and formed huge fanclubs amongst both the gay and straight communities. Seasons 1 and 2 have been available in the UK for around a year, so I think it's about time the show is released on DVD in America!

Will and Grace are best friends who are both very close. Everything about their friendship is perfect for them to be a romantic couple, except for one problem - while Grace is straight, Will is gay. Will Truman (Eric McCormack) is a supercool lawyer who loves Grace as a friend, but nothing more. He is a rather strange character, but seems very grounded and comfortable with his sexuality. Grace Adler (Debra Messing) is a sassy, smart and successful interior designer. She is very dedicated and disciplined when it comes to her professional life, but her personal life isn't nearly so together, and Will is her stabilising force. She's a little neurotic, and she knows Will is the only person who understands her and can help her put things into perspective. Besides this, Grace is also a lot of fun, and her humour helps balance Will's more serious personality.

Will and Grace also have to cope with their two long time friends, Jack and Karen. Jack McFarland (Sean Hayes) is a jobless and very hyper camp gay guy. He is highly neurotic, extremely outspoken, a little bitter, maybe even borderline obsessive-compulsive. However, underneath all that, he is a caring soul and a good friend to Will. Karen Walker (Megan Mullally) plays Grace's socialite assistant. Karen is always confident that her way is the right way, and that she gives brilliant advice. She is so happy just being who she is, and who she is so completely inappropriate that it can't really be fathomed.

With the first episode of Season 1, "Pilot (Love And Marriage)," Grace is preparing to finish with her slob of a boyfriend Danny, but he proposes! The conclusion to whether or not Grace goes through with it is hilarious, and it fits in perfectly with the follow-up episode, "A New Lease On Life." Grace is looking for apartments, but puts forth an idea to move in with Will. In "Head Case," Grace comes up with an idea to expand Will's two bathrooms, but this idea soon turns into a living nightmare! In "Between A Rock And Harlin's Place," Jack is rehearsing for his one-man play Just Jack! Karen offers her advice in a hilarious dance scene, while Will and Grace have serious issues about a client who is looking for a new apartment. In "Boo! Humbug," Karen reluctantly agrees to storm the streets on Halloween with Jack, but she ends up having much more fun than him with a group of Drag Queens! In "William Tell," Jack lets slip to Grace about a guy that Will had an affair with a guy when he was in a long-term relationship with Michael. In "Where There's A Will, There's No Way," Jack is in serious trouble. He has forgotten to pay his taxes and now his gym membership is under threat! In "The Buying Game," Grace wants to buy her studio, but things turn sour when Will intervenes. Meanwhile, Jack is finding his massage training a bit too hands on with Karen. In "The Truth About Will And Dogs," Will becomes obsessed with a pet dog. In "The Big Vent," Jack is freaking out because Karen says his new play stinks. Meanwhile, Will and Grace are totally obsessed with the interesting conversations from the apartment below that they can hear through their heating vent. In "Will On Ice," Jack and Karen strike up an unlikely friendship when discussing ice skaters, while Will's birthday is set to turn out badly again - and he can't even get a cowboy cake!

In "My Fair Maid-y," Grace is freaking out thinking that she has lost all creative inspiration she ever had for interior designing. It's not long before Will's cleaning lady is claimed as Grace's saviour. In "The Unsinkable Mommy Adler," Grace's mother shows up with an outrageous suggestion that Will and Grace should get married! In "Big Brother Is Coming Part 1," Grace is trying to re-unite Will with his brother who cut him out of his life years ago. In "Big Brother Is Coming Part 2," Grace appear to have made a mistake in her attempts to re-unite Will with his brother. In "Yours, Mine Or Ours," Will and Grace argue over a guy who has separately invited them both to dinner. In "Secrets And Lays," the whole four go to stay in a log cabin for a weekend. Grace sets it up as a solution for Will's 'Split With Michael' Anniversary, but a blast from the past threatens to blow her cover. In "Grace Replaced," Will is off seeing another woman while Grace is extremely busy. Is Grace a little jealous? In "Will Works Out," Jack joins Will's gym but this leads to all sorts of problems for Will and his reputation with clients who also go to his gym. In "Saving Grace," Grace potentially lands a huge deal with a male client, but Will has to go out with him for Grace to be successful in her deal. In "Alley Cats," Will and Grace have to curb their competitive streaks when they stand to lose their friends, whilst Jack is performing CPR on Karen.

Will & Grace is a fairly new comedy in the UK, and its popularity is just soaring, and we're only on Season 3! The show has longevity, and that's what will make it one of the most popular sitcoms in history. Will's crazy moments, Grace's wacky situations, Jack's flamboyant attitude and Karen's hilarious one-liners are all in this collection for you to treasure forever. Buy the Season 1 Collection of Will & Grace now!

Studio: Lions Gate Home Entertainment

DVD title: Freddy's Dead - The Final Nightmare
Productgroup: DVD
Freddy's Dead - The Final Nightmare - movie DVD cover picture
even mor etwisted and funny and shocking

saw this tons of times on vhs and tv
just as sick, funny, shocking as the other Nightmare on Elm street movies
see this
i'm so glad I have it on dvd

Studio: New Line Home Entertainment
Director: Rachel Talalay
Robert Englund
Lisa Zane

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
A Masterpiece

This is a beautiful movie. A masterpiece.When I first saw this movie I exited the cinema with a sense of ..this is a great movie but why?
I saw the movie a second time (a first) and it dawned on me how beautiful it was and I realised why I loved it. More importantly I realised why I felt vaguely confused when I left the cinema the first time.It was different. It was a completely different movie experience from that which we have become accustomed to and more dangerously that we have come to expect.We have become so used to formularic movies that start with a rumble build over the 1-2 hours, deliver a rousing climax and end happily ever after. Readers Digest versions of tales and stories that are often long and complicated with the added insult of having their endings changed to fit the demographics.
This is based on an epic novel with none of it's message twisted for political correctness or paced purely for the rush at the end. It is a slow unfolding of a tale about a complex world facing a simple age old truth... that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.It's content is taken seriously, the acting is beautiful and it has a sad soulful earnestness that befits the story.This is where it's greatness lies.
I went out and bought the trilogy and read the lot over the following weeks which made me appreciate the film even more.Then my brother who had not seen the movie asked if I wanted to see it again with him.The fact that I not only agreed but enjoyed it again despite it's length is as far as I'm concerned a milestone in this film lovers life. This is a beautiful movie. A masterpiece.

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Peter Jackson
Ian McKellen

DVD title: American Pie (Widescreen Unrated Collector's Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
American Pie (Widescreen Unrated Collector's Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
good movie!

To be completly honest, when I was going to see this movie I didn't think it would be that good. Then I watched it, and I laughed. I laughed so hard and saw it three more times.

Studio: Universal Studios
Jason Biggs
Chris Klein
Thomas Ian Nicholas

DVD title: Dokken - Live from the Sun
Productgroup: DVD
Dokken - Live from the Sun - movie DVD cover picture
A Dokken fan dream come true.

Dokken was one of those bands from the 80's that was kind of ignore by the critics, but not by the fans. A lot of the songs like "Alone Again", "In my Dreams" (one of the best songs on this DVD), "Paris is Burning" are still landmarks of the heavy/hard rock scene from the 80's.
This DVD has superior quality in sound and images with a lot of creativity on the "sub scenes" featuring clips from their original videos. Also there are 2 excellent unplugged songs taken from the "One Live Night". The interview is also interesting which describes a lot of the turbelence behind the downfall of the band during the late 80's.
Reb Beach (Winger, Alice Cooper) is an excellent replacement for George Lynch and in some ways he is even better!!! I think this DVD is one of the best around, not only for the music but also because of the quality and the information that it has.

Studio: Bmg/Sanctuary Records Group

DVD title: Blow-Up
Productgroup: DVD
Blow-Up - movie DVD cover picture
Anonioni shows much and tells little.

Blow-Up, as the title suggests, is about the pictures. David Hemmings is the photographer putting together a book about the down-and-out in London. He decides to provide contrast for the end of his book by taking some shots in an idylic London park. He sees in the distance Vanessa Redgrave holding an older man in what appears to be an embrace. Hemmings begins photographing them and then is spotted by Redgrave who demands the negatives. Hemmings refuses.

Redgrave shows up later at Hemmings' studio. He gives her what he says are the negatives, but we find out moments later he has kept them and proceeds to develop his pictures.

The closer he looks at the blow-ups of his shots, the more intrigued he becomes with what he sees, which is a gun pointed at Redgraves' lover and then later a grainy shot of what may be a body. Hemmings goes back to the park, finds the body, and then returns home. Later his studio is vandalized and all his pictures are stolen.

This plot line appears thin for a two hour film and many reviewers are bored to death with what they think is a pretentious movie about people impossible to like and a story bereft of action and dialogue.

The Hemmings' character is impossible to like and that is just the point. Director Michelangelo Antonioni is more interested in what Hemmings' camera sees, and that is a world invisible to the naked eye. Hemmings' camera gives us frozen moments in time that are decisive moments in the lives of his characters. Only by looking closely with great patience can we unravel the mystery of life and death played out in a park on a sunny afternoon.

Blow-Up is a great mystery story and the mystery goes deeper than the murder in the park. Can we trust what we think we see? Clearly not. For those who would like to further their understanding of this question, I recommend Akira Kurosawa's great film Rashomon. Can we trust what the camera sees? Perhaps, but not from the long distance lense of Hemming's camera. He needed to go back to the park to confirm what he thought he saw.

Antonioni is a skillful director; he shows much and tells little, and he is careful to give us everything we need to make up our own mind. Our challenge to is see without prejudice, without projecting our own images and perceptions onto the blown-up pictures before our eyes. Highly recommended

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Michelangelo Antonioni
Vanessa Redgrave
David Hemmings

DVD title: Star Trek - Nemesis (Widescreen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Star Trek - Nemesis (Widescreen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
One of Star Trek's Finest Hours

Don't miss this one! We almost didn't go because the promos didn't make it sound worth seeing -- seemed too much like a video game for teenage boys. But who could miss a chance to spend a couple of hours with Warf, Jean Luc and the gang? When our most faithful Trekkie friend decided to go, we all piled in the car and off we went. I am so glad we joined her! We all agreed -- it is by far the best of all the Star Trek films. It's fast-paced, exciting, moving, gripping; it will have you clinging to the edge of your seat, whether you're a teenage boy or...a little older... Do take along the big box of tissues, though. You'll need it bigtime at the utterly astonishing end. Great movie!!!!

Studio: Paramount Home Video
Director: Stuart Baird
Patrick Stewart
Jonathan Frakes
Brent Spiner

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