Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Queen - Greatest Video Hits 1
Productgroup: DVD
Queen - Greatest Video Hits 1 - movie DVD cover picture
Queen is King of DVD Production

I am not a big fan of any band or musician who lip sync to their music to promote their songs, but since Queen is a proven LIVE band I gave this DVD a shot. Once again Queen managed to make me forget the negatives about Music Videos by overwhelming me with the awsome marriage of their multi layer recordings and 5.1 DTS surround audio. Queen production came through in royal fashion with this DVD. Bohemian Rhapsody rightfully opens this video with awsome display of sound like I never heard before. The multilayering of this song is broken down as well as can be for 5.1 that you can hear instrument sections not heard in stereo format. Moving on, this DVD has other great classics that really shine in this format such as, Another One Bites the Dust, Killer Queen,Tie Your Mother Down,Don't Stop Me Now, and my personal favorite, Somebody to Love. Freddie's voice is so clear on Somebody to Love that you can feel him sing it with the same conviction and power as when he sang this song live on the We Will Rock You concert video. Anyone who has a surround system and loves to hear Freddies voice will love this DVD. Not to say the PCM Stereo sound on this DVD sounds bad,but to but buy this for stereo sound sort of defeats it's purpose.
Disc two is in stereo only but has a lot of great features such as extra tracks of Now I'm Here (live),Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy (from Top of The Pops),Keep Yourself Alive, Liar, Love of My Life (oddly videoed in Japan but the audio recorded during a concert in Frankfurt) and finally the fast version of We Will Rock You (Live recorded in Texas).
My favorite feature of Disc 2 is a truly interesting walk through of how Bohemian Rhapsody was made. This was done by Brian May inside a recording studio. Brian explains how the the songs instrumental sections were recorded starting with the entire piano section, followed by some bass, guitar and drum sections. It was interesting to learn how some of the guitar sections were actually Freddies ideas. Brian of course explains how the Operatic section was recorded to sound like many voices were used. This part of the video really showed the musical genius of Freddie.
Anyone who wants to hear a great sounding Music Video and who likes Music Videos should definitely give this DVD a shot. This is truly a well produced DVD.

Studio: Universal Music & VI
Freddie Mercury

DVD title: Jeff Costa's Cardio Strip Tease Workout
Productgroup: DVD
Jeff Costa's Cardio Strip Tease Workout - movie DVD cover picture
Grab your feather boa and get buff with Jeff Costa's strip tease workout!

I picked up Jeff Costa's Strip Tease Workout #1 and was so pleased with it I anteed up for #2. The workout is so much fun, you forget you are working out. You will be doing squats, hip rolls, side steps and other work for your booty, but because of the sensual approach its not like you are truly working out. You feel more like you are at a dance club. But you will feel it afterwards in your glutes and abs. Who knew strippers worked so hard!

Vol #2 is a little more involved than #1 with 4 cardio sections but you can master the moves without purchasing #1. I love #1 though as a shorter workout and highly recommend both of them.

Jeff is an excellent instructor. He talks just the right amount and with his infectious grin he helps you really get into the workout. He says a few oohs and ahhs that punch up the sensuality but the workout is still mainstream. One thing I really like about the workout is Jeff is not ashamed to really get into it and encourage you to do so also. Though another video "Urban Striptease Workout" is a good workout, at the beginning the instructor says something like I am sure you feel silly doing this, so do we! Jeff would never say that. He is totally fine with being very sensual.

Though clothing is removed, there is something underneath. A feather boa is used in one of the sections but you could easily substitute a long scarf or stretch towel. Boa's in a range of colors can be found cheaply at auction sites, so you may want to buy one.

This DVD also includes the fantasy workout. Jeff's dancers dressed in costumes like school girl, nurse, office worker etc. They teach you the steps to a "strip tease" for your partner. Then each girl takes a turn doing her version of it. Talk about inspirational! These girls are in incredible shape and will make me think the next time I want to gobble up goodies.

All in all an excellent workout and lot of fun for booty!

NOTE: At one time Jeff's workouts were sold individually. There was workout #1, workout #2, abs workout, and fantasy workout - 4 different tapes. A CD was also sold. You can still find these at auction sites. I purchased the CD which is not available at his site at auction. At this time the workouts have been combined. Workout #1 and the abs workout are together on one DVD and workout #2 and fantasy workout are together on another DVD so there are 2 DVD's instead of 4.

Studio: Ventura Distribution
Jeff Costa

DVD title: 28 Days Later (Widescreen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
28 Days Later (Widescreen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Grim, grainy and bleak

Many people went to the theaters expecting to see the scariest movie of all time here, but it is nothing of the sort. The "scary" moments are more ominous than anything, especially the scenes of Jim walking through a completely deserted London. Danny Boyle uses a technique that so many other horror directors should use, that constantly seeing the enemy is not always the scariest thing, the fear of suspense is. There are definitely creepy moments in this film, but nothing that should make you jump out of your seat.
The direction of this film is brilliant, as Boyle uses a distinctly European style in his approach to filmmaking. You will see the elements that were so impressive in "Trainspotting" and "The Beach" used here again, effectively as usual.
"28 Days Later" offers a grim look at a possible future for mankind, as the world is quickly taken over by a plague of rage, unknowingly cast into society by foolish activists trying to free test monkeys. This movie is great in displaying the search for hope in a world where there should be none, as things continually get worse for the core group of characters.
The acting from virtual unknowns here is very strong, as well as convincing, and much of this can be attributed to the dark script penned by Alex Garland, author of "The Beach" and "The Tesseract". His gloomy outlook transferred well to film, and his story is a very convincing one. The DVD is pretty good, although there are not many extra features here. But the three different endings provided are very interesting, showing vastly different possibilities in this story of survival.
Viewers should not look at this film as a horror, or a thriller, a drama, action or as a zombie movie, but as a seamless combination of all of these genres, making it one very good movie.

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox Home Video
Director: Danny Boyle
Cillian Murphy
Naomie Harris

DVD title: Ninja Scroll
Productgroup: DVD
Ninja Scroll - movie DVD cover picture
Up there with the best

Ninja scroll delivers wonderful animation, and a compelling plot. My favorite only to Vampire Hunter D, and Akira. A hero with a sword and an attitude, who could ask for more? But it's not just a blood bath, you finnish watching the movie wanting to know so much more about the hero (jubei.) It was the first anime that i'd ever seen, and now I collect as much anime as I can get my hands on. A must see.(the sub-titled version is more graphic)

Studio: Palm Pictures/Manga Video

DVD title: Babar - The Movie
Productgroup: DVD
Babar - The Movie - movie DVD cover picture
One of the best children's movies

This is a movie that I watched and loved growing up and still love today. I bring it over when I babysit sometimes. It's a movie the kids love and someone my age can sit through and actually enjoy. The songs are catchy and the storyline has a lot of heart. Some scenes when Retaxus's troops take the elephants hostage might be frightning for younger kids. But I got frightened easily as a kid and if I can handle it, most average kids probably can too. I'd recomend this to anyone who wants to watch a movie with their kids they both can enjoy.

Studio: Lions Gate Home Entertainment
Director: Alan Bunce (II)
Gordon Pinsent

DVD title: Wow Gospel 2001
Productgroup: DVD
Wow Gospel 2001 - movie DVD cover picture
Definitely Third Heaven Music

I absolutely loved this DVD. I only had it for a few days and about wore it out, even my Australian friends here now know Commissioned first hand. One thing about Commissioned, and that is you don't have to guess who they are singing about. I cry everytime I hear Ordinary Just Won't Do, especially the part where Marcus Cole burst out in song, then Fred has to take over, because Marcus gets caught up in the Spirit. How about Running Back To You. That could be the theme song for a majority of Christians, I mean the way the crowd accompanied Fred through the whole song. I didn't get a chance to go to the concert due to my location (Australia), but I tell you what this DVD is definitely the next best thing to being there. Man, I thank God for these gentlemen who still know what it means to worship God in Spirit and in Truth, but most importantly, how to relay the gospel of Jesus Christ to the masses through song.

Studio: Bmg/Jive/Silvertone
Fred Hammond
Canton Spirituals
Mary Mary

DVD title: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Full Screen Edition) (Harry Potter 1)
Productgroup: DVD
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Full Screen Edition) (Harry Potter 1) - movie DVD cover picture
The book's fantasy incredibly brought to screen!

As a deaf person...I have to wait usually until the most current movies are brought out on DVD format. While everyone else was going to the movie, I had to wait another nine months in order to enjoy it. Movies such as Spider-Man can be somewhat enjoyable if you cannot hear the sound or speech, but for something like Harry Potter, where the writing and the interaction between all the characters in the book are so key to understanding, those of us with no hearing need to wait until someone bothers to caption them.
Sometimes I am disappointed because the build-up by the media and word-of-mouth is such that I expect more from the movie than it is able to provide. That wasn't the case with this movie/DVD. As someone who remembers going to the library and reading every possible book I could get on mythology, the Grimm Brothers, Hans Christian Anderson, many science fiction books written for children, and all books written on Merlin and the Arthurian legend, I was pleased when this generation had a book come out involving fantasy and fairy tale, that could withstand the test of time. The movie did a spectacular job of following the high precedent set by the book. Rowling was right to keep such strong control over her books so that they would be faithful to what she wrote.
The movie is spectacular in special effects and in casting not only Harry, but his cohorts. Radcliffe is a read find and his humility in playing this part makes for one of the least obnoxious child actors I've ever seen. You can tell the kids had great fun making this movie in spite of the work. It's nice to see so many great British actors and actressess participating in this endeavor to bring the book to life. Thank heavens, Richard Harris' granddaughter threatened him if he didn't take the part of the headmaster of the school. And as a deaf person who relies upon facial expression, I waited with impatience for Rickman to show up and pull his usual glowering looks...he didn't disappoint.
This is not a movie for small children. My grandchildren couldn't sit still that long. They come and go while watching this, but the rest of us thoroughly enjoyed it. My husband didn't get some of it because he didn't read the book. There is a bit missing if you don't read the book first...but people probably said the same thing about The Wizard of Oz.

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Chris Columbus
Daniel Radcliffe

DVD title: The Sound of Music (Five Star Collection)
Productgroup: DVD
The Sound of Music (Five Star Collection) - movie DVD cover picture
The best movie ever

I've often wondered what this show (both the stage and movie version) would have been like, had Oscar Hammerstein 2nd written the book, and not just the lyrics. Unfortunately, the movie gives us even less of what the Broadway version gave us - two of the best songs from the stage version, "How Can Love Survive," and "No Way To Stop It" have been cut - albeit with a slightly less saccharine narrative (here penned by Ernest Lehman). The authors of the stage version, Howard Lindsay and Russell Crouse, were attached to the project before R&H, at the behest of the ultimate Broadway gamine, Mary Martin, and her (no pun intended) martinet/producer/manager/husband, Richard Halliday. Rodgers and Hammerstein came on board late in the game (after the lackluster debut of "Flower Drum Song") only to supply the score. This DVD provides us with a world of information - information that has Christopher Plummer and Julie Andrews vehemently stating that the show, before Lehman's adaptation, had to lose a lot of the maudlin qualities [that people still complain about] the stage version had. It's nice to see most of the original cast, and director Robert Wise - and Lehman - chatting about the production. There is a lot of useful information here; not just about this particular movie, but about the [soon-to-be] end of the successful Hollywood musical. I give this DVD high marks for its extra-curricular content, but not for the movie. Call me what you will, but I still say that this show would have been better if Hammerstein (the author of "Show Boat," "Oklahoma!" "Carousel," "The King and I," and the co-author (with Joshua Logan) of "South Pacific") had written the show instead of Lindsay & Crouse. Still, "Edelweiss," not only the last lyric written by Hammerstein, is one of their best songs - a simple but wonderful waltz by Rodgers (his trademark), and a simple but poetic lyric by Hammerstein.

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox Home Video
Director: Robert Wise
Julie Andrews
Christopher Plummer

DVD title: Paris, Texas
Productgroup: DVD
Paris, Texas - movie DVD cover picture
Really hope to own it

This film is a German-French coproduction, so it is interesting as a product of how Americans are viewed by the Europeans. Every scene seems to contain images of something that is decaying or something that is being built. Cars are everywhere. Expansive desert vistas mirror the barrenness of the main character's inner life. Motion is seen as an antidote to pain. The final confrontation between Harry Dean Stanton and Nastasia Kinski is very moving, and the plight of Stanton's character at the end of the film is heartbreaking.

Studio: Fox Home Entertainme
Director: Wim Wenders
Harry Dean Stanton
Nastassja Kinski
Dean Stockwell

DVD title: Curb Your Enthusiasm - The Complete First Season
Productgroup: DVD
Curb Your Enthusiasm - The Complete First Season - movie DVD cover picture
Beyond Brilliant

This show has the strengths of Seinfeld, without the weaknesses. It's like a grown-up version of Seinfeld, containing the quirks that made that show great but avoiding the inane characterizations and cheap laughs that seperate the two shows.
CYA is now into its 4th season. The second and third season have been well worth watching, but this first season was particularly brilliant. From the third episode onwards, it was riotous and fresh each week. It was the funniest show on television (yes, even funnier than South Park) for that year, without question. If you're interested in comedy at all, you must see how good this show is.

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Robert B. Weide

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

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