Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Saiyuki - Double Barrel Collection (Vol. 1)
Productgroup: DVD
Saiyuki - Double Barrel Collection (Vol. 1) - movie DVD cover picture
Quite a bargain!

Boy, I wish this offer had been around the first time Saiyuki was brought to the US. This repackaging of the original 12 disc series has the first two discs (10 episodes) for the price of one.

Based on a Chinese folktale, Saiyuki tells the tale of a (very) human priest and his 3 demon companions as they travel west in order to bring peace back to the world. The characters are what make this series memorable and endearing, as they bicker and fight their way across the land, and the voicework in both the Japanese and English versions bring out every nuance of their outspoken counterparts' personalities.

Some of the animation is very limited, and some computer generated shortcuts can be painfully obvious, but the style of the artwork and the great voice overs make it a worthwhile series to start.

Studio: A.D. Vision

DVD title: Stargate SG-1 Season 1, Vol. 1: Episodes 1-3
Productgroup: DVD
Stargate SG-1 Season 1, Vol. 1: Episodes 1-3 - movie DVD cover picture
stargate sg1

This version-the VHS-DOES NOT INCLUDE THE SECOND EPISODE. It only includes the pilot, Children of the Gods.

This pilot is a great viewing experience, as are most of the SG1 series. It combines action, aliens, great acting and great writing to make it a must see show for almost all sci-fi fans.

Studio: Mgm/Ua Studios
Amanda Tapping

DVD title: Terminator 2: Judgment Day
Productgroup: DVD
Terminator 2: Judgment Day - movie DVD cover picture
No Problemo

This is one of those movies I just had to have in my DVD collection. Even though it's an action movie there is also a story to it. I find T2 a much better movie thatn T3. T2 was a well executed movie, whereas T3, with a completely different director, was just an attempt to cash in during the summer box office season.

Studio: Artisan Entertainment
Director: James Cameron
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Linda Hamilton

DVD title: Star Trek IV - The Voyage Home
Productgroup: DVD
Star Trek IV - The Voyage Home - movie DVD cover picture

Star Trek IV: Voyage Home was the best so far out of the series!I love how they travel to the 20th century and they try to cope with our invirement. Awesome direction by Leonard Nimoy and all of the crew of the Enterprise are neat too. Need to see 1-3 before seeing this one(It doesn't make sense till after watching Search of Spock)

Studio: Paramount Studio
Director: Leonard Nimoy
Leonard Nimoy
William Shatner
DeForest Kelley

DVD title: Cyclo
Productgroup: DVD
Cyclo - movie DVD cover picture
A Vietnam of the Mind

I've been working with "Cyclo" the last three weeks - for my exam at University - and I think it's funny to see how different people have reacted to the movie.
I'm a bit shocked by people dismissing "Cyclo" because it doesn't give a realistic view of Vietnam - and these people point out "The smell of the green Papaya" as realistic? WAKE UP! Both movies are movies of the mind, "The smell of the green Papaya" is a nostalgic, romanticed picture of Vietnam, "Cyclo" is Vietnam as Hung experienced it upon returning - but still a Vietnam of his Mind.
The movie is great - the characters are great, their missing expressions are intentional, the distance between the viewer and them intentional as well. The violence is sweet and horrifying. It's surreal - and realistic in its own way.
Definately see it - but don't believe it. AND DON'T BELIEVE "THE SMELL OF THE GREEN PAPAYA" either - Vietnam is so much more!

Studio: New Yorker Video
Director: Anh Hung Tran

DVD title: Dead Calm
Productgroup: DVD
Dead Calm - movie DVD cover picture

This is one of the most intense thrillers I've seen. To really appreciate this movie it should be seen on a surround sound system. The music and suspense keep you on the edge of your seat from beginning to end.

Studio: Warner Studios
Director: Phillip Noyce
Nicole Kidman
Sam Neill
Billy Zane

DVD title: 24 - TV Starter Set (Season 1, Episodes 1-2)
Productgroup: DVD
24 - TV Starter Set (Season 1, Episodes 1-2) - movie DVD cover picture
Try It...Like It....Buy It!

I never have watched one episode of 24 before I bought this DVD. All I ever hear about is how great 24 is, so I thought I'd go ahead and give it a try. This is a must buy! I have become very interested in seeing how this season ends after watching the first two episodes. I wouldn't go as far as to say that this has made me a big fan, I've only seen these two episodes and that's it, so it's too soon to say that, but I'm getting there. This also comes with a coupon that saves money on any season of 24, how can I resist? I do plan to use the coupon to see how this season is, and who knows, I may end up getting the others as well. I'm very surprised that such a quality of a television show could come out of network TV like FOX. Worthy of HBO. The only extras on this DVD are commercials for the season DVDs for all three seasons of 24, Tru Calling, and Murder One. So if you're like me and never have actually sat down and watched 24, I recommend this DVD, after watching it you'll know if this series is for you or not. And I have to say, it's for me.

Studio: Fox Home Entertainme
Kiefer Sutherland

DVD title: Rush - Rush in Rio
Productgroup: DVD
Rush - Rush in Rio - movie DVD cover picture

As a 42 year young but balding Rush fan since the mid 70's, I have been wishing as of late for a professionally sanctioned DVD from the band. Not only is this DVD as professional as a live concert DVD can get, the bonus material Rush documentary is refreshing and entertaining as all heck! If you like Rush, this is their DEFINITIVE video release so far!!! The audio quality on the DVD is OUTSTANDING, even satisfying an audiophile like me. The mix is crisp and well defined, and the video quality, camera shots, and editing is truly top notch too. The 'Rushumentary' Rush documentary on disc 2 is FUN and entertaining as well, as we are allowed many informal lighthearted glimpses of the guys backstage, during sound checks, and during their stay in South America in general! My only minor issue is that I nerve wrackingly cannot find the 2 extra secret features on this DVD, mainly the 'By-Tor movie', and 'Anthem 1975'! It doesn't help that my DVD remote does not work too well. Would someone PLEASE post how to specifically access these parts? And what is the significance of the 'Easter Eggs' on the back of the box cover?

Studio: Rounder
Director: Daniel E. Catullo

DVD title: Gray Lady Down
Productgroup: DVD
Gray Lady Down - movie DVD cover picture
"Any station this is Neptune, 'can anyone hear us"

I was in it, and it left a lot to be desired. In 1976, I was attached to the US Navy Deep Submergence Vehicle Turtle housed at the Submarine Rescue Unit, Naval Air Station, Coronado, California. One day the word was passed that a movie about a sunken submarine and how the crew were rescued by a DSRV had begun filming, and many of the scenes were to be shot at or near the Rescue Unit. The DSRVs Mystic and Avalon were in existance at the time of the filming. DSRV stands for Deep Submergence Rescue Vehicle. The vehicles portrayed in this movie were actually designed to mate to the hatch of a disabled submarine stuck on the bottom, and they are still in operation to this day.
Many of the sailors attached to all four vehicles at the Rescue Unit, which by the way were visible in one scene of the movie, I won't say where, were asked to be extras in the scenes. So, being the type of person never to pass up a chance to be in a movie, I volunteered. After the scenes I was in were shot, and there were three, I realized the movie industry was not for me. So much time spent for so little film in the movie. Still, I was able to meet some of the cast, including Christopher Reeve before he was Superman.
Now to my review. As I said at the beginning of my review, it left much to be desired. But then again I have not been overwhelmed by most submarine movies other than Das Boot. Having served on submarines, let me say this, it is highly unlikely the situations portrayed would have occured as they did in the movie. But, sensationalizing is what Hollywood is famous for. It was probably believable for the average lay person, but not to me. I am too biased towards how a real sub would have responded to a similar casualty. The acting was tolerable and overstated, especially David Carradine as the rogue Navy Captain, not much believability in his part. The minature models of the various vessels used in the film were typical of that time, and very unbelievable (computer graphics sure would have been nice back then). All submarine operations in that era, were shrouded in secrecy so most evolutions portrayed were not be very acurate. On the other hand, if the movie had been realistic to me or someone else who served on subs, that would be a great indicator to see the movie, particularly for the realism.
Finally, I gave it a two star rating because I was in it. Not that I made a difference, otherwise it would have been a one star rating. Yet, I have something to tell my grandsons some day.

Studio: Goodtimes Home Video
Director: David Greene
Charlton Heston
David Carradine

DVD title: Tomorrow Never Dies (Special Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Tomorrow Never Dies (Special Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
The Real James Bond Returns

Pierce Brosnan in his second film as James Bond delivers above and beyond anything I could have imagined after his appearance in "GoldenEye." In two years he has gained maturity and a physical presence that consummates his overall performance of Bond when combined with his intelligence, wit and charm that he delivers flawlessly with assured confidence.
This film brings a realistic and gritty look to the series that "Licence To Kill" attempted to, but failed. This is one of the best films of the series and ranks next to "Goldfinger" and "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" combing an integral plot with rich characters, action and suspense. Director Donald Spottiswoode never diverted the focus of the film away from the main plot, yet he gave a sense of real depth to the characters. He has a good understanding of how to deliver action with emotional impact. He did a brilliant job and has been highly underrated for his efforts. Also, the producers finally discovered a composer that could combine the traditional and highly personalized sound of John Barry with today's trends in scoring for this genre in the talented David Arnold. Arnold much evidently has a good understanding of the series and the character of James Bond. I hope the producers don't let him get away.

Studio: Mgm/Ua Studios
Director: Roger Spottiswoode
Pierce Brosnan
Jonathan Pryce
Michelle Yeoh
Teri Hatcher

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