Film DVD related reviews


DVD title: Spirited Away
Productgroup: DVD
Spirited Away - movie DVD cover picture
Quite simply one of the greatest films ever made.


Spirited Away is one of the most beautiful films I've ever seen, and deserves its place as one of the greatest films to ever be made. The story and characters are not spectacular (above par yes, but not spectacular), it's the way the director Hayao Miyazaki presents the story that makes Spirited Away so special. Miyazaki's colour pallet for the film gives it a certain edge over other animated movies, the film is truly art caught on film, the animation is spectacular and beyond Walt Disney's dreams.

The detail in the surroundings is astounding from the architecture of the bath house to the costume designs, that takes an interesting but quite simplistic story to something truly magical. There is so much feeling enveloped in every scene of this movie that it easily draws you into Chihiro's quest to escape the bath house and save her parents.

One thing that may deter people from this film is that it is very Japanese, and gives an insightful view into their culture. Certain cultural references may leave people misreading certain aspects of the film. Such as one magazine critic who thought that the bath house was similar to the red-light district. Even though bath houses are extremely common throughout Japan, have been so for hundreds of years and are very much an ordinary part of Japanese life. Even though some cultural references may cause some misunderstandings, the story of Chihiro is truly universal and can be understood by everyone, as this is a childrens film afterall.

There are a few scary bits in the film that may scare the kids, so Parental Guidance is advised. But this is a true gem, and gives the new slur of CG effects movies a good kicking, and shows what makes a good film. Disney may have forgotten how to make animated movies over the past thirty years (with a few exceptions) but Studio Ghibli is here to show that you can put all the money you want into making more realistic looking CG movies, but a great story and artful direction will win out overall.

Studio: Walt Disney Home Video
Director: Hayao Miyazaki
Actors:
Miyu Irino



DVD title: Invader ZIM - Progressive Stupidity (Vol. 2)
Productgroup: DVD
Invader ZIM - Progressive Stupidity (Vol. 2) - movie DVD cover picture
"I Love This Show"


I was not able to catch all the episodes when they aired on NICK, but those i did see were very funny (to adults and kids alike). If you cannot wait for this release you can catch the repeats on nicktoons (channel 178 on dishnetwork). I just found out this channel existed! It airs SAT, SUN and TUES (i think), (i found it by using the search button on the remote) but the listing description does not tell you episode info, so i don't know if all these are the same program. I plan to buy all the dvds, but wonder if there will be a complete box set? That would make any ZIM fan insanely happy.

Studio: Media Blasters, Inc
Director: Steve Ressel



DVD title: Scooby Doo 3pk
Productgroup: DVD
Scooby Doo 3pk - movie DVD cover picture
Scooby is to Funky for words


watching scooby doo is like watching one of your Homeboys getting into things&finding a way out at the last minute. this triple pack contains more drama&another twisted way for Scooby&Crew to warm there way out again.don't a day go by that I don't watch Scooby or do His Famous HMMMMM!!! still the Best Carton I've ever seen.I got Scooby Doo everything.

Studio: Warner Home Video



DVD title: American Beauty
Productgroup: DVD
American Beauty - movie DVD cover picture
Do I need to say more?


I heard the buzz behind this film before I actually got a chance to watch it. I went in a bit skeptical but ended up in complete awe. Finally, a big Oscar winner that deserved it!
Sure, the subject matter can be dark and disturbing. So if a middle-aged father obsessing over his teenage daughter's friend really bothers you to the point where you can't see the truth behind the film, don't waste your time. If you're homophobic, don't bother. If you want to see one of the best films ever made, this is a must.
The cinematography truly astounds. As does the directing, acting, and screenplay. This is a deep, unnerving, and truthful look into American suburbia whether we want to admit it or not.
The point of this film is not to shock. In fact, the most shocking thing about it is how natural and real it feels. On top of that, it actually does make beauty apparent in places not necessarily obvious. A floating plastic bag, a dead bird, a red door. The simple things really shine through, sometimes even more so than the extraordinary events.
One of the best aspects lies in its inability to be categorized. Is it a drama, a comedy? It's neither. As one of the film's trailers says, If you think a comedy can't move you... if you think a drama can't be funny... look closer.
Quite simply, the best film in at least a decade.

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: Sam Mendes
Actors:
Kevin Spacey
Annette Bening




DVD title: Charlie's Angels
Productgroup: DVD
Charlie's Angels - movie DVD cover picture
Never Get Sick of Watching This One!


Charlie's Angels is a great action packed movie-full of hot action scenes, 3 beautiful women, and a little humor here and there.
Natalie (Cameron Diaz), Alex (Lucy Liu), and Dylan (Drew Barrymore) are called to investigate a crime involving a robbery of software and kidnapping of of the high-tech software programmer. The girls have Bosley (Bill Murray) for help, but also gets kidnapped later in the movie. The whole crime investigation turns out to be a whole set up from the enemies, which are trying to capture the angels.
Each scene in the movie is like a chapter in a book. You will remember each scene- fighting in Chinatown, the race car scene, falling out of the window, Alex's "ooh baraccuda" scene, and many more.
I highly recommend this movie to teenagers and young adults. A nice flick to watch on when you have some spare time.

Studio: Columbia/Tristar Studios
Director: McG
Actors:
Cameron Diaz
Drew Barrymore
Lucy Liu
Bill Murray




DVD title: Elvis - Aloha from Hawaii
Productgroup: DVD
Elvis - Aloha from Hawaii - movie DVD cover picture
How we should remember Elvis


I am glad that this video is in circulation. Fans who want to remember the latter-days Elvis as a young and attractive man who could belt out a song with the best of them should purchase and keep this video. Unlike the video of Elvis' last two shows in 1977, this should be the King's video finale.

Studio: A Vision
Director: Marty Pasetta
Actors:
Elvis Presley



DVD title: House of Flying Daggers
Productgroup: DVD
House of Flying Daggers - movie DVD cover picture
Be Still My Beating Heart


"House of Flying Daggers" has a lot to overcome what with the competition of "Crouching Tiger/Hidden Dragon" and "Jet Li's Hero" nipping at its heels. But even though the first ? hour seems intent on showing its technical rather than its storytelling prowess, "HOFD" wisely switches to the heart of its concerns: a love triangle between the impossibly beautiful Mei (Ziyi Zhang), Leo (Andy Lau) and Jin (Takeshi Kaneshiro).
The plot has to do with "The Government" and a renegade band of vigilantes, The Flying Daggers and their struggle for power and specifically Mei's pursuit of revenge for the death of her father. There are numerous hand-to-hand combat scenes that are expertly staged and executed and director Yimou Zhang doesn't skimp on the bravura choreography and the gorgeous production design and costumes. I don't think we've seen such a perfect color design concept since Todd Haynes "Far From Heaven." Everything is simply breathtakingly color-coordinated. It's so perfect that it creates a worldview of its own apart from the film itself.
If I had stopped to consider the emotional power of Yimou Zhang's other films like "Shanghai Triad" and "To Live" to name a couple, I wouldn't have been surprised at the raw dramatic and emotional power of the last 40 minutes of this film, for it transcends its very specific genre and becomes a shining, brilliant example of thoughtful, heartfelt film making.
And the die-to-the-death battle between Leo and Jin becomes much more than a mere fight: it becomes a brutal stage on which spilt blood becomes a metaphor for the Love that each feels, not only for Mei, but also for each other.
Don't go to the "House of Flying Daggers" expecting a dour evil versus good film with lots of action because you won't get it. What you will get is a serious and uncommon treatise not only on the whys and the wherefores of Love but on the intricacies and mysteries of the human heart and soul.



Studio: Columbia Tristar Hom
Director: Yimou Zhang
Actors:
Takeshi Kaneshiro
Andy Lau
Ziyi Zhang




DVD title: Hell Night
Productgroup: DVD
Hell Night - movie DVD cover picture
Andrew Garth-to know him is to love him!


The name Andrew Garth should be as well known as Jason Vorhees,Freddy Krueger,Michael Myers etc.,but there was never a sequel made to this fine horror flick. Maybe this is for the better though,because many sequels as we know tend to mock and understate their predecessors. Also,this movie has a definitive ending,nothing left to the imagination(and no door left open for a sequel!). This is one of those eighties gems that thrilled me to find it available on dvd. Starring the great Linda Blair of The Exorcist fame,this movie relies heavily on atmosphere and setting,and shines beautifully in it's approach. I first viewed this film in the early eighties at an allnight drive in,playing alongside Funeral Home and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.(the good old days!). Barely being a teenager,this movie terrified me! If you like older horror movies,you must give this one a chance. I enjoyed the commentary on the dvd as well. The picture on the dvd is brilliant compared to my vhs version. Long live Andrew Garth!(well,on dvd anyway!)

Studio: Anchor Bay Entertainment
Director: Tom DeSimone



DVD title: Mansfield Park
Productgroup: DVD
Mansfield Park - movie DVD cover picture
Did not read the book


but I love period movies and decided to try this one. People who have read the book don't seem to support this movie but from my point of view it is perfect. The acting is so well done and every scene is beautiful in it's own way. The heartwarming story tugs at my heart and nearly every line of the well thought-out dialogue forwards the plot. Great replay value! Oh and may I add that the soundtrack is among the best I've ever heard. When I feel like watching Pride and Prejudice but don't have the 5 hours to spare, this movie scratches that itch pretty well.

Studio: Miramax Home Entertainment
Director: Patricia Rozema
Actors:
Frances O'Connor (II)
Jonny Lee Miller
Alessandro Nivola




DVD title: Time Bandits - Criterion Collection
Productgroup: DVD
Time Bandits - Criterion Collection - movie DVD cover picture
The transformation of classics to dvd are tremendous.


It deserves more stars just for the movie alone, we all know that. The transformation to dvd was like i said, Tremendous. the sound the picture...it all just flows together to finally come together as one of the great classics of my time. I love the comentary , how you can just go through the movie as various people disect every scene piece by piece. its also great to see all these great actors in one movie. I recomend this movie to everyone any age.....great movie growing up with, and gotta love them dwarfs

Studio: Criterion Collection
Director: Terry Gilliam
Actors:
Sean Connery
Shelley Duvall




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