Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: My Dinner with Andre
Productgroup: DVD
My Dinner with Andre - movie DVD cover picture
Quoting ebert..."its very hard to nail down great movies"

Give it a try: you'll either giveup in 15 minutes; or would get hooked to it. Like a evening breeze of a warm day, let the movie conversation flow easily. Play..Pause...think...rewind...think...r ewatch....reflect. Its not going to change your life, but would defintely effect your view about it.

Studio: Fox Lorber
Director: Louis Malle
Wallace Shawn
Andre Gregory

DVD title: Poetic Justice
Productgroup: DVD
Poetic Justice - movie DVD cover picture
Janet saves this movie...

"Poetic Justice" is a decent movie. It's getting a 5 star rating from me because of Janet's performance. Janet really does a great job in the role of Justice.

The biggest gripe I have with this movie is the fighting/bickering that goes on among the characters. It gets pretty old quickly.

Studio: Columbia/Tristar Studios
Director: John Singleton
Janet Jackson
Tupac Shakur
Regina King
Joe Torry
Tyra Ferrell

DVD title: The Greatest American Hero - Season One
Productgroup: DVD
The Greatest American Hero - Season One - movie DVD cover picture
Underrated and Underappreciated

My brother and I have been huge fans of this show since it was originally released. We still have some taped episodes from 1981 and 1982. But it will be really nice to see the show digitally remastered and without the lame early 80's commercials.

This show has it all, comedy, drama, action, special effects (from the 80's, but still). Plus the theme song, "Believe it or not" is awesome. Some of you might be familiar w/ George's answering machine song from "Seinfeld." If you weren't aware, that message is a direct parody of the theme song. So, I mean, a show that is parodied on Seinfeld can't be all bad. Am I right??

Studio: Anchor Bay Entertain
William Katt

DVD title: Everybody's All-American
Productgroup: DVD
Everybody's All-American - movie DVD cover picture

Made on the campus of LOUISIANA STATE UNIVERSITY, and the Baton Rouge area.
Great action and a bit of romance.
If you love LSU TIGER FOOTBALL you will love this flick.

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Taylor Hackford
Jessica Lange
Dennis Quaid

DVD title: Star Trek - First Contact
Productgroup: DVD
Star Trek - First Contact - movie DVD cover picture
The Borg are back, and there's gonna be trouble...

On one hand, I'm glad to see Paramount's finally come `round, and is giving the Star Trek movie line the Special-Edition-DVD-with-all-sorts-of-ex tras treatment. I'm also glad that they finally grew some stones, and decided to do a PG-13 Trek-flick... but that's neither here nor there. On the other hand, however, I wished they'd done this the FIRST time they put the movies out on DVD! But hey, why release the best stuff at the outset when they can get the fanboys to purchase the stripped-down, movie-only DVD, then turn around and release the Special Edition version a couple years later, knowin' full well the UberTrekkies will be more'n willing to trade up? Once again the ol' Dreaded DVD Double-Dip Ploy (read about this annoying phenomenon at de-display/-/3CVFIEG84F2PF) rears its ugly head...

Anyhoo: ever since I first saw the NextGen two-parter 'The Best of Both Worlds', the Borg instantly became my favorite Star Trek foes. Going to see 'First Contact', of course, was a given. In my case, resistance was indeed futile. Experiencing the Enterprise take on the relentless collective mind again in a battle across time as well as space was a highly anticipated event. Fortunately, I was not disappointed; not only were the Borg given an 'upgrade', so were the never ending 'Trek mythos. Ya had Picard having to decide between the welfare of the crew or his own vengeful crusade against his most-hated adversary, featuring Patrick Stewart overacting to near-Shatnerian levels. If ya doubt it, just take a look at the film's emotional high-point, the display-case-smashing "the line must be drawn HERE!" scene. If that ain't overdoin' it, I dunno what is!

And let's not forget the 'introduction' of the warp-drive inventor Zephrem Cochrane, who turns out to not be quite so heroic as Enterprise crew thought such a historical figure would be. Now I've heard more than a few 'Trek boys complain about Mr. Cromwell's portrayal of Zephrem Cochrane, I found his alcoholism and lack of joviality & enthusiasm to reflect the post-nuclear-holocaust era he lived in. Ya also got to see the real man underneath the heroic veneer that history has coated upon him and his legacy. BTW if there was ever a legitimate gripe about the inventor of warp drive, it's that the guy here (James Cromwell) doesn't look anything like the same character in the old-school eppie "Metamorphosis" (some other guy).

Then there's the very heart of the collective (well, actually she IS the collective): the Borg Queen, who goes about seducing Data... in more ways than one! The one I can discuss in this review is an offer to make him a little more human. Anyhoo: everybody from the guys in the commentary track, to several folks in the various behind-the-scenes docs, makes mention of the Borg Queen character's strange combo of sexiness and H.R. Giger-like scariness. Personally, I don't really see the sexiness... but the scariness is definitely there! I must admit, however, that Alice Krige without the appliances and scary outfit is sexy in a slightly creepy way, though...

This movie's also notable for having the cheesiest one-liner in Star Trek history, when Worf makes like Arnold Schwarzenegger by saying, "Assimilate THIS!" Sheesh, what groaner!

This Special Collector's Edition (SCE) DVD set includes the usual array cast & crew interviews, making-of/behind-the-scenes documentaries, and trailers that you've come to expect in the Star Trek SCE movie DVD series. Among the more notable docs is a look at the SETI project and its history, the evolution of the Enterprise-E and other FC vessels from sketch to screen, and a behind-the-scenes look at the missile silo set... which was an actual missile silo, with an actual disarmed missile with a cockpit mock-up attached to the nose cone! Then there are the breakdowns of several effects-heavy scenes, which should spark the interest of movie-magic aficionados.

Then there's the tribute to late composer/conductor Jerry Goldsmith, who composed five of the ten Trek-flicks' scores. And boy, what a tribute it was; just about everybody who was interviewed for this show had a lotta gushy praise for the guy! And I must admit, I have more than a little praise for him, myself... especially the bang-up job he did with the "Star Trek V" and "Total Recall" scores. But if I hadda rank him with all of the other composers who've scored Star Trek movie soundtracks, he'd come in third place behind James Horner (II &III) and Cliff Eidelman (VI). Sorry if you UberTrekkies are offended by my opinion, but... no wait, actually, I'm not the least bit sorry. In fact, I could care less what'cha think...

But of all the extras, my faves were the ones in the "Borg Collective" section. A couple shows here delve into the evolution of the Borg makeup and costumes from the NextGen TV show to "First Contact" and the "Voyager" show, and the various Borg vehicles, from cubes to spheres and all geodesic shapes in between. Then there's the interview with Alice "Borg Queen" Krige, which I fast-forwarded through at double-speed with English subtitles turned on. Which is a pretty good time-saver, BTW...

Whoops, almost forgot about the commentary tracks. The "First Contact" SCE DVD features not one, but two of `em: one with director Jonathan Frakes and one from screenwriters Ronald Moore & Brannon Braga. I wasn't too keen with Frakes' glad-hander/cheerleader delivery of the various behind-the-scenes tidbits and anecdotes he relayed in his track. The highlights he points out include: the movie's various Ed Wood-ish moments, Gates "Dr. Crusher" McFadden's overuse of the props, and the revelation that Alfre "Lily" Woodard is his Godmother. He also lets ya know which scenes are the most frequently discussed by convention fanboys.

Moore & Braga's accounts include various story ideas they came up with that eventually fell by the wayside, including setting the movie in medieval times, and actually destroying the USS Defiant (one of the DS9 producers wasn't too keen on the latter idea, so it was dropped). Then there was the incident with Prince Charles at a special screening in England, wondering why characters move at a slow pace in zero-g space walk scenes, and pointing out their cameo appearances in the Holodeck dance hall scene.

And, like they did in the "Generations" commentary track, Moore & Braga amusedly point out the movie's various plot holes and continuity irregularities. Speaking of continuity: they brought up the notion that there's so much continuity to keep track of in the Star Trek universe now with all of the movies and TV eppies, that it might be a good idea to "reboot" the whole deal and start fresh. Which I found to be an interesting idea. Hey, if DC Comics can pull it off ("Crisis on Infinite Earths" ( 1563897504), anyone?), I'm sure they could do it with Star Trek...


Studio: Paramount Studio
Director: Jonathan Frakes
Jonathan Frakes
Patrick Stewart
Brent Spiner
LeVar Burton
Michael Dorn
Gates McFadden
Marina Sirtis
Alfre Woodard
James Cromwell
Alice Krige

DVD title: Catch Me If You Can (Widescreen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Catch Me If You Can (Widescreen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Illustrates the Cons of Being a Con.

While I looked forward to seeing this movie, I was surprised at just how well it was done. DiCaprio and Hanks both give very good performances, but what hit it out of the ballpark for me was capturing the mood of both the era and the chase.
Films and books have an interesting way of turning outlaws into charming folk heroes. This is one of those films that realistically bucks that notion. It shows the slick charm and finesse that Frank Abagnale Jr (Leonardo DiCaprio) used to sneak onto airlines and into prolific jobs, but it also shows the emotional destruction ---both his as well as his friends' and family's--- that comes with living on the run. Abagnale did live lavishly at times, but always had the anxiety of looking over his shoulder and keeping his stories straight.
We also see Abagnale grow up witnessing his father (Christopher Walken) attempting less successful scams, thus planting the seed for Jr's career.
We also get a nice overview of how bank criminals committed bank check fraud before the "personal computer" era, how such crooks were able to evade quick detection of the checks they forged, and how one person's charm versus another's gullible nature can be a deceptive weapon.
All in all, this film does a great job showing why even a successful con-artist is not so successful. This film humanizes the con-artist without making us feel pity for him. The lack of pity for the scammer is partly due to the character of Hanratty (Tom Hanks), who makes numerous personal sacrifices (including working in a department of the FBI that his peers judge as tedious). When you see Hanratty getting little thanks and dire frustration while playing by the rules, you want to see Frank Jr get busted.

Studio: Umvd/Dreamworks
Director: Steven Spielberg
Leonardo DiCaprio
Tom Hanks
Christopher Walken

DVD title: Led Zeppelin - The Song Remains the Same
Productgroup: DVD
Led Zeppelin - The Song Remains the Same - movie DVD cover picture
Must See

Saw this on it's opening debut day years ago. If you're a Zep fan, you've probably already seen it, but if you haven't, see it.

Studio: Warner Studios
John Bonham
John Paul Jones
Jimmy Page
Robert Plant

DVD title: Big Fish
Productgroup: DVD
Big Fish - movie DVD cover picture
Masterpiece!! Big Fish is a must see!

Went with eager anticipation to see this one. Ended up bored to death, looking at the time wondering when it would all end. Interesting premise, amazing visuals but way too drawn out. I was with 3 other people and we were all disappointed. Expected much better.

Studio: Columbia Tristar Hom
Director: Tim Burton
Ewan McGregor
Albert Finney
Billy Crudup

DVD title: Pirates of the Caribbean - The Curse of the Black Pearl (2-Disc Collector's Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Pirates of the Caribbean - The Curse of the Black Pearl (2-Disc Collector's Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Awesome for anyone

This movie is amazing! I have seen it 4 times and it has not yet been released on DVD! It includes, action, humor, romance, suspense, and excitement - there is surely something for everyone in this film!

Studio: Walt Disney Home Video
Director: Gore Verbinski
Johnny Depp
Geoffrey Rush
Orlando Bloom
Keira Knightley
Jonathan Pryce

DVD title: The Exorcist (25th Anniversary Special Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
The Exorcist (25th Anniversary Special Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Still the champion of horror

Re-released 27 years later, one of the greatest horror films of all-time is still deeply unnerving. Much has been made about the new "director's cut", that the newly-included, never-before-seen footage detracts from the original rather than adds. It is true that the film's epilogue is dragged out for no apparent reason but that is not a significant enough reason to keep people from watching it again. It's simply one of the best films around.

Studio: Warner Studios
Director: William Friedkin
Ellen Burstyn
Max von Sydow
Linda Blair

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