Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: North by Northwest
Productgroup: DVD
North by Northwest - movie DVD cover picture
Ravishing- from the opening green lion.

This has always been one of my favorite Hitchcock films, mainly because when you view the whole, you realize that it doesn't really fit into the typical suspense or horror category. It dosen't have the graphic gore of PSYCHO or the psychological eeriness of VERTIGO. It is more of an adventure film, a rollicking roller-coaster of entertainment infused with wry comedy, romance, glamour, and superb cinematography which sustains your interest, amazingly, for more than 130 minutes. And all the performances are memorable- from Grant's cynical executive to Eva Marie Saint's beautiful, smoldering agent, to James Mason's urbane, silky, villain. It comes right at the end of probably the director's greatest period of films- his 50's carousel of hits, including STRANGERS ON A TRAIN, TO CATCH A THIEF, REAR WINDOW, VERTIGO, and the redux MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH. It also manages to make train travel exceedingly glamorous!!

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Cary Grant
Eva Marie Saint

DVD title: Dead Alive
Productgroup: DVD
Dead Alive - movie DVD cover picture
The Dead has Risen Once Again...

Dead Alive lives up to its name as the goriest fright film of all time! I mean some of the parts in the movie are kinda dull, but the gore towards the end makes up for it. As everyone else agrees...the lawnmower scene is the bomb!!! Wanna know how to kill a zombie...then watch and find out. the ending is a killer!!!

Studio: Vidmark/Trimark
Director: Peter Jackson
Timothy Balme
Diana Peñalver
Elizabeth Moody
Ian Watkin

DVD title: The Godfather DVD Collection
Productgroup: DVD
The Godfather DVD Collection - movie DVD cover picture

Rarely is there a DVD collection that is a true, "must have." This Godfather trilogy is it. This collection means you can show your children, your grandchildren, even your parents how the Corleone family started, how it became glorious, and how it adjusted to modern times. The first two movies are clearly in the top 10 movies of all time. Rarely do we get to witness these type of movies, movies that are the caliber of "Silence of the Lambs," or the "Lord of the Rings trilogy. You have to get this collection of DVD's. While this series is not for the faint of heart, there are so many lessons of leadership, loyalty, and family, there is something for everyone. I highly recommend this for your DVD collection. A+
Joseph Dworak

Studio: Paramount Home Video
Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Marlon Brando
Al Pacino
Robert De Niro
Al Pacino

DVD title: Hercules (Limited Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Hercules (Limited Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Fun, funny, and it rocks

Some reviewers have foolishly taken this movie too seriously as if Disney were obliged to be 'realistic' and 'faithful to the material'. Hee, hee. Hey, they didn't coin the term 'Disney-fication' for nothing. Disney has their own agenda. And bully for them; they create uniquely American mythology.
And with Hercules, the myth takes the form of pop-culture and silliness wrapped around a nice message: the nature of true heroism.
I have a kid and I can only watch Sleeping Beauty and the Aristocats just so many times. Hercules is an underrated relief from that. The jokes hit many levels so the whole family can truly enjoy it together. (Maybe I shouldn't admit this but I still think referring to Thebes as the 'Big Olive' is funny.) And the Muses alone make the movie worth it.
I never regret having this video. It's just fun.

Studio: Disney Studios
Tate Donovan
James Woods
Susan Egan

DVD title: Hellboy (Two-Disc Special Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Hellboy (Two-Disc Special Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Monster Seeking Monsters

Hellboy, when it was first announced as a film project, shocked me because I kept trying to figure out how it was going to be made. First I pondered the budget necessary to make a film version of Mike Migola's insanely cool comic without making it look stupid and cheap. Second I worried greatly about the director. Last, I couldn't even begin to think about who the hell would play Hellboy.

Amazing as it seems, the budget was more than adequate, the director more than capable (Guillermo del Toro), and the actor playing Hellboy (Ron Perlman) was, is, and always will be the film incarnation of the big red guy. In fact, if I had my way I'd nominate Perlman for an Academy Award (and in doing so validate those frivolities very existence). Betcha it don't happen though.

This film is the grandest presentation of a fanboy project since The Fellowship of the Ring, made all the more amazing by the fact that the source material is a borderline underground comic. Del Toro's genius is in proving that great film making can come from the semi-obscure.

Every shot with Hellboy is eyecatching, and with the special effects teams involved it's no wonder. From creature animation, to backgrounds the best of the best had there hand in this film.

While Hellboy is bad ass, Abe Sapien is perhaps one of the most beautiful creature creations brought to film ever, kind of like the Creature from the Black Lagoon with a yen for book learning instead of white bikinis. Liz, is a Firestarter that would roast Drew Barrymore like some leftover cocktail weenie.

Throw in a tick tock man made of gears and cogs who was a nazi super assassin, the mad monk Rasputin, and several demon/gods from hell and you've got an action/horror hybrid that's enough to put any SFX junkie into joy riddled convulsions.

The best part about this movie (aside from the reported sequel in the works) is that it increased the world's knowledge exponentially of the wonderful comic by Mike Mignola. People are now seeking out the haunting artwork and surreal storytelling of Hellboy and I envy anyone their first glance into Mignola's imagination.

Now for one last thing, apparently a director's cut is on the way, and while on the one hand I feel cheated, I also find myself curious. I'm having a psychic moment, it involves the future and a willfull relinquishing of hard earned funds. Hopefully it will be worth it. I know the original theatrical release was. One of the top 10 movies of 2004.

Studio: Columbia Tristar Hom
Director: Guillermo del Toro
Ron Perlman
Selma Blair
Doug Jones

DVD title: Diabolique - Criterion Collection
Productgroup: DVD
Diabolique - Criterion Collection - movie DVD cover picture
Outstanding Classic Thriller

I don't have too much to say, except to echo the accolades that your other reviewers have given this masterpiece of suspense from France. The few people who found it too tame or dull are perhaps those enamoured of films with characters named "Jason" or "Freddy" !
For anyone who reveals the surprise ending, this would be a crime even more atrocious than the one depicted in the movie, and should be punishable by a re-instated guillotine !
Simone Signoret and Vera Clouzot are unforgettable in the leads, each character playing beautifully off the other. One other comment--this is a 50s film, yet schoolboys are portrayed with brutal accuracy--they swear, act rudely, are preocuupied with sex--these are real children, not those that are found in Disney films.
The DVD is nice--some wear is visible here and there, but does not detract from your experience. Of course, the film is in French, but the subtitles are smooth. The absence of music is another plus. In some Hollywood suspense films, you can tell that "something is about to happen" because of the music--not the case here.
If you collect Hitchcock films and other suspense thrillers, your library is not complete without this true classic.

Studio: Criterion Collection
Director: Henri-Georges Clouzot
Simone Signoret
Véra Clouzot

DVD title: Big Girls Don't Cry
Productgroup: DVD
Big Girls Don't Cry - movie DVD cover picture
Beautiful and Enchanting

This film almost made me forget it was subtitled, it flowed so well, and the cinematography was outstanding.
Big Girls Don't Cry is a beautiful coming of age film out of Germany. Two adolescent girls struggle with the truths of growing up and realizing that ones parents can be even more flawed than their teenagers. Not for the faint of heart; but a touching film for all of us who have survived growing up.

Studio: Columbia Tristar Hom
Director: Maria von Heland

DVD title: Galaxy Angel - Angels a la Carte (Vol. 2)
Productgroup: DVD
Galaxy Angel - Angels a la Carte (Vol. 2) - movie DVD cover picture
It doesn't get much better than this.

What do you look for in an anim??
Cute girls? Check.Lots of comedy/silliness? Check.Cool spaceships? Check.Super/special powers? Check.Catchy/cool opening/closing music? Check.An interesting and well developed storyline? Check.
It just doesn't get much better than this. This anim? is one of the best ones I have come across in a long time. My only complaint is that they are too short! Each episode everages about 12 minutes. I understand that this is because this is a "mini" anim? taken from a larger composite show from when it was originally made in Japan. But, at least they include 7 episodes on the disk.
Check this anim? out if you are into anim? at all. It is going to be in the running for the best anim? released in 2004.

Studio: Bandai Entertainment

DVD title: Rashomon - Criterion Collection
Productgroup: DVD
Rashomon - Criterion Collection - movie DVD cover picture

The first time this movie told its story, I sat there almost bored, but the second time my interest was perked, and by the fourth time, I was mesmerized. Confused? This movie has that tendency. It's basic "hook" is that 4 people tell very different versions of the same story, and each time you hear it, your faith in reality is shaken just a little bit. Even in the end, you won't know left from right, but you'll probably have a grin from ear to ear.
Rashamon is a masterpiece because of the utter ease in which all this flows. This movie often made me wonder just how on earth it was conceived and created in the first place. The audience is effortlessly introduced to the story as if it were an after-thought, just some gossip between peasants. A noble samurai and his loving wife are attacked by a ruthless bandit on the highway. The samurai is tortured and killed, and the wife raped. Or is that really what happened? The wild bandit gives a very different version of the story, and then, amazingly enough, the dead samurai speaks through a medium and tells HIS version. After all three witnesses speak, you don't know who is the villian and who is the hero.
And yet, amazingly enough, the movie digs deeper, and one of the peasants tells HIS version of the story, as he witnessed it from behind a bush. As I sat watching this final telling in utter disbelief, I suddenly thought: I have just watched the same thing 4 times in a row, and never once was bored!
Of course, Toshiro Mifune gives a typically outstanding performance, yet this film is all about Kurosawa, the master director working behind the scenes. Every shot and edit is in perfect place, nothing the director does undercuts his actors or his story. There are no harsh angles like in Kubrick, or sappy endings from Spielberg. Even the strong, general themes from directors like Ford are muted to serve the movie as a whole, complete story. And what a story it is...

Studio: Criterion Collection
Director: Akira Kurosawa
Toshirô Mifune
Machiko Kyô

DVD title: The Passion of the Christ (Full Screen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
The Passion of the Christ (Full Screen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
The Passion of The Christ

Mel Gibson is a brave heart. He showed that Jesus Christ is the sacrifice for all of our sins. He did not show all of it. Jesus Christ was beaten so badly that no one could recognize Him.So,in reality the movie The Passion of The Christ does not show all the violence as the world seems to think. Every hit was for us who have sinned. Pilate is not the only one responsible for what happened to Jesus Christ; In John Chp.19 v.11 "Jesus answered, "You could have no power at all against Me unless it had been given you from above. Therefore the one who delivered Me to you has the greater sin." Who was He talking about Caiaphas the high priest or Judas? Jesus Christ had Forgiven All before He had gone. In Luke Chp. 23 v.34,Then Jesus said," Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do." So,Jesus Christ has Forgiven All.I am so glad that Mr.Mel Gibson had the Brave Heart to make a film that is a learning tool.We must repent from our sins and we also must forgive.In Luke chp.11 v.1-4Now it came to pass, as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, that one of His disciples said to Him,"Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples."So He said to them, "When you pray,say:Our Father In heaven,Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come.Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven. Give us day by day our daily bread. and forgive us our sins,For we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And do not lead us into temptation. But deliver us from the evil one."Jesus Christ is the Miracle,The Son of God.In John chap.11 v.9-10 Jesus answered, " Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day,he does not stumble,because he sees the light of this world."But if one walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him."Jesus Christ is the light within us, not the light that shines for 12 hours in a day in this world.I can not wait until this movie comes out in video or dvd.
The Kingdom of God is inside of you and all around you. Not in buildings made of wood and stone. Split a peice of wood and you will find me. Lift a stone and I am there.
This little saying above does not mean not to go to church and worship.Greater is He who is within me than he who is in this world.

Studio: Fox Home Entertainme
Director: Mel Gibson
James Caviezel
Monica Bellucci

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