Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: The Last Samurai (Full Screen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
The Last Samurai (Full Screen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Respect the Samurai

I don't know how this movie got such a bad reputation. When it first came out, all signs seemed to point to it being a horrible, tedious, Tom Cruise wants an Oscar, epic flop. Maybe it was poor marketing, but this is far from true. 'The Last Samurai' is a riveting action adventure semi-epic. How anyone could call this film tedious I really have no idea.

The movie's premise may be a little hard to swallow at first glance. Captain Algren, a disillusioned Civil War veteran (who also fought alongside the likes of Col. Custer of Little Bighorn fame) trains Japan's army to fight like Western soldiers, gets captured by the samurai and learns their ways to eventually become one of them. I laughed at the idea just as much as anyone. When you see the movie, you won't be laughing. It's shocking how easily you are drawn in and believe everything you see. This is how well done the movie is. With the director of 'Glory' and the screenwriter of 'Gladiator', we should have expected no less.

'The Last Samurai' is also more historically accurate than I would have believed. Included in the special features of the DVD is a History Channel documentary which shows that pretty much the only Hollywood part of the movie is Tom Cruise's character. Besides that, almost everything in the movie happened in real life. The law banning samurai from carrying their swords is true, the rebellion of the samurai is true, and even the Emperor of Japan in the movie was a real emperor who actually did all the "Westernizing" of Japan.

So if you've stayed away from this film expecting a disastor of a movie, give it a shot. I grabbed it from the library, thinking "Why not, it won't cost me anything" and it blew me away. After finishing it, I immediately delved into the special features, needing to know more about the movie, which is rare for me. I suggest it to anyone who loves a great action/epic.

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Edward Zwick
Ken Watanabe
Tom Cruise
Billy Connolly

DVD title: Wives and Daughters
Productgroup: DVD
Wives and Daughters - movie DVD cover picture
Simply Wonderful!

I read Wives and Daughters last year and loved it, even though Elizabeth Gaskell actually died before she finished it. The movie does the novel justice... and then some! The cast literally could not be more perfect. When I first saw Molly I was skeptical, but it only took me about 2 minutes to realize that she was perfect for the part. If you liked Pride and Prejudice, you will love this movie. In fact, I think Wives and Daughters is almost better. You will not be disappointed! I know it far exceeded my expectations and I will watch it again... and again... and again...

Studio: BBC Video
Francesca Annis

DVD title: Dr. Seuss - The Cat in the Hat
Productgroup: DVD
Dr. Seuss - The Cat in the Hat - movie DVD cover picture
My favorite book as a kid!!

This was my all time favorite book as a little girl. My mom says that I asked for it to be read every single night for months until she almost couldn't stand it. Her hard work paid off because one night, I read it to her. Then that became a favorite living room trick with guests...the 4 year old reading Cat in the Hat out loud and turning the pages in all the right spots...of course because I had memorized it. I am buying it right now for my new little 2 month old boy. I hope he likes it as much as I did!

Studio: Sony Music (Video)
Director: Bo Welch
Mike Myers
Dakota Fanning
Spencer Breslin

DVD title: Blade Runner (The Director's Cut)
Productgroup: DVD
Blade Runner (The Director's Cut) - movie DVD cover picture
"Six seven, goto hell or goto heaven"

One of the best all time scifi thrillers, from one of the best directors ever, Ridley Scott. Plus an awesome cast, portraying the android replicants...after watching, you'll be wondering who isn't a replicant. The story is set in futuristic Los Angeles, not too far off 2019...visually stunning, atomoshperic lighting done to perfection by the master of mood Ridley Scott. Harrison Ford plays Rick Deckard, a cop assigned to a special unit to exterminate the Nexus 6 model of Replicants, that are deemed illegal on earth after a rather disasterous event that led to the slaughter of several people. This director's cut version basically removes Deckard's voice over, which is good, but it would be nice to have both versions, or at least two audio tracks, for those that want to keep the original style. This is a letterbox version, you either hate it or love it. Definately a classic that every sci-fi fan should have!

Studio: Warner Studios
Director: Ridley Scott
Harrison Ford
Rutger Hauer
Sean Young

DVD title: Grosse Pointe Blank
Productgroup: DVD
Grosse Pointe Blank - movie DVD cover picture
This is John Cusack's greatest movie thus far.

I have admired Mr. Cusack as an actor for many years now, and I think that Grosse Pointe Blank is his best work so far. He has gone from playing lovelorn-teenager type characters to this mature, thoughtful, well-developed character. He is a hitman who is having second thoughts about his choice of career, and the movie is about the results of that dilemma. It not only retains the comedic quirks characteristic of Mr.Cusack's movies, but plays them to the fullest without being over the top. Also, there are several members of the Cusack family in the movie: Joan Cusack plays Marcella the secretary, another sister, Anne, plays Amy(the new mother at the reunion), and Bill Cusack has a short appearance as a waiter in the Hippo Club. Minnie Drive, Dan Aykroyd, Jeremy Piven, and a host of others all turn in excellent performances as well. I give this movie five stars out of five

Studio: Hollywood Pictures
Director: George Armitage
John Cusack
Minnie Driver
Dan Aykroyd
Joan Cusack

DVD title: Phish - Bittersweet Motel
Productgroup: DVD
Phish - Bittersweet Motel - movie DVD cover picture


Studio: Image Entertainment
Director: Todd Phillips
Trey Anastasio
Jon Fishman

DVD title: Crazy/ Beautiful
Productgroup: DVD
Crazy/ Beautiful - movie DVD cover picture
Credible Slices of Interracial Relationship and Life in L.A.

Crazy / Beautiful is a great movie where you can feel the pain and struggles of everyday teenagers. I love this movie because I can really relate to how Kirsten Dunst is treated by Jay Hernandez's family in the movie. My own family treats me the same way. It is an educational and interesting love story. It's not at all a "teenager movie" . . . my mom even likes it! ;)

Studio: Walt Disney Home Video
Director: John Stockwell
Kirsten Dunst
Jay Hernandez

DVD title: Toy Story & Toy Story 2 (2 Pack)
Productgroup: DVD
Toy Story & Toy Story 2 (2 Pack) - movie DVD cover picture
What good movies!

Both TOY STORY films are so good, funny, great stories, unbelievable animation and Tom Hanks and Tim Allen really make Woddy and Buzz come to life! I don't think there's a person on Earth who doesn't like thesse movies. I remember back in '95 when the first one was in theaters; I saw it literally 5 or 6 times, and the same goes for the second one. Do not pass up this great DVD 2-pack of unforgettable Disney classics! Walt would be so proud!

Studio: Disney/Pixar
Director: John Lasseter
Tom Hanks
Tim Allen

DVD title: The Red Violin
Productgroup: DVD
The Red Violin - movie DVD cover picture
A Musical and Historical Mosaic with Profound Quality

Solid performances from all participants both artistically and musically. A joy to watch this filmographic puzzle come together. Proof that quality does not have to be a big [] production from the major studios.
This movie sparks thought and questions such as:1. It makes you wonder what items in our society today will become the masterpieces of tomorrow and how our lives might be touched by them? Are we taking such items of quality for granted?2. It also makes you wonder what the future holds for the "Red Violin"?3. It makes you wonder if the "red" stain of the violin only affected it's color or did it and it's origin provide it's soul?4. Oh how quality music touches the soul, but does the an instrument of such quality also possess such abilities?
This movie is for those who appreciate soulful and thought provoking movies. If you want action and adventure, while this movie has both, it will probably not be your thing. Very well done and I highly recommend it. Enjoy.

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: Fran├žois Girard
Carlo Cecchi
Jean-Luc Bideau
Christoph Koncz

DVD title: Devo - Live
Productgroup: DVD
Devo - Live - movie DVD cover picture

I saw DEVO on their "Freedom of Choice" tour, and it is still one of the best concerts I have seen so far. This DVD is so amazing! This concert has no fancy lights or backdrops; just five guys and their equipment putting on one of the most rocking shows you will ever witness. Mark Mothersbaugh looks better than ever and sounds incredible; the rest of the guys have aged well and can still rock. Looks like they needed a young drummer to keep up with their killer performances. I am sorry to say that I am not sure what happened to Alan (the original drummer); but the new guy does a great, great job filling his shoes.
If you are a DEVO fan, you MUST own this DVD ... if you are not ... buy it, and you soon will be!

Studio: Wea Corp

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