Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Cruel Intentions 2
Productgroup: DVD
Cruel Intentions 2 - movie DVD cover picture
Ripped Off

My friend and I are both huges fan of the original Cruel Intentions. When we discovered there was a prequel went to our local video store and rented it expecting the same quality and plot the original had. To say the least we were disspointed.
This movie takes the steamy, exotic scenes to a whole new level. Although the original Cruel Intentions did revolve around sex there were lines they did not cross. Cruel Intentions to not only crossed them, but they ran. It provides cheaps laughs and fan service involving two twins in the shower and a young girls first horse-riding lesson turning into anything but pure. And we mostn't forget the park bench scene or the group action at the end.
Also, if you've seen the original movie you will notice how complete scenes have been slightly rewritten and placed into this movie. The entire first scene was a carbon copy of the original.
The ending was a twist and tainted everything pure you had seen in the first half of the movie.
All in all, if your a fan of the first movie and not upset by nudity or crude, visual humor then you may find this movie amusing. Just don't expect the same quality as the first.

Studio: Columbia/Tristar Studios
Director: Roger Kumble

DVD title: MacGyver - The Complete First Season
Productgroup: DVD
MacGyver - The Complete First Season - movie DVD cover picture
Keep the "MacGyverisms" coming!!

MacGyver is my all-time favorite TV show, and it introduced the word "MacGyverism" into the English language (it's officially in Webster's Dictionary!). You don't see Desperate Housewives putting new words into the dictionary (I guess they still have time to do it , though...).

Anyway, this is great fun that is clean enough for the whole family, but it won't insult the grownups either. In fact, they might just learn a little something. Most of these MacGyverisms really work (to some degree). These early episodes are also a treat because they pre-date the Phoenix Foundation and concentrate on Mac and Pete's days as spies for Uncle Sam. Most of the stories are much in the vein of Mission: Impossible. Don't get me wrong, I love the later more domestic shows too (especially when Murdoc arrives), but Season One is my favorite because it concentrates so much on international intrigue. Mac covers half the globe in just the first six shows!

It is true that there are no extres included, but I'm more interested in the show anyway. Given the choice of an affordable bare-bones set or a fully-loaded Star Trek-type set that I'd have to pay out the butt for, I'll take the affordable one. Those are the only choices Paramount seems to give its customers, unfortunately, but I will not lower MacGyver's rating because of my problem with Paramount as a company.

Studio: Paramount Home Video
Richard Dean Anderson

DVD title: Baby Mozart
Productgroup: DVD
Baby Mozart - movie DVD cover picture
My almost 4 year old still loves it!!

My almost 4 year old (will be 4 in May 2001) received it as a gift for his 2nd birthday, and he *still* loves to watch it. His little brother, who just turned 2, is fascinated by it. My youngest, who is almost 3 months old, giggles and stares at it too (he seems to enjoy it, but it's hard to ask him what he really thinks!).
It was and still is is a wonderful way for my sons to learn vocabulary (I watch along with them and tell them what all the things are) and enjoy the sights and sounds of the music.
The other day I was downloading some Mozart songs (MP3s) that are in the video and my 2 year old ran up and pointed at the computer and yelled "Baby Mozart!" I think it is just great that they recognize and appreciate the music. Who cares about the theory of it improving intelligence -- it's just a great video. We also have Baby Bach and Baby Santa's Music Box (which they love to watch in all seasons).

Studio: Lions Gate Home Entertainment
Baby Einstein
Julie Aigner-Clark

DVD title: The O.C. - The Complete First Season
Productgroup: DVD
The O.C. - The Complete First Season - movie DVD cover picture
The new guilty pleasure TV show? California, here we come!

The first season of "The O.C." was the guilty pleasure of the 2003-2004 television series, although when it popped up in the summer of 2003 that really was more the end of the 2002-2003 television series. After CBS had its great success with the original "Survivor" as a summer series, it took a while for somebody to take the next step, which was what FOX did when they offered up this new soap opera into the wasteland of summer reruns. Actually, the first seven episodes that aired in August and September constituted a test run for "The O.C.," which came back with another twenty episodes starting at the end of October.

The appeal of the show based on the early buzz and media attention was supposed to be on the relationship between Ryan Atwood (Benjamin McKenzie), the boy from the wrong side of the track who is given a second chance by a compassionate lawyer, and Marissa Cooper (Mischa Barton), the spoiled little rich girl who lives next door. Basically the selling point was that he looked like a young Russell Crowe and she looked like a young Twiggy. But star-crossed lovers have been down to death, especially with the entire bad boy meets good girl angle, and the real reason we got hooked on this show was the Cohens, Sandy (Peter Gallagher) and Seth (Adam Brody).

Clearly the sarcasm gene is dominant on the male side of the Cohen family. When Seth is once again the target of golden boy Luke Ward (Chris Carmack), he goes down with his mouth flapping, noting that at least he does not shave his chest. As Sandy says where he accuses Seth of being sarcastic and his son denies the charge, "Well, it's hard to tell sometimes." Actually it is just safer to assume the Cohens are being sarcastic. As the only female Cohen points out about her strange little home, "It's just a laugh riot around here." She, of course, is being ironic (rather than sarcastic), because as Sandy tells Seth, "I love your mother more than words, but not funny." But she's cynical and he's self-righteous, and it appears to be working out fine as long as her father stays out of the picture.

This is not to say that the others do not have their moments. After all, Marissa does listen to the Cramps and Stiff Little Fingers instead of Avril Lavigne, but none of the others are in Sandy and Seth's league. As for Ryan, as Seth points out he is now a Cohen, which means he has entered "a world of insecurity and paralyzing self-doubt." The problem is that with Ryan around to protect him, Seth fears that he might be getting soft, but he obviously does not need to worry about forgoing the "Seth Cohen retaliatory zinger."

Plus, Seth's love life is much more interesting than what Ryan is going through, where he and Luke just keep punching each other out over Marissa (pay attention and you will notice that only one of the first seven episodes does NOT have a punch thrown in it). Seth, on the other hand(s), is trying to juggle both Anna (Samaire Armstrong) and Summer (Rachel Bilson). Of course he makes the wrong choice. Anna already has a fine appreciation of graphic novels, whereas Summer has to be schooled in the basics of comic books. Seth still wants Summer because he has been the girl of his dreams (if you know what I mean), and having her fall for him provides a level of validation that Anna can never hope to match, even with her Jenga skills. She tries hard, but Summer is just not good enough for Seth.

I think the standout episode of the first season is "The Heartbreak," where Seth loses his virginity to Summer only to discover that the experience was not all that he thought it would be. Not only does Seth get a hearty pat on the back from Sandy, but his father also brings up the idea of foreplay, which compels Seth to try, try again. Yes, there is the joke about Summer declaring they are not having sex again and Seth agreeing that they have had "enough pain and suffering," but the idea that first love could be so disastrous is rather appealing. If there is a lesson here regarding teenage sex it would be that you should know what you are doing. None of these kids do and see what happens to them.

By the time we get to the first season's cliffhangers the only one I really cared about was Seth heading out to sea. The relationship between Ryan and Luke ends up being more interesting than the one between Ryan and Marissa, who find a new reason not to have sex pretty much every single week. Jimmy Cooper (Tate Donovan), Marissa's father, rips off everybody in town and still comes across better than his wife, Julie (Melinda Clarke), who goes after Kirsten's father, Caleb Nichol (Alan Dale) and ends up marrying him in the season finale. We dislike him the most because Sandy dislikes him the most. I do not care if Jimmy and Hailey (Amanda Righetti), Kirsten's sister, end up together because I am depressed over what happened with the restaurant and the competing meatloaf recipes.

Trash television is an important part of a balanced television diet. You can watch literate shows like "The Gilmore Girls," enjoy the take of "The West Wing" on important political topics, debate the wrong moves of the castaways on "Survivor," wrestle with God's will during "Joan of Arcadia," and enjoy the delightful wickedness of "Desperate Housewives." But sometimes you just need to wallow in a prime time soap opera, and with "The O.C." we have one that has the constant collision of characters and plot lines with the sort of wit we usually find only on Tina Fey's half of "Weekend Update."

Studio: Warner Home Video
Peter Gallagher

DVD title: The Seventh Seal - Criterion Collection
Productgroup: DVD
The Seventh Seal - Criterion Collection - movie DVD cover picture
An incontestable existentialist masterpiece

The Seventh Seal is the kind of movie that Ayn Rand would have liked, because it is extremely efficient, like an inexorable clockwork. There is nothing superfluous in it : and at 95 minutes, Bergman could have added a half-hour and it would still look efficient. Every shot, every move, every word counts. Some shots are Biblical-like in setting, some others are nightmarish, but all are masterful.
What is The Seventh Seal about ? It is about a Swedish knight called Antonius Block, and his squire, returning to their country from the Crusades only to find it in the throes of the Black Plague. At the beginning of the movie, Death comes to claim Block's life, but the latter defies the grim reaper to a game of chess. While they play, Block and his squire encouter the grim consequences of the Black Plague, and confront the absence of God.
The Seventh Seal is definitively existentialist, much like Bergman was at that period of his life. Block is tarauded by doubt : he cannot accept Christianity without evidence, but on the other hand he cannot accept death without God. His squire, J?ns, has no such scruples, and he asks him as they witness the fiery execution of a girl by priests : "Who will take care of that child. God, the devil, the nothingness? The nothingness, perhaps?".
J?ns is a rough, perhaps callous man, and he finds his answers, like many other characters, in the enjoyment of the here and now. He is also an entertaining commentator on human nature, and seems more like the voice of Reason, where Block is the voice of Doubt.
What about Death ? Death is about as close we have to an atheistic counterpart to God - a terrifying, primal fear materialized into sentient agency. Unlike the Christian Big Brother, however, Death does not hold any grudge against us - as he says, he is "unknowing", and deaf to our complaints for the simple reason that he has a job to do. In The Seventh Seal, he is sinister, but not malicious.

Studio: Criterion Collection
Director: Ingmar Bergman
Gunnar Björnstrand
Max von Sydow

DVD title: Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
Productgroup: DVD
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington - movie DVD cover picture
senate chamber

The Senate Chamber was an exact replica and not the real thing.

Studio: Columbia/Tristar Studios
Director: Frank Capra
Jean Arthur
James Stewart

DVD title: Clue
Productgroup: DVD
Clue - movie DVD cover picture
One of my all time favorite movies

I remember seeing this movie in the theater when i was 5 years old and i fell in love with it. i bought the board game and when it came out on tape i watched it like a 100 times. very funny and inventive movie. i love it that they decided to make a movie version of the classic board game with an all star cast and made it very funny. The story is about the 6 notorious characters getting invited to boddy mansion over a black mail matter and discover mr. body the weapons are then introduced then the fun begins. Everyone of these actors are commic gienous and played these characters right down to the T. col. mustard is Martin Mull, Eilleen Brennan is Mrs. Peacock. Tim Curry is the wadsworth the buttler, Leslie ann Warren is Miss Scarlett(perfect casting) Mrs. White is the wonderfull Madaline Kahn(wonderfully played) Mr.Green is the ever funny Michael Mckean and prof. plum is Christopher lloyd. The video and DVD versions have three surprise endings and the theatrical ending was different in each theater. alot of odd ball sittuations and silly circumstances all surrounding murder. rent this or buy it if youve seen it. its a very fun movie and it can be watched over and over again just for fun. so to make the long story short(To late!) Get this movie :)

Studio: Paramount Home Video
Director: Jonathan Lynn
Eileen Brennan
Tim Curry

DVD title: Die Another Day (Widescreen Special Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Die Another Day (Widescreen Special Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Best Bond Movie Ever Made

"Die Another Day" is a reasonably entertaining installment in the seemingly endless James Bond series - provided you don't go into the theater expecting too much that is. This edition boasts an utterly preposterous plot (that goes almost without saying in films of this type), spectacular stunts and special effects (except for one really badly done shot of Bond boogie boarding down an ice floe), cool gizmos and gadgets, and one of the most beautiful Bond girls of all time in the person of none other than Academy Award winner Halle Berry. Ms. Berry is not the only Oscar-winning actress to lend her talents to this venture, however. Dame Judi Dench brings her own touch of class to the festivities as Bond's brittle, starchy boss, known only as M (one does get the sense, however, that the British grand dame is doing a bit of slumming appearing in a work of this caliber).
Like most Bond flicks, this one runs about a half hour longer than it should. And one does begin to feel that these films have gone so far over-the-top in their plotting and style that there really isn't a whole lot of humanity left in the series. That's where Pearce Brosnan comes in. He provides enough of a down-to-earth quality to help keep the film at least somewhat grounded in reality, which is certainly necessary considering just how cartoonish in nature many of the action scenes are in this picture. The fact that the North Koreans serve as the arch villains of the story might have lent the film a patina of social relevance were the sociopolitical issues not dealt with in so utterly absurd a way.
There is one amusing scene wherein Bond looks with wry disdain at the retinue of "high tech" spy devices from the past, including many used in the very earliest 007 pictures. That kind of bemused self-ribbing is all to the good in a film as lightweight in substance as this one.
There are plenty of better films playing out there right now that could certainly use even a smidgen of the box office proceeds that will be generated by this movie, but "Die Another Day" is must viewing for any hardcore fanatic of the Bond called James.

Studio: MGM/UA Video
Director: Lee Tamahori
Pierce Brosnan
Halle Berry
Rosamund Pike

DVD title: Muay Thai:Ultimate Fights
Productgroup: DVD
Muay Thai:Ultimate Fights - movie DVD cover picture
Best one so far - Ultimate Muay Thai Fights

I've seen many tapes, dvd's on Muay Thai, but I think this is the best so far. I've heard of some of the fighters, this is the first time I saw them fight. They made difficult and explosive techniques seem easy. It gives me motivation to train even harder.

Studio: Music Video Distribu
Muay Thai

DVD title: Les Miserables
Productgroup: DVD
Les Miserables - movie DVD cover picture
Compelling life stories that captivate from opening scene

A terrific film based on the book by Victor Hugo, Les Miserable captures the human spirit of both good and evil and is exquisitely performed by this great cast. This film shows the destruction of one mans life based on his ill found prejudice for "criminals" and the liberation of another based on his kind heart and principles.

Studio: Columbia/Tristar Studios
Director: Bille August
Liam Neeson
Geoffrey Rush
Uma Thurman

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