Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Next Stop Wonderland
Productgroup: DVD
Next Stop Wonderland - movie DVD cover picture
Romantic, entertaining and humorous...

without ever losing it's sparkling pace and balance; it never becomes sappy or maudlin. Fully rounded and believable characters, all actors who "deliver the goods". The Brazilian soundtrack is the icing on the cake.I loved this; I had to buy it because it's ALWAYS out on loan at my local video stores.

Studio: Miramax Home Entertainment
Director: Brad Anderson (II)
Hope Davis
Alan Gelfant

DVD title: Citizen Kane (Two-Disc Special Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Citizen Kane (Two-Disc Special Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
A simply amazing movie, even by today's standards

This review is for the Two-Disc Special Edition released in 2001 by Warner Brothers.

Of course to many, this is considered to be the greatest movie ever made. I personally think Casablanca, the first two Godfather epics, and Chinatown are better, and possibly several others, but still, Citizen Kane is undoubtedly one of the great masterpieces of Hollywood. The movie generated a lot of controversy and mystique in its day with the alleged conflict it created with newspaper mogul William Randolph Hearst. The film was also a groundbreaking movie technically with the great depth of field shots and upward camera angles showing rarely seen ceilings.

The story line is about the life of the world's richest man. First, we find a young Kane who falls backward into a fortune, one that he initially wishes to have no part of, but is cajoled by his parents and his financial trustee to grab this opportunity of a lifetime. When Kane is finally old enough to have full control of his vast wealth, he elects to become involved in the newspaper business. His reasoning is that he believes he has a moral obligation to report the truth and protect and help the people who can not help themselves. Kane even goes as far as publishing a "Declaration of Principals". Of course from that point on, we view a man gradually corrupting himself until he's finally a completely broken man. There are many moral lessons found in this movie which is another reason why it's such a great classic.

There are countless memorable scenes in this film and many great quotes. The greatest line of course is the last dying word of Kane and that is the word, "Rosebud". From that point on, the movie revolves finding the meaning behind that mysterious word. Some of the other great quotes include, "If I hadn't been very rich, I might have been a really great man." Another of one of my all time favorites is, "You're right Mr. Thatcher. I did lose one million dollars last year. I expect to lose one million dollars this year. I expect to lose one million dollar next year. You know Mr. Thatcher, at the rate of one million dollars a year, I'll have to close this place -- in 60 years."

Since the movie is so convoluted with flashbacks, plus it contains strange camera angles, visually captivating scenes and brilliant dialogue, it's nearly impossible to appreciate with just one or even two viewings. That is why I would strongly recommend buying the 2 DVD Special Edition package. This is actually the third time I've seen this movie. The first time was in the mid-80's on the big screen in an art theater. The second time was on VHS cassette. In both cases, as I recall, the video image and the sound were poor and it made it difficult to appreciate and follow the film. However, Warner's DVD transfer is perfect and the black and white tones are superb. You will see some film damage in the newsreel portion of the movie, but that was intentionally done when the film was released to convey the illusion of an old, archived film. The bonus features are also wonderful. This is probably the third or fourth release of this movie on DVD and this edition is well worth the extra $10 or so for the superior image and sound quality, plus the extra CD bonus material which goes into great depth about Hearst and Wells and examines the great conflict between the two. Anyone who appreciates truly great movies should have this particular DVD edition in their collection.

Movie: A+

DVD Quality: A+

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Orson Welles
Orson Welles
Joseph Cotten

DVD title: In Good Company (Widescreen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
In Good Company (Widescreen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture

What's so refreshing about IN GOOD COMPANY is is lack of predictability and cloying sentimentality. Dennis Quaid and Topher Grace are marvelous as the protagonists of the movie, and they get fine support from Marg Helgenberger and Scarlet Johannson. The relationships that develop form the heart of the movie, and it is both comic and bittersweet. Grace is a revelation as he captures the youth but competitive aggression of a new boss, and Quaid captures the frustration in having to work for someone half his age. All in all, a very entertaining and well done film.

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: Paul Weitz
Dennis Quaid
Topher Grace
Scarlett Johansson

DVD title: Papillon
Productgroup: DVD
Papillon - movie DVD cover picture
Great Movie... Great DVD!

I had seen this movie once on a black/white TV when I was young with my dad. As I remember, I was shocked and thought provoked by this movie at that time. With this memory, I just watched it again in almost 25 years now in color and even on DVD. Again with my dad, trying to recollect the old experience.
Wow... The transfer to DVD was more than great. I thought the quality is even better than The Matrix. Thank you WB for the sincere efforts. I and my 71 year old dad really had sweet hours with this movie on DVD, which also has good extras. I think this movie is a forever classic and the DVD is Da Bomb. If you think you're a movie lover, this is definietly worth getting without hesitation. Good price also.

Studio: Warner Studios
Director: Franklin J. Schaffner
Steve McQueen
Dustin Hoffman

DVD title: The Matrix Reloaded (Full Screen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
The Matrix Reloaded (Full Screen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Mind Boggling

After seeing the first Matrix I knew I had to see the second. Reloaded brings so many new questions and new ideas that the mind could go on arguing what is going on for hours. It's action packed with more Kung Fu than the last and the digital effects are awesome. Not to mention the most suspenseful scene I have ever seen! (The Freeway of course) The script is just incredible. Most people know the The Matrix is about Birth-The second, Reloaded, is about life and what the people of Zion and the main characters of the movie go through. The entire trilogy one can sit with and debate hours over without getting bored. This movie I could watch over and over again.

Studio: Warner Home Video

DVD title: The Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection, Vol. 7
Productgroup: DVD
The Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection, Vol. 7 - movie DVD cover picture
We Like it Very Much!

Three new Comedy Central Episodes and a Sci-Fi episode
thrown in for good measure! My only reservation is, I already
have first generation VHS copies of three of the four, just
my bad luck I guess.

Four very funny episodes, so order now and avoid the rush!

407 - The Killer Shrews - "I think this movie just broke the goofy-meter."
408 - Hercules Unchained - "Uh I forgot how my muscles work"
410 - Hercules Against the Moon Men - "Oh wait, he can bend steel but he can't break through a net?"
816 - Prince of Space - "No one can resist my, uh, things"

Studio: Wea Corp

DVD title: Angel - Season Five
Productgroup: DVD
Angel - Season Five - movie DVD cover picture
A great ending for the best show

Despite the losing of about almost every main character in it's final season (but what do u expect working for W&H), I would have to say that the final season of Angel was one of the best. I loved the chemistry between Spike and Angel, even though I hated Spike in just about every season of Buffy except 2&7, I loved him in Angel's final season. The puppet episode was so great (I do not have puppet cancer!), how can you cancell a show after an episode like that? And the episode with the crazed slayer Dana was also one of my favorites, and we get to see Angel and Spike bond a little at the end of that ep. (just a little). The great 100th ep. "You're Welcome" was the best way to bring back our beloved Cordy, and the end where Angel and Cordy finally get that kiss they were always supposed to have before the powers that be and Conner stepped in. And the episode "A Hole in the World", what can I say except that we will all miss our country love Fred. It was probably one of the most touching episodes in the season. And the Series Finale "Not Fade Away", I loved it! Despite the cliffhanger ending, I think Angel couldn't have ended better. I almost like Angel's ending better than Buffy's. The touching moment between Illyria and Wesly in the final episode was great, it finally showed that Illyria had more of that human emotional crap, as Wesly put it, than she orignally claimed. The only dissapointment that comes with this season is, we get this great new character Illyria, but then 7 eps. later the show is over and we never get to see her grow into the person maybe she could have been. Oh and of course the other dissapointment, is that it ended too early. DAMN THE WB.

Studio: Fox Home Entertainme
David Boreanaz

DVD title: Kaleido Star - Welcome to the Kaleido Star (Vol. 1)
Productgroup: DVD
Kaleido Star - Welcome to the Kaleido Star (Vol. 1) - movie DVD cover picture

This anime has some of the most beautiful artwork I have ever seen. The colors are amazing, the opening song is catchy, and the style is great. It's also very good natured and clean cut; the only pervert is the Phantom of the Stage, and he makes you laugh, not cringe. The potential love interest, Ken, is genuinely sweet and kind, there is a kindly policeman who pops up at just the right moments, and the "bad" characters are only bad because they are harsh to the protagonist,Sora, not because of any unforgivable offenses on their part. The plot is somewhat predictable, requiring minimal brain activity, but the show does not become boring. A sincere, smile-provoking DVD.

Studio: A.D. Vision

DVD title: Spartacus
Productgroup: DVD
Spartacus - movie DVD cover picture
Get hold of this for the extras!

I have reviewed this film at length, with links available under external reviews at the IMDB; however, I want to encourage readers to check out the Criterion Special Edition for the extras. The best feature on the 2nd disk is an interview with Peter Ustinov where he tells some of the background "dirt" behind Sparatus--hilariously scrunching up his face and immitating the great Charles Laughton to tell us about the ego wars that Laughton conducted with Sir Laurence Olivier.
Then by all means turn on the main commentary to hear original author Howard Fast (fired from writing the screenplay by Douglas for being too slow) absolutely rip into Douglas for his acting. I had to recue it to make sure I heard some of these criticisms correctly--far different fare than the usual promotional tone of most commentaries. The others offering commentaries are uncensored in their criticism as well, so count this as the most honest and refreshing commentaries on the market!

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: Stanley Kubrick
Kirk Douglas
Laurence Olivier

DVD title: Rowing Through
Productgroup: DVD
Rowing Through - movie DVD cover picture
Rowing is often overlooked as a sport

Rowing is a rigorous sport and extremely competive on both personal and team levels. This film looks at this sport and shows what it takes to row and be competetive.

Studio: Vanguard Films
Director: Masato Harada

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