Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Chariots of Fire (Full Screen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Chariots of Fire (Full Screen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Run For Glory

Chariots Of Fire tells the dual real life stories of two runners in 1920's Great Britain who overcame obstacles in life to win gold medals at the 1924 Paris Olympics. Ben Cross is Harold Abrams a Jew whose background has made him doubly determined to become the fastest runner in the world. He carries a grudge against society and not only does he race to beat his competitors, but the world as well. He is unrelenting and second place is not an option. He goes to Cambridge and makes friends with fellow runners Aubrey Montague and Lord Andrew Lindsay. Ian Charleston is Eric Liddell a Scotsman who is the son of a religious missionary. He runs not out of a desire to be the best as Abrams does, but because he feels God's pleasure. He says to his disapproving sister that God made him fast for a reason and when he runs he is praising His glory. Abrams and Liddell face off in a race in the middle of the film and Liddell prevails. This haunts Abrams as he had never lost before and he enlists the aid of a professional coach, played by Ian Holm, to train him. Mr. Holm plays the role as a delightful curmudgeon and adds a little levity to the film. Both men, as well as Lindsey and Montague, make the Olympic team. There is some controversy as Liddell finds out the preliminaries for the 200 yard dash which he is competing in are taking place on the Sabbath. He refuses to race, as it is a sin, thus sparking trouble. Lord Lindsay jumps to rescue, giving up his spot in the 400 as he already won his medal in the hurdles. The film took some heat for this bit of poetic license as in real live, Liddell knew of the situation weeks before the Olympics and the change was made well in advance of the race without the all the fervor the film depicts. That aside, the movie is a gripping, engrossing story of two seemingly different men, who in the end have more in common than we think. It shows personal triumphs in spite of shackles that would hold lesser men down. The film won a surprising 1981 Best Picture Oscar over the heavily favored Reds as well as one for Vangelis' memorable score (the main title became a number one hit for Vangelis in 1982). Just as in real life, the film overcame many obstacles to obtain the ultimate prize in movies.

Studio: Warner Studios
Director: Hugh Hudson
Ben Cross
Ian Charleson

DVD title: The Complete Superman Collection
Productgroup: DVD
The Complete Superman Collection - movie DVD cover picture
Is Not Shipped With Care

If you are looking for the appeal of owning the box set of Superman, then please go to a store to buy it. The box I got came all beat up even though the packing for the shipping was in perfect condition. So now my silver box has wrinkles and crush marks on the corners. If I had bought this in the store I would have been able to pick a box without any scratches or crush areas. That's my only regret.

Studio: Warner Home Video
Christopher Reeve

DVD title: Dear Frankie
Productgroup: DVD
Dear Frankie - movie DVD cover picture
A Scottish Gem

The people who made this little gem keep saying they are so proud of this film. Well, they should be. It's a beautiful story, told in a very restrained and effective way. It's wonderfully crafted artistically, and the performances are all just excellent.

So much of the story is not told through the dialogue, but rather through the thoughts and feelings you can see playing across the actors' faces. Although Shona Auerbach didn't get gimmicky about it at all and you could always "hear," I had a sense that she wanted us to get a little feel for just how much Frankie (the title character is a deaf boy) could know what was going on, just by seeing the expressions of the people around him.

Just as an example, there's a scene where Lizzie (the mom) reveals something shocking and painful about Frankie's history (I won't say what). There is a very long moment where the stranger doesn't say a word, but in that long moment there is this incredibly complex range of emotions that comes across his face, from shock, to pity, to sorrow, to anger, and then to a profound respect. He takes you along with him through these feelings. It's a powerful, powerful moment.

Emily Mortimer (Lizzie) easily sidestepped all the cliches that could have come into her role, playing this mom who has been deeply wounded, who has a HARD time trusting anyone or anything, but who is despite herself wearing her heart on her sleeve. You care about this woman and you champion her cause, even though even she knows that she's doing all the wrong things.

Jack McElhone (Frankie) takes a kid who could be just a little TOO perfect, and makes him believable and real. He is a remarkable find and I look forward to seeing what he does next.

As for Gerard Butler (the stranger), I think this is the best work he's done to date. I've been impressed with the man's versatility before, and I had been thinking that he has the stuff to become a remarkable actor, with some better opportunities and the right challenges. His work here laid those thoughts to rest. He already IS a remarkable actor - one of the best working right now. Here's a career to watch.

Add to that, you get almost two hours of the "real" Scotland - the Scotland that regular people live and work in, the Scotland that you'd never see as a tourist. That alone is well worth the price of a ticket.

Studio: Walt Disney Home Video
Director: Shona Auerbach
Emily Mortimer
Jack McElhone
Gerard Butler

DVD title: WWE Wrestlemania XIX
Productgroup: DVD
WWE Wrestlemania XIX - movie DVD cover picture
Finally Some Wrestling At Wrestlemania!

Wrestlemania waxes nostalgic, as Vince gives a bow to "old school" style wrestling. Here are my ratings of the matches based out of 5 *****:
WWE Cruiserweight Championship Matt Hardy vs Rey Mysterio - Non-stop high-flying moves abound. Great aeriel action. Wine me, dine me, 6 1 9 me. Ray gives his all, but is it enough? Nice match to start the show. Rating - ****

Limp Bizkit comes out and plays "Rollin'" live - "Limp" is right!
The Undertaker rides out on a motorcycle with a big American flag trailing the bike (YAWN). The crowd cheers louder for The Undertaker than Limp Bizkit, LOL! Or are they cheering because Bizkit is leaving?

Undertaker & Nathan Jones vs Big Show & A-Train - Nathan Jones gets jumped in the locker-room before the match, and the Undertaker has to square off against Big Show and A-Train alone! This is a fantastic big man match, with some great technical wrestling and submission holds. The action is non-stop and the Undertaker shows his wrestling prowess. The best big man match I have ever seen. Does The Undertaker have enough to beat the Big Show AND A-Train by himself? I doubt it! Great match. Rating - *****

Trple-Threat Woman's Championship Match - Champion Victoria vs Trish Stratus vs Jazz - A GREAT match! Alot of great moves and wrestling. This is just a awesome wrestling match. I was surprised at how well this went. Rating - *****

Triple-Threat Tag Team Championship - Champions Charlie Hass/Shelton Benjamin vs Eddie Guerrero/Chavo Guerrero vs Chris Benoit/Rhyno - Fantastic match with great tag team action. The hitting is nonstop, and the moves are powerful. Everyone gets ring time. Just another awesome match. Rating - *****

Shawn Michaels vs Chris Jericho - The match of night as far as I'm concerned (and that's saying something because this is one HELL of a card)! The crowd is really pumped and pulling for HBK. A great, long match that highlights each wrestler's abilities and moves. All of the moves are brought out: technical, submission, aeriel, as well as ring psychology. A very intense and athletic match. Who's finisher reigns supreme? Awesome Baby! Rating - *****

Limp Bizkit plays another live number, "Crack Addict" and dampens the crowds enthusiasm with their "Limp" "music".

Heavyweight Championship Match - Champion Triple H vs Booker T - A good match with alot of power bombs and hard hitting. Triple H breaks out a new submission/finisher. Is it enough to beat the 5-time world champion Booker T? A good match that would score higher if there weren't so many rest breaks. Rating - ****

Street Fight - Hulk Hogan vs Mr. McMahon - No wrestling just pure pummeling! The blood flows like a river. Everything and anything is used to beat, cut, pound, cripple the other. Most of the fight is outside of the ring, and ANYONE in their way gets pulverized. Look out announcers! Pure EXTREME style. Rating - ****

Stone Cold Steve Austin vs The Rock - This is Stone Cold's final match and the Rock tries to make it Austin's final day on earth! This match picks right up were Hulk and McMahon left off - outside of the ring, pounding each other into submission! Thie crowd is way into the match and really pulling for Stone Cold. The Rock does his best imitation of Austin. Damn, can The Rock entertain a crowd! How many "Rock Bottoms" does it take to open a "Can of Whoop Ass"? Watch and see! He's the best, and that's the "Stone Cold Truth"! Rating - *****

WWE Championship Match - Champion Kurt Angle vs Brock Lesnar - Two of the best wrestlers in the world go toe to toe! How can this NOT be a 5 star match. Alot of chain-wrestling and amature/technical holds and moves. Submission moves and high-impact power slams. What can I say other than Frickin' AWESOME! Rating - *****

Overall, this is the BEST Wrestlemania I have seen so far. Vice finally introduces wrestling to his Wrestlemania show and it pays off big time! If you like WRESTLING, this is the one to see! Get it while you still can! Highly recommended!

Studio: Sony Music (Video)
Director: Kevin Dunn (III)

DVD title: The Deer Hunter
Productgroup: DVD
The Deer Hunter - movie DVD cover picture

I'm not going to go off on a long diatribe on the metits of this film, or get into any philosophical debate of it or war. I just have to wonder if you HAD TO BE BORN IN THE 50's to REALIZEWHAT THIS FILM IS ALL ABOUT?
The people that even mention it's length negitively or try & pull it apart emotionally or have any problem with this film at ALL have MATCHSTICK SIZED BRAINs & THE EMOTIONS OF A COCKROACH.
Come on folks, this is one of the greatest films ever directed/acted/produced/edited/filmed, whatever.
Don't even give me the "Russian Roulette" crapola, every GREAT movie has a 'trigger' and if you are not emotionally effected bythe performancs of DeNiro/Walken/Savage/Cazale/Strep/DeZund a then you must be absolutely brain dead & have the attention span of a flea!
Don't you get it? "THIS IS THIS"!!!!

Studio: Umvd
Director: Michael Cimino
Robert De Niro
Christopher Walken

DVD title: Montserrat Caballe - Beyond Music
Productgroup: DVD
Montserrat Caballe - Beyond Music - movie DVD cover picture

This docufilm is an ESSENTIAL item for any opera or music lover.

It is one of the most ambitious and large scale docufilms EVER MADE about an opera star. A fascinating journey throughout her life, the world of opera and music in general.

It allows to know and understand Caball?'s stature as an operatic titan, her persona, her wisdom and her legacy. And at the same time, enlightens the Opera world to anyone who is not familiar with it - turning it into a completly exciting, emotional and at the same time educational experience!!

To make this film, it took 3 yrs and 22 cities from Saint Petersburg to New York. It takes you on a tour around the world without moving from home!

Among the celebrities interviewed/appearing on the film: Ren?e Fleming, Placido Domingo, Dame Joan Sutherland, Zubin Mehta, Marilyn Horne, Claudio Abbado, Mstislav Rostropovich, Freddie Mercury, Jos? Carreras, Samuel Ramey, Cheryl Studer, Maya Plisetskaya, Yelena Obratsova, Pr. Luc Montagnier (co-discoverer of the HIV virus), Federico Mayor Zaragoza (former Secretary General-UNESCO), Maria Callas, Joan Dorneman, among many other. (Basically, the Who's Who of the Golden Era of Opera!).

The film also has included ESPECTACULAR archival material, some of it previously UNPUBLISHED, found in archives of theaters and television stations accross the world. Among them, Caball?'s legendary debut in Paris in 1966 with 2 arias from Il Pirata and Anne Boleyn - PURE GOLD.

Also, moments of her sensational collaboration with FREDDIE MERCURY and Vangelis, her Paris Turandot, Norma, Tosca, Adriana Lecouvreur, Salome, Roberto Devereux, Semiramide, and many, many more; surprises that any music lover will absolutely cherish!!

Caball? is a fundamental pillar of the XX Century and this film is an INSTANT CLASSIC and a MUST HAVE piece for anyone who loves not only Caball? and Opera, but music in general. It is an indispensable item for any music lover!!!

Studio: Naxos of America
Claudio Abbado
José Carreras
Placido Domingo
Renée Fleming
Zubin Mehta
Freddie Mercury
Mustislav Rostropovich
Marilyn Horne, Giuseppe di Stefano, Cheryl Studer Joan Sutherland
Montserrat Caballé

DVD title: Atlantis - The Lost Empire (Disney Collector's Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Atlantis - The Lost Empire (Disney Collector's Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
this is a great one

we are a disney family but , this is a very good one anyway we will see again and buy when on tape........thanks disney! my girls realy realy liked this!

Studio: Disney Studios
Michael J. Fox
Jim Varney

DVD title: Runaway Train
Productgroup: DVD
Runaway Train - movie DVD cover picture
Powerful Inescapable Deadly Force and Redemption

Runaway train defies many expectations. Some describe it as an action flick but it is just as much a character study. It is always gritty and harsh but there is an underlying compassion for its characters who are driven to their doom because they can't escape themselves. Movies don't get any better that listening to Voight's "Manny" generate a sense of danger by describing in detail to Roberts the power behind being able to get down on your hands and knees and scrub tile grout. In scenes like this and others Manny is brilliant and inspired as he wrings truth out of the dirty rag of his life. He evokes feelings of pity,grace and redemption yet there is never a moment where you aren't aware he is one of the most dangerous men on the planet. So dangerous that when in prison his cell was welded shut and away from other prisoners. Its a lonely, gritty and harsh film with fantastic performances and humanity in places you would never expect to look. Like the belly of an cold ugly train headed for doom in the Alaskan wilderness.

Studio: Mgm/Ua Studios
Director: Andrei Konchalovsky
Jon Voight
Eric Roberts
Rebecca De Mornay

DVD title: Dr. Seuss - How the Grinch Stole Christmas/Horton Hears a Who
Productgroup: DVD
Dr. Seuss - How the Grinch Stole Christmas/Horton Hears a Who - movie DVD cover picture
Don't listen to the negative reviews!

This film is a true classic, CD or DVD. Besides, this is a new digitally-enhanced version. Who cares if the colors are different? Just adjust the color and tint on your TV's. Plus, this also features the TNT special. (Our sympathies go out to the family, friends, and fans of Albert Hague for his recent death of cancer.) Don't feel like paying for the DVD, then wait for it to show on TV. And I'm looking forward to seeing Carrey's version, if that matters.
May the spirit of Christmas be with you!

Studio: Warner Studios
Boris Karloff
Thurl Ravenscroft

DVD title: The Thin Red Line - DTS
Productgroup: DVD
The Thin Red Line - DTS - movie DVD cover picture
One of the greats

This film is not only one of the greatest war movis ever made, it is also one of the greatest films ever made. It is a beautiful juxtaposition of the beauty of nature and the horror of war. Amazing national geograpic style visuals (every frams is like a beautiful photo) and an amazing score. Amazing perfomances all round with the exception of John Travolta (who trys to be just too cool). Skip Saving Private Ryan and go for the thinking mans war movie.

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
Director: Terrence Malick
Sean Penn
James Caviezel
Nick Nolte

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