Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Rurouni Kenshin - Fire Requiem
Productgroup: DVD
Rurouni Kenshin - Fire Requiem - movie DVD cover picture
Shishio vs. Kenshin, Saito, Sanosuke, and Aoshi...FIGHT!!

This is the DVD that no one should miss. The end of the Kyoto Saga is near, but how will Kenshin and the others do against Shishio. No more laughs...this DVD is filled with 100% action. It contains episodes will Kenshin put his "no-kill" beliefs aside or will find a way to defeat Shishio without having to kill him?

Studio: Media Blasters

DVD title: Evil Dead (Special Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Evil Dead (Special Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
The best Evil Dead edition ever.

This movie is surely the best ever made, in my opinion. It's scary, gore... This movie will never be forgotten, because it's different from everything. Even its sequels don't get near it. Yes, I'm talking about The Evil Dead....
In this DVD, there are many extras, the best ones. There are exclusive extras, such as a documentary by Bruce Campbell (the actor who plays Ash, the main character in the trilogy), called Fanalysis. It's not an Evil Dead-only documentary, it tells things about fans, who they are, how far can they go. So the documentary shows many fans (from Star Wars, Star Trek, Xena...) in conventions... There's a participation of Sam Raimi's brother, Ted Raimi in this documentary also. The best documentary in my opinion is "Discovering the Evil Dead", because it tells the history about the movie, it tells things about how the censorship was, how it was released... You MUST see this documentary!There are Commentaries (well, they are the same from the Elite Entertainment edition DVD) of Bruce Campbell and another one with Rob Tapert (the producer) and Sam Raimi (the director). There are some rare behind-the-scenes footage (same from Elite Entertainment DVD), many pictures (not only from Elite Entertainment DVD), TV trailers, the trailer, bios of Bruce Campbell, Rob Tapert, Sam Raimi. It's a widescreen version (Evil Dead was never released in Widescreen format, until this DVD), it's closed-captioned. And there are much more extras.
Wait, this is the DVD, I didn't say anything about the awesome package yet. Well, I would buy this edition even without the DVD, because the book is really worthy. It's almost the same Necronomicon (Book Of The Dead) that appears in the movie. There are some pages of the book in the movie which doesn't appear in the DVD Necronomicon. And there's also some difference between them, because in the movie, you can't read what is written in the pages, but in the DVD Necronomicon, you can! And it's not hard! The book has the same drawings from the movie, and there's a GREAT booklet in the book, also...
There are really no words to describe it. PLUS, a few years from now, it will be really hard to find, so it will be really expensive. But don't worry about it. You won't even think about selling yours.

Studio: Elite Entertainment
Director: Sam Raimi
Bruce Campbell

DVD title: The Road Home
Productgroup: DVD
The Road Home - movie DVD cover picture
As Of Now, The Best Film Of 2001!

"The Road Home" is made by my favorite foreign director around today! I don't count Bergman because he just writes now. But Zhang Yimou, the director of this film, always manages to put such beauty into his films. Probably best known for films like "Not One Less", "Shanghai Traid", "Raise the Red Lantern", & "To Live". "The Road Home" follows in his tradition of making powerful, beautiful films. I've seen about 60 films this year, and I know that's not a lot when compared to how many critics see. But, I think it's a pretty large amount when compared to the amount that the average movie fan goes to see. From everything I've seen this year, nothing has been able to express the passion of this film! No film has been as tender, poignant, & embarcive as this. I hate to admit this, for it's not really manly, but, I was misty by the end of the film. I've not seen a film that could do that to me in a long time. Many bash this film saying, there's no story. It doesn't move. There's no point to it. How wrong they are. Of course there's a story to the film. I was watching something all that time lol. It's a very innocent, simple story that captivates it's audience. A young man, Yusheng (Honglei Sun) goes back home after hearing about the death of his father. A local school teacher, who helped build the very same school where he worked. His mother is grief-stricken, understandablely. There's an old tradition that after one dies, one must be brought back to where they lived. Only they must be brought back by foot! Other's must carry the coffin so the person's soul will remember how to get back home. Yusheng mother, will not give in. She demands that the townspeople follow the old tradition. Afterwards, Yunsheng starts thinking about his mother and father, he sees a picture of them taken the day of their marriage. It makes him think about the story of how they met. And, this is where the film starts to take off. Granted, it sounds simple, but, please don't dismiss it. Just think of "The Bicycle Thief". It takes a simple story, and does something with it, many films, no matter how complex their story-line may be can do. "The Road Home" is the same way. It may sound simple, but, give it a chance, trust me, you'll be impressed. I really, really love this movie. Everything about it seems to fall together in perfect pieces. The music by Bao San is charming. It hits all the romantic and dramatic spots it needed to. The script based on the book "Remembrance" written by Shi Bao, as is the script, is truly wonderful. It carries such heart with it. It makes us care about the characters so much. We can't help but get drawn into their lives. The film did more in 89 minutes then any Hollywood film I saw this year! I know, many people dislike having to read the sub-titles on these type of films, but, please, make an effort to see this one. I think this film will stay with me for a long,long time.
p.s.- This film has already won and been nominated for many awards including; a Sundance Film Festival Award, a Bodil Awards, and a Berlin International Film Festival Award.

Studio: Columbia/Tristar Studios
Director: Yimou Zhang
Ziyi Zhang
Honglei Sun

DVD title: Singin' in the Rain
Productgroup: DVD
Singin' in the Rain - movie DVD cover picture
"Love The Art In Yourself, Not Yourself In Art"

And while I probably don't have anything particularly new to say about this, one of the 10 greatest films ever made in the history of motion pictures, I do none the less strongly urge any and all fans of great movies to add this celebration of life to your permanent film collection. Especially now with this crisp deluxe DVD transfer which gloriously captures the rich colors of director Stanley Donen's expert eye.

I am not a great fan of musicals per se, but this film is something far more than a simple genre picture. It is a celebration of the creative muse.

At the central core of the narrative is the very real lesson to be learned from acting teacher Constantine Stanislavski: "Love the Art in yourself, not yourself in the art." Kelley's "Don Lockwood", Donald O'Connor's "Cosmo Brown" and Debbie Reynolds' "Cathy Seldon" all succeed because of their undying will and love for very art of performing and creating. Comedic villain "Lina Lamont" as portrayed by the excellent Jean Hagen, is undone by her shallow devotion to her own celebrity.

The film, besides being one of the most legitimately uplifting and entertaining experiences an audience can ever enjoy (SINGIN' IN THE RAIN is a far more effective anti-depressant than any prescription!), also is a historical accurate depiction of the drastic paradigm shift that occurred not only in film, but in acting history as well. The coming of sound brought drastic, and cataclysmic changes in acting technique. No longer could actors, like "Don" and "Lina" do what they always did- "Just add talking". While many folks do (and in many cases, rightfully so) believe that a large part of real acting died with the coming of sound, an entire new industry of Acting training resulted- hence the need for teachers like Stanislavski and others.

In fact, this film has been an important part of my high school acting curriculum for several years. It is refreshing to see how big an influence this film has on all ages. Especially teenagers addicted to violent clap trap, big budget exploitation flicks and rap music.

The New York vs. Los Angeles acting rivalry. The comical over enunciated vocalization, the purposefully "cheezy" recreated musical numbers ("Beautiful Girls" is classic!) and a very real depiction of how one built an acting career (barrooms to strip clubs to Burlesque to Vaudeville to Broadway to films) are all historical elements that lend the film depth and strength.
Gene Kelley, perhaps even more than the great Astaire, was a great artist who combined a fierce alpha mail athleticism to his mastery of all dance styles. Here, he excels in telling stories through not only tap, but ballet and jazz as well. Debbie Reynolds was never better as the innocent yet strong willed ing?nue. She and Kelley (and along with Cyd Charrise) create a real sexual chemistry. Anyone who is not convinced that dance can not be a substitute for explicit sex needs to see the utter taste and class depicted here.

Donald O'Connor steals the show with his rubber face and impeccable timing. O'Connor's dancing is impressive also- especially in the "Moses Supposes" number in which he matches Kelley step for step. His "Make 'Em Laugh" teaches Jim Carrey a thing or two about how to make broad physical comedy appealing and not obnoxious.

Ultimately, like all great films and other works of literature, Singin' in the Rain holds up perfectly to repeated viewings. It is a fresh and vibrant the 100th time as it is the first.

Studio: Mgm/Ua Studios
Gene Kelly
Donald O'Connor
Debbie Reynolds

DVD title: Schoolhouse Rock! (Special 30th Anniversary Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Schoolhouse Rock! (Special 30th Anniversary Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
"I can't believe I watched the whoooole thiiiiing!"

Once we bought our kids the "Schoolhouse Rocks" boxed CD set, we thought another 20 bucks for the DVD set couldn't hurt. My kids LOVE these! Indeed, I never moved from the couch, remembering and singing along to every song. From "Conjunction Junction" to "Lolly Lolly Lolly, Get Your Adverbs", they're all here. Before the Brainy Baby series or Hooked on Phonics, "Schoolhouse Rocks" taught our generation about english grammar, history, science and math in 3 minute cartoon shorts in between Saturday morning cartoons on ABC. We began to look more forward to SHR shorts than the cartoon shows themselves! At 3, I rememeber cracking my head open while somersaulting to "Conjunction Junction" (I crashed into my parents dry sink- 6 stitches!). This series holds precious memories for us, and our kids, who are quickly learning the words, watch us in open awe as we recite words to all the songs. Contains all 46 SHR songs, including a new one and a long lost one ("The Weather Show").

Studio: Walt Disney Home Video
Director: Tom Warburton

DVD title: Adolf & Eva
Productgroup: DVD
Adolf & Eva - movie DVD cover picture
Awesome quality for an exceptional price!

Granted, much of the video is taken from "Eva Braun's Home Movies," but nonetheless this production is of awesome quality, and the price cannot be beat for a documentary on an aspect of Hitler's life. The interviews with Hitler and Braun staff members are more than worth the price alone. Also great are the recreations of events in the relationship of Hitler and Braun.

Studio: Delta Music Music in
Adolf Hitler

DVD title: Finian's Rainbow
Productgroup: DVD
Finian's Rainbow - movie DVD cover picture
Very enjoyable movie

My children beg me to watch this show. Fred Astaire plays a wonderful Finian, and the story line is great. The songs are well done, and easy enough to sing along. The more often you watch it, the funnier it gets. Our favorite scene I must agree with the person from Germany, is George trying his best to be the perfect buttler. This show does bring up racism, enough to open the door for discussions, and to show your kids how racism is wrong. If you buy this show, you too will be singing along and sharing this film with friends and family.

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Fred Astaire
Petula Clark

DVD title: Merlin
Productgroup: DVD
Merlin - movie DVD cover picture
Captivating ! Story - Special Effects - Acting ALL EXCELLENT

My husband and I taped the mini-series and watched it over several nights. The old story, as told by the aged Merlin, is now a family favorite. We bought it thru Double Day Book Club for much more than offered here. My kids love the story line and the special effects. The acting coupled with the special affects were great. The underlying parts of the movie my children are too young to understand or even pick up on. The storyline handles these underlying goings-on well without having to "graphically detail" things. WE LOVE MERLIN and SAM NEILL

Studio: Hallmark Home Entertainment
Director: Steve Barron
Sam Neill
Helena Bonham Carter

DVD title: Dawson's Creek - The Complete First Season
Productgroup: DVD
Dawson's Creek - The Complete First Season - movie DVD cover picture
You will not regret it!

This was a wonderful first season of Dawson's Creek. You could identify with at least one of the characters: Joey Potter, the cute tomboy. Pacey Witter, the rebelious teen. Jen Lindly, the new kid from school, and Dawson Leery, charming, daydreamer and a great friend. These four characters lead to an amazing show. I would really want to see some outtakes, commentaries and deleated scenes. This show remindes you of true love and true friendship. You won't regret buying this amazing first season. It will leave you with a smile on your face and a tear in you eye...

Studio: Columbia Tristar Hom
James Van Der Beek
Katie Holmes
Joshua Jackson

DVD title: Minority Report (Widescreen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Minority Report (Widescreen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
An Interesting Mystery and Lots of Special Effects

What more can you ask for - a mystery, special effects, and Tom Cruise. When the powers that be in Washington, DC develop the ability to foretell murder, they also develop a bureaucracy to hunt down the potential killers. The murders are foretold by three young "precogs." The chief policeman, Tom Cruise, is skilled at using the random pictures received from the precogs to pinpoint where the murder will occur. And the Chief's unit then swoops down on the perpetrator before he/she can carry out his/her intentions to kill.
When one of the precogs predicts that the Chief will kill a man unknown to him - the hunt begins. The pre-crime unit is hunting him, and he's hunting the person who set him up.
Director Spielberg keeps the tension mounting step by step right up to the scenes where resolution happens. Like any good mystery, the clues are disclosed to the viewer as the protagonist receives them.
If you like a good mystery, lots of suspense, and good sci-fi, this movie is for you.

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: Steven Spielberg
Tom Cruise
Max von Sydow

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