Film DVD related reviews


DVD title: Signing Time! Volume 6: My Favorite Things
Productgroup: DVD
Signing Time! Volume 6: My Favorite Things - movie DVD cover picture
Signing Time Vol. 6 Is one of MY favorite things


We discovered Signing Time while researching ASL (American Sign Language) as a 2nd language for our children. We knew we wanted to teach ASL as a 2nd language because of the many benefits such as earlier communication. You can communicate with your baby as young as 8 months old, maybe even younger. What a gift to know what your child needs before they can tell you with spoken words! For more information on the benefits of ASL check out the Signing Time website at www.signingtime.com

We love this volume of Signing Time. The songs are wonderful and work very well in a school setting as well as at home. The rainbow song teaches all the colors of the rainbow. The song I'm really good at... introduces many opportunities to discuss the strengths that everyone has. We are all good at something so let's celebrate. The songs are very catchy so you will find they get stuck in your head. They are fun to sign along with and do not move too fast so even beginning signers will be able to keep up with a little practice.

We love that we get to hear Leah's voice. What a positive experience for children who are Deaf and Hard Of Hearing to see another Child who is Deaf proudly using their voice. Leah does a great job. It is also great for children who are hearing to see that children who are Deaf can and do use their voices. Alex does a great job as well. We love to see the 2 friends/cousins interacting together. We also enjoyed the addition of the frog Hopkins. He helps transition from one theme to another smoothly.

We like that the written word comes on the screen first and then they show the sign. It is very helpful for practicing the signs. It is like a video flashcard. It also helps children develop reading skills because they start to recognize the written word that goes with the sign. We love watching the children do the signs because you see lots of different kids and lots of different skill levels. It gives you an idea of how your child might make the sign at different ages. Rachel also does the sign so you can clearly see the proper way to do it. She has paint on her fingers to help you focus on her finger positions. This is a new addition for Volumes 3-6. Some people find it distracting at first but I found it very helpful.

Each DVD has a section on the menu of ASL tips. This is a good way to get additional information. On this volume they show signs for different types of meat and explain "your welcome". The signs for meat are often the same as the sign for the animal so be prepared to explain this to your child if you let them see this section. The question of how to sign your welcome is a common one so it was good to see it addressed here.

The song during the credits is a great way to learn additional signs that were not covered in the show. You can really add to your signing vocabulary if you pay attention. The new version of the theme song is a little slower (so you can sign along) and has an additional verse. Some may not like it as well as the original but we loved it. We love the original version too so make sure you get both. The older version is in Volumes 1-3. We liked the new verse "Where friends can meet and find we're not so different after all" Isn't that what Signing Time is all about?

I highly recommend this volume of signing time as well as the other 5 in the series. As a mother and a teacher I can say it is truly the best educational tool I have found for teaching ASL to children (and adults too). I hope they make many more and I will buy them all without hesitation. These shows are a labor of love for these families and we are thankful they chose to share with us.


Studio: Two Little Hands Productions
Director: Doug Chamberlain



DVD title: Bite the Bullet
Productgroup: DVD
Bite the Bullet - movie DVD cover picture
Loved this!!


Ohhh the brutality, ohhhhh the dying breed, ohhhh the sense of loss, ohhhh the prejudice! Jeez, when are all the revisionists going to stop analyzing Westerns for crying out loud? S**t happens. If it offends your socially engineered sensibilities then go back to the comfort of your Meryl Streep collection.
Boring, tedious, and very tiresome waste of celluloid-particularly in light of Coburn/Hackman/Bergen's presence. Nothing interesting or intriguing here, unless you are obsessed with 19th century desert dentisty. May have been a little better without the constant diversion of the out-of-place south of the border guy with the bad tooth. A monument to the stupid ultra-left creeping sensitivity of the 60/70's.
Virtually impossible to sit through the entire film. I think I'd rather have my eyes stapled open for the entire Lucky Luke/Trinity series. 2 Horses-all deader'n hell.

Studio: Columbia Tristar Hom
Director: Richard Brooks
Actors:
Gene Hackman
Candice Bergen




DVD title: The Lost Boys
Productgroup: DVD
The Lost Boys - movie DVD cover picture
One of the best movies ever!


I'm a huge fan of Corey Haim's (and his future wife), and when I first rented this movie I never really expected it to be good but it was. Although it's classified as a horror, it's not scary a all. In fact, it's more of a comedy than a horror. Although the entire cast acted extrememely well, Corey Haim was the real star of the movie,(even though I have a strong suspicion that the writers were trying to make him seem gay!). I definitly recommend this movie to anybody that likes Corey Haim, and even to people that don't.

Studio: Warner Studios
Director: Joel Schumacher
Actors:
Jason Patric
Corey Haim




DVD title: Before Sunrise
Productgroup: DVD
Before Sunrise - movie DVD cover picture
GREATEST Romance Movie OF ALL TIME!


I can't rave about this movie enough. It is the quintessential romance film; no other romance holds a candle to it. I would rate it as the 2nd or 3rd greatest movie of all time. It is the most believable and wickedly brilliant romance movie I have ever seen. The performances and storyline are phenomenal. To the male audience: It is impossible to watch this movie and not fall completely in love with the incredible Julie Deply. She gives off this sweet, irresistible feminine charm that intoxicated the socks off me. The only thing I didn't like about this movie was the ending; it's too sad. If it had a happy ending, then this film would have been a great feel-good movie.

Studio: Castle Rock
Director: Richard Linklater
Actors:
Ethan Hawke
Julie Delpy




DVD title: Princess Mononoke
Productgroup: DVD
Princess Mononoke - movie DVD cover picture
wow, what thrills!!!


I'm sure that many people like me look at the cover to this and say "Oh, another of those rediculous _ Japanese _ Animation _ Videos _ " and walk right past it. I must say, I too would have done that, had I not rented this video because of the all-star cast doing voice-overs of the original Japanese masterpiece. At first glance, when the movie begins, and you see a demon that resembles a pig covered in entrails, your first thought is "Why?" and then as the mysterious creature is shot by prince Ashitaka, and it's flesh melts from it's bones, you reach for the remote. Hey, it's what I did! But don't let the graffic opening sequence scare you into missing out on this great adventure.
I must say that, as compared to most Japanese animations, this has a relatively normal storyline. The Prince, Ashitaka, saves his tribe from a demon boar that is roaming the woods, and in return, the demon puts a curse on the young prince which will claim his life. He is bannished from his tribe, with no hope. Without despair, he journeys to Iron Town, in search of what cause the Demon to become such. It is there he meets the ruler of Iron Town, Lady Iboshi, and is introduced to San, or The Princess Mononoke, a girl who was raised by a Wolf God. San and Ashitaka form a friendship (or perhaps something more) and together, they try to bring down the Lady Iboshi, who plans to kill the Great Forest Spirit, who protects the Gods within it's forest.
This is one of the most BEAUTIFULLY animated movie I have ever seen, in truth. The landscapes were breath-taking, and would rival the great photography of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. The story is wonderfully told, and the characters are not only likable, but believable. Unlike many films, there are no "Good Guys" and "Bad Guys". There are only people. Some misguided, some not. I would recommend this movie to anyone who loves adventure, fantasy, and, oh yes, romance. It really was a great movie!

Studio: Miramax
Director: Hayao Miyazaki
Actors:
Yôji Matsuda
Yuriko Ishida
Yûko Tanaka




DVD title: Brother Sun, Sister Moon
Productgroup: DVD
Brother Sun, Sister Moon - movie DVD cover picture
Gentle Souls, Rejoice!


I thought I was the only person in the world who loved this movie (or for that matter, who had even heard of it!)
Yes, it is very clearly colored by the era when it was made - flower power and all that. But Franco Zefferelli delivers the kind of film we've come to expect from him. Every frame looks like a Renaissance painting. The faces are unique and wonderful; the Italian scenery is breathtaking.
Zefferelli is a little heavy-handed with visual imagery now and again - Francesco's death and rebirth symbolism, in particular. He also has Francesco move in slow motion when he wants to make sure that you get the point, and I find this mildly annoying. However, these shortcomings are more than eclipsed by the joyful innocence and power of the overall message.
Graham Faulkner and Judi Bowker are perfect for the roles they play, as are the members of the supporting cast.
Donovan's music, far from jarring when set into a medieval story, fits seamlessly. I wish it had been released on a CD; I'd buy it in a heartbeat. It's glorious and uplifting.
This is a gentle film, full of color and joy.

Studio: Paramount Home Video
Director: Franco Zeffirelli



DVD title: What's Happening!! - The Complete Second Season
Productgroup: DVD
What's Happening!! - The Complete Second Season - movie DVD cover picture
Remember when sit-coms were actually funny?


The 1970s was the true hey-day of television, and What's Happening!! was one of the real gems of that era; it is one of the funniest sit-coms of all time. This show was a staple of my after-school afternoons when I was growing up. I've seen every episode more times than I can count, but it had been years since my last trip to the soda shop and Mama's house. Watching these shows again now, I have to say they are funnier than ever. Season Two was probably the best season of them all, filled with one memorable show after another.

Just look at all the things that happen in Season Two: Rerun gets married - almost - to a pretty little foreigner played by Irene Cara; Tim Reid shows up to counsel Dee about "her friend's problem." Raj ends up in small claims court (with Dwayne as his key witness) when he wrecks his delivery bike; Raj almost gets expelled when he starts an underground school newspaper; Dwayne's dad gets elected to the city council; Raj's and Dee's father gets married - in their house; Mama goes back to school; Raj organizes (then tries to disorganize) a strike at the market where he works; Raj wins a spot on The Gong Show for a quartet of singers in Dee's class; Dee goes on her first date; Rerun messes up big-time and finds himself illegally taping a Doobie Brothers concert; Rerun joins a cult that worships a head of lettuce called Ralph (one of the stupidest but funniest TV episodes ever); and Rerun finally - finally - graduates from high school.

The characters of Dee and Shirley (my two favorites) really grow during this second season of the show. We watch Shirley take a secretarial job, only to learn she was only hired because she was black, then later see her take on a motherly role with Raj and Dee. Dee's mouth is bigger than ever (is there a better, funnier smart aleck to be found in television land?), but we actually see a little bit of Dee's soft side emerge late in the season.

Several other reviewers have mentioned Dwayne's "Handyman" song and dance as, going and away, the funniest scene of the whole season. I wholeheartedly agree - that performance is one of the funniest things I have ever seen in my life. All of the episodes are hilarious, though - every single one of them. You spend your hard-earned money on a lot of DVD season sets and never watch the episodes a second time; with What's Happening!! you can watch the same old DVDs over and over again because the comedy never grows old. It would have been nice to see some extra features included here, but this is a true bargain at any price. If you have great memories of this show, get this DVD and rediscover the good old days spent with Raj, Rerun, and Dwayne. If you've never seen this show, you have no idea what you're missing - they don't make shows like this anymore.

Studio: Columbia Tristar Hom
Actors:
Ernest Thomas



DVD title: Rory Gallagher - Irish Tour 1974
Productgroup: DVD
Rory Gallagher - Irish Tour 1974 - movie DVD cover picture
Simply THE BEST


Any one who has ever picked up a guitar, or played "air guitar", or or dreamed in their wildest fantasies to be a rock star needs to own this DVD. I was first introduced to Rory Gallagher by his performances on Don Kirchner's ROCK CONCERT in the 1970's. This film-to-DVD is not of the highest quality, but....it's the music and performance that matters, so techies STAY AWAY. If you get it, you'll get this DVD, if not, you are not one of the Illuminati....let the CRADLE ROCK!!!!

Studio: Bmg Special Products
Actors:
Rory Gallagher



DVD title: Creature Comforts
Productgroup: DVD
Creature Comforts - movie DVD cover picture
Too funny


Nick Park is brilliant. I was first introduced to him through Creature Comforts. It makes for a great chuckle. Pay special attention to what the animals say and what is going on in the background of each interview. Very clever!

Studio: Image Entertainment
Director: Nick Park
Actors:
Julie Sedgewick



DVD title: Casino Royale
Productgroup: DVD
Casino Royale - movie DVD cover picture
Kick's Austin Powers to heck and back!


THIS is ENTERTAINMENT!! Rock on! I loved the german expressionist whatever part of the film, utterly hilarious!

Studio: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Actors:
Peter Sellers



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