Film DVD related reviews


DVD title: Snow Falling on Cedars
Productgroup: DVD
Snow Falling on Cedars - movie DVD cover picture
Spellbinding Mystery Gorgeously Photographed!


Although this movie unfortunately opened to mixed critical reviews, after seeing I have to conclude that it is a film that (in my estimation, at least) comes very close to cinematic perfection. Seldom does one see such a powerfully depicted drama that also features the level of artistic accomplishment in terms of cinematography, accomplished acting, and general story line. Taken from the best-selling novel of the same name, this spellbinding tale of love, mystery and intrigue is set in the Pacific Northwest in the time period right after the end of World War Two, and deals with the undercurrents of deep-seated racism against a group of ethnic Japanese who had made their home for decades on the island depicted in the movie, and who were in many ways the most terribly and unjustly mistreated group within the United States during the war.
The movie version of the story is extremely well-told, and Ethan Hawke shows he has the chops to be a major star in his brilliant portrayal of the central figure in the unraveling of the mystery. Likewise, Sam Shepard and the rest of the cast does a sterling job in presenting this drama in a magnificently photographed and choreographed depiction of life and death in the sleepy little harbor where it all unfolds. One of the other reviewers mentioned the way in which the director has used his ability to interweave various elements such as the photography and the acting to spin his tale masterfully, and I have to agree the sum total of this effort is certainly much greater than the parts; the net result is simply terrific. This is a movie that deals with a painful aspect of American history quite well without either looking for easy answers or contriving convenient solutions, but it does manage to let us know that the only way to end such prejudice and fateful discrimination is through individual effort and personal growth. Two thumbs way up in this aisle seat for "Snow Falling On Cedars".

Studio: Universal Studios
Actors:
Hawke
Cromwell
Jenkins
Ethan Hawke




DVD title: Star Trek III - The Search for Spock
Productgroup: DVD
Star Trek III - The Search for Spock - movie DVD cover picture
Star Trek III, The search for Spock


In my opinion, this is the best of the Star Trek Movies. It has elements that are remenicent of why we all liked Star Trek in the first place. It is truely a classic that can be watch time and again.

Studio: Paramount Studio
Director: Leonard Nimoy
Actors:
Leonard Nimoy
William Shatner
DeForest Kelley




DVD title: Koyaanisqatsi / Powaqqatsi (2 Pack)
Productgroup: DVD
Koyaanisqatsi / Powaqqatsi (2 Pack) - movie DVD cover picture
What will it take?


I watched this video on PBS many years ago and have been trying to get a copy for the last five years. It is so awesome, that it's difficult to believe that it is no longer produced on VHS for USA consumers while it is available in other formats in other countries. I can only imagine how good this presentation of images and sound will be on DVD!
Koyaanisqatsi was added to the National Film Registry in December 2000. It should be available for consumers, and soon.

Studio: MGM/UA Video
Director: Godfrey Reggio
Actors:
Philip Glass



DVD title: The Bride of Frankenstein
Productgroup: DVD
The Bride of Frankenstein - movie DVD cover picture
This film is one of the most talked about sequals.


Karloff stars as the monster for the second time in this film that won an Academy Award for best picture. Elsa Lanchester stars as the bride whom Karloff forced Dr. Frankenstein (Colin Clive) to create. This is one of the best horror films ever made. I think Karloff makes a better performance in this film than in the original because he talks, drinks wine, and smokes cigarettes.

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: James Whale
Actors:
Boris Karloff
Elsa Lanchester




DVD title: W.C. Fields Comedy Collection (The Bank Dick / My Little Chickadee / You Can't Cheat an Honest Man / It's a Gift / International House)
Productgroup: DVD
W.C. Fields Comedy Collection (The Bank Dick / My Little Chickadee / You Can't Cheat an Honest Man / It's a Gift / International House) - movie DVD cover picture
YES, YES, YES!! About time!


Well THANK YOU UNIVERSAL!!! It's about time!!! W.C. Fields is one of THE greatest comedians EVER, yet his catalog has been grossly overlooked. I can be certain with Universal issuing these the quality will be top notch. Criterion had already issued The Bank Dick, so I'm not sure why it's on here too, but I won't complain as the other 4 are certainly worth the price of admission!

Now, PLEASE continue to release the many other Fields movies that are out there. I'm really hoping this is only 1 of several volumes that will be issued.

Any and all Fields fans should buy this, buy another 1 or 2 for gifts to family and friends, the better this release does the better chances of more to follow!

And if you haven't seen Fields ever??? You have to buy this, this man is one of THE building blocks of all modern comedy!

MUST SEE CLASSIC CINEMA! Fields slow burn style of comedy is a drastic opposite to today's modern, cheap, "fast food" style of comedy. Today's comedy is a quick laugh and it's over, never as funny the second time around, but with Fields, each viewing makes you laugh more as you start to relate pesonally to W.C. and all his trials and tribulations of life that he interweaves into his comedy.

On a personal level Fields as a comedian sneaks into your heart and mind causing you to develop a rapport with him and the daily events of life that shape and mold all of us to a certain extent. Fields, in his never ending struggle for control of those daily events brings about some of the most classic comedy ever to be captured on film. This my friends is THE golden age of comedy captured for all to enjoy, do not miss it.
-------------------------------------- --------------------
<br />FINAL FOLLOWUP:
I've watched all the discs now and quality is as good as it's going to get, very, very good. The packaging is very nicely done too.

As far as the choice of movies included... Well it's too bad they put the Bank Dick in taking a spot away from another possible inclusion, seeing a high quality Criterion Collection version is already available. International House is a scream, I've always liked it, not so sure it is a "fit" in a Fields collection however, but his material is very good in the movie. Perhaps 3 more collections can come out making enough room in each of the collections for movies like this where Fields only had a part in them.

Someone mentioned Six Of A Kind, IT IS available on DVD as part of the Burns Allen collection, as well as The Big Broadcast, Sally Of The Sawdust, and 6 shorts Fileds on Criterion Collection which is superb quality.

NOW, it is a must that all fans e-mail Universal and ask for MORE releases!!!! Here's what we need in no particular order.

1.Mississippi
2.Man On The Flying Trapeze
3.You're Telling Me
4.The Old Fashioned Way
5.Poppy
6.Tillie And Gus
7.Never Give a Sucker An Even Break
8.If I Had A Million
9.Tales Of Manhattan
10.Her Majesty Love
11.Song Of The Open Road
12.Sensations of 1945
13.Alice In Wonderland
14.It's The Old Army Game
15.Follow The Boys
16.Running Wild
17.Million Dollar Legs

It can be seen that there is enough material for 3 more collections. PLEASE UNIVERSAL!!!!



Studio: Universal Studios Ho
Actors:
W.C. Fields



DVD title: The Lord of the Rings - The Return of the King (Platinum Series Special Extended Edition Collector's Gift Set)
Productgroup: DVD
The Lord of the Rings - The Return of the King (Platinum Series Special Extended Edition Collector's Gift Set) - movie DVD cover picture
I already know this will be good


The extended editions of the first two films proved to enhance them to the extreme. The plot, characters and overall scope of those films shine way above the theatrical versions. And a lot of the new scenes aren't just extra flare. They're scenes that actually add to the story to make it more understandable. For example, in The Fellowhip of the Ring Extended Edition, we get the gift giving in Lothlorien. We see when they get their elvish cloaks and why in "The Two Towers" the cloaks make Frodo and Sam invisible. We see them receive the lembas bread, and we get to see Sam receive the elvish rope that burns Gollum in The Two Towers. Without those scenes, the relating scenes in The Two Towers make little sense. So I expect The Return of the King Extended Edition will provide no less an experience in the sense that it will enhance the plot in many ways.

For those who are disappointed that the Scouring of the Shire was not in the theatrical cut or extended edition - WHY WERE YOU EXPECTING IT TO BE?!!!! Think about it. In "The Fellowhip of the Ring," after Frodo sees the Shire scoured in Galdriel's mirror, Galadriel says, "It is what will come to pass - IF you should fail." IF, people, IF! Every fan of the books knew that he wouldn't fail, so why should we expect the shire to be scoured in "The Return of the King"? It was clear from the very first film that they re-wrote it so that they wouldn't have to include it in the end.

And it's just not a cinematic reality. I mean, first of all, it really has nothing to do with Frodo, the Ring, or anything that the first two movies established as being important. Ok, sure Saruman was in those chapters in the book and that's where he and Wormtongue meet their demise. But it makes much more sense to re-write it so that Saruman's end is right after the flooding of Isengard. In the extended edition, both him and Wormtongue die there. This way, the movie can properly end pretty much after the ring is destroyed. Having the Scouring of the Shire after that would be very anti-climactic, and much too long - considering that most people thought the ending was long already. It just makes more sense to conclude it the way they did it. It pleases both the regular movie-goers as well as the fans. I personally thought we were extremely lucky to get what we got for the ending. It could've ended pretty well after the celebration at Minis Tirith. But we actually got to see what happens to the characters afterwards, which most films don't do. And come on, it was absolutely beautiful and heartfelt.

I find it interesting that people complain and complain about there being no Scouring of the Shire, but yet they somehow accept no Tom Bombadil in Fellowhip of the Ring. No Barrowdowns or Barrowwhites. Frodo's age is wrong. The time period when Frodo leaves the Shire to go to Bree is wrong. No revelation that Merry and Pippin knew about the ring. Sam wasn't at Galadriel's mirror with Frodo. Blah blah blah, the list goes ever on and on...down from the door where it began...

The point is that these films are the closest representations of the books that you'll get. If Peter Jackson went totally nuts and had the "purist" attitude about EVERYTHING, then each film would be 6 hours long. And that's just not possible. Films are a different medium than books. And knowing that fact, these films are much more accurate to their source material than any other book-to-film translations ever conceived.

Anyhow, The Return of the King is absolutely spectacular in it's theatrical release, and will be way better with the 50 minutes of footage added back in - plus the 20 hours of bonus features! I can't wait!

-We'll get the confrontation of Saruman at Isengard and the death of Saruman and Wormtongue!
-Extended battles!
-The Mouth of Sauron.
-More Frodo and Sam in Mordor.
-More on Eowyn and Aragorn's relationship.
-We'll get the Houses of Healing.
-More of Denethor and Faramir.
-Gamling's death
-Eowyn killing Gothmog (the Sloth-like Orc captain)
-Gandalf's confrontation with the Witch King
-Aragorn gazing into the Palantir
-More of Faramir and Eowyn and their relationship
And much, much more!

Bring on December 7th!

Studio: New Line Home Entertainment
Director: Peter Jackson
Actors:
Elijah Wood



DVD title: Escaflowne - Betrayal & Trust (Vol. 2)
Productgroup: DVD
Escaflowne - Betrayal & Trust (Vol. 2) - movie DVD cover picture
A mystical adventure


This is a fun series to watch.You kind of feel sorry for Hitomi, your sucked into a mystical land where people fight in giant suits of armor called Guymelefs and there's constant fighting and people are dying and theres animal people to.
It took me awhile to get this whole set. I would of prefered to get it as a box set, but still I really enjoyed this series.
My favourie character is Dilandau he's one bad guy totaly vicious he mows through guys on the battle battlefield just to get to Van his main anemy the only one he cares about fighting.
I really recomend this series for all to watch.

Studio: Pioneer Video
Director: Kazuki Akane



DVD title: Good Times - The Complete Second Season
Productgroup: DVD
Good Times - The Complete Second Season - movie DVD cover picture
Additional show info


I ordered the second season of the hit sit-com series Good Times. I just wanted to submit a bit more detailed information on the DVD. Below is an episode guide listing the shows(in chronological order)for those who are considering to buy the DVD. This info was very helpful for me in finding my favorite episodes, most of which ran in season two.
Season Two-Episode List
Florida Flips.JJ Becomes a Man part 1.JJ Becomes a Man part 2.Crosstown Buses Run All Day--Doodah Doodah.The Windfall.Thelma's Young Man.The IQ Test.The Encyclopedia Hustle.The Gang part 1.The Gang part 2.The Matchmaker.The Man I Most Admire.Sometimes There's No Bottom in the Bottle.Florida's Big Gig.Florida Goes To School.The Nude.The Family Business.The Debutante Ball.The Dinner Party.The Houseguest.My Girl Henrietta.The Enlistment.Thelma's Scholarship.The Lunch Money Rip Off.

Studio: Columbia Tristar Hom
Actors:
Esther Rolle



DVD title: Meet The Fockers (Widescreen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Meet The Fockers (Widescreen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Barbara Saved this


If it wern't for Barbara this movie would be a complete Ronald Reagan quality class felony c flop. But she makes up for it in huge ways, clever ways too!,,,like she knew during filming that she had too. However if you don't like Barb, don't order this. Of course I have to be fair to the potential buyer, I fell in love with her more than 30 years ago (I love her more than I hate Nancy Grace, well everyone is entitled to change their mind right?) and is my favorite person in all this world. Matter as a fact I'd give my last drop of blood to just sit with her across a table for 5 minutes. So supposing my bias towards her is extreme, you make the call as Dinero and Hoffman are at gag if not flake out performance levels. But don't write me off as being prejudiced, I love Dinero and Dusty very much in all past films, I never thought I could hate a performance by Dinero. I don't think he was into it. God save the Queen, Barbara Streisand that is, not your dinero, but thats why they used De Niro, right.

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: Jay Roach
Actors:
Robert De Niro
Ben Stiller
Dustin Hoffman
Barbra Streisand
Blythe Danner
Teri Polo




DVD title: Wild Reeds
Productgroup: DVD
Wild Reeds - movie DVD cover picture
Great Film-shoddy transfer


This is a modern classic of French Cinema. The transfer is beyond shoddy. I could not believe my eyes. What a shame. Not the
first time Fox has botched it.

Studio: Fox Lorber
Director: André Téchiné
Actors:
André Téchiné
Élodie Bouchez
Gaël Morel
Stéphane Rideau




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