Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Verdi - Simon Boccanegra / Guelfi, Mattila, La Scola, Konstantinov, Abbado, Maggio Musicale Fiorentino
Productgroup: DVD
Verdi - Simon Boccanegra / Guelfi, Mattila, La Scola, Konstantinov, Abbado, Maggio Musicale Fiorentino - movie DVD cover picture
Superb performance

This is surely the most beautiful, touching and carefully thought out recording of this opera ever made. Claudio Abbado does marvels with the orchestra--romantic intensity at its peak. Mattila's voice is ethereal, La Scola's heartfelt singing reminds one of the young Carreras, Guelfi is a soft-toned but immensely affecting Simon, Konstantinov is adequate but does not equal his predecessors. The production is stark (except for a more detailed council chamber scene), the colors (predominantly red and blue) are strong and effective, the filming is excellent, intimate but also distant when necessary. Altogether a tremendously moving account of a very powerful opera. Verdi at his melodic and emotional best.

Studio: Naxos of America
Carlo Guelfi
Julian Konstantinov
Vincenzo La Scola
Claudio Abbado
Maggio Musicale Fiorentino Opera
Karita Mattila

DVD title: Great White: My...My...My...
Productgroup: DVD
Great White: My...My...My... - movie DVD cover picture

It's about time that this was released on DVD. When it first came out on VHS, it contained 2 of the 4 videos (Rock Me and Save Your Love) that were on a previous tape released 3 years earlier. Why they couldn't include Face The Day and Since I've Been Loving You (from Live At The Ritz) to this 11 track disc is beyond me. Is Capitol Records that cheap or shortsighted? I guess I should just be contented that this excellent compilation was released at all. A great archive of a great band that'll be sorely missed. Did I mention all the hot babes in all the videos (except the MTV Unplugged clip, of course)? R.I.P. to all those lost in the recent fire.

Studio: Emi Distribution

DVD title: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter... and Spring
Productgroup: DVD
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter... and Spring - movie DVD cover picture

I originally thought I may have already seen this movie, when it was called:Why Has Bodhi-Dharma Left for the East (1989).That was another amazing piece that deals with teachings of the Buddha from a decade ago. But this movie is not that movie. This is another visual masterpiece that fleshes out a timeless tale of the cycles of nature and the nature of humans. Other reviewers have already said enough. See it and enjoy the inner silence that comes.

Studio: Columbia Tristar Hom
Director: Ki-duk Kim (II)
Ki-duk Kim (II)
Yeong-su Oh (II)
Jong-ho Kim (II)

DVD title: When Harry Met Sally...
Productgroup: DVD
When Harry Met Sally... - movie DVD cover picture
FINALLY! The DVD is coming, and it will be special!

Just a note to let fans of this wonderful romantic comedy (and one of my favorite movies of all time) know that the DVD version is coming in early 2001, and it will be a rare special edition from MGM!
The release date reported at the VSDA (the convention for people who own video stores) was 1/9/2001. Features mentioned were a featurette, a commentary by Riener (yes!) and the usual trailers and production notes. More is likely to be announced later.
I love this movie, and I can't wait for it to come out for pre-order here so I can replace my VHS copy.

Studio: Mgm/Ua Studios
Director: Rob Reiner
Billy Crystal
Meg Ryan

DVD title: WWE SummerSlam 2002 - Rock vs. Brock
Productgroup: DVD
WWE SummerSlam 2002 - Rock vs. Brock - movie DVD cover picture
Wow the best of 02'

A very good PPV event. Worth buying. Here are the matches and my ratings of them: (out of 5 stars)

1) Kurt Angle v Ray Mysterio - A very good match, not great. Alot of quick hitting moves from Ray and submission moves from Kurt. I've got to hand it to Ray. He doesn't back down from anybody. Kurt has his hands full. A good technical match that should have been longer. rating - ****

2) Chris Jericho v. Ric Flair - I liked this match. "The Nature Boy" looks fantastic! A nice old school match with hard hitting shots. The right person wins this match.
rating - ***1/2

3) Edge v Eddie Guerrero - A great match. Alot of technical moves and submission holds. Very physical. The wrong person wins though. rating - *****

4) Chris Benoit v RVD (Intercontinental Title Match)- A very good match. Two great wrestlers go at it. Benoit uses all his moves. RVD is relegated to leg kicks and flips. The wrong person wins. rating - ****

5) The Un-Americans v Booker T & Goldust (World Tagteam Title Match) - A good match with some nice moves. What THE HELL is Dustin Rhodes doing? Goldust? PLEASE! Dusty Rhodes needs to have a talk with his boy. Dustin is a great wrestler who can throw-down with ANYONE. Why is he acting like a S&M alien? He has too much talent to be wasted like this. A shame. Anyway, Dustin shows some great technical moves while getting beatup. The right team wins. rating - *** (would be higher if not for the exruciating commentary by "The King" and Jim Ross)

6) The Undertaker (AKA - American Badass) v Test - A good match. Some nice hard hitting action. Test is a very good wrestler who should get more recognition. The wrong man wins this. It was a good piece of propaganda (if you can somehow stomach the nausiating verbage from Jerry Lawler and Jim Ross. I can't........ PUUUUUUKE) rating - *** (Again would be higher but Lawler and Ross ruin it with their inane talk)

7) Shawn Michaels v HHH - The return of Shawn Michaels after a 4 year absence. A very good match. Does Shawn bleed at EVERY freakin' match or what? A great hardcore match with great aerial moves and blood flows freely. Check the ending.
rating ****1/2

8) The Rock v Brock Lesnar (World Champion Match) - A fantastic match. THE match of the night, but not long enough. The crowd is split between Rock (30%)and Brock (70%), which adds excitement to the match. The Rock knows how to put on a show. He is ALWAYS fun to watch. Some great moves. The wrong guy wins. rating - *****

An extra match with Brock and Hogan is also on here. This is real fun to watch as the fans are really pulling for Hogan. The king is dead! Long live the king!
Overall a very good night worth owning. Buy it if you can

Studio: Sony Music (Video)
The Rock
Brock Lesnar
Shawn Michaels
Triple H

DVD title: Finding Nemo (Collector's Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Finding Nemo (Collector's Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Pixar magic isn't limited to the computer animation

Going to the movies has been such a disappointing experience during the past 15 years that many adults have basically stopped. The problem is the scripts, especially for comedies. What's supposed to be funny, generally isn't.
The great exception in the past decade have been the series of Pixar/Disney films: Toy Story, Bug's Life, Toy Story 2, Monsters, Inc., and now Finding Nemo. This one may not be the best (I think Toy Story 2 is one of the greatest films ever made with its combination of humor, poignancy and Borges-like overlapping realities), but Finding Nemo is surely the funniest.
The comic actors recruited for the main roles, especially Ellen DeGeneres, not only do a brilliant job, but the animators capture them perfectly in manipulating their fish counterparts. The animation of the fish themselves turns out to have been a great idea--their quick darting movements heighten the comedy. The shark sequence is a masterful parody of self-help/12-step, and all the scenes in the dentists' office where Nemo is held captive in a fish tank come close to the brilliance of the toy collector scenes in Toy Story 2.
My 13-year-old son laughed throughout the movie, but so did I. There is no Billy Wilder on today's scene, no Preston Sturges, no Ernst Lubitsch; and Woody Allen ain't what he used to be. But the mob of writers and animators at Pixar are the closest we've got to filling their shoes.

Studio: Walt Disney Home Video
Albert Brooks
Ellen DeGeneres
Alexander Gould

DVD title: Pokemon - Mewtwo Returns
Productgroup: DVD
Pokemon - Mewtwo Returns - movie DVD cover picture
Finally , we get to see what happened after the 1st movie!

Mewtwo returns in this excellent video sequel to the 1st movie. You have all of the elements for a good Pokemon experience in this one!!! You finally get to see what happened to Mewtwo and the other cloned Pokemon after they went off on their own. Ash and crew once again have to help Mewtwo and the clones , and help Mewtwo open up his heart to see that some humans care selflessy about others. Plus you get to see the Team Rocket Combat Unit! You don't usually get to see how big Team Rocket really is in the episodes , and here you have an army of 'em!!!

Studio: Warner Studios
Director: Kunihiko Yuyama

DVD title: The Straight Story
Productgroup: DVD
The Straight Story - movie DVD cover picture
Ignore the fact it's directed by David Lynch -- it's GOOD

My husband insisted I watch this movie, and he pretty much had to cajole me into it. You see, as soon as I heard it was directed by David Lynch, I didn't want to watch it. All of those bad undergraduate memories of gothed-out, late-night "Blue Velvet" movie get-togethers, having to hear people babble endlessly on about "Twin Peaks" in the early 90's, and high school "Eraserhead" days all combined throughout time to make me hate David Lynch. Then I heard "The Straight Story" was about some guy on a lawn mower. I thought it was going to be pointlessly weird and annoying.

I was wrong, thank goodness! This was a hypnotic film that really touches your heart. I never cry when I watch a movie, but this one got the waterworks flowing (I'm embarassed to say). There was nothing weird or pointlessly strange about it (I'm glad!). The musical score was wonderful, and the performances luminous. The storyline is highly creative, while still being a believable slice-of-life at the same time.

In an odd way, this film reminded me of "Slingblade". Pretty much, if you liked "Slingblade", you'll like this movie. Although this movie is not as dark as "Slingblade" (in fact, I was surprised to learn after seeing it that "The Straight Story" is rated G -- usually I dislike movies rates G -- but this is an exception to the rule).

This movie is worth buying. Take it from me -- I was prepared to hate this movie, but came away delighted instead!

Studio: Disney Studios
Director: David Lynch
Sissy Spacek
Richard Farnsworth

DVD title: Silent Night Deadly Night / Silent Night Deadly Night Part 2
Productgroup: DVD
Silent Night Deadly Night / Silent Night Deadly Night Part 2 - movie DVD cover picture
cmon.........a horror classic

This film is awesome. I love it. When first released in 1984 it caused considerable controversy and was yanked from cinemas, nowadays i cant even find it in video stores. It has been banned in multiple places, due to the depictation of our beloved Santa Claus as a serial killer. Really that was so not neccesary as the fact that the movie is rated R means young children would not be able to view the film anyway, seriously people should get over it. Alot of people say the film is just crap and cheap, but i recon its really interesting and good, and the fact that it has a huge cult following show that im not alone in thinking this. Billy Chapman is a young kid riding with his parents of Xmas eve, they are visiting Billys catatonic grandfather. As Billys parents (nursing younger brother Ricky in their arms) discuss the Grandpas condition with the docter, Billy is left alone with the old man, suddenly Granpa spring to life and delivers Billy a chilling message "Xmas night is the scariest damn night of the year, you see Santa Claus, you better run............for your life!"
Billy is now pertrified of Santa and when the family run into a physco dressed as Santa on the ride home (now nightime) his nightmare comes true. Santa brutally murders Billys parents as he watches............
A few years later Billy and younger brother Ricky who both escaped the horrific night are in an orphanage run by nuns. Mainly Mother Superior, the head nun who is very strict on her upbringing of the children. We witness some of Mother Superiors cruel acts to bring Billy into line and then cut forward 10 years where Billy has grown into a HOT young man who is getting a job at the local toy store. From first apperance Billy seems like a normal, nice guy. We do learn that Billy is still traumatized by the events of what happened that night, and also he is still terrifyed of Santa. Come Christmas when Billy is asked to dress up as the one person he loathes, Santa Claus, he snaps. In a chilling scene Billy just completely snaps and embarks on a physcotic rampage to punish the 'naughty'. I really enjoyed this film and think that Robert Brian Wilson (Billy) did a great job, only being 16 when he played the role, he was excellent. I reccomend this film if you're a horror fan.

Studio: Anchor Bay Entertain
Director: Charles E. Sellier Jr.

DVD title: I Think I Do
Productgroup: DVD
I Think I Do - movie DVD cover picture
A surprise gem

This film was a surprise gem, a gift from the Independent film Channel. My son and I watched it with my sister and enjoyed every bit of it. The characters were real, funny, genuine, warm, and down right sexy. It was fun to see Alexis in something besides drag. What more can one ask for than a happy ending. Ah, love. Hey, wait, what about me?

Studio: Strand Releasing Home Video
Director: Brian Sloan
Alexis Arquette
Christian Maelen

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