Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Planet of the Vampires
Productgroup: DVD
Planet of the Vampires - movie DVD cover picture
Terrore Nello Spazio!!!!

I like this film alot. Planet of the Vampires has some cool sci-fi(for it's time)futuristic dialog and gadgets. In one scene a female character actually SCANS a document with a scanner next to a computer monitor, and THIS IS IN 1965!!!! Also this was a year before Star Trek came out, so you can't accuse of copycat. It's similar to Star Trek but much darker and sinister. The colors are really cool but when I seen it in black and white when I was a kid on "Monster Movie Matinee" I thought it was more eerie. They have neat weapons and cool black leather suits. At one point the captain and a hot chick Italian actress find a derelict ship with some ancient giant skeletons in it. By the way this movie has tons o titles but I think the original Italian one is Terrore Nello Spazio, which means Terror in Space. Even though this is always accredited as totally Italian, Barry Sullivan the star is American, I believe and the film company is American International. I would recommend this to anyone who likes older sci-fi.

Studio: Mgm/Ua Studios
Director: Mario Bava

DVD title: 61*
Productgroup: DVD
61* - movie DVD cover picture
APPLAUSE!! For Billy Crystal, Barry Pepper

Billy Crystal has shown baseball fans (and especially die-hard Yank fans) that it is possible to turn a labor of love and a 'kid's' dream into a reality-on-film epic of the M&M boys and do it with style, an eye for detail, credibility and truth (even if it may hurt..sorry guys!). Barry Pepper et. al. are superb, realistic and down to earth in depicting the behind-the scenes 'sagas' that were going on while the baseball fans held their collective breath for the home run race. Sure, you cannot jam all the details of this baseball era into one film, both good and bad: would you watch an 8 hour movie? There is enough 'meat' to chew on here and experience the relationship of two baseball greats perceived as being at odds and understand that while totally different personae, they were good buddies, they loved the game, played their hearts out and were darn good at it!! Billy Crystal lavishes the audience with much to ponder and an up close revelation at how bad sports management can really be, while the players do all they can to be the very best. This sports film is without question one of THE very best out there. It comes as no suprise that Maris' wife presented Barry Pepper with her husband's playing glove after she saw this film, as a token of admiration and appreciation for his very credible role as her late husband; if you can impress the wife who shared in the agony and the joy..then you can certainly turn a few heads towards the T.V. to watch this film, be it H.B.O or not...doesn't matter. Grab this DVD (or VHS) and enjoy. Applause to Billy Crystal..yes I do admire him tremendously; he's not just all about laughs; he is a serious person about acting and the craft of going behind the lens to have baseball history come alive and credible on film.

Studio: Hbo Studios
Director: Billy Crystal
Barry Pepper
Thomas Jane

DVD title: The Royal Tenenbaums (The Criterion Collection)
Productgroup: DVD
The Royal Tenenbaums (The Criterion Collection) - movie DVD cover picture
A Royal Treat

Touching, poinant, memorable. It was a joy to see this quirky and original masterpiece. When I found out they were the same people who had done Rushmore I ran out and rented it. Another gem. Had it not been for Lord of the Rings this would have been my favorite film of the year.

Studio: Buena Vista Home Vid
Director: Wes Anderson
Gene Hackman
Gwyneth Paltrow

DVD title: Karnataka: In Concert
Productgroup: DVD
Karnataka: In Concert - movie DVD cover picture

I got this DVD almost by accident, while ordering on a special multipackage of progressive DVDs. For my surprise the nitid music, clear picture and awesome songs let me perplexed. I have no doubt this is the must see show in the near future. The vocals by a young pretty lady named Rachel Jones lead in a perfect mixture the well structured pieces of progressive melodic songs executed by a bunch of first class mucisians. There are some sections where you can compare them to Genesis, Yes, with some celtic brushes, but above all the female vocals to the level of Rennassaice's best deliveries. Problably comparing is not the best way of describing, but I use my favorites as a parameter and this BAND is a major one with capital letters. Right now I am in search for their CDs, very hard to find in the U.S.A....yet. I'm happy to own this DVD.

Studio: Music Video Distribu

DVD title: Baby Einstein - Baby Shakespeare - World of Poetry
Productgroup: DVD
Baby Einstein - Baby Shakespeare - World of Poetry - movie DVD cover picture
Still going.

My son loves it as much at 2 as he did at 6 mos. Julie's DVD's are one of the few he'll watch entirely. And I'm not tired of it either!

Studio: Buena Vista Home Vid

DVD title: Buffy the Vampire Slayer - The Complete Fifth Season
Productgroup: DVD
Buffy the Vampire Slayer - The Complete Fifth Season - movie DVD cover picture
Buffy Grows Up In Season Five Of The Best TV Show In History

With Season Four of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Joss Whedon and his team of writers proved that the show could survive after graduating high school and moving into the big scary world of university. So with Season Five, the task was more to prove character development and ensure that all the cast members grew up and began living their lives like true adults. The effort and dedication is shown throughout "Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Complete Fifth Season," which just gets better with each viewing.

Season Four's superb finale "Restless" left a lot of confusion about the show's future. Our heroes dreams had opened up many doors to future events, just when it seemed that everything that could be covered had been. In Season Five, Buffy (Sarah Michelle Gellar) and Willow (Alyson Hannigan) are still at UC Sunnydale, while Xander (Nicholas Brendon) still lives in his parent's basement, but soon gets his own pad. Giles (Anthony Stewart-Head) still lives in his apartment, while the addition of Tara (Amber Benson) and Riley (Marc Blucas) who first made their presence in Season Four are still present in Willow and Buffy's lives respectively. Spike (James Marsters) is still hanging around, lurking in the shadows, whilst Anya (Emma Caulfield) is still - rather surprisingly - the girlfriend of Xander. Everything seems normal and content - yet the addition of Dawn (Michelle Trachtenberg) turns the lives of everyone on its head.

First appearing at the end of the episode "Buffy Vs. Dracula" and explored deeper in "Real Me," Dawn is Buffy sister. Die-hard fans are left scratching their heads in confusion, but all is revealed three episodes later in "No Place Like Home." A group of monks in Sunnydale posess the power of transform living energy into any shape or form they see fit. They want to hide this magical energy (known only as "The Key") from a Hell beast known as Glory (Clare Kramer). They realise the Slayer will protect The Key, so they press it into the form of Dawn, and manipulate the Scooby Gang's minds into thinking that Dawn has always been Buffy's little sister. The first half of the season revolves around Buffy knowing the true nature of Dawn/The Key, and trying to keep it secret from everyone. As time goes on the Scoobies discover its nature and, finally, in "Blood Ties," so does Dawn herself.

The remainder of the season shows Glory desperate to find The Key, with the clock ticking away. She finds what she's been looking for at the end of the episode "Tough Love," when one of the Scoobies accidentally reveals the true nature of The Key. From there on, with three episodes of the season remaining, the Scoobies go on the run from Glory. "Spiral" sees Buffy and her friends trying to escape Glory's evil clutches. In "The Weight Of The World," Dawn is taken by Glory and Buffy slips into a kind of coma, but she's back in the epic season finale, "The Gift," in which the slayer confronts Glory and sacrifices Dawn's life and the world for her own. The ultimate cliff-hanger for the show's future.

Season Five is very much about family issues and emotional ties. Episodes such as "Out Of Mind, Out Of Sight" and "Crush" deal with Spike's new-found love of the slayer. He's obsessed with her, and she is repulsed - little does she know of how things will change in Season Six. The seemingly eternal love of Willow and Tara takes drastic turns in episodes such as "Family" and "Tough Love." Buffy also has to deal with her own troubles. Looking after her sick mother forces Riley away in "Into The Woods." They split, and he leaves Sunnydale for good - or so it seems. Buffy sick mother Joyce (Kristine Sutherland) has to deal with her brain tumour in episodes such as "Shadow" and "Listening To Fear," before she finally - and suddenly - dies in the masterpiece episode "The Body." How this episode did not win a truckload of awards is beyond me. Truly emotional stuff, and the best look at a grieving family in television history. This is superbly followed up with the episode "Forever," in which Buffy has to cope with Dawn's feelings of neglect when she tries to bring her dead mother back to life.

All this depression and heartache may make some believe that Season Five is a dark and serious season - it's not. For that you have to look at Season Six. Season Five does indeed have some wonderful and humorous episodes, such as "The Replacement," "Triangle," "I Was Made To Love You" and "Intervention." All wonderful episodes, superbly crafted by the common use of other-worldy beings as metaphors for human emotions.

Seasons Two, Three and Four all ended with marvellous and highly-praised classic finales in the form of "Becoming - Part 2," "Graduation Day - Part 2," and "Restless." The bar is set even higher for a better Season Five finale, and the expectations are easily met with "The Gift." The episode not only makes it special because it is the 100th episode, but because it deals with the biggest shock of the entire series - the death of the slayer.

With Season Five, the show has proved yet again that it is not just about vampire slaying, but people's emotions and attitudes towards growing up and living their lives.

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox Home Video
Sarah Michelle Gellar

DVD title: The Lord of the Rings - The Fellowship of the Ring (Widescreen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
The Lord of the Rings - The Fellowship of the Ring (Widescreen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Kept me on the edge of my seat!

This was the best movie I have seen in a long time. It succeeded in combining spine tingling action and suspense with heart wrenching story lines and characters that seemed true to life. Well done!!!

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Peter Jackson
Ian McKellen

DVD title: The Fat Spy
Productgroup: DVD
The Fat Spy - movie DVD cover picture
My new favorite movie

Describing this movie is like describing the love of a child or incense smoke rising, but I will do my best. The Fat Spy is a story as old as time itself, the ongoing search for the Fountain of Youth. Only this time our heroes discover that the Fountain is not actually a fountain of water, but two black twin roses growing from the same stem.
Well I'm sure everyone buys or sees this movie for one reason, Jayne Mansfield, so let's talk about her. I've never seen her as heavy as she did in this movie. Granted she is still beautiful and stunning, but the hourglass figure is gone as she is a bit thick in the middle. By modern spaghetti-thin model standards, she could even be described as fat, but to me who can appreciate a fine woman, she looked great. One scene has her wrapped in only what can be described as the happiest towel in Hollywood. You get some great cleavage and chest shots as she dries herself. She also sings a number to her love interest `Irving'. Unfortunately, this film will not cement Jayne's acting abilities for immortality. Let's face it, she was what she was. A great body and a rival (ha ha) to Marilyn Monroe. Jayne seems to go out of her way to act just like her with the dreamy, whispery voice and dumb blonde routine that Marilyn found inescapable as her career went on. In one scene where Jayne is tied to an AC unit she screams for help. She suddenly pauses and turns to the camera and pathetically starts doing the Marilyn pout and blowing kisses.
This film which was probably filmed on a budget that couldn't drive a car across the country was shot on a lake which was supposed to be a beach. This film is actually a musical and any excuse possible is used to throw in bad singing and worse dancing. Take for instance the song sang before the opening credits even start. "When people got money, they sure act funny". One scene has the teenage group on the beach deciding they need to go to Cape Coral after `discovering' a sign posted by a Florida Tourist attraction. All the girls swim out to the boat to start it up, while the guys all make their way to the dock, where quite handily, drums and guitars are found. They sing a number while waiting for the girls to pull up with the boat. Another song is sung by Phyllis Diller. She mostly talks words to music rather than singing, so there is some mercy here. However the drop on the floor and laugh until you cry scene is the `Everybody do the Turtle' song. The song is so terrible, it will linger in your head for days.
There are some loose ends that don't quite tie up as the movie ends. One kid goes fishing in a rubber raft (he sings a song while fishing of course), and catches a mermaid. Well after going back to shore he decides he loves her and wants to go find her. He starts moping around and the last mention of him is his clothes are found on the shore. Reckon he swam out naked to find his love.
The film quality is terrible, even on DVD. The picture is grainy and the sound is horrible. At times you can't hear the lines because the surf is too loud. Then there are the cartoon balloons that try to move the movie along and attempt to assist the viewer in the progress of the film. Just before the ending credits there were promises of upcoming movies: The Return of Fat Spy, Bride of Fat Spy, and Son of Fat Spy. I'm still looking, but haven't found them yet.
All in all this movie rules. My wife's quote "Oh you owe me big for making me sit through this."

Studio: Koch Vision
Director: Joseph Cates

DVD title: Desperate Living
Productgroup: DVD
Desperate Living - movie DVD cover picture

This amazing John Waters movie dserves it's place amongst the strangest and sickest films ever made. Miss Jean Hill naked atop Mink Stole is a scene your mind will hold loooooong after the initial shock and viewing! Edith Massey is sadistically sarcastic as Queen Carlotta and winds up dinner! Repeated viewings only make it better and better! A true MUST for the JW freak in you!

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: John Waters

DVD title: A*Teens - DVD Collection
Productgroup: DVD
A*Teens - DVD Collection - movie DVD cover picture
At last, The A-Teens DVD is here!

The greatest music group ever is finnally releasing a DVD full of their videos and some pictures, along with unreleased songs. It was about time that they did this, since the only official video was the bouncing off the ceiling/mamma mia DVD single (also a great buy). We can now watch their great progress throughout the years they have been with us. Get this DVD, which is not at all very expensive, and you'll never regret it. A-Teens rock!

Studio: Universal Studios

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