Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: The Adventures of Indiana Jones (Raiders of the Lost Ark/The Temple of Doom/The Last Crusade) - Widescreen
Productgroup: DVD
The Adventures of Indiana Jones (Raiders of the Lost Ark/The Temple of Doom/The Last Crusade) - Widescreen - movie DVD cover picture
The Man With the Hat is Back...and on DVD!

At last! Since the advent of the Digital Video Disc format in the late 1990s, there have been two long-awaited movie trilogies: the Classic Star Wars films and the Adventures of Indiana Jones. (...) fans now at least have something to celebrate with the four-disc Indiana Jones set.
The Adventures of Indiana Jones consists of the first three films of the George Lucas-Steven Spielberg collaborative creation, 1981's Raiders of the Lost Ark, 1984's Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, and 1989's Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Rounding out the set is the Bonus Material disc, which includes making-of documentaries, featurettes, trailers, and links to the Indiana Jones DVD site.
Raiders of the Lost Ark, by far, is the best of the three films. Inspired by the serial films of the 1930s and '40s, it was actually one of the two projects conceived by George Lucas in the 1970s after he wrapped up American Grafitti in 1972. One was a space-fantasy adventure inspired by Flash Gordon, and the other was the more Earthbound archeologist/adventurer named (at first) Indiana Smith. Of course, Lucas developed the Star Wars concept first, but even as he and Spielberg were vacationing in Hawaii in the summer of 1977, Lucas pitched his idea of the raiders of the Lost Ark as the two filmmakers built a sand castle on the beach.
Based on a concept by Phil Kaufman, Lucas' story and the screenplay by Lawrence Kasdan pit the daring archeologist Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) against Nazis and Rene Belloq (Paul Freeman), a rogue French archeologist who has a habit of crossing paths with Indy and often beating him to other coveted relics. Hired by the U.S. government to locate an item called "the headpiece of the staff of Ra" after Army Intelligence intercepts a Nazi message which ties the piece to Abner Ravenwood, a former mentor of Indy's, our hero deduces that the Germans are really looking for the Lost Ark of the Covenant. Soon Indy is in a race against time and a horde of Nazi spooks and soldiers to find one of the greatest religious artifacts of all time before it can be taken to Adolf Hitler himself. Aided by his mentor's daughter (and former lover) Marion Ravenwood (Karen Allen) and his loyal Egyptian friend Sallah (John Rhys-Davies, who has also starred as Gimli in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy), Indy risks life and limb on his daring raid for the Lost Ark.
1984's Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, with a story by Lucas and a screenplay by Willard Huyck and Gloria Katz, is a darker chapter in the series. On a quest for several missing Sankara stones in India, Indy and his companions Short Round (Ke Huy Quan) and Willie Scott (Kate Capshaw) encounter a dangerous cult of Thugees based in Pankot Palace. Its very scary scenes (including a really gross banquet and a human sacrifice)caused an uproar that led to the creation of the PG-13 rating. It's still quite a thrill ride, but many fans consider this as the weakest and least involving film in the Indiana Jones series.
Audiences fared better with 1989's Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Spielberg, working from a screenplay by writer Jeffrey Boam and a story by Lucas and Menno Meyjes, harkened back to the first Raiders film and evoked its mixture of thrills, chills and laughs and added a father-and-son dynamic with the casting of Sean Connery as Dr. Henry Jones, Sr. Although once again Indy faces off against Nazis on a search for a religious relic -- in this case, the Holy Grail -- and there are cliffhangers galore, it's the relationship between Connery and Ford's characters that makes Last Crusade more than a pale rehash of the first movie. Starting with a prologue featuring the late River Phoenix as young Indiana Jones (which explains our hero's choice of outfit, his phobia of snakes, and the scar on his chin) and ending with a ride-off-into-the-sunset credits sequence, Last Crusade is one of the best adventure movies ever made.
With great casts, amazing stunts and effects, thrilling scores by John Williams, and deft directing by Spielberg, these three films defined adventure films in the 1980s and their popularity still resonates more than 20 years after the premiere of Raiders of the Lost Ark. About the DVDs: I think they are good. They have been digitally remastered and given the "royal treatment" by Lucasfilm and Paramount. The menus are astonishing, and the sound mix is good. I can only speak for myself and not for other fans who, judging by other reviews, have been disappointed by this collection of long-awaited films. True, there is no audio commentary by George Lucas and/or Steven Spielberg, but no DVD of a Spielberg film (and I have several in my collection) has that feature. It's something Spielberg hates doing ("Now, in this scene, watch how I cleverly made a reference to Raiders' famous 'Indy-shoots-the-guy-with-the-sword!' ") and it's not really necessary, even for students of film. I have discovered that director's commentary is worthwhile if the director and others involved in the track actually have something meaningful to say.

Studio: Paramount Home Video
Harrison Ford

DVD title: Ran
Productgroup: DVD
Ran - movie DVD cover picture
The greatest action movie ever

If you thought Seven Samurai was a masterpiece, you aint seen nothing yet until you've seen RAN. I recall Sydney Pollack's character in Woody Allen's Husbands and Wives coming out of the theater with the bimbo woman character trying to explain that this was Kurosawa's King Lear...Yes, somewhat based on Shakespeare's work but very Japanese in nature. The use of color, direction, cinematography, and acting all KICK BUTT!!!

From Lady Kaede to Saburo to Hidetori--all standout performances. I love this film. I get chills just hearing the soundtrack before and during battle scenes. A truly awesome feat of cinema.

Studio: Fox Lorber
Director: Akira Kurosawa
Tatsuya Nakadai
Akira Terao
Jinpachi Nezu
Daisuke Ryu

DVD title: Star Wars - Episode I, The Phantom Menace (Widescreen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Star Wars - Episode I, The Phantom Menace (Widescreen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
The greatest Star Wars movie of them all!

I don't care what the critics say (and keep in mind the original Star Wars movies got bad reviews too), this film is terrific! Jake Lloyd does a fantastic job as Anakin, the cool Obi Wan Kenobi is already showing his promise as a Jedi, and Jar Jar Binks is funny, not offensive! If you haven't seen it, pre-order it now!

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
Director: George Lucas
Liam Neeson
Ewan McGregor
Natalie Portman

DVD title: George Lucas in Love
Productgroup: DVD
George Lucas in Love - movie DVD cover picture
better than most

As far as comic shorts go, this one is a gem. For those of you who find fault with story developement, originality, etc. (see other reviews here), I have this to say: it's a short film, not a feature film, and so by defition it's not gonna give you what you can get in 120 minutes of screen time. But what Joe Nussbaum does in eight minutes puts to shame most of the slop churned out in Hollywood. It's probably harder to do something good and funny in eight minutes than it is in a feature length film, and this homage/spoof delivers the goods. The details are dead on, the writing is crisp and funny, the acting perfectly in tune with the spirit of the project. So everyone just relax and enjoy Lucas in Love for what it is.

Studio: Red Hill
Director: Joe Nussbaum
Martin Hynes

DVD title: The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes Collection
Productgroup: DVD
The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes Collection - movie DVD cover picture
"These are deep waters, deep and rather dirty."

As stated in previous reviews, this set is by far the best from a film quality standpoint. They all should have been transferred this way. That being said, Jeremy Brett IS Sherlock Holmes. I have read all of the Holmes mysteries 100 times since I was 7 or 8 years old and these film versions come the closest to what Doyle portrayed in his writings. I was SOOO saddened to hear of Jeremy's death in 1995 and would have loved to see the stage version of THE SECRET OF SHERLOCK HOLMES that he and Edward Hardwicke toured the UK with in the late 80's (discussed in bonus interview on disc 3). All of these DVD's (Adventures, Return, Movies, Casebook & Memoirs) are required viewing for any Holmes fan. They are by far the best depictions of Holmes & Watson and will be viewed by me as many times as the stories have been read. You will not regret this purchase and suprisingly, Amazon had the best price on the net for this set.

Studio: Mpi Media Group
Sherlock Holmes

DVD title: North by Northwest
Productgroup: DVD
North by Northwest - movie DVD cover picture
Excellent! Hitchcock AND Cary Grant!!!

North By Northwest is a captivating movie which will keep you hooked form start to finish. Cary Grant plays an innocent man who gets mixed up in a dazzling mystery, while falling in love with Eva Marie Saint. This movie includes one of Grant's famous scenes with the airplane chase. I definitely recommend this movie to ANYONE! It is a classic for all to see...after all, what more could you ask for than Cary Grant AND Alfred Hitchcock working together on one movie?

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Cary Grant
Eva Marie Saint

DVD title: Star Wars - Episode II, Attack of the Clones (Full Screen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Star Wars - Episode II, Attack of the Clones (Full Screen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
star war and my kids

in fact15 year ago we begin looking to the star wars we can not forgetsuch great thing like me and my kids every time we looking to star wars we enjoyed to much and for that we buyed a lot of thing of star wars evenmy wife get angry with me. just wanted to say thank you from my deep heart to every one work in this regards

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox Home Video
Director: George Lucas
Ewan McGregor
Natalie Portman

DVD title: The Phantom of the Opera (Widescreen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
The Phantom of the Opera (Widescreen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture

Having seen the stage production twice and the movie 3 times I say you can't compare the two. Both were brilliant in their own way --

But the cast of the movie was exceptional. Gerard Butler - brought the Phantom to life. Emmy Rossum was totally believable as Christine. Raoul, Mdm. Giry, Meg were well played.

One small quibble - the Masquerade scene.... why such dreadful costuming and dancing? The stage production was astounding as the cast danced down the staircase in brilliant color.

Go see it! The critics are useless.

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Joel Schumacher
Gerard Butler
Emmy Rossum
Patrick Wilson

DVD title: The Negotiator
Productgroup: DVD
The Negotiator - movie DVD cover picture
Samuel L. Jackson + Kevin Spacey = an excellent thriller!!!!

The acting was faultless. It was great to see that J.T. Walsh was still giving his finest up to the last. OK, so Kevin Spacey is my favourite actor, but I still think I'm objective enough to say that his timing was faultless. The comedic piece with his wife and daughter had me laughing out loud, as I could see my family there in a few years time! Samuel L Jackson is, as always, wonderful. The way he portrayed an honest man willing to go to any lengths to prove his innocence was great. these two should work together again! The other scene that will stay with me is the faces of the cops outside the house. But the best part for me, with all the tremendous acting aside, was the outstanding twist at the end. I never saw it coming. Kevin Spacey deserves the romantic lead he's looking for; if he can act action hero he can do anything!!

Studio: Warner Studios
Director: F. Gary Gray
Samuel L. Jackson
Kevin Spacey

DVD title: Roseanne - The Complete First Season
Productgroup: DVD
Roseanne - The Complete First Season - movie DVD cover picture

Anchor Bay has teamed up with Carsey Werner to bring Roseanne, the Domestic Goddess herself, to DVD later this year, along with husband Dan (John Goodman), sister Jackie (Laurie Metcalf), daughter Becky (originally played by Lecy Goranson, and for a while by Scrubs' Sarah Chalke), daughter Darlene (Sara Gilbert, currently appearing on ER), and D.J. (Michael Fishman). No timeframe has been given for the release, but Anchor Bay promises that this will be "will be packed with bonus materials".

How packed? Well, about a year ago ran a story about just how much Roseanne herself wanted this show to come to DVD, very badly, and that she was willing to participate heavily in extras and dish out all the behind-the-scenes dirt. Is Anchor Bay going to hold her to it? We hope so!

Ted Green, CEO of Anchor Bay Entertainment, was quoted in a press release as saying "Our company will give these DVD releases the attention and care they...deserve. We are happy to be working with the amazing team at Carsey Werner Distribution and thrilled to add these outstanding titles to our stable of top television properties." Carsey Werner returned the compliment, saying ""'Roseanne' and '3RD Rock From The Sun' are two of our most cherished programs," said Robert Dubelko, Co-President/COO of Carsey-Werner., "When it came time to find a DVD distributor, we wanted an experienced company with the creative energy and enthusiasm to market these series the way we would do it ourselves. Anchor Bay Entertainment fit that need all the way." Here's more from the press release, about the show itself:

Roseanne debuted in 1988 and is one of the most successful and beloved series of all time, remaining on network television for nine years. The multiple award-winning series starred comedian Roseanne as Roseanne Conner, John Goodman ("The Babe," "The Big Lebowski") as her husband Dan and Laurie Metcalf as her sister Jackie. Each week focused on the struggles of a working class family facing everyday problems: money, children, marriage and of course, in-laws. Roseanne was nominated four times for an Emmy Award and five times for a Golden Globe. She won both awards in 1993. The series had a total of twenty-five Emmy nominations and four wins as well as three Golden Globes, four American Comedy Awards and a Peabody.

There's lots more info to come, so stay tuned and we'll let you know more just as soon as we can!

Studio: Anchor Bay Entertainment

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