Film DVD related reviews


DVD title: The Rundown (Widescreen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
The Rundown (Widescreen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
The Rock is ready!


Would you believe an action film with just the right amount ofadventure and comedy without the cost of high body count that comesoff entertaining in this day and age. Films of this type and genreusually become formula after the opening title but this was truelya treat that be seen by the whole family.
The story is that of "Beck"(The Rock) A gentle giant of a man who unfortunetly must make his living as a walking bill collector from"deadbeats" that you wouldn't want to meet much less ask to pay upAll Beck really wants is get up of the "business" and start one ofhis is own namely a restuarant. When he's offered (demanded) totake on one last job in exchange for freedom and money to pay forhis business dream he takes it. The offer is that of bringing tohis employer his runaway grownup son Travis who is now in Amazoncountry hunting a lost treasure. Upon arrival Beck meets a localmining czar who has not only made slaves of the areas inhabitants
but also has personal interest in Travis and his "lost treasure"From there on in it's nonstop ride as Beck not only attempts his vow to bring back the reluctant boy (Sean William Scott) but to save his own life as well.
In a movie like this you expect to endless carnage & gore galorebut to my surprise this extremely good film making without all ofthe bloodshed. Now don't get me wrong I'm not talking a "G" moviehere. There are a few "colorful words" here and an "adult moment"there but nothing brain damaging to the wee ones. If a "stuntmen"award is ever developed by the Academy it should start with thisfilm. Some of the stuntwork is incredible and of the acting skillof Christopher Walken is always welcome.
The dvd captures all the films backbacking action and explosionson it's 23.5:1 ratio and extras include "Making of" and locationfeaturettes and deleted scenes also beware the dvd case has twoside snaps that if your not use to can break off if forced enough

Studio: Universal Studios Ho
Director: Peter Berg
Actors:
The Rock
Seann William Scott
Rosario Dawson
Christopher Walken




DVD title: The Doors of the 21st Century - L.A. Woman Live
Productgroup: DVD
The Doors of the 21st Century - L.A. Woman Live - movie DVD cover picture
Great band, Great dvd


Rather than discuss the endless debate that surrounds the Doors of the 21st Century, I'll come right out and say that I'm an enormous fan of The Doors and an equal fan of the D21c. Seeing Ray and Robby live has been the defining expierence in my musical life.

On to the DVD-

The performance:

This is a solid performance. I have heard every recorded (pro and audience) concert of the D21c, so I know when the guys are truly 'on'. I also attended the show the group put on in Atlanta 2 days before this gig in Houston. Needless to say, the Houston show blows away the rusty, almost lifeless performance they gave in Atlanta (to the band's credit- they were not lifeless... the audience was and that undoubteldy affects the performance).

So, the actual performance is very good. It's not their best, but it's more than worthy of a dvd release. Ian is his usual self- it takes a song or two to warm him up, but once he's primed- he's incredible. As many fans of the D21c know, Ian occasionally forgets a lyric or two... fortunately, he is focused throughout this gig and only lets out a minor slip up in Hyacinth House. Well done Ian.

Ray and Robby both show that they have only gotten better with age. Robby in particular has gotten considerably faster and cleaner and the result is stunning. Every one of his solos is precise and flawless. In particular, his solo at the end of Break on Through makes me say "whoa" everytime I hear it. He throws in a different run and it just fits perfectly. On the other side of the stage, Ray puts on an equally stunning show- putting on a more flamboyant show than he ever did back in the days of the original Doors lineup. He's managed to increase his showmanship while still remaining perfectly faithful to all the Doors classics. Incredible.

Do note that inbetween a few songs are interview clips with Ray Robby and Ian. When I first heard about that feature, I thought for sure that it would ruin the flow of the show. Luckily, the clips only add to the whole expierenceand somehow, they manage to not ruin the feeling of seeing the guys live. Very well done.

Video quality:

Unebelivable. This is the sharpest concert dvd avaliable- outdoing the amazing "Rush in Rio" (which I considered the pinacle in concert video quality). The picture is crystal clear with fantastic camera work. You get plenty of steady, lengthy closeups of Ian Ray and Robby. The absolute coolest parts are the numerous shots of Robby's hands. The video quality is so good, you can count every knick, dent and scuff on Robby's cherry Gibson SG. Wow. Truly top notch camera work (fantastic angles) and a flawless digital, widescreen recording. A+ This is the new standard in concert dvd video.

Audio quality:

Yet again, this dvd delivers. The DTS track will knock you out if you have the proper equipment to enjoy it. Mean while, 2.0 stereo mix sounds good on any set of speakers... even through usually crappy tv speakers. This audio mix is perfect. In particular, the drums (provided by the great Ty Dennis) sound phenomenal. The snare has a perfect kick to it... I absolutely love it. You have to hear it all to know what I'm talking about. The rest of the band comes through equally well. Ian's vocals sound as good as they ever have (by the way, his vocal delivery here is 1000 times better than it is on the live cult dvd) and Ray and Robby are both mixed very well and very evenly. Angelo Barbera on bass cuts through perfectly... you really get to hear every note he plays. That makes it easy to enjoy the small bit of his own style he adds to various Doors classics. He's great. The audio is great. The only minor complaint is that the crowd is mixed a little low on the 2.0 mix.

Negatives:

-The Dvd does not contain the whole performance. Alabama Song, Backdoor Man and Five to One were edited for the dvd. Also, Crawling King Snake (a song from the la woman album) was not played at this show. Luckily, you do get to hear part of the D21c's rendition of that classic tune during from a show in Paris last December.

-Lack of bonus footage. There is alot of D21c stuff out there to choose from... all the tv performances (including the never aired 5-1 performance from the Carson Daly show) as well as footage from various other concerts. A commentary track would have been cool too (though we do get interview clips between some of the songs).

Conclusion:

This is a 5 star dvd. If you are capable of accepting the fact that there can be a Doors life after Jim Morrison, you will have a blast watching this disc. Ray Manzarek and Robby Krieger are truly gods in rock music and it shows comes through on this disc. They are having the time of their life playing these great songs again. Ian Astbury is equally amazing... stepping into an impossible situation and performing brilliantly. I can easily say that he is the greatest frontman that I've had the pleasure of witnessing live. Finally, lets not forget the perfect rythym section of the group. Ty Dennis plays the classic Doors tunes without flaw- adding his own power and style when he feels it necessary (and that power and style really brings the songs to life). Angelo Barbera on bass takes over for Ray Manzarek's left hand and honestly, he does it better than Ray ever did. There is not one note that sounds out of place- Angelo manages to make his string bass sound identical to Ray's mushy piano bass. Unreal.

Thats it. The pros far outweigh the cons. This is a fantastic dvd. Long live the D21c.

Studio: Image Entertainment
Actors:
The Doors
Ray Manzarek
Robby Krieger
Ian Astbury




DVD title: The NeverEnding Story
Productgroup: DVD
The NeverEnding Story - movie DVD cover picture
Never give up


I don't know if I have the words to express the way this movie has inpired my life. When I was young, I watched it several times a day until I knew every line, could sing every note of the opening theme song ~ even still to this day.
The Never Ending Story has two heroes and two villains. The first hero and villain are outside the book, high above the fantasy.
Bastian is a young kid that is blessed with a great imagination (He gets in trouble for drawing unicorns in his math book.) He lacks courage and is always being beaten up by bullies and stuffed into dumpsters. While running away from these bullies, he hides in a bookstore. When in there, he makes off with a book that has the snake-twisted orrin on the cover...you guessed it...the neverending story.
"The Nothing", is the first ultra-villain. It's reason for existence is a secret that I don't want to spoil. It is destroying fantasia for its own means(Brought to life by the guys that invisioned The Empire Strikes Back!) The Nothing is becoming rampant, and the ruler, the Empress is dying. The people of fantasia, the world in which all fantasy resides, seek help from a great warrior Atreau. The ultimate second villain, A massive wolf with Glowing green eyes, takes flight through the forests to stop Atreau on his quest.
There is so much to the story! It is the type of movie you'll want to watch over and over until your player starts steaming.
It will soon be on DVD in September, so wait until then if your a crazed dvd loony like me. I have a feeling its gonna be awesome! Hope this review helped!

Studio: Warner Studios
Director: Wolfgang Petersen
Actors:
Barret Oliver
Noah Hathaway
Tami Stronach




DVD title: Farscape - The Complete Season One
Productgroup: DVD
Farscape - The Complete Season One - movie DVD cover picture
The best show Sci-Fi ever dumped!


It all starts here - but the show only improves with each season. Each episode is unique and delves into the inner workings of the characters. Of course Ben Browder, Claudia Black, Virginia Hey, Lani Tupu, Anthony Simcoe, and Gigi Edgley are amazing; however, Henson's "creatures" are phenomenal. It's just sad that this unique story was cut off by the channel that would rather give you "Tremors - the series".

Studio: A.D. Vision
Actors:
Ben Browder



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
LOR is the best fantasy ever made


I'm probably prejudiced because I have always loved Tolkein's novels, and I'm even going to the college that he graduated from next year. Anyway, this was the best movie that I have seen in a very long time. Nothing compares to the action and adventure of this great epic. If only the producers hadn't left out some parts of the story..... Might I also suggest that you read the books, including The Hobbit, before you see the movie because it's a proven fact that books are always better than the movies based upon them, although the director of LOR did stick to most of the book and did not leave out enough to ruin the story.

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Peter Jackson
Actors:
Ian McKellen



DVD title: From the Earth to the Moon
Productgroup: DVD
From the Earth to the Moon - movie DVD cover picture
Dying to see it.


Heck, I haven't even seen the series yet, and the reviews make it sound's like a excellent production. And I'm sure it is. The only problem is that it's to late to get it on my Christmas wish list. RATS!

Studio: Hbo Studios
Actors:
From the Earth to the Moon



DVD title: Shania Twain - Up (Live in Chicago)
Productgroup: DVD
Shania Twain - Up (Live in Chicago) - movie DVD cover picture
Up and alive


I have been listening to Shania since she first came out. I have all of her CD's and without a doubt Up live in Chicago is the best sounds I have heard from her. She shows a lot of life and spirit in her singing. There is heart felt warmth, love, friendship and just plain good advice in her songs. Shania showed she is a truely great talent all wrapped up in one women. She also shows her love for her singing and her desire to ensure her fans see and hear the best she has. Thanks for putting it all out and giving us all the talent you have in these songs.

Studio: Universal Music & VI
Actors:
Shania Twain



DVD title: Oscar
Productgroup: DVD
Oscar - movie DVD cover picture
Stallone Sleeper Is A Keeper!


I watched this movie 10 years ago expecting a dopey gangster parody with Sylvester "Rocky / Rambo" Stallone in a suit. What I got instead was a very funny, refreshing comedy with lots of great gags and interesting characters. Stallone is hilarious as "Snaps" Provolone, big time gangster and future banker (due to a deathbed promise to his dying father, played by Kirk Douglas). His mob (including Peter Reigert and Chazz Palminteri) are far more inept than intimidating, bumbling along with their boss in his attempt to go straight. You'll never forget the crazy bunch in OSCAR! Merissa Tomei is perfect as Snaps' daughter Lisa, the squeaky, flapper-girl wannabe. Tim Curry plays his best role since Frank N. Furter as linguistics instructor, Thornton Pool. Then there's Kurtwood Smith as the over-zealous cop, Toomey. A riot! I've seen OSCAR at least a dozen times and it still cracks me up! Deserves to be a classic...

Studio: Buena Vista Home Vid
Director: John Landis
Actors:
Sylvester Stallone



DVD title: The Heiress
Productgroup: DVD
The Heiress - movie DVD cover picture
A Cinematic Masterpiece


Olivia de Havilland gives a masterful, oscar winning performance as the wealthy spinster, Catherine, in William Wyler's well-crafted production of Henry James' celebrated novel, "Washington Square." Ralph Richardson is commanding as her stern and seemingly unfeeling father. As the only heir to the family fortune, Catherine attracts the attention of the dashing fortune hunter, Morris Townsend, convincingly played by Montgomery Clift. On learning that she plans to marry the young Morris, her father threatens to disinherit her. Learning of this, Morris deserts her on the eve of their planned elopement. Years later, Morris returns to a wiser and more calloused Catherine who is now sometimes sharp and tactless in her delivery. When asked how she can be so cruel, she answers with the movie's classic line, "I can be very cruel. I have been taught by masters." Strong dramatic performances, stunning period sets and costumes, a powerful, gripping dialogue and a fitting score by Aaron Copland make this a memorable film to enjoy through the years.

Director: William Wyler
Actors:
Olivia de Havilland
Montgomery Clift
Ralph Richardson




DVD title: The Thomas Crown Affair
Productgroup: DVD
The Thomas Crown Affair - movie DVD cover picture
The perfect romantic thriller....flawless!


This is a great movie, stylish, well done, suspenseful throughout. The person that gave this movie "one star", criticizing it as unrealistic, completely misses the point. True, maybe there are a few things that are far fetched, but so are the James Bond movies for that matter. It's all about fun. This movie is very well done on all accounts. Casting was perfect. Rene Russo, one of the few models who can actually act, appears to be expert at picking plum roles for herself. I've yet to see her in a bomb. You will love this movie, and if you are putting together a film library, this should definitely be in it!

Studio: Mgm/Ua Studios
Director: John McTiernan
Actors:
Pierce Brosnan
Rene Russo
Denis Leary




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