Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Psycho (Collector's Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Psycho (Collector's Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
The original horror movie...

Generally, I really don't like horror/slasher movies. Especially now, these movies are usually guaranteed to be bloody, stupid, not scary, and in the worst possible taste. Psycho, however, is the one exception, and it comes as no surprise that it is the original horror movie (...). I really enjoyed watching Psycho, and boy, was it scary!
The reason Psycho is so superior to all other horror films made since, perhaps with a few exceptions, is that all the suspense and terror is created without any truly bloody scenes. Horror films nowadays are guilty of terrible overkill (ironic choice of word) in terms of bloodshed - people are killed left and right, and all the blood and gore is shown. Hitchcock has far too much taste to do anything of the sort: instead, he uses his amazing abilities as a direction to create almost unbearable tension and suspense without actually showing much blood. Psycho is the ultimate illustration of how effective scary movies rely on the atmosphere that is created using music, lighting, etc, etc. - blood is simply not necessary and actually detracts from the suspense factor!
Anyhow, all in all, this is a classic film, and it is one of Hitchcock's masterpieces. If you are in the mood for a REALLY scary movie, not a stupid slasher film, but a truly frightening and chilling film (that has some interesting psychological stuff thrown in for good measure as well), then get this film, and enjoy being scared!

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Anthony Perkins
Janet Leigh

DVD title: The Knack... and How to Get It
Productgroup: DVD
The Knack... and How to Get It - movie DVD cover picture

...So Tom tells us about half way through "The Knack...and how to get it". Whether he speaks for the other characters or for humanity as a whole the viewers have to decide for themselves but it is just the sort of thing that keeps you guessing in this amazing film.
When someone askes me to name my favourite film I usually say "The Knack...and how to get it" which is almost always met with a puzzled look in responce; so few people have seen this movie, even though it won the main prize at Cannes the year it was made and was a popular and commercial success across the world, that you might be forgiven for thinking that perhaps it had been surpressed or maybe overtaken by fashion that lumped all the "Swinging London" films together and forgot them. Either way I think it is a neglected clasic that deserves wider recognision.
Taken from a not very successful play by Ann Jellicoe, that ran at the Royal Court experimental theatre for six weeks about a year before it was filmed, Charles Wood's screenplay expanded the action away from the run-down house, which is at the centre of the play, to use London as the backdrop for the film; not tourist London but the back streets and slightly run down areas of Shepherd's Bush. The true masterstoke was to give the running commentary by the old people on what the four main (young) characters are up to. This babble is so typical of the British attitude to sex sensorious, but at the same time obsessed and slightly regretting that they haven't done it themselves that it is hillarious. This aspect of the film is clearly influenced by Dylan Thomas' "Under Milk Wood" but used here it takes on it's own identity. Charles Wood also has a small part in the film himself; he is one of the Guardsmen that Nancy encounters in their "Bear Skins" (pun fully intended) while trying to find the YWCA.
The performances by the main actors are all superb. Michael Crawford as the accident prone, sex starved Colin, living in his run down Victorian house, who careers from one disaster to another is clearly the reletive of Frank Spencer the character Crawford played to such great effect in the 1970's "Some Mother's Do 'ave 'em" before he went on to even greater success in West End and Broadway musical theatre.
Ray Brooks delivers a totally beliveable Tolan, the superior, promiscous man living on the top floor of Colin's house who's self confidence eventually leads to his own downfall. A year after making this Brooks was the male lead in "Cathy Come Home", one of the most famous British television plays of all time, which shocked a nation by graphically showing the full reality of the homeless in the UK. It is difficult to imagine two more contrasting rolls.
Donal Donelly as Tom the manic painter and decorator who acts as the catalyst bringing the other elements of the film together. He was in some other 1960 movies including "Waterloo" but I haven't seen him in anything for a very long time now.
Rita Tushingham always has a vulnerability about her and never more so than in this film as Nancy. She arrives in London and wanders haplesly around costantly being mis directed to the YWCA until she comes across Colin and Tom in a junk yard. As she comes to know the other characters she comes under Tolan's spell until she suddenly finds she is in love with Colin. Tushingham handles her part well as she develops from the innocent new girl in town to the more confident woman at the end of the picture via a sort of breakdown after which she accuses all and sundry of "rape". It is this aspect of the film which has drawn most criticim bringing with it accusations of misogyny. I don't think that it is justified after all nobody gets raped they just shout it a lot!
John Barry's score brings the whole film together; He uses a choir of womens voices and the jazz organist Alan Haven, who had previously enlivened the opening titles of "From Russia With Love", to a variety of moods with one basic theme in 3/4 time. It is one of the most creative uses of music I can think of.
Richard Lester directed this gem of a film on location at break neck speed just as he had some months earlier with "A Hard Day's Night". His surreal imagination, sense of humour and love of scilent movies all combine to make one of the most original films ever made. Using black and white stock allowed him greater freedom to film in awkward locations as well as to experiment with over exposure so what started out as a budget restriction became a creative tool. There are some wonderful individual shots; at one point, for instance, Colin, Tom and Nancy are seen throwing stones in the river and there is a shot of their reflection it is only there for a few seconds but it is the composition of the film for me. It is rare to find a film which has good dialoge and creative cinamatography.
On DVD the film looks great even with so few extra features. I was pleased that there were suptitles as some of the lines of dialoge are a bit indisdinct and even as a native English speaker I've often wondered what they were.
One final thing. Whenever I'm feeling a bit depressed I often look at this film and it never fails to make me feel better you never know perhaps it will do the same for you.

Studio: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Director: Richard Lester
Rita Tushingham
Ray Brooks (II)

DVD title: Corrosion of Conformity - Live Volume
Productgroup: DVD
Corrosion of Conformity - Live Volume - movie DVD cover picture
COC !! Excellent DVD!!!

I bought this DVD just because I seen it on a shelf, and I said to myself: "wow C.O.C. has a DVD!?!?" I just had to have it. I took a gamble on it, popped it in the DVD and I'm impressed. The Picture is sharp, excellent production. Sound is Good and it has plenty of band footage, photo gallery, and interviews. This DVD mainly consists of a live concert which includes 15 songs (These Shrouded Temples, Diablo Blvd., Senor Limpio, King of the Rotten, Wiseblood, Who's Got The Fire, Albatross, My Grain, Congratulations Song, 13 Angels/7days, Vote with a bullet, Zippo, Long whip/big america, shelter, Clean my wounds) I was torn between giving this 4.5 - 5 stars because It is a good video, although I do have to critique it (for those nit picks out there) and all I am about to mention is being very, VERY critical: Maybe the vocal sound could be turned up just a tiny pinch, maybe there could be more stage antics, like jumping around, pyrotechnics, and finally what would have made this DVD the God of all DVD's was if they played most of the tracks off of their "Blind" album. One of the best under rated bands/album ever. Anyways, like I said this is being overly critical, this is one of the best DVD's I own (next to Alice Cooper's Brutal Planet, and Metallica's Cunning stunts), So Buy it on Amazon and save $$$, and spread the word, C.O.C. rocks!!!

Studio: Bmg/Sanctuary Records Group
Corrosion of Conformity

DVD title: Fast Times at Ridgemont High (Collector's Edition) (High School Reunion Collection)
Productgroup: DVD
Fast Times at Ridgemont High (Collector's Edition) (High School Reunion Collection) - movie DVD cover picture

Before American Pie, there was Fast for all you Gen Xers out there, turn down the pearl jam and tune into this movie!

Fast Times at Ridgemont High is often considered one of the finest films of a disreputable genre (the teen sex comedy), and kick-started the careers of many future stars. The center of this ensemble film is Jennifer Jason Leigh as Stacy Hamilton. She is a young, innocent high-school student who, as the film opens, is asking for advice from her friend, the sexually outspoken Linda Barrett (Phoebe Cates).

Stacy takes a liking to nebbish Mark Ratner (Brian Backer), but he is too afraid to make a move even after Stacy all but throws herself at him. She eventually hooks up with Mark's more confident best friend, Mike Damone (Robert Romanus). When not concerning itself with these four characters, the film spends time with stoned surfer dude Jeff Spicoli (Sean Penn) and his ongoing feud with history teacher Mr. Hand (Ray Walston). The film includes brief appearances by such future stars as Nicolas Cage, Eric Stoltz, and Forest Whitaker.

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: Amy Heckerling
Sean Penn

DVD title: AM/PM Stretch for Health
Productgroup: DVD
AM/PM Stretch for Health - movie DVD cover picture

I am in my late fifties, overweight, out of shape and have arthritis in my knees. When I previewed this DVD, I was sure that I would not be able to do the stretches. However, with some modifications for my inflexibility, I was able to do all the stretches.
Beautiful and peaceful scenery
Very professionally produced
She gives instructions with voice-over as she does the stretches silently - very easy to follow her instructions and movements
Calm, soothing voice
Reminders to breathe correctly
Reminders for good body alignment and form
Not impossible moves for the inflexible
Good sequencing of stretches
Just makes you feel good!
Cons: Her voice-over tells you to use one leg or arm while she is using the opposite leg or arm on the video. Not really a big deal,though.

Studio: Living Arts

DVD title: Music From Another Room
Productgroup: DVD
Music From Another Room - movie DVD cover picture
Beautiful and touching

I would have to say this is a chick-flick but I loved it. I think this is a very inspirational movie that all people should see when they feel down or depressed. It is uplifting and it will definetly make you cry with happiness.

Studio: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Director: Charlie Peters

DVD title: Music From Another Room
Productgroup: DVD
Music From Another Room - movie DVD cover picture

If you are going to see one romantic movie in your life, let it be this one. Not only is the plot enthralling, but the character development is phenominal and the casting superb. Jude Law is enticing and Jennifer Tilly's supporting performance is great. A must see movie that will restore anyone's faith in love at first sight.

Studio: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Director: Charlie Peters

DVD title: Corrina, Corrina
Productgroup: DVD
Corrina, Corrina - movie DVD cover picture
An effective motion picture. Whoopi Goldberg is amazing!!

I first saw this movie when it was released. I loved it. I just watched it again and was insteadly reminded of just how wonderful it is. Movies like this are hard to come by. When young Molly loses her mother she sets herself apart from the world. She even acts as if her dad is not there. Nothing seems to cheer poor Molly up. Dad (well played by Ray Liotta) decides to look for a maid/housekeeper. He goes through a number of interviews and comes up with nothing. Corrina (WHOOPIE in top form) comes to anwser the prayer they never prayed. And with a little effort brings Molly back to the world. The result is a top-notch family entertainment with warm relationships that blossom from unlikely people. This movie really ends up being a feel good movie that opens not only your heart, but your mind as well. Watching this movie should be a requirement for all of society. GREAT!!

Studio: New Line Home Entertainment
Director: Jessie Nelson
Tina Majorino
Ray Liotta
Whoopi Goldberg

DVD title: Prozac Nation
Productgroup: DVD
Prozac Nation - movie DVD cover picture
Amazing Film, Was drawn in by Ricci .

I was scrolling through my options on my OnDemand starz . I was drawn in by the promise of seeing Ricci in another film. this movie was amazing, i am like in love with Ricci. In ways we can all relate to the caharacter that she played, ive heard that there is a book that this movie was made from but i have not read it. I just might.I am in no doubt that im going to buy this when it comes out on dvd ..

Studio: Miramax Home Entertainment
Director: Erik Skjoldbjærg
Christina Ricci
Anne Heche
Jonathan Rhys-Meyers
Jessica Lange

DVD title: Star Trek Deep Space Nine - The Complete First Season
Productgroup: DVD
Star Trek Deep Space Nine - The Complete First Season - movie DVD cover picture
Must Buy

DS9 was a landmark achievement in the evolution of Star Trek as much as The Next Generation was. Unfortunately, few if any television or cable station air the reruns. Now we finally have a chance to own every episode for ourselves in beautiful DVD quality.

Studio: Paramount Home Video
Avery Brooks

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