Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Edward Scissorhands (10th Anniversary Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Edward Scissorhands (10th Anniversary Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Tim Burton's Best Film

I remember watching Bettlejuice for the first time and being amazed by it. It was so visually unique and the quirkiness just entertained me. I remember watching Batman and thinking "If only all comic book movies were like this". IMO We never got an entertaining Comic-book movie like that until Spiderman. Then I saw Edward Scissorhands and was so touched. This seems to be Tim Burton's most personal production because things from his years growing up in Burbank inspired the idea and settings. Almost all his movies are visual feasts but Edward Scissorhands takes more of an emotional approach that I never saw in a Tim Burton movie before this. Even though the characters come across as cartoonish (which I could imagine the film almost being), but it works within the film because it is supposed to be a modern fairytale. Johnny Depp's performance as Edward was probably his best ever (even though his Jack Sparrow was a riot). Look at the scene when he looks at the neighborhood for the first time. In addition, the ending (which I will not spoil) is beautiful but (thankfully) is not given a typical Hollywood ending. Had the ending been different I don't think the movie would have carried such an emotional resonance it did for me. And how can I not mention the score. This is one of Danny Elfman's favorite scores and I would wholeheartedly agree with him. This movie just worked so well. It helps when the director gives something that really came from the heart. Check out also Ed Wood: another Tim Burton film with another great Johnny Depp performance.

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox Home Video
Director: Tim Burton
Johnny Depp
Winona Ryder

DVD title: Pumping Iron (25th Anniversary Special Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Pumping Iron (25th Anniversary Special Edition) - movie DVD cover picture

It is a shame they stopped making this movie. I once heard that you can learn more about psychology from the interrogation scene in "The Brothers Karamozov" than you can in a year of college psychology. You can learn more about the confidence game and the urge to succeed from Arnold and from this movie than you can anywhere else. Watch it. It is not about weightlifting; it is about winning.

Studio: Warner Home Video
Arnold Schwarzenegger

DVD title: The Civil War - A Film by Ken Burns
Productgroup: DVD
The Civil War - A Film by Ken Burns - movie DVD cover picture
The Best Documentary Ever Made

I don't quite know what Gary in Chicago has been smoking. This film is simply the best Documentary ever made. Period. I'd rather not gush as so many of the reviews have done. Suffice it to say that if you own any documentray, this is the one to own. One caveat, however.... Invest in the DVD remstered edition instead of the VHS. The picture and sound are vastly improved.

Studio: PBS Home Video
Ken Burns

DVD title: Star Trek Voyager - The Complete Seventh Season
Productgroup: DVD
Star Trek Voyager - The Complete Seventh Season - movie DVD cover picture
Star Trek fans will appreciate the extra features

If you're considering buying Season 7 of Voyager you're most likely a fan of the show, so I won't bore you with my opinions of the various episodes except to say that the overwhelming majority were well written with excellent performances by the cast. Speaking of the performances, I really appreciated the extra feautures (especially the commentary of Robert Picardo) as they give fans a brief inside look at the actors and their feelings about their performances and the show itself. The other features about various creation and production aspects of the show were also worth watching.

Season 7 is my first DVD set from Voyager (I'm collecting DS9 and have the first three years). I skipped to season 7 of Voyager as I was overseas during its airing and missed many episodes. It was great to see some 'new' episodes. I enjoyed Voyager 7 so much that I'm putting my DS9 collection on hold am now working backwards on up Season 6.

Studio: Paramount Home Video
Kate Mulgrew

DVD title: Seinfeld - The Complete Fourth Season
Productgroup: DVD
Seinfeld - The Complete Fourth Season - movie DVD cover picture
Seinfeld: Funniest Man and Show of All Time

This show is so amazing. The brilliant writing never fades over the course of the series. Everything about the show is great and everything has a purpose. And that other guy is right: Julia Louis-Dreyfus is completely hot. She is so perfect in shape and radiance. A true belle of American society.

Studio: Columbia Tristar Hom
Jerry Seinfeld
Julia Louis-Dreyfus
Michael Richards

DVD title: The Endless Summer
Productgroup: DVD
The Endless Summer - movie DVD cover picture
Brings out pure stoke!

The only way I can describe what this movie brings out in me. Pure stoke! Any surfer who has never seen this movie is missing out on something BIG! this movie defines surfing in it's past, present and future! All I can say is CHECK IT OUT!

Studio: Image Entertainment
Director: Bruce Brown
Michael Hynson
Robert August

DVD title: The Tuskegee Airmen
Productgroup: DVD
The Tuskegee Airmen - movie DVD cover picture
American History at its very best

The story of the magnificent 332nd Fighter Group is woven into a dramatic tapestry of the horror of war and the disjointed approach of many Americans to a difficult time and a situation many would have preferred to ignore. The performance of the pilots who graduated the Tuskegee Training Program (they NEVER lost an escorted bomber to enemy action!) unfolds against the backdrop of misunderstanding, racism and political machinations that nearly destroyed the entire enterprise. This film does a magnificent job of telling the tale without being melodramatic, preachy or snide, but does full justice to the accomplishments of the pilots and their eventual victory against both German pilots and their own nation's refusal to recognize their talents. For the student of World War II, this is a well-known and much-respected story. For the student of African-American History, it is a tale of pride which shines as brightly as the stars on the American Flag these men so courageously defended. Fishburn and Cuba Gooding are superior as men caught between their own humanity and the de-humanizing effects of war. If ever a film deserve a 5-Star rating, this one does.

Studio: Hbo Studios
Director: Robert Markowitz

DVD title: Napoleon Dynamite
Productgroup: DVD
Napoleon Dynamite - movie DVD cover picture
Heck yes I did love this movie!

This movie is hillarious, and to those who say there's no point, you're right. The fact that there is no point is what makes it so great, and the way John Heder plays Napoleon is great. This movie looked like it would be the classic geek movie (etc. Revenge of the Nerds) but it turned out to be a whole new kind of comedy. This is Dumb and Dumber, but stupider and funnier!! I can't understand why anyone could say this movie is trash, unless you have no sense of humor. Just listening to anything Napoleon says is funny...his pickup line is "Are you drinking 1% because you think you're fat, because you're could be drinking whole milk if you wanted. By the way, you should come get your stuff out of my locker, I can't fit my nunchucks in there anymore." That's not even the funniest scene. When Kip runs over the tupperware and just drives off, I coudn't stop laughing. The music went along perfectly and some of the songs are actually good. I had to buy the soundtrack too...42 tracks (including a lot of dialogue) for 13 dollars was a steal for Napoleon Dynamite fans. This is my favorite DVD out of my collection, and I have some great movies..I'll end my favorite quote- "(Napoleon)I made like an infinity of those at scout camp last year" "(Deb)I'm trying to raise money to go to college." "(Kip) Your mom goes to college!"

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox Home Video
Director: Jared Hess
Jon Heder
Jon Gries
Efren Ramirez

DVD title: Sliding Doors
Productgroup: DVD
Sliding Doors - movie DVD cover picture
If I could give 10 stars, I would!!!

The first time I saw this movie, I fell in love with it! If you've ever wondered "what if", you'll enjoy this movie! I can't understand why anyone wouldn't enjoy this. It's funny, emotional, romantic, and VERY intelligent! The fact that a woman's life could change course so much after a two second distraction amazes me and really makes me think. If I had to recommend only one movie to own, it would most definitly be "Sliding Doors."

Studio: Paramount Studio
Director: Peter Howitt (II)
Gwyneth Paltrow
John Hannah
John Lynch
Jeanne Tripplehorn

DVD title: The Birth of a Nation
Productgroup: DVD
The Birth of a Nation - movie DVD cover picture
The Birth of Cinema

Few films have been able to spawn the amount of controversy that D W Griffith's silent epic has. `The Birth of a Nation' continues to enrage its viewers and has the dubious honour of being one of the most despised films ever made.

Every serious film buff eventually comes across `The Birth of a Nation', and the feelings that it creates are often mixed. It is the sort of film that is generally watched only by critics, film historians and those who are interested in the artistic and technical sides of cinema. These days, some people may have heard of the film, but very few have seen it. The thought of a silent film from 1915 that runs for a touch over three hours would put the majority off in an instant.

The film covers the Civil war, the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, the reconstruction of the South and the rise of the Ku Klux Klan. D W Griffith astounded audiences with the introduction of many new filmmaking techniques that laid the groundwork for the future of cinema. Without exaggerating, practically every film made afterward must give some credit to `The Birth of a Nation'. The film is constructed and put together seamlessly and still looks amazingly fresh. It was once regarded as one of the 10 greatest films ever made, but the repercussions of the film have marred it's status. So much so that when the American Film Institute put together a list of the 100 greatest films, `The Birth of a Nation' was placed at number 44.

After its release, there were many that wanted the film banned because of the subject matter it featured. The film was accused of rewriting American history as part of the story shows the African Americans threatening to create a black empire and dominate the South, all with the support of Northern carpetbaggers. The threat is countered by the rise of the Ku Klux Klan who are credited as being the saviours of the South and bringing about political control and peace. So a major complaint was that the film was grossly inaccurate from a historical viewpoint, though there were claims by historians that argued for its authenticity.

But the main factor that caused outrage was the way that the African Americans were presented. It was a different world in 1915 though, and the film is a reflection of its time, seeing as how those views and attitudes were what many white people would have had and grew up with. Griffith no doubt would have had prejudice embedded in him from his childhood, or at least a superior attitude towards Negroes. But Griffith insisted he was not hateful toward African Americans and Lillian Gish herself backed up that claim.

The film has also been put in the same category as Nazi propaganda. That of course was not Griffith's intent, though the Ku Klux Klan have used this film to support their cause. These days, audiences are disturbed at seeing the Ku Klux Klan in a glorified manner. But the Klan that Griffith depicts was inspired by the original Klan that began in the 1860's and which had gone out of existence by 1915. They were not as hateful and evil as they were in more recent times. Although you can't condone the things they did when first formed, from a white supremacist's point of view, they would have been considered heroic.

For all the outrage and consequences the film brought on, Griffith never meant to offend anyone. And it's reasonable to conclude that if there were historical inaccuracies, Griffith either thought that what he was showing was accurate or he may have been creating parts of the story for dramatic effect. Maybe it was both. No director would knowingly make a film that would cause the amount of trouble that this did. Griffith always stated that his intentions were good and was forever apologetic about the film.

Opinions of the film will always be divided. It is very difficult for some to praise the film, but to look at it as objectively as possible, its hard not to be impressed. `The Birth of a Nation' is still so modern, so incredibly fluent and coherent. Griffith truly understood cinema and how movies really worked. He was a director who was light-years ahead of his time and has no doubt inspired countless others. How many other films can claim to have contributed so much to cinema?

Studio: E-Realbiz.Com
Director: D.W. Griffith
Lillian Gish
Mae Marsh
Henry B. Walthall

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