Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Maria Callas in Concert - Hamburg 1959 and 1962
Productgroup: DVD
Maria Callas in Concert - Hamburg 1959 and 1962 - movie DVD cover picture

This DVD of the Callas 1959 Hamburg concert must be bought if you know people -- specially your children -- who never saw Callas on stage, and all they know is that La Divina sang a touching aria featured in the sound track of the film Philadelphia. As is known, even the most adoring critics of Callas write that she was "divine", despite the terrible aspects of her singing, specially her disastrous high notes! The fact is that Callas was a rather good mezzo-soprano who insisted in offering her own version of coloratura operas, such as Lucia de Lammermoor, until Dame Joan Sutherland came along and set the record straight!One of the most repeated fables is that the Callas live recordings are wonderful, because it was the adrenalin of facing a public that made her so dramatic and exciting to hear, whereas in studio recordings, with no public, the excitement was not present and only the defects in her voice were noticeable!Well, watch and listen to this live concert. After her voice cracks in the top High C of the very second piece (recitative of Lady Machbeth's opening scene), you will discover that the adrenalin is there, alright! But not on her, on you! You become so nervous that she will not make the next notes, that when she does get to the end of the arias, after quite a few screeches, you jump up and applaud, just by being relieved of the tension! Something like seeing your team, after a poor day in the field, finally score the tying point at the very last second of the game.By all means, buy this DVD to show to your juniors and then give them Renata Tebaldi CDs and Mirella Freni DVDs if they want an operatic education.

Studio: Emd/Emi Classics
Nicola Rescigno
Georges Prêtre
Maria Callas

DVD title: Shadow of the Vampire
Productgroup: DVD
Shadow of the Vampire - movie DVD cover picture
Would someone please keep Willem Dafoe away from me.

Wow. This was a tremendous story. Willem Dafoe is really convincing while Malkovich is great as the success driven director.
In this film, we see an amoral movie director(Malkovich) who has hired a real life vampire(Dafoe) to star in his newest film. Of course, the vampire just won't cooperate and things steadily become worse until finally, a violent showdown ensues.
As for Dafoe, he is simply devilish. He looks and acts the part of Nosferatu perfectly. This is a great vampire movie and contains some morbid elements of humor. Hope you enjoy.

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: E. Elias Merhige
John Malkovich
Willem Dafoe

DVD title: The Rock
Productgroup: DVD
The Rock - movie DVD cover picture
Great movie, and the Criterion Collection DVD is spectacular

I have nothing but positive things to say about this movie. It ranks up there in my top 100 favorite movies of all time. This DVD edition of The Rock has a really mind blowing, sharp picture and audio transfer. I thought I was back in the cinema watching this movie again, it's that vivid. The Rock boasts fine performances from Nicolas Cage and Sean Connery. The plot is complex and deep and I would just say that if you haven't seen this movie yet, to buy it and sit back and experience it for yourself.

Studio: Hollywood Pictures
Director: Michael Bay
Sean Connery
Nicolas Cage
Ed Harris

DVD title: The Hitcher
Productgroup: DVD
The Hitcher - movie DVD cover picture
a great twilight zone episode with a tad too much blood

"the hitcher" is an overlooked horror masterpiece, whether one can stomach the admittedly excessive violence or not. rutger hauer gives the performance of his career as john ryder, a tormented and possibly supernatural hitchhiker that c. thomas howell makes the big mistake of picking up on his way cross country to a car dealership. boy he shouldn't have done that. see what happens when you pick up people hanging out in the middle of nowhere in trench coats? you get thrown into inescapable metaphysical nightmares that will leave a scar or two on the psyche.
the most unforgettable scene is in the beginning, when howell throws hauer out of the car onto the road and the hitcher, whatever and whoever he is, slowly gets up and looks tragically and hauntingly into the distance. it can't be said what he's thinking about or what his tormented look means, but it is one of the most memorable sequences in the history of the horror genre. the camera pans under him and cuts off at just the right moment.
... there is no way the gratuitous and disgusting shoot em up scenes can detract even slightly from the value of this film. it is hypnotic, dreamy, and absolutely entrancing. not even one star should be taken away from this movie for the violence. this movie is so firmly etched into my memory that every time i hear the doors' "riders on the storm" i think of it immediately. see it.

Studio: Hbo Studios
Director: Robert Harmon
C. Thomas Howell
Rutger Hauer

DVD title: One, Two, Three
Productgroup: DVD
One, Two, Three - movie DVD cover picture
Another unremembered classic

People who know Jimmy Cagney only as a wise cracking ganster or Horst Buchholz as Chico in the MAGNIFICANT SEVEN or Arline Frances from TO TELL THE TRUTH will be absolutly delighted. The lines are like a gusher of water in the desert when you're dying of thurst, you want to drink in every one.
This is the fastest paced movie since A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM. The pace is furrious as is Cagney. It is full of comic timing and genius.
A fine subplot involves the relationship between Cagney and Frances, this movie is full of messages if you look deep at it. Of course that will have to wait till the 4th or 5th viewing since you'll be laughing too hard to notice it.
Perhaps the leftward tilt of Hollywood keeps this movie off the small screen as it pokes fun of all the weaknesses of communism, but whatever your views you can't help but laugh.

Studio: MGM/UA Video
Director: Billy Wilder
James Cagney
Horst Buchholz
Pamela Tiffin

DVD title: Bend It Like Beckham (Widescreen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Bend It Like Beckham (Widescreen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Definetely worth watching

East meets West via football/soccer. Creative storyline, great direction and some really good acting makes this movie worth watching.

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox Home Video
Director: Gurinder Chadha
Parminder Nagra
Keira Knightley
Jonathan Rhys-Meyers

DVD title: The Lord of the Rings - The Two Towers (Widescreen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
The Lord of the Rings - The Two Towers (Widescreen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Lord of the Rings II is fantastic!

The Two Towers is a terrific movie, especially the end at the Battle of Helm's Deep. You will enjoy the movie all the way through! In addition to the film, there are loads of special features that you do not want to miss- especially the featurette. Don't wait another day. Add Lord of the Rings- The Two Towers- to your movie collection. You won't be disappointed.

Studio: New Line Home Entertainment
Director: Peter Jackson
Elijah Wood
Ian McKellen
Viggo Mortensen

DVD title: Traveller
Productgroup: DVD
Traveller - movie DVD cover picture
bill paxton rocks

Traveller takes on the subject of the eponymous groups of ethnic Irish con artists (there are also Scottish and English counterparts)of the Southeastern, Central and Southern United States with considerable (but not complete) authenticity. These groups typically fall short of the 'big cons' described in The Sting and some other con artist films, and instead concentrate on selling defective trailers and doing "homers" or construction and driveway repair scams. What the film does best with its fine cast of perfomers (even Mark Wahlberg, a vastly overrated actor does a good job playing himself in a role where it fits) is give an insight into the social milieu of the Travelers. This which forms a culture much like that of gypsies, which few Americans realize exists among peoples who came here from the British isles. Bill Paxton does his usual fine job in an understated role and my only criticism is that the film is just a bit quick and incomplete in providing a resolution of the issues. When Traveller was released it wasn't pushed very hard or circulated very widely and, as a result, few people were aware of it. This was an injustice, because it is far above the norm of Hollywood productions.

Studio: Hallmark Home Entertainment
Director: Jack N. Green
Bill Paxton
Mark Wahlberg
Julianna Margulies

DVD title: Buffy the Vampire Slayer - The Complete Third Season
Productgroup: DVD
Buffy the Vampire Slayer - The Complete Third Season - movie DVD cover picture
Great Season

This is one of my favorite seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. This season's got it all, from, comedy relief to bloody battles. The characters in this season are awesome including the new character Faith and the reappearance of Spike. This is a great season from a great show. If you haven't seen Buffy before, see it now and you'll get hooked. Buy this one. Also don't forget to buy season 1, 2, 4, and preorder season 5 releasing this December!

Studio: Fox Home Entertainme
Sarah Michelle Gellar
David Boreanaz
Eliza Dushku

DVD title: American Beauty
Productgroup: DVD
American Beauty - movie DVD cover picture

There isn't much that I can say about this movie that hasn't been said by critics or other reviewers. When I say that it is beautiful, I am repetitive. When I say that it is touching, I am trite. But it is beautiful and touching, but it is also more. It is true. It is a true story of American life, of beauty, of family turmoil, of sadness, happiness, love, hate, searching, discovery, and more. It isn't a true story in the traditional sense that, "these things did happen." It is true in the sense that these things DO happen, people DO feel this way, and people DO suffer, and love, and live, and die this way. I can't really recommend this movie any more, but to say that it is real.

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: Sam Mendes
Kevin Spacey
Annette Bening

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