Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Columbo - The Complete Second Season
Productgroup: DVD
Columbo - The Complete Second Season - movie DVD cover picture
Uh, Just One More Thing...

Here's a run-down of the episodes on "Columbo -- the Complete Second Season:"

1.) "Etude in Black" (96 min.) (4/5 Stars) John Cassavetes (from "The Dirty Dozen") stars as a conductor who murders his mistress because she threatens to tell his wife. This is a quite good segment; Cassavetes makes a formidable villain.

2.) "The Greenhouse Jungle" (74 min.) (2.5/5 Stars) Ray Milland plays Jarvis Goodland, a crotchety old man who schemes to get money from his nephew's trust fund with murder in mind. I was surprised by how boring this segment is, but it's definitely worth watching to catch two of Star Trek's best guest-beauties: Sandra Smith and Arlene Martel. Remember Sandra from Trek's very last episode "Turnabout Intruder" wherein she played the psycho chick? Sandra is incredibly ravishing in this columbo episode (unlike in the Trek outing). And, of course, Arlene played the Vulcan beauty T'Pring in the popular segment "Amok time." Macho-man William Smith is also on hand.

3.) "The Most Crucial Game" (74 min.) (5/5 Stars) Robert Culp stars as a football manager who murders the team's rich-punk owner disguised as an ice cream man, of all things. This is a very engrossing episode. James Gregory, Valerie Harper (Rhoda) and Susan Howard co-star. Susan, incidentally, was the only woman to play a Klingon on the original Star Trek; catch her in "Day of the Dove" as Mara.

4.) "Dagger of the Mind" (96 min.) (2/5 Stars) Richard Basehart and Honor Blackman star as annoying theater actors who accidently kill the businessman who is financing their careers. I obviously didn't enjoy this one much; Basehart and Blackman really grate on the nerves as they play their roles so over-the-top they seem cartoony. Hopefully I'll enjoy this segment more in repeat viewings when I pay closer attention.

5.) "Requiem for a Falling Star" (74 min.) (3/5 Stars) Anne Baxter plays a movie star who attempts to murder her adulterous husband, but terribly botches the job. Average.

6.) "A Stitch in Crime" (74 min.) (5/5 Stars) Leonard Nimoy stars as a doctor who comes up with a brilliant scheme to murder his older partner who is preventing him from publishing their questionable discoveries. The problem with his plan is that a nurse (Anne Francis) discovers his scheme and so murders her first. This is one of the best, most captivating Columbo segments. Everyone knows Nimoy as "Spock" from Star Trek, and Francis was the cute little tart on the classic "Forbidden Planet." Will Geer, Grandpa Walton, is also on hand.

7.) "The Most Dangerous Match" (74 min.) (4/5 Stars) A deaf chessmaster, played by Laurence Harvey, murders his elderly opponent before a big match because he realizes he can't beat him. Very good episode.

8.) "Double Shock" (74 min.) (4.5/5 Stars) Martin Landau has a double role as twins who hate eachother. Their rich uncle is murdered and Columbo has to determine which one is guilty since they both stand to inherit his fortune. This is a great episode highlighted by super sexy Julie Newmar, "Catwoman" on TV's campy Batman series.

SPECIAL NOTE: There are NO extras on this compilation except trailers which appear at the start of each segment; there's not even a booklet. I'm not upset 'cause I personally only care about the episodes.


Studio: Universal Studios Ho
Peter Falk

DVD title: Eastside (Special Edition) / Brooklyn Babylon
Productgroup: DVD
Eastside (Special Edition) / Brooklyn Babylon - movie DVD cover picture


Studio: Artisan Entertainment
Director: Marc Levin

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
Movie Magic

One of the more frustrating things about reading the reviews about either of the first two Jackson-directed Lord Of The Rings movies is that a substantial portion of the population has tremendous difficulty understanding what an incredibly difficult job it has been to adapt such rich and complex literary masterpieces to the screen. The Lord of the Rings books have enough content to keep the imagination running for days and months, yet they also have the unique ability to teach us important lessons about the human condition. One reviewer wrote "Jackson should just make the movies as Tolkien wrote them." What said reviewer doesn't appear to realize is that the magic in Tolkien's work lies in its ability to interplay with the individual reader's imagination. In order to adapt in such a way, Jackson would have to have every perspective film viewer read the books, then give input into the adaptation. Even then, all viewers would have to have had the exact same experience while reading. Impossible. The other problem is that to cover all of the content in the books, each of the films would have to be many hours longer than they are. Just like every other director, Jackson had a budget and time constraints. Since it would be impossible to do a completely loyal adaptation we have to look at and judge the movies within their own genre. Look at what has been accomplished. A coherent story (a miracle in and of itself) mixed with great acting, grandiose cinematography, and seamlessly blended special effects produce a truly amazing cinematic experience. We experience everything from comedy to drama to fantasy to action in one experience. While other directors seem to lose their films' humanity when integrating mind-blowing special effects (a certain G. Lucas comes to mind), Jackson does everything possible to create a real world with real characters. Please stop crying for a "pure" adaptation when you know such a thing isn't possible. Enjoy the movie for what it is: one of the great cinematic experiences of our generation.

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

DVD title: Can't Hardly Wait
Productgroup: DVD
Can't Hardly Wait - movie DVD cover picture
Excellent movie with a great cast!

This movie was excellent and very funny! I laughed a lot in it! I didn't expect the movie to be this good, but when I watched it I thought it was great! By far the funniest I have seen.

Studio: Columbia/Tristar Studios
Jennifer Love Hewitt

DVD title: The Matrix Revolutions (Full Screen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
The Matrix Revolutions (Full Screen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture

The movie was absolutly fantastic. I loved it. The animation, acting, music, plot, etc. was unbelivably well crafted! I've seen the other two and loved then as well, but this one even gave me chills! I think this movie has something for everone; it has romance, action, adventure, tradgedy, humor, fantasy, etc. I highly recomend this movie!

Studio: Warner Home Video
Laurence Fishburne

DVD title: Girl, Interrupted
Productgroup: DVD
Girl, Interrupted - movie DVD cover picture
Insightful! ...Great for watching when you're down

Susanna Kaysen's story of her two year stay at a mental hospital in the 1960's is a real eye-opener. It's almost uncanny of how much sense the people have - that they are more real than any of the people you know. The performances in this movie are just captivating. I've always admired Winona Ryder for her compassion in her acting. Her work on Susanna was just wonderful - doesn't she deserve an Academy Award as well? ...And Angelina Jolie, whom I usually avoid, was terrific. I can't imagine anyone else in her place in this movie.
I really enjoyed this film and the insight it both offers and provokes. It's going to be something I'm going to watch again and again ...especially when I'm depressed or confused. This is like a sweet, mysterious psychology lesson. (That sounded weird, but really, don't pass this up!)

Studio: Columbia Tri-Star
Director: James Mangold
Winona Ryder
Angelina Jolie

DVD title: Open Range
Productgroup: DVD
Open Range - movie DVD cover picture
Open Range

The guy who said that there are no gunshots in this film until the closing scenes is incorrect. A gunshot is fired in a bar, far before the end of the movie. The cinematography is amazing, and I really like the title. Kevin Costner is an underrated director just as much as he is an underrated actor.

Studio: Buena Vista Home Vid
Director: Kevin Costner
Kevin Costner
Robert Duvall
Diego Luna
Abraham Benrubi

DVD title: Diana Ross in Concert
Productgroup: DVD
Diana Ross in Concert - movie DVD cover picture
diana at her best

ive been waiting for this dvd for two weeks. it arived this morning i watched it straight away wonderful diana at her best. this is the concert for her fans it has everything from the supremes to lady sings the blues and beyond her voice is perfect her look is perfect worth the money

Studio: Super D / Phantom So
Director: Marty Callner

DVD title: Kill Bill, Volume 2
Productgroup: DVD
Kill Bill, Volume 2 - movie DVD cover picture
Oh my god!! Even better than the first!!

I thought nothing would have been as good as Volume 1. I should have know better with Quentin Tarantino! This film is even better than the first! In this film, we see Bill (David Caradine) for the first time and realize the reasons for the carnage that "The Bride" (Uma Thurman) has endured. We also see the final two individuals who took part in the onslaught (Daryl Hannah, Michael Madsen). All of the characters are explained very deeply and we know their motives. Throw in the incredible editing and visual imagery and you have one great film that will be remembered for a long time.

Studio: Miramax Home Entertainment
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Uma Thurman
David Carradine
Michael Madsen
Daryl Hannah

DVD title: A Bridge Too Far
Productgroup: DVD
A Bridge Too Far - movie DVD cover picture
Too Much for a Simple Reviewer

You can watch this movie a dozen times, you can read the book it was based on by Cornelius Ryan, and you will never catch everything. The men, the plan, the failures, and the causes create more details than a simple man from rural Minnesota can do it justice. I will try as best I can however to tell you why this is one of the must see movies for everyone.
Firstly, this movie is based on the book of the same name by Cornelius Ryan about the events of and leading up to Operation Market Garden in WWII. We see from the hindsight of history the greatest military blunder for the allies in WWII in the European theatre. In the end, the plan effectively murdered 80% of the British 1st division. It took away much needed supplies away from American General George Patton whose tanks were stopped from their momentum across Europe, and it killed a lot of elite paratroopers needlessly.
What makes this movie so good is that the directors did a fabulous job of bringing together all the elements of the battle into sequences that flow together well, and the directors were able to balance the hefty personalities that acted in this film. The filmmakers also did their best to find working equipment for the film, and also built fiberglass models that are unnoticeable in the viewing of the movie.
The acting is superb, and I can't do it justice, with people like Sean Connery, Gene Hackman, and Ryan O'Neil, Robert Redford, all of who appear without a sense of Prima Donna-ness, it's remarkable.
I can't say enough about the movie; it's wonderfully entertaining, as well as remarkably annoying as we see the stupidity of the politics of war. This is a movie that belongs in everyone's library.

Studio: Mgm/Ua Studios
Director: Richard Attenborough
Michael Caine
Sean Connery
Gene Hackman
Ryan O'Neal
Laurence Olivier

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