Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Girls Will Be Girls
Productgroup: DVD
Girls Will Be Girls - movie DVD cover picture
Unexpected Laugh Riot

Sometimes, buying or renting an independent film can be a little risky, so I did not expect much from a low-budget movie starring three drag queens. While the popcorn popped, I started to realize that this movie was going to be one to remember.
The interactive menus are introduced with humorous dialogue between four of the stars and there are hidden comedy snippets that can be found (on three menus) with a few creative arrow key combinations.
The movie's plot is not entirely believable, but the drag queens deliver some punchlines with both comedic effervescence and excellent timing that, well, only drag queens can.
I am still not a drag fan, but after watching this movie several times (with comentary and subtitles on for variety), I can say that this movie is definitely one for most video/DVD collections. Go buy it now.

Studio: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Director: Richard Day (III)
Jack Plotnick
Clinton Leupp
Jeffery Roberson

DVD title: Six Feet Under - The Complete First Season
Productgroup: DVD
Six Feet Under - The Complete First Season - movie DVD cover picture
The Best Series of 2001 & 2002

Another hit series for HBO! I recommend buy this DVD set to anyone who loves the show or has not yet seen it. This is one of the best series ever created for television. It is realistic on it's view of life & everything that goes along with it. You feel like you can relate to one, if not all the characters. This show holds no punches, explores every taboo(or not so taboo) topic you could think of, & gives you everything you could want for a fabulous Sunday night. Can't miss HBO Sunday. It's HBO.

Studio: HBO Home Video
Peter Krause

DVD title: Angel Sanctuary
Productgroup: DVD
Angel Sanctuary - movie DVD cover picture
Wonderful Series

Even though there are only three episodes on this DVD, it is quite enjoyable and is a must watch for any anime fan. Unfortunately, it has its downfalls as to how it appeals to the audience-I don't recommend this anime for anyone who is squicked by the mention of a brother-sister incest relationship, homosexuality, the vivid appearance of blood, nor do I say that one would like this if they are strongly religious.
If you are completely open minded and are willing to appreciate the anime for really what it is, it is an awesome experience and I completely recommend it. It isn't so much religious as one would think-there are some ideas behind it that are definitely placed within religion (or rather, the Christian/Catholic views of religion), but it isn't strongly based on any religion at all.
Setsuna, a teenage boy in an all boy's middle school, has two major problems-one, his constant crush upon his sister, and two, the haunting visions of a past he knows he did not participate in. Emotionally and psychologically picked apart, Setsuna is violently thrown into a battle he wishes he were not involved in-a battle between an angel and God, Himself. It is a clash between reality and the paranormal, because he, being human, is thrown into a battle where lives are thrown away-and the real world does not allow it. His world slowly falls apart as he finds that everything he believes in is fake.
The emotions and plot of this anime are terrific, and the artwork is fantastic. I was absolutely fascinated with the anime, and I picked it up off the shelf just to see if it were a keeper. This definitely is.

Director: Kiyoko Sayama

DVD title: Boycott
Productgroup: DVD
Boycott - movie DVD cover picture
Just Fantastic

I was absolutely floored by this movie. Though I am a child of the era and understood all of the goings on, I was not yet ready for the performance that Jeffrey gave in the role of Dr. King. I became familiar with him in the movie "Shaft" and am just beginning to realize his wonderful talent as a character actor. His voice was actually scary it sounded so much like Dr. King's. And the way he and Terrance Howard played off each other seemed so real. I forgot that Abernathy looked nothing like Howard. This is just a movie that I must own.

Studio: Hbo Studios
Director: Clark Johnson

DVD title: Menace II Society
Productgroup: DVD
Menace II Society - movie DVD cover picture
A cut above the average "life in the 'hood" flick

I have to say that the Hughes Brothers made such a strong and powerful debut with their first feature, that it may have been an early peak for them. The same goes for the lead actors involved, Tyrin Turner and Larenz Tate, both of whom come across so well here that they will more or less become typecast.
But that is really not the point of this review... the point is that this is a chilling and horrifyingly realistic portrayal of the downward spiral of one young man named Caine in the ghetto, who has the brains to stay away, but not the courage and conviction. Every situation he becomes involved is a direct result of the people around him - his friend, O-Dog, a crazy, trigger-happy youth who will jump at the chance of popping off shots at anyone and anything, his father (played by Samuel L. Jackson) who is shown, in a disturbing flashback, blowing away a man at a card table in front of his young son, his cousins, people he calls his friends, honing shotguns and automatic weapons in their homes and then blasting off at someone just for the rims on their tires or because they feel they had been threatened or made to look bad.
This film is profane, blood-soaked, and just about every character we're supposed to identify with brandishes a gun at some point, so it can be difficult to stomach. At the same time, that makes it incredibly powerful and unflinching. It is an extremely disheartening thing to watch a young man showing off a surveillance video to his friends of himself blowing a convenience store clerk's head off for no reason, but these are things that some of us should see... those of us who want to look evil in the eye and turn away. Acknowledge it so that you can do something about it.
The Hughes Brothers influences are all in the right place; you can see the way Scorsese impacted their technique in the flashback sequence: the blood-red smoke-filled almost hellish lighting as well as the way the film slowly unnoticeably eases into slow motion, reminiscent of "Mean Streets." But they give it a credibility all their own, and, like "Boyz N the Hood" before it, it leaves its mark, whether you enjoyed it or not. While I don't feel this is a totally flawless film, it is one that will stick in your mind. Everything up until the sound of that pounding heartbeat at the end is imprinted on our soul and culture forever.

Studio: New Line Home Entertainment
Tyrin Turner
Larenz Tate

DVD title: Show Boat
Productgroup: DVD
Show Boat - movie DVD cover picture
If you like musicals, you'll love it!

An excellent cast, a great story, and that MGM treatment makes this one of my all-time favorites. Can't view it without crying, no matter how many times I see it! Get the soundtrack, too.

Studio: Mgm/Ua Studios
Director: George Sidney (II)
Kathryn Grayson
Ava Gardner

DVD title: Where the Wild Things Are and Other Maurice Sendak Stories (Scholastic Video Collection)
Productgroup: DVD
Where the Wild Things Are and Other Maurice Sendak Stories (Scholastic Video Collection) - movie DVD cover picture
A must-own if you have children!

Please disregard the negative review given by a previous owner here. This is a thoroughly-enjoyable DVD for children & adults alike. I've had no technical problems with the disc, and it is a wonderful musical/animation experience for young children.
Maurice Sendak certainly has a unique writing style, and while I've seen people criticize his work for showing a bratty side of children, I can't say I agree. I like the fact that Sendak shows the children in his stories as little people with ranging emotions, not as little puppy dogs waiting for a treat or a pat on the head. The characters in his stories show anger, brattiness, sadness, and disobedience as well as happiness and playfulness, like all real children do. It's a refreshing change from the rampant political-correctness that pervades society today.
On to the contents. The first chapter of the disc is, of course, " Where the Wild Things Are ", an all-time classic children's story, and the favorite of many children that grew up in the '60s, '70s, and '80s. I love Sendak's style of animation, which isn't full and overblown. Max is a tempermental little fellow that most children will be able to identify with. The Wild Things are both fascinating and repellant ( like many older relatives, which Sendak expounds further on in the extras feature ), and we all had a far-away place tucked into the back of our minds as children, where we could escape to when the parents came down on us. It's a wonderful tale, but the highlight is the muscial score & narration by Peter Schickele (who also is given the same duties for 'Night Kitchen'). The music sounds like it was made where the wild things are, and Schickele narrates with infectious enthusiasm, bringing life to the words, sounding as if he's telling his favorite story as well.
Chapter Two features 4 musical vignettes taken from the chidren's film 'Really Rosie'. The music was composed and performed by Carole King, and is fantasic. "Alligators All Around" is the best of the bunch, a joyous romp through the alphabet. 'Pierre', 'One Was Johnny', and 'Chicken Soup with Rice' are also fun little tunes the kiddies will enjoy.
The last chapter is 'In the Night Kitchen', an offbeat little story that strays from the norm. The tales centers around Mickey, who we eventually find out is responsible for delivering the milk which makes the morning's a fun story, and you'll find your kids imitating the sounds of Mickey the Pilot's plane before you know it! Once again, Schickele brings a fitting score and enthusiastic narration.
If you have children, buy this disc. They'll love the animation, the music, and the wonderful narration. You won't be disappointed.

Maurice Sendak

DVD title: Southern Comfort
Productgroup: DVD
Southern Comfort - movie DVD cover picture
Paranoid? There's reason to be...

Southern Comfort is one of those brilliant films that no one has heard of. The director is Walter Hill and this is one of his best films. Unfortunately, it is also one of his least well known. The film stars Peter Coyote, Powers Boothe and Keith Carradine, among others. You will see a lot of familiar faces. A group of National Guardsman are on a routine training mission in the Louisiana bayou (of course, they have just blanks). They are to go to a specified location but when they get there, there is just water. They "borrow" three canoes to continue their mission, leaving a note. As they are paddling down stream, they see the owners of the canoes on the shore. They yell to them to look at the note they left and one of the guardsman fires his machine gun filled with blanks at the crowd as a joke. The men on shore return fire (with live ammunition) and kill the ranking officer. The men get out of the canoes and into the forest as quickly as possible and soon come to realize they are being tracked by the killers. They happen upon a cajun who they just know is one of the ones who fired upon them and take him captive. As they continue through the bayou in search of the highway, they are hunted and picked off one by one. It is soon evident that the remaining ranking officer is not capable of leading them out of the wilderness alive. Eventually, only two are left and they happen upon some "nice" cajuns but trouble soon follows. It is do or die and they are in for the fight of their lives. The story is tense and exciting, the picture adequate, but the sound is substandard. If they had taken the trouble to remaster the sound in Dolby Digital, this DVD would have been simply outstanding. Look this one up, you won't regret it!

Studio: MGM/UA Video
Director: Walter Hill
Keith Carradine
Powers Boothe

DVD title: Three's Company - Season Two
Productgroup: DVD
Three's Company - Season Two - movie DVD cover picture
Such a classic.....

Despite the cover art, this show speaks for itself. It is a true classic...a time capsule, if you will, of the world of the single person in the late '70s. I am really amazed at how well the transfer from tv to DVD this show made. The picture and sound are really clear...and it captures the essence of the show fabulously. I also like the fact that there are many special features beyond the episodes....which makes this set a worthy steal...and a great piece of art/television history. I think the homage to John Ritter is great...and well deserved. I wonder what they'll have in store for Season 3. Guess we'll have to tune in to find out! Until then, go out and get seasons 1 and 2 of this special show. It's well worth the money.

Studio: Anchor Bay Entertain
John Ritter

DVD title: The Andy Griffith Show - The Complete First Season
Productgroup: DVD
The Andy Griffith Show - The Complete First Season - movie DVD cover picture
Flash back to simplier times

A great DVD set. As funny and sweet as when I first saw the series. Now I'm sharing the series with my kids. We watch a show or two now every Saturday night when there are no other family programs to watch. The kids really look forward to it. The media quality is as good a black and white can be. In fact, my children have already figured out that the older, black and white shows are funnier that the later color shows. I highly recommend this set for your DVD library.

Studio: Paramount Home Video
Andy Griffith

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