Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: A Face in the Crowd
Productgroup: DVD
A Face in the Crowd - movie DVD cover picture
Utterly speechless!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I think this may be the best movie, I have EVER seen. Griffith's performance is UNREAL. I am useless as to fully describe how INCREDIBLE I think this movie is. Patricia Neal and Mattheau are two of my favorite actors, Neal, especially. She always had a style and presence that no one else had and in this movie reeks of what only she can do. And it has been said that Griffith swore to never play a similar role again, as some of the his characters personality spilled over into his home life. What a loss for us, but what proof that he was one incredible actor AND one incredible person. I get so tired of hearing that Brando was the greatest actor of his generation. It's just not true and man does Griffith make that clear, although I am sure that wasn't his goal, in this movie. Besides, do people forget the name Bette Davis, or Lawrence Olivier or Claude Reines. Well, after seeing Face in the Crowd, you gotta be clueless to not name the truly greats correctly. Griffith is phenomenal. This movie should be the primer for all actors, writers and film makers. Wow..and again..I say...Wow!

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Elia Kazan
Andy Griffith
Patricia Neal

DVD title: Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (Dimension Collector's Series)
Productgroup: DVD
Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (Dimension Collector's Series) - movie DVD cover picture
Gold for the Fans, Silver for the Rest

I admit I probably wouldn't have been able to make sense of several of the insider references in Kevin Smiths latest Red Bank Triolgy (!) installment if I hadn't seen the other films, but I seriously doubt if I would have laughed less.Not for nothing is Mr. Smith known for his ability to write his characters so richly. Jason Mewes' performance alone is worth the price of admission. I have even been known to refer to my wife as Boo Boo Kitty ... on occasion (and yes, she likes it).Hurry up and bring it out on disc; there's a space on my shelf for it.

Studio: Dimension Home Video
Director: Kevin Smith
Kevin Smith
Jason Mewes

DVD title: Zulu Dawn
Productgroup: DVD
Zulu Dawn - movie DVD cover picture
Shows the intensity of the Zulu Wars in South Africa

This movie should be brought back into print. It follows the documentary presented on one of the television stations very closely. Also it is a pre-quil to Zulu which is another fine movie. It is too bad to ruin a beautiful set of movies like that. Someone should push the owners of this movie to re-release it.

Studio: Tango Entertainment
Director: Douglas Hickox

DVD title: Star Wars, Episode III - Revenge of the Sith (Widescreen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Star Wars, Episode III - Revenge of the Sith (Widescreen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
MJG Star Wars Fan

Episode III Revenge of the Sith (ROTS) was great! Sad and dark, It didn't give that feeling you get when a movie ends and it has a happy ending (But we knew that before hand). ROTS was well done in every way, visual effects, answering all the questions from the first Trilogy. Only a few things I would have done differently or added, was
1) Anakin officially going to the dark side was too sudden; the dialogue could have been a bit extended.
2) 2) I would have liked to see a few lines of dialogue between Vader and the Emperor, as they look on to the construction of the Death Star, and discuss their plans for the future. (After all, there is 19 years between ROTS and A New Hope episode IV)
Visuals were kick butt, Yoda was excellent. Portman & Christensen didn't have hardly any chemistry in either Attack of the Clones or ROTS, but I guess us Star Wars fans will let some wooden acting slide by. Seen it twice and can't wait for the DVD.
My favs are in order:
1) The Empire Strikes Back ( Epic)
2) Revenge of the Sith / Attack of the Clones (Both had best action scenes and visuals)
3) A New Hope (Classic)
4) Return of the Jedi (Not a fan of the Ewoks)
5) The Phantom Menace ( It dragged in the middle, and the Gungans weren't interesting. Especially Jar Jar Binks.)

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox Home Video
Director: George Lucas
Ewan McGregor
Natalie Portman
Hayden Christensen

DVD title: Eurotrip (Full Screen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Eurotrip (Full Screen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
My Name is Scott!!!

Alright I saw this movie the day it came out, with two of my friends. I have never laughed so hard in the movies my entire life, and I'm not just saying that. The humor in Eurotrip is funny, clever and yes, exaggerated but its still a good time. I've seen a lot of reviews who have bashed it because they didn't film on location. Who cares? It bugs me when they do something like that with Cold Mountain, a film about the American civil war filmed in Austria (I think), but Eurotrip is a comedy, I'm not going to be looking for every tiny detail. Let's save that for the historical films. Eurotrip in short is a very funny film to watch especially with friends.

The extras here are great too, but the unrated title throws you off a bit. First off, none of the unrated stuff is included within the film itself, its all about the actual extras and menus and stuff. There is a Nude Scene index just for kicks. But my favorite extra would have to be the Chinese Bootleg, which they threw on for a variety of reasons, the directors talk about it, but the main reason its there is because its just so dam funny to watch, it's absolutely terrible.

My Name is Scott and judging from the title of my review, the only thing that I do not like about this movie is the whole Scotty Doesn't Know song. After this came out nobody, made a big deal about it, but a few months afterwards, everybody started singing it as soon as I walked into the room. One could imagine it can be very annoying, especially when someone does it and they think they are the first to do it. Yes it's quite original. *sarcasm*

Despite the song being annoying, the fad of singing it has seemed to have died out, so I have nothing against this film any more. It's odd because most of the teenage sex films like American Pie just annoyed me, but this one had something to it. The characters, or at least most of them were believable. And it is a bit of reflection of the world's society as how one interprets another. Heck the creepy Italian guy thought there was nothing wrong with what he did, he was just behaving as he always does, but then again his character is highly exaggerated. I'll cut to the point; my review is as long enough as it is. Buy or rent today, and get a crowd of friends together as you watch it, you will not be disappointed in the slightest.

P.S. Watch out for Soccer Hooligans.

Studio: Universal Studios
Scott Mechlowicz
Jacob Pitts
Michelle Trachtenberg
Travis Wester

DVD title: The Witches
Productgroup: DVD
The Witches - movie DVD cover picture
The Witches

1966 Hammer dir: Carl Frankel, also known as "The Devil's Own." The subject of this great Hammer film is Voodoo. Joan Fontaine comes back from Africa only to find a witches' coven in England about to sacrifice a virgin. I have a washed out copy all cut up from TV. So it'll be great to finally buy a clean widescreen version. Anytime I see a Hammer film released I scoop it. I love the feel of "Hammer studio" -- the dark, Gothic mood -- that only Hammer can do. But I have to admit Hammer would be proud of Tim Burton's "Sleepy Hollow." Get the DVD; it has a great Running commentary by Burton. If you like "The Witches" try other Hammer films like "Plague of the Zombies," the "Devil Rides Out, "Twins of Evil," "Vampire Circus" and how about Mario Bava's "Black Sunday". Great film you have to have! I have all the Barbara Steele and Hammer stuff on Video and Laser (I'm missing "Capt Kronos: Vampire Hunter") and am waiting for it to be release on DVD. I love the 60's, and it show's. You can't go wrong with Hammer Films. When Peter Cushing died it was a national day of mourning for my friends and I.

Studio: Anchor Bay Entertainment
Director: Cyril Frankel
Joan Fontaine
Kay Walsh

DVD title: Chicago (Widescreen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Chicago (Widescreen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
"In this town, murder's a form of entertainment..."

and entertainment is plentiful, but there just aren't enough stars for the marvelous, "Chicago".
Just as poet Carl Sandburg immortalized the raw power and audacity of the city in his poem nearly 100 years ago ("Chicago, by Sandburg, 1914), so do the creators of the film version of Chicago...Fosse for his brilliance years ago, and a production team who bring it burning incandescent to the big screen. Chicago takes you on a musical experience that makes 2001's lesser film, "Moulin Rouge", pale by comparison.
Direction is strong by newcomer Rob Marshall, who "wows" us with the film's energy. Sets, camerawork, editing, visualization and pace are superb. Captured for this film, (as in so many others where the music stands completely on its own) are the talents of music director Danny Elfman. A genius at musical transition, Elfman lets the score soar, while mixing new life into its vocals, even with lesser singing talents such as Gere and Zellwegger. The cast was well prepared vocally, and the choreography blinds you. Lights, camera angles, sets and costumes blend into the showcase rather than eclipse it.
Star talent is plentiful -- there is too much for one film! Queen Latifah, John C. Reilly and Catherine Zeta-Jones (as vixen, Velma) play to type strongly and vocalize beautifully. Zeta Jones is a marvelous dancer, and her beauty quite takes your breath away. This is Richard Gere's best performance (by far!) of a long and somewhat "wooden" career. Glinting, slick, manipulative -- he's truly the "puppeteer" of the script. His courtroom tapdance, the "Cell Block Tango" and Latifah's bawdy solo, "When You're Good to Mama" are the highlights of the show, for me.
We even get glimpses of greatness in minor roles with virtual cameos by stage and screen stars Christine Baranski, Colm Feore, Taye Diggs and viperous Lucy Liu. But NOTHING quite prepares you for Zellwegger. There's a palpable charisma about her onscreen; the sort of light from within that Monroe had, and, indeed her solo, "Roxie Hart" is reminiscent of Monroe. We've loved Renee when "he had her at hello", she showed us her flair for black comedy as "Nurse Betty", and her talent for romantic farce as Bridget, but she sets the screen on fire in this film. She's equally at home with anger, awe, naivete, chutzpah and misery in "Chicago". The camera loves her, polishes her, allows her to outvamp Zeta-Jones in the closing act. She may not win an Oscar, because the competition is so fierce, but she will ever be associated with a brilliant film turn as Roxie.
"Chicago" is, without a doubt, the best film of the year, and potentially the best musical ever brought to the big screen. Thanks to this 21st century masterpiece, Chicago is still...
"singing so proud to be alive and coarse and strong and cunning" --Sandburg, 1914

Studio: Miramax Home Entertainment
Director: Rob Marshall
Catherine Zeta-Jones
Renée Zellweger

DVD title: The Lord of the Rings - The Fellowship of the Ring (Widescreen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
The Lord of the Rings - The Fellowship of the Ring (Widescreen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Visually Stunning

The first installment of the Lord of the Rings Cinema Trilogy (the novel was not, in fact a trilogy, it was one novel published in three parts) is a Visual triumph. Honestly I had my doubts about director Peter Jackson and his ability to bring my favorite novel to life. Jackson did much to dispell my worries. The Special Effects were very well done. I felt a chill run down my spine when the Ring Wraiths attacked the Hobbits on Weathertop. I found myself impressed with the depth and detail of Moria and shuddered with the fear inspired by the forces of darkness in the few shots of Mordor. The cinematograhpy was simply fabulous. Hobbiton was exactly as I pictured it, and this would hold true for every location in Middle Earth. Whether we were looking at the Misty Mountains or the Elven haven of Rivendell, I was quite impressed with the detail and the amount of work which had obviously gone into making this film. As for the plot and the story itself, this is where it gets tricky. Having been a Tolkien fan for 19 years, I was bound to be disappointed. Missing characters (Bilbo's relatives the Sackville Bagginses and Tom Bombadil to name a few), cut out scenes (the Journey through the Old Forrest) and re-arranged scenes (the scene at the Prancing Pony was edited heavily and to the detriment of the story). The editing of the sequences between the time of Bilbo's party and the discovery of the Ring for what it is leads one who hasn't read the book to think very little time has gone by. However, those of us who have read the novel realize this is far from the truth. In fact almost 20 years go by! Having said this, I must rate this film 5 stars. Honestly, Jackson did a FANTASTIC job overall. My quibbles with the film are minor and overcome by the films' strong points. Furthermore, unless Jackson opted for a film which was at least 1 hour LONGER than the 3 hour epic we have now there is NO way to get this film 100% right. Purchase this DVD and enjoy the genius of J.R.R. Tolkien as interpreted by the genius of Peter Jackson!

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Peter Jackson
Ian McKellen

DVD title: Buddy Rich:Jazz Legend 1917-1987
Productgroup: DVD
Buddy Rich:Jazz Legend 1917-1987 - movie DVD cover picture
Buddy Rich on DVD!!!

I currently own the 2 part VHS version of BUDDY RICH: JAZZ LEGEND, and I'm thrilled that it's finally out on DVD! Although I don't own it yet, it will definitely be a future addition to my DVD collection. This is a wonderful tribute to one of my all time favorite drummers--Buddy Rich!

Studio: Warner Bros Publishi
Buddy Rich

DVD title: House by the Cemetery
Productgroup: DVD
House by the Cemetery - movie DVD cover picture
Classic (with a reservation for newbies)

Another one of the vaguely Lovecraftian italian horrors from Lucio Fulci (see also Gates of Hell and The Beyond). The format has evolved from his previous outings of hordes of zombies to a spookier, phsychic-ghost story instead. In fact, it's kind of a cheap-skate version of The Shining.
To really appreciate this film (or any of Fulci's horror films) you have to be prepared to forgive a lot of cinematic badness. Dubbing, dialogue, plot coherence, the occasional dodgy special effect (not so bad in this film - no one can forgive the toy spiders in The Beyond) ... as a matter of fact, you may wonder what's so great about this film at all. Well, I'll tell you ... Fulci is a master cinematographic "painter". Scenes look gorgeous, and they really suit the feel of this gothic film. Also, Fulci has a habit of pulling something really shocking out of the hat at a moment's notice (you'll know it when you see it - let's just say in this film it involved a child's head, a door and an axe). But what really turns on the legion of Fulci fans out there is the gore. Set piece, outrageous gore scenes pop up ever fifteen to twenty minutes as minor characters walk on only to get bumped off in various splattery ways. House isn't as gory as his earlier zombie films but it's still pretty hard. (BTW - although the case says Rated: R, this is the uncut version of the film.)
Oh yeah, and Catriona MacColl is in it.
You either "get" Fulci films or you don't. If you're prepared to willfully ignore the technically bad aspects of the film, you'll be rewarded with a rich, bloody, gothic horror classic. Films like this will never be made again.

Studio: Diamond Entertainment
Director: Lucio Fulci

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