Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: The Crow
Productgroup: DVD
The Crow - movie DVD cover picture
Very underrated and not noticed

When I wrote this review, the average customer review was five out of five stars. There were 158 out of 185 who rated this film 5 out of 5 stars. That should tell you something. If it doesn't tell you something and you remain ignorant of the obvious, well then, that is what I am for. I am the reviewer. You come to to find out what others think. I come from the masses. I am the majority. I am the film buff. I am telling you that this is a good movie. I am telling you that this is a great action movie. I am recommending that you purchase it if you expect to obtain any kind of a collection. This story is a forced fall from grace. The fall in this story is against the will of the protagonist. The essence of this film is revenge because that fall was ill conceived. And almost all films based on revenge are both drama and action oriented. So you know it will have action, you know it will have drama, and there is a small militia ready to backup the credibility for this particular film. That doesn't leave much else to refute. Just buy it.

Studio: Dimension Home Video
Director: Alex Proyas
Brandon Lee
Michael Wincott

DVD title: The Fast and the Furious (Widescreen Tricked Out Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
The Fast and the Furious (Widescreen Tricked Out Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Look At Them Go!

I was disappointed in this movie. I've recently watched it and found it to be a 2 hour movie with a 1 hour( thats TV, not movie time) plot, lots of loud music, plenty of fast cars and some very interesting driving (I wonder how much of that was faked?)but not much else. I don't consider it to be a good value, it might not even be worthwhile for fans of fast cars and racing.

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: Rob Cohen
Paul Walker
Vin Diesel

DVD title: Cowboys & Angels
Productgroup: DVD
Cowboys & Angels - movie DVD cover picture
A Refreshing, Warmly Humorous and Tender Story from Ireland

Writer and Director David Gleeson has molded a film about contemporary youth and the life problems and decisions they make and in doing so has created a story unblemished by the conventional tropes - an unusual and commendable feat.

Small town lad Shane (Michael Legge) narrates this adventure as he enters the 'big city' civil service employment in Limerick to support his newly widowed mother and family. An artist at heart and of talent, Shane stumbles along trying to find a flat he can afford, eventually settling into a shared mid-city flat with a young gay art student Vincent (Allen Leech). The two seem polar opposites at first: Shane is conservative in dress and job and social demeanor while Vincent is garish, ebullient, and progressive in this artsy way of life.

Slowly, through a wondrous honesty about who they are, the two become close and Vincent does a makeover of Shane to give him a chance to be more engaged in the world. By a curious accident, Shane discovers a stash of drugs in the lobby of their flat, only to discover that it belongs to two men who live there - Keith (David Manning) and Budgie (Colm Coogan). Serendipitously, Shane is talked into 'transporting' drugs from Dublin to Limerick for 1000 Euros, money Shane desperately needs if he is to maintain his newly designed lifestyle.

Shane's adventure in Dublin is complicated by dire happenings but he manages to return to Limerick and his reward. Shane tries some of the drugs with bad consequences and is eventually arrested along with Vincent for possession of a tiny amount of drugs in their flat. One of Vincent's ex tricks happens to work in the Police Department and the two are freed.

Subplots include a tender friendship between Shane and a retiring civil servant Jerry (Frank Kelly) whose end to his boring career and life alters Shane's outlook considerably. In the end Shane and Vincent (along with Gemma - Amy Shiels - a fellow art student of Vincent's who shares many qualities with both lads) are warmly bonded and the results of their friendship are the unexpected but lovely end to this film.

All of the actors are first rate and the direction is fast paced and unbelievably unbiased and tender. This is a fine film for audiences young of age and of heart and is one of the better-balanced films about the spectrum of sexuality that has been made. Wonderful film! Grady Harp, February 2005

Studio: TLA Releasing
Michael Legge

DVD title: John Waters Collection #3: Pink Flamingos/ Female Trouble
Productgroup: DVD
John Waters Collection #3: Pink Flamingos/ Female Trouble - movie DVD cover picture
"Good, Bad Taste" at it's BEST.

If you want the Best in Trash films, look no further. Pink Flamingo's is as "good" as it gets. Pink Flamingo's is the type of film that is more fun to watch with an audience not familiar with the film or any of John Waters earlier works. The birthday party scene with the singing A-hole (to the tune of Paw-Paw-Oo-Mow-Mow) and the last minute of the movie (the dog doo-doo snack) are worth the price of the DVD. If you want to be shocked or you want to shock those hard to shock friends, then this is the film for you. Read the other reviews, they tell it all like it is. Thanks John Waters.

Studio: New Line Home Entertainment
Director: John Waters
David Lochary
Mary Vivian Pearce

DVD title: Steve Smith-Drumset Technique/History of the U.S. Beat DVD
Productgroup: DVD
Steve Smith-Drumset Technique/History of the U.S. Beat DVD - movie DVD cover picture
Top Notch Instruction.

One of the best instructional DVD's I have seen. Steve is a monster drummer and a great teacher. The information on his left hand technique is worth the price of the DVD by itself.

Studio: Hudson Music
The Historical Band
Steve Smith
Paul Siegel
Rob Wallis
Vital Information

DVD title: Screaming Headless Torsos - Live!!! In New York & Paris
Productgroup: DVD
Screaming Headless Torsos - Live!!! In New York & Paris - movie DVD cover picture
Two Totally Burning Full Concerts!

The Screaming Headless Torsos, fronted by guitar whiz David "Fuze" Fiuczynski and be-bop/rock vocalist Dean Bowman, have been ripping into jazz, soul and funk for many years now, and their "Live!!" CD has long been one of my all time faves. The level of creativity and sheer unmatched musicianship on that recording and their others never fails to blow my mind. Now, after a long wait, the guys have released a live DVD from those "Live!!" recording concerts in 1996 and another more recent Paris concert in 2005.

What can I say but that these guys absolutely kill. For any music junkie, vocalist, guitar or bass player, drummer or percussionist, this is like a master class in how it ought to be done. Frontman Dean Bowman is absolutely gripping, moving from soulful to screaming (and it sounds GOOD when he screams!), from incredible scatting to moving ballads with total ease and commitment. Fuze's solos are everything you would expect from a guy hailed as a genius, and with his new focus on fretless guitar, he incorporates some otherworldy sounds that are totally unexpected. There are so few truly original players out there - Fuze is at the top of my list.

The rhythm section of Gene Lake, drums, Daniel Sadownick, percussion and Fima Ephron on bass are the most rocking, funking, jazzing, Latin-influenced (due mostly to Daniel Sadownick's killin' congas) combo out there.

The sound on both discs is excellent - they obviously paid a lot of attention to making it sound as good as possible. My only gripe is at almost three hours, it still wasn't long enough!! A GREAT GREAT dvd.

Studio: City Hall Records

DVD title: The Silence of the Lambs - Criterion Collection
Productgroup: DVD
The Silence of the Lambs - Criterion Collection - movie DVD cover picture
Wonderful Movie!

To the viewer from D.C, I'd like to say that 80% of the people I know have never heard of this movie, and the ones that have did not like it too much. But now I find that many people do like it, especially myself. But there are those who say that it is not worthy of 5 stars, and I disagree. This is the most awesome movie of all time, watch it and you'll see. The Silence of the Lambs is one of Anthony Hopkins' best performaces, though all of them are wonderful.

Studio: Home Vision Entertainment
Director: Jonathan Demme
Jodie Foster
Anthony Hopkins

DVD title: Friday the 13th Part VIII - Jason Takes Manhattan
Productgroup: DVD
Friday the 13th Part VIII - Jason Takes Manhattan - movie DVD cover picture
Best of the Series!

Personally, I thought that Friday the 13th Part VIII - Jason Takes Manhattan was the best of the entire series. I couldn't believe that so many people thought that it was terrible, I heard it was the least liked of all of them, but I thought otherwise.
First of all, it stars Kane Hodder, the best Jason ever, and has a good plot unlike the others. A pleasant school trip to Manhattan aboard a cruise ship changes into terror when Jason comes aboard. Members of the ship safely get on a lifeboat and land in Manhattan, not knowing Jason conveniently followed them there.
In this sequel, Jason not only does his usual slaughtering but also toys with them a bit and uses new techniques in his killings. This is the first where I thought that Jason looked like he was really trying hard and giving a 110 percent attempt to get the victims. Plus what isn't cooler than seeing Jason just walking the streets of Manhattan. I definitely recommend this film to everybody.

Studio: Paramount Home Video
Director: Rob Hedden
Kane Hodder
Jensen Daggett

DVD title: Sideways (Full Screen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Sideways (Full Screen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
A Truely Good Film

Living in a society where the public demands popcorn films with no character depth and paper-thin storylines does not allow for many good films to be produced. So it is remarkable that "Sideways" even came about. It isn't Hollywood-friendly. The lead is a middle aged, overweight, short balding man. But what makes "Sideways" so brilliant is that it does not play to the audience. This feels like a film that was made for someone instead of just a mass of people to make money and it is in that compassion that a great film was made.

The writing is top notch. Laced with humor, depression, akwardness, hopelessness AND hope the characters are driven to each other. All of them are at crossroads in their life and are looking for some sort of stability. The wine is used as a metaphor for the characters, Miles in particular, and his explaination of the pinot is an obvious juxedposition.

These characters are wonderfully written and the actors know this. Paul Giamatti turns in an Oscar-calibre performance, even if he was snubbed by the Academy. Virginia Madsen's monologue about wine is extremely touching and and some of the best writing seen in a while and by far the best delivered moment in the film. Thomas Hayden Church and Sandra Oh together drive the akwardness of Miles and Maya's seemingly adolescent courting.

This is a prime example of having all the right elements together at the right time. The chemistry between the direction, writing, cinematography and acting were completely in tune with each other and the result was something magical.

Studio: Fox Home Entertainme
Director: Alexander Payne
Paul Giamatti
Thomas Haden Church
Virginia Madsen
Sandra Oh

DVD title: The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies
Productgroup: DVD
The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies - movie DVD cover picture
Great Treatment for Steckler's Best Flick!

Not only is it great to see "Creatures" in such glorious color, but this DVD is packed with really GOOD extras. This is truly one of the more bizarre of all low-budget horror/exploitation flicks of the 60s - and that's saying a lot. It also happens to be among the most fun to watch. Somehow, it's funny, cheesy, incomprehensible and kind of sweet all at the same time. And dig the ladies in those musical numbers!

As for the commentaries by director/star Ray Dennis Steckler and drive-in critic Joe Bob Briggs, I have to say I like 'em both. I do have to disagree with the reviewer who didn't like the Joe Bob commentary. Joe Bob has an amazing depth of knowledge when it comes to movies, and his humor and observations are right on the money. Sure, he points out the inadequacies of "Creatures," but isn't that part of the fun? After all, if you're going to examine a movie like this, how can you NOT mention cheap sets, out-of-step dancers and actors with sky-high pompadours? Joe Bob clearly loves this movie, and his enthusiasm for this sort of cinema is infectious.

If you're even considering buying this DVD, you're probably already familiar with the movie. Rest assured that the extras are a worthy addition...and are just as 'incredibly strange' as you'd hope.

Studio: Media Blasters, Inc
Carolyn Brandt

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