Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: The World At War - Complete Set
Productgroup: DVD
The World At War - Complete Set - movie DVD cover picture
Very well done

They did a really good job with this. Worth buying and

Studio: HBO Home Video
World at War
Laurence Olivier

DVD title: Mulholland Drive
Productgroup: DVD
Mulholland Drive - movie DVD cover picture
Astounding vortex -

I've no desire to repeat what others have written here in the 5 star category - all I can say is the power of the film is in the way it alters consciousness at the threshold of self-awareness... I saw the film two nights ago and now my falling asleep, my half-awake stumblings to the bathroom at 3 am, waking in the gray...all invaded by Lynch's tragedy of self-destruction -- took my mind through an astonished vortex of shattered dreams and self-corruption. Read the other highly rated 5-star reviews for the details I won't bother to repeat. Naomi Watts completely blew me away. Watch it and it weep.

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: David Lynch
Laura Harring
Justin Theroux

DVD title: Ranma 1/2 - The Movie 1, Big Trouble in Nekonron China
Productgroup: DVD
Ranma 1/2 - The Movie 1, Big Trouble in Nekonron China - movie DVD cover picture
A good movie, but a bare-bones DVD

This is the first theatrical release in the Ranma 1/2 series, featuring a high school boy who turns into a busty girl when doused with cold water, and back in hot water.
First, the movie. While not as good as the second one, it's still funny and gives one of the best minor characters, the lecherous martial-arts master Happosai, a chance to truly shine. Happosai's scheming leads to Akane (Ranma's reluctant fiancee) being kidnapped by a prince who wants to marry her, and the entire gang (plus Lychee, the bride originally intended for the prince, and her pet elephant Jasmine) have to set out for Nekonron, China to stop the wedding.
The DVD has a few extras, most notably a character gallery - they're strictly bare-bones, though, nothing particularly good or worthy of seeing twice (although this seems to be the case more often than not with anime). The video quality is as good as the animation can look on DVD (much better than the TV series), and the language tracks in English and Japanese are good. It helps that Viz Video is one of the few competent anime dubbers around.
If you're a Ranma fan, you should buy this - just don't expect worthwhile extras.

Studio: Pioneer Video
Director: Shuji Iuchi

DVD title: Herbert Von Karajan - His Legacy for Home Video - Beethoven Symphony No. 9
Productgroup: DVD
Herbert Von Karajan - His Legacy for Home Video - Beethoven Symphony No. 9 - movie DVD cover picture
A Unique and Moving Beethoven 9th

I can understand the reservations expressed by some of the other reviewers regarding this video; it also left me cold and unimpressed at first. Upon repeated viewing, however, I came to appreciate the unique visual style and the truly magnificent music-making of this, Karajan's final testament of Beethoven's penultimate masterpiece.
This is not a typical filmed concert. This is a prototypical late Karajan production where soloists and instrumentalists are strategically back-lit and isolated through tight camera shots supplementing very few wide shots of the orchestra itself (there is, in fact, no shot of the orchestra and chorus together in the entire video). The audience too has been excluded except for some shots behind the maestro's shoulders; those expecting wild applause and curtain calls will be disappointed. What you end up with is a dark, brooding and somewhat surrealistic visual landscape where the music, not the event, takes center stage.
And what music! Though polished and impeccable as always, the playing of the Berlin Philharmonic shows a sense of urgency (the tempi are farly brisk) that gives the performance an irresistable forward impetus. Add to this four fine soloists and a powerful chorus, and you have a stirring performance with a real sense of occasion.
Finally, the full-bodied recording has a nicely burnished quality and very wide dynamic range to suitably excite the ears. The quality of the selectable PCM and AC3 4-channel soundtracks are very close, so those without a Dolby Digital receiver won't miss too much.
To sum up, this is a an stirring performance presented in a unique visual style that may not appeal to all (Karajan-haters need not apply), but those with open minds and a taste for musical perfection should experience this video.

Studio: Sony Classics
Rene Kollo
Jose Van Dam
Anna Tomowa-Sintow
Herbert Von Karajan
Agnes Baltsa

DVD title: The Basket
Productgroup: DVD
The Basket - movie DVD cover picture
This is the best family movie made in 40 years!

I originally saw this film on a flight to Germany last April. I guess you can't tell a book by it's cover, so when I saw the title "The Basket", I thought it couldn't be all that good. I put my book down, put on the head phones and was immediately drawn into the story and the characters. By the end, I was thoroughly impressed and noted that this film had to be one of the best I'd seen in years. It's such a great story, the music was great, and the scenery was fantastic. Since last April, I've been patiently waiting for the CD to come out, now that I have it, I've watched it a dozen times. I'll be watching for more films by Rich Cowan.

Studio: Mgm/Ua Studios
Director: Rich Cowan

DVD title: Pearl Harbor
Productgroup: DVD
Pearl Harbor - movie DVD cover picture
I love you Pearl Harbor.

I thought this movie is very good and sad.I don't care what critic's say,Pearl Harbor is great.

Studio: Walt Disney Home Video
Director: Michael Bay
Ben Affleck
Kate Beckinsale

DVD title: Doctor Who - City of Death (Episode 105)
Productgroup: DVD
Doctor Who - City of Death (Episode 105) - movie DVD cover picture
Most accessible to new Whovians

CITY OF DEATH remains one of the few Doctor Who episodes to not be novelized, despite the fact that it is probably one of the most imaginative, funny and even most accessible to new viewers of the series. It is cheifly written by Douglas Adams, known for his multi-media work THE HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY. (In fact, the plot for Adams' third HITCHHIKER book was orginally proposed as DOCTOR WHO AND THE KRIKKETMEN, which was turned down for being too silly.) Genre fans may also recognize character actor Julian Glover from INDIANA JONES AND THE LAST CRUSADE or very briefly in THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK. Monty Python's John Cleese and Eleanor Bron also have cameos. Incidentally, CITY OF DEATH is probably the strongest example of the on-screen chemistry between Tom Baker and Lalla Ward. (They were married a little over a year later.) All in all, this is probably the best post-KEY TO TIME Tom Baker story.

Studio: Warner Home Video
Tom Baker

DVD title: Schoolhouse Rock! (Special 30th Anniversary Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Schoolhouse Rock! (Special 30th Anniversary Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
The best in "educational" learning.

These cartoon shorts from the eighties are abosolutely essential today. With budget shortfalls claiming each school system's level of teaching each day, these short cartoon's touch on the basis of what we want our kids to learn.And they do so in an entertaining manner that still works in this technological era.If you watch these shorts, I'm sure you'll agree.Actually I challenge you not too!!

Studio: Walt Disney Home Video
Director: Tom Warburton

DVD title: Das Boot - The Original Uncut Version
Productgroup: DVD
Das Boot - The Original Uncut Version - movie DVD cover picture
4 and a half stars, but the half means something.

This outstanding film has three current existing versions:

1. The United States Theatrical Version (2 hrs. 25 mins)
2. The European Theatrical Version (Also known as the re-released Director's Cut) (3 hrs. 31 mins)
3. The Original Uncut German Television Version (4 hrs. 53 mins)

I have seen and own all 3 versions of Das Boot, I have the United States version on two tapes, one in German with English subtitles and the other dubbed in English. I also have the Director's Cut and the Orginial Uncut Version on DVD.

The United States Theatrical Version is the worst version to watch, yet still very good and still worth watching. The Director's Cut is more worth watching than the USA Theatrical Version, but not as worth it than the Uncut Version. The Uncut Version is definitely the best version to watch, but it's oppressive length will piss off some viewers. This version is more than twice as long as the USA Version (!) So that means, more than half of the existing footage of Das Boot was removed for the USA Version! So, Das Boot gets 3 1/2 stars for the theatrical version, 4 for the Director's Cut and 4 1/2 for the Uncut Version.

Studio: Columbia Tristar Hom
Director: Wolfgang Petersen
Jürgen Prochnow

DVD title: Chicken Run
Productgroup: DVD
Chicken Run - movie DVD cover picture
Good Family Fun

Let me preface this review by saying that I am a 26 year old man who normally doesn't watch children's films. However, Chicken Run really is a lot of fun. The characters are cute and are more developed than most non-animated (or Claymation) actors. Kids will like the physical humor and appreciate their "friends" the two mice. The animation or claymation(whatever) is spectacular and the story is never boring. The DVD has a lot of good extra's like directors commentary and a documentary on the making of Chicken Run. I'd recommend this film for anyone....very well done.

Studio: Universal Studios
Mel Gibson
Julia Sawalha

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