Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Tori Amos - Welcome to Sunny Florida (DVD with Bonus CD in Amray Case)
Productgroup: DVD
Tori Amos - Welcome to Sunny Florida (DVD with Bonus CD in Amray Case) - movie DVD cover picture

Ok, the DVD was incredible, obviously! (Tori fans understand the "obviously.") BUT, WHY O WHY did they edit out the expletives in Professional Widow, probably the BEST song of the show?! They butchered it, and it was a disgrace!! EPIC really dropped the ball on that call! I can't imagine Tori would have approved of that. What was INCREDIBLY bizarre was that they left in some interview footage with her and matt chamberlain (drummer) cursing! What the *&@# is that all about!? It's ok to curse when you're talking but not when your'e singing?!?! I found that to be an absolute affront to artistry! Shame on you EPIC!
With that being said, Tori gave an absolutely rivoting performance in sunny/rainy Florida!!! I've seen about a dozen of her shows and honestly can be (somewhat) objective about her performing. She's always on, but, like any artist, sometimes she's just more on (never a moron!) She was MOST ON for this show!! i would have killed to have attended this one! Highlights for me were definitely Crucify, which surprised me, because it's not one of my favorites usually. An incredible climactic ending to that song! Take To The Sky was tremendous especially when she added a bridge including Mohammed My Friend! It was brilliant! But the censored Professional Widow was still probably my favorite, although as any Tori fan knows, with rewatching and relistening, Tori favorites can change with each viewing!
The Hidden Treasures CD was also absolutely beautiful! Apollo's Frock was the highlight for me, but she did some awesome keyboard (Wurlie?) soloing on Bug-A-Martini! Ruby Through The Looking Glass was also a lovely ballad and I loved hearing Tori sing in her lower range for the bridge of that song!
So, all in all, despite the brazen act of censorship committed by EPIC, this is a 5 star DVD! Yay, Tori!! Boo, EPIC!

Studio: Sony Music
Tori Amos

DVD title: The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air - The Complete First Season
Productgroup: DVD
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air - The Complete First Season - movie DVD cover picture

This is one of the numerous shows I have anxiously been waiting to be released on DVD. I love this show, especially being a fellow Philadelphian like Will Smith. I watch the re-runs every day, and have even found myself saying lines at the same time as they're being said on the show. I'm gonna pre-order it, and once it arrives in the mail, I'm gonna plop down in front of the TV and watch the entire season from beginning to end.

Studio: Warner Home Video
Will Smith

DVD title: The Rocketeer
Productgroup: DVD
The Rocketeer - movie DVD cover picture
Fun and Exciting!

This is an exceptionally well-made movie. The sets, costumes, and music give it a sense of authenticity. The casting is excellent. There's no question about who's the good guy and who's the bad guy - and the bad guy is very, very bad!
Bill Campbell plays Cliff Secord, an amateur aviator who is up to his ears in debt and going nowhere in his career. Neville Sinclair (Timothy Dalton), a swashbuckling movie star and secret Nazi agent, overhears Cliff telling his girlfriend, Jenny Blake (Jennifer Connelly) about having found a rocket pack that will help to jump-start his career. Cliff uses the rocket pack at an airshow and the flying man - "The Rocketeer" - becomes the talk of the town, but the rocket pack is a Nazi invention and the Nazis want it back. When Sinclair kidnaps Jenny and holds her for the rocket pack, it's up to Cliff Secord to save his girl AND the world!
Alan Arkin turns in a fine performance as Secord's mentor. Watch for cameo appearances by actors playing Howard Hughes, Clark Gable, and W.C. Fields!
It's great entertainment with little objectionable language or material.

Studio: Disney Studios
Director: Joe Johnston
Bill Campbell
Jennifer Connelly

DVD title: Friends - The Series Finale (Limited Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Friends - The Series Finale (Limited Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Friends Finale a Happily Ever After

Last night the last episode of FRIENDS appeared on TV for the first time. Pulling in over 50 million viewers, this episode was the perfect ending for the show. It includes two births, numerous hilarious incidents, Rachel's confession of love for Ross, and the sad part at the very end where everyone leaves their keys and their memories in the apartment. Along with many others, I was very satisfied with the happy ending of this long-time comedy. I wish it could continue on, but I recommend this DVD to any fan of FRIENDS.

Studio: Warner Home Video
Lisa Kudrow
Jennifer Aniston
David Schwimmer

DVD title: Careful
Productgroup: DVD
Careful - movie DVD cover picture
Careful cinematography

Once in a long while, moviegoers are treated to a wholly new style of film making... directorially, cinematographically, etc. In the 1940s, it was Welles and Toland teaming up to make Kane, a film packed with more innovations than any before or since. In the 1950s and 60s, it was Kubrick, evolving from the noir to surrealistic, and his unique eye. The newest great celluloid genius is Guy Maddin, and "Careful", while largely derivative of early directors' work (e.g., Wiene, Murnau, etc.), is the most brilliant of his masterpieces. With cardboard and billowing sheets, Maddin creates the 19th century village of Tolzbad, where steep mountains loom as large as repressed sexual urges. The villagers live in constant fear of triggering avalanches; everyone speaks in hushed tones, babies are taught not to cry and the larynxes of animals are severed. Yet the mania for caution goes far deeper than sounds. A surrealistic, otherworldly melodrama, "Careful" is a story of ill-fated lovers, taboos, obsession, inhibition and the explosion in which this volatile mixture erupts. Not since David Lynch's "Eraserhead" have we seen such unique vision and technical prowess in experimental cinema.

Studio: Kino Video
Director: Guy Maddin

DVD title: Freaky Friday
Productgroup: DVD
Freaky Friday - movie DVD cover picture
Enjoyed it

I enjoyed this movie very much. Jamie Lee Curtis and Lindsay Lohan are great. I am disappointed that Lindsay Lohan isn't in any more movies than she is because she is a good young actress and should be used for new future teen movies. Enjoyed it and you should check it out!

Studio: Walt Disney Home Video
Director: Mark Waters (VIII)
Jamie Lee Curtis
Lindsay Lohan
Mark Harmon

DVD title: Unbreakable (Vista Series)
Productgroup: DVD
Unbreakable (Vista Series) - movie DVD cover picture
One of the best movies I've ever seen

I'm not much of a comic book geek, but my favorites of all times are inevitably origin books; whether it's the Uncanny X-Men Annual #10 (first appearance of the New Mutants as X-Men), Superman for all Seasons, or, what is in my mind the greatest comic series of all time, Batman Year One, there's nothing I enjoy more than watching a Superhero coming into his (or her) own.
Unbreakable is the movie adaptation of a comic book origin issue. From Bruce Willis' growing awareness of his own abilities, to his son's wide-eyed wonder at the transformation of his father, to Samuel L. Jackson's character, who is obsessed with comic books, this movie is the perfect distillation of a superhero's beginnings.
My favorite scene is in the train station; here M. Night combines visuals and score perfectly--you feel yourself with Willis' character, you experience what he experiences.
Oh, and the much-discussed ending? It's perfect for a comic book movie, and it's the one that makes the most sense.
So fly -- don't run -- to see this movie when it comes out on Video/DVD.

Studio: Touchstone Video
Director: M. Night Shyamalan
Bruce Willis
Samuel L. Jackson

DVD title: Kill Bill, Volume 2
Productgroup: DVD
Kill Bill, Volume 2 - movie DVD cover picture
The End to Tarantino's Spaghetti Kung-Fu Western

In a telling moment of "Kill Bill Volume 2" Bill's brother, Budd, played in a wonderful understated performance by Michael Madsen, is listening to a recounting of events we saw in Volume 1 - specifically when Uma Thuman's Bride single-handedly destroy Lucy Liu's O-Ren Shii and her bodyguard platoon, the "Crazy 88".

Budd asks "You're telling me she cut through eighty-eight bodyguards before she got to O-Ren?"
Brother Bill replies "Nah, there weren't really eighty-eight of them. They just called themselves "The Crazy 88."
Budd asks "How come?"
Bill answers "I don't know. I guess they thought it sounded cool."

There is a LOT in Quentin Tarantino movies that happens because it looks or sounds cool. I'm reminded in "Pulp Fiction" of the dialogue-less scene in the Pawn shop where Bruce Willis is upstairs selecting a weapon to use on the psychotic murdering rapists downstairs. He considers a few lethal clubs and even a chain-saw before settling on the Samurai sword and in the audience I was thinking "YEAH! Get the samurai sword! That'll get 'em!" Plus - it's cool.

There is a scene where one of the characters sicks a deadly Black Mamba on another character, then whips out a notebook with pages of hand-written notes about how god-awful deadly the Black Mamba is. The character sits down, flips open the notebook, and delivers an almost pharmacologic description of the lethal venom, along with "'In the bush,' the saying goes, 'a lion can kill you, a leopard can kill you, and the black mamba can kill you. However, only with the mamba is death certain.' Hence its handle, 'Death Incarnate.'" Pretty cool, huh?"

Tarantino's movies are cool, and the characters in them know it. The smallest touches are added, sometimes for no apparent reason other than to add a "cool" factor. All of the members of Bill's Assassination team are called the "Deadly Viper Assassination Squad" and they all have "Snake" Code-names. Why? 'Cuz it's cool, of course.

In the beginning, at the wedding rehearsal of the bride, we get to see Samuel Jackson portraying the piano player for the wedding, and is there anyone cooler than Mr. Jackson in the movies? He asserts his coolness by telling how he sat in with practically every R&B group that came through his little town over 2 decades.

The Bride is standing at the alter of her wedding rehearsal when she hears a flute playing a familiar refrain. She follows the notes outside where she finds her old boss and lover, Bill, playing the familiar notes on his old flute. Bill is played by David Carradine, and if movies gave out "comeback of the year" awards like sports does, Mr. Carradine would have earned it in this role, courtesy of Mr. Tarantino. For extra "coolness", the flute that Bill is playing for the Bride is the same one that Carradine played back 30 years ago in his iconic role as Caine in the wildly popular tv series "Kung Fu".

The "Wedding Chapel Massacre" that we're told about in a roundabout way in Volume 1 is set up perfectly in Volume 2, then executed with a single swooping crane shot that backs from the wedding party at the altar, all the way back through the church, down the steps, straight back through the gravel parking lot where the other members of the Assassination Squad are approaching with cool strides and lethal weapons. The crane swoops the camera up overhead and we see the flashes in the church and hear the shots and screams - and we KNOW what is happening in there without being shown in gory detail. I can think of no single camera shot as virtuoso since Orson Welles' virtuoso opening to "Touch of Evil".

I haven't told you ANYTHING about the plot, but if you watched Volume 1 you KNOW where the plot is going. There's a surprise or two, but there's delight in every scene. I've read Roger Ebert say that movies aren't as important in "what they're about" as in "how they're about it".

Kill Bill is about Kung-Fu movies and westerns, and the way it's about it is..... cool.

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

DVD title: Sealab 2021 - Season 1
Productgroup: DVD
Sealab 2021 - Season 1 - movie DVD cover picture
paging Dr. Quinn

Well if you like athf, or harvey birdman, heck anyone who watchs adult swim needs to own this set. Along with the other sets like athf. The more dvd's the public buys, the more shows adult swim will put on dvd. So support the spread of dirty humor, and buy buy buy.

Studio: Warner Home Video
Harry Goz
Erik Estrada

DVD title: The Four Feathers (Widescreen Collector's Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
The Four Feathers (Widescreen Collector's Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Where is the 3-hour release?

This latest version of Four Feathers hits squarely on what soldiers in combat really fight for. It's not love of country or blind devotion to duty. In the end, as eloquently stated by a character who has lost his sight in battle, "You fight for the man on your right. You fight for the man on your left." Above all, this film defines personal honor and the meaning of friendship in the crucible of war and survival. As a movie, it's not perfect. It drags in spots. The Director has some ambivalence about embracing British Colonialism. At times it parallels our incursion into Iraq. The only difference is that we're in camouflage khaki instead of the Queen's Scarlet. Heath Ledger is excellent as the young Brit trying to find himself. His intensity outshines the movie's flaws. The key battle scene is excellent. (Real English troops play the Redcoats) The action around the infantry square is historically accurate and chilling. It is an epic to friendship and personal growth.

Studio: Paramount Home Video
Director: Shekhar Kapur
Wes Bentley
Kate Hudson
Heath Ledger

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Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Harry Potter (J.K. Rowling))
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Photo Release -- Servinova, a Cisco Systems Registered Partner Company Has Started Network Testing on CISCO Aironet (PrimeZone via Yahoo! Finance)
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Photo Release -- Servinova, a Cisco Systems Registered Partner Company Has Started Network Testing on CISCO Aironet (RedNova)
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