Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: The Black Cauldron (Disney Gold Classic Collection)
Productgroup: DVD
The Black Cauldron (Disney Gold Classic Collection) - movie DVD cover picture
What an incredible film!

Lloyd Alexander wrote the PRYDAIN CHRONICLES,a well written collection of adventures containing many characters based on Celtic mythology. Alexander's work retains the original mystical flavor and morality of its mythological model. The Disney version telescopes the saga into a trivial adventure featuring two children, a nice pig,and a cute little animal mostly being chased by horrifying villains for reasons mostly unclear. Don't waste your money.

Studio: Walt Disney Home Video
Grant Bardsley
Susan Sheridan
Freddie Jones

DVD title: Cimarosa - Il Matrimonio Segreto (The Secret Marriage) / Griffiths, Daniels, Feller, Cologne Opera
Productgroup: DVD
Cimarosa - Il Matrimonio Segreto (The Secret Marriage) / Griffiths, Daniels, Feller, Cologne Opera - movie DVD cover picture
A Total Gem - Rock Solid Performance

A total gem with a rock solid performance. Sound clean and clearwith some period instruments circa 1792. A single stage settingwith six singers. Palino and Carolina have secretly married.Carolina is the youngest daughter of Signor Geronimo a wealthymerchant. Elisetta is his oldest and their aunt Fidalma, widowedlives in the same house and has a heavy investment in the familybusiness. A marriage contract is drawn up to tie Elisetta to Count Robinson, a local Lord. Apprised of the situation a siblingdebate is entered into as to Elisetta's new title. The widowedaunt who keeps the peace, secretly has a passion for ("Itis much better with a husband")Palino, who is sponsered by the count. Count Robinson arrives for the first time to meet his intended but takes a fancy to Carolina. The fun and the confusion now begins with many scenario's to follow. The Count offers a dowaryreduction to Geronimo and follows up to tell the intended, whata rouge he is. Robinson piles up the character flaws. She tellshim these are mere trifles, not convinced burst into uncontolablelaughter. Eventually the secret surfaces The count gives and willmarry Elisetta. Fidamal is embarressed. Geronimo who has been spun into confusion wants to disown Carolina. He is reminded thatshe is with child. All is forgiven.The non singing parts of the house staff add to the comedy.This Opera higlights the Human Comedy and will leave you with a smile at each viewing.

Studio: Image Entertainment
Director: Claus Viller

DVD title: Mary Poppins (Widescreen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Mary Poppins (Widescreen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Parents Today Should Watch This...

Most parents today would take a movie like this, pop it into the player, and let the kids immerse themselves in the enchanting adventure Mary Poppins brings with her, while they go and do what they need to do. But in reality, the parents are the ones that should watch it because underneath the world of carousel horses coming to life and tea parties on the ceiling and "Chim Chim Cheree" there is a very important lesson: you should never be too busy for your kids. Both parents, not just the father, were too invloved in their own things..whether it be Mr. Banks' postition at the bank or Mrs. Banks' crusade for women's rights. Mary, like the nannies before, was basically hired to do the parents' job. There are plenty of instances where the parents prove that they know nothing about their kids. I won't give away the ending, but the parent viewers would definitely be reminded that their kids grow up too fast and that there's no substitute for the love of a mother and father.

Studio: Disney Studios
Director: Robert Stevenson
Julie Andrews
Dick Van Dyke

DVD title: Traffic
Productgroup: DVD
Traffic - movie DVD cover picture
Hands down, the best movie of 2000 and one of my fave films

Wow. I wasn't expecting much going in...and to say that I was shocked by how good, gritty and altogether REAL this movie was is an understatement. I was absoulutely FLOORED by this film. There is not one bad performance in the entire movie. Not one. Everything in this movie, every word, every action, every shot makes sense. And while there are three stories (one of which is told from two perspectives) in this film, all three flow together masterfully to make for one large, honest, gritty, and sometimes disturbing film. This is probably the most honest movie about the drug problem in america that I have ever seen, and having family and friends that have had to deal with these exact demons, I appreciated this movie's honesty all the more. What really hammers the movie home however, is the resoulution of the plot and the ending (and final scene in the film to be exact). Simply one of the most powerful films I have seen in forever.
Don't watch this movie if you're expecting a simply entertaining film. This is a movie that will make you think, that will question your sense of right and wrong. But if you love movies that are thought provoking, well acted, and don't insult your intelligence and actually leave an impression upon you when the credits roll, you must see this movie.
My absoulutely highest recommendation.

Studio: Universal Studios Ho
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Benicio Del Toro
Michael Douglas

DVD title: Masters From the Vaults: Van Der Graaf Generator
Productgroup: DVD
Masters From the Vaults: Van Der Graaf Generator - movie DVD cover picture
The Least We Can Do Is Find More Clips

This is the wonderful Belgium TV appearance from '71 where the band perform Theme One and the whole of Lighthouse Keepers. It's really an extraordinary clip - the band looks great, they sound wonderful, and even the cheesy sparklers and candles that the TV crew threw in for effect work well. Many of the hardcore VDGG fans have had this clip on bootleg video for years, but I'm sure that there are legions of Hammill Heads who've never seen this stuff before and it's great for Classic Rock Productions to have finally made this available for those who aren't hip to the underground video bootleggers lists.
The frustrating thing is that, contrary to what one might understandably think, the band were on TV quite a bit and it's a shame that only this one half-hour clip was unearthed. The group were on the German Beat Club show in '70 (many of the cognescenti have this on video); they were on a popular British show in '70 called Disco 2; their concert at the Paris Bataclan in '72 was recorded for Pop 2 (a famous French TV show); in '75 the group was filmed live in Belgium performing the whole Godbluff album (an awesome clip that many have in their collections); they performed on Tony Wilson's show "So It Goes" in the mid 70's; and they filmed a promotional clip for the song Wondering in '76.... the list goes on. Someone (maybe even Classic Rock Productions) should try to find and subsequently license this stuff for public consumption. But in the meantime, at least this Belgium '71 clip is available and that's an awesome starting point.

Studio: Navarre Corporation/

DVD title: Stalingrad
Productgroup: DVD
Stalingrad - movie DVD cover picture
"War is hell" doesn't even begin to say enough.

I'm an amateur WW2 historian, so this movie was a must see for me. I have always been fascinated by the battle of Stalingrad, and have always been disappointed by the dearth of movies on the subject. This offering not only gives a truly graphic view of the battle, but carries with it a somber message. No happy ending here.

The story centers on a company of German assault engineers who have been fighting in North Africa. After a furlough on the Mediterranean coast, they are redeployed to fight Russians on the eastern front, and find themselves thrust into the battle of Stalingrad. Even as seasoned veterans, they are unprepared for the horror that awaits them.

The protagonist is an idealistic young lieutenant seeking to earn the respect of his men. His introduction to the realities of Stalingrad is abrupt and harsh, and only goes downhill after the initial encounter.

The first half of the movie focuses on the factory fighting which so exemplified the larger battle. The scenes are gruesome and unspeakably violent, and so provide a glimpse into the brutality that was Stalingrad. The latter half of the movie deals with events following the Russian encirclement of November, 1942, and is truly a study in abject human misery.

I will not give away the ending for those who haven't seen it. I will say, though, that the emotional toll of this movie is akin to "Schindler's List." I first saw this on the big screen with a friend, and we both walked out of the theater in a slack-jawed daze. This is NOT your standard war movie, but it's definitely a great one.

Studio: Fox Lorber
Director: Joseph Vilsmaier
Dominique Horwitz
Thomas Kretschmann
Jochen Nickel
Sebastian Rudolph
Dana Vávrová

DVD title: Detroit Rock City (New Line Platinum Series)
Productgroup: DVD
Detroit Rock City (New Line Platinum Series) - movie DVD cover picture

Everything about this movie rocks! great plot, great characters,and its very funny. I thought the dvd menus were lacking, but overall it didnt bother me too much, the qaulity of the movie makes up for it, many classic moments in this one. This one goes so well with a spliff, i would reccomend it to rent or even to buy, i purchased and watched it many times, decent amount of extras, has everclear and donnas covering KISS songs , Worth checkin out.

Studio: New Line Home Entertainment
Director: Adam Rifkin
Giuseppe Andrews
James DeBello
Edward Furlong
Sam Huntington

DVD title: Buck Rogers in the 25th Century - The Complete Series
Productgroup: DVD
Buck Rogers in the 25th Century - The Complete Series - movie DVD cover picture
Buck Rogers in the 25th century-A movie worth watching over

I was ten when i first saw this has not been on t.v since 1985 that i am aware of.Now this is a scifi movie that can be watched and enjoyed by the whole family.Gil Gerard did a excellant performance and they could have not picked a better fact the whole cast did a great job.If it comes on D.V.D fans would not have to wait for a t.v station to air this show.And on D.V.D the quality is better then V.H.S.The serial was released on D.V.D so the entire series of this show should also be released.

Studio: Universal Studios Ho
Gil Gerard

DVD title: Star Wars - Episode I, The Phantom Menace (Widescreen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Star Wars - Episode I, The Phantom Menace (Widescreen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture

Lucas made a kid's film which is a chapter in a saga and he did it meticulously and very well.
As a kid's film, it's fantastic in every sense of the word. It should not be compared to adult themed sci-fi films. Nor should it be compared to the other SW episodes in that they are just that; episodes in a larger story. I mean, who compares chapters in books?
Naysayers dissect and analyze what they didn't like as passionately as SW fans do about what they loved. There's not much point in nitpicking here so I wont bother. I would recommend that all reviews (including this one) be read AFTER one has seen the movie for the first time.
The kid in all of us will either secretly or overtly enjoy this movie. The video format will allow easy replay. I am still debating over whether to spend the extra $20 on the wide-screen version. I don't yet have the Phillips $15,000 plasma flat screen to take full advantage of the "letterbox" version, but I really dislike "pan and scan" versions, so I think I'll pop for what I think will be the better edition (widescreen.)
DVD is actually the preferable format for diehard Star Wars fanatics -- but that won't happen till 2005(after the release of Episode III.)
Anyway, enjoy it for what it is in itself - a really fun experience!

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
Director: George Lucas
Liam Neeson
Ewan McGregor
Natalie Portman

DVD title: Sweating in the Spirit: Moving Mind Body & Spirit
Productgroup: DVD
Sweating in the Spirit: Moving Mind Body & Spirit - movie DVD cover picture
Sweatin and Movin in the Spirit

This workout is awesome. One of my good friends actually let me borrow hers before I purchased my own. The first time was good, I just had to get the moves. But after the second time it was full steam ahead. Donna definitely deserves some award for this workout. As I'm working out I feel like I am in church and that inspires me to keep moving because I know I can move on to healthy body. You are definitely sweatin and burning calories. Now I have to purchase my own DVD. I can only borrow something so long. :-)

Studio: Razor & Tie
Donna Richardson

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