Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Mutiny on the Bounty
Productgroup: DVD
Mutiny on the Bounty - movie DVD cover picture
Wonderful movie, great acting, historically inaccurate!

Bligh's name has entered the English language as a synonym for cruelty. In reality he flogged his men less than did most of the British captains in the South Pacific in the 1800's. Bligh served under Captain Cook and continued Cook's humane reforms for the sailors (better food and sanitation, etc). For a more balanced view of Bligh and Fletcher Christian, read MR. BLIGH'S BAD LANGUAGE. In the meantime, myth outlives history. I still love this movie!

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Frank Lloyd
Charles Laughton
Clark Gable
Franchot Tone

DVD title: Braveheart
Productgroup: DVD
Braveheart - movie DVD cover picture
It's the best movie I have ever seen.

I'm realy fond of Mel Gebson , he is the first star. I liked very much this movie and I realy craied 4 times while I was watching it. i also used to watch it at least twice a month.

Studio: Paramount Studio
Director: Mel Gibson
Mel Gibson
Sophie Marceau

DVD title: Blue Velvet
Productgroup: DVD
Blue Velvet - movie DVD cover picture
what was the pot-sticker all about?

Why isn't this amazing film released in DVD yet? Let's go! I'll pay top dollar.

Studio: Mgm/Ua Studios
Director: David Lynch
Isabella Rossellini
Kyle MacLachlan
Dennis Hopper

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
Extra footage exquisitely done - well worth the money

The Fellowship of the Ring was already a five-star film, but this extended version makes it even better. Usually when watching the "deleted scenes" on various DVDs I say to myself, "well I can see why they deleted that scene." Scenes are usually deleted for a good reason-either they cause the movie to drag on, or do nothing to develop the plot. This is not the case with the new scenes on the extended version of the LOTR. These scenes not only help add more clarity to the plot, but they go a long way in further developing the characters-the lack of which was a common criticism of the theatrical release of the LOTR. The only character that did not receive anymore character development is Legolas.
Add to this how well done these extra and lengthened scenes have been done. Each scene has been edited smoothly into the movie for a seamless experience. Sounds, special effects, and even additional scoring have been added to ensure the same quality throughout. These extra scenes are not essential, but surely add quite a bit to the film, enough so that on future viewings of the LOTR, I will always watch the extended version. The packaging is very well done and with two discs of bonus material, you definitely get your dollar's worth.
My only two criticisms are: 1.) I wish they could have fit the whole film on one disc, but perhaps this was not possible to do and still have all the audio commentaries, and 2.) Since they had four-discs-worth of room to fill, why not include the theatrical version and its bonus features as well, so as to make the four-disc set fully comprehensive?
Hidden bonus: On disc one go to Select a Scene, then go to last page of chapters, push down until you highlight the words "* extra scene" and push enter. It will play the MTV spoof on the Council of Elron.

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Peter Jackson
Ian McKellen

DVD title: Paint Your Wagon
Productgroup: DVD
Paint Your Wagon - movie DVD cover picture
Super Musical

Who would guess that Eastwood would sing in a movie. But he does a great job and Marvin isn't too bad himself. This had alot of entertaining aspects and the supporting cast were just as good. If you like musicals with humor, you may want to see this. SW

Studio: Paramount Home Video
Director: Joshua Logan
Lee Marvin
Clint Eastwood

DVD title: Cats
Productgroup: DVD
Cats - movie DVD cover picture
Very Good

I'm Purrdita. You may not know it but I am really Grizabella in this life--as you recall I was the cat who was reborn. I couldn't have done a better job telling the storey of my life. The voices were very good--especially Elaine Paige who took it upon herself to play me. She was very convincing. My only criticism is that I wish "Growl Tigers Last Stand could have been presented." the music was varied and well written. This a good production for almost everyone, young and old. After my caretakers had attended several times (at $50) a show and could only tell me about it because I wasn't allowed in the theatre it's about time that it appear on video. I just love it when my caretakers play the video and I can see the story of my former life. Buy the video.

Studio: Universal Studios

DVD title: Rodgers and Hammerstein's Oklahoma! (London Stage Revival)
Productgroup: DVD
Rodgers and Hammerstein's Oklahoma! (London Stage Revival) - movie DVD cover picture
The best production of "Oklahoma" I've ever seen.

I've seen several stage productions of "Oklahoma," as well as the MacRae-Jones movie version. But Trevor Nunn breathes real life into what some may have dismissed as an old chestnut. The result is a full-blooded, gritty, dramatic, and thoroughly involving production, beautifully acted, sung, and danced. The nuances within the lyrics come alive as well, so that we believe we're hearing these 60+-year-old standards for the first time.
Up until now, we've only had the 1955 movie version to assess the show, and the movie was very much a product of its conservative era -- overly sentimental and overly censored. Shirley Jones's Laurey of the 1950s, in gingham dresses, was sweet, overly feminine, and coy, unlike Josefina Gabrielle's tom-boyish, hardworking, farm laboring, feisty, salt-of-the-earth Laurey who, dressed in a flannel shirt and overalls throughout most of the first act, looks and acts like she has some genuine connection to the soil.
Gordon MacRae as the 1955 Curley, was a wonderful baritone, with a pre-requisite masculine presence, but he lacked Hugh Jackman's dramatic abilities and subtletly of performance.
Although Rod Steiger was an exceptional movie Jud, he was at the disadvantage of having so much of his material condensed and/or censored that he came across mainly as a movie "heavy," whereas in this current production, Shuler Hensley is given all the artillery of the original stage script to play with, including a previously cut song, and thus his Jud emerges as a terrifying and yet sympathetic villain.
Granted, probably no one living or dead can compare to Charlotte Greenwood's Aunt Eller in the original movie, but Maureen Lipman still manages to make this part her own, quite sympathetically, not only as Laurey's guardian but as the community's matriarchal figure.
Susan Stroman's new choreography is absolutely splendid, and probably for the first time ever, the ballet sequence actually works, since the performers can sing, act, and dance, and don't require doubles to do the footwork.
Also noteworthy are Jimmy Jonston as Will Parker and Vicki Simon as Ado Annie (even though Gloria Grahame will always be my ideal of that character, even with the sometimes bowdlerized lyrics Gloria had to sing in 1955.)
As some have pointed out here, the "Persian" peddler, Ali Hakim, played by Peter Polycarpou, sounds more New York by way of Eastern Europe than Persia, but perhaps this was intentional since he is somewhat of a flimflam man (and, you may recall, Eddie Albert hardly looked or sounded Persian in the movie version either).
This Trevor Nunn production also reminds us that we are not watching just another frothy musical comedy of yesteryear, devoid of any relevance to today. The show examines hatred and bigotry (between rancher and cowman). The show includes psychotic stalking (Jud's obsessive behavior toward Laurie). The show presents us with attempted murder (Jud's two attempts to kill Curley). The show even includes drug usage (Laurey's snorting of Ali Hakim's elixer that sends her off into an acid-like ballet trip). Now how modern or relevant can you get?
As a major cohesive theme, Trevor Nunn stresses the animosity existing between the farmers and the cowboys. Thus, when Curley proposes to Laurey, he also decides to give up his free, roaming life as a cowboy and settle down to farm. This scene is not only poignant, but a powerful symbol of encroaching civilization, since this newly settled territory is about to become a state in an Old West that is quickly vanishing. The conflict between farmer and cowboy also highlights the opposition of Ado Annie's father, a farmer, to Ado Annie's marrying Will Parker, a cowboy. This conflict further plays out between Laurey's suitors, the cowboy Curley and the farmer Jud. Thus, the song, "The Farmer and the Cowman Should Be Friends" is far more integral to the whole story than just a rousing second-act opening.
The only thing somewhat curious about the production, and this is a minor quibble, was the choice to periodically show several scenes shot from the stage into a live audience at the National so that we can gauge audience reaction and applause to certain key scenes. Yet, except for these scattered scenes, the production was mostly shot without any live audience present. Thus, an unnatural blending occurs, in which there is no audience reaction to comic lines when there should be, reminding us that there is no actual audience present. Perhaps Trevor Nunn simply wished to show us the audience's enthusiasm, when they actually were present, to duplicate the electricity between audience and performers in a live production. Still, I wonder if this idea should have been reconsidered.

Studio: Image Entertainment
Director: Trevor Nunn

DVD title: Metropolis (Restored Authorized Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Metropolis (Restored Authorized Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Silent Masterpiece

In today's cinematic world, silent movies are often a difficult category to approach. Silent movies are usually referred to almost like a separate genre, as if black and white movies were a single genre. Even silent flick enthusiasts sometimes don't have the right attitude, because the modern appreciation of pre-talkie movies is sometims nothing more shallow than appreciation of a movie because it is a silent movie. This attitude streams from the modern audience that views the silent era as embryonic of the talkies, as technologically handicapped, when in fact, the contemporary audiences of the 20's did not view their motion pictures the same way.
Metropolis is a great move that overcomes most of the barriers between moderns audiences and silent movies. The genre is unmistakably sci-fi--the forerunner to nearly all modern sci-fi movies. It was a fantastic movie that just happens to be a silent movie, and anybody who sees it will understand that silence is not a handicap.
The biggest barrier for silent movies is that there are usually variant DVD editions in circulation, and unlike pictures made in the last few decades, it really does matter which edition you see. Kino's restored edition is (and shall be for a while if not forever) the definitive edition of Metropolis. I had been viewing an incomplete, incoherent version of the film for years before i treated myself to Kino's delightfully exhaustive work, and it was then that i realized what i had been missing. Watching this version was like watching a different movie. In fact, the restoration is so immaculate, it was like watching a movie that was just filmed yesterday, or rather, like i was watching it in 1926.
Kino should be praised for the edition (which they have been), that vindicates fans of Metropolis, sci-fi, and silent movies. Even the flaws are reasonable: some scenes are missing, but they are filled in with explanations and still photos, when available; there could have been enough extras to fill 2 more discs, although the extras included are sufficient and repeatable, as compared to the loads of extras fans normally demand but rarely ever watch.
All in all, this is an excellent restoration of an epic movie that deserves this treatment and attention. Include the Kino version in your collection over all of the inferior versions circulating.

Studio: Kino International
Director: Fritz Lang
Alfred Abel
Brigitte Helm

DVD title: Octopussy
Productgroup: DVD
Octopussy - movie DVD cover picture
Roger Moore's Best James Bond film.

Octopussy was, in my opinion, the best of the seven James Bond films that Roger Moore had done. He was very confident and great for his style of James Bond in the film. Personally I like the scenes in Germany the best, with Bond fighting an enemy on top of a moving train, the chase to get to a nuclear bomb located on a US Airforce Base, among others. Another good thing of this movie, is that the composer, John Barry, was on top of his league doing the excellent score, including the title track, "All Time High" sung beautifully by Rita Coolidge. Overall, this is an excellent movie. For the DVD version of the movie (which I definitely prefer over VHS), you get many treats and specials, including the "All Time High" music video, a Behind the Scenes documentary, TV spots, movie trailers, etc. A great DVD available for a great movie.

Studio: MGM/UA Video
Director: John Glen (II)
Roger Moore
Maud Adams

DVD title: Outfoxed - Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism
Productgroup: DVD
Outfoxed - Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism - movie DVD cover picture
Scary view of journalism today

This movie is a real eye opener. I know FOX was biased for the right-wing, but the links to the GOP are just astonishing. The part where the interviewer is being all chummy with Bush and his sister working for the Bush campaign is great footage.

Studio: The Disinformation Company
Director: Robert Greenwald

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