Film DVD related reviews


DVD title: Doctor Who - Horror of Fang Rock (Episode 92)
Productgroup: DVD
Doctor Who - Horror of Fang Rock (Episode 92) - movie DVD cover picture
Wow...


I don't think i've seen this episode since I was a kid, and it's amazing, 20 years later, how well it's held up. The scenes of the Doctor trying to reason with the alien really struck me back then, and I think has informed a lot of my current personality. A real forgotten gem from the "Who" library that I was happy to finally get on video.

Studio: Warner Home Video
Actors:
Tom Baker



DVD title: Naked City - Portrait of a Painter
Productgroup: DVD
Naked City - Portrait of a Painter - movie DVD cover picture
Dramatic and Nostalgic


This and the other DVDs of the early 1960s TV show "Naked City" are all excellent.
The New York locales give the episodes a distinct look. It was very nostalgic for me to see what the city that I grew up in and still work in looked like in 1961.
The stories are interesting and unique in that the guest star/criminal is on camera more than the policemen investigating the case.
I especially liked the Walter Matthau episode in which he's kidnapped by a Las Vegas showgirl who threatens to kill him unless he makes good on his promise to marry her. The humor of this situation makes this episode a nice light-hearted change of pace from the other more dramatic and poignant ones that are on this disk, such as the Jack Klugman episode revolving around the kidnapping of a little girl.
I can't wait for the next batch of "Naked City" DVDs to be released.

Studio: Image Entertainment



DVD title: The Last Samurai (Full Screen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
The Last Samurai (Full Screen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
The Moose Hole - Cruise's 'Last' Oscar Stand


Warner Brothers can?t catch a decent break, can they? For the last three years, the studio has had a mixed year based on the performance and public reaction of their films with the missteps outshining the successes. 2003 continues that trend with the poor reception of films like Gods & Generals, Dreamcatcher, Alex & Emma, and Looney Tunes: Back in Action. But what makes this year all the more hurtful was the fact that studio was expected to have had a good year riding the Matrix sequels alone. After the mixed reaction Reloaded received in May, The Matrix Revolutions couldn?t compete like it was expected too and failed to even break the $170 million mark the original film set in 1999. So with those thoughts in mind, what good can Warner Brother executives find in this year? Oscar potential. The studio?s leading Oscar contender is Clint Eastwood?s Mystic River but recently The Last Samurai has emerged to be heading for Oscar gold as well. The film?s leading man, Tom Cruise, hopes this is true in order to redeem the failure of capturing a nomination last year with his role in the critically praise Minority Report. Whether Warner Brothers pushes more for this film or Eastwood?s picture depends on Samurai?s performance but what can be said is that this film will definitely be raising eye brows.

The Last Samurai focuses on the journey of a man from the United States who is sent to Japan to help eradicate a rebellious force but learns more from his enemy then he ever imagined. Captain Woodrow Algren is no stranger to the field of battle. He has seen things that many can?t even imagine. Things that he would gladly like to forget if he could. In the time after the Civil War, Captain Algren takes to the bottle like many generals in the 1870?s America. With the Civil War now over, all that is left is the rebellious Indian tribes that have decreased in number rapidly and have been nearly suppressed. But the captain is surprised to be offered the position of training Japanese troops in destroying the last of the samurai warriors that have rebelled against the Emperor who has forced Western society on the nation of Japan. After he is captured by Katsumoto and his band of samurai warriors, Captain Algren learns that the rebel force is not as ?savage? as was once thought. Eventually he comes to find the true meaning of honor, necessity, and remembrance of where one comes from by joining Katsumoto in preserving the samurai way of life. The story of The Last Samurai has to be quite possibly one of the most thought provoking scripts of the year, even beyond the complex realm of the Matrix sequels earlier this year. The film successfully blends historical content from the post-Civil War events both in the United States and Japan with the exquisite traditions and philosophies of the ancient samurais. The Last Samurai is a positively rare sight in the modern age of big budgeted epic dramas that present dazzling special effects but fail to deliver insight into the human experience.

Though only one member of the film?s cast can be easily recognizable to American movie-goers, it doesn?t really matter all that much as the level of true acting talent goes far beyond the means of one?s star-power. Tom Cruise gives in all honesty one of the best performances of his career, even more so then his critically acclaimed role in Steven Spielberg?s 2002 sci-fi drama, Minority Report. The amount of determination and vivid emotions Cruise brings to the role go far beyond the acting he has demonstrated in the past and showcases a true sense of maturity in the roles he has chosen and will choose in the future. Captain Woodrow Algren is a perfect presentation of the concept of the will to open one?s self to new culture and way of life despite all those who claim in can not be done. Ken Watanabe, who portrays the samurai lord Katsumoto, does a superb job with the material that is given to him and though some may note that he struggles with the English language presented in the script that is the point of the character. It?s a beautiful portrayal of a talented actor learning the language and the traditions of vastly different culture along the same lines as the character he plays in the film does. Though some may have complaints about the limited appearance Koyuki has as the widow wife Yaka, one must look beyond the amount of screen time her character has and concentrate rather on the substance of her material that does exist. Yaka?s conversation with Katsumoto in which she expresses disagreement over her care of Captain Algren demonstrates the prominent theme of the film, one of a battle raging between honoring the traditions of one?s ancestors yet at the same time maintaining a willingness to break free from those traditions and progress in the world.

Overall, The Last Samurai is a rare theatrical treasure that not only successfully presents to the audience a well choreographed Bella-drama of breath taking action sequences and spectacular visuals but intellectuals statements that expresses the idea of expanding one?s mind to a world beyond their own realm. Despite containing an excessively long three hour time length, The Last Samurai does manage its time well although it is to say it does have its points where slow downs are less then warranted but these misgivings can be easily ignored. Many of the concepts that discussed within the framework of the film, namely necessity and ancestry, have already been presented in some degree in the two Matrix sequels earlier this year but Samurai manages to go beyond those films and express those same thoughts on far-less complex level. The way of the samurai is to stick to the traditions of their ancestors and not modernize the way their people have lived for hundreds, if not thousands, of years but as Katsumoto soon comes to realize, modernization, in one form or another, is inevitable in any society. Modernization can be integrated into an already existing culture but not to the extent that all traditions and practices once held by that society are lost forever. The intricate demonstration of certain philosophical practices within the film must be seen to be fully understood by anyone interested by the feature?s premise. The Last Samurai is without a doubt the best, if not the most surprising, film of the year, far exceeding even the extravagantly high expectations set by The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. Though greatly overlooked at this year?s Academy Awards ceremony, those who witness this film?s brilliant achievements and take its message to heart will give this film a far greater honor then any Hollywood awards ceremony could ever give.

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Edward Zwick
Actors:
Ken Watanabe
Tom Cruise
Billy Connolly




DVD title: Jimi Hendrix - Blue Wild Angel (Live at the Isle of Wight)
Productgroup: DVD
Jimi Hendrix - Blue Wild Angel (Live at the Isle of Wight) - movie DVD cover picture
There are no lip sync problems. Pay closer attention, guys!


Darryl and Erik, perhaps you need to check your home theater systems or the prescriptions for your glasses.
There are no lip sync problems on this DVD. Perhaps you don't realize that Jimi was in the habit of madly chewing gum while he played, and that can lead a neophyte into thinking that he's singin' when he's really chompin'.
Pay attention to other clues in the frame like the fact that Mitch Mitchell's sticks are precisely on beat, or what Jimi's hands are doing.
Also, remember that unlike your favorite MTV Music Videos, there was only one take of this historic performance. It may have indeed been the editor's intent to show a camera pan, zoom, or rack focus in the middle of a clip to convey the immediacy or chaos of such an affair.

Studio: Universal Music & VI
Actors:
Jimi Hendrix



DVD title: Contact
Productgroup: DVD
Contact - movie DVD cover picture
Beautiful movie


This movie is not really an action movie. It is not really a sci-fi movie. It's even not really a drama. It's a strange hybrid- your adrinaline rushes during the Machine startup sequence and the actual discovery of the message; it doesn't focus only on the Machine; it doesn't focus only on the lives of the people. It obtains an odd balance between the three factors, something that is rarely seen.

Studio: Warner Studios
Director: Robert Zemeckis
Actors:
Jodie Foster
Matthew McConaughey




DVD title: Jeepers Creepers
Productgroup: DVD
Jeepers Creepers - movie DVD cover picture
Scariest Movie


Well after seeing Resident Evil and scared me, I decided to watch Jeepers Creepers well it's scarier I think I don't want to give it away but it starts off with two kids brother and sister. They are on the way home they see this thing--Well the movie was scary, funny, thrilling and the DVD features are good. WARNING: BEFORE WATCHING THE MAKING "WATCH," THE WHOLE MOVIE. So rent or buy this if you dare.

Studio: MGM/UA Video
Director: Victor Salva
Actors:
Gina Philips
Justin Long




DVD title: GoodFellas
Productgroup: DVD
GoodFellas - movie DVD cover picture
Truly great film


A real life look inside the lives of true gangsters..an almost flawless movie. i dont think there is one wasted second in the whole film. Im looking forward to the deluxe edition coming out soon..no more flipping the disc..its a shame this didnt win for best picture..and Mr Scorsese for best director

Studio: Warner Studios
Director: Martin Scorsese
Actors:
Robert De Niro
Ray Liotta
Joe Pesci
Lorraine Bracco
Paul Sorvino




DVD title: Clerks (Collector's Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Clerks (Collector's Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Proves that not every independant film sucks


Clerks is one of those rare over looked gems that come along once in a blue moon and bite you. This raw but hilariouse film is an instant classic, and will make you laugh until it hurts!

Studio: Miramax Home Entertainment
Director: Kevin Smith
Actors:
Brian O'Halloran
Jeff Anderson




DVD title: Across 110th Street
Productgroup: DVD
Across 110th Street - movie DVD cover picture
back in the day


I was sixteen when this movie came out,and still to this day,I can never get enough of it.It's one of the all-time great black flicks.And the sound track by Bobby Womack ranks right up there along with it.

Studio: MGM/UA Video
Director: Barry Shear
Actors:
Anthony Quinn
Yaphet Kotto
Anthony Franciosa




DVD title: Chicago (Widescreen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Chicago (Widescreen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Chicago is a movie for everybody: Dames and Cool Cats


Personally I'm not a fan of new musicals. I don't mind old musicals from the 50s like Singing in the Rain, but when a new movie comes out that's a musical, I just think it's kind of weird in modern film-making, even if the movie is based on a Broadway show. Remember to take that into consideration about my review, because it probably means the movies better than what I say.
Based on the Broadway show, "Chicago" was about Roxy Hart, who got arrested for shooting and killing the man she was cheating on her husband with. She then goes to prison, and with some help from Mama (Queen Latifa) and her lawyer (Richard Gere), she is able to win the public's support, lie her way through her court trial, and become a famous Vaudeville actress.
The musical parts of this movie were the highlight, even though the music wasn't your typical Danny Elfman (based his music on the original from the broadway show). The musical sections would come in as Roxy would imagine an alternate reality where she was a famous singer, and the whole story was a show. The highlights of the best musical scenes were where everyone was Richard Gere's puppet, and he did the talking for Roxy and a croud of reporters. This was probably one of the most fun scenes in the movie, but the Circus/Courtroom scene was also very well done. It switched flawlessly from reality to Roxy's imagination.
Like I said, I don't like most musicals, so my rating may be lower than it would be if I loved musicals, but overall, I'll give this movie 4 out of 5 stars. Pretty good if you ask me from someone who doesn't like musicals.

Studio: Miramax Home Entertainment
Director: Rob Marshall
Actors:
Catherine Zeta-Jones
Renée Zellweger




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