Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: X-Men
Productgroup: DVD
X-Men - movie DVD cover picture
X-Actly X-Ceptional

I am not a comic book fan. The last time I read one I think I put it away and reached for Dr. Seuss. So I was a bit surprised at how much I enjoyed this comic-book inspired film, and it has recieved an exceptional treatment on this DVD edition. True, the story is more or less a showcase for the good and evil mutants' various abnormal attributes, but watching it all unfold is admittedly fun. As for the DVD, the picture quality is beautiful, with rich, bold colors and well-detailed dark scenes. There is basically nothing at all about the picture that distracts, which is always a plus for true videophiles! The overall production design on this movie is magnificent and meticulous. As for sound, if you like to be fully immersed in every sound effect, growl from Sabertooth and Wolverine, or flick of Toad's disgusting tongue, you will not be disappointed. Crystal clear, well-defined audio is a hallmark of this disc. My surround speakers can't remember when they've had such fun...well, maybe Gladiator.. The special features are a nice presentation, with the ability to reinsert cut scenes into the actual film being the coolest one. I could have done without the cut-and-paste interview with Bryan Singer, but its nice to at least get badly recorded sound bites of his thoughts than nothing at all. My only "wish" for what I think would've been a cool special feature is a detailed featurette of how they turned Rebecca Romjin-Stamos into the shape-shifting mutant Mystique...truly a work of art!

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox Home Video
Director: Bryan Singer
Hugh Jackman
Patrick Stewart
Ian McKellen

DVD title: Conspiracy
Productgroup: DVD
Conspiracy - movie DVD cover picture
Incredible film!

I saw this when it aired on HBO, after hearing the rave reviews some friends gave it. The film is exceptionally well-made, with precise attention to every little detail. You almost feel like you're there in 1942.
The performances all around are simply superb, most especially from Kenneth Branaugh, who once again establishes a strong screen presence. He's just a joy to watch.
What's great about this film is the creepy sense it gives you watching it. This is a meeting that actually took place in 1942.. while there are no doubt a few of the usual Hollywood refinements, this is all-around a true story. Considering the subject matter.. It's a little spooky to see these fifteen men sitting around a table discussing a chain of events that would scar history forever, in such a lackadaisical way, as though they were discussing the weather over a cup of tea.
Because of it's true-to-life subject matter, this could almost be viewed as an educational film, and I intend to show this to my children as part of their education concerning the German atrocities committed during WWII. "Never Again", as the plague before the walls of Auschwitz states.
But all around, this is a must-see. Rent it if you can, buy it for your collection, or catch it the next time HBO airs it. You'll definitely want to see this one. You'll remember it.

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Frank Pierson

DVD title: Straight from the Heart
Productgroup: DVD
Straight from the Heart - movie DVD cover picture
Straight from the Heart

Great story,beautiful scenery. I liked this movie. Loved all the horses...

Studio: Good Times Home Vide
Director: David S. Cass Sr.

DVD title: The Cell (New Line Platinum Series)
Productgroup: DVD
The Cell (New Line Platinum Series) - movie DVD cover picture

{WARNING: There might be some spoilers here!}

First of all, let me start off by stating the obvious: this is not your average suspenseful cop chases killer kind of movie (it has far more substance than that). As well as achieving the understandable squeal or two (often because of grotesque things happening, such as flesh being stretched from suspension and intestines being pulled out), The Cell's visionary special effects is pure eye-candy that will undoubtedly thrill and excite you...

The film at first is divided into two different storylines. You have child therapist, Catherine Deane (played by Jennifer Lopez), who has devoted her life in trying to awaken a young boy by the name of Edward whom has lapsed into a coma. Then there is a swarm of FBI agents and criminal investigators (primarily Peter, played by Vince Vaughn) searching for clues to hunt down a serial killer that drowns his victims (all beautiful blondes), bleaches them to look like dolls once dead and then puts collars on them to make them feel that they belong to him.

Eventually these two storylines merge together...

When the FBI discovers where the suspect Carl (Vincent D'Onofrio) is living they immediately raid his house, but what they find is him lying unconscious on the kitchen floor. They rush him to the hospital and are crushed to learn that he has fallen into a catatonic state that is non-curable due to a mental illness of severe schizophrenia. He, unfortunately, is the only one who knows where his latest victim Julia is, so during the next 40 hours they must figure out where that is before the tank she's captured in fills up with water. The FBI then recruits Catherine to use an experimental device that links the two and enables her to travel within the killer's dark, perverse mind. Thus we enter imaginative worlds that intertwine reality with fantasy. Here Carl is a King in a very twisted kingdom, but as she delves deeper into his abusive childhood to better understand why he's the way he is, she tries to get him to trust her so that he'll reveal Julia's whereabouts before it's too late. Things get way out of hand, though, and when Catherine confuses reality with Carl's nightmarish dreamworld, Peter must go in to remind her that this is "not real" so that his mind doesn't become her prison...

'The Cell' is not quite a masterpiece but it is brilliantly unique nonetheless and is definitely one of the more original thrillers I've yet to see. And believe me, this is coming from a person who is not a big fan of Jennifer Lopez. I, however, truly feel she put on a good performance here. Therefore I recommend at least renting!

Studio: New Line Home Entertainment
Director: Tarsem Singh
Jennifer Lopez
Vince Vaughn
Vincent D'Onofrio

DVD title: Reign the Conqueror - Complete
Productgroup: DVD
Reign the Conqueror - Complete - movie DVD cover picture
A marriage between action, beauty and plot.

Directed by Peter Chung (Aeon Flux). The story is about a prince named Alexander (the Great). The plot is that he is the Devil King said to destroy the world. With excellent battle scenes and unusual fighting tactics, this anime has a flare of its own. With friends, he meets to help him along the way, he sets forth to conquer the world. He rides a legendary horse named Bucephalus. Many people try to kill Alexander in an effort to save the world from total destruction.This anime is a true work of art. The dubbing is excellent and really brings the characters to life. With an artistic flare, that gives great amounts of detail to each character. The character design might be bizarre with codpieces, detailed faces and other assorted designs but this is what makes this anime so beautiful. This anime is geared toward and adult audience. There are many gory fight scenes and also contains nudity. The plot is also very deep and requires close attention to understand some of the conversations. The only draw back is a paradox. The art work that makes this anime so unusual and gorgeous can also discourage people who don't have an open mind about anime styles. In conclusion, this anime is an action packed, beautiful, work of art.

Studio: Tokyopop Inc

DVD title: The Concert for Bangladesh
Productgroup: DVD
The Concert for Bangladesh - movie DVD cover picture
One of the best rock concerts !!

I purchased this DVD several years ago. It is made by a company called Panorama, distributed in Hong Kong. The quality is not that grea, in fact it looks like they gave a twelve year old a a camera and told him to have fun but.....who cares? Harrison sings "My Sweet Lord", "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" w/ Eric Clapton displaying how to make a guitar weep. Dylan, Billy Preston, and Leon Russell doing a GREAT rendition of Jumping Jack Flash. The spririt of the enterprise is pure George Harrison: music should be a spritual endeavor, and music should ultimately benefit humanity.

Director: Saul Swimmer

DVD title: Dallas - The Complete Third Season
Productgroup: DVD
Dallas - The Complete Third Season - movie DVD cover picture
Best season of the entire show

Season 3 was, IMO, the best of the entire series. Almost every episode was a classic. Everything worked: the writing, the acting, and the charisma of the stars. First rate TV entertainment.

Studio: Warner Home Video
Patrick Duffy

DVD title: House of 1000 Corpses
Productgroup: DVD
House of 1000 Corpses - movie DVD cover picture
Ode to gore on the movie screen.

I went to the movies when House of a 1000 Corpses first came out. I expected to see an amazingly large amount of gore on the screen and I was not let down one bit. My girlfriend may have went to sleep but, as a scream would travel from the speakers in the theater she would open her eyes, and make the most sourest face as blood would be pouring from certain parts of peoples bodies. Now that is a movie that I like to see. 3 years coming I personally feel that it was somewhat worth the wait. Yes it was not the most intelligent peice of work, but what B movie is supposed to be? For those people who do not like this movie, I wish you were in it. Except for my girlfriend. For everyone else see opening sequence with the clown. I hope Rob will make more maybe a drama with guts and gore.

Studio: Lions Gate Home Entertainment
Director: Rob Zombie
Sid Haig
Bill Moseley
Sheri Moon
Karen Black

DVD title: The Wreck Hunters: Dive to the Wreck of the USS Bass
Productgroup: DVD
The Wreck Hunters: Dive to the Wreck of the USS Bass - movie DVD cover picture
Non Diver Review

This is a "must have" video for anyone interested in Scuba Diving, Wreck exploration, or World War II history. Capt Lou Costello brings a group of professional divers together off the coast of Rhode Island for a dive on the USS Bass, a WWII sub. Its interesting to see how the Pros prepare for and manage their equipment and the dive. As a non-diver, I found the video probably the next best thing to actually being there. And to see the old Sub and how it has fared over the years in the dark depths of the Atlantic was fascinating. Capt Lou took me down there with them and showed me a part of the world I would otherwise never see and for this I thank him. A great video to have in your collection.

Studio: NorLantique Video LLC

DVD title: Evita
Productgroup: DVD
Evita - movie DVD cover picture
Important footnote to life of the REAL Eva Peron

This is a good musical. No, it is not the real history of Eva Peron, but it /is/ an entertaining movie. As someone who has studied Eva Peron's life for over 15 years, and is an associate of members of Eva Peron's family, I feel qualified to say that the ... is incorrect - Eva Peron had anything BUT a hollow life.
Eva helped gain for Argentine women the right to vote (she is currently on the Argentine stamp and a commemorative peso has been issued with her on it to mark the 50th anniversary of the passing of the law that made it legal for Argentine women to vote), she helped make divorce legal, she built 1000 schools in the poorest areas of Argentina, and because of the work of her foundation, a foundation which built thousands of houses for homeless and poor people, a foundation that trained people who were too poor to go to school, for the first time in Argentine history there was no inequality in health care - in her foundation Evita worked 16 to 20 hour days! She didn't have time to have a "hollow" life!
The Evita portrayed in this musical does indeed seem to have a hallow life, but, as I said, this is /not/ the real Eva Peron - it is a Hollywood/Broadway version of Eva Peron.
I believe that a mistake a lot of people have made has been to interpret Eva Peron as a phoney because she was so dramatic, and I think it was her dramatic/theatrical nature that led Broadway and Hollywood people to be interested in her. Eva was undoubtedly theatrical in her rhetoric and relation to the "descamisados" (shirtless ones) in Argentina, but this does not mean she was telling lies or being ingenuine - all evidence points to the fact that Evita meant EVERY dramatic and theatrical thing she said. And it has been noted that prior to her career as first lady, Evita was a lousy actress in her theater work - if she was lousy in theater and movies, then why was she so successful as the spokesperson and defender of the women and the poor of Argentina? - BECAUSE SHE MEANT WHAT SHE SAID. The real Eva Peron /was/ playing a role as first lady, but it was a role she took to heart and meant! Her dying words to Peron were, "Never abandon the poor, they are the only ones who know how to be loyal." The real Eva Peron /was/ playing a role, but ALL politicians, and all people, "play" roles in their careers - so why do people degrade or try to diminish Evita's role? A role which, again, was anything but hollow.
The real Eva Peron was much more complex, fascinating, hard working, and intense than this movie portrays - but its a musical! What can we expect? For a closer look at the real Eva Peron I would recommend reading "Evita: The Real Life of Eva Peron" by Fraser and Navarro. But for lite entertainment I would recommend watching this video...however, keep in mind that this is NOT the real Eva Peron. It is a character, and a movie, "inspired by" Eva Peron's life story.
Thank you.

Studio: Disney Studios
Director: Alan Parker
Antonio Banderas
Jonathan Pryce
Jimmy Nail

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