Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: X2 - X-Men United (Full Screen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
X2 - X-Men United (Full Screen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture

This movie is just great!! Far better than the original, and thats a rare thing! Collosus, Kitty, and other mutants appeared in this film, than the last. The first movie was cool, and this one even better. The plot was great, the graphics, with night crawler teleporting all over the place, that was just fantastic! I am only out of my seat waiting for the third movie of X-men to come out, marvel has done a great job. It is rated pg-13 but still, i would still recommend that kids to watch it. This movie is a must have, and when it comes out I will surely buy it.

Studio: Fox Home Entertainme
Director: Bryan Singer
Patrick Stewart
Hugh Jackman
Ian McKellen
Halle Berry
Anna Paquin
Brian Cox

DVD title: The Salton Sea
Productgroup: DVD
The Salton Sea - movie DVD cover picture

A dark, sardonic look at love and survival guilt, suspense and fidelity, this is a gutter rat's story, gently shot through with gorgeous dream imagery that magically reveals how profoundly a man's life can be transformed by a single accident. Showcasing an extraordinary cast under an actors' director, this poetic nightmare is charged with the magical energy that crackles where gifted improv meets great scripting and breathtaking cinematography. But for all its artistic power, what I really love about this movie is the story itself, one of those rare fictions that can recharge your soul and turn your head back towards reality. The DVD's special features include fascinating background such as how the sets were designed to complement the emotional shape of the narrative, and how the method actors developed their characters.

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: D.J. Caruso
Val Kilmer

DVD title: Chappelle's Show - Season 1
Productgroup: DVD
Chappelle's Show - Season 1 - movie DVD cover picture
Beyond hilarious

Im going to sum it up real quick....Dave Chapelle is out of his (expletive)-ing mind!!! But I mean that in a good way!!! There is no one on the scene who does this kind of humor.....dave covers everything from warren g to keeping it real....its modern day provocative humor and its genuinely very very funny.
So if all out raucos comedy is your thing, check out Chapelles Show. Its BEYOND hilarious!!!

Studio: Paramount Home Video
Dave Chappelle

DVD title: The Iron Giant
Productgroup: DVD
The Iron Giant - movie DVD cover picture
The Iron Giant: a Genuine Masterpiece

If you're tired of being short changed by the movie industry with inane, unoriginal films, then why don't you take a look at one of the most genuine films created in the past decade? Prove to the movie industry that audiences aren't comprised of dolts and watch this superbly crafted tale. For the cost of two tickets to a lousy, overhyped megafilm, you can own a film/dvd worth viewing over and over again. This film is rich, moving and humorous. Feast your eyes on the Iron Giant and you'll be glad you did.

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Brad Bird
Harry Connick Jr.
Eli Marienthal

DVD title: House on Haunted Hill
Productgroup: DVD
House on Haunted Hill - movie DVD cover picture
Consult your doctor! Bring your seat belts!

This review was originally published on Epinions (...)

Recent films such as Polyester (in "smell-o-rama") and Matinee have paid tribute to the cheesy gimmicks used in many 1950's sci-fi and horror films, but especially to those made by William Castle. Castle used some of the most ridiculous of these gimmicks to help promote his films.

The original theatrical presentations of House on Haunted Hill featured a typically outrageous Castle-engineered gimmick: Emergo, which was nothing more than a plastic skeleton that appeared to fly out of the screen and over the audience on a guide wire.

However, even without the fake skeleton, you can still have fun viewing this often creepy cult classic.

The setting for House on Haunted Hill is a house currently owned by Watson Pritchard (Elisha Cook Jr.), which has been purported to be the sight of many murders years before.

He rents the house to an eccentric millionaire named Frederick Loren (Vincent Price) who's married to a greedy gold digger (Carol Ohmart) who refuses to divorce him. When he turns his wife's idea for a haunted-house party into a contest--[...] to whoever will spend the night in "the only truly haunted house in the world"--it seems he may have found an alternative to divorce.

Five people gather for the party, none of which have ever met before, nor have they met Mr. Loren. Loren hands each of them delightfully twisted party favors (loaded handguns, delivered in their own tiny coffins), and the spook show begins.

Is or isn't the house haunted? What is real? What is unreal? Will they make it out alive?

While House on Haunted Hill doesn't have as many scares as other horror films of the period, it does provide some genuine creepiness. It's not the kind of film that will make you jump out of your seat, but it will spook you enough as to make you not want to leave the lights off for too long.

The film has a terrific cast. All of the acting is excellent, and the camera work is top-notch. The musical score is excellent, also, and provides some genuine moments of excellent eeriness. Although there was one really annoying section of the score that I did not care for at all: while Nora is creeping around in the basement, the composer lets us know that something scary is about to happen by pounding on the same key over and over again slowly until it actually happens. But that's the only real complaint I have about the score.

For an enjoyable Halloween treat, grab some popcorn, pop House on Haunted Hill into the DVD player, turn all of the lights off, and enjoy....if you dare.

Now, about 20th Century Fox's DVD release.

If you think that colorization is just a cheap gimmick, remember: this film had a plastic skeleton fly through the audience during its original theatrical release, so don't talk to me about cheap gimmicks.

Funny thing is that I always thought that House on Haunted Hill WAS a color film until I finally saw it.

The film is presented in its original 1.33:1 aspect ratio. If you saw it in the theaters (with, of course, the flying skeleton), you'll probably remember it being presented in the 1.85:1 aspect ratio. Well, don't get angry. You won't be missing much. In fact, you're seeing a lot MORE on the full-screen version.

The colorization on House on Haunted Hill is fantastic. It looks just like a 1950s Technicolor production. If you took this colorized DVD and compared it to an actual 1950s color film like, oh, let's say, Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo, you wouldn't notice any difference. Actually, that's not true -- they're two different films. So, of course, you would notice SOME differences, but, ah...well, you know what I mean.

The black and white print on this DVD is very crisp and sharp. You can see every little detail. The bright spots aren't too bright, and the dark spots aren't too dark.

The audio track is the same on both versions--original mono. On previous Legend Films DVDs, they decided to move the soundtrack from speaker to speaker where appropriate to create 5.1 sound. I don't know why they didn't do that with this film, but since I don't have the speaker system, I guess it doesn't matter.

Other special features include articles from the original press book, the original black and white trailer for House on Haunted Hill (and a Legend Films trailer which is re-edited somewhat, and, of course, in color), and color trailers for other Legend Films releases including Carnival of Souls, Night of the Living Dead, Reefer Madness, and The Three Stooges in Color.

There's also the Legend Films Colorization Demo, which you can see on their website. The demo includes clips from The Mark of Zorro, Heidi, My Man Godfrey, The Jackie Robinson Story, Carnival of Souls, Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Weapon, and Africa Screams, among other films.

And, of course, Mike Nelson riffs on the film, like he has on all Off Color Films (Legend Films' cult DVDs) releases. The comedian states that he never got to screen anything by famed schlock movie king William Castle, and that he was excited to see his most famous film.

In the entire duration of his commentary track, Nelson makes no mention of the fact that the film was colorized. And, like Legend's Carnival of Souls DVD, you can listen to Mike's audio track on either version of the film. So, if you absolutely positively can't stand colorization, you can put on the black and white version and pretend that the colorized version of House on Haunted Hill doesn't even exist. And while you're at it, you can pretend that everything in life is absolutely perfect, we all live on the moon, and the P.A.T.R.I.O.T. act is actually a good idea. Or not.

Here are some quotes from Mike's commentary:

Watson Pritchard: May I introduce myself? I'm Watson Pritchard.
Mike (Irish accent): Retired leprechaun.

(Over a shot of the House on Haunted Hill)
Fredrick Loren: The party's starting now, and you have until midnight to find the House on Haunted Hill.
Mike: I don't need until midnight--it's right there!

Mike: I don't know about ghosts, but I'm guessing that they'll all be done in by the Hantavirus and all the poisonous mold spores in this dump.

(Fredrick Loren appears suddenly after the chandelier falls)
Mike: Folks, if you do get a Vincent Price in your own home, don't panic. Just call animal control and they'll remove him. They have a large, humane trap that they set up just for him, and they release him into the Hollywood Hills.

(the group is walking up the stairs, and Pritchard looks behind him to make sure they're still there)
Mike: "Hey, stop looking at my [...]."

Also, the menu design is fantastic on this issue. It looks just like a video game. Very nice. I wish they had given Night of the Living Dead an interactive menu....better yet, I wish they had done a better job at colorizing Night of the Living Dead. Oh well.

Autographed by Mike Nelson himself, Legend Films' limited preview edition of House on Haunted Hill is a DVD to die for. If you're a Mystery Science Theater 3000 fan, pick up a copy today at their official website. If not, wait until the DVD comes out and buy it used. This is probably the best DVD release of House on Haunted Hill on the market.


Studio: Fox Home Entertainme
Director: William Castle
Vincent Price
Carol Ohmart

DVD title: Alias - The Complete Third Season
Productgroup: DVD
Alias - The Complete Third Season - movie DVD cover picture
Kick Ass Sunday Night Spy Thriller!

I've been a huge fan of Alias since the first season. Some thought season three was a let down, but in my opinion it was a continuation of great television from J. J. Abrams and the Alias cast. This is a must have collection for any true Alias fan! Anyone new to Alias should think about purchasing or renting this collection to help catch up on the story line.

Alias is a great show, and is one show I'm sure to never miss!

Studio: Buena Vista Home Vid
Jennifer Garner

DVD title: The L Word - The Complete First Season
Productgroup: DVD
The L Word - The Complete First Season - movie DVD cover picture
i LOVE this show!!!!

i had first heard of the L word through a friend, but i never saw it while it aired on showtime early in 2004. i later rented the first disc in season one, and i just fell in love with it. i knew i just had to buy the whole season one dvd so that i could see all the i bought it, and now i just can't get enough of the show. i've seen it from beginning to end twice already, in just a week of owning it, and i still can't leave it out of my dvd player. the characters are all wonderful, i esp. love bette and tina. i'm just in love with them, and the rest of the characters. the L word is just the best. i can't wait for season two to air on showtime on 20 feb. what i also recommend is the soundtrack to the L word, the music is also great!

Jennifer Beals

DVD title: All the President's Men
Productgroup: DVD
All the President's Men - movie DVD cover picture
Great movie making on a horrible DVD

The first time I saw this movie, I was a sophomore in high school, in 1982. My journalism teacher, now passed, showed us this movie as an example of what excellent reporting can do to the most powerful person in the world. I sat transfixed, watching Redford and Hoffman go through the machinations of an investigative process. Twenty one years later, it's amazing how powerful a film it is, and how relevant it still is today.

From the beginnings of a third-rate burglary attempt at the Watergate Hotel, All the President's Men traces how it became a behemoth of the Nixon adminstration. Clearly factual, and a recount of the events, the film manages to make what can be a very confusing story clear and mysterious. It's told step by step, and as the reporters find out something new, we find out something new.

Of course, details are left out, so I also recommend a reading of the book, named the same, to fill in more of the story. But on its own, it's a great introduction to this amazing story. Also, Woodward has another book coming out this summer, specifcally about Deep Throat, that will shed additional light on the subject.

While the film is great, the DVD is a mess. For some reason, I have to turn my television set up to the highest level of volume just to have a medium level of sound. There are no special features, and for a topic like this, it seems ripe for tons of special features. For it's price, you get what you get, but I'm awaiting for this to come out on a better, more informative DVD!

Studio: Warner Studios
Director: Alan J. Pakula
Dustin Hoffman
Robert Redford

DVD title: Samurai X - Betrayal (Rurouni Kenshin)
Productgroup: DVD
Samurai X - Betrayal (Rurouni Kenshin) - movie DVD cover picture
The Master ASSASIN Strikes1 And Strikes it Excellently!

The second part and the conclusion to the Rurouni Kenshin OVA's, Not only that the storyline that really srikes a viwers point of view towards what really happened, and to why he killed by the masses, but the soundtrack and instrumentation music that plays in the background that gives this epic a true masterpiece. Recommended for animation lovers that likes drama and action. I give this DVD my full blessing and proper credit of THUMBS UP ALL THE WAY! NOTE: Subtitled is recommended version.

Studio: A.D. Vision

DVD title: Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella
Productgroup: DVD
Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella - movie DVD cover picture
Very Special

I can't believe it!! I thought I was the only fool in the world searching for this video. I rented it from a video store about 9 years ago. They since have gone out of business and I haven't been able to find it again either to rent or to buy. Please re-release this video, like many others who have commented here, it has a special place in my heart and I would love to share it with my 6 year old daughter. I'm glad I found this Web Site!!

Studio: Columbia/Tristar Studios
Director: Charles S. Dubin

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