Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Great White: My...My...My...
Productgroup: DVD
Great White: My...My...My... - movie DVD cover picture

My favorite band to explode out of the 80's. Great White is AWESOME and unfairly critized for being a Zeppelin knockoff. But one listen to Mista Bone and you these boys can rock. Great stuff.

Studio: Emi Distribution

DVD title: N Sync - N the Mix
Productgroup: DVD
N Sync - N the Mix - movie DVD cover picture
A surperb video, but buy the DVD format

An important advice: To fully harness the release of this title, it is strongly recommended that the DVD format be bought. It has some extra stuff the VHS doesn't have. And that extra stuff happens to be good - 2 more music videos and a photo gallery.
The 2 more music videos are "I Drive Myself Crazy" and "You Drive Me Crazy". The first video looks a bit old. The second video, however, should please 'N Sync fans.
But the thing that warrants the purchase of the DVD is really the photo gallery. It features the childhood photographs of all the 'N Sync members - from their baby pictures to their childhood ones. Definitely lends an intimate touch to the DVD.
Previous reviews have described how funny the video is. Well, I didn't think the video was that funny. But I must say, it was very well-produced, the numerous music videos (including rare ones like "For the Girl Who Has Everything") and live performances were well-placed throughout the length of the video.
There was also a reviewer who mentioned JC Chasez singing a piano acoustic version of "For the Girl Who EATS everything". It was a very short performance, too short to make me laugh. (Just two lines : For the girl who eats everything, I'll bring her fudge, cookies & stuff )
Overall,as a debut video of an artist, this video was very well done. It is extremely informative, covering several profiles of 'N Sync - from their biodata, hobbies, to footages of their leisure time and full-length live performances. There is also a brief account of how the group was formed. And of course, a lot of music videos.
What more can a 'N Sync fan ask for such a comprehensive package?

Studio: Bmg/Rca
N Sync

DVD title: Iris
Productgroup: DVD
Iris - movie DVD cover picture
Moving and Beautifully Acted.

This is such a beautiful film, and although it's sad I didn't find it depressing. The setting is drab - in fact, most of it is filmed in a dilapidated old house - but the effective use of flash-backs and the four superb, Oscar-worthy performances of Judi Dench, Jim Broadbent, Kate Winslet and Hugh Bonville shine and make this movie something truly exceptional. See it.

Studio: Buena Vista Home Vid
Director: Richard Eyre
Judi Dench
Jim Broadbent

DVD title: Miracle on 34th Street
Productgroup: DVD
Miracle on 34th Street - movie DVD cover picture
Great holiday classic!

This is one of the most liked holiday films of all time! And I can see why. The Santa Claus is hilarious in this film, and he gets saved by a wonderful acting lawyer. Throughout the film, you'll see that everyday people are thinking of Santa as a crazed maniac. But it all turns out great at the end. And it gets better in 1997!

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
Director: George Seaton
Maureen O'Hara
Edmund Gwenn

DVD title: Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind
Productgroup: DVD
Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind - movie DVD cover picture
good movie

It was a great movie about a girl that has a weired power to clam down the insects in this movie and she ends up saving the vally of the wind from the olm

Studio: Buena Vista Home Vid
Director: Hayao Miyazaki

DVD title: Twin Peaks - Fire Walk with Me
Productgroup: DVD
Twin Peaks - Fire Walk with Me - movie DVD cover picture
More Good News For Twin Peaks Fans!

Twin Peaks fans have had many reasons lately to rejoice. First, the Twin Peaks DVD Season 1 set, and now word that Fire Walk With Me will be released in February. However, the downside of both of these releases is that they've been criticized as being "incomplete". The Season 1 set (due to ownership rights) doesn't include the two-hour pilot episode. Likewise, at this point, it doesn't appear that the FWWM DVD will include the "deleted scenes" which were shot, but never included in the theatrical release. Since many of these scenes included regulars from the Twin Peaks series (such as Harry Truman and Josie Packard having a romantic picnic, not to mention the wonderful Sherilyn Fenn), Twin Peaks fans have been dreaming about this holy grail of Fire Walk With Me lore.
However, despite these deficiences, it is a joyous occassion to hear that FWWM, which essentially bombed in the theaters when it came out in 1992, is being released. One would assume that there isn't too great of a demand for this fairly unpopular movie. It has been derided as too obfuscating for non-peaks fans to follow. But as a TP fan, I find this one of the greatest aspects of the film. Rather than "watering down" the surreal aspects of the t.v. series, in the hopes of reaping profits from a mainstream audience, David Lynch didn't "pull any punches" on this thing. The weirdness and obscure references continue, even confusing die-hard Peaks fans at times (which I feel is one of the most special things about this film). Oftentimes, when a movie adaptation of a cult phenomenon such as this is released, it usually attempts (overly so, at times) to "wrap up all the lose ends". Fire Walk With Me certainly depicts the answer to the question, "Who killed Laura Palmer?" However, its most remarkable characteristic is that it poses other more perplexing questions.
This movie is highly recommeded. Go ahead and preorder it, or buy it when it comes out in February. Hopefully, by putting our "money where our mouths are", Twin Peaks frans will be able to send a message to New Line and Artisan Entertainment showing that there is still (ten years later) a significant demand for Twin Peaks merchandise. Perhaps this may some day allow the "uncut" version of FWWM to be released, as well as the two-hour pilot episode, and the other episodes of the series (other than the first season). One can always hope....

Studio: New Line Home Entertainment
Director: David Lynch
Sheryl Lee
Ray Wise

DVD title: Book of Shadows - Blair Witch 2
Productgroup: DVD
Book of Shadows - Blair Witch 2 - movie DVD cover picture
Strange, Visually Stunning

"Blair Witch II: Book of Shadows" is a stylish clever horror flick, unjustly dissed. The film opens on a high note, mocking the commercialization of the first film, and its more obsessed devotees. I thought that it was a very daring, clever move especially since we, the devotees of the first film, added to its great profit and success.
Like many other recent flicks, this one leaves it upon you, the viewer to try to make sense of the events you are shown. And what bizarre things we do see-an owl crashes through the exfactory window, Trista turns around on her bed, the camera records events that none can remember...
The characters in this film are all interesting, but not easy to understand. I especially liked the gothic type girl.
Ultimately this fast paced film will leave you with more questions than answers, as you ponder the following: 1. The gothic/psychic girl has a momentary vision of Jeffrey in an electric chair-is he the reincarnation of the serial killer in the first film? 2. Is the Blair Witch even involved in the events that transpire? 3. Has Mass Hysteria indeed grasped the group? 4. Why does the group have no memory of those five hours? Pay Very close attention to the drunken scenes early in the film, and the possible hypothesis's served up. I think the key to drawing your own conclusions to this film lies there, if anywhere.
Sure the film is gory, but luckily most of it is kind of dreamlike rather than in your face gore. I would highly recommend this film if you can appreciate a film for the artistic visual impact alone, and if your ok with drawing your own answers. A winner on all counts.

Studio: Artisan Entertainment
Director: Joe Berlinger
Jeffrey Donovan
Erica Leerhsen
Stephen Barker Turner

DVD title: Clash of the Titans
Productgroup: DVD
Clash of the Titans - movie DVD cover picture
Clash of the Titans

When Clash of the Titans was first announced, it promised much more than any film could possibly deliver. You may not be able to go home again, but you sure can give it a good try. While parts of Clash do measure up to Harryhausen's classic Jason and The Argonauts, the film is a bit uneven. The strong cast and imagative blocking by Desmond Davis does add to the strong quality of the best sequences.
Lawrence Olivier should have played Zeus ages ago. Here's an actor drunk with both the role and his position in cinema (and stage). He chews the scenery well and makes even the most tedious scenes enjoyable. The laser backdrop that greets us when we first see Zeus says it all. Burgess Meredith, Maggie Smith and Harry Hamlin make a feast of their meagerly underwritten roles. All three do an admirable job throughout the film acting against the backdrop of Harryhausen's stop motion animation and effects work.
Can't help but wonder why the horrible matte job with Posideon releasing the Krakan was left in. In a movie with so many marvelous effects one has to wonder how this poorly done sequence was overlooked.
The animation of Pegues top is a career high for Harryhausen. He manages to invest life into a character that would be the undoing of most effects people. His work is both breaktaking and original. The section involving Medusa and Calibos are also quite impressive and engaging. The later sequences involve both stop action work and a an actor. The ambitious sequences work well and are integrated into the finished production with care.
I suppose the most important aspect to this film is the love of Greek mythology that Harryhausen brings to the project. Clearly Clash was a labor of love much like Jason and the first Sinbad adventure. While many artists (and make no doubt about it Harryhausen is an artist) revisit the past and manage only to dredge up the memories of former glories, Harryhausen manages to create new ones as well. Despite its flaws, Clash demonstrates that Harryhausen went out at the top of his game.
The screenplay by longtime collaborator Beverly Cross is almost the equal of his work for Jason. The late Cross manages to integrate a wide variety of characters from Greek mythology into a coheren narrative that works very well. A pity that Cross didn't work on the last Sinbad installment as the lack of a strong screenplay (and actor in the title role) undermined that film.
The characters of the Greek gods are surprisingly true to legend (perhaps not since Cross was a classical scholar)and while some of the mortals are little more than stock characters with little elaboration on motivation, they move the story forward. Although not as involving (or accurate ) as the work Cross did on Jason twenty years before, the script does its job of putting the characters through the paces and rolls us along to the next action sequence. That's better than most Hollywood hacks are able to do today.
The direction is fairly sharp but not quite as tight or consistent as in Jason (although an improvement over Nathan Juran and Sam Wanamaker's work on the Sinbad films)Veteran director Desmond Davis does an admirable job given the circumstances. Some of the sequences are a bit clumsy in set up (and I'm not entirely sure that was Davis' fault)but, on the whole, Davis' mise en scene works well. I'm happy that Star Wars and Close Encounters created an environment where Columbia was willing to gamble on another Harryhausen epic even if the result was wanting. Clash is great entertainment for both children and adults regardless of its minor flaws.
The extras on the DVD are great. Although I would have loved to see test footage and outttakes of the animation sequences, it's clear that Harryhausen wants some of the magic to remain. In a film obsessed culture where every one wants to know everything about the making of a film, Harryhausen's attitude is a refreshing change.

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Desmond Davis
Harry Hamlin
Laurence Olivier

DVD title: The Beatles Anthology
Productgroup: DVD
The Beatles Anthology - movie DVD cover picture
nothing short of necessary

I've been put off getting this DVD for purely money reasons. I had figured I have their CD's and that's really all I need. Bad mistake. I finally have it and this gets a proud and prominent place on my DVD storage rack.
Those of you do have it, I have no need to explain its value. Those of you who have even a passing interest in the Beatles, this is essential. It is more than just a 'look back' or trip down Penny Lane. Without being too ambitious, it is however a thorough profile of the Fab Four from their earliest Liverpool origins to the inevitable end. What I was pleased with was the points of view from band members, George Martin and other tied in with their legendary success. This is not a simple straight-through narrative by any means. The production is first-class all the way.
Praise goes out the production of the DVD itself, also. The menus are easily navigable and simple. The sound is top-notch. It would been all too tempting to get carried away with gimmicks that take away from the focus of the DVD. Thank goodness they didn't take that route. Given the resources available, the picture is clear and bright as need be. The sound is good and the music is top-notch.
The four DVD's (plus the one bonus supplemenary disc) may seem lengthy by some, but it is just the right amount of time to explain their history with detail without unecessary fodder. A value for the price by any stretch. If you must, sell back all the DVD's you honestly don't watch anymore. :)
My appreciation to all those involved with the making of this Anthology. 10 stars if I could.

Studio: EMI Music Distribution (Pre-Release)
John Lennon

DVD title: Batman
Productgroup: DVD
Batman - movie DVD cover picture
Dark and Doomy

This live action story of the comic book hero, the caped crusader, is an excellent film by director Tim Burton (Beetle Juice, Sleepy Hollow, Edward Scissorhands). Michael Keaton's Batman and Bruce Wayne add interest to what the real Batman is like. But the one steals the show is the brilliantly cast Jack Nicholson who falls into acid and becomes the evil Joker. The Joker is causing psychopathic incidents, such as making news reporters laugh to death. Also staring Kim Basinger as reporter Vicki Vale and Michael Gough as Bruce Wayne's bulter Alfred.

Studio: Warner Studios
Director: Tim Burton
Michael Keaton
Jack Nicholson

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