Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: The Spike Jones Story
Productgroup: DVD
The Spike Jones Story - movie DVD cover picture
Zany bandleader's music captured on DVD!

Finally! A Spike Jones DVD! Spike previously has been represented in this format only on two video compliations, "The Unknown Mark Brothers," and a Reader's Digest comedy box set.
This disc is a repackaging of the 1988 biographical VHS (and Spike's ONLY audio/visual biography ever made).
Lots of clips and quick editing capture the "look and feel" of Spike's brand on music. His friends, coworkers, and family members reveal details about the man himself in documentary style.
LOTS of musical excerpts in this one hour program - but like a movie preview, the clips leave you hungry for the full-length versions.
It's nice to have the 21 cue marks, but most seem to be put in at random places.
Some bonus tracks would have been nice for this reissue. There are none here. Still, at $11.95, this disc is an entertainment bargain!

Studio: Navarre Corporation/
Spike Jones

DVD title: The Phantom of the Opera (Widescreen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
The Phantom of the Opera (Widescreen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Majestic Adaptation of the Musical

This was a brilliant version of Phantom of the Opera. I have never seen the actual stage presentation of the musical, so this was a treat to watch in on the big screen. Like many of the other reviewers, I felt like this adaptation of the musical pulls off the big screen feel that this work should have.

Another reason this version thrives is that the movie did not diminish or impede LeRoux's original novel. This could have been another lame attempt by Hollywood to take a story from a novel and "dumb" it down, adding unnecessary plot details and overdone scenes. Thankfully that didn't happen, and the gothic/ horror feel is depicted successfully.

The singing is superb and I felt like the movie was well cast. Emmy Rossum exerts a successful job as Christine Daae and Gerard Butler does as well also as the Phantom. With the way the film is produced and directed, it is not hard to "get into" the head of specific characters.

Sometimes it is the small aspects that make movies a grade better than the rest. The way the producers used the black and white screen to flash ahead to another time at the movie's outset, and then periodically go back to this, was uniquely satisfying, and helps the story along. It also made the transitions back into LeRoux's story even more effective. Also, the cinematography and visual effects aid in exemplifying the essential themes of the story: love, hate, jealousy, inner beauty, despair, isolation, hope. These all come forth in the grand chandelier scene, the cemetery scene with Christine, the isolation of the Phantom in his chambers, and the magnificent opera scenes.

Finally, there is a successful transition from Broadway musical to movie. This one does live up to the hype.

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Joel Schumacher
Gerard Butler
Emmy Rossum
Patrick Wilson

DVD title: La Bella y la Bestia (Beauty and the Beast - Special Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
La Bella y la Bestia (Beauty and the Beast - Special Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Disney at It's Best!

I can still remember the first time I ever saw a commercial for Beauty and the Beast, while watchign my afternoon cartoons. Immediatly I was hooked. I hadn't even seen the movie! After much whining, groaning, and anticipation, I was taken to the theatre on its opening day. I can't remember ever being as enthralled before or since! I saw it 7 time sin theatre, and have watched the video dozens more times. This DVD has recaptured that magic so a whole new generation of children can enjoy it. The DVD has three versions of the film all of which are a joy to watch. I was so happy that they included the original film version, and not just the new version. Theres somethign comfortable in familiarity. there is also a work on progress which is just fascinating. It really helps one understand the whole process. There are alos hours of bonus feautures, most of which I haven't had time to even watch yet. there is also a game that has entertained my younger siblings for hours on end. This DVD is a true Gen that brings Beauty and the Beast to life in sharper and more vivid color then ever! Don't wait buy now!

Studio: Walt Disney Home Video
Robby Benson
Paige O'Hara

DVD title: Mortal Kombat
Productgroup: DVD
Mortal Kombat - movie DVD cover picture
Martial Arts At its best

If you don't like this movie then your not a fan of the video game. The movie was the best when it came to the fight scenes. Plus you had all the great fighters. Robin Shou was great as The Chosen One. The guy who played Rayden sure knew how to keep the whole "God of Thunder" in perspective. And Goro was pretty good too. There could have been a few more characters though

Studio: New Line Home Entertainment
Director: Paul W.S. Anderson
Christopher Lambert
Robin Shou

DVD title: Go Towards the Light
Productgroup: DVD
Go Towards the Light - movie DVD cover picture
How Can We Forget?

Starring: Ned Beatty, Linda Hamilton, Richard Thomas, Piper Laurie and Joshua Harris

This movie is based on the autobiographical book by Chris Oyler, about an inspirational AIDS drama (to say the least). Claire and Greg Madison discover that their hemophiliac son Ben has contracted the deadly virus through a tainted transfusion. Faced with the likelihood that Ben will not live out the year, the Madisons vow to make every day of that year count and to see to it that their son will not have to endure his trials alone.

This is one of the movies that I love and tolerate the most. I'm not a big fan of one of the main characters dying at the end of a movie. But if it leads to something positive and inspirational, I can't help but love it. I remember when this was a made for TV movie in 1988 and our whole family watching it. And from that, I remember the film clearly to this day. Through the "bitter-sweet" positive nature the film left us, I couldn't help but feel that there were some of the scenes on there hit pretty close to home...I grew up with doctors telling me I had 6 months left to live. But I ended up surprising all of the doctors and I'm still going strong today. But in my most trialed times when I was going through medical problems, I would always think about something more positive like puppies, ice cream, and in my worst moments, Jesus. Not all children are as lucky as I am, but I believe that all kids need SOMETHING to look forward to in their future. This is one of the few movies to do all of that. It touches all lives both young and old to prepare for something that will eventually happen to all of us.

Studio: Platinum Disc Corp
Linda Hamilton

DVD title: Overkill: Wrecking Everything - Live
Productgroup: DVD
Overkill: Wrecking Everything - Live - movie DVD cover picture
The meat and potatoes of metal. Meglamica fans look away.

After all these years of living in the dark, they still rule the metal scene. When meglamica was putting out the "black album"in 91'. These metal-heads put out "horrorscope", you guys know what im talking about. This dvd kicked so much (rear-end), i needed ice in the morning. It covers all of there albums. 20 plus songs, a second disk with a tons of did you knows and interesting archival footage. A must have for any self respecting metal head. keep wrecking your neck. By the way the "DTS" audio version is sweet. One of the few dvd's that picks up the bass guitar cleanly and distinctly(a rare thing).
My only complaint was it's filmed in pan & scan. Come on anamorphic widesceen(the futures clear and i can hear them coming.)
5 stars none the less.

Studio: Red Distribution, In

DVD title: Toy Story & Toy Story 2 (2 Pack)
Productgroup: DVD
Toy Story & Toy Story 2 (2 Pack) - movie DVD cover picture
Collector's Item

This is definitely a collector's item. It is one of the extremely rare cases when a sequel is better than the original (which was a five star by itself)
Not only do you get two excellent movies in one pack, but the bonus features rival the movies for entertainment value. The outtakes are hilarious, and the short film "Luxo Jnr" belies the fact that it was created way back in 1986.
This should be rated 15 stars - 5 for each movie and 5 for the bonus features.

Studio: Disney/Pixar
Director: John Lasseter
Tom Hanks
Tim Allen

DVD title: The Long Run
Productgroup: DVD
The Long Run - movie DVD cover picture
Good acting, good story, Armin is beautiful

I was surprised when, by accident, I watched this movie in HBO in Malaysia. I just had to get a copy of DVD from the United Kingdom as the seller in U.S. would not ship it here. This is not only a good story, in spite of being just a simple racing and "love" story, but I observed the acting of Armin (Berry, the coach) and I fell in love with him. The heroine is a cute, beautiful African actress, fresh and young, and her acting is so down to earth, you think you are living among all the characters in this movie. The dancing scene at the local bar is so funny, and the embrace at the ending tells it all. His denial of love for Christine, and Christine's free spirit and at the same time, her love for the older man is obvious from the very beginning. Well, its just a lovely, charming story and good race! Loved the "bus" boys also, and Terror! Even Gaza is a good actor that shows his ego get in the way and envy of the old coach. I would recommend this to all, men and women. Its good, romantic and funny.

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: Jean Stewart (III)

DVD title: Emma
Productgroup: DVD
Emma - movie DVD cover picture

I fell in love with this storyline almost from the beginning. I think it was the music which first caught my attention. Music played a big role in describing the feelings of the characters as they progressed through the movie. Specifically when Emma tries so hard to "help" everyone and just doesn't seem to be accomplishing anything. One of my favorite romantic lines of all time is when her love tells her: "I rode through the rain!" And then he grins and then it disappears as if he wants her to know how he feels is serious. Oh! I love it!

Studio: Miramax Home Entertainment
Director: Douglas McGrath
Gwyneth Paltrow

DVD title: Death Wish
Productgroup: DVD
Death Wish - movie DVD cover picture
superb 70's film

This is one of the best of it's era. Very well done. Holds up well to multiple viewings and it's far better than you might expect if you haven't seen it. Director Michael Winner really delivers and Bronson is in top form. It has a highly effective musical score too.

Studio: Paramount Studio
Director: Michael Winner
Charles Bronson
Hope Lange

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