Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Zatoichi the Blind Swordsman, Vol. 2 - The Tale of Zatoichi Continues
Productgroup: DVD
Zatoichi the Blind Swordsman, Vol. 2 - The Tale of Zatoichi Continues - movie DVD cover picture
Zatoichi's Best.

I've seen basically all of the 'Zatoichi' films and this is far and away the best. Although it's relatively short (75 minutes or so), it's got well-coreographed fight scenes, great acting (when he's not killing three people at a time, you'd think Shintaro Katsu was really blind), and all sorts of wonderful plot twists. In this film, Zatoichi develops more as a character rather than as a gimmick. Although the first film was superb, we really only got to see that he was this avenging angel from the yakuza, if such a thing is not a contradiction in terms. This time around, however, we get to see more of what motivates Ichi as well as some more insight into his past. We are introduced in this chapter to Ichi's law-breaking brother, played by Tomisaburo Wakayama (who was Shintaro Katsu's brother in real life as well). We learn that the two had previously feuded over the same woman to the point that Ichi cut off his brother's arm in a fit of rage. While all this is going on, Ichi is being pursued by Kanbei, an assassin sent to dispatch Ichi before he can tell of Kanbei's lord's insanity. In his pursuit of Ichi, Kanbei hooks up with Sukegoro, Ichi's employer from the previous installment who has a score to settle with the blind swordsman. These various groups all come into conflict with one another at various points and make for a film that is simultaneously action-packed and well thought out. Highest recommendations.

Studio: Home Vision Entertainment
Director: Kazuo Mori

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

A very entertaining movie. Good script. Different knid of movie. Big Thrills. Buy it!

Studio: New Line Home Entertainment
Director: Gregory Hoblit
Dennis Quaid
James Caviezel

DVD title: Walt Disney Treasures - On the Front Lines
Productgroup: DVD
Walt Disney Treasures - On the Front Lines - movie DVD cover picture
An Excellent Addition to a Strong Series

The words 'Masterpiece' and 'Classic' are overused these days especially by the Disney company ('Disney's Classic The Black Cauldron' anyone?). When the Walt Disney Treasures series first appeared several years ago it was clear that we fans were in for a treat. The series has never let us down, although some entries are much better than others, and 'On The Front Lines' proves to be the master stroke by which all the others should be measured.The real beauty of this release is the wealth of 'never before released' footage. Usually footage has 'never before been released' because it wasn't worthy of a release, but this is real gold from the Disney vaults. For a start, the inclusion of 'Victory Through Airpower' completes my Disney feature collection (over VHS and DVD) and then there's the rest!The public info films and the propaganda shorts are priceless. The perfect animation seems almost wasted on films that have spent over a half a century locked in the vaults. Show the powerful 'Education for Death' to a cynic and ask them if 'cartoons' are just for kids. All of the rest of the shorts on offer are equally interesting and provide a great insight for animation fans and historians alike.The 'funny' shorts that feature Donald, Pluto and Goofy are mostly top-form. The shorts featuring Private Duck and Sergeant Pete are my particular favourites. 'Der Feuhrers Face' is a classic in it's own right and it's fantastic to see it over-coming it's (well deserved!)racist reputation to appear on this DVD.This brings hope that Warners may issue a DVD featuring the Private Snafu shorts as well as the infamous 'Bugs Bunny Nips the Nips'.

Studio: Walt Disney Home Video

DVD title: Going Overboard
Productgroup: DVD
Going Overboard - movie DVD cover picture
Adam Sandler's Best Movie!

This one is on my top ten list. It has the funniest story line ever! A man gets on the wrong cruise! HAHAHAHAHAHHAHHA! If you do not like this movie you must be a robot. Or Dead. I loved the part where he loses his hat in the water! Who thinks up this stuff?! I laughed so hard, I accidentally swallowed my head! This movie is funnier with no sound and picture! WHOO WEE AHHH YES!

Studio: Vidmark/Trimark
Director: Valerie Breiman
Adam Sandler
Billy Zane

DVD title: The Others
Productgroup: DVD
The Others - movie DVD cover picture
one of the scariest movies ever made

The Others is not only a thoroughly frightening film, it is also one of the best movies of 2001. Nicole Kidman gives a wonderful, steely performance in the lead, the two children are completely effective, and the direction and pace are expert level. An unsettling movie that treats its audience as intelligent, The Others goes beyond expectations to triumph as a masterpiece of terror.

Studio: Miramax
Director: Alejandro AmenĂ¡bar
Nicole Kidman
Christopher Eccleston

DVD title: Phil Collins: Serious Hits - Live
Productgroup: DVD
Phil Collins: Serious Hits - Live - movie DVD cover picture
Great show

Finally on dvd, this concert is Phil at his best. Although I prefer Genesis over his solo stuff, this show is really amazing and full of energy. The cd only had 13 songs on it, but the dvd version has the entire 2 hour and 44 minute show. There's only one part in between In The Air Tonight and You Can't Hurry Love where it was abviouly edited. They didn't hide it very well. The sound quality is a little raw, but definitely not enough to make the dvd sound bad. Phil's drums are definitely more raw than Chester's. The video editing is perfect. The way ALL live dvds should be. The camera angles do not change every half second like a lot of live concert dvd's these days. It lets you focus on whatever is being shown and makes it a lot easier to watch. The song selection is okay, but like I said. I'm not as big of a fan of his solo work. All his solo hits are played, as well of plenty less known songs, which a lot of those are good. Although I can't believe they didn't play "I Wish It Would Rain Down" from the album they were touring for at the time.This is the last thing Phil Collins released before he sucked. Everything that came out after this is basically horrible. So I recommend this dvd to mark his last great achievement. (although I have not seen the Live And Loose In Paris dvd)

Studio: Wea Corp
Phil Collins

DVD title: Axel Rudi Pell - Knight Treasures - Live and More
Productgroup: DVD
Axel Rudi Pell - Knight Treasures - Live and More - movie DVD cover picture
Axel Rudi Pell is AMAZING on this DVD

When I first bought this DVD, I wasnt too sure what to expect. Ive been listening to ARP stuff for about 2 years now and knew a lot of the songs, but from the DVD I only knew about 3 or 4, which isnt too bad considering theres only 10. I put it in and soon after I was just totally amazed. It was hard, it was loud and it was 100% ARP. Throughout the concert you can really see just how musically talented everyone in the band is. With Axels guitar, Fredy's keyboards, and even Mike on the drums....(he just totally goes ape on that kit). Johnny's vocals I think are the best in music right now, he just has such a talented voice and you can see he really feels the lyrics that hes singing. The best song of the concert has to be the masquerade ball/casbah/drum solo/stargazer meledy. It really showcases everything that is ARP, not to mention its over 25 minutes long! With the 2 chicks doing backup singing, and just an overall great concert this is a must have to everyone who enjoys not only ARP but also melodic metal or any metal at that. There are a few surprises durring the songs too, once you see this DVD, you will have played the air guitar, had more than a few good laughs, but most of all, want to watch it again.

Studio: Wea Corp
Axel Rudi Pell

DVD title: Foyle's War - Set 1
Productgroup: DVD
Foyle's War - Set 1 - movie DVD cover picture
Television at its best

This is a near-perfect television mystery series. Every element is outstanding: the ensemble acting, the plot and character development, the dialog, the set design -- EVERYTHING.

How often do you watch a tv show, a mystery at that, and shed tears over the death of a character, or at the sheer poignancy of a situation?

Each episode contains a mystery that is solved by the end, but I cared less about the "who dunnit" aspect that by the entire story surrounding the mystery. We see what it was like to live in Britain at the start of the war; what it was like to sail off to Dunkirk to help bring the boys back; what people went through to buy food and petrol. It's a history lesson that deals with topics far more fascinating (...). It's the story of people trying to live their lives and do their jobs despite the most horrendous events.

Best of all, the show has people you grow to really like and respect: Foyle, Sam and Milner.

I can't wait for Series 3 to be aired (...).

Studio: Acorn Media Publishi
Michael Kitchen

DVD title: We Were Soldiers
Productgroup: DVD
We Were Soldiers - movie DVD cover picture
The True Horrors & Sacrifice Of War.

Having watched this film now on two occasions I felt compelled to write a review. Yet having sat down I felt lost for words. How does one do justice to such a film as this ?
As a Christian I abhor war and all that it stands for. Yet having served in the military I appreciate all the values depicted here, not least the sacrifice and the bravery of all those who suffered and died on both sides.
This is a story that must be told. It must be told to the American and Vietnamese people whose soldiers fought on that November day in 1965 and the world must be made aware of the horrors that were faced on the battlefield in the Ia Drang Valley, known as 'The Valley of Death'.
Many might be unaware that this film is indeed based on a true story. A true story of a place in Vietnam where some 400 US soldiers found themselves isolated and surrounded by an opposing force of roughly 2,000 North Vietnamese soldiers and the ensuing conflict.
This is not a film for the squeamish. War is horrific, barbaric and full of butchery and the scenes depicted in this film portray these properties in no mean measure.
The film proceeds at heart-racing pace from beginning to end. The acting is absolutely superb. This film will no doubt rank as a classic amongst it's genre. The battle-scenes are as realistic as they come.
This is not a film that glorifies war, or that seeks to do so. It clearly seeks to tell a story. A story of the men who were there and the horrors that they endured & suffered and the casualties that were sustained. To it's credit it also includes the stories of the families, wives and children left at home whilst their loved ones faced the ultimate sacrifice..
One of the characters in the film, notably the battle scenes, is depicted as a photographer. Might I respectfully suggest that anyone with an interest in the historics of this battle, this war and the suffering of those involved, take some further time to examine a book entitled "REQUIEM". It is a book entirely devoted to the story of combatants such as these. A book devoted to the photographs of those war photographers who did not return. Photographers whose lives were also sacrificed in the process of bringing us the story of those soldiers who suffered.
This film will choke you and might very well bring a tear to the most hardened of viewers. We need to be aware of the horrors of such conflicts and ensure that we do all we can to prevent them. Highly recommended viewing.

Studio: Paramount Home Video
Director: Randall Wallace
Mel Gibson

DVD title: Roswell - The Complete First Season
Productgroup: DVD
Roswell - The Complete First Season - movie DVD cover picture
Crash Landing

This show was a great introduction to teen dramas, especially if you are a sci-fi and fantasy fan. The richness of the characters and the complexities of their relationships makes this an accesible show to just about anyone. The cast was also well picked with Jason Behr as Max and a career making role for Colin Hanks, who played Alex in the first and second seasons. I also felt that the blend of strong story, great sci-fi action, and attractive female leads helped to make this show a great watch. I strongly recomend buying the DVD version of this season. It includes some great music changes that better accentuate some of the more intense moments. A great watch, go buy it.

Studio: Fox Home Entertainme
Shiri Appleby

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