Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Snatch (Special Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Snatch (Special Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Ze Germans

Despite the fact that it employs so many of the same devices as Lock, Stock & 2 Smoking Barrels, this film is top-drawer entertainment.
A small gripe regarding many of the reviews here: much as I thought Brad Pitt did a great job, his role was relatively minor and it's a shame that his 'star name' takes so much shine off the great ensemble cast, particularly the excellent Jason Statham (Turkish) and Stephen Graham (Tommy), who really hold the film together.

Studio: Columbia Tri-Star
Director: Guy Ritchie
Jason Statham
Brad Pitt

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

Evolution is witty, funny and utterly FANTASTIC! With the really talented Julianne Moore, the wickedly funny Orlando Jones, the completely cute Seann William Scott and the absolutely lovely David Duchovny, this is definitely the best movie I have seen in a long time. A must-buy.Its great to see Duchovny not as the serious Mulder for once, and it kept me laughing all the time. Oh and by the way, DD has a lovely (...)!!

Studio: Dreamworks Skg
Director: Ivan Reitman
David Duchovny
Julianne Moore
Orlando Jones

DVD title: The Changeling
Productgroup: DVD
The Changeling - movie DVD cover picture
It's the scariest movie I've ever seen.

It's become a classic chiller that no collection should do without. It's THE CHANGELING.
While on vacation in upstate New York with his wife Joanna and daughter Kathy, music composer John Russell's car breaks down and the group is forced to tug their car through the snow to a pay phone. While John makes a call, his wife and daughter decide to have a snowball fight. Suddenly, a mack truck rips through the icey landscape and directly into the two, killing them instantly.
A little while later, John decides he must move out of his house due to many memories that make him depressed beyond belief. With the help of Claire Norman, a worker at the local historical society, he finds an old mansion to rent out and continue to compose.
Then things get frightening. Each day, very early, there is a sound of pipes clanking throught the house. He tries to compose but finds it hard still. Then, he starts to play a song. A lullaby. He plays it seemingly perfectly. When he exits the room, a key is struck on the piano-but no one is in there. Things get out of hand when John sees a vision of a little boy drowning in a bathtub.
While about to take a walk outside, John is startled by a rock thrown out of a window of the attic. A room that he had no idea about. He goes up there to find a bunch of stuff. Including a music box. The music box plays the same lullaby that he played days earlier.
He and Claire decide that maybe a medium could come to the house and see what's what. Then they find out what exactly is in the house and how to stop it....
RECCOMENDED TO FANS OF: The Haunting (1960) The Innocents (1963) The Amityville Horror (1979)
CAST George C. Scott..........John Russell Trish Van Devere........Claire Norman Melvyn Douglas..........Sen. Joseph 'Joe' Carmichel
THE PICTURE QUALITY: 9.5/10: This classic movie is presented in 1.77:1 Letterbox and is enhanced for 16X9 TVs. Some very few specs, but basically unnoticable.
THE AUDIO QUALITY: 8/10: Presented in Dolby Digital Surround, 2.0. It's seemingly perfect for my tv's sound system.
THE SPECIAL FEATURE: is a very extensive cast & crew filmography sheet. Very well made. Though, I would have liked to have seen the trailer or listened to the commentary available on the Region 2 edition.
SUBTITLES: English, Spanish and French.

Studio: Hbo Studios
Director: Peter Medak
George C. Scott
Trish Van Devere

DVD title: Tenchi Universe - Volume 8 - The Last Battle
Productgroup: DVD
Tenchi Universe - Volume 8 - The Last Battle - movie DVD cover picture
Excellent! Marvelous! Splendid! Awesome! Fun!

This is a great title! So far, this is my most favourite title and it contains my favourite episodes. I have been waiting for this title for about 6 months when I first heard about it realese date. This disc shows how Tenchi faces Kagato the fake emperor of planet Jurai. It also shows how Ryoko escorted Tenchi, Azaka, and Kamidake to the palace and fought off evil knights and how Ryoko apparently "died" but somehow managaed to survive in the end! my AIM is "Emperor Talpa"

Studio: Pioneer Video
Director: Hiroshi Negishi

DVD title: Real Genius
Productgroup: DVD
Real Genius - movie DVD cover picture
Scientific Fun

If you like when smart-alecks, as opposed to real geniuses, get their due, then you will probably like this movie. Although some science is brought in, none of it is needed to enjoy the movie. Just clean comedy and a stick-it-to-the-establishment attitude. Val Kilmer does a really good job in a role prior to his becoming big-time. That alone warrants a single viewing. Scientific personalities who also like to have fun will watch it many more times. That would be me!

Studio: Columbia Tristar Hom
Director: Martha Coolidge
Val Kilmer

DVD title: Baby Songs
Productgroup: DVD
Baby Songs - movie DVD cover picture
This is the one "must have" video for infants and toddlers.

My granddaughter loves no other video like her "songs". Far from just being entertaining, this video is starting her well on the road to a love of music. This is truly a child centered production (even if Nana does wake up singing).

Studio: Fox Home Entertainme
Hap Palmer

DVD title: Sonic the Hedgehog - Super Sonic
Productgroup: DVD
Sonic the Hedgehog - Super Sonic - movie DVD cover picture
A fun filled action show with 5 great episodes on one DVD.

I first decided to buy this after reading many reviews on how great the action and humor is. So I bought it, popped it in the DVD, and I was treated to the "Fatest Thing Alive" theme song that everybody loves. Then, I saw four action packed episodes of Sonic and the Freedom Fighters' struggle to free the planet Mobius from Dr. Robotnik and his mindless robots. The episodes were Super Sonic, where Sonic loses his speed but still has to free the wizard's Lazar's magic computer, Sonic and Sally, where Robotnik creates a Sally robot to take her place and moniter the Freedom Fighter's every move, Sonic Racer where Sonic competes in a Robotropolis race which is really a trap from Robotnik, and Sonic Boom where Sally discovers the Dark Swamp and goes there in search of her father.
All of these episodes are action packed and full of Sonic's lines like "Juice and Jam time!" and different personalities of each of the Freedom Fighters. I won't go anywhere without my SatAM DVD(as long as I have a DVD player to play it on)! The characters consist of Sonic, our speedy hero, Sally, a bright Princess, Bunnie Rabot, a half mechanical Texan rabbit, Rotor, a gentle but mechanical Walrus, Antoine, the french scardy cat that's jealous of Sonic, plus many more like Sonic's game pal, Tails. This is defenetly a must buy if you want animated entertainment. Heck, the popular Archie comic was based of this masterpeice! Also, if you beat the trivia game, you get a bonus episode, Sonic and the Secret Scrolls. Great fun.

Studio: Vidmark/Trimark
Jaleel White
Bradley Pierce

DVD title: Brazil - Criterion Collection
Productgroup: DVD
Brazil - Criterion Collection - movie DVD cover picture
THE Greatest Movie of All Time

If you look through the reviews you'll see a lot of high and a lot of low ratings. You might wonder how there can be such a bimodal diversity of opinion over a movie. I think it may depend more on the viewer than the movie itself, but let me start by saying something about the movie:

It is perhaps the most literary and complex movie I've ever seen, yet once you catch a glimmer of what is really going on, you will be enthralled, and want to see it again-and-again-and-again. (I've probably seen it, critically, over 30 times). There is a lot packed into this movie, and not all of it is immediately accessible at first viewing.

First, to give a rough idea of what the story is like: think of something like 1984, crossed with Catch-22.

The movie makes a number of comments about society, filmmaking, itself, government, relationships, etc. but not all of these are immediately accessible because of the hilarious capture of an ordinary man in a system that proves Murphys law, and does so only because he tries to move beyond being just a cog in the machine to one who tries to acheive his dream.

And dreams are extremely important in this movie. Not only are dreams intercut between normal scenes you'll also find that much of the material in the dreams actually preceeds their appearance in what purports to be Sam's waking life. By the end of the movie, where it's clear that much of the last twenty minutes or so MUST have been a dream, one is left wondering how much of the entire movie was in Sam's head, or if not Sam's, whose?

By the end of the movie you'll not only have had every "normal" way of living lampooned, but you'll also be left wondering just how sane YOU are, when viewed by those who aren't actually part of the system.

Ever wonder about the incredible silliness of rituals like obtaining driver licenses, buying Xmas gifts or worrying about your complextion? Gilliam looks at the travails of day to day life from the point of view of a complete alien, and then brings them all home in our own language. It's pure genious that he was able to do this, and that he could do so
in such a visually compelling manner is simply astounding!

Will you enjoy this movie? Perhaps. If you prefer the physical comedy of Monte Python or Mel Brooks, perhaps not. If you loved Citizen Kane, you'll probably hate this movie. If you loved Atkinson's Black Adder, reread Phil Dick stories every few years to revisit his insights, and reread Doug Adams to find the jokes you missed the first time around, you'll have a great time!

Studio: Criterion Collection
De Niro
Terry Gilliam

DVD title: Pirates of Silicon Valley
Productgroup: DVD
Pirates of Silicon Valley - movie DVD cover picture

I loved this movie it really was a lot of fun.
I am a real newcomer to computers and it was really interesting to learn where they came from, I was also amazed to find out that Apple were once the big boys and Microsoft was the little player.
The acting was good and there were some really funny scenes, my favorite has to be wherw Bill Gates is trying a little rollerdisco on quad skates, I thouht everybody could skate using those things.
I always thought that they were pirates in Sillicon Valley and this movie proved it unfortunatly, everybody was stealing from everyone else the Apple stole the mouse Microsoft stole Apples ideas, I guess thats what it takes to be some of the richest people in the world.
Basicly this movie was alot of fun if you just want a quiet night at home curled up in front of the tv with some popcorn then you can do alot worse

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Martyn Burke
Anthony Michael Hall
Noah Wyle
Joey Slotnick

DVD title: Spirited Away
Productgroup: DVD
Spirited Away - movie DVD cover picture
I can't say enough about this incredible film!

My first introduction to Spirited Away was a tape at the Chicago Comic Convention. Having heard the hype for the film, and finding the tape for sale there, I took it home and watched it at 2 in the morning. Well, let me say that even though the quality was off a bit, I was hooked! I watched it probably every other day for the next month.
Within a few weeks, I became the lead editor for the film at Countdown to Spirited Away on the site, and soon had obtained a DVD from overseas.
But wait you say, you bought an overseas copy yet you're reviewing the American DVD? Yes I am, for I have both in my collection now. And let me say that the work that John Lasseter and his crew did for the English dub makes it one of the best English dubs I have ever heard (eclipsing the work done for Miyazaki's film Princess Mononoke).
The film is a very simple story. Chihiro, a listless and spoiled 10-year-old girl is moving with her parents. taking a wrong turn, they find themselves in a world of spirits where Chihiro's parents are turned into pigs. Chihiro must brave her way through this strange world and survive, but can she return her parents to normal and find her way home?
That premise is all I will say, as anymore would destroy the story. Nowadays, there is literal fluff available for children. i've seen parents nod off and wish the world would end before most films, but I've sat through countless showings of this film, and everytime, I've seen people enthralled by what was on that screen. I heard no crying children, no children squirming in their seats. I attended a sneak preview with 19 of my animation friends and they all loved it (my friend's mother has a habit of nodding off through films, but she stayed awake through all 2 hours of Spirited Away).
The DVD contains the original Japanese dialogue, as well as the French and English dubs. There are subtitles included as well as a few specials. PIXAR studios' John Lasseter (a close personal friend to director Hayao Miyazaki) has a 2 minute opening monologue about his love for the film.
There is also a segment called 'The Art of Spirited Away,' a very 'weak' segment hosted by Jason Marsden (the voice of Haku in the English dub), that explains bringing the film to the US.
On the second disc, there are selected storyboards (images drawn by Miyazaki to explain the film in visual form), as well as a 50 minute special from Japanese TV that is the most in depth making of for this film you will find. Watch as the staff finds themselves under pressure, and you can see the tension building in Miyazaki's face. There is even 30 minutes of movie trailers from Japan (while most of tehm follow a repetitive manner, it would have been nice to put in trailers from the French release and the wonderful English trailer).
The disc is lacking in a few areas for features (my overseas copy has the full storyboards instead of selected storyboard sequences), but I'm just glad that the film will finally be seen by people. After the lackluster ad campaign that Disney did for this filmback in September, the DVD release will probably prove to them that kids can go just as wild over Miyazaki's films as they do for Mickey Mouse and Winnie the Pooh.

Studio: Walt Disney Home Video
Director: Hayao Miyazaki
Miyu Irino

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