Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Romeo & Juliet
Productgroup: DVD
Romeo & Juliet - movie DVD cover picture
Zeffirelli's Quintessential Version! Every Aspect Excellent!

This is THE must see version of Romeo and Juliet. Zeffirelli's 1968 masterpiece stars 17-year-old Leonard Whiting and 15-year-old Olivia Hussey with great music by Nino Rota. Filmed "on location" in Italy this version also has the fingerprints of the 1960s all over it, from moddish long hair, the debut of Michael York as Tybalt, John McEnery as Mercutio, the lush balcony scenes, the nude scene, and an emotional intensity throughout. McEnery brings just the right comic touch to the comi-tragedy and screenwriters Franco Brusati, Maestro D'Amico, and Zeffirelli keep true to Shakespeare with a take on the story that's easily accessible to a wide audience, thereby making this one of the most popular films of the '60s.
Especially effective is the ambiguity of intent of the Tybalt-Mercutio duel, and the overall editing of dialogue just enough to keep it succinct and believable yet retain the poetic and philosophical virtuosity of the playwright's playwright. The music is used effectively and as it rises during the love scenes it's a manipulation that's an enhancement to rather than distraction from the emotion--a rare successful pull-off of this. And that balcony scene is extraordinary, the lush dark atmosphere, Romeo's giddiness, Juliet's beauty...I believed it.
Milo O'Shea (who later played the Judge in "The Verdict") does a believable Friar Laurence and Robert Stephens (I)(with a long list of Shakespearian roles to his name) an intensely serious Prince of Verona. It's hard not to fall in love with Olivia (watch for her new film role as Mother Theresa).
Some bits of trivia: Before 1968 Romeo and Juliet was not generally taught in US high schools and this film's popularity changed all that as most of you reading this had it in high school. Michael York turned down the role of Oliver in Love Story--one may read into this he felt it was a poor man's Romeo and Juliet...just a thought. Also Olivia Hussey briefly dated Prince Charles. And here's the clincher: Paul McCartney got the original offer to play Romeo. I'm glad he turned it down, as Whiting is perfect here. And for those who wonder, the story did not originate in historical fact, though one may wish it so. The story came from mythical legend starting in 5th century Greece, later evolving into "The Tragical History of Romeus and Juliet" translated into English in 1562 by Arthur Brooke and originally written about 1530 by Luigi da Porto., 'til Shakespeare got a hold of it (circa 1594) and breathed into it the life that will last as long as humanity does most probably.
This towers over the 1st film version with a 34-year-old Norma Shearer and a 43-year-old Leslie Howard, and as for the 1996 mess sorry guys; American accents, present day gang violence, over-the-top overacting, LA locales, and Leonard DiCaprio do not great Shakespearean tragedy make. This 1968 one is the one to see over and over.

Studio: Paramount Studio
Director: Franco Zeffirelli
Leonard Whiting
Olivia Hussey

DVD title: Shallow Grave
Productgroup: DVD
Shallow Grave - movie DVD cover picture
They started a joke: they worked hard for the money!

Three students play hard with the ancestral fears of the common people in search of hostage; black humor and great doses of morbidity are some of the condiments added to frighten every one who intends to spent a simple night.
But suddenly the coin will invert for them and will suffer in own flesh consequences even worst.
A real cult movie!

Studio: Mgm/Ua Studios
Director: Danny Boyle
Kerry Fox
Christopher Eccleston
Ewan McGregor

DVD title: Ranma 1/2 - Random Rhapsody - The Way We're Not (Vol. 2)
Productgroup: DVD
Ranma 1/2 - Random Rhapsody - The Way We're Not (Vol. 2) - movie DVD cover picture
Pretty Good

It is nice to finally see the TV series appearing on DVD. The movies and OAV's have been out for a while on DVD and now Viz is putting out Random Rhapsody (the sixth season) on disc as well. There is not a lot of extras on this DVD nor is the transfer quality all that high (this is why I gave it a 4 instead of 5)but the durability of DVD and the quality of the episodes themselves still recommend this. Episode 1--Dear Daddy Love Kodachi This epsiode finally gets rid of easily the most annoying Ranma character, Principal Kuno. His leaving plus a litttle Kodachi and Tatewaki (always funny characters) make for an above average episode. Episode 2--Enter Gosunkugi This episode introduces Gosunkugi, an annoying but funny loser who is obsessed with Akane and who wants to remove Ranma. He is going to be in many more episodes so this is a good one to see. Episode 3--Ranma's Calligraphy Challenge Mostly a useless episode with another weird character with another wierd martial art style to challenge Ranma. Weakest of the three


DVD title: Blue Collar Comedy Tour: The Movie
Productgroup: DVD
Blue Collar Comedy Tour: The Movie - movie DVD cover picture

Hey, ya'll I just bought this DVD yesterday. My family and I sat down and watched it on Thanksgiving. This is one of the funnest movies i've ever seen a must have for any comedy fan.

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: C.B. Harding
Jeff Foxworthy
Bill Engvall
Ron White
Larry The Cable Guy

DVD title: Office Space (Full Screen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Office Space (Full Screen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Not just for office workers

I was very dissappointed with Office Space. I expected great things from this movie based on the trilers the movie seemed like an interesting concept and something most people could relate to. Needless to say, I was very disappointed. The only humor in this film are provided by two characters with about 5 minutes of screen time shared between them. I'll just say that this movie could have been done better.

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox Home Video
Director: Mike Judge
Ron Livingston
Jennifer Aniston

DVD title: The Getaway
Productgroup: DVD
The Getaway - movie DVD cover picture
Peckinpah Under Control

Knowing that this film was directed by Sam Peckinpah, we expect violence...and plenty of it. It's there to be sure but what is (to me) most intriguing is the relationship between Doc (Steve McQueen) and Carol (Ali MacGraw) McCoy who struggle to extricate themselves from the Mob even as they agree to one last bank robbery. (Off-screen, their love affair ruined her marriage to Robert Evans whose studio was involved with producing this film.) There are numerous nasty moments. Also, remarkably, several humorous and sometimes playful moments as when Doc joyously jumps into a lagoon. Members of the supporting cast are first-rate, notably Ben Johnson (Jack Benyon), Al Lettieri (Rudy), and Sally Struthers (Fran Clinton). Based on Jim Thompson's novel The Getaway, this film really doesn't follow any specific formula. (Peckinpah's films never do.) It evolves logically but casually from one situation to the next. However, there are unexpected developments and complications along the way, notably Rudy's kidnapping of a staid veterinarian and his sexually unfulfilled wife. Credit Walter Hill for an especially literate screenplay as well as Lucien Ballard?for his contributions as cinematographer and Quincy Jones as composer of the music score. Director, cast, and crew have created an especially entertaining film, comparable with Bonnie and Clyde (1967), Badlands (1973), and The Gauntlet (1977). Almost (not quite) a great film. One man's opinion.

Studio: Warner Studios
Director: Sam Peckinpah
Steve McQueen
Ali MacGraw

DVD title: Road to Perdition (Widescreen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Road to Perdition (Widescreen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Cinematic and Visual Poetry

What I find is that people who look at this movie fail to grasp the fact that the fast plot that holds many viewer's attention is replaced with a slow developement that is accompanied by a wonderful, beautiful, and absolutely stunning exhibit of cinematic creativity and imagination. There are scenes in this movie that gave me chills when I first saw the film. The director did an absolutely amazing job with camera placement and lighting to create some haunting and absolutely perfect shots that, I am sad to say, are not appreciated by most viewers. These images are topped off by what I consider to be an amazing score by Thomas Newman and, of course, the supurb acting of Tom Hanks and Paul Newman.
This movie comes with my highest recommendation.

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: Sam Mendes
Tyler Hoechlin
Tom Hanks

DVD title: Hellraiser - Inferno
Productgroup: DVD
Hellraiser - Inferno - movie DVD cover picture
Closer to the original than the past 2

People have whined and cried that this entry in the Hellraiser series lacked the gore and Pinhead factor that the past two films held. I don't know where...these Die HArd Fans come from (are they really such huge fans of 3 and 4) that they forget one key factor, Pinhead as well as his fellow Cenobites played a relativly small role in both Hellriaser 1 and 2, around a half hour apiece if I remember right. So it was no surprise that in this entry to the series that they go back to roots, Pinhead playing a small role and the tortures of MAn taking control.
The movie stars Craig Sheffer as a crooked cop who at a crime scene steels the Box (as well as some Cocaine). After spending the night with a hooker he opens the box. From there his world is turned upside down as a mysteriouse killer takes out people he knows, to include the hooker...
This movie basically shows what Pinhead is all about, not World Domination or a Grudge MAtch against a specific family, but torturing those who open the box, as was his purpose. This is truely closer to the first film than the past two entries and lets hope it stays that way.

Studio: Dimension Home Video
Director: Scott Derrickson

DVD title: The Simple Life
Productgroup: DVD
The Simple Life - movie DVD cover picture

At first I thought this was going to be the worst and dumbest show ever. Its a good thing I watched it to see how hilarious it would be!! This Seven Episode series was full of hilarious scenarios and outragous humor such as When Paris thought Wall-Mart was a store for walls, or when Nicole and Paris started the kissing booth, and the two of them had no underwear on. It was also funny to see that the family had never heard of the Paris Hilton video or when Nicole and Paris saw the only bathroom. There are soo many more that if I tell you my review will exceed the limit. I am looking forward to adding this to my collection tommorow when it comes out January 20, 2004.

Studio: Fox Home Entertainme
Director: Katherine Brooks
Paris Hilton
Nicole Richie

DVD title: The New Method: Baby & Mom - Prenatal Yoga
Productgroup: DVD
The New Method: Baby & Mom - Prenatal Yoga - movie DVD cover picture
Was confident during delivery

Orginally when I started in my 7 month I thought it was a bit new agey and did only certain parts. I than thought I would try all sections and I am glad I did- I found that if you allow yourself to loosen up the intructor has many words of wisdom that I took with me during my labor. I found the endurance section the most powerful and being my first child my labor was under 8 hrs with less than 20 minutes of pushing- Forget the lamaze breathing- This tape gives you relaxing techniques along with strengh- I was not in any type of shape and I did this tape 3 to 4 times a week up to the day of labor.I can only think with the strengh, flexibility and mental training that my labor was as quick. I also felt it helped with recovery and I look forward to doing Baby and Me yoga- postnatal.

Studio: Parade

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