Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Verdi - La Traviata / Levine, Stratas, Domingo
Productgroup: DVD
Verdi - La Traviata / Levine, Stratas, Domingo - movie DVD cover picture
Zefirelli's film adaptation is excellent.

Zefirelli draws our attention to the fact that the musical material at the beginning of the opera recurs at a later moment in the film by suggesting that Violetta is recalling the entire story. This approach is consistent with a musicological examination of the score and demonstrates marvelous insight by the director into the music. Zefirelli's great musical sense pervades the entire film.

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: Franco Zeffirelli
Teresa Stratas
Plácido Domingo

DVD title: Dead Presidents
Productgroup: DVD
Dead Presidents - movie DVD cover picture
Powerful performances + tight script = GREAT MOVIE

Is Larenz Tate one of the most slept on, talented young black actors in Hollywood today? I have to say YES!! He brings a deep intensity to just about any role he plays. "Dead Presidents" is just more proof of that.

In this film, he's Anthony, an idealistic young high school graduate from the Bronx who enlists in the Marine Corps in the late 1960s and is shipped off to serve in Vietnam. Along with a couple of his high school buddies, he witnesses horrific violence and death there like he's never seen, comes back home after his tour of duty ends and finds it hard to adjust to civilian life. He has no job, no money, and begins looking for other ways to support himself. Eventually he finds a job, but it is barely enough to pay the bills. He also has to deal with jealous guys from the neighborhood who envy him for various reasons.

Having a young daughter to support and a shady pregnant girlfriend who was his high school sweetheart (Rose Jackson Moye), the financial pressures begin to mount in Anthony's life. As things begin to crumble around him, he then begins to have thoughts of resorting to breaking the law in order to try set things right in his life, and hatches a plan to pull off this high-stakes heist. He enlists his willing friends, who are also looking to get rich quick, in his plot. However, the reprecussions of this plot are deadly.

The Hughes Brothers have done a knockout job with this well-written, well-directed film with the Vietnam War as a backdrop and how it affected young black men in its aftermath. But I feel the main point of it was that even the most positive, upstanding and law-abiding person can resort to doing something unthinkable if they are desperate and they are pushed far enough. In that aspect, anyone can relate to this film. Along with Larenz's performance, Keith David, Chris Tucker, Bokeem Woodbine and Freddy Rodriquez as Anthony's buddies pull out all the stops to create nothing short of a realistic and dramatic experience for the viewer. The soundtrack is amazing as well. Definitely a must-see.

Studio: Buena Vista
Larenz Tate
Keith David
Chris Tucker

DVD title: Spider-Man 2 (Widescreen Special Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Spider-Man 2 (Widescreen Special Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Itsy, Bitsy spider blew the box office out!!!!

Spidey is back, and with a vengeance! Ever since I saw the first teaser for this film, I was eager to find out how our favorite web slinging hero would fare in this sequel. Sequels are notoriously lesser films than their predessors but Spiderman 2 proves the exception!
This story starts two years after the last, with poor Peter Parker trying to balance his life as a struggling college student/employee while trying to fight evil in the greater New York area. The stress of his overwhelming burden is getting to him and the girl he loves, Mary Jane Watson (again played by the lovely and talented, Kirsten Dunst) has decided to move on and find a man that will be present in her life.
Add to the mix a brilliant scientist that Parker admires, named Otto Octavius who, after an experiment goes wrong, becomes the villain for the sequel and Spiderman has his hands full! Alfred Molina is excellent as a man who has good intentions that is turned wicked by the technology that he is developing. He becomes a maniac with four mechanical tenacles, which along with his own four limbs, inspires the moniker, Doctor Octopus.
What makes this a great superhero film is that besides the great special effects and action sequences, there is a good story that is character driven. Tobey Maquire is completely charming and improves a great deal in this role. Alfred Molina, Kirsten Dunst, Rosemary Harris and the other co-stars give compelling performances making this summer blockbuster a must see for fans of all ages. The story neatly sets up the next sequel and the romance, which is one of the best parts of this film, was just another component of a movie that offers something for any movie lover.
Spiderman 2 definitely raises the bar for all superhero films. That is why people are going to see it in record numbers. I plan to see it again, hopefully on IMAX the next time. If you haven't seen it yet, you should make a trip to the cinema. This is one summer blockbuster that delivers on all levels! You are GUARANTEED to enjoy this movie---don't miss it on the big screen!!!

Studio: Columbia Tri-Star
Director: Sam Raimi
Tobey Maguire
Kirsten Dunst
Alfred Molina

DVD title: Tai Chi - 6 Forms, 6 Easy Lessons
Productgroup: DVD
Tai Chi - 6 Forms, 6 Easy Lessons - movie DVD cover picture
What I think about my Tai Chi CD

I previewed this CD by renting it before purchase, so there were no surprises. This CD is perfect for an aging grandmother like me, because it presents a truly beginning level of Tai Chi, and every move was possible for me, even though I am moderately physically handicapped, and need a cane for walking and balance. Dr. Lam gives a very complete demonstration of each and every move, and a very soothing manner of presentation. The CD is now a fixed part of my exercise program.

Studio: Fox Lorber
Paul Dr. Lam
Paul Lam

DVD title: Enchantment
Productgroup: DVD
Enchantment - movie DVD cover picture
Very Romantic!

I first saw this movie on television as a child. It became one of my all time favorite movies. I was so affected by it that when my first and only child was born I named her Lark after Theresa Wright's character. To this day both she and I get compliments and questions regarding the origin of her unique and beautiful name. I would recommend this film to everyone I know!

Studio: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Director: Irving Reis
David Niven
Teresa Wright

DVD title: Depeche Mode: The Videos 86-98
Productgroup: DVD
Depeche Mode: The Videos 86-98 - movie DVD cover picture

I have been a true DM fan since the very beginning. I have listened to Martin's music evolve over the years - getting stronger, deeper and more meaningful - without knowing how the band was "aging". Well, now I know. They, like the music, just get better and better. What a fantastic journey over the last decade +. I remembered how much I loved some songs, and grew to love some even more. Now that I, too, am in my 30's, I enjoy being able to go back to my teens and 20's, revel in the present, and look forward to the future of this band. This is a definate must-have for any insane or sane Depeche Mode fan. The interviews are insightful, the music incredible, and the visual stimulation phenomenal...just like the boys in the band. Kudos all around.

Studio: Wea/Warner Bros.

DVD title: Ruby's Bucket of Blood
Productgroup: DVD
Ruby's Bucket of Blood - movie DVD cover picture
The passions beneath the surface.

RUBY'S BUCKET OF BLOOD tells the tale of people caught up in a cycle of unhappiness and how they found what they wanted, if only for a little while. Set in the segregated sixties in a bayou town, Angela Bassett and Kevin Anderson star as Ruby, the owner of her own juke joint and married to a man who has distanced himself from her, both emotionally and physically. Her 15-year-old daughter, Emerald, feels she is too good to be a part of her mother's life and the town she stays in. Kevin's Billy Dupree is a talented white blues singer, married to a woman he loves, but is not in love with, due to the guilt they both feel after the death of their son. Glenn Plummer also stars as Johnny, the guitarist of the band that performs their regularly. He is trying to live the life that makes his family happy, while keeping his desire for someone else under wraps. It's these complex relationships that propel the movie along, and Angela Bassett is to be commended for turning in a supurb performance of a woman who wants more out of her life than what she feels she is expected to have and nothing more, even if it's with someone who could get her killed. Recommended for the romantic at heart.

Studio: Showtime Entertainme
Director: Peter Werner (III)

DVD title: Fleetwood Mac - Live in Boston
Productgroup: Music
Fleetwood Mac - Live in Boston - movie DVD cover picture

This DVD will send chills down your spine when you hear the band perform some of our absolute favorites of all time. They have outdone themselves and I love the "new" sound, in concert that is. This was my first time "seeing" a Mac performance and it will not the be the last if they should ever return to the stage again.

DVD title: Missing in Action
Productgroup: DVD
Missing in Action - movie DVD cover picture
This is a great action movie!

This is one of the best action movies I have ever seen before (even though its a little old) because Vietnam war is a cool thing to base a movie on and the musical score was just the best thing. The action sequences and storyline was great, and it really is able to portray the events of Vietnam war very well. This movie will always be a great one.

Studio: Mgm/Ua Studios
Director: Joseph Zito
Chuck Norris
M. Emmet Walsh

DVD title: Magnolia (New Line Platinum Series)
Productgroup: DVD
Magnolia (New Line Platinum Series) - movie DVD cover picture
Beautiful and Dreamy...

I can't believe it's taken me soooooooooooo long to finally see this film. AND I can't believe that no one spoiled it for me! I didn't have any idea what was going to happen...I didn't even know who was staring in it! For the entire 3+ hours I was literally on the EDGE OF MY SEAT, Wide Eyed, and in AWE!
I don't want to give any of it I'll just say this: YOU WILL BE AMAZED! DO NOT MISS THIS FILM!!

Studio: New Line Home Entertainment
Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
Tom Cruise
Julianne Moore
William H. Macy
Philip Seymour Hoffman
Philip Baker Hall
Jeremy Blackman

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