Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Onibaba - Criterion Collection
Productgroup: DVD
Onibaba - Criterion Collection - movie DVD cover picture
Zen Masterpiece

Ever wondered what Basho's work might have been like in the age of cinema? It could well have been this. Simple story line, paucity of artistic means, narrative flows linearly, tension builds at constant pace, until the end which is GONG-like, and ensuing reverberation... like the jump of the frog in water. Overall, a summit of artistic expressions. Be prepared to experience ART as life and LIFE as art!

Besides the great actors , Sex is also cast in this film. Sex is manifest in its various forms: archetypal, aware or not, explicit or alluded at by, say, the waves of reeds in the wind, animal or poetic, and on and on. The score, by Hikaru Hayashi, is also remarkable.

Wonderful and generous package from Criterion--no surprise here. Crisp sound and black and white images. Good commentary. It is of note to hear Kaneto Shind?, the author, saying that this film was enjoyed by the public much more so than by critics of its time--1964.

Studio: Criterion Collection
Director: Kaneto Shindô
Nobuko Otowa
Jitsuko Yoshimura

DVD title: That's Entertainment 2
Productgroup: DVD
That's Entertainment 2 - movie DVD cover picture
Great look into the history of MGM musicals

That's Entertainment Part 2 certainly was not a well produced as part 1. Though there are some excellent clips like the "Good Mornin'" scene from "Singin In The Rain", they don't measure up to those of the first one. There are also comedic scenes from movies like "Adam's Rib" and "A Night At The Opera" added in , but instead of enhancing the montage they seem out of place and it feels like the producers were simply trying to fill the 2 hour, 9 minute time slot. Also, in the first film we had stars like Liz Taylor and Jimmy Stewart giving us a first-hand look at the legendary MGM backlot and providing us with an intruiging history of the studio, but in this we've only got Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly, who are both VERY talented, singing the same song over and over and using cheap camera tricks. Flaws aside this is a good bet for all musical fans!

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Gene Kelly
Gene Kelly
Fred Astaire

DVD title: The Prince of Egypt
Productgroup: DVD
The Prince of Egypt - movie DVD cover picture

I've seen this movie and I must say it is wonderful. It is not exactly the Exodus story but close enough. Anyone who loves the beauty and power of God should love this movie. You might need a tissue, I know I did.

Studio: Dreamworks Skg
Val Kilmer
Ralph Fiennes

DVD title: Angela's Ashes
Productgroup: DVD
Angela's Ashes - movie DVD cover picture
Absolutely Angela

As someone who read the book three times before seeing the film, and who watched the film with more than a dozen friends (some from Ireland) who loved it as much as I, I can only say "T'anks" to Alan Parker for doing the nearly-impossible...capturing the spirit of Frank McCourt's masterpiece! The unbelievably sad moments were there, as were the incredibly funny times that helped the McCourt boys survive their wretched upbringing. I thought the acting was universally excellent, and Parker did a marvelous job with his child actors ("Young Frankie" was a revelation)! My only criticism of the film had to do with John William's score...far too melodramatic, even considering the circumstances portrayed. Watch this with a loved one...and talk about it afterwards...the DVD is wonderful!!

Studio: Paramount Studio
Director: Alan Parker
Emily Watson
Robert Carlyle

DVD title: High Noon
Productgroup: DVD
High Noon - movie DVD cover picture
A towering western except...

HIGH NOON has always been one of my favorite films but several pieces of casting have always bothering me; not enough to ruin it but...

Face it, Ian MacDonald (Frank Miller)is basically the answer to a trivia question. What if Lee Marvin had gotten off the train instead? Also, what if Strother Martin had played the town drunk and Jack Elam had replaced Sheb Wooley, joining Lee van Cleef and Robert J. Wilke, completing the triumvirate of great western villains? Gary Cooper would really have been in trouble.

Studio: Republic Studios
Director: Fred Zinnemann
Gary Cooper
Grace Kelly

DVD title: Andrew Lloyd Webber - The Royal Albert Hall Celebration
Productgroup: DVD
Andrew Lloyd Webber - The Royal Albert Hall Celebration - movie DVD cover picture
A must for children of all ages

Wow. I first saw the edited version of this celebration on PBS, then I just had to go out and buy the video. It's fabulous. I have to say, my main purpose in watching was to see the ever delightful Michael Ball, and he didn't disappoint. What an amazing voice. This was also my introduction to my new favorite band--Boyzone! I really hope these guys make it big in America so I don't have such a hard time finding their recordings anymore. All in all, this video is a real treat, and my whole family and I, who are not all Webber fans, have watched it again and again. I highly recommend.

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: David Mallet

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
The best movie I've ever seen!

I would rate this DVD much higher than 2 stars if it weren't for one horrible flaw: the audio transfer to DVD on this edition is PATHETIC. I have listened both to my copy and 2 others and on ALL of them there are points (admittedly brief, but STILL...) at which song lyrics and dialogue become COMPLETELY INAUDIBLE.
I was VERY disappointed with this release.

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

DVD title: Björk: Live at the Royal Opera House
Productgroup: DVD
Björk: Live at the Royal Opera House - movie DVD cover picture
Unthinkable surprises

This video is a visual feast, and has nineteen beautiful songs that won't let you breath because of the excitement. You should discover for yourself the stream of emotions that will lead to a solace, to a place where everything is possible, like a musical universe of utopia. The makers of this beautiful universe are; Simon Lee and the Novecento Orchestra, Matmos, Zeena Parkins, The Inuit Choir and of course Bj?rk.
The performance of the orchestra is remarkable because they give enough profundity and drama to the songs so you can actually feel the academic side of Bj?rk. Matmos add the beats and the organic noises to the show in a very original way that makes more effective the connection between them and the orchestra creating a perfect dialog of different elements.Zeena Parkins is an important companion of Bj?rk in the entire concert; the sound of the harp creates an atmosphere of romanticisms through slow and fast melodies, and there's a musical connection between Bj?rk and Zeena that can be felt in songs like 'Generous Palmstroke' or 'Pagan Poetry'.The Inuit Choir is spectacular, they are like "extensions of Bj?rk", they're like beautiful angels from heaven that have come to tell you little secrets, in this case, secrets of hidden places of solace. Bj?rk; She is the force that holds all elements together in a system that could only work with desire, passion, creativity, instinct and love for music. She's like an angel with a message to tell, and that message is waiting for you to be heard.
Bonus features: <Touring Vespertine> <Programming> Interviews with Bj?rk and Matmos <Zeena Parkins, Simon Lee> <Singing> The Inuit Choir>

Studio: Navarre Corporation/
Director: David Barnard

DVD title: Tremors 2: Aftershocks
Productgroup: DVD
Tremors 2: Aftershocks - movie DVD cover picture
The Best of The Series!!!!!!

This was an awsome movie with lots of laughs and plenty of action, just like the first Tremors. The characters are better and Burt and Earl are back! If you are looking for a great action flick for a good price than buy Tremors 2: Aftershocks

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: S.S. Wilson
Fred Ward

DVD title: Underworld (Full Screen Special Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Underworld (Full Screen Special Edition) - movie DVD cover picture

This is very ambitious film about vampires and werewolves. Apparently, vampires and werewolves (or "lycans" - apparently "werewolf" was too mundane a moniker for the filmmakers) have been warring with each other for centuries, right up to the present day. We get to see plenty of flashbacks throughout this historical war, and this sub-story is the best part of the movie. The rest consists of the modern-day adaptation of these creatures - vampires that make artificial blood, perform genetic experiments, and have computerized storage for the undead. In some respects this is interesting, since if these creatures did exist they would probably adapt in this way. But I was far more interested in the backstory, of which we see too little.
There's a weak love story, brought down by Kate Beckinsale's knock-off matrix performance - we've already seen the pouty, emotionless hot brunette in latex, haven't we? - and an interesting twist involving who the real bad guys are. But for the most part it's harmless action, peppered with peaks of an interesting story that's not fully developed. I recommend renting, not buying. It's not going to have much repeat watchability. Although the concept is interesting, it's not pulled off in a convincing way. It could have been much better with a more dynamic female lead, a bad guy who wasn't such a weanie (Michael Sheen as Lucian).

Studio: Columbia Tristar Hom
Director: Len Wiseman
Kate Beckinsale
Scott Speedman
Shane Brolly

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