Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Led Zeppelin
Productgroup: DVD
Led Zeppelin - movie DVD cover picture band ever

The release of this rock DVD is historically important...anything from this band is show future generations the best live rock band in history of that we can all see and hear for ourselves pure genius on stage......I'm not interested if it ain't the best quality.....who cares....what this pioneering rock band did and who they where is as important as Elvis or The Beatles in the history of music, and so it is important that these early black & white live Zeppelin shows are released to the music public of all ages to see for themselves....and to judge. Why is it important to see the best ever? that one can see who is number one of all time....from this yardstick we can judge how good other great bands are in comparison....after all...we all want to know who is the best in all feilds of life.Led Zeppelin where, and are still the best band ever....not one other great band has come even close....Led Zep where just one of those unusual phenomenoms that happens now and again(pure & utter genius...who's music improvisation and live sound will never be caught again)...Four guys who where at the top of their tree at a time when music was at it's collosul best....1970..when Hendrix, The Beatles, Cream, The Who, Pink Floyd, The Stones, ZZ Top, Fleetwood Mac, Yes, Genesis, The Eagles, The Animals, Steppenwolf, Joe Cocker, Deep Purple & Sabbath where all around and still recording.....truly great be top of that fantastic band list takes some doing...a band with that `something extra'.....even George Harrison once quoted.....`When Led Zeppelin are finished...kiss your skull goodbye'...all the greats know & respect Led Zeppelin.I just never quite get it...when people i know have never heard Zeppelin...or think they are just a loud noise....these people who claim they like music and bands.....are not too good when it comes to music judgement....they like music, but for me they do not LOVE & cherish great music....or they would know better.Early raw Led Zeppelin in witnessed the best live band ever!

Studio: Wea Corp
Director: Jimmy Page
Dick Carruthers

DVD title: Abba - Super Troupers
Productgroup: DVD
Abba - Super Troupers - movie DVD cover picture

I loved this DVD. True there is some duplication from some of the other ABBA DVD's currently being offered, but there is also some archival footage, interviews, and concert footage that doesn't appear anywhere else. One of the things that I always loved about ABBA, aside from their incredible voices, and songwriting abilities, was their energy. Compared to many of today's performers, they literally seem supercharged. The concert footage, while not the best accoustically, is fascinating. If you are an ABBA fan then you already know how versatile and all encompassing their music is, folk songs to rock to operettas, but I was really amazed at the footage for the live performance of "I'm A Marionette". It's really theatre or cabaret. One could easily imagine that Kurt Weill had written this piece, with Lotte Lenya singing it 40 or 50 years ago. But the sheer virtuosity of the performance is mind-boggling. Frida tells us on camera that ABBA has been offered 1 billion dollars to sing again, and they have turned it down. I'm torn about that. I would love to see them again, if only just doing songs around the piano, in a club setting. But, on the other hand, how can they ever live up to what they had before, 30 years ago. Thank goodness they were sharp enough to record as much as they did of their old performances, because we can still see them at their best, and there, at least, they never grow old.

Studio: Universal Music & VI

DVD title: Training Day
Productgroup: DVD
Training Day - movie DVD cover picture
you aint the PO-LICE!!

oh denzel! denzel, denzel, denzel! he is just great. mean as a snake and dangerous as hell. "we the cops, we can do the' [heck] we want." [heck] YES. i have never seen a cooler character than alonzo. ive never seen denzel act like such an [punk]. its wonderful. you know what though? i really think sean penn should have got the oscar. denzel was well deserved but sean penn was brilliant in I am Sam. i think denzel got the award because weve never seen him act in such a vulgar manner. and we liked it. they liked it so he got it.

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Antoine Fuqua
Denzel Washington
Ethan Hawke

DVD title: WWE Raw - Taboo Tuesday
Productgroup: DVD
WWE Raw - Taboo Tuesday - movie DVD cover picture
my votes

1) Shelton Benjamin vs Chris Jericho= stellar match lots of action. ****
My vote was Rhyno
2) Diva battle royal= good action from these women. good match ****
My vote was school girl
3) kane vs Gene Snitsky= slow paced but still not too bad. ***
My vote was lead pipe
4)Eugene vs Eric Bishoff= crap. lasted 2 minutes long. *
my vote was loser gets there head shaved
5) Christy vs Carmella= took 15 minutes to change and the match lasted 54 seconds. 0 stars
my vote was lingera pillow fight
6) Edge & Benoit vs la resistance= very good match. i loved it. *****
7) HBK vs Triple h= shawn was crippled. utter crap. **
My vote was Edge
8) Ric Flair vs Randy orton. worst cage match ever. **
My vote was falls count anywhere

this was not a good ppv and would not recommend it unless you collect dvd's like me

Studio: Sony Music (Video)

DVD title: Mask
Productgroup: DVD
Mask - movie DVD cover picture
High schoolers find Mask moving

I recently showed Mask, based on the true-life story of Rocky Dennis, to my high school English class. Even today's teen-agers found the relationship between the disfigured Rocky and his blind girlfriend to be sweetly touching. The two sides of Rocky's biker-chick mother (in an outstanding performance by Cher) led to fruitful writing assignments about a parent struggling with addiction who can also be an incredibly supportive mother to her son. The students were also impressed with Rocky's exemplary personal qualities. Not only was Rocky Dennis an intelligent and sensitive human being who copes with his rare disease with humor and courage, he often has to "parent" his mother, and sets challenging goals for himself despite the death sentence hanging over his head. This film gives a strong message to teens (and adults) that -- despite bad examples sometimes from parents and peers -- having a strong sense of respect for oneself, nurturing long-range personal goals and healthy interests, being kind and decent to others, and maintaining a sense of humor can get us through even the worst challenges life deals us.

Studio: Image Entertainment
Director: Peter Bogdanovich
Sam Elliott
Eric Stoltz

DVD title: Miami Vice - Season One
Productgroup: DVD
Miami Vice - Season One - movie DVD cover picture
Finally it's here, and it is good!

Overall, this long awaited season set, is awesome!
The picture quality is 8 out of 10 (as an owner of a big TV screen I can't complain) bearing in mind the age of the series. Colors are also well transferred-there are no fading edges. As the first season was a training field for the crew and colors were not driven to perfection yet as in following seasons two and three, one can only imagine how impressive later episodes must look on DVD.
The sound is good although it's of course remixed 5.1 and does not fully match the latest 5.1 movie releases on DVD.
The menus including the short episode summaries are not perfect but satisfying and much better than those of other TV series (come on, who bought this set for the menus?).
Now, the few minor flaws: apart from the thin bonuses (that are too short and mostly stock footage or old news for real fans), the double sided discs are annoying. Not only that they are more problem-prone than usual one sided discs, you have also check back with the cover all the time to see where a specific episode can be found. 6 one sided discs with a nice design and the episode titles on the surface would have been better and would have left more data storage per episode. In some episodes, camera sweeps are a bit jerky sometimes. That may be a result of the fully crammed discs. Bottom line: my expectations (I'm hardcore fan and episode master of the German VICE fan site) have been met fully. If the other seasons come out with the same quality, I'm gonna be the first to buy gladly.

Studio: Universal Studios
Don Johnson

DVD title: Robotech - The New Generation - Legacy Collection 6
Productgroup: DVD
Robotech - The New Generation - Legacy Collection 6 - movie DVD cover picture
Last Phase of Robotech Series

Finally, we are at the last phase of the Robotech series which is based on the Japanese anime Mospeada. Robotech holds an interesting place in anime history. Many people love it because it was the first mature anime that they were ever exposed to. Others dislike it because it continues in the tradition of American producers changing much of the original anime to suit American tastes (before everyone found out that American tastes were enormously suited to anime without any changes!). Obviously, I fall into the "love it" category. Even though I'm usually an anime purist, the sheer scope and inventiveness of this adaption is staggering and definitely worth checking out even if you are not a fan from way back. It is also fascinating the way this series has influenced many subsequent anime. Check it out and I'm sure you'll be surprised at how many current anime reference this series (particularly the Macross section).
The idea of turning three series into one epic multigenerational story of conflict was a brilliant one and even though there are a few sloppy bits where the series join (paticularly in the middle "Southern Cross") the joining of series really lends an epic heft to its themes about war, identity and what it is to be human. These themes are repeated throughout all three parts and the whole builds up to a powerful conclusion.
This third section deals with a third invasion of earth which is led by the parasitic (they feed off of protoculture) and mysterious Invid. These creatures are without known form and need the protoculture to evolve into a higher life form eventually capable of dominating the universe. Most of the earth, devastated by the previous conflicts, is more than willing to allow the alien occupation without a fight. However, a small band led by Scott Bernard is dedicated to finding the center of Invid activity and wiping it out. There is much mystery and exploration of an alien species and lots of action. The Cyclones (which are motorcycles that transform into fighting robots) are lots of fun and interesting to watch. The Invids are a fascinating multi-faceted enemy whose menace is well developed. The relationships of the characters, as in the other two sections of Robotech, are entertaining and moving. I remember one of my favorite scenes when I watched the series originally was when the group happens upon an abandoned shopping complex and tastes Vienna sausages for the first time. It was funny and touching at the same time and clued me in that I was watching something special.
The look of the series is somewhat dated. Even though at the time the animation seemed revolutionary for an afternoon cartoon (and the subject matter still does--when was the last time you saw people sipping wine together on afternoon cartoons???). The animation is largely hand-drawn with some computer enhancement and there are some impressive effects and transformations throughout. Unfortunately, the transfer doesn't look like it comes from a first generation source. The resulting look is somewhat "soft" and lacks the crispness and clarity of many newer anime series and blunts the impact of some very fine animation. Of course, this isn't feature film level animation but it is very good for a massive series. There are occasional flaws in the picture (nicks and scratches) but these are very occasional and don't interfere with the enjoyment of the show. There are no subtitles and no multiple languages available except occasionally on the supplement disks. I must add that the music throughout the Robotech saga is wonderful. None of it is from the original Japanese anime and several composers contributed. Ulpio Minucci supervised the whole and created different motifs for the many themes and characters (including writing songs for the characters who are singers!!) this really helped meld it all into one convincing saga.
I can hardly wait for the next set of disks which will conclude both the Invid section and the series as a whole!!!

Studio: A.D. Vision

DVD title: Fiddler on the Roof
Productgroup: DVD
Fiddler on the Roof - movie DVD cover picture
The best contextual musical ever

Norman Jewison's "Fiddler On the Roof" is the story of a poor milkman living in tsarist Russia, which in the outskirts of Russia. This is one of the most original musicals, based on the stories of Sholom Aleichem. Played by Chaim Topol and Norma Crane as Tevye and Golde, the acting of this role of parents of five daughters in an orthodox Jewish family is done brilliantly. Tevye's misquotings of the bible is hilarious. The songs in the movie are outstanding and poignant. Starting from the beginning with "Tradition", with violinist Isaac Stern doing his magic, every song has its uniqueness.
Each of his three older daughters choose a different path. The first one refuses to marry the person chosen by the father as she in love with the tailer Motel. The way Tevye cons his wife into agreeing for this wedding is one of the funniest pieces of the movie. The characters chosen are unique and beautifully portrayed. The song before this, "Matchmaker, matchmaker" is beautiful. The way Yente, the matchmaker looks at the youngest daughters as though they were caravans wares is extremely funny. The second daughter Tseitel chooses the revolutionary who is against the Tsar and wishes communism. The song in the bar "To life, Le Chaim" is unusual and shows the way the Jews and the Christians can get along in a limited manner. The third daughter chooses a gentile.
Though this is a musical, the acting, story and the character portrayal is deep. Songs range from comic like "If I were a rich man", to haunting, "Sunrise, sunset", to sad and lonely, "Little bird". Though being Jewish will help one understand this movie better, it is not a necessity. The screenplay is wonderful. The particular one that I like is when Avraham comes and tells that there are bad things going on in the world. Another person says, "Why should I break my head about the outside world, let the outside world break its own head". Here Tevye says, "He is right, if you spit in the air, it lands in your face." Then the revolutionary says, "Nonsense, you cannot be blind to what happens outside." Then Tevye says, "You know, he is also right." At this time Avraham points to the revolutionary and the other person and says, "He is right and he is right, they can't both be right." Now Tevye looks at Avraham and says, "You know, you are also right."
When the Jews are evicted, it is extremely sad. They console themselves saying that their village Anatevka was not exactly the garden of Eden. This song, "Anatevka", is sad and heartbreaking. They have so little but still love it. It reminds one that happiness is something of the inside and has nothing to do with material possessions. This movie is a classic and a timeless masterpiece. It might be difficult for some people to understand due to the history of Tsarist Russia and its pogroms and the context, otherwise, to date it is my favorite musical.

Studio: Mgm/Ua Studios
Director: Norman Jewison
Norma Crane

DVD title: Josie and the Pussycats (PG-13 Version)
Productgroup: DVD
Josie and the Pussycats (PG-13 Version) - movie DVD cover picture
Too smart for its own good

It takes guts to adapt a mindless comic book into one of the smartest and funniest movies of 2001. Harry Elfont & Deborah Kaplan (Can't Hardly Wait) probably lost out at the box office because their allegorical tale went far over the heads of most of the intended audience.
Contrary to the title, the story is really about two shady record executives (Parker Posey and Alan Cumming) who use music to brainwash the youth of America. After getting rid of the hilarious boy group, Du Jour, Wyatt Frame (Cumming) needs a new group fast, and he stumbles upon the Pussycats. Of course, Josie and company soon realize that things are just a little too weird.
The music is great, the performances are inspired (especially Posey, Cumming, and Cook), and the jokes are funny. Even the over-abundant product placement (for which the filmmakers received no money) makes me laugh at times. Movies this creative don't often come under the guise of a teen comedy, but if you look past it, you just may find a gem. Josie is destined to become a cult classic despite its meager showing at the theatrical box office. For those who get the joke, it's really good.
Oh yeah, the DVD has great special features too.

Studio: Universal Studios
Rachael Leigh Cook
Tara Reid

DVD title: The Chosen
Productgroup: DVD
The Chosen - movie DVD cover picture
Beautiful, Selfless Empathy Training

This is a must see! It is one of my very favorite movies of all time. It is a coming of age story about two Jewish teenage boys, Danny (played by Robbie Benson) and his friend Reuven, set in 1940s New York. Danny's father, Reb Saunders, is the leader of an Russian-immigrant Hasidic community. Reuven, who is from a reformed background, thinks his friend Danny is quite odd. Through the pain of his father's silence, Danny learns one of the rarest of virtues, a deep empathy for his fellow humankind. His friend Reuvin even picks up a little of it along the way too. Reb Saunders is right on with his exhortation to the two boys, "The world needs *righteous* men." Here we have the privilege of seeing two righteous men, Danny and Reuvin, in the making. A great movie for youth group discussions.

Studio: Fox Home Entertainme
Director: Jeremy Kagan
Maximilian Schell
Rod Steiger
Robby Benson

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