Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Classical Pilates Technique - The Complete Mat Workout Series (Modified Basic / Basic / Intermediate / Advanced / Super Advanced)
Productgroup: DVD
Classical Pilates Technique - The Complete Mat Workout Series (Modified Basic / Basic / Intermediate / Advanced / Super Advanced) - movie DVD cover picture
Zippy Pilates

As others have noted, this is a well produced video with a range of increasingly challenging routines. I will be using it daily.
The producers are honest in suggesting we begin with some work under a trained instructor. The DVD proceeds at a fast pace and would be mind-boggling for a rank beginner. Twelve minutes for the whole intermediate mat is a sprint, but the upside is that we're not kept waiting around for long chatty digressions that soon lose their charm by repetition.
My only other quibble is with the accent of the instructor. Bob Liekens may be a Pilates master, but the DVD would have been better if it had been narrated by someone with a more neutral accent.

Studio: Classical Pilates, Inc.
Junghee Kallander
Jamie Trout

DVD title: Whale Rider
Productgroup: DVD
Whale Rider - movie DVD cover picture
healing wounds

A young Maori girl Paikea (newcomer Keisha Castle-Hughes) in New Zealand is reared by her grandparents. Her father (played by the excellent Cliff Curtis) leaves New Zealand after he loses both his wife and Paikea's twin brother in childbirth. Pai's grandfather is the strictly traditional Maori tribal chief whose hopes for the future of their tribe rested with and died with the birth of the baby boy. The grandfather is struggling against modernism, struggling to maintain tradition and to educate a new generation of young Maori men. He is resentful that the baby who was born to be leader of the tribe has been taken away; his own son cannot face the reality and runs away, leaving the resentful grandfather to rear Paikea. The son has not only shirked his family responsibilities and tribal responsibilities, he has left behind his useless daughter. The baby son had been "the chosen one", the grandfather believes, as the "whale rider" and uniter of the tribe must be male. Paikea, in stark contrast to her grandfather who barely tolerates her, loves and reveres her grandfather more than anything, but is strongly drawn to the Maori traditions and customs, constantly defying her grandfather's stubborn opposition to her learning or participating in men's Maori customs. When Pai's father returns from Europe, the grandfather sees a glimmer of hope, trying to unite him with a Maori woman- only to have his son Porourangi reveal that he has a pregnant German girlfriend back home. The grandfather is livid, and Paikea is going to leave to go to Germany to live with her father. New Zealand, though, mysteriously beckons her to stay. She continues to defy her grandfather, enlisting her uncle to teach her the warrior ways. Eventually her grandfather shuns her entirely; Pai is heartbroken. His stubbornness not only hurts Pai deeply, it stands in the way of progress, acceptance and the dreams he holds dearest for the future of his people. The storytelling in this film is subtle, beautiful and heartbreaking. The cinematography is grippingly beautiful, and the relationships between people ultimately heal all wounds.

Studio: Columbia Tristar Hom
Director: Niki Caro
Keisha Castle-Hughes
Rawiri Paratene
Vicky Haughton
Cliff Curtis

DVD title: The Iceman - Confessions of a Mafia Hitman
Productgroup: DVD
The Iceman - Confessions of a Mafia Hitman - movie DVD cover picture
Chilling but true story!

I first saw the interview with Mr. Kuklinski on HBO in 1992 and for anyone looking for how a "hitman" really goes about his business-this is it! His casual explanation after admitting killing approximately 100 people is truly scary ("it was due to business"). Buy this dvd!

Studio: Warner Home Video
Richard Kuklinski

DVD title: Wolves At Our Door
Productgroup: DVD
Wolves At Our Door - movie DVD cover picture
Wolves at our Door

I've always been interested in wolves and experienced much joy when I found this beautifully photographed and very informative documentary filmed by Jim and Jamie Dutcher. The Dutchers raised a pack of captive wolves from cubs to adults. 'Wolves at our door' definitely trashes all of the prejudices about the wolf and enriches/alters our perception of them . The development/growth of a wolf is presented with insight, respect and admiration. In short this documentary shows the highly intelligent wolf in its true light. Since the wolf is a very social animal, the importance of pack life cannot be emphasized enough. Therefore we get an intimate view of the intricate, clear-cut pack rules, dynamics and life. Not to speak of the caring and warm family life in which all members of the wolf pack participate.
The trials and triumphs of this pack in particular will certainly result in much heartbreak and joy for the viewer of this excellent documentary.

Studio: Lions Gate Home Entertainment
Director: Jim Dutcher

DVD title: Paths of Glory
Productgroup: DVD
Paths of Glory - movie DVD cover picture
shattering masterpiece

simply amazing moving film; Douglas has rarely been better. But it's Kubrick who really shines as he guides us through the insanity of war. I think even more importantly, the film captures the true insanity and heartlessness of the military command structure like on other movie. Certainly one of the top 100 films of all-time. A must for any "real" movie fan!

Studio: Mgm/Ua Studios
Director: Stanley Kubrick
Kirk Douglas
Ralph Meeker

DVD title: The Goonies
Productgroup: DVD
The Goonies - movie DVD cover picture
"Hey you guys!!!"

Let me begin by saying that "Goonies" is by far one of the best movie of all time. It is appealing to all generations. It is every kids dream to break away from their parents and pursue their dreams, however far fetched. Every young boy dreams of running away, fighting pirates and being the hero. This movie has it all. It shows life from the view of a normal kid having the courage to do what all kids wish they could. In the midst of murders and hidden treasure when all the kids get scared and what to go home, Mikey (Sean Austin) reminds them that "this is our time, down here, no parents...,". The Goonies will be popular for generations to come. Although the plot is a complete fantasy, there is a lesson to be learned. It teaches kids to follow their dreams and do what they know in their hearts is the right thing. It also teaches parents that just because kids are young and inexperienced, doesn't mean what they have to say isn't important. Adults sometimes have a hard time admitting that their kids may be right and they may be wrong. I won't tell what happens in the end, but if you haven't seen it, it's a must!!

Studio: Warner Studios
Director: Richard Donner
Sean Astin
Josh Brolin

DVD title: The Godfather DVD Collection
Productgroup: DVD
The Godfather DVD Collection - movie DVD cover picture
True American Cinema Greatness

I found it stunning that Francis Ford Coppola was disappointed with THE GODFATHER. While other 70's super directors like William Friedkin won an Oscar for THE FRENCH CONNECTION, Coppola moaned during the editing of the first film, "I've made a movie about a bunch of guys talking in dark rooms."
He just didn't know what he had. (And, after listening to his commentaries, maybe he even now STILL doubts his accomplishments).

The first and second GODFATHER films are genuine American masterpieces. Everything works. The DVD extras are great. The casting, the writing, the cinematography, the music--it just all works. You hear the word "Shakespearean" brought up a lot about the first two GODFATHER films, and I agree that they both reach those heights.

The third film is like the Fredo of the trilogy: "It's got a good heart, but it's weak and stupid." Does anyone honestly believe that Michael would suddenly start trying to win Kaye back? (She's lucky she didn't end up at the bottom of Lake Tahoe herself!).
I'd always heard that Paramount asked Coppola for a third GODFATHER, and he said give me six months to write the script. Paramount said you've got six weeks. GODFATHER III plays like a rough draft of something that might have worked. But definitely doesn't.
The movie comes alive for Andy Garcia's first scenes (as Sonny's illegitimate son), but then it just falls apart.
But I do have to say: everyone complained about Sofia Coppola jumping into the role of Michael's daughter when Winona Ryder dropped out (I couldn't see her anyway), but I actually thought Sofia looked and acted the part perfectly.
(I mean, if the studio had had their way with the first film, Charlton Heston would've been Vito and Ryan O'Neal would've been Michael!).

Studio: Paramount Home Video
Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Marlon Brando
Al Pacino
Robert De Niro
Al Pacino

DVD title: National Lampoon Presents Dorm Daze (R-Rated Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
National Lampoon Presents Dorm Daze (R-Rated Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
This Is A Sorry Excuse For A Comedy!!!

In this turkey of a movie you have the usual 25 year old actors pretending to be 19 and in College. The stupid plot revolves around a Pencil Necked Geek trying to lose his virginity and a prostitute who is mistaken for a foreign exchange student. I have noticed that prostitutes and virgins are the usual Themes in this type of trash. After awhile one begins to suspect that this movie was written by some ex Major League Geeks from High School who had to pay for sex until they got a job in Hollywood writing this trash. This movie was not even remotely funny after about 6 Miller Beers and thankfully the remote was at hand so I could turn it off. I give this movie 5 stars because I have to congratulate myself for having the good sense not to watch the whole piece of junk.

Studio: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

DVD title: Urusei Yatsura - Movie 2 - Beautiful Dreamer
Productgroup: DVD
Urusei Yatsura - Movie 2 - Beautiful Dreamer - movie DVD cover picture
An anime must-have!

The GREATEST anime I've ever seen! The plot twists your brain to it's furthest extent! This movie got me interested in animes! a must have in any home!

Studio: Cpm/Us Manga Corps
Director: Mamoru Oshii

DVD title: Angel - Season Two
Productgroup: DVD
Angel - Season Two - movie DVD cover picture
One of the finest moments of Angel

This season is the true beginning of Angel, and I just want to point out a few things:

a lot of people said they don't like Darla, I think this is because Darla took a lot of Angel's time, but HELLO, she's actually a very important character, she's Angel's maker for cryin' out loud. And Darla is the strength of this season. and frankly, the placement of Darla really brings out DB's acting talents. If you watched season one and still says he's not that good an actor, season two WILL make you change your mind. I'm gonna point out the episodes that are the best:

Are you now or have you ever been- my all time favorite of Angel's flashbacks. We get to see Angel's reserveness without seeing his patheticness- like we did in Buffy. And also I have to say that the 50s wardrobe is THE BEST look of all Angel's flashbacks. (the worst is the 70s in season four, bleech! I seriously don't believe Angel would wear that). And I love how this episodes puts a little bit of private eye mystery but it's still supernatural in the end.

Dear Boy- I love how Angel played right into Darla's hands yet still remains her formatible foe. the conversation between Angel and Darla in the water tank place is just absolutely glorious. Darla's "Look, no matter how good a boy you are, God doesn't want you, but I still do" makes me wanna scream my insides out. this powerful line just sums up all of Angel's pain and suffering. even if this episode is all crap (which it isn't of course), this line would make me score a 5/5 for this episode, not to mention rest of the conversation.

Guise Will be Guise- my GAWD, this is probably THE MOST FUNNIEST episode of Angel. Wesley posing as Angel just points out all the sterotypes of Angel's character and reminded us why we love Angel, and from it, Wesley.

Darla- Another really powerful Angel and Darla episode. And Angel's most memorable line " favor? is that what you think? you did me a favor.. You Damned me" just completely couples with Darla's line about god doesn't want him. Also the flashbacks were very well done meshing with the present. The only complain I have is the China flashback one. I mean, THAT'S China in the 1900s? PLEASE! I actually do know what my mother country looks like during that time, and it looks like anything but THAT! I guess the producers were too broke to actually do THROUGH research. what's with the you see more foreigner than Chinse people??? And the baby that Angel is suppose is kill to prove himself, I think the baby is suppose to be Chinese, since Darla said they "praying to THEIR God for salvation" But I guess Joss can't find a Chinese couple actors and baby in time.

The Trial- Like the Trinity sister said, Angel half naked, in chains, on knees, in tears.. What could go wrong?? This is also the FIRST time Angel really lose it, usually he's calm, gentle, and snaps at the right time, but never lose in to his anger. The bittersweet ending where Angel saves Darla from herself but couldn't save her fully, promise to be at her side until she dies, then got taken away again just brings more conflict and brilliancy to the show.

Reunion- this episode should really be called: be careful what you wish for. W&H wanted Angel dark, but they just didn't know how dark Angel would get; W&H want to help Darla and Drusilla to do whatevery they want, look what comes out of it. And Angel's darkest moments where he repeats Holland's remark, closes the door and lock the lawyer in makes me chill to the bone, but I also totally applauded. This is why I love Angel, that he's not easily controlled or played by evildoers, and that just because he's a good guy doesn't mean that he would be all soft and merciful.

Redefinition- Angel firing his crew and his crew throwing the blame around is truly funny and pathetic. and Angel locking the lawyers compares nothing to his lighting up Darla and Drusilla like a christmas tree. God I love it when Angel is Dark.

Reprise- I'm almost lost for words discribing David's performance in this episode. He should seriously win an Oscar for it. I mean, when he came out of the elevator and had that terrifying and despair at the same time look on him, he stole my heart, my heart was out and I was ready to bow down and cry: " you are a damn good actor!" and I love the tag where Angel had sex with Darla, using her as a prostitute, how can Angel posses sooo much grace even when doing a terrible thing???

Epiphany- NOOOOO I want Dark Angel baaaaack!!!! But this is an important episode because Angel finally reveals why he was soooo obsessed with Darla and what made him turn to the Dark side. And Angel made his first most important speech at the end. But the part where Angel trying soooo hard to please his friends so to renew their friendship is a little bit hard to watch. Because it doesn't look like it's something Angel would do. But I guess since Angel doesn't have an arrogance problem it is kind of like something he would do, who knows???

Angel then became jumpy and outgoing from here, which I didn't like as much as him dark. there was one other thing I didn't get satisfied about this season- Angel's pure form. I mean, common! THAT'S Angel's pure form???? Angel's pure form is suppose to be terrifying, you know, BEAUTIFUL in a TERRIFYING way, not some guy in a green halloween costume. And what's with the Green??? like there aren't enough green monsters in Pylea they just had to add another one. I mean, I know it's probably because the producers are kinda broke from doing the Pylea set, but Angel's pure form!!! it's really important!!!! Angel's pure form should be kind of like Van Helsing's Dracula monster look; he should at least grow five feet or somethin'. All in all, I don't agree that this season is one of Angel's weakest, weakest should be season three or four, not this one.

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox Home Video
David Boreanaz

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