Film DVD related reviews


DVD title: Zombie
Productgroup: DVD
Zombie - movie DVD cover picture
Zombie Flesh Eaters - A Classic Revisited


The film opens with a boat drifting in New York harbour, after being narrowly missed by a ferry the vessel is boarded by the river police. The policeman who is delegated the task of investigating the hold is met by a scene of decay and putrefaction, rotting food and rubbish are strewn everywhere and putrescent worms slither across the keyboard of a piano. The hapless cop lifts a blanket only to discover a bloodied and rotting severed hand. This is the cue for a door to burst open and a huge, shambling zombie bursts out of a cupboard and lunges at the policeman, pinning him to the floor. The policeman in an understandable effort to defend himself inadvertently pulls a large piece of decaying flesh from his attackers face. Surprisingly thrown by this unusual occurrence he lets his guard down, only to be taken advantage of by the zombie who viciously rips out a large chunk of the cops neck with its teeth, thus exposing his jugular vein which proceeds to pump out blood at a merry speed. The next scene is the autopsy room where a pathologist is examining the body of the chewed officer. As he turns away from the cadaver we see the hand of the dead policemen begin to move under the mortuary sheet.
The next stage of the film consists of a reporter played by Ian McCullough and the daughter of the original boat owner played by Tisa Farrow (a Fulci regular) teaming up. He as a reporter to get a good story, she as a distressed daughter wanting to solve the mystery of her fathers disappearance. If ever there was a case for letting sleeping zombies lie this would be it, but curiosity has already got the better of the two. They fly out to the Caribbean where they meet up with a couple played by Al Cliver and Auretta Gay. This easy going American couple are enjoying a carefree scuba diving holiday, foolishly they agree to take Ian and Tisa onboard and to help them find the uncharted island of Matoul, the last place visited by the father of the character played by Tisa, boy is this a big mistake! They even lay aside the reputed cursed nature of the island oft spoken of by the locals. Never ignore the locals, they may be a bit parochial but often are dead right when it comes to local curses. How many hapless victims in Horror films have ignored such good advice and to be honest deserve the consequences that befall them.
The intrepid group set sail. Their first encounter with the living dead occurs when the very attractive Gay indulges in some topless scuba diving. Whilst hiding from an inquisitive shark she is grabbed by of all things an underwater zombie. She manages to struggle free and has a ringside seat as zombie and shark now fight it out. Although slightly preposterous this scene is surprisingly well done. The group move on and land on the island of Matoul, which believe me is not the place for a relaxing weekend break. Some of the natives have been messing with voodoo and as a result, in gradually increasing numbers people once dead are now walking around again.
In the midst of all this blood drenched chaos, a Professor Menard played by veteran English actor Richard Johnson is using the appliance of science to try to fathom the mystery of the zombie epidemic. The hospital in which he carries out this hopeless work is filled with a genuine air of death and decay with patients dying hideous deaths after suffering unspeakable torments. The rest of the film evolves around the encounters of the wandering living with the stumbling dead. One of the best scenes (who is this sick individual) is when Olga Karlatos who plays Menards wife is left alone in their residence. Said lady decides to take a shower not realising that a randy zombie is shuffling around outside and ogling her naked body through the window. She emerges from the shower and puts on her bathrobe. By this time she is becoming increasingly distressed by noises outside and realises that she is not alone. Frantic attempts at bolstering the door with heavy furniture finally fail and the zombies hand bursts through the broken door grabbing Olga by the hair. There now follows the most infamous scene in the film where the very determined zombie pulls Olga towards a large wooden splinter on the door. In slow motion and in great detail her eye is pierced by the splinter, which finally breaks off from the door leaving her seriously miffed.
The intrepid group wander through the countryside and take rest in a quiet glade, unaware that it is in fact a graveyard full of dead Spanish conquistadors. Well not dead for long, the old boys proceed to claw their way out of the ground and attack the group. In another set piece a newly emerged worm infested chappie takes a vicious lunge at the petrified Auretta Gay, before you can say Jack Robinson he's nipped a large part of her neck away causing her jugular vein to erupt in a torrent of blood. Pity that I liked her!
The finale has the remnants of the group trapped in the good Doctors hospital and being attacked by zombies en masse. As they try to make their escape the now zombified Auretta Gay makes an appearance and she is one mean bitch of a zombie, Auretta is dispatched with a blast from a rifle but only after taking a chunk from her past partners arm. This is in my opinion one of the best zombie films. The makeup created by Gianetto de Rossi is superb and the direction by Fulci creates unremitting vile monsters and a real sense of decay, horror and hopelessness. This film is one of my all time favourites.

Studio: Blue Underground
Director: Lucio Fulci
Actors:
Tisa Farrow
Ian McCulloch




DVD title: Invader ZIM - House Box Plus Extra Disc
Productgroup: DVD
Invader ZIM - House Box Plus Extra Disc - movie DVD cover picture
yay! me happy


i got it and love it, the dvd really doesnt have anything important theres only like a couple of seconds extra on the xmas episode. the Gir robot figure is so cute!!! and the soundtrack is actually on the dvd so it doesnt come with a sountrack cd. the house is real awesome.

heres a picture of what comes. house, dvd, figure.

http://www.geocities.com/theparanoid_9 9/zimhouse.JPG
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Studio: Media Blasters, Inc
Director: Steve Ressel



DVD title: Serendipity
Productgroup: DVD
Serendipity - movie DVD cover picture
sweet as candy


i really liked this movie because it's tottally sweet.worth watching for a date movie.

Studio: Miramax
Director: Peter Chelsom
Actors:
John Cusack
Kate Beckinsale




DVD title: Moonstruck
Productgroup: DVD
Moonstruck - movie DVD cover picture
A bit off topic


This is just one of the questions asked and answered in this little gem of a movie. (btw, the answer is "Maybe because they fear death." Both sweet and tart, it has just the right blend of humor, melancholy, and true love. Cher is at her best here as Loretta Castorini, a widow who falls in love with the younger brother of her fiance, Nicholas Case and Danny Aiello respectively--both equally amazing in these roles. Olympia Dukakis and Vincent Gardenia round out the case as Loretta's parents. Feodor Chaliapin Jr. is priceless as Loretta's dog-doting grandfather and catch John Mahoney before he became "Frasier"'s dad.
My favorite scene is the where Loretta first meets Johnny at the bakery. Nicholas Cage gives the funniest, saddest speech about his past. I know the whole scene by heart.

Studio: Mgm/Ua Studios
Director: Norman Jewison
Actors:
Cher
Nicolas Cage
Olympia Dukakis
Danny Aiello




DVD title: Titus
Productgroup: DVD
Titus - movie DVD cover picture
An excellent modern interpretation of a difficult play


This is one of Shakespeare's earlier works and like most of them the language is hard to understand without seeing it performed on stage, however, to produce it for the theatre is difficult due to the extreme violence. Believe me, this is not for children; this play in particular was written in the style of the Roman playwright Seneca with it's emphasis on supernatural elements, bloody violence, and obsessive passion. Although these elements are prevalent in Shakespeare's later, tragic works none (in my opinion) are to the graphic degree of this piece.
Taking that into consideration the director did an excellent job of redeeming this difficult play and Anthony Hopkins plays the titular character in such an excellent way one relates to his madness.
One thing of note is the character Aaron, Tamora's moorish lover. One can see how Shakespeare later developed Othello's Iago from him.

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
Director: Julie Taymor
Actors:
Anthony Hopkins
Jessica Lange




DVD title: Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas
Productgroup: DVD
Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas - movie DVD cover picture
Jim Henson, how we miss you


This movie is a perfect example of the magical entertainment that only Jim Henson's Muppets could achieve. Kids and grownups alike can enjoy the tale of young Emmet Otter, his mother and their selfless love for each other. Delightful musical numbers, memorable characters, and a story that can still make me cry after countless viewings. This should be a perennial Christmas classic in any home -- reserve a spot on your shelf right next to It's A Wonderful Life.

Studio: Columbia/Tristar Studios
Director: Jim Henson



DVD title: A Home at the End of the World
Productgroup: DVD
A Home at the End of the World - movie DVD cover picture
Very touching.


Surprised me in more ways than one. It touched me on a personal and an emotional level.

Studio: Warner Independent Pictures
Director: Michael Mayer (VI)
Actors:
Sissy Spacek
Colin Farrell
Dallas Roberts
Robin Wright Penn




DVD title: Three Dog Night - Live with the Tennessee Symphony Orchestra
Productgroup: DVD
Three Dog Night - Live with the Tennessee Symphony Orchestra - movie DVD cover picture
three dog night live with the Tennessee Symphony


I recently saw Three Dog Night live. They are fantasic. I went to Amazon and ordered any new stuff they had out. Wow, this is a fantasic CD. I really like the way the marriage between the orchestra and the band blends. I would highly recommend this to any Three Dog Night Fan..

Studio: Image Entertainment
Actors:
Three Dog Night



DVD title: William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice
Productgroup: DVD
William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice - movie DVD cover picture
A wonderful adaptation with exceptional acting


First of all, I love Shakespeare, so I may be partial to his material. That said, I am not always happy with the Shakespeare
adaptations out there. They have to be very well made, respectful with the original material and very well acted for me to
enjoy them. Michael Radford's "The Merchant of Venice" certainly fulfills this criteria.

Having recently seen it, I must say it is indeed excellent. Director Michael Radford ("Il Postino") does a
commendable job of adapting and directing a very tricky play in his first Shakespeare adaptation. While his direction is confident, it is also sensitive. From the exceptional cast to the production values, this is a wonderful piece of filmmaking from beginning to end.

Al Pacino, who wasn't convincing as Richard III in his documentary "Looking for Richard", now turns in a terrific
performance as the Jewish moneylender Shylock in his quest for a pound of Antonio's flesh. While he gets to rave in certain bits, his performance shows admirable restraint and is powerful without being over the top. He gives life to one of the most famous Shakespearean characters in what could be considered a career best.

Jeremy Irons, always an amazing actor at playing angst, now graces the screen as the tortured merchant Antonio with
astonishing command of the material and of his voice.

Joseph Fiennes, who played Shakespeare himself in "Shakespeare in Love", is nothing short of excellent as the Venetian nobleman Bassanio, the young man who attempts to win the hand of a wealthy heiress. Once again his classic training pays off in a wonderful way.

Finally, American newcomer Lynn Collins shines in the role of Portia, in a strong, solid performance of Belmont's wealthy
heiress, who is also one of the most interesting female characters written by The Bard.

This is a lavish production, set in 16th century Venice. The costumes are wonderful, and the production design is amazing.

The cinematography is breathtaking, with exquisite textures, and the score is beautiful and effective without being obtrusive. The movie was shot partly in the incredibly beautiful Venice itself, which is quite a treat. Other parts were shot in Luxembourg, and yet the transitions look totally seamless.

Yes, Michael Radford does take a few liberties here and there, and many speeches had to be edited in order to keep the
running time at 138 minutes. He also adds his own personal touch in a few places. These liberties, however, are perfectly respectful to the original material. For example, the suggestion of a homoerotic relationship between Antonio and Bassanio is there, but it is a very plausible way to interpret the original text, it is presented with taste and it is still a suggestion, not an affirmation -- it still depends on what you take from it as a viewer. I also liked the use of close-ups as an effective way of expressing what is not said.

On the subject of the play's anti-semitism, it has to be said that most of the characters are indeed anti-semitic. The film,
however, is not, since we are given the exact context in which the story takes place by the introduction of a prologue.

It has to be mentioned that a good part of the comedy has been sacrificed in favour of the more "dramatic" bits, but there is still a great deal of humour in the film, even in parts of the tragedy.

It is a beautiful production: drama, comedy, romance, the themes of forgiveness, justice, revenge, friendship, love, loyalty, are all presented with feeling and a lot of taste. All in all, I cannot recommend this movie enough.

Studio: Columbia Tristar Hom
Director: Michael Radford
Actors:
Al Pacino
Jeremy Irons
Joseph Fiennes
Lynn Collins




DVD title: Halloween
Productgroup: DVD
Halloween - movie DVD cover picture
A "MUST-HAVE" FOR ANY TRUE HALLOWEEN FAN!


Lemme just say the Extended version transfer is hideous and the picture is unwatchable. The sound is in Mono too and it's rather poor.
But the Theatrical Version has a nice, clear and clean picture and the new Dolby 5.1 soundtrack rocks. The crisp transfer compliments Dean Cundey's superb widescreen photography respectfully. This is a great treatment of a classic movie and kudos to Anchor Bay for the ace DVD.
The DVD is in Dolby 5.1 (Mono for Disc 2) and is anamorphically enhanced at 2.35:1.

Studio: Anchor Bay Entertainment
Director: John Carpenter
Actors:
Donald Pleasence
Jamie Lee Curtis
Tony Moran




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