Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Zulu (Michael Caine)
Productgroup: DVD
Zulu (Michael Caine) - movie DVD cover picture
Zulu - Historically Accurate!!!

I strongly suggest that anyone who doubts the accuracy of this film to purchase some books from this very site and READ the many historical accounts that are available about the battle at Rorkes Drift. "The Washing of the Spears" by Donald Morris is an excellent book that covers the history of the Zulu nation. The film has only two minor flaws that I have encountered. One is the character portrayed by Jack Hawkins. I have never read any account that describes an alcoholic preacher visiting before the battle. But the character does add tension to the film and shows the fear that many of the survivors of the battle of the previous day at Isandhlwana felt. The second flaw is the scene where the soldiers form three lines and volley fire into the charging Zulu warriors. Again, I have never read anything like this but what it serves to display is how a well trained and equipped modern (for its day) army could decimate any opponent; which is exactly what happened. The fewer than 150 British soldiers at the outpost withstood a siege from nearly 5000 Zulu wariiors over a 24-30 hour period with 10 hours of non-stop fighting. Why did they stay and fight? Because they had protection and close to 30 of the men were in the hospital with various ailments (some quite severe). If they had left they would have had to carry the sick with them to the next outpost which was over 30 miles away. This film does a fantastic job of portraying the very real events that occured at the battle of Rorkes Drift on January 23rd, 1879. Definitely one of only a few epic-war films that does not rewrite history to suit the big screen.

Studio: Front Row Video, Inc
Director: Cy Endfield
Richard Burton
Stanley Baker
Jack Hawkins

DVD title: The Mummy
Productgroup: DVD
The Mummy - movie DVD cover picture
Only Boris Karloff could do it this well

The Mummy is outstanding particularly because it is just the sort of concept which could have easily become camp or boring. Boris Karloff's depiction here is nothing of the sort! His intensity, and reserved and chilling dignity, give this film an eerie yet intelligent quality that distinguish it amongst the monster genre.
This is not a "scare flick," but an intelligent portrayal of three goals, amongst different characters, which create the conflict: the occult (underrated Egyptian magical arts which only the wisest archaelogist immediately realises are not to be discounted); scientific discovery; a passionate and possessive love that spans millennia. Curiously, these strong impulses all are presented in a surprisingly plausible approach. Though there is nothing gruesome in this film, and children could view it with no undue fear, this is an adult plot, best suited to those who enjoy both intense psychological conflict and the admission that there is much we can never understand.

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: Karl Freund
Boris Karloff
Zita Johann
David Manners

DVD title: The Letter
Productgroup: DVD
The Letter - movie DVD cover picture
The Always Dynamic Davis Delivers

For a 60-year-old film, "The Letter" stills stands as one of the best filmed adaptations of a play ever done. Bette Davis added another notch in her acting belt with a truly great performance as Leslie Crosbie, a less-than-faithful wife who commits a crime of passion by killing her lover. The opening scene of Hammond's murder is still chilling with Davis's silent and deliberate execution.
The cinematography and set design are excellent, allowing the viewer to experience the mystique, humidity, and allure of its Far East setting.
Gale Sondergaard bewitches in the voiceless part of Mrs. Hammond, wife of the victim. Her stature and black ensemble make her an intriguing contrast to Davis's society dame. James Stephenson as the lawyer is craftily cool as he attempts to save his client from the gallows. A young Victor Sen Young, later known as "Bonanza's" Hop Sing, is also exemplary as Stephenson's aide who has knowledge that could bury Davis. Herbert Marshall is also good as probably the dumbest spouse this side of Anne Archer's part in "Fatal Attraction."
This is one "Letter" worth opening!

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: William Wyler
Bette Davis
Herbert Marshall
James Stephenson

DVD title: Fight Club (Single Disc Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Fight Club (Single Disc Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Mind Bended and Twisted

FIGHT CLUB stars Edward Norton, Brad Pitt, and Helena Bonham Carter. Each one plays a unique part in a demented triangle. Directed by David (SEVEN) Fincher, the film is totally fresh, and keeps viewers on their toes. The actors give great performances that are among the best of their careers. Fincher puts his experience as a former music video maker to good use. The movie is kenetic in pace and style. The dirty underground world of FIGHT CLUB is used effectively to tell this twisted tale. I know that the plot details in this review are sparse but that's because I think that, in this case, too many details are a bad thing. For those folks that haven't seen it, you are in for a treat, if you have seen it, then you know what I mean.
Like the SEVEN DVD set, this two disc set is well done, and is a real winner. It gives viewers a pretty complete picture of how the movie was made. There are four commentary tracks. Of those, the best one, is with the three main stars and Fincher. The second disc has 17 behind the scenes vignettes, deleted scenes, and a boatload of other stuff to enjoy. Kudos to everyone on a job well done. The set is awesome.

Studio: Fox Home Entertainme
Director: David Fincher
Edward Norton
Brad Pitt

DVD title: Tribal Fusion - Yoga Isolations & Drills for Bellydance
Productgroup: DVD
Tribal Fusion - Yoga Isolations & Drills for Bellydance - movie DVD cover picture
A wonderful dvd

I have been doing yoga for over 2 years and have tried almost every yoga dvd out there, but this dvd really left an impression on me.
Rachel gives clear, effective instructions that really help you to understand how to do the drills. She explains which muscles to contract, when to breathe, and how the body should be positioned. She also tells you what parts of the body should NOT be used in each drill, which I think is important to correctly learn the drills.
This dvd combined yoga and bellydancing to give a nice variation to the workout that most dvds dont have. Its a tough workout, but it really shapes youre stomach. I noticed a difference in my waist in just a few weeks.
I would deffinetly recommend this to anyone interested in either bellydancing or yoga. Brice did a wonderful job, I hope to see a sequel to this.

Studio: Universal Music & VI
Rachel Brice

DVD title: Three Kings
Productgroup: DVD
Three Kings - movie DVD cover picture
Good use of the Technology

Writer-Director David O. Russell places Clooney, Wahlberg, Jonze and Ice Cube in the desert to fight in the squirmish in the gulf. The trick in getting anybody to pay attention to the gulf war including the characters was to get them away from their camp where most of soldiers never actually saw the enemy. Upon finding a treasure map in an Iraqi soldiers most sensitive hiding place our heros set out to find millions of dollars of Kuwaiti gold. The neccessity for a plot like this highlights what a different kind of war the Gulf War was, the only way to show some action and interaction with the locals is a fictional treasure hunt. This is not an action flick as it was sold in it's theatrical release but, it does move along nicely and Russell takes much care in not glorifying the guns and violence.The great part about this release is the excellent use of the DVD technology. It's packed with extras beyond the usual cast listings and commentary (although these are also there). Of particular interest are Russell's video journal and for tech heads the interview with the DP.

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: David O. Russell
George Clooney
Mark Wahlberg

DVD title: Election
Productgroup: DVD
Election - movie DVD cover picture
I thought it was great... my parents LOVED it.

I am at college right now and when I brought this movie home for my parents to watch, they loved it! Extremely funny and mature satire... try it, most will like it!

Studio: Paramount Studio
Director: Alexander Payne
Matthew Broderick
Reese Witherspoon

DVD title: The Haunting
Productgroup: DVD
The Haunting - movie DVD cover picture
One of the best horror movies I've ever seen

I can't believe some of the reviews that I've read on Amazon's website. "The Haunting" is one of the best horror movies I've ever seen. I didn't see anything that I didn't like about it.
Some people that are part of an experiment have to stay overnight in a house that they don't know is haunted. One of the women finds out that she is part of the family that died in the house and that she needs to stay there.
The reason I liked "The Haunting" so much is because it did what most horror movies never have. It combines some great special effects with a good story that's actually a little bit haunting. Without a doubt, "The Haunting" has the best special effects I've ever seen in a horror movie. The haunted house that was used in the movie couldn't have been any better. The sound effects are also well done, like when you see the statues of kids and you can hear them all calling for Eleanor's help.
If you like great horror movies, you can't miss "The Haunting." I can't believe it's not more popular than it is because I couldn't find anything I didn't like about it. Unlike most horror movies, it actually gave me a sense of fear from time to time and it kept me entertained all the way through.

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: Jan de Bont
Lili Taylor
Liam Neeson
Catherine Zeta-Jones
Owen Wilson

DVD title: Where Eagles Dare
Productgroup: DVD
Where Eagles Dare - movie DVD cover picture
it's the music.....

Other reviewers have covered the rest of this film, but let me focus on the music, which I believe is among the best adventure movie scores ever done. It's a simple theme, that builds in intensity and richness throughout the movie. I have seen the movie more than ten times and thrill to the music every time.

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Brian G. Hutton
Richard Burton
Clint Eastwood

DVD title: Million Dollar Baby (Widescreen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Million Dollar Baby (Widescreen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
10 star movie

This film, based on ROPE BURNS: STORIES FROM THE CORNER by F. X. Toole, is about as close to perfect as a movie gets in spite of its being about boxing and therefore extremely violent. Director/actor Clint Eastwood (Frankie Dunn), Hilary Swank (Maggie Fitzgerald) and Morgan Freeman (Eddie Dupris) give flawless performances. Freeman is cast here as a down but not out exboxer, the seasoned sage, a part he always does well. Eastwood as the tough, aging boxing coach with lots of psychic baggage, is more emotional and human here than in any role I remember. Swank, however, is incomparable. Apparently there is no part too difficult for her. Here she is the poorest of the poor, a waitress who takes leftover food home-- a fighter in every sense of the word-- who gets the first chance ever to be somebody as a boxer.

The film would have been perfect if Maggie's family had been a little more human rather than cardboard versions of redneck white trash and Frankie's Catholic priest could have left the safety of his parish if only briefly to walk in Frankie's shoes. There probably are trailer park types and priests who are this inflexible, but a little more tolerance of them on the director's part would have made for a better movie.

The film's ending raises serious ethical questions and makes a profound statement about the redemptive power of love, wherever you find it, and what makes up a family. It is as good as the critics say.

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Clint Eastwood
Clint Eastwood
Hilary Swank
Morgan Freeman

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