Film DVD related reviews


DVD title: Zulu (Michael Caine)
Productgroup: DVD
Zulu (Michael Caine) - movie DVD cover picture
Zulu - a tolerable DVD of a great film


Zulu is one of the greatest historical action movies ever made, and one of the great war movies. It is based on what historian Michael Glover terms "the most highly decorated battle in British history", the defence of Rorke's Drift during the Zulu War of 1879. Eleven of the defenders received Britain's highest award for military valor, the Victoria Cross--the rarely awarded counterpart of the US Congressional Medal of Honor. The movie is a landmark in the art of cinema for its extraordinary combination of location, cross-cultural engagement, a real story, good script and fine cast. This 1964 film never looks tired, despite my many years of rerunning it in 16mm, the Criterion laserdisc, and now the Front Row Entertainment Inc. DVD. Anecdotally, military colleges have used Zulu to show the power of directed massed musketry, and leadership and teamwork in combat.
Zulu is the greatest achievement of the career of British actor Stanley Baker, who co-produced with US-born, formerly blacklisted director Cy Endfield. Nothing else in the genre really measures up, including Endfield's so-called "prequel", Zulu Dawn, or other epics based on British colonial wars, such as Khartoum. It was filmed on location in the grandeur of Natal, South Africa, with descendants of the Zulu warriors who took part in the original action portraying their forebears. The prominent Zulu politician and traditional chief, Mangosuthu Buthelezi, plays the Zulu leader, his distant relative Cetewayo. Mass Zulu participation in the project guaranteed the uplifting dignity and authenticity of cross-cultural characterisations of the film. Early magnificent scenes with masses of Zulu extras show the Zulu royal kraal, with a mass wedding of warriors in progress as news arrives of the annihilation of a strong British force at Isandhlwana. These unique scenes probably never could be filmed again because of social and cultural change. The nearest conceptual comparison in the war genre that comes to mind is the cross-cultural aspect of Tora! Tora! Tora!
Stanley Baker believed so strongly in Zulu, despite difficulties in raising finance, that he sank much of his own money into it. Playing a British Army engineer officer thrust by events into leading a desperate defensive action following the disaster of Isandhlwana, he heads a strong cast, including a young Michael Caine as an upper crust infantry officer. There are wonderful cameo roles by Jack Hawkins as an alcoholic missionary; Nigel Green as the imperturbable Colour Sergeant Bourne, always ready with a calming order or a bayonet; James Booth as Private Hook, portrayed as a malingerer who is perhaps the least likely Victoria Cross winner; Patrick Magee as Surgeon-Major Reynolds, continuing up to his elbows in surgery even as Zulus try to break in. The narration by Richard Burton is very fine, and in character with the Welsh origin of the British soldiers. Welsh and Zulu singing on the cinematic battlefield is spine-tingling.
This film deserves the very best frame-by-frame and soundtrack digital restoration and DVD transfer that technology can provide, working from an original 70mm print. Meanwhile, the Front Row Entertainment Inc DVD, about the equal of the Criterion laserdisc, will have to do. The image quality is much less sharp than we now expect of new DVD releases. The color and audio are just passable. It is in widescreen format.
Stanley Baker died in 1976. Cy Endfield died in 1995. Other players who have passed on include Jack Hawkins in 1973; Nigel Green in 1972; and Patrick Magee in 1982. Before all key players in this project die, a retrospective on the making of the film--interviews, at least, with participants like Michael Caine and Mangosuthu Buthelezi--should be compiled for a new collector's edition DVD. At the time of writing, Sir Michael Caine (age 69) seems to be enjoying the afterglow of his prolific career in cinema and dabbles in restaurants, and Dr Buthelezi (age 74) is Minister for Home Affairs in the Government of South Africa. James Booth (age 69) continues on stage and screen.
Michael Glover's book, "Rorke's Drift" (Wordsworth Editions 1997) is recommended reading for anyone with a detailed interest in the historical background.

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




DVD title: Touch of Evil (Restored to Orson Welles' Vision)
Productgroup: DVD
Touch of Evil (Restored to Orson Welles' Vision) - movie DVD cover picture
Orson Welles at his Peak


I concur with most of the other reviewers that this is a wonderful film, but most fail to do Welles' character justice by merely describing him as a corrupt cop or villian.
Welles' character is wonderfully three-dimensional. Although he breaks the rules in order to get convictions, he does so with good intentions, making it more than just another stereotypical movie about corrupt "southern justice". It is amazing watching Welles' character fall apart emotionally as he begins to be confronted by the fact that what he is doing is wrong, then, out of increasing desperation, commits worse and worse acts while trying to justify himself with the increasingly delusional belief that he is right. He has the support of his fellow police not because they are racist idiots, but because he has earned their respect in the past and they strongly believe in him. Thus, as in all good noir movies, you don't have a battle between black and white so much as a battle between various shades of grey.
It is unfortunate that not long after this film, Welles lost most of the power or funding he needed to continue making good movies and was relegated to narrating poor quality movies on the supernatural, doing voices for Masters of the Universe, etc. But with films like this, he will continue to be recognized as a genius.

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: Orson Welles
Actors:
Orson Welles
Charlton Heston
Janet Leigh




DVD title: Dragonball Z, Vol. 32 - Trunks: Prelude to Terror
Productgroup: DVD
Dragonball Z, Vol. 32 - Trunks: Prelude to Terror - movie DVD cover picture
Prelude To Terror DVD


In this episode, the mysterious youth reveals his real name. TRUNKS! He tells Goku that his old nemesis, Dr. Gero, Trunks came from the future to warn Goku and the others of even greater threat. Trunks tells Goku from this new terror that they've killed Piccolo, Vegeta, Yamch, Tien, Krillin and 13 years later they get Gohan. Also, Trunks gives Goku an antidote for a future heart virus he's going to get.

Studio: Goldhil Home Media 2
Director: Minoru Okazaki



DVD title: Cape Fear
Productgroup: DVD
Cape Fear - movie DVD cover picture
Mitchums Magic


J. Lee Thompson went to Mitchum, who did dot want to make this film and asked him again by saying" your,e the only one who can do it" ..How right they were.( Peck co produced)
Mitchum gives again one of "those' performances that you just dont forget. Edward Dmytryk said that Mitchum was one of the very best at giving these performances.
More sullen and frightening than any absurd remake..with mega millions of Fx, Mitchum simply creates havoc by just being "there"
Max Cady calmy drowns one of the guards on his way to his goal at the houseboat...as one reviewer said..Mitchum appears "serpant like" in the water ...thats acting!

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: J. Lee Thompson
Actors:
Gregory Peck
Robert Mitchum




DVD title: Unbreakable (Vista Series)
Productgroup: DVD
Unbreakable (Vista Series) - movie DVD cover picture
is definite must see for any movie fan


this is one of the best movies i have seen in a long time. i saw my parents watching it in our living room and they had asked me if i wanted to join them. i declined because it seemed like a boring movie to me at the time. but that night when i popped it into our dvd player at 1 in the morning, i couldn't get enough of it. i was very tired and had planned on falling asleep while watching it, but the opposite happened. i stayed up the whole length of the movie even though i was tired. unbreakable is a great movie that has you thinking the entire length of it. if it is true that this is the first of three movies, then i think that they did an excellent in introducing all the characters and establishing the antagonist and protaganist. and it is true what they say in the movie "there are two kinds of villians: one who fights the hero with his fists and one who fights the hero with his mind." and i think that the director did an excellent job in making the villian of the movie the second kind who fights with his mind. this is definitely a great foundation for future movies.

Studio: Touchstone Video
Director: M. Night Shyamalan
Actors:
Bruce Willis
Samuel L. Jackson




DVD title: Clubhouse Detectives
Productgroup: DVD
Clubhouse Detectives - movie DVD cover picture
Clubhouse Detectives- A very cute movie!


Clubhouse Detectives is a very cute movie and is a great mystery that will leave you on the edge of your seat! It is about a kid who wakes up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, and from his window, he sees his next door neighbor committing murder. He tells his mom, but she doesn't believe him. Neither do his friends. The only person who does is his little brother, Kade, who also witnesses it, but doesn't tell his brother. Now him and his friends must find proof that the neighbor committed the crime. This movie is full of mystery and adventure! I would definately reccommend buying it! It's a great movie for both kids and adults!

Studio: Ardustry Home Entert
Director: Eric Hendershot



DVD title: Gilmore Girls - The Complete First Season
Productgroup: DVD
Gilmore Girls - The Complete First Season - movie DVD cover picture
This is great!!!


this is the best show on television. seeing this show go to dvd, i couldnt help but smile.

Studio: Warner Home Video
Actors:
Lauren Graham



DVD title: Yoga Zone - Conditioning and Stress Release (Beginners)
Productgroup: DVD
Yoga Zone - Conditioning and Stress Release (Beginners) - movie DVD cover picture
The most relaxing yoga practice, very beneficial!


Yoga Zone Conditioning & Stress Release delivers what it promises. By focusing on major stress points in the body such as the neck, shoulders, wrists, pelvic area, and back, this video is the answer to my hectic days. I actually look forward to doing these exercises at the end of a long day, because it helps me relax and unwind. I do not blame the previous reviewer for actually falling asleep at the end of the session - it's that effective. And I would have to credit Alan Finger for his soothing voice and encouraging manner of instructing yoga students. While he gives out the instructions, his two senior yoga instructors perform the poses, with one doing the modified postures for those who are less flexible. Two thumbs up for this video.

Studio: Koch Vision
Actors:
Alan Finger



DVD title: The Matrix
Productgroup: DVD
The Matrix - movie DVD cover picture
incredibly cool.


.......You have to see it for yourself. Let me tell you, this is probably the best movie I saw all year! (Not including post-september movies). I go to the movies at least once every 2 weeks, so I have seen it all this year, and nothing can top this movie! The other 2 good movies of the year were "The Sixth Sense" and "Blair Witch" but this, this is one of the coolest movies ever created. I'm so glad that this new technology was used in this movie, and not some cr@p like star wars. Highly recommended to anyone who likes to experience something out of the ordinary!

Studio: Warner Studios
Actors:
Keanu Reeves
Laurence Fishburne
Carrie-Anne Moss




DVD title: Visions of Light: The Art of Cinematography
Productgroup: DVD
Visions of Light: The Art of Cinematography - movie DVD cover picture
The most brilliant chronicle of movie-making ever


This film is regarded by all as THE movie about movie making. Legendary filmmakers from around the world are interviewed, lending opinions, advise, and behind-the-scenes stories that are heard nowhere else. A must-see for any aspiring filmmaker or film fan.

Studio: Image Entertainment
Actors:
Conrad L. Hall
John Bailey
Vilmos Zsigmond
Charles Lang
Sven Nykvist
Robert Wise
László Kovács




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