Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Henry V
Productgroup: DVD
Henry V - movie DVD cover picture
bare bones dvd edition of spectacular film

Kenneth Branagh's directorial debut sets the bar for Shakespearean adaptations. Branagh as Henry heads a spectacular cast that includes Emma Thompson, Derek Jacobi, Ian Holm, Paul Scofield and Judi Dench. The sets and lighting are wonderful, and Branagh proves to have as perceptive an eye as an ear, with beautiful shots the norm and language rendered so as to be both beautiful and accessible. This adaptation is quite different from Laurence Olivier's interpretation, and they make interesting viewing together.
This dvd edition, however, is pitiful and if I didn't adore the film I'd mark it down. One gets a trailer and subtitles available in French or Spanish. That's it.

Studio: MGM/UA Video
Director: Kenneth Branagh
Kenneth Branagh
Derek Jacobi

DVD title: Walk, Don't Run
Productgroup: DVD
Walk, Don't Run - movie DVD cover picture
Learn to make coffee

Sir William Rutland (Cary Grant) British industrialist is in town two days early. This is during the 1964 Tokyo Olympics and there is no where to stay. He finds an apartment to sublet from Christine Easton (Samantha Eggar) who posted it not even dreaming that a male would answer her ad. Later Steve Davis (Jim Hutton) an Olympic competitor is also early and sublets from Sir Rutland's sublet. On top of this Christine's fianc?e works at the British embassy and must maintain a proper background. Now you see the makings of a good comedy. I learned to make coffee from this movie (a unique proportion of grounds to water) and there are many parallel mysteries as just what sport does Steve Davis compete in?Being Grants last movie surly did not slow him down and he has those Grant expressions down pat.

Studio: Columbia Tristar Hom
Director: Charles Walters
Cary Grant
Samantha Eggar
Jim Hutton

DVD title: Sesame Street - Do the Alphabet
Productgroup: DVD
Sesame Street - Do the Alphabet - movie DVD cover picture
My son loves this video!!

My 22-month son absolutely loves this video. He watches the entire video without getting bored. Sometimes he laughs and claps his hands. Thank you, Sesame Street!!!

Studio: Sony Wonder

DVD title: Bend It Like Beckham (Widescreen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Bend It Like Beckham (Widescreen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture

I actually watched the DVD rather than the theater release. The best part of any DVD package are the extras, and there are three. One is a featurette on the making of the movie that's charming. One is a short featurette showing the director and her mom and aunt making Aloo Gobi. The high point is, of course, the audio commentary, and here the director and her non-Indian husband add their unique and interesting perspective. The viewer can see the movie again through a different pair of eyes, which is why it's a darn shame closed captioning doesn't pick up their comments. As for the movie itself, everyone's pretty much given away the story, so I won't. Anyone reading my reviews on a regular basis knows I love coming-of-age movies. I've seen some of the best, and I think this movie ranks right up there with them. Even though older kids are involved in this one, I found the movie very charming. It features a culture clash on several levels: traditonal and modern, British and Asian, even young and older. But what prevails in the end is the love a family has for one another. It's a good story that younger viewers who are ready for more mature stories can see. I recommend it highly.

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox Home Video
Director: Gurinder Chadha
Parminder Nagra
Keira Knightley
Jonathan Rhys-Meyers

DVD title: Hindle Wakes (Fanny Hawthorne)
Productgroup: DVD
Hindle Wakes (Fanny Hawthorne) - movie DVD cover picture
One of England's important silent films

It's nice to experience the life and culture in another country for a change, and "Hindle Wakes" gives us a poignant feel for society in Lancashire, England a century or so ago. Brilliant camera work and direction give us glimpses into the lives of two classes: the cotton mill factory workers and the wealthy upper class, and what happens when the son of a wealthy family has a holiday romance with a factory girl. The story moves along quite slowly, with dramatic events unfolding only near the mid-way point, but the focus is on surroundings, characters and atmosphere. The scenes at the amusement park where the casual romance begins are very impressive and really involve the viewer, especially on the Big Dipper ride. Then we get to know the characters and their attitudes, especially as the secret romance is revealed and the emphasis turns to drama as this revelation causes turmoil in three different families, with the climax being the decision by the factory girl in question. Today we might wonder what all the fuss is about, but "Hindle Wakes" was an important film in its time, as was the play on which it was based, making a statement about the attitudes towards women and their status in society. In fact, I found it more of a women's liberation statement, which was already an issue in those days under very conservative Edwardian society. It is still quite relevant and interesting for us today however, and the excellent cinematography of "Hindle Wakes" makes it very good viewing even for those not so familiar with silent films. Apart from all these aspects, this is also an excellent DVD all round with the film wonderfully restored by the British Film Institute, which has produced many other fine quality films as well, and Milestone has given us the choice of two soundtracks: the traditional piano score or a pleasant modern soundtrack for a nice change. As if this is not enough, there is bonus material such as stills and information on the 1912 play on which "Hindle Wakes" was based, so all up, an excellent DVD well worth having.

Studio: Image Entertainment
Director: Maurice Elvey

DVD title: Inu-Yasha - Season 1 Boxed Set
Productgroup: DVD
Inu-Yasha - Season 1 Boxed Set - movie DVD cover picture
Adventure/Romance/Comedy - What more could a girl want?

The first season of Rumiko Takahashi's Inu Yasha is great... A must buy for any anime lover who enjoys other series such as Ranma 1/2, Fushigi Yuugi, and Mikan no Tsuki (Crescent Moon) There's humour, action and of course hints of looove. Inu Yasha is a smart ass that everyone will adore with his cute doggie ears!Dubbed is excellently done, as far as North American standards are concerned with a talented cast featuring Richard Cox as Inu Yasha... And Subbed as always is a cut above the rest as usual...
A series you will not watch only once, but will enjoy time and time again.


DVD title: Peter Pan (Widescreen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Peter Pan (Widescreen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
"All Children Grow Up, Except One..."

All my life I've been a big fan of J.M. Barrie's classic children's story of the little boy, who refused to grow up, "Peter Pan". But whenever I saw screen or stageplay versions of the tale, I was always left wanting. Why was Peter played by adult women with pixish hairdos (yes, I know it's a theatre tradition)? Why was Captain Hook a slapstick buffoon? Why did Never Neverland always look so fake? And why did it seem like they had sanitized Barrie's original story? In my my mind I always had a vision of a more realistic movie version of Pan. Well, my dream has come true with the release of Director, P.J. Hogan's live action version of "Peter Pan". At last, the folks in Hollywood (or Australia in this case) got it right! Most people know the jist of the story. It is Wendy's last night in the Darling family's Victorian, nursery. On that night Wendy and her younger brothers, Michael & John discover the magical, Peter Pan (and his fairy sidekick, Tinkerbelle). He convices the three to fly back to Never Neverland so Wendy can tell stories and be a 'Mother' to a gang of kids known as the "Lost Boys". Once there, they have adventures, meeting up with mermaids, indian warriors, pirates and Peter's arch-nemesis, Captain James Hook. Where do you start with on describing how wonderful this film version is? Director/Writer P.J. Hogan has created a storybook fantasy world which is like a surreal dreamscape. Hogan pretty closely sticks to the original Barrie tale. He shows us the adventurous childhood delights of Never Neverland without sanitizing it's dangers (witness the spooky scene with those evil looking mermaids!). The casting in the film is almost perfect. Juvenile actress, Rachael Hurd-Wood plays Wendy Darling without any pretensions. She dosn't over act or try to be cute or cloying. She does a really good job of showing us a young lady, who is overcoming her fears of leaving childhood behind and entering adolecence. Jeremy Sumpter is fine (but a little wooden) in the lead title role. He shows us Peter Pan as heroic, but also a tragic figure, because he refuses to grow up and accept the love he really craves. But the film really belongs to actor, Jason Isaacs, who pretty much steals the show in the dual roles of Mr.Darling & Captain Hook. Instead of being a merely villainous, slapstick buffoon, his Hook seems like evil incarnate. His eyes are bloodshot and his hair is bedraggled. This Hook just oozes menace and should join Darth Vader and Oz's Wicked Witch in a "Movie Villain's Hall of Fame". Everything in this film is just done so right. From the eye popping special effects (the flying scenes are amazing), to the marvelous cinematography to the brilliant set design and the warm musical score. It is all so perfect. The "Peter Pan" DVD has been wonderfully mastered. The widescreen picture is crisp and clear and the 5.1 sound is great. The DVD is loaded with extras including a series of very short clips, which talk about everything from the Pan story's history to how the special effects were done. Includes extensive (but short) backstage views of the movie's making. This film is great entertainment for adults and kids alike (though parents might want to prescreen this for very young children). Highly recommended!

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: P.J. Hogan
Jason Isaacs
Jeremy Sumpter
Lynn Redgrave
Olivia Williams

DVD title: Clean Slate
Productgroup: DVD
Clean Slate - movie DVD cover picture
Clean Slate ~ a miserable comedy

This movie was obviously weak in many ways, one of them being the actor

Studio: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Director: Mick Jackson
Dana Carvey
Valeria Golino

DVD title: J-Men Forever
Productgroup: DVD
J-Men Forever - movie DVD cover picture
You WILL laugh

100% hilarity. I've been waiting for a commercial release of J-Men for ages! One of THE funniest movies I've ever seen. Oh, yeah, be sure to watch for Leonard Nimoy in his first movie role in the clips from "Zombies of the Stratosphere".

Studio: Music Video Distribu
Director: Richard Patterson

DVD title: Batman - The Movie
Productgroup: DVD
Batman - The Movie - movie DVD cover picture

Finally after 35 years the original Batman Movie (1966), with the Dynamic Duo, (Adam West and Burt Ward), is released on DVD. But compared to the other Batfilms, they not only face one or two super-villains, but four of their most heinous arch enemies in Gotham City as "The United Underworld!" Great Scot!! Where's the Justice League of America when Batman needs them? As the Caped Crusaders investigate, millionnaire Bruce Wayne gets kidnapped! Catwoman goes undercover. The Penguin reveals his secret weapon to takeover the world and hold the U.N. Defense Officials hostage! Holy rubber shark attack! Topedoes away, and the bat transmitter batteries are dead! The batmobile earns its 35th Anniversary respect and gets stolen! And somedays you can't get rid of a bomb! Has Batman and Robin finally met match? Or does Joker and Riddler get the last laugh? Yet it seems grim but, more fun to watch with Adam West and Burt Ward's audio commentary watching this movie themselves. However, the best is yet to come. Quick DVD viewers, to the batpoles!

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
Director: Leslie H. Martinson
Adam West
Burt Ward

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