Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: The Eagles - Farewell 1 Tour - Live From Melbourne
Productgroup: DVD
The Eagles - Farewell 1 Tour - Live From Melbourne - movie DVD cover picture

No one plays live better than the eagles. The best song? dirty laundrey. IT ROCKS!

Studio: Wea Corp

DVD title: Red Dawn
Productgroup: DVD
Red Dawn - movie DVD cover picture
One good movie

I recently saw this flick and I was impressed. The idea that American High School students like myself could resist foreign soldiers is somewhat realistic. It reminds me of a Simpson's episode where Bart goes to camp and the drill seargeant says to him:
"You're from a public school so I going to assume you're already proficient in small arms fire."
Great Special Effects and acting. The Spanish troops actually spoke spanish and the Russians actually spoke Russian. Both had English subtitles but it did show intelligent writers. I don't like watching films where somehow the nazis speak fluent English.

Studio: Mgm/Ua Studios
Director: John Milius
Patrick Swayze
C. Thomas Howell
Lea Thompson

DVD title: Lagaan - Once Upon a Time in India
Productgroup: DVD
Lagaan - Once Upon a Time in India - movie DVD cover picture
Out of this earth music!

"Lagaan" - a Foreign Language Film Academy Award Nominee for 2001 - is a film, of all things, about cricket. As in many modern Bombay films, you'll find musical numbers, love triangles and lots of energy, but somehow this movie manages to tie it all into a cricket match and make it very, very watchable. How this is possible - cricket is a game that I, like most Americans, find completely incomprehensible - is beyond me, but it's done and done well.
The basic plot is that a tyrannical British captain in 1893 British-ruled India challenges a group of poor, starving Indian peasants to a game of cricket. If the peasants win, they'll be absolved of their grain levies (the 'lagaan') for three years. If they lose, they'll have to pay triple. From there, the movie follows love triangles, musical numbers, morality plays, religious discussions and culture clashes for three and three-quarters hours, but somehow never becomes boring - even if the movie is completely predictable.
For the DVD itself, the transfer and sound seem adequate - surprising when you consider that there is more than four hours of video on a one-sided disc. There are only two extras - a filmography of the director and four main stars and one deleted scene. However, deleted scene is almost 18 minutes long and the size of the movie pretty much prohibits anything else on the disc.
I would recommend this DVD to anyone - families, movie enthusiasts, people looking for a way to kill a whole afternoon - whether or not they're familiar with Indian culture or the "Bollywood" phenomenon. I am simply amazed that a movie so predictable made about such an unlikely subject - cricket - could be so wonderful.

Studio: Columbia/Tristar Studios
Director: Ashutosh Gowariker
Aamir Khan
Raghuvir Yadav

DVD title: Murder in the First
Productgroup: DVD
Murder in the First - movie DVD cover picture
Good Prison Picture; Bacon Nails His Part Perfectly!

Based on true-life events, "Murder In The First" premiered in U.S. movie theaters in January 1995 and stars Kevin Bacon as Henri Young, a 28-year-old man who (as depicted in the film) stole five dollars and ended up doing 3-plus years in the solitary "dungeons" of Alcatraz prison in San Francisco in the late 1930s and early 1940s.

Upon looking up some information on the Internet regarding the "real" Henri Young, it seems that the filmmakers of this finely-crafted and well-shot Warner Brothers' drama did, indeed, dish up a liberal dose of "dramatic license" regarding the true events in Mr. Young's life. But, I suppose, this is to be expected from a Hollywood story depicting real-life people and events.

One thing that's been fictionalized for the movie is the brief scene when we find out that Young died while still behind Alcatraz bars. It's never fully explained in the film just exactly HOW Young died while still in prison. I think this should have been more thoroughly spelled out in the movie (even from a "fictionalized" point-of-view).

Evidently, according to info I can gather, Young did NOT die while in prison, and, in fact, might still be alive to this day. Young disappeared after being paroled from a Washington State prison in 1972, after serving additional prison time for another murder. (Sounds like another "D.B. Cooper" type of saga.)

"Artistic filmmaking license" notwithstanding, "Murder In The First" is an excellent piece of motion-picture entertainment, IMO. Bacon is just terrific in his role as the beaten, nearly-savage Young, who was confined to the pitch-black solitary confinement area of Alcatraz for more than 1,000 days before finally being released from the "dungeon".

Gary Oldman and Christian Slater also display their considerable acting chops in this film, along with R. Lee Ermey, who plays the Judge at Young's murder trial. You'll want to slap Ermey silly after a few scenes as the obnoxious "Judge Clawson" here. He's quite effective and humorous (although not altogether believable) as the rather overbearing chief court official.

This film has a classy style to it, with many interesting camera angles and camera movements employed by the movie's brain trust, headed by Director Marc Rocco. I particularly liked the way Rocco moves the camera in circles during the first scene featuring Slater and Bacon, with the camera moving non-stop as it circles completely around Bacon's/(Young's) jail cell. An effective way to present this scene, rather than just "planting" two cameras in the cell and cutting between still shots of the two actors.

This DVD version of "Murder In The First" offers up a dual-sided disc, with a Full-Frame (1.33:1) version on one side, and a nice, crisp-looking Anamorphically-enhanced Widescreen (1.85:1) version on the other side. Colors look rich and well-rendered here, IMO, with many scenes exuding a deliberately-grainier "1940's" look and feel to them.

The sound gets good marks here too. It's not a full-blooded 5.1-channel track utilized for this DVD, but the Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround Stereo soundtrack fills the speakers very nicely nonetheless. There's a good musical score too.

More about this DVD ....................

>> Extra Bonus Material -- None at all.
>> Chapter List? -- Yes; located inside the "Snapper" DVD case (38 total chapter stops included).
>> Languages -- English and French (both in DD 2.0 Surround).
>> Subtitles -- English and French.
>> Region Encoding -- "Region 1".
>> MPAA Rating -- R.

Parting Thoughts ....... 1995's "Murder In The First" is a Grade-A motion picture, serving nicely as a good character study of one Mr. Henri Young, and at the same time doubling as a dandy "courtroom drama", too. A most-worthy 122-minute experience.

Studio: Warner Studios
Director: Marc Rocco
Christian Slater
Kevin Bacon
Gary Oldman

DVD title: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2-Disc Widescreen Edition) (Harry Potter 3)
Productgroup: DVD
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2-Disc Widescreen Edition) (Harry Potter 3) - movie DVD cover picture
SOOOOOOOOOO much better than LOTR!

Yes, I read the book and I knew that it would affect my opinion of the movie. However, I at least expected the movie to tell a good story. It covered the main points, but that's all it did. The story was so full of holes I spent a good portion of my ride home explaining to my neice (who is five) exactly what happened. This director sucks, not because he changed things about the film, but because he can't tell a good story. I had high hopes that this director would build on the good story told by Chris Columbus (the 1st director). Instead, I got a story that appeared to be written by an untalented high school student.

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Alfonso Cuarón
Daniel Radcliffe
Rupert Grint
Emma Watson (II)

DVD title: Big Space Shuttle
Productgroup: DVD
Big Space Shuttle - movie DVD cover picture
top notch video my son watches over & over

This video took my 3 and a half year old from a "trains-only" boy into the space age. While it would seem that much of the material is too technical for him, he loves picking up whatever can every time he watches it. He's probably watched the library loan video 20 times, so we're sure to buy it to have a favorite ready at any time.It's educational and yet engaging enough that my other children and even other adults are sure to learn plenty, even if it's a repeated viewing.I'm a stickler for videos that are fun or educational; this one's both!

Studio: Little Mammoth Media
Director: William VanDerKloot

DVD title: The Who - The Kids Are Alright
Productgroup: DVD
The Who - The Kids Are Alright - movie DVD cover picture
The Kids Still are alright

I'm with the guy who said this is a must for any real fan. As pure rock film goes, this is to The Who what "A Hard Day's Night" is to The Beatles. In other words, a film that truly captures the spirit of the band. Also recommended are "Quadrophenia" and "The Wall" as the other great rock films.

Studio: Pioneer
Director: Jeff Stein
Roger Daltrey
John Entwistle
Keith Moon
Pete Townshend

DVD title: Baraka
Productgroup: DVD
Baraka - movie DVD cover picture
Don't buy this DVD! Buy the normal version of Baraka!

I love this film but this Collector's Edition gives nothing extra. Check the previous edition!!! That has letterbox (4:3) and widescreen (16:9) version, this new has only widescreen. No better sound, no better picture quality, no new feauture.I've got both edition, but I'll sell the Collector's Edition.

Studio: Mpi Home Video
Director: Ron Fricke

DVD title: I Know What You Did Last Summer
Productgroup: DVD
I Know What You Did Last Summer - movie DVD cover picture


Studio: Columbia/Tristar Studios
Director: Jim Gillespie
Jennifer Love Hewitt
Sarah Michelle Gellar
Anne Heche

DVD title: It Came From Hollywood
Productgroup: DVD
It Came From Hollywood - movie DVD cover picture

This Movie Will Be Coming To DVD On JAN. 1, 2010!!! It is at Amazon's Other Website Amazon.Ca

Studio: Paramount Home Video

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