Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: The Matrix
Productgroup: DVD
The Matrix - movie DVD cover picture
completely strange

there is only one way to describe the matrix, and that is this: bizarre. everyone knows the story, so i won't bore you. this is one of my favorite movies.

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

DVD title: Out of the Past
Productgroup: DVD
Out of the Past  - movie DVD cover picture
Better than "The Maltese Falcon"

If this film doesn't grab you the first time you see it, something about it will keep gnawing at you until you see it again and then again. For me, the first time I saw it I thought that it was OK, but the next time I saw it I realized how great it was. The movie is perfectly cast for one thing. I didn't know who Jane Greer was and I still don't know why she wasn't a bigger star (she just passed away last summer). But you could understand why Mitchum's character fell for her character even though he knew exactly what she was like. Douglas's character is appropriately smarmy and menacing. Take it from me, this is one of the all-time greats.

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Jacques Tourneur
Robert Mitchum
Jane Greer
Kirk Douglas

DVD title: Soul Man
Productgroup: DVD
Soul Man - movie DVD cover picture
Hilarious comedy!!!

It is about time that Soul Man came out on DVD!!!
This is an absolutely hysterical movie. Howell is really funny pretending to be black. I almost lost it when James Earl Jones was taking attendance and Howell responded to his name being called by saying "Right On."
This is also a great social commentary. It illustrates how black people get handouts left and right by universities. Hopefully our country's law-makers will see this movie and end affirmative action.

Studio: Anchor Bay Entertain
Director: Steve Miner
C. Thomas Howell
Rae Dawn Chong

DVD title: Star Wars - Episode I, The Phantom Menace (Widescreen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Star Wars - Episode I, The Phantom Menace (Widescreen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
This is exactly what it's supposed to be...A child's fable

I was absolutely mesmerized the first time I saw Star Wars: A New Hope. The same thing happened over two decades later with Episode I. This movie was incredible, the special effects made me feel like I had a part in this film. Everyone needs to understand that this is a child's fairy tale set in a sci-fi universe. It sets the stage for the next two films.
Jar-Jar was placed in the movie for comic relief, not for a stoic performance of 'MACBETH'. Jar-Jar is a sutle story about someone not so strong or intellegent or good-looking that can still make a difference.

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
Director: George Lucas
Liam Neeson
Ewan McGregor
Natalie Portman

DVD title: Robots (Widescreen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Robots (Widescreen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Wonderful movie

Saw this with my 4 year old son and wife. We all loved the movie! Looking forward to seeing it again once they release it on DVD.

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox Home Video
Halle Berry
Mel Brooks

DVD title: Dancin' in the Street: Detroit's Greatest Legends Live on Stage
Productgroup: DVD
Dancin' in the Street: Detroit's Greatest Legends Live on Stage - movie DVD cover picture

This was great live concert featuring the Motown Hits of the Late 60"s "feel good music" performed by the artists that made each song famous. Examples:My girl& Just My Imagination done by Kendrick's and Ruffins of the Temtations. Two Lovers, Beat me to the Punch,& My Guy by Mary Wells. Heat Wave & Jimmy Mack by Martha Reeves. There is also an informative Biography section..

Studio: Image Entertainment

DVD title: Northern Exposure - The Complete Second Season
Productgroup: DVD
Northern Exposure - The Complete Second Season - movie DVD cover picture
C'mon, people...look at the kharmic enchilada

Okay, that's it! Cut out this lambasting. You know as well as I do how valuable this set is to all of us. This show has touched our lives immeasurably and transcends all of us. Now, granted, there were two double-sided discs. The only reason that could be a bad thing is if you sit on them, or if you handle discs by rubbing your palms all over the surface. Just use the spindle-hole! Now, it doesn't have an insert...EGADS! No insert?! Alright, it would have been nice to have chapter selections, airdates, writing credits, etc. in a nice booklet. Still, we come to it at last...the price. It's the songs! Music is a basic thread running through the show. IT'S ALL ABOUT COPYRIGHTS!!! THEY HAVE TO BE PRICED AT THAT AMOUNT FOR UNIVERSAL TO EVEN MAKE A PROFIT! I'm in the DVD business, and I know the kind of effort and expenses that go out to produce these, and frankly, I don't see why you would balk at the price when you consider what you are getting: the episodes uncut, digitally remastered, complete with unexposed footage and outtakes! This is an NX fan's dream come true, so please keep your negative comments to yourself and don't discourage people who are interested in owning this definitive show on the definitive format.
P.S. Why don't you people like the parka packs?

Studio: Universal Studios

DVD title: The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Productgroup: DVD
The Hunchback of Notre Dame - movie DVD cover picture
As good as Chaney's?

Now that's a question you can discuss all night. As far as make-up, nobody will ever surpass Lon Chaney's Quasimodo. Ever. He is, to every detail, the Quasimodo described in Hugo's book. As far as the performances, both have more than their share of pathos and emotion, but, even as a diehard Chaney fan, I have the give the slight edge to Laughton, though he did, remember, have the benefit of sound; Lon did not, and he still made your eyes fill up more than once. Laughton turns in one of his finest portrayals here, one that stays with you. He also provides several teary moments, most notably the final line. (and SHAME on you reviewers who gave it away! You robbed a new viewer of one of the most emotional moments on film) The rest of the cast is very good to competent, the phtotgraphy superb, and as a whole, the film holds up remarkably well. A must-own, along with Chaney's version, of course. Interestingly, neither the Chaney or Laughton versions stick to the book insofar as the endings went. The inferior Anthony Quinn version, however, did.

Studio: Turner Home Video
Director: William Dieterle
Charles Laughton
Maureen O'Hara

DVD title: Cardcaptors - Misdirections (V.3)
Productgroup: DVD
Cardcaptors - Misdirections (V.3) - movie DVD cover picture
Love the series so much!!!


To all you people who forgot Kaho's english name is Layla Makenzie(sp)

Studio: Pioneer Video

DVD title: Full Metal Jacket
Productgroup: DVD
Full Metal Jacket - movie DVD cover picture
So Good It Is Frightening

It is increasingly difficult for younger people to understand the 60s and what happened in America. The catalyst for change was the Viet Nam War. On the one hand, we had a society that was chafing under the paradigms of the 1950s, and the residual effects of the black and white world which we tried to create in the aftermath of World War II and the ascendancy of communism. On the other hand, we had a generation looking to change the way we perceive the world, including how we look at enemies, and whether some people were really our enemies. In some ways the Viet Nam War became a surreal alternate reality where our soldiers received a huge cultural shock leaving the relatively cloistered Disneyland of America. The difficulty becomes capturing not the reality of Viet Nam, but the feeling of Viet Nam. Stanley Kubrick did exactly that with "Full Metal Jacket."

There are two portions to this movie, with the second part of the movie having sub-parts. In the first portion of the movie we meet the principal character we will follow into Viet Nam, Private J.T. "Joker" Davis. Joker is the observer of the indoctrination of new Marine recruits, where pampered civilian sons are turned into fighting men. R. Lee Ermey established a milestone in military character portrayals by his role as Gunnery Sergeant Hartman. He is mean and tough, but he is that way because he knows that the reality of war requires mean and tough men. Unfortunately, Private Leonard "Gomer Pyle" Lawrence (chillingly played by Vincent D'Onofrio) is unable to tolerate the stress of indoctrination, and snaps in a very violent, shocking, way. Thus ends basic training and Private Joker's transition to Viet Nam.

The transition from basic training to Viet Nam is instantaneous, with no discussion of the aftermath of Private Gomer Pyle's actions. However, as I pointed out earlier, consider the shock that these young men faced as they went from the black and white, sheltered life of a citizen of the United States to a corrupt country where death was around every corner. The culture shock is difficult to convey, and yet the disorientation in the transition from the first part of the movie to the second part makes a good attempt at having the audience experience the feeling, even if it is in a relatively benign way.

The second part of the movie explores what happens when people who have been exposed only to American culture are faced with the reality of combat. Private Joker must confront combat and the result of combat head on while being a pacifist at his core. However, even his peaceful nature can not stand by while a vengeful and ferocious enemy is killing his comrades. Private Joker is faced with mass graves and the reality of a war of attrition and the senseless violence of some Americans, though the enemy was just as ruthless when the opportunity arose.

The movie uses the 1968 Tet Offensive as a backdrop for a series of intense combat scenes leading up to a confrontation between Private Joker's squad and an unseen enemy. The violence in this series of scenes is graphic and simultaneously poignant. Death in combat is never pretty, and Stanley Kubrick did his best to depict combat death in all its horrific detail. If anyone is tempted to glorify combat this movie should be mandatory watching.

The final scene in this movie is a confrontation between Private Joker and an enemy sniper. The confrontation is incredible because of the complexity of the numerous feelings. There is fear. There is the sudden realization that the enemy is only a little different from us; young and frightened. There is the desire to not have to kill the enemy, to wish that circumstances could be otherwise. There are more feelings, many more, for an empathetic viewer.

Knowledgeable viewers will not mistake "Full Metal Jacket" for a documentary, or even being more than passingly factual. What this movie does do is give viewers the feeling of the era, the feeling of being a soldier in a war that many, and perhaps ultimately most, in America did not want to fight. This war helped America realize that World War II was not happening again, that black and white was gray, and that we too were different, though we were realizing it all too slowly. Of all the Viet Nam War related movies that I have watched, and I have seen all but one of significance, this movie seems to me to best portray how we felt as the 60s came to an end, whether we like to remember that feeling or not.

Studio: Warner Studios
Director: Stanley Kubrick
Matthew Modine
Vincent D'Onofrio
R. Lee Ermey

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