Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Pearl Harbor
Productgroup: DVD
Pearl Harbor - movie DVD cover picture
excellent film!

I loved Pearl Harbor! I would definitely see it again!- It's about time America had a good patriotic movie and the men (and women) were just beautiful!

Studio: Walt Disney Home Video
Director: Michael Bay
Ben Affleck
Kate Beckinsale

DVD title: Ghost World
Productgroup: DVD
Ghost World - movie DVD cover picture
Best movie of 2001, hands down

The most realistic and thoughtful movie I saw in 2001, and I saw a lot of good movies that year. I'm amazed this was made from a comic book!

Studio: Mgm/Ua Studios
Director: Terry Zwigoff
Thora Birch
Steve Buscemi

DVD title: Walt Disney Treasures - Mickey Mouse in Black and White
Productgroup: DVD
Walt Disney Treasures - Mickey Mouse in Black and White - movie DVD cover picture
Before the Mouse was domesticated

Of Mickey Mouse, E.M. Forster once noted, "Certainly one would not recognize him in a trap." This collection of early Mouse cartoons shows Mickey before he became a corporate symbol and his impish humor was toned down. (In the course of the series, you can see Mickey's character whittled down to a mere straight man, while supporting characters gradually steal the lion's share of laughs.)
Many of these cartoons were made before the Production Code was enforced, and they feature language and behavior that would shock a family audience today. But for animation fans who complain that the Disney studio was always too innocent and sentimental for its own good, this package is a useful corrective. It's about as far away from fairy tales and suburban reveries as it can get -- much closer to the surreal antics of the Fleischer studio than the sitcom blandness of later Disney films.
The quality of video and audio transfers varies widely from cartoon to cartoon. The picture ranges from adequate to excellent, and the sound, adapted from original source materials, is quite good given the age and condition of the source material. The plentiful extras are geared more to animation buffs than general viewers, but they're consistently interesting. Disney has put together a terrific package here, possibly the best of the "Walt Disney Treasures" series to date.
Warning to parents: Many of these cartoons (especially the ones made before 1933) are not for children.

Studio: Walt Disney Home Video
Director: Ub Iwerks

DVD title: The Innocents
Productgroup: DVD
The Innocents - movie DVD cover picture
I have always loved this movie

This movie just does not deliever. The story makes no sense and the ending is just awful. The children do not act like any children would act under similar circumstances. The adults don't either. When given reasonable courses of action the character played by Ms Kerr rejects them in favor of outlandish actions. As the person with some rationality (in theory) and control Ms Kerr's character acts very irrational and as someone without control.
My wife believes the main adult character played by Ms Kerr is nuts to start with, and that may explain the rest of the film because the entire story is told from her point of view. But that isn't made clear at any point. And if she was irrational to start with it isn't brought out. If she becomes irrational during the movie it isn't clear what might have brought on the breakdown.
I do not recommend this film. It is not worth watching.

Studio: Fox Home Entertainme
Director: Jack Clayton
Deborah Kerr
Peter Wyngarde

DVD title: Joy Ride
Productgroup: DVD
Joy Ride - movie DVD cover picture
A gripping thriller.

Since that time of year is really just around the corner, this is a good Halloween movie. JOY RIDE is more than that however. This movie takes a bear minimum of a plot and creates shear paranoia and fear. Steve Zahn and Paul Walker play a practical joke on an unseen trailer truck driver via CB radio as they travel cross-country with devastating results. Zahn and Walker picked the wrong guy to play a joke on because he turns out to be a very demented, determined and unrelenting predator. There are some truly frightening and suspenseful scenes in this movie. It's a good viewing experience and there are some genuine lessons to be learned.

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox Home Video
Director: John Dahl
Leelee Sobieski

DVD title: Scarface
Productgroup: DVD
Scarface - movie DVD cover picture
Wonderful excess

Any movie that uses the F-word more than any other *must* rate five stars. Oh, and the shootout in the disco was outstanding too.

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: Brian De Palma
Al Pacino
Michelle Pfeiffer

DVD title: Gigli
Productgroup: DVD
Gigli - movie DVD cover picture
best movie eva

this is by far the best movie i have ever seen. since this movie has alot of hot chicks like jennifer lopez.

Studio: Columbia Tristar Hom
Director: Martin Brest
Ben Affleck
Justin Bartha
Jennifer Lopez

DVD title: The Falcon and the Snowman
Productgroup: DVD
The Falcon and the Snowman - movie DVD cover picture
This movie raises more questions than it answers

Enter the world of Christopher Boyce and Andrew Dalton Lee. Both are from well-to-do families that turn right at every second, so to speak. But somehow, these two prodical sons, former alter boys and childhood friends, turn left, so to speak. Played brillantly by Timothy Hutton (Christopher Boyce) and Sean Penn (Andrew Dalton Lee) these two take you on a magic coaster ride from Southern California to Mexico as they sell secrets for almost 2 years to the former Soviet Embassy there. Do you feel a sense of empathy for these 2 misguided misfits that are portraying real life characters? Most certainly. Each seeks to please his own important and domineering paternal figure, yet neither one is successful in their attempts. Boyce, a high security clearance seminary drop out for a defense company, uses his childhood friend, the bumbling and drug addicted Snowman (Dalton), to right what he perceives to be a wrong...US involvment in the Aussie Government. All through the movie, the Falcon (Boyce) is the antithesis of evil, while somehow the Snowman, appears to be the antithesis of good. The only problem with this movie is that it raises more questions than it answers, that is, Where was Boyce's mindset for delivering secrets to the Soviets? Why would he send such a joke of a courier? It is easy to see why Lee would pursue such an endeavor. He was always in search of wealth, but most importantly, some form of fame. The beauty of this cinematic tale is that it raises so many more questions than need to be addressed. Is it possible that any god-fearing, government employed family, could actually bring a traitor into this world? Even worse, a spy for the former Soviet Union? A Communist spy? Where are Boyce and Lee now?? Have they survived prison life? Boyce escaped from a medium security prison for 2 years and is now in Levanworth. Ouch. But the question remains, how exactly was he found? Perhaps a sequal will answer the many question that this excellent portrayal of Boyce and Lee brings to the big screen.

Studio: Mgm/Ua Studios
Director: John Schlesinger
Timothy Hutton
Sean Penn

DVD title: Bach Violin Concerto in A minor & Beethoven Violin Sonata No. 5 / David Oistrakh
Productgroup: DVD
Bach Violin Concerto in A minor & Beethoven Violin Sonata No. 5 / David Oistrakh - movie DVD cover picture

75 minutes is too short?
Well, yes and no. Yes, who wouldn't like more? And no, because we are almost given everything we could possibly expect from any DVD.
The photography of this DVD is most excellent, even better than the Menuhin issued in the same year. The crews here obviously knew a lot about music: how we play a violin and the piano. It's filmed from an angle that is most natural. The studios in Paris were so homely. In Spring Sonata, the room was well furnished, decorated with one or two portraits of Beethoven, and there was even a vase full of blooming flowers in the background!
There are also reasons to believe that this was filmed not only for amusement but also as a teaching aid. Very often , we can see Oistrakh's fingerings, phrasings, vibratos, bowings sometimes at the same time and occasionally from a most illuminating angle!
The photographer obviously understood that it's a Sonata for both the violin and piano. There are also close-ups of the pianist ( sometime including and sometimes just his hands and fingers like doing the staccatos, legatos and legatos on repeated notes etc) wherever appropriate. The pianist was Lev Oborin, the first Chopin Competition gold medalist and teacher of Ashkenazy. Both played beautifully and poetically. Every minute is enjoyable, no matter it was the painist or the violinist or both. It's so close to Rachmaninoff/Kreisler, and any difference is really marginal (I mean both parts, and the latter was recorded in 1930's and we only have audio CD.) To those who have been listening to Oistrakh's Beethoven Sonatas for years, it would certainly be a joy to see him playing it. Spring Sonata alone is worth every cent of the money, the rest is gratuitous!
Their Schubert is likewise superb. I am enchanted by Busch/Serkin's Schubert and also by Cortot/Thibaud. This one is no less enjoyable, particularly so when we can see exactly how they're playing it. And Oistrakh's Clair de lune and Prokofiev's Melodies are all wonderful stuff: they are each a jem in their own right. The latters were accompanied by Bauer instead where we scarcely have any close-ups of the accompanist: quite right. For his Bach and Brahms Concerto, he was supported by different English Orchestras, under different conductors, the first one under Sir Colin Davis.
I don't exactly like his son's playing: the difference is just too obvious even though his son also became a professor in violin in a renowned Russian Conservatory. Fortunately, it's very short, only a few minutes. The rest of the repertiore is very enjoyable too.
My real complaint about this DVD being it's sound. It's exactly like Oistrakh's audio (EMI) Beethoven Sonatas: nothing less and nothing more. Why aren't they redigitalised? The result, we hear a voilin sound that is so opulent that almost borders upon the sound of a viola. But look, the balance between the violin and the piano is so perfect, so much so that we wonder if that is, as a whole, part of the later Russian style. It's quite different from Busch, Szeryng, Milstein or Heifetz. But I do remember Heifetz's sound wasn't so lean in the LPs. It was rather different from the CDs.

Studio: Emi Distribution
Igor Oistrakh
Colin Davis
David Oistrakh

DVD title: Yoga Shakti
Productgroup: DVD
Yoga Shakti - movie DVD cover picture
This is in my top two favorite yoga DVDs

This DVD is spectacular, and that is not an overstatement. It is filmed beautifully, and the music is perfect. It's also great to use one of the four practices they've created, or make your own. You will never outgrow this DVD.


P.S. My other favorite is Power Yoga for Happiness.

Studio: Wea Corp
Shiva Rea

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