Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: The Notebook (New Line Platinum Series)
Productgroup: DVD
The Notebook (New Line Platinum Series) - movie DVD cover picture
excellent movie

i really ejoyed this movie when i watched it opening weekend. i definitely cried most of the movie and i can't wait for it to come out on dvd.

Studio: New Line Home Entertainment
Director: Nick Cassavetes
Gena Rowlands
James Garner
Ryan Gosling
Rachel McAdams

DVD title: The Lord of the Rings - The Two Towers (Widescreen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
The Lord of the Rings - The Two Towers (Widescreen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Much, Much Better Than the Theatrical Release

I hated the theatrical version of TTT for a number of reasons, the most important of which was that although the film sort of followed the general outlines of Tolkien's work, the writers had disgarded everything that made the book worthwhile in order to impose a ridiculous amount of screenwriterly conflict. For example, having the Ents reject war with Saruman is bad enough, but to have Eomer exiled wrecks the development of his relationship with Aragorn, and finally, to turn Faramir into a callow jerk in order to put some threat at the end of the film was to me a crime beyond forgiveness.
This extended version, however, is a whole new film, and one that I found myself admiring. There are new scenes and extended scenes that give us more of the actual story and allow the characters to breathe in this massive space. My dislike of Faramir's character was lessened by inclusion of much of his backstory, particularly his love for his brother Boromir and his inability to please his father. Additional scenes at the end of sequence with Sam and Frodo bring this character, despite the changes in the screenplay, closer to the original character.
Deadlines had a lot to do with why New Line didn't release these versions instead of the chopped up versions that made it into most theaters - most films are designed to sell popcorn, and I guess a film this long would limit sales of Milk Duds and Diet Coke - and TTT also had to be in theaters for Xmas release.
The last thing I ever thought I'd be doing was giving The Two Towers a five-star rating, but since I've seen the extended version, I must do just that.

Studio: New Line Home Entertainment
Director: Peter Jackson
Elijah Wood
Ian McKellen
Viggo Mortensen

DVD title: Hand Maid May - Memory Failure (Vol. 3)
Productgroup: DVD
Hand Maid May - Memory Failure (Vol. 3) - movie DVD cover picture

The Hand Maid May series has been one heck of a ride, even if it was a pretty short one. The 3rd installment to the series adds so many little twists and turns, you'll probably be spending the the next day still tangled within it's elaborate ties. You'll not only find out the truth behind the company that manufactures the Hand Maids, but you'll also see a side of the characters that you could never have imagine existed. Just for a word of caution, if you want a nice complete conclusion, don't hold your breath. I would hardly call the end of the show a conclusion, but more of a soon to be continued, even though the show is no longer in the making. But I hope that doesn't keep you from purchasing this mofoic Dvd.

Studio: Pioneer Video
Director: Shinichiro Kimura

DVD title: Flashdance
Productgroup: DVD
Flashdance - movie DVD cover picture
very heartfelt!

this is a heartfelt movie about a young girl like myself who wants to become a ballerina. watch it if you are crazy about ford trucks! no, just kiddin',crazy about ballerinas. oh yeah! don't forget to watch my movie can't hardly wait!

Studio: Paramount Home Video
Director: Adrian Lyne
Jennifer Beals
Michael Nouri

DVD title: Breakdown
Productgroup: DVD
Breakdown - movie DVD cover picture
Very Disturbing

Another movie I like that the general public never seem to got around to. I really like these minimalist, middle of nowhere movies. A real highpoint is when the character Jeff Taylor stands in front of the "Missing Persons" board, it really hits home; my God how many people ARE disposed of in the manner suggested by Breakdown? Scary. Could happen is right. I mean what WOULD you do? Middle of nowhere, totally out of your element, battling God knows how many unseen predators in the hopes of getting back your wife? One of the few movies where you can't just say... "Well, why doesn't he just do this or just do that?" This character really is helpless. This movie does a lot things right, JT Walsh is harsh and plays the role perfectly, perhaps a bit too close, makes you wonder. The sound on the dvd is great, the acting by one and all is played great. I suppose the only real "breakdown" would be the over the top ending that could have been pulled from any 70's television show, a bit dissappointing but at the same time somehow fitting.
I could have taken a star away for lack of extras, but I know that would just bring the average down on a movie that is pretty underrated as it is, because the movie itself is one I watch over and over and the extras will be out... someday, when I'm conned into buying the next edition, which I will because Kurt is just that good:)

Studio: Paramount Studio
Director: Jonathan Mostow
Kurt Russell
J.T. Walsh
Kathleen Quinlan

DVD title: Celtic Woman
Productgroup: DVD
Celtic Woman - movie DVD cover picture
Angelic... Stirring... Absolutely Phenomenal!

This DVD arrived a couple nights ago, and it was so amazing that it moved me to write the following email to the performers.

By the way -- no need to hesitate... you'll love this show!


To my Celtic friends,

I'm simply at a loss as to how to start this message...

I want to thank you all so very, very much for your angelic, inspiring work in "Celtic Woman." I wish there were some way to box-up the immense joy and gratitude that is pouring from my heart, and deliver it to each one of you.

Together you brought something so Good and True and Right and Pure into this world... something so phenomenally uplifting, that its value could never possibly be measured because its value will remain hidden in how deeply it cleanses and restores the hearts of those it touches. But do know that something timeless, something of the Eternal was conveyed through your work that evening.

What is absolutely remarkable to me is how, while watching the program, one feels extraordinarily proud and honored just to be a human being, simply for what your performance shows is possible from us. It's almost too much to fathom. And what's even more remarkable is how this stirring sense of honor and appreciation is fulfilling in and of itself. How it feels absolutely no need to be anything more than it is. Somehow it realizes and is grateful for the good fortune it has just to be taking part in this tremendous beauty, just to be receiving it, just to be drinking it in. Somehow it stirs within this heart a Love that has no end, no aim, but that is whole and complete in itself, and that holds the entire depth of life within it.

Thank you Lisa, David, Meav, Orla, Chloe, and Mairead for the reminder of what is truly Good, Noble, and Innocent in this life.

With my deepest gratitude,


Studio: EMI Distribution
David Downes
Chloe Agnew
Meav Ni Mhaolchatha

DVD title: Cyborg 2
Productgroup: DVD
Cyborg 2 - movie DVD cover picture
it rocked atleast the parts i saw did

i saw half of the damn movie but i didnt see the end so tha

Studio: Vidmark/Trimark
Director: Michael Schroeder

DVD title: Five Deadly Venoms
Productgroup: DVD
Five Deadly Venoms - movie DVD cover picture
A must for any martial arts film lover ( A MUST!)

If you collect kung fu films and don't own this, your collection is worthless. One of the most amazing, and most entertaining martial arts films to be released. 5 masters each with their own styles: snake, toad, lizard, centipede, scorpion. All suspected of using their martial arts skills for evil by there one time master. Before he dies he orders his final student to go out and find these venoms and stop their rain of terror. The only way he can hope to stop the group of martial arts gods, is to team up with one of them, the only problem is where are they , and can any of them be trusted? spectacular styles and fight scenes along with a great story line make this an instant classic.

Director: Cheh Chang

DVD title: Reform School Girls
Productgroup: DVD
Reform School Girls - movie DVD cover picture

This movie is absolutely, hands-down, the FUNNIEST, CAMPIEST, most EXPLOITATIVE movie I ever seen! I have shown this movie to all of my friends, everyone from teenagers to corporate business execs to mild mannered housewives and not one have of them hasn't ended up laughing hysterically and agreeing that it isn't absolutely wonderful! The director's intention was to make a spoof of women in prison films, and he accomplishes that goal most successfully. We have a whole host of stereotypical characters - Edna (Pat Ast), the cruel, two ton, drag queen looking, lesbian prison matron; Jenny (Linda Carol), the naive blond who ended up in reform school through associating with a "bad boy"; Claudia (Denise Gordy), the sassy black girl who's sick of whitey pushing her around on "the inside"; and last, but certainly not least, is Charlie Chambliss played by the late diva of punk rock, Miss Wendy O. Williams. Charlie is the head bully at Pridemore Juvenile Facility and asserts her authority in cruel and unusual ways. Sure, Wendy O. was 36 years old in real life and playing a teenager... Sure, no reform school I know of allows the inmates to wear lingerie, high heels, and make up... But these obvious inaccuracies are what makes this movie so hilarious. You'll find yourself quoting lines from it after your first viewing - Example: "You're just a sh!t stain in the panties of life!" ENJOY!

Studio: Anchor Bay Entertainment
Director: Tom DeSimone
Linda Carol
Wendy O. Williams

DVD title: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
Productgroup: DVD
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn - movie DVD cover picture
Profound family story, one of top 5 tear-jerkers of all time.

I've seen well over 4,000 movies (3,245 since I started keeping a list, and at least 100 a year before that), and of them all, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn stands out in my memory as the single most effective in terms of the performances of the actors affecting the viewer.

It's a simple story about a poor family, a timeless story that will ring true to millions of families around the world, similar in type to movies like I Remember Mama, The Human Comedy, and Our Vines Have Tender Grapes, but more serious, and in my opinion even more insightful than those fine films. And it's certainly one of the top five tear-jerkers of all time, up there with films like All Mine to Give, On Borrowed Time, Old Yeller, and My Girl. But it's pleasant to watch, even joyful at times, even if you anticipate the sad part.

Every actor in the film rose to the occasion, bringing the character's of Betty Smith's novel to life with fidelity and veracity, depth and breadth, in several cases giving the best performance of a lifetime. That's certainly the truth in the cases of Peggy Ann Garner as young Francie and James Dunn as her lovable, lovable, and lovable - and alcoholic - lovable father Johnny Nolan, both recognized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences with Oscars for their roles in this movie, for best juvenile performer, and best supporting actor, respectively. But also I think Dorothy McGuire as Francie's mother Katie, Joan Blondell as Aunt Sissy, and Lloyd Nolan as Officer McShane each gave their finest performances ever here. (Funny little coincidence of names: Nolan played Mike Shane in several movies, here he plays McShane in a movie full of Nolans.)

There's not much point in detailing the plot here; you should certainly see it for yourself, and it's a shame it's not on DVD yet, as of this writing. Suffice it to say one parent is an irresponsible dreamer, the other a hard provider, both giving love in different ways, and young Francie must learn to retain the best from each. If you've read the book by Betty Smith, this film is very faithful except they left out one incident that would have been considered inappropriate in a film in the 1940s, when young Francie was approached by a molester. The film works perfectly without that.

Another favorite character actor has a small role: James Gleason (Here Comes Mr. Jordan, The Bishop's Wife, Suddenly), as one of Johnny's friends.

Studio: Fox Home Entertainme
Director: Elia Kazan
Dorothy McGuire

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