Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Chappelle's Show - Season 1
Productgroup: DVD
Chappelle's Show - Season 1 - movie DVD cover picture

everyone was sold out of this dvd for the longest time. it was maybe a week but seemed like forever:) i attempted to buy it as soon as it came out, well I finally received my copy and just as i expected its hilarious. any fan of chappelle's show should buy this dvd it was worth the wait. anyone who watched the show already knows it is funny but the dvd also includes commentaries and parts of ask a black dude which were not on the show. i did expect the bloopers to be funnier than they were but everything else makes up for it. chappelle's show is hilarious. i really hope it stays on for a long time.

Studio: Paramount Home Video
Dave Chappelle

DVD title: Chaplin's Essanay Comedies, Vol. 02
Productgroup: DVD
Chaplin's Essanay Comedies, Vol. 02 - movie DVD cover picture
Superb restoration of some of Chaplin's most important work!

First of all, I am reviewing the Image dvd of Chaplin's Essanay Comedies, Vol. 02. The Madacy product that this review might appear on is grossly inferior to this edition, and is to be shunned with all your might.
We have here five Chaplin films and a guest appearance. The guest appearance is forgettable, as is the rest of the movie that the appearance is in. Two of these films are Chaplin treading water, "By the Sea" and "A Woman". "A Woman" is only important for trivial reasons, because Chaplin makes his last appearance in drag, with astonishing results.
The other films, though, are key to the Chaplin legacy. "Work" is his most political statement yet, with it's condemnation of bosses and managers via Charlie's boss, who sits in the back of a cart while Charlie draws it forwardthrough streets and up impossible hills. This film is so ridiculous that you wonder how on earth it came together to fit so well.
"The Bank" is important in that we have a truly sad ending, with Charlie's unrequited love rejected twice, and reasons for his hopes to get up twice too.
"The Tramp" is Charlie's most important Essanay film, the one that establishes his tramp as a character with depth. This film is more than a collection of gags, it's a story, and the ending is a shock. Chaplin would later learn how to engender his audience's sympathies before the end of the film, but in this film, we cannot help but feel sorry for the tramp, as he walks out of the picture in one of his most famous scenes ever.
These films were painstakingly restored by David Sheperd's "Film Preservation Associates" after a ten-year search for footage. What we have is the most complete versions of the Chaplin Essanay films possible, something that hasn't been seen in almost 80 years. This means, however, that sometimes the scene in a film will change dramatically, from a clear, good print to a worse, grainy, and scratchy print, and back again. But we must put up with such defects if we expect to enjoy these films at all, for the alternative is to see prints which, while consistent, are missing somtimes 20% of the footage originally in the film
The scores are well done, and the video compression is excellent.
And now for the rant, hinted at above...
It is possible to see these same films in a much cheaper edition from Madacy or Koch video, or numerous other companies. Don't do it. These companies have taken poor quality sources, sometimes cutting out a fifth of the frame, added lousy soundtracks, and thrown their product out in nice looking packaging for low prices. This product is unsatisfactory, though, as it is difficult to watch, and really doesn't show Chaplin in a good light. Do search out dvds made by the Image company, or tapes made by Kino, becuase these companies have the restorations that are worth watching. You will be glad you did!

Studio: Image Entertainment
Director: Charles Chaplin

DVD title: Paradise Road
Productgroup: DVD
Paradise Road - movie DVD cover picture
Paradise Road - Song of Survival

This is one of my all-time favourite films.
The moving tale of women POWs who form a chorus and use vocal music to help cope with the harsh reality of Japanese internment.
Paradise Road is a wonderful movie, a true story wonderfully told. It never fails to move me everytime I watch it and I have watched it a few times! ;-)

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
Director: Bruce Beresford
Glenn Close
Frances McDormand

DVD title: The Matrix
Productgroup: DVD
The Matrix - movie DVD cover picture
Indeed The Matrix has to be the best movie of the 1990's

I was totally entralled by by this spectacular movie and I saw it at least five times in the theater and personnally can not wait for my DVD to arrive (as a matter of fact a DVD player is being purchased for the purpose of watching this movie, although I am sure that there will plenty of use for this new entertainment appliance). What can I say but do not wait but RUSH and buy your copy today!

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

DVD title: Desperately Seeking Susan
Productgroup: DVD
Desperately Seeking Susan - movie DVD cover picture
Madonna's lucky star

Can't believe it's been 20 years (!) since this was released but even though the movie is loaded with those goofy 80's hairstyles and clothes, the comedy is timeless.

Madonna really shined here and I believe that one of the reasons why a movie career never happened for her is because she focused more on being a dramatic actress while her talent obviously was with comedy (1987's "Who's That Girl?" proved that).

"Desperately Seeking Susan" was released at the height of Madonna's popularity in the 1980's and this only sealed that for her. She delivered her lines with finesse and a natural comedic ability. Sorry to see she didn't pursue comedy the way she would do with drama.

Madonna worked very well with Rosanna Arquette and I don't feel guilty at all about watching this movie (except for laughing at that 80's hair and makeup). In fact, I forgot just good comedy can be until I saw this on cable the other day (because of the string of flops Hollywood has a talent for producing nowadays, starring these overrated and undertalented nothing starlets).

Good stuff.

Studio: Mgm/Ua Studios
Director: Susan Seidelman
Rosanna Arquette

DVD title: The Wire - The Complete Second Season
Productgroup: DVD
The Wire - The Complete Second Season - movie DVD cover picture
Truly one of the greatest television series, ever....

The second season of The Wire continues where the first left off. The story is multi-layered, complex, and absolutely fascinating. While we've all seen the premise before - cops and robbers, The Wire moves well beyond any stereotypes to show us the human beings who play these roles. Particularly interesting in this season is in-depth look we get into the modern labor movement. Sound dull? - far from it. One of the central charaters is Sobotka, a labor leader, who comes to represent the tragedy of the modern working man in America- the loss of the dignity we once had from doing hard, honest work. A warning - this series requires patience to really appreciate the complex story told. Take the time, it is worth the effort.

Studio: Warner Home Video
Wood Harris

DVD title: Bob the Builder - Can We Fix It?
Productgroup: DVD
Bob the Builder - Can We Fix It? - movie DVD cover picture
the best thing for my 3 year old

My son is almost 3 and LOVES Bob. He sings the songs and he knows all the characters. This video allows him to see them anytime he wants and he sits there through the entire video mesmerized talking to Bob and Wendy when they say "can we fix it" my son yells "Yes we can"!

Studio: Lyrick Studios

DVD title: The X-Files - The Complete Fourth Season
Productgroup: DVD
The X-Files - The Complete Fourth Season - movie DVD cover picture
A Must have for anyone!

This DVD collection is going to be a must have for anyone. This show was the best sci-fi, and drama for that matter, that has been on tv in generations. The X-Files was unique, unlike a show such as Star Trek, because it could appeal to the viewer who, much like myself, didn't even like the sci-fi genre in general. It did much more than what the usual sci-fi show does, because it was creative, and told a story. The plot lines would always through the viewer for loops that always kept the viewer coming back for more. The good thing about the plot lines was that you didn't have to have seen every episode to get interested in a particular episode, and not be lost as to what was going on.
This is the perfect way to watch a classic television show. With the emergence of DVD, I think that more tv series will be put on DVD collections as this show is. The DVD makes it so easy to access any episode, or any feature that you could desire, and all with the click of a button. This is the way you should watch this classic series. Buy this set when it is released and enjoy every classic episode, without commericials and with all the bonus features that DVD's can offer!

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
David Duchovny

DVD title: Now and Then, Here and There (Complete Collector's Boxed Set)
Productgroup: DVD
Now and Then, Here and There (Complete Collector's Boxed Set) - movie DVD cover picture
Intense, powerful.

As the first episode of Now and Then, Here and There opens, we see Shu, the protagonist, dashing downstairs to eat breakfast, which he wolfs down with endless enthusiasm, until his sister tells him she's heard that he's going to ask a girl out if he wins the day's kendo match, at which point he sprays beans out of his mouth across the table at his father, who, without even looking up, lifts up the newspaper he's reading as a shield.
Soon after, he's sucked into another dimension where children are forcibly drafted into an army and forced by the deranged, Caligula-like King Hamdo to carry out genocidal raids on peaceful villages.
And that's what immediately strikes one about NaTHaT: Shu is an unapologetic, goofy, exaggerated ANIME character, yet he's juxtaposed with a relentlessly grim setting--something that I personally had never seen before; contrast it with Grave of the Fireflies, for instance, a similar work in some ways, except that the characters don't clash with the background, because they're a PART of it.
I fear that this sort of cartoonishness in such a dark show may confuse, baffle, and generally turn off a certain sort of person, and that is too bad, because NaTHaT is certainly the best anime I've seen recently. Shu's resilience notwithstanding, there are parts of the show which are simply hard to take. What a lot of reviews seem to gloss over is that it does have its quieter, happy moments, but these only go so far; NaTHaT is not a show that pulls its punches. It's not always fun, but it's necessary nonetheless, both as an unflinching study of lost innocence (the kidnapped children--one of whom appears to be around six years old--are quite a punch to the gut), and as a powerful anti-war allegory (sadly, more necessary than ever right now)--made all the more powerful by the fact that it's far from one-sided.
It doesn't matter whether or not you like 'anime' as a general concept; you should watch NaTHaT regardless. I saw it subtitled, but from a cursory check, the dubbing seems pretty good. Either way, it gets my seal of approval.

Studio: Wea Corp

DVD title: Alison Krauss & Union Station Live
Productgroup: DVD
Alison Krauss & Union Station Live - movie DVD cover picture

This DVD played in one of the recorded formats, "DTS SURROUND SOUND", is just an unbelieveable experience and you just sit in your chair, mesmerized by the outstanding music. It is like you are in the front row of the concert at the Palace Theater in Louisville, Kentucky.

Studio: Rounder Records
Union Station
Dan Tyminski
Alison Krauss

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