Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: The Little Vampire
Productgroup: DVD
The Little Vampire - movie DVD cover picture
i LoVE roLLO

"The Little Vampire," directed by Uli Edel, is an appealing fantasy/comedy for a family audience. The story involves Tony Thompson (played by Jonathan Lipnicki), an American boy whose family has relocated to Great Britain. There Tony befriends Rudolph (Rollo Weeks) a vampire boy whose family is being ruthlessly pursued by a vampire hunter who aims to destroy them.
This film portrays vampires as a persecuted minority who really mean no harm to humans (they'll drink cow blood if they need to). The film contains some fun sight gags (many involving vampire cows) and one-liners. There are also some genuinely magical sequences (most notably, some flying scenes).
Lipnicki carries his lead role well. And the wonderful Alice Krige (who also played the Borg Queen in "Star Trek: First Contact") is a delight as Rudolph's sexy vampire mom. But the standout performance is delivered by young Rollo Weeks as the vampire boy. Weeks brings both an ethereal charisma and a childlike ebullience to his character. The vampire performances are enhanced by good makeup and costuming.
There are a few slightly scary scenes, but nothing that bothered my 5-year old nephew too much. The accent in this film is on humor, fantasy, family, and friendship. I noticed some holes in the film's explanation of vampirism. But if you don't get too critical about the details, you should find "The Little Vampire" to be a delight for all ages.

Studio: New Line Home Entertainment
Director: Uli Edel
Jonathan Lipnicki
Richard E. Grant
Rollo Weeks

DVD title: Aladdin (Disney Special Platinum Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Aladdin (Disney Special Platinum Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
That's Ah-Bah-Bwah.

Aladdin is one of the last great animated films from Disney, and a lot of the credit is owed to the bad guys. The voices of Jafar and Iago are dead-on perfect for their characters and when combined with Robin Williams in a role where he can really cut loose, they create movie gold.

In a classic poor-boy-makes-good story, it would be easy to ignore the villian and concentrate on the "heart of gold" and love-interest storylines, but directors Clements and Musker gave plenty of screen time for the wonderfully sneering and arrogant Jafar. The interplay between him and Gottfried as Iago is nearly as fun as listening to Williams's wide selection of impressions and verbal explosions (my favorite is Bill Buckley with "restrictions and quid pro quos").

Some of the extras are snooze-inducing, but the commentary is engaging, especially if you've seen the film a few times. This is definitely worth the upgrade from your old VHS copy.

Studio: Walt Disney Home Entertainment
Scott Weinger
Robin Williams
Linda Larkin
Jonathan Freeman

DVD title: The Guns of Navarone (Special Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
The Guns of Navarone (Special Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
A Great Masterpiece on World War II Fiction

When I first saw this movie on television back in the days when home entertainment was uncommon, I could hardly wait until it was aired again. Very suspenseful, this movie is bound to keep viewers on their toes. Gregory Peck stars as Captain Keith Mallory whose mission was to sabotage a Nazi Menace in the Adriatic that had destroyed much of the Royal Navy vessels sailing near the small Greek island of Navarone. Co-starring was David Niven who plays Corporal John Anthony Miller, an expert in explosives, who, accompanies Mallory on the mission, both under the command of Major Roy Franklin (Anthony Quayle).

All was not easy during the mission, especially the scene in the Adriatic during a fierce storm that had hampered their attempts to dock as close as possible to the craggy shores that resulted in destroying their small boat as was the scaling of the cliff after reaching the shore. With Maj. Franklin seriously wounded, the command was turned over to Mallory.

Anthony Quinn was spectacular in his role as Colonel Andrea Stavros, especially when he was struggling to survive by swimming to the boat near the end of the movie and almost giving up with Mallory vainly trying to save his life. Portions of this film: the firing of the heavy German cannons from inside the cavern on Navarone, the destruction of the cannons and the sounding of the sirens from the Royal Navy vessels were augmented into the beginning of the sequel "Force 10 from Navarone" (1978), starring Robert Shaw, Harrison Ford and Edward Fox.

"The Guns of Navarone" is certainly a classic and one that is a must see, especially for any Peck or Niven fan.

Studio: Columbia/Tristar Studios
Director: J. Lee Thompson
Gregory Peck
David Niven
Anthony Quinn
Anthony Quayle

DVD title: Tom Sawyer
Productgroup: DVD
Tom Sawyer - movie DVD cover picture
Cool in a world of insanity

This movie (Based on the book by Mark Twain) was Excellent becuse of it's great animation and Portrayals of the classic characters from the twain classic

Studio: Mgm/Ua Studios

DVD title: The Shawshank Redemption (Two-Disc Special Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
The Shawshank Redemption (Two-Disc Special Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Hands down, the best movie I have ever seen.

I have seen many movies in my life, and the Shawshank Redemption is incredible. Even though it is a whopping 142 minutes long, I soaked up every moment of it. Tim Robbins is the best actor ever. No matter what your movie preference is, go see this movie. You wont regret it.

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Frank Darabont
Tim Robbins
Morgan Freeman

DVD title: Jane Eyre
Productgroup: DVD
Jane Eyre - movie DVD cover picture
One of the best movies I have ever seen

I just recently watched this version for the first time. I had begun to despair of ever seeing adequate portrayals of Jane and Mr. Rochester on film. Here it is. Zelah Clarke is amazing as Jane, and Timothy Dalton completely becomes Mr. Rochester. Yes, some say he's too tall and too handsome for the role. But those eyes! That voice! He's such a mesmerizing actor that one doesn't hold his good looks against him. Also this version is very faithful to the book, more so than any of the other versions I've seen, and I've seen them all. This is the "sine qua non" of Jane Eyres. Don't miss it!

Studio: BBC
Director: Julian Amyes

DVD title: A Man Apart
Productgroup: DVD
A Man Apart - movie DVD cover picture

I thought that they did a great job on this movie. Now i know why its rated "R" I mean for the language, blood, nudity. I would recommend it for people to 16-17 years old.

Studio: New Line Home Entertainment
Director: F. Gary Gray
Vin Diesel
Larenz Tate

DVD title: Groundhog Day
Productgroup: DVD
Groundhog Day - movie DVD cover picture
MUCH more than the sum of its parts

When Bill Murray appeared in a skit on SNL, it was an automatic "MUTE" until the next commercial was over. Andie MacDowell has always been much too cute for her own good. Harold Ramis has an inflated opinion of his talents (just watch his cameo in this movie to see what I mean -- the man apparently phantasizes himself as another Alfred Hitchock). Yet, in spite of it all, this movie earned 5 stars (and more, if such a rating were available) from me. Why? Frankly, I honestly don't know.
Part of its appeal has to do with how it treads on the very edge of cloying, yet somehow always steps back about 5 seconds BEFORE you say, "Ohmigod, they're not going to do THAT, are they?" And they never do! Beyond that, though, there is an underlying truth to this movie that transcends any rational analysis. If you're not a Hindu/Buddhist before you see it, well, maybe you shouldn't see it. Religious implications aside, I'm put in mind of an old joke about a great American soprano making her debut at La Scala. After singing the crucial aria, she was bombarded with deafening pleas of, "encore ... encore." So she dutifully reprised her aria. Again the crys of "encore" arose, and again she gave the audience what it demanded. However, after the 4th encore, she stumbled to the footlights and hoarsely protested, "ladies and gentlemen, I appreciate your enthusiasm, but I've sung this aria five times now!" Whereupon a small Italian man arose and shouted, "si, and you gonna KEEP a-singin' it until you get it a-righta!"
Well, the bottom line here is that, in spite of themselves, these guys managed to get it "a-righta". Don't waste your money renting this movie for a "trial run" (as an earlier review suggested); just buy the DVD and settle back for the first (of many) pleasurable and thought-provoking viewings.

Studio: Columbia/Tristar Studios
Director: Harold Ramis
Bill Murray
Andie MacDowell

DVD title: Star Trek Voyager - The Complete First Season
Productgroup: DVD
Star Trek Voyager - The Complete First Season - movie DVD cover picture
One of the best

Star Trek: Voyager, the newest of the (as I call it) 3 sagaed series, taking place in the same basic year. When Voyager first started everybody was unsure of how it would do. Both Deep Space 9 and The Next Generation had a concept and actors that were extremely liked. Not to mention Deep Space 9 was a completely new concept of a space station rather than a ship. Voyager's biggest competition was The Next Generation with the ever popular Captain Jean Luke Picard (Patrick Stewart).
Voyager by far is the most unusual Star Trek series to date. A single ship in impossible odds lost 70,000 light years from the nearest Federation outpost. Two crews, Starfleet and Maquis, the noble and the terrorists. Wow that's one way to start an incredible journey. But wait not only are you involving terrorists on the most advanced star ship in the Federation, let's add their chief con officer Thomas Eugenie Paris to ex convict. But it figures even in another part of the galaxy not everybody agrees with Starfleet's ideals, 5 minutes in the Delta Quadrant and Voyager already makes an enemy, known as the Kazon.
Well I don't want to ruin this spectacular boxed set of Star Trek: Voyager Season 1. Just wait their only getting warmed up. Remember Voyager has a great chance of reaching home with somebody like Captain Kathryn Janeway (Kate Mulgrew) commanding her.

Studio: Paramount Home Video
Kate Mulgrew

DVD title: A Tribute to Bill Evans - Brewhouse Jazz
Productgroup: DVD
A Tribute to Bill Evans - Brewhouse Jazz - movie DVD cover picture
Gordon Beck is one of the finest Jazz pianists ever!!

This live DVD recorded in 1991 from England shows the creativity and amazing abilities of one of the worlds finest Jazz pianists, Mr. Gordon Beck. Gordon is augmented by Kenny Wheeler on trumpet and flugelhorn and together with the rest of the band including Dieter Ilg on Bass and Tony Oxley on drums they pay tribute to one of Gordon Beck's influences, Bill Evans. There are some Bill Evans pieces featured as well as some of Gordon Beck's own compositions.

If you are a Jazz fan, a Gordon Beck fan, or a lover of Bill Evans than this DVD is for you!!

Studio: Image Entertainment

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