Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Phantom of the Paradise
Productgroup: DVD
Phantom of the Paradise - movie DVD cover picture
loved it!

"We'll remember you forever, Eddie, through the sacrifice you made, I can't believe the price you paid...for Love"......Every review I've read talks about the music and how it sticks in your head and boy, is that true. I saw this movie for the first time in the early '70's when I was enamored with Paul Williams. I had no idea when I went to see it what it was really about. I loved it! Paul Williams is great as Swan, Jessica Harper sweet as Phoenix, William Finley tragic as Winslow and the guy who plays Beef (sorry, can't remember his name)is hilarious. But my favorites are the Juicy Fruits. From greasy-rockers, to beach bums to heavy metal band, their transformations are hysterical. This is one of the funniest dark movies I have ever seen and I highly recommend it to anyone with a semi-sick sense of humor.

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
Director: Brian De Palma
Paul Williams (III)
William Finley

DVD title: Training Day
Productgroup: DVD
Training Day - movie DVD cover picture
Words Can't Describe The FORCE Of This Great Movie!!

I am a HUGE fan of Denzel Washington. He has brought so much magic, comfort and love to the silver screen and has become a wonderful role model of what it is to be a man and a powerful actor. Every role he has played, particularly as Malcom X, has shown us strength and an ever present honesty and decency even when he is playing a man with slightly tarnished morals. No matter what, you always love Denzel and know it's him!
When TRAINING DAY begins, we are introduced to Rookie Officer Hoyt (Ethan Hawke) and his wife; a very boring couple. The pace of the movie is slow for the first 7 or 8 minutes as we meet them and find out our rookie is beginning his first day in the narcotics division of the LAPD; a really nice promotion. And he must go to meet his supervisor for this training day at a local coffee shop. And there he is. In all his wonderful glory - Mr. Denzel Washington sits at the booth, looking fine as wine in all black, reading a paper. You are in love again, as you were in every one of his movies UNTIL....he opens his mouth to speak.And you suddenly realize THIS AIN'T DENZEL!!!
From the very first line spoken by Officer Alonzo Harris, you will be uncomfortable, frightened, intrigued, amazed and stupified. His deliciously evil way of speaking, looking and acting will have you spellbound and scared to death. He is beyond mean. And you immediately wonder how poor rookie Hoyt will ever survive the day with this crazy man.
I found TRAINING DAY to be inventive and incredibly disturbing. Yes, it has formulaic car crashes, violence and dialogue. And the stereotypical latin and black criminals would seriously get on your nerves IF it weren't for the powerful performances by Denzel and Ethan. This is a movie designed to showcase their acting ability and it does so in a powerful way. But ever present is the underlying message that says this is how things actually are in many large urban cities. As Alonzo says, "To catch a wolf, you have to become a wolf". And that drives this movie and keeps your heart pumping at a mad pace till the very last line. Halfway into the credits you'll suddenly realize it's over and stumble around wondering what kind of world are we living in. YES, it will affect you like that!
In TRAINING DAY there were many lines of dialogue that stuck in my brain; some funny and some wild. But without doubt, the most powerful one came after rookie Hoyt discovers he has been played by Alonzo all day. That Alonzo has been planning Hoyt's destruction from the beginning and he accuses Alonzo of this fact with such naivety and surprise. Alonzo turns to him and says, "[Expletive], this ain't no checkers!! This is CHESS!!". Meaning, nothing in life is about fun, it is calculated and each move done to advance the desired end result.
At the end of this movie, you will be wishing for - praying for - Officer Alonzo Harris to DIE!! You will want that evil to be destroyed and for the rookie Hoyt to somehow get out of the web of evil spun for him by Alonzo. You will throw popcorn at the screen.
And you will know, without the tiniest doubt, that who ever that evil guy is... it darn sure ain't Denzel. THAT is the very discription of an actor who DESERVES A BEST ACTOR OSCAR!!!
I VERY HIGHLY recommend this movie. PLEASE buy it. And prepare to step outside your comfort zone.Dr. Braxy :o)

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Antoine Fuqua
Denzel Washington
Ethan Hawke

DVD title: Drumline (Widescreen)
Productgroup: DVD
Drumline (Widescreen) - movie DVD cover picture

This movie is great. It's a feel good movie that will definitley put you in a good mood. Good performances by the actors.

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox Home Video
Director: Charles Stone III
Nick Cannon
Zoe Saldana
Orlando Jones

DVD title: Mobile Suit Gundam Wing - Complete Operations Boxed Set
Productgroup: DVD
Mobile Suit Gundam Wing - Complete Operations Boxed Set - movie DVD cover picture
Shin Kido Gundam W [Mobile suit Gundam Wing]: Review

The 49 episode Gundam W series is not an Anime to be missed, it can be said to be far better than the other Gundams before and after it. Toonami/CN proved this all too well.

Basic Plot 5/5: The alternate Gundam series is set in the After Colony timeline and the year is A.C. 195, the earth sphere Alliance strangle hold over the colonies that surround earth is becoming stronger by the day now that they are backed a strong military force named OZ (Organization of the Zodiac), but several colony residents send five spaceships to earth in different locations to put a stop to OZ and the Alliance dead in its tracks when they least expect it. Thus Operation M. is put in motion and the fight to break this strangle hold over their beloved homes begins. The rest of the plot however turns out to be far more complex (because it deals with politics in war) and you won't be able to understand it the first time you watch it. There are no bad or good guys in this series and that will leave you contemplating on whom to like or dislike.

Animation 4/5: Gundam Wing's Animation isn't the best but it does improve as the show progresses. The Mecha animations are well done (This can be seen in Gundam Wing's opening, its all very fulid) but the sound affects to go with it can be a bit off at times and you'll find yourself trying not to say that aloud. The character animations are good as well, a bit stiff at times but rest of the time its fluid and almost human. The animation is Pretty good for a show made in 1995.

Music 5/5: The music composed by the underrated Kou Ohtani is compelling and goes well with the theme of the show. The rang of this music goes from angst, dramatic, and light hearted but never humorous or silly. The J-Pop for opening and Ending Themes are fun to listen to and love oriented to be expected. The two opening themes "Just Communication" and "Rhythm Emotion" are performed my TWO MIX, the performer for the ending theme "Just Love" is unknown. The soundtracks are not something to pass up.

Characters 4/5: Most of all the characters in Gundam W are not generic but original. The five Gundam pilots (Heero, Duo, Trowa, Quatre, and Wufei) are completely opposite personalties that anyone would find hard to dislike. Other main characters like Relena Darlain, and Zechs Merquirse along with many other casts of characters are refreshing despite their high ranks in the rich and military societies. OZ's Treize and Romafeller's Duke Dermail characters are the usual manipulative power hungry people (a majority of the organizations in GW will have plenty people to dislike), but Treize is so subduing that you'll find it hard not to like him.

Art 4/5: The art work in Gundam wing is great, the level of detail you'll find in faical and body features on the characters in the show is breath taking (they almost look incredibly human, but boring bland human you see in the Patlabor mobile police movies). The detail on simple vheicles like Limos, cars, motorcycles, Submarines, Mobile suits, and the Gundams themselves not to mention the array of weapons in the show are is also well done. Backgrounds for locations in the show that are all very real places and not made up (although are some fictional miltiary bases, etc.) are great and about as detailed as a cartoon background can be.

DVD 3/5: Each uncut DVD version of Gundam Wing contains 5 episodes on 10 DVDs, with choice of English or Japanese Audio with English subtitles for the Japanese Dub only. Unlike the 'kid-friendly' version that was aired on Toonami afternoons, the uncut version contains mild-to not so mild swearing and blood. The extra features on the DVD are not spectacular; they contain brief bios on OZ soldiers, Relena Darlain, and the Gundam pilots themselves along with mecha information the Gundams and other mobile suits themselves. The other features are trailers from other anime series (like Escaflowne, and other Gundam series). This is disappointing, some features on how the show was made or some Japanese/English trailers and TV spots would have been nice.

Overall: Shin Kido Gundam W [Mobile suit Gundam Wing] DVDs gets a 3 and half stars, while the show despite its slight flaws in animation and sound effects gets a Five outa Five.

Studio: Pioneer Entertainmen

DVD title: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Widescreen Edition) (Harry Potter 2)
Productgroup: DVD
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Widescreen Edition) (Harry Potter 2) - movie DVD cover picture
Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets (DVD)

I don't plan to write a very long review. I'm only reviewing this to make my 5-star rating count. Very true to the wonderful book, it's very good. Some things you might be disappointed about - parts of the book that aren't in the movie - but I could only find a few.Funny moments, serious moments, it's got all a movie should have.

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Chris Columbus
Daniel Radcliffe
Rupert Grint
Emma Watson (II)

DVD title: Bellydance Fitness for Beginners - Basic Moves & Fat Burning
Productgroup: DVD
Bellydance Fitness for Beginners - Basic Moves & Fat Burning - movie DVD cover picture
A Workout I Can Live With

Neena and Veena present themselves well, and wisely leave the narration/instruction to voiceover, while concentrating on presenting the moves as cleanly and clearly as possible. Basic Moves starts with a fluid warmup that leads you gradually into more strenuous activity. This would be perfect for someone who's just beginning to explore belly dance and is not ready to invest in classes and gear. It's not as good as taking a class, but it's a great supplement to those classes for someone like me, who needs to be lead through the warmup and workout. I found it helpful to watch the sister on the left to see how to DO the moves, then watch the sister on the right to add more flair as I've gained confidence. The second workout, Fat Burning, is a lot harder, so unless you're already in good shape, save it til the Basic Moves starts to feel too easy. I am woefully out of shape and cannot yet make it through more than half of the session (but it's only been a few undisciplined weeks.) I AM still having fun with it though, which keeps me motivated.

Studio: Goldhil Home Media
Bellydance Fitness for Beginne

DVD title: Titanic
Productgroup: DVD
Titanic - movie DVD cover picture

Titanic is the most romantic movie I've ever seen.I'm sure all of the buyers of this movie will not forget this.

Studio: Paramount Studio
Director: James Cameron
Leonardo DiCaprio
Kate Winslet

DVD title: Here Comes Peter Cottontail
Productgroup: DVD
Here Comes Peter Cottontail - movie DVD cover picture
This is such a great movie!

I remember seeing this movie on TV as a child and I loved it. I loved the imagination of the story, the characters, the songs, the wonderful and vibrant colors and tapestry and the humor that makes this an outstanding and memorable movie. Just writing this brings back warm memories! If you liked the Rudolph and Frosty the Snowman movies, you will definitely like this one.

Studio: Sony Music (Video)

DVD title: Bend It Like Beckham (Widescreen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Bend It Like Beckham (Widescreen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Anyone can cook Gobi.....

But, can just anyone direct a complex film like this and make it seem fresh and simple?

Have watched two films of Gurinder Chadha and I'm convinced the man is a genius. In "Bend it" he manages to seque enough sub-plots together to create a full story that will keep viewers seeing new aspects after numerous viewings.

First, there's Jessminda (Parminder Nagra) a second sister in a traditional Indian family who only wants to play football (soccer in US parlance) and 'bend it (the ball) like (David) Beckham.' When Jules, an English girl with similar ambitions, discovers Jess and recruits her for an all girls soccer team, Jess doesn't even know what position she played. She just played on the field. Well, it turns out Jess is brilliant and it only takes a little coaching to get that brilliance polished.

Then there is Jess' relationship to Keira Knightly (Jules). Jules' mother thinks Jules is a lesbian because all she's interested in is sports. When she overhears a conversation between Jess and Jules, she believes the two girls are in love and Jess betrayed her daughter...

Then there's Jess' older sister, Pinky, who just wants to get married. The misunderstandings between the two sets of parents, etc. seem to be keeping the lovers apart.

Then, there's Joe, the girls' soccer coach who just may be falling in love with Jess. Jess admits she'll have an easier time explaining that she wants to be a professional athlete than bringing home a white boyfriend....

"Bend it" is hilarious and bears watching more than once even if you think you have all the plot elements down. Hurrah for Bollywood!!!!

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox Home Video
Director: Gurinder Chadha
Parminder Nagra
Keira Knightley
Jonathan Rhys-Meyers

DVD title: 2001: A Space Odyssey
Productgroup: DVD
2001: A Space Odyssey - movie DVD cover picture

I found this movie to be awe-inspiring. The images took my breath away, especially the gape-worthy stargate scene. I'm one of those kids who wasn't born when it was released so I was hoping that there would be 30th anniversary rerelease last year. They could do "Star Wars", they could do "Grease", they could do "The Big Chill" and "Dirty Dancing", but they couldn't do this? Horrors!

Studio: Warner Studios
Director: Stanley Kubrick
Keir Dullea
Gary Lockwood

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