Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Learning to Read Music for Keyboard DVD
Productgroup: DVD
Learning to Read Music for Keyboard DVD - movie DVD cover picture
perfect for beginnners

This video is perfect for people just starting out. I had basically no knowledge of anything musical untill I watched this video. I'm not going to be the next Mozart but feel this video has helped enrich my life by giving me a better understanding of music.

Studio: Educational Video Network, Inc.

DVD title: The Simpsons - The Complete Fifth Season
Productgroup: DVD
The Simpsons - The Complete Fifth Season - movie DVD cover picture
Commentary....Who needs it??

I love the boxed set simpsons dvds but the reason they come out so few and far between is becasue the creators do an audio commentary for every episode on the dvd. I for one have never listend to the audio commentary on any dvd except maybe when I wanted to know why a scene was deleted from a movie or something like that. The reasons other shows release their dvds so fast is becasue they dont have commentary for each episode. I wouldnt miss it if the simpsons started doing this and I dont think that you guys would either. So wright, e-mail, or call up fox and tell them ditch the commentary we dont listen to and realese the dvds faster.

Studio: Fox Home Entertainment
Dan Castellaneta

DVD title: Oistrakh, Menuhin & Rostropovich Play Bach, Brahms & Mozart (EMI Classic Archive 18)
Productgroup: DVD
Oistrakh, Menuhin & Rostropovich Play Bach, Brahms & Mozart (EMI Classic Archive 18) - movie DVD cover picture
Menuhin's Fans Might Well be Disappointed, But...

If you're a Menuhin fan, you will probably be disappointed. His part is mainly limited to the Bach Concerto for Two Violins (played with Oistrakh). And the collaboration between the two masters is more whimsical than musical. Furthermore, part of, if not the whole of, the footage is already available elsewhere.
Having said that, this Bach is very illuminating in that we can see the very essence of these two top violinists. These two maestros are so juxtapositioned that we can compare them alongside virtually phrase by phrase. The second movement is especially intriquing. The directly to the heart sort of Menuhin's communication, the metaphysical sort of his yearning of must have created a lot of heat for Oistrakh who was soaked in sweats. And seldom was Oistrakh's playing so sublime and heartfelt if not equally spiritual. There is some more compensation for Menuhin's fans in seeing him conducting the Mozart Sinfonia played by the Oistrakhs.
The Oistrakh fans certainly fare better. Not only do they see him playing a viola perhaps for the first time, they could also see how well his son/student is playing Moart. He did have his father's complete naturalness with the instrument, nor an absolute command like his father: There is some battling with the instrument at times. However, there is a sensibility and freshness which makes one think that, in terms of style and tone, Oistrakh the son would be a better partner for Menuhin even in the Bach. Anyway, his Mozart is superb, and in some ways he is even better than his father.
We could also see Oistrakh in the Brahm's double concert with Rostropovich, something which neither the fans of Oistrakh or Rostropovich or any music lover could afford to do without. It was simply marvelous ( particularly the second movement, for Oistrakh's fans). For Rostropovich's fans, there is the bonus of his Bach suite #3 for solo cello.
The quality of these films are good, sound and sight. The two orchestras are of the top notch. But there are 4 artists here, and the DVD runs 89 minutes, leaving only less than half an hour one artist!

Studio: Emi Distribution
David Oistrakh
Yehudi Menuhin
Mstislav Rostropovich

DVD title: NewsRadio - The Complete First & Second Seasons
Productgroup: DVD
NewsRadio - The Complete First & Second Seasons - movie DVD cover picture
Is it really shipping?

I pre-ordered this DVD about a year ago (hoping to get it as soon as it was available) and I got an email yesterday saying it had shipped and I would receive it in 5-9 business days! Is this true? Can't wait! I discovered this show after it went to syndication and it became a nightly ritual for me to watch it at 11:00 before going to bed. I love this show!! It is one of the funniest out there. I haven't found it playing anywhere or anytime now that I'm living in southern California... so I can't wait to own my own collection of NewsRadio. I only hope that the rest of the seasons are released soon because I know I will watch seasons 1-2 very quickly and be wanting more.

Studio: Columbia Tristar Hom
Dave Foley

DVD title: Unforgivable Blackness - The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson
Productgroup: DVD
Unforgivable Blackness - The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson - movie DVD cover picture
A story about America's first Black Social Rebel

"Jack Johnson is a dandy" as the title of his 1927 autobiography states. This film is as well. This film reflects his life in a balanced way. It shows his early life, his quest for the heavyweight title, his personal life during those years, and race relations in America during the early 20th Century. It also shows the hypocritical quest against him by use of the Mann Act, his defeat and his life after boxing. Whether you like him or not, you have to admit he was a social rebel who challenged American segregation, racism, and oppresion on an individual level the way The NAACP, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, SNCC, The Black Panther Party and others challanged American society as a whole.

Jack Johnson believed that any man, including a Black man had a right to live his private life as he chooses. This included dating, having consensual sex, and marrying a woman of their choice regardless of her color, race, religion, national or ethnic background. He also felt that this applied to others as well. Yes, he was a true rebel and an inspiration to those of us who agree with him. I recommend that you read his autobiography as well.

Studio: Paramount Home Video
Director: Ken Burns

DVD title: Love and Basketball (New Line Platinum Series)
Productgroup: DVD
Love and Basketball (New Line Platinum Series) - movie DVD cover picture

Love and Basketball is a cute urban story about two childhood basketball players enduring the ups and downs and in and outs within their romance. The plot and cast are well perfected and thought out in the film because the chemistry between the cast is very real. Monica (played by Sanaa Lathan, a fairly new actress, The Wood) lives by the game of basketball when she first meets Quincy (Omar Epps, Higher Learning, The Wood), her new next door neighbor. Monica's first impression on Q is not a good one when he bruises her during an encounter as children in a game of ball. Their first attraction is innocent as kids, but quickly fizzles out as they argue and fight continuously as youngsters. Their romance begins again their prom night after fighting their relentless attraction to each other for so long. Their romance grows even more as they arrive to the beginning of their careers at college. Quincy and Monica both deal with their personal and basketball struggles, but their relationship suffers, especially when Quincy finds out that his father is cheating on his mother. Also towards the ending of the film Tyra Banks makes an guest appearance portraying Q's fianc?. Love and Basketball is a well written, emotion grasping and thought provoking film. I give this film two thumbs up and a full six stars. I feel this is one of the best urban films out there that is suited for all audiences. This film does not contain a lot of profanity nor sexual content. Not only is the movie phenomenal because of the awesome cast but so is the soundtrack. The whole package of the film is superb! I recommend this film to everyone. Please if you don't already own this film this is on the top of my must have list!

Studio: New Line Home Entertainment
Director: Gina Prince-Bythewood
Sanaa Lathan
Omar Epps

DVD title: The Virgin Suicides
Productgroup: DVD
The Virgin Suicides - movie DVD cover picture
Girls, come out from your rooms.

Caged, the girls are kept inside, outside the boys are haunted by these untouched seem like vestals, in an all splendorous sensual atmosphere of adolescence and beyond reach love, the Lisbon girls are an everlasting obsession, frustrated by tragedy. So sad their sorrow, narrated with soft voice of nostalgia, the boys (all represented by the adult conscience), tell the story of the their object of desire, the sisters are away but much close to them in feelings, so very dearly loved and missed. Cecilia was the first one; third teen must be and unbearable weight to carry on aside long kept hopeless dreams , and so her suicidal tendencies crashed on the house fence. Lux was the last one to die, a glimpse of sadness can be catch when the boys encounters her for the last time, yes some tears are seen, but she does all what she cans to contain them, even sexually touch one of the boy's pants. For a moment everything is a male utopia, the sisters and the boys riding in a car in a lonely freeway from nowhere to nowhere, just for the ride and the human candor of the vestals, from here to eternity.At the end, they are no more. The ones left behind (the boys), begin their painful process of trying to forget the girls, increasing only their desire of knowing the truth about the sister's nature and what drove them to take their lives. The family pictures left on the trashcans, the dairies, and the tenderness of unfinished feelings and memories, they never got to see their true cruel world, even though the sisters understood love and its manifestations, only Lux catch a touch of it, but even Trip deceive her.The Virgin Suicides is a little jewel of fine taste and human love, with real human lust for life, compelling intrigue and boyhood perception of a now forsaken coming of age. Sofia Coppola wrote and directed the Virgin Suicides (her directorial debut), with tremendous insight of the story and their characters optics of decaying atmospheres (an outstanding adaptation of Jeffrey Eugenide's novel). It seems, in the Coppola family, talent is in the blood (What about Sofia's acting skills? Well, according to what we have seen on The God Father, Part III, that's out of the question). Always, the mystery is kept away, the clues are given, but they never fit each other, and we are put in the same situation of the boys, this is masterfully done by an insightful understanding perfectly blended into visual emotions, the key to obtain all the oblivious and provocative mood of the story, the result is lyrically spoken.The songs and original score are in explicit accurate understanding of the screenplay (every time this happens, the cinematographic effect is accomplished with great results). The handsome cast performs a veil of frustration and delirious lost innocence of psychological attribution, a great work by an ensemble in state of grace. Sofia's direction is emotional, rough and honest, each frame is a pleasure by composition and sound, enhanced by an excellent photography and still moments of virtuoso lighting and direction.The DVD transfer is excellent, the sound captures the necessities of such a great film, with some nice extras (including the traditional Making of). Finally, all that the girls wanted is the question left in you to fully comprehend the quality of such an unusual proposition, lonesome, moving, and mysterious; so come out from your rooms girls, and reveal your will to undo your existence.

Studio: Paramount Home Video
Director: Sofia Coppola
Kirsten Dunst
Josh Hartnett

DVD title: Africa - The Serengeti (Large Format)
Productgroup: DVD
Africa - The Serengeti (Large Format) - movie DVD cover picture
Wonderfully done and in many languages.

This is a beautifully produced documentary. It gives wonderful information on the history, geography, and animals of the region. It also manages to present the Masai people without using cultural stereotypes or condescension, as so many documentaries do when studying indigenous cultures. James Earl Jones is a perfect choice for the voice-over. The voice-over is available in 5 languages or with subtitles. The Spanish version is nicely done too.

Studio: Sling Shot
Director: George Casey
James Earl Jones

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

The best movie, best actress, best actor, best suppoting actor, best supporting actress, of all time. No better group of actors has ever performed in cinema. Deepa Metha is to be applauded for her vision.

Studio: New Yorker Films
Director: Deepa Mehta
Nandita Das
Shabana Azmi

DVD title: The Quiet Family
Productgroup: DVD
The Quiet Family - movie DVD cover picture
Interesting cultural comment

The thoughtfulness of the satire in this film may be lost on those seeking a cheap or violent thrill. This film is a not-so-subtle jab at Korean culture, as well as being entertaining and fun. The re-make, "Happiness of the Katakuris" is more energetic and crazy but loses the cultural insight that sets this film apart from just another 'Asian Horror Movie'.
If you enjoyed Hitchcock's "The Trouble With Harry", you will notice some similarities, right down to a few identical shots and sequences.

Studio: Tai Seng Entertainme
Director: Ji-woon Kim

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