Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: The Great Race
Productgroup: DVD
The Great Race - movie DVD cover picture
question about the dvd sound

Love the movie, but don't yet own the dvd. I've read some reviews saying the picture and sound on the dvd are great BUT a number of other reviews say some sound effects in the first reel are out of sync ("boos" for Leslie and "cheers" for Fate) and also that the dialogue is barely audible for the first twenty minutes.
Which is it?
Are there some defective dvd copies and some good ones? If anyone has a dvd with correct sound sync in the opening titles, please mention it here so I know I can purchase a copy and have a chance to get the right audio. Thanks!

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Blake Edwards
Jack Lemmon
Tony Curtis
Natalie Wood

DVD title: Vertigo (Collector's Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Vertigo (Collector's Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
No words can truly describe...

The most indelible imagery ever created exists in these two hours. It is best not to try to place this movie into words, just to say it must be experienced. Why?
The opening credits are mesmerizing. The Bernard Herrmann score lingers on. The special effects were groundbreaking. Edith Head's wardrobe lingers in the mind.
And this is a great transfer. I first rented the old CBS/FOX release at a video store and was not impressed. I then later purchased the restored widescreen VHS because somehow I knew I wanted to. And the movie's restoration just makes the whole experience come full circle.
The new surround tracks are phenomenal, especially when they are mainly used to enhance the scoring. The colors just scream brilliance. When compared to the faded, muddy transfer of the 80's there truly is no comparison.
It might be that you can't understand Vertigo until you give it more than one try. It may be that a facelift is just what this picture needed. Or it may be that sometimes magic costs less than $20 to experience for a lifetime.

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: Alfred Hitchcock
James Stewart
Kim Novak

DVD title: The Matrix
Productgroup: DVD
The Matrix - movie DVD cover picture
Stays with you like a splinter in your mind!

The movie started with an interesting idea and great promise. But it turned out to be just another "blow 'em away - body count movie" that Hollywood loves to churn out these days. I'm not an anti-violence type, it just gets boring after so much. It turns into "cheap fill". The movie had the talent and the budget; they just blew it.

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

DVD title: Much Ado About Nothing
Productgroup: DVD
Much Ado About Nothing - movie DVD cover picture
This is one of Shakespere's greatest comedies!!!!!

Much ado about nothing is a wonderful comedy. It has romance, wit ,and Great acting. The story is charming and funny. It begins with The prince(Denzel Washington), and some of his friends have come to stay at The house of Leonardo. He is an old man that has one daughter named Hero and one niece Beatrice. Beatrice is witty, beautiful, and sassy. she does not like one of the Princes company a Senor Benedic(brannah). They constantly squabble,and detest each other most infatically. When he shows up at her house they have another one of their witty arguements. Benidic's buddy has fallen in love with Hero, and when he tells Benedic about it Benedic cannot believe it. He hates the thought of marriage.(Most of his former friends spent a little time being his friend then got married and he was left ot seek others.) The prince then comes and the lovestruck guy tells him he has fallen in love. The prince congradulates him, and says that night at the feast he will tell hero about his feelings for her and she will be his. That night the princes scheming brother(Reeves) who is mad at Benedic's friend tires to make him think that the prince himself intends to woo hero, and not for his friend. But his plan does not work, and hero consents to marry Benedic's friend. While all that is happeneing Benedic( who is wearing a mask) walks around with Beatrice and talks to her. She knows it is him behind the mask so she insults him a lot. Later he feels bad about being insulted so without mercy. The next morning the Prince, Benedic's friend, and Hero's father decide it would be funny to make Benedic and beatrice fall in love. so later that day they are all out enjoying the sun, and decide to set their trap because Benedic is nearby. They say that beatrice is madly in love with him. Each of them in turn tells some of the specifics of her love for him ,and that she would rather die then show him any sign of affection. He is amased that this is true and would not have believed it except that hero's father said it too. at the same time Hero and her maid talk (loudly while beatrice is nearby) about how much Benedic is in love with Beatrice. she is amased also, and now she begins to fall in love with him. There is a lot more but I only have so many words so here is the gist of the rest. The prince's brother tries to break up hero and her man's marriage, but is unsucessesful. He escapes after but is caught in the end. Benedic and Beatrice find out the truth, but they really are in love so they decide to marry. The movie ends with everyone dancing at the weddings of both hero and Beatrice to their men. This movie is such a wonderful romantic comedy. I love it a lot.

Studio: Columbia/Tristar Studios
Director: Kenneth Branagh
Kenneth Branagh
Emma Thompson
Keanu Reeves
Kate Beckinsale

DVD title: Peanuts Holiday Collection (A Charlie Brown Christmas/A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving/It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown)
Productgroup: DVD
Peanuts Holiday Collection (A Charlie Brown Christmas/A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving/It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown) - movie DVD cover picture
Where would the holidays be without Peanuts?

I've grown up with the Peanuts gang. I've been a fan of the comic strip for as long as I can remember, and I've watched A Charlie Brown Christmas every year as well. It's a required Christmas tradition with me. Over the years, I've watched other specials, too.
This collection brings three of their holiday classics to DVD: Great Pumpkin, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Also included are three bonus programs, You're Not Elected, Charlie Brown; The Mayflower Voyages; and It's Christmas Time Again, Charlie Brown. These programs aren't nearly as good as the headliners, but do still provide some fun moments.
The biggest disappointment for the DVD fan is the lack of bonus material. As others have said, this collection could have been put on one DVD, and there are no bonus features. On the other hand, I don't remember these specials looking or sounding so good on TV.
If you're a Peanuts fan, you'll enjoy having these DVD's in your collection to enjoy at your leisure every year. Hopefully, Paramount will be smarter with future releases and include more programs and bonus material per disk.

Studio: Paramount Studio

DVD title: A Walk to Remember
Productgroup: DVD
A Walk to Remember - movie DVD cover picture
Heart-wrenching story, intelligent filmmaking & performances

A very close friend of mine told me a couple of months ago that he saw this film, and by the end of it, he was weeping uncontrollably. I was fairly surprised when he told me this, and soon, I made it my priority to see this film, not just because of that, but also because it looked like something I wanted to see, just from looking at the previews. I finally did see this film, and by the end, I not only wept once, not twice, but three times: twice during the film, and once more after it had already ended. It was that powerful and cutting.
I can say right from the start that this film stands apart from most of the typical teen romantic flicks out, and is much more intelligent, emotive, profound and thought-provoking than most. Don't let the "teen romance" title fool you: this film is profound in all cylinders as to transcend a label like that, and powerful enough to win over viewers well into their middle ages, and higher.
The story is about a rebellious male youth named Landon (played by Shane West) who gets into trouble with the law due to an act of hazing, and is sent to tutor some kids at a school. He then meets a brainy, goody-goody Preacher's daughter named Jamie (played by singer Mandy Moore), and needless to say, when they meet, both of their lives begin to change. Landon's friends don't think much of Jamie, and make fun of her when she passes them by in and out of school. At first, Landon doesn't seem to think too much of her either, but, he soon realizes the precociousness, maturity, understanding and intelligence she possesses, as well as realizing her ability to see through him: things that he didn't seem to get from any of his friends. As a result, Landon feels a strong confliction within himself, as he seems to be transfixed at the knowledge and perceptive ability of his soon-to-be girlfriend. But, he realizes that if he gets closely involved with this girl, that he may be jeopardizing his bad-boy reputation, as well as his relationship with his bad-boy buddies.
There are a vast number of important scenes within this film - some of which give 'slight' (and I mean that in the smallest sense of the term) hints of what the eventual outcome of the story is, and only after viewing the movie a second or third time is when you can detect them. But, other than that, I don't think I ever could have predicted how the story was going to turn out while watching this movie for the first time. (And I've never read the book upon which this is based.)
I don't want to give away the biggest turning point in the movie, but I'll list a small few important scenes:
(1). Landon realizes that he likes Jamie, and is invited, and willing to study with her at Jamie's house. The next day, while hanging out with his friends, she walks up to him and asks him if he still wants to come to the house, and he humiliates her in front of all of his friends. But, when school ends, and his friends are no longer around him, he sneaks over to her house.
(2). Due to jealousy, Landon's ex-girlfriend (and some of his friends) make an attempt (which actually worked) to humiliate Jamie in front of the whole school during a lunch period. Landon steps in, and defends Jamie, which turns into a small fight, and the eventual announcement of an ending regarding Landon and one of his friends' relationship.
Later in the movie, things start to change and progress quite rapidly. Things start to unravel, secrets come out, and things are never quite the same: in both a negative and positive sense.
To talk about another subject, I was a bit disappointed by the length of the film at first - before I actually began to view it. At first glance, I wanted it to be a bit longer, and I read another review somewhere on this film by someone saying that some of the romantic scenes should have been fleshed out more. I can see where that reviewer is coming from, but after the movie ended, I came to this conclusion: if any of these scenes would have been fleshed out more, I think the emotive power would have been too much to the point of self-indulgence, which in return would have bordered on parody and clich?, which then would result in the eventual loss of the emotional impact intended. It's that aspect in which I think the writer and director knew exactly what they were doing, as not to compromise the emotional impact, as well as refusing to let the project fall into clich?d routines. I honestly don't think there could have been much of an improvement over what was already done, without the compromise of some really important elements.
Actress Daryl Hannah and actor Peter Coyote give good, supporting roles as Landon's mother and Jamie's father respectively.
I heartily applaud this film, the writers and the actors: particularly Mandy Moore and Shane West, as I think they gave an excellent performance. They all helped to make a romantic film that transcends labeling and clich?s in a market full of each. Highly recommended.

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Adam Shankman
Shane West
Mandy Moore (II)

DVD title: Chocolat (Miramax Collector's Series)
Productgroup: DVD
Chocolat (Miramax Collector's Series) - movie DVD cover picture
Fantastic movie

Critics wailed that the movie put down the "church" but what a shallow critique! This story is powerful in that it contrasted the "real human beings" who were embracing life and accepting others (even ignorant "boat people") with the "superior" individuals, who were defining who they were by what they didn't do and whom they excluded. It was a delightful movie (much better than the book) that tantalized my senses and stirred my soul at the same time.

Studio: Miramax Home Entertainment
Director: Lasse Hallström
Alfred Molina
Juliette Binoche
Judi Dench
Johnny Depp

DVD title: Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead
Productgroup: DVD
Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead - movie DVD cover picture
As Wonderful as the Play

I read the play for a project in theater and fell in love with the characters. Rosencrantz is a loveable, naive man who really can't figure anything out and Guildenstern analyzes the smallest of details and makes everything more confused (but you love him anyway). Since Hamlet is one of my favorite Shakespeare plays I thought Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead would be a pretty interesting play to read. I was wrong. It was wonderful.

And when I heard that Stoppard directed a film version, I had to watch it. I waited for months until it was on tv and I've been obsessed ever since. Oldman is a genius and he plays Rosencrantz as if he was born to play the part. Roth is great as the dominant, ever analyzing partner and Dreyfuss is brilliant as the Player who actually seems to be the only one in the whole thing that knows what's happening.

If you've read the play, go watch this! It will make the play make even more sense (if that's possible due to the general confusion that exists) and if you've seen the movie go read the play because some of the best conversations between Rosencrantz and Guildenstern have been left out.

Studio: Image Entertainment
Director: Tom Stoppard
Gary Oldman
Tim Roth

DVD title: Star Trek Enterprise - The Complete First Season
Productgroup: DVD
Star Trek Enterprise - The Complete First Season - movie DVD cover picture

ST Enterprise may have started out a little slow...which one of the series didnt? But now, after we have gotten to know the characters and's really become an awesome show! I'm very excited to see what will happen in future episodes and look forward to season 5. And if they don't produce a season 5, it will be a sad, sad day for star trek fans. Mr. Moonves, please don't disappoint us!

Can't wait for the DVD's to come out!!

Studio: Paramount Home Video
Scott Bakula

DVD title: Dark Water
Productgroup: DVD
Dark Water - movie DVD cover picture

I saw this movie three years ago at a midnight showing during the film festival. I've never before seen a horror film where the entire theater collectively jumped and screamed at each and every scare. Forget Ringu, Pulse or Ju-On. This, by far, is the creepiest and scariest Japanese horror film I've ever seen. It's a little bit like The Shining as the characters live in a huge, dark, seemingly deserted apartment building with endless halls and a creepy elevator. Ghosts appear when you least expect it and the thrills are achieved through a slowburn effect building to the scary if not slightly confusing climax (although what Japanese horror flick isn't a bit confusing?). If you're a fan of the genre and haven't seen this yet be prepared for a chilling treat! As always, Hollywood is remaking this film to be released this year starring Jennifer Connelly. After the slight disappointment with the Grudge remake, I only hope that they do this amazing film justice.

Studio: A.D. Vision
Director: Hideo Nakata

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