Film DVD related reviews

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

As everyone knows by now due to the marketing efforts of Dreamworks and associates Ringu was the Japanese film upon which the American film The Ring was based. I rented both one evening and watched them back to back. On the recommendation of my friendly video rental person I watched The Ring first (his preference) and then Ringu.
The Ring was a very good movie; atmospherically wet and moody, and wonderfully shot. However I had several unanswered questions at the end and I was transfixed but never really frightened.
Ringu on the other hand provided a complete story and left no holes unexplored or unexplained. And while not as well shot it left me oddly uneasy with that delicious better-look-under-the-bed feeling as all good horror films do.
So of the two films Ringu would get my vote for a purchase, and The Ring would remain a rental.

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: Hideo Nakata

DVD title: Slacker - Criterion Collection
Productgroup: DVD
Slacker - Criterion Collection - movie DVD cover picture
The Best DVD of 2004

Criterion's release of Richard Linklater's SLACKER is one of their very best collections, and the best DVD release of 2004.

The film, one of the most important in modern independent cinema, follows a group of people around Austin Texas for a day. Going from one person to the next. There is no continual storyline, just the interaction with a lot of fascinating characters. It is one of my favorite films.

The DVD of the film alone would be excellent, but there is MUCH more.

You get two commentaries for SLACKER. A reunion film on the film's anniversary (I only wish this was longer). Several other short films and deleted scenes.

But, one of the best things about the set is the second DVD, featuring Linklater's first film IT'S IMPOSSIBLE TO LEARN TO PLOW BY READING BOOKS. This film, made in Super 8 before SLACKER, is very similar in that it follows one character (Linklater). Not a lot happens storywise, but I found it to be another excellent film.

If that sounds like a lot, wait, there's more. The DVD set also comes with a small paperback book on the film and stories behind the making.

These films will not be for everyone. But, if you are looking for something different, want to see what inspired the independent cinema of the 90's, this is a must buy.

Studio: Criterion Collection
Director: Richard Linklater
Richard Linklater

DVD title: The Misfits
Productgroup: DVD
The Misfits - movie DVD cover picture
This film gets better with age

Production disputes colored initial reviews upon release in early 60's; this film is well worth a re-look. A masterful and poignant portrayal of independent souls adrift in a world of conformity - presages much of the angst under the surface of the later 60's. Wonderful performances by all cast members.

Studio: MGM/UA Video
Director: John Huston
Clark Gable
Marilyn Monroe
Montgomery Clift

DVD title: Ocean's Eleven (Full Screen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Ocean's Eleven (Full Screen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Awesome Movie

Ocean's Eleven is a remake of the film made by the Rat Pack in the 1960's. The story is about a group of crooks and conmen to rob three impregnable casinos in Las Vegas. They are led by ex-con Danny Ocean who wants to get revenge on the man who is now dating is ex-wife, Tess. The man just happens to be the owner of all three casinos. This is an extremely entertaining film with an all-star cast. Sure, the plot has holes in it, but that's not the point of the movie. This was supposed to be an entertaining movie that was fun to watch. With this kind of cast and still an excellent story, there's no way you can miss with this remake.
George Clooney stars as ex-con Danny Ocean, the man seeking revenge from his past. His ex-wife is played by Julia Roberts who is now dating casino owner Andy Garcia. Ocean's team consists of Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Carl Reiner, Bernie Mac, Scott Caan, Elliot Gould, Casey Affleck, and in a very funny role, Don Cheadle. This was a great cast for a really fun movie to watch. The movie effectively shows how impossible it is to rob a casino with all the high tech security that is used. The actual heist is probably the best part of the movie with plenty of action and humor. The DVD is very good with several mini documentaries, two feature length commentaries, widescreen presentation and several trailers all included. For a fun couple of hours check out Ocean's Eleven for a good time!

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Steven Soderbergh
George Clooney
Brad Pitt

DVD title: Evolution
Productgroup: DVD
Evolution - movie DVD cover picture
Evolution a funny movie

I saw evolution today, and really liked it alot. This movie kept me laughing throughout. The special effects were awesome. I especially liked that there were some new faces, not the same old people that are making movies all the time. I would recommend this movie to all my friends. David Ducovhny was really good as the straight man and part of a team of heroes. I would love to see it again.

Studio: Dreamworks Skg
Director: Ivan Reitman
David Duchovny
Julianne Moore
Orlando Jones

DVD title: Tampopo
Productgroup: DVD
Tampopo - movie DVD cover picture
Go to a noodle shop first!

This movie is a fascinating series of vignettes, connected by the story of Tampopo herself. Find the best Japanese cooking you can and have a big plate of it in front of you before you start watching. This movie will make you hungry!

Studio: Fox Lorber
Director: Juzo Itami
Tsutomu Yamazaki
Nobuko Miyamoto
Ken Watanabe

DVD title: The Wiggles - Wiggles Space Dancing (An Animated Adventure)
Productgroup: DVD
The Wiggles - Wiggles Space Dancing (An Animated Adventure) - movie DVD cover picture
A fine, though dramatic, change in format.

I was very skeptical of this cartoon release by the Wiggles, and quite hesitent when my kid really wanted it. I will say that our family has enjoyed this release just fine. The story and cartoon format is interesting and different. It is interspersed with little "real Wiggles" footage. I was surprised how the story moved along even with only 6 songs. Special features of this DVD are; The making of Space Dancing, a section on characters, an audience with King Mondo, and a Return to Earth game (7 sequential questions from the story--a review format to test comprehension/memory of the story). My kids love the game (they are only 3 & 4) and strangely want to play it again and again even though it is never different! If you really like just the traditional Wiggles, I would recommend trying to borrow or rent this release for viewing first before buying it. If you're open to change and ready to see the Wiggles in something other than the standard studio production, then blast off for a fun Wiggly space adventure!!

Studio: HIT Entertainment
The Wiggles

DVD title: Beethoven's 2nd
Productgroup: DVD
Beethoven's 2nd - movie DVD cover picture
The continuing adventures of Beethoven

Now that the lovable St. Bernard Beethoven is enjoying life with his new masters,the Newtons,he begins to start a family of his own,biologically. Beethoven impregnates a female St. Bernard named Missy and the canine couple sire four puppies. One of is named Tchaikovsky,after another late classical music great. First,George Newton(Charles Grodin) objects to Beethoven in the Newtons' home,then objects to the mutt's offsprings. The Newton family agreed to find homes for the puppies after they've grown. George's wife Alice(Bonnie Hunt) is now working with her husband at his air freshener factory. One memorable scene is where the Newtons take a vacation up in the mountains,with Beethoven in tow,of course. Missy belongs to a mean-spirited young woman named Regina(Debi Mazar) who is going through a divorce. After the divorce is final,Regina's now-ex-husband is granted sole custody of Missy. The ex-hubby and Missy visit the Newtons in the last scene. This film would one of Grodin's last. Subsequently,he co-starred with Martin Short in CLIFFORD. Grodin's previous films include SEEMS LIKE OLD TIMES,IT'S MY TURN,MIDNIGHT RUN and TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS.

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: Rod Daniel
Charles Grodin
Bonnie Hunt

DVD title: Bond - Live at the Royal Albert Hall
Productgroup: DVD
Bond - Live at the Royal Albert Hall - movie DVD cover picture
It's all about sex.

The editorial is perfectly correct. Watching four beautiful musicians gyrate to classical music with a rock beat is absolutely amazing. Turn off the TV, however, and the experience is merely mediocre.

Studio: Uni/Decca

DVD title: Andrea Bocelli - A Night in Tuscany
Productgroup: DVD
Andrea Bocelli - A Night in Tuscany - movie DVD cover picture
The voice of an angel.

This video has some of the most beautiful music I've ever heard Andrea has the voice of an angel, and he does such a good job singing with his guests. The Italian countryside is beautiful and I cannot watch it too much. I just close my eyes and he transports me with his voice. All I can say is EXCELLENT.

Studio: Uni/Philips
Andrea Bocelli

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