Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Ice Age (2-Disc Special Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Ice Age (2-Disc Special Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
very cute, and the squirrel is a riot!

A film by Chris Wedge and Carlos Saldanha
The first hint I had of what "Ice Age" would be was a preview long before the movie ever came out. The preview featured a squirrel trying to bury an acorn in the snow, but nothing was working and in the attempt to bury the acorn, the poor little squirrel inadvertently caused an avalanche. It was funny, and it was the one of the best previews that I had seen. Fortunately, this squirrel makes several appearances throughout "Ice Age" and steals every scene that he appears in (which is saying something for a piece of animation). However, the main story of the film has nothing to do with the squirrel.
A pack of saber tooth tigers are seeking to attack a human settlement in revenge for some of their own being killed by human hunters. The plan is to take the human baby of the lead hunter. The tigers attack, but the baby's mother manages to escape and dives into the river. With her last breath the mother places the baby at the feet of a mastodon who is standing by the riverbank.
This much is still set up for the primary story being told, and that is the story of Manfred the mastodon (Ray Romano) and Sid the sloth (John Leguizamo). Since the world is in the middle of an ice age, the animals are migrating south to get out of the cold. Manfred is initially going north to get away from everyone else when he comes upon Sid. Sid was left behind and he also needs protection. He's a sloth, but rather than being exceptionally slow, he appears to be more clumsy than anything else. The two animals end up traveling together (over the objections of the mastodon), and it is then that they come across the human baby. Manfred is ready to leave the baby behind, but Sid insists on keeping the child until they can find another human settlement. Enter Diego (Denis Leary). Diego is a saber tooth tiger who has been sent by his pack to reclaim the human baby as revenge for the pack. Even a tiger fears to go up against a mastodon, so Diego pretends to have the best interests of the baby at heart and now we have the rather strange group of Manfred, Sid, and Diego all trying to return the baby (except for Diego, who is only pretending).
"Ice Age" is a very cute movie, suitable for children of all ages. It is funny at times (any time the squirrel gets to make an appearance is a highlight for me), and it should be enjoyable for children and adults. Excellent animation and excellent voice acting. "Ice Age" is a good movie that should not be overlooked (even though it was overlooked in the theatre because of Pixar's "Monsters Inc").

Studio: Fox Home Entertainme
John Leguizamo
Denis Leary

DVD title: Looney Tunes - Golden Collection
Productgroup: DVD
Looney Tunes - Golden Collection - movie DVD cover picture
Time Will Tell

These shorts were picked because most of them are the best of the best. Cartoons like "What's Opera, Doc?" and "One Froggy Evening" have been aired millions upon millions of times on television reruns, which doesn't make them bad, but let the other cartoons shine, not just the popular ones. This disc set contains an invaluable wealth of information, including interviews, the rare John Canemaker documentary "The Boys from Termite Terrace", and music only tracks. It is well worth the price tag and is nowhere near being a 'ploy'.
Yes, the Golden Age of Looney Tunes sets were nice (I personally own volumes 1-3), but they featured un-remastered shorts with no extra features. These are restored, and judging by the 2 shorts previewed on the "Yankee Doodle Dandy" DVD, the restorations will blow you away. Buy this set, and more will come in the future with even rarer cartoons.

Studio: Warner Home Video
Chuck Jones

DVD title: Band of Brothers
Productgroup: DVD
Band of Brothers - movie DVD cover picture
Remembering Those Before Us

After watching each episode in this series, I realized how little I knew about the struggles both physical and emotional that the soldiers of this era endured.
The series brought home to me the sacrifices made by many so that today's world can exist. Showing all facets of the emotional spectrum, made the characters very real, and displayed heroism in the true meaning of the word.
I would recommend this series without reservation.

Studio: HBO Home Video

DVD title: The Toxic Avenger
Productgroup: DVD
The Toxic Avenger - movie DVD cover picture
Troma's Best!!!

This is one of the best movies I have ever seen in my life. Gore, action, and humor all come together to make this incredible film, by an incredible company which is in fact, TROMA. This movie is funny throughout, and one can laugh at when one's guts are being pulled out, or my favorite; ripping off someone's arm and beating the person with it. The story of the movie is simple. A geek by the name of Melvin works at a health club, and being tormented by everyone there, he jumps out of the window and lands in a barrel of toxic waste. From that part on he is the Toxic Avenger, a being that destorys any form of evil that arises. This movie I would recommend to all, except for children because there is gore, violence, and some nudity. But other than that, this is one of the best movies I have ever seen, and definetley one of Troma's best.

Studio: Troma
Andree Maranda
Mitch Cohen

DVD title: Greg the Bunny - The Complete Series
Productgroup: DVD
Greg the Bunny - The Complete Series - movie DVD cover picture
Tardy is my Hero

I notice the average rating for this DVD is five stars. I agree. This show is hilarious and often very meaningful (it even dares to look at two-way racism). This is a perfect example of the fact that a show can be hilarious, well-written, be full of talented actors and puppeteers, and be instantly canceled. Maybe Fox just wanted that time slot open for another reality show or unfunny sitcom.

Studio: Fox Home Entertainme

DVD title: Happiness
Productgroup: DVD
Happiness - movie DVD cover picture
Only a genius.....

the awful truth about we the people but a wonderfully presente

Studio: Vidmark/Trimark
Director: Todd Solondz
Jane Adams (II)
Jon Lovitz
Philip Seymour Hoffman

DVD title: The Day After Tomorrow (Widescreen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
The Day After Tomorrow (Widescreen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Beware the Superstorm

I have to say that this film really reminded me of Armageddon. Not in story or plot, but in the way that the movie can be so enjoyable and make little sense when it comes to science and common sense. The movie is loosely based on the book THE COMING OF THE GLOBAL SUPERSTORM and concerns massive climate changes and how they affect life as we know it.

The movie begins on an ice shelf where a climatologist is taking core samples. These samples combined with events on the shelf drive the scientist (Quaid) to hypothesize that a new ice age is in the near future unless we change our ways now. To keep things movie, Quad is wrong on the time frame and things begin happening very quickly and drastically. Like ID4, we follow a number of groups as they are affected by the events, especially Quaid and his almost estranged family.

Typical of this type of film, politics and politicians are painted as bad guys although some do come to their senses. The action never lets up and the special effects are absolutely stunning. There are a couple of deleted scenes on the disk that really help link a number of events better than they were in the final product, but the movie worked well without them.

If you are a fan of disaster films then this is one of the biggest you could see. Check it out.

Studio: Fox Home Entertainme
Director: Roland Emmerich
Dennis Quaid
Jake Gyllenhaal
Emmy Rossum

DVD title: Terminator 2: Judgment Day
Productgroup: DVD
Terminator 2: Judgment Day - movie DVD cover picture

James Cameron's Terminator 2: Judgement Day was the mega-hit blockbuster of 1991. Starring Linda Hamilton, Robert Patrick, Edward Furlong, and Arnold Schwarzenegger as the infamous T-800, the film has become one of the most beloved ScFi/Action films of all time. The sequel to Cameron's cult classic The Terminator (1986), the film picks up the story ten years after the failed 1985 assaination of Sarah Connor. Sarah (Linda Hamilton) is now locked away in a federal assylum, and John (Edward Furlong) is living with a unloving foster family. As mentioned in the film's mythic introduction, another terminator has been sent through this time to kill John as a boy. However, another terminator, ironically played by Arnold Schwarzenegger, has been sent to protect him. The concept of machine fighting machine for the existance of the human race was a artisitc mastersroke. The menace and invinciabily of Robert Patrick's ominous T-1000 adds the hyperkinetic spark that make this film so thrillingly fun. This innovation gives the film the creative edge and orginality to equal the first Terminator in both intensity and emotional impact. One of the most important ScFi films of the 1990's, Terminator 2: Judgement Day is an intellectually intensive action epic with much more philosophical impact than your average popcorn movie. Buy the awesome DVD verion immediately.

Studio: Artisan Entertainment
Director: James Cameron
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Linda Hamilton

DVD title: Napoleon Dynamite
Productgroup: DVD
Napoleon Dynamite - movie DVD cover picture
This is an important movie!

Roger Ebert must have been having a bad day when he reviewed this film, because he completely whiffed this one.
There is a great deal more to Napoleon Dynamite than may appear with one viewing.
Every once in awhile, a movie comes along that demonstrates an understanding of humanity that is profound. I believe this is one of those movies.
On the surface it is a funny movie about nerdy kids and their daily lives. The movie is not laugh out loud funny, nor is it a "nerd kids strike back at the system" formula movie. There are no Hollywood stars or Hollywood pretentiousness. The story is small, local, evenly paced and engaging.
Beneath the surface there is an important message about the inherent nobility and value possible in every human being, no matter what their surface appearance.
Napolean is pushed around and mocked by classmates, but he seems to accept it as part of his existence. He seems perfectly content with who he is and seems to, accurately, believe the problems are with who everyone else thinks he is. When he has the opportunity to "pay back" those humiliating him, he does it in an entirely creative and satisfying way. There is no violence and no humiliation in his response to his peers. He wins because he demonstrates nobility, talent and loyalty to his friends that raises him above those who demean him. He uses his inate humanity to shine a bright light on the shallowness of those that would place themselves above him.
His friends and relatives, each on the surface a "loser," get the opportunity to individually rise above the audiences automatic expectations of their "loser-ness" and become fully important and credible people.
I would highly recommend this film as an excellent family film, especially for families with kids in middle school and high school. The film asks you to examine your perceptions of others around you. Are you one of the people who mock those who you perceive as nerds, or are you more like Napolean? Perhaps a little of each? Either way, the movie is a refreshing affirmation of the best aspects of humanity and hopefully you can watch it and apply its lessons to your own life.

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox Home Video
Director: Jared Hess
Jon Heder
Jon Gries
Efren Ramirez

DVD title: Malibu Express
Productgroup: DVD
Malibu Express - movie DVD cover picture
"Would I Help A Woman In Distress?"

MALIBU EXPRESS, an early (1985) Andy Sidaris film was a mainstay of the old "Action Plus" cable TV network of the era which featured softcore nudity and car chases (usually in that order). MALIBU EXPRESS delivers on all counts.

Unlike Sidaris' later "Bullets, Bombs and Babes" work, MALIBU EXPRESS features a male lead, Darby Hinton, as Private Investigator Cody Abilene. Cody lives aboard a houseboat named "Malibu Express" and has cleverly disguised it as a train by building a freestanding door painted as a caboose on the dock where the boat is moored.

This "secret door" isn't much help, as an assortment of busty, lusty women seem to find their way onto the boat at all hours. Cody is forever working the button on his Levis.

And it's a good thing, too, because when it comes to working with firearms, Cody couldn't hit a supertanker with a bazooka shot. Although armed with a .44 automag in a cow-patterned gun case (shades of Dirty Harry) and resembling a blond version of Tom Selleck (a nod to Magnum PI), Cody is charmingly inept with anything involving inorganic moving parts. The women around him act as a kind of human shield most of the time, so Cody doesn't really suffer.

The plot (such as it is) involves Cody's investigation of a Beverly Hills clan whose individual members seem to do little more than sleep with the domestic help, cross-dress, and shout orders through a bullhorn. It seems that somebody in this family of the idle-brained rich is also selling desktop PCs to the Soviet Union (for those of you too young to remember, that was a no-no back then).

Cody is helped in his assignment by the ubiquitous Queen "B", Sybil Danning (the best actor in the picture by far, which tells you something), and by his friend, race car driver June Khnockers (Playmate Lynda Weismeier) who has the best time of anybody in the film just flashing her ample, unenhanced chest at anyone who cares to look.

Besides the heavies (Matthew, Mark and Luke) played by a succession of Mr. Universes, Cody is also pitted against the Buffingtons (think of Hee-Haw's Junior Samples minus the urbane veneer) who are constantly challenging him to drag races. Cody predictably loses each one (even driving his red DeLorean)against a succession of pickup trucks, Studebakers, and skateboards, until he inherits his father's rocket powered Olds Firenza hatchback (as a former Firenza owner I'll tell you those things had pick up).

As a low-budget laugh-a-minute movie, MALIBU EXPRESS is top-quality entertainment. Although short on "Bombs" (not one helicopter blows up), MALIBU EXPRESS introduces us to all the ongoing themes of the Sidaris canon (men named Abilene who chase Playmates). What more could anyone want?

Studio: Ventura Distribution
Director: Andy Sidaris

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