Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Xena Warrior Princess - Season One
Productgroup: DVD
Xena Warrior Princess - Season One - movie DVD cover picture
xena rules

Hi everyone the Xena season 3 on DVD was realeased on 10th Feb.The 3rd season is the most memorable and best crafted, including: the season opener, The Furies, wherein Xena's recurring foil, the god Ares, has her driven insane; Been There, Done That. The video details are crisp and the colors vivid. All things considered, this is probably as good of a transfer as Xena will ever get, sharper and easier on the eyes than most action TV programs, and, for that matter, looking better than it originally appeared during on television.The sound is on Dolby 5.1. Season three also has more than nine hours of new material. Each of the 22 episodes has an Interview segment with comments from writers, producers, actors and sometimes all three. Several standout programs -- including The Furies, The Debt, One Against An Army and The Bitter Suite -- also have full-blown voice-over commentary following throughout the episode.There is also a documentary which includes a short tribute to the late Kevin Smith, who played Ares.There's more than enough in this set to please everyone who cares about the show .Just go and get your copy before they disappears from the shelf.Believe me it's worth the money.

Studio: Anchor Bay Entertain
Lucy Lawless

DVD title: Mean Girls (Widescreen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Mean Girls (Widescreen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Too Funny

Mean Girls was absolutely hilarious! Lindsay Lohan is a great actress and delivers the part very well. This movie really portrays some of the actual drama that goes on in high school, and this is a perfect movie for any teenage girl about to enter high school. Having the Saturday Night Live performers star in this movie made it even more hilarious.

Go rent it today!

Studio: Paramount Home Video
Director: Mark Waters (VIII)
Lindsay Lohan
Rachel McAdams
Jonathan Bennett

DVD title: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
Productgroup: DVD
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon - movie DVD cover picture
Blew me away

After watching too many poorly made martial arts movies, with actors trained for two weeks in martial arts prior to the filming, I had a mediocre feeling about this movie before I watched it. Then I was blown away! First of all, all of the actors in this movie are experienced in martial arts, it's not fake or purely choreographed. And considering the astounding choreography of this movie, that's saying quite a bit.
Beyond the mind-blowing fight scenes, however, this is not the normal martial arts movie. It departs in the fact that most of the main characters are women (and every fight scene has at least one woman). There's also a slightly fantastic element that is tastefully contained; it is easier to believe the almost-flying ability of the characters than it is to dismiss it.
What most impressed me about Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, however, was the concentration on spiritual and mental aspects. Instead of showing martial arts as a merely physical exercise, it addresses the teachings of martial arts to become mentally and spiritually in control of oneself, and more in tune with the outside world. Its message of love and being true to oneself is subtle and moving, as supported by an outstanding musical score (with Yo Yo Ma on cello.) As for the ending, if you think it is only about death, then I suggest you watch it again.
Deeply moving, both sad and uplifting at the same time, this is one of my favorite movies. I hope others can appreciate it for the same qualities!

Studio: Columbia Tri-Star
Director: Ang Lee
Yun-Fat Chow
Michelle Yeoh
Ziyi Zhang

DVD title: Black Sabbath
Productgroup: DVD
Black Sabbath - movie DVD cover picture

Well it,s almost Halloween,and i broke out my vhs copy of the AIP re-cut of this film.I said let's go on amazon and see if the dvd is available yet.And what do i see?-the dvd version is not the A.I.P.I'm still interested in procuring the Italian version,but after reading all the really wonderfull reviews by fans of this film,i concur that it's a drag the American and Italian versions are not paired together in one package. Again,due to the large number of excellent (and very detailed) reviews-regarding plot,scenes,Bava,and the breakdowns of the three stories within,here are just a few impressions i have on the film. "The Drop of Water" has haunted me since childhood.And from what i have read by others here-it seems they feel the same way about it.Now on to Madam Zaina(pronounced zay-na).Half actress?,half dummie,ALL NIGHTMARE.She is without a doubt the scariest visage ever captured on celluloid(2nd is a tie between Chaney's Phantom and Reagan Mcneal{Linda Blair in The Exorcist}-3rd is the "floating on air" basement hag in the original "house on haunted hill"the same effect was used in this film with Madam Z-with roller skates-wheels- i think).Any way she is the gold medal crown,numero uno, A #1 Specter,Ghostie,Corpseie of all time.And when i hear the word Ghost,it's her face that i see in my mind first.I can just imagine Bava in pre -production meetings beseeching his artisans and make-up man to come up with a face for his dummie/actress star that would "emblazen" it's aspect for all times upon the visual cortices and collective unconsciousnesses of all those who beheld her(wow that was a mouthfull-hope i got all the spelling right).I have also wondered, what studio werehouse or private collection in Italy her "dummie"half resides in(if in fact she's still around at all, and was not given the "Rosebud"treatment.i.e.BURNED after production,or the "Mussolini" treatment i.e.hung upside down by the feet and pelted and beaten senseless-or just maybe she's still around ,and is available on ebay).I read one review, that referred to her as "magdalena.Is that her name in the italian version? No matter, to me, she'll always be, Madam Z.There is just somthing about "female" ghosts that male specters just don't hold a candle to.Bava was a genius with atmosphere,and (my god)lighting.also, sets and props.The scene where the maid makes her way down the hall to answer the door for the nurse as she arrives at Madam Z's Manor.A far away shot that reveals the hallway in all it's unkempt splendor-cats galore,dead rats on the floor,drapes, pillars,urns with dead flowers,and those lit up colors- deep purple hues,oranges and blues-Resident Evil game designer's were inspired for their game's interior's by this film i'm sure-flickering old fashioned light bulbs-the lamp with a mind of it's own-or madam Z at work?,And once in Madame's creepy room,the dolls all over the place.lying on open chest'o drawers, and floors.tarot cards on the round table,fire place shadows reflected on the closed curtains of that grusome bed, as Madam Z is first revealed(this is where she looks like an actress and not a dummy),when the nurse pulls the curtains open-puncuated by eerie Les Baxter Piano stabs(in the american version only).All this conspires to provide a major dose o'the WILLIES for the viewer.I can't imagine any other music to all of this then Les Baxter's wonderfull(woodwind-low string heavy)and creepy Stravinsky-Berg"tinged score(again only in the American vhs version-also available in the vhs file here at Amazon-get both-the AIP vhs and the Italian DVD).Quite a change from all the "beach" movies with Annette and Frankie,he would score soon after with his partner Al Simms. I hope the american version will be forthcoming in DVD format soon.A final comment about Karloff-i can't imagine the Italian dubbing of his line (in the vampire story-tossing Alibek's head to the camera-zoom in on his face with that dead icy glare)"HANG IT ON THE DOOR OF THE HOUSE FOR ALL TO SEE"!!!Head swinging on post outside as we hear Les Baxter's falling minor thirds.The "Drop Of Water" is the ultimate in ghothic horror cinema,the high water mark in creeps and scares,and even camp.The greatest achievement of it's kind in film history.

Studio: Image Entertainment

DVD title: Fargo
Productgroup: DVD
Fargo - movie DVD cover picture
My favorite film of the 90's

Of course the direction, production, acting and dialogue was great - but what makes this my favorite movie of the 1990's (and in some ways I think the most important) was its commentary on the dignity of the human person. It's appraisal of the values of life, sexuality, honesty, and relationships are beautifully (any at times graphically) illustrated in this fine piece of cinema.

Studio: Mgm/Ua Studios
William H. Macy
Steve Buscemi

DVD title: Tchaikovsky - Natalia Makarova's Swan Lake / Hart, Schaufuss, London Festival Ballet
Productgroup: DVD
Tchaikovsky - Natalia Makarova's Swan Lake / Hart, Schaufuss, London Festival Ballet - movie DVD cover picture
A Superb, Magical Production

I honestly do not know why the last reviewer was so negative about this production. While it is true that the box is cardboard, that hardly invalidates the production, and the video quality is perfectly acceptable (not as good as some DVDs, but much better than VHS).
The performance is excellent, with elegant, graceful dancing and, most important of all, superbly dynamic acting.
But the best thing about this production is the staging itself. It is pure magic. The set is one of the best I have ever seen, daring and creative and yet still traditional; the lighting effects are glorious, and the overall effect is one of mystery and fantasy. It seems to inspire the entire production with a wonderful passion and grace.
Makarova is the best (where, by the way, is her Swan Lake with Anthony Dowell?). I knew she would not do poor work, and indeed she did not.
Bravo all round.

Studio: Image Entertainment
Director: Igor Talankin

DVD title: Star Trek The Original Series - The Complete Third Season
Productgroup: DVD
Star Trek The Original Series - The Complete Third Season - movie DVD cover picture
Star Trek The Original Series - The Complete Third Season

A generous season of 24 episodes. Some episodes are classics, such as "Plato's Stepchildren", featuring TV's first interracial kiss. In the Sixties with the US in a foreign war, Star Trek's directive of non-interference was appealing and made so much sense. I was in high school when Star Trek first aired and none of us could figure out why they were cancelling such a popular show.

A brief episode guide:
1. Spock's Brain: Kirk goes after an alien who has stolen Spock's brain.
2. The Enterprise Incident: Kirk orders the Enterprise into the Neutral Zone and the ship is captured by the Romulans.
3. The Paradise Syndrome: After Kirk and the crew try to evacuate a planet endangered by an asteroid, Kirk's memory is erased by an obelisk.
4. And the Children Shall Lead: The adults of a scientific colony have died, and the children are rescued by the Enterprise. The children enact the plan of a "friendly angel", an alien named Gorgon.
5. Is There in Truth No Beauty?: A telepathic woman arrives with a Medusan ambassador. One sight of him drives humans insane.
6. Spectre of the Gun: Kirk and crew are forced to re-enact the shootout at the OK Corral.
7. Day of the Dove: An alien creature is on board the Enterprise and so are the Klingons, with only swords for weapons.
8. For the World is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky: McCoy has a terminal disease. A high priestess on an asteroid-like vessel asks him to remain with her.
9. The Tholian Web: The Enterprise is searching for the missing starship, U.S.S. Defiant. They find the ship, but everyone is dead and the ship is trapped between universes.
10. Plato's Stepchildren: The crew of Enterprise save the life of seriously ill leader of a planet. The telekinetic inhabitants force Kirk, McCoy, Uhura, and Spock to stay on the planet. Features the first interracial kiss shown on TV.
11. Wink of an Eye: A landing party to Scalos disappear one at a time. Kirk falls victim and meets native Scalosians who can move faster than humanly detectable.
12. The Empath: Aliens perform experiments on two scientists who die. The aliens then kidnap Kirk, Spock, McCoy, and a mute empath.
13. Elaan of Troyius: An ambassador's duty is to civilize a woman from Elas. According to legend, the tears of an Elassan woman affect men in strange ways.
14. Whom Gods Destroy: The Enterprise takes a new drug to a mental hospital in hopes of treating dangerously insane patients.
15. Let That Be Your Last Battlefield: Two survivors of a devastated planet remain committed to destroying one another.
16. The Mark of Gideon: Kirk is held by Gideonites who want to use him to solve their overpopulation problem.
17. That Which Survives: A woman appears out of nowhere, names her victim, and kills with a touch.
18. The Lights of Zetar: A cloud threatens the Enterprise but especially Lieutenant Mira Romaine.
19. Requiem for Methuselah: Kirk is dependent on an immortal human named Flint for a cure to a plague threatening the Enterprise.
20. The Way to Eden: A group of hippies hijack the Enterprise to search for Eden.
21. The Cloudminders: When Kirk is desperate for zenite to stop a plague on another planet, he is forced into negotiating peace between the miners and the sky-dwellers.
22. The Savage Curtain: Abraham Lincoln and Surak help the Enterprise in a fight against evil.
23. All Our Yesterdays: Kirk, Spock and McCoy enter a time portal and are trapped in the past of a planet that was about to be destroyed by a nova.
24. Turnabout Intruder: Dr. Lester, a woman from Kirk's past, exchanges bodies with him and takes control of the ship.

Studio: Paramount Home Video

DVD title: Caligula (Unrated Version)
Productgroup: DVD
Caligula (Unrated Version) - movie DVD cover picture
This is an amazing film

Years ago, I had heard about this movie, longing to purchase it. And I did. It's so fantastic!First of all, I dare to say it is not an adult movie.But it is a movie for adult.Quality of screen feature is not good. Inspite of its well-known story, very interesting.Don't hesitate to buy this DVD.

Studio: Image Entertainment
Malcolm McDowell
Helen Mirren
Peter O'Toole

DVD title: Snowball Express
Productgroup: DVD
Snowball Express - movie DVD cover picture
one of my top 10

I have loved this movie since I first saw it in the theater when I was a young. I hope to be able to find a copy to share with my 2 little boys. There's just something about this movie that makes me smile.

Studio: Walt Disney Home Video
Director: Norman Tokar
Dean Jones
Nancy Olson

DVD title: The Duellists
Productgroup: DVD
The Duellists - movie DVD cover picture
Painterly tradition. On celluloid.

After shooting artsy TV advertisements, Ridley Scott turned his considerable talents to actual motion pictures. His first attempt is an adaptation of Joseph Conrad's novella 'The Point Of Honour' - a tale of fixation-...-obsession. Fencing in this film - crude and seemingly 'ungentlemanly' - reflects a more realistic portrayal, rather than the quasi-romantic stylistic, balletic and 'clean' approach favoured by just about all previous films (the 'Musketeer' films, 'Cartouche,' 'Scaramouche,' 'Don Juan,' etc.); much of this fencing was also done with heavy cavalry sabres - not really 'fencing' weapons!
The (American) accents of Keith Carradine (Armand d'Hubert, 3?me R?giment de Hussards, reluctant duellist and realist-rather-than-Royalist) and Harvey Keitel (Gabriel Ferraud, 7?me R?giment de Hussards, and manic man of honour, fixated on fighting duels), along with Stacey Keach's third-person narration, reflecting the wider conflict and perhaps humankind's perceived need to struggle to 'express' oneself, might not be to everybody's liking, but that would do a disservice to both Carradine (dignity) and Keitel (brooding passion/honour) who put their all into it - after a while the accents become completely irrelevant anyway. Carradine did so again three years later in 'The Long Riders.'
Stirling support is provided by England's RSC and RADA: Robert Stephens,' "Well come across him again ..." Tom Conti's laconic, "The enemies of reason have a certain blind look ..." and, "Duels between nations must take absolute precedence ..." and Diana Quick's, "I knew a woman who was beaten to death by a man; I don't think it surprised her one bit ..." are lines that have become part of my vocabulary, whether intentionally or not ...
Nevertheless - and here is the real success of the film - Scott's attention to even the tiniest peripheral or background detail adds a visually-arresting 'still-life' quality to the quite stunning scenery and locations. Each still of the film could, if on canvas, fetch a few hundred-thou at Sotheby's/Christie's. For with each viewing comes the discovery of yet more minutiae and period detail. Utterly rewardlingy Exquisite!
Besides, those Hussar uniforms are pretty cool, huh ...?!!

Studio: Paramount Home Video
Director: Ridley Scott
Keith Carradine
Harvey Keitel

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