High Fidelity (2000) – DVD Review

High Fidelity DVD cover art

Film:
DVD:

Written by: John Cusack, D.V. DeVincentis, Steve Pink & Scott Rosenberg, based on the novel by Nick Hornby
Directed by: Stephen Frears
Starring: John Cusack, Iben Hjejle, Jack Black, Todd Louiso, Tim Robbins

Features:

  • Conversations with Cusack and Frears
  • Deleted scenes
  • Theatrical trailer

Released by: Touchstone
Region: 1
Rating: R
Anamorphic: Yes

My Advice: Rent it.

One of John Cusack‘s most criminally underviewed films. Rob Gordon (Cusack) is what you would call “adrift in life.” He’s just lost his girlfriend (Hjejle) and decides to go on a tour of his past romantic failures to try and figure out exactly why he’s had it so rough when it comes to matters of the heart. Not exactly helping matters are his two pseudo-employees, Barry (Black) and Dick (Louiso), who are fueling his musical snobbery and sometimes frightening away customers.

Read More

Zoolander (2001) – DVD Review

zoolander dvd cover

Film:
DVD:

Written by: John Hamburg, Drake Sather & Ben Stiller
Directed by: Ben Stiller
Starring: Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Christine Taylor, Will Ferrell, and more celebrity cameos than you can shake a stick at

Features:

  1. Running audio commentary by Stiller, Sather & Hamburg
  2. 5 deleted scenes with running audio commentary by Stiller
  3. 5 extended scenes with running audio commentary by Stiller
  4. Outtakes
  5. Music video – “Start the Commotion” by the Wiseguys
  6. 2 original skits from the ‘VH1/ Vogue Fashion Awards, 1996/97’
  7. Alternate end title sequence
  8. Photo gallery

Released by: Paramount
Region: 1
Rating: PG-13
Anamorphic: Yeah, bro.

My Advice: Rent It.

Read More

The Well (1997) – DVD Review

well dvd cover

Film:
DVD:

Written by: Laura Jones, based on a novel by Elizabeth Jolley
Directed by: Samantha Lang
Starring: Pamela Rabe, Miranda Otto, Paul Chubb, Frank Wilson

Features:

  • Theatrical trailers
  • Filmographies of Pamela Rabe and Miranda Otto

Released by: Fox Lorber
Region: 1
Rating: NR
Anamorphic: It’s gone walkabout. (Translation: no)

My Advice: Avoid It.

Hester (Pamela Rabb) is a lonely, responsible, repressed spinster on a farm in the Australian Outback. She hires Katherine (Miranda Otto) to help with the house. Katherine is Hester’s opposite: fun loving, wild, and reckless. So of course, they form an “opposites attract”, co-dependent friendship. When they accidentally run over a stranger in the road, both the relationship–and their collective sanity–begin to crack.

Read More

Drawing Flies (1996) – DVD Review

drawing flies dvd cover

Film:
DVD:

Written and Directed by: Matthew Gissing & Malcolm Ingram
Starring: Jason Lee, Jason Mewes, Renee Humphrey, Carmen Lee, Martin Brooks

Features:

  • Cast and Crew Audio Commentary track with Gissing, Ingram, Jason Lee, Mewes, Humphrey, Carmen Lee & Kevin Smith
  • Technical Audio Commentary track with Gissing & Ingram
  • Director’s Cut of film
  • Deleted Scenes

Released by: Indie DVD
Region: 1
Rating: NR
Anamorphic: Forget about it.

My Advice: Borrow It.

Donner (Jason Lee) has become dissatisfied with the stagnant slacker lifestyle that he and his friends have in Toronto. Having post-modern discussions about Scooby-Doo, smoking weed, and subsisting on Canadian welfare has lost its appeal. Losing their welfare benefits motivates Donner to have the group go on a road trip to a cabin in the Canadian wilderness. But Donner has a secret agenda that will change his life. How this vision affects the others is the story of Drawing Flies.

Read More

Tombstone (1993) – DVD Review

Tombstone DVD cover

Film:
DVD:

Written by: Kevin Jarre
Directed by: George P. Cosmatos
Starring: Kurt Russell, Val Kilmer, Sam Elliott, Powers Boothe, Bill Paxton

Features:

  • Commentary by director Cosmatos
  • 134-minute director’s cut of the film
  • Production Featurettes: “An Ensemble Cast,” “Making An Authentic Western,” and “The Gunfight At The O.K. Corral”
  • Interactive Tombstone Storyline
  • The Tombstone Epitaph, the actual newspaper account
  • Director’s Original Storyboards: O.K. Corral Sequence
  • Map of Tombstone
  • DVD-ROM: Faro at the Oriental game

Released by: Walt Disney Video
Region: 1
Rating: R
Anamorphic: Ayuh

My Advice: Own It.

Read More

Tron (1982) – DVD Review

Tron DVD cover art

Film:
DVD:
Soundtrack:

Written by: Steven Lisberger, based on a story by Lisberger & Bonnie MacBird
Directed by: Steven Lisberger
Starring: Jeff Bridges, Bruce Boxleitner, David Warner, Cindy Morgan, Barnard Hughes

Features:

  • “The Making of Tron” 88-minute all-new documentary
  • Deleted scenes with all-new introductions by Bruce Boxleitner
  • Production photo gallery
  • Commentary by Lisberger, producer Donald Kushner and visual effects supervisors Harrison Ellenshaw and Richard Taylor
  • Storyboard-to-film comparisons
  • Sweet 3-D animated menus
  • Still frame galleries
  • Pre-production animation tests
  • Deleted original soundtrack music
  • Inspirational designs by futuristic artists Syd Mead, Peter Lloyd and Jean “Moebius” Giraud
  • Computer animation design and demo reels
  • Original publicity materials
  • Original theatrical trailer

Released by: Walt Disney
Region: 1
Rating: PG
Anamorphic: Yes

My Advice: Buy it.

Read More

Christianity: The First Two Thousand Years (2001) – DVD Review

Christianity: The First Two Thousand Years DVD

Film:
DVD:

Narrated by: Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, Dorian Harewood, Gloria Foster

Features:

  • Historical timeline

Released by: A&E
Region: 1
Rating: NR
Anamorphic: N/A, appears in its original 1.33:1 format.

My Advice: Rent it.

A lot of documentaries talk about various subjects and how they shaped the course of the world. As far as world shapers go, this subject happens to be one of the granddaddies. With a number of scholars commenting on two millennia of Christian progress, the narrators spin an overview of the history of one of the biggest belief systems on the planet.

Read More

Nothing in Common (1986) – DVD Review

nothing in common dvd cover

Film:
DVD:

Written by: Rick Podell & Michael Preminger
Directed by: Garry Marshall
Starring: Tom Hanks, Jackie Gleason, Eva Marie Saint, Hector Elizondo, Sela Ward

Features:

  1. Theatrical trailer

Released by: Sony Pictures
Region: 1
Rating: PG
Anamorphic: Yes.

My Advice: Borrow It.

David Basner (Hanks) has a great life: a successful career at an ad agency and lots of beautiful women to have sex with. Then out of the blue, his mother Lorraine (Saint) leaves his father Max (Gleason) after 36 years of marriage. Now while trying to land a major client, he has to get involved in the lives of his parents. Putting aside his own self-involvement, he finds the strength to connect to them through the pain and hurt caused by his parents’ loveless marriage.

Read More

Passage – Book Review

passage book cover

Written by: Connie Willis
Published by: Bantam Doubleday Dell

Death is the ultimate mystery, a conundrum that unites us all. Many feel a clue to this riddle is the Near Death Experience. Dr. Joanna Lander is trying to conduct a scientific study of the phenomena. This isn’t helped by the familiarity the public has with the classic NDE. She is further hindered by pop psychologist and best-selling author Maurice Mandrake. With his leading questions and constant preaching of his New Age pseudo-Christian version of the afterlife, most of the patients Dr. Lander want to talk to only have Mandrake’s vision in their heads. Even the subjects that give untainted descriptions cause her problems. Maisie, a child with a failing heart which takes her near death too often is a master of keeping adults around to keep her company. So Dr. Lander needs all the help she can get.

Dr. Richard Wright seems to be that help. His project involves a drug that stimulates the brain in the same pattern as an NDE. He has volunteers taking the drug then telling their experiences. Unfortunately, the volunteer pool is full of crackpots, Mandrake followers, and other unsuitable candidates. So, Dr. Lander volunteers herself to take the drug. What she experiences and the doctors’ work to unravel those experiences could change the way we perceive NDEs and maybe life and death itself.

Read More

Kiss of the Dragon (2001) – DVD Review

Kiss of the Dragon DVD cover art

Film:
DVD:

Written by: Luc Besson & Robert Mark Kamen, based on a story by Jet Li
Directed by: Chris Nahon
Starring: Jet Li, Bridget Fonda, Tcheky Karyo, Ric Young, Burt Kwouk

Features:

  • Audio commentary with Nahon, Li and Fonda
  • Jet Li “Fighting Philosophy” featurette
  • Fight Director Cory Yuen “Action Academy” featurette
  • Police Gymnasium Fight: Martial Arts Demo
  • “On the Set Action” featurette
  • Storyboard to Scene Comparisons for “The Laundry Chute” and “The Orphanage”
  • “Kiss of the Dragon” featurette
  • Action Gallery Production Stills
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • TV Spots
  • Theatrical Trailers for Behind Enemy Lines and Planet of the Apes

Released by: Fox
Region: 1
Rating: R
Anamorphic: Yes

My Advice: Avoid it.

Read More