REVIEWS BY NETTA GILBOA & CHRISTOPHER SCHANOT
DVD titles are reviewed using either a Panasonic A110 or a Creative Labs Encore PC-DVD (using the latest drivers) which is installed in a Pentium II 300 mhz with 64mb RAM running Windows98. All titles are recent releases, even though some are of the films are years old. Because DVD is a new medium, older titles are being released as new product. This will be true for some time to come.
AN ALL DOGS CHRISTMAS CAROL (MGM Home Entertainment, Inc., 73 minutes) The stars of the classic animated film, All Dogs Go To Heaven return for this holiday special in which the evil bully Carface sets out to ruin Christmas for all of the other dogs because he hates Christmas. Charlie and Itchy rise to the occasion to save the day, convert Carface and celebrate Christmas properly. The DVD version offers a sing-along feature to be used with the films songs, chapter search, French subtitles, Dolby Digital Surround sound and a four page box insert which provides character bios. Voices for the animated dogs are provided by Dom DeLuise, Sheena Easton, Ernest Borgnine, Bebe Neuwirth and Charles Nelson Reilly. While only offered in standard pan and scan format, the disc is of extremely high quality and will not disappoint. This is highly recommended for children, animation fans and those who collect holiday movies.
BAD LIEUTENANT (Artisan Entertainment, Inc., 96 minutes) Harvey Keitel stars in this film about a police detective who has been a gambler, a thief, a junkie and a killer as well. While investigating a case he must come to terms with his self-destructive past before he can solve it. The DVD version offers a digitally mastered widescreen format of the film (16:9), 2.0 Dolby Digital Surround sound, interactive menus, chapter search, production notes, cast and crew information, Spanish subtitles and threatrical trailer. This is one of Keitel's best performances so don't miss this if you like his acting and/or characters, or if you like police films in general.
BASIC INSTINCT (Live Entertainment/Artisan Entertainment, Inc., 129 minutes) Michael Douglas and Sharon Stone star in this sexy thriller about a detective investigating a woman whose boyfriend was brutally murdered. The DVD version includes choice of digitally mastered widescreen and standard versions, 5.1 Dolby Digital audio, foreign subtitles, interactive menus, chapter search, production notes, cast and crew bios, theatrical trailer and descriptive video which makes the title accessible to those who are blind or otherwise visually impaired. This is a superb film that doesn't becomes less interesting with repeated viewings. It will also not disappoint on DVD and is highly recommended.
THE BEST OF MUSIKLADEN LIVE: AMERICA (Pioneer Artists/EME America, 45 minutes) This 1975 performance by America includes 11 songs including such hits as "Horse With No Name," "Ventura Highway," and "I Need You." Part of a new series of performances from Musikladen (also known as Beat Club), in Germany, this title has superb audio and video quality from a rare venue which had no time limits on song length so that the musicians who performed there could play what songs they wanted for as long as they felt was needed. Highly recommended.
THE BEST OF MUSIKLADEN LIVE: VOLUME 1 (Pioneer Artists/EME America, 60 minutes) The depth of the vaults from which this series is being taken is quite apparent by the list of artists who are included in just this first volume. There are 11 songs by such bands as Deep Purple, Jethro Tull, Santana, Badfinger, Alice Cooper, Humble Pie, Free, Procol Harum, Johnny Winter, Joe Walsh and the James Gang, and Nazareth. All feature superb sound and video, as well as longer performance length than American TV broadcasts allowed for. This German TV show, originally known as Beat Club and later Musikladen, had virtually anyone who was anyone perform and there is no doubt every title in this series will be worth having. Highly recommended for music fans of all ages.
CARNIVAL OF SOULS (Trimark Home Video, 86 minutes) Presented by Wes Craven, who acted as executive producer, this horror film by Adam Grossman stars Bobbie Phillips and Larry Miller. It's a remake of a 1960s film and the villain is played by the same actor who starred in the original film. The plot involved a woman who grows up haunted by visions and memories of her past as a result of witnessing the murder of her mother when she was very little. Now she is convinced she is seeing the man who killed her mother and must determine if the visions are real and if she is in danger. The DVD version contains a digitally remastered widescreen presentation of the film (16x9), 2.0 Dolby Surround Sound audio, interactive menus, chapter search, foreign subtitles and theatrical trailer. This is more of a psychological horror film than some released lately. Recommended for Craven fans, those familiar with the original film and those who like horror in general.
CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG (MGM Home Entertainment, Inc., 145 minutes) Dick Van Dyke, Sally Ann Howes and Lionel Jeffries star in this film from the same director and author as the James Bond series. It's about an eccentric inventor who drives, flys and floats his unique vehicle called Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Along with his two children and female companion, they explore endless adventures to pirates, castles, and other far away places. The film is celebrating its 30th anniversary and although many people were disappointed to find the DVD is released in standard pan and scan format, it has never looked better than it does here. The DVD includes an optional sing-along feature for the songs, 5.1 Dolby Digital soundtrack, theatrical trailer, chapter search, French subtitles and a four page booklet inside the box which features trivia and production notes. I loved this as a child and it still holds up all these years later. This is highly recommended to those interested in childrens entertainment, fans of musicals, and those who enjoy Dick Van Dyke. Well done.
CLASSIFIED X (Fox Lorber Associates, Inc., 50 minutes) Melvin Van Peebles wrote this documentary about the treatment of black characters in the history of American cinema. Needless to say, Hollywood has surely aided racism as well as demeaning and stereotypical portrayals of black characters which time and again have shown them as ignorant, superstitious, and untrustworthy. Thankfully, things have begun to change in recent years, but all too slowly. This is not a film to be missed if you're interested in civil rights, film history, American history and/or documentaries that make you think. The DVD version contains interactive menus, chapter search, a filmography of Peebles and a film index.
CUBE (Trimark Home Video, 90 minutes) Several innocent people find themselves locked in a seemingly impossible to escape from cage which is shaped like an elaborate cube. What they have in common is that each was abducted and can't remember a thing. One is a doctor, one is a cop, one is a student, one is an office worker and one is a convict who is known for having escaped from several correctional institutions. In order to get out alive, they need to not only conquer where they have been placed, but their own personal demons as well. The DVD version contains a digitally mastered widescreen presentation of the film, Ultra Stereo, interactive menus, chapter search, deleted scenes, production commentary, foreign subtitles, trailer, comparative and alternate storyboards, special effects artwork, schematic set design and production design.
DECEPTION (Vivid Interactive) Lene, Alexis Dane, Neena, Jon Dough, Derrick Lane, and Devin Wolf star in this adult film about a girl planning to marry a wealthy man who is actually in love with another man who is a pauper. The DVD contains chapter search, interactive menus, digital stereo sound, a link to Vivid's web site, multiple angles so you can select how to watch the sex scenes, multiple screens of information about the Vivid girls, interactive telephone sex, interactive 3D-DVD fantasy rooms, previews of other Vivid titles, no regional coding and footage from the AVN awards show. There is also a paper poster of the Vivid girls in the box as well as a paper catalog of other Vivid titles available.
GODZILLA (Columbia Tristar Home Video) The hit film has been vastly improved on DVD. The plot involves the monster Godzilla emerging from the sea and taking over New York City where he terrorizes residents who are forced to flee, en masse, to New Jersey. While the government is deciding how best to get rid of Godzilla, they discover it is pregnant and, later, that it has produced many offspring each of whom must also be stopped. The DVD version is presented in widescreen format, with 5.1 Dolby Digital audio, a featurette, chapter search, an audio commentary by the Special FX Supervisor for the film, biographies, filmographies, a photo gallery and a hidden music video of the Wallflowers. Having grown up in New York, I loved this film. It's basically wall-to-wall special effects, and will appeal most to those who can resist comparing it to other Godzilla films and just take it for what it's intended as which is the kind of entertainment that lets you lose yourself in a film for a few hours and then not have to think much about it once it's over. Godzilla succeeds brilliantly as an escape vehicle and as a special effects extravaganza.
GREAT CHEFS - GREAT CITIES (Multimedia 2000 Inc.) This cooking title offers films clips of great chefs making appetizers, entrees and desserts. You can select a dish, watch it being made and then check the actual recipe either before or after watching the clip. In addition, those with DVD players on their computers will also enjoy a wealth of other features including the ability to add your own recipes, print out shopping lists, browse a glossary with ingredient descriptions, substitutions, and information for beginning cooks. I found the clips of food being made fascinating, even when the actual dish didn't appeal to me. They are very easy to follow, and of incredibly high quality. It's a good bet you will learn at least one new dish that makes this title worth having, and if you explore the whole disc and not just what interests you most you're likely to get lots more out of it than it might seem at first glance. Highly recommended for anyone who loves to eat well.
THE HIGH CRUSADE (Pioneer Entertainment (USA) L.P., 90 minutes) This unusual sci-fi epic film has an alien spaceship descending out of the heavens and landing in an English castle on the eve of the Crusades. The knights end up taking the spaceship and an alien hostage, and decide to use the ship to make an impressive attack on the Holy Land, but the alien has ideas of his own. The DVD version includes a widescreen print of the film and uses digital sound stereo. It also includes chapter search.
HOME ALONE 3 (Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, Inc., 102 minutes) Written and produced by John Hughes, this third film in the series stars a new actor, Alex D. Linz, who ended up with a toy car that contains a military computer chip a team of international crooks are searching for. His parents leave him home alone with the chicken pox without knowing about the toy or the crooks, and he is forced to defend himself and his house against them. The DVD version includes a widescreen print of the film (1.85:1), interactive menus, chapter search, 5.1 Stereo Surround sound, and the original theatrical trailer. This will appeal to kids, as well as to those who enjoyed the first two films.
HOPE FLOATS (Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, Inc., 114 minutes) Sandra Bullock, Harry Connick, Jr. and Gena Rowlands star in this superb film about a woman whose marriage has ended and who must rediscover who she is without her husband. It's about finding yourself and what happens when you do try to go home again. This is highly recommended for those who like Bullock, small towns, dramas, chick films and/or anything well written and well acted. The DVD version contains a widescreen presentation of the film (1.85:1), 5.1 Stereo Surround sound, interactive menus, chapter search, Spanish subtitles and the original theatrical trailer.
IN THE REALM OF THE SENSES (Fox Lorber Home Video, 104 minutes) This erotic cult film was banned at its premiere in 1976 and has had a lot of trouble being shown elsewhere in the years since due to a highly controversial scene which shows a woman castrating a man. The plot is about an ex-prostitute who becomes involved both sexually and emotionally with a man who employs her as his servant. The DVD version contains English subtitles, interactive menus, production credits, chapter search, and filmographies. This is a must to own if you're interested in erotic films, cult films, banned footage, and/or foreign films.
JANINE: EXTREME CLOSE-UP (Vivid Interactive) This adult film is shot documentary style and is the first in a new series. This episode focuses on Vivid star Janine. She is seen at an oceanside resort, in a Hollywood dance club and having a sex scene with Tatiana, a first-timer to adult films. Janine also is interviewed throughout the film and is shown performing with her road partner in their stage act called Blondage. The DVD version offers chapter search, interactive menus, interactive telephone sex and fantasy rooms, no regional coding and a link to Vivid's web site. There is also a multiple angle feature which allows the viewer to select the angle to watch sex scenes from, information about the Vivid girls, previews of other Vivid titles and live footage from the AVN awards. Janine has made a fortune making adult films without ever once having sex with a male in the business. If you want to see what's so special about her that she can get away with it, then this title is recommended since she alone carries the film. If you're already a fan, then you'll surely want this too.
JENTEAL: ENTREME CLOSE-UP 2 (Vivid Interactive) The second title in a new series, this allows a closer look at adult film star Jenteal. She is interviewed about her background and preferences and is shown in sex scenes with Janine, Mila, Leanna Heart, Lexi Eriksson, Randi Rage, Jon Dough and Mark Davis. In addition to multiple angles which Divid DVDs are known for, which allow you to choose what angle to watch sex scenes from, this disc also features no regional coding, chapter search, interactive menus, previews of other Vivid titles, footage from the AVN awards show, interactive telephone sex, and screens of information on all of the Vivid girls. Inside the box there is also a paper poster of the Vivid girls as well as a paper catalog of other titles available. This title is highly recommended for Jenteal fans as well as those curious to hear girls in the business talk about their careers.
JINGLE ALL THE WAY (Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, Inc., 85 minutes) Arnold Schwarzenegger , Sinbad and James Belushi star in this comedy about two parents in search of the season's hottest toy which their child wants most for Christmas. Needless to say, they wait too long to try to buy one and there are none to be found except from bootleggers, promotional contests and other unorthodox methods. The DVD version includes a widescreen presentation of the film (1.85:1), 5.1 Stereo Surround sound, interactive menus, chapter search, Spanish subtitles and the original theatrical trailer. This is one of my favorite comedy films and is highly recommended whether or not you have children and regardless of how you feel about holidays and shopping.
LA FEMME NIKITA (Pioneer Entertainment (USA) L.P./Trimark Home Video, 117 minutes) This cult movie is an espionage adventure directed by Luc Besson and starring Anne Parillaud. It's about a woman who is a ruthless street junkie and gets recruited against her will to become a trained assassin. The DVD version offers a widescreen presentation of the film, Dolby Digital Surround sound, interactive menus and chapter search. Several imitation films have been made to try to duplicate the success of this title. Highly recommended for those who like action films.
LAP TOP (Vivid Interactive) Janine, Asia Carrera, Raylene, Alyssa Love, Laura Palmer and Rick Brock star in this adult feature about people who meet in cyberspace and then in real life. Janine plays a software designer who thinks that Asia, who plays a hacker, is male. Much of the sex here happens outdoors, and provides a nice variation to the same old routine of adult films. The DVD is also loaded with extras including multiple angles which let you choose how to watch the action, multiple screens of information about the Vivid girls, interactive menus, fantasy rooms and telephone sex, There are also previews of other Vivid titles, footage from the AVN video awards show, a link to Vivid's web page and no regional coding to limit the disc. Inside the box is a paper poster of the Vivid girls and a paper catalog of other titles available.
LAST TANGO IN PARIS (MGM Home Entertainment, Inc., 129 minutes) Marlon Brando and Maria Schneider star in this erotic film about an American living in Paris who is still haunted by his wife who committed suicide. He meets a Parisian woman with whom he engages in extremely passionate sex. The DVD offers a widescreen presentation of the film, in an uncut, uncensored version, with Dolby Digital mono sound, theatrical trailer, chapter search and and eight page booklet inside the box which contains trivia and production notes. Released soon after Deep Throat and Behind The Green Door in the 1970s, this film was highly controversial for its time and helped pave the way for many future adult films as well as for how far Hollywood could go in displaying sex. This is highly recommended for Brando fans, fans of erotic and adult films and for those who just want to see what all the hoopla was about.
LA TOYA JACKSON'S INTERACTIVE EXOTIC CLUB TOUR: A HAWAIIAN FANTASY, (Vivid Interactive) Filmed at Hawaii's Pure Platinum club, and hosted by La Toya Jackson, this disc is an inside look at strip clubs. The DVD contains a peek into several other clubs around the US as well as fantasy rooms you can enter to see different girls. There are outtakes and behind-the-scenes footage, an instruction room with tricks and secrets, a dark room with erotic stills and previews of what La Toya is working on next. This is apparently the first disc in a series and future discs will focus on other strip clubs around the country.
THE LEGEND OF MULAN (Digital Versatile Disc, Ltd.) The first DVD to offer DTS sound, this animated title features a female heroine who goes to war to defend her family. She meets an old sage who trains her to meet challenges which include conquering the forces of nature and defeating her enemies. Those with DVD players on their PCs will find bonus games here involving matching, memory, puzzles, and a dialogue quiz. This is recommended both for animation fans and for those who are eager to test out the benefits of DTS audio.
MARKED FOR DEATH (Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, Inc., 93 minutes) Steven Seagal plays a DEA agent who retires and returns to his hometown only to discover drugs have infested his old neighborhood. In order to clean things up he must battle a Jamaican drug posse led by a druglord who vows that Seagal and his family are marked for death. The DVD version contains a widescreen format copy of the film (1.85:1), interactive menus, chapter search, 5.1 Stereo Surround sound, Spanish subtitles and the original theatrical trailer. Full of the action and effects Seagals films have come to be known for, this does not disappoint and is highly recommended for those who like Seagal and/or action films in general.
MORE TREASURES OF THE TWILIGHT ZONE (Panasonic Interactive Media Company) In this second volume of episodes from the classic TV show, three of the more popular episodes are included: "The Masks," "The Eye of the Beholder," and "The Howling Man." All of them are digitally remastered and look as well as they can considering their age and the state of technology at the time they were filmed. The DVD also includes animated menus, chapter search, an interview with Rod Serling by Mike Wallace done in 1959, and an "Inside the Twilight Zone" section with lots of information about the original show. If you are a fan of sci-fi, the bizarre, and/or the macabre, you'll love this show and if you're already a fan of the show you know that these three episodes are among the best of those that aired. Highly recommended.
MOUTHING OFF (Vivid Interactive) Madelyn Knight, Lea, Sahara Sands, Dave Hardman, Mitchell Gant, Nina Hartley and Margo Stevens star in this adult title about a girl whose boyfriend wants her to perform deep throat. She has no clue how, and so she goes to a local brothel and asks them to please teach her to. The DVD version contains chapter search, interactive menus, no regional coding, multiple angles which allow you to select how you wish to view the action, interactive telephone sex and fantasy rooms, previews of other Vivid titles and live footage of the AVN awards. Inside the box is also a paper catalog of other Vivid discs available and a paper poster of the Vivid girls. The plot is thoroughly believable, as one might expect from any adult title released these days in which Nina Hartley appears. This is highly recommended, especially for those who like the adult movie genre but are turned off to plots that even when scant are often so weak or intellectually insulting that they pretty much ruin the film. There are lots of great sex scenes here too!
NARROW MARGIN (Artisan Entertainment, Inc., 99 minutes) Gene Hackman and Anne Archer star in this thriller about a District Attorney and a murder witness who is about to testify against a top Mob boss. He's hired two hitmen to kill her and when the D.A. and witness board a train they discover that the hitmen are also on board and that they have a 20 hour ride ahead of them in which they must avoid or outsmart the hitmen. The DVD version contains a digitally mastered widescreen presentation of the film (16:9), 2.0 Dolby Digital Surround sound, interactive menus, chapter search, production notes, cast and crew information Spanish subtitles and the theatrical trailer. This is well done and recommended for its ability to thoroughly hold your attention and keep you at the edge of your seat.
NIGHT HUNGER (Vivid Interactive) Lene, Chloe, Reylene, Mr. Marcus, Jon Dough, John West, Devin and Maci star in this adult mystery film about a girl, a car crash, and a dead husband. The DVD version contains chapter search, interactive menus, a link to Vivid's web site, no regional coding, multiple angles so that you can choose how to view the action, multiple screens of information about the Vivid girls, interactive telephone sex, interactive 3D-DVD fantasy rooms, previews of future Vivid releases and AVN awards show footage. The box contains a paper poster of the Vivid girls and a paper catalog of other Vivid titles you may enjoy. While not all that engrossing as a mystery, the sex scenes aren't bad at all, and all of the scenes with Chloe are first rate.
OPENING NIGHT (Pioneer Entertainment (USA) L.P., 144 minutes) Gena Rowlands and Ben Gazzara star in this film which was written and directed by John Cassavetes. The plot involves people involved in professional theatre. As with all of Cassavetes' films, the themes include interrupting people's patterns and rhythms in order to leave old definitions behind and move forward and grow. In this film Myrtle has just ended an affair with her co-star, has suffered the loss of the death of a special fan and her current role is making her question whether she has enough talent to survive it. The DVD version contains chapter search.
PAM & TOMMY LEE: HARDCORE & UNCENSORED (IEG, distributed by Vivid Entertainment) Actress Pamela Lee Anderson and musician Tommy Lee made home videos which they never intended to sell or make public. A tape began circulating anyway, and was being broadcast on the Internet. The couple ended up selling the rights to IEG and thus this release which contains both previously unreleased footage and digitally enhanced footage of the highest quality possible. This has obvious appeal to those interested in these celebrities, or those who wish to see sex scenes not scripted to suit the adult film market. The tape has quite a bit of non-sexual material as well, including the wedding vows between the couple, and a tour of their boat.
PARTY FAVORS (Vivid Entertainment) Tia Bella, Christian Steele, Wildcat, Dee, Corinne Williams, Ian Daniels, and Vince Vouyer star in this adult film about female party favors. All of the guests at a party end up having sex with each other, and while this has a purposely thin plot it's well done and will probably appeal to female viewers as well as males. The DVD version contains multiple angles so that you can select which viewpoint to watch sex scenes from, digital stereo sound, chapter search, no regional coding, interactive menus, information on the many Vivid girls, interactive 3D-DVD fantasy rooms, footage of the AVN video awards, interactive telephone sex and link to Vivid's web site. Highly recommended if you like the genre.
PORKY'S (Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, Inc., 99 minutes) This comedy, set in the 1950s, about six high school students who try to get in to the local strip joint and seek revenge on it after they are ripped off and thrown out by the owner, spawned two sequels and a whole genre of teenage films that tried to match its success. The DVD version includes a widescreen presentation of the film (1.85:1), interactive menus, chapter search and the original theatrical triler. While I never cared for this movie much, the DVD version looks and sounds so good I actually enjoyed watching it for the first time. Well done.
PREDATOR (Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, Inc., 107 minutes) Arnold Schwarzenegger stars in this action film about a team of men recruited by the CIA who must battle the Predator, an unseen enemy who is not from Earth. Full of special effects and combat scenes this film is a favorite of most people who have seen it and was one of the most sought after films in Fox's catalog for release on DVD. The DVD version contains a widescreen format copy of the film (1.85:1), 5.1 Stereo Surround sound, Spanish subtitles, interactive menus, chapter search, and the original theatrical trailer. Watching this and Jingle All The Way back-to-back really shows Schwarzenegger's ability to stretch as an actor. Highly recommended.
SPEED (Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, Inc., 115 minutes) Keanu Reeves, Sandra Bullock and Dennis Hopper star in this edge-of-your-seat action film about a bomb which has been planted on a public bus and which must be diffused safely while the bus, full of passengers, travels at a speed greater than 50 miles per hour in street traffic in order to avoid triggering the bomb. The DVD version features a widescreen print of the film (1.85:1), 5.1 Stereo Surround sound, interactive menus, chapter search, and the original theatrical trailer. This is a great film for Fox to have chosen as part of its wave of DVD releases. It can be watched again and again and never fails to hold your attention. Highly recommended.
STARDUST (Vivid Entertainment) Jenteal stars in this adult film about a Midwestern stripper who longs to be in Hollywood. She gets transported there and along the way runs into co-actors Missy, Jill Kelly, Mistyrain, Jeanna Fine, Jon Dough, Steven St. Croix, Bobby Vitale, and Alex Sanders. The DVD version contains digital stereo sound, multiple angles so you can choose what angle to watch sex scenes from, multiple screens of information about the many Vivid girls, chapter search, interactive menus, no regional coding, a link to Vivid's web site, interactive telephone sex, interactive 3D-DVD fantasy rooms, previews of other Vivid titles, live footage of the AVN video awards and a paper catalog of other Vivid titles as well as a paper poster of the Vivid girls. This title is very unusual for its genre offering unusual camera effects, and more elaborate costumes than most films. It has a very cult film look to it and is definitely worth a look as it offers some variety to an otherwise very predictable genre.
STARGATE (Live Entertainment, Artisan Entertainment, Inc., 119 minutes) Kurt Russell and James Spader star in this highly acclaimed sci-fi film about investigating an ancient Egyptian artifact. This leads the cast to an ancient civilization and before returning home they must battle the Sun God, Ra. The DVD version contains a digitally mastered letterboxed 2-sided print of the film (with three extra minutes of footage), 5.1 Dolby Digital audio, interactive menus, foreign subtitles, chapter search, production notes, cast and crew bios, and the original theatrical teaser and trailer. Superb plot, acting, photography and special effects make this a film you won't want to miss and the DVD version is extremely well done even though I would have liked to have seen a featurette added to show how some of the effects were done. Highly recommended for those who like sci-fi, ancient Egyptian culture and/or Kurt Russell and James Spaders' films.
TANGLED WEB (Vivid Interactive) Jenteal stars in this adult title along with Carolina, Nicole London, Randi Storm, Mark Davis, Kay London, Julie Rage, Laura Palmer, Jon Dough, Ian Daniels and Kyle Stone. It's about love on the Internet. The DVD contains the ability to view the sex scenes from multiple angles, as well as interactive menus, interactive telephone sex, interactive fantasy rooms, chapter search, no regional coding, previews of other Vivid titles, a link to Vivid's web site, footage of the AVN video awards, and multiple screens of information about the Vivid girls. Inside the box is a paper poster of the Vivid girls and a paper catalog with a listing of many other titles available.
A TAXING WOMAN (Fox Lorber Associates, Inc., 127 minutes) This Japanese comedy has English subtitles and is about Tokyo's hardest working female tax inspector. She investigates a tax cheat who owns one of Tokyo's busiest "love hotels." The two play cat and mouse, and also have many funny moments. The DVD version includes a letterbox release of the film, interactive menus, chapter search, filmographies and the original theatrical trailer. Recommended for those interested in Japanese life, as well as anyone who likes foreign films.
TIESTA OF AGRESTE (Fox Lorber Associates, Inc., 115 minutes) Filmed in Portuguese with English subtitles, this comedy proves that you can indeed go home again - at least if you're returning much richer than when you left. A country girl thrown out of the house at 17 for having sex moves away and then returns 26 years later, now a rich and powerful widow. The DVD version includes a featurette about the film, interactive menus, chapter search and filmographies.
TREASURES OF THE TWILIGHT ZONE (Panasonic Interactive Media Company) This classic TV series is being released in its entirety over several discs. This first volume in the series includes a digitally remastered presentation of three of the rarest episodes, "Where Is Everybody?," "The Encounter," and "An Occurance at Owl Creek Bridge." In addition, the DVD also contains an interview with Rod Serling done by Mike Wallace in 1959, animated menus, chapter search and an "Inside The Twilight Zone" section with lots of information about the original show. This is highly recommended even for those who don't want to own the whole series, as the episodes on this disc aren't likely to be shown on TV anytime soon. The quality of the disc is as good as can be expected considering the age of the show as well as the state of technology back when the episodes were filmed. Highly recommended for sci-fi fans, as well as those who enjoy the bizarre, and/or the macabre.
VAGABLONDE (Vivid Interactive) Janine, Asia Carrera, Leslie Glass, Tom Byron, Jon Dough, and Krista April star in this adult film which was directed by Bud Lee. The plot involves Janine relocating to Malibu, CA and meeting Leslie Glass whom she falls for. The DVD version contains multiple angles so you can choose which view to watch the action from, mutiple screens of information about the many Vivid girls, chapter search, interactive menus, previews of other Vivid titles, no regional coding, live footage of the AVN video awards show, interactive telephone sex and interactive 3D-DVD fantasy rooms. Lots of star power here and the usual high production values Vivid is known for.
WEBSTER'S INTERNATIONAL DVD ENCYCLOPEDIA (Multimedia 2000, Inc.) One of the few educational titles available on DVD, this super encyclopedia is greatly enhanced by the DVD clips it contains. Featuring 50,000 articles, 60 video clips, 1,200 sounds and 12,000 illustrations, this disc can be used to help you prepare school reports, research topics you are curious about, or just to browse for fun. Offering information on everything from sharks to the Holocaust to the Great Wall of China to space exploration, there are many hours of entertainment and knowledge waiting here. You need a DVD player which is attached to an IBM PC compatible computer in order to use this and the installation program is a breeze to use. You can select topics in alphabetical order, or by searching for them and it's very hard to just look up one thing without finding a dozen more you also choose to look at too. This is highly recommended even if you already own a similar program on CD-ROM and even if, like me, you're long done with researching material for school projects.
WEST SIDE STORY (MGM Home Entertainment, Inc., 152 minutes) This award winning musical is a love story set against a background of gang fighting in 1950s New York City. Natalie Wood and Rita Moreno star, music is provided by Leonard Bernstein and choreography by Jerome Robbins. The film has never looked better, presented here in an unrated widescreen version newly restored from the original 65mm elements and with a new 5.1 Dolby Digital soundtrack. The DVD also contains chapter search, theatrical trailer, French subtitles, and an eight page booklet inside the box which has production notes and trivia about the film. A must to own, this is considered one of the few musicals ever made and it's never looked better than it does on DVD.
WHERE THE BOYS AREN'T: PART TEN (Vivid Interactive) Leslie Glass, Janine, Dyanna Lauren, Jenteal, Kobe Tai, Heather Hunter, Lexus and Tia Bella star in this adult film which contains only lesbian scenes. The plot involves two rival gangs both of whom engage in lesbian sex with each other. There are nonstop sex scenes here, and each girl has sex with several others. The DVD is full of top stars in the adult business, and the many extra features Vivid is known for. These include: the ability to view the same scenes using multiple angles, multiple screens of information about the many Vivid girls, chapter search, interactive menus, interactive telephone sex, 3D-DVD interactive fantasy rooms, previews of other Vivid titles, no regional coding, live footage of the AVN awards and a web link to Vivid's web site. The disc also contains digital stereo sound and a paper poster of the Vivid girls which is inside the box along with a paper catalog of other titles available. This is not to be missed if you like girl/girl scenes or have enjoyed the other titles in this adult series.
YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN (Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, Inc., 106 minutes) Gene Wilder, Teri Garr, Marty Feldman, Peter Boyle, Cloris Leachman, Madeline Kahn and Gene Hackman star in this Mel Brooks film which pokes fun at Frankenstein and the films made about him. The plot concerns young Dr. Frankenstein who discovers a step-by-step manual about how to bring a corpse to life. He creates a monster but when it's completed it turns out it only want to be loved. The DVD version contains a widescreen print of the film (1.85:1), an audio commentary by Mel Brooks, outtakes and bloopers, production stills, interactive menus, chapter search and the original theatrical trailer. This is a superb DVD for any Mel Brooks fan and is highly recommended to show horror can indeed be funny.