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entertainment > video's

kill bill vol. 1
The video quality on this disc, in anamorphic-enhanced widescreen, is quite good. It's not grade-A material, but it's not meant to be. The film has a gritty, grainy look that's intended as part of the style. As a result, detail is occasionally a little lacking. But the contrast is excellent and the colors are lush and vibrant. The surround audio, presented in both Dolby Digital and DTS, is quite good. Most of the time, the rear channels are used for atmospheric fill and to envelope you with the pulsing, grinding soundtrack music. But they do kick in a little more during the action scenes - you'll hear the blood splattering all around. For our money, the DTS definitely gets the edge in terms of sounding fuller, smoother and more natural, which particularly benefits the soundtrack. more info

lord of the rings: the two towers

Technically, the film is remarkable. Peter Jackson and team, whose careful use of CGI mixed with astonishingly beautiful real locations only enhances the film, shows how computer effects should be used, unlike the latest "Star Wars" pictures, where the effects overwhelm everything else. Gollum, for example, is a far better character - in animation, voicing, writing, emotion and movement - than Lucas's horrid Jar-Jar Binks. Andrew Lesnie's cinematography once again makes the New Zeland locations look breathtakingly beautiful and epic. Howard Shore's score adds drama, tension and excitement without calling too much attention to itself. Production design is, once again, first-rate. more info

master and commander
I was surprised how much I loved this movie. Also surprising is the Academy Award nominations that Master and Commander garnered. I'm not saying that it's undeserved, just surprising. Because instead of being a boring historical document, Master and Commander is an exciting, historical action-drama that balances that fine line between the drama and the action. There's definitely something here for everyone. more info

the matrix: reloaded

The extras in the set are included on a single-layered second disc. There is no commentary, although I suppose that's to be expected, given the fact that directors the Wachowski Brothers have expressed their desire to not explain the films, they were probably working on completion of the third film and, well, response to the somewhat sparse commentary on the first film's DVD wasn't too positive. I'd also like to thank Warner Brothers for making straightforward menus. A few studios lately have been making needlessly multi-layered/multi-leveled/plain complex menus, and this certainly could have been one of those instances. more info

fight club

Presented as a 2-disc set, this DVD from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment is a spectacular release. Coming in a beautifully created packaging that is as powerful and exciting, as the content on the shiny discs, the packaging is one of the best I have seen for any DVD. An outer cardboard box that looks like a used and stained brown paper bag reveals another custom packaging on the inside, in which the two discs are placed in a colorful foldout that also holds a 20-page booklet, filled with commentary and critics' comments. more info

gladiator

On the first disc of "Gladiator" you find an audio commentary track featuring director Ridley Scott, director of photography John Mathison, and editor Pietro Scalia. The commentary track is indexed by topics, pretty much like the film itself is indexed by chapter stops. The commentary track is engaging and offers a wealth of information on the production of the film. In the best tradition of offering a "filmschool" of DVD, this commentary becomes a little dry and technical at times, but at the same time, the level of information and detail that is conveyed will be absolutely mesmerizing for fans of the movie. It explores many areas that are not obvious by simply observing the film, revealing thoughts, subtext, as well as technical issues that lead to certain creative decisions. more info

seabiscuit

Charles Howard (Jeff Bridges) is a man who believes in second chances. Lucky for him, because life deals this smooth-tongued entrepreneur one bad hand after another. Despite his consummate skills as a salesman, he can’t talk his way out of the devastating results of a serious car accident, a strained marriage or the financial woes of the Depression. It is solely his faith in the future that keeps him going. more info

mystic river
In a way 'Mystic River' plays like a detective movie. The plot is intriguing and we wonder what really has happened. But this movie doesn't end there. It looks further, closer to the characters and their emotions. There is suspense in dialogue between characters when they are explaining what they are feeling and what they really think. Director Clint Eastwood has made a movie with a creepy atmosphere the entire time. His direction is one of the other great things in this movie. more info

the last samurai

Cruise steps into the role of Nathan Algren, a damaged and decorated veteran of the Wild West who finds himself largely redundant in late nineteenth century America. With the Native American nations subdued permanently, the dirty work Algren carried out as a captain in the cavalry is complete but its bitter legacy haunts him daily. A heavy drinker, Algren makes a buck entertaining tourists as a sharpshooter in San Francisco, until an old colleague and sparring partner approaches him with an offer to help turn the antiquated Japanese army into a modern fighting force. more info




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