DVD Reviews : Quickies

“Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”, “The Audrey Hepburn Story”, “The Dead Zone : Season 2″, “E.R : Season 6″, “Doctor Dolittle 3″, “Zandalee”, “The Micallef Program: Series Un”


A fusion of other new DVD release reviews.


“Ferris Bueller’s Day Off : Bueller, Bueller Edition”
Director: John Hughes
Starring: Matthew Broderick, Jeffrey Jones, Mia Sara, Alan Ruck, Edie McClurg, Lyman Ward, Cindy Pickett

Easily one of the best teenage comedies of the 80s – in fact, it’s audience will likely go beyond teenagers – writer/director John Hughes’s “Ferris Buellers Day Off” was another star on the jacket for it’s celebrated filmmaker, and something we’d return to year after year. It feels strange to be calling something that’s only twenty years old, a classic, but it really is – in the true sense of the world.
Written with flair, cast with thought and performed with vigour, the exceptionally enjoyable comedy romp features Matthew Broderick (apparently it was between him and John Cusack) as the most popular guy in school, a charming, cheeky, likeable fella named Ferris. Keen to get out and experience the big smoke, and basically get up to mischief, he teams with girlfriend Sloane (Mia Sara) and best friend Cameron (Alan Ruck) to pull off the ultimate wag from school.
Finally, assumingly to tie in with the 20th anniversary of it’s initial release; Paramount gives the film, the DVD treatment it deserves. Not surprisingly, John Hughes – apparently now a bit of a recluse – is nowhere to be found in the new assortment of extras (unless it’s vintage promo material) but everyone else connected to the film does return to talk about their experience. There’s a heap of goodies on here actually – featurettes on casting the film, a retrospective on making it, a piece on Ben Stein (the ‘Bueller, Bueller…’ teacher) and more. Could’ve done with a commentary though.

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Reviewer : Clint Morris

“E.R : The Complete Season Six”
Director: Various
Starring: Anthony Edwards, Noah Wyle, Goran Visjnic, Julianna Margulies, Kellie Martin, Alan Alda

Probably the wrong person to be reviewing this set, because I’ve never really watched the show, but never the less, I gave it a whirl and will try and give my honest opinion on this latest season. First things first, this is a pretty high-quality show – I’m not necessarily referring to the storylines, or direction, but just the look of the thing. It’s clear some money has gone into it. Having been on the set of the show, in Burbank, I can substantiate that the show really does have some startlingly big sets…. it may as well be it’s own postcode.
Anyway, some pretty gripping episodes here – the stuff between Noah Wyle and Kellie Martin, in a tragic episode near the end of the season, is rather emotional stuff – and all-round, some good performances to keep you coming back each week, or in this case, each disc.
Not many extras on the DVD – strange for a TV series on DVD – but did find some so-so deleted scenes.

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Reviewer : Clint Morris

“Zandalee”
Director: Sam Pillsbury
Starring: Nicolas Cage, Erika Anderson, Judge Reinhold, Aaron Neville

Soft porn of the highest quality – you know, the type that your wife doesn’t mind you watching? – “Zandalee” is one for the “Two Moon Junction” and “Wild Orchid” fans, where bed-shaking takes precedence over plot-making. Not to say it’s all bump and grind and no enthuse…it is, quite transfixing at times, in fact.
The set-up alone is enough to keep most interested: Nicolas Cage starts sleeping with the sexy wife (Erika Anderson) of a friend (Judge Reinhold, terribly typecast), and all’s fine, of course, until the husband finds out about said affair and snaps like a scotch finger.
No extras.

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Reviewer : Clint Morris

“The Audrey Hepburn Story”
Director: Steve Robman
Starring: Jennifer Love Hewitt, Frances Fisher, Eric McCormack, Emmy Rossum

Initially aired as a TV mini-series, a few years back, this comprehensive but ultimately not-very-exciting biopic on screen princess, Hepburn, gives Jennifer Love Hewitt one of the juiciest roles of her career. Embodying both the look, and the voice, of the “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” star, Love Hewitt (“I know What You Did Last Summer”) gets to prove her abilities here – unleashing a performance that’s ostensibly as rich, as it’s well-rehearsed.
Unfortunately, the script packs in everything but the kitchen-sink, inside of merely editing it down to the most gripping moments of Hepburn’s life, and it ultimately has you reaching for the pillow and doona. Had Love Hewitt been given a better vehicle, this could’ve skyrocketed her career far beyond any killer fisherman film series.
No Extras.

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Reviewer : Clint Morris

“Doctor Dolittle 3”
Director: Rich Thorne
Starring: Kyla Pratt, Kristen Wilson, John Amos

Whoever thought we’d be screaming for Eddie Murphy? But that’s exactly the case when you get ten minutes into this DTV cheapie, where it becomes instantly obvious that the legendary comic was, really, the key to the whole franchise.
Aimed squarely at the under-ten crowd – whereas the first two films were enjoyed by folks of all ages – the second sequel sees Dolittle’s teenage daughter, Mya (Pratt), discovering that she too can ‘talk to the animals’. According to her mother (Wilson), that’s not her main setback though – it’s her attitude that needs groping. In an effort to shake her up a bit, and instil a bit of reality into her veins, the Dolittle’s (the invisible Dad on the other end of the phone line, of course) pack her off to a dude ranch where she not only talks to the animals, but also learns a thing or two about herself. Snore.
Extras Free.

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Reviewer : Clint Morris

“The Micallef Program: Series Un”
Director: Various
Starring: Shaun Micallef, Bon Franklin

This is more “Full Frontal” than the Micallef we know today. The jokes seem to be more broad and accessible than the intellectual and sophisticated writing of the following two series. But there are some absolute gems in here. The return of “Full Frontal’ favourite Milo Kerrigan is a delight as is the somewhat evolved David McGhan. Bob Franklin is superb once again and, much like his roles in “Jimeoin”, “The Mick Molloy Show”, “Bad Eggs” and “Introducing Garry Petty”, he is easily one of the most underrated second fiddles in Aussie comedy. In fact, Franklin almost steals the show in the second episode with one of the more amusing characters who is constantly (as a cop, a security guard and a priest) trying to refer business to his brothers Pizza shop.
The most outstanding part of this Series is of course the introduction of the “Interviewer Shaun Micallef”. It’s a character which has served him well since. It’s a mix of arrogance, idiocy, self involvement and being…well…a downright bastard. It truly is hilarious, and Micallef performs it immaculately.
This special 2-DVD edition includes over 30 minutes of unreleased extras and an exclusive audio commentary including some rather amusing deleted skits. Also, the episode descriptions are fantastic (some of which are blatantly ripped from episodes of The Dick Van Dyke Show…and even more surprising it’s from the single episode I’ve ever seen of that show about painter Vitto Giotti).

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Reviewer : Sean Lynch

“The Dead Zone : The Complete Second Season”
Director: Various
Starring: Anthony Michael Hall, Nicole de Boer, Chris Bruno, John L. Adams, David Ogden Stiers, Kristen Dalton

An updated TV version of the Stephen King novel – and 80s feature film – “The Dead Zone” is an intriguing weekly twitter into the life of Johnny Smith (Anthony Michael Hall), who has awoken from a Coma, after a near fatal car crash, with the gift (or curse) of Second Sight.
The writing has always been top-notch on this show, and shows no signs of ditching that tradition. Episodes here that deal with Smith and his son – both who weren’t aware of each other – are absolutely tasty as heck.
Fans of the novel and later movie will enjoy this faithful TV adaptation – but there are a few changes: Smith’s father is missing from the series; he befriends a therapist rather than a doctor, and it seems, unlike the book, he has known his love since childhood. Good stuff, though.
Unlike the Region 1 set, our local release doesn’t come with any extras – sorry.

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Reviewer : Clint Morris


All DVDs are available to buy from www.ezydvd.com.au