Reviews for region 1 discs From Ultimate DVD #10


Just two selections from Ultimate DVD's region 1 Reviews section.

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All Region 1 releases below are also fully reviewed in issue

Arsenic and Old Lace
Buzz Lightyear of Star Command
The Cider House Rules
Edward Scissorhands
The Fly/The Fly 2
For Love of the Game
Jason and the Argonauts
The Next Best Thing
The Omen Collection
Planet of the Apes: The Evolution
Reindeer Games
Repo Man
Six Degrees of Separation
The Six Wives of Henry VIII
The Sound of Music
Stand By Me
Terminator 2: The Ultimate Edition
Turbulence 2

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Mel Gibson makes history

The Movie

Mel Gibson takes on the epic form and wins hands down with this story of real-life Scottish hero William Wallace who rallied his countrymen to force Edward I back to England. Combining the genre’s sweeping scope and spectacle with the realism of more modest and modern films, Braveheart is a larger-than-life movie with the kind of attention to emotional detail that makes it impossible not to like.

Gibson surrounds himself with a cast steeped in talent more than star power – Patrick McGoohan as Edward and Sophie Marceau as the French princess. Gibson and McGoohan act as perfect counterparts to each other on the massive chessboard upon which the fate of Scotland is played. Gibson, as Wallace, is fire and passion while McGoohan is icy evil.

The script upon which the movie is solidly grounded (written by Wallace descendant Randall Wallace), gives Gibson a stout platform from which to perform miracles not thought possible by a new director. This is a movie so logistically complex that it could have collapsed under its own weight even with the leadership of a veteran director. That Gibson was able to manage it and turn out such a fine piece of work at the same time underscores how deserving the movie was of all the awards it won. Braveheart is the modern equivalent of a film 5 stars - Digital Dynamitesuch as Lawrence of Arabia.

The Extras

Given the popularity of this movie and how well-regarded it is, it’s curious that Paramount was so light with the extra features. The 30-minute featurette is refreshing for its lack of Hollywood pretense – especially in Gibson’s case – and the significant participation of the screenwriter. Likewise, the audio commentary is informative and entertaining, but the only other parts of supplemental package are two trailers. Still, it’s not a shabby group of extras, 3 stars - Worth A Watchjust not equal to the film it complements.

James E Brooks

Braveheart DVD

Mel Gibson
Sophie Marceau
Patrick McGoohan
Catherine McCormack
Director • Mel Gibson
Year • 1995
Duration • 177 mins
Screen Ratio • 2.35:1
Anamorphic • Yes
Audio • Dolby Digital 5.1
Chapters • 22
Languages • English, French
Subtitles • English
Release Date • August 29
Distributor • Paramount Home Video


Chapter 10 – Are You Ready For War
It’s a cliché in war films and football movies that the leader gives his army or team a last-minute pep talk. As he rides back and forth before his ragged army, ready to charge the English, Gibson avoids the hackneyed by a naked effusion of emotion and sincerity. It almost makes you want to put on the plaid and smear your face with blue clay…

From Ultimate DVD #10

A film even Alan Smithee passed over

The Movie

As everyone knows, in space no one can hear you scream… especially if you’re the audience. This dismal exercise – a larcenous hodgepodge stealing from sources as diverse as Alien and Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan – follows a doomed space ambulance as it picks up a mysterious visitor with an even more mysterious cargo.

James Spader does a decent tight-lipped imitation of Clint Eastwood in cowboy mode while Angela Bassett actually rises above the terrible script to create a strong and rigid character. Alas, even some good acting isn’t enough to float a movie with multiple writers and directors (Francis Coppola, Jack Sholder, and Walter Hill) that really wasn’t that good an idea to begin with. Give this one a wide berth – the only explosive thing about it is the 1 stars - Slapped on discsupernova of the title.

The Extras

The DVD release of Supernova follows a strange inverse law – the worse the movie, the better the collection of extras. There are no interactive games, web links, dressed up actor bios or ‘Making of’ featurettes. Instead, MGM gives you a collection of 13 cut scenes adding up to almost 20 minutes total, whole chunks of the movie that were actually lifted from the final print. Do they make the movie better? Nope. But it’s the kind of thing that interests any real film fan.

The extras package is rounded out with a collectable booklet and the theatrical trailer which demonstrates the bizarre divergence of vision on this movie. It’s basically cut and scored like the film is a comedy. Go figure. Oh, and the box says that this is a ‘never-before-seen R-rated version!’ I saw Supernova in the theatre and can’t see any difference, 4 stars - Damn good discbut perhaps that’s merciful…

James E Brooks

Supernova DVD

James Spader
Angela Bassett
Director • Thomas Lee (pseudonym)
Year • 2000
Duration • 91 min
Screen Ratio • 2.35:1
Anamorphic • Yes
Audio • Dolby Digital 5.1
Chapters • 24
Languages • English, Spanish
Subtitles • English, French
Release Date • August 22
Distributor • MGM


Chapter 22 – Fiery Exit
A final - and cosmic - demise.

From Ultimate DVD #10

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