DVD Review Archive     Feature Archive  Links   DVD MIA   DVD Alerts   Movie Posters   Laser  Site Info   Home  E-mail 
® 2002 Films on Disc  Stuart J. Kobak ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

The Golden Bowl has been cited as an ISF Reference DVD.
Click the ISF image for the complete list of ISF cited DVDs.


Love Me Tender/ C+, B+
Flaming Star/ B, B
Charlotte Gray (SE)/ B+, A-
John Q. (SE)/ D+, A-
Say Anything (SE)/ B+, B
Man of the Century (SE)/ B+, A-
Collateral Damage (SE)/ C+, A-
S.O.B./ C+, B+
Skin Deep/ C+, B
Two Family House/ B, B+
Charlie's Angels (SE)/ C, B+
Victor/Victoria (SE)/ A,B+
Great Race, The/ B+, B+
Lagaan/ C, C+
Circus (SE)/ C+, A
To Gillian on Her 37th Birthday/ B-, C+
Audition (SE)/ A-,B
Kansas City Confidential/ B, C-
Amélie (SE)/ B+, A-
Big Heat, The/ B+, B+
Fathom/ C+,C
Our Lady of the Assassins/B+,B+
Gosford Park (SE)/ A, A
Hombre/ B, B+
Atlantic City/ A, A-
Monster's Ball (SE)/ B+, B+
Majestic, The (SE)/ C+, A
Kate and Leopold (SE)/ B, B+
A Beautiful Mind (SE)/ A-,A
Witness for the Prosecution/ B+, B
Memento (SE)/ A, A
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (SE)/ B+, A
Sorry, Wrong Number/ B, B
Key Largo/ A-, A-
Vanilla Sky (SE)/ C+, A
My First Mister (SE)/ B, B+
Bite the Bullet/ B, C+
Bob Le Flambeur (SE)/ A-, B
Black Knight  (SE)/ C, A-
Vikings, The (SE)/ B, B
Ali/ B, A-
Gambler, The (1974)/ B+, B-
Fatal Attraction (SE)/  B+, B
It Came From Outer Space (SE)/ B, B+
Requiem for a Heavyweight/ B+,B+
Calamity Jane/ A-, B+
Barcelona (SE)/ A-, B
Cowboy/ B, C
Harvey Girls (SE)/ B+, B+
Serendipity (SE)/ B, B+
Texas Rangers/ C+, C+
Dancing at the Blue Iguana (SE)/ C+, A-
Domestic Disturbance (SE)/ C, B+
Bread and Tulips/ B+, B+
Behind Enemy Lines (SE)/ B-, A
Metropolis (Anime) SE/ B, B
Accused, The/ B+, B+
Projectionist, The/ C+, C+
Tall Guy, The/ B+, B
Life on a String/ B+, D-
Mulholland Dr./ B+, B+
Omaha (SE)/ C+, D
Life as a House (SE)/ B-,B
Spy Game (SE)/ B-,A
Sexy Beast (SE)/ B+, A-
Party, The/ B, C
Fresh (SE)/ A-, A-
Eat, Drink, Man, Woman/ B+, A-
K-Pax (SE)/ B+, A
Strictly Ballroom (SE)/ A-, B+
Training Day (SE)/ B+, A (F)
Purple Noon/ B+, C+

About.com Classic Movies
Films on Disc has been sited by Classic Movies as one of their Best New Links.

The editors of Britannica.com have selected Films on Disc as one of the best on the Internet when reviewed for quality, accuracy of content, presentation and usability.

 ® 2002 Films on Disc  
Stuart J. Kobak


King of Masks/A-,C

Columbia/1996/101m/PS 1.33

Despite a sub-par transfer, The King of Masks is an extraordinarily beautiful film not to be missed on DVD.

     This remarkable tale of an aging street performer whose his art will die unless he passes it on to a son is told with poetic vision by Chinese director Wu Tianming. Wu paints the story with the same grand craft that the performer, known as The King of Masks, paints his marks and plies his art. The act we see is beautiful for its simplicity. The King of Masks changes his apparition with the magic wave of a hand in front of his face, changing masks with the same sleight of hand that a magician makes objects appear and disappear.

The King of Masks teaches his girl.  ©Goldwyn

      We pick up the tale of The King of Masks as the old performer is searching for a son to adopt. In his desperation, he adopts a girl posing as a boy. While she is devoted to him and learns quickly, the revelation that she is a girl is devastating. Her devotion backfires when she tries to give her mentor what he wants. 
     Don't look for predictability in this moving tale set in the streets of Sichuan province during the late 1930s. There's plenty of charm, a colorful arena, and a satisfying conclusion.
    This is a very disappointing transfer. It is Pan and Scan or cropped, I am not sure which, but some scenes are definitely cramped with peripheral figures cut off. The film was shot spherical for 1.85 presentation, and I presume open matte, meaning that an image exposing the entire 1.33 negative was available to be matted in projection. A quick comparison to the theatrical trailer included on the DVD, and by God, you can readily see the best possible image is not on this DVD. Usually trailers look much worse than the finished product we see as the feature, but the opposite is true here. The trailer is sharper with more vivid color. The sound is a disaster of its own. Dialogue is delivered at a wide range of levels. Sometimes it sounds like the voices have been recorded with reverb. The lovely score is not in balance with the dialogue, often overpowering it. The film is presented in Chinese with a choice for English, French or Spanish yellow subtitles. 





The Exquisite Muse of Zhang Yimou

The  powerful image-making of Zhang Yimou has revealed itself in virtually every film he has made. Coupled with his remarkable collaboration with actress Gong Li, Zhang's has built a stunning body of work Click the image to read all about it. 

Direct from the corridors of the Home Theater Forum, Home Theater Talk is the newest place on the Net to discuss everything home theater. Friendly atmosphere and knowledgeable folks are the secret ingredients.

ReelUniverse.com is the home of the true Indies. You will find links to many independent filmmakers selling VHS copies of their films that have not yet gotten commercial release. None of the filmmakers represented on the site have DVD product available, but here's hoping.

icon: sight and soundSight and Sound Magazine is the venerable voice of The British Film Institute. The site includes articles and film reviews. A great resource in print and on the Internet.

ReviewsLovers of Hong Kong movies will relish MC4's site that includes  reviews and other information about the Hong Kong movie scene.

The  Movie Poster Archive include extensive poster images from the films of stars like Susan Hayward, Kirk Douglas, Katharine Hepburn and many more. This month's featured star is Robert Mitchum