Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: The Lucy Show - Lucy Meets the Law/ Lucy and the Bean Queen
Productgroup: DVD
The Lucy Show - Lucy Meets the Law/ Lucy and the Bean Queen - movie DVD cover picture
2 great episodes

This DVD includes two classic uncut episodes of THE LUCY SHOW starring Lucille Ball, Gale Gordon and Mary Jane Croft.
"Lucy Meets the Law" - Lucy ends up in jail when she is mistaken for a shoplifter. On the 'inside' she meets many colorful characters including her eccentric cell-mate Hard-Head Hogan (played by Iris Adrian).
"Lucy and the Bean Queen" - Lucy devises a way of raising cash for her new furniture by roarting the 'double-your-money-back' policy on a brand of canned beans.
A great purchase for 'Lucy' fans!

Studio: Good Times Home Vide
Lucille Ball
Desi Arnaz

DVD title: Lonesome Dove
Productgroup: DVD
Lonesome Dove - movie DVD cover picture
Robert Duvall's performance stands out in this epic western mini-series

Robert Duvall's performance as Captain Augustus McCrae in "Lonesome Dove" is the finest of his career, which is saying something when you are talking about an actor who did memorable supporting roles in "The Godfather" and "Apocalypse Now" to go along with Oscar nominated performances in "The Great Santini" and "The Apostle," as well as winning an Academy Award for "Tender Mercies." Actually, that last one may well be one of his lesser efforts, but that only speaks to the high regard in which the acting community holds Duvall. When Duvall did not win an Emmy for this performance I was both stunned and outraged. The Emmy went to James Woods for "My Name Is Bill," which was certainly a fine performance, but not as memorable as Duvall's. Maybe he lost votes to his co-star Tommy Lee Jones, who knows.

Having watched "Lonesome Dove" again I am still impressed by Duvall's performance and have developed a new respect for that of Jones as Captain Woodrow F. Call as well. The problem the first time around was that I resented Call's character because he was still alive at the end and because he refuses to give Newt his name. However, I am older now and more willing to accept Call's explanation that he put more value on his horse than he did his own name. Besides, he did honor his promise to bury Gus back in Texas, and the irony between that return journey and the cattle trek that serves as the dramatic impetus for the narrative is important to the story Larry McMurtry is telling. Fortunately, early on Gus McRae lets us know that the subject matter here is not death, but life.

Saying that "Lonesome Dove" is about an epic cattle drive does not really suggest how lyrical of a western this 1989 mini-series ended up being. In the twilight of his life Woodrow Call is tired of living in the Texas border town of Lonesome Dove and decides to get himself a herd of cattle to drive to Montana, where they will be the first cattlemen to settle the new territory. Call and McCrae hire on a team of cowboys, and set off. Included in the group is trail scout Joshua Deets (Danny Glover), the patient Dish Boggett (D.B. Sweeney), and young Newt (Rick Schroeder), who McCall refuses to acknowledge as his son despite the insistence of Gus. Following in their wake is Jake Spoon (Robert Urich), an ex-ranger who would rather spend time gambling, and Lorena Wood (Diane Lane), a prostitute who is on friendlier terms with Gus than Jake can stand. Meanwhile, July Johnson (Chris Cooper), an Arkansas sheriff is on Jake's trail, unaware that his pregnant wife, Elmira (Glenne Headly) has taken off to find her first husband, who is not dead but in jail. If that was not enough to keep life interesting on the trail, the infamous Blue Duck (Frederic Forrest) crosses their path as well. Then there is Clara Allen (Anjelica Huston), an old beau of Gus's who lives on a ranch in Nebraska, which is just a stop along the way.

It is hard to measure triumph against the scale of tragedy in "Lonesome Dove," especially given the high body count along the way. But death only serves to give this epic its greatness, creating the foundation that allows Woodrow's realism to co-exist with the romanticism represented by Gus. After all, that is what our vision of the Old West is all about. For Call actions speak louder than words, which is why words fail him in the end with Newt, while Gus always has something to say and no lack of ways to express himself. It makes sense to me now that Gus has to be dead by the final act of this story, because otherwise Call's silence would not be allowed to stand. That is also why there is such poignancy in the final letter Gus writes to Lorie, who does not know how to read his final words and wants to put off having them read to her. At the end of these six hours I am not sure if my criticism that it should have been longer is valid or if that simply recognizes the fact that I was loathe for the tale to end. The special features on the DVD include interviews with novelist Larry McMurtry and producer Suzanne de Passe, a long section of textual notes regarding the history of cattle drives; a trivia game, and brief biographies and filmographies for the cast and crew. All of these serve to extend the experience a bit longer.

Studio: Lions Gate
Director: Simon Wincer
Robert Duvall
Tommy Lee Jones
Danny Glover

DVD title: A Walk to Remember
Productgroup: DVD
A Walk to Remember - movie DVD cover picture
Mandy Moore is AMAZING in this movie!!!!

This is THE best movie I have seen in a long time!!!! I was never a big fan of Mandy Moore (just the whole teen thing) but after seeing this movie I am hooked! This movie was amazing and Mandy is a wonderful actress! I am a 26 yearl old, male, and I was balling my eyes out for like the last 20 minutes of the movie. I went out and got the soundtrack and Mandys most recent CD and I like this girl a lot! I can't wait to see her in more acting parts! She was superb in this movie. I recommend that everyone see it.

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Adam Shankman
Shane West
Mandy Moore (II)

DVD title: Crossroads
Productgroup: DVD
Crossroads - movie DVD cover picture
Britney Does It Again!!

What is the big deal? Britney is NO, I REAPEAT, NO "Razy Winner" Britney is just having fun wih this movie! This movie is a great campy, teen flick! It is not meant to be taken that seriously people! Just relax and give this movie a chance! I have two sisters who AREN'T Britney fans in the least bit, they liked this movie, because it is fun and just meant to give REAL teen issues a spot in the heart of their characters and their viewers! So just STOP being so affraid and just watch the TALENTED Britney do her thing, and just let her do her thing!!!

Studio: Paramount Home Video
Director: Tamra Davis
Britney Spears
Anson Mount

DVD title: Fahrenheit 9/11
Productgroup: DVD
Fahrenheit 9/11 - movie DVD cover picture

I find it humorous that people in this forum seem to be reviewing their own political positions and purposes rather than going into or after the film itself which is the real state of grace here. Michael is an excellent documentarian, perhaps the best today, with a more historically bent nod to the Burns brothers (sic) and a few others. He is a great one because he wakes people up and gets them to display thoughts and emotions, while many of these films just make us grab for some more popcorn, change the channel, or nod off. And almost all of Moore's films have made us think and feel STRONGLY (Roger and Columbine especially).

As a documentary junkie I have never seen anything perform the effect that Fahrenheit 911 has and does. It is the cattle prod for the polarization of America today and seems to be getting more and more defined as we move towards November. Well so be it. Whether you are a Bush monger or a Kerry cutie this is a movie that needs to be seen. You decide for yourself whether its purpose is propaganda, entertainment or to overthrow the world in a nicer way than Dick Cheney (corporate takeover) or even John Edwards (legal eagle) ever thought possible.

I was so disappointed in a recent New York Daily News or Post cover story (can't remember which but they're pretty much the same, right?) when 911 Tragedy standard bearer Rudy Giuliani (I voted for him) blasted this film, sizzled Moore and went on to say he never saw it. What!?!? Siskel and Ebert moment ala Rudy: I loved the film Gene. I hated it Roger, you're an idiot. Why? Don't know, never saw it. Sounds like my Robin Hood book report in the 4th grade. Skipped the book, watched the cartoon, wrote a parody (got an A+).

What is everyone so afraid of? Changing sides, a firmer position, not having the best hairdo? Maybe Mr. Moore should make a documentary about THAT. But Rudy should stay out of that race for sure.

-Joshua Leland Evans (bald as well)

Studio: Columbia Tristar Hom
Director: Michael Moore (II)
Michael Moore (II)

DVD title: Mystic River (Full Screen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Mystic River (Full Screen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Mystic River is superb!

Dave Boyle, Jimmy Markum, and Sean Devine were pals when they were boys. They grew up together in the blue collar neighborhood of East Buckingham in Boston. One day Dave got into a stranger's car and didn't return for four days, and that event would prove to change the course of his life from that point onward. 25 years later, Jimmy (Sean Penn) is a shop owner, a reformed ex-con, and a family man. Dave (Tim Robbins) is married and has a son himself. And Sean (Kevin Bacon), who left the old neighborhood to become a cop, is now homicide detective. When Jimmy's teenaged daughter is found murdered and Sean is assigned to the case, the lives of these three childhood friends become intertwined once again. And the past proves not to be so distant after all.
"Mystic River" was adapted by Brian Helgeland from the novel of the same name by Dennis Lehane. The film was directed by Clint Eastwood. This is a character study and a Greek tragedy masquerading as a murder mystery. Unfortunately, it's also a melodrama. The cast is all very talented, and the performances are competent, but the characters are overwrought to say the least. Even Sean, the least histrionic of the three men, manages a bit of exaggeration. The most impressive performances come from Marcia Gay Harden as Dave's wife Celeste and Laura Linney as Jimmy's wife Annabeth. Annabeth's startling speech and Celeste's behavior in the last minutes of the film do more than anything else to bring home the story's major ideas. But too many idiosyncratic characters and behaviors make "Mystic River" seem contrived and pretentious. And too much melodrama makes it insipid. So, in spite of this talented cast, I have to say that the film has the most success with its murder mystery. The murder is mysterious; the detective work is interesting; there is real suspense; and when we finally understand what has happened, it is truly affecting. I haven't read the novel on which "Mystic River" is based, so I don't know if the mystery or the character studies are its focus. But in the film, the mystery serves as a vehicle for gritty melodrama. And the vehicle proves better than its objective.
Critics swoon whenever an actor demonstrates competence at any craft other than acting. Consequentially, "Mystic River" has been somewhat overrated because Clint Eastwood directed it. Eastwood did a good job, but the film isn't earth-shattering. Sean Penn's performance has been widely praised, but this isn't even close to being Penn's best work. "Mystic River" has a lot to recommend it: A talented cast, a good mystery, excellent supporting performances. But be prepared for manipulative and overwrought characterizations. Still, the film is very worth seeing.

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Clint Eastwood
Sean Penn
Tim Robbins
Kevin Bacon
Laurence Fishburne
Laura Linney
Emmy Rossum

DVD title: There's Something About Mary
Productgroup: DVD
There's Something About Mary - movie DVD cover picture
Most watched DVD in my collection

Most of my friends have told me how funny this movie was and that they were practically falling out of their seats during numerous scenes. They told me that this was a movie that I had to see since I love comedies so much. I watched it, and I thought to myself, "What's the big deal?"
I did laugh, but it did not constitute as me falling out of my chair. Some scenes were funny while others dragged out WAY too long and killed the joke instantly. There were funny lines, but I've heard funnier before. This was the movie that everyone was talking about? This is the one that all the critics loved and Roger Ebert gave it a "Thumbs Up?" Sadly, I was a little more than disappointed.
The whole movie revolves around Ben Stiller, who is trying his best to find his lost love. Along the way he gets thrown into wild situations and meets characters that make Charles Manson seem almost normal. As he tries to find his lost love, Marry, it seems like everyone else gets caught up in the act.
I've seen funnier movies that never got the recognition that this one did. I thought that "Saving Silverman" was funnier. I thought that "Kingpin" was funnier. Even Tom Green's movie, "Freddy got Fingered" was a hell of a lot funnier than this movie. There were funny moments, and then there were scenes that were boring and dragged out. I'm not saying that I hated the movie, but I am certainly not going to say that I liked it.
Will you like the movie? Hard to say. Really, you shouldn't let this review affect you. If you want to see it, go ahead. You may even like it. I thought that it wasn't that good, and it certainly did not live up to the hype that was given to it. All I can say is there are better comedies out there. I guess everyone has a different taste and opinion when it comes to deciding what is funny and what is not. It is primarily up to the viewer to decide if the movie is funny or not. If the person laughs a lot and enjoys her or herself, then the movie has succeeded. This movie could've been better and a lot more funnier. Just don't believe the hype and see it for yourself and come up with your own opinions.
***I'm sure there were a lot of special features on the DVD, but since I really didn't like the movie all too much, I didn't bother with them. If you don't like the movie, what good are the special features?

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
Cameron Diaz
Ben Stiller

DVD title: Air Jaws & Air Jaws 2
Productgroup: DVD
Air Jaws & Air Jaws 2 - movie DVD cover picture
Jaw-Dropping Footage! Literally...

You can teach a dog to jump through a hoop, but what these sharks do is pure survival instinct. It's well worth any shark lovers time to watch these two documentaries back-to-back so as to gain an appreciation for the evolutionary science that has been employeed to capture these scenes. The first movie establishes that this not only occurs, but on a very frequent basis in South Africa. The second movie expands on this by taking what they know of this extraordinary feeding habit and testing it in California and Australia, where breeching is far less common. The results are a greater understanding of this mysterious sharks true feeding habits. Most people are only aware of sharks breeching water from the fake photo that surfaced about a year or two ago, with the great white appearing to attack a navy seal being hoisted back into a helicopter. Watch this film and you will see that the truth is far more amazing than the fictious myths.

Studio: Lions Gate Home Entertainment

DVD title: Apollo 13 (DTS)
Productgroup: DVD
Apollo 13 (DTS) - movie DVD cover picture
Review of the movie Apollo 13

This movie was delivered within the specified time frame

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: Ron Howard
Tom Hanks
Bill Paxton
Kevin Bacon
Gary Sinise
Ed Harris

DVD title: Rossini - La Cenerentola / Campanella, Bartoli, Dara, Houston Grand Opera
Productgroup: DVD
Rossini - La Cenerentola / Campanella, Bartoli, Dara, Houston Grand Opera - movie DVD cover picture
Fall In Love with Cinderella All Over Again!

Cecilia Bartoli doesn't just play Cinderella, she is Cinderella, and the Music of Rossini is as natural for her as breathing! This beautiful and important moment in the world of Opera, and particularly American Opera is a must own. This Cinderella story is not the one you're familiar with - it tells the story with a beautiful tribute to the human spirit and love. There are no pumpkins turning into carriages here! Ms. Bartoli's talent and gift is evident throughout, along with the rest of this extraordinary cast. But it is Ms. Bartoli's final aria, "Nacqui all'affanno...Non pi? mesta" that will amaze you. It must be heard (seen), to be believed.I was fortunate to see this performance live in Houston...Ms. Bartoli's American premiere performance. This DVD will be a wonderful memory captured in time.See this DVD and fall in love with Cinderella again!

Studio: Universal Music & VI
Director: Brian Large

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