Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Mean Girls (Widescreen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Mean Girls (Widescreen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
5 stars

i liked this movie and it was definitely one of 2004s most hilarious comedies, which is what you should expect from tina fey and i look forward to her future works.lindsay lohan plays a girl named cady who was homeschooled in africa and goes to high shcool for the firsttime and she's welcomed to the best clique's lunch table. b/c of friends like janis ian and damien, she wants to find out their secrets. consequences ensue, and so does a lot of drama.funny but not in a screwball way. great for teens.

Studio: Paramount Home Video
Director: Mark Waters (VIII)
Lindsay Lohan
Rachel McAdams
Jonathan Bennett

DVD title: O Brother, Where Art Thou?
Productgroup: DVD
O Brother, Where Art Thou? - movie DVD cover picture
An instant American classic--funny and full of GREAT music

Every now and then, a film comes along and it's an instant classic. "Oh Brother, Where art Thou" is one of those kinds of films. Yet ask anyone who's seen it to tell you what this film is about, and they have a tough time. "It's got great hillbilly music" one friend told me. "It's about three convicts on a chain gang in the South" another related. Yes, but that's just scratching the surface.
"Oh Brother" is based on Homer's Odyssey, set in rural Mississippi during the Dust Bowl years of the Thirties. George Clooney is the (alleged) brains behind a trio of escapees from the Chain Gang at Parchment Farm, the infamous state pen. On their way to recover a legendary treasure, they meet with monsters, bards and sirens; all played by local down-home characters you'd meet in any novel of the South. It is side splittingly funny, but with the sadness of tough times adding an undertone of sadness to keep the film genuine.
But what really makes this film so magical is the soundtrack of great music from the "Old Timey" country tradition. The songs are interwoven so that, unlike a musical, they make perfect sense in the plot. No one is bursting into song to express his or her deepest emotions in that artificial manner. Yet this is not a film with music--it's much more. It is truly an adventure with mythic overtones mixed perfectly with a picaresque tale of small-time grifters and small-town characters.
I have a few minor criticisms of this film. For one, I found that the digitized colorization technique used to give the film the dusty brown tone of the Thirties dulled the visual richness somewhat. While the film DOES need the consistency of tone and color digitization provided here, I think it flattened the film in a way that color filters and other optical and photographic chemical techniques would not have done. However, this is groundbreaking use of digital techniques, and perhaps with time, the richness that I think was lost in part can be achieved. How the cinematographers engineered the color matching is detailed in one of the extra features on the DVD called "Painting with Pixels" and it is well worth watching.
One more criticism; there was not enough about the music and musicians who did the score. There was a lot of rich material here that I wanted the background information on and it wasn't to be found on this DVD.
Despite all that, this is a MUST-HAVE DVD and I predict this film will be on many "Ten Best Ever" lists from now on.

Studio: Touchstone Video
George Clooney
John Turturro
Tim Blake Nelson

DVD title: The Beatles - Help!
Productgroup: DVD
The Beatles - Help! - movie DVD cover picture
my favorite beatles movie :-)

This movie gets a bad rep, since most movie aficionados and Beatles fans gush about A Hard Day's Night so much. I don't know about you, but AHDN is so sad because in spite of the fun and mayham, the beatles are trapped "in a car, and a room, and a room, and room..." It's no wonder John's lyrics for "Help!" are so depressing.

The movie with the same namesake, however, betrays these feelings of desolation. It is pure nonsense and escapism; the Bahamas, the Alps, (and in color!) need I say more? It is a weird movie, but still coherent (unlike Magical Mystery Tour). Oddly enough, underneath the oddball comedy, there lies a satiric criticism of religion. Ringo states: "Death, sacrifice, I don't subscribe to your religion."

In these days of religious extremism and fundamentalism, I see "Help!" as just the right dose of medicine to *help* us not take ourselves (and our beliefs) so seriously!!


Studio: Repnet
Director: Richard Lester
John Lennon
Paul McCartney
George Harrison
Ringo Starr

DVD title: Hideous Kinky
Productgroup: DVD
Hideous Kinky - movie DVD cover picture
Beauty and chaos

"Hideous Kinky" are the first and last words spoken in this film. No, the movie is not about sex, it's based on Esther Freud's autobiographical novel (yes, that Freud) about nomadic life in Northern Africa in 1972. The title, "Hideous Kinky" is the name of a game the young girls play, much like tag. The very beautiful Kate Winslet plays Julia, mother of two, who drags her two children, Bea and Lucy from London, England in search of a more free and spiritual life. The story is narrated time to time by Bea, the eldest daughter.
Julia is married to an English poet and writer, better known to them as the ultimate dead-beat Dad. From small clues, we gather that he is adultrous, a bit of a wash-up, and only offers support to the small family with checks, that rarely arrive when needed.
Julia lives meagerly, selling dolls to support herself, but this occupation seems as pitiful as standing on a street corner asking for charity. Her existense is ironic. She and her girls live in a tiny, broken down, prostitute hang-out apartment with little clothing, money, or clean water. They live day by day in search of money or the next charitable helper. While her life seems desperate and chaotic, she is surrounded by some of the most beautiful and colorful culture in the world. Perhaps this is why Julia can not give up her nomadic lifestyle. The cities of Morocco are too enchanting to leave. I found myself constantly asking "Is it worth it? What are they gaining?"
She admits to others she has chosen this life. She doesn't want the normalcy of a one room London flat and TV ringing through her children's ears night and day. Instead, in Morocco, she hopes to find keys to a happier afterlife, one with no pain or suffering...but WHO is she living this life for? Her family, or herself? On her quest she encounters romance, spiritual obstacles, and loss. Julia is challenged to choose between her beloved new country or face the "real world" back home. This is not a movie about a young woman's struggle, rather the relationships she has with her lover, children and others that open new and different doors and opportunities.
The movie is so visually stunning, you can't help but look at the Marrakech markets and think you might be smelling spices and tasting exotic things. The cinematography really brings you up-close to Julia's lush surroundings. I highly recommend this movie to travelers, romantics, and anyone who loves finding that really spectacular flick that most look over at the video store.

Studio: Columbia/Tristar Studios
Director: Gillies MacKinnon
Kate Winslet
Bella Riza

DVD title: Akira (Limited Special Edition Tin)
Productgroup: DVD
Akira (Limited Special Edition Tin) - movie DVD cover picture
Akira - What a movie...

...but sommday we are to be abel to. Because it has allready begon.
This is not the first Anime i saw. I might not even be the best. But it's a damm good example what Animes are capable of. The Animation is (even on todays standards) breathtaking. The Carakters are great and threedimentional. And most importand of all, the story, what a powerhouse...It excelently combins the very personal part (the friendship between Kaneda and Tesuo) with an apocalyptic - end of days - part. Both work perfectly.
It's full of action, suspence, great dialogue and a lot of psychology & philosophy. It's a story of friendship, loss, sufferring, lonlyness, fear, anger and all the other aspects of human emotions.
But as all other great things, Akira cant intierly explaind. It must be seen... So go and see for yourselfe what Akira is about.

Studio: Pioneer Video
Director: Katsuhiro Ôtomo
Mitsuo Iwata
Nozomu Sasaki
Mami Koyama

DVD title: Alias - The Complete First Season
Productgroup: DVD
Alias - The Complete First Season - movie DVD cover picture
The Best!!

Alias is the one show on television that I watch totally uninterrupted. I take no phone calls, answer no doors and speak to no one. How many other programs can do that to you?? I would love to see the DVD come out of Season 1!!! The plotlines are great, the acting is great and how JJ is able to keep you on the edge of your seat for the whole program is unbelievable. If you are not watching really don't know what you are missing!!

Studio: Buena Vista Home Entertainment
Jennifer Garner

DVD title: Zone - Mat and Ball Workout
Productgroup: DVD
Zone - Mat and Ball Workout - movie DVD cover picture
Easy to do at first, but still a challenge later on

I absolutley love these work outs.

The fat burning work out gets me puffing, and I break a bit of a sweat - but I don't feel like I'm about to vomit because I have worked so hard! The first time I did this workout I found it really difficult, but I Was incredably unfit - I think like all Liz's workouts they are ideal for beginners. I still use this workout and I favour it above all the other DVDs I own. Like anything, the more you put into it, the more you get out, but you can make your muscles work - legs, buns, stomachs and arms - and you break a sweat.

The second workout is the matwork out, and it is a challenge. Nonetheless it is definatley for the true beginner as well. I have been doing this when I want to mix up my routine a little, and I always feel my muscles, especially my abs for two days afterwoulds.

The third workout is strengthening but using the ball. This makes it a bit easier in terms of preforming the exercises the right way. This workout is not as hard as the mat workout - but there is one section for the legs that still kills me!

All in all these vidoes are really good for pilates beginners. Every step is explained, with reminders about form and breathing. Nonetheless, the chatter is not excessive, and I still find the reminders useful, even though I could probably recite them verbatum! There is the option of having only the music, in case you find her annoying.

Studio: Koch Vision
Liz Gillies

DVD title: Guys and Dolls
Productgroup: DVD
Guys and Dolls - movie DVD cover picture
If you want entertainment...

This is a wonderful musical. Probably my favorite (atleast right now). Even though Marlon Brando seems miscasted in a musical he will soon prove you wrong. He sings the famous song "Luck Be A Lady". (Barbra Streistand was an usher when this movie came out and found out she could sing when she sang along with Brando.) Jean Simmons is just as good at acting, singing, and dancing. And who wouldn't see a movie just to hear Frank Sinatra sing. He certainly does in this movie singing both songs "Guys and Dolls" and "Adelaide". Vivian Blaine who was the one who orginated the character Adelaide on Broadway is also terrific. This movie is a light, romantic, comedy anyone will love.

Studio: Mgm/Ua Studios
Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Marlon Brando
Jean Simmons
Frank Sinatra

DVD title: Queer as Folk - The Complete First Season (Showtime)
Productgroup: DVD
Queer as Folk - The Complete First Season (Showtime) - movie DVD cover picture
One of the best tv shows I've seen yet

Thanks for the VCR remote to skip through the boring parts of the show. I watched the whole season and I found only 15 percent of it worth watching. I gave "Queer as Folks" 3 stars because I was aroused when the show became really interesting. Brian looked very good and so did Justin. But I found the sex scene between Justin and Chris to be the sexiest.

Studio: Showtime Entertainment 2
Queer As Folk
Hal Sparks

DVD title: It Could Happen to You
Productgroup: DVD
It Could Happen to You - movie DVD cover picture
This movie is very underrated

I'm a little unsure why people would see a movie such as this when they don't like Feel Good movies in the first place. And then pan it because it IS what it is? Rediculous.
It's fairly obvious from the blurbs what this movie is about. Cage and Fonda give convincing turns as nice people in a cynical world. While there are no real surprises in the plot, you can't help but be drawn into the story and find yourself rooting for the good guys. This is a good date movie, and someting to watch when you'd like to restore your confidence in humanity.

Studio: Columbia/Tristar Studios
Director: Andrew Bergman
Nicolas Cage
Bridget Fonda
Rosie Perez

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