Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Saw (Widescreen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Saw (Widescreen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
A Psychotic Thriller!!!!

As someone who is admittedly addicted to horror films, I'd like to think I've seen it all. But every now and then, a movie comes along, takes me by surprise, and knees me in the groin. "Saw" is that film. From beginning to end, this movie is pure intensity. Directed by the young James Wan, who is just getting started in the business (and got one helluva headstart with this movie), "Saw" revolves around two seemingly unrelated men (Cary Elwes and Leigh Whannell) who wake up opposite of each other in a dirty, stinky, sketchy old bathroom, chained to the pipes and with a dead body loafing in between them. It seems that someone is playing a game with them, someone who selects the players in his game for a reason. He doesn't actually kill these people himself, but somehow, they end up dead (sound familiar, Kevin Spacey fans?). Hot on his trail, in a simultaneous subplot is Detective David Tapp (played by Danny Glover), who has a has a vendetta against one of the men trapped in the room. The movie moves at a brisk pace. It is absolutely unrelentless and virtually humorless. There isn't a moment where the movie sags, or where you, the viewer, can relax. Everytime you think you've wrapped your head around this movie, a curveball is thrown at you, straight up until the knock-out ending. I really can't explain much more about the plot without ruining parts of the movie. No doubt, this movie bares similarities with "Se7en," both in the story (which was also penned by Whannell) and in Wan's directing style. However, instead of coming off as derivitive, Wan uses his obvious influences to paint a totally different picture. He uses some stark, nightmarish images to full effect (check out the child abduction creepy) and turns old cliches (Adam's apartment scene) on their heels. The story, and more importantly, the characters are what's important here. Whannell created two very different, flawed, but sympathetic leads that we really start to care for, despite whatever events unfold (I saw a little of myself in Adam). Overall, I can't find a flaw in this film. It is just mind-blowing. It is perfectly crafted. Every little shot in this movie is in there for a reason, so pay attention. "Saw" is more than just your average thriller, and it doesn't reduce to splatterfest either (although there are some grisly scenes). Easily the best horror flick to come out last year. Fans of the genre should not miss it. The DVD is a little disappointing, with the mere highlight being the insightful commentary from Wan and Whannell. Also included is a feature, albeit brief, on the making of the movie, along with two versions of Fear Factory's "Bite The Hand That Bleeds" video and a making of the video segment. Pretty skimpy for a landmark release like this. I smell a re-release on the horizon (?).

Studio: Lions Gate Home Entertainment
Director: James Wan
Leigh Whannell
Cary Elwes
Danny Glover

DVD title: The Verdict
Productgroup: DVD
The Verdict - movie DVD cover picture
Excellent, a must for your collection

Produced in 1982, this drama directed by Sidney Lumet staring the great Paul Newman. The Verdict is about alcoholic Boston lawyer Frank Galvin whose best years are behind him. Galvin is given a chance to redeem him legal career by proving medical negligence in the case of a comatose woman. Galvin is in for the fight of his career taking on the political power of the church. The film is an excellent drama worthy studing for both its moral and humanistic view. The Verdict ranks as a signature performance by one of America's greatest actors and Oscar winners.

Studio: Fox Home Entertainme
Director: Sidney Lumet
Paul Newman
Charlotte Rampling

DVD title: The Last Samurai (Full Screen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
The Last Samurai (Full Screen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Fabulous in every respect!

The Last Samurai was one of those exceptionally rare films that I am sure I'll always remember. The character of Katsumoto was magnificent, and Tom Cruise did a superb job portraying the captive who learned to find meaning in his life from a people very different. I too became a captive of the discipline, honor, and other virtues depicted in the Samurai culture. It was a completely absorbing movie...I hated for it to end. Speaking of the end, I couldn't imagine how it could end well, and thought it a shame to watch 2 1/2 hours just to see the bad guys win. But it actually had a fantastic ending--very satisfying. I don't want to spoil it for those reading reviews who haven't seen the movie yet! If you like action movies, you absolutely cannot go wrong with this one...I'd give it 10 stars!

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Edward Zwick
Ken Watanabe
Tom Cruise
Billy Connolly

DVD title: The Mothman Prophecies
Productgroup: DVD
The Mothman Prophecies - movie DVD cover picture
Doesn't Get Any Creepier Than This

I already knew of the Mothman story before seeing the movie, and it did not disappoint in the least. You've got to cheer a director who's willing to make a film, where, in the end, nothing is explained. Because it's not. You still don't know at the end what the hell was going on or why anything happened the way it did. And that's fine with me; because it's not the point with this movie. The point was the thrill ride and creepy, paranoid tone that takes hold once Gere ends up in that West Virginia town.
Like he did in Arlington Road, Pellington knows how to make the most out of menacing little details. Whether it's strange lights that appear for a split-second in the sky after Gere's car breaks down, or the blink-and-you'll miss it reflection in a mirror on a door that Gere slams, there's plenty of subliminal stuff here to add to the doom and gloom feel that gets increasingly intense.
If you need your thrillers to go from A to B to C, you may not like the unresolved conclusion, but if you want some real chills--even more chilling because almost all of this stuff really happened--you can't do better than this.
The best scene in the movie involves Gere's character on the phone talking to somebody who may or may not exist, who creepily begins to tell him things about him that nobody could possibly know, and then it accelerates from there. But I won't spoil it for ya! Best scary movie I've seen in years. Read up on the real events if you want to get even more creeped out.

Studio: Columbia Tristar Hom
Director: Mark Pellington
Richard Gere
Laura Linney

DVD title: Amores Perros
Productgroup: DVD
Amores Perros - movie DVD cover picture
Fang-sharp film

Ok. First of all. It's not "Life's a bitch", nor, "Loving dogs" it actually means something very close to "Bitch love affairs". Well, now my review. This is one of the first modern mexican movies I have seen in years and it truly was a surprising departure from the downright uninspired, commercial and simply vulgar movies the mexican film-industry was apparently caught in during most of the '80s. This movie is excellent, although you have got to see it with a very open-mind. It displays much more gore and violence than the average person is ordinarily accustomed to watch at films but it certainly is a unique vision from its director at the ruthlessness and paper-thin barrier that separates what we deem so perfect, neat and stable, civilized from complete chaos of passionate and reckless love, envy, death, life's fragilty and, in two words, true human nature, with all its beauty and uglyness intermixed below the surfaceof things. This movies deals with modern human life is also compared to man's best friend, our relationship with them and the very similarities of our feelings, being difficult to distinguish from that of a so called inferior species when we, with our precious mind, civilization and urbanity tend almost always to think better of ourselves. Great film, excellent portrait of life at its very, white-bone, bare nature.

Studio: Studio Home Entertainment
Director: Alejandro González Iñárritu
Emilio Echevarría
Gael García Bernal

DVD title: The Quick and the Dead
Productgroup: DVD
The Quick and the Dead - movie DVD cover picture
The most under-rated western of all time.

This little movie was a quiet knockout. A subtly exquisite love story told against the background of hard pioneer life and a violent sub-plot. Sam Elliot at his absolute best, stunningly beautiful Kate Capshaw at hers, and Tom Conti just perfect. Elegantly cast, remarkably well performed, and the photography (by the way) was superb. My favorite "modern" western ever.

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Robert Day

DVD title: Sleeping Beauty (Special Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Sleeping Beauty (Special Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
A Wonderful Disney Classic!

Ever since I was a little girl, this movie has touched my heart. I'm 13 now, and I still love it! :) This movie is great, funny, romantic, and proves that you CAN have your Prince Charming, with a little faith. I'm still waiting for mine, but I have faith that the beloved boy I adore will be my Prince Charming someday... :) Anyway, back to the story. LOL. The voices are excellent, espically Mary Costa for the speaking and singing voice for Princess Aurora. Kids and adult's will love this movie, I can't wait for the DVD!

Studio: Walt Disney Home Video
Director: Clyde Geronimi
Mary Costa
Bill Shirley
Eleanor Audley

DVD title: Cold Mountain
Productgroup: DVD
Cold Mountain - movie DVD cover picture
''You really care for the characters!"

My Age: 9 Years Old :I Want To Be an Actor Someday!"
My Rating: "*****-Five Stars out of Five."
My Favorite part/scene: When Ruby Thewes Meets Ada.

Some Critic's Reviews "Two Thumbs Up!" -Ebert&Roper "A Stunning Epic!" -Newsweek "Cold Mountain is Erotic, Poetic, and Stunning" -Rolling Stone "Breathtaking Fun, a real delicous treat!" -Screen Scene "It makes Gods and Generals look like Lima Beans!" -Preview My Screen "A Visual Feast of Poems and love!" -2004 Hit Movies/2003 "The Best love Story of the Year!" -Song and "THE BEST PICTURE OF THE YEAR!" -The Washington Post

Studio: Miramax Home Entertainment
Director: Anthony Minghella
Jude Law
Nicole Kidman
Renée Zellweger

DVD title: The Emperor and the Assassin
Productgroup: DVD
The Emperor and the Assassin - movie DVD cover picture
Chinese Epic Reminds Me of Shakespeare

This Chinese film from famous director Kaige Chen is epic in every sense of the word. It weighs in at almost 3 hours and unlike many bloated Hollywood "epics" this one feel like it could have used another three.
It tells a complex story from Chinese history, but don't let that deterr you from watching it. The performances are first-rate, especially that of Gong Li. Many consider her the world's foremost actress and films like this really show why. The film is also rife with military action that is as good or better than films like Braveheart.
There are so many serious moments and grand emotions, that I felt like I was watching a film rendition of Shakespeare. More than once, I was struck by the intensity of the emotions. That is something decidedly lacking in your average movie.
Make sure you add this film to you foreign film collection. You won't regret it.

Studio: Columbia/Tristar Studios
Director: Kaige Chen
Li Gong
Fengyi Zhang
Zhou Sun

DVD title: Have You Heard - Jim Croce Live
Productgroup: DVD
Have You Heard - Jim Croce Live - movie DVD cover picture
My First Hero

I remember being about 7 years old and seeing Jim Croce on PBS' Soundstage show. I was struck by his melodies even then. The first rock album my mom bought for me (I guess I'll call it "rock" for convenience's sake) was the album You Don't Mess Around With Jim that, of course, included the title track which I loved and which initially turned me on to Croce in the first place. But I loved all the songs. Songs like "A Long Time Ago," "Box #10" and "Dreamin' Again" from the Life and Times record got to me then and still get to me now. Croce's stuff never, ever gets old. To finally be able to see Croce and his guitarist, Maury Muelheisen, on this amazing DVD is more than a treat. It's a poignant look at what was and perhaps what might have been.
The defining moment of the DVD for me is during my favorite Croce song, "The Hard Way Every Time." It's a song that, as things tragically developed, turned out to be the writer's own eulogy. The song describes a life lived with plenty of failures and setbacks. However, after the last few words of the song: "And in looking back/At the faces I've been/I would sure be the first one to say/When I look at myself today/I wouldn't've done in any other way," someone in the audience starts to clap, but suddenly stops him/herself. In that brief moment, something very subtle, but also very triumphant, happens. It's difficult to explain, but confidently standing by and claiming one's life, and not discounting the tragedies that shaped one's character as much as if not more than the triumphs, is, to me, the very essence of being truly and honestly human. Croce, amazing artist that he was, captured that idea in a few lines in a two-minute song, and someone in that audience of long ago 'got it.' It's a beautiful moment that, for me, encapsulates this man's attitude and his short but wonderful and creative life.
I wish that Croce's CD's would be released in their original studio song sequences and packaging (although the 50th Birthday Collection comes pretty close in terms of the sequencing), but as long as the man's music is available in some form or another, someone will be out there to discover it and marvel at the tunes and lyrics that Croce was able to write. And now, we have this excellent visual document. Well done and, Ingrid and A.J., if you discover any more, put it out! You have one sure buyer in me.

Studio: Sony Music Entertain
Jim Croce

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TopSellers at Amazon - Sci-Fi and Fantasy movie DVD disks

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Book 6)
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Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Harry Potter (J.K. Rowling))
The Chronicles of Narnia
Knife of Dreams (Wheel of Time, Book 11)

Top 10 yahoo news about movie DVD-s

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Photo Release -- Servinova, a Cisco Systems Registered Partner Company Has Started Network Testing on CISCO Aironet (PrimeZone via Yahoo! Finance)
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Photo Release -- Servinova, a Cisco Systems Registered Partner Company Has Started Network Testing on CISCO Aironet (RedNova)
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