Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Curb Your Enthusiasm - The Complete First Season
Productgroup: DVD
Curb Your Enthusiasm - The Complete First Season - movie DVD cover picture

I have just seen the first season on digital TV here in the UK.
Larry David is just hilarious. Every little mistake he makes comes back to haunt him in each episode (like holding open the elevator, or ignoring someone dropping a golf ball). Every episode is so finely crafted it is worth watching several times.
Favourite episode? It has to be "The Bracelet", featuring an excellent performance by Patrick Kerr (Noel from Frasier) as a blind man, along with the fantastic Richard Lewis, with whom Larry ends up in a fight outside a jewellery store.
I want this show on DVD - in fact, I want all three seasons so that I can catch up with the rest of you in the US.

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Robert B. Weide

DVD title: Cure
Productgroup: DVD
Cure - movie DVD cover picture
4.5 Slow, but intriguing and powerful

I haven't been really, really scared by a horror film in a couple years now, but some of them can be pretty damn unnerving. Kiyoshi Kurosawa's 'Cure' is about as distressing and unsettling as any horror movie I've seen in a long time. Of course, this isn't a conventional horror film by any stretch of the imagination. Indeed, there really aren't any conventional horror setpieces, and the aftermath of the violence is shown far more often then the violence itself. Still, the ideas and the unrelenting, oppressive mood of the film more than make up for the relative lack of visceral and visual horror. On a superficial level, it resembles your typical Hollywood thriller, but that would be misleading and a grave disservice to the film. It doesn't cleanly fall into any category, which naturally makes the film more effective. 'Cure', honestly, could've been cut a bit w/o losing much, but its charms are rare and powerful, which more then makes up for these minor concerns.

In `Cure' Detective Takabe is investigating a series of gruesome murders, where the victims each have an `X' slashed into their throat. Naturally, these crimes would seem to be connected, except that in each case the killer is different, and is found not far away from the crime scene, in a disoriented state. They generally seem to be regular people, and none of them can explain precisely why they committed the crime. (One says, simply, `It seemed the natural thing to do, at the time) Beyond his professional concerns, Takabe is an angry, volatile individual with an uncomfortable home life, partially due to his wife, who suffers from some mental illness effecting her memory. Scenes involving the detection are intertwined with scenes following the man apparently responsible for killings, an amnesiac named Mamiya. How Mamiya insights the killings is somewhat uncertain, as he simply converses with the would be killer, constantly repeating questions and probing at them. It's hard to say why, but these scenes are fascinating and disturbing. We see three of them, in short order, learning more of his method each time, and though they are slow and a bit repetitive, they're powerful, necessary scenes, and definitely some of the best in the movie. (The first one is probably the standout scene for the whole film)

Koji Yakusho and Masato Hagiwara and both excellent as the cop and the killer, respectively. Hagiwara is quite creepy, with his slow, deliberate actions and his vaguely disconnected mannerism. Yakusho could have been you're typical angry, tough cop, but he gives his character genuine pathos by underlining his violence with real frustration and desperation. We can't fully understand why Takabe is so close to the edge, but we definitely believe it.

Atmospheric though this film is, the direction is fairly low-key. Kurosawa utilizes lots of long takes, letting the action slowly unfold before us, with lots of deliberate dialogue ad very little music. The camera angles are usually basic, straightforward and at about head or chest level, and usually not too close, creating a distance and coldness between the viewer and the action. Though this basic style works for atmospheric purposes, it isn't exactly all that interesting looking, which , combined with the relative lack of a plot, makes the second half of the film drag a bit at times. Still, their are some powerful images, such as a mysterious, electrocuted monkey and a gruesome scene where one of the killers attempts to remove a flap of flesh from the neck their victim, indifferent to her being observed by a horrified onlooker.

`Cure' is a socially concious film, though not in an excessively overt manner.Thematically, `Cure' seems concerned with the hollow, projected nature of the modern man. It appears that Mamiya is able to incite the killings by cutting through external defense of his victims, exposing how their external identity is not related to their true nature. (This is particularly appropriate, because as an amnesiac, Mamiya has no projected nature. Society cannot define him, because he doesn't know who society says he has to be.) Takabe is the perfect opponent for Mamiya, as he is hollow, but he realizes this, and hates it, rather then accepting it passively, like most do.

I don't want to give anything away, but I have to admit that I don't fully understand the final act of this film. I *think* I do, but I wouldn't wanna put money on it. Normally, I wouldn't wanna review something that I wasn't sure about, but I think the things I don't understand for sure are basically academic, stuff that just clears up the plot a bit. The basic ideas, the atmosphere and the themes all come through, and they are what really matter. And they work.

Studio: Home Vision Entertainment
Director: Kiyoshi Kurosawa
Masato Hagiwara

DVD title: Macbeth
Productgroup: DVD
Macbeth - movie DVD cover picture
A Leap of Faith Payed Off

A friend at work saw me reading Shakespeare on my lunch break. He complained that he couldn't wrap himself around the Bard, but he pointed out he hadn't read any Shakespeare since high school (he was now in his thirties). I pointed him at this rendition of Macbeth, and he was hooked.
I bought this video on a blind recommendation, a leap of faith that really paid off. Roman Polanski does what most other directors are afraid to do -- he treated the script like one that came over the transom yesterday, cutting and fitting to make it tell the story he wanted to tell. This was brave on his part, an untested method, a leap of faith that really paid off. Compare this to Branagh's Hamlet, in which the director was afraid to cut anything out, and created a product long enough to stultify even Cecil B. DeMille.
Some people complain about the violence. Bear in mind this was Polanski's first movie since the death of his wife, Sharon Tate, at the hands of the Manson cult. Some complain about the short shrift given the female characters. Polanski tried to tell a story about the murderous impulses in men; the women to him were storytelling devices. There are imperfections -- it was made by a human being after all -- but it's the best cinematic Shakespeare you're likely to get this side of resurrecting the Bard and getting him to direct it for you.

Studio: Columbia Tristar Hom
Director: Roman Polanski
Jon Finch
Francesca Annis

DVD title: The Mothman Prophecies
Productgroup: DVD
The Mothman Prophecies - movie DVD cover picture
A Good Creepy movie!

This movie was great! It held on to the creepyness of the mothman with out the mothman walking around like in most horror movies. Though this movie shold not be called horror at all. Over all a great movie that will make you think!

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

DVD title: Men in Black (Collector's Series)
Productgroup: DVD
Men in Black (Collector's Series) - movie DVD cover picture
Holey Toledo Batman!, it's the Men In Black!

this "MEN IN BLACK LIMITED EDITION DVD" kicks major butt!, don't worry, i'm not gonna get into detail about it cuz i'm sure 3/4 of the world has already seen it....but not 3/4 of the world own this MEN IN BLACK LIMITED EDITION DVD....picture quality and soundtrack enhanced with an endless array of Special Features! what more can u ask for? (no, u can't have the guns they used in the movie, but nice try)....i'm completely 110% satisfied and happy with this dvd and recommend it to anyone with a sudden urge for sci-fi humor, and with the sequal due out in theatres shortly....this will be a hard-to-fine item, so think fast or get it NOW!'s totally worth it!...otherwise i wouldn't have given it.....5 STARS! YEEEEHAWWW!

Studio: Columbia/Tristar Studios
Director: Barry Sonnenfeld
Tommy Lee Jones
Will Smith

DVD title: Unfaithful (Widescreen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Unfaithful (Widescreen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
On par with "In the Bedroom" nuances

Having read the reviews here, both positive and negative, I decided to see "Unfaithful" for myself and decide. I have always liked Diane Lane's and Richard Gere's acting, and they did not disappoint. Diane Lane is superb as the suburban wife and mother with a contented, quiet life who seems to be doing all tasks remotely, and suddenly feels alive and impetuous due to a chance encounter with a flirtatious hunk (Olivier Martinez)on a windy NY city day. She uncharacteristically ACTS on her strong attraction to him, and through that changes the course of all their lives. ALL ACTORS WERE SUPERB. Diane showed (just in her facial expressions alone!) how she suffered with her guilt at deceiving her husband and the ambivalence of her emotions....but her carnal desires won out and she could not (or I should say, would not)quench her fire for the hunk. I disagree with viewers who say that Richard Gere's acting was stiff. That was the point! He was supposed to be a conservative, unexciting guy, but one who loved his wife immensely and was thoroughly devoted to her and their child....and also worked hard to provide them with what they had. In his job it was shown how he felt about 'betrayals' when he wasted no time firing someone who he felt wasn't being loyal..(which had round-about repercussions too). Because he so loved his wife, he definitely was 'tuned' in to her nuances, and that turn-in the-road that she took when she acted on her attraction just gets twistier! I also disagree with the viewers who said it had 'no ending'. I felt the director, Adrian Lyne, did a superb job. This movie didn't get all the hype "Fatal Attraction" did (same director), but to me it was much more realistic. The nuances were such as that of "In the Bedroom" (with Sissy Spacek) but I liked the way Lyne ended "Unfaithful" better. To me, it was clear what they were going to do. (I won't say it in case someone wants to see it.) There is no 'happy, tidy endings' when love is betrayed and families are torn apart, and the director shows this. I wish more people had seen it! It was an EXCELLENT movie..(and there have been so few of them this year). One last thing: The movie was advertised alluding to sexy scenes, etc. This is what kept me away for so long...and maybe alot of others who don't like to 'see it all' on the screen'! It was erotic and sensual in an understated, wonderful way. There were no T&A flashing.

Studio: Fox Home Entertainme
Director: Adrian Lyne
Diane Lane
Richard Gere
Olivier Martinez

DVD title: Hannibal
Productgroup: DVD
Hannibal - movie DVD cover picture

I mean c'mon-I knew it was enevitable for some people and fans all over would not enjoy this picture. But it is truly art in the making. Ridley has this propensity to his craft to when he is behind the camera, almost anything is possible. Although many scenes i know were edited out of the final theatrical cut were not shown i am really excited for the directors cut. and i thought the gruesome ending with krendlers brain would have been a bit more graphic. I waws also dissapointed a bit because it was not true to the book's original ending, which the movie was probably all for the best because fans would not be able to accept the fact that Clarice and Hannibal ending up together dancing the to the tango in Buenos Aires. Butyou know what that means, with or without another novel by Thomas Harris, there has to be another movie in the Hannibal Lecter saga.
Comparing Hannibal to the past two films (manhunter, Sotl), Hannibal can not exceed the drama presented in silence of the lambs, but indeed exceeds Micheal Mann's version of Manhunter. Ya see I'm a really big fan of all the directors that helmed the Lecter saga-Black Rain and Blade Runner are two of my favorite movies, Mann's other films-Heat and Last of the Mohicans are without a doubt classics in the making. So I just hope when you put critique on this movie that you at least not only judge it on the fact that Jodie is gone and Julliane is in. Pour your soul into the 35mm camera and delve into the performance before you think of saying something out of term about this piece of art.

Studio: MGM/UA Video
Director: Ridley Scott
Anthony Hopkins
Julianne Moore

DVD title: 12 Monkeys
Productgroup: DVD
12 Monkeys - movie DVD cover picture
Gilliam is the best

12 Monkeys proves once again that Gilliam can direct other people's material. This transfer is very good, and there is a running commentary track by Gilliam throughout the film in addition to the regular film soundtrack. There is also a "making of" film that will amaze even the most die-hard (ahem) Gilliam fan. 12 Monkeys proves Gilliam can direct, Willis can act, and insurance salespeople have more fun. (Dual-layer disc - no flipping required.) END

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: Terry Gilliam
Bruce Willis
Madeleine Stowe
Brad Pitt

DVD title: Pearl Jam - Single Video Theory
Productgroup: DVD
Pearl Jam - Single Video Theory - movie DVD cover picture

This video is great! It shows the entire evolution of Pearl Jam throughout the "Yield" recordings!

Studio: Sony/Columbia
Pearl Jam

DVD title: Beautiful Thing
Productgroup: DVD
Beautiful Thing - movie DVD cover picture
A tearful journey through life

This film is one of the most exiting editions to gay culture. Beautifully written and directed, the best thing about it, is that it comes from a teenagers point of you. The film captures you form the very beggining with it's wit and sarcasm of a gay teenagers life. The two main characteres are a delight in the film, reminding us all of when we first fell in love with the boy next door. Jamie's mum is also wonderfully funny as she tries to deal with a son who is different from the rest.

Studio: Columbia Tri-Star
Director: Hettie MacDonald
Linda Henry
Glen Berry

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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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