Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Waking Life
Productgroup: DVD
Waking Life - movie DVD cover picture
An Incredible Amount of Depth for a Film

Almost invariably, "Waking Life," the 2001 animated film from Richard Linklater is described as `original.' For once, this oft-overused moniker is accurate: there isn't anything quite like this movie. It advertises itself as a series of philosophical vignettes, which range all over the subject spectrum but are usually united by a common thread of meaning: that of dreams and the reality of the `dream world.'
A film based upon that premise could easily fall into the highschool-discussion/drug-induced-nonse nse level of discourse, but "Waking Life" plunges headlong into the fray without batting an eye. Fairly early in the film, pretentious philosophy is dismissed with a nice rebuttal to the sophomoric question: "What if you're just a construct of my dream, and exist only in my mind?" "Well, then I'm as real as anything else." And that's the starting point for a meditation on the meaning (if any) of dreams, and some of the dreamlike things people encounter in their daily lives.
"Waking Life" is also animated, using a pretty unique form of animation: each scene was shot, and then "drawn over" by animation artists in a variety of styles, from expressionist art to nearly-photographic digital renderings, depending on the mood of each scene. The result is something that resembles an acid trip or a hallucination, where tables of restaurant patrons float above the ground, faces change while moustaches stay the same, and the background is in a near-constant state of flux. It can get nauseating after a while, but the overall effect is subtle enough not to draw attention from the content of the film, which is a rare quality for so-called "art" films. It's almost a crime that "Jimmy Neutron" was nominated for "Best Animated Film" while "WL" was not.
Because of these varied qualities, "Waking Life" isn't for everyone, and certainly gets a "rent-if-before-you-buy-it" caveat. The DVD presentation is as good as one could want: an anamorphic widescreen presentation with crisp colors and a 5.1 soundtrack (not that philosophical conversation requires dynamic sound), and a nice helping of extras. Don't write "Waking Life" off as something smart people (or those who pretend to be smart) will enjoy and yack about - it's just not the average, everyday film and requires an attentive mind and (perhaps) multiple viewings to fully enjoy. For those willing to take the plunge with an open mind, "Waking Life" is a rewarding film experience.
Final Grade: A

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox Home Video
Richard Linklater
David Sosa
Wiley Wiggins

DVD title: Amor Real
Productgroup: DVD
Amor Real - movie DVD cover picture
Amor Real

Imagine a story set in Jane Austen's time, told by Gabriel Garcia Marquez and infused with the passion of authors Marcela Serrano and Angeles Mastretta. Then, imagine what an excellent wardrobe, unsurpassed historical sets, and the most talented group of actors can accomplish. Now, picture the drama unfolding before you in full-color. Never has Televisa produced such a masterpiece.

Studio: Umvd/Visual Entertai

DVD title: Big Fish
Productgroup: DVD
Big Fish - movie DVD cover picture
Delightful, Deep, and Sensitive

Tim Burton is a master of movies that blur genre lines. Burton's Batman and Batman Returns were action-adventure-superhero movies with a twist of black humor provided by Nicholson's Joker and DeVito's Penguin, respectively. Beetlejuice and Sleepy Hollow were horror-comedies, and Mars Attacks was kitsch-scifi-comedy. I could go on, but will get to the point. Big Fish contains elements of tragedy, comedy, adventure, fantasy, and drama, and mixes them up into a delightful and sensitive tall tale unlike any of Burton's other works.
The casting is immaculate: Ewan McGregor makes a great younger version of Albert Finney, and Allison Lohman is a dead ringer for a young Jessica Lange. Other members of this stellar cast include Danny DeVito, Steve Buscemi, Billy Crudup, Helena Bonham Carter, and Robert Guillaume.
Although the story is a bit uneven at times, spending a few moments too long in the fantastical reconstructions of Finney's youth, the stories are so worthwhile and entertaining that the viewer is willing to overlook this shortcoming. The movie also runs a bit long at just over two hours, but the final scenes tie the movie together neatly and give the viewer a sense of completeness and satisfaction with the outcome.
The primary theme of the film is the stories that we tell and how they affect other people's lives, a topic in which I have long had a casual interest. A secondary, but nonetheless important theme is one of a son reconciling with, coming to grips with, and ultimately accepting his father for who he is, not who the son wants his father to be. This theme alone makes the film worthwhile, and causes the viewer to reflect on his or her own parental relationship.
Viewed with a less critical eye, the movie is still very entertaining and the sort of wildly imaginative story to which only Burton could do justice. Probably the best film I've seen since The Passion of the Christ.

Studio: Columbia Tristar Hom
Director: Tim Burton
Ewan McGregor
Albert Finney
Billy Crudup

DVD title: Memento (Limited Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Memento (Limited Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
This movie has everything you want in a thriller and more!!!

This movie is a testament to Christopher Nolan's artistic ability to direct a well crafted thriller and still tell a tragic story about loss, love, justice, and manipulation. The loss of love, memory, have happened to Leneord (Guy Pearce)who is seeking revenge for the murder and rape of his wife. He lossed his short term memory during the incident. The movie works in reverse, so the thriller is even more compelling.
He is further burdened by two others in his "short-term" memory life: Teddy (Joe Pantoliano) and (Natalie) Carrie-Anne Moss. Both persons are manipulating Lenoard and as the story progresses, one feels sorry for are tragic hero, because no matter how hard he tries and every system he employs to remember events, he is surronded by people who have other agendas for him.

Studio: Columbia Tristar Hom
Director: Christopher Nolan
Guy Pearce
Carrie-Anne Moss
Joe Pantoliano

DVD title: Being John Malkovich
Productgroup: DVD
Being John Malkovich - movie DVD cover picture
It is good

I liked this movie, IT IS VERY GOOD.

Studio: Usa Films
Director: Spike Jonze
John Cusack
Cameron Diaz
Catherine Keener
John Malkovich

DVD title: Battlestar Galactica (2003 Miniseries)
Productgroup: DVD
Battlestar Galactica (2003 Miniseries) - movie DVD cover picture

I grew up with and loved the original series. THe star wars craze of the time gave birth to this classic sci fi. The new updated version is what i believe Glen Larson envisioned for his show but was hampered by the tv genre at the time. What the new glactica brings is a more human touch as well a technolgy that makes it stand better the the original. Alot of emotion was not there in the original series. You never got the sense of the tradgedy at hand in the original series. In this newer version you do. You can feel the horror and fear in these characters knowing that they are being wiped out by the very things they created. You can feel the despair they feel to learn that what was once 12 planets with beaming large populations has been reduced to a rag tag fleet of the remaining 15,000 people left alive from this holocaust. Very well done indeed. With strong character development and a great revised story this miniseries goes where the original never could. I think if the new tv series is as good many will forget about the original.Its that good

Studio: Universal Studios Ho
Director: Michael Rymer

DVD title: The Simpsons - The Complete Sixth Season
Productgroup: DVD
The Simpsons - The Complete Sixth Season - movie DVD cover picture
For all you worried collectors

I was just looking at the ezydvd website, apparently they initially had a picture of a green box in the same style as 1-5, and then i looked again and it had the homer design. Just to clear things up, the website said it comes with a limited edition outer box. So i guess that means the regular box is inside. Other than that, these are some of the greatest episodes of the simpsons made. So regardless of what type of packaging it has, buy the box set simply because this is a classic TV show and it's not the box you're going to be watching over and over again.

Studio: Fox Home Entertainme
Dan Castellaneta

DVD title: Wisegirls
Productgroup: DVD
Wisegirls - movie DVD cover picture
It wasn't in theaters ... why?

This movie is AMAZING!!! Mira delivers a performance that will floor you. She is utterly fantastic in this film. And Mariah, who was also amazing in GLITTER, is strangley even more fantastic in this movie. Its a smaller role, but her performance is perfect and believable to the point where you go "She reminds me of ..." This movie is fantastic. And yet it went straight to DVD and I can NOT figure out why ... this movie deserves to be in theaters. But instead a great movie like this will get no recognition, but KANGAROO JACK is in theaters ... this world boggles my mind.

Studio: Lions Gate Home Entertainment
Director: David Anspaugh

DVD title: Grave of the Fireflies
Productgroup: DVD
Grave of the Fireflies - movie DVD cover picture
Grave of the Firelflies

I bought this DVD for my boyfriend for his birthday, and it was such a moving film! I really got to know the characters. It is rather haunting, and a little sad, but it is very powerful! I highly recommend it. The illustrations are done like a watercolor painting, and enhances the whole film as a whole. Stunning!!

Studio: Cpm/Us Manga Corps
Director: Isao Takahata
Tsutomu Tatsumi
Ayano Shiraishi
Akemi Yamaguchi

DVD title: Extreme Days
Productgroup: DVD
Extreme Days - movie DVD cover picture
This movie is EXTREME!

This is a great movie. I went to it in theaters and thought it was awsome. It is about four guys who go on a road trip, along the way they pick up a girl. They do extreme sports and have a great time. Its a blast everyone should own this movie.

Studio: Spartan Home Enterta
Director: Eric Hannah
Dante Basco
Ryan Browning

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