Film DVD related reviews


DVD title: Hard Eight (Special Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Hard Eight (Special Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
An Overlooked Diamond


This film is a slow character study set in the poor gambling world on the outskirts of Nevada. It doesn't start strong, but over time there is a buildup of surprising power. Sidney, the old gambling pro, takes his young protege into his heart and lets himself feel deeply for the younger man.
It is a rare and mysterious act of altruism that is unexplained until later in the film.
Gwyneth Paltrow comes in later as a waitress/occasional hooker, who's personal weakness steers the characters into great danger.
I really felt the love - that Sid would do anything for his adopted son, despite his flaws, and that this relationship had given his empty life a new meaning and purpose.
The theme here is of losers, trying desperately to join hands and bring themselves a new life and a brighter future, despite their great problems and psychic devastation. This is a story of internal growth that we all emulate.
The dialogue style is also very distinctive and powerful, rather like David Mamet.
This was one of Gwyneth Paltrow's early films - It wasn't widely distributed, but it certainly lead to major roles later. She's obviously a very powerful talented actress - and it's more obvious here because this isn't a beauty-queen role. If anything it's the opposite, but she shines through it.
On the strength of this movie PT Anderson finished Boogie Nights two years later and is now an international star, if not yet a box-office hero.

Studio: Columbia/Tristar Studios
Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
Actors:
Philip Baker Hall
John C. Reilly




DVD title: Monster a Go-Go / Psyched by the 4-D Witch
Productgroup: DVD
Monster a Go-Go / Psyched by the 4-D Witch - movie DVD cover picture
Absolute insanity!


In Monster-A-Go-Go a space capsule returns to earth, crashing off-course. When it is located, the pilot is missing. Meanwhile a giant with bad skin is slowly shambling towards a city and everyone who comes near him drops dead from radiation poisoning. Could the giant really be the astronaut? And will the army remember that it has weapons such as sniper rifles capable of killing people from a distance before the film ends?
The best thing about Monster-A-Go-Go is its title, there is a gratuitous dance club scene, and the monster (played by a real giant) looks great (but you rarely get to see him). The more scientifically advanced viewer will find some amusement in the claim that the monster is becoming increasingly radioactive, causing his radius of danger to increase, when by definition any object which is radioactive becomes less dangerous over time (otherwise it cannot be giving off radiation!!) And there is a phone which does not ring until 7 minutes after it has already been answered (bad soundtrack). But mostly you get dull talky dialogue between people just standing around and detailed narration, most of it dubbed in, all of which put me to sleep more easily than accounting classes. The film is too tedious to watch without fastforwarding through most of it, even for a fan of old monster films like myself who doesn't expect to see gore, death and special fx every few seconds. This gets a very weak 2 star rating.
But you get more than your money's worth with Psyched by the 4D Witch. This is, hands down, THE most insane film ever made, and is almost beyond description (except by giving a detailed blow-by-blow account). It is sort of like a combination of one of Ed Wood's last few films (e.g. One Million AC/DC) and a REALLY intense, bad acid trip. Every few seconds you will ask yourself "WHAT WERE THEY THINKING!" I can't imagine even people going to a theatre completely stoned out of their minds failing to question the sanity of the filmmakers. From the beginning until the very end of the film you will think things cannot get any stranger, but they do! Not one single second of the film has visuals which are not weird or experimental. The acid rock theme song played repeatedly throughout the film is also hilarious and will haunt your brain for the rest of your life. Even during the most serious business meeting a voice singing "Beware of the 4D Witch, Beware!" will suddenly pop into your head. Could this film have been part of some sort of otherworldly psychological warfare program targeting the unsuspecting peoples of Earth? Perhaps! I'm wondering when the invasion will begin.

Studio: Image Entertainment



DVD title: Collateral
Productgroup: DVD
Collateral - movie DVD cover picture
The ride of his life


"Collateral" stars Tom Cruise as Vincent, a cool-as-ice assasin in L.A. for a rather ambitious group of hits in one night. Jamie Foxx plays Max, a cabbie with big dreams but little ambition. Vincent hires Max to drive him to his assignments, and the two spend the night becoming ... not exactly friends, but they do end up having a understanding of one another. The film is directed by crime genere great Michael Mann ("Heat" and "Miami Vice"), and he makes this movie his showcase; it is his life's achievment. He has a way of not just showing you Los Angeles, but making you feel like you are there; but it never feels like a travel log, and never gets boring. Cruise and Foxx are both great here, both at the top of their game. Cruise shows that his arrogence is put to better use as a villian, he is much easier to bare when you're supposed to hate him. He is cool, smooth, vain, and very intellegent; much like Lestat from "Interview with the Vampire". My only complaint is why the white hair and three days beard? Anyway, on to Maxx. It is very easy to identify with him, a little man with big dreams. We like him instantly as he flirts innocently with L.A. District Attorney Annie (Jada Pinkett Smith), and she likes him too, because she gives him her card. She likes him, so he must be OK. And then the rest of the movie is all about Vincent and Maxx, as the two become begrudgeingly friends. Some how this strange relationship works, like when Maxx takes Vincent to his mother in the hospital. I liked that the whole movie isn't about Vincent's killing, although when he is on the job he is amazing to watch, especially in the crowded night club.

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: Michael Mann
Actors:
Tom Cruise
Jamie Foxx
Jada Pinkett Smith
Mark Ruffalo




DVD title: Shrek (Two-Disc Special Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Shrek (Two-Disc Special Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Great Graphics, Great Actors, Great Movie, Great Fun


What can I say about Shrek? Almost the entire civilized world knows the story of this movie by now so I'll try to entice you into buying this with what I thought of it. Shrek begins with the ogre [voiced excellently by Mike Myers] scaring some peasants off of his property in his swamp and wishing only to be kept to his privacy. Soon, he discovers that there is a bounty out on all fairy tale creature and are being located to a namely location [Shrek's swamp]. During this Shrek encounters excellent characters all perfectly voiced with a donkey being voiced by Eddie Murphy, Princess Fiona voiced by Cameron Diaz and the Evil Lord Farquaad who is superbly voiced by John Lithgow. There were very few points in this movie that I could not even remotely describe as low. The movie is hilarious as it pokes fun at Disney a lot and was found to be pretty funny. The movie overall does deserves five stars as it lives up to the hype [lack of better word] originally put into it and was ultimately very enjoyable to watch. I could watch this movie again and probably will a great deal of times as it is quite enjoyable.

Studio: Dreamworks Skg
Actors:
Mike Myers
Eddie Murphy




DVD title: Cat Stevens - Majikat (Earth Tour 1976)
Productgroup: DVD
Cat Stevens - Majikat (Earth Tour 1976) - movie DVD cover picture
One of the best music DVDs ever


The packaging is decent, with the "Majikat" tour programme enclosed. But the real gem is the live footage, long thought lost and forgotten. With the dts/5.1 Surround sound, it does feel like you're at the show. I also don't know of a live Cat Stevens CD ever being released (a crime because the shows must have been great in person), so turn the TV off and enjoy the music on its own. 22 songs from this show!!! The "Banapple Gas" promo shows up as part of the concert. And extras to boot!!! 3 BBC clips, the "Father and Son" video, and the "Moonshadow" animation promo they used to show on HBO. There is also a 3 part interview which covers the basics, not as in depth as the VH1 Behind the Music, but covers a lot of ground in 30 minutes. The Discography menu has lyrics, but if you go to the Yusuf Islam/Mountain of Light recordings you will hear some spoken word followed by a song that the artist formerly known as Cat Stevens is singing on!! If there are any faults, only that some of the close-ups don't keep him in the frame, and it would have been interesting to see the pre-bearded Cat's clips and "The First Cut is the Deepest" included.

Studio: Eagle Vision
Actors:
Cat Stevens
Yusuf Islam




DVD title: South Park - Bigger, Longer & Uncut
Productgroup: DVD
South Park - Bigger, Longer & Uncut - movie DVD cover picture
Good Laugh


This movie is probably the funniest movies I have seen in a while, along with Team America. Who cares about the rating? This movie is good for under the age of 17 also. I just seen it yesterday and I'm 13.

Studio: Paramount Studio
Director: Trey Parker
Actors:
Trey Parker
Matt Stone




DVD title: Some Kind of Wonderful
Productgroup: DVD
Some Kind of Wonderful - movie DVD cover picture
Top 5 80?s Teen Drama w/ Strong Performances


I consider this one of the top five best teen movies of the 80's [Can't Buy Me Love, Breakfast Club, 16 Candles, Weird Science]. Additionally, I think it tops its sibling film, Pretty in Pink. The story of an obvious, unrequited love in the face of obsession is an old one. Producer Hughes has visited it often before and after, but the sincerity and heart-felt depth of the performances here makes this a special realization. Tomboy Watts, played by the luminous Mary Stuart Masterson, pines away secretly for her shy, artistic, mechanic best friend Keith [Eric Stoltz]. Stoltz in turn lusts after the school beauty Amanda Jones [Lea Thompson]. Villainy of different degrees is provided by Amanda's snobbish friends, and her current beau the devilish Hardy Jenss [Craig Sheffer giving us a taste of his upcoming Nightbreed persona.] I've always had a soft spot for the Hughes villains; and Hardy as the Corvette driving, Miami Vice homage-ing, cheating, boyfriend stands up well against the languid lizard-like cool of James Spader in Pretty in Pink. Support for Keith is provided by his dad, younger sisters, and a batch of new friends found in the depths of school detention. The movie revolves around Keith's courting of Amanda, and how Watts must stand idly by while her devotion is deflected. It becomes even more heart breaking to observe her chauffeuring the two on their big date; sobbing as she watches the two kiss in the light of an abandoned concert venue. Resolution comes at the party, to Charlie Sexton's Beat So Lonely. Hardy and Keith square off with the results one might expect. As this film ages, after 13 years [!], I continue to enjoy the interplay between the main characters when I see it. There really isn't a weak performance all the way around. As another reviewer mentioned, this is ultimately a sweet, reaffirming movie.

Studio: Paramount Home Video
Director: Howard Deutch
Actors:
Eric Stoltz
Mary Stuart Masterson




DVD title: Final Destination (New Line Platinum Series)
Productgroup: DVD
Final Destination (New Line Platinum Series) - movie DVD cover picture
Finally a good horror movie...


This movie was a delightful variation from the horror movie crap that Hollywood has been hammering out in recent years.
The relatively untouched actors give the film a feeling that mainstream movie stars couldn't.
While a touch on the gory side, it does get its point across.
Final Verdict: Don't miss.

Studio: New Line Home Entertainment
Director: James Wong (IV)
Actors:
Devon Sawa
Ali Larter




DVD title: Les Miserables
Productgroup: DVD
Les Miserables - movie DVD cover picture
Les Miserables


If you're expecting a movie that follows the book exactly (as one would, seeing that they have the same title), you will be disappointed. But that doesn't mean that this isn't a worthwhile movie. Liam Neeson and Geoffrey Rush's performance make this one worth watching. I have never read the book or seen the play, so I suppose I am at a certain advantage because I do not have anything to measure this film against and I just accept this movie as any other movie. The only reason it doesn't get 5 stars from me is because I thought the scene where the lady tries to get the little girl to sit in Valjean's lap in a sexually suggestive way was disgusting. Fast forward through that part, and give it a chance!

Studio: Columbia/Tristar Studios
Director: Bille August
Actors:
Liam Neeson
Geoffrey Rush
Uma Thurman




DVD title: Notting Hill (Collector's Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Notting Hill (Collector's Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Top of the Hill


I have seen this film for about 10 times since it apear in cinema. I recomend everyone to see it because not only the place where it is set up is beautifull, but also que plot is interesting and excited. You never know how it will end till it finally does. Trust me, I can assure you that you will not feel betrayed.

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: Roger Michell
Actors:
Julia Roberts
Hugh Grant




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