Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: A Passage to India
Productgroup: DVD
A Passage to India - movie DVD cover picture
An excellent film exploring the complexities of...

...Anglo/Asain relationships as does the novel. The central story is of the visit to a resident British Magistrate, Havers, of his Mother and Fiance from England,Ashcroft and Davis. The 2 women are intially excited by the prospect of visiting a foriegn land and latterly dissapointed if not disgusted by the colonization and treatment of the indigenious population by the resident British.
Pomposity, rudeness and the belief that all India needed was a British backbone are conveyed with chilling frankness. When the delighful Dr Aziz takes the women on a cave trip, trouble ensues when cultural nuances are misread by the sexually fraut and confused Ms Qestsed,Davis. The repurcussions are both enormous and overwhelming and seem to crystalise in an instant the differing passions of each nation and the abject failure to listen and communicate clearly because of pre-conceived ideas and prejudices.
The cast are outsatnding save for Guiness, who is frankly miscast and wasted here. The central women are excellent with Ashcroft being the stoic and sensible creature too polite to betray her true feelings to her British peers and yet understood by Indians becuase of her grace, calm and connection.
Davis is terrific as the fraut and cofused English girl, caught somewhere awkwardly between shy retiring Edwardian child and emancipated bright young thing.
The scenery is stunning and electric and the film seems to say as much to say about 1980's Anglo/Asian relations (10 years had passed since the first major wave of immigration to the UK from India and Africa when this film was made) as it does about those of the 1920's.
The resonance then and now, is the notion of communication versus stagnation and assumption, as so eloquently personfied by Ashcroft's Mrs Moore character. Superb end to a great career from Lean who intended to make Ghandi his follow up film, it was later made by Ateenborough following the death of Lean.

Studio: Columbia Tri-Star
Director: David Lean
Judy Davis
Victor Banerjee
Peggy Ashcroft

DVD title: O Brother, Where Art Thou?
Productgroup: DVD
O Brother, Where Art Thou? - movie DVD cover picture

This was one of the best coen brother's movies to date, which means it is one of the best movies to date. What makes this movie great is the use of music, setting, and great acting performances all around. The dvd is nice because of the dts mix as well as many extra features.

Studio: Touchstone Video
George Clooney
John Turturro
Tim Blake Nelson

DVD title: Wings of Desire
Productgroup: DVD
Wings of Desire - movie DVD cover picture
Wings of Desire

This film was remade into "City of Angels" with Meg Ryan and Nick Cage. This original version, "Wings of Desire", runs circles around the remake in both its artistic detail and content. I highly recommend this film to anyone who enjoys quality.

Studio: MGM/UA Video
Director: Wim Wenders
Bruno Ganz
Solveig Dommartin
Otto Sander
Curt Bois
Peter Falk

DVD title: The Kid / A Dog's Life
Productgroup: DVD
The Kid / A Dog's Life - movie DVD cover picture
Simply a delight!

"The Kid" is easily Chaplin's best film overall and seems to be a reflection of Chaplin's own childhood at times. It begins a bit quietly and becomes both hilarious and poignant. It is difficult not to view Chaplin as one of the best film makers of all time when you realize he wrote the story, composed the score (which does a beautiful job setting the moods), directed and acted. I became a bona fide Chaplin fan after seeing this one!

Studio: Image Entertainment
Director: Charles Chaplin
Charles Chaplin
Edna Purviance

DVD title: The Legend of Bagger Vance
Productgroup: DVD
The Legend of Bagger Vance - movie DVD cover picture
Highly underrated.

Whatever happened to giving a movie a chance? Critics and audiences seem to have totally lost their ability to watch a movie that does not involve at least 6 violent or racy scenes. This was a traditional movie, that had a beginning, middle and an ending. A good moral, good actors and a marvelous script. There was one war scene, but done in slow motion, as if it was a memory slowly fading away. I thought this movie was very good, if not a bit corny at times, it was a lovable innocent movie, which I highly recommend.

Studio: Dreamworks Skg
Director: Robert Redford
Will Smith
Matt Damon

DVD title: Disney's The Kid
Productgroup: DVD
Disney's The Kid - movie DVD cover picture
Misleading title...Great movie

Well, this movie has Bruce Willis starring in it, so from the very start, you know that it's definitely not going to be bad. This was the first Disney movie I've seen in a long time. It was strange to hear words like "jerk" and phrases such as "holy smokes" instead of the more commonly-used swearing we always hear in movies!
I liked the premise of the story, since I've often wished I could meet mini-me, so I went along to check it out.
I thought it was going just okay, until I started crying just that little bit! It really makes you think about your own life, and how being an adult can eliminate your dreams... if you let it. Sometimes you have to think about, and allow yourself to remember the negative events that occurred in your past, in order to get over it, forgive yourself and move on.
The kid wasn't annoying, so that was a bonus too! Brucey Baby, of course, was in amazing form. A great movie for the whole family, as they say!

Studio: Disney Studios
Director: Jon Turteltaub
Bruce Willis

DVD title: Paul Van Dyk - Global (DVD-CD Combo)
Productgroup: DVD
Paul Van Dyk - Global (DVD-CD Combo) - movie DVD cover picture
Excellent Comprehensive Release

Comprehensive release from one of the most popular DJ/Composer/Performers in the world. Paul Van Dyk is a major reason why Trance has emerged as perhaps the world's most popular form of electronic music.
This release includes a DVD highlighting 13 Paul Van Dyk Compositions along with an audio CD of the same tracks. The video is primarily a travelogue showing footage from throughout the world which serves to showcase the worldwide appeal of Paul's music. There is also footage of Paul performing on stage although this is somewhat limited which is perhaps just as well since there is not as much of a visual aspect to a DJ performing live compared to a live band. The crowd shots do however show the excitement generated by Paul's music. The DVD also includes 5 complete, uncut Paul Van Dyk Videos along with a short 5 minute interview with Paul as well as a short documentary showing comments from his fans. The are also some clips advertising various movies that Paul has composed music for.
I would encourage any Paul Van Dyk fans to consider purchasing this as well as anyone interested in finding out more about his music or as introduction to Trance or Electronic music in general. Basically, for about the price of a CD you get the CD plus the DVD.
Here are the Track Listings:
1. We Are Alive2. Seven Ways3. Forbidden Fruit4. Beautiful Place5. Another Way6. Tell Me Why7. Step Right On8. Words9. Together We Will Conquer10. A Magical Moment11. For An Angel12. Animacion13. My World
Here are the Videos:
1. Another Way2. For An Angel3. Forbidden Fruit4. Tell Me Why5. We Are Alive

Studio: Caroline Distributio
Paul Van Dyk

DVD title: Gettysburg (Widescreen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Gettysburg (Widescreen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Historical Film making at its best....

There are numerous problems with this movie, but I still have watched it 50 times and never get sick of it. Despite some of the near-fatal flaws with the film, it still is riveting in sections and is always an emotional viewing experience.
What are the some of the problems? First, the make-up department needs to have their heads examined with the plethora of terribly cheap, fake beards in the movie. Longstreet's beard, in particular, looks like a rabid Chia pet on steroids. The real James Longstreet never had a beard that approached the ample levels of this beard. Tom Chamberlain's chin whiskers are also very phony looking, as is Sheen's beard as Robert E. Lee. Jeff Daniels' mustache, as JL Chamberlain, bears a great resemblance to Yosemite Sam. You may think this criticism is trivial, but the movie would have been strengthened considerably by a decent make-up department. They also need to remove the wedding rings on the major actors. The only Civil War general who wore a wedding ring was Ulysses S. Grant and he wasn't at Gettysburg.
Another weakness is the sheer length of the movie. Where was the editor? There are many scenes which beg to be cut: all of the scenes with British Colonel Freemantle are superfluous, as is the later scenes with Confederate spy Harrison. Lee's dressing down of Stuart and Trimble are also overly long. A good hour needs to be lopped off the film.
The uniforms of the major participants are also laughable. Even after a day's battle, there is never a scratch, splotch or blood stain on any garment. This is unrealistic. The lack of carnage and blood in all the battles is also unrealistic.
Another criticism is the age and weight of the reenactors in the film. Most seem to be in their 40's and almost all are 100 pounds too heavy to be accurate in their bit roles. The average Confederate soldier at Gettysburg was 20 years old and weighed 140 pounds, some of these extra's are Orson Welles look alikes!
But... and this is a *big* "but..." Jeff Daniels performance as Chamberlain is outstanding, he carries the first half of the film. The scene at Little Round Top is superlative and moving. Tom Berenger as Longstreet carries the second half of the movie, even with his grotesque Chia-pet fake beard. Berenger is thoughful and excellent in his role. Martin Sheen makes a ridiculous and too-short Robert E. Lee and his accent is hardly that of a Patrician Virginian, more like a Georgia dirt farmer.
The two highlights of the movie are the Little Round Top and Pickett's charge scenes, both are magnificent. If you want accurate civil war history, this is an uneven treatment, but if you want an entertaining introduction into the American civil war, this is it.

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Ronald F. Maxwell
Tom Berenger
Martin Sheen

DVD title: Buffy the Vampire Slayer - The Complete Fifth Season
Productgroup: DVD
Buffy the Vampire Slayer - The Complete Fifth Season - movie DVD cover picture
same disk

Did anyone else out there get two copies of disk two and no disk 5? I have bought it twice now at target and they were both messed up.

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox Home Video
Sarah Michelle Gellar

DVD title: Battle of Britain
Productgroup: DVD
Battle of Britain - movie DVD cover picture
Why would anyone watch this movie?

A. Incredible WWII Aircraft (they went to alot of trouble to get these planes, some found in Spain).B. Great depiction of the air battles.C. Wonderful job of portraying officers and enlisted men at leisure and in battle.D. Even in this age of CGI the F/X of this movie still stand up nicely.E. To annoy those that don't appreciate this movie.
I'm a Yank and I love this movie! This is one of the many wonderful WWII movies the British have produced. I am a big fan of WWII movies and this is one of the best available. Call me slightly prejudiced but their portrayals are more realistic to me than many of our American made war movies. Don't get me wrong I love John Wayne too, but the Duke was larger than life. Another good example of the Brits abilities is "Sink the Bismarck". Talk about an exceptional movie. So I suggest all my fellow Yanks catch this movie, and my hats off to the Brits for making it.

Studio: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Director: Guy Hamilton
Michael Caine
Trevor Howard

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