Film DVD related reviews

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

Just like "The Big Lebowski" this movie is the one you can watch over and over again, many-many times and you won't get bored. Early works of Coen brothers like "Blood Simple" and "Miller's Crossing" were very good, but "Fargo" is an absolute pinnacle of their career to my opinion. Because what they are doing now is not awful of course but they are regressing for sure.
At first glance "Fargo" is a small movie - small cities, small people, small problems. But it's the Coen's genius that turned it all into a brilliant, smart, ironic and inimitable masterpiece. I've never been to Minnesota but to me the film seems so vivid. It's one of those rare occasions when you forget you're watching actors play. Here you watch real people who don't play at all - they live on screen. And they live funny. Every character here is so laughable it's hard to understand whether filmmakers laugh at them or pity them. And let's not forget it's a criminal film. This is one of the Coen brothers' gift - to make serious funny and absurd.
Dialogs are just awesome, I can't recall a movie which could compare to "Fargo" concerning dialogs. Maybe just "Pulp Fiction".
Definately a piece of cinematic art. Besides a very good edition with interesting documentary in bonus features.

Studio: Mgm/Ua Studios
William H. Macy
Steve Buscemi

DVD title: The Incredibles (UMD Mini For PSP)
Productgroup: DVD
The Incredibles (UMD Mini For PSP) - movie DVD cover picture


Director: Brad Bird
Craig T. Nelson
Holly Hunter
Samuel L. Jackson
Jason Lee

DVD title: Black Narcissus - Criterion Collection
Productgroup: DVD
Black Narcissus - Criterion Collection - movie DVD cover picture
"Black Narcissus" is black magic--hypnotic and gorgeous.

Michael Powell recreated the Indian Himalayas on a London soundstage for "Black Narcissus"--still an incredible feat of cinematic design. The lush, super-saturated color photography works much like the color in "Vertigo" to mesmerize viewers and draw them in to the emotional extremes of the story. 'Black Narcissus" is a brilliant study of what happens to people--in this case, a group of English nuns--when they lose their societal and emotional moorings; the result, of course, is anything but happy, so that even the seemingly mundane--i.e. Kathleen Byron applying red lipstick--becomes charged with Satanic evil. This, for my money, is Powell's greatest achievement--greater even than "The Red Shoes" or "The Thief of Bagdad."

Studio: Criterion Collection
Jack Cardiff
Deborah Kerr
David Farrar

DVD title: Bee Gees - One Night Only (DTS)
Productgroup: DVD
Bee Gees - One Night Only (DTS) - movie DVD cover picture
Excellent concert as always.....

What a great concert. They put on a hell of a show. I wish they had some of the songs that they deleted on there "One Night Only" CD. I appreciate there "Still Waters" album even more than before. They sang "Closer than Close" which I didn't know that Maurice sang lead vocals on. I always love hearing him sing. He has a wonderful voice. They also sang "Still Waters" from there latest album. "Alone" is also another song that they also sang. They sound just as good live than they do on any album. Since the sudden passing of Maurice these live concerts mean even more. If you are a big fan don't pass this one up. You won't be dissappointed. It is the last time we will see this great sweet man sing in concert again. Happy listening.

Studio: Image Entertainment

DVD title: George Harrison - Dark Horse Years 1976-1992
Productgroup: DVD
George Harrison - Dark Horse Years 1976-1992 - movie DVD cover picture
"By George" it's a winner!

This DVD is great, both picture and sound quality are 10/10. It's good seeing the two different "Got my mind set on you" promos and also the Eric Idle directed promo for "Crackerbox Palace" amongst others. The live clips from the tour of Japan (allegedly done to finance the struggling "Hand Made Films" company George started) are quite superb.

Thoroughly recommended!

Studio: Emi Distribution
George Harrison

DVD title: From Hell
Productgroup: DVD
From Hell - movie DVD cover picture
one hell of a movie

In the catalog of unsolved murders, the crimes of Jack the Ripper reign supreme. In all probability, they have inspired more speculation and creative work than have all the others combined. Inspired by a graphic novel series, this effort by the Hughes brothers is another in a long history of productions, each seeking to draw us into the terrors of a century past, leaving us once again chilled and bemused.
One of the things that set 'From Hell' apart is its efforts at authenticity. Costumes, characters and locale are minutely recreated. We are granted a long glance into the squalid realities of life in places like Whitechapel with very little candy coating. The conflicts between the bleak lives of London's prostitutes and the posh upper classes underline the fact that whatever the real motivation for the crimes, they were also symptomatic of a deeply divided culture. Characters like Inspector Fred Abberline (Johnny Depp) must tread the borders of both realms seeing only the worst that either has to offer.
It is only fitting that Abberline is a frequent user of opium who often has 'visions' that show him glimpses of the crimes. Fitting, because his opponent, the killer also lives in a dream world of his own. Abberline is a spectator forced to witness the inexorable artwork of the madman, desperately trying to puzzle out the motivations that set his nightmares in motion. We the onlookers shift out viewpoints from killer, to investigator, to victim, and beyond. For all that we have more information than Abberline; we come no closer to a solution.
Depp gives Abberline a certain fragility that contrasts with both the characters of the prostitutes he is struggling to save (led by Heather Graham as Mary Kelly) and the overwhelming self-confidence of those he serves. As such he is a bit of a phantom when compared to the likes of Sir William Gull (Ian Holm). This works quite well given that Abberline's own story can only begin to peak as The Ripper's draws to a close.
The film's explanation of the murders is one popular with many Ripper aficionados, and has been used in films before. The Hughes do find a way to twist this in their own way at the end, providing a bit of a surprise for the most jaded. While the production has more than its share of the grim and gory, the Hughes rarely indulge in purely gratuitous violence. Horror, when it comes, is swift and sure. We are not so much frightened as kept in a state of nervous anticipation.
The two discs of this set provide a beneficence of additional materials. Features about everything from Ripperology to the use of Absinthe. There is a tour of the recreated Whitechapel and full-length commentaries on the film. The Hughes brothers really did go to extremes in their production and the extras provide much insight into compulsive filmmaking.

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox Home Video
Johnny Depp
Heather Graham

DVD title: Remember the Titans (Widescreen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Remember the Titans (Widescreen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture

A high school football coach finds himself fighting for stakes much higher than the State Championship in this drama based on actual events. In 1971, a court order forces three high schools in Alexandra, Virginia (two white, one African-American), to integrate their student bodies and faculties for the first time.

As a result, Coach Bill Yoast (Will Patton), longtime head coach of the T.C. Williams High School football team, is asked to step down, and Herman Boone (Denzel Washington) is appointed to replace him as the school's first black faculty member. The new coach is hardly welcomed with open arms, either by the school's staff or the students, and the newly integrated team is full of players (both black and white) who have little trust or respect for one another.

But Boone is determined to put a winning team on the field - it's how he approaches the game, and his future depends on it. Against long odds, Boone helps his team overcome distrust and misunderstanding of their coach (and each other) as they become a gridiron force to be reckoned with. Remember the Titans also features Nicole Ari Parker, Kate Bosworth, and Jerry Brandt, and was produced by action-film kingpin Jerry Bruckheimer.

Studio: Disney Studios
Director: Boaz Yakin
Denzel Washington

DVD title: Lawn Dogs
Productgroup: DVD
Lawn Dogs - movie DVD cover picture

LAWN DOGS is a surprisingly original and exceptionally well done independent film.
Mischa Barton as Devon is amazing. Her face is pliable and ultra expressive, and even though she's the strangest little 10 year old captured on film, her adult mannerisms and dialogue show us a little girl who has been treated like a China doll by her parents; she's had a rough life and heart problems, which she explains with a dippety dit, etc. She wants to show that she is still a person and quite capable of doing the things her parents are trying to spare her from. Sam Rockwell is equally effective as the "poor white trash" who mows the rich people's lawns, a put upon young man, surprised at his friendship with this odd little girl.
When watching the film, though, watch the subtle portraits that are painted: when Devon wants to give Trent a glass of water, she reaches for one of the better glasses whereupon her mother tells her there's a glass for him under the sink---when Trent takes Devon to meet his parents, the mother offers them iced tea--in her best glasses; when Trent interrupts a barbecue at Devon's house, daddy offers him a couple hot dogs while the rest of the guests are eating steak and baked potatoes; when the community's fancy lantern shades are being stolen, they blame Trent, when it's really the nasty little boy who's doing this; when CDs are stolen from the golden boys' car, it's Trent who is blamed, when again, it's our little cowboy/indian/monster.
The supporting performances are very good: Kathleen Quinlan, as Devon's mom, who is messing around with one of the golden boys; Christopher McDonald as her dad, lost in the political workings of the development; Eric Mabius as one of the golden boys obviously interested in Rockwell's body as well.
There's no real dramatic big scenes and it's a leisurely film, but Barton and Rockwell are remarkable and the movie has a sense of realism to counteract the fantasy elements.

Studio: Vidmark/Trimark
Director: John Duigan
Sam Rockwell
Kathleen Quinlan

DVD title: True Women
Productgroup: DVD
True Women - movie DVD cover picture
Truly a classic!

I cannot believe I had never heard anything about this movie previously! It ranks pretty darn close to "Gone with the Wind" in my book. Another title could be "True Grit...Women of Course!"

Studio: Platinum Disc Corp
Director: Karen Arthur
Dana Delany
Annabeth Gish
Angelina Jolie
Tina Majorino
Rachael Leigh Cook
Michael York
Jeffrey Nordling

DVD title: The Last Unicorn
Productgroup: DVD
The Last Unicorn - movie DVD cover picture

This movie is as charming as it was the first time I saw it. The animation leaves a bit to be desired (it looks terribly similar to the animation in "The Hobbit"), but thanks to the beauty of the story, I was quickly able to overlook the "rustic" animation. An enchanting tale of a unicorn, afraid she is the last in the world, on a quest to find more of her kind and set them free from King Haggard and the Red Bull. This captivating movie is enough to rekindle even the hardest cynic's childhood belief in magic.

Studio: Lions Gate Home Entertainment
Jeff Bridges
Mia Farrow
Angela Lansbury

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