Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: The Sopranos - The Complete Second Season
Productgroup: DVD
The Sopranos - The Complete Second Season - movie DVD cover picture
Bada Bing...Soprano's is the top of the DVD's best

HBO had tremendous insight in developing and running with the Soprano's series. They have attempted to coat-tail their success with "Sex and the City" and "Six Feet", but have not created the buzz and success of this high-quality, well-written series. If you liked the first season, you will love the second. If you haven't seen it, you'll still love it. The storylines are great, the characters are endearing and the acting is superior to most of what passes for film these days. James Gandolfini is awesome and the supporting cast can all act well. Great show! Don't miss the third season in its DVD release or the 4th and possible last season, beginning in Sept. 2002.

Studio: Warner Home Video
James Gandolfini

DVD title: Koyaanisqatsi - Life Out of Balance
Productgroup: DVD
Koyaanisqatsi - Life Out of Balance - movie DVD cover picture
Der Beste Film dieser Art

Dieser Film, mit seinen ergreifenden, sowie auch zum richtigen Zeitpunkt, nervigen und be?ngstigenden Scenen, begeistert immer wieder aufs Neue. Ich habe Ihn seit 1980 schon 4 Mal gesehen und jedes Mal gibt er mir eine neue Message. Ich w?rde es begr?ssen,wenn er k?uflich w?re.

Studio: MGM/UA Video
Director: Godfrey Reggio
Philip Glass

DVD title: Possession
Productgroup: DVD
Possession - movie DVD cover picture
There's Much More Going One Here Than You Think

Yeah, Possession. The First time I saw this film I was catatonic by the end. My 3 friends and I talked about it so much we got 4 new friends to watch it with us again. We continued discussing & marveling over it and watched it yet again on the third night (ten people this time). Why? Because this isn't really a horror film. Yeah, there's a "monster", but only in America would this get relegated to the "Horror" genre. Because here, we usually make films to fit in a box, follow a formula or entertain, not as a catharsis for the director. Several years ago there was an amazing fan site to this man's work (which doesn't seem to exist anymore) that went into infinite detail about his films and personal life. Suffice to say, there's much more going on here than you think.

During 1970's and 80's Poland, all films were approved by the Polish film commission and Zulawski's second film "Diabel" (1975)was banned. Made in Polish, "Diabel" was essentially cut off from it's only possible audience. He took a trip to France, ended up making a film and then returned to his homeland. He worked on yet another film for two years which the authorities did not allow him to finish. Since then he has basically lived and worked successfully in France.

"Possession" is the first film he made immediately following the 2nd incident in Poland. I read an interview where he talked about how his personal identity was in crisis at the time due to his divorce and being (for all intents and purposes) exiled from his homeland. "Possession" is better described as 3 films in 1. The first part is indeed a drama centering around a couple who's marriage is falling apart. As their discord escalates, it becomes a horror film with some scenes taking place only in the psyche of the wife. The last part is an action film, driving the frenzied pace even higher through chase sequences.

There are many lines of dialog (especially in exchanges between Hans and Sam Neil) that were written as critique of his treatment by the government of Poland. In many ways this film is an examination of the internal landscape of Zulawski at that moment; divorced from his wife and exiled by his beloved homeland. It's astoundingly dramatized because he was probably on the verge of a nervous breakdown, and these characters/actors are screamingly portraying every pent-up emotion he wasn't allowed to say about Poland to his fellow countrymen. I love this film. I love every gut wrenching, hysterical, chatoic minute of it. Long live Zulawski.

Studio: Anchor Bay Entertainment
Director: Andrzej Zulawski

DVD title: Labyrinth
Productgroup: DVD
Labyrinth - movie DVD cover picture
An all-time classic; a must own video.

Jim Hensen has a reputation for great family movies. This video is not the exception. The plot is magically intertwined around a fantastic story about a young girl and the consequences of her words. If you don't let your kids see this one you might permentantly harm them.

Studio: Columbia/Tristar Studios
Director: Jim Henson
David Bowie
Jennifer Connelly

DVD title: Paper Moon
Productgroup: DVD
Paper Moon - movie DVD cover picture
Depression era--but far from depressing

I discovered this funny gem a few years ago and haven't been able to stop watching it. The humor is subtle and hilarious, the acting superb. Tatum O'Neal's frank and mature performance as her real-life father's tag-along cohort in crime makes the movie. If you enjoy tales of lovable con-artists, this is definitely for you.

Studio: Paramount Home Video
Director: Peter Bogdanovich
Ryan O'Neal
Tatum O'Neal

DVD title: The Others
Productgroup: DVD
The Others - movie DVD cover picture
Sleeper Hit

I went to see this with my niece and son and it was absolutely wonderful! The kids were totally creeped out. No blood, no gore, just good old fashioned haunting mystery. No one else I know of watched this movie and it was out for the longest time before coming to video. Buy or rent the DVD and watch it at night, with NO distractions. Your full attention is needed in order to fully appreciate this movie.

Studio: Miramax
Director: Alejandro AmenĂ¡bar
Nicole Kidman
Christopher Eccleston

DVD title: Rushmore
Productgroup: DVD
Rushmore - movie DVD cover picture
Who is your Rushmore?

This is a precious movie. No, the characters are not specially sweet and tender, and they all have warped motivations. Nevertheless, the movie shows, by utilizing caricatures, some truths about people and trust.

Rushmore is the name of a highly prestigious preppy academy. Max Fischer, wonderfully played by Jason Schwartzman, is a sophomore who dreams of being a scholastic genius, but who has to compensate for his lack of academic capacity by involving himself in extra-curricular activities (or maybe his academic failures can be attributed to his extra-curricular activities). To list all the clubs that he is a member, president, or founder would easily go over the 1000 word limit, so let's just say that if one can imagine any sort of school or after school activity, Max has done it. His greatest passion is theater, for which he writes, directs, and acts; the plays he concocts are hilariously extravagant productions, and unfortunately cannot be described without giving away some great moments and visual effects. Simply put, Max does not believe in half measures.

Max attends Rushmore on a full scholarship provided by Mr. Guggenheim, the principal, but that scholarship is in jeopardy due to his poor grades and extravagant behavior. To further complicate matters, Max comes from a humble family, his father is a barber, and he feels shame, lying about his family to his friends.

The plot centers around Max and two adults. Mr. Blume, a steel magnate played by Bill Murray, is rich, but not one who can be considered part of the elite. He does drive a Rolls Royce, but for him, it might as well have been a Buick. He drives it everywhere, without care or pride. He has two annoying, spoiled sons and has been having marital difficulties. After giving a speech at Rushmore, where his sons attend, Mr. Blume meets Max, and they both become friends - one a precocious child and the other an adult that never really grew up. The third player of this comedy is Miss Cross, played by Olivia Williams, a new elementary school teacher at Rushmore. Max falls desperately in love with her, but so does Mr. Blume, and the race is on.

The humor can best be described as oblique. The situations are funny because they are strange, but they take place in an extremely matter of fact way. The score enhances this perception by its constant pace. It is muted, calm, unlike most comedies where the music serves as the laugh track for the movie, and the audience clearly know where they are supposed to laugh by just listening to the crescendos in the score.

The movie raises interesting questions about trust and friendship. Who are our friends and our enemies, and if trust is broken, can it ever be repaired? Can one trust in others without trusting in oneself? The movie takes the audience in a journey of self-discovery, using Max as the little paranoid/compulsive child in all of us, the child that wants to be loved and admired, even though it is painfully aware of its own shortcomings. The lessons, although sometimes funny, can also hurt. All in all, it is a satisfying movie that has depth and humor. There is much to be learned from Max Fischer, and the audience will have a blast while doing so.

Studio: Touchstone Video
Director: Wes Anderson
Jason Schwartzman
Bill Murray

DVD title: Triumph of the Will (Special Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Triumph of the Will (Special Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Propoganda at it's very best

This is the most skillfully done propaganda previous to Michael Moore's Farenheit 911. The techniques employed to present you with undeniably accurate film and at the same time to make you see and feel what Riefenstahl wants you to, are way before their time. No wonder Goebbels felt threatened by her skill.

Studio: Synapse
Director: Leni Riefenstahl
Adolf Hitler
Hermann Göring

DVD title: Fright
Productgroup: DVD
Fright - movie DVD cover picture
A forgotten horror gem

A truly frightening film. Babysitter (Susan George) is hired to take care of kid, while couple goes to dinner. But that couple has a skeleton in its closet in the form of the woman's ex-husband who once tried to kill her. He's sent away to a psychiatric hospital, but escapes and decides to get even with wife who put him there.Film contains truly scary sequences and is a hundred times better than the generic "babysitter in peril" that appeared during the late 70's-early 80's. Acting is superb throughout, and Ian Brennan as the psychotic ex-husband is truly brillant. Film is a must see for horror fans.

Studio: Anchor Bay Entertain
Director: Peter Collinson
Honor Blackman
Susan George

DVD title: Miracle (Widescreen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Miracle (Widescreen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
A Really Wonderful Film!

This is a great movie which recaptures the moments leading to and including the 1980 Olympic USA Men's Hockey victory over the U.S.S.R on their way to winning the gold medal in the games in Lake Placid, NY during a time of a ton of world chaos! I was almost in junior high school during this time and 'Miracle' sure did bring back a lot of memories for me!
Kurt Russell(one of my favorite actors!)plays head coach Herb Brooks. He does a great job here as always and after just a few moments, you forget that it's Russell on the screen and not the real Brooks. I have to say that I really loved seeing the plaid wardrobe! He really gave a fabulous performance showing Brooks' drive to win the gold despite horrible odds and at great expense to himself. His players may hate him for training them so hard, but he thinks if they do, it will give them something in common and they won't have time to hate each other.
Alot of great moments in the movie dealing with the different players and the DVD had some great extras with a lot of behind the scenes stuff. My only suggestion would be to include the deleted scenes.
Coach Brooks ran a tight ship and ran his players hard, but there was always a reason for what he did and the movie shows this well. He took a bunch of young players who were selected for his program and they were very much a divided unit, undisciplined and with old school rivalries and different personalities coming between them. They ended up growing together and became a family by the time they got to Lake Placid and it was a very realistic transformation. Suffering through Brooks' strenuous and sometimes even unbelievable training methods gave them all something in common and bonded them forever.
The game scenes were filmed incredibly well and you actually do feel like you're seeing the real thing. Very emotional.
All the actors did a great job and the casting was perfect!
I got the DVD and love watching it all the time and never get tired of seeing it! You really don't have to be a hockey fan to love 'Miracle'! You'll really love it!

Studio: Buena Vista Home Vid
Director: Gavin O'Connor
Kurt Russell
Patricia Clarkson
Nathan West

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