Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Keith Jarrett Trio - Live at Open Theater East
Productgroup: DVD
Keith Jarrett Trio - Live at Open Theater East - movie DVD cover picture
Best Jazz DVD I Own

I really wish all jazz DVDs were like this. No gimmicks, no useless documentary, just amazing jazz from possibly the most acclaimed trio still playing today. The sound quality is impeccable, allowing you to really appreciate Jarrett's poignant lyricism. Out of all the live jazz I've seen, only Jarrett has moved me to tears with the pure beauty of his playing. This DVD is a great capture of a great live performance.
Jarrett and his Trio are acclaimed for bringing standards back to the modern jazz limelight. The decades-old chemistry between Jarrett, Peacock, and DeJohnette is obvious from their remarkable interaction in this concert.
Although I've never heard Jarrett play a bad set, this one exceeds my expectations. I've always been partial to the trio's "Bye Bye Blackbird", but other tracks like "Oleo" and "Solar" are among the true gems on this DVD.
The performance is wonderfully warm and live, with shots lingering just long enough to let you take it all in without engaging in the hyperactive camera work plaguing some music DVDs today. It's entertaining to see Jarrett lose his time in the first solo chorus of "Oleo", as former Miles-sideman DeJohnette throws him off with all sorts of off-beat explorations. Many complain about Jarrett's signature groans and horribly out-of-tune whining, but any Jarrett fan quickly learns to naturally filter them out. If you really have a problem with that sort of thing, don't buy this DVD or you will be distracted and more than a little disgruntled. On the other hand, if you can bear it this DVD is one of the best jazz DVDs out there.

Studio: Image Entertainment

DVD title: The Thin Red Line - DTS
Productgroup: DVD
The Thin Red Line - DTS - movie DVD cover picture
Fantastic - a slightly flawed but awe-inspiring masterpiece

I have to admit that I disliked this film initially. It certianly isn't for every taste, and it's sheer torture to sit through if you're in a restless mood. That said, if you ARE in the right mood, it's absolutely incredible. This was my second favorite movie of 1998, and would have been a shoo-in for first in almost any other year.

Perhaps the big turn-off for many was this film's unconventionality. I'd be hard-pressed to compare it to any other film that I've seen - it is very, very artsy, incredibly slow - and amazingly, it works beautifully.

On my second viewing, I realized that the film follows the Three Act structure (I didn't think it had any sort of structure at all when I first saw it). The first act serves to set up the characters - sort of. It exists even moreso to set a mood of tension and restlesness, and perhaps even feelings of boredom. And then it is shattered by the intense violence of the second (which encompasses most of the movie). The majority of the film is one extended battle scene, intercut with brief flashbacks and voice-overs. The artsier elements do not detract from the action, but add to it - they succeed in briefly letting the viewer peek into the minds of the soldiers, only to be suddenly yanked back into reality when the battle resumes.

The battle scenes are amazing (second only to "Saving Private Ryan" in my opinion). They're brutal, horrifying, and at times beautiful due to the amazing cinematography. The second act is as immersive, brilliant, and haunting as any film that I have ever seen.

The only problems come during the first and third acts. Malick takes a little too long to get the film started. Although the initial scenes - which consist of two soldiers' experiencing a near-eden-like paradise while going AWOL, and the preperations for battle - are effective and necessary, hints of pretentiousness sink in. The film is just a tad too artsy near the beginning, and a lot of people that disliked the movie probably gave up on it because of this.

The final act is effective at winding the film down, but the problems from the first persist - it's a bit too long, and comes over as pretentious at times. That said, there are two sequences (one where a soldier gets a devastating note from his wife, and another where one of the main characters is killed) that are nothing short of incredible.

The performances are phenominal all around. The two standouts are Nick Nolte and newcomer Jim Caviezel, both of whom should have been nominated for Oscars. Nolte is riveting and intense as the colonel in charge of the operation. His character is hard, mean, and somewhat reckless with the lives of his men, and yet Nolte somehow manages to evoke sympathy for him. Caviezel is forever questioning the nature of war, his place in it, and if there's any deeper meaning to the hell that he's going through. He is absolutely perfect - genuine, sympathetic, sincere, and yet strong when he needs to be. Although restricted to a relatively small role, Sean Penn is also very good as the company's pessimistic seargent.

As to how it stacks up to "Saving Private Ryan" - it was my second favorite movie of 1998, "Ryan" was my first. It's really hard to compare the two - they are so, so different - so I won't, beyond saying that Spielberg's film had more of an impact on me. However, the two are comparable from the standpoint of quality (I can easily see why someone would "The Thin Red Line" above "Ryan). I highly recommend both of them, and consider them to be the two best war movies ever made.
All in all, "The Thin Red Line" is filmmaking of an incredibly high order. It's slight faults are easily offset by the sheer brilliance of what is done right. It's a real shame that it tanked at the box office - films this unconventional, powerful, and thought-provoking don't come along very often.

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
Director: Terrence Malick
Sean Penn
James Caviezel
Nick Nolte

DVD title: Love and Death
Productgroup: DVD
Love and Death - movie DVD cover picture

Like many viewers, WOODY ALLEN often annoys me by talking too much in his movies.However, when he makes a satire as good as this one,i like him very much.This was his first real good comedy ,that you could enjoy from the beginning to the end.It was a great idea to make fun of RUSSIAN culture, and like many of the movies he made, WOODY is often a master in choosing the music appropriate for his projects.PROKOFIEV'S troika from THE LIEUTENANT KIJE SUITE is such an enjoyable gay number ,very well used here.WOODY and DIANE are wonderful, and many of the gags are side- splitting.If you don't laugh at this one,there is a problem with you, you need a psychoanalysis.

Studio: Mgm/Ua Studios
Director: Woody Allen
Woody Allen
Diane Keaton

DVD title: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2-Disc Widescreen Edition) (Harry Potter 3)
Productgroup: DVD
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2-Disc Widescreen Edition) (Harry Potter 3) - movie DVD cover picture
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban...

...was fantastic. Touching, creepy, funny, and totally absorbing. I saw it last night and was enthralled. I can't explain it, but I liked this movie's feel so much better than the first two; it was more real, more alive. In my opinion, the first two are a little bit stiff compared to this one, though I still really like them and wouldn't change them.
Cuaron took the world of Harry Potter and made it into something totally real. He did a great job. I couldn't get to sleep last night because I was so excited over this movie. I'm going to see it next Tuesday, again.
Though a lot of things were different than the book, I feel that the changes were just fine, even better than in the book. And I never feel that way about book-to-movie conversions. The only complaint I have was that they didn't show the winning of the Quidditch Cup. I loved that scene in the book!
The performance I was most impressed with was Daniel Radcliffe (P.S. - Marry me, Dan?) as Harry. I couldn't get over how increibly handsome he has become, and how he has grown so much as an actor. The scene after he sneaks into the Three Broomsticks and finds out how Sirius had 'betrayed' his parents, and then Ron and Hermione find him out in the snow, crying... I just wanted to fold Harry into my arms and comfort him. It's hard to keep remembering that he's only a fictional character. I also was impressed with Lupin (David Thewlis) and Sirius (Gary Oldman), and the new Dumbledore, as well!
J.K. Rowling herself said that Prisoner of Azkaban was her favourite out of all three movies. I wholeheartedly agree! :)

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Alfonso Cuarón
Daniel Radcliffe
Rupert Grint
Emma Watson (II)

DVD title: Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Productgroup: DVD
Buffy the Vampire Slayer - movie DVD cover picture
kristy swanson is soooooooooo yummy =)

uhh! what can i say? kristy swanson is just so lusciouss and gorgeous in this movie. she has to be one of the hottest girls in holywood, highly unappreciated if u ask me. this is her best movie so far if u ask me, she just looks so fresh, young,bouncy and perky. what i wouldn't give for a one night stand with her. if u love kristy as much as i do youl love this movie.

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
Director: Fran Rubel Kuzui
Kristy Swanson
Donald Sutherland

DVD title: The Notebook (New Line Platinum Series)
Productgroup: DVD
The Notebook (New Line Platinum Series) - movie DVD cover picture

Today was openning day and I went to see it! Wonderful, lived up the book beautifully. I am planning to see it again this Sunday! I don't even have the words. I am no professional movie critic but if a film can draw me in, make me care what happens to the characters it gets 5 stars, no 100 stars from me! And bonus that it lived up to the emotion in the book.
Oh how wonderful, what a magical movie. True Everlasting Love right up there on the big screen. The theater was silent, every now and again there would be sniff and out of the corner of my eye I could see a tear wiped away from the other viewers. I have never seen a movie live up to a book as much as this one did.
It was just so dreamy and it wasn't a plot that "couldn't happen" it was wonderful because it could happen, it could be happening right now as I am sitting here writing this entry. Love is beautiful isn't it.

Studio: New Line Home Entertainment
Director: Nick Cassavetes
Gena Rowlands
James Garner
Ryan Gosling
Rachel McAdams

DVD title: Casual Sex?
Productgroup: DVD
Casual Sex? - movie DVD cover picture
Loved Andrew Dice Clay in this!

In the 1970s women almost eliminated the double-standard on immoral sex. Before then, people who wouldn't blink at promiscuous men scorned promiscuous women. With the 1980s came AIDS, and now unwanted pregnancy was no longer the biggest worry for the fast-lane crowd. CASUAL SEX tells the story of two single ladies in the fast lane with an eye on the exit ramp. It bounces between corny and funny, with most of the latter due to a stand-out performance by comedian Andrew Dice Clay. In addition to Clay, CASUAL SEX proves worthwhile for the short-lived relationship Lea Thompson has with whom she thinks is the man of her dreams. Romance does not turn out the way we fantasize it to be.

Studio: Image Entertainment
Director: Geneviève Robert
Lea Thompson
Victoria Jackson

DVD title: Full Metal Jacket
Productgroup: DVD
Full Metal Jacket - movie DVD cover picture


Studio: Warner Studios
Director: Stanley Kubrick
Matthew Modine
Vincent D'Onofrio
R. Lee Ermey

DVD title: The Last House on the Left
Productgroup: DVD
The Last House on the Left - movie DVD cover picture
Wes Cravens first...

Last House On The Left shocked a hardened horror/exploitation fan like me. I couldn't believe that this was made in 1971. The sadistic way Krueg and company acted and how they tortured poor Mari and her friend was nothing short of vile, but the way Craven shot these scenes of torture made your stomach churn twice as bad. The revenge of the parents also made this film something to behold. Last House is classic exploitation. Viewing it is a must.

Studio: MGM/UA Video
Director: Wes Craven
Sandra Cassel
Lucy Grantham

DVD title: Play Time
Productgroup: DVD
Play Time - movie DVD cover picture
The ultimate couples movie

The best light porn movie I have ever seen,it absolutely drove my wife crazy. She describes it as the ultimate chick flick, it has all the things women talk about and fantasize about. Its a must see.

Studio: Image Entertainment
Director: Dale Trevillion

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