Film DVD related reviews


DVD title: The Song of Bernadette
Productgroup: DVD
The Song of Bernadette - movie DVD cover picture
Both the subject matter and the film, stand the test of time


The story of Bernadette of Lourdes is a testament to Truth and Faith rewarded with spiritual reality. An acknowledgement of an inner world made manifest in love and healing. This film depicting the life of Bernadette and the events which swirled around her, has also stood the test of time, as a beautiful, moving and inspiring experience. The film could have become top-heavy with all the Hollywood effects,splendid sets and crowd scenes submerging the conviction and the message of the miracle of Lourdes. But it is in the acting, coveyed with great sincerity and understanding that uplifts this film and saves it from becoming another Americanis-ed sanctimonious effort.
The book upon which the film is based, was written as a " thank-you" to the people of Lourdes, who had hidden and looked after the author during WW2, saving his life. A huge best seller the book was well researched and movingly written.
This same sincerity and honesty of feeling is carried through the film, and right at the centre Jennifer Jones stands alone-- superb and supreme in her portrayal of the chronically ill, very under-priviledged, uneducated peasant girl, who through her love and faith never doubted,denied or deserted her Visitations. Jennifer Jones certainly deserved her Best Actress Oscar, giving a performance that is resrained yet glowing; subdued yet powerful; humble but inspired.
The film is broken into two parts. The first depicts the events leading up to the revelation of the spring in the grotto and the second half, its effect upon the village, its inhabitants and upon Bernadette and her family.
The DVD brings a clearer print of this magnificent film. It is crisp, with fine tones. the extras add to the interest of the film, and altogether this is an intensely moving film experience. I bought this DVD and highly reccommend it.


Studio: Fox Home Entertainme
Director: Henry King
Actors:
William Eythe
Charles Bickford
Jennifer Jones




DVD title: My Neighbor Totoro (Full Screen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
My Neighbor Totoro (Full Screen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Very Nice Story and Beautiful Animation


Japanese animated feature about two young girls who meet a supernatural creature, or spirit, named "Totoro." Director Miyazaki's talents shine in this movie with beautiful animation and simple pleasures. The story is set in the late 1950's when a college professor moves to the country with his two daughters who are approximately five and eight years of age. The family is happy for the most part, but their mother is confined to a hospital for an illness not identified in the story. The girls are enchanted with their new home, an old spacious house situated in the country, surrounded by farms and forests. Unusual events begin to take place with mysterious little creatures running around the house and strange winds and noises outside the house at night. Eventually the girls discover Totoro, a large mythical creature who looks like a cross between a bear and rabbit; he's big! Mei, the youngest of the two girls, meets him first and she's the one who names him "Totoro." Satsuki, the older sister, meets Totoro later in the film while waiting for her father at a lonely bus-stop during an evening rainstorm, which is probably the most enjoyable scene in the movie. With Totoro are his two little brothers, miniature versions of himself, and a giant cat who looks like a bus. Totoro and the giant Catbus come to the rescue when Mei is lost in the country after running off in anguish to look for her mother at the hospital, and Satsuki is in dispair trying to find her sister. The story is simple and it's enchanting. Disney fans may love it or hate it for being a different form of animation and story-telling. I personally enjoy it very much because it's an original story and it's a nice break from American animated features that always seem to have inanimate objects dancing around and singing to a Hollywood soundtrack. The American-released VHS version has an english-dubbed voice-track that is pretty well done, unfortunately it is not letter-boxed and the music soundtrack has been muffled for whatever reason. The original Japanese version is letter-boxed, providing Miyzaki's original vision, which is quite good, and the instrumental soundtrack is at full-strength, which adds a lot to the movie. Unfortunately there are no english subtitles available. Hopefully a DVD release will give American customers the best of both versions soon.

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox Home Video
Director: Hayao Miyazaki
Actors:
Noriko Hidaka
Hitoshi Takagi




DVD title: Finding Nemo (Collector's Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Finding Nemo (Collector's Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Go Florida!


Of course I loved the movie etc.. I've never been much in to animation and would probably have continued to successfully avoided it except for a certain birth some years ago. So I've watched a lot of animation, and the animation that I don't ever hate is Pixar. In fact, I quite like it. Nemo is a delicious new beginning for them - dealing with parenting and family. Love the humor as always and the pace and the visuality - everything. More female characters wouldn't be terrible of course yadda yadda...
Anyway, given that it came out in May 2003, and the main character is named Marlin, how obvious was it that Florida would win the 2003 World Series!?!?? Clearly there's some sort of force at work here - all that positive karma attached itself to that bunch of pretty good guys in Miami. Heh heh..

Studio: Walt Disney Home Video
Actors:
Albert Brooks
Ellen DeGeneres
Alexander Gould




DVD title: Laurel & Hardy (Sons of the Desert/The Music Box/Another Fine Mess/Busy Bodies/County Hospital)
Productgroup: DVD
Laurel & Hardy (Sons of the Desert/The Music Box/Another Fine Mess/Busy Bodies/County Hospital) - movie DVD cover picture
WELL! THAT`S ANOTHER NICE MESS YOU`VE GOTYOURSELF INTO !!


Film content descriptions of Laurel and Hardy`s films are unecessary and have been done many times by many people. As has been said there are several versions of the `boy`s` films available throughout the world. All of the sound films of Hal Roach apart from ` Fra Diavolo` enjoyed extensive restoration in Europe several years ago. All of the silents have received similar treatment in the US under the `Lost Films` series.

The point of this contribution is to remind you that Amazon is an international treasure trove of dvd versions from which you can select the best of the best.

I have utilised Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk for many years selecting the fruits of these films. For example I have collected the wonderfully restored silents from Amazon.com and the collection of 21, yes 21, dvds of superb sound films from Amazon.co.uk.

Therefore use Amazon as the excellent international source it is and ensure you have the best versions of any film virtually anywhere in the world.

One little tip when buying from Amazon UK you will need to have a multiregion DVD player and a TV capable of handling the Pal (UK) system.

Finally, no I do not work for Amazon but I do find they work for me very well indeed.



Studio: Lions Gate Home Entertainment
Director: William A. Seiter
Actors:
Stan Laurel
Oliver Hardy




DVD title: Driving Miss Daisy
Productgroup: DVD
Driving Miss Daisy - movie DVD cover picture
Freeman and Tandy What a Combo!!


Freeman and Tandy are quite a combo!!
This is a sensitive film that says a lot about humanity.Compassionate humanism oozes from this movie. It certainly deserved the Picture of the Year in 1989.

Studio: Warner Studios
Director: Bruce Beresford
Actors:
Morgan Freeman
Jessica Tandy
Dan Aykroyd




DVD title: Eraser
Productgroup: DVD
Eraser - movie DVD cover picture
You've Just Been Erased!


U.S. marshals protect people who have messed up in their life and are then 'erased' to start a new life. The best marshal is John Krueger (savior of the human race, Arnold Schwarzenegger) has just been assigned to protect the beautiful Vanessa Williams because she uncovered the new phase gun developed by her company. James Cromwell makes a brief appearance, but commits suicide in a second. It was grisly! After many attempts to get rid of Williams, Krueger saves her life and erases her whole life. Friends of Krueger turn on him and want to get rid of Williams, but he doesn't let that happen! Nobody betrays the immortal genius! Krueger pretends to be a balloon delivery man, jumps out of an airplane, cooks alligator meat, and picks up two phase guns (which must weigh a thousand pounds) and has no mercy for the crooked agents. The Herculean force is the only person in the world that could lift those enormous weapons and the fight between he and James Caan is vehement! A classic to remember forever for Schwarzenegger fans!

Studio: Warner Studios
Director: Chuck Russell
Actors:
Arnold Schwarzenegger
James Caan
Vanessa L. Williams
James Coburn




DVD title: Daredevil (Widescreen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Daredevil (Widescreen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
A dark more real hero


When I first saw Daredevil months ago in theaters, I bashed it as much as I could. The idea of taking such a great comic character and trying to package it for global appeal just really grated my nerves. However, after watching it for a second time, I have come to grown a bit of a liking for it. Ben Affleck isn't bad at all as Matt Murdock who is lawyer by day and Daredevil by night. Jennifer Garner is nicely cast as Elektra, and Colin Farrell nearly steals the entire film as Bullseye. Director/screenwriter Mark Steven Johnson is a self admitted fan of the Daredevil comic (as is star Affleck) and it shows; the showdown between Elektra and Bullseye is almost directly taken from the classic issue of Daredevil #181, plus Marvel comics trivia knowledge is peppered all throughout the film, plus cameos from Marvel icon Stan Lee, writer Kevin Smith (yes, it's Silent Bob himself who goes by the name Jack Kirby in the film, named after another Daredevil alumnus), and the man who forever re-defined the comic series (and whose run on the series the film is seemingly mostly based from) Frank Miller. While Daredevil does have it's share of good qualities, the film seems to have an uneven flow sometimes, Michael Clarke Duncan is miscast as the Kingpin (and no, it's not because he's black), the computer generated visual effects seem half heartedly put together, and the way the film ends just opens the door for a sequel and an Elektra spin off. All that aside however, Daredevil didn't deserve all the bashing I gave it earlier, and longtime fans of the comic will appreciate most of the heart that went into the film, but might not like the complete package. The DVD itself is nicely put together and the bonus featurettes featuring interviews with Stan Lee, Frank Miller, Brian Michael Bendis, Kevin Smith, and others is a must watch for long time Daredevil fans as well.

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox Home Video
Director: Mark Steven Johnson
Actors:
Ben Affleck
Jennifer Garner
Colin Farrell
Michael Clarke Duncan




DVD title: Melvin Goes to Dinner
Productgroup: DVD
Melvin Goes to Dinner - movie DVD cover picture
Let me join your table, please.


Although I have not yet purchased the DVD, I was fortunate enough to see this film recently at the Deep Ellum Film festival in Dallas. For me, it's a "must see." There are few films of this type which will hold your attention as well. In addition to fine acting, the camera work is extraordinary, and the editing makes you feel as though you were one of the group, able to shift your attention at will. The characters are interesting and well developed, and the script moves along effortlessly. Before you know it, the 90 minutes have flown by, and you're ready to buy the next bottle of wine. Suddenly you're tempted to take these four characters back to your place for an all-nighter.If you want to eavesdrop on good conversation that has some interesting twists, sit down at this table. You won't regret it.

Studio: Sundance Channel Home Entertainment
Director: Bob Odenkirk



DVD title: Chairman of the Board
Productgroup: DVD
Chairman of the Board - movie DVD cover picture
An artist at his peak


I have been lucky enough in my lifetime to see Michael Jordan at his peak, Tiger Woods at his finest and Ralph Macchio in Karate Kid. It is a special feeling when you know you are a witness to greatness at a historical level. This movie gives you that chance. Carrot Top is just brilliant and gifted. I think we can all agree on that fact. His prop gigs have revolutionized high level comedy at a level on Gallagher and Jeff Foxworthy can relate to. I've seen his stand up act 231 times and never fail to lose control of my bladder. That being said, Carrot Top on the big screen given an oscar level screenplay is just heavenly. Courtney Thorne Smith continues her trend of dating top level leading men like Jim Belushi and Lewis from Revenge of the Nerds. I bet a lot of ladies wish they had her agent. Larry Miller is, well, Larry Miller. Nothing more needs to be said. He's in that Hanks, Gibson, Freeman pantheon of great actors of our lifetime.

This story is just gripping and takes you on an emotional rollercoaster you could only simulate if your cat died, followed by intercourse with Pam Anderson, followed by an infomercial on Tony Robbins, topped off with a Pizza Party thrown at your house by Jay Leno. I was so emotionally spent after this film, I called in sick to work for the next 5 days. Do yourself a favor and see this masterpiece.

Studio: Vidmark/Trimark
Director: Alex Zamm
Actors:
Scott 'Carrot Top' Thompson



DVD title: Men in Black (Collector's Series)
Productgroup: DVD
Men in Black (Collector's Series) - movie DVD cover picture
I enjoyed this movie tremendously..!!! NEEDED on DVD!!!


Hip, funny, and easy to watch, but occasionally it takes its own premise a bit too seriously. Still, I recommend it if you've got some spare time.

Studio: Columbia/Tristar Studios
Director: Barry Sonnenfeld
Actors:
Tommy Lee Jones
Will Smith




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