Film DVD related reviews

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

I rented Monster because I'm always interested in True Crime movies. I always find the who, what, & why interesting. I was not disappointed with Monster. Charlize gave one of her best performances & while you're watching it, you don't feel as if you are watching Charlize but watching Aileen Wuornos herself. Definitely watch this movie. You will not be disappointed.

Studio: Columbia Tristar Hom
Director: Patty Jenkins
Charlize Theron
Christina Ricci
Bruce Dern

DVD title: Saving Private Ryan
Productgroup: DVD
Saving Private Ryan - movie DVD cover picture

This is life at its worst. This is what I want to miss more then anything. This is what makes people afraid to sign up for the Selected Service. This is WAR. Spielberg does a great job setting everything up and Tom Hanks was AMAZING in his part, as were all the other actors. This was one amazing movie, and it really shows you what war does to people. It kills you...if not on the outside, it will on the inside. WAR IS HORRIBLE.

Studio: Dreamworks Skg
Director: Steven Spielberg
Tom Hanks
Matt Damon

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
131 Days!

Yes! I've been eagerly anticipating this movie FOREVER, and I just can't wait till June 4th. Being my favourite book in the series, I have no doubt that this movie will be amazing - especially seeing the trailer which DEFINATELY outdoes the first two movies. Cuaron seemed a bit dodgy at first, especially seeing the other movies he's done ;). But looking at the trailer (for the 27th time) I LOVE the new look that he has for the characters, the movie seems a lot more true of the book and the general feeling is a LOT more exciting than the first two which I must admit dissapointed me in their 'slowness'. June the fourth... only 131 days away. I can't wait.

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Alfonso CuarĂ³n
Daniel Radcliffe
Rupert Grint
Emma Watson (II)

DVD title: Triumph of the Will (Special Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Triumph of the Will (Special Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
A most valuable historical record

It's easy to see how this now famous (or infamous) 1934 film by Leni Riefenstal could have helped reinforce Hitler's already dizzying domination of the German psyche. For our own time, it helps reveal the human complexity of the Nazi phenomenon - so much more than just a march of crazed fanatics, as it's often stereotyped today. Triumph of the Will is particularly relevant to current politics - the Austrian controversy, as well as the continued importance of various dictators who still garner so much of the media spotlight.
Sadly, the near-sightedness of the Nazi mentality and its contradictory nature were already glaringly apparent at the time the movie was shot. Hitler's frenzied admonitions to value "peace" but at the same time to cultivate "courage", bristle with contradiction and hypocrisy. Brief allusions to racial purity and clear-cut moral rectitude are darkly ominous, as are the reiterated pledges of allegiance to Hitler , the man. It's instructive to compare Nazi rhetoric with much of today's political hype. Though, as many others have pointed out, nobody else has done it with quite the same elan. Sad to think that had they watched their own film with a more discerning eye, they might have seen what we see.
From an artistic standpoint, I can appreciate why it's cited as one of the most accomplished of all propagandist vehicles. Nazi shortcomings notwithstanding, the film is stunning. Riefenstahl's contribution is self-evident - even if she didn't direct the action herself, she captured and organized it admirably. But for all that, it is still the action which is most spellbinding. The gripping facial expressions, the charismatic speeches, the thundering shouts of allegiance, the enormous scale and choreography - all of this actually took place! Combine that with historical perspective - knowing what all of it would lead to - and the movie acquires a distincively haunting quality.
I not only recommend this film to others, I strongly advise it. It captures the very essence of social fanaticism. Many will instinctively feel its primitive appeal, and then, after putting it into perspective, recognize its inherent madness. Watching this movie, appreciating the feelings it evokes and reflecting on what it all means, will make the viewer a better person.

Studio: Synapse
Director: Leni Riefenstahl
Adolf Hitler
Hermann Göring

DVD title: Lost In Translation (Widescreen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Lost In Translation (Widescreen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Excellent Movie! One that keeps you waiting....

I loved this film. Watched it twice in 24 hours. Understated acting makes this brilliantly-acted. Highly recommended. I won't go into details of what it was about since so many have already said as much. There is one sequence of nudity (at a strip club) but other than that, nothing I found offensive. And, yes, you DO keep waiting to see if their relationship gets sexual...and I am glad it didn't. The tension between them unfulfilled makes it all the more bittersweet.

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: Sofia Coppola
Scarlett Johansson
Bill Murray
Giovanni Ribisi

DVD title: The Green Mile
Productgroup: DVD
The Green Mile - movie DVD cover picture
Beautifully and utterly disturbing

I am at the end of the first tape and I can already make a judgment for this film. This is a beautiful movie, with very disturbing moments, like the "I didn't know the sponge was supposed to be wet" part. I grimaced serveral times during this film due to it's graphic nature, but it pales in comparison to what the real-life experience would be like. I think that the magical moments should have been cut, (ie: reviving the mouse, curing the bladder infection, etc.)to make the film seem more "authentic" but it adds to the Stephen King nature of the film. This is a very faithful portrayal of the King novel. Very smart dialogue, very humorous and believable characters make this all the more entertaining!

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Frank Darabont
Tom Hanks
Michael Clarke Duncan

DVD title: Shrek (Two-Disc Special Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Shrek (Two-Disc Special Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Very tight, witty and worth watching. Never a boring moment.

Like "Ice Age" I found myself watching and watching this new animated epic which quickly became a favorite of our family, children and adults alike. For some reason my wife thought this film might be too "something" for our youngest [age 3] to enjoy appropriately but like "Who Framed Roger Rabbit", the adult jokes go over the toddlers heads without so much as an expectant look. Part of what makes this film so good is the way it lampoons the usual cliches. Somehow in the process Shrek seems to avoid those overdone tired cliches by suspending our disbelief and redefining the genre in a way we may not have expected [for a change] and moving the power of the story up a notch, keeping pace with the soaring technologies and budgets now available to bring these epics to us, the audience. Also, like "Ice-Age", the plot really moves cleanly and concisely along and does not get caught up in song. Disney can make the songs work for the plot, but who else can have us humming "The Bare Necessities," 35 years after it was released in "The Jungle Book" by a singing Bear? In Shrek the ending is satisfying though it would be much like "Beauty and the Beast" ending with Belle becoming a beast too! Yes, you'll just have to see it and we'll all have to see the sequel coming out in 2004 and hopefully it will be a sequel to match Toy Story 2, minus the music of course.

Studio: Dreamworks Skg
Mike Myers
Eddie Murphy

DVD title: The Transporter
Productgroup: DVD
The Transporter - movie DVD cover picture
Delightful chases, fights, actors and locations

OK - a good deal of fight scenes and chases cross the lines of belivability (after all, it is just a movie), but both the chase scenes and the fight scenes are delightful to watch as are several of the actors.

Jason Statham, plays Frank - a transporter who will transport anything without asking any unnecessary questions and following few simple rules - one of which is never to look into packages he is transporting.

His problems begin when he decides to take a look, because in the package he was transporting there was obviously something alive and moving. The package is a chinese girl Lai (played by delightful Shu Qi), whose father is involved in smugling Chinese slaves. She wants to stop his father and in a process involves the transporter, who happens to be very well trained in combat. Here the chase and the non-stop action begin with one good guy fighting against a whole organized gang of bad guys.

Other than the chases and fight scenes, and in spite of the unbelievable scenes, I liked the Frank's character - his head is screwed on right - he is focused on what he is doing, he is well-organized, he plans whatever can be planned and when things don't work out, he just moves on - there is no waste of time or energy on bemoaning one's destiny or planning vengance for damages suffered. If something is gone, you simply create a new thing and a new life - a healthy attitude.

Studio: Fox Home Entertainme
Director: Corey Yuen
Jason Statham
Qi Shu
Matt Schulze

DVD title: Funny Games
Productgroup: DVD
Funny Games - movie DVD cover picture
Explination needed....

This DVD/Video deserves a proper explanation for those who don't really seem to understand the meaning of the film.
The film totally breaks all of the common Hollywood thriller genres. There is no gore, no real act of violence. When there is violence the camera is turned away or pointing at another characters reaction. A scene is showed when the Woman shoots one of the "bad guys" and shows the blood and shooting. But this goes against the point of the film so the other "bad guy" finds the remote control and rewinds it so he can pick up the gun before she shoots him.
Your expecting somebody the whole way through the film to get back at the bad guys and either shoot them or have them arrested but it doesn't happen as this is not following the Hollywood genre.
The torture of the family is entirely shocking as there is no motive to the attack, the family asks "why?" but the villains reply is simply "why not?". There is no tension music at all in the film just a simple dub over the families classical music whilst they are driving to their holiday home, the gut wrenching screams are too much to bare and you know straight away your getting yourself into something you are not going to like.
Probably what most people will find shocking is the torture of the little boy who most people will think the villains will take a sympathetic view on. But he is first to die, shot in a game by the villains. The two villains aren't just mindless thugs though, they are extremely clever and you know the chilling fact that they have done it before and will do it again and again and again.......
I warn you though that some people will not be able to take this kind of film, it is certainly not for the younger minded who will see this as a Funny Game and replicate it on our own streets. It's a fantastic film and you can watch it over and over but some will take it the wrong way as.....inspiration.

Studio: Fox Lorber
Director: Michael Haneke
Susanne Lothar
Ulrich Mühe
Arno Frisch
Frank Giering

DVD title: Under the Tuscan Sun (Widescreen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Under the Tuscan Sun (Widescreen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
DIANE LANE is wonderful in this beautiful movie!

Oscar nominee DIANE LANE (Unfaithful, The Perfect Storm) gives another wonderful performance in this beautiful and enjoyable movie. DIANE LANE plays Frances Mayes, a woman who is recovering from a tragic divorce and depression. On a whim she goes to Tuscany and starts to rebuild her life. The story doesn't sound original but the makers have avoided the cliches and done a very nice job in making the film feel different and yet engrossing. It is entertainment at it's best, and it has amazing scenery and a winning perfomance by all of the actors in the funny and quirky supporting roles. It is funny and quite sexy in places and especially DIANE LANE is wonderful in this film. Excellent. 5 stars!

Studio: Buena Vista Home Vid
Director: Audrey Wells
Diane Lane
Sandra Oh
Raoul Bova

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