Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Riding in Cars with Boys (Special Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Riding in Cars with Boys (Special Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Charming and Heartwarming

I waited forever for this movie to be released to DVD. It was more than worth the wait. Penny Marshall has done it again, directing a film that struck all the right cords in me...much like the movie "Where the Heart Is" ( A masterpiece itself-not to be missed).
Drew Barrymore plays Beverly, a fifteen year old who spoils her father's (James Wood) life plan to have a perfect family by getting knocked up at the age of 15. While her family ponders what to "do" with her, Beverly has a plan already in formation(She IS a talented and smart girl after all). She will get a job, finish high school, and go to college. Her parents don't want a family crisis or controversy, so they convince her to marry the father of her child instead(Steve Zahn), who is a washed-up drip of a loser, yet a willing father and husband. Bev agrees, not wanting to cause her family any more grief.
While this movie is meant to be dramatic, it offers some outright laughs during very intense scenes. At Beverly's wedding (she wears pink) her best friend Fran (The VERY talented Brittany Murphy from "Girl Interupted" and "Don't Say a Word") announces to the wedding crowd that she is also pregnant. Could Bev's father have a worse nightmare?
Fran and Bev buddy up, sticking together through life's "What have I done?" moments...missing out on the prom, watching their friends go off to college, having babies together, and doing anything they can to make money and leave their small town. They quickly realize their dreams of each giving birth to two girls( which they hope will grow up and be just like them), two pretty houses, and being best friends forever is not quite reality when there is no money, wandering husbands, and your water breaks. "How gross Mom!" Bev shouts as real life intervenes. -real life- Take 1.
Drew plays a magnificent roll as a young mother who's character spans 20 years from the birth of her son. She is a convincing actress at every age. While she may be a self-admitted irresponsible parent and make terrible life choices through the years, she is a good mother..despite the fact that she blames everyone, including her son for her misfortunes.
I was particularly moved by the ending to this movie. The "ride" getting there is just as poignant as you follow Bev's life from a young girl to a mature woman striving to be a great writer and publish her personal memoirs titled appropriately "Riding in Cars With Boys". A perfect title for a woman who had life changing experiences everytime she did ride in a car with the men in her life. I highly recommend this film to all. I will go as far and say that it is also a must-own for anyone that appreciates a 'see-it-more-than-once' flick.

Studio: Columbia Tri-Star
Director: Penny Marshall
Drew Barrymore
Steve Zahn

DVD title: The Muppet Movie
Productgroup: DVD
The Muppet Movie - movie DVD cover picture
"A bear in his natural habitat....a Studebaker!"

This is one of the first films that I ever remember seeing, and it is still one of my favorites today. This story about the Muppets' cross-country excursion to Hollywood is beautifully told through the wonderful vision of Jim Henson. It answers the question about how the Muppets first came together, and offers the audience a glimpse into the lives of the various eccentrics that made up 'The Muppet Show' before they became famous. My favorite is, of course, The Great Gonzo, the "prince of plungers." His out-of-this-world weirdness always adds more fun to the chaos of the situation, as Kermit and Co. try to outrun the evil Doc Hopper and make it to Hollywood on time to audition. I also love the big Studebaker that Kermit and Fozzie drive around in as they sing "Moving Right Along." All of the songs are memorable, from "Rainbow Connection" to Gonzo's "I'm Going to Go Back There Someday." I have seen this movie a million times and I will watch it a million more. It's just one of those films that you can never get tired of viewing.

Studio: Columbia/Tristar Studios
Director: James Frawley
Jim Henson
Frank Oz

DVD title: 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea (Special Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
20,000 Leagues Under The Sea (Special Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
New 20K DVD is STUNNING !!

This new "20,000 Leagues" DVD is everything I'd hoped it would be, and I've been "hoping" for quite a long time!! It looks just like a new film! Total restoration of both picture and sound. The colors are rich and vivid with beautiful contrasts and clarity. The aspect ratio is 2.55:1, which means it's as wide as "Doctor Zhivago"...and that's W-I-D-E. Paul Smith's music is wonderfully realized -- now you can really enjoy the Debussy "La Mer" references in the underwater farming scene. And speaking of which, that scene itself is a marvel. It's almost as though they'd sneaked a miniature "True Life Adventure" right into the middle of the picture -- such a deal !
I've hardly even begun making my way through the hours of extra stuff...
Okay folks, I'm sure this disc will set a new home video standard, so if you happen to own "20,000 Leagues" in any other format, even the widescreen laserdisc, JUNK it and pick up this DVD. (I usually don't rave on mindlessly about anything, but in this instance, I think I'm entitled !!)

Studio: Walt Disney Home Video
Director: Richard Fleischer
Kirk Douglas
James Mason

DVD title: Big Eden
Productgroup: DVD
Big Eden - movie DVD cover picture
Not a Twenty-Something Love Triangle

Henry's being the love object of two unlikely guys at the same time -- a straight father and a quiet Native American, in the most unlikely place one can imagine, a small town in Montana -- gives all of us older guys who didn't connect at 21 real hope that we can experience a love just as profound at 41 (and older). For a change, the stars of this triangle are not kids blossoming forth into homesexual life. The film is entirely believable and has some very funny moments, as well as realistically portraying the unrequited love aches we've probably all been through. The character roles are just as good as the leads, too, especially the Widow Thayer. What a feel good film this turned out to be! See it, by all means, even if you go alone.

Studio: Wolfe Video
Director: Thomas Bezucha
Arye Gross
Eric Schweig

DVD title: Leave Her to Heaven
Productgroup: DVD
Leave Her to Heaven - movie DVD cover picture
A True

VHS Version: If you've ever wondered what all the fuss about Gene Tierney was about, try this movie on for size. In it, she plays Ellen Berent, a possessively jealous woman who doesn't want to share her new husband, Richard Harland, played by the completely un-sexual Cornel Wilde, with *anyone*. "There's nothing wrong with Ellen. She just *loves* too much," says her mother. But there is most definitely something wrong with Ellen, and she makes that evident very early on. She is possesive, jealous and completely selfish, demanding that all her new husband's attention be on her, and god help whomever gets in the way of that. It is a love story that is also a thriller, and it is shot in gorgeous Technicolor, which serves Miss Tierney *very* well. If fact, her entire *look* throughout this whole movie is spectacular, as she models one great sportswear and lounging outfit after another. She is the epitome of chic in this movie, even in the scene which we'll call "Tragedy In A Row Boat". She is perfectly accessorized and when she casually slips on her cat-eye sunglasses before the tragedy occurs, she is stunning. And isn't that what's most important in movies like this? Accessorizing all this action are the breathtaking locations, with an incredibly stylish (still) home on the range in New Mexico and their picturesque cottage on Back of the Moon Bay in Maine, which is so gorgeous it looks like a set, but it's not.

Studio: Fox Home Entertainme
Director: John M. Stahl
Gene Tierney
Cornel Wilde

DVD title: The Great Gatsby (A&E)
Productgroup: DVD
The Great Gatsby (A&E) - movie DVD cover picture

I found this version, on my first time seeing it, quite good. The acting amused me and the story was both interesting and well planned. Then, I read the book. I found the movie, after a second time seeing it, a horribale adaption to F. Scott's masterpeice and will never live up to the book. The acting is apauling. Although Mira Sorvino is a wonderful actress ( as can be seen in such films as Mighty Aphrodite) she can not be seen as her best in this adaption. Her lack of entusiasim pulls the production down, and it lacks the excentricy and entusiastic energy that the charector of Daisy requires. The part of Tom is also horribally acted by what ever his name is, an unknown. You would think casting could find a better "brute". Both these charetors are met to the top in every charectoristc that the parts require, Daisy and Tom in the 1974 version by Mia Farrow, which is a much better adaption. Perhaps it did have more mouney and big Hollywood producers, but it does not take mouney to make a good movie. Some good things (which were very few) I found were the parts of Jordan aand Nick. Nick was wonderfully well acted by a young actor who is making a good name for himself. Jordan, at sometimes,also had her lows, but her highs, if you're comparing the Jordan in the 1974 version. And last but not least, in this review, is the oh so crucial part of Jay Gatzby, which was played in the most of cornieness you could possibly find, and if you're comparing him with Robert Redford's betrayel he shouldn't even be noticed. In conclusion this shallow and boring adaption is not worth wasting mouney, or late fees.

Studio: A & E Entertainment
Director: Robert Markowitz

DVD title: Dead Like Me - The Complete Second Season
Productgroup: DVD
Dead Like Me - The Complete Second Season - movie DVD cover picture
And the good keeps on coming

There is nothing about this show that is not entertaining. I managed to watch this entire season on TV, instead of only the first episode. I still picked up the DVD set, mind you, but I knew what I was buying into.

The first season was all about acceptance. George (Ellen Muth) died from the devastating impact of a falling toilet seat from the space station Mir. In fact, early in the first season Rebecca Gayheart's character affectionately nicknames her "Toilet Seat". She is then informed that she must spend the rest of her days reaping souls until her "time" comes to move to the next level. A reaper is to take a certain, if not exactly vocalized, number of souls before this time. They only know it's their last when it happens. George is set to reaping almost immediately, and boy is she having problems with it! From refusing to take a soul and leaving it trapped in the dead body, to involving herself with the doomed individual thus changing the course of events and leading to a roomfull of ab-shocker dead folk, George pushes the limits of both her job and her co-reaper's patience.

Season 2 has a completely different focus. George is quite accepting of her job, and while she may have lasting issues from dying at such a young age, or never having done certain things during her life...she embraces her job openly, almost warmly at times. Season 2 is all about change within the system. This is both reflected in her day job at Happy Time, where she flirts with and kisses the entirely-too-dumb-for-words new employee thus leading to a promotion, and where she attends a camping outing, forcing her to deal with her "alley cat"ness and embrace her coworkers a bit more. Delores Herbig (Christine Willes) has some quite juicy quotes, one specifically dealing with the frustration of the unresponsiveness of an online dating service. Delores is by far one of the most entertaining characters and if Dead Like Me never airs a new episode again, at least I have these episodes to keep me happy. She is truly a gem.

Another thing that happens within this season is love. Or, well...affection. Whether it be between literally Gone With The Wind Daisy Adair (Laura Harris) and loser Mason (Callum Blue), or between George herself and a country club boy, the kisses are flying. The beauty of the relationships in this season are that they seem completely unconventional yet entirely natural. Daisy and Mason play theirs off so wonderfully, even when newcomer Ray (Eric McCormack, from Will and Grace) steps in and leads Daisy by the bullhorns. Which, I must say, after Will and Grace, Eric does an amazing job at being a womanizing (...). Mason deals well though. I won't spoil the ending there, though.

Rube (Mandy Patinkin) frustrates and annoys me more and more. He never seems to care about his reapers' feelings until the wrong time. At that time, it makes so little sense that the reapers really don't know what to do with it. At one point, Rube buys George a warm oatmeal cookie, and she says something along the lines of "Whenever you buy me food, it's because something bad is coming". That's how they view him, and that's what annoys me about Rube. He has a great story this season, as he struggles with his humanity after trying to find his daughter. His...really really old daughter.

Roxy (Jasmine Guy) doesn't really do much this season beyond change jobs from the thankless, violence-less job of a Meter Maid to the fulfilling life of an officer of the law. In the line of duty, she kills a girl who Mason is meant to reap. This really makes me wonder just how much fate plans for. Roxy was fated to shoot the woman Mason was fated to reap. If Roxy hadn't been a cop, that woman might not have died. Actually, this question has come up a few times. For instance, in an episode in which George must choose one of three applicants for a temp job at a chemical company. She frets and frets and frets, and the next day the gentleman asking for the temp goes on a shooting spree, killing 13 people. Including himself, and the applicant George chose.

George's family, mainly Joy (Cynthia Stevenson) and Reggie (Britt McKillip) are amazing. Their story is so simple, so down to earth, but ultimately so entertaining. Joy is a woman who continues to lose everything she loves. Her daughter gets blasted by a toilet seat, her other daughter seems to be losing her mind, and then her husband cheats on her with a student. The following divorce and attempted move really make Joy's life wonderful. The appearance of Joy's mother, a free-spirited drifter brings a little happiness to Reggie's life, and a lot of painful memories to Joy's. Their story is so human. It's nice that we get a chance to see what the after-effects of a departing soul are. Despite the fact that Reggie believes George is still alive. (For good reason!)

Overall my favorite character would have to be Daisy. From stealing the cross, to confessing to a priest after stabbing a hole in her hand, to her relationship with Ray, she shows remarkable grace and growth. Laura Harris is a wonderful actress and portrays the insecurities and strengths of Daisy wonderfully.

Overall, this show is just one of the best things I have ever seen. If it had lasted at least two more seasons, it probably would have dethroned Buffy the Vampire Slayer as my favorite television show. Unfortunately, it doesn't look as if that will happen.

If you are a lover of intelligent, gripping, and reality-suspending entertaining television, pick up Season 1. Then pick this up, because you can never get enough Dead Like Me.

Studio: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Ellen Muth

DVD title: Rounders
Productgroup: DVD
Rounders - movie DVD cover picture
The Cinncinati Kid backwards?

The first thing i'd like to say is as soon as i finished watching the film i wanted to watch it again. I think the way the film starts is brilliant, losing 30k in the first couple of scenes-what a gripping start. Now refering to my title. In the Cinncinati Kid The kid has it all to play for at the start but loses it all by the end. In Rounders Matt Damon loses it all at the start but has it all to play for by the end. Also they both lose their girlfriends and there is a cheat involved in both films. However Rounders is a Excellent film with great performances by Damon & Norton, i would recommend this to all film lovers.

Studio: Miramax Home Entertainment
Director: John Dahl
Matt Damon
Edward Norton

DVD title: The Lost Boys
Productgroup: DVD
The Lost Boys - movie DVD cover picture
Quite possibly the best vampire movie ever.

Recently, while browing the horror section of my local video store, I discovered the new Special Edition DVD release of "The Lost Boys" - which, by the way, I had been meaning to see for some time now, as I am a fan of vampire movies. As soon as the film began, I knew I was gonna love it.

"The Lost Boys" involves a family - ex-hippie mother Lucy Emerson (Dianne West), tough-guy big brother Michael (Jason Patric), imaginative little brother Sam (Corey Haim) - which moves into Santa Carla, reportedly the murder capital of the world. At first, it seems like a cool town - Sam is pleased to discover a comic book store - but then things start to get weird.

Sam teams up with two wacky young vampire slayers (Jamison Newlander and - ta-daa! - Corey Feldman) and begins to suspect his mom is dating a vampire (Edward Herrman); meanwhile, Michael becomes a half-vampire with his mysterious new lover (Jami Gertz). Can the Emerson family survive a week in this city of death?

Whether they can or not, I sure as hell loved surviving the 97 minutes of this film. "The Lost Boys" is an 80's classic. The stars, the filming style, and the soundtrack all help to make it so. Joel Schumacher - recently made notorious for ruining the "Batman" film franchise - gives some fine direction from a terrific script by Jeffrey Boam, Janice Fischer, and James Jeremias.

One of the highlights of the film is its excellent cast. Corey Haim, 80's fave Corey Feldman (who's hilarious, by the way), Jason Patric, and Kiefer Sutherland. Sutherland's performance is classic and among his best as the leader of a young vampire gang.

The soundtrack is excellent, including the score by Thomas Newman. The film's theme, "Cry Little Sister" by Gerard McMann, is perfect. In a way, it completes the film, wrapping around the film in a blanket which gives the film's message: "It wasn't their fault, they were just young".

One of the greatest parts of the film is the vampire effects, which includes those perceptive, reddish eyes. Greg Cannom's special effects were ahead of their time, and help make some dark scenes truly creepy.

I find "The Lost Boys" to be quite underrated. Most people say it was dumb, childish, or not scary. What they don't understand is that for the most part, the film's not trying to be scary. It is a COMEDY. Even the extremely bloody final fight isn't really scary (by the way, the film is worth seeing if just for this scene).

"The Lost Boys" is a classic of the eighties, and I think we can call it a horror classic as well. It has everything a film should have - great acting (and cast!), fine direction, an original script, terrific effects, and a fitting soundtrack. "The Lost Boys" is quite possibly the best vampire movie ever and is essential for horror fans.

"I don't believe it - my own brother, a s**t-sucking vampire! Oh, you wait 'til mom finds out buddy!"

Studio: Warner Studios
Director: Joel Schumacher
Jason Patric
Corey Haim

DVD title: Hide and Seek (Full Screen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Hide and Seek (Full Screen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Well thought drama.

Well, I just caught this on DVD recently and I liked it. It was more drama than horror, but that's a good thing cause then if you save your horror for last, then it's better.

This movie is about a Father who has a creepy (but cute) daughter. After the mom commits suicide in a bathtub one night, they move to a nice house in New york state. then one night, The girl develops an imaginary friend named Charlie. But Charlie starts to complicate the place...

I thought this movie was cool. It had a nice twist ending and plus, the acting was great. So I think you should see it.

Any psychological movie fan (or person who likes the weird and the wonderful) should see it. You'll like it!

Studio: Fox Home Entertainme
Director: John Polson
Robert De Niro
Dakota Fanning
Famke Janssen
Elisabeth Shue

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