Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Ponette
Productgroup: DVD
Ponette - movie DVD cover picture
Comme se, comme sa...

Victoire Thivisol is perhaps the youngest child ever to play the leading role in a film. Sure, there are lots of films showing cute little babies and children, but usually they have a walk on part. They are not the main character. And, there are a number of wonderful child actors. But there has never been a child who could act as well as this child.
I was mesmerized by this film. First, Ponette looks so much like my granddaugher who was four at the time, I could not take my eyes off her face. Second, because my granddaughter was four, I had a good basis of comparison for four-year old behavior. Third, I am sad to say that my granddaughter's father had died recently and I had a basis for observing a child's reaction to the loss of a parent.
I don't know why Victoire Thivisol didn't win every conceivable award at the time "Ponette" was released. She is so real, she is so loveable. You want to take her in your arms and hold her. The interaction between Ponette and her father, Ponette and her Aunt, Ponette and her cousins and school friends is truth itself. At some points, such as when the father stops the car on the road and lifts Ponette onto the hood to talk to her face to face about her mother, I thought I was watching reality.
Ponette has to be one of the best films about children using child actors ever made. It doesn't matter whether you speak French or can read English subtitles, you will understand Ponette.

Studio: Fox Lorber
Director: Jacques Doillon
Victoire Thivisol

DVD title: Stone Reader (Special Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Stone Reader (Special Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Stone Reader rocks!!!

Wow, I love this film! Upon hearing about Stone Reader's big double win at Slamdance Film Festival, I made sure to catch it here in New York at the Tribeca Film Festival. I raved about it to a legion of friends that took my advice and caught its' theatrical gallop across the country. They loved it too. In the same way that seeing Rocky for the first time caused me to chug glasses of raw eggs (I was just a kid), Stone Reader put me on a reading binge that is still going strong today. This film single handedly re-awakened my atrophied appetite for literature and once again I am making time to read. The film is incredible for taking a potentially dry subject (literature/lost writers) and making it a suspenseful, dramatic, educational, cinematic journey along a fulfilling story arc. And who could ask for a better ending? I went back to see it in the theater two more times so that I could copy down all the book titles mentioned. I bought two of the special edition DVDs for Christmas presents and was impressed by the depth of material (two discs) and creative design. Thankfully the DVD contains the extensive list of book titles that I had to scrawl down in dark theaters. I submitted this review because I noticed a couple of cynics out there trying to drag this film down. When highly regarded professional film reviewers like Roger Ebert and Janet Maslin make a special effort to acknowledge an independent documentary film like Stone Reader, you can be sure that it is GREAT! Buy with confidence.

Director: Mark Moskowitz

DVD title: Sanford and Son - The First Season
Productgroup: DVD
Sanford and Son - The First Season - movie DVD cover picture
Big Dummy doing somethin useful

The fist season of Sanford & Son is a stright 5 out of 5 although the second & third seasons are funnier. My favorie joke from the first season is when Lamont brings home a suitcase full of money and he says "You see I think crook "A" rob a bank and left it in the alley for crook "B" but I got there before crook "B" so now "A" and "B" are looking for me."Then Fred Sanford says, "I don't care if C, D and E are looking for Y-O-U I'am not giving up this M-O-N-E-Y

Studio: Columbia Tri-Star

DVD title: SpongeBob SquarePants - The Complete 1st Season
Productgroup: DVD
SpongeBob SquarePants - The Complete 1st Season - movie DVD cover picture
"Can we say that 'compilation' dvds from Texas are dumb?"

Yes Patrick we can! Over a year from the release date of the first Spongebob Squarepants DVD (Nautical Nonsense/Sponge Buddies) comes what all fans wanted from the beginning: The Complete First Season, all 40 episodes! I like many others grabbed up the first few compilation discs like so many Krabby patties with extra pickles (I only bought 4) all the time wondering why in the world would such a popular cartoon series not immediately have season sets? Where in the world is the Krabby Patty Value Meal if you catch my drift? The truth of the matter is the season sets on DVD were probably always planned, but then why spend a year releasing various "themed" collections with what will eventually appear on the complete sets? Becau$e $pongebob make$ money! Yes it's greedy and it only makes sense if you look at it that way. With Season One on the shelf and Season two around the corner there really is no reason to continue buying or recommend buying the compilations. There are 10 currently available with an 11th due out soon. Which all together covers over 100 episodes of the roughly 120 that make up seasons 1 thru 3. If you're a casual fan, by all means keep up with the occasional collection dvd release, but if you're a completist your journey through Bikini Bottom and all of it's watery and wiggly inhabitants begins here matey! All 40 episodes spread over three discs in a delightful green box with our beloved yellow sponge (or is he cheese?) plastered on the cover. Since you can get episode listings from other reviews and other places I'll do something a little different in dedication to the compilation buyers.

The 10 Spongebob DVDs currently available include 30 of the 40 Season 1 episodes. So obviously if you've bought all these I can't recommend you go spend the money for this season set to get the 10 episodes you don't have. However if you are like me and you've only bought say the first 4, then you only have 16 of the first season episodes. So by getting the Season 1 box set you'll be gaining 24 episodes you don't have. Of course I realize that everyone may have different discs so here is the run down on how many each of the compilation discs have in terms of season 1 episodes:

Nautical Nonsense/Sponge Buddies: 5
Halloween: 3
Sea Stories: 3
Tales from the Deep: 5
Lost at Sea: 5
Tide and Seek: 2
Christmas: 2
The Seascape Capers: 1
Spongebob goes prehistoric: 2
SpongeGuard on duty: 2
Sponge for Hire: 0

"Are you ready yet? How about now? Now? Now? How bout now?..." - SB

Studio: Paramount Home Video

DVD title: Mrs. Miniver
Productgroup: DVD
Mrs. Miniver - movie DVD cover picture
Propaganda as Entertainment

This is by far not your typical war movie. I love war movies. I have the vast majority of war movies on DVD or VHS. I have been anxiously awaiting some of the older classic war movies like "The Enemy Below (1957)", "African Queen (1951)", "Mrs. Minniver (1942)", and "The Pied Piper (1942)" to come out on DVD. I am delighted to see this will be available in February. No movie that I have seen about WWII tells a better story of how the English endured so much hardship and personal loss for so many years. This could easily have been a very depressing movie but it has many lighter and uplifting moments that balance out the sorrow and make you feel good at the end of the movie. If you bought this just because of the award nominations it received you should consider yourself pretty smart. If you buy it because of the good reviews from people here at Amazon you are intelligent. If you bought it because you only buy the best movies, and this is a great movie with a boat load of extras, well there aren't words to describe how gifted you are.
If you enjoy movies that take a more personal look at the impact of war on families you will like this movie. Far from being boring as some family movies drag when they get into far to many personal details. This movie has plenty of action with the Battle of Dunkirk, German bombings and strafings, and a enemy parachutist on the loose. Mrs. Miniver reminds me a little of a tough woman like Maureen O'Hara in the John Wayne movies. Her strength is a little more sophisticated but nonetheless you know it is there. She is the kind of woman you know can weather the storm and you are happy to have her with you. The DVD includes Greer Garson academy award footage, photos, and a couple wartime shorts. The movie itself makes it a great buy, but with these bonuses it's a steal.

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: William Wyler
Greer Garson
Walter Pidgeon
Teresa Wright

DVD title: The Family Man
Productgroup: DVD
The Family Man - movie DVD cover picture

I saw this movie in the theatre just after Christmas and I have to say it is one of the best romantic drama/fantasy movies I've ever seen. Nicolas Cage proves once again that his acting skills are second to none, and I don't think I've seen Tea Leoni in a better role.
Cage's character, a rich, hard-working businessman with no time for a real relationship comes across his ex-finacee's phone number after he chose to leave her in order to accept a job offer years before.
A 'guardian angel' of sorts gives him the chance to take a glimpse of how his life would be if he didn't get on that plane. And the result is phenomenal. This is a movie for anyone who has ever wondered, "What if I made different choices in life."
Why this movie wasn't nominated for an Oscar is beyond me, but it is indeed a great film which the whole family will surely enjoy.

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: Brett Ratner
Nicolas Cage
Téa Leoni

DVD title: The Toy
Productgroup: DVD
The Toy - movie DVD cover picture
Comedy Classic Plain and Simple

So many people try to turn this movie into a battle about race. Lest we forget that Richard Pryor is the hero in this movie teaching the boy NOT to be racist, arrogant or judge people. In the end the Klan and the other racists get what they have coming to them. So enjoy this movie for what it is; Lighthearted, simple, fun and hysterical, nothing more and nothing less.

Studio: Columbia/Tristar Studios
Director: Richard Donner
Richard Pryor
Jackie Gleason

DVD title: Sunday in the Park with George
Productgroup: DVD
Sunday in the Park with George - movie DVD cover picture
Sondheim at his best

This is a must see for any one who has the CD, loves Sondheim, or just loves the musical theater. On the CD there are some lyrics that just dont make sense. Even some songs seem out of place. But buying this DVD will clear them all up. I agree with some of the reviewers that Mandy Patinkin overacts. His hand movements are a bit too drastic sometimes. In the Audio Commentary he basically dominates the conversation. But his vocals and his deliverance are great. Bernadette Peters is most likely the greatest actress alive. In the second act, when she becomes marie, she plays the role to perfection. The supporting cast is great as well. The funniest line (and a catchphrase of mine), is when the boatman is supposed to be giving directions to the Americans who think He cannot understand english. "Why dont you just walk into the water until your lungs fill up and you die". LOL. He should have won a Tony for that. This whole show should have won a Tony, Not "La Cage Aux Follies". Get this and enjoy it as much as I did. You will not be dissapointed.

Studio: Image Entertainment
Director: Terry Hughes
Mandy Patinkin
Bernadette Peters

DVD title: Memento (Limited Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Memento (Limited Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Great movie!!!

Its a great movie!!!!I loved it!!!It is the works of a true genios. I recomend it to anyone with good taste in movies.

Studio: Columbia Tristar Hom
Director: Christopher Nolan
Guy Pearce
Carrie-Anne Moss
Joe Pantoliano

DVD title: Beverly Hills, 90210 - The Complete First Season
Productgroup: DVD
Beverly Hills, 90210 - The Complete First Season - movie DVD cover picture
90210 on Soap Net

Hi all. For those of you who LOVE 90210, like I do, I just wanted to let you all know that it starts today from the very beginning on SoapNet (DishNetwork viewers). So this is a quick fix until we can get it on DVD. I already have my TIVO set. Check your listings.

Jason Priestley

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