Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: The Accused
Productgroup: DVD
The Accused - movie DVD cover picture
Compelling yet Harrowing

Jodie Foster won an Oscar for her portrayal of Sarah, a young woman from the wrong side of the tracks, who is gang raped in a bar after a drunken night out. Foster delivers a mesmerising performance as the traumatised victim fighting for justice against a system that has labelled her as 'worthless' due to her previous lifestyle. Kelly McGillis plays the district attorney who initially lets Sarah down and agrees to a plea bargain that Sarah doesn't want. When the realisation hits of what she has done, she fights to ensure the perpetrators of this brutal rape are brought to justice.This is never an easy film to watch. The crime is too violent and the emotions too raw for that. The audience is left with a feeling of unease at the brutality of the crime and at the judicial system that is supposed to protect the innocent.It is however, a compelling film due to the outstanding performances of the lead actors and it cannot fail to touch and move the most hard hearted of viewer.

Studio: Paramount Home Video
Director: Jonathan Kaplan
Kelly McGillis
Jodie Foster

DVD title: Key the Metal Idol - Awakening (Vol. 1)
Productgroup: DVD
Key the Metal Idol - Awakening (Vol. 1) - movie DVD cover picture
Key Rocks!

Key was the first anime that I watched, and liked it so much I bought the 3 dvd set. Key was a commissioned work for the 10th or 15th anniversary of Pony Canyon.
Key started out as a concept for a videogame, and ended up as an OVA anime. (released on video)
The english soundtrack cuts in and out. When you watch the dvd, select english subtitles and japanese audio.
The story is so complex you have to watch it several times just to understand the storyline.
The real story of Key is the subversive way the entertainment industry in Japan takes advantage of young girls and exploits them for profit. A very important story, and still very timely. You see nothing like this produced in Hollywood, how our consumption of product leads to the distruction of young girls who think that they can become the next idol singer.
Then if they do have any talent, they are seen as a clone. Like how Jane Mansfield was a clone of Maralyne Monroe.
Key also deals with peer on peer abuse in school, as well as other socalization issues. Grief, acceptance, competency, role of religion, healing, life process, role of pills to help with depression, sexual exploitation, the need to have friends, and the relationships of fans, artists and the corporations that (use) manage talent.
I would love to see Key made into a live action movie. Then perhaps Key will reach her goal of 30,000 friends.
Notice after the credits on episode 15 the short clip with key giving flowers... any comments on that?
In some of the dialog on episode 14 they talk about Ame No Uzme No Mikoto. This is a reference back to Japanese mythology. If you read Ame No Uzme, like it is english, then it almost reads Amy No Use Me, or A Me No Use Me.
Ame No Uzme No Mikoto was the hevenly deity of devine movement, meditation, mariage and joy.
I think the bottom line with Key is an anime with a real social message and complexity, just like real life, but as a robot, key is just plain... awesome.

Studio: Pioneer Video
Director: Hiroaki Satô

DVD title: Contraband
Productgroup: DVD
Contraband - movie DVD cover picture
A real pleasant Hitchcockian surprise!

I bought this movie because it was directed by Michael Powell, scripted by Powell and Emeric Pressburger, and starred Conrad Veidt and Valerie Hobson (a great important British director/producer/writer and two great stars). I knew this hailed from just before Powell & Pressburger hit their stride as THE ARCHERS. Boy, what a pleasant surprise; this is FIRST-RATE suspense/spy thriller which takes place in the early days of wartime Britian but before Pearl Harbor. It's about a Danish sea captain who's forced to follow two missing and suspicious passengers while his ship is being temporarily held by the British. What follows is a spy mystery through London during the days of Blackouts....and is ever bit as clever, amusing and suspenseful as any of Hitchcock's superb British sound films. I URGE you to check out this great and little seeen British film classic.

Studio: Kino Video
Director: Michael Powell
Conrad Veidt
Valerie Hobson

DVD title: The Music Man (Special Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
The Music Man (Special Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
A Great Musical and A Great Movie

From the opening scene of this movie to the final march down Main Street, this is a movie musical that translates well from its play origins. Quite often the songs in a musical come across as filler, not traveling well from stage production to a movie. However, each and every song in this movie is not only entertaining, they are used to advance the plot.
Our story is about one Professor Harold Hill, who organizes boy's bands in small towns across the Midwest, while using this philanthropic enterprise to put a few dollars into his own pocket. That Professor Harold Hill does not know one note of music doesn't seem to stand in his way. As with all great scam artists, the scam works only for the length of time that the scam artist doesn't care. In this movie, Harold Hill begins to care, which leads ultimately to his undoing.
Professor Harold Hill is played by Robert Preston. This role was Robert Preston's definitive career moment, and has set the standard for any would-be Harold Hill of the future. The role of the librarian, the character that ultimately led to Harold Hill's undoing, is played by Shirley Jones, never looking more worldly, pretty and yet innocent than she did in this role.
In addition to Robert Preston and Shirley Jones at a peak in their acting careers, this movie boasts a supporting cast that includes Buddy Hackett, Hermione Gingold and Ron Howard. While the well-known cast members tend to overshadow the rest of the cast, the quality of the supporting actors well-matches those of the leads.
While the movie is entertaining, it is also an allegory regarding life, particularly life in small towns. Fortunately, the movie does not become overburdened with trying to detail and resolve too many problems. Instead we focus primarily on Marian Paroo (Jones) and Harold Hill. Even Winthrop Paroo's (Ron Howard) lisp is used to support the evolution of Marian's character, as she sees the changes that Harold Hill enacts upon the town.
Of course we know that this movie has a happy ending, as most musicals do, but it is the resolution of the problems and a defining moment near the end of the movie that make you realize the movie was deeper than you might have originally expected.
Marian is seeking depth and breadth in life, and the small town in Iowa in which she lives, with its shallow, narrow-minded people, have placed her in an intellectual prison. Frustrated, unhappy, she appeals to the younger generation with their open minds to overcome the rut in which their small town appears stuck. Harold Hill sparks a fire in the people of River City that causes the people to look at themselves and the world in a very different way. Marian admires the radical change that Hill is able to cause, and particularly the speed with which he is able to cause it. You suspect that she yearns to be able to create such changes herself. She values the abilities that Harold Hill has, and sees that he can be a force for positive change if properly directed.
Harold Hill, on the other hand, is brought to the realization that he has been drifting through life, and that the abilities he has can be used for something other than scamming people. For the first time in his life, Harold Hill cares, and it is his undoing. You also sense that perhaps Hill has been doing this for too long, and the comparison with Marcellus Washburn (Hackett), who has settled into River City and made a home and a life for himself, is such that Harold realizes that he is missing out on a part of life that he never knew he was missing until he met Marian.
The final scene of the movie always inspires me. If you want to feel good, reel forward to the picnic in the park and watch the movie from there. When the band plays, badly, for the first time, and you see the pride of the people in the town, at first you want to laugh. But then the band becomes a full marching band with hundreds of members and bright uniforms and shiny instruments. It is at this moment that you realize that in small towns, and in many bigger towns, the pride of the town in what they have reflects in how they see things like the town band. To outsiders the band may appear to be small, with the skill level less than adequate, but for River City the band is every bit as fine as the Philadelphia Philharmonic.
This movie is a bit of nostalgia. Once upon a time, much of the country, especially the Midwest, was as this movie portrays. In many places there are small towns that retain the flavor of River City. People are still people, then as now, and while the times have changed and the names and the faces have changed, the problems of the characters and the awe-inspiring and musical way in which the problems are resolved is still fresh and refreshing. This movie is one of the greatest movies of all time, and is likely to be considered so for many more decades yet; a must-have for anyone looking for quality in their home collection.

Studio: Warner Studios
Director: Morton DaCosta
Robert Preston
Shirley Jones

DVD title: White Christmas
Productgroup: DVD
White Christmas - movie DVD cover picture
Perfect Holiday Film for all ages!

This movie is THE holiday movie for anyone who loves to curl up under a warm blanket with a warm drink on a chilly winter's day! I grew up watching this movie with my mom (who often watched this movie during the entire year), and now it is my absolute favorite Christmas tradition to watch this film over and over and...well,you get the idea. It's technicolor a it's best with a cast of memorable and funny characters and a soundtrack like no other! This film is the perfect follow-up to Berlin's previous hit, Holiday Inn. So curl up in a warm and cozy quilt, relax, and enjoy a look back into the heart-warming holidays of the musical 1950's in Berlin's WHITE CHRISTMAS!

Studio: Paramount Home Video
Director: Michael Curtiz
Bing Crosby
Danny Kaye
Rosemary Clooney

DVD title: Ever After - A Cinderella Story
Productgroup: DVD
Ever After - A Cinderella Story - movie DVD cover picture
If you love Cinderella ...

If you loved Cinderella as a girl you will love this. It puts a little twist on the story. Or should I saw sets the story straight. The casting in this movie was great the people seemed to really match the character. It was well written and earned its 5 stars. This movie is one you will watch over and over again.

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
Director: Andy Tennant
Drew Barrymore
Anjelica Huston
Dougray Scott

DVD title: The Prince of Tides
Productgroup: DVD
The Prince of Tides - movie DVD cover picture
A wonderful adaption of a wonderful book!

Author Pat Conroy's THE PRINCE OF TIDES has always been one of my favorite books and director and co-star Barbra Streisand's film adaption (Pat Conroy wrote the screenplay) will always be one of my favorite films. While it lacks the elegance of Conroy's descriptions, the film actually improves on some of the novel's big scenes. Very touching and beautiful!

Studio: Columbia/Tristar Studios
Director: Barbra Streisand
Barbra Streisand
Nick Nolte

DVD title: The Parent Trap
Productgroup: DVD
The Parent Trap - movie DVD cover picture

I first saw this movie in February and I loved it so much my mother bought it for me. It was such a cute movie. Lindsay Lohan was great, and Natasha Richardson and Dennis Quaid were good as well. My parents divorced the year I was born, too, like Hallie and Annie's, so this movie really helped me relate. It is not only good for laughs, but for other things as well.

Studio: Disney Studios
Director: Nancy Meyers
Lindsay Lohan
Dennis Quaid
Natasha Richardson

DVD title: Pretear - Vol. 2
Productgroup: DVD
Pretear - Vol. 2 - movie DVD cover picture
Even better than the first

The second disc of pretear is so much better than the first. In this disc you finally get to meat fenril the princess of disaster. She is so cool. You also find out more secrets about how she became the princess of disaster and you learn mor about the leafe knights past. She merges with Kei and Manen in this disk and you get to see the best dress the one she has with Kei. The only bad thing about this disk is itleave with a cliffhanger. The animation in this disk is still great and the dubbing is good too. This is a must own for any pretear fan or just about any anime fan.

Studio: A.D. Vision

DVD title: The Children's Hour
Productgroup: DVD
The Children's Hour - movie DVD cover picture
Important, Impressive, Inspiring!!!!!!!!!!!

I definitely remember seeing this movie as a youngster, well before I had come out to friends and family, and it left an indelible impression on me and actually provided me with survival tools, all people, regardless of their differences would invariably need to effectively deal with societal intolerance. The performances are spellbinding, most notably, Audrey Hepburn and Shirley McClaine. It was indeed ahead of its time and quite frankly I am surprised it has not been re-done. But on second thought, regardless of cast, there would be very little that a remake could lend. This would be a classic example of "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." This version does exactly what it was intended to do: open up a dialogue. It is uncomprimising and tastefully done with wrenching performances and is just as timely today as when it was first produced. I heartily recommend it as a thought-provoking and important film.

Studio: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Director: William Wyler
Audrey Hepburn
Shirley MacLaine

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