Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Day of the Dead
Productgroup: DVD
Day of the Dead - movie DVD cover picture

I'm Roger Avary, an Academy Award winning writer, and director of Killing Zoe, and I have to say that I'm a *huge* Day of the Dead fan. IMHO Day of the Dead is one of the most misunderstood films around...even by hardcore fans of George Romero's masterpiece trillogy. There is often complaint of this film being "small", "bleak", "dark" and "claustrophobic", but I believe, in fact, that Day of the Dead is the most mature of the three (and I'm a huge f*****' fan of Dawn of the Dead!). Despite the title, our lead characters are forced into in an eternal night (I believe a vital metaphor, and a throwback to the first film). It also contains the finest performance, I believe, of that year (1985), Howard Sherman's "Bub". It's a delicate, and masterful portrayal that in the end humanizes the zombies more than the people...something Kubrick would have done would he have made a zombie horror film. Something I applaud.I think what I'm saying is that, for me, while Dawn of the Dead is the most important film of the 80's, in that it predicted the implosion of our consumerist culture, Day of the Dead is really a more personal fable. A glimpse into what makes us human, and what unmakes us. Which I believe elevates it.I suggest purchasing this tape. It's a fantastic film. A study of human nature rarely found in the form. END

Studio: Anchor Bay Entertainment
Director: George A. Romero
Lori Cardille
Terry Alexander

DVD title: Three Kings
Productgroup: DVD
Three Kings - movie DVD cover picture
Surprising good!

This is definitely not my favorite movie in the world. The bleached film and camera work that looks like a home video really annoys me. However, this is worth buying if you enjoyed the movie, since the DVD is packed with extras. The video journal by David Russell is the most fascinating supplement I have ever seen on a DVD (I have over 150 DVDs). I would have bought it for that alone! You must see it if you are interested in how a movie gets made, it is really neat. If only this had a commentary track with Spize Jonze and Ice Cube...

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: David O. Russell
George Clooney
Mark Wahlberg

DVD title: Band of Brothers
Productgroup: DVD
Band of Brothers - movie DVD cover picture

i saw this at a friends house, he told me that it was even better than saving private ryan. yeah right a snickered. we started watching it and wow, i was sucked in. the war parts of this show were amazing. and it was really cool because these soliders form friendships along the way that last the entire series. i remecomend this to everyone who likes good movies. you won't be disappointed even if thought saving private ryan was just "OK" Good luck and God Speed

Studio: HBO Home Video

DVD title: Steve-O Video Vol, 3: Out On Bail
Productgroup: DVD
Steve-O Video Vol, 3: Out On Bail - movie DVD cover picture
Absolutely amazing.

The people who rate this poorly because every single shot isn't a crazy stunt are people who really need to evaluate what makes these videos and their ilk so much of a blast to watch.

Is Steve-O a crazy mofo? Of course he is, but is that the only reason he's so much fun to watch? Nah, there's a hundred websites out there filled with videos of idiots doing stunts, most of them screwing up and getting badly hurt (which is a lot more entertaining, in my mind). So why is it that we'd prefer to watch Steve-O instead of those random kids? It's simple, because we LIKE Steve-O. He's a hell of a character, and honestly so are most of the guys he hangs out with. This video is less of a showcase of stunts as it is a bit of a behind the scenes on what it's like to spend a few months with the man himself.

So what makes Out on Bail superior to the rest? Well, for one, the first video (I won't mention the poorly done Tour video) was a collection of more than five years of footage, edited for the best bits. Moreover, it was all comprised of the camera being brought out whenever Steve felt like doing something crazy. It comes across as just a little collection of clips where he's purposefully performing.

By contrast, Out on Bail is a video where the camera was following the crew around, so we get the feeling that what's going on isn't just played up for the camera, that these guys actually live like this. Not to mention that Steve-O and the whole crew are just plain hilarious. I think Ryan Dunn was a standout surprise star from the CKY series, Preston and Wee Man are amusing if not featured too much, Nick Dunlap is a perfect addition to the crew, Liddle and Corolla are mostly around it seems for the rest to play off of. The video plays less like "Hey, I'm gonna do something crazy, pull out the camera" and more of "You aren't gonna guess what I managed to snag on camera", and that's a big difference.

Sure there are some stunts, including the early on scorpion annihilation. We also start to see that Steve-O is absolutely crazy in every sense. Not just that he'll jump off a building (though there is some of that, too), or that he'll staple his sac to his leg (that returns as well), but that just in life he's one of those guys that you need to put a reign on. Not a highlight reel, this is a biography of one of the craziest and most entertaining men in the country and the almost equally self-destructive crew that follows him around.

The additional disc, PCP Saved My Life, may very well be the most haunting video segment I've ever seen. Steve-O himself admits to never seeing the footage and that he refuses to ever do so. It's five days of the man having smoked some (you guessed it) PCP. What follows is him going through a rollercoaster of emotions, and baring his soul in a way that I don't think any of us are ready for.

Anyway, to wrap up this 2AM review, buy this video even if you've got a passing interest in CKY/Jackass/Steve-O. No, it's not chock full of crazy stunts, but it's hilarious, provocative, and will often times make you think "How the HELL are these guys still friends?", laughing all the way.


Studio: J & N Media
Director: Nick Dunlap

DVD title: Robert Mirabal: Music From a Painted Cave
Productgroup: DVD
Robert Mirabal: Music From a Painted Cave - movie DVD cover picture
Hollywood can not touch it!!

It is awesome. You and your children,should view the video. It is what we once were, (America) and what we should be (All peoples) . Not the Hollywood version of what life is or should be. It is a reflection of life issues, and family; presented in dance and music. Enjoy.

Studio: Wea Corp
Robert Mirabal

DVD title: Strange Brew
Productgroup: DVD
Strange Brew - movie DVD cover picture
Intelligently Dumb

What can I say, eh? This movie not only boosted the careers of Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas, but may have also helped the Canadian brewing corporations. As the two McKenzie brothers save the world from a madman (played wonderfully by Max Von Sydow), their adventures are nothing short of hilarious. This is definitley a cult classic and should be a staple in the diet of collectors and beer swillers worldwide. "Hey, is it getting warmer in here?"

Studio: Warner Home Video
Dave Thomas
Rick Moranis

DVD title: Brazil - Criterion Collection
Productgroup: DVD
Brazil - Criterion Collection - movie DVD cover picture
Great movie about dreams and hope

Brazil, despite the science fiction, social commentary and surrealism, is at it's core a film about a man who trapped by the mundanity of life, imagines himself in a more fantastic world.
Jonathan Pryce stars as a tiny unimportant member of a vast hyper-capitalistic society. Life is cold and dreary for everyone. All his spare time is spent dreaming of magical romantic worlds and the beautiful woman who lives there. One day, a simple beaucratic mistake causes a monumental disaster. Not that anyone cares... they just don't want to be blamed. Sent to solve the problem, or maybe to be a scapegoat, Pryce accidentally meets the literal woman of his dreams. As he pursues her, he brings suspicion on himself of being a terrorist (the scourge of the government), and his dreams begin to invade his waking thoughts.
A suprising list of talent lend themselves to the film and is written, minus Kafka and Orwell themes, by Monty Python's Terry Gilliam so expect some obvious humor and much biting satire throughout. Depressing and magical without losing it's hope, any person who can identify with the main character should find themselves entranced.
Despite being made in 1985 the special effects prove to be suprisingly effective (although easily noticed). I personally think this movie is the second best Science Fiction film, 2001 being first, and the best 1984 type movie ever made.

Studio: Criterion Collection
De Niro
Terry Gilliam

DVD title: The Dreamlife of Angels
Productgroup: DVD
The Dreamlife of Angels - movie DVD cover picture
Just wonderfull

This is the sort of film people like me wait for. Its absolutely compelling, gripping stuff, and only France could make something this touching. Starring Elodie Bouchez in perhaps her most well-etched role yet (I found her turn in 'Wild Reeds' beautiful, but not as complex as the character here), this film will dazzle you and leave you feeling empty inside.
The story revolves around Elodie and her new-found friend played by Natacha Regnier. The two are camping out at a house that Natacha is keeping for its only remaining owner - a girl who is in coma after an accident. The character study in this movie is bloody brilliant. First theres Elodie, the mousy, sweet-hearted girl who will do any odd job to get through life. Then theres Natacha, an empty, unloved woman who is so insecure in her body that she finds it hard to hold on to her self.
The story follows Natacha's involvement with a handsome French-Algerian club owner (played by Gregoire Colin) and how this love affair propels her into madness. The relationship the two friends share as they hurl towards the film's unforgattable climax forms the crux of the movie, and it is not one that you will soon forget. I don't want to give too much away, but I left this film feeling that life was ultimately pointless, and it seems that the film-makers are driving home this point. The chilling end with Elodie at another mind-numbing workplace gave me a sense that cinema has now come to fully embrace the bleak, stark quality of real life. This is not escapist cinema, but celluloid's brutal look at real life and its traps and snares. Not a pretty picture at all, but I loved how the film made a statement without being clear in its' intent.
Elodie and Natacha both won Best Actress trophies at the Cannes Film Festival in 1998 for their roles in this film. Gregoire Colin soon gained fame and supermodel status in France and Germany after the release of this movie and its a pity hes not doing more with his talent. Elodie Bouchez will remind you of Audrey Tatou who played Amelie Poulain in the recent 'Amelie'. However, she is less saccharine and more down to earth than that heroine. I found her performance rivetting - its also very interesting in the way she finds time to bond with the girl in a coma, yet unwittingly neglects to help her living friend who is hurtling toward her own demise. This is a movie chockful of interpretations and little nuances and observations, and if you're a true lover of art house cinema as I am, 'Le Vie Revee des Anges' is a cause for real celebration. One of the best French films I've seen in recent times.
Highly recommended. If you like this, check out 'Les parapluies de Cherbourg', 'Wild Reeds', 'Ma Saison Preferee' and 'Va Savoir'. Thanks for reading!

Studio: Columbia/Tristar Studios
Director: Erick Zonca
Élodie Bouchez
Natacha Régnier

DVD title: The Happiness of the Katakuris
Productgroup: DVD
The Happiness of the Katakuris - movie DVD cover picture

This movie had me absolutely cracking up. It is an absolutely oddball flick, full of non-sequitor plot points and bizarre musical moments. This was the first (and so far only) Takashi Miike film that I have seen, and it sure makes me want to see more. There is a distinct vision and a high level of creativity on display here.
"The Happiness of the Katakuris" is not a film for anyone with expectations of what a film should be like. It is a remake of the Korean film "Choyonghan kajok," and tells the story of a family who opens a bad-luck inn, where all the guests keep [expiring] through suicide of accident. A black comedy, it might be said to be in the tradition of "Arsenic and Old Lace."
Stylistically, the film follows no conventions, and slips into claymation at whim, musical at whim, and straight drama at whim. The cast is all delightful, and you find yourself rooting for each and everyone of them.
If you are in the mood for something strange and funny, you can't go wrong with "The Happiness of the Katakuris."

Studio: Ventura Distribution
Director: Takashi Miike

DVD title: Pieces of April
Productgroup: DVD
Pieces of April - movie DVD cover picture
Id like to report a robbery on my turkey

Pieces of april is a touching movie, that is perfect to watch when you feel good. it is about a young girl named april( Katie Holmes), who all her life has never been like her family. obviously when you look at her, you can actualy say shes never been like her family. she lives with her boyfriend bobby in a NY apartment. Aprils mother( Patricia Clarkson) has cancer, and all aprils life she never had a good mnemory with her mother. so Joy (aprils mom) chooses to favor her other two children Timmy and Beth. when thanksgiving comes around, aprils apartment is the choice of the feast, and her family travels to NY to be with her. But Aprils oven breaks down, and her boyfriend is out, so in a depsarate matter, she goes around her ratty apartment trying to find a oven, so she can cook the entire dinner, in time for her family to arrive. even though she had rought times with her mother, April thinks of the feat as important, since Joy has cancer and this thanksgiving might be the last one she ever has with her. filled with comedic happenings, heart felt scenes, and a wonderful plot Peter hedges peices of april is the number one thanksgiving classic for the family

Studio: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Director: Peter Hedges (II)
Katie Holmes
Patricia Clarkson
Derek Luke
Oliver Platt

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