Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: The Last Dragon
Productgroup: DVD
The Last Dragon - movie DVD cover picture
Dont let this movie be forgotten

The last dragon is flat out the best action movie ever made, even though it is rated R, every kid should see this movie. It is an epic that is slowly becoming forgotten because for some stupid reason it has not been re-realeased. To this day I still laugh when Johnny demonstrates "The art of fighting without knowing how to fight" I can still call somebody a "String bean rick james-looking fool" and they know what im talking about. I've seen this movie so many times that my tape is starting to wear out. Last year I bought a DVD player and I have amassed an extensive collection of movies but my collection will never become complete until "The last dragon" is realeased on DVD.

Studio: Columbia Tri-Star
Director: Michael Schultz

DVD title: Dead Ringers
Productgroup: DVD
Dead Ringers - movie DVD cover picture
A landmark psychological drama / horror.

David Cronenberg, for so long an auteur of films typified by schlocky, low-budget splatter effects and a profoundly disturbing intelligence, turned to drama with his 1988 masterpiece "Dead Ringers". It flirts with some of his usual themes - a fusion of the brain and body, mad doctors (with weird names), and decay - but there's a level of sophistication here that tops all of his previous work. Here, special effects are used in the background, as Jeremy Irons gives an utterly compelling (and damn convincing) performance as two twin gynaecologists, whose descent into drugs and madness will surely leave even the most ardent horror viewer deeply disturbed. On one level, it works almost as Shakespearean tragedy, as the two brothers imitate each other in an affair with Genevieve Bujold. When the less confident twin wants to "keep it for myself", it sparks instant dissonance between the disturbingly close kin. On another level, it's a crazed horror film involving bizarre medical instruments, and gynaecological mutations. The truly tragic conclusion leaves the viewer dazed, confused, but above all, deeply emotional, and for that alone it should deserve the term "masterpiece". Other factors that allow it such a term are the truly masterful performances (Cronenberg a master of getting Oscar-contending acting out of even the most mediocre performers), the genius use of special effects, the compellingly cold direction, and Howard Shore's extraordinary score. To say it's not for all tastes is an understatement, as it's probably the darkest film of the past decade, but for those with an interest in grippingly-executed, profoundly disturbing psychological horror/drama, "Dead Ringers" is one of the most marvellous films around.

Studio: Anchor Bay Entertainment
Director: David Cronenberg
Jeremy Irons
Geneviève Bujold

DVD title: Blade II (New Line Platinum Series)
Productgroup: DVD
Blade II (New Line Platinum Series) - movie DVD cover picture

SNIPES is my FAVORITE vampire! I suppose it's because he's out to protect us mortals. This movie has great special effects and killer action sequences. I can't think of one negative thing to say about this killer flick. GREAT MOVIE!

Studio: New Line Home Entertainment
Director: Guillermo del Toro
Wesley Snipes
Kris Kristofferson

DVD title: Home Alone
Productgroup: DVD
Home Alone - movie DVD cover picture
Home Alone is great

I seen that video Home Alone with Kevin McCallister {Macaulay Culkin} and when they ate pizzas at night for dinner Buzz ate Kevin's pizza on purpose and Kevin's brother Buzz told him to get a plate and he was running mad and knocked the milks on the family's passports and Kevin's mother Kate {Catherine O'Hara} yelled, "What's the matter with you!" "Kevin Upstairs," Peter McCallister {John Heard} Kevin's dad yelled. They left without him on a family vacation to Paris on an airplane.

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
Director: Chris Columbus
Macaulay Culkin
Joe Pesci
Daniel Stern

DVD title: About Schmidt
Productgroup: DVD
About Schmidt - movie DVD cover picture
A rather extraordinary film about ordinary people.

Warren Schmidt is a man whose very essence is that of "being bottled up." A very decent but equally very unprepossessing man, he has gone through sixty-six years of life largely unable to connect either with his inner self or with others. He is in fact so very ordinary that he represents a sort of "everyman." His story, told simply yet not without eloquence, is about two journeys upon which he embarks following his retirement. One of these journeys - the one lying on the surface, representing his interactions with all those whom he knows - is a tragi-comic mix which, at the end, gets him no closer to himself than he was at the start. The other journey is largely beneath the surface and told much more sparingly but in the end with a sense of satisfaction that is quite startling. This satisfaction, to the viewer, doesn't necessarily sink in immediately; in fact, I can imagine that some - perhaps many - "just don't get it." But I did, and was left with a feeling of closure. And with a sense of total awe at how perfectly Jack Nicholson totally subsumed himself in the title role.

The very ordinariness of Schmidt is made apparent in the opening scene. He is watching the clock on his very last day of work in his Omaha office (thence to go to his retirement dinner that evening). But not a second before the clock strikes 5:00. His inability to communicate, to connect with others, is made apparent as early as at his retirement dinner. It is to continue - in this "journey lying on the surface" - throughout the story.

Schmidt is ill-prepared to deal with anything other than routine. Retirement is "other than routine"; thoughts of how to deal with it seemingly never entered his mind. He drops back in the office unannounced, only to find himself neither wanted nor needed. Largely at the prodding of his wife, he has already purchased a large Winnebago, so that the two of them can "see the country in their golden years." And then, just barely days into retirement, his wife dies. The funeral service is hardly a galvanizing event; Schmidt's inability to communicate, to open up, even to his daughter, soon to be married to a fiance he dislikes, further estranges him from those closest to him.

Now left to fend for himself, we see how ill-prepared for life he really is. The mess begins to pile up as he attempts to deal with restructuring his life, beginning with his wife's possessions. In a shoebox, he finds decades-old love letters to his wife; he had once been cuckolded by his best friend. But at the same time, he undertakes a seemingly insignificant task that will eventually lead to catharsis for him: Through an international foster child agency, he "adopts" a six-year-old Tanzanian boy. Counting on a cloak of anonymity, he begins a series of letters to the boy; his very first efforts at communicating his true feelings.

All of this takes up barely the first 30 minutes of the story. The balance largely depicts his RV travels, first in an effort to go back in time to rediscover his roots (not exactly a success when he finds his boyhood home replaced by a tire store and students in his college fraternity disinterested in him) and then to go from Omaha to Denver for his daughter's upcoming wedding. On the way, an outgoing fellow RV-er befriends him, and when the RV-er's equally outgoing wife and Schmidt are left alone while the husband leaves to fetch some beer, once again Schmidt's inability to communicate, now compounded by his inability to "read" other people, has its embarrassingly sad consequences.

Schmidt eventually arrives in Denver for his daughter's wedding. The whole affair, like much of his life, is almost entirely anticlimactic, save for one escapade between Schmidt and the groom's lusty mother, played to a faretheewell by Kathy Bates. It is at this time that one wishes that Schmidt would break out of his shell, and his failure to do so cannot be blamed on this earth mother of a woman, who gave him her best shot.

All of this leaves Schmidt little more than numb - numb as he'd been throughout - as, finally , he leaves Denver and arrives back home in Omaha. He scoops up some weeks' worth of mail, ignoring all but one.

And that one he doesn't ignore? It is the one that finally gives him the emotional release he had bottled up inside him for a lifetime. Yes, it was from that Tanzanian boy. And Nicholson-as-Schmidt, in a most memorable fade-out scene, undergoes what I can only describe as "simply one of the most transformative pieces of acting it's ever been my pleasure to see." And it gives the viewer the release needed as well. It lingers; it truly does.

This is a "small" picture, not for all tastes, about very ordinary people, most of whom are hardly memorable and who fade into the background when their purposes have been served. The casting is nigh-perfect for these ordinary, forgettable people, save for Kathy Bates, who occupies the only unforgettable personage in the movie aside from Schmidt himself.

But this is really Jack's picture. The extent to which he has made himself into Schmidt is remarkable. It is an understatement to say that he subsumed himself in the role: with his seething-beneath-the-surface dissatisfaction and emptiness, his ennui, his communicative constriction and his "everyman" as "a nobody," not to mention the downsizing of his normally monstrous emotive range, Nicholson IS Schmidt. THIS is what great acting is all about.

Bob Zeidler

Studio: New Line Home Entertainment
Director: Alexander Payne
Jack Nicholson
Hope Davis
Dermot Mulroney

DVD title: The Audrey Hepburn DVD Collection (Roman Holiday / Sabrina / Breakfast at Tiffany's)
Productgroup: DVD
The Audrey Hepburn DVD Collection (Roman Holiday / Sabrina / Breakfast at Tiffany's) - movie DVD cover picture
a true wonder of perfection

Where have charm and romance gone ? If you need a pause from the rough world you live in, these three movies will do the trick !
It is hard to sum up three movie in few words (pictures would more appropriate) but here it goes :
- Breakfast at Tiffany : crazy charming girl living with a cool and smart cat meets handsome and intelligent man...will they ever eat breakfast together ?
- Sabrina : you probably saw the Julia Ormond-Harrison Ford know the plot then: ugly duckling falls in love with wealthy man, goes abroad to forget him (her dad is his chauffeur so it would be quite improper for her to really, really fall in love with Mr. $) and comes back a beautiful woman...but the wealthy man is not a prince and his brother know the story. However, the Audrey Hepburn version is much more charismatic: maybe you should watch this movie again. And visit the greenhouse...
- Roman holiday : for all the little girls who ever dreamed of being princesses...and big girls who enjoy Italy, Vespa and Gelati...

Studio: Paramount Home Video
Audrey Hepburn

DVD title: Ratz
Productgroup: DVD
Ratz - movie DVD cover picture
RATZ, Second only to Chocolate

I mean it. I have now lived a complete, fulfilled life. I couldn't have lived a more fulfilled life if I worked in a fulfilling factory instead of a Nike shoe factory in Moscow, Russia. I haven't had this much fun since I got that girl at the fireworks stand in so much trouble.

Studio: Showtime Entertainment 2
Director: Thom Eberhardt

DVD title: Catwoman (Widescreen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Catwoman (Widescreen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
really 3.5 stars, but I have to balance all the 1 stars

Okay, I admit it. I saw Catwoman three times already and enjoyed every second of it. However, everyone else's complaints with this movie are valid. One, this should have been a movie about a socialite by night, Jewel thief by later at night, who ends up finding herself in a situation where she finds herself fighting for good. Perhaps she ends up trying to take down an evil mob family who attempts to blackmail her. Or she could even take down an evil cosmetic giant who is .... Oh say .... Mutating and killing cats as test subjects (If they choose to keep the camp element), or recast her sister Maggie as the Hedare graphic artist who Catty avenges. As "Enjoyable" (not good, though not bad) as I thought the movie was, all the pieces were there to make a great movie. What went wrong? What didn't go wrong?

The Good
The casting of Halle Berry -Halle Berry would have made an excellent Selina. Yes, black/shmack, after seeing Catwoman I am convinced that she would have made an excellent Selina, she would have infused Selina with a conscience, a code of ethics, an honor amongst thieves. Selina is high class, glamorous, Halle would have made an excellent Selina. Don't get me wrong, she had me in Patience's corner, but I would have loved to see her Selina.

The casting of Sharon Stone - always an awesome villainess, could have been so much more.

The direction-yes I liked the combination of film noir/camp/music video ... It was original, and daring.

The bad
The story = brainless and stupid. Selina would have never cared about a bunch of vein women poisoning themselves.

premise = granted, as someone posted earlier, it is just as believable as any other comic book origin, however the viewing audience hasn't had a few decades to get used to the idea.

Benjamin Bratt = how can two awesomely sexy people have so little sexual tension

Patience and Tom sleeping together = Both times I saw this movie I saw several kids having a pretty good time, however that one scene made it completely inappropriate. Besides it wasn't needed, he could have found the nail/jewel another way.

The Ugly
The costume-the mask was odd and made her look like Ratwoman. it was too complicated and distracting.

With so many things going into this project being so excellent, this movie breaks my heart. has dropped the ball.

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Pitof
Halle Berry
Benjamin Bratt
Sharon Stone

DVD title: The Princess Diaries (Widescreen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
The Princess Diaries (Widescreen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
She Rules, She Rocks the new 2002!!!!

I really enjoyed this movie a lot. At first, I was hestitant to watch it, but after viewing it - I was really pleased.
Cute, and humorous, yet believable...this was more than the "fairy tale" story. It was set in real down-to-earth life, and even though I've never heard of Genovia, it seemed pretty believable!
And usually I take "G" movies as kid's entertainment, but being an adult, I was surpised how much I enjoyed it also. And with the content of the films that are out there, it is good to see there is a movie that is morally clean, good clean language, the the movie is still worth watching!!

Studio: Buena Vista Home Vid
Director: Garry Marshall
Julie Andrews
Anne Hathaway

DVD title: The Great Escape
Productgroup: DVD
The Great Escape - movie DVD cover picture
They earned their pay that day!

One of the all time great films about the human spirit that refuses to bow to tyranny. The story being of mostly British and Commonwealth pilots imprisoned in a Max. Security POW Camp. I don't want to give it away for those poor unfortunents that have not seen it yet. But it is a whale of a great story that is well worth the coin. Good to go to all involved!

Studio: Mgm/Ua Studios
Director: John Sturges
Steve McQueen
James Garner
Richard Attenborough
Charles Bronson
Donald Pleasence
James Coburn

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