Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: The Postman
Productgroup: DVD
The Postman - movie DVD cover picture
Don't overlook this one!

A box office flop, this has got to be one of the most overlooked movies of all time. Based on the science fiction tale by David Brin, the movie strips away all of the science fiction aspects of the story with the exception of it's occurence in the near future, and the story is 100% better for it. (Sorry, Mr. Brin, the book was good, the movie's excellent.)The main character becomes a fraud out of necessity, but becomes a beacon of hope to the tattered remnants of a nation devastated, indeed nearly destroyed, by civil war.I've seen this several times several years apart. I'm impressed every time with the quality of the entire work - the acting, the photography, the script, it's all first rate. I have recommended this to many friends, and every single one comes back to tell me how glad they were to have seen this movie.If this is, as I've read, Costner's first ever experience as a director, then he either had some real beginner's luck on his side, or he has a rare talent - time will tell.

Studio: Warner Studios
Director: Kevin Costner
Kevin Costner
Will Patton
Larenz Tate
Olivia Williams

DVD title: A Very Long Engagement
Productgroup: DVD
A Very Long Engagement - movie DVD cover picture
John-Pierre Jeunet has done it again!

Although I am a fan of Audrey Tautou, John-Pierre Jeunet, and indeed French films in general, I was at first reluctant to see this film. I do not usually enjoy war films, and from what I had heard, this film featured brutally realistic depictions of WWI trench life. However, I am certainly glad that I finally gave in.

The movie tells the story of Mathilde, an intelligent young girl crippled by a childhood bout of polio, and Manech, her fiance who was supposedly executed during WWI for self-mutiliation. When Mathilde receives notice of Manech's death, she refuses to believe that her fiance is truly dead, and she embarks on a long and arduous quest to discover the truth about Manech's fate.

In addition to a wonderfully complex and emotional performance from Audrey Tautou (who is one of the best actresses working in French cinema today), as well as a cameo from Hollywood's own Oscar darling Jodie Foster, this film is a veritable banquet for the eyes. Like his previous film 'Amelie', director John-Pierre Jeunet has filled this film with swooping camera shots, eye-popping cityscapes of Paris, and (unique to this film) beautiful views of the French countryside. Particularly effective is his use of colour - the dull greys and browns of the battlefield trenches contrast greatly with the warm golden/sepia haze that seems to hang over Mathilde's Britanny cottage. Particularly beautiful shots include one of Mathilde gazing over the ocean from the top of a lighthouse at sunset; a sudden wind sweeping over a golden wheatfield, pressing the wheat to the ground in eerie waves; and a slow trailing shot following Mathilde as she wanders through a bustling outdoor Parisian market. John-Pierre Jeunet certainly knows how to please the eye!

This film also features many heart-wrenching scenes of WWI battlefields, but they are tastefully done and (to the best of my knowledge) give a very good sense of what life in the trenches must have been like. Although, as I said, I am not typically a fan of war films, I thought the scenes were very well done and they were definitely integal to the forwarding of the plot.

As far as the plot goes, the movie is thoroughly engaging from first to last. Although the film is long (over two hours), the plot is a complex one that warrants a lengthy running time, and I was certainly not watching the clock during this movie. This is certainly a film that deserves multiple viewings, however, since it is occassionally difficult to keep track of the entire gallery of supporting characters.

In conclusion, this film has something for almost anyone, and I strongly recommend it. In my opinion, it was one of the best films of 2004, and was woefully under-represented at the Academy Awards.

P.S.: I also recommend the novel 'A Very Long Engagement', by Sebastien Japrisot. Although markedly different in some respects, the novel is utterly compelling and beautifully written.

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Jean-Pierre Jeunet
Audrey Tautou
Gaspard Ulliel
Jodie Foster

DVD title: Tough Guys Don't Dance
Productgroup: DVD
Tough Guys Don't Dance - movie DVD cover picture
One of the Finest Films Ever

Disregard all the negative reviews! Whatever Mr. Mailer's intentions, this film contains some of the funniest dialogue in cinematic history! Nearly every line is a classic. Examples:
"Lonnie's dead! Jessica is dismembered! Patty Loraine's off on some kind of a toot! And I'm about to go into business with you two unbelievable sleazos!" - Wardley Meeks
Police chief: "I believe that you love your wife." Ryan O'Neal: "No more than twice a week."
O'Neal: "What makes surgeons happy? To cut people up and get paid for it. That's happiness."
In addition to the dialogue, Tough Guys Don't Dance boasts fine photography that evokes the light and atmosphere of Provincetown, some of the wackiest characters this side of a John Waters comedy, and a labyrinthe plot that rivals Chandler's The Big Sleep in terms of complexity and utter confusion.
See it now! Before the ghosts of Helltown invade your seance!

Studio: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Director: Norman Mailer
Ryan O'Neal
Isabella Rossellini

DVD title: Oasis: There and Then
Productgroup: DVD
Oasis: There and Then - movie DVD cover picture
a madferrit dvd

without doubt the best oasis dvd i have seen, familiar to millions was great but this is something else, worth it just to see noel play the masterplan at maine road, if theres any of u out there with a few pounds to spare spend it wisely and buy this dvd its a cracker.

Studio: Sony/Columbia
Director: Dick Carruthers
Liam Gallagher
Noel Gallagher (II)

DVD title: Death Curse of Tartu / Sting of Death
Productgroup: DVD
Death Curse of Tartu / Sting of Death - movie DVD cover picture
Great Trashy Double Bill From William Grefe

Fans of 60's horror will eat this one up. Something Weird dishes up two William Grefe "classics", one of them not seen in decades. This is one of the best Something Weird DVD's yet and I've seen a lot of them. Great fun!
First up is DEATH CURSE OF TARTU about a mummy who wreaks vengeance on people who have invaded his Everglades territory. Tartu mostly just lies in his tomb and instead transforms into varous animals (snake, gator, etc.) to eat and attack his victims. Great location color photography, amusing characters and real animals make this one a real hoot. There's a fun and informative commentary track with Grefe and Frank Henelotter as well which is highly recommended. Grefe comments that he told one terrified actress to go into the snake-infested water for a scene by telling her "Don't worry. We scared all the snakes away." Hahahaha!
The second flick on the DVD is Grefe's first and rare horror film, "STING OF DEATH" which is about a jellyfish man that attacks a bunch of stupid people in the Everglades. The creature just wears a scuba diving suit with flippers and a giant inflated trash bag on his head. You will not believe your eyes - trust me! You ain't seen anything like it. One great highlight is an attack on a sinking boat where all the passengers fall into the water and are "attacked" by jellyfish (floating inflated baggies). There's also a Neil Sedaka song played at a poolside dance where all the girls can shake their bootys at the camera. Meanwhile, the jellyfish man is swimming in the pool, but no one sees him! This hilarious 1965 epic was never sold to television and was thought lost for years. Another great commentary track by Grefe and Henelotter - both have fun and joke about the ineptness of some scenes, but always in reverance - and they also go into how the negative of the film was almost completely molded away before SW got ahold of it in the nick of time. It's truly fascinating to hear about how these older films could be lost, destroyed and gone forever --- there's no big "negative library" out there for these low-budget gems. Many are out there just rotting away - negatives missing ---- surviving prints in awful shape. Even Grefe pleads with listeners to help find one of his "lost" films, "Devil Sisters", since no print seems to have survived. Thank Something Weird for preserving this kind of horror history.
There's some great extras on this DVD as well - other Grefe trailers including "Mako Jaws of Death" and "Stanley", a 30 minute reel of scenes from a gory exploitation adventure called "Love Goddesses of Blood Island", and a hilarious short called "Miami or Bust" which starts off as a travelogue but ends up as a riotous poolside dance/striptease by one of the ugliest women I've seen on one of these things in a long time. Man, when she pouts her lips and tries to look seductive, you may want to have a puke bucket handy. Great stuff!!!
If you are into trashy horror pictures from the 60's/70's, you'll love this duo DVD. Both films look great, very colorful. On one commentary track, Henenlotter and Grefe talk about going to 42nd Street in the 60's and 70's to see countless movies like this every day. It was a great time for exploitation, horror and sleaze fans - triple features and more, changing daily. And as Henenlotter says "Unlike today where there's nothing out there I want to see." How true! If you agree with this statement, then make a date with Tartu and the jellyfish man! "Jilla jalla jella!"

Studio: Image Entertainment
Director: William Grefe

DVD title: Muhammad Ali - The Whole Story
Productgroup: DVD
Muhammad Ali - The Whole Story - movie DVD cover picture

GREATNESS is all I can say about Ali and this dvd. If you like Ali now, after watching this dvd you'll love him. 6 hours of the most enertaining person of the 20th century,rare boxing footage of him in the Olympics, rare professional fights, great commentary from the people who were there, and seeing thousands of people of Zaire surrounding him chanting "Bomaye, Ali Bomaye" makes this a must own dvd.

Studio: Turner Home Video

DVD title: Friends - The Complete Eighth Season
Productgroup: DVD
Friends - The Complete Eighth Season - movie DVD cover picture

I Love friends and this is one of my fav. seasons. I agree with everyone this is way to long to wait for it. Now, that friends is over i think that they should have a new season out every month or every other month. ANYWAY season eight is coming yeepppyyy!!!!

Studio: Warner Home Video
Lisa Kudrow

DVD title: Blood - The Last Vampire
Productgroup: DVD
Blood - The Last Vampire - movie DVD cover picture
Brilliant, amazing, spetacular,

The first thing i noticed when watching this was the sound, from the first scene on the train you can see what kind of amazing sound quality and thrills awaited as saya stepped off the train.
Many people complain this film was too short, i agree, but not in the 'this film sucks because it is too short' way. There have been many films that have been short in length yet deep in every other aspect, and this is one of those films.
there is little back story to the characters and information is dripped through slowly. But that is one of the parts that make this such a brilliant film. The storyline is not handed to you on a silver platter, you must peive together bits of information and decide for yourself what you think is the true meaning of his film.
Now onto the animation quality, and its in an entire league of its own. There have been many animation productions which combined computer graphics with polished anime but none have surpassed the seamless blending and amazing graphics of Blood: the last vampire. One such victim was Metropolis (hopefully spelt correctly), the graphics were amzing and the animation qulity good but the two never combined well and they just looked odd. Blood on the othr hand used intense and detailed shading and lighting effects to create an almost imaculate mix of computer graphics and anime.
Overall i was morew than happy with hthis film. Those looking for an indepth epic will be dissapointed, yet revived when they realise the masterpeice this film is. This is one of those films where you must have a sequel, it was like the matrix when neo became the one and so many new directions for the story to steer towards awoke. All i can do is hope the geniuses who created this have enough courage to take up the muse and pen and create another amazing sequel.

In short, read the review title.

Studio: Palm Pictures/Manga Video
Director: Hiroyuki Kitakubo
Youki Kudoh

DVD title: The Fantasia Anthology (3-Disc Collector's Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
The Fantasia Anthology (3-Disc Collector's Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
A personal story

I will not tell you about the DVD's special features, or any of the impressions I had from the digital capture of the film, or the quality of the sound; I'll tell you a story.
This is probably the first memory I have: I was 3 years old. My mother took me to a distant cinema to see my first film show. She told me that it is like a cartoon, but bigger. We entered the theater, sat down, and I was amazed of its size and capacity - though in retrospective it was a rather small theater... But when the lights went off and the film started, it overwhelmed me. The choice of this ultimate masterpiece as my first film ever left me with little choice for my future - I was to become a slave to cinema, animation and music for the rest of my life. These became my most treasured passions ever since. Whenever I picture music, it is forever colored with the magnificence of Disney's genius gift. It changed my life.
Yes - and it is a gift to all of us. Thank you, Walt, for showing me beauty, perfection and humility.

Studio: Walt Disney Home Video
Leopold Stokowski

DVD title: Invincible
Productgroup: DVD
Invincible - movie DVD cover picture
Werner Herzog's Ecstatic Truth

'Invincible' is an unbelievably powerful film. After an eleven year absence from feature films 'Invincible' proves that Werner Herzog is the greatest living film-maker. Although far from being his best film ('The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser' and 'Aguirre the Wrath of God' are his greatest films) this film has an amazing power and is reminiscent of 'The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser'. Jouko Ahola's performance as Zische Breitbart is the most innocent portrayal I've ever seen given by an actor. The final scene in this film had me crying uncontrollably. This is the second best film of 2002 behind Polanski's 'The Pianist'.

Studio: New Line Home Entertainment
Director: Werner Herzog
Tim Roth
Jouko Ahola

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