Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: The Women of Brewster Place
Productgroup: DVD
The Women of Brewster Place - movie DVD cover picture
Every Woman should see this amazing film.

Oprah really can act. I was surprised! Her ability is comparable to her performance in The Color Purple. But everybody is great in this film. It shows a diverse group of people, who share two factors in common, they're black and women. But that's really it. This film was one of the few that really shows black women as individuals and not as a mass. It shows the myriad of trials that effect the lives of women and African-Americans. I found my thoughts expressed in many of the charaters voices. Vanessa William, Lynn Whitfield, Jackee Harry, and so many others really gave every ounce of passion they could into their roles. Powerful and gripping! I'd give it ten stars if would let me :-). END

Studio: Xenon Studios
Director: Donna Deitch

DVD title: Queer as Folk - The Complete First Season (Showtime)
Productgroup: DVD
Queer as Folk - The Complete First Season (Showtime) - movie DVD cover picture
A groundbreaking drama...

Nominated for 9 Craft Awards (bestowed by the Director's Guild of Canada), Queer As Folk is a groundbreaking drama series that has built itself a large cult following since its inception in 2000. Based on a British TV series of the same name, Queer As Folk is in many ways similar to HBO's Sex And The City, and it's one of the first TV dramas to be completely centered around the lives of homosexual characters, or even have prominent homosexual characters - following on the heels of groundbreaking sitcoms such as Ellen (1994) and Will & Grace (1998). The brainchild of UK-born writer and creator Russell T. Davies, Queer As Folk follows the life and times of a group of gay friends as they live out their respective lives in modern-day America...

Set in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Queer As Folk follows the exploits of a group of gay and lesbian friends who live on or around Liberty Avenue. Most of the scenes take place either in the character's homes, a local diner, or the popular gay nightclub Babylon. Lindsay Peterson (Thea Gill) and Melanie Marcus (Michelle Clunie) comprise the lone lesbian couple to star in the series, while various gay friends and neighbors such as Brian Kinney (Gale Harold), Michael Novotny-Bruckner (Hal Sparks), Justin Taylor (Randy Harrison), Ted Schmidt (Scott Lowell), Emmett Honeycutt (Peter Paige), etc. deal with each other and their own varying relationships. Composed in a drama/soap opera format, Queer As Folk centers wholly on the careers and lives (including sex, drugs, love, friendships, tragedies, etc.) of its diverse characters, maintaining a specific focus on its attempted realistic portrayal and illustration of the American homosexual lifestyle...

The Queer As Folk (Season 1) DVD features a number of interesting episodes including the series premiere in which, following a night of entertainment at Babylon with his friends, Brian goes home with a man named Justin, but has a difficult time conveying to Justin that he doesn't want to pursue a relationship. Meanwhile, friends Lindsay and Melanie are celebrating the birth of their new baby boy, Gus... Other notable episodes from Season 1 include "Episode 110" in which Brian evicts Justin after he forgets to set the alarm and the place gets robbed, and "Episode 118" in which Justin learns that his parents are getting a divorce while Ted is reunited with Blake...

The DVD Report

Studio: Showtime Entertainment 2
Queer As Folk
Hal Sparks

DVD title: AM/PM Stretch for Health
Productgroup: DVD
AM/PM Stretch for Health - movie DVD cover picture
My favorite stretching routine

I was looking for a good stretching routine and I've found it! Madeleine Lewis instructs the stretching. She is very clear in her instructions and is good for either beginners or intermediate students. The scenery is absolutely lovely in the practices. You have your choice of three different routines. One, the AM is a fairly gentle routine. I use it quite often in the morning to get me going. You do a short warm up and then get into the stretching. There are about 25 stretches and the practice lasts about 25 minutes. The second one is a PM stretching routine which again starts with a warm up, then about 15 stretches and then a relaxation/cool down, about 25 minutes. The third routine (extra) is a power stretch and very uplifting, lasts about 20 minutes. All of them are very good and useful for every time of day.

Studio: Living Arts

DVD title: Six Feet Under - The Complete First Season
Productgroup: DVD
Six Feet Under - The Complete First Season - movie DVD cover picture
Best dark comedy TV show around finally on DVD..WITH EXTRAS

Beware of SFU bashers. The only way to form your own opinion, is to watch an episode. Don't let a reviewers attention-getting opinion disuade you from at least trying one episode. If you don't have HBO, have a friend that does tape it for you. If you don't like it, you haven't lost anything. If you do like it you will have an hour every week to get lost and involved in this excellent comedy/drama series.

Studio: HBO Home Video
Peter Krause

DVD title: Saved!
Productgroup: DVD
Saved! - movie DVD cover picture
One of my top 10

I have gone to cherch all my life and I some times think that people forget that the bible says love thy neighbor as thy self. This film did not affend me any way because it is after all a work of fiction, but it did show me that god truely does love all,and that he has a sense of humor. if you like saved I would recomend Kevin smith's dogma.

Studio: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Director: Brian Dannelly
Jena Malone
Mandy Moore (II)
Macaulay Culkin
Patrick Fugit
Heather Matarazzo

DVD title: Election
Productgroup: DVD
Election - movie DVD cover picture
One of the best films ever made!

Oscar is usually cool on comedies, but this films deserves (at least) Best Picture, Best Screenplay and Best Actress awards. Word of mouth is doing for this brilliant masterpiece what the promoters did not even attempt to do. Probably because the film was considered too smart, too real to become anything but a cult favorite. Not so! It has something for everyone. Penetrating, perceptive, sexy, timely, and at the same time hysterically funny.

Studio: Paramount Studio
Director: Alexander Payne
Matthew Broderick
Reese Witherspoon

DVD title: Full Moon in Blue Water
Productgroup: DVD
Full Moon in Blue Water - movie DVD cover picture
My dad the actor

My dad was in this movie. He an a friend fishing at the time this movie was filmed and the producers asked if he wanted to be in the movie. They used my dad, his truck (an old toyota pickup) and his friend in a background scene. I think my dad and his friend were cut out but the truck still remains. It will be nice to finally see the movie after hearing about it. It was previously titled "Blue Moon Over Troubled Water" so we could not find the film. This will make a nice Christmas present for my dad.

Studio: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Director: Peter Masterson
Gene Hackman
Teri Garr

DVD title: Samurai X - Trust & Betrayal (Director's Cut)
Productgroup: DVD
 Samurai X - Trust & Betrayal (Director's Cut) - movie DVD cover picture
If Kurosawa made anime....

I bought an import DVD of this title after having fallen in love with the original version. The director's cut has had all of the section breaks removed, letting the story flow as a continuous two-hour movie.
If you've never seen this OVA before, brace yourself. Its look and tone are almost completely different from the "Rurouni Kenshin" tv series and movie, with frivolity stripped away to yield a stunning examination of what happens to idealism when it's used to justify any means used to achieve those ideals. This OVA is not kid's stuff. It's violent and heart-rending and subtle, and you will never look at Kenshin the same way again.
It's probably best appreciated after seeing the second season of the tv series, which introduces a number of characters who also appear here. And once you've grown accustomed to the way Kenshin behaves ten years after the war, it's truly eye-opening to see the way he was and how/why he changed to what he later became. However, it can also be watched on its own, without having seen any other RK at all.
Some new footage was added to bump the runtime back up, but most of it is in tiny snippets that don't add much, with the spectacular exception of a battle sequence near the end where Kenshin fights his way across a bridge toward an artillery-besieged town. (By contrast, much more footage was added to the director's cut of Seisouhen (Reflections), including Kaoru's wedding and early married life, but no US release date has been announced for that as yet.)
Buy it. Watch it. Never forget it.

Studio: A.D. Vision
Director: Kazuhiro Furuhashi

DVD title: Vampires
Productgroup: DVD
Vampires - movie DVD cover picture

John Carpenter's heroes have always had the peculiar mission to save the world or, at least, the President of the U.S.A., from an upcoming danger. Aliens, the Devil, nuclear terrorists have already been defeated. Now the time has come for vampires to challenge John's last hero : Jack Crow.
If you are familiar with the cinematographic world of director John Carpenter, you will recognize Snake Plissken's brother in Jack Crow ; his way to light his cigarillo has betrayed him. Like Snake, Jack doesn't expect the world to thank him for risking his life in order to save it. In fact, all Carpenter's crusades are hidden and Jack Crow cannot count on anybody else to help him. One can find these themes in ASSAULT, THE THING , ESCAPE FROM A L.A. and in most of Carpenter's movies.
The style of this director is also recognizable in 5 minutes; Carpenter shoots every scene as if he was in a western. So tension is palpable in every move, in every word of his characters. Another Carpenter gimmick is the music he composes for his movies : minimal, electric and haunting.
If you haven't seen yet a movie of this director, just try one and you won't be able to stop the movie until it ends. And you will always be pleased to watch it again and again because John Carpenter is one of the last giants of cinema.
A DVD for the Master.

Studio: Columbia/Tristar Studios
Director: John Carpenter
James Woods
Daniel Baldwin

DVD title: Shame (Special Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Shame (Special Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Stunning evocation of love and war

Sweden never had a civil war, but Ingmar Bergman imagined it in this brilliant film. Like Stephen Spielberg's "Saving Private Ryan", "Shame" brings home the horror of wholesale butchery without a drop of sentimentality. Unlike that movie, though, "Shame" comes nowhere near hero-worship. In fact, I think it's actually the more masterful of the two films, for it evokes war's brutality on a much smaller scale and yet with greater subtlety and closer attention to the impact of destruction on individuals.
Filmed in 1968, at the height of the Cold War, "Shame" portrays the ordeal of a young couple named Jan and Eva Rosenberg (Max von Sydow and Liv Ullmann), who own a small farm on a remote island in Sweden and who struggle to survive as the conflict that ravages the mainland spills over and starts to engulfs them. Jan and Eva are thoroughly apolitical and want nothing to do with the war. While obviously evoking the competing totalitarian ideologies of the Cold War (communism & capitalism), Bergman's genius is that he never actually identifies what these two competing ideologies are. By doing so, he creates a film that has no explicit political message unless it be that war is hell. The film forces us to step outside our own narrow political prejudices and look directly at the effects of war on humanity, irrespective of politics. For Bergman, belief systems are totally irrelevant. By not even telling us what they are here in the first place, he focuses exclusively on the human tragedy involved.
Moreover, by setting this conflict in Sweden, an affluent Western country that has never been involved in a major modern war, Bergman makes us consider what war must feel like when it shows up in one of "our" societies. This is no a faraway place, and it has not been ravaged by ancient feuds and incessant hatreds down through history. It is as close to "us" here in the West as could be. Furthermore, by setting "Shame" in a country as pristine and "virgin" as Sweden, Bergman brings home to us with crushing force what most Europeans and Americans are now unable to fathom in hindsight due to so many decades of adjustment to it -- the savage, soul-splitting nightmare that devoured Europe in the 20th century and tore civilization apart at its very seams.
The visual impact of this film is also stunning. For while Scandinavian filmmakers had already filmed such incredible movies in color as "Elvira Madigan" (1967), Bergman chose to film this one in black and white. The effect of the black-and-white still-shots of Sydow and Ullmann's faces is remarkable (and what a face Sydow has!). The script and plot is phenomenal, alternating masterfully between understated and yet overpowering scenes of love and war.
Brilliant movie. Five stars.

Director: Ingmar Bergman
Liv Ullmann
Max von Sydow

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