Film DVD related reviews


DVD title: Mr. & Mrs. Smith
Productgroup: DVD
Mr. & Mrs. Smith - movie DVD cover picture
Excellent romantic comedy


I have seen this movie several times and enjoyed very much each time. It is a great early example of a fast moving romantic comedy. Lombard and Montgomery are superb in this Hitchcock directed film. One of the best comedies of its era.

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Actors:
Carole Lombard
Robert Montgomery




DVD title: To Be and to Have
Productgroup: DVD
To Be and to Have - movie DVD cover picture
Sneaks up on you...


I chose this DVD before reading the reviews because I usually enjoy documentaries. My expectations were exceeded.

At first, as this quiet documentary meandered slowly from scene to scene, I wondered, "When will we get to the point?" Then I realized, this IS the point. We're enjoying a slow-paced, leisurely experience, pacing the school's rhythm and the relaxed French country town.

We begin with a bitter winter day, first watching cows being herded home,then two tortoises in an empty room, then children coming on a school van. (The director's commentary explains that the cows and tortoises are metaphors for, respectively, school and the film.) And then we see scenes of Georges Lopez with the students, singly or in groups, never raising his voice, never showing annoyance, never crossing boundaries. This is a man with a vocation, the kind we rarely see anymore.


Lopez isn't a modern teacher. He's strict: students stand every morning to greet him, say "yes sir" and perform lessons by memorization. When a very young child doesn't finish a drawing, he misses recess.

I don't know if it's the best pedagogy around. But what students learn goes way beyond math, French, drawing and cooking. They learn to work as a second family, respecting one another, obeying the rules.

Because the director chose a small school, we get to know each child a little and we see some parents. There's a hilarious scene where an older student grapples with math homework. His entire family -- parents, uncle, older brother -- come to help and end up becoming equally confused.

This is the kind of film I could watch many times, seeing new details and nuances each time. The director allows scenes to unfold with no voiceover. We're forced to create our own interpretations, develop our own understanding.

I wish we could learn more about Lopez. Does he have a life beyond the classroom? How does he work with young children all day and remain so calm? In the one scene where he's interviewed, he visibly relaxes, remembering how he got into teaching. His father worked so hard, he says, he knew he wanted another life. Perhaps the context of his childhood framed his expectations, leaving him remarkably free of burnout.

And I wondered about the socioeconomic status of the children. They all seem to come from working farms. One child is shown working -- driving a huge tractor-type machine confidently, feeding animals, mucking out stalls. But all seem well-dressed with good haircuts. The teacher seems to be driving an Audi. Is this group especially privileged?

Finally, we need a sequel! Does this kind of education prepare children for the real world, whatever that may be? Will they do well in middle school? Will the boys cease fighting and Nathalie, the quiet girl, become more comfortable with conversation? That's the test of a good documentary: we're so involved that we want to learn more.



Studio: New Yorker Video
Director: Nicolas Philibert



DVD title: Meet The Fockers (Widescreen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Meet The Fockers (Widescreen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Te best comedy of all times.


First of all, it is the first movie in a long time that unites such wonderful stars as Robert De Niro, Barbra Streisand, and Dustin Hoffman. So, having these people, you can imagine how good it is. It certainly is a wonderful comedy with very funny moments.
I hadn't seen such a funny and pleasant comedy in so many years!
It is always a pleasure to see Robert De Niro acting, with the faces he puts to Ben Stiller when he feels something is wrong.
Also, it is the return of Barbra Streisand to the movies for such a long time.
It is the third time for Hoffman and De Niro working on a same film.
Throughout the film you can see the chemistry of the 3 great actors, you can sense that they are having a great time while they are filming.
Streisand and Hoffman are such a great couple as the Fockers.
The one who steals the movie is definitely Little Jack (who is played by the Spencer twins), he is Jack's grandson.
The actors I disliked were Teri Polo and Ben Stiller, because for my taste, they have nothing to do with De Niro, Streisand, and Hoffman. In the few scenes they appear, they don't act as good as the other 3.
Blythe Danner is great as De Niro's wife. She's so conservative in her part, as De Niro is.
The movie is about how hard is meeting in-laws. Nurse Gaylord Focker goes with his future in-laws(Byrnes) to Miami to meet his parents, which are as different from the Byrnes as can be (Bernie Focker is a house husband, and Roz Focker is a sex therapist). Of course everything goes bad for Gaylord and his parents, as well as for Jack Byrnes(an ex CIA agent).
A very good thing of the movie is the Focker's dog Moises, he's very funny.
I highly recommend this film,whether you saw Meet the Parents or not.

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: Jay Roach
Actors:
Robert De Niro
Ben Stiller
Dustin Hoffman
Barbra Streisand
Blythe Danner
Teri Polo




DVD title: The Lion King (Disney Special Platinum Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
The Lion King (Disney Special Platinum Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
My all-time favorite Disney movie!


I love this movie so much. I remember when it came out when I was just six. A perfectly good timing in my favorite year. That's what I miss about the 90s. I have the Simba plush toy, the Lion King song book with piano, and the umbrella. The movie is very funny especially Scar and the laughing hyenas. The sad part is how that (...) kill Simba's father. I remember being sad and crying in this part. Because it's sad how HIS own uncle would want to kill him and his father. And what's really great about it....is when Simba grows up and he falls in love wih his childhood friend Nala. Simba then returns back to the pridelands and put that (...) back into his place. The movie ends with Simba and Nala adding a special someone to the family... I don't think any other movies could ever take the place of the Lion King...it's just too special that it needs to be cherish forever and forever. I would definately recommend it for those who are not familiar with the movie. IT'S THE BEST!!!!

Studio: Walt Disney Home Video
Actors:
Matthew Broderick
James Earl Jones
Jeremy Irons
Whoopi Goldberg




DVD title: Frasier - The Complete First Season
Productgroup: DVD
Frasier - The Complete First Season - movie DVD cover picture
Frasier - The Complete First Season on DVD.


If you love the hilarious show Frasier, then you should get this. No commercials, no annoying adds, just 100% pure Frasier. This set includes four discs from the first season with great special features and episodes that will have you entertained and laughing for hours and hours. This is the season that started it all. And after years and years, Frasier still makes me cry with laughter. I can watch this whole set every week without getting sick of it. I can't wait until the next season comes out. This is a great, entertaining set and I recommend you get it if you want a good laugh.

Studio: Paramount Home Video
Actors:
Kelsey Grammer



DVD title: Bad Girls - The Complete First Season
Productgroup: DVD
Bad Girls - The Complete First Season - movie DVD cover picture
Bad Girls - A Must See


A good friend of mine brought be back series 1 & 3 from Glasgow a couple years ago, and I immediately got hooked on the show. There are some fantastic storylines that are quite believeable in some instances. The power struggles between inmates and screws (prison officers) add the the wonderful dynamics of the series. The series is not without its humour and dry wit as well. Amusing one liners are priceless. Before I had finished watching the first series, I bought the second from Amazon.co.uk. I now have all (series 1-6) of the series that have been released. Mind you, the UK releases of the series DVDs have more features (video interviews, behind the scenes, etc) that the North American releases, so if you don't need the subtitles and you have a multi-regional player, check out the UK releases.
You must give this a go, and you'll be hooked for sure.

Studio: Capital Entertainment Ind.
Actors:
Jack Ellis



DVD title: Touching the Void
Productgroup: DVD
Touching the Void - movie DVD cover picture
Goodness, a climbing movie that isn't cheesey!


Climbers have always felt there was no need for the embarassing antics displayed in absurd films like Vertical Limit, MI-2, and Cliffhanger to get across the at-once dangerous and beautiful aspects of their sport. In fact, it was believed that a truly talented director could convey those things quite well through a little creativity rather than resorting to nitro-glycerine and cheesey free-soloing scenes to add suspense. So it was with great anticipation and a bit of skepticism that the release of this movie retelling the classic story of Joe Simpson's epic in the Andes was anticipated. No one was let down. This is a brilliantly done film, at the original scene, with the real climbers doing much of the legwork. The climbing scenes are shot with authenticity, and even the actors portraying the climbers did a good job. The horrible situation Simpson finds himself in and his deteriorating physical and mental condition are palpable and nerve-wracking. The feeling of desperation and hopelessness reaches the same heights achieved in the book, as does the anxiety and anguish of Simon (his partner). This is a classic film rendering of a classic book. This is one movie you must see; who knows if another climbing story will ever be done as well. And whether you're a climber or not, you will be just as close to the edge of your seat, all without the insulting Hollywood silliness.

Studio: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Director: Kevin Macdonald
Actors:
Brendan Mackey
Joe Simpson (II)
Nicholas Aaron
Simon Yates




DVD title: The Pretender - The Complete First Season
Productgroup: DVD
The Pretender - The Complete First Season - movie DVD cover picture
It's About Time for Pretender on DVD


I'm just too excited to heard that Pretender is coming to DVD. I have been trying for a very long time to figure out how to get Pretender on DVD. I was this close to purchasing a DVD recorder and TIVO'ng all the episodes on TNT. This is much easier and cheaper. Only thing now, is having to wait for the follow on seasons.

Studio: Fox Home Entertainme
Actors:
Michael Weiss



DVD title: A Man Apart
Productgroup: DVD
A Man Apart - movie DVD cover picture
amazing


I thought this film was amazing. Vin has out done himself and so has his co-star Larenzo Tate. The movie takes you through every emotion and back again. It has you fighting the fight you know cann't be right. Plus it's a true drama not a muscle movie. I think a step in the right direction for our man. It shows Vin's diversity yet again. WOW!

Studio: New Line Home Entertainment
Director: F. Gary Gray
Actors:
Vin Diesel
Larenz Tate




DVD title: Greedy
Productgroup: DVD
Greedy - movie DVD cover picture
Greedy gets my funny bone everytime!


Just a great comedy with wonderful chemistry between Fox and Douglas. For Michael J. Fox fans this is the opportunity to see Alex P. Keaton lose sight of his morals and get sucked into a game of greed and fortune (or misfortune). One problem with the film is the unnecessary extended birthday suit scene of Fox, it just seemed excessive and out of character. Probably the biggest personal factor for me is having a family member with a supposed "fortune" that she dangled and teased before other family member's eyes in some of the most ludicrous games I have witnessed. Greedy captures that perfectly and shows how low people can let themselves go when it comes to money.

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: Jonathan Lynn
Actors:
Michael J. Fox
Kirk Douglas




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