Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Inspector Morse - The Silent World of Nicholas Quinn
Productgroup: DVD
Inspector Morse - The Silent World of Nicholas Quinn - movie DVD cover picture

This has grown to be my favourite Inspector Morse of the entire Morse series! The more I watch this the more enchanted I become with it uncovering little pieces each time. Exquisite indeed!
The murder is set in the arcane world of examiantion boards which were affiliated to some of England's major universities as arbiters of the academic development of students at ages 16 and 18. This obscure branch of academia is nonetheless an ivory tower existance disguising basic human failings of jealousy, greed etc.
When a relatively new examiner is found dead at home the detectives seem to be looking beyond the workplace but in the course of the investigation the examination board becomes the centre of attention.
Essential Morse has three main interests, his love of opera, his appreciation of real ale (microbrews in American parlance), and his fascination of crosswords. It is in the last of these that we find the core to this story. As always the story is composed like a crossword such that the clues must be solved before completing the case. Here, however, the crossword assumes a much greater role. One of the other examiners, and as such a suspect, turns out to be an intellectual hero of Morse, Daedalus, who sets a particu;arly challenging crossword which gives Morse great pleasure. The two men share similar interests and it becomes apparent that they have a similar view of the world. They become competitors in trying to resolve the case but only until Daedalus (played superbly by Michael Gough) is also murdered although he leaves some difficult clues behind.
Another dimension to this story is the love interest of examiner Monica. Again there is a crossword perspective. Morse is intrigued by the physical and intellectual beauty of this woman, but as usual he cannot solve the clues to understanding her. He is torn between his feelings for her as a person and the growing suspicion that she is somehow involved in the murders. Ultimately this conflict is only resolved when it is too late.
The plot twists and turns and has several blind allies but it is compulsive viweing and by the device of Daedelus we get to see a mirror image of Morse the man. Kevin Whately puts in another superb performance as the long suffering Lewis who we perceive as the apprentice of the master but also the master's concience.
An excellent vintage and quite excellent indeed.

Studio: Bfs Entertainment/Mu

DVD title: Phish - It
Productgroup: DVD
Phish - It - movie DVD cover picture
A fond farewell to Phish

Like a lot of others, my phish experience started winding down well before the hiatus, never mind Coventry. Years pass, obligations accumulate, the thrill fades . . . as did the musicianship.

I remember several years ago thinking that even at 60%, PHiSH would blow away anything else out there. It seemed so obviously true. Then they actually went out and hit 60%, if that, and I wasnt so sure.

As overwhelming as Coventry was emotionally, it was underwhelming musically (at least as heard via cinema simulcast). Enter IT. This is how IT would have ended had the end been scripted. This is phish at their finest. The highest compliment I can pay is that slipping into this DVD is like stepping back to 1993 or 1995. The band is on. The scene is alive. The songs soar. 10 years from now, this is the farewell that I'll remember. As Fishman put it, at IT PHiSH was a band that could still earn ITs keep -- that deserved to be where it was. For all the memories Phish gave me, they deserve to be remembered as they were at this show. This performance may not have been the last. But, then, in some respects, IT was. $.02

Studio: Wea Corp

DVD title: Roberta
Productgroup: DVD
Roberta - movie DVD cover picture
Gee, That's Swell!

Whatever you have heard or read to the contrary, this is the best Rogers/Astaire movie. The music is wonderful, the plot is painless, and the dances are the best these two ever did -- particularly "I'll Be Hard to Handle," recorded live so you hear Ginger's breathless laughter. She was never again as beautiful or as sexy as she is here; her five-second skip-dance to the window to hear Fred's orchestra is greater than most performers' entire careers. Endlessly re-seeable and enjoyable.

Director: William A. Seiter
Irene Dunne
Fred Astaire
Ginger Rogers

DVD title: Saving Private Ryan
Productgroup: DVD
Saving Private Ryan - movie DVD cover picture
A Sorrowfull Must-See

This movie is the type of movie that you would never want to see again- but be horribly short-changed if you didn't see it at all. A ground breaking film, it explores the psychological aspect of solders in war; what makes them kill, what makes them fight on, and the horror expierianced on both sides of the gun. It also explores the solder's relation to it's country, in that you are bound to wonder after all is said and done, did the U.S. have the right to decide if which man's life was important enough to send a small troop after him? In smaller terms, who got to live, and who got to die. Watch it. It's brilliant. Yet I guarantee you, you will not want to see it again, though you will be glad you saw it in the first place.

Studio: Dreamworks Skg
Director: Steven Spielberg
Tom Hanks
Matt Damon

DVD title: Diary of a Mad Black Woman (Full Screen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Diary of a Mad Black Woman (Full Screen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
This film will deservedly be considered as a classic.

My wife and I almost over looked this film as the title and cover picture made us think it was one of those exploitive movies. We are glad we did finally buy it and loved it so much we bought the DVDs available of Tyler Perrys stage plays. This man is a genius as a writer, an actor, a director, and a producer. It is refreshing that such a strong Christian can get his message across the way he has been doing for about a decade now. The film is the most spiritual commecially made film we have ever seen outside of some of those made by groups like the Billy Graham Association. The acting and music is superb. There is a definite message that is mixed with drama and comedy. You will love Madea. We have recommended this in our church and every place where someone will listen to us.

Studio: Lions Gate Home Entertainment
Director: Darren Grant (II)
Kimberly Elise
Steve Harris
Cicely Tyson
Tyler Perry

DVD title: Shrek (Full Screen Single Disc Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Shrek (Full Screen Single Disc Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
A grown-up fairy tale

When I first heard about "Shrek" I thought this would be one of the worst films to hit the theaters. Was I ever wrong! The animation is astounding and is yet more proof how far CGI can go that regular cel animation can't. But the true greatness of this movie is the story itself. The editorial above sort of spoils you, telling you it's a "fractured fairy tale" -- and it is -- but I like to think of it as a grown-up fairy tale, not that kids won't enjoy or get it, but this is definitely not a movie that is only for them. That stigma that animation is for children only is so untrue, and this movie shows it in spades. Definitely a worthwhile buy!

Studio: Umvd/Dreamworks
Mike Myers
Eddie Murphy

DVD title: Practical Magic
Productgroup: DVD
Practical Magic - movie DVD cover picture
I Loved it!

I thought it was a good movie, and with Sandra Bullock I dont see how it couldn't be good!

Studio: Warner Studios
Director: Griffin Dunne
Sandra Bullock
Nicole Kidman

DVD title: Invaders From Mars
Productgroup: DVD
Invaders From Mars - movie DVD cover picture
5 stars for REALLY SCARY when I saw it as a 10 yr old.

Although this film is certainly dated by today's standards, the first half hour is still quite chilling. The rest of it however, is really corny. When I saw it in the theater in '53, it scared the hell out of me and nightmares were frequent. It took a year or so to get it out of my system.

Studio: United American Video
Director: William Cameron Menzies
Helena Carter
Arthur Franz

DVD title: The Day the Earth Stood Still
Productgroup: DVD
The Day the Earth Stood Still - movie DVD cover picture
Two Christic figures in this film.

This is one of those great stories that transcends time and generations. The best sci-fi stories always have elements of fantasy in them: "Dune" and the mystical spice, "Star Wars" and the Force, "Ghostbusters" and technology, not a priest, is used to catch ghosts,and so forth. "The Day" continues in this vein with the resurrection image. Yes, a machine restores Klaatu to life, but he alludes to the Great Spirit who ultimately determines life and death. Another plus with this film is that there are really two Christic figures in this film: Klaatu and Gort. Klaatu is obvious: his resurrection, the gaunt features that suggest an El Greco painting, and assuming the name of Mr. Carpenter. But Gort is the "Lion of the Tribe of Judah" aspect of of a Savior. Remember how Aslan, who is not a tame lion, once appears as a lamb in "Voyage of the Dawn Treader." This makes "The Day" that much more powerful--you see the dual nature of divinity. Notice how Gort undergoes a resurrection out of the belly of the plastic cage. Fascinating parallel! The story is set in the background of the 1950's A-bomb scare, where literally we could have started Armageddon without the Four Horsemen. We needed a savior during those "needle-and-pins" times, and Klaatu and Gort were the Saviors. They were the Saviors from out own stupidity and inexperience. It was a time where our science outstripped and surpassed our moral reasoning. It is a miracle we made it through those times with atomic weapons used only;y twice. This film, like "Invasion of the Body Snatchers," or "The Lottery" were effervesces of the subconscious desires of the time. But the film transcends the times it was written. As Campbell points out, all myths are telling the same story. Different elements, different casts, different scenes, but the same story. Lucas aimed for a modern myth, but "The Day" already did that 25 years before "Star Wars." When you see this fable, do you fell a sense of hope that other planets have worked through the terrible atomic twos, and have finally achieved Nuclear Adulthood. Just the desire to succeed was the message need at the time, and is still needed now as we debate ABM treaties and STAR treaties. Atomic weapons are a fact that we can not run from, and we have a choice: Klaatu's way of success, or a planetary nuclear mess! Yes the special effects are cheesy by today's computer-generated glitzos, but as Shakespeare reminds, "Can this cockpit hold the vasty fields of France? or may we cram within this wooden O the very casques that did affright the air at Agincourt?" (Henry V, Act I, sc. i)You have limitations with performances, and you are supposed to see past the blue-screens and wires and hit the mark of truth that the story is telling.

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox Home Video
Director: Robert Wise
Michael Rennie
Patricia Neal

DVD title: Absolutely Fabulous Complete DVD Collection (4-Disc Set)
Productgroup: DVD
Absolutely Fabulous Complete DVD Collection (4-Disc Set) - movie DVD cover picture
Love some AbFab

From the first time I saw this series on Comedy Central, I was hooked. There was just something about htis show that I really like, and I love it when a show can just let loose and say or do things that tv show's here seem to lack today. The timeing of everyhting is just right and perfect for the moment!
When I met my husband, (who's from England) the first time we watched tv together he said, 'well, I would watch something, but you might not like it. I don't think you get this show in the states anyways'. After pressing him to show it, he flipped on Absolutely Fabulous! I was so excited to see he liked the show also. But I was saddened to see that it was over after only 18 episodes. But thankfully these episodes are together on this DVD collection. This is still my favorite DVD in my collection. A great item for any fan of AbFab! I absolutely love this show and I hope you will too!

Studio: Warner Home Video
Absolutely Fabulous
Jennifer Saunders

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