Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: When Harry Met Sally...
Productgroup: DVD
When Harry Met Sally... - movie DVD cover picture
Falling in Love with Harry and Sally

This is the movie that everyone quotes and talks about and they should be. Meg Ryan plays such a believable obsessive single woman in her 30s and Billy Crystal plays the pessimistic wise cracking friend. The journey from friendship to love is bumpy but wonderful. The highlights of the film are probably Sally's single friends and the infamous lunch scene with Rob Reiner's mother saying the line, "I'll have what she's having."

Studio: Mgm/Ua Studios
Director: Rob Reiner
Billy Crystal
Meg Ryan

DVD title: Sonny and Cher - Nitty Gritty Hour
Productgroup: DVD
Sonny and Cher - Nitty Gritty Hour - movie DVD cover picture
A great peek at the nervous duo spreading their wings to TV!

For any "Die Hard" Sonny & Cher fan, this is a must have, view, the couples entrance into the genre of television, from nightclubs. If you have read Sonny Bono's autobiography, "The Beat Goes On" then it would be absolutely inhuman of you not to purchase this video and see his book come to life. The couple's obvious crazy nuts about each other attitude comes through like a jumbo jet. Cher's nervousness on the stage without Sonny by her side, or at least within eye-shot, is as evident as thier height difference in stocking feet. While Sonny's strength, and his determination to keep Cher calm on stage makes you aware that he really WAS her rock, as she has stated many times: I couldn't go on stage sometimes without Sonny up there holding me. Considering the fact that you can catch thier act on old re-run channels, with this video, you watch them literally from beginning to end. It was this televised special that lead directly to thier "Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour on CBS". It's a treasure!

Studio: View, Inc.

DVD title: Ma Vie En Rose
Productgroup: DVD
Ma Vie En Rose - movie DVD cover picture
Charming, Touching & Surprisingly Subversive

The most obvious way to read MA VIE EN ROSE is as the tale of difficulties faces by a very young boy who is very likely transgendered--but given the multilayered nature of the film this is actually a rather narrow point of view. It would be more accurate to describe the film as a rather sly assault on a cookie-cutter society that reacts with a herd mentality toward anything in the least unusual. And Ludovic Fabre is a most unusual child: barely into school, he has become convinced that he is really a girl, and in his childhood innocence he sees absolutely nothing socially amiss with the idea.
The film begins with a party at which neighbors gather to welcome the newly arrived Fabre family--only to be, along with the family, extremely disconcerted when Ludovic makes an entrance in meticulously applied make-up and a pink dress. His family passes the incident off as a joke, but Ludovic proves remarkably single-minded, and when he draws a neighborhood child into his fantasies he also incurs neighborhood hysteria. The result is at once comic and unpleasantly vicious as his classmates, his neighbors, and eventually his family gradually turn upon him.
Although there are one or two problems with character development in the script, the cast--particularly Georges du Fresne as Ludovic and Helene Vincent as free-spirit grandmother Elizabeth--is superlative, and director Alain Berliner balances the serio-comic story with a very light touch. Viewers will laugh a little, cry a little, and ultimately come away from the film feeling an uncertain hope. The fact that this film is rated "R" is merely so much more evidence of the power of the herd to dictate standards of normalicy--one or two profanities aside, there is absolutely nothing in the film to offend any intelligent viewer, and the film will hold a special appeal for older children who have been targeted as in any way different by their peers... and for the many adults who remember what it was like to be a victim of a society that prizes conformity over imagination, creativity, honesty, integrity, and self-awareness. Strongly recommended.

Studio: Columbia/Tristar Studios
Director: Alain Berliner
Michèle Laroque
Jean-Philippe Écoffey
Hélène Vincent
Georges Du Fresne

DVD title: The Producers (Special Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
The Producers (Special Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Mel Brooks' and Gene Wilder's finest moment

I first saw this film about ten years ago late at night on Irish TV. I thought "this is the funniest film I've ever seen! How come I've never heard of it?". I took note of the name, and made sure to tape it next time I saw it on TV (about six years later!). I know it was a great movie, but I thought I was alone.
Now I know there are others! Now more and more people are becoming aware of it too, and so should you, if you haven't seen it already. It really is a very funny movie, easily, in my mind, up there with Some Like It Hot. You won't regret seeing this film, you really won't.
Directed by Mel Brooks (his first picture, and probably his best), the story is of a clapped out broadway producer (Mostel) who, due to the chance remark of his meek and mild auditor (Wilder, also in his first picture, and probably his best, performance), hatches a scam to produce the worst musical in the world ever, thereby fleecing dozens of little old ladies, promising each them 100% of the profits in exchange for their cash. Once the play flops, he keeps all the excess cash!
Bringing Wilder on board, they search for the worst script in the world - but no matter how bad they are, they all have at least something good about them! Until he finds...Springtime for Hitler!, a musical extravaganza celebrating the rise of Hitler and Nazism, with full blown song numbers, dancing, and synchronised marching! Absolutely bound to fail. The negotiations with the author, a crazed former Nazi (Kenneth Mars) are just hilarious ("the Fuhrer was a great painter you know. He could paint a whole apartment in one afternoon, two coats!").
Next they must find the director and the cast. A series of incredible casting calls with Hitler look-alikes (some singing, some dancing!) eventually leads to LSD (Dick Shawn) a flower loving hippie, who is only dimly aware of what's going on.
Having found the worst play, the worst director, the worst cast, we finally get to see some of the musical itself. And it is unbelievably bad, tasteless, and objectionable! (In reality, for us, the viewers, the huge opening number is just incredible, with lots of singing, girls in skimpy outfits and leather boots goose stepping across the stage, cannons going off, not to mention the troupe of dancers doing synchronised marching in the shape of a swastika!). It's so bad that it seems to kind of break through the fabric of badness and come through the other side as being enthralling, funny, comical and just really good!
So the play is a success! So what happens to the plan? Well, I'll leave that to you to find out when you see the film - I should leave some surprises!
All in all, this is a great film, which will have you laughing out loud at the great performances, the fantastic lines, and really satisfying attention to detail in even the smallest parts in the film. I guarantee you, this will be one of the funniest films you will ever see.

Studio: MGM/UA Video
Director: Mel Brooks
Zero Mostel
Gene Wilder

DVD title: Ninja Checkmate
Productgroup: DVD
Ninja Checkmate - movie DVD cover picture

This is one of the most memorable of the "old school" martial arts films because of the non-stop, jaw-dropping, sophisticated martial arts fight scenes ever filmed. The only disappointment is near the end with a silly crippling scene that could've been done better. However, this DVD still ranks near the top classics to own.

Studio: Xenon Studios
Lee Yi Min

DVD title: Rodney Dangerfield - The Ultimate No Respect Collection
Productgroup: DVD
Rodney Dangerfield - The Ultimate No Respect Collection - movie DVD cover picture
Great Tribute to a Great Comedian

The world lost one of its greatest stand-up comedians when Rodney passed away recently but he will always live on thanks to this great 3 disc set.

Like many, I first saw Rodney on one of his many tonight Show performances where he appeared some 70 times. But it was on the Ed Sullivan show where Rodney first made his TV debut. The disc provides some of those great tonight show appearances. I only wish some of those Sullivan appearances were there too.

Then we have in full some of Rodney's great TV and cable specials. his self-deprecating humor and classic "I tell ya I get no respect" are some of the most well-known bits in comedy history.

His special "It's not Easy Bein Me" from 1986 presents Rodney at perhaps the pinnacle of his popularity. Fresh from hit movies like Caddyshack and EasyMoney, Rodney would do what he does best..a great stand=up act as well as introducing the world to some of the hot young comedians like Jerry Seinfeld, Jeff Altman, and the immortal Sam Kinnison.

A wonderful tribute to one of the all-time greats!

Studio: R2 Entertainment
Rodney Dangerfield

DVD title: Go Fish
Productgroup: DVD
Go Fish - movie DVD cover picture
really good, believe me!

After I watched the trailer online... I HAD to see this movie. The black and white film... the gorgeous Guinivere Turner... I was shocked. Having trouble staying awake, while wanting to at least watch to movie all the way through... it's as if you're watching a first rehearsal of a play. Platonic lines and over-rated characters. I only liked the bizarre, eclectic bits and pieces between the scenes... really, it sucked.

Studio: MGM/UA Video
Director: Rose Troche
Guinevere Turner
V.S. Brodie

DVD title: Barney Miller - The First Season
Productgroup: DVD
Barney Miller - The First Season - movie DVD cover picture
Season 1 Great!

I've gone back and watched this set several times, and I crack up every time. This was easily one of the funniest shows on TV. I've written to Sony several times, and aside from the vague answer that the subsequent seasons will be released on DVD, they won't give a straight answer as to when that might be. It's been almost a year since season 1 came out, so we're well overdue for season 2. Has anyone else been able to get a firmer answer on a release schedule for the remaining seasons?

Studio: Columbia Tristar Hom
Hal Linden

DVD title: Fritz Lang's The Tiger of Eschnapur (aka Journey to the Lost City, Part 1)
Productgroup: DVD
Fritz Lang's The Tiger of Eschnapur (aka Journey to the Lost City, Part 1) - movie DVD cover picture

THE TIGER OF ESCHNAPUR, the first part of the incredible indian saga directed by veteran film director Fritz Lang in 1960, has nourished my imaginary world at a time when there was here only one TV channel available. I was then hypnotized by wild hungry tigers, marble palaces, sinister caves filled with leprouses, bad bald priests conspiring against the local Maharajah, fakirs playing with magic ropes, all characters that seemed have escaped from my adventure books.
This movie should be recommended to parents desperately looking for a smart choice in the jungle of the hundreds of titles available. Furthermore, the copy presented in this DVD is superb, allowing us to admire the subtle colors of India's countryside where the movie was shot on location. Years before the revival of action/adventures movies, Fritz Lang already invited us to a wild ride through imagination, irrational fears and unknown countries.
A DVD zone your library.

Studio: Image Entertainment
Director: Fritz Lang

DVD title: VeggieTales - Dave and the Giant Pickle
Productgroup: DVD
VeggieTales - Dave and the Giant Pickle - movie DVD cover picture
Great cartoon version of one of my favorite Bible stories.

The veggietales are the cutest cartoon to come along in a long time. I haven't watched Christian children's cartoons in ages, but the Veggietales instantly grabbed my attention. I mean, I watch these even without kids around the house. Dave And The Giant Pickle is just one of many great Bible stories and lessons provided by the Veggietales. Definately recommended to any child or adult.

Studio: Sony Music (Video)
Director: Phil Vischer

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