Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Francois Truffaut's Adventures of Antoine Doinel (The 400 Blows / Antoine & Collette / Stolen Kisses / Bed & Board / Love on the Run) - Criterion Collection
Productgroup: DVD
Francois Truffaut's Adventures of Antoine Doinel (The 400 Blows / Antoine & Collette / Stolen Kisses / Bed & Board / Love on the Run) - Criterion Collection - movie DVD cover picture
François Truffaut -- Best director of all time.

In every way, shape, and form of moviemaking, Truffaut is the best. Best French director, best director, PERIOD! I wish Criterion would release all his films in bundled sets like this one.

This set includes what I feel is one of his best films, Stolen Kisses, which along with Jules and Jim (which is getting a Criterion release) and Day for Night (now out of print), round out my 3 best Truffaut.

Here is a breakdown of the Doinel movies in order of my preference:

Stolen Kisses: A truly original gem of a film, which can stand alone from the other 2 adult Doinel movies the best. Funny, intimate, beautifully filmed and acted. The scene in which he repeats his name "Antoine Doinel" over and over again is my favorite. Wooing women and muddling through a young man's life has never been captured better.

Bed and Board: Nice to see Doinel again, this time in a crisis over his marriage vs. a mistress. A nice view of this part of Doinel's life. Hard for Antoine to go through, but easy and fun for us to watch!

Antoine and Collette: A brilliant short film on the frustrations of teen love.

The 400 Blows: Original, daring, and brilliantly directed by Truffaut. It's just not as attention grabbing to me as his later stuff. A good start, but Truffaut was just warming up.

Love on the Run: The least of this bunch, but by no means a bad film. Very nice to see all the characters in Doinel's life return. A nice way to end the series.

This will be a must have for any Truffaut fan's collection, or any movie lover's for that matter!

Studio: Criterion Collection
Francois Truffaut

DVD title: Daniel Deronda
Productgroup: DVD
Daniel Deronda - movie DVD cover picture

Daniel Deronda is a story of 2 heroes. Or rather, of one hero and one heroine. Our hero is Daniel Deronda (Hugh Dancy): a handsome, generous, idealistic young man and son of Sir Hugo Mallinger (Edward Fox). Our heroine is Gwendolen Harleth (Romola Garai): beautiful, spirited, selfish and spoiled. When the two meet at a German casino, sparks fly. Daniel is enchanted by the beautiful Gwendolen and she is likewise intrigued by the handsome, mysterious young man.
The story unfolds as Daniel meets a young Jewish woman, Mirah Lapidoth (Jodhi May), whom he saves from drowning. As he learns more about Mirah and her past, secrets unfold from his own past which lead to a search for his long lost mother.
Meanwhile, Gwendolen is courted by a bevy of admirers and is pursued by the rich, haughty and cruel Henleigh Grandcourt (Hugh Bonneville), the nephew of Sir Hugo. When her family's business fails and she is faced with the possibility of becoming a governess, Gwendolen makes a desperate choice and realizes that wealth and status do not always result in happiness. Daniel and Gwendolen's lives are weaved together as each one embarks on a journey of self-discovery.
DANIEL DERONDA has all the high production values that one would expect from the BBC and acclaimed British screenwriter Andrew Davies (both of whom gave us MIDDLEMARCH, WIVES AND DAUGHTERS and PRIDE AND PREJUDICE. Up-and-coming young stars Hugh Dancy (Black Hawk Down, Ella Enchanted and David Copperfield) and Romola Garai (Nicholas Nickleby) are supported by drama favorites Edward Fox, Hugh Bonneville, Greta Scacchi, Amanda Root, Barbara Hershey and Jodhi May. The locales take place in the splendid country houses of England, gritty London and romantic Genoa, Italy. And the compelling story, of course, is based on the Victorian novel by George Eliot (her last novel), who also gave us Middlemarch (also an excellent BBC adaptation), Silas Marner and The Mill On The Floss.
I highly recommend this DVD to everyone who enjoys British drama, period films or are fans of Ms. Eliot's great work. A gem!

Studio: BBC Video
Director: Tom Hooper (II)

DVD title: The Outsider
Productgroup: DVD
The Outsider - movie DVD cover picture
Good rainy day movie!

Not sure what the other reviewer really had against this movie, but it was worth watching. I thought the woman was a Plain Person but perhaps that was the prelude to the Amish or Mennonites(maybe I need to see it again to make sure). Anyway, we all have to reassess our value system at one time or another and I thought the main characters did that. If a viewer wants more blood, guts, and gore; then this movie won't appeal. If a viewer want honesty and a good romance, then this movie will appeal. Watch it on Hallmark channel first. Don't let a nay-say color judgement on this one.

Studio: Showtime Entertainme
Director: Randa Haines

DVD title: Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
Productgroup: DVD
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band - movie DVD cover picture
It's So Bad It's Good

Sure, this is a terrible movie. But can't something be terrible in a really fascinating and cool way? This is my favorite movie of all time. Where else can you see Barry Gibb knocking out Alice Cooper? Or Peter Frampton getting his butt kicked by Steven Tyler of Aerosmith? These are classic moments in cinematic history!

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: Michael Schultz
Peter Frampton
Barry Gibb
Robin Gibb
Maurice Gibb

DVD title: Garfield Fantasies
Productgroup: DVD
Garfield Fantasies - movie DVD cover picture
Great DVD, but not what I expected.

I'm too young to have seen most of the TV specials first-run, so this is the first time I'd seen any of these. Babes & Bullets & Feline Fantasies are good cartoons that are well up to the standard of the other Garfield specials. His 9 Lives was a strange one, though. There are 9 short cartoons showing Garfield in various different lives. Five out of the nine lives are based on the usual Garfield and Odie characters, but three of the lives, however, are just completely foreign to the Garfield world. (The other one, life #3, is out there too, but the cat does look vaguely like Garfield). They seem to be completely stand-alone short films that have nothing to do with Garfield except that they involve cats. The animation style is extremely different from Garfield, and clearly they weren't written by the same people. Life 4, for example, looks very distinctly like it could be an old Warner Brothers cartoon. That said though, these 3 are very good cartoons by themselves, they just don't seem to have much to do with Garfield.

Studio: Fox Home Entertainme
Director: Phil Roman

DVD title: Girl With a Pearl Earring
Productgroup: DVD
Girl With a Pearl Earring - movie DVD cover picture
The Legend Behind The Girl

Tracy Chevalier's novel: 'The Girl With a Pearl Earring' Set in the city of Delft in 17th century Holland, I found to be spellbinding and very admirable. Scarlett Johansson's portrayal of young Griet, the daughter of a former tile painter sent across town to serve the Vermeer household--was very convincing in her role, as was Colin Firth as the painter. The costumes were brilliant, as well as the setting and effects. And it was refreshing that-- though Johannes Vermeer was drawn to Griet's beauty and attracted to her, he respects and appreciates her-- and values the sanctity of marriage. You do not find that in many movies--as, honestly, I expected adultery and violence. But, I felt his wife's pain as she queried heartbrokenly: "Why don't you ever paint ME?" When Griet's beauty attracted Vermeer's lecherous patron, Van Ruijven, I feared the worst. But, I was relieved when she connected with the young butcher Pieter. All in all, I was delighted as well as relieved by the plot as well as with the climax of the movie. And, perhaps it is understated, but it was refreshing. My only disappointment? A little more drama and excitement would have helped keep me riveted. And, we never figure out what happens with the girl in the end--and I pray that she married the butcher! Still... I am inspired to read the book!

Studio: Lions Gate Home Entertainment
Director: Peter Webber
Colin Firth
Scarlett Johansson
Tom Wilkinson

DVD title: Six Feet Under - The Complete First Three Seasons
Productgroup: DVD
Six Feet Under - The Complete First Three Seasons - movie DVD cover picture
Superb Television!

This is superb television with a talented cast portraying beautifully crafted characters with the help of excellent writing and direction. Enjoy this great television series for what it is - the extremely unnoticeable psychological stereotypes are way too insignificant to get hung up on...

Studio: Warner Home Video
Peter Krause

DVD title: Requiem for a Dream - Director's Cut
Productgroup: DVD
Requiem for a Dream - Director's Cut - movie DVD cover picture
A Truly Powerful Film

One of the things I can't seem to let go of after seeing "Requiem For A Dream" is how people can let themselves become victims of their own personal vices. As terrifying it is to see one character try to escape reality by shooting drugs into an infected and rotting vein, I can't help but feel sympathy for those who seem to be unaware of how their addiction has imprisoned them. The character of Sara (played memorably by Ellen Burstyn) is among the greatest example. To watch a character like that change from a complacent, yet likeable human to what we see at the end of this film is nothing less than tragic. What is surprising is how this movie doesn't turn into a celebration of drugs, but rather a stark and horrifying reminder of how habits (of any kind) can destroy the soul long before it destroys the body. This is truly one of the best films this decade has produced.

Studio: Lions Gate Home Entertainment
Director: Darren Aronofsky
Ellen Burstyn
Jared Leto

DVD title: Infinity's Child
Productgroup: DVD
Infinity's Child - movie DVD cover picture
Get it!

'Infinity's Child', the long awaited sequel to 'Planetary Traveler', is a unique exploration of the animated abstract computer art of Bill Ellsworth. While 'Planetary Traveler' is a fascinating survey of computer generated landscapes from a variety of artists, 'Infinity's Child' is a much more intimately focused and realized work. `Infinity's Child' takes us on a mind-blowing visual journey that absolutely shatters the cliches associated with popular consumption computer animation. We fly through improvisational three-dimensional structures enlarged to the size of cities mutating and shimmering like living creatures. This is heady stuff! The movie works on several levels. There is a sci-fi plot line with narration early on that gives the uninitiated a reference point for appreciating what is about to happen, but it is Ellsworth's recognizable style combined with great editing, and a topnotch electronic music soundtrack that is the conceptual gel that holds things together. You don't have to be a computer-head to enjoy the ride. Anyone with an imagination and a willingness to explore new ideas will find this entertaining. 'Infinity's Child' is an intense visual experience that will stand up to repeated viewing. This one gets my highest recommendation. Get it!

Studio: Winstar Home Entertainment

DVD title: Goldfinger (Special Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Goldfinger (Special Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
The best Bond film ever.

This is clearly the best bond film ever made. When evil Goldfinger and his man-servant Odd Job decide turn Fort Knox into a bank,this shows that not only does Goldfinger have a love for gold but is a genius at crime. Odd Job has a hat that is razor-bladed solid steel and cuts people's heads off. Bond gets captured and his car is destroyed. In this classic film, which will be remembered for generations to come, Sean Connery is the best that he has ever been and better than ever, If you haven't seen it yet,see it because I'm sure you'll love it.

Studio: MGM/UA Video
Director: Guy Hamilton
Sean Connery
Honor Blackman
Gert Fröbe

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