Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Velvet Goldmine
Productgroup: DVD
Velvet Goldmine - movie DVD cover picture

Set in London in the early `70s during the start of the Glam Rock scene is Brian Slade, talented rock star with no fans. Brian seeks fame with his American wife Mandy and together they struggle to find it until Brain meets Curt Wild. Brian meets Curt Wild, a fellow rocker, and together they set out to change the world along. Meanwhile, a teenage boy, Arthur Staurt, idolizes and finds comfort through is own homosexuality though Brian and Curt. But at the peek of Brain's career, he fakes his own death and is lost in the dust. Ten years later, an adult Arthur, who is a journalist for the Herald, is told to unfold the mystery behind Brain Slade's disappearance.
The acting and cast is done amazingly. Jonathan Rhys Meyers, who plays Brian Slade, is absolutely perfect for his sweet but nasty rock star role. His baby doll face and luscious lips shift from a delicate kiss to an intense freak out scene with swift ease. Toni Collette, who plays Brian's wife Mandy, starts off as a gullible party girl, to a scandalous head case, and finally to a cynical survivor. Ewan McGregor's character Curt Wild is a mix of Iggy Pop and Kurt Cobain smashed into one sweet, lovable, tantrum throwing, heroin addicted rock star. McGregor brings to his character what Johnny Deep brings to Captain Jack Sparrow in "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl." Both are original and leave a huge impression on the audience. Christian Bale, who plays Arthur Staurt, does a great job for his coy and mysterious character. You have to give him mucho credit because for the one uncomfortable intimate scene with himself he had to do, in which he gets caught by his parents. It's an intense scene that makes you really feel for his character and what a struggle his life is. And for you diehard Placebo fans, yes that is right, they are in this film. They do not have a huge acting roll, but you can see them sing two songs and say a couple of lines. For you crazy Molko lovers out there who just want to see his face and hear him speak, don't expect to see too much of the sexy Placebo singer, but there is enough for you to have a taste. (Mind you it's a very small taste.)
It is no surprise that "Velvet Goldmine" was nominated at the 1998 Academy Awards for best costume design. From the screaming colors, platform shoes, love beads, and male belly shirts the teenagers wear, to the sequenced glitter tops, tight leather pants, fluffy boas, and beautiful black nail varnish the rock stars sport, "Velvet Goldmine" does not cut the audience sort when it comes to fashion eye candy. And let me tell you it is a real treat. Brain's alter ego, Maxwell Demon (which freakishly resembles the whole Ziggy Stardust thing David Bowie had going on) has a beautiful costume that consists of blue body paint, black eyeliner, glitter dust, and dazzling body jewels and sequences. If the audience has not experienced glitter rock, he or she will with just the costumes alone.
Although the Glam craze was dressed up like a beauty pageant, the music was still the most important piece to the glistening puzzle. All the music is `70s Glam inspired. This flick has a lot of original Glam songs from the likes of Iggy Pop, Brian Eno, and T-Rex. The renditions of songs such as "T.V. Eye," "Baby's on Fire," and "20th Century Boy" are done in an original manor, but also keep their natural flare. As I said before, Placebo is featured in the film as The Flaming Tongues and goes a great rendition of "20th Century Boy." Not only does Brian Molko from Placebo has a great voice, but so does Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Ewan McGregor. Their voices range from a distraught scream, to a jazzy bounce, and finally to a sweet ballad. The music in this film is not to missed. I highly suggest the soundtrack to this film. It's very very good.
All right, here comes where the critics come in. Most critics did not like this film, which is a shame because I think it's a beautiful film. I think one of the main reasons they didn't like it was because the story line is pretty hard to follow at first. It's cut into pieces and does not go in a linear pattern. If you're up for that, I suggest you watch the movie and don't freak out if you don't get it at first. Then after thinking about it watch it a second time and I guarantee you'll see it much differently and you'll actually get it. Another nonsupporter of this film is surprisingly enough Mr. David Bowie. This could have to do with the anti-Bowie slant of the film or as he said something about how it didn't feel like the whole `70s Glam craze. He said it felt like the early `80s or something of that effect. Sure, he's probably right because he was there, but if you don't view the film on being some historical masterpiece, and appreciate it for it's beautiful story, I think you'll like it. It's a fairy tale with a setting. Bowie did say he did like the way the director showed the beautiful love story between Brian and Curt. And I have to agree, the director did an amazing job. You can really feel what he was trying to say with it.
"Velvet Goldmine" is arguably one of the most original, jaw dropping, charming films to date. It is a film for mature audiences because of the language, drugs, sexuality, and uh Ewan's "saber." "Velvet Goldmine" is recommended to anyone who liked the movie "Gia," likes to piece things together, has an open mind, has patients, has a taste for delicious music, and has a soft spot for hunks in drag.

Studio: Miramax Home Entertainment
Director: Todd Haynes
Ewan McGregor
Jonathan Rhys-Meyers

DVD title: Human Nature
Productgroup: DVD
Human Nature - movie DVD cover picture

I haven't see this film yet, but the team taht made it is the best team of director/designers/artist/writer/ect/etc , right now. Beacause Michel Gondry's Videos are so beautiful and so original, so well made, I have no words to describe the talent of Michel Gondry, is my favorite music videos director of all time. Did you see Hyperbalad/Army of me/Let forever be/ Protection/ Like a Rolling Stone/ Yoga/ Bachelorrette/ Isobel/ Knives Out/ Sugar Water/ etc etc etc/ if you see it you know the quality of Michel Gondry and his team and you are like me waiting to see this movie. If you haven't run and buy VOLUMEN BJORK. The videos are soo great I can't wait to see this movie I know it will be excelent.
Sorry for this stupid review but people have to know this great director...

Studio: New Line Home Entertainment
Director: Michel Gondry
Patricia Arquette
Tim Robbins

DVD title: Dances with Wolves
Productgroup: DVD
Dances with Wolves - movie DVD cover picture
A classic.

I bought this DVD with the aim of building a collection of my favourite movies. This is such a beautiful film and where I felt much of its beauty was lost in the video format, the DVD version reclaims the cinematography that the film was famed for. This is Kevin Costner at what must have been the peak of his career because to top this would be a Herculean task.
Like the 'horsey' reviewer, I too love horses and have always had an affinity for wolves, so on a personal level this film was my 'Love Story'. I have waded through boxes and boxes of tissues because of this story, though come back to it time and time again! A modern classic.
The DVD offers no 'extras' in the form of interviews or 'the making of' for example, but the widescreen format and clarity make this a necesary buy.

Studio: Image Entertainment
Director: Kevin Costner
Kevin Costner
Mary McDonnell
Graham Greene (II)

DVD title: We Were Soldiers
Productgroup: DVD
We Were Soldiers - movie DVD cover picture
Just Amazing


Studio: Paramount Home Video
Director: Randall Wallace
Mel Gibson

DVD title: Mean Creek
Productgroup: DVD
Mean Creek - movie DVD cover picture
An Intense, Terse, Realistic Dissection of Teenage Life

MEAN CREEK accomplishes what few films do: it takes a fragment or incident from life and places it as a drop on a slide under the microscope and forces us to examine the details of secret wonder hidden by the clutter of the world at large beyond the focus of that lens.

Jacob Aaron Estes is new to the art of filmmaking (his short film 'Summoning' about daughters and mothers and the occult hinted at his gifts) and it is gratifying to come across this quality of talent. Written and directed by Estes, MEAN CREEK explores a tiny village in Oregon, populated with youngsters form varied backgrounds who face the usual conflicts of the microcosm of schools - hate, dependency, broken homes, drug abuse, fear, and all the other monsters of puberty. With the clearest of techniques, Estes immediately introduces Sam (Rory Culkin) as he is beaten up by the school bully George (Josh Peck), a lad who is not only obese but dyslexic, sociopathic, and generally loathed by everyone but his obese mother. Sam is defended by his big brother Rocky (Trevor Morgan) and an older friend Marty (Scott Mechlowicz). Revenge raises its ugly head and the three boys, together with their close friends Millie (Carly Schroeder) and Clyde (Ryan Kelly) decide George must be made to look foolish. They carefully plan a phony birthday party for Sam - a trip to the river to go boating and picnicking - and invite George to come along: George will then be coerced in a game of Truth or Dare to strip and the other party members will force him to walk back to town nude in humiliation.

As the cinematography and musical atmosphere suggest, the plans go awry and result is a desperate situation that forces each of the participants to cope in his own way, burdened by the baggage with which each comes to the 'tribal dance': we discover that Marty's father committed suicide, that Clyde is berated because his parents are two gay men, that Millie simply cannot morally comply with the rules of the game, etc. The manner in which this escapade gallops to the stunning conclusion of this moment in time is thought provoking, terrifying, even understandable and wholly credible.

Each member of this superb cast, inexperienced though they may be, fleshes out these characters in a surprisingly sophisticated way. There is also a fine sense of ensemble acting that can only be the inspiration of the directing skills of Estes. This may not be an easy film to watch, but this is an important film to see, and in the end is one of the finer movies of the past year. Highly recommended. Grady Harp, February 2005

Studio: Paramount Home Video
Director: Jacob Aaron Estes
Rory Culkin
Ryan Kelley
Scott Mechlowicz

DVD title: Waiting for Guffman
Productgroup: DVD
Waiting for Guffman - movie DVD cover picture
The Most fabulous comedy of our time

This movie was amazing, you watch it once and you think it is the wierdest thing that you have ever scene, then you start to think of the characters in which the amazing imagination of Christopher Guest has created, I have seen the movie thirty times and it gets better every time, watch it with friends, and family. SPREAD THE JOY OF GUFFMAN!!!!

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Christopher Guest
Christopher Guest

DVD title: The Lord of the Rings - The Fellowship of the Ring (Widescreen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
The Lord of the Rings - The Fellowship of the Ring (Widescreen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
my jaw dropped, numerous times

I went as a thirtysomething pragmatic yuppie cynic, hoping for entertainment value and that the CG wasn't going to be too laughable. I returned from the theatre shocked. Overwhelmed. Blown away. Stunned. I don't think there are enough superlatives in the language.
I felt that the changes made were appropriate, especially for the benefit of all those who never read the book and/or aren't JRRT geeks. There has also been a lot of discussion that material necessarily left on the cutting room floor for sake of brevity will resurface in a "non-rated" Director's Cut DVD version, and I eagerly await that interpretation as well.
I'm a Tolkien nut who's read all his works repeatedly. They are phenomenal stories from an inspired imagination. However, I will admit (probably going to get burned at the stake here) that the LOTR trilogy are incredibly convoluted, wordy and difficult reads, and are at times mind-numbingly trivial in detail. The changes made to the movie for sake of plot logic and pacing were carefully thought out and well executed. The incredibly controversial interpretation of Arwen (I felt) was a brilliant adaptation done to consolidate roles with a secondary and somewhat pointless "loose end" character. This in turn provided motivation and immediacy to Arwen's character, who in the books was rendered so incredibly remote and idealized that one wonders how she could possibly achieve something as earthy as falling in love with a mortal man. Story line, scenes, dialogue and characters essential to drive the plot were faithfully rendered in loving detail. When Frodo puts on the ring, the wraith world he sees is vividly hallucinatory. The interpretation of wizards battling is as a force of Nature, no cliche firebolts thrown here!
I think folks should cast aside the hype, preconceived notions, and the opinions of both professionals and armchair critics like myself. Go with an open mind and take your sense of wonder. Everyone who has read JRRT has their own, "treasured" view of how the story should look. The movie adaptation may or may not correspond in every sense, but as a film and screenplay it was (IMO) the most moving media experience I've ever witnessed.

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Peter Jackson
Ian McKellen

DVD title: Cinderella (Disney Special Platinum Edition Collector's Gift Set)
Productgroup: DVD
Cinderella (Disney Special Platinum Edition Collector's Gift Set) - movie DVD cover picture
Cinderella (original) Walt Disney

I believe it would be a great idea to have "Cinderella" on dvd. I've been looking everywhere for this release, however, I just found out that it isn't produced at the moment. Too bad, because I think many people would like to have an original W. Disney's "Cinderella" in their collection. Comme on, it's a classic! I know I do. Thanks.PS. As for the question #1: How do I rate this DVD? I would give all 5 stars if I had one....

Studio: Walt Disney Home Entertainment
Ilene Woods
James MacDonald (II)

DVD title: Elf (Infinifilm Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Elf (Infinifilm Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
The Funniest Will Ferrell Can Be And Still Get A PG Rating

I thought it would be hard for Will Ferrell to top his hilarious performance in Old School. I thought wrong. Ever since I first saw this movie in the theaters last year, I have been waiting for this DVD to come out. This is proof that Mr. Ferrel can carry a whole movie on his charisma alone. My friends and I went into the movie not expecting much (not unlike Old School), but we walked out in tears, holding our sides from laughter. Not gonna say no more 'cause I don't want to inflate anyone's expectations, but I did love this movie. I'm not surprised that they waited till the holiday months to release it, but I did wish they would have done it sooner. Prepare for a full 95 minutes of lunacy (that is, if you can stand Will Ferrell for that long, which I can). Enjoy! : )

Studio: New Line Home Entertainment
Director: Jon Favreau
Will Ferrell
Bob Newhart
Edward Asner

DVD title: Blade (New Line Platinum Series)
Productgroup: DVD
Blade (New Line Platinum Series) - movie DVD cover picture
Great movie for a comic.

I first came across Blade in college collecting comics. I thought it was an ok idea, considering that not many Afro-Americans were portrayed in comics and that they fought vampires.

When I watched the movie, it was a very profound feeling that came over me. Not that I believe in vampires, but that I believed in the scientific explanation of them. Not many movies, would go into the details of fable and describe them scientifically. It really touched me, me being a student from MIT.

Well, this movie is good, along with the sequel.


Studio: New Line Home Entertainment
Director: Stephen Norrington
Wesley Snipes
Stephen Dorff
Kris Kristofferson
N'Bushe Wright

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