Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: 101 Reykjavík
Productgroup: DVD
101 Reykjavík - movie DVD cover picture
Great film and great soundtrack

One really should see this movie, it's funny and very "icelandic" topped with being sexy. And Music is awesome. Can't wait to get my copy of soundtrack.

Studio: Wellspring Media, In
Director: Baltasar Kormákur
Hilmir Snær Guðnason
Victoria Abril

DVD title: The Bible
Productgroup: DVD
The Bible - movie DVD cover picture
The Bible As Film: A Worthy Retelling

1966: Huston's film covers the first twenty chapters of Genesis- from the Creation, the Flood to Isaac's near sacrifice. With lush cinematography, fine acting and superb music. Richard Harris, Ava Gardner, George C. Scott and Peter O'Toole are among the cast. In the 60's, and in fact years before in the 50's, the bible dramas were quite popular and appealed to many audiences who had undergone war and conflict from home- it was the turbulent 60's after all. The Ten Commandments and Ben Hur were transcendent films only a couple of years before.
Making a film about the first book in the Bible, the most mysterious and most alluring, Genesis, must not have been an easy task for director John Huston, nor was it easy enough for actors portraying biblical characters. But this film is exquisite, well-done with fine performances by the actors, most notably Richard Harris as Noah and George C. Scott as Abraham. The actor and actress playing Adam and Eve are just as most of us imagine them to be - gorgeous in the nude, walking around a beautiful, semi-tropical garden and being seduced by the apple in a tree which a treacherous snake deceived them into eating.
The film goes on to describe the biblical scenario established before the Flood, of humankind's lechery and vice in Sodom and Gomorrah, and God's wrath resulting in destruction. Very powerful imagery and very fine interpretation. It is not just a Christian or Catholic film, it is a film worth watching just for the moving drama. After all, life is but a drama, a film of which we all take part of. The music to this film is also very inspiring, although subtle and haunting. "The Bible.. In The Beginning" (as this film is often called) makes a great assignment to watch in a college or high school in which students read the Bible as a form of literature and work of human history, mainly that of the ancient Hebrews.

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
Director: John Huston
John Huston
Michael Parks
Ulla Bergryd
Richard Harris

DVD title: The Set-Up
Productgroup: DVD
The Set-Up - movie DVD cover picture
Earthy film-noir boxing classic

A fit, angular and muscular Robert Ryan definitely fits and acts the part of Stoker Thompson in Robert Wise's gritty "The Set Up". Thompson, a cauliflower eared washed up 35 year old tomato can has been pitted against up and coming prospect Tiger Nelson played by Hal Baylor. Thompson's devoted wife Julie played by Audrey Totter implores Ryan to give up the game to avoid absorbing repeated beatings.

Unknown to Ryan, his manager and cut man have taken a bribe from tough guy "Little Boy" played by an oily Alan Baxter, to throw the fight. Unfortunately they don't let Ryan in on the fix feeling that he'll lose anyway. Ryan treats this fight as an opportunity to elevate his status and make some real money. Without his wife's support he is determined to put on a good show regardless of the consequences.

Wise did an excellent job in his portrayal of the blood thirsty boxing crowd reminiscent of the Roman forum. The gritty nature of this dark drama is very well expressed in the sets. The acting gives this flick an unmistakable air of authenticity. An underated Ryan is excellent in this role.

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Robert Wise
Robert Ryan
Audrey Totter
George Tobias

DVD title: Fela In Concert
Productgroup: DVD
Fela In Concert - movie DVD cover picture
"hypnotic, cutting and defiant..."

Nigerian superstar Fela, who sings, plays tenor sax, and fuses funk and jazz with traditional African music, was inspired by Bird, Marley and Miles. The New York Times critic Jon Pareles described his 1981 Paris concert video, featuring exotic West African dances performed by 15 of his wives as "hypnotic, cutting and defiant... one of the ten greatest videos ever."
#1305 (57 min, Hi-Fi Stereo)

Studio: View Video
Fela Anikulapo Kuti

DVD title: Life As We Know It - The Complete Series
Productgroup: DVD
Life As We Know It - The Complete Series - movie DVD cover picture
LAWKI is one of the BEST shows ever!!

LAWKI is an awesome show! It was my favorite new show of this season. You will not be disappointed!!! The shows are funny and real, you will be able to relate to them!! It is a wonderful show, I cannot wait for the DVD!! I want to rewatch all the great episodes and see the last few that didn't air!! I miss LAWKI sooooooo much!!

Studio: Buena Vista Home Entertainment
Steve Carell

DVD title: The Ladykillers (Widescreen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
The Ladykillers (Widescreen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
This is definitely a Coen Brothers Film

I don't know how it originally escaped me that this was a Coen Brother's movie. I would have seen it sooner. The thing I have noticed with the Coen Brothers is that most people either love them or hate them. They don't really claim an in-between audience. But if you love them, you recognize their style immediately. I didn't see the original movie, and I don't know how I would feel about it, but I know that you just can't expect to compare it to what they did here, they don't. They have a unique way of looking at things and I have noticed their fans just get it.

I found the Bob Jones twist hilarious. And that painting of the dead ex husband was such a character in the movie, not to mention Pickles, the cat. Marva may not be as innocent as the original old lady character, but she is all Coen, and believable. There are very few inherently good people. I have seen her type, hailing from the deep south as I do. I absolutely love the stereotypes in this movie. I never expect all people to like a Coen Brother's film, but being the fan I am, I am totally not disappointed in this one. To the contrary, for me it is how I like them best, as opposed to the recent Intolerable Cruelty. It was okay, but not the way I like them, as this was. I know that I could separate the genious of the Coen Brothers from the original and like them both for the different films they are. Mainly, I am just so grateful to be privy to another of their unique adventures, and look forward to the next.

Studio: Buena Vista Home Vid
Tom Hanks
Irma P. Hall
Marlon Wayans

DVD title: Magnolia (New Line Platinum Series)
Productgroup: DVD
Magnolia (New Line Platinum Series) - movie DVD cover picture
Ignore the bad reviews

Ignore the people who just want entertainment and don't want to "think" while viewing this great movie. Yes it is almost 3 hours long, but I watched it on 2 consecutive days, and twice more since I bought the DVD. This is a great cast with a great story (or should I say stories) to tell. If your not a Tom Cruise fan, don't worry; Cruise plays a character like he never has before. This is a great movie.

Studio: New Line Home Entertainment
Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
Tom Cruise
Julianne Moore
William H. Macy
Philip Seymour Hoffman
Philip Baker Hall
Jeremy Blackman

DVD title: A Bridge Too Far
Productgroup: DVD
A Bridge Too Far - movie DVD cover picture
Mustering Dutch Courage

In a film of understatement and beautiful nuance, Richard Attenbourough captures both the horrors or war and the dignity of those who must endure, be they soldiers or civilians. The stellar cast of "A Bridge Too Far" (a veritable who's who of acting greats) sets this film apart. Sean Connery as an unflappable airborne commander, Anthony Hopkins as proper Englishman in Hell, and James Caan, showing true American grit, are among the standout performers. The immensity of the Market-Garden campaign, which meets its Waterloo at Arnhem, does not swallow up the individual characters; the commanders, the grunts, even the Dutch resisters and bystanders, have compelling stories to unfold.

Few World War II flicks showcase the absolute beauty of the European countryside. The landscape, made all the more picturesque by its contrast to the gore and destruction, is certainly an additional star and supports the wisdom of shooting this expensive epic in the Netherlands. The wide-angle approach, as well as the moving score, give balm to eyes and ears now accustomed to the claustrophobia of "Saving Private Ryan" and its brand of tortorous naturalism. In its final scene, "A Bridge Too Far" achieves poignance without dialogue, without bluster, and thankfully without common contrivances, namely the attempt to elicit tears with half-baked, insipid bathos. Sir Lawrence Olivier and Liv Ullman stare straight ahead, the fresh graves of British paratroopers lining their path from elegance destroyed, from an order and faith utterly shattered. The scene is perfection.

Studio: Mgm/Ua Studios
Director: Richard Attenborough
Michael Caine
Sean Connery
Gene Hackman
Ryan O'Neal
Laurence Olivier

DVD title: Xena Warrior Princess - Season Five
Productgroup: DVD
Xena Warrior Princess - Season Five - movie DVD cover picture
Great Series

Despite having the worst episode in X:WP history, Married with Fishsticks, season five is a great addition to the series. We finally get to see Gabrielle's warrior skills manifest themselves and with the twilight of the olympian gods we can finally see how Xena's courage would change the world.

I highly recommend the entire series and I think most people will enjoy this season as much as the rest of the series.

Studio: Anchor Bay Entertain
Lucy Lawless

DVD title: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
Productgroup: DVD
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon - movie DVD cover picture
Extras on DVD

I reallly liked this film especially with the extra features that you get to expect on the DVDs. English language soundtrack --- nice. I do have to say that the commentaries on the DVD by the Director and the Screenwriter/Producer were disapointing. I would have preferred just hearing from Ang Lee - who sounds to me as a very intelligent person - but James Schamus's commentaries were excessive, cynical and just plain stupid. Avoid hearing this stuff if you actually like the film.

Studio: Columbia Tri-Star
Director: Ang Lee
Yun-Fat Chow
Michelle Yeoh
Ziyi Zhang

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