Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Batman Begins (Widescreen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Batman Begins (Widescreen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Hall of Fame BATMAN...

Christopher Nolan has directed the definitive ORIGIN of Batman film. This is a masterpiece of warp-speed PM adventure that conveys chaos of evil and the evil of chaos.The ensemble cast is superb,and irony of lost soul/American Psycho,CHRISTIAN Bale cast as DARK KNIGHT cannot be lost on film buffs. CHRISTOPHER Reeve lifted cinematic SUPERMAN to level of mythology. The New Bat on the block seems ready to accomplish a comparable and formidable feat of incarnating Frank Miller's(opposed to Bob Crane's)graphic novel's anti-classic,anti-hero.

If STAR WARS is modern fairy tale for children(which it is)this BATMAN is adult version. Master of the Force,Liam Neeson is New Age/PM"Sith Lord" whose(Bruce Wayne)apprentice rejects glamour of evil comprising ranks of Self-appointed fallen"Jedi's"(Shadow Legion).But the ending of BATMAN BEGINS is hardly"...and they all lived happily ever after..." BLADE RUNNER art design is ambience of despair. Rubble that WAYNE MANOR is reduced-to hardly comprises TRIUMPH. Michael Caine's "NEVER to submit"is Greatest Generation's clarion-call to defiance that may not be possible in a godless epoch. The climactic sequence where Bruce Wayne casts-out sybaritc sophisticates of Gotham from his home("Stop smiling you parasite homies and get-out of here!")has to produce shudders of self-recognition.These are elite society's legends-in their-own-mind reprieved from certain "frying pan death" to...? That question is cryptically answered in another frame: "I won't kill you...but I don't have to SAVE you!"Perhaps genuine exhilaration BATMAN BEGINS evokes is vicarious reveling in PM video-game violence. The terrifying,psychotic Scarecrow is round one,CIRCLE ONE. The CLOWN PRINCE is coming. This Hall-of-Fame BATMAN is great beginning.But the purpose of MYTH is spur to action. Children understand STAR WARS. Will adults understand what"BEGINS" portends and--like all fairy tales--demands? Keep SMILING and enjoy...

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Christopher Nolan
Christian Bale
Michael Caine
Ken Watanabe

DVD title: Winston Churchill - The Wilderness Years
Productgroup: DVD
Winston Churchill - The Wilderness Years - movie DVD cover picture
A Fine film about courage and conviction

The Wilderness Years is a charming, well-acted and absolutely riveting film about Winston Churchill in the years from 1929 until the beginning of the Second World War. Taken largely from Churchill's own writings and Martin Gilbert's wonderful biography "The Prophet of Truth," The film is technically a work of fiction but rings truer than the most carefully prepared documentary, a product of the prodigious labors of the cast, director Ferdinand Fairfax and Gilbert himself, who was intimately involved in the film.
The film stars Robert Hardy as Churchill in a legend making performance. Hardy portrays Churchill in turns as childish, spoiled, brave, and selfless, with all the flaws abilities careful students of Churchill find in the great man himself. It is truly a wonderful performance. The rest of the cast is very fine and nicely captures the controlled frenzy that constantly surrounded Churchill. Look for actor Sam Wanamaker in a small role as Churchill's American friend. In real life he would eventually go on to build the "new" Globe Theatre that sits on the banks of the Thames in London.
There is, of course, no substitute for reading, but I can think of few films that capture a time and a historical figure as well as The Wilderness Years. I strongly recommend it to anyone with even a passing interest in Churchill or the war. Incidentally, it is quite a bargain; with almost eight hours of film time under forty dollars. It's just another reason to buy and enjoy this great film.

Studio: Media Blasters, Inc
Director: Ferdinand Fairfax

DVD title: Metallica: Cliff 'em All
Productgroup: DVD
Metallica: Cliff 'em All - movie DVD cover picture
This happened with Sabbath Live in 78

Why must people complain about the quality of a legal bootleg recording. This aggravates me. This DVD is so beautiful and is the perfect look back on Cliff. And you people complain about quality. Just listen to what you're hearing. You'll be stunned. They guys playing LEAD BASS. No one ever did that before. And now you can see him performing and hear him soloing on excellent bootlegs that the band got hold of after his death and released as a tribute to them. How dare anyone insult anything with Cliff on it. That's blasphemy. I would pay anything for this. And you people complain because you couldn't get it at the same time as your britney spears cd. Well who cares about you. You are merely being a d**che and getting in the way of more people experiencing this. You are therefore slowing down civilization by tricking people into not buying this you filthy d**chbags.

Studio: Wea/Elektra Entertainment

DVD title: The Reptile
Productgroup: DVD
The Reptile - movie DVD cover picture

Very good Hammer horror film about a wealthy man who keeps his beautiful daughter locked away from other people. He also has a sinister Indian servant who seems to have a strange hold over him as well. A young couple rents a cottage near the estate and discover the countryside is plagued with weird murders that leave the victims disfigured and foaming at the mouth. It turns out the girl is under a bizarre Indian curse incurred by the father on a visit to India that causes her to turn into a hideous reptile creature. The cellar of the estate has been converted into a "natural habitat" environment replete with steaming sulphur springs so that the snake-woman can writhe and shed her skin. The servant is there to keep the curse active. Very creepy outing with Jacqueline Pierce memorable as the unfortunate snake-girl. Good cast also includes Jennifer Daniel ("Kiss of the Vampire") as the wife-half of the neighboring couple who attempts to befriend Pierce. Most watchable and a good companion piece to "Plague of the Zombies" for collectors.

Studio: Anchor Bay Entertainment
Director: John Gilling

DVD title: Black Hawk Down
Productgroup: DVD
Black Hawk Down - movie DVD cover picture
For truth's sake.

My only complaint about the whole Black Hawk Down experience is the critics.
To hear things like, "Ewan McGregor should have had a larger speaking part" or "Josh Hartnett should have been less 90's sympathetic" makes me realize that most of the people that went to see the movie are average moviegoers with degrees from the Siskel and Ebert school of critique. Perhaps they should have made Task Force Ranger caputre Aidid in the movie, and put him on trial?
You can't change truth. This movie wasn't about memorable characters, or Oscar Nominations. This movie was released to tell a story. An actual story. An actual story of American soldiers fighting for everyone's freedom.
I guess if you've never served in the Armed Forces for the good of the country and mankind, you probably won't understand what kind of story this movie is telling. You'll want a love story. Perhaps with a "funny guy." And maybe a "quiet, loner kid." Maybe a high speed car chase. Or even a bomb on a bus.
I've always said that Americans don't care about soldiers unless there is a war going on. There's an insensitivity from Americans toward their defenders. It's taken for granted that we'll protect you when you need it. Why does it take a Desert Storm for people to display yellow ribbons? Why does it take a terrorist attack for people to display their nation's colors?
Before I go too far off on a tangent. I suggest that before you all write your 'informed' reviews, you at least read Mark Bowden's book. It may clear up some things for you. It may even enlighten some of you. And heaven forbid, you may even realize that the "gung-ho characters" of SFC Randy Shughart and MSG Gary Gordon weren't characters at all, but were in fact real people. And they were posthumously awarded Congressional Medals of Honor. For the benefit of everyone, that translates too "They were awarded the highest award possible, but only after making the ultimate sacrifice."
My thoughts, prayers and condolences still go out to those 19 families, as they have since October 3, 1993.

Studio: Columbia Tristar Hom
Director: Ridley Scott
Josh Hartnett

DVD title: Charmed - The Complete First Season
Productgroup: DVD
Charmed - The Complete First Season - movie DVD cover picture
What took them soo long??!!??

I absolutly love this show, and hav since the beginning. And I know so many other Charmed fans are as well. So what the heck took them so long to get this on DVD for us??? Sheesh! Well I'm glad either way, and you can bet that I have my copy reserved! Get this, you WONT be disappointed!

Studio: Paramount Home Video
Shannen Doherty
Alyssa Milano

DVD title: Mind Games
Productgroup: DVD
Mind Games - movie DVD cover picture
Great Richard Norton performance in a diverting caper!

Novelist Jill Reeves (Kari Keegan) emerges from a bout with amnesia to learn that she's married to brash Texan Carter Tallerin (Richard Norton) who cheerfully asks her for both a divorce and a percentage of her next best seller. Not anyone's
idea of an author, Carter insists he contributed to Jill's novel.
Jill's cynicism about Carter's claims including their marriage
compels her to uncover a thieves' den of unsavory characters
including her brother (James Wilder) who may be plotting against
her. Amnesia and suspect husbands are not unusual plot devices, but emerging film writer David Lasdon infuses his comedy of scoundrels with the kind of fresh angles and dialogue that make
"Mind Games" a five star entertainment.

Lasdon also keeps the financial stakes low, when compared to
the usual Hollywood "con job" movies, so he can weave an intriguing mystery with small time grifters. The central culprit
is never much in doubt, but the suspense builds over how far and
to whom the network of deception extends. The plot surprises are delivered by a superior ensemble cast who never miss a beat under Adrian Carr's shrewd direction. Carr previously directed Norton in the swift action film "The Sword of Bushido," and he served as a consultant for the great actor's work as producer and lead in "Under The Gun." Equipped with Lasdon's witty lines and Carr's knowing direction, Norton makes Carter Tallerin the delightfully dark heart of "Mind Games."

Contrary to most of the renown martial artists in the movies, Norton also champions acting. After his remarkable debut as a cloaked ninja in "The Octagon," Norton built an enduring screen career on his diverse roles as the Anglo villain in Jackie Chan movies ("City Hunter," "Mr. Nice Guy") and as the heroic lead in action films, often co-starring Cynthia Rothrock ("Rage and Honor"). His talents have eclipsed the action genre, and with Carter, Norton renders a tour de force portrait of the comedic rogue. The success of his pivotal performance guarantees Lasdon's caper as must-see entertainment for audiences craving a break from Hollywood's current fare of predictable sequels and TV show makeovers. If any cinematic character in recent memory merits a sequel, it's Norton's rascally Texan, but in the meantime, "Mind Games" is happily available for well-deserved encore viewings. Every return to "Games" reveals another nuance
and another opportunity to applaud the considerable talents of all involved.

Studio: Ventura Distribution
Kari Keegan

DVD title: Yoga For Athletes
Productgroup: DVD
Yoga For Athletes - movie DVD cover picture
Happy Hamstrings

I'm a long time athlete but novice yoga practitioner. This DVD gives me enough variety to remain interested and challenged. Great use of DVD random access technology!

Studio: Bodywisdom Media, Inc.
Michael Wohl
Barbara Benagh

DVD title: The Incredibles (UMD Mini For PSP)
Productgroup: DVD
The Incredibles (UMD Mini For PSP) - movie DVD cover picture
Incredible "Incredibles"

I loved this movie. It's smart, witty, creative, fun, and even a bit misty-eyed. The writer Brad Bird did an excellent job toying with the superhero and disfunctional family archetypes, and tosses in some terrific social commentary as well. "Everybody's special, honey" "Which is another way of saying no one is". This film lambasts moral relativism, trial lawyers, bottom-line insurance brokers, and even takes a dig at FRANCE!

Kids should love the action scenes, as would parents. Elastigirl has one of the best superpower scenes on film (the "doors" sequence, you'll know when you see it). This truly does transcend age-boundaries, as it has better brains than 90% of the R rated flicks out there. I've heard some parents voice concern over the action ("these men want to kill you"), and the implied "relations" between Mom and Dad ("get busy" reference), but it's pro-family and wholesome.

Few films are able to both satirize yet embody the best conventions of a genre, like this one does with superheroes--it teases the margins in a creative way (the superhero costume designer), AND it promotes the moral virtues that superhero flicks are supposed to. A near flawless film that inspires joy, makes you wish you had superpowers. One of the most poignant moments of the film is when Dash runs across the water, he looks down and starts giggling. Perfect!

Director: Brad Bird
Craig T. Nelson
Holly Hunter
Samuel L. Jackson
Jason Lee

DVD title: Queen of the Damned (Full Screen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Queen of the Damned (Full Screen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Undead Happily Ever After

Anne Rice's "Queen of the Damned" blasted into theaters...; a hard-rocking, fast paced vampire film which follows the charismatic vampire Lestat, played flawlessly by Stuart Townsend. Lestat has arisen from a decades-long sleep, lured from his crypt by the new music of a new century. His quest for adoration and the wish to live his undead life with passion draws him to become a rock star. Lestat's music, written for this film by Korn frontman Jonathan Davis, is precisely what one would expect from a vampire; alluring, filled with angst and some wonderfully eerie vocal harmonies. His songs summon the most ancient of all vampires to his side, including the Queen of the Damned, Akasha, played by the late Aaliyah, who believes that vampires should rule the earth. She begins a crusade to recruit Lestat as her new king, but not before a young mortal paranormal researcher, Jesse, begins a star-crossed relationship with him. This adaptation of Anne Rice's novel include excerpts from another in the series, "The Vampire Lestat." Though some movie-goers might be slightly disappointed in certain aspects of the film, in all totality it is a creative, highly effective supernatural adventure that fans of Anne Rice, horror film, and vampires in general will enjoy seeing. It's quite a journey told from the unique perspective of a centuries-old French vampire, and the young mortal girl who falls for death and beyond.

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Michael Rymer
Stuart Townsend

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