Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Burnt by the Sun
Productgroup: DVD
Burnt by the Sun - movie DVD cover picture

This is one of the most powerful movies I can remember seeing. In many movies about the Holocaust or the gulags, the focus is on the suffering in the camps. This movie shows the idyllic life ripped apart by the paranoia of Stalin and his overwhelming cult of personality. The whole movie rings true with everything that i have read about the Soviet Union during the purges.
The pace is slow, but the acting is brilliant, the cinematography gorgeous, and the ending packs a punch.

Studio: Columbia Tristar Hom
Director: Nikita Mikhalkov
Nikita Mikhalkov
Ingeborga Dapkunaite

DVD title: The Fire That Burns (La Ville Dont le Prince Est un Enfant)
Productgroup: DVD
The Fire That Burns (La Ville Dont le Prince Est un Enfant) - movie DVD cover picture
A Stunning, Intelligent, Wholly Satisfying Film

THE FIRE THAT BURNS may seem like an odd title for this French film originally titled LE VILLE DONT LE PRINCE EST UN ENFANT ("The Land Where the King is a Child") - until the final scene. But such idiosyncrasies abound in this story set in WW II Paris and at times the blend of surrealism, nascent passion, mysticism, philosophy, and ecclesiastic order makes this film feel like visual and cerebral flights of fancy. The trip is worth it!

Abbot de Pradts (Christophe Melavoy, who also directs) is a handsome, sensitive priest in a Catholic boys school in Paris, a school whose boys live both on-campus or at home. de Pradts has taken under his wing a poor, beautiful young boy Souplier (Clement van der Bergh) whose studies suffer and who is somewhat of a behavior problem. Souplier thrives on the attention paid him by de Pradts, but is more focused on another older student Sevrais (Nael Marandin) with whom he spends time skipping classes, exploring, and actually loving: the very pure and lovely love affair between these two lads is beautifully captured by both the actors and the director. It is not long before de Pradts feels jealousy for the influence of Sevrais on Souplier, and eventually de Pradts finds a way to remove Sevrais from the school. This of course results in his demanding that Souplier forsake Sevrais and the results of this demand constitute the finale of the film best saved for the viewer to discover.

Though the suggestion of de Pradts' physical attraction to Souplier is sub rosa, the head of the school Father Superior (Michel Aumont) observes the dynamics and in a visceral confrontation between the two priests probes the meaning of sacred vs. profane love. The sublime intelligence of this duet is some of the best writing ever for film on this difficult subject and both Malavoy and Aumont give performances of great power and depth.

"The Fire That Burns" is that passion within the soul that can lead to evil if not sublimated. de Pradts has fallen victim to that fire and allowed 'the child to be the king of his land'. This is a powerful movie, graced with stunning sets and photography, and a score that is based on Gounod's music ('Kyrie eleison') throughout. Highly recommended. Grady Harp, November 2004

Studio: Picture This Home Entertainment
Director: Christophe Malavoy

DVD title: Revolutionary Girl Utena - The Rose Collection Vol. 2
Productgroup: DVD
Revolutionary Girl Utena - The Rose Collection Vol. 2 - movie DVD cover picture
Surreal, mysterious, and often hilarious

This is the second Utena DVD, containing 6 episodes (for a total of 13 episodes available in the US, with 26 more not translated as of November, 2000). If you haven't seen the first DVD, don't start here--it won't make the slightest bit of sense. If you have seen it, you know this is a strange, surreal, series. The qualities of the first volume remain here: interesting characters, mysteries, and some hilarity at Nanami's expense. The shadowplay girls have some particularly odd bits in these episodes, too. (Again, if you haven't seen it, this won't make any sense!) In general, Nanami has a stronger presence in these 6 episodes than she did in the first 7; if you like what she brings to the show, you should like this set. Utena's friend Wakaba also shines in episode 12. Although this brings the story only to episode 13 out of 39, the initial plot involving the Student Council, and in particular, Touga's machinations, is largely resolved here. There is some closure to the story, but episode 13, which is unfortunately a clips episode constructed largely out of the duels in the first 12 episodes, presents new mysteries.

Studio: Cpm/Software Sculptors
Revolutionary Girl Utena

DVD title: Fist of the White Lotus
Productgroup: DVD
Fist of the White Lotus - movie DVD cover picture
Shaw Brothers Has Done It Again

This was a very good movie. I was convinced by the sails man to buy it when I saw that the star was the Man form Master Killer. I was not disappointed. The movie is about an 1 hour and 30 minutes of fantastic entertainment. The screen play is excellent and the storline is at such a hig level of excellence that I am not going to bother to tell you about it. It would be better just to buy it. This is a must see movie. So what are you waiting for order it from now or go to you nearest DVD movie store.

Studio: Ground Zero Entertainment

DVD title: The Inspector General
Productgroup: DVD
The Inspector General - movie DVD cover picture
Absolutely Hilarious

I adored this movie as a child, and after watching it again as a grown woman, I still love it. No one plays the buffoon as well as Danny Kaye. The scene where he plays a gypsy-style violin piece is still one of the funniest scenes in movie history.

Studio: Roan Group
Director: Henry Koster

DVD title: The Pirate Movie
Productgroup: DVD
The Pirate Movie - movie DVD cover picture
The singular ability to influence a young life

I must say that I am with everyone else when I say...BRING IT BACK. I have it now, copied from showtime or something from when I was very young. The tape is starting to show some wear. This movie, with its great score, great acting, great bodies (I wish Freddy would rescue me!) and a great set changed my life. For the better. And now, I even "get" all of the jokes.

Studio: Anchor Bay Entertain
Director: Ken Annakin
Kristy McNichol
Christopher Atkins
Ted Hamilton

DVD title: Scream
Productgroup: DVD
Scream - movie DVD cover picture
Get ready to SCREAM!!!

This is one of the best horror movies ever.
If you haven't been scared watching a movie...You haven't seen this one.

Studio: Dimension Home Video
Director: Wes Craven
David Arquette
Neve Campbell
Courteney Cox
Skeet Ulrich

DVD title: Mr. Holland's Opus
Productgroup: DVD
Mr. Holland's Opus - movie DVD cover picture
Fantastically passionate film about ordinary man

I can't say enough about this film. Have seen many before with similar storyline, but this takes the cake....Very passionate, very and'll laugh, cry, and feel inspired all at once....Good colour in DVD version, Great soundtrack..

Studio: Hollywood Pictures
Director: Stephen Herek
Richard Dreyfuss
Glenne Headly

DVD title: Querelle
Productgroup: DVD
Querelle - movie DVD cover picture
A Captivating Aesthetic

Querelle is based on Jen Genet's Querelle de Brest. Fassbinder uses Genet's strange mix of blunt dialog and masturbatory narration to create a film that feels more like a revelation of poetry scratched into one of Brest's pissoirs.

Sometimes the characters speak to each other, sometimes they seem to speak in spite of one another, sometimes they simply speak - all too appropriate in the port of Brest, a fertile ground for nearly anonymous, mechanical sex. Though Querelle (perfectly cast), at once vulnerable and malevolent, is the subject of the film's action, the true star is this seething port. Brest is realized entirely on a soundstage, which allows the director to quite literally paint with colored lights and symbolic, often pornographic details. Though ostensibly set somewhere in the first half of the twentieth century, the classic effortlessly melds with the modern (1980s) with the addition of an arcade game and archetypal "homosexuals" that might have stepped from a Tom of Finland drawing.

Querelle is a sailor "in danger of discovering himself", as the mistress of the brothel reveals from her tarot. His strength demands the respect of his peers, his beauty stokes his supervisor's prurient desires, but his inner conflicts drive him to self-destruction as he explores his own deviance. Lust morphs into violence, denial morphs into degradation, sex morphs into violence, and violence morphs into love.

Far from the flip, whitewashed, sexless homosexuality that saturates the media today, Querelle explores the conflicts and complex relations that occur between virile men who discover they desire each other.

In contrast to some other reviewers, I would have to say that this is actually my favorite Fassbinder film--though perhaps it is not representative of his work overall.

Studio: Columbia/Tristar Studios
Director: Rainer Werner Fassbinder

DVD title: Kill Me Later
Productgroup: DVD
Kill Me Later - movie DVD cover picture
It is a different type of Love Story

I really liked this film. It is definately a different off beat movie but it is worth seeing! Does anybody know if there is a soundtrack or at least the songs that go to the movie?

Studio: Studio Home Entertainment
Director: Dana Lustig
Selma Blair
Max Beesley

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