Film DVD related reviews


DVD title: Donnie Darko
Productgroup: DVD
Donnie Darko - movie DVD cover picture
Holy Cow, What a Film !!!


I'm reduced to silly exclamations after watching Donnie Darko. I won't try to explain it -- I can only say it leaves me both baffled and excited, and I want to watch it again! This is the most strikingly original film I've seen in years and, though "nobody" saw it when it was released (it was lost in the post-9/11 haze), it is undoubtedly a cult favorite now and will only grow in stature. Some very fine acting here, with special praises for the magnificent Mary McDonnell, one of our most versatile, masterful and under-rated actors.

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox Home Video
Director: Richard Kelly (II)
Actors:
Jake Gyllenhaal
Mary McDonnell
Jena Malone




DVD title: Muppets From Space
Productgroup: DVD
Muppets From Space - movie DVD cover picture
Biggest Surprise Ever


I grew up watching Muppet Movies and even saw the "Muppet Christmas Carol." I've always liked the Muppets. However, let's face it. Someone says Muppets and you instinctivly think kid's movies. "Muppets in Space," was the exception. I first saw it when I was over at a friends apartment in college and a bunch of people wanted to watch it. I was initially confused as to why a bunch of 20-year-olds would want to watch a Muppet movie. I quickly found out why. This movie is hilarious! Why still being a movie for kids, the writers filled this movie with sophisticated humor that entertains adults as well. I was happy to see that the focus was finally taken off Kermit. Don't get me wrong, he's still the original Muppet. But this movie proved who the real star of the crew is. The Shrimp. I forget his name, but my gosh is he hilarious. Watch as he delivers the best line in the movie, "You do that. And I will smack you. I will smack you like a bad bad donkey." The way it's done leaves people rolling. All I can say is give this movie a chance. Even if you've forgotten about the Muppet movies or passed them off as kids films. You'll adore this one and quickly add it to your collection.

Studio: Columbia/Tristar Studios
Director: Tim Hill (III)
Actors:
Dave Goelz
Steve Whitmire




DVD title: Halloween III - Season Of The Witch
Productgroup: DVD
Halloween III - Season Of The Witch - movie DVD cover picture
A great film!


Its unfortunate that so many people could not see past the exclusion of michael myers in a halloween film to give this a chance. I mean how many times could john carpenter be expected to basically remake the original film over and over again to satisfy those obsessed with myers.. This film is probably the goriest and most disturbing of all the halloween films, bar possibly the original, and its ending will certainly leave you feeling somewhat uneasy! I wonder if this had been a success, just how good the following films could have been, as it is known carpenter had several more halloween stories lined up but scrapped them all and washed his hands of the series after the publics predictable reaction.

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: Tommy Lee Wallace
Actors:
Tom Atkins
Stacy Nelkin




DVD title: A Night at the Opera
Productgroup: DVD
A Night at the Opera - movie DVD cover picture
"How'd ya like to feel the way she looks?!"


If "A Night At The Opera" is more sentimental and romantic than its Zeppo-ized predecessors, it's also less of a photographed vaudeville sketch show also. Many of the Marx Brothers' comic routines were first tried out on the Broadway stage, and the funniest routines, or sketches, were what ended up in their movies. Their earlier films were just more sketch-driven; this one is more plot-driven. I appreciate the fact that the writers took the time to integrate a plausible book and plot (financing for the opera and the 'big break' for the 2 singers) into the insane antics of the 3 Marxes. Just because they were a support system for a romantic subplot doesn't mean they were any less broad, inventive, or hilarious. The crammed stateroom take and the wrecked opera are proof positive of this. In regard to this one being too music heavy, what film 'didn't' Chico (on piano) and Harpo (on harp) perform an interlude on an instrument? It's a smash hit at barely 90 minutes.

Studio: Warner Home Video
Actors:
Groucho Marx
Chico Marx




DVD title: Carolina
Productgroup: DVD
Carolina - movie DVD cover picture
"Carolina" on Our Minds


It was such an honest, heartwarming, and lovely movie. A perfect cast. Shirley MacLaine puts grand in "grandma". It was so interesting to see how the child actress who played the young Carolina (Ambyr Childers) resembled the grown-up Carolina (Julia Stiles). We highly recommend the movie, "Carolina" and much praise to the writer, Katherine Fugate.


Studio: Buena Vista Home Vid
Director: Marleen Gorris



DVD title: The Devil's Advocate
Productgroup: DVD
The Devil's Advocate - movie DVD cover picture
Good Horror\thriller


I just saw this movie and it is very good. It features a very terrifying performance by Al Pacino, who plays the devil. The movie follows a young Florida lawer who has never lost a case(Keanu Reeves), but there is one case he wishes he never won. After winning a case against a teacher accused of assulting a student he is contacted by a powerful new york law firm, of course he accepts, but what he does not realize is that the head of the law firm is Satan(AL Pacino). He goes with his wife (Charlize theron) who soon starts seeing strange things. Things get worse and worse till a thrilling climax. It has good performances by the whole cast.

Studio: Warner Studios
Director: Taylor Hackford
Actors:
Keanu Reeves
Al Pacino




DVD title: The Day of the Jackal
Productgroup: DVD
The Day of the Jackal - movie DVD cover picture
No, it's not Baby Willis -- It's the REAL 'Jackal' !


Not much to add to earlier comments, except this: if you're looking for that truly dreadful Bruce Willis disaster of a so-called 'remake', and were directed instead to this original 'Jackal' by mistake, then go no further. You don't know how lucky you are to have missed the pure dreck of the remake -- rather, you've found your way to another masterpiece from the director who gave us "High Noon", and much more. Think of it as having embarked on a snipe-hunt for junkyard trinkets but happily stumbling onto a real gem. The DVD print is excellent, right down to conveying the subtley bleached effect that I recall from the original release, and the classic "look" and texture of the old Schneider Panavision lenses and European lighting -- all effects that heighten the movie's authenticity and mid-60's ambience. This classic is a far cry from the phony, who-are-you-kidding cinematic comic books of today that try to emulate computer games for overgrown adolescents. The writing, directing and acting are lean and direct, the visual style is spare, efficient, exceptionally effective. When you consider that this is a well researched, fairly accurate telling of actual people and events, you have one of those rare movies that, like "The Third Man", seriously upped the stakes for the espionage/suspense genre, raising the bar to heights that its imitators can't even hope to reach.

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: Fred Zinnemann
Actors:
Edward Fox



DVD title: Quantum Leap - The Pilot Episode
Productgroup: DVD
Quantum Leap - The Pilot Episode - movie DVD cover picture
Very Good - But buy season 1 - it's included


There is no need to buy this dvd. The pilot, genesis, is included in the Season One DVD which just came out. They don't write smart tv shows like Quantum Leap anymore. If they did, you'd probably see something like this on HBO. Each episode is more like a movie than a tv show.

Studio: Image Entertainment
Director: David Hemmings
Actors:
Scott Bakula
Dean Stockwell




DVD title: Stand by Me
Productgroup: DVD
Stand by Me - movie DVD cover picture
An All-Time Favorite


I will cherish this movie forever. This movie certainly illustrates the profound truth that you'll "never have any friends later in life like the ones you had when you were twelve." Stephen King's touching novel is brilliantly brought to the screen by director Rob Reiner and by four incredible young actors. A moving story about four young friends who come of age, come face to face with their own mortality, and discover what real courage is all about. This is a movie with a message!

Studio: Columbia/Tristar Studios
Director: Rob Reiner
Actors:
Wil Wheaton
River Phoenix
Corey Feldman
Jerry O'Connell




DVD title: Embrace of the Vampire
Productgroup: DVD
Embrace of the Vampire - movie DVD cover picture
One star for the movie plus four stars for Alyssa . . .


Does this movie have a plot worth watching? No. Is it a masterpiece of staging and set direction? No. Will this movie show up in a retrospective of great American 20th Century cinema? Not a chance in hell.
So what does this movie have? Well, Alyssa Milano, frequently nude, and occasionally in softcore sex scenes. Does that make it worth watching? Yes, definitely if you enjoy Alyssa Milano. Her portrayal of a naive, virginal co-ed rings a little less than true, but her seduction scene with the photographer alone is almost worth the price of the tape. The vampire orgy sequence and her dream foursome certainly round out the cost of the video. I would, however, recommend the DVD version if you're planning on buying it. The DVD's ability to have short sections run repeatedly without degrading the playback quality will prove invaluable.

Studio: New Line Home Entertainment
Director: Anne Goursaud
Actors:
Martin Kemp
Rebecca Ferratti




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