Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Mostly Martha
Productgroup: DVD
Mostly Martha - movie DVD cover picture
I'd recommend this film

Another Amazon Reviewer wrote: " . . . I totally couldn't relate to this movie. It's so unrealistic. Relatively few upright, hyper-neat perfectionists get into cooking because it is inherently messy, unpredictable and sensual. Any food actually cooked by a "Martha" would be tasteless and uninspired. Not mention that relatively few chefs are model-thin and manage to work in a kitchen as clean as a sterile surgical facility and in white clothes without a drop of grease or gravy."

With that I have to retort with a resounding "SO WHAT???"

When I watched this movie, I sort of thought that people who actually work within the food industry would find this movie unrealistic, but then again, it's a movie, so don't expect to see "real life" enacted to a T if you're a chef. I would also think it's not worthwhile to get upset over such details, but alas, for some, getting angry because the way they see life is not depicted as they "know" it seems to ruin the entire plausibility of a film.

Anyhow, I once considered being a chef, so this movie was interesting to me, regarding the themata; secondly, the film was well made and consists of several issues going on at once, the little girl who wants to see her father, the romance between the cold, detached Martha and the boisterious Italian cook, for one. The movie itself will give you a good feeling, without being cloying or overly sentimental. In fact, the movie is quite realistic when it comes to the depictions of human relationships and how two very different people fall in love. I liked this movie and thought it was nice, and I'd recommend it.

Studio: Paramount Home Video
Director: Sandra Nettelbeck
Martina Gedeck
Maxime Foerste
Sergio Castellitto

DVD title: Requiem for a Dream - Director's Cut
Productgroup: DVD
Requiem for a Dream - Director's Cut - movie DVD cover picture
best movie ever made

This is no doubt the best movie ever made the cinematography story, beauty,editing is a masterpiece.Not a day goes with out me thinking about it. It is good to finnaly see a movie out there about the truth and done so well in this style. I have seen this movie 5 times in the theatre and recommend it to anyone out there tired of all these blockbuster movies out there that bore u from the start. I cant wait to see what arofonsky has next".

Studio: Lions Gate Home Entertainment
Director: Darren Aronofsky
Ellen Burstyn
Jared Leto

DVD title: Sex and the Other Man
Productgroup: DVD
Sex and the Other Man - movie DVD cover picture
Sexy, Sexy, Sexy

Kari Wuhrer is worth the price of admission. I could watch her read the phone book, and she does a heck of a lot more here. The plot, characterization, etc. aren't bad either.

Studio: Simitar Video
Director: Karl Slovin

DVD title: Dark Passage
Productgroup: DVD
Dark Passage - movie DVD cover picture
A masterpiece of hidden identity

I don't know if this was the first film to use the camera as a person telling the story but it had to be close to one of the first. A great movie. The location for filming in San Francisco is awesome. I was there in March of 2003 and saw the Apartment where this was filmed. Not knowing at the time which Bogart/ Bacall movie it was, but being told by a friend that they filmed a movie there. Recently, I finally got to realize which movie it was while watching it on TCM. A beautiful art deco apartment on a very steep hill near San Francisco bay. It's cool to see Bogey crawl up the same steps that you can still walk on. YES! I can only say that this film should be watched by everyone interested in film noir. A true masterpiece. Bacall is so amazing. I could watch the movie and just study her acting alone a few hundred times. She is a such a great actress. Watch her little eye and body movements. All telling and something a lot of actors are missing today. There's a scene in the apartment when she is leaving to go do something and has to leave Bogart by himself. She's jotting down some information for Bogey. This must be seen. The camera follows her around. And to act with this amount of genius without someone even there to bounce off of is worthy of an Oscar. It's worth it just to watch her drive the cool "Woody" (at least that's what it looks like) with Bogey in the back seat. It's Genius, pure genius and also very nerve racking. Agnes Moorehead is great too. Check out the awesome leopard outfit! Please watch this film. You will not regret it.

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Delmer Daves
Humphrey Bogart
Lauren Bacall

DVD title: The Pentagon Wars
Productgroup: DVD
The Pentagon Wars - movie DVD cover picture
I'm still surprised.

"Believe it or not, it actually happened" is what the opening title card reads: the US Army spent $14 billion over 16 years redesigning the Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicle from a simple APC into "a troop carrier that can't carry troops, a reconnaisance vehicle that's too conspicuous to perform reconaissance, and a quasi-tank with less armor than a snowblower but has enough firepower to take out half of downtown Washington." I had once played around on one at the 1989 National Scout Jamboree and had no idea that the thing had originally been a deathtrap that very few people in the Defense Department would speak out against because of military discipline and an overemphasis on being team players. However, this shocking look at what American tax money ends up paying for because of flag officer ignorance, junior officer ambition and defense contractor greed is offset with absurd, possibly-fictional humor: Lt. Col. Jim Burton, the Air Force officer who blew the whistle on it all, wants to prove the ineffective aluminum armor will produce poison gas by putting sheep in the Bradley when he fires a real antitank missile at it, but the cronies of Maj. Gen. Partridge sabotage him by requiring "sheep specs" and creating the Office of Ruminant Procurement to decide what kind of sheep to use. It's an excellent "truth is stranger than fiction" fact-based comedy.

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Richard Benjamin

DVD title: Record of Lodoss War - Chronicles of the Heroic Knight (Complete Series)
Productgroup: DVD
Record of Lodoss War - Chronicles of the Heroic Knight (Complete Series) - movie DVD cover picture
WOW...hard to beleave but Better then the First set.

Five years past, a band of six adventurers defeated the conquering armies of Marmo, the dark island, and saved the accused island, LODOSS. Since that day, the survivors have been honored as heroes, and their deeds have become legends. But the darkness never perished... Now, a mad wizard threatens to raise an ancient evil - the goddess of destruction. Old heroes must heed the call to defend their homeland and new heroes are forged as the battle for LODOSS begins anew.
I saw this on the VHS tapes and all I can say is WOW. the First story drew me in and I loved it. this one is SO much more...almost Twice a long with even More adventures and better animation. if u enjoyed the First one this one will Blow you away.


DVD title: Citizen Kane (Two-Disc Special Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Citizen Kane (Two-Disc Special Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Maybe if they spliced in some explosions...

Sometimes "they" are right, and that's all there is to it. "They" say that _Citizen Kane_ is still the best American movie ever made, and so it is.
Best for its innovative cinematography (shot after shot have been copied by other filmmakers ever since), witty script, and superb acting - with Joseph Cotten, in my opinion, taking the honours from Welles himself on that score. But also best for being so incredibly entertaining while being self-consciously clever. There are lots of good jokes (including one famously rude in-joke*), and it's splendidly cynical about business and politics in a way that US films probably aren't allowed to do any more.
The DVD release does everything a DVD should: giving us a generous supply of outtakes, "making of" information that help you look at details (even now) with a fresh eye, discussions with the people who made the film, and some of the many critics who've carved themselves a living out of talking about it.
But in the end, I don't expect I'll watch all that other stuff very often. Maybe once more. In the end it's the film, _Citizen Kane_, in a format that beats the hell out of video, looking crisp and clear and sounding terrific, that makes this a worthwhile buy.
* "Rosebud" wasn't just a symbol of Kane's innocent, lost,childhood. It was also, out in the real world, a pet name that William Randolph Hearst used for, er, an intimate part of his lover's (Marion Davies) body. And though in public Welles insisted the film was not getting at any corrupt and powerful newspaper magnate in particular, that detail made it clear to Hearst that Welles meant Hearst, and he meant it _personally_. No wonder Hearst went out to destroy Welles. I might have been annoyed myself.

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Orson Welles
Orson Welles
Joseph Cotten

DVD title: The Conversation
Productgroup: DVD
The Conversation - movie DVD cover picture
One of Coppola's best movies

The conversation is one of the greatest movies ever made. Written,produced and directed by Francis Ford Coppola [Director of the Godfather trilogy and Apocalypse now] and
stars Gene Hackman as Harry Caul,a paranoid surveillance
expert and a Great supporting cast. With the Beatiful piano music by David Shire and the photgrophy
of Bill Buter watch this great masterpiece of 1970's.

Studio: Paramount Studio
Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Gene Hackman
John Cazale

DVD title: The Lathe of Heaven
Productgroup: DVD
The Lathe of Heaven - movie DVD cover picture
Classic story, well done tv version!

This was the first movie commissioned by PBS, one of the many interesting facts that the DVD interview reveals. In fact the interview on the DVD is almost as good as the movie itself - did you know Ursula wanted to do the Left Hand of Darkness instead but that they talked her out of it?
The movie is excellent. Although you can tell at the beginning of the DVD that the master wasn't of the best quality, you quickly get sucked into the storyline, accepting some of the shoddy special effects because the plot and acting are so stellar. I was lucky enough to do a 3 hour phone interview with Kevin Conway, and we talked a lot about how much this movie meant to him and what he was thinking about while filming. The movie has had a big impact on both the actors and viewers - most sci fi fans I know remember vividly when this came out, and have been waiting anxiously for its return. I already have a line of friends who want to come watch this with me!
The basic story is that George Orr has dreams which change reality, and simply wants them to stop. His doctor, Dr. Haber, instead decides to use them to change the world and rid it of evil. Ursula explains in the interview that this pits the tao of 'go with the flow' in George vs the progress and change mentality of Dr. Haber.
It's definitely a movie that you can watch many times and really think about, and also a movie that is fun just as an interesting story. Perhaps my favorite part is when George wonders if *everyone* has this ability, to change reality with dreams, and that maybe the 'rug is being pulled out from under us' over and over again without anyone noticing.
See this with friends or family, and be prepared for lively discussions afterwards!


DVD title: Keeping Up Appearances - The Full Bouquet Set (Vols. 1-8)
Productgroup: DVD
Keeping Up Appearances - The Full Bouquet Set (Vols. 1-8) - movie DVD cover picture
Worthy of a Candlelight Supper

Fans of Keeping Up Appearances cannot be without The Full Bouquet; especially those who are "socially less fortunate" and need the lessons from England's expert on social etiquette, Hyacinth, Bouquet. Every episode is included in this set which is beautifully packaged in the most tasteful manner deserving of a glass of the "Dowager Lady Ursula's homemade gooseberry wine." It also offers holiday specials and lots of extras including Routledge's monologues as "Kitty" on Victoria Wood: As Seen on TV in the early 1980s (definitely a precursor to Hyacinth) which are waaaay too British for me to comprehend. Brit Comedy fans also get a guest appearance by Are You Being Served? star Trevor Bannister (Mr. Lucas). Here's what you get:

1. My Way or the Hyacinth Way with the following episodes: "The Name is Bouquet: B-U-C-K-E-T," "Welcoming the Dishy Vicar," "Visiting the Acquaintance's Stately Home," "A Fate Worse Than Serenity," "Our Daisy and Her Boy Toy," "How to Manage a Family Christening" (my personal favorite where Hyacinth's niece Stephanie is having her baby christened but does not know which of her two hippy companions is the father). Bonuses: Outtakes (bloopers), Cast bios.

2. Hints from Hyacinth with the following episodes: "A Strange Man" (Emmet's debut), "Driving Mrs. Fortescue," "Candlelight Supper," "Golfing with the Major," "The Googley-Eyed Register. Bonuses: Outtakes (bloopers) and cast bios.

3. Home is Where the Hyacinth Is: "Cocktails with a Greek Shipping Millionaire," "The Unfortunate Prospect of Early Retirement," "Playthings for Daddy," "Three Piece Suite," "Picnic for Daddy." Bonuses: "Funny Woman" profile of Patricia Routledge, outtakes (bloopers), cast bios.

4. Deck the Halls with Hyacinth: "A Very Merry Hyacinth," "Sea Fever"-an hour-long special featuring Hyacinth and Richard running all around the QE2, "Angel Gabriel Blue-another hour-long special although not very Christmasy but it does feature a guest spot by Trevor Bannister known for his role as Mr. Lucas in Are You Being Served? as well as a bio of him in Hyacinth's guest book, "Historical Pageant." Bonuses: Kitty monologues which I'll warn you are very British, cast bios.

5. Everything's Coming Up Hyacinth: "Half a Camel," "How to Retire Early if You're Not Careful," "A Portrait of an Artist as a Hen-pecked Man," "The French Lieutenant's Daughters," "How to Go on Holiday Without Really Trying," "What to Wear When Yachting," "Violet's Cottage." Bonuses: outtakes, cast bios.

6. Some Like It Hyacinth: "Hyacinth Tees Off!" (another favorite of mine where Hyacinth tries to get Richard in the "Frosticles" firm, "The Nautical speaker," "Indoor/Ourtdoor Luxury Barbeque and Finger Buffet," "Rural Retreat" (starting the episodes where the Buckets have a "cozy, charismatic country cottage"), "Beacon for the Best in Hospitality," "Please Mind Your Head" (featuring Hyacinth on a horse), "Let There Be Light." Bonuses include a UK commercial with Hyacinth and Elizabeth for Second Chance National Vocational Qualifications.

7. Living the Hyacinth Life: "Seaside Fun," "The Fancy Dress Ball," "Riparian Entertainments," "Sister, Sister," "Country Estate Sale." Bonuses: Pebble Mill interview with Routledge and Clive Swift, outtakes, cast bios.

8. Hats Off to Hyacinth: "General Bucket," "A Bon Vivant Buffet," "A Crafts-Woman Scorned," "Scintillating Socializing." Bonuses: Memoirs of Hyacinth Bucket, outtakes, cast bios.

I thought I had seen every episode of Keeping Up Appearances on my local public broadcasting channel, but there are many here I have not seen before. Buy this set now, or Elizabeth will drop a cup of hot tea in your lap!

Studio: Warner Home Video
Patricia Routledge

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