Film DVD related reviews


DVD title: Band of Brothers
Productgroup: DVD
Band of Brothers - movie DVD cover picture
In the Tradition of Saving Private Ryan


HBO's mini-series, BAND OF BROTHERS, was an excellent depiction of soldier vignettes from the Stephen Ambrose book of the same name. Well researched with use of actual locations when possible, this series goes beyond the Normandy Beachhead through the destruction of the Third Reich. No expense was spared to ensure that combat and noncombat soldiering scenes were realistic. BAND OF BROTHERS will be a welcome treat when it is eventually released as a DVD.

Studio: HBO Home Video



DVD title: L.A. Confidential
Productgroup: DVD
L.A. Confidential - movie DVD cover picture
Off the record, strictly on the QT and VERY hush-hush


A fat juicy peach of a movie. I've seen it 3 times and it seems to grow with repeat viewings. It really is quite beautifully put together - the way the 3 principals are all working on different cases, which the audience can see as parts of a whole, but which they don't piece together until its almost too late is a fine storytelling device.
Its superbly shot, snappily edited and the production design is utter perfection (did they use a time machine and film it in the 50s?).
Bets of all though, are the performances - Spacey, De Vito and Cromwell are great, as you would expect, basinger is surprisingly good too, but Russell Crowe and Guy Pearce are quite awesomely good - revelations in fact. Most critics seem to rate Crowe as the star, but I edge towards Pearce - Ed Exley is a complex character - a man using his own integrity as a deliberate tool to get ahead in life, and for and Australian Soap star to pull off that performance is a joyful surprise.
The last words of Hollywood Jack Vincemmes rate as (possibly) my favorite moment in the movies (up there with'No-one's perfect' from Some like it Hot, and 'Dick - You're fired!' from Robocop)
See this movie Buy this movie Love this movie.

Studio: Warner Studios
Director: Curtis Hanson
Actors:
Kevin Spacey
Russell Crowe
Guy Pearce
Kim Basinger




DVD title: Horse Feathers
Productgroup: DVD
Horse Feathers - movie DVD cover picture
Whatever It Is, I'm Against It - But Not "Horse Feathers"


"Horse Feathers" released in 1932, is the Marx Bros. fourth film, and the second consecutive one without the illustrious Margaret Dumont. Thelma Todd reprises her role as a suductive vamp, as she had played in "Monkey Business". And all four Marx Bros. have a field day poking fun of higher education.
In this film, Groucho plays Quincy Adams Wagstaff, newly elected president of Huxley College. The first indication we have that Groucho does not take the role seriously is when he lights a cigar, strictly against the rules of the college. He then breaks out in song, singing, "Whatever it is, I'm Against it".
Groucho's interests lie with football, rather than education itself. Hearing that two really good football players are regulars at a speakeasy, Groucho visits the establishment, hoping to sign them on before the rival college, Darwin, beats him to the punch.
Chico and Harpo happen to be there as well. Chico plays Baravelli, an ice man who sells liqour on the side. Harpo plays Pinky, a dog catcher. Groucho asks them if they are regulars in the bar, and if they play football. They go along with Groucho, assenting to each question. That's all Groucho needs to hear. He immediately enrolls them in Huxley College so they can play on the team.
Groucho also has another purpose. Zeppo, playing Groucho's son in this film, Frank, has been neglecting his studies by pursuing interest in the college widow, Connie Bailey, played by Thelma Todd. She is working for the rival college, Darwin, and is using Zeppo to get the football signals. Groucho is determined to break the two apart, not because she is using him, of course, but to obtain her affection for himself.
There are many hilarious highlights to "Horse Feather". One highlight is when Chico and Harpo attend a biology class, escorted by Groucho. "Have they started sawing the woman in half yet?" Groucho asks the teacher. Chico and Harpo leaves some fruit on the teachers desk before they take their seats, as though they were little children. Groucho soon takes over the class from the teacher, pointing to a chart with the human body. Harpo sneaks up and places a picture of a horse over the chart, and then a pin up calendar. After Groucho tells him he can't burn the candle at both ends, Harpro immediately produces, from his bottomless pocket, a candle that happens to be burnung at both ends. The scene ends with Chico and Harpo shooting peas at Groucho. Not wanting to be outdone, Groucho joins in, having his own pea shooter tucked away.
Another highlight is when Groucho goes to Connie Bailey's room, attempting to persuade her to stop seeing his son. Before he knows it, he is sitting on her lap saying, "I could sit here all day if you didn't get up." Zeppo enters, and Groucho takes the offense, angry to see his son in a disgraceful postion. Zeppo leaves, and Harpo re-enters with a block of ice. The ice is used merely as a pass, or excuse, to gain enterance, and is quickly tossed out the window. When he leaves, Chico appears with a block of ice. They go back and forth, getting more ice so they may enter the room to "show their affection" to Connie, leaving Groucho with little time to make his own advances. Groucho's reply to this is, "This must be the main highway".
The climax of the film is the football game, where the Marx Bros. perform more of their hilarous antics. Groucho, after realizing the two real football players he was intending to sign are playing for Darwin, plans for Chico and Harpo to kidnap them. But their scheme backfires, and it becomes Chico and Harpo who are the victims of kidnapping. The two must find a way to escape before the start of the football game. When they do, Harpo makes his grand enterance on the field riding a chariot, and throwing banana peels in front of players, who stumble over them. Even Groucho joins the team on the field.
"Horse Feathers" follows a procession of what is considered the best and funniest of the Marx Bros. films. The material is still fresh and raw, unlike in later films. The Marx Bros. are allowed freedom to do as they please, without being constrained to remembering the correctness of their lines. Adlibs are frequent, which only seem to frustrate the director, producer and writers of the film. The audience, however, is delighted, and could care less. We are much happier to see the boys working off each other, rather than what the writers have written. And the finished product succeeds as a result.

Studio: Image Entertainment
Director: Norman Z. McLeod
Actors:
Groucho Marx
Harpo Marx
Chico Marx




DVD title: The Wild Bunch - The Original Director's Cut
Productgroup: DVD
The Wild Bunch - The Original Director's Cut - movie DVD cover picture
One of the true greats


Films like this put the movie industry of today to shame. This is a classic tale of ageing men who can not compete with the changing society, so they go out in a blaze of bullets and glory. This is one of those movies where you are actually rooting for the bad guys to win because they show a different side then being the cold-blooded killers they are. This film is not to be missed and never to be forgetten.

Studio: Warner Studios
Director: Sam Peckinpah
Actors:
William Holden
Ernest Borgnine
Robert Ryan




DVD title: Femme Fatale
Productgroup: DVD
Femme Fatale - movie DVD cover picture
This Film Will Blow You Away!


This film blew me away. Movies are my hobby, I live in a moderately small city (e.g. population 115,000). A movie is almost the only option for a teenager here. So I've seen my fair share and beyond. My friends and I have worked and do work at theaters so I got to see a lot of movies for free. This allowed me to view movies I wouldn't regularly pay for. I had not heard anything about Femme Fatale when I saw it at the theater. Not knowing what I was in for, this movie blew me away. My good friend and fellow reviewer Kyle Marcum made a far better analogy than anything I've thought of thus far so I will just use it and credit him for it. The analogy being that of the Sierra Mist Commercials, "Yeah it's kind of like that." It is the best way to make you realize the feeling of refreshment I had after experiencing this film. I was so happy to see a film in which the writer/director had courage enough to include everything thing he/she did in this film. It is about time that someone really pressed the envelope to include these sometimes-essential elements for a suspenseful film. In the end there is no doubt in my mind that this film will blow you away! I give it the maximum stars available.Two thumbs up!5 out of 5 *'s!Grade: A+

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Brian De Palma
Actors:
Rebecca Romijn-Stamos
Antonio Banderas
Peter Coyote




DVD title: Moulin Rouge (Single Disc Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Moulin Rouge (Single Disc Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Absolutely breathtaking


There is no comparison to this musical/comedy/romance/tragedy. The sets and costumes are gorgeous, the actors are in top form (as are their voices) and Baz Luhrmann is a genius. Everytime I watch this movie I enjoy it just as much as the last time. This movie draws you in and keeps you hooked until, regrettably, the final curtain is drawn. This is so much more than just a fast-paced "MTV" movie; it explores human nature at its best and worst. Lush, extravagant, and yet so real at the same time, this movie has everything and if you don't like it then I'm sorry you're missing out on the Moulin Rouge experience I get everytime I watch this.
The DVD features are wonderful. The extended dance sequences (especially the tango) are great. The commentary by writers Luhrmann and Craig Pierce is great, if just to hear their Aussie accents. Plus, you get to see the evolution of the Green Fairy. What could be better than that? Not to mention a very funny look at Ewan McGregor and Nicole Kidman having fun on the set. Unless I haven't made my point clear, go get this movie! It's the best operatic tragic musical romantic comedy ever! Get it just for the pink umbrella in the Your Song scene on the roof.

Studio: Fox Home Entertainme
Director: Baz Luhrmann
Actors:
Nicole Kidman
Ewan McGregor




DVD title: The Way Home
Productgroup: DVD
The Way Home - movie DVD cover picture
Let Time Go Lightly


Well not many do, but this one made me cry. The plot is so simple. The Grandmother agrees to help her daughter by watching her 7 year old son for a little while so she can find work. The Grandmother lives alone in a shanty and farms in the mountains. She's a deaf-mute and doesn't say a single word, she walks slowly, stooped over her little walking stick. The boy is an arrogant, selfish, noisy city lad, who just wants to play his electronic game. During a period of about 8 weeks, his life slowly gets assumed into his Grandmother's. The movie ends predictably. It is so sweetly written, and such a patient, patient, camera for this patient, patient, woman. This story is about strength in frailty. The vulnerability of life and love and human dignity. A distilled fragile relationship that grows out of the time these two souls are allowed to share. Please see this one when you have time to just get absorbed into it, preferably with someone of any age. I can't imagine anyone who would not like this movie.

Studio: Paramount Home Video
Director: Jeong-hyang Lee
Actors:
Eul-boon Kim
Seung-ho Yu
Hyo-hee Dong




DVD title: The Fast and the Furious (Widescreen Tricked Out Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
The Fast and the Furious (Widescreen Tricked Out Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
The Fast and the Furious DVD = Awesome entertainment!


Geez...after I got my DVD player, this was the first DVD that I HAD to get! It's my favorite DVD that I have and it is worth more than the... I paid for it...

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: Rob Cohen
Actors:
Paul Walker
Vin Diesel




DVD title: Toy Story & Toy Story 2 (2 Pack)
Productgroup: DVD
Toy Story & Toy Story 2 (2 Pack) - movie DVD cover picture
A Wonderful Sequel!


I think Toy Story 2 is better than the 1st. The animation is even more realistic and lively. It's the story though, that truly astounded me. It is sentimental and funny.I think everyone has had a favorite toy and as we come of age, we lose interest in it. While I certainly don't believe toys have feelings, the story can be transcended into reality. The toys can be symbolic of a best friend from childhood, and with the way the world is today, it is easy to grow apart as we grow up. Someday we may go back to find that friend and become tied to them again, and sometimes we just have to let them go and know that they will be best friends with someone else. I believe that this is the true heart of this movie.While this is certainly a great movie for kids, adults like me, will certainly find the humor and entertainment value in it as well.

Studio: Disney/Pixar
Director: John Lasseter
Actors:
Tom Hanks
Tim Allen




DVD title: Fight Club (Single Disc Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Fight Club (Single Disc Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
The Best Movie DVD Overall


Although this review is a little dated, since Entertainment Weekly has already named it the best DVD made, I must support that statement simply for the overall aesthetic value and staying true to the manic and subversive identity of the film.
A misleading warning message that you can't pause begins the ride that takes you to a fitting menu format that matches the movie's style. The movie itself is one of the best ever and the extras help bring it to legendary levels. Deleted scenes and why they were deleted. Actually, a ton of explainations that would impress anyone who thought about making movies. More commentaries than your average DVD, the people involved in this movie are knowledgeable about the business and process involved with making this film and all seem to have enjoyed the experience. The one with the stars talking is as entertaining as most things on TV. And the internet promos & PSAs & behind the scenes & text & drawings make it a full volume of ready info on the movie. Even the case it comes in fits the feel of the movie. Plus, the makers are realistic - touching on the fact that many critics abhorred the violence in it when it was less violent than many 1 hour cop dramas.
The movie itself is a plus for any home entertainment junkie. With the film's subliminal Tyler sightings to frantic editing style to random imagery and blurred realities to dynamic bone breaking sound and viseral score - this is what makes you proud to see a movie on DVD. It's a DVD that's made by people who love this movie and appreciate that you love it too. And if you don't, they explain to you why they, and a huge cult following, think it's one of the best productions ever.
This film is something all should watch. Much is lost by people thinking superficially but the underlying conscience of the movie just makes sense. Every scene, moment, line makes sense. And once you see that this movie is about fighting - but not beating men down with fists, you get the understand that this is a deeply psychological film. A thinker's film with a modern flow. Man against the world.
Look for the happy face. And get this DVD - a must have. Thanks.

Studio: Fox Home Entertainme
Director: David Fincher
Actors:
Edward Norton
Brad Pitt




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