Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: INXS - Live Baby Live
Productgroup: DVD
INXS - Live Baby Live - movie DVD cover picture
Inxs - 'Live Baby Live' (BMG)

I was lucky enough to catch Inxs earlier in their career,however I also saw them play shortly before frontman/vocalist Michael Hutchence had passed on.'Live Baby Live' is a superb 21-song concert that was taped at a packed London's Wembley Arena on July 13,1991.The sound and picture quality couldn't be better.This DVD appears to be the SAME as the CD/cassette that was released years before,but with five cuts added on.So,I assume we get the band's entire set here.Very fun to watch late at night.Tunes I enjoyed experiencing once again were "New Sensation"(perhaps the DVD's best track),"By My Side","Original Sin","Mystify Me","What You Need","Kick","Need You Tonight" and "Devil Inside".Hutchence is very much missed by many fans,I'm sure.personally,I think Inxs should simply call it a day.Great DVD.

Studio: Bmg Distribution (VI
Director: David Mallet

DVD title: Sweet Smell of Success
Productgroup: DVD
Sweet Smell of Success - movie DVD cover picture
"The cat's in the bag and the bag's in the river."

Burt Lancaster and Tony Curtis at their best. Possibly the most cynical film to come out of the 1950s (with some stiff competition from Billy Wilder's Ace in the Hole and Nicholas Ray's In a Lonely Place). Scottish director Alexander Mackendrick (The Man in the White Suit, The Ladykillers) didn't produce a black comedy or film noir as much as a unique combination of the two, and the script features some of the fastest and most furious dialogue ever written -- next to, say, All About Eve (Ernest Lehman and Clifford Odets did the honors). It packs as much of a punch as Elmer Bernstein and Chico Hamilton's muscular jazz score. The great James Wong Howe provided the appropriately "Weegie-ish" cinematography (high contrast B&W).

Studio: MGM/UA Video
Director: Alexander Mackendrick
Burt Lancaster
Tony Curtis

DVD title: Richard III - Criterion Collection
Productgroup: DVD
Richard III - Criterion Collection - movie DVD cover picture
Olivier creates a disgusting yet charismatic Richard

Shakespeare's Richard is a villian of a most terrifying persuasion: An intelligent man of extreme privilege and rank who also routinely manipulates and murders friends and relatives for his own political gain. Olivier portrays the fiend with his trademark excellence.
Olivier's skills are in full glory as he becomes the unctious Duke of Gloucester; During the soliloquies, He shares his depraved and bitter complots with the viewer by speaking directly to the camera. It creates the effect that Richard is sharing his secrets with you in confidence, and allows Olivier to give you a "private" showing of his incredible depth in expression and physical gesture, and his astounding richness in vocal characterization. His Richard is also paradoxical, and his portrayal at times approaches farce. He paints the picture of a pampered, prating, and downright prissy Gloucester, but who also has a heart of dark hate and nerves of steel.
The amazing fact is that Olivier's Richard is actually likeable. The text calls for characters in the play to find Gloucester's charm and confidence so overwhelming that he wins their loyalty, and Olivier plays this part effectively. Part of this Richard's charm is a brash sissiness that cloaks his vile treachery. But his manner flatters the viewer as well. He seems at times to be almost winking at the audience, mocking his prey before us as he uses them. The fact that Richard can successfully woo even the audience makes me feel a palpable element of parody in the film, which gives it a sense of depth I really enjoy.
Enjoyable also is the work of the supporting cast: Sir Ralph Richardson as a wry but reasonable Buckingham, Sir John Gielgud as a hapless Clarence, unknowingly sent to execution by his evil brother Richard, Claire Bloom as the pathetic Lady Anne, hostage to Richard's lying heart. I will mention however, The actor who played Lord Hastings was woefully inadequate. His and a few other minor parts were portrayed with exceeding dullness and detracted from the overall.
But on the whole, I would put this in the highest class of Shakepearean rendition, with Olivier's vision as director and performance as actor as the two chief reasons.

Studio: Criterion Collection
Director: Laurence Olivier
Laurence Olivier

DVD title: Miss Congeniality
Productgroup: DVD
Miss Congeniality - movie DVD cover picture
simply awesome

what a great movie, its full of fun and witt. Its a simply must have for any Sandera Bullock lover and even anyone who enjoys a great feel good movie. Its one of the best..

Studio: Warner Studios
Director: Donald Petrie
Sandra Bullock
Michael Caine

DVD title: Pirates of the Caribbean - The Curse of the Black Pearl (2-Disc Collector's Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Pirates of the Caribbean - The Curse of the Black Pearl (2-Disc Collector's Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Very good movie

This is a very good movie. Let's get one thing straight, if you see this movie and do not like Johnny Depp's character, you most likely will really hate this movie. I give it 5 stars because I personally like all elements of this movie. It does have somewhat weak acting, and a pretty solid plot. But Captain Jack Sparrow is enough for me to give it 5 stars alone. If you don't like pirates don't see this movie. If you don't like half drunk people, don't see this movie. If you're looking for the best movie with the best plot, don't see this movie, because you will be disappointed and stupidly write a bad review about a great movie. It's a movie for good times, not to be taken seriously. Disney has produced another good title. It's not aimed to please only adults, so if you're looking to rip on the childish elements of the movie, you'll find them. So don't see it and shut up.
And to whoever is mad about this only being in wide screen edition, screw you. You don't have to have a damn wide screen t.v. to enjoy widescreen movies. I don't have a widescreen t.v. and I'm enjoying the picture just fine, not some hacked off, fill up the screen crap.

Studio: Walt Disney Home Video
Director: Gore Verbinski
Johnny Depp
Geoffrey Rush
Orlando Bloom
Keira Knightley
Jonathan Pryce

DVD title: Great White: My...My...My...
Productgroup: DVD
Great White: My...My...My... - movie DVD cover picture

My favorite band to explode out of the 80's. Great White is AWESOME and unfairly critized for being a Zeppelin knockoff. But one listen to Mista Bone and you these boys can rock. Great stuff.

Studio: Emi Distribution

DVD title: The Thin Man (Snap Case)
Productgroup: DVD
The Thin Man (Snap Case) - movie DVD cover picture
We're all like that on my father's side

Wow! I don't think I've enjoyed an old comedy so much since I saw the Lady Eve. At first I was fairly confused, I had absolutely no idea what the film was about going into watching it, no idea that it was a dectective/comedy. And since I wasn't familiar with the stars it took until the christmas eve party for me to figure out that it was the dectective and his wife that were the main characters, I also realized that this was a smash up comedy at this point (I'd laughed several times before however). There is so much that is great about this film that I can hardly think of cataloging them all, I don't think I've ever witnessed a more perfect balance of humor and suspense (well Raiders of the Lost Ark did outstanding with humor and action), everything from the reluctance of the detective to the eccentrically wonderful family, "has he met ALL the family yet? Yes father, and he still wants to marry me. Hmph, brave man," that you can't help but laugh at; to the very tense moments, such as when the tough comes at the dectective with a gun, or when he enters into the old man's lab near the end, brilliantly brilliantly done and kept me on the edge of my seat (mainly because I kept falling off from laughing so much). The humor is fast, sly and comes at a furious pace, so I can understand if some people wouldn't like it quite as much as I do (I laugh easily and long, and enjoy doing so), "I was only a GLEAM in my father's eye." This film is everything I had hoped to find in Soderbergh's Ocean's Eleven, but was sorely disapointed, the ensemble preformance, anchored by the star team (and Asta!), the balance of humor and suspense are unmatched by any recent film I can think of (and the dinner party scene is as incredible to this film as the actual heist would be in a film such as Oceans Eleven, but immensely more entertaining).

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: W.S. Van Dyke
William Powell
Myrna Loy

DVD title: Dersu Uzala
Productgroup: DVD
Dersu Uzala - movie DVD cover picture
Kurosawa's most obscure and least Kurosawa-like film

Dersu Uzala is the name of an indigenous hunter living in the cold and wilds of Siberia. The main character is a russian officer assigned to head an expedition of soldiers and cartographers to survey some of the Siberia's unexplored areas. The first night they settle down and build a campfire Dersu happens upon them and they offer him some food. In broken russian the main character talks with Dersu and hearing how well he knows the terrain he asks Dersu if he'd tag along with them and serve as their guide. Dersu accepts for the company and for a handful of bullets which he'll receive later (as ammunition was scarce in the wilderness). The rest of the story plays out like a modern day version of "Deer Slayer" with Dersu playing the knowledgable and noble savage and the main character playing the slightly naive but capable civilized gentleman. Kurosawa's hand can be seen in the long still sequences that show the vastness and beauty of nature. Siberia is used as a surrogate for the majestic untamed wilderness and forests of Fennimore Cooper, ironically showing civilization moving eastwards instead of westwards. The story moves very slowly with intermittant voice over sequences by the main character describing what happens as if he were a narrator from a book, a very un-Kurosawa-like quality. Kurosawa doesn't usually use main-character voiceovers. He usually shows the action or uses wordless plainly readable editted sequences. Dersu Uzala is his most conventional film; a must-see for the avid Kurosawa buff but maybe a movie you can pass on by if you're looking for something more in the vein of a classic Kurosawa work.

Studio: Image Entertainment
Director: Akira Kurosawa
Maksim Munzuk
Yuri Solomin

DVD title: Frances
Productgroup: DVD
Frances - movie DVD cover picture
"Lobotomy gets em' home!"

This biopic tells the story (although its accuracy has been debated) of 1930's star Frances Farmer and her harrowing career as a young Hollywood star. Jessica Lange gives the performance of a lifetime and was nominated that same year for Frances as well as Tootsie (she won for the latter). Stage actress Kim Stanley plays her mother Lillian Farmer and she too was nominated for her equally captivating performance. This film is quite sad and difficult to watch at times. Certain events and characters in the film have been heavily debated as to whether or not they ever existed. There are two out-of-print books as well, one titled "Will There Really Be A Morning?" is scathingly sensational and it was written almost entirely by Jean Ratcliffe (not Francis Farmer as credited). Ratcliffe was Farmer's friend towards the end of her life and she later confessed she had exagerrated much of it to sell books, the book is even dedicated to herself! The other book "Shadowland" does not hold up much better as it claims Frances had a lobotomy which has been reputed by many close to her. But as a film it is quite amazing, although the film's antagonists (with the exception of Kim Stanley) are played as mere caricatures. The incredible performances by Lange and Stanley are to be studied.

Studio: Republic Studios
Director: Graeme Clifford
Jessica Lange

DVD title: Heat
Productgroup: DVD
Heat - movie DVD cover picture
Great acting

This film is tight, sexy, blue, sharp, stylish, and timeless. On the cover it says "A Los Angeles Crime Saga." It is truly epic. Some have said that this is the greatest movie ever made. Seriously, they may not be far off the mark. It is that good. Never have I felt so inside of movie lives as I did here. You get ingested by Pacino, DeNiro, and Kilmer. Ashley Judd and Hank Azaria and Tom Sizemore are good, too. One of the characters who also stands out is Waynegro! Yeah. He rox. What a scumbag - he personifies a small-time ex-con dirtbag who is looking to score big. Waynegro! And DeNiro taps...proper towards the end. He is great. I think you will agree.

Studio: Warner Studios
Director: Michael Mann
Al Pacino
Robert De Niro
Val Kilmer
Jon Voight

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