Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Thief
Productgroup: DVD
Thief - movie DVD cover picture
James Caan At His BEST!

In his finest role to date, veteran actor James Caan plays Frank, an ultra-cool, independent jewel thief with some very definite plans. Frank reluctantly gets involved with a mobster who changes all those plans. Frank is "Joe the boss of my own Universe" as he tells Leo (Robert Prosky)upon their first meeting. Unfortunately for Frank, he'll soon find that Leo has become the boss of his universe once he agrees to "freelance" for him. To get free, Frank has to dismantle the picture perfect life he tried to assemble, and start over again. ................ This film has a wonderful noir mood with all the atmospheric rain soaked Chicago streets, earthy dialogue and colorful characters. These come in the form of crooked DTs and mobster henchmen to name a few, peppering the screen with non-stop action. These characters feel very real, and keep you riveted throughout. ............ Director Michael Mann, who also created "Heat" and "Man Hunter" as well as the "Miami Vice" TV classic of the 80s, did some of his best work in this film. The soundtrack from "Tangerine Dream" is no less than outstanding. The entire score really enhances every scene. I especially love the wonderfully sensual sounding lead guitars during the exciting culmination of the story when Frank faces Leo solo to take back his independence. .......... Willie Nelson as David Okla, master thief that taught Frank his craft, and Dennis Farina in his big screen debut (with BLACK hair!) as one of Leos henchmen are two of many interesting faces and characters along the way. .............. Since this is one of my favorite films, I can truly say, if you have never seen "Thief"... you've been robbed of a truly great film viewing experience.

Studio: Mgm/Ua Studios
Director: Michael Mann
James Caan
Tuesday Weld

DVD title: You've Got Mail
Productgroup: DVD
You've Got Mail - movie DVD cover picture
Youv'e Got Mail is a delightful heartfelt comedy/romance.

I think this movie is suitable for all ages. The first time I saw this movie, I knew it would be my favorite. I'm not saying it is better than Titanic, but it is as good I think!! Anyone who hasn't seen this movie should. If you liked SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE, then you will love this movie! I give it two thumbs up, way up!!

Studio: Warner Studios
Director: Nora Ephron
Tom Hanks
Meg Ryan

DVD title: Titanic
Productgroup: DVD
Titanic - movie DVD cover picture
Tells the story of the Titanic, Californian, and Carpathia

It seems that not much attention has been paid to this film, perhaps because of its made-for-TV status. It is accurate and follows what is known about the tragedy. Unlike James Cameron's Titanic, for example, where the Californian is not mentioned and minimal reference is made to the rescue effort of the Carpathia, those aspects of the story are played-out here. This movie tells the story as it is historically known with regard to the non-response of the Californian's Captain, Stanley Lord. Also well told is the superb response of the Carpathia's Captain, Arthur Rostron, in making every effort to reach the stricken Titanic before she sank.( An effort which won the real-life Captain Rostron a Congressional Medal of Honor.) The subplots are good, though many are of course fictitious and some a bit melodramatic, with a focus on many people on board, not just two. Acting is first rate. George C. Scott is excellent as Captain Smith. This is not a high-budget special effects feast, but there is plenty to see. If you would like a modernized "A Night to Remember" this movie will suit. Highly watchable and recommended.

Studio: Pioneer Video
Director: Robert Lieberman

DVD title: The Matrix Reloaded (Full Screen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
The Matrix Reloaded (Full Screen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Just as good as the first if not better!

Maybe everyone has their opinion but I was very impressed with Matrix Reloaded. I love this cast and the creators really get you thinking! This is a really fun must see! Can't wait to see the next one!!!!

Studio: Warner Home Video

DVD title: Alice in Wonderland (Disney Gold Classic Collection)
Productgroup: DVD
Alice in Wonderland (Disney Gold Classic Collection) - movie DVD cover picture
a true Disney classic

This is one of Disney's most beloved animated treasures; and it doesn't take a Mad Hatter to see why.
Kathryn Beaumont voices Alice. (She also voiced Wendy in Disney's PETER PAN). She gives an intelligent reading of the part, and sings wonderfully, giving songs like "In A World Of My Own", and "Very Good Advice" an extra dimension.
The animation is superb, like a kaleidoscope, it fairly brims with whismsy and fun. Others in the cast include Heather Angel and Verna Felton.

Studio: Walt Disney Home Video
Kathryn Beaumont
Ed Wynn

DVD title: Sorcerer
Productgroup: DVD
Sorcerer - movie DVD cover picture
Overlooked classic with great performance by Roy Scheider

A remake of the Wages of Fear, this film bombed at the box office, but is a great movie. Roy Scheider is perfect as an American gangster on the run from the mob, who finds himself in a hell on earth with other criminals from around the world. The international cast and foreign locations help make this a compelling film. Director Friedkin reportedly wanted Steve McQueen for the lead, but Scheider delivers. Remember, if you have to get out of the country, get a train down to Baltimore and at Customs, ask for Nat Glick.

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: William Friedkin
Roy Scheider
Bruno Cremer

DVD title: Samurai X - Trust (Rurouni Kenshin)
Productgroup: DVD
Samurai X - Trust (Rurouni Kenshin) - movie DVD cover picture
a more mature version

In 1854, Shinta, a young boy sold into slavery is the sole survivor of an attack that kills an entire caravan. He is only saved because Hika, one of Japan's legendary swordsmen comes upon the slaughter. Hika is so impressed with Shinta's courage that he renames him as Kenshin, and takes him as a pupil. Ten years later, Kenshin Himura parts with his master to become an assassin in the service of the Chosho clan - helping the plot to bring down the Tokugawa Shogunate and restore the Emperor.
These are spectacularly violent times, marked by riots and killings on both sides. There is plenty of work for an assassin, even one who is barely out of his childhood. Kenshin becomes a deadly killer, soon considered one of the most dangerous in Japan. In one of his early missions, he receives the first half of the X-shaped scar that marked his face. And so sets up a chain of destiny that provides much of the charm and depth in an otherwise grim tale of politics and revenge.
The two episodes in this DVD, along with the two in 'Betrayal' are a prequel to the long running TV series that has captured imaginations in both Japan and the US. Here we learn of Kenshin's beginnings and accompany him through events in 1864 leading up to the end of the Shogunate. In parallel to the historical drama being played out is Kenshin's relationship with Tomoe Yukishiro, the woman whose betrothed lover was killed by Kenshin. Tomoe keeps Kenshin from losing all his humanity and saves him from wasting his life in a senseless gesture.
This is a beautifully created series. Free of the 'limitations' of the TV series, director Kazuhiro Furuhashi chose to create a darker story line with much more delicate film values. Artwork and music enmesh the viewer without ever overwhelming the story with technical excess. Scenes of beauty interspersed with the sudden violence of the assassin's work.
Because of the prequel nature of these episodes, 'Trust' and 'Betrayal' are a perfect starting point for those interested in the series as a whole. And, even if you go no further, you will never regret the time spent.

Studio: A.D. Vision
Samurai X

DVD title: Decampitated
Productgroup: DVD
Decampitated - movie DVD cover picture
One of Troma's best!

I first saw the trailer for this movie when I bought Cannibal the Musical. That was about 3 years ago and I've wanted to see it since then. I just watched this movie and I have to say it was grrrrrrrrrrrrrreat! If you are a fan of Troma then this movie is for you. It has your usual dark morbid sence of humor. Beating people with severed arms and using a guys head as a dummy. I highly recommend giving this movie a watch.

Studio: Koch Vision Entertai
Director: Matt Cunningham

DVD title: Don't Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in The Hood
Productgroup: DVD
Don't Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in The Hood - movie DVD cover picture
Funny as hell

I'm not a big comedy fan but I love this movie. It's very funny in a crude way. It's very offensive, which is half the reason it's so funny.

Studio: Miramax Home Entertainment
Director: Paris Barclay
Shawn Wayans
Marlon Wayans
Keenen Ivory Wayans

DVD title: Fahrenheit 9/11
Productgroup: DVD
Fahrenheit 9/11 - movie DVD cover picture
Amazing and Entertaining Documentary

I'm a well-educated (2 advanced degrees) and well-infomed former Marine Corps officer and I thought I'd seen and read everything there was to know about the war in Iraq, 9/11 and terrorism. I was wrong. This documentary opened my eyes to many facts that left me and my wife absolutely dumfounded. It was also very funny in places and generally very entertaining. I don't agree with all of Moore's conclusions, but the main thrust of his film, the deceits and treachery of the Bush Administration, are incontrovertible and have never been disproved by the Wing Nuts who claim he's a liar. You owe it to yourself and your country to see this amazing film.

Studio: Columbia Tristar Hom
Director: Michael Moore (II)
Michael Moore (II)

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