Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Real Men
Productgroup: DVD
Real Men - movie DVD cover picture
John Ritter RULES!

This is one of those movies that geeky film critics hated and the rest of us loved! Not much of a surprise though since the funniest movies are rarely appreciated. There are so many laughs in this film that there's no way you can watch it just once. Those who say the plot is weak miss the whole point. The plot is simply this: All life on Earth will end unless these two dorks deliver a glass of water to some Aliens. How much more plot do you need? John Ritter is one of the greatest comedic actors of all time and Belushi is in top form as well. A perfect cast all around. What's really fun about this movie is how the characters change. John Ritter starts off a whimp and turns into a tough guy just as Belushi changes from tough guy into a whimp! Check out the scene with John Ritter in the park when he attacks the clown. Classic! Or how about Belushi introducing Ritter to his dad (the dad that just got a sex change!) after Ritter makes out with him on the couch. A complete scream and completely original. Wasn't this soundtrack later used in My Cousin Vinny?

Studio: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Director: Dennis Feldman
James Belushi
John Ritter

DVD title: Demon Seed
Productgroup: DVD
Demon Seed - movie DVD cover picture
This made up for what 2001 wasn't

I personally didn't find 2001 either a very good story or very scary. Now this movie was scary - talk about malevolence! Believable malevolence (not that you can't find believable malevolence in the real world, but it is nice to have it on demand).

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Donald Cammell
Julie Christie
Fritz Weaver

DVD title: Dragon Ball Z - The Movie - The World's Strongest
Productgroup: DVD
Dragon Ball Z - The Movie - The World's Strongest - movie DVD cover picture

I have been a Dragon Ball Z fan for a little over 3 years now. I have seen all 3 DBZ English Dubbed movies. By far, this is the one you will want to see most! Dr. Wheelo wants the World's strongest fighter's body so he can put his evil brain in to take over the world. He kidnaps Bulma and Master Roshi (my favorite character) and forces them to tell him who is the strongest. When Goku arrives, he is put to the ultimate test of survival. And to make matters worse, Dr. Wheelo has taken control of Piccolo! Find out if our heros save the day or loose their minds!

Studio: Pioneer Video
Director: Daisuke Nishio

DVD title: Fahrenheit 9/11
Productgroup: DVD
Fahrenheit 9/11 - movie DVD cover picture
only for the open minded..

michael moore has done something so many other people wouldn't have done. question the government. i had to travel 40 miles to go see this film. well worth the gas money, moore did take pot shots bush. (which isn't too hard to do) but what got to me was near the end. with the woman who lost her son in iraq. it wasn't funny anymore. i kept thinking about those poor kids who were lied to, and are now fighting for the bush families oil interest. everyone should go and see this movie. right or left wing, doesn't matter. it gets people talking. well done mr. moore. SEE THIS MOVIE!!!

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

DVD title: Star Trek - The Motion Pictures Collection
Productgroup: DVD
Star Trek - The Motion Pictures Collection - movie DVD cover picture
Get these great movies while you can

Its true that special editions of the Trek movies will be coming out over the next couple of years, but if you just want to add the wonderful Trek flicks to your collection and aren't concerned with the extra features of pricier special editions, this is the set to buy. This will only be available at this relatively inexpensive price before the 2 disc each special editions come out. As a movie fan, I've always been impressed with the quality of the Trek flicks.

Studio: Paramount Home Video
William Shatner

DVD title: Magnolia (New Line Platinum Series)
Productgroup: DVD
Magnolia (New Line Platinum Series) - movie DVD cover picture
One of the best dramas, ever.

A good friend of mine reccomended this movie to me, telling me it was good. He didn't mention it would change my entire scope on life. Granted, this movie is not for everybody. Being nearly 3 1/2 hours long, it takes some patience and an open mind to really grasp the scope of the film. However, if you are on the same wavelength as the director, your jaw will be on the floor. The same goes for "Unbreakable", which I thought was a genius film.
Basically, this film is like a magnolia. It has many petals, which seem to almost exist independently, but all revolve around the base. All of the stories and characters in this film are different from each other in many ways, but the film accentuates the fact that we all have flaws, and we all have made poor decisions in our lives. It also focuses on the human tendency to hold on to these decisions, which result in regret and bitterness. All of the charcters are very believable in the sense that their personality traits are very common, however beautiful or ugly they may be. I agree with another reviewer, Narniak, who talks about people getting bored of the characters. The only reason people get bored is because they don't identify with the charcters' personalities. Take Tom Cruise's character, for example. He is basically a sex televangelist who believes in complete social and sexual domination over women, and will stop at nothing to make his followers to feel the same. I personally HATE his idea, but it is the fact that he is a human being, and that nobody is perfect, that makes it believable. The acting in this film is unbelievable. Tom Cruise, Julianne Moore, Jason Robards, John C. Reilly, and William H. Macy represent some of the best casting in film history. The best scene in the movie, by far, is the "universal singing" scene. My jaw fell through the floor just feeling the raw emotion displayed throughout that song. That's one of the few scenes in a movie that has ever made my eyes fill with tears. It wasn't sad, but it was just so powerful. Then, of course, there's the "raining frogs" scene. I'm not going to spoil it for you.
So, in closing, if you like films that make you think, or in this case, proud to be alive and breathing, then Magnolia may be right up your alley. This film is a true piece of art. This film is a true masterpiece. This film is Magnolia. I hope the director, P.T. Anderson reads this some way or another. I hope he knows that he has made one of the greatest films of all time.

Studio: New Line Home Entertainment
Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
Tom Cruise
Julianne Moore
William H. Macy
Philip Seymour Hoffman
Philip Baker Hall
Jeremy Blackman

DVD title: Session 9
Productgroup: DVD
Session 9 - movie DVD cover picture
A Creepy and Atmospheric Thriller

Danvers Mental Hospital, built in the mid-1870s, now sits empty on a hill in Massachusetts, closed since 1985. The Hazmat Evacuation Company underbids other crews to clean up the asbestos that can be found all over the asylum. The team members: Mike (played by Stephen Gevedon, one of the film's writers) finds a series of taped sessions in the basement. Henry (Josh Lucas) discovers hidden treasure in the tunnels beneath the asylum. Jeff (Brendon Sexton III) struggles with his fear of the dark. Phil (David Caruso) tries to keep the crew working as a team. The team leader, Gordon (Peter Mullan), longs to return to his wife and child.
As the team begins to work, the eerie building begins to work on them.
This is a surprising thriller. It doesn't rely on special effects to creep out the viewers. It's all done with lighting, with story, and the use of a video camera instead of a big, bulky movie camera. You feel that you're right there with the team, working in that immense building. (A good example is when Henry is walking back alone from the tunnels, up a staircase that is divided by a gate for staff on one side and patients on the other. The camera work and editing make this a genuinely creepy scene.) When the team is told some of the sordid history of the asylum, that lends to the fear that both the actors and the viewers sense.
All the actors give fine performances. That, coupled with a great script and great directing, make for one of the scarier thrillers to be made in a long time.
The DVD picture and sound quality are fantastic. Plus, the extras are definitely worth watching: a featurette on the Danvers Mental Hospital (a real place in Massachusetts), audio commentary, deleted scenes, story-to-screen with commentary. This is a creepy and atmospheric thriller that deserved much better at the box office.

Studio: Universal Studios Ho
Director: Brad Anderson (II)
David Caruso

DVD title: Gremlins 2 - The New Batch
Productgroup: DVD
Gremlins 2 - The New Batch - movie DVD cover picture
Best Reviewed Film of Its Year -- Loving Homage to Movies

Superb satire, send-up, and homage, "Gremlins 2" is light years better than the original. Director Joe Dante creates a loving satire of horror movies with Christopher Lee spoofing mad scientists, Phoebe Cates spoofing the first "Gremlins" film, and Tony Randall as the Genius Gremlin spoofing everything from Susan Sontag to Broadway. Watch on a very large screen television so you can see all the details (the homage to It's a Wonderful Life on the monitors in John Glover's office; it's in color and then in black and white), the Gremlin tee shirts with Gizmo on them with a red circle and line through him; the label on the Canadian beer at the new "trendy" Canadian restaurant etc. The film satirizes Ted Turner and Donald Trump in the character played by John Glover as well as trends in movie making (listen for the announcement about the showing of Casablanca with the new, happy ending). And watch for one of the most brilliantly directed scenes in any movie: Just after Gizmo gets wet and bears some offspring, pay attention when janitor John Astin is on the phone describing how the younger workers are forcing out the older ones -- while the new Gremlins are doing just that to Gizmo. It's as if he's reporting what is happening to Gizom.
All in all, Dante out did himself with this film. It's a shame that Warner Bros. did not know how to promote it. Interestingly, "Premiere" magazine's chart of movie reviews for the year in which Gremlins 2 was released showed that it was the best reviewed film of the year, averaging 3 1/2 stars from the nation's film critics. It's a loving homage to films in general -- don't miss it, especially if you love a big Broadway number.
Coda: I met director Joe Dante in 2000 when the Chicago International Film Festival honored him ... with a showing of Gremlins 2. Turns out that he did the film only because Warner Bros. insisted -- it was the only way he could get to direct other films for them. So he set out to make Gremlins 2 the "sequel to end all sequels" in Dante's words. He may have succeeded.

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Joe Dante
Zach Galligan
Phoebe Cates

DVD title: The Lost Battalion
Productgroup: DVD
The Lost Battalion - movie DVD cover picture
American Courage

An intense view of WWI, this time focusing not on the trenches, but in the forest, this was a brutally realistic depiction. From the opening scene, the horrors of war are graphically depicted, first in the trenches, then in the forest as the battalion advances.Based on a true story, the movie although gruesome, leaves the viewer with the feeling of patriotism, in a war where some European forces actually refused to fight. The courage these American men found is beyond our comprehension.

Studio: A & E Entertainment
Director: Russell Mulcahy

DVD title: Robotech - The Macross Saga - Complete Collection
Productgroup: DVD
Robotech - The Macross Saga - Complete Collection - movie DVD cover picture
A story unlike any other

I think one thing most of these reviewers neglected to mention is that this is an extremely well-written narrative. It's kind of "Stanley Kubrik meets Voltron".
This is a lot more than your usual anime "Evil demon must be slain" and it's certainly not cartoon demon porn. This is a bona-fide epic. One that most Westerners will find much more satisfying and palatable than the artsy high-stylization of something like Vampire Hunter D.
In addition to some KILLER battle scenes that have never been matched in any cartoon since (you literally cannot comprehend the number of projectiles and combatants that are moving in some of these sequences), this show dealt with the issues of war, comraderie, death, rebirth, love, humanity and sacrifice in a complex and textured way. How many cartoons have you seen where they show the entire earth getting wiped out from ground level? Picture this: a little girl innocently talking to a smiling policeman a split second before they (and the entire population of the earth)are vaporized by a Zentradi weapon of mass destruction RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOUR EYES. Can you say, "Nipponese grappling with culture defined by two atomic blasts"? I can't think of a cinematic treatment of nuclear war more horrifying than that.
If you were a fan of Starblazers or G-Force when you were a kid, then this is the masterpiece of that genre you've been waiting for.

Studio: A.D. Vision

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