Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Dogma
Productgroup: DVD
Dogma - movie DVD cover picture
Kevin Smith's Best!

The latest battle in the eternal war between Good and Evil has come to New Jersey in the late, late 20th Century. In what can only be deemed a comedy parable, two renegade fallen angels attempt to jerry-rig the entire cosmological system -- unless a rag-tag group of humans can stop faith. Bethany, the heroine of DOGMA, is a woman who feels her prayers haven't been answered when, out of nowhere, a heralding angel appears in her bedroom and declares her the potential savior of humanity. This abrupt meeting sets her off on an extraordinary journey of mystery, comedy and suspense as she is transported to a fantastical world of celestial characters and spirited adventure. Along the way she will meet up with a heaven-sent messenger, an apostle with a 2,000 year old beef, a hotheaded demon, a heavenly Muse and two unlikely Prophets known as Jay and Silent Bob as they each discover the power of their own individual faith.

Studio: Columbia Tri-Star
Director: Kevin Smith
Matt Damon
Ben Affleck
Linda Fiorentino

DVD title: Hell of the Living Dead
Productgroup: DVD
Hell of the Living Dead - movie DVD cover picture
euro zombie flick at it's best worst

this movie can be fun, it's all in how you watch it. if anyone has ever seen mystery science theater 3000, then you'll know exactly what i mean. kick back and take it for what it is worth; a bad no brainer. (repeat to yourself "it's just a show i should really just relax") the ultra macho dialogue from not only the swat team, but the scientist is priceless. somehow two of the world's top scientists (who both have about three days of stubble) discussing the assets of their female coworkers, almost seems like realism in this mucho macho italio/spanish zombie flick. the fact that the swat team never quite gets the idea that zombies don't die unless you shoot them in the head is a continious laugh. we (my friends and i) even made a drinking game out of the flims use national geographic cuts (the use of stock footage is so bad that only a true ed wood fan could appriciate it). anytime it comes up you yell "stock footage!" if you miss it (which you'd have to be pretty drunk to start with to miss it), you drink. now here is the priceless bit. when the well known reporter has to walk to the native camp alone, and proceeds to take her shirt off, say, "excuse me boys, while i get my walkin breasts out." makes the whole movie worthwhile. If that isn't good enough, now the dvd issue has an interview of ole' bruno himself..who claims that his use of stock footage is seamless!?! i think i broke something laughing at that one...i think i will have to get all this man's films, i love his work...but then again all my taste is in my mouth...just where i like it. until the next zombie flick review, this is captain evil signing off.

Studio: Anchor Bay Entertain
Director: Bruno Mattei

DVD title: Three Nights on the Town
Productgroup: DVD
Three Nights on the Town - movie DVD cover picture
Great Performance, Great Sound

I can't say enough about this dvd -- Bruce is at the top of his game, his band is one of the best in the business, the songs are wonderful, the sound exceptional -- don't think twice, just buy it.

Studio: Sony Music Entertain
Bruce Hornsby

DVD title: Bulworth
Productgroup: DVD
Bulworth - movie DVD cover picture

Now I know there are a lot of you out there who found this movie silly. Who found it full of "stock characters," but unfortunately if you write it off at that then you have missed the entire point. This isn't about a senator or the corruption of government. It isn't about insurance companies cleaning up. It is about the American people. It is about apathy and not caring. It is about the truth. If you want to be blind then you will be, but if you want to see and try to see then you will have to face the truth and this film is full of truths. Check it out and ignore "film" critics.

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
Director: Warren Beatty
Warren Beatty
Halle Berry

DVD title: The Harvey Girls
Productgroup: DVD
The Harvey Girls - movie DVD cover picture
One of Judy Garland and MGM's best musicals ever!

I originally saw this lush technicolor musical on a Sunday afternoon (when I was in high school) wedged between commercials for detergents, paper towels, and various other household products. Despite the film being interrupted with these ads and being shown on a small tv screen, I was captivated by Judy Garland's beauty, sincerity, power to communicate as an artist, and her incomparable talent to act, sing, dance, and to charm. This film does not have the same status as Meet Me in St. Louis or The Pirate or A Star is Born, but it is one of her best performances presented with a calmness and freshness that puts you, the viewer, at ease. Her character Susan Bradley is one of her best portrayals. She is funny, courageous, witty, determined, and strong. Like Esther Smith in Meet Me in St. Louis or Dorothy Gale in The Wizard of Oz or Lily Mars in Presenting Lily Mars, Susan Bradley is a winner, the kind of woman you respect and admire, especially considering the time period the film was set in.
This dvd release is a true gift to those of us who are not only Judy Garland fans, but to anyone who has ever enjoyed the film musical. I won't rehash all the details found in other reviews of Amazon customers about the dvd, but I will add that the color transfer is simply awesome. It DOES look like the film was shot recently, not way back in 1945. The deleted musical numbers and the recording sessions for the songs is an extreme necessity for any Garland fan. I am really sorry they cut "My Intuition" since it's the only time Garland and John Hodiak sang together in the film, but I can understand why they cut "March of the Doagies." Don't get me wrong: I like it, but it almost looks a chase for Frankenstein's monster with Judy ending up on a stake being burned alive!
Now here's some trivia no one in their review has mentioned. Originally the film was going to be made as a drama for Lana Turner, but MGM, due to Rodgers and Hammerstein's success with "Oklahoma!", decided to turn it into a musical for their leading musical star. Originally, the story of the Harvey girls was based on book called The Harvey Girls by Samuel Hopkins Adams published in 1942. Another piece of trivia was that the lovely Cyd Charisse was dubbed in this film, but one would never notice since the dubber really captured her vocal quality and essence.
Without hesitation, this dvd release is an awesome addition to any collection. You won't be disappointed! Now we can await the arrival of other Judy Garland classic musicals for future releases. Who knows what other "undiscovered goodies" await us from the vaults of MGM?

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: George Sidney (II)
Judy Garland
Ray Bolger

DVD title: Charlie's Angels - The Complete First Season
Productgroup: DVD
Charlie's Angels - The Complete First Season - movie DVD cover picture
Ditto--The greatest-Can't wait for seasons 2-3-4

A Lot of good tv serial's may have happened but has thereever been anything like Charlie's Angels since TV began....I don's think so.

Studio: Columbia Tristar Hom
Farrah Fawcett
Jaclyn Smith
Kate Jackson

DVD title: Brother to Brother
Productgroup: DVD
Brother to Brother - movie DVD cover picture
Beauty of Harlem and its Renaissance

Names we all recognize: Langston Hughes, Zora Lean Hurston, Wally Thurman. But what is their connection, to life in the 1920's, to life in Harlem, and their role in the pre-Civil Rights Movement? And what is their role to us today? Rodney Evans' inspiring independent picture, "Brother to Brother" atttempts to answer that question.

Anthony Mackie plays Perry, a young, gay, black artist struggling to find his place in this world and his own community. Supported unconditionally by his best friend Marcus and another friend Jim, Perry spends the early part of the film wandering around, seemingly going through the motions, but unsure of the meaning behind it all. Then he meets Bruce Nugent, an aging artist and writer, who attempts to guide Perry through this tricky path of self-discovery. In doing so, Bruce illuminates his life back in the 1920's, in Harlem, during the grand renaissance when blacks, unprecendentally, began to blossom in all areas.

The film is the most effective in these moments of flashback, an oft-overused convention that works very well in this film. As Bruce tells his stories, we see parts of Harlem, and the people who worked to buck conventions in trying to produce art that accurately reflected their authentic experience. The actors playing the main people of Bruce's social set are incredible, from Daniel Sunjata who plays Langston Hughes to Aunjanue Ellis who captures the zeal and life of Zora Neal Hurston. It is baudy, risky, and works to great effect. As we see Perry affected by these stories, we, as an audience, are also equally affected. This definitely has all of the hallmarks of an independent film, adding a rawness of realism to the story.

Rodney Evans first work is a promising, affecting tale, one that reaches beyond race lines, and will land deftly into your heart. Soon after watching "Brother to Brother" I found myself on Amazon, looking at the works of these people and ordering them for myself. You will too, as well as wanting to add this treasure of a movie into your collection.

Studio: Wolfe Video
Director: Rodney Evans

DVD title: The Pink Panther
Productgroup: DVD
The Pink Panther - movie DVD cover picture
deliciously funny

"Pink Panther" is as good as the next "A Shot in the Dark". Both are examples of how to make excellent comedies, with a sound story, a creatively hilarious and smart screenplay, a good set of characters, and a unique style of filming that elevates "slapstick comedy" to the highest level of sophistication. There are so many quotable lines that are well worth to write them down as you watch the movie. The interchange between the Princess and David Niven from their first meeting has not only humor but also wit and "serious" commentaries that can be easily overlooked if one is not paying a special attention to these scenes. The soundtrack song "Meglio Stasera(It had better be tonight)" is delicious and perfectly defines the mood of the film. Fran Jeffries, who sings it to a crowd gathered in a fireplace, is as delightful as the scene itself. Claudia Cardinale and Capucine are gorgeous and show style and charm in their roles. Please note the title sequences because they are as funny as the movie itself. The 60's represents , in my opinion, the highest point in fashion and general pop culture which truly reflects the highest level of sophistication and taste in a world that was gradually losing its innocence and cynicism was taking hold; in this context, this movie is one of the movies that best represent the 60's. I agree with the other reviewer that this movie should figure in the 100 best movies of any list. This DVD is great with a good quality of picture; check the trailer because it has a hysterically comical and very original mix with animation, which is not the case of modern movie trailers. I only wish there were a special DVD edition with Director Blake Edwards' commentary, and of others responsible of this movie, on a separate audio track.

Studio: Mgm/Ua Studios
Director: Blake Edwards
David Niven
Peter Sellers

DVD title: The Getaway
Productgroup: DVD
The Getaway - movie DVD cover picture
"The Getaway" with Steve McQueen

No glitzy special effects or mushy love scenes here...just a hard-core action film about an ex-con named "Doc" McCoy (McQueen) and his wife (MacGraw) trying to keep their relationship intact amid an unfair criminal justice system, a bank heist, double crosses, car chases and some serious shoot-outs as they make a dash for the Mexican border with a bag full of stolen cash. The final gun battle at the motel is classic, as is the touching scene when the couple share part of their loot with a crusty old cowboy (played by Slim Pickens) whose pick-up truck they have commandeered near the border. Anyone who finds fault with "The Getaway" deserves a gut dose of McCoy's 12-gauge. The 1994 remake was just that...a remake. This original rules!

Studio: Warner Studios
Director: Sam Peckinpah
Steve McQueen
Ali MacGraw

DVD title: Girl, Interrupted
Productgroup: DVD
Girl, Interrupted - movie DVD cover picture
A true accomplishment

A fantastic movie based on an incredible book. The actor's performances are nearly flawless. Winona Ryder has not shown so much depth in her work since the early nineties. Never has her "doe like" appearance worked so well for her. The range of emotions that she conveys without uttering a single sound is heartstopping. Maybe she can finally move on from the embarrassment that was Alien Resurrection. It is a shame that her performance has been overshadowed by the dynamic presence of Angelina Jolie. Once again, Jolie proves why she has been called one of the finest young actresses of her generation. She truly paints an amazing portrait of a charming sociopath. In Girl Interrupted, both Ryder and Jolie play to their strengths as actresses and the end result is pure dynamite. The movies supporting actors also deserve to be singled out. Whoopie Goldberg has never lived up to the potential that she showed in The Color Purple (Corrina, Corrina anyone?) But with this role she may be able to find her way back from such fiascos as Tyrannosaurus Rex. The cast of young actresses assembled in this movie is unbelievable. It is a sure bet that Denise Richards was never sent a copy of this script. Clea DuVall, Elizabeth Moss, and Brittany Murphy each turn in heartbreaking performances. You can feel each characters sadness and desperation radiate off of the screen. While the movie does not end on the usual upbeat Hollywood note, it doesn't end on a bleak, depressing, British cinema note either. You are left with a sense of hope among the emotional rubble. The movie is not the greatest ever put to film, but it is one that all those involved should be extremely proud of. This movie is a definite don't miss.

Studio: Columbia Tri-Star
Director: James Mangold
Winona Ryder
Angelina Jolie

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