Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Annie
Productgroup: DVD
Annie - movie DVD cover picture
Kids will love it (and so will you)!!

I thought that this Disney version was masterfully handled. Ofv course, Diney has taken ssome of the political and sexual pieces out, but what did you expect? Some reviewers have been pretty harsh about the movie, but my five year old first watched this movie when she was 3 and loved it. She would watch it over and over again until I had to make it disappear for awhile. Well, she found it recently, and is back to watching it two and three times a day (if I let her). I enjoyed it thoroughly. THe music is well done, and the little girl who played Annie has a much BETTER voice than the original movie (not broadway) version. There are new songs, and it is a very kid-friendly movie. What can I say? I love movie, but I am sure that it will have to be "lost" for a year or so in a few months!! I highly recommend

Studio: Walt Disney Home Video
Director: Rob Marshall

DVD title: Buffalo Bill and the Indians, or Sitting Bull's History Lesson
Productgroup: DVD
Buffalo Bill and the Indians, or Sitting Bull's History Lesson - movie DVD cover picture
Best movie about Indians I've ever seen

Robert Altman's "Buffalo Bill and the Indians (or Sitting Bull's History Lession)" has largely been forgotten while his other films from this period have been rediscovered as classics. While maybe its time for this one too.
The "Why" of why this film such a critical bomb is not hard to decipher, Altman is continuing his critique of the West that started with "McCabe and Mrs. Miller". Yet this film is even more scathing. Bufflo Bill is an illiterate buffoon and President Cleveland works as a reminder that there were politicians back then. What I think really worked against Altman here, wasn't his treatment of this historical period but the changing of his own. In 1976, audiences were getting tired of these self-conscious films that were popular just five years eariler. "Buffalo Bill" stuck between "Jaws" (in '75) and then "Star Wars" (in '77) was a hard sell as the country was getting more conservative.
Beside this, "Buffalo Bill" like a lot Altman films is a great film. He continues his pioneering use of overlapping dialogue and widescreen cinematography. And oh, did I mention it was funny, a second viewing really helps catch all of Altman's wry wit. Newman fooling around with ballet dancers is hilarious. And you can't tell me that the extra "Or Sitting Bull's History Lession" isn't a homage to Kubrick.

Studio: MGM/UA Video
Director: Robert Altman
Paul Newman
Joel Grey

DVD title: Buried in the Sand - The Deception of America
Productgroup: DVD
Buried in the Sand - The Deception of America - movie DVD cover picture
Buried in the Sand is not Gratuitously Violent

Every teenager and adult should see this graphically violent documentary. And yes, I am most certainly including anyone over the age of thirteen. High school kids also must prepare to assume the responsibilities of adulthood. The war on terror, regrettably, is not going to disappear anytime in the near future. Islamic nihilism represents the values of perhaps as many as one hundred million inhabitants currently living on this planet, maybe ten percent of the total Muslim population. Host Mark Taylor takes us on a journey throughout the Arab world. Dictatorships are the norm, and so are horrible tortures and ruthless murders. You will see tongues cut out in Iraq, heads removed indelicately in Afghanistan, and the bloody parts of bodies lying on the ground after a suicide bombing in Israel. Not just once, but many times over. You will hear screams of unendurable pain. A normal person will be forced to exercise enormous self discipline while their eyes are focussed on the screen. You should have to fight the natural inclination to turn away. Only a sadist will find it enjoyable. I found myself unable to watch the whole ninety minutes from beginning to end. A few breaks along the way were mandatory. Nonetheless, I felt that I had a moral obligation to endure the unpleasantness of Buried in the Sand. Should you feel guilt tripped to do likewise? That is a decision only you can make for yourself. I can only urge you to seriously consider doing so.

I do, however, wish that the film makers had added another ten minutes explaining the odd couple terrorist partnership of the nihilistic Muslims along with their more secular socialists opposites. The enemy of my enemy is my friend, is a common theme in the Middle East. Both Saddam Hussein and Yasser Arafat are committed Marxists. The former Iraqi ruler worships Joseph Stalin. He lovingly studied the old Soviet leader intensely. The anti-Western views of Osama bin Ladin and his cohorts often did not originate with their radical Islamic teachers. The more affluent members usually attended universities in the West where the ideas of Noam Chomsky and Edward Said predominate. Arab self pity normally underpins today's terrorist activities. Our enemies perceive themselves as victims of an oppressive ruling class. One can hope that this oversight may be addressed in their next film. A brief interview with scholar Bernard Lewis, an expert on Muslim rage and bitterness, would also be a good idea. Buried in the Sand is not a five star documentary, but it still earns a solid four and a half. You need to purchase a copy. Give one to a friend, especially if they are liberals.

Studio: Westlake Entertainme

DVD title: Coal Miner's Daughter
Productgroup: DVD
Coal Miner's Daughter - movie DVD cover picture


Studio: Universal Studios
Director: Michael Apted
Sissy Spacek
Tommy Lee Jones

DVD title: American Graffiti (Collector's Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
American Graffiti (Collector's Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
More real than reality it's self

There are several overlaying plans and plots with many independent scenes from the era (1962). Is it wiser to go off to school or stay local? What are the consequences of your intent and then final action on friends and loved ones.
Yep everyone sees themselves in this movie. I have to admit I do also. That is see all the others as of courses I am above that sort of thing. This is one of the closest depictions of life with out me having to pull out the 8mm and filming. I spent some time in L.A. around the era and moved to Texas to find that distance changes something's but not that way of life. While in Vietnam I was even able to exchange the same urban legends with people from different part of the US.
I am more surprised that George Locus could capture this so well. I am also amazed at the crew they were able to assemble for this film. Most of them went off to do bigger and better parts and it is fun to watch this film in hind sight. Everyone look so young. I really never noticed Harrison Ford until Star Wars.
Getting away from memory lane, the film is so smooth that you forgot that you are watching a movie and the actors do not overwhelm the characters that they play.
Starting out you notice a song or two and think where was I. Then a few more songs and you soon are more rapped up in the music than the story. Having Wolfman Jack there added a touch of reality. I can not put my finger on it but there was something more than formula in this particular movie.
I am not that sensitive but the ending hits you hard as you realize it will never be the same. This is true of any group in any era. I can almost forget that.
By the way the original T-bird styling is back. All in all this is one film that will not collect dust.

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: George Lucas
Richard Dreyfuss
Ron Howard

DVD title: Snatch (Special Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Snatch (Special Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
My odds on pick for the best movie to come out this year....

This movie has been the movie all year that has impressed me the most. Guy Ritchie, in his sophomore directorial outing (the last being 1998's fantastic and critically acclaimed "Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels").
The movie is different than what you're advertised though, the movie takes place in England and everybody including the American actors (except 1 or 2) have heavy heavy accents, it'll be hard for you to break down some of the dialogue so the first time you watch this watch it with subtitles on, even though i watched this on VHS on a TV with no closed captioning. It'll help you get a little more about the movie.
The movie has several plots that cross paths including betting on illegal boxing matches, the war over a diamond and mob wars. It's really confusing but it's worth sitting through, it's better than 90% of the movies we get in America. I dont want to spoil the plots so i wont get into detail.
All in all this is a big step up for Guy Ritchie and it's even better than Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels. From the looks of this DVD (Which is a two DVD set with a whole disc of extras, yay), it looks like a must buy. Anyway, which ever route you go you need to give this movie at least one viewing for yourself. It's definitely worth at least the price of rental but i'd advise you to buy this DVD that's been put together for us.
I'm surprised that a film with such substance and great acting/directing/writing was a big hit in America, we usually like 100 million dollars of explosives and silly teen comedies meant to capitolize on the few with substance like American Pie.
Odds on best of 2001, i can't wait for Guy Ritchie's next film.

Studio: Columbia Tri-Star
Director: Guy Ritchie
Jason Statham
Brad Pitt

DVD title: The Avengers '63, Set 2
Productgroup: DVD
The Avengers '63, Set 2 - movie DVD cover picture
The Golden Fleece

Early episodes including 'The Golden Fleece' are here. `The Avengers" was a popular 1960's British fantasy-adventure series that focused on the exploits of a male-female duo in the service of the British government. The series underwent several changes of its female lead but its one constant male lead was John Steed always portrayed by the debonair Patrick Macnee (Originally the John Steed had two male partners but that format eventually changed). Kathy Gale portrayed by Honor Blackman became Steed's first female partner. However, when Honor Blackman departed the series and Diana Rigg entered as Mrs. Emma Peel, the show became an international sensation. Rigg brought sophistication, wit, charm and beauty, which hid her lethal and highly visual judo and karate abilities. Macnee and Rigg complemented each other beautifully with their carefree witty and charming exchange of dialogue. The show distinguished itself with bizarre and futuristic villains and fantastic plots. Popular at the height of the James Bond craze, the show was able to distinguish itself with its simply over-the-top visual style. Laurie Johnson's catchy and sophisticated main title theme matched the visuals of the show and still conjures up an image of the series when listened to today. When Diana Rigg left the series, Linda Thorson entered as John Steed's new partner Tara King. The series soon went off the air in the United States. It was a shame because the episodes with Tara King were quite good. The King episodes seemed to be a little more down to earth and contained some very good writing and intricate plotting. In any event series definitely left its mark amongst the finest. These DVD copies are gorgeous and they sound great in Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono.

Studio: A & E Entertainment
Honor Blackman
Honor Blackman

DVD title: Gladiator
Productgroup: DVD
Gladiator - movie DVD cover picture
crowe is for the birds

I saw this in the movies and loved it, but on DVD it captured my heart. As the music and movie ran tears brimmed my eyes. The acting is wonderful and the music blended perfectly. I don't care what anyone tells you. Always decide for yourself and do not let anyone decide for you. But believe me this is a splendid movie.
Also you get a second DVD with all the deleted scenes. A very nice video/music scene you will like plays "Now We Are Free." You will enjoy this history of the DVD and I believe there's even some secret tricks in this DVD but I don't know what. An enjoyable DVD that is worth your time and effort.
Worth your money.

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: Ridley Scott
Russell Crowe
Joaquin Phoenix
Connie Nielsen

DVD title: Storm of the Century
Productgroup: DVD
Storm of the Century - movie DVD cover picture
Not too long, not too short, but just right

"Storm of the Century" has been criticized for being long. Yes, it is over four hours in length, but that's what makes this film so good. It's not slow moving like some think, and the action scenes are some of the best I've seen for a made-for-TV movie.
So here's the plot: A small island just outside of Maine is preparing for the storm of the century when Andre Linoge appears in their town, murdering an old woman. Unable to contact state authorities, they must keep him contained on the island until the storm lets up. However, as time passes, they realize he is not human, but a demon with the ability to take control of minds.
I give this movie five stars because that's the most I can give. However, there were some minor problems, but they weren't severe enough to down-grade this film. First, some of the acting was predictable. I could mainly guess at what the next line was throughout the whole film, but despite that, it was still superbly written. And second, I found myself asking why they had to show Mr. Linoge's teeth so often. It had very little to do with the story.
This film was made in 1998 or 1999, so the special effects are fairly good. When the lighthouse finally falls over, it looks quite impressive. The storm also looks great, specific shots reminding me of the more recent "The Perfect Storm". I also read somewhere that the snow looked fake. I found that to be incorrect. In a film with so much snow, you got good looks at it, and it looked pretty real to me.
After seeing this movie again--I watched the first part on TV and missed the second--I realized that this is one great movie, worthy of being one of my favorites. I will soon purchase this movie, (I rented it to make sure I thought it was still as good), and will watch it frequently. The deciding vote to get this movie was the last two minutes of the movie. It really made me want to go back and watch it again...and I did.
"Give me what I want and I'll go away."
You give me this movie, and I'll go away and stop taking up your time so you can also take the 4 hours to watch this film. It's well worth it.

Studio: Vidmark/Trimark
Director: Craig R. Baxley

DVD title: Ice Age (2-Disc Special Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Ice Age (2-Disc Special Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Absolutely amazing entertainment.

This movie was a wonderful experience for the whole family. It had a great mixture of comedy and drama that kept me either laughing or glued to my seat to see what would happen. The laughs are non-stop, but they don't detract from the more serious side of the film when it comes into play.Overall, this movie teaches a lot about friendship and learning to accept people for who they are. It teaches about caring. About doing what's right. About love. You won't be disappointed.With a sleeper hit like this film, you never know exactly what they've got coming for the DVD. But even if there were no special features included, the movie itself is worth the purchase price.

Studio: Fox Home Entertainme
John Leguizamo
Denis Leary

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