Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: The Shining
Productgroup: DVD
The Shining - movie DVD cover picture
Kubrick's consumate statement

Kubrick's joyously pessimistic, counter-Nietzschean remake of "2001: A Space Odyssey" finds a paradoxically rhapsodic filmmaking style to portray a nightmarish universe governed by malevolent supernatural forces (or is it that Time itself is a malevolent force, or the key to allow our own malevolent urges to work through eternity?). Taking the glacial beauty of the ultra-aesthetic "Barry Lyndon" and revving it up with free-floating Steadicam action, endless tracking shots and zooms both somber and shocking, Kubrick makes "The Shining" a hyper-stylized art object. What other space in cinema feels so inhabitable, so tangible to its viewers, as the Overlook Hotel? We might well declare, with Nicholson's Jack Torrance, that we know what's going to be behind every corner. And yet, all this pictorial seduction is tingling with menace-- and menace made concrete in all the worst forms; Kubrick incorporates themes of child abuse, spouse abuse, self-loathing, lust, madness, murder, even genocide in this cinematic catalog of sin and damnation. Most disturbingly of all, Kubrick's notorious invocation of Eternal Recurrence reverses the starchild optimism of his "2001". Indeed, by quoting a theme from Berlioz' "Symphonie fantastique" (itself quoted by Franz Liszt in his "Danse Macabre") Kubrick seems to reverse the Romantic quotations that open "2001" (Nietzsche's dawn to Strauss' to Kubrick's). The Vermeeresque lighting provides an uncanny backdrop for the spectral goings-on; Kubrick and John Alcott's cinematography is flawless both in conception and in its technically breathtaking execution. Why then has "The Shining", like "Apocalypse Now", been unable to shake a certain unsavory reputation among critics? The explanation may lie, not with Nicholson's terrific performance (calibrated, in its exaggerations, to Kubrick's ultimate design) but in the film's uncanny irreducibility-- very few movies hide their most shattering ambiguities as well as "The Shining". And yet it is one of the most compulsively viewable films in cinematic history. Perhaps no other film comes as close to being a communally shared dream as "The Shining". It is a gorgeous, intoxicating and obliterating nightmare from which a generation has yet to awake.

Studio: Warner Studios
Director: Stanley Kubrick
Jack Nicholson
Shelley Duvall

DVD title: Office Space (Full Screen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Office Space (Full Screen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
I am writing this from an office cubical.

Sort of a real world Dilbert. All the things that we have to deal with are exaggerated. This includes the office characters. Getting out reports, overtime and downsizing.

This film along with the "red Swingline stapler" had achieved cult status.

As I look around (and stand up) I can see all the personalities depicted in this movie. If anyone wanted to see a movie that mimics real life this one is it and maybe "Joe Versus the Volcano" (1990). This is much more real than "9 to 5" (1980).

Just a moment while I expand my cube. (*&*%$#%$&*)

There now where was I? Oh yes, Jennifer Aniston shows her flash.

It is interesting that the film was made in Austin and Dallas where I am writing this. It must be a sign on some sort.

You will see the old story of skimming percentages of a cent off of transactions with a new twist.

I have to go now the copier is calling!

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox Home Video
Director: Mike Judge
Ron Livingston
Jennifer Aniston

DVD title: Wilde (Special Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Wilde (Special Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
My Favorite Movie!!

I saw this movie on 'Bravo' and fell in love with it. It's a moving piece that is wonderfully acted with a great soundtrack to boot. Jude Law is absolutely gorgeous.

Studio: Columbia Tri-Star
Director: Brian Gilbert
Stephen Fry
Jude Law

DVD title: Sin City
Productgroup: DVD
Sin City - movie DVD cover picture
Assured Style Wins the Day

Flexing its muscles in every explosive scene, Sin City is comprised of three stories, all centered on similar motif of the hero saving the damsel, in this hyper-realistic, other-worldly film, which I promise, with its intense imagery and in-your-face assured direction, will be unlike any movie journey you've ever taken. Mickey Rourke, Bruce Willis, and Clive Owen all do terrific jobs as embattled heroes living in a nihilistic, sex-obsessed metropolis where violence rules the day the way it did back in the cowboy era. Indeed, the film has many qualities of a good western. Similar to the western genre, Sin City takes a look, often sardonic, of masculinity, the way it becomes exaggerated in such a world of chaos and danger. Mickey Rourke, with made-up commando chin and hawk nose, is the greatest send-up of hyper-masculinity I've ever seen. The plots, which center on evil officials, sociopathic killers, and damsels in distress, are familiar, but the film miracuously creates a world you've never stepped into before, succeeding grandly in recreating the seedy, imaginary dream-fest of the graphic comic novels written by Frank Miller.

There is concern for some viewers about the violence and I am no fan of graphic brutality. While I'll concede that the blood flows freely in this film, the violence is so stylized that even someone like myself could handle it. Finally, let me add that the film has an ironic, campy feel that mitigates the violent impact somewhat.

Is the film about anything other than the director's assured style as he captures the gritty world of a graphic comic novel? I say a resounding yes. The film does stand for a certain kind of courage and integrity that survives in a world of corruption, lies, and nihilism. The heroes and victims are at their core tender, soulful archetypes and not just stick figures.

I think though that what stand out in the end is the original style, so assured and consistent throughout. This is a landmark film and I would bet that it will pave the way for a new age of graphic novels adapted to film.

Studio: Dimension Home Video

DVD title: F/X 2 - The Deadly Art of Illusion
Productgroup: DVD
F/X 2 - The Deadly Art of Illusion - movie DVD cover picture
Better Than I Remembered

Brown and Dennehy return in this sequel to the 1987 hit about a special effects man who stages a fake hit on an organized crime boss. Unfortunately, this film is more like a clone in many ways than a sequel.
Once again, Brown's character works with law enforcement to stage an event (you think he would have learned by now) this time to trap a killer. Again he uses his special effects tricks to get out of various scrapes. He once again gets in a fight with a hired killer, and once again throws food and kitchen objects at the killer-well you get the idea.
This film is just too predictable to be very good. If they had taken the same formula and added a new twist of some kind it could have been a decent sequel. As it is, rent this one if you must see it.

Studio: Mgm/Ua Studios
Director: Richard Franklin
Bryan Brown
Brian Dennehy

DVD title: Taps
Productgroup: DVD
Taps - movie DVD cover picture
MASTER of The Rare LASERDISCs Movies.

I have Taps[ Tom Cruise ] ON LASERDISC,'tis a great Movie And 'tis A MUST SEE For Tom Cruise's FANS :p

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox Home Video
Director: Harold Becker
George C. Scott
Timothy Hutton

DVD title: The Other Side Of Heaven
Productgroup: DVD
The Other Side Of Heaven - movie DVD cover picture
Heaven sent!

What a great movie, I came home from this movie feeling really uplifted, it lasted me the rest of the day. whenever I think of it, a smile is brought to my face, I CANT WAIT for it to come out on VHS/DVD so I cant buy it. I cant think of a better movie ever made.

Studio: Walt Disney Home Video
Director: Mitch Davis
Christopher Gorham
Anne Hathaway

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

I loved this movie. I would watch it everyday if I could. Pac's performance was too much to handle. This film showed just how much talent this young black man had. Omar Epps was also great. If you love Pac, you'll LOVE this movie.

Studio: Paramount Studio
Director: Ernest R. Dickerson
Omar Epps
Tupac Shakur
Jermaine 'Huggy' Hopkins

DVD title: The Night Stalker/The Night Strangler
Productgroup: DVD
The Night Stalker/The Night Strangler - movie DVD cover picture
A Great Show

I own this DVD, and I would love it if the entire series was put on DVD as well -- I'd snatch it up faster than Vincenzo could get mad at Kolchak.

Studio: Anchor Bay Entertainment
Director: John Llewellyn Moxey
Darren McGavin
Carol Lynley

DVD title: Begotten
Productgroup: DVD
Begotten - movie DVD cover picture
Simply Incomprehensible

When I saw the opening of this film in New York over a decade ago, I brought along my girlfriend, fortunately also a devotee of the cinematically strange. The Village Voice thought it was worth seeing, but their review was impenetrable. Of course, I found out why, and my movie date and I turned to look at each other constantly. "Jesus, honey, is this gross or what?" or "Wow, what the hell was that?" I'm glad it's on DVD and I'll own it mostly because it belongs in the collection of anyone who appreciates the bizarre. It's not really a cult film, because that would mean you could watch it over and over. I haven't seen it since then, but I'll probably watch it a couple more times before archiving it. I have little to add to the voices, articulate and otherwise, already raised on either side of the issues of this flick. Yes, it's pretentious, disturbing, derivative, boring, harrowing, imaginative, over-long and largely pointless if beautiful. It is not for the faint-hearted or those looking for Dali/Bunuel or Lynch. Filmmakers had been running out of stuff to shock us with, but this director came up with the goods. I can't say this is a great film, but it's a great film to flesh out part of the fringe. Since this movie occupies a niche with only one member right now, it's going to have to sit on its own until someone finds a way to do it better or provides competition for it. Yes, I'll be careful not to let anything rest against it on the shelf. Reminds me of Poison somehow, and yes, Eraserhead. I don't think a more humorless avant-garde endeavor has ever made its way onto celluloid; you just can't beat Lynch's twitching chicken legs. Begotten is a must-have if you already own over 100 films.

Studio: World Artists Home Video
Director: E. Elias Merhige
Brian Salzberg
Donna Dempsey

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