Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Mulholland Drive
Productgroup: DVD
Mulholland Drive - movie DVD cover picture
LA is a wonderful, magical place!

Okay, David Lynch is a brilliant director. I don't love everything he has done, but when he does do a good movie, like Mullholand Drive, it is quite a wonderful thing. "Mullholand Drive" is a very beautiful and musical film. My appreciation is of the gestalt of the picture, characters and plot lines are vague and get blurred. "Mullholand Drive" really becomes an impressionistic work of emotion and imagery, with a crescendo of editing at the end that takes the senses elegantly from the bowels of fear out into a sad and mysterious light. The film has other important nuances, dealing with Lynch's on going obsessions, the music and styles of his youth (Roy Orbison's "Crying" sung in Spanish, the swing dancing that opens the film), mystical and odd characters (the cowboy, the burned man behind the wall), and seductive women. It is also a film about acting, and about how actors control our emotions and our sense, and how easily we fall under the spell of their illusional reality. For example, I would like to bring your attention to the uncomfortable casting scene where the young woman must share an intimate moment with the older man with orange skin. As they get into character, the camera completely looses the context of the scene, and for a moment we a transported into watching a different movie. This happens at other points during the film, but that scene immediately leapt to mind. Excellent film, the only good film this year (Although I have not gotten to seen "Little Otik" yet). Highly recommended.

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: David Lynch
Laura Harring
Justin Theroux

DVD title: The Nightmare Before Christmas
Productgroup: DVD
The Nightmare Before Christmas - movie DVD cover picture
One of My Daughter's and My Favorites!

I loved this movie since its theatrical release. Stop-motion animation at its best, but not for small children. It is a shame that no other movie based on the Tim Burtom drawings and poems has not been made yet.

Studio: Disney Studios
Director: Henry Selick
Danny Elfman

DVD title: Gilbert & Sullivan - The Mikado / Reed, Adams, Potter, Masterson, Godfrey, D'Oyly Carte Opera Company
Productgroup: DVD
Gilbert & Sullivan - The Mikado / Reed, Adams, Potter, Masterson, Godfrey, D'Oyly Carte Opera Company - movie DVD cover picture
Mikado: The Ultimate

This is it. The classic 1966-67 D'Oyly Carte Opera production of Gilbert and Sullivan's The Mikado. No other production holds a candle next to the superior performance of this movie. Back in the 60's, a talented cast of singers were performing all the classics of the Gilbert and Sullivan light operas under the direction of Bridget D'Oyly Carte and conductor Isodore Godfrey. They were John Reed, who performed all the comedic, fast-voiced baritone roles (Ko-Ko on here) Major General Stanley in Pirates of Penzance and Sir Joseph Porter in H.M.S. Pinafore, lyric tenor Phillip Potter, who was charming and romantic in a matinee idol sort of way (Nanki Poo on here, also sang Frederick in Pirates Of Penzance), Valerie Masterson, the coloratura and lyric soprano who played all the leading ladies (Yum Yum, Josephine in H.M.S. Pinafore, and Mabel in Pirates Of Penzance)Donald Adams (The Mikado, The Pirate King) and Christene Palmer, who played all the mezzo soprano roles (Katisha, Buttercup and Ruth). These singers are at the top of their game on this film,their voices are fresh and the performance is to die for. Phillip Potter is romantic as the minstrel son of the Mikado, Donald Adams is regial, Christene Palmer is an imperious and vengeful dragon lady, Valerie Masterson is sweet, youthful and charming as Yum-Yum. John Reed is as comical as ever.The Mikado is delivered here in the manner of Kabuki Japanese theatre. It really works. The authentic kimono wardrobe, music and poses from the actors gives the whole thing an artsy Japanese look. In addition, the camera does'nt move much, giving this a very staged and museum-style feel. Even if some say its campy, it does'nt diminish its value. It's a classic film that all Gilbert and Sullivan fans have to watch.

Studio: Video Arts Int'l
John Reed
Valerie Masterson
Donald Adams
Phillip Potter

DVD title: Baraka
Productgroup: DVD
Baraka - movie DVD cover picture
Breathtaking and Inspirational

After watching this reaffirming film for the 5th. time...I've decided that if I am blessed to know the time and place of my death...I want to be watching "Baraka" as I leave this world. Never have I watched a more powerful and inspirational film. It speaks volumes about our world and ourselves and sums it all up in an incredible journey of emotions and soaring insight. To watch the faithful during prayer at Mecca..or bathing in the Ganges..or a holy aesthetic deep in meditation, brought surprising tears to my eyes. And keep an eye out for the oilfields of Kuwait...and the thunderous boom of drums and bagpipes; an incredible composition. Take this film home; leave the cell phones, the car insurance, the latest fashions and the nightly news by the wayside and sink into celebration.

Studio: Mpi Home Video
Director: Ron Fricke

DVD title: Death Becomes Her
Productgroup: DVD
Death Becomes Her - movie DVD cover picture
great farce of female issues

Mainly the issues of jealousy and not losing one's looks.
Helen (Goldie Hawn) is the mousy pal of glamourous Madeline (Streep.) Madeline constantly has to one-up Helen, who believes the trip ethat comes out of the mouth of her 'friend'. When Madeline successfully steals and marries Helen's boyfriend Ernest(Willis), Helen becomes obese and obsessed, ending up in a mental home where she bores the other patients by talking about Madeline, who knows of and delights in Helen's plight (the witch).
A few years later, though, Madeline sees Helen at a party looking slim, young and happy. Turns out Helen has the secret to immortality and Madeline wants in on it. When she gets it, the fight really begins -- with incredible special effects -- and poor Ernest caught in the middle of it all.
This is a great comedy on some real issues women face as they get older -- it's nice to see it in an exaggerated humorous light.

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: Robert Zemeckis
Meryl Streep
Bruce Willis
Goldie Hawn

DVD title: Queen Bee
Productgroup: DVD
Queen Bee - movie DVD cover picture
Joan Crawford is the only "Queen Bee"

It is said roles like this one were what Joan loved best! It is evident, from her performance, this is true. There is only one way to stop her manipulative and destructive path. A film well worth watching again and again. Crawford at her best!!

Studio: Columbia/Tristar Studios
Director: Ranald MacDougall
Joan Crawford

DVD title: Nova Scotia on Video- DVD with companion CD
Productgroup: DVD
Nova Scotia on Video- DVD with companion CD - movie DVD cover picture
Nova Scotia on Video

Great video. Seems to feature everything in Nova Scotia and all the scenery.

Studio: Copy Cat Digital

DVD title: American Beauty
Productgroup: DVD
American Beauty - movie DVD cover picture
Great movie, great DVD

"American Beauty" is one of the most haunting, beautiful films to come around in a long time. With its stunning cinematography, amazing writing, and outstanding performances form every single member of the cast, it makes an eloquent statement about what's truly important in life. There are scenes in this movie that defy description, but which will capture your heart and touch your soul. "American Beauty" represents everything that modern film-making should be.
As for the DVD, it offers several outstanding features that wisely do not overshadow the movie itself. I particularly enjoyed the director's commentary. Of note, some people were upset that an alternate beginning and ending that were shot and discarded, were not included on the DVD. I, for one, am glad they weren't; to have included them would have irretrievably altered the audience's entire perception of the movie, and by so doing, might have ruined it.
When all is said and done, "American Beauty" should form the cornerstone of any DVD collection.

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: Sam Mendes
Kevin Spacey
Annette Bening

DVD title: Fahrenheit 9/11
Productgroup: DVD
Fahrenheit 9/11 - movie DVD cover picture
Temper THE TRUTH and see it for what it is!

All documentaries have a point of view, and all news media have a point of view -- stop with the semantics of "Fair and Balanced" or "Truth". FARENHEIT 9/11 is one long OP ED piece to justify why Michael Moore thinks the way he does about Iraq and Bush. Even in interviews he says "This is based on my opinions!" All facts presented support his argument, and they are all true. But he is presenting only the items supporting his view! It's something talk radio hosts and political candidates have mastered over the years, and is nothing new. Rush Limbaugh would find a close and fast friend in Moore if they could put aside their ideology.
The movie is entertaining and disturbing all at once. Never boring, always engaging! It's a great 2 hours no matter what politics are behind it. Masterfully edited, beautifully scored, and well stated throughout. Gone are the usual Moore stunt interviews, and present are some truly heart-breaking moments ... most notably with a mother who loses a son in the war. I don't care what side of the politics you are on - the segments with Linda Lipscomb going to Washington DC after her son has been killed captures how a patriot feels after losing her child. Truly moving!
Go see this movie no matter where you fall, because for the first time we have a film that inspires debate in this country. Thoughtful, heated, and frank discussions that get to the core of the matters at hand. Love him or hate him Michael Moore just got whatever side you are on lots of airtime to discuss the state of the nation! What's so wrong with that?

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

DVD title: Requiem for a Dream - Director's Cut
Productgroup: DVD
Requiem for a Dream - Director's Cut - movie DVD cover picture
Don't be so furious, people!

This movie is fabulous and it is undoubtly one of the finest works of 2000. Many reviewers have already given positive comments to this masterpiece, so I won't say more about it.SPOILERS WARNING SPOILERS WARNINGWhat I want to say is about the censorship thing. There is absolutely no need for you to go so mad about it, because the scenes deleted do not have so much to do with the story itself. Just like "Eyes Wide Shut," MPAA was totally infuriated by the pornographic sex scenes, so the filmmakers simply "removed" or "didn't show" what Jennifer Connelly was doing in the last few minutes of the film. Those sences are not THAT exotic or outrageous since there are tons of similar stuff on the internet. In other words, just go to the "right" websites if you are really fussy about those deleted scenes. Believe me, they make no difference except satisfying your untamed curiosity.After all, nobody would actually buy the edited version, because there are !no extra features on the disc! I really don't see the point why they treated the disc this way, as if the disc was warning, "Look, this version is censored and without special features, so do not buy me!" To sum up, dear customers, you will NOT be cheated.

Studio: Lions Gate Home Entertainment
Director: Darren Aronofsky
Ellen Burstyn
Jared Leto

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