Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: American History X
Productgroup: DVD
American History X - movie DVD cover picture

We are all products of our environment, not so different from the character Derrick Vinyard in American History X. Our experiences and upbringing mold our characters. This movie demonstrates how easily each of us could become trapped in the cycle of hate. With the death of his father Derrick went from a well-behaved kid to a man consumed with hate, but before the death, his father began a slow building hatred in Derrick with the racist and ignorant beliefs that he taught. Derrick changes his entire life in order to ignore the hurt and joins a white power society seeking revenge. Quickly, Vinyard emerges as their leader. Many acts of violence are depicted which strengthen the power of the movie and the effect it has on its audience. American history X explores the racial prejudices of our society by graphic images of hate and through this provides a strong message of individual change. With his swastika tattoo and shaved head Derrick Vinyard leads his white power friends through a series of racist acts. In one particular scene Derrick and fifteen others trash a store owned by immigrants. In this scene the audience becomes enthralled with an overwhelming sense of hate. Throughout the ordeal racial slurs were thrown about. Whether associated with a minority or not the event came across as very real and offensive. Actor Edward Norton, who plays Derrick, plays the part perfectly. The shaved head and tattoos alone make Derrick seem evil, but the glaring eyes of Ed Norton make Derrick appear devilish. The separation between black and white is witnessed in a territorial competition at the basketball courts. Here the blacks and the whites play a game for the ownership of the courts. Derrick turns out to be the star, winning the courts for his race. In a retaliation attempt the black players who had lost decide to steal Derricks truck. This becomes a fatal decision for two of the gang members. Once Derrick discovers what is going on he runs out of the house wearing only a wife beater, some boxers, and holding a gun. Derrick makes quick work of the problem, but is arrested and sent to jail. Danny, his younger brother, who has witnessed all of the scenes described above, is left with these explicit images of hate and without a male role model. While in prison Vinyard meets up with fellow skinheads who give him protection. In the prison laundry department Derrick finds himself working along side a black man. What at first is a quiet and tense relationship quickly develops into a strong friendship. Derrick begins distancing himself from the other skinheads. The skinheads soon become his enemies. Derrick now begins to question everything that he has believed in, but without the protection of the other skinheads he is an easy target for those of color. For some reason, he is never touched. The reason is his friend from laundry detail, ironically a man that before Derrick would have hated because of his skin color. Derrick undergoes a change once again, but this time a change for the better. Derrick releases the hate that had been controlling him for so long. When released from prison he comes home to a younger brother, who has been idealizing Derrick, following in his racist footsteps. Derrick has a tough challenge ahead of him, the alienation of his former friends, keeping his brother from continuing down the same path, and piecing together the family he had so brutally broken. In his attempt to rid himself of his old friends fights and gunplay break out at a party put together for his return. He and his brother Danny flee the scene and Derrick tells Danny all that happened to him in prison. Danny understands why he doesn't want to continue being pissed off. "Life's too short to be pissed off all the time." Prior to looking for a job the very next day, Derrick takes Danny to school. Everything seems to be turning around for the Vinyard's. Danny goes to the bathroom after entering school and a young aspiring gang member follows, with whom Danny had run into earlier in the movie. The young gang member pulls out a gum and shoots Danny in the chest killing him. As life pours out of his body one thing remains alive, a paper lying next to his body about the life of his brother titled, American History X.

Studio: New Line Home Entertainment
Director: Tony Kaye
Edward Norton
Edward Furlong

DVD title: Notting Hill (Collector's Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Notting Hill (Collector's Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
How did I go so long with out seeing this?

After watching this movie I only had one question for myself: "How did I go so long with out seeing this?" The movie made me laugh, made me cry, and made my jump for joy. I don't think I have seen a movie that brings you through as many emotions as this one does, and lets you off at the top of the roller coaster. This movie set me flying as much the second time I watched it as the first. I'm glad it is now part of my collection, and I strongly recommend that everyone else get a copy and keep it close to your VCR.

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: Roger Michell
Julia Roberts
Hugh Grant

DVD title: Interview With the Assassin
Productgroup: DVD
Interview With the Assassin - movie DVD cover picture
Intelligent and chilling

Sure, this movie may be sort of "cliche", but it does really open up the mind about what really happened surrounding rhe assassination of JFK. Even if you believe that there was only one shooter, I highly recommend watching this movie and it may open up your eyes a little more.

Studio: Showtime Entertainme
Director: Neil Burger
Raymond J. Barry
Dylan Haggerty
Renee Faia

DVD title: A Christmas Story (Full Screen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
A Christmas Story (Full Screen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
The Ultimate Family Christmas Masterpiece!

In a 1940's suburban household 11 year old Ralphie is dying to get a Red Ryder BB-GUN. "You'll shoot yer eye out!" his father tells him. He runs to his mother with her saying the same. Then Ralphie goes through his desperate last ditch effort to get his prize. Going to santa, and begging still just getting the "You'll shoot yer eye out!" Line. On christmas morning his father hands him a special package Could it be? You'll have to wait a see.
Filled with comedy and Hijinks that will make you cherish this movie forever. And always make sure you don't "SHOOT YER EYE OUT!"

Studio: Warner Studios
Director: Bob Clark (III)
Peter Billingsley

DVD title: O-Town - O2: An Exclusive V.I.P. Look
Productgroup: DVD
O-Town - O2: An Exclusive V.I.P. Look - movie DVD cover picture

I think the new music is great! They have grown so much as a band. My favorite song is "Over Easy". However, there is not a bad song. Seeing them live was a wonderful.

Studio: Bmg Distribution (VI

DVD title: Star Wars Trilogy (Widescreen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Star Wars Trilogy (Widescreen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
A Great Story Made Better

I've been a Star Wars fan since forever. I saw NEW HOPE & EMPIRE STRIKES BACK in the 80's followed by RETURN OF THE JEDI. I loved them all and sawe them repeatedly each about 40 times. I loved it. Then recently I bought the boxed set to see the extras and to see what all the hoopla people were making about the changes. I personally don't see the big deal os. The films are still fantastic and exciting. I enjoyed every bit of it now as I did way back when. Personally I believe George Lucas read my mind because as I was watching Return of the Jedi I was thinking it would be great if at the end he put the Anakin Skywalker we know today (Hayden Christensen) in the scene in the end where Luke sees his father, yoda and obi-wan. To say the least I was overjoyed to see that he did. It's was the right thing to do because he basically is showing Anakin restored to the man he was prior to going to the dark side. It would have been better to have Padme inserted as well so Luke and Leia could see their mother. But over all I believe all the additions were great and the movies are still the best. It gets and A+++++++

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox Home Video
Harrison Ford

DVD title: Band of Brothers
Productgroup: DVD
Band of Brothers - movie DVD cover picture
It should be 6 stars

Only those who have seen this suburb achievement would understand that it is no exageration to say it is the best of its kind. We watched every episode with our children, ages 9 and 12, and though B.O.B. is of a mature nature, both my wife and I felt that the message was one we wanted our children to learn. I can think of no other work on film or television that is of the same stature, with the possible exception of Shindlers List. But Hanks and Speilberg had over ten hours to tell their story and they used each minute wisely. See it for the art of movie making, see it for the history, see it as a tribute to those who have sacrificed for our country.

Studio: HBO Home Video

DVD title: State and Main
Productgroup: DVD
State and Main - movie DVD cover picture
The Only Second Chance I Know...

This is a comedy with wit and heart. When the cast and crew of a Hollywood film are run out of one small town for the "fetish" of the lead actor (Baldwin) they must quickly relocate to yet another SmallTown USA. They are assailed almost immediately by the townfolk, who want a part in the film. The director has his hands full meeting and greeting people, trying to get the movie made on time (and within the budget). The actors are struggling with their own moral dilemas (Baldwin is flirting with disaster in the form of an adoring fan who's just a tad underage and Sarah Jessica Parker doesn't want to show off her breasts in a contractual nude scene because she's found religion). And the poor writer, whose art is being torn apart by actors, producers, and necessity of sets, is just looking for a typewriter to complete the rewrites they're demanding of him.His quest leads him to a local bookstore, where he finds not only the typewriter, but love, as the woman working the counter turns out to be as intellegent and well read as she is beautiful. Crisis after crisis ensues, with everything happening around the intersection of State and Main. When Baldwin is caught with his underage fan, all seems doomed, as the writer is confronted with the moral dilema of having to testify against the star and cancelling the production (and blacklisting himself in Hollywood forevermore) or lying, and losing the affections of the woman he loves. It all boils down to a surprise ending, that I cannot reveal. All I can say is that this is a film with a great deal of thought behind it, and a brilliant satire of the Hollywood world.

Studio: New Line Home Entertainment
Director: David Mamet
Rebecca Pidgeon

DVD title: Torn Curtain
Productgroup: DVD
Torn Curtain - movie DVD cover picture
Superb movie, classic Hitchcock!

I really dont understand why this great little film which contains a superbly tense story and edge of the seat suspense is always dismissed as a disappointment.
On the contrary it has always been a favourite Hitchcock film of mine, certainly not up to the standards of the classic "Rebecca" or even "North by Northwest', but still a tense piece of film making.
It was Hichcock's 50th film and certainly was one of the last truly good films he directed in his illustrious career. His superb knack for creating suspence and tension is evident from the first frame and makes for a terrific piece of film making. Once the story gets going the pace and suspence never lets up as the main characters move from Norway to Copenhagen to East Berlin behind the Iron Curtain, hence the title. I feel Paul Newman and Julie first thought not an expected combination, work extremely well together and come across as a believable combination. Julie Andrews certainly doesn't have as flashy a role in "Torn Curtain" as she does in "The Sound of Music" "Thoroughly Modern Millie" or "Star" but she nevertheless handles her role of Sarah Sherman, personal secretary to the brilliant rocket scientist Professor Michael Armstrong (Newman),in a most interesting manner. Julie is always such an attractive performer and in "Torn Curtain" she gives her all in what is essentially a difficult role and one fraught with lots of unpredictable situations.
The story line of Paul Newman's character pretending to defect to East Germany to obtain valuable information on a new secret formula from a scientist in Leipzeig might appear dated now but it makes for a very clever and fast moving story. Newman's character pretends to go over to the Eastern Bloc only to discover that Andrews has followed him out of not only love but to see what he is actually up to. Their time in East Berlin is action packed and colorful to say the least as they encounter "personal guides" such as the infamous Gromek, the sweaty, gum chewing villian of the piece who ends up being murdered in one of the most memorable and painstaking murder sequences of Alfred Hitchcock's career aside from the shower sequence in "Psycho". It is a totally awe inspiring moment and while I dont like violence for violence sake this sequence is magnificently done, with no dialogue, and is easily, along with the nail biting bus chase, the most memorable part of the film and indeed in Hitchcock's career.
Hitchcock not only keeps the action moving at a break neck pace but he also populates his story with many interesting characters along the way as Newman and Andrews plan their escape from East Germany when they are exposed. One memorable character is the Polish Countess Kuchinska played by actress Lila Kedrova, who only wants a sponsor to be able to get to the United States. Her's is a tragic and thought provoking interlude in the main characters race to beat the German authorities over the border. Equally memorable is Check ballet dancer Tamara Toumanova who reappears a few times in the story and is almost responsible for intercepting the main characters escape. She is excellent in what is essentially a small but stand out part.
The overraul look of the film benefits from the many beautiful European locations utilised during filming and although East Berlin was impossible to film in circa 1966, an excellent use of similiar locations has been incorporated to give the effect of the dull and uninteresting Eastern Bloc existence.
As a piece of entertainment dealing with the Cold War "Torn Curtain" is first rate and never fails to be a great piece of viewing entertainment with two terrific performers in Paul Newman and Julie Andrews in the leads.

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Paul Newman
Julie Andrews

DVD title: The Lone Ranger Classic Western Double Feature - Hi-Yo, Silver! / Legend of the Lone Ranger
Productgroup: DVD
The Lone Ranger Classic Western Double Feature - Hi-Yo, Silver! / Legend of the Lone Ranger - movie DVD cover picture
Lone Ranger will be missed and he will ride again

Sad news travels fast. Many millions of baby boomers and other fans will be shocked to hear that Clayton Moore, THE only LONE RANGER died today, December 28th 1999. He will be remembered forever as the "Masked Man".
Brentwood Home Video has the above 3 Pack in stock which features 3 Movies with Clayton and Jay Silverheels. Movies are: 1949: The Legend of the Lone Ranger 1958: The Lost City 1965: The Lone Range. Amazon.Com has this collectors pack on sale and we can ship immediately!
Happy New Year Patricia Morgan Brentwood Communications Inc.

Studio: Vci Home Video

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