Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Secret Window
Productgroup: DVD
Secret Window - movie DVD cover picture

Johnny Depp is a chameleon. He never seems to play the same character twice in any film. Granted, he brings many of the memorable traits of other films into each of his performances, but he's never boring. Depp is the main reason to see SECRET WINDOW. He plays writer Mort Raney, a somewhat successful author, who is going through the pains of an impending divorce. One day, a stranger knocks at his door and accuses Mort of stealing his short story, "Secret Window." What a strange a Quakerish style hat, with a rich Southern drawl, and cold, clinical eyes. John Turturro is wonderful in this role, bringing an inevitable demonic presence into Depp's tortured life.
Although the outcome may be apparent, it doesn't really hit you until the director David Koepp wants it to. Depp's performance is great, including his habit of cracking his jaws whenever things get a little nervous. Maria Bello and Timoth Hutton as his estranged wife and her lover perform adequately, but they are really more plot tools than characters. Charles Dutton, likewise, isn't given a whole lot to do, but his presence is commanding. Veteran character actor Len Cariou is also good in his role as the local sheriff.
SECRET WINDOW is a quietly suspenseful movie; it's not really a "scary" movie, but more of an intense portrayal of a man's descent into madness. Depp was perfect for the role.

Studio: Columbia Tri/Star - Preorder
Director: David Koepp
Johnny Depp
John Turturro
Maria Bello

DVD title: American History X
Productgroup: DVD
American History X - movie DVD cover picture
talk about breathtaking

"American History X" is probably the best film I can remember seeing in my collective memory of life. It is the single most stunning, true-to-life, scary, and exciting film I have ever seen. The cast was top-notch, everyone born to play his or her role. This film is guaranteed to shock you with surprises 'round every corner. The last scene left me up all night with excitement. If you're looking for a drama that will frighten you terribly when you realize how true it really is, "American History X" is your best bet.

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

DVD title: The Jackal - Collector's Edition
Productgroup: DVD
The Jackal - Collector's Edition - movie DVD cover picture
Top thriller I have ever scene , my favorite movie ever

The Jackal had not to much of an effect on me because I like the bloody crimanal violence that it has in it. Bruce Willis is usually the good guy but I am glad to see him be the assin or the 'bad guy'. My favorite scene is when the guy gets shot at through the stairs I thought it was funny. But I am angry that the good guys always win . If I produced a movie I would make the bad guy[s] win. I think it would be a million seller. People should think about the aduience a movie with the killer always winning, it would probally be sold-out at the theater every night , plus it would make a lot of money .

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: Michael Caton-Jones
Bruce Willis
Richard Gere

DVD title: The Incredibles (UMD Mini For PSP)
Productgroup: DVD
The Incredibles (UMD Mini For PSP) - movie DVD cover picture
Sequel, please!

Pixar lords over the realm of animation; they own it, and all others are pretenders to their throne.

The characters aren't the most original: at best, they are archetypes (if comic books have been around long enough to have archetypes) of well established superheroes. Mr. Incredible is Batman without the dark side, Elastagirl is, interestingly enough, Mr. Fantastic from the Fantastic Four (a movie coming to our theaters in 2005). The older son is obviously the Flash, and the teenage girl is an amalgam of several characters, both comic and non-comic. But archetype does not mean stereotype. These characters are all freshly represented.

For example, instead of having a dark side like his inspiration, Batman, Mr. Incredible has a self-doubting side. And he marries a superhero, creating a family. Another (mostly) unique representation.

It would be easy to disect this film into even smaller parts, draw more parallels, but I think that would be doing the film a disservice. Sure, it had inspiration from other comics, but the way it was written, drawn, directed, voiced - everything - made it wholly its own. This is a movie that everyone will love (and the box office is evidencing that), from kids to adults.

Director: Brad Bird
Craig T. Nelson
Holly Hunter
Samuel L. Jackson
Jason Lee

DVD title: Lawrence of Arabia (Limited Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Lawrence of Arabia (Limited Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
It doesn't get better than this!

This spectacular DVD release of "Lawrence of Arabia" is the first edition to do true justice to this masterpiece of the cinema. Not only do we get the fully restored Director's Cut, complete with the full orchestral introduction & entre'act, letterboxed to view the full magnificence of the picture, the sound has been remastered wonderfully, & the picture itself is sharp, vivid & alive.
David Lean's remarkable film gamble starred two complete unknowns, Peter O'Toole as Lawrence, & Omar Sharif as Ali. His gamble payed off big; O'Toole inhabits the role of Lawrence so completely that he even resembles the "real" Lawrence quite closely. Sharif's Ali is introduced in one of cinema's most famous scenes, an endless long shot across the desert.
There are many fine reviews of this film, most of which are much better than I can write. This collection though, is worth mentioning. The additional features are excellent, although sometimes redundant; the archival "shorts" that were used as advertising in 1960/1 are extensively recycled through the hour long documentary on the restoration of "Lawrence of Arabia" Still, they are fun to watch. The documentary itself is quite good and very informative.
This film is one of the greatest ever made. This edition is the best yet. No home that owns a DVD player should be without "Lawrence of Arabia"!

Studio: Columbia Tri-Star
Director: David Lean
Peter O'Toole

DVD title: Don't Drink the Water
Productgroup: DVD
Don't Drink the Water - movie DVD cover picture
Hilarious, Laugh-Out-Loud Movie!!

Let me preface this review by saying that I have NEVER been a Woody Allen fan. I had seen some of his earlier movies and just never got into them. However, I got hold of a copy of "Manhattan Murder Mystery" with Diane Keaton, Alan Alda, Angelica Huston and, of course, Woody. I have just about worn it out because I've watched it over and over. I went to the video store and browsed through their Woody Allen titles and saw "Don't Drink the Water". I decided to give it a try since I like Dom Deloise, Julie Kavner and Michael J. Fox. Let me tell you, there are very few movies I see that make me truly laugh out loud - this one did. The entire premise of the movie is so funny. Woody takes his wife and daughter on a vacation to Russia (who goes to Russia for a vacation!?!), does the usual tourist routine, and ends up being chased by KGB agents because they think Woody and family are spies! Woody was taking pictures of the sunset and he must have photographed something that would make the agents think he was spying. Anyway, Woody and family take off running and go to the American Embassy in Russia to seek asylum. And believe me, the place is an asylum. Michael J. is the son of the Ambassador. The Ambassador has to return to Washington, D.C. and reluctantly leaves the embassy in Michael J.'s hands (Michael has been pretty much a screw-up all of his life) so his father doesn't trust him. As soon as Woody and family reach the embassy the fun begins. There is an Italian priest, played by Dom Deloise, who had to seek asylum at the embassy and has been there for years. He's really into magic tricks and thinks he's a real pro. The embassy chef cooks all kinds of exotic foods that drive Woody nuts (Woody is a New Jersey caterer) and Woody and the chef have an ongoing battle. The daughter falls for Michael J., the mother, Julie Kavner, ends up taking over the housekeeping at the embassy, a visiting Middle Eastern dignitary arrives and...just watch this movie! There is so much I can't begin to tell it all but trust me if you like just good old fashioned comedy you'll enjoy this. I highly recommend it - that's why I came to Amazon to find a copy because you can't find it at local video stores to buy. Every time I watch it I see something that sets me off laughing. If this movie does not make you laugh you have a serious problem with your funnybone!!

Studio: Buena Vista Home Vid
Director: Woody Allen
Woody Allen
Julie Kavner

DVD title: Mrs. Miniver
Productgroup: DVD
Mrs. Miniver - movie DVD cover picture
three hankies

Wow, what a film. If the scene showing the terrorized children enduring a night of bombing in an air raid shelter doesn't shake you up, then you must be made of stone.

Sure, it's over-the-top Hollywood! And the Miniver family is hardly "middle class" as described. These people had a pretty luxury-filled life. And the first half hour is incredibly slow.
But the final hour will have you on the edge of your seat.
A deserving winner of the Oscar for Best Picture 1942.

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: William Wyler
Greer Garson
Walter Pidgeon
Teresa Wright

DVD title: Dr. T & The Women
Productgroup: DVD
Dr. T & The Women - movie DVD cover picture

I can't understand why everyone is accusing Robert Altman of being a misgynoist. If anything, he presents the truth warts and all and he is one of the few filmmakers to make movies with such important female roles. He clearly loves them.
Richard Gere turns in one of his all time best performances, one that deserved Oscar recognition.
As for those complaining about plot, Altman's best films (Nashville, Brewster McCloud, Short Cuts) are never occupied with the plot. They're about people and how they tick. i find that fascinating to watch and refreshing considering how many promising films die under the weight of the plot.
This is a must see in letterboxed format. It is essential to all Altman films to see them this way.

Studio: Artisan Entertainment
Director: Robert Altman
Richard Gere

DVD title: Patton
Productgroup: DVD
Patton - movie DVD cover picture
One of the greatest war biographies ever filmed

George C. Scott gives the finest performance of his career has the fabled World War 2 general. The movie follows Patton's career from the North Africa Campaign to the end of the war. Jerry Goldsmith's excellent soundtrack really makes the film what it is. The film is also humorous. Patton always has to be criticized for something (Slapping a soldier, criticizing the Russians, e.t.c). Patton believes in reincarnation; thinking that he was a soldier in past lives. In one scene, where Patton and Omar Bradley (Karl Malden) are at an ancient Greek battlefield, when Patton describes the battle he says, "I was there".
This is definitely one war movie (or any kind of movie) I would not mind watching over and over again.

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
Director: Franklin J. Schaffner
George C. Scott
Karl Malden

DVD title: Cane Toads - An Unnatural History
Productgroup: DVD
Cane Toads - An Unnatural History - movie DVD cover picture
Cane toads Funny

This movie was educational, but what I liked about it most was the people. I could hardly stop laughing at (or rather with) the down to earth people of Austrailia. If you want to learn and laugh at the same time, buy this movie!!!

Studio: First Run Features
Director: Mark Lewis (VII)

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