Film DVD related reviews


DVD title: Like Water for Chocolate
Productgroup: DVD
Like Water for Chocolate - movie DVD cover picture
Leaves me speechless...


I have just seen this film for the first time, and read the book last year. The film is true to the book, and though I have never watched a film with subtitles and doubted my ability to do so successfully, I was captivated from the first minute! As soon as I can locate it, I intend to purchase the video to share with my mother and sister.

Studio: Miramax
Director: Alfonso Arau
Actors:
Marco Leonardi
Lumi Cavazos




DVD title: Sex and the City - The Complete First Season
Productgroup: DVD
Sex and the City - The Complete First Season - movie DVD cover picture
Sex and the City


I loved it! I can't wait to buy the second season! Sarah Jessica Parker is Fabulous! :-)

Studio: Hbo Studios



DVD title: Raising Helen (Widescreen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Raising Helen (Widescreen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Raising Helen ROCKS!


A lazy charmless and unfunny retread of a thousand other sudsy "warmedy" type films and tv series you have seen over and over...some of them by the same Garry Marshall who directs here. As another reviewer comments, this is virtually the identical plot of the tv show "Summerland".

I am deeply troubled by films and tv shows that exploit the "dead mommy" thing. (There are dead daddy themes, but not nearly as many.) It's milked for sadness and yet there is an underlying theme that it would be more "fun" to be raised by an oddball relative, hipster, neighbor or even a stranger than your own mom. Aside from the fact that it is terribly untrue and disparaging of motherhood and women in general, there is a lot of latent misogynism here.

Kate Hudson had a delightful debut as the whimsical groupie in "Almost Famous", and has unfortunately used up most of her credibility and audience appeal with one lame movie after another: "Alex and Emma", "Le Divorce", etc. It is beginning to seem painfully clear that she is very cute, but can't really do much heavy lifting in the acting department.

It's an even bigger crime to have to watch the legendary Helen Mirren playing a small, second-banana part as the heroine's bitchy boss. Hector Elizondo is similarly wasted in a small, one dimensional part as a used car dealer, while John Corbett is basically ruining the good movie karma he built up with "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" by playing the same part over and over, but with less charm each time.

The worst served actor here, however, is poor Joan Cusack. I think she's one of the most talented and attractive comediennes working today, but she just get stuck with thankless roles of girlfriends or co-workers, often portrayed as whiny or unattractive and manless. Here she is hugely pregnant throughout the film and depicted as an anal retentive type, instead of simply as a good and competent mom. She has to be made somewhat unsympathetic to make the Kate Hudson character look good...God forbid they both be good and decent and complex characters.

There is little to say about the plot which is a retread of a thousand other movies and tired tv shows: Helen (Kate Hudson) is a 23 year old fashion assistent who has two 40- something sisters. She is given custody of one sister's three children when the sister and her husband die in an auto collision. Despite the fact that the sister lived in a huge, expensive suburban home, there seems to be no life insurance. Nor do the three children seem to be collecting Social Security Orphans Benefits from BOTH parents, as they are entitled to....because Helen is forced to move them all into a small, dumpy apartment in Queens. Since the local public schools are not good enough, they have to go to an expensive Lutheran parochial school (despite not being Lutheran or seemingly any other religion). The Lutheran Pastor/School Principal starts dating Helen, despite a 20 year age difference and the obvious conflict of interest involved in dating a student's mother/guardian.

That's about it. No big laughs...no small laughs. No authentic tears, or recognizable human emotions. Nothing to say about Queens, about parochial schools, about the fashion industry. I also have to mention that "Raising Helen" has one of the worst, corniest and most predictable music scores I have ever had to sit through...they actually play Simon and Garfunkel's "At the Zoo" when the characters visit a zoo.

Conclusion: a borefest. Not even a decent chick flick, because there are no love scenes, no interesting clothes, no romantic conflict, no snappy dialogue. Any normal guy would run screaming from this (or fall asleep). As for me...I've been burned at least three times now. No more Kate Hudson films for me.

Studio: Buena Vista Home Vid
Director: Garry Marshall
Actors:
Kate Hudson
John Corbett
Joan Cusack




DVD title: The Prince of Egypt
Productgroup: DVD
The Prince of Egypt - movie DVD cover picture
well worth a viewing, and a discussion


I really enjoyed this movie. It was rather dramatic for a children's film, but a good way to teach children the story of Moses and the Exodus. For the most part, I found it pretty accurate. Some artistic license was of course taken, but the themes and ideas and major events seemed to be all there. I watched this movie as part of a Bible study, and afterwards we had a discussion about it; if you are concerned about any inaccuracies or ideas presented, then I recommend doing the same with your kids.

The animation was absolutely beautiful. I particularly like Moses' dream, which is styled after Egyption drawings. The colors and scenery were also brilliant throughout the entire film. And the music was wonderful-- I believe Hans Zimmer was the composer...so if you enjoyed the music of Gladiator, you will like this score as well. Only one song irked me: "Playing with the Big Boys," which seemed cheesier than the rest of the movie and slightly out of place.

I admit, this movie is not for everyone. It is not a typical happy animated film, and thus is likely not a good choice for young children. But it is good for older children, particularly those who know the story of Moses. It is deeper than other animated movies, and so many adults will enjoy it as well.

Overall, I found the film very well-done and full of rich details. The only issues I can imagine people having with it are the few places where it strays from the story in the Bible, but as I said before, this opens the door to some good discussions, and I highly recommend giving it a try.

Studio: Dreamworks Skg
Actors:
Val Kilmer
Ralph Fiennes




DVD title: Hawaii Songs of Aloha
Productgroup: DVD
Hawaii Songs of Aloha - movie DVD cover picture
Superb music & dance show from Hawaii


Pure delight to watch: even Elvis would love the Hawaiian Wedding Song recorded here!

Studio: Mountain Apple
Actors:
Various



DVD title: The Lost World - Jurassic Park (Widescreen Collector's Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
The Lost World - Jurassic Park (Widescreen Collector's Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
ANYONE WHO PUT LESS THAN 5 DOESN'T KNOW WHAT A GOOD FILM IS!


Absolutely BRILLIANT,EXCITING,SUPERB,MAGNIFICENT,GO OD and well just generally WOW. This film is really good you should get it.

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: Steven Spielberg
Actors:
Jeff Goldblum
Julianne Moore
Pete Postlethwaite
Vince Vaughn




DVD title: The Dukes of Hazzard - The Complete First Season
Productgroup: DVD
The Dukes of Hazzard - The Complete First Season - movie DVD cover picture
Real T.V.


I remember waiting until friday at 8:00 every week for the Duke boys to come on when I was a kid.These are the kind of shows that need to come back on instead of all these liberal,gay and reality shows.I have to young sons who I can't wait for them to see this and be proud of their southern heritage.

Studio: Warner Home Video
Actors:
Tom Wopat



DVD title: The Shield - The Complete First Season
Productgroup: DVD
The Shield - The Complete First Season - movie DVD cover picture
Mercilessly unflinching L.A. police drama!!


Thank God for cable TV!
"The Shield" is the most intense new cop series in a decade. The action centers around an proto-experimental police precinct in South Central L.A. The action is violent and intense and pulls no punches. Series lead Michael Chiklis stars as Vic Mackey, leader of an elite squad within the precinct. Mackey is corrupt, amoral, but a great and effective cop. Even when you want to hate him you can't help but root for him. The precinct house's new Lieutenant makes no secret about wanting to bust Mackey as part of his political aspirations, but Mackey isn't going down without a fight. And he certainly has the fight in him.
The final scene in the first episode set the tone for what kind of cop Mackey can be. But throughout the whole first season viewers are treated to a level of grittiness and action rarely seen on television. Always intense!
One particularly satisfying story arc in the first season centers around one of the precinct's new detectives trying to catch what he thinks might be a serial killer. He eventually gets his man, and some unexpected respect from his fellow officers, but the psychological price he pays is what will resonate long after the case file is closed.
And "The Shield"'s visual style (namely the art direction and use of color) is unlike any other cop show you've seen before. That sounds kind of odd if you haven't already seen the show, but it gives the show a distinctive look to go with its already distinctive sound and feel.
Watching this show gives me the same charge I got from watching the first season of "N.Y.P.D. Blue" -- the David Caruso season.That whole first season is also available from Fox TV on DVD in early 2003. Too bad the "...Blue" box set won't also contain the first four episodes from Season 2, the episodes that wrapped up David Caruso's character story line through his exit from the show.
**** Easy instructions for watching "The Shield - Season One" on DVD: Point, click, buy, watch, enjoy, pick jaw up off floor.

Studio: Fox Home Entertainme
Actors:
Michael Chiklis



DVD title: Pirates of the Caribbean - The Curse of the Black Pearl (2-Disc Collector's Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Pirates of the Caribbean - The Curse of the Black Pearl (2-Disc Collector's Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
glorious


I must say I was very disappointed in this film. I was expecting a fairly exciting and intense action film with some good laughs and quirky characters.
Instead I got medicore action scenes, barely giggles, and cardbored, forgettable characters. What really amazed me was that this movie had no centerpiece action sequence. There really wasn't a single action scene to remember the movie by, or a memorable moment period for that matter.
This film is barely worth a rental, and definitely not worth a purchase.

Studio: Walt Disney Home Video
Director: Gore Verbinski
Actors:
Johnny Depp
Geoffrey Rush
Orlando Bloom
Keira Knightley
Jonathan Pryce




DVD title: Hav Plenty
Productgroup: DVD
Hav Plenty - movie DVD cover picture
Hav Plenty was more than enough


Some people compare this movie to Love Jones but I think Hav Plenty is in a class all to it's own. Love Jones was basically a love story while Hav Plenty is more of a search for love. One was in love the other didn't realized until later.
The most memoriable line of the movie was between Havilland and Lee:
Havilland: Who do you think you are talking to me like that?Lee: Who do you think you are that I can't.
I think those two line set the tone for the movie. I think some reviewer really missed the point about the movie. One wonder why the women in this movie was so into him considering his appearance. Another said that no man would take such verbal abuse and still be their......
Havilland may have ripped Lee a new hole over hav's sister buthe did not just sit their and say nothing which is why I liked the two line in the movie which once again I think sets a tone for the rest of the movie....
They new each other when they where in school, they ran into each other later on in life, went out once and remained friends.
There was only two women that chased after Lee and they were Hav's sister and friend. Hav's friend wanted him because it was new years and she just wanted to be with someone, while Hav's sister on the other hand wanted to kiss Lee because after 30 minute of talking to her (that's 30 minutes in movie time folks, not actaul time) Lee new exactly how she was feeling. Her sister Havilland did not know neither did her husband, mother nor her father.
All I can say is I enjoy every minute of it, and can't wait for my DVD to get to house so I can look at it again.

Studio: Miramax
Director: Christopher Scott Cherot
Actors:
Christopher Scott Cherot
Chenoa Maxwell




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