Film DVD related reviews


DVD title: What's Eating Gilbert Grape
Productgroup: DVD
What's Eating Gilbert Grape - movie DVD cover picture
Leo the Great


The entire movie is memorable, but Leonardo is really amazing, in the part that should have won him an Oscar. He is so good that your heart breaks for the beauty he brings to his characterization of Arnie Grape.

Studio: Paramount Home Video
Director: Lasse Hallström
Actors:
Johnny Depp
Leonardo DiCaprio




DVD title: Night of the Living Dead
Productgroup: DVD
Night of the Living Dead - movie DVD cover picture
Is that a corpse at your door? Gotta love zombie minimalism!


Some people don't get zombies; some people apparently think the idea of a deteriorated corpse stumbling after people is yawn-inducing. If you're one of those people, this movie probably isn't for you. . .

But I am not one of those people!

'Shaun of the Dead,' '28 Days Later,' and the recent 'Dawn of the Dead' resurrected the zombie genre, but each of these films modified the core principles of zombieology in order to do it. 'Shaun' camped it up, and humorized it. 'Dawn' beefed it up, gave it artillery, and made it "kick ass." '28 Days' injected it with Sartre and a heady brand of pessimistic existentialism.

All three movies worked quite well, but I kept thinking, "must we try SO hard?" Let's get back to the basics!

I'm a zombie minimalist, I have to admit. Zombies are scary because they represent the horror of seeing something that simply "is NOT supposed to be" stumbling without rhyme or reason into our otherwise complacent and secure bubble of existence. They're also about having to face a radically altered world apparently alone, or with only a tight-knit posse of "survivors" to unite with. Likewise, there is that concept of trying to stay "one step ahead" of a nightmare that is gradually approaching you from just beyond your field of vision.

"Night of the Living Dead" captures these qualities at their purest (at least in my opinion), and while the new zombie flicks are good, this re-make from 1990 is the good-old zombie minimalism that I hope is embraced by zombie film-makers in the future.

P.S. - Want to learn about zombies and philosophy? Check out David Chalmers' book "The Conscious Mind: In Search of a Fundamental Theory!"

Studio: Columbia/Tristar Studios
Director: Tom Savini
Actors:
Tony Todd
Patricia Tallman




DVD title: Star Wars - Episode I, The Phantom Menace (Widescreen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Star Wars - Episode I, The Phantom Menace (Widescreen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Thank you, DVD


-MOVIE-Now, call me crazy but I liked it. Sure, Jar-Jar gets on your nerves, and the acting isn't exactly the cream of the crop, but its Star Wars and in the end it does live up to its name. Episode I had to be made to tell the story and to set the stage for the subsequent episodes. The effects were (and still are) out of this world. Lucas poured his heart into this, and it turned out to be stunning. The Podrace scene is the big adrenaline pusher, and the lightsaber duel at the end is just plain cool. We waited for this DVD, and we weren't dissapointed. The movie looks fantastic.
-SPECIAL FEATURES-The Deleted scenes were really a joy to watch, and the little featurettes before them make it all the more better. There are various "Making-of" documentaries, as well as the Web documentaries, but the one thing NOT to miss is "The Beginning." It's an hour-long documentary that covers the entire scope of the making of Episode I. Even if you thought the movie stunk, this documentary is a joy to watch. I even enjoyed the Audio Commentary.
Overall, it was an OK movie, and a great DVD.

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
Director: George Lucas
Actors:
Liam Neeson
Ewan McGregor
Natalie Portman




DVD title: Pitch Black (Rated Version)
Productgroup: DVD
Pitch Black (Rated Version) - movie DVD cover picture
Excellent Fare from Great Team


I suspect that much of the commercial appeal for this film comes from Vin Diesel's presence; which is sad since this film has some great ideas, and a great monster design, done by the consistently cool Patrick Tatopoulos.
However, since Vin has gone on to bigger and better films ( Like XXX ) more power to him.
The bad points, IMO, are the Australian actors who can't even pull off decent accents of any kind ( should have overdubbed the lot), and the "process" that was decided on to "hyper"-light the daylight portions of the film.
This film bears no relation to Aliens or the other film mentioned in the editorial. Not even if you compare them to the re-edits that come out in Quadrilogy.
Anyways, the film is quick to start, and races at a great pace. Don't be fooled by the reviews panning Vin's work ... he does a great job, and conveys a superb feeling as the hero ( or "anti-hero" if you wish).
As it is, the film is a great watch. If only some of the stylistic film stock changes could be reversed ...


Studio: Universal Studios
Director: David Twohy
Actors:
Vin Diesel
Radha Mitchell
Cole Hauser




DVD title: Dance with Me
Productgroup: DVD
Dance with Me - movie DVD cover picture
This was an AWSOME movie!!!!!!!!!!


This movie was AWSOME!!!! I saw it twice the night it came out, and I loved it both times. I love the music, the dancing, and even the comedy in it. If you love comedy musical love stories, this is the movie you should see.

Studio: Columbia/Tristar Studios
Director: Randa Haines
Actors:
Vanessa L. Williams
Chayanne




DVD title: A Hard Day's Night
Productgroup: DVD
A Hard Day's Night - movie DVD cover picture
Great and classic entertainment. Timeless.


ABOUT THE FILM ITSELF:
One of the biggest reasons film as a medium holds the effect over us the way it does is because it appeals to our emotions in ways some of the other arts cannot. This is because film incorporates sound, theatre, painting, dance and writing. That dry polemic aside,
A HARD DAY'S NIGHT is a fine example of what film can do. By incorporating sound, theatre, painting, dance, music and writing, this film presents one of the purest expressions of joy in cinema history.
What made the Beatles successful performers and artists and immortal cultural icons, was their collective personification all of their audiences' hopes and dreams.
All wished to be as expressive, free, uninhibited and has happy as they appeared to be. Of course much of this is pure cinematic fabrication, but one cannot fake the explosion of life we see on the screen and hear on their records. No one in history could possibly be talented enough to present such an image without at least a shred of honesty.
Those four young men celebrated life and generously shared so much of it with us through their art. A HARD DAY'S NIGHT is a great testament as to what made them so great.
Richard Lester, the director, got out of the way and let them be the Beatles. The hand held camera work and editing in this film arguably created the '60's visual Cultural Revolution. It is a perfect marriage of music to image. Without this film there never would have been an EASY RIDER or even an MTV (on second thought, maybe that wouldn't be such a bad thing).
Of course John, Paul, George, and Ringo couldn't completely match their images in their private lives (who could?) and of course they matured and evolved as we all have. But this film inspired many to live, to love and to create. It is such a force of positive life affirming love that it has to be savored and enjoyed. I don't apologize for dripping over it the way I do. It is a great film, on the level with CITIZEN KANE, SINGIN' IN THE RAIN, THE SEVEN SAMURAI and others.
A HARD DAY'S NIGHT remains fresh after many repeated viewings.
ABOUT THE DVD:
The picture is a clear transfer that glows with detail and life. For a black and white film, it vibrates with color. While I am not a technical expert, I am most satisfied with the quality of the sound and picture. It certainly marks a great improvement over the original video tape version although I do miss the formers montage to "I'll Cry Instead".
The special features are admittedly lame considering none of the Beatles themselves appear. What we get is a great deal of information that gives new meaning to the word "trivial". I do admit to truly enjoying the anecdotes from screenwriter Alun Owen and director Richard Lester.
A certain must own.

Studio: Miramax Entertainment
Director: Richard Lester
Actors:
John Lennon
Paul McCartney
George Harrison
Ringo Starr




DVD title: Simple Plan - Big Package for You (Snapper Pack) [EXPLICIT LYRICS]
Productgroup: DVD
Simple Plan - Big Package for You (Snapper Pack) [EXPLICIT LYRICS] - movie DVD cover picture
Simple Plan's DVD simply kicks as


I've been a huge Simple Plan fan for the longest time now. I even met three of the guys at Warped Tour 2003, so I was excited for this DVD. When I first saw it, I was BLOWN AWAY! It is amazing, funny, skillfully mastered, and most of all...down to earth. The guys from SP are ordinary guys just having fun living their dreams, and obviously enjoing it every day. The DVD shows how they are just regular people like the rest of the world, but most importantly it shows how thankful they are. They dont take a single day for granted. The DVD shows them playing hilarious pranks on eachother, being sincere, playing shows and touring on their bus. The 5 of them are extremely talented people and deserve everything good that has and will ever come their way. Buy the DVD and watch it! Its one of the funniest (and one of the best band DVDs) I've ever seen!

Studio: Wea Corp



DVD title: The Wiggles - Wiggle Time
Productgroup: DVD
The Wiggles - Wiggle Time - movie DVD cover picture
A hit with my toddler!


My 19-month old son LOVES this video. When he gets up in the morning he asks for "giggles," and as soon as he gets home from day care he wants me to pop it in too. He's learning the words to the songs, and we've just noticed that he's doing some of the gestures/dances too. It's so fun to watch him dance to the songs. We have two other Wiggles videos (Toot, Toot and Wake Up Jeff), but my son clearly prefers this one. We're getting a little tired of it, but it's such a favorite of his that we couldn't possibly take it away now. Younger viewers are sure to be pleased!

Studio: Hit Entertainment, P



DVD title: Wayne's World
Productgroup: DVD
Wayne's World - movie DVD cover picture
Austin Power's Mike Myers and Dana Carvey are exellent


Meet Wayne Campbell and Garth Algar, two party on buddies who have their TV show near Chicago, The show is on Friday nights. The two spend their friday nights partying, and eating dohnuts, When Wayne has a new girlfriend, the two find their show is brought by a TV producer.

Studio: Paramount Home Video
Director: Penelope Spheeris
Actors:
Mike Myers
Dana Carvey




DVD title: The 6th Man
Productgroup: DVD
The 6th Man - movie DVD cover picture
The Sixth Man


The Sixth Man was great, it is my favorite movie! It was so funny and I love basketball, so it was twice as good. Marlon Wayans was really good in this movie.

Studio: Buena Vista Home Vid
Director: Randall Miller
Actors:
Marlon Wayans
Kadeem Hardison




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