Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: SpongeBob SquarePants - Halloween
Productgroup: DVD
SpongeBob SquarePants - Halloween - movie DVD cover picture
More SpongeBob on DVD!

My daughter was so excited when I bought this for her. She only 6 1/2 & knows how to work the DVD player. She loves the new spongebob episodes & watches it daily.

Studio: Paramount Home Video

DVD title: The Godfather
Productgroup: DVD
The Godfather - movie DVD cover picture
I'll Write A Review You Can't Refuse

Francis Ford Coppola does something with this movie many filmmakers are unable to do. Coppola makes us feel as if we're part of the"FAMILY". We feel as if were behind the scenes watching the Corleone's up's and down's. A one of a kind screenplay written by Mario Puzo and Coppola,and as we all should know by now,the film the based on Puzo's novel. Truly desevering of the Oscars in won. Brando's performance in this movie,is in my opinion,the best of his career. And the same goes with the rest of the cast:Al Pacino,Diane Keaton,James Caan,Robert Duvall,and Talia Shire. Everyone in this movie delivers a powerhouse performances. Many unforgettable lines and characters that will stay with us forever. Terrific music score by Nino Rota,beautiful camerawork by Gordon Willis,and top notch directing Coppola. Truly one of the greatest films ever made! If there's anyone who hasn't seen this movie,you have no idea what your missing. A must for anyone's video collection.

Studio: Paramount Home Video
Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Marlon Brando
Al Pacino

DVD title: Cleopatra (Five Star Collection)
Productgroup: DVD
Cleopatra (Five Star Collection) - movie DVD cover picture
What a movie! What a DVD!

All my life, I had never wanted to watch this movie, because of its bad reputation as being too long and too boring.
A friend hired it, and I agreed to watch the beginning, only to see what the DVD quality looked like. Two extremely entertaining hours later, the "Intermission" title came up, and I knew I was hooked. I bought this DVD the next day, and watched the second half the moment I got it home.
I can see that watching this movie in a theatre would be impossible to do. Its length is made worse by the drawn-out, plodding second half, but with the DVD, you can turn this movie into a mini-series and watch it over a few nights, enjoying the sumptuous sound and music, the awesome wide-screen cinematography and the magnificent sets and costumes as though you were in a theatre.
Liz Taylor is marvellous, spitting venom one minute, a suductive kitten the next - Richard Burton's voice would melt even the most vicious dictator's heart, and Rex Harrison is Henry Higgins in armour. All three lead actors are stunning to watch, belting out their well-crafted lines as if they were thinking them up off the top of their heads. Cleopatra's entry into Rome must have cost the national debt of a small country, and the costumes must have made many seamstesses blind. The Alexandria Palace exterior set almost steals the show, it is amazing.
If you love Hollywood-Rewrites-History movies, this is definately for you. I'm so glad I didn't see it on TV - all those commercial breaks would make it unbearable.

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox Home Video
Elizabeth Taylor
Richard Burton
Rex Harrison
Elizabeth Taylor

DVD title: Once Upon a Time in the West
Productgroup: DVD
Once Upon a Time in the West - movie DVD cover picture
An experience not to be missed

Sergio Leone. Just hearing that name sends a thrill through the hearts of cinema fans everywhere--or at least it should. This Italian director only made a handful of films during his career, but nearly every one of them is a masterwork on an epic scale. Obviously, the spaghetti western genre, that much venerated collection of Italian films paying homage to the American West, is Leone's playground. His name towers over every other contributor to that genre, so much so that you can't even discuss it without mentioning this film, "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly," "A Fistful of Dollars," and nearly every other spag Leone made with Clint Eastwood. Sergio Leone didn't even invent this particular genre--that honor goes to Sergio Corbucci with his groundbreaking "Django"--but Leone gave it a scope few others did. Even more surprising is the discovery that none other than Dario Argento helped draft the screenplay for this film (with Bernardo Bertolucci). If you're not a scary movie buff, Argento went on to define the Italian horror genre with classic shockers like "Deep Red," "Tenebre," "The Bird with the Crystal Plumage" and a number of other deeply disturbing films. Throw in composer Ennio Morricone and this movie serves as a critical nexus of Italian filmmaking.

Goodness, how to write a summary of this film and do it the proper justice? Leone introduces us to the principals right from the start, beginning with the arrival of a sinister, harmonica playing figure (Charles Bronson) at a train station. Three men wait for him, two of whom are played by veteran character actors Jack Elam and Woody Strode. The scene unfolds with a sureness and deliberate pace that tells you right from the start that this film is something different. Then we meet the McBain family, a hardy bunch of Irish pioneers living out in the middle of nowhere. The patriarch of the clan, Brett (Frank Wolff), and his children are setting up an outdoor feast to welcome Jill (Claudia Cardinale) to her new role as wife and stepmother. Unfortunately, tragedy strikes in the form of a vicious gunslinger known as Frank (Henry Fonda), a man whose unspeakable atrocities committed at the McBain household speak to his immorality and pure meanness. Then Leone shows us Jill heading out to the meet her new family only to run into the outlaw Cheyenne (Jason Robards) and the aforementioned Harmonica at a seedy watering hole. At this point, we're far into the film and have no idea of where Leone is taking us. Don't worry; his hand is steady and his goals pure.

It turns out that everyone in this corner of Arizona thought Brett McBain was an utter fool to plunk down so much money to buy up a bunch of property out in the middle of nowhere. But they were wrong. McBain knew exactly what he was doing when he moved his family out into the blasted desert climes. It has something to do with the railroad, and if things go his way he will soon become an extraordinarily wealthy individual, perhaps the richest man in the Arizona territory. These plans come to a screeching halt with his sudden demise, but Jill McBain decides to stay on at the house and make a go of things. She doesn't know about her late husband's plans, not at this point anyway, but Frank and his big shot railroad boss Morton (Gabriele Ferzetti) know exactly what is at stake. Morton unleashed Frank on McBain, and now he plans on doing the same thing with Jill. This straightforward plot becomes complicated with the arrival of the enigmatic Harmonica, who has an ancient score to settle with a certain wicked gunslinger, and also when Cheyenne throws his chips in with Jill. Romance, violence, atmosphere in spades--"Once Upon a Time in the West" simply oozes everything that makes a movie a classic.

Where to start? How about Henry Fonda, a beloved actor for decades due to a number of personable roles who strays about as far from his usual niche as possible here. Fonda turns in what constitutes one of the great onscreen villain roles as the cold-blooded Frank. Charles Bronson--whose Harmonica character is essentially a good guy--is often just as chilling as Frank in word and deed. Jason Robards strikes a more personable chord as the helpful outlaw Cheyenne, and Claudia Cardinale is strikingly beautiful as a woman with a past who becomes the epitome of the frontier spirit through gritty spirit. These characters move in a beautifully photographed environment that soon becomes a character with as much importance as the human actors. Ennio Morricone's score, especially Jill McBain's theme, is breathtaking and adds considerable depth to the proceedings. It's literally impossible to give this lengthy masterpiece credit in a short review. In fact, multiple viewings are absolutely necessary to appreciate fully the various plotlines and character motivations. I think it's obvious Sergio Leone had a great love for America, or at least the archetypes that made America what it is, and in these times it's refreshing to see a profession of fondness for my country on such a grand scale.

Leone also loved American westerns, according to comments made on the commentary track, and he lifted many of his scenes both large and small from other films. That might make the film sound derivative, and in some respects the film historians relating this information on the audio track make it sound that way, but nothing could be further from the truth. This film reinterprets the western in a way that breathes fresh life into the genre. What we see and hear looks and sounds more realistic, more in tune with how the Old West actually functioned, than any film about the time made on these shores. If you haven't spent any time watching spaghetti westerns, you need to put this one at the top of your list.

Studio: Paramount Home Video
Director: Sergio Leone
Henry Fonda
Charles Bronson

DVD title: Ghost in the Shell
Productgroup: DVD
Ghost in the Shell - movie DVD cover picture
One of the best anime's ever made

Ghost in the shell is a cyber punk anime that mingles machines and flesh so tough that no one really is pure human. It has a real good amount of action in it and also a though provoking anime. It starts out as a female cyborg cop thats going after a enemy called the Puppet Master problem is its hard to tell where or who he is. He messes wit peoples minds and stuff to make um do whatever he wants them to, soon near the end the Female Cop has to make a decision. Its a very good anime wit some nudity (but name an unedited anime that dosen't, besides Pokemon) so i would recommend it for 16 and up. My only downside is i wish they would make a sequel. :}

Studio: Palm Pictures/Manga Video
Director: Mamoru Oshii
Atsuko Tanaka
Iemasa Kayumi

DVD title: Breathless
Productgroup: DVD
Breathless - movie DVD cover picture
Richard Gere is sensational

I loved Breathless the first time I saw it and I have watched it many, many times now. The main reason is Gere's performance. It may not be his best but it's his most original and spaced-out performance of his career. The movie itself is quite entertaining, but no masterpiece. It never takes itself too seriously and mostly depends on the charms of Gere to keep it going. The ending is the best part, where his character seems to have nowhere to go and everything is closing down on him, and his only answer is to escape to his fantasy world and of course; sing the opening lines to Jerry Lee Lewis's Breathless. Another plus is the music, for this is the only film I know of that has Presley's Suspicious Minds playing in the background.

Studio: Mgm/Ua Studios
Director: Jim McBride
Richard Gere
Valérie Kaprisky

DVD title: Scared Straight!
Productgroup: DVD
Scared Straight! - movie DVD cover picture
scared straight

If you LOVE anyone that is headed for trouble show them this.
If YOU are doing stuff that will get YOURSELF into trouble... watch this video.
Don't waste THIS chance to keep yourself from major problems.

Studio: New Video Group
Director: Arnold Shapiro

DVD title: The Great Muppet Caper
Productgroup: DVD
The Great Muppet Caper - movie DVD cover picture

This is my favorite Muppet movie,I like the opening scene and Stepping out with a Star,The Dubonet Club scene with the late Jim Henson[RIP] I can't believe he's gone! 15 years This May. I also liked the bike scene,I think Kim Possible,Ron Stoppable and Rufus can catch the jewel thieves, it's No Big! to her,What a Heroine!

Studio: Columbia/Tristar Studios
Director: Jim Henson
Jim Henson
Frank Oz

DVD title: The Mothman Prophecies
Productgroup: DVD
The Mothman Prophecies - movie DVD cover picture
Great movie, misleading reviews.

Okay, first of all- who cares if this film had no relevance to real life events? If this fact actually bothers you then you obviously cannot appreciate great cinema and therefore should not be writing a review. Everyone and their mother should know that any time "This move is based on actual events" flashes on the screen preceding the opening credits, this is only a half-truth; that is, it MAY be based LOOSELY on actual events, but the main purpose of this message is to put the viewer on edge and give them a paranoid feeling.
Secondly, I thought that the music and odd, atmosphere-indulgent cinematography were perfectly suited for a film in which the main character is in an almost constant state of emotional chaos; the music is hard-driven and menacing while maintining a chilling ambiant quality that will affect you after the movie; the cinematography reflects the dreamlike quality of the protagonist's life- 'can this really be happening to me, or is it all just some horrible nightmare?'- while giving the movie a fantastical quality as if to say, "Take this with a grain of salt- but remember, it is based on actual events."
Thirdly, I felt that the acting and directing were very strong in the film; I usually don't much care for Richard Gere, but I can't imagine anyone else playing this particular part better. (Some may mistake his character's emotional detatchment as poor, bland acting, but wouldn't you be pretty indifferent to everything else if your wife had just died?) Laura Linney has been a favorite ever since- she is perfectly suited for this role. The supporting cast is wonderful, as well.
Finally, the ending (hmm.. <G>). I noticed comments from other reviewers stating that the ending was "obvious" and "contrived"; perhaps these people are mistaking "obvious" with "looming" or "impending". Everyone knew what was going to happen; the purpose of the ending was not to surprise the viewer. The key to the ending was the ANTICIPATION of disaster- you had gathered vague clues throughout the course of the film, but you didn't know exactly where, when, or how it was going to happen. And when it did happen, I found it QUITE thrilling. In fact, I absolutely LOVED the ending... once again, maybe people just didn't understand that they were SUPPOSED to know what was going to happen, and mistaked the ending for poor moviemaking when it was the exact opposite... Just a thought.

Studio: Columbia Tristar Hom
Director: Mark Pellington
Richard Gere
Laura Linney

DVD title: Grave of the Fireflies
Productgroup: DVD
Grave of the Fireflies - movie DVD cover picture
The most beautiful elegy to all innocent victims of all wars

A most unusual blend of beauty, and sadness, to display the cruel consequences of war. Slowly and steadily, as if in slow motion, we are slapped in the face with the miserable reality of the main characters, devastating and cruel reality, shown so simply and so powerfully from the very first to the very last second of the movie. Some parts literally smash your heart to sorrow. Graphically speaking the movie displays such a breathtaking look. Not just the sceneries and overall style, even minor details like the leaves and debris flying across the scenery in several shots truly resemble the paintings of Hokusai or Hiroshigue (which I happen to be very fond of). The artistic value of the visuals works perfectly in service of the powerful emotional substance explored in this movie, the combination is just perfect. There are several moments that I personally find truly poetic and most sublime in Grave of the fireflies. Forget whether you hate or enjoy war movies, or whether you like or dislike animated or manga movies. Grave of the Fireflies really stands far beyond any preconceptions you might have for these categories.

Studio: Cpm/Us Manga Corps
Director: Isao Takahata
Tsutomu Tatsumi
Ayano Shiraishi
Akemi Yamaguchi

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