Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Evil under the Sun
Productgroup: DVD
Evil under the Sun - movie DVD cover picture
Most buy!!!!!

This is one of most fav muder film of all time. The cast is brillant, the bichness between maggie smith+diana rigg is so funny. The location is amazing and would to go there. The film has a good thick plot and full of twist. Please buy this film.Paul

Studio: Anchor Bay Entertainment
Director: Guy Hamilton
Peter Ustinov
James Mason
Maggie Smith

DVD title: X-Men
Productgroup: DVD
X-Men - movie DVD cover picture
Great movie

This is the kind of movie you can see more than one time. The movie has great actor and great special effect. I can't wait for see the second part. If you want to see a really good movie this is perfect one.

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox Home Video
Director: Bryan Singer
Hugh Jackman
Patrick Stewart
Ian McKellen

DVD title: WWE - Austin vs. McMahon - The Whole True Story
Productgroup: DVD
WWE - Austin vs. McMahon - The Whole True Story - movie DVD cover picture

The Austin-McMahon saga is nothing short of excellent. From career ending matches(Fully Loaded '99) to steel cage matches(St Valentine's Day Massacre), Stone Cold Steve Austin and Vince McMahon literally tear each other up! With interviews from officials such as Earl Hebner,Michael Cole and More, this is a must have video for any WWF fan, even if you don't know what wrestling is about.

Studio: Sony Music (Video)
Vince McMahon
Steve Austin

DVD title: A Walk in the Clouds
Productgroup: DVD
A Walk in the Clouds - movie DVD cover picture
Keanu's Best!

This is one of my favorite movies. My husband and I have kind of adopted it as "our" movie. And he doesn't normally like these kind of films. The story is compelling, the characters memorable. Lose yourself in "the clouds" - it's a beautiful film!

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
Director: Alfonso Arau
Keanu Reeves
Aitana Sánchez-Gijón

DVD title: Titus
Productgroup: DVD
Titus - movie DVD cover picture
Brilliantly Executed Shakespearian Drama, With a Twist

Julie Taymor's lavish arthouse film "Titus," based on one of Shakespeare's least-known plays, "Titus Andronicus," is a uniqe chimera of beauty, elegance, and social responsibility. Titus Andronicus, Shakespeare's first work not to draw directly on historical fact, lacks the depth of its immediate predecessor play, Richard III, instead succumbing to horrific violence and action without much of a point. This is probably why it hasn't been preformed or studied greatly, as it was clearly intended for a "groundling" audience, specifically to make money. The fact that it was the Bard's first true commercial success in his time attests to this fact, and the parallels between the sacrifice of content for the "bread and circuses" violence that people craved and modern, "braindead" action films today should be obvious.
Instead of turning her back on the work, Taymor openly embraced the violent nature of the play, but instead of making a blood-splattered production, she turned it into a powerful metaphor for the levels of violence and sexuality in our culture - and the lack of responsibility we take with such things.
The movie opens not in the past, but in the present - a young boy is playing "war" in his kitchen, and robots and toy soldiers explode around him and die. As a tank breaks down his wall, we are left unsure as to exactly what is fantasy and reality anymore - another brilliant take on the cause of violent actions, especially high-profile cases of violence by children, like the Columbine massacre.
The boy then enters the world of the play, where ancient Rome and modern times freely intermingle (and, despite my misgivings before seeing the film, this production choice does not detract at all from what happens onscreen). Titus (Anthony Hopkins, in the role that brought him out of his semi-retirement) and his soldiers - covered either with the grime of battle or a kind of caked-on, archaeological dirt, as if they were excavated from the ground, march into Rome, almost like the automatons the boy was playing with moments before. We learn they have just concluded a successful campaign against the Goths, and sacrifice one of the sons of the Goth's queen, Tamara (played to a "t" by Jessica Lange) as thanks. Tamara vows revenge, ends up supporting an upstart punk politician who takes over as emperor and sets out to destroy Titus' life.
This play has it all - disembowlments, rape, dismemberment, mutilation, insanity, political backstabbing, and sexual orgies. Through it all, the boy watches goggle-eyed and slackjawed, and becomes a kind of moral focal point for everything that happens around him - the lessons he "learns" (or rejects) in a strange fantasy world.
In a time when the lines between fantasy and reality become blurred, Taymor's Titus takes an uncompromising look at saturation of violence in our lives, and in the lives of our children. Because of this, it manages to take one of Shakespeare's worst works, an almost-parody of the levels of violence and action people so desperately seem to need, and makes it an incredibly moral story.
The Special Edition DVD is a two-disc set, the first disc featuring the film in glorious 5.1 surround, with some subtitle options and an interesting commentary track. The transfer is great, as should be expected from Fox, and the sound is crystal-clear. The second disc contains most of the special features, among which is an interview Julie Taymor gives at Columbia University.
As an arthouse play, and one that requires a good deal of thinking, Titus obviously isn't for everyone, but if you've studied Shakespeare, enjoy Shakespeare, or are interested in what an artistic director can achieve with some pretty crummy source material, be sure and check it out. You might want to consider renting it before you buy it, but try to stick with the widescreen version - the pan-n-scan doesn't do the beautiful cinematography justice.

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
Director: Julie Taymor
Anthony Hopkins
Jessica Lange

DVD title: Some Like It Hot (Special Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Some Like It Hot (Special Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Still Likin' It HOT

When Hollywood started making the lists of the Greatest Movie of All Time, or the Greatest Comedy of All Time, etc.--I was skeptical: how could any person or group really decide those honors after a century of films?
(And I've never forgotten that THE EXORCIST was left off the AFI Greatest Films list, which is a crime when you consider that overrated films like FARGO did make the list).

But I didn't have a problem when SOME LIKE IT HOT was voted as the Best Comedy of All Time.
It's a funny idea, it's got an incredible cast (Jack Lemmon still makes me laugh out loud--especially his scene with Marilyn Monroe in the bunk on the train), and it still works.

I grew up in the 1970s and 1980s, so my personal favorite comedy is NATIONAL LAMPOON'S ANIMAL HOUSE, but I won't disagree that SOME LIKE IT HOT should be at the top of the list.

I'm laughing just thinking of my favorite lines:
"I'm tellin' you, Joe, it's a whole other sex!"

"This might even turn into a surprise party."

"I'm engaged."
"Oh, yeah, who's the lucky girl?"

"Osgood...I can never have children."

"Nobody's perfect."

Studio: MGM/UA Video
Director: Billy Wilder
Marilyn Monroe
Tony Curtis
Jack Lemmon

DVD title: The Lord of the Rings - The Two Towers (Widescreen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
The Lord of the Rings - The Two Towers (Widescreen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
This is a great MOVIE.

By this point, people interested in this movie are probably already in one of two camps: A) Loved it; B) Hated it. The storyline does not always adhere religiously to that laid down by the Professor all those years ago when he wrote the Lord of the Rings, but Pete Jackson does a FREAKING GREAT job of carrying on the story HE established in the first movie. The character moments are wonderful, the set pieces spectacular, the effects mind-blowing. It is... difficult... at times to do so, but the people that have problems with the screen versions of the LORD OF THE RINGS generally cannot accept that modifications are necessary in order to see this story on screen at all. And this is a great presentation. Fellowship of the Ring was fantastic, and The Two Towers equally so. I expect The Return of the King to be mind-blowing as well.
If you can accept that change is sometimes necessary, do NOT pass up an opportunity to experience this story on film.

Studio: New Line Home Entertainment
Director: Peter Jackson
Elijah Wood
Ian McKellen
Viggo Mortensen

DVD title: Fast Times at Ridgemont High (Collector's Edition) (High School Reunion Collection)
Productgroup: DVD
Fast Times at Ridgemont High (Collector's Edition) (High School Reunion Collection) - movie DVD cover picture

If there is a must see movie about high school life in the 80's....this is it. Southern California high school life at it's finest, with the help of a lot of stars-Sean Penn, Eric Stoltz, Jennifer Jason-Leigh, Judge Reinhold, and who could forget Ray Walston as "Mr. Hand". You WILL enjoy this movie! This is a "KEEPER".

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: Amy Heckerling
Sean Penn

DVD title: Two Mules For Sister Sara
Productgroup: DVD
Two Mules For Sister Sara - movie DVD cover picture

DAYS OF HEAVEN was once a film without a released soundtrack though many fans had begged for one. Finally one was released and it was nominated for a Grammy Award to boot. This is a very different Morricone than most people will encouter if all they've heard is his music for the spaghetti westerns. It has a haunting, nostalgic feel to it, and goes for lighter orchestrations than the usual Morricone score. He doesn't always score the most obvious scenes and that makes for a different feel to the picture, but when he does score a scene, you do not forget the images it accompanies. A brief note, the CD contins a cue that is not in the film, and a couple pieces from the CD are shortened in the film, especially THRESHING, one of my favorite cues.
As to TWO MULES FOR SISTER SARA. I did not think it was a lightweight incongruous western. It fit right in with Eastwood's DOLLAR films, though it's more American due to the director DON SIEGEL (INVASTION OF TH BODY SNATCHERS, DIRTY HARRY, etc.) Perhaps it's Morricone's sense of humor that doesn't allow his score to become too serious; his score seems to play off the fact that Shirley MacLaine's Sister Sara realy isn't a nun but someone of a less-than-sacred profession, and the music reflects her playfulness and ribaldness. One note: there is one cut on the CD that is not in the film. Instead of it, they could've put on the attack by the Indians, or Sara's climb to the top of the train bridge.
These two scores show Morricone's range and are a welcome addition to any Morricone collection.

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: Don Siegel
Shirley MacLaine
Clint Eastwood

DVD title: A Very Long Engagement
Productgroup: DVD
A Very Long Engagement - movie DVD cover picture
A Hopeful Love Story Contrasting Opposite Elements...

War is filthy, nasty, and bloody. It is also a form of disagreement where one or more parts of society has decided that verbal communication can no longer achieve the desired result, and thus, tries to convince the disagreeing party through brutal physical force. The force is most usually not carried out by those who tend to disagree, as they draft innocents to carry out the disagreement with full force. The innocents usually are too busy to worry about national power struggles, as they have to carry out their daily labor while providing food and shelter for loved ones. If the innocents disagree with those who recruited or drafted them they will most likely face a court martial, and in the past, even death. A Very Long Engagement plays out un the backdrop of the French government who drafted and sentenced a group of five innocents to death due to cowardice through self-mutilation during the end of World War I.

Jean-Pierre Jeunet opens with a genuine visual description of the realities of war during World War I. The rain pours down over the desolated no man's land between the French and German border in 1917 in the opening shot. Relentless artillery fire has stripped the land on the battle front from all sign of life while the rain water slowly seeks its way to the lowest place - the trenches. The trenches are the home of the soldiers where they have to live among water, mud, urine, body parts, and other disgusting objects. Endless machine gun fire forces the men to remain below the top edge of the trench as bullets hungrily seek new living targets above. The poor conditions due to rain and overcrowding in the trenches develop terrible hygiene among the men, which creates several other enemies besides the ones in the opposing trench such as trench foot, trench fever, and other illnesses that often caused death.

Death seems to be the only way out for those who arrive to the front, which makes the notion of hope a meaningless dream. Seasons develop different kinds of obstacles in the trenches. Winter brings cold while in the summer diseases peaks in the trenches, as the overwhelming stench of rotting human flesh and feces would make any normal person throw-up. As if this was not enough, the men constantly struggle with sleep deprivation due to nightly bombardments while proper meals are something of a heavenly dream. Morale could not be lower while an abundance of madness lingers in minds of the soldiers in this nightmarish home of World War I. Unknowingly at the time, this is a year before the end of World War I, but for those who live in the trenches it might as well have been an eternity until the end of the war. The only desires these men have are to leave the madness of the trenches behind them at any cost.

Having the notions of the conditions of World War I in the mind, it becomes clear what compels a man to shoot their own hand while trying to leave the trenches and the battlefront behind them. In he beginning of the film Jeunet introduces five men who all have shot their own hand in order to avoid the trenches. However, all of the five men have been sentenced to death due to the act of self-mutilation, which is observed as a sign of cowardice. The five condemned wander through the trench at Bingo Crepuscule where flashbacks disclose the identity of the five men. Up to this point in this review, you the reader, might think that A Very Long Engagement is a war film, but do not let this notion trick you. This is a love story where one of the five condemned men, Manech (Gaspard Ulliel), who is or was, which is never clear until the end, engaged to Mathilde (Audrey Tautou).

Two years after World War I, Mathilde still awaits the return of Manech, her first and only love. She holds on to her hope that he is still alive through silly speculations and wishful thinking while she contacts survivors from Bingo Crepuscule where Manech supposedly died. Through many of survivors Mathilde hears often the similar stories of his death, but she refuses to accept the stories. Persistently, she hires a private detective to look up more information while she continues her own personal investigation of the fate of her fianc?. Unlike the trench war previously described, Mathilde quest resembles a fairy tale where she is determined to find her prince.

To say that this is an anti-war film might be true to some degree, but it does not present a complete image of the story. Jeunet portrays several different notions in this story such as love, hope, death, relationships, vengeance, and more. Through the survivors from Bingo Crepuscule Mathilde learns much about the five condemned men, but the audience also learns much about why life is worth living through these stories. In essence, A Very Long Engagement tells a story of life and the glue of life - love. Love is the main theme, which Jeunet throws into contrast with numerous different notions such as death, hatred, and anger. Through the contrasting elements Jeunet accentuates the importance of love. Thus, it is more accurately stated that this is a love story.

There is strong presence of cinematic symbolism that Jeunet uses from the opening scene with the broken crucifix with a partial and dangling icon of Christ until the very final scene. In the first scene, the importance of hands comes into the image where the Christ icon hangs from only one hand. The five men were also injured in their hands while several scenes stress the importance of hands carrying out actions. This could suggest that people with two hands can carry out different kind of deeds. In this case, the hand could deliver both love and hatred. Love representing emotional touch and handshakes while hatred displays the notion of pulling a trigger that kills another fellow human being. Thus, the notion of mutilating one hand could then extend the thought that the five condemned wanted to end their ability to carry out hatred and brutality against mankind.

In a clever intricate woven tale Jeunet incorporates flashbacks and voiceovers into a complex narration of Mathilde's pursuit for the lost Manech. Visually the fragmented storyline encourages the audience to ponder Mathilde's yearning for Manech along with the aftermath of war, which displays terrific editing. The camerawork bears a resemblance to his preceding films Delicatessen (1991), The City of Lost Children (1995), and Amelie (2001), but it still feels original. It is obvious that Jeunet is more comfortable telling stories that are slightly bizarre and fantastic. What Mathilde learns about Manech's fate will not be revealed here, but one thing is certain, A Very Long Engagement is a marvelously touching story that offers both comedy and tragedy on a very high level.

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Jean-Pierre Jeunet
Audrey Tautou
Gaspard Ulliel
Jodie Foster

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