Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Aaron Carter - Oh Aaron (Live in Concert)
Productgroup: DVD
Aaron Carter - Oh Aaron (Live in Concert) - movie DVD cover picture
Must-have for ANY fan

If you LOVE Aaron Carter or even just started liking him, I totally recommend this DVD! It is so cool and funny. It includes Aaron performing live PLUS the videos: "Oh Aaron", "Leave it up to me", "Not Too Young, Not Too Old", and "I'm All About You". Also special guests are Backstreet brother Nick Carter and No Secrets. Not to mention the fact that they show Aaron backstage and they have interviews with Nick AND Aaron! (Pssst! They even show them shirtless on their boat swimming!) This DVD rocks! I love it so much and I'm so glad I bought it. You will be, too.

Studio: Bmg Distribution (VI
Nick Carter
Aaron Carter

DVD title: Frailty
Productgroup: DVD
Frailty - movie DVD cover picture
Not your usual redneck rampage story

The end of the world is coming. No one is safe.Twelve-year old Fenton Meiks leads a normal life albeit the absence of a mother. He feels secure growing up in a small Southern town, looking after his younger brother Adam and being cared for by his loving, average-Joe widowed mechanic father. Until the night his father receives a visit from an angel. According to the `angel', Fenton's father is assigned the divine mission of destroying demons. Demons, Fenton's father claims, walk this Earth in human form and commit acts of heinous evil. From that night, Fenton's life was never the same again. His father believed that he found the magical weapons he needed in a shed, and brought home an axe (with the name `Otis' carved in its handle - most eerie!), a steel pipe of some sort and a pair of gloves. While at work, Fenton's father receives another visitation wherein the angel gives him a list of names of demons that he, as `God's Hand', has to destroy. The first abduction and killing takes place that night and it is a grisly event witnessed by the two boys. Adam is a fervent believer while Fenton is skeptical and fearful as he watches his well-loved world crumble around him. Both child actors give not merely credible, but utterly compelling, performances. It is not until many, many years later that Fenton goes to the police, specifically, FBI Agent Doyle, with his sinister tale. The central imagery in this story is a rose garden that lies beside the Meik home. It is to this place that Agent Doyle is led, and another story unfolds. Is the boys' father a psychopath, or something else? Was the young Adam so impressionable that he had been brainwashed by his father into believing that their little family was chosen to be God's Hands? Is there no end to this terror, this series of seemingly mindless and unjustified murders that can neither be traced nor stopped? The element of horror in this movie is not of the scream-out-loud, in-your-face variety. Instead, it is a plot as quiet and dignified as it is disturbing and macabre. This is a tale that makes you rethink your classifications of good and evil. The excellent lighting, cinematography and flashback effect in the plot lends a mythical quality to this movie. A brilliant departure from the usual redneck rampage, axe-murderer story, `Frailty' is a poignant movie with a sound storyline that will intrigue, frighten and haunt you.

Studio: Lions Gate Home Entertainment
Director: Bill Paxton
Bill Paxton
Matthew McConaughey

DVD title: North and South - The Complete Collection
Productgroup: DVD
North and South - The Complete Collection - movie DVD cover picture
Books I and II rate in hyperspace!

Yes, books I and II do rate higher than 5 stars IMHO!!! This series shows all walks of life in the years leading up to and during the Civil War.

The women on both sides are portrayed accross the spectrum. First, Clarissa, Brett, Madelyn, Maude and Constance are the sweethearts. I could have married Brett, but doggone it, Billy beat me to it! The vicious women are portrayed too, in both families: first there was Ashton, who established her ways in the opening scene of the series, when she and Brett found that robin's egg, which Ashton destroyed with that mean smile of hers. And she was just a little girl then! Virgilia had her own viciousness with her fanaticism in the abolitoinist movement and wanted Orry to be killed, first at Harper's Ferry, and then at Lehigh Station just days after the falling of Fort Sumpter. And then there was Isabel, who, being from a wealthy family, thought she was above the law and could do as she pleased. She tried to take over the family iron foundry, and profiteered during the war and nearly had George arrested for what she did!

THe series shows all walks of life on both sides of the war. OH, I could watch it a million more times!

Book III, however, seems to get one star from everyone on this forum. There are so many holes in it! First of all, whre did Cooper Main come from? What happened to James Huntoon? (Ashton asked forgiveness after he found out about her and Bent and he told her "too late", but what happened to him?) And how did Bent survive that barn explosion? What happened to Billy Hazzard? He was there at Clarissa's funeral at the end of book II!!! Where did those kids come from at the dinner table after Constance's murder? As far as I remember, she and George had only one kid, Hope.

What was John Jakes thinking? AFter book II ended in I think '86, it was anounced that book III would come out eventually, so I literally scanned the TV guide every Sunday looking for it, and it finally came out in '94 and that day it was shown on TV, I was beside myself, and it was about all I thought about all day! Oh man, as great as I and II are, III is about as bad! Not only was it poorly done, but, just like with the Kent family chronicles, it ended way too prematurely. Why not make the saga complete, with generations living on Mont Royal up to this day? They could talk about George and Orry and the oral tradition and written accounts of all those decades ago. Book III isn't worth seeing.

Studio: Warner Home Video
Patrick Swayze

DVD title: The Quiet Man
Productgroup: DVD
The Quiet Man - movie DVD cover picture
Homeric, truely homeric

Filled with beautiful Irish stereotypes, but the Ireland of our dreams. Casting is excellent right down to Berry Fitzgerald. Classic movie for any collection.

Studio: Republic Studios
Director: John Ford
John Wayne
Maureen O'Hara

DVD title: The Big Country
Productgroup: DVD
The Big Country - movie DVD cover picture

this is an often disregarded epic western, however it is truly one of the "greats". this film boasts many great aspects, including an engrossing epic tale with inherent plot elements and suggestive insinuations, an extremely talented ensemble of actors providing great characterizations with their performances, and a great comprehensive moral message. these all combine to produce a great cinematic experience. an imperative addition to any great western fan's library.
as for the DVD, it's a good transfer which allows the viewer to appreciate the beautiful on-location scenery and vibrantly enhanced colors. the audio is good also.

Studio: MGM/UA Video
Director: William Wyler
Gregory Peck
Jean Simmons

DVD title: Punch-Drunk Love (Two Disc Special Edition) (Superbit Collection)
Productgroup: DVD
Punch-Drunk Love (Two Disc Special Edition) (Superbit Collection) - movie DVD cover picture
oddly amazing

Before seeing this movie i really did not know what to expect, taking Sandlers previous performances into consideration, especially being as type-cast as he is. Not being a big fan of Sandler, my expectations were'nt very high. Lets just say i have a new respect for the man and his ability to act. Adam Sandler aside; the movie was increddible.There couldnt have been more of a perfect blend of hilarity and long as you're able to decipher between the two in the movie. The score is yet another element that really takes the movie up a notch.
After i had left the theatre, punch drunk love felt like a catchy song that i couldnt get out of my head...and it definitely left me smiling. Needless to say i would recommend this film to anyone.

Studio: Columbia Tri-Star
Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
Adam Sandler
Emily Watson
Philip Seymour Hoffman

DVD title: Revolutionary Girl Utena - The Rose Collection Vol. 1
Productgroup: DVD
Revolutionary Girl Utena - The Rose Collection Vol. 1 - movie DVD cover picture

Utena is the coolest series that I have seen since getting into anime. The character development is great, and the symbolism gives English majors lots to discuss. The art is great and remains constant throughout the series. I just wish that the would release the rest of the 39 episodes. And there are 7-8 on a DVD. Not 3 or 4 like some people do. GREAT!

Studio: Cpm/Software Sculptors
Revolutionary Girl Utena

DVD title: Amelie
Productgroup: DVD
Amelie - movie DVD cover picture
Sweeter than candy

I absolutely loved this movie. Audrey Tautou is one of the charmingest actresses to grace the screen in recent memory. Amelie is one of the loveliest, most endearing characters ever created on film. This really is an amazing move, done in a fashion suitably dreamy to provide a backdrop for the romantic yearning of its title character. The movie transcends sappiness, largely becaue it is willing to poke fun at its protaganists as well its heels. And my tough-as-nails grandma liked it a much as I did. In trying to write a review I keep coming back to Amelie/Tautou. She is just so lovely and clever and awkward and vulnerable. I was rooting for her the whole time, even though I knew she would eventually get what she wanted (how couldn't she?). In fact, my only disapointment was that the guy she ends up with isn't good enough for her, the dope. As an aside, I rooted for Amelie partly because I fell in love with the character, but I think she is easy to root for, a hero for the romantic in all of us.Towards the end I couldn't help but notice that Amelie and Chcolate both have a feel-good scene tidying up all of the loose ends. I point that out to preempt any comparison of the two. They couldn't be any more different (except maybe for lovely heroines). Amelie is about a girl unaccustomed to human contact, afraid of intimacy, who takes small steps to share her idiosycratic world with someone who can share his own with her, in settings fantastically real. Chocolat is a story of a mystic who enters a conservative town and destroys their conventions, replacing them with pleasure-seeking. Fresh, sincere, warm- Amelie is really a beautiful story and if you can stand subtitles see it now!

Studio: Miramax Home Entertainment
Director: Jean-Pierre Jeunet
Audrey Tautou
Mathieu Kassovitz

DVD title: The Andersonville Trial (Broadway Theatre Archive)
Productgroup: DVD
The Andersonville Trial (Broadway Theatre Archive) - movie DVD cover picture
A glimpse of the Ghost of PBS Past...

"Andersonville Trial" is special in more ways than one.
First and foremost, it is a damn fine production, and a very powerful stage play captured on video. Second, the play has many famous names among the cast, some of whom appear in early roles (Martin Sheen, for one). William Shatner, of course, is oddly Kirk-like, but does very well as Lt. Colonel Chipman. Richard Basehart? Wonderful, and the ultimate professional, as always. Buddy Ebsen plays a doctor. Even Alan Hale Sr., who blazed a trail of adventure in many of Errol Flynn's films, is on hand (though in a non-speaking role). None other than George C. Scott directed the enterprise, and introduces the feature in a short segment.
Another thing that makes this production unique is that it harkens back to the best of PBS, before they started worrying about ratings, hype, and marketing. Shows like "I, Claudius" and "Masterpiece Theater", among others, made their way to the network about the same time, and "Sesame Street" had yet to become the moneygrubbing exercise it is now (Elmo, this means YOU!). This was back when PBS really lived up to the ideals of being a Public Broadcaster, and shows like "Andersonville Trial" were an offshoot of those ideals. Like other PBS shows, it was the BEST the arts offered at the time; a famous cast in a dramatic play, coming right into our living rooms.
On the tape, we even get to see the old PBS logo, with "PBS" spelled out in that funky 60's-70's type they used to use (with the orange letter "P"). That alone is worth the purchase price.
Hopefully a DVD will someday be released. Until then, if you can latch on to a copy of the tape, you should by all means do so. It is a dramatic telling of a famous war crimes trial, with superb acting and a moral message about war that will stay with you for some time to come.

Studio: Image Entertainment
Director: George C. Scott

DVD title: Once Were Warriors [IMPORT]
Productgroup: DVD
Once Were Warriors [IMPORT] - movie DVD cover picture
Raw and Powerful

This film is a stunner.Not for all tastes however.It's on my 10 best of all time list.I rented the tape about 6 or 7 years ago,sight unseen,knew only what the copy read on the box.Man oh man.It left me speechless and in tears,kinda numb and buzzing to the killer music as the credits rolled.Disney,this ain't.. but if hyper real and honest film making about a serious subject is your not miss this one!Would like to thank a previous reviewer for the VERY useful information on how to purchase a good quality DVD pressing.I'll bet it helped their sales.I had to wait awhile as they were on backorder but well worth the wait.This Canadian DVD is superior to the Criterion Laser Disc.I'm delighted.A and B Sound in Vancouver,B.C.

Director: Lee Tamahori
Rena Owen
Temuera Morrison

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