Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: West Side Story
Productgroup: DVD
West Side Story - movie DVD cover picture

This 1961 film version of of Stephen Sondheim and Leonard Bernstein's stage hit begins hopefully. The camerawork, editing, choreography (by Jerome Robbins) and, most of all, music, pulsate with dazzling energy. Then, after a vibrant and exciting ten minutes, it all begins to full apart. It all becomes static and uninventive, failing to live up to the grand promises of that first reel. Most of the musical numbers (especially with the two rather bland leads) are executed with little imagination. A few of the songs fall prey to gimmicky visuals which nowadays look trite.
An at times compelling drama is soured by mediocrity which should never have surfaced, given the immense talent involved here (chiefly Bernstein, Sondheim, and Robbins). What a disappointment!

Studio: Mgm/Ua Studios
Natalie Wood
George Chakiris

DVD title: The Wiz
Productgroup: DVD
The Wiz - movie DVD cover picture
The Magic of "The Wiz"

I absolutely love this movie. I remember watching it when I was a kid and being absolutely emersed in the film. You see, the first movie I ever remember seeing on the big screen was "The Wizard of Oz". Yes, it was re-release in '76 at the cinema down the road. And to see the same story recreated opened my mind to tolerance of a story, a classic story, retold in a different way. I am always amazed to read or hear "Wizard" fans put it down, when they should embrace it as the same story told in a modern way. They obviously have no tolerance of things different. Hope they dont hear or see "Wicked"??

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: Sidney Lumet
Diana Ross
Michael Jackson

DVD title: Paparazzi (Widescreen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Paparazzi (Widescreen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
It's Entertainment folk-that's it

Critics are suppose to hate everything, and about the only things they do like are artsy films, and those films which you are sound asleep before the first thirty minutes are done. Paparazzi is just pure entertainment, don't try to make it into something it's not. Let's take a moment and close our eyes(ok are they closed, good)imagine you are been hounded by the Paparazzi, and they cause an accident in which your family is seriously injured(are you thinking it's the price of being famous)and nothing is being done about it. A twist of fate brings you into contact with one of the paparazzi that caused the accident,and you either have the choice to save his life or let him die(remember it's your family)but well your are atempting to rescue him, he doesn't give any remorse to you or your family.

What would you do?

Paparazzi is just pure entertainment(LIKE EVERY OTHER MOVIE IS SUPPOSE TO BE)so why try to find the hidden meanings or whatever else behind movies, just enjoy them.

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox Home Video
Director: Paul Abascal
Cole Hauser
Robin Tunney
Dennis Farina

DVD title: The Ring (Widescreen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
The Ring (Widescreen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Best Horror Movie I ever saw

Actually on a scale of 1 to 5 This deserves a 100. It is the most amazing movie I have ever seen. After I watched it in the theater I wanted to watch it again I saw it about 3 and a half months ago and ever since I just wanted to see it over and over and wondering when it was going to come out on DVD and now it finally has a release date and I just can not wait. It has a very solid story that is very chilling and unlike any other horror movie out there. After seeing it I bought the Japanese version Ring 1, Ring 2 and Ring 0 which are all very good also but the american one just has much more to it to hold it together more and tell more of the story it is very cool and the end is very chilling. This is a must for every person who loves watching creepy movies.

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: Gore Verbinski
Naomi Watts
Martin Henderson
Brian Cox

DVD title: The Karate Kid
Productgroup: DVD
The Karate Kid - movie DVD cover picture
Man who catch fly with chopstick accomplish anything

I often use "The Karate Kid" in class as an example of a "put up or shut up scene." This is something I made up, but the idea is that there is a moment when a movie is either going to work or not work. The moment comes in this 1984 film when young Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio), who has come to Mr. Miyagi (Oscar nominee Noriyuki "Pat" Morita) to learn karate so he can defend himself from the neighborhood bullies. But all the old man has had Daniel-san do is paint the fence, sand the floor, and wax the car. Finally, the kid has had enough and in an unforgettable scene Mr. Miyagi shows him that all of the repetitive and seemingly meaningless motions he has been doing are actually the fundamental moves of karate. For both Daniel-san and the audience, Mr. Miyagi puts all the pieces together and at the end when he tells Daniel "Come back tomorrow," you know the kid will pick his jaw off the ground and be there. The audience is hooked as well.
Scriptwriter Robert Mark Kamen gets a lot of credit for this scene; his first script had been "Taps," and he would go on to write "Lethal Weapon 3" and "Gladiator" (no, the other one, with James Marshall Cuba Gooding, Jr.). But credit also goes to Morita's performance in this scene (he lost the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor to Haing S. Ngor in "The Killing Fields"). Familiar to television views as Captain Sam Pak on "M*A*S*H" and "Arnold" on "Happy Days," Morita became another in a long line of "comic" actors who showed serious chops in a dramatic role. You really get the sense that here is an actor who has been waiting his entire career for a scene this good and he absolutely nails it.
The movie certainly comes close to going over the top, but director John G. Avildsen, who helped write the book on the contemporary inspirational "sports" film when he won the Oscar for the original "Rocky," keeps things on track. Elisabeth Shue plays Daniel's girl in this 1984 film, which was the same year she did "Call to Glory" on the tube and became the cutest girl in creation for me that year. There is always a romantic sub-plot in movies like this and I do not know about her, but he certainly shows extremely good tast in this film.
William Zabka was Johnny Lawrence, the "bad" kid Daniel has to beat in the big karate tournament, and the other very interesting character in this story. This is because while he is the favored discipline of John Kreese (Martin Kove), the dark ying to Mr. Myagi's yang, we find out there are limits as to how low this kid will go. My biggest disappointment with "Karate Kid II" is that in the opening scene, which shows the aftermath of the big match out in the parking lot, they lay out what would have been a pretty good sequel: Daniel-san and Mr. Myagi trying to get Johnny away from Kresse's destructive influences. Think of all the peer pressure that would be on this kid. It would have made a pretty good film.
"The Karate Kid" is not a great film, but it has a great scene and every time I see a movie that fumbles the big moment I think on this one. The prime example at the other end of the spectrum for me is "The Secret of My Success," where the big moment has Michael J. Fox's character talking to a bunch of high rollers. If he can convince them his idea is great, things will happen. But we never hear a word he says as the music becomes loud and inspirational. I can only sadly shake my head and tell the screenwriter of that film, "Come back tomorrow."

Studio: Columbia/Tristar Studios
Director: John G. Avildsen
Ralph Macchio
Pat Morita

DVD title: Will & Grace - Season Three
Productgroup: DVD
Will & Grace - Season Three - movie DVD cover picture
LOVE Will and Grace!

OH MY GOD! IS THIS SHOW HILARIOUS OR WHAT? its beyond the actual word. it kills me!but u know of the 4 characters i luv Karen Walker (Megan Mullaly). She is right on hilarious and she's so evil but even she has her good side. She's the biggest comedy bitch i ever did see. Her and Jack make the perfect friend couple. Really this is one hilarious show episode after episode. I got hooked on it this yr b/c i stopped watching it like so long ago but i caught up again and im seriously hooked. To be fair, all the characters are great together! Thank god for this show or else i'd probably be dead. GIVE THE SHOW A CHANCE PEOPLE!it'll tickle you til you piss in your pants. LITERALLY.

Studio: Lions Gate Home Entertainment
Debra Messing

DVD title: Fahrenheit 9/11
Productgroup: DVD
Fahrenheit 9/11 - movie DVD cover picture
Check the Facts

Although some of this is spun, as opinions tend to be, check the facts he presents. (he's good about stating if something is proven fact, statistical fact, or quoted) I did. The first 10 minutes are compelling enough. This film is chilling and blatant and worth the watch. Intelligent, "open minded" will get it. The others won't. (And I'm not saying you have to agree with it to get it)

The film also showcases the power of the "right," and how history repeats itself. The ignorant, if numerous enough, CAN achieve greatness. Moore attempts to expose ignorance, but I fear is preaching to the choir here. Those who NEED to understand, will justify, rationalize and when that doesn't work, just DENY the facts. Watch it if you dare.

I'm not a Moore fan, but this film should make you think. Or, maybe not.

Studio: Columbia Tristar Hom
Director: Michael Moore (II)
Michael Moore (II)

DVD title: Contact
Productgroup: DVD
Contact - movie DVD cover picture
Inspirational, Ingenious

"Contact" is a fantastic movie intended to ask questions, and has a lot of fun doing it.
Some people seem to miss the point, in that they think they're being provided with answers. This movie doesn't give any answers. It doesn't show "the alien", though it shows -a representation- of an alien, from the main character's memory. It says so right in the dialog, but I guess that since "Contact" doesn't come pre-chewed and digested, there are a lot of people who can't understand it. This movie is aimed at people who are willing to think. Others need not apply.
What the movie -does- do is ask questions, and really interesting questions at that. An example: any answer to questions like, "are we all alone in the universe" would be bogus, because we don't know. Instead, it asks, and shows an example, of how humans might react to a "first contact" situation. It asks questions relating to science vs religion. It speaks to us of "the world as it is" rather than "the world as we'd like it to be". The only thing it adds is "the message", whatever that really is.
The DVD is fantastic, because not only do you get the awsome movie, but you get all the commentary which allows you to extract every iota of meaning from it. I seriously recommend this movie. I have not yet read the book.

Studio: Warner Studios
Director: Robert Zemeckis
Jodie Foster
Matthew McConaughey

DVD title: Imitation of Life
Productgroup: DVD
Imitation of Life - movie DVD cover picture
Highly Recommended

This movie starts off with a woman named Lora Meredith (Lana Turner), a strugglingwidow and aspiring actress with a young daughter named Susie. Buy chance she meetsAnnie Johnson (Juanita Moore), also a struggling widow and her daughter Sarah Jane.Lora employs Annie as a 'housekeeper" which provides Lora enough time to pursue herdreams and this gives Annie and Sarah Jane a more permeant home. . Lora goes out andfollows her dreams while Annie, takes care of the home and provides a regular homelife for Susie and Sarah Jane.
After some time, Lora becomes a star on Broadway. Along the way, she acquires a loveinterest in a man named Steve (John Gavin), who met Lora earlier in the movie and hewas an aspirering artist with dreams of his own. Once Lora has enough money comingin, Annie, Susie, and Sarah Jane all move to a large house in the country.
Annie still continues to take care of Susie (Sandra Dee) and Sarah Jane (SusanKoehner) as they grow up into young women. Throughout the movie, you begin to seethe different relationships that develop between the two mother and two daughters.Sarah Jane dislikes her mother and constantly tries to act like she is white (due tothe fact that she is very light skinned). However, she looks up to Lora because sheis a successful white woman, which is what Sarah Jane wants to be. Susie on theother hand, drifts further and further from her mother, because Lora is always awayshooting a movie or on tour with a play. She looks up to Annie because Annie wasaround the house more than Susie's mother was. This was an excellent film whichshowed some of the hardships that were encountered by African-American, mothers anddaughters, and people who were chasing a dream.
This film somewhat critiques existing stereotypes. Earlier in the movie, Steveproposed to Lora. She refused, breaking the stereotype that woman are dependent onmen. However, at the end, when the three women are in the funeral car, even thoughthe women are fine, a shot-reverse-shot is used to show Steve legitimizes the factthat the women are ok. The film also represents intersections of race, social &economic class, and gender. For example, in the household there were two lower classAfrican-American women and two lower-middle class Caucasian women, but they were allviewed as equals by each other, with the exception of Sarah-Jane (she viewed hermother as subservient to Lora). Steve (a Caucasian, middle-class male) was alsosometimes a member of the house, and he also saw everyone as equals.

Studio: Universal Studios Ho
Director: Douglas Sirk
Lana Turner
John Gavin

DVD title: Dealers
Productgroup: DVD
Dealers - movie DVD cover picture
Great movie!

If you are interested in movies about corporate scandals and suspense, this is one to watch. It's about a currency broker who commits suicide after he has lost over 100 million dollars in the markets and it's up to the stars of the film (Paul McGann and Rebecca DeMorney) to mark up the loss in a wild and crazy roller coast ride in the currency markets. It has a good story line and if you like "Wall Street" and "Boiler Room", you will love Dealers.

Director: Colin Bucksey

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