Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: The Lord of the Rings - The Fellowship of the Ring (Widescreen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
The Lord of the Rings - The Fellowship of the Ring (Widescreen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
No disappiontments!

I honestly have no idea as to why everybody hails this movie as a masterpiece. I think its a good movie but not as good as all the hype makes it up to be. Anyway I like the action sequences and other stuff but one downside is it's WAY too long! It does have its good points to it. It's very emotional like when Sean Beans character dies I cried and I was sad when I thought Sam was dead. But anyway its pretty good but in my opinion not great.

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Peter Jackson
Ian McKellen

DVD title: Dr. T & The Women
Productgroup: DVD
Dr. T & The Women - movie DVD cover picture
Perfect Altman - not for everybody.

I like Richard Gere....I like Helen Hunt...I like Laura Dern...but this movie is TERRIBLE! What a waste of talent!
It was worse than a waste of money...the movie was so terrible that I did something with a video, I have never ever done before! I threw it in the trash! Sad to say but true.
I don't recall ever seeing such a worthless, tacky movie! If I could have gave it a zero star, I certainly would have.
Don't waste your money...go spend it on a video worthy of being in your video library!

Studio: Artisan Entertainment
Director: Robert Altman
Richard Gere

DVD title: Tales from the Crypt Presents Bordello of Blood
Productgroup: DVD
Tales from the Crypt Presents Bordello of Blood - movie DVD cover picture
Underrated brilliance

I never understood why so many people hate this movie. Even Fangoria called it 'abysmal'. But I consider it a worthy follow-up to the delicious Demon Knight. It has brilliant acting: Dennis Miller is a treat as smartass private eye. Angie Everhart is not only the hottest female vampire in years, no, she even proves that she can actually act. Corey Feldman has one of his very few good roles. But who really chews the scenery is Chris Sarandon (Fright Night), one of the most underrated actors ever: His performance as a TV preacher alone makes this movie worth watching. Only Erika Eleniak is rather miscast. And watch out for Demon Knight veteran William Sadler (another underestimated actor) as mummy. The make-up F/X are not only unbelievably gory for an R-rated movie; they're so excellent they even surprise genre buffs who thought they've seen it all. The characters are wonderfully weird, and although there's loads of black humour in it, I'm glad Bordello of Blood never turns in a fun-splatter movie and still provides some chills. Even if you heard it's awful: Give it a try! It's more than just another vampire movie and has more imaginery than all those new teen horror films that Scream spawned together. I just hope there'll be a final part to the Tales from the Crypt full-length-feature trilogy.

Studio: Image Entertainment
Director: Gilbert Adler
Dennis Miller
Erika Eleniak
Angie Everhart

DVD title: The Thin Red Line - DTS
Productgroup: DVD
The Thin Red Line - DTS - movie DVD cover picture
War of the combat film: Private Ryan v The Thin Red Line

Inevitably, 'Saving Private Ryan' and 'The Thin Red Line' will always be compared. It's a curse that can be a good and a bad thing. For starters, each film shows what the other is not - but what one musn't forget is how the film speaks on its own terms. Since each film is so different they require different readings. However, because they share the same moral goal, that is, to convey the horrors of war - it is useful to compare them.
'Saving Private Ryan' for the most part has a linear narrative with straighforward goals. It is much more visceral and aims to convey the horrors of war through excesses of blood, guts and artillery.
'The Thin Red Line' on the other hand, conveys its moral message by showing how soldiers react AFTER each battle scene. Thus, its drive comes from emotional power.
Having said that, 'The Thin Red Line' takes you one step further. It won't be everyone's cup of tea as it breaks conventions of time and space - forcing the viewer to work hard at making logic of the film. However, once you can accept this cinematic device then the journey is an unforgettable one that will etch a shadow in your memory and haunt you over time.
Here, Terrence Malick worked on instinct that allowed him to free himself of a constraining storyboard (which is not to suggest he didn't use one). The multi-voice over narration can be very confusing and I would suggest multiple viewings. Maybe it doesn't really matter that much if you don't fully recognise who is 'speaking' because the soldiers (American and Japanese) are all in the same boat. For instance, in one scene you see Witt (Jim Caviezel) look down upon a dead Japanese soldier's face buried in the dirt. The narration is heard from the dead man's perspective -"were you loved...know that I was too".
I said earlier, that the function of the battle scenes were to show emotional reactions. Malick achieves this with an impact that is frightening. The main battle scene is super intense with changes from slo-mo to regular pace and exchanges in foregrounded/backgrounded music and sound - all to convey the chaos of the scene.
However, the reaction from this scene is even better with sweeping camera fluidity, a touching score, and poetic narration that it virtually transcends the physical world. They are dealing with emotions after all. I can understand that many people don't buy into the poetic narration but hey James Jones whose book the film was adapted from was there at the Battle of Guadacanal - and that's good enough for me!
After repeated viewings on video, I finally got to see the film on the big screen last week and was as moved (if not more) as the first time I saw it. Once again, I cannot stop playing the soundtrack. It was interesting that at the end of the film nobody left the theatre as all watched the film's credits spellbound and leaning forward. If you can't see it on the big screen then watch it at home and be spellbound as many others have. But to be true to the film is to watch it from start to end and most of all be prepared for something different.

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
Director: Terrence Malick
Sean Penn
James Caviezel
Nick Nolte

DVD title: Objective, Burma!
Productgroup: DVD
Objective, Burma! - movie DVD cover picture
One of Errol Flynn's best roles

I know there has been a lot of criticism of this movie because of it's historical inaccuracies. Keep in mind it was made in Hollywood, which means it's entertainment with an actual non fictional story mixed in. If you want historical accuracy, watch the History Channel.
In this film, Flynn shows a wide range of his ability that which he was unfairly never fully respected for. There is a few scenes in it which Flynn shows his sense of humor. For example, when talking to a frightened paratrooper paralyzed by fear on his first jumping mission Flynn asks, "would you like a nice shot of bourbon?" The frigtened GI replies, "YES!" FLynn responds, "So would I". It's a good scene where you see that part of Flynn that always had that glint in his eye and just makes you(me) love him all the more. Also very serious drama in the scene where they discover the torture camps of his friend. Don't miss this one.

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Raoul Walsh
Errol Flynn

DVD title: The Maltese Falcon
Productgroup: DVD
The Maltese Falcon - movie DVD cover picture
I really like how this movie feels "outside of time"

Some older people mention Bogart's name with far more awe than Cary Grant's, Rock Hudson's, Douglas Fairbanks', etc. They tell of how he was the big name back then, was the real marquee player, etc. All I know is this movie has aged even better than Casablanca imho, and in fact feels like it's in many ways truly timeless. Bogart's acting is great imho, and doesn't look simplistic at all (although I do love his acting in Casablanca maybe a bit more, it's just that the scenery/setwork here seems to add more to the timelessness).
I love a lot of the old flics - they really are shockingly good sometimes.

Studio: Warner Studios
Director: John Huston
Humphrey Bogart
Mary Astor

DVD title: Some Like It Hot (Special Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Some Like It Hot (Special Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
A Classic

This was my first B&W film! I love it! Everyone should see it. I'm sorry that we lost Jack Lemmon a few weeks ago. He was a brillant class act. The tango sequence is the BEST! The acting by Tony Curtis & Merilyn Monroe was great too.

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

DVD title: JFK
Productgroup: DVD
JFK - movie DVD cover picture
Powerful Filmmaking, A Riveting Film!

A triumph for everyone involved. But this is Oliver Stone's picture all the way, you can clearly see that he is also obsessed with the Kennedy assassination and that's where the film gets it's passion and it's unstoppable search for the truth. He took as a premise, the case of Jim Garrison, the only lawyer to ever take the Kennedy assassination to court. This is only the excuse for Stone to bombard us with fascinating and dangerous information that may or may not be true, but we all know that something fishy was going on. Besides being a directorial triumph it is also a technical landmark with outstanding editing, probably among the best ever. A terrific all-star cast bring all these characters to life. Some we pity, others we despise and some we respect. Kevin Costner gives a dramatically powerful and effective performance as Jim Garrison, he's got the All-American look stamped on his face. An extremely good supporting cast filled with heavy-hitters. Tommy Lee Jones is brilliant as Clay Shaw (Clay Bertrand). Gary Oldman is quietly effective as the patsy himself, Lee Harvey Oswald. Joe Pesci, Kevin Bacon and John Candy are also great. Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau appear in yet another film together, and both deliver good performances. But it is Donald Sutherland's cameo as Mr. 'X' that is really gripping, those few scenes he is in, you can't blink. A brilliant and truly important film. From a scale of 1-10 I give this film a 9!

Studio: Warner Studios
Director: Oliver Stone
Kevin Costner
Gary Oldman
Sissy Spacek
Jack Lemmon

DVD title: Babe - Pig in the City
Productgroup: DVD
Babe - Pig in the City - movie DVD cover picture
Kids are only idiots if you let them

Wonderfully satisfying and moving film. Sad, dark, funny and violent? Sure. That's what it's like when you start growing up and start gradually moving beyond the comforts of home. This is not a film for young kids. Let them watch babe when they are settling in as a young child in the world. Then as they move into their own sequel of growing up a little, they can watch this sequel of pig in the city. It'll make it easier for them! People have compared it to Grimm's fairy tales - very true. These old tales were at a time when children were expected to grow up early and fast. The bottom line? Don't either protect or underestimate your kids for too long. After all, they are watching more violent but mindless material every afternoon and saturday morning - at least this will impart some kind of positive values. In line with this, regarding the comments about animal cruelty, there is rarely a call for courage without adversity and cruelty being present. Also, do your kids watch those nature documentaries? These documentaries are educational perhaps but without any of the moral complexity and aesthetic beauty of babe pig in the city - and still very, very cruel! Do your kids a favour: let them wonder, cover their eyes, laugh at Pig in the City - in between watching pokemons endlessly attacking each other and barbies endlessly dressing themselves!

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: George Miller (II)
Magda Szubanski
Mickey Rooney
Elizabeth Daily

DVD title: The Straight Story
Productgroup: DVD
The Straight Story - movie DVD cover picture

This film is moving, strong, pure, and there are so many other things I could say about it, I'll have to stop now. Farnsworth gives a touching and real performance matched by Spacek at her best. David Lynch keeps surprising, and shows he can do anything he sets his mind to.

Studio: Disney Studios
Director: David Lynch
Sissy Spacek
Richard Farnsworth

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