Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: The Wages of Fear - Criterion Collection
Productgroup: DVD
The Wages of Fear - Criterion Collection - movie DVD cover picture
Not for the weak minded...

"The Wages Of Fear" by director Henri-Georges Clouzot is a classic example of an action/suspense film for the thinking man. Filmed almost fifty years ago, the story and cinematography hold up well, much better than those of many American films that were produced during that time frame, c. 1955.
The story: Four drifters (presumably in exile from native France) are hired to drive two tanker trucks of nitro glycerine through rugged South American terrain in order to to extinguish an oil well fire. In the series of events that follows, the four encounter a variety of circumstances that threaten to end the road trip and send them to kingdom come.
"The Wages Of Fear" is not the sort of film that you'll see on "Dinner and a Movie"; The landscape, the cast and the ensuing events as portrayed in the movie typify a sort of squalid existence that most people, fortunately, never have to deal with. "The Wages Of Fear" is most definitely NOT a "date" film.
The film is french, in glorious black and white, with subtitles and some spoken english. Yves Montand and Charles Vanel give solid performances, as do Peter van Eyck and Folco Lulli. The direction of Clouzot helps to wonderfully illustrate the unfolding story of the four, and is simply outstanding.
A previous reviewer mentioned that a 1977 remake, William Friedken's "Sorcerer," is also a good film. He's absolutely correct; it is. However, "Sorcerer," was filmed in color, not black and white. And because the film's spoken language is English, the tone of the film is a little different. "Sorcerer" is a little bit softer around the edges, and not as dark.
"The Wages Of Fear" isn't a film that I'd like to watch on a regular basis - it is a rather dark film. However, it is worth seeing more than once. It's an impressive film.

Studio: Criterion Collection
Director: Henri-Georges Clouzot
Yves Montand
Charles Vanel
Peter van Eyck

DVD title: Tru Calling - The Complete First Season
Productgroup: DVD
Tru Calling - The Complete First Season - movie DVD cover picture
To Die For

When I first got recommended this on Amazon, I had to have it. It took me a few weeks of trying to resist temptation, and hunting around for a better price, but I couldn't find one. I ended up buying it for myself, for Christmas, and getting it two days before! So that was a nice present to get!

Eliza Dushku is one of my favourite actresses at the moment - she's gorgeous! I still remember her in the early role of Arnie's daughter in Tru(e) Lies, and then her fabulous roles in Bring It On & Wrong Turn. She also appeared in Buffy, as a character called Faith, but I can safely say, I've never seen an episode of that show.

With each episode, you'll be drawn deeper into the world of Tru Davies, and you'll be discovering that the name of the series `Tru Calling' can have so much depth to it, and different meanings, and can be interpreted in many ways.

The credits are brilliant - they're your typical TV show credits, but have the added advantage of a great song "Somebody Help Me" by Full Blown Rose, and they're over pretty fast. Where the adverts would have originally been (probably making the show last an hour with it's original airing on TV), they're cool, quick, and funky segments, of the "flashbacks" that continuously appear throughout the show. Also, from about half way through the series, the episode names take a different turn, and seem to have the names of films. Look for yourself.

PILOT - Not the most original title for the first episode of a TV series. This is a rather slow beginning, as we get introduced to all the characters, but we soon get thrown into the thick of things, with Tru's first reliving happening pretty soon. This also features her doing a lot of running around (for all the guys, and for anyone who remembers Baywatch, this is for you), and lots of calls being taken & received on mobiles.

PUTTING OUT FIRES - Not everyone can be saved as Tru finds out the hard way, on only her second reliving.

BROTHER'S KEEPER - We get a bit more of a look in to Harrison's (her brother's) life here, as he features in smaller roles in the previous episodes. He's played by the cute Shawn Reaves (albeit blonde), who certainly looks like Owen Wilson's younger brother.

PAST TENSE - The thing about these episodes is they're all very similar, with formulaic plot lines, and Tru always manages to point the finger at the wrong person.

HAUNTED - Not one of the best episodes so far, but definitely an interesting concept. Tru helps a young med student who dies after participating in a secret experiment in which her heart is temporarily stopped.

STAR-CROSSED - One where Tru points the finger at different characters, and then it all comes clear towards the end of the episode, yet again very formulaic.

MORNING AFTER - Her ex-boyfriend & college professor appears again in this, and for once, the finger is pointed at Tru, and she has to work her butt off to figure out who's killed him.

CLOSURE - This is the saddest episode of the series. I was practically in tears just watching it. Ryan Kwanten, formerly Vinnie Patterson in Home & Away, stars in this, and this will show you despite how hard Tru tries, sometimes, she can't save everyone.

MURDER IN THE MORGUE - A really interesting twist to the story, having Tru trying to stop HERSELF getting murdered, and Davis too. A gripping story, complete with slow motion bullet scene, similar to the ones in Matrix.

REUNION - Episode set at the high school reunion, where the littlest thing Tru does, sets off a major chain of events.

THE LONGEST DAY - This is an episode where Tru discovers someone HAS to die, in order for perhaps someone else to live, and she has a tough time figuring this out.

VALENTINE - With a nosy reporter chasing Tru, we finally find out the connection between her & her mother through Davis, and to be honest, it's pretty predictable.

DROP DEAD GORGEOUS - Hmm, strange episode here. It's called by the same name of a movie about a beauty pageant, and has a lot of the plot from Miss Congeniality too!

DADDY'S GIRL - The first appearance of Jason Priestley, ex Beverley Hills 90210 star, who's aged badly! You're busy trying to figure out what exactly he is, and why.

THE GETAWAY - Not much to say about this episode, apart from Tru confessing all, and not being believed.

TWO PAIR - This episode involves Harrison getting involved in helping Tru, and once & for all believing her.

DEATH BECOMES HER - Jason Priestley's character, Jack, is still hanging around, and believe me, you'll be clutching at straws, and coming up with all kinds of impossible answers as to why he's around!

REAR WINDOW - The end of this episode is the best part - we finally find out what is with Jack Harper.

D.O.A - More is revealed about Jack, in the penultimate episode, which will leave you shocked, and dying to watch the final episode.

TWO WEDDINGS & A FUNERAL - You'll be left open mouthed by the end of this episode, and I'm literally dying for the second season to come out on DVD now. So far, the second season hasn't fared too well in the USA, and whether it will get a cult following or not, is waiting to be found out. But the producers definitely have my vote for it to continue - it's too addictive for words.

With 20 episodes spread over 4 discs, averaging at 40 minutes each, and extras including selected episode commentary, deleted scenes, featurettes (Finding The Calling: The Pilot; The Tru Path: Season One; and Evil Comes Calling: A Late Season Twist) and "Somebody Help Me" music video by Full Blown Rose, you'll be literally blown away by this DVD box set, and you will be HOOKED.

Studio: Fox Home Entertainme
Eliza Dushku

DVD title: Eerie, Indiana - The Complete Series
Productgroup: DVD
Eerie, Indiana - The Complete Series - movie DVD cover picture

Before Goosebumps there was Eerie, Indiana, kind of a Goosebumps meets the Twilight Zone kind of show, aimed at young to young adult audience, but good enough to be enjoyed by everyone. Omri Katz plays 13 year old Marshall whose family uproots him from New Jersey to the seemingly normal town of Eerie, Indiana. All manner of strangeness abounds there and only Marshall, and his ten-year old sidekick Simon seem to know about it. In each episode they encounter another strange side to Eerie.

You get 19 episodes in all. Only 18 were aired so the 19th is a bit of a bonus. A 20th episode was written but never filmed. Here are some of the best episodes:

"Foreverware" perhaps the most famous Episode. A local woman sells "foreverware" kind of like Tupperware that keeps anything fresh...forever. Marshall soon learns that the womans children have been kept children for decades by sleeping in giant foreverware beds!

"America's SCariest Home" - Stuck having to baby-sit Simon's younger brother on Halloween, Marshall and Simon fool around with their video camera. Unfortunately they end up trapping him in a monster movie, while a mummy runs wild in their house.

"Dead Letter" Guest stars Tobey maguire. While browsing the basement of the local library, Marshall finds an old letter. He opens it and a young man appears who won't leave him alone until he delivers the letter in person.

"The Lost Hour" - Marshal doesn't like the Indiana practice of ignoring daylight savings time, and sets his clock back an hour anyway. When he wakes up the next day, nobody's around... except some very untalkative garbage men, intent on sending him though the trash compactor.

"No Brain No Pain" - A strange bum is assaulted by a woman with a ray gun. distracts her until the police arrive, and then Marshall decides to help out a bum after witnessing him being attacked by a woman with a ray gun. It is difficult though, because all he does is mumble nonsense, and reassemble electrical appliances into bizarre contraptions.

"The Broken Record" this was the unaired show. Marshall tries to get a gloomy friend to lighten up by showing him an album from the heavy metal band Pitbull Surfers, but soon the Eerie weirdness kicks in and the quiet overachiever is turned into rebellious headbanger.

The picture quality is average and there's no's a Gotham release, so what do you expect. This was a fun and imaginative show and it's too bad it didn't last longer as it was fairly well written with a wry sense of humor.

Studio: Gotham Distribution
Omri Katz

DVD title: Arthur
Productgroup: DVD
Arthur - movie DVD cover picture
Romantic Comedy Classic

No movie better captures the charm and romance of New York as this one.

The standout performance is, of course, Gielgud. I've noticed that whenever actors have done butler roles after "Arthur", there is always a faint echo of Gielgud's stylish turn.

Dudley Moore is utterly endearing. Watch for his piano performance during the movie.

Liza gives an excellent, underrated performance. I particularly liked the scene in which Hobson (Gielgud) pays a visit to the Queens apartment of Liza's character in an attempt to convince her to go to Arthur's engagement party.

Also, a winning musical score by Burt Bacharach, Carol Bayer Sager, Peter Allen and Christopher Cross.

Studio: Warner Studios
Director: Steve Gordon
Dudley Moore
Liza Minnelli

DVD title: Men in Black II (Widescreen Special Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Men in Black II (Widescreen Special Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Back in black

Five years ago, planet Earth was highly entertained by a relentlessly funny movie called "Men in Black" or simply "MIB." At first glance, it would seem like the kind of movie that could be ruined by a sequel; however, this sequel lives up to almost every shred of the promise of the first.
Agent Jay (Will Smith) saves a subway car full of people from a giant alien worm known as Jeff, and then neuralyzes his latest partner (Patrick Warburton), who caused the worm to go berserk in the first place. Evidently Jay has done this many times since Kay (Tommy Lee Jones) was neuralyzed and left the Men in Black. He's dissatisfied with his new partners, not least among them the latest, Frank the Pug.
Frank and Jay end up investigating the mysterious landing of a teeny weeny spacecraft, that belongs to the alien mass of green tentacles disguised as a lingerie model, Serleena (Lara Flynn Boyle). Serleena is after the "Light of Zartha," a mysterious object supposedly sent AWAY from Earth twenty-five years ago -- and she doesn't intend to let anyone stand in her way if it is on Earth. The problem is, the only person who knew where the Light is... was Kay. Jay and the reneuralyzed Kay must locate the light and figure out how to defeat the seeming undefeatable Serleena.
There are a lot of repeated jokes in this movie, but a great number of new ones as well. Michael Jackson's cameo was surprisingly funny; Worm Guy Twister; the cheesy 1960s Star Trek-style video clip of the Zarthons and Serleena; Serleena eating her attacker, then spitting him up when she sees the bulge on her modelesque body; the locker civilization that enthusiastically worships Kay; the jewelry plot element, which turns out to be a clever twist on what the viewers are expecting; the Worm Guys in their little bachelor pad, complete with bar and hot tub; the racial-profiling joke; Zed's turn as a Jackie-Chan-wannabe; and of course Frank the Pug.
Will Smith is at his John-Cleesian best, yelling and jibbering and flip-flopping in a giant pile of plastic tubing and biting giant green tentacles. But there is a slightly more adult edge to Jay in this movie; he doesn't yell or jibber or flop as much. Kay is Kay, even when he cannot remember who he is; he's still the hard-nosed alien-kicking cop who finds Jay very annoying but essential. Serleena surpasses the "bug" of the past movie, simply because she is far more subtle while being every bit as nasty and omnivorous. Rosario Dawson fills in for the love interest, but she is funny and smart in her own way rather than being a generic girlfriend; Dawson can be expected to go far. Frank really steals the show, however: the talking alien-dog sings, barks, smokes cigars, zips his little pug lips, and wears a tiny little suit.
The special effects are slightly more sophisticated than they were in the prior movie; the Worm Guys, for example, do some gymnastics. The finale has some brief but dazzling effects. But MIIB never loses its touch with the slightly gross or the cheesy; Jeff the giant worm, for example, is quite cheesy, and the death of the Zarthon is more than a little disgusting, in the sort of unreal way that the morgue scene in MIB was. The scripting is slightly different; while it has the same sort of silly humor and pitfalls, there is a little more emphasis on love and how the MIB can't form long-term emotional attachments. There are some very poignant moments, both in the present and in flashback form.
Be sure to listen to Will Smith's very catchy "Black Suits Comin' (Nod Ya Head)" during the closing credits. And once the movie has been watched, the viewer will be left with deep emotional and philosophical questions, like: Wouldn't "Frank and the Worm Guys" be a great name for a band?

Studio: Columbia Tri-Star
Director: Barry Sonnenfeld
Tommy Lee Jones
Will Smith

DVD title: The Last of the Mohicans
Productgroup: DVD
The Last of the Mohicans - movie DVD cover picture
Simply Excellent

In brief, one of my favourite movies of all time. The cinemetography is reason enough to go out and buy that 40 inch monster widescreen TV. The film is amazing throughout, but the reviewers below are right in highlighting the last 10 minutes. It is the best 10 minutes of movie history. This is the only film I have commented on with Amazon. Until something comes up to the same standards I won't write another one!

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
Director: Michael Mann
Daniel Day-Lewis
Madeleine Stowe

DVD title: Pirates of the Caribbean - The Curse of the Black Pearl (2-Disc Collector's Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Pirates of the Caribbean - The Curse of the Black Pearl (2-Disc Collector's Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Depp is the best

If you want a great family movie, this is the one. Pirates of the Carribbean comes to life from its original Disney World ride to take you on a thrilling journey with Captain Jack Sparrow and the Black Pearl. Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightly make a terrific love duo, but Johnny Depp and Geoffry Rush make it complete with their pirate personas. No better classic to bring to life than this one, highly recommended for the whole family to enjoy.

Studio: Walt Disney Home Video
Director: Gore Verbinski
Johnny Depp
Geoffrey Rush
Orlando Bloom
Keira Knightley
Jonathan Pryce

DVD title: Repli-Kate
Productgroup: DVD
Repli-Kate - movie DVD cover picture
Very entertaining

Haha... I just watched this movie, and was pleasantly surprised. I didn't know what to expect. I found myself laughing a lot during the movie ... especially the scenes with Eugene Levy's "repli-character." This movie is basically about a guy who clones a girl he likes (by accident). He and his friend decide to teach her "guy stuff" ... teach her to love football, wrestling, to love to drink bear, have casual sex, etc. This "Repli-Kate" doesn't turn out all that well. Sure she's hot, just like the original, but she burps and only likes to sit on the couch and eat pizza and watch football ... and she doesn't like "emotional girly stuff." Every guys dream girl, right? EEEEE... WRONG! I definitely think Ali Landry did a good job portraying both her regular self and her clone. I like when they go shopping for bras, and the sales lady asks what size she is, so she pulls up her shirt and exposes her breasts and says, "I don't know, you tell me." All in all I liked the movie. It had some good laughs, and the concept was pretty inventive. Good acting. The ending was great. I give it a B-. :) I would recommend it to anyone looking for a laid-back comedic adventure!

Studio: Spartan Home Enterta
Director: Frank Longo

DVD title: Big Trouble in Little China (Single Disc Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Big Trouble in Little China (Single Disc Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
The best film of all time

Excellent acting to go with the storyline.A classic for all of the family. A MUST SEE MOVIE

Studio: Fox Home Entertainme
Director: John Carpenter
Kurt Russell
Kim Cattrall

DVD title: Latter Days (Unrated Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Latter Days (Unrated Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Wonderful film

This is not your typical gay romance film. While not perfect, it shows the truth about the Mormon church - that it is oppressive of gays (to the point of using methods like electroshock therapy to "convert" gay Mormons to "straight" Mormons). Having had a lot of interpersonal contact with Mormons (I'm not one), what you see on the screen is accurate, from the attempts by missionaries to get people to listen to their religion, to the "court of love" Steve Sandvoss's character has to endure, to the tirade Mary Kay Place spouts.
Steve Sandvoss is a major hunk. He also pulls off the role of Aaron very well. Wes Ramsey comes off as the stereotypical Hollywood gay boy who becomes more involved in the real world. The fact that the two characters end up happily ever after-ing made me shed a tear. I'd love to find someone like Aaron for myself.

Studio: TLA Releasing
Director: C. Jay Cox
Steve Sandvoss
Wes Ramsey
Amber Benson
Jacqueline Bisset
Mary Kay Place

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