Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection, Vol. 5
Productgroup: DVD
Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection, Vol. 5 - movie DVD cover picture
Once again, excellent

Personally I'm glad they're releasing Sci-Fi channel episodes, not that there's anything wrong with the earlier seasons but for awhile I thought the only way I'd ever own the Sci-Fi episodes were on bad VHS copies from the TV. This has 4 more hilarious episodes and I can only hope they keep releasing even more MST3K discs.

Studio: Wea Corp

DVD title: Casablanca
Productgroup: DVD
Casablanca - movie DVD cover picture
The Greatest Film of all time!

A GREAT STORY, the BEST CAST, a GREAT MELODY, the BEST LEADING ROLES, etc. What was plan to be just another blockbuster turnned into a COLLECTOR,s FANTASY. A timeless film that is and will be remembered for the rest of time to come.

Studio: Warner Studios
Director: Michael Curtiz
Humphrey Bogart
Ingrid Bergman

DVD title: Monty Python and the Holy Grail
Productgroup: DVD
Monty Python and the Holy Grail - movie DVD cover picture
Nothing beats The Holy Grail

This comedic classic takes the cake as Monty Python's best work.
Those unfamiliar with the Holy Grail may need to watch it a few times to fully enjoy the humor, while those who have seen it before will fully enjoy its wacky characters and memorable scenes.
-Lancelot's ill-fated wedding slaughter. -The Knights who say "Nee". -The insulting Frenchmen. -Tim - the Sorcerer. -The killer rabbit. -And so much more.
Senseless British humor at its best!

Studio: Columbia/Tristar Studios
Terry Gilliam
Terry Jones
Graham Chapman
John Cleese
Eric Idle
Michael Palin

DVD title: An American in Paris
Productgroup: DVD
An American in Paris - movie DVD cover picture

A glorious movie that showcases Gene Kelly's breathtaking talent. Forget the silly story and just watch him dance and dance and dance. He does more with a turn of a shoulder than most dancers can do with their whole body. This movie also introduced the lithe and lovely Leslie Caron as the object of Kelly's affection. The film builds to its dramatic hallucinatory conclusion as Kelly dances his way across a Paris dreamscape, that brings all the elements of modern dance together in a tour-de-force that was unprecedented in musicals of that time. You can't help getting swept away in the feel-good spirit of this movie. It was another time and place.

Studio: Mgm/Ua Studios
Director: Vincente Minnelli
Gene Kelly

DVD title: Brian Wilson presents SMiLE
Productgroup: DVD
Brian Wilson presents SMiLE - movie DVD cover picture
Masterpiece - SMiLE ;-)

Not being much of a Brian Wilson or a Beach boy fan, I was first intrigued when I saw Beautiful Dreamer on cable. What an amazing journey and Brian's ultimate triumph is a fantastic back drop to this amazing piece of music.

The more I listen to SMiLE the better it gets, this presentation by Brian is truly a sonic gift for the heart and soul. One of the best pop pieces I ever heard....what an amazing ear and talent. The recording of SMiLE bonus was worth the price alone. Even if you don't like Brian or the Beach Boys but just enjoy quality have to hear and see this to believe it.

Studio: Rhino Video
Director: David Leaf

DVD title: My Neighbor Totoro (Full Screen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
My Neighbor Totoro (Full Screen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture

My neighbor totoro is the most magical film I have ever seen. Written and directed by my role model, Hayao miyazaki. My Neighbor Totoro is the story of two children and their father who move to a house full of mystical sprits.(That are cute beyond all reason). This movie is full of the cutest and fuzziest characters you could possibly come across, including three different kinds of totoros, billions of dustballs with eyes, and a catbus. All of which are animated with beauty beyond compare, which is expected seeing as how it's a studio ghibli production. The english dub is very good compared too most anime. I've seen the VHS version and I can not wait until the DVD comes out. I'm definitely getting it. Hopefully it will come with the japanese audio as well as the english! Thanks for reading.

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox Home Video
Director: Hayao Miyazaki
Noriko Hidaka
Hitoshi Takagi

DVD title: The Insider
Productgroup: DVD
The Insider - movie DVD cover picture
Russell Crowe is superb in this tale of corporate intrigue

Michael Mann's The Insider is one of the most important films made since the 1970s. It is a superb dissection of the corporate amorality that is rampant in America and is a seminal film in that it shows the collaboration of the media with the corporate state.
Russell Crowe is outstanding as the tobacco company executive turned whistle blower who is betrayed by the powers that be in the media world. Al Pacino is at his best (and least hammiest) as the 60 Minutes producer who tries to break Crowe's story. (Christopher Plummer also is fine as 60 Minutes correspondent Mike Wallace.)
Mann has a through understanding of the paradoxes of the modern capitalist society. 60 Minutes will not run the story of the whistle blower due to its fiduciary responsibility to its own stock holders since it cannot do anything negative that will adversely affect its own financial portfolio and hurt the investment position of its own corporate officers. The only morality, ultimately, is money. This is a world far removed from the Hardy Boys ethos of All the President's Men.
An important film with a great performance by one of the outstanding new talents of the cinema.

Studio: Walt Disney Home Video
Director: Michael Mann
Al Pacino
Russell Crowe

DVD title: Lost in La Mancha
Productgroup: DVD
Lost in La Mancha - movie DVD cover picture
Oh, no!!!!!

Coming into this film, I knew that this is a documentary about the failed attempt to make "Don Quixote" and that that the events it described have already happened. Despite this, "Lost in La Mancha" is so gripping a film, that I found myself hoping against hope that Gilliam will eventually succeed, and will manage to complete "Don Quixote". About 30 minutes into "La Mancha" the full realisation hit me: they're not going to make it; this is going to fail. It was almost too painful to watch.
Forces of nature, unforseen illness and incompetence all combined to doom Gilliam's version of Don Quixote. Some bits annoyed me a little - if you're going to Spain to make a film, shouldn't you make sure ahead of time that you will have a sound studio??? Incompetence aside, one can't help but feel that the film just sufferred from plain, old fashioned, bad karma...
While watching this I caught myself musing about failures in general. When does one know it is time to quit? How do you decide to give up? I think we are not well prepared in these matters, our culture being one of perpetual striving for success, with a deep seated belief that with enough effort we will overcome the odds. How do you know when to stop trying? How do you accept the idea that you are, actually, failing?
The extras on the DVD include two interviews with Gilliam - one is a conversation with Salman Rushdie. While both are interesting and entertaining in and of themselves, taken together they are somewhat repetitive, and neither is personal or deep. They do have the great benefit of showing how Gilliam's sense of humour serves him well in recuperating from cinematic disasters. Were you not to see them, you might be left somewhat depressed...
Unless you are a person who must own every scrap of footage pertaining to Terry Gilliam, I would recommend trying this as a rental first. I do definately recommend this to anyone who is interested in a behind the scenes look at filmmaking, as well as to all Gilliam fans everywhere. As well as to people who, perish the thought, do not always succeed in their endeavours.

Studio: New Video Group
Terry Gilliam
Johnny Depp
Jeff Bridges

DVD title: The Gift
Productgroup: DVD
The Gift - movie DVD cover picture

ok, i havn't actaully seen this movie yet, but i heard that you can totally see katie holmes naked.
ya, 5 stars.

Studio: Paramount Studio
Director: Sam Raimi
Cate Blanchett
Keanu Reeves
Katie Holmes

DVD title: Blue Velvet
Productgroup: DVD
Blue Velvet - movie DVD cover picture
Great movie in need of more features!

This is a great movie! I recommend it to anyone not afraid of seeing something different. However, I must plead with the filmmakers to release another DVD with more features. Commentary, interviews, deleted scenes, anything! This is one of those movies that lives on in the imagination long after you see it, and I am dying to here a real commentary by David Lynch about what it means to him.

Studio: Mgm/Ua Studios
Director: David Lynch
Isabella Rossellini
Kyle MacLachlan
Dennis Hopper

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