Film DVD related reviews


DVD title: My Left Foot
Productgroup: DVD
My Left Foot - movie DVD cover picture
One foot dipped in greatness


Daniel Day-Lewis stars in the true tale of Christie Brown, born and raised in the slums of Dublin, crippled except for the use of his left foot. This is a story of great triumph over poverty, disability and ignorance. Christie learns to write, paint and live with only his singular functioning limb and exceptional mind to call upon. This movie will give you the same inspirational and uplifting feeling you get when little animals get rescued from wells or if you've just watched The Shawshank Redemption.... And being an Irish film, set in Dublin, its also very, very funny in places making it a complete cinematic experience. Director Jim Sheridan makes great films, and this is his finest hour.

Studio: Hbo Studios
Director: Jim Sheridan
Actors:
Daniel Day-Lewis
Brenda Fricker




DVD title: Cabin Boy
Productgroup: DVD
Cabin Boy - movie DVD cover picture
The Hidden Value of Cabin Boy!


The first time you watch this movie, you'll probably agree that it is pretty dumb, and from first glance seems like its only intent is cheap laughs and one-liners. When I first saw it, that's pretty much how I pictured it as well. It really didn't seem to have much depth besides the occasional imperceptive joke. Then, I watched it again and the entire point started to slowly unfold. The comedy of this movie is not found in jokes or funny scenes (though these do add to it), but in the plot and characters themselves. This is probably the single biggest reason people consider this movie useless; they don't see past the jokes. The real humor lies in the main character Nathaniel's personality and lifestyle. Nathaniel Mayweather is a resident at the finishing school for young gentlemen, where he puts everyone around him in a terrible mood on a daily basis and yet is able to keep his feminine "Fancy Lad" qualities and gentleman like lifestyle, i.e. powdering his bottom and listening to his dancing ballerina music box before he goes to bed. Ok, I would agree that it does sound pretty childish and immature. But the way it is acted out and all of the subtle things Chris Elliott does to pull it off make it awesome, and even after watching it many times I always find new things that he does that just crack me up. With this kind of comedy, you either get it or you don't. It's as simple as that.
So, to put my theories into action, I had my brother watch the movie and tell me what he thought about it. John, it's pretty safe to say, is not big into stupidity. The first time he saw it, he had a look of pure disgust on his face. As I said before, the jokes and "obvious comedy" about it are pretty dumb. So, later that month, I made him watch it with me again, this time pointing out some of the subtleties that I thought made it great. This time, I noticed a few more laughs than before, and even a couple impressions from the last time he saw it. By the third viewing, he was all over it. To get my brother to enjoy something that has no value or just bad jokes is almost impossible, and by getting him to look past that aspect of it and see into it more, he found a very laudable experience to be had and enjoys watching it to this day. So, in conclusion, if you're interested in trying to explore a new depth of comedy, this is really a great movie to try. Just make sure you watch it more than once. If you don't, you're in for a terrible surprise...


Studio: Buena Vista Home Vid
Director: Adam Resnick
Actors:
Chris Elliott



DVD title: Hide and Seek (Full Screen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Hide and Seek (Full Screen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Listen


I'll be quick and to the point, which the movie was not. It was horrible. The story, premmise and general 'feel' of the movie was very poor. I don't have this to say about many movies, but this ranks near the bottom of my worst films made list.

Studio: Fox Home Entertainme
Director: John Polson
Actors:
Robert De Niro
Dakota Fanning
Famke Janssen
Elisabeth Shue




DVD title: ZOEgirl - Real Life (Collectors Series)
Productgroup: DVD
ZOEgirl - Real Life (Collectors Series) - movie DVD cover picture
Awesome Girls!


Wow this was an awesome dvd! I loved it , It has everything from their 2 movies I believe, and dimissed to behind the scenes, it is all really awesome I loved it soo much! everyone has to have this dvd if you love christian pop music! Enjoy!

Studio: Emi Distribution
Actors:
ZOEGirl



DVD title: Prom Night
Productgroup: DVD
Prom Night - movie DVD cover picture
Fun and Suspensful


The presence of "scream queen" Jamie Lee Curtis and Leslie Nielson elevate this goofy slasher pic to a 5 star rating. Somewhat similar to Carrie and Friday the 13th and Halloween. You know what to expect when prom night arrives. Its mindless fun though somewhat repellently gory and gross. Will you guess the identity of the killer?

Studio: Anchor Bay Entertainment
Director: Paul Lynch
Actors:
Leslie Nielsen
Jamie Lee Curtis




DVD title: The Passion of the Christ (Full Screen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
The Passion of the Christ (Full Screen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Passion--THE most powerful event


It amazes me to see how some people in this world can be so stubborn and ignorant that they put so much focus on looking for if Jews are being blamed for Jesus' death and put less focus on what the ultimate goal was behind Jesus' death (one individual in particular is Jamie Bernard in NY Daily News, try to read her review online sometime.) Coming out of this movie, my faith was more intensified by what was probably the most graphic and yet closely accurate depiction of Jesus' last 12 hours on earth. But the real deal I want to get to is the fact that it was not Jews that put Jesus to the cross nor was it the Roman soldiers, it was humanity. Our sins and our disobedience to God is what did it. People can say that based on this interpretation, Jesus' own people sentenced him to be crucified or that the Romans were made to be like drunk lunatics. But I see it as a showcase of how deep our sin, as one race, got and it needed someone of the stature of Jesus Christ to go through this torture and death to be purged of that. THAT's what this was about. It was a message of sacrifice and a message of love, something that was even told well through flashbacks to the Passover dinner and the sermon on the Mount.
The acting was good and each role filled out just wonderful. James Caviezel played the Jesus character unbelievably well, showing the Son of God as human as he can be through his fears of what's to come but yet the courage to fulfill the will of God for the sake of his people. Mary Magdalene was done well too and I couldn't help but feel what she was feeling when the whipping began. And the actress for Satan was just plain freaky. Satan never really talked much but you always felt Satan's presence throughout each key point in the movie. I personally thought the scene with Judas' betrayal and death was done very good with the kids tugging and tugging him during his guilt trip. Overall here, the acting was good enough in that everyone was showing their anguish over what was being done.
Now for the gory parts: I personally felt it wasn't that gory. I'm not trying to put down the suffering Jesus went through because God knows I would not want to go through that at all. But there are hundreds of horror and suspense flicks out there that just pour buckets of blood that I would not recommend to the weak of heart and this one would not be on that same level with those flicks in terms of spilt blood. BUT it was graphic in the sense that Mel Gibson made every whipping and each nail that pierced Jesus' flesh look real, nothing watered down, like you actually felt the pain (I really cringed on that one whip shot that you most likely know of). So it was more of a psychological sense of intense violence in that it was bloody and it felt real.
A couple of weaknesses I could point out would be explaining a couple of scenes to the non-believers. I'm not sure they'll understand why Satan was carrying a disfigured baby during the whipping (I still don't understand that part either) or why Satan was screaming from the depths of hell. It's not an entirely big deal but it would help to flesh out why this is occurring, even for a few more seconds but I know Mel wouldn't want to go off on tangents.
Overall, this is something that needs to be seen, whether you're Christian or not. I think if you can open your heart to this message that this could be a life-changing experience for the non-believer and a faith-strengthening experience for the believer. Put aside the controversies you've heard of this being spiteful towards Jews and realize what WE as human beings have done to Him. WE persecuted Him and WE nailed him to the cross. This movie is about what one man went through to save us from sin and is a demonstration of the depth of God's awesome and abundant love for us, that He is willing to part away of His own Son, to have him suffer so much because of the depths of our sin, to release us from that very sin. Keep that in mind when you're ready to give the movie a fair shot.

Studio: Fox Home Entertainme
Director: Mel Gibson
Actors:
James Caviezel
Monica Bellucci




DVD title: Rocky IV
Productgroup: DVD
Rocky IV - movie DVD cover picture
THE GREATEST FILM EVER!!


ROCKY 4 IS THE BEST FILM EVER, COMBINING GREAT ACTING AND BRILLIANT MUSIC. ROCKY FACES HIS TOUGHEST CHALLENGE WHEN HE FACES IVAN DRAGO. ROCKY MUST WIN TO AVENGE HIS FRIEND APOLLO, WHO WAS KILLED IN AN EXHIBITION MATCH AGAINST DRAGO. ROCKY MUST WIN TO AVENGE APOLLO AND FIGHT FOR HIS COUNTRY, IN THIS EAST AGAINST WEST FIGHT. THE TRAINING SCENE IS BY FAR THE BEST SCENE AS ROCKY TRAINS USING NATURAL METHODS WHEN IVAN USES POWERFUL MACHINES AND DRUGS TO ENHANCE HIS PERFORMANCE.CAN ROCKY BEAT THIS MAN? OF COURSE HE CAN. IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN THIS FILM I RECOMMEND YOU SEE IT STRAIGHT AWAY.

Studio: Mgm/Ua Studios
Director: Sylvester Stallone
Actors:
Sylvester Stallone
Talia Shire




DVD title: Bad Education (Original Uncut NC-17 Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Bad Education (Original Uncut NC-17 Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Tangled Tale of Exploitation, Ambition, and Revenge.


"Bad Education" is writer/director Pedro Almodovar's remarkably creative comment on sexual abuse among Roman Catholic clergy, but it is far from being straightforward or confined to one theme. The film weaves a complex tale of exploitation, deceit, ambition, seduction, and blackmail that places a story within a story and shifts back and forth in time. Sixteen years after they attended school together, Ignacio Rodriguez (Gael Garcia Bernal) visits Enrique Goded (Fele Martinez), who was his closest friend when they were 10 years old. Enrique is now a famous film director in the midst of a minor creative crisis. Ignacio is an ambitious actor looking for a job, and he has brought a short story he wrote based on their childhood experiences for Enrique's consideration. The story, entitled "The Visit", tells of a female impersonator named Zahara who by chance meets his old schoolmate Enrique, whom he loved as a boy. Zahara is eager to see Enrique again, but after he has carried out an important errand: Zahara goes to the chapel at his old school to blackmail a priest, Father Manolo (Daniel Gimenez Cacho), who abused him as a boy. Enrique the director thinks the story would make a splendid film, but he soon discovers that nothing is quite as it seems.

With Gael Garcia Bernal playing both a "real" character and a fictional character that is a representation of a real character who is played by someone else; a chain of blackmail that begins in reality, continues in fiction, and then invades reality again; a fictional murder that mirrors a real one; and everything that goes around seems to come around, "Bad Education" risks being too clever for its own good at times. All of these twists and ironies are orchestrated to create structural and thematic symmetry, but they are interesting and convincing. The film's vibrant purples, oranges, reds, and teals look fantastic. Almodovar has a rare ability to make bright colors leap off the screen without being at all overbearing.

"Bad Education" gets reflexive when the characters attend a film noir marathon and declare, "It's as if all the films were talking about us." The word "noir" pops up conspicuously in another scene as well. I don't know how that was intended, but it's probably a good thing that the reference comes across as funny rather than self-conscious. That's not to deny the film's "noirness". Gael Garcia Bernal is an inspired homme fatal. And "Bad Education" is unlike other Almodovar films in that none of the characters are empathetic, except perhaps the children.

With their requisite sex, drugs, and transsexuals, Pedro Almodovar's films aren't to everyone's taste. But, for Almodovar fans, "Bad Education" is a winner. It's a pleasure to watch this twisted tale unfold. In Spanish with English subtitles.

The DVD (Columbia Tristar 2005 release): Bonus features include 2 featurettes, 2 deleted scenes, a "Photo Gallery" of poster art, and an audio commentary by writer/director Pedro Almodovar. "Red Carpet Footage from the AFI Film Festival" (18 minutes) includes some interviews intercut with film clips as well as Almodovar's introductory speech at AFI Fest. "Making of Bad Education" is just 2 minutes of unnarrated behind-the-scenes footage. The audio commentary by Pedro Almodovar is quite detailed and interesting. Almodovar provides scene-by-scene and occasionally shot-by-shot analysis of characters, story, structure, themes, and many other details. The commentary is in Spanish with English subtitles and is among the most useful audio commentaries I have found on DVD.

Studio: Columbia Tristar Hom
Director: Pedro Almodóvar
Actors:
Gael García Bernal
Fele Martínez
Javier Cámara




DVD title: Elephant
Productgroup: DVD
Elephant - movie DVD cover picture
Harrowing and fascinating.


In ELEPHANT, director Gus Van Sant provides us with a day in the life of a high school, seen literally from the perspective of several students. Life in high school is presented realistically as boring. Some people have good times; others don't. Even the awkward girl isn't given many scenes to generate sympathy for her character. As a viewer, you don't really get to know much about any of the characters. You see that some of them are talented. Some of them are troubled. Some of them are just going through the motions.
Going into the film, you should be aware that a shooting will happen on this day. But, while watching it, you don't know when it's going to happen, who's going to do it, who's going to live or who's going to die. But the sense of dread you get builds as the film goes along.
Once the film identifies the shooters, we get a brief glimpse of their home life. We see how they got the guns. We get only an idea of the sort of video games they play, the films they watch, the drawings they've created. (The only real elephant seen in the film is a drawing that one of the killers has done and placed on his wall. He doesn't talk about it. We just see it.) We see one of them is a really good piano player. We see that he gets occasionally picked on by bullies, but we don't get the sense that he's overcome with a need for vengeance. We see the killers speak of the last day of their lives, and they kiss. We don't know if it's the first time they have done this. We don't know if they're gay or straight. I got the sense that this is the only time that they'll get a chance to kiss anyone, so they kiss each other. (Van Sant himself is gay, which I think is key. He's not suggesting that gay people are killers. But he's not saying that the killers in his film weren't repressed homosexuals, either. In the scene, he's saying that homosexuality alone cannot be seen as a reason for the violence.) No real motive is provided by the film itself, but you get hints of what actions other people will blame after the fact.
The film, in this extended scene outside of the school moreso than any other, shows the point that the filmmaker intends - that there is no way to determine the causes of this sort of violence and that there are no messages or clearly defined "heroes" and "villains" within such violence. Van Sant supplies the audience with a glimpse of several things that will be examined and dissected by others in the community within the film in the aftermath of the violence.
But, in taking us inside the school during the shooting, he shows us that it is random, brutal, unmotivated and cold violence. It has no reasons or explanations, because nothing this tragic can be blamed on any one thing. The killers even deserve some consideration because they're children, just like the other victims.
The film is excellent and thought-provoking, though it's bleak and sad.

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Gus Van Sant
Actors:
Alex Frost
Elias McConnell




DVD title: Little House on the Prairie - The Complete Season 1
Productgroup: DVD
Little House on the Prairie - The Complete Season 1 - movie DVD cover picture
Are we all reviewing the same Box Set?


I am a little surprised by some comments here regarding the "Little House On The Prairie" box sets.
Someone commented that they should never have put 6 shows on a disc. What set do you have? I only have 4 episodes per disc.
Michael Landon sounds like Mickey Mouse on helium? Huh? There is nothing wrong with the sound quality on my sets. Maybe you have a defective set? Cheap DVD player?
I am very pleased with these sets and I am looking forward to Seasons 3 & 4. My 10 year old son, who never saw it when it originally aired, loves this show! We do marathons and he can't get enough!
All you naysayers--- Go purchase the GoodTimes releases of Little House and compare the two! I think your expectations are way too high for a show that is almost 30 years old! Try watching reruns on TV- the quality will make you cringe.
Thank you GoldHil for giving Little House the DVD treatment it deserves!

Studio: Goldhil Home Media I
Actors:
Michael Landon



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