Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Tears of the Sun (Special Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Tears of the Sun (Special Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
One of the best...

We've all seen this movie before. It's been done in different styles and with different talents, but the underlying roots are recycled and not-so-original. But if you can push that away, "Tears of the Sun" comes off as an overall decent film that manages to entertain one way or another.
Bruce Willis plays a Navy S.E.A.L. Lieutenant who leads a band of men into war-torn Africa to extract an American doctor (Monica Bellucci) and a nun and a priest. When they arrive at the doctor's "mission," she refuses to leave her people behind. Willis disobeys direct orders from the big man on the carrier (Tom Selleck), and tells her she can bring them along to the extraction point. When they arrive, she realizes he lied to her. Feeling sorry for the Africans, Willis allows her to bring 12 people along. Skip forward a few chapters on your DVD player, and you'll see that they are being tracked by African soldiers on a rampage. If they don't make it out by a few days, they'll all be dead.
Monica Bellucci's Dr. Kendrix is a whiny, arrogant person. Willis' character saves her life and disobeys direct orders many times. Just for her. But she still whines. One thing that got me was when Willis tells her they must keep moving because of enemy troops hot on their trail, but she says "We've been walking for thirty hours! We need rest!" Well, excuuuuuse me, but the stinkin' people wouldn't even BE THERE if it wasn't for Willis disobeying direct orders. Something's better than nothing, lady. But oh well, it's just a movie.
Bruce Willis gives a fairly good lead in the film, but I can't help but feel that he seems tired. Maybe it's a sign of a great actor enveloping his weathered old S.E.A.L. LT. Or maybe it's just a tired-out actor. Time will tell. I suppose he'll be sleeping by the time "Die Hard 4: Die Hardest" starts filming.
Monica Bellucci is a good choice for this film, mainly because she doesn't seem like someone who wouldn't be in Africa. I can't imagine what it would look like if, say, Willis had to rescue some beauty queen. "Stop running--I broke a nail!" Unlike films where the leading lady is running through stormy locations and still comes out with her hair-doo intact, Bellucci's hair becomes greasy and sweaty and her clothes get dirty. It's a bit more realistic than a film like this usually tries to be. Kudos there.
But in the long run, "Tears of the Sun" is nothing extraordinarily special. It's good, and entertaining, but wait till video to see it. It's not worth flying out to the theater for. Although, as I write this, the film is already out on VHS and DVD. I guess I just got a late screening on this one.

Studio: Columbia Tristar Hom
Director: Antoine Fuqua
Bruce Willis
Monica Bellucci
Cole Hauser

DVD title: Sesame Street's 25th Birthday - A Musical Celebration
Productgroup: DVD
Sesame Street's 25th Birthday - A Musical Celebration - movie DVD cover picture
Just great

Personally, I hated this video. It was not at all the Sesame Street I was expecting. For one thing, given its retrospective theme, I would have liked seeing it take place on the Sesame Street set, and include more classic cast members and old Sesame Street cuts. I enjoyed the old songs, but not really the new ones. (Meanwhile my 2 year old son didn't enjoy the old songs as much because they are all unfamiliar to him and the old Sesame Street personalities aren't quite the same as what he knows.) If I want to introduce him to the Sesame Street songs I grew up with, I'd rather get a CD.I know that it is meant to have a multicultural flair, but all of the non-puppet star performers are black, singing or dancing to rap, R&B, drums, or African music. All of the non-black people have big hair. So much plastic cheesy smiling, and kids rambunctiously playing in the background of every shot was too unnatural. The finalle was painfully cheesy and smacked of cultural "fishbowling". I must say, I am not entirely against the new Sesame Street. I think they have some great things, and my son loves it. I did enjoy the "Let's Make Music" video, which I feel works much better, even though it contains many of the same ingredients. This video doesn't cut it.

Studio: Sony Wonder

DVD title: Beautiful Thing
Productgroup: DVD
Beautiful Thing - movie DVD cover picture

I truely enjoyed this film. the acting was great and the film quality was fantastic. Even though the coming of age as a gay youth story, is common place. This story was great and well made. Romantic, charming and heart felt. You will find yourself trapped in the story and going through some things you may recall and some things new to you. An excellent investment and all around good film. Buy it and know that this one is a keeper.

Studio: Columbia Tri-Star
Director: Hettie MacDonald
Linda Henry
Glen Berry

DVD title: The Matrix
Productgroup: DVD
The Matrix - movie DVD cover picture
Quite simply one of my favorite movies of all time.

I saw this movie in the theater when it first came out, and was surprised when I found I enjoyed it- the action genre usually leaves something to be desired, in my opinion... and I normally can't stand Keanu Reeves. Laurence Fishburne does a marvelous job as Morpheus, and the Wachowski brothers spin a tale so engrossing and believable that you may look at your whole world a little differently afterwards- it leaves the viewer to do a lot of philosophical insight.

Studio: Warner Studios
Keanu Reeves
Laurence Fishburne
Carrie-Anne Moss

DVD title: Peter Pan
Productgroup: DVD
Peter Pan - movie DVD cover picture
Best Peter Pan Yet

As a 15 year old, my first thought when mom brought this movie home was "oh great another kid movie". As it turns out, this "kid movie" has become one of my favorites. I enjoyed Cathy Rigby's Peter Pan so much more than Mary Martin, simple because of the more humourous approach taken. Rigby portrays Pan as very boyish and cocky (pushing the other "lost boys" around), just like the book. More lines from the book were taken too. Also, she performs flips during her flying sequences which add a lot of thrill to the movie, even at home, and there is no sign of the wires. The dancing scenes and the choreography is excellent (as seen through an amatuer dancer's eyes), especially the Stomp-like drumstick use in Ugg-a-Wugg. The cast selections were great, especially Paul Schoeffner(?) as Captain Hook. Elisa Sagardia clearly shows you that Wendy is very attracted to Peter. However, the lack of wider shots can sometimes be frustrating, as you don't get the full effect. Also, Drake English, who plays Michael, can sometimes make his lines indistinguishable and you can only guess at what he's saying. However, I recommend this version to anyone out there. And remember, I'm 15.
P/s. A note to the veiwer who complained about Peter kicking John out of bed: Read the book, it's in there.

Studio: A & E Home Video
Cathy Rigby
Glenn Casale
Paul Schoeffler

DVD title: Halloween H20 - Twenty Years Later (Dimension Collector's Series)
Productgroup: DVD
Halloween H20 - Twenty Years Later (Dimension Collector's Series) - movie DVD cover picture
when he was in the bodybag and his sister knew he was alive

It was the best movie i saw in years, i can watch that movie hundreds of times and won't get tired. who ever made that movie really did a good job of a scarey movie.

Studio: Dimension Home Video
Director: Steve Miner
Jamie Lee Curtis
Josh Hartnett

DVD title: MI-5, Volume 1
Productgroup: DVD
MI-5, Volume 1 - movie DVD cover picture
Television At It's Finest

I first became addicted to this show, known as Spooks in the UK, when it first appeared on A&E. MI-5 is an example of television at its finest. This show gives us a fictional insider view of Britian's domestic intelligence division known as MI-5, and we're not talking James Bond (anyway, he was MI-6). This show presents these people as patriots fighting to keep their country safe, but it's also not afraid to present the morally questionable side, as well -- not something you usually see on American television. In the US, when a show like this is made it treats the players as heroes making a great sacrifice to keep the country safe, rarely as human beings who sometimes have to make morally questionable decisions, decisions that force them to question whether they are doing the right thing or not. Shows like Alias and 24 come close, but they are more thriller shows with thriller plots and violence. This show works in real-time, often using real-time events as catalyst for their plots. What sets this show apart from the likes of Alias and 24 is the human factor: the series focuses more on the human drama than it does the thriller elements. Matthew MacFadyen is absolutely wonderful as Tom Quinn, who over time begins to wonder about the decisions he's had to make and the affect they've had on his life and those around him. Keeley Hawes as Zoe Reynolds, David Oyelowo as Danny Hunter, and Peter Firth as Harry Pearce are exceptional supporting players. Don't let the British setting keep you from watching this series. Unlike any show currently on television in America, based in America, this series reminds us there is still a war on terror and we're only moments away from another disaster. It's edge-of-your-seat plotting and exceptional acting.

Studio: BBC
Matthew MacFadyen

DVD title: The Adventures of Huck Finn
Productgroup: DVD
The Adventures of Huck Finn - movie DVD cover picture

OMG Elijah Wood is the CUTEST LITTLE THING!! You all HAVE to watch this. He does an EXCELLENT job i think; plus you just want to pinch his cheeks. You'll never look at Frodo Baggins the same. NEways, the movie is really cute, I almost cried, etc. Haven't read the book, so I can't compare them, but trust me, Mark Twain would've been proud.

Studio: Buena Vista Home Vid
Director: Stephen Sommers
Elijah Wood

DVD title: Sahara
Productgroup: DVD
Sahara - movie DVD cover picture
Desert wartime conflict

The incomparable Humphrey Bogart is tough, gritty and determined as Sgt. Joe Gunn commander of the remainder of a U.S. tank crew retreating south from the Nazis into the Libyan desert. His crew including a young Dan Duryea and the veteran actor Bruce Bennett pick up a small group of Allied stragglers on the way. Running low on supplies and water they set out for a well marked on a map. They encounter a British Sudanese sergeant major played by Rex Ingram leading an Italian prisoner played by the versatile and Oscar nominated J. Carroll Naish. Finding the well to have dried up, the rag tag bunch is led by the beautifully spoken Ingram to a distant well by following an old caravan trail.
Little do they know but they are being pursued by a mechanized German battalion of about 500 men also desperate for water. Bogart and his group find a scant supply of water at the second well which is located amid some ruins deep in the desert. They ambush a German scouting party and learn of their quandry. They release prisoners with the false knowledge that there is plenty of water to be found to lure the battalion in. They decide to make a stand at the well to delay the Nazi troops while sending out Bennett in a captured Nazi vehicle for help.
Sahara is an excellent wartime movie which serves as a testimony to the resolve of our troops to defend their country and ideals in the face of deplorable circumstamces. Bogart is terrific as usual. J. Carroll Naish does a superb acting job playing the disillusioned Italian prisoner, a mechanic from Turin, Giuseppe.

Studio: Columbia/Tristar Studios
Director: Zoltan Korda
Humphrey Bogart
Bruce Bennett

DVD title: Titus
Productgroup: DVD
Titus - movie DVD cover picture
"Titus" is Sublime

The only problem with this film is that other Shakespeare adaptations will now seem much duller in comparison. Here, Shakespeare is brought into full splendor and the aesthetic bar is raised very, very high. The costumes and sets are out of this world. They are a strange mixture of beauty, the like of which I've never seen. But Julie Taymor's greatest gift to us is that she shows us the eternal genius of Shakespeare.
Taymor's cast animates Shakespeare's words and characters into the fabulous full life they deserve. My personal favorite is Titus with his profound expressions of grief, loss and despair. No matter how many times I watch it, I am moved to dumb wonder again and again as Anthony Hopkins recounts his sorrows to the stones.
It becomes apparant that the long tradition of disparaging criticism of this play, which started well after Shakespeare's death, was due primarily to a general distaste for the type of strong violence that is an essential theme of the play. But as the public's taste shifts back towards a greater tolerance for violence, Julie Taymor's inspired organization of great talent proves this tradition wrong and shows us that "Titus Andronicus" was in fact one of Shakespeare's most perfect works of art. (At least in my humble, all-knowing opinion.)

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
Director: Julie Taymor
Anthony Hopkins
Jessica Lange

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