Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Black Christmas
Productgroup: DVD
Black Christmas - movie DVD cover picture
One of the best horror movies ever

I saw this when it was named "A Stranger in the House" on cable back in the late 70's. I still think about and how it scared me then and now. I look for a long time for it in video rental stores but to no avail. This is one of the best in this genre.

Studio: Music Video Distribu
Director: Bob Clark (III)
Olivia Hussey
Keir Dullea

DVD title: The Year Without a Santa Claus/Nestor, the Long-Eared Christmas Donkey/Rudolph's Shiny New Year
Productgroup: DVD
The Year Without a Santa Claus/Nestor, the Long-Eared Christmas Donkey/Rudolph's Shiny New Year - movie DVD cover picture

On 'A Year Without Santa Claus' this is BY FAR the most surreal of the Rankin/Bass christmas specials.Santa tries to take a year off,resulting in Mrs.Claus trying to bargain with the Heat and Snow Mizar (two bizzare,showboating characters that more or less steal the show) and mother nature,they're mother.In 'Shiny New Year' Rudolph must locate the deserted Baby New Year named Happy from the 'archapelago of lost years' such as it is and from a bird-like foe called Eon.Trouble is Happy,like Rudolph is possessed of a non-conformity (in Happy's case Dumbo-like ears) that cause him to be laughed at by all he meets.Then upon finding Happy Rudolph explains how he is being laughed with,not at and a happy ending abounds.And Nester?Well that's just a very charming story in Rankin/Bass classic style.I always have saught them out-as I admire that clever animatronic style they use and the clever stories of various misfits finding themselfs at Christmas.These two are the most bizzare but even late in the day they still rock!!!!

Studio: Warner Studios
Shirley Booth
Mickey Rooney

DVD title: Magnolia (New Line Platinum Series)
Productgroup: DVD
Magnolia (New Line Platinum Series) - movie DVD cover picture
Magnificent Magnolia is a Masterpiece

Too long. Too much crying. And why does every character in this movie have some deep, dark secret from his/her childhood? BORING!

Studio: New Line Home Entertainment
Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
Tom Cruise
Julianne Moore
William H. Macy
Philip Seymour Hoffman
Philip Baker Hall
Jeremy Blackman

DVD title: Battlestar Galactica
Productgroup: DVD
Battlestar Galactica - movie DVD cover picture

There are actually three different versions of this, the pilot movie for Battlestar Galactica.
#1 The first version was a full length movie that tested in Europe and Canada in 1978. This version has never been released in the USA.
#2 SAGA OF A STAR WORLD is the pilot version that runs in a 3 hour
time slot. It is the same as the #1 version but the ending was altered so that Count Baltar 's life is spared by the Cylon Imperious Leader. An added epilogue shows the arrival of three new Cylon Basestars, a "new" Imperious Leader, Baltar alive and the first appearance of Cylon Lucifer.
It premiered on US TV in 1978. It is available in the DVD box set. (The one with the Cylon head on it)
#3 (This version) Is the theatrical version that played in US theatres the summer of 1979 and was available on VHS for most of the 80's and 90's.
It is a much shorter version of #1. Several lengthy sequences, most notably the attack on Caprica, have been removed or shortened. It is in stereo and is letterboxed on DVD(but does not have a very wide picture) and features the original ending in which Baltar is beheaded (off camera) by the Cylons. It does not include the epilogue and is notable for moving along at an almost jaringly fast pace. Basically they just took the scissors to a print of #1. Only of interest if you must have the stereo sound.
And in response to those reviewers who never watched Galactica until now. WHAT KIND OF SUPER DORK WATCHED BUCK ROGERS AND V, BUT NEVER SAW BATTLESTAR GALACTICA???!!!!

Studio: Universal Studios
Richard Hatch
Dirk Benedict

DVD title: A Little Romance
Productgroup: DVD
A Little Romance - movie DVD cover picture

I was a 15 year old boy in 1979 Los Angeles the first time I saw this film. I couldn't figure why I cried so much at the end - I was a Diane Lane fan for life however. I saw it for the second time by chance last month, 21 years later! It was a magical thrill to see these characters again. I was moved to even more tears this time. It awakened hope and inspiration in this husband and father of three that innocence and ideals need never die.

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: George Roy Hill
Laurence Olivier
Diane Lane

DVD title: Crossfire Trail
Productgroup: DVD
Crossfire Trail - movie DVD cover picture
Pleasantly surprised...

General publication reviews indicated this western was a muddled mess. What with pedantic acting, questionable plot and poor direction, overall. So, I skipped its TNT telecast, and finally saw it on VHS. Move over critics, you've forced your own obsolescence. This is a great western, akin to Mr. Wincer'sother, Quigley Down Under, feature. I'm very glad that I saw it, and sorry that I missed it, before. But, at least this way, I missed any commercial interruptions. Mr. Selleck owns the mantle of the western protagonist, unequivocally.

Studio: Warner Brothers
Director: Simon Wincer

DVD title: In the Bedroom
Productgroup: DVD
In the Bedroom - movie DVD cover picture
deservesto be 5 stars because its one of 2001's best

powerful, emotional, shattering, shocking..this movie hooks you in with all those ingredients....acting that is superb crossing its T's and dotting it's I's with performances that are all those ingredients...Nick Stahl(Bully, Terminator 3:Rise Of The Machines) comes back for Marisa Tomei(Cousin Vinny, The Watcher) and her 2 boys...everything is going great until Tomei's violent and jealous ex comes and tries to get back into the boys and hers life...meanwhile Stahl's parents are concerned...the most shocking part would have to be when Stahl is just was like...oh crap....then Stahl's parents start to act weird and then Stahl's dad played with power by Tom Wilkinson(Rush Hour, The Patriot)..takes matters in his own hands and drags Tomei's ex to the middle of the woods and shoots him dead and Wilkinson and his friend bury the body deep in the woods...very emotional on the scale...fueled by the leads. Sissy Spacek(Carrie and Affliction) also stars as Stahl's mother.

Studio: Buena Vista Home Vid
Director: Todd Field
Tom Wilkinson
Sissy Spacek

DVD title: Lawrence of Arabia (Limited Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Lawrence of Arabia (Limited Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
The Best of the Best

Never have I seen a film as well directed as this one. The acting and casting are perfect. I highly recommend Lawrence's book, Seven Pillars of Wisdom. It goes into much greater detail than time allows the film. I rank "Lawrence of Arabia" in my top 6 favorite films along with "The Bridge on the River Kwai"(also directed by David Lean), "A Clockwork Orange", "2001: A Space Odyssey", "The Empire Strikes Back", and "Raiders of the Lost Ark". Not necessarily in that particular order though.

Studio: Columbia Tri-Star
Director: David Lean
Peter O'Toole

DVD title: Ever After - A Cinderella Story
Productgroup: DVD
Ever After - A Cinderella Story - movie DVD cover picture
A great movie every one will like

Drew Barrymore and Dougry Scott make an excellent couple as well as put on a extraodinary performance. This movie is based on the classic fairy tale of Cinderella. But it adds some intresting conflicts between the charecters. Angelica Housten fits the part of the step-mother perfectly! I highly recomend this movie to anyone of any age!

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
Director: Andy Tennant
Drew Barrymore
Anjelica Huston
Dougray Scott

DVD title: 2046
Productgroup: DVD
2046 - movie DVD cover picture
Brilliant Artistic Maze of Emotion, Memory, and Ideas...

2046 is a kaleidoscopic enigma illustrated through a bewildering and affectionate adventure into where subconscious and consciousness meet. It is hard to tell where it begins, or ends, as it is a juxtaposition of dreams, feelings, and memories fused into an existence with deliberate reflection, no solution, and only continuation. Playfully the camera displays emptiness and fullness, brightness and darkness, as the notion of contrasts has its own symbolical meaning. Colors diverge and converge creating powerful contrasts in the mind of the viewer's mind and through the mind of the character whose voice narrates the tale. Everything in the 2046 has an intention, as it stirs up some thought, feeling, or memory within the main character. However, the film never finds harmony, as it continues to move restlessly in a search for something fresh and unexplored, maybe something from the past, as timing is crucial. Kar Wai Wong's 2046 is a cinematic potpourri, of a man who attempts to discover love in his existence through contemplation, emotion, and memory in his professional and leisure life.

Dazzling images from a futuristic society where train networks cover the globe opens 2046, which immediately suggests to the audience that this is a science fiction film. These trains have the capability to bring people to the year of 2046 where nothing ever changes and from where nobody has ever returned, except for the story's hero. However, the science fictional opening is merely a novel with an intriguing allegorical portrayal of the main character, Chow Mo Wan (Tony Leung), who exists in the 1960's Hong Kong upheaval where he worked as low-paid journalist while womanizing between jobs. This is the same Chow who the audience recognizes from the brilliant In the Mood for Love (2000) who still seems to be caught in a similar restlessness, but the difference in 2046 is his perspective of women.

On a Christmas Eve Chow bumps into an old friend, Lulu (Carina Lau), who he helped out in Singapore many years ago. Together they get drunk, which leads Chow to bring her home, a cheap room, 2046, at the Oriental Hotel. Later Chow returns Lulu's key, but finds out that she has moved out. This event triggers an internal fixation in Chow who generates a bizarre interest in the room 2046, as he wants to move into the room. However, the room is under construction and Chow moves into 2047 instead where he begins the construction of his novel. When Chow moves into his new hotel room he learns that Lulu was murdered in 2046, which also becomes the title of his novel. Through the process of writing Chow drifts into his past containing several women and other emotional memories including Lulu.

Amidst Chow's writing he continues to sway girls to private meetings in his small hotel room where he lives. Women purely become a commodity that provides time for him, as he provides time for them. This is a time when Chow can find a moment of physical closeness and touch, however, he never forms any meaningful relationships built on communication, trust, and care. These women merely provide a moment where he can remove loneliness in-between work, writing his novel, and more women. Chow also listens to the new neighbors in 2046, first the owner of Hotel Oriental's daughter and later Bai Ling (Ziyi Zhang) with whom he begins to build a peculiar relationship. Bai and Chow's connection builds on payments after sexual favors, something she rejects, but Chow does as he does not want to be tied to her.

There are several elements in the film that suggest Chow has developed an emotional insecurity in regards to love and women. One of the most striking symbols presents itself in a scene when Chow and a woman draw a card each from a deck and if he gets the higher card he wins and she will go with him to Hong Kong. This scene indicates that he is out of control, which forces him to play on the luck of the draw. Later in the film this scene will repeat itself, as Chow seems to have gained wisdom from the event. Chow also admires women and shots from when Chow observes the different women who live in 2046 on the roof top of the Oriental Hotel from his room window suggests that he longs for them, as the camera uses an emotionally enhancing lower angle when he looks upward for the women. Another thing these women have in common is that they are out of Chow's reach, which suggests that he desires the unobtainable.

The desire for the unobtainable, Chow's personal distance after physical connection with women, and his cerebral manifestations of how women ought to be display much about Chow. Combined, these notions develop a more clear image of Chow and his relation to women. One thought in particular is strikingly vivid and it is Chow's internalized anxiety, as he frequently contemplates about the women he did not get while he rejects the women in the present that desire him. Chow is caught in a no man's land where he wanders trying to reach his past while temporarily curing his loneliness with one night stands. Lost in this twilight Chow wanders in his memories, emotions, and combined through these he forms an unobtainable vision of how to reach lovelorn happiness. An example of this notion is the scene where Chow encounters Lulu in Hong Kong where she displays that she has forgotten him and who he is; however, this might not be true as words can easily be manipulated in order to portray a certain desired behavior for whatever reason.

2046 is a visual manifestation of thoughts, feelings, and memories generated by Chow who seems to struggle with fulfilling his dream. In the process, Chow ends up hurting others who seems to acquire the same method of approaching love as him. This suggests that the notion of a twilight zone for those who are lost in love is cyclical and can be transferred to others through acts in the present. It is bewildering to see this emotional carousel spin faster and faster, as others seem to be forced onto the carousel through the spell of love that causes much suffering and pain.

Several thoughts, reviews, and opinions have been expressed on Kar Wai Wong's 2046, which arrived to the Cannes Film Festival still hot from the cutting board. After Cannes, Wong took the film back to the cutting board for additional work, and after almost a total of four years of hard work Kar Wai Wong presents an emotional roller coaster that at times feels like something by Bu?uel. The score elevates the mood in a similar manner, as it did in In the Mood for Love, but here with a more mesmerizing effect. The music grabs and pulls the audience into the screen, as if it wants to hypnotize the audience to feel the same as Chow. The camerawork is simply brilliant, as every single shot provides something for the mind to contemplate while the framing and mise-en-scene deliberately provide additional texture to the theme. Ultimately, the audience will have ventured through an artistic maze of emotion, memory, and ideas presented in such a manner that will require extensive cerebral participation during and long after the theater seat has turned cold.

Director: Kar Wai Wong
Tony Leung Chiu Wai
Faye Wong
Ziyi Zhang

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