Film DVD related reviews


DVD title: Shenandoah
Productgroup: DVD
Shenandoah - movie DVD cover picture
Outstanding film, on my personal top 10 list.


This is a bittersweet, moving -- sometimes even beautiful --film. Jimmy Stewart is superb as Charlie Anderson, an arrogant, self-reliant man who thinks that he and his family can ignore the civil war which rages around his farm in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. He is disabused of this idealistic but naive notion when Union troops mistake his beloved youngest son, "Boy," for a rebel soldier and take him prisoner. Impetuously, the furious Anderson rides off with his older sons on a Quixotic mission to get the boy back. But this dangerous adventure costs him the lives of two sons and one of their wives. Only after the chastened Anderson reluctantly abandons his search does his beloved "Boy" -- who has escaped -- return home to him. Fine acting, good drama and characterization, beautiful scenery and film score, and a poignant ending make this an oustanding movie. One of the ten best fims ever made in my opinion -- and, quite possibly, Jimmy Stewart's greatest role.

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: Andrew V. McLaglen
Actors:
James Stewart



DVD title: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
Productgroup: DVD
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon - movie DVD cover picture
best Kung-fu action ever seen - and satisying


Grossly over-hyped and grossly (in my experience) under-whelming, Crouching Tiger is truly this year's American Beauty. Yes, it has its moments. The desert love sequence stays in the mind long after the film has ended: near silence, rich reds, widescreen landscapes and, best of all, not a wire-flying scene in sight. A whole film of that and I'd have been happy. Sadly, I found the rest of the film far too thin - visually and emotionally - to be rescued by the admittedly impressive ground-based fight sequences. (Wire flying, on the other hand, took me straight back to Spielberg's Hook: a horrible place to be taken back to). Yes, a fantastic cast, but Chow Yun Fat had none of the centred threat that he had in, say, The Replacement Killers and Michelle Yeoh had too much plot work to do. In fact, everyone had too much plot work to do. With a film that had the feel of something hacked down from 3 hours, the plot-hole count mounted horribly as the film progressed and the exposition got increasingly frantic. In the end, incredibly, it felt like such a tiny film - incredibly because Ang Lee has shown he can do the wide sweep of narrative and history, Ride With the Devil was truly a gem. This is just cut (hacked?) glass.

Studio: Columbia Tri-Star
Director: Ang Lee
Actors:
Yun-Fat Chow
Michelle Yeoh
Ziyi Zhang




DVD title: Monster / Aileen - Life and Death of a Serial Killer
Productgroup: DVD
Monster / Aileen - Life and Death of a Serial Killer - movie DVD cover picture
Excellent


Nick Broomfield's follow-up documentary of "The 1992 Interviews" is chilling and unforgettable. Most of the movie he interviews Aileen right up until the day before her death. This one was a lot better than his last documentary. He discovers her childhood home and teen years. He also talks with her long lost birth mother. This was the most insightful and interesting documentary done on Aileen.
"Monster" of course, is the best film of the year. This is the 2-pack to get.

Studio: Columbia Tristar Hom
Actors:
Nick Broomfield
Aileen Wuornos




DVD title: The Insider
Productgroup: DVD
The Insider - movie DVD cover picture
Super!


The Insider is Russell Crowe's precursor to the Gladiator. Watching Crowe in Insider and the Gladiator is a true display of the brilliance of this young actor. The Insider brings you two of the best actors in history in Al Pacino, my selection for the #4 spot of best actors of all time. (Crowe, although still needing more films under his belt, comes in at #20.) The Insider shows how corporate profit out weight the well-being of the people. Knowing their product (tobacco) is habit forming and deadly, the giants use everything within their means to crush and discredit the informer and attempt to control the media. As a member of the media, it is embarrassing to see how CBS coward under pressure only to have Bergman and Wigand push harder to do the honorable thing. They will bring the evidence to the public. The Insider is well written and the acting from all including Christopher Plummer is fantastic. The script and Michael Mann's direction is great, no surprise it received 7 Academy Award nominations including best picture. This movie is a keepsake, not since Heat and the Godfather have moviegoers had the opportunity to see two of the best actors in film together.

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




DVD title: Van Helsing (Widescreen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Van Helsing (Widescreen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Van Helsing Rocks!!!


I never had a chance to view this flick in the theatre, but I bought it the day it was released. I knew what this film contained and could not wait for it's release. It is obviously a product of someone who appreciates the original horror classics. As for the people who anylize every movie they see, it might not be a favorite, but for ones like me who enjoy a great horror movie filled w/ action, suspense, and great effects, go out and pick this one up. This disc also contains the Universal Studios classic films...Dracula,Frankenstien, and The Wolfman. In a word - KILLER!

Studio: Universal Studios Ho
Director: Stephen Sommers
Actors:
Hugh Jackman
Kate Beckinsale
Richard Roxburgh
Shuler Hensley
Will Kemp




DVD title: Janácek - The Cunning Little Vixen / Nicholas Hytner · Sir Charles Mackerras · Thomas Allen · Eva Jenis · Tháâtre du Chatelet
Productgroup: DVD
Janácek - The Cunning Little Vixen / Nicholas Hytner · Sir Charles Mackerras · Thomas Allen · Eva Jenis · Tháâtre du Chatelet - movie DVD cover picture
a foxy and fun-filled show


This a highly entertaining opera and for those new to Janacek, you couldn't pick a better place to start. The opera is playful, comic, mysterious, and in the end it is surprisingly moving. This is a lovely production and it has been produced with wit and imagination. The wonderful choreography is fully integrated into the action and adds an extra dimension to the work. THomas Allen gives a sensitive reading of the gamekeeper. But the real star of the evening is Eva Jemis who gives an uninhibited and bravura peformance as the vixen My favorite scene was the "pickup" scene in which the Vixen loses her virginity. The foxy couple go through a rather anthropomorphic variation of animal courtship that is frightfully realistic and funny as well. This is Disney for grown-ups and maybe the kids too. I was enthralled throughout this DVD and hopefully you will be too!

Studio: Image Entertainment
Director: Brian Large



DVD title: Fight Club (Single Disc Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Fight Club (Single Disc Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
DEVASTATING AND POWERFUL!


This has to be one of the best movies ever made! Fight Club tells the tale of an insomniac who is losing his grip on reality. Then, he meets Tyler, and that is when all hell breaks out! The naration given by Edward Norton is powerful and haunting, and it makes the suspense and terror seem that more realistic. This is the kind of movie where you cannot tell the story to others too much without giving the whole movie away. The ending is one of the best I have ever seen in a movie since Usual Suspects. This is a powerful movie which will make you believe that chaos can end all existence. I think EVERYONE should see this movie. It is gruesome and violent at times, but it's worth it! It's a shame that I can only give it 5 stars. It really should be 100 stars, or even more! Fight Club is without a dobt one of the best movies ever made!

Studio: Fox Home Entertainme
Director: David Fincher
Actors:
Edward Norton
Brad Pitt




DVD title: Bride of Chucky
Productgroup: DVD
Bride of Chucky - movie DVD cover picture
even better than the original


i bought child's play and child's play 2 on dvd and now i just bought the bride of chucky. and let me tell you i have never seen such a clear dvd like this one. the picture quality is totally amazing. if you like this movie than buy the dvd. you will totally love it.

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: Ronny Yu
Actors:
Jennifer Tilly
Brad Dourif




DVD title: Gangs of New York
Productgroup: DVD
Gangs of New York - movie DVD cover picture
If you liked Gladiator you will love this film


I saw Gangs of New York on DVD. It was excellent. It was one of these few films that meant something to me.
That film shows a true piece of time in New York when the huddled masses are trying to make a life out of poverty and squalor. People living with corruption, lack of money, theft, violence trying to make some meaning out of this mess.
Gladiator's battle scenese where superb, the battle scenes in Gangs of New York are even better.
I highly reccomend it to anyone that likes a good movie.

Studio: Miramax Home Entertainment
Director: Martin Scorsese
Actors:
Leonardo DiCaprio
Daniel Day-Lewis
Cameron Diaz




DVD title: Xanadu
Productgroup: DVD
Xanadu - movie DVD cover picture
XANADU was and still is pure MAGIC!


I LOVE this movie. Why talk about how bad it is? Because it is VERY bad. It's so bad it's good! Whose idea was it to merge fading musical star Gene Kelly with 80's pop sensation Olivia Newton John??? Throw in some ELO music and some neon special effects and you've got XANADU. Oh, it's fabulous!! Roller skating, off-the-shoulder 80's dresses, long hair, leg warmers.... This is XANADU. The storyline is negligable. You just wait till they get to the next song! The choreography is that Kenny Ortega 80's stuff. Look for Matt Latanzi (Olivia's ex) as a dancer in the background. By the time this movie gets to it's roller-skating in the round finale, you will be rocking! (The dancers/rollers chant: "Xanadu! Xanadu!" and perform some sort of choreographed hand-jive movements! I want to learn those moves!) Enjoy it, y'all. Like the song says: "Now that you're here, now that you're near ... Xanadu!"

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: Robert Greenwald
Actors:
Olivia Newton-John



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