Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: The Deep End
Productgroup: DVD
The Deep End - movie DVD cover picture
Poetic, lush and breath-taking suspense drama

A movie I loved so much that I actually stayed on my treadmill till it was over, extending my usual hour-long workout into 2 hours (and I'm paying the price today, ouch!) From the opening scene to the last credit, you won't be able to tear your eyes from the screen. Tilda Swinton, the star and focus of this film, is perfect in the role of a woman trying to protect her family from tragedy while maintaining her daily routine. A brief summary: Her adolescent son has been piecked up by a manipulative man and then the man tries to blackmail the boy's mother for money. Afterwards, he dies in cirucmstances that make the boy a possible suspect - although he is, in fact, innocent (I'm not giving anything away here; all of this is revealed early on in the movie).Swinton is calmly focused (most of the time), single-mindedly determined in her quest to hold everything together in the face of nearly insurmountable odds. She is equally determined to make sure her family - son, 2 daughter, elderly father-in-law - aren't aware of what is going on, of the tragedy that took place within minutes of their front doorstep. Meanwhile, her life is changing but not in ways she could have foreseen. In spite of her best efforts, she can't control everything.Watching Swinton juggle all her everyday duties (cooking, cleaning, keeping the kids organized and on time for school and after school activities) while dealing with the burden of hiding a body, covering up the evidence and keeping everyone in the dark, I couldn't help marveling at her apparent selflessness in the face of so much and at her incredible ability to fool those around her.This movie is one of the best of the year. Don't be so swept up by the story,however, that you miss the visual details that are breath-takingly poetic in beauty and intensity. The lingering shots of Swinton's face, the color of the water, the way a drop falling from the kitchen faucet (framing a face in the drop) can punctuate the mood of the moment.

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox Home Video
Tilda Swinton
Goran Visnjic

DVD title: Charmed - The Complete Second Season
Productgroup: DVD
Charmed - The Complete Second Season - movie DVD cover picture
Season two enchanted viewers

Having previously learned that they are all-powerful witches, the Charmed ones spend the 22 episodes of this season (1999-2000) further developing both their Wiccan powers and attempting to have personal relationships.

This season is pivotal because of the increased character development and addition of the P3 nightclub as a background. This self-owned nightclub becomes a gathering spot for the sisters so they can attempt saving the world while not sacrificing too much of their personal life during the process.

A 20 something man and his young sister also move in next door to the Haliwells. Because they are added to the opening credits, audiences instantly know that they are supposed to be very important characters during this season. Dan (Greg Vaughn) develops a crush on Piper, but he also senses that Leo is competing for her affections. Piper subsequently must choose between the two men, and it's actually not easy for her at first because of the conflicting emotions. Dan offers stability and normalcy, but Leo knows exactly who she is and thus what her obligations to the world are. Leo himself becomes a regular cast member in this season.

Piper later learns that she and Leo ultimately got married in "Morality Bites". She must travel forward in time to a modern day witch trial after Phoebe has a premonition of being burnt to death. A hoity San Francisco DA had taken it upon himself to institute modern day witch trials as a platform for attaining local political office. Brushing aside the implausibility of this tactic being used in the non-bible belt San Francisco, this episode does forecast Piper and Leo being together for a time.

Prue turns into a man in "She's a man, baby, a man!" in order to attract a man-killing succubus who is picking victims through its employment at a new dating service. During this episode, we also learn that Dan is romantically attracted to Piper because he had made a video for that very same dating service. That video all but gave away his intentions to attempt wooing her. The sisters must also protect Dan from the succubus while Piper continues to sort out her personal feelings towards him. He is an innocent, but Piper is not sure she wants romantic attention from Dan.

In "P3H20", the sisters learn that their mother had a romantic history eerily similar to Piper's current dilemma over a relationship with Leo vs. his role as a white lighter. Before her untimely death, Patty Haliwell had fallen in love with her own white lighter, Sam (Scott Jaeck). Now knowing this information undoubtedly helps to make Piper's own present-day romantic decisions a little bit easier. Piper then realizes that she would not be undertaking such a tremendous breach of the `rules' and it has been done before, especially by somebody in her own family!

Piper would later learn that her relationship with Leo was so genuine that it had not needed any help from Cupid (Heartbreak City). In this universe, Cupid only brings together couples who are meant for each other yet who ultimately need a little extra help finding that other person. He does not waste time intervening in relationships which already come together on their own.

During "Mrs. Helfire", Andy's former partner Daryl (Dorian Gregory) learns that the sisters are witches. Suddenly all of the odd occurrences and his partner's equally odd behavior prior to Andy's last season's death now make perfect sense. Rather than causing all of the `weird' problems in the city, these young women are in fact the one force which is capable of stopping them. Bringing all supernatural matters to them and providing cover when necessary therefore actually is beneficial for law and order and the department. Daryl now assumes the ally role which Andy once had and stops probing what happened around the charmed ones. They now reciprocally trust each other.

Shannen Doherty is reunited with a former 90210 co-star when Stephanie Beacham guest stared as Martha Van Lewen during "Reckless Abandon". The sisters are dispatched to prevent a ghost from killing all the men off inside one family line. Beacham and Doherty always had looked genuinely happy to work together on-camera and I am pleased that they were reunited for the episode.

Prue leaves her job at Buckland's Auction House for personal and professional reasons in "Awakened". She subsequently gets a job as a photographer in "Murphy's Luck".This new job (in addition to co-ownership of P3) will provide the job flexibility desperately needed by a charmed one. The photographer's odd hours will work as a nice cover for her evil fighting duties much like Clark Kent's reporter career had covered for Superman's adventures.

I was thrilled when Season One of Charmed was released, and am ecstatic that Season Two is being released so quickly in succession. Thank you for paying attention to the fans.

Studio: Paramount Home Video
Shannen Doherty

DVD title: Alexander - Director's Cut (Full Screen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Alexander - Director's Cut (Full Screen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
I 'm giving it five stars, and I haven't even seen it yet !

I've just waded through all 100 reviews of this movie. What an eye-opener.
Good old Oliver, anything that offends middle America this much, must be a work of genius. We can't wait to see it in the UK....... 5 stars *****
Well, since I wrote this piece of tosh, I've actually SEEN the movie, and with a few minor quibbles I have to say I thought it was a remarkable piece of film making. Admittedly there are some very naff sequences, the child actors portraying Alexanders early life are an embarrassment, although the sequence showing the young Alexander breaking the horse Bucephalus was extremely well done. Also Anthony Hopkins resume of Alexanders life that tops and tails the movie was very strange, and the eight year flashback to his fathers murder two thirds of the way through the movie made me wonder for a moment if the projectionist had had a seizure and mixed up the reels. In spite of these things ALEXANDER was a brave and really interesting attempt to tell one mans story. I'd also like to say that I thought Farrell was not great but nevertheless very good in the lead. Eat your heart out Brad Pitt. The battle scenes were superb, the extreme close up of Darius awaiting the battle was chilling. The Art Direction was superb, the highlight being the arrival in Babylon...absolutely stunning. I could go on, but I just want to say well done Oliver ! And why are all the negative reviews of this movie apparently written by Americans who can't spell or express themselves coherently, with a dubious grasp of the English language and, naturally (?) they all snigger at the bisexual parts of the movie.
Oh well, onwards to North Korea, and may the Gods help us !!

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Oliver Stone
Anthony Hopkins
Angelina Jolie

DVD title: In the Name of the Father
Productgroup: DVD
In the Name of the Father - movie DVD cover picture
The IRA Trilogy.

Three films that stand out in terms of explaining the movement of the Irish Republican Army are Michael Collins, Bloody Sunday and The Name of the Father, viewed in that order. Michael Collins explains the 1916 Irish Rising against British rule and the subsequent assassination of Collins for making a deal with the British to allow them to keep the North, a problem that still exists to this day, albeit calmed down somewhat because of the peace agreements. Bloody Sunday is about the armed assault by British Paratroopers that shot up a catholic peace protest in 1972. It is like watching Saving Private Ryan in the streets. That court case is still ongoing today. The Name of the Father is in Britain and is worth seeing again because of new events.

In 2005 The Prime Minister apologised for one of the worst miscarriages of British justice - the jailing those accused of the Guilford IRA bombings. This film is about what happened. Eleven people sent to prison over the attacks in Guildford and Woolwich in 1974. They were subject to such a horrific political ordeal and a deep miscarriage of injustice. The wrongly convicted were members and friends of two Irish families living in the UK at the time - the Conlons and Maguires. Although the Conlon father and son never did meet in prison (like they do in the film) it is still pretty much an accurate portrayal or police brutality and the corruption of the justice system.

In many ways the film has been deemed "inappropriate" along side other films such a "Bloody Sunday" because apparently they do not add anything of value to restoring peace, but the truth is that this kind of material has been censored in Ireland and the UK until the 1990s when for the first time the party of Sinn Fein was allowed a voice to represent Catholics in Northern Ireland - Jerry Adams was actually allowed to appear on the news and talk.

The problem is that the government is not responsible for the courts which allowed people to be subjected to the kind of ordeal that these two families went through, scapegoats for a political body that wanted to keep censoring the full extent of the troubles in the North.

This is a well-made movie with some great acting. Riveting stuff through and through and one of the best prison/court dramas who can get your hands on. In light of the Prime Minister's apology, this is work looking into again.

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: Jim Sheridan
Daniel Day-Lewis

DVD title: The Eagles - Farewell 1 Tour - Live From Melbourne
Productgroup: DVD
The Eagles - Farewell 1 Tour - Live From Melbourne - movie DVD cover picture

All I can say is WOW. Just watched the broadcast of the show and it was all others have said and then some; amazement, laughter, tears, awe.

I have to agree with CW, it felt like they were holding back in some places, but hey, aren't we all slowing down a little? And like CW, I missed Felder - the new guy, Stueart Smith, while he has the chops, just isn't as tight with the rest of the group's phrasings. Hopefully by the time I see them in October that will have changed.

It was the first time I can recall hearing "Hole in the World," and it is really a powerful song. Don Henley is a true poet as well as a great vocalist.

Studio: Wea Corp

DVD title: American Chopper the Series - First Season
Productgroup: DVD
American Chopper the Series - First Season - movie DVD cover picture
The Guys at American Chopper are great ! I really like them

I have been a fan of the show on Discovery Channel. Late night, I work all night long on my web site for Horse Racing fans, and its a grind getting all the info typed in before daylight arrives.

One of the more enjoyable shows on Discovery helps me get through those long nights, its American Chopper.

Right away, you realize that this is a show about much more then just building hot bikes. The bikes are hot, and the talent displayed by Paul, jr and family is very impressive.

This show gives you the human side of the Teutul family. I have to say the greatest aspect of American Chopper is that you feel you are watching real people, not paid actors, and it makes all the difference in the world.

Paul jr's commentary is so honest. He is not being pretneous in any way, and when people make mistakes, they admit to them, and the show moves on. Our day to day life is filled with people being hammered for making any mistakes in their work, and its very refreshing to see the guys move forward and work as a team if any problems arise with the building of these very complicated bikes.

In a way, you almost feel like you are invited to be part of the family as you watch the family interaction between Paul, Paul jr, Mike and Vinny.

I really like the Teutul's and the show, and would encourage people to buy the DVD's. Its a refreshing idea for a TV Show, and it really holds your interest through each episode.

On my web site, I say "The Stick Rules"

For this show, you have to say..."The Teutul's Rule !"

It takes an artist, and a skilled craftsman and an amazing business sense to create, design and fabricate the one of a kind bikes you see on the show. This family seems to have all those talents wrapped up in the talented people they surround themselves with.

G-d bless,
MC -www.TheStickRules.Com

Studio: Columbia Tristar Hom
Paul Sr. Teutul

DVD title: 101 Reykjavík
Productgroup: DVD
101 Reykjavík - movie DVD cover picture
A Great Nordic delivery!

What do you get in a coming-of-age movie when the leading character is 30 years old? Lets just say you get an excellent movie, where the comedy is driven by the way of life of a slacker in the small and cold town of reykjavik, iceland's biggest city. The drama and motif in the characters rise when Hilmir finds out he's just gone to bed with his mom's partner. It's a great funny story of similar to films brought by Spanish director Almodovar, without the dramatic gloom and heavy atmosphere.
And to top it off it features and excellent music soundtrack, by Damon Albarn of Blur, which is also a great buy.
All in all, this film is definetively a must see.
Also, if you liked this film, i also recommend looking for "Noi Albinoi" (iceland), and "F***ing Amal" (sweeden).

Studio: Wellspring Media, In
Director: Baltasar Kormákur
Hilmir Snær Guðnason
Victoria Abril

DVD title: Tae Bo Original Instructional & Basic
Productgroup: DVD
Tae Bo Original Instructional & Basic - movie DVD cover picture
In super condition!

DVD arrived in better condition than described, brand new. How often does that happen? Highly recommended!

Studio: Ventura Distribution
Billy Blanks

DVD title: All About Eve
Productgroup: DVD
All About Eve - movie DVD cover picture
WItty, Bitchy Classic

All About Eve is a GREAT film. The dialogue leaps off of the screen zinger after zinger and never lets up.

Davis is brilliant here - one of the best female perfomances ever. Margo Channing is a force to be reckoned with! Baxter is appropriately cunning as the ingenue, Sander is delciously snarky and Thelma Ritter continues to display her status as a national movie treasure.

A fun, witty, wicked and bumpy ride. They do not make them better than this.

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Bette Davis
Anne Baxter

DVD title: The Exorcist (25th Anniversary Special Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
The Exorcist (25th Anniversary Special Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
The Exorcist so hot you will buy the DVD !!!!!!

I think this movie was really good. It starts out really slow, but in the end I think it is worth waiting through. Also, a lot of movies get tagged with the horror label. When in reality, they really aren't scary at all. This is one such movie. I didn't find this movie scary one bit. I think it's a movie that just freaks you out more than scares you. Obviously people get scared too easily. This movie is more of a suspense, thriller type deal.

Studio: Warner Studios
Director: William Friedkin
Ellen Burstyn
Max von Sydow
Linda Blair

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