Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Everest (Large Format)
Productgroup: DVD
Everest (Large Format) - movie DVD cover picture
Popularity Not Misplaced

After reading all of the drivel concerning this DVD I have an opinion I'd like to share. Upon hearing of Everest I immediately built some expectations, namely I wanted to see compelling, dramatic footage of the mountain that's killed so many. What I got was much different than I had expected, to say the least. After I had recovered from the damage of my expectations I realized that the footage the crew captured was truly breathtaking, not so much because of great cinemaphotography but more over because they had gotten any footage at all. I loved this DVD because I was shown a part of the world I'll likely never see and I am grateful a crew risked their lives to bring this to film.
If you want drama, read Krakauer's book, if you want a view of the top of the world with an interesting story, buy the DVD.

Studio: Miramax Home Entertainment
Liam Neeson

DVD title: Cats
Productgroup: DVD
Cats - movie DVD cover picture
Wicked Show!!!

I first saw the show on PBS in November and taped it, and then I got the tape for Christmas. I've watched it so many times everybody else in the house groans when they walk in and I'm in the living room. I love this show. It gives me a chance to drive everyone else up the wall. Besides, one of the songs that I'm famous for singing around here is "Memory". I know how Grizabella feels, as the outcast.

Studio: Universal Studios

DVD title: Trinity and Beyond: The Atomic Bomb Movie
Productgroup: DVD
Trinity and Beyond: The Atomic Bomb Movie - movie DVD cover picture
Forget "The Exorcist." This IS the scariest movie.

This movie is the most horrific film of all time, probably because it is 100% real, and shows the incredible blasts, effects, and aftermaths of atomic and thermonuclear explosions. You really have to see this film to experience how awesome and frightening these miniature "stars on earth" are. There is even rare footage of the "Tsar Bomba" detonation - the largest man made explosion on earth. It was devised by the Soviets and was a mind boggling 57 megatons (Hiroshima was a "tiny" 17 kilotons, and a megaton is 1,000 kilotons).

Studio: Goldhil Home Media
Director: Peter Kuran

DVD title: Rear Window (Collector's Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Rear Window (Collector's Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Hitch Classic

Rear Window may probably be my favorite Hitchcock film. About a man(Jimmy Stewart)who is confined to his apartment, by injury, and suspects a man in the apartment complex across from him has murdered his wife. Ultimate climax scene when murderer tries to attack Stewart in his apartment.I say again, this is an exellent movie for fans and even not-so-much fans of Hitchcock, and is also an all around fabulous film.

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: Alfred Hitchcock
James Stewart
Grace Kelly

DVD title: Peter Frampton - Live in Detroit
Productgroup: DVD
Peter Frampton - Live in Detroit - movie DVD cover picture
Frampton Comes Alive Again!

bought this dvd the first day out and it rocks. The video tranfer is crystal clear and the 5.1 encoding sounds great on by bose acoustamas 15.... Peter looks at peace with himself and the other members of the band and I've always said he is one of rocks greatest guitar players and he proves it here.

Studio: Image Entertainment
Peter Frampton

DVD title: How Stella Got Her Groove Back
Productgroup: DVD
How Stella Got Her Groove Back - movie DVD cover picture
I didn't want it to end. I had to watch it twice

How Stella Got Her Groove Back has to be one of the 10 best movies that I have ever seen. I can't remember the last movie to make me laugh as much as this one. It makes you feel good from end to end. It is also one of the few movies in recent times to show Black Americans in a positive light. Not since Waiting to Exhale or Soul Food can I remember a movie doing that. Angela Bassett and Whoopie Goldberg were outstanding and both women brought so much depth to thier characters.

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
Director: Kevin Rodney Sullivan
Angela Bassett
Taye Diggs

DVD title: Funny Games
Productgroup: DVD
Funny Games - movie DVD cover picture
The cure for being too enamored of movie violence!

I never realized the extent to which big-budget American action films condition audiences into savoring and craving "justifiable" acts of violence until I saw this fascinating and deeply disturbing Austrian movie from noted German director Michael Haneke. I couldn't sleep after seeing it, but after about a week had passed, I was very glad that I'd seen it. I'm now "immune" from being manipulated into enjoying onscreen violence, because the movie made me keenly aware of when I AM being manipulated ... and of the "commandments" that movies featuring cathartically satisfying acts of vengeance are built upon and dare not violate.
The storyline is sort of a hybrid of THE DESPERATE HOURS and CAPE FEAR, with two very Aryan-looking young men invading the summer cottage of an upper-middle-class family of three and sadistically playing "funny games" with them. But there's much more than the surface story at work here ... Haneke has some clever tricks up his sleeve when it comes to exercising his total control over the "rules" that the movie plays by. He keeps the audience off-balance by repeatedly violating movie conventions and confounding conditioned expectations as to how events will unfold.
Amazingly, there's only ONE act of on-screen violence in the entire movie ... and it's a classic example of the 100% acceptable, "justifiable" sort that American audiences so crave and Hollywood so obligingly provides on a regular basis. But just as your "rush" kicks in, Haneke pulls the carpet out from underneath you with one of his sleight-of-hand tricks, flip-flopping your pleasure into an equivalent amount of pain. And as for the RESULTS of the OFF-screen violence ... well, you're on your own.
Special kudos should go out to actors Arno Frisch and Frank Giering, for being willing to play what must be the creepiest, most contemptible crime duo in movie history. (The hillbillies in DELIVERANCE have NOTHING on them!) It takes fearlessness to make yourself a target for audience detestation at this level, and the film wouldn't work if the roles hadn't been so capably filled.
Know going in that the "See it if you dare" challenge on the DVD cover is not to be taken lightly. But know also that if you DO take the challenge, you'll emerge from the experience shaken but wiser - in possession of a whole new perspective on the bogusness of traditional Hollywood crowd-pleasing violence.

Studio: Fox Lorber
Director: Michael Haneke
Susanne Lothar
Ulrich Mühe
Arno Frisch
Frank Giering

DVD title: Boys Don't Cry
Productgroup: DVD
Boys Don't Cry - movie DVD cover picture
Gender "Confusion" Powers a Complex Love Story

Boys Don't Cry seems like a hundred other exploitive teen films as the film credits roll over scenes from Nebraska small town nightlife. Its a world of young working people, not long out of high school. Happy at being freed from parental constraints they seek thrills at after-bar-parties. There is drinking, hanging out in taverns, the occasional beef leading to a fight, karaoke singing, dangerous jousts and high speed chases in cars.
The familiar scenario becomes less so with the appearance of a boyish-looking girl- Teena Brandon- who looks like an extremely un-macho high school male.
Hilary Swank, the actress who portrays Teena, is in almost every scene of this perfectly plotted if suspiciously predictable story.
Brandon lives in Lincoln, Nebraska, but she is having a lot of difficulty there. Her attempts at bedding a member of her same sex are getting her into serious trouble. A male friend who lives in a trailer warns that her behavior will lead to violence against her after Teena is chased to his place by gay-bashers.
Teena hits on a solution. She decides to try her luck with other girls in another city: Falls City, Nebraska. Right away, the young set she encounters there take a shine to her. Teena fools this new crowd into believing she is a guy. At least she fools them for awhile. Our 21 year old leading character has reversed her name to become Brandon Teena.
She takes up with a group of twenty somethings and two older males who gather around the broken household of a divorced woman and her daughter Lana. Teena is smitten with Lana. And gradually, Lana gets interested in Teena.
This is a love story, a long love story. The gender "problem" is childs play for Teena to handle at first. But gradually, the "family" begins to have doubts about Brandon Teena. The story is delicately told. It is a surprise to see the storys sexual details revealed so explicitly. Though the explicitness lengthens the movie, I think director Kimberley Peirce and her co-screenwriter Andy Bienen were right to risk it.
The third act is extremely long. The nature of Teena's romance with Lana is dawning. There will be consequences. The mostly true story has a powerful ending. The scenario is a little too perfect, however. It is obvious the real story has been "cooked" slightly to strike the right moral: Homophobes are bad. I suspect Brandon's real experience in 1993 Falls City was quite a bit more complex.
The central characters are extremely well rendered. The story is superb even if it is a touch too long. Hilary Swank's young man trapped in a girl's body is extraordinary. Her performance reminds me very much of the young and innocent Judy Garland of the late 30s and early 40s. The actress doesn't look that male. Her innocence is thus key to putting over this extremely complex character. Miss Swank does it smashingly. I will be very disappointed if she does not become as big a star as Garland became.

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
Director: Kimberly Peirce
Hilary Swank
Chloë Sevigny

DVD title: Boys Don't Cry
Productgroup: DVD
Boys Don't Cry - movie DVD cover picture
So sad, a disgusting story...

"Boys Don't Cry" was a sad and disgusting story, about a young girl name Teena Bredan, who is facing a sexual identity crisis. Although she doesn't want to admit it to herself, she is a lesbian, and she is a girl. The whole movie was a brilliant renactiment of the true story.

Teena Bredan is a girl, who wants to be a man. She is having trouble figuring out who she is and is having a sexual identity crsis. She goes to a bar one night and meets Candance, played by the girl who played Becky in Rossane for the first seasons (I don't know her name), who befriends her/him and brings him to her home. Brandon becomes friends with everyone instantly, he doesn't tell anyone that he is really a girl. After weeks of getting to know these people and living with them,he develops a relationship with Lana, played by Chloe Sevigny, who was also brillant in this film. Lana soon finds out that Brandon is not a full man when they start to become sexually active. She pauses for a moment, but realizes that she loves Brandon, no matter what. This is when things start to go wrong. John, Lana's ex boyfriend, and his friend, soon find out about Brandon. They are white trash who have never been outside of anything and don't follow the law. They end up brutally raping Brandon and then shooting Candance and Brandon in the end. The two people that Lana truly cared about in life.

This story was one of the most disgusting that I've heard . As I was watching, I thought to myself, how could someone be so cruel to another person, how could someone be so crazy? How could you ruin to love? Who in the wrold is really that close minded. This was a true tale of pain, love, suffering, confusion, wanting to live a good life, and trying to find yourself.

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
Director: Kimberly Peirce
Hilary Swank
Chloë Sevigny

DVD title: Star Trek - Insurrection
Productgroup: DVD
Star Trek - Insurrection - movie DVD cover picture
for the presentation not the story

I found the plot for this movie to be thin and bland. The quest for a fountain of youth is not exactly cutting edge science fiction material. There is a sub plot with Data and a Baku kid that is compleatly unnecessary. Data and a kid plots have been done to death on the TV show. Why cover the same ground again? Evan though the story is so so, I gave this DVD 5 stars because it is one of the best looking and sounding DVDs on the market. It is picture perfect. The sound will knock you out of orbit. Also, I give paramount praise for including some extras. Hallelujah! There is some behind the scenes footage and two trailers. Usually, paramount delivers squat in the extras department. Compared to New Line or MGM releases, these extras are a little anemic. But for Paramount it is the super deluxe full monty! Seek out this DVD and enjoy the video and audio quality that only DVD can deliver!

Studio: Paramount Studio
Director: Jonathan Frakes
Jonathan Frakes
Patrick Stewart
Brent Spiner
LeVar Burton
Michael Dorn
Gates McFadden
Marina Sirtis

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