Film DVD related reviews


DVD title: Muriel's Wedding
Productgroup: DVD
Muriel's Wedding - movie DVD cover picture
Porpoise Spit Sheila's Move It On Over To Big City Sidney!


Australian writer/director P.J. Hogan's modern masterpiece, "Muriel's Wedding" serves up wedding cake with wheelchairs, confetti with cancer, ABBA with ardor, sweetness with stealing, and more importantly friends with foes in this one of a kind black comedy.
"Muriel's Wedding" not only launched P.J. Hogan's directing and writing career but gave a leg up to Toni Collette who agreed to pack on 30 lbs. for the once in a lifetime role of Muriel Heslop, citizen of small town Porpoise Spit, Australia. Rachel Griffiths from "Six Feet Under" also got her first shot playing Muriel's friend, wild child and general black sheep of Porpoise Spit, Rhonda Epinstalk. Rhonda and Muriel escape the small town and small people of Porpoise Spit for the big city lights and acceptance of Sidney, Australia.
A low self-esteemed wedding obsessed wannabe, Muriel lies, cheats and steals her way to her ultimate goal. Getting HITCHED! At least that's what Muriel thinks she desires, but all she wants is to truly be accepted by friends, family and her WHOLE world. Muriel's whole existence is based on "Why Can't It Be Me? Why Can't I Be The One?"
Muriel's parents, Bill and Betty Heslop, played by Aussie actors Bill Hunter and Jeanie Drynan both turn in excellent and believable performances. Especially Jeanie Drynan as the put upon mother who unconditionally loves her children and only wants to think the best of them.
Also featured are four judgemental and witchy women who are Muriel and Rhonda's former high school classmates. Some of the greatest comedy scenes take place between the six gals and are hilarious!
The film ALSO has a GREAT 70's soundtrack with the likes of:
Sugar Baby Love by The Rubettes We've Only Just Begun by The Carpenters Tide Is High by Blondie Waterloo by ABBA I Go to Rio by Peter Allen I Just Don't Know What to Do With Myself by Dusty Springfield Dancing Queen by ABBAI Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do by ABBA and Happy Together by The Turtles
I highly recommend this film not just as a "chick flick" but a great and terrific movie that examines not only the comedic side of life but of true friendship, love and death...
Happy Watching And Go Porpoise Spit High!

Studio: Miramax Home Entertainment
Director: P.J. Hogan
Actors:
Toni Collette
Bill Hunter
Rachel Griffiths




DVD title: NBA Dynasty Series - Los Angeles Lakers - The Complete History
Productgroup: DVD
NBA Dynasty Series - Los Angeles Lakers - The Complete History - movie DVD cover picture
lakers are great.....but


The cover says it all. Pictures of all Laker greats - but where is Kobe? He isn't pictured or even mentioned on the DVD materials. The timeline of the Laker greats also doesn't mention him. DFish is pictured but not Kobe. Make sense? Not to me. I don't know why Kobe continues to get no love - but on the whole the DVD is awesome. I just wish Kobe to get the respect he deserves.

Studio: Warner Home Video
Actors:
Shaquille O'Neal
Kobe Bryant
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Magic Johnson




DVD title: Blood from the Mummy's Tomb
Productgroup: DVD
Blood from the Mummy's Tomb - movie DVD cover picture
Another Gem...


A wonderful film, celebrating a little-known story by Bram Stoker, and putting the final lid on one of Hammer's most popular series.From the story "Jewel of The Seven Stars", comes this picture which has in fact nothing at all to do with bandages, let alone zombies runnning around making strange noises!This time, the daughter of a famous archeologist is given a special ring that once belonged to a notorious Egyptian Queen.Naturally the ring has special powers which lead onto many plot twists and turns that would've done Lara Croft proud.Making the film too was a story in itself. Directed by Seth Holt, who in fact died just before completion, only after one letdown after another, not least of which was Peter Cushing dropping out less than halfway through, having to be replaced by the equally great Andrew Keir as Professor Fuchs, the archeologist.Special effects were at a minimum in the early 70s, but instead, the movie makes fine use of three key elements, long sweeping shots in slow motion, the much underrated Valerie Leon in the dual roles of Queen Tiera and Fuch's daughter, who becomes dominated by the power of the ring, and a fine background score from Tristan Cary, full of Egyptian mystery.All in all, a nice unexpected gem from Hammer, with an equally nice open ending.

Studio: Anchor Bay Entertainment



DVD title: And Now... Ladies and Gentlemen
Productgroup: DVD
And Now... Ladies and Gentlemen - movie DVD cover picture
A Lovely Escapist Venture


Claude Lelouche has once again teamed with Michel Legrand to continue his examination of the vagaries of love in AND NOW LADIES & GENTLEMEN. There is a Gallic magic about Lelouche's view of love that is irresistible and this rather long film journey is no exception. Jeremy Irons is a thief who creates sophisticated heists of jewels by adopting disguises. He is jaunty, loves the beautiful things in life, and decides to spend his won money to sail a yacht on a long-dreamed journey. While at sea he has his first blackout which we later learn is due to a brain tumor. He is taken ashore in Morocco where he encounters a lounge singer (Patricia Kaas) who likewise is subject to blackouts and has strayed to Morocco after the end of an affair with a trumpet player. Together they plan a pilgrimage to a site of healing, but Irons' character is followed by the police for his jewel heists and is captured, is unable to remember his thefts, and finally is diagnosed as having a brain tumor. Postop he reconciles with his singer and makes amends for his life of crime.
As with all of Lelouche's films there are episodes that blur dreamlife with reality and in this film he uses this technique to perfection. Much of what really happens is left to the individual's perception. The settings for this escapade are truly splendid - Morocco has never looked so dreamy, so dramatic, so sun-drenched and inviting. The real joy of this film are the performances of Irons and Kaas and the added pleasure of seeing old (!) faces from the past such as Claudia Cardinale - no longer the beauty she once was! Patricia Kaas is a very fine singer and her renditions of old standards take on new substance in her sensitive interpretations. The only flaw in this film is that it is filmed in both English and French and the dubbing barely matches the subtitles. That is very distracting. But forgive that and you have a film that will let you take flight - lightly as with an elegant French aperitif!

Studio: Paramount Home Video
Director: Claude Lelouch
Actors:
Jeremy Irons
Patricia Kaas
Thierry Lhermitte




DVD title: The Marx Brothers Silver Screen Collection (The Cocoanuts / Animal Crackers / Monkey Business / Horse Feathers / Duck Soup)
Productgroup: DVD
The Marx Brothers Silver Screen Collection (The Cocoanuts / Animal Crackers / Monkey Business / Horse Feathers / Duck Soup) - movie DVD cover picture
Chico's the MAN


The early Paramount comedies (and we might also include such indespensable WC Fields efforts as ITS A GIFT) are part of cinema's greatest treasures. Night at the Opera has its points, but to see Harpo getting slapped around and his participation reduced to nodding and grinning between hackneyed love scenes really turns me off to the MGM formula that reigned in on the humor, and especially the originality of these first five flicks.

A note about Horse Feathers. The scenes edited for American TV were still intact during presentations in England a couple of decades ago, and one would wish that a little legwork could be done towards a full restoration. It seems a shame that the only chance to see the wonderful Harpo-Thelma Todd entanglement routine is as a recreation in one of Woody Allen's films.

Duck Soup has to be considered on the list of greatest comedies of all time. Leo McCarey and the boys may have later disowned it, but their genius is on exhibit throughout. Horse Feathers and Monkey Business are in the same class, and there is nothing else that has ever been made that comes close to touching the amazing sparks the three produce.

Despite being and old and creaky musical comedy, Animal Crackers overcomes its stagebound parentage and is quite a hoot until running out of steam at the end. Cocoanuts is another thing altogether, smothered by the early sound technology and general sloppiness of the production, but in its own peculiar way is rather fascinating, like an archeological dig from some exotic site. It also shows the brothers, especially the red head, at their most anarchistic fierceness, not giving a damn about the whole deal, and thus producing some truely potent routines.

Studio: Universal Studios Ho
Actors:
Marx Brothers



DVD title: Aerosmith: The Making of "Pump"
Productgroup: DVD
Aerosmith: The Making of "Pump" - movie DVD cover picture
MAKING OF PUMP -- AN ABSOLUTE MUST FOR AERO FANS !!


MAKING OF PUMP...A prime example of perfection and why most musicians today don't belong in the same room with these guys, period.
It is, by far, the best Aerosmith DVD/VHS I've seen to date. I am an Aerosmith/Steven Tyler fanatic, to say the least, and I absolutely love this little masterpiece.
Each member is interviewed extensively, in and out of the studio. Showing their personal interractions with each other during the making of this album was priceless.
Steven is, by far, the hardest working, most talented -- leading man in music; and Joe Perry, who is equally talented and second to NO ONE, is the epitome of cool. That man should own the patent on leather pants and ripped denim, good god !! As far as I am concerned, they both should STILL be referred to as the "Toxic Twins", since these two guys are intoxicating not to themselves, thank goodness for that, but to US!!!!
This is my favorite in my Aero-library and a true gem to behold.Don't even hesitate.....buy it and watch it over and over and over again.
These guys are not referred as America's Greatest Rock Band for nothing.

Studio: Sony/Columbia



DVD title: Ocean's Eleven (Full Screen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Ocean's Eleven (Full Screen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Ocean's Eleven 2002 versus 1960.............oceans apart


I never expect a remake to better the original, I mean look at Get Carter!
But, this new version leaves the original miles behind.
I bought the first verion after seeing the new movie and would never have understood the Rat Packs flick if I didn't have the benefit of seeing Clooney and Pitt's film.
Julia Roberts may have too minor a role but at least it is more important than Angie Dickinson's part, you do get the fealing that the relationship is revivable the 1960 version leaves you feeling that the wife was just to pad out some screenplay time.
The heist has more of a feeling of plausibity also. I mean it it one of those movies that exites you to think they could get away with it....
The ending is satisfactory for the third millenium but I did like the original movie's ending which was the only saving grace for what is actually quite a dull robbery.
Go and see the new one and then rent or buy the original.....see if you agree.

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Actors:
George Clooney
Brad Pitt




DVD title: Niagara
Productgroup: DVD
Niagara - movie DVD cover picture
Marilyn at her Best !


I had never seen a Marilyn Monroe film before I came across this one,and I really didn't know what to expect.I had heard all the trash talk of Marilyn's lack of acting skills and decided then and there to give her a whirl and see for myself.I was pleasantly surprised to find myself captivated by not only the movie,but moreover,by Marilyn herself.Not only was she beautiful,but her role of the wife scheming to kill off her husband Quickly dispelled any notions that she couldn't act.In short,I found the movie And Marilyn especially to be of first rate and Well worth seeing again!If you have never seen "Niagara",by all means Do so-you won't be disappointed!I certainly wasn't!(But beware-you just might find the song "Kiss" stuck in your head for days after!)

Studio: Fox Home Entertainme
Director: Henry Hathaway
Actors:
Marilyn Monroe
Joseph Cotten




DVD title: Signing Time! Volume 2: Playtime Signs
Productgroup: DVD
Signing Time! Volume 2: Playtime Signs - movie DVD cover picture
Amazingly wonderful!


All of the 'Signing Time' videos are absolutely great. Now, instead of watching cartoons, all three of my children only ask to watch 'Signing Time'. They're ages are 12, 5, and 2. All of them sign all the time and really enjoy the videos. (I like to watch with them too!) We use signing in public when we're separated or when the situation calls for us to be quiet. My two year old's frustration has been greatly reduced by his ability to communicate with signs. He also has a very large signing vocabulary. The little boy I babysit is three and my five year old loves to teach him signs too. Overall, I don't think any child is too young or too old to start learning signs. It's something that kids of all ages enjoy and these videos are the best I've seen!
Thank you 'Signing Time'!

Director: Emilie de Azevedo-Brown/ Jon Pierre Francia



DVD title: Dazed and Confused
Productgroup: DVD
Dazed and Confused - movie DVD cover picture
I laughed so hard smoke blew out my mouth


I love good low brow comedies, but sadly I had missed out on Dazed and Confused until recently. Even though it mostly features a bunch of kids getting drunk and stoned (and having fun doing it), there is more to the film than that. As the Amazon review states that the movie asks the question of "What happens next?", and we see the kids wonder about they're uncertain futures, and have a fun time doing it. It's stoner comedy at it's best, one scene in particular is when Slater (Rory Cochrane) is discussing how cool of a lady Martha Washington was and how she took care of George, is laugh out loud hilarious. The rest of the then young cast includes Jason London, Joey Lauren Adams, Milla Jovovich, Cole Hauser, Ben Affleck, Parker Posey, Adam Goldberg, and a then unknown Matthew McConaughey as an older stoner who still loves to party. Do yourself a favor, if you've never seen Dazed and Confused but you love movies like Half Baked, The Stoned Age, or any Kevin Smith film, than you'll love this.

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: Richard Linklater
Actors:
Jason London
Rory Cochrane
Wiley Wiggins
Matthew McConaughey




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