Film DVD related reviews


DVD title: My Man Godfrey - Criterion Collection
Productgroup: DVD
My Man Godfrey - Criterion Collection - movie DVD cover picture
Powell and Lombard at their best!


Wow! This movie is better than all the Thin Man movies put together. It's a classic comedy...you'll laugh out loud at this one! Carole Lombard steals the show as the forlorn girl who falls for the new "forgotten man" turned butler Godfrey [William Powell]. They have great screen chemistry!
I'd consider this the quintessence of a 1930s film. Galmourous women in beautiful gowns by Travis Banton, art deco settings, and about a rich, upper class wealthy family of eccentrics. Criterion did an excellent job restoring the film, the settings really are fabulous! The screenplay is just classic. This is what comes to mind when one hears the words "classic movie". Beware, though, after seeing this movie, you'll fall in love with Godfrey, too!

Studio: Criterion Collection
Director: Gregory La Cava
Actors:
William Powell
Carole Lombard




DVD title: The Godfather
Productgroup: DVD
The Godfather - movie DVD cover picture
One of the landmark films in American film history


A host of factors make this one of the greatest American films. First, the directing is impeccable. Coppola allows the story to unfold simply, employing for the most part a static, immobile camera, allowing each scene to unfold like a series of tableaux. Second, the cinematography. Most of the craft of the cinematography went into the lighting, which generates some of the greatest use of light and shadows since the demise of black and white film noir. Coppola also intensifies each scene by using surprisingly little music in the film. Although the film is famous for its outstanding score by Nina Rota (later discovered to have been partially reused from an obscure film he scored in the late 1950s in Italy, which led to his nomination for an Oscar to be withdrawn, an award he certainly would have won), the fact is that the music is used selectively and comparatively rarely. Silence engulfs most of the scenes. And although there are many famous lines in the film, it is driven as much by the silence between the characters as by what they say. Also accounting for the brilliance of the film is the script, which is brilliant for its simplicity. Coppola distills the tale down to only the most essential elements, with nearly every shot moving the story along or imparting a crucial piece of information to the viewer, allowing the crucial tensions of the story to unfold early on. The enormous simplicity in the telling of the tale makes the more complex moments?for instance, the crosscutting during the baptismal scene?all that much more effective. And any listing of all the reasons for the brilliance of the film leaving out the extraordinary art design would be woefully incomplete. This was one of the first films made that made historical accuracy a high art form, and has exerted a profound influence on any historical film since then.
Of course, one of the main reasons this is a great, great film is the acting. Few films have ever featured so many memorable performances, and no film had featured so many performances by so many actors who were explicitly Italian. In fact, the film was a ?coming out? for one aspect of Italian culture in the United States. Even in films that were fairly transparently about the Mafia and crime families in New York and Chicago, ethnicity was completely left out of the picture. After THE GODFATHER, everything changed. The film was Marlon Brando?s triumphant return to star status after a series of failures, garnering a well-served Oscar that he turned down. The quality of the acting is shown by the fact that no less than three of the other actors?Al Pacino, Robert Duvall, and James Caan?received nominations for Best Supporting Actor (Joel Grey won for CABERET, in what might have been the greatest group of performances in the history of Oscar for the award).
There are a million stories that whirl around THE GODFATHER. My favorite, and one of the happier accidents in casting history, was that originally Robert De Niro was cast in a small part in THE GODFATHER. Al Pacino, on the other hand, was wanted for the part of Michael Corleone, but was already obligated for the film BANG THE DRUM SLOWLY. Francis Ford Coppola worked out a deal whereby De Niro would replace Pacino in the one picture. Unfortunately/fortunately this meant that De Niro was unable to be in THE GODFATHER, which meant that he was free to appear in THE GODFATHER II as the young Vito Corleone. THE GODFATHER was a film where just about everything seemed to work out best for all involved, and this illustrates this perfectly.

Studio: Paramount Home Video
Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Actors:
Marlon Brando
Al Pacino




DVD title: So I Married an Axe Murderer
Productgroup: DVD
So I Married an Axe Murderer - movie DVD cover picture
Highly Underrated Myers Film-Great Cast Performances To Boot


Mike Myers stars as Charlie MacKenzie; a guy that is hung up on finding that perfect woman for him. Charlie's friend Tony Giardino (Anthony LaPaglia) states that Charlie has dumped several really great gals. Charlie insists that his last girlfriend smelled like SOUP! Charlie meets Harriet Michaels (Nancy Travis) whilst buying a haggis for his mom in a "Meats Of The World" butcher shop where Harriet works . Thus, the romance ensues. Little does Charlie know that Harriet has MANY deep, dark secrets in her closet.
Mike Myers does a lot of improv plus he plays Charlie's father, Stuart, who has some of the best lines and bits in the movie.
Brenda Fricker is also excellent as Charlie's mom, May.
Amanda Plummer plays Harriet's strange and odd sister, Rose. Some great cameos like the late, great Phil Hartman as an Alcatraz prison guide named "Vicky", Michael Richards, Maureen O'Boyle, Alan Arkin, Debi Mazar, Charles Grodin, and Glen Vernon to name just a few.
If you like Mike Myers humor this is a "must see"!
Happy Watching!

Studio: Columbia/Tristar Studios
Director: Thomas Schlamme
Actors:
Mike Myers
Nancy Travis




DVD title: Baby Einstein - Baby Van Gogh - World of Colors
Productgroup: DVD
Baby Einstein - Baby Van Gogh - World of Colors - movie DVD cover picture
Never bored with watching


My daughter and I run a home daycare business. The kids watch all the Baby Einstein videos. They NEVER get bored with any of them, just may argue which one to watch. And after all the kids go home, my grandson wants to watch one again. He goes into our bedroom and he knows how to put the tape into the vcr. He figured it out at 18 months of age, by trial and error. Now at two years, he knows which one by the cover he wants to watch. All the daycare kids are picking things up from the videos. Saying what they see. They all like the music and sound effects. Some of their moms have bought a few of the videos so their child can enjoy them at home with mommy and daddy. Thanks Julie for making learning fun and enjoying at the same time.

Studio: Buena Vista Home Vid



DVD title: Vanilla Sky
Productgroup: DVD
Vanilla Sky - movie DVD cover picture
Incredible


This is one of my absolute favorite movies of all time. I find it so upsetting that this movie was so underrated. In my opinion, Tom Cruise, Penelope Cruz, and Cameron Diaz all deserved nominations for this incredible film. Only in Garden State have I seen such an enchanting female lead and Tom Cruise gives his finest performance aside from Magnolia. Something I can not understand is why so many people found this movie confusing. I am fourteen and have watched the movie ten or more times, but I was eleven when I first saw this film and I still understood it. I can't get why people are afraid to be captivated by a movie enough to be immersed into the film. Another reason this is one of my favorite films is because of the incredibly unpredictable ending. What an incredible movie. I highly reccomend this movie to all my friends.

Studio: Paramount Home Video
Director: Cameron Crowe
Actors:
Tom Cruise
Penélope Cruz




DVD title: New Jack City
Productgroup: DVD
New Jack City - movie DVD cover picture
Are you your brutha's keepa??


Fool, this film be the bomb, and I don't mean it bombed. Few movies touch me, but in New Jack City, the message was loud and clear, 'Keep it real and don't get caught'. Nino Brown had it all, and I mean he ruled the school. The problem was he got greedy. He makes deals with undercover cops, he wants to take down the mob, and his gang is falling apart. Plus he drops a decent looking ho for a real skanky looking ho.
It funny to see the size of cell phones back then, but the hair styles were pretty ridiculous too. Ice T is no Slash, but he can wear a top hat in the rain just as easily. Judd Nelson has a race problem in this movie, He can't tell the difference between himself, a white cop, and Pookie, a black crackhead. He finally settle the matter buy proclaiming he is 'Poor White Trash Pookie'.
In the end though, the message is clear. "If you've lost everything, you might as well cut loose and run. You never know, the libraian you shot may have a son coming to take you down." Or another moral of the story is "Avoid crazy old men on the stairs when you leave the courtroom."

Studio: Warner Studios
Director: Mario Van Peebles
Actors:
Mario Van Peebles
Wesley Snipes
Ice-T
Allen Payne
Chris Rock




DVD title: Hudson Hawk
Productgroup: DVD
Hudson Hawk - movie DVD cover picture
Entertainment not art.


First let me say that this movie gets slammed way to hard by everyone. Not just Movie Critics, but by the common people too, even me. take this example for instance. I have "With Nails : The Film Diaries of Richard E. Grant" in my bookshelf, and my housemate at the time was checking out my room because he just moved in. He saw the book and we started talking about the movies Richard has done, then Hudson Hawk came up. I shot it down and talked about how it "borrowed" from John Woo's "Once a Thief". But I was perplexed as to why there is someone with somewhat good taste praising this movie. I rented it and saw it for a second time, and I loved it. So you should do the same.
It's about a world famous cat burglar (as if there was any other kind) played by Bruce Willis in one of his best roles. He goes by Hudson Hawk and is just getting done with his prison time. The Hawk meets up with his old buddy (the annoying Danny Aiello who I will try not to bring up anymore in this review) and makes an attempt at leading a normal life. But alas he is pulled back into "the life" for one more crime. To steal a work of art that is about to be auctioned off. He and his buddy (ugh) pull it off, and life goes on. But looking at the paper, it's as though the theft never happened, so the Hawk goes to the auction and we meet Andie McDowell (How come she and Danny get jobs in Hollywood and I don't? I'm better looking and have more character and charisma than them, but then so do rocks), and we meet the Mayflowers as well (Richard E Grant and Sandra Bernhart in their best roles ever) and after that hilarity ensues. We meet some crazy CIA operatives, the pope watching Mr Ed, Lee Marvin as a rogue CIA agent, a butler that would give Oddjob a run for his money, some great song and dance routines, and a few twists before twists became trendy.
I know that you have some little part of you that wants to see this, otherwise you wouldn't have gotten this far in the review. It's written and directed by the same guy that brought you Heathers, so you know it's smart and witty, unlike most the other movies Bruce did through the early and mid 90's, anyone remember Striking Distance? Richard E Grant (buy his book) is great as always and so is Sandra. The only downside is Danny and Andie are in it. Maybe the producer owed them a favor or lost a bet. Who knows? If you watch it again and hate it, let me know, my email address is on this website if you see more about me. But I know if you give it a second chance you'll end up loving it (if you don't already)

Studio: Columbia/Tristar Studios
Director: Michael Lehmann
Actors:
Bruce Willis
Danny Aiello




DVD title: The Forsyte Saga - The Complete Series
Productgroup: DVD
The Forsyte Saga - The Complete Series - movie DVD cover picture
It doesn't get better than this!


I received my Forsyte Saga - The Complete Series late last week and by Sunday night was into the third disk. It was as wonderful as I remembered it being, even though it is in black and white, obviously filmed for the most part on a sound stage, and, yes, most of the actors are older than the characters they portray. But what a cast! The wonderful Eric Porter makes Soames the rich character that Galsworthy called The Man of Property. That Soames truly loves Irene but cannot help treating her as a possession shows clearly on Porter's face and in his mannerisms. His reaction when Irene tells him she loaths him is difficult to watch -- you truly "feel his pain," as disbelief changes to shock and bewilderment. The lovely Nyree Dawn Porter is the perfect Irene, and younger than the sadly miscast actress who portrays the same character in the new version. This Irene is full of repressed emotions under a placid surface -- she is the spokeswoman for Galsworthy's belief that people should not be married unless there is a spark, an irresistable attraction that draws them together, which is totally lacking in her feelings for Soames. Kenneth Moore is a more than adequate Young Joloyn, although he was a little too old for the role at age 53. The rest of the cast is equally wonderful, especially the elderly character actors and actresses who portray the aunts and uncles -- they are as vital and interesting in this version as in the books, not afterthoughts, as they are in the 2002 adaptation. Unlike the new version, the script stays close to the original -- no gratuitous modern sexual innuendos from the female characters, for instance, which seemed to me to be an attempt to pander to a younger audience. Yes, I agree that the new version is inhanced by color, grander sets, and better makeup...the actresses in The Complete Series do make one wonder if there were any eyeliner and false eyelashes left in all of England by the time the series was completed! But those are minor complaints....the brilliant case and inspired writing make this DVD set well worth owning and viewing for years to come.

Studio: BBC
Actors:
Eric Porter



DVD title: Jesus of Nazareth
Productgroup: DVD
Jesus of Nazareth - movie DVD cover picture
Director was moved by the spirit.


This is not a movie but GOD's expression to us about his son. I believe Robert Powell took the place of Jesus and actually showed us what it was like to be in the presents of the son of GOD. The support acting followed the lead well and the director held it all together with accurate times&events. I believe the movie shows intuitive thought that can not be found in the bible and "feels" more accurate then the scriptures. If you are frustrated with biblical text (like myself) please see this movie. Then make your own mind up on the man. P.S. If they could have only used Peter Gabrial's sound track from "Last Temptation" this would be perfect.

Studio: Lions Gate Home Entertainment
Director: Franco Zeffirelli
Actors:
Robert Powell
James Mason
Laurence Olivier




DVD title: Neon Genesis Evangelion - Perfect Collection
Productgroup: DVD
Neon Genesis Evangelion - Perfect Collection - movie DVD cover picture
NEON GENESIS EVANGELION


This is the best series ever!!! Its post-apocalyptic erra, earth is attacked by monsters called Angels, humanity`s only hope lies on the Evangelions, Bio-mekanical robots, huge and powerfull enough to withstand the Angels deadly attack and so the race for salvation beggins.
Evangelions are controlled by three 14-year old children, Shinji, Asuka and Rei. They are the only hopes humans have left. The story sounds simple but is that all? Offcourse not! NG Evangelion is an approach into the minds of Humans, a psycological trip into the deepest and the darkest parts of the mind. The series has a powerfull philosophical grip into excistence and human conditions. The series starts normally and then eventually gets darker and more sinister as the story line evolves. The incredible atmosphere is there throughout the entire series, stunning you as the plot drives forward.
A Great masterpiece of Human relationships with the best Characterization shown on a screen, so great that it sucks you into its world and merges you with its characters. This series offer one of the greatest story-line ever! It`s the best Anime in showing reality and life (not that Angels and Monsters exict, but u will get the point after watching the series). After finishing watching the series, dive into the ending, The End of Evangelion, it will please you, haunt you and disturb you. A Masterpiece!

Studio: A.D. Vision



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