Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Full Metal Jacket
Productgroup: DVD
Full Metal Jacket - movie DVD cover picture
Private Joker was the star

This movie about Marine Basic Training and The U.S. Marines in Vietnam during the Tet Offensive is very educational and entertaining. First, Gunnery Sargent Hartman is the most loved and hated man among the recruits. Second, it shows how people in the rear areas lived. Third, it shows how life was during the 1968 Tet offensive. Matthew Modine as private joker is the man who stole the show.

Studio: Warner Studios
Director: Stanley Kubrick
Matthew Modine
Vincent D'Onofrio
R. Lee Ermey

DVD title: Stalker
Productgroup: DVD
Stalker - movie DVD cover picture
Night and Day

Twenty years ago, a meteorite fell to Earth, and decimated a provincial Russian town. Villagers travelled through this curious area, now known as The Zone, and disappeared. Stories purport that there is an inner chamber within the Zone, The Room, that grants one's deepest wish. Fearing the consequences from such an inscrutible resource, the army immediately secured the area with barbed wire and armed patrol. But the desperate and the suffering continue to make the treacherous journey, led by a disciplined, experienced stalker who can stealthily navigate through the constantly changing traps and pitfalls of the Zone. A successful Writer (Anatoli Solonitsyn), perhaps searching for inspiration or adventure, and a Scientist (Nikolai Grinko) searching for Truth, enlist the Stalker (Aleksandr Kaidanovsky) to guide them through The Zone. The Stalker has been trained by a renowned stalker named Porcupine, who, after an excursion with his brother into The Zone, returned alone and infinitely wealthy, only to commit suicide a week later. Soon, it is evident that reaching The Zone is not their greatest impediment, but the uncertainty over their deepest wish. As the men approach the threshold to The Room, their fear and trepidation for the materialization of their answered prayers leads to profound revelation and self-discovery.
"Stalker" is a visually serene, highly metaphoric, and deeply haunting treatise on the essence of the soul. Episodically, Andrei Tarkovsky uses chromatic shifts to delineate between the outside world and The Zone. Thematically, as in "Solaris", the transition serves as an oneiric device to separate physical reality from the subconscious. The created barriers and imposed laws of the outside world parallel the Stalker's incoherent tracking methods for reaching The Room. Note that despite the Stalker's warning not to use the same path twice, the Scientist returns to retrieve his knapsack unharmed, casting doubt on the Stalker's navigational rules. Symbolically, it is as if the subconscious is in denial of its sincerest wish, creating its own boundaries and impediments to prevent its realization. After a circuitous route, the men arrive at the antechamber to The Room, hesitant to proceed, unable to define their innermost wish: their spiritual longing. The floor is strewn with coins, hypodermic needles, weapons, and religious icons: a reflection of the mind's search for escape from its misery. In the end, The Zone's real or imagined powers proves to be inconsequential to the weary, ambivalent seekers. It was all in the journey...

Studio: Image Entertainment
Director: Andrei Tarkovsky

DVD title: Shrek 2 (Widescreen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Shrek 2 (Widescreen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
One of the funniest movies you'll ever see !!

Listen...Christams is right around the corner, and this movie would be a really nice gift for someone. From ages...I don't know 4 and up. I was laughing from the beginning to the end. The parodies are halarious. I was literally crying this movie was so funny. I know people who absolutely HATE animation, but they adore Shrek and Shrek 2. Eddie Murphy as Donkey is an instant classic. He keeps you laughing w/out completely stealing the show. Puss is a nice addition to the crew. Initially I was skeptical about Antonio Banderas doing the voice of a 1 1/2 foot tall, sword toting cat, but it absolutely works. I couldn't imagine the movie done any other way than the way it was done. Honestly...this is one of THE FUNNIEST movies I've ever seen. Appealing to all ages...MUST SEE !! Happy Holidays to all...peace.

Madagascar Titties

Studio: Dreamworks
Mike Myers
Eddie Murphy
Cameron Diaz

DVD title: A Home at the End of the World
Productgroup: DVD
A Home at the End of the World - movie DVD cover picture
The Complexities of Loss, Love and Life

This is a beautiful movie but I'll start by saying that those with inflexible or rigid parameters of morality and black and white notions of "right and wrong" will most likely find the movie to be very threatening and disturbing.

For those with more of an open mind and those who are able to view all the colors in the spectrum of life, this is a beautiful and emotionally moving film.

The movie uses three main characters to illustrate the complexity of love, loss and all the other sometimes puzzling aspects of human relationships. It's a vivid illustration of the confusing and complicated nature of genuine and unconditional love and all it's implications in a society obsessed with labels and categorization.

Dallas Roberts and Robin Penn give noteworthy acting performances and Sissy Spacek also gives a spectacular performance as an unconditionally loving mother. Colin Farrell, however, gives a superior performance, in his portrayal of a young man transformed by a series of great losses. His charismatic and seemingly innocent character does a great job at invoking both sympathy and frustration in some of the characters and the audience watching this movie.

The story spans a few decades from the late 60's to what seemed to be the early 80's and the soundtrack does a stellar job at setting the mood for the first two. A great job in casting was also done as both of the kids really looked like young versions of the adult actors.

Director Michael Mayer makes it clear that home really is, where the heart is.

Studio: Warner Independent Pictures
Director: Michael Mayer (VI)
Sissy Spacek
Colin Farrell
Dallas Roberts
Robin Wright Penn

DVD title: Get a Life - Vol. 1
Productgroup: DVD
Get a Life - Vol. 1 - movie DVD cover picture
Just goes to show you...

Ever since Chris Elliot left Letterman, that show has gone down the tubes. I gotta go...I'm on my way to Blockbuster to rent "Cabin Boy".

Studio: Rhino Video
Chris Elliott
Bob Elliott

DVD title: Elf (Infinifilm Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Elf (Infinifilm Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
with all this talent

Coming from a judgemental and hyper-critical film critic, five stars is saying a lot. The whole movie was great from start to finish. There were no slow parts, and everything seemed to flow. Not only were there great lines, but there were touching family moments. Will Ferrell made the movie great- I only wish he wasn't married.

Studio: New Line Home Entertainment
Director: Jon Favreau
Will Ferrell
Bob Newhart
Edward Asner

DVD title: The Seven Year Itch
Productgroup: DVD
The Seven Year Itch - movie DVD cover picture
Dated and sexist but still fun and hilarious!

If you want to understand the fifties, you need to see this movie. In the days of "Leave it to Beaver", "Father Knows Best", "The Tender Trap" and all other "women's goal in life is to get married and be placid" garbage, this movie made quite a statement.
Marilyn Monroe plays "The Girl", a woman who hates marriage proposals and is very sexual. She runs around her apartment nude and she dips her potato chips in champaigne. She keeps her undies in the icebox and goes wild over Chopsticks. She knows what she wants, and in her own stupid way, she goes after it. Compare all this to Tom Ewell's wife, who, even in Ewell's fantasy, babies him while she does needlework.

Tom Ewell is a man who's very bored with his "Leave it to Beaver" life. When the beautiful blonde upstairs doesn't mother him and doesn't demand anything from him, he goes bananas. He's struck by her honesty, her lack of concern for social standards, and her natural, unforced connection to her sexuality. That he wants her at all was a huge social statement of the day.

This movie makes fun of other things too. Marilyn Monroe's toothpaste commercial highlights the stupidity that's now infamous of commercials of that era. Tom Ewell's reading about the "Seven Year Itch" theory in a psychological book makes fun of the 50's obsession with shrinks and psycho babble, especially with the theories of Freud. And who could miss the beach scene taken out of "From Here to Eternity?"

This movie has some sexism in it, but it's quite tame compared to what it was parodying. Enjoy a good flick!

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox Home Video
Director: Billy Wilder
Marilyn Monroe
Tom Ewell

DVD title: Amistad
Productgroup: DVD
Amistad - movie DVD cover picture
The technique of lighting

I had to study 'Amistad' for a year 12 assignment and I thoroughly enjoyed the film. It was definitely an eye opener to me as to how African slaves were treated. The performances from the actors was incredible. Cinque was an extremely important character and was often portrayed as being 'Christ-like'. He was often seen in light and in the court room scenes he was wearing light coloured clothes. Cinque was also seen as the 'head' of the other black slaves. They all looked up to him and admired him. Due to the technique of lighting, the viewer is shown that Cinque and the other slaves are the 'good', and the Americans are the 'bad'. Characters in the film who were siding with the Africans were all seen in light, while others, for example the Spanians, were seen in dark lighting.
Overall, I feel that Spielberg did a fantastic job with this film and the technique of lighting was very effective in portraying certain views to the audience.

Studio: Dreamworks Skg
Director: Steven Spielberg
Morgan Freeman
Anthony Hopkins
Djimon Hounsou
Matthew McConaughey

DVD title: Green Snake
Productgroup: DVD
Green Snake - movie DVD cover picture
One of Tsui Hark's most ambitious works

This film is quite beautiful... the set designs and cinematography are simply amongst the best. Of course the special effects are a bit cheap looking - this is a HK film after all (and they're nowhere near as bad as those in Magic Crane). The rest of the visuals are fantastically opulent though, and the atmosphere of the film is well created. The script is good too. I'm looking forward to a version with readable subtitles, which Tai Seng will hopefully provide us with on this new release.

Studio: Tai Seng Video
Director: Hark Tsui

DVD title: Shanghai Noon
Productgroup: DVD
Shanghai Noon - movie DVD cover picture
Funny, Original, & Exciting!

Shanghai Noon is definitely one of my favorites from Jackie Chan. Although I love most of his movies, this one had a different style that made me laugh even louder. The wild west is just something he hadn't incorporated in this movies yet...and finally he did! I'll say it again and again, "I STILL can't believe he does his own stunts! " He is absolutely amazing! Especially in the scene when Jackie and the bandits are on the train and fighting and jumping from cart to cart. It's exciting just watching Jackie take that leap (because you know it's's not any special effects...not the blue screen dubbed background). My favorite scene was when Jackie was being chased by the native tribal dudes. The flying axes really get your attention! Your heart races as you watch Jackie execute each move with flawless conviction. I also enjoy and appreciate how this movie (among other Jackie Chan/Chow Yun Fat/Jet Li flicks) is slowly bringing Chinese culture into the American mainstream. Just the use of mandarin in an American theater is a step up for the Asians. Lucy Liu and Owen Wilson also did a fine job. You'll really enjoy the out-takes at the end of the film. (One of Jackie's trademarks)

Studio: Walt Disney Home Video
Director: Tom Dey
Jackie Chan
Owen Wilson
Lucy Liu

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