Film DVD related reviews


DVD title: Wag the Dog (New Line Platinum Series)
Productgroup: DVD
Wag the Dog (New Line Platinum Series) - movie DVD cover picture
Prophetic


* I find it truly amazing that whenever Hollywood paints an accurate picture of our political climate, or tries to alert us to our own ignorance, we just don't seem to get it, no matter how many times they try hitting us over the head with the obvious. It becomes evident that ''anti-Red'' scaremonger Joseph McCarthy really didn't need to do much of anything -- he could have just sat back and sipped on his martini, because, in the end, the American public doesn't take political messages in Hollywood movies seriously anyway. Case in point: ''Wag The Dog.''
In a blatant attempt prove to his audience that any kind of media spin desired can be created and executed to benefit any and every political agenda imaginable (as though trying to prepare us ahead of time for the real possibility of an illegal overthrow of "representative democracy" in America, such as occured with the installation of President 'Un-Elect' George Walker Bush), David Mamet shows `We, the People' just how gullible and how easily manipulated we are by "official looking" and "official sounding" media presentations, ESPECIALLY ?when "patriotic" themes are involved.
Just like G.W. Bush and his associate Republican thugs cooked up a non-existent "War On Terror" to keep the public's mind off of the President's misdeeds and political ineptness, so too do the advisors and insiders of Mamet's fictitious administration of an unnamed President cook up a non-existent "War" against a "terrorist nation" (arbitrarily, Albania -- an insignificant dirt-poor country, just like Afghanistan) in order to keep the public's mind off of the President's alleged misconduct with a "Firefly Girl" (a thinly veiled parallel reference to the sexual misconduct of the last duly elected President in the nation, William Jefferson Clinton).
The timing could not have possibly been worse for a scandal to erupt around Mamet's "President," since it is during a point in the presidency where the Commander in Chief is actively seeking re-election. So a Hollywood producer (Dustin Hoffman) has been called in to brainwash and mislead the public with a number of staged manipulative media events all wrapped neatly in the banner of patriotic jingoism. As one of the President's advisers, played by Robert DeNiro, states: "It's a pageant!"
Mamet shows us how easily we can get swept up in jingoism to such an extent that we forget to ask the truly important questions and just sit back on our big fat collectives and 'let someone else do the hard thinking for us.' It's how dictatorships are born -- and to quote the words of George W. Bush VERBATIM, as spoken on December 18, 2000, just less than a week after he was "appointed" President by the Supreme Court:
''If this were a dictatorship, it'd be a heck of a lot easier... just so long as I'm the dictator.''

Studio: New Line Home Entertainment
Director: Barry Levinson
Actors:
Dustin Hoffman
Robert De Niro
Anne Heche




DVD title: Edward Scissorhands (10th Anniversary Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Edward Scissorhands (10th Anniversary Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
AMAZING!


this movie is just plain amazing. almost like a gothic fairy tale right out of the pages of a book. Johnny Depp's costume is beautiful. hehe, im sure it makes "normal" people look at goth's a bit differently. the movie touches my heart everytime i see it. the movie is bittersweet, leaving your heart melted and wanting more.

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox Home Video
Director: Tim Burton
Actors:
Johnny Depp
Winona Ryder




DVD title: Glen or Glenda?
Productgroup: DVD
Glen or Glenda? - movie DVD cover picture
The Genius Capitulated


I received the box set for christmas, and they are by far the best movies, Edward D. Wood Jr. have done. He's an excellent Director. I highly recommend the mvies.

Studio: Image Entertainment
Director: Edward D. Wood Jr.
Actors:
Edward D. Wood Jr.
Bela Lugosi




DVD title: The Boys Club
Productgroup: DVD
The Boys Club - movie DVD cover picture
THE BEST MOVIE EVER!


This movie is my favoerite movie ever (and not just because I'm a Devon Sawa fanatic). As you watch the movie you can imagine what the boys went through. Also, it teaches you a lesson.

Studio: Simitar Video
Director: John Fawcett
Actors:
Chris Penn



DVD title: The Lord of the Rings - The Return of the King (Widescreen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
The Lord of the Rings - The Return of the King (Widescreen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Return of the Trilogy


The third installment of perhaps the greatest film trilogy of all-time, Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King draws the epic journey of the One Ring to highly-anticipated end. Director Peter Jackson displays his finest work to date, as the film flawlessly weaves in and out of different sub-plots while balancing action with dialogue to perfection. Jackson also takes his boldest stab at adapting the LOTR series by straying away from the novel's plot and dialogue more than the other two books. Jackson even took the liberty of adding a different beginning and end to the film. Viggo Mortensen stars as the Northern Ranger Aragorn, whose return to native Gondor is highlighted in the film's title. Although ROTK sets the stage for Mortensen's standout performance, he fails at times to be more eminent than the scenery. When he voices his climactic speech prior to the culminating battle of the movie, one becomes reminiscent of Mel Gibson's riveting performance in Braveheart. Unfortunately, Mortensen comes nowhere near to matching the Aussie star's electrifying deliverance. One of the better performances of the film, however, comes from Sean Astin, who plays Frodo's companion, Samwise Gamgee. Like Mortensen, Astin's character receives a lot more focus in ROTK, but he comes off leaving a lasting impression on the audience. Astin convincingly embodies the courageous and caring attributes of Gamgee so well, that the audience is able to connect with his character the most. While the acting had its ups and downs, the special effects were all around spectacular. The Battle of Pelennor Fields was a true visual achievement, as the armies of Rohan, Mordor, and the Dead clashed in one of the greatest battle sequences ever put on film. The special effects crew also did exceptional work in one particular scene, in which Aragorn summons the dead warriors of Gondor to fight for him. The phantasms of the cursed men were generated with such eerie detail that it intensified the atmosphere with haunting suspense. This suspense, however, was exceeded by the still uncertain fate of the ring. By the time of the film culminates, viewers are left with some sense of fulfillment, whether it be by viewing high intensity action sequences or finally knowing how the epic ends. Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King fittingly caps off the extraordinary saga that has drawn more attention to the classic novels than Tolkien himself would have ever imagined. If you take away all the publicity, all the awards, all the money; and all the recognition the LOTR films have attained, you're still left with an appropriate tribute to Tolkien's legacy.

Studio: New Line Home Entertainment
Director: Peter Jackson
Actors:
Viggo Mortensen
Ian McKellen
Elijah Wood




DVD title: Marat / Sade
Productgroup: DVD
Marat / Sade - movie DVD cover picture
Prophecies Of The Divine Marquis.


This is certainly one of the great events of cinema history. Director Peter Brook wanted to re-create the play by Peter Weiss, The Persecution And Assassination Of Jean-Paul Marat, with the multiple-view possible only in cinema but without losing the immediacy of the stage. So, he used a stationary camera for long shots and hand-held camera for close-ups and the result, somewhere bewteen cinema and stage, is phenomenal. Everything in the production is first-rate. There are large exquisite performances by Patrick Magee as Sade, Ian Richardson as Marat, and Glenda Jackson as Corday and equally fine smaller performances down to the most anonymous lunatic. The script is very fine and well translated from the German. The music is wonderful. This film was released in 1966, one year after Grove Press issued its handsome 750 page paperback volume The Marquis De Sade (...) which, along with this film, really began the popular American interest in Sade which has continued up to the present. But the picture of Sade in this 1966 film is much more interesting, deeper, and closer to the truth than anything that has come since then. Sade was not a pornographer or a smut peddler, he was a literary philosopher whose books were not intended to arouse sexual desire, but rather to overthrow conventional premises and assumptions about reality itself. The endless sadistic/masochistic sex scenes in his books are really not about sex at all, they are about breaking down the illusions in the human mind and seeing reality for what it is: an endless, bottomles process of creation and destruction that is utterly indifferent to any human desire or feeling. Sade's 'perverse criminals' are merely people attempting to identify with this transcendent force as individuals because that is the only real power and 'dignity' that they have. Sade believed that the world was destined to become one vast mad slaughterhouse and the film conveys this very well. But what Marat/Sade really captures is Sade's passionate and prophetic position in modern history. Who could deny that this film is at least as relevant now as it was in 1966 and that its relevance will probably continue to deepen? Where is the modern philosopher who can prove Sade wrong? Whether one likes it or not this is what makes this film still such an urgent work of art. Only in Bresson or Tarkovsky can the negative force of its revelation be countered by a different perspective. It remains a crucial masterpiece. Highly recommended.

Studio: Image Entertainment
Director: Peter Brook
Actors:
Patrick Magee
Clifford Rose
Glenda Jackson




DVD title: Invaders From Mars
Productgroup: DVD
Invaders From Mars - movie DVD cover picture
The Only 100% plausible invasion flick ever made!


The is one of the best and most believable of the invasion movies. After you've seen it you'll know why. A true genre classic, no collection is complete without this B&W thriller. Especially for all you Leif Erikson fans out there.

Studio: United American Video
Director: William Cameron Menzies
Actors:
Helena Carter
Arthur Franz




DVD title: Secretary
Productgroup: DVD
Secretary - movie DVD cover picture
this movie rocks


A quirksome little film focusing on the sublimated dominance / submission dynamic between the secretary and her boss. A girl fresh out of college takes on a job at an attorney's office where the two work out their latent sado-masochistic tendencies upon each other, and what may actually occur if certain business policies were not enforced. It speaks to the fact that indulgence does indeed occur in office buildings frequently, for they are caves of the humanimal beast of the field after all, and nature will out no matter the environment.
Here, it all starts with a typo - typo turns into 'misbehavior', and eventually misbehavior turns into punishment - a literal spanking ponderously administered which thereby evolves into all manner of colloquial humiliation and command mutually indulged, to the point where she would not even eat if it were not with his permission - and she was perfect - indeed, herself becoming her own little "Miss Behavior", at times purposefully mis-spelling a word, just to enjoy her grateful punishment at the hands of her domineering Master. It becomes so much a part of her sexuality, as she derived her E.C.I. with that first spanking, and reaches climax every time.
But one day, the pleasures cease as abruptly as they began, to her profound disappointment, and she begs for her sweet punishments again. She attempts all of the usually methods of seduction - from gifts to cards to flowers, to a plunging neckline, but to no avail. Until finally, she realizes that she must do something 'naughty' to attract his attention, subsequently a large worm in his mail, to which he draws a thick red line around it to mark her error, as he had been doing prior all along, like the authority figure she craves. This causes a reaction that was most unexpected indeed, as he satisfies himself with just the view of her bent over with her skirt hiked up and pantyhose pulled down. Finally, she is fired because he does not fully comprehend the sub/dom dynamic himself, and henceforth abruptly fires her, leaving her isolated from the one she loves, despite the amorous attentions she derives from some spineless loser she had been seeing, whom she was about to actually marry, until her desperate passion eventually bade her to return to the office again at the last moment, where she proclaims her love for him. At first he seeks to remove her, but she remains adamant so he finally issues a command, that she remain at the table with her hands flat thereupon where he leaves her for three days during which she is "counseled" by friends and even clergy to cease, yet her love-filled determination bids her onwards. He finally releases her from her long-suffering, and carries her to a bathtub where he bathes her and loves her until she becomes his wife.
So here we have seen the subconscious covert, transforming to overt expressions made with artistic license to cinematically exemplify the underlying relationship between boss and secretary, sexually subjectified, although such a scenario does carry strains of actuality, and is feasible after all, as relative to the D/s Lifestyle, and is portrayed quite well with the psychological fetish play.
The film begins rather innocuously, becoming more and more interesting, building to a crescendo in the middle, drops off in disappointment, then gradually builds up again unto a most pleasing ending. Her infatuation and subsequent love is impressive overall, and they are both rewarded in the end.

Studio: Lions Gate Home Entertainment
Director: Steven Shainberg
Actors:
James Spader
Maggie Gyllenhaal




DVD title: Fargo
Productgroup: DVD
Fargo - movie DVD cover picture
Nothing bad about it


When the Cohen brothers direct a film, I always go to see it with some trepidation. They run hot and cold between pure genius (Raising Arizona, Oh, Brother Where Art Thou) and really odd and spotty (Miller's Crossing, Barton Fink, Big Lebowski).

Fargo is one of the works of genius. Haunting soundtrack, awesome camera work and just amazing acting, even in small roles. The brothers hype up the local Minnesota accents (only the last minute or so takes place in Fargo, so the reviewer from there who whined about the harm to her fair city's reputation must not have seen the film) and the smorgasbord, syrupy-sweet culture for effect. The humor is often dark and deadpan.

Understatement truly emphasises a plot revolving around a few petty criminals cutting a swathe through a hyper-wholesome section of America.

Steve Bucccemi and William H. Macy make a couple of the smarmiest, wormiest villains ever. Frances McDormand is about the most pro-feminist heroine in all cinema, fighting crime in thirty below weather while very pregnant, and still being cool, tough, and smart.

In short, Fargo is pure genius. Order it- it is worth repeated watchings.

Studio: Mgm/Ua Studios
Actors:
William H. Macy
Steve Buscemi




DVD title: The Passion of the Christ (Full Screen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
The Passion of the Christ (Full Screen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Mel Gibson's Epic Story About Jesus


In this amazing and moving story, Academy Award winner Mel Gibson describes the final twelve hours in the life of Jesus Christ, from the Last Supper to the Crucifixion. Jesus was betrayed by Judas and handed over to his enemies, who condemn him and sentence him to die. He is brought before Pontus Pilate, who has Jesus bound and flogged. The flogging scenes are some of the most graphic of the movie. Finally, Pontus Pilate agrees to turn Jesus over for Crucifixion.

The Crucifixion is one of the most moving and powerful segments of the movie. Seeing Jesus crying and asking God to forgive his captors literally brought tears to my eyes. Jesus also promised salvation to one of the thieves, also crucified, who repented of his sins. Jesus' death was marked by a darkening of the world, and when one of the soldiers was told to pierce Jesus' side to make sure he was dead, blood and water poured from the wound. Jesus was finally taken down from the cross on Good Friday and laid to rest in the tomb, but he was resurrected three days later on Easter Sunday.

This is one of the most powerful and awe-inspiring films I've ever seen. Director Mel Gibson does a remarkable job describing the last hours of Jesus' life and the scenes, especially the flogging, cross-bearing, and Crucifixion, are some that I'll never forget. I highly recommend this powerful and moving film. Watch and see how our Savior suffered and died for our sins and won the ultimate victory with his resurrection.

Studio: Fox Home Entertainme
Director: Mel Gibson
Actors:
James Caviezel
Monica Bellucci




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