Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Scary Movie
Productgroup: DVD
Scary Movie - movie DVD cover picture
Pure comedic blast!

When I'm watching a comedy, I expect it to make me laugh, and if it's a good comedy, then I come out with tears in my eyes and pains in my stomach from laughing at the way it tickles me. "Scary Movie" is one such movie, and is, by far, one of the funniest movies I've ever seen. It made me laugh in ways I never thought possible, and yes, it is overly gross and nasty, but that's just part of its good fun. The laughs keep coming, the cast knows just how to work the material, and the material itself is fall-down funny.
The plot is a mix-and-match of the teenage horror franchises that have dominated the big screen in the latter years of the last decade. It combines comedic send-ups of storylines from the "I Know What You Did Last Summer" movies, the "Scream" trilogy, and "The Blair Witch Project." But to try and summarize it without giving it all away, a girl in the beginning gets killed while getting ready to watch a video, and the kids who knew her at school think it has something to do with the guy that they killed exactly one year ago in their car. As the bodies begin to pile up, the laughs come aplenty, and you'll find yourself laughing at every minute of it.
The plot uses a lot of gross-out jokes and toilet humor to bring out the laughs of the parodical situations, which brings the audience to a cross-roads of sorts. Either you laugh at it and enjoy it, or be grossed out by it and dislike the whole thing; with a movie like this, there's really no in between. I found myself laughing my way the entire way through, at pretty much every joke there is to laugh at. Whether it was Shannon Elizabeth incorporating her vanity and wanna-be intellectual attitudes into her role, or comic genius Cheri Oteri's hilarious portrayal of Gail Hailstorm, our favorite reporter who stops at nothing to get her story, the movie kept me entertained in a fashion and style I never thought possible.
The parodies pretty much everything you've seen and heard from the popular teen horror movies mentioned above. One scene even pokes fun at the way in which the ages of the characters of these movies do not match the ages of the actors cast for the roles. Another takes place in a movie theater, reminiscent of the opening sequence in "Scream 2," only this time the girl deserves what she gets. Telling more will only ruin what has become a very popular and outrageous parody.
The cast knows what they are doing right from the get-go; they know how to work the material, and they look like they're having fun doing it, too. With the talents of John Abrahams, Carmen Electra, Shannon Elizabeth, Cheri Oteri and so many more, there is never a dull moment here; it is simply that funny!
The reason for such a short review: too many surprises to be given away if it were any longer! The movie has so many funny moments that sometimes blinking will result in something missed out on. The jokes are laugh-out-loud funny, the cast is bright and peppy, the plot is tremendously entertaining and engaging, and it just plain rocks.

Studio: Dimension Home Video
Director: Keenen Ivory Wayans
Anna Faris
Marlon Wayans
Jon Abrahams
Carmen Electra

DVD title: Life Is Beautiful
Productgroup: DVD
Life Is Beautiful - movie DVD cover picture
One of the finest movies

Life is Beautiful is a wonderful, moving, TRUE story of one's families experience in WWII Europe and eventually the horrors of the Holocaust. I never believed I would be able to find humor in a movie depicting the Nazi war machine and its attempt to elimate European Jewry from the face of the earth. What Benigni does is simply amazing. He makes everyone laugh at his antics while feeling incredibly sad only a few moments later. This journey of emotions is something you rarely find in films these days. I applaud Benigni et al and suggest that everyone buy this movie and watch it over and over again.

Studio: Miramax Home Entertainment
Director: Roberto Benigni
Roberto Benigni
Nicoletta Braschi

DVD title: Buena Vista Social Club
Productgroup: DVD
Buena Vista Social Club - movie DVD cover picture
A Landmark Breakthough in Music and a Postcard of Cuba

Ry Cooder struck gold when he stumbled upon these Cuban musical legends understandably forgotten by the outside world but somehow forgotten in their own country. With instruments and forms of music virtually unaffected by 40 years of pop culture, these superlative musicians will warm you with their humility and their affection for each other and their culture, and then thrill you will their rich music. Cooder, however, did the musicians a disservice by giving himself and his son such a big role in the project. Cooder's electric guitar doesn't work when it is mixed with thick, natural sound of the Cuban musicians. Director Win Wenders shot a brilliant sequence when legendary pianist Ruben Gonzalez is working magic on his piano and Cooder interjects with his electric guitar. Wenders moves the camera amongst the Cuban musicians while Cooder is playing and they all have perplexed looks on their faces. It is a sound that they obviously are not accustomed to and one that clashes with their natural sounds. It's also painful to watch Cooder's son head and shoulder movements while he plays percussion -- it's something straight out of a Wayans brother movie.
I don't want to seem ungrateful. Full credit goes to Cooder for what he has done for these performers and the music world. These performers obviously have deep affection for Cooder. Stepping back and the letting the legends go would have been the right thing to do. Instead, he looks like George Plimpton.
Awesome music, awesome movie.

Studio: Artisan Entertainment
Director: Wim Wenders
Ibrahim Ferrer
Rubén González (VII)

DVD title: The Usual Suspects
Productgroup: DVD
The Usual Suspects - movie DVD cover picture
What A Shocker!

Everyone told me this movie was awesome but halfway through the film, it didn't seem spectacular, just good. But then this movies wraps itself around you and it really holds you in, shocking you over and over. Besides the awesome ending, the performance by Kevin Spacey is brilliant!

Studio: Mgm/Ua Studios
Director: Bryan Singer
Gabriel Byrne
Kevin Spacey
Chazz Palminteri

DVD title: The Contender
Productgroup: DVD
The Contender - movie DVD cover picture

My husband and I loved this movie.
We don't take politics seriously, i.e., why would anyone want to subject themselves to life in a fishbowl and perhaps compromising their ethics. We just enjoyed this film on the merits of the acting and topic.
The premise: A woman is nominated for vice-president after the serving VP dies.
The film is biased, but since I agreed with the ideals and I am not a film critic, it didn't matter to me a bit. :)

Studio: Dreamworks Skg
Director: Rod Lurie
Gary Oldman
Joan Allen
Jeff Bridges

DVD title: 8 Women
Productgroup: DVD
8 Women - movie DVD cover picture
Different Strokes for Different Folks

What a fantasia of French Filming! Not being too familiar with the actresses, I went into this movie with an open mind. No preconceived notions. It took just a few moments to get used to reading the subtitles and watching the faces for the reactions and subtlety that makes the film what it is. It is what I would call kitsch or campy, but that is not a terrible thing! The sheer unexpectedness of suddenly bursting into song during a heated scene is magical. The women are all beautiful in there way, and are able to reveal the facets of their character in such an intriguing way, that you are crying for more by the film's end. The only thing that I personally found a little off about the movie is the overwhelming lesbian influences. Don't get me wrong, I am not a judge on any form of sexuality or other supposed social morays or taboos, and certain character's sexuality is integral to the plot. It is just that this film seemed to be overflowing with it. Which to me, distracted from the plot, rather than adding to it. All in all, an excellent choice that has become a permanent part of my film collection.

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: Fran├žois Ozon
Danielle Darrieux
Catherine Deneuve
Isabelle Huppert
Emmanuelle Béart
Fanny Ardant

DVD title: Astaire & Rogers Collection, Vol. 1 (Top Hat / Swing Time / Follow the Fleet / Shall We Dance / The Barkleys of Broadway)
Productgroup: DVD
Astaire & Rogers Collection, Vol. 1 (Top Hat / Swing Time / Follow the Fleet / Shall We Dance / The Barkleys of Broadway) - movie DVD cover picture
Beautiful, amazing, timeless

Oh this list era. Such beauty in these films. The dapper elegence, music, singing and dance. I love the choreography. Movies have changed so much since. These are a real treat to own.

Studio: Warner Home Video
Fred Astaire
Ginger Rogers

DVD title: The Skulls (Collector's Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
The Skulls (Collector's Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Great movie

I'll have to disagree with some people when they said it was ok and the last half wasn't good. I think this was a great movie and own it on dvd. You start off with Joshua Jackson working out. (Now that's a great start) It's about the Skulls a hush hush group that few get into. When Joshua Jackson gets a chance to join the group he joins. After that, he starts finding out bad things about the club that he's not too sure about. Joshua Jackson does great acting in the film, different from Dawson's Creek. I highly recommend this movie for people who like a little drama, a little action, and a plain good movie.

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: Rob Cohen
Joshua Jackson

DVD title: Shanghai Noon
Productgroup: DVD
Shanghai Noon - movie DVD cover picture
Jackie Chan is the best once again!

When I heard that this film was being made I thought that it would never work. An eastern/western? No way. Well, not only does the story line play out well but Chan & Wilson work together very well in this buddy picture. The DVD will not disapoint anyone! The extra footage is great. The stunts in this film are top notch and Lucy Lui is a sight for sore eyes. Pick this one up. This Chan film is one of his best and one of my favorites.

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

DVD title: Sports Night - The Complete Series Boxed Set
Productgroup: DVD
Sports Night - The Complete Series Boxed Set - movie DVD cover picture
Sports Night is one of the finest.

...this show was clever, fast paced, and filled with emotion and heart. It was created and written by the creator/writer of The West Wing and you'll find the same quick tempo here as well. This is one of my top 10 favorite shows of all time. It was very sad to see it end after two seasons, but now to finally have a chance to own both seasons in one DVD box set is just extraordinary!! Buy and enjoy! :-)

Studio: Buena Vista Home Entertainment
Peter Krause

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