Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Pygmalion - Criterion Collection
Productgroup: DVD
Pygmalion - Criterion Collection - movie DVD cover picture
Pygmalion - the original "My Fair lady"

Unlike its later (almost talking word-for-word) remake "My Fair Lady", Pygmalion is NOT a musical, and it is not in color. That said, everything about it is wonderful, and it is just as enjoyable as the remake. Leslie Howard is totally believable as the self-centered (and yet likeable) Higgins, and Wendy Hiller is the best Eliza of all. She brings an unsurpassed focus and comic intensity to the role - you can see the intelligence in her eyes. The DVD format does justice to the good picture quality.

Studio: Criterion Collection
Leslie Howard
Wendy Hiller

DVD title: Fahrenheit 9/11
Productgroup: DVD
Fahrenheit 9/11 - movie DVD cover picture
A much-needed message from the other side.

Whew! Ya know, I'm not sure, but I think this film may actually be anti-Bush. I'd have to go see it again and take notes to really be sure - it's a bit subtle!
OK, so "Fahrenheit 9/11" is not exactly the most even-handed treatment of its subject(s). I doubt whether anybody could argue that fact. Actually, it's quite a pretty piece of vituperation directed squarely and ruthlessly at "Dubbya" and his administration for practically everything they have done since entering the White House. It runs the gamut of anti-Bush sentiment, from the shady way he "won" the election, to the large percentage of time he spent on vacation before (and even after) 9/11, to the quite specific ties the Bush family has to the Bin Laden family (oh yes), to his hamfisted handling of the largest foreign attack ever on US soil, to his cursory military strike on Afghanistan to appease angry US citizens before hurling us into a "premeditated, unprovoked" war on Iraq, which is explained in "9/11" as basically a "Blood for Oil" expedition...and so on. Michael Moore interviews bereaved moms and disillusioned soldiers, he corners senators on the street and asks them to enlist their children, he rides an ice cream truck around the capitol to read the Patriot Act to our elected officials (since apparently none of them bothered to read it before signing it into law), he takes every tack he can think of to cast the Bush Administration in the most unfavorable light possible.
And in fact, he does succeed. This movie will get a lot of people riled up. I don't remember the last time I saw a film in the theatre and the audience erupted into applause every 5 minutes - but that's what happened here. People WANT to see these points made. They want an honest accounting of the events of the last 3 years, and they simply are not getting straight (or believable) answers from Washington. Do they get it from Moore? Well, at least they get a take-no-prisoners accounting from the other side. In my opinion, one ought to take ALL opinions with a grain of salt - including mine! - but it's pretty obvious that a) Bush and his lackeys are not straight shooters, and b) Michael Moore is out to get them. These things should be considered before buying into either side's story.
I'd like to make this point though with reference to "smear campaigns," since it's quite legitimate to describe this film as such. Six years ago we actually impeached a president because he lied about an extramarital sex act. Well, "we" didn't - rather the GOP made it their political raison d'etre to bash the Democrat, and they succeeded in appealing to the lowest common denominator of self-righteous sexual indignation to get their constituents behind it. Now, yes, a lie is a lie, but on the other hand, all lies are NOT the same. I daresay - let me make this controversial point - that whether or not Clinton got some action in the Oval Office is not quite as relevant to our daily lives as whether or not Bush lied about the election, the elusive WMDs, or the ultimate reason for the war itself, which has killed thousands of our young soldiers. How is it that we can impeach one president over a stained dress, while the next one gets away with so many really heinous atrocities against the trust and security of the American people? What kind of country IS this? At the very least, we CANNOT re-elect Bush, if we all still want to be here for the next election. God willing, this film will help and not hinder John Kerry, who is at least conclusively the "lesser of two evils" this time around.
See this film! Take its message with a grain of salt, but keep it in the back of your mind when you watch Bush founder as he tries to justify why your son or daughter isn't coming home.

Studio: Columbia Tristar Hom
Director: Michael Moore (II)
Michael Moore (II)

DVD title: Left Behind - The Movie
Productgroup: DVD
Left Behind - The Movie - movie DVD cover picture
Cloud Ten is the perfect name for the makers of this movie!

This movie was great. I loved the acting, it made it real. Kirk Cameron fit the role of Buck to a "T". Although there were changes in the movie from the books, that happens in all "book to movie" movies. I think a lot of the changes made it better. I actually bought two copies :) Well worth the money, and make sure you get the soundtrack!

Studio: Cloud Ten Pictures
Director: Vic Sarin
Kirk Cameron
Brad Johnson (II)

DVD title: Warlock
Productgroup: DVD
Warlock - movie DVD cover picture

A few nights ago my father and I were sitting alone eating dinner in the family room of our home, watching the movie "Warlock." I got to tell you, this movie kicks ...!!Julian Sands is superbly evil and Grant does an excellent job as the witchunter. The men really got into their roles!!There are few horror scenes, and I want to watch it again and again. Warlock:The Armageddon, haven't seen it but I'll bet it's as good as the first with Julian Sands in it. Warlock:The End of Innocence, don't know, might be good, but be even better with Julian Sands. This movie is a must see, if your looking for good old horror.

Studio: Vidmark/Trimark
Director: Steve Miner
Julian Sands
Lori Singer

DVD title: Apocalypse Now Redux
Productgroup: DVD
Apocalypse Now Redux - movie DVD cover picture
Magnificent Now

By reworking his original film, Francis Ford Coppola takes a good film with flaws and turns it into a major work of art. The original version contains vivid images and great sequences, but wore me down and finally became tedious because Kurtz and the horror he represented were never clear. Apocalypse Now Redux answers all these questions.
The river journey is now complete; the additional scenes show Williard's rebirth and apotheosis much more clearly. The breakdown of order also becomes more frightening. Consider in the original cut, we go from Kilgore to USO show to the Do-Long bridge to the boat massacre to Kurtz. There is no breakdown of order or perception here. In the Redux version, we see the breakdown; the insane outpost where the Playboy Bunnies/sirens wait amid corpses and choas, and where this is no commanding officer (this plays against the Bridge sequence), the soldiers refuse to answer questions, wear their hats sideways.
After this encounter, the Do-Long bridge makes so much more sense; the last very last outpost is not only leaderless, but in utter disarray. The Roach tells Willard he knows who is command, with a knowing smile of insanity.
Past the Do-Long bridge Willard and the crew find the ghosts of the French. Once again the perception shifts: these people may or may not be real. Roxanne, the French woman who sleeps with Willard, smokes opium with him, and then closes him in a shroud of gauze; he can't really touch her, as if he too were dead.
When finally we come to Kurtz and his madness, all civilization is dead. Kurtz is savage, powerful, and insane. It's not just the gibberish Kurtz says, its the living among the severed heads, the brilliant eyes, the heavy face that hesistates. Kurtz is the breakdown of order personified, and Willard understand that his order is broken down as well. He must kill Kurtz not because he was ordered to, but because Kurtz wants to be sacrificed to the Horror.
This is a work of art, a masterpiece of cinema, and redemption of Francis Ford Coppola's career. Don't make the mistake of thinking this film is about US involvement in Vietnam. It is not, the movie is set there, but the story is now universal. Apocalypse Now Redux achieves the mythic resonance that Coppola and co-writer John Milius tried for in 1979.
I remember the orignal New Yorker review of Apocalypse Now. Pauline Kael said that film failed because Coppola tried to show not just evil, but Evil. AP Redux remidies that mistake: there is no question that Kurtz is Evil. Too bad Kael isn't around to see this stunning version.
Possibly the second greatest American film after Citizen Kane, now, in my humble, humble opinion.

Studio: Paramount Home Video
Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Marlon Brando
Martin Sheen

DVD title: Bill Cosby, Himself
Productgroup: DVD
Bill Cosby, Himself - movie DVD cover picture

I watched this VHS tape a long, long time ago, maybe when I was in my twenties, but I just watched it again tonight and laughed just as hard as I did all those years ago. He's funny, his facial expressions alone are priceless, his movements across the stage are hysterical, and he just has to be the King of Comedy, at least in my era. In this VHS tape, he takes us from drugs to dentists to childbirth to parenting and elsewhere, and just the looks on his face can make me crack up. If you have never seen this particular tape, buy it now. Laughter truly is the best medicine. If you have seen it, buy it anyway, it's a classic and will still make you roar.

Studio: Fox Home Entertainme
Director: Bill Cosby
Bill Cosby

DVD title: Iron Maiden - The Early Days, Part 1
Productgroup: DVD
Iron Maiden - The Early Days, Part 1 - movie DVD cover picture

Usually I am a tough sell. Let me put it simply for you. If you ar e a maiden fan, This is the video you have waited for your whole life. AWESOME DOCUMENTARY, tons of uncut footage, not just single songs. Video we have only seen segnments of in past documentaries. You wont regret buying this one. Even with out considering my love of maiden this is objectively a great buy.

Studio: Sony Music (Video)

DVD title: The Thin Red Line - DTS
Productgroup: DVD
The Thin Red Line - DTS - movie DVD cover picture
I'm physically sickened by those who give this one star.

Um, what's wrong with people? Why do you want all movies to be the same? Why can't you see what's different and brilliant about this film? Why is it that you can't deal with anything that isn't traditional narrative, plot elements, climax, resolution? A reviewer below me thought it was "hilarious" that a question like "what is this great evil in the world? where does it come from? who is doing this?" [and no, "my soul hurts" is never uttered once in this film: this person wasn't even paying attention to what was said.] would be asked. I would ask that person "well where is it coming from? why are we killing these people? why is there evil?" Their answer, even if they didn't have one, would be echoed by at least one of the characters in this film. And to say that the images of nature are being shoved down your throat? That's what's bloody there in Guadacanal, that's what these guys were looking at when they were blowing each other to hell. This is a film about the struggle of truth and beauty and love against the nihilistic, empty, self indulgent aspirations of the "leaders of men," of human society. About abandoning beauty; and for what? Evil horror? That's what this film is about; it's not "Das Boot" or "Saving Private Ryan," it's something else entirely. It doesn't have the overwhelming scent of sentimentality of "Saving Private Ryan," [which I also enjoyed.] It's a touch more subtle than that. And it is wonderful and it is powerful and it is important, so long as cares about things such as truth and beauty and love.

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
Director: Terrence Malick
Sean Penn
James Caviezel
Nick Nolte

DVD title: Baby Mozart
Productgroup: DVD
Baby Mozart - movie DVD cover picture
4 month old is enthralled by this video!

My 4 month old loves to watch Baby Mozart. We watch it atleast once a day. He smiles and laughs at certain parts (like the green lizard puppet). It is amazing to watch him while he watches this video. It also will calm him down if he is cranky, and keep him entertained for about 20 minutes so my husband and I can eat dinner. I also like that the DVD has music you can play without the video. I definitely recommend this for any baby!

Studio: Lions Gate Home Entertainment
Baby Einstein
Julie Aigner-Clark

DVD title: For Your Eyes Only
Productgroup: DVD
For Your Eyes Only - movie DVD cover picture
One of Moore's best fims from the series

Even thou I am not a Roger Moore fan, I have to say this was one of his best fims besides the Spy Who Loved Me. The action and the plot in this film is excellent. The bond women are excellent and the one liners are funny. This, I have to say is one of his best films and he should have ended on this one because he was really starting to age at this time.

Studio: Mgm/Ua Studios
Director: John Glen (II)
Roger Moore
Carole Bouquet

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