Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Quatermass 2
Productgroup: DVD
Quatermass 2 - movie DVD cover picture
Quatermass 2

When I first saw this picture on the TV some 30 odd years ago it frightened the life out of me. I now come to buy the DVD, switch on the commentary and find that I actually live in the town where it was filmed. A shudder went up my spine. This film still holds up after all this time, the pace is fast and that sense of foreboding is always with you to the last. They don't make films like this anymore unfortunately so sit back and watch some of the best vintage SF ever!

Studio: Anchor Bay Entertainment
Director: Val Guest
Brian Donlevy
John Longden

DVD title: Freddy vs. Jason (New Line Platinum Series)
Productgroup: DVD
Freddy vs. Jason (New Line Platinum Series) - movie DVD cover picture

This is the battle horror fans have been waiting for, but was it worth the wait? I'm not a fan of this genre, but this movie pleased me. The story doesn't make perfect sense but its fun, how they meet up is an interesting premise. rather then tossing Freddy into a ring with Jason, the movie gives them roles, Freddy is more of the villan and jason is more of the victim. This brings a different dimension to the film. But sadly this is let down by the rest of the cast who seem directionless. Luckily when Freddy dukes it out with jason, it is the best battle i have seen in a long long while. With wounderful 'moments' to spice up the action, they fight in a furious bloodbath. Whether the remainder of the film works or not this is what the audience came for and it is well worth it. But there are alot of little problems which stop it from being a classic. Since the fight is worth it, i suppose the film is too. I recomend it.

Studio: New Line Home Entertainment
Director: Ronny Yu
Ken Kirzinger
Robert Englund
Kelly Rowland

DVD title: Casablanca
Productgroup: DVD
Casablanca - movie DVD cover picture
"Welcome back to our side--this time I know we'll win"

Paul Henried's last line to Humphrey Bogart points out that the great "Casablanca", lauded today as a romance, was in fact more importantly a propaganda movie. From our vantage point now in July 2003, it's all too easy sometimes to forget that the war was really raging when this movie was made, and that it was by no means certain that America would triumph ultimately against the forces of Nazi Germany. That reich had managed to conquer most of Europe--only England was able to fend off Hitler's machine. So that when Conrad Veidt's Nazi General Strasser asks Bogart's Rick how he'll feel when the Nazis walk into London, Rick's "I'll tell you when you get there" is a hopeful boast that England will continue to hold out. I try to enter into the mind of the times when I watch "Casablanca" to appreciate how the film was helping to allay the fears of its original audience. How awful to have lived during a time when the entire world was at war. Paul Henried's character in 1942 speaks in the future tense--"we'll win"; thank God we look back now and use the past--"we won".
Of course, the romance of Rick and Ilse (Ingrid Bergman) is what everyone else is talking about. Probably this is a little anomalous, too, in the usual Hollywood movie--here it's the guy who got jilted, the guy who's crying into his whiskey, the guy who says hurtful, hurt-filled things. And the guy who must turn away love when it's his again. So Rick is a tragic hero for whom things aren't really turning out right. But he does grow in the movie. He learns that he must go on in his own development--before, he had sworn the piano player Sam never to play "As Time Goes By" again, but he has to get past those kind of self-imposed taboos, not only listening to the song again but taking an interest in humanity again.
Bergman's Ilse is a more complicated character. She's torn between two men, her husband and her old lover. Other reviewers have said that "Casablanca" is a perfect film, but there is something that's a little off, and that's the relationship between Ilse and her husband, Resistance leader Victor Lazlo, played by Paul Henried. When they have scenes alone, he speaks of his love for her and she vows to stay by his side. It sounds like they've been through a lot together and are truly attached. However, their love is never shown as a romantic love; when he leaves her to go to a meeting of the Resistance in Casablanca, he kisses her on the cheek. Another time he kisses again, also on the cheek. Only Rick kisses her on the mouth passionately. I suppose this will make her look less like a two-timer to the audience, but it's a little too unrealistic to think that a husband will not kiss his beloved wife with any kind of ardor. I think this undercuts her dilemma of having to figure out which man to leave and which to cleave to. She should be truly romantically involved with both men, not merely "married" to Henried, but shown to be in an intimate relationship with him. Paul Henried is very likeable as Victor, but his character this way is constructed to be a hero without sufficient human roots. His greatest love capacity seems to be an altruistic one. Ilse's attraction to Rick is that with him, she's paramount while with Victor she places second to his love for the cause. In effect, what happens to Ilse is that she winds up being second with Rick too as he rekindles an interest in the cause himself. It would be interesting to explore what that would mean to her, that the war is robbing her of a fulfilling romantic love with both men. She could either become embittered or she could be ennobled herself, accepting that there is something bigger than herself that must take precedence. Rick "tells" her this at the airport, but it would be more effective if she knew it within herself as well. The film has her leave with her husband, but how will she really respond?
These are plot considerations--what about everything else? Well, the acting in "Casablanca" is first rate all the way. I've always believed Warner Bros to have had the superior stable to MGM, and this movie proves that point admirably. It stands with "Adventures of Robin Hood" as having the best ensemble performance in Hollywood. Of course, appearing in both movies is one of my very favorite actors, Claude Rains. I just saw the movie last night on a pier in NYC, and his scenes consistently drew the most laughs and applause. In a way, he really runs away with the picture and was cheated out of a Best Supporting Actor Oscar. It's the role of a lifetime, and he does all he can with it. Peter Lorre is wonderful in his early scenes with Bogart as the smarmy insecure Ugarte; he manages to convey his wish to impress Bogart with a lot of economy. Sidney Greenstreet is on target as the sensuous Fat Man. Smaller roles such as the wait staff and bar patrons are all well-executed. And Ingrid Bergman is simply luminous as Ilse. That scene in the Paris bar, when she brushes her hand against Bogart's cheek is pure movie magic--star quality all the way.
Like just about everybody, I love "Casablanca" as one of Hollywood's very best achievements; I'm on their side, too, cheering all the way.

Studio: Warner Studios
Director: Michael Curtiz
Humphrey Bogart
Ingrid Bergman

DVD title: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
Productgroup: DVD
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre - movie DVD cover picture
i saw it in the movie theater

i saw it in the movie theater and it was great , but keep in mind we are reviewing the dvd here not the movie...well also the movie but alot of it with the dvd also....first off the dvd video quality is very high grade we are talking lord of the rings quaility video here, with tons and tons of extras ( which some dvd's lack in) (...)

Studio: New Line Home Entertainment
Director: Marcus Nispel
Jessica Biel
Jonathan Tucker
Andrew Bryniarski

DVD title: The Princess Diaries 2 - Royal Engagement (Full Screen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
The Princess Diaries 2 - Royal Engagement (Full Screen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Absolutely Adorable Film

I loved this movie. If you enjoyed the first Princess Diaries then I have to imagine you'd like this one just as well. I took my 7 year old daughter to see The Princess Diaries 2 at the show and she absolutely loved it. Needless to say I had to buy for her on DVD for Christmas. Anne Hathaway returns in her role as "ugly duckling" turned princess who's grandmother played by Julie Andrews makes an attempt to groom her into the next Queen of Genovia. The really is a cute show and perfect for younger girls...Not recommended for boys. (...).

Studio: Buena Vista Home Vid
Director: Garry Marshall
Anne Hathaway
Julie Andrews
Callum Blue

DVD title: Andy Griffith Show:Three Season Pack
Productgroup: DVD
Andy Griffith Show:Three Season Pack - movie DVD cover picture
"More power to you"--Briscoe Darling

The Andy Griffith Show is, of course, classic and has been shown continuously in syndication. Finally, the episodes are coming out on DVD with the closing segments that are usually edited out of the syndication airings. Some of these were important, for example, until I saw the season 1 DVD, I never knew Mayberry got their town cannon back in the Horse Trader after Andy sold it (the guy who unknowingly re-donated it to the town was told the same San Juan Hill story that Andy tried to use to sell it). The first three seasons demonstrate how the show developed from the hicks from the sticks type humor to the down-home, common sense storylines. Season three introduces several characters that will be seen again: The Darling family (The Darlings Are Coming), Malcolm Merriweather (Andy's English Valet), and Ernest T. Bass (Mountain Wedding). My one complaint is why there is not more of a price break when you buy all three at once. At $27.99 a piece it doesn't seem like you're saving anything. Oh well, whatever the price, they're worth it.

Studio: Paramount Home Video
Andy Griffith

DVD title: Inspector Lynley - A Great Deliverance
Productgroup: DVD
Inspector Lynley - A Great Deliverance - movie DVD cover picture
A Great Deliverance -- A great adaptation

When the powers that be at Scotland Yard assign Detective Inspector Thomas Lynley and Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers to a particularly high-profile murder investigation, they create the oddest couple since Neil Simon's Felix Unger and Oscar Madison. Lynley is the Oxford-educated, Eighth Earl of Asherton, with an upscale London town house and a country estate down in Cornwall. Havers, who has in the past alternatively referred to Lynley as "that fast-track Oxford golden-boy" or "that arrogant, aristocratic ponce", lives in a council-house with her aging and infirmed parents, and carries around a chip on her shoulder the size of Rock of Gibraltar.
As the story begins, "The Yard" has been called in by the Yorkshire police on a particularly nasty case - a farmer has been found brutally murdered in his barn along with his sheep dog; his traumatized sixteen-year old daughter is found mute, unable to tell investigators what has occurred. To make matters worse, allegations of local police corruption have just surfaced.
This is not going to be an easy case, especially as Lynley and Havers arrive on the scene in Yorkshire each encumbered with a steamer trunk full of emotional baggage.
Lynley has just been the Best Man at the wedding of the love of his life, Deborah, to his best friend Simon St. James. Upon arriving in Yorkshire, he finds that one of the local police officers assigned to work with him is one Sergeant Nies, whom he'd previously had a run-in with and Nies is still nursing a grudge against him. As if these problems weren't daunting enough, Lynley has to deal with Havers.
Havers, who has a well deserved reputation at the Yard of being difficult to work with, resents Lynley for being rich, well-educated, well-connected, handsome and charming - in short, everything she isn't. Her obvious resentment of Lynley becomes so tiresome, that at one point, he stops the car in the middle of the road one evening and says, "You are exhausting, you are permanently on the defensive." Later, he exclaims, "take away your prejudices and who's Barbara Havers?" Havers, however, does have some very real problems to deal with; while Lynley is trying to cope with his loss of Deborah, Havers is spending every spare moment on the phone trying to get help from Social Services for her parents - a father in the last stages of emphysema and a mother suffering from what appears to Alzheimer's.
Yet in spite of their personal problems, Lynley and Havers quickly get down to the business of investigating the murder. That they do so - in the face of local police hostility and foot-dragging, witnesses who tell them only half-truths, plus a few red herrings thrown in along the way - is a testament to their skill and professionalism.
This BBC production of "A Great Deliverance", based on the book by Elizabeth George, is well adapted and perfectly cast. Some Elizabeth George fans may object to casting a dark haired actor in the role of Lynley, whom George conceived of as a blonde, but that's a trivial issue. First, actors frequently bare little physical resemblance to the authors' original descriptions of the characters they play - case in point, P.D. James' Adam Dalgleish. James always described Dalgleish as "dark", something Roy Marsden isn't. Second, if you're casting about today for a tall, good looking, "upper class" British actor for a role - Nathaniel Parker is the natural choice. Parker casually combines class with masculinity. He also possesses one of the best speaking voices of any English-speaking actor today. His lines are always delivered clearly, but effortlessly, in that rich, mellow baritone of his. In a television career of more than a dozen years - "Piece of Cake", "Never Come Back", "Vanity Fair" and "Far From the Madding Crowd" - Parker has displayed great versatility. Having appeared in episodes of "Inspector Morse" and "Poirot" he's also no stranger to "Mystery" audiences. As Lynley, he projects authority, integrity, vulnerability; plus genuine warmth and tenderness when visiting the victim's youngest daughter - Roberta Tey - at a psychiatric hospital.
Like Parker's Lynley, Sharon Small's Barbara Havers differs in appearance from the character created by George. George's creation was short, dumpy and dressed in Oxfam rejects - one doubts if too many actresses would have been beating down the doors to play the character as originally envisioned. Small retains Havers' abrasiveness, but through her attempts at dealing with the problems in her private life, she succeeds in making Barbara a more sympathetic character.
One of the traditional strengths of British TV imports is the careful attention the British pay to the casting of each role. "A Great Deliverance" is no exception. In addition to the two strong leads, "A Great Deliverance" is graced with a great supporting cast. Anthony Calf and Amanda Ryan play newly weds Simon and Deborah St. James brilliantly - capturing the romance of a newly wed couple and the awkwardness created by their relationship with Lynley and the anguish they know he is going through. Emma Fielding is perfect as Helen Clyde - so perfect - that one wonders why the producers subsequently replaced her in later episodes. Brendan Coyle (Richard Tey) - with his dark good looks and earthy masculinity - is a perfect counterweight to Parker's Lynley. But the real acting honors go to Rebecca Gallacher as Roberta Tey - so eloquent in her silence.
To sum up, while this BBC-WGBH production of Elizabeth George's "A Great Deliverance" does not follow the book to the letter, it does capture the essence of this excellent mystery. I highly recommend "A Great Deliverance" to lovers of good, old-fashioned British mysteries.

Studio: Wgbh
Director: Richard Laxton

DVD title: Fairy Tale - A True Story
Productgroup: DVD
Fairy Tale - A True Story - movie DVD cover picture
A wonderful, wonderful film..

I find it hard to articulate just why this film moves me so much, i just wish as I see it for the 10th or so time, that I could watch it without brings up so many issues so cleverly, it offers consolation, it brings in the concepts of magic and faith in an intense and beautiful way, the acting is fact I think this is my most favourite movie of all time.....not a childrens film, though some will love it,it's actually a movie for tired old grownups!

Studio: Paramount Home Video
Director: Charles Sturridge
Florence Hoath
Elizabeth Earl
Paul McGann

DVD title: The Bourne Identity (Widescreen Collector's Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
The Bourne Identity (Widescreen Collector's Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Non-stop action!

This movie is exactly what my title says. there is not stop action . And the suspense is great.

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: Doug Liman
Matt Damon
Franka Potente

DVD title: Moll Flanders
Productgroup: DVD
Moll Flanders - movie DVD cover picture
Wonderful! Wright, Channing, Freeman, and Fricker...superb!

It makes me mad that this wonderful movie was realesed at the theaters at such a bad time. Many blockbuster films were out and this movie got put last at the box office. I saw a commerchage of it vagully...only once. I hope with my review Moll Flanders(the movie) will be recognized by more viewers...the book is sure popular. 100 reviews are for the book!

Studio: Mgm/Ua Studios
Director: Pen Densham
Robin Wright Penn
Morgan Freeman

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