Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: The General
Productgroup: DVD
The General - movie DVD cover picture
Quest and Love

This movie is ranked in top twenty best films ever made. It is a tribute to Keaton that words matter so little in what must have been a technological marvel for its day. The incredible danger that Keaton and Marian Mack endured while skipping and lurching on top of very real trains and locomotives would not be duplicated by preening stars today. Part of the charm of a story of quest and love, is the danger endured by the hero and heroine against all odds. As in most films of this era, there is a naive quality to romance. The action however, especially on a big screen is fascinating. How did Keaton think up all the possibilities of locomotive spills and chills? This film is totally original and has influenced 100's of films that followed.

Studio: Kino Video
Buster Keaton

DVD title: Dune
Productgroup: DVD
Dune - movie DVD cover picture
Great Sci-Fi, but read the book

In an age when science fiction movies are exercises computer generated graphics and muppet shows gone wild, this film stands out. The acting is first class. The director never lost focus. The plot follows Frank Herbert's masterpiece to a "T."
My only criticism is that the producers or the studio left out much of the background from book. Of course, it would have been as long as "Shogun" in that case.

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: David Lynch
Kyle MacLachlan
Virginia Madsen

DVD title: The Best of Designing Women
Productgroup: DVD
The Best of Designing Women - movie DVD cover picture
Excellent! Now Where Are The Rest of Them?

I have loved this show since it's inception. Please release the entire series on DVD. I have most of the episodes on Video Tape (Taped from television)commericals and all. The tapes are beginning to wear out from use! Come on distributors.....Give them up!

Studio: Columbia Tristar Hom
Delta Burke

DVD title: Lost In Translation (Widescreen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Lost In Translation (Widescreen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Belongs in the collection of every serious film buff

I believe it should be lost... I can't believe anyone would consider the movie or Bill Murray for an oscar...and don't even get me started on Sofia Coppola" This is a good title for the movie however, two weeks later we are still lost in the translation of this movie. However,my husband reccomends it as a alternative to a sleeping pill.

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: Sofia Coppola
Scarlett Johansson
Bill Murray
Giovanni Ribisi

DVD title: Stephen King's Rose Red
Productgroup: DVD
Stephen King's Rose Red - movie DVD cover picture

I sat down to watch this one night and I was simply GLUED to the TV through all of it. The first half contained minimal gore and death, and yet I felt that it was probably the scarier than the second! Everything about the movie was just done so well, it had me at the edge of my seat.
The way the house was set up rivaled that of the house in 13 ghosts, and little Annie Wheaton was perfect. It's been a long time since a movie creeped me out, so if you're a big horror fan i would definitely reccomend this movie.

Studio: Lions Gate Home Entertainment
Director: Craig R. Baxley

DVD title: Au Hasard Balthazar (Criterion Collection)
Productgroup: DVD
Au Hasard Balthazar (Criterion Collection) - movie DVD cover picture
Simply, A Wonderful Film

A truly unique work in cinema. It is simply amazing that a story that is, on the surface, mostly about the life of a donkey can cause you to ponder the mysteries and ironies of life and fate. Bresson created here a model of how to say more with less. The final scene of this film is illustrative of this in its extraordinary ability to deeply move the viewer with only a bare minimum of directorial touch.

The plot lines of Au Hasard Balthazar at times seem forced, sometimes confusing the viewer, and often leaving the characters' motivations unexplained. This matters little, however, because they all follow the same theme that one's actions, explainable or not, are often just a reaction to the environment within which we are placed. The human characters and the donkey are one. Just as Balthazar must succumb to the whims of his owners, so are we humans often just surviving, and submitting to, the actions of those who control us. The film is in many ways a rumination about the free will actually afforded us in life. A key scene is between Marie and the miserly farmer (winemaker?), where the latter expounds upon his philosophy. Money and self-confidence are the keys for him because they allow a certain autonomy that lets him do as he pleases. Money, or the lack thereof, is depicted in several instances as often replacing true morality or spirituality in the characters' lives.

Another scene that mesmerizes (there are several) is when Balthazar is pulling the circus-animal feeding cart through the cage area. The soundless shots of the donkey making eye contact with the other animals is brilliantly done (again with little camera flourish). They seem to be communicating silently with only their gazes, which say "here we are, this is our fate". Extremely affecting, and staggering in its simplicity.

This is a film to be watched again and then again, and then again. In one of the DVD extra features, film scholar Donald Ritchie states that he has seen Balthazar many times, yet he still cries during the ending. I believe this and understand it. Credos to Criterion for resurrecting this classic, and for again doing such a fine production job.

Studio: Image Entertainment

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

I was only 8 when I first saw this and I loved it ever since. It has a better plot than the previous Godzilla movies, where this big dinosaur just appears out of nowhere and starts terrorizing everything. In this they explain that he was actually some type of lizard that was exposed to radiation during some nuclear bombs tests. The only problem that I had with this movie is that the ending was a cliffhanger but they didn't conclude it with another movie. But other than that it was very good.

Studio: Columbia/Tristar Studios
Director: Roland Emmerich
Matthew Broderick
Jean Reno

DVD title: Menace II Society
Productgroup: DVD
Menace II Society - movie DVD cover picture
Down for a 187? Letz do dis

Dis movie be da bes movie bout bruthas an bout livin in da hood. I personally know of a few homies dat had da same thang happen to dem. Da bes part be when da homies is drivin da caddy an lookin for dem other biatches to cap. My favorite part is when OG says "ya'll actin like a bunch of biatches." I's be wonderin how dis movie ain't be bes picture of da year? There be sum real life lessons in dis movie for anyone who be livin in da hood.

Studio: New Line Home Entertainment
Tyrin Turner
Larenz Tate

DVD title: The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Vol. 1: (A Scandal in Bohemia/ The Dancing Men/ The Naval Treaty/ The Solitary Cyclist)
Productgroup: DVD
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Vol. 1: (A Scandal in Bohemia/ The Dancing Men/ The Naval Treaty/ The Solitary Cyclist) - movie DVD cover picture
The Woman, the Gangster, Mr. Delicate and the Boxing Match.

This first collection has 4 of the best of the English Granada TV series. In these stories the friendship and good humor between Holmes and Watson is revealed in nice touches, as well as not shirking from Holmes prediliction for a certain 7% solution, to Watson's eternal dismay and disapproval.
In the 4 stories Holmes is bested by a Woman and takes his comeuppance graciously; he is too late solving the riddle of the Dancing Men to prevent tragedy; he resolves the dilemma of a delicate Victorian gentleman (and we see that treaties of great import were simply locked in desks with sleeping doormen the only security...a different time indeed!); and in the Solitary Cyclist, Holmes, comes to the aid of another damsel in distress, and we get to witness his boxing skills as he gives a sound thrashing to a thug. Most satisfying.
For my money, Jeremy Brett was the quinessential Holmes, capturing the nervous disposition and energy of the man, and the high-strung, imperious intelligence that is often offset with surprising kindness and tact and care for the vulnerable. He was ably matched by David Burke's bemused, capable and intelligent Watson.
The 5 Stars are for Sherlockians of course. The quality of all the Granada Holmes DVD's varies. Wish they were better, but if this is all you can get, they are still worth it.

Studio: Mpi Home Video

DVD title: Red Dirt
Productgroup: DVD
Red Dirt - movie DVD cover picture
Eternally Appropriate

I hope that out of all the terror that has confronted this country, we take time out to examine our lives and to take a hard look at the types of movies that clog our cineplexes. Red Dirt is a story of family and redemption, of the conquering power of goodness, without having to witness a blood bath in the process. The film is not even about acceptance, although certainly the director could have gone in that to be expected direction. Red Dirt is about being connected with people and place. In a word...belonging. It is about love, without having to define in narrow terms, exactly what love is.

Studio: Fox Lorber
Director: Tag Purvis

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