Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: The Young Ones - Every Stoopid Episode
Productgroup: DVD
The Young Ones - Every Stoopid Episode - movie DVD cover picture
Quick note...

If you want to see which pieces are cut, go to any one the 100 Young One fan sites that have the ciomplete ccripts frmot eh original shows.
I just hope they do not plan on saving these for later release as a "special edition."

Studio: Warner Home Video
Ruth Burnett

DVD title: Conflict
Productgroup: DVD
Conflict - movie DVD cover picture
This Film Is Great For Everyone!!!

A friend recently gave me a copy of this old film, originally titled "Catholics". This film is one of the best studies of tradition vs progressive influence I have ever come across! The film creates a sympathy for Pre-Vatican II Catholicism by creating a fictional future crisis that has just a hint of honesty about it. The message (propaganda) intended by the director is just as interesting as the well-acted drama.

It doesn't matter if the topic is pre vs post Vatican II, or fundamental vs liberal Protestantism, or Republican vs Democrat issues, etc. The combinations of emotions and propaganda are similar in most ideological conflicts.

I've now watched this film 5 times in the past 3 weeks and have shown it to several other people. I find that just watching the film with someone generates a strange mixture of emotions and discussion.

The cost is cheap enough. Do yourself a favor and order this film today.

Studio: Direct Source Special Products
Director: Jack Gold

DVD title: The Wicker Man
Productgroup: DVD
The Wicker Man - movie DVD cover picture
Truly a Great Film

Last week I had the chance to sit down and watch this truly excellent movie. The Wicker Man stars Edward Woodward, Christopher Lee and Britt Ekland. I was expecting a sort-of cheap gothic horror film (after all, Christopher Lee is in it) but I got something much better.
Edward Woodward plays a policeman from the Highland Police who has flown to the island of Summerisle to investigate a report of a missing girl. After discovering that just setting foot on the island is an adventure, Woodward is unable to find anyone who knows the girl who is missing. Even the girl's mother doesn't know who she is. A right puzzler. Forced to stay on the island, Woodward takes a room at the local tavern. Amidst the bawdy songs and lively music he begins to realize that the island folk are not quite what he is used to.
As his investigation takes him further along Woodward begins to suspect that the island is populated by sinners. By his definition he is right. The local population reverted back to their old religion during the early Victorian Era. They are now firmly entrenched in their old beliefs. To top it off it just happens to be May Day. Unable to drop the case, Woodward finds traces of the girl. He suspects that she is alive but captive and a soon-to-be sacrifice to restore the harvest. Woodward infiltrates the May Day celebration disguised as Punch. Then, at a crucial moment, he manages to grab the girl and flee. Then he learns the real truth.
From the opening credits showing the Scottish Isles and their sapphire waters and the accompanying Celtic music this movie is anything but a cheap horror film. Woodward plays the epitome of the Christian and the Authoritarian. Armored only with his belief in his god he must face a setting that, to him, is completely evil. Young girls being taught the significance of the maypole, naked women jumping through fire to help fertility, march hares in caskets and dozens of other examples. But it is Woodward who is the strange one. The people look at him as they would a simpleton. But Woodward, knowing that god and country are behind him, manages to keep going right to the conclusion of the film.
This classic confrontation of Christian against Pagan is so well done, framed by modern settings and Celtic music, that I can hardly say how good it is. Woodward's performance rivals his role in Breaker Morant and the young Christopher Lee's talent shows through so clearly that it is obvious why he was cast in so many roles. The story was written by the same man who brought us Hitchcock's Frenzy as well as the mystery Sleuth. If you have not seen this 1973 film, I urge you to do so.

Studio: Anchor Bay Entertainment
Director: Robin Hardy
Edward Woodward
Christopher Lee

DVD title: Wing Commander
Productgroup: DVD
Wing Commander - movie DVD cover picture
This movie is fun and has World Class space battle action

Wing Commander Brings new levels of action adventure and technology to the classic sci-fi theme. PS..great to finally see it as a movie!

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
Director: Chris Roberts (II)
Freddie Prinze Jr.
Saffron Burrows
Matthew Lillard

DVD title: Magnolia (New Line Platinum Series)
Productgroup: DVD
Magnolia (New Line Platinum Series) - movie DVD cover picture
Extraordinary and refreshing piece of filmmaking.

From the writer-director of "Boogie Nights", this 3 hour plus drama follows several different stories over the course of a weekend in Los Angeles. Most of the characters are fascinating, and ultimately there are maybe too many stories going on. The movie is in some ways a disappointment, but it's worth seeing for some individual scenes and knockout performances (Tom Cruise got an Oscar nomination and a lot of attention for his role, but the rest of the cast is just as good if not better, especially Julianne Moore, Jason Robards and William H. Macy). Finally, to watch this one you have to have a high tolerance for the "F" word.

Studio: New Line Home Entertainment
Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
Tom Cruise
Julianne Moore
William H. Macy
Philip Seymour Hoffman
Philip Baker Hall
Jeremy Blackman

DVD title: Little Murders
Productgroup: DVD
Little Murders - movie DVD cover picture
A perfect pitch-black comedy

By all means get this movie--it's a keeper. LITTLE MURDERS seems to have gotten lost in the shuffle of auteurist favorites of the 1970's, but it has always been a favorite of mine. This and SMILE (which is much sweeter and gentler)are the two best American social satires of the era. LITTLE MURDERS treads the fine line between the surreal, the prophetic, and the familiar with (mostly) stunning fluidity. The cast is wonderful--I have always wondered if Donald Sutherland was spoofing hippie guru Alan Watts in his performance of the minister....
Two minor complaints:
1.)DO NOT READ THE CHAPTER TITLES IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN THE FILM BEFORE! They give too much away in a movie that is otherwise unpredictable.
2.)No commentary from director Alan Arkin.
Great to have on DVD, though. This film has aged surprisingly well.

Studio: Fox Home Entertainme
Director: Alan Arkin

DVD title: Firefly - The Complete Series
Productgroup: DVD
Firefly - The Complete Series - movie DVD cover picture
Can't wait for the movie

Fox should learn its lesson with this one. They should do everything they can to try to get this show back on the air. The DVD sales have been nothing short of miraculous and the feature film looks like it is going to be great. Fox has made some pretty bad decisions when canning shows. Here's hoping they'll pull a "Family Guy" and give the show another chance... if only to make the REAL money in DVD sales.

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox Home Video
Nathan Fillion

DVD title: School of Rock (Full Screen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
School of Rock (Full Screen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
A Crowd Pleaser

I saw this movie with three other people. I figured I would be the only one who would like it, since I think Jack Black is underrated musically and on the big screen. However, all four of us loved this movie.
Black really brings a lot to the table in this film. He's got the physical comedy that is apparent when he is jamming with his professional band. He's got the ability to carry a scene as an actor, as the audience can't take its eyes off him. And his musical prowess is revealed to anyone who hadn't already heard his tunes from Tenacious D.
The story holds up well, and while it's sometimes a little hokey it does the job of allowing Black to bring tons of laughs. I highly recommend this comedy.

Studio: Paramount Home Video
Director: Richard Linklater
Jack Black
Mike White
Joan Cusack

DVD title: Tuff Turf
Productgroup: DVD
Tuff Turf - movie DVD cover picture
Great 80's Flick

Action, Adventure, Lust and Romance, this has it all. I owned it on VHS and wore it out, had to get the DVD!James Spader is very convincing in his role and Kim Richards just complements him.Robert Downey Jr. is quality as always in his understated roles.This is a must for anyone who enjoys the movies of the 80's!

Studio: Anchor Bay Entertainment
Director: Fritz Kiersch

DVD title: Early Summer - Criterion Collection
Productgroup: DVD
Early Summer - Criterion Collection - movie DVD cover picture

This movie is comparable in quality to Tokyo Story, and the DVD release is yet another great effort from Criterion. A gift for Ozu fans and anyone who appreciates the best in film.

Studio: Criterion Collection
Director: Yasujiro Ozu

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