Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Cold Comfort Farm
Productgroup: DVD
Cold Comfort Farm - movie DVD cover picture
Quirkly and memorable.

A dazzling Kate Beckinsale leads the cast in this bizarre and quirkly comedy about the Starkladder family. This movie captures your attention from the start and Schlesinger keeps the film on track. The film is amusing, but the true genius in it is the comedic but honest study of the human condition. Beckinsale is the perfect good-natured luftmensch and meddler and I loved what should be a classic line of "I saw something nasty in the woodshed!". The matriarchal contraints on the family was a riot to behold. This film can also be a lesson on how to deal with subtle verbal threats to your psyche and how perfectly far dismissiveness can go. At any rate, it's a clever and feel-good piece of fun which is always a good reason to see a film, I'd say.

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: John Schlesinger
Eileen Atkins
Kate Beckinsale
Sheila Burrell
Stephen Fry

DVD title: Orange County
Productgroup: DVD
Orange County - movie DVD cover picture
the new "rushmore"

I'll add my Jack Black accolades to the pile, and raise two cents. I'm really glad I didn't pay to see this movie in the theater, because JB is the hilariously shining superstar on this DVD - much of it not in the theatrical release of the picture. Anyone spending the time and money to view the DVD should do themself a favor and check out the special features menu. The deleted scenes and trailers (called Interstitials) are all hilarious. Some of the deleted scenes (including snipets from the trailers) are the funniest scenes, and would have made the storyline much better as a whole. The young Hanks does an OK job on his first outing, but JB steals the show (ala High Fidelity). In it's entirety, this could have been an entirely new and fresh kind of teen comedy. The screenwriter has worked on TV's "Freaks and Geeks" and the revolutionary "Pasadena". The movie's young director, Jake Kasden, would do well to revisit the editing room on this one.

Studio: Paramount Home Video
Director: Jake Kasdan
Colin Hanks
Jack Black

DVD title: Testamento
Productgroup: DVD
Testamento - movie DVD cover picture
beautiful and human

This movie has more than its beautiful scenery - the Cape Verdan islands. Featuring a great acting cast and a 3-minute performance of world music star Cesaria Evora, the film tells the story of a local business man who disinherits his nephew and leaves his money and estate to his daughter, he never officially recognized. His life story is told by himself on tapes he left her and through her questions to everybody, he knew. It is a romantic story, describing the main character with gentle humour. The few (discrete)love scenes remotely reminded me of some french movies. The slow pace of the film is common to outstanding European and African directors - yes African (Cape Verde is close to Senegal) - think of Ousmane Sembene and Wim Wenders, add a few humorous touches and enjoy the human side of cinema. 8 out of 10!

Studio: Fox Lorber
Director: Francisco Manso

DVD title: Sherman's March
Productgroup: DVD
Sherman's March - movie DVD cover picture
Art is not photography

Art is not photography Man Ray amended as he grew wiser. As a youthful contrarian he'd claimed that photography is not art -he'd relented a bit. Ross McElwee's "Sherman's March" is the first film that convinced me that while cinema can't be art (there are hundreds of craftsmen assembling it along the way)it can rouse the soul if the director is the lead actor, writer, cameraman, lighting specialist....Imagine Mr. McElwee walking about the South ruminating about lost loves with no technical help, running into the most ditzy women and actually including them in his film with no interview or casting couch! Here we have the second greatest story ever told. But let me not overstate. One must see his other films for everything to dovetail and astonish. If you are literate, please study this man's work.

Studio: First Run Features
Director: Ross McElwee
Ross McElwee

DVD title: Jesus of Nazareth
Productgroup: DVD
Jesus of Nazareth - movie DVD cover picture
Best, most powerful depiction of Jesus the Christ

Franco Zeffirelli's masterpiece still evokes devotion, inspiration, and timeless beauty of one of the most impactful men to ever walk this Earth.

I've watched the "Passion of the Christ" by Mel Gibson. It was powerful. But, I found quickly that I'm much more interested in how Jesus lived rather than how he died. While not taking anything away from the power of his death and resurrection, I find that I'm more moved by his teachings and his life.

For me, Jesus of Nazareth still does the best job of depicting the life of Jesus. At the time of its release in 1977, this film received much criticism for depicting a more "human" side of Jesus. In many ways, this is the side that appeals to me and draws me to the film.

Much credit must go to Zeffirelli, but to me, the person who makes this film is Robert Powell. He acts and portrays Jesus not only with his words, but with his eyes, his hands, slight body movements. One can feel the love and forgiveness of Jesus as you watch this film.

One of the most powerful scenes in the film to me was Jesus telling the parable of the Prodigal Son and how he uses this parable to heal the rift between Matthew and Peter. Everyone has an idea or perception about how Jesus was. For me, this performance most closely arrives at my own perception of the Christ.

The supporting roles were just as effective. James Farantino gives a credible performance as Peter. My favorite though, goes to Ian McShane's performance as Judas. Here Zeffirelli paints Judas as Jesus' misunderstood disciple; one who felt he was doing the right thing for the country. "Open your heart, Judas. Not your mind," Jesus tells him. When Judas realizes what he's done, he's overwhelmed with grief. I've never felt that Judas was a "bad" man or an "evil" disciple. I feel that Zeffirelli's depiction is more accurate.

Great scenery, an all-star cast, a magnificent performance by Robert Powell, and the magician himself, Franco Zeffirelli all contribute to the most beautiful and spiritually touching of all the films that depict the life of Jesus.

I find myself moved every time I watch this film.

Studio: Lions Gate Home Entertainment
Director: Franco Zeffirelli
Robert Powell
James Mason
Laurence Olivier

DVD title: Babe - Pig in the City
Productgroup: DVD
Babe - Pig in the City - movie DVD cover picture
Dark but brilliant movie

I understand why some people didn't like this movie. They were looking for a cute, kid-oriented movie to watch with their children. If this is what you're hoping for, don't buy this movie. Buy this movie for your own enjoyment. It is a remarkable achievment in movie-making. I'd have to say this was one of the most creative and darkly humorous movie in years (now keep in mind, I'm not talking about "Silence of the Lambs" dark here, but rated-G dark). The effort and imagination that went into making this movie are amazing. Don't rent it, buy it. It's a fantastic movie.

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: George Miller (II)
Magda Szubanski
Mickey Rooney
Elizabeth Daily

DVD title: True Grit
Productgroup: DVD
True Grit - movie DVD cover picture
Makes your blood run faster

John Wayne is an icon, he made many movies some better (The quiet man) and some worse (The Undefeated) than this one. The motion picture academy choose to give him his only Oscar for this one, for that reason alone this picture is worth watching.

The fact that in this movie Wayne didn't play the iconic "Wayne" so much as he played the character Rooster makes it stand out. Wayne's character are sort of like Jack Nickelson. It isn't so much Wayne as the character as the character as Wayne. This movie is a big exception.

The supporting cast is all excellent from Kim Darby to Robert Duvall and is worth the price of admission as well.

If you can watch the climatic gunfight without your blood running stronger you really don't belong reading this review or in a John Wayne section. It is one of the greatest scenes in the history of westerns.

Studio: Paramount Studio
Director: Henry Hathaway
John Wayne
Kim Darby

DVD title: Murder by Numbers (Full Screen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Murder by Numbers (Full Screen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Another great movie by Sandra

I usually love all the movies Sandra Bullock is in. A few of the movies she's made have been terrible but this one is not one of those. She plays a detective out to solve the murder of a woman. Two highschool students are the ones who killed her and Sandra is on to them from the moment she meets them. The boys killed the woman just to see if they could get away with it. It appears there's a very strong bond between them. It seems as though if they weren't busy framing the janitor for murder they would be making love. But they channel their love for each other into this plot to set up the perfect murder and play games with Sandra. She has personal problems of her own and her past keeps getting dragged up which I could have done without personally. But the movie works. Sandra proves herself in this movie that she can play any part in any movie.

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Barbet Schroeder
Sandra Bullock

DVD title: Poison Ivy II: Lily
Productgroup: DVD
Poison Ivy II: Lily - movie DVD cover picture
Better than the original.

Drew Barrymore is hands down the most sultry and seductive woman in film, but PI2 was just that much better. The plot worked more and Ms. Milano brought more sexuality to the series. The main characters were more believable and there was that weirdo music student...hmmm. I likeitalot!

Studio: New Line Home Entertainment
Director: Anne Goursaud

DVD title: Kiss of the Dragon (Full Screen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Kiss of the Dragon (Full Screen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
A Summer Must See Movie!!!

So, its ok to blast up innocent hotel goers if your with the government? Since when do the French give their agents automatics? Sorry Jet, even though you did write this, I think you need to keep to acting. Though the movie wasn't good at all, plotwise, the action was good, and Jet did some great stunts. There is one scene at the end that really justifies the movie. My friends and I were the only ones laughing, but I mean c'mon its hilarious, even if a bit gruesome. Just go see it and you'll see what I mean.

Studio: Fox Home Entertainme
Director: Chris Nahon
Jet Li
Bridget Fonda

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