Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Schizopolis - Criterion Collection
Productgroup: DVD
Schizopolis - Criterion Collection - movie DVD cover picture
Quirky, interesting and funny film

Soderbergh's solo mission before he got back to the mainstream and finally enjoyed blockbuster success. "Schizopolis" is a rarely seen masterpiece, extremely funny, courageous, weird, interesting - imagine Richard Lester doing a Monty Python story. On this criterion collection DVD there is a commentary that's only fitting in regard to the film's topic: Soderbergh is interviewing Soderbergh. Hilarious, demasking, insightful and fun. Highy recommended!

Studio: Criterion Collection
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Steven Soderbergh

DVD title: No Man's Land
Productgroup: DVD
No Man's Land - movie DVD cover picture
The Slavian Catch-22

Here we have Catch-22 updated replacing the island of Pianosa and WWII with a trench in No-man's Land between the Bosnian and Serb front lines in the Bosnian War. Tanovic's rendering of an intricate story-line is powerful and told with biting, subtle, and satirical black humor. Tanovic comes across as an insider and a witness (which no doubt he was) to the pointless atrocities and dirty warfare that the real world break-up of Yugoslavia and successive Serbian wars created.
Some of the films funnier moments prove Tanovic's insight into the UN, world media, and the pointlessness of the war. When a German Explosive Ordnance Expert is to show up, the French UN members wonder where he is. They watch the clock, say he is supposed to show at 3:30 and sure enough when the clock rolls to the half hour, the German promptly drives up. Both the Bosnian and Serbian Field commanders put in calls to UNPROFOR to resolve a situation when two half-naked people parade around No Man's Land waving white flags.
The plot line basics have been well-covered by other reviewers, so I will move to my observations. The reason this movie garners such well-deserved praise is that it very artfully and entertainingly drives home a powerful message and agenda that has topical implications to ongoing world events. It questions the function of the United Nations engagement in simply a "sidelines" non-interventionist humanitarian role when atrocities of war are ongoing. It reinforces the wastefulness of war. It highlights the international media's crucial but sometimes manipulative role in modern war coverage. But most of all, it tells a story we care about...a story that matters.
And as we are asked these days to draw lines in the sand, the French Sergeant Marshand words ring true, "You can't be neutral facing murder. Doing nothing to stop it is taking sides." Though as politically charged as that statement is and this movie implies, the movie never preaches. The message is in the art and as bitingly sharp as Joseph Heller's Catch-22 was in its day. This is a great and relevant war movie for these times and all times.

Studio: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Director: Danis Tanovic
Branko Djuric
Rene Bitorajac

DVD title: Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (Full Screen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (Full Screen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture

I saw this again for the third time last week, and it still hasn't lost any of its charm. I'm glad to see a movie that actually remains faithful to the book. As a fellow reviewer wrote, "Frankenstien" is a tragedy, not a horror novel/movie. Though it can go a bit over the top at times, the performances by Branagh and Helena Bonham Carter are exquisite, and De Niro's monster is suprisingly moving. Especially if you are a fan of the book, or of superb acting, don't miss this movie.

Studio: Columbia/Tristar Studios
Director: Kenneth Branagh
Kenneth Branagh
Robert De Niro
Helena Bonham Carter

DVD title: The Beatles Anthology
Productgroup: DVD
The Beatles Anthology - movie DVD cover picture
Life is Short - Enjoy Anthology

A Beatle fans dream come true. I'd give it a box of stars if I could. The reissue is fantastic, the extra disc splendid, but my favorite Anthology moment will never change - I'm Down at Shea Stadium. That, my friends, is what The Beatles were all about. I dare you to find such footage of any other band. So many other complete performances that are also wonderful - I Saw Her in Washington 1964 - I Am The Walrus from MMT - The Long and Winding Road - the list goes on. If you love the Beatles - treat yourself - if you know someone who loves them - don't let them go on without owning this fantastic gift from Apple. Don't wait for a birthday or Christmas. In this world - you'd better get it for them right away. They deserve it. We all do.

Studio: EMI Music Distribution (Pre-Release)
John Lennon

DVD title: Kenny Rogers - Live by Request
Productgroup: DVD
Kenny Rogers - Live by Request - movie DVD cover picture
If you love Kenny....

My Mom is a huge Kenny Rogers fan and I bought this for her. She loves it and I must admit that I enjoyed it alot. A great gift for any Kenny Rogers fan.

Studio: Dreamcatcher
Kenny Rogers

DVD title: Adaptation (Superbit Collection)
Productgroup: DVD
Adaptation (Superbit Collection) - movie DVD cover picture
Intriguing structure; solid character exploration

If you remove the mystique of the story within a story, the paradoxical, nesting-boxed movie about making the movie you are watching, the structure that flouts conventional structure, this film is STILL great for the unparallelled glimpse it gives into the mind of what I am tempted to call a modern Woody Allen type: an artist and fringe intellectual full of self-doubt and self-loathing, articulate in mind, but so self-conscious as to be struck verbally and mentally numb by the proximity of real people (especially women), ineffectual, obsessing, worried to within an inch of death all the time. Many people may more truly know this type through the work of Robert Crumb, who, over the last 30 years, has turned withering, appalling, painful self-examination into high entertainment and art. I am not saying Charles Kaufman is really like this, necessarily. But his insight into the lives and mental processes of those who are like the hero of this film is absolutely uncanny.
Nicolas Cage is to be credited with investing this difficult character with enough humanity for the audience to care about. It's a wonderful job of acting. But even as it is written, Adaptation is a brilliant (and I would add 'privileged') look at a variety of mind and sensibility that has never been addressed as fully or successfully on the screen as it is here.
A definite, unreserved 5 stars.

Studio: Columbia Tri-Star
Director: Spike Jonze
Nicolas Cage
Meryl Streep
Chris Cooper

DVD title: Say Anything...
Productgroup: DVD
Say Anything... - movie DVD cover picture
I wanna touch the light, the heat I see in your eyes......

Ever wanted a person you knew would never give you a chance? Ever had fate surprise you with that person's love? The second part doesn't happen very often in tales of unrequited love, but it happened for Lloyd Dobler (played honestly by John Cusack). "Say Anything" is a universal story of love surviving the odds. Lloyd struggles for smart, popular Diane Court's attention, and he gets lucky when he finally steps away from simply watching her and makes her laugh. He is always himself, even when their relationship eventually hits rocky spots. This is an admirable, human idea that is not often portrayed in romantic films. Cusack helps us root for the main character by making him one of us. While the other characters in the film question whether Lloyd is good enough for Diane (played by Ione Skye), the audience might wonder if Diane is good enough for Lloyd. Another important theme from this movie that is worthy of mentioning is family trust. In nearly every teenage drama, the teenager does things to irritate/upset/worry the parents. The conflict between Diane and her father (Frasier's John Mahoney) is unique. Mr. Court expresses displeasure at being "betrayed" by his daughter while at the same time he has been dishonest with her. Both parents and children make mistakes. Thank you Cameron Crowe for not making teenagers the scapegoats. The most remarkable thing about this film is its simplicity. There is the right amount of drama and romance so that it's not too schmaltzy and not too heavy. It's just a clever little movie about love.Pivotal scene (aside from the stereo in the front yard): when Lloyd and Diane are trying to get back together. Diane admits, "I need you." Lloyd asks, "Do you say that because you need somebody or you need me?" He quickly adds, "Forget it. I don't care."

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox Home Video
Director: Cameron Crowe
John Cusack
Ione Skye

DVD title: Fight Club (Single Disc Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Fight Club (Single Disc Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Classic Film; Amazing DVD

I'd first like to say that Fight Club is not for all tastes. It was very controversial when it first came out, and many people aren't going to like it. It's an extremly disturbing film. But I loved it. I thought it was an insightful look at a lost generation and how they have to outlet their frustration. The DVD is just spectacular! It has boundless extras like 4 different commentary tracks (I think this could be a record), documetary features, and many different advertising features (I loved the Public Service Annoucements). Although I recomend watching the film before you buy it, it is an amazing item to own.

Studio: Fox Home Entertainme
Director: David Fincher
Edward Norton
Brad Pitt

DVD title: Who Framed Roger Rabbit
Productgroup: DVD
Who Framed Roger Rabbit - movie DVD cover picture
Incredible !!

Not only is Jessica the sexiest woman ever, the movie actually gives a little insite to life in Los Angeles during the time before the freeway system we all know. Most people didnt know LA actually did have a great mass transit system at one time so even though this movie pokes fun at a lot of things it is based on some truths. the coupling of Disney and Warner Bros cartoons was also a first, Mickey and Bugs in the same scene. and did I mention Jessica?

Studio: Touchstone Video
Director: Robert Zemeckis
Bob Hoskins

DVD title: Guilty As Sin
Productgroup: DVD
Guilty As Sin - movie DVD cover picture
There's No Doubt!

It is unfortunate that these two actors didn't have a better material to work with. They are giving the best of them but it is not enought to cover the poor and ordinary script. Too bad....

Studio: Buena Vista Home Vid
Director: Sidney Lumet
Rebecca De Mornay
Don Johnson

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