Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: The Aristocats (Disney Gold Classic Collection)
Productgroup: DVD
The Aristocats (Disney Gold Classic Collection) - movie DVD cover picture
Quite enjoyable! Fun Disney classic!

Disney's "The Aristocats" is probably one of the most underrated among all of them, in fact, every single Disney animated film to be released in the 1970's is remember to be cheap and bland, however, of the three main ones to be released, probably Robin Hood (1973) is the only one to be somewhat weaker. I think people and critics just have it against "The Aristocats" and "The Rescuers," not because they were bad, because they are certainly not, but because they came after Walt's death and they believed that nothing could ever stand up to his quality, although it must be stated, that the quality of his own films in the 1960's was very low. Starting with weak and bland tales as "101 Dalmatians," The Sword in the Stone" and "The Jungle Book" were far less interesting than "The Aristocats," "The Rescuers," or even those from the so called "dark age," titles such as "The Fox and the Hound" and "The Black Cauldron."

"The Aristocats" is the story of a family of cats, Dutchess and kittens Marie, Berlioz and Toulouse, destined to inherit the fortune of Madame Adelaide Bonfamille. The old woman foreshadows her passing and decides it is time to prepare her will so that her beloved cats will be taken care of. However, when Edgar, the greedy butler overhears the conversation between Madame and her faithful lawyer, Edgar decides to do the impossible to be the one to inherit the first term, for this he decides to catnap the 4 kittens and send them far away so that they'll never be heard from again. His plan works and the kittens are sent away, still alive and missing their kind mistress, the four embark on a journey through the wild countryside of France, back to their home in Paris.

The story is classic Disney, and the film may be accused of being very similar to "101 Dalmatians," however, this one is indeed 101 times better. The Aristocats is more artistic, more colorful and with more memorable characters like the good Thomas O'Malley Cat and his band of jazz-playing felines. The Aristocats is somewhat more of an interesting story, it doesn't revolve only on the characters running back and forth with the villain after them, but it involves fun scenes with Edgar making sure his plan works and he seems to think a bit better than Cruella DeVil, although not making such an impact as the famous villainess.

The Aristocats is superiour to 101 Dalmatians, yet this film is treated as if it was the worst Disney had ever released, when they themselves know that not even them can pull such quality today. Films like "The Aristocats" aren't being made anymore, good, clean comedy is over. Very sad for Disney. "The Aristocats" is highly recommended, however, the DVD is a bit poor.

Studio: Disney Studios
Director: Wolfgang Reitherman
Phil Harris
Eva Gabor
Sterling Holloway

DVD title: Miami Vice - Season One
Productgroup: DVD
Miami Vice - Season One - movie DVD cover picture
What's not to like

I watched EVERY episode as a teen and could not get enough of it. I was stoked when I heard they were bringing Miami Vice to DVD and I cannot wait until they put out all the other seasons. My wife doesn't much care for it, but my youngest I think is hooked.

Studio: Universal Studios
Don Johnson

DVD title: Henry V
Productgroup: DVD
Henry V - movie DVD cover picture
Turning the accomplishment of many years into an hour-glass

There are plenty other reviews which here display enthusiasm, so I may skip the display and go straight to the (more obvious) reasons for my enthusiasm. This is partly simply what is in Shakespeare's text, but in large part Branagh's brilliance as actor/director in setting them off in such dramatic clarity:
Derek Jacobi's Chorus ... the opening moment, "O for a Muse of fire!" must be a joint Jacobi/Branagh creation, and then when he throws the lights on to backstage.
The fire smoldering in Branagh's voice and eyes when Henry tells Mountjoy, "We are glad the Dauphin is so pleasant with us."
The entire scene in which the treachery of Scroop, Grey and Cambridge is exposed; "I will weep for thee; / For this revolt of thine, methinks, is like / Another fall of man."
Brian Blessed as Exeter, throughout, but particular when in audience with the King and Dauphin.
Both Henry's speeches before Harfleur; "Defy us to our worst: for, as I am a soldier, / A name that in my thoughts becomes me best, / If I begin the battery once again, / I will not leave the half-achieved Harfleur / Till in her ashes she lie buried."
Katherine learning English; Emma Thompson is a breath of fresh air in all the war-funk.
The grim irony, when Henry must hang Bardolph, of the punning flashback: "When thou art king, do not hang a thief." "No; THOU shalt."
"Indeed, my lord, it is a most absolute and excellent horse."
The whole Crispian's Day speech, of course ... "We would not die in that man's company / That fears his fellowship to die with us."
"I was not angry since I came to France / Until this instant."
Henry and Fluellen embracing, and the prefatory discussion of the leek.
The reckoning of the fallen after the battle.
All the closing scene, but particularly, "Can any of your neighbours tell, Kate?" and "Here comes your father."
The whole cast is fabulous, not a weak performance in all the film.
And Patrick Doyle's music; always perfectly suited to the action or mood of the scene, and well written. Simon Rattle and CBSO.
This is the movie Hollywood wishes it had the talent to make. This is the talent for which Hollywood wishes all its riches might substitute. This is an ancient tale told in a half-strange tongue, which somehow you discover to be your true native language.

Studio: MGM/UA Video
Director: Kenneth Branagh
Kenneth Branagh
Derek Jacobi

DVD title: Tarnation
Productgroup: DVD
Tarnation - movie DVD cover picture
An extraordinary experience....

'Tarnation' is the best movie I have seen in five years. It's the kind of experience that slaps you upside the head and makes you realize there really ARE innovative ways of telling a familiar story. In this case an array of home videos, photographs, text, and music attempt to recreate the life of a child and his mother, and how both have been touched by mental health issues.

There is much to admire about the way this movie presents its story. Part of its power is the way it illustrates that, despite the fact that dysfunctional families have become an American cultural cliche, the lives embroiled in these tragedies require an attention that this culture isn't able to handle. We reduce these situations to glib cliches (look, for instance, at the way dysfunctional nuclear families are satirizied on shows like 'The Simpsons') but look the other way when we see mentally ill people sleeping on the streets. A movie like this, above all, commands our uncomfortable attention. Through attractive visual images and music, we are presented with the truth behind some of these situations.

I can't recommend this movie any more highly... it is an extraordinary experience.

Studio: Wellspring Media, In
Director: Jonathan Caouette
Jonathan Caouette
Michael Cox (VII)

DVD title: Sum 41 - Introduction to Destruction
Productgroup: DVD
Sum 41 - Introduction to Destruction - movie DVD cover picture

Any fan of Sum 41 absolutely needs to get this DVD. You get to see hilarious home movies made by the guys as well as one whole live concert. This dvd is over two hours of entertainment that is certainly worth the money.

Studio: Universal Music & VI
Sum 41

DVD title: Ragtime
Productgroup: DVD
Ragtime - movie DVD cover picture
Where can we get the soundtrack?

This is some of the best music I've ever heard from a film and I'd love to get either a CD or a cassette from the original movie. Is it available? Anyone know where I can get it?

Studio: Paramount Home Video
Director: Milos Forman
James Cagney
Elizabeth McGovern
Howard E. Rollins Jr.

DVD title: Cartouche
Productgroup: DVD
Cartouche - movie DVD cover picture
RIP Philippe de Broca, Farewell, A Bientot

In CARTOUCHE you made the rest of the 60s filmmakers seem out of date, and in Belmondo and Cardinale you found the perfect actors who could add the bubbles to your brand of filmic champagne. Now that you are gone, we think back to all the pleasures you have given us over the years, from your little parts in BREATHLESS and 400 BLOWS, to your most recent work discovering the Welsh coalminer's daughter Catherine Zeta Jones, and we are grateful to you for your inspired interventions and pizzazz. Not since Ernst Lubitsch has flair been filmed so perfectly and gallantly, and not since Clouzot has action been so well blended with nail-biting suspense. Our hearts are sad today and we wish your extended family well in these difficult days. Belmondo and Cardinale are still with us and thanks to you, we will always have them in excelsis, as the perfect man and woman au cinema. Merci, De Broca!

Studio: Anchor Bay Entertain
Director: Philippe de Broca
Jean-Paul Belmondo
Claudia Cardinale

DVD title: Faces
Productgroup: DVD
Faces - movie DVD cover picture
All the Lonely People

I've never seen a movie quite like this in my life! It's technically raw, the sound's bad and half the time I had no idea what was going on, but it builds to a brilliant portrait of four lonely lives. The bad jokes and laughter that eat up so much film time connect loose, rambunctious scenes that defy strict narrative logic--after a while it feels like you're watching this movie from the inside, right in the thick of the cigarettes and booze. As usual, Cassavetes shoots the '60s from unexpected angles: his focus is on the middle-aged middle managers and their fading suburban wives, stuck on the wrong side of the Sexual Revolution but still desperate to feel young and fulfilled. The movie doesn't make fun of them but brings you into their world, where disappointment, age and the pressures of conformity are finally getting the best of their vitality. Imagine "The Graduate" told from Mrs. Robinson's point of view. The powerful last scene ends in silence after a suicide attempt--no laughs, no routines. The death of a marriage or a new beginning? Cassavetes rarely matched this level of intensity. "Faces" is one of his very best.

Studio: Pioneer Video
Director: John Cassavetes
John Marley
Gena Rowlands
Lynn Carlin
Seymour Cassel

DVD title: Daredevil (Widescreen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Daredevil (Widescreen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Daredevil is one of the greatest

When i first saw a preview for daredevil i thought it was just like any other superhero story, and then when it came out and some of the critics didnt like it, i was like oh jeez this is going to be a bad movie, but i was mistakin. When i saw daredevil a couple of nights ago i was totally shocked at how great of a movie it is. its got a wonderful story line, and it really makes you think of how hard it would be to be blind. i am so happy i went to see daredevil and i cant wait for it to come out on video, because it is one of my most favorite movies of all time!

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox Home Video
Director: Mark Steven Johnson
Ben Affleck
Jennifer Garner
Colin Farrell
Michael Clarke Duncan

DVD title: Mr. Arkadin
Productgroup: DVD
Mr. Arkadin - movie DVD cover picture
A sinister gaze about power!

Orson Welles returns once more (after his previous and winner and acclaimed work in Cannes Othello) about the fascinating and passionate theme : the power and its extreme consequences. An industrial magnate hides a terrible familiar secret and beyond that unpleasant connections with the underworld.
A magnificent journey throughout the disturbing power's web, seen under Welles vision and totally immersed in the most genuine spirit of the Film Noir by then.
Fascinating script, arresting use of lights and shadows and a fabulous cast complete the circle of this powerful movie that revaluates itself through the years.

Studio: Gotham Distribution
Director: Orson Welles
Orson Welles
Peter van Eyck

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