Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Open Water (Widescreen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Open Water (Widescreen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Real Terror on the Water

This movie was all the more remarkable as it was shot on video with a single camera and a crew of essentially only four persons over a period encompassing two years. Chris Kentis and Laura Lau are to be commended for their outstanding achievement in Independent Film. They showed their original video at a film festival where it attracted the attention of Lions Gate Films who picked it up and did the work necessary (with Kentis and Lau) to color correct and transfer the project to 35mm film for its very successful theatrical release.

It was based on a true story about an American couple who were left behind by a dive boat on the Australian Great Barrier Reef. I was in Sydney at the time and was horrified to read that the couple was missing for three days before the dive boat crew even noticed. ( Their bags were left on the boat and the driver from their hotel even asked where they were.) The dive boat actually returned to the same location the next day and found two weight belts on the bottom and still didn't make the connection.
The Captain was later tried and aquitted for negligence. The incident sent shock waves throughout the sport diving industry.
Months later some of their gear and a cryptic message begging for help was was later found washed up on shore.

I know that these kinds of things can happen as I have occasionally picked up panic stricken divers left behind by other dive charter boats.

The actors, Blanchard Ryan and Daniel Travis did a fine job over the course of the two year project that was shot in the Bahamas. They were forced to use real sharks as they could not afford a fake ones. For this alone they get an "A" for style and determination.

The script was written by Kentis and resulted in a taught 80 minute film that was truly horrifying and suspenseful. As a diver it made me squirm and cringe and left me disturbed for days after seeing the film. There can be few fates worse than being abandoned at sea.

This film is a triumph for Indie filmmakers who showed what can be done with a few people and a lot of imagination. This is a classic tale of the sea and a must have, especially if one is a diver.

This one is two thumbs up all the way.

Studio: Lions Gate Home Entertainment
Director: Chris Kentis
Blanchard Ryan
Daniel Travis (II)
Saul Stein

DVD title: Mulan (Disney Gold Classic Collection)
Productgroup: DVD
Mulan (Disney Gold Classic Collection) - movie DVD cover picture
Women Rule

A woman can do what an army of men couldn't. Mulan is a great film to demonstrate a woman's ability to overcome cultural stereotypye of inferiority.

Studio: Disney Studios
Eddie Murphy

DVD title: The Mummy (Widescreen Collector's Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
The Mummy (Widescreen Collector's Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Exciting, Funny and Adventurous - - A Perfect Movie

This mvoie is really really good. I saw the movie in bits and pieces and was confused at first, but in the end, everything makes sense.
Evie, a libraian, discovers a map and key to the boks of the dead in the City of The Dead. her and her brother hire Rick to take them there.
Once there, they accidently let out a mummy that has been dead for a long time and he has the power to take over the world. Since they let him out, it's up to them to trap him again.
This mvoie has great special effects and is really funny too. Rick and Ardeth Bay are great characters who make the great film an even better one.

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: Stephen Sommers
Brendan Fraser
Rachel Weisz

DVD title: Arc the Lad - Alliance (Vol. 4)
Productgroup: DVD
Arc the Lad - Alliance (Vol. 4) - movie DVD cover picture
Great :)

I've been a fan of the video game series for a while. Compared to other series that were originally based off a game I think Arc The Lad is one of the greatest. I have only watched the Japanese version but I loved the music and the character designs and I've heard that the dub is pretty good. I personally like the later episodes better though, however one should watch the entire series to understand it. :)
By the way, I believe the series is of 26 episodes, not 14.

Studio: A.D. Vision
Director: Toshiaki Kawasaki

DVD title: The Princess Diaries 2 - Royal Engagement (Full Screen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
The Princess Diaries 2 - Royal Engagement (Full Screen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture

There are few movies a parent can take their kids to and not have to worry about off-color insinutations. This is, thankfully, one of them. Let's hope Garry Marshall does a PD3- we need more family friendly films.

Younger kids would love it, older kids will find it fun. After seeing the Spongebob movie and being very disappointed, my son asked if we could go see Princess Diaries 2 again..."Princess Dairies is funny, at least." Notable praise from a 12 year-old boy!

There's more of the touching Clarisse/Joseph romance for the parents that keeps you guessing. The storyline gets a bit silly at times, particularly the sleepover, but it doesn't last long (just seems that way)and it gets back on track.

Julie Andrews is superb as a queen and Hector Elizondo plays Joseph with an understated hand that is perfect. John Rhys-Davies, does a fine job as the bad guy.

Settle the kids on the couch with you and a bowl of popcorn, pop in Princess Diaries 2, and enjoy.

Studio: Buena Vista Home Vid
Director: Garry Marshall
Anne Hathaway
Julie Andrews
Callum Blue

DVD title: South Park - Bigger, Longer & Uncut
Productgroup: DVD
South Park - Bigger, Longer & Uncut - movie DVD cover picture
Swearing with style

This is what a movie version of a TV show should be. As the title suggests, it's bigger in both scope and impact, and uncensored. There are no swear words bleeped out in this film, and few punches pulled! Much has been made about the amount of bad language in the film, and true, there is a lot. But it is entirely forgivable when it's done with such panache and sense of purpose. This is not the mindless swearing that you get in so many films these days. "South Park: Bigger , Longer & Uncut" ultimately makes a very forceful defence of freedom of speech, and does it in a visually graphic way that maybe only a cartoon could get away with. It's also a very funny film in the bargain, containing some truly hilarious scenes, and takes satirical swipes at a wide variety of targets along the way.
Some fans of the TV show may be surprised that the movie is done as a musical, but it works well in that format, sending up West Side Story and Les Miserables along the way. The songs, written by Trey Parker, are all good, the outstanding ones being Terence and Philip's "Uncle*****", and "What Would Brian Boitano Do?", both very catchy numbers that stick in the memory after a couple of listens. Also worth noting are "Blame Canada" and an extended version of Cartman's greatest hit, "Kyle's Mom's a Bitch".
The animation is mostly done in the usual basic 'flat' style that we've come to know and love, the exception being the early scenes in hell, on which the animators have gone to town to make them visually impressive. When I saw the movie in a theatre, it was almost impossible to catch all the dialogue, as it comes at you so thick and fast, especially during some of the songs. One advantage of owning it on DVD is that you can put the subtitles on, thus ensuring that you don't miss any of the jokes contained in this gem of a movie. Highly recommended, not only to South Park fans, but to anyone who is broadminded and enjoys a good comedy that also has something worthwhile to say.

Studio: Paramount Studio
Director: Trey Parker
Trey Parker
Matt Stone

DVD title: Halloween
Productgroup: DVD
Halloween - movie DVD cover picture
This, "Psycho" and "Repulsion" are the best horror films.

I would have to say that this is one of the best horror films to date. Plenty of scares and you feel it more than you see it. Be prepared to get paranoid!
The only "sequel" is Halloween H20. All of the others are pointless and explicitly bloody.

Studio: Anchor Bay Entertainment
Director: John Carpenter
Donald Pleasence
Jamie Lee Curtis
Tony Moran

DVD title: Vive l'Amour
Productgroup: DVD
Vive l'Amour - movie DVD cover picture
Antonioni Meets Lubitsch...

A breathtaking view of isolation and loneliness; Taipei is the setting for the story of three characters who use an empty apartment building for their own purposes, barely aware of the other inhabitants. Slowly, quietly they affect the others' lives. Elliptical, dreamy, with spare dialogue and a rigorous, deliberate pace, Tsai-Ming Liang captures a palpable sense of unrest and disquiet in a lanscape of skyscrapers and industrial ooze. The setting's Taipei, but the characters could be in any big city; alienated, desperate for connection and unable or unsure of how to reach the other souls. There are moments of hilarity and disconcerting emotion, but ultimately the film creates a sense of quiet horror; in Liang's mirror, we are just ghosts taking up space in the concrete.

Studio: Fox Lorber
Director: Ming-liang Tsai

DVD title: Without Warning
Productgroup: DVD
Without Warning - movie DVD cover picture
Great Fun

I watched this movie on DVD from Amazon last night. The many TV reporters in it are smarter than any I've seen in real life, and the remotes from many locations around the world were setup somewhat faster than reality would permit--but those quibbles kept the story moving as it slowly sinks in that things are going from bad to worse and that we are not alone. There was even mention of a place called Grover's Mill. If you haven't seen this, go for it.

Studio: Madacy Entertainment
Director: Robert Iscove

DVD title: Sordid Lives
Productgroup: DVD
Sordid Lives - movie DVD cover picture
DVD "a must have"

this is one of my favorite moives, i have watched it over 10 times, (yes i do have a life) ha ha, if you liked this movie you would also enjoy "daddy's dyin... who's got the will?"

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox Home Video
Director: Del Shores
Delta Burke
Bonnie Bedelia

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