Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Brother to Brother
Productgroup: DVD
Brother to Brother - movie DVD cover picture
Remarkable Film that Radiates Intelligence, History, Passion

Rodney Evans has created a wondrous little independent film, that sort of film that is born out of insight, devotion, research, and passion for the story. This is a fine work of art on every level from the research, writing and directing by Evans to the consistently superb cast.

The Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s was a period during which African American artists bonded and overcame a doubting world to produce some of the finest work of the past century. Some artists of that period and the years following included Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, Wallace Thurman, Bruce Nugent and (stretching the time frame a bit) James Baldwin and Malcolm X. But the driving force of the intelligentsia of Black America was solidified by the first four who managed to be proudly Back, write about the taboo gay aspects of the community, and come together in the Journal FIRE! produced by the brilliant Thurman.

The film opens in contemporary times with Perry (Anthony Mackie) as a young gay artist, disowned by his family for his sexual preference, living in Harlem as a painter while supporting himself by working for a Homeless Shelter. Perry's friend Marcus (Larry Gilliard, Jr) is a poet and a firm supporter of Perry and even is supportive of Perry's involvement with a white young man Jim (Alex Burns) who becomes his mate. Perry thrashes about his homophobic environment, struggling with oppression and artistic block, until he encounters an old man at the Shelter who happens to be Bruce Nugent (Roger Robinson), a giant of a poet from another era.

Nugent informs Perry about the same issues of being black and gay that he had during the Harlem Renaissance and this is done through a series of effective black and white flashbacks where we meet the young Bruce (Duane Boutte), Lankston Hughes (Daniel Sunjata), Wallace Thurman (Ray Ford), and Zora Neale Hurston (Aunjanue Ellis) along with clips of the real James Baldwin, Malcolm X etc. It is this circle of continuity, relating historical social problems and artistic successes between the old and the present Harlem, which brings this film such resonance. The bond of brotherhood as personified by Perry and the older Bruce is pure magic, especially as portrayed by Mackie and Robinson.

The DVD includes a wonderfully informative commentary by Rodney Evans which is a stimulus to watch the movie again immediately. The film has message, style, class, and quality that make it one of the finer films about class, gender, and racial dichotomies and how very wasteful those prejudices are. Highly Recommended. Grady Harp, June 05

Studio: Wolfe Video
Director: Rodney Evans

DVD title: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
Productgroup: DVD
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre - movie DVD cover picture
Cant Get Scairer Than This

This movie is so well known for its brutaility and horrifying plot - which is indeed based/inspired on the true story of the notourious deranged murderer ED GEIN.

A group of teenagers journeying to a house that one of their grandparents had given to them encounter a hitchhiker and pick him up, only to find out the sadistic man is a violent and creepy person. Once they arrive to the house, they are surprised to find out that it is the home of a family of cannibals.

Studio: Pioneer Video
Director: Tobe Hooper
Marilyn Burns
Edwin Neal

DVD title: Rush Hour 2 (Infinifilm Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Rush Hour 2 (Infinifilm Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Rush Hour 1 And Rush Hour 2 Is Good

Even though it seems like so many people bash the sequels, I thought this was a great movie. Yes the plot may have been like the first one but why the heck are you watching a Jackie Chan movie if you're looking for fantastic plot? The movie is fast paced, has alot of good action sequences and always has another funny expression or remark around the corner. If you like Jackie, I really think you would like this movie.

Studio: New Line Home Entertainment
Director: Brett Ratner
Jackie Chan
Chris Tucker

DVD title: Walt Disney Treasures - The Complete Davy Crockett Televised Series
Productgroup: DVD
Walt Disney Treasures - The Complete Davy Crockett Televised Series - movie DVD cover picture
Definitive Disney Entertainment!!

Davy Crockett is sometimes cheesy but it never fails to entertain. It has that Disney magic to it that we dont see anymore and probably never will see again from Disney. This collection of all of Davy's adventures gets its deserving treatment in the Walt Disney Treasures series and it truly is just that. I will admit, I bought this really to just complete my Treasures collection, but when I first saw it I was wowed. I was born a long time after this first aired, yet I could imagine what it would have been like. A great hero of American history coming to the tv screen on Sunday night back in the 60's. Davy Crockett, played by Fess Parker, starred in 5 features, all presented uncut as they were seen then, only now they are in color. That is a good thing though. All of the features have the original Walt Disney introduction from "Frontierland" and it is great to see classic footage restored this beautifully. The episodes included are:Davy Crockett Indian FighterDavy Crockett Goes to CongressDavy Crockett at the AlamoDavy Crockett's Keelboat RaceDavy Crockett and the River Pirates
Davy dies in the third installment, only to return in two more adventures. Walt Disney explains why this is, as he was brought back due to the popularity of the character. This, along with the extras make this a great set to own, or at least watch once. Extras include:"A Conversation with Fess Parker" Leonard Maltin & Fess Parker"The Davy Crockett Craze" with Leonard MaltinEaster Egg: "The Ballad of Davy Crockett"Still Gallery
Normally I dont like watching cowboy/frontier/indian movies but I instantly loved these episodes. It is pure and simple entertainment that you wont see in today's more complicated time. But this is a great set, and also has a cool collectible tin to hold the case. This is a nice set, and although out of print you can find this without paying too much for it. No complaints on this dvd from me though, and I highly recommend it to Disney fans or anyone else in general. All I can say is check it out for yourself.

Studio: Disney Studios
Director: Norman Foster

DVD title: Our Lips Are Sealed
Productgroup: DVD
Our Lips Are Sealed - movie DVD cover picture
Gidget For The Year 2000!

Well, we were not disappointed at our house; the Olsen twins came into their own with Our Lips Are Sealed.
Since they are growing up before our eyes, it should come as no surprise that they are now stylish high school students, but this time, they have both a Mom AND a Dad and are self-proclaimed blabber mouths. Their mouths get them into hot water after testifying against a mobster, and then they can't keep their cover after being sent into the FBI's Witness Re-location Program. Finally we end up Down-Under where there are lots of cute boys, some cute girls, (but never any as cute as them), and lots and lots of beautiful Sydney scenery. One of my favorite gags that might be over the heads of even pre-teens is the coveted "Neil diamond" that the bad guys are hunting for, and as the last laugh, Neil sings over the ending credits.
The script is fun, light, and the big "grand finale" ends with a surf-off. Yes indeed, Gidget for the new generation.
At the end of this movie, I was reminded of two Hollywood legends: Lucille Ball and Ron Howard. Lucille Ball would easily put herself in a hapless situation that endeared her to us again and again. Not that the Olsen twins have quite yet achieved the comic genius of Lucy (I think they have time) but the similarity is that they are classy, funny and can laugh at themselves - look at them constantly blowing their cover, the hairdryer fight, and their signature bloopers at the end of their movies. Also, I am reminded of wholesome Ron Howard in the way that their career (careers?) is progressing so nicely. From child stars - to behind the scenes control; and if, as Howard, what all actors really want to do is direct, then the Olsen twins will indeed be directors.
I am keenly looking forward to the future of these bright girls and hope that they are able to maintain their sense of humor and self and style and whatever else it is that they do that makes them just so darn likeable.

Studio: Warner Studios
Director: Mary-Kate Olsen
Ashley Olsen
Mary-Kate Olsen

DVD title: And the Ship Sails On - Criterion Collection
Productgroup: DVD
And the Ship Sails On - Criterion Collection - movie DVD cover picture
Saying Farewell to Edmea Tetua.

Director Federico Fellini was undoubtedly a film maker genius!
Since his earlier works "La Strada" (1954) and "La Dolce Vita" (1960) thru "Fellini Satyricon" (1969) and "Amarcord" (1973) till his lasts "Ginger and Fred" (1986) and "The Voice of the Moon" (1990) he has left a legacy treasure for film lovers and film makers.
Most of his films combine fantasy and reality in a rich mixture with no fixed boundaries. The viewer will be attracted and repelled alternatively and at the end of each of his movies will go out of the theater (or the bedroom or living-room) knowing that he/she has assisted to a unique piece of art show.

"E la Nave Va" (And the Ship Sails On 1983) is not an ordinary film to see.
Fellini delivers once more a strange mix of beautiful images and weird cinematographic proposal.

The anecdote in itself follows a heterogeneous bunch of opera-related people that goes aboard a huge transatlantic ship to fulfill the last will of a diva: to have her cinders scattered in front of her native Mediterranean island.
Fellini confronts the viewer with a series of scenes sketching the intimacies of the passengers. They reflect all the human arc of attitudes and emotions: competitiveness, jealousies, spleen, love or altruism enacted by a quasi caricatures and stereotypes.
There are many clues and veiled hints displayed so the audience may interpret them as best as it suits each person.

The cinematography in charge of Giuseppe Rotunno is again a major contribution. This is not a coincidence; Rotunno has been awarded with the Silver Ribbon 7 times by the Italian National Syndicate of Film Journalists between 1960 and 1988. For this film he earned one of his three David de Donatllo Award to best cinematography. Amongst his best efforts, aside from the present one, we may mention "On the Beach" (1959), "Il Gattopardo" (The Leopard 1963), "Satyricon" (1969) and "All That Jazz" (1979).

This is a film to see more than once (as I did) and you will be able to discover more and more significances.
Reviewed by Max Yofre.

Studio: Criterion Collection
Director: Federico Fellini
Freddie Jones
Barbara Jefford

DVD title: Bond - Live at the Royal Albert Hall
Productgroup: DVD
Bond - Live at the Royal Albert Hall - movie DVD cover picture
Joy and Exuberance

As I sit here listening to their performance on my laptop, I'm struck with the performers' joy and exuberance. Too often I see an emotionless performer on stage giving a short bow or nod to the applause of the audience. Do I usually see performers glancing at each other in sheer enjoyment? Not likely!
I read the other reviews on this site and noted that one reviewer put them down as being amateurish. Perhaps naive?
And don't I love that about them? They're having fun. They're working hard. They're wearing their expressions on their faces ... their hearts on their sleeves, as it were. And isn't that a good thing? Doesn't it touch our hearts?
I get tired of hackneyed performers that are on stage solely for the money and could care less about it. Show me the money, they say!
I think we'll see this band of performers on larger stages and will look back at this DVD with great appreciation as one of their early works.
This is a group that brings joy to the stage and to its listeners. Have fun listening to (and watching) them!

Studio: Uni/Decca

DVD title: The Matchmaker
Productgroup: DVD
The Matchmaker - movie DVD cover picture
Really funny

My wife and I thouroughly enjoyed it from start to finish, but I need to know if there is a soundtrack for the great music. Can anyone help?

Studio: Usa Films
Director: Mark Joffe
Janeane Garofalo
David O'Hara

DVD title: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2-Disc Widescreen Edition) (Harry Potter 3)
Productgroup: DVD
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2-Disc Widescreen Edition) (Harry Potter 3) - movie DVD cover picture
"Not good...Brilliant!"

Though many accuse Alfonso Cuaron of "royally screwing" this film up, I for one agree with JK Rowling: It is my personal favorite of the three films thus far. While Cuaron does make several changes to the story, none of them harm it in the least. In fact, Rowling commented in one interview that she wished that she had invented the shrunken heads first! That aside, the actors continue to amaze, especially the trio (Harry, Ron, and Hermione). They are maturing with each film, and it is apparent. This film is much darker, so it would be wise for parents to see it first, but for everyone over the age of 12 it is an excellent and exciting ride. Mischief Managed!

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Alfonso CuarĂ³n
Daniel Radcliffe
Rupert Grint
Emma Watson (II)

DVD title: Cruel Intentions (Collector's Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Cruel Intentions (Collector's Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
this movie was awesome

I thought this movie was great.Ryan Phillippe and Reese Witherspoon worked wonders on screen.Selma Blair was hilarious and Sarah Michelle Gellar was totally believable as the rotten Katherine.This movie may not have been some super remake of Dangerous Liasons...but for those of us who never saw that movie it doesnt really matter.And the ending was totally unpredictable...

Studio: Columbia/Tristar Studios
Director: Roger Kumble
Sarah Michelle Gellar
Ryan Phillippe
Reese Witherspoon

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