Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Gladiator
Productgroup: DVD
Gladiator - movie DVD cover picture
Risks big, gains big

"Gladiator" is a grand experience that enriches the tradition of the old sword and sandal epics. It's been a while since the last Gladiator movie was made ,and well, now we have CGI, so "Gladiator" should be at least visually lavish. First things first: General Maximus (Crowe) and family is condemned to death by the new Emperor, Commodus (Phoenix), who is furious at the bond between his father and Maximus. Maximus escapes the sword while his wife and son don't, and Maximus vows for "vengeance, in this life or the next." Maximus is sold into slavery, thus into the gladiatorial arena, becoming a warrior then a legend. As Commodus attempts to dismantle the Senate, his doting sister Lucilla (Nielsen) is becoming increasingly distant and seems to have plans of her own. Commodus brings the finest Gladiators to Rome to win public support (as Lucilla points out, the Roman mob is power), and Maximus ' date with destiny arrives.
Okay, so it's not that subtle and profound. But the movie isn't just about sword and sandal butchering--someone pointed out that it's about two men, one motivated by love, the other by lack of it. Crowe, who was affectingly insecure in "The Insider" is magnetic and brooding here. He exudes such a wild physicality, it's so palpable, and he holds the screen with such an assured and forceful presence, it's hard to take your eyes off him. He possesses a whole gravitational pull. Phoenix is gleefully desperate, and it's obvious that he finds the role fun. Nielsen is also credible, her Lucilla being both strong and distant at the same time (which is a little hard to do, I'd say). This is probably the most visually enthralling movie of the year. That's immediately apparent when we watch the full-scale, extras unlimited, realistic and muddy battle of Germania that started at the beginning of the film. Hans Zimmer also contributes an invaluable music score. This is an expensive film. It risks bug, and it gains big. There's always something to admire about, and it's always tremendously fun and even a little touching. That's a rare combination.

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: Ridley Scott
Russell Crowe
Joaquin Phoenix
Connie Nielsen

DVD title: Watership Down
Productgroup: DVD
Watership Down - movie DVD cover picture
A masterpiece?..............I think so.

For those who say that this film is not for children, please remember that some children appreciate a realistic view of life and prefer not to be patronized into watching "lollipop land" Disney films. This tale depicts life, real life, and I think that is something good for children to see before they are suddenly thrust into the world. I read the story and then watched the movie when I was eight, and I love them still. If you liked the film or the book, but have not seen/read one or the other, DO SO! The film is a wonderful tale on its own even if it cannot capture the whole story (the book is almost 500 pages, so how could it?). For those who enjoyed either or both, there is a nice e-Group devoted to Watership Down. You should check it out! I would only not recommend this film if you or your child cannot handle depictions of life as it really is, which means that you can not watch the nightly news or read the paper... Adams went to great lengths to accurately portray rabbits in their natural environment, and for that he should be applauded, not condemned.

Studio: Warner Studios
Director: Martin Rosen
John Hurt
Richard Briers
Ralph Richardson

DVD title: Arsenic and Old Lace
Productgroup: DVD
Arsenic and Old Lace - movie DVD cover picture
An Excellent Dark Comedy...

Mortimer Brewster (Cary Grant) is a well renowned bachelor, however, Elaine Harper (Priscilla Lane) has managed to trap Mortimer into marriage. Mortimer arrives at home to share his happiness with his two eccentric aunts, Abby and Martha (Josephine Hull and Jean Adair), and his delusional brother (John Alexander) who thinks he is Theodore Roosevelt. Nevertheless, his happiness does not last for long, since his aunts are harboring a dark secret and his criminal brother Jonathan (Raymond Massey) is on his way back home after 20 years away with his friend Dr. Einstein (Peter Lorre). Arsenic and Old Lace is a hilarious comedy with a dreadfully macabre plot, which offers both entertainment and lessons. Frank Capra is before his time with this brilliant film where he mixes humor with horror resulting in a superb cinematic experience.

Studio: Warner Studios
Director: Frank Capra
Cary Grant

DVD title: Casino
Productgroup: DVD
Casino - movie DVD cover picture

The two masters of gangsters, Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci, are back from Goodfellas (also an amazing film) and are kicking a** once again in Casino, a film directed by the man himself Mr. Martin Scorsese. Written by the man who wrote the novel, Mr. Nicholas Pileggi. This film is one twist after another and is wonderfully acted, written and directed. Maybe perhaps Sharon Stone was miscast...No, she was capable. This is a very dramatic/violent film that is beautiful in its own way. Joe Pesci being always hilarious and De Niro always being cool, I loved thier characters and Don Rickles is wicked too. If you can't take this kind of film I suggest you stick to Disney films. this is a powerful and effective film that did NOT get recognition at a certain award ceremony. But who cares, its a spectacular film. Once you roll the dice, theres no turning back.

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: Martin Scorsese
Robert De Niro
Sharon Stone
Joe Pesci

DVD title: A Wrinkle in Time
Productgroup: DVD
A Wrinkle in Time - movie DVD cover picture

I recently attended the (W)hole Point Institute in Raymond, NH, where I learned a lot about life and how to embrace it. A Wrinkle In Time was an excellent movie to watch with my son and help him also to appreciate and embrace life's challenges. The teachings along with the incredible fantasy created by special effects is just terrific. I recommend it to everyone of all ages. It was also refreshing to watch a movie that was effective without any bad language. I bought one for me and gifted one to the (W)hole Point Institute.

Studio: Walt Disney Home Entertainment
Director: John Kent Harrison
Katie Stuart
Gregory Smith
David Dorfman

DVD title: A Beautiful Mind (Full Screen Awards Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
A Beautiful Mind (Full Screen Awards Edition) - movie DVD cover picture

If you only see one movie this year, i recommend "A Beautiful Mind". It is basically a true story about one of America's most brilliant mathematician and Nobel Prize winner. Mr. Nash's struggle with mental illness is both sad and courageous....the movie portrayal of Mrs. Nash, a role meant for Jennifer Connelly, was one that shows her strength both as a wife and woman....the progression of time from 1941 to present was believable and accurate....and, of course, the director Ron Howard gave us a clear and uncluttered movie as is his style.

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: Ron Howard
Russell Crowe
Ed Harris

DVD title: Standing In The Shadows of Motown
Productgroup: DVD
Standing In The Shadows of Motown - movie DVD cover picture

I had searched for several years for information regarding the Funk Brothers, but, until now, so little was known or written about them. I had only heard them mentioned on TV twice -- once during an interview with Martha Reeves and again during a documentary on the history of rock and roll. Both times peaked my interest as I already appreciated that the Motown sound was really the musicians (taking absolutely NOTHING away from the great vocalists and performers). Recognition of these outstanding men was long overdue (and that's quite an understatement). The movie is highly personal and highly entertaining. Watching the fascinating story of the men who invented the Motown sound is akin to actually being there with them at the time they were creating history in "The Snake Pit." In a sense, you are given a very unique opportunity to travel back in time and feel the same emotion they did. Kudos to Martha Reeves for being part of the film. There are also cameos by Mary Wilson, Otis Williams, and Stevie Wonder. I only wish other Motown stars had been with them during filiming or available to comment on these men who were at the heart of their success. This DVD is truly indispensible for anyone who loves Motown and soul but, most espcially, for anyone who loves and appreciates popular music. PUT THIS ON YOUR SHELF!!

Studio: Lions Gate Home Entertainment
Director: Paul Justman
Jack Ashford
Joe Hunter
Uriel Jones

DVD title: Trigun - The Complete Boxed Set
Productgroup: DVD
Trigun - The Complete Boxed Set - movie DVD cover picture

Travel into the future one a dessolate dieing desert planet filled with crime, murder, and a man's desire to destroy all of humanity. Now meet Vash the stampede, the legendary gunman known as the humanoid typhoon. Vash trys to save humanity from common thugs and his evil twin brother. This is in my opinion the best anime seris in existance. not only is it dubbed with great voices, drawn in an amazing and unique style, has great music, and great character designs and personalities, but theres about 25 episodes!! buy this gun slinging action seris now and you will be glad you did!

Studio: Pioneer Video

DVD title: The James Bond Collection, Vol. 1 (Special Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
The James Bond Collection, Vol. 1 (Special Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
The Others Writing the Reviews seem to be missing a point...

What some other reviewers here seem to be doing is, put quite simply, putting down this James Bond DVD Collection Set because it may not have their favorite Bond movies in it and some are also mad that only 7 of them out of the soon to be 20 are in it. Well, truth be told, this is actually going to be a 3 box set collection in the end after a couple more years. So, in due time, ALL of the Bond movies WILL be released on DVD in this collection over the course of two or less more years. I am only referring to the other reviews posted to clear up a common misconception which may lead to many people not buying this set.
If you like Bond at all, this is a great buy. This is a great start to owning all of the Bond movies on DVD and keep in mind that there WILL be two other continuations of this Box Set to complete your Bond DVD collection. It is NOT ONLY a greatest hits of Bond movies, it is the beginning of owning the entire set of Bond movies continually coming in the two additional boxes to be released.

Studio: MGM/UA Video
Sean Connery
Roger Moore
Pierce Brosnan

DVD title: Arachnophobia
Productgroup: DVD
Arachnophobia - movie DVD cover picture
The best horror comedy movie in years

Out of all the movies that have been re-released out on DVD, this has to be one of the ones I'm most grateful for. It's been years since I saw this movie last, but when I saw it for sale, I could not resisit the urge to buy it. This film is fantastic. Jeff Daniels is surprisingly good, and helps to carry the movie along well. The entire cast is rather zany, and that really makes it a great movie to watch. The plot revolves around incredibly venomous spiders from Argentina who have cross-breeded with a common house spider here in America. Jeff Daniels plays a doctor who suffers from arachnophobia. Hence you can see where this is going. Daniels ineviatbly has to face his fear and the results are funny, tense, and frightening. If you are afraid of spiders, I wouldn't watch this movie, it seriously can frighten you. But, John Goodman appears as Delbert to liven things up and make the atmosphere more humerous. Topped off with a very good soundtrack, this movie is far beyond your average horror flick. Sit back and enjoy this one, it's excellent.

Studio: Hollywood Pictures
Director: Frank Marshall
Jeff Daniels
John Goodman
Julian Sands

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