Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Roswell - The Complete Second Season
Productgroup: DVD
Roswell - The Complete Second Season - movie DVD cover picture
Roswell- They're among us

I didn't think it was possible to create a show that a die hard sci-fi enthusiast (me) would like as well as my grounded wife who loves romantic comedies. This show crosses several boundaries. I think it deals with teens entering adulthood problems. The additional problem is that several of those same teens are alien/human genetically engineered hybrids.
Roswell is intelligently written with alot of lessons that could be taken from these episodes. Tolerance of those who are different. Treat others like you want to be treated, etc. You'll have to watch it, but as a new parent I now see the value of shows that responsibly mix intelligent screenplays with some values you can discuss with adolescents or adults. For those of us that were weaned on Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica, Close Encounters and other similar shows, we now have a modern day classic that we can down to enjoy (wondering what's next as the tempo of the episodes increases) with our kids, our friends or our partners....while we wait for our first contact.

Studio: Fox Home Entertainme
Shiri Appleby

DVD title: Tears of the Sun (Special Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Tears of the Sun (Special Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Tears of the Sun - WOW..!!!

Antoine Fuqua has made another great film. I can't believe that it took them so long to release a extended cut.

Tears of the Sun is about Bruce Willis leading a team of Special Ops into the Nigerian jungle to rescue an "American" doctor. Willis is forced to make a tough decision between saving one person easily or saving 70 the hard way. His humanity takes over and they march through the jungle towards freedom. The only problem is that they are in the middle of a civil war and aren't allowed to engage the enemy who is hunting them down. Along the way, they learn that the last survivor of the royal family is among the group. This just leads to more hard choices has they make a run for the border.

This movie didn't do well at the box office because of the subject matter. No one really wants to see genocide on the big screen. If you can stomach the subject matter, this is a gritty war movie with a serious message about the troubles in Africa.

Studio: Columbia Tristar Hom
Director: Antoine Fuqua
Bruce Willis
Monica Bellucci
Cole Hauser

DVD title: Rabbit-Proof Fence
Productgroup: DVD
Rabbit-Proof Fence - movie DVD cover picture
It Will Make You Laugh And Make You Cry

Rabbit-Proof Fence is a wonderful film which the world's largest audience, America, has yet to see. Directed by Phillip Noyce of Bone Collector fame, it follows two sisters; Molly and Daisy and their cousin Gracie. Born half-caste children in the 1930's (white fathers with Aboriginal mothers), their fathers have had a quick bit of fun while building a rabbit-proof fence then long since moved on. The fence stretches from one side of Australia to the other. As a law, half-caste children come under rule of a man named Mr A.O. Neville (Kenneth Branagh). He orders the three young girls to be taken from their mothers and placed in a 'concentration camp' like place over 1500 miles from home. Any girl who tries to escape will be tracked down by a man named Moodoo who will have her punished. The three girls manage to escape into the vast untouched land on a trek back home, covering their tracks on the way. Always one step ahead of Moodoo, they come across the occasional people on their farms. Not knowing who to trust they must take risks. The girls realise that the only way to get back home is to follow the Rabbit-Proof Fence.I was lucky enough to go to one of the New Zealand Premieres. After recognising the talanted Christine Olsen (Screenwriter/Producer) from the television and newspapers I decided to approach her. What a wonderful woman she was. We talked about all different things for about 15 - 20 minutes and would have continued if only she didn't have to introduce the film. She grabbed the only Press Kit they had there and personally signed it to me which was a real delight. The movie turned out to be brilliant. The screenplay was amazing and the silence said about as much as the words. The young barely trained actresses playing the girls did a magnificent job. Well directed and a must-see for anyone and everyone. It will make you laugh and make you cry but the thing to remember is that it is based on a truely terrible story of Australia's history. >Enjoy<

Studio: Miramax Home Entertainment
Director: Phillip Noyce
Everlyn Sampi
Tianna Sansbury
Kenneth Branagh

DVD title: The Secret Adventures of Tom Thumb
Productgroup: DVD
The Secret Adventures of Tom Thumb - movie DVD cover picture
I literally could not take my eyes off of the screen

I'll put it to you like this. The movie plays out an excellent example of how we fear the things we know nothing about when we are face to face with them. You really have to pay close attention to whats going on with the characters and overall story to get the main idea. I know it will be difficult the first time through ;) Its eerie, intriguing, sad, amazing all wrapped up in one very well executed work of art. I have no doubt that my fellow open-minded peers will find this as creative and fun as I did.

Studio: Ryko Distribution - Video
Director: Dave Borthwick
Nick Upton
Deborah Collar

DVD title: The King of Kings - Criterion Collection
Productgroup: DVD
The King of Kings - Criterion Collection - movie DVD cover picture
The Demille Epic

This was the first silent film that I saw in its entire form. The 1927 King Of Kings, directed by Cecil B. Demille. As with D.W Griffth, Charlie Chaplin, and Greta Garbo, he is right up their amoung silent icons. This movie, starring H.B. Warner as Jesus is a truely a jewel of a film. Everyone knows the story, but it is told very well here. Demille knew his bible films, like Ten Commandments(1924,1956) Samson And Delilah and this movie, The King Of Kings. The film maybe dated a tiny bit, but can the story of Jesus be dated. I love Jesus movies, like Jesus Of Nazareth, The Greatest Story Ever Told. The 1961 King of Kings, and the musicals Jesus Christ Superstar and Godspell. And the story of Christ was also tackled in the 1916 D.W Griffth classic Intolerence. But this film is broughhow much t out in much better detail. The special effects are amazing for 1927, the crucifixion scene is astondishing,and a scene in color, which is the resurrection scene.The cast of characters is also amazing. In our era of movies, if you need a big scene, a will have only 100 people, and CGI the other tens of thousands. Since there was no CGI back in 1927, or computers for that matter, they directors like Demillie and Griffth had to actually get thousands of extras for there scenes in these epics. I know people think silents are boring but for an 18 year old, they are a gateway to the past. Without those groundbreaking films, no one would care about movies. Those early silents were the catalyst for what would become. I would recommend this film. This movie is a true classic, no matter what religion you are.

Studio: Criterion Collection
Director: Cecil B. DeMille

DVD title: Chungking Express
Productgroup: DVD
Chungking Express - movie DVD cover picture
Love and obsession....

This movie brings together a great cast, including the legendary Brigitte Lin, and the indelible Faye Wong. Loosely speaking, Chungking Express is the unraveling of two not-so-separate stories about love and obsession. The connection between the two stories is like a subtle undercurrent. At more than one point we see the characters of the two stories cross path, much like anyone of us cross paths with hundreds of unknown faces everyday. They are unaware of each other...why should they?
The film explores the nuanced boudaries of love and obsession, of fantasy and reality. The characters are cops, a drug dealer, and a fast food clerk. Their lives occur against the backdrop of the urban jungle that is modern day Hong Kong, where escalators are built so close to apartment buildings that when you look out your second floor apartment, you see shadows of strangers riding up and down your neighborhood. In this postmodern and unreal landscape plays out the primal desires of love and obsession where hope, disappointment, rationality, irrationality, reality, and fantasy plays tricks on our minds. All this is well put together in a tantalizing and sexy film. (spoiler alert) It pits one conventional love story ending with one not so conventional. I've watched this film numerous times, and every time I come away with a reminder of how my desires is a delicate balance between sense and non-sense. Check this film out!

Studio: Miramax
Director: Kar Wai Wong
Brigitte Lin
Tony Leung Chiu Wai
Faye Wong
Takeshi Kaneshiro

DVD title: The Castle
Productgroup: DVD
The Castle - movie DVD cover picture
The Castle

This was one of the nicest movie surprises my husband and I have had in years. We had no idea what it was about initially; now it is on our all time favorites list. It is hysterical! The characters are amazing, one of a kind. This is one life-affirming story that we talk about still, months after first catching it in a small local theater. I love it!

Studio: Miramax Home Entertainment
Director: Rob Sitch
Michael Caton
Anne Tenney

DVD title: Fist of Legend
Productgroup: DVD
Fist of Legend - movie DVD cover picture
Jet Li meets high quality video

To begin with, I am only a luke warm fan of modern Hong Kong action. That clarified, I must say that I was amazed when I watched FIST OF LEGEND (VHS). The quality of the film was astounding! Sharply focused visuals, superb action shots, great color, good transitions, almost no distracting jumps and zooms, etc., etc. I cannot add anything to other's comments about Jet Li, he is remarkable. However, this video places him in a fantastic new (for me) context where he looks even better. Few were the rough spots, obvious speedups, obscure references, and strictly regional idioms that I find so distracting or confusing. There were only a couple abrupt transitions and most of the story flowed smoothly through realistic sets and backgrounds. Truely, this was the genre at its visual very best.

Studio: Dimension Home Video
Director: Gordon Chan
Jet Li

DVD title: The Lady Eve - Criterion Collection
Productgroup: DVD
The Lady Eve - Criterion Collection - movie DVD cover picture
A film to enjoy again and again

Censorship and moral codes took the bite out of screwball comedy as the 1930s progressed, but in the 1940s such directors as Howard Hawks and Preston Sturges found ways to revive the genre in very high style. Not only is THE LADY EVE one of Sturge's best, it is also one of the finest in the entire genre, a comedy so potent that even the most jaded will be completely charmed.
There is no way to describe the story without spoiling the fun, so suffice to say the plot concerns the heir to a fortune (Fonda)who is beset by a beautiful but predatory card shark (Stanwyck)--and who looses considerably more than his heart in the process. Considered racy for its time, Stanwyck's... manipulation of Fonda is one of the funniest elements of the film, and the movie as a whole abounds with "Garden of Eden" motifs: the name Eve, apples, and (of course) a snake. Everything moves along at a fast pace and with plenty of crackle, so there's never a dull moment, and the exceptional supporting cast includes witty performances from Charles Coburn, Eugene Pallette, William Demarest, Eric Blore, and a host of others. It would be hard to imagine any one who wouldn't enjoy seeing this film at least once--and like the best films, THE LADY EVE does not give up all her secrets in one whack. The story and performances bear up under repeated viewings. Comedy fans will enjoy it again and again!

Studio: Criterion Collection
Director: Preston Sturges
Barbara Stanwyck
Henry Fonda

DVD title: She's All That
Productgroup: DVD
She's All That - movie DVD cover picture
Charming & Funny, Very Hip

A modern adaption of the Pygmalion fairy tale has a lot of class. The young casts really shines, the interaction between Rachel Leigh Cook and Freddie Prinze Jr makes it believable. Great soundtrack. Reminds me of High School - all of the pains and all of the fun.

Studio: Miramax Home Entertainment
Director: Robert Iscove
Freddie Prinze Jr.
Rachael Leigh Cook

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