Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Diabolique - Criterion Collection
Productgroup: DVD
Diabolique - Criterion Collection - movie DVD cover picture

If you have seen the major films of Alfred Hitchcock, you will surely have some moments of deja vu with 'Diabolique'. Like Hitchcock, Clouzot is able to generate suspense in a way that is so striking and methodic it hits you like a punch in the gut - even watching this film 50 years after its release! So it is this feeling of masterful suspense that makes us think of other films - like Psycho for example. That being said, I think 'diabolique' is every bit as original, stylish, and well-made as anything Hitchcock made. I would put this one right along side 'Vertigo' as the best suspense film ever made!

Studio: Criterion Collection
Director: Henri-Georges Clouzot
Simone Signoret
Véra Clouzot

DVD title: George Carlin on Campus
Productgroup: DVD
George Carlin on Campus - movie DVD cover picture
A must for the serious carlin fans

Carlin does it again! His skits on driving as well as his flame thrower skit do it for me. Don't miss out on this one!

Studio: Mpi Home Video
Director: Steven J. Santos

DVD title: Dynasty - Season 1
Productgroup: DVD
Dynasty - Season 1 - movie DVD cover picture
"Dynasty" is the Best Nightime Soap of All Time!

After devouring the Season 1 episodes in just three days, I CAN'T WAIT for Season 2 to be released. As a matter of fact, I wish they had released the show like "Dallas," with the first two seasons in one boxed set!! The first season of "Dynasty" packs a bunch with very talented "rebel" actor Bo Hopkins Starring as Matthew Blaisdale in every episode, and his witty, feisty business partner Walter played by veteran actor Dale Robertson. John Forsythe is more despicable as Blake Carrington than I remember from it's original airing and though dry at times, acts the heck out of this role. I enjoy it on those few occassions when the beautiful Krystle Carrington (Linda Evans) stands up to him and let's him know "you're not the boss of me!!" Other standout performers are Al Corley who gives a quietly subtle but powerful performance as the "bisexual" son of Blake Carrington, Steven (it's too bad Corley left after only more more season because to me he's the only REAL "Steven Carrington." Pamela Sue Martin overacts at times as daughter Fallon, but again, she is believable as the spoiled child who'll do anything for Daddy, and after four years, why Martin left or they replaced her with another actress (Emma Samms), was a huge mistake. Pamela Bellwood does a terrific job with her complex, fleshed out characterization of Claudia Blaisdale and is beautiful to look at. I can see why Steven had an affair with her. The only annoyance in the show's premiere year is the Blaisdale daughter Lindsay, played by Katie Kurtzman (??) who I think I had seen in one or more of Spelling's other shows. Kurtzman cries or looks totally panicked in almost every episode (she's a child actress but CMON!!) and just annoyed me everytime she came on screen; thank goodness they wrote her out in the last episode of this season. Now we have Joan Collins and Heather Locklear arriving in Season 2, adding even more "Dynasty" magic. "Dynasty" is campy escapism on one hand but also deals with real issues like homophobia, mental illness and one woman's fight to keep her I have to go and watch the extra's... Bring on Season 2 and make it SNAPPY!!!

Studio: Fox Home Entertainme
John Forsythe

DVD title: Lady Jane
Productgroup: DVD
Lady Jane - movie DVD cover picture
Lady Jane finally on DVD!

I have loved this movie ever since I first saw it at 15. It made me fall in love with Cary Elwes and Helena Bonham Carter, both superb actors who should get more credit (and more roles!). I love the story, although it is tragic, albeit romantic at the same time. It does not bother me that it is in some respect historically inaccurate. So is "Braveheart" and that is my favorite movie of all time. The important thing is this movie made me want to know more, and since first seeing it I have become obsessed with English royalty and history. It is also a very well acted, well written, and well directed historical drama with beautiful costumes. Highly recommended to those who love a movie that's well done.

Studio: Paramount Home Video
Director: Trevor Nunn
Helena Bonham Carter
Cary Elwes

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

In my opinion, Atom Egoyan's EXOTICA is one of the best movies of the last decade. Those of us who had the opportunity to watch in the eighties Egoyan's first movies such as THE ADJUSTER or FAMILY VIEWING are not surprised by the nowadays international recognition of the armenian-canadian director. With EXOTICA, he has joined the very small guild of the writer/directors whose name will be remembered in the future.
Atom Egoyan is treating such universal themes as Redemption, Guiltiness or Desire, mixing them in a puzzle of images and subplots that leave us petrified by the beauty of the movie and the deepness of the feelings experienced by the characters. EXOTICA, like a book you cherish, must be seen several times in order to appreciate the complexity of the screenplay. Don't hesitate to buy it, you cannot be wrong with this movie.
There are alas no bonus features with this Disney/Buena Vista DVD, a company that prefers present extra long documentaries about the making of some infantile movie rather than contribute to the nobler but less profitable effort to help true artists reveal their work. Shame.
A DVD zone your library.

Studio: Miramax Home Entertainment
Director: Atom Egoyan
Elias Koteas
Bruce Greenwood
Don McKellar

DVD title: Metropolis (Restored Authorized Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Metropolis (Restored Authorized Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
This version had to be a labor of love.

There are many things that make this version great, but I will mention only 3.
1. The film is painstakingly restored to (probably) the cleanest graphics since 1927 in Berlin (if even then). Gone is the graininess, dirt, smudges, water spots, and scenes that are too light, or too dark. According to the restoration documentary, many of the scenes were restored frame by frame. WOW. What a labor of love. Keep in mind that 1/4 of the film is gone forever, so...2. The original script is used. This film has probably been the most butchered, massacred, botched, and misrepresented script ever. The 45 minute documentary that comes with the DVD explains why. What Keno did is use the original script, scenes that were gone forever were told via a storyboard (which makes this version probably the most coherant Metropolis ever). Example: If you watch the cheap PD production of Metropolis, it makes Rotwang look like a faithful servant of Joh Fredersen, whereas the Kino version not only shows that Rotwang dispises Fredersen, but why (It seems that they shared the same woman, named Hel (another fact not mentioned in all other versions). She was originally Rotwang's girl, but was lured away by Fredersen. She dies giving birth to Freder). There are many other small scenes that make the film look like a different, better & more complete movie.3. It has the original 1927 Orchestral Score. All the other versions of this film have background music (lets see... The Media version is the same music over and over again. The Platnum version is mood music from standard classical music which abruptly changes when the scene changes. The Georgio Moroder one (which would probably be the lowest rated for tackiness alone) plays Dat Ol' Time Rock 'n' Roll). It is so refreshing not only to hear the original score (of course, newly recorded), but to be able to hear it in dolby 5.1 surround.The only thing left to ask yourself is this. What do I do with my old cheap version? The only answer I can come up with is that fortunately, the cheap disk is still round and therefore has the perfect shape for skeet shooting.If you've never purchased Metropolis, this is the one to get. This one may cost more, but is proof (just like many Criterion releases) that you get what you pay for.Kudos to Kino, and Transit Films.

Studio: Kino International
Director: Fritz Lang
Alfred Abel
Brigitte Helm

DVD title: Trainspotting
Productgroup: DVD
Trainspotting - movie DVD cover picture
Original and Pleasing

A startling fresh look at a group of junky friends living at warp speed. This film is a blast to the senses with amazing camera work and superb acting by McGregor and Lee Miller. The half-surrealistic, half-reality scenes are blended together to bring you on a fast ride with a group of characters you love to hate.

Studio: Miramax
Director: Danny Boyle
Ewan McGregor
Ewen Bremner
Jonny Lee Miller
Kevin McKidd
Robert Carlyle

DVD title: Love and Death
Productgroup: DVD
Love and Death - movie DVD cover picture
"Once Would've Been Nice" - or - "At Least After Death You're Not Nauseous"

Question: Take Woody Allen, Diane Keaton, Napoleon Bonaparte and a Bergmanesque Grim Reaper - drop them into a 19th century Russian setting fit for an adventure/romance epic and what do you get?

Answer: One of the funniest films you'll ever see.

This is Woody Allen at the peak of his creativity. The fun never stops and it has tons of quotable lines that only get funnier with each repeat viewing. In my estimation this film, along with Annie Hall, are Woody's best work! A MUST OWN for anyone who loves to laugh!

Studio: Mgm/Ua Studios
Director: Woody Allen
Woody Allen
Diane Keaton

DVD title: A Man for All Seasons
Productgroup: DVD
A Man for All Seasons - movie DVD cover picture
"Seasons" offers poignancy, pause

Paul Scofield's quiet, dignified portrayl of Sir Thomas More is one of the most riveting performances one will ever find.
With a determined, yet not brash or unseemly stance against Henry VIII (Robert Shaw, in all his young glory), More creates a devastating question for the viewer: how long do our principles remain dear to us. To discomfort? To imprisonment? To death?
Perhaps one of the most endearing qualities of More's character is that he does not waver. It is a quality that is only universal in the sense that it is respected by all men and possessed by very few.
In the end, perhaps the only validation More is given is the dignity of his death, his detractors exposed as dishonest, biased men. Is that enough? Certainly More was able to change little of history by the manner of his death. It did not stop the divorce OR the Anglican church. Perhaps the only prize integrity has is itself. Certainly More himself believed a much higher reward awaited him. After watching this movie, regardless of religion, you will find yourself hoping he was right.

Studio: Columbia/Tristar Studios
Director: Fred Zinnemann
Paul Scofield
Wendy Hiller
Robert Shaw

DVD title: Angel Heart
Productgroup: DVD
Angel Heart - movie DVD cover picture
The Best

This has to be one of the finest movies ever made! Not only does it look fantastic (Alan Parker at his best) but it has the characterisation and story to complement it. The music is suitably atmospheric, and the art direction clostophobically creepy (exactly as is imagined in the book). The best British directed film made in America (close competition provided by American Beauty - Sam Mendes) ever! If anybody disagrees - their wrong. No question.

Studio: Lions Gate Home Entertainment
Director: Alan Parker
Mickey Rourke
Robert De Niro

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