Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: The Sound of Music (Five Star Collection)
Productgroup: DVD
The Sound of Music (Five Star Collection) - movie DVD cover picture
Same Planet...Different World

The Sound of Music is a perennial classic if not a masterpiece in cinematography! Those who rated it "poor" because of its dribbling sentiment and overbearing cuteness forget that they live in an age of growing cynicism. They only believe they have outgrown this film because they can no longer relate to its beauty.
The DVD is superb!

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox Home Video
Director: Robert Wise
Julie Andrews
Christopher Plummer

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


Studio: Columbia/Tristar Studios
Director: John Carpenter
Keith Gordon
John Stockwell

DVD title: Yours, Mine and Ours
Productgroup: DVD
Yours, Mine and Ours - movie DVD cover picture
Yours, Mine and Mine, Mine,Mine!!!!

That's what my seven-year-old bellowed when she found the DVD! One late night when she was sick, we were searching for something acceptable and un-infomercially to watch and we found Yours Mine and Ours. Lucy looks great, as does Mr. Fonda, although I did find Van Johnson's eyes to be a bit weird (or maybe that's just me). If you watch closely you can catch little Tracy Nelson (Think snob/valley girl from Square Pegs w/Sarah Jess. Parker, and weird, visting sister on Melrose Place) And a very young Tim Matheson, playing, (I think the eldest) of too many children to count. There are some funny, and semi-mature scenes: Lucy gets drunk, and I mean DRUNK by accident,while having dinner at Henry's, Henry has a date with a "fast" woman, and there's a daughter being pressured by her Paul Newman-y boyfriend to [make love] (they even mention that he's Paul Newman-y in the movie!) But those scenes are quite tame and minor, compared to all the chaos and fun of bringing two groups of disgruntled kids together. The kids are great, but the movie is really Lucy and Henry's, as they try to keep it all together. The best way to sum it up is by simply saying Yours Mine and Ours is quite charming!

Studio: Mgm/Ua Studios
Director: Melville Shavelson
Lucille Ball
Henry Fonda

DVD title: Black Hawk Down
Productgroup: DVD
Black Hawk Down - movie DVD cover picture
Ranks Among "Platoon" and "Saving Private Ryan"

I'm happy to report to you that Black Hawk Down is a movie not to be missed. The first 15 minutes start to get you interested and wham! 2 hours of nonstop bullets and blood flying everywhere. As some critics say, this movie is too gory and violent, well did the fact this movie is based on WAR ever cross their minds? I doubt it, since there are other "more violent" things than Black Hawk Down. The story is based on a 1992 event when a 45-minute mission given to American soldiers ended up becoming a night-long catastrophe in which many troops fought hard and died in. Ridley Scott accuratley describes the events of how the soldiers and even innocent civilians on the battlefield may have seen it as. This may be a less filmed event but surely a much less seen one as well, giving it a somewhat unique plot ( considering that it's based on true events ). Black Hawk Down has already been nominated for Academy Awards including best director and cinematography ( you'll see that both stand out pretty obviously. So for anyone who wants to see a movie that is one of the few good ones of 2001. Black Hawk Down is given an R rating for violence and language, so it's suitable for teenagers and adults. All in all, see this film. It's a good one.

Studio: Columbia Tristar Hom
Director: Ridley Scott
Josh Hartnett

DVD title: What Lies Beneath
Productgroup: DVD
What Lies Beneath - movie DVD cover picture
What Lies Beneath

What really sets this movie apart from other "horror" movies is that it is really limited on the violence, abeit some scenes have scary situations, but nothing like Scream or The Amityville Horror. While it may not be suitable for small children, you can rest assured your older children will not be exposed to mindless violence or foul language. Most of What Lies Beneath's scary moments involve "jumping out of your seat" scares during the first half, such as Pfeiffer's character walking down the hallway, and all of a sudden something falls behind her that will make you jump.
The cast of characters is relatively small, so you get to focus more on Michelle Pfeiffer and Harrison Ford(both who have aged fantastically over the years) who are a married couple now with the house to themselves after the daughter goes of to college. Pfeiffer, after a series of events, begins to suspect that her next door neighbor may have been murdered by her husband. She does a little investigating, with a little "Rear Window" thing going on, and then she starts to encounter strange things in her own home.
The bathtub fills up by itself, words appear on a computer screen without anyone typing them, and as she suspects a ghost, Ford just thinks she is making it up in her head. This is only the tip of the iceberg, the story goes much deeper than this, with many twists and turns that will keep you guessing many things until the end.
My only complaint is that some scenes last longer than they should, with more dialog than necessary, especially in the beginning. But "beneath" that, you will be entranced by the master direction of Robert Zemeckis(Castaway, Forrest Gump), and the superb acting abilities of both Michelle Pfeiffer and Harrison Ford.

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: Robert Zemeckis
Harrison Ford
Michelle Pfeiffer

DVD title: A Lot Like Love (Widescreen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
A Lot Like Love (Widescreen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Hopeless Romantics

This movie was absolutely amazing, especially for the hopeless romantics. It had a funny comedy to it but captured so many emotions I think we all get caught up in. I would def. recommend this to anyone.

Studio: Buena Vista Home Vid
Director: Nigel Cole
Amanda Peet
Ashton Kutcher

DVD title: The Wild Bunch - The Original Director's Cut
Productgroup: DVD
The Wild Bunch - The Original Director's Cut - movie DVD cover picture
Peckinpah's Second Masterpiece

One must recognize it, the protagonists of this movie are not politically correct: they are killer and violent, drunk and dirty. Upon there, nothing new. Nevertheless Peckimpah's talent does that this isn't another more film of action. Yes they have criminality but also this band has dignity, based principally in the friendship and some strange principles; - " We don't hang people " - says the personage played by Borgnine and also the General Mapache, that even being another criminal, is able to raise the admiration of a child when it is being defeated by the governmental troops, a touch that the people inside the law lacks absolutely and are show more miserable and poor than the bandits, case of the people of the railroad and the German advisers to the Mexican troops, because the history is very well fixed in a precise historic time -1913- shortly before I World War while the Far West is finished so these wild bunch hasn't yet a place in these world. Violence is sure terrible, but not unfounded here and so one can feel it inside because this movie is deeply although disquieting human, a very difficult thing to achieve in cinema and for that this movie is truly outstanding.

Studio: Warner Studios
Director: Sam Peckinpah
William Holden
Ernest Borgnine
Robert Ryan

DVD title: Pearl Harbor
Productgroup: DVD
Pearl Harbor - movie DVD cover picture
A Definate Recommend - Well Done Movie

This DVD is excellent. Even the scenes as you wait between movie or other features is enjoyable.
Affleck and Harnett have a great relationship in the movie and there are some interesting twists in the film. I think the hallmarks of the film were the obvious attack on Pearl itself which will actually rock you. Even the DVD was powerful in that respect. I do not have a wide screen, yet the DVD did not take away from the impact of the attack scene. Alec Baldwin as Doolittle also plays an interesting part in the film.
The addition of the Doolittle raid gives the film a sense of completion. Most Pearl Harbor type movies end with proclamations, but this ends with the response to Tokyo. That actually added to the flick. There was a war after this attack on America who was really sleeping.
Even the length was interesting. It actually added to the movie. I think it would have been a rather barren movie if it was shorter. The relationships in the movie were touching and sensible. Cuba Gooding as our cook turned hero 'Dorie Miller' does a credible job of blending into the movie just as Dorie Miller blends perfectly into the history of the attack.
This DVD is very interesting with the additional features especially touching is the unsung heroes of Pearl.
This movie is a testimony to the sense of Pearl Harbor history, there are some areas where, though not perfect have a tendency toward reality. Even John Voight as Roosevelt starts out a little edgy, yet develops into character.
I liked Pearl Harbor and will enjoy this movie from time to time thinking deeply about the impact that the loss of lives had on our nation.

Studio: Walt Disney Home Video
Director: Michael Bay
Ben Affleck
Kate Beckinsale

DVD title: Moulin Rouge (Single Disc Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Moulin Rouge (Single Disc Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Smorgasbord of sights and sounds

I went to see this movie at the insistance of my wife. After the first 1/2 hour SHE wanted to walk out and I suggested that we give it some more time. We stayed for over an hour but couldn't take the torture one more minute. This is the FIRST movie either of us has ever walked out of. I must add that the first movie I ever attended was in 1949! So between us we have over 100 years of movie-going history to refer to and we've seen some doozies!
What a waste of talent (?), costuming and raw film. There was no story to follow and the acting was horrendous.
If there were a minus 5 star category, this film would be it.

Studio: Fox Home Entertainme
Director: Baz Luhrmann
Nicole Kidman
Ewan McGregor

DVD title: The Third Man (50th Anniversary Edition) - Criterion Collection
Productgroup: DVD
The Third Man (50th Anniversary Edition) - Criterion Collection - movie DVD cover picture
A Wellesian film that Welles didn't direct

Reportedly Orson Welles replied to people who asked if he'd "really" directed The Third Man that Carol Reed didn't need his suggestions. Yet this feels very much like Welles in many ways. First of all there's the subject matter--like Citizen Kane, this film deals with money and power, shattered idealism, and an elusive figure everyone knows *of* yet few people know. Like Kane, the cinematography is striking (though in a different way) and an integral part of the plot. Like Kane, the music is memorable and tells much of the story, yet again in a different way. Like Kane, the film was greeted coldly by many critics on its initial release and had to be shelved for many years before people realized it was a masterpiece. And last but not least, like Kane, it stars the great Joseph Cotten.
The Third Man benefits enormously from being shot in post-war Vienna (in record time by using three crews simultaneously). You can taste the atmosphere. The locations are a "star" as much as any of the human players. Selznick wanted Reed to film on Hollywood back lots, and he wanted Jimmy Stewart to star. He objected to the zither music. He objected to the canted shots. (William Wyler reportedly gave Reed a level to put on his camera after seeing The Third Man!) Most of all, Selznick wanted a happy ending, where Holly gets the girl. But without Reed's vision, the film would have been a typical glossy Hollywood film now seen at 2 am on local UHF channels if at all.
Reed gave Welles one of the great entrances in screen history. Welles gave Reed a hard time when he refused to work in a sewer and returned to England, forcing Reed to build a sewer set there just for Welles' part. Welles says he only wrote the scene on the ferris wheel, but leave it to Orson to give us the most memorable dialogue in a movie filled with memorable dialogue.
Then there is the issue of The Woman. Often she will make or break a film like this, and here Alida Valli (or "Valli" as she preferred to be billed in the film...maybe it's an Italian thing that started long before Madonna) is the perfect choice, brooding and un-glamorous and yet all the more alluring because she's un-glamorous. It's easy to see how impressionable Holly would fall for her. It's harder to see why she would still defend Harry, but love is not always logical. Or is this just selfishness? There doesn't seem to be room for love in postwar Vienna...
Criterion has done a loving restoration of The Third Man. While not up to the standard of the Citizen Kane DVD (which is not done by Criterion, incidentally) it is superb considering how poorly prints of this film have been handled over the years. Criterion performed many computer-repairs of tears and splices that make once-damaged scenes play perfectly. The gray scale is finally restored! (So many prints of this film are stark and grainy black and white and nearly unwatchable.) There are some extras, such as footage of Anton Karas performing on his unique instrument, documentary footage of the real Vienna sewers, the original trailer, the rerelease trailer, the alternate American opening, and fascinating production photos and commentary. Once again Criterion hits a home run.

Studio: Criterion Collection
Director: Carol Reed
Joseph Cotten
Orson Welles

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