Film DVD related reviews


DVD title: Goodbye, Mr. Chips
Productgroup: DVD
Goodbye, Mr. Chips - movie DVD cover picture
Schmaltzy, but who minds?


This is a wonderfully sentimental depiction of public school life in the Victorian and Edwardian eras and beyond. Chipping, like so many other schoolmasters of the time, lives a cloistered life on which the outer world only occasionally impinges -- mostly during wartime.
In the film, he ventures out on only one other memorable occasion -- a holiday with the school German teacher to the Tyrol where he meets the handsome Greer Garson (in her first movie appearance), who somewhat improbably falls for him. This sets off a chain of sentimental events: marriage, introductions to the common room, tea with the boys, her death through childbirth, and a never-ending cycle of Colleys (played by the same actor, but with a slightly different haircut for each generation). The school hymn is also designed to pluck the heart stings.
The movie was actually filmed at Repton. I went to a similarly confined, all-boys, English public school, set in a country town miles from anywhere else, though somewhat more recently than the Chips era. Many of the masters never married because it was so difficult for them to meet any women. We still had corporal punishment -- which Chips continues to inflict even when brought out of retirement to become head during World War One. This film does not reflect the grubby reality of public school life -- the author must have had his rose-tinted spectacles on when he wrote this -- but it's hard not to be moved by it.
I have special memories of first seeing this at the age of 12 in our headmaster's study, together with all the other senior boys at the prep school. Today, its meaning for me is more about staying in the same place for a long time, while all about you moves on. (I've recently completed 25 years with the same employer!) I also enjoyed trying to work out how many of the Tyrol scenes were shot in the studio. (At one stage, Chips and his friend even walk against a film background.)
The DVD has no special extras, but the picture and sound quality is reasonable. I haven't tried the film on my teenage children, but I think this is one of the few black and white movies that they would be absorbed by. (Don't be misled by the colour photo on the DVD box cover into believing the movie is in colour!)

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Sam Wood
Actors:
Robert Donat
Greer Garson




DVD title: Tora! Tora! Tora!
Productgroup: DVD
Tora! Tora! Tora! - movie DVD cover picture
If you have this dvd... don't buy the re-release


Excellent and well made film with incredible stunts and special effects.It's amazing no stuntmen were killed on the set (although two died during rehearsal prior to filming). Made in 1970 as a joint Japanese/American production at a cost between 25 and 30 million dollars . Every scene is meticulously re-created from historical records, including most of the dialogue.The attack was filmed before the advent of computer animation, which makes it even more amazing. This dvd was re-released with the director's commentary which is very boring and prodding, with very little insight into the making of the film and ignores commentary scene by scene. You'd think they weren't even watching the film! I bought this re-release (already had the original dvd with no special features) for the commentary and was extremely dissappointed.(I hate it when dvd's are re-released with new special features!) I guess they penalize the diehards by making us buy the dvd over and over again.Regardless, this is the BEST film ever made about Pearl Harbor. No mention of a Roosevelt conspiracy - (as it should be, since the conspiracy theory has major flaws) and no, I'm not a Roosevelt lover or hater. I believe in documentation, not conjecture and speculation. "Just the facts please"... which is what this film is all about.

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
Actors:
Martin Balsam
Sô Yamamura
Joseph Cotten
Jason Robards




DVD title: The Doors
Productgroup: DVD
The Doors - movie DVD cover picture
There Are Things Known, And Unknown


What can I say about "The Doors" that hasn't been said already. First of all Val Kilmer was so good in this movie that when I hear a Door's song I picture him instead of Jim Morrison. I wished I was born in the 50's so I could have seen The Doors. Oliver Stone dipicts Morrison as a poet trapped in a rock star's body. The epic rise and fall of the Doors is great but sad at the same time. They had so much more to offer us. Remember people the Doors were only around for 5 years. Until Morrison's untimely death. The rest of the Doors are protrayed as innocent bystanders. John Densmore was pissing me off with his constent whining and crying. Robby Krieger was a cool guy, and Ray Manzarek was supercool. All these guys look like people that could have gone to high school with. The film has a nostaglic feeling to it, almost as if is a dockumentary rather than a film. Every time I see "The Doors" it feels as if its the first time.

Studio: Artisan Entertainment
Director: Oliver Stone
Actors:
Val Kilmer
Meg Ryan




DVD title: The Philadelphia Story
Productgroup: DVD
The Philadelphia Story - movie DVD cover picture
"With the rich and mighty, always a little patience."


There's a peculiar viewpoint working here. What contemporary movie would position the working class hero, he who pulled himself up by his bootstraps and became a wealthy self-made man, as the titular villain? Or have a cynical writer, seemingly wound up tight by his morals and ethics, wind up falling in love with the stuck up rich girl? Or make its hero an unsympathetic yacht designer, who lives in a mansion and has a history of (violent?) alcoholism? Doesn't sound like a recipe for a successful romantic comedy, does it? Well, damn if it doesn't all just work perfectly here.
The film tackles a plethora of issues. Class differences, human frailty, love, money, power, and identity all get a run through its mill. But it never feels like you're being preached at. The writing is deft, dry, and frequently hilarious. And the story, ostensibly about a man looking to get even with his ex-wife by letting a celebrity tabloid in to her very private wedding, moves along at a crisp pace, managing to turn over surprise after surprise along the way.
Such a story would survive the casting of any number of actors in its three leading parts. But the troika of legendary stars we have here is probably never to be equaled. Katherine Hepburn is quick-witted, self-aware, lithe but powerful as the bride to be. Cary Grant is charming, smart, a tad devious, highly moral, and having heaps of fun playing her ex-husband. And Jimmy Stewart is cynical, armed with a wicked wit, but able to pull off high romance as the tabloid reporter sent to cover the wedding. These three have perfect chemistry together, and are a joy to watch in any situation. Such a team could easily overshadow the ensemble charged with supporting them, but special mention should be given to Ruth Hussey, who plays Stewart's photographer partner/prospective girlfriend. She gets a tonne of superb dry lines, and pulls them off remarkably well with wicked timing and sharp wit.
The middle third of the movie, set in and around a pre-wedding party, offers most of the cast a chance to exhibit some fine drunken acting. Stewart and Grant get a terribly funny scene in Grant's mansion, where Stewart tries to give a piece of his mind through his foggy haze and bad case of the hiccups, while Grant looks on with amusement. Later, Stewart and Hepburn have a midnight picnic, both three sheets to the wind and behaving ridiculously. These sequences are some of the funniest I've ever seen at the movies. It's a joy to watch these actors play silly with such great material.
Every great drunken scene must be followed by a good hangover scene. This film has one up to the task. The sun is shining bright, headaches abound, and the blinds have been opened to reveal the realities of the situation the characters have found themselves in. It's a perfect compliment to the early moments of hilarity. And it nicely sets up the ending, which nearly heaps on too much romantic melodrama (there are -- at least -- two wedding proposals in the quick denouement), but is saved by one final joke that makes one wonder: "What happened after the credits rolled?"
This is surely one of my all-time favourites, the epitome of what I call "Stop-the-Remote" movies. For whenever it pops up on television, I'm compelled to watch it to the end. And smile the whole way through.

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: George Cukor
Actors:
Cary Grant
Katharine Hepburn
James Stewart




DVD title: Chance Pop Session - Session 1
Productgroup: DVD
Chance Pop Session - Session 1 - movie DVD cover picture
Reviewer misses the heart of this series


The Amazon reviewer didn't do this title justice. This is an adorable series about the hopes and dreams of 3 young women who hope to make it big in the pop music industry. The artwork is angular but not without appeal and once you get used to it it's clear the angular style is intentional and seeks to step away from the "cutesy" stylization inherent in anime and instead bring the viewer closer to a more realistic world.
The story is paced but delibarate, and more than anything the feel of the show reminds me of the better parts of the 80's TV show "Fame." While romance is only a monor aspect of Chance Pop Session it is a good title for anyone who likes anime drama along the lines of Fruits Basket, Someday Dreamers, Millenium Actress, Video Girl AI or perhaps Ai Yori Aoshi. Parents might take note that this title has no nudity, gratuitous sex or even significant violence.
I watched this fully expecting to hate it and have instead found myself moved... and I don't hesitate to recommend it to anyone who is looking for a kindly, gentle, uplifting drama.

Studio: A.D. Vision



DVD title: Disney's Sing Along Songs - Very Merry Christmas Songs
Productgroup: DVD
Disney's Sing Along Songs - Very Merry Christmas Songs - movie DVD cover picture
Great family time


I've had this video since 1991. My son loved it then, still loves it now. It brings us into the holiday spirit, no matter what time of year it is. Disney did a wonderful job. My favorite song is the Parade of the Wooden Soldiers. Wish I could find that on CD or cassette. It's traditional songs are beautifully sang while the characters add to it. Great family time spent together! That is what the holidays and everyday is about.

Studio: Walt Disney Home Entertainment



DVD title: Erin Brockovich
Productgroup: DVD
Erin Brockovich - movie DVD cover picture
Julia Roberts Shines!!!!! Top 3 Of 2000


In her dozen or so years in show business, Julia Roberts has played many roles. A hooker, a movie star, a step mom, and Tinkerbell are among a handful of Roberts' roles in the past decade. And in that time Julia Roberts has become "America's Darling" and one of the most recognizable (and highest paid) actresses in the history of cinema. Yet, she has never clutched an Oscar in all those years. So, to say that her Oscar-nominated performance in Erin Brockovich is well deserved would be a tragic understatement. Roberts takes on the roll of a double divorcee-single mother of three struggling to earn enough money to get by. Playing Brockovich is easily the most challenging role of Roberts' illustrious career. But it was also, in turn, the greatest performance of her career. What makes this a standout role for Roberts is the fact that she has built up that "squeaky-clean" image over the course of her career. She almost always played the role of the vixen, or the damsel in her most memorable movies. But now, she plays a foul-mouthed, and cunning ex-beauty queen... a far cry from Tinkerbell indeed. And Julia Roberts stood and delivered the entire length of the movie. However, Roberts is not the only one to make the movie as great as it is. Steven Soderbergh's directing job is flawless in this film. He helped create a movie based on a true story that is, in fact, very believable, humorous, witty, clever, and moving all at the same time. Erin Brockovich could very well be the best film of the year. It is certainly well rounded in terms of production. Great casting. Great direction. Great Acting. Great Writing. Great Film. And so on Oscar night... Julia Roberts may finally get the recognition she deserves.

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Actors:
Julia Roberts
Albert Finney




DVD title: Frank Sinatra - Sinatra: The Main Event
Productgroup: DVD
Frank Sinatra - Sinatra: The Main Event - movie DVD cover picture
Outrageous DVD


This is a real emotive dvd, fom the MAESTRO Frank Sinatra, a real great concert with a real great sound

Studio: Wea/Warner Bros.
Director: Bill Carruthers



DVD title: Now and Then, Here and There (Complete Collector's Boxed Set)
Productgroup: DVD
Now and Then, Here and There (Complete Collector's Boxed Set) - movie DVD cover picture
What a powerful show.....................................


ok this show is powerful! I bought this collection cuz I read some reviews that it was sadder and more depressing then Grave of the Fireflies and some that said it was powerful but not as sad as Grave of the Fireflies. Now I have to say Grave of the fireflies is still the most saddest experience I ever had with watching anything in my life. Now and Then, Here and There is just powerful and depressing and it can be sad but not as sad as Grave of the Fireflies.
Now on to this review. Everyone but 3 of the main characters die. Mostly every1! I was surprised with how 2 of the characters surviving cuz I thought they would be the 2 ta die. The main character like usualy lives throughout it all. But Lala ru why did she just die off like that!? That was so sad! EVery1 died just died with a blink of the eye. Even lil kids like Boo and the girl kill each other. What a sad show. Now that I think bout it this show is evry sad but not as much as Grave of the Fireflies. I think nothin will top that. Buy this movie! Learn a lesson or 2 bout life and stick with Shu's omtimistic personality and you will go far in life!

Studio: Wea Corp



DVD title: The Amityville Horror (2005) (Full Screen Special Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
The Amityville Horror (2005) (Full Screen Special Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
The BEST horror movie I have ever seen!


I am a huge Ryan Reynolds fan which is what led me to the movie theater. Little did I know that I would come out so shocked. Ryan Reynolds was so believable as George Lutz, a man that moves into the Amityville house with his family knowing that it is haunted. Melissa George was alright as a scared and somewhat traumatized mother of three kids. The scariest parts of the movie were when George starts to become possesed and are all scenes that are based aroung him as well. The ending is one of a kind but the fact that I have never seen the orignal led me to the somewhat scary ending. The scenes that will have you jumping the most is the ending scenes in the rain. I would strongly recommend not seeing the original because it will give away the ending of this brilliantly captured horror flick. The film though is definitely different from the original and has a new and fun aspect spun upon it from as I said earlier Ryan Reynolds' performance.

Director: Andrew Douglas (IV)
Actors:
Ryan Reynolds
Melissa George
Jimmy Bennett (III)




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