Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Bottle Rocket
Productgroup: DVD
Bottle Rocket - movie DVD cover picture
Simply the best!

Bottle Rocket is simply one of the best movies that I have ever seen. Owen Wilson, who has gone on to star in several movies as well as write one of my other favorite movies, Rushmore, gives one of the smartest, most natural performances by an actor that I have ever seen. The writing is very intelligent and the acting is superb. I have seen this movie many times and each time I watch, I find some new gem that I hadn't discovered before. What can I say, if you have seen it, run out now and rent it, if you have seen it - renew your faith in film making and intelligence by seeing it again. Bravo to the filmakers and I can't wait for The Royal Tenenbaums - the next movie by these brilliant guys!

Studio: Columbia/Tristar Studios
Director: Wes Anderson
Luke Wilson
Owen Wilson

DVD title: Cruel Intentions (Collector's Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Cruel Intentions (Collector's Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
A hip, smart retelling of Dangerous Liasions!

The only word to describe Cruel Intentions is phenomenal! Everything about this movie shines. The stars are perfect in their roles, the soundtrack rocks, and the plot draws you in from the beginning.
The story follows young playboy Sebastian (Ryan Phillippe) and his stepsister Katherine(Sarah Michelle Gellar). The two make a dangerous bet: Can Sebastion sleep with the headmaster's virginal daughter (Reese Witherspoon)before school starts in the fall? These roles are played expertly by the talented trio. Gellar, in particular, shines as the evil Katherine. She was awarded an MTV movie award for best female performance for her work here. Selma Blair, Joshua Jackson, Christine Barinski, and Swoosie Kurtz all appear in humorous roles throughout the film.
Do yourself a favor and buy this modern retelling of Dangerous Liasions. It's intentions are anything but cruel on the viewer!

Studio: Columbia/Tristar Studios
Director: Roger Kumble
Sarah Michelle Gellar
Ryan Phillippe
Reese Witherspoon

DVD title: X-Men
Productgroup: DVD
X-Men - movie DVD cover picture

This movie was awsome. With great special effects, and has a great story. I cant wait for the dvd version to come out!

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox Home Video
Director: Bryan Singer
Hugh Jackman
Patrick Stewart
Ian McKellen

DVD title: City of Angels
Productgroup: DVD
City of Angels - movie DVD cover picture
Smooth and Sad

Nicolas Cage does his usual one-note basset hound turn in this ham-handed Hollywood reworking of a classic film, with a ridiculous ending that not only proves that the writers missed the point of the original, but completely undermines the idea of wanting to look at life through the eyes of the angel -- that love inspires one to appreciate life fully with all the senses. True romantics would do well to skip this mess and stick with "Wings of Desire."

Studio: Warner Studios
Director: Brad Silberling
Nicolas Cage
Meg Ryan

DVD title: The Hours (Widescreen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
The Hours (Widescreen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Truly Great For the Lover of Film!

This is definitely not the best choice for someone who loves Arnold and Stallone. But for people who love deep, meaningful, well-crafted film, The Hours is great. This would be a perfect film for a film studies class.

Studio: Paramount Home Video
Director: Stephen Daldry
Nicole Kidman
Julianne Moore
Meryl Streep

DVD title: For Love or Country - The Arturo Sandoval Story
Productgroup: DVD
For Love or Country - The Arturo Sandoval Story - movie DVD cover picture
An amazing story, incredible music

This movie has all it needs to make it worthy of a spot in your video library. Wonderful characterizations by gifted artists, beautiful staging and scenery, a fabulous soundtrack, and a story that made me wonder, "What do I hold so fundamental that I would be willing to risk everything to keep it?" After renting the video, I recommended it to a jazz-music-loving friend, who, in turn, bought me the DVD for my birthday (knowing he can borrow it!). Watching it again motivated me to splurge on tickets to Arturo Sandoval when he came to our area, which was the best night of music I have ever heard. Each time I watch this movie, the story and the music move me. You will not be disappointed.

Studio: Hbo Studios
Director: Joseph Sargent

DVD title: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter... and Spring
Productgroup: DVD
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter... and Spring - movie DVD cover picture
A beautiful film of Life and relationships"

This beautiful foreign film has dramatic photography and powerful acting by the cast. There are sub-titles, but they are almost unnecessary as the story is communicated with the actors relating to each other and telling the story with their interaction and the director's skillful camera work. This is a Buddhist movie depicting the serenity of life complicated when we lose our focus and become attached to a destructive relationship. There is redemption and reconciliation at the end of the film as we end where the story begins in a perfect circle of life. I won't spoil the surprise plot twist, but will say this film will cause much discussion by any group who likes to view foreign films. There is nudity in the film, but it is done with sensitivity and beauty. I rented this film, but am now going to buy my own copy.

Studio: Columbia Tristar Hom
Director: Ki-duk Kim (II)
Ki-duk Kim (II)
Yeong-su Oh (II)
Jong-ho Kim (II)

DVD title: Shall We Dance (Japanese Version)
Productgroup: DVD
Shall We Dance (Japanese Version) - movie DVD cover picture
I only watched this movie as a class project....

It is difficult to be "objective" about a film you "feel" so much for and with. "Shall We Dance?" is one of those films for me. Feelings are what is at the core of this movie. You cannot REALLY dance until you are feeling it. Anyway, never thought I would relive the exhilaration of the freedom of dance from -- and I am guardedly stereotypical here -- a Japanese movie. It is a refreshing change. I love it.
The repressed nature of Sugiyama's (Koji Yakusho) passion is perhaps one of the most striking tensions of the entire movie. Trapped into an almost Nietzschean Apollonian trap, Sugiyama is dead without dying. He is in this state until he sees Mai (Tamiya Kusakari) from the train. He ventures into the realm of Dionysus. He is building a healthy tension. The pathos in this movie is so striking it is almost real.
To prove the pliability of cultures through this cross pollination of "stuff" is a real interesting experiment. Almost as if to pastiche the dances - mostly non-Japanese in origin -- the Waltz, the Rumba, etc. all mingle into this amalgam of neo-nihonjinron or do I just not understand the Japanese ability to absorb things. Hope I am not waxing to Orientalist here as I was moved to tears in the scene where Sugiyama dances his way to a reconciliation - no more said.
The movie has it all -- the thrill of the dance competition, interpersonal relations, trust and no-trust issues (dance has a lot to do with trust) and communication. The accompanying cast is magnificent. But most of all "Shall We Dance?" beings the viewer to the "hot seat" of dance -- the floor. It is seductive. It has the beauty of youth and the elegance and wisdom of the ages. It is the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat. It is a story of transgression and reconciliation, an exhilarating transgression and should be watched over and over. Shall we dance?
Miguel Llora

Studio: Walt Disney Home Video
Director: Masayuki Suo
Kôji Yakusho
Tamiyo Kusakari
Naoto Takenaka

DVD title: Britney Spears - Live from Las Vegas
Productgroup: DVD
Britney Spears - Live from Las Vegas - movie DVD cover picture
Great Concert

HBO did an awesome job showing the concert on TV. As for the show, the only songs I really didnt like was 'Stronger' (which is my favorite song by Britney), 'Dont Let Me Be The Last to Know' because she sounded awful, and as for the DVD version dubbing her voice on 'Baby One More Time'. Personally, I thought she sounded great live. They also took some of her ab-libs and moaning out during 'Slave'. But Overall, it was still great to watch

Studio: Bmg/Jive/Silvertone
Director: Marty Callner

DVD title: Left Behind - The Movie
Productgroup: DVD
Left Behind - The Movie - movie DVD cover picture
action, history, and the end of the world

This was a pleasent surprise. After years of hoaky b rated christian movies that are off hand productions by half hearted amatuers, this movie provides the christian context in a quality action package. The actors, special effects and overall production is of quality you may expect in a high priced hollywood production. The movie has the added value of being a great point of discussion for the whole family.

Studio: Cloud Ten Pictures
Director: Vic Sarin
Kirk Cameron
Brad Johnson (II)

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