Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: 15 Minutes (Infinifilm Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
15 Minutes (Infinifilm Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Sleeper movie will wake you into shuddering dread

15 Minutes is a horrifying and gritty peek into the injustice of the American legal system and also the news media. Wow, two digs in one film, how can you resist?

Emil Slovak, a Czech National (played by Karel Rodan), and his friend Oleg Razgul, a Russian National (played by Oleg Taktarov), who met in Prague, decide to travel to America, the land of opportunity. Emil wants to hunt down his old crime partner, who took all the money from the robbery he was jailed for, but Oleg is infatuated with American Cinema and wants be a filmmaker.

Immediately upon arriving, Oleg steals a video camera from a store and they are off to confront Emil's old partner and get their money back. But while Oleg films the event, Emil discovers that his portion of the money was already spent, and he kills his friend and friend's wife. Unfortunately, there was someone else watching the murder. Daphne Handlova had been staying with her friends, and fled the apartment after witnessing the murders. An illegal alien herself, she does not want for the police or the killers to find her, but leaves her purse behind in the apartment where Emil discovers who she is.

The apartment is burned to cover the bodies, "A Bohemian Barbeque" says Oleg, which calls in not only successful homicide detective Eddie Flemming (Robert De Niro), but Fire Marshal Jordy Warsaw (Edward Burns) to the scene.

Emil and Oleg get away, but while Emil obsesses with finding Daphne, Oleg obsesses about filming their "Trip to America", killings and all. He believes he is making the greatest movie ever. They begin to watch New York's hot and exploitive news show called "Top Story", anchored by shady newsman/reporter Robert Hawkins (played expertly by Kelsey Grammer).

These three men, Flemming, Warsaw, and Hawkins, become irresistible targets to Emil and Oleg, the two Eastern-European psychopaths believing that controlling and taunting these famous men will give them the recognition they desire.

I don't want to give away too much of the plot, but suffice to say that there is a brutal murder scene where Flemming showcases just how tough a cop he is, and Hawkins will reveal himself as slimiest snake in the media industry, and Emil will learn enough to know that insanity can set him free even if he is caught.

There is action from beginning to end in this movie, a tight and somewhat confusing plot at times, some great acting from both the stars and the supporting cast (including a great character played by David Alan Grier). There is seediness and wretchedness and hopelessness, and an ending that makes the film come together quite nicely. If you are ready for a little brutal cop action in your life, give 15 Minutes a try. Enjoy!

Studio: New Line Home Entertainment
Director: John Herzfeld
Robert De Niro
Edward Burns
Kelsey Grammer

DVD title: 8 1/2 (Single Disc Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
8 1/2 (Single Disc Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
one of the greatest films ever made

8 1/2 What can I say? This is one of the most influential films ever created, and it has been brought to us by criterion in one of the most beutiful video transfers ever made. The two disc set has more extras than you'll know what to do with, and as i said, the picture is totally spotless, as if you were viewing it on the day of it's release! If you haven't seen the film, you should, If you have seen the film, go see it again. In any event, I won't spoil the plot, only say i that Fellini has given us the most incredible view of surreal expressionism, and any lover of fine art should apreciate it, thanks again Criterion.

Studio: Image Entertainment
Director: Federico Fellini
Marcello Mastroianni
Anouk Aimée

DVD title: Boys and Girls
Productgroup: DVD
Boys and Girls - movie DVD cover picture
Definitely a must-see. Not what you'd expect.

I really enjoyed this film, I think that is possibly my favorite of all time, I believe that the college atmosphere that was portrayed was completly accurate and the film was heartwarming and hilarious. Two thums up!!

Studio: Dimension Home Video
Director: Robert Iscove
Freddie Prinze Jr.
Claire Forlani

DVD title: Friends - The Complete Eighth Season
Productgroup: DVD
Friends - The Complete Eighth Season - movie DVD cover picture
Wonderful Show

I love this show because it's witty, intelligent and just plain hilarious. I've watched every episode of this show and the eight season is truly the best. I think all of the characters are at their best and act funnier than in an any other season. Granted, they are funny in other episodes and seasons, but they really rock in the eight season. The plots are strong and very funny. I totally recommend it!!

Studio: Warner Home Video
Lisa Kudrow

DVD title: A Year in Provence
Productgroup: DVD
A Year in Provence - movie DVD cover picture
An Absolute Treasure!

A Year in Provence is a thoroughly enjoyable, witty, humorous series starring the late John Thaw (Inspector Morse, Kavanagh QC), who sadly died of throat cancer in 2002. The series is based on the real-life experiences of Peter Mayle and his wife who left their jobs and lives in England to move to the south of France. Mayle's intention was to settle in this idyllic corner of paradise to write a novel; what resulted was a memoir which served as the basis for this splendid series.
Beginning in winter, the series covers the Mayles' first year in Provence and dramatises the many trials and tribulations they faced in adjusting to the local customs and peculiarities (like goat racing and truffle hunting) and to their new environment. There were the gale-force winter winds ("les Mistrals") to contend with; added to that, the lovely, rustic old farmhouse they bought came complete (alas) with inadequate insulation, frozen water pipes, and no central heating! While the laid-back, lazy lifestyle may have been an attraction when the Mayles were in England, they soon learn it has its drawbacks when it comes to getting anything done--like the much-needed repairs and renovations by the builders! Then there's the joy of entertaining visitors from back home, the pleasure of which is somewhat dimmed when they find they've inadvertently overlapped the visits of three couples.
The series has been presented in a boxed set of four 90-minute episodes--one for each season from Winter through Autumn. Each episode is broken down into three 30-minute parts--one for each month of the season. Though we chose to watch the series in its 90-minute blocks, one could easily watch it in half-hour blocks if one preferred.
In conclusion, I highly, highly recommend this delightful series to anyone who enjoys British entertainment in general. I'm extremely glad I took a chance on this set as it's been a series our whole family has really enjoyed watching (and one we look forward to watching again in the not-too-distant future). I might just mention (in case it's not obvious!) that one ought not to expect any heavy drama or an action-packed, intricately plotted series here. This is simply not that kind of show. In fact, I'd have to say that really belongs in a genre all its own. It is a nice clean, relaxing show with no sex, violence or bad language--just a plethora of entertaining and often hilarious incidents set against the pastoral backdrop of the gorgeous Provencal landscape. Just perfect (in my opinion) for unwinding at the end of the day!

Studio: A & E Entertainment
Director: David Tucker

DVD title: The Lord of the Rings - The Fellowship of the Ring (Widescreen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
The Lord of the Rings - The Fellowship of the Ring (Widescreen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
I like long movies....

An excellent blend of the Hollywood old and the Hollywood new. The characters protrayed presented quality acting incorporated with magic of morphing computerization. Even though the age old story has been retold several times over, the detailed illustration on the silver screen captures the audience into every scene with emotional realism and excitement. This film deserved all of the Academy Award nominations. Where not for the fierce competition, this easily could have won a Best Picture trophy. This is definately a library addition to anyone's collection.

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Peter Jackson
Ian McKellen

DVD title: The Bridge on the River Kwai
Productgroup: DVD
The Bridge on the River Kwai - movie DVD cover picture
Intense human drama in the midst of the war action

The key to this film is the interaction of the major characters, and the underlying motivations of each. The principal interaction is between Alec Guinness' character, and that of Sessue Hayakawa's. There is a secondary, but important interaction between William Holden's character, and Jack Hawkins as yet another British commander. And then there's the interaction of sorts, although the two characters are separated from each other for the major part of the film, Between Holden's and Guinness' characters.
There is the problem of historical inaccuracy here. The portrayal of deep issues is given precedence over fact. The separate values governing each person's actions are spotlighted. Colonel Nicholson's perspective does appear warped, and he is the true tragic protagonist of the story. His nationalistic pride and an ego driving him to show superiority through building the best and strongest bridge although doing so aids the Japanese military blinds him to the reality of the situation.
The slow development of the plot will discourage many who have been exposed primarily to current films which cater heavily to more physical sensations at the expense of mental and spiritual considerations. But gaining the insight possible through this classic is worth the effort, even if it means multiple viewings, for those who are willing to take it.

Studio: Columbia Tri-Star
Director: David Lean
William Holden
Alec Guinness

DVD title: The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra
Productgroup: DVD
The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra - movie DVD cover picture
SO Refreshing!

I was a kid when I saw "Airplane", a new idea back then, a hack that made young innocent me insane with laughter. I've since thought that, like a first love or first drug high, no experience could ever again afford me such bliss. Oh, but... if Airplane was Mr. Rogers, The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra is Sesame Street. I laughed so hard my lungs shrivelled, my brain fermented for lack of oxygen and my jaw locked open permanently. Looking back on the event (through now permanent tears of craziness) I see something else in Lost Skeleton... it's not just comedy, it's ART! If you think this might be your cup of tea, I say, get yourself in the right frame of mind (be SURE to not be alone), then don't look back -- you truly will never be same. Lost Skeleton is a NEW experience.

Studio: Columbia Tristar Hom
Director: Larry Blamire
Larry Blamire
Fay Masterson
Brian Howe
Dan Conroy

DVD title: American Pie 2 (Widescreen Unrated Collector's Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
American Pie 2 (Widescreen Unrated Collector's Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
This movie is so funny

This movie is so hilarious. All the cast members do a great job. Seann William Scott as Stifler is the funniest though. Any teenager should own this movie. Very good sequel to the first. Youll laugh so hard off, go see it now.

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: James B. Rogers (II)
Jason Biggs
Seann William Scott

DVD title: The Woody Allen Collection - 8 pack
Productgroup: DVD
The Woody Allen Collection - 8 pack - movie DVD cover picture
The Woody Allen Collection - 8 Pack

I know Woody himself said a film should stand for itself. But DVD is a format that SCREAMS for extras, whatever they might be. Even some trailers would be nice. But instead, we have, essentially, only the improved picture and sound quality (plus the assurance of never wearing out like VHS tapes) to go on.
The 8 DVDs are priced right, and all have merit to make this a 5 star collection on VHS. But c'mon. This was pretty feeble, especially from MGM, considering they recently put together the phenomenal James Bond box sets.

Studio: MGM/UA Video
Woody Allen

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