Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Bless the Child
Productgroup: DVD
Bless the Child - movie DVD cover picture
Stands apart from the rest

What makes this film special is that:
1.) Instead of barely escaping evil (and having the snot beat out of you in the process), Good clearly kicks evil but and triumphs (a frightening/feel good movie).
2.) The makers of this movie have clearly interviewed people who have "seen things" and tried with more than some success to show evil that way on the screen. (With that said, some sceens do lose a little on the small screen vs. the theatre.)

Casting was very well done for this movie - choices for evil cult leader, loving mother (aunt actually), and street trash cult member were excellent.

Unlike some horror movies, this is one you can watch over again and still enjoy it.

Studio: Paramount Studio
Director: Chuck Russell
Kim Basinger
Jimmy Smits
Rufus Sewell

DVD title: Hackers
Productgroup: DVD
Hackers - movie DVD cover picture
My training started here

This movie was instrumental in my becoming a programmer and dare i say "hacker". Recommend highly

Studio: Mgm/Ua Studios
Director: Iain Softley
Jonny Lee Miller
Angelina Jolie

DVD title: The House on Haunted Hill
Productgroup: DVD
The House on Haunted Hill - movie DVD cover picture

This is one of my favorite scary movies. I purchased this DVD when I got my DVD player, I love this movie! It has cool special effects, a cool plot, and is just a great movie. I saw the original House on Haunted Hill before, and this isn't just a remake, it has lots of extra stuff, and a slightly different plot, it is an excellent movie and an excellent remake. If you buy this movie, be sure to watch it at night! :)

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: William Malone
Geoffrey Rush
Famke Janssen

DVD title: Jane Austen's Emma
Productgroup: DVD
Jane Austen's Emma - movie DVD cover picture
Wonderful adaptation with classic Kate!

This adaptation was FAR superior to the Hollywood version by Gwyneth Paltrow. For one thing, Kate Beckinsale truly "was" Emma. Intelligent, yet misguided, wanting to do the right thing, yet blinded by her own prejudices. This woman can act, unlike the "other" Emma, plus she looked like my ideal version of Emma.
The writing was much closer to the book, particularly in the prominence of the Jane Fairfax/Frank Churchill story, which was virtually ignored in the other movie (maybe because the lovely Polly Walker who played Jane in the Hollywood version was too much competition for Gwyneth Paltrow). The village and the sets also seemed much less fake-looking than in the Hollywood film. If you want to see a great adaptation of a beloved novel, this is the one to pick.

Studio: A & E Entertainment
Director: Diarmuid Lawrence

DVD title: Osama
Productgroup: DVD
Osama - movie DVD cover picture
Brilliant Narration of the Taliban Imprisonment of Womanhood

In the shadow of the Taliban rule in Afghanistan, a 12-year old girl, whose true name we never learn, grows up as her mother and grandmother struggle to survive as they are forced to remain within the walls of their home. The only time woman are allowed to leave the home is when they are accompanied by a man, and then they must wear burkhas covering every inch of their body. Women must not work, make money, or in any other way be in a position where they are self governing. If a woman is caught by herself she risks being arrested by the Taliban, which could lead to her death, or even worse. This puts the pre-adolescent girl and her family in a predicament as her father died in the Kabul war as a martyr, which means there is no male breadwinner in their home. It means that the girl's mother must find a way to scrape together something to eat as they fear for their lives within the walls of their home.

The mother and grandmother agree that a beardless man in a burkha could pass as a woman while a girl in a costume and short hair could pass as a boy. This reasoning supports the women's idea to turn the girl into a young boy by cutting her hair and letting her wear the father's old costume after alterations. The idea is excellent as the young girl is forced to become the family's new breadwinner as it seems to be the only way they could survive. However, the girl is innocently unaware about the world as she turns her head in all directions and stares at Taliban members with obvious fear in her face. It becomes painfully obvious that she in not ready to undertake this assignment for the welfare of her family, but they have no other choice.

The girl turns into a boy, but remains a girl at heart as she returns home crying at night emotionally exhausted. The girl always seems to fall asleep with her head in the lap of her grandmother who always tells the same story of a boy who wishes he was a girl. The boy in grandmothers tale worked hard and he saw that the girls never worked as hard as he, which was the reason he wanted to be a girl. The story becomes a source for how the girl perceives society as she believes that girls cannot work hard and that boys should work hard. This reinforces the difficulty she has adapting to the Taliban society as a boy since she has been taught patriarchal values, which limits what she believes she can accomplish. In a sense, it is a form of socially learned helplessness, which has been fostered through the tale from generation to generation.

The day comes when she is forced to go to school with the boys, which becomes an eye opening experience for the girl. The education, which is only for boys, becomes an indoctrination of the Taliban faith and rule, which is emphasizes on head bobbing hymns of the Koran and weapons training. The girl has entered the boys world and the grass is not greener on the other side as grandma's tale suggests. Instead her socially learned feeble femininity intensifies among these boys who have been brought up like strong boys by their families. An example of the girl's helpless and dependent manners are exposed when she is climbing a tree during recess and she requires the the help of another boy to get down as fear petrifies her from climbing down.

The only knowledge the girl had when she entered the man's world was her what mother and grandmother have taught her, which is not much in regards to the world and Islamic gender issues. In addition, it is apparent that her fatherless upbringing has sheltered her from having a male role model in the home, which influences her view of men. However, she is forced to learn through trial and error in order to acquire the experience to stay alive in a world where the woman's life belongs to the husband.

Siddiq Barmak's story of Osama, which is the title of the film and the name a boy gives the girl, openly displays the patriarchal Taliban rule and the insignificance of womanhood. The female insignificance is enhanced through the main character's namelessness as well as her constant covering with the burkha. It is as if the identity of the woman has been erased and the Taliban laws of women helps to enforce the oppression of women through additional discriminating laws against women. In the Taliban society a woman is what the man is, which means that if the woman is a widow she is not existent to the Taliban, which is the case with her family. It should also be noted that the extremist Taliban rule is a narrow perspective and interpretation of the Koran and Islamic faith, which had dire consequences on the women of Afghanistan.

Osama is a visually rich cinematic experience as it plays with visual symbolism. One of the strongest shots of the girl is shot through prison bars while she is jumping ropes as the the camera pans across from left to right. Jumping ropes is regarded as a girl activity in Afghanistan, but the powerful message is her happiness being a girl behind the bars where the bars symbolize the imprisonment of womanhood. The film is full of similar symbolism and each moment is equally powerful. When the girl gets stuck in the tree her feebleness might become overwhelming in a modern Western perspective, but it is a powerful depiction of the socially learned helplessness many girls acquire through childhood. These intense scenes will bring about a distressing, yet marvelous, cinematic experience that must be pondered for sometime as women's rights must be considered throughout the whole world.

Studio: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Director: Siddiq Barmak
Marina Golbahari
Zubaida Sahar
Mohamad Nader Khadjeh

DVD title: The Right Stuff
Productgroup: DVD
The Right Stuff - movie DVD cover picture
A Film that Will Have You Cheering from Your Seat

I didn't really want to see "The Right Stuff" all those years ago, but it was nominated for an Oscar, and my best friend really was eager to go, so I obliged. Just before the movie started, an announcement was made as to its length, and I was even less inclined to like the show. Well, let me just say, that I loved this movie then, and I still do!
The men who were the heroic Mercury astronauts are wonderfully portrayed by a great ensemble cast, featuring Ed Harris as John Glenn. All different types, the former test pilots realize that their strength will be in their unity, and once they band together, they get to play the game by their rules, LBJ notwithstanding. Sam Shepard does a great job as Chuck Yeagher, the test pilot not even considered for the job, since he isn't a college man. So we see the two paths juxtaposed against the other, the career test pilot believed by the astronauts themselves to be the best, and the band of astronauts who make history as the space program takes off.
If you want to see a movie about heroes, then "The Right Stuff" is the flight to catch.

Studio: Warner Studios
Director: Philip Kaufman
Sam Shepard
Scott Glenn

DVD title: Training Day
Productgroup: DVD
Training Day - movie DVD cover picture
Denzel Washington in his Academy Award winning best

I can say that the film has no flaws. Also Ethan Hawke's characters is not subdued, in fact, Hawke's character (Jake Hoyt) while being sensitive and moral, is at the same intense level as Denzel Washington's.

You can't write a review, without describing the plot.

The story is very real and vivid. It concerns a rookie cop named
Jake Hoyt (Hawke) who is assigned to a veteran narcotics cop named Alonzo Harris (Denzel Washington).

During hia first few days on the job. Hoyr observes how Harris does his job of busting crooks and drug dealers. Alonzo is like a Dirty Harry movie, everyone in the city knows who he is and is scared to death of the gritty cop.

However, underneath, that great cop lies a crooked, corrupt policeman who is playing both sides of the law.... This is Denzel Washington best role ever, and he won the Oscar over Russell Crowe for best actor and it was well deserved.

Denzel through Alonzo creates another memorable corrupt villain
in film history.

Ethan Hawke is also great as Jake Hoyt. In fact both actors were nominated for their roles in the movie.

I just checked out the DVD, and it's absolutely fantastic!!!

The alternate ending is actually almost identical to the original ending, the featurettes are great though along
with the candid commentary by Antoine Fuqua.

It was the movie of the year in 2001 and this was before Sept. 11, before we started getting really concerned about corrupt individuals.

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Antoine Fuqua
Denzel Washington
Ethan Hawke

DVD title: The Phantom of the Opera (Widescreen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
The Phantom of the Opera (Widescreen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Not enough Hype

If this film were to be given one millionth the pre publicity that the "Star Wars" films get, it would probably have been a box office triumph. It is flawless! The film opened with NO advance publicity. I think the producers thought the film would sell itself. It did, but not to the momentum needed to recoup its 90 million dollar investement. How shocking that a crude, toilet humor film like "Meet the Fockers" could earn a quarter of a billion dollars shows what type of world we live in.
If I see one more review on this version of Phantom that mentions M. Crawford and S. Brightman, I will scream. Why is it always the original interpretations are the best? If Phyllys Diller and Bob Hope had been the originals, would they be wanted for the film? Give me a break. Sarah Brightman's casting in the play was nepotism, period! She stank!!!! Crawford was fine but the dozens after him were as good if not better! The stage musical is all spectacle and no emotion. The film makes you feel for the characters. Every frame is a work of art. Emma Rossum is stunning. Gerald Butler reaks of sexuality and is a fine actor. Whatever happend to just being entertained at the movies? Do we have to have the "f" word in every other phrase of dialogue and sex and violence? To quote one reviewer: this film is a breath of fresh air.

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Joel Schumacher
Gerard Butler
Emmy Rossum
Patrick Wilson

DVD title: Mr. Show - The Complete First and Second Seasons
Productgroup: DVD
Mr. Show - The Complete First and Second Seasons - movie DVD cover picture
Mr. Show on DVD??

...if you consider yourself a person with a sense of humor, strap in, turn on, and drop from laughter. There are dozens and dozens of sketches that make me roll when I think about them. I won't go into detail here, but you should definitely pick up a copy of the DVD. And what a bargain! Can you put a price on joy? Amazon has, and it's cheap! Write it off as a medical expense. Laughter is good for the body, after all...

Studio: HBO Home Video
David Cross (II)
Bob Odenkirk

DVD title: The Freshman
Productgroup: DVD
The Freshman - movie DVD cover picture
An offbeat gem

Although I enjoyed this spoof of The Godfather (and other genres) on first viewing, I didn't fully appreciate its offbeat charm and cleverness. A second viewing a few years later brought home to me just how original and endearing The Freshman really is. Sadly overlooked on its release, this is a movie that works on many levels. Its outrageous plot manages to combine parody, Hitchcockian twists, sparkling dialogue and, at times, touching scenes of affection, in one superbly balanced package. Its achievement is all the more astonishing when one recalls that this was the directorial debut of its talented writer/director, Andrew Bergman.
The cast is brilliant. Seasoned pros such as Bruno Kirby and Maximilian Schell (the latter enjoying himself immensely as the gaily enigmatic Larry London) lend wonderful support to the two leads, Matthew Broderick and Marlon Brando. Broderick is ideally cast as the young college student embroiled in the affairs of the Sabatini "clan", while Brando gives one of his most likeable performances as the ageing "don" who bears more than a passing resemblance to you-know-who. On paper at least, the very notion of Brando sending up his most famous role must have seemed a risky move, but the great Marlon effortlessly avoids any opportunities for tastelessness. If anything, he enhanced my enjoyment of his original Don Corleone, simultaneously parodying and paying tribute to his greatest creation, and no movie buff would want to miss this cinematic reincarnation. Furthermore, Broderick and Brando enjoy a wonderful on-screen chemistry, and I was both touched and amused by their rapport.
Also deserving of mention is Paul Benedict as Arthur Fleeber, the slimey professor of film studies whom Broderick encounters. Benedict hilariously sends up the loathsome pretentiousness of such types, and the scene in which he receives his comeuppance is deliciously handled.
In short, The Freshman is a joy from start to finish, and repeated viewings will only enhance your enjoyment of this daring little gem.

Studio: Columbia/Tristar Studios
Director: Andrew Bergman
Marlon Brando
Matthew Broderick

TopSellers at Amazon - Action and Adventure movie DVD disks

A Pleasant Shade Of Gray : A Novel of the NYPD
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The Secret Life of Bees
The Beast And Babylon

TopSellers at Amazon - Comedy movie DVD disks

A Pleasant Shade Of Gray : A Novel of the NYPD
The Historian
No Country for Old Men
The Da Vinci Code
Eleven on Top (A Stephanie Plum Novel)
4th of July
Angels & Demons
To Kill a Mockingbird
Crusader's Cross : A Dave Robicheaux Novel (Dave Robicheaux Mysteries (Hardcover))

TopSellers at Amazon - Sci-Fi and Fantasy movie DVD disks

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Book 6)
The Time Traveler's Wife
Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Book 5 Audio CD)
Fahrenheit 451
The Traveler : A Novel
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Harry Potter (J.K. Rowling))
The Chronicles of Narnia
Knife of Dreams (Wheel of Time, Book 11)

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Photo Release -- Servinova, a Cisco Systems Registered Partner Company Has Started Network Testing on CISCO Aironet (PrimeZone via Yahoo! Finance)
2N Intros GSM VOIP Support (
Wireless: Making a living from cellphone innards (International Herald Tribune)
Photo Release -- Servinova, a Cisco Systems Registered Partner Company Has Started Network Testing on CISCO Aironet (RedNova)
Group Helps Fight AIDS in Zambia; Four From Vancouver Join Christian Program (RedNova)
Docomo seeking overseas suppliers (Electronic Engineering Times Asia)
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