Film DVD related reviews


DVD title: Stealing Beauty
Productgroup: DVD
Stealing Beauty - movie DVD cover picture
The Best Liv Tyler Performance!


This breakout performance of Liv Tyler is by far her greatest work.
Under the lush scenes of Italy, a young woman/girl, Lucy, comes looking to solve the mystery her mother left behind. Who is her natural father? Her mother left the clues in the poetry she wrote, and Lucy investigates the villa of a family friend to find her answer.
While she searches, Lucy affects all those around her at the villa. While discovering the mystery of her past, the discovers the mysteries of her present. This is an excellent coming of age story.

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
Director: Bernardo Bertolucci
Actors:
Jeremy Irons
Liv Tyler




DVD title: Young Frankenstein (Special Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Young Frankenstein (Special Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Comedic Genius


Mel Brooks' tribute to the Frankenstein movies of the 40s is done with such love, such skill, and such side-splitting, fall-on-the-floor hilarity, that it has rightfully become a comedy classic. I first saw it in a movie theater: I had no idea what it was, had very little knowledge of Mel Brooks at the time, and expected to be bored. Instead, I found myself shrieking aloud with laughter that became so intense, I missed many of the major lines. Hence the video.
What can I say? From the wild-eyed Igor, the hunchbacked Transylvanian servant whose hump keeps changing from side to side, to the modern-day descendant of Baron von Frankenstein, determined not to follow in his great-grandfather's nefarious footsteps, to the nurse, a naif with enormous...er...chestal appendages, to the fearsome Frau Bleucher, whose mere mention causes horses in the castle's faraway stables to neigh in fear...to the scene of the monster and his creator singing and dancing in black tie to "putting on the Ritz," this movie should come with a warning: "Danger--Uncontrollable Laughter May Become Chronic."
The cast is beyond superb. The late, wonderful British comedian Marty Feldman (Igor), who turned his congenital wandering eyes into comedic foils, never misses a beat as second banana to Gene Wilder, who plays the distraught Dr. Frankenstein to the hilt and beyond. Cloris Leachman, who looks like a cross between a witch and a warlock, plays the feared housekeeper Frau Bleucher (neighhh!!!), and a very young, beautiful, and buxom Teri Garr plays the nurse-assistant to the good doctor. Then there is the marvelous Madeline Kahn, who gave a bravura performance as the doctor's fiancee. The late comedienne's burst into operatic ecstasy during her rape by the monster is simply inspired, and is one of the comedic high points of the entire film. All of Kahn's considerable talents came into play during this movie; she was taken from us too soon.
In my view, nobody should be without their own copy of Young Frankenstein. View it alone, view it with a group of friends (all of whom will have their favorite "movie moments"), view it with your children. But by all means, do view it!

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
Director: Mel Brooks
Actors:
Gene Wilder
Marty Feldman
Madeline Kahn




DVD title: Road to Perdition (Widescreen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Road to Perdition (Widescreen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
A worthy follow up to American Beauty


With all the critical praise and the handful of Academy Awards that were bestowed on American Beauty, director Sam Mendes had a lot to live up to with his follow up film. Based on the graphic novel by Max Allan Collins, Road to Perdition tells the story of Irish mob hitman Mike Sullivan (Tom Hanks) who, along with his pre-teen son, are on the run while he seeks revenge on his former partner who murdered his family. Hanks gives one of his better (but not his best) performances as he tries to against his typical good guy roles (a la an Oscar winning Denzel Washington), but in the end he comes out being a likeable character nonetheless. Paul Newman (in an Oscar nominated performance) chews up as much screen time as he can, but his best moments are when he and Hanks share the screen together. The standout performance however, goes to Jude Law as a picture taking hitman sent after Hanks and son, and while his screen time is limited, Law is simply chilling and gives us the film's most memorable role. Mendes' directing is slow paced, but that doesn't take anything away from the film thanks to the gorgeous cinematography that set this tale of redemption and revenge apart from other films of its' genre. All in all, I strongly suggest Road to Perdition to anyone and everyone, although some will say that this is not for all tastes.

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: Sam Mendes
Actors:
Tyler Hoechlin
Tom Hanks




DVD title: Dance with Me
Productgroup: DVD
Dance with Me - movie DVD cover picture
Just watch the dancing? Impossible!


When DANCE WITH ME came out on VHS, we were urged to go right out and rent it because the reviewer felt it deserved more attention than it received in theaters. Upon renting it, we were amazed at the amount of music and dance pouring over us. The woman in the beginning dance scenes made our hearts stop and the blond female singer in the Cuban nightclub was mesmerizing. We have tried several times to determine who they are. But this was just the beginning. One is transported past any failings of the story by the driving rhythms and dancing. The music makes you want to move; the dancing makes you want to find a dance studio. The conflict between dancing for the joy of it and dancing in competition is well delineated without overpowering the more important and sometimes subtle points of the film. In addition to the outstanding performances of Vanessa Williams and Chayanne, this film is full of delightful surprises such as Jane Krakowski's stunning dance with Chayanne, Joan Plowrights fun-filled participation,the "community dances" at the Cuban nightclub, and spectactular dances from current and past participants in actual dance competitions. The hullabaloo at the dance competition is augmented with the talent, humor, passion, disappointments, and beauty that is dance. The morning after watching and thoroughly enjoying this film, on several levels, we decided to "just watch the dancing" before taking it back to the video store. Two hours later we rushed to get it back before the deadline! It is not possible to "just watch the dance sequences". We have repeatedly viewed, shared and recommended this film. We wore out our VHS versions and purchased the DVD. Any serious dance enthusiast should have this film in the library along with STRICKLY BALLROOM, SHALL WE DANCE, and the many classic musicals now available on DVD. This review is based on both VHS and DVD versions.

Studio: Columbia/Tristar Studios
Director: Randa Haines
Actors:
Vanessa L. Williams
Chayanne




DVD title: Ferris Bueller's Day Off
Productgroup: DVD
Ferris Bueller's Day Off - movie DVD cover picture
Mid 80's classic


Ferris Beuller is without doubt the best film John Hughes made in his career. While admittedly it is not the finest piece of cinema to be released in the U.S, its lively, funny, charming, and most importantly, its damn funny. If you want to see a great teen comedy before the genre was ruined by the current teen-slasher craze, you could do far worse than giving ferris a try.

Studio: Paramount Studio
Director: John Hughes
Actors:
Matthew Broderick
Alan Ruck
Mia Sara




DVD title: Leaving Las Vegas
Productgroup: DVD
Leaving Las Vegas - movie DVD cover picture
A SPECTACULAR FILM


I've seen this Movie and the truth is it made me cry to see how two very different persons could come together and be able to love each other as much as Ben(Nicholas Cage) and Sera(Elizabeth Shue) did.

Studio: Mgm/Ua Studios
Director: Mike Figgis
Actors:
Nicolas Cage
Elisabeth Shue




DVD title: Soul Food - The Complete First Season
Productgroup: DVD
Soul Food - The Complete First Season - movie DVD cover picture
Can't wait till the next season on DVD is released.


I loved every episode, great story lines, great acting. I can't say enough positive things about this.

Studio: Paramount Home Video
Actors:
Nicole Ari Parker



DVD title: Shania Twain - Up (Live in Chicago)
Productgroup: DVD
Shania Twain - Up (Live in Chicago) - movie DVD cover picture
up


"It'll get you good". A must have in any Shania fan's stocking.

Studio: Universal Music & VI
Actors:
Shania Twain



DVD title: Battlestar Galactica - The Complete Epic Series (Limited Edition Cylon Head Packaging)
Productgroup: DVD
Battlestar Galactica - The Complete Epic Series (Limited Edition Cylon Head Packaging) - movie DVD cover picture
TV Classics On DVD - The Best Thing To Happen To DVD's


It's about time Battlestar Galactica got the attention it deserved. Can I say Glen A. Larson has been my favorite producer since I was a kid. Knight Rider, Fall Guy, Sheriff Lobo ... and the list goes on and on. Check out My website http://members.aol.com/VTWriter/abc-inde x.html for more fun I also bought on DVD - Star Trek TNG (all 7) Star Trek DS9 (first 5), UFO, Space 1999, Thunderbirds (and all of Gerry Anderson's Marionation series) , Avengers, Saint, Secret Agent Man, The Prinsoner, Mash, Jeffersons, All In The Family, Good Times, Simpson's, Babylon 5, Dr. Quinn, Transformers, G.I. Joe, Jeeves and Wooster, Monty Python's Flying Circus, Nero Wolfe, Hammer House of Horror, .. and many many more....... keep the TV past alive for our children on DVD ..... keep them coming

Studio: Universal Studios
Actors:
Lorne Greene



DVD title: Backbeat
Productgroup: DVD
Backbeat - movie DVD cover picture
A love story between 2 men....


When perplexed Roger Ebert reviewed this movie, he joked that saying this movie is about the early Beatles is like saying Hamlet is about a gravedigger who meets a prince.
A synopsis of this movie is: John Lennon convinces Stuart Sutcliffe (Stephen Dorff), an art school friend, to join the band as a bass player. He agrees and off they go to Hamburg. The other band members are bewildered as to why John insists that such an untalented muscian as Stuart Suttcliffe is in the band in the first place. Paul and John have an argument over kicking Suttcliffe off the band, which results in John's threat to quit the band if Suttcliffe is asked to leave. In the meantime, Sutcliffe has met Astrid (Sheryl Lee), a bohemian photographer, who encourages him to pursue his interest in painting. John and Astrid spar over Suttcliffe's affection. After a violent confrontation with Stuart over Asrid, John finally accepts that Stuart is leaving him, and gets on with his life.
One might venture to ask WHY a movie that is supposed to be about the early Beatles has a plot revolving around the relationship between John Lennon and Stuart Suttcliffe?
Stuart Suttcliffe, 'the 5th Beatle' is actually a bit of trivia in the story of the Beatles. On the other hand, it's a key to understanding who John Lennon was.
This is a love story between two men, BEFORE the relatively NEW and rigid concept of orientation was established in the Sexual Revolution of the 70's and 80's. The fact that the intimacy between Lennon and Suttcliffe was never 'consumated' in an actual sex act doesn't detract from the powerful affection between them. It was just the way things were before homosexual Liberation.
This is a beautiful compelling movie. Buy it, rent it, watch it!

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: Iain Softley
Actors:
Stephen Dorff
Ian Hart




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