Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: The Searchers
Productgroup: DVD
The Searchers - movie DVD cover picture
The heart of darkness

Without a doubt, this is THE greatest western of all-time. This is John Wayne at his best, as an embittered former confederate seeking revenge against a tribe of Comanche that massacred his brother's family. A beautifully woven tale of Wayne's relentless pursuit of this tribe and the only surviving member of the original attack, Wayne's niece played by Natalie Wood. He's accompanied by Marty, played by Jeffery Hunter. Great action, suspense and comic relief throughout. As far as the racial overtones are concerned, one only have to remember that this is period piece taking place in Texas, circa 1868.

Studio: Warner Studios
Director: John Ford
John Wayne
Jeffrey Hunter

DVD title: Moulin Rouge (Single Disc Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Moulin Rouge (Single Disc Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
A Great Movie

The singing, the visuals, everything about this movie was great. Ewan McGregor is finally in a musical, with a great voice. Kidman's also good in it. As Christian (McGregor) says, "It might feel a little strange at first, but I think that if you're open, then you might enjoy it." The music was masterfully entwined within the story, and produced a great soundtrack. Unfortunately, though, "Come What May" is not up for Oscar consideration because it was written for Luhrmann's Romeo and Juliet. The DVD, coming out December 18th, is going to be the best in my collection yet. Everyone should go see this movie, and even if you hate it, go see it again because the first time I saw it, I was thinking how they tremendously screwed up what could have been a great drama/musical, but then I saw it again, and it was great!

Studio: Fox Home Entertainme
Director: Baz Luhrmann
Nicole Kidman
Ewan McGregor

DVD title: Shaun of the Dead
Productgroup: DVD
Shaun of the Dead - movie DVD cover picture
Best Rom-Com-Zom Movie Ever?

"Shaun of the Dead" (SotD) has been hyped by the AICN pundits for some time before its actual release. Although I don't always buy into their raves, this was an exception. I can't resist apocalyptic movies, especially when zombies are involved (and I don't care if they are Slow or Fast, if you get my drift. Each type has their respective merits). Of course, three things must occur to prevent disappointment with any zombie movie: 1) good story, 2) cool characters, and 3) mayhem - lots of mayhem. SotD has all three, and done well enough so I'd pay to see the movie again.

The plot of SotD is somewhat typical - ordinary people are caught up in extraordinary events, and they must rise to the occasion or die. Nothing original about that, but this time the execution is superb. As other critics have noted, this movie works on many levels, and all of them combine to more than satisfy my three requirements listed above. A couple things in particular stand out:

First, the humor is superlative, and I can't rave enough about it. There's plenty of in-joke references to past zombie movies, from the original Romero "Dead" trilogy to last year's "28 Days Later." In addition, the humorous aspects of horror conventions are explored without insulting them. For example, the whole "kill a zombie by killing the brain" staple is exploited for laughs in a country where personal gun ownership is almost non-existent. Thankfully, us Yanks will never have to rely on cricket bats and vinyl Sade albums to rid our backyards of zombies. The number of laugh-out-loud moments alone are enough to recommend this flick.

Second, the horror aspect is well done. As any genre fan knows, gore is a zombie-movie staple (normally gore is not my thing, but hey - you can't have a self-respecting zombie movie without it, for heaven's sake). What do you expect, with cannibalistic reanimated corpses that can only be stopped by extreme methods? SotD delivers plenty of gruesome human-zombie interactions, particularly during the climactic last stand at Shaun's beloved Winchester pub. And more importantly, Slow Zombie purists the world over will finally get their due, after being ignored by recent films that favored the quicker and more agile zombie variant.

Finally, the relationships between the characters and their personal struggles ring true, and will appeal to any self-respecting Gen-Xer. Shaun is the prototypical "male struggling against manhood" character, trying to hold off the twin devils of responsibility and purpose for as long as possible. His crisis transformation from slacker to savior is nicely done. The chemistry between the main characters is spot-on, and it didn't take long for me to identify with them and care about their fates. A good portion of the comedy results from their interactions, especially between Shaun and his slovenly roommate/best friend Ed. However, there are also moments of genuine feeling, as when Shaun and his long-despised stepfather have their final exchange. Indeed, the actors are the real reason this movie works, and without exception they do a commendable job.

The last two years have seen a welcome resurgence of the zombie genre, with "28 Days Later", the "Dawn of the Dead" remake, and now the excellent "Shaun of the Dead." Get all three for your horror library, and prepare for the day when there's no more room in hell (or pub).

Studio: Universal Studios Ho
Director: Edgar Wright
Simon Pegg
Kate Ashfield
Nick Frost

DVD title: The Waterboy
Productgroup: DVD
The Waterboy - movie DVD cover picture
This is the best!

This movie is soooo cool it is hilarious. Adam Sandler did sooo good. If you are thinking of buying it and you like comedy BUY IT!

Studio: Touchstone Video
Director: Frank Coraci
Adam Sandler
Kathy Bates
Henry Winkler

DVD title: The Broken Hearts Club
Productgroup: DVD
The Broken Hearts Club - movie DVD cover picture
A Fun & Gallant Gay Film!

FINALLY a gay film that celebrates who gay guys are without shame, disease, or familial issues! Writer and Director Greg Berlanti has woven a wonderful film showcasing a diverse group of friends who are more like a family. I was surprised this feature really hit home with how each character is distinguished, yet so close, like my own real-life group of friends (but here in San Francisco). The ensemble cast deliver fine, distinct performances, in a heartfelt tale that is very much unparalleled to any other gay-themed film.
The story is about a close group of friends, living in Los Angeles, who embrace who they are without any societal shame. The cast is lead by Dennis (played by talented Timothy Olyphant), an autuer photographer with dreams of pursuing his craft in Europe. But in the interim, he longs for a guy who will notice him for who he is on the inside as opposed to his goodlooks.
Nevertheless, his more gorgeous roommate Cole (a surprising role from handsome Dean Cain) utilizes his dreamboy looks and masculine/straight-acting persona to garner any goodlooking guy he wants, and does, only to reject those unsuspecting cute guys later. Cole continues doing so up until a famous "heterosexual and married" Hollywood leading hunk he falls for shows him his comeuppance at some point.
Neurotic psyche-grad Howie (Matt McGrath) is wonderful as the deducing and evaluative friend who can't fix his own love life with a live-in ex-boyfriend (Justin Theroux), yet manages to dictate advice to his friends on relationships, men, and life.
Muscle queen Benji can't get enough out of scamming on pumped-up muscleboys, only until he realizes their true nature (using people as play things, incessantly drugged-out circuit partyers, whose lives "revolve around sex and protein shakes"), practically paying with his own life while dating a muscular gym bunny.
The incomparable (Ms.) Taylor (the wonderful Taylor Porter) is a real hoot as the group's resident black drama queen who is just over-the-top! His reaction to cheating "long-term boyfriend" Paul (someone we never see, but there's no need to) helps deliver the laughs at the heart of this picture. Get ready to snap your fingers, boys!
Appearance-conscientious Patrick may not be the prettiest one of the bunch, but he truly proves what matters most from a person's inside can speak volumes over goodlooks and [...] body. Patrick definitely mirrors someone we have known sometime in our lives, and someone we always turn to in a matter of need. Ben Weber is Patrick, and his performance is heightened when his on-screen lesbian sister (Mary McCormack) and her lover (the beautiful Nia Long) want his sperm for a baby -- and perhaps Patrick will forget about his issues with appearances to concentrate on being the father of a baby.
So-called newbie Kevin (Andrew Keegan from TV's "7th Heaven") is delightful as someone we have either been or have known -- the freshly young, cute, and desirable new gay kid on the block. He himself doesn't know whether he's gay or not, but likes sleeping with gorgeous guys like Cole, while being attracted to Dennis. Oh, the memories this character can bring out in many of us . . .
And last, but not least, "Frasier"'s John Mahoney is excellent and touching as the group's father figure. Mahoney's character Jack owns the restaurant-bar the Boys work at and frequent, and he is captivating as the Shakespearean-taught and grounded elder of the group whose zest for life energizes and fuels the future hopes for the younger band of boys.
The characters here, unlike what one reviewer stated, are not really stereotypical. In fact, I have encountered, met, and personally know gay guys with personalities mirrored from this film. Though it maybe easy to label them as stereotyped, some of the other characters (Howie, Patrick, Jack) don't fit the stereotypical mode, especially since they're unconventional within a gay atmosphere, but make them true originals. I believe Greg Berlanti has encompassed a broad range of characters, set them together as friends, and made the entire film work flawlessly as each character not only care for each other, but love one another in a tight familial fashion.
"Broken Hearts Club" is a film I saw originally in the theaters, and then ran out telling my friends about it. Upon its video release, I told other friends who never saw it to "Buy it, not rent it." As you can imagine, "Broken Hearts Club" is a wonderful gay tale for everyone, especially for those young gay people just coming to terms with who they are. This film thus far is perfect in presenting how gay men can stitch together a wonderful family of friends, and therefore will never be alone in years and decades to come. This film is a must for every movie home collection!

Studio: Columbia Tri-Star
Director: Greg Berlanti
Timothy Olyphant
Zach Braff
Dean Cain

DVD title: The Stepford Wives (Widescreen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
The Stepford Wives (Widescreen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture

Stepford is a town full of perfect little womans that doesn't really exist in our world, afterall, no humans are perfect. This movie is the best movies in drama I have ever seen. The plot in this movie gets more interesting every second. This movie is kind of like mysterious kind of movie. Nicole Kidman plays Joanna, who runs a T.V. network, and kind of represent woman power. After a shockdown, she and her husband and childrens moved to Stepford, Connecticutt, where things are just too perfect and everybody is always happy, especially the husbands. Soon, Joanna discovers a dark secret of the perfectness. Will she find the secret before getting herself in 'trouble'? You'll have to find that out yourself, and I really recommend this movie, it totally rocks. I have never thought of drama movies good, because, they are confusing, but this movie is so clear---about everything. Too bad I don't own the DVD, or I get to watch it everyday.

Studio: Paramount Home Video
Director: Frank Oz
Nicole Kidman
Matthew Broderick
Bette Midler

DVD title: Noam Chomsky - Distorted Morality: America's War on Terror?
Productgroup: DVD
Noam Chomsky - Distorted Morality: America's War on Terror? - movie DVD cover picture
Essential Viewing

This is the first DVD I have ever watched by Mr. Chomsky (I have not read anything by him either). I decided to buy this DVD on a whim because of the eloquent review below by Arthur Blenheim. Mr. Chomsky gives an excellent 50 minute speech on how we are all hypocritical, not "America" as a separate entity but we the people who do not take part in our democracy. Chomsky details case after case of where the U.S. has engaged in terrorism but it wasn't even a blip on the radar screen of our media. One thing he mentioned which was very impressive was when he talked about how the U.S. told the Taliban about how we will attack them if they don't hand over Osama Bin Laden. And the Taliban stated, first give us evidence, and we will hand him over to a third party. Now when 9/11 happened and I read that the Taliban wanted evidence, the first thing I thought was what??? Those guys want evidence? Everyone knows Osama did it. But we have to realize that the Taliban don't want to be blown to smitherins. Their request for evidence not that outlandish. Before you attack another country, you should have negotiations which we did not do. In addition, we killed, starved, maimed or left thousands more Afghans homeless than actually helping them. Chomsky also talks about Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. Now Saudi Arabia has had 1,000 beheadings in the last 20 years, they practice Wahhabism, which is the strictest form of Islam. And the women over there hardly have any rights (read "Princess" by Jean Sassoon or "My Life in Saudi Arabia" by Carmen Bin Laden). But why have we supported Saudi Arabia since its inception? Because they have 40% of the world's oil and we sure as heck don't want anyone else getting their hands on it (speaking from point of view of the government).

After the 50-minute speech, there is a lively question and answer session. Chomsky seems like an extremely intelligent and articulate man. He states over and over - guys this information is not hidden, you can learn all of this with a few clicks of your mouse. Why people don't do it, I have no idea. This DVD is absolutely essential viewing for every American.

Studio: Wea Corp

DVD title: See No Evil, Hear No Evil
Productgroup: DVD
See No Evil, Hear No Evil - movie DVD cover picture
One of the funniest movies I've seen.

any one who enjoys a good old fashond comody will love see no evil, hear no evil. gene wilder and richard pryor are an absolutly hillarious duo.

Studio: Columbia/Tristar Studios
Director: Arthur Hiller
Richard Pryor
Gene Wilder

DVD title: Sailor Moon S - The Movie
Productgroup: DVD
Sailor Moon S - The Movie - movie DVD cover picture
One Word Can Actually Describe This Movie...... BEAUTIFUL

This movie was absolutely beautiful.. I ordered the subtitled version because I wanted to see and hear the original Japanese. This movie was really amazing. It kinda started out slow but it was building it's plot around certain characters (don't want to reveal certain information), but made up for it in the end. Usagi(Serena) is really a great character. For North American veiwers not exposed to Japanese Sailormoon I'd recommend this movie, you'll love her even more!

Studio: Pioneer Video
Director: Hiroki Shibata

DVD title: Under Suspicion
Productgroup: DVD
Under Suspicion - movie DVD cover picture

I enjoyed this movie so much I felt obliged to write a short comment, that is, because some viewers happened to underrate it while some others honestly admitted that its ending got them confused or disappointed. Please allow me to point out: 1. "Under Suspicion" is a psychological thriller, not an action thriller. 2. That being said, a viewer might well miss or overlook some details that helped "unravel" the plot (if so, you better watch this movie at least twice to fully enjoy it -- as in the case of "The Sixth Sense"). I won't go too far and give away anything, but let me remind you to pay close attention to how Hearst (Hackman) reacted when being presented with the photographs of the girls, because his face and his words explained everything. To me, that scene itself was worth an Oscar nomination for Hackman.

Studio: Columbia Tri-Star
Director: Stephen Hopkins
Gene Hackman
Morgan Freeman

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