Film DVD related reviews


DVD title: Kids
Productgroup: DVD
Kids - movie DVD cover picture
Thought prokoving


This film totally blows me away. Growing up in New York City is an absolutely unique experience. I knew plenty of kids like this and the fact that this was filmed where I grew up make it hit home even harder. For the people who Didn't like this film they are just not looking hard enough. This is almost a documentary, and should be seen as the example for all other cities in America to avoid. There are some very tough issues that "Kids" deals with in a most refreshingly honest way.

Studio: Vidmark/Trimark
Director: Larry Clark
Actors:
Leo Fitzpatrick
Justin Pierce
Chloë Sevigny




DVD title: A Clockwork Orange
Productgroup: DVD
A Clockwork Orange - movie DVD cover picture
simply a masterpiece


On so many different levels does this movie, based on the novel by Anthony Burgess, excell. Many will take one look at this film and abruptly deem it "disgusting" or "sadistic." But look closer, and you will find an incredible performance on multiple levels. From the cinematography, which makes you feel a as if you are a part of Alex (the lead character), and the soundtrack, which at first boggles your mind with the pieces selected, until your realize that there are none more fitting to accompany the story, to the obvious ideals and statements on society which Burgess realized and Kubric conveyed. In my mind, one of, if not the greatest books of all time transformed into one of, if not the greatest movies of all time. An all around masterpiece. A movie for which 5 stars simply does not do it justice.

Studio: Warner Studios
Director: Stanley Kubrick
Actors:
Malcolm McDowell
Patrick Magee




DVD title: Fist of Legend
Productgroup: DVD
Fist of Legend - movie DVD cover picture
If you only buy one flick of this kind, this is the flick...


Jet's best picture period. A true fan should look for an out of print Hong Kong uncut version. There is only over three minutes cut out, but it's an important scene that establishes character developement, and the english subtitles explain the dialogue in more detail and makes much more sense.
That's people for ya'! Givin' this sweet movie a disgusting four star rating! Thanks non-kung fu fans! These people must go on here and give "Abbey Road" a four and a half talkin' about: "It's good, but not THAT good".....Your tasteless like diet crackers. This movie is perfection: Action, direction, acting, cinematogrophy....Just perfection.... THIS is a correct review for beginner kung fu fans... Enjoy!

Studio: Dimension Home Video
Director: Gordon Chan
Actors:
Jet Li



DVD title: Underworld (Full Screen Special Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Underworld (Full Screen Special Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
This movie is great!!!


I saw this movie a few days after it came out in theaters and I loved it! I don't understand why people are so hostile about the movie. The only thing that was like the Matrix was all of the slow moving stuff (Which is in almost every movie nowadays). Underworld was so much better than any of the Blade movies and Kate Beckinsale is awesome as Selene. This was definately one of the best movies of the year!

Studio: Columbia Tristar Hom
Director: Len Wiseman
Actors:
Kate Beckinsale
Scott Speedman
Shane Brolly




DVD title: Yankee Doodle Dandy (Two-Disc Special Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Yankee Doodle Dandy (Two-Disc Special Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
The most "American" movie ever made? Quite possibly!


Oh what an out-and-out joy is this film!
As you know by now, the amazing James Cagney sings, dances and acts his way through this rousing biopic of George M. Cohan. He's directed by Michael Curtiz, a director who apparently could work in any genre of movie, and produce masterpieces. Pull up his name on imdb and you'll see what I mean.

Anyways, the film traces his life from his infant vaudevillian beginnings to his conquering of Broadway. After seeing this, you'll know why there's a statue of Cohan in Times Square.

The acting, as expected, is top-notch, with the sweet Joan Leslie as his love interest Mary, Walter Huston as his dad; Cagney's sister plays Cagney's sister...but what will bring you to see this movie again and again are the musical interludes.

Cagney is simply spectacular. He is a comet, bouncing around the Broadway stage. His dancing often flirts with straight-out levitation. I swear there are times when his feet fly across the screen...

Then consider the songs..."Yankee Doodle Dandy", "Mary", "Give My Regards to Broadway" and the most patriotic song I've ever heard, "Over There."

That song was written for the troops of WW I, and this film was being made when Pearl Harbor was attacked. The way this one song is used in this film, I guarantee, will stay with you forever. And knowing that this movie was made during that time only enhances your experience...but I didn't know it until afterwards, and it made no difference.

And that leads to the one thing I feel is overlooked in most reviews of this film: the script. It's has a strong story, great lines, terrific set-pieces and delightful twists. It's funny as all-get-out, and heart-wrenching when you least expect it.

The movie is as American as can be...the rags-to-riches rise of the central figure in Broadway history (the Broadway musical being essentially an American creation), the way his family travels to all the new states as they are incorporated...the evolution of New York City...WW I...WW II...it's all here!

And from beginning to end, Cohan (and the filmmakers) wear their "Grand Old Flag" on their proverbial sleeves, proudly and unabashedly. Patriotism is a definite theme througout the film, rising to dizzying heights right before the credits. Patriotism portrayed simply and honestly, without any hard political bent or satirical edge.

The DVD, one of those sweet Warner 2-disc sets, is exemplary...great transfer, nice extras...bravo Warner, again, for treating your classics with respect.

It's inarguable: this is one of the great films of all time. I envy those of you about to see it for the first time, and I assure you it won't be your last!

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Michael Curtiz
Actors:
James Cagney
Joan Leslie
Walter Huston




DVD title: The Usual Suspects
Productgroup: DVD
The Usual Suspects - movie DVD cover picture
"Who Is Keyser Soze?" You'll have to see the film!


I can't think of a much better film than the Usual Suspects. It combines incredible acting talent, riveting script, and direction that is remininsce of the classic thrillers of the 40's and 50's. Bryan Singer does a terrific job as the director, and Christopher McQuarrie's script is something all hopeful screenplay writers aspire to accomplish. The script won the Oscar, as well as Kevin Spacey, for Best Supporting Actor.
Kevin Spacey is a crippled ex-con who is brought into the police station after a boat full of 90 million dollars of drugs is blown up, along with several people. He then proceeds to tell the police what happened the past several weeks. A group of felons, including Spacey, is brought together for a lineup one night after a cop truck is hijacked, with all of it's illegal guns aboard missing. With no evidence, the police let them go. But the five men hatch a scheme to get even with the cops, resulting in a payoff for them, and a big ... for the cops. This scene is terrific, with the men taking money from a police "Taxi" service, and many officers indicted on transporting criminals in their squad cars for profit. This scheme shows how well the five work together, and sets up the rest of the movie.
Spacy then tells the cops that they went to California to lay low for awhile, until a much bigger caper appealed to them. I won't go into further details, but let me tell you that the intermix of scenes of Spacey's narrative and the story he tells is perfectly done. And you have to see the mind-blowing ending. The Usual Suspects is a great film, and I have high hopes that you'll enjoy it to. As for the DVD release, it comes with director's commentary and full/screen/wide options, but it only has Dolby Digital 2.0, so you won't get the full digital sound. Other than that, a great movie.

Studio: Mgm/Ua Studios
Director: Bryan Singer
Actors:
Gabriel Byrne
Kevin Spacey
Chazz Palminteri




DVD title: Star Trek - The Original Series, Vol. 38 - Episodes 75 & 76: The Way to Eden / Requiem for Methuselah
Productgroup: DVD
Star Trek - The Original Series, Vol. 38 - Episodes 75 & 76: The Way to Eden /  Requiem for Methuselah - movie DVD cover picture
A Requiem for the Loved and Lost


A requiem is a mass for the dead. Methuselah lived 900 years but did die. Not so Mr. Flint, and old and tired man who cannot die but who has been dead for millenia.
This is one of the most powerful displays of television drama I have seen. James Daly, the guest star, creates a compelling character of depth, with pitiable resignation in a man who has known all there is to know--and yet is alone (sounds like V'ger, now that I think of it...).
Although there are inconsistencies in the plot, I find them minor compared to Shatner's portrayal of anguish and desperation in the final act, leading to Rayna's death from a broken heart.
All who have loved and lost will see themselves in "Requiem for Methuselah" and understand it perfectly.
Oh yeah--pretend "The Way to Eden" isn't here. It would be for the best.

Studio: Paramount Home Video



DVD title: In the Name of the Father
Productgroup: DVD
In the Name of the Father - movie DVD cover picture
A brilliant, yet harrowing film


"In the Name of the Father" is a brilliant and controversial movie which examines in some detail the case of the Guildford Four, and especially the case of Gerry and Giuseppe Conlon, who were wrongly convicted of bombing a pub in the town of Guildford, England, on October 5, 1974. This bombing, which took the lives of several innocent victims, was alleged to be part of an ongoing Irish Republican Army (IRA) campaign of terror that year. The convictions of the Guildford Four, it was later proved, were based on forced confessions, perjured testimony, and - at best - extremely scanty and questionable forensic evidence.
"In the Name of the Father" is a brilliant film on all levels. Daniel Day-Lewis turns in a tough, gritty, and realistic performance as the irrepressible Gerry Conlon - perhaps one of Day-Lewis' least known, but best movie performances ever. Pete Postlethwaite is magnificent as the gentle Giuseppe Conlon, who is the film's ultimate victim. And Emma Thompson rises to her usual level of brilliant acting as the tough-minded but emotional lawyer, Gareth Peirce.
This movie does not pretend at any point to be an objective examination of the Guildford Four case. It is a strong advocate for the innocence of the people involved, and an unsparing critic of the British legal and penal systems. Some of the points made in the film border on the hyperbolic - for example, the interjection of the fictional IRA terrorist "Joe McAndrew," to press home the point that the British government knew of the Guildford Four's innocence, but, fearing a loss of confidence by the British public, chose to ignore evidence which exonerated them. Still, the film does not suffer any loss of credibility by so blatantly taking sides in such a politically and emotionally charged issue.
This is one of those rare films which does three things very well. First: it entertains. This is a dramatic and exciting story, replete with wonderfully realistic characters that are easy to understand and relate to. Second: "In the Name of the Father" educates. Very seldom have I learned more about a particular time or set of circumstances than I have from this film. (I must note at this point that I was living in England in 1989 when this case came to a head. I followed news accounts of it with great interest.) Third: the movie persuades. It is both a scathing criticism of a legal and penal system gone awry, and an apt description of what can happen when a democratic system becomes afraid of its own people. At the same time, it's a wonderfully inspiring testimony to the ultimate strength of the human spirit in times when all seems nearly lost.

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: Jim Sheridan
Actors:
Daniel Day-Lewis



DVD title: 32 Short Films About Glenn Gould
Productgroup: DVD
32 Short Films About Glenn Gould - movie DVD cover picture
Not a documentary; not meant to be.


This is a wonderful film. It has introduced me to Glenn Gould after I had been studiously avoiding him due to a purist "authentic performance" buff's dislike of Bach on the piano. Many wasted years. As to the film itself, it is not a documentary. It was never meant to be. Nor does it have a linear story line. It was never meant to have. It is a pastiche, a cinematographic collage using a theme. The theme is Gould and his relationships and we see the number of effects he had on people from a huge variety of the social spectrum. Really this is why it is like variations on a theme, and juxtaposing this to the Goldberg Variations (unique too in their own way, being the ONLY set of Variations Bach ever composed) is a masterful stroke. Judicious use of dramatic license portrays this obviously complex man in a very sympathetic light and with real cinematographic flair. The Hamburg scene so eloquently evokes Germany that I felt a momentary pang of "homesickness" (I lived there for 8 years). Masterful cinema, beautifully paced, varied and interesting. I must answer the typically america-centric view of one of the reviewers directly. There are two reasons why Yehudi Menhuin speaks French. 1)The film was made by Canadians and English is not the only language in the world, and 2)It is sonically more interesting to have a French interview at that point in the film. Far from struggling with his French I feel that Mr. Menhuin was struggling with ideas and concepts about a complex and confusing man and Mr Menhuins relationship to him. Masterful cinema....just think more about it

Studio: Columbia Tri-Star
Director: François Girard
Actors:
Colm Feore



DVD title: Spun (Unrated Version)
Productgroup: DVD
Spun (Unrated Version) - movie DVD cover picture
Brilliant


This film was a big surprise for me.(Read above for the film summary).The film was well acted by all, especially Brittany Murphy, and the film was very stylish and imaginative (excellent use of animation during hallucinations). Directed by Jonus Akerland (who directed Madonna's Ray Of Light video), you can see he has a trade mark style -face paced, sped up imagery.Really enjoyable, gritty, funny and stylish.

Studio: Columbia Tri-Star
Director: Jonas Ã…kerlund
Actors:
Jason Schwartzman
Mickey Rourke
Brittany Murphy
John Leguizamo
Patrick Fugit
Mena Suvari




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