Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Jane Monheit - Live at the Rainbow Room
Productgroup: DVD
Jane Monheit - Live at the Rainbow Room - movie DVD cover picture
UK release

Does anyone know if this is available or due for release on UK or European DVD format?

Studio: Red Distribution, In
Peter Eldridge
Alan Broadbent
Jane Monheit

DVD title: Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
Productgroup: DVD
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof - movie DVD cover picture
The best performance Burl Ives ever gave

Most people cite this one as memorable because of the performances of Taylor and Newman, and while both are excellent, I think it's Burl Ives as Big Daddy who literally steals the show (he and Madeleine Sherwood, who is also excellent, were reprising their Broadway roles). Taylor gives what I feel is her best performance on the heels of personal tragedy (as many film fans know, her husband Mike Todd was killed not long before this movie in a plane crash) - this is probably her most subdued performance and to me, she's always better when she keeps herself under control (as compared to, say, "Reflections in a Golden Eye," "Cleopatra," or "Boom!"). Madeleine Sherwood definitely deserved an Oscar Nomination as "Sister Woman" May, one of the screen's most hideous harridans, the "monster of fertility" (you just want to give this woman some birth control tablets). It's hard for me to concentrate on symbolism when I watch this movie - I get engulfed in some of the humor and the general family warfare that prevails, but like all Williams plays / films, it features a fragile Southern woman who ends up getting trounced on ("Big Mama" Judith Anderson) and a whole slew of characters who are hiding things about themselves and are too scared to face reality (I think every character could be put under this umbrella in one way or another). Without a doubt, my favorite Tennesee Williams drama and the best one adapted to film (yes, I remember "Streetcar.")

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Richard Brooks
Elizabeth Taylor
Paul Newman
Burl Ives

DVD title: The Untouchables
Productgroup: DVD
The Untouchables - movie DVD cover picture

This film marks several remarkable firsts: The first true representation of a David Mamet film script (although "The Verdict" in 1980 came first), the leading-man status of Kevin Costner (deservedly so, since despite disasters like "The Postman" and "3000 Miles to Graceland", he's a very good actor with a very impressive resume and an Oscar to boot), Sean Connery's first Oscar win, also very much deserved, and most importantly, the first good film from Brian De Palma. People call films like "Body Double", "Carrie", "Blow Out" and "Dressed to Kill" classics... why they do, I have nary a clue. Those are some of the worst rip-off films in history. His "Hitchcockian" feeling is, to me, straight-up plagarism. He rips off plots and shots that are embarassing mish-moshes of Hitch's best (and worst) stuff. And did you see "Mission to Mars"? I didn't think so. And the only people that I can imagine that liked "Femme Fatale" were fans of the bathroom sequence (If you saw it, you know what I'm talking about). The only other film of his that was worth watching was "Mission: Impossible". But "The Untouchables" is a real work of art. I won't go into plot points, but I'll comment on the film's great points: 1) The dialogue is sparkling. Mamet makes these people real as opposed to just making them standard action caricatures (the young idealist, the grizzled old wise-man, the cocky rookie, and the dorky fifth-wheel). 2) The performances are top-notch. Costner, Connery, Martin Smith, Garcia, De Niro, and an underrated performance from Richard Bradford as Chief Dorsett really help to pull this film off. They give it all they got. They make the tragedy and drama and excitement and horror and triumpth of this film work. 3) The visuals are stunning. Stephen Burum really makes that camera work, especially with those beautiful shots of LaSalle Street. This film is a great revisionist telling of the Eliot Ness vs. Al Capone brawl. The film obviously takess a lot of liberties with history, but they really work, especially with the dispatching of one particularly bad man which in my opinion makes for the MOST satisfying film death EVER. It really makes you happy to watch this guy bite it ("Did he sound anything like THAT?!?"). This is a great film and I could not recommend it more highly. But go ahead and skip the rest of De Palma's 'classics'.

Studio: Paramount Studio
Director: Brian De Palma
Kevin Costner
Sean Connery
Robert De Niro

DVD title: Straight Out of Compton
Productgroup: DVD
Straight Out of Compton - movie DVD cover picture
Very Awesome Movie For A Low Budget Film !!!

I first wanted to see this movie sence it had to do with record companys, but after it had so many different things involved in the movie I just started to enjoy it, this has to be one of the best low budget films I've seen. For a bunch of brothers from Compton who have never acted in there life, and to put it down the first time, you can't ask for anything more, PURCHASE THIS MOVIE !!!
Mista MC

Studio: York Home Video
Director: Ryan Combs

DVD title: Snow Falling on Cedars
Productgroup: DVD
Snow Falling on Cedars - movie DVD cover picture
One of the best

This was truly one of the best films I have ever seen...a total experience...landscape of the Pacific Northwest, sensual flashbacks to young love, the incredible bigotry of Americans against Japanese Americans...a gripping story with some of the best acting by all characters. A movie that is as good as the book if not better. A must see.

Studio: Universal Studios
Ethan Hawke

DVD title: Angel Wars - Guardian Force
Productgroup: DVD
Angel Wars - Guardian Force - movie DVD cover picture
Fills in gap -- God's chosen warriors

Very good counter to superhero void, picking up where VeggieTales left off. With parental reinforcement, this animated superhero style action packed storyline leads to excellent discusion on God's strength and the ever present dark 'angel'. As with all cartoons, there is artistic additions, but very easily discussed and identified as additions to God's truths. Example: A school for angel training / trainees. Again, not a huge roadblock, just an openning for discussion and spritual growth for both child and parent.


DVD title: Berlin Philharmonic's New Year's Gala 1997
Productgroup: DVD
Berlin Philharmonic's New Year's Gala 1997 - movie DVD cover picture
Wow... I love this !!

The concert in the DVD is full of variety and features world's famous musicians. Otter is really amazing with Carmen. So is Bryn Terfel. Carmen fantasy by Gil Shaham is also my favotite part of the concert. He did wonderful performance with it. Of course, Pletnev's Rachmaninoff is fabulous too. The technical quality of both sound and vision is superb.
All in all, this is the best classical music concert DVD I have ever seen and you must own.

Studio: Arthaus Musik

DVD title: 21 Jump Street - The Complete First Season
Productgroup: DVD
21 Jump Street - The Complete First Season - movie DVD cover picture
Even After all these years, Penhall is still the man!!!!

Great DVD, awsome show, One of the few old 80s shows that still holds up to this day. Unbeleavable!!!! Commentary with Peter Deluise is Freakin Awsome and funny as hell!!! Interviews are great!!! One of the greatest shows ever made!!!! Such an awsome dvd, I would trade my first born for a copy!!! Freakin great!!!

Studio: Anchor Bay Entertain
Peter DeLuise

DVD title: All I Wanna Do
Productgroup: DVD
All I Wanna Do - movie DVD cover picture

Interestingly, this movie takes place the same year that Betty Friedan wrote "The Feminine Mystique". It begins in early 1963 when one Odette Sinclair, played by a rebellious but very charismatic Gaby Hoffman, is taken from her home in Michigan, horse in tow, to the Miss Godard's School for Girls in Connecticut by irate parents after she is caught planning a tryst with her boyfriend, Dennis (a still-slightly boyish Matthew Lawrence). At first, she resents the change of atmosphere. But the solemn, tremulous girl soon finds companionship with a group of girls, who, although they can be antagonistic, encourage her to find other aspirations beyond having sex with her boyfriend. These include her two luminescent blonde roomates, the sexually mature Tinka,whose favorite colors to wear when she's out of uniform are red and black, and the ever-scheming Verena, deftly played by Monica Keena and Kirsten Dunst respectively. Heather Matarazzo's bulimic Tweety is a rather weak-willed character, and Merrit Wever's Momo is strong and smart. Together, these girls form a secret organization called The Daughters of the American Ravioli, in which they pledge to help each other acheive their goals. One of the more immediate ones is to rid the school of their lecherous teacher Mr. Dewey, to whom his portrayer, Robert Bockstael, gives such understated underhandedness. At a time when sex crimes against students at the hands of teachers may have been underreported due to the fact that the teachers most likely would have gotten off, this makes an interesting subplot. But 1963 was the beginning of the modern feminist movement, and these girls take matters into their own hands after the Board of Trustees threatens to merge the school with the St. Ambrose Boys Academy without giving the students any say in the matter. Using every non-violent rescource they have to gain the attention of authority figures, they ultimately help to bail their school out of the financial troubles that led to the decision to merge with the Boys' Academy, and we watch these girls assert themselves and find their voices in a way that might have been more unusual in 1963 than it would be today. Lynn Redgrave leads the cast as the prudish but sympathetic headmistress of Miss Godard's with a very accurate New England accent (Notice how the statue of the school's foundress looks like her). What struck me about her appearance was mainly her outdated hairdo. The soft-spoken Abby Sawyer, portrayed by Rachel Leigh Cook, is the hall monitor and school legacy who takes a surpising(or perhaps not-so-surprising) turn. Rosemary Dunsmore is Abby's controlling and rather narrow-minded mother who, with her husband, serves on the Board of Trustees. Her role as Mrs. Sawyer is more than faintly reminiscent of her role in "Anne of Avonlea" in which she played another staff member at a girls' academy. The party scene was fun to watch. It's interesting, though, how the only minority boy and the only minority boy and girl were paired off, which is how it most likely would have been done in 1963 to avoid complaints from the parents. The music is lively, the rowdy townies come in handy when it comes to putting the girls' tormentors in their place, the dresses and hairdos had a certain elegance and grace, and the cast members were talented and attractive, including the radiant Barbara Radecki and Phobe Lapine as Tinka's mom and sister. Ultimately, this film is a bouncy 90-minute romp through the early modern feminist era which harmlessly pays homage to girl power.I feel upbeat and inspired after watching it!

Studio: Miramax Home Entertainment
Director: Sarah Kernochan
Kirsten Dunst
Lynn Redgrave

DVD title: Feast of July
Productgroup: DVD
Feast of July - movie DVD cover picture
feast of july --- my favorite movie that nobody knows

This is an amazing film --- exquisitely executed, shot and acted with a simple story and gorgeous period detail --- both Embeth Davidz & Ben Chaplin are brilliant.I saw this movie twice in the theatres because it was such a "gem" and then nobody was interested --probably because there were no stars in it --- but see it,,,,it's a tragic and beautiful love story. Pay special attention to the cinematography which is extraordinary.steven

Studio: Buena Vista Home Vid
Director: Christopher Menaul
Embeth Davidtz
Tom Bell

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