Film DVD related reviews


DVD title: The Girl on a Motorcycle
Productgroup: DVD
The Girl on a Motorcycle - movie DVD cover picture
UNDERated Even By Cult Standards**!


In the 60s "Girl On A Motorcycle" was payed little attention,did poorly at the box office, and by 1960s standereds was written off as a "phoney" an unsucessful attempt by Ronald Duncan and Jack Cardiff at making a movie with a "mind-boggling anti-sanity" feel. And if THATS the case and this REALLY was an "embarrassing attempt" then they certainly played it off well, didn't they? Disregard all the negitive reviews, Im sure that if this kind of movie was released in today's pathetic film industry of arsty-fartsy posers...it would have been a classic right away and still carry the label of being a cult at the same time.
Girl on A Motorcycle has the 1960s written all over it! Its not brilliant like A Clockwork Orange or Mick Jagger's movie "Performance" (Nobody asked but Mick was also Marianne Faithful's love intreast at the time)When released in 1968 Warner Brothers carried it under the title "Naked Under Leather" and was also severely editied to maintain an "R" rating~WHICH IS THE MAIN REASON WHY THE MOVIE PROBLEY GOT TRASHED not because it was bad, but because it was so ridiculously cut. Thankfully now you can buy the European verison which shows the whole un-cut thing. Marianne Faithful (who complety surprised me with her A+ acting skills) stars as a newlywed housewife who wakes up in the middle of the night after an erotic fantasy of her and her ex lover Alain. She realizes Alain's the one she really loves. She puts on her quite small fitting fur-lined leather jump suit (and only wearing the jumpsuit) she takes off in her motorcycle for a long ride though Europe'c country side. Basically on her way, she experiences fantasies about her husband and her "lover". I did put off watching this movie for quite some-time..it just didnt seem as if would be worth while, but even by its little-know status is still very underrated, im glad i finally got around to it;) If your a fan of the 60s such as (Psych-Out,Valley of the Dolls,Head,Faster Pussycat Kill Kill,Barbarella,Head, or even Mr.Powers (thats AUSTIN Powers) himself...you would enjoy this;)

Studio: Anchor Bay Entertainment
Director: Jack Cardiff
Actors:
Alain Delon
Marianne Faithfull




DVD title: The Lord of the Rings - The Two Towers (Widescreen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
The Lord of the Rings - The Two Towers (Widescreen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Simply the best movie of 2002


The Two Towers which is the second installment of Tolkein's 3-part book has captured the audience's attention. The movie is the best of all time. Better than The Fellowship of the Ring. The Two Towers picks up where The Fellowship left off. Sam and Frodo are traveling through the Emyn Muil on their way to Mordor to destroy the One Ring of Power. The last of the Fellowship (Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli) are chasing after the mighty Uruk-Hai who have taken Merry and Pippin.
Jackson does an excellent job of picking up right where Fellowship left off. He doesn't give a re-cap which is great. The beginning of the movie has a surprise to those who have not read the books. I won't ruin the movie for those many people.
The movie starts with Sam and Frodo who are traveling through the Emyn Muil to Mordor. They meet up with the creature Gollum whom, as we have heard in Fellowship is possessed by the ring. Frodo and Sam capture Gollum and make him swear by the ring, his precious, that he will lead them to the Black Gate of Mordor (Minas Morgul).
Meanwhile, Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli are on the trail of the Sauruman's Uruk-Hai who have captured Merry and Pippin. Aragorn's efforts will lead the three to the a camp set up by their quarry. Apparently there was a struggle and it seems that Merry and Pippin are dead. But wait! Aragorn discovers tracks that lead into the Fangorn forest.
Merry and Pippin have escaped from the Uruk-Hai, but are pursued into the Fangorn forest by an Orc who is desperate to have them for dinner. Merry and Pippin encounter the Ent, Treebeard, who then leads them to a safe spot.
Meanwhile, Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli follow the tracks and come across Treebeard who then leads them to the White Man who is surprise!Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli ride to Rohan to seek council with King Theoden whose mind is being poisened by Sauruman's filthy henchmen Grima Wormtounge.
Sam and Frodo are stuck in the Dead Marshes. Frodo questions Gollum about how he came across the ring and also convicts Gollum of once being a Hobbit. Gollum then fights with his other self(his good self) Smeagol. Smeagol in the end wins. They arrive at the Black Gate but it's nearly impossible to get past. Smeagol suggests a new route. Frodo agrees but Sam has his doubts.
King Theoden receives word of the advancing forces of Sauruman's Uruk-Hai and has ordered that everyone evacuate and move to Helm's Deep. Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli travel with him. On the way, Theoden's small force is attacked by a group of Orcish scouts. Aragorn falls off a cliff and is presumed dead.
Sam and Frodo have been captured by Faramir and his band. They are taken to Osgilith. Faramir is taken by the ring as did his brother Boromir.
King Theoden arrives at Helm's Deep and awaits the oncoming horde of the Uruk-Hai. The battle of Helm's Deep is the most astonishing feat the CG has to offer. The battle is intense and is depicted very well and it even invites some humor from our little hero Gimli.
Merry and Pippin try to convince Treebeard to go to war with Isengard. Only when Treebeard surveys the land surrounding Isengard (trees have been destroyed and leveled as far as the eye can see) does he decide to go to war.
Back at Helm's Deep, the victory is hopeless for Rohan as the Orcs pummel the Keep. Just when all hope is lost, surprise!
Sam and Frodo are taken to Minas Tirith which is being attacked by the Nazgul and the forces of Mordor. Faramir lets Sam, Frodo and Smeagol go. Smeagol again has another fight with his evil twin, Gollum. Gollum wins and decides to kill Frodo and Sam by taking them to HER. The End
The Two Towers is a really great film and I recommend anyone and everyone to see it before it's too late. Even those who are not Lord of the Rings fans will appreciate this movie for what it is. The cinematography is great and the storyline is true to the book and the CG are awesome and breathtaking. Jackson has done an awesome job. I'm counting the days till The Two Towers comes out on DVD probably around August same as Fellowship and I'm also counting the days till The Return of the King comes into theaters this December.Bottom Line: The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers: an instant favorite

Studio: New Line Home Entertainment
Director: Peter Jackson
Actors:
Elijah Wood
Ian McKellen
Viggo Mortensen




DVD title: Visitor Q
Productgroup: DVD
Visitor Q - movie DVD cover picture
Brilliant! Deeper than most people would like to think.


At first glance you think this film is a collection of scenes where the director tries his hardest to offend you. Not so. Underlying is a strong social commentary on moderns japanese society and a strong family message. A stranger enters the life of a disfunctional family and has profond effects on them all.It's shot on video which makes it all the more realistic and effective.

Studio: Media Blasters, Inc
Director: Takashi Miike



DVD title: The Princess Bride
Productgroup: DVD
The Princess Bride - movie DVD cover picture
Quite Possibly the Greatest Movie Ever


This is my all-time favorite movie. As it says, it has everything! Thus, it is the perfect movie for comedy, action/adventure, drama, and romance lovers.

Studio: Mgm/Ua Studios
Director: Rob Reiner
Actors:
Cary Elwes
Mandy Patinkin
Robin Wright Penn




DVD title: Heathers
Productgroup: DVD
Heathers - movie DVD cover picture
Wonderfully Dark and Classic..


This Digitally Remastered VHS Letterboxed Collector's Edition is a lovely gift. Anchor Bay Entertainment has recently revived some long-lost titles in its library and, thankfully, they have restored the prints to the proper format. No more EP videocassettes!
I do feel I should clarify, however, that this VHS edition does NOT have clamshell packaging. Rather, its front cover opens to juxtaposed messages from scripter Dan Waters and director Michael Lehmann.
For $13.99, this edition of HEATHERS is quite the bargain. For starters, it is 100 times more worthy than the DVD format release. Anchor Bay does well in its VHS territory, but its DVD format releases are problematic. The special features rarely work and my DVD player has actually refused its discs before.
What is also nice about this edition is its inclusion of several theatrical trailers (far too many!) and promotional interviews with lead actors Winona Ryder and Christian Slater. Too bad these recorded sessions couldn't have been digitally remastered; they haven't aged well.
As for a previous reviewer's joy at the absence of Molly Ringwald in this 1980s black comedy for the teen set, she is way off the mark. Molly Ringwald was hardly featured in every '80s teen flick--just the good ones. Just what, exactly, is she overjoyed at? Christian Slater in a '80s teen pic is supposed to be a relief? I don't get it. Let us leave Molly's good name untarnished, OK?

Studio: Anchor Bay Entertainment
Director: Michael Lehmann
Actors:
Winona Ryder
Christian Slater




DVD title: Donnie Darko
Productgroup: DVD
Donnie Darko - movie DVD cover picture
12 times not enough


My best friend introduced me to this movie about 2 years ago, and since that time I have watched the movie at least 12 times. Some may say that this is a bit obsessive, but I say, wait to judge me until you have seen the movie.The first time you see this movie, you will come away, as one of my friends put it, with a giant gaping whole in your chest because you have absollutly no clue as to what just happened. Strangely enough, you will want to watch the movie a second time and then a third Before you know it you will have watched this movie a dozen times, still enjoying it as much or even more than the first time.This movie has an amazing all-star cast (Jake Gyllenhaal, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Noah Wyle, Drew Barrymore, Patrick Swayze) and even a more amazing soundtrack (echo and the bunnymen, tears for fear, duran duran).This movie is like a drug, maybe even better, and everytime I watch it I figure out something in the movie I didnt see before.Have a blast watching this.

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox Home Video
Director: Richard Kelly (II)
Actors:
Jake Gyllenhaal
Mary McDonnell
Jena Malone




DVD title: Battlestar Galactica (2003 Miniseries)
Productgroup: DVD
Battlestar Galactica (2003 Miniseries) - movie DVD cover picture
Groundbreaking, intelligent science fiction


At last: intelligent science fiction that marries the integrity of 2001: A Space Odyssey with honest human interactions. The creative team of Ronald D. Moore, David Eick and Michael Rymer clearly understand that bombastic music, overblown dialogue and cliched effects are no substitute for good storytelling. As such, this Galactica is free of the John Williams-style brass march; devoid of overly dramatic pronouncements describing what we've just seen; bereft of bright lasers and twinkling explosions.
It's what's in the place of these cliches that makes the 2003 incarnation of Battlestar Galactica interesting. Understatement is the call of the day, and it couldn't work better. Perhaps taking a cue from the physical properties of space--it is, after all, a vacuum--the music is simple drum beats augmented with simple woodwind and vocal flourishes; the dialogue is clear and direct; the battle sequences are powerfully muted.
The net result is that the story, which has not changed, takes center stage. During a time of peace, the 12 human colonies are ambushed by their Cylon enemies and pummeled to near-extinction. Moore is aware that we're not going to swallow that without a bit of exposition and he rewards our expectation with new, smarter Cylons who have infiltrated human defenses, developed counter technology and instigated a systemic plan of attack to assure that virtually every outpost of human resistance is covered. Toward this end the Cylons have evolved into three forms: a synthetic human model, an updated centurion model, and the "chrome toaster" model we recall from the original.
Infamous human traitor Baltar has also evolved. The 2003 Baltar is an apparently unwitting accomplice who can't even convince his associates that he feels guilty for his role in the human holocaust. The amoral, narcissistic Baltar makes whole the transformation of the Cylon enemy from one-note caricature (circa 1978) to an intelligent, complex and ulitmately superior foe.
All the heroes from the original are here, powered by performances of the highest caliber. Edward James Olmos and Jamie Bamber take the roles of Adama and Apollo into a dimension informed by family history, shared tragedy and profound love. Katee Sackhoff's Starbuck is the superior pilot whose personal demons, while entertaining, carry consequences when acted upon. Michael Hogan's Colonel Tigh is an executive officer (or XO) whose sense of duty to commander and ship prevails over his sense of nearly debilitating inadequacy. Lorne Greene, Richard Hatch, Dirk Benedict and Terry Carter could have only dreamed for such depth of character.
As the miniseries is the set up for a series, it ends in cliffhanger rather than neatly tying up loose ends. This benefits the whole rather than detracting: this is a movie in which the good guys lose and lose big--every open door leaves hope for their future.
If Sci-Fi (or another network) picks up this series it could well be evolutionary in science fiction. If this is all we get, there is much here to enjoy. Those with fond memories of the seventies space opera have grown up and thankfully, so has Galactica.

Studio: Universal Studios Ho
Director: Michael Rymer



DVD title: The Grudge (Director's Cut)
Productgroup: DVD
The Grudge (Director's Cut) - movie DVD cover picture
Chilling, Disturbing, Gut Wrenching...Oh, and Scary!


Since I was young I've been a huge fan of Horror films. When I first started watching them, I enjoyed the gory yet dull ones. But as I grew I started wanting to feel more suspense. I wanted to be scared, disturbed and shocked; not entertained. But in the last 10 to 15 years there haven't been many. Not since the late 70's and early eighties has America released many truly frightening films. Not films filled with gore and cursing, but movies that have such a disturbing, surreal feeling to them, that you can't help but sleep with the light on and the door locked. Thank heavens for Japanese Horror. Without it, I seriously doubt horror would be around now. It gave us "Ringu" which was americanized (very well I might add) into "The Ring."
And now with Shimizu-san's "The Grudge" (a remake of his hit film, "Ju-On: The Grudge")horror is finally stepping into the forefront, and letting the world see that gore, cursing and violence don't make a movie.

"The Grudge" is not "scary" per say. It has the over done 1 second shocks. You know when the creepy music plays and a cat jumps out at you. Yet, these shocks are like none you have ever seen. In most horror films, these shocks are last minute additions to get some sort of emotion out of the audience. In "The Grudge" they push and continue the story. Yes, unlike many people say, this film DOES HAVE A STORY. It fleshes out the age old japanese folklore story of souls who are killed in the midst of a rage, and continue "living" by feeding on the fear and the rage that the living feel around them. Many people see that this film is a group effort on the casts part. You have no real lead; all though Karen (Sarah Michelle Geller) comes close. So, yes; there is no real person the cling to. The real stars are the spirits; and who wants to cling to them as an emotional path. The story is played out non sequentailly. There are characters alive 45 minutes in who you saw die or disappear at the beginning. This film stucture lets the audiance piece the film together themselves. (Yes, the film actually makes you think) The atmosphere and the sounds are what will get you. Not while watching the film, but later when your at home reading a book at 11:30. The way the film is almost washed in gray(The ghosts are gray. The clothing worn by the cast are dull grays, browns, creams and blacks) gives the film a dream like quality. And the claustrophobic sets give you a sense of no place safe to hide (the bed sequence, terrifying.)
But what really gets you, are the sounds, not the score, even though it is creepy. The sounds that the lead ghost make will haunt you for days on end, even during the day at work. What really sells the film is the lack of gore and language. I don't remember hearing one curse word, and there is only one scene of true gore. The gore of this movie is the atmosphere that creeps into you from the VERY ORIGINAL opening credit sequence to the cliffhanger ending! Not a film to watch alone.

So if you want to see a horror film that gives you a lasting sense of dread, "The Grudge" is definitely for you. If you want a movie filled with action, gore and cursing go rent a Friday the 13th film, cause this Grudge is for the 21st century.

Studio: Columbia Tristar Hom
Director: Takashi Shimizu
Actors:
Sarah Michelle Gellar
Jason Behr
Clea DuVall




DVD title: Vision Quest
Productgroup: DVD
Vision Quest - movie DVD cover picture
Captures the essence of American Highschool wrestling.


Modine captures what thousands of wrestlers, fans, and parents have known for years. Loudin Swain is not just on some sort of adolescent mission to seek fame for himself. He is on a "Vision Quest". Along the way he learns about life, love and the sacrifice that it will take.

Studio: Warner Studios
Director: Harold Becker
Actors:
Matthew Modine
Linda Fiorentino




DVD title: Neil Young & Crazy Horse - Rust Never Sleeps - The Concert Film
Productgroup: DVD
Neil Young & Crazy Horse - Rust Never Sleeps - The Concert Film - movie DVD cover picture
disco thrashing


In 1978 Neil Young firmly put his foot down on the ongoing disco inferno and declared that "Rock and roll is here to stay". He added a trio of exclamation points in the form of three releases, the 'Rust Never Sleeps' LP, the 'Rust Never Sleeps' film, and the soundtrack LP to the film, "Live Rust".
The 'Rust Never Sleeps' film was recorded at the Cow Palace in San Francisco, and stands as the high water mark in Young's storied career. By 1978, everything was in place to define Young as a rock and roll legend. It is a remarkable fact to consider that, despite the stunning songlist offered here, Young included no material from his collaborations with Crosby, Stills and Nash, nor any music from the 1976 Stills-Young Band LP. Only one song, 'I Am A Child', recorded with Buffalo Springfield, was chosen from outside Young's 'solo' works. That means no 'Helpless', 'Country Girl', 'Mr. Soul', or 'Long May You Run'. And Young could only skim the surface of his solo catalog in limiting himself to 18 songs (at 116 minutes this film consumes the entire video cassette), skipping such gems as 'Southern Man', 'Down By the River', and 'Cowgirl In the Sand', and hits such as 'Old Man' and 'Heart of Gold'. How many other artists could afford to leave so much classic material out of a two-hour concert?
One should also consider the place 'Rust Never Sleeps' claims in the history of rock films. By 1978 there had really only been 4 great rock concert films: 'Monterey Pop', 'Woodstock', 'The Concert for Bangladesh' and 'The Last Waltz'. Ironically, Young missed opportunities to appear in the first two films, as David Crosby took his vacated role with Buffalo Springfield at the Monterey Pop Festival, and succumbed to camerafright on Yasgur's farm. Young has tried to remedy his self-imposed airbrush in New York, singing "I'm not going back to Woodstock for awhile" in his 'Roll Another Number' composition. But the real remedy lies in 'Rust Never Sleeps'. Unlike the 4 aforementioned films, 'RNS' never takes its eyes off Young and Crazy Horse to beef up the production with other celebrated performers. It's all Young, and such a film was never produced and released in theatres prior to it.
The concert begins with a 6 song acoustic set, drawing a dramatic analogy between acoustic sound and childhood, and powered sound and maturity. The 6 songs chosen not only symbolize childhood, but revel in it. 'Sugar Mountain' and 'I Am A Child' are effecting exposes of what it is to be in the dawn of life, while 'Comes a Time', 'After the Goldrush', 'Thrasher', and 'My My Hey Hey' all explore life transitions. And Young's affinity for realism conveyed through imperfection is saluted when he flubs the lyrics for 'Thrasher'. Any other artist would have refused to sign off on the faux pas, but Young embraces it. Two other acoustic numbers, 'The Needle and the Damage Done', and 'Lotta Love' give some breathing room in an extended electric set.
The remainder of the concert is an eclectic mix of hard rock chosen from Young's decade old catalog. The new ('Sedan Delivery', 'Powderfinger', 'Hey Hey My My' and 'Welfare Mothers') mixes seamlessly with the old ('The Loner' and 'Cinnamon Girl') and everything that came in between, such as 'Like a Hurricane', 'When You Dance I Can Really Love', 'Cortez the Killer' [featuring a contemporary seque into a reggae chorus], and the encore 'Tonight's the Night'. It's a treasure to behold, with bassist Billy Talbot constantly writhing to the incessant rhythm generated by himself and guitarist Frank Sampedro and drummer Ralph Molina, and Young ripping off one jagged lead solo after another. The often maligned Road Eyes add a fun diversion to the driving din, especially the joyous choreography inspired by 'Cinnamon Girl'.
While legends such as Eric Clapton and John Lennon were droning along to 'Wonderful Tonight' or hanging up the guitar altogether, Young was just beginning to crank up the rock merriment. 'RNS' made the statement that rock music had not found it's demise, but had only established it's roots, and with subsequent releases such as 'Re-Ac-Tor' and 'Ragged Glory', Young would fulfill his prediction that "rock and roll can never die".

Studio: Bmg Distribution (VI
Director: Neil Young



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