Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Usher - U Don't Have to Call/U Got It Bad (DVD Single)
Productgroup: DVD
Usher - U Don't Have to Call/U Got It Bad (DVD Single) - movie DVD cover picture

Homer Simpson says "Ummmmm..... beer". I say "ummmmm.... Usher". I slobber as much as Homer too. Buy this DVD. Make Usher really, really popular so that he makes more videos that I can slobber over.

Studio: Bmg Distribution (VI

DVD title: Suicide Kings
Productgroup: DVD
Suicide Kings - movie DVD cover picture
The Best Dark Comedy Around

From the plan the ironic stay on your toes durning the whole movie! It's a real page turner

Studio: Artisan Entertainment
Director: Peter O'Fallon
Christopher Walken
Denis Leary
Sean Patrick Flanery

DVD title: Firefly - The Complete Series
Productgroup: DVD
Firefly - The Complete Series - movie DVD cover picture
Transcends the sci-fi genre

I have to say that this thing moved me. After finishing watching the episodes, I actually ached with sorrow that the series had been cancelled. I sort of felt like I'd been dumped.

Wonderfully cast, superbly written, gorgeously rendered. Can't wait for the movie and can only hope Fox sees the light.

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox Home Video
Nathan Fillion

DVD title: North to Alaska
Productgroup: DVD
North to Alaska - movie DVD cover picture
Wayne at his best, a fun movie.

Great male/female dialogue,funny. Beautiful scenery. Timeless story. One of Wayne's best.

Studio: Fox Home Entertainme
Director: Henry Hathaway
John Wayne
Stewart Granger

DVD title: Diabolique - Criterion Collection
Productgroup: DVD
Diabolique - Criterion Collection - movie DVD cover picture

This is the original Henri Clouzot shocker from 1955 that has been imitated but never duplicated. Avoid the Sharon Stone remake. There is no comparison. This tense tale of two female schoolteachers at an abysmal school for boys who do away with the tyrannical headmaster (who is married to the weak one and lovers with the stronger one) has been masterfully presented by Criterion. The grim b&w photography and the dismal school create the perfect creepy mood for this tale of murder and irony. Simone Signoret and Vera Clouzot (the director's wife) are the doomed pair who plot the almost perfect crime---only to find mounting evidence that their victim has returned. The classic nerve-wracking climax and spooky ending still hold up well. Don't miss this wonderful chiller. They truly don't make 'em like this anymore.

Studio: Criterion Collection
Director: Henri-Georges Clouzot
Simone Signoret
Véra Clouzot

DVD title: What a Way to Go
Productgroup: DVD
What a Way to Go - movie DVD cover picture
5 stars is just an average

Depending on the angle you view it from, this film deserves anywhere from 1 to 10 stars. It's MacLaine and Maclaine alone who rescues this bizarre-yet-entertaining hodge-podge from embarrassment. In reality, she rescued the film itself from oblivion, since it was originally created as a Monroe vehicle and was supposed to be plenty darker. One can imagine, given the basics of the plot, just how dark it could have become. In its original form, with Marilyn Monroe starring, this could have been one of her best films.

No worry, this flick is an entirely different story. Briefly: nice, sincere, simple gal--against wishes of mom, marries series of simple-life guys who strike it rich and die--with a variation or two on that theme. The plot lacks a Pilgrim's Progress quality which makes the MacLaine character seem more like she's caught in a crazy pointless time loop than advancing spiritually (a possible reading of the movie!). Weirdly, she doesn't need to advance spiritually; she knows exactly what she wants and what she wants is good. This makes her character extremely appealing and the rest of the movie awkward and lumpy. The good bits, and there are many, clearly belong to Compden and Green who were brought in to kick this up a bit. Good choice.

It doesn't help me personally that 3--count 'em--3 of my least favorite male actors from that era play various husbands. Dean Martin is always unpleasant to watch; a minute of him and I've got hair grease and slime all over everything in my living room. Dick Van Dyke was one of the un-funniest comedians of all time (he should have been shot for his work on Mary Poppins), a complete ham, yet he puts in a forgivable, even fine, performance in this flick as a Thoreau-reading unambitious shop-owner who overnight turns into workaholic Mr. Wal Mart. Actually, this might be the funniest I've ever seen him be. That segment should be shown in every business school in the nation.

Worst of all is Gene Kelly, another ham, possibly King of Hams (who should have been shot for his inability to act in Inherit the Wind--nearly single-handedly wrecking an otherwise terrific movie), who seems barely aware that anyone is on camera with him (there is absolutely no electricity between him and Maclaine) and then transforms into a superstar egomaniac in the story. What might have been ironic with another actor is just annoying with this chump. Kelly existed solely to prove to the world what an amazing and classy actor/dancer/comedian/entertainer Fred Astaire was and Astaire would have been far more believable in this part. Astaire lampoons himself in "Bandwagon" and it's charming and endearing.

Paul Newman also hams it up way too much as an wacko artist one reviewer thinks is based on Jackson Pollock. Wrongo. A sign of the weird hip-ness of this movie is he's based on junk artist Jean Tinguley and as if to prove this, a character resembling Tinguley's girlfriend--artist Nicki de St.Phalle--is seen creating a painting by shooting at balloons filled with paint-- just as de St. Phalle once did. Newman's only tolerable--his is a bad parody of a modern artist and it's also hopelessly out-of-date for 1964. Robert Mitchum fills in for the too-expensive Sinatra and it shows. Ive never gotten the impression that Mitchum even tried to act. It's disturbing--all these men (characters and actors) in the MacLaine character's life and she outshines every one in every respect.

That, then, gets to the point. this is her film and it was designed to showcase all her talent and charm. She does everything from song and dance, to high and low comedy. At one point she walks into a swimming pool scene wearing an outrageous backless bikini and looks breathtaking--demonstrating for all time that sex appeal does not have to rely on vamping or pneumatics (an ironic point given who she replaced). The script uses every opportunity to get her out of her clothes and she doesn't seem to mind. Feminists could have an international conference on this film and post-modern readings should abound. Her character is strong and willful, self-confident and sexually healthy, but she keeps meeting these "great guys" (played by jerks) who, over and over, shove her in the kitchen or treat her as a trophy wife (Maybe it's not just coincidence that so many vile male actors are in this?). They all die, as they should, except one, and the jury could be out for months on what that's all about. As lumpy and itchy as this film is, it's absolutely fascinating. Visually, it's a stunner with terrific sets and props. It's worth the price just to see the mansion where everything, inside and out, is painted pink.

With all that said, I heartily recommend it but be ready for a strange experience. I expect over time this movie might clarify as a vaguely subversive film (Compden and Greene had that bomb-throwing anarchist streak in them) and I look forward to repeat viewings. Shirley Maclaine is just spectacular from beginning to end and for that alone this film is worth the price.

Studio: Fox Home Entertainme
Director: J. Lee Thompson
Shirley MacLaine
Paul Newman
Robert Mitchum

DVD title: The Day After
Productgroup: DVD
The Day After - movie DVD cover picture
Here's an opinion of the former Soviet Union citizen

I've seen "The Day After" when I was a child of 10-11 in 1986-1987 in a small village in Siberia called Maya, near Yakutsk, USSR. The movie was shown over the whole Soviet Union twice on the first channel. Since then I remember the movie very clearly, the impression I got was very high, so I immediately started to deeply realize the horror of a nuclear catastrophe. We were on the other side of the Cold War propaganda. I remember at school how we were taught about the US predator imperialistic policy. We always had lessons at school how to behave in case of US nuclear attack and practiced it physically running down to underground rooms wearing gas-masks and helping each other. The US nuclear threat, I believed, was so real, so I was frightened of a sight of a shining plane board in the sky. I was sure it were Americans going to bomb my village. And this hysteria was everywhere in USSR. Now living in Moscow, the heart of an almost free country of Russia I realize that the topicality of the movie hasn't dissappeared. We still face a lot of threats around the world, including terrorism and nuclear war. I'm sure all this comes from people's indifference, jealosy, prejudice, ignorance... Watch the movie and let our children know and grow.

Studio: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Director: Nicholas Meyer

DVD title: Shadow of the Vampire
Productgroup: DVD
Shadow of the Vampire - movie DVD cover picture
One of the best of 2000/2001

This was by far one of the best movies that came out this year. To refer to the above comment: The movie really isn't supposed to be that scary. It's a drama. You can throw in some comedy in there too. John Malkovich was awesome. You can't deny that he is one of the most underrated actors around. And Willem Defoe rocks. Must see movie if(Big If) it comes to a city near you. THe most surprising thing about this movie is that Nicholas Cage produced it. Never would have thought that this good of a movie would have Cage's name linked to it.

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: E. Elias Merhige
John Malkovich
Willem Dafoe

DVD title: The X-Files (aka Fight the Future)
Productgroup: DVD
The X-Files (aka Fight the Future) - movie DVD cover picture
A Piece of Cinematic Gold!!

This is the ultimate movie for an X-phile!!! Brilliant, fun, exciting, scary, and just plain great! Duchovny and Anderson are the hottest actors on screen today!!

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
Director: Rob Bowman
David Duchovny
Gillian Anderson

DVD title: Never Been Kissed
Productgroup: DVD
Never Been Kissed - movie DVD cover picture
Drew Barrymore is a real charmer

This is one the best videos that I have seen in a long time. With an all-star class and great story line, this movie is a sure shot! Vartan and Barrymore have excelent chemistry and it would be great to see the two of them to do another film with each other! This being to some, a cheesy high school love story, might seem like a snoozer, but with its quirky jokes and uplifting story, it is sure to win the hearts of many.

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
Director: Raja Gosnell
Drew Barrymore

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TopSellers at Amazon - Sci-Fi and Fantasy movie DVD disks

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Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Harry Potter (J.K. Rowling))
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Knife of Dreams (Wheel of Time, Book 11)

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