Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Tokyo Godfathers
Productgroup: DVD
Tokyo Godfathers - movie DVD cover picture
Uplifting, unusual, and unique.

Every character has depth, a past, and, in the end, a bright future. You'll step into a world where chaos makes such sense. I saw this on a tired Monday night, and I left with a Friday feeling.

Studio: Columbia Tristar Hom
Toru Emori
Aya Okamoto
Yoshiaki Umegaki

DVD title: Fitzcarraldo
Productgroup: DVD
Fitzcarraldo - movie DVD cover picture
Obsession and dreams in the surreal beauty of the Amazon.

A riveting film set in the surreal beauty of the Amazon. Fizcarraldo is about obsession, motivation, will, and the realities that block the realization of our dreams -- or is it the dreams that block the realization of our reality?
Fitzcarraldo (an amazing performance by Klaus Kinski) is obsessed with bringing Grand Opera to the jungle and having Caruso himself open the premiere of a new opera house. The only problem is he hasn't the money to do it. So he schemes up a plot to get rich by mining rubber trees in an untapped and dangerous region of the jungle. His contagious madness and determination are unflappable as he and his crew attempt the impossible.
Anchor Bay has been giving Werner Herzog the deluxe treatment for his DVD releases -- picture quality is excellent and the director's commentaries on this (and "Nosferatu") are manna to Herzog fans like myself.

Studio: Anchor Bay Entertainment
Director: Werner Herzog
Klaus Kinski
Claudia Cardinale

DVD title: Hudson Hawk
Productgroup: DVD
Hudson Hawk - movie DVD cover picture
Hudson Hawk

I don't care what the critics say, this movie is hillarious, and one of my familys favorite. I think this movie was one of Willis's best, it is a great movie. At least see it before you judge, well worth seeing.

Studio: Columbia/Tristar Studios
Director: Michael Lehmann
Bruce Willis
Danny Aiello

DVD title: Cold Case
Productgroup: DVD
Cold Case - movie DVD cover picture
Patiently waiting!!

Hoping for a release to DVD of this series soon! Great series, great stories.

DVD title: Man Show - Season One Volume One
Productgroup: DVD
Man Show - Season One Volume One - movie DVD cover picture
A riotous celebration of all things male

Gotta say, I love the Man Show, which is why I got the DVDs. The first season is not as great as the rest, but I thought it would be worth it.
I was disappointed. The video quality is poor and the editing or censorship done for broadcast television, is still there.
The extra clips were nice.

Studio: Red Distribution, In
Jimmy Kimmel

DVD title: Miss Congeniality
Productgroup: DVD
Miss Congeniality - movie DVD cover picture
Sandra Bullock Shows Her Talents

This is one of those few movies that are funny enough for the cinema audience to sound like a laugh track. Sandra Bullock is one of the few actors who could pull this off -- beautiful enough to be a credible pageant contestant, believable as a tomboy, great comedic timing for the gags, and acting ability to generate empathy. Similar in style to the old Bette Midler comedies. Recommended!

Studio: Warner Studios
Director: Donald Petrie
Sandra Bullock
Michael Caine

DVD title: Fantasia 2000
Productgroup: DVD
Fantasia 2000 - movie DVD cover picture
A Masterpiece

If you ask me, this is certainly the best Disney movie, I have seen in a long, long, time. I feel that to get more people to see this version then the original Fantasia was to get celebrities, and humorous cartoons inside the film to introduce each segment. But, if you're a fan of the following songs, Beethoven's 5th symphony, Pines of Rome, Rhapsody In Blue, Piano concerto no. 2 (shostakovich), Carnival Of the Animals, Pomp and Circumstance, or the Firebird Suite, this is a must see film. The animation is surely more clear and clean than the original. If you own a collection of Fantasia movies, this is one you must have.

Studio: Disney Studios
Steve Martin
James Levine

DVD title: Team America - World Police (Special Collector's Widescreen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Team America - World Police (Special Collector's Widescreen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Subversive masterpiece

This brilliant movie starts out on an inspiring note, with the destruction of the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre (Voila and Adieu). And then it just gets funnier and better. The puppets appear quite human so that there's no problem with the "suspension of disbelief." The heroes are quite fallible but very likable.

There's some spectacular cinematography in the Panama Canal scenes and in Egypt, where the Great Pyramid and the venerable Sphinx suffer the same fate as the Eiffel and the Louvre. The Mount Rushmore scenes, (HQ of Team America) are also impressive.

Gary is an actor appearing in a Broadway musical when the Team approaches him for help. One of the most gripping scenes is Gary singing lead in a rendition of the hit song Everyone Has AIDS. The camera catches the emotional audience as some individuals shed an elegant, politically appropriate tear or two. Priceless!

Things turn even more hilarious with the appearance of the Film Actors Guild (FAG), led by the silver-tongued Alec Baldwin. His speech, interrupted by rapturous desk-thumping by the assembled FAG-ers that include Susan Sarandon, Sean Penn, Jeanine Garofalo and a particularly DUH Matt Damon, is something to cherish. The media comments by some of these esteemed celebrities are equally hilarious.

Then there is of course the intercourse, a passionate scene between two attractive teamsters, giving new meaning to Leonard Cohen's album title Various Positions. This is just a short interlude; I didn't find it particularly shock- or noteworthy. People do get up to these types of trick in the grip of passion.

Kim Jong Il is definitely a star of the movie with his cute accent and his banally evil personality. I caught myself entertaining thoughts of sympathy for Kim as he fed Hans Blix to his pet sharks. And the feeding itself reminded one again of the awesome savage power of nature. "Brix" (as Kim called him) learnt a lesson for trying to impose his Euroweenie nuancy boy stuff on the dear leader of North Korea. What arrogance to attempt such a thing!

In the meantime, the porcine propagandist, also known as Michael Moore, has caused great damage at the Mount Rushmore HQ by blowing himself up with a suicide jacket. But when things look bleak, Gary returns as the hero. Kim is entertaining the FAG celebrities plus delegations of dignitaries from around the world. This is to distract them while his minions are preparing to set off 230 major bombs around the world.

Just in time Gary frees the team, then he uses all his skills as an actor and orator to deliver an eloquent speech that completely upstages Alec Baldwin, the master of ceremonies. The detonation of the bombs is averted and a fight to the death ensues between the Team and the Hollywood actors. A particularly sleazy looking Sean Penn meets his end at the fangs of a big black kitty cat, Sarandon is sliced in two and the others are shot in riveting gun battles.

My only complaint is that I sorely missed Parker and Stone's most lovable characters, the Canadian master comedians Terrance and Phillip, whose movie Asses Of Fire contributed so much to making the South Park Movie so unforgettable. A bit of Terrance and Phillip's flatulence and coprofilia would have made this little gem even funnier.

Easily bored, I don't like long movies. I am pleased to report that Team America: World Police is just the right length. No scenes are superfluous or too lengthy, and the action sequences are all in the right places. I think it is going to become a cult movie like The Rocky Horror Picture Show. The best songs are the aforementioned Broadway number and Kim's I'm So Ronery ...

Team America: World Police has a progressive and subversive message that ought to please everybody across the political spectrum, from the leftist moonbat to the conservative fruitcake and all people with a sense of humour inbetween. The Gnostic nature of Gary's speech with which he wins over the audience of worldwide dignitaries, is particularly striking. Underneath all the vulgar references to reproductive and other organs, there is a profound message to people who like to ponder these things.

I also strongly recommend Stone and Parker's South Park TV series, the movie South Park: Bigger, Longer, Uncut and the CD Chef Aid. This talented duo's genius and wicked sense of humour are quite unmatched in popular culture today.

Studio: Paramount Home Video
Director: Trey Parker
Trey Parker
Matt Stone
Elle Russ

DVD title: Donnie Darko
Productgroup: DVD
Donnie Darko - movie DVD cover picture
Donnie Darko: Directors Cut-Review

I won't go into a review of Donnie Darko. I loved the theatrical cut. It has some of the funniest writing I've heard in a long time. Its got great performances, a very intriguing story, and it does have some flawed moments. (Mostly involving Drew Barrymores forced acting.) Still its one of those films I loved the instant I saw it, and in my heart its forever a classic.

So I had my reservations about the director's cut. How could you improve on an already great film? What did Richard Kelly change or add? I saw the deleted scenes on the dvd, and even than I thought to myself, they really weren't all that necessary to the film.

So whats different?

1)Title cards are added above images of the film, the titles are chapters of the Philosophy of Time Travel. They do a very good job of helping to explain the film.

2)The opening song is changed, I can't recall what it is, all I know is, its not even half as effective as the original opening song. Not as moodier. I did not like this change.

3)He includes alot if not all the deleted scenes from the DVD. Like I said, the only really good scenes are when Donnie is watching the bunny videon in the class, and the "Placebo" revelation. Besides these two scenes, the other scenes neither help nor hurt the film.

4)There is a little more "Frank" talking in Donnies Head. (The Frank voice is KILLER in theatres) There are newly inserted shots of Donnies eye with a bunny image quickly flashing. These are usually before Donnie encounters Frank.

5)The ending special effects. This is probably the biggest change. When Donnie is on top of the car, in the original cut we get that almost roller coater-ish ride and than we get scenes of the movie going backwards. In this version its completely changed, its like a computer grid, and different images are used.

6)When Donnie is first seeing the time portals coming out of his chest, instead of the score that usually plays, its replaced with a strange mix of new sound effects.

It was great finally experiencing this classic in theatres. The crowd was laughing all as one at all of the many great lines in this movie. I believe this is, yes, just another unecessary directors cut. I say watch it, so you can understand the film more, but then return to the original cut. The additional elments neither help nor hurt the film. The best inclusion were the chapters of the Philosophy of Time Travel. If it aint broke, don't fix it.

Donnie Darko: A
Donnie Darko Directors Cut:A-

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

DVD title: Before Sunset
Productgroup: DVD
Before Sunset - movie DVD cover picture
Terribly Romantic

This is, without doubt the best romantic movie I have ever seen. It has everything you could possibly want in a romance, even though at times it can be very sad. I do recommend watching Before Sunrise first, not because you really need it, but because if you do and you like it, you will enjoy Before Sunset even more.
I'm sure everyone pretty much knows what this film is about. Two people who met 9 years ago on a train and spent a night together meet again on his tour for a book he wrote about their time together. The movie happens in real time, so during eighty minutes they walk and talk around Paris. Beware: this is all they do. Walk and talk. This is a film for those who like to listen. And they do talk about pretty interesting things. But the film is not for everyone; a lot of people find it annoying. It is for the more mature filmgoer, for people who want to have some kind of insight into human relationships.

Studio: Warner Independent Pictures
Director: Richard Linklater
Ethan Hawke
Julie Delpy

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