Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Versus (Special Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Versus (Special Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Versus will stay with me always

I saw this movie about a year and a half ago before any American websites were catching on about it. I watched the first 20 minutes and was confused so I left and went to work. When I came home I had to finish it, there is nothing more rude than to not finish a movie because the filmmaker designed it to be watched all the way through. I loved it. It's RES DOGS meets THE EVIL DEAD. I read an above review that says they didn't understand it...well that's what makes it a good movie...YOU HAVE TO THINK!! It's not some piece of garbage lile an ADAM SANDLER movie (excluding Punch Drunk Love, which is brilliant).
If you're a fan of asian cinema you should already have this in your collection with the region 2 format edition, but if you're new, pick it up...yu'll enjoy the ride.

Studio: Media Blasters, Inc
Director: Ryuhei Kitamura

DVD title: Deuces Wild
Productgroup: DVD
Deuces Wild - movie DVD cover picture
A surprisingly entertaining movie

I basically went with a friend to see this movie because it stared Stephen Dorff and Brad Renfro. I had heard almost nothing but bad reviews about it and honestly wasn't expecting much at all. Needless to say, I was very pleasantly surprised. I thought the acting in it was nothing short of superb, Stephen Dorff in particular did an amazing job making this film come to life. I thought it was very well done, and very entertaining. It had a love story, it had action, it had drama, there is something in this film for everyone. I could be a bit biased, being such a big fan of both Stephen Dorff and Brad Renfro, but I really enjoyed this movie, and I'm very glad that I went to see it.

Studio: MGM/UA Video
Director: Scott Kalvert
Stephen Dorff
Brad Renfro

DVD title: My Life Without Me
Productgroup: DVD
My Life Without Me - movie DVD cover picture
A Fiercely Intelligent Meditation On The Unthinkable

Sarah Polley. Mark Ruffalo. Here we have two of the most talented, interesting actors at work in film today. In My Life Without Me they have a script and a director and each other to stretch with and the results are provocative and moving. From the first few moments of this artfully photographed archive of the last days of a life, I knew I was in for a treat. But nothing can prepare you for the powerful treatment of loss and grief which Polley's seemingly effortless portrayal of a doomed twenty-three year-old mother of two provides. There are actors who compel empathy in their audience simply by being so deeply immersed in character that states of emotional upheaval are communicated as if by telepathy. Polley has the gift. Whatever part she takes on she inhabits completely. Brilliant acting aside, I thought the narrative structure of My Life Without Me was quirky, full of surprise and never maudlin. Polley comments at one point in an unusually insightful voiceover about her fate that 'no one thinks about death in a supermarket.' This film exists precisely for those who would like nothing better than to spend a few hours thinking about the inevitable transition into oblivion. And about the legacy one would like to leave behind for those whom we love.

Studio: Columbia Tristar Hom
Director: Isabel Coixet
Sarah Polley
Scott Speedman
Leonor Watling
Mark Ruffalo

DVD title: Playing by Heart
Productgroup: DVD
Playing by Heart - movie DVD cover picture
I don't believe in Harry

*Playing By Heart* (1998) is the movie that first drew my attention to that extraordinary actress, Angelina Jolie. Before this, the only Jolie film I had seen was *The Bone Collector*. My focus then was on Denzel's role and the suspenseful story. I assumed Ms Jolie (about whom I knew nothing) was just one more young actress fresh off that Hollywood conveyor belt supplying beautiful new co-stars for the A-list male leads in top-budget productions. Later I watched her in *Playing By Heart.* It was an experience that I'd never had before watching any actress. Her role as Joan transcends acting. Let me put it this way: watching her, I forgot I was watching an act. For example, as Ms Jolie speaks her "dancing about architecture" lines to the camera, it's Joan seated across the table, talking to me as a good friend.

In my review of *Gia* I said Ms Jolie's performance is one of the very best ever put to film. That's a fact. But whenever I watch *Gia* I never forget that I'm watching a splendid piece of acting by an amazing talent. *Playing By Heart* ?s, to me, a date. A date with a beautiful, eccentric, highly-strung, fast-talking, sympathetic young lady named Joan. That's why this is my personal number-one favorite Jolie movie. Not that I'm saying that for objective reasons *Playing By Heart* is better than *Gia*, *Girl Interrupted*, or any other great Jolie film you may name. It's just that this is one movie that made me a fan.

Like Gina in *Love is All There Is* or Lanie in *Life or Something Like It*, Joan is one of those very special Jolie characters that you are going to see in one movie and one movie only. I like her the best because it seems to me that Angelina really lets us in and shows us the whole person. There's nothing hidden about Joan. She's all right there. It's easy to get to know her, and once you do, you feel you've known her a long time. She's innocent, spontaneous, goodhearted, and as fiery as her red hair. Plus Joan dresses funny. Tight gold-lame' pants, mauve bra peeking out of her blouse...on a movie date? What a weird chick. Joan of *Playing By Heart* is the 180-degree opposite of Claire of *Playing God.* Claire is cool, elegant, watchful, calculating, a sophisticated cypher. (Don't get me wrong--I think Claire's great! Angelina Jolie's range of characterizations is just amazing!)

Emotionally, Joan's incredibly needy. There's a bit too much frantic female energy surging around inside her. She's so intense in her yearning to be loved that she drives men away. The result? Loneliness. Lately she's had to resort to charmingly desperate little tricks to try to get close to guys she's attracted to. If you've seen *Playing By Heart* you know one trick she pulled, pretending that her car was stolen. This was to force her date-who-was-not-a-date Keenan (Ryan Phillipe) to walk her to her apartment, where she hoped one thing would lead to another. "It didn't work out," she later sighed, on the phone to her sister.

Though I can't prove it, I believe earlier on she pulled another trick just to meet Keenan the first time. Years ago I knew a girl who did a similar thing to get a guy's attention and sympathy and to let him know she was available. It's the trick of pretending you just broke up with a rotten boyfriend. A girl who'll play a farce like that is hoping it'll make her seem more interesting than the unvarnished truth: she hasn't had a boyfriend for a long time.

When we first meet Joan, she's this 20-something club-cat cutie talking on the pay phone in an L.A. danceteria called the Mayan. Joan's in the loud process of breaking up with "someone" she calls Harry. There's this good-looking but very reserved guy in a queue that's lined up next to the phone area. That's Keenan, the one with the blue-dyed hair. Keenan can't help but overhear Joan. She very distinctly reminds "Harry" they've been together four months..."UNTIL YOU CHEATED ON ME WITH THAT SKANK FROM BLOOMINGDALE!" At this point "Harry" apparently hangs up on Joan--just when the moving queue puts Keenan directly next to her. Joan turns and asks Keenan if she can borrow a quarter. He fishes in his pocket and finds one for her. Joan shoves the quarter into the slot, punches the keypad, gets "Harry" back on the line, and starts arguing with him about how to divide the stuff in the apartment they've been sharing. Shortly "Harry" hangs up again. Keenan gives her another quarter, his last. Joan's lucky on this call and quickly achieves closure. After hanging up she turns to tell to Keenan that the least she can do after taking his last quarter is to get him to buy her a drink. Next we see them at a table together.

Joan's meeting with Keenan seems entirely accidental. But in fact Joan has had her eye on him for some time. As they talk over her martini and his Coke, she lets it slip she's seen him around in clubs like the Mayan, where she's noticed he's always dancing alone. Hmmmm...the reality of this "Harry" character becomes even more doubtful when Joan tells Keenan that she and Harry were together for five months. Keenan reminds her that on the phone she'd said four months. ?stonished, she smiles and marvels, "You were paying attention!" "The whole club was paying attention," Keenan dryly responds. She insists it was five months, then quickly moves on.

I don't believe in Harry. I think Joan was calling her apartment from the pay phone, but in fact there was no Harry nor anybody else to pick up. The whole show was an act to lure Keenan in. After all, Joan is an actress. Moreover she later tells her brother-in-law Hugh (Dennis Quaid) that she's twice done the improvisational acting exercises that he is shown doing in *Playing By Heart.* We watch Hugh going into bars on different evenings to strike up conversations with complete strangers. He is supposed to make up a story about himself on the spot and get the person he's speaking with to believe it. As Hugh does this over ten evenings, he's being observed by a woman who is his improv monitor. So, again: actress Joan has gone through these same exercises two times. Which means she is very practiced in meeting people she doesn't know and getting them to believe things about her that aren't true. That's why I don't believe in Harry.

*Playing By Heart* is a filmic narrative of five apparently different stories that turn out to be one big story. So, since there are four other movies-within-the-movie, Jolie's interplay with Phillipe is unfortunately limited. Many who've seen *Playing By Heart* wish that the whole movie was only about Joan and Keenan. Many agree that Jolie's performance outshines all the other actors. And what actors! Sean Connery, Gena Rowland, Ellen Burstyn, Dennis Quaid, Madeline Stowe, Gillian Anderson, Jon Stewart...

Well, like I said, I don't think of Jolie's performance as a performance. I'm just glad I met Joan. Who by the way, is nicknamed Jo-jo by her Dad. Jo-jolie played her way right into my heart.

Studio: Miramax Home Entertainment
Director: Willard Carroll
Angelina Jolie
Dennis Quaid
Gena Rowlands
Sean Connery
Gillian Anderson
Anthony Edwards
Ellen Burstyn
Jay Mohr
Ryan Phillippe

DVD title: Chinatown
Productgroup: DVD
Chinatown - movie DVD cover picture
The Best Detective Movie Of All Time!

This is one of the greatest movies ever. It is the best Noir of the 70's and the best detective movie ever. Robert Towne's Screenplay is a Landmark in Movie History, and so are the score and cinematography. Jack Nicholson gives one of his best performances (if not his best) as the 'nosy' private eye Jake Gittes, Faye Dunaway has never been better and John Huston is the embodiment of evil as the father who commits incest. But this is Roman Polanski's achievement all the way, his best movie and he'll never top it. He took the 'noir' genre so far that he reinvented moviemaking while doing it. One of the greats, a Must-See. From a scale of 1-10 I give this movie a 10!

Studio: Paramount Studio
Director: Roman Polanski
Jack Nicholson
Faye Dunaway
John Huston

DVD title: Legally Blonde
Productgroup: DVD
Legally Blonde - movie DVD cover picture
Smart Blondes of the World Unite!!

Dumb, conceited, aloof, snobbish, complete airhead. These atrocious remarks are usually associated with women who have blonde hair, high intellectual capacities and good looks. I adore this movie because although tremendously exaggerated, it points out the stereotypical conflicts that smart blondes in today's society have to (and CAN!!) overcome. The movie is great for all audiences because it has a wonderful moral, and is entertaining for adults as well as children. Most people are reluctant to see this solely because of its title, but 99% of the time they end up liking it. Although at first glance it seems that this movie will be like another pointless, teen movie, Reese Witherspoon sells it remarkably well, as she always does. I could watch this movie eighty seven times and would still not get sick of it due to its originality and all around appeal. It is a feel-good movie that is definitely worth every penny of your precious money!

Studio: Mgm/Ua Studios
Director: Robert Luketic
Reese Witherspoon
Luke Wilson

DVD title: Cry, the Beloved Country
Productgroup: DVD
Cry, the Beloved Country - movie DVD cover picture
A wonderful picture of "life" in the midst of tragedy

This adaptation of Alan Paton's instant classic Cry the Beloved Country is one of the few movies which does the book justice. And while I still prefer the book for its beautiful, poetic depth of character, thought etc, I must say that Richard Harris and James Earl Jones give outstanding performances. This might be enough to commend the movie to some.
The movie gives a powerful picture of some of the issues which existed in South Africa before Apartheid became official policy, but which certainly prefigured much of that horrid system of government. The story of two men caught in tragic circumstances,(James Earl Jones, a black preacher in rural South Africa, whose people/families are being lost to the "mines" and industry of the cities, loses his son, who kills the son of a white landowner/neighbor(Harris) while living in Johannesburg). A study in how each man, seeks to deal with the realities of life in these tragic circumstances, without succumbing to the further tragedy of marxism which would later infect South Africa.
A wonderful picture of "life" in the midst of tragedy

Studio: Buena Vista Home Vid
Director: Darrell Roodt
James Earl Jones
Richard Harris

DVD title: Led Zeppelin
Productgroup: DVD
Led Zeppelin - movie DVD cover picture
The Mighty Led Zeppelin and The Hammer of the Gods

I have seen The Song Remains the Same and was very disappointed in their performance throughout. Never understood how they could be that bad. I wouldn't buy that dvd for a dollar.

This DVD set however is Zeppelin at their best and it was restored with loving care. Don't even think of passing this one up.

Also, make sure you add Unledded/No Quarter with Page and Plant for all the great songs that were not on this 2 DVD set. There are only three songs from this set on Unledded/No Quarter DVD...

Studio: Wea Corp
Director: Jimmy Page
Dick Carruthers

DVD title: Resident Evil (Special Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Resident Evil (Special Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
A great movie based on a great game

Many people said it was a bad movie, but it's far from being bad. Very violent (just as I like). First few minutes lets you confused, but then everything is explained... The story is very cool, the enemies are great too... Zombies look very scary, Cerberus look cool and the Licker had a whole new view, that makes it look very powerful. A must to watch if you like a good entertainment, and a must to own if you're a fan of horror games or horror movies.

Studio: Columbia Tri-Star
Director: Paul W.S. Anderson
Milla Jovovich
Michelle Rodriguez

DVD title: The Mummy (Widescreen Collector's Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
The Mummy (Widescreen Collector's Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
The Mummy

If you're looking for a dainty little mummy with clean white bandages forget it. Egyptologist Evelyn Carnahan (Rachael Wiez) and her greedy brother Jonathan (John Hannah) set of with explorerRick O,Connell (Brendan Fraser) to find the Egyptain city of Hamunaptara (City of the Dead). There, they find a dead priest named Imhotep. Don't forget people can come back from the dead!

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: Stephen Sommers
Brendan Fraser
Rachel Weisz

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