Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: 2000 Miles to Maine: Adventures on the Appalachian Trail
Productgroup: DVD
2000 Miles to Maine: Adventures on the Appalachian Trail - movie DVD cover picture
Very Well Done!

I am not a hiker, nor do I play one on TV. But after seeing this heartfelt, humorous documentary that wasn't a documentary......I almost ran out to become one!

Basically this true slice of life "adventure" is inspiring. Humans are capable of so much but we forget to push our limits. Even if not a hiker, outdoors person, what have you, this is a must see. This will remind your spirit to push it's limits!

Studio: Appalachian Adventures
Director: Douglas Morse

DVD title: L.A. Confidential
Productgroup: DVD
L.A. Confidential - movie DVD cover picture
A Noir Classic

For an example of the best in film noir, look no further than "L.A. Confidential", a sleek, fiery look into the seamy side of life in the L.A. of the 1950s. The cast is a dream: Kevin Spacey, Russell Crowe, Guy Pearce ("Memento"), Kim Basinger, Danny DeVito, James Cromwell, David Strathairn. I've often thought the Oscars should have a category for Best Ensemble Cast; "Gosford Park" should have won it this year, and "L.A. Confidential" should have won it back in '97. Under the capable direction of Curtis Hanson ("Wonder Boys", the upcoming "8 Mile"), this film is a riveting triumph. Highly recommended.

Studio: Warner Studios
Director: Curtis Hanson
Kevin Spacey
Russell Crowe
Guy Pearce
Kim Basinger

DVD title: Cold Comfort Farm
Productgroup: DVD
Cold Comfort Farm - movie DVD cover picture
A wonderful book brought to life masterfully...

Stella Gibbon's comic novel, Cold Comfort Farm, written in the 1930's, is brought to perfect fruition with this 1995 adaptation. It's the story of a young woman (Flora) who's parents die leaving her with only 100 pounds a year--not nearly enough to keep her living in the high-society style to which she's becomed accustomed. So she writes to her relatives and picks one to go live with--the Doom family of Cold Comfort Farm. Flora plans to tidy up their lives, and collect material for the book she plans to write when she's 53--after she's lived life.
Cold Comfort Farm is filled with a fabulous collection of characters who Flora systematically converts to a Higher Sensibility. The film is well acted, cinematically superior, and perfectly captures the spirit of the book--a wonderful read that I highly recommend as well!
I love this film, and have found it the perfect addition to my rainy day/sick bed viewing library. If you like british eccentrism, you'll love this movie!

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: John Schlesinger
Eileen Atkins
Kate Beckinsale
Sheila Burrell
Stephen Fry

DVD title: Cave in
Productgroup: DVD
Cave in - movie DVD cover picture
Mimi Rogers Rules!!!

Mimi Rogers rules as a mining superintendent trying to save the lives of trapped miners.It's a must see!!!!

Studio: Inspired Corporation
Director: Rex Piano

DVD title: Journey 2001
Productgroup: DVD
Journey 2001 - movie DVD cover picture
Get this one!

Filmed in wide screen(16x9 HD), super picture clarity, Overwhelming audio (5.1 or 2.0). I used Frampton's DVD concert as my benchmark up to this point. This one meets or surpasses it.

Studio: Sony/Columbia

DVD title: The War
Productgroup: DVD
The War - movie DVD cover picture
Beautiful Tale of Tragedy and Family Ties

I cannot get enough of this movie. So many raw emotional scenes, there is not one message in this movie because it reflects the confusion of war. War kills the very thing we fight for, and here in this movie is a man who has been through the war but is determined to keep the family ties alive. Beautiful, beautiful movie.

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: Jon Avnet
Elijah Wood
Kevin Costner

DVD title: Gozu
Productgroup: DVD
Gozu - movie DVD cover picture

So good I can't even begin to tell you. A new favorite. Miike's best film I have seen so far. An imaginative achievement. Not for the faint of heart and most definitely not for children or anyone under the age of eighteen. This is a hard "R". There are at least six classic scenes in this film. Haunting, beautiful and terrifying entertaiment.

Studio: Pathfinder Home Ente
Director: Takashi Miike

DVD title: National Geographic's The Battle for Midway
Productgroup: DVD
National Geographic's The Battle for Midway - movie DVD cover picture

We can appreciate this gigantic fight through film made by John Ford. Excellent bonus program : COMBAT CAMERAMAN. This track represents maybe the most emotional scene of this splendid DVD

Studio: National Geographic
Brian Breger
Peter Schnall

DVD title: The Shipping News
Productgroup: DVD
The Shipping News - movie DVD cover picture
Very Enjoyable

Let me say first that I have not read the book. I think it is a mistake to read a book first and then go see the Hollywood adaptation; there is just no way that the screen can capture in a couple of hours what it takes days to do in print.
That being said, I really enjoyed this movie. It is certainly not perfect, but Kevin Spacey turns in a really strong performance. I didn't enjoy Judy Dench's performance as much as I usuaally do. The story is engrossing, and this is one of the few movies that I have seen multiple times; fact is, my wife and I watch it almost every month.

Studio: Miramax
Director: Lasse Hallström
Kevin Spacey
Julianne Moore
Judi Dench

DVD title: Something the Lord Made
Productgroup: DVD
Something the Lord Made - movie DVD cover picture
Superb acting in a wonderfully-written film

Alan Rickman and Mos Def give superb performances in this wonderfully-written film about the triumph of intelligence and creativity over the effects of racial prejudice.

"Something The Lord Made" is the real-life story of Dr. Alfred Blalock and technician (later Dr.) Vivian Thomas, both of whom pioneered open-heart surgery in America in the mid-twentieth century.

Rickman, as Blalock, gives a flawless, charismatic portrayal of an egotistical surgeon who gains nobility of spirit while he defies (and yet is simultaneously confined by) the customs of his society. Rickman's performance is all the more impressive because he is British, and Blalock was an American from the south; nevertheless, Rickman's southern accent is natural and effortless.

Rickman brings likability and humanity to what could otherwise be an unsympathetic character; and this core humanity gives "Something The Lord Made" a depth not often seen in tales of bigotry within American society. Too often, tales of this sort delineate the bad guys from the good guys in an almost cartoonish fashion, but Rickman's Blalock is both good and bad, reflecting more accurately the reality of the times in which both characters lived.

Mos Def gives a subtle, moving and sympathetic performance as Vivian Thomas, a gifted man who is caught in the trap of prejudice and the expectations of an unenlighted society. The film clearly demonstrates that Thomas is the intellectual peer of Blalock; it is society and circumstance that for years robs Thomas of the practical opportunity to become Blalock's actual peer in terms of status. Def gives us the portrait of a man who chooses patience over reaction; through him, we feel outrage at the denial of the respect due Thomas, time and again.

The writing in this film is low-key and highly effective. Because American society has in some ways changed since the mid-twentieth century setting of this film, younger viewers may not understand the actions and choices made by Blalock and Thomas, both within this film and within real life. Nevertheless, "Something The Lord Made" gives an extremely uplifting and surprisingly accurate portrayal of life as it really existed in those times, and should be appreciated both as an historical and enlightening film.

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Joseph Sargent

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