Film DVD related reviews


DVD title: Drama Classics Triple Feature, Vol. 2 (The Black Pirate / The Scarlet Pimpernel (1934) / The Iron Mask)
Productgroup: DVD
Drama Classics Triple Feature, Vol. 2 (The Black Pirate / The Scarlet Pimpernel (1934) / The Iron Mask) - movie DVD cover picture
Very nice quality, very nice movies


Bargain silent movies can be a risk. I often prefer more "mastered" (and expensive) DVD versions if the print is in bad shape. But all three of these were very good to look at.
I am a fan of Douglas Fairbanks movies, and the Black Pirate is one of my favorites. My favorite scene is Fairbanks capturing a merchant ship with passengers aboard single handed, and without firing a shot. NOTE: If you are looking for a good quality print of the Black Pirate, there is now a release from Kino Video (available here on Amazon), that is absolutely amazing. The film was originally filmed using a very new two-color Technicolor process, and this new release lets you see the the full beauty of the red and blue Technicolor dating from the age of silent movies! It also has about two minutes of footage not in the version on this disk.
The Iron Mask is also good but Fairbanks' character is older and he doesn't reach his usual level of athleticism. I also find that the story has the feeling of a sequel and is less engaging because of that.
I have always been a fan of The Scarlet Pimpernel. I was not overly impressed by the lead in this film but it was still a very fun adventure/romance. If you have never read or seen any version of the Scarlet Pimpernel I recommend that you do so. This would be a very good place to start. (My favorite version is the recent A&E/BBC production starring Richard Grant, who manages to pull of the difficult task of playing a brilliant, swashbuckling, foppish idiot with more believability than those contradictions ought to allow.)

Studio: Navarre Corporation/
Director: Albert Parker
Actors:
Douglas Fairbanks



DVD title: The Jackal - Collector's Edition
Productgroup: DVD
The Jackal - Collector's Edition - movie DVD cover picture
BRUCE'S FATAL KISS


What can you say about a movie in which Bruce Willis plants two whoppers on his co-star---especially when it's a man!!! That's only one of the surprises found in this retelling of Day of the Jackal. Since today's society barely remembers Charles DeGaulle, director Michael Caton Jones and the screenwriter decided to update it and target a more "modern" victim----the First Lady.
Aptly directed by Caton-Jones, this JACKAL is really a movie on its own, borrowing the title and main premise from Frederick Forsyth's popular novel. Bruce Willis plays the Jackal, a nasty and villainous assassin, who has no qualms about shooting people, even his male comrade (which of course is merely one of Willis' many disguises). Seeing Willis in such an anti-Willis role (like Mortal Thoughts and Death Becomes Her) is always a pleasure and he delivers a very solid performance.
Richard Gere will never match the perfection of accents like Meryl Streep, but Gere has a presence that always lifts a film. He gets to play the good guy this time, and does well. Diane Venora as Valentina, the Russian cop, is splendid..Venora is one of our most overlooked and underappreciated actresses. She is great in this role. Sidney Poitier is bland, but effective. Jack Black is annoying but effective in his small but impressive appearance.
I liked this movie; it is escapism and well done.

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: Michael Caton-Jones
Actors:
Bruce Willis
Richard Gere




DVD title: Baby Bach
Productgroup: DVD
Baby Bach - movie DVD cover picture
Keeps her entertained


My twins (22 months) love elmo and I wanted them to try something else. So we rented this DVD, one of the twins was very scared of some of the scenes in this video. It had her screaming in terror. The scenes with the dark backgrounds, especially the one with the touch globe were the ones that were frightening to her.

Studio: Lions Gate Home Entertainment



DVD title: The Pillow Book
Productgroup: DVD
The Pillow Book - movie DVD cover picture
Classic Greenaway


I have yet to meet the Peter Greenaway film I didn't like. He frames his scenes with extraordinary care and attention to detail, much like a painter. Without a doubt his films will take you places you have never been before. This film is no different. If you can relax and let this visual feast wash over you, then you are in for an unforgettable cinematic experience. I think an appreciation of the ritualistic aspects of fetishism and obsessiveness helps in understanding this film.

Studio: Columbia/Tristar Studios
Director: Peter Greenaway
Actors:
Vivian Wu
Ewan McGregor




DVD title: The Woodsman
Productgroup: DVD
The Woodsman - movie DVD cover picture
Spinning Our Moral Compass


If ever there was a film to make you squirm, both internally and externally, this is it.

While watching this amazing little flick (90 minutes), my moral compass was spinning around as if I were standing at the North Pole - that's an acutely direct compliment to the acting and production of this movie but not necessarily its subject matter: the redemption of a pedofile.

As many of us would want, if we ever caught up with a child molester, we'd love to beat the cr@p out of him. Beat him to a pulp for stealing away the innocence of a child. Try to pound some moral sense into him (even in prison child molesters are held as subhuman and often beaten or killed.) But can we be judge, jury, and executioner - in any personal moral sense - because of what we "think we know" about a person and their serious societal flaws? These are tough questions which are all thrown at the viewer of "The Woodsman". Notice I said "thrown at" and not "forced upon". That's an important distinction. For not once did I feel that the script was trying to be sympathetic to criminals, police, or our society. The film shows you the good AND the bad of all of these.

The story flows around a recently paroled child molester, Walter (Kevin Bacon), who now lives in a dumpy apartment in "anywhere" USA. But problems immediately arise for Walter: his apartment, the only one that would allow him in, is directly across from a grade school playground; a cop comes by to harass him and tell him what a scumbag he still is; someone at his job finds out about his past and begins distributing flyers about him; and a child stalker (nicknamed "Candy") is prowling near the playground while Walter watches him with both disgust and anguish.

Throughout the film we also see Walter visiting his court appointed therapist, who asks tough questions, and Walter replies with equal brusqueness. He continually asks his therapist "When will I be normal?", feeling the weight of his "illness" every minute of every day. And this is an important set of narratives, because we see Walter wanting to be normal, we can feel the internal battle within him as he struggles with his past and his more uncertain future.

Added to the film is an attractive co-worker, Kyra Sedgwick (Kevin Bacon's real life wife), who becomes a strange kind of girlfriend that Walter MUST confide in at some point. And when he finally does tell her why he was in prison, you could cut the tension surrounding both of them with a knife. I found myself holding my breath, waiting for her to respond to his history.

But if I held my breath for a moment there, I literally stopped breathing when Walter follows a young girl into a park and begins speaking with her. By this time in the film, most viewers probably are cheering for Walter to succeed in becoming a normal member of his community. We've felt the terrible pedofile lust trying to move away from this flawed man, and we're happy for him. But society won't leave him alone, and now he seems to be slipping back into some horrible old habits. Or is he? Can this child he follows into the park help "The Woodsman" be redeemed? It's amazing to me, too, that the title of the film is "The Woodsman". This is the tale of Little Red Riding Hood who is cut from the Wolf's belly and removed unscathed. And the little girl Walter follows into the park, if you watch closely, is wearing a little red cape.

I'm going to leave my review here, as I don't want to give away too much more about what happens in the park (the pivotal moment of the film). But I will say that this is a terribly uncomfortable film to watch, which is why you should. If you want to feel challenged in any real moral sense, this movie is your best bet.

Studio: Columbia Tristar Hom
Director: Nicole Kassell
Actors:
Kevin Bacon
Kyra Sedgwick
Mos Def




DVD title: Jimi Plays Berkeley
Productgroup: DVD
Jimi Plays Berkeley - movie DVD cover picture
good dvd


i got this dvd first before i got any other ones of his and all i had heard was the "are you experianced?" album wich i loved so i thought why not give this a try because i really wanted to see him live, since i wasnt born when he died. but this was very good i really liked it from the get-go, the only downpoint is that the actual concert footage isnt the complete set list which is included on the cd that comes with this.its still good, plus its by hendrix, that just makes it even better to see him workin his magic on the unsuspecting crowd.very good, buy it and see how modern day music as we know it started!!

Studio: Universal Music & VI
Actors:
Jimi Hendrix



DVD title: Jack Frost 2: Revenge of the Mutant Killer Snowman
Productgroup: DVD
Jack Frost 2: Revenge of the Mutant Killer Snowman - movie DVD cover picture
OUTRAGEOUS!!!!!!!


I was so excited to see this movie. I was intrested in seeing the first one, but all the video stores in town didn't have it. I guess I'll have to buy it! So, I rented the 2nd one, cuz I wanted to see Jack. I heard from reviews i read that it was more a comedy, but that didn't stop me from seeing it. After viewing it, I decided that it was insane. I mean, it was hilarious. There was one part when the carrot went through a guy's stomach. And the part when he goes inside an icecube? That was funny. The two funniest parts were when snow fell on the ground at the island, and everyone was outside throwing snowballs, and jack Frost threw one and it took the guys arm off. It happened so fast it was funny. Then the part when the baby snowman hatched. This movie had the most corniest effects and whoever was the camera person did so bad, that I felt like i was watching a regualr video,,,u no, the videos that are taped by children. For a good laugh, see this movie. :)

Studio: A-Pix Entertainment
Director: Michael Cooney



DVD title: The Medallion
Productgroup: DVD
The Medallion - movie DVD cover picture
Great Show


I believe this movie was great. I was laughing throughout the whole movie. I would recommend this movie to anyone who likes karate movies, and lots of laughs. Its also a must see for kids,

Studio: Columbia Tristar Hom
Director: Gordon Chan
Actors:
Jackie Chan
Lee Evans
Claire Forlani




DVD title: Breaking the Waves
Productgroup: DVD
Breaking the Waves - movie DVD cover picture
Cold, Warm, Boiling!


I first saw Breaking the Waves in the theatres and it blew me away. It actually has something deep and complex to say and discuss. It teackles everything from sex, love, happiness and death. But its main focus is on religion. When Bess says soemthing to the point of "Words can not be loved...but humans can!" Your heart will break. Entering the church where women are not allowed to speak, she finally finds the voices in her head a little to quiet! She has something to say about her crippled husband asking her to have sex with other men, her mother calling her weak and stupid, her best friend coddling her, her own paranoia spinning out of control finally consumes her and turns all of her misconceptions about life into reality!The actors are marvels to behold! Watson resembles a broken china doll but the star is here to me is Katrin Cartlidge; she is more than Bess' best friend but her conscience and wanna be savior. When religion is lumped into the same heap as moral standards but topped with power by the towns Elders the movie goes into heartbreakeing over-drive! The final chapter will leave you crying on end. Bess not only makes foolish mistakes but she makes good hearted ones in the name of God and in the name of faith. Breaking the Waves offers no answers to any questions but soul is snatched it not only makes painful to watch but painful to hear.

Studio: Artisan Entertainment
Director: Lars von Trier
Actors:
Emily Watson



DVD title: Blazing Saddles
Productgroup: DVD
Blazing Saddles - movie DVD cover picture
Yeehah-larious!


One of Brook's most funny and most likely the funniest western out there. Cleavon Little is hired as the new Sheriff in Rockbridge as part of a plan of Hedley Lemarr(Korman)and the Gov(Brooks)to run the people out. Little and Wilder make a halarious team. Usual funny appearances are also made by Kahn and Deliuse. Slim pickens is a perfect addition as well. Look for the scene where Mongo punches out the horse.

Studio: Warner Studios
Director: Mel Brooks
Actors:
Cleavon Little
Gene Wilder




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