Film DVD related reviews


DVD title: The French Lieutenant's Woman
Productgroup: DVD
The French Lieutenant's Woman - movie DVD cover picture
Victorian Love Story by the Sea


"You cannot imagine my suffering. My only happiness is when I sleep. When I awake, the nightmare begins." ~Sarah Woodruff
The first few scenes in this movie are so terribly sad if you have seen the movie at least once before. In the first few scenes all you see is a lone figure walking along the projecting sea wall (Cobb). Sarah Woodruff is looking out to sea for her lover's return. It is all so tragic. This story is set in the coastal town of Lyme Regis, famous for its fossils and now also famous for this movie.
For some reason, the first scenes are so symbolic of the entire loneliness both the fictional and real character play in the movie. This is a film-within-the-film and the stories follow similar themes. You could almost compare the style of this movie to the more recent "Possession 2002."
The French Lieutenant's Woman was adapted from John Fowles' novel and is a parallel love story. One between forbidden lovers Sarah Woodruff (Meryl Streep) and Charles (Jeremy Irons) in the 19th century, and then a romance between Anna and Mike who play Sarah and Charles when the Victorian romance is not being filmed. It is confusing at first, but soon you are watching this movie five times and have no idea why. It is rather romantic!
There are of course two endings, one for each story. I can't decide which I loved best. They are just both so overwhelming.
If you watch closely, you will see a scene where Sarah shows Charles a bit of her slip as she walks away. I always heard that meant a woman was looking for a husband. I didn?t notice it until the fourth time I was watching the movie. Sarah is technically an unfulfilled romantic. She is quite dramatic and very amusing at times. When she is going into a very serious speech, it can at times become dramatic to the point of hilarity. You know she is completely in love with being a victim of fate. She also knows how to attract romance into her life with her various schemes. One is rather dangerous when she slips a note to Charles during tea.
Charles is a curious soul. He finds Sarah to be a bit of a mystery and unlike other women he has met and courted. He literally hunts her down and watches this mystery as she glides through the misty forest by the sea. All Sarah wants to do is look out to sea and dream of a man saving her from her fantasy life as a scarlet woman. Charles loses all interest in his ammonite research and is also lost from the moment he sees Sarah. We feel mildly sorry for Ernestina Freeman (Lynsey Baxter) as she is so sweet and innocent and so deserving of love. Still, the girl can throw a pretty good tantrum! She is of course engaged to Charles.
The French Lieutenant's Woman will haunt you long after you have watched it at least five times in two days. ;) I loved this movie so much more than Sophie's Choice. It has to be the violin music slowly drifting through the misty forests. It is all so mysterious. Meryl Streep also has such a fresh radiance in this movie. Her acting is simply fascinating in so many scenes.
Dreamy Victorian Romance.
~The Rebecca Review.com

Studio: Mgm/Ua Studios
Director: Karel Reisz
Actors:
Meryl Streep
Jeremy Irons




DVD title: Old School (Widescreen Unrated Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Old School (Widescreen Unrated Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
The bottom line!


How can this movie not be funny with a cast like this??
I thought this movie was great! It's just one of those funny movies that could actuall happen, but probably won't. Everybody in the cast was great; I love Luke Wilson. I think this movie started off not being too terribly funny, but as the movie went on, there were more laughs. However, it wasn't the funniest movie i've seen...and that's why I give it 4 stars.

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: Todd Phillips
Actors:
Luke Wilson
Will Ferrell
Vince Vaughn




DVD title: Second Sight 1
Productgroup: DVD
Second Sight 1 - movie DVD cover picture
SPELLBINDING HERO MAKES SERIES CRACKLE.


Fans of the art house cult hit CROUPIER will delight in this first entry in yet another first-rate British mystery series. Clive Owen, who made Jack Manfred a classic antihero in CROUPIER, fleshes out a fascinating character in DCI Ross Tanner as the SECOND SIGHT series begins with this two-tape set. Tanner is a divorced (aren't they always?) workaholic with an ambitious ex-wife and an adoring young son who seems to double as Tanner's only real friend. In this go-round, Tanner is beginning to lose his eyesight to a rare disease for which there stands no present cure. Hiding his condition and his terror is not going to be easy, however. The fadeouts are unpredictable and often frightening and his new partner, Catherine Tully, is on to him. Equally ambitious, and out to correct an old wrong, Tully offers to be Tanner's eyes if he will give her a crack at their new case--the death of a young university student in his own backyard while no one in the family seemed to notice.
Claire Skinner is, as always, expert and enjoyable to watch but its Clive Owen's show all the way. His unconventional good looks and rugged exterior share space with a tender, devoted father and a fair-minded, ingenious detective but Owen also gives Ross Tanner something else, that rarest of things in movie characters--the suggestion of an inner life which is every bit as fascinating as his day-to-day crime solving. Great production values and fine supporting performances (especially from Stuart Wilson and Phoebe Nicholls) make SECOND SIGHT a must for any British mystery video library.

Studio: Wgbh
Director: Charles Beeson



DVD title: My Father is a Hero
Productgroup: DVD
My Father is a Hero - movie DVD cover picture
Good movie......


I have seen this movie several times in Chinese and English. The translation is different in both. The Chinese actually makes everything more clear (I know the translaters have to consider the mouth movements.....so understood).
The sentimentality, in my humble opinion is good (although acting it out seems difficult for Xie Mao in one spot). I don't really care for "tear jerker" movies, but if you love your family (something I think is dying out), it is very believable!
The fighting action is awesome! And I have to say I believe Jet Li has the true ability to portray feelings perfectly.

Studio: Tai Seng Video
Director: Corey Yuen
Actors:
Jet Li
Anita Mui
Miu Tse




DVD title: Lolita
Productgroup: DVD
Lolita - movie DVD cover picture
Little Lo, The Story Of A Nymphet


Kubrick's masterpiece of 1962 with James Mason & Shelley Winters. It far surpasses in every way the 1998 remake (although I loved Jeremy Iron's portrayal of Humbert). Sometimes the imagination is more graphic & shocking than what is able to be filmed (especially in 1962!).
Plus, the B&W lends itself well to Nabokov's novel... Read the book! It is MOST EXCELLENT also!

Studio: Warner Studios
Director: Stanley Kubrick
Actors:
James Mason
Shelley Winters
Sue Lyon




DVD title: Stargate SG-1 Season 1 Boxed Set
Productgroup: DVD
Stargate SG-1 Season 1 Boxed Set - movie DVD cover picture
its not a series, but a religion


Probably the best I've seen in a long time.

Studio: MGM/UA Video
Actors:
Stargate Sg-1
Richard Anderson




DVD title: Cracking the Code to the Extraordinary
Productgroup: DVD
Cracking the Code to the Extraordinary - movie DVD cover picture
What scientists are saying about Ramtha!


I was very curious after seeing the movie What the Bleep, who was that blonde woman in the movie called Ramtha? I did some research and found there was a workshop from his school near where I live. It was only $250 for the weekend, with the first night free, so I said, hey, what the heck, let's find out and see. A while ago I stopped asking my friends about new movies I wanted to see. Most of the time I find they were wrong. I make it a rule to find out for myself first. So I went, and I was really impressed.
First of all, there was no cult thing, weird stuff going on, pyramids on your head or strange clothes, etc., as some critics keep saying. What I found was, right at the start of the session, they had us in the audience try out some remote-viewing with each other. Simple things we draw on a piece of paper and the person next to us has to know what we draw without seeing, and then take turns. Well, you are not going to believe me, but a huge amount of people were able to do it exactly right. This is way cool. I got it right, of course! I did not know I could do this. I thought this was only something out of the x-files, or something like that. If you ask me, finding this out about myself, and learning some really simple techniques to practice this on my own was well worth the money and the time going to this RSE workshop. I am having fun with this thing. I am trying to remote-view what my boyfriend is really thinking! Ha.

The other thing I wanted to share here is this scientific paper we got at the workshop with information about some scientific testing they did on Ramtha that got published by the scientists in The Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, a trustworthy society founded in 1885, so it is the real deal as far as science goes.
This is what the scientists were saying about Ramtha, check it out:
"JZ Knight, who had been channeling Ramtha the Enlightened One, a spiritual teacher for the previous twenty years, `is not a fraud,' According to Dr. Stanley Krippner, a psychologist and the leading parapsychology researcher in the U.S. who rigorously tested Knight at Ramtha's School of Enlightenment (RSE) in Yelm over a period of 18 months."
" `She's not faking it,' added Ian Wickramasekera of San Francisco's Saybrook Institute of Graduate Studies, `because when we hooked her up to test her physiological responses, we got results which could not have been manipulated.' According to Wickramasekera, when Knight left her body and Ramtha took over, the heart rate hit a low of 40 beats per minute and then raced to 180 beats per minute. In her normal resting state, Knight's heart rate was between 85 and 90."
"According to conference organizer Gordon Melton, Wickramasekera was initially not interested in being involved in the study and did not expect to come up with such significant results. `You might see this in someone who is jogging or having a serious panic attack, but at the time Ms. Knight was sitting completely still,' said Wickramasekera, who used state-of-the-art equipment to test Knight. He conducted the physiological tests three times and the results were consistent in all three runs. `Science demands repeatability and Ms. Knight allowed us to perform these tests three times.' "
"Wickramasekera explained how eight standardized, physiological, psychological, and behavioral tests were administered. `When you go fishing you use a big net,' Wickramasekera said. `What we didn't expect was to find fish in all eight nets.' The results of the physiological tests showed that when Knight is channeling Ramtha, her muscle tension, pulse, and galvanic skin response increase while skin temperature and blood volume both decrease. Wickramasekera affirmed that Knight could not have voluntarily changed or faked all eight of these results."

I must say that seeing the Ramtha DVDs, Create Your Day, Cracking the Code to the Extraordinary, and A Message of Joy, now make a lot more sense to me after I went to the workshop and learned my natural talent as a remote-viewer (smile). Some of the things Ramtha says there may seem too simple and nothing new, but when you put them into practice with the simple techniques and instructions I got there over the weekend, now I understand the value and how far reaching and applicable they are to my life everyday. And I can do this in my own time, in the privacy of my own home, without having to go anywhere else. If you are interested in finding out some really cool, sci-fi stuff we can do with our brain and our mind, check this out. You may like it as I surprisingly did!

Studio: Ramtha's School of Enlightenment
Director: Ramtha



DVD title: Barfly
Productgroup: DVD
Barfly - movie DVD cover picture
12 Steps is one step too Many. Pour me another...


Gonzo poet, writer, rebel, wild man and veteran Barfly without peer Charles Bukowski cranked out the script and guerilla filmmaker Barbet Schroeder wielded the camera for this pungent, wicked, hysterical tale of Hell itself: it is nothing other than the Damned with Drinks and the Dive Bar as steaming Hellpit. It's also huge tanker truckloads of fun. Drink up, the rounds are on me!

Mickey Rourke, then at the height of his powers, plays Bukowski stand-in and poet-genius-drunkard Henry Chinaski, who would love to write fantastic world-famous poetry and become wildly wealthy and idle his days away listening to Handel and chumming on caviar---but you know, a man's gotta have a First Love, and Henry does: Lady Booze, and boy is Henry faithful. What they hey! It's much easier to head down to the local watering hole, you know, and have just one shot. Just one shot.

Just one, c'mon Man, you know?

Consequently Henry is witty, sharp, caustic, totally disgusting, lives in a rat & cockroach infested flophouse, has meandering chatter sessions and fumbled sleepwalker sex with fellow drunkard Wanda Wilcox (Faye Dunaway who looks all bleary-eyed and tilts that bottle back like a champ! You go, girl!), and passes out in his own urine.

Publisher Tully Sorenson (Alice Krige, at the height of her powers and still eleven years away from her role as Borg Queen) discovers Henry: she's shocked by his nastiness and, simultaneously, by his genius. She wants to publish his poems. She wants to throw a life preserver down to Henry, with which he can escape the big old wine-dark sea of Old Grand-Dad in which he swims.

Guess what happens? Yeah, that's right, have another drink.

Anyway, underrated genius Barbet Schroeder and Charles Bukowski make a kind of diabolic duo in turning out this rummy-headed little epic of mind-boggling personal destruction. I don't know about Barbet (though the guy must have been fortifying himself with whiskey when he shot the amazing documentary "General Idi Amin Dada", which if you haven't seen, you should---hell, make it a double feature with "Barfly"), but Bukowski, who drank his way around the world---from Nazi Germany to seedy back alley L.A. dive bars---over the course of his 74 years on the planet---knows himself and knows his Enemy. His expertise shows.

The dialogue is funny and rings true. And cinematographer Robert Muller is just too cool for school here: you can practically feel the grime and smell the stale sweet rank stench of sour whiskey and sweat. And hey!---Buk himself puts in an appearance as a bar patron. Hey there, is that glass empty?

The acting is all first-rate: Mickey Rourke completely owns this movie. Completely. He actually pulls it off: he makes the life of a half-crazed almost totally out of his mind teeth-grinding wild-man look glamorous. I bought it. Faye Dunaway carries off the role of her career. Krige looks like a sturdy, stoic tugboat hitched to the stern of a swiftly sinking Titanic. Frank Stallone shows up as the angry barman! Jack Nance (of "Twin Peaks" fame and loyal David Lynch stable actor) puts in an appearance as the tricky detective. The script is crisp and crackles and rocks and rolls: frankly, I think this one gives David Mamet a run for his money; see if you don't agree.

In the end, we get to laugh it up and share a round or two or three---um, or four---with people who are disintegrating before our eyes, albeit in the funniest, most completely honest way possible. Henry is totally right: "Anyone can be a non-drunk: it takes a special talent to be a drunk---it takes endurance." That much is true: Henry and Wanda's "life" is chewing them up. Why this is Hell, nor am I out of it. Drink up!

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Barbet Schroeder
Actors:
Mickey Rourke
Faye Dunaway




DVD title: The Dick Van Dyke Show - The Complete Series
Productgroup: DVD
The Dick Van Dyke Show - The Complete Series - movie DVD cover picture
The TV-On-DVD Boxed Set To End All Boxed Sets!


If you're looking for a super-sensational, tantalizingly-terrific, and spectacularly-massive DVD set containing some of the greatest comedy moments in TV history, then look no further than this colossal 25-Disc DVD set containing every last episode of "The Dick Van Dyke Show", the multiple Emmy Award-winning CBS-TV comedy series which ran from 1961 to 1966.

This Complete-Series mega DVD collection houses all five seasons of the very funny and perpetually-entertaining Van Dyke Show, encompassing 158 total episodes, all restored and remastered by Image Entertainment and Paul Brownstein Productions, with each episode exhibiting darn-near perfect video and audio quality. And every single episode is complete and unedited. Not a single second of any show has been cut out. Average running time per episode is a shade more than 25 minutes.

All 158 shows have been bundled together here to form one gigantic and money-saving 'Complete-Series' collection. Each of the twenty-five discs gets its own individual "ThinPak" (slimline) plastic case. Each case has unique and nicely-designed cover art (featuring a different publicity still photograph on every one of the 25 cases). Additional photos grace the back cover of each case, as well as more Van Dyke Show pictures (and a complete "Scene Selections" list for each of that platter's 6 or 7 episodes) on the inside of every case. (These plastic cases are the "clear" type, so you can read the "Scene" listing on the inside front covers right through the plastic.)

The back of each of these slim cases provides quick at-your-fingertips info about each show on that disc -- such as: Full episode titles; Film dates; Original CBS-TV air dates; Brief episode descriptions; Plus some crew credits ("Written by" and "Directed by" notations). The 158 episodes are arranged here by "Production" (or "Film Date") order, instead of an "Air Date" chronology.*

* = With one (very wise) exception being Episodes 157 and 158. "The Gunslinger" was actually the last (158th) Van Dyke episode to be filmed; with "The Last Chapter" being the final episode that was aired, in June 1966. So, for proper continuity sake, Image Entertainment has flipped the order of these two episodes on the last disc of Season #5 -- with "The Last Chapter" being presented as the final show of the series.

More Packaging Notes -- The 25 individually-cased discs in this Mega-Set are placed side-by-side inside a large outer "slipcase" box.

Image Entertainment distributed five separate season-by-season "Dick Van Dyke Show" DVD boxed sets in 2003 and 2004, with each of those five sets featuring a 5-Disc slipcase box. However, those individual seasonal slipcases from each of the previously-released Van Dyke seasons are NOT included in this Mega-Set.

The outer cardboard slipcase for this "Complete Series" set includes three different "3D"-like "motion" lenticular pictures (two of which are not included on any of the five individual full-season Dick Van Dyke Show boxed sets).

Many, many supplemental bonus features are also included on these twenty-five Digital Discs, including: Audio Commentary tracks for many episodes, along with cast interviews, original TV commercials, Emmy Award snippets, documentaries, featurettes, photo galleries, behind-the-scenes rehearsal footage, Easter Eggs, trivia games, CBS-TV promos, and gobs of other little interesting extra tidbits besides! A 12-page booklet, packed with interesting info about the series, is also a part of this Dick Van Dyke Show bonanza too.

There are even full-length TV-show bonuses included on selected discs, including a complete episode of "The Danny Thomas Show" (which has Van Dyke Show character "Buddy Sorrell" popping up).

Other complete TV-show extras include the original "Pilot" episode for "The Dick Van Dyke Show" (called "Head Of The Family"); plus a full-length 46-minute CBS-TV documentary made in the mid-1990s ("The Dick Van Dyke Show Remembered"); and an absolutely-outstanding and ultra-fun-to-watch TV game show entitled "Stump The Stars" (aka: "Mike Stokey's Pantomime Quiz"), which has several Van Dyke Show cast members playing a lively charades game. Great, great fun!

If you want to know the full details regarding each and every little bonus extra you can expect to find on these 25 discs, you can seek out my extensive reviews for each of the separate Van Dyke Show boxed sets here at Amazon.com. If you type in "VAN DYKE SHOW SEASON" while searching under "DVDs" here at Amazon, you'll get a convenient and handy search result that places links to all five of the Van Dyke seasonal sets on just one webpage for easy reference.

Pull out any one of these 25 discs and you'll have some great shows, including all of Rob Petrie's inimitable physical comedy bits -- not to mention Dick Van Dyke's unsurpassed ability to act out a "one-way telephone conversation" (which always amazes me when I see him do this -- and there are many such "telephone" moments during the series). Then, too, via this amazing boxed set, you'll also get every one of Laura Petrie's (Mary Tyler Moore) "crying jags", plus all the standout "Rob & Laura dancing and singing" scenes. And don't forget about all those "Buddy insults Mel" gags (which must number in the hundreds over the course of the series).

Just suffice it to say that I love this television program. .... Its humor is timeless. The characters seem "real" and "non-phony". And the writing is remarkable. And you'll be able to see why when you pop in any of these wonderfully-restored Digital Versatile Discs.

"THE DICK VAN DYKE SHOW: THE COMPLETE SERIES" DVD collection is, without fear of argument, a "complete treasure".

Studio: Image Entertainment



DVD title: The Matrix
Productgroup: DVD
The Matrix - movie DVD cover picture
I would give this 100 out of 100 stars if I could


This is one of the greatest dvds ever! It should be the first in your collection! Great extra's, awesome soundtrack, great action, awesome concept! Two thumbs up here!

Studio: Warner Studios
Actors:
Keanu Reeves
Laurence Fishburne
Carrie-Anne Moss




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