Film DVD related reviews


DVD title: Dolly Parton - Live and Well
Productgroup: DVD
Dolly Parton - Live and Well - movie DVD cover picture
What a treat!


My prayers have been answered! Finally a Dolly Parton concert on DVD. I was very excited to get this DVD. Dolly Parton is one of my favorite performers, and having not seen her live in concert, this is definately the next best thing. The songs range from early hits like "9 to 5" and "Jolene", to newer classics like "Marry Me", "Dagger Through The Heart" and "I'm Gone". She does an emotional reading of her hit "I Will Always Love You", which in my opinion is way more meaningful and well done than Whitney Houston's version. It's great to hear her put her stamp on others classics like "Stairway to Heaven", "After The Goldrush", "If". She also spends a lot of time talking and joking with the crowd. A wonderful DVD to add to your collection!

Studio: Welk Music Group
Actors:
Dolly Parton



DVD title: 21 Grams
Productgroup: DVD
21 Grams - movie DVD cover picture
Experimental structure works


Alejandro Gonz?lez I??rritu has made a bold film in an innovative style. The movie is not told in a straightforward fashion. There are approximately 40-50 scenes, and they are assembled in a non-linear fashion. It's sort of the cinematic equivalent of tossing 50 pieces of a puzzle onto a table and having to mentally assemble them.
For me, it works. I have read other reviews that weren't that crazy about it. Roger Ebert wrote that the technique got in the way of the story. Other reviewers here have complained either that it made the story "slow" or boring or that they just didn't get it.
I'd have to see the whole film reassembled into chronological order to be able to give an opinion about whether or not the film is better in its presented form or whether it would be improved by being more conventional, but I didn't have any trouble sorting out the various plot-lines in my head as the story unfolded.
Sean Penn gives another memorable performance as a math professor with a congenitally bad heart. We learn that he is less than a month from death unless he gets a transplant. Naomi Watts gives the best performance I've seen yet from this talented actress as a woman who is happily married to an architect with whom she shares two daughters, but we also see that in her past she did more than dabble in drugs. Benicio Del Toro is heartbreakingly good as a man who has lived a hard life and done some hard time before being saved, in the Christian sense. Melissa Leo is his wife, and she shared his hard life before, and plainly hasn't come to terms yet with his conversion as a born-again Christian. All of the main characters intersect in ways that I cannot reveal without spoiling, so I won't.
There are many other supporting performances given by actors who I was not familiar with, and my lack of recognition contributed to my ability to fall into the story. The film brings up many difficult questions, and I think it is one of it's strengths that it does not find easy answers to them.
It's a worthwhile way to spend 2 hours if you want to see strong acting, bravura film-making, and don't mind having to think about what's on the screen.

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: Alejandro González Iñárritu
Actors:
Sean Penn
Naomi Watts
Benicio Del Toro




DVD title: Newsies (Collector's Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Newsies (Collector's Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
I love this movie!


This is such a cool movie! The songs are terrific and I end singing them all day! Our choir at school is singing Seize The Day for our spring concert! Does anyone know where I can find the soundtrack? See this movie, it's so much fun!

Studio: Disney Studios
Director: Kenny Ortega
Actors:
Christian Bale



DVD title: Interview with the Vampire
Productgroup: DVD
Interview with the Vampire - movie DVD cover picture
The best movie in the entire world!!!!!!


I have this movie memorized word for word, scene for scene! Minus the full nudity, movie can't get better then then this. I love how the vamires aren't really monsters, they're people, immortal people. Tom Cruise did a masterly job, Brad pitt/Kirsten Dunst too. I read all of Anne Rices books after watching this movie, became a hardcore Tom Cruise fan, critisize a lot of vampire movies I used to like, for example; John Carpenters: Vampires, (I really like James Woods too) Blade, Dracula 2000, Pale blood...I now think the crosses, Garlic and stakes are retarded or as Louis would say, it's "Nonsense." I must say that I still like Bram Stokers: Dracula, just because. So go out and buy thie movie! it's too good not to buy!!!!

Studio: Warner Studios
Director: Neil Jordan
Actors:
Tom Cruise
Brad Pitt




DVD title: The Phantom of the Opera (Widescreen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
The Phantom of the Opera (Widescreen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Only wish i got the 2-disk set!


I didnt see the play or know anything about this movie.Then my mom rented this and i loved it we went and bought it.I only wish it was the 2- disk set.The movie is amazing i love it ,the songs, acting and eveything else about it. Whatch it its good!!

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Joel Schumacher
Actors:
Gerard Butler
Emmy Rossum
Patrick Wilson




DVD title: The Notebook (New Line Platinum Series)
Productgroup: DVD
The Notebook (New Line Platinum Series) - movie DVD cover picture
Simply beautiful!!!


The Notebook is a gorgeous movie, beautifully shot by Robert Fraisse and wonderfully directed by Nick Cassavetes. The film sports a terrific cast, including the likes of Ryan Gosling (superbly underrated), Rachel McAdams (on her way to becoming a star) and the brilliance of James Garner, Gena Rowlands (Nick's mother!!!), Joan Allen, and Sam Shepard. These actors are blessed with a director who knows how to work with them, bringing out fantastic performances from each and every performer, secondary and otherwise. It's a classic story of a love lost and later found, done to death in other films, but here, it works better than most. Based on Nicholas Sparks' 1996 best-seller, The Notebook revolves around the tale an elderly man (James Garner) who reads aloud to a confused woman (Gena Rowlands) who's confined to a nursing home. Though she's removed from reality by her fleeting, faded memory, she's obviously intrigued by the romance he relates. That romance begins in 1940, as 17 year-old Allie Hamilton (Rachel McAdams), a wealthy girl from Charleston, meets 19 year-old Noah Calhoun (Ryan Gosling), a local boy, at a Carnival. Impetuously, he implores her to go out with him and pesters her until she agrees. Sparks ignite the intense, overwhelming passion of their idyllic relationship. Horrified that her debutante daughter will wind up with a lumber mill worker, Allie's mother (Joan Allen) whisks her away to college. Allie's and Noah's lives take different directions during World War II., but memories linger and, seven years later, their paths cross again.
The film does have its share of problems and can be overly sentimental at times, but they are minor quibbles that can be easily overlooked. Overall, it is a breathtaking film, emotional and powerful from the first frame to the last. The scenery is breathtaking, the costumes are perfection, and the actors become their roles, adding to the realism and emotion. It is one of the best romantic dramas to come out in years. But be warned: for those who have a heart, be ready to WEEP!

Studio: New Line Home Entertainment
Director: Nick Cassavetes
Actors:
Gena Rowlands
James Garner
Ryan Gosling
Rachel McAdams




DVD title: Ginger Snaps
Productgroup: DVD
Ginger Snaps - movie DVD cover picture
Just brilliant. My 2nd favourite movie of all-time...GET IT!


Okay, first off - let me say that I am a HUGE Katharine Isabelle fan, so I may be just the teeniest bit biased towards "GINGER SNAPS." :) Even if you've never heard of the cast, I can guarantee you'll love this flick!

GINGER SNAPS is the story of two sisters, Ginger & Brigitte, who are bound together by a morbid childhood "pact":

"Out by sixteen, or dead in this scene, but together forever..."

They are obsessed with dying/death & constantly photograph each other in morbid photos, for example - a lawnmover mangling intestines, drinking bleach/cleaning fluid, hanging, pitchforks through throats and more - with the aid of their endless supply of fake gore and Brigitte's trusty camera. They are even doing a "Death Project" for school which showcase these images!

They are loners. Outcasts. They only like each other. Then one night, Ginger is attacked by a werewolf and slowly but surely becomes one herself growing more & more aggressive by the day. She grows a tail, hair, claws, fangs - you name it, she grows it.

I won't give any more of the story away (the above is an EXTREMELY breif, obscure description!), see it for yourself.

Absolutely outstanding performances by all the cast, in particular - Katharine Isabelle (Ginger), Emily Perkins (Brigitte), Kris Lemche (Sam) and the teenage girl's mother played by Mimi Rogers.

Words cannot describe how great this film really is, so check it out NOW if you haven't already. I absolutely DEFY anyone not to enjoy this modern horror masterpiece...

The end is very moving.

My 2nd fav. movie EVER right after "Creepshow."

5-star-flick.

(THE PREQUEL "GINGER SNAPS BACK" & THE SEQUEL, "GINGER SNAPS UNLEASHED" ARE ALSO BRILLIANT, CHECK THOSE OUT!!)

Studio: Fox Home Entertainme
Director: John Fawcett
Actors:
Emily Perkins
Katharine Isabelle




DVD title: Star Trek - Insurrection
Productgroup: DVD
Star Trek - Insurrection - movie DVD cover picture
Needed Addition Considering Nemesis's Dark Tone


This movie broke the odd numbered curse in my opinion. I was always disappointed in the first one. The third one was ok except for the supporting actor's C-List acting. The fifth one ... and they really should have waited till the strike was over to film it. And the seventh one was the best uptil now except for Kirk's death which was not fitting in my opinion. Star Trek Insurrection is where the curse ends for me. This is a needed addition for the genre. The scene where Data, Worf, and Picard are singing is hilarious and a classic moment in all the films. I don't blame Worf for not wanting to sing!
Also the struggle with upkeeping the morals of the Federation's Prime Directive was intriguing too. The deeper meaning which was found in most of the episodes of the series is found here in a major way. This movie is also big after Nemesis because it shows Data still wondering about being human and helps build the climax for the next movie where he makes the ultimate sacrifice. And Picard 2.0, a term I made up for his new found action hero inside him, has a love story and is sort of like Moses leading all those people. All in all, a great addition for the Star Trek fan who wants to see more about the characters and less gore. I'm not one of them! Even so a great addition to the genre and I still give it 5 stars. Oh and go see Nemesis for the love of Roddenberry if you haven't by now!

Studio: Paramount Studio
Director: Jonathan Frakes
Actors:
Jonathan Frakes
Patrick Stewart
Brent Spiner
LeVar Burton
Michael Dorn
Gates McFadden
Marina Sirtis




DVD title: A Christmas Story (Full Screen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
A Christmas Story (Full Screen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
A Classic Christmas Story!!!


"You'll shoot your eye out, kid."
With those six simple words not only were dreams of an Official Red Ryder Carbine-Action Two-Hundred-Shot Range Model Air Rifle altered forever, so were the normal holiday movie traditions of Americans across the country. As popular as this feature is today, this did not take hold until quite recently. When A Christmas Story opened in theaters back in 1983, the studio that produced the film had no confidence in it, thus launching the film in only 886 theaters. By the end of its run, the film pulled in a disappointing $19 million and its television rights had been sold off quickly without a second thought. It wasn't until the TNT television network began to offer numerous viewings of the classic holiday comedy over the festive season did the film begin to finally be accepted by the masses. Now A Christmas Story has joined the ranks of such other yuletide treasures as It's a Wonderful Life and A Charlie Brown Christmas as a true staple of this special time of year.
The story fellows the adventures of a young boy set against the Christmas holiday in the 1940's as he dreams of the perfect holiday gift. Ralphie Parker is like any other typical young boy in the 1940's but there is something that does set him apart from the rest of the pack. His aspirations for an Official Red Ryder Carbine-Action Two-Hundred-Shot Range Model Air Rifle, the one item that he believes to be the perfect Christmas present. Unfortunately for young Ralphie, he faces stern opposition from his mother who believes the toy will "shoot his eye out". He receives no help from his father who is too busy holding off the Bumbus hounds or shouting at the furnace, so Ralphie seeks to find higher help for his cause, the big man himself: Santa Claus. But even this last splint of hope is dashed to pieces with those devastating words coming from the "jolly" fat man himself, "You'll shoot your eye out, kid." All hope seems lost for poor Ralphie but if only he knew what Christmas Day would bring! The plot for A Christmas Story is one of the most wonderful concepts ever attempted in a holiday feature film and what makes it so memorable is the fact that many elements, no matter how elaborated, can be related by one family or another in some point in their lives.
The biggest highlight of the comedy has to be how each character is cast perfectly. Peter Billingsley, who takes on the role of Ralph Parker, showcases a delightful performance despite his relatively young age. Many of the funniest moments of the feature come from his reactions alone to certain situations. Melinda Dillion gives a wonderful if not eerily familiar performance of Ralphie's typical 1940's mother. She works perfectly opposite Darren McGavin especially over the battle of the broken leg lamp. McGavin more then likely outshines them all with his over-the-top performance as Ralphie's Old Man. His shoutings of "Don't anybody move!" and "Notafinga!" will likely stand the test of theatrical comedic time but it is his overall good fatherly nature that makes every audience member feel as if they are witness a part of their own familiar past. Though he is not remembered by his name, Jeff Gillen does a hilarious take on the mall-Santa, stingy elfs and all. And Jean Shepard, who wrote the book on which this film is based on, gives a perfect off-beat narration of the film with perfect tones and comments for each situation as it happens in the feature. The narration works almost as well alone as the actions performed in A Christmas Story.
Overall, Can the Christmas season be fully complete without at least one viewing of A Christmas Story? You can try but all bets are that even the "Grinchiest" person can't escape the irresistible personality of this yuletide comedy. There are so many wonderful things going for this film that it is hard to pick out the flaws. If anything, the last portion of A Christmas Story tends to drag a little bit near the end unlike earlier parts where actions were performed in a much quicker pace. In a way like Christmas Vacation, many of the elements within A Christmas Story connect with someone at one point or another based on their own Christmas experiences with their family. Though some would not like to admit some of the more embarrassing memories (aka looking like a pink nightmare on Christmas morning), we can all relate to young Ralphie's blight of getting the perfect Christmas gift when we were his age. But in the end, we realize that family, no matter how embarrassing or bumbling they may be, is what is the most important during the holidays. That is one memory that we should always keep close to our hearts no matter what time of the year.

Studio: Warner Studios
Director: Bob Clark (III)
Actors:
Peter Billingsley



DVD title: The Border
Productgroup: DVD
The Border - movie DVD cover picture
Great.


Nicholson works magic in this role. The way the movie shows how Americans pursue the American dream (Nicholson's wife spending more and more until it drives him crazy, to fulfill her materialistic fantasies) and those of trying to get across the border: that is their American dream. Along with the corruptibility of men who have no power to execute the duties of their job, it is well worth a look.


A subtle and intense film.



Studio: Universal Studios Ho
Director: Tony Richardson
Actors:
Jack Nicholson
Harvey Keitel




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