Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Star Wars - Episode I, The Phantom Menace (Widescreen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Star Wars - Episode I, The Phantom Menace (Widescreen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
What do people mean no character?

There is plenty of character and plot development in episode 1. It shows the very beginings and only hints out some of what you are to find later. It shows the rise of Palpatine from a lower beuracrat on his way to one day becomiong the evil emperor. There is much story here you just have to pay attention and look beneath the surface. A beginning is a very difficult time, and this movie does a damn good job of it. Starting a legend from a few small pieces. They will get better.

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
Director: George Lucas
Liam Neeson
Ewan McGregor
Natalie Portman

DVD title: Delta Heat
Productgroup: DVD
Delta Heat - movie DVD cover picture
A fun and goofy action flick

For those of you waiting for the dream-team of Anthony Edwards and Lance Henriksen, here it is! This a surprisingly decent low-budget action flick that works because Edwards and Henriksen make such a great buddy team. Edwards plays a slick LA cop and Henriksen plays a Louisiana swamprat ex-cop who track a voodoo killer in New Orleans. Give a try, you won't be disappointed.

Studio: Platinum Disc Corp
Director: Michael Fischa

DVD title: Soylent Green
Productgroup: DVD
Soylent Green - movie DVD cover picture

It has been my experience that you either love this movie or you absolutely hate it. I LOVE it. It scared me to death as a little kid, made me think as a teenager, and now that I'm an adult it makes me howl with laughter. If you are a hardcore science fiction fan you must see this film. However, if you have never seen it, rent it before you buy it. You will either hate it and save your money, or love it and trip over the cat trying to make your way to the computer to order it as the closing credits scroll by. By the way, Tuesday is Soylent Green day. ;)

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Richard Fleischer
Charlton Heston
Edward G. Robinson

DVD title: October Sky
Productgroup: DVD
October Sky - movie DVD cover picture

I love all of Homer Hickam's books. My interest is always kept while reading because the text is so vivid and compelling. I would recommend ALL of his books to everyone of any age!
This movie is perfect and will make you feel like you can accomplish anything if you just try!

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: Joe Johnston
Jake Gyllenhaal
Chris Cooper

DVD title: Shakes the Clown
Productgroup: DVD
Shakes the Clown - movie DVD cover picture
"The 'Citizen Kane' of alcoholic clown movies", indeed

Maltin missed the point. This disc is reason enough in itself to buy a DVD player. Like an earlier reviewer, I never cared for Bobcat's standup comedy, but he's earned my respect on the basis of this film. It's a great comic premise and is astonishingly well executed. For all the low-budget appearance, both the photography and direction are first-rate (and according to imdb, surprisingly, Goldthwait never directed another film). And of course, LaWanda Page's "as soon as they turn off that camera..." line never fails to make me laugh. Now if they'd just release "Cabin Boy" on DVD my collection would be complete.

Studio: Columbia Tri-Star
Director: Bob Goldthwait
Bob Goldthwait

DVD title: Stephen King's The Shining
Productgroup: DVD
Stephen King's The Shining - movie DVD cover picture
This is the film version closest to King's novel.

It isn't fair for critics to compare this version of Stephen King's "The Shining" to the Jack Nicholson film, because they're two completely different versions that are brilliant in their own ways. This version of the movie is much longer than the Nicholson version, and for fans of King's novel, this will probably be the film adaptation that you prefer simply because it follows the book so closely. Steven Weber plays the role of Jack much differently than Nicholson did: like in the novel, the character's maddness is slow to build, but when the film reaches its climax, Weber is absolutely terrifying. Rebecca De Mornay gives the performance of her career as Wendy, a woman who is desperately trying to keep her family together and is slowly coming to realize the horror that has possessed her husband. They young actor who plays Danny gives a chilling performance, and he always gives me the creeps when I watch the film (I can only assume that's because the kid's a great actor, hopefully not because he's a freak in real life). The film builds and builds, and there are a lot of suspenseful moments. The scene with Danny in the snow where the bushes come to life is probably my favorite scene in the film, and it's especially enjoyable because it was omitted from the Nicholson version entirely. (Also, like in many of his films, Stephen King makes a cameo appearance in "The Shining," so keep your eye on the ghostly bandstand.)

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Mick Garris
Steven Weber
Rebecca De Mornay

DVD title: Trainspotting
Productgroup: DVD
Trainspotting - movie DVD cover picture
fabulous, but it may not be for you...

This movie was beautiful, horrible, and unforgettable. A gritty, intimate look at heroin use, this film illustrated instead of proselytizing. The filmmakers and actors were able to incorporate life's inherent humor into this tale of five friends, along with some of the most nauseating and loathsome realities of modern drug use. Mark Renton, through whose eyes the story is told, is utterly human, a convincing character who, in his inability to be the hero we might initially seek, becomes believable in his multitude of shortcomings.
As duly noted in other reviews, this movie is understandably going to be too much for some people to swallow. However, if you have the stomach and the will, this movie delivers hard and fast, and leaves you with a strong, satisfying ending.

Studio: Miramax
Director: Danny Boyle
Ewan McGregor
Ewen Bremner
Jonny Lee Miller
Kevin McKidd
Robert Carlyle

DVD title: Vision Quest
Productgroup: DVD
Vision Quest - movie DVD cover picture
A true film of accepting a challenge and the ability conquer

As a former high school wrestler and now a elementary wrestling coach, I found the movie to be somewhat realistic. My 8 year old son can't get enough. We encourage all our kids to watch it, with parental supervison. We use it as a motivational tool for our young wrestlers to show them that all goals can be reached with hard work and dedication. Our son, thru hard work has earned himself a Cooch mohawk...and the nickname!! During wrestling season, the movie never leaves the VCR! Two thumbs up!!!

Studio: Warner Studios
Director: Harold Becker
Matthew Modine
Linda Fiorentino

DVD title: Titus
Productgroup: DVD
Titus - movie DVD cover picture
Fantastic, Morbid, Misunderstood.

To start: _Titus_ is a bad play, and probably Shakespeare's worst work. It's melodramatic, ill-paced, and utterly over-the-top. However, this is a filmic adaptation I'm reviewing, not the Bard's written work. What Julie Taymor has done here is astounding: she has taken a low quality piece of work and, with costumes, landscapes and camera work that falls nothing short of astonishing, made it into a capitivating 3-hour experience that will make you laugh, cry and want to see it again.
The surreal atmosphere that unapologetically mixes 20s noir, mid 20th century machinery and ancient Rome is what makes the melodramatic plot and dialogue of the play work: when an unbelievable script is mixed properly with an unbelievable execution, another world, with its own rules and dynamics, is created. It's how Tolkien works, it's how 2001 works(with it's otherwise cardboard characters that take a seat behind Kubrick's elegant, awesome imagery.) It's vaguely cartoony in it's mechanics and epic, grotesque violence, and ends up being so much more than anything, I suspect, Shakespreare intended. Titus is a critique on the karmic nature of brutality, and also a gruesome look at human childishness.
Another aspect of this film I often see unfairly denounced is its blunt imagery. The scene in which a lamb is presented, echoing of the Biblical tale of Abraham and his son, and superimposed upon it is Mutius' head, the background awash with flames, is a prime example. Again, I insist that its non-esoteric, animated nature is what saves this wonderful gem of a movie, the dance number that begins Titus, and the hardcore techno blasts that accompany the presence of Tamora's villainous sons, all serve to expand(both ridiculously and aptly) on the glorification of violence and revenge. The ending scene(which, I admit, is bit heavy on the length; it could have been trimmed down, but ultimately does not ruin the movie) with two children of the play, one of which proves to be the only real adult in this entire story, is a symbol of new hope, hints of a Spring to follow the cold, merciless goings-on that they were victims of and voyeurs to.
On a somewhat digressive note, I would like to point out the superb acting that plays almost as much of a part of this film's success as Taymor's direction. Anthony Hopkins et al do a wonderful job of fleshing out plot-cog characters, and making them interesting and compelling through creative and witty inflection and facial expression.
To finish: I'm as critical of the avant-garde and nouveau-outre as anyone, I know crap can sometimes be sneaked into the spotlight under the guise of being innovative, but this is not crap. What we have here is perhaps the best interpretation of a Shakespearean play since Kenneth Branagh's Hamlet. This, I say with the full confidence of seasoned movie goer and critic. Please, do yourself a favor and rent this tonight.

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
Director: Julie Taymor
Anthony Hopkins
Jessica Lange

DVD title: Dead Man
Productgroup: DVD
Dead Man - movie DVD cover picture
An Intensely Captivating & Remarkable Film.

I have seen this movie countless times and this is without a doubt one of Johnny Depp's finest. People who dismiss this picture as a shallow film really aren't seeing it for what it is. On the surface of it it may seem dull and uniteresting but these comments are from people who expect to see movies where all the answers are handed to them without having to think. If this is what you are looking for then don't see this film as this one is truly an unbelievable and genuinely outstanding movie where a viewer's utmost attention is required.

I can honestly say that the viewer will be taken on a journey and live every moment of this film through the eye's of Johnny Depp's character "William Blake", and it will actually seem as if you are also on that same journey experiencing it all.

This is a multi layered picture covering many themes such as violence, religion, canibalism, symbolisms and tribal rituals amongst many others. The music is perfectly blended and is at times haunting which ofcourse reflects the dark tones of the film.

You will find yourself watching this film numerous times and each time you will uncover something you hadn't noticed before. Like I mentioned earlier it is not a shallow experience, this movie offers depth and you will either see what I saw in it and love the film or you will simply walk away from it. It's definitely a movie with a lot of vision and I am sure one that in time it will be recognised as a fine and unique motion picture.

Studio: Miramax Home Entertainment
Director: Jim Jarmusch
Johnny Depp
Gary Farmer

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