Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Tomorrow
Productgroup: DVD
Tomorrow - movie DVD cover picture
Why Tomorrow?

Funny title, don't you think? Tomorrow could mean anything, but I don't think such a title would ever fit another story as well as this one. I won't ruin it for you and tell you why, since it is the last line of the film that reveals it and it is one of the most appropriate endings I've ever seen.
Faulkner, Foote and Duvall, what a line up! Throw in the lumninous Olga Bellin as the lead actress and you couldn't lose with this one if you tried. That is of course unless you are one of the people whose idea of a great film is today's mind numbing fast food of cinema called special effects. The 'special effects' in this one are those you will carry with you after viewing a story of love and true nobility of character.
How two people with so little in the world and so little knowledge of the world, could be so eloquent and say so much with the simplest of words, quietest of gestures, always amazes me. If what you want is a story of quiet beauty and grace that will make you feel better about life after you've seen it, then get your own copy of Tomorrow, for you'll want to see it more than once.
We are lovers of fine filmmaking and finer writing and if we could only own five films (heaven forbid!) this would be one of them! Might even be number one on the list.

Studio: Home Vision Entertainment
Director: Joseph Anthony (II)
Robert Duvall
Olga Bellin
Sudie Bond

DVD title: Waco - The Rules of Engagement
Productgroup: DVD
Waco - The Rules of Engagement - movie DVD cover picture
Most recent Waco "revelations" were in this 1997 video

"Disturbing"..."must see...two thumbs way up." All of these descriptions of "Waco, the Rules of Engagement" apply. How members of Congress arrived at the conclusion that the FBI and ATF should be found innocent escapes rational judgement. And now, a Senator, who is closely associated with the same people who exonerated these "law enforcement" officers has been appointed as prosecutor? The renewed media silence and pre-occupation of the American people with there daily lives, gives tacit approval to a lost Democracy, and more tragedies to come.

Studio: New Yorker Video
Director: William Gazecki
Dan Gifford

DVD title: Cold Feet - Pilot and Complete First Series
Productgroup: DVD
Cold Feet - Pilot and Complete First Series - movie DVD cover picture
An Thoroughly Enjoyable British Comedy-Drama!

Set in Manchester in the late 90s/early 2000s, Cold Feet is a brilliantly written, impeccably acted, and very creatively directed comedy-drama about relationships. In particular, it draws attention to the differences between the sexes, and it does so in some very creative ways. For example, rather than relating the story in strict chronological order, pivotal scenes are often presented through the use of flashback as the characters relate incidents to their friends. In this way the male perspective is hilariously juxtaposed with the female, fantasy is juxtaposed with reality, and so on.

The series chronicles the lives and relationships of three couples. Firstly, there are Adam and Rachel--who aren't actually a couple when we first meet them. With an eye for the ladies, Adam (James Nesbitt--Ballykissangel's Leo) is a flirty, cocky, self-assured system's analyst--whatever that is--who is positively full of himself. Rachel (Helen Baxendale--An Unsuitable Job for a Woman), on the other hand, is overall much more serious and reserved--not to mention mature--than Adam. Adam is so upbeat, good-natured and playfully charming, however, that he brings a lightness into Rachel's life and, despite his inflated ego, it's not hard to see what she sees in him.

Adam's best friend is his mate Pete, an overweight, easy-going bloke from a working-class background whose two favourite pasttimes are watching football and downing a pint at the local pub. He's saved from having the life of a slovenly couch-potato by his marriage to Jenny, a laid-back, fun-loving, vivacious woman who's nobody's fool.

Rachel's best friend is Karen (Hermione Norris--Wire in the Blood), who despite being quite sophisticated with a cultured accent has a bit of a rebel streak. She has a baby and a posh home, but she's far from contented. Part of the problem is her husband David, who is a wealthy, high-flying management consultant. He's an extremely serious, anal-retentive, work-obsessed snob who was, um, born with the Financial Times up his arse (or so it's been said!). Being a connoisseur of fine wine with no interest in football and no noticeable sense of humour, he couldn't have less in common with either Pete or Adam.

This boxed set contains the pilot (1996) and all six 50-minute episodes that comprised the first (of five) series (1998). The first series is the lightest, with the humour often being of the comedy of errors variety. Though it is a very modern series (definitely one for mature audiences--this isn't family entertainment), it's not dirty; and though sex is often at issue, it is neither gratuitous nor drawn out and pornographic.

In conclusion, Cold Feet is a well-acted, well-written, and well-directed series--and that goes for all five series. It is witty, insightful, and funny to the point of being hilarious. In short, it is a thoroughly satisfying show to curl up with--one which becomes more dramatic and increasingly more addictive as the series progresses. Like the best British productions, it is a series that can be watched and rewatched. I personally have seen the first few series so many times that I've lost track; still, I never tired of rewatching it. The element of surprise may be gone with multiple viewings, yet somehow it just doesn't seem to matter. This is, without question, one of my all-time favourite series (of any genre), and it is one which I highly, HIGHLY recommend!

Studio: Acorn Media Publishi
Helen Baxendale

DVD title: Spider-Man (Full Screen Special Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Spider-Man (Full Screen Special Edition) - movie DVD cover picture

My daughters and I bought this for my husband. But it has turned into my 3 year old daughters movie. She loves it, she stays glued to the screen and really gets into it. The bad thing is that she has started trying to climb walls, and has informed us she is spiderman.

Studio: Columbia Tri-Star
Director: Sam Raimi
Tobey Maguire
Kirsten Dunst

DVD title: Blue Collar Comedy Tour Rides Again
Productgroup: DVD
Blue Collar Comedy Tour Rides Again - movie DVD cover picture

I really loved the first one... Larry is the best, you gotta admit, "I 'ont care who ya are thats funny right dere"

Studio: Paramount Home Video
Director: C.B. Harding

DVD title: Friends - The Complete Tenth Season
Productgroup: DVD
Friends - The Complete Tenth Season - movie DVD cover picture
Releases: November 15th, 2005

I love all ten seasons. i think this final season ended great!

the final season will release on November 15th, 2005. It was comfirmed by

Studio: Warner Home Video
Lisa Kudrow

DVD title: El Mariachi (Special Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
El Mariachi (Special Edition) - movie DVD cover picture

El Mariachi (Robert Rodriguez, 1992)
One of the most interesting things about El Mariachi (not to take away from the film itself) is that no one can seem to come to agreement on whether Rodriguez' next big-screen movie, Desperado, is a sequel or a remake to this, his first feature film. After finally getting around to seeing El Mariachi, I'll give you the definitive answer: who knows?
In many ways, if you've seen Desperado (and if you live in America and you're reading this, you're far more likely to have seen it than El Mariachi), you've seen this movie. Many of the sets are the same. (The bar Carlos Gallardo walks into when he first reaches town actually caused me a chuckle. I expected to see Cheech Marin behind the counter. And, in fact, the barman in this movie makes almost exactly the same moves Marin does in Desperado when the shooting starts.) Some things, like the kid, are treated differently in the two movies, but that's not uncommon in remakes. Certainly more common than it is in sequels. And yet there are enough differences in the plot to make you wonder.
In any case: El Mariachi, made famous three years later by Antonio Banderas, is played here by Carlos Gallardo, (co-producer and production manager on this film as well, and who has remained co-producer with Rodriguez on the other two Desperado films). He's traveling around the Mexican countryside looking for work as a mariachi. Unfortunately, just as he's getting to town, a jailbreak is occurring; Azul (Reinol Martinez) and his henchmen overpower three hired killers sent to rub him out by his old partner, Moco (Peter Marquardt), who's now living it up as a drug runner. Needless to say, Azul wants revenge, and Moco wants to stop him. Problem: Azul's trademark is that he always dresses in black and carries a guitar case... just like a mariachi.
It would probably be heretical to go so far as to compare El Mariachi (which Rodriguez made on a budget of seven thousand dollars) to Shakespeare's A Comedy of Errors, but there you have it. Moco's henchmen consistently mistake the mariachi for the assassin and vice versa, and after a while, the viewer's not quite sure who's who, either. (For a kid with a guitar, the mariachi sure does handle an Uzi well.) The movie does its job well enough in mixing laughs with the action to make it watchable, despite the fact that it has, really, no plot worth talking about, very little characterization, and was more an excuse for ninety minutes of action and fancy camerawork than anything else. Since Rodriguez added all the missing elements in Desperado (and, it should be noted, every actor mentioned above-and most of the others in El Mariachi-reprise their roles in Desperado, thus adding to the remake feel of the latter film), we're willing to cut him a little slack here. After all, when you have a budget of seven grand, you probably don't have too much spare film stock to do a lot of test takes.
What really makes El Mariachi a pleasure, though, is that it contains the raw ingredients that Rodriguez would later hone into the distinctive style that he has today. He was obviously much influenced by the Three Stooges films, but he never allows the camera trickery to go overboard the way they consistently did, playing it for laughs for a few seconds at a time at most. Time speeds up and slows down during repetitive scenes to keep the audience from getting bored, characters get out of sticky situations in the silliest of ways, and everyone has a good time unless they're getting shot. (And you sometimes wonder then, too.) Ten years later, it's a bit hard to understand how El Mariachi (with the exception of the climactic scene, which probably used up ninety percent of the movie's special effects budget) could have been considered a shockingly violent film; remember, this was released the year after Terminator 2. The body count is high, to be sure, but the violence in the film definitely contains a campy/cartoon quality to it. It seems obvious in hindsight that Rodriguez wanted to play up the comedy angle here. He got his chance to do the violence angle in Desperado.
So is it a sequel? Is it a remake? I have no idea. But it's a load of fun, and that's what counts. *** 1/2

Studio: Columbia Tristar Hom
Director: Robert Rodriguez
Carlos Gallardo
Consuelo Gómez

DVD title: Ghost in the Shell
Productgroup: DVD
Ghost in the Shell - movie DVD cover picture
By far one of the best in recent times...

Watch the anime and then The Matrix. The latter 'borrows' quite heavily from the former (e.g. down to entire action sequences). Ghost in the shell is by far the superior of the two. Highly recommended

Studio: Palm Pictures/Manga Video
Director: Mamoru Oshii
Atsuko Tanaka
Iemasa Kayumi

DVD title: Sunset Boulevard (Special Collector's Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Sunset Boulevard (Special Collector's Edition) - movie DVD cover picture

Sunset Boulevard, upon firt watching it, was the worst piece of "film noir" trash I'd ever seen. BUT, I watched it a second time. Wow! I actually got it the Second time! It's great! Gloria Swansen was the ultimate Norma Desmond wacko. If you're looking for something with that shadowy, stark black and white, Noir-ish flare, you've not further to look than Sunset Boulevard..

Studio: Paramount Home Video
Director: Billy Wilder
William Holden
Gloria Swanson

DVD title: Samurai X - Trust & Betrayal (Director's Cut)
Productgroup: DVD
 Samurai X - Trust & Betrayal (Director's Cut) - movie DVD cover picture
Excellent , Well Balanced Anime

I bought this tape after reading about "Samurai X" on a couple of Anime websites. The story about a teenage Samurai assasin with a conscience interested me. After watching volumes One and Two I can safely say that it was 20 times better than I expected.
The animation is superb, the story has interesting three dimensional characters and it is very well paced. The action scenes are simply outstanding! I must warn you about one thing: don't expect to see an hour full of sword-slashing mayhem, there are some truly incredible action sequences in this film but they don't overshadow the story. People do get chopped up in a very graphic manner but that is not the central point of the movie.
I would recommend Samurai X to anyone who likes good movies, not just Anime fans.

Studio: A.D. Vision
Director: Kazuhiro Furuhashi

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