Film DVD related reviews


DVD title: Being There
Productgroup: DVD
Being There - movie DVD cover picture
Wonderful film


I am not sure there are deep meanings in this film. I only know it's a wonderful film you will remember forever.

Studio: Warner Studios
Director: Hal Ashby
Actors:
Peter Sellers
Shirley MacLaine




DVD title: American Gigolo
Productgroup: DVD
American Gigolo - movie DVD cover picture
Hot Hot Hot !!!!


Gere has never looked better in this under scripted but beautiful picture depicting the decadence of the early 80's. Great music from Blondi accompanies Richard's six pack ab's and Lauren Hutton's gorgeous gap-tooth yet seductive leers. Yum Yum

Studio: Paramount Studio
Director: Paul Schrader
Actors:
Richard Gere
Lauren Hutton




DVD title: Fahrenheit 9/11
Productgroup: DVD
Fahrenheit 9/11 - movie DVD cover picture
Vote or Die


Fahrenheit 9/11 was my introduction to the works of Michael Moore - and what an introduction at that! I was a little hesitant to attend the movie at first, thinking Moore's documentary would be simply preaching to the choir. After all, I find most of us are completely divided down the middle - we are either supporting the war and its ideals OR are completely against it. I've met very people who are truly lost in between. But after 2 hours, I was convinced that Fahrenheit 9/11 is an essential American movie right now and plainly delivers some hard facts that the White House has censored since Bush's inauguration.
Michael Moore makes the ideal narrator, able to describe countless layers of information in plain English. Personally, I've found myself dumbfounded with countless articles and news reports that are constantly delivering conflicting information. Moore plainly goes through each layer of deceit, without fully stepping into conspiracy theories. Though many extremists would like us to believe that the 9/11 terrorist attacks were completely staged by the government, Moore doesn't fall into that category. He shows us how plainly September 11th was the product of Bush's negligence.
Moore's documentary succeeds in putting raw facts out in the public eye and showing how each of them (while alone seem insignificant) result in a chain reaction. Someone who has never followed politics can see step-by-step how an election could have been "fixed" and how statements by the White House officials have changed in a moments notice. As Moore points out, one minute we're told to be on high-terrorist alert and to take all necessary precautions and the very next message is for us to go about our normal lives and still patronize restaurants and shopping centers without any fear. *Sigh* One thing, I found most disturbing was seeing how connected the Bush family is with the Bin Laden family. Again, Moore doesn't try and point out a conspiracy theory here, but when the Bush Jr., Bush Sr. and many of their colleagues are making millions of dollars in profits because of this business relationship, it kind of makes you wonder why the all the Saudi Arabians were allowed to leave the country without be questioned. An interview with one of the people involved int he Sept. 11th investigations even said, we were not there to point the fingers or make arrests, but its common practice to interrogate family members and friends of a suspect (i.e. Osama Bin Laden).
One of the hardest moments are sneak peaks into the war. Actual testimonies from American soliders and their parents, including snippets of personal letters from Iraq that are usually censored before they even reach the families at home. But don't be mistaken, the movie doesn't argue against all war, but directly shows how this one was mishandled and was used to protect the Bush Family's personal investments over the lives of every-day Americans.
I'll be honest, I don't agree with every detail in Fahrenheit 9/11, but as a whole, there's a lot of truth that has escaped the public's attention. The true message of the movie is: we have been fooled, lied to, used and abused by a very strong network of political figures and greedy corporate heads. We can't undo what has already been done, but we can prevent this from happening again!
Give Michael Moore a try - if anything, you'll see a whole new side to an already messy situation. In troubled times, we need all the information we can get to make the right decisions. Well, take it right from the skeptic's mouth, this movie has got a lot of really important information.

Studio: Columbia Tristar Hom
Director: Michael Moore (II)
Actors:
Michael Moore (II)



DVD title: Smashing Pumpkins - Greatest Hits Video Collection
Productgroup: DVD
Smashing Pumpkins - Greatest Hits Video Collection - movie DVD cover picture
AWESOME


Anybody who is/was a fan of the Smashing Pumpkins will love this video collection.

Studio: Emd/Virgin



DVD title: Chappelle's Show - Season 1
Productgroup: DVD
Chappelle's Show - Season 1 - movie DVD cover picture
The most hilarious show you will ever see now on DVD...


Before i bought 'Season 1' of the Chappelle Show on DVD i had watched every episode in the season already. The thing that makes this DVD so hilarious is the fact that its uncensored and uncut. Dave Chappelle takes humor to extreme levels in this package complete with all the first season episodes (some featuring commentary by Dave and other show creators) and deleted bonus material such as the 20 minute 'Ask a Black Dude' segment with comedian Paul Mooney.
The sketches on the 'Chappelle's Show' season one are undeniably hilarious. Dave spoofs everyone from Ms. Cleo (on "Dave Chappelle's Educated Guess Line") to R. Kelly (on the "Piss On You" and "Piss On You (remix)" skits) with his over-the-top racism and negativity. Most people would say "that isn't funny" or "how can you laugh at that?", but the fact of the matter is that this is what America wants to see. Taking such current shows as MTV's The Real World ("The Mad Real World") and Trading Spaces ("Trading Spouses") and making them into twisted masterpieces is exactly what Dave Chappelle is so good at. Even the skits that are so cruel (such as a sketch where Dave visits a cancerous boy in the hospital) they still make you burst out laughing after Chappelle has worked his magic on them.
The shows negative points are few but still are visible. The execissive use of racist slurs like 'n****' create an unpleasent atmosphere for most of the episodes as well does the constant usage of 'f***' and 'b****'. Also is the repitive nature of the skits, seeing as almost every one involves the same "i hate white people" message.
Overall, however, the complete first season is unflawed by any negative comments and comes off as a masterpiece. The added bonus music from rappers Mos Def, Talib Kweli and De La Soul are an added bonus that makes the disc even more fun to watch. It has been said so many times before, but this is the future of television and Dave Chappelle will be around for a very long time.

Studio: Paramount Home Video
Actors:
Dave Chappelle



DVD title: Sunshine
Productgroup: DVD
Sunshine - movie DVD cover picture
The story of us


My great grandfather was one of the biggest rabbis in Liady, Byelorussia. My grandfather was a loyal salesman during Bolshevik sunrise. My mother was married first time to NKVD officer. My father was a professor of Soviet and European literature. He was exiled in 1949 during Stalinism for being "cosmopolitan" and a Jew, and spent 15 years in Komi Republic. In 1977, I was detained at Moscow synagogue for being "pro-zionist". I was "in refuse" and later I left for the United States.
The movie "Sunshine" is not about any specific Jewish family or Jewish story. It is about all of us, Jews and non-Jews. We all are seeking acceptance and security, at least most of us. Jewish theme is just a catalyst of this chemical reaction called "a human saga", I almost wrote "a human tragedy". All main male personages loyal to their escapists believes no mater what historic decorations they are involved in - imperia, communist republic, fascist dictatorship, again communist dictatorship. They try to assimilate and to be like a simple guy from across the street. However, there is no way to escape from ourselves, we are what we are - we want it or not. Istvan Szabo is a precise artist. He is meticulous in his accents, he is accurate in selecting the color palette, and he is "alive" in depicting his beloved characters. Szabo continues the tune of such great artist like Saul Below, Isaak Singer, Sholom Ash, and Sholom Aleichem. In the movie he makes one step further and widen the scope of humanistic realism started with his awards winning "Mefisto". If in "Mefisto" he leaves to us "judgment and sentencing" of the hero, this time Szabo makes one step further. Dieing great uncle of the hero, loyal communist who spent all his life trying to reach "justice for all" - communist version of Paradise with a simple wicked formula - Communism equal to Paradise minus G-d, asks the love of his life: "What that miserable life was about?" This question is the sentence. However, the movie is not about Szabo's disgust with fascists, communists or "simple common anti-Semites". It is about us. Despite the fact that the movie carries all necessary "Hollywood elements", it never dives below 5 star level of cinematography. It should be seen.

Studio: Paramount Home Video
Director: István Szabó
Actors:
Ralph Fiennes



DVD title: A Better Tomorrow
Productgroup: DVD
A Better Tomorrow - movie DVD cover picture
a typical John Woo style, excellent!


This movie is excellent if you love John Woo's Chinese movies. It conveys all type of emotions regarding siblings: love, hate,anger,etc. After seeing this movie, the feeling lingers on indefinitely

Studio: Tai Seng Video
Director: John Woo
Actors:
Lung Ti
Leslie Cheung
Yun-Fat Chow




DVD title: Roseanne - The Complete First Season
Productgroup: DVD
Roseanne - The Complete First Season - movie DVD cover picture
THE CONNERS COME HOME/ ANCHOR BAY CUTS (REVISED 8/27/05)


[...]
WARNING: SINCE I WROTE THIS IN MAY IT HAS COME TO MY ATTENTION THAT THIS BOX SET CONTAINS EDITED EPISODES OF THE SHOW!!! I WAS SO HAPPY THINKING THAT THIS GREAT SHOW WAS AT LAST GOING TO BE REVIVED BY DVD, BUT NOW I SEE THAT THIS BOX SET IS ABOUT AS GOOD AS TAPING THE RERUNS OFF OF NICK AT NITE. DO NOT BUY THIS SET. [...]

The following review was written in May, before I knew that these discs contained cut episodes. The review praises the show, not the crappy DVDs Anchor bay has put out.

So at long last one of the greatest (and certainly the most down to earth) sitcoms of all time finds a new home on the keepsake format known as DVD. A format which is popular with rerun addicts because the episodes are as fresh as the day they aired, free of syndication editing for time, and, better still, they are now free of commercials, particularly those horrible promos they now run during the course of the shows themselves. ROSEANNE comes from a better time when networks did not have the gaul to soil a show with pop-ups that sometimes take up half the screen and even have (shudder) sound effects. But then, ROSEANNE's time was a good old time anyway, the late eighties running through to the late nineties.

After making a name for herself as a standup comedian, ROSEANNE finally got her own television show and got to do it her way. The series was centered on a working class mother and her family and gave most viewers a warm feeling of being right at home themselves with the shows original mix of real-life drama and sarcastic quips.

The true crowning achievement of the show was it's ability to portray female characters as leads in a comedy and yet make them diversely different. Roseanne herself is a loud, bossy, control-freak with a heart of gold. Her sister Jackie (played with brilliance by Laurie Metcalf) is a neurotic, wishy-washy woman who can't keep a relationship or a job for long. Roseanne's daughters, Becky and Darlene, are total opposites and watching them go through puberty, marriage and life in general throughout the course of the show helped shaped them into important, well-developed characters. The show managed to have four female leads without being a hen-fest. Part of that can be attributed to the testosterone put on screen by the character Dan, Roseanne's husband and real man's man(played with equal brilliance by John Goodman). But more so, the show's success can be attributed to the fact that all the female leads are not banal, cookie cutter clich?s. Roseanne, in particular, broke the mold of pleasant female leads. She was likable, but not always pleasant. Her bitterness is what made her so funny, but her inner sweetness is what made her such a lovable Mom figure.

Smart writing, rich character development, realistic plots, sometimes deep drama, and all around laughs carried the series for years until the last season or so fell apart in a zany mess. Once the family won the lotto it was all over. The show totally lost it's way and disintegrated in a horrible bastardization which mocked what had made it so great for all those years. But many years of greatness makes up for a sour ending, and the release of season one is more than welcome by legions of fans.

Like most shows, the First Season of ROSEANNE is not the best. The characters had not grown into themselves yet (DJ is even replaced). Roseanne and Jackie work in a factory and the episodes, while good, are more about getting the feel of the environment as a whole rather than getting deep into each individual part of the whole. But the first season is nonetheless hilarious and is a milestone in situation comedy and in the construction of female roles which differ from the dull mainstream of "the sex interest", "the sweet little girl" or "the wise old granny".

After a few seasons the show really came into it's own. Roseanne starts to job-hop, Dan and Darlene's bond starts to struggle because she is becoming a woman, the girls enter their teens and boys come into the picture (including the characters of Mark and his brother David, which become important male characters on the show that will stay until the series ends), Jackie becomes more neurotic and fickle which is sometimes hysterically funny and is at other times profoundly moving in it's realism, and Roseanne's shrew of a mother enters the picture, adding delightful insanity.

It's a shame that this show died out the way it did. We could have grown old together with The Conner Family, or at least could have had a more realistic goodbye. A reunion show would be nice if they just ignored the plot which unfolded post-lotto. Unfortunately though, the actor Glen Quinn who played Mark died a few years back, which would make a reunion show even more complicated. John Goodman continues to make great film appearances (particularly in THE BIG LEBOWSKI, his best work), but the rest of the cast sort of vanished into obscure films and television appearances, including Roseanne herself. Her wild personal life aside, the woman is funny, and it is baffling that she could make such big mistakes after this show ended. First she did her talk show, which, to no one's surprise, bombed. Then, for about two episodes, she had that obnoxious reality show which revolved around her real family which were nowhere near as likable as the fictional Conners.

ROSEANNE, like the roaring 90's themselves, are behind us now. But the memory of them both linger, and watching Roseanne is kind of like doing the time warp. You not only enjoy the show all over again, but you feel transported back in time, just like you would watching In LIVING COLOR or MARRIED WITH CHILDREN. Those shows have been on DVD for a while now, and rightly so. But ROSEANNE has been put off for far too long. I'm glad to see this original, groundbreaking series hit store shelves, out of the vaults and back into our hearts.

WARNING: SINCE I WROTE THIS IN MAY IT HAS COME TO MY ATTENTION THAT THIS BOX SET CONTAINS EDITED EPISODES OF THE SHOW!!! I WAS SO HAPPY THINKING THAT THIS GREAT SHOW WAS AT LAST GOING TO BE REVIVED BY DVD, BUT NOW I SEE THAT THIS BOX SET IS ABOUT AS GOOD AS TAPING THE RERUNS OFF OF NICK AT NITE. DO NOT BUY THIS SET. [...]

Studio: Anchor Bay Entertainment



DVD title: The Mask of Zorro
Productgroup: DVD
The Mask of Zorro - movie DVD cover picture
Awesome! Entertaining!


This movie had comedy, romance, adventure all wrapped into one movie. A family hero adventure.

Studio: Columbia/Tristar Studios
Director: Martin Campbell
Actors:
Antonio Banderas
Anthony Hopkins
Catherine Zeta-Jones




DVD title: Moulin Rouge (Single Disc Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Moulin Rouge (Single Disc Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
What energy


I wasn't sure what to expect when I went with a couple of friends to see Moulin Rouge in the theater. We all came away feeling blown away. Even today I can visualize The Duke, during the "Like a Virgin" segment, looking into the camera and quiveringly explaining "Feels so good inside..." and it makes me laugh.
I am quite pleased with the DVD version, although my only complaint is that the menus are a little hard to navigate. They just aren't that intuitive and, for example, to find the "Vouslez-Vous" Lil Kim, et al, video you really have to dig deep.
Overall though, this is a fun energy filled movie, quite worth watching repeatedly, especially for some of the musical numbers.

Studio: Fox Home Entertainme
Director: Baz Luhrmann
Actors:
Nicole Kidman
Ewan McGregor




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