Film DVD related reviews


DVD title: X2 - X-Men United (Full Screen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
X2 - X-Men United (Full Screen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
X-MEN 2 GAMBIT!


Picking up almost where the first movie left off, and involving the return of several of the same actors, this second chapter in the 20th Century Fox/Marvel films series finds Professor X and Magneto (Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellim) joining forces against a human threat toward all mutants, and Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) comes face to face with the questions of his unknown past.
Should be a very good movie.

Studio: Fox Home Entertainme
Director: Bryan Singer
Actors:
Patrick Stewart
Hugh Jackman
Ian McKellen
Halle Berry
Anna Paquin
Brian Cox




DVD title: Hillbillys in a Haunted House
Productgroup: DVD
Hillbillys in a Haunted House - movie DVD cover picture
I'd rather eat green road apples in July than see this again


Hey ya'll. Yessa yessa, this film is scraping the bottom of the cider barrel. Although the voluptious 'Boots Malone' and the Oriental chick with the constant pearl necklace give some great eye candy, this film takes a nose dive shortly after the opening credits. I like the car though, it seems to have been made with over 30 handguns and rifles.
Not much to say here some country singers playing honest to goodness country entertainers wind up staying the night in a house that everyone in town believes is haunted. It's not, it's run by spies or something masterminded by the hot Asian chick, who also has Lou Chaney Jr. (aka The Wolf Man) as a henchman. There is also the skinny, corpse like dude who floats around the movie like a ghastly fart.
The directing is imaginative with the dream sequences. This movie also pulls in country acts by showing them on the television. Yeah right, way to break up a non-existant plot. Even if you like old time country Hee Haw music, this movie is a stretch.

Studio: Vci Home Video
Director: Jean Yarbrough



DVD title: Stone Reader (Special Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Stone Reader (Special Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Wonderful Journey


This documentary is too long by half and a structural shambles, but the gay subtext is fascinating. The male director, an ostensibly married man who lives in a homiosocial world as virile as Robert Bly's, becomes enamored of a lost male novelist he has never met. He searches obsessively for him, eventually finds him, and, in the closing frames, walks off with him into the sunset. The only woman allowed a speaking part is the director's yenta mother. The director's "wife" will only allow her feet to be shown.One could debate the sexual orientation of the director, but not his obsessive devotion to the writer.

Studio: NEW YORKER FILMS VIDEO
Director: Mark Moskowitz



DVD title: Aliens (Special Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Aliens (Special Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Oh what a movie this is.


Alien was a brilliantly claustrophobic film, a haunted house in space, so to speak. To try and repeat it would have been folly for James Cameron, so instead he crafted a new and different film, and argubly the best action movie of all time.

The movie opens with a silent spaceship, the escape-pod Narcissus, drifting through space. The silence continues as the camera pans around the inside of the craft, before a deafiningly loud blowtorch breaks the silence. Such is the way this billiant movie is set up. The first part is all build-up, the second part all action. It works beautifully.

No one will beleive Ellen Ripley's story of an alien life-form on her ship (from the original Alien) the Nostromo. Her pilot liscence is revoked and she is in a fairly ignominious position. But then things start going wrong. The ominous "company" has lost contact with LV-426, the planet in which the Nostromo set down and picked up the Alien.

Ripley sets down on LV426 with the Colonial Marines, by far one of the most "kick***" and cool bunch of soldiers ever depicted in a movie, from Bill Paxton in one of his few good roles to Al Matthews as another colorful Sargent. There are gradually more and more signs of hostile action until the first contact with the aliens, after which its all white-knuckle action.

There is nothing to critize here. The characters are all flawlessly portrayed, evoking real feeling from the audience. The action seqences are all wonderfully choreographed and edited, the aliens fierce and gruesome, the future technology practical and engaging, the music brilliant. I'm running out of superlatives, and I can't reccomend this movie enough. Be sure to watch the Special Edition, as it adds even more human element (another well-handled factor I beleive I forgot to mention) and some really neat action sequences.
Director's Cut: 10/10
Original Cut: 9/10

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
Director: James Cameron
Actors:
Sigourney Weaver
Michael Biehn




DVD title: The Lord of the Rings - The Return of the King (Widescreen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
The Lord of the Rings - The Return of the King (Widescreen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Have Just seen it and it's Great!


"The Return of the King" exceeds all my expectations! I doubt that, considering the time and budget restraints, Peter Jackson and Co could have done a better job! Yes, there is the problem of Saruman and his sudden omission from the trilogy and yes some parts did in fact feel a little rushed! But as I previously stated I think they have done justice to Tolkien's story. Aragorn comes into his own and by the end of the movie he seems to possess an air of nobility that was previously lacking. The other characters also seems to contribute more, often giving hope to Gandalf in times of despair rather than vice versa! The opening scene is great and we get to see Gollum as he was before when he was one of the "river folk", Smeagol! It is also rather disturbing as we see him murder Deagol in a brutal scene that shows just how powerful and evil the power of the ring really is. The movie then goes from strength to strength. We see Aragorn walk the Paths of the Dead and enlist the help of the "Oathbreakers". We also get to see wonderful battle sequences that in my opinion are much better than the battle at Helm's Deep. Eowyn fights the Nazgul and the Witch KIng of Minis Morgul and Frodo and Sam have to deal with the bloated and disgusting Shelob. The ending was spectacular and way beyond my expectations, which were however not too great in the first place when I heard that the "Scouring of the Shire" was omitted. The Grey Havens and the final departure is moving and woderfully done. All in all a wonderfull adventure adaptation of a timeless masterpiece. I can't wait for the DVD extended edition and then sit down to about 10 hours of movie ecstacy while watching the trilogy in its entirety.

Studio: New Line Home Entertainment
Director: Peter Jackson
Actors:
Viggo Mortensen
Ian McKellen
Elijah Wood




DVD title: Batman - The Movie
Productgroup: DVD
Batman - The Movie - movie DVD cover picture
Atomic batteries to power. Turbines to speed. This rocks!!


You never would have believe it possible to finally own the original "Batman" movie with Adam West & Burt Ward on DVD which is a real treat! I first got myself hooked onto Batman after I saw this movie, and the original TV show which should have episodes put on DVD. Personally, Adam West and Burt Ward are both Batman & Robin to me (second to Michael Keaton and Chris O'Donnell), and they will always be. With this movie, you actually have the four dastardly villains: the Catwoman (Lee Meriweather who took over for Julie Newmarr in the role), the Joker (Ceaser Romero), the Penguin (Burgess Merideth who also played Mickey in the "Rocky" movies), and the Riddler (Frank Gorshin) who all plan to take over the world. Holy Battle to the death, Batman! The Gloves come off, and the camp and fun all come together. Great interviews with Adam West and Burt Ward. They both still look great for our favorite superheroes. Great fun and great movie. Holy DVD Batman, this is really exciting!

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
Director: Leslie H. Martinson
Actors:
Adam West
Burt Ward




DVD title: X-Men
Productgroup: DVD
X-Men - movie DVD cover picture
UNBELIEVABLE


this movie is the best comic to movie adaptation I have seen sense the first batman with michael keeton. and THis even rivals that. Wolvarien does a suprurb acting job, and you find yourself yearning for almost a serperate movie of just his story line. the acting and cast of this movie is excillant, The one negative is I feel the charecter of Rogue was way off base, and I often found myself asking how they could do everyone else so perfect and be so off with her.. another negative, though too not a major one, Is I feel they set this up to much for a sequel, sure sequels are almost a shoe in with this type of movie, but they left it open from the very begening.. other then those 2 minor flaws this movie was great, I cant wait to own it.. Well worth the own.

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox Home Video
Director: Bryan Singer
Actors:
Hugh Jackman
Patrick Stewart
Ian McKellen




DVD title: American History X
Productgroup: DVD
American History X - movie DVD cover picture
Good Vs. Evil


It's very hard to put into words how this movie makes me feel, because each and every time I watch it, I am swept away by how powerful and influential it is. Bigotry is an ever-growing boorishness in our society and young Americans are easily induced into believing that one sex or one race is better than the other. It is scary to think that one man alone can be responsible for such wide-spread hatred, but this movie only proves that you need but a few people of similar thinking to spread the word and build your biased militia. The story is told through the eyes of Derek Vinyard's younger brother Danny (Edward Furlong), an impressionable adolescent who idolizes his brother's power of persuasion and blindly consigns to his discriminatory views.
Derek (Edward Norton) has reasonable predisposed opinions of African-Americans: his firefighting father was murdered by one of them while sousing a blaze in an impoverished quarter of Venice Beach, California. From the immediate point of this personal tragedy, his vocation is to spread the belief that foreigners and ethnics are given more rights than hard-working, white Protestants and the solution is now in the hands of the victims: themselves. Thus under the headship of well-known white supremacist Cameron Alexander, Derek builds his legion of racist devotees, deftly christening his growing gang of disillusioned teens the "D.O.C.". The consequences of these beliefs take a powerful impact on his family when he guns down two Crips trying to steal his truck and is incarcerated for three years. During this time, his fledgling organization continues cultivating under the supervision of Cameron whilst Danny is swallowed into the chaos and adheres to Derek's corrupt ideals.
Through his junket in a maximum-security prison, his fellow inmate in the laundry happens to be a young black man interned for a false charge of assault. He breaks down the towering wall of stereotypes that surround his race, making Derek realize his beliefs were largely askew and that he had dissapatedly influenced many innocent people, more importantly his brother. As soon as he is paroled, he is on a mission to sway Danny from the neo-Nazi crew that he himself formulated and to unlearn the harmful ethics he so vigorously preached. This proves to be a difficult task as Danny has been completely conditioned by the fascist agenda of the D.O.C., posing a grueling solution: Derek must confront Cameron and confess to Danny the agonizing incident that induced his miraculous epiphany behind bars.
Edward Furlong is excellent here, showing there is a deeper acting power lurking in him than such flops as "Brainscan", "Detroit Rock City" and "Pet Sematary II". He plays his character with impressive range and doesn't inflate Danny's Nazi disposition to a ridiculous degree and balances his emotional outbursts to an acceptable median. Beverly D'Angelo and newcomer Jennifer Lien turn in top-notch performances as Derek's distraught mother Doris and his educated, fiercely liberal sibling Davina. I have to say I was surprised to see Ethan Suplee as Derek's narrow-minded companion Seth after the bawling dimwit he played in Kevin Smith's critical flop "Mallrats". Some other famous faces included Stacy Keach as the indomitable Cameron Alexander, Avery Brooks as the laissez-faire counselor Bob Sweeney, and the former Mr. Streisand Eliot Gould as the Jewish boyfriend Murray. Who I was not surprised to see playing the brainwashed girlfriend Stacey is Fairuza Balk, a veteran of such bizarre films as "Return To Oz", "The Island Of Dr. Moreau" and "The Craft". She definetely fits the character description with her willingness to buzz her raven locks and wear unattractive appliques to the most noticeable parts of her face. She's one in a million, and I have to say she was wonderful.
Who really turns this film and its audience upside down is Edward Norton. A colossal performance anchoring this recycled theme, Edward brings the stereotypical skinhead to life with horrifying realism, pushing the limits with Derek's loutish temperament and blissful ignorance. He spews the Nazi-esque propaganda with nary a flaw or pause, his powerful preaching frightening convincing at times. I found myself nodding my head in agreement in the scene where he complained about "border jumpers" vying for American jobs and the citizens of our country receiving inadequate support in their growing poverty because of invading foreigners. I thought how incredible it was that I had been swayed as easily as his audience of teenagers on these issues, but not on others (believing I am supreme because I'm a Catholic Caucasian). This is a sign of an amazing writer, one who harbors an autocratic power that is channeled through this mesmerizing and credible character.
Tony Kaye's artistic brilliance lent this film an emotive and metaphorical leg, curbing the abhorrent pretense with ingenious merit and poetic essence. The black and white segments are purposely applied to convey the mindset of its protaganist. The film finishes with the full-color portions of the beach, suggesting to the audience that everyone (characters and viewers) is illuminated as a result. Many complained that this artsy approach hampered the grisly subject matter, but I think it balanced a delicate scale of mindless violence by reintroducing humanity with our fragile existences. Overall, "American History X" shows us that violence is an infinite circle that traverses far and wide but always comes back to haunt us.

Studio: New Line Home Entertainment
Director: Tony Kaye
Actors:
Edward Norton
Edward Furlong




DVD title: The Adventures of Indiana Jones (Raiders of the Lost Ark/The Temple of Doom/The Last Crusade) - Widescreen
Productgroup: DVD
The Adventures of Indiana Jones (Raiders of the Lost Ark/The Temple of Doom/The Last Crusade) - Widescreen - movie DVD cover picture
Brilliant


What more can you say.. the best of the best... Indy 4 baby!

Studio: Paramount Home Video
Actors:
Harrison Ford



DVD title: Anchorman - The Legend Of Ron Burgundy (Unrated Widescreen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Anchorman - The Legend Of Ron Burgundy (Unrated Widescreen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
The Role Will Ferrell was Born to Play...


Anchorman is the funniest film that I've seen in the past ten years. I haven't laughed as consistently or harder than I did at some of the lines from this film:

Champ: I will smash your face into a car windshield and then take your mother, Dorothy Mantooth, out for a nice seafood dinner and then never call her back!

Wes Mantooth: Dorothy Mantooth is a Saint!

or

Brick:"...Years later a doctor will tell me that I have an I.Q. of 48 and that I am what people would call mentally retarded."

or

Ron: "You have an incredible heine...I mean that things good...I wanna be friends with it...Do you know who I am? I'm kind of a big deal...I'm known...I have many leather bound books and my apartment smells of rich mohogany."

Seriously, do not hesitate to buy this film it is hysterical. Ferrell does a great job as Ron Burgundy but his supporting cast is just as good. This will go down in the comedy annals as one of the greats. Highest Recommendation.



Studio: Universal Studios
Director: Adam McKay
Actors:
Will Ferrell
Christina Applegate
Steve Carell




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