Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: The Return
Productgroup: DVD
The Return - movie DVD cover picture
X-tremely good film

I saw this film a few weeks ago at the San Juan Cinema Festival. I saw around 18 films and this one is one best films that week. While watching it I was mesmerized by the cinematography and the landscapes shown throughout the film. It was filmed in beautiful locations, inside and outside the city. I notices a few relegious references (the father is almost a christ-like figure), but at the time didnt think too much about them. Now I know there are even more in the film. Im not saying this is a religious film. I went to see it with a few friends and talked with others who saw it after watching it, and nobody noticed those references, which surprised me quite a bit. However its more than that, in the end the director doesnt give you all the answers, and it will be up to you to figure out what happened, if it actually did happen at all. You can see it as a religious film, as a film about the new and old Russia, or as a film about two brothers who never had a father and one day he comes back to show them important thing that will help them survive through life. Great directing, great story, great acting and great photography.

Studio: Kino International
Director: Andrei Zvyagintsev

DVD title: The Fourth Man
Productgroup: DVD
The Fourth Man - movie DVD cover picture
Verhoeven's best film is finally on DVD!

The director's commentary on the DVD is very informative. In fact, though I'd had the video for many years there were aspects that - even after repeated viewings of the film - I'd never realized before. The commentary is also interesting because it seems - like the original FRANKENSTEIN and BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN films - this film is to be taken not literally, but with a high dosage of humor. Knowing that makes the film even more enjoyable; almost a guilty pleasure, with its moments of high camp and yet serious tone and definite sophistication. It's intriguing the title character is based upon the actual writer of the novel - Gerard Reve - and his own stories, and that actually puts me off. I wonder about someone who places himself as the lead character in a story and is even protrayed by an actor in the film. The performances are uniformly good, with two leads and one supporting lead. All of the actors are - or became - well known in European films. Personally I'm not a fan of Paul Verhoeven's BASIC INSTINCT - in fact, I don't think I've ever been able to sit through all of it. I find this film to be particularly good at working on various levels, however it could be typed as misogynistic in its attitude towards its lone female lead, and if you're put off by male-male kissing (the lead male character lusts after a younger man, the boyfriend of the lead female character) or full-frontal nudity (both males and the female) then this is not the film for you. However, the overall film is very funny; very stylish; and too high class to be termed campy.

Studio: Anchor Bay Entertainment
Director: Paul Verhoeven
Jeroen Krabbé
Renée Soutendijk

DVD title: Girls Just Want to Have Fun
Productgroup: DVD
Girls Just Want to Have Fun - movie DVD cover picture
it's a great movie

i seen the movie now 17 times and it's never borrin

Studio: Anchor Bay Entertainment
Director: Alan Metter

DVD title: George Lucas in Love
Productgroup: DVD
George Lucas in Love - movie DVD cover picture
Very funny

This video is a very funny send-up of George Lucas and his films. Just long enough to keep you wanting more, and just short enough to keep from getting boring. The sight gags are fast and furious in the story of Lucas writing Star Wars as a term project in college. The other movies on the disk are OK, and not as funny.

Studio: Red Hill
Director: Joe Nussbaum
Martin Hynes

DVD title: Magnolia (New Line Platinum Series)
Productgroup: DVD
Magnolia (New Line Platinum Series) - movie DVD cover picture

Magnolia is one of my all time favorite films. Yes, it is very long, but definitely worth watching...over and over. PT Anderson did an amazing job of writing and directing....I am very disappointed this did not win any Academy Awards (and why wasn't Julianne Moore nominated?!)
Watch it if you like deep films that force you to THINK.

Studio: New Line Home Entertainment
Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
Tom Cruise
Julianne Moore
William H. Macy
Philip Seymour Hoffman
Philip Baker Hall
Jeremy Blackman

DVD title: The Flintstones - The Complete Fourth Season
Productgroup: DVD
The Flintstones - The Complete Fourth Season - movie DVD cover picture

Needless to say I can hardly wait until November 15, because I want this baby in my hands the day it is released on dvd!!! I must say of all the tv shows released on dvd The Flintstones would have to be my all-time favorite!!! When I first learned to surf the internet, I immediately pulled up info on The Flintstones and printed the complete episode list for all six seasons, so I have waited a long time for the complete fourth season to see the light of day on dvd!!!
This show just got better and better, with the addition of Bam Bam, ofcourse Pebbles needed a playmate. I just adored the episode of Ann-Madrock, she will be immortalized forever! I still laugh out loud at the episode about PEEK-A-BOO CAMERA!!! Everytime Fred and Barney get busted it's hilarious!!!

Hey, this entire set is filled with fantastic episodes but, I would have to say my all-time favorite from the fourth season would have to be when Fred joins the CaveScout/Boyscout Jamboree!!! When the boyscouts from all different countries sing Old Mac Donald in their native tongue it's just pure magic!!! This is a dvd set that I will be watching over and over!!! Thank you Warner Bros!!! Keep em coming!!!

Studio: Warner Home Video

DVD title: Tchaikovsky - Swan Lake (Matthew Bourne)
Productgroup: DVD
Tchaikovsky - Swan Lake (Matthew Bourne) - movie DVD cover picture
Tchaikovsky - Swan Lake (Matthew Bourne)

Radical and wonderful and exquisite! A totally different take on the classic ballet in a powerful homoerotic dream world of powerful male swans, mother as madonna/whore, forbidden desire, lust and irresistable force. Left me breathless.

Studio: Wea/Nvc Arts
Adam Cooper
Scott Ambler
Fiona Chadwick

DVD title: La Ceremonie
Productgroup: DVD
La Ceremonie - movie DVD cover picture
Chabrol at his absolute best

Perfect casting contributes to the intense momentum that Chabrol develops in this archetypal tale (for Chabrol) of upper middle class rude luxe and working class desperation. Sandrine Bonnaire is the soft-spoken girl whom Jacqueline Bisset, the idly rich wife of a well-to-do industrialist, hires as the family's housekeeper. Bonnaire's character is hiding a secret from the family which is gradually revealed.
In the course of that revelation, Bonnaire befriends the town postmistress, brilliantly played by Isabelle Huppert, who is essentially incapable of rendering a bad performance in any work she appears in. Huppert's postmistress is the opposite in character to Bonnaire's wallflower. Brash, intense, and happy to flaunt authority, the postmistress encourages the housekeeper to express herself, to break out of her shell regardless of the secret she wishes no one to know about, to enjoy life even without the wealth that Bonnaire's employers have and that Huppert resents so vehemently.
As the housekeeper comes to trust the postmistress more and more, and, based on that, becomes more assertive, the postmistress tells her what she really wants. The psychological interplay between these two characters is done so superbly that the tremendously shocking ending is completely credible and all the more powerful for it.
The film's setting, a small rural French town, also contributes to its power, and is an equally superb choice that subtly underlines the contrast of the highly educated wealthy who retreat from the world, and the street smart working class who make the world what it is--in particular, foisting it when and where they can on their bitter rivals, the rich, for position in the world they know.
Based on a true set of events, La Ceremonie is a perfect convergence of Chabrol's continuing, near-obsessive focus on the corrupt wealthy who consistently degrade the have-nots, and the latter who deplore the former. A number of Chabrol's films have been released on DVD as of this writing (November 2003), but this has not, which is truly a shame.

Studio: Home Vision Entertainment
Director: Claude Chabrol
Isabelle Huppert
Sandrine Bonnaire
Jacqueline Bisset

DVD title: The Damned
Productgroup: DVD
The Damned - movie DVD cover picture
"Offers one cannot refuse........"

"The Damned" is one of those great intellectual art movies. Luchino Visconti was always an admirer of Thomas Mann's work ("Death in Venice"). Here he tells an epic tale of the rise and fall of a family of large scale industrials during WW2. There are obviously many similarities to real events from that era (see "Krupp Stahlwaren") and Viscontis masterful direction gets great performances even from minor actors as Helmut Berger or Rene Koldehoff (german actor who can be seen in some Bud Spencer or Louis deFunes movies !). A great film in every sense of the word and very close to the spirit of Thomas Mann's novel "Buddenbrooks". Unfortunately very overpriced and sadly enough not available on DVD

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Luchino Visconti
Dirk Bogarde
Ingrid Thulin
Helmut Griem
Helmut Berger

DVD title: The Andy Griffith Show - The Complete First Season
Productgroup: DVD
The Andy Griffith Show - The Complete First Season - movie DVD cover picture

It is about time! That's all I can say about a show that changed the way american televison was viewed. PARAMONT finally got the message. If you look on the net right now there are 20 to 50 different Andy Griffith fan clubs just looking for itmes like these! I, among hundereds of thousands fans need these shows since they are so few and far between on todays televison programming. THANK YOU!!!!

P.S.- Bring out the next four seasons of black and white episodes really soon!!!!

Studio: Paramount Home Video
Andy Griffith

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