Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Canadian Bacon
Productgroup: DVD
Canadian Bacon - movie DVD cover picture

Ah, the Cold War. As we stare wistfully back at that half-century of empty threats and balks from the Soviet Union that let our nation prosper so, employing so many Americans, singlehandedly defeating the looming specter of poverty through the massive peacetime military buildup that was our citizens' collective meal ticket, we can't help but worry about how we'll fare economically now that we've been forced into autonomy from the federal government...And so begins "Canadian Bacon", Michael Moore's 1994 fictitous laff riot. It's an amazingly astute and hilarious look at how beneficial cold wars really are to a country; and Moore doesn't let up in his continuing crusade against the downsizing enigma, setting the movie in Niagra Falls, New York, a city ravaged by unemployment, suicides, and crime, due to the closing of (you guessed it) a cold war arms plant. The American characters, John Candy in paticuliar, are all perfect, and the Candian mounties had me rolling on the floor. Michael Moore's first foray into fiction is utterly flawless.

Studio: MGM/UA Video
Director: Michael Moore (II)
John Candy

DVD title: Dawn of the Dead (Widescreen Unrated Director's Cut)
Productgroup: DVD
Dawn of the Dead (Widescreen Unrated Director's Cut) - movie DVD cover picture
good but lost touch

This is a great action/horror hybrid type of movie that fans of new horror movies will love. All in all an awsome horror movie eventhough i would have liked to see it stay closer to the original

Studio: Universal Studios Ho
Director: Zack Snyder
Sarah Polley
Ving Rhames
Jake Weber
Mekhi Phifer

DVD title: Liberty - The American Revolution
Productgroup: DVD
Liberty - The American Revolution - movie DVD cover picture

This is an excellent portrayal of the American Revolution. It focuses on the most important people and events; it explains them clearly; it has good visuals; it has good music; it is well written. It has a good approach, which is to have actors portray the characters. Although the actors only speak the lines, this approach makes the characters seem more real and also helps the viewer to keep them straight. Every word spoken comes from a letter, diary, or document from the time, so the approach also makes the production more authentic.

Studio: PBS

DVD title: Carnal Knowledge
Productgroup: DVD
Carnal Knowledge - movie DVD cover picture
So Unsentimental It's Scary

When this movie first came out, a contemporary labelled it a movie about two guys who confused liking women (...). That was true.

But oh, it's so much more. Nicholson delivers one of his best, if less well-recognized, angry outbursts. He's so good at rage-a-holism that you cannot help but admire him. More than that, though, he shows the terrible emptiness of a man who only knows relationships as transactions and who believes that to give of yourself risks not getting as much back - and that the only people who do that are chumps.

Art Garfunkel's character - and his performance - are way too easily eclipsed by Nicholson's. But it offers so much: he is a doctor who's self-absorption is so extreme that you wonder how he could manage the spiritual demands of medical practice. And he lusts for Candace Bergen, a woman portrayed as either frigid or just non-responsive because she's preoccupied by her feelings for Jack.

So, you have a pretty volatile mix: lust, sex, betrayal, high levels of emotions such as anger...

Told in a clinical cinematic style which is amazingly apt, given its sharp contrast. Much of the story is told via static, unmoving head shots. For most of the movie, even non-head shots are done with a mounted, fixed camera. People leave the frame, are away for a while, and then come back into frame.

The "boring" camera underscores how Mike Nichols wants us to see his characters: in a dispassionate way, as though we were observing an ant colony with detached irony. God, it's a good thing that these awful, bankrupt people are nothing like WE are...

Of course.

And then there's the last sequence. Rita Moreno demonstrates acting life after being Maria's best friend in West Side Story...playing a prostitute, she executes a script written by Jack Nicholson which Jack now requires, to the letter, in order for Jack to reach climax. "It's in the air," she says, with an indescribable facial expression of professional satisfaction and delight, as though the world can now go on because Jack, in a pre-Viagra day, can achieve an erection.

Thank God we're so much better now...we have Viagra.

Watch this movie. Learn something about yourself in the process. Beware of stepping on ants, too...

Studio: Mgm/Ua Studios
Director: Mike Nichols
Jack Nicholson
Candice Bergen

DVD title: Will & Grace - Season One
Productgroup: DVD
Will & Grace - Season One - movie DVD cover picture
Maybe I'll wear it, maybe I won't.. But, uh maybe I will!!

Will & Grace debuted in 1998 on NBC. Critics predicted that Will & Grace would run only one season, but America instantly responded to the 30 minute show with comedy packed into each minute. Since 1998, Will & Grace has been running on NBC, and just recently aired it's 100th show. I guess the television critics were wrong about Will & Grace. Will & Grace are play by Eric McCormack, and Debra Messing as Grace. Jack (Will's eccentric best friend) is played by award winning Sean Hayes. Grace's inappropriate rich assistant (and friend) is play by Grammy award winner Megan Mullaly. These four core-characters give compelling comedic performaces, and couldn't have been cast more appropriately. Shelley Morrison (who plays Rosario) a fiesty Salvadorian maid (to Karen) is often not mentioned in addition to the four main actors, but Shelley Morrison is a wonderful actress as well, that certainly spices up any comedic scene. So, now that you all have the vital facts on the history of Will & Grace. I'll go into some other important details. Will & Grace is often labeled a comedy (and which it is) but Will & Grace occassionally tackles some tough issues (with a twist of course)sexuality acceptance, marriage, commitment, losing loved ones, the discrimination between gays and straight communities, all these have been brought up on Will & Grace more than once. I think that in addition to being a comedy that everybody could seriously learn something from Will & Grace. So, whether or not you're looking to learn a valueable lesson, or just laugh histerically, I reccommend Will & Grace all the way. Do yourself a favor and have this DVD on your shelf somewhere, even if to save it for a rainy day.

Studio: Lions Gate Home Entertainment

DVD title: Music From Another Room
Productgroup: DVD
Music From Another Room - movie DVD cover picture

What a beautiful sculpture of love and destiny. This show was an incredible dowsing of fate, tenderness, and change of heart. To see how Anna became the "Swan Princess" Danny knew was inside of her was touching, and how Danny never actually gave up gives viewers hope. In terms of true love and destiny -- Beautiful.

Studio: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Director: Charlie Peters

DVD title: Jackie Chan's Project A
Productgroup: DVD
Jackie Chan's Project A - movie DVD cover picture
Bingo -- one of the best Jackie Chans, finally rereleased.

The only thing in Project A that doesn't measure up to the rest of the Dimension releases of the Chan catalogue is cinematography. Like so many other Hong Kong movies of its time, the camera work and the aesthetics simply don't measure up and have dated badly.
But that should be no reason for you to miss a rousing good time filled with martial-arts action, endearingly corny dialogue, and the priceless interplay of the Chan triumvirate: Jackie Chan, Sammo Hung, and Yuen Biao. The slapstick in Project A is some of the best in the Chan oeuvre: The exciting bike ride through the slums of old Hong Kong, where bamboo sticks, buckets and even doors become weapons; Hung and Chan's fight with the bad guys in a restaurant; the midnight mutual stalking in the fields on the island; the hand-grenade gag. And the martial-arts action utilizes the best of all three actors, with Chan's athleticism, Hung's unusual (stocky) style and Yuen's dogfighting combining for an action-film treat. The final battle is also thrilling, with all three squaring off a graceful, musclebound pirate king.
Chan's direction is good; even if this movie has the same zoom-lens addiction as so many films of its time, the pacing is tight, the rich old-Hong Kong setting unusual and fascinating, and the characters (well, except the squealing girlfriend) lovable. Essential viewing for Chan fans.

Studio: Dimension Home Video
Jackie Chan
Sammo Hung Kam-Bo
Biao Yuen

DVD title: Auntie Mame
Productgroup: DVD
Auntie Mame - movie DVD cover picture
A Classy Classic--Finally On DVD

Everybody needs an aunt like Auntie Mame. A relative to open doors, open minds, and teach you to "Live, live, live!" I've seen this movie countless times, and I must say it's one of the wittiest and most sophisticated comedies ever made, but does not demand anything from the viewer other than to sit back and enjoy (and be prepared to laugh a lot!). I get repeated enjoyment with each viewing; this movie just never seems to grow stale. Finally, with the DVD release, I have been able to see this wonderful film in widescreen, instead of the cropped pan-n-scan VHS version I'd become accustomed to. And I was not disappointed--there's more "Mame" to love. The color seems to leap from the screen, and the mono soundtrack is sufficient to please all but the most serious of audiophiles. The enormously talented Rosalind Russell could have carried this movie on her back if she had to, but her supporting cast matches her mastery in every scene. From the precocious lad who plays Little Patrick, wise beyond his years and and an expert martini-maker, to the magnificent Peggy Cass as "unwed" mother-to-be Agnes Gooch, to the incomparable Joanna Barnes as "top-drawer" Gloria Upson (you may recognize her as the conniving Vicki from both the original and remake of Disney's "The Parent Trap"), and on and on...what a flawless cast! The only complaint I can make about "Auntie Mame" is that it's a little over-long, and the action drags a bit during the fox hunt scenes, but picks up again soon enough. The very last scenes are the best, the absolute high-point being being Gloria's graphic description of a ping-pong tournament that ended in tragedy. "It was just ghaaaaahhhssstly!" Don't waste your time on the truly horrible Lucille Ball musical remake, "Mame", made long after Miss Ball's talent seems to have evaporated (not even the wonderful Beatrice Arthur could save that disaster). This one is the best! If you have any doubt about this, just check out the trailers for both films which are provided on the DVD: Which version would you want to see? Oh, and for those "readers" out there (a dying breed, I know),--check out the book, by Patrick Dennis. It's even better than the movie!

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Morton DaCosta
Rosalind Russell
Forrest Tucker

DVD title: Ocean's Eleven (Full Screen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Ocean's Eleven (Full Screen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture

When I went to go see OCEAN'S 11, I saw that there were lots of other women and girls seeing it (like me). Perhaps it was because four major hotties star in the film such as George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, and Andy Garcia (ooh...we must be in heaven! Julia Roberts is sooo lucky!). But getting back to the film, this was a remake of a '60s classic by the same title starring Frank Sinatra. I didn't see the original, but I heard from many people that this version was better than the original.
OCEAN'S 11 is about an ex-con named Danny Ocean (Clooney) who is released out of jail and decides to get back into the business of robbing. He meets up with Rusty Ryan (Pitt), who teaches celebrities how to play poker in casinos. Danny tells Rusty his plan, and gets him involved. His plan is to rob big casinos in Las Vegas like the MGM Grand and the money will be worth about $150 million. But they can't do this alone, so they hire 9 other guys who are willing to risk their lives for the $150 million, which they all plan to share. The 9 other guys involved in this plan include Matt Damon, Bernie Mac, Casey Affleck, and Scott Caan. They also have to get past the MGM Grand owner, Terry Benedict (Andy Garcia), and Danny tries to get his ex wife, Tess Ocean (Julia Roberts) back, because she is dating Benedict.
OCEAN'S 11 is full of surprises, twists, and turns. The acting by the entire allstar cast is absolutely superb and flawless. Steven Soderbergh managed to pull it all off and did a great job with the directing. The script is brilliant, original, and clever. Easily one of the best motion pictures of the year. The special effects are pretty cool and high tech, too. It's all fun and pure entertainment! This was a great movie. Highly recommended.

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Steven Soderbergh
George Clooney
Brad Pitt

DVD title: Gods and Generals
Productgroup: DVD
Gods and Generals - movie DVD cover picture
Undeniably the best movie of our time

I know some critics will argue with me about my rating. Some may argue about what I have to say too, but this movie was better than the movie, Gettysburg. It portrays Stonewall so very well...the brilliant strategist that he was and the deep abiding faith he held for his Christian beliefs. And so, yankees and atheists will not care for this movie; however, I as a Christian southerner, born and raised in the Bible belt of the south absolutely love it and cannot wait for the sequel. If you want to see a movie that is politically correct, this movie is not for you. If you want to see a movie that is historically factual, you will love this movie as much as I do. If I could give it more than five stars, I would. God bless Ron Maxwell. I believe this is a movie that belongs in everyone's collection.--Kay Davenport Barr

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Ronald F. Maxwell
Jeff Daniels
Stephen Lang
Robert Duvall

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