Film DVD related reviews


DVD title: Napoleon Dynamite
Productgroup: DVD
Napoleon Dynamite - movie DVD cover picture
You have to like the understated to enjoy this.


This movie is not for everyone, but name a movie that is. If you're familiar with the pacing of movies like Rushmore, Welcome to the Dollhouse, and Raising Arizona, you will understand the comedy techniques and tempo of the film. If you enjoy movies like Faceoff and Mission Impossible, keep moving. The movie's appeal is in it's non-linear approach to capturing the essence of each character from the movie's namesake to the square-peggish female lead to the timid Mexican immigrant. The scenes are punched up nicely with the includsion of a seasoned-nerd older brother and maudlin, pseudo-sports hero "uncle".

If you weren't laughing in the first 15 minutes of this rare type of comedy, you're probably better suited with a Jim Carey or Pauly Shore movie.

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox Home Video
Director: Jared Hess
Actors:
Jon Heder
Jon Gries
Efren Ramirez




DVD title: The United States of Leland
Productgroup: DVD
The United States of Leland - movie DVD cover picture
Everything is going to be ok


"The United States of Leland" is such a touching movie. It is disturbing and sad and even a little bit hopeful. Ryan Gosling is wonderful as Leland. He seems awkward and almost childish, but so brilliant. I just love Ryan Gosling. I think he has the most beautiful face. This was a great movie. Watch it.

Studio: Paramount Home Video
Director: Matthew Ryan Hoge
Actors:
Don Cheadle
Ryan Gosling
Kevin Spacey




DVD title: Brotherhood of the Wolf
Productgroup: DVD
Brotherhood of the Wolf - movie DVD cover picture
Simply fantastic


The most beautifully made movie I've seen! Every scene - a jewel. Can't wait for the DVD release! A sexy mystery, gorgeous people, and the end that isn't screwed up either! Definitely a must.

Studio: Universal Studios Ho
Director: Christophe Gans
Actors:
Samuel Le Bihan
Mark Dacascos




DVD title: Brotherhood of the Wolf
Productgroup: DVD
Brotherhood of the Wolf - movie DVD cover picture
A Monster of a Movie


Some watchers will complain of this movie dragging, and honestly, if you're not into long exchanges of dialogue about religion, politics, social problems such as racism, etc. then it will drag for you. Even if you are willing to delve deeper into the movie and aren't looking to just be entertained, there are areas where the film could have been cut shorter and the scripting could have been sharper.
Some will point out plot holes. But this seems pretty pointless when you're dealing with a movie that features a battle against a mythological beast. Some of the complaints don't seem well thought out anyway but for those that hit the nail on the head, the movie is still successful in it's presentation. Sure, a member of the Mohawk tribe using Asian martial arts is out of place, but the point of artistic expression is not to copy life, but to show it in different ways.
Mark Dacascos shines as Mani, that Mohawk character. He speaks little with his voice, but speaks volumes with his spirit and body. The role was developed with Dacascos in mind. Other stand outs include Monica Belluci but the whole cast is outstanding.
I like the "show them a little of the beast at a time" approach to movie making but I feel that a little more of the beast should have been shown. But perhaps it was? Or at least a different beast. The most literal beast would be the creature that is terrorizing the land. But the true beast could be that which lives in mankind, which hates and destroys with much more frequency and bloodlust as the afformentioned creature does.
An artistic action and horror movie that is worth purchasing. Get the special edition. Don't try to analyze whether it's a movie about political intrigue or a horror movie, or an action movie with romantic undercurrents. It's all of those and its own Beast.

Studio: Universal Studios Ho
Director: Christophe Gans
Actors:
Samuel Le Bihan
Mark Dacascos




DVD title: Black Hawk Down
Productgroup: DVD
Black Hawk Down - movie DVD cover picture
Thank You To A New Greatest Of Generation Group


The man-made famine in Somalia and the steps nations took or did not take regarding the Genocide, is an incredibly complex issue. No single film could pretend to tell the entire story, and no matter how the tragedy was portrayed, various parties would not agree. The Director of, "Blackhawk Down" Ridley Scott, has been very clear that this movie is about a single mission, the men involved, and what they did. This cinematic presentation is also notable for how it matched the book. I cannot remember a book transferred to the screen more faithfully.
The professional reviews I read prior to the film had many comments in common and so many of which are false, they are worth noting here. This movie does have the graphic depiction of death and suffering that took place. It is never gratuitous as it portrays what took place. A series of scenes involving the treatment of a wounded Ranger, while graphic, is accurate. If critics have a problem with this they need to read some history. This movie is not, as has been written, comparable to the Normandy Invasion as portrayed in, "Saving Private Ryan". The fighting is sustained for a greater part of the film in, "Blackhawk Down", however 19 Americans died. Many times that number was horribly killed and maimed within the first minute of fighting in, "Saving Private Ryan". The latter film tells a story that evolved over days, this film is about an 18-hour event.
One of the most disturbing parts of the movie is the beginning, and again, contrary to what has been written, you will not even see a gun. A person is wrapping a famine victim in a death shroud, and while this plays out, graphics share many facts about events that lead the US to intervene. If the opening does not demonstrate why the victims of a man every bit as evil as Hitler or Stalin needed to be helped, I don't know what visuals would. As the movie progresses it will also become crystal clear why the US has to be involved in any major international effort, and even more clearly, why, on the battlefield we should have nothing to do with United Nations politics. And the lesson that Washington should not be deciding what troops do and do not need on a mission, is again proven the folly that President Johnson is famous for. There is no way to replay the events, but if the general in command had the permission for the air-cover and other forces he wanted, there likely would have been far fewer deaths of Americans, and of Somalians.
The movie is about the men who went on the primary mission, those that joined to help their fellow soldiers, and those that asked to be placed in the middle of the fighting to attempt a rescue that was unlikely to spare their lives. The constant mortal risk, or at times what appears a mortal certainty, never gives these men pause when one of their own is in need of help. These men were not from the same branches of the service, they were not all long-term friends. Men who knew nothing about one another risked and gave their lives so that another of their number could live. Two of these men received The Congressional Medal Of Honor. They were never to have the honor placed upon them, for they both died saving another's life.
Praising this movie does not make a political statement, it does not mean the viewer gains some vicarious thrill from violence. For voyeurs there is the fiction of the Rambo films. Praising this film is paying tribute to what the film is about. It is about having men who are willing to serve this country, i.e. you and I, and to do so in a manner that focuses on the respect and admiration we owe them every moment they are doing their job.
These men do not decide where they will fight or why. This film does not spend time on the stupidity of governments and their leaders who play politics, and consult polls instead of making decisions. What this film does present is the total commitment, the selfless sacrifice, and the supreme competence of the fighting men who serve this nation. This film has a focus, and what it focuses on may be hard to watch and easier to criticize. However, the truth is none of us has seen enough of the horror that is war, and so we continually send men and women to die for questionable reasons. Why should American soldiers die when the mission is catalyzed by man-made famine? If the answer is that as a nation we have both the ability to help and the willingness to support the effort, that effort must have as its primary goal the provision of support to the men and women that volunteered to serve this nation. We do not send them to a situation where an incompetent military organization in the form of UN Peacekeepers plays any role in our troops safety. We do not demand that bullets fly at them before they can fire their own weapon, we do not require they watch as Somali, "Technicals", butcher people at food stations.
It is true that the film spares viewers the scenes of our dead being dragged through the streets. It does not omit the event, it makes a visual note that is all the reminder anyone needs. This is another fact the critics miss.
Don't like watching what it means when a primary rule is, "that no one is left behind"? Stay home, don't see the film. If you want to see the best of human nature in the most inhuman situations, then go and pay tribute to those who fought in Somalia, and for those who have fought throughout this Nation's History.

Studio: Columbia Tristar Hom
Director: Ridley Scott
Actors:
Josh Hartnett



DVD title: Beverly Hills 90210 - The Pilot Episode
Productgroup: DVD
Beverly Hills 90210 - The Pilot Episode - movie DVD cover picture
90210 on DVD!


Hi,
i am really waiting for the producers to put the whole 10 seasons on DVD. It was so successful! Everything else is on DVD - why not 90210??? And please put it out in germany too! :-)
I grew up watching 90210 every saturday afternoon and i really would like to have it forever in my own collection.....
Jessie

Studio: Lions Gate Home Entertainment
Actors:
Jason Priestley



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


The beauty of this dvd is not because it has all the videos from SP's career. It's not because the sound is great and the picture is excellent. It's not because two live performances were included, nor because the short film 'Try' is on there. It's not even because the menus are easy to use and understand.
Those things all add up to a great dvd, but the reason this dvd gets 5 stars is this: each and every song has 4 viewing options. First, you can select either the official video or an alternate 'outtakes' version; some videos have a making-of documentary in place of outtakes. Next, you can select either the music track or a commentary/documentary track for both the official video or the documentary/outtakes video. Also, some tracks have even more bonuses: '1979' has an extra 'Lost Tapes' track that tells the story of how the original video was lost.If that was not enough, each commentary/documentary track has comments from each band member (though mostly Billy) as well as the directors.
This dvd is much, much better than the standard video-hits collection. This is not a thrown-together money maker. This is obviously an effort to give the fans what they want, and it delivers. Ever wonder why Jimmy is late to everything? Ever wonder what the band was playing at the house party in '1979'? Ever wonder how many guitars were smashed in 'The Everlasting Gaze'? Then this is the dvd for you. This is an absolute must for every Pumpkins fan.

Studio: Emd/Virgin



DVD title: Star Trek The Original Series - The Complete First Season
Productgroup: DVD
Star Trek The Original Series - The Complete First Season - movie DVD cover picture
Star Trek TOS!


This was an awesome gift for my wife who is a big trekky from way back. Actually, It is I who remember the Captain & Spock during the original broadcasts. She was too young, but when she saw them for the first time (during repeats) thought they where new, and became hooked. This DVD collection really is cool! We play them on our Sony DVD player and enjoy the exploits of the orginal Star Trek team in action all over again. What a great gift. I know, because my wife reminds me all of the time how much she really enjoys it. The price is right too! Target sells this item for much more then Amazon. I say get it while you can. If your a true TOS fan, you will by all means love this product.



Studio: Paramount Home Video
Actors:
William Shatner



DVD title: The Spanish Prisoner
Productgroup: DVD
The Spanish Prisoner - movie DVD cover picture
One of the best of 1998


A modern day film noir in the tradition of China Town and L.A. Confidential. Spanish Prisoner possesses a unique style that is missing from most movies today. Intriguing sets and locales, a winding plot, sophisticated characters, and a moody, mysterious tone throughout the entire film set this movie apart. True, as some reviewers have complained, the acting is somewhat understated, but the dialogue is intelligent and lends itself perfectly to the mood that Mamet is trying to create. If you're looking for explosions, gratuitous violence, product endorsements or cheaky one-liners, then this movie is not for you.

Studio: Columbia/Tristar Studios
Director: David Mamet
Actors:
Steve Martin
Ben Gazzara




DVD title: Hot Wheels - Acceleracers - Ignition
Productgroup: DVD
Hot Wheels - Acceleracers - Ignition - movie DVD cover picture
excellent sequel to world race


First off, if your child (or children, for that matter) are less than 4 or 5, this probably isn't the type of movie they'll like. Just my 2 cents.

Anyway, Acceleracers is much different, but you have to consider that Mattel is looking to broaden the appeal of its lines into older age segments. For example, lots of "tweeners" (10-12 year olds) love those japanese anime' cartoons. Acceleracers sort of follows that genre. My son and I watch the videos TOGETHER and talk about the characters and their behaviors. He loves the cars and some of the music really is great (if you're into rave/dance music) but I don't like some of the heavy metal stuff they play. Anyway, as another poster said, you pretty much have to watch World Race and the first two DVD's (Ignition and Speed of Silence) to understand what's going on. It really is a soap opera.

My wife laughs b/c the new release date of these movies is penciled in on the calendar. We wouldn't miss them for the world. They really are pretty cool, especially for moms and dads who would slam their head in the SUV door than watch another episode of Barney, Thomas and the Teletubbies.

Studio: Warner Home Video



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