Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: The Robert De Niro Collection (Analyze This/A Bronx Tale/Goodfellas/Heat/Wag The Dog)
Productgroup: DVD
The Robert De Niro Collection (Analyze This/A Bronx Tale/Goodfellas/Heat/Wag The Dog) - movie DVD cover picture
You kidding me or what?

All five of these De Niro films are great, even Wag The Dog which surprised me. I will keep this short and sweet since I'm also reviewing each film separately in greater detail: Any De Niro fan would be a stunad to miss this set. Get a taste of Mob life in GoodFellas and A Bronx Tale. Get a good laugh from Analyze This. A good cops-and-robbers from Heat (with the great Al Pacino). And a good political comedy with Wag The Dog. These are all excellent, and worthy of a top shelf spot in your collection.

Studio: Warner Studios
Robert De Niro

DVD title: Maria Full of Grace
Productgroup: DVD
Maria Full of Grace - movie DVD cover picture
Forgive her Father, for she has sinned....

Maria Full of Grace is a moving and powerful motion picture about a girl who goes in over her head when she longs for a better life. We follow Maria (Catalina Sandino Moreno) from her dead end job stripping roses in Colombia to a new opportunity--becoming a "mule," by ingesting drugs in large capsules and smuggling them to New Jersey. What follows is a gritty, fast-paced, and suspense-filled story

Remember the name Catalina Sandino Moreno. The heartfelt and harrowing performance she gives here has won her a heap of awards and I am sure there are many more to come. First-time director Joshua Marston, who also wrote the taut screenplay, shows Maria being taught how to swallow drugs wrapped in packets -- she sips soup to make them go down without gagging. If the drugs in her belly should seep out during Maria's turbulent jet flight to New York, she could be poisoned or arrested or both. Marston builds incredible tension. But it's the human drama etched on Moreno's young, weary face that gives Maria its potent punch.

This Winner of the Audience Award at Sundance is a terrific film; shocking, engrossing, and entertaining. But what makes Maria Full of Grace an extraordinary experience is its ability to be ordinary. We see everyday life here, plausible motives, convincing decisions, and characters who live at ground level. The movie's suspense is heightened by being generated entirely at the speed of life, and showing us what probably would happen, and not some implausible fairy-tale.

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Joshua Marston
Catalina Sandino Moreno
Guilied Lopez
Orlando Tobon

DVD title: Aladdin (Disney Special Platinum Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Aladdin (Disney Special Platinum Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Fantastic - The First Disney Film I really enjoyed !!!

I had heard that this was the first Disney movie that would appeal to adults too. I realised this when I saw it for the first time ... the humour is several notches above what we expect from Disney. This is a breezy and magically animated adaptation of the popular Arabian Nights fable which every kid has heard time and again. Disney's take on this often told tale is simply marvelous. The animation, the background score and the vibrant colours are spellbinding. But the best part about the movie ... the voices !!! Brilliant voice over by Robin Williams for the genie. Only he could pull this off. Also the voices for Jafar and the parrot Iago are fantastic. The music in this film is enchanting and complements the movie well ... buy the soundtrack Album as it is one of the best Disney scores I've ever heard. I have seen this movie more than a hundred times in the last few years and still haven't got tired of it. My only regret... If only this were available on DVD as I've worn out the tape in certain parts because of repeated viewing. This is a must-see Disney movie and definitely one for your Home Video collection as it appeals to all ages and can be watched as many times as possible without being bored.

Studio: Walt Disney Home Entertainment
Scott Weinger
Robin Williams
Linda Larkin
Jonathan Freeman

DVD title: Harrison's Flowers
Productgroup: DVD
Harrison's Flowers - movie DVD cover picture
Sober but excellent

I saw this movie last year on a French airline headed back from Polynesia. The subject is personal (I'm a photojournalist), and while it hit me like a brick after cruising to Tahiti, the realism and horrow of the war zone images are both necessary and disturbing.
I've waited quite some time for the movie to come to the U.S. I highly recommend the film to anyone, especially those who glorify war, and who needs convincing that war is horrible, even if it does bring out the best and worst of the human species.

Studio: Universal Studios Ho
Director: Elie Chouraqui
Andie MacDowell
Scott Anton

DVD title: The Lord of the Rings - The Two Towers (Widescreen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
The Lord of the Rings - The Two Towers (Widescreen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
This is the way to watch The Two Towers!

This extended edition is superior to the theatrical release. The extra forty minutes or so really do add a lot to the story. Too bad we can't see it on the big screen yet. This extended edition also has four disks that are full of not only the movie but many other features on the making of the movie and aspects of the story.
While we all wish there were some magical way to see in movie form the experience we had while reading the book that would require each of us to make our own movie. I am very pleased with what is here and glad for this trilogy being told in such a grand way.
Sometimes the movie drifts a bit too close to being a sword and sorcery epic for my tastes, and The Lord of the Rings is definitely NOT that. Yes, it has magic, and battles, and enchanted figures. But it is a story about some big human issues first and last that is told on the backdrop of magic and swords. It is a beautiful story and has had a powerful impact on the lives of many who read it. I think the movie does as good a job with these wonderful books as you can expect from Hollywood. Maybe someday they will do them better, but of the attempts in my lifetime, this is the best.
Now, they could have provided the theatrical release as well, but I think they want you to buy that separately if you want that. However, there is a handy booklet that points out the extended and new scenes. But it really isn't possible to reconstruct the theatrical release from this package. But I can't think of why I would want to.

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

DVD title: Lord Peter Wimsey - The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club
Productgroup: DVD
Lord Peter Wimsey - The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club - movie DVD cover picture
Well made, highly entertaining detective fare.

Lord Peter Wimsey's hobby is solving mysteries and here he is called into service to help ascertain the death of a "member of the Bellona Club." Initially, foul play is not suspected, but Lord Peter's eye for detail immediately helps him discover inconsistencies about the death of old General Fentiman that can't be explained. From this point on Wimsey and his servant Bunter begin an investigation which leads to the solution of the mystery of the "Unpleasantness of the Bellona Club." Few TV films can match the Lord Peter Wimsey mystery series for quality and care in the production of these programs which are genuinely entertaining for a literate adult audience. Let's hope that all the Wimsey mysteries are released soon. Some, like "The Nine Tailors," are true classics.

Studio: Acorn Media Publishi
Director: Ronald Wilson

DVD title: Erasure - Hits! The Videos
Productgroup: DVD
Erasure - Hits! The Videos - movie DVD cover picture

cool dvd it has a lot to see in it
i love it
the best erasure's work ever thanks

Studio: Wea Corp

DVD title: Dirty Dancing (Collector's Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Dirty Dancing (Collector's Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Awesome movie and soundtrack!

I just saw this again for the umpteenth time, and it just gets better. I enjoy this film for the acting, but moreso for the music. This movie will hit all of your emotions, and you will laugh, cry or both. A classic, and must see! One of, if not the best film of 1987.

Studio: Artisan Entertainment
Director: Emile Ardolino
Jennifer Grey
Patrick Swayze

DVD title: North to Alaska
Productgroup: DVD
North to Alaska - movie DVD cover picture
The Duke......

It's the Duke. What more can I say. John Wayne was one of the most wonderful actors that ever existed. North to Alaska has incredible scenery, memorable music and quite an interesting cast. The fight scenes are hilarious. The romance is so French and refreshing. There truly is something for everyone in this movie. As was said in "Rio Lobo" with John Wayne, he's just so comfortable.

Studio: Fox Home Entertainme
Director: Henry Hathaway
John Wayne
Stewart Granger

DVD title: Shattered Glass
Productgroup: DVD
Shattered Glass - movie DVD cover picture
An essential film on journalism and morality - compelling!

When Billy Ray's new film, Shattered Glass, begins we hear the enthusiastic narration of the film's quasi-title character, Stephen Glass (Hayden Christensen), who is happily relaying his feelings about journalism and how an article with substance may not necessarily be as great as an article with character. This sounds quaint and noble coming from the lanky Glass, who enters the film doing one of the things that he seems to do best - observing things around him. He enters his alma mater to speak to a journalism class about the subject, and we also learn that he is a contributing writer to George, Rolling Stone, and the associate editor of The New Republic. He is a celebrity of the first order in the world of budding journalists - he may be the fresh fish of The New Republic, but he can own an audience. This rapt audience of students becomes the frame that flashes back to the chronological beginning of Shattered Glass, and the movie begins its steady course on the emotional and ethical rollercoaster that it becomes.
As of early 1998, Glass is an esteemed writer on the staff of The New Republic. Sure, the staff's median age is 26, but he's the youngest and also a favorite of editor Michael Kelly (Hank Azaria). His co-workers view him as a superior even with their age or seniority above him, and in fact: he is. Glass can weave a story like no one else on the staff, and it shows in the meetings where he tantalizes his coworkers with details of his next article. Things take a turn, though, and Kelly is fired with Glass's rival, Chuck Lane (Sarsgaard) stepping in. When Lane hears of the Republic's boss's intent of firing Kelly, he immediately steps back and doesn't want to be a part of it for he considers Kelly a friend. When Kelly is fired, though, Glass and his co-workers see Lane as a villain while the audience has seen what an upstanding character he really is.
Things go downhill with Lane as editor, and not with the magazine. Glass publishes an article called "Hack Heaven" that gets much attention from an online magazine, but not exactly the kind of attention the Republic would want. Company names don't check out, sources are unreachable, and the seeds of doubt about Glass' integrity are sewn.. We don't see things from Glass's point of view, but rather from the perspective of the online mag trying to expose him and Lane, who wants to believe Glass but is beginning to lose faith. Christensen becomes truly amazing here. He's pushed into a corner with the investigation of his article's integrity, but he maintains that it all checks out. He never gives anything away in his slow unraveling. Sarsgaard really stands out, though, and an Oscar nom for Supporting Actor had better come his way. The emotional spiral of the movie is really seen through him, and he alternates between doubt, despair, and anger with such nuance that he practically owns the movie.
Sarsgaard would own the movie if Christensen didn't make Glass such a likeable character, even as he is eventually revealed for what he truly is. Glass is the kind of movie that puts your mind and your stomach in a pretzel, but not in a Usual Suspects or Vanilla Sky way. The mind-bending of the film exists on a purely emotional and ethical level, and it's refreshing, considering the manipulative junk that is out most of the time (*cough* Runaway Jury *cough*). Movies like Jury present its narrative with little motivation or reason behind its characters, but Glass lets it all fly with such supported precision, it's quite a feat. We never learn much about Stephen Glass's history, but there's a ponit behind it - the movie isn't about why he did it, but what he did and how. From trailers and even my review, it may become obvious exactly what Glass did, but the depth and the impact of his actions aren't really revealed until the end of the film.
The facts in the movie certainly take twists and turns that make it seem more typical, but the 'facts' don't really drive the narrative - the characters do. Sarsgaard makes a speech to another character toward the end of the film all about journalistic integrity and ethical duty, and in any other movie it would come off as silly and pretentious. In Glass, it gets to the heart of it all. Even though Stephen Glass knew what words could do and used it to his advantage in the film, director Billy Ray's script wastes not one word. Movies like this are a gift to its actors, and whatever the results in February, Christensen has topped himself as Kevin Kline's son in Life as a House and given a (so-far) career-defining performance that shows great promise. Sarsgaard has had a few bit parts in the past, but he blasts onto the screen here with an incredibly intense role.
Shattered Glass dissects issues of morality and ethics in the field of journalism in a way that some movies could never even begin to touch. It's not about actions or plot twists or MacGuffins, but it's about changes in the movie's characters that can never really be predicted. Glass is a thriller in the best sense of the word, because it gets its thrills from things that should be tapped into more often. Shattered Glass is a step above the rest of the 'thrillers' with which it will be unfortunately placed, not to mention, it?s about as great as anything you'll see all year. Despite all the lies you'll hear in the course of the movie, that's not one. Shattered Glass is a great step forward for human drama on film, and one of the best movies made about journalism.

Studio: Lions Gate Home Entertainment
Director: Billy Ray
Hayden Christensen
Chloë Sevigny
Steve Zahn

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