Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: The Talented Mr. Ripley
Productgroup: DVD
The Talented Mr. Ripley - movie DVD cover picture
Your World, and welcome to it???

Manipulation...Lies...Deceit...Callous Exploitation...treating people as expendable, throw-away objects to satisfy personal whims or desires...ah, yes...those things only happened in the "La Dolce Vita" days of the 1950s, right??? Right??? Should we get ourselves all bent out of shape in trying to figure out whether Tom Ripley is "likeable" or not...a better question, perhaps, would be: is the character believable, or not...given the nature of our times and the lack of values which prevail in most of the contemporary, hedonistic, pleasure-above-all culture...or do we blame slogans like "Have it YOUR way!" and "What YOU want is what you get!" for brain-washing people into fantasizing that they can manipulate life and people into any sort of configuration they choose if they have the money or the power or the celebrity or the cleverness to do it? Is there, indeed, a likeable character in this film?...maybe only the Marge figure...Dickie Greenleaf is certainly a self- centered, manipulative, callous, exploitive, self-indulgent, narcissistic vampire...feeding off one and all for his own pleasure...and sardonic amusement...his chum is even scummier and more abrasive, if a bit more insightful than Dickie... and the yappy American young woman is a fount of over-privileged, empty-headed, clingy whining... Which leaves Tom he is "poor"...but he is gifted... he plays a good piano...has an incredible gift for mimickry...
has pretty good psychological understanding...of others...if not of himself...but his methods are definitely beyond any sort of rational justification...why does he kill Dickie?...supposedly because he loves Dickie...and Dickie mocks him and calls him a girl and tells him he is a bore...and a clinger...of course, Tom tells Dickie a thing or two about Dickie, which doesn't enlighten Dickie...only infuriates him...and thus, the confrontation...and the horror of that fury letting loose (....)Tom says some insightful things about himself...but one doesn't really know when he is being truthful...and when he is just rationalizing... and self-justifying...can he EVER be believed? ... On first viewing, I felt this might be an anti-homosexual tract playing on public fear and prejudice...and helping to fuel the idea that homsexuality is supposedly a mental is too bad that one of the underlying motivations should have to be stirred up like this...don't know what the original author's view on the topic was...but given the filmed representations of it in Hitchcock's "Strangers on a Train" and now with this film, it seems to be a negative one... But subsequent viewings have caused me to lessen that idea because the film has deeper things to say about society in general...and the people influenced by it...whether they be "straight" or homosexual (is Dickie Greenleaf a representative of the best aspects of being "straight"...for that matter, who in the film is a positive role model for being "straight"...certainly not Dickie's father...nor Dickie...nor his friend...nor Dickie's secret Italian sex object...again, maybe only poor ineffectual, ever-true despite her insights about Dickie --Marge)...although, in "The English Patient," I found when I went back to check out this idea in relation to the director, that the British archaeologist who has an attraction to one of the male Arabs winds up wrecking the truck because of it...perhaps an insight into the director's bias about the topic? ...did he choose to film this work because he knew the author of the work shared a similar bias to his own in relation to his the fact that it is a socially provocative issue? ... The photography is incredibly beautiful...the clarity of the DVD version enhances it even more...the coloring is an integral part of the atmosphere...the music is also evocative and haunting...especially the song at the beginning of the film...singing of love...of love... The whole scene on the beach...when Tom first plots to "meet" Dickie and taut with sensuality, attraction, irony, and "beauty is only skin-deep" implications...but then there is the whole thing of the attraction...and deception...of appearances... especially of good-looking appearances...when they "come on" as naive, "earnest," slightly inept... This film is deeper and more intriguing than it may at first appear...worth several is one of those films like "What Lies Beneath" (what a wonderful punning title...could also have been the punning title for this film about Tom Ripley...what LIES, beneath...get it?... deceptions beneath the surface...)that never get old even with repeated viewings...

Studio: Paramount Studio
Director: Anthony Minghella
Matt Damon
Gwyneth Paltrow
Jude Law

DVD title: Legend of the Dog Warriors - Hakkenden
Productgroup: DVD
Legend of the Dog Warriors - Hakkenden - movie DVD cover picture
Who says history can't kick butt?

The Hakkenden animated series is based on a very old Japanese novel (Nanso Satomi Hakkenden) that has a story that is anything but out-dated. It has historical dates and figures in it but has a fair dossage of supernatural bad guys and great action sequences. The simplified plot is that a Japanese Lord's daughter is forced to marry her pet dog that saved her province from an overly-oppressive Shogun. This was because the Lord jokingly said to the dog that if he killed the Shogun, he could have his daughter's hand in marriage. After living with the dog for many years, she released eight spirits from a beaded necklace when she died. These spirits would later become known as the Eight Dog Warriors.
I really liked the first video in this series. The story can be mighty hard to follow at times but it's obvious there is a very good plot in the works early on. The animation is good and not so good depending on the part of the show. Talking scenes and more idle moments in the show tend to have animation of a questionable quality. Once the fight scenes kick in however, it is top notch!
So if you are already a fan of anime and are looking for something with more of a historical slant to it and a very complex story, then the Hakkenden is just what you're looking for.

Studio: Pioneer Video
Dog Warriors-Hakkenden

DVD title: Galaxy Quest - DTS
Productgroup: DVD
Galaxy Quest - DTS - movie DVD cover picture
A laugh a minute...

I travel alot and was unable to see this movie in the theater...So I had an entry is my palm pilot to rent the DVD when it was released...Finally it came, and although I had expectations of it being a corny, but funny, I was quickly surprised. The perfomances by the cast, the story line, and the directing were all more than I expected. I laughed, and laughed the first time I watched it...So I watched it a second time...Ditto... After returning the movie, I just had to add it to my collection so I went and bought it....After watching it another 2 more times and laughing again and again each time, I'm convinced that this is a movie for all to love and enjoy... Don't hesitate.

Studio: Dreamworks Skg
Director: Dean Parisot
Tim Allen
Sigourney Weaver

DVD title: Spider-Man (Full Screen Special Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Spider-Man (Full Screen Special Edition) - movie DVD cover picture


Studio: Columbia Tri-Star
Director: Sam Raimi
Tobey Maguire
Kirsten Dunst

DVD title: For Love of the Game
Productgroup: DVD
For Love of the Game - movie DVD cover picture
Kevin Costner sure likes to be in sport movies!

We know we're in trouble with this one when, at the beginning of the movie, we see all the Detroit Tigers -- wearing really nice sportcoats -- walking shoulder-to-shoulder toward the camera in slo-mo. Yikes -- Film Cliche #2234 (sub)B!
What's aggravating is that *For Love of the Game* could have been great. In fact, its design is ambitious and it has a good story to tell, but the execution disappoints. As is typical of films in the '90's, slow pacing deadens any suspense, grounds the narrative flow to a lumbering halt, and eventually obliterates any interest in the outcome. I have nothing against long films; I have a LOT against slow pacing, which is really the pestilence of moviemaking just recently. A film can be 80 minutes long and still be slow-paced. Directors are trying to fool us: long pauses in dialogue are meant to convince us of deep thought; aimlessly constructed scenes are meant to convince us of "realistic" depictions of life. Movies are not life. They are an art form. Big difference.
Perhaps Mr. Raimi likes baseball, otherwise the idea of him helming this project doesn't make any sense. This is real hack-work, without any evidence of the unique talent he's shown us in the past. (Perhaps the somber *A Simple Plan* was a warning.) Rather than focusing on the story, the director chooses to give us long close-ups of the burnished and bland Kevin Costner and Kelly Preston. Cliches are favored over uniqueness. Even the idea of Costner pitching a PERFECT GAME seems overdetermined (ah, but this is Hollywood). The movie isn't terrible . . . just conventional.

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: Sam Raimi
Kevin Costner
Kelly Preston

DVD title: Titan A.E. (Special Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Titan A.E. (Special Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Don Bluth is a Directorial Genius!! (animation anyway)

Titan AE wasn't a BAD movie, there just wasn't much there. When comparisons to Star Wars come up, that probably more becuase of the character inter-relationships and jokes ripped off almost word for word from Empire Strikes Back more than the special effects or anything else.
Easter Egg hunters: Check out the Death Star in the exterior shot of the Human Colony.
For a movie was was supposedly more 'adult', it was very kid oriented. But it really couldn't decide what it was. The attempt at a hopeful, inspiring ending failed pretty badly. So did the attempts to mix cgi and traditional animation. To me, it just didn't look right.
Rent it first, before you make a decision to buy it.

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox Home Video
Matt Damon
Bill Pullman
Drew Barrymore

DVD title: Godzilla vs. Destoroyah/Godzilla vs. Space Godzilla
Productgroup: DVD
Godzilla vs. Destoroyah/Godzilla vs. Space Godzilla - movie DVD cover picture
Say it ain't so! (sob)

Godzilla returns for the seventh, and last time in the final entry of the Heisei series. At the end, watching Godzilla's poignant demise, I was on the edge of tears. The only thing to dull the pain is that this is one of the best ever; only Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II was better. Kenpachiro Satsuma delivers another awesome performance as Godzilla, Koich Kawakita creates some excellent special effects using more CGI than ever before, and Akira Ifukube delivers another beatiful score to accenuate the tradgedy of the mighty Godzilla's demise. The movie is well done altogether, Destroyer looks very evil, and Godzilla Jr. is a far cry from the stupid, cheesy Little Godzilla of Godzilla vs. Spacegodzilla. The final scene, as Godzilla poignantly melts down, is the best directing work Takao Okawara has ever done, and it is a high note on which to end the series. Godzilla 2000 will come to theatres this August, though, so keep a brave heart, Godzilla can't be stopped by something so minor as death.

Studio: Columbia/Tristar Studios
Director: Kensho Yamashita

DVD title: Punch-Drunk Love (Two Disc Special Edition) (Superbit Collection)
Productgroup: DVD
Punch-Drunk Love (Two Disc Special Edition) (Superbit Collection) - movie DVD cover picture

Brilliant film filled with symbolic imagery and sounds. An exciting piece of film art! Avant-garde, stylistic, beautifully made film is about Barry Egan and his newfound love. Sheer perfection at all levels! Themes of industrialization, honesty, and the power of love resonate wonderfully throughout. `A five-star film!' in every sense of the phrase...And-as for Adam Sandler--he shines as usual. Watch closely for keen references to Jacques Tati.

Studio: Columbia Tri-Star
Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
Adam Sandler
Emily Watson
Philip Seymour Hoffman

DVD title: The Omen
Productgroup: DVD
The Omen - movie DVD cover picture
I love this movie

The first time i saw this movie, I was scared out of my wits. To begin with, the music by Jerry Goldsmith is extremly effective in creating a demonic presence. Gregory Peck is wonderful as the ambassador as is the priest, Oh yes, the priest played by Tom Duggan. This man was so convincing with those dark piercing eyes and his warnings to the ambassador about Damien that it made him one of my favorite charactors in the movie. The part where he locked himself in the room with the ambassador and told him " You must take communion. Drink the blood the blood of crist and eat his flesh" and the part of him in Bishops Park was to die for. The Baboon scene. The church scene where you see Damien scared to death. The tension mounts as he approaches the church with his parents. You see the fear in poor Damiens face. The climax occurs when the the statue of christ on top of the church points down at Damien and the Chorus yelling at him sounded like the very voice of god. This sent Damien into a rampage .... You must see this movie.. Theres too much for me to mention. Scene after scene of effective terror

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox Home Video
Director: Richard Donner
Gregory Peck
Lee Remick
Harvey Stephens (II)

DVD title: Classic Better Sex Video Series Vol. 2 - Advanced Sexual Techniques (1991)
Productgroup: DVD
Classic Better Sex Video Series Vol. 2 - Advanced Sexual Techniques (1991) - movie DVD cover picture
There ya go!

Although I was skeptical I kept an open mind and I am VERY glad I did. These techniques truly changed my sex-life with my husband and brought us so many new levels of intensity and sexual satisfaction for both of us. I was only having mid-range orgasms before if at all. I would'nt have thought a DVD could have changed our life (and marriage) so wonderfully for the better like it has including achieving my own personal needs way beyond my expectations.

Studio: Sinclair Institute/T
Dr. Julian Slowinski

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