Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Kathy Smith - Moving Through Menopause
Productgroup: DVD
Kathy Smith - Moving Through Menopause - movie DVD cover picture
You've Got to Give it Several Tries!

Some reviews suggest that the moves aren't for beginners - I disagree. If you could do all of the moves right away, what challenge would there be in that? When I first tried the cardio workout, I laughed and imagined my horror if I was trying to do the routine in a gym full of people. These moves aren't overly complicated. Stick with it, and soon your confidence will grow as you are able to do first one move with Kathy and then another. There are easy ways to take the level down during the routine and Kathy points them out. Today I did all but one sequence and know that I'll be doing that last one just as soon as my body finally accepts that it must do my bidding! The cardio workout is low-impact. My 42-year old knees complain a bit but only a bit. Already in decent cardo shape from a year of walking and light weights, I use the 20-minute cardio workout on this DVD as a supplement to my other workouts. The weight and yoga sections of the DVD are also excellent. Kathy is a terrific coach - lovely and upbeat but never grating in a high-pitched cheerleader sort of way. I highly recommend this DVD for anyone just starting back into fitness or as another tool for those days when you want some "extra" calorie burning and heart pumping fun.

Studio: Sony Wonder
Kathy Smith

DVD title: Director's Series, Vol. 2 - The Work of Director Chris Cunningham
Productgroup: DVD
Director's Series, Vol. 2 - The Work of Director Chris Cunningham - movie DVD cover picture
Instant cult classics!

Two simple words come to mind.....pure genious! Though some of the excess material (Monkey Drummer, Flex) seem to be a little too long and (dare I say this) too weird, the videos are extremely stunning. From Aphex Twin's sci-fi/horror trip "Come To Daddy" to Maddona's captivatingly gothic "Frozen," this is a peculiar dvd that will survive numerous times of extended play. Not for the squeamish, but a milestone in audio-visual production for all open-minded listeners. Innovative to an almost offensive extent.....Again, pure genious!

Studio: Universal Music & VI

DVD title: Female Masturbation Series: Every Woman's Orgasm is Unique, Clitoris: The Key to a Woman's Pleasure & Pleasures of a Woman in Orgasm: Elle, 3 DVD Gift Set.
Productgroup: DVD
Female Masturbation Series: Every Woman's Orgasm is Unique, Clitoris: The Key to a Woman's Pleasure & Pleasures of a Woman in Orgasm: Elle, 3 DVD Gift Set. - movie DVD cover picture
Great series on Female Masturbation and Women's Pleasure

This is a great series on female masturbation showing simple and direct views of women in orgasm. Great to view by yourself or with your partner for great pleasure together.

Studio: Welcomed Consensus Productions
Director: The Welcomed Consensus

DVD title: The Phantom of the Opera (Widescreen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
The Phantom of the Opera (Widescreen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture

This is a brilliant reimagining of the Phantom story for a new audience. Those who consider the Crawford/Brightman Broadway Phantom as sacrosanct - well go in another room with your soundtrack and enjoy. For the rest of us this FILM version is magnificent. Emmy Rossum is innocent and pure with a lovely voice and Gerard Butler is fantastic, sexy and powerful as the spiritually disfigured Phantom. It is irrelivant if his face and form is to die for with or without the mask, the point is it is his spirit that has become the disfiguring obstacle to his love for Christine. And I for one LOVE his passionate and emotional rendering of the music against Raoul's perfect tenor and Christine's lovely soprano. There have been many versions of the Phantom before and doubtless will be others in the future. This is MY Phantom and I love it!

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Joel Schumacher
Gerard Butler
Emmy Rossum
Patrick Wilson

DVD title: Mean Streets
Productgroup: DVD
Mean Streets - movie DVD cover picture
One Of The Greatest Movies Of The 1970s

I am a longtime fan of both Martin Scorsese and Robert DeNiro. Scorsese's "Mean Streets" is one of my alltime favorite crime movies.
Charlie(Harvey Keitel) is an up-and-coming hood in New York City's Little Italy. Charlie wants to save his half-wit best friend, Johnny Boy(Robert DeNiro), who is in deep debt to a loan shark. The ultimate result is tragedy.
Scorsese's "Mean Streets" is one of the greatest movies of the 1970s. "Mean Streets" was the first collaboration between DeNiro and Scorsese and also the film that brought both of them to national prominence. The story primarily focuses on Keitel's character, so I don't understand why DeNiro received top billing. The great performances by DeNiro and Keitel gave a hint to the stardom that would later be achieved by these two performers. Robert DeNiro may be the very last of the great movie actors. He is the ONLY present day actor who comes close to matching Marlon Brando for sheer talent and charisma. DeNiro completely immerses himself into the role of Johnny Boy. Scorsese also weaves strong themes of religion and redemption into his film. All of Scorsese's films are marked by intense realism. The low budget-"Mean Streets" has a strong grittiness that is sorely lacking in even Francis Ford Coppola's "Godfather" masterpieces.
I have already seen this movie six times and can stand to see it several times more. Well-recommended.

Studio: Warner Studios
Director: Martin Scorsese
Robert De Niro
Harvey Keitel

DVD title: Lost In Translation (Widescreen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Lost In Translation (Widescreen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
A rare blend of subtle power

Lost in Translation for me is the perfect movie. It uses none of the Hollywood cliches found so often and instead tells its story in its own way. Reading a summary of the story, one would have trouble understanding why this film has garnered so much praise, yet upon viewing it is obvious.
The characters relate in such a way that you are almost there with them as they blossom their relationships. Sofia Coppola has crafted a wonderful experience that slowly takes shape over the 100 or so minutes before it ends. I have a feeling this is a semi-autobiographical story in a lot of ways, but if that's what it takes for a writer to build something like this, more power to her. I give her credit for putting her own life into the mix when necessary, yet still creating new fiction that helps the story reach such a powerful peak.
Some of the characters are a bit "thin", such as Charlotte's husband, but the emotion displayed by Johansson tell all that is missing from his role. The same effect is there when Bill Murray talks to his never seen wife on the telephone. I just loved how this movie never had to dumb it down to the lowest common denominator to get the story across. The scenes with Scarlett and Bill (which encompass most of the film) are so subtle, but at the same time powerful, that I was completely into it the whole time.
This film tells me that American film can compete with the great films of Europe when the correct ingredients are present. Unfortunately this film is rare for American films. Watching the Oscars last night almost left me sad to see Bill Murray come up short in the best actor category. Then again, acting awards are completely ridiculous as all roles are subjective and cannot be compared. Also, I have seen enough of the Academy Awards to realize that the prize usually goes to the most over the top acting out there.
I guess this is rambling but if it helps another film lover to see this film, I have done my job. Enjoy it (or not) and go from there.

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: Sofia Coppola
Scarlett Johansson
Bill Murray
Giovanni Ribisi

DVD title: The Seventh Seal - Criterion Collection
Productgroup: DVD
The Seventh Seal - Criterion Collection - movie DVD cover picture

Ingmar Bergman is the GREATEST DIRECTOR in cinematic history. His movies have that extra something which puts them out in front of the others. Everything from Wild Strawberries to this film display his incredible ability to turn what seems normal everyday occurrences into moving mental delights. I wish he had not given up filmmaking but his greatest love is the same as mine, theater. That is where he practices his craft now. This movie takes us into death but with a twist. Every one wishes to put off death. Our hero, and he is heroic, manages to cheat death out of an early demise. The game of chess is very appropriate for this film. In what other film can we see the plethora of incredible images we se here? What other has the genius to make the simple into the great? Bergman has done everything very well. If you have never seen this movie then what are you waiting for, put on your tennies and run to get it.

Studio: Criterion Collection
Director: Ingmar Bergman
Gunnar Björnstrand
Max von Sydow

DVD title: The Sixth Sense (Vista Series)
Productgroup: DVD
The Sixth Sense (Vista Series) - movie DVD cover picture
Great Movie

So, I knew the surprise ending almost from the beginning, but this was probably due to viewer awareness brought on by hype about the twist ending. At this point, I would bet that many first-time watchers will guess the ending. But, I wouldn't let that stop you from watching. This package is more than the delivery at the end. The whole trip is so expertly planned that it should be hard to be disappointed when the still intreaging destination is finally reached.
Most everyone already knows that the little boy in this movie sees ghosts. "They don't know they are dead", he says, "They only see what they want to see." Most everyone knows that the kid playing the part (Haley Joel Osment) got great reviews. If you doubt the reviews on this score, you need to watch the movie. Personally, the only reason I wasn't too disappointed that the sprite didn't win the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor was that the award went to the incredible Michael Cain.
The movie has the right texture and shading throughout. It keeps you in the mood, even when it moves at a languid, dream-like pace. The scary scenes are made more so by their unannounced and rather simple entrance onto this background. The director was using a bit of long overdue restraint (in Hollywood that is) in presenting the more frightening scenes. From my perspective, it enhanced the effect.
The cast was overall great in this film. Willis' portrayal of the psychiatrist as restrained, somewhat removed, and at times almost dazed and vaguely confused, works the plot like a good mule works the ground. There won't be any trumpets for it, but the furrows are straight and deep, and the job well done. And, in the end, if the healthy crop comes in, that is where it all started. The performance is more easily appreciated the second time around.
The most impressive part of this film was the intensly moving way it portrayed this child's fear. Hopefully, most children don't really see ghosts. But their fear can be just as breathlessly real, just as terrifying, and to them, just as unexplainable and difficult to justify as is the character's fear in this film.
I wouldn't call this film great. A great film I can't forget or stop thinking about for weeks. But, it is very good. If I were to criticize the film I suppose that I would have to say that it did tie up neatly on all corners in the end. However, I actually prefer a film of this type that neatly finishes. To be bluntly honest, I don't really go to movies, rent, or buy videos much to expose myself to huge doses of reality. Mostly, I find that reality is free, and I don't particularly want to be always laying down the bucks to get smacked up-side the head with yet another pointless dose of it.

Studio: Walt Disney Home Video
Director: M. Night Shyamalan
Bruce Willis
Haley Joel Osment

DVD title: Ghost Dog - The Way of the Samurai
Productgroup: DVD
Ghost Dog - The Way of the Samurai - movie DVD cover picture
About Time Someone Read A Book To Make a Movie

This movie is an archetype all to itself. One of my all time favorites...
And if you read every book Ghost Dog tells you to, things will become clearer.

Studio: Republic Studios
Director: Jim Jarmusch
Forest Whitaker
Henry Silva

DVD title: Brassed Off
Productgroup: DVD
Brassed Off - movie DVD cover picture
unexpectedly wonderful

Not really a romantic comedy, but a very inspiring film. After viewing this film, it caught me by surprise how great the film was directed and acted out. If you like music with good story lines, this is a recommendation.

Studio: Miramax Home Entertainment
Director: Mark Herman
Pete Postlethwaite
Tara Fitzgerald
Ewan McGregor

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