Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Zatoichi the Blind Swordsman, Vol. 2 - The Tale of Zatoichi Continues
Productgroup: DVD
Zatoichi the Blind Swordsman, Vol. 2 - The Tale of Zatoichi Continues - movie DVD cover picture
Zatoichi's Best.

I've seen basically all of the 'Zatoichi' films and this is far and away the best. Although it's relatively short (75 minutes or so), it's got well-coreographed fight scenes, great acting (when he's not killing three people at a time, you'd think Shintaro Katsu was really blind), and all sorts of wonderful plot twists. In this film, Zatoichi develops more as a character rather than as a gimmick. Although the first film was superb, we really only got to see that he was this avenging angel from the yakuza, if such a thing is not a contradiction in terms. This time around, however, we get to see more of what motivates Ichi as well as some more insight into his past. We are introduced in this chapter to Ichi's law-breaking brother, played by Tomisaburo Wakayama (who was Shintaro Katsu's brother in real life as well). We learn that the two had previously feuded over the same woman to the point that Ichi cut off his brother's arm in a fit of rage. While all this is going on, Ichi is being pursued by Kanbei, an assassin sent to dispatch Ichi before he can tell of Kanbei's lord's insanity. In his pursuit of Ichi, Kanbei hooks up with Sukegoro, Ichi's employer from the previous installment who has a score to settle with the blind swordsman. These various groups all come into conflict with one another at various points and make for a film that is simultaneously action-packed and well thought out. Highest recommendations.

Studio: Home Vision Entertainment
Director: Kazuo Mori

DVD title: Baby Looney Tunes' Eggs-Traordinary Adventure
Productgroup: DVD
Baby Looney Tunes' Eggs-Traordinary Adventure - movie DVD cover picture
This cartoon is so k-ute!

Baby Looney Tunes is the best thing that has happened to tv since Jim Henson's Muppet Babies. What upsets me is that BLT only lasted one season. The Muppet Babies lasted 7. I love the movie especially when Daffy doesn't beleive that the Easter Bunny exists. The cutest BLT is Petunia Pig (Who is not featured in the movie but on a bonus episode on this DVD - "The Magic Of Spring." in this cartoon series, the is a new Looney Tune, Melissa. i do not remember seeing an adult Melissa. This is a must own.

Studio: Warner Home Video

DVD title: Elephant Parts
Productgroup: DVD
Elephant Parts - movie DVD cover picture
Director William Dear deserves much of the credit

ELEPHANT PARTS was truly ahead of the times. Especially the times as now defined by MTV. It's visually stunning, thematically amusing .... bottom line, it's a lot of fun. And I believe that a great deal of the reason for that is director William Dear. Of course, Nesmith should (and does) take much kudos for this wonderful work. However, one merely has to look at his subsequent attempts without Dear to realize who was really the man behind the curtain for Nesmith's Oz.

Studio: Dvd International
Director: William Dear

DVD title: Baby - Secret of the Lost Legend
Productgroup: DVD
Baby - Secret of the Lost Legend - movie DVD cover picture


Studio: Walt Disney Home Video
Director: Bill L. Norton

DVD title: The Passion of the Christ (Full Screen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
The Passion of the Christ (Full Screen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
An open mind...

So much has all ready been said about The Passion of the Christ, it is difficult to come to this review with an open mind. Indeed, so much controversy has been stirred, it was difficult to watch the picture with an open mind - I knew so much of what to expect. So, let's begin by addressing the Big Questions.
Question #1, Is the film anti-Semitic? I do not believe so. It is true that the main villain in the movie is the high-priest Ciaphas. Some critics have protested that we do not see enough of the reasons for what he does. He was afraid of stirring up the people and he felt threatened by Jesus. That said, it is important to realize having reasons for doing a bad thing, does not excuse doing the bad thing. In this case, a supposed "holy man," a hypocrite, is instrumental in having an innocent man tortured and killed. The same can be said for Pontius Pilate - yeah, he was trying to keep the peace, but since when is that an excuse for psychotic murder? Watching The Passion of the Christ, I was reminded of another movie - Schindler's List - in which an evil government used institutionalized torture and murder against the Jews. True, the Romans were not trying to commit genocide and they did not kill the millions the Nazis did, but the Jews were still subjugated. The Roman centurions are the real thugs of this movie.
Question #2, Is the film violent? Yes. It is relentless in its depiction of Christ's torture. The complaint against most Hollywood Biblical epics is that they are silly, corny, sentimental stories. NOT THIS ONE. As soon as the film begins, it is in your face all the way. Another reviewer has claimed that the violence is "pornographic", as if this were a snuff film. I have seen films with pointless violence - this is not one of them. People have grown familiar with the story of the Passion and they want it to stay nice, comfortable, and safe. IT IS NOT. The thing is that I believe that this is an ACCURATE depiction of what was done to him. Should we not see the senseless killing in Schindler's List? The concept that many people cannot grasp is, in movies ABOUT pointless violence, the violence is not pointless. The entire reason this movie exists is to show what Christ went through.
This movie doesn't have an arc in the conventional sense. It is a docudrama chronicling that last hours of Christ's life. Jim Caviezel is a robust, manly Jesus. We can see how he could lead a vast movement. The film is heavy-handed in places - I was reminded of Jesus Christ Superstar when Herrod was portrayed as a demented drag-queen.
Is the film powerful? Yes, undoubtedly so. You will be unable to get it out of your head afterwards. Yet, for all the violence, it is incredibly life-affirming. Jesus' message - that we all have to love each other - comes through. When we don't...well, just watch the movie.
This film is capable of stirring tremendous religious fervor, and perhaps that's what people are afraid of. The final image of the film - I won't "spoil" it for you, but you should be able to guess - is incredibly uplifting. It almost has the feel of a superhero moment - inspiring all of us to take up our crosses and continue to fight for good.

Studio: Fox Home Entertainme
Director: Mel Gibson
James Caviezel
Monica Bellucci

DVD title: Nip/Tuck - The Complete First Season
Productgroup: DVD
Nip/Tuck - The Complete First Season - movie DVD cover picture
Tell me what you don't like about yourself.

"Nip/Tuck," which I've become addicted to since I bought these DVDs, is a knock-down-drag-out great and twisted show. It's very well-acted and completely compelling, featuring soap opera style twists that you won't see coming at all and beautiful people made that way through bizarre and disgusting plastic surgery scenes.

McNamara/Troy is an extremely successful plastic surgery partnership in Miami, thanks to the combination of talented surgeon Sean McNamara (Dylan Walsh) and the hot and charming Christian Troy (Julian McMahon), who have been friends since medical school. The initial conflicts in the show come from Sean's midlife crisis, which allows him both to sleepwalk through his troubled marriage to manic Julia (Joely Richardson) and leads him to think that his work is unimportant. Christian, in the meantime, continues to seduce women without care while harboring some deeply-rooted personal demons.

One particularly corrupt surgery that ends REALLY badly for both the patient and the doctors, though, changes the whole set-up. Suddenly, McNamara/Troy is in all sorts of trouble with the Mafia and the police, and they've got a new psychiatric consult, Grace Santiago (Valerie Cruz), on duty to help them better screen their patients before they go under the knife.

That, of course, leads to more drama, and the McNamaras' troubled son Matt and Julia's trip back to med school adds even more.

The show is occasionally, based upon its subject matter, morally vague, dirty, dark and villainous. It's also so delicious to watch that it never ceases, throughout its first season, to be anything short of fascinating. Sometimes you can't believe that you love these characters, in spite of some of the horrible things they're capable of doing to each other and to anyone in their path, but the top-notch acting of "Nip/Tuck" leads you to care for them, no matter what they've done.

Since buying these DVDs, I've been watching the second season on FX almost religiously. It's a great, great show.

Studio: Warner Home Video
Dylan Walsh

DVD title: Vidas Privadas
Productgroup: DVD
Vidas Privadas - movie DVD cover picture
acting perfection by Bernal and Roth

There is some fascinating musical background that eventually that brings the fantasy love affair into a real one.
Roth and Bernal are sanguinely exotic.
Almodovar would have competition for the resolution of this movie.
I predicted it.Will you?

Studio: Fox Home Entertainme

DVD title: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
Productgroup: DVD
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas - movie DVD cover picture

this movie is insane , its about to drug users, who decide go on a trip to cover a story on a motor bike race in the desert, with ether,cocane,pot,and a whole suitcase of drugs ,they take drugs like chain smokers, the movie is about tripping out what happens to mind is pure fun and sillyness. lots of paranoid acting and tripping out on acid and lsd .

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: Terry Gilliam
Johnny Depp
Benicio Del Toro

DVD title: Tokyo Godfathers
Productgroup: DVD
Tokyo Godfathers - movie DVD cover picture
Great Anime!!!

even people who are normally leary of anime are likely to enjoy this one. "tokyo godfathers" tells a charming tale of three homeless people on the streets of tokyo one christmas season. they stumble across a baby and work tirelessly to return the baby to her mother. what unfurls is not a unique sequence of events, but still it is told such skill and warmth that you're impressed with the quality of filmmaking and story telling. we find out about the drag queen's past and why he's out on the street, why the alcoholic is both miserable and excited at the thought of taking care of the baby, and why the teenage girl jumps between disliking the baby and being so determined to see it returned home.

the story's complexity works well, only because each plot twist adds to the richness of the story. the complications bring depth to the characters and overall mosaic of characters without bogging it down. the pace is appropriate and moves well. the art captures the story's moments with skill and charm. and finally, the character development itself is as impressive as any well written film with real actors.

while it didn't get a large amount of exposure across america, it does have traits that will make it appeal to a broad audience not normally interested in anime. if you're wondering if you should see this one or not and concerned because it's animated, don't worry about it, i think you'll be pleased with what you see.

Studio: Columbia Tristar Hom
Toru Emori
Aya Okamoto
Yoshiaki Umegaki

DVD title: Chaplin
Productgroup: DVD
Chaplin - movie DVD cover picture
Robert Downey Jr can act!

From the director of great movie autobiographies such as Gandhi, and Cry Freedom, Chaplin hooks you right from the start. Simply, it's an interesting story. How a ragamuffin from the poor end of London became the most famous man in the world is wonderful.
Robert Downey Jr will always be able to look at this piece of work as his finest (forget Air America and all the news about addictions, this piece of film-work will keep him fondly remembered)
Footnote:When all movies were still silent flickering images, Chaplin made features dealing with controversial topics such as racism, and fascism, which lead the US authorities, particularly J Edgar Hoover, to brand Chaplin a communist, and have him kicked out of the USA. Chaplin deserved better, and had to wait until the 1970s before he was remembered and recognised by his peers in America.

Studio: Artisan Entertainment
Director: Richard Attenborough
Robert Downey Jr.

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