Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Z
Productgroup: DVD
Z - movie DVD cover picture
Z--he still lives!

The 1969 Oscar winner for best foreign film is based on the 1963 assassination of Greek communist politician and doctor Gregorio Lambrekis. The opening sequence of first the agriculture minister equating mildew with communism and the Greek chief of police advocating the indoctrination of the population to become healthy elements of society loyal to God and the crown instead of isms like socialism, anarchism, imperialism, or communism describes the stranglehold the right has in Greece.
The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament is denied a hall for its meeting due to the hall owner threatened by right-wing elements so the peace people have no choice but to hold at the Employee Union Hall, with loudspeakers outside for the benefit of the crowd outside. The leader of the movement (Yves Montand) decides to carry on with the speech despite learning of a threat on his life. He finishes his speech and is crossing the square to demand the police quell the seething rioters when he is struck in the head from someone in the back of a lorry. He is operated on but dies. His death not only makes him a martyr among his supporters, but causes a coverup to ensue. A determined photojournalist and the inquest judge assigned to the case soon realize the extent of the conspiracy, a conspiracy that goes up to the top.
The journalist's relentless digging leads to identifying members of CROC, the Christian Royalist Organization against Communism, a secret society the cops use to keep order at parades. The leader of CROC says, "Abroad, some say make love, not war! We say, 'Make war on corruption and liberalism, and on indiscriminate liberty!'" Well, the liberty that was banned when the junta took over included pop music, intellectual books, and the letter "Z", which was the ancient Greek symbol for "he is alive."Basically, they are the counterdemonstrators, the agent provocateurs who beat up the peaceful disarmament people.
The dispassionate inquest judge is simply doing his job, wanting just the facts, but with each piece of evidence or testimony that comes, he realizes that an incident involving two drunks becomes a death due to a blow by a club, and then assassination. He is under pressure from the attorney general, who feels that a prolonged inquest gives the peace movement fuel for subversive action.
Criticized for being talky, Z is actually an effective, suspenseful political drama that is a snapshot of the times. The assassination of the senator mirrors that of JFK. Witnesses intimidated, killed, and guilty participants having doctored stories from their paymasters. One witness though, bravely tells his testimony from his hospital bed even though he has been beaten. A leading communist is chased down the streets by a car.
The Cold War paranoia and hysteria of anti-communism is presented here, taken to the extreme of equating disarmament with communism. And groups like CROC are still alive today. The CIA-sponsored KOPASSUS was behind the 1998 riots in Indonesia.
Contrast these speeches, first from the senator: "Why do our ideas provoke such violence? Why don't they like peace?... The other [groups] are nationalists used by the government and don't upset our Judas allies who betray us. We lack hospitals and doctors, [while] half the budget goes to military expenditures. ... A stockpile of A-bombs is equal to a ton of dynamite per person on Earth. They want to prevent us from reading the obvious conclusion based on the simple truths, but we will speak out. We serve the people and the people need the truth." As Greece was the father of democracy, one can only think, "Has Greece come to this?"
Director Costa-Gavras's searing indictment of the CIA-sponsored Greek military junta under the colonels from 1967 to 1973 is the prototype of political assassination thrillers, something that may have served as a model for Oliver Stone's JFK. Indeed, the opening disclaimer states that "any similarities to actual persons or events is deliberate." The bottom line is that the CIA, the extreme right, and the military-industrial complex is also blameworthy.
One of the more radical peace members says of his ailing leader "the brain's dead, but the heart's still beating. I won't quit," invoking the spirit of any movement fighting for peace and justice.

Studio: Wellspring Media, In
Director: Costa-Gavras
Yves Montand
Irene Papas
Jean-Louis Trintignant

DVD title: It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World
Productgroup: DVD
It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World - movie DVD cover picture
Like "Rat Race" only better.

My kids rented "Rat Race" and told me the I HAD to watch it. After five minutes of watching it I thought, "This reminds me of 'It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World'"
Anyway, I rented MMMMW at the local video store and there was something wrong with the tape. Good thing, too because now I have this DVD and I can watch it again.
By the way, my kids aged 12, 10, 8, and 6 thought this movie was great too. They can see why I thought of this movie when "Rat Race" was on.

Studio: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Director: Stanley Kramer
Spencer Tracy
Milton Berle
Sid Caesar
Ethel Merman
Mickey Rooney

DVD title: George Lopez - Why You Crying?
Productgroup: DVD
George Lopez - Why You Crying? - movie DVD cover picture
Laugh Out Loud

The first time I saw this was on Comedy Central and I have to say if you are Mexican you can relate to everything he says about the family. There is one person for everything he says. I laughed so hard I fell off the couch.

Studio: Paramount Home Video
George Lopez

DVD title: Bottle Rocket
Productgroup: DVD
Bottle Rocket - movie DVD cover picture
Funniest movie you've never seen.

Anyone who will see the soon to be released "Rushmore" must see this film first. The same writers (Owen Wilson and Wes Anderson) and director (Anderson) are behind both products. Bottle Rocket has mastered the art of subtle humor and, if you are the right type of person, will leave you laughing uncontrollably. I have been recommending this movie to my friends for almost two years and if you see it you very well may consider Owen Wilson, who stars as Dignan, one of the funniest and most talented actors woking today, like I do. Lines such as "and I realized that not only did I not want to answer that question but I never wanted to answer another watersports question or see any of the people againg for the rest of my life," are classics that when contemplated within the context of the film are truly special not to mention hilarious. And classic lines are abundant throughout. A true must see that may be the favorite of my favorite movies.

Studio: Columbia/Tristar Studios
Director: Wes Anderson
Luke Wilson
Owen Wilson

DVD title: Ghost in the Shell
Productgroup: DVD
Ghost in the Shell - movie DVD cover picture
A teenager's look at Ghost in the Shell

HI,when i watched this film when my mom got it for me it hit me as one of the best anime movies i have ever seen. The animation ran smoothly,the art was brilliant and the characters still had those large eyed looks kinda like this ^_^. the only problem was the storyline was hard to follow but im still going to give it 5 stars because it is still a cool movie. Enjoy all you anime & manga fans !

Studio: Palm Pictures/Manga Video
Director: Mamoru Oshii
Atsuko Tanaka
Iemasa Kayumi

DVD title: K-19 - The Widowmaker
Productgroup: DVD
K-19 - The Widowmaker - movie DVD cover picture
K-19: The Widowmaker.

To be honest, I expected just another mediocre movie about war and submarines...well it wasn't. What was so great? Tension, from the very beginning, unveils slowly but gradually, keeps the audience on the edge. Music gets five stars on its own "*****" as well as acting.
I can see why some people wouldn't like the movie, labeling it as "monotonous." It will be perceived differently by those who have lived through Cold War or were in the military than by those who have not or know little about the history of the period!

Studio: Paramount Home Video
Director: Kathryn Bigelow
Harrison Ford

DVD title: The Good Son
Productgroup: DVD
The Good Son - movie DVD cover picture
pretty good

it is another movie that is so mind numbingly stupid it's good. not much in the way of suspense but still an good time killer.

Studio: Buena Vista Home Video
Director: Joseph Ruben
Macaulay Culkin
Elijah Wood

DVD title: The Thin Red Line - DTS
Productgroup: DVD
The Thin Red Line - DTS - movie DVD cover picture
A war movie with a philosophical twist

The Thin Red Line is a very strange movie, with the most amazing soundtrack by Hans Zimmer. It is most definitely a war movie, depicting the American take-over of Guadalcanal from heavily fortified Japanese infantry, but (and that is a major but!), the battle is only a (very graphically-depicted) background (and interlude from time to time, as the movie switches to complete action) for an introspective look at the inhumanity of war ("where has this great evil come from?"). There are many phisolophical undercurrents that I still haven't understood in this movie, and I am getting ready to watch it again soon.
The filmography is really amazing, giving the movie a sort of dreamy-reflective mood, underlining the awesome and cold force of nature, with frequent shots of wind in fields of grass and wildlife fighting for survival.
Overall, although this movie is a very strange mix of two movie genres, it's a very touching experience which can leave you speechless if you allow yourself to be taken away by the dream.

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
Director: Terrence Malick
Sean Penn
James Caviezel
Nick Nolte

DVD title: Erin Brockovich
Productgroup: DVD
Erin Brockovich - movie DVD cover picture
One of the best movies that I have seen in ages

Julia Roberts plays a struggling mother with three kids who lands a job at a local law firm working as a secretary. She stumbles upon a water contamination case that has been killing off residents of a small town. She fights to bring the water company who started it all to court. She is a sassy woman who will not take "no" for an answer and always gets what she wants somehow. This is a very touching and powerful film that depicts one of Julia Roberts' best performances! Albert Finney also does a wonderful job with his role. This is a movie everyone should see.
Wonderful in every way! Oscar buzz abounds this movie!

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Julia Roberts
Albert Finney

DVD title: Grave of the Fireflies
Productgroup: DVD
Grave of the Fireflies - movie DVD cover picture
No guns, no political propagandas, no violence

Just kids trying to survive in a war-torn era... and failed. I won't even begin to tell how my own psyche was deeply disturbed when the movie ended. (Still does, yes, still does.) To call this an anti-war movie might be off its original mark. I'd rather call it a personal point of view, from the point of the ones who suffers the worst during any war: the children.For those who felt nothing, or disgusted, or even slept through the movie, it probably means that the society around you has lost its compassion and there is a high probability that you live alone, rarely talk to the neighbours, wake up at six and go to work at nine and lunch at twelve and back to home at seven. For someone NOT to cry watching this, truly you have lost your soul to the cold society.
I did not read any reviews beforehand save for the one that's on the box, and I was slightly surprised when the movie started with a voice announcing that he died, and showing the main character's corpse. Normally this would turn off any viewer, but what comes after intrigues me, and ultimately, crushed what remained inside me that I claimed to be compassion - and later rebuilt another. This movie is not sweet, it is not happy. Even when the brother and sister go around gathering fireflies to light their bomb shelter, it was not sweet. It was saddening; nowadays when you have no other lighting option you'd just go around a store and grab some candles and pay for it. These young souls had to gather fireflies, which in my personal experience are hard to catch.
And isn't it just like what they are experiencing? Something that they needed the most but it is so hard to catch or achieve, and when they did, it only lasted for a while.
And as for those who criticise the brother's unwillingness to beg/plead to his aunt, the Japanese mindset (sorry if this makes me sound ignorant) is educated in such a way that pride comes first, need comes second. That should explain it. What's more, these are children taught not to do any self-degrading things on themselves.
This is not a war movie, nor it is an anti-war movie, or even an anti-America protest in its subtlest form. This is a story well-told, a story that will grab you and won't let go, ever. In war, during and after, nothing means anymore. Not even those who claimed to be the heroes, the uplifter of Justice. When everything around you is blood and mire, only survival matters. And this story is about two little souls who tried to rise against it and failed.
In the end, doesn't the title explain everything, readers?
Fireflies are beautiful things, they shine in the dark;But when they die nobody knows where their graves are,Nor do they care.

Studio: Cpm/Us Manga Corps
Director: Isao Takahata
Tsutomu Tatsumi
Ayano Shiraishi
Akemi Yamaguchi

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