Film DVD related reviews


DVD title: The Road Home
Productgroup: DVD
The Road Home - movie DVD cover picture
Ziyi's first and best!


Thank goodness for Hong Kong. I got my copy of this video really early, and summing up my feelings about this movie in one word: "WOW!" This is a great movie that conveys so many emotions with very little words. Set in provincial China, an older Zhao Di mourns for Changyu, her dead husband. Her grown son recollects the past of his parents' courtship back in 1958, a story all too familiar in the small village. In those days, love was something unheard of between couples: arranged marriages were the rule. Through this flashback, the younger Zhao Di (Ziyi) is seen in company with the rest of the villagers awaiting a new teacher from the city. From this moment, Di evolves from a childish girl to a woman, silently (but not too subtly) longing for the newcomer. Simplistic natures of events like weaving a piece of red cloth, fetching water from the old well, or cooking mushroom dumpligs become an intense vision of escalating passion. Even I can't believe I cried over those mushroom dumplings. And when Di was torn apart from Changyu about some political trouble with the Communist Party, everything intensifies further. It is a very emotionally jarring experience to sit though this show; at one point everything seems so silly (and actually kinda cute), at another it is filled with anxiety and grief. This is a movie about relationships, first and foremost. But unlike many movies that are so often classified as "too sappy," or "too mushy," "The Road Home" is a movie about strength, hope and a physical manifestation of timeless love, not about helpless lovers who spout unending clich?s. Like I said before, this movie has very little words, but works on many different levels. "The Road home" has an alternate Chinese title which roughly means "My Parents". And that's what it is - a story about Yusheng's (the son) parents who travel many, many times at a dusty winding road. And, at the death of his father, they will walk together down the road for one last time. Casting Zhang Ziyi in "The Road Home," her 1999 screen debut, was the smartest thing director Zhang Yimou had ever done. Only she could intertwine such an intricate amalgamation of Zhao Di's complex character, with superb timing and transitions of expressions of sadness, coyness, shyness, boldness, and basically being innately human, not to mention a woman. And it's no surprise that she was soon cast in "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragion" and "Rush Hour 2". I believe that a huge weight of the success of this film was brought upon by Ziyi's superb acting capability of bringing the audience into the story itself. A must for Zhang Ziyi fans.

Studio: Columbia/Tristar Studios
Director: Yimou Zhang
Actors:
Ziyi Zhang
Honglei Sun




DVD title: Star Trek The Original Series - The Complete Second Season
Productgroup: DVD
Star Trek The Original Series - The Complete Second Season - movie DVD cover picture
"All I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by"


This was the best season of TOS. It added a lot of characterization to the crew, particurlarly Spock.

Stardate 3372.7 "Amok Time" Introduces TRek fans to the Vulcan mating ritual, and one of the best Vulcan episodes of the whole franchise. 4 stars

Stardate 3468.1 "Who Mourns for Adonis?" Theory of Greek gods being aliens from other planets. Kinda dull. 2 stars

Stardate 3451.9 "The Changeling" Evil robot tries to exterminate all imperfect beings. Very interesting theory, and very cool conclusion. 3 stars.

Stardate Unknown "Mirror, Mirror" EXCELLENT EPISODE! Crew runs into parallel universe where everything is opposite. Started a long run of episodes on DS9. 5 stars

Stardate 3715.3 "The Apple" Crew finds society controlled by computer. Slightly better than the last season's attempt at this theme. 3 stars

Stardate 4202.9 "The Doomsday Machine" Indestructible machine destroys lots of planets for fuel. Good tension between Kirk, Spock, McCoy and visiting Commodore Decker. 4 stars

Stardate 3018.2 "Catspaw" Possibly the Halloween episode? In any case, very stupid. The three witches have laughing hysterically every time. 1 star

Stardate 4513.3 "I,Mudd" The return of Harry Mudd from Season 1. A better episode than his last. 3 stars

Stardate Unknown "Metamorphosis" Crew meets Zefram Cochran, inventor of warp flight, on a deserted planet. Fairly good episodes, but the Zefram Cochran is nothing like the Cochran seen in TNG's First Contact. 2 stars

Stardate 3842.3 "Journey to Babel" The first introduction to Spock's parents; Amabassador Sarek and his human wife, Amanda. Excellent. 4 stars

Stardate 3497.2 "Friday's Child" Another episode with the Klingons and a tribal war. Could have been better. 2 stars

Stardate 3478.2 "The Deadly Years" Crew ages quickly. Interesting idea, and another one of Kirk's former love interests. 4 stars

Stardate 3619.2 "Obsession" Kirk is obsessed with a deadlu cloud that killed his former commander. Could have been a lot better. 2 stars

Stardate 3614.9 "Wolf in the Fold" Scotty is the main suspect in a string of murders. OK until the end, which I thought was stupid. 2 stars

Stardate 4523.3 "The Trouble With Tribbles" The most famous episode to come out of TOS, it spawned a counterpart in DS9, and tribbles have now become a cult item (I have a fluffy stuffed one that purrs when touched on my bookshelf). 5 stars

Stardate 3211.7 "The Gamesters of Triskelion" Kirk and crew are captured by aliens who force them to fight. Interesting idea, just didn't work. 2 stars

Stardate 4598.0 "A Piece of the Action" Planet run by imitation of Chicago Mob. Very funny to see Spock trying to be a gangster, and "fizzbinn" will go down in ST history. 4 stars

Stardate 4307.1 "The Immunity Syndrome" Giant amoeba threatens galaxy. Laughable idea, but good feeling. 3 stars

Stardate 4211.4 "A Private Little War" A thinly veiled version of the Vietnam War, except with Starfleet and the Klingon. 3 stars

Stardate 4768.3 "Return to Tomorrow" Aliens take over Kirk adn Spock's bodies. All right. 3 stars

Stardate 2534.0 "Patterns of Force" Planet runs by Nazis. Interesting theory, but Bread and Circuses was better. 3 stars

Stardate 4657.5 "By Any Other Name" Andromedan aliens take over the Enterprise. Very good episode dealing with extra-galactic aliens. 4 stars

Stardate Unknown "The Omege Glory" Planet that is counterpart to Earth's Cold War. Would have been better if they didn't throw the American flag in at the end. Aren't all countries supposed to be gone by now? 2 stars

Stardate 4729.4 "The Ultimate Computer" CAptains look like they're about to be replaced. Great look at a captain's place. 4 stars

Stardate 4040.7 "Bread and Circuses" Planet run by Rome. Great gladiator fight. 4 stars

Stardate Unknown "Assignment: Earth" Enterprise interferes with mission to save 20th century Earth. Weird episode, was supposed to start a spin-off series that never happened. 4 stars

Good season...wish it was reasonably priced so i could buy it. >.<

Studio: Paramount Home Video
Actors:
William Shatner



DVD title: Princess Mononoke
Productgroup: DVD
Princess Mononoke - movie DVD cover picture
Don't regret not seeing this anime after life


As simple as emotions this anime is all about, it's full fill of it.The main carecter is the best carecter i have ever seen in my life, it really presents the MAN personality. The graphics are amaizing, the back ground sound is fantastic, but the subtitel is really bad it just flashs, so if you are going to watch this movie (buy-rent-borrow) it and that is what you are going to do PICK the english version of it.
Actually guys I find my self out of words to talk about an anime like that.
I JUST CAN SAY DO NOT REGRET NOT SEEING THIS ANIME AFTER LIFE

Studio: Miramax
Director: Hayao Miyazaki
Actors:
Yôji Matsuda
Yuriko Ishida
Yûko Tanaka




DVD title: I Know Where I'm Going! - Criterion Collection
Productgroup: DVD
I Know Where I'm Going! - Criterion Collection - movie DVD cover picture
An excellent film with great scenery


This review is for the Criterion Collection DVD edition of the film.
This movie is one of the more interesting that I have seen. The story follows a woman on the way to her wedding to a wealthy man on an island in Scotland. Inclement weather prevents her from taking a boat to the island and she subsequently meets a naval officer and begins to have feelings for him.
The film has excellent scenery of Mull Island in Scotland.The DVD special features include a revisit to the sites featured in the film.There is also a theatrical trailer. There is feature length audio commentary by Ian Christie. There are several home movies made by Director Michael Powell, narrated by his widow Thelma who also narrated a slideshow of production photos on the DVD.
There area also excerpts from Michael Powell's "The Edge of The World" a documentary "Return to the Edge of the World" and another documentary "I Know Where I'm Going! Revisited" by Mark Cousins.

Studio: Criterion Collection
Actors:
Wendy Hiller
Roger Livesey




DVD title: Rush Hour (New Line Platinum Series)
Productgroup: DVD
Rush Hour (New Line Platinum Series) - movie DVD cover picture
Great Comedy


This was a great comedy funny all the way around it even had some suspense I am sure you will love it.

Studio: New Line Home Entertainment
Director: Brett Ratner
Actors:
Jackie Chan
Chris Tucker




DVD title: Andrew Dice Clay: Dice Rules!
Productgroup: DVD
Andrew Dice Clay: Dice Rules! - movie DVD cover picture
Unbelievable


No, what is unbelievable is the fickel fan syndrome-- you are too cool to admit you were one of 40,000 people who packed Madison Square Garden two nights in a row and "sponsored" this concert film. Seven prior reviews here at Amazon for a video concert series that packed 40,000 fans into MSG over two nights. Andrew Dice Clay is perfectly justified in acting the way he does as his own audience is a bunch of jerkxxxx. Elephant's memory.

Studio: Image Entertainment
Director: Jay Dubin
Actors:
Andrew Dice Clay



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
A review to what I THINK it will be like


Okay, I am basically a Tolkien geek, but I still keep my cool... I have read the whole trilogy twice and almost done with the first two books for the third time. I know quite a bit about what the movie will be like basing it on the book. Jackson stayed basically to the book when making the Fellowship of the Ring, so he should for The Two Towers. Yes, there are some things that he had to take out of FOTR such as Bombadil and Gildor and the Exiles, but did he have a choice? Watching the special features on the FOTR DVD, I noticed that Jackson said that everyone always had said that these amazing classics could never be made into a movie. The world of Middle Earth was too large. Well, here Jackson is, an avid Tolkien fan, and he is determined to find a way. Everyone was right... there is no possible way to fit EVERYTHING into ONE movie... so Jackson fit what he could into THREE movies. The Two Towers is massive compared to FOTR, and the movie will be the same. There is more action for war-buffs, more romance for people like me, more mystery fo those who like suspense. This is a movie telling of the journey, rather than one that draws a picture of the characters which was the purpose of FOTR. Here you meet important people, such as ?omer and ?owyn and Th?oden. In the second half, you meet Faramir & Sm?agol/Gollum. How can you add that many more MAIN charactors and NOT have a HUGE movie? Compared to The Two Towers, the FOTR was slow and boring. This will be a movie to remember, with one amazing battle scene, an amazing hunt, wonderful new creatures, new characters, and a whole lot of class. I thought i would mention to ravenya that most of the book is about Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli and Merry & Pippen. Frodo and Sam don't come in until the second half of the book, which makes for an interesting question of how will Jackson do the seperate books? Will he and do every other scene, or every two scenes (by scenes i mean like chapters of the book) or will he actually have just two halves, and the end of the first half is an ending of the movie? Just a thought to ponder. Here's a sum of all this babble :-) The Two Towers will be a massive movie, both in scale, and in the box office. It is a movie that has something for everyone, from action to romance to mystery. This will be a must see when it comes out.

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




DVD title: The Matrix
Productgroup: DVD
The Matrix - movie DVD cover picture
A milestone in my life


The Matrix not only serves up fresh subject matter, its plot twists will keep you guessing. The special effects are overwhelming. Every actor turns in a believable performance in an unbelievable futuristic story. The addition of good old fashioned action only proves to keep this film edgy. Welcome Keanu Reeves back to the world of action. This movie also marks a significant point in my personal life and will always be special for that reason also.

Studio: Warner Studios
Actors:
Keanu Reeves
Laurence Fishburne
Carrie-Anne Moss




DVD title: Fargo
Productgroup: DVD
Fargo - movie DVD cover picture
You Betcha!


Whenever I rave about a movie I've recently seen, there's the inevitable question "What's it about?" With regard to this film, I recall responding that it's about a pregnant police chief who eventually solves a series of brutal murders somewhere in the Upper Midwest. (Brainerd, Minnesota? Fargo, North Dakota?) It is always a pleasure to observe Frances McDormand's performance in a role for which she received an Academy Award for best actress in 1996. The film was directed by Joel Coen who co-wrote the screenplay with brother Ethan. This film effectively combines some of the most dead-on (albeit affectionate) cultural satire of Scandinavian Americans in "Small Town U.S.A." with severe physical violence as when one victim is stuffed upside-down in a wood chip machine. (When I first observed "Margie" methodically gathering information, I was reminded of Colombo whose keen mind is also underestimated.) The basic story involves Jerry Lundegaard (William H. Macy), a desperate swindler. After his wealthy father-in-law Wade Gustafson (played by Harve Presnell whom I did not recognize) refuses to become involved in a real estate project, Lundegaard hires Carl Showalter (Steve Buscemi) and Gaear Grimstad (Peter Stormare) to kidnap his wife Jean (Kristin Rudrud) so that he can use most of the ransom to cover his debts and thereby conceal his crimes. Of course, his plan fails and several lose their lives as a result. As the film ends, the camera focuses on Chief Gunderson as drives her police sedan across the bleak winter landscape (think of the surface of the moon beneath three feet of snow and ice), with one of the two kidnappers in custody. She claims not to understand how anyone could behave badly in such a "beautiful" world.
Yes, this is a nasty film...at times severely violent. It also has a number of delightful comic moments, notably during Chief Gunderson's conversations with her husband Norm (John Carroll Lynch) as well as with Lundegaard. The acting by all members of the cast is consistently brilliant under Coen's crisp direction. After numerous viewings, what I still enjoy most in this film is McDormand's performance. Chief Gunderson may have a trusting heart but also a remarkably sharp mind. She wants so much to believe in goodness, to think the best of others, but she is by no means naive. As played by McDormand, she invests this film a warmth which is all the more remarkable, given the physical setting and time of the year.

Studio: Mgm/Ua Studios
Actors:
William H. Macy
Steve Buscemi




DVD title: Magnolia (New Line Platinum Series)
Productgroup: DVD
Magnolia (New Line Platinum Series) - movie DVD cover picture
What Happened To Magnolia At Oscar Time?


I tuned into this movie primarily because I'd heard lots of good things about Tom Cruise's performance. I expected that the film itself probably came in way behind the major contenders for the Oscars, especially "American Beauty". That was a big mistake on my part. This film should have been up for a lot of Oscars, including best picture, and not just Cruise's performance. There are many wonderful performances in this film since there is no lead role. This gives everyone a chance to dig in and give it his or her all. It reminds me of Robert Altman's "Short Cuts" but I felt this film was even more artfully done than that one. All of the characters have some point of intersection in their lives and in the film. This fits since Magnolia is the name of an intersection in the San Fernando Valley where the movie is set. I was left the longest ruminating about Cruise's character, a man who has made a strong, chauvinistic stand with women into a business with seminars for male wimps who want to be like the seemingly powerful, charismatic and sexually in-your-face Cruise. (One glance at the audience tells you they lack the basic material to model themselves after their leader.) Eventually, I decided the Cruise character was really trying to sell power in relationships between men and women. Somehow he's come to believe that the most vital thing is to set oneself up as the one with the power right from the start. When the truth of his own past comes out, we discover how badly this man needed power at the turning point in his life with his parents. The other characters seem to lack power as well and the most powerless are the ones who used to have the most power, the two powerful show business men who are going to die of cancer very close together. I saw this film on video so was not bothered by the length of it. It is long but you can stop it and take bathroom breaks! Writer-director Anderson is a talent I am going to keep my eye on, you can bet. Next movie of his, I'll be there.

Studio: New Line Home Entertainment
Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
Actors:
Tom Cruise
Julianne Moore
William H. Macy
Philip Seymour Hoffman
Philip Baker Hall
Jeremy Blackman




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