Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Purple Butterfly
Productgroup: DVD
Purple Butterfly - movie DVD cover picture
Ziyi shines - again!

This is just a really cool movie! The cinematography is great and Zhang Ziyi is her usual breathtaking self. The 122 min runtime never left me bored for a second, mainly because I was always trying to figure out what was going on - not feeling befuddled or frustrated, but enjoying trying to untangle the story.

Studio: Umvd/Visual Entertai
Director: Ye Lou
Ziyi Zhang
Ye Liu
Tôru Nakamura

DVD title: Carnivale - The Complete First Season
Productgroup: DVD
Carnivale - The Complete First Season - movie DVD cover picture
Excellent Choice!!!

What a great show!!! I give it a 20 out of 10! Each episode leaves you wanting more. If you purchase this you definitely will want to purchase season 2 as soon as it's available.

Studio: Warner Home Video
Rodrigo Garcia

DVD title: Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love
Productgroup: DVD
Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love - movie DVD cover picture
Incredibly vivid and erotic....lush and stunning...

While there is some question of plot, I think that the simplicity of the love story is one retold in faerie tales throughout history, and this was very much like a faerie tale. I found the movie erotic, stunning, and sensuous. The photography was brilliant and the scenary and sets, incredible. As a theatre major, I myself, found the acting quite acceptable. This is definitely not porn--if you're looking for pure T&A, I wouldn't rent or buy this movie...but if you appreciate erotica with a lovely story behind it, then definitely watch this film.

Studio: Vidmark/Trimark
Director: Mira Nair
Sarita Choudhury
Naveen Andrews

DVD title: Leaving Las Vegas
Productgroup: DVD
Leaving Las Vegas - movie DVD cover picture
A Dance of Despair in the Night

Mike Figgis brought this touching ode to the night to the screen, imbuing it with the transient and tragic nature of those seduced and then swallowed up by it. The director of Stormy Monday perfectly captures the sad yet often poetic beauty found in the shared loneliness of the night two souls in despair can find.

On the surface it is a simple story of a man drinking himself to death and a prostitute on the streets of Las Vegas. But it is really a story of love and loss with a foreign film atmosphere and quality, giving it that rare depth where the film becomes more than the sum of its parts.

Nicholas Cage gives a haunting performance as Ben Sanderson, a man who has lost everything and come to Las Vegas to drink himself to death. On his way down he meets a prostitute named Sera and in their spiraling despair they discover love. One of the most poignant moments in the film comes when Cage is on the streets of Las Vegas seeking human contact and can't remember whether he lost everything because of his drinking or started drinking because he lost everything. Cage's performance rings absolutely true and deservedly won him the Oscar. He shows with great tenderness the sad realism of being an alcoholic.

Matching Cage scene for scene is Elizabeth Shue in a brilliantly realized role that should have won an Oscar. As this lonely and isolated working girl begins to care about Ben she discovers she is not dead inside, like some, and can still love. But when Ben finally pushes her away in order to save her, she realizes that if she lets him, she may very well lose this power to love and her connection to being human. Going back, however, may be more than her heart can bare.

Figgis has made a mesmerizing film of almost overwhelming sadness. This is not a `feel good' movie by any stretch of the imagination. There is both truth and poetry here though for those who know this life. Ben and Sera are like two roses; one withering at the onset of its last winter and the other finding an unexpected bud on a long dormant vine.

An incredible sountrack with artist like Michael MacDonald and Sting is used to set the tone for this wonderful but difficult to watch film. Anyone who has ever been devastated by a loss and known a Sera or a Ben, or a combination of both in one, will be moved by this heartbreaking journey into loneliness and despair. Though brilliant, its appeal may be limited and it is easy to understand why some are not as enthusiastic about it.

But for those who have ever seen or experienced a glimmer of this side of life and been shown the comforting tenderness of love on the way down, the final moments of this film will be almost painful to watch and deeply affecting. Figgis has made a masterpiece for all those who have walked away before the night swallowed them up completely and they were lost forever.

Studio: Mgm/Ua Studios
Director: Mike Figgis
Nicolas Cage
Elisabeth Shue

DVD title: Grave of the Fireflies
Productgroup: DVD
Grave of the Fireflies - movie DVD cover picture
the best anime and one of the best movies i've seen

This is an exceptional movie. For any genre. It just happens to be anime. The story is simple, set near the end of World War II in Japan. A young man and his little sister are orphaned during a U.S. bombing of their home town. Their mother is killed and their father is in the Navy. They go to live with a relative, but she quickly begins to feel they are ungrateful. We see the siblings slowly starve to death throughout the film. They have a wonderful relationship, but the lack of the ability to acquire food slowly drains them of life as the older brother tries more and more to get food for his sister. This is a very sad movie to watch, but it is simply excellent. One of the best movies of any year.
In the past, when I have thought of an anime movie, I thought of a story that borders on the fantastic. Perhaps with futuristic or magical settings. Grave of the Fireflies has a realistic and historical setting and tells a story that surely many Japanese had to live through. While not an indictment of war, the movie does show the horrors that will be visited on the civilian population during a war. A painful, superb movie.

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

DVD title: Hostage
Productgroup: DVD
Hostage - movie DVD cover picture

This movie was violent as hell, but with a really interesting storyline. It was actually several different storylines going at the same time, but easy to follow, and all linked together. I really feel this is a movie that you have to be in a action type mood to want to see. I feel it totally deserved a number 1 box office opening weekend, it didn't get that, I think it placed number 4, but let me tell you, whether you're a guy or a girl, this is a must see movie. Bruce Willis was awesome, matter of fact the whole cast was and there was not a dull moment in this film! Very worthy of your money to see at theaters.

Studio: Buena Vista Home Vid
Director: Florent Emilio Siri
Bruce Willis
Kevin Pollak
Serena Scott Thomas

DVD title: Goo Goo Dolls - Live in Buffalo
Productgroup: DVD
Goo Goo Dolls - Live in Buffalo - movie DVD cover picture
Unexpectedly good.

What can I say?! It's the Goo Goo Dolls. I shouldn't have doubts. :)

Studio: Wea Corp

DVD title: Ronin
Productgroup: DVD
Ronin - movie DVD cover picture
Homage to 70s French thrillers

What makes RONIN fail? As an action film, it has plenty of action. Too many characters? Maybe. I found it very hard to focus, like I was always asking the person next to me `what was that?' or, `who is he again?'.
Those sort of digressions make me wonder about the story. I could neither stay with it, God forbid ahead of it, as we've been conditioned in most films today of this genre. There have been wonderful, simple heist films (The Italian Job) and complicated ones (Heat), but Ronin is neither, just messy.
What might have been a wonderful, fast-paced car chase is destroyed by too many close ups of a very scared Robert Deniro in the chase car. A needless appearance of Katarina Witt verifies that `sold out for no good reason' feeling.
The characterizations are all too predictable, Natasha McElhone and Jonathan Pryce are weak in key roles. Stellan Skarsgard is superb, however. Jean Reno and Michel Lonsdale, as always, are excellent.
Poor story, poor direction, poor film.

Studio: Mgm/Ua Studios
Director: John Frankenheimer
Robert De Niro
Jean Reno
Natascha McElhone

DVD title: Lost in Space - Season 3, Vol. 1
Productgroup: DVD
Lost in Space - Season 3, Vol. 1 - movie DVD cover picture
A Rebirth of Sorts

Season 3 of Lost in Space had a very ambitious start. You could feel the excitement of the new direction the show tried early in this season. From the exciting and grand new theme to actually going into space more often, Season 3 did start out very well. However, the lazy writing to "comedic villain" of the week started to creep up by the middle of this volume.

Season 3, Volume 1 features some of the best episodes of the third season and a few approach the best or at least the most ambitious of the entire series. We start out with the action packed "Condemned of Space" where we see the Robinson's lift off, dodge a comet, loose the Robot in Space and come across a frozen prison. We move on to "A Visit to a Hostile Planet" where we feature one of the best of the series (though logic is out the window) where our crew returns to Earth of the Past. We take a trip to a comical yet original premise in "Kidnapped in Space" and then the traditional "crash" in Hunter's moon. And even when stuck on a planet for a while, they to attempt new fresh ideas, most notably some bonding between Don and Smith in "Space Primevals." And bad creature effects aside, "Space Creature" gave us one of the deepest Lost in Space episodes to date.

Near the end of this volume, it would seem that the writers milked all they could out of the return to action and adventure and had to settle back to farcical fantasy and the results not very good. We get three episodes in a row that pretty much sign the death certificate of the entire series. "A Day at the Zoo" puts the Robinsons in a traveling Zoo. "Two Weeks in Space" features the Jupiter 2 as a resort for fugitive aliens, complete with a cash register and badminton equipment. And "Castles in Space", while starting strong, falls on its face with a silver Mexican, Don making a mannequin in the likeness of a Mexican woman, and the robot getting drunk. If it weren't for the excellent "The Anti-Matter Man", this volume would have gone out on a horrible note.

Season 3, Volume 1 is presented in broadcast order I believe. This is a welcome change because prior video releases did not have them in this order and we often had illogical order to them being crashed and then back in space. The DVD transfers are good but again, a remaster would have been welcomed.

Season 3 rates way above season 2 in terms of quality but because of hitting rock bottom with some truly dreadful episodes, the show alas was doomed. Volume 1 of Season 3 features the strongest of the entire season.

Studio: Fox Home Entertainme
Guy Williams

DVD title: Ever After - A Cinderella Story
Productgroup: DVD
Ever After - A Cinderella Story - movie DVD cover picture
This movie is awesome

i really liked this movie. it kicked ***!!!!

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
Director: Andy Tennant
Drew Barrymore
Anjelica Huston
Dougray Scott

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