Film DVD related reviews


DVD title: The River
Productgroup: DVD
The River - movie DVD cover picture
duh...the reviewer apes the film unintentionally


Ming-Liang Tsai's 'The River' is the story of Xiao-Kang, his father, and his mother. Although the three share the same tiny apartment, they do not actually "live" together, in the sense that there seems to be no relationship at all between them.
The father has a completely ordinary life during the day (however we never actually learn what he does for a living), and leads a secret life at night roaming Taipei's gay bathhouses. As a B-plot, dad is on a mission to stop his bedroom ceiling from leaking water from the apartment above him.
Xiao-Kang's mother works as an elevator operator. There's hardly a moment where you see her conversing or interacting with her husband, which might explain why she has undertaken an affair with a pornographer. The fact that her husband is secretly gay only serves to reinforce the viewer's belief that she is unsatisfied at home.
Then there's the main character, Xiao-Kang, a young man who seems very detached from his mother, father, and everybody else in general. At the start of the movie, he becomes reacquainted with an actress friend of his. She brings him to the set of her next movie, where the director spends half her day trying to film a dead corpse floating down the Tansui River. After many unsuccessful attempts, the director decides that the dummy being used as the dead corpse just does not look genuine enough to work in her film.
The river is the symbolic focal point of the movie. Years of pollution has turned it into a stagnating cesspool. As the movie trailer says, the river represents life. Roughly, it says this: You can either stagnate, or begin again anew... you can either float to the top, or sink straight to the bottom. This is a very inciteful and poetic philosophy behind the idea of the film. The only problem is that the movie does not make a strong enough attempt to illustrate upon this concept.
So the next thing we know, Xiao-Kang is quietly eating lunch on the set of the movie. The director sits next to him and sees her opportunity. She tries to coerce him to act as a replacement for the dummy. At first Kang is unwilling, saying that the river is filthy, but easily gives in after two or three more tries from the director.
The plot begins to unfold during the next couple days after Kang's role in the river. He begins feeling excruciating neck and upper back pains. The pain is unexplainable, and even a trip to the local acupuncturist has no effect. So Xiao-Kang and his father decide to find treatment outside the city. Their journey takes them to a religious temple, where hopefully a Master Liu can pray the young man's inner demons out. Since Master Liu takes days to come up with a diagnosis, father and son spend the next few days away from home.
It's at this point that the movie starts to lose itself. Towards the end of the movie, Kang takes a trip out to the local sauna, probably just to unwind and take his mind off his neck pains. We see him entering a room with a man inside. Lo and behold, the writers decide to make our main character gay. This comes very unexpectedly, not just because of the fact that earlier in the film we see Kang having a shag-session with his actress friend, but also because the film gives no indication (up to this point) of his homosexuality. Little do we know that the man is Kang's own father.
Now, keep in mind, I am NOT giving this film 1 star because there are gay characters and a sex scene. I give it 1 star because of the twist ending. The reactions from both actors when they initially realize the incident seems completely ungenuine. Kang doesn't seem shocked or traumatized in the least bit. At the point where the audience's attention is hooked, the movie decides to end five minutes later. No problems are solved, no lessons are learned, nothing nothing nothing!
Although the film has its cinematographic moments, it gets offset by the long-winded scenes that are in dire need of proper editing. We'll see scenes where the Kang is walking for minutes with no dialogue and no background music. In another scene we'll see the father lying in bed, no dialogue no music, for what seems to be eternity! The pacing of this film is horribly beyond sluggish. It becomes aggravating up to the point where I have to fast forward the last half of the film.
There are many instances where you have to turn up the brightness on your TV because the lighting is so poor. It could be because of the DVD transfer, but somehow I doubt it. Combine the pitch dark with scenes that last over five minutes, and you've certainly got yourself a disaster.
Well, to sum up, I think what 'The River' tries to show is a family that is initially separated, but like all others, begins to become more of a unit when a strong enough situation presents itself... in this case Kang's neck pains. The theme behind the film is most likely loneliness. We never see Xiao-Kang with any friends other than the actress in the beginning, and his father is equally as reclusive. The actress must not be an important part of the story because she becomes disposed of after the first 20 minutes. The mother finds companionship only with a man who represents lust. How deep could that relationship possibly be? I suppose 'The River' also tries to give its characters sympathy by depicting the near-poverty conditions of the city. All in all, I think the attempts are all very weak and unconvincing.
>>> 1 star. Many of the cinematic techniques that were intended to give this film some creative edge failed. Characters were unemotional and lacked depth. This film just feels "dead" like the plastic dummy in the river. I would pass on this one.
- the enlightened one

Studio: Wellspring Media, In
Director: Ming-liang Tsai



DVD title: Moby Dick
Productgroup: DVD
Moby Dick - movie DVD cover picture
Aye, it was Moby Dick that tore my soul and body . . .


A great screen version of the greatest American novel. Gregory Peck plays the vengeful Captain Ahab, and he brings to the character a fierceness of purpose and madness that is awesome. The picture, written admirably for the screen by Ray Bradbury, sticks to the action-filled highlights of the book, with just the right combination of man vs. God added for good measure. Some of these include: Orson Welles as Father Maple with his sermon about Jonah; the first catch; the meeting with The Rachel; the calm and then the storm; and the final lowering of the boats against Moby Dick. Melville wrote in an almost mock Biblical (King James) style, and that flavor is retained magnificently in the movie. This is a wonderful and moving screen presentation.

Studio: MGM/UA Video
Director: John Huston
Actors:
Gregory Peck
Richard Basehart




DVD title: The Year Without a Santa Claus/Nestor, the Long-Eared Christmas Donkey/Rudolph's Shiny New Year
Productgroup: DVD
The Year Without a Santa Claus/Nestor, the Long-Eared Christmas Donkey/Rudolph's Shiny New Year - movie DVD cover picture
Rankin/Bas tour-de-fource!


"The Year Without a Santa Claus" is a true Christmas classic from the masters of "Animagic." Mickey Rooney reprises his role from "Santa Claus is Coming to Town," voicing a tired ol' Kris Kringle who decides to take a year off. Well, Mrs. Claus (Shirley Booth) won't have that and sends two enterprising elves, Jingle and Jangle, out to find some Christmas Spirit.
As everybody knows, the true show stealers in this perennial favorite are Mr. Heat Miser and Mr. Cold Miser, Mother Nature's feuding sons. They sing the best songs ("I'm mister Green Christmas, I'm Mr. Sun, I'm Mr. Heat Blister, I'm Mister Hundred and One." "I'm Mister White Christmas, I'm Mister Snow, I'm Mister Icicle, I'm Mister Ten Below.") and they have the best lines. They also have a chorus of little copies of themselves to sing along. This one reigns as my favorite Rankin/Bass Christmas special. Also features the classic tune "I'll have a blue Christmas without you."
And let's not forget what else is on this DVD! "Rudolph's Shiny New Year" features the adventures of Happy the New Year's baby ("those ears!") as he journeys through the Archipelago of Last Years. Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer follows in hot pursuit accompanied by Big Ben the Whale, the knight Sir 1023, the caveman 1 Million B.C., and 1776 (looking like Benjamin Franklin). "Nestor the Long Eared Donkey" is inspired by a Gene Autrey song, and tells the tale of a donkey with VERY long ears, who is turned out by everyone. He finally finds his destiny with a man and his pregnant wife on their way to Bethlehem.

Studio: Warner Studios
Actors:
Shirley Booth
Mickey Rooney




DVD title: The Searchers
Productgroup: DVD
The Searchers - movie DVD cover picture
One of the best


Just received from Amazon the eagerly awaited DVD The Searchers my ALL TIME favourite western movie. Fantastic the quality of the actors the sceenery of Monument Valley is breathtaking.This was my first DVD region 1 code.Many will follow.

Studio: Warner Studios
Director: John Ford
Actors:
John Wayne
Jeffrey Hunter




DVD title: Simple Plan - Big Package for You (Snapper Pack) [EXPLICIT LYRICS]
Productgroup: DVD
Simple Plan - Big Package for You (Snapper Pack) [EXPLICIT LYRICS] - movie DVD cover picture
"perfect" for any simple plan fan!


this is an awesome dvd! with concert footage, music videos, and more, this will make anybody's christmas!

Studio: Wea Corp



DVD title: Cary Grant Collector's Pack (Father Goose / That Touch of Mink)
Productgroup: DVD
Cary Grant Collector's Pack (Father Goose / That Touch of Mink) - movie DVD cover picture
Great twin Pack


ALthough I will be honest enough to say that I would have paid the same amount just for Father Goose. There are not a whole lot of Bells and whistles which you normally associate with a DVD, but the transfer was clean, so you have a nice version of the two.
Father Goose is possibly Cary Grant's best role, if only because this is not a typical Cary Grant type of Character. The story, that of a Itenerant Beach bumb who gets dragooned into service during WW II is absolutely priceless.
I Can reccommend this twinpack just for Father Goose

Studio: Artisan Entertainment
Director: Ralph Nelson
Actors:
Cary Grant
Leslie Caron




DVD title: Double Jeopardy
Productgroup: DVD
Double Jeopardy - movie DVD cover picture
One of the best suspense movies I've seen in years.


After a barrage of negative reviews from many of the top-name critics, I must say that I was a bit sketchy about going out and renting this movie. Seeing the previews in the movie theater led me to believe that the only good parts of the movie were in the theatrical trailer shown in theaters. However, I was mistaken. This movie is a very good one, including the talents of Ashley Judd and Tommy Lee Jones. A well-thought of script that is superbly acted and shot, with all the perks of a good suspense flick. Libby Parsons is charged with the murder of her husband, Nick, whom we later find out has staged his own death in order to escape financial ruin. He then takes his son, and his nanny that he later marries, and moves away to a place where Libby cannot contact her son, Maddy. Of course, when she calls her son, he calls out "Daddy," and Libby knows he is alive. I will stop here. Telling you any more will inevitably ruin the ending for you. If you're in the mood for a movie that will have you guessing what is going to happen, rush out and rent this one. The DVD version of this movie is a good one. The image is clear, the sound design is well mixed, and there is a making-of featurette and a theatrical trailer.

Studio: Paramount Studio
Director: Bruce Beresford
Actors:
Tommy Lee Jones
Ashley Judd
Bruce Greenwood




DVD title: You've Got Mail
Productgroup: DVD
You've Got Mail - movie DVD cover picture
I loved it.


I thought it was a great movie. It's designed for ppl who love soppy romances, without any pornish stuff or swearing. Like me. It was loads of fun. It was romantic, funny. Maybe the two main reasons I liked it was: 1. I love books. 2. I love comedy-romances It was great. But that's only my opinion. You'll have to c it for yourself. And if u don't like it give it as a birthday/aniversery pressie 2 someone who is bound to.

Studio: Warner Studios
Director: Nora Ephron
Actors:
Tom Hanks
Meg Ryan




DVD title: Leslie Sansone - Walk Away the Pounds Express - Super Challenge
Productgroup: DVD
Leslie Sansone - Walk Away the Pounds Express - Super Challenge - movie DVD cover picture
Motivating super challenge!


If your an advanced exerciser and is used to high impact aerobics, then this video would not get your target heart rate up. But, I elevate my Reebok step to 10 in and walk up and down on that periodically throught the workout. For example, there are alot of step videos that are complicated and using the step during this workout makes it easy on days I don't feel like using my mind. I even make up some of my own moves while stepping but it's similar to the walking moves in the video. Anyways, Leslie is a very motivating sweet person to workout to. She frequently talks about how exercise is very beneficial to one's health and I continue to stay motivated throughout the workout! If your one of those people who just like quiet instructors with music only, DON'T get this video. Leslie talks alot but I like it because she's real motivating.

Studio: Good Times Home Vide
Actors:
Leslie Sansone



DVD title: The Ten Commandments
Productgroup: DVD
The Ten Commandments - movie DVD cover picture
The Quintessence of Movies


This movie is beyond comparison. It is the greatest story ever told, with some of the best acting, scenery, and even special effects that I have ever seen. I have been watching this movie even since I was a little girl, and each time I see I am more and more amazed by it. You don't see the heavy dramatic, compelling acting in the movies of today as you do in this movie, and I mean it as a compliment, because it just draws you in. The length as never been a bother to me, since I am by no means bored when watching it, in fact, I dread the moment it does. Kids should watchthis positive movie and be influenced by it. Adults and teens should see it and take in its glory, for they won't see movies of that caliber today. This movie exemplefies Old Hollywood in all its power with actors like Heston, Brynner,and Anne Baxter. You don't have to be religious see this, just have an appreciation for drama, tragedy, and triumph.

Studio: Paramount Studio
Director: Cecil B. DeMille
Actors:
Charlton Heston
Yul Brynner




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