Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: American Fighter Pilot
Productgroup: DVD
American Fighter Pilot - movie DVD cover picture
loved it

I can only recommand this documentary! great photography, fantastic aeriel shots, very intersting. something you don't get to see every day. two thumbs up :-)

Studio: Hannover House
Tony Scott

DVD title: Young Torless - Criterion Collection
Productgroup: DVD
Young Torless - Criterion Collection - movie DVD cover picture
Schlendorff's First is a Masterpiece

Robert Musil's "Confusions of Young T?rless" was published in 1906, the twilight of 19th century certainties (Freud published "Studies in Hysteria" in 1895, "Interpretation of Dreams" in 1900; Franz Wedekind's "Spring Awakening" was published in 1890, first produced in 1906, and banned in 1908; Einstein's General Theory was less than a decade away), in Austria-Hungary, a semi-faux empire taking too long to rot away. The greatness of Musil's work lies in its distillation of the zeitgeist into a relatively simple narrative about an incident of abuse in a boys' academy. Once on paper, the novel (at times a meditation) transcends time and place, and makes a statement about adults and children dealing with passion, knowledge, order and justice, while trying to grasp within themselves that which in themselves they can neither control nor fully understand (ergo the metaphoric use of discussions about imaginary numbers) finally resorting to rationalization, dogma and discipline. T?rless, his companions, his teachers and the school chaplain struggle in darkness, deluding themselves as having been truly enlightened in some fashion by experience, whereas each in their own way, seeks only to quiet internal turmoil and restore comprehensible order. Whatever else, the work is extremely ironic, nowhere more than in its title, as "Confusions" are not limited to Young T?rless but to the whole world around him. Musil was 26 when it was published.

Schlendorf's film captures all of this. With one important caveat, it is an extremely faithful rendering of the novel and its spirit. The austere black and white photography, the faithfully sparse setting, the economical dialogue, strip the film to bare essentials: nothing distracts from its core. It is excellently acted. The caveat is sex. Sex is a pervasive and disruptive force throughout Musil's novel. At one point, T?rless is sexually aroused when witnessing abuse. Beineberg, Reiting and T?rless individually, albeit differently, use Basini sexually. Basini uses his sexuality to press his case with T?rless; T?rless rationalizes his own acquiescence. All four use the town whore. Part of T?rless "confusions" is his intellectualization of his own sexual turbulence: does he act this or that way because what he thinks, or do his feelings shape his thoughts which then rationalize his actions? It is not a question of sexual identity as one would face in early 21st century, but an awareness of the disruptive power of passion within him. Schlendorff does not betray Musil, but, other than with the whore, sexuality is handled through cursory dialogue and inference, less centrally and pervasively than in the novel. The film was made in 1966; perhaps today it would be made differently, the challenge remaining to make it at least as well. Another, if unintended, irony about a work published sixty years before the masterful film was made.

The thoroughly anachronistic score by Hans Werner Henze reinforces the universal and timeless predicament the film depicts. Neither I nor, I think, Schlendorff see a premonition of Nazism in Musil's novel; such inference obscures meaning, deflects relevance and diminishes the work. What was true and relevant in the 1906 text remains true and relevant today. "Confusion" can still be apt description for humankind: arguably, the delusions, contradictions, and self-righteousness in contemporary America provide a good example. In the end, there is a touch of smugness to the irony with which Young T?rless concludes, a detachment in both Musil and Schlendorff, which translates as apprehensive harbinger of our expanding awareness of ourselves, of what we can do, and of the absurdly infinite capacity and recondite ways we find to grant ourselves absolution. "Yes we can..." a frightening thought indeed.

The Criterion CD, again, as in all their editions, is pristine; truly a product of high quality.

Studio: Criterion Collection
Director: Volker Schlöndorff

DVD title: The Passion of the Christ (Full Screen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
The Passion of the Christ (Full Screen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
The Passion of the Christ Reviewed by "Ms. Kathy"

As a Bible student and teacher, I appreciated the faithfulness to the Scriptures. It was a bloody movie but these were bloody and violent times and a most bloody event. This type of Roman execution was meant to be torturous and humiliating to what the colonists considered the lowest of the low.
As an artist the artistic quality of the film was superb but it was the story itself that was most important and beyond all accuracies or inaccuracies of the colors/races of the people, the placement of the nails, etc. the point was made and re-emphasized to all who know, that Christ was not killed by any single group but that He lay down His life for mankind and even in His humanity bravely took on that burden for the world. This movie is about the ultimate love sacrifice and though bloody it is in no way about hate. Although the feature is Christ's last 12 hours the flashbacks give background from the Scripture as to why He came, what He was about, what He taught and what He had to do.
The actors learned the ancient Aramaic language (and Latin in the case of the Roman soldiers)which added to the atmosphere and did not in the least detract from the acting. On hearing of this, I originally thought this would be a mistake but it was an asset to the realism of the film. I would recommend this picture to churches and students of the Bible. I would suggest that new believers read and study these passages first as some parts of the movie takes for granted that the viewer understands and knows what was going on. Some parts may move along too quickly for those particular viewers who may need more familiarization of the times, ancient customs, traditions, etc.I was hoping, and I as not disappointed that the death was not the end.

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

DVD title: Collateral
Productgroup: DVD
Collateral - movie DVD cover picture
this movie is collateral, but it has Collateral Damage that is.

A cool popcorn flick for he hole family it has thrills chills and spills.Jamie Foxx hasn't been this great since Booty Call. There is this sweet part where a car flips over and Tom cruse shots a guy out a window onto Jamie foxx's car and he offer him 500 big ones to drive him around and thats about it is soo good it is plane,trains,and automobiles meets Jury Duty meets Rambo part 1 and 3. you must see this roller coaster ride like not other.

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: Michael Mann
Tom Cruise
Jamie Foxx
Jada Pinkett Smith
Mark Ruffalo

DVD title: The Draughtsman's Contract
Productgroup: DVD
The Draughtsman's Contract - movie DVD cover picture
Simply perfect

Minimal style could perfectly fit this work. Notwithstanding, it is not a minimal music understood as a boring, monotonous or interminable series of notes, but a magisterial example of mixture 20th and 16th century music. Watching the film is not a neccesary condition to understand this surprising music, supposed to be dated on Purcell's times.
Nyman wonderfully metamorphoses his music, according to the film. You must also listen to Gattaca, a very realistic view of our future world. In this film, the images of the scenes and the music "inhabit" in a perfect simbiosis. The same as this score.
The first song "Chasing Sheep Is Best Left to Shepherds" is the main theme, from which all the music is developed. This is why it could sound minimal but the lovely use of different baroque instruments (and not so baroque, such us harspichord, horns, electric bass...)smears up any idea of monotony.Quite right.

Studio: Fox Lorber
Director: Peter Greenaway
Anthony Higgins
Janet Suzman

DVD title: The Interview
Productgroup: DVD
The Interview - movie DVD cover picture
Subtle and gripping

I'm not even going to bother comparing this to "The Usual Suspects." This is not a hard-boiled movie like the aforementioned, but it does have moments of emotional release and stylized violence. Subtlety is the modus operandi in this film. Director Craig Monahan propels the cast toward a creepy conclusion that answers all lingering questions, yet leaves many avenues of debate open long after the film ends. I found "The Interview" to be a fascinating and insightful portrayal of flawed characters to whom I could relate in many cases. Hugo Weaving delivers some chilling work that Kevin Spacey could only dream of nailing with such believability.
In addition to top-notch acting, the cinematography was also excellent. The variation in camera angles and film speeds was again subtle and masterful in its creation of a dark, unsteady environment.
Ultimately, in my opinion, this is a movie that stays with you long after the credits roll at the end. I highly recommend it.

Studio: New Yorker Films
Director: Craig Monahan

DVD title: The Fighting Sullivans
Productgroup: DVD
The Fighting Sullivans - movie DVD cover picture

This excellent film tells the story of the five Sullivan brothers Al, Frank, George, Matt, and Joe from Waterloo, Iowa who signed up for the Navy after the attack on Pearl Harbor and requested to be assigned to the same ship. The film encompasses their life from young children to their time in the service.
Thomas Mitchell and Selena Royle star as Tom and Mrs. Sullivan; strong parents with a deep Irish heritage and great love for their five sons and one daughter Genevieve. Tom ruled with a strong hand, but was always fair with his sons, and he let them learn from their mistakes. One of the boys' great joys was running down to the water tower near the railroad tracks where Tom worked and waving to him as his train pulled away each day. The Sullivans were typical young boys; getting into fights, bringing home a stray dog, or fixing an old boat and sailing it on the river.
The film then proceeds to show the Sullivans in their late teens and early twenties. They enjoyed racing motorcycles or working at the town's factory. Al, the youngest of the boys, falls in love and eventually gets married and has a child. After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the boys go down to the local recruiting station and enlist in the Navy. George, the oldest, wrote a letter to the Navy Department receiving permission for all of the brothers to serve together on the same ship.
Time passes, and one fateful day, the Navy sends a spokesman to the Sullivan's home to deliver the tragic news that all five boys have been lost when their ship, the USS Juneau, was sunk off of Guadalcanal. After this tragic accident, the navy forbid any siblings from serving on the same vessel.
The last ten minutes are the most touching of the movie. After hearing the news, Tom Sullivan heads off to work just like any other day, but when he passes the water tower where his beloved sons gathered and waved to him every day, he stands at attention and, with tears in his eyes, delivers a snappy salute. The end scene shows the five brothers dressed in their class A uniforms surrounded by clouds waving from the afterworld. These two scenes are the most touching scenes that I can ever remember seeing in a movie.
This movie is excellent from beginning to end. I enjoyed watching the boys grow from young rowdy children to responsible young men who go away to fight for their country. The acting is absolutely excellent as well. Today, there is a guided missile destroyer that proudly serves the United States Navy. Its name: USS The Sullivans. Watch this excellent movie and see how five ordinary boys from Iowa grew up to become heroes.

Director: Lloyd Bacon
Loyd Bacon
Thomas Mitchell Anne Baxter
Anne Baxter
Thomas Mitchell
Selena Royle

DVD title: Save the Last Dance
Productgroup: DVD
Save the Last Dance - movie DVD cover picture
Must See Movie

Sara has to go and live in Chicago, no not the pretty side. Her mother has just died and she has given up her ballet dream. She goes to school where she meets Chenielle, and they become quick friends. She meets Derek and the connection is immediate. When Sara is invited to go to a local club called Steppes, she goes. The club is hip-hop, something Sara isn't used to. Of course Derek asks her to dance. He asks her if she wants to work on her moves. The attraction becomes public, and then everyone hates seeing them together. See what happens in this great movie!!!

Studio: Paramount Home Video
Director: Thomas Carter (II)
Julia Stiles
Sean Patrick Thomas

DVD title: The Complete Monterey Pop Festival - Criterion Collection
Productgroup: DVD
The Complete Monterey Pop Festival - Criterion Collection - movie DVD cover picture
..riding the crest of beautiful big wave...about to break and fall back

It's us- you're kids need to see this. If you didn't have a camcorder, and we didn't you'll cherish having this around.
The start of a long strange trip. It reminds me how bad we need hippies and radicals now.

Studio: Criterion Collection
D.A. Pennebaker
Jimi Hendrix
Otis Redding
Janis Joplin

DVD title: Dr. Seuss - How the Grinch Stole Christmas/Horton Hears a Who
Productgroup: DVD
Dr. Seuss - How the Grinch Stole Christmas/Horton Hears a Who - movie DVD cover picture
Who wouldn't love "How the Grinch Stole Christmas"?

If you have a DVD player, then this is the DVD for you! Not only does it include famous children's author Dr. Seuss' "How the Grinch Stole Christmas", it also includes another Seuss story, "Horton Hears a Who".
"How the Grinch Stole Christmas": On Mount Crumpit, the Grinch lives watching the Whos down in Whoville celebrate Christmas every year. And every year, the Grinch becomes grumpy and angry about all the noise, the singing, the feasting, and practically the whole idea of Christmas. Then he gets and idea, and wonderful, awful idea! With the help of his dog Max, he decides to steal Christmas.
Who can resist the charm of the wonderful world which Dr. Seuss creates? You just have to love all of the narration, the music, and the whole idea of the Grinch and the Whos. The spirit and meaning of Christmas it well told in this story. The songs like "Welcome Christmas", "Trim Up the Tree", and "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch". Boris Karloff certainly is great but I think my favorite character would have to be the cute and adorable Max. A movie you'll just have to watch for Christmas!
"Horton Hears a Who": Horton the Elephant is surprised find a dust speck, which is really a tiny planet where the Whos live. But no one believes him, including Jane and Junior the Kangaroos and the Wickersham brothers. Can Horton make the others believe in the Whos before they boil the dust speck!
Another truly fun story! The songs are so much fun, especially "Mrs. Toucanella Told Me" and "Wickersham Brother's Song"! I also watch "Horton Hears a Who" with the English subtitles on so I can sing along! (One of the advantages of having a DVD player!)
So, to put it all together, if you still haven't seen these two Dr. Seuss movies, I suggest you get the movie as soon as possible. Great for the Christmas season, great for all year round! Fun for both kids and adults!

Studio: Warner Studios
Boris Karloff
Thurl Ravenscroft

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