Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: The Muppet Show - Season One (Special Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
The Muppet Show - Season One (Special Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
muppet show season 1

It's a great dvd. It brings me back to when i was a child and watched it every nite.

Studio: Buena Vista Home Video

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

This film deserved every Oscar it received (a rare occurrence) and will certainly be remembered as one of the decade's finest pictures. Clint plays up his age and delivers a stark message on the prevalence and spread of violence in our world. Will Munny learns that some people are killers at heart, and they can never escape from it. Chilling and emotionally devastating. Clint and Gene Hackman give two of the best performances of their extremely distinguished careers.

Studio: Warner Studios
Director: Clint Eastwood
Clint Eastwood
Gene Hackman
Morgan Freeman

DVD title: Six-String Samurai
Productgroup: DVD
Six-String Samurai - movie DVD cover picture
The Best Movie I Didn't Want To See...

"Six-string Samurai" is the type of film where you get the feeling that the title came first, then a plot was developed around it. There are plenty of moments here, and some good ideas that are marred by an overall poor production and poor directorial talent. Perhaps there is a little bit too much self-conscious concern on being cool and cultish. Also, there is an annoying little kid.
When you have no budget, and no experience, you have to make up for it in style. Unfortunately, that didn't happen here. The by-the-numbers directorial approach is what really hampers this flick, with a lack of any innovation or stunning creativity. This is no "El Mariachi" or "Evil Dead."
The few saving graces of "Six-string Samurai" are a really cool soundtrack, quite necessary to a flick like this, and Jeffrey Falcon. Falcon is an actual martial artist, and a veteran of Hong Kong martial arts cinema where he plays characters such as "Caucasian Villain," "Caucasian Killer" and "Caucasian Fighter." While not a stunning actor, he has the style necessary to carry a role like Buddy, and lends some authenticity to the fights.
In the hands of another director, this could have really been something. Too bad.

Studio: Ryko Distribution - Video
Director: Lance Mungia
Jeffrey Falcon

DVD title: The Beach
Productgroup: DVD
The Beach - movie DVD cover picture
The Beach is a thing of beauty and an inspiration

Although most tend to portray this movie as pretentious, going nowhere in particular, and basing it's merit on the visual stunningness (and it is stunning), the fact is that the movie touches upon our American psyche in several indellible (sic) ways. It shows how our obsession with normalcy and inability to change has stagnated our lives into one lous mess of sameness. The beach is a metaphor for an escape from a supposed reality of our civilization, to a surreal realm that appears more real than life itself. It's own definition of paradise as a feeling inside you where you are most happy in your life, rather than a place you can find holds dear to me and reminds me to stop and realize how much better my life is than it seems at times. The music is perfectly tuned to the picture, with thumping rave beats to mellow piano interludes, timed with the emotion perfectly. Leonardo DiCaprio proves what I've been saying ever since I saw Romeo & Juliet: he actually does have talant outside of his bland Titanic character. The supporting characters, such as Sals and Etienne, could have been fleshed out a bit more, although this does not degrade their emotional impact on the film or the viewer's opinions of realistic characters. One of the best films I've seen this sadly dissapointing year, movie-wise. And to the (obviously) overly self conscious and sensitive parent who wrote about the "graphic sex scene" - it was behind a curtain and lasted not more than 30 seconds! And about the pot smoking - who cares? It happens in real life, so deal with it!

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox Home Video
Director: Danny Boyle
Leonardo DiCaprio

DVD title: Master P Decisions
Productgroup: DVD
Master P Decisions - movie DVD cover picture
Life Lessons

Decisions is a great film. There is no disputing this fact. Master P pulled out all of the stops on this film. It is usually categorized as a German expressionist film, which for most people conjures images of disjointed scenes with no real meaning and most generally a labor to sit through. I will not lie to you, Decisions is perhaps one of the most complex films ever made and is very demanding of the viewer. Nothing comes easy with this film. "What does this mean?" This questions will course through the viewer's mind all through the film. I will not attempt to decipher what the film means; I am not a scholar of the film, the genre, the director, or the historical context in which it was made. All I know is that it broke my heart to pieces, only to fix the hole I had inside.

Studio: Koch Records

DVD title: Greystoke - The Legend of Tarzan
Productgroup: DVD
Greystoke - The Legend of Tarzan - movie DVD cover picture
THE Tarzan Movie

There have been many film adaptations of Edgar Rice Burrough's tales of Tarzan. Most of them were produced in the earlier days of movie making, and were filmed on back lots in Hollywood. While a number of them provided good entertainment, few of them really depicted Burrough's book, "Tarzan, Lord of the Apes." "Greystoke" is, however, different in that respect.
While there are certainly disparities between Burrough's book and this movie, "Greystoke" is the most faithful in storyline, character development, and essence of any Tarzan movie I have seen. Christopher Lambert does a great job as Tarzan. And Andie MacDowell makes an enticing Jane.
I wonder how the movie would have played though if the director/producer had decided to use Andie MacDowell's own voice instead of opting to have Glenn Close do voice overs for all of Andie's lines? Perhaps they thought that Andie's slight southern accent would detract from the atmosphere they were trying to develop?
Anyway, the visual impact of the movie is great. The scenery is awesome. The sound track is supporting and blends into the overall sensory effect that helps drive the movie forward. One down side has to be the costuming for the apes. While the costumes were adequate, they were inferior to other top-notch visual effects of the movie. To be fair to the special effects folks, there were few other options in 1983 that would allow a more realistic representation of animals like great apes and the kinds of ape-human interactions needed to make the film work.
While the intent of Burroughs, or of the movie, is not to depict true ape biology, the scenes showing apes using leaves to get water from a puddle, and twigs to get ants from an ant hill are well documented ape behaviors. Another impressive part of the movie to me was the accurate portrayal of the state of the art of Victorian English biological science -- "Bring 'em back preserved." Along those same lines, the overriding sense of human, and especially British superiority of that era also comes through in the movie.
All in all a great effort. Definitely 5 stars for setting the standard for Tarzan movies, and for being a well-done piece of film making.
Alan Holyoak

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Hugh Hudson
Christopher Lambert
Andie MacDowell

DVD title: The Doom Generation
Productgroup: DVD
The Doom Generation - movie DVD cover picture
Well someone finally had to come out with the truth....

I just recently became a fan of these "indie" films..when I first rented this movie I told my friends it was like KIDS ( by Larry Clark if you wanna check it out) on crack! Oh boy they didn't disagree. For us, over-hormoned, oblivious, and vaugely understanding the burried message 15 yr olds, it was pretty cool! But honestly I couldn't dish out any gripping adjectives to you, to speak for the movie, let the other guys do it for ya. This movie captures the heart of our somber "doom generation." but trust me, it's not too depressing, leave it to the director to splash in some humor and maybe a little hope. but anyways get it! It's definitly worth popping in the video, sitting down on the couch and trying to make sense of whatever message Araki's making...oh and what's with everyone thinking they know that lovable character Amy Blue too?

Studio: Vidmark/Trimark
Director: Gregg Araki
James Duval
Rose McGowan
Johnathon Schaech

DVD title: Devdas
Productgroup: DVD
Devdas - movie DVD cover picture
One of my favorite Bollywood films

I must admit that I am a relative newscomer to the great realm of Bollywood, and so I shall refrain from commenting on such intricacies as the dance forms, the faithfulness to the original novel, etc...
What I can comment on, however, is the marvellous nature of this film. Sharukh Khan is excellent as Devdas, with his usual quivering bottom lip and shaking of the head schtick in full force here. He depicts the decline of this character (an anti-hero, with every meaning of the word) in a very dramatic yet believable fashion. Aishwarya Rai is, of course, absolutely gorgeous as the main love interest. The real star, however, is most certainly Madhuri, who in her depiction of Chandramukhi steals the show with little effort from the rest of the cast. Truly winning in her depiction of the courtesan who is blindingly devoted to Devdas (in spite of his, quite frankly, pathetic character) she is heartbreaking, and when she dances with Ms. Rai in the "Redola" dance (I hope I spelt that correctly) she is simply fantastic.
Perhaps not the most typical Bollywood movie out there, and a strange introduction to Bollywood I suppose, but an excellent one nonetheless. Highly recommended.

Studio: Qualiton Imports Ltd
Director: Sanjay Leela Bhansali

DVD title: Vanishing Point
Productgroup: DVD
Vanishing Point - movie DVD cover picture
Nothing to living and nothing to lose...

I should hate this movie. I always wanted a '70 Challenger R/T and in some part thanks to this classic, offbeat movie, prices have now skyrocketed far beyond what I could pay for one. This is a REAL Cult movie. Mopar fanatics have long exchanged philosophical points of view about it and if it had used a bigger name actor, it could have immediately done to the Dodge Challenger what Dirty Harry did for the Smith & Wesson 44 Magnum. Obviously, the Dodge Boys missed a real marketing opportunity back then. Instead, for almost three decades it languished almost unseen, occassional showing up on Cinemax or some video catalog for sixty bucks or more. Now, to my regret, it is available to the unwashed masses (just kidding, sort of) and even spawned a remake.

Now, about that remake. Fox TV did this back in '96 and the Vanishing Point purist that I am, I cringed with anticipation of this. I admit I liked it, not as a remake, but as a '90's version of Kowaslki's journey. Now it seems to have shuffled off to its own video Purgatory. The story made use of the paranoia of the times much like the '70's version did of the anomie of the Vietnam era. So it was not the equal of the original, but did not try to simply retell the story because each decade had its own social dynamics to contend with. if you haven't seen it, it starred Viggo Mortenson before many people had heard of him. Steve Railsback is his usual overcaffeined loose gun going after Kowalski in his black '70 Charger named The Beast. At least we got two stunning Mopars driving like heck through John Ford country. Now back to the original:

Nowadays driving 150 mph into a bulldozer is something you would only do on Fear Factor. Back in the early '70's, it was not that common either, but any teen facing a possible hitch in Vietnam might find it a preferable fate. Such was youth in the days of draft, war, race riots, and cheap gas. Kowalski is an outcast in a lost generation and is like the last wild mustang of the west-I guess it would have been too obvious if he were driving a Boss 429 or even a white (Dodge) Charger. Cleavon Little is Super Soul, actually the Superego trying to bring Kowalski back from his doomed Id-yssey. I was always amused for years over the fact that his flight begins on the incomplete I-70 west of Denver, and that in the '90's it was STILL under construction. Kowalski may be a drugged out anti-hero, but he is still portrayed as a man with more integrity than society who will still take the time to see if that cop he just ran off the road has survived his rollover. They don't make 'em like that anymore. As part of a triumvirate of social misfit car chase movies of the early '70's (Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry and Two-lane Blacktop being the others) this is the best. If you grew up in those times you will dig it, if you were too young, you might just wonder what the heck is up with this dude and dismiss it. That would be your loss.

Studio: Fox Home Entertainment
Director: Richard C. Sarafian
Barry Newman
Cleavon Little

DVD title: Thinner
Productgroup: DVD
Thinner - movie DVD cover picture
A Scary Movie!

This was without question a frightening movie. After sucessfully defending a mafia cheiftain in court,an overweight lawyer runs over and kills an old gypsy woman. After the over- weight lawyer beats the charge in court,the woman's father puts a curse on the lawyer. He suddenly begins losing massive ammounts of weight. The lawyer goes from being robust to looking like a scarecrow. The makeup used in the transformation is outstanding. The lawyer starts looking for the band of gypsies to get the curse removed. The final solution is very original. This is a very unique movie. You will enjoy watching it very much. I still watch the reruns even today.

Studio: Republic Studios
Director: Tom Holland
Robert John Burke
Joe Mantegna

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