Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Rat Race
Productgroup: DVD
Rat Race - movie DVD cover picture
new spin on a old genre

This was the funniest movie I saw this past summer, its soon to be a classic.

Studio: Paramount Studio
Director: Jerry Zucker
Breckin Meyer
Cuba Gooding Jr.
Vince Vieluf
Whoopi Goldberg
Jon Lovitz

DVD title: Donnie Darko
Productgroup: DVD
Donnie Darko - movie DVD cover picture
Simply amazing

Kudos to Drew Barrymore for having the guts to produce (and star in) this bizarre, engrossing, and powerful tale when Hollywood obviously wouldn't. Jake Gyllenhaal gives a wonderful performance as the title character, who sees visions of a giant man in a bunny costume, and carries out acts of vandalism as a result. He is joined by an all-star cast, including Patrick Swayze, Jena Melone, Noah Wyle, and of course Barrymore, who all have little subplots within the film. Not really a horror film, but a reference to "The Evil Dead" was appreciated by the young males in the audience. This film is definitely weird, and definitely not for all tastes, but many will appreciate the pure artistry of the film, as well as praise the brilliance of first time writer/director Richard Kelly. Along with "Hedwig and the Angry Inch", and "Moulin Rouge", "Donnie Darko" is one of the most creative and poweful films of the year...definitelty Oscar Worthy...

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox Home Video
Director: Richard Kelly (II)
Jake Gyllenhaal
Mary McDonnell
Jena Malone

DVD title: The Matinee Idol (1928) / Frank Capra's American Dream (1997)
Productgroup: DVD
The Matinee Idol (1928) / Frank Capra's American Dream (1997) - movie DVD cover picture
Frank Capra's American Dream

Frank Capra's American Dream is a must for all those who have enjoyed Capra's contribution to cinematic art - and still do. The documentary gives a full overview of Capra's life and detailed discussions of all of his major films, illustrated with carefully selected excerpts from them. The discussions are balanced, and deal with the strengths and weaknesses of individual films. I was struck by the darker themes implicit in Capra's mature work. Interviews with his children and with various artists involved in his projects provide fascinating insights into the histories of Capra's films. I was particularly interested in the interviews with Jane Wyatt (Sondra in "Lost Horizon," my favourite Capra film), and Fay Wray (of "King Kong" fame), who was the wife of Robert Riskin, Capra's main scriptwriter for many years. Capra's problems with the evolving Hollywood "star system" in the later part of his career make sad viewing. The reproduction quality of the documentary is excellent. Ron Howard did a sterling job as the host of the documentary. Highly recommended. David Lee-Smith, Upper Hutt, New Zealand

Studio: Columbia/Tristar Studios
Director: Frank Capra

DVD title: Terminator 2: Judgment Day
Productgroup: DVD
Terminator 2: Judgment Day - movie DVD cover picture

This is definitely one of the best DVD ever produced but I noticed that during the truck-helicopter chase, when the helicopter went under the bridge, a distorted sound (hiss) is heard on the right surround(rear) speaker. Does anyone experienced the same flaw?

Studio: Artisan Entertainment
Director: James Cameron
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Linda Hamilton

DVD title: Postcards from the Edge
Productgroup: DVD
Postcards from the Edge - movie DVD cover picture

This Carrie Fisher penned film is perhaps one of the best screenplays written in the U.S. in the last 20 years. All the dialogue is crisp, clever and reads like a mix between Neil Simon and Moss/Hart.
Mike Nichols takes it to an even higher level, by casting Streep and MacLaine against each other and watching the sparks fly.
Filled with wonderful supporting performances by Gene Hackman, Richard Dreyfuss, Dennis Quaid, Mary Wickes, Oliver Platt, Rob Reiner and Annette Benning among others.
The extra features on the DVD are pretty scarce. But the Carrie Fisher audio commentary is priceless. Funny, whimsical and totally casual, Fisher manages to ramble on with no direction and still provides us a wonderful glimpse (in her own way) on what it was like on the set and making the film.
A must have for fans of excellent dialogue and good, clean comedy with a sarcastic edge.

Studio: Columbia/Tristar Studios
Director: Mike Nichols
Meryl Streep
Shirley MacLaine

DVD title: The Judy Garland Show, Vol. 01 (Shows 1 & 3)
Productgroup: DVD
The Judy Garland Show, Vol. 01 (Shows 1 & 3) - movie DVD cover picture
Judy Garland Show Volume 1

Judy's star again, as always, shines bright in these two episodes (1&3) of her television show! Two extra treats of these episodes are Mickey Rooney and Liza Minnili, Judy Garland's daughter. With both you can clearly see Judy's very special bond to each of these individuals!
If you simply love Judy Garland, these are a must for any fan! Her shows are perhaps the best body of her work avalible!

Studio: Pioneer Video
Judy Garland
Jerry Van Dyke

DVD title: 2001: A Space Odyssey
Productgroup: DVD
2001: A Space Odyssey - movie DVD cover picture
Not a movie for one who has to have everything spelled-out!

It's interesting to see all the reviews that say, "I don't get this, so therefore all you people who rate it highly are pretending to get it." or "All you so-called intelligent people who love it, explain it to me! YOU CAN'T!"

Sure, folks, just because you don't get the meaning means there isn't one!

This is really not a movie for somebody who is not open to interpreting something (on his own, without cliff notes) or who is not open to ambiguity.

The pace of the movie serves a psychological puprose. Of course it's not an action movie! Did you think it was?

The monoliths, the apes, the lack of emotion among the characters, the Discovery's voyage, the re-appearance of the monolith, and the brilliant ending (which is in fact emotional? Hmm . . . could that be a clue?) ARE all related. The entire story is not and never was meant to be easily grasped (THAT is boring). It's profound. That's the point.

It is like trying to explain the color blue to one who has always been blind. You can't just say, "It's blue, so there."

The meaning to this movie is not so cut-and-dry as to be explained in two sentences (if it were, what would be the point in watching an entire work devoted to it?)

This all requires thought. The answer is not given to you. If the movie is confusing, it is because it is given to us as a riddle (and a very useful one). Don't miss the ephipheny in finding the answer because you are too lazy to use your brain in finding the answer.

If that is beyond you, it's fine. But don't think that it is a meaningless movie just because it is over your head. Once again, this is not a Jet Li movie, and wasn't intended to be.

The movie is a classic, and well deserves to be.

The DVD transfer, however, is horrible. Absolute garbage.

Studio: Warner Studios
Director: Stanley Kubrick
Keir Dullea
Gary Lockwood

DVD title: The Princess Diaries (Widescreen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
The Princess Diaries (Widescreen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Watch the Princess Diaries for a royally good time!

I really didn't know what to expect when I bought this movie, other than Julie Andrews was one of it's stars. I bought it on that merit alone. Since watching it, I've found many other reasons why you should own "The Princess Diaries". The acting is superb. Hector Elizando give a wonderful performance as Mia's watchful protector (as well as a love interest for Julie Andrew's Queen). Anne Hathaway is simply wonderful as the shy, awkward Mia, who flips when she finds out that she is in actuality the Crown Princess of Genovia. Who wouldn't be a little surprised to find out that they're royalty after living as an average (if somewhat invisible) teenager?! Julie Andrews is...well, she's the perfect Queen. She shines regally as the ruler of Genovia. She also finds every bit of comedy in the role. She plays off her co-stars extremely well. All in all, this "Princess for a new era" is for everyone. It will appeal to adults and children alike. The themes of acceptance, love (familial and teenage), and finding oneself are ones that we all can relate to.

Studio: Buena Vista Home Vid
Director: Garry Marshall
Julie Andrews
Anne Hathaway

DVD title: The War of the Worlds
Productgroup: DVD
The War of the Worlds - movie DVD cover picture
An enduring drama of a world in peril

I like all of George Pal's films, but I have to say this 1953 adaptation of HG Well's masterpiece is my favourite. It is a feast of sight, sound and colour with brisk pacing and subdued performances(unlike many genre movies of the period where overwrought acting seems to have been derigeur.) Latter day viewers might quibble with the occasional descent into cheesiness, but in the end, Pal's vision remains intact and viable. Leith Steven's eerie musical score is also an asset. It's just too bad that the dvd does not have the 4 track stereo soundtrack that has thus far only appeared on the laser disc version of the film.

Studio: Paramount Studio
Director: Byron Haskin
George Pal
Gene Barry
Ann Robinson
Les Tremayne

DVD title: Halloween
Productgroup: DVD
Halloween - movie DVD cover picture
Greatest Horror Film of All Time!

Although Friday the 13th Part 1 was an amazing movie, i think the first Halloween tops it...This was without a doubt the best movie in the Halloween series...There is something about it that is hard to put into words, but it is just a perfect horror movie...The characters are well developed (most horror movies lack), Michael Myers is very scary, and the music is outstanding...Donald Pleasence and Jamie Lee Curtis play their roles perfectly...Most horror films also lack a decent story, which this one excels in...This is all around the greatest horror movie of all time...the only thing that it is missing is gore, which the later films start to use more of...however, everything else about it is so right that it doesnt need the gore...If you haven't seen this film, but it immediately!

Studio: Anchor Bay Entertainment
Director: John Carpenter
Donald Pleasence
Jamie Lee Curtis
Tony Moran

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