Film DVD related reviews


DVD title: 10 Things I Hate About You
Productgroup: DVD
10 Things I Hate About You - movie DVD cover picture
really good


this film like clueless is an updating of a old books for the teenage audience. this is one of the best ones i've seen. in it a pair of sisters can only date if the onther one does. the younger one is extremly popular, but the other one is unpopular. the is an updating of the play the taming of the shrew and it is really funny. highly recommended.

Studio: Touchstone Video
Director: Gil Junger
Actors:
Heath Ledger
Julia Stiles




DVD title: Hellboy (Two-Disc Special Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Hellboy (Two-Disc Special Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
The Right Way to Adapt a Comic Book


I'd never heard of "Hellboy" before the movie. When it was released, I delayed in seeing it for some reason. Now that I've finally picked it up, I see what I was missing. Guillermo del Toro's latest action film is well-paced, adventurous, original, and has a heart.

"Hellboy" begins in the 40's, during WWII, where the mad monk Rasputin is attempting to summon his gods into our world, giving the Nazis power. A team of American soldiers sabotage the attempt, but not before a small demon is brought forward from the portal. Befriended by the paranormal expert along for explanations, the soldiers name the creature Hellboy. Decades later, Hellboy is the primary tool in the Beureu of Paranormal Research and Investigation for stomping out monsters and demons of all kinds.

As an action movie, "Hellboy" is more than decent. The fights are elaborate and gritty, and Hellnoy is certainly a memorable hero. What makes the movie stand out is its originality. Magic, demons, and monsters are real and everywhere. And unlike the usual action hero, Hellboy isn't just getting caught up in the events of importance that the world fulcrums on; he's part of them.

Acting is flawless from all participants, with Ron Perlman, as has been said by everyone everywhere, as the perfect actor to play Hellboy. He disappeared completely into the role, so much that I don't think I would have known it was him had I not known before I saw the movie.

The visuals of the movie are astounding. From the subways of the city, to the Samael character (the monsters of the movie look particularly Lovecraft-inspired), to the underground of Rasputin's lair, to Kroenen's clockwork hand, everything looks amazing.

As for the DVD, it's loaded with extras. In fact, so loaded that I have to wonder what was left to put on the Director's Cut 3-disc set. The 2 1/2 hour documentary is very insightful for all aspects of the making of the movie.

Overall, this is worth having in any movie-lover's library. It has everything a person could want in a film and goes above and beyond the call of duty for an action film.

Studio: Columbia Tristar Hom
Director: Guillermo del Toro
Actors:
Ron Perlman
Selma Blair
Doug Jones




DVD title: The Sound of Music (Five Star Collection)
Productgroup: DVD
The Sound of Music (Five Star Collection) - movie DVD cover picture
This classic is available in Europe, so why not in the US?


While I greatly appreciate it for its superior cinematic qualities, The Sound of Music is also special to me for other reasons. I first saw it as a six-year-old in New Zealand in early 1966; it was the second full-length feature film that my parents had taken me to see (the first having been what could be considered its twin, Mary Poppins). My impressions of the film back then were so vivid that even today I can still remember exactly what I felt during most of it. I remember seeing the backdrops of Salzburg and the Alps hugely sprawled across the cinema screen and wondering where these fantastically beautiful places were, and whether one day I would be able to see them for myself. My father bought the soundtrack LP, and of course the songs inevitably became ingrained in my memory. Years later, I felt the desire to tour Europe, as Australasians do, and was unexpectedly offered work near Munich. Since then, I have often hiked in the Bavarian and Austrian Alps and made the day trip from Munich to Salzburg, and, not surprisingly, my thoughts drifted back to the film that first drew my attention to the region long ago.
When I see SoM today, I am struck by its epic sweep, stunningly beautiful photography and lighting, those somehow unforgettable songs, and its intense, sometimes pensive loveliness and sweetness of tone, something that has become increasingly rare in modern cinema. True, the film is perhaps a bit too sugary at times, but, in view of its overwhelming positive attributes, not enough to really matter. I was surprised to see that it is unavailable to buy in the U.S. just now - so here are two tips in the meantime for true devotees, just for fun:
1) For the sake of sheer curiosity, try to see the original German film on which SoM is partially based, Die Trapp Familie (1956). At the least, excerpts of both this film and its sequel, Die Trapp Familie in Amerika (1958), are available in the U.S. as a dubbed compilation (which, like the sequel, I haven't seen), although I strongly suspect a full-length, subtitled version of the original would be preferable. It is a fascinating experience to watch this modest, but quite well written and acted, pleasantly old-fashioned "Heimatfilm" ("heartland" film), little known abroad, when you know what it helped to inspire. (Georg Hurdalek, who wrote the screenplay, is given due credit in SoM's opening titles.) It is very different in style to SoM. Strictly speaking it is not a true musical, though there are the expected traditional folk songs instead of Rodgers and Hammerstein. Its tone is much more restrained and naturalistic, really quite underwhelming by comparison. Many of the characters, including the children, are different, although some still have their obvious counterparts in SoM. To be fair, as might be expected, Die Trapp Familie is more authentically Central European. SoM, while to my mind far superior and infinitely more spectacular, is unavoidably anglicized to an extent, with its mostly British or North American actors (manner and body language!), and, as a musical, its story line is in any case more stylized. It is especially fascinating to see how many sequences, camera shots, and even pieces of dialogue in Die Trapp Familie were later used in SoM with comparatively little modification. The line "When the Lord closes a door, somewhere he opens a window" (in German) is just one example, and numerous sequences, including Maria's scenes with the Mother Abbess, her departure from the Abbey and first meeting with the family, and the wedding will be instantly familiar to anyone who has seen SoM. In particular, the scene in which the children come into Maria's bedroom, frightened by the thunderstorm, is almost identical in both films.
If you see Die Trapp Familie, ponder the bewildering fact that this, if any, and not SoM, is the film that a great many Germans associate with the story of the Trapps. Unlike Die Trapp Familie, at the time of its release Germany's most successful postwar film at the box-office, SoM flopped here and now never even seems to be shown on national television - presumably, the Germans were too fond of their own film and couldn't relate to a "Hollywood remake." When talking to people here, I have generally met with the same response: most of whom I've asked (even in Bavaria) had never even heard of SoM before (!), let alone seen it, although the film is known to some enthusiasts and to those who have otherwise come across it by chance, and is occasionally mentioned in the press. Given its truly universal renown elsewhere, and the Germans' enthusiasm for Hollywood movies in particular, this is quite remarkable, even considering that Rodgers and Hammerstein aren't as well known here either. SoM has an understandably higher profile in neighboring Austria though, since the film was set and partially made there and draws many tourists to Salzburg each year. Here, I have shown SoM to a number of unsuspecting German friends who I thought might enjoy it and have watched their eyes glued to the screen growing wider and wider and wider and wider and wider... (For some reason, the puppet theater and the song "Edelweiss" go down particularly well...)
2) The official SoM website is a mine of information, but for an extra treat, don't miss Angela Cartwright's (Brigitta) own delightful and very personal website. Look at page 2 of her scrapbook (be sure to click on "What are the `Sound of Music kids' doing now?") and her December 1998 news update in particular.
I am fond of many different film genres, but for me, The Sound of Music remains unquestionably one of the most consistently entertaining, enjoyable, and enduring of all the big Hollywood classics, despite some excessive sentimentality. Now, it is a fond childhood memory come back into the present; looks like I'll still be watching it when I'm old and gray.

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox Home Video
Director: Robert Wise
Actors:
Julie Andrews
Christopher Plummer




DVD title: Magnolia (New Line Platinum Series)
Productgroup: DVD
Magnolia (New Line Platinum Series) - movie DVD cover picture
What religious conservatives don't know or don't want to know


Well, to put a slightly different slant on this great film, and the reason it is great is why any work of art is great, i.e., there is no one aspect of it that makes it great; it is a composite of different wonderful aspects: MAGNOLIA presents the proposition--among others--that no moral code that embodies a rigid taxonomy is applicable to all people because we are all fallible and we are all different because both ourselves and the world are extremely complex. So when the next religious extremist or fundamentalist rants about the "right way" to live, don't waste your time rebutting him or her. Politely ask them to watch this film. If they understand the film, they will reconsider their orthodoxy; and if they don't understand it, they are pretty darn stupid and their views aren't worth much anyway.

Studio: New Line Home Entertainment
Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
Actors:
Tom Cruise
Julianne Moore
William H. Macy
Philip Seymour Hoffman
Philip Baker Hall
Jeremy Blackman




DVD title: Behind the Red Door
Productgroup: DVD
Behind the Red Door - movie DVD cover picture
Absolutely Recommended.


First, this is a superb script. It searches the deepest emotional corners of life with crystalline clarity. There is depth of emotion without sentiment, spiritual exploration without cliche and human truth devoid of lecturing. In addition, this writer and director were truly fortunate in their cast. The characters are extraordinarly realized and executed. It takes trained, talented and caring actors to so succesfully inhabit their roles. But their way was certainly smoothed by the heartbreaking intensity and utter integrity of the story.
The locations are almost painfully beautiful and the editing and direction produce an utterly seamless experience.
Finally, this not a story about death; it's about living life -- and that is it's greatest acheivement.

Studio: Showtime Entertainme
Director: Matia Karrell



DVD title: Chappelle's Show - Season 2
Productgroup: DVD
Chappelle's Show - Season 2 - movie DVD cover picture
AHHHHHHHHHHHHH!


You wanna know what makes me piss?

Water..and lots of it!

No but really....Comedy Central waiting this DAYUM! long to release Dave's Season 2 show...what tha hell is wrong with you people..

Had it been some stupid show like Dawson's Creek or some crap like that...they would release them bi-weekly but his show gets push back...Comedy Central..you have serious issues and need serious help...ASAP!



Studio: Paramount Home Video
Actors:
Dave Chappelle



DVD title: Dead Like Me - The Complete First Season
Productgroup: DVD
Dead Like Me - The Complete First Season - movie DVD cover picture
Another classic...


well im not reviewing the dvd itself as much as the first season. this is probablly the best new show ive seen in a llllllloooooooooooonnnnnnnnnnngggggggggg gg time!!! im glad to see it was recognized and will be returning. anyway back to the season. its smart funny and all around good. i think youll especially like it if you like shows such as buffy the vampire slayer and angel. i hope you give it a shot because its well worth the money

Studio: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Actors:
Ellen Muth



DVD title: The Adventures of Indiana Jones (Raiders of the Lost Ark/The Temple of Doom/The Last Crusade) - Widescreen
Productgroup: DVD
The Adventures of Indiana Jones (Raiders of the Lost Ark/The Temple of Doom/The Last Crusade) - Widescreen - movie DVD cover picture
The Stuff of Heros


The Indiana Jones Adventures are some of my all time favorite adventure films. They were written cleverly like old time serials but each story was fresh and exciting. Harrison Ford is and was my favorite kind of hero...one who is vulnerable, smart, laid back and funny...and don't he look good in that hat?!
The scene in Raiders is still one of my all time favorites of any movie: Indie is being attacked by a sword-weilding assasin; Indie watches the guy's fancy sword play with that wonderful complacent/confused/slightly miffed look he can paint on when he wants to; he then calmly takes out his gun and shoots him dead. Great!
Nice to see these classics all in one DVD set.

Studio: Paramount Home Video
Actors:
Harrison Ford



DVD title: The Concert for Bangladesh
Productgroup: DVD
The Concert for Bangladesh - movie DVD cover picture
looking to purchase


i've wanted a copy of this video for years. just
purchased cd and want very much to purchase this
video! anyone with an idea please respond.

Director: Saul Swimmer



DVD title: The Little Foxes
Productgroup: DVD
The Little Foxes - movie DVD cover picture
William Wyler and Bette Davis: A Great Ride


If there were ever a better movie made about family greed, duplicity and selfishness, I've yet to see it. William Wyler, one of the great directors, is at the top of his form. Bette Davis commands the screen with a performance so powerfully evil you can't stop watching, but it never descends to camp.

The Hubbard brothers, Ben (Charles Dingle) and Oscar (Carl Benton Reid), bankers in their turn-of-the-century southern town, have a scheme to bring cotton factories to the south where the cotton grows. With cheap labor they'll make a fortune. They need their sister, Regina Giddens (Bette Davis) to come up with a third of the required investment. The three believe they can get the money from Regina's sick husband, Horace (Herbert Marshall). He refuses, saying he won't be part of a plan to take advantage of the workers in the town through the schemes of his wife and her brothers. "Maybe it's easy for the dying to be honest," he says to Regina. "I'm sick of you, sick of this house, sick of my unhappy life with you. I'm sick of your brothers and their dirty tricks to make a dime. There must be better ways of getting rich than building sweatshops and pounding the bones of the town to make dividends for you to spend. You'll wreck the town, you and your brothers. You'll wreck the country, you and your kind, if they let you. But not me, I'll die my own way, and I'll do it without making the world worse. I leave that to you." Regina's response is straightforward. "I hope you die. I hope you die soon. I'll be waiting for you to die." The brothers arrange to "borrow" some bearer bonds Horace is keeping in their bank. Horace discovers the theft. He plans to change his will, but dies before he can. Regina now says she wants a 75 per cent share of the scheme or she'll send her brothers to jail. Ben Hubbard simply chuckles and muses about why Regina's husband died on the stairs while she was in the living room. It's a stalemate of scorpions. But, as Ben said to Regina, "The world is open for people like you and me. We'll own it someday."

Most of this takes place in the Giddens' genteel antebellum mansion, yet Wyler has managed to avoid any hint of staginess (where the play, by Lillian Hellman, originated). He keeps things so dramatically edgy and moving that the story and the acting simply is engrossing.

Bette Davis, in my view, could and did go over the top too easily in portraying evil or ruthless women. Here she reins it in enough that her selfishness is stunning but you're reacting to the character, not just to Bette Davis acting. One of her great scenes is when, after her showdown with her husband in the parlor, Horace realizes he's having a heart attack and asks Regina to go up the stairs to his room and bring him his medicine. She just sits there, watching him. It dawns on him that she won't help him. He struggles to the stairs and partly climbs, partly crawls up. The camera focuses on Regina's face as, in the background, you can see him struggling...and dieing. It's quite a scene.

The other cast members are excellent. Charles Dingle, as Ben Hubbard, the brother who has the brains, is at once charming and completely unethical. Herbert Marshall, who often played noble but weak men, this time places the accent on physically weak but morally strong. Teresa Wright plays Alexandra Giddins, Regina and Horace's daughter who finally realizes the monster her mother is and breaks free of her. This was her first movie, and she holds her own very nicely with Davis.

In my view, this is one of the great American movies, and watchable many times. The DVD looks great.

Studio: Hbo Studios
Director: William Wyler
Actors:
Bette Davis
Herbert Marshall
Teresa Wright




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