Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Snatch (Special Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Snatch (Special Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
simply put - watch this movie

Guy Ritchie's "Snatch" repeats the basic blueprint of his previous film "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels." The genre is the same, the setting is the same, the tone is the same, and some of the actors are the same. Yet "Snatch" still manages to stand on its own by being a smoother and slicker production that its predecessor. And having Brad Pitt on board this time around certainly helps the film carve out its own identity.
Once again mayhem and mishaps help to mar a criminal scheme. Frankie Four Fingers (Benicio Del Toro) steals a diamond which attracts the attention of Boris the Blade (Rade Sherbedgia) and Avi (Dennis Farina) who each want the diamond for himself. In the meantime, a gypsy (Pitt) who excels in the bare knuckle boxing department, but who is somewhat less refined in his verbal skills is recruited for a fight. Through a series of twists and turns, the fate of the diamond hunters and the gypsy boxer become intertwined and story twists ensue that would have been right at home in a screwball comedy - if not for the high body count.
What separates Ritchie's gangster flicks from those of his contemporaries is the combination of sassy wit and energy embodied in both his characters and the situations they find themselves in. Oftentimes "Snatch" strays perilously close to being too outrageous for its own good but it always manages to not cross the line into satire. Pitt gives one of his more underappreciated performances of the last few years and makes you realize just how useful the subtitle function is for DVD films. His gypsy boxer is a pure manifestation of all the zaniness that this film contains. Here's hoping that Ritchie can expand into other types of film genres in the future instead of continuing to compose variations on a theme. For the time being though, if you find yourself in the mood for an off-kilter crime caper, then "Snatch" is the film for you.

Studio: Columbia Tri-Star
Director: Guy Ritchie
Jason Statham
Brad Pitt

DVD title: The Three Stooges - Three Stooges in History
Productgroup: DVD
The Three Stooges - Three Stooges in History - movie DVD cover picture

Columbia put a lot of effort on this DVD. All 5 of these shorts look the best I've ever seen. It looks like Columbia has been doing some restoration on these shorts. "Restless Knights" looks very good and I'm shocked because this was a short from the 1930's. So, I encourage you to buy this DVD. You will be amazed by the quality of these shorts.

Studio: Columbia Tristar Hom
Director: Edward Bernds
Larry Fine
Moe Howard

DVD title: Amelie
Productgroup: DVD
Amelie - movie DVD cover picture
You need this on DVD or Video!

With its wonderfully surreal storyline, outstanding acting & breathtaking cinematography, "Amelie" is a "feel good" movie that achieves exactly what it sets out to do. An international hit and an instant "classic", its first ten minutes on their own rank as one of the funniest and most brilliantly executed sequences in any film.
But... for those of us unable to speak fluent French the problem is simple: the sheer speed of it's superbly witty dialogue leaves you grappling to read the subtitles and, in so doing, seriously diverts your attention away from the equally quick-paced, stunningly directed visuals. Dubbing would have helped at one level but has been wisely avoided as it would totally destroy the key feature of the film - i.e. it is, and could only be, French! The solution?... invest in your own copy. After a couple of times through (with the ever-ready option to "rewind" its more complex scenes), the memory banks take over leaving you free to relish the full impact of this quite beautiful, multi-layered work of genius.

Studio: Miramax Home Entertainment
Director: Jean-Pierre Jeunet
Audrey Tautou
Mathieu Kassovitz

DVD title: Hollywood Shuffle
Productgroup: DVD
Hollywood Shuffle - movie DVD cover picture
the high 5

unlike many of Robert Townsend's films after the Five Heartbeats that i had to give the Finger to like he does here in this film this is a Tour De Force.sadly the Stereotypes are still the norm in Hollywood for Black Actress's&Actor's.not much has really changed int he way the film business's all about flavor&Cosmetics as Robert Townsend puts it down here.this movie had me rolling so hard.a laugh a minute.the movie is so real.sadly aside from The Five Heartbeats Robert Townsend never got this honest&real again.but at least i have him here,also on the Five Heartbeats&Cooley High.

Studio: MGM/UA Video
Director: Robert Townsend
Robert Townsend

DVD title: Back to the Future - The Complete Trilogy (Full Screen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Back to the Future - The Complete Trilogy (Full Screen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Best Trilogy, ever

Just becareful of the widescreen framing issues, supposedly fixed in more recent editions, might not be but Universal is replacing them and is coming out with another release of the box set in 2005.

Studio: Universal Studios
Michael J. Fox

DVD title: Committed
Productgroup: DVD
Committed - movie DVD cover picture
Refreshingly offbeat!

Some people drift through life, moving from one thing or one person to the next without batting an eye; others latch on to a cause, another person or a principle and remain adamant, committed to whatever it is-- and figuratively or literally they give their word and stand by it. But we?re all different, ?Made of different clay,? as one of the characters in this film puts it, which is what makes life so interesting. Some people are just plain crazy, though-- and maybe that?s the way you have to be to live among the masses. Who knows? Who knows what it takes to make things-- life-- work? Writer/director Lisa Krueger takes a shot at it, using a light approach to examine that thin line between being committed-- and how one ?gets? committed-- and obsession, in ?Committed,? starring Heather Graham as a young woman who is adamant, committed, obsessive and maybe just a little bit crazy, too. Her name is Joline, and this is her story.
Admittedly, Joline has always been a committed person; in work, relationships, in life in general. She?s a woman of her word who sticks by it no matter what. And when she marries Carl (Luke Wilson), it?s forever. The only problem is, someone forgot to tell Carl-- and 597 days into the marriage, he?s gone; off to ?find? himself and figure it all out. When Joline realizes he?s not coming back, she refuses to give up on him, or their marriage. Maybe it?s because of that ?clay? she?s made of. Regardless, she leaves their home in New York City and sets off to find him, which she does-- in El Paso, Texas, of all places. But once she knows where he is, she keeps her distance, giving him his ?space? and not even letting him know she?s there. She considers Carl as being in a ?spiritual coma,? and it?s her job to keep a ?spiritual vigil? over him until he comes to his senses. And while she watches and waits, her life is anything but dull, as she encounters a young woman named Carmen (Patricia Velazquez), a waitress at one of the local eateries; Carmen?s ?Grampy,? (Alfonso Arau), who is something of a mystic; T-Bo (Mark Ruffalo), a truck driver who has issues concerning Carl; and Neil (Goran Visnjic) an artist who makes pinatas and takes a fancy to her. For Joline, it?s a journey of discovery, during which she learns a lot about Carl, but even more about herself.
There?s a touch of humor, a touch of romance, and some insights into human nature in this quirky film that is more about characterization and character than plot. And Krueger presents it all extremely well, delivering a film that is engaging and entertaining. Her characters are very real people, with all the wants, needs and imperfections that make up the human condition; a rich and eclectic bunch through which she tells her story. We see it from Joline?s point-of-view, as Krueger makes us privy to Joline?s thoughts and therefore her motivations, which puts a decided perspective on the events as they unfold. That, along with the deliberate pace she sets that allows you to soak up the atmosphere and the ambiance she creates, makes for a very effective piece of storytelling. There?s an underlying seriousness to this subject matter, but Krueger chooses to avoid anything heavy-handed or too deep and concentrates instead on the natural humor that evolves from the people and situations that Joline encounters. And the result is a well textured, affecting and upbeat look at that thing we call life.
Heather Graham takes hold of this role from the first frame of the film to make Joline a character totally of her own creation. She immerses herself in the part and gives a performance that is convincing and believable, adding the little personal traits and nuance that makes all the difference between a portrayal that is a mere representation of a person, and one that is real. And for this film to work, it was imperative that Joline be viable and believable-- and Graham succeeds on all fronts. Her screen presence has never been more alluring, and her vibrant personality or even just the way she uses her eyes, is enough to draw you in entirely. it?s all a part of the character she creates; there?s an appeal to Joline that exudes from her entire countenance, who she is inside and out. She?s a likable, agreeable person, and because you?ve shared her innermost thoughts, you know who she is. It?s a good job all the way around, beginning with the way the character was written, to the way Graham brings her so vibrantly to life.
As Carmen, Patricia Velazquez is totally engaging, as well. Her performance is very natural and straightforward, and she uses her instincts to effectively create her character. She has a charismatic presence, but is less than flamboyant, and it gives her an aspect that is attractively down-to-earth. She is refreshingly open and up-front; you get the impression that Carmen is not one to hold anything back, but is totally honest on all fronts, and that, too, is part of her appeal. And, as with Joline, this character is well written, and Velazquez brings her convincingly to life.
Overall, there is a number of notable performances that are the heart and soul of this film, including those of Luke Wilson, Casey Affleck (as Joline?s brother, Jay), Goran Visnjic, Alfonso Arau and especially Mark Ruffalo as T-Bo, who, with very little actual screen time, manages to create a memorable character.
The supporting cast includes Kim Dickens (Jenny), Clea Du Vall (Mimi), Summer Phoenix (Meg), Art Alexakis (New York Car Thief), Dylan Baker (Carl?s Editor), and Mary Kay Place (Psychiatrist). A film that says something about the value of stepping back to consider The Big Picture-- reflecting upon who we are, where we?re going and what we really need-- ?Committed? is an enjoyable experience; a ride definitely worth taking.

Studio: Miramax
Director: Lisa Krueger

DVD title: Solaris
Productgroup: DVD
Solaris - movie DVD cover picture
Could Have Been Longer...

About the only "problems" I have with this film are:1) I've grown accustomed to longer films. This one feels longer than it is, however. From the commentary, apparently a lot of this film was cut.2) Personally I would have liked to have seen SOME specific discussion as to the location of the planet and the propulsion systems invloved in getting there ( although that stuff admittedly isn't the point of the film ). As a storytelling device, the film is seemingly set in the "near future" ( complete with the constant rain and corresponding streetwear from Blade Runner ); the urban yuppie scenes are mostly indistinguishable from the actual present, and how interstellar travel has been developed is a mystery. Unless Solaris is supposed to be in the outer reaches of our own system, which I doubt. To summarize, the film mixes a relatively familiar Earthscape with interstellar human travel, which realistically is a **LONG** way off if it's even going to happen at all.3) In a later part of the film the music seems to be almost a direct ripoff of the music used in the 2001 Stargate sequence. Hopefully this was done as a homage, not based on the theory of "these idiots don't remember 2001."Overall, this movie is very cool, and benefits from a modern Soderbergh-esque cinematography.

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox Home Video
Director: Steven Soderbergh
George Clooney
Natascha McElhone
Ulrich Tukur

DVD title: Annie (Widescreen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Annie (Widescreen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture

I loved this movie when I was younger! I even had an "Annie" hairstyle after the movie came out! I watched this movie about a month ago for the first time in several years. I still love it. I'm sure it isn't as near as good as the broadway performance, but considering I never got to see it, I can't compare the two! This movie is excellent for families to watch together. You must see it!

Studio: Columbia Tri-Star
Director: John Huston
Albert Finney
Carol Burnett
Aileen Quinn

DVD title: Urban Cowboy
Productgroup: DVD
Urban Cowboy - movie DVD cover picture
The Best Sunday afternoon Flick or anytime for that matter

I remeber watching this when i was just a kid and really liking it back then. When I met my husband 6 years ago it was and still is his favorite movie. We never get tired of watching Bud and Sissy and their true life love life. They are romantic, and realistic. We sometimes like to refer to ourselves as Bud and Sissy because of how they were and how we are at times. I don't much care for watching movies more than once but I can honestly say I will watch this movie anytime of the day whether on t.v. or the v.c.r . Sure hope to see it on DVD real soon.

Studio: Paramount Home Video
Director: James Bridges
John Travolta
Debra Winger

DVD title: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
Productgroup: DVD
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn - movie DVD cover picture
5 stars for the movie, 10 for the book

In watching this Movie, I was completely emersed in the lives of the Nolans. Having lived at times as a child in some degree of poverty and rising above that, I have come to appreciate and relate to all the feelings and desperation of all the characters involved. This movie is a can't miss tearjerker unlike other tearjerkers. You find that you shed tears of hope and spirit rather than those of pain. Bravo to " A tree grows in Brooklyn!!"

Director: Elia Kazan
Dorothy McGuire

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