Film DVD related reviews


DVD title: Brassed Off
Productgroup: DVD
Brassed Off - movie DVD cover picture
unexpectedly wonderful


Not really a romantic comedy, but a very inspiring film. After viewing this film, it caught me by surprise how great the film was directed and acted out. If you like music with good story lines, this is a recommendation.

Studio: Miramax Home Entertainment
Director: Mark Herman
Actors:
Pete Postlethwaite
Tara Fitzgerald
Ewan McGregor




DVD title: 28 Days Later (Widescreen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
28 Days Later (Widescreen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
And you thought "road rage" was bad...


This film, about the plight of four people struggling to escape an entire nation that has been wiped out or infected by a disease called "Rage," will not only keep your stomach in knots for the entire 2 hours, but will provoke you to think about issues such as the will to survive, the evils of human nature and the so-called "herd mentality." This is a must see for anyone who is sick of the usual sappy Hollywood blockbuster films--it is a quality picture that will stimulate your mind and invoke interesting dialogue and thought.

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox Home Video
Director: Danny Boyle
Actors:
Cillian Murphy
Naomie Harris




DVD title: Garfield - The Movie
Productgroup: DVD
Garfield - The Movie - movie DVD cover picture
A very cute movie


I just saw this movie today, first showing at my neighborhood theatre. I am a 19 years old and not a nine year old. I have been a fan of Garfield off and on all through my life. I was super excited to see this movie, and on the whole it did not disappoint.
Yes, some of the one-liners were a bit lame, and I was rolling my eyes at some of them, yet it all seemed to work. Bill did a wonderful job with the voice of Garfield, it almost seemed like Lorenzo Music was smiling down at Bill while in the recording studio.
The plot in my opinion was quite amusing.Jon brings home a new dog, Odie and it Garfield doesn't like that, so Garfield locks Odie out of the house one night because of jealousy. Odie being a dog goes chasing after Happy Chapman, who was riding a scooter past the house. Odie ends up kidnapped by Happy, who wanted Odie for an act, after Happy saw Odie dance.
This plot makes for some wild hijinks in the Big Apple, for Garfield goes on a chase to resue Odie from the clutches of the Evil Happy, which I admit is a very cool name for a villian.
Since I'm not a fan of Jennifer Love Hewitt, I really didn't care for her portrayal of Liz, I much prefer the mean Liz who refuses John. Brekin Myer did a good job with John, I believe that with more roles geared towards adults, he will become a great hearthrob.
It didn't really bother me about Nermal or Arlene, because the story really didn't revolve around them. I really enjoyed this movie, although a bit cheesy it was a nice change from Troy and Harry Potter. I highly recommend it to everyone who wants a good laugh.

Studio: Fox Home Entertainme
Director: Peter Hewitt
Actors:
Breckin Meyer
Jennifer Love Hewitt
Stephen Tobolowsky




DVD title: The Lord of the Rings - The Fellowship of the Ring (Widescreen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
The Lord of the Rings - The Fellowship of the Ring (Widescreen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Magic Lives Again


Those film-makers responsible for 'Fellowship of the Ring' have cast down the gauntlet of integrity to all their peers in the cinematic world, and it's about time. Forget George Lucas and his embarrassing indifference to a mass audience that DOES crave a powerful story as much as it craves grandeur in special effects. 'Fellowship' is a transcendent film because it is infused with soul and spirit, and it utilizes the best tools that technical creativity in modern film can provide. But here, the effects serve the story and its human performances, not vice versa. 'Fellowship' grips the heart, the mind, the eyes, and the being. It is a universal tale of the highest moral and visual order. It is the tale of diverse peoples gathering, not to wage war upon each other, but upon Evil itself. Every performance is stellar and each role is cast to perfection. I challenge anyone not to be moved by the first laughing glimpse of chemistry and camaraderie between Elijah Wood's Frodo and Ian McKellan's Gandalf as the old wizard wheels his rickety way into the Shire. I challenge anyone not to be terrified in the pit of their soul at the mere thought of the simple, unimaginably evil ring, and likewise by the Nazgul Black Riders as they close in on their prey like devils in a dream. I challenge anyone not to hold their breath during the battle between Saruman and Gandalf, and involuntarily exhale that same breath to marvel at its spiraling result. I challenge anyone not to feel their own spirits rise as the Fellowship makes its stand against the orcs and their troll in the chamber at Moria. I challenge anyone not to feel the triumph of Gandalf's quaking power against the Balrog turn in the next instant to utter heartbreak. I challenge anyone with a soul not to be affected by the doubt and fear and final perseverance of the unlikely Frodo and Sam. This is a film, my friends. This is a tale to remember and to cherish as long as we are human. Let us do ourselves a favor and together make it one of the sacred treasures of our increasingly diverse, global "culture."

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Peter Jackson
Actors:
Ian McKellen



DVD title: Seven
Productgroup: DVD
Seven - movie DVD cover picture
Disturbing / Horrific / Gripping - A Work Of Art.


A film that genuinely gets better with repeated viewings, Se7en is a dark, depressing and disturbing tale which simply refuses to give the audience any grain of comfort. Brad Pitt proves for perhaps the first time in his career (forget his over-rated antics in Twelve Monkeys) that he is an edgy, dangerous actor with a good eye for an atypical role. Morgan Freeman consolidates his reputation as a consummate performer, playing the methodical, patient foil to Pitt's volatile man of action.
However, Se7en isn't just a straightforward thriller about the hunt for a serial killer. On that level it works brilliantly, but it goes beyond that. Imagine how disquieting it is to find that you share a common viewpoint with a character who has done so many sickening things. I don't ever recall seeing a film which provoked such a reaction in me. But then, twisting conventions and reversing cliches is exactly what Se7en aims to do - even the final credits roll upwards rather than downwards.

Studio: New Line Studios
Director: David Fincher
Actors:
Brad Pitt
Morgan Freeman
Kevin Spacey




DVD title: Vertigo (Collector's Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Vertigo (Collector's Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Vertigo a spaced out masterpiece?


I must take issue with the last review by Charles F....
Vertigo is considered a Hitchcock masterpiece, but it is an aquired taste. I recall vividly watching this movie with my family on Black and Whte network TV in the 1960s and being lost in the plot(as a kid).... but how clearly I remember it now, as an adult, being able to read between some of the conservative 1950's suggestive lines.
(What was the point of having Midge design or draw a bra in the begining of the movie??? And, Scotty says he only wants to talk with Judy...nothing more, she can even leave the door open. She says she's been picked up once or twice before.... etc.)
With the DVD re-release, I was shocked to discover there is/was an alternative ending to the movie in Foreign release.... one that eliminates the final death and ends on a more happy note. Is that better? Or just a historical footnote? View the DVD alternative extra materials and just for yourself.
I think the AMC half hour special on "Obssessing over Vertigo" that is included on both the DVD and VHS tape releases is OUTSTANDING... telling the story through interviews, production stills and on-location shooting that fans of both the movie, restoration and Hitchcock, Stewart, and Novak demand. THIS ALONE IS WORTH THE PRICE!
I recall listening in the 1970s to an LP of Bernard Hermann theme's for Hitchcock movies and being stumped at the lush movements presented from something called "Vertigo" which I did not recall seeing at the time. My obsession was, and still is, a more fiting masterpiece, "North By Northwest"... arguably the best Hitchcock movie and much more accessable than Vertigo.
So, no matter what your taste in movies, or shock endings, the DVD restoration deserves your attention, if not your purchase. NO essential film library or collection is complete without it. I only wish the original novel "D'entre les Morte" (From the Dead) by Pierre Boileau and Thomas Narcejac was available for comparison. Any help out there?

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Actors:
James Stewart
Kim Novak




DVD title: Four Weddings and a Funeral
Productgroup: DVD
Four Weddings and a Funeral - movie DVD cover picture
In the name of the father, son, and the holy spigot...


Rowan Atkinson, who plays the nervous and shy Father Gerald, speaks those lines at a wedding. His writing partner, Richard Curtis, wrote this sweet, good-natured comedy of a circle of friends, all in their thirties, who attend weddings and gradually wonder the mysteries of love. Is it better to hold out for that ideal person or as the bumbling, nice, but not exactly fashion-modellish Tom puts it, "I always just hoped that, that I'd meet some nice friendly girl, like the look of her, hope the look of me didn't make her physically sick, then pop the question and, um, settle down and be happy." The follies of finding anyone just to prevent from being lonely is also explored here, but so is the chain reaction that occurs at weddings, i.e. other people in turn end up getting married in serendipitous circumstances.
The opening scenes to the first marriage of the various friends getting ready, set to an Elton John song, sets the stage for the story. The scenes of the slow-rising Charles and his female roommate Scarlett result in a series of comical scenes that elicit the f-word from them both, including missing the offramp leading to the wedding site.
It's at the first wedding that Cupid launches a projectile at Charles (Hugh Grant) via Carrie (Andie McDowell), an American who appears at the wedding with a big black hat. What might have been a missed opportunity later turns depressing for Charles when he finds out she's engaged. Indeed, he has a history of ex-girlfriends that leads the sensitive Henrietta to call him a serial monogamist. But Charles is bewildered with awe at people who are actually ready to take that lifelong committment. After all, despite divorce being commonplace, the sanctity of wedding still carries importance. Both Grant's goofy and McDowell's sweet and lovable performances lift this film up, with the latter's winning smile, but they're not the only ones.
Fiona (Kristin Scott Thomas), nicknamed Fi or even Fifi, has a dignified beauty colored by a cynical tongue. In the first wedding, when Scarlett gushes over the bride, she says, "Scarlett, you're blind. She looks like a big meringue." She also unleashes her tart tongue at meek Father Gerald, training to be a priest. She says it's rather like the first time one has sex, "a lot less messy of course, and far less call for condoms." Gerald titters with nervous laughter.
Of the other characters, Gareth, played by Simon Callow, is flamboyant, simply jovial, full of life, a true romantic, someone it's fun to hang around and be merry with, and as we learn later, a culinary eccentric. Seeing him cutting loose on the dance floor in the first wedding is a highlight. He plays with the theory that marriage is the last gasp between two couples who have run out of things to say, then says that true love is the driving force behind marriage.
The pint-sized Scarlett (Charlotte Coleman) is another funny character. She has a shock of short bright red hair, sings offkey at church, and gets flirty with strangers at weddings. It was quite a shock when I heard of her death from an asthma attack last year.
And David, Charles's deaf brother who's quite a dish, also gains some laughs in the conversations he has with his brother, and also with a girl who fancies him enough to take sign language lessons. Is that love or what?
Another bit of trivia. According to Richard Curtis, Henrietta's nickname was toned down to Duckface for propriety. Guess what it was originally going to be? Hint: Duck gets replaced by a word it rhymes with. And for those who don't know, the poem read at the funeral is W.H. Auden's "Funeral Blues".
With winning performances all around, great lines, be they witty, acerbic, or poignant, Four Weddings And A Funeral is a funny, romantic, and heartwarming winner from director Mike Newell (Enchanted April, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire [pending]). It give me hope that someday, maybe someday?E And if you don't like it, your name is duckface.

Studio: Mgm/Ua Studios
Director: Mike Newell
Actors:
Hugh Grant
Andie MacDowell




DVD title: The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert
Productgroup: DVD
The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert - movie DVD cover picture
I HAVE A QUESTION ABOUT THIS LATEST SEPT. RELEASE!!!


tHIS IS NOT A REVIEW ALTHOUH I DO OWN THIS MOVIE ON VHS AND AM ANXIOUSLY WAITING TO SEE A DELUXE 10TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION ON DVD AS REVIEWED BY THE CUSTOMER IN AUSTRALIA. THE LATEST RELEASE IN SEPT. OF PRISCILLA IS NOT LISTED BY AMAZON AS A SPECIAL EDITION OR NOR DOES IT LIST ANY SPECIAL FEATURES. IF ANY OF YOU LATTER REVIEWERS BOUGHT THIS LATEST RELEASE, PLEASE LET ME KNOW IF IT IS SIMILAR TO THE AUSTRALIAN RELEASE!! CAN THE CUSTOMER IN AUSTRAILIA TELL ME IF THEIR DVD IS COMPATIBLE IN OUR DVD PLAYERS?
THANKS FOR ANY INFO ANYONE CAN GIVE ME!
I AM SORRY THE 2-STAR REVIEWER DID NOT LIKE THIS MOVIE, AS I CAN SAY I LOVED IT THE FIRST TIME I SAW IT AND HAVE TO HAVE REGULAR PRISCILLA FIXES!

Studio: Mgm/Ua Studios
Director: Stephan Elliott
Actors:
Hugo Weaving
Guy Pearce




DVD title: Star Wars, Episode III - Revenge of the Sith (Widescreen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Star Wars, Episode III - Revenge of the Sith (Widescreen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Who Really Is Darth Vader?


This movie, a final episode of this series, is absolutely spectacular. Of course, John Williams' music carried the film; it would have been average without it. I have seen all of the other Star Wars features, but this time I went primarily for the music.

This one is the best as it finally explains what all the others were about; the beginning to the end. I would advise that young parents do not take young children to endure all the violence as it could cause nightmares; there were a few in the audience today and they were very restless. There is just too much evil portrayed for the youth to take in the meaning, especially the fiery Inferno which looked like Hell.

I loved Jimmy Smits -- he was the perfect Cisco Kid! The young Christensen was well coached but we have had better stars, like Harrison Ford in the first one. I kinda had a crush on him back in 1977. And Princess Lei was adorable then, not so today. It was rewarding to see the history of her and Luke's heritage. This movie was more sophisticated than the others. Of course, I loved Yoda with all of this wisdom. He is the center of the universe in that galaxy so long ago, the wisdom we all need. Even if he does talk in riddles.

There was some talk about a democracy in Space. Of course, that would not have been possible, but an Evil Empire was. The action was much too fast, with no time to let it sink into the consciousness of the moviegoer. His premonition about the death by childbirth along with the vivid dreams was effective. He turned from an arrogant young man, to being frustrated, strong, patient, and prideful (pride goeth before the fall; twice the pride, double the fall) and power went to his head. The transformation into Darth Vader was adequately shown, but this too was too strong for young children.

In the Theater, it looked like Knoxville party goers as they trip up all those stairs and do their drinking in the balcony, then have to ride the new elevator down. There was a beautiful sunset, perhaps two, as we watch the relentless Civil War. The ending was superb. Thank you, George Lucas, for this masterpiece. He gave some worthy advice, such as "one must study all the aspects" and gave us a glimpse of a possible future in Space, at least one in his marvelous imagination. Thanks for taking us along for the ride.

If you saw any of the others, this is a "must-see." You will come away so satisfied and say Now we now what it was all about.

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox Home Video
Director: George Lucas
Actors:
Ewan McGregor
Natalie Portman
Hayden Christensen




DVD title: Pleasantville (New Line Platinum Series)
Productgroup: DVD
Pleasantville (New Line Platinum Series) - movie DVD cover picture
Try a closer reading (response to lindlas and "A viewer")


This is a fascinating movie that does make you ask questions about issues such as the media, family life, tolerance, repression of society, and progressivism.
The obvious conflict is the battle between the repression of the so-called traditional life and the modern sensibility played out in this film. The idealized "Leave it Beaver" America of the past is depicted as a stale, unrealistic, and repressive society. Couples slept in separate beds, and the realities of human biology (not just sex, but lack of toilets) do not exist. However, when 2 teens from the present are transported into a 1950s sitcom, they force the people of Pleasantville to open up.
The people don't just open up themselves from the self repression that they previously suffered from, but they open themselves up to the possibility of social change in the face of not knowing what is to come. That is society is dynamic and change was bound to happen after the 1950s, and that doesn't mean that there is a specific right way to live.
I think this was a good little commentary on the changes within American culture and worth a watch. It's also interesting because of cast includes: Tobey Maguire, Reese Witherspoon, Jeff Daniels, and Jane Kaczmarek.

Studio: New Line Home Entertainment
Director: Gary Ross
Actors:
Tobey Maguire
Joan Allen
Jeff Daniels




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