Film DVD related reviews


DVD title: Return to Lonesome Dove
Productgroup: DVD
Return to Lonesome Dove - movie DVD cover picture
very moving western tale


a friend of mine recently introduced me to return to lonesome dove. i don't care for westerns as a rule but i was completely captivated by it. voight and shroeder are both excellent. i haven't seen the other dvds in the seires but i certainly plan to.

Studio: Lions Gate Home Entertainment
Director: Mike Robe



DVD title: And the Band Played On
Productgroup: DVD
And the Band Played On - movie DVD cover picture
A Must Have!!


From the very first time I sat through this movie, my awareness of AIDS versus politics, and the gay rights movement versus gay peoples' self-examination into their personal activities and morals, increased 10 fold. The various band members portrayed -- "fast lane" homosexuals, the bathhouse owners, the San Francisco Health Department, Blood bank operators, Homosexual Rights Groups, and the Media, Public Health Authorities, and the Reagan Administration -- show a stunning portrayal of the responsibility we all share in the face of a crises that ultimately affects us all on one level or another.
Though not as thorough as the book upon which the fact-based movie is based (And the Band Played On: Politics, People and the AIDS Epidemic; By Randy Shilts, St. Martin's Press), this made-for-cable film poignantly testifies to those few who fought desperately to get the band's attention and those who died horribly while it continued to play.
The movie proves that the issue does not necessarily surround, (in Shilts's paraphrase), "society's responsibility to find the medical technology to prevent all sexually transmitted diseases rather than the gay community's responsibility to keep sexuality in line with what medical technology can cure."

Studio: Hbo Studios
Director: Roger Spottiswoode
Actors:
Matthew Modine
Alan Alda




DVD title: American Beauty
Productgroup: DVD
American Beauty - movie DVD cover picture
"There's nothing worse in life than being ordinary."


Winner of Academy Awards in 2000 for Best Picture, Best Actor (Kevin Spacey), Best Cinematography (Conrad L. Hall) , Best Screenplay (Alan Ball), and Best Director (Sam Mendes), this genre-defying film appears, on the surface, to be a typical domestic drama, filled with black humor and containing a coming-of-age subplot--and then it becomes surreal. Lester Burnham (Spacey), like all the other characters in the film, is unhappy and alienated. He hates his job, dislikes his bosses, and resents his hostile and driven wife, but when he finally frees himself from his desk job and takes a job at a fast food establishment, everything in his life goes crazy.

Lester is not-so-secretly attracted to the bored, teenage friend (the flirty Mena Suvari) of his daughter (beautifully played by Thora Birch). His wife (Annette Bening) has shut herself off from him, and initiates a tawdry affair. His alienated daughter is attracted to the equally alienated, drug-selling teenager (Wes Bentley) next door, a boy who has just been released from a two-year hospitalization and who stands outside her house shooting videos. The boy's father (Chris Cooper), an ex-Marine, rules the family with an ungloved fist.

The Burnhams and the Fittses, next door, appear at first to be fairly typical suburban families, living typical suburban lives, but as these alienated people try, first, to cope with their alienation and then figure out a way to resolve it, the film becomes darkly surreal. Each character chooses to cope in an extreme way, a way that would not make sense for the "typical" families which they appear to represent, and eventually the characters, acting on their extreme choices, collide in a dramatic, horrifying conclusion.

Director Mendes somehow manages to make this genre-bending film work, creating a likable character in Lester (Spacey), a termagant wife (Bening) who manages to elicit a modicum of sympathy, and teenagers who exhibit the typical angst of their age while, at the same time, evoking our own tender memories. Even the domineering Col. Fitts becomes human as we see him trying to cope with his own threatening demons. The drama builds slowly, the tension rises inexorably, and the final scenes are intense. Astonishingly, even the final scene has elements of black humor. With all its Academy Awards, and its additional Academy nominations for Best Actress, Best Music, and Best Editing, this is a top-notch film which will interest film buffs and lovers of dark comedy, and its "heart" makes it unforgettable. Mary Whipple


Studio: Universal Studios
Director: Sam Mendes
Actors:
Kevin Spacey
Annette Bening




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


Tombstone is fast paced, fun, and packed with quality acting/writing. Historically padded, but who cares. Pure entertainment.
A must see. Val Kilmer is phenominal, shooting at OK Coral is amazing. You will love Doc Holiday. Buy it.

Studio: Hollywood Pictures
Director: George P. Cosmatos
Actors:
Kurt Russell
Val Kilmer




DVD title: Love Serenade
Productgroup: DVD
Love Serenade - movie DVD cover picture
FANTASTIC AND FUNNY!


I abolutely LOVED this movie! Both sisters and Ken Sherry were delightfully quirky and amusing. Its a great movie that is NOT predictable and is so interesting and funny. The acting is GREAT on all parts, the restaurant owner was a special treat. I would highly recommend this movie if you like more low key indie movies like Trees Lounge and Kicking and Screaming and the fantabulously underrated She's So Lovely.

Studio: Miramax
Director: Shirley Barrett
Actors:
Miranda Otto
Rebecca Frith
George Shevtsov




DVD title: Asoka
Productgroup: DVD
Asoka - movie DVD cover picture
Spectacular


I was pleasantly surprised when I watched this movie. It has excellent action sequences and a great storyline. This movie is about the great emporer Asoka who leaves his throne to spread Buddhism throughout India and the world. Historically, some of the movie is accurate. In the beginning and the end of the movie, they specify which parts of the movie were reality and they let us know on the cover and during the beginning of the movie that some of the movie is dramatized. The songs for this movie are worth listening to. The acting of ShahRukh Khan and Kareena Kapoor is amazing, both of them fit their roles perfectly. If you are tired of of Hindi movies with repetive story lines, you should definitely watch this movie!

Studio: First Look Pictures
Director: Santosh Sivan
Actors:
Shahrukh Khan
Kareena Kapoor




DVD title: She's Having a Baby
Productgroup: DVD
She's Having a Baby - movie DVD cover picture
She's Pregnant


Christy has a baby bo

Studio: Paramount Home Video
Director: John Hughes
Actors:
Kevin Bacon
Elizabeth McGovern
Alec Baldwin




DVD title: Gladiator
Productgroup: DVD
Gladiator - movie DVD cover picture
The Greatest Movie Ever Made


While the film's sweeping scope is best appreciated on the large screen, this transition to home video is most commendable. The motion picture by itself is worth the price, but the inclusion of an additional DVD full of bonus features is a remarkable deal.
I'm not going to ramble on to praise Ridley Scott and his talented production crew, or Russell Crowe and the excellent cast; I see that there are a couple hundred other people who have already done so. I wanted to post this review to chide the film's detractors. Everyone is a critic, but some of the comments that I have read are petty, ignorant, and unwarranted:
One person wrote that the film is too long to be properly compressed onto one DVD. I assume that this gentleman is a digital engineer who designs and manufactures DVDs.
Several reviewers complained about the lack of realism and unsatisfactory computer-generated effects. I understand that George Lucas' ILM company is looking for their resumes, as they must certainly know how to produce superior results.
A reviewer of the movie's soundtrack on another site derided both Hans Zimmer's majestic score and Lisa Gerrard's exquisite vocal work. With a combined output of 65 film soundtracks, other successful projects, and numerous awards over thier respective 20-year careers, you think they'd be able to get it right by now. Undoubtedly, this critic's worst composition must be much better than either Zimmer's or Gerrard's best work.
Some individuals were unhappy with Russell Crowe's performance. One in particular felt the need to comment on the actor's excessive body hair. Assumably, this person is not only a respected acting coach, but also runs his own salon.
Several patrons of the arts flexed their critic skills by blasting the director's camera work and choice of shots. Perhaps these professionals can give Mr. Scott some pointers on his next project, after they've finished dusting off thier Oscars.
Numerous observers found the script insubstantial, lacking complete story elements and character development. As far as I can discern, there is a beginning, middle, and end, conflict and compromise, well-defined characters, and resolution of the plot. Perhaps these reviewers might impart their years of film school education and scriptwriting experience to improve this weak fable.
Then there are the Rhodes scholars who found the film's story to be implausible and historically inaccurate. They might not be aware that this is a work of fiction designed to entertain people, not a documentary.
And let's not forget all those comparisons to "Brave Heart", "The Patriot", "Spartacus", "Ben Hur", and even "Titanic". I look forward to these reveiwers' analyses of apples and oranges sometime in the future.
Thankfully, everyone is entitled to their own opinions, regardless of accuracy or relevance. "Gladiator" will probably not garner the industry accolades that it deserves at the 2001 Academy Awards, but it will forever stand as one of the most impressive productions in motion picture history.
But what do I know?

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: Ridley Scott
Actors:
Russell Crowe
Joaquin Phoenix
Connie Nielsen




DVD title: Dinosaur
Productgroup: DVD
Dinosaur - movie DVD cover picture
Outstanding Movie!!!!!!!


Let's face it, Land Before Time has a more complex plot and better characterization, but that's far from the whole story. Visually this is a real marvel. In years to come it may be studied along side King Kong due to its innovative combination of real locations and computer animation. Rent it and see what you think - you may want to add it to your collection.

Studio: Walt Disney Home Video
Actors:
D.B. Sweeney
Samuel E. Wright
Julianna Margulies




DVD title: Still Crazy
Productgroup: DVD
Still Crazy - movie DVD cover picture
The Flame Still Burns for this bloomin' brilliant movie!


What an amazing film!!! Wonderfully hilarious, with so much to offer! For anyone who has been on the road with a rock band, listened to a rock band, or indeed, lived, this is such an enjoyable film. The poignant moments are incredibly moving, though the movie is by no means suffocated with pointless sentimentality. And yes, the humorous parts are side-splitting. The story of the aged heavy metal band that try desperately to make it back to the top after splitting up 20 years before, is one that is a great basis for a brilliant film, and it doesn't disappoint for one minute. All the performances are amazing (particularly that of Bill 'I'm not fifty' Nighy as the well meaning but slightly dim lead singer, Ray. Be prepared for a marvellous evening in!

Studio: Columbia/Tristar Studios
Director: Brian Gibson
Actors:
Stephen Rea
Billy Connolly




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