Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Gunner Palace
Productgroup: DVD
Gunner Palace - movie DVD cover picture
worth seeing, timely and important

I found this documentary poignant and deserving of much wider audience than its rather limited distribution received. It's an effort to fill a void of missing coverage of what is happening in Iraq -- the lack of ground reporting by mainstream media, or the otherwise 'embedded' style of journalism which fuels complicity in the political arena.

Unlike Farhenheit 911 the filmmaker has indeed steered clear of imbuing the narrative with politcal judgment, (perhaps as the previous commentator says with too much restraint) -- but still I found it admirable as a portrait of combat soldiers in the field, and it's easy enough to identify with, cringe at, or hold contempt for the subjects. Simply they are young men and women on a mission -- I was surprised at how most are just kids, for better or worse -- some appear to be mature, enlightened and professional, others aren't. You get a sense of their plight and danger, and the bizarre existence they have to face each day. Since a disproportiately high percentage of the enlisted personnel come from minority backgrounds I felt the inclusion of the hip-hop poetry was entirely appropriate and compelling -- you hear them describe their situation in their own words. What they all seem to have in common is that none want to be there.

I recommend not only watching this film but discussing with others, no matter what their politcal view.

Studio: Umvd/Visual Entertai

DVD title: Charmed - The Complete First Season
Productgroup: DVD
Charmed - The Complete First Season - movie DVD cover picture
The Power of Three is Something You Should See!


Studio: Paramount Home Video
Shannen Doherty
Alyssa Milano

DVD title: Pantaleon y las Visitadoras
Productgroup: DVD
Pantaleon y las Visitadoras - movie DVD cover picture
Dedication put to the test

Hilarious, sultry and clever, this film traces the adventures of the dedicated Peruvian Army Captain Pantoja, who is sent by his higher-ups to an assignment deep in the jungle. It seems the soldiers there have been raping local women, due to the well-accepted fact that the jungle boils a man's desire out of control. Pantoja's secret task is to form a government-sponsored brothel to keep the men's libidos in check. With characteristic thoroughness, and at first reluctantly, Pantoja analyzes every aspect of the job, exhaustively researching human sexuality with a scholar's detachment. This leads him to many insights into accomplishing his task in the most efficient manner possible. One example: the provision of pornographic material to a soldier waiting for his "visit" reduces his average "visit time" by 36 seconds, thus allowing a "visitor" to service six more soldiers during her shift, and reducing cost accordingly.Unfortunately for Pantoja, the operation becomes too efficient and eventually draws the attention of a corrupt local radio personality. The dignity that Pantoja bestows upon his employees irks his superiors, and they too turn on him.Llosa's original novel is brought to life delightfully, and the film is highly entertaining, especially for one familiar with Latin American culture.

Studio: Fox Home Entertainme
Director: Francisco J. Lombardi
Salvador del Solar
Angie Cepeda

DVD title: Band of Brothers
Productgroup: DVD
Band of Brothers - movie DVD cover picture
Great Mini Series

I am a fan of all War Movies but this mini series Band of Brothers is the best of all time. You really get to know the soldiers of Easy Company and you basically feel what they feel. I've already seen each episode at least 4 or 5 times. I Love it. There is also a documentary, which is very good. It is the actual men of Easy Company telling there story. If I were you i would buy this mini series.

Studio: HBO Home Video

DVD title: Equilibrium
Productgroup: DVD
Equilibrium - movie DVD cover picture
Why did this movie go straight to video?

WOW! This is a movie I bought the day after I rented it. The video store clerk suggested it after I passed it by at least a dozen times (I'm not interested in taking "chances" on rentals). I'm sure glad he did. Original and action packed. The last big seen of the movie was worth the purchase alone. It's strange that a movie like Equilibrium can be such a sleeper when movies like A League of Extraodinary Gentlemen (yeah, whatever) are such box office smash hopefuls.Buy this movie, or at least rent or borrow it, especially if you enjoy martial arts, action, original movie ideas, sci-fi or all of the above.

Studio: Buena Vista Home Vid
Director: Kurt Wimmer
Christian Bale
Sean Bean
Taye Diggs
Emily Watson

DVD title: Beavis and Butt-head Do America
Productgroup: DVD
Beavis and Butt-head Do America - movie DVD cover picture
oh my god...

This flick is funny as f@?k. i've seen it several times, and it still makes snot poor down my face.

Studio: Paramount Studio
Mike Judge

DVD title: She's All That
Productgroup: DVD
She's All That - movie DVD cover picture
Great movie!

This movie is basically about how a small makeover can change everything. Laney Boggs [the geek version] is identical to a girl who use to be in a lot of my classes at school. Anyway, two popular guys make a bet, and Zack has to turn Laney into prom queen. This movie is great and romantic.

Studio: Miramax Home Entertainment
Director: Robert Iscove
Freddie Prinze Jr.
Rachael Leigh Cook

DVD title: Gunslinger Girl Vol 1
Productgroup: DVD
Gunslinger Girl Vol 1 - movie DVD cover picture
Girls With Guns Genre At Its Best

The girls with guns genre has been used so many times in anime cynics might think it'd run out of good stories. In fact here we cannot even get away from having the words "gun" and "girl" in the title.

The plot: `Gunslinger Girl' is not about originality. The cloak and dagger "Agency" finds crippled girls whom undergo "6 Million Dollar Man" surgery to become assassins, and eliminate Europe's crime bosses. Apparently the process only works with children.

The episode plots are not too complex. `Gunslinger Girl' is light on actual action but is NOT slow moving or boring is any sense.

`Gunslinger Girl' is 100% dependant on style. I've seen few anime recently that have evoked this type of emotion through artsy style. The animation and music are very unique. Most of the score are renditions of well know gangster or action film themes. The closing credits play to `Scareface'.

Most anime fans are comparing this to `Noir' in that they have similar themes and focus heavily on the splendor of their settings in present day Europe. True it's similar to `Noir' the same way `Cold Mountain' and `Gone With the Wind' are both about the Civil War, but there's really no comparison.

`Gunslinger Girl' honors the best elements of Luc Besson's `La Femme Nikita' and `The Professional' while focusing heavily on the color white the way `Point of No Return' did.

This is a must for anyone whom likes anime.

Another girls with guns series that was recently exceptionally great was `Najica Blitz Tactics.' Same theme but it was a comedy and it moved at a much faster pace. All 12 episodes are now being sold in 1 pack at bargain basement prices.

See `Najica Blitz Tactics' if you want to laugh and be thrilled. See `Gunslinger Girl' if you want your jaw to hit the floor in total amazement, and end up in a week long daze like I am as I write this review.

Studio: Funimation Productio

DVD title: Dragonslayer
Productgroup: DVD
Dragonslayer - movie DVD cover picture
One of the best fantasy films of all time!

I simply loved this movie when it came out about 20 years ago, and was happy to find it available again. It's a phenomenal story about a young apprentice who misinterprets his Master's final instructions, and whose ensuing arrogance thrusts him into a series of confrontations which he is ill equipped to handle (not the least of which is with the dreaded dragon in the title). However, the young but unlikely hero accepts the responsibility of the repercussions of his actions, and sets out to set things right again, despite being overwhelmed by the tasks. Peter MacNicol is fantastic as the young apprentice Galen, and presents an entirely different character to those played in Ghostbusters (where he became typcast as an effette scholar) and Ally McBeal (where he is being typcast as an effette sexually repressed lawyer). Sir Ralph Richardson is the perfect choice for the aging master sorcerer, Ulrich, and makes you believe in magic in a world where magic is dying out along with the dragons. The scenery and costumes are first rate, with incredible detail to capture the genuine feel of life in the Dark Ages (they even paid attention to the STITCHING on the clothes! ). Finally, this is one of the last films to utilise Ray Harryhausen's special effects, in the days before computer graphics...and his work with the dragon when it finally comes forth for battle is simply astounding and hair raising.

Studio: Paramount Home Video
Director: Matthew Robbins

DVD title: X - One (TV Series, Vol. 1) - With Series Box
Productgroup: DVD
X - One (TV Series, Vol. 1) - With Series Box - movie DVD cover picture
Very good!!

Plot: There is a battle for the Earth, the Dragons of Heaven (The Seven Seals) want to save it, and the Dragons of Earth (The Seven Angles) want to destroy it. To be more exact, the Dragons of Earth want to destroy the planet because it has been corrupted by humans and then they can start over. One person, Kamui, has a decision to make that will effect everyone on Earth... he will be a head Dragon, but of Heaven, or of Earth? Once he makes this decision his "twin star" automatically becomes the head of the other Dragons.
My thoughts: So far, so good! Kamui is a jerk, basically, but I have a feeling that changes. Actually I think he may, in a way, switch personalities with this other character, Fuma, but I could be wrong. The character design is really good, which I hear is usual with Clamp (the creators of X, and also the creators of Magic Knights Rayearth, Card Captor Sakura, Chobits, etc). The plot is a little confusing, but I think with the next DVDs it'll get easier. There's also a lot of characters to keep straight, but it's helped by the handy booklet that came with the DVD (but don't look at it, episode 0, or the extras if you don't want any spoilers). The second DVD comes out tomorrow, and I can't wait to find out what happens!

Studio: Geneon Entertainment

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