Monday, January 31, 2005

Dances with Wolves (Special Extended Edition) (1990) Review

Before I watched this movie I didnt really no if Indians were either the good or the bad. But as teh filmed reached its peak I finally learned the answer. The movie by far again its the greatest ive ever seen even compared to the movies of my generation. It has a beautiful script that no one should miss. I thought it was going to be a very boring movie but it is not. I was very surprised at the end of the movie and how it ended. Its also very sad and a great way to teach anybody about native americans and how much they suffered since the movie shows that. I dont want to kill how the movie is but it all starts with the protagonist John dealing with the flaws of soceity and how some white americans were destructive againts this great human beings the native Americans. It then shows the bad and good sides of how some people were with the native americans. John who matures as his odyssey goes through learns alot from the Indian people and is accepted by the Sioux people who care for him sicne they name him Dances with Wolves. You the reader would have to know why. I dont want to kill the movie anymore. So watch it and try to understand the history part of it cause its very important. Hope this helped. Thanks for reading it.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Much Ado About Nothing (1993) Review

Kenneth Branagh is, undoubtedly, my favorite Shakespeare actor and director. He casts based on talent rather than popularity and his choices really pay off. His own roles are instilled with a vibrant energy and life not often seen in film.

This screen adaptation of Shakespeare's romantic comedy takes us on a light-hearted adventure of match-making and deceit. Branagh plays Benedick, a soldier in the company of Don Pedro of Aragon and a "professed tyrant" to the female sex who swears he will die a bachelor. Emma Thompson, then Branagh's wife, plays Beatrice, a free-spirited female version of Benedick. The two are engaged in a "merry war" of wits, and constantly offend one another. Their friends, however, see them as the perfect couple and endeavour to bring them together against their own wills.

The second love story is that of Claudio, another favored soldier of prince Don Pedro, played by Robert Sean Leonard, and Hero, a career-starting role for actress Kate Beckinsale. Theirs is a case of love at first sight, and they soon become engaged to be married. Don John, the prince's outcast brother, however, will do anything to destroy the happiness of one of Don Pedro's favored men. He and his henchmen enter into a plot to break up the engagement.

Don Pedro is played by Denzel Washington, and the role highlights his amazing versatility and talent as an actor. This is definitely one of his best performances. It is also refreshing to see a movie where the good brother is played by a person of color and the bad brother, Don John (Keanu Reeves) is white. Branagh made an excellent casting choice and both characters shine.

Comic relief is provided by an outstanding performance of Michael Keaton as Dogberry, the local sheriff who's more than a little off his rocker, but harmlessly entertaining. Delightful performances are also given by Richard Briers as Leonato, Brian Blessed as Antonio, and Richard Clifford as Conrade.

With great acting, verbal and physical comedy, and a wonderful musical score, this film is a definite must-see for any fan of Shakespeare and Kenneth Branagh. A truly delightful movie!

Top Secret! (1984) Review

It's remarkable how few people I know seem aware of this great comedy. The jokes fly fast and furious in the mode of Airplane -it's by the same team.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Tenacious D - The Complete Master Works Review

First of all, it's rare these days that a band could can come along and make rock history. First of all there songs are comedy but rock all the same. You get to see there amazing concert that was recorded at Brixton Academy, UK plus all of there HBO episodes.

First of all the concert is very good with some acting and JB 'slaying' a massive dragon and getting into a fight with KG causing him to quit for a minute. This is very good for all you Jack Black fans with his comedy acts. At the concert, they performed all the tracks I know of (with the exeptions of 'city hall' and 'Jesus Ranch'). Instead of using there comedy nuggets which they used on there album, they replaced them with acting and different comedy (e.g - JB suffering a mental breakdown).

Now on to the HBO episodes. Theree are 6 of the original HBO epsiodes, each one being about 15 - 20 minutes long. Even though these episodes are old it's still good for D-Ciples. On one episode you witness JB and KG given 5 days to write a song.

To start off the second disc (for psyco fans!)there are some 'HBO Shorts', which are shorter versions of the original HBO episodes. There are 3 of these and each one is about 3 - 5 minutes long. These are funny but not as good as the original HBO episodes.

Next are some of the TV shows that JB and KG have featured on including the Conan O' Brian Show. Also On the Disc Are 2 of Tenacious D's Top Videos (Tribute And Wonderboy). Watch the 'Making Of' after to see how the videos were made. And finally on the disc is a 'Tenacious D On The Road Documentary' and a 'Tenacious D In The Studio' Film.

There is 3 1/2 hours of entertainment spread over the 2 discs. I highly recommend this to Tenacious D fans who are 15 yeara old or over! WARNING:ADULT MATERIAL!!!

I can't find the 'FHG' video on the DVD so don't be suprised if it's not on your version either. Also, does anyone know when the next Tenacious D album is coming out, if so reply to this review please.

Left Behind II - Tribulation Force (2002) Review

Too many inconsistencies that don't make sense, nor change the storyline if they would've been acurate.

- Buck never referred to himself in public as Buck, it was always Cameron.
- Buck was a newspaper writer, not a TV reporter
- The GC didn't forbid people to go near the wailing wall this early in the series.
- Chloe is blonde in the books
- Dr. Benjudah (sp) didn't take the stand he did in the video. He never said there was no God, and he invited Buck to the wall, not the other way around.
- In the book, Nicolae didn't have outbursts like at the end of the video.
- Rayford didn't have to beg Hattie for the GC1 pilot job, he was practically pushed into it. Same for Buck.

Aside from these few examples, too many things were rushed through. I would love to have seen the part where Verna gets faced by her boss when she tries to give Buck a hard time.

I'm glad they made this into video, because it was simply entertaining, but I would highly recommend reading the book (the series, for that matter). If you don't, you're missing out on a great story.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Hairspray (1988) Review

John Waters purists may argue that HAIRSPRAY, his great crossover hit, is nowhere near as lowdown dirty and outrageously sidesplitting as his earlier guerilla films, but there's no denying that this is his smoothest piece of work, with by far the best performances. Everyone by this point knows that the film concerns the attempts of Tracy Turnblad, "an upper lower-class" overweight white girl from inner-city 1962 Baltimore, to get onto a popular local television dance show and then to integrate it successfully. The entire cast (even the supporting throwaway parts: catch the facial expressions of Amber's friends when she's dissing Tracy in class) is just about perfect, and is led by three magnificent teenage performances: Ricki Lake as the supremely confident Tracy; Divine, as her charmingly pushing mother; and the scene-stealer Colleen Fitzpatrick as Tracy's rival, the abominable blonde Amber. One thing that really helps the film is the superb soundtrack from the early 60s, which keeps things hopping, and the marvelous dancing (particularly on the part of Lake and Fitzpatrick) to accompany it.

The DVD version is really a treat, offering one of the finest and funniest director's commentators ever from John Waters: it's amazing to hear how much background was behind the film, which chronicles his real-life obsession with a similar Baltimore early 60's dance show. There are also some comments from Lake, who unsurprisingly reveals what a diva she really is (she's STILL upset with Waters for making her dye her hair for the film!). But the Waters's comments are laugh-out-loud funny, and there are far more of them than Lake's, which is a blessing.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Da Vinci Code Decoded Review

If you are looking for the expert dope on all things Da Vinci Code, this is it - no need to look elsewhere. Henry Lincoln, Dan Burstein, Picknett and Prince and even Dan Brown - basically everyone you'd want to explain the back story of The Da Vinci Code. The only omission is anything the naysayers who wrote lots of books denouncing the novel as anti-catholic, etc., but that's not to say that the people who are interviewed, especially Holy Blood Holy Grail's Henry Lincoln, don't question some of the wilder leaps made by some enthusiasts.

It's really well produced, and organized so that you can drop in or out of any chapter on the DVD to learn about whichever topics interest you most. If there was a criticism it would be that some of the talking heads really go into detail, perhaps more so than you might want - but that depends on your level of interest.

Overall, 5 stars and a suggestion to look no further, except perhaps Dan Burstein's excellent book Secrets of the Code and/or Martin Lunn's book Da Vinci Code Decoded, which despite having the same name as this DVD doesn't really cover the subject matter in the same way.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Waking Life (2001) Review

Well this one definitely defines the phrase "acquired taste".

An interesting and at times deeply moving film, with amazing technical graphics and animation. However, the main reason for the latter seems to be to disguise the fact that this movie really has little or no script...

Filled with typical long monologues on the meaning of life, etc., as typical with Linklater (even including an Ethan Hawke/Julie Delpy scene that is a direct throwback and reiteration of an earlier movie of his), it does seem a little too deep and smug at times, and certainly does outstay its welcome.

Best watched at home on video or DVD, with a remote and a PAUSE button handy, and no doubt very interesting to watch if stoned... Also, if you're in a reflective mood on life, its origins, where your life is going, then it's certainly a fun little seminar to attend. Otherwise, you may find it dreary, pretentious and boring.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Aladdin (Disney Special Platinum Edition) (2004) Review

I was pleased with this DVD, as I generally am with any Disney DVD, but I didn't get as excited by the bonus features as some other reviewers.

I thought the bonus features on last year's "Lion King" DVD were much better, but there were some interesting things on the bonus DVD; there was one particulary good part where they go through the progression of the story, it was intersting to see where they had intended to take the movie originally.

I will say that for anyone who enjoyed this movie or has kids it is easily worth twenty bucks to have it in DVD.

And for those of you who for some reason in this world have enough time to go looking for the newest Clay Aiken or Simpson/Lachey video then this is for you too.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Crunch - Fat Burning Pilates (2003) Review

This workout is definitely NOT for the beginner! I'm trying to get back into shape and rented this video from the library. The instructor does a horrible job of cueing the movements. I was constantly tripping over myself trying to keep up! The only good part of the video was the pilates mat exercises at the end. However, that segment was MUCH too short! Don't waste your money on this!!

Friday, January 21, 2005

Lost In Translation (Widescreen Edition) (2003) Review

I thought this movie was breathtaking, The acting was top-notch and the dialogue was incredible, adn Bill Murray was suprinsingly great in a dramatic role. One of the best movies over the past 5 years and definetly worth owning to your DVD collection. Hey Spiridian----you need a hug, :)

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Uninvited Guest (1999) Review

I actually had to watch this movie for a film class I am taking and a student dropped the course after we watched this movie. With lame background music, cheesy sex scenes and poor acting, it is borderline porn. The plot is unbelievable and I kept sighing through the entire movie. The camera movement is not smooth and it almost looked as if it was shot with someone's home video camera. I do not recommend this to anyone with any intellegence or good taste in movies.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Persuasion (1995) Review

I thoroughly enjoyed this adaptation of Jane Austen's "Persuasion." Unlike some other reviewers on this site, I found Amanda Root to be a perfect choice for the role of Anne Elliott, who had "lost her bloom" at age 27. At the beginning of the movie, Root's Anne is timid, often self-effacing, and her physical appearance is, frankly, plain. Thoroughout the course of the film, as she rediscovers her feelings for Captain Wentworth (Ciaran Hinds)she becomes more animated and self-assured, and by the end of the movie, sure of the captain's love, she positively blooms again. I liked the cast in general, although I thought that Hinds may have been an older Captain Wentworth than Austen envisioned. Corin Redgrave gave his usual excellent performance as the vain and foppish father of Anne and Elizabeth. I did not care for Phoebe Nicholls interpretation of Elizabeth Elliott, however. Ms Nicholls, who was so brilliant in "Brideshead Revisited," played Elizabeth (who is in her late 20s) as a spoiled teenager who would have been more at home in the Los Angeles of the 1990s than early 19th century England. Sophie Thompson (sister of Emma) and Fiona Shaw were outstanding as Mary Musgrove and Mrs. Croft, respectively.

The film makers did take some liberties with the has been commented on several times by critics that Anne and the Captain never kissed in Austen's novel. While this is true, most of the film adaptations of Austen's works that I have seen include scenes of kissing between men and women who have come to an understanding of their love for each other. "Persuasion" is certainly a more faithful adaptation of Austen than is "Mansfield Park," which was released about the same time, probably because it does not have a political ax to grind.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Booty Call (1997) Review

This is got to be the stupidest film I've ever seen. I am surprized that Vivica Fox, who is a reputable actress, even consented to do this movie. The only good thing about it is the lengths these guys were going to to get condoms. Other than the safe sex message, this film is wack. They should have just called it BOOTY, 'cause that's what it is.

Monday, January 17, 2005

Pink Flamingos Review

John Waters utterly rejects everything decent and clean and entertains us in the process. You can loathe this film, but you can't loathe Divine - he/she's a character like no other. While not a professional actor/actress, she gets plenty of mileage out of her sheer gusto and enthusiasm, and at the end we get to see just how devoted she is to the art of being putrid.

The supporting cast eats up their depraved roles, multiplying the fun. Miss Edie, the Marbles, Crackers, Cotton, and Channing are hilariously vile and grotesque people and I love them all. The awful camerawork, clumsy direction, and scratchy soundtrack add to the scuzzy experience that many won't want to relive but that none will ever forget. This blunt satire really wolloped middle America back in the day, and it obeyed my foremost requirement of satires - annoy conservatives.

The really interesting thing about this flick, though, is that the underground world glimpsed here has more or less become mainstream America. Turn on the TV and you'll see what I mean. It's all obese trash talking losers and bleeped out profanities now. Divine would be in her element.

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Rush Hour 2 (Infinifilm Edition) (2001) Review

Slick, chaotic, and decently entertaining sequel picks up where the first movie left off. LAPD Detective James Carter (Chris Tucker) is on vacation in Hong Kong with his friend, Detective Inspector Lee (Jackie Chan). Carter just wants to relax, have fun, get some "mu shu", but Lee can't stop doing his job even for a minute. This time, he's hot on the trail of gangster Ricky Tan (John Lone), who may have been behind an Embassy bombing.

More-of-the-same in terms of content AND style, but still pretty engaging, with lots of action and thrills. Chan and Tucker still share the same chemistry, and overall there are some good laughs. (Worth it just to see Tucker perform Michael Jackson's "Don't Stop Til You Get Enough"...) For me, one of the perks of this sequel is watching "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" beauty Zhang Ziyi as a very fetching and lethal assassin.

The Bride With White Hair (1993) Review

This is the best movie that I have ever seen. The action and romance are the best. Buy this movie rent it whatever, you just have to see it to believe it. Even the music is good I don't even understand chinese and I find myself singing Leslie Cheung's song at the end. This is not a hardcore swordfighting movie but if you can't enjoy this film than you probably don't have a heart beat. I don't understand how anyone could not give this movie 5 stars. Brigitte lin is the most verstile actress that I have ever seen. She can fight and fly and act. Her eyes pull you into every film that she is in. This film is a masterpiece and should be in every film lovers collection.

Friday, January 14, 2005

Fushigi Yugi OVA Boxed Set Review

Well, I have to admit there is a bit of a rocky start to this series...But it doesn't take away from the fact that this is the BEST ANIME EVER!!! Although, I do like the ending to the actual series better than the ending to the OVA's. I hope that you will watch the 1st & 2nd season to the series before watching this or you will have NO IDEA WHAT IS GOING ON! The first OVA series (1st 3 episodes in this set) are very confusing and aren't in the manga. They are just an intro to the second OVA series (last 6 episodes in this set). These are well done, but aren't necessarily needed for the story to end. For you people who liked the way the series ended, I wouldn't recommend these unless you want it to end in a totally different way. But it will always be my favorite Anime.

Series order: Suzaku Box-1st season
Seiryu Box-2nd season
Oni Box-OVA's

Thursday, January 13, 2005

The Pink Panther Cartoon Collection - Jet Pink (1967) Review

Great DVD but I was expecting more than 55 minutes or so. Hopefully next time they do better and put more on a DVD.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Dead Alive (1993) Review

Another great Peter Jackson movie to be enjoyed over and over! There is really no way to describe this movie, it stands alone in so many different catagories, it is hard to fathom what was going on in Peter's head when he made this movie.
Dubbed "the goriest fright film of all time" this film does not hold back at all and lives up to this tag that has been put on it.
Word to the wise, stay away from thr R rated version it does no justice to Jackson's masterpeice of gore as it cuts away when something juicy is about to happen, I strongly recommend the unrated version or if you can find it the Brain dead version, it adds about 7-10 minutes onto the film's running time.

Monday, January 10, 2005

The Best of The Chris Rock Show - Volume 2 (1997) Review

This 2nd Volume of 'The Best Of The Chris Rock Show' is great!! Once again, Chris covers issues with a sharp wit, so many people could be offended, but he doesn't hold his tongue.The highlight of this DVD is 'Halle Berry 911', which is worth the price of the DVD itself.The low point is the 'Free Bobby Brown' & 'Confederate Flag' skits.Those skits were 'alrght', but nothing special.Overall, this is a cool DVD, and I really like the Halle Berry (& the Taxi Cab Confessions segment!!) skit.Check it out!!

Notting Hill (Collector's Edition) (1999) Review

One of the biggest box office smashes of 1999 and considered to be one of the best romantic comedies of the last TWO decades. In roles that earned Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant Golden Globe nominations, they give some of their best work to date. Only the lazy, would be able to say Roberts is just "playing herself." Just more oridinary folks thinking that they "know" a celebrity because they read about them in a magazine and watch their movies. In fact, she's playing a character and playing each note really well. With the most radiant smile and a laugh to cherish - she is a true MOVIESTAR (a word used way too much). In this film she's vulnerable & tough, funny & sweet, selfish and selfless. From her that moment at the dinner table as she fights for her brownie, to the moment where she proclaims her love to Grant telling him "she's just a girl standing in front of a boy..." to her anger over the invasion that one celebrity of her stature receives. It is a glorious performance. Entertainment Weekly said she should be considered for an Oscar nomination - I agree. The movie gives ROMANTIC COMEDIES a good name.

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Boyz 'N the Hood (1991) Review

This is one of the greatest african american movies out there. Truth about everyday lives of black people strggling in the infamous south central. Cuba, cube and fishburne deliever an outstanding preformance of what really goes on in the hood. I recomended it to anyone who love african american stuggle drama, i'd rate it a 10/10. Watch this movie, its a definite.

Friday, January 07, 2005

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (Special Edition) (1989) Review

Watch this sometime between December 10 and December 23 each year, because it will put you in the right frame of mind for Christmas. It is quite ludicrous in parts, but most people know a dad like Chevy Chase and relatives like his brother and appalling family. One to watch before settling down to a good horror movie.

The Real Buddy Holly Story Review

Excellent documentary from Paul McCartney setting the record straight on the true Holly legend and legacy with pertinent interviews from the people who knew him first and best, his brothers Larry and Travis Holley (yes..that is the correct spelling of the family name!), original Crickets Jerry ("J.I.") Allison and Joe ("Joe B.") Mauldin, plus current Cricket member Sonny Curtis (writer of "Rock Around With Ollie Vee, "I Fought The Law", and later on The Mary Tyler Moore theme song "Love Is All Around"). Probably the best video archival record of Buddy Holly out there and more than worth the price for any "true" Buddy afficianado. If all you have ever seen or heard about Buddy Holly comes from the movie, what I euphemistically call "The Gary Busey Story", and please see my review of the VHS version of that one, do yourself a huge favor and get yourself a copy of this documentary before you "Rave On" to the rest of us about the wonderfulness of the movie and Gary Busey's performance of a film that, by the producer's own admission, was never designed to be a factual account of Buddy Holly's life anyway. Jerry Allison himself said it should be called "The Buddy Hollywood Story". I heartily concur! McCartney, who owns the rights to Holly's music, does him the true justice that the movie sadly denied him. As Sonny Curtis so eloquently stated in his song "The Real Buddy Holly Story", written by him shortly after the movie came out, "The levy isn't dry, and the music didn't die, 'cause Buddy Holly lives every time we play rock and roll."
Amen Sonny!

Thursday, January 06, 2005

South Park - The Complete Third Season (1999) Review

Season Three of SOUTH PARK was funny funny funny despite (or maybe because) Matt and Trey were strung out from doing the movie and the show simultaneously. The season starts off strong with Jennifer Aniston as a touring choir director out to save the rainforest, and every episode afterwards is just as good! They skewer everything -- Pokemon, The Stations of the Cross, Sexual Harassment ... you name it!

One reviewer on down the line said they did not approve of the BAD LANGUAGE! What the hell!??! I was shocked to see the bleeps still in the show like they aired on COMEDY CENTRAL, but they sort of make it funny. The mini-commentaries (each episode gets 4 minutes!) are a scream! SOUTH PARK like the SIMPSONS has somehow kept up its bite and edge over the years, and SEASON THREE is no exception. All the stuff we love - Kenny still dies in every episode, Cartman still whines "Screw you guys I'm going home!" and "Repect my authority!", and several satirical songs come to life (I really liked the SEXUAL HARASSMENT PANDA song - turn the volume up and you can hear the lyrics!).

SOUTH PARK came of age in Season 3, and established itself as a trend and fad that would not fade.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Dr. Strangelove or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (Special Edition) (1964) Review

"Dr. Strangelove or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb" (wow what a title eh?) still packs a big wallop today, in both its humor and its overall satire. Maybe it doesn't have the same affect on us today now that Russia has fallen and our enemies aren't major powers with high nuclear capabilities, but that doesn't mean it still doesn't stand as a testament of how people felt about something...and more importantly, how they could laugh at it.

And there is a lot to laugh at in this movie, whether its just fun or it means something. There's General Turgeson reading off ten to twenty million American deaths in a Russian retaliation and calling it "getting our hair muffed." There's the classic scene of Slim Pickens' riding the nuclear bomb down like he was at a rodeo. And of course, who can forget Dr. Strangelove getting out of his chair and declaring, "MEIN FUHRER! I CAN WALK!" I can always depend on this movie for a good laugh.

I have to also say I was really, really impressed with this DVD. There was a great documentary that tells you all you would want to know about the movie and it's creation, there are recorded interviews with Peter Sellers and George C. Scott, trailers, and original images and posters in the image gallery.

Overall, it's a very good buy. A classic movie, and a worthy DVD.

If These Walls Could Talk 2 (2000) Review

A nice set of homilies on prejudice, love and loss.
Good for the slight pieces they were but nothing in them made me want to see them again in a hurry.

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