Friday, September 30, 2005

The Searchers (1956) Review

the indians show up and the one who is apparently to grab the little girl is obviously a white guy with utterly lame 'indian' makeup on. I just can't stand this kind of crap. It's what makes so many of these old westerns unwatchable. Plus the comic relief 'old guy' is pitiful.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Equilibrium (2002) Review

Don't misunderstand me, I thought that Martrix part 1 was a good movie, but Equilibrium has a better story. The story was interesting and some parts were very heart moving.

Equilibrium has a unique action style which uses very fast hand movements. Contrary to Matrix 1 which uses slow motion bullet time speed.

I also recommend another movie named The Returner. Which has a different style, but is good for sci-fi action fans.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Pride & Prejudice Review

After just recently reading the original Pride and Prejudice, we were delighted with this creative take on the classic. Instead of 5 sisters it's 5 roommates, a goofy, extreme returned missionary in lieu of Collins the pastor, and just a lovely musical score (even for a middle aged mom like me). Cinematography was interesting, and the little imagination flashes were ingenious. My teens loved it and it's clean and probably a great setup for them even before they read the classic. Very well done!

Broadway - The Golden Age, by the Legends Who Were There Review

You'd think this was some kind of masterwork from the way that people are foaming at the mouth with praise on Amazon for this film. Critical response was mixed. Some overlooked its clear amateur style, in defense of the filmmaker's passion. Other more mainstream critics pulled no punches and weren't afraid to call this what it is. A Broadway fanatic's self-indulgent dream come true.

I resisted seeing the film in the theater, turned off by the barrage of low-grade self-promotion.

Someone gave me the DVD for Xmas. I just finished watching it.

It isn't as bad as I thought it would be, but this thing is a very shoddy assemnlage of talking-head interviews without a story or a sense of dramatic structure. What a pity, especially since "the legends who were there" gave of their time to participate. Were that they were guided by a real filmmaker with a vision, instead of an uber-fan, blinded by his obsession, this could have been great. Instead, it's a "wanna-be" compared to the superb mini-series PBS aired in the Autumn.

Thumbs down!!!!

Monday, September 26, 2005

Quickfix - Total Cardio Kick Review

Like the other Quick Fix workouts, I love this DVD. It combines cardio with toning so if you are able to do all 4 segments, you get a great total body workout including the cardio. The moves are not difficult which lends to a better cardio effect. I like to do 2 or 3 segments and combine it with the Arm and Leg workout plus one of the Ab segments from the Quick Fix Total Mix DVD for an excellent total body workout.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Wild At Heart (1990) Review

superb, sublime, sadistic. have you ever had a nightmare that you actually enjoyed? imagery so powerful and suggestive it would haunt your mind for days? if so, this film is for you. and if you enjoy this film, then you might also enjoy u-turn.

Get Real (1999) Review

While watching this movie, I kept looking for the release date: surely it must be 1952, not 1998! It's about some alternate-world Britain where Stonewall never happened, so there are no gay organizations, no gay publications, no gay pride festivals, nothing except anonymous encounters in public toilets. Ben Silverstone plays the only gay student in his large urban high school, an extremely feminine young man who plasters his bedroom with pictures of football jocks, yet is horrified by the idea that his parents might find out he is gay (surely any parent would have figured that out years ago).

He begins a relationship with the local jock, who is so horrified by the idea of anybody "finding out" that he won't acknowledge Ben's presence in public, continues to date his old girlfriend, and even beats Ben up to prove to his high school cronies that he hates gay people. Of course, he does: he hates himself. But Ben is no model for gay pride either, since after all no gay pride exists in this weird alternate world, just furtive encounters and worries that someone might find out.

In the U.S. and in Britain, there are gay-straight alliances in hundreds of high schools, chapters of PFLAG and MCC in even the tiniest of towns, hundreds of organizations for gay teenagers. So why does this movie live in some weird twilight zone? It is a slap in the face of gay teens everywhere, their parents and teachers, and just about everyone else who devotes time and energy to fighting homophobia and anti-gay oppression.

Friday, September 23, 2005

South Park - The Complete First Season (1997) Review

This is the first season of 1 of the best, and longest running (popular) cartoons on TV! This has some great classic episodes like when Cartman has pink eye, and the original halloween episode. Any south park fan should have this. Buy It!

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Longtime Companion (1990) Review

I agree completely with the Boston Phoenix, "That this film got made at all is a cause for celebration."This starts out in the early 80's when there was a wave of terror known as the "gay cancer." The film follows all through the 80's, as it concentrates on a circle of homosexual friends.Little by little they die off, and the surviving members have a harsh reality to deal with around them. This movie is so brutally honest that it's hard to sit through at times.The most touching part of the film is at the end when two lovers that survived the decade along with their female friend stroll on the beach talking. One man says, " I just want to be around when they find a cure." Then all the people who died from the disease all come together on the beach, hugging and smiling. Then we realize that it was just a dream as it pops back into the future with the three of them still standing on the beach, silent and sad. Again, the young man says, "I just want to be around when they find a cure."Straight or gay, you have to watch this. Talk about a wake-up call.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Laird (White Knuckle Extreme) (2001) Review

I just watched "White Knuckle Extreme" for the third time in two days. Laird Hamilton has evidently crossed a spiritual line that most surfers (including myself) can't even begin to approach. While the awesome sight of Hamilton's physical strength and agility rocketing across and down the face of monstrous waves is great eye candy, the true essence of this DVD is the rhythmic poise that Hamilton sustains as he enters the focal point of every wave. So many surfers clumsily muscle their way through big waves in attempts to "conquer" them. In direct contrast, Hamilton's reverence for earth's purest energy is manifest by his unassuming style. The visual images as well as the short narratives demonstrate Hamilton's joyous acceptance of his "secondary role" in each fantastic ride. As I watched the incredible footage of Hamilton riding these dangerous waves I got the feeling that he consciously minimizes his presence as he, almost inconspicuously, becomes part of the raging forces around him. The soundtrack (Moby, Bender, Ben Harper, Robert Aviles)exceptionally enhances the visual. I highly recommend this DVD to surfer and non-surfer alike.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Annie Hall (1977) Review

This was the best movie Woody made from the time when he was still making great movies! It centers on Woody's on and off relationship with the ditzy Annie. Probably the movie that Seinfied got the humor for his show from! There are scenes like Woody standing in line for a movie that some loudmouth is explaining the meaning of to a bunch of women. When Woody disagrees with the man the man says that he should know because he teaches a college course about the movie to which Woody replies by bringing foward the movie's director. The director then tells the man he has no clue as to what the movie is about!

Another involves Michael Moriarity as Annie's wierd brother. He tells Woody that he fantasizes about wrecking his car when he is driving. Sure enough the next scene has Moriarity driving Annie and Woody home and Woody has this terrified expression on his face as Moriarity is driving.

There are so many more of these types of hilarious scenes! This is a great film to own so you could memorize the lines.

WWE - Invasion 2001 (2001) Review

this is is a very good paper-view but it is very hard to find.

1.mike awesome & lance storm vs.edge & christian
edge & christian put on some amazing moves at the end.the beginning was boring but the ending was perfect.awesome lifted up edge but christian speared him to pick up the win.8/10

2.earl hebner vs. nick parick
this match was a wase of time.0/10

3.sean o'haire & chuck palumbo vs.APA
a very good big man match.the ending was rushed though.bradshaw gives palumbo the clothesline from hell to pick up the win.6/10

4.billy kidman vs.x-pac
this match was faboulas.this was one of x-pac's best matches.kidman wins with the shooting-star press.9/10

5.william regal vs. raven
this was actually a very good match.there styles mix well together.while raven distracts the ref,tazz comes in and t-bone suplexes regal.then raven ddt's regal for the win.8/10

6.billy gunn,albert,big show vs.sean stasiak,hugh morrus,kanyon
this was a great match but was only like 4 minuets.stasiak reverse ddt's billy gunn and puts hugh morrus(the legal man)arm on billy so the ref can count the pin and stasiak,morrus,and kanyon win.but after the match,big show chokeslams stasiak and morrus and alley-oops kanyon.7/10

7.tajiri vs.tazz
an OK match .tajir wins after spitting the green mist into tazz'es eyes.5/10

8.rob van dam vs. jeff hardy
this was the best match of the night .rvd wins with the five-star frog splash.10/10

9.trish and lita vs. stacy and torrie
lita and trish pulverate stacy and torrie and win the bra and panties match.8/10

10.inaugural brawl
aston cold,the undertaker,kane,kurt angle,y2j vs.the dudley boyz,ddp,rhyno,booker t
this was an amzing the end,stone cold turns on his team band gives the stunner on kurt angle booker t pins him for the win.10/10

this was a great dvd with great extras but its very hard to find .buy it if see it.


Sunday, September 18, 2005

Yoga for Urban Living Review

I have so many yoga instruction related items (books, vhs, dvds, cd-roms, etc.)and by far this is the best one. It is the most like a real level 1-2 yoga class. Plus, you don't have to deal with any props (props are fine in a yoga studio but at home it's too much to fool with). Unlike other yoga vhs/dvds, where it is difficult to connect movement with breath because of poor verbal cueing (i.e. Yoga Journal tapes) or the instructors' annoying habits (overly perky Yoga for Dummies lady), these three routines are great for daily practices and I like Hemalaya's straightforward style. Although the routines are basic, they include core yoga poses that even experienced yoga practitioners continually seek to refine. I recommend this dvd for anyone who has attended some yoga classes and is looking for a way to develop a daily yoga practice at home.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

13 Going on 30 (Special Edition) (2004) Review

On top of being absolutely adorable, Jennifer Garner plays the perfect part! I watched it 3 times before I returned it. Did I mention that I watched all of the out takes and the directers interview!? I know.... What can I say, I loved it. :)

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Casino (1995) Review

Martin Scorcese, Robert DeNiro and Joe Pesci, you can't go wrong. This is one of my all time favorite movies for 3 simple reasons. 1) Robert DeNiro is my favorite actor 2)Martin Scorsese is my favorite Director 3) and I LOVE gangster movies. Everybody who has seen this movie knows how good it is so I dont have to say much. But if you havent seen this movie you need to buy it. I say buy it and not rent it simply because your guaranteed to love it. I even got my girlfriend to watch it. (only because she made me watch Dirty Dancing) and she thought it was a good movie. So just give it a chance and it wont disappoint.

Conspiracy (2001) Review

In one of the bonus features on the DVD, Kenneth Branagh remarks that in 20-some odd years of stage and screen work, he found playing the role of Heydrich in "Conspiracy" his most disturbing experience. One can tell why from Branagh's performance. His Heydrich is chillingly ruthless, on one hand, yet charmingly idealistic on the other. He captures the Butcher of Prague's chameleon-like personality perfectly -- threatening when muscle is needed, yet able to inspire a distressed lawyer-turned-SS extermination squad leader with poetic homages to "a better time, with German culture triumphant".

Overall, this made-for-cable film, more than any other Holocaust-related feature manages to capture the meaning of Hanna Arendt's term "banality of evil". With few exceptions, none of the mid-level Nazi administrators and SS officers gathered at Wannsee seem sinister by themselves, yet as a group, under the maestro-like direction of Heydrich, they set aside their petty bureaucratic turf wars, and ultimately provide "unanimity" to a wholesale extermination of an entire race of people.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Agnes of God (1985) Review

Explaining Jesus Christ is hard to nail down. Analogously, interpreting this film is hard to nail down. I would expect to see wide variance in interpretations, and that is all right. We Americans love to disagree, and we defend the God given rights to disagree without malice.

Jane Fonda, Anne Bancroft, and Meg Tilly all play outstanding roles in this film. The supporting cast (e.g., Guy Hoffmann, Winston Rekert) is brilliant as well. This film has elements of a great movie such as humor, a message(s), gripping drama, suspense, and haunting music.

I have seen this movie more than 100 times. I believe that Sister Agnes experiences an Immaculate Conception in this film; furthermore, I believe Sister Agnes was "crucified." He (God) chose Agnes to give birth to His child. Why Sister Agnes? A number of reasons can be conjectured; however, speaking as a Mathematician and Computer Scientist, I can't attach a mathematical certainty to any of these reasons. For example, is God warning us? Afterall, very few people believe in God today. So God, for example, may have chosen Agnes to bear His child in order for Agnes to give birth, say, to a holy person whose purpose is to warn those outside of God's flock to adhere to the teachings of God. Unfortunately, Agnes fails God by paradoxically murdering His child because she felt unworthy of bearing God's child. So did God make a mistake?

The true beauty of the movie from my perspective is that I'm always left after watching this film with feelings of serenity, tranquility, and a heightened belief in God.

Britt W. Barrett
Senior Computer Scientist & Mathematician

Postscript: It would be interesting to know what Reverend John Trigilio Jr., PhD, ThD, one of the co-authors of "Catholicism for Dummies" has to say about this film.

Salutation to the Virgin Mary:

Ave Mar?a, gr?tia plena, D?minus tecum, bened?cta tu in muli?ribus, et bened?ctus fructus ventris tui Jesus. Sancta Mar?a, Mater Dei, ora pro nobis pecc?t?ribus nunc et in hora mortis nostr?. Amen.

Hail Mary, full of grace. The Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

In nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti. Amen.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Cowboy Bebop - Session 2 (2003) Review

The brilliant series continues! Althought later sessions (cough, session four, cough cough) are not as creative session 2 will not dissapoint. The higlights of this session include the introduction of the whimsical hacker Edward, (the final member of the Bebop) an interesting fairy tale episode (in Bebop style mind you) and the sad yet beatiful "Ganymede Elegy" which is a must see. As before the animation is topnotch, the jazz frantic, the stories are wonderous, and the acting oh so good.....

Sunday, September 11, 2005

How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days (Widescreen Edition) (2003) Review

I was so excited when this one finally came out of the movie theaters and onto DVD. I was so depressed when it was no where near as good as the commercials made it out to be. There was spots where I was tempted to just turn it off. I eventually did so. I could never get past the visit to the guy's family.

The Dreamers (Original Uncut NC-17 Version) Review

What a wonderfully seductive film this was. I can relate to this film by relating to Matthew who at that same age was living in Paris and spending time discovering himself.

This film is not only seductive in a sexual sense although it has plenty of that to go around. The walk up along the Seine after encountering the police, the dinner scene with their parents, the vast apartment that looked like it belonged in the Louvre I could go on and on.

If you were drawn to the movie by its NC-17 rating and for nothing else you will not be dissapointed, there is plenty of sexual material, but oddly enough there is much much more to this film than sex. I said odly because it was advertised as a sexual film but unlike other teen self discovery movies like "Y Tu Mama Tambien" the sex here seems to belong instead of feeling awkward to see.

I espcially love the addition of classic french film scenes, in particular the scene where Anna and her two friends from Bande Apart run through the Louvre and the trio from the Dreamers reenact and try to beat their time of running accross the entire louvre.

Such a great and rare film. I thank Mr. Bertolucci for not compromosing his view for this movie for an R rating which may have given the film a much larger audience.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Aqua Teen Hunger Force - Volume One (2000) Review

I have heard nothing but good things about this show from people I chat with online. So I watched it. And it's...I dunno, it's just not funny to me. I mean, I understand bizarre humor, I love Sealab 2021, and that's pretty bizarre. But there's an episode of ATHF where they get stuck with this intergalactic alien fratboy, and they spend 11 minutes trying to get him to leave, and not once did I laugh for the entire episode. There's also the one where they create the sonic toilet deal and it obliterates the neighbor except for his head, and they spend the rest of the episode trying to create a new body for him. Again, not funny. I did think the episode where he ate the ham sandwich (or whatever sandwich) and went to Hell was vaguely humorous, although I never laughed out loud at it.

The fact that it apparently takes an even more whacked out sense of humor than mine to enjoy this show scares me...a lot. I'm not a fan, and I would recommend Sealab or SGC2C over this any day.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Around the World in 80 Days (Full Screen Edition) (2004) Review

Thank goodness Disney did not allow this film to be "adultized" like we have seen with other re-makes such as Dr. Doolittle and The Nutty Proffesor. With all due respect to the two other re-makes I have mentioned (they are funny for adults) there is little or no "adult" humor in this remake of a classic film. There are stars-a-plenty in this film...of course Jackie Chan who has become a regular english speaking star (far from his Cannon Ball Run appearance) Arnold Swartzanegger, Owen Wilson, John Cleese, Rob Schnieder and even a cameo by ballon affectionado Richard Branson. The story is about an inventor who bets his entire lot in life on the fact that he can travel around the world in 80 days. The scenery in the film is spectacular, especially the scenes in China, no doubt due to the Chan influence on this film. Arnold's scene is the olny "uncomfortable" episode that might confuse children, it should have been left on the cutting room floor. When I was a kid and I went to matinee's to see film's of this sort I remember the laughs and wonders being from locations and personalities, not bodily functions and sexual situations, Disney made sure this films follows that creed. "Despite" the fact that I am 40 years old and favor Farrely's Bro's humor I found this film a barrel full of laughs and thrills. Jackie Chan's kung-fu moves, wit and humor really shine. You should feel safe showing this film to your entire family, no matter who is in the room, even your mother. Too bad Eddie Murphy did not take that into account when he re-made the famous films he copied even if they were box-office hits. I would much rather have my kids sit through this wonderful film than either of the two re-makes I metioned before. This was matinee movies as I remember it in the late 60's and early 70's. Clean, exciting, funny. It's a hit, too bad being clean seems to have fallen out of style.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Apocalypse Now (1979) Review

One of the best war movies ever made, Apocalypse Now chronicles Lt. Willard's travels upriver through Vietnam and into Cambodia to assasinate a renegade Colonel.

Coppola's film is a master of the seemingly incongruous. In the middle of a bloody attack is a Lt. Colonel who loves surfing. In the middle of the dark green jungle is an orange and white tiger. Out of the darkness comes the brightly lit Du Long bridge. Among the sea of soldiers in an army base are two playboy bunnies in a USO Show. Amid the destruction and madness at the conclusion of the film is a poetry-quoting colonel and a grungy-looking photojournalist. The contrasts add much to the film, never out-of-place for the sake of shock value, just adding to the anti-war sentiment that is prevalent throughout the film but rarely overtly declared.

Even on the surface this is a very good film. It follows the basic concept of a road movie (travel from point A to point B, with adventures along the way), the characters are interesting and sufficiently developed, the voiceovers never redundant or too expository, the war scenes very well done, with special notice to the helicopter assault on the village and the chaotic, frenzied but strangely beautiful scene at the Du Long bridge. 9.5/10

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Tales of the City (Collector's Edition) (1993) Review

This movie is absolutely wonderful.I did not think that I would watch it all the way (it is 6 hours long after all),but I couldnt leave the movie for one second.I finally had to turn it off to go to bed and quickly made time in the morning to watch the rest.Amazing!I don't know how else to describe this.Check it out.Something for everyone.

Monday, September 05, 2005

The Best of Abbott & Costello - Volume 1 (8 Film Collection) (1941) Review

I have always waited to see each movie on TV when they aired but you can see the best of them. My favorites were A&C Go to Mars and when they met Boris Karloff and Frankenstein and the Wolfman...I loved these so much I purchased all three volumes. Without these guys there would be no Seinfield! If you look at George and Jerry those guys are a modern version of the team!

Stargate (Ultimate Edition) (1994) Review

If you're like me, you are really - really - getting tired of producers, film compaines, whomever there is to blame re-re-re-releasing the same DVD with different packaging, and calling it the "Ultimate" or "Supreme" or "this time it really is a Limted edition" special releases. The motivation? Raking it in from fans who expect and want more. You'd be better off spending your bucks elsewhere.

There is NOTHING to make this DVD stand out from any of the numerous previous releases. Save your money! Sure the director's cut is great - but it's on what, three previous releases?

Saturday, September 03, 2005

The L Word - The Complete First Season Review

I first heard about this show from a friend in Vancouver who raved about how good it is. So I watched the first episode and I must admit that I was disappointed with the image of the show. I found that the women were too trendy, stylish, attractive and well, too feminine. They don't look nor dress like any lesbians I know.
Two things that bother me about the first season: the character Jenny is tiresome, annoying, immature, and just too messed up. The second thing is that they seem to put so much focus on her and not enough on the storyline of some of the other characters. But other than that,the dialogue and situations are very real. The show deals with a lot of issues that not only gay people face (having children, coming out, etc.), but also straight people who are in the dating scene. It is witty, very funny, intelligent, and exciting. The writing is such that you can relate to the characters. They face normal, everyday issues and deal with them in a way that makes me think, yeah that is how someone would react in that situation.
Unlike Queer as Folk with its over-abundance of and focus on sex, the sex scenes in The L Word complement the storyline. The sex is erotic rather than in-your-face in graphic detail.
And the music! To hear songs from groups like Portishead and Bet. e & Stef is such a treat. The show's producers have this uncanny ability to choose the perfect music that fits so well with the scenes.
I highly recommend it. This is a show for people who are looking for something fresh, different, exciting, and well... sexy.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Quick Fix - Stability Ball Workout (2002) Review

I"m quite pleased with this DVD. The reviewer giving it one star was probably looking for an aerobic workout. This DVD is for toning. It's divided into three sections with a ten minute countdown in the corner of the screen. If you want more reps, simply repeat. Which is so easy to do on the DVD.The instructor is a bit intimidating physically with her six pack abs, but her commentary isn't intimidating whatsoever. I liked her Aussie accent. It's nice to have modifications too if you need them.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

C.S.I. Crime Scene Investigation - The Complete Third Season Review

Having watched this series from the pilot episode, I've not missed one episode. I have them all on videotape, and now that they've been released on DVD, all the better! I have all 3 seasons, and can't wait until season 4 is released. This is a fantastic show with realistic crime scene depictions, often taken off the front pages of today's newspapers. The twists and turns make it fun to try to solve the crime before it shows you at the end, and some cases I find truly baffling! The tools are real, and I've gotten to the point I have a deep interest in forensic science. I've even thought of going back to school for it because of this TV SHOW! I think this is my favorite show EVER..even above ER, Third Watch, and Crossing Jordan! If you haven't seen it yet, you're missing something truly unique! Furthermore, I like the original CSI in the Las Vegas setting, and don't much care for the spinoff of CSI: Miami. CSI: New York is beginning in the fall, and I'll give that a couple episodes before I decide. I'm a CSI fanatic, I can't help it!

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