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Eric Ericson "RedSabbath" RSS Feed (Venice, Florida USA)

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Good Night, and Good Luck (Widescreen Edition)
Good Night, and Good Luck (Widescreen Edition)
DVD ~ David Strathairn
Price: $12.50
339 used & new from $0.01

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Television Broadcast News' Golden Age Seems A Tad Lackluster Here..., April 22, 2009
George Clooney's second attempt at the triple threat of filmmaking (actor/writer/director) that in 2005 got him and the film Oscar nominated 6 times (and winning none) sorta to me after five years didn't seem all that impressive. The true story of 1950's CBS journalist Edward R. Murrow's battle against the mass accusation of communism brought by then Senator Joseph McCarthy should have been alot more enthralling than this. Clooney definitely has the power to bring in some great A-List actors (Robert Downey Jr., Jeff Daniels, Patricia Clarkson, Frank Langella), but the story as a whole seems bogged down by pacing and too much stock footage used of the actual broadcasted interviews and original people involved. Murrow here is portrayed by character actor David Strathairn, who no doubt is very well at his craft, but lacks any real punch or drive like the real Murrow showed over fifty years ago. As a history lesson, it does educate the viewer in the now-absurd public witchhunt of the 1950's, but at times tends to entertain more like a school lesson than a motion picture. Disc includes a very low-played commentary with Clooney and fellow screenwriter/actor Grant Heslov (who's acting credits date back as far as Clooney's with an almost equally embarrassing early resume....he did a "Facts Of Life" with George too), a doc on the film (that's in color) with some of the real life people left alive, and a trailer that I swear makes this movie look alot more exciting than it actually was. Clooney does prove he can direct a movie, but I still think with this story that gripped a nation he could have been played a bit more....gripping.
(RedSabbath Rating:6.5/10)
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 19, 2009 3:17 PM PDT

Confessions of a Superhero
Confessions of a Superhero
DVD ~ Christopher Dennis
Price: $8.78
45 used & new from $1.18

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Able To Leap Tall Tourists In A Single Bound To Get That Tip..., April 16, 2009
This review is from: Confessions of a Superhero (DVD)
A strangely appealing documentary focusing on the lives of four Hollywood Boulevard "street-performers" who trick-or-treat for a living by taking pictures with tourists dressed as four well-known superheroes for tips. But do they realize that outside of just one of them, they don't really look worthy of being handed that three dollars just to stand for the picture? But the one that's featured the most, Christopher Lloyd Dennis (above), who strikingly looks very similar to Christopher Reeve's Superman, is the doc's real draw. Obsessed with an apartment covered in Superman memorabilia, is almost as clean-cut as the Man Of Steel himself (outside a cigarette or two), taking his "profession" very seriously and asking the same of anyone else that happens to walk his path (Supe to Ghost Rider "Would Ghost Rider ever take his mask off in front of kids? Then smoke a cigarette across the street? Of course not.").

At times this documentary is one part funny, and one part scary, and one part just plain old sad. To hear each of these people tell their dream of becoming a famous actor the second they got off the bus to Hollywood, and then thinking that they sorta "made-it" by now walking around Grauman's Chinese Theatre (only allowed on the public sidewalk no less) in their home-made costumes can sometimes make your heart sink for them. And to see these guys, especially self-proclaimed former Italian hitman (not confirmed either) Batman, getting stiffed for a tip and watching him get violently irate can be a frightening expierence. I kept thinking to myself, "Aren't they just a little bit insane?" and the answer is probably, at least a bit mad. But you gotta give it up to them, especially Superman, who even goes to a Superman convention and gets married there, yes in that damn costume too, takes every bit of it as seriously as if he'll be starring in Superman V:The Quest For Dignity. Definitely worth 100 minutes of your time.
(RedSabbath Rating:8.5/10)
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 19, 2009 3:19 PM PDT

And Now For Something Completely Different
And Now For Something Completely Different
DVD ~ John Cleese
Offered by Outlet Promotions
Price: $14.88
36 used & new from $4.22

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Python's Motion Picture Debut, And It's A Best Of What Got Them There To Boot!, April 15, 2009
Made between the second and third season of their original TV series "Flying Circus" (probably to introduce Americans to the show), this is basically a re-do of Python's best early sketches of the first two seasons only. It's almost exactly like watching them from the series but recreated & newly connected together just without some being taped in a studio or without any audience reaction. All of your big favorites are here, and they still hold up today (okay, the "tape recorder up the nose" is old hat). I enjoy this movie because sometimes watching Python all the way through can get tiresome because most bits work but some don't in between. They truly picked a greatest hits package to represent here (be it Seasons Three and Four did have a few gems itselves. Sorry, no fish-slapping dance here). A decent motion picture start to what ended up being only four great classic films, a nice alternative to digging through all the shows just to sing the Lumberjack Song or returning a dead parrot.

And now for something just for us DVD collectors: I noticed that Sony/Columbia re-released this title in 2004 with a new Red cover with on back saying "Remastered In High Definition". But buyer beware, because the original 1999 Blue cover version with a Flipper disc inside with both the Fullscreen and anamorphic Widescreen is the SAME disc that's inside the Red, just now minus the fullframe replaced with a disc picture. There is absolutely NO difference between the two's widescreen presentation, no new remastering, menus or extras. The only real difference is the price, because I picked up the blue cover at a clearance store new unopened for only $3, but the red now goes for $14.99 or higher. And it offers even less than the '99 original. Misleading and wrong, Sony got me the same way with their one-disc reissue of The Fifth Element (boo!). But don't let that discourage you from buying this movie regardless of cover, it's worth it at any price (cheaper prefered of course!).

(RedSabbath Rating:8.5/10)

The Day the Earth Stood Still (Two-Disc Widescreen Edition)
The Day the Earth Stood Still (Two-Disc Widescreen Edition)
DVD ~ Keanu Reeves
Price: $5.98
154 used & new from $0.01

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The Day My DVD Player Stood Still..., April 13, 2009
Horribly casted remake of 50's B-Movie "classic", this has got to be one of the most missed opportunities to remake a film that could have been improved by today's technology. But where 50's classics like The Fly, The Thing, The Blob, and most recently War Of The Worlds all benefited from the redo, this one just sucks the life out of the original story. Not that the original was all that great to begin with (admit it, all you really remember about it is that prehistoric Cylon known as Gort), but for a story about the forced alien extinction of mankind to save the planet Earth itself, all I could help thinking was I hope the aliens DO get to hit our restart button. And as for that cast, Reeves is even more wooden than usual, Smith Jr. needs a few seasons on Nickelodeon first, and Connelly should rip up that paycheck she knows is the only reason she showed up for this. And about the main event Gort, how can a movie almost 60 years older have a robot on-screen look more realistic?!!? Honestly it deserved to bomb like a fallen blue marble outta the sky for no reason and further shows sometimes you just can't rewrite history. Someone please split my atoms to a better movie now....
(RedSabbath Rating:4.0/10).

Fletch (The "Jane Doe" Edition)
Fletch (The "Jane Doe" Edition)
DVD ~ Chevy Chase
Offered by cpdvdstore
Price: $4.95
138 used & new from $0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Fletch Finally Remastered. Must Have Cost Hundreds...., April 8, 2009
Believe it or not, most men of my generation (that's usually over 35 now, kiddies) that I've known have worshipped this movie. More than Bond, more than Kirk, more than any Horror most "dudes", Fletch was the coolest guy on the movie's planet and they have memorized every line to prove it. Sure, I'm as big of a Chevy Chase fan as the next guy, but I honestly can't see why the first Fletch film is that highly regarded. While Chase films like Vacation, Caddyshack, and even Three Amigos showed what most enjoyed about him, being that quirky clumsy oaf that we saw on Saturday Night Live, it was Fletch that shown the clever, cool, and slick character of Chase that hinted humor ever so dryly with one liners that took a few seconds to get. In alot of ways this film, based on the popular novels, isn't really a comedy at all, more like a comedic drama. It's plot is simple, Fletch is a newspaper reporter while underground on a drug story stumbles upon another strange case that somehow intertwines with his first and it's up to his uncovering skills and cheap disguises to find out what's all behind it, mocking all involved along the way. Very 80's in style, but truly shows why Chase was SNL's first breakthru star. It ain't Vacation or Caddyshack in the laughter department, but with his undertone wisecracks every so often, it really makes for a different paced Chase flix. As for this 2007 DVD re-release, it now has a new documentary, featuring another member of my generation showing his love for the flix ad nauseum, a 5.1 update, and a montage or two. No new Chase involvement, but if you never bought it before and still want to, this would be a good purchase. Also, this disc is in the newer 2008 "The Fletch Collection" with the underperforming sequel Fletch Lives, made a whopping five years later and it shows, but the discs are exactly the same, and this time you don't get that cool lenticular cover as on the single. There was an actual reason why he was Chevy Chase and you weren't, and in my opinion while not a giggle-a-second, Fletch proved that in spades.
(RedSabbath Rating:8.0/10)

Twilight (Two-Disc Special Edition)
Twilight (Two-Disc Special Edition)
DVD ~ Kristen Stewart
Offered by Central Park Entertainment
Price: $5.98
359 used & new from $0.01

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars One Lost Boy & One Lost Girl Equals One Bone Dry Movie..., March 28, 2009
After all the hub-bub about this latest youth oriented book hitting the theatres earlier this year, I had to see if we had another Harry Potter franchise on our hands. Unfortunately I think we do, but for all the wrong reasons. Playing out like a weak cross between The Lost Boys meets The CW's teenage line-up, this is the typical `00's take on the sensitive vampire who meets the mortal of his dreams. However unlike movies before it, this over two hour teenage angst lovefest feels like an eternity to those that said goodbye to seventeen years ago. Kristen Stewart (who's patented constant daze in her eyes look actually seems fitting here) plays Bella, the new girl in a small town of Forks, Washington who meets up with Robert Pattinson's Edward (who own glazed "rebel without a clue" stare even blows her's away!). Quickly she learns he's a vampire, lives with a clan that feels the blood of humans is wrong to ingest (vegetarian vampires?!!?), and soon we go through their hopeless romance with some of the worst written and spoken words of romance I've heard since Star Wars Episode Two. At times it's almost unbearable to watch these two have this puppy-love thing going on, flying through trees like Spider-Man and trying to compare which one of them have the least tanned skin. Eventually a subplot of another clan of vampires who are killling locals for their blood creeps in, but sorry folks...they're wimps too. And that's what this movie felt like to me, no bark AND no bite. This is truly like a cartoon aimed at the younger "tween" generation with no appeal for the parents who got it for them in the first place. Sets itself up for a ton of possible sequels (blatantly too), but it's best to leave the kids with it in the other room and the rest of us go tune into HBO's True Blood and see the same material done much better.
(RedSabbath Rating:5.5/10)

Bolt (Single-Disc Edition)
Bolt (Single-Disc Edition)
DVD ~ John Travolta
Price: $11.22
77 used & new from $3.18

1 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Doggonit, I Feel Like I've Seen This Hound Of A Flix Before..., March 26, 2009
This review is from: Bolt (Single-Disc Edition) (DVD)
From the "We're Disney, we don't need Pixar everytime we do animation!", comes a film that disproves that theory in the CGI filled 00's. Sure, at times it's looks like a Pixar film circa "A Bug Life", but that was over ten years ago. Sure, my 10 year old was entertained, but when a person that age isn't "blown away" with the first viewing you know you got a middle-of-the-road CGI flix. Bolt (an unrecognizable John Travolta) is a dog, similar to Lassie thru James Bond, that has his own TV show where he saves his young female owner (voiced by Miley Cyrus, who sounds like she needs to lay off the two-packs-a-day of Virginia Slims) from evil trying to destroy them. But Bolt doesn't know that he's just an actor and thru a typical plot point of getting sent hundreds of miles away from the one he loves to try to find a way back to her while learning the hard truths of who he really is along the way. Also lending a voice was surprisingly Susie Essman of Curb Your Enthusiasm who I kept expecting to say "What's the f&*%$*' a matter with you Dog?". Another thing I noticed is alot of gags seem to be borrowed from alot of other films and TV shows, most noticeably the New York pigeons that looked straight out of '90's Warner Bros Goodfeathers cartoon, which seemed more rip-off than homage. And of course you have the goof character Rhino The Hamster, rolling ball and all that helps with the lack of original lines & sight-gags along the way. Overall, this will pass the time with the younger generation but I doubt they'll be screaming for multiple viewings over WALL+E or even Kung Fu Panda. The one-disc version has the typical Disney "look, we still have other retread stuff" promos and a short film starring Rhino that you'll see coming a mile away, and way too short to boot (even for a short!). A decent rental, but like what the pigeons say, "I've seen this dog somewhere before, but where?" you'll be thinking the exact same thing.
(RedSabbath Rating:7.0/10)
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 26, 2009 5:08 PM PDT

DVD ~ Drake Bell
Offered by kylakins
Price: $10.12
85 used & new from $0.01

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars These Animals Need A New House & Should Have To Go Back To School..., March 2, 2009
This review is from: College (DVD)
Honestly, I'm surprised the current direct-to-video headliner "National Lampoon's..." wasn't above the title. Take three typical high school seniors, the fat wisecrack kid (think Jack Black & Chris Farley had a son), the nerdy kid (played by Kevin Covais, American Idol 5th Season finalist who no one really took seriously), and the "normal" kid (Nickelodeon escapee Drake Bell), and place them in the same old story of spending their first weekend ever in the future college they wish to attend and all the equally stereotypical hot drunk girls and mean as Hell frat guys they encounter. If you've seen Animal House, Revenge Of The Nerds, or any film that had some member counting on getting that scholarship and drunkenly blowing it badly, you've already seen this film. However due to the changing times, the extremely high levels of nudity and sexual situations, surprisingly high in let's say "alternative lifestyles", will remind you why films like this today need that little over-the-top extra to even get mentioned in the same paragraph as those real college classics. But when it boils down to it, it does have a couple of laughs, groans, and guffaws, but nothing to make you really want to see it a second time. It's disc has both the Unrated (that really, really pushes it) and a Rated (will anybody choose/see this version?) plus a gag reel, half of which is already in the end credits ala a Burt Reynolds film. For a rent it's not too bad, but the filmmakers here should go back a grade to see why college films succeeded so much in the first place without trying so hard to blow us away with gross-out jokes than actually well-written ones.
(RedSabbath Rating:6.0/10)

Sweeney Todd - The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Sweeney Todd - The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
DVD ~ Helena Bonham Carter
Offered by Big_Box_Bargains
Price: $7.91
205 used & new from $0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Even As A Singing Actor, Depp Proves He's A Cut Above The Rest., March 1, 2009
This 2007 film has sat on my cable's TiVo unseen for months now, but when I got fifteen minutes into it today I wondered "What in the world took me so long?". Bottom line, this is one excellent all around modern-day musical. Not one bad link or singer in the bunch, Johnny Depp pulls another one out of Tim Burton's hat with this. Based on the classic tale and the modern Broadway musical, I was really taken by everyone involved. Helena Bonham Carter was a gimme in the vocal talent department, but who knew Depp would be that able to carry a tune, not to mention Sacha Baron Cohen (yeah, yeah "Borat"...let it go people...) matching his vocals as well. Each song dripped dark emotions and even though it too was very violent, as the story usually goes, that part of it didn't seem to overshadow the incredible songs and acting. However, it did seem to make my eyebrow raise to hear one of it's more memorable songs (forgive me as I don't currently know it's title) sounded very very similar in structure and tempo to, believe it or not, another classic musical tune "I Want It Now" as sung by character Veruca Salt in 1971's Willy Wonka (I bet you'll hear it next time you view it now). But this film had everything going for it, memorable tunes, eye-catching scenery, and well-performing stars. This is one DVD going on my immediate wish-list, I'm just sad I waited this long to find out.
(RedSabbath Rating [for Movie alone]:8.5/10)
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 26, 2009 5:03 PM PDT

Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters for DVD
Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters for DVD
DVD ~ Dana Snyder
Offered by kylakins
Price: $7.99
42 used & new from $1.32

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Never More Has The Word "Colon" Deserved To Be Within A Movie's Title..., February 28, 2009
Whew, try saying that title four times fast! First things first, the word "Colon" here represents the punctuation ":" rather than where they may have pulled this script out of. The further adventures of Cartoon Network's show of the same name basically is one extremely long episode of the exact same quality and look, even if they added a couple of new techniques here and there (and unsuccessfully I may add). The boys Frylock, Master Shake, Meatwad and Dennis Franz looking neighbor Carl find a mysterious machine, the Insanoflex (think home workout type) and with it may find the true answer to just who created them and where did they come from. Not to be a spoiler, they DO find those questions out, in fact at least four to five different versions of it! But much kudos should be given to it's parody-like "Let's go out to the movies and grab ourselves a treat" opening, probably the best part of the film, and no ATHF appearance there to boot! But truth be told, if you don't find the Adult Swim 00's animated humor of surrealism, awkward long pauses, and pop-culture references, plus never have seen the actual long-running show before, this film will NOT make you a fan. Not that it stinks, it just is too strange to be an ATHF start-point. However, another chockful disc with deleted scenes, specials, fake endings, a complete first draft movie (that's really what you saw in the final product minus their mouths moving [?]) and a commentary of people who have no involvement with the film whatsoever (okay one guy, but he adds nothing too). An interesting attempt at trying to make the cult show into a movie, but in the end like fast food, while it might taste great, it just isn't that good for you.
(RedSabbath Rating:6.5/10).
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 26, 2009 5:04 PM PDT

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