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Sansho the Bailiff (The Criterion Collection)
Sansho the Bailiff (The Criterion Collection)
DVD ~ Kinuyo Tanaka
Offered by westcoastmedia
Price: $28.93
13 used & new from $9.58

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the second mizoguchi criterion release.., June 14, 2007
Sansho the balif is about as perfect as you could hope for: visually it is one of the most beautiful black and white movies, the plot is a very important japanese folk tale, and mizoguchi uses innovative techniques to bring everything neatly together into a delicious package.. I cannot recommend this movie enough.. If you have not seen a mizoguchi movie I would start with either this one or the equally stunning 'ugetsu monegatari'.. One of my favorite aspects of both movies is the traditional japanese music.. very haunting soundtrack..


The Breed
The Breed
DVD ~ Michelle Rodriguez
Price: $5.12
96 used & new from $0.01

4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars another movie without purpose, June 14, 2007
This review is from: The Breed (DVD)
I would like to see a thoughtful horror movie, and i know such a thing is possible despite evidence to the contrary.. Breed is a movie that challenges its audience about as much american idol improves popular music (it does not improve music just in case you were wondering).. Breed is a recycled story line that has been used in countless horror movies and even in such popular movies as jurassic park.. Something in the wild has gone nuts due to science and now the characters must endure the challenges.. This approach can work, provided that the characters are interesting.. For me, the most interesting part of the movie was when one character shot the other in the leg with an arrow - that was about as good as it got.. To be honest i was glad to see these stupid partying college kids bight the dust.. If you like stupid horror films - this one will be right up your alley.. If you like a little more plot and a little more substance then exit stage right..
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 19, 2007 7:05 PM PDT


T-Rex
T-Rex
Offered by Fulfillment Express US
Price: $12.01
38 used & new from $2.60

5.0 out of 5 stars not bolan's first electric album but maybe his best, June 8, 2007
This review is from: T-Rex (Audio CD)
Beard of stars introduced audiences to the possibilities of marc bolan in an electric setting... T. rex cemented the vision in characteristic good form.. Marc bolan was not quite as well recieved in america as abroad but his star did shine every bit as bright as david bowie or anyone else in the so-called glam genre. Actually, when these first albums were released glam was not even born yet - not even a concept.. Bolan emerged from the same folk-rock, experimental stock that david bowie took root with in the 60's.. Not far from syd barrett his early releases with tyrannausauras rex were eerie, melodic, and quite stirring on a very basic almost mythological level.. Beard of stars, as i mentioned earlier, made a change in a new direction.. With 't-rex' the first album to abreviate the band's name came the first really commerically friendly (and yet very different musically speaking) tunes.. Bolan and mickey fin had developed an infectious boogie style (which became a t. rex trademark throughout the 70's until bolan's death)... Despite these breakthroughs, the album is still not the typical fare you would expect from a big-selling group (or duo).. it opens in a curious fashion with 'the children of rarn' (thank god bolan always was a true original i just love it).. and always retains a sort of curious almost psychodelic and yet modern sounding quality.. In fact it was this kind of music that defied categorization that probably lead to the term glam (which is not really a useful musical term because it says virtually nothing about the music - oh well we must catogorize i guess)... The music really heats up on such tracks as beltane walk and one-inch rock - a song writing technique that would later reach for the stars in 'electric warrior' - yet for me it is the little tracks in between that make the album (as in many t rex albums).. The world really could not see marc bolan coming - but when they did it was almost too late - another shooting star...


At War With the Mystics
At War With the Mystics
Price: $6.99
154 used & new from $0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars my first flaming lips album - i'm impressed, June 8, 2007
This review is from: At War With the Mystics (Audio CD)
The music sounds experimental, political, and generally fresh (despite the pink floyd/classic rock influence) - i find this to be an enjoyable listen.. I am not quite up to par with those who consider it a masterpiece (but those people obviously have a connection with the band and their music.. whereas i am a helpless rookie).. I would consider it very artistic - yet with an edge that might be commercially driven (who can blame them).. very well done..


Mel Gibson's Apocalypto
Mel Gibson's Apocalypto
DVD ~ Rudy Youngblood
27 used & new from $6.97

9 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars a good chase movie - action packed (what the masses like), June 8, 2007
This review is from: Mel Gibson's Apocalypto (DVD)
Apocolypto was quite good - a movie you cannot look away from - full of action, suspense, brilliant on-location filming.. So what's missing? Well, that is all it has.. the only reason it is good is because it hides behind action.. the characters are supposed to mean a lot to us.. but 99% of the time they only mean a lot to us because they are in danger because they are about to be seriously injured.. this is a technique that is excellent in horror films but if we are expecting a drama or even an intelligent suspense film we want a little more..

But enough of my quibbles, mel gibson deserves a great deal of credit for using the original language and for using the people of mexico and for the authentic costumes and all of that jazz... Nevertheless, like most of gibson's films it is essentially adrenaline.. no time for plot... no time for acting.. you are on the run..and you can't look away (this is the type of thing that endangers truly great movie-making.. big budget all action films)...
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 10, 2009 5:04 PM PDT


Mystic River (Widescreen Edition)
Mystic River (Widescreen Edition)
DVD ~ Sean Penn
Offered by Mercury Media Partners
Price: $4.38
561 used & new from $0.01

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars very emotional, driven by great performances..., June 8, 2007
Sean Penn, without a doubt, is the heart and soul of this movie... Mystic River is one of the very best of Clint Eastwood's pictures and it features highly charged emotions in a great screenplay that flows beautifully despite the length of the film... It all comes back to childhood this is something (I think) we should all know - and something the characters in this movie discover as they fumble around trying to right the wrongs of the world.. Tim robbins' character (i try to be careful not to give away plot elements) is torn inside from a childhood experience and sees the world as a place where vampires roam and suck the blood of the innocent - something he takes upon himself to venge against.. Sean Penn's character is intent on finding justice himself following the death of his daughter.. and kevin bacon (who is a cop) is obviously trying to make up for the wrongs of the world - all three try and fail - because at heart they are children (like we all are) born to suffer in an unjust world.. Mystic river will make you cry if you truly let it break through your personal barriers.. Though i am not normally a fan of such movies (i generally find them predictable) 'mystic river', despite its rehashed dramatic techniques, works out - highly recommended..


Beggars Banquet (Remastered)
Beggars Banquet (Remastered)
Price: $11.84
77 used & new from $7.03

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars proof that british rock has guts, June 5, 2007
the stones sixties output was the perfect balance for the beatles more friendly sound.. The stones had a very earthy, bluesy , rocking sound.. one of their best albums where there sound comes across in an almost perfect fashion is 'beggars banquet'... It contains some of their most socially confrontational material including the hard hitting anthem of an opener 'sympathy for the devil'.. this somehow beautifully merges with the much slower contemplative 'no expectations'.. indeed this serves as a formula for many upcoming stones releases (sticky fingers is the perfect example).. 'dear doctor' shows the stones flirting with country western... another big track on this album is 'street fighting man' another hard hitting rocker.. again the rockers are balanced out as it is followed by more acoustic bluesy music.. you can clearly hear the influence of the blues legends that the group loved so much particularly the ones that worked for chess studio like howlin wolf.. beggars banquet is indeed a banquet of classic stones material.. the main delight for me is in discovering some of their acoustic tracks which have gotten little or no radio play.. and also it is nice to see their work as it was intended in the context of an album...something their best of collections have greatly destroyed.. This is a band at its peak..


Man of the Year (Widescreen Edition)
Man of the Year (Widescreen Edition)
DVD ~ Robin Williams
Price: $5.68
321 used & new from $0.01

3.0 out of 5 stars important political statement, just not delivered in the most effective style.., June 5, 2007
Man of the year, Robin williams latest movie, is a complete rehashing of 'Wag the dog' (which was made by the same people).. like wag the dog the film is very relevant, very important, and kind of disturbing.. Unlike wag the dog: the dialogue often falls flat, it is slightly predictable, the acting while good does not reach the humor and irony of dustin hoffman's performance... I hate to compare two movies like this (it is very often unfair to do so) but I know that the producers of this film are capable of originality (wag the dog was very original afterall).. Robin williams presence alone is usually enough to make a movie enjoyable - but even he (see rv for more proof of this) is only a human being.. Strangely williams recent dramatic appearances have been nearly twice as good as his comedic ones... Though williams is not responsible if a movie he acts in is not perfect - his talents can and should be used more effectively..

Now for the good stuff about this movie - it is completely relevant - one thing modern politics has shown us over the past years is that it deserves to be mocked.. our well greased political structure works well at dealing with business and watching out for the wealthy but it is a system which (very often)neglects the individual and, indeed, the power of a vote (we know this from the gore-bush race - yes gore did actually get elected).. Until justice is served we need to shake things up - and that is one thing 'man of the year does do'.. so do not just take this as a tongue in cheek statement - this is reality folks..


Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (20th Anniversary Special Edition)
Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (20th Anniversary Special Edition)
DVD ~ Michael Rooker
Price: $16.71
43 used & new from $6.54

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly terrifying, June 5, 2007
Henry-portrait of a serial killer just might be the scarriest film i have seen.. Specifically because of the films real nature (almost cinema verite) you cannot dismiss it and it becomes a real chilling possibility.. I have not been quite as freaked out since the first time i saw pasolini's 'salo' a film which depicted fascist sexual and violent opression in a real style.. The camera does not flinch nor does it prepare us with any kind of a traditional warning so common-place in horror movies.. It does not follow a formula it just seems to present us with violence and death in their most real and disturbing forms.. This is what i like about the movie it doesn't gloss over or sugar coat anything it's as if it is saying this is what it is... the reason for such an approach might have been the miniscule 100,000 dollar budget - but the results are far better than nearly every big budget horror or suspense film i have ever seen - indeed it just might be the best horror film since psycho.. The film proves that the simple approach is very often the best.. and it proves that so-called amateur actors are often capable of incredible and emotional performances (if they are directed as expertly as they were here).. So watch Henry at your own risk.. it is very disturbing but very rewarding..


Norbit (Widescreen Edition)
Norbit (Widescreen Edition)
DVD ~ Eddie Murphy
Offered by ClockworkCornucopia
Price: $11.83
133 used & new from $0.01

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars pure fun, June 4, 2007
This review is from: Norbit (Widescreen Edition) (DVD)
eddie murphy still has it.. he is a true comic master of disguise and norbit is a perfect springboard for his talents... do not expect too much in terms of plot and you will not be dissapointed.. simply a very funny movie with the character Rasputia (murphy) getting most of the laughs.. nothing wrong with a good laugh!


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