Monday, March 28, 2005

Something for Everyone

DVD releses this week have something for everyone.

For those up for serious drama, there is Vera Drake. This British film is interesting and well acted, but in the end, very sad.

Looking for something intense, try Closer. This story involes 4 characters that take love, sex, betrayal and decite on an emotional ride. This was one of my favorite films from 2004. Graphic and vulgar at times.

Light action adventure can be found in After the Sunset. Amusing heist film that I found very entertaining.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Ashton Who?

I have experienced Ashton Kutcher in film for the first time, and I think I'm smitten! Guess Who? is an entertaining, comedic remake of Guess Who's Coming to Dinner? I liked Bernie Mac and Ashton Kutcher together, I was surprised how much I enjoyed this film. A very romantic moment (to me) was the dress Marilyn chose to wear to the party. There were many laugh out loud moments, too! Fun stuff.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Bridget Jones vs Bridget Jones

Sequels are tough. Bridget Jones's Diary was one of my favorite films from 2001. From that opening scene of her singing "All By Myself", to the fight scene in the restaurant, to getting the guy, this is one of the few romantic comedies I've enjoyed. The temptation to revisit the lovable Ms. Jones is understandable, but Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason is flat and disappointing. I kept waiting to be entertained, but it never happened. Hugh Grant is a breath of fresh air, Daniel Cleaver is still a cad. Another fight scene is the high point. I'll stick with the original.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Neverland and Julia

Out in DVD today are two gems from 2004. Finding Neverland is a quiet story of what may have been the origins of Peter Pan. It is a story of JM Barrie's life before Peter Pan. The story is well written, acted and filmed. Johnny Depp and Kate Winslet are outstanding.

Being Julia is a great story of midlife crisis of a London theater actress. Though Annette Bening got a lot of attention for this film, the whole cast is strong, especially Jeremy Irons as her husband.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Shakespeare on Film

I am a pedestrian fan of Shakespeare. Though I don't always understand his plays, I always feel entertained by them. Today I saw Michael Radford's version of The Merchant of Venice. This is a beautiful film. From the cinematography, to the costumes to the settings and locations, the visual is impressive. A relatively unknown cast is strong, and Al Pacino, Jeremy Irons and Joseph Fiennes flex their acting muscles nicely!

Monday, March 14, 2005

Incredible DVDs

There are some great releases to DVD this week. First and foremost we have The Incredibles. This is one of my favorite feature films of 2004, real life or animated. The story is clever, the animation dazzling and the whole experience just plain FUN!!!

On the theme of fun we have Alfie. Jude Law is total eye candy, and yes, the man can act. He has the pleasure of tangling with Marisa Tomei, Nia Long, Jane Krakowski and Susan Sarandon ..... and suffers the consequences. A warning; this film starts out light, and ends up a little on the heavy side. Alfie pays with his heart.

End of the Century is a great documentary about the punk rock band The Ramones. I wrote about this film about a month ago, it is well worth seeing.

On the TV front, Hogan's Hero's hits DVD. Another childhood favorite of mine. I had a crush on Col. Hogan for many years, always jealous when he flirted with Helga!! Worth seeing again!!

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Robots Rule

I am going to try to ignore the celebrity factor they have tried to attach to the new animated movie, Robots, the voices are irrelevant. Robots is a cute story of a boy chasing his dream. The robot element is great, losing body parts, and only being able to use upgrades instead of getting repairs. Adults can read political and social implications if they like, the kids just have fun!!! There are many references to other films, especially in chase and fight scenes. A little boy sitting near me knew them all!! The visuals are great, I especially liked the colors and futuristic style. The music is well done too, all in all an animated feature I really enjoyed!!

The lead-in to the film, is a teaser for Ice Age 2 that cracked me up!!

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Ladder 49

Ladder 49 is more about people and their relationships, than fires. I enjoyed this more than expected. The light moments balance the intense. All performances are strong, and of course, there is a dance scene for Travolta!!

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Brewster's Million

I hope this isn't too morbid, but after watching Brewster's Million I realize how nicely film imortalizes people. This light, fun, Richard Pryor film is about a man whose inheritance hinges on him spending 30 million dollars in 30 days. Made 20 years ago, a large part of the cast is no longer with us. It was great to see the likes of John Candy, Hume Cronyn, David White (Larry Tate from the series Bewitched)and Jerry Orbach on the screen. All wonderful performances!! Thanks to J for recommending this film, though I found myself mentally trying to keep track of the money as he was wildly spending ... got a little stressed out!!

Monday, March 07, 2005

DVD Phenom

An odd phenomenon has occurred. For the first time in a long time, I have not seen any of the films being released in DVD this week. So all I have to offer is my anticipation, this is what's on my list.....

When Ladder 49 was released, I had a full movie plate, so I never got to see it in the theater. I understand this is a film with a lot of heart, look forward to it.

Stage Beauty played at the Tribeca Film Festival last year. This is supposed to be an excellent period film about theater.

Woman Thou Art Loosed, the story of a woman on death row, met with incredible reviews and played in RI briefly. I missed it, so I look forward to it in DVD.

Thank goodness for on-line rental service!!!!

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Be Cool

Being a big fan of Get Shorty, I was glad to see the return of Chili Palmer and the gang in Be Cool. The story is way too loose, a lot of inside references, and there are many moments where you wonder "what the heck??", but the entertaining moments won me over, and Travolta is hot as ever!! My new fantasy is one dance with JT, lucky Uma!!! James Woods, Harvey Keitel, Robert Pastorelli and Cedric the Entertainer give solid performances. Christina Milian shows off her vocal talent, and The Rock is hilarious!! Don't know how they got Aerosmith to do this film, but Steven Tyler holds his own. There are times where it looks like it's an effort to deliver his cheesy lines with a straight face, but he pulls it off. All in all an entertaining film, and will be a fun rental.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005


Now that the dust has settled on the award season for cinema of 2004, the DVD releases today are much lighter fare. This weekend I was in the company of my young nephews, and was introduced to Spongebob Squarepants ..... holy moly!!!! All I know is the kids were constantly giggling, and apparently you must shout the theme song. The feature film comes out in DVD today, I wish I had seen it in theaters with a screaming crowd of kids (and a bottle of Tylenol). On the other hand, the classic Disney film, Bambi, is being released in a special edition DVD. Two ends of the spectrum in animated entertainment.

Also out in DVD today is the 3rd season of Lost in Space. When this show was on TV, I was a kid, and we watched on the edge of our seats every week. I was fascinated with the concept of space travel, and loved the adventures of the Robinson family and the evil Dr. Smith!! This campy show is a gem of 1960's television programming.