: What are you watching on DVD these days?
2011-02-18, 11:37 AM
Cargo - Earth is uninhabitable; people now live aboard immense, overcrowded space ships, hoping to eventually secure a visa that will allow them to move to Rhea, a paradise planet far away. When the captain of a supply ship is murdered, the ship's doctor and an undercover security officer try to find the killer and the motive, but also manage to reveal the mission's true purpose.
There's not a whole of new territory in this Swiss/German sci-fi thriller, and plot holes a-plenty that defy the usual suspension of disbelief you need to buy into a futuristic story. Some of the visuals are impressive, but others look cheap and simplistic.
The film's native language is German, but the 5.1 soundtrack is a very antiseptic-sounding english dub. I very quickly swapped out to the DD 2.0 German track with english subtitles. It didn't improve the acting, though.
2011-02-23, 12:43 AM
Lebanon - An Israeli tank is sent on a difficult mission during the war in Lebanon in 1982. The entire film is told from inside the tank, where it's dark, hot, smelly, dirty and cramped. The inexperienced soldiers aren't sure of what is going on outside as they receive conflicting communications, and their only window is the gun sight. A chaotic, visceral experience based on the real-life experiences of the film's writer-director, and many of the actors seem to be former soldiers themselves.
2011-03-13, 03:26 PM
Megamind - After years of battling each other in Metro City, bad-guy Megamind unexpectedly destroys his do-good nemesis, Metro Man. Although the victory is sweet at first, the subsequent boredom that results from not having a challenging adversary makes Megamind long for the old days. To set things right, he attempts to create a new superhero using Metro Man's DNA. The experiment goes horribly wrong: The new superhero turn out to be a dangerous villain and Megamind - the most evil of evil villains! - is forced to come to Metro City's defense and save the day!
A few enjoyable moments - and some solid bursts of LFE - notwithstanding, this animated superhero tale was a dull and poorly-scripted effort. It had me thinking fond thoughts of Despicable Me, which wasn't all that much better.
2011-03-13, 03:56 PM
Inside Job -
In this Matt Damon-narrated documentary, director Charles Ferguson delves deftly into the global financial crisis of 2008. He effectively highlights the underlying structural causes, the breathaking arrogance and immorality of some of the key players and the resulting devastation wrought by their actions.
An extremely interesting look at a financial disaster that never should have happened and at some highly unsavoury characters who - disturbingly, but not surprisingly - have not been held accountable for their transgressions.
2011-04-05, 06:53 PM
Fair Game - Respected American intelligence officer Valerie Plame and her former-ambassador husband Joe Wilson are publicly smeared and defamed - and their lives are put in danger - by members of the George W. Bush administration after Wilson pens an article putting lie to the White House fear-mongering claim that Saddam Hussein's Iraq was attempting to re-start its abandoned nuclear weapons program, a claim that was used to bolster the illegal attack, invasion and occupation of Iraq and the "régime change" installation of an America-friendly puppet government.
The illegalities and immorality of the American administration and the agencies it uses to manipulate data in order to wage war and expand and maintain hegemony are well-portrayed in this briskly-paced political thriller.
2011-04-05, 07:32 PM
The Fighter - Trained by his brother, Dicky Eklund - a washed-up former boxer turned crack addict - Micky Ward, an aspiring junior welterweight fighter, tries for his shot at the big time.
This was a decent bio-pic, with a solid - if unexceptional - performance by Wahlberg (playing Wahlberg) and a wonderful performance by Bale, a talented actor who seems to lose himself in his roles.
2011-04-06, 12:16 PM
Dennis The Menace Season 1. Its nice to see this classic finally make its way to DVD thanks to Shout Factory. I watched this show as a kid in th early 90's(On Re-run of course) and really enjoyed it. Its fun for the whole family. Season 1 has all 32 Un-edited episodes and the P/Q & A/Q is great for such an old series. Recomended for all.
2011-04-14, 11:39 AM
Black Swan - An ambitious and obsessive ballet dancer's fulfilled dream of landing the lead part in a major production of "Swan Lake" steadily devolves into a nightmare of paranoia involving a rival dancer who, she believes, is out to steal her part, and her moment of glory, away from her.
This was a tremendous movie, one of the best I've seen in a while. Natalie Portman was absolutely riveting as the obsessive dancer, and she did an amazing job of descending into madness. She and the movie are worth all of the accolaides lavished upon them. It's a "must see"!
2011-04-17, 04:42 PM
The Last Exorcism - Prior to hanging up his pastor's frock for good, the disillusioned Reverend Cotton Marcus permits a camera crew to film his last exorcism, a practice he wishes to expose as the fraud he knows it to be. Much to their shock and horror, the subject of this particular documentary turns out to be far more disturbing than anything either Marcus or the crew was prepared to confront.
Despite the potential, this mock documentary was just a little too slow-paced and a little too slick / not "gritty" enough to completely captivate us. The double-twist ending was reasonably effective, though. Overall, it was watchable.
2011-04-18, 12:23 AM
Friday Night Lights: The 5 And Final Season The final season of a great show has hit dvd. I only started watching this show during the season 3 summer re-runs(08) and like Southland was drawn into the show and had to play catch up. I won't get into any plot as season 5 just started to air on NBC. Pic quality is good for a dvd and the standard 5.1DD sound. Recomended for fans of the show.
2011-04-25, 06:31 PM
The King's Speech - Desperate to be cured of a speech impediment he considers both a personal embarrassment and unbecoming of a member of the British royal family, the Duke of York submits to the ministrations of an eccentric therapist whose unorthodox methods slowly, but perceptibly, yield positive results. Unexpectedly thrust into the role of king by the death of his father (George V) and the abdication of his brother (Edward VIII), the Duke - now George VI - and his new voice face their biggest challenge yet: Firmly and clearly rallying the people of Great Britain to unite in the face of imminent war with Germany.
Although it featured wonderful performances by Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush, this movie proved to be, at times, a bit too formulaic and awkward and, overall, a little too long. It was enjoyable enough, but it wasn't as good as accolaides led me (and my wife) to expect.
2011-05-07, 01:16 AM
Marwencol - Mark Hogancamp is working to rebuild his life and his identity after being severely beaten by five thugs outside a bar in his hometown of Kingston, NY. He does this by building a scale model of a fictional Belgium town, Marwencol, in WWII, and populating it with GI Joe and Barbie type dolls that Hogancamp enacts in elaborate stories which he documents with still photographs.
This fascinating documentary about a lost soul trying to find himself is both painfully sad and uplifting at the same time as Hogancamp's fictional stories veer closer and closer to his own painful history, then ultimately set him free.
2011-06-03, 12:37 AM
Four Lions - A group of disaffected Muslim young men in England plan their own jihad by plotting to become suicide bombers. Except, they can't agree on what they should blow up nor how they should do it, or whether it's even worthwhile.
This is a brilliantly provocative black comedy that pokes holes in some pretty dark material yet somehow still retains a ring of truth - remember the shoe bomber? The performances are spot on and some scenes will make you squirm as you laugh. The dialogue is sharp, the insults that occasionally fly between characters plumb uncharted depths. A real hidden gem.
2011-06-04, 09:56 AM
Somewhere - Hollywood star Johnny Marco seems to have it all, a hit movie in the can, a black Ferrari, an agent who tends to the mundane details of his life; so why does he live in a hotel, wallowing in his idleness, ordering pole dancers to perform private shows? It's only when his daughter shows up for an extended stay that his life takes on purpose.
Sofia Coppola's film has echoes of her previous work, Lost in Translation and Marie Antoinette; the main character isn't very likeable yet we hope for some sort of redemption. The movie ambles along slowly, deliberately, lingering on many scenes to echo Marco's boredom and listlessness. And frankly, not much happens, but that's okay; that's usually the way life really is.
2011-06-10, 08:46 PM
Burn Notice Season 4: The continuing adventures of burned spy Michael Weston & gang with the addition of newly burned spy Jesse Porter now in the mix. Great season with the standard 16X9 DVD vid quality & DD 5.1.:)
2011-06-13, 10:22 AM
Daydream Nation - In "the year when everything happened," Caroline Wexler and her widower father have moved to a small town where a serial killer is on the loose and an industrial fire at the edge of town burns relentlessly. Disaffected and disinterested, Caroline decides to seduce her teacher, who has issues of his own, while firing up a relationship with awkward stoner Thurston as a "cover." Of course, this whole web eventually collapses on itself.
This kind of story has been told before, sometimes with great comedic flare. Daydream Nation is infused with undertones of dread and impending peril; will Caroline's romantic juggling act cave in? will her teacher get caught? will Thurston be redeemed? will one of the characters fall victim to the serial killer? will the fire get put out?
2011-06-15, 02:09 AM
The Round Up - A sad and heartwrenching account of a dark period in French history, when the Vichy government agreed to round up Jews living in Paris and turn them over to the occupying Nazis. This wannabe-epic tries too hard and falls back on many familiar cliches and stock characters, so you never get the kind of emotional investment such a story deserves.
2011-06-28, 01:56 AM
Cedar Rapids - When Tim Lippe (Ed Helms) is entrusted by his boss to represent his insurance company at the annual midwest convention, he takes his newfound responsibility to heart. But some of the characters around him, including John C. Reilly and Anne Heche, seem determined to derail him from his goal to bring home another Two-Diamond award. Or are they?
Helms is pretty much the same character he plays on The Office, while Reilly and Heche are hilarious as fellow insurance conventioneers looking for a good time in this rollicking little movie with a tender, noble heart.
2011-07-01, 02:22 PM
FIREFLY: I'm slowly going through the episodes when there is nothing else worth watching on TV. For a fairly low budget Sci-Fi series I find the photography and special effects quite good. The only quirky thing I wonder about is: If it is supposed to take place 500 years into the future how come they use 19th and 20th century weapons? e.g.
2011-07-08, 09:55 AM
The album name is in reference to a quote by Don Henley after the band's breakup in 1980; he commented that the band would play together again "when Hell freezes over." One of the most notable tracks is a new arrangement of "Hotel California" that features an extended acoustic guitar and percussion opening. At the beginning of the concert, Glenn Frey joked to the audience: "For the record, we never broke up; we just took a 14-year vacation."
I have this on vinyl as welll. Nice to have as a DVD concert. 3 audio options include, Dolby Digital, DTS ..and PCM Stereo. I prefer the DTS. Sounds full and more detailed.
I'm pleased with the video which includes a pre-concert background, interviews with band members, how the group decided to get together again ..etc. The VQ is good, but was a preceived drop in quality when compared to my Sting Blu-ray concert video, same applies when referring to AQ. Although I appreciate and fully enjoyed the DTS soundtrack, and don't get me wrong - it's of very high quality audio (IMO). It just didn't have that extra detail, clarity of sound from my Sting, Blu-ray disk (understandably so I guess, given the capability of Blu-ray in comaprison to DVD)
I enjoy that this DVD hosts what I consider are probably many of my all time favs by The Eagles - all on one convenient disk.
Track listing, as copied from Wikipedia
"Get Over It"* (Don Henley, Glenn Frey) – 3:31
"Love Will Keep Us Alive"* (Pete Vale, Jim Capaldi, Paul Carrack) – 4:03
"The Girl from Yesterday"* (Frey, Jack Tempchin) – 3:23
"Learn to Be Still"* (Henley, Stan Lynch) – 4:28
"Tequila Sunrise" (Henley, Frey) – 3:28
"Hotel California" (Don Felder, Henley, Frey) – 7:12
"Wasted Time" (Henley, Frey) – 5:19
"Pretty Maids All in a Row" (Joe Walsh, Joe Vitale) – 4:26
"I Can't Tell You Why" (Henley, Frey, Schmit) – 5:11
"New York Minute" (Henley, Danny "Kootch" Kortchmar, Jai Winding) – 6:37
"The Last Resort" (Henley, Frey) – 7:24
"Take It Easy" (Jackson Browne, Frey) – 4:36
"In the City" (Walsh, Barry De Vorzon) – 4:07
"Life in the Fast Lane" (Henley, Frey, Walsh) – 6:01
"Desperado" (Henley, Frey) – 4:17