: What are you watching on DVD these days?
2008-06-15, 12:29 AM
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly - Twenty days after suffering a stroke and falling into a coma, Elle editor-in-chief Jean-Dominique Bauby wakes up in a hospital to find himself completely paralyzed except for the use of his left eye. Encouraged by his speech therapist to communicate by blinking assent when the correct letter is recited to him, Bauby proceeds - one letter at a time - to dictate his memoirs and to share with the outside world the memories and desires of a man captive within his own body.
Loosely based (http://www.salon.com/ent/feature/2008/02/23/diving_bell/) on a true story, this slow, solemn film is both stirring and well-acted.
2008-06-18, 09:37 PM
UGH. I love Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson, but my husband has had lung cancer, so... the topic was worrisome and too morbid. Not nearly as funny as it could have been.
2008-06-19, 03:45 AM
4 months, 3 weeks & 2 days - It's 1987 and the iron curtain has not yet fallen in Romania when two best friends are caught up in a moral and medical dilemma when one of them becomes pregnant in this bleak, harrowing, difficult to watch film that's been recognized with numerous international awards and nominations.
2008-06-19, 05:06 PM
The Bucket List - For us, it was one of the best 'new' movies viewed in quite some time. Two wonderful Hollywood veterans, playing off each other with both skill and grace, and with the added touch of Reiner's direction.
We much-enjoyed it!!
2008-06-20, 01:27 AM
Just Add Water - Quirky characters having adventures in small, isolated dusty desert towns is almost a movie sub-genre unto itself. Alas, despite its self-proclaimed Sundance pedigree, Just Add Water doesn't earn a place alongside such films as Baghdad Café, Tremors, Dancer Texas Pop. 81, Dreamland, Desert Blue or Gas, Food & Lodging.
2008-06-20, 03:35 AM
I am watching Sixteen Candles in dvd. It's a very funny movie. I like very much this movie. :)
2008-06-21, 12:21 AM
A buddy of mine who hadn't yet seen Cloverfield came over tonight to watch it. He liked it...and I enjoyed it even more than I did last weekend (post #1700, above). :D
2008-06-21, 02:21 AM
Be Kind, Rewind - Jack Black and Mos Def become guerrilla filmmakers when Black accidentally erases all the VHS tapes in the little down-in-the-dumps video shop they're left to manage as the owner travels out of town. Oddly, the homemade videos become cult hits and may end up saving the tired little store from a date with the wrecking ball. This is a one trick film, but its quirky low-budget style and the enthusiasm of the cast give it a certain charm.
2008-06-21, 11:41 PM
Flawless - Laura Quinn, a disgruntled executive at the world's largest diamond company, conspires with Hobbs, the company's disgruntled janitor, to steal a comfortable fortune in uncut stones - representing an insignificant fraction of the available diamonds - from the highly-secure corporate vault. Her job is to obtain the access code; his is to lift the stones. What starts off as an easy and inconspicuous heist takes an audacious and unexpected turn that will have significant consequences for everyone involved.
Although the premise was intriguing, the story moved along unremarkably until about two-thirds of the way through, at which time it faltered and began to limp its way to a hurried and unsatisfying ending.
2008-06-22, 02:43 AM
Control - Ill-fitted to the responsibilities of being a husband, father and the lead singer in a rising post-punk pop band, Joy Division, Ian Curtis embarks upon a path of despair and hopelessness that ultimately ends in his suicide on the eve of the band's first North American tour. Director Anton Corbijn, who's made music videos for such bands as U2, Metallica, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Depeche Mode, treats his subject with empathy and heart, but seems to pull back from some tough questions surrounding Curtis' downward spiral so the film feels like the work of a fan trying to make sense. Great performance by Sam Riley as Curtis, and beautifully photographed in black and white.
2008-06-22, 08:23 PM
National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets - When a rival treasure hunter publicly reveals a document that appears to implicate his great-grandfather as a co-conspirator in Abraham Lincoln's assassination, Benjamin Gates sets out to clear his family's honourable name...and to find the lost Olmec "City of Gold" - inexplicably located in North Dakota - using clues he uncovers on said revealed document. Naturally, much mayhem and excitement ensue.
This sequel, like the original, is lightweight but mildly entertaining "Indiana Jones"-esque fare, with plenty of requisite twists, turns and chases.
2008-06-25, 02:20 AM
Les Chansons d'Amour - Love may make the world go 'round, but when the affairs of a young Parisien couple takes a decidedly tragic twist, it can become embroiled with grief, confusion and ennui. A promising notion for a film that is lost by the director's stylistic choice to make this film a musical, and a bad one at that, and by the thoroughly unlikeable male lead.
If you're in the mood for an evening of Parisienne whimsy, best to dig into the stacks to look for Paris, Je t'aime or Avenue Montaigne.
2008-06-26, 03:29 AM
Persepolis - Night Two of my self-programmed French Film Festival, this time with much better results. As a young woman awaits the flight that will take her back to Tehran, she reminisces and reflects on the journey of her life that got her to that point, through the Islamic revolution, the suffering of the Iran-Iraq war, and eventually refuge in Vienna that proves to be anything but. A very personal story of one woman's coming of age within a much larger context, told with humor and pathos in fantastical stylized black & white animation.
2008-06-27, 03:52 AM
Intimate Enemies - France's war against Algerian independence was their Vietnam, an ill-fated battle against a determined, resolute foe in inhospitable territory. When a young, idealistic lieutenant is stationed to an outpost in Algeria, his sense of right and wrong is quickly tested by the atrocities all around him. A well-made film about a largely unknown war; France didn't officially acknowledge it until 1999.
2008-06-27, 11:53 PM
The Walker - A gay escort to the wives of some powerful Washington bureaucrats finds himself the focus of a murder investigation.
If it weren't for Woody Harrelson's interesting performance, this movie - with its thin story, verbose dialogue and very slow pacing - would be a complete turkey.
2008-06-29, 04:18 PM
El Orfanato (The Orphanage) - Thirty years after being adopted and take away from it, Laura returns to the long-abandoned orphanage with her husband and their adopted son, Simón, to set up a home for handicapped children. Shortly after their arrival, a strange presence begins making itself heard and felt around the house and Simón starts talking to and about his new "invisible friends". When Simón disappears - seemingly kidnapped by the spirits she at last believes are haunting the orphanage - Laura's mounting desperation drives her to confront the spirits and regain her son.
This is a great little "horror drama", with a simple but effectively-told story; solid acting from the lead characters; plenty of suspense and some good scares; and a gentle, bittersweet ending which, although unexpected, works nicely. The movie is very similar in its "ethereal" feel to Pan's Labyrinth, which is a good thing.
(As a bonus, Belén Rueda is absolutely yummy! :D)
2008-06-29, 06:12 PM
eljay ... thanks for your latest reviews. I had been toying with getting both The Walker and The Orphange -- now it will be just The Orphanage -- the one I really wanted (we much-enjoyed Pan's Labyrinth).
2008-06-29, 07:51 PM
No problem, johnp'in'bc! :)
Since you enjoyed Pan's Labyrinth, I believe you will also enjoy The Orphanage. The stories are different, but both movies have the same effective and "etheral" storytelling style. (See also Dioneo's review (http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=78491).)
As for The Walker, both my wife and I were disappointed by the movie's squandered potential. We really enjoyed Woody Harrelson's role as the beleaguered escort, though.
2008-06-30, 12:23 AM
4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days - Loyal and caring Otilia goes to tremendous lengths to help her shallow, inconsiderate and self-absorbed friend, Gabriela, get an illegal abortion on a Saturday in 1987 in Romania.
For some inexplicable reason, the DVD jacket describes this film as "nothing short of shattering", "holds an enormous emotional gravitas" and "a profound exploration...of choices and responsibility". In fact, the movie is slow, uneventful, devoid of any real emotional content and far from profound. Moreover, and despite being painfully protracted, most scenes end up conveying nothing of significance. (The dinner table scene is a case in point.) What a dud.
2008-07-01, 02:44 AM
Just saw Cloverfield. It didn't quite live up to all the hype I've read about it. The shaky cam didn't bother me but the dark scenes made it hard to make out what was going on. The warning about "many terrifying scenes" didn't really apply in this case unless the audience was under fifteen imho.
I think it was a good choice to shoot it in HD digital rather than film as it gave the movie a documentary look to it.
Edit: I didn't get the concept of the creature being able to shoot fireballs or whatever they were. Was it supposed to be a super fire-breathing dragon or did it use laser type weapons? I don't think I will see the sequel that is coming out next year.
I really like Sci-Fi movies but it has to be believable e.g. "Jurassic Park" (cloned dinosaurs)