DVD

Review: Transformers

 Chick 2 says:transformers

Put in some slow motion, a lot of light flares, and a circular dolly track shot and Michael Bay thinks you’ve got a movie.  Add some performance footage of a rock band and I admit it would make a good music video.  Maybe Bay should stick to that.  Read more

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Review: Princess Mononoke

Chick 1 says:princess_mononoke

I’ve been wanting to explore a bit of Asian cinema, especially anime.  Many of them fall in my favorite genre, fantasy/scifi.  This movie, about a cursed prince who travels west to ask the Forest Spirit to heal him, had made quite a few Top Ten lists the year it was released.  It also has a lushous soundtrack that I had heard on the internet. Read more

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Review: Stranger than Fiction

Chick 1 says:stranger-than-fiction

In honor of April 15th, I’m posting this review of Stranger than Fiction.  I’ve not viewed it recently but I own it & it’s one of my favorites.  If you’ve already completed your mad dash to the post office, swing by the video store & pick up a copy.  Or come by my apartment & borrow mine.  I’ll be watching Lost.   Sshhh.  No talking. Read more

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Review: The Scarlet Pimpernel

Chick 1 says:scarlettpimpernel

I have loved the television version of The Scarlet Pimpernel since high school.  It came out 27 years ago.  And I am officially old.

What I Liked:  This is romance at its best.  Intrigue, adventure, agonizing obstacles.  There are moments in the story when you want to yell at the screen, “Turn around!”  or “Tell him!”  Sigh.  Read more

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Review: Cinema Paradiso

Chick 2 says:

I recently revisited Cinema Paradiso, a classic Italian film about a boy who befriends the grumpy projectionist at the local movie house.  We watch Salvatore grow up in that theatre, learning about life and love in 1950’s Sicily along the way.  This is a story with lots of character and well deserving of the Best Foreign Film Oscar it won in 1990.  I rented the director’s cut – Nuova Cinema Paradiso.  This version is quite a bit longer but makes more sense of the ending, providing a little more resolution (emphasis on little) than the original theatrical release.  But how can you go wrong with Italy and movies as the backdrop?

 

IF you are a movie lover, THEN GO rent it subito – at once.

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Review: City Lights

Chick 1 says:A classic love story

Continuing my movie edumacation with Charlie Chaplin, Wendy & I caught the 1931 classic City Lights at our local indie theater.  I really wasn’t sure what to expect.  Of course, I’d seen a million clips before but never a full movie.  I assumed the humor would be somewhat dated but I’d still be able to appreciate it.  I was right but that’s not the whole story.

What I Liked: I laughed…a lot.  From early in the picture when the Tramp is trying to unhook his pants from a sword so he can climb down from a statue to a classic boxing match to many an escapade with a drunken millionaire, I was wiping my eyes.  I was completely amazed by the intricate choreography many of the laughs required.  Not only was Chaplin amazing but he surrounded himself with talented performers.  Almost everyone on screen is a dancer in this hilarious ballet.  The movie is tender as well.  A blind flower girl that Chaplin falls for & tries to help weaves a common narrative thread through several comedic episodes.

It’s easy to see Chaplin’s influence on decades of comedy; from Bugs Bunny to screwball comedies to Jackie Chan.

What I Didn’t Like: very little.  Yes, some humor is a little dated but not as much as I expected.  Good physical humor & likable characters are funny in any era!

Bottomline: Long live the Tramp!

Chick 2 says:

Our local art house was hosting a festival on the subject of the homeless and my sister and I were fortunate enough to see Charlie Chaplin’s City Lights on the big screen, starring Chaplin as his most famous character, The Tramp.  I had never seen any of Chaplin’s films and his impact on film and comedy in general was immediately obvious.  What I appreciated so much in childhood watching the antics of Tim Conway, Bugs Bunny, and others was so brilliantly displayed in its origin by Chaplin.  The humor was, of course, dated and at first I only greatly appreciated his talent without outwardly expressing anything, but eventually his genius physical comedy and instinctive timing had me laughing my head off.  I greatly want to see more of his classics, and my hat goes off to those who use their talent to not only create social commentary, but also make us laugh (hard) in the process.

IF you’re looking for classic American comedy in it’s origins, THEN GO (rent it).

Posted on by wj11 in Reviews, The 1930s 1 Comment

Review: Like Water For Chocolate

 Chick 2 says:like_water3

Like Water for Chocolate is a subtitled film typical of fairy tale fantastical stories from Mexican directors.  It’s the story of Tita, forbidden to marry her true love so that she can care for her overbearing mother, she pours all her unfulfilled emotion into her cooking.  Her true love Pedro, in order to be near Tita, marries her older sister and drama ensues.  It is a clever and cute story, but not sophisticated.  The second act seems long as you wait for a final resolution to all the hardship, and that resolution may seem dissatisfying to some.  Released sixteen years earlier, its story has similar characteristics but does not quite attain the magic of Chocolat.  Lumi Cavozos is very endearing as Tita, and her sister Gertrudis provides for some brief entertaining comic relief. 

IF you’re looking for a fun, fantastical rental, THEN go (rent it).

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Review: Blow Dry

Rachel Griffiths & Alan Rickman strut their stuff

Rachel Griffiths & Alan Rickman strut their stuff

Chick 1 says:

I’d been wanting to see this quirky little British movie for several years.  It has an amazing cast & looked like the hairstyling version of Strictly Ballroom, a movie I love. 

Blow Dry stars Alan Rickman as Phil, a hairstylist in the small British town of Keighly, who was once an international hairstyling champion.  He now owns a dumpy barber shop where he works with his son, Brian, played by Josh Hartnett.  Phil, has not competed in 10 years since his wife, Shelley, ran away with his hair model, Sandra (Natasha Richardson & Rachel Griffiths).  Shelly and Sandra now own a salon in the same town.  The storytellers kick things off with an announcement that the international hairstyling competition is coming to Keighly and the revelation that a character has cancer, then sit back and let the madness ensue. 

Well, kind of.  Read more

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