FullReviews Index - page 3
DVD Pick: "THX 1138"
Before the Star Wars films and American Graffiti made George Lucas famous, he co-wrote and directed an excellent movie titled THX 1138 (1971) starring Robert Duvall. Now a restored director's cut of that debut film is being released as a superb two-disc DVD set loaded with worthwhile bonus materials. Read a review of the movie THX 1138 on DVD.
DVD Pick: "Goodfellas" Special Edition
Based on a true story, Martin Scorsese's Goodfellas is an unforgettable biopic about a low-level mobster named Henry Hill (Ray Liotta). I think what makes the movie so compelling is Scorsese's close observation of the details of Hill's extraordinary world. Now this great film is available as a two-disc Special Edition DVD set.
DVD Pick: "Kill Bill Vol. 2"
Kill Bill Vol. 2 provides a satisfying ending to the story begun in Kill Bill Vol. 1. It seems to me that over the span of the two films, Tarantino shows us a woman's spiritual journey. I found Vol. 2 to be very different in tone from Vol. 1. Vol. 1 is more like a high-energy martial-arts film, while Vol. 2 has few action sequences and lots of talk. The DVD skimps on extras, but I speculate another providing more will eventually be released. Read a review of the movie Kill Bill Vol. 2 on DVD.
DVD Pick: "Breathless"
"So I'll get the money. I'll ask Patricia yes or no. And then ... Milano, Genova, Roma!" says Michel (Jean-Paul Belmondo) as he speeds towards Paris in a stolen car. But it turns out he has to put his plans to go to Italy on hold for a few days while he gets the money. During that time he pursues a romantic relationship with Patricia (Jean Seberg), and I see their story of doomed love as being at the heart of Jean-Luc Godard's "Breathless" (1960).
DVD Pick: "The Dreamers"
Bernardo Bertoluccis The Dreamers is not as deep or resonant as some of his other movies, but I nonetheless found it reasonably entertaining. I was impressed by the film's beautiful visual style. Also, The Dreamers occasionally manages to generate erotic tension, a quality rare in films made over the last several years. The movie is available in two DVD versions, one rated NC-17 and an R-rated one that is three minutes shorter.
DVD Pick: "The Barbarian Invasions"
"The Barbarian Invasions" won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film. When I watched this emotionally engaging movie on DVD, it made me both laugh and cry. The narrative is driven by the melancholy fact that a man is dying, but the film is far too cheerful and vibrant for that to be its dominant mood. In the end, I found this to be one of most life-affirming movies I've seen. If I were forced to characterize the film in a single word, I would say it is bittersweet.
DVD Pick: "Monsieur Ibrahim"
I see Monsieur Ibrahim as a parable about looking beyond the differences in ethnicity, religion, and culture that divide us and seeking the common humanity we all share. But rarely has a movie delivered that message in such an eloquent way, and I attribute that to writer-director François Dupeyron and his two lead actors, Pierre Boulanger and Omar Sharif. Read a review of Monsieur Ibrahim on DVD.
DVD Pick: "Blazing Saddles"
Blazing Saddles is one of the most hilarious movies I've ever seen. It's been released previously on DVD, but the 30th Anniversary Special Edition is the best version yet.
DVD Pick: "Monster"
Charlize Theron won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in the downbeat drama Monster, which was inspired by the life of a highway prostitute who murdered several men. I missed seeing Monster during its theatrical release, but I don't regret it because this is the kind of movie that plays well on the small screen.