Tuesday, May 26, 2009

DVD Reviews

A long, (almost 2 ½ hours) depressing, Depression-era drama made worth watching because of the acting brilliance of Jack Nicholson and Meryl Streep.

Man on Wire:
Excellent and inspiring documentary chronicles the early life and exploits of high wire artist Philippe Petit who walked between the World Trade Center towers in 1974. The film will help you appreciate the beautiful artistry of wire walking.

In the Electric Mist:
Even the acting talents of Tommie Lee Jones and John Goodman can’t save this weak murder mystery set in Louisiana.
Not recommended

Interesting movie based on a novel where a plague that blinds, but not kills, people in a city. The afflicted are herded into a ghastly quarantine facility where all the weaknesses and strengths of individuals come to light. A nice study of potential breakdowns of societal norms and individual morality when people are placed under extreme stress.

The Last Enemy:
Excellent British miniseries. The drama takes place in a not too distant future Britain in an atmosphere of Total Information Awareness, surveillance and tracking by the state.

Entertaining action drama about super assassins with an underlying message to take control of your life. “Live with the wolves, not the sheep.”

Madagascar-Escape 2 Africa:
This sequel continues the fun with some new characters. Watching the antics of the penguins again is worth the price of admission.

Dark Matter:
A brilliant Chinese cosmology student comes to America to study his original theories, only to be stifled by the educational establishment. A drama well worth watching, though the ending was very disappointing.

The Fall:
An injured movie stunt man befriends a 5-year old girl in the hospital by telling her imaginative stories (which are acted out as part of the movie). Filmed in India, (with some incredible sets and scenery) the work is an interesting piece of film making.

Alison Krauss and Union Station-Live:
It’s always a pleasure to listen and watch musicians, at the top of their field, having a good time playing together. This is as tasteful a set of music that you’ll ever have the pleasure to listen to.

Quantum of Solace:
I can never remember the name of the previous James Bond movie, let alone what the story was about. But they are always entertaining. This one keeps the string going.

The Wrestler:
Mickey Rourke is the perfect choice to play the down and out wrestler who’s quickly reaching the end of the line- in both his career and his personal life. Lots of hand held camera work and dim lighting help give the film the rough feeling needed to match the turbulent story.

I.O.U. S. A.:
This was VERY disappointing. The documentary lists numbers and figures about government spending excess that only the clueless and completely ignorant have no knowledge. The rest of the film is nothing but a promo piece for David Walker and those impotent hacks known as the “Concord Coalition" who have prowled around Washington, kissing the boots of politi-gangsters for nearly three decades, while pleading that these bandits suddenly become responsible managers of the “people’s” money. The filmmakers try to convince the viewer that statist solutions can be found for state-caused problems, that the incompetent and irresponsible morons that created the problem can be enlightened enough to solve it. Please, spare me! Finally, how can you take seriously a film that lists Alan Greenspan and Warren Buffet as “leading economic experts?”
NOT recommended

Nothing But The Truth:
Drama that follows a reporter imprisoned by the US Government when she won’t reveal her source- a source that revealed the identity of a covert CIA agent. Watch how the state bullies and cages people to protect its crimes and dirty secrets.

Captivating recreation of the drama surrounding the David Frost interviews of Richard Nixon in 1977. Accurately billed as an “intellectual boxing match,” the movie never tires and the viewer’s interest never withered.

Speaking Freely- Chalmers Johnson:
A nice, concise 52 minute lesson in US imperialism, colonialism, militarism, blowback, and the impending demise and bankruptcy of the American Empire.

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