Monday, March 29, 2010

DVD Reviews

Frontline- Obama’s War:
This is a 2009 update of the unending war and US occupation in Afghanistan.
I marvel at watching the ignorant, arrogant gangsters masquerading as “statesmen” and “experts” who believe they can (and have the right to) centrally plan and control the lives of people they know virtually nothing about.

4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days:
A film set in 1987 Romania. A young woman helps her roommate get an illegal abortion. A very real, starkly made film about a disturbing subject matter. It will make you feel uncomfortable

Public Enemies:
Johnny Deep plays amiable gangster, John Dillinger, constantly outsmarting and escaping law enforcement while robbing banks throughout the Midwest in the early 1930’s. Christian Bale plays Melvin Purvis, the FBI agent who relentlessly pursues Dillinger.

An Indy science fiction film that doesn’t disappoint. A solo worker on the moon readies to return to Earth after three years but makes a shocking discovery. To say anymore would your ruin your viewing.

Imagine- John Lennon:
This 1988 documentary nicely outlines the life of the Beatle- his background, beliefs, and motivation. Edited from over 200 hours of film, Lennon’s interviews are used to narrate most of the film.

Sour Grapes:
I had high hopes for this comedy written and directed by Larry David. Though not a bad film, it really wasn’t worth ninety minutes of my time.
Not recommended

When Soldiers Cry:
This film looks like it was produced by the local junior college film class. No discernible plot. The story seems to revolve around soldiers making their way through the jungles of Vietnam in 1965. Except the “jungle” looks more like the woods along side Interstate 20 in Louisiana.
Not recommended

The Power of Nightmares:
This three hour BBC produced documentary examines the notion that states have failed in promising their subjects a better world resulting in a discouraged populace. As a result, states now turn their energies toward protecting you from perceived nightmares- particularly international terrorism. The filmmakers focus on two groups- the neoconservatives and the radical Islamists.

Joni Mitchell- Woman of Heart and Mind:
A nicely made documentary, giving a comprehensive review of the life and contributions (up to present day) of a truly unique and gifted poet, songwriter, musician, and painter. Being male, most women songwriters don’t really reach me, but Ms. Mitchell’s work not only speaks to me, it captivates me. No one else creates music like her.

It Might Get Loud:
Three distinctive guitarists, Jimmy Page, The Edge, and Jack White, meet to discuss their different approaches to their music, their influences and what inspires their creativity. They, of course, play their instruments to demonstrate. A great look at the musical creative process from the viewpoint of a very versatile musical instrument.

Flame and Citron:
A true story based on the lives of two assassins working within the Danish resistance during the Nazi occupation. In the confusion of war, knowing who the enemy is may not always be so clear cut.

World War II: Behind Closed Doors- Stalin, the Nazis and the West:
A six hour BBC series that looks not so much at details of various battles, but rather the meetings between the various national leaders involved- particularly, Stalin, Hitler, Churchill, FDR, and Truman. The details of some of these meetings have only been revealed in the last twenty years. Exhaustively researched, the documentary combines archival material with brilliantly acted dramatizations. Watch how world tyrants (on all sides) meet to carve up the world to their liking while millions are displaced and murdered.

Down From the Mountain:
I had this CD but was reminded by a recent Gary North article that a DVD of this monumental concert also existed. All the artists who contributed to the soundtrack of O’Brother Where Art Thou convened in Nashville in May 2000, shortly after the movie finished filming. T-Bone Burnett shows his brilliance in collecting this group of diverse, skilled musicians whose sparse, direct, soulful music comes directly from the joys and pain of human existence.

The Invention of Lying:
I keep hoping to come across a feature film comedy that makes me fall out of my seat laughing but I just can’t seem to find it. This one offers a couple chuckles while finding a clever way to promote atheism. Wrapped around the plot is a love story that makes absolutely no sense. Another waste of my time.
Not recommended

Atlantic Records: The House That Ahmet Built:
A thoroughly enjoyable two hour documentary that looks at the life (with his help) of Ahmet Ertegun, the founder of Atlantic Records. The man’s keen ear for musical talent and genius brought a cavalcade of wonderful recording artists to the listening public.

Meet John Doe:
This 1941 feature pairs Barbara Stanwyck with Gary Cooper. A great look at how media disinformation coupled with political ambition and manipulation can delude a gullible, well-meaning public.

Roland Emmerich must be the only movie director who has destroyed the White House at least twice. Maybe he’s a closet anarchist. Lots of great apocalyptic special effects gives the viewer some idea of what the end of the world would look like. I especially liked the initial Yellowstone explosive eruption. The most unbelievable part of the story is that the government built these huge, impressive arks in only two years when in reality they have trouble widening a half mile of street in that same amount of time.

No comments: