Manual Movie Reviews
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The best reason to watch this DVD, of course, is to see the interaction between father and son Mexican superstars, Vicente and Alejandro Fernandez. Alejandro is SO young here, but he is SO beautiful, and sings like a god! The VOICE is incredible.
There are two songs in this film that I ADORE...."TIEMPO"...and "EL ANDARIEGO". I have not found Alejandro's version of Tiempo anywhere else....I have a cd of boleros by Vicente that include this song. (Actually, if you listen to Vicente sing it, you would almost think it was Alejandro)
The last scene is the reason that I bought the film in the first place....I wanted to see father and son sing TOGETHER! The last song is "Cuando Yo Queria Ser Grande"...this song is on Alejandro's first album....it is also one that he sings on tour with his dad. To see that beautiful face streaked with tears...father's hand reaching up to touch his son's face...the little wink (they BOTH do it)...it was worth every penny to see this!
My only disappointment with the DVD was that I had hoped it would have a language option...I know only limited Spanish, and the film does not have sub-titles. You don't really need to know what is being said to understand what is going on, its pretty obvious.
The DVD has an extra biography of Vicente not found on the VHS version...however, this too is in Spanish. Still, it is interesting to watch.
Jean Arthur, one of Hollywood's great comedic actresses, plays a show biz type who, for reasons never made clear, has sailed into a backwater South American port. There she meets a bunch of guys who work for a rickety airline that needs to get a big mail delivery contract in order to survive. Cary Grant plays the leader of this group. He's been burned by women in the past, and, though attracted to Arthur, acts the tough guy who only cares about his job and his buddies. It doesn't take long for Arthur to decide that he's the one for her, but she's worldly enough to know that this is one catch that will be hard to reel in. Meanwhile, Grant and company have enough to keep them busy, as they battle wind, rain, fog, old airplanes, big birds and some very tall mountains in order to get said mail to its destination.
One thing I love about this movie is the way is never seems to take itself seriously. I don't know what the filmmakers intended, but much of it seems almost a satire of macho action pictures. Why else would they cast two such wonderfully funny stars in the leads?
Also of note is way the script addresse some tricky issues in the Arthur-Grant relationship by giving the movie a hopeful, rather than happy, ending. It leaves it up to the viewer to decide if this odd couple will make it or not.
The movie won an Oscar for Best Special Effects. Some of these are remarkable even today, while others are now laughably crude. But the special effects are just icing on the cake. Only Angels Have Wings is very much story driven. Nearly half of it takes place on one set, but the characters have so much going on that you hardly noctice the static setting.
Great supporting perfomances by Thomas Mitchell, Richard Bathelmess and a very young, inexperienced Riat Hayworth.
All in all, an endearing, highly entertaining movie.
The cast is very good. Cary Grant, though not playing his usual role, is excellent as the tough boss, who only flys when it is too tough for anyone else. Jean Arthur is sweet and believable as the stranded chorus girl, and the supporting cast, including a very young Rita Hayworth (in her first A-movie) is perfect.
Anyhow, if you haven't seen this hidden classic from 1939, what are you waiting for? The DVD is very good - the movie is very clear and sharp, and there are a few interesting special features as well (previews for other movies and old advertisement posters, for instance). But the movie alone is worth getting - it is a must have!
The DVD features a 10-minute, behind-the-scenes featurette (mostly covering the special effects), short cast and creator interviews, and the second chapter of Rated LEXX, the TV special created for the Sci Fi Channel to introduce the characters and recap the origins. --Sean Axmaker
Instead, it is a formulaic T&A show aimed at 12-year old males (as evidenced by a previous review) and completely lacking in the originality and imagination of the original series.
The new actress who plays the reconstituted Xev is a constant distraction with her surgically-overenhanced lips that look like, well.... they look like wax lips that kids used to buy at the candy store. Her acting ability is on a par with the lips.
The robot head tends to scream almost constantly now. I find myself wishing for the witty repartee of Doctor Smith and the Robot.
I can't recall watching stories more poorly written. Of course, we always know that the Lexx will blow up the bad planet/space station at the end, and if not, Mandrid will arrive a few minutes later to consume what the Lexx leaves behind. And we can always count on Kye to pop out of his anti-toaster to provide some clarity to the bumbling Stanley, 790 and Xev. All predictible.
Even the T&A suffers in this show. In the original series, we did get a few real snippets now and then, but the main sex in this series seems to be in the form of anatomically correct female space stations and keys shaped like male reproductive organs. Yawn.
I found myself struggling to watch all the shows on this DVD, and also the Series 2, Vol. 1 DVD, which I bought at the same time. I honestly can't recommend them unless you are really, really into this show. In that case, you will find the lack of huge blocks of commercials will be well worth your money.
What we fans really need AND WANT is the original series to be released on DVD, especially episode one, which remains one of the most unusual, entertaining and creative Sci-fi stories done the the last 30 years.
Victor (known as Salvador at the Hot Line) picks up a regular male customer known as Bill. Victor also breaks the rules and becomes rather intimately involved with another caller who calls herself Amanda. Suddenly Victor finds himself up to his neck in intrigue--there's a femme fatale, a murder plot, and a multi-million dollar film.
Javier Bardem stars as Victor, and this role was created before Bardem became a recognizable name in Hollywood. Actually, I prefer "Mouth to Mouth" to any other film Bardem has made. He's got great comedic talent, and his facial features naturally lend themselves to being cast as the innocent, guileless fall guy. Several times during "Mouth to Mouth", Victor auditions for roles and comes off very credibly as the nervous wannabe performing an atrocious Broadway number, the foul-mouthed tough guy, and the great Latin Lover. He switches between characters and makes it look easy. When Victor takes his first phone call at the Hot Line he calls on all his acting talent to help him 'save' the call, and the scene is really well done. The culture of the Hot Line office is particularly amusing, and some of the calls are hilarious.
"Mouth to Mouth" almost has the feel of an Almodovar film--but this is mainly due to pacing and the character of Victor's agent, the semi-hysterical and babbling Angela. However, "Mouth to Mouth" is essentially a comedy and verves firmly away from the darker philosophical issues that Almodovar often wrestles with. "Mouth to Mouth" is a great foreign comedy, and I think most people could easily relate to its universal humour-displacedhuman.
The plot is to die for. A young, struggling actor, is out job and out of luck, but he needs to go on...So, he begins an adventure that is likely to end with a big mess.
At times, this film feels like a one man show or a stand-up act; nevertheless, absolutely all characters are well-developed and rich: the shady sex-line owner in need of his over-bearing mother's approval, the dancing girl in need of money, the plastic surgeon in need of love, the Hollywood lady producer in need of success, etc. As it is common in Spanish cinema, colors are very important in this film: red and black are the main ones. They symbolize passion, jealousy, crazyness, and sarcasm.
When you start watching this film, you can sit back and enjoy yourselves. By the end, you are likely to re-evaluate your opinions about issues raised. You're also likely to have a blast, in the process.
In Xevivor, Xev is both the prize and the judge in a reality show that is ultimatly attacked by savage carrots.
In the Rock, Stan becomes the King of Newfoundland. He has finally traveled far enough across the two universes to meet himself. Kai does a nice improv of the BrunnenG war song.
Walpurgis Night and Vlad both take place in Transylvania where Kai meets one of the few beings deadlier then he is.
Everyone should buy this and all the other Lexx DVD's and maybe they'll make a sequil to this wonderful series. But, probably not.
For a show that's on the low end budget scale with cheesy effects, i find myself asking why do i watch a show, that not a single one of my friends, or family or work buddies have ever heard of! The reason is simple, LEXX is very origonal, funny, and believe it or not, smart. Where Star trek boldly goes, LEXX just wants to survive. Each Character is so compelling that you actually care about them. Stanley, the ... captian by mistake, Xev, the bombshell vixen warrior who constantly craves [love] but can't get it, and kia, the dead hero of the show (the mr. spock so to speak). I started watching during season 2, and watched every episode since. Try to catch it on the sci-fi channel, then buy any one of these dvd sets. It's very entertaining and never takes itself seriously, the ... graphics are hidden behind great acting (seriously) and complex but hilarious most of the time plots. Give it a shot...please.
The plot's a bit strange; an old hotel resurects Kristina as a vampire after she committed suicide, then asks her to go & kill the person holding the deeds to the hotel (does the hotel want the deed so it own's itself? Hotel Liberation! Free the Hotels!)
But, visually, it's very interesting. And, did I say, Kristina's a sex godess? I've been waiting for this to come onto DVD for ages.
Personally I prefer the Directors cut. Not only is it naughtier, but the soundtrack and sound design are inspired
as opposed to the Schlockier Studio overdub.
What do you think?
The cast includes extraordinarily subdued and subtle performances by Billy Bob Thornton, Morgan Freeman, Holly Hunter, and Kirsten Dunst. The smarmy underbelly of a city is captured authentically and artistcially by the cinematographer, and the director paces this quiet, inward tale with a sense of a death march. Though there is no classical music reference made there is a strong resemblance to the mood and metier of the Shostakovich 15th String Quartet. And as 'chamber music' this fine little film will bear revisiting.
Here, he meets Morgan Freeman, a storefront preacher with a secret of his own, and he's given a job as custodian of the place. Kristin Durst is one of the lost young people who he comes in contact with, and in his own simple way, he seems to be making a difference in her life. The person he has come here to meet, however, is the sister of the young man who he had murdered. Holly Hunter is cast in this role and they start to develop a deep friendship, especially when her son gets in trouble and Billy Bob Thornton comes to his aid.
There's a sadness and melancholy to the entire film, which is set on cold dreary winter streets. It's slow, bleak and rather creepy, especially when the hero is visited over and over again by the apparition of the young man who he has murdered. I found the concept interesting, the acting excellent and the story sad and depressing. And yet, it was a fine film.
Gloria exists to serve and clean up for those she lives with, but underneath that harried housewife exterior boils a woman of passion--the film makes that clear very quickly, but will Gloria ever have the opportunity to be more than an unpaid maidservant? Gloria looks around at the four walls of her squalid tiny kitchen, and wonders how her life got to this point. She copes with her miserable, joyless existence thanks to an addiction to "no-doze" sedatives, but when she runs out of tablets one day, Gloria explodes.
Almodovar films always include deep friendships and loyalties between women, and "What Have I Done To Deserve This?" is no exception to this rule--Gloria's best friend and confidante is Cristal (played with great good humour by Veronique Forque). Cristal is a chatty prostitute who dreams of going to America. Her free-spirited ways are a threat to Antonio who can't really contemplate a woman like Cristal--a woman who may rent her body out temporarily, but she still remains owned by no-one. Cristal is Almodovar's prostitute with a heart of gold. She finds extra work for Gloria, and Gloria's friendship with Cristal eventually leads to trouble.
Some of the best scenes in the film involve Cristal--her open approach to life is hilarious, and some of the scenes with her clients are priceless--the professor who is doing 'research' and the exhibitionist who needs more than Cristal to make up an adequate audience.
While "What Have I Done To Deserve This?" isn't my all-time favourite Almodovar film, nonetheless, I do re-watch it from time to time, and it really is a great film. It is darker than some of his later films, and the bleakness may prove difficult for some viewers to see the film as a comedy. But the comedy is there--black comedy, but comedy nonetheless. The juxtaposition of the television romances next to the squalor of Gloria's real life are marvellously laced throughout the film. Keep an eye open for the ... dentist who wants to adopt Gloria's youngest son, Miguel. Due to themes and language ... this film is not for the kiddies--displacedhuman--www.Amazon.com Reviewer.
Each DVD features a different 10-minute, behind-the-scenes featurette, short cast and creator interviews, and a chapter of Rated LEXX, a TV special created for the Sci Fi Channel to introduce the characters and recap the origins. --Sean Axmaker