Racks and Shelving Movie Reviews
However, I have several major complaints about what the evil trolls at Disney have done in putting this package together.
First, they have stuck trailers/advertisements for about five Disney video products on the front of the disc, so that if you just pop the disc and and let it run, you have to sit through all that stuff (or keep hitting the "next segment" button on your remote to skip them) before you get to the actual Schoolhouse Rock portion. I didn't pay good money for the privilege of having Di$ney jam additional advertising down my throat and that of my toddler.
Second, and somewhat less offensively, the organization of the individual vignettes through a "jukebox" menu function is somewhat interesting, but not very well implemented. Yes, it's kind of fun that there are menu seletions to watch just the "grammar" episodes or just the "math" episodes, or whatever. But you'd think, wouldn't you, that there'd be a plain old "watch 'em all from start to finish" option wouldn't you? But no.
The latter is a minor quibble. I'm particularly mad about all the Di$ney advertising they try to force on you.
Each year my students learn and memorize the Preamble to the Constitution thanks to Schoolhouse Rock. And how interesting would the American Revolution be without No More Kings, Fireworks, or The Shot Heard 'Round the World? From a fourth grader's perspective, NOT VERY!
This DVD is a must have for students, teachers, and parents. This fun, entertaining quick review of these necessary skills is a great way to learn with your kids/students. After all, how else would we know that a conjunction's purpose is, "Hooking up words and phrases and clauses"?
The Symphony plays well, but the group misses some prime opportunities to use it, adhering to synth parts where an orchestra would have worked nicely (most notably in the rocking "Gemini Dream"). There's no surround mix here, but band leaders Justin Haywood and John Lodge deserve kudos for their able sound mixing. --Michael Mikesell
While this DVD boasts a great long tracklist, I strongly urge fans to purchase the far superior "Moody Blues - Live at Royal Albert Hall". It was filmed in 2000, and features a totally beautiful DTS surround sound! On top of that, the image is almost crystal clear. Even with its shorter tracklist, it is a much wiser purchase - one which you will return to time and time again to watch! It will also give you what music DVD is supposed to give you - otherwise you may as well hang on to your old HI-FI music videos and live back in the 80's and 90's!
Annabella Sciorra plays the perfect mother of a flawless family. Her obstetrician, however, is less than wonderful, having enjoyed her examination much more than he should have. When she files sexual harassment charges against the repugnant doctor, he loses face--literally--after shooting himself in the head. Several months later, an ideal nanny shows up at her home. You guessed it--she's the doc's widow.
The movie follows a tried and true formula, with the audience in on everything. However, the story does surprise us in intense and intimate ways. The visit to the obstetrician is one of the creepiest moments in the film. You definitely hear the voice of writer Amanda Silver in a plot concerned with the vulnerabilities of a family, a newborn, a marriage.
Since we know so much up front, there is an overall lack of inventiveness in the plot machinations. It may not jolt us, but De Mornay does. It's unsettling to watch someone who appears so attractive and who behaves so kindly suddenly reveal hideous psychopathic tendencies. Restraining herself from going over the top, she instead oozes such malevolence you'll want to shudder. --Rochelle O'Gorman
After it's been revealed that Claire's obstritician has sexually molested her, he commits suicide rathe than being put in jail. This triggers the consuming obscession for revenge in his widow, Peyton. Peyton takes a job as babysitter for Claire's baby and daughter Emma (played, it seems, by the child actress in Matilda).
Although Peyton comes off as innocent, helpful and utterly harmless, she slowly works her revenge over Claire and her family. She is breastfeeding Claire's baby without her knowledge, winning Emma's affection, gets rid of the African American help who knows too much, and even tries to seduce Claire's husband. The subtle way in which she does her evil is very frightening but the intensity grows most abundantly in the final portions of the film. This is a well-done movie, in almost Hitchcock psychological horror, and is a great adult film. I must stress that this is adult horror and that kids should not watch it. It would make them twice about their "real" babysitter. Of course, although there are a few bad apple babysitters, not all of them are like Rebecca De Mornay's wicked Peyton.
You could do a lot worse, and you could do a lot better.
An entertainingly dark sexual farce about the antics of a cranky businessman and his 19 year-old male lover when the boy's ex-girlfriend tries to rekindle the flame. Peculiar, charming Fassbinder work. If you like art house films, try this one.
AKA 'Gouttes d'eau sur pierres brûlantes'
Actors: Bernard Giraudeau, Malik Zidi, Ludivine Sagnier. Directed by François Ozon. 1999 France Kodak Color 90 min. WS Dolby Digital 2.0 In Français+Deutsch. Subtitles: English. Drama/Period 1970s.
Although you do not need to have seen a single Fassbinder to enjoy Ozon's film, those people familiar with the German enfant terrible will recognize his perennial theme of the vicious circles of exploitation - with all of the attendant love, loathing and unsettling but sometimes hilarious humor. Yet his worldview is refracted through a new, and razor-sharp, perspective. Middle-aged Leopold and 20-year-old Franz obviously love each other, but their familiar, and all-too-human, inability to communicate divides them. Into that breach Leopold is only too eager to bring exploitation, as he turns Franz into a hausfrau, albeit one in lederhosen instead of pantyhose. Typical of Fassbinder, we see the exploitation spiral into a second generation, as Franz uses Leopold's strategies on his former girlfriend, Anna, when she makes a surprise visit in the hope of snagging back her beau. Perhaps the most poignant, and surprising, example of these circles -Â within circles -Â of need and frustration comes when we learn the story of the mysterious Vera, Leopold's former lover.
Ozon also uses, and creatively plays with, Fassbinder's visual style, especially as seen in the ravishing Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant. Like Fassbinder he narrows the visual field with edges of walls, doors, and windows to re-frame and imprison the characters, and employs frontal shots, extreme angles, and merciless close-ups; although Ozon favore more diffused lighting. Like his predecessor, Ozon wrests genuine visual beauty from the claustrophobia of the single hermetic setting. He also paid meticulous attention to a dead-on recreation of a 70s bachelor pad, from clunky rotary-dial phones to swamp-like shag rugs.
There is also much of originality here; and Ozon had not set out to make a neo-Fassbinder picture. As he remarked, he had "wanted to make a film about a couple for a long time.... about the difficulty of living together and putting up with the daily routine. In discovering Fassbinder's play, I realized that I didn't need to write an original screenplay.... Funny and moving at the same time, the breakdown of the couple touched me."
Ozon brings the play to life, inspiring in his four cast members performances of outstanding range and depth. Fassbinder is justly praised for his use of actors, but as a disciple of Brecht and Godard he often emphasized the political ideas which his characters embody, creating an intentional distance between audience and the allegorized figures onscreen. With Ozon, the ideas are there for anyone interested in extracting them, but there is more spontaneity. And Ozon is already a master at revealing increasingly subtle psychological layers in his extended scenes with characters - most notably Franz - alone. To take one example, Franz in the bathtub reading Heinrich Heine's poem "Lorelei" is not just some highbrow beefcake shot. Ozon and actor Malik Zidi show us the minute workings of Franz's mind and emotions, in this intensely private moment. Even in the astonishing final scenes, when the film reaches its ironic (and typically Fassbinder) climax, Ozon has his actors emphasize the flesh-and-blood humanity of the people whose lives they are not only inhabiting but revealing. I am in no way denigrating Fassbinder; but this is a major, albeit subtle, difference between the two filmmakers.
The picture's most delightful moment - which Fassbinder would never have filmed - is the wild dance number in the fourth (of four) acts, using an infectious 70s Euro-pop anthem, "Dance the Samba With Me." Ozon keeps Fassbinder's head-on visual style - the quartet arranged in a (ahem!) straight row - but the energy is purely his own. Not only does the dance give a burst of adrenaline, as it hurls the film towards its climax, it also reveals character. We vividly see one reason for Leopold's phenomenal sex appeal: His swiveling hips might have turned even Elvis's head. This scene also shows that Ozon is part of the modern French cinematic tradition, recalling the whackily unforgettable madison danced by Godard's titular Band of Outsiders (1964).
Comparisons aside, Ozon has created an exceptional film in his own right: Funny, caustic, stylish, disturbing, and memorable. He has brought a strikingly fresh vision to this wittily pessimistic play of ideas (about love, power, and gender roles) and tangled emotions. And although Fassbinder might have been surprised by the changes (like grafting one of his most personal later films, In a Year of 13 Moons, onto the final act of one of his earliest plays), you can imagine him reveling in Ozon's accomplished visual style (both allusive and original), his command of narrative rhythm, the richness of the performances, and even those wonderfully unique moments - like the samba - which just might have set Rainer Werner's own toes a-tapping.
Goods: Its from the guys who did Sorcerer Hunters. This had a lot of SH type of humor and some connections to it(world-wise). The comedy is also pretty well done. Love that *beep* joke. No I'm not censoring myself. There is also somewhat of a similarity to Bastard in here in that Shibas and Dark Schneider are both perverted ... kickers.
Bads: TOO SHORT. There can't be just two episodes, can there? Can there? Plus I didn't approve of them ending it with such a hokey ending. Plus, there was actually some unnecessary nudity. Yes that's right, UNNECESSARY.
Other than that, this is a cool anime. If you can find it cheap, you won't be disappointed.
And to all you dissing it, why don't ya just remember its from SH's creators?! They like doing perverted, funny, cool stuff.