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Adil Choudhry "always learning" (Austria)
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Downfall (2 Disc Edition) [DVD] [2005]
Downfall (2 Disc Edition) [DVD] [2005]
Dvd ~ Bruno Ganz
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £4.96

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Downfall, but not in a blaze of glory, 26 Oct 2005
One of the most thought provoking films I have come across. I saw the cinematic release when it first came out in Germany, with considerable hype surrounding the event.
Having done significant reading on the war (and not encumbered by either 'guilt' or 'rage' that affects nationalities directly participating in the war), I have always had somewhat of a more detached view as one would to any other historical read.
I consequently always found the depiction of Hitler, and Nazis in general, quite one-dimensional in most movies and literature covering the subject. Of course all those historically documented horrors took place, and OFCOURSE one cannot justify them!
However, none of the movies made on the characters/events in question ever game me an inkling as to why a nation (and beyond) would support such an ideology and the person behind it. Not just support it but to be willing to die for it/him in many cases. In the absence of such insight, one can not be prepared for such demagogues in the future....in any society.
Its therefore not surprising that most movies have never been able to help us understand this most fundamental of insights, and to understand how & why Hitler/the Nazis did what they did.
With the stereotypical one dimension depiction of their characters thrown into the dustbin, 'Downfall' does a wonderful job in accomplishing this. You see Hitler as a person.....and his slide into oblivion. Why is it important to show him as a person and not just as a homicidal maniac? Because only then will one see the points of similarities in the leaders that have come since...and that will come tomorrow. Only then can one be armed with the intellectual knowledge to see the symptoms in a society and its leaders that can lead it to the path of such demented self-righteousness.
This is where 'Downfall' succeeds so admirably.
When walking out of the theater, one realizes not just what was....but also what can be.


Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 (Special Edition) [DVD] [2000]
Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 (Special Edition) [DVD] [2000]
Dvd ~ Jeffrey Donovan
Price: £4.02

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Shadows can be good, 4 Sep 2003
To expect anyone to match the 'uniqueness' of the original Blair Witch is a phenominal ask indeed. The 'original' Blair Witch was just that.....an original, and you do not duplicate originals.
The challenge in conceptualizing such a plot is huge, since the 'reality' element (or as some would prefer to call it 'mockumentary' element) could no longer be duplicated. I think it was a clever idea to point a finger at the first movie and distnace the plot from it considerably, along with the manner in which the movie was executed. Nevertheless, the movie manages to stay true to the essence of what made the original a success, i.e. the eerieness and creepiness. The Blair Witch series is not about blood and gore in your face, its about leaving the horror to your imagination: afterall, what could be more scarier than the imagination itself. The movie will coax you and guide you into the shadows and fears of your mind....and you will love the movie for it!
With reference to the special features, the 'Secret of Reverse' is an interesting piece, and will engross the willing into delving even deeper into the cult that is the Blair Witch.
If you liked the original because you thought it was a 'true story', then skip the sequel. If you liked it for its 'originality' and ability to scare in the absence of blood, gore, a soundtrack and the works....then yes, go for it!


The Animatrix [DVD] [2003]
The Animatrix [DVD] [2003]
Dvd ~ Clayton Watson

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Matrix-Explained (further), 3 Sep 2003
This review is from: The Animatrix [DVD] [2003] (DVD)
I may have shied away from giving "Reloaded" 5 stars, but the Animatrix collection definately gets my vote.
The reasons for such a high rating are quite straighforward. Conceptually, I believe these short films are an outstanding idea to help close the (limitless) questions that the Matrix trilogy creates. Even the die hard Matrix fans (and here i refer to fans of the story, not 'just' the special effects) have hungered for the greater perspective on the plot that this collection so wonderfully delivers on.
Executionally, my comments are slightly different. Though a very good 'collection' of animations, some are significantly superior to others (and here I am refereing simply to the viewability of each, not the storyline). I am not an Anime fan, however the "flight of the Osiris" (which can actually be viewed as a prequel to "reloaded" has been made beautifully. If that is the future of animation, then it seems nice:) Barring "flight of the Osiris" however, the work could be described as "acceptable" or even mediocre. Each of the Anime directors may be a titan in his own right, but this particular style of animation doesnt quite tie in with the image that is The Matrix.
Having said that, I recomend this as an essential purchase for all those thirsting for more background on the trilogy


Gattaca [DVD] [1998]
Gattaca [DVD] [1998]
Dvd ~ Ethan Hawke
Offered by Leisurezone
Price: £7.99

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars For once, it doesnt hurt to believe!, 31 Aug 2003
This review is from: Gattaca [DVD] [1998] (DVD)
One of the most under rated movies I have come across. In fact, most sci-fi fans may shy away from brining this on their top-10 list. But then again, most-sci fi fans merely rate movies on special effects. If you are looking for a flashy action sci-fi alien buzzing adventure, then this definately isnt your thing. What Gattica does provide is a glimpse of a future that may not be too far away from reality.
The movie is thoughtful and forces one to sit back and pause for a bit. Ofcourse, it carries those (much talked about) messages of one mans struggle against all odds and coming on top, but it carries much more.....
The movie is beautifully made, creating the perfect, ethereal, atmosphere and backdrop for the events that transpire. While Jude Law is at his usual best,Ethan Hawke has turned out one of his better performances. One can actually feel his passion for life, his fears and aspriations in a world where he may just be bracketed as an 'alien' trying to fit in and achieve his dream.
A definate must, especially for those who normally run miles away from sci-fi movies....this will make you rethink.


Alanis Morissette - Feast on Scraps (DVD & Enchanced CD) [2002] [NTSC]
Alanis Morissette - Feast on Scraps (DVD & Enchanced CD) [2002] [NTSC]
Dvd ~ Alanis Morissette
Offered by hifi-media-store
Price: £19.89

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The scraps are worth feasting on!, 31 Aug 2003
For me, being objective about the works of Alanis doesnt come easy.Since i personally believe that she is one of the most outstanding musicians of the late 90's and early 00's, some of that bias filters into the comments I give on her music:)
Nevertheless, here goes objectivity! Like my title suggests, the scraps (if they can be called such) are definately worth feasting on.However, while others have praised the style and layout of the DVD, I found it to be somewhat of a drag after a while. While the 'no frills' footage is refreshing intially, there comes a point where one wonders whether the crew is actually making a forced (and obvious) effort to appear as laid back and unstructured as possible.
The sound quality is acceptable, but the sound differences at various points in the concerts are stark, and can be distracting.
I would recomend this as a buy for those who already own all there is to own on Alanis Morissette. For those just venturing into her realm, there are some better treats out there.


The Ring [DVD] [2003]
The Ring [DVD] [2003]
Dvd ~ Naomi Watts
Offered by FUNTIME MEDIA
Price: £2.75

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Circling around the Ring, 31 Aug 2003
This review is from: The Ring [DVD] [2003] (DVD)
Why 4 stars when everyone else seems to be rating it a 5 without question? No doubt, The Ring is a good adaptation of the original Japanese version (Ringu), but has failed to deliver on some of the essentials.
To start with the positives, the movie delivers on the basics of what a horror movie is supposed to do, i.e. scare! The atmosphere is dark, and the mood is wonderfully melancholy. Naomi Watts does a brilliant job of portraying the inquisitive yet bewildered reporter fighting to first find a story, then the truth, and finally her life and those she loves!
Where the film falters, after an exceptional start, is in taking the 'horror' to its conclusion. The scariest thing for most individuals is when the 'visuals' are left largely to the persons imagination. The secret of the original (Japanese) versions phenominal success was just this. For exaple, the distorted/convoluted faces of each dead teenager is far less impactful than the simple 'permenantly screaming' expression displayed in the original. Afterall, what could be so horrifying for the teens to leave their faces in a shocked state of scream, and their eyes wide open with awe/fear in death? The terribly wrinkled(burnt?) faces in this version fail to translate that sense of horror onto the screen.
Barring the above point, the film does a good job on portraying some of the dark undercurrents of the originals plot, thereby earning a solid 4 stars. If you havnt seen the original, a MUST see, and if you have, then this provides an academic comparision point on how 2 distinct cultures may view the 2 sides of the same coin.


Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (Two Disc Set) [DVD] [2003]
Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (Two Disc Set) [DVD] [2003]
Dvd ~ Arnold Schwarzenegger
Offered by A ENTERTAINMENT
Price: £2.00

4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The rise of an actual story!, 31 Aug 2003
I have to admit, I have never been an ardent fan of the Terminator franchise, and I went to watch the theatrical release with a skeptical mindset, expecting a dose of entertainment laced with mindless action sequences.
However I was pleasantly surprised.Using the first two movies of the series as a benchmark,I believe this sequel makes a sincere (and successful) effort at adding a coherent storyline behind the action.
Yes, the bulk of the plot may still be devoted to saving the (ever growing) savior of mankind himself, but along the way we get greater perspective on how/why/when the war with the machines actually began. The pace of the movie also lulls you into expecting the same old ending sequence (ala Arnie being killed off in one way or another in a moment of heroic sacrifice), and therefore, the ending comes as somewhat of a surprise, and worth waiting for:)
Not to dissapoint the action fans, what is interesting and amusing to watch is the tussle between the ever aging Arnold (no pun intended) as an 'older' terminator model pitted against the newer (and sexier) female type. The action sequences definately keep one engrossed and entertained, as unlike previous installments in the franchise, this time round Arnold is severly outmatched in the technology dept. and has to improvise considerably to put up a challenge.


The Matrix Reloaded (2 Disc Edition) [2003] [DVD]
The Matrix Reloaded (2 Disc Edition) [2003] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Keanu Reeves
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £2.46

11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Matrix - Overloaded?, 31 Aug 2003
It irks me considerably when I repeatedly see comparisions of this sequel with its predecessor. I believe it is an unfair comparision, for while the first one was definately unique in its conceptualization and picturization (remains fresh to this day) its sequel has added the depth to the story that was clearly lacking in the first.
The only drawback I felt was that it seemed as if the movie couldnt decide which viwer to satisfy, i.e. those who viewed the series purely for its action sequences, or those who watched it for the 'plot'. In an attempt to placate both, I felt the first half went a bit overboard in delivering the action, and then a rushed attempt was made to catch up on the real story. The last half hour and the interaction with the architect is brilliant, however. And while it answers a whole range of questions, opens up some new ones in the process.
The movie closed on an excellent note, leaving open the question of how/why Neo was able to strike down the sentinels in the 'real world'. So do his powers now actually extend outside the Matrix, or is the 'real world' merely an extension of the Matrix itself?
All in all, a very good sequel that manages to do justice to the VERY high expectations of its core fans. I believe that vewiing (and evaluating) 'Reloaded' and 'Revolutions' as a single sequal to the original will enable the viewers to make a more informed judgment.


Enigma - Remember the Future [DVD]
Enigma - Remember the Future [DVD]
Dvd ~ Enigma
Offered by Software 4U
Price: £10.49

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a view from the past..., 22 Aug 2002
An awesome compilation of the visual treat that is Enigma. I have been a fan of the group since its inception and first album release in the early 90's. Having cribbed for more than a decade about MTV not doing justice to the phenomenon, I was overjoyed to come across this DVD. The picture quality is crisp, and the sound quality is more than satisfactory. Despite being a dedicated Enigma fan, there were some videos that I hadn't seen before. Regardless of this fact, the DVD would be a delight for both those who have never had a chance to appreciate the videos, and those who have been lucky enough to have seen them all before.
The only reason why I havnt given it five starts is because there are very few add ons. Whats lacking is some background information on the band or interviews of either Michael Cretu or some of the leading female vocalists.The DVD does little to solve the 'enigma' around the band.


Enigma - Remember the Future [DVD]
Enigma - Remember the Future [DVD]
Dvd ~ Enigma
Offered by Software 4U
Price: £10.49

19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a view from the past..., 22 Aug 2002
An awesome compilation of the visual treat that is Enigma. I have been a fan of the group since its inception and first album release in the early 90's. Having cribbed for more than a decade about MTV not doing justice to the phenomenon, I was overjoyed to come across this DVD. The picture quality is crisp, and the sound quality is more than satisfactory. Despite being a dedicated Enigma fan, there were some videos that I hadn't seen before. Regardless of this fact, the DVD would be a delight for both those who have never had a chance to appreciate the videos, and those who have been lucky enough to have seen them all before.
The only reason why I havnt given it five starts is because there are very few add ons. Whats lacking is some background information on the band or interviews of either Michael Cretu or some of the leading female vocalists.The DVD does little to solve the 'enigma' around the band.


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