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Top-notch films, a rather mixed bag
Al Dixon "admetus"
Amadeus [DVD] 
"The story is magnificent, as is the music - it's Mozart, what better soundtrack could you ask for? Salieri's final benediction 'to mediocrities everywhere' is a wonderfully poignant moment"
1984 [DVD] 
"Captures the atmosphere of George Orwell's novel really well. Fine performances from everyone concerned, this is acting at its finest."
The Beatles - A Hard Day's Night  [DVD]
"The seminal modern music film, 'A Hard Day's Night' led to the formation of 'The Monkees' and its photographic style is still being copied today. A Classic with a capital 'Class'."
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon [DVD] 
"Could be regarded as two contrasting love stories, as well as an excellent martial arts film. The extended duel between the two female characters will probably become regarded as a classic scene."
Spirited Away [DVD]
"An absolutely superlative film, this must be the zenith of Japanese animation. Hayao Miyazaki gives us a complex (but understandable) plot and three-dimensional characters."
The Hours [DVD] 
"Virginia Woolf writes a book that echoes down through time. A beautiful film, with music by Philip Glass - perfect!"
The Merchant of Venice [DVD] 
"Despite starring Al Pacino this is 'The Merchant of Venice' as Shakespeare wrote it, set in 16th century Venice, and the actors do it, and themselves, full justice."
Casablanca -- Two Disc Special Edition [DVD] 
"You must remember this. Possibly the most quoted film ever made. Truly a cinematographic triumph. Play it, Sam! I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship…."
"A great film. The story is pure fiction based on the historical characters of Marcus Aurelius, his son Commodus and his daughter Lucilla. One does get a flavour of how Rome may have been."
Kiki's Delivery Service [DVD]
"A lovely story suitable for younger children and older adults. The artwork is stunning. Children are, without fail, enthralled by it and watch it again and again."
My Fair Lady (40th Anniversary 2-Disc Special Edition)  [DVD]
"This is essentially George Bernard Shaw's 'Pygmalion' with added musical numbers, so beneath the froth and frolics there is a lot of socio-political commentary. And it has AUDREY HEPBURN! Luverly!"
"Absolutely fabulous - this is a proper horror film with wonderful sets, completely over-the-top performances all round, and visionary camera work. Possibly the best of the old B and W horror films."
The Beatles: Yellow Submarine [DVD] 
"An animated film from 1968, still looks and sounds great. Some of the animation sequences are masterpieces of 'psychedelic' art. The music is, of course, marvelous."
The Lord of the Rings Trilogy (Extended Edition Box Set) [DVD]
"An inspired adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's classic novel. What can I say. This has to be the best film ever made."
Lawrence of Arabia - Two Disc Set [DVD]
"This film is over forty years old, but it hasn't aged at all. Definitely a contender for one of the all-time greats; seems fairly accurate historically and has some splendid performances. Grand stuff."
The Seventh Seal [DVD] 
"This is a fantastic story; the dialogue is superb, even in translation, but this is a film you really have to concentrate on to get the best out of it."
Seven Samurai [DVD] 
"If you'd like to see just what made Kurosawa's films so great, this is the one to start with. Remade as a Western by John Sturges - 'The Magnificent Seven', which was nowhere near as good."
Princess Mononoke [DVD] 
"This could have been just another 'battle between good and evil', but Miyazaki doesn't allow that; instead he gives us complex characters, each with his or her own agenda, but no heroes or villains."
Whale Rider [DVD] 
"Absolutely beautiful. Intensely emotional, and an incredibly satisfying (if rather predictable) ending, the characters and situations are believable throughout."
Amelie (Two Disc Special Edition) [DTS] [DVD]
"Trying to describe this film to a friend, I eventually settled for a strange, quirky film about strange, quirky people, and I think I'll stick with that. I like it a lot. …..very French….."
The Wicker Man - The Director's Cut (DVD) 
"A horror masterpiece? It's certainly different. This one sticks in the mind despite the dreadful music. Insidious!"
Grave of the Fireflies [DVD]
"This must be the most heartbreaking animation ever made. If you can sit through this with dry eyes you are not human. At the end of the film, try watching the opening five minutes again."
My Neighbor Totoro [DVD]  [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
"...and this is possibly the happiest animation, also from Studio Ghibli. Watch this with a big grin (and preferably in Japanese with subtitles)."
Easy Rider [DVD] 
"Although this film is firmly set in the '60s, it hasn't dated at all. The film that (deservedly) made a star of Jack Nicholson - he really does shine. The soundtrack is resplendent."
Throne Of Blood  [DVD]
"'Macbeth' transposed to 16th Century Japan. Magnificent, possibly Toshiro Mifune's finest outing, and yet another brilliant piece of direction from Akira Kurasawa."
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