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Reviews Written by
Miguel M. Santos "miguelmsantos" (London, UK)

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Like It Is [1998] [DVD]
Like It Is [1998] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Steve Bell

4 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars No good film ever comes out from a bad script, 14 April 2005
This review is from: Like It Is [1998] [DVD] (DVD)
As I watched this film I got more and more convinced that this could have been a really good one. Unfortunately it isn't and the main reason is the script. While the acting is good enough and the directing is ok, the script requires from the viewer too many leaps of faith. There are too many questions that aren't even address regarding the main relationship (why oh why is Craig the love of Matt's life? I really couldn't figure it out) and there is too much of a melodramatic feeling to the "villains" of the piece. There are good moments, but they just don't add up. To make matters worst the DVD has some serious technical faults regarding the sound of the special features (though not the film's): the director's commentary is so low that at maximum volume I still couldn't understand it, and the same for the director's interview. This one is two stars for the film, none for the DVD.

My Favourite Wife [DVD]
My Favourite Wife [DVD]
Dvd ~ Cary Grant

25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fast-paced film that will make you laugh throughout, 6 April 2005
This review is from: My Favourite Wife [DVD] (DVD)
The second of three pairings of Cary Grant and Irene Dunne, this is my favourite. On the day she is pronounced dead, Irene Dunne comes back home after seven years in a deserted island - only to find out her husband (Cary Grant) has just remarried. Now all he has to do is tell is new wife and choose his favourite. A very funny and witty screwball comedy follows. Both players are at their best, in what is clear made to capitalise on their previous hit "The Awful Truth" and Garson Kanin (more famous for his screenplays for George Cukor) lets them do what they do so well. Sadly the DVD has no extras.

Miss Marple's Final Cases (Miss Marple)
Miss Marple's Final Cases (Miss Marple)
by Agatha Christie
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.71

70 of 73 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must for Miss Marple�s fans, 5 April 2005
Miss Marple is my favourite of all of the recurrent Agatha Christie's characters and this collection of nine short stories didn't disappoint me in the least. Of the nine, two do not include the famous sleuth but are rather of a supernatural nature (calling them ghost stories would be a bit too much) and one of the Miss Marple's stories is taken from another book. All nine are very good, some of them among Christie's best plots. I loved the book and I strongly recommend it.

Country Girl [DVD]
Country Girl [DVD]
Dvd ~ Bing Crosby

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Grace Kelly�s Oscar winning performance, 5 April 2005
This review is from: Country Girl [DVD] (DVD)
In "The Country Girl", Bing Crosby is an alcoholic singer and actor who is given one last chance in a new play. Afraid of confrontation, in a conversation with the play's director (played by William Holden) he blames his problems on his wife (Grace Kelly). However, far from being the source of his problems, she's the only one who seems to be able to get him going through rehearsals. Never being quite as good as it could be, the film is quite enjoyable though, and this is mostly because of Kelly (who won an Oscar) and Crosby, both of them giving very good performances. William Holden suffers in an underdeveloped part, where he never seems completely at ease.
The DVD presents a transfer that although sharp and with a good looking black and white, has nevertheless scratches and small imperfections from time to time. It's a pity that after this distributor has shown that they can care of their classic library (in "Roman Holiday" and "Sunset Blvd."), they now release this film as a bare-bone, with none or little love put into it.

Where The Sidewalk Ends [1950] [DVD]
Where The Sidewalk Ends [1950] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Dana Andrews
Price: £16.37

10 of 28 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Didn�t keep me interested, 28 Feb. 2005
One of the BFI's film noir releases this film didn't kept me too interested. There are a few reasons for that. One is that Dana Andrews is a bit too wooden for the lead (far more than the part requires). Another is that the plot never goes as smoothly as it should - which strange since the screenwriter is one of Hollywood's all time best - but I wonder how much miscasting has to do with it. None of the actors are really suitable for their parts, with the possible exception of Gary Merrill as the villain. There are some interesting moments, though, and the theme of corruption is still fairly well explored. I was drawn to the film mostly because Gene Tierney was in it, but her part so too small and two-dimensional that made me wonder why she accepted it. I wasn't expecting "Laura II" but the film really left me cold.

Bambi (Two-Disc Special Edition) [DVD]
Bambi (Two-Disc Special Edition) [DVD]
Dvd ~ Peter Behn
Offered by RECTRO_GEMS
Price: £9.99

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An amazing classic brought to DVD with respect, 21 Feb. 2005
For most people Bambi is one of their strongest cinematic memories as a child. I don't know if I ever watched as a kid, so my earliest recollection of watching it was during my early teens, and by then I knew what was going to happen. Since then, I only watched on this new DVD (leaving a gap of around 15 years) and I was surprised by two things - how wonderful the animation is, in particular the opening sequence (and the film looks amazing after having been restored) and how the film survives without a storyline, preferring to telling it in brief episodes instead. Not this works against the film - it is a quite charming coming of age film and especially well done for the first half (Bambi's childhood), which for better or worst it is the general perception of Bambi. As I said, some care has been put into this release. The picture quality is wonderful and among the many extras, I recommend the 50min making of, the restoration featurette and my favourite, the Oscar-winner short for 1937, "The Old Mill", where Disney tested most of the techniques later used in his films, but brilliant on its own.

Cards on the Table (Poirot)
Cards on the Table (Poirot)
by Agatha Christie
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.16

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Who killed the host?, 16 Feb. 2005
Although not one of Agatha Christie's very best books, it is still a marvellous murder plot (it is her own fault, she puts the bar so high...). Four possible murderers in a room playing bridge, four of Ms Christie's best detectives (Poirot, Battle, Colonel Race and Mrs Ariadne Oliver) playing in the next room, and the host is found dead by the end of the evening. And the only clues are the bridge scores. Having no idea of how to play bridge, I realised fairly early on that there would be no chance of getting the killer right, but still it was quite a very good reading.

Letter [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Letter [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favourite films, 16 Feb. 2005
Based upon a Somerset Maugham's story and a subsequent play, "The Letter" is the story of a woman who has murdered a man that she claims tried to rape her. Only a letter surfaces questioning her version.
Before anything else, this film is Bette Davis. She gives one of her best performances, my favourite along with Margo in "All about Eve", truly unforgettable and perfectly timed. The rest of the cast is excellent as well and William Wyler has here one of his best films - the production values are astonishing, showing how big Warner Bros was expecting the film to be: music, decors, costumes are exquisite.
The DVD shows a very good copy, restored, with incredible detail. If you seen the film you might remember Bette Davis' lace shawl - as a test, I zoomed it, and even zoomed three times it was very rich in detail (and my TV is far from be ideal for such tests) . The extras could be more (I'd love an audio commentary and a making of) but what there is good: two radio versions, the original trailer and an alternative ending, in case censorship problems would arise. The differences are subtle and mostly concern a scene towards the ending and although I enjoyed it very much, I am very glad that they kept the one in the film.
I know I am not the only one who enjoys this film. Over the summer of 2004, this film and 19 others were submit to vote and the five favourites were released on DVD. "The Letter" won by far.

Sunset Boulevard (Special Collector's Edition) [DVD] [1950]
Sunset Boulevard (Special Collector's Edition) [DVD] [1950]
Dvd ~ William Holden
Price: £5.00

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Norma Desmond never looked so good, 3 Feb. 2005
One of three exquisite classic releases from Paramount in a row (the other two are "Roman Holiday" and "To catch a thief"), "Sunset Blvd.", the DVD is a pleasure to look at from the moment you load the disc and the menu starts. Fully restored, there are no words to describe how astonishing it looks. It could have been made yesterday rather than fifty five years ago. Someone put a lot of love (and money) into the restoration, and for that I shall be forever grateful, and I'm sure I am not the only one.
The story of a faded movie star and a penniless screenwriter (Gloria Swanson and William Holden), the film is arguable the wittiest and the best film ever made about Hollywood. Giving the plot away is spoiling it to those who haven't seen it, and I still remember how exciting it was to enter the strange world of silent movie star Norma Desmond for the first time. If you have seen the film don't hesitate before buying it: apart from the superb transfer the DVD includes a trailer, a very good and informative audio commentary, a very nice making of, a music featurette and another on Edith Head's years at Paramount (which is shared with the other two films I mentioned before) and perhaps the best, some fragments and the script of the infamous morgue prologue which Billy Wilder cut after a preview.

The Parent Trap [DVD]
The Parent Trap [DVD]
Dvd ~ Hayley Mills
Price: £3.75

31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A double dose of Hayley Mills, 3 Feb. 2005
This review is from: The Parent Trap [DVD] (DVD)
Hayley Mills plays twin sisters Sharon and Susan separated when they were one year old by their parents' divorce. The two girls grew unaware of each other until they bump to each other in a summer camp. Soon they are plotting on how to bring Mum and Dad together again. This is a favourite of mine since I saw it as a kid some twenty years ago, working so well then as now. Hayley Mills, Maureen O'Hara and the rest of the cast are very good and the script flows wonderfully under the director's hand. Their comic timming is just wonderful. The DVD is quite good and has managed to keep most of the extras from the American release (which is quite good, considering what Disney did for instance with Pollyanna). The copy is in excellent shape and I am sure it will entertain both the kids and their parents.

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