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a1ex8 (Leeds, U.K.)

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Sanatorium pod klepsydrą (The Hourglass Sanatorium) [DVD] [1973]
Sanatorium pod klepsydrą (The Hourglass Sanatorium) [DVD] [1973]
Dvd ~ Wojciech Has

9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautifully crafted piece of art, 16 Dec. 2009
This film is a wonderfully crafted piece of art, and embodies the most strikingly beautiful and crafted stage and set work I have seen captured on film. I urge all true film fans to watch this work and others by a truly gifted director.

Lost Highway [DVD] [1997]
Lost Highway [DVD] [1997]
Dvd ~ Bill Pullman
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £4.35

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another superb film by Mr. David Keith Lynch, 13 May 2009
This review is from: Lost Highway [DVD] [1997] (DVD)
Yet again, another fantastic film by my favourite director David Lynch. This is Lynch at his prime, and is Lynch's first contemporary noir feature.

I view most of Lynch's works as a puzzle, a form of brain teazer that sparks off, and opens up one's imagination, and I'm sure many people who have seen various works by David Lynch can relate to this.

After watching this film, as always with Lynch's works, I was left with answers I wanted answering, "was the person really suffering from a psychogenic fugue"? - the list was endless, but then I realised that this is exactly what David wants us to do. He wants a prodigious level of ambiguity in his films. He wants us to question. He wants us to answer the questions ourselves, and make up our own minds.

Lost Highway focuses around a middle-aged saxophonist named Fred Madison played by Bill Pullman. Fred is accused, under mysterious circumstances of murdering his wife Renee Madison (Patricia Arquette).
Whilst on death row, Fred's identity distorts, and he manifests into a young man named Pete Dayton (Balthazar Getty), leading a completely different life.
When Pete is released from prison, Pete and Fred's lives begin to cross, morphing and flowing into and out of each other, until ultimately, only one identity remains.

Bill Pullman is excellent in Lost Highway, and really manages to delve deep inside the character, creating a really enigmatic and believable Fred Madison. Patricia Arquette's two contrasting characters are played brilliantly with great expertise, and Balthazar Getty plays Pete superbly (despite claims that throughout the making of the film he was constantly undermining Lynch and making fun of his accent).

If you love bizarre, surreal and ambiguous films, that are well-crafted, sinister, and wonderfully acted, then I highly recommend you go and buy this film.

The Man With Two Brains [DVD] [1983]
The Man With Two Brains [DVD] [1983]
Dvd ~ Steve Martin
Offered by Compilationheaven
Price: £18.95

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Steve Martin did it again, 13 May 2009
This film is funny. Not just a little bit funny, but really really funny. Steve Martin is absolutely on top form in 'The man with two brains', and aswell as 'The Jerk', is my favourite Steve Martin film.

The Man With Two Brains is based around the life of a pioneering brain surgeon named Dr. Hfuhruhurr (Steve Martin), who is renowned for inventing a method known as 'cranial screw-top' brain surgery.
Lovesick, due to the loss of his wife, on the way home from work he accidently runs over a gold-diging femme fatale named Dolores Benedict (Kathleen Turner), and foolishly, unable to see her sly, and malicious plan to rob him of his money, falls in love with her, and shortly after, they marry.

Soon after they wed, Dr. Hfuhruhurr meets another scientist named DR. Alfred Necessiter (David Warner) at a conference in Vienna, who claims he has discovered a scientific breakthrough that will change the face of the earth forever. Dr. Hfuhruhurr agrees to visit him at his house later that evening, and soon discovers that his life as he previously knew it, is about to change forever, due to the fact that he becomes completely and utterly enfactuated by a bottled brain (Voice over - Sissy Spacek) that can only communicate with him, and no one else!

Director Carl Reiner and Steve Martin (frequent collaborators) have managed to cram this film full to the brim of wacky, bizarre and completely outlandish ideas. The back-drops and sets to this film are really great (look out for the set of Dr. Alfred Necessiter's house), and the great directorial skills of Carl Reiner, bring this film together, and manage to create a superb, well-crafted finished piece.

Steve Martin as usual plays his character fantastically, always striving to go as over the top and as wacky as possible, And Kathleen Turner as Dolores Benedict plays the money-grabbing femme fatal with great style and wit, really messing with the emotions (primarily the anger levels) of the viewer.

If you haven't seen this film already, I urge you to watch it. You won't regret it!

Summary: Great, funny, intelligent and outlandish film.

Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey [DVD] [1992]
Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey [DVD] [1992]
Dvd ~ Keanu Reeves
Offered by 247dvd
Price: £3.49

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Station"!, 13 May 2009
Advantages: Great performances, imagination and visuals, combining elements of sci-fi, horror and comedy.

Disadvantages: Keanu Reeves didn't make more films like this.

Directed by Peter Hewitt, 'Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey' stars a young Keanu Reeves playing Ted Theodore Logan, and Alex Winter, playing Bill S. Preston Esq, who are murdered (in true Star Trek style - you have to watch it), by robotic clones of themselves, who have been sent from the future, to the past, in order to fulfil the evil De Nomolos' (Joss Ackland) vision of a sanitized, highly organised "non-excellent" future.

On their journey, Bill and Ted befriend the Grim Reaper, visit Heaven and recite Poison's 'Every rose has it thorn' to God, are banished down to the depths of Hell where they meet Satan and are forced to encounter and live through their own personal childhood nightmares (there's a great cringe scene here involving a grandma and a kiss), save their girlfriends - "the princesses" from becoming the latest victims of the evil clones, and eventually, just to top it off, turn into ZZ Top lookalikes and perform - you guessed it - 'God gave Rock 'n' Roll too you', creating an excellent finale.

The film, as I'm sure you've already guessed is silly, but it really works, and doesn't come across cheap or unfinished at all. The depictions of Heaven, and especially Hell are really fantastic (a lot of great thought and imagination obviously went into this). The acting is really good (which is unusual in films similar to this), and the story line is great, with lots of twists, turns and unpredictability's.

I would really recommend this film to primarily the pre-18 generation, however the plot contains enough intelligence (yes intelligence), and substance to make it appeal to adults.

I must highlight one point also. Personally, I wouldn't class Keanu Reeves as a particularly good actor, as I find him rather one directional, and his acting dry, but I'm happy to say he's great in this. A perfect, well suited roll, and in my opinion, probably his best performance so far.

A really really great adventure film, combining elements of sci-fi, comedy and horror, and really managing to create "a most excellent" finished piece.

Summary: "most triumphant"

The NeverEnding Story [DVD] [1984] [1985]
The NeverEnding Story [DVD] [1984] [1985]
Dvd ~ Noah Hathaway
Price: £3.00

28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great fantasy film. Really brings back the memories of child-hood., 13 May 2009
The Neverending Story is based upon a German novel by Michael Ende, and the film (released in 1984), is directed by Wolfgang Peterson who later went on to direct such films as 'Air Force One' and 'Troy'.

The Neverending Story is a film which surrounds the life of a young boy named Bastian Bux (Barret Oliver), who, one day after being yet again tormented by bullies, escapes to, and hides in an old bookshop. The owner of the book shop (Thomas Hill), who can obviously associate and empathise with Bastian, reveals an ancient, magical looking book to him, which Bastian 'borrows', and is sucked and drawn into the mythical land of Fantasia.

Once in Fantasia, Bastian realises that Fantasia is on the brink of destruction due to an unknown force known as 'the nothing', and soon comes to realise that the future existence of Fantasia relies solely upon him, and him only.
Whilst in Fantasia, Bastian encounters wonderful characters such as Falkor - a part dragon, part dog, The Child-like Empress (Tami Stronach) - ruler of Fantasia, Atreyu (Noah Hathaway) - the fearless young warrior, the ever-lovable Rockbiter and his close band of friends; Teeny Weeny and his racing Snail, and the Nighthob and his "Stupid Bat".

I really do find the characters, sets and backdrops to this film stunning, creating the illusion that an almost entirely different world has been created.

The characters are all well-thought out and highly imaginative, and the acting (keeping in mind that most of the actors are all still young) is very good. The special effects and sets are also fantastic, which is probably why at the time of its debut, The Neverending Story was the most expensive film ever made outside of the United States.

The Neverending Story is such an innocent, enchanting film, that I would be surprised if anyone took an actual disliking to it. I haven't seen a fantasy film able to surpass The Neverending Story visually, in content or story line so far, and that's why it remains such a treasured gem to me, and I'm sure many other people.

Summary: Great family fantasy film. Definately worth a purchase.

Return to Oz [DVD] [1985]
Return to Oz [DVD] [1985]
Dvd ~ Fairuza Balk
Price: £2.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great fantasy film, and worthy follow up to an all time classic., 12 May 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Return to Oz [DVD] [1985] (DVD)
This film is fantastic. The imagination of Frank L. Baum and Walter Murch have been captured and depicted beautifully in Return To Oz.

I remember first watching a scene in the film when I was a kid that involved a tree and lunch hampers, and was hooked from that point.

The young Fairuza Balk as Dorothy is excellent. Great acting from someone at such a young age, and Jean Marsh as Nurse Wilson/Princess Mombi is flipping scary, even now. Look out for the corridor of heads scene!

I can't stress enough how much imagination has gone into this film. The film caters for both children and adults, containing plenty of scares, great tension, great action and plenty of adventure.

Not your typical Disney film, this film is a must for anyone who can really appreciate what it takes to make a thoroughly enjoyable fantasy film.

Watch it!

Summary: A great film for adults and children who can appreciate fantastic imagination.

The Piano Teacher [DVD] [2001]
The Piano Teacher [DVD] [2001]
Dvd ~ Isabelle Huppert
Price: £6.76

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stellar director, Stellar performances. Beautiful, yet disturbing film., 12 May 2009
What a superb film. I've watched this film three times now, and am still dumbfounded by Michael Haneke's delicate precision to detail and stellar directorial skill.

Not a light-hearted film in the slightest; far from it, The Piano Teacher focuses on the life of a sexually repressed, masochistic Piano teacher named Erika Kohut played beautifully by Isabelle Huppert.

Erika is a Piano professor of a music conservatory in Vienna who, although still in her late forties, lives with her incredibly domineering elderly mother (Annie Girardot) in a small apartment.

Undoubtedly mentally ill, Erika is only able to 'feel' by inflicting bestial punishments upon her students, and people close to her.

Only able to gain sexual pleasure from inflicting pain upon herself, and participating in voyeuristic activities, Erika meets a young, handsome pianist named Walter (Benoit Magimel), who quickly falls in love with her, but soon realises he is unable to indulge in her violent fantasies, but is also unable to pull himself away from her.

Isabelle Huppert as usual playes Erika with a great amount of emotion and maturity, and Benoit Magimel (previously a fairly unknown actor) as Walter is completely fantastic. What a breakthrough.

I must emphasise; this is not a film for all, due to a fairly disturbing plot, and at times graphic images (commonplace in many Haneke films).


Bad Timing [1980] [DVD]
Bad Timing [1980] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Art Garfunkel
Price: £14.36

15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Utterly enthralling. Intelligent. Emotional, and at times disturbing., 12 May 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Bad Timing [1980] [DVD] (DVD)
I remember catching the last hour of this film late one night, and was so disappointed I'd missed the beginning I bought it the next day. This film is completely and utterly enthralling.

Stylistically shot, using flashback techniques (commonplace in many Roeg's films), superbly acted by Art Garfunkel as Alex Linden, and Theresa Russell as Melena Flaherty, this film is a must for anyone who can appreciate a film with an intelligent and highly emotional plot.

Not for those who enjoy light hearted, easy-going films, this film at times can be extremely difficult and disturbing to watch. Like Roeg's previous work 'Don't look now', Bad timing will always remain categorised as an all time great film, that excells in it's complex plot and stellar acting, rather than many films nowadays which require little or no thought, no imagination and require only the skills of the special effects department.

To me, Bad Timing is Nicolas Roeg's gem so to speak, and I highly recommend this film to anyone who truly appreciates the works of fantastic directors.

Wild At Heart [DVD]
Wild At Heart [DVD]
Dvd ~ Laura Dern
Offered by wantitcheaper
Price: £2.23

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "This whole world's wild at heart and weird on top", 12 May 2009
This review is from: Wild At Heart [DVD] (DVD)
As always, David Lynch is on top form, and Wild at Heart is yet another stunning film added to his list.

Lynch as always has managed to create and craft a unique blend of bizarre visuals, strange and akward characters, a unique and individual story line, popped them all into his cauldron, added a touch of transcendental meditation, lots of coffee, and out popped this gem. I cannot rate this film enough. If you haven't already seen it, do so.

Nicolas Cage as Sailor is absolutely fantastic, Willem Dafoe's character as Bobby Peru is disturbing but excellent, and Laura Dern (a Lynch regular) as usual is superb.

The film focuses around the weird and wonderful journey the two main protagonists Sailor (Cage), and Lulu (Dern) embark on to escape Lulu's Psycopathic mother (Diane Ladd).

The two main characters; Sailor and Lulu, are completely and passionately in love with one another. Unfortunately, Lulu's incredibly psychotic and domineering mother (Diane ladd) can't bear to see them together, and hires a notorious, and sinister hitman to track them down and kill Sailor.

Lynch, obviously highly influenced by the film The Wizard of Oz has used heavy allusions of this in Wild at Heart, and has used his unique directorial skills to offer the viewer a 'slightly' different take on the original.

As you can guess already, I'm a huge Lynch fan, and luckily, watching this film may help people to follow suit. Watch it!

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