Traffik (1989) – DVD Review

Traffik DVD cover art

Film:
DVD:

Written by: Simon Moore
Directed by: Alastair Reid
Starring: Bill Paterson, Lindsay Duncan, Jamal Shah, Fritz Müller-Scherz, Julia Ormond

Features:

  • Production Notes
  • Cast and crew filmographies
  • Interviews with Moore and producer Brian Eastman

Released by: Acorn Media
Region: 1
Rating: NR
Anamorphic: N/A; appears in its original 1.33:1 format.

My Advice: Rent it.

Drugs and the people who take them and the war being waged on those people. It’s a big story to be told, with many different sides to deal with–and none of them are pretty. Submitted for your approval: a British government minister (Paterson) assigned to deal with Pakistan, a terrific exporter of heroin to all of Europe; a woman (Duncan) who discovers that the way by which her husband (Knut Hinz) finances their good life is through trafficking the stuff; an opium farmer (Shah) driven out of his given trade by a government who wants to prove to the Brits that they are deserving of monetary aid. How these people’s lives interact with one another across international lines and how they are all affected by humanity’s need to leave one’s cares behind forms the backbone for one helluva sprawling epic.

Read More

Promethea #15 – Comic Review

Promethea #15 comic cover art

Story:
Art:

Written by Alan Moore
Pencils by J.H. Williams III
Inks by Mick Gray
Colors by Jeromy Cox
Letters by Todd Klein
Published by DC/Wildstorm/America’s Best Comics.
Price: $2.99

My Verdict: More, please.

Sophie, as Promethea, continues to help Barbara, a former and still Promethea, in her search for her deceased husband. In the meantime, back on Earth, Stacia, the stand-in for Sophie, who is now also Promethea–makes a new set of rules.

Part of the fun of Promethea for me is that it’s what I imagine reading a comic book by Robert Anton Wilson would be like. Filled and overflowing with ideas about ontology, it continues to push the envelope for what can be discussed in a so-called “superhero” comic book. Promethea may be the titular character of the series, but the true story is about stories–and how they factor in our lives. Even our afterlives.

Read More

Unbreakable (2000) – DVD Review

Unbreakable DVD cover

Film:
DVD:

Written by: M. Night Shyamalan
Directed by:
Starring: Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson, Robin Wright Penn, Spencer Treat Clark, Charlayne Woodard

Features:

  • Deleted scenes
  • Making-of featurette
  • Comic Book documentary hosted by Samuel L. Jackson
  • Multi-angle presentation of train station sequence
  • Excerpt from early Shyamalan film

Released by: Walt Disney Video
Region: 1
Rating: PG-13
Anamorphic: Widescreen 2.35:1

My Advice: Own It.

Read More

The Fast and the Furious (2001) – Movie Review

The Fast and the Furious (2001) movie poster art

Written by: David Ayer, Erik Bergquist & Gary Scott Thompson, based on a story by Gary Scott Thompson, which was in turn based on a magazine article by Ken Li
Directed by: Rob Cohen
Starring: Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Jordana Brewster, Michelle Rodriguez, Ted Levine

My Advice: Wait for Cable.

Brian Spindler (Walker) is a newcomer to an underground world of illegal street racing, a place where people put more torque and power into automobiles than would be required to shoot those selfsame autos somewhere into geosynchronous orbit. The king of street racing is one Dom Toretto (Diesel), who also happens to have a sister (Brewster) that catches Brian’s eye. As Brian learns to be a player in this strange new existence, it appears that Dom might be leading a secret double life–because Brian sure as hell is.

Read More

Robotech: The Macross Saga – Legacy Collection 1 (1985) – DVD Review

robotech-the-macross-saga-1-dvd-cover

Film:
DVD:

Directed by: Noboru Ishiguro
Starring: Tony Oliver, Melanie MacQueen, Rebecca Forstadt, Dan Woren, Greg Finley

Features:

  • The first 12 episodes of the series
  • Codename: Robotech “pilot” episode with optional audio commentary from writer/producer Carl Macek
  • Character model sheets
  • Demonstration of a scene dubbed in different languages

Released by: Adv Films
Region: 1
Rating: NR
Anamorphic: N/A, appears in its original 1.33:1 format.

My Advice: Own It.

Read More

Elizabeth (1998) – DVD Review

elizabeth-dvd-cover

Film:
DVD:

Written by: Michael Hirst
Directed by: Shekhar Kapur
Starring: Cate Blanchett, Geoffrey Rush, Joseph Fiennes, Christopher Eccleston, Richard Attenborough

Features:

  • Audio commentary with Director Kapur
  • “The Making of Elizabeth”
  • “Elizabeth” featurette
  • Theatrical teaser and trailer
  • Cast and crew bios
  • Photo gallery

Released by: Polygram USA Video
Region: 1
Rating: R
Anamorphic: No.

My Advice: Own It.

Read More

Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001) – Movie Review

Lara Croft: Tomb Raider movie poster

Film:

Written by: Patrick Massett, Simon West & John Zinman, based on a story by Michael Colleary & Mike Werb, based on the video game published by Eidos Interactive
Directed by: Simon West
Starring: Angelina Jolie, Iain Glen, Noah Taylor, Chris Barrie, Jon Voight

My Advice: Wait for MST3K

Lara Croft (Jolie) is a badass. She whomps killer robots, she wields handguns from hell like nobody’s business, and she has huge…….tracts of land. She’s essentially Indiana Jones‘ lost sister. But her past comes back to haunt her, as clues her father (Jolie’s real life father, Voight) left for her to find come to light. You see, there’s a shadowy group of conspirators who have been waiting five thousand years for a conjunction of all nine planets as well as a solar eclipse. It’s at this time that an ancient device can be found and used for good…or EVIL. Moohoohahaha.

Read More

The Last Temptation of Christ (1988) – DVD Review

last-temptation-of-christ-dvd-cover

Film:
DVD:

Written by: Paul Schrader, based on the novel by Nikos Kazantzakis
Directed by: Martin Scorsese
Starring: Willem Dafoe, Harvey Keitel, Barbara Hershey, Verna Bloom, David Bowie.

Features:

  • Commentary by Scorsese, Dafoe, Schrader and film critic Jay Cocks
  • Production notes
  • Collection of research materials, artistic references, stills and costume designs
  • Location behind-the-scenes footage shot by Scorsese
  • Video interview with composer Peter Gabriel
  • Gallery of stills from musical instruments used in the film

Released by: Criterion
Region: 1
Rating: R
Anamorphic: Yes

My Advice: Own It.

Read More

Swordfish (2001) – Movie Review

Swordfish movie poster

Written by: Skip Woods
Directed by: Dominic Sena
Starring: John Travolta, Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry, Don Cheadle, Vinnie Jones

My Advice: Matinee.

Gabriel (Travolta) is a man with a mission. Suffice to say that mission involves a lot of guns, cigars, high speed chases, and Halle Berry topless. But of course, those are the elements of all good missions. Anyway, the one thing this mission is lacking is a world-class hacker. Gabriel finds one in Stanley (Jackman), a burnt-out computer cowboy with an ex-wife and a daughter living in stepfatherly hell. Gabriel has something up his sleeve you see, and it involves a lot of money and an intricate plan to get at it. Hot on the trail of everybody is Agent Roberts (Cheadle). And of course, Vinnie Jones is quickly becoming the Danny Trejo of the next millennium.

Read More

Arthur (1981) – DVD Review

Arthur DVD cover art

Film:
DVD:

Written & Directed by: Steve Gordon
Starring: Dudley Moore, Liza Minelli, John Gielgud, Geraldine Fitzergerald, Ted Ross

Features:

  • Theatrical trailers
  • “Behind the Scenes” information

Released by: Warner Brothers
Region: 1
Rating: PG
Anamorphic: Hell no.

My Advice: Avoid it because of the crappy DVD presentation.

Arthur Bach (Moore) is a millionaire playboy. He’s also a drunk and an embarrassment to his family. Constantly going out at night, picking up hookers and bringing them home to his stately manor–he keeps winding up in the papers. It’s only through the efforts of his manservant Hobson (Gielgud) that you imagine he’s survived this long. But hey, he’s enjoying life, he’s about to get married to a wonderfully rich girl, and he’s got fifty pairs of short pants hanging in his closet. What could possibly go wrong? Well, he just might slip up and fall in love with the wrong girl for his family, but the right one for him.

Read More