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Reviews of Movie Titles out on DVD

What DVD Should I Rent Tonight? I will tell you what DVD you should rent tonight...

3:10 to Yuma. WATCH IT! MY DVD REVIEW: After watching 3:10 to Yuma starring Russel Crowe and Christian Bale, I would recommend it. I think Ben Foster stole the show with his portrayal of the Charlie Prince character. The ending of the movie is hard to buy. The good guy and the bad guy end up cooperating in an unbelievable way. They don’t do a good job of convincing the audience of why the bad guy would risk his life for the good guy’s sake. Despite this, I recommend the movie anyway because it’s a rare modern western and worth seeing just for that. The featurettes on the DVD are interesting as well.
Next: DON'T WATCH IT! MY DVD REVIEW: Nicholas Cage’s latest DVD release, Next, directed by Lee Tamahori and co-starring Jessica Biel and Julianne Moore. I can’t recommend this movie. It was a neat idea, and parts of the movie were cute, but overall, the storyline was not plausible. I had no idea why the terrorists were concerned with Cage’s character, or how they even knew about him, or how the FBI could have become so enamored with him. Jessica Biel does a good job as the damsel in distress. Peter Falk, one of my all time favorites, makes an appearance as Cage’s father. But, still, I say don’t bother.
Stardust: DON'T WATCH IT! MY DVD REVIEW: I was really looking forward to watching this DVD, but ended up being disappointed. Robert DiNiro and Peter O’Toole make appearances. Ian McKellan narrates. But it’s not enough to overcome the storyline that is too farfetched, even for fantasy. The writer doesn’t do enough to explain to the audience how or why events are unfolding as they are.
The Hoax: WATCH IT! MY DVD REVIEW: This is the Richard Gere movie where he portrays the man who wrote a phoney Howard Hughes’ autobiography. I would recommend this film. I think that Gere does a great job. Alfred Molina does a fantastic job playing the accomplice. It’s a great story of how a con man can talk his way to millions of dollars, and how his family and friends get tangled up in his web.
Sunshine: WATCH IT! MY DVD REVIEW: This is a science fiction movie about a small group of humans in the future on a mission to restore Earth’s dying sun by setting off a bomb in the sun. I would recommend this movie. However, it does reach into the realm of sappy clichés at times, such as when one character takes some blood from a recently dead crewmember and smears it onto the hands of another character. And the ashes to ashes, dust to dust motif runs amok at one point in the movie as well. Despite this, I thought that overall, the movie was well made, with nice special effects, and was just compelling enough to keep me watching. So, I would recommend it.
Into the Wild: WATCH IT! MY DVD REVIEW: This movie is a true story about a college graduate that drops out of the rat race and heads into the wild country of Alaska. The movie drags on at a slow pace but is highlighted by an intriguing drama of this man’s search for meaning and happiness in the world. Good acting, good production. Overall, an interesting tale. I recommend it.
The Invisible: DON'T WATCH IT! MY DVD REVIEW: A lot of this movie was like watching a series of music videos pieced together. Just slow motion and wide angle shots set to music. The movie dragged on never really kicking into gear. The lead character was not likeable. The main antagonist really drove the movie but how could I get behind her after her violent acts at the beginning of the movie. The writers then expect the audience to root for her towards the end? Not happening. Overall, there just wasn’t enough there for me to recommend this one.
No Country For Old Men: WATCH IT! MY DVD REVIEW: This movie had a lot of violence, but was interesting enough and well written. Javier Bardem outshines the many stars in this movie with his portrayal of the bad guy. Josh Brolin is a likeable hero who takes on the invincible Bardem character. Tommy Lee Jones plays the sheriff trying to catch up with both of them. Woody Harrelson is unimpressive in a small role. Stephen Root also has a small role, but unfortunately doesn’t get much to work with. All in all, I would still recommend that this one is just different enough from everything out there that it’s worth seeing.
Beowulf: WATCH IT! MY DVD REVIEW: I was eager to watch the pseudo-animated version of the classic Beowulf fable. Overall, I didn’t like the animation. It was distracting throughout the movie, taking my attention away from the story. The movie starts off slow. The first half hour was very boring and predictable. The design of the Grendle monster wasn’t impressive. I found myself rolling my eyes and was very close to turning the DVD off and not finishing it. But, believe it or not, the movie actually got more interesting. The love story that developed was good, the interaction between the King and Beowulf was interesting, the relationship between the Queen and Beowulf’s mistress was there, the battles picked up, and the basic story of repeating the errors of the past made for a good finish to this movie. So, all in all, I would recommend that you check it out.
I Am Legend: WATCH IT! MY DVD REVIEW: This is basically a last man on Earth type story. Well made. The story is simple...the main character is alone trying to survive in a world where the only other human inhabitants are ultra-aggressive mutants. My only complaint of this DVD is the sound quality...I thought the non-action scenes had the sound far too low and the action scenes had the sound far too high. I guess the producers wanted there to be a contrast between the quiet moments and the action, but it only made it difficult to hear the dialogue in the quiet scenes.
The Assination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford: DON'T WATCH IT! MY DVD REVIEW: This movie was 2.5 hours long and felt like it. Brad Pitt's portrayal of Jesse James was dumbfounding. They wanted Jesse to be seen as an anti-hero by emphasizing his bad qualities such as his self-centeredness and paranoia, but the other characters around him were not any more likeable. I watched for 2.5 hours and didn't like any of the characters. The Robert Ford character, although brilliantly played by Affleck, was not endearing. Overall, the movie is just a downer.
Awake: WATCH IT! MY DVD REVIEW: This movie was different. The lead character, played by Hayden Christensen of Star Wars fame, goes in for heart surgery but the anesthetic doesn't put him completely under, he is awake during the operation but cannot communicate to the doctors. The first half of this movie is boring and the surgery scences are repulsive, but then the plot twists before the abrupt ending. However, I think it's worth watching despite the slow start. Jessica Alba gives a fine performance.
Ironman: WATCH IT! MY DVD REVIEW: I was very surprised by this movie. I didn't expect much, having never been a big Ironman fan. The movie spends a great deal of time on character development for Tony Stark's character. Very well made movie. They didn't address Stark's drinking problem as much as I thought they would, especially since Robert Downey, Jr. was playing the role. Overall, a really great superhero story.
The Hangover: WATCH IT! MY DVD REVIEW: Funny young adult movie about a bachelor party in Vegas gone awry. A bit offensive but undeniably funny.
It's Complicated: WATCH IT! MY DVD REVIEW: This is a good, well produced movie. Meryl Streep does a good job in the lead role as a woman caught between two romances, one with her ex-husband played by Alec Baldwin and one with her new acquaintance...the architect of her dream kitchen played by Steve Martin. Steve Martin plays a more somber role than what we are used to seeing from him, but it works. Good movie.
Amelia: COMING SOON! MY DVD REVIEW: This movie will be released in 2009 and will star Hilary Swank
Terminator Salvation COMING SOON! MY DVD REVIEW: This movie will be released in 2009 and will star Sam Worthington

Book Reviews

The Historian by Elisabeth Kostova. Unique layout. Layers of letters within letters. Great suspense. I was attracted to it by the subject matter, Dracula, but if you are not big on horror novels, don’t worry, this is more of an intellectual thriller than anything. Highly recommended. Posted 01-28-08.
The Tomb by F. Paul Wilson. I just finished reading this action/horror book which is the first in a series of books featuring the “Repairman Jack” character. Repairman Jack isn’t a typical repairman, rather he fixes situations. If you need to get revenge on someone or find a missing person or something like that, Repairman Jack is your man to hire. He’s sort of a vigilante for hire. But in this story, he doesn’t run into the typical street thug or gangster. He takes on some mythical monsters brought to the city by a maniac looking to kill off an entire “cursed” bloodline. But that bloodline consists of Jack’s girlfriend’s daughter. Big mistake by the maniac. Great book.

Music Reviews

Kenny Chesney: Kenny Chesney just released his latest album "Lucky Old Sun" on October 14, 2007. Chesney has no tour dates scheduled for 2009 yet, except for an appearance at Mountainfest in Merritt, British Columbia on July 11, 2009.
Natasha Bedingfield: One of my favorite songs in recent years is Natasha Bedingfield’s Unwritten. Unfortunately, I haven’t found anything on her new album that compared to it. But, “the rest is still unwritten.” Posted Jan. 25, 2008
Colbie Caillat: Colbie Caillat is the singer of “Bubbly”, an addictive little tune. Colbie is a 22 year-old Californian singer-songwriter who rose to fame after posting her song “Bubbly” on her MySpace page. Posted 01-31-08.

Colbie Caillat in bed
Indie music sensation Colbie Caillat

Paris Jackson moved many to tears with her comments at the memorial of her pop star father, the King of Pop Michael Jackson.
Jessica Simpson has recorded many pop hits and recently has attempted to foray into country music.
Abba: Abba's blonde singer Agnetha was once awarded best bum in the world.

Abba's blonde singer's best bum
Agnetha from Abba wins best bum

Music Stores

Chuck Levin's Washington Music Center was once located on Viers Mill Road in Wheaton, Maryland. It was the most popular music store in the DC area. It was a cramped little store with horrible parking, and they didn't even have a credit card machine. Even into the late 90's, they would still do imprints for credit card purchases. Nonetheless, the store was good for their selection and helpful staff.
Veneman Music was a more upscale music store on Twinbrook Parkway in Rockville. They later changed to a Guitar Center franchise. Veneman's had been in business since 1960.



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