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Product Reviews

Top 100 DVD Reviewer
177 (64% helpful)

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  1.  sublime comedy...


    The action takes place behind the scenes of a popular fictional soap opera entitled " The Sun also Sets " ( clearly a parody on the daytime soap operas of the US in which plot lines clearly go way too far ) and centres mainly around the character of Celeste Talbot ( Field ) an ageing neurotic and highly strung actress who is convinced the shows producer( Downey Jr ) and bitchy two-faced co-stars ( a pre DH Teri Hatcher & Cathy Moriaty ) are out to remove her from the show and to destroy her career.
    Things turn interesting when an actor ( and ex of Celeste ) Kline, written out of the show years ago, is brought back to further antagonise Celeste and to send her over the edge, not to mention make her relationship with her " niece " Laurie ( Shue ) suddenly, and inexplicably, awkward...
    Co-starring Whoopi Goldberg and Directed by Michael Hoffman, Soapdish is a deliriously funny and utterly camp comedy that delivers laughs and brings great performances out of everyone concerned, you can tell the cast are having such a laugh and as the plot of the fictional show blurs with what is happening off screen it turns into a sublime farce-like comedy in which both Field and Kline excel on every level.
    Highly recommended :)

  2.  Streep + Hawn on fine form.....


    This deliciously black fantasy comedy pairs two of my favourite actresses, Meryl Streep & Goldie Hawn as a pair of bitter rivals who squabble over the affections of a neurotic surgeon/undertaker Ernest ( Willis ) and end up drinking the same Eternal Youth giving potion, only to suffer unexpected results when they are both killed.
    Both rise from the undead, and are presented wth the ardous task of living with their deteriorating bodies " forever ".
    Hawn plays the mousey friend, Helen Sharp, and Streep plays Madeline Ashton, the Hollywood starlet ( and as Helen remarks in one of the funnier scenes " and she was a baaaad actress " ) who is obsessed with her ageing looks and fading acting career.
    After they partake in the potion, Hawn becomes a sultry Jessica Rabbit-like siren with flaming red hair and murderous intentions , whilst Streep, all blonde haired and sharp tongued, glows with a beauty that only a potion can buy!
    The script does cackle with exquiste one-liners, and the two leading actresses appear to be having such fun with their bitchy parts that it's had not to get caught up in the camp fun of it all.
    If it does lose it's way a little in the final reel ( it ends somewhat abruptly and with a " oh, is that it then? " ) this is only to be expected considering a good 30 minutes of film wound up being cut from the film to bring it in at just after 90 minutes long.
    This extra footage can be glimpsed in the trailer, but has not yet surfaced in any extras on a DVD or as a Special Edition.

  3.  a ghoulish delight.....


    Released in 1988 to a critical mauling and low box office, this comedy Directed by Neil Jordan is very fondly regarded in my household as being a regular " rented " product from our, now closed, video rental library.
    Set in a remote Irish castle it follows the overly ambitious plans of the Castle owner, Peter Plunkett ( O'Toole - on terrific form! ) who facing certain repossesion of his ancestral home from a rich American businessman decides, in a last desperate attempt to keep the Castle, to announce it as the " most haunted castle " in Europe, and thus is promptly visited by a group of cynical American tourists who come to stay to see the " ghosts ".
    The first 45 minutes consist of Plunkett and his staff " creating " ghosts and ghouls to titillate our guests, until eventually, one of them, Jack ( Guttenberg - sweet! ) stumbles on an derelict bridal suite and bumps into the " real " ghost of Mary Plunkett ( Daryl Hannah - gorgeous! ) and starts a series of events in which the " real " ghosts of the castle decide to make an appearance, and create chaos and fun in the process.
    Featuring Liam Neeson as Martin Brogan ( Mary's murderous husband) in a scene stealing role, who with Beverly D'Angelo ( Jack's bitchy and narcissitic wife ) provide some of the funniest scenes of the film.
    It's hard to see why this fun and light-hearted comedy failed to set the box office alight back in 1988, but hey, ho, you can't win them all, and i would definately recommend High Spirits as a fun night in.
    Interesting that Director Neil Jordan claims that he was locked out of the editing suite of the film by the Producers, and that his " version " or " Directors Cut " of the film remains locked away in a vault somewhere.

  4.  Well...


    ..what is clearly obvious is that Glee is an acquired taste indeed.
    A reviewer below me claims that Glee is for " simple minded " people, well, how insulting to those who are able to watch this kind of programme and who are equipped with an I.Q to know that this is simply feel good un-demanding entertainment that has the ability to both amuse and touch it's audience in equal measure.
    Not to say that it does not have it's flaws, some musical numbers are over-sung and had me reaching for the volume button ( Lea Michelle does like those high notes ) but it's very touching in parts, with subjects such as disability and being gay being handled realistically and with respect, without resorting to overtly explicit stereotypes.
    Two words save Glee from being just another High School Musical/Grease lovechild = Sue Sylvester.
    Jane Lynch is nothing short of magnificent in the role as the dead pan and hardened ( with a hidden soft centre ) sports coach who always has a great one liner for both the pupils and staff.
    Major mentions must go to Chris Colfer as " Kurt " who shines throughout the series, and Heather Morris' drippy "Brittany Pierce " emerges as a future scene stealer!
    The aforemetioned reviewer below me made a judgment based solely on one episode and then had the discourtesy to brand any fan of the show as " simple minded " , taking into account his or her actions and views after just one episode, i feel it is only fair to therefore warrant his view " narrow minded " and bearing that in mind, i'll take being simple minded anyday.
    I'm proud to be a Gleek.

  5.  More Looney Tunes than Disney....


    Originally conceived as a film entitled " Kingdom of the Sun " and featuring songs by Sting, it was to be loosely based on the story of the Prince and the Pauper in which a selfish Emperor swops places with a peasant " just for fun " and the complications that occur when an evil witch, Yzma, learning of the Emperor's plan, changes him into a Llama and threatens to reveal the Pauper's identity unless he obeys her.
    Cursed in his Llama form the Emperor was to learn his lessons and a happy ending would ensue..yawn..however, during production and test " in progress " screenings much disappointment was expressed and so despite some of the characters being kept, the songs ( bar one - much to Sting's alledged annoyance ) were scrapped and the film was revamped into a frenetic comedy full of one liners and visual gags more likely to be seen in a classic Chuck Jones cartoon for Looney Tunes!
    The young Emperor Kuzco, wanting his own holiday summer house, decides to build it on land already occupied by a mild mannered peasant called Pacha.
    After Pacha expresses his anger and concern regarding Kuzco's plans he is dismissed and Kuzco takes dinner with his power mad ( and recently fired ) advisor Yzma who is plotting to get rid of Kuzco and claim the throne for herself.
    She is aided in her plan by her burly, sensitive and dim-witted side-kick Kronk ( who is also a dab hand in the kitchen! ) , and even before the starter is served Kuzco is accidentally transformed into a Llama ( potion mix-up! ) and promptly dumped into the hands of Pacha who is heading back to his village.
    Kuzco demands he be returned to his palace with the aid of Pacha whilst Yzma and Kronk, realising that Kuzco is still alive, set out to thwart his return!
    What happens in all of this forms one of the funniest Disney films in years!
    It remains one of my favourite Disney films, and after recently watching the incredible Tangled at my local cinema i decided to revist this seriously under-rated Disney gem!
    The voice casting from all is simply sublime, the late great Eartha Kitt purrs her lines and David Spade almost feels like he is ad-libbing at times with his delicious dead-pan delivery.
    John Goodman sounds lovable and Patrick Warburton as Kronk is simply superb.
    Highly Recommended for ages everywhere!

  6.  Loved it


    Now, i have not yet read the book, and perhaps sometimes that can be a good thing ( depending on how you look at it ) i recall a few years ago walking out of the film Memoirs of a Geisha feeling a tad crushed ( i had read Arthur Golden's book, on which the film was based, so many times ) and whilst my friend with me loved the film ( and had not read the book ) i found myself sitting in a pub feeling disappointed that, despite some stunning visuals and good performances, so much of the book had been left out and i found myself wishing so much of it had been different ) so i tread cautiously when i say that despite being unfamilar with Liz Gilbert's memoir book, i sat down to watch this simply because i love Julia Roberts and i had read it was about " finding yourself ".
    Having watched and loved the film, i will now be seeking out the book as i have been told, by a friend, that the book goes that extra deeper with it's message.
    However, i still simply wish to review the film for what it is.
    Bored, lost and unhappy with her married life, Liz ( Roberts ) decides to embark on a soul searching year of self-discovery that will take her to Italy and then an ashram in India and finally Bali.
    Within her travels she discovers, awakens and makes peace with things within herself, aswell as helping others do the same thing. She enjoys eating with a carefree attitude in Italy, clearing her troubled mind with prayer in India and finally finding herself facing the possibilities of new love and inner peace whilst being in Bali.
    I, personally, found the film utterly enchanting and both funny and profoundly moving in parts.
    As with any film ( or book ) it truly is a case of each to his or her own, cynics or those who may sneer at such films are less likely to find food for thought here , but those looking to lose themselves for a good 2 hours+ in a film in which deals with how you may feel at that crossroads in life, regardless of age or spiritual belief, then i urge you to seek out this film and " let yourself go " within it's magic.

  7.  an under-rated gem...


    A guy, Wille Conway , privately going through a mid life crisis and stuck at a mental crossroads in his life , returns to his home town to meet up with his old school friends and family to attend a high school reunion party.
    He spends time with all his old friends, and discovers , that they too are at a similar place in life.
    The film is all about dialogue and the way the friends interact with each other, all the actors have a chance to reveal their characters and are all exceptional in their roles.
    Shot on location in Minneapolis during a very cold and snowy winter, the Director had some of the cast live together for upto 3 weeks prior to filming in order that they would bond.
    This 1996 film was Directed by the late Ted Demme and stars Timothy Hutton, Matt Dillon, Uma Thurman and a young Natalie Portman in a scene stealing role as Marty, a neighbour with " an old soul. "
    I stumbled upon this movie some years ago and it remains as dear to me today as it did back then.
    It's not an action film, nor is it a drama begging for you to cry, it is simply a wonderfully written character driven film about life, love and relationships.

  8.  What would you do....


    ..If you found yourself capsized on a sinking boat..would you take your chance for a random sighting of a plane flying over head or would you swim for the nearest land knowing that there were possibly Sharks in the water!?
    Ths superb low budget Australian film tackles this predicament with a realistic approach and never falls into being far fetched!
    The five actors are all brilliant in their roles, and the film uses REAL Great White Shark footage ( watch the " making of " that accompanies the film on this DVD ) and this makes the tension all the more effective as our cast, finding themselves stranded during a yachting weeekend, begin to be rounded up by a marauding Great White Shark as they make an attempt to swim towards land.
    The characters are all likeable and the cinematography is fantastic, we have close ups of pale, drawn and terrified faces, aerial shots of vast endless ocean and then the shadowy presence of the shark lurking in the depths below.
    I sat down to watch it with a friend, neither of us expecting much, and both were left well impressed.
    Highly Recommended!

  9.  Love it!


    Lots of classic episodes in this season, namely, BOO! Which, for me, is the best Roseanne Halloween special as it's the one in which Dan and Roseanne try to out-wit each other with tricks, The Connor household is transfomed into the Tunnel of Terror and Jackie is served up as the main course in a ghoulish Halloween banquet!
    Also includes episodes in which Becky gives Roseanne the silent treatment, Darlene gives a moving poetry recital, the classic Thanksgiving episode and the one where Becky " breaks the sound barrier " during her speech before a school assembly group!
    Highly Recommended! Buy it now!

  10.  " by your divine guidance "


    WOW. Watching this incredible t.v show brought back so much nostalgia from my childhood, that i found myself ( now in my thirties )completely transfixed by the story-line - which incidentally is so much more darker than i had recalled - just like i had been when i was little!
    Originally made and aired for japanese t.v in 1980 and called X Bomber , it was later shown in the UK in the autumn of 1982 and renamed Star Fleet ( possibly becuase having the word " Star " in the title would appeal to the craze of Star Wars at the time!? ) and redubbed into english.
    The year is 2999 and there is peace on earth following a space war.
    The Earth is protected by the E.D.F ( Earth Defence League ) however the peace is threatened by the forces of Imperial Master and his right hand accomplice Commander Makara.
    They seek an alien force that apparently will bring peace to the entire galaxy, but who or what is this alien?
    If your a fan of anything 80's and look back on the kids t.v of the time with a warm nostalgia, then i highly recommend you purchase this wondrous boxset and spend a weekend locked away watching the whole thing as once you start watching, it's kind of hard to switch it off.