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Robert Badgley (St Thomas,Ontario,Canada)

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Emma [Import]
Emma [Import]
DVD ~ Marie Dressler
Offered by importcds__
Price: CDN$ 16.14
17 used & new from CDN$ 16.12

5.0 out of 5 stars This is one of Maries all time best!, April 12 2014
This review is from: Emma [Import] (DVD)
Emma(released Jan/32)stars,among others,Marie Dressler,Richard Cromwell,Jean Hersholt and a very young Myrna Loy.This film ranks among Marie's all time best pictures.Frances Marion who was greatly responsible for the resurgence of Marie's career,is on board in the writing department.If anyone doesn't cry during this film,more than once,they have a heart of stone!
The story finds kindly old Emma(Marie) as the housekeeper to a successful inventor Mr.Smith and his wife.As the film opens the wife is giving birth to their fourth child,a boy.When the child comes out it is stillborn and Marie takes it and beats its' bottom until life inhabits its precious body.The mother perishes.
The family moves on, and fast forward about 20 years and Ronnie has come home(the child Emma saved and who is her favourite)to ask his father to give up college and concentrate on flying planes that he loves.While his father forbids it, Emma acts as a go between and convinces him to let Ronnie have his way.Afterwards Emma wants to know what this flying thing is all about and visits Ronnie at the airfield, only to see him do some(to her)terrifying loop-de-loops then land.After shes gives him a piece of her mind Ronnie talks her into getting into a training simulator,which Emma regrets afterwards.
Back home Emma is finally taking a month long vacation to Niagara Falls,after 20 years of waiting.Mr.Smith drives her to the train station to see her off and while there Emma gets steadily convinced that Mr.Smith and his brood will not be able to cope without her.When she refuses to go altogether she goes to ask for her money back.Mr.Smith tells her that he will come with her rather than see her lose out on a well deserved rest.However while waiting, Mr.Smith lovingly takes her hand and proposes to her.She reticently agrees.
Out on a lake in a rowboat,after their wedding,we see Emma rowing and Mr.Smith sitting(he has a bad heart).A group of three youngsters row by in a canoe.Mr.Smith takes over the rowing duties and starts rowing at a breakneck pace.Not long into his marathon he collapses.Back at the hotel Emma is giving him his last pill of the day and exhausted he asks her to sing for him.As she starts to sing Mr.Smith silently passes away.Marie,thinking he has fallen asleep,continues on.
Back home the day before, the four children had received the news of Emma and Mr.Smith's wedding,and all but Ronnie had poo pooed it.A short few days later Emma is with the lawyer in their home getting the word that she is left as the sole heir to his estate and that she is to administer his money to the children as she sees fit.She however doesn't want the money and goes out to tell the children what she has decided.However she is met with so much derision from them all(but Ronnie) that she orders them out of the house.Immediately afterwards she has to sit not believing what she just did.Ronnie and the lawyer congratulate her.Ronnie asks if he may purchase a custom made plane and the lawyer gives his OK if Marie is agreeable....and of course she relents.Ronnie goes to the west coast to get it and is gone a while.
In the meantime the children get a hold of their own lawyer believing Emma coerced their late father into making out the will,then deliberately poisoned him.Their case gets enough legs that they are able to take Emma to court.The court proceedings do not go well for Emma and her lawyer.
Ronnie in his new plane on his way back home from a trip to Canada,sets down in Kansas City to waiting out a rainstorm.In the airdrome office he picks up a newspaper and reads about Emma's predicament.He sends a wire to his beloved Emma that he is on his way home to help.He takes off in the storm.
Back at the court,the proceedings play out and it is the final argument stage.When Emma's lawyer starts to call her step children names she cannot take it,not ever harbouring any ill will towards them,just love.The jury comes back with a not guilty verdict.As Emma and her lawyer enjoy a quiet moment of relief a telephone call for him reveals that Ronnie has died in a plane crash.When he returns he doesn't have to say anything as Emma, just knows.As if this isn't enough,at that moment a telegram arrives;it is the one Ronnie sent to her from the airdome.She collapses into the lawyers arms.
The next day Emma has given the money back to the children.She leaves to visit Ronnie's grave and talk to him.When she returns to the house she says her good byes to the remaining three children, who all express their sincerest regrets and apologies for their despicable behaviour.They beg her to stay but she cannot,she as to move on.
Emma is soon at an employment agency and she is offered a high paying position due to her experience.But she refuses and takes a low paying position because it has the same family dynamic as her last position.As she sits tending to the newborn,a boy of course,the mother asks her over and thanks her for saving her son's life.Asking Emma what she might really like as a thank you,she thinks a minute then asks if the new born can be named......Ronnie.The mother is quite agreeable and a proud and loving Emma holds up her new Ronnie,laughing with joy.
Director Clarence Brown could have ended this film when Marie walks out the door after saying goodbye to the children one last time.But Frances Marion wanted to grab your already broken heart strings one final time with her new job and her new Ronnie.There weren't any dry eyes in the house in 1932 and as I said,if you don't cry at least once,you have to be a rock or something,for it STILL packs an emotional wallop today.Sure it's a sentimental film, but it's never mawkish or overdone.The film strikes just the right balance and Marie Dressler should have gotten another OSCAR for this one,in fact a better performance than her winning it in Min and Bill a few months before.Marie runs the emotional and performing gamut here.She does it all beautifully from drama,to pathos,to comedic moments and she even sings!
Technically speaking the film is full screen and there are no extras.This film has been transferred quite well as compared to,say, Politics.
All in all a joyous and wonderfully sentimental film.Marie takes the acting ball and runs with it for a touchdown and back again.Have a box of Kleenex on hand and see Marie Dressler at her finest.

Harry James & His Orchestra
Harry James & His Orchestra
Price: CDN$ 22.39
10 used & new from CDN$ 22.39

5.0 out of 5 stars A Harry gem!, April 11 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This is a fantastic collection of songs from Harry James and singer Marion Morgan.The recordings are all Columbia originals and span from 1946-1949.Marion recorded with James up until Dec./48,and the last two tracks here are a couple she recorded a year later from the film One Sunday Afternoon,without James.Right away one can see why he chose Marion,because she sounds so much like his (arguably) greatest singer Helen Forrest.She has a beautiful voice tone and is in command of the lyrics from start to finish.
James backs her with just some out of this world lush strings and harmonies.And needless to say James is on top of his game all the way.This is James at his peak and he plays that horn like there's no tomorrow.He weaves his notes in and out and rings Marion's vocals with just the right panache.
This is a win-win for all good music lovers and James fans.And I might add its is a MUST have.This is on one single CD and Collectible Records has included some informative liner notes along with everything else.
There's only one CD that has made available all her recordings from Columbia with James(23) and this is the one.Get yours now!

Unreleased: Songs From The Vault Collection Volume 1
Unreleased: Songs From The Vault Collection Volume 1
Price: CDN$ 12.00
18 used & new from CDN$ 10.46

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The start of a beautiful friendship!, April 11 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Not quite Casablanca,I know ,but this new release of songs"From the Vaults",as the title says,is something for all Stompin' Tom fans to get very friendly and cozy with.As the initial news reports after Mr.Connors passing proclaimed,there are 120 songs that were unreleased,and due to be released as per his wishes.Mr.Connors son Tom doing just that,to our delight.
In the process it seems the Connors family has struck a new label deal,which is surprising in and of itself.They are now dealing with Universal who now owns Capital/EMI(in a mega takeover any Ferengi would be proud to boast about-for all you Star Trek fans!),the latter having released all of his material onto CD in the past couple of decades or more.
This CD contains 17 tracks,12 unreleased and the other five are re-releases of songs we all know and love like My Stompin' Grounds,Flying CPR,and others.The unreleased material is a Stompin' we have rarely heard,he sings.......*gasp* American songs!?? Maybe you were thinking like I was that these were going to be polished studio tracks from throughout his career.Nope.It is just he and his old Gibson guitar,no back up what so ever.Songs like the old Guy Mitchell hit Pittsburgh,Pennsylvania,or Hank Thompson's Wild Side of Life,an instrumental Turkey in the Straw,the 1917 Shelton Brooks penned Dark Town Strutters Ball,the 1851 Stephen Foster classic The Old Folks at Home,aka Swanee River,and others.It's an eclectic mix of songs that Tom would have had on tap when he was an up and coming artist way back when.Though the liner notes neglect to give us any recording dates,his voice/timber is deep,so my guess is we are dealing with recordings not more than 10 years old.The notes also neglect to mention where these recordings were made,at his home or in a proper studio.These are lapses I hope are corrected in the upcoming releases.
The best one can do is sit back and listen to these wonderful tracks as if Tom was actually there with you, pickin' on his flat top just for your enjoyment.The recordings are clear as a bell and if my ears don't deceive me I think the already released ones sound a bit fuller as compared to the earlier Capitol releases.I am looking forward to future releases.It would be nice to have some raw studio recordings,flubs,alternate takes,etc.But we will just have to wait and see.Thank you to all the Connor family for these and those to come.

The Last Days on Mars / Les Derniers jours sur Mars (Bilingual)
The Last Days on Mars / Les Derniers jours sur Mars (Bilingual)
DVD ~ Liev Schreiber
Price: CDN$ 29.78
11 used & new from CDN$ 9.87

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Another Ghosts Of Mars, April 6 2014
The Last Days on Mars(released May/13)stars,among others, Liev Schreiber, Elias Koteas,Romola Garai,Goran Kostić and Johnny Harris.This is a terribly derivative picture which from the opening moments tumbles into a deep pit from which it never extricates itself.Been there,done that barely scratches the surface as to how defective this film really is.
The story finds a small colony of humans on the red planet busy doing their respective experiments and generally studying the surface area.The astronauts are made up of a multi national group,with the leader being Canadian.At one point a relay switch goes down and one of them volunteers to go out to fix it,but it is a ruse to check an experiment station.While the crew inside discover possible life on a sample brought in,the one gone outside has also discovered it.Just then the ground gives way crumbling around him, and he falls into the ground.Those with him contact base and they get assistance toute suite.They end up going down into the steam filled fissure,not finding their fellow astronaut but finding some strange ground life.
When the astronaut resurfaces they find tracks leading away from the site and heading back to their main living pod.As they head back, the pod comes under attack from two of their fellow astronauts who have turned into horribly disfigured creatures.The rest return in time to rescue the remaining crew but one, who has been killed.They retreat to a hydroponics pod and try to help their dying commander,but to no avail.He "dies" but soon comes back to life as he turns also.They try a jury rigged antibiotic but it does no good.
Schrieber heads back to the main pod to try and contact home for help, but eventually is forced to retreat back to hydroponics.He and two others flee into land rovers to escape the others.One leaves to take another rover and next morning another leaves Schreiber's rover and walks away.He follows but is unable to save her,and instead has to kill her.At this time a rescue landing craft dispatched from the orbiting space station above lands in the open.As Schreiber runs back to it it is attacked and its crew killed.Inside at the controls he finds the astronaut who took the other rover.He is also infected.He puts the ship into a power burn and it leaves Mars orbit,burning too much fuel.All the while the two struggle and Schreiber defeats the turned one,only to get infected himself.Now alone,he contacts home base to inform them of the situation,telling them he has no fuel to land and will likely burn up in the atmosphere,the preferable solution as opposed to a rescue.
This film is one slow step up after another,as one crisis inevitably leads into another,and so on.Each you can see coming a mile away and each step up becomes two back as the movie's pace just slows to a crawl and you start looking at your watch wondering when this thing is going to be over with.When the astronauts become infected,this is my title reference to the 2001 film Ghosts of Mars,as the infected in that look like those in this.You would have thought they could have been more original.I guess it's just a Mars thing.
Technically speaking the film is in its original a/r of 2:35:1 and is clear and crisp.There are no extras and in fact there are NO scene selections either!Astounding.This is first film on DVD I have ever encountered with no scene selections,just a straight "play" option and that's it.
In conclusion give this turkey a pass and watch The Ghosts of Mars.It wasn't that good either, but it was far better than this sleep fest.

Highway Patrol: Complete Season Three [Import]
Highway Patrol: Complete Season Three [Import]
Price: CDN$ 33.19
17 used & new from CDN$ 18.28

5.0 out of 5 stars If you care to drive,drive with care!, April 6 2014
Highway Patrol,Season Three is back and it continues in the high quality fashion of the first two.The picture is wonderful for a show of this age,/57-/58.Sayings such as The careless driver isn't driving his car,he's aiming it,No Matter how new,the safest device in your car is you,Leave your blood at the red cross or your community blood bank,not on the highway,If you care to drive,drive with care,or It isn't what you drive but how you drive that counts.
Broderick Crawford turns in another season of his fast talking,tough guy with a heart.He not only gets the bad guys but his sensitive side comes out in various eps with children or the bereaved.Crawford is helped out in his endeavours by the likes of Harold(spelled Herold)Goodwin,good friend and co star with Buster Keaton in many of his films in the 20s and 30s,Bobby Jordan from the Bowery Boys/Dead End,East Side Kids,Kurt Russell's father Bing,Ken Drake,a regular on Sea Hunt in an uncredited role,Charles Maxwell,Vance Skarstedt who not only wrote eps but co starred also,and many others.You will notice in the credits a costume supervisor Tommy Thompson.He went on to produce the Lucy Show in the 60s.
These eps were written with brevity in mind but to pack the biggest punch in the shortest time possible.And they succeeded brilliantly,despite the short shooting schedule(usually about three days!).TGG has done a great job transferring these onto DVDs.Like the previous season there are the odd sound drop outs,which I can only put down to audio track damage.These are after all almost 60 years old.

Escape Plan [Import]
Escape Plan [Import]
Price: CDN$ 19.90
25 used & new from CDN$ 3.45

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sly does it again., April 4 2014
This review is from: Escape Plan [Import] (DVD)
Escape or Escape Plan(released Oct/13)stars,among others,Sylvester Stallone as Ray Breslin,Arnold Schwarzenegger as Emil Rottmayer,Jim Caviezel as Willard Hobbes and Sam Neil as the doctor.Ever since Mr Stallone's tragic loss of his son he has thrown himself into his work with a vengeance,and so far he created some wonderful cinema.His latest entry is this film in which his main co star is Arnold.Now before I hear the guffaws and giggles on how old these two screen vets are,I ask you to watch this film.Stallone is in great shape and Arnie is slowly getting back to his old self.Both come across as vibrant, kick butt actors and this work is as good as anything both have done recently or in the past.
The story finds Sly as a gun for hire.In this instance he is a man sent into maximum security prisons to test the prisons security and if possible,escape.He is paid very handsomely for his work.As the film begins we are witness to his prowess in escaping.After that job he is given a new assignment by a lady from the CIA.They have a secret off the grid prison they want him to try and escape from.The payment is double what he has received before.His boss OKs the plan,as does Sly.
Sly dutifully waits at the rendezvous point and is taken aboard a van.However they guards inside remove Sly's tracking device,so his compatriots back at his office cannot track him.He comes to in a plexiglass cubicle surrounded by several like cubicles.It is a humongous facility the likes of which he has never encountered before.He will have to use every thing he has ever learned and then some to extricate himself from this situation.
He soon becomes friends with Arnie.Arnie is a high profile inmate whose boss,a Victor Manheim,is someone the prison warden(Caviezel)wants to know more about.It seems there are people willing to pay big bucks for that information.Sly has given the warden his secret code for release but the warden has refused to acknowledge it.So Sly and Arnie create a diversion and end up,purposely,in solitary.Sly uses a metal piece from the floor Arnie grabbed while being interrogated in the warden's office earlier.Sly manages to pop floor rivets and escape the room.Down he goes and then up.He ends up outside but it is not where he expected to be.He is on a huge ship in the ocean,location unknown.Sly returns to the room.
Sly informs Arnie of their situation and they enlist the help of a Muslim inmate,Javed.The ruse Javed will perform is to get the warden,in exchange for information on the inmate's doings,to allow him to do his prayers in the open air,or close to it.The ruse works and he is able to get put into a cargo hold with a view of the sky.Little does anyone know he carries a home made sextant which will tell them roughly where the ship is.Back down in the common area Sly retrieves the sextant and learns they're along latitude 30 degrees.He guesstimates it is somewhere off the Moroccan coast.
Back at Sly's office two of his compatriots have been working feverishly trying to discover Sly's whereabouts.The only thing they have found is he is in a prison called the "Tomb",but do not know its location.They also find out that a $2 million cheque has been frozen.They go to the boss but he tells them not to worry,it's "the government".
At the prison Sly is now feeding the warden false info about the mysterious Manheim.The day he finally gives the warden a "location" where Manheim can be found is the day Sly,Arnie and Javed decide to break out once and for all.They start a huge fight.Arnie has made contact with "people" outside who will be able to help them off the ship once they're out.At first all goes fairly well until they reach the hatch Sly originally climbed outside of.The warden has gotten wind of the break out attempt and has locked down all hatches.Back down they go and they get into a firefight.Jared is ultimately killed while Sly disables the power long enough for Arnie to escape.
Arnie's "people" arrive in a helicopter and he keeps the armed guards at bay,waiting for Sly.But Sly has been unable to escape the normal way and has locked himself in a tank of water.Knowing the rebooted system will fill the tank back up and flush it,he waits and is sent out beneath the ship.He comes up just as Arnie in the chopper has left the ship.They spot him and lower a ladder to pick him up.The warden has spotted them and is taking pot shots their way.Sly sets some flammable containers ablaze which also takes care of the warden.
On shore Arnie and Sly are greeted by Arnie's rescue party.It turns out to be the CIA agent who came to Sly's office in the first place! She also happens to be Arnie's daughter,and Arnie is the mysterious Manheim!She also reveals that Sly's boss did a runaround on both him and her and in order to keep the $5 million for himself,had Sly sent away"permanently".
Sly gets back home and his partners have been informed of their bosses double dealings.The film ends with the boss,his SUV with him in it,locked in a cargo container on a freighter bound for......?
The film is tension filled throughout as the camera gets in really close with a you-are-there feel to it.The socko ending really catches one off guard.As Sly says when he learns that Arnie is Manheim,"Gee,I didn't see that one coming".Neither did we.Both Arnie and Sly work well together,playing off one another.Faran Tahir as Javid also manages to do a very credible job and holds his own with the two main stars.Caviezel is one twisted son of a gun of a warden.The S/FX are good as is the action,which ebbs and flows at just the right moments.
Technically speaking the film is in its original a/r of 1:77:1.Extras include commentary and a featurette.
All in all chalk this up as another winner for Mr.Stallone.He is on a definite roll of late and we can only wish for better things to come.Arnie is certainly"baaack" as he and Sly play well off of each other.4-4 1/2 stars.

welcome to the jungle dvd Italian Import
welcome to the jungle dvd Italian Import
DVD ~ jean claude van damme
Offered by Vecosell
Price: CDN$ 13.78
3 used & new from CDN$ 13.78

3.0 out of 5 stars Better than I expected-Office Space meets Lord of the Flies-, March 28 2014
Welcome to the Jungle(released Feb/13) stars,among others, Jean Claude Van Damme,Adam Brody,Rob Huebel,and Kristen Schaal .This film,while not wildly funny,has some moments here and there.It's the type of film that you have to overlook the plot holes and let reality take care of itself.
The story finds a group of dysfunctional advertising types in your typical dysfunctional advertising setting.There are two rivals,Phil,a pompous exec,and Chris a guy with more talent than Phil, but with way more ambition.Comes a day when they have to pitch a product to a must have client and Phil steals Chris's idea for his own.The Boss next day calls everyone together to announce they are all going on a bonding and teamwork experience to a deserted island.Their "guide" will be JCVD,who is posing as an ex military guy,but who is in reality a para wanna be and very much off the wall.
Next day they fly to a tropical island,and as JCVD is showing them around two girls report seeing a tiger.They look and don't find it.While standing near a rocky precipice overlooking the sea,and explaining the impossibility of a tiger being there,JCVD is jumped not once but three times by the animal.The third time they both fly into the drink and disappear.
As time goes on and the panic subsides the group divides into two factions, with the most going to Phil's side,while Chris has three with him.Chris soon shows that he knows more about survival than anyone and his group gets along pretty well,while Phil's degenerates into a one man God show.Chris finds out he needs the radio from the plane they came in, but Phil's group guards it.They also come across a quite wounded JCVD and nurse him back to health.JCVD cannot walk, so they are forced to wheel barrel him around the jungle.JCVD lays-guard as Chris and his buddies go for the radio.Phil's group ends up capturing Chris's group,while Chris manages to escape.
Just as one of his friends is about to be executed,Chris swoops down with some home made wings.Phil and Chris go toe to toe.Just as Chris has won, Phil is about to sneak a cheap shot at Chris when JCVD comes out of no where to do a flying kick on Phil,in a send up from Bloodsport.As this has been happening, a ship finally has come into view,the group gets its attention,and they are saved.
JCVD gets arrested by the authorities for impersonating a military man(and who goes under at least three different aliases).Chris and the group go home.Back at the office Chris gets the promotion he has always wanted,but realizes his experience has taught him that he doesn't want a career there any longer,and quits.The film ends as Phil is alone on the island writing a "hate" letter to Chris.
JCVD does have some cute comedic moments such as his tiger attack,his playing of his character at the end like he is some needy child,his Bloodsport take off,his animal warning calls during the radio steal and others.JCVD has always said he'd like to do comedy,and here we are.As I said you have to over look alot plot wise,like how in the world did the group get to a deserted tropical island so fast,where did the tiger come from,how does JVCD move around so well when he's so wounded and others.Don't ask just go with the flow.His real life son Kris and daughter Bianca also make appearances.JCVD comes and goes and surprisingly the rest of the cast make up well for his lack of screen time.Finally I have to comment about the trailer for the film,showing JCVD's tiger attack.This was a good gag that should have been kept out of the trailer.As a result I was waiting for it to happen in the movie and when it did it the punch was completely gone.BAD move.
Technically speaking the film is in its original a/r of 2:35:1 and is clear and crisp.There are no extras.
All in all a better film than I expected.It's an Office Space type environment meeting Lord of the Flies,with wild card JCVD thrown in for good measure.

Highway Patrol: Complete Season Two [Import]
Highway Patrol: Complete Season Two [Import]
Price: CDN$ 32.60
14 used & new from CDN$ 17.52

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highway, March 28 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This is Season Two of Highway Patrol ,starring Academy Award winner Broderick Crawford.Crawford had a long and varied career in Vaudeville,the stage,radio and in films,all before 1940!During the war he was heard as part of Glenn Miller's broadcasts from Harvard University as part of the Air Technical Training Command,doing short skits for the Army Air Corp to bolster enlistment./49 saw him grab an OSCAR and then in /55 he was offered a part in Highway Patrol.Still making films during his time on Patrol,the grind of churning out the TV shows took its toll on Crawford.His voice can be heard to be quite raspy at times and he looked tired.(This may also be due sometimes to his drinking).
Season Two starts in 1956 and goes to /57.Crawford always had a by-line at the end of each show.This Seasons lines were:It isn't the car that kills,its the driver and Leave your blood at the red cross,not on the highway.Crawford had a distinctive rapid fire delivery and as a result the pace of the show was notched up all due to him.This led to a fast editing which in turn started a new industry standard.Stars in view this season include,Bing Russell(Kurt's father),Ruta Lee,Gene Roth(3 Stooges),Ed Nelson,Bowery Boys alumni Stanley Clements and Bobby Jordan,Rhodes Reason(This Island Earth),Barbara Eden(I Dream of Jeannie),Stuart Whitman,and Harold Goodwin, who appeared in many of Buster Keatons films,spelled here Herold,among others.One writer to become really famous was Gene Roddenberry(Star Trek) and later TV producer Quinn Martin is here as a sound supervisor.
The discs come in two keep cases,one with three discs and one with two.All are one sided.Both are in a thick box.The shows themselves have been transferred,like Sea Hunt,with great care and look as if they were filmed just yesterday.Beautiful to look at.
There are a few sound drop outs throughout this series and this season is no exception.I can only imagine the audio tracks were slightly damaged over time.
All in all it is an absolute delight to see these fast paced wonders back on the small screen for everyone to enjoy again.They look even better than I recall,and that's not having seen them since their debut on a small,snowy b&w TV set.Thank you MGM and TGG Direct for releasing them.

Homefront (Bilingual)
Homefront (Bilingual)
DVD ~ Jason Statham
Price: CDN$ 18.99
8 used & new from CDN$ 5.30

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice made-for Statham vehicle, March 21 2014
This review is from: Homefront (Bilingual) (DVD)
Homefront(released Nov/13)stars,among others,Jason Statham,James Franco,Winona Ryder and Clancy Brown.This is a taut,well edited film with a screenplay by Mr.Sly Stallone that leaves little room for chaff,and gives you all the wheat you could ask for.
The story finds Statham as a DEA undercover cop who,with his colleagues,manages to take down the head of a notorious biker gang in a big drug bust.Unfortunately the biker's son dies in the take down and vengeance is now on the menu.
Fast forward two years and Statham is living on an old plantation with his soon to be 10 year old daughter;his wife having past away a few months before.He makes a living now doing house renno's.One day at school his daughter is forced to punch out a bully and he,along with the bully's parents, are summoned to the school.The bully's parents are not too happy,and in fact the mother is overly upset with Statham.Outside the father attempts to teach Statham a lesson but he is taken down in short order.
The mother is not finished yet,as she goes home and enlists the help of her brother.He happens to be the area's king pin drug maker/seller.While Statham and his daughter are out riding he enters their house and finds some incriminating files linking Statham to his DEA days and the take down of the aforementioned biker gang.Before he leaves he slashes a tire,takes their cat and leaves a now-messed up stuffed animal hanging in a tree.
The drug dealer,knowing the gang and their connections,tries to leverage a bargain with them.In exchange for the location of Statham,he wants to be given total distribution rights for his drugs in that area.The gang arrives but aren't too interested in the drug dealer's bargaining rights.They want and get the location of Statham.By now Statham has been put on the alert as to what might be coming and he and his daughter are packing to get away from their home.Before they can they are jumped and a gun fight ensues.Statham's daughter has alerted the cops by cell phone and by the time they get there Statham has all but finished them all off.However his daughter has been captured by the drug dealer's moll and she is heading back to the dealer.When she arrives back at their hideout he is none too happy that she would bring the girl with her.
When Statham realizes where his daughter may be commandeers a police car and races to the scene.Before he can get there the drug dealer's sister(the one who set his involvement in motion in the first place)has arrived.When she throws on the lights to the hideout the light bulbs,which had been previously sabotaged by Statham,explode and set the place alight.The sister struggles to take the girl from her brother and he shoots her by accident.He takes the girl in his pick up and he lets out just as Statham comes in.Statham pursues him onto a moving bridge over a river.Statham has flipped his police cruiser and as the drug dealer approaches he is still trapped.As Statham's daughter's pleads for him to let her father go,Statham becomes free.He takes down the dealer once and for all,as the police look on,on shore.The film ends as Statham and his daughter finally settle in to their new life.However Statham pays a visit to the biker he took down those many years ago,in prison.The biker is speechless as Statham tells him when he gets out,he will be waiting for him.
The film moves along very well and there are very few let ups any where,as each plot detail dove tails into the other.Mr.Stallone and Statham have become very good friends since their collaborations on the Expendables,and this movie was certainly tailor made for Statham.Statham has all his usual moves you come to expect and he even has some chance for some dramatic moments.That being said,I found that Statham seemed to be looking a little,ummm,tired...if that's the word? More times than not it seemed like he was going through the motions.But the plot and editing being what it was,nicely glossed over any weaknesses.Winona Ryder plays the drug dealers moll/girlfriend.I didn't even recognize her right off and cannot say I was particularly impressed by her acting at all.Finally I must mention Clancy Brown's nice turn as the town sheriff.
Technically speaking the film is in its original a/r of 2:40:1 and is clear and crisp.There are no extras,which I thought was somewhat of a cheat.I'm sure there must be some interview material with Mr.Stallone and Statham somewhere that could have been included.
All in all a nice dramatic piece.It is full of action and tension and Mr Stallone has written a nice screenplay,tailor made for its star.

gravity dvd Italian Import
gravity dvd Italian Import
DVD ~ sandra bullock
Offered by Vecosell
Price: CDN$ 10.48
9 used & new from CDN$ 10.47

8 of 19 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars This isn't THE "Gravity" is it?, Feb. 28 2014
This review is from: gravity dvd Italian Import (DVD)
Gravity(released Aug/13),stars Sandra Bullock and George Clooney.With the unprecedented super hype and press push by both its stars,and it's endless comparison's to other past Sci-Fi films,in particular 2001:A Space Odyssey,you would have thought this was a film for the ages! Let's clear something up,shall we? Firstly,this film does not come anywhere close to the epic classic that was 2001,in plot nor style.Secondly,it is a simple and mundane film that I am sure looked impressive in 3D and on the big screen.An honest to goodness good picture however,especially one made in 3D, has to have some substance to it.It must strike a balance between a good and decent story and it's eye popping visuals.This one is just too long on S/FX ,coming up far too short on its delivery.It's a terrible waste of two good actors who mostly,it looks like,did their things in front of blue screens,hanging off wires.
The story finds Clooney and Bullock as two astronauts outside a space shuttle orbiting the earth.Bullock is concentrating on getting a communications array up and going,while Clooney is playing cowboy by doing mini orbits in his space suit around the shuttle.Suddenly they receive a warning to abort the mission.It seems the Ruskies have shot down one of their own satellites and the subsequent debris has had a domino effect.It is slowly but surely taking out the majority of other satellites orbiting the earth.Before they can re enter the space shuttle,huge debris hits them,destroying the shuttle and killing the rest of the crew.The only two left alive are Clooney and Bullock,after a hairy rescue of Bullock by Clooney.
The two's only hope of survival is to reach the International Space Station,which has been abandoned due to the dangerous debris.Clooney gets a bead on it and they head for it.As they approach Clooney has no more propellant left in his suit to break with,and the two tumble over and around the station.When their tow line breaks it is Bullock that now rescues Clooney.Bullock has a tenuous hold on Clooney who tells her to let him go lest they both perish.When she refuses,he unbuckles his line and puts himself adrift.
Inside the space station all isn't good.After a while the station catches fire.Bullock escapes into the only life pod left,which cannot make it back to earth because of damage to the outside.Inside the capsule she fires it up,but cannot escape the station as it is tangled in its' already deployed chute,which in turn is tangled in the station.This forces her to do a space walk to untangle the lines.As she does this, more dangerous debris comes her way smashing the station to bits.
Back inside the pod but free of the station, she drifts hopelessly.She manages to pick up a signal from an Eskimo on the ground,and they briefly talk as her craft flies far over his head,until she goes out of both their ranges.She then turns off her oxygen and prepares to die.In a dream she imagines Clooney is back aboard the pod.He tells her she must use the landing jets to get the craft to the Chinese space station and save herself.She wakes up and it gives her the strength to carry on and get herself to the station.
The Chinese station has also been hit and its orbit has deteriorated so much it is falling downwards,already hitting the earth's atmosphere.She gets inside,manages to jettison away from the station and eventually lands in a lake back on good old terra firma.Not thinking ,she blows the hatch and the capsule starts filling with water.It sinks to the bottom and Bullock tries swimming upwards but the weight of her suit keeps her down.She gets out of it and finally surfaces,drifting to land.It takes her a bit to adjust, but in short order she is walking on her two feet.Fade to black.
The film seems like the present but can't be, the reality is all shuttle missions have been scrubbed.After one gets over the panorama of the earth and their surroundings,you would think the film would pick up momentum and get some decent traction.But for me at least,it never even takes off.The director has not imbued these characters with anything that I can personally empathize with.As distant as they are from the ground,is the same way I feel about the film.It's cold and impersonal.As is the music that accompanies this picture,which detracts more than enhances.Clooney's smiling,devil may care character is just far too cool for school.When Bullock is trying to emote some fear,Clooney,either in off screen voice or in front of the camera, acts like her personal psychologist,telling her its all ok,and to calm herself. It just doesn't sit right.And you JUST knew at least one of them was going to make it back alive.I mean what kind of a film would it have been if they had both died......hmm,maybe better? Finally the film's biggest premise is just not,to me,believable.I couldn't swallow that the two were able to go "station hopping" as it were.Their shuttle gets destroyed,oh I know lets just go over to the ISS,which happens not to be too far away.When that goes chest up,ok let's just go to the Chinese Space station,right over there.It is far,far too convenient and totally unbelievable.Which further deep sixes this picture.
Technically speaking the film is in its original w/s a/r of 2:35:1 and is clear and crisp.The DVD doesn't have the extras the Blue Ray has(that's the big boys pushing we the consumers in the direction(s)they want),it has only a short film.The film is part of the picture.It's the viewpoint of the Eskimo Bullock talks to.
All in all a BIG disappointment.The film was NOT 1/10th of the hype they would have you believe it was.And it is certainly not a film you could watch over and over again.The characters have no life to them, and as a result there's just no deep feeling for any of what you watch.It's all too impersonal and far fetched for me.2- 2 1/2 stars.

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