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carol irvin "carol irvin" (United States)

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Strange Days (Widescreen) (Bilingual)
Strange Days (Widescreen) (Bilingual)
DVD ~ Ralph Fiennes
Price: CDN$ 11.98
22 used & new from CDN$ 0.53

5.0 out of 5 stars Bigelow's solid A; incomparable Ralph Fiennes, July 30 2003
"Strange Days" stars the incomparable Ralph Fiennes and Juliette Lewis as former lovers in a futuristic, bent-for-hell society. Fiennes plays Lenny, whose career is selling vicarious, virtual reality experiences to people. They experience these by putting on headsets with tapes that Lenny has culled from his underworld contacts. Things turn even uglier when a serial killer gets turned on by making his own tapes of his murders, while they are being committed, and sends them to Lenny. Lenny tries to rescue Lewis from the even darker underworld people she now lives with but it is an uphill battle. This is one of my favorite Ralph Fiennes performances plus Bigelow at the top of her game.

The Weight of Water [Import]
The Weight of Water [Import]
DVD ~ Catherine McCormack
Offered by importcds__
Price: CDN$ 9.30
21 used & new from CDN$ 6.94

5.0 out of 5 stars Bigelow: Artistic, Literary & Haunting, July 29 2003
This review is from: The Weight of Water [Import] (DVD)
"The Weight of Water" is the most artistic and literary of Bigelow's film, the furthest from the action-adventure genre. Although it has thrilling moments of disaster at sea, it is primarily a character study. There are 4 people aboard a yacht, the most pivotal being Sean Penn, playing a writer whose writing days are mainly in the past because they were all based on an early tragedy involving the loss of the love of his life. He's married to someone else now but has serious relationship problems which are exacerbated by having another woman on board who has captured his sexual interest (Elizabeth Hurley). Where this film really gets interesting though is unveiling a whole other story of a woman who used to live on an island in these waters over a century ago who may, or may not, have murdered two other women. Sarah Polley does a wonderful job playing her. The underwater sequences during the storm at sea involving this woman's ghost and our present day people are the most artistic and stunning of Bigelow's career. I saw this as a rental and immediately wished I had bought it instead. This is Bigelow at her best as a filmmaker, artist and storyteller all rolled into one (based on the source Anita Shreve novel). Writer-director Kathryn Bigelow was a very talented painter before she went to film school to become a movie director. It shows in her work which is very artistic for someone primarily known to the action-adventure genre of filmmaking. She is a breath of fresh air in this genre, investing it with literate scripts and haunting imagery. Her most frequent producer is James Cameron (the action wonder king, "Titanic," "Terminator"), who is also her ex-husband. You can see his influence on her work as well.

Near Dark
Near Dark
DVD ~ Adrian Pasdar
Offered by WAM Services
Price: CDN$ 38.99
18 used & new from CDN$ 9.58

4.0 out of 5 stars Artistic Vampires On Fire, July 29 2003
This review is from: Near Dark (DVD)
I thought I'd seen all I needed to see of vampire films but Bigelow's "Near Dark" surprised me. She set it in the American Southwest, among cowboys, ranchers and vagabonds. She also came up with some of most visually stunning images of vampires ever put on film, especially of them catching on fire. Amazingly, she even comes up with a way to redeem the protagonist in the film who was unwillingly made into a vampire. Writer-director Kathryn Bigelow was a very talented painter before she went to film school to become a movie director. It shows in her work which is very artistic for someone primarily known to the action-adventure genre of filmmaking. She is a breath of fresh air in this genre, investing it with literate scripts and haunting imagery. Her most frequent producer is James Cameron (the action wonder king, "Titanic," "Terminator"), who is also her ex-husband. You can see his influence on her work as well.

Point Break (Widescreen)
Point Break (Widescreen)
DVD ~ Patrick Swayze
Offered by Vanderbilt CA
Price: CDN$ 54.58
12 used & new from CDN$ 16.42

5.0 out of 5 stars Exhilirating, Artistic, Great Entertainment, July 29 2003
This review is from: Point Break (Widescreen) (DVD)
"Point Break" is Bigelow at her best. It has wonderful artistic moments ,with the waves used by the villainous surfers, as well as a group parachuting scene with the hero and villains all holding hands in a circle in the air. The actors are well paired with both Keanu Reeve as the hero FBI agent who learns how to surf to catch the ex-Presidents bank robbers. Patrick Swayze, in his best role, plays a guru philosopher surfer who heads up the bank robbers, wearing a Ronald Reagan mask during the armed robberies. The bank robberies by the 4 surfers in their ex-presidents' masks verge on the hilarious. The final surfing footage with Swayze and Reeve in Australia is breathtaking. "Point Break" is well worth owning. Writer-director Kathryn Bigelow was a very talented painter before she went to film school to become a movie director. It shows in her work which is very artistic for someone primarily known to the action-adventure genre of filmmaking. She is a breath of fresh air in this genre, investing it with literate scripts and haunting imagery. Her most frequent producer is James Cameron (the action wonder king, "Titanic," "Terminator"), who is also her ex-husband. You can see his influence on her work as well.

K-19: The Widowmaker (Widescreen) (Bilingual)
K-19: The Widowmaker (Widescreen) (Bilingual)
DVD ~ Harrison Ford
Price: CDN$ 10.23
28 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

2.0 out of 5 stars Turgid Filmmaking; Bigelow's Worst Film, July 29 2003
Bigelow's worst movie is the turgid "K-19, The Widowmaker," where all was apparently sacrificed to provide another star turn for Harrison Ford. Unlike Bigelow's other work, it is slow, plodding and heavy handed. There isn't a single artistic image or stunning visual sequence to be had. Set entirely aboard a nuclear submarine, one can't help remembering and comparing it to an earlier film, "Das Boot," which handled the submarine world at war beautifully and artistically. The major difference is that "Das Boot" is about German submariners during WWII whereas the Bigelow film is about Russian nuclear submariners in 1961 during the Cold War. This is the only film of Bigelow's that I consider a bomb. Like many who have gone before her, given a huge budget and a super star who had to be showcased throughout, the whole thing sinks under its own weight. The Russian accents by all these American movie stars are also atrocious, like chalk screeching on a blackboard to your ears by movie's end.

Blue Steel (Widescreen/Full Screen)
Blue Steel (Widescreen/Full Screen)
DVD ~ Jamie Lee Curtis
Offered by Imagine This Music
Price: CDN$ 32.99
14 used & new from CDN$ 9.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Compelling but not Bigelow's best film, July 29 2003
Writer-director Kathryn Bigelow was a very talented painter before she went to film school to become a movie director. It shows in her work which is very artistic for someone primarily known to the action-adventure genre of filmmaking. She is a breath of fresh air in this genre, investing it with literate scripts and haunting imagery. Her most frequent producer is James Cameron (the action wonder king, "Titanic," "Terminator"), who is also her ex-husband. You can see his influence on her work as well. Bigelow's "Blue Steel" is set in the police world with a new cop played by Jamie Lee Curtis. She heroically saves a whole supermarket full of people from an armed gunman only to set off a serial killer played by the aptly villainous Ron Silver, a commodities trader in New York City. The film is a war of wits between Silver and Curtis, with Silver exhibiting all the raw cunning of a supremely intelligent man who has been lured over to the dark side of his existence. Although not as artistic as most of her work, "Blue Steel" works very well in the police movie genre.

The Importance of Being Earnest (Widescreen) (Bilingual) [Import]
The Importance of Being Earnest (Widescreen) (Bilingual) [Import]
DVD ~ Rupert Everett
Offered by OMydeals
Price: CDN$ 49.78
11 used & new from CDN$ 2.97

4.0 out of 5 stars Less Than Pride & Prejudice and Ideal Husband but Entertains, April 14 2003
This is an entertaining movie. It is enormously better than the earlier version of it made decades ago. Firth, Everett and Densch deliver the best performances that could possibly be given of this material. This is the film version of the Oscar Wilde play that was written and first performed more than a century ago. I only wish it had aged as well as the films we've seen based on Austen's works. Alas, I cannot. It does not have the same timeless, universal quality to it. It may also really be closer to a B- or C+ than a solid B. It is a very slight, frothy comedy, involving Firth and Everett in their foibles from inventing a fictitious person, Earnest. Although Earnest has enabled them to get away with many things as a built in contrivance numerous times, the tables are about to be turned. Earnest, in fact, would be best off dead. That's the setup for what is a high camp comedy that at moments feels like everyone is trying too hard with the material at hand. However, this does have Firth, Everett and Densch and they do their best to pull as much as they can out of this material. Surprisingly, Everett and Firth sing a number at the end of the movie together, over the credits, which I really enjoy, "Lady Come Down." I bought the DVD; I'd recommend renting it instead. I also have the song now and, ironically, I listen to the song a lot more than I watch the film!

American Pop (Widescreen/Full Screen) (Sous-titres français)
American Pop (Widescreen/Full Screen) (Sous-titres français)
DVD ~ Mews Small
Offered by M and N Media Canada
Price: CDN$ 58.84
9 used & new from CDN$ 34.64

5.0 out of 5 stars Hubby Loved It & Hates Animation; I Loved It Period, April 14 2003
I usually like animation, especially when it has an art house spin to it like Bashki's work does. I've never been able to convert hubby to it though, with only a few exceptions. This was the first animation that I ever screened for him that he enjoyed from beginning to end. In fact, he watched it twice. Since it came out (many years ago), the only animation he's liked as well is "Waking Life." Bashki does an incredible job of covering the rock world and its stars, although he never explicitly names anyone. The story flows effortlessly (it seems) and takes us for a kaleidescopic ride along the development of rock and roll set in the USA. The art and music are outstanding. Well worth buying since you will want to watch it more than once. It will appeal to a wide variety of ages too.

Come Away with Me
Come Away with Me
Price: CDN$ 7.99
85 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Kept Growing On Me Until 5 Star Sensation, April 14 2003
This review is from: Come Away with Me (Audio CD)
I liked this album at first but thought it was overhyped. Now that I've listened to it a great deal more, I've become a fan. Jones really has a very seductive, beguiling voice that works its magic on the listener time and again. It is hard to imagine anyone not being moved by "Come Away With Me" and "Don't Know Why." She also does a magnificent rendition of "The Nearness of You," which I thought had already been done to death. I was wrong. I don't like her father's music (Ravi Sankar) and probably wouldn't have listened to her if I'd known they were related (assuming, wrongly, that they'd sound the same). Jones won 5 Grammys via this recording and I'm not surprised.

Michael Moore:Awful Truth:S2
Michael Moore:Awful Truth:S2
DVD ~ Michael Moore
Price: CDN$ 22.43
24 used & new from CDN$ 0.85

5.0 out of 5 stars Provocateur Marvellous--Getting in Your Face MM's specialty, March 28 2003
This review is from: Michael Moore:Awful Truth:S2 (DVD)
Most of the world may have just seen Michael Moore for the first time on the 2003 Oscar show where he got in everyone's face about our war with Iraq. What they may not realize is that getting in people's faces and bearing down is Moore's stock in trade. He will not let something go, whether it is pursuing the CEO of GM ("Roger and Me") or following the threads of the Columbine school massacre ("Bowling for Columbine"). In this series he gets in a multiplicity of faces, all with hilarious results. This tv work may be Moore at his funniest. My favorite episode is where he sends a pimp to Congress, to organize them. The pimp perceives all of the members as the equivalent of his stable of women and that Congresspeople need his skills every bit as much as "his girls." The pimp Moore hires to do this is absolutely deadpan as he "talks the talk" in front of every Congressperson he accosts. They look like deer caught in the headlights of a car. I could watch this episode alone over and over again. The other episodes are hilarious as well. He runs a ficus plant for office, ably demonstrating why vegetation is better than the human being up for re-election. He plants a bogus dead body on the street to see which country's people are more humanitarian (we're up against Canada--anyone want to place bets?). He "re-educates" a potential police candidate who did too well on the department's written exam and was turned down from the force for being too intelligent. He presents George "W" as America's biggest example of Affirmative Action--being from a powerful family that can buy his way into things that he can't get into on his own merits. Obviously, Moore's favorite targets are anyone of the conservative American political persuasion so if that description is you, this series may offend you mightily. Anyone else though should love it.

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