This list is highly subjective, and is liable to vary more often than a bog-standard
You can read my complete DVD list here, but please note it is formatted
for PRINTING and is not really intended to be read on a monitor. Those of you using
television-based browsers (such as the Bush Internet Box) might find it unreadable unless you
bump the text size to maximum... even then, it might not be readable!
You might also like to read my DVD reviews.
Mmmm... What's gotta be on a DVD for me to like it?
- A good movie/series
I'm one of those weirdos who watches with subtitles on. I'm not hard of hearing, I just
like it that way. Maybe I saw too many strange European films on C4 when I was
A film will have to be quite good (Fried Green Tomatoes (at the Whistle Stop
Café)) to get by without subtitles.
Despite ONLY having a 14" television, I will ALWAYS choose widescreen,
letterboxed, whatever they want to call it.
As an experiment I taped Evita from Sky and watched it side-by-side with mom's widescreen
DVD. That experience alone tells me why widescreen is ALWAYS preferable, despite
what the "I'm losing half my picture" dickheads whinge about.
(if you happen to be one of the anti-widescreen people, then sorry, but I
reserve a certain brand of mostly-harmless contempt for you)
- Director's commentary
It is actually quite revealing to listen to the commentary track to get insights into why
certain things were doing in certain ways.
- Deleted scenes
Some things can, actually, be quite interesting. Like the 'original' ending of Final
Destination. Okay, it was bull (the original ending, not the movie!), but it was
In some cases (Bring It On) the director discusses why certain scenes were omitted.
Again, more insights.
Documentaries, trailers, blah blah blah.
- That "flying in at the end" scene in Fly Away Home.
Pure class, pure beauty.
- The "lobby" scene (in The Matrix - if you don't know).
- The "one-immortal-defeats-another" scene in the original Highlander
(either one - they were both impressive).
- Alyson Hannigan as band geek in American Pie 2 - "Once when I was, uh,
here..." (referring to her habit in the original of prefixing most stuff with
"Once when I was in band camp...").
- Willow's "force is okay" comment in Buffy 2/16 Bewitched, bothered and
- One of the The 10th Kingdom episodes where the father and daughter are in the
forest and they fall asleep to magic mushrooms singing "A whiter shade of pale"
(trust me, a simple description just doesn't do justice to this scene!).
Other notable scenes
There are too many to bother mentioning, so I'll just give one...
- The end showdown in Bring It On.
Do cheerleaders really actually do that crap? How much is their insurance?!?!?
(nerdy - at high school level, it is illegal and dangerous for cheerleaders to do most of
the stunts depicted, they are performed by 'professional cheerleaders')
Most visual style
Honourable mention to Lost Souls that tried to how a unique and moody visual style but
lost it all on the not-terribly-good storyline. There was potential...wasted.
- The Lost Boys
- Fly Away Home
Also a nod to The Mod Squad which had a strong visual style, but it just seemed to remind
me of Bad Boys.
This is a higher award than 'most visual style', and entries are not duplicated. Consider this
the gold, and pvs the silver.
- The Matrix
- The Terminator
- Chicken Run (but for a totally different reason!)
Most violence (yay!)
In case you think I'm a gun toting psycho, I like my violence to be either highly gratuitous and
so over the top that it is funny, or I like it in context. Violence and gunplay for the sake of
it doesn't score too highly with me (ie, Romper Stomper was pointless crap).
I'm all for heavy violence in movies. As a male human, my inner moppet has a whole heap of
issues that it can only seem to deal with in a violent context. So I guess the choice is either
to have stress relief by watching a violent movie, or I can go do it for real. <smirk>
Tell you what, Quake in max-cheat mode is a highly therapeutic experience. You get to kill ALL
the evil bastards with the biggest weapons you can lay your hands on (set gravity low for amusing
bouncing body parts); and when you next need to go into work with the people that get you down,
you're on top of the world!
If you're more with the tech, steal a police car and do a drive by shooting in it. Yup, I'm
referring to the game Grand Theft Auto...
Enough pseudopsychobabble... on with the ratings!
- The Matrix
- The Matrix
(if you want to know why it is listed twice, you've obviously never seen it)
- The Matrix
(if you want to know why it is listed thrice, you've seen it but you weren't paying
- The Terminator
- Falling Down
- Terminator 2
Normally I would suggest Storm, but I think that was never meant to be taken seriously.
At least, I hope it wasn't...
I know it is supposed to be a deep thoughtful ending to a deep thoughtful film depecting real
events, but I really didn't like the ending. I'm not going to spoil it for you if you've not
seen it. I'll just say it is a lovely movie...with a crappy ending. It just feels...wrong.
Okay, so it was the truthful ending. Why not alter the truth slightly, like, I dunno... Forrest
Gump, Saving Private Ryan, Pearl Harbor, Titanic... and a plethora of American movies...
Might have been the biggest letdown if not for...
Winona Ryder. Remake of The Exorcist.
This really had potential.
Instead it seemed more concerned with giving nice visuals. The storyline? Well, the characters
did stuff. That was about it. Oh, wait. That didn't do stuff, they did stuff. It doesn't really
matter what stuff they did as there wasn't really much of a real purpose as far as I could tell.
Let me start again. Winona plays this semi-deranged religious freak who is a little bit cute in
a highly eccentric cuddly way. She attends an exorcism and swipes the materials that the guy
being exorcised was scribbling on. It was a code. The code spells the name of some guy that
happens to be plugging his new book on TV at the time. So she thinks that very soon now the
Devil will inhabit this guy and, like, destroy the world.
The obvious question here is what exactly should she do to stop this from happening? Well, she
doesn't exactly know. Which is forgivable.
The writer doesn't exactly know either, which is not forgivable.
In the end she does something that, really, could have been done a hell of a lot earlier, thus
saving us from having to watch the entirety of this movie.
Maxim is quoted as saying "Scary stuff". Did they watch the same movie?
Did they watch it at all?
But was Lost Souls actually a let down?
This movie is slow, plodding, and has an utterly pathatic script, but trust me, the script is
not what is of importance.
Pay attention to the visuals. Okay, an hour and a half of pure dark visual is a bit much, even
for hardened Ridley Scott fans!
As for the story, the question is so not 'is this guy gonna be the antichrist', but much
'is this chick whacko?'. If you've seen it (and maybe hated it), watch it again. I hated it the
first time around (as you might tell from the above), but on a second viewing something in my
head kinda 'clicked' and I began to see this not as a 'religion fights the devil' but more of an
examination of one person's state of mental imbalance. This is a deep, dark sorta movie that
should really have be script doctored by somebody who knew better than to chuck in a bunch of
tired clicés, but there is a basic premise.
It is for this reason that I think this movie actually deserves quite a high score. The point,
the purpose, the whole thing appears to have alluded many people who saw it. It is just
so very unfortunate that whoever designed the DVD jacket decided to make so many blatant
references to The Exorcist (maybe s/he didn't get it either?). Yeah, the girl is
religious. Yeah, an exorcism was performed. Um... that's about it. Oh, wait, they both took
place in America. Frankly, I could probably draw as many parallels between The Exorcist
and, let me think... Chocolat... Yeah...
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Copyright © 2002 Richard Murray