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Francine Graff, MH Columnist

 

Christine Fugate, MH Creator

Lily Williams, Movie Reviewer

Monday
Nov242008

Noelle


Starring: David Wall, Brennan Wall, Sean Patrick Brennan, Kerry Wall, Jean Bates
Director: David Wall
Rating:
List Price: $29.98
Format: Color, Widescreen, NTSC, Dolby
Language: English
Studio: Paramount DVD
Release Date: November 11, 2008
Run Time: 90 minutes

Reviewed by CPA Mom

 

On November 11th, Paramount Home Entertainment released the Dove Family-Approved film "Noelle" on DVD. Director David Wall also wrote and stars in the film.

Synopsis from the studio: "Father Jonathan Keene, an aloof priest, must shut down a dying parish in a small fishing town. After his arrival his plans take a turn. He becomes involved with the lives of the village’s congregation and learns the true power of love and forgiveness. A holiday heart-warming story."

I'm a cradle Catholic. However, much to the dismay of more devout Catholics in my family, I don't adhere to all the tenants of the Catholic religion. That said, I still have great love and affection for my Church. And I enjoy seeing how others interpret the Church and the many characters that populate it.

Set in the cold wintertime in Cape Cod, Noelle is a story with priests who are *gasp* human - with all the human fallacies, doubts and fears of their congregants. The talented David Wall (a dead ringer for Robert Redford, he is Noelle's writer, director, producer, and actor - his real life wife and child play pivotal roles as well) manages to weave in messages of love, the power of forgiveness for oneself and others, the meaning of faith, and he addresses the insidious doubt that resides even in the hearts of our spiritual leaders. This is more than a simple story on the shutting down of a parish. It is about the opening of hearts and minds and the great joy that life can bring when we allow ourselves to know our own worth. What better message for the holiday season.

About Paramount Home Entertainment: Paramount Home Entertainment (PHE) is part of Paramount Pictures Corporation (PPC), a global producer and distributor of filmed entertainment. PPC is a unit of Viacom (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), a leading content company with prominent and respected film, television and digital entertainment brands. PHE is responsible for the worldwide sales, marketing and distribution of home entertainment products on behalf of various parties including: Paramount Pictures, DreamWorks Studios, Paramount Vantage, Paramount Classics, Nickelodeon, MTV, Comedy Central, CBS, PBS and Hasbro and for providing home entertainment fulfillment services for DreamWorks Animation Home Entertainment.

Thursday
Nov202008

Roman Holiday

Reviewed by Christine Fugate

This is one of my favorite movies of all time! I couldn't believe it when hubby told me he hadn't seen it. Good thing I didn't know that before we got hitched. What a great love story too-a princess and the reporter. When I watched it again, I fell in love all over again. No, not with Cary Grant but with Billy Wyler. Is he brilliant or what? I highly recommend this movie as a gift for any movie buff or hopeless romantic.

The extras on the set are fun, too. I especially liked Audrey Hepburn: The Paramount Years. Ever since I was a young girl, I have been taken with her. Behind the Gates: Costumes is a good piece on Edith Head and her amazing designs.

10 out of 10 binkies!

From Amazon:

Maybe it doesn't quite live up to its sterling reputation, and maybe the leading man and director were slightly miscast. But who cares? Roman Holiday is the film that brought Audrey Hepburn to prominence, and the world movie audience went weak at the knees. The endlessly charming Hepburn had her first starring role in this sweet romance, playing a European princess on an official tour through Rome. Frustrated by her lack of connection to the real world, she slips away from her protective handlers and goes on a spree, aided by a tough-guy news reporter (Gregory Peck). Director William Wyler, more at home with such heavy-going, Oscar-winning classics as The Best Years of Our Lives and Ben- Hur, doesn't always keep the champagne bubbles afloat, and the Peck role would have fit Cary Grant like a silk glove. But the film is great fun, the location shooting is irresistible, and Hepburn embodies an image of chic style that would rule for the rest of the fifties. No coincidence: she won an Oscar, and so did veteran costume designer Edith Head. --Robert Horton

 

Thursday
Nov202008

Sunset Boulevard

Reviewed by Christine Fugate

I am completely obsessed with this movie. I saw it years ago, which basically means, I remembered nothing. To watch it again was absolutely divine. When I lived in La-la land years ago, I went to see the musical starring Glenn Close. I went with a friend of hers who arranged for us to go backstage and hang with the Glennster. She was quite charming and lovely.

But back to the movie-pure genius and quite scandalous at the time. I watched EVERY DVD extra and loved them all. Everytime Gloria Swanson talked, I squealed with delight. What a true movie star. This is a Must-Give for any movie buff or celebrity obsessed fan like myself.

A truly delcious and fun movie about the golden days of Hollywood!

10 out of 10 binkies!

From Amazon

Billy Wilder's noir-comic classic about death and decay in Hollywood remains as pungent as ever in its power to provoke shock, laughter, and gasps of astonishment. Joe Gillis (William Holden), a broke and cynical young screenwriter, is attempting to ditch a pair of repo men late one afternoon when he pulls off L.A.'s storied Sunset Boulevard and into the driveway of a seedy mansion belonging to Norma Desmond (Gloria Swanson), a forgotten silent movie luminary whose brilliant acting career withered with the coming of talkies. The demented old movie queen lives in the past, assisted by her devoted (but intimidating) butler, Max (played by Erich von Stroheim, the legendary director of Greed and Swanson's own lost epic, Queen Kelly). Norma dreams of making a comeback in a remake of Salome to be directed by her old colleague Cecil B. DeMille (as himself), and Joe becomes her literary and romantic gigolo. Sunset Blvd. is one of those great movies that has become a part of popular culture (the line "All right, Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close-up," has entered the language)--but it's no relic. Wow, does it ever hold up. --Jim Emerson

 

 

 

Friday
Oct102008

The Godfather, The Coppola Restoration Collection

  •  

    Actors: Marlon Brando, Al Pacino
  • Format: AC-3, Box set, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, DVD-Video, Restored, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 5
  • Rating:
  • Studio: Paramount
  • DVD Release Date: September 23, 2008
  • Run Time: 549 minutes
  • Amazon $62.99
Reviewed by Christine Fugate

I love this set! This is by far my favorite box set in years. The Godfather is everything in modern American film history and this restoration is everything it was hyped to be. The extras are fabulous but the most incredible part is the way the picture looks on my HD television. I have already used this set while teaching my students at film school.  A must OWN if you are a fan of The Godfather, Al Pacino and modern cinema.

10 out of 10 binkies!

The Official Blurb:

More than three decades after they won the Academy Award® for Best Picture, director Francis Ford Coppola’s classic films The Godfather and The Godfather, Part II will once again be enjoyed by audiences as they originally were meant to be seen, thanks to a meticulous restoration by Paramount Pictures, overseen by Coppola himself.  On September 23, 2008, both fully restored films will debut on DVD and Blu-ray, along with a newly remastered version of The Godfather Part III, to be included as part of The Godfather, The Coppola Restoration Collection.  All three films will be available individually or in a five-DVD collection or four-disc Blu-ray collection, which are loaded with a host of all-new special features.

The Godfather and The Godfather, Part II underwent extensive frame-by-frame examination and restoration utilizing state-of-the-art digital technology in this historic preservation effort, which required more than a year to complete.  Robert A. Harris of the Film Preserve supervised the restoration under the direction of Coppola and cinematographer, Gordon Willis.  Harris’ restoration credits include Lawrence of Arabia, Spartacus, Vertigo and Rear Window among others.

The new special features created by Kim Aubry, founder of Zoetrope Aubry Productions, explores the complexities of the restoration process and provides new insights and perspectives about how the film almost didn’t come to pass as we know it.  “The Masterpiece That Almost Wasn’t” relates the unlikely events, intrigue, allegiances and luck that put together the unknown director with the “unwanted” cast and contains interviews with most of the living players and many of the films’ admirers.  Other featurettes include “…when the shooting stopped,” and “Godfather World,” which take a look at The Godfather’s influence on popular culture today.  Each film includes a commentary by Coppola.

The Godfather: The Coppola Restoration DVD Collection, enhanced for 16:9 TVs, with Dolby Digital English 5.1 Surround, French 5.1 Surround and English Mono (The Godfather and The Godfather, Part II) and English, French and Spanish subtitles.

The DVD disc breakdown is as follows:

Disc 1:
The Godfather feature film
Commentary by director Francis Ford Coppola

Disc 2:
The Godfather, Part II feature film
Commentary by director Francis Ford Coppola

Disc 3:
The Godfather, Part III feature film
Commentary by director Francis Ford Coppola

Disc 4: (previously released special features)
Making of The Godfather         
Additional Scenes                     
Filming Locations                     
The Corleone Family Tree        
The Music of The Godfather    
The Godfather Historical Timeline                                                                  
Profiles on the Filmmakers       
Photo Galleries and Storyboards                                                                     

Disc 5: (new special features)
Godfather World
The Masterpiece That Almost Wasn’t
…when the shooting stopped
Emulsional Rescue Revealing The Godfather
The Godfather on the Red Carpet
Four Short Films on The Godfather
The Godfather vs. The Godfather, Part II
Cannoli
Riffing on the Riffing
Clemenza

Saturday
Oct042008

Dirty Sexy Money: The Complete First Season

" An All-Star Cast in the Deliciously Wicked, Wild and Well-Heeled New Television Series"

Dirty Sexy Money: The Complete First Season

Series Directed by Michael Grossman
Suggested retail price: $39.99 SRP U.S., $44.99 SRP Canada
Format: Box set,
Color, NTSC, Closed-captioned
Language: English Number of discs: 3
Rated: 'TV-14" DLSV
Bonus Material Not Rated Studio: Buena Vista Home Entertainment/Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
DVD Release Date: September 16, 2008
Run Time: 426 minutes

Reviewed by CPA Mom

"Obscene amounts of wealth and secrets pervade the Darling family. Donald Sutherland, Peter Krause, William Baldwin and Blair Underwood are just a few names from the heavy hitting cast of Dirty Sexy Money. This 3-disc set is rich with extras including a "making-of" featurette, a V.I.P. Set tour, a trip through the wardrobe department, bloopers, and more! Take a look behind the closed doors of America's wealthiest family in Dirty Sexy Money: The Complete First Season. All ten scandalous episodes of television's juiciest hour-long drama's premiere season are available on DVD."

Any Dallas fans out there? How about Knots Landing or even Melrose Place? Are you in need of another excellent prime time soap now that those shows are off the air? Then Dirty Sexy Money is for you! It's complete with beautiful, scheming people with more money than sense. The show centers on the extremely wealthy and powerful Darling family (who remind me of some of today's uber-wealthy families so often in the news, in that they have everything money can buy, yet seem to lack a moral center).

From Amazon.com: "Filled with intriguing story lines and a smoking hot cast, Dirty Sexy Money focuses on a idealistic attorney wrestling with his father's death and the family that may be responsible for it. Peter Krause (Six Feet Under) stars as Nick George, whose father was the legal counsel for the Darling family and good friends with patriarch Tripp (Donald Sutherland) and his wife Letitia (Jill Clayburgh). When Nick is offered to take his father's position with the family, he goes through a gamut of emotions: He never saw his father because his dad was always tending to the Darlings' needs; he had dated troubled Darling daughter Karen when they were younger. He doesn't want to get sucked up into the drama that is their life but, like his father, he is unable to resist both the salary (upwards of $10 million) and the Darlings' tremulous connection to his dad. But that money doesn't come without strings; Nick serves as both counsel and therapist to the family. Occasionally, he is also asked to play the role of errand boy (When favored son and rising politician Patrick (William Baldwin)--who is married--wants to break up with his tranny girlfriend, he asks Nick to do it. And to give her a check to show his affection). To his credit, Nick says, "I'm not going to go into a hotel and give a tranny hooker a check." To which Patrick says, "She's not a hooker!" ...the thoroughly entertaining drama has a group of characters that keep viewers glued to the screen. Karen is a boozy socialite who switches husbands often; Patrick can't stand up to his wife, even after she kinda-sorta shoots him; Tripp and Letitia have a litany of secrets that affects their marriage and their children; Nick finds himself sparring (both verbally and otherwise) with their eldest son, the Rev. Brian Darling. And whether Nick has found a friend or foe in charming multi-millionaire Simon Elder (Blair Underwood) has yet to be determined. Dirty? Yes. Sexy? Absolutely. As for the money, it just may be the root of some of the Darlings' evil. --Jae-Ha Kim"

The excellent cast of Dirty Sexy Money includes Peter Krause ("Six Feet Under"), Donald Sutherland ("Path To War," The Italian Job), William Baldwin (Noise, The Squid and the Whale), Natalie Zea ("Without A Trace," "CSI"), Glenn Fitzgerald ("Law & Order," "Six Feet Under"), Samaire Armstrong ("The O.C," "Entourage"), Seth Gabel (The Da Vinci Code, "Nip/Tuck"), Zoe McLellan (Conversations with God, "J.A.G") with Blair Underwood ("Sex and the City," "In Treatment") and Jill Clayburgh (An Unmarried Woman, Running With Scissors). "Dirty Sexy Money" was created by Emmy-nominated Craig Wright ("Brothers & Sisters," "Lost," "Six Feet Under"). Wright, Greg Berlanti ("Brothers & Sisters," "Everwood"), Oscar and Golden Globe-nominated Matthew Gross ("Day Break," "Across the Universe"), Bryan Singer ("House," "Superman Returns," "The Usual Suspects") and Jon Harmon Feldman ("Dawson's Creek") are executive producers. The series is produced by ABC Studios.

Bonus Features: Dirty Sexy Money: The Complete First Season
• The Road to Excess: Making Dirty Sexy Money – The Darling family—fascinating, capricious and undeniably dangerous. Take a unique peek into the inspiration for the most infamous clan on television, straight from the show's creators. • Enter the Penthouse: A V.I.P Set Tour – Tour the Darling mansion and get a taste of their lavish lifestyle. This billionaire's Manhattan home was actually built from the ground up on a Hollywood soundstage. Its dirty little secret is that there's a penny saving surprise around every corner! • Haute Couture: Dressing the Darlings – You can't be too rich, too thin or too well-dressed from the looks of the Darlings' overstuffed closets. But even a make believe mogul loves a bargain, and the show's wardrobe designers share ways to look like a billion bucks without spending one! • The Other Woman: Candis Cayne – What is it that makes Carmelita so irresistible to Patrick Darling that he would risk his family and his career to be with her? Find out in a profile of the torrid love affair between the politician and his sensuous mistress, played by Candis Cayne. Cayne shares an intimate look at her personal road to stardom and inner peace as a transgendered performer. • Audio Commentary with the show's creators and stars. • Tripp Ups – "Dirty Sexy" Bloopers • Deleted Scenes