Angeldust - My Video Collection

My Video Collection

After cataloguing my music collection I thought it was about time I did my films as well.  I have listed all sequels alongside their original counterpart so that series can be viewed as one.

Please select a letter to browse by title:

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 Batman Begins Batman Begins

Just when you though that the Batman franchise was dead and buried--certainly after the abomination that was 1997ís Batman & Robin--along comes director Christopher Nolan to brilliantly bring it all back to life with the astonishingly strong Batman Begins.  Nolan, whose curriculum vitae already features Memento and Insomnia, focuses his attention where films in the franchise havenít gone before--by examining that character of Batman himself. Thus, the story here is the genesis of the character, from the death of Bruce Wayneís parents, harrowing training with the mysterious League of Shadows, right through to the Dark Knightís first appearances on the street of a crime-ridden, moody Gotham City. Nolan plays several trump cards in his take on the Batman legacy, and none pay off quite so handsomely as his casting. Christian Bale is an immense force in the dual role of Bruce Wayne and Batman, bringing a brooding anger and genuine unease to the Batsuit. Heís backed with strong turns from Tom Wilkinson, Michael Caine, Liam Neeson, Gary Oldman, and Cillian Murphy as the unstable Scarecrow. In spite of a last twenty minutes that canít quite sustain the tone of whatís gone before, Batman Begins is a major achievement, and one of the finest superhero movies to date. Easily the best of the Dark Knightís big screen adventures, it manages to be a blockbuster film thatís unpredictable, compulsive, superb to look at and well worth many repeated viewings. A staggering achievement, particularly considering the state the Batman franchise had got itself into.- Simon Brew

Batman: The Dark Knight

The Dark Knight arrives with tremendous hype (best superhero movie ever? posthumous Oscar for Heath Ledger?), and incredibly, it lives up to all of it. But calling it the best superhero movie ever seems like faint praise, since part of what makes the movie great--in addition to pitch-perfect casting, outstanding writing, and a compelling vision--is that it bypasses the normal fantasy element of the superhero genre and makes it all terrifyingly real. Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart) is Gotham City's new district attorney, charged with cleaning up the crime rings that have paralysed the city. He enters an uneasy alliance with the young police lieutenant, Jim Gordon (Gary Oldman), and Batman (Christian Bale), the caped vigilante who seems to trust only Gordon--and whom only Gordon seems to trust. They make progress until a psychotic and deadly new player enters the game: the Joker (Heath Ledger), who offers the crime bosses a solution--kill the Batman. Further complicating matters is that Dent is now dating Rachel Dawes (Maggie Gyllenhaal, after Katie Holmes turned down the chance to reprise her role), the longtime love of Batman's alter ego, Bruce Wayne.  In his last completed role before his tragic death, Ledger is fantastic as the Joker, a volcanic, truly frightening force of evil. And he sets the tone of the movie: the world is a dark, dangerous place where there are no easy choices. Eckhart and Oldman also shine, but as good as Bale is, his character turns out rather bland in comparison (not uncommon for heroes facing more colorful villains). Director/co-writer Christopher Nolan (Memento) follows his critically acclaimed Batman Begins with an even better sequel that sets itself apart from notable superhero movies like Spider-Man 2 and Iron Man because of its sheer emotional impact and striking sense of realism--there are no suspension-of-disbelief superpowers here. At 152 minutes, it's a shade too long, and it's much too intense for kids. But for most movie fans--and not just superhero fans--The Dark Knight is a film for the ages. - David Horiuchi

Battle Royale - Japanese

With the Japanese currently leading the way in thought-provoking cinematic violence, it's only fitting that Kinji Fukasaku's Battle Royale is being touted as A Clockwork Orange for the 21st century. Based on the novel by Koshun Takami, the film opens with a series of fleeting images of unruly Japanese schoolkids, whose bad behaviour provides a justification for the "punishments" that will ensue. Once the prequel has been dispensed with, the classmates are drugged and awaken on an island where they find they have been fitted with dog collars that monitor their every move. Instructed by their old teacher ("Beat" Takeshi) with the aid of an upbeat MTV-style video, they are told of their fate: after an impartial Lottery they have been chosen to fight each other in a three-day, no-rules contest, the "Battle Royale". Their only chance of survival in the "Battle" is through the death of all their classmates. Some pupils embrace their mission with zeal, while others simply give up or try to become peacemakers and revolutionaries. However, the ultimate drive for survival comes from the desire to protect the one you love. Battle Royale works on many different levels, highlighting the authorities' desperation to enforce law and order and the alienation caused by the generation gap. Whether you view the film as an important social commentary or simply enjoy the adrenalin-fuelled violence, this is set to become cult viewing for the computer-game generation and beyond. On the DVD: Battle Royale comes out fighting in a special edition format only a few months after the initial DVD release became cult viewing. But don't get too excited about the new cut of the film, only a few additional scenes have been added and the alternate ending simply offers a series of Requiem sequences. Disc 2 contains a whole heap of behind-the-scenes footage and interviews, unfortunately many of these tend to repeat material. The Q&A with the cast (in full costume) and the director is repeated in the Tokyo Film festival. The special effects comparison feature is a case of "spot the difference" the S-FX hardly being in the Star Wars league and the instructional video on how to direct a film proves that the DVD makers have tried to grasp irony and failed. The disc also includes trailers and text filmographies for "Beat" Takeshi and director Kinji Fukasaku along with a written statement by the master of extreme cinema. Lacking in commentary and substance this DVD is redeemed by a superior sound and visual print to its predecessors. - Nikki Disney

Battle Royale II - Japanese

Set three years after the original BATTLE ROYALE, one of the survivors Shuya Nanahara, has become a notorious anti-government terrorist. Leading the Wild Seven group he has declared war on the adults who enforce the BR Act. To counteract this the government creates a new act, one that forces a group of Junior High School students to act as an anti-terrorist force and hunt down Nanahara in 72 hours or face death. - Amazon Synopsis
Sabotage Beastie Boys: Sabotage

Compilation of music videos & home grown video footage with the award winning Sabotage video. Let down only by the over serious Epilogue documenting the plight of the Tibeten Buddhist Monks. NB
Beastie Boys: Video Anthology

Criterion never fail to produce an awesome DVD & this doesn't dissappoint. A complete collection of every Beastie Boys video made (with the exception of the Licensed To Ill material held under copyright by Def Jam). But what makes this truly special is that almost every video gives you the option to view any camera roll used while filming & up to 8 different remix audio tracks. To view every bit of material on this disc would take a serious amount of viewing time. The camera selection is particularly pleasing as it reveals many humourous 'off camera' moments removed from the final cut. NB

The Beatles: Yellow Submarine

This restored, animated valentine to the Beatles offers viewers the rare chance to see a work that's been substantially improved by its technical facelift, not just super-sized with extra footage. Recognising that its song-studded soundtrack alone makes Yellow Submarine a video annuity, United Artists has lavished a frame-by-frame refurbishment of the original feature, while replacing its original monaural audio tracks with a meticulously reconstructed stereo mix that actually refines legendary original album versions. What emerges is a vivid time capsule of the late 1960s and a minor milestone in animation. The music represents the quartet's zenith--Rubber Soul, Revolver and Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. The story line, cobbled together by producer Al Brodax and a committee of writers, is a broad, feather-light allegory set in idyllic Pepperland, where the gentle citizens are threatened by the nasty, music-hating Blue Meanies and their surreal arsenal of henchmen, with the Beatles enlisted to thwart the bad guys. Visually, designer Heinz Edelmann mixes the biomorphic squiggles, day-glo palette and Beardsley-esque portraits of Peter Max with rotoscoped still photographs and film;; Edelmann's animated collages also nod to Andy Warhol and Magritte in properly psychedelic fashion, which works wonderfully with such terrific songs. High-orthodox Beatlemaniacs can still grouse that the animated Fab Four are (literally) flat archetypes, but that's missing the sheer bloom of the music or the giddy, campy fun of the visuals. Making sense of the story is second to submerging blissfully in the sights and sounds of this video treat. - Sam Sutherland

Beetlejuice is one of the few family films that stands up well to repeated viewing with an original story & a great performance from the underrated Michael Keaton as Beetlejuice himself.  Its portrayal of the afterlife plagued with bureaucracy and people who's bodies humourously display all the tell-tale signs of their demise is hugely entertaining, as are the inadequate attempts of the recently deceased at haunting their house to keep out the new occupants.  The sets are visually fantastic & the humour spot on.  This will entertain kids for years to come & deserves a place amongst the classics. NB

Bjork: All Is Full Of Love

The first ever DVD Music Single on the market & a fantastic video to boot.  The only thing that lets it down is the 'B' sides are audio only.  NB
Bjork: Volumen

Fantastic compilation showing the complete series of videos from the first 2 albums. NB
Blackjack - Japanes Anime

Based on the legendary Osamu Tezuka's manga, BLACK JACK is a tense psychological thriller that details the exploits of its eponymous character, a master surgeon who works miracles only for those who can afford to pay him. Haunted by his past, Black Jack travels the Earth accompanied only by his mysterious assistant, taking on impossible medical procedures for an exorbitant fee, then often waiving them for those patients who impress him with their spirit or will to live. Here, Black Jack uncovers the secret behind the intellectual and athletic "Superhumans" who have been cropping up in society. Linking their emergence to a super drug that could prove fatal to mankind, Black Jack becomes determined to put an end to this conspiracy. Beautifully animated, BLACK JACK renders every surgical procedure in amazing detail, helping to make BLACK JACK an extraordinary thriller that outclasses most similar Hollywood fare.  - Amazon Synopsis
Black Sheep

Viewed objectively, sheep aren't all that scary. They're actually quite cute and fluffy. But Black Sheep achieves the almost impossible by making you believe, at least for 90 minutes, that they could really turn into unstoppable killing machines. When a sheep-phobic ends up back on his family's farm to discuss his father's estate with his tyrannical brother, a pair of bumbling eco-warriors accidentally unleashes his worst nightmare--a flock of mutated sheep, hungry for human flesh. Pitched perfectly between horror and comedy, Black Sheep fits neatly into the tradition of genre classics like Shaun of the Dead and American Werewolf in London. It's funny without either being cruel or becoming tediously post-modern, scary without being sadistic. New Zealand's rolling green hills make a stunning and rather incongruous backdrop for the bloodbath--and the prosthetics and special effects look fantastic, packing a visceral punch that CGI could never hope to match. Director Jonathan King paces the laughs and scares expertly;; there's not a minute wasted in Black Sheep's runtime, and not a minute that isn't ridiculously enjoyable. Who'd have thought zombie sheep could be so much fun? - Sarah Dobbs

Los Angeles, Christmas Eve: a series of power outages, minor earth tremors and other strange events threaten to ruin the holidays. But when the residents of a suburban apartment block experience a sudden total blackout, they are determined to investigate. Deep in the cavernous basement they make a shocking discovery - what is seemingly the breeding ground of a new race of blood-thirsty creatures. With it quickly becoming apparent that the frightening occurrences overtaking LA are connected, this group of rag-tag neighbours must put aside their differences and fight to save their city from an eternal blackness. With time running out and the murderous creatures just getting started, they know they must restore the power, as when the lights go out for good, the feeding will beginÖ - Amazon synopsis
Blade Runner - Directors Cut

After making a disappointing impact at the cinema's Blade Runner gathered momentum in the video rentals market eventually gaining cult status amongst Sci-Fi fans.  This then allowed the director the freedom to restore the film to its original state without the commentary & amendments made by the film company in an attempt to make it more commercial.  It may not be the best scripted or acted film out there but it is wonderfully directed & presents a beautiful but gritty portrayal of the future of the Earths population & surroundings along with the thought provoking notions of whether the creation of intelligent life by man gives us the right to then take it back.  NB

Blade Runner 5-disc Boxed Set:
Original Workprint, USA Theatrical, International Theatrical, Directors Cut, & Definitive Edition

To call this cut of Blade Runner Ďlong awaitedí would be a heavy, heavy understatement. Itís taken 25 years since the first release of one of the science-fiction genreís flagship films to get this far, and understandably, Blade Runner: The Final Cut has proved to be one of the most eagerly awaited DVD releases of all time.  And itís been well worth the wait. Director Ridley Scottís decision to head back to the edit suite and cut together one last version of his flat-out classic film has been heavily rewarded, with a genuinely definitive version of an iconic, visually stunning and downright intelligent piece of cinema. Make no mistake: this is by distance the best version of Blade Runner. And itís never looked better, either. The core of Blade Runner, of course, remains the same, with Harrison Fordís Deckard (the Blade Runner of the title) on the trail of four Ďreplicantsí, cloned humans that are now illegal. And he does so across an amazing cityscape thatís proven to be well ahead of its time, with astounding visuals that defied the supposed limits of special effects back in 1982. Backed up with a staggering extra features package that varies depending on which version of this Blade Runner release you opt for (two-, four- and five-disc versions are available), the highlight nonetheless remains the stunning film itself. Remastered and restored, it remains a testament to a number of creative people whose thinking was simply a country mile in advance of that of their contemporaries. An unmissable purchase. - Jon Foster

Blade Runner 30th Anniversary
Blade Runner 30th Anniversary Boxed Set:
USA Theatrical, International Theatrical, Directors Cut, Definitive Edition, & Spinner Car Toy

When Ridley Scott's cut of Blade Runner was finally released in 1993, one had to wonder why the studio hadn't done it right the first time--11 years earlier. This version is so much better, mostly because of what's been eliminated (the ludicrous and redundant voice-over narration and the phoney happy ending) rather than what's been added (a bit more character development and a brief unicorn dream). Star Harrison Ford originally recorded the narration under duress at the insistence of Warner Bros. executives who thought the story needed further "explanation"; he later confessed that he thought if he did it badly they wouldn't use it. (Moral: Never overestimate the taste of movie executives.) The movie's spectacular futuristic vision of Los Angeles--a perpetually dark and rainy metropolis that's the nightmare antithesis of "Sunny Southern California"--is still its most seductive feature, another worldly atmosphere in which you can immerse yourself. The movie's shadowy visual style, along with its classic private-detective/murder-mystery plot line (with Ford on the trail of a murderous android, or "replicant"), makes Blade Runner one of the few science fiction pictures to legitimately claim a place in the film noir tradition. And, as in the best noir, the sleuth discovers a whole lot more (about himself and the people he encounters) than he anticipates. The cast also includes Sean Young, Edward James Olmos, Daryl Hannah Rutger Hauer and M. Emmet Walsh. - Jim Emerson
Blade Runner 2049
Blade Runner 2049

A great sequel that isn't quite Blade Runner, but does a worthy job given the time that has elapsed since the original.  Visually stunning & absorbing.  NB

Blood: The Last Vampire - Japanese Anime

Manga is an odd genre of films, with some real tat, but also some real gems.  Being a hugely popular genre in Japan many Manga films are created with an excellent level of production & Blood is no exception.  For anyone who has a home cinema system, this film is an excellent demonstration of what can be achieved via animation with an awesome surround sound mix & great visual flair.  This short film portrays the last in the line of a pure Vampire family being employed by the authorities to track down & kill a family of mutant vampiric monsters.  It is a joy to watch with the only disappointment being the short running time.  NB

  Blood: The Last Vampire - Japanese

Hiroyuki Kitakubo's cult anime hit comes to life in this live-action adaptation starring Gianna Jun as Saya. Saya has been hunting demons and slaying vampires for 400 years. Now it's the 20th century, and Saya is working for a clandestine organization known only as the Council. She's the last of her kind, a half-vampire, half-human samurai dedicated to ridding the world of monsters. Now with the Vietnam War raging in the background, Saya is dispatched to an American military base to do battle with the most dangerous vampire of all. - Amazon Synopsis
Blood C: The Last Dark
Blood C: The Last Dark - Japanese Anime

Saya is part human, part monster, and has one thing on her mind: revenge. Visions of twisted experiments and creatures slaughtering everyone she loved fuel her thirst for vengeance. With blade in hand and rage boiling in her veins, she tracks her tormentor to Tokyo, where flesh-hungry beasts have begun to feed. There, she joins a group of young hackers hunting for the same man. As Saya slices her way through lies, traps, flesh, and bone, how much blood will she shed to cut down the mastermind behind her madness?
Blur: The Best Of
Every Blur Video Ever!! A classic compilation that belongs in any 90's music fan's collection. NB
Borat: Cutural Learnings Of America for The Make Benefit Glorious Nation Of Kazakistan

It takes a certain kind of comic genius to create a character who is, to quote the classic Sondheim lyric, appealing and appalling. But be forewarned: Borat is not "something for everyone." It arrives as advertised as one of the most outrageous, most offensive, and funniest films in years. Kazakhstan journalist Borat Sagdiyev (Sacha Baron Cohen reprising the popular character from his Da Ali G Show, leaves his humble village to come to "U.S. of A" to film a documentary. After catching an episode of Baywatch in his New York hotel room, he impulsively scuttles his plans and, accompanied by his fat, hirsute producer (Hardy to his Laurel), proceeds to California to pursue the object of his obsession, Pamela Anderson. Borat is not about how he finds America;; it's about how America finds him in a series of increasingly cringe-worthy scenes. Borat, with his '70s mustache, well-worn grey suit, and outrageously backwards attitudes (especially where Jews are concerned) interacts with a cross-section of the populace, catching them, a la Alan Funt on Candid Camera, in the act of being themselves. Early on, an unwitting humour coach advises Borat about various types of jokes. Borat asks if his brother's retardation is a ripe subject for comedy. The coach patiently replies, "That would not be funny in America." NOT! Borat is subversively, bracingly funny. When it comes to exploring uncharted territory of what is and is not appropriate or politically correct, Borat knows no boundaries, as when he brings a fancy dinner with the southern gentry to a halt after returning from the bathroom with a bag of his feces ("The cultural differences are vast," his hostess graciously/patronisingly offers), or turns cheers to boos at a rodeo when he calls for bloodlust against the Iraqis and mangles "The Star Spangled Banner." Success, John F. Kennedy once said, has a thousand fathers. A paternity test on Borat might reveal traces of Bill Dana's Jose Jimenez, Andy Kaufman, Michael Moore, The Jamie Kennedy Xperiment, and Jackass. Some scenes seem to have been staged (a game Anderson, whom Borat confronts at a book signing, was reportedly in on the setup), but others, as the growing litany of lawsuits attests, were not. All too real is Borat's encounter with loutish Southern frat boys who reveal their sexism and racism, and the disturbing moment when he asks a gun store owner what gun he would recommend to "kill a Jew" (a Glock automatic is the matter-of-fact reply). Comedy is not pretty, and in Borat it can get downright ugly, as when Borat and his producer get jiggly with it during a nude fight that spills out from their hotel room into the hallway, elevator, lobby and finally, a mortgage brokers association banquet. High-five! - Donald Liebenson    

The Boy In Striped Pyjamas
The Boy In Striped Pyjamas

Based on the book by John Boyne, The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas didnít really get the box office recognition it deserves on its theatrical release, struggling to find a foothold amidst a stampede of blockbusters. But this is a film that, surely, is ripe for discovery on DVD.  Directed with care and diligence by Mark Herman, whose CV includes the excellent Brassed Off! and Little Voice, The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas is set during the Second World War, in and around a Nazi concentration camp. It tells its tale through the eyes of two young boys. One is the son of the campís commandant, while the other is wearing the striped pyjamas of the title.  The two boys meet and ultimately befriend one another, and The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas tells the difficult story of their companionship. It does it extremely well, too, careful to understate proceedings and demonstrate a restraint that serves the subject matter well. Itís also quite a lean film, and one boasting excellent performances, including David Thewlis as the aforementioned commandant.  If The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas has a problem or two, they pale in comparison to its strengths. For this is a tightly directed, moving film, that does real justice to the terrific book itís derived from. Itís not always an easy watch, but it's very memorable.- Jon Foster, Amazon

Brain Dead Brain Dead - New Zealand, Peter Jackson

If you're not a connoisseur of graphic horror and gruesome gore, you'd better steer clear of Braindead, a wicked 1992 horror-comedy from the demented mind and delirious camera of writer-director Peter Jackson, years before he went on to mainstream success with The Lord of the Rings. However, if non-stop mayhem and extreme violence are your idea of great entertainment, you're sure to appreciate Jackson's gleefully inventive approach to a story that can judiciously be described as sick, twisted and totally outrageous. The movie's central character is a poor schmuck named Lionel who's practically enslaved to his domineering mother. But when ol' Mum gets bitten by a rare and poisonous rat monkey from Skull Island and is turned into a flesh-eating zombie, Lionel has the unfortunate task of keeping Mama happy while fending off all the other zombies that result from her voracious feeding frenzies. If you've read this far, you'll either be crying out for censorship or eagerly awaiting your first viewing (or second, or third...) of this wildly clever and audaciously uninhibited movie. While director Jackson would later achieve far greater critical and box-office successes, his talent is readily evident in this earlier effort. If you find this kind of thing even remotely appealing, consider Braindead a must-see movie. - Jeff Shannon
Bram Stokers Dracula

After decades of mostly second rate films portraying their own interpretation of the legend of Dracula it is refreshing to find a modern film that follows the book faithfully.  This film portrays the story with stunning visuals & great directorial skill showing all aspects of the story & not just the horror focused on by other films.  The casting is great putting just the right people into each role & despite misgivings of Keanu Reeves acting ability he fills the role of the naive property lawyer perfectly.  This is a great interpretation of a great book & deserves a place in everyone's collection  NB

Broken Arrow

John Travolta is Vic Deakins, a bomber pilot who launches a devilish plan to hijack two nuclear missiles for big-time extortion. Vic never sweats, spews out great one-liners, knocks off money men with glee, toys with killing half a million people ... he even smokes!If you giggled at his "Ain't it cool" line from the trailer, you're in the right frame of mind for this comedic action film. Never as gritty or semi-realistic--or for that matter as heart-thumping--as the original DieHard, Broken Arrow still delivers. If Travolta is cast against type, everyone else is by the numbers;; Christian Slater as Hale, the earnest copilot looking to foil the plot, Samantha Mathis as the brave park ranger caught in the middle, Frank Whaley as an eager diplomat and Delroy Lindo as a right-minded colonel. As with his previous script (the superior Speed), writer Graham Yost moves everything quickly along as Hale and the ranger try to cut off Deakins's plan over a variety of terrains. There are plane crashes, car chases, a pursuit through an abandoned mine, a helicopter-train shootout and lots of fighting between boys. Each time Hale finds himself perfectly in place to foil Deakins, you're suppose to laugh at the unbelievable situations. That's where Broken Arrow is deceptive: its tone is right for the laughter compared to the mean-spirited Schwarzenegger and Stallone action films with laboured jokes. Hong Kong master director John Woo (TheKiller and Hard Target) pulls out all the stops--slow motion of Hale and Deakins' gymnastic gun play, nifty stunts, countdowns to doomsday. Woo may know action but he needs more guidance in creating unique and stunning special effects. This is action entertainment at its cheesiest. Travolta and Woolater reteamed for Face/Off. - Doug Thomas

1-9 A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Angeldust - My Video Collection