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Member's Reviews

Reefer Madness: The Movie Musical, a review by Achim


    Reefer Madness: The Movie Musical (2005/United States)
:dvd: (United States)
Director:Andy Fickman
Writing:Kevin Murphy (Screenwriter), Dan Studney (Screenwriter), Kevin Murphy (Original Material By), Dan Studney (Original Material By)
Length:108 min.
Video:Anamorphic Widescreen 1.78:1
Audio:English: Dolby Digital: 2-Channel Stereo, English: Dolby Digital: 5.1, Commentary: Dolby Digital: 2-Channel Stereo
Subtitles:

Stars:
Kristen Bell as Mary Lane
Christian Campbell as Jimmy Harper
Neve Campbell as Miss Poppy
Alan Cumming as Lecturer/Goat-Man/FDR
Ana Gasteyer as Mae Coleman

Plot:
Inspired by the legendary 1936 film of the same name, 'Reefer Madness' is a tongue-in-cheek raucous musical comedy about clean-cut kids who fall into a twisted, hilarious downward spiral of reefer, sex and mayhem! A straight-laced high school lecturer (Alan Cumming) seeks to impart his wisdom to frightened parents about the "demon weed" by telling the frightful tale of two innocent teens. Mary Lane (Kristen Bell) and Jimmy Harper (Christian Campbell), who fall under the spell of the public's enemy #1 and quickly find themselves in a world of evil jazz music, dance and madness. Filled with outrageously funny and musical performances by Neve Campbell, Christian Campbell, Kristen Bell and Steven Weber, 'Reefer Madness' is the feel good event of the year that should not be missed!

Extras:
  • Scene Access
  • Audio Commentary
  • Feature Trailers
  • Featurettes
  • Gallery
  • Production Notes
  • Closed Captioned
  • Original 1936 black & white film included


My Thoughts:
This is a bit of a strange movie. On the one hand, it's a fun musical with an over-the-top story and the acting that comes with that. But one can't really help but wonder "why are they doing this, why are they trying to tell me Marihuana is worse than heroin, even if they don't seem serious about it". Luckily this DVD comes with the original 1936 (the originally "educational" film Tell Your Children had been spiced up and exploited for its comedic effects) and a short featurette explaining some additional background. So, on the other hand it's somewhat of a remake with some musical numbers thrown in and turn the farcical elements way up where the 1936 version merely expanded on the existing footage.

It's a fun comedic musical with a few of the numbers going way beyond the source material (the scene where Mary smokes and is seduced and of course the scene in the church with Jesus). They added one element which I am a little torn over, which is the character Sally having a baby and neglecting it through her drug abuse; this may have been inspired by Trainspotting, in which the scene fit, here not really so much.

Rating:

(From Achim's entirely random reviews on July 24th, 2011)

Member's Reviews

The Wrong Man, a review by Dr. Hasslein


The Wrong Man



Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Year: 1956
Running Time: 101 Minutes
Rated: PG
Genre: Drama/Crime/Film Noir

Plot
This is the true story of Manny Balestrero, an honest hardworking musician at New York’s famous Stork Club. When Manny is mistaken for a man who has committed a string of armed robberies his world is thrown into turmoil. He protests his innocents and tries desperately to clear his name with authorities, but wile doing so his beloved wife begins to fall apart under the train of the whole ordeal.

My Thoughts
Alfred Hitchcock delivers a compelling story full of tension that made me as the view feeling genuinely frightened for Manny’s dilemma. The plot is simple but it never gets boring. It does a great job of really drawing you in, making you feel that you’re right in there with the characters in some scenes.

The imagery is spellbinding, very stylish with great use of shadows that really enhance the film’s rather sinister tone.

Henry Fonda is excellent as Manny Balestrero who is a devoted husband and loving father to his children, proving that he is well suited for this type of Character. Vera Miles who later goes on to appear in Hitchcock’s Psycho as Janet Leigh’s sister, plays Manny’s wife, who is very convincing as a woman that is raiding descending into the very depths of despair over her husband’s terrible ordeal. There is also a small appearance by a pre Hogan’s Heroes and talented character actor Werner Klemperer as psychiatrist who is treating Manny’s distraught wife.

The film ends very quickly once Manny’s ordeal is behind him, it does feel a little rushed but it is on a positive note which is welcomed and it answered he questioned that I was begging to worry that might not be answered.

Overall another fine piece of work from mater filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock that any fan of his and the genre will most certainly enjoy.


DVD Details
Aspect Ratio: 16:9 Full Frame Transfer
Audio: Dolby Digital
Region: 4 PAL (Australia)

Special Features
  • Original Theatrical Trailer
  • New Making-Of Documentary Guilt Trip: Hitchcock and the Wrong Man




(From The Wrong Man (1956) on December 11th, 2010)

Member's TV Reviews

My PILOT Marathon, a review by Rich


DAMAGES - SEASON ONE - PILOT



First aired: 7/24/2007   
Attorney Patty Hewes hires a new associate, Ellen Parsons, to help her as she tries to ruin Arthur Frobisher. Hewes represents a group of employees that are suing Frobisher after he sold his company, leaving the employees devastated. Ellen is unaware that her best friend, Katie Connor, is working for Frobisher.


Thanks Jon, you were right!
This felt less like a 'pilot episode' and more like the beginning to a mini-series or film.
I was hooked from the beginning, a series that takes it's audience seriously with skilful writing and superb direction.
The slow-paced nature only adds to the tremendous suspense, I am at writing in a real 'WTF' is going to happen next trance-like state  :fingerchew:
Excellent plot twists and a great cast makes this a winner for me. I can even forgive Ted Danson being a star in it!
But this is Glenn Close's show. What a superb performance in the opener, so perfect a role for her perceived attitude fueled personna.
I cannot wait to get back to this series at the end of the marathon



(From My PILOT Marathon on May 19th, 2008)