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Member's Reviews

Captain Corelli's Mandolin, a review by Rich


gorgeous hike across Kafalonia...



In keeping with Hollywood's time-honored tradition of turning celebrated novels into cinematic spectacles, director John Madden brings Louis de Berniere's acclaimed 1994 work, 'Captain Corelli's Mandolin', to life. Set on the Greek island of Cephalonia in 1940, the film tells the story of the beautiful Pelagia (Penelope Cruz), who lives with her father, Dr. Iannis (John Hurt) and is engaged to local fisherman, Mandras (Christian Bale). When Mandras leaves the island to fight for his country against the approaching German army, Pelagia is left behind to worry and wait for a letter, which never arrives. In the meantime, the Italian army occupies Cephalonia, and Pelagia and Dr. Iannis receive a new visitor into their home. Captain Antonio Corelli (Nicolas Cage), a romantic opera lover with a passion for playing the mandolin, annoys Pelagia with his free-spirited personality, but it is this charm that eventually wins her heart. Soon, the two are head-over-heels in love only for Mandras to return.

Contrary to my reluctance and hesitation in what I thought would be a soppy romance, I was pleasantly surprised by the action, plot culture, acting and the scenic backdrop which makes you ache to be back on a Greek Island with azure skies and crystal blue seas. Nicolas Cage, John Hurt (as always) and David Morrissey are all impressive. 7/10

(From Around the World in 80 DVD's on January 25th, 2008)

Member's Reviews

The Three Stooges Collection: 1934-1936, a review by Antares


The Three Stooges Collection: 1934-1936





Year: 1934
Film Studio: Columbia Pictures
Genre: Comedy, Classic
Length: 340 Min.


Stars
Moe Howard (1897) as Moe
Larry Fine (1902) as Larry
Curly Howard (1903) as Curly

Review
       Finally a DVD company has smartened up and listened to the general public. For years, the legions of Three Stooges fans around the world have been clamoring for the comedy shorts of their favorite bunch of knuckleheads to be released in chronological order. Up until now you had to either settle for public domain shorts that were in poor condition, or purchase DVD’s created by someone who thought it would be cheeky to group similar themes in the Stooges repertoire. Unfortunately, this would lead to unevenness in the quality of the performances of the trio. This has been the main reason why I have been such a steadfast hold out in purchasing anything by one of my favorite comedy teams. But finally, Sony has found a way to open my wallet and I must agree that I’m elated.
   
       The Three Stooges Collection: Volume One - 1934-1936 is a complete delight for any true comedy fan that is happily mired is what is known as Stoogemania. If you are unfamiliar with the Stooges, here’s a brief lesson. From 1934 until 1955, Moe, Curly and Shemp Howard, along with Larry Fine created some of the finest comedy shorts in film history for Columbia Pictures. The original lineup consisted of Moe, Shemp and Larry as the trio of lovable buffoons who were the butt of slapstick abuse from the leader of the team, Ted Healy. The group was featured in a few MGM films in the early thirties, but mostly as supporting comic relief. When Shemp decided to strike out on his own in 1932, his brother Jerome (Curly) took his place. Their big break came in 1934 when Columbia studios owner Harry Cohn signed them as an independent act, free of Ted Healy, whom MGM thought was the real star. Their first release was Woman Haters, which was completely done in song and barely resembles anything familiar to most fans. It was in their second feature, Punch Drunks that they began to hit their stride.  All of the comedic timing and roles are in place and from this point on, the Stooges never looked back. While Columbia was churning out Oscar winning films by Frank Capra, the Stooges shorts were the most profitable portion of Cohn’s film output, and would be so for many years.
   
       The first installment in this collection features 19 of the best comedy shorts that the Three Stooges created in the early years of their career. Hoi Polloi, Pardon My Scotch, Disorder in the Court and Three Little Beers are just a few of the classics that Sony has painstakingly re-mastered for this release. For years, fans have had to deal with DVD versions culled from the public domain or copied from VHS transfers, each of which were loaded with grain, splits and damage. Now, for the first time since their original film releases, they can be viewed in the almost pristine presentation that greeted moviegoers during the Depression. I urge anyone who loves the Stooges to rush out and buy this DVD set.


Review Criterion
5 Stars - The pinnacle of film perfection and excellence.
4 ½ Stars - Not quite an immortal film, yet a masterpiece in its own right.
4 Stars - Historically important film, considered a classic.
3 ½ Stars - An entertaining film that’s fun or engaging to watch.
3 Stars – A good film that’s worth a Netflix venture.
2 ½ Stars - Borderline viewable.
2 Stars – A bad film that may have a moment of interest.
1 ½ Stars – Insipid, trite and sophomoric, and that's its good points.
1 Star – A film so vacuous, it will suck 2 hours from the remainder of your life.
½ Star - A gangrenous and festering pustule in the chronicles of celluloid.

(From The Three Stooges Collection: 1934-1936 on May 2nd, 2010)

Member's TV Reviews

[Rerun Marathon] Spaced, a review by Tom


8/10

Another great episode. I found it as good as the first episode but not better (therefore "only" an eight)

(From [Rerun Marathon] Spaced on October 25th, 2007)