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MBreslau's reviews view profile

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Good story spoiled by over-enthusiastic editing  
on February 11, 2011 - 5:02 AM PST
  of NOVA: Solar Energy - Saved by the Sun (2007)

Well shot and well told, but the editors favored multiple jump cuts, blindingly fast zooms, excessively rapid pans, and other "Look at me, see what a great editor I am" techniques. My wife has trouble focusing on rapidly-changing scenes, and we both found this episode hard to watch.

Not that we didn't enjoy it, but how much fun is eyestrain anyway?
Dated and old-fashioned  
on January 17, 2011 - 5:54 AM PST
  of The George Burns and Gracie Allen Collection (Disc 1 of 5) (2003)

A mixed message on this one. My wife hated it and made me turn it off.
I reset my standards to 1948 and enjoyed it.

If you were born after 1960, you should probably skip this one...
Too funny/Not funny enough  
on January 1, 2011 - 6:08 AM PST
  of The Judi Dench Collection: Keep an Eye on Amélie/Make and Break (1973)

The first film looks glorious and detailed on my HD screen; the second movie looks like it was shot on a home-movie camera - it's soft-focus and has Kodachrome colors.

The first film, a farce, is so fast-paced and stylized (stage actor conventions and exaggerations) that I had trouble following it.

The second film felt like the middle third of a six-hour slice-of-life documentary. I could not understand why anyone bothered to film it.
Highly realistic and believable, I thought it was pointless.
You need a really good player to play this blu-rey disc  
on December 31, 2010 - 5:28 AM PST
  of Up (Blu-Ray) (2009)
0 out of 1 members found this review helpful

I have a good, but old blu-ray player (Samsung BDP-1400).
It wouldn't even play the movie when the disc first arrived.
So I updated the firmware from the 'net, and now I can play it,
but the picture often pixelated (particularly in the top half of the screen).

That said, the movie was one of the most moving films I have seen in a long time. The computer graphics were excellently done, the extras were enjoyable. I'm glad I updated the firmware.
It's different, but good  
on November 21, 2010 - 7:45 AM PST
  of Doki Doki School Hours: 1st Hour (2005)
0 out of 1 members found this review helpful

The teacher looks like she's 8 years old, but she's actually 27!
Hard to control the class when you look younger than them.
There are nine 'unusual' student in her class: a boy who loves another boy; a boy who loves himself; a girl who loves the teacher; a boy who looks and acts older than his years, and on and on.
The movie goes to great lengths to identify who is who, but with such a large ensemble I found it difficult to keep track.
Best advice: Don't try to understand it, just relax and let it wash over you.
Simple-minded fluff  
on November 19, 2010 - 5:17 AM PST
  of If I See You In My Dreams - OVA Series (2003)
0 out of 1 members found this review helpful

Why is it in all the 'harem' anime that the male protagonist has to be a hopeless, spineless, unlucky weenie? I for one am getting tired of this trope.

That gripe aside, the story seemed to be formulaic, simplified, and predictable.

My wife and I couldn't finish viewing this disc.

On the positive side, the art and music seem to be acceptably good.
Over the top & hectic  
on November 15, 2010 - 5:47 AM PST
  of Puni Puni Poemy (2004)
0 out of 1 members found this review helpful

This DVD is too far out, too frenetic, too fast-pased, and too incomprehensible for my wife to watch. I had trouble following it too.
We didn't finish watching.

The optional pig-latin subtitles were a cute touch, though.
on August 11, 2010 - 5:29 AM PDT
  of Flight of the Red Balloon (2007)

Having just seen the 1956 film, I was expecting (hoping for?) a touch of charm and magic. Instead I found 1 hour and 50 minutes of sad slice-of-life in contemporary Paris and less than four minutes total of a red balloon - and the balloon doesn't even interact with the boy! What a letdown.
It's good and well made  
on July 20, 2010 - 6:11 AM PDT
  of The Secret Life of Bees (2008)

Disclosure: This is not the sort of fare I would select for myself, but my wife wanted it.

Conclusion: We both enjoyed it, and I'm glad I rented it. The milieu and the characters are believably portrayed, and the film is quite moving.
Be sure to watch the extras.
Strangely enough, I like it  
on July 9, 2010 - 5:31 AM PDT
  of Princess Nine Vol. 4: Strike Zone (2001)

I don't like sports, or baseball in general. I don't like the art style in this series. Its target audience is young women, and I am on old man. Yet, oddly enough, I like this series very much. Why? because of the characters. It doesn't take long before you find yourself rooting for them to win.

Of course if you're a feminist you'll like it even more.
Watched it twice!  
on June 15, 2010 - 5:23 AM PDT
  of Paprika (2006)

Saw the movie. Watched the extras. Watched the movie again the next day. It's not only that good, it's that intricate. Rewarding!
well done, but not great  
on June 14, 2010 - 5:53 AM PDT
  of Body and Soul / Borderline (Criterion Collection) (1925)
2 out of 3 members found this review helpful

They did a great job of transferring 75-year-old material to DVD.
Putting Robeson into a black-and-whilte film is appropriate; putting him in a silent movie is a great waste.

In 'Body and Soul' Paul Robeson plays a sinful and dissolute preacher - a role he later renounced and repudiated. He also does a cameo as the preacher's honest and upright twin brother. This is a reasonably good film for its day and age.

'Borderline' is a different thing entirely. It's an experimental, arty, 'avant guard' film somewhat in the mold of 'Chien Andalou' but nearly devoid of dialog or discernable plot. If you like art-house films you'll probably appreciate this one - if not you'd be better off skipping it. One highlight: Robeson's wife appears in it.
on June 5, 2010 - 7:05 AM PDT
  of The Princess Diaries (2001)

The reviews indicated that this was not a very good movie.
I enjoyed it more than I had expected to.
Yes, it's simple, but it's quite well made.
The "deleted scenes" are fun to watch too.
A well-made, enjoyable film  
on May 15, 2010 - 1:48 PM PDT
  of The Man Who Loved Women (1977)
1 out of 1 members found this review helpful

Full disclosure: This is not the type of movie I normally enjoy.
Caution - subtitles in English and other languages, audio in French and Spanish only.
However, I enjoyed this film. The director and the actors did a wonderful job of bringing this story to life - and it's the first film I have seen featuring an Aeronautical Engineer as a protagonist.
Slow start, then quite funny  
on April 25, 2010 - 12:47 PM PDT
  of Zorro, The Gay Blade (1981)
1 out of 1 members found this review helpful

For the first half hour I couldn't figure out what I was watching.

Then it became clear that it was a comedy, not an adventure.

Its funny, but its not hilarious.
enjoyable, but not great...  
on April 17, 2010 - 6:31 AM PDT
  of Down to Earth (1947)
1 out of 1 members found this review helpful

I first saw this 50 years ago, and I enjoyed it then. Having just watched "Here Comes Mr. Jordan" and then viewed this film again only increased my pleasure - I now get all the in-jokes.

Having said that, this film is marked by utterly forgettable songs, cliche dances, and it needs more suspension-of-disbelief and most fantasies...

Transfer of an old movie to DVD was done quite competently

Bottom line: enjoyable, but not great.
Nicely remastered from 1941  
on April 11, 2010 - 12:28 PM PDT
  of Here Comes Mr. Jordan (1941)

The movie is based on a Broadway Play, "Heaven Can Wait". It is very cleverly constructed. The performers, especially the principals, do a good job of bringing the characters to life. I enjoyed the remake, so I wanted to see the original. Both are enjoyable.
Beautiful film  
on April 10, 2010 - 1:11 PM PDT
  of The Fox and the Child (2008)
1 out of 1 members found this review helpful

The plot has no surprises; it is very simple and charming.
However, the marvelous scenery and excellent photography would carry this film even without the girl...
What a waste of film!  
on April 2, 2010 - 5:10 AM PDT
  of Special (2005)

Who wants to spend 83 minutes watching a delusional loser get mocked and beaten? Our hero spends most of the film with blood on his face.
Low-budget movie with off-shade colors does not add visual appeal.
There are some good performances by supporting cast.
There may be an audience for this type of film, but I'm not in it.
Funnier than it has any right to be.  
on March 28, 2010 - 6:45 AM PDT
  of Silent Movie (1976)
2 out of 2 members found this review helpful

My wife and I may have missed some of the sight gags because we were laughing too hard! Mel Brooks at his best.
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