Review DVD: Angels & Demons

Religion & Politics of Religion, Reviews (DVD Only)
Amazon Page
Amazon Page

5.0 out of 5 stars Surprised Me, Not a Typical Sequel

December 14, 2009

Tom Hanks, Ron Howard

Although I tend to shy away from sequels, I broke down and bought this at Giant to pass time away while completing a tediuous task. It was GREAT.

There is zero babe factor in this movie, which was a disappointment, it could have been scripted much more engagingly, but three things really blew me away throughout:

1) The staging or the access to ostensible Vatican inside and underground areas–presumably not actually within the Vatican, this was all done superbly

2) The twists and turns and the ending were great. I actually had tears of surprise at the end and will not spoil it.

3) Finally, Tom Hanks and the historical allusions still fascinate me. It would be great if history could be taught so ably, but more deeply and more thoroughly.

Absolutely recommended.

To browse all 86 of the DVDs that I recommend, visit Phi Beta Iota the Public Intelligence Blog, each links back to their respective Amazon page but only there can you see JUST my DVD reviews.  [Use Reviews (DVD Only) (86)]

Review DVD: The AMERICAN Ruling Class

5 Star, America (Founders, Current Situation), Banks, Fed, Money, & Concentrated Wealth, Congress (Failure, Reform), Culture, Research, Democracy, Economics, Executive (Partisan Failure, Reform), Justice (Failure, Reform), Leadership, Military & Pentagon Power, Peace, Poverty, & Middle Class, Reviews (DVD Only), Voices Lost (Indigenous, Gender, Poor, Marginalized)
Amazon Page
Amazon Page

5.0 out of 5 stars Truly Remarkable–Provokes & Entertains

December 10, 2009
Robert Altman, James Baker, Bill Bradley, Harold Brown, Hodding Carter, William Coleman, Walter Cronkite, Barabara Ehrenreich, Vartan Gregorian, Robert Hackney, Doug Henwood, Mike Dedavoy, Joseph Nye, Samuel Peabody, John Perkins, Pete Seeger, Lawrence Summers, Arthur Sulzberger, William Taft,  Kurt Vonnegut, Howard Zinn

This DVD is superb and also subversive. I doubt that the “stars” in this movie, particularly James Baker, Bill Bradley, Howard Brown, and Larry Summers, really knew what they were getting into, since their words–and their bland denials–ring so false in this context.

I put the film in while trying to deal with Microsoft's latest “update” that cost me half the morning, and I recommend it very strongly as a Christmas present or for classrooms and book clubs.

My notes:

+ A Peabody, whose ancestors came on “the boat” and also founded Groton, laments that whereas all the leaders used to pass through Groton, now there is no real “source.” I am reminded of Lee Iacocca's Where Have All the Leaders Gone?.

+ Hedge fund visits basically boils all ownership in America down to four banks, and later in the film we learn that six multinational control almost all “content.”

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Review (Guest) DVD: I.O.U.S.A. DVD on US Bankruptcy

5 Star, America (Founders, Current Situation), Banks, Fed, Money, & Concentrated Wealth, Complexity & Catastrophe, Congress (Failure, Reform), Country/Regional, Culture, Research, Democracy, Economics, Education (General), Executive (Partisan Failure, Reform), Impeachment & Treason, Intelligence (Public), Power (Pathologies & Utilization), Priorities, Public Administration, Reviews (DVD Only)
Amazon Page
Amazon Page

David Walker (Peter G. Peterson Foundation), Bob Bixby (Concord Coalition) Director: Patrick Creadon

Product Description: America is on the brink of a financial meltdown. I.O.U.S.A. boldly examines the rapidly growing national debt and its consequences for the United States. Burdened with an ever-expanding government and military, increased international competition, overextended entitlement programs, and debts to foreign countries that are becoming impossible to honor, America must mend its spendthrift ways or face an economic disaster of epic proportions.   Over 125 minutes of bonus materials, including exclusive interviews with Warren Buffett, Alan Greenspan and others.

Phi Beta Iota:  Walker was Comptroller General and briefed Senate in 2007 on bankruptcy.  He resigned in the 9th year of a 15 year term.  Peterson, his sponsor, is the author of Running on Empty–How the Democratic and Republican Parties Are Bankrupting Our Future and What Americans Can Do About I.

5 stars an outstanding and informative film, April 22, 2009

By Matthew G. Sherwin

I.O.U.S.A. educates people about the very real and very dangerous financial problems our government is facing. The producers of the film pull no punches here and they don't sugar-coat it; and that was the right thing to do. The way Americans live today is essentially “living for the moment” without thinking of the importance of saving money for a rainy day; and the film goes into great, great detail highlighting that the American government does the same. I will tell you just some of the points made by this movie; although it will seem as if I've given it all away I assure you that I haven't.
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Review DVD: The Ugly Truth

Reviews (DVD Only)

cover ugly truth

5.0 out of 5 stars Best Public Orgasm Acting; Best Pair Acting, Charming in Every War
October 31, 2009
This is one of four movies I caught to and from Europe. Of them all, this one was so charming that I watched it three times, the second two on background while reading.

Right up front, this movie makes movie history with best public orgasm acting, directing, and screenplay, but mostly acting. Phenomenal. It buries the previous champion (IMHO), Meg Ryan in When Harry Met Sally.

Katherine Heigl deserves a great deal more respect in billing. If she was the supporting actress then she's earned an Oscar in my view. I first encountered her in Love Comes Softly but not to remember as an actress. That DVD earned a very good review and for a Christian values film, was pretty phenomenal.

I have not seen any of her other movies, a few listed below that I might pick up, but I have the feeling she is ready to move out of the “chick flick” genre and up to the full enchilada.

Wish Upon a Star
Love's Enduring Promise
My Father the Hero with Gérard Depardieu
Side Effects
27 Dresses (Full Screen Edition)

Review DVD: Answer Man

Reviews (DVD Only)

Amazon Page
Amazon Page

5.0 out of 5 stars

Low-key, probing, phenomenal, a definite must see

October 31, 2009
Jeff Daniels, Lauren Graham
This is one of four films I caught on this last trip to Europe, so I am surprised it is listed as “pre-release” but glad that Amazon allows reviews.

This is a mix of low-key romance and deeper torment played without pathos.

Jeff Daniels is an author whose book about conversations with God is a national best seller to the point that he is tired of being mobbed and has become a recluse with severe back pain.

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Review DVD: The Proposal

Reviews (DVD Only)
Amazon Page
Amazon Page
5.0 out of 5 stars Not What I Expected and Glad to Watch on United
October 31, 2009
Sandra Bullock, Ryan Reynolds
I would not have selected this movie on my own, and that would have been my loss. On my way over to Europe it was the only one of the movies that was even passingly attractive, so I let it happen.

This is a fine romantic comedy. Sandra Bulluck is one of my favorite actresses and I end with some of the other moview I have really liked that feature her.

In a nut-shell, she plays a boss clearly related to Satan, and while Ryan Reynolds is her hapless assistant who becomes valuable when she suddenly needs a husband.

Betty White and Mary Steenburgen come into play at the very end of the movie.

Review DVD: State of Play

Media, Misinformation & Propaganda, Reviews (DVD Only)
Amazon Page
Amazon Page
5.0 out of 5 stars Heroism and Curiosty from Behind a Desk
October 31, 2009
Russell Crowe
This review is primarily for the folks that follow my stuff, which includes, apart from all the non-fiction books, great DVDs for serious people with little patience for most idiocy.

I watched this on a flight to Europe and it was fully satisfying.

In this genre see also:
Conspiracy Theory (Keepcase)
The Pelican Brief (Snap Case)