Movies on DVD 2006
 
 
 
Your only official source for information on Paul's Movies on DVD 2006.
 
 
We watched 17 movies in 2006.
 
 

The movie number refers to the number of movies watched since we bought our first DVD player in April 2000.

 
 
 
 

Links

 

The Movies

 
Scenes
 
 

Movies in 2000

Movies in 2001

Movies in 2002

Movies in 2003 (I)

Movies in 2003 (II)

Movies in 2004

Movies in 2005

Movies in 2008

 

Sunday, January 01, 2006
 
Gates of Heaven
 
What struck me most about this justly-renowned documentary is the way that it examines some of the ironies at the heart of the American Dream. The fellow who is totally committed to loving pets is a failure at caring for their bodies, but the family as equally committed to profit and business success actually does a better job at providing the spiritual comfort needed by the pet owners. The humor of the whole situation is important, but by the end it is only a minor element of the story. Focusing on the humor distracts from the fact that all of the people are earnestly searching for some kind of meaning in their lives.
 
Made in: 1980
Director: Errol Morris
Owned: Yes
Category: Documentary
Movie #810, #1 in 2006
Stars: 5

Monday, January 02, 2006
 
Finding Nemo
 
Hardly the first time I've watched this one, but it still has the ability to impress and amaze. The more I learn about animation and the difficulties of doing it on a computer, the more I am impressed by Pixar's work. The colors and the textures really stood out this time, as well as the usual awe at how well the fish express themselves. The movie is still a shade too long, and the jokes are now more impressive for how they work and are put together than they are funny in themselves. Each plot development seems ever less organic to the overall thrust of the movie, than just simply impressive as a stand alone bit. This is perhaps a bit hypercritical after a number of viewings. Don't get me wrong, there is still plenty here to enjoy.
 
Made in: 2003
Director: Andrew Stanton
Owned: Yes
Category: Animation, Adventure, Comedy, Drama, Family
Movie #811, #2 in 2006
Stars: 4

Wednesday, January 11, 2006
 
Masculin Feminin
 
The first Godard movie which I've been able to really connect with. It's got a life and energy to it, which transcends Godard's usual self-awareness, the self-awareness which I usually find so dull and solipsistic. Godard's in jokes also tend to date his movies pretty quickly. Luckily the energy here helps avoid that fate. The characters in this movie are trapped in the ideals and realities of their youth. They have no idea what they are doing, but are awfully earnest about it anyway. It's all got a charm and innocence to it which is quite amazing.
 
Made in: 1966
Director: Jean-Luc Godard
Owned: Yes
Category: Drama
Movie #812, #3 in 2006
Stars: 5

Thursday, January 26, 2006
 
The Office, Season 1
 
This, the original British version of the series, spares absolutely no one from its withering gaze. Ricky Gervais is absoutely brutal, as well as hilarious, in the way he destroys every possible element of bad office life. Part of the magic is how well all of the characters are balanced against eah other. Everyone gets equal time to unwittingly reveal their worst instincts and attitudes. Luckily the cast is all up to it as they fidget, bluff, and bluster their way through their daily chores. Pretty amazing stuff.
 
Made in: 2001
Director: Ricky Gervais, Stephen Merchant
Owned: No
Category: Comedy, Drama
Movie #813, #4 in 2006
Stars: 4

Saturday, February 04, 2006
 
Battlestar Galactica, Miniseries
 
The miniseries starts off quite slowly, building a whole network of characters that seem to be waiting around for somethig to happen. After several hours, it does. And it's bad. Once it gets off and running, this show is very, very good, asking all sorts of questions about humanity and its ability to deal with genuine crises including its own extinction.
 
Made in: 2003
Director: Michael Rymer
Owned: Yes
Category: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
Movie #814, #5 in 2006
Stars: 4

Saturday, March 04, 2006
 
Battlestar Galactica, Season 1
 
Although it still occaionally suffers from a lack of action, overall this is one amazing series. The themes are rich, especially in the King Lear-like question of what children--the Cylons--owe their parents--humanity. The series has done a nice job of humanizing everyone. There are few characters without noticeable, and extremely dangerous flaws. The son of Adama is perhaps the only one. This sometimes makes it frsutrating to watch, as obvious mistakes have to be addressed and resolved even in an obvious fashion. Overall, though, the show is realistic and gripping, even in its evocation of religious ideals and political struggles.
 
Made in: 2004
Director: Michael Rymer
Owned: Yes
Category: Action, Adventure, Drama, Sci-Fi
Movie #815, #6 in 2006
Stars: 5

Tuesday, March 14, 2006
 
Battlestar Galactica, Season 2
 
Coninuing in the same thrilling fashion as the first season, there is no let up in the quality of this series. In fact, things get a bit better as we discover that the Cylons have religious issues of their own. There is also the agonizing cliffhanger at the end where we wonder what will happen now that the Cylons have taken over.

A quick note: I haven't really watched these on DVD, but rather on my iPod. Nevertheless, it's been a digital delivery system and I think stays well within the spirit of the site.

 
Made in: 2005
Director: Michael Rymer
Owned: Yes
Category: Action, Adventure, Drama, Sci-Fi
Movie #816, #7 in 2006
Stars: 5

Saturday, March 18, 2006
 
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
 
The series continues to do a good job of capturing the major action of each book. As usual the best element of the movie are the supporting characters, who do a fantastic job of creating the many weird people who do so many weird things. Barty Crouch was a standout here. The movie has to do some necessary editing to the original story, but still does a pretty good job of showing the changes in the students, especially the growing tesnions among them as they begin to mature. In this one I also have to note the great effects work done in the dragon chase scene. It was very well done.
 
Made in: 2005
Director: Mike Newell
Owned: Yes
Category: Adventure, Fantasy, Mystery, Thriller
Movie #817, #8 in 2006
Stars: 3

Friday, April 28, 2006
 
The Office - Christmas Special
 
The final hurrah of the British version of the series. While it seems to have replaced the absoute venom in favor of spreading a little happiness among the characteres, there is still plenty of very funny stuff in these two episodes. It's good to see the result of Dawn's two relationships, but it's more heartwarming than laugh inducing. Very much worth watching though.
 
Made in: 2001
Director: Ricky Gervais, Stephen Merchant
Owned: No
Category: Comedy, Drama
Movie #818, #9 in 2006
Stars: 4

Saturday, September 02, 2006
 
Howl's Moving Castle
 
An absolutely amazing-looking film, that makes precious little sense. The colors and scope of what moves around on the screen is incredible. Unfortunately, the story just doesn't have the coherence or strength of Miyazaki's best work.

It's been a while since I watched a movie--even this one took more than a month to get all the way through. I haven't lost interest in this whole project, though. Just lots of other things going on.

 
Made in: 2004
Director: Hayao Miyazaki
Owned: Yes
Category: Animation, Adventure, Fantasy, Romance, Sci-Fi
Movie #819, #10 in 2006
Stars: 3

Tuesday, September 12, 2006
 
Jesus is Magic
 
Essentially a concert film, with a few interspersed musical bits and a tacked on beginning and ending. At it's best, the material is hilariously funny. All of it is consistently profane and offensive. Even so, the overall quality is quite good,although there are times when one wishes her considerable joke-telling skills were a little more family friendly. After the shock of many of the jokes, the real pleasure of this disk is watching Silverman's delivery and timing. Her control of her voice inflections and her facial expressions are consistently true to her material and really deepen the impact of the jokes. It is her delivery in fact, which I think makes this disk rewatchable even after the initial shock and humor of the jokes has worn off.
 
Made in: 2005
Director: Liam Lynch
Owned: Yes
Category: Comedy, Musical
Movie #820, #11 in 2006
Stars: 4

Thursday, September 14, 2006
 
Pennies From Heaven
 
When this movie came out I had a job in a movie theater and I must have watched parts of the movie dozens of times. It was always interesting to watch and the movie has been a favorite since then. Upon watching it again for the first time in many, many years, it remains really interesting and enjoyable. The story is absolutely first-rate (and definitely warrants watching the BBC source material) and the songs are as moving as ever. What also remains are the flaws. While the first half/two-thirds of the movie are great, the last bit drags a little and the dramatic tension just doesn't hold up. Jessica Harper is underused, as are most of the people in the movie. This is probably the result of forcing a much longer story into the shorter time of a theatrical movie, but it does have an impact. Also, Steve Martin is occasionally great and occasionally not so good. He seems to be struggling to consistently hit the right tone for each scene--and every so often his slapstick persona shines inappropriately through.

Even with that though, the pictures and the staging are fantastic. The recreation of the Hopper photos, if anything, are even more impressive now than when I first saw the movie.
 
Made in: 1981
Director: Herbert Ross
Owned: No
Category: Comedy, Drama, Musical, Romance
Movie #821, #12 in 2006
Stars: 4

Thursday, September 21, 2006
 
The Office, Second Series (UK version)
 
Not quite as hilariously funny as the first series, but still very, very good. The feeling that life is going to treat all of the office workers badly remains a constant as no one gets off the hook. What makes this series so special is not just the jokes, but the way the cast seems to work so perfectly together, playing off each other's deadpan lines and doubletakes. The acting is extraordinary.
 
Made in: 2002
Director: Ricky Gervais, Stephen Merchant
Owned: No
Category: Comedy, Drama
Movie #822, #13 in 2006
Stars: 4

Friday, October 06, 2006
 
La Dolce Vita
 
There was a really good comment in the Richard Shickel commentary that this movie had more in common with Michaelangelo Antonioni’s trilogy of despair (La’Aventura, Le’Eclisse, La Notte) than with either of Fellini’s own movies that preceded and succeeded this one. I think it’s true and I actually like the other movies better—Nights of Cabiria and 8-1/2. Antonioni does a better job of ennui than Fellini does. What Fellini has which is better than Antonioni is the sense of spectacle and the absurd. Jesus flying over the sunbathing women and the apparition scene are wonderful set pieces that are justly famous. Fellini also makes great use of his very wide frame, especially with a backdrop of Roman ruins. The fact that he can manage to move that wide angle view through all the people at the many parties in the movies is a real tribute to his skill. It reminded me a lot of High and Low, which is more formal, but no less impressive in its wide angle interiors.
 
Made in: 1960
Director: Federico Fellini
Owned: No
Category: Drama
Movie #823, #14 in 2006
Stars: 5

Friday, October 06, 2006
 
Six Feet Under:The Second Season, Disk One
 
At the start of the season we learn that the main character is himself dying of a brain tumor. All the characters seem to be coming to terms with their own personal problems. Rachel’s depression and self-absorbtion are not that interesting right now. Hopefully things will pick up a bit as we move deeper in the season.
 
Made in: 2002
Director: Alan Ball
Owned: No
Category: Comedy, Drama
Movie #824, #15 in 2006
Stars: 3

Friday, October 20, 2006
 
The Dreamers
 
It seems to be both a fond memory of youthful energy and exuberance as well as a sad portrait of the limitations and solipsism that youth can get caught in. The real depth of the ambivalence towards the sixties demonstrations and protests only comes at the end and really brings everything home. Bertolucci even seems highly ambivalent about cinephilia. It both brightens the trio's horizons, but in the end is so self-referencing that it almost leads to suicide.

The movie is beautifully shot as one would expect. The big surprise is the amazing soundtrack with great stuff from The Doors, Janis Joplin, and many others.
 
Made in: 2003
Director: Bernardo Bertolucci
Owned: No
Category: Drama
Movie #825, #16 in 2006
Stars: 4

Saturday, December 30, 2006
 
Cars
 
It's not bad, but it's just not all that good either. It is a bit too long, for a payoff that isn't really all that interesting. As they often are in Pixar movies, the little things are done extremely well, and in this case they are the best part of the movie. There are all sorts of little car and racing jokes in the movie, and the backgrounds and artwork is stupendous (and car-inspired). Yet, even with that it doesn't really grab one the way Pixar's better efforts have. I think part of the problem is with Owen Wilson--he's good at being a self-absorbed jerk, but as a voice, he doesn't quite cut it. Paul Newman as the old racing car, a joke in itself, is better, but he also doesn't have the same "voice presence" that was so evident in other Pixar characters. Certainly not bad to watch, but there is little reason to think that this one is worth as many repeated viewings as previous Pixar efforts have been.

A short note at the end of the year: this has been a spectacularly small year for watching DVDs. For whatever reason, I have not watched all that many, even given plenty of opportunities on airplanes on the way back and forth to Asia. I'm not quite sure why, although fatigue with many movies definitely was a factor. Having watched a fair share of bad movies, I don't feel in the mood to repeat the experience. Of course, many good, and great, ones remain to be watched, but the urgency of previous years has faded a bit. I did very much like watchng the several TV series that I mention below, and I've been watching other series on my iPod, which didn't seem to qualify for mentioning in this forum. However, "Battlestar Galactica", "The Office", and a couple of others have taken a lot of time that might have been spent watching a DVD. Watching those was hardly a loss, even if they aren't listed here. Each of those was great in its own way, and very enjoyable. Perhaps next year, similar efforts will merit a mention here.

 
Made in: 2006
Director: John Lasseter, Joe Ranft
Owned: Yes
Category: Animation, Comedy, Family, Sport
Movie #826, #17 in 2006
Stars: 3

Wednesday, December 31, 1969
 
 
 
Made in:
Director:
Owned: No
Category:
Movie #, #-809 in 2006
Stars:

Wednesday, December 31, 1969
 
 
 
Made in:
Director:
Owned: No
Category:
Movie #, #-809 in 2006
Stars:

Wednesday, December 31, 1969
 
 
 
Made in:
Director:
Owned: No
Category:
Movie #, #-809 in 2006
Stars:

Wednesday, December 31, 1969
 
 
 
Made in:
Director:
Owned: No
Category:
Movie #, #-809 in 2006
Stars:

Wednesday, December 31, 1969
 
 
 
Made in:
Director:
Owned: No
Category:
Movie #, #-809 in 2006
Stars:

Wednesday, December 31, 1969
 
 
 
Made in:
Director:
Owned: No
Category:
Movie #, #-809 in 2006
Stars:

Wednesday, December 31, 1969
 
 
 
Made in:
Director:
Owned: No
Category:
Movie #, #-809 in 2006
Stars:

Wednesday, December 31, 1969
 
 
 
Made in:
Director:
Owned: No
Category:
Movie #, #-809 in 2006
Stars:

Wednesday, December 31, 1969
 
 
 
Made in:
Director:
Owned: No
Category:
Movie #, #-809 in 2006
Stars: