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    $17.99 $14.95 list($29.99)
    1. The Incredibles (Widescreen 2-Disc
    $18.89 $15.65 list($26.98)
    2. Hotel Rwanda
    $20.99 $18.99 list($29.98)
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    20. Something's Gotta Give

    1. The Incredibles (Widescreen 2-Disc Collector's Edition)
    Director: Brad Bird
    list price: $29.99
    our price: $17.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00005JN4W
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 15
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com essential video

    After creating the last great traditionally animated film of the 20th century, The Iron Giant, filmmaker Brad Bird joined top-drawer studio Pixar to create this exciting, completely entertaining computer-animated film. Bird gives us a family of "supers," a brood of five with special powers desperately trying to fit in with the 9-to-5 suburban lifestyle. Of course, in a more innocent world, Bob and Helen Parr were superheroes, Mr. Incredible and Elastigirl. But blasted lawsuits and public disapproval forced them and other supers to go incognito, making it even tougher for their school-age kids, the shy Violet and the aptly named Dash. When a stranger named Mirage (voiced by Elizabeth Pena) secretly recruits Bob for a potential mission, the old glory days spin in his head, even if his body is a bit too plump for his old super suit.

    Bird has his cake and eats it, too. He and the Pixar wizards send up superhero and James Bond movies while delivering a thrilling, supercool action movie that rivals Spider-Man 2 for 2004's best onscreen thrills. While it's just as funny as the previous Pixar films, The Incredibles has a far wider-ranging emotional palette (it's Pixar's first PG film). Bird takes several jabs, including some juicy commentary on domestic life ("It's not graduation, he's moving from the fourth to fifth grade!").

    The animated Parrs look and act a bit like the actors portraying them, Craig T. Nelson and Holly Hunter. Samuel L. Jackson and Jason Lee also have a grand old time as, respectively, superhero Frozone and bad guy Syndrome. Nearly stealing the show is Bird himself, voicing the eccentric designer of superhero outfits ("No capes!"), Edna Mode.

    Nominated for four Oscars, The Incredibles won for Best Animated Film and, in an unprecedented win for non-live-action films, Sound Editing.

    The Presentation
    This two-disc set is (shall we say it?), incredible. The digital-to-digital transfer pops off the screen and the 5.1 Dolby sound will knock the socks off most systems. But like any superhero, it has an Achilles heel. This marks the first Pixar release that doesn't include both the widescreen and full-screen versions in the same DVD set, which was a great bargaining chip for those cinephiles who still want a full-frame presentation for other family members. With a 2.39:1 widescreen ratio (that's big black bars, folks, à la Dr. Zhivago), a few more viewers may decide to go with the full-frame presentation. Fortunately, Pixar reformats their full-frame presentation so the action remains in frame.

    The Extras
    The most-repeated segments will be the two animated shorts. Newly created for this DVD is the hilarious "Jack-Jack Attack," filling the gap in the film during which the Parr baby is left with the talkative babysitter, Kari. "Boundin'," which played in front of the film theatrically, was created by Pixar character designer Bud Luckey. This easygoing take on a dancing sheep gets better with multiple viewings (be sure to watch the featurette on the short).

    Brad Bird still sounds like a bit of an outsider in his commentary track, recorded before the movie opened. Pixar captain John Lasseter brought him in to shake things up, to make sure the wildly successful studio would not get complacent. And while Bird is certainly likable, he does not exude Lasseter's teddy-bear persona. As one animator states, "He's like strong coffee; I happen to like strong coffee." Besides a resilient stance to be the best, Bird threw in an amazing number of challenges, most of which go unnoticed unless you delve into the 70 minutes of making-of features plus two commentary tracks (Bird with producer John Walker, the other from a dozen animators). We hear about the numerous sets, why you go to "the Spaniards" if you're dealing with animation physics, costume problems (there's a reason why previous Pixar films dealt with single- or uncostumed characters), and horror stories about all that animated hair. Bird's commentary throws out too many names of the animators even after he warns himself not to do so, but it's a lively enough time. The animator commentary is of greatest interest to those interested in the occupation.

    There is a 30-minute segment on deleted scenes with temporary vocals and crude drawings, including a new opening (thankfully dropped). The "secret files" contain a "lost" animated short from the superheroes' glory days. This fake cartoon (Frozone and Mr. Incredible are teamed with a pink bunny) wears thin, but play it with the commentary track by the two superheroes and it's another sharp comedy sketch. There are also NSA "files" on the other superheroes alluded to in the film with dossiers and curiously fun sound bits. "Vowellet" is the only footage about the well-known cast (there aren't even any obligatory shots of the cast recording their lines). Author/cast member Sarah Vowell (NPR's This American Life) talks about her first foray into movie voice-overs--daughter Violet--and the unlikelihood of her being a superhero. The feature is unlike anything we've seen on a Disney or Pixar DVD extra, but who else would consider Abe Lincoln an action figure? --Doug Thomas

    More Incredibles at Amazon.com


    The Incredibles Toy Store

    CD Soundtrack

    The Art of The Incredibles Book

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    On VHS

    The Essential Guide Book

    The Pixar Feature Films

    • Toy Story, 1995
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    • The Incredibles, 2004

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    Also from Filmmaker Brad Bird


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    ... Read more

    Reviews (281)

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Incredibles
    Disney-Pixar's 2004 animated feature about a super hero and his family who come out of hiding to battle a new villain.Mr. Incredible and his wife Elastigirl live quiet normal lives as Bob and Helen Parr in suburbia under government supervision due to previous public lawsuits that put them and other superheroes out of business.All is not well though as their superhero instincts and talents clash with mundane work and little excitement.Elastigirl has managed to adapt, but Mr. Incredible discreetly moonlights with his pal Frozone on "bowling night" saving people from fires and knocking out common criminals.Mixed in this trial are the children Dash and Violet, confused about their inherited superpowers while trying to cope with the difficult social challenges at school.Lastly is Jack-Jack the baby brother who appears to have been spared of any super talents.

    Just when Mr. Incredible feels he has hit rock-bottom, he's hired by an apparent secret government organization to defeat a renegade robot at their base on a remote island.Mr. Incredible is successful and looks forward to more exciting assignments.It isn't long, however, before he finds out he's been duped into serving as a test bed for robots at the hands of Syndrome, an evil genius posing as a new superhero through clever gadgets.When Elastigirl learns of her husband's whereabouts, she heads out via jet to find out what's going on.Dash and Violet secretly follow their mom, and through a series of events, all find themselves battling Syndrome and his army of bad guys and robots.

    This is a gem of an animated feature.While Pixar has ratcheted another progressive advance in animation, the characters and the story are terrific and not overshadowed by the techno-visual display.Dash and Violet are a joy to watch as they learn how to use their superpowers in the fight against evil, especially Dash's chase sequence when he's pursued bybad guys flying saucer hovercraft.Mr. Incredible and Elastigirl sorting out their family problems in the midst of this excitement are humorous and all the actors who voice the characters could not have done better.And not to be forgotten, Jack-Jack reveals his special powers near the conclusion of this feature.

    Obviously the ending of this movie leaves options open for a sequel, and while this looks like a promising proposition, Pixar will have to work hard to compliment this feature successfully.

    5-0 out of 5 stars More For Adults?
    This is a great movie for families, very funny and enjoyable to watch. Many of the themes will go over the head of younger children, more so than in most animated movies.But it's more fun for adults than most, and kids will still really enjoy it.I was pleasntly surprised by this movie, and would highly recommend it.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Not as good as Finding Nemo
    Genre: Computer-Animated, Comedy

    Genre Grade: A

    Final Grade: A-

    This was a great addition to Pixar's wonderful collection of films. While I believe Finding Nemo and even Toy Story were better than this movie, it still had some hilarious moments and great characters, namely Holly Hunter. I will say, however, that this is the most stunning computer animated movie I've ever seen. It's INCREDIBLE! Hahaha, sorry. I would have liked to have seen Samuel Jackson in more of the movie, and I think they could have made their characters a bit more quirky, honestly. Why was Finding Nemo so good? Because of a little fish named Dori. One character can make a movie (Toy Story hada number of them that made it), and I guess to me, this movie was just lacking in any incredible characters. Still great though!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Could not stop watching it over and over again
    I have always been impressed with Steve Jobs and Pixar's work but this is the first time I was just blown away by what I took in with the multi viewing of The Incredibles. I didn't see this picture in the movies when it was released. I rented with a mail order online store. This movie was awe inspiring from begining to end. From its throw back look and feel to its technologically fantastic special effects. It brought me back to a time when having a super hero on your wall in your room meant something. I was never a big fan of comic book hero's but I would have loved to see The Incredibles in comic book form back in my younger days. As a african american male I was deeply touched by the movie having an african american super hero. One that didn't die in the begining of the film but really had an impact to the whole story line. I also enjoyed the fact that it depicted flawed super hero's that were not perfect and made mistakes. They seemed so real to life and genuine in all the things that happened to them. I only own one other Pixar movie Finding Nemo but this one hands down is my ultimate favorite yet. I do hope Pixar continues in this series for I am looking forward to the Incredibles 2.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Not just a "kid movie"
    Some people love animation and some people could do without it. I'm addressing this review to the second group of people whom I urge to watch this for a number of reasons.

    First, the characters. I guarantee that most people will forget this is animated for large stretches because of how interesting the characters are AND how well they are developed. Two methods are used to accomplish this brilliantly. One is the great interplay and dialogue which is typically confrontational between close friends and family members as well as between the heroes and villians. Another is the "historical backdrop" provided at the beginning of the movie where the heroes are shown "back in the day" before the primary plot conflict begins. This, I believe, is key to the success of every great story from "Lord of the Rings" to "Star Wars (IV,V,VI)" to "Harry Potter".

    Secondly, the plot is superior among animated movies. I admit I liked "Toy Story I & II" as well as great Japanese stuff like "Spirited Away", but although they are spectactularly animated they're still kid movies. This flick has a great complex superhero plot which has several great surprises and twists and isn't revealed to the audience all at once. The suspense continues until the very end which ends on an uplifting family note and ties off all the subplots for each character beautifully.

    Lastly, the comedic aspect is superb. From the strained family relationships stemming from the inability to use their super-powers to the "ever had one of those days?" theme this movie will draw in even those most critical of this budding genre of computer-aided animation by, once again, the film's ability to suspend the audience's realization that these aren't "real people". The overcoming of personal obstacles which characterizes the best of superhero movies is front and center in this movie, but unlike Batman and Spiderman, the family aspect gives the movie a kind of "everyman" applicability that the average film-goer will appreciate. ... Read more


    2. Hotel Rwanda
    Director: Terry George
    list price: $26.98
    our price: $18.89
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0007R4T3U
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 34
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Amazon.com

    Solidly built around a subtle yet commanding performance by Don Cheadle, Hotel Rwanda emerged as one of the most highly-praised dramas of 2004. In a role that demands his quietly riveting presence in nearly every scene, Cheadle plays real-life hero Paul Rusesabagina, a hotel manager in the Rwandan capital of Kigali who in 1994 saved 1,200 Rwandan "guests" from certain death during the genocidal clash between tribal Hutus, who slaughtered a million victims, and the horrified Tutsis, who found safe haven or died. Giving his best performance since his breakthrough role in Devil in a Blue Dress, Cheadle plays Rusesabagina as he really was during the ensuing chaos: "an expert in situational ethics" (as described by critic Roger Ebert), doing what he morally had to do, at great risk and potential sacrifice, with an understanding that wartime negotiations are largely a game of subterfuge, cooperation, and clever bribery. Aided by a United Nations official (Nick Nolte), he worked a saintly miracle, and director Terry George (Some Mother's Son) brings formidable social conscience to bear on a true story you won't soon forget. --Jeff Shannon ... Read more

    Reviews (146)

    5-0 out of 5 stars OPEN YOUR EYES - see it
    In 1994 a mass genocide took place in an African country called Rwanda. Have you not heard of this tragedy or have you CHOSEN to turn the other cheek? Now, let us break down the word genocide, the Merriam-Webster dictionary defines genocide as "the deliberate and systematic destruction of a racial, political, or cultural group." Does Hitler pop into your mind? Well, less then ten years ago (in your lifetime) this event happened. The movie Hotel Rwanda is an excellent portrayal of the absolute devastation that took place. Millions of Rwanda natives were killed in this mass genocide. Don Cheadle gives an astonishing portrayal of Paul Rusesagagina a savior for thousands caught up in the madness occurring right outside the gates of the Hotel Mille Collines. "When the world closed its eyes, he opened his arms," a tagline that fits oh so well into the heartfelt movie that puts you right into the conflict. Perhaps you did not care to pay attention in 1994 when the conflict fully unraveled, but see this movie and you may change your thoughts about looking at the horrors occurring abroad within our own small world.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A horrifying, eye-opening, yet uplifting and inspiring film.
    One of the most intensive killing campaigns in human history was conducted in the tiny Central African country of Rwanda in 1994. The brutal ethnic conflict between the Tutsis and the Hutus, which exploded into mass murder that year, have origins which go back to Belgium's colonial rule, where the minority Tutsis were favored, thus exacerbating differences between the two tribes.

    In April 1994, the plane carrying Rwandan President Juvenal Habyarimana was shot down. This event was the last straw which, after years of strife, triggered the tragic and brutal genocide. Extremist Hutu militia, aided by the Rwandan army, launched systematic massacres against Tutsis almost immediately after the plane crash. Despite reports of mass killings, most of the world turned a blind eye to the people of Rwanda. The UN failed to take immediate action to stop the bloody genocide, due to opposition from France and the US. Militiamen broke into supposedly sacrosanct Red Cross ambulances and hospitals searching for victims. Around 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus were killed within 100 days, and over three million people fled to neighboring countries.

    Terry George's "Hotel Rwanda" is a gritty, realistic depiction of this terrible tragedy. The storyline is based on the true life activities of a single, man whose goal was to save as many people as humanly possible. Don Cheadle plays Paul Rusesabagina, a Rwandan who formerly managed the Milles Collines, a Belgian-owned luxury hotel in the capital city of Kigali. When Hutu extremists begin to slaughter members of the minority Tutsi tribe, Rusesabagina, who has been working as a diplomat, returns to the hotel and does everything in his power to save his family, friends, then orphans, and ultimately strangers. He uses the 4 Star facility as a refuge for as many as the walls will hold, and then some. The film follows Rusesabagina, through his real life drama, as he wheels, deals, finagles and barters for seemingly every single human life he touches. A Huti married to a Tutsi, Paul qualifies as a target for both factions. His story is that of an ordinary man who rises-up, courageously, to defy death in the name of his fellow man. "Paul Rusesabagina saved the lives of 1,268 Africans by standing with them at Hotel Rwanda."

    The almost nonstop fear, suspense and sense of anxiety which permeate this film are due, in part, to Mr. Cheadle's extraordinarily believable performance, and in part, because Director George so clearly conveys here the chilling reality of recent history. George, who co-wrote the script with Keir Pearson, was assisted in his work by the actual Paul Rusesabagina and by eye witnesses to the events.

    The supporting cast is excellent and features: Sophie Okonedo, who gives an outstanding performance as Tatiana, Rusesabagina's wife; Joaquin Phoenix as Jack, an American news reporter; and Nick Nolte as the indefatigable UN Colonel Oliver, who tries against all odds to keep the peace.

    Man's wont to commit genocide, in the 20th century alone, makes a somber, shameful statement about the human race. Watching "Hotel Rwanda" does take an emotional toll. It is a powerful, disturbing, educationally eye-opening experience. There are some extremely unsettling images, as when Rusesabagina and a co-worker get out of their vehicle on a foggy morning, just after dawn, to inspect the road for obstructions. They find it littered with corpses, as far as the eye can see. I found myself sobbing more than once. Do not let this deter you, however. This is a brilliant movie with some incredibly uplifting and inspiring moments. "Hotel Rwanda" is a must see film about a period in recent history when most of us were too busy going about our lives to pay much attention to what was going on a small world away.
    JANA

    5-0 out of 5 stars Too powerful to be described by mere words
    "The Kite Runner" may be the best book I have read in recent history, and without a doubt, "Hotel Rwanda" wins the corresponding prize for movies.Unable to believe the senseless violence and slaughter of innocents, my eyes opened wider and wider as the movie progressed, until at some point, the tears could not be held back any longer.

    Don Cheadle aces a career making role as Paul Rusesabagina, the quiet, understated hotel manager of a five star hotel in Kigali, Rwanda, who breaks every rule in the management book to protect not only the hotel guests, but refugees from both sides of the genocide that rocked Rwanda in 1994, while the rest of the world looked the other way.

    A Hutu by birth and passport stamp, Paul is married to a Tutsi woman (Sophie Okonedo, whose voice changes drastically in octave as the role demands), and by this distinction, his children are also Tutsi, and therefore branded as cockroaches to be exterminated.

    Because of his position and well-placed contacts, Rusesabagina is able to cling tenuously to his little safe house, putting up a brave front for the 1200 people he is sheltering from the Hutu tribal forces.When he finds out that the UN peacekeepers cannot help them, and that the rest of the world doesn't want to know about African problems, he resorts to the local language, securing protection by whatever means necessary from the authorities, led by General Bizimungu, who has a weakness for Scottish water of life, foreign currency and self preservation.Being only human, and in a crisis situation, he makes crucial errors in judgment, but by his conviction he manages to hold it all together for as long as necessary.

    There are too many powerful scenes to describe, and you have to watch the movie to fully appreciate the horror.There are no gory images as in "Saving Private Ryan" or "Blade", but the Director manages to effectively portray the despair and mass killings without being offensively graphic or crude.One of the most heart rending scenes takes place on a road in the early morning fog, and this is the final straw that rips through Rusesabagina's brittle façade of being in control.

    Joaquin Phoenix (you know I have to mention him), in a small role as a cameraman sums it up best when he said "I've never been so ashamed."

    This one is a must see.

    Amanda Richards, May 23, 2005

    5-0 out of 5 stars Everyone bailed, Anarchy reigned, and 1 MILLION DIED!
    Whoah.
    I was a freshman in college in 1994, and all I remember are bleeps on the news about Rwanda.Maybe I was like the rest of the world, and just wasn't paying attention enough.

    This movie is about the modern day holocaust.A movie about people being killed for no reason, other than a cosmetic attachment of how certain people are labeled via "tribe name" by how wide their noses are and how tall they are.A movie about a man who risked his life again and again, playing games, telling white lies, and doing everything he could to ensure the safety of some 1200 people inside a nice hotel in the Rwanda.

    What grabs you about this film as well, is the documentary.At first I was angered when I found out that NOONE, not a single nation, did a damn thing to stop it.Then I was even more outraged when it showed that the French military that were at one of the killing sites actually dug the holes to bury the 45,000 dead.That very same 45,000 had fled to that spot because they thought the French would help them.

    Why is it we are in the 21st century but this kind of horrible thing still happens?It's minds boggling, sad, atrocious, and horrifying.

    I can't tell you how much this movie could move you, and like the American press reporter played by Jaqioun (sp) Phoenix said:
    "I've never been...so ASHAMED!"Nick Nolte does an excellent job playing a UN field commander who's hands are tied.Yes this movie show's that the UN, like in BLACK HAWK DOWN, really didn't accomplish anything.Like Nolte's character exclaims; "We're peace keepers, not peace makers".Of course that was right when they were getting all of the "white people" out to head to the airport and basically save them before the slaughtering came their way.

    Okay I know I could go on and on...but watch this movie.Watch it with family..well not little kids it's a bit graphic of course.But watch it with your loved one.Hold them close.Talk about what you think brings people to be ignorant and hateful, what mistakes were made, and how it could be prevented in the future.If more people did this, perhaps we could stop the genocide that is happening around the world today.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Five stars, this one . . .
    What can an ordinary Rwandan hotel manager possibly do?

    Plenty, as it turns out. Paul is a Hutu, but his wife, Tatiana (Sophie Okonedo), is a Tutsi, and so, by default, are their children. He is driven by a primal need to save his own family, but as the slaughter continues, more and more friends and neighbors beg him for help.

    By the end, Paul shelters 1,200 people in his hotel, saving them from certain death by doing what he always has done: bribing and cajoling the Hutu powers, calling in favors, lying and outsmarting his foes.

    He is the Oskar Schindler of Rwanda, a man who becomes a hero by chance and circumstance, using qualities not generally considered heroic. He's no Rambo: He's scared, and conflicted, and full of doubts. Throughout the film, you can see he'd rather just save his family and not have to shoulder this burden of heroism.

    Director Terry George (SOME MOTHER'S SON) knows not to get in the way of this harrowing story, which Rusesabagina himself insisted on telling straight, without movie-ish embellishment. It's all true and, given the context, remarkably subtle. (George earned the PG-13 rating by only suggesting the terrible violence, not showing it.)

    Still, as the tension builds you can't help but feel you're watching the heir to a classic Western -- perhaps the "High Noon" of modern times, or SHANE -- as this one man steps up to save the town from the marauding bad guys. Of course, he doesn't save the entire town. As with SCHINDLER'S LIST, you're left with the grim knowledge that the people Rusesabagina saved were but a tiny percentage of those who were killed. The triumph comes tempered by the greater tragedy. ... Read more


    3. What the Bleep Do We Know!?
    Director: Betsy Chasse, Mark Vicente, William Arntz
    list price: $29.98
    our price: $20.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0006UEVQ8
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 9
    Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    The unlikeliest cult hit of 2004 was What the (Bleep) Do We Know?, a lecture on mysticism and science mixed into a sort-of narrative. Marlee Matlin stars in the dramatic thread, about a sourpuss photographer who begins to question her perceptions. Interviews with quantum physics experts and New Age authors are cut into this story, offering a vaguely convincing (and certainly mind-provoking) theory about... well, actually, it sounds a lot like the Power of Positive Thinking, when you get down to it. Talking heads (not identified until film's end) includeJZ Knight, who appears in the movie channeling Ramtha, the ancient sage she claims communicates through her (other speakers are also associated with Knight's organization). What she says actually makes pretty good common sense--Ramtha's wiggier notions are not included--and would be easy to accept were it not being credited to a 35,000-year-old mystic from Atlantis. --Robert Horton ... Read more

    Reviews (314)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Open your mind to the possibility...
    ...that you may not know everything about life and the world around us...

    ...that there may be a different way of looking at things, a different perspective, which will transform your life into something much easier, different, and better...

    ... That there may be a bit of information which you do not possess -- one so simple that it can be conveyed to you by a silly little movie starring marlie matlin -- which you can watch on your very own dvd player in the privacy of your bedroom...

    This is that movie, that moment, and that possibility. This movie can open your eyes to a new way of living. And it will, if you open your mind to that possibility. It will do to your metaphysical existence what the dvd "NEW SEX NOW" will do to your sexuality -- deliver you to a realm of existence which you never knew existed, but which is beyond your wildest dreams.

    It is shocking to me that life can become so different because of my interaction with the internet; ordering a couple of DVDs from Amazon has changed me so completely, I am amazed.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Revolutionaryand Inspirational!
    What the Bleep is an extraordinary film that takes you to the outer reaches of consciousness.It is mind-blowing in its clear presentation of the true nature of reality from both the point of view of physics and the mind: believing is seeing. The movie teaches while it entertains--the bottom line is that the observer and the observed are inextricably entertwined.This holds true in all relationships, including the thorniest relationship of all: love.

    The movie, along with Dr. Emoto's startling work with water (which is in the movie) were so powerful for me that I featured them both in Opening Love's Door, my novel that deals with the nature of self-created romantic and spiritual love.

    Definitely buy this movie.You will come away with new energy to design and create your own life.

    3-0 out of 5 stars What the Bleep Do THEY Know?
    This film, What The Bleep Do We Know, had some interesting concepts and a good premise. It could have been done so eloquently, and yet could have is the opperative word here. Being somewhat versed in quantum theory, I understood some of what was being discussed. However, much of the discussion pertained to elementary concepts and not all of these concepts were presented accurately. It was somewhat "dumbed down" and lacked scientific truth. The "scientists" appeared to be reading off of a contrived script and were not very intelligently arguing the points. This movie raised some interesting and intriguing questions but the theological questioning of god and religion was very biased and had no scientific evidence. Much of the movie misused scientific thought and tried to make it malliable to the presenters view points. Apparently the rabbit hole only skimmed the surface and was ill-constructed...The movie could have been great...But I was fairly disappointed...What the bleep do they know?

    1-0 out of 5 stars Mediocre at its best
    If you were hoping form some form of a thought provoking idea here and there about life, preception and the brain function this movie might give a glips of that.However it is not even half as good as I expected it to be and certainly poses no real intelectual, spritual or factual revelations worth making this a worthwhile documentary. The production is mediocre, the theme is noble, but the logical flow and conclusive reasoning behind it is loaded with philosophical and religous falicies and rediculous claims. What is worse is that the interviews with some of the scientists even though start out as interesting (as they introduce certain facts about the brain and perception as it relates to the physical realty around us) but as it turns out all this leads to the puffing up of intelectual egotism of the scientists in bringing forth their foolish beleives and conclusions about life, theology and the meaning behind their existence. It is the formulation of propostrous conclusions about life, religion, existence and reality that go WAY beyond the scope of the facts at hand that really got to me. The heart of this movie is an empty shell of questions that are healthy to ask but certainly not healhty to try to answer to an already confused world. I say skip it and read about quantum physics and the neurology of the brain in NON lamens terms and form your own conclusions.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Couldn't get past the first 10 minutes!
    i rented this movie because i thought it was going to be a thought-provoking flick. Something different, you know? They call it 'A Sleeper Hit'. Well, i was almost a sleeper after the first 10 minutes of the repetative phrase "Quantum Physics". if i wanted that kind of thought-provoking material, i would go back to school. i don't see what everyone is raving about. Worst waste of my money. ... Read more


    4. Kinsey (Two-Disc Special Edition)
    Director: Bill Condon
    list price: $34.98
    our price: $24.49
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0007PALGQ
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 85
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    One of the best films of 2004, Kinsey pays tribute to the flawed but honorable man who revolutionized our understanding of human sexuality. As played by Liam Neeson in writer-director Bill Condon's excellent film biography, Indiana University researcher Alfred Kinsey was so consumed by statistical measurements of human sexual activity that he almost completely overlooked the substantial role of emotions and their effect on human behavior. This made him an ideal researcher and science celebrity who revealed that sexual behaviors previously considered deviant and even harmful (homosexuality, oral sex, etc.) are in fact common and essentially normal in the realm of human experience, but whose obsession with scientific method frequently placed him at odds with his understanding wife (superbly played by Laura Linney) and research assistants. In presenting Kinsey as a driven social misfit, Condon's film gives Neeson one of his finest roles while revealing the depth of Kinsey's own humanity, and the incalculable benefit his research had on our collective sexual enlightenment. With humor, charm, and intelligence, Kinsey shines a light where darkness once prevailed. --Jeff Shannon ... Read more

    Reviews (66)

    2-0 out of 5 stars Pretentious Attempt
    In retrospection, Kinsey is over-rated. It rides on the 21st century's fetish of sexuality and pretends to be another "Beautiful Mind" but fails and flops. It is one of those pretentious artistic attempt.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Truth or Perversity?
    This became more and more difficult to watch as the movie went along.A selected biography in the style of Ray or Delovely, but quite a different choice of subject matter.

    Kinsey's father set the tone of Kinsey's own life, with a certainty that becomes obnoxious.The certainty that he knows what the answer is, in this case to the issues of human sexuality and its associated ignorance and taboos, and as with all people who think they know, there is a fall.At the time that Kinsey was achieving his fame there were restrictions on the entire subject of sex practices and sex mores.It stands to reason that the only people who were working in this area were strange themselves, or at least unconventional.That's where I had difficulty.Were Kinsey and his associates really as perverse as they appeared in the movie?Or were their banter and actions exaggerated for the sake of a good story.

    I found no sympathy for Kinsey nor for anyone else in the movie.And some of the conclusions that they reached seem so counter-intuitive that they defy belief.I didn't know whether they were trying to find truth or to present perversity.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Potent Film with Certain Foundation for Heated Debate...
    Galileo Galilei and scientists alike announced through in-depth research that the Earth was not flat and faced heavy persecution.Their different thinking broke the standards of the 16th century pious beliefs, which had been used a long time before scientists questioned the validity and reliability in what they observed.This offended the Catholic Church who proclaimed that they held the highest truth, a truth deeply rooted in unquestioned morality.The questioning of the religious beliefs triggered a witch-hunt of the scientists that disagreed with the moral teachings of the Catholic Church.However, the truth eventually emerged, as Galileo's theories are still the instruments of current astronomical research that continues to evolve the human existence beyond the earth.

    The Catholic Church and Lutheran Church persecuted people with different ideas of Christianity.Those who desired to exercise their own freedom of religion sought refuge in America where they could exercise their freedom to express their own ideas of religion.After the War of Independence, the founding fathers formed the Congress that drafted the 10 amendments.The first amendment brings the people freedom of speech, which includes religion.However, the very same ideas that sought freedom in America later turned from being the persecuted to the persecutor, as these notions harassed new different thinkers.The notion of cyclical history comes to mind when scientists like Alfred Kinsey are being silenced based on morality and unfounded facts.

    Kinsey (Liam Neeson), a biologist, was brought up under strict puritan rules, as his father consistently proclaimed being the ultimate source of knowledge.In a sense he grew up with similar persecuting standards as Galileo, but instead of conforming to the rules he broke the bond with his father when he accepted a partial scholarship to Bowdoin to study biology.Kinsey's father wanted him to become an engineer, which has a certain level of irony to it, as his father believed that all modern inventions at the beginning of the 20th century were evil.The pursuit of the biology degree brought him through Harvard to Indiana University where he took a position as an assistant professor while studying stag beetles and later the American Cynipidae also known as the gall wasp.

    Years of research and collecting the American Cynipidae allowed Kinsey to meticulously catalogue his gall wasp library.During this time Kinsey met his wife Clara (Laura Linney) with whom he had three children.However, before having the children they had difficulties in the bedroom, as Clara assumed it was because they physically would not fit together.This was an unacceptable answer for Kinsey who approached the problem, as if there were an answer, which there was.It simply was painful for Clara to have sex as her hymen was too thick, and with a quick procedure by a doctor she had this fixed.Consequently, Kinsey continued to help other couples with problems of sexual nature, but realized that he did not have any real answers to the questions that were posed to him.

    In the 1940s, Kinsey got his chance to do teach a marriage course in regards to sex and the social aspects of sex between husbands and wives.As the class went on his interest deepened through the vast number of questions people asked in regards to sex.This concluded in Kinsey beginning to research the taboo ridden topic, which so many have been taught to avoid at all costs except for the purpose of having children.Kinsey opposed the abstinence with his statement, "society has interfered with what should be a normal biological development..."

    The sex research forced Kinsey to travel uncharted waters, as he had to find a way to collect data that were valid and reliable.Through this process he design an interview style that had to be nonjudgmental in order for the interviewee to reveal everything without having to feel any negative feelings.This process gave them surprising facts about sex, as they also encountered homosexuality, extramarital affairs, and premarital affairs.They also found evidence of deviant sexual practices, which most of the society rightfully did not tolerate such as pedophilia.An important note to this is that Kinsey was only collecting data, he did not advocate harmful sexual practices.However, in the eyes of the society Kinsey was in the end drawn into the mud, as much of his intentions was misunderstood.

    Nonetheless, Kinsey helped breaking the ice of the forbidden issue that in the end opened up the society to understanding this hushed, but normal behavior.If Kinsey did not push the envelope the society might have continued its intolerance towards sexual issues, an intolerance that would force many to hide their true identity in the fear of repercussions and prejudice based on hatred and fear.For example, John Edgar Hoover created a profiling center for homosexuals and other undesirables.The very same intolerance would function as a shield that would have protected many of the Catholic priests that have been uncovered to molest children.It is thanks to Kinsey and researchers alike that it has become acceptable to discuss this taboo topic in media, where horrendous crimes such as child molesting can be caught.Yet, there are still many who believe that Kinsey was wrong to do what he did, and they are naturally free to have their own opinions.As they should let the truth be unveiled from darkness and not let erotophobia, i.e., learned negative emotional response to information of sexual nature, affect any decision-making that could help human beings discover a better future.

    Kinsey is a political and potent film that will undoubtedly make many feel awkward and uncomfortable.Yet, it is also an important film, as it displays the importance of learning the truth and not hiding behind groundless rules and laws based on fictionalized morality.The film also has historical value to our contemporary society where many laws often are passed based on morality, which ends up hurting a fraction of the society and slows the progress of humanity.When this happens, history seems to be have drifted into oblivion as prejudice and intolerance continues to haunt the society.Hopefully, the film Kinsey offers an opportunity for debate and insightfulness, and not continued narrow-mindedness.

    5-0 out of 5 stars On balance, a positive contribution to human understanding
    Alfred Kinsey did a great service to the study of sex.Yes, some of his methodologies were suspect, "self-selection" throwing a monkey-wrench in the whole randomization requirement.His subjects were perhaps not the most representative sampling of the population.Furthermore, he and his staff became too personally involved in the work.His assistants comprised a sort of swinger's club.Kinsey could be faulted for not having anticipated the conflicts brought about by such activities among colleagues.

    Unfortunately, these aspects of his life and the film will obscure - for many - the more significant meaning of his work: Bringing the discussion of sex out of the dark corners of human consciousness and into the light.Also, by removing the shame factor from sex, a natural healthy aspect of the human animal, Kinsey legitimized the scientific study of sex.

    As far as the film per se, I was impressed with the honesty of the piece.Contrary to what some reviewers have said, this film does not make Kinsey a hero.It rightly credits him for his work, yet reveals a conflicted, troubled psyche at the same time as Kinsey tries to navigate the line between his objective scientific observation and his subjective sexual experiences.This blurring is where Kinsey erred.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Interesting insight into groundbreaking study
    Alfred Kinsey was a pioneer in the study of human sexuality. He was a professor at Indiana University and spent the first 20 years of his career studying an insect, the "gall wasp." This movie, starring Liam Neeson in the title role, depicts Dr. Kinsey as having an obsession with his study of the gall wasp, collecting hundreds of thousands of specimens and devoting his life to studying this species. Tapped to teach a course on marriage and the family, Kinsey developed an interest in human sexuality and he bacame as obsessive in this study as he was in his earlier endeavor. He was driven and pushed his staff hard. He employed interviewers who spoke with thousands of people in taking sexual histories. Kinsey was very hands on as he personally instructed his staff on how to put subjects at ease as they conducted the interviews.

    Dr. Kinsey was the son of a morally strict father, convincingly played by John Lithgow. Neeson's depecition of Dr. Kinsey shows the results of this upbringing. His characterization of Kinsey comes across as very stiff and uptight. He is not one to really let his hair down yet, in his groundbreaking study, there is no taboo that he is unwilling to explore. Indeed, he explores his own sexuality as he has an extramarital gay affair. Despite serious misgivings at first, his wife, played by Laura Linney, is accepting.

    The studies were very controversial, having been done in the 1940s, long before the "sexual revolution." Some people found his findings to be very liberating in that they discovered that they were not alone in their sexual feelings. Other people were shocked, believing that the subject was taboo and should not be discussed. There is one brief scene in which a woman, who agonized over her lesbian inclinations, was liberated by Dr. Kinsey's findings and, thereby allowed herself to enter into a relationship. Others, including Kinsey's father, were scandalized. Ultimately, however, Kinsey's father allows himself to be interviewed by his son and reveals his own, painful secrets of a repressed childhood.

    We live in a more sexually open era than we did, generations ago. This movie gives an insight into one of the reasons this is so. I recommend this dvd. ... Read more


    5. Star Wars - Episode I, The Phantom Menace (Widescreen Edition)
    Director: George Lucas
    list price: $29.98
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00003CX5P
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 1439
    Average Customer Review: 3.48 out of 5 stars
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    Description

    Feature-Length Audio Commentary
    The creators of Episode I give you insight into the film like no one else can. Hear from: writer/director George Lucas, Producer Rick McCallum, sound designer and film co-editor Ben Burtt, ILM animation director Rob Coleman and ILM visual effects supervisors John Knoll, Dennis Muren and Scott Squires.

    "The Beginning"
    Making Episode I Documentary Film
    Culled from over 600 hours of behind-the-scenes footage, this all-new hour-long documentary film takes you inside Lucasfilm and Industrial Light & Magic during the making of The Phantom Menace. Sit in on the film's production process including: pre-production, casting, principal photography, editing, rough-cut reviews, visual effects meetings and other events that few people have had access to before.

    Exclusive Deleted Scenes and Documentary
    All-new documentary featuring George Lucas, Rick McCallum and guests discussing the painstaking process every director must go through in determining what scenes make the final cut.View seven exclusive deleted sequences that were created specifically for this DVD and learn why they were eliminated from the final version of the film.

    Multi-Angle Animatics
    Discover the amazing techniques used to create two memorable sequences (Submarine and Podrace Lap 1) from storyboards to animatics to final composites.

    Featurettes
    Five mini-documentaries give you an insider's look at The Phantom Menace's Storyline, Design, Costumes, Visual Effects and Fight sequences through behind-the-scenes footage and interviews with the cast and filmmakers.

    Web Documentaries
    Originally released on starwars.com during the production of Episode I, this award-winning twelve-part web documentary series gives you a fly-on-the-wall perspective into the making of the film as it was happening.

    Exclusive Production Photo Gallery
    Scroll through a never-before-seen gallery of candid cast and crew shots, each with captions.

    "Duel of the Fates" Music Video
    One of the most popular music videos during its release in May 1999, the "Duel of the Fates" video intertwines live footage of John Williams conducting the London Symphony Orchestra with behind-the-scenes clips and dramatic footage featured in Episode I.

    Posters and Print Campaign
    Examine the Episode I theatrical posters (Teaser and Launch) and the International Outdoor advertising used to support the release of Episode I around the world.

    Trailers and TV Spots
    Watch the theatrical teaser and launch trailers, plus seven TV spots (including the five original "Tone Poems" along with "The Saga Begins" and "All Over Again").

    "Star Wars: Starfighter-The Making of a Game" from LucasArts
    This featurette offers insight into the making of the popular flight action combat game along with information on other Star Wars games from LucasArts.

    Exclusive DVD-ROM Content
    Your Episode I DVD is a key that unlocks exclusive Star Wars content only available through a special DVD-ROM website. ... Read more

    Reviews (2449)

    5-0 out of 5 stars 5 stars for DVD quality, 3 stars for the movie
    I'm reviewing only the DVD, and not the movie itself, which was a bit of a stinker, in my opinion. Well produced, beautifully filmed, but very poorly written.

    Anyway - this is an awesome and incredibly well done DVD. Lots and lots of extras. Great commentary by Lucas, the producer, the sound man, etc. Interview with the composer. Lots and lots and LOTS of background materials on the making of the film, and the entire process of putting it together from initial writing to final production, and the making of the DVD itself.

    The image of the movie is *very* crisp and clean. The deleted scenes are a nice addition to the movie. I am very impressed (and surprised, to be cynical about it) that Lucas has given us the full-featured DVD the first time out, and not offered us one scaled down DVD version, only to offer us a better version in a year, and then the full-scale one a year after that, like he's constantly done with the VHS versions of his movies. Thank you, Lucas, for taking care of your fans this time, and not trying to pad your pockets a few times before giving the fans what they *really* want.

    Quality-wise, this is absolutely one of the most loaded, best-featured DVDs I have in my collection.

    (as a p.s. - after hearing Lucas' commentary, and talking about some things coming up in the next movies, I have realized that a few things I criticized about this movie actually make sense oin terms of the upcoming story-line. However, I still think that, overall, the writing for this movie was only a cut above old b-movies)

    4-0 out of 5 stars OK Movie, Great DVD
    The Phantom Menace was probably the most heavily anticipated movie in history. It was the prequel to the original Star Wars series and George Lucas was taking the helm as director for the first time since Star Wars in 1977. The film was hyped incessantly and, of course, the final product failed to live up to the expectations. The Phantom Menace is not a bad film. It actually is absolutely amazing to look at and the special effects are incredible. The problem with the film is the plot. It seems disjointed as it bounces around from scene to scene. It seems that Mr. Lucas was to preoccupied with getting the film to look right than the actual story (which is what made the first Star Wars so great). Many people weren't happy with the casting of several roles, especially Ewan MacGregor as Obi Won Kenobi, but he does a decent job in an undeveloped role. Liam Neeson is commanding as Qui Gon Jin and Natalie Portman is quite good as Queen Amadala. The biggest complaint that most people had with the film was with the character of Jar Jar Binks and I won't disagree with most of what's been said about the annoying character. Mr. Lucas has previously shunned the DVD arena (American Graffiti is the only one of his films to appear in the format), but he goes about this release with a vengeance. The extras, including seven deleted scenes, are worth buying this DVD alone. Mr. Lucas spent an additional four million dollars on them and the money is well spent.

    5-0 out of 5 stars prequel?
    in this one,there is a council of jedis who rule everything and keep the peace.yoda,ben,some black dude and on like that.a younger ben finds a little kid-who is called anakan and later vadar.that kid wins his freedom with bens help in a very cool pod race.ben recognizes the force in the little one and decides to train him as a jedi.the bad guy is darth maul who has a double bladed light saber-very cool.hes the coolest looking character yet.i think peple came down too hard on jar-jar.hes a dork but there have been a lot worse.the kids will like it.it is the 4th part but the first episode.everybody should go see this one because just anybody will like it.anakans mom was pretty nice if she cleaned herself up.this movie isnt as good as the tv says but they blow everything all out of proportion anyway.this movie is abselutely incredible though.i think the black dude may be in the matrix too.its good too.the special effects are good.after this there is one more.then there is an animated short film.there is also another one on the way next summer.

    2-0 out of 5 stars To Lucas: Eye of the Tiger, Man!!
    To quote the famous lines by Apollo Creed from Rocky III, "You lost for all the wrong reasons, you lost your edge. Eye of the tiger, man!"
    A good analogy when you think of it...

    When Lucas made the first trilogy he was a relativly unknown up-and-comming writer/director full of desire and well, "hunger" to make his mark. That drive lead to the masterpieces of pop culture we know as ANH and ESB. By ROTJ his edge was already waning but thankfully it was the last one... or so we thought.

    By the time TPM came out he lost it completely and produced a quite mediocre if at best ordinary film. Living like a king for the past 20+ years made him not "hungry and full of desire" but fat and content. He lost his edge.

    Peter Jackson's LOTR Trilogy is so much better than Lucas' last 2 efforts for this same reason. Jackson has the "eye of the tiger"!

    Lucas HAS to get his edge back. Most agree AOTC is better than TPM but not by much. Will episode 3 prove that Lucas got it back??

    If only reality played out like the fantasy of Rocky III and Lucas brings home a REAL winner....

    1-0 out of 5 stars What drug was George Lucas on?
    I love Star Wars, Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi. I think that George Lucas should have stopped there. The two movies: The Phantom Menace and the Attack of the Clones....SUCK! What was George Lucas thinking? Jar Jar Binks needs to tossed off the face of the earth, and Hayden Christansen (while hot), needs to take some acting lessons. Not enough special effects in the world could make me want to see the third release. Poor acting and writing have made me want to run for cover! Where's the FORCE when you need it? ... Read more


    6. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (Special Edition)
    Director: George Roy Hill
    list price: $14.98
    our price: $11.24
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00003RQNJ
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 693
    Average Customer Review: 4.57 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (93)

    5-0 out of 5 stars "You Just Keep Thinking, Butch...!"
    This film truly deserves the description of being a "Classic." Paul Newman and Robert Redford (in the company of Director George Roy Hill and a particularly appealing Katharine Ross), take the history of the bloodthirsty "Hole-in-the-Wall Gang," and turn it into an affectionate cinematic portrayal of male bonding and cultural change.

    Taking place at the end of the 19th century, Butch and Sundance are, as veteran actor Jeff Corey, playing a sympathetic sheriff and accidental existentialist, snarls, "two-bit outlaws on the dodge!" They spend much of the movie dodging a posse hired to hunt them down and kill them in the wake of a series of amusing train robberies. The location shooting of their escape is breathtakingly beautiful.

    Ultimately, they have to flee the closing frontier, and end up in Bolivia, which is portrayed as a kind of low-rent version of the Old West. Their trip to South America is an intermezzo, done in sepia tint, focusing on their stay in New York, which, with its (relatively) modern conveniences, underscores how anachronistic their lifestyle has become.

    Their inability to rob banks in Bolivia without using Spanish-language crib sheets is both hilarious and touching, a kind of paradigm of cultural and technological dislocation.

    In keeping with its 1969 release date, the film has a strong antiestablishment cant to it: Authority is faceless, unyielding, and, mostly, inept. It is telling that Butch and Sundance kill no one until they "go straight" as payroll guards. Their criminal lifestyle is romanticized as a kind of "On The Road" on horseback. That this doesn't offend the audience is a measure of how fine this movie is. The warmth and humor overcome both the moral relativity of the characters and their sad ending.

    Newman and Redford are wonderful together as the affable outlaws. Newman's Butch is a charming, flaky visionary who is trying desperately to cling to the past. When confronted with the new alarms and teller's cages at a favorite bank, he dismisses the guard's explanation of, "People kept robbing us" with a wistful, "It's a small price to pay for beauty."

    As Butch says: "The future's all yours, you lousy bicycles!" In a sense: the Western Outlaw was succeeded by "Public Enemy Number One" when cars succeeded horses, and train and bank robberies became Federal crimes. "Your times is over!," Jeff Corey insists, and he's right.

    Redford plays Sundance as the stylish straight man, never quite falling prey to Butch's dreams, but never able to dismiss them utterly: "You just keep thinking, Butch, that's what you're best at!" The onscreen chemistry between Newman and Redford is so palpable that although they only made two films together ("The Sting" in 1973 is a modernized version of "Butch & Sundance"), they can easily be considered one of the finest comedy duos ever, anywhere. The dialogue between them is banter between two very good, very old, very comfortable, friends. Maybe there was a script involved, too.

    "Butch and Sundance" may be short on facts, but it speaks a kind of truth for which facts are not needed.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Newman & Redford's First Film Together
    Paul Newman and Robert Redford are two of the biggest movie stars of all time. They are also the best of friends and that friendship shines through on their first film together, Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid. The film is set in the old west, but it has a definite 60's feel to it. Butch and Sundance are anti-heroes who defy the "establishment" by robbing trains. Finally the train company gets fed up and sends an elite team of bounty hunters to track them down. This inspires the film's classic catchphrase, "who are those guys" as Butch & Sundance can't shake their pursuers. The film has a light comical side to it as Mr. Newman is at his charming best as Butch and Mr. Redford elicits laughs as the uptight Sundance. Katherine Ross provides a pretty diversion as Sundance's beautiful schoolteacher girlfriend, Etta Place. Mr. Newman & Mr. Redford are instantly likable in the lead roles and you can feel their real affinity for one another come through in the film. The movie was a major box office hit and won and William Goldman won an Oscar for his crisp and witty script and But Bacarach and Hal David won an Oscar for the film's theme song "Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head" which B.J. Thomas took to number one in late 1969.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Style and Substance
    I remember seeing this movie at the cinema as a kid (many years ago)and being knocked out by how COOL Redford and Sundance were. You know the scene in Blues Brothers, the doorway of the transient mens refuge and the rocket launcher, and they just get up, brush themsleves off, music resumes and go on as if nothing happened. That cool. And so when they get to the stage of being concerned "who ARE those guys" we have substance for the actions they take afterwards. Now watching this movie on DVD with my kids, they didn't get enraptured as I did at their age. As you might guess, not enough action for their generation - and yet, when there is action, it plays with as much emotion as the best of hollywood today. A tremendous cast delivering a tremendous performance, this will always be one of my favorite movies.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Sticks pretty well to historical fact
    For one when Butch and sundance are being chased up the mountain by the posse Butch mentions Joe LaFors (sp?). I checked a while ago. LaFors really existed as a lawman at the time. But Etta Place (Kathryn Ross)though she really existed was actually not a school teacher. More likely she was a prostitute.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Butch & the Kid
    Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid is one of the best movies (if not the best!!!) I have ever seen. The action, the interplay and the chemistry between the 2 leading stars (Newman, Redford) is like "poetry in motion". The action is non-stop, as well as the comedy, especially of Newman. Even though there is quite a bit of violence throughout the movie, I would recommend that everyone buy the video!!! ... Read more


    7. THE WINTER WAR (Talvisota)
    Director: Pekka Parikka
    list price: $45.00
    our price: $45.00
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    Asin: B0000646UN
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 10757
    Average Customer Review: 4.33 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (27)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Good movie about a little known war
    This was a war that the Soviet Union waged on Finland in the winter of 1939 to gain access to a port. They got quite a shock when they were met by extremely stiff resistance. This movie chronicles a group of friends who go together to the front to fight. This is a tough bunch of guys, but they never lose their humanity, like most of the nazi soldiers did. The Soviet forces were lacking leadership due to the fact that Stalin had decimated their ranks in one of his insane paranoid murderous purges. This is the war that convinced Hitler that the Soviets would crumble when his army attacked them. The film does have a kind of washed out, grainy look, a little more than Saving Private Ryan did, but that didn't detract from the movie. It kind of emphasized the bleakness those men were facing. This movie has great battle action sequences, and I'll bet if there were environmentalists on the set, they'd have all had heart attacks because of the number of trees that were destroyed by tanks and artillary. This movie isn't hampered by contrived plots, like SPR, or unnecessary love triangles, like what is in Enemy at the Gates (which is a good movie in every other respect). The only quibble I have with this movie is that the subtitles were sometimes hard to read and the English wasn't always correct (but that was kind of comical).

    5-0 out of 5 stars Good movie about a little known war
    This was a war that the Soviet Union waged on Finland in the winter of 1939 to gain access to a port. They got quite a shock when they were met by extremely stiff resistance. This movie chronicles a group of friends who go together to the front to fight. This is a tough bunch of guys, but they never lose their humanity, like most of the nazi soldiers did. The Soviet forces were lacking leadership due to the fact that Stalin had decimated their ranks in one of his insane paranoid murderous purges. This is the war that convinced Hitler that the Soviets would crumble when his army attacked them. The film does have a kind of washed out, grainy look, a little more than Saving Private Ryan did, but that didn't detract from the movie. It kind of emphasized the bleakness those men were facing. This movie has great battle action sequences, and I'll bet if there were environmentalists on the set, they'd have all had heart attacks because of the number of trees that were destroyed by tanks and artillary. This movie isn't hampered by contrived plots, like SPR, or unnecessary love triangles, like what is in Enemy at the Gates (which is a good movie in every other respect). The only quibble I have with this movie is that the subtitles were sometimes hard to read and the English wasn't always correct (but that was kind of comical).

    3-0 out of 5 stars Great combat scenes but some boring parts
    This is an okay movie. It tells the extremely dramatic story of Finnland's heroic resistance against the Soviet invasion of 1939 (this, by the way, is one of the things that the Russians would like you to forget about when they assert that they essentially won World War II on their own).

    Anyway, the combat scenes are impressive for a film made in 1989. However, unless you speak Finnish, you're likely to get bored and start pressing the fast forward buttton when Talvisota gives you a series of verbose scenes at the beginning that last almost a half hour. There are several shorter (mercifully) interruptions punctuating the combat.

    I've often wondered why Hollywood has never made a film about the brave fight that the Finns put up against the Russians. It would seem to me that the story would have the same appeal that "Braveheart" did. But then, I'm not a Hollywood producer.

    The bottom line: If you can't rent it, I'd recommend buying it used (like I did). It simply isn't worth 45 dollars brand new.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great Guy's Movie!
    I give this film 5 stars not so much for its storyline or plot (which is virtually non-existant) but for its attempt to show a little known conflict. The combat scenes in this movie are intense. The waves of Soviet infantrymen throwing themselves upon the Mannerheim line gives the viewer a good idea what it must have been like for the Finns. The production value of this film is superb. Those are authentic Soviet T-26 light tanks, and early Yak Fighters. Again, don't look at this movie if you want to see a human interest story or standard plot. The intent of this work is docu-drama. The film accurately shows what the Finns did to resist the Soviet onslaught of 1939-40. There is not much character development here, pretty much all the Finns look like another, but what you see is a gritty determination of a small nation to defend itself against Stalin's tyranny. In the end of course the Finns had to make unfortunate concessions, but few modern wars show a more inspiring image of a small determined people fighting for their survival. This film is worth looking at for its marvalous combat scenes, equippment, and sheer grit. This is certainly a guys movie par excellenece. If you are inspired by it you should read the fine recent history of the conflcit entitled "A Frozen Hell"

    5-0 out of 5 stars Original Film Was Oscar Worthy, DVD Is Cut In Half
    I wanted badly to purchase this DVD. However, the DVD running time is only 125 minutes. The film, when released, ran 3 hours and 16 minutes!!! That translates to 196 minutes. I am not surprised that this DVD has collected some very negative reviews here. It is missing an hour of content!!! I am now off on a search for an uncut version. I still have a Los Angeles Times review of this film from December 8, 1989 (when it arrived as Finland's official Oscar submission) written by Kevin Thomas who marvels at "a classic war picture, at once intimate and epic, majestic and numbing." ... Read more


    8. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
    Director: Terry Gilliam
    list price: $26.98
    our price: $24.28
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    Asin: 0783229526
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 3610
    Average Customer Review: 4.18 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    The original cowriter and director of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas was Alex Cox, whose earlier film Sid and Nancy suggests that Cox could have been a perfect match in filmingHunter S. Thompson's psychotropic masterpiece of "gonzo" journalism. Unfortunately Cox departed due to the usual "creative differences," and this ill-fated adaptation was thrust upon Terry Gilliam, whose formidable gifts as a visionary filmmaker were squandered on the seemingly unfilmable elements of Thompson's ether-fogged narrative. The result is a one-joke movie without the joke--an endless series of repetitive scenes involving rampant substance abuse and the hallucinogenic fallout of a road trip that's run crazily out of control. Johnny Depp plays Thompson's alter ego, "gonzo" journalist Raoul Duke, and Benicio Del Toro is his sidekick and so-called lawyer Dr. Gonzo. During the course of a trip to Las Vegas to cover a motorcycle race, they ingest a veritable chemistry set of drugs, and Gilliam does his best to show us the hallucinatory state of their zonked-out minds. This allows for some dazzling imagery and the rampant humor of stumbling buffoons, and the mumbling performances of Depp and Del Toro wholeheartedly embrace the tripped-out, paranoid lunacy of Thompson's celebrated book. But over two hours of this insanity tends to grate on the nerves--like being the only sober guest at a party full of drunken idiots. So while Gilliam's film may achieve some modest cult status over the years, it's only because Fear and Loathing is best enjoyed by those who are just as stoned as the characters in the movie. --Jeff Shannon ... Read more

    Reviews (424)

    5-0 out of 5 stars "We can't stay here, this is bat country!"!!!
    This movie is a masterpiece, and also very very funny. It is a near perfect adaptation of Hunter S Thompson's novel. The book was based on the true story of a drug crazed self proclaimed doctor of journalism and his sidekick turned loose in Las Vegas to cover a dirt bike race called the mint 400. Thompson, known as Raul Duke (Depp) and his attorney Oscar Zeta Acosta known as Dr.Gonzo (Del Torro) run amok in their desperate search for the American dream. Johnny Depp and Benicio Del Torro are absolutely great in this movie. And the cameos are great: Flea, Lyle Lovett, Gary Busey, Christina Ricci, Tobey Maguire, Ellen Barkin, Cameron Diaz, Steven Schirripa, and even Dr. Thompson himself all make an appearance in the film. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is a savage journey into the heart of the American dream. If you haven't seen it, you need too, and fast.....

    5-0 out of 5 stars Extreme entertainment
    Prepare yourself for a wild journey into the world of bright lights, flashy people, and non-stop substance abuse. Hunter S. Thompson's book about covering a motorcycle race in Las Vegas through pure "gonzo journalism" has been excellently adapted for the big screen by former Monty Python member Terry Gilliam. The movie stays very true to the story, the product of one of the founding fathers of the drug culture of the 70's. This movie covers both extremes: you will love it or hate it, and it won't allow you to stay anywhere near the middle. People who are interested in the drug culture and beat culture, or even a cynical look at one of America's craziest cities, will probably find themselves enjoying the film immensely, laughing and gasping at the insane antics of a drug-abusing "doctor of journalism" and his attorney. People looking for a more down to Earth experience without the odd visual trip and inexplicable dialogue will only be confused and repulsed, wondering what kind of person enjoys this kind of thing. Johnny Depp's performance is absolutely first-rate, Benicio Del Toro sheds the mediocrity he produced in The Usual Suspects, and cameos by Gary Busey, Cristina Ricci, and Thompson himself add to the perfect blend of acting that make this film one of the best of its kind.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Hilarious
    This isn't your average movie. Based on the H.S Thompson novel, tt quite succesfully captures the literary insanity of Thompson's books (I'm actually 16, not twelve). Here's the scenario, two stoners running around Las Vegas. All the jokes are based around the wild, outrageous hallucinations of Raul Duke, and his "side kick" Dr. Gonzo. But damned if the many variations of the same basic joke aren't guiltily hilarious every single time. In one scene, Raul and Gonzo are in a bar, When Raul freaks out, thinking that all the bar patrons have been turned into monstrous lizards.
    Weird- absolutely Funny- You bet.

    3-0 out of 5 stars It took two viewings to make it through
    The first time I started to watch this movie I got a big headache. At my friend's urging I watched it again, and still got a headache. Maybe a little less of a headache, but that's besides the point. It wasn't a headache because the movie's plot made me think, it was a headache because the film was just damn strange.

    Offbeat camera angles and dim colored lighting are used throughout the movie. The film quality seemed low and it was hard to understand Johnny Depp's narration at times. The film is very strange in all aspects, including its plot. Hunter S. Thompson (Depp) is supposed to be going to Las Vegas to cover a race in the desert for Sports Illustrated. His lawyer accompanies him on this journey for some reason. They don't really get much reporting done and spend most of the time taking illegal drugs. I kind of lost track of the plot and hardly remember how it ends. Was there even an ending? It seemed kind of like the movie just trailed off.

    At one point in the movie they mention something about following the American Dream. Somehow I don't believe the American Dream has anything to do with a suitcase full of illegal drugs. Maybe it was just an attempt to find some rationale behind the entire film.

    I'm almost ashamed to admit that I found it hilarious at times. I laughed hysterically when at one point Thompson thinks he's standing in a bog and everyone is a lizard. When I was laughing I kept thinking, this is based on a true story, and now this guy is making money off of it? I felt kind of bad for supporting his drug-induced craziness. However, it's almost kind of an anti-drug movie in it's own strange way. Hunter S. Thompson looks like he's having the worst time of his life, and surely should have been arrested multiple times. I don't know, maybe this movie appeals more to stoners and druggies since they can relate to Thompson.

    This film is definitely not for everyone. If you are easily offended, I wouldn't recommend it. If you're looking for a normal movie, you really should be someplace else. Look at the cover of the DVD. The whole movie is kind of like that.

    ---------------------------
    http://www.filmstatic.com - We take reviewing movies seriously and with an attitude...but not a serious attitude.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Review of the DVD, not the film
    First things first: FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS, the film, is quite good. If you can stomach its content, it IS a rather fun drug odyssey with a fair amount of underlying social commentary. Some of it becomes muddled and the reviews were horrible (Ebert gave it 1/4) but I enjoy this more than Terry Gilliam's BRAZIL, to be honest (which, ironically, Ebert also gave a negative review).

    THE DVD

    An overall wonderful experience. First, the packaging: superb. Criterion is always good at packaging their DVDs and this is one of my favorites. On the inside is an essay by a film critic and two discs. The first has the film, newly remastered under the supervision of Gilliam, along with three commentary tracks: by Gilliam, Depp and Del Toro, and Hunter S. Thompson. Wisely, they had someone interview him most of the time since he's obviously a bit of an oddball and would be prone to sitting there and saying nothing.

    The second disc has some extraordinary specials, including an old BBC documentary about Thompson (whose semi-truthful novel this is based upon), TV spots, the theatrical trailer (with optional commentary by Gilliam - which I've never seen before), poster and photo galleries, Hunter Goes to Hollywood (an amusing short documentary about Thompson visiting the set of the film), a selection of somewhat bizarre letters between Depp and Thompson that date back to the pre-and-post-production of the film (Depp reads all of them to the camera for us).

    Overall, one of the best DVDs I own. The film isn't a classic, per se, but it IS enjoyable. I'm sure part of my appreciation for it comes from this superb DVD, which is one of the finest I own in terms of special features.

    Criterion can sometimes disappoint with single-disc DVDs priced in the $40 range but this one is fairly reasonably priced (compared to some of the others) and packed with special features to whet any die-hard fan's appetite.

    A must-buy for fans, and a must-see for others - I wouldn't necessarily recommend it as a blind buy for a number of reasons. It's very selective taste. You love it, or you hate it; it might be good to rent it first. But definitely rent this version, not Universal's. ... Read more


    9. To Catch a Thief
    Director: Alfred Hitchcock
    list price: $24.99
    our price: $18.74
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    Asin: B00005JJX8
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 983
    Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (82)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Fireworks!
    What was the greatest kiss ever committed to the silver screen? For me it comes from the Alfred Hitchcock thriller, To Catch a Thief. Grace Kelly tempts Cary Grant, a reformed jewel thief by the name of John Robie, with her diamond necklace, to a backdrop of fireworks over the French Riviera. Finally, having had just about enough of her tomfoolery, he says, "You know as well as I do, this necklace is imitation." To which, the stunning Kelly responds, "Well I'm not..."

    That is movie magic and so is this wonderful, light-hearted and thrilling romp across the south of France as everyone goes in search of the identity of a new jewel thief reeking havoc throughout hotels on the French Riviera.

    Lush cinematography, beautiful costumes, breathtaking vistas, and delightful performances by Kelly, Grant, and Jessie Royce Landis make this an extremely enjoyable film outing.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Cat on a Hot French Roof
    Suspense takes a back seat to romance as former cat burglar Grant turns detective to track down the culprit behind a recent string of jewel robberies, becoming involved with beautiful heiress Kelly during the course of his investigation. Proof that lesser Hitchcock is still far above average, with Grant at his most suave and debonair; Kelly at her most ravishing; an engaging comedic turn by Jessie Royce Landis as Kelly's down-to-earth mother; and some sparkling (and suggestive) dialogue by John Michael Hayes. Add in some truly beautiful costumes by Edith Head and breathtaking, Oscar-winning color cinematography by Robert Burks ... and what's not to like? Even though the mystery is a bit slight, you won't be bored!

    The DVD offers a wonderful video transfer with crisp, clear sound and a brightly color-balanced, anamorphic widescreen picture. There are three unique mini-documentaries about the making of the movie, featuring Hitchcock's daughter and granddaughter; a documentary about costumer Edith Head (which is being included on many Paramount 2002 DVD releases which feature Head's work); the Original Theatrical Trailer; and a truly grand assortment of vintage production stills and posters from around the world. All in all a quite nice package that's definitely worth a look.

    4-0 out of 5 stars With Class and Grace
    To Catch A Thief marks a departure for director Alfred Hitchcock. Here, he sheds the moniker as The Master Of Suspense, going more for romance and comedy--rather than any of his well known plot twists or thrills. The film may not be the best of his career, but thanks to a strong leading man and a radiant leading lady the movie still works.

    John Robie, (Cary Grant) is a reformed cat burglar, out to prove himself innocent of a recent crime spree. As he tries to capture the thief who's terrifying the French Riviera, he attracts the attention of the lovely Frances Stevens (Grace Kelly), a wealthy and spoiled American traveling the Riviera with her widowed mother (Jessie Royce Landis). However, things do not begin on a romantic note. Robie is more interested in clearing his name than in pursuing the beautiful American, but the two will not go their separate ways so easily. When Mrs. Stevens has her jewels stolen, the snubbed Frances puts the police on Robie's trail. Now the dashing Robie will have to win the confidence and assistance of Frances if he is to ever set things right.

    Grant and Kelly light up the screen together, with an entrancing chemistry that sparkles, especially in the impromptu ad-libbed dialogue of the picnic scene. A series of elaborate set pieces combined with the spectacularc Riviera scenery make the film an enduring piece of American cinema. Hitchcock lets his leads pick up for any of the film's lack of excitement, that traditionally peppers the director's films. I have always had a "crush" on the late Grace Kelly, and this film just helps to solidify those feelings.

    The DVD contains three well produced making of featurettes. "Writing and Casting," "The Making of To Catch a Thief," and "Alfred Hitchcock and To Catch a Thief", will give you a well rounded look at the film. But things would have worked out even better if these were edited together as one larger whole. Long time Hitchcock collaborator, costumer Edith Head, is highlighted in a fourth featurette, that also tops off the disc's bonus material.

    To Catch A Thief is recommended for any Hitchcock fan..

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Hitchcock romantic mystery
    Cary Grant and Grace Kelly are funny and witty and they keep you involved in the story. Not what I expected from Alfred Hitchcock, but it was a great movie none the less.

    3-0 out of 5 stars So-so Hitchcock jewel caper
    As a connoisseur of Hitchcock's work, To Catch a Thief was merely adequate. Lacking any real suspense, the movie was held together by the excellent cinematography offered by the picturesque French Rivera locale.

    Cary Grant was at his suave and debonair best as John Robie, a retired cat burgular who is suspected when a rash of jewel thefts plagues the swanky Riviera. Realizing, he must apprehend the actual thief, whose m.o. parallels his own, he plots a scheme.

    Grace Kelly, whose acting ability does not rival her beauty, plays a perfectly typecasted role for her. As a spoiled, bored, rich socialite Frances Stevens, she and her wealthy but earthy mother, played exceptionally well by Jessie Royce Landis are vacationing. The elder Mrs. Stevens has a valuable collection of jewelery that Grant theorizes would make excellent bait.

    Hitchcocks creates a predictable plot, with the usual love affair. There is however, little in the way of mystery or tension or even chemistry between Kelly and Grant to make this flick anything more than mediocre. Edith Head provides a high point with her fantastic wardrobes created for the costume ball scene. ... Read more


    10. AVP - Alien Vs. Predator (Widescreen Edition)
    Director: Paul W.S. Anderson
    list price: $29.98
    our price: $20.99
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    Asin: B00005JMZK
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 979
    Average Customer Review: 3.71 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (42)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Finally, we get Alien vs Predator !
    Wow, this movie has been in the works for too long! It's about time!

    From what I've read, Lance Henriksen is in AvP as the original Charles Weyland, the 'father of modern robotics', thats why the android looked like him in Aliens, and his great grandson is the character in Alien 3.

    That would make Alien vs Predator a 'prequel' to the other 4 Alien films, and so there is no continuity error in the stories.

    In any case, I'll wait to see it before I pass any final judgements. Im sure the action & effects will be great, lets just hope there isnt too much cheap CGI. :P

    5-0 out of 5 stars Whoever wins, we lose!
    I can't for this film to come out! It's been on the shelf for years, and I'm surprised "Aliens vs. Predator" will premiere in August 2004. I don't know why it took so long for both creature franchises to pair up together for one film. I mean, both are produced by studio Fox, but I think the story was the problem. I don't know that many details about it, but i heard the film is set in the near-future, with soldiers likely being the heroes from exterminating the alien beings.

    I'm not really a big fan of the "Alien" series, and I never seen any "Alien" film entirely,except for the medicore "Alien Resuruction." Don't count on heroine Siguorney Weaver to return, she's a recycled character and doesn't even have first billing for this movie.Lance Henriksen, who potrayed a robot in a couple of "Alien" films, does return. I can't wait with the new race of creatures this film will have for the "Alien" franchise.

    Now "Predator" I'm familar with. The "Predator" should be the ultimate foe to beat. It kills for sport, and has an amazing array of gadgets, each armed to kill. It has the ability to become self-invisible. Even a dummy will know "Ahhnold" Schwarzenegger won't return (he's busy saving California), he didn't even return for the sequel. Despite making only two movies, the Predator creature surely lasted a mark in creature making and I can't wait to see another Predator again.

    "Alien vs. Predator" basically got the idea from the successful comic book and video game franchises. Hopefully this film will succeed because the technology of computer graphics has improved dramatically that it would make this film outstanding. Happy Kills! (For the aliens and predators, I mean.)

    1-0 out of 5 stars Alien and Predator go PG-13
    Let's face it: any movie that pits two of the coolest sci-fi creatures of all time against each other, while killing lots of human beings (completely nessecary mind you) has to be cool, right? Every person (including myself) who saw this movie went into it with that decieving mindset; coming out six bucks in the hole, and none too satisfied. Take the worst of every Alien and Predator movie (i.e. Arnold S./Danny Glover), a watered down plot, horrible acting, and a WHOLE LOTTA CRAP, and blend it all together - and you get this. The vs. part is the hook, the hope of seeing an actual Alien vs. Predator battle is the line, and the movie? The sinker. The humans do not die fast enough! Any movie where lots of humans die trying to stop something a) of no concern to them and b) that is going to ruin their chances of greed - is okay by me. I was waiting for a cameo by Danny Glover telling us veterans of age that we are indeed "too old for this @#$%!" (Lethal Weapon throwback there) However, this review isn't all bad: the Aliens and Predators look tremendous, with awesome detail, and the Predator makes use of that cool weaponary it possesses. This "PG-13" is the training wheels to its "R-rated" predecessors. And if this battle ever turns into a series, pray it finds its way into space...where all franchises go to die.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Not Bad, not bad at all!
    I saw this movie twice, I liked most of what I saw, there were somethings that I did not like in Alien vs. Predator, one of them being how the quickly and how the first 2 predators were killed in this movie, and the second is how cheazy looking the predators shoulder cannons looked. Other than that the movies was spectacular, strange but still a good movie regardless. I have been a fan of both the Aliens and Predator franchises since I was 10 and I have to say that this alien vs. predator movie has been long overdue.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Hope it's good....
    I love all of the alien and predator films, So I'm incredibly excited. This movie comes out on my birthday so I'm really phsyced( Don't know if i spelled it right). But I heard that the director also directed Resident Evil which was kinda a let down... But i personally think that people that like the Alien and Predator movies are still gonna love it. I hope it doesn't fall into crap like Freddy vs Jason but also i know for a fact people love these characters alot more than 2 mediocre( but still cool) horror killers. Im just hoping for the best. But please if you are gonna see this movie watch all 4 Aliens and 2 Predators!!!! They are all good in my opinion. August 13, 2004
    Smash Hit or Hit Smashed in the ground... ... Read more


    11. An Affair to Remember
    Director: Leo McCarey
    list price: $14.98
    our price: $11.24
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    Asin: B00007JMDF
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 549
    Average Customer Review: 4.41 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (71)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Finally An Affair To Remember is on DVD
    In April of this year I bought this DVD. I love it so much. I remember when I was little and saw it . It brought tears to my eyes. I especially love the special features that are on this DVD. I have always loved The Extremely hansome an Debonair Cary Grant. He is a role model of what Male Actors Should Be.

    Cary Grant, and Deborah Kerr meet on a Ocean Cruise well they meet and they fall in love. But one problem They are both already engaged to different people. Well as the Ocean Voyage goes on they get more and more romantic. Well when they get off the boat they make an agreement that 6 Months from that day they would meet at the top of the Empire State Building to see if they still love each other. Well that day comes and Cary Grant is on the top floor. But as Deborah Kerr is running to the Empire State Building she gets ran into by a car and is paralyzed. But at the end Cary Grant finds her and they Kiss and Get Married. Great Movie. The way that all movies are supposed to be.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Better than I anticipated....
    "An Affair to Remember" with Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr has a lot to offer. I was skeptical when my wife brought this video home for "us" to watch, but I decided to give it an honest try. Once the movie got underway, and the character development started to take place, I became interested. There was more to Grant than a womanizing cad (thought it took a while for him to shake that image in the movie), and Kerr came across as a world-wise, yet innocent (in a sense), former night club singer.

    While they are both committed to other people, Grant and Kerr meet and fall in love on a ship cruising from Europe to America.

    Some of the dialogue and situations appear to be somewhat contrived, but the acting and story line development stirs true emotion.

    This is probably not a movie for the bump and grind Monday Night Football crowd, but it is both watchable and enjoyable. Maybe I was primed to watch it by seeing "Sleepless in Seattle" recently, a movie that my wife and I both enjoy.

    Anyway, give this movie a chance...it's somewhat dated, but it's still got something to offer.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Overrated Tearjerker
    The first part aboard the boat seems convenient & affected. The bit where she takes him to meet her relative is charming and pretty but pointless. The accident and her subsequent behavior bespeaks of underlying insecurities and purhaps subconcious concerns about his character. I didn't feel particularly sympathetic toward either character and, thus, the reunion doesn't touch me.

    5-0 out of 5 stars One of my favourite movies
    While I haven't seen the remake of this film, I have seen the original, and this is by far one of my favourite movies ever. The picture is beautiful, the casting is flawless, and the story timeless. I would recommend this for chick-flick lovers and even those who aren't particularly fond of romantic-comedies.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Practically nobody, huh?
    Amazon says "practically nobody" likes the 1994 remake with Warren Beatty and Annette Bening, but actually I would prefer that one to this any day. However, if you have to see the original, amazon is where to get it. ... Read more


    12. Journey to the Center of the Earth
    Director: Henry Levin
    list price: $14.98
    our price: $11.24
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00007JMD8
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 2177
    Average Customer Review: 4.51 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (98)

    3-0 out of 5 stars Solid, entertaining classic restored
    It's a fun movie. You can argue with the the "science"; you can argue with some of the optical effects (the use of poorly matted lizards vs. stop motion animation is a minor drawback to the film)and you can argue with some of the deviations from Verne's classic novel but none of this off sets the sheer aura of fun that surrounds this 50's classic. Made at the tail end of the science fiction boom that made the cinema profitable again during the threat of television, Journey succeeds through the top flight direction, witty dialog and performances of the cast.

    James Mason is perfectly cast as Professor Lidenbrook and Arlene Dahl plays his spirited romantic interest. The plot is fairly well known so I'll stick to the quality of the film, restoration and DVD transfer. Pat Boone's career as an actor was often blighted by his singing career. He wasn't considered a "serious" actor. He gives a energetic performance that counter balances Mason's intense take as Liddenbrook.

    The direction by Hollywood vet Henry Levin sparkles with a number of inventive set pieces. Michael Todd's spare no expense production allows this lavish production to continue to shine nearly 45 years later. The art direction is often imaginative and, despite the limitations of the time, manage to convey the wonder of Verne's original novel.

    The optical effects are quite good half a century later. The matte paintings and miniatures still allow one to suspend disbelief and sink into the world portrayed here. The use of redressed lizards for the grand finale does undermine the conclusion a bit. Surprisingly, Todd and director Levin opted for using this approach instead of the more time consuming stop motion animation of Ray Harryhausen or Willis O'Brien. Although it would have delayed the film a bit and increased the budget as well, this brief sequence would have been more believable and lively if it had been made using O'Brien or Harryhausen.

    All of this would have been to no avail if not for Bernard Herrmann's moody, inventive and idiosyncratic score for the film. Herrmann's best scores (North by Northwest, Psycho, Citizen Kane among many other classic scores)helped elevate the quality of many films. Hitchcock, Welles, Ray Harryhausen, Brian DePalma and Martin Scorese all recognized that Herrmann's scores were important characters in the films they directed.

    The transfer is beautiful given the age of the original negative and condition of many of the films from this time frame. While the restoraation isn't as rich as that given to cinematic classics like Vertigo and Spartacus, the film benefits from the restoration efforts. The colors are vibrant and rich and, with few exceptions, the transfer is sharp and not as grainy as one would expect (particulary during the optical effects sequences).

    The DVD transfer is quite good as well. Again, grain problems to crop up now and again and the widescreen transfer isn't flawless but these are fairly minor complaints. Fox has, on the whole, done a marvelous job restoring this classic adventure film. Sadly, Mason, director Levin and Todd are all deceased so we don't get any first person observations about the production of the film on a second audio track. Since Pat Boone is still very much with us, it would have been interesting to hear his memories on the production of this fine film.

    I have very fond memories of watching this on the 3:30 Afternoon movie on KGO-TV in San Francisco (and, if memory serves, a couple of times on John Stanley's Creature Feature program as well). It's a perfect rainy day Saturday movie. It's enjoyable for the kids and, yes, even for this adult despite the wonderous explosion in visual effects over the years. While you're at it, you might also enjoy Jon Amiel's The Core an update of sorts of this classic film. Amiel's film vividly recaptures the sense of wonder and power of this type of film with his modern day take on the same theme.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Grand "Cinemascope" family entertainment from the 1950s!
    OK, there's been some controversy here about the quality of this release, so let me put it to rest. This DVD is spledid! I think this adaptation of Jules Verne's 1864 French novel is a prime example of 1950's wide-screen motion picture family entertainment -- it's wholesome and has a little something for everyone. This is the best film version of this story, the most recent of which was done for the USA Channel on cable in 1999 and was very campy. They couldn't match the 1959 production values of this 20th Century-Fox film that has excellent color photography and art direction, and Bernard Herrmann's wonderfully atmospheric music score. These elements have continued to make it a favorite with fantasy film fans who can appreciate older movies, though it's true that some of it is silly at times, but I don't think the film's makers were trying for a serious movie. It also contains one of James Mason's best performances (He was always good). It's wonderful "Cinemascope" escapism from the bygone Eisenhower-era of the 1950s. Even though I've been watching it on TV since I was a kid in the sixties, I'd only seen pan&scan versions, and it wasn't until I got it letterboxed on laserdisc that I finally saw what a big-screen entertainment this movie was meant to be. It has splendid scope and a score by Bernard Herrmann that takes you right down into the bowels of the earth. Listen to it and you'll notice what I mean, as the movie progresses the music keeps going into a lower and lower register. Five organs were used, including one meant for a Cathedral. (The complete original recordings of the score are available on CD from Varese Sarabande.) Sure it's long in the telling and takes a while to get you down that extinct volcano in Iceland, but it's fun all the way with great special effects work by L.B. Abbott and matte paintings by Emil Kosa Jr. It's been a long wait for this to come out on DVD but it's now worth it. Although Fox should have known that fans would want more extras, including a production and poster still gallery and audio commentary by Pat Boone and Arlene Dahl perhaps?, or an expert on the production? (Perhaps we'll get it in a future release?), they have thankfully included the original theatrical trailer, whic is a lot of fun. They've also gone to great efforts to restore the color negative, and this 16X9 ANAMORPHIC TRANSFER has been struck from a newly made interpositive print, and has been further enhanced with digital video. The original 4-track MagOptical soundtrack is here offered in Dolby Digital 4.0 surround. Although the directionalized dialogue is often off the mark, the aged soundtrack sounds great and will really rumble your room if you've got a subwoofer. If you are a fan of 1959's JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH, you'll be very happy with this DVD. I'd give this DVD five stars but for Fox skimping on the extras. Boy, you people at Fox can be real dummies!

    4-0 out of 5 stars A film for the whole family
    Fox Studios was so successful with this film that they immediately made another Verne classic, "The Lost World" with Claude Raines as Professor Challenger. "Lost World" didn't fare as well. The reasons were obvious.

    "Journey" was put together by a team of Hollywood professionsls at all levels: script, direction, actors, production deisgners. They were all dedicated to one goal: to entertain the audience while not pandering to them. The actors take their roles seriously, bringing them to vivid life.

    This is a long film for a general release, family oriented project. It goes into good, solid character development, rather than settling for action over story, as they did with "The Lost World." The only thing both films have in common appear to be dinosaurs.

    The special effects are excellent. Try not to compare them to what can be computer-generated today. Matte painting artists of the old Hollywood studio system could truly be called artists; this film is a prime example of this art.

    Bernard Hermann's score is one of the true stars of the picture. It supports the film; it is like a character all its own; it complements the story rather than overpowering it.

    This is a movie that can be seen over and over through the years and it still appeals. Once again, the DVD format presents the film in its original CinemaScope aspect ratio, which is the only way to appreciate a truly excellent example of the old Hollywood in its finest form.

    5-0 out of 5 stars all time classic
    i remember seeing this movie as a re-release in t he 1960's
    these are the type of movies that should never be put to dvd,
    instead released to the theatres every so often where
    mom's can drop off the kids for saturday afternoon fun.
    james mason did a great job
    alene dahl was hot to trot
    pat boone played a 2nd fiddle good performance
    thayer david ( what a wimpy creep..!)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Rated "G" for "Great"
    This movie captured my imagination as a child, and I'm pleased to say that it retains all its adventurous charm twenty-five years later.

    Based loosely on the Jules Verne novel, the movie tells the story of a group of scientists (and a scientist's widow ... and a hunky Icelander ... and a duck) as they follow the trail of a long-dead explorer into - wait for it - the center of the Earth. The film is partly a vehicle for Pat Boone's singing career, partly an excuse to design one fantastic set after another (partly filmed in Carlsbad Cavern National Park), but it's mostly a decent adventure story with the ever-wonderful James Mason leading the way. Sure, some effects are poorly done with blue screens, matte paintings, and miniatures (not bad by late '50s standards, though), but it doesn't take much suspension of disbelief to get into spirit of the thing (my 4-year-old screamed at the Dimetrodons), and an emotional connection is built between the audience and the characters (Count Saknussem's fate is richly deserved). Be sure to watch for Alfred the Butler (Alan Napier) as a University of Edinburgh dean.

    The limited bonus materials are all worthwhile (as opposed to DVDs that cram in the extras, mostly mediocre). Included are movie trailers for nine Fox sci-fi movies (Sean Connery's Zardoz must be seen to be believed) as well as the trailer for Journey. The only other bonus is a before-and-after comparison of how the film was restored. There's no documentary showing the process, but the side-by-side and split-screen comparisons help you realize how close this treasure was to being lost.

    This is a great film that deserves to be part of anyone's collection. The effects may be dated, but the adventure and characterizations are as powerful today as they were in 1959. If you're looking for a film the whole family can enjoy that isn't so sugary sweet it necessitates a visit to the dentist, Journey to the Center of the Earth fits the bill. ... Read more


    13. Last Stand at Saber River
    Director: Dick Lowry
    list price: $14.97
    our price: $11.23
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0007OY2OE
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 279
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    Tom Selleck shows a harder side of his persona as a disillusioned Confederate who returns home in the waning days of the Civil War in this adaptation of the Elmore Leonard novel. His wife, Suzy Amis, isn't ready to forgive him for leaving his family behind for the "adventure" of war, and his children hardly remember him. Haunted by his actions in the war and caught in a power struggle in the Arizona territory, Selleck's soul-scarred survivor makes a last stand to protect the only thing left that matters to him--his homestead and his family. The film has its share of gunfights, showdowns, conspiracies, and Civil War rivalries, and even a runaway stagecoach, but its power lies in the somber exploration of how misunderstandings and conflicts tear at a marriage during such a volatile time, when ideals are set against duty to family. Director Dick Lowry's lean style makes the most of the gorgeous landscapes, and he creates a strong dramatic tension in the bubbling undercurrent between Selleck, who leaves behind the jovial character of his Louis L'Amour Westerns for a man hardened and embittered by war, and Amis, an excellent actress who brings to life a woman who shoots, speaks her mind, and harbors resentment just as well as any brooding male hero. Keith and David Carradine costar as Union wranglers who hold a grudge against the Confederate veteran. One of the most mature TV Westerns ever made. --Sean Axmaker ... Read more

    Reviews (5)

    5-0 out of 5 stars One of the Best Westerns Made
    I must say, this is one of my favorite Westerns of all time.Sort of like "Shane", it is full of emotion, and mood.When Cable comes home from the "Struggle", his wife is still resentful of his leaving her and the children, even though they had heard he had been killed. I love Harry Cary Jr's line, "Well I'll Bow" when he sees Cable riding up. And Cable's comment to his wife, I don't want to live with someone that doesn't like me, "I'll take you back to Texas if you want".Their struggle with their relationship, and the local Union Sympathizers is a great tale.I recommend this movie to all.Very true to life.Good Acting, Great Story.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Tom Selleck is the next John Wayne!
    And I do not say that lightly. This is a one of his finest works. One I prefer over Monte Walsh ( 4 stars ). This is a gritty movie without all of the Hollywood enhancements. Coming back from the war, Cable finds himself disillusioned with the Confederacy cause, but ready to start his life fresh. But he finds it's not easy to start where he left off, due to Union loyalist and Confederate sympathizers. His primary problem comes from his own wife, who has her own issue with him leaving the family to go off to war and has yet to forgive him. This is a keeper. I hope Tom keeps up the great work!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Can't Wait for the DVD!
    The television Westerns starring Tom Selleck are among the best of the genre. I think of them all, Last Stand at Saber River is my favorite. It's a great if simple story, but one so well done you can't help but enjoy the film. Selleck is superb as a cowboy and I hope he and the TNT network continue to team for more. The period accuracy is excellent, the variety of arms refreshing for any gun enthusiast. A wholehearted thumbs-up for Last Stand at Saber River!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Selleck rules the modern western
    After reviewing Last Stand this week, and having thoroughly enjoyed Monte Walsh, I think Tom Selleck is the cowboy star of
    the 21st Century. I mostly appreciate his attention to detail
    in arms and cowboy gear of the period. Along with the great story
    line and characters, this attention to detail is much appreciated
    by a fan and student of the Old West and Old Western.
    Hope for more from Mr. Selleck in the future.
    P.S. If you read this, Tom, I'd give my eyeteeth to be an extra in one of your films

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Western
    Tom Selleck does an excellent job as a disillusioned civil war veteran determined to bring his family back together on their own land after he is wounded in the war.This is a western as westerns were meant to be made,not the Young Guns type of violence laden shootfest.If you are Westernfan that enjoyed Alan Ladd, Jimmy Stewart, Glenn Ford, Gary Cooper or JohnWayne, this is a Western you will enjoy. ... Read more


    14. Say Anything...
    Director: Cameron Crowe
    list price: $14.98
    our price: $11.24
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00003CXCI
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 889
    Average Customer Review: 4.72 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (182)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Cameron Crowe's Masterpiece
    I don't know if it's just me, but writer/director Cameron Crowe always seems to hit the mark. Whether it be his first effort at writing a Script (Fast Times at Ridgemont High), his second directorial effort (Singles), and the absolutely fabulous Jerry Maguire and this year's sure fire Best Picture, Almost Famous.

    Unlike most films, which begin with a screenplay, producer, James L. Brooks asked Cameron Crowe to write the story in prose first. The result was a 90-page novella that became the outline for the film, and from which Crowe wrote the final screenplay.

    This movie stars John Cusack (who must have been about 19) as Lloyd Dobler, an eternal optimist who seeks to capture the heart of Diane Court (Ione Skye). He surprises just about everyone-including himself-when she returns the sentiment. But Diane's over possessive, divorced Dad (John Mahoney) doesn't approve and it's going to take more than just the power of love to conquer all.

    This is my favourite movie by Cameron Crowe. As with all his movies, the dialogue is true to life and flows. Every aspect of this film borders on unbelievable brilliance. John Cusack is terrific as Lloyd Dobler, the sweetest guy in the whole world. He's one of those guys that girls would love to have, but one of those guys that guys would love to be. The situations are true to life situations teens would absolutely be put in (I love watching Lloyd make his first phone call to Diane -- it reminded me of me) Ione Skye is also great as the object of Lloyd's affection torn between her love for her father and her love for Lloyd.

    Besides being Cameron Crowe's best film, this movie also sports the greatest love scene of all time (I won't ruin it for those who haven't seen it), and can give inspiration to any guy who has ever wanted a girl as much as Lloyd. Guaranteed though, after seeing this particular scene, be prepared to fall in love with Peter Gabriel's Song "In Your Eyes".

    If you haven't read through all of this (if you got bored, I don't blame you), just read this last paragraph. This is a terrific movie. One that you can watch over and over again without getting tired of it. If you haven't seen it, you are indeed missing out. Roger Ebert declared it one of the best films of the year in 1989.

    - "We just don't want to see you get hurt" "I wanna get hurt"

    5-0 out of 5 stars John Cusack's 2nd Best Movie of All Time
    There is no denying that "Say Anything" is quite simply one of the best films of all time!

    HOWEVER...John Cusack's best role will always be that of Walter Gibson in "The Sure Thing".... which needs to be released on DVD IMMEDIATELY.

    "Say Anything" is a different film than "The Sure Thing." It is in a class all by itself. It is quite simply marvelous, poignant and forever endearing. It deserves so much more than 5 starts! 10 stars for this beautiful film.

    What can be said about this film that hasn't already been said? It is the perfect love story. Lloyd meets girl. Lloyd falls in love with girl. Girl's father objects to Lloyd. Lloyd loses girl. Lloyd wins her back. True love reigns.

    This DVD is PACKED. Worth every cent you will pay should you wish to own a classic gem. There is commentary by director Cameron Crowe, John Cusack, & Ione Skye!! (Right there, worth the price!) There are so many behind the scenes stories and anecdotes to be listened to here. There are theatrical and television trailers, 10 deleted scenes, 13 extended scenes & 5 alternate scenes with commentary!! What more could you want?!

    DO NOT miss out on owning this DVD. If you've by some chance never seen "Say Anything" do yourself a favor and do so right away! You're truly missing out.

    SPOILER FOR THOSE WHO MAY NOT HAVE SEEN IT.... No matter how many times I have seen this masterpiece, I still get choked up when Lloyd tells Diane, "You've just described every success story." And then we wait for the "ding" along with them.

    And then... the "ding." CUT TO BLACK. (Gets me every time.)

    I love this movie. Absolutely love it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars SOMEWHAT SIMPLISTIC BUT CHARMING TEEN ROMANCE DRAMA..
    Whether it is young John Cusack's skittering sense of comic timing, Yione Skye's riveting beauty (no idea why she hasn't been in other known films!), or the sweet but memorably amusing moments littered throughout this film, there is something very charming about this candypop romance from the 80s.

    A dorky but confident guy falls head over heels in love with the school's super brainy girl. Things happen, ups and downs ensue, all leading to an ending that is so satisfying, so overwhelmingly right, that immediately we fall back into step.

    My minor grouse with the story was how conveniently the solid parental characterization of the girl's father turns out to be such a snake. One wonders if teenagers may not pick up from this the tired and rather sad message that parents are not to be trusted, no matter how sincere.

    But that doesn't detract Say Anything from being a hot recommendation from me, particularly if you have a thing for lovey-dovey light dramas. It generally maintains an intelligent and realistic contour, which is more than one can say for most romantic comedies being made today.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Modern Romance Classic
    It's so pertinent for our times. I think almost anyone can relate something similar in their lives to the scenes in this movie. That's why it's so appealing. In a world where not every guy gets the girl, this is the stuff of dreams...and for a little while, somebody out there who is watching it gets to live that dream.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Teen Charmer
    A teen movie of the late 80's, I found this charmer, "Say Anything." John Cusak is the quirky misfit teen in love with the unattainable. The unattainable is the senior class brain, Ione Skye. Ione has a wonderful smile, which she uses to disarm. Her acting skills are limited however, so Cusak's antics move the story to the opposites-attract finale. John Mahoney, the dad in "Frazer" on TV, plays Ione's businessman, father in deep soup with the IRS. He wants her to go to England on a scholarship. She is wooed, charmed, and then makes it with shiftless Cusak. I must say that Mahoney is believable in a complicated character, both loving father and a secret embezzler. Ordinarily in these teen operas, parents are total dotes. There is the obligatory teen beer-bash, but this one is fairly realistic with kids that actually like each other, as opposed to bashes where kids are trying to be too cool. Nice little date flick for teens. ... Read more


    15. Gosford Park - Collector's Edition
    Director: Robert Altman
    list price: $26.98
    our price: $20.23
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00005JKNF
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 2469
    Average Customer Review: 3.58 out of 5 stars
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    Description

    The Academy Award winner for Best Original Screenplay, Gosford Park is a whodunit as only director Robert Altman could do it.As a hunting party gathers at the country estate, no one is aware that before the weekend is over, someone will be murdered - twice!The police are baffled but the all-seeing, all-hearing servants know that almost everyone had a motive.
    This critically-acclaimed murder mystery features a who's who of celebrated actors.With a diverse cast of characters - all with something to hide - it'll keep you guessing right to the surprising end.Gosford Park proves that murder can be such an inconvenience.
    ... Read more

    Reviews (343)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Not for 14 year old boys?
    While taking all those guided tours through cavernous estate houses in England and Ireland (and even a few on the north shore of Long Island), I always wondered what it was like to live that lifestyle. But of course, walking around those still houses doesn't really tell you about the people who lived there anymore than a stage tells you about its actors. However, Gosford Park was a great way to fill in those blanks. The way it pulls you into the world of 1930's English high society and all its pretense and hypocrisy is great. This movie definitely enlivened my understanding of class in old European societies.

    The reason Gosford Park has such great insight is the film's screenwriter, Julian Fellows who himself grew up as part of the English aristocracy. Much of what makes this film fun is the idiosyncrasies of its characters and their world that Fellows has personal experience with. A maid and driver stand in the pouring rain until their mistress gets in the car. Servants only refer to each other by their master's name, and they maintain the same hierarchy as their masters so that a duke's servant is treated better by other servants than a baron's. Only married women are allowed to have breakfast in bed; unmarried women must go to the dining room. What a strange world they lived in, especially to someone like me who grew up in a middle class New York neighborhood.

    The spine of Gosford Park is, without question, NOT the murder mystery. In fact, the murder mystery plot is about 5% of the movie-if that. It's what's known in film lingo as a McGuffin, a device that helps propel the plot in a story but is of little importance in itself. If a viewer turns to the murder mystery plot for what this movie is all about, they will most likely be sorely disappointed, seemingly like many of the negative reviewers here were.

    The key to enjoying this movie is to think about what it's like to live in a society that is extremely oriented by class. What must it take to keep it going? As I alluded earlier, pretense and hypocrisy grease the gears of high society. From scene to scene, we peep around corners and into bedrooms to see characters trying to hide one secret or another. And in the end, we see the unpleasant consequences of this duplicity.

    This is definitely not a film that lays out its purpose before the audience. Since the almost 60 characters (for a chuckle, look under product details above for the colossal cast list) each add something unique to the larger picture, and since the audience is usually only told something once, you definitely have to be your own detective. However, Julian Fellows does a brilliant job interweaving these characters into a solid whole, and he definitely deserves the Oscar he received for the screenplay.

    Since this is a complex and subtle film, multiple viewings are helpful, but unlike some other reviewers, this is something I really enjoyed. Like a good album, each time with it reveals another layer and increases your appreciation. Robert Altman, the director, says in his DVD commentary (which was boring except for a few insights, but Julian Fellow's commentary was excellent) that the film is "like looking in through the windows of a house, you only get part of the picture at a time." I think this analogy fits nicely, especially since the film is set in a house. Altman also acknowledges what some of the negative reviewers complain about, saying he meant the audience to be left wondering after the first viewing. He didn't intend this movie for the "wham, bam, thank you ma'am" set. In fact, Altman went out of his way to insert curse words, guaranteeing an R rating so that "14 year old boys couldn't walk off the street and watch it."

    And of course, last but not least, the acting was great. Gosford Park has an excellent ensemble cast with not a single weak link. Maggie Smith as the snobbish Aunt makes you smile; Kelly MacDonald as the Aunt's young, innocent maid makes you want to give her a big wet kiss (maybe that's just me); and Clive Owen's cool restraint as a mysterious footman keeps you following him around the screen.

    All through, Gosford Park is a movie very well done.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Buy this DVD and watch it again and again....
    because you miss most of the film the first time around!

    On the surface this appears to be a very formulistic murder mystery. It has the classic setting, 1930's period, an isolated English manor house filled with guests for a weekend shooting party, and all of the servants both resident and visiting. Everybody has secrets, the tension is so thick it could be cut with a knife and there is conveniently one missing from the kitchen. For more than half the film we see motives offered and wait for the murder and yet after it occurs it becomes evident that this is NOT a murder mystery at all!

    The film has been compared to Upstairs Downstairs and it does involve the lives of those both above and below stairs, but it is much more than that. The various stories are added layer by layer some, such as the imposter in the servants' hall are obvious while others like the secret abortion are only alluded in a couple of lines. The various stories are, while interesting, not really the point of the film either. This is a beautifully drawn portrait of a way of life that is long gone and will probably never return. Almost everyone has read about or seen depictions of English Country Life in the '20's and '30's. It is a setting that has been used in drama, comedy, romance and of course mystery genres for years but Gosford Park makes it clear that we have only the faintest ideas of what that life was really like. The genius of this film is that it takes all the information that could have been spread out in a PBS documentary series and used fiction to illustrate the same points in a much more effective and enjoyable way.

    The cast is huge and filled with actors, both well known and soon to be well known. No one is given such a large role that it becomes their film and yet each performer manages to turn their scenes into a polished little gem.

    The extras included in the DVD are wonderful. They include deleted scenes (with commentary), features on the making of, and authenticity of the movies as well as Q & A with cast and filmakers. The best of the extras by far are the commentaries with the director, Robert Altman and screenwriter, Julian Oscar.

    I highly recommend the purchase (as opposed to the renting) of this film. It is so packed with detail that it would be impossible to absorb it all in just one or two viewings.

    5-0 out of 5 stars "Nothing's more exhausting than breaking in a lady's maid."
    The upperclass friends and relations of Sir William McCordle (Michael Gambon) arrive at his country house for a weekend of shooting, accompanied by maids, footmen, and valets, all of whom will be staying under one roof. Sir William is a mean-spirited and self-centered old man, married to a much younger, emotionally distant wife (Kristin Scott Thomas), with many family members dependent upon his continuing largesse. The hilariously waspish Countess of Trentham (Maggie Smith), who believes she has a lifetime stipend, arrives with young Mary Maceachran (Kelly MacDonald), who is trying valiantly to become a good lady's maid. Ivor Novello (Jeremy Northam), a Hollywood star, and Morris Weissman (Bob Balaban), a producer of Charlie Chan movies, are the only guests without aristocratic backgrounds and inherited privilege. The atmosphere of the house, filled with venomous "friends" and relations, soon becomes even more poisonous.

    The "below stairs" lives of the servants are also fully revealed, as they share living quarters, eat meals together, tend to the laundry and cooking, and gossip about their employers. The butler Jennings (Alan Bates) and the head housekeeper (Helen Mirren) run the household and try to guarantee that no real-world cares will intrude upon the lives of their employers. Since "upstairs" and "downstairs" occasionally meet very privately at night, secrets abound, many of them secrets of long standing. When Sir William is poisoned and stabbed ("Trust Sir William to be murdered twice"), nearly everyone has a motive for wanting him dead.

    For director Robert Altman, the primary focus of the film is on the characters, their way of life, and their values, with the murder mystery secondary. Set in late November, the end of the year 1932, the action takes place when this secure aristocratic lifestyle is also nearing its end, something that the arrival of the newly rich Hollywood characters, Novello and Weissman, illustrates. Dramatic cinematography (by Andrew Dunn) emphasizes the cold and rainy dreariness of the weekend, and suggests parallels with the coldness of the dying aristocracy.

    Interior shots reveal the contrasts between the elegant and mannered lives of the "upstairs" characters and the hardworking daily lives of the "downstairs" characters, who adhere to their own rigid social codes. Every detail rings true, and as the characters' lives and interrelationships are revealed obliquely in brief snippets of seemingly unrelated conversations, a broad picture of the upstairs and downstairs lifestyles gradually emerges. Fully developed, many-leveled, wonderfully acted, often funny, and impeccably directed and filmed, this is a film one can watch again and again with delight. Mary Whipple

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Triumph of the Tried and True... a la Robert Altman!
    GOSFORD PARK is an enchanting movie on every level and should please even the most discerning audience. Quite unexpectedly, Robert Altman has thoroughly researched the Agatha Christie murder mystery-type stories, the archetypical British mystery/drawing room genre, and (more important) the stuffy and unbelievable class disparities of olde England and has produced a stylish, smart, lushly beautiful recreation of England in the 1930s. The settings are elegant - a mansion/castle where the 'haves' and their lowly servants carry on their lives as though 'to the manner born'. Blessed with a dream cast that includes nearly all of the greats of the British acting school, Altman has given plumb roles to Maggie Smith, Helen Mirren, Eileen Atkins, Emily Watson, Kristin Scott Thomas, Stephen Fry, Michael Gambon, Jeremy Northam, James Wilby, Alan Bates, and Derek Jacobi. The story is an interesting murder mystery but it merely serves as the matrix upon which these fine actors, writer, cinematographer and director capably flaunt their skills. This movie is Delicious! It is so fine that it bears repeated viewings just to make sure you catch all the innuendoes and rapid, superb double entendres encased in this bit of magic. Altman devotees will not be disappointed and those who are not fond of the eccentric director's previous films are bound to be won over to the genius of Robert Altman.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Upstairs, downstairs, cold stares
    No matter how many actors, including bankable stars, appear in a Robert Altman movie, it seems to be about Altman. He has an individual, if by now familiar, style of filmmaking that is always calling attention to itself. That style includes very fluid camera movement, quick-cut editing, and a good deal of dialogue that is covered by other dialogue or sounds distant. We are meant to be awed by the spontaneity and naturalism of it all.

    Apparently many people are impressed by this mannerism and consider it a sign of artistry. On the whole, I find it pretentious and irritating. In one of the supplementary features on the DVD, Altman, his screenwriter and a handful of the actors from Gosford Park are interviewed in front of a studio audience. Altman and the writer rattle on about how every scene is shot by two cameras that are always in motion, so that the actors are never sure whether they are going to be foreground or atmosphere, or what angle they'll be seen from. Does Altman really think he invented the idea of shooting a scene from multiple angles, and choosing one during editing? And why is a camera that's gliding and panning constantly somehow more "truthful" than one that's framing the character or group that the director believes is most essential to telling the story at that moment?

    It can be said in Altman's favor, though, that he never makes a merely conventional or routine film; they are all a bit eccentric (a compliment in my book) and, despite my reservations about the camera and sound-recording style, usually offer a fresh view of the theme or its environment. Gosford Park is your standard Agatha Christie-style murder mystery set among a dinner-jacketed, evening-gowned crowd in an English manor house in 1932 -- except, in this case, the doings of the upper crust are set against the army of servants below stairs who work their tails off to make everything straight, gleaming and smooth for their social betters.

    Altman and his screenwriter Julian Fellows do a very creditable and humane job of conveying the personalities and individuality of the servants; they aren't just symbols of The Oppressed. The characters of the gentry, though, while ably portrayed (the acting talent makes sure of that), are almost universally so sour, rude and calculating that it's hard not to feel that there's a touch of old-fashioned, left-wing agit-prop involved. (The one exception is Jeremy Northam, who plays Ivor Novello -- a real singer and film star of the period -- with considerable charm.) I can believe that an assembly of English bluebloods in that era might have carried within themselves much wickedness, but they would have been far too polished to display it as openly and crudely as they do in Gosford Park.

    Altman recruited a clutch of A-list British stage and film actors, and they don't fail him. Altman's casual attitude toward the basics of craftsmanship (as opposed to displaying his self-assumed creative genius) ensures that you will be lucky to figure out who half the characters are and their relationships with one another by the time of the denouement, but their cultivated swinishness holds the attention anyway. I think actors love playing obnoxious and unlikeable characters; these seem to be enjoying their roles, and you will, too.

    The English have a term, "curate's egg." The meaning is, "parts of it are very good." ... Read more


    16. Titanic
    Director: James Cameron
    list price: $29.99
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    Asin: B00000JLWW
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 986
    Average Customer Review: 3.43 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (1707)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Titanic Triumphs Over Sinking Feeling
    James Cameron's 1997 Titanic is, of course, the biggest box office hit of all time, edging out such blockbuster films as E.T., Star Wars, and Jurassic Park for that title. This film, with its tale of star-crossed lovers Rose and Jack intertwined with the real-life tragedy of the Royal Mail Steamer Titanic, won 11 Academy Awards and the loyalty of its millions of fans.
    In 1997, though, no one involved in its making (except maybe the determined Cameron himself) believed this movie would float to box office glory. It was so ambitious and so expensive that not one but two studios (Paramount and 20th Century Fox) financed it, splitting the distribution rights and spending over $200,000,000 to recreate the fatal maiden voyage of the 1912 world's largest ocean liner. Yet Cameron, who had previously directed the first two Terminator movies, The Abyss, and True Lies, was proven correct when world-wide audiences embraced this touching and technically brilliant movie.
    Yes, this first movie to reap $1 billion in box office gross did capture the hearts of millions of teenage girls who repeated screenings to see Leonardo DiCaprio's Jack Dawson woo Kate Winslet's feisty socialite (and soon-to-be-wed) Rose. And while many detractors scoff at this admittedly clichéd poor-boy-meets-rich-girl love story, it is exactly through this pairing that we get a feel for what it was like to travel at sea in those Gilded Era days before the First World War destroyed the old Europe forever.
    This film has much going for it. It has, in addition to actual location shots of the real Titanic wreck (the minisub sequence is NOT special effects), a winsome couple, a classic mustache-twirling villain (Billy Zane) with the usual henchman (a menacing David Warner), a great supporting cast which includes Danny Nuccio, Bernard Fox (who used to guest star in TV series such as Hogan's Heroes and Bewitched), Kathy Bates, Bill Paxton (who has appeared in most of Cameron's movies) and Gloria Stuart (who plays the older Rose Dawson). Titanic also has a great musical score and incredible visuals: the sinking of the great liner is certainly realistic - even if the CGI effects are a bit artificial-looking. This picture certainly was difficult to make .... Thankfully, in spite of the media hype and negative publicity, Titanic proved to be a good and entertaining film. I recommend it to anyone who likes love stories or epic disaster films. This movie mixes both genres very well.

    4-0 out of 5 stars The Maiden Voyage
    O.K. I'll admit it, while I'm usually not much for the sappy romantic films, James Cameron's Oscar winning epic Titanic is a very good movie. And I did see it more than once on the big screen.

    An undersea expedition, led by explorer Brock Lovett (Bill Paxton), is searching for a valuable diamond aboard the wreckage of the Titanic. The team, instead finds a drawing of seventeen-year-old Rose DeWitt Bukater, (Kate Winslet) who is on the way to her wedding to wealthy tycoon, Cal Hockley (Billy Zane). Now an old woman (Gloria Stuart) Rose tells her story of the fateful voyage to the team. While the ship races to meet its fate with an iceberg, Rose falls in love with Jack Dawson (Leonardo DiCaprio) a free-spirited artist and third-class passenger who ignites a passion inside her.

    The film itself is a technical marvel. Cameron and his crew recreated the ship and her history with such skill and percision that it's easy to go along for the ride. I liked the way the fictional story of Jack and Rose was interlaced with actual historical figures and facts. For example "The Unsinkable" Molly Brown (Kathy Bates), Captain Edward J. Smith (Bernard Hill), and shipbuilders J. Bruce Ismay (Jonathan Hyde) & Thomas Andrews (Victor Garber), all have a place within the love story. Speaking of which, for me, it's Stuart that sells the romance. Acting as "narrator", she makes it possible to care about these characters more than you would have otherwise. The chemistry between DiCaprio and Winslet is very apparent and Zane is pitch perfect as Cal. The sinking sequence is really something and no disaster film since has matched its scope.

    As it stands right now, the DVD doesn't have any bonus material on it, save for the theatrical trailer. Enough time has passed that another edition is warranted. That said, the bare bones DVD is recomended. For some additiional perspective on the history of the disaster, I also suggest, James Cameron's documentary Ghosts Of The Abyss.

    1-0 out of 5 stars movie hits an expensive iceberg
    this is my opinion should have its own category in the video store.by this i mean it should be under terrible movies that cost to much along with the day after tomorow.I think that this movie really did hit an iceberg and it was only popular because of its stars these stars i must add were not that great they were ok but nothing special.And i would rather shoot myself than hear another person singing my heart will go on.I really do not like this over expensive movie bu5 i suppose that thats just my opinion.

    5-0 out of 5 stars LOVE IT!
    THIS IS ONE OF MY FAVORETE MOVIES OF ALL TIME!THE ONLY GROSS PART IS WHEN ROSE TAKES OF ALL HER CLOTHES!?YUCK!BUT ANYWAY,IT`S A GREAT AND ROMANTIC MOVIE!

    4-0 out of 5 stars build a bridge
    titanic...The Movie....Is just that.
    I enjoy the story, from that perspective.
    I appreciate the effort to create a level of interest in such an event. Drama can attempt to capture, only you can respond!
    In reading short 4-5star reviews, and Loooong 2-3star reviews, I believe the connection has been made, as planned! ... Read more


    17. The Incredibles (Full Screen 2-Disc Collector's Edition)
    Director: Brad Bird
    list price: $29.99
    our price: $17.99
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    Asin: B0007A2GSW
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 96
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com essential video

    After creating the last great traditionally animated film of the 20th century, The Iron Giant, filmmaker Brad Bird joined top-drawer studio Pixar to create this exciting, completely entertaining computer-animated film. Bird gives us a family of "supers," a brood of five with special powers desperately trying to fit in with the 9-to-5 suburban lifestyle. Of course, in a more innocent world, Bob and Helen Parr were superheroes, Mr. Incredible and Elastigirl. But blasted lawsuits and public disapproval forced them and other supers to go incognito, making it even tougher for their school-age kids, the shy Violet and the aptly named Dash. When a stranger named Mirage (voiced by Elizabeth Pena) secretly recruits Bob for a potential mission, the old glory days spin in his head, even if his body is a bit too plump for his old super suit.

    Bird has his cake and eats it, too. He and the Pixar wizards send up superhero and James Bond movies while delivering a thrilling, supercool action movie that rivals Spider-Man 2 for 2004's best onscreen thrills. While it's just as funny as the previous Pixar films, The Incredibles has a far wider-ranging emotional palette (it's Pixar's first PG film). Bird takes several jabs, including some juicy commentary on domestic life ("It's not graduation, he's moving from the fourth to fifth grade!").

    The animated Parrs look and act a bit like the actors portraying them, Craig T. Nelson and Holly Hunter. Samuel L. Jackson and Jason Lee also have a grand old time as, respectively, superhero Frozone and bad guy Syndrome. Nearly stealing the show is Bird himself, voicing the eccentric designer of superhero outfits ("No capes!"), Edna Mode.

    Nominated for four Oscars, The Incredibles won for Best Animated Film and, in an unprecedented win for non-live-action films, Sound Editing.

    The Presentation
    This two-disc set is (shall we say it?), incredible. The digital-to-digital transfer pops off the screen and the 5.1 Dolby sound will knock the socks off most systems. But like any superhero, it has an Achilles heel. This marks the first Pixar release that doesn't include both the widescreen and full-screen versions in the same DVD set, which was a great bargaining chip for those cinephiles who still want a full-frame presentation for other family members. With a 2.39:1 widescreen ratio (that's big black bars, folks, à la Dr. Zhivago), a few more viewers may decide to go with the full-frame presentation. Fortunately, Pixar reformats their full-frame presentation so the action remains in frame.

    The Extras
    The most-repeated segments will be the two animated shorts. Newly created for this DVD is the hilarious "Jack-Jack Attack," filling the gap in the film during which the Parr baby is left with the talkative babysitter, Kari. "Boundin'," which played in front of the film theatrically, was created by Pixar character designer Bud Luckey. This easygoing take on a dancing sheep gets better with multiple viewings (be sure to watch the featurette on the short).

    Brad Bird still sounds like a bit of an outsider in his commentary track, recorded before the movie opened. Pixar captain John Lasseter brought him in to shake things up, to make sure the wildly successful studio would not get complacent. And while Bird is certainly likable, he does not exude Lasseter's teddy-bear persona. As one animator states, "He's like strong coffee; I happen to like strong coffee." Besides a resilient stance to be the best, Bird threw in an amazing number of challenges, most of which go unnoticed unless you delve into the 70 minutes of making-of features plus two commentary tracks (Bird with producer John Walker, the other from a dozen animators). We hear about the numerous sets, why you go to "the Spaniards" if you're dealing with animation physics, costume problems (there's a reason why previous Pixar films dealt with single- or uncostumed characters), and horror stories about all that animated hair. Bird's commentary throws out too many names of the! !animators even after he warns himself not to do so, but it's a lively enough time. The animator commentary is of greatest interest to those interested in the occupation.

    There is a 30-minute segment on deleted scenes with temporary vocals and crude drawings, including a new opening (thankfully dropped). The "secret files" contain a "lost" animated short from the superheroes' glory days. This fake cartoon (Frozone and Mr. Incredible are teamed with a pink bunny) wears thin, but play it with the commentary track by the two superheroes and it's another sharp comedy sketch. There are also NSA "files" on the other superheroes alluded to in the film with dossiers and curiously fun sound bits. "Vowellet" is the only footage about the well-known cast (there aren't even any obligatory shots of the cast recording their lines). Author/cast member Sarah Vowell (NPR's This American Life) talks about her first foray into movie voice-overs--daughter Violet--and the unlikelihood of her being a superhero. The feature is unlike anything we've seen on a Disney or Pixar DVD extra, but who else would consider Abe Lincoln an action figure? --Doug Thomas

    More Incredibles at Amazon.ca


    The Incredibles Toy Store

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    The Pixar Feature Films

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    Reviews (281)

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Incredibles
    Disney-Pixar's 2004 animated feature about a super hero and his family who come out of hiding to battle a new villain.Mr. Incredible and his wife Elastigirl live quiet normal lives as Bob and Helen Parr in suburbia under government supervision due to previous public lawsuits that put them and other superheroes out of business.All is not well though as their superhero instincts and talents clash with mundane work and little excitement.Elastigirl has managed to adapt, but Mr. Incredible discreetly moonlights with his pal Frozone on "bowling night" saving people from fires and knocking out common criminals.Mixed in this trial are the children Dash and Violet, confused about their inherited superpowers while trying to cope with the difficult social challenges at school.Lastly is Jack-Jack the baby brother who appears to have been spared of any super talents.

    Just when Mr. Incredible feels he has hit rock-bottom, he's hired by an apparent secret government organization to defeat a renegade robot at their base on a remote island.Mr. Incredible is successful and looks forward to more exciting assignments.It isn't long, however, before he finds out he's been duped into serving as a test bed for robots at the hands of Syndrome, an evil genius posing as a new superhero through clever gadgets.When Elastigirl learns of her husband's whereabouts, she heads out via jet to find out what's going on.Dash and Violet secretly follow their mom, and through a series of events, all find themselves battling Syndrome and his army of bad guys and robots.

    This is a gem of an animated feature.While Pixar has ratcheted another progressive advance in animation, the characters and the story are terrific and not overshadowed by the techno-visual display.Dash and Violet are a joy to watch as they learn how to use their superpowers in the fight against evil, especially Dash's chase sequence when he's pursued bybad guys flying saucer hovercraft.Mr. Incredible and Elastigirl sorting out their family problems in the midst of this excitement are humorous and all the actors who voice the characters could not have done better.And not to be forgotten, Jack-Jack reveals his special powers near the conclusion of this feature.

    Obviously the ending of this movie leaves options open for a sequel, and while this looks like a promising proposition, Pixar will have to work hard to compliment this feature successfully.

    5-0 out of 5 stars More For Adults?
    This is a great movie for families, very funny and enjoyable to watch. Many of the themes will go over the head of younger children, more so than in most animated movies.But it's more fun for adults than most, and kids will still really enjoy it.I was pleasntly surprised by this movie, and would highly recommend it.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Not as good as Finding Nemo
    Genre: Computer-Animated, Comedy

    Genre Grade: A

    Final Grade: A-

    This was a great addition to Pixar's wonderful collection of films. While I believe Finding Nemo and even Toy Story were better than this movie, it still had some hilarious moments and great characters, namely Holly Hunter. I will say, however, that this is the most stunning computer animated movie I've ever seen. It's INCREDIBLE! Hahaha, sorry. I would have liked to have seen Samuel Jackson in more of the movie, and I think they could have made their characters a bit more quirky, honestly. Why was Finding Nemo so good? Because of a little fish named Dori. One character can make a movie (Toy Story hada number of them that made it), and I guess to me, this movie was just lacking in any incredible characters. Still great though!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Could not stop watching it over and over again
    I have always been impressed with Steve Jobs and Pixar's work but this is the first time I was just blown away by what I took in with the multi viewing of The Incredibles. I didn't see this picture in the movies when it was released. I rented with a mail order online store. This movie was awe inspiring from begining to end. From its throw back look and feel to its technologically fantastic special effects. It brought me back to a time when having a super hero on your wall in your room meant something. I was never a big fan of comic book hero's but I would have loved to see The Incredibles in comic book form back in my younger days. As a african american male I was deeply touched by the movie having an african american super hero. One that didn't die in the begining of the film but really had an impact to the whole story line. I also enjoyed the fact that it depicted flawed super hero's that were not perfect and made mistakes. They seemed so real to life and genuine in all the things that happened to them. I only own one other Pixar movie Finding Nemo but this one hands down is my ultimate favorite yet. I do hope Pixar continues in this series for I am looking forward to the Incredibles 2.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Not just a "kid movie"
    Some people love animation and some people could do without it. I'm addressing this review to the second group of people whom I urge to watch this for a number of reasons.

    First, the characters. I guarantee that most people will forget this is animated for large stretches because of how interesting the characters are AND how well they are developed. Two methods are used to accomplish this brilliantly. One is the great interplay and dialogue which is typically confrontational between close friends and family members as well as between the heroes and villians. Another is the "historical backdrop" provided at the beginning of the movie where the heroes are shown "back in the day" before the primary plot conflict begins. This, I believe, is key to the success of every great story from "Lord of the Rings" to "Star Wars (IV,V,VI)" to "Harry Potter".

    Secondly, the plot is superior among animated movies. I admit I liked "Toy Story I & II" as well as great Japanese stuff like "Spirited Away", but although they are spectactularly animated they're still kid movies. This flick has a great complex superhero plot which has several great surprises and twists and isn't revealed to the audience all at once. The suspense continues until the very end which ends on an uplifting family note and ties off all the subplots for each character beautifully.

    Lastly, the comedic aspect is superb. From the strained family relationships stemming from the inability to use their super-powers to the "ever had one of those days?" theme this movie will draw in even those most critical of this budding genre of computer-aided animation by, once again, the film's ability to suspend the audience's realization that these aren't "real people". The overcoming of personal obstacles which characterizes the best of superhero movies is front and center in this movie, but unlike Batman and Spiderman, the family aspect gives the movie a kind of "everyman" applicability that the average film-goer will appreciate. ... Read more


    18. Under the Tuscan Sun (Widescreen Edition)
    Director: Audrey Wells
    list price: $29.99
    our price: $20.99
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    Asin: B0000VD02Y
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 567
    Average Customer Review: 3.65 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (260)

    3-0 out of 5 stars Weather Report: Tuscan Sun Fun, Diane Lane Shines
    Take this for what it is and you might enjoy it -- complete fantasy stuff, wish fulfillment, a brief escape from real world life and complexities into the stuff of make belive, completely lacking in any substance whatsoever.

    Why make a book into a movie and COMPLETELY change it? This is Audrey Welles inflicting HERSELF, her agenda, in fact, her completely different story, onto Frances Mayes' story, where the only thing left is the name of the house (Bramasole) and the name of the main characer (Frances/Fran/Francesca Mayes).

    In real life Mayes is married to Ed Mayes, they're university professors, writers/poets, and they bought a house in Tuscany over ten years ago and started cranking out books about their new adventure (it's HUGE house, even more imposing than the one in the film).

    Apparently not seeing any dramatic potential in Mayes' work, Welles arrogantly GRAFTED a completely different story onto the title ("Maybe no one will notice") wherein HER "Frances Mayes" is married then divorced then goes off to Italy and buys a house on an impulse (and strangely meets a man named "Ed" at the end which is supposed to bring some kind of nod to the real Ed Mayes, like an inside joke or something or a little piece of magic that plays out like a lump of coal on a Christmas morning. Stupid (her last name is already Mayes before she meets this Ed so his had better be Mayes too if you're following the silly logic of the story).

    Don't pick this movie apart (pull one thread and it unravels rather easily). Instead see it for the wish fulfillment fantasy of buying a house in Tuscany, the Italian countryside (most of which was actually rainy and overcast all through filming) an attractive cast (Diane Lane is STILL stunning after all these years), and a complete dose of fantasy -- a guilty pleasure, like watching "Dynasty" in the 80s.

    Leave the critical thinking elsewhere and pretend the world today is no more complex than an episode of The Brady Bunch (yeah right). Watch the scenery. Watch Lane's comic performance and stunning beauty, and Sandra Oh's great supporting performance. Then forget this crazy thing.

    And if you liked the book, may I recommend At Home in France by Ann Barry and Extra Virgin by Annie Hawes, both of which I liked better than the book Under the Tuscan Sun and its followups as did many other reviewers on amazon and elsewhere they report.

    The best part of this movie, for me, was seeing it in the theatre and suddenly seeing on screen the love interest's 1980s Alfa Romeo Spider Veloce two-seat convertible driving "picturesquely" through Italian cityscape and Italian coastline, and laughing to myself because it was the same car waiting for me in the parking lot.

    Do a theme night. Make some bruschetta and other Italian culinary items and watch this fluff with friends. You won't be able to keep a straight face at how "schmaltzy" it is. You'll be absolutely embarrassed, but you still may take a second look later in privacy for an indulgent pleasure.

    Ciao!

    1-0 out of 5 stars Such lovely scenery - such an awful film!
    This is a really bad film. Okay, so it has nothing to do with the book except that it shares a title - that I could live with. But the story is hopelessly cobbled together and totally unbelievable. Surely this was a first draft of the script that they accidentally filmed?

    The main character is played by the pretty Diane Lane, but looks alone cannot salvage this dreadful character. She cries, she pouts, she is unbearably naive and, let's just say it, she is an idiot.

    The storyline is full of cliches. And where there are not cliches, there are gaping plot holes: why does her far-too-attractive-to-be-true Italian boyfriend drive a sports car when his family run a modest cafe on the beach that is supposed to support all of them? And just how does she manage to up and move to Italy without even having to fill in an immigration form? And if she was so broke that she had to move out of her mansion in San Francisco into a run-down fleabag hotel, just how the hell can she afford to suddenly buy and renovate a house in Italy, as well as living there for months with no visible means of income?

    The worst part of a spectacularly awful script is the love interest suddenly written in at the very last minute to tie everything up neatly - that really is bad writing of such magnitude that it deserves a special Oscar.

    Still, if you turn the sound off, you can enjoy genuinely beautiful photography of Italy.

    4-0 out of 5 stars hooked on tuscany
    I have watched this movie twice so far, and will probably watch it more often. Tuscany is a countryside that got me hooked the first time I saw it appearing in front of my train window, and it is the same with the movie. So, I could empathize, seeing the same happening to "Frances" (Diane Lane) when she sees Tuscany and decides to buy a house and stay. Diane Lane in one of her best roles, her face very expressive, her acting excellent.
    The only disappointment came when I read the book the movie was made after: in the original autobiographic story, Frances Mayes is not at all a divorcee struggling with recurring bouts of loneliness, but rather, a woman already happily attached again to a new steady boyfriend, with a fulfilled life, and full of energy for the work on their new house. The movie trailer says, the character were "changed for dramatic effect". Wonder who did not like the idea that a woman could be happy again so soon, and decided it should not be shown in the movie that way ? Anyway, both are definitely worth your while, and in the book you can even find the recipes for all that great Italian cooking too.

    2-0 out of 5 stars YAWN!
    I eagerly anticipated watching this movie, as I thoroughly enjoyed the book; however, the movie shares only a passing resemblance to the book. It gets 2 stars because I enjoy Diane Lane and Tuscany is gorgeous, but other than that the movie was dull, Lane's character is nothing short of pathetic, and the ending is trite.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Get Your Passport Ready
    I loved this movie. I don't usually watch too many movies but a friend loaned me this one and am I glad she did.
    It is about a woman betrayed and how she goes on with her life. It made me think that I too could do something exciting with the rest of my life.
    For the scenery of Italy alone, this movie is worth watching. Just beautiful.
    I had never seen Diane Lane in any performances but I will seek her out now. All in all I give this movie a 5 star rating. ... Read more


    19. The Last Starfighter
    Director: Nick Castle
    list price: $19.98
    our price: $14.99
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    Asin: B00000IQW3
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 1615
    Average Customer Review: 4.32 out of 5 stars
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    4-0 out of 5 stars CULT MOVIES 29
    29. THE LAST STARFIGHTER (SCI-fiction, 1984) For young Alex Rogan (Lance Guest) living in a trailer park is boring. He wants to escape from his rural existence and go to the city where he hopes to go to College. Bot for his girlfriend Annie (Catherine Mary Stewart) the prospect of leaving her grandmother behind is hard. Alex's only real excitement is playing a video game called 'Last Starfighter', having played it so many times that he finally breaks the game's points record. Soon after he's visited by a friendly alien power. They want to recruit him as one of their elite 'Starfighters' in an inter-galactic war where his skills will prove the turning point. Here he finds an unexpected chance to finally break free and follow his dreams. But will Annie join him?

    Critique: The Star Wars phenomenon inspired a slew of science fiction films in its heyday that, surprisingly enough, has continued to this day. Although the 80s produced its share of memorable films, this is one of the most appealing of the bunch. Capturing the youthful exuberance and innocence that made the Star Wars fantasy a worldwide smash. The 'once upon story' line works from the disillusioned, dreamy nature of those kids whose earthly existence leave much to be desired. Wishing they could be whisked away to another galaxy, and take part in some far-off adventure. An added bonus to the film is the pairing of the 2 young leads. Exacting the warmth and amazement of encountering such a journey, and taking their love to the infinite reaches of space.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Sweet, Exciting Sci-Fi Adventure!
    A combination of 'Coming-of-Age', 'Small-town U.S.A.', and Science Fiction films, 'The Last Starfighter' is one of that rare breed of films that actually become more enjoyable after repeated viewings, which makes it an EXCELLENT choice for your film collection!

    Famous in film history as the first film to utilize computer-generated FX for its space scenes (producing a 'big-budget' look to more modestly budgeted film), the effects today seem as creaky and out-of-date as the 'Last Starfighter' arcade game that teenager Alex Rogan (Lance Guest) is so expert at! Don't let this put you off, though, as this story is really about the youngster, and being willing to take advantage of an opportunity to 'shine', as Otis (Vernon Washington), his best friend at his trailer park home, reminds him.

    The concept of the game being a secret test for fighter pilots is clever, and when game creator Robert Preston (who is magnificent, in his last screen appearance) whisks young Rogan off to fight in an interstellar war, all of the youngster's long-stated ambitions to leave home and make something of his life are tested. In a series of amusing scenes, our hero stumbles through his first encounter with alien races, meeting the affable Grig (an unrecognizable Dan O'Herlihy, who nearly steals the movie), the pilot of his fightercraft. After almost making the worst decision of his life, Rogin comes to his senses....

    ... director Nick Castle (who directed the sweet and equally wonderful 'The Boy Who Could Fly') understands people and small-town life, and gives the space adventure so much charm and savvy that you'll love it, nonetheless!

    Guest is terrific as Alex, conveying both the humor and frustration of growing up in the trailer park; Catherine Mary Stewart, as his girlfriend, is equally good! As Alex' space-fixated younger brother, Louis, Chris Hebert has some of the film's funniest lines, and the image of him, taking his shot at the arcade game and a chance to become a Starfighter, at the conclusion of the film, is a fitting finale!

    Special praise should be given to Craig Safan's rousing score, some of the most beautiful, sweeping music since 'Star Wars'!

    The DVD edition IS the version to buy, with a terrific documentary on the making of the film, hosted by Lance Guest, and commentary by director Nick Castle and production designer Ron Cobb!

    'The Last Starfighter' has achieved near-cult film status over the years, and is a rich experience you'll enjoy, again and again! I STRONGLY recommend it!

    4-0 out of 5 stars One of my fondest memories...
    One of the fondest memories of my childhood was watching this movie while eating a Chef-Boy-Ardee sausage pizza. (remember those?) Many hot summer days were spent enjoying the adventure of Alex Rogan travelling to Rylos and realizing his dreams and his destiny as a Starfighter with his navigator, Grigg. This is one of those inexplicably optimistic films that popped up in the 80's. Despite the fact that the special effects may look dated now, the story is timeless and well written for this genre. The video presentation on this DVD is rather crisp and clear but the audio could be a "little" better. Still, this is a wonderful film for kids and nostalgic adults alike. Oh, the extras are nice as well. I hadn't seen the "Making of" documentary since it appeared on HBO when I was a kid. This is a wonderful film.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly enjoyable
    An interesting little film of how a dead-end kid is forced to become a galactic hero, because of his facility at a computer game, which is a secret recruiting station for starfighter pilots. The computer-generated graphics, advanced for their time, now look ridiculously crude, but it somehow adds to the quaintness of the whole thing, with marvellous performances from Lance Guest as the reluctant hero, Robert Preston as the likeably roguish Centauri who is prepared not so much to bend the rules as to smash them into very tiny fragments and Dan O'Herily as Grigg, the lizard co-pilot whose dream is to go down fighting against impossible odds!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Formulaic Fun.
    If you're looking for a masterpiece film that rewrites the sci-fi genre with intense drama and gritty characters, this isn't the movie for you. If you're looking for a really fun film that's a great mix of Star Wars, Saturday morning cartoons, and video games then stick this in your DVD player.

    The movie's special effects hold up suprisingly well, considering that they're 20 years old. When Alex Rogan is flying the gunstar, it's like you're there with him, especially if you grew up loving this film. The characters are developed enough that you care, but not so much that it's like a daytime soap opera. Two thumbs up! ... Read more


    20. Something's Gotta Give
    Director: Nancy Meyers
    list price: $28.95
    our price: $21.71
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0001AVZA8
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 266
    Average Customer Review: 3.51 out of 5 stars
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    As upscale sitcoms go, Something's Gotta Give has more to offer than most romantic comedies. Obviously working through some semi-autobiographical issues regarding "women of a certain age," writer-director Nancy Meyers brings adequate credibility and above-average intelligence to what is essentially (but not exclusively) a fantasy premise, in which an aging lothario who's always dated younger women (Jack Nicholson, more or less playing himself) falls for a successful middle-aged playwright (Diane Keaton) who's convinced she's past the age of romance, much less sexual re-awakening. As long as old pals Nicholson and Keaton are on screen discussing their dilemma or discovering their mutual desire, Something's Gotta Give is terrific, proving (in case anyone had forgotten) that Hollywood can and should aim for an older demographic. Myers falls short with the sitcom device of a younger lover (Keanu Reeves) who wants Keaton as much as Nicholson does; it's believable but shallow and too easily dismissed. Myers also skimps on supporting roles for Frances McDormand, Amanda Peet, and Jon Favreau, but thankfully this is one romantic comedy that doesn't pander to youth. Mature viewers, rejoice! --Jeff Shannon ... Read more

    Reviews (245)

    3-0 out of 5 stars Opening sequence is as sexy as this movie gets
    Even as a straight female, I found the opening shots, scanning a variety of STUNNING women, engaged in their NYC lives, quite erotic, especially as choreographed to "Butterfly, by Crazy Town.

    The rest of the film is "watch-able" - but highly unbelievable. Neither Diane Keaton, nor Jack Nicholson impressed me much. They're charming and quirky in the ways we're familiar with - watching them over so many years. This isn't a sexy film - and doesn't do much to negate stereotypes of aging men and women.

    For me, Frances McDormund (spelling?) was the revelation of the film. She's the one who defies streotypes. She's cast as the no make-up, dressed like a boy, Women's Studie's Prof. She delivers a feminist rant one minute , and laughs at herself the next. Most surprsing, in going against stereotypes of the hot chick (like those at the beginning of the film), she is actually really sexy. She does a slightly lewd dance to Marvin Gaye's "Let's Get It On" - she's hot, funny, ostensibly single - yet happy. Now there's a woman I can identify with!

    5-0 out of 5 stars There may be some snow on the roof....
    What's not to enjoy? The script has Snap!, Crackle!, and Pop! Also several moments of genuine tenderness as well as natural hilarity. As ably directed by Nancy Meyers whose previous work in What Women Want is also first-rate, the cast is excellent and Diane Keaton's Academy Award nomination for best actress (as Erica Barry) in a leading role was well-deserved. I also expected a nomination for Jack Nicholson as Harry Sanborn. The supporting cast is also fine, notably Frances McDormand (Zoe Barry) and Keanu Reeves (Julian Mercer). The core situation is that the wealthy and charming Harry is dating (at least for the moment) Erica's daughter Marin (Amanda Peet) and accompanies her for a weekend in the Hamptons where her divorcee mother (a successful playwright) has a lovely oceanside home. Of course, Erica and her sister Zoe appear unexpectedly.

    As a result of his hedonistic lifestyle, Harry suffers a heart attack unrelated to Erica. After emergency care by Julian, he is released but must reside nearby during the recovery period. Guess where? Of course, he and Erica fall in love. Meanwhile, prior to Harry's appearance in his life, Julian had become strongly attracted to Erica...not to her daughter. Apparently she has had no romance in her life since the divorce and is currently hard at work on a new play which is not going very well. Harry eventually becomes well enough to return to Manhattan. And then....

    Eventually, both Harry and Erica must make very difficult choices. It would be a disservice to those who have not as yet seen this film to explain what those decisions prove to be. However, I feel free to say that the decisions are juxtaposed very effectively with various humorous incidents, a few of which are featured in the trailer shown in theaters. Yes, this is a comedy but it also has some attitude. On occasion, an edge. There are implications to the lives which the two seniors have led, prior to their meeting. The resolutions of various conflicts (both major and minor) are entirely plausible, except -- in my opinion -- for one which involves Erica and Julian. See this entertaining, sometimes serious film and then reach your own conclusions.

    The special features provided with the DVD include a "Commentary" by director Nancy Meyers, producer Bruce Brock, and actress Diane Keaton, another "Commentary" by director Nancy Meyers and actor Jack Nicholson, a "Hamptons House Set Tour" with Amanda Peet, and "Harry Sings Karaoke to Erica" (a deleted scene). For whatever reasons, Keaton chose not to contribute much but Nicholson did and, as always, is charming, articulate, and generous. Contrary to his persona in so many films, Nicholson is renowned among his film colleagues for the same endearing qualities which are evident in one of the commentaries.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Too Young for This?
    Perhaps at 34 I am too young to 'get' this movie. I was hoping for a great romantic comedy, but found this one fell flat. Not even in the same universe as As Good as It Gets. After Jack Nicholson's character is stranded at Diane Keaton's house, I just lost interest. I didn't think he was anyone's dream man, and their love scene was frankly more than a little embarrassing. And the ending! Let's just say I find it very hard to believe a 60-something leopard would change his spots.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Not all that great
    I was pretty disappointed with this movie. It was entertaining, but very contradictory. You have Diane Keeton who plays Ericka a play write, who is pretty bitter about older men who seem to go for younger women. Yet her own daughter who is in her early 30's is dating a man (Jack) who happens to be 63 years old!! Harry is older, and is pretty commitment phobic, so he believes in dating and having fun. Harry is also prone to lots of hospital visits due to his heart problems. So Ericka's daughter decides to end her relationship with Harry because she spotted the chemistry between her mom and Harry. Now knowing that Harry is such a commit phobe, you would think that Ericka would ignore Harry and enjoy the attention she is getting from Julian (Keanu's character) who is totally smitten with her. No, she sleeps with Harry, it means a lot more to her, then it meant to him, and when he admits he only wants to be friends she spends a good deal of the movie crying. Now the crying was okay the first few minutes, it was funny at first. Then it got on my nerves !!! Her heartbreak helps her complete her play she is writing, and Harry is the subject of her new play that becomes a hit. Ericka's daughter is all upset her father is going to marry a woman who is only a few years older then her. Do you see the irony? Ericka goes to Paris, and Harry finally realizing he is in love with her goes to surprise her. However, the surprise is on him when he realizes that Julian is with her. The chemistry once again is evident, and Ericka goes after Harry. I'm sorry, but Julian is so much cuter!!!!

    I also have a feeling my age may have had something to do with why I did not enjoy this movie as much as I thought I would. I'm 36 and the thought of dating someone 63 does not appeal to me. If I were older, I would not be upset that men older prefer younger men. The other issue I had with the movie was this. During the scene when Ericka and Harry was about to have sex, they mention birth control, but when she mentioned "menopause" all the sudden everything was GREAT. Now I know this is a movie, but what about using a condom so you don't have to worry about the spread of STD's or HIV? Sure she does not have to worry about pregnancy, but with Harry being so commitment phobic, I would be worried about getting HIV!!!! So that part really disturbed me. I would just go out with a younger man if he were attracted to me. The movie was cute, the movie had some funny moments, but the movie was not all that great to me.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Charming and intelligent
    While I am nowhere near a 50 something, and closer to a 30 something, I can still appreciate an intelligent romantic comedy with a convincing and witty cast. I love Diane Keaton's character, especially with her quirky hang-ups (no pun.) Humor, charm, intellect and vulnerability ring true for both her and Nicholson, to whom before this movie, I was not a huge fan. It inspires us all to develop our skills and talents and to never give up on finding our soul mate, regardless of how late in life he/she might arrive. It was precious in some parts, and soulful in others. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do. ... Read more


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