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  • Qissi, Michel
  • Quade, John
  • Quadros, Stephen
  • Quaid, Dennis
  • Quaid, Randy
  • Qualen, John
  • Quarry, Robert
  • Quasimodo, Maria Cumani
  • Quayle, Anthony
  • Quentin, John
  • Questel, Mae
  • Quick, Diana
  • Quigley, Juanita
  • Quigley, Linnea
  • Quijada, Alfonso
  • Quilico, Louis
  • Quillan, Eddie
  • Quilley, Denis
  • Quilligan, Veronica
  • Quinlan, Kathleen
  • Quinn, Aidan
  • Quinn, Anthony
  • Quinn, Daniel
  • Quinn, Elizabeth
  • Quinn, Francesco
  • Quinn, Martha
  • Quinn, Patricia
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    $20.99 $10.25 list($29.98)
    1. In Good Company (Widescreen Edition)
    $11.24 $9.29 list($14.98)
    2. The Rocky Horror Picture Show
    $13.49 $4.68 list($14.99)
    3. Dreamscape
    $11.24 $9.30 list($14.98)
    4. The Grapes of Wrath
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    5. Breaking Away
    6. Summer Magic
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    7. The Day After Tomorrow (Widescreen
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    8. Purgatory
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    9. In Good Company (Full Screen Edition)
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    10. Conagher
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    11. Dragonheart - Collector's Edition
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    12. Monty Python's The Meaning Of
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    13. The Mission (Two-Disc Special
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    14. Apollo 13 (Widescreen 2-Disc Anniversary
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    15. The Guns of Navarone (Special
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    16. Practical Magic
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    17. The Searchers
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    18. Murder on the Orient Express
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    19. The Alamo (Widescreen Edition)
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    20. Saving Grace

    1. In Good Company (Widescreen Edition)
    Director: Paul Weitz
    list price: $29.98
    our price: $20.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0007VZ9D0
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 109
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    Nowadays it's rare to find a movie that pays attention to human weakness as well as strength, and that sees a whole person as having both. When a sports magazine gets bought by a media conglomerate, an ad sales executive named Dave Foreman (Dennis Quaid, The Rookie) finds himself playing second-in-command to Carter Duryea, a hotshot barely half his age (Topher Grace, Win a Date with Tad Hamilton!) whose marriage has just fallen apart. One evening Carter invites himself over to Dave's house to escape his loneliness, where he meets Dave's daughter Alex (Scarlett Johansson, Lost in Translation). The two strike immediate sparks and when they run into each other later in the city, a relationship begins--which they discreetly keep from Dave. But the heart of the movie is not in its plot, but in the way that Dave responds to the news that his wife is pregnant, or how Carter tries to fortify his self-image with a new car. These aren't jokes; the actors inhabit these moments fully and turn them into psychological events. Quaid plays Dave as a simple man, but his straightforwardness feels genuine (rather than a failure of the writer's imagination). Grace and Johansson have terrific chemistry as lovers, but so do Grace and Quaid, both as rivals and as a substitute father and son. In Good Company isn't likely to win any awards, but it's honest and honorable; there's a core of truth to its characters and their problems aren't resolved too neatly. Sometimes, that's worth watching. --Bret Fetzer ... Read more

    Reviews (59)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Moral Fable Never Gets Sappy
    Dennis Quaid plays a 51-year-old father of two daughters and head of a sales division for a sporting magazine. After a buyout, he is demoted and has a new boss, a 26-year-old coffee-drinking yuppie full of corporate speak and blind ambition who falls in love with Quaid's gorgeous daughter. The father's self-worth is tested savagely in this comic film which, exploring the absurdity and brutality of the corporate world, actually has a moral message about integrity and being true to yourself. It's rare that a comedy is both funny and packed with moral meaning as it attempts to find redemption for the father and his new boss. For a darker look at corporate life with no redemption for the characters, check out the bleak and nihilistic In the Company of Men by Neil LeBute.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Not exactly what I expected.
    Dennis Quaid gives a magnificent performance as a long-time salesman who's proud of his work, and who suddenly loses his status when he gets demoted. Topher Grace plays the new boss, and he's terrific as an obnoxious but charming kid on a power trip. Quaid and Grace's awkward, amusing, and (eventually) fond friendship is the crux of the film, and the best reason to see it. The movie's flaws: First, it's slow at times, I expected more inter-office interaction. Second, for a film about cold corporations and job insecurity, the comedy is less sharp than it could be. It's almost as if the movie is too light for its subject. Characters get laid off but you never see how it would hurt their families. The only really bad thing that happens to anyone is that they have to take out a second mortgage! Another reason the comedy is so lightweight is that there no major bad guys to make fun of. Quaid and Grace (who lays off Quaid's colleagues) represent different business philosophies, but they're both essentially good-hearted. Only one or two characters are slightly villainous, and they're on screen for just a couple minutes.

    4-0 out of 5 stars An Excellent satire
    "In Good Company" is a lovely movie - part romance, part drama, part satire. It strays occasionally into the obvious, but, overall, it's enormously entertaining. While the satire and drama elements are marred by pat endings, the romance part is given a blissfully hopeful, rather than a happy, ending.

    Dan [Dennis Quaid] is a high powered advertising executive at a big sports magazine. At age 52, he's at the top of his game. Out of nowhere, his company is bought by a media conglomerate headed by a billionaire megalomaniac. To Dan's horror, his new boss is a 26-year old kid named Carter [Topher Grace]. In typical early 21st Century fashion, Carter has arrived through sheer ambition and charm. He has zero experience in advertising. Carter does, however, have some experience in romance. He meets and falls deeply in love with Alex [Scarlett Johansson]. As fate would have it. Alex is Dan's daughter.

    The acting here is superior. Quaid was nominated for a Best Actor Oscar. Johansson is one of the best young actresses working today. The revelation is Grace, prior to this best known for his role in a hit sitcom. Here he creates one of the more memorable movie characters in recent movies.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Funny and original
    Genre: Indie Comedy

    Genre Grade: B+

    Final Grade: B

    This movie was disguised as somewhat more of a romantic comedy, but it indeed was not. It did have some of that in it, but mostly the movie was about the connection of a younger, naive boss taking on the older, experienced salesman. There was some hilarious moments and some really cheesy, odd ones too, but overall it had a good feel to it and was a good movie. The best part about this movie was the music - from The Shins, Damien Rice, and Iron & Wine. Unfortunately, Iron & Wine is the only bad that appears on the soundtrack to the movie. Bad mistake!

    On a side note, this movie does not have a cliche Hollywood ending, but rather a more realistic approach to a very possible situation. Some people may not like the ending because of that, but I applaud the creators of this film for doing what they did. Wandering outside the box is something more movies should do these days. I would compare this movie to Garden State, and while Garden State may have seemingly followed the Hollywood guidelines more than this film did, I just think it was more appropriate in that film, because of the depth of the connection between Zach Braff and Natalie Portman. I don't think Scarlett Johannson and Topher Grace shared as much of a connection. Or maybe they did, but that was not the entire focus of this movie.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Not the greatest movie!
    Kind of cute. I really thought I would have liked this movie, it was really great until the end of it.They could have done better on the end, kind of cheap.It definetly deserves three stars. ... Read more


    2. The Rocky Horror Picture Show (Single Disc Edition)
    Director: Jim Sharman
    list price: $14.98
    our price: $11.24
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00006D295
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 733
    Average Customer Review: 4.47 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (291)

    4-0 out of 5 stars 'The Rocky Horror Show' Movie
    There is one reason why everyone should see "The Rocky Horror Picture Show": it is the best cult film ever made. There are also three reasons why everyone should want to watch it: 1) It is one of the only 'R' rated musicals in existence. 2) It has strong science-fiction overtones. 3) It is very funny. The movie starts Barry Bostwick and Susan Sarandon (before they were stars) as the recently engaged Brad and Janet. However, they are upstaged in nearly every scene by Tim Curry who plays Frank N. Furter, the mad doctor. The cast delightfully performs many memorable songs including "Over at the Frankenstein Place" and, of course, the "Time Warp". To fully enjoy RHPS, one must not be closed minded or the picture could prove to be quite offensive. Don't think it's gratuitously violent- it isn't. Merely, the situations the characters find themselves in could shock or appall overly sensitive viewers. If you think you won't enjoy RHPS, going to a midnight screening might be your best bet. The live audience participation will guarantee you a good time, despite your opinion of the actual film. So overall, RHPS is quite a good adaptation of Richard O'Brien's original concept, which always honors its roots on the stage.

    5-0 out of 5 stars DVD = Perfect format to truly experience "Rocky" at home
    I loved going to "Rocky Horror" when I was in college, but watching on home video just wasn't the same. I'm probably committing heresy but there's a reason why this sci-fi, horror, B-movie satire, rock musical didn't really make it big until theaters started showing it as a midnight movie and fans started attending in costume and talking back to the screen. The 25th anniversary DVD, with several audience participation options, really is the next best thing to being there.

    For the uninitiated, "Rocky Horror" tells the story of two clean-cut American youths, uptight Brad Majors (Barry Bostwick of "Spin City") and Janet Weiss (Susan Sarandon of "Dead Man Walking") whose car breaks down on a dark, deserted road in the middle of a storm--the classic beginning to many horror movies--and who seek help at a nearby castle. Castles, as Rocky fans know, don't have phones! What this castle has instead is a cross-dressing mad scientist Frank-N-Furter Tim Curry, in perhaps his finest performance), two very creepy servants, Riff-Raff (Richard O'Brien, who wrote the musical) and Magenta (Patricia Quinn), and various other hangers-on, including lovers Columbia (Little Nell) and biker Eddie (Meat Loaf). Brad and Janet walk in on a party celebrating the creation of Frank-N-Furter's muscle-bound boy-toy "Rocky." Bed-hopping chaos soon ensues, until the servants reveal their true identities and take control.

    Punctuating this wacky plot are some of the wildest rock-musical songs ever written. In addition to the classic "Time Warp," there's O'Brien's salute to cult-classic B-movies, "Science Fiction Double Feature," Meat Loaf's "Hot Patootie," and Sarandon ode to sexual self-discovery, "Toucha Toucha Touch Me!"

    So much for the "Rocky virgin" portion of the review... What makes the DVD so exceptional is the chance to experience "Rocky Horror" at home nearly like you would in the theater. The DVD has the option of turning on the audience screen comments as well as another option for viewing members of the Rocky Horror Fan Club performing select scenes before returning to the main movie. For those less familiar with audience participation, the DVD can prompt when to throw toast, toilet paper, rice, etc., light a match, put your newspaper on your head, etc.

    The second disc contains fascinating interviews with cast members, where fans can find out about their reaction to starring in this cult classic. Meat Loaf's description of not realizing what "Rocky Horror" was going to be about and running out of the theater when Tim Curry entered wearing fishnet stockings, spiked heels, a merry widow, and a leather jacket and singing "Sweet Transvestite" is hysterical. Patricia Quinn talks about how her fondness for the opening song, "Science Fiction Double Feature" made her want to take the role even though she hadn't read the rest of the script. What? Don't remember Quinn singing that number? In the stage versions she did, but the song got reassigned in the film version--and Quinn makes her feelings about that QUITE clear. Sarandon makes the interesting observation that "Rocky Horror" probably kept a lot of art house theaters in business over the years, since they could count on good revenue from the midnight movie, even if the latest regular-hours offering flopped. In Bostwick's interview, however, the actor sounds a bit like William Shatner giving his anti-Trekkie diatribe on "Saturday Night Live."

    The only disappointments on the DVD are that the outtakes really aren't that interesting and actor bios aren't provided. I would have liked to see what else the "minor" cast members did after Rocky, but that information is limited to a few lines in the companion booklet. Also, some of the audience-participation comments are nearly impossible to understand because fans are talking over each other. But then that's part of the modern-day theater experience. Even Sarandon noted in her interview that talking back to the screen has gone from the more unison catechism approach to a loud free-for-all.

    What seemed so risqué and shocking a few decades ago seems much more innocent today, but it was great when it all began and it's still great! If you've never ventured into the theater to experience "Rocky Horror," this is the best way to experience it at home.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Mesmerizing film.
    This is a very outrageous movie. The rock is the background to tell us a horror movie but also spiced with sex , ransvestism and above all a splendid tribute to the movies specially King Kong .
    One couple strands in an old house full of weirdos . This movie (here between you and me)could have inspired for Tim Burton in Beetle juice .
    In this decade there were great visuals films too . Sherman built a magnificent story absolutely free , intelligent and sarcastic, irreverent and bitter . You might state that Fellini's influence (dressed of english manners and clothes) is present all along the film .
    Inmediatly after its release this one acquired the status of cult movie.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The original is still the best!
    Don't bother with the play, or the music from the play. The original is still the best. Nobody can fill the shoes of Sarandon, Curry, etc. They originated the roles and have been associated with them for far too long for anyone else to come in try to change them so many years later and attempt to redo them. Stay with the best.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Those Gold Shorts!
    Ahhhhh...Rocky had such a lovely outline showing in his gold lame shorts. ... Read more


    3. Dreamscape
    Director: Joseph Ruben
    list price: $14.99
    our price: $13.49
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 6305869103
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 5190
    Average Customer Review: 3.37 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    Alex Gardner (Dennis Quaid) is a talented young psychic who's frittering his gifts away betting on the ponies. That is, until he's coerced by his old pal and mentor Dr. Paul Novotny (Max von Sydow) into taking part in a dream research project in which his psychic abilities make him indispensable. The project concerns "dreamlinking," whereby talented individuals like Alex hook up via electrodes and project themselves into some troubled subject's nightmares, in which they not only observe butparticipate in the dream, hopefully effecting some remedy. Alex is by nature a feckless guy, a charismatic scoundrel sporting a Cheshire cat's grin. But he warms easily to his new role as dream-dwelling psychotherapist, having a core of decency. Not so his nemesis, Tommy Ray Glatman (David Patrick Kelly), a dreamlink prodigy and pawn of Bob Blair (Christopher Plummer), who runs the research project for the government (he's described as the "head of covert intelligence"). Blair is worried about the President (Eddie Albert), whose nightmares of nuclear holocaust cause him to escalate disarmament talks with the Russians, much to Blair's dismay, being your basic evil, slick, smarmy covert kind of guy. Turns out Blair's real aim is to use the project to train dreamlink assassins, his star pupil being psycho Tommy Ray and his test case the President. Only Alex is there to stop them.

    Dreamscape is all business, with a well-structured screenplay that lays the groundwork for the film's many admirable performances. Kate Capshaw in particular is very dreamy as a research scientist and Dennis Quaid's love interest. And David Patrick Kelly is likely to become your worst nightmare, especially when he's the Snakeman, giving an often fantastical performance. But what you're most likely to remember from this wonderful thriller is the many vivid dream sequences, aptly surreal images from the troubled psyche. --Jim Gay ... Read more

    Reviews (19)

    2-0 out of 5 stars Eighties sci-fi/Thriller doesn't hold up...at all!
    I saw this during the eighties when it originally came out and thought it was terrific and scary. However, this movie does not hold up at all. It's not just the technological advancements in special effects that makes this movie so dated, afterall movies like "The Thing" and "The Exorcist" came out before this. A scary movie is scary no matter when it came out. This movie is just silly. The president's fear of nuclear war is treated so brazenly that it doesn't hold up now that the Day After decade is over. The story is so brisk in the extreme nothing is giving time to develop. Only the ideas are presented and not explored. Quaid and Sydow are good but even they can't save this movie. The dialog is very stilted at parts. Christopher Plummer is just silly, not menacing. Tommy Ray isn't scary any more. The snake man looks so rubbery and stupid that I can't believe I was ever scared of it in the first place. They did a terrible job with it. The transformation effects are now laughable. They didn't have to be. Kate Capshaw is awful (she always was; maybe that's one of the reasons you don't see her in much anymore now that she is married to Spielberg). This is just not that strong a movie and time has not been kind to it. I thought it was great when I was 10 but it just isn't scary or fun. Awful music by Maurice Jarre. Not because it is an electronic eighties keyboard soundtrack like Jerry Goldsmith's Runaway. No this is just bad and it sounds bad on this DVD. No themes develop and even the chase music is boring. Very weak. Similar genre movies from the eighties that hold up and you might want to check out instead: Twilight Zone the Movie, Gremlins, Poltergeist, Brainstorm, Fright Night.

    DVD-This dvd is also not very good either. The picture quality is very crisp most of the time. There is some wavering in some scenes. The special effects unfortuneately don't benefit from all that detail in picture quality. The worst part is the sound. It comes in DTS and Dolby Digital. It is hardly 5.1 like the box advertises. Occasionally you get some weak directional effects. But for I would say 80% of the movie everything is in the center speaker.

    The best thing about this DVD is the menus. They were a pleasant surprise. The movie and this DVD were not.

    5-0 out of 5 stars What a fun movie!
    This movie is kind of obscure to most but it's still an exceptional film. Dennis Quaid was pre-Inner Space, pre-Dragonheart and was sort of on the threshold of being one of the more fun and interesting actors of our time. This was also an overshadowed film by the mega horror spectacle "A Nightmare on Elm Street" but it's still great fun to enjoy. Very imaginative and different. The dream sequences were phenominal for the time when this film came out. Sort of an Indiana Jones meets Jacobs Ladder. With the exception of a weak ending and geeky special effects it's a great story and one that should be a addition to any collection. Enjoy!

    3-0 out of 5 stars I have a dream...for an unedited version...
    Do you ever remember your dreams? I rarely do...unless they are of the really intense kind and I wake up during the dream, and even then the images tend to slip from my conscious like grains of sand through your hand. Why am I bothering telling you this? Well, I needed some kind of opener for my review of Dreamscape (1984), a film that deals with dreams and such, and this was the best I could come up with at the time, lame as it may be...directed by Joseph Ruben, who later did Sleeping with the Enemy (1991) and Money Train (1995), Dreamscape presents quite a cast with Dennis Quaid, Max Von Sydow, Christopher Plummer, Kate Capshaw, Eddie Albert, and even George Wendt (Norm!).

    Dennis Quaid plays Alex Gardner, a young man of fantastic psychic abilities who has since dropped off the radar, preferring to use his 'gifts' to manipulate women and pick winners at the horse track, rather than continuing to subject himself to an endless series of tests meant to study and learn of his abilities, tests conducted by Doctor Paul Novotny (Von Sydow). Seemingly content to squander his skills, Alex's path once again leads him back to Dr. Novotny and his assistant, Jane DeVries (Capshaw) as they've developed a machine that would allow someone with Alex's talents to enter the dreams of others, and possibly help those plagued with reoccurring nightmares, specifically in the President (Albert) who is suffering from apocalyptic dreams that are beginning to affect his ability to do his job. Seemingly concerned with the President's well being, Bob Blair (Plummer), government head of Dr. Novotny's project and shadowy leader of an intelligence group even the CIA fears requests Dr. Novotny assist in relieving the President of these nightmares, but we soon learn he has other plans, plans of a sinister nature involving another, less stable psychic within the project by the name of Tommy Ray Glatman (David Patrick Kelly). Can Alex uncover the plot, help the President, and stay alive? Possibly, but the odds are certainly against him...

    Given some of the films that came out in 1984 like Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Ghostbusters, Amadeus, Footloose, Romancing the Stone, Starman, A Passage to India, and The Killing Fields, it's no surprise this 'sleeper' got lost in the shuffle. I've always enjoyed it, and thought it deserved a bit more credit than it's gotten. Dennis Quaid is really good and charming as hell as the smart alecky Alex Gardner, a character who seems to be able to handle himself, yet exhibits a smidgen of naiveté which possibly stems from a core belief of decency, despite his ventures into gray areas, specifically using his skills to determine winners of horse races, earning him money to live. Max Von Sydow is also very good, although I feel as if I've seen him in similar roles so many times before, as a doctor involved in ground-breaking research, not being able to see the forces which conspire to use his research for their own, sinister means until it's too late. As far as Kate Capshaw, I have to admit I've never cared for her all that much as I found her character in Temple of Doom to be highly annoying and distracting. She's not bad here, even though she does suffer from a common malady of the 80's here in big-hairitis syndrome. Plummer is good as the conniving powerful government agent with a secret agenda, although I've seen this whole 'evil government stealing research meant for the good of mankind for it's own corrupted means' theme about a thousand times before. Even so, he's perfectly suited for the part, oozing a smarmy, almost quiet charm that hides disturbing ulterior motives...I did like the aspect that his goals were driven mostly by his desire to protect what he thought needed protecting, even if he was misguided by his own sense of twisted patriotism.

    The special effects, while seeming quite dated now, were actually very good for the time this film came out, especially the dream sequences of the President detailing post-apocalyptic visions of decimated cities and ruinous wastes. The stop motion work, while not really appreciated by many, is really pretty good and reminds me of those old Ray Harryhausen films I love so much. One thing that annoyed me the most about this release is what's missing due to a hack editing job on a few scenes, all within dream sequences, I suppose, to more aptly fit the movie's PG-13 rating. One scene involved Quaid and Capshaw and a romantic interlude on a train with some pretty steamy stuff, but here it's cut short, removing the nudity. A second edited scene had Quaid inside a mousy man's dream about his wife, which contained some nudity that was excised out of here, and finally another scene has to do with Quaid's character helping a little boy overcome a terrifying reoccurring nightmare about a monstrous snake man. The part removed had a bit of gore in it, but it certainly wasn't anything, in my opinion, that deserved to be removed.

    It says the movie is available in full and widescreen anamorphic formats, but I only saw the widescreen available. The picture quality is pretty good, but the transfer print does suffer very minor age deterioration at some points, but it's hardly noticeable. The audio is much better, with Dolby Digital 2.0, new Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS 5.1 Audio available. Special features include an audio commentary track by producer Bruce Cohn Curtis, writer David Loughery, and special effects artist Craig Reardon that's pretty good, although dry at more than a few points. Also included are a behind the scenes special effects makeup test reel and a slide show. I really wanted to give this four stars, but given that's it missing parts from a few scenes, I have to go with three...

    Cookieman108

    4-0 out of 5 stars Dream A Little Dream
    Dreamscape is a solid little sci-fi film, that thanks to good casting, rises above its problems.

    Alex Gardner (Dennis Quaid) is a gifted young man, endowed with strong psychic powers, so far, he has only used his abilities to win money at the track. All that changes, when his former mentor, Dr. Novotny (Max von Sydow) and his lovely assistant (Kate Capshaw), recruit him to aid patients disturbed by their dreams. When a corrupt goverment official (Christopher Plummer)discovers what Alex can do, he has more sinister plans in mind--that involve the President Of The United States (Eddie Albert)

    Director Joseph Ruben gets the most from a strong cast. Quaid is pitch perfect as Alex, and gives what I think is, one of his best perfomances of his lopsided career. Plummer is at his best when playing a heavy, von Sydow is also tops here as well. Capshaw, on the other hand, is only serviceable, but thankfully, not as annoying as she is in Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom. The script from David (Star Trek V) Loughery has a few hiccups in it, and even though some of the story seems like its right out Stephen King's The Dead Zone--the problems are minor and not that big of a deal. The special effects are a bit chessey at times, but I can overlook that as well. As I said, the performances make the film work, above all else.

    The DVD has a fine audio commentary track with producer Bruce Cohn Curtis, Loughery, and special effects artist Craig Reardon, giving their perspectives on how the movie came together--I wish Quaid could have joined in as well though for an actor's take. A behind-the-scenes special effects makeup test reel and a still gallery top off the bonus material.

    Dreamscape is worth a look and is better than the DVD cover art would have you believe. It's a step above, and then some, from a B grade flick.

    4-0 out of 5 stars original movie!
    I saw the film now for the first time and were very surprised with the argument. A lot of parts are very similar to the "Elm Street" movies, which began one year later, even the knife-fingernails of the murderer, but especially that all victims were killed in their dreams.
    I agree with the other reviews, the film has great performanes.
    On the other hand there're a lot of mistakes and contradictions in the argument. For example, the last victim (the bad guy from the government) is killed although the protagonist is far away and can't influence his dream. But all in all I think you'll not loose your time seeing this movie, especially if you're a great science fiction/horror fan. ... Read more


    4. The Grapes of Wrath
    Director: John Ford
    list price: $14.98
    our price: $11.24
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0000DJZ8R
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 960
    Average Customer Review: 4.22 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com essential video

    Ranking No. 21 on the American Film Institute's list of the 100 greatest American films, this 1940 classic is a bit dated in its noble sentimentality, but it remains a luminous example of Hollywood classicism from the peerless director of mythic Americana, John Ford. Adapted by Nunnally Johnson from John Steinbeck's classic novel, the film tells a simple story about Oklahoma farmers leaving the depression-era dustbowl for the promised land of California, but it's the story's emotional resonance and theme of human perseverance that makes the movie so richly and timelessly rewarding. It's all about the humble Joad family's cross-country trek to escape the economic devastation of their ruined farmland, beginning when Tom Joad (Henry Fonda) returns from a four-year prison term to discover that his family home is empty. He's reunited with his family just as they're setting out for the westbound journey, and thus begins an odyssey of saddening losses and strengthening hopes. As Ma Joad, Oscar-winner Jane Darwell is the embodiment of one of America's greatest social tragedies and the "Okie" spirit of pressing forward against all odds (as she says, "because we're the people"). A documentary-styled production for which Ford and cinematographer Gregg Toland demanded painstaking authenticity, The Grapes of Wrath is much more than a classy, old-fashioned history lesson. With dialogue and scenes that rank among the most moving and memorable ever filmed, it's a classic among classics--simply put, one of the finest films ever made. --Jeff Shannon ... Read more

    Reviews (45)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Ford and Fonda do justice to Steinbeck
    Take John Steinbeck's Pulitzer-Prize-Winning Novel. Turn it into a movie and let John Ford direct it, and get Henry Fonda to star. In 1940 you could hardly find a more certain recipe for a cinema classic.

    As good as the film is, it really should be a companion-piece to Steinbeck's original masterpiece, and if you haven't read it I recommend setting aside enough time to read one of the greatest pieces of American literature ever written.

    That being said, the medium of the cinema allows for a visual impact that can't be matched with the written word.

    The Grapes of Wrath follows the Joad family during the great depression. That period of economic hardship hit the farmers in Oklahoma a little harder than the rest of the world, at the time of the dust bowl the "Okies" were at the end of their ropes, financially speaking.

    Thousands of Okies packed up the house after being foreclosed and moved out to California - many winding up around Bakersfield, at the California end of old US Route 66. (Merle Haggard's family did so and the "Okie from Muscogee" wrote about it in songs like "California Cottonfields".)

    Anyway, this is the historical context of the movie. The theme of the movie, and of Steinbeck's book, is the ability of the human spirit to remain intact in these worst of times. The Joads suffer terrible humiliations, one after another, most of them because of their desperate financial status. But as the story proceeds we see that they are fundamentally decent, hard-working people, and every time life knocks them down they get back up, brush the dirt off themselves, and keep moving forward. As a national characteristic, this was an important trait because this was the generation that produced the hard-working, high-minded individuals who did important things like win World War II, followed by America's greatest financial flourishing and the Baby Boom. Tom Brokaw called them "America's Greatest Generation".

    The cast is picture-perfect, with Henry Fonda as the spirited Tom Joad and John Carradine as the former preacher with a new social consciousness. Jane Darwell won a well-deserved Best Supporting Actress Award as Ma Joad, and the remainder of the cast is in every way equal to the story and the film.

    5-0 out of 5 stars An American Classic
    This is a great movie based on a great novel, and I am surprised by how honestly the film captures the raw humanity of the book. Steinbeck weaved social commentary into the story, and the movie makes many points about the human condition and spirit without being heavy-handed. The story of the Joads and their fight for survival rings very true, thanks to the realistic performances and the atmosphere created by director John Ford. Henry Fonda gives one of the best performances I have ever seen him give, and his "I'll be there" speech is one of the great movie moments. Jane Darwell is also very impressive, and her direct, down-to-earth style of acting makes the quiet strength and the suffering of Ma Joad seem very real. The Grapes of Wrath is an American classic, both as a novel and as a film.

    5-0 out of 5 stars "I'll be all aroun' in the dark."
    "Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord. He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored; He hath loos'd the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword, His truth is marching on." - Battle Hymn of the Republic.

    In 1936, John Steinbeck wrote a series of articles about the migrant workers driven to California from the Midwestern states after losing their homes in the throes of the depression: inclement weather, failed crops, land mortgaged to the hilt and finally taken over by banks and large corporations when credit lines ran dry. Lured by promises of work aplenty, the Midwesterners packed their belongings and trekked westward to the Golden State, only to find themselves facing hunger, inhumane conditions, contempt and exploitation instead. "Dignity is all gone, and spirit has turned to sullen anger before it dies," Steinbeck described the result in one of his 1936 articles, collectively published as "The Harvest Gypsies;" and in another piece ("Starvation Under the Orange Trees," 1938) he asked: "Must the hunger become anger and the anger fury before anything will be done?"

    By the time he wrote the latter article, Steinbeck had already published one novel addressing the agricultural laborers' struggle against corporate power ("In Dubious Battle," 1936). Shortly thereafter he began to work on "The Grapes of Wrath," which was published roughly a year later. Although the book would win the Pulitzer Prize (1940) and become a cornerstone foundation of Steinbeck's Literature Nobel Prize (1962), it was sharply criticized upon its release - nowhere more so than in the Midwest - and still counts among the 35 books most frequently banned from American school curricula: A raw, brutally direct, yet incredibly poetic masterpiece of fiction, it continues to touch nerves deeply rooted in modern society's fabric; including and particularly in California, where yesterday's Okies are today's undocumented Mexicans - Chicano labor leader Cesar Chavez especially pointed out how well he could empathize with the Joad family, because he and his fellow workers were now living the same life they once had.

    Having fought hard with his publisher to maintain the novel's uncompromising approach throughout, Steinbeck was weary to give the film rights to 20th Century Fox, headed by powerful mogul and, more importantly, known conservative Daryl F. Zanuck. Yet, Zanuck and director John Ford largely stayed true to the novel: There is that sense of desperation in farmer Muley's (John Qualen's) expression as he tells Tom and ex-preacher Casy (Henry Fonda and John Carradine) how the "cats" came and bulldozed down everybody's homes, on behalf of a corporate entity too intangible to truly hold accountable. There is Grandpa Joad (Charley Grapewin), literally clinging to his earth and dying of a stroke (or, more likely, a broken heart) when he is made to leave against his will. There is everybody's brief joy upon first seeing Bakersfield's rich plantations - everybody's except Ma Joad's (Jane Darwell's), that is, who alone knows that Grandma (Zeffie Tilbury) died in her arms before they even started to cross the Californian desert the previous night. There is the privately-run labor camps' utter desolation, complete with violent guards, exploitative wages, lack of food and unsanitary conditions; contrasted with the relative security and more humane conditions of the camps run by the State. And there is Tom's crucial development from a man acting alone to one seeing the benefit of joining efforts in a group, following Casy's example, and his parting promise to Ma that she'll find him everywhere she looks - wherever there is injustice, struggle, and people's joint success. In an overall outstanding cast, which also includes Dorris Bowdon (Rose of Sharon), Eddie Quillan (Rose's boyfriend Connie), Frank Darien (Uncle John) and a brief appearance by Ward Bond as a friendly policeman, Henry Fonda truly shines as Tom; despite his smashing good looks fully metamorphosized into Steinbeck's quick-tempered, lanky, reluctant hero.

    Yet, in all its starkness the movie has a more optimistic slant than the novel; due to a structural change which has the Joads moving from bad to acceptable living conditions (instead of vice versa), the toning down of Steinbeck's political references - most importantly, the elimination of a monologue using a land owner's description of "reds" as anybody "that wants thirty cents and hour when we're payin' twenty-five" to show that under the prevalent conditions that definition applies to virtually *every* migrant laborer - and a greater emphasis on Ma Joad's pragmatic, forward-looking way of dealing with their fate; culminating in her closing "we's the people" speech (whose direction, interestingly, Ford, who would have preferred to end the movie with the image of Tom walking up a hill alone in the distance, left to Zanuck himself). Jane Darwell won a much-deserved Academy-Award for her portrayal as Ma; besides John Ford's Best Director award the movie's only winner on Oscar night - none of its other five nominations scored, unfortunately including those in the Best Picture and Best Leading Actor categories, which went to Hitchcock's "Rebecca" and James Stewart ("The Philadelphia Story") instead. Still, despite its critical success - also expressed in a "Best Picture" National Board of Review award - and its marginally optimistic outlook, the movie engendered almost as much controversy as did Steinbeck's book. After the witch hunt setting in not even a decade later, today it stands as one of the last, greatest examples of a movie pulling no punches in the portrayal of society's ailments; a type of film regrettably rare in recent years.

    "Ev'rybody might be just one big soul - well it looks that-a way to me. ... Wherever men are fightin' for their rights, that's where I'm gonna be, ma. That's where I'm gonna be." - Woody Guthrie, "The Ballad of Tom Joad."

    "The highway is alive tonight, but nobody's kiddin' nobody about where it goes. I'm sittin' down here in the campfire light, with the ghost of old Tom Joad." - Bruce Springsteen, "The Ghost of Tom Joad."

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Grapes--and Apples and Oranges--of Wrath
    It's striking how many reviewers here base their comments on a simplisitic comparison between the film version of "The Grapes of Wrath" and the Steinbeck novel on which it was based. For many such a comparison seems to function simply as an excuse to proclaim the inherent superiority of the Steinbeck original--and, by extension, the superiority of their own literary taste values-- when all it really does is highlight the patent silliness of trying to pit different artforms into some sort of evaluative competition. Literature and cinema are two vastly different modes of representation each with their own strengths and limitations, so the framing question shouldn't be which version of "The Grapes of Wrath" is "better"--as if there were a universal yardstick with which to measure such things--but rather how do they perform in terms of their respective mediums? On that count, I think we are extraordinarily fortunate with both the Steinbeck and Ford versions of "The Grapes of Wrath" to have two masterworks that operate consummately at the peak of their respective artforms. What each does well, it does brilliantly. As a verbal medium that unfolds slowly, literature is good at offering rich, layered descriptions of person and place and mapping complicated narrative links and Steinbeck makes the most of this in his novel. Cinema, by contrast, is an expressive medium that works best through registers of visual and aural metaphor, allegory and performance...and it's on this ground that I think the film version of "The Grapes of Wrath" more than merits its classic status. It is a magnificently "cinematic" film that uses the expressive capacities of the medium to produce a richly layered experience that is truly moving and that lingers long afterward, sometimes for years or even a whole lifetime. I first saw "The Grapes of Wrath" on TV one rainy afternoon in my childhood and it left indelible impressions that have impelled me to go back to the film time and again: The haunted eyes of Jane Darwell's Ma Joad as she sits in the truck cabin, lit from beneath, driving into an uncertain future, the winds of history howling oustside; the terrifying collision montage as the monstrous "cats" move in to destroy the Okies' homes; the soulless gas station attendants, standing together in uniforms like corporatized automata, muttering that the Joads are too miserable to be human. It's a film dense with iconic richness and an enduring testament both to the artistry of the many workers that created it, and to the democratic spirit of popular cinema at its very best.

    5-0 out of 5 stars As good a restoration as possible
    This DVD restoration is probably as good as possible given that the original camera negative was lost. This is the one to get.

    By the way, there is NO widescreen version of "The Grapes of Wrath." This DVD release exhibits the full frame aspect ratio of the original (1.33 to 1 ratio). Essentially, films made between 1917 and 1952 were filmed with a full frame aspect ratio. Standard televisions were proportioned 4:3 to copy the standard cinema ratio. Widescreen (Cinemascope, etc) was a gimmick introduced by Hollywood in the 1950s to compete with television. So if a film was made between 1917 and 1952 don't go looking for a widescreen version of it because there isn't any! ... Read more


    5. Breaking Away
    Director: Peter Yates
    list price: $14.98
    our price: $11.24
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00003CX96
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 1351
    Average Customer Review: 4.65 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (77)

    4-0 out of 5 stars A classic
    I don't want to make a bigger deal out of this movie than it deserves. It's not a world-changer and the ending is a bit predictable, but it is a wonderful and charming coming of age story and an honest look at small-town America. And cycling and Italians play central roles -- a plus for an American cyclist living in Italy, like me.

    But having an affinity for things Italian or for bike racing is not necessary in order to enjoy this 25-year-old classic. What is necessary is an appreciation for small things and memories about the mysterious period between adolescence and adulthood. If that describes you, then chances are you'll enjoy this touching film.

    Amid the praise I should say that the DVD package is only average: the original trailer and teaser are there, but it would have been nice to have some commentary from director Peter Yates, some of the actors, or from critics who were fans of the film. A "Making of Breaking Away" mini feature would have also been a welcome addition.

    One note: Breaking Away is a very American film, and so I'm not so sure how much of it will hit home with foreign viewers.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Inspiring Coming-of-Age Quirky Heartwarming Film
    This is the story of four boys who have just finished high school and who live in Bloomington, Indiana. They are trying to figure out who they are and who they could be. They run up against the animosity of the college kids who look down upon the townies or "Cutters" (Bloomington is also a rock quarrying town) as inherently inferior.

    The main character is irrepressible Dave Stohler (Dennis Christopher) who decides that he wants to be an Italian international bicycle racing star, even though he has never been out of his home town and doesn't happen to be Italian. He pours himself into the role of becoming Italian and becoming a star-quality cyclist. His loving parents are bewildered and worry if their son will ever be normal. He doesn't want to be normal; he wants to be outstanding.

    This movie does a wonderful job of blending comedy, character development, and action. After watching it, you feel like you were there and you knew these people. I was inspired by this film to look for other Dennis Christopher movies (e.g., "California Dreaming") but none even approached this one. "Breaking Away", with the multiple meanings to its title, is one of the most likable movies I've ever seen. A great pick-me-up if you're down in the dumps.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Remember Being 18? You Will...
    Watching "Breaking Away" is like visiting an old buddy in a familiar town. The film is about four friends who have graduated high school and aren't quite sure whether to embrace adulthood and the future or to shun it and cling instead to their childhood identities and each other. There is a great deal of warmth and gentle humor throughout the film, and the performances are winning.

    Mike (Dennis Quaid), the leader of the group, clings to his friends as reminders of his days as high school quarterback and fears they will prove to be his best. Moocher is eager for adulthood and is planning to marry his girlfriend. The only problem is he cannot keep a job! Cyril (Daniel Stern) is resigned to the fact he may never leave Bloomington, but remains buoyant regardless. Dave Stohler is the main character, he knows exactly what he wants to be, an Italian Cyclist. There is only one problem- he isn't Italian! Dave learns through a young woman he meets and eventually through his father that simply being Dave is more than good enough, and that he must embrace his natural talents and the future. There have been countless "coming of age" pictures, but this one is the most enjoyable!

    DVD: The production values of the DVD leave something to be desired and therefore I only give the product 4 stars. The lack of 5.1 surround is a disappointment, as well as the quality of the video. A commentary track featuring the four leads would have been an interesting addition. The only extras are a couple of trailers.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Wide appeal.
    This film has wide appeal. At the outset it really seems to be one of those movies that were made specifically to cater to rising trends of the times -- in this case, the bike boom of the early 70's. And yet, even though our protagonist rides a Masi, this film has few things in common with other flicks like Torque, The Fast and the Furious, Top Gun, Wildstyle, Quicksilver and others that feebly attempt to elevate their respective scenes to almost mythical underground status by building stories and jargon completely around the sport or subject itself. Initially I watched Breaking Away because I was into bicycles. But bicycles in this movie surprisingly take somewhat of a backseat in relation to its main thrust; this film could be said to be not just about coming of age in small town America but more about taking pride in your own cultural identity while finding the courage to pursue your own dreams. And however cliche it might sound, the struggle is a real one, especially concerning the 'vicious cycle' that exists in our supposedly classless American society. And this I think, has a far more timeless appeal than a kid going around thinking he's a professional italian cyclist, however charming it may seem.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A classic
    A sleeper that made the grade and graduated into the realms of Classic Flicks, Breaking Away is one of those wonderfully uplifting and subtly patriotic movies that champions small-town America. Steve Tesich won the screenplay Oscar for this semi-biographical story about four 19yo kids who can't quite decide what to do with themselves after high school. They live in Bloomington, Indiana, where the guys from the university look down on the townies and make derogatory comments about their rock quarrying forebears. One of them drifts, then runs, into the world of Italian bicycling, much to his used-car-salesman father's dismay and embarrassment.
    You'll feel yourself pulled into rising excitement as the marvelous finale hoves into view, and, though sorry to see the film end, you'll hit the rewind button with a big smile on your face. ... Read more


    6. Summer Magic
    Director: James Neilson

    Asin: B00005JMVV
    Catlog: DVD
    Average Customer Review: 4.58 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (24)

    5-0 out of 5 stars wow!!!this really is SUMMER MAGIC
    what can i say hayley mills is a disney legend,and this movie is one of her masterpeices beside THE PARENT TRAP,THE MOON-SPINNERS,POLLYANNA...and many other disney films this movie has an excellent plot and a wonderful cast i give this 5 stars!!!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Delightful picture
    This picture may not be rich in plot but it has a wonderful air about it that will make you feel good all over.When I was a child I begged my parents to take me to this movie. My parents ignored me and took me to a movie they wanted to see. As it turned out the movie they wanted to see had a sneak preview of Summer Magic. For years I have resisted purchasing this Hayley Mills classic. I don't know why I waited. It is excellent.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Corny
    This movie is very corny. It is also annoying. It is a little unrealistic that everything would work out so well for this family. It is horribly corny. It is unbelieveable because Hayley Mills has a British accent and her family does not. Burl Ives's role is also cheesy (what else is new), and the name of the dude who owns the house's name is stolen from the bass player is Aerosmith, Tom Hamilton. The movie glorifies old ideals, such as country being better than the city. U should stay away from this one. It is not worth a stinking penny.

    4-0 out of 5 stars It's really good!
    I love the end part when the owner of the house shows up and they dance and everyone just stares at him. Isn't he cute?

    5-0 out of 5 stars Soft Summer Magic
    Hi! I'm Becky age 14. I've watched this a couple times, and loved it all the times. It does not include any offensive words, or anything eles concernig PG-13 movies. I wasn't around when Hayley Mills was a huge star or seen the rest of her movies or anything, but she did a wonderful job of acting. The special effects aren't incredably great by todays standards, but include that Disney Magic. Oh yeah, and the plot it great, a little slow in parts, but still great. This got boring after a while, so rent it a video rental store before you by it. Have fun! ... Read more


    7. The Day After Tomorrow (Widescreen Edition)
    Director: Roland Emmerich
    list price: $29.98
    our price: $19.49
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00005JMXX
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 207
    Average Customer Review: 3.47 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (203)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Powerful Film By Master Of Disaster Emmerich
    Roland Emmerich directed the 1996 blockbuster hitIndependece Day which many still consider his best work. Later, he directed Godzilla, which according to some was not well-crafted. But 2004's "Day After Tomorrow" is quite powerful and moving and Roland Emmerich brings back the magic and dynamics of his old masterpiece Independence Day. This time the threat is not alien, it's our own earth. Global warming has caused the polar ice caps to melt and erratic weather to errupt. Hail begins to attack Tokyo, Japan and it snows in the usually hot New Delhi, India. Star Dennis Quaid gets a hold of the fatal news that the world is going to end as it experiences a new Ice Age. His son Sam (Jake Gallynhaal) is away in New York City on an Academic Decathelon which he joined to be with the girl he loves. Sela Ward plays Sam's mother and Dennis Quaid's wife, a doctor who is caring for a cancer-struck little boy. The President of the U.S. and the Vice President (who looks a bit like Dick Chaney)completely ignore the warnings and it's not long before Los Angeles is destroyed by a tornado. The Hollywood sign gets blown away. New York City is flooded. The special effects are top-notch and the characters and plot stunningly engaging. Only a small group who has listened to Sam, who in turn was going by his father's directions, remain in the New York City Public Library even after it freezes entirely. Dennis Quaid searches for his son in the extreme weather. This is a movie about survival, as is expected about humans when confronted with great disaster. It is about courage and human compassion. To contrast the epic disaster with its serious drama is touches of humor such as the bum and his dog who survive the disaster and the fac that the tables are turned and it is desperate survivor Americans who are crossing the border illegally into Mexico, which was not effected by the disaster. All the performances are credible and though one can easily criticize for its typical disaster movie routine, it does'nt matter. The success of this film proves that we love to see this kind of genre. Humankind surviving all sort of disasters and the will to live. Five stars. An incredibl experience at the movies and hopefully it will make a wonderful DVD loaded with interesting features.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Disaster movie
    We don't need to get too intellectual on this movie, nor make any pretense of why you should see it - there is one reason and one reason only to view The Day After Tomorrow, the special effects. We all know this. So I really don't want to spend a page writing about the dialog that is worse than a soap opera, the science that made Lord of the Rings look reality based, or the believability factor that made Cliffhanger look like CNN. C'mon, you kind of expect that from a movie like this don't you?

    All of that nonsense aside, there are several scenes which are truly spectacular, some of the best special effects that I've seen. True, a great deal of those scenes were shown in the previews, but there are still many staggering effects that are saved for the film.

    Yes it's melodramatic. Yes it's preachy (Al Gore and Al Franken actually used this movie to promote their environment agenda). But if you would enjoy seeing LA destroyed by what would be the largest tornado in recorded history, or New York getting swallowed by a wall of water, it's worth the price of the movie ticket. And here's another idea - go with some friends and keep notes of the best (i.e. worst) lines, and then afterwards you can argue about which was the worst line of dialogue. Mine was probably, "Jake...tell her how you feel," with "I think I will go close my eyes for a while," coming in at a close second.

    One final note to the dude at Amazon who filters these reviews: Here's a little inside tip - *stop posting reviews written by people who haven't even seen the film - and even ADMIT this in their reviews!* And certainly don't make them the spotlight review. Maybe you could have a special "trailer review forum" for these idiots and stop wasting our time.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Best new movie
    The Day after Tomorrow is a outstanding movie. The special effects are awesome. I was not sure about the movie at first but after I rented it from blockbuster and viewed it, I definitely will buy it on dvd fullscreen. There have been a few movies made involving natural diasters but this one is the best. If you have not seen it yet, definitely watch it. The director did a fantastic job, the cast members put a outstanding job. It's one of those movies you'll want to watch again and again.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great Thrill Ride Movie
    When you watch this movie it will feel like you are in the movie. Trust me I have seen it 4 times in the theaters. You will have to watch it again and again and each time you will find something new. Enjoy the movie.

    2-0 out of 5 stars "Independence Day" minus the aliens, plus eco-propaganda.
    If you've seen the 1997 sci-fi hit "Independence Day", then for all practical purposes you've seen this movie too. The only real difference is that instead of a bunch of ticked-off aliens, the threat of human extinction comes from a ticked-off "Mother Nature". In the former, however, it was all about "us versus them" and the triumph of the human will to survive. In "Day After Tomorrow", the message is: "We have met the enemy, and they are the Republicans."

    Yeah, the movie is about the epic struggle to survive in the face of an overwhelming natural catastrophe, but it's pretty obvious that the producers were less interested in telling a story and more concerned about sending an election-year political message. From the early scenes of the movie, the "hero" character (a very forgettable paleoclimatologist played by Dennis Quaid) serves as the "voice crying in the wilderness" against the environmentally unsound excesses of corporate America. He warns of the doomsday scenario which does in fact unfold throughout the movie, but the heavily stereotyped conservative politicians (who are, no doubt, in the pockets of the polluters) shrug off his warnings. Maybe it's just me, but I thought the "vice president" character looked uncannily like Dick Cheney. Coincidence? I don't think so, but feel free to decide for yourself.

    The main story is about a dysfunctional family whose members find themselves separated by the unpredictable (yet somehow predicted) chain of natural events. Of course, the events aren't really natural -- they're caused by foolish and greedy men who fail to pay attention to the needs of Mother Earth. Somehow, against incredible odds, the family manages to reunite, save the human race, and resolve their own domestic issues all at the same time. And of course, the tale is duly concluded with the humiliation of America and its (implied Republican) leaders, as well as some cheap jabs at American immigration policy.

    In short, this is enviro-hysteria at its cheesy best, but election year political propaganda at its worst. There isn't even a mild attempt to veil the message -- it's right there in your face. If you're a Bush-hater, you'll cheer. If you're a little more honest with yourself, you'll see this film for the cheap trash that it is. The ONLY reason I gave it a second star was because it was chock full of stunning visual effects from beginning to end. Beyond that, your enjoyment of this movie will stand in direct relation to your political affiliation. That's no way to make a movie. ... Read more


    8. Purgatory
    Director: Uli Edel
    list price: $14.97
    our price: $10.48
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0007OY2OO
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 421
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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    Description

    Between somewhere and nowhere in the untamed West is the small town of Refuge. There, neither the sheriff nor his deputy carry a sidearm. There's no jail either, because shooting, carousing and bad blood are not in the town's character. What peaceful folks live there? Wild Bill Hickok. Doc Holliday. Jesse James. Billy the Kid. All long dead. All mysteriously given a chance to undo their violent pasts in Purgatory. All put to a stern test when Blackjack and his ornery gang ride into town. ... Read more

    Reviews (48)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Intriguing idea
    When a few outlaws (led by Eric Roberts and Peter Stormare) enter upon a mysterious town, they get more than they bargained for in Purgatory: an intriguing allegory made for cable channel TNT.All the legendary names of the Wild West, including Billy the Kid (Donnie Wahlberg), Wild Bill (Sam Shepard), and Doc Holiday (Randy Quaid); all of whom attempting to redeem their souls for the acts committed while they were alive.Naturally, a conflict ensues, with the townsfolk reluctantly resorting to the violent means they have been trying to erase.Purgatory packs enough action for western enthusiasts, even though it may come off as too preachy for some, and while it wears thin towards the end, it still manages to be solid entertainment with an intriguing idea.If you dig westerns with a twist on redemption, check out Purgatory.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Title That Caught Our Eyes
    As my wife and I are devout Catholics and checking what was
    on TV one Saturday afternoon during our little one's nap, this
    caught our eyes immediately!
    We have seen this movie every time is has been on when we've had
    the time to see it.I taped it and bugged two of our teenage
    daughters to watch it.They begrudgingly accepted our invite,
    and were slowly pulled in like we had been.They were pleasantly surprised at how much they enjoyed it!
    For more proof of this being a worthwhile "movie shot" for you-
    The reason I'm here right now at Amazon writing this review is
    because I am shopping for Purgatory on DVD!!!
    Although it is far from Catholic doctrine on purgatory, it is
    a very well done, thoughtful piece of work.
    It will make you think and at the same time it is definitely
    entertaining you!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Riveting!
    Im normally not into westerns, but this one changed my mind totally! The cast was great, cant wait to get it on DVD. This movie also has my favorite actor, Donnie Wahlberg (Billy the Kid) in it, I can say he played the part well...

    5-0 out of 5 stars Purgatory... only seen part of... just HAD to find it!
    I was getting ready for checkout at my hotel and turned the TV on just for some noise. I almost didn't check out on time! I had missed the very beginning of this movie. I HAD to get to my gig, so I missed maybe the last 30% of the movie. The other guys in my band were rivetted to it as well, and they are not big Western fans. The movie is just GRIPPING!

    I just ordered it from Amazon.com, and can't WAIT for it to get here so I can see it! I HIGHLY recommend it!

    4-0 out of 5 stars Goodness in the heart can ALWAYS prevail
    I have always despised just about every western made except for less than a handful."Purgatory" and "The Quick And The Dead" are just about the only ones that I enjoy."Purgatory" has such a deep underlying meaning to me...it's very hard for me to put it into words.But I can say that this movie shows to its viewers that through one's own personal convictions, no matter how rough life's road may get...salvation and peace of mind can and will be one of the eternal rewards.Sam Shepherd does a GREAT JOB as Sheriff and even though I love Eric Roberts, I thought that he was a "real S.O.B.!!!!!".I mean...whatever happened to "love thy brother" especially your own blood?My own brother is a real ass and even though I don't like him 90% of the time...I STILL LOVE HIM.Watch this movie, you won't be disapointed. ... Read more


    9. In Good Company (Full Screen Edition)
    Director: Paul Weitz
    list price: $29.98
    our price: $23.98
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0007VZ9DA
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 860
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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    Nowadays it's rare to find a movie that pays attention to human weakness as well as strength, and that sees a whole person as having both. When a sports magazine gets bought by a media conglomerate, an ad sales executive named Dave Foreman (Dennis Quaid, The Rookie) finds himself playing second-in-command to Carter Duryea, a hotshot barely half his age (Topher Grace, Win a Date with Tad Hamilton!) whose marriage has just fallen apart. One evening Carter invites himself over to Dave's house to escape his loneliness, where he meets Dave's daughter Alex (Scarlett Johansson, Lost in Translation). The two strike immediate sparks and when they run into each other later in the city, a relationship begins--which they discreetly keep from Dave. But the heart of the movie is not in its plot, but in the way that Dave responds to the news that his wife is pregnant, or how Carter tries to fortify his self-image with a new car. These aren't jokes; the actors inhabit these moments fully and turn them into psychological events. Quaid plays Dave as a simple man, but his straightforwardness feels genuine (rather than a failure of the writer's imagination). Grace and Johansson have terrific chemistry as lovers, but so do Grace and Quaid, both as rivals and as a substitute father and son. In Good Company isn't likely to win any awards, but it's honest and honorable; there's a core of truth to its characters and their problems aren't resolved too neatly. Sometimes, that's worth watching. --Bret Fetzer ... Read more

    Reviews (59)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Moral Fable Never Gets Sappy
    Dennis Quaid plays a 51-year-old father of two daughters and head of a sales division for a sporting magazine. After a buyout, he is demoted and has a new boss, a 26-year-old coffee-drinking yuppie full of corporate speak and blind ambition who falls in love with Quaid's gorgeous daughter. The father's self-worth is tested savagely in this comic film which, exploring the absurdity and brutality of the corporate world, actually has a moral message about integrity and being true to yourself. It's rare that a comedy is both funny and packed with moral meaning as it attempts to find redemption for the father and his new boss. For a darker look at corporate life with no redemption for the characters, check out the bleak and nihilistic In the Company of Men by Neil LeBute.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Not exactly what I expected.
    Dennis Quaid gives a magnificent performance as a long-time salesman who's proud of his work, and who suddenly loses his status when he gets demoted. Topher Grace plays the new boss, and he's terrific as an obnoxious but charming kid on a power trip. Quaid and Grace's awkward, amusing, and (eventually) fond friendship is the crux of the film, and the best reason to see it. The movie's flaws: First, it's slow at times, I expected more inter-office interaction. Second, for a film about cold corporations and job insecurity, the comedy is less sharp than it could be. It's almost as if the movie is too light for its subject. Characters get laid off but you never see how it would hurt their families. The only really bad thing that happens to anyone is that they have to take out a second mortgage! Another reason the comedy is so lightweight is that there no major bad guys to make fun of. Quaid and Grace (who lays off Quaid's colleagues) represent different business philosophies, but they're both essentially good-hearted. Only one or two characters are slightly villainous, and they're on screen for just a couple minutes.

    4-0 out of 5 stars An Excellent satire
    "In Good Company" is a lovely movie - part romance, part drama, part satire. It strays occasionally into the obvious, but, overall, it's enormously entertaining. While the satire and drama elements are marred by pat endings, the romance part is given a blissfully hopeful, rather than a happy, ending.

    Dan [Dennis Quaid] is a high powered advertising executive at a big sports magazine. At age 52, he's at the top of his game. Out of nowhere, his company is bought by a media conglomerate headed by a billionaire megalomaniac. To Dan's horror, his new boss is a 26-year old kid named Carter [Topher Grace]. In typical early 21st Century fashion, Carter has arrived through sheer ambition and charm. He has zero experience in advertising. Carter does, however, have some experience in romance. He meets and falls deeply in love with Alex [Scarlett Johansson]. As fate would have it. Alex is Dan's daughter.

    The acting here is superior. Quaid was nominated for a Best Actor Oscar. Johansson is one of the best young actresses working today. The revelation is Grace, prior to this best known for his role in a hit sitcom. Here he creates one of the more memorable movie characters in recent movies.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Funny and original
    Genre: Indie Comedy

    Genre Grade: B+

    Final Grade: B

    This movie was disguised as somewhat more of a romantic comedy, but it indeed was not. It did have some of that in it, but mostly the movie was about the connection of a younger, naive boss taking on the older, experienced salesman. There was some hilarious moments and some really cheesy, odd ones too, but overall it had a good feel to it and was a good movie. The best part about this movie was the music - from The Shins, Damien Rice, and Iron & Wine. Unfortunately, Iron & Wine is the only bad that appears on the soundtrack to the movie. Bad mistake!

    On a side note, this movie does not have a cliche Hollywood ending, but rather a more realistic approach to a very possible situation. Some people may not like the ending because of that, but I applaud the creators of this film for doing what they did. Wandering outside the box is something more movies should do these days. I would compare this movie to Garden State, and while Garden State may have seemingly followed the Hollywood guidelines more than this film did, I just think it was more appropriate in that film, because of the depth of the connection between Zach Braff and Natalie Portman. I don't think Scarlett Johannson and Topher Grace shared as much of a connection. Or maybe they did, but that was not the entire focus of this movie.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Not the greatest movie!
    Kind of cute. I really thought I would have liked this movie, it was really great until the end of it.They could have done better on the end, kind of cheap.It definetly deserves three stars. ... Read more


    10. Conagher
    Director: Reynaldo Villalobos
    list price: $14.97
    our price: $10.48
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    Asin: B0007OY2NA
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 382
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    Description

    Conagher is both a hard-riding actioner and a character-driven look at Western life. Katharine Ross plays Evie Teale, widowed after coming West and forced to prove her mettle in many ways. Sam Elliott plays Conagher, a cowhand who, when not tracking rustlers, drifts in andout of Evie's life. Something about that frontier woman keeps drawing him back. But can Evie ever keep him from drifting out again? ... Read more

    Reviews (21)

    5-0 out of 5 stars MR. AND MRS. ELLIOTT SHINE IN L'AMOUR CLASSIC
    While Sam Elliott has become (along with, perhaps, Tom Selleck) the personification of the Louis L'Amour screen hero, it's especially nice in CONAGHER to see him opposite one of the first ladies of western cinema, Katherine Ross.It's especially nice when one remembers that Ms. Ross is also Mrs. Elliott in real life.

    The two provide a power-packed performance in bring Louis L'Amour's classic western tale to life.CONAGHER is the story of an honorable cowhand who almost single-handedly takes on a gang of marauders bent on doing all the damage they can to everyone they meet. Yes, a classic battle of good against evil ensues but it's done sincerely and lacks some of the schmaltz that surfaces in similar western sagas.

    Add to Elliott and Ross an all-star western cast including Dub and Buck Taylor, Barry Corbin and Ken Curtis and you have an enduring western classic.Great to finally have this one on DVD!

    THE HORSEMAN

    5-0 out of 5 stars Top Notch Western!
    Outside of the Duke's "Big Jake", Conagher is my favorite western as it is done right. The country is beautiful and Sam Elliot and his beautiful wife Katherine Ross made this movie out of deep respect for Louie L'Amour. This film captures the loney life of ranchers and cowboys in the old west. This is also the last picture that Ken Curtis (Festus from Gunsmoke) ever made.
    As mentioned in another review, the line "It's a hard country kid" is probably THE classic line of all cowboy movies.

    One strange thing concerning the ending though, in the book Conagher finds the remains of Mr. Teal, along with the gold he was taking to buy cattle, and on the outside of the Conagher VHS box there is a picture of Conagher looking at the bones of Mr. Teal, but this scene never made the movie? That would have give more closure but I guess it was cut to fit in to a TNT time slot.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Conagher-The Best
    I happen to like all of Sam Elliott's movies, but this one is the best he has ever done!

    Louis Alford

    5-0 out of 5 stars "You couldn't hurt Conagher with an axe."


    Format: Color
    Studio: Warner Home Video
    Video Release Date: May 11, 1994

    Cast:

    Sam Elliott
    Katherine Ross
    Gavin O'Herlihy
    Daniel Quinn
    Barry Corbin
    Ken Curtis
    Cody Braun
    Anndi McAfee

    Conagher was written by Louis L'Amour (Lamoore) about life in the West around the end of the 19th century, with trouble with the Indians, rustlers, and a widow woman (Katherine Ross) tryimg to raise her children on a hard scrabble farm.Conagher comes to their aid.

    L'Amour was a student of Western history.He understood the common man, having worked as a cowboy, circus roustabout, merchant seaman, boxer and served in the U.S.Navy.He was also a prolific writer of Western fiction, among other things.

    This is not the first L'Amour story that Elliott has played in.He also performed as Tell Sackett in The Sacketts, which was an amalgamation of several of Louis's stories in that series on that family.

    This story of Conagher was one of his good stories, which you will find typical of L'Amour's writing...good entertainment.

    Joseph (Joe) Pierre

    author of Handguns and Freedom...their care and maintenance
    and other books

    5-0 out of 5 stars A lover of Western American history
    Only a few westerns have become true favorites of mine over the last 40 years. Conagher ranks with the best of them. Why? The movie was not filmed in a movie lot specially made for movies, like Universal Studios or Old Tucson. But rather, you could say it was filmed 'on location' in a rugged, true-to-life environment that honestly represents what it was really like in the Old West. The Teal cabin and the surrounding country, the ranch of Seaborn Tay, the town - all have that authentic realism that lend excellence to the movie. Often in the film the lighting in certain scenes appears lacking as compared to other films in the genre. But actually, this is what gives the film a special feel, a special ring of realism. It's because you feel as though you are really there as a bystander, watching this drama play out right in front of you in the same way it would appear in real life. The direction of the film by Rebaldo Villalobos is superb and the performances by the actors are absolutely memorable. The musical score couldn't have been better because the selections chosen for the soundtrack apply perfectly and leave an indelible impression on the viewer. I don't know what Sam Elliot would think about this, but I believe this film is his best, most memorable performance of his career, bar-none. His rendition of Conn Conagher imprints Sam Elliot on my mind for all time - he IS Conagher. I don't think he has played characters in any of his other films that have struck me the way that Conn Conagher has in this one. But this is not to detract from the other performers in the film: Catherine Ross, Gavin O'Herlihy, Daniel Quinn, Barry Corbin, Ken Curtis, Cody Braun, Anndi McAfee, and the rest - they've all portrayed believable characters that make for a very enjoyable, memorable film that you will want to watch again and again over the years because it brings something special to the heart. Don't pass up the opportunity to see Conagher if you haven't seen it yet - you'll never regret it. ... Read more


    11. Dragonheart - Collector's Edition
    Director: Rob Cohen
    list price: $19.98
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0783225814
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 6481
    Average Customer Review: 4.27 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (102)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A GREAT AND TOUCHING MOVIE!
    DragonHeart was a great movie. A relaxin g break from all of the no stop action packed thrillers like Armageddon. Not that I didn't like Armageddon, it was just too fast. DragonHeart was excellent. That ending was different but made the movie extra ordinary. Sean Connery and Dennis Quaid were exceptional.

    5-0 out of 5 stars 5 stars, naa,500 more like.
    Dragonheart is an excellent movie! Great actors, better story,and BRILLIANT special effects. You may think I'm exaggerating, after all I am a fan of dragons but honestly, Sean Connery gives it a SIZZLING effect.

    4-0 out of 5 stars A lot of great stuff
    This DVD is full of neat extras. You get commentary from a director that very obviously cared a great deal about this film, documentaries, and other cool features. Added to a very pleasant film, this makes a very ownable package that is worth having.

    If you buy this disc for no other reason, buy it for the ground-breaking special effect of Draco. The world's first entirely computer generated leading character in a live action film looks phenomenal. Don't think this is just another Jurasic Park effect. Draco is on another level altogether. He flys, he fights, he runs, he even sings (to a cute little Dina Meyers no less). Dennis Quaid has definately had better roles and better dialogue to work with, but as always, he absolutely becomes his character. Draco was actually designed around the personality and mannerisms of Sean Connery, so you can imagine that he does a pretty good job of fitting into the role of the last living dragon. Dina Meyers is adorable and dangerous, once again proving she is a very talented young lady in search of a role worthy of her, and whatever the bad guy's name is (that snotty little guy with bad skin and a huge nose) is once again absolutely abhorrent. I can't believe this guy ever got a role in film at all, much less that he used to play good guys. He's utterly dislikable from the word go.

    Dragonheart is a fun film, looks great, and comes with a lot of nice added features in this format. It's well worth the purchase price.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A wonderful tale for dragon enthusiasts
    The making of a dragon movie has been neglected for to long. This movie makes up for that neglect. I am TOTALLY pleased with how they betray dragons in this movie. Draco is the good guy! So many stories make dragons bad. This dragon is a loving, gentleman. This is truly a sad movie. I cried when I saw it. Dragons are so misunderstod by the people in this tale, and that leads to there extinction. Dennis Quade is great in this movie, he befriends Draco and tires to help him. I forgive his charcter for killing so many dragons(he was ignorant to the truth). This movie is a must for fantasy lovers. Everything in this movie is great. The special effects are superb. Sean Connery is absolutely loveable as Draco. If you love dragons or fantasy, you will not be dissapointed.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A great movie of special effects and a special message.
    DragonHeart is an exceptional movie, both in story and in special effects. It tells the story of Bowen (Dennis Quaid), a knight of the Old Code who trains Prince Einion (David Thewis) in the ways of King Arthur. When Einion is mortally wounded, his mother (Julie Christie) takes him to the cave of a mystical dragon (Sean Connery) where the dragon heals him . . . by giving him half of his own heart. To give away any more would ruin the amazing story of this legend. With superb acting and the most INCREDIBLE special effects I have ever seen, DragonHeart is one of those rare movies that tell a story but also have a meaning hidden inside. Give this movie a chance-----you'll enjoy it. Remember The Code! ... Read more


    12. Monty Python's The Meaning Of Life (Special Edition)
    Director: Terry Jones, Terry Gilliam
    list price: $14.98
    our price: $11.24
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0000A0MFJ
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 360
    Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (193)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life
    From birth to death, this is a hilarious view at the time we spend inbetween. The established cast of actors, in and out of drag, poke fun at everything from religion to vital organ transplants.

    My favorite scene is where "the fattest man in the world" pigs out at a fancy restaurant and eventually explodes to the disgust of the other guests. Another good one is where 3 couples at a house party get a visit from the grim reaper and give him several clever arguments before finally following him to heaven.

    This is The Monty Python Gang at their very best. The little ditty at the end of the movie is priceless! You will also enjoy the "introduction" by a groups of gold fish and the "opener" saluting the great profession of accountancy. This film is an absolute must for fans (but then again, if you're a fan, you've already seen it anyway). Five stars for this one!

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Pythons in top form!
    Here we have THE best Monty Python movie ever! I know I said that about Life Of Brian...but I mean it this time (no, really). Meaning of Life is a stroll through the world according to Monty Python. Many aspects of the human condition are twisted by our favorite Brit-comedians into a series of hilarous sketches. Although there are a few standouts-Birth the Third World, intercourse instruction, live organ transplants and *my favorite* the entire Death section-everything is funny. Additionally, all of Eric Idle's songs are so good you'll never forget them-and find yourself singing them in the shower. Show this to your uninitiated friends and see what happens! Beware: there are those who may find some of this offensive. I personally find MEANING an exhilarating ride! One thing does trouble me. Monty Python says it'll be Christmas in Heaven every single day! Don't you think this'll get annoying after the first 4 or 5 months?

    This is on my favorite all-time movies list; which explains why I own both the DVD and the VHS version. Don't expect a Life Of Brian DVD type Criterion treatment-you get the movie, scene selection and that's it. But that's all you need. The VHS isn't bad either if you don't want the widescreen or higher price of the DVD. I was worried about wearing out the VHS...not a problem now!

    4-0 out of 5 stars More hilarious twenty years later...
    ...a Python fan since about twelve, I vividly remember this film coming out when I was thirteen or so. I loved it. It's great that it has not only held up but, like fine wine, it has gotten better with age. Maybe Terry Gilliam's right when he says, in one of the commentaries, that, today, comedy's standard is so low that "our crap seems good no." But it reveals their genius in so many ways. It reveals a confidence they clearly didn't feel--as tho' they'd gotten their sea legs--in the first two efforts. Though "Brian" is their supreme achievement, I have to say that this film must be placed ahead of "Holy Grail"--which given its budget looks distincly like badly shot TV. Hysterically funny, but the budget limits are are even more glaring in a high res medium like DVD.

    In "Meaning of Life" the entire cast are masters of the medium (something Cleese proved independently in "A Fish Called Wanda") and they use their skills, rising even to lyrical heights (Eric Idle's paen to the universe in "Live Organ Transplants"). And the effects are more hysterical twenty years later.

    This movie is also remarkable for the rather bitter satire of American pop culture. Heretofore, the Python's had stayed within the classic tradition of British comedy--filled with whimsy and just plain silliness and the class structure. American humor is generally either observational or political--and these days it almost entirely the latter. Even the masters of observation, Goldberg and Carlin, have abandoned it for bitter political diatribes attacking former fans like myself in the basest terms because out political beliefs differ.

    And it follows, as it should, that the movie's best skits are the ones true to their tradition. George Harrison once called Python the continuation of the Beatles (to the point of chipping in $8M for distribution and advertising for "Brian"!). And, especially in the all too brief Gilliam animations, this is completely accurate. Without being at all derivative, they capture the whimisical sensibility the Beatles had updated and transformed and ran with it.

    One draw back is the rather low-rent 5.1 remix. I've other films--e.g. the Godfather films--which are older than have far better jobs. So don't expect much. In fact, you might even consider using the 2CH option as the remixing engineer makes little use of the rear speakers.

    That gentle bitch aside, the deleted scenes are mixed (why on Earth Jones thought anyone would want to see more of Mr. Creosote is beyond me?) and clearly wisely hit the cutting room floor (especially the horrendously unfunny Martin Luther skit), but some the commentary by Jones and Gilliam--clearly done at different times and mixed--is interesting most especially for the bitterness of Gilliam's attitude. It has been so on the two preceding films, but it's much more intense on this one.

    The brief interview segments shows the group rivalry is still a hot issue in the guys' psyches, nearly twenty years after Graham Chapman's tragic death ended the group; they are still bickering. Gilliam's comments about Cleese are particularly acid; Cleese does he usual job of insulting nearly everyone. He is returned the favor by the rest of the group, tho' Jones slyly does it with the most class and thus does it the best. Cleese, after all, easily slips into insufferable. Hence his brilliance as Basil Fawlty.

    A reluctant four star due only to the ****-poor 5.1 remix. The studio, surprise, surprise, didn't want to spend any extra money getting a good one.

    The movie itself: 5 stars.

    1-0 out of 5 stars This disc should have been recalled
    If you purchased this disc, and it does not have "V2" on disc one, contact Universal for a replacmeent, even if it plays fine on your current DVD player.

    Here is why - the problem is with progressive scan DVD players and progressive scan monitors. Very few people have both, so the problem will not rear its ugly head until you upgrade.

    The movie is completely unwatchable in this configuration.

    Do yourself a favor, and get disc one replaced now, before it is too late.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Not up to par
    I have seen both The Holy Grail, and The Life of Brian and this one did not meet my expectations after seeing those. I laughed thrice, maybe. I almost skipped the entire second section, as younger persons were present and we were utterly disgusted with it. If you have a taste for sexual humor, you'll most definitely enjoy this film more than I. The second disk is not even worth slipping into your player, and if, like me, you have a compatibilty issue with Disk 1 and you live in another country, it's going to be a hassle to get a replacement.
    The fish were comical, and the entire segment on fighting was brilliant, but that was all of the humor I seemed to find up until a few minutes near the end. If you've never watched Monty Python, I suggest you start with one of the other movies, as this one could turn you off of a truly great source of hilarity. ... Read more


    13. The Mission (Two-Disc Special Edition)
    Director: Roland Joffé
    list price: $26.99
    our price: $21.59
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00003CXBH
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 2216
    Average Customer Review: 4.56 out of 5 stars
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    Description

    Rodrigo Mendoza (ROBERT DE NIRO) was a violent soldier-for-hire in 1750s South America. Now he is a man of peace serving the Rain Forest Indians he once enslaved. But armies of Spain and Portugal threaten the lifestyle and safety of the native peoples. Now Rodrigo may have to pick up his sword and musket once again. From the producer of Chariots of Fire and the director of The Killing Fields comes a powerful epic co-starring JEREMY IRONS and graced with dazzling Academy Award-winning cinematography, set to a memorable music score and scripted by the Oscar-winning screenwriter of A Man for All Seasons and Doctor Zhivago. ... Read more

    Reviews (158)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Theodicy or Corrupt Politics
    The Mission

    The Mission directed by Roland Joffe is the story of the struggle between theocracy and theodicy. Ironically the church has the mission to bring theodicy to the world and it does this through the message of God's Love and Forgiveness. It tries to accomplish this through the sending out of missionaries, in this case the Jesuit priests, to tell the story and bring others to the knowledge of God's Love and Forgiveness. Tragically politics and greed for power in the hierarchy of the church (in this case the Roman Catholic Church) brings about a situation where the people of God are killed supposedly in the name of God. This story opens and ends with Cardinal Altamirano (Ray McAnally) dictating a letter to the Pope informing him of the events that had transpired after giving church missions in South America over to the Spaniards and Portuguese. The nature of the setting is beautiful. Views of the waterfalls are breath-taking and spectacular.

    The message of theodicy is played out in the story involving two main characters Father Gabriel (Jeremy Irons) and Rodrigo Mendoza (Robert De Niro). Father Gabriel brings theocracy to the Natives of South America. At the beginning of our story Rodrigo is a slave trader who undergoes a traumatic conversion experience and serves those whom he had sold into slavery before. His story of transformation is one of heartache, murder, repentance and extreme penance which he imposes upon himself. It is the forgiveness and acceptance of those who he former hunted that sets him feel to serve both God and the Natives. Another film that shows a similar vein of acceptance after tragedy is the classic movie Hawaii (1966) based on James Michener. Rev. Hale accepts the Native Hawaiians as he begins to mellow in the aftermath of his losses. In Rodrigo's case is his acceptance by the tribe that helps them to fight against the imposed theocracy of the Cardinal later on.

    At issue here, in spite of the beautifully portrayal of conversion to Christianity of the Native people of South America, is the imposed will of governing forces of politics around greed ownership of land. Yet this was done under the auspices of the Church as God's Will, which is called theocracy. The people of the land had no say, they were the conquered, to be exploited and were considered as chattel, for them there was not theodicy. Their willingness to share and work for the common good of all, even though a principle of Christianity was considered a threat to the economy of others with political clout. Because they would not give up that which they had worked for, they were condemned to death. When Cardinal Atlamirno orders them to leave the Mission; they wanted to know why? His answer was that they had to submit to the will of God. Their answer was had God changed his mind? They were doing what they had been taught was God's will for them. Theodicy was not served as there was no justification in this case.

    4-0 out of 5 stars The Mission portrays the mission of Christ
    The Mission is a powerful movie with a powerful message about sin, redemption, and love. It probes deep into the evils of the Catholic Church in Spain and Portugal in teh mid 18th century. Robert De Niro brilliantly portrays Rodrigo Mendoza, a dynamic character who transforms his life to a murderer who trades slaves to a Jesuit priest who fights for those seemingly 'enslaved' natives - the Guaranese. Jeremy Irons ixquisitley plays the role of a truly Christ-like figure. Father Gabriel is the epitomy of compassion, lvove, and understanding. With an incredibly written screenplay by Robert Bolt (who also wrote A Man For All Seasons), the Mission is an incredible film which explores the depths and beauty of morality and life ont he path to Jesus Christ.

    4-0 out of 5 stars the beauty and the horror of the catholic church
    i think tom keogh's a bit 'off' kilter and it echoes the reviews that came out when the film was released.
    the charge of emotional vacancy has since been rendered somewhat mute by the films growing status.
    now admittedly, the overriding emotional sense that most people seem to experience when seeing this is one of anger, rather than one of tragedy and ,yes, that is partly due to our never really getting to know the indians who are, predictably, massacred.
    we are emotionally more jolted upon seeing the murder of the priests who we have gotten to know.
    that aside, i think joffes direction works because what he is attempting to show, and succesfully does so, is both the beauty and the horror of catholicism.
    there is a touching beauty upon seeing deniros character finally reaching his muddy penneance,and in the scene where he cooks a steaming stew for his fellow priests.
    perhaps one of the most beautiful, simplistically effective moments is when deniro narrates first corinthians 'love is not puffed up'.
    yes, the conclusion is all too predictable. not just because we know the history, but because as much as we all can see the beauty in the church, everyone is also well aware of its ugliness.
    i am suprised that the catholic church showed its support of this non flattering film, which shows, perhaps, a certain amount of theoretical penance on its part.
    one of the last scenes which shows two naked indian children aloft in a boat after the massacre is an example of a picture telling a thousand words.
    in one sense mr keogh is correct in recognizing an inherent coldness in the film but i think that is a realization of the harrowing cold heartedness that catholic church has shown in its history, which paradoxically is unified with its undeniable beauty.

    1-0 out of 5 stars This Sucks!!!!!! Very Very Sucky and Boring
    I just watched this movie in Morality class and it is a really boring movie that just drags on and on. How does end by every one including De Nero and Irons (major characters) along with everyone else. There is only one movie that pulled off having all the characters die in it and that was Glory. I don't under any circumstances think anyone should see this movie unless you have a boring life or just sad than see it otherwise see Glory a much much better movie except different plots.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Emotionally Wrenching, Enchanting Film
    Not for the squeamish, "The Mission" explores the duality of Europe's presence in South America -- the salvation brought by the Jesuits and the condemnation brought by "civilization."

    Roland Joffe, the director, pulls few punches. The film opens with the dictation of a letter to the Pope by a prominent religious figure, Altamirano, who has just undergone the events that will transpire in the film, and we learn that these events are not pleasant: "the local savages are now free to be enslaved by his Holiness . . ."

    These events "were brought about" by the horrifying martyrdom of a Jesuit priest, who had journeyed to the "uncivilized" lands of the Indians above the falls (and what falls!). The local Indians, apparently rejecting his Christian teachings, crucify him and toss him into a river . . . a river that soon flows to the falls, and the descending cross is one of the most haunting images you will ever see on film.

    In response, another Jesuit priest, Gabriel (Jeremy Irons) heads above the falls, and uses his music (score by Ennio Morricone of "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly" fame) to win the trust of the locals. Soon he is preaching the Word of God among them.

    Unfortunately, the slaver/mercenary Rodrigo Mendoza (Robert De Niro) is hunting the Indians for slavers. He ominously warns Gabriel about the futility of building a mission among the Indians, and he seizes several.

    On his return to "civilization" below the falls (the dusty town stands in marked contrast to the lush greenery above the falls), Rodrigo learns that his beloved Carlotta does not love Rodrigo, but has fallen for Rodrigo's younger brother, Felipe (Aiden Quinn). Rodrigo, far from a reasonable sort, kills his brother shortly thereafter in a trumped-up quarrel. Distraught, Rodrigo eventually agrees to do his penance above the falls with Gabriel and his fellow Jesuits (including a young Liam Neeson).

    Following a tortuous climb above the falls with his lodestone of arms and armor, Rodrigo finds salvation and seeks to become a Jesuit. The mission above the falls takes shape, and all seems to be right with the world.

    Of course, this is not to be. The slavers need their slaves, and they exert enormous pressure against the church -- the Catholic Church is not as strong as it once was, and the militant Jesuits are becoming a nuisance by sapping the supply of slaves (apparently it is too inconvenient to enslave Christians, so the slavers argue that the Indians are monkeys without souls -- nice).

    Altamirano agrees to visit both the local mission (a gorgeous, mammoth structure complete with farm and Indian priests) as well as the more primitive mission above the falls . . . which is even more impressive despite (and perhaps because of) it's remoteness.

    But, politics being politics, the missions are doomed and the Indians will be enslaved. Rodrigo and the younger priests decide to fight, leading to one of the more disturbing battles you will see on-screen. It's not "Saving Private Ryan" in its horrors, but it is emotionally wrenching to see the Jesuits and the Indians fight such in such a foregone conclusion.

    Even more gut-wrenching is Gabriel, who chooses a non-violent response. In a pitch-perfect performance, Irons emobodies the Jesuit commitment to the simple words of Christ . . . not that it does him or the Indians much good in this world.

    A haunting spectacle and far from a feel-good movie, "The Mission" deserves full marks for its depiction of a common conflict (Europe versus the New World) in a different setting. A top-notch cast and a wonderfully shot film make this one for the video library. ... Read more


    14. Apollo 13 (Widescreen 2-Disc Anniversary Edition)
    Director: Ron Howard
    list price: $22.98
    our price: $17.24
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    Asin: 0783219695
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 1155
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    NASA's worst nightmare turned into one of the space agency's most heroic moments in 1970, when the Apollo 13 crew was forced to hobble home in a disabled capsule after an explosion seriously damaged the moon-bound spacecraft. Tom Hanks, Kevin Bacon, and Bill Paxton play (respectively) astronauts Jim Lovell, Jack Swigert, and Fred Haise in director Ron Howard's intense, painstakingly authentic docudrama. The Apollo 13 crew and Houston-based mission controllers race against time and heavy odds to return the damaged spacecraft safely to Earth from a distance of 205,500 miles. Using state-of-the-art special effects and ingenious filmmaking techniques, Howard and his stellar cast and crew build nail-biting tension while maintaining close fidelity to the facts. The result is a fitting tribute to the Apollo 13 mission and one of the biggest box-office hits of 1995. --Jeff Shannon ... Read more

    Reviews (137)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Engrossing, Excellent, Awesome & Inspiring!
    We really enjoyed this DVD... it's one of our "keepers" and definitely worth owning and viewing regularly -- it will remind you (as it has our family) that is is so very good to be born/raised/live in this country.

    It begins with a voiceover by Walter Cronkite (and yes, our announcer is the real thing!) which introduces us to the heroes as they walk across the gantry, and pays tribute to the three we lost in that disastrous fire on the launch-pad....

    The movie follows those fateful days (beginning in pre-launch) and then in orbit, and it focuses on the united effort in bringing our boys home. These men are so smart -- all of them (not just in space but at Mission Control) and is a realistic view of the times. You'll see the old Izod shirts (remember the Alligators?) and Corvettes, Mission Control (hey, they smoke -- this was not a purified/Politically Corrected re-enactment/revision of truth)... I appreciated that.

    Oh, and it's not all drama. There are moments of smiles, and it's not too intense excluding the JOYOUS moment when we hear them respond after four minutes coming through the atmosphere.... Still, I wouldn't suggest youngsters under age eight view it alone.

    [Note: our family is protective of our children and they have not been raised on a diet of broadcast television. Yours may be used to intense programming -- please use your own judgment. There is nothing bloody-gruesome in the movie, nor in the commentary. That said, you will CARE DEEPLY about all the people you see.]

    One more little (out of sequence) note: The end has Tom Hanks (who plays Jim Lovell) narrating a mini catch-up to present of the whole story. We learn what happens to the individuals in the movie. It's a wonderful "wrap" to an amazing six days in space.

    If we are going to do a docu-drama, one might also suggest that future writers/directors view this one to get an idea that they public will spend perfectly good money on QUALITY shows that are truthful, accurate and not hack-jobs. (End mini-rant!)

    I found the scenes compelling and recall the "lump in throat" of those days. To me though, seeing the families perspective broadened the effect. Oh, and Mrs. Lovell is a force to be reckoned with -- I liked her a lot! She's a classy lady.

    Minor Quibbles: In two places there are swear words (Mrs. Lovell -- who in the commentary states she doesn't "talk like that" -- when discovering the magnitude of Jim's problems swears... I thought that extraneous. Also, in another section one of the astronauts uses a bad word (appropriate maybe, but basically, unnecessary).

    The Best Stuff: After the movie we are provided with a mini-movie on how they filmed it all. NASA cooperated and many of the scenes were filmed in those planes that "deliberately plunge toward the earth" so the actors/film-makers/lighting guys et al were weightless. One of the brave actors in particular didn't want his testosterone questioned but... ;)

    I particularly enjoyed the interviews... you could really see how much the whole crew wanted this to be an *excellent* movie, one to last through the ages. It's brought out that the movie will be (at some point in history) a look back on the whole era. We (the USofA) have some incredible individuals to be proud of... this is perhaps one of the best patriotic movies I have ever seen -- notwithstanding war epics. It makes me glad to be an American.

    Okay, so you also see the real gents appearing on the Johnny Carson Show too. One more thing -- at the very end of the movie you see Jim Lovell -- he's the Captain of the ship that picks up the astronaut. His wife appears once too, but don't blink! (grin)

    Also, the Bonus Materials include two voice-over commentaries. The first is made by Director Ron Howard (you know, he's good -- very good!) and tells inside things about the creation of this movie. I enjoyed it.

    The best Commentary though was done by Mr. and Mrs. Lovell -- ah, and Ron -- that con-trail isn't supposed to be there. (winks)

    All in all, this is one of our favorites... I'd go so far as to suggest you Pay Retail, and maybe even opt for First Class shipping so you won't have to wait. It is that good!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Fellow Reviewers, I Have a Problem
    I posted a review of this film some four years ago after I had purchased the "Collector's Edition". About a year later, I watched the movie one more time. Since that time, my DVD has been stored in its jacket, safe and sound. About one month ago, I was going to view the film again but my DVD player tells me, "This Disc Cannot be Played on this Player". Cleaning and otherwise re-inserting the disc proved useless. I have since tried the disc in both my computer's DVD drives, two other different DVD players, a laptop and one more computer, all to no avail. I keep getting the same message. Does anyone know what happened to my disc while stored safely in its jacket? Why did it play well two times, and now says it can't be played, on the same player. Has anyone experienced this problem? Thanx...........

    5-0 out of 5 stars A bit of history hits the big screen...
    Nominated for nine Academy Awards including Best Picture, Apollo 13 is one of the best movies of its decade. Despite prior knowledge of the historical outcome, it's guaranteed to keep viewers steeped in suspense. Director Ron Howard creates yet another fantastic picture, solidifying his transformation from Mayberry's favorite son on Andy Griffith to one of the most accomplished director/producers in all of Hollywood. Standout performances by Gary Sinise and Tom Hanks (on the heels of their Oscar-caliber portrayals from Forrest Gump) make Apollo 13 especially enticing to the movie connoisseur. Based on the true story of the Apollo 13 mission, the film stirs emotions of all types - hope, fear, and patriotism among them. In the end, it's one of those rare movies where the characters are able to intimately connect with the audience. In short, Apollo 13 provides a true glimpse into the lives of those who defined history...

    Tom Hanks plays the role of real life astronaut Jim Lovell, member of the three man crew of Apollo 13 - the 1970 lunar landing mission. Accompanied by fellow crewmates Fred Haise (Bill Paxton) and Jack Swigert (Kevin Bacon), Lovell rockets into space in pursuit of his dream of walking on the moon. Unable to make the flight, fellow astronaut Ken Mattingly (Gary Sinise) reluctantly remains on the ground.

    Meanwhile, Americans show little interest in this latest lunar mission despite the fact that barely a year has passed since Neil Armstrong's famous words. Apollo 13 is perceived as "routine" and the flight gets little press coverage until Lovell utters some famous words of his own, "Houston, we have a problem"...

    When things go horribly wrong on Apollo 13, the mission changes from one of moon landing to astronaut survival. Lovell, Haise, and Swigert feverishly work to uncover the problem. Meanwhile, in Houston, flight director Gene Kranz (Ed Harris), bumped crew member Ken Mattingly, and the legions of NASA ground control work around the clock to maintain contact and bring the astronauts home safely. As the minutes pass, the entire world holds its breath in anticipation of the outcome...

    Following on the coattails of Tom Hanks back-to-back Academy Awards for Philadelphia and Forrest Gump - Apollo 13 hit the movie theaters with widespread anticipation. The monumental expectations of movie goers were not without merit as the film's multiple Academy Award nominations will attest. But what makes Apollo 13 such a strong and emotion-driven epic is its connection with the historical record. The events that unfold happened for real, and at the time, no one knew the final outcome. Unlike today, traveling to space was not routine (or at least not as overlooked as it is now). The men who flew the Apollo 13 mission were true heroes in every sense of the word.

    And although they failed to reach the moon, the astronauts of Apollo 13 are immortalized in history in ways they never would have been had their flight gone off without a hitch. Tom Hanks, Ron Howard, and their colleagues do justice to this classic story of man's triumph over adversity. Compelling, suspenseful, and filled with drama, Apollo 13 is an unforgettable film - and a definite must-see movie...

    The DVD Report

    5-0 out of 5 stars 10th Anniversary Package Makes Superb Movie Soar Even Higher
    I will always remember those tense three days in April 1970 when the Apollo 13 astronauts seemed suspended in space, and this was well before the days of 24-hour coverage by CNN and Fox. For those who have yet to purchase this movie on DVD, the tenth anniversary two-disc set is a must-have for any adventure film-lover, especially for those like myself who were obsessed with the nation's space program in the 1960's and early 70's. Ron Howard, the director, came of age with this thrilling recreation of the aborted Apollo 13 mission, as defining a moment in NASA's history as the tragic Challenger explosion. The 1995 movie was a faithful depiction of what went wrong with the flight and how the mission changed dramatically to one of saving the three astronauts from being marooned in space forever. One would think that knowing the ending would rob the viewer of the suspense factor, but Howard does an amazing job in making the story feel fresh by guiding us through the heroic acts both in the capsule and at NASA's Mission Control in vividly realistic detail. He also evokes the atmosphere back then with emotional and visual accuracy, showing how anti-climactic the mission was perceived in light of Neil Armstrong's first steps on the moon just the year prior. A rupture in the oxygen tank changed things completely as the movie illustrates a desperate attempt at survival with computer systems turned off, the capsule moving toward freezing temperatures and the three men relying on their gut instincts to maneuver the capsule home.

    What I appreciate most about the movie is that Howard does not derail the basic story with unnecessary subplots or flourishes of melodrama. He realizes the real story is more than enough to engage the viewer and that the attention to detail, often technical in nature, is not off-putting.Howard even creates blood-pumping suspense out of the ground effort to jerry-build a scrubber to clean carbon dioxide from the capsule's air supply.This kind of film is all in the details, even the more predictable home scenes where family members try to confront their increasing sense of fear. The movie has a solid testosterone-heavy cast - Tom Hanks stalwart as always as Apollo 13 commander Jim Lovell; Bill Paxton as Fred Haise; Kevin Bacon as last-minute substitute Jack Swigert; Ed Harris as determined flight director Gene Kranz; Gary Sinise as grounded astronaut Ken Mattingly; and bravely leading the homefront is Kathleen Quinlan as Lovell's wife, Marilyn. Even though the move is full of familiar suspense elements and the characters' interactions are often just officious, there is hardly a wasted dramatic moment in the entire film, pretty impressive given its 140-minute running time. This is a superbly done real-life adventure film and docudrama and aside from Philip Kaufman's 1983 adaptation of Tom Wolfe's "The Right Stuff", probably the best movie about the space program.

    The smoothly edited, 116-minute IMAX version (produced in 2002) is on the second disc, and the widescreen orientation coupled with the enhanced sound makes for great viewing as well. There are three documentaries included spread across both discs: the comprehensive making-of feature, "Lost Moon: The Triumph of Apollo 13 - The Making of Apollo 13", which has interviews with Howard and the cast, as well as insight into how the space shots were created; "Conquering Space: The Moon and Beyond", a 48-minute general overview of the race to the Moon and the exploration of Mars, produced mainly for the uninitiated; and a twelve-minute NBC Dateline feature called "Lucky 13: The Astronauts' Story", which contains interviews with the astronauts and members of Mission Control for the Apollo 13 mission. There are two alternative commentary tracks, the first with Howard who is extremely knowledgeable and highly infectious in his descriptions of the shoot, the other with Jim and Marilyn Lovell providing valuable insight as to how it really felt as the events were unfolding. A truly excellent package.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The NASA Mission That Began 35 Years Ago Today
    People can sometimes become complacent when it comes to technology and forget that it is the product of human endeavors that are far from perfect.Usually, engineers and builders do their best to ensure that the technology to be used is safe.However, mistakes can and sometimes do happen.Such was the case during NASA's Apollo 13 moon mission that was launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on April 11, 1970.Intended to be the third landing and human exploration of the lunar surface, many people had lost interest in the program following the huge success of the previous two missions that included the first-ever manned landing on the moon.However, such complacency was quickly replaced by fear and anxiety, as the fates of the three Apollo 13 astronauts were unknown following a potentially lethal accident.These fears, anxieties and hopes were beautifully captured by director Ron Howard in his 1995, Oscar-nominated film aptly named "Apollo 13".

    In the film, the three Apollo 13 astronauts, Jim Lovell (Tom Hanks), Fred Haise (Bill Paxton) and Jack Swigert (Kevin Bacon), have a flawless launch as they set out for the moon.Jack Swigert was not originally supposed to be part of the Apollo 13 crew though.It was supposed to be Ken Mattingly (Gary Sinise), but when NASA doctors thought that he might have the mumps, he was grounded and Jack Swigert replaced him.This caused some minor consternation among all involved, but the mighty Saturn 5 rocket was launched on April 11, 1970 anyway.Everything appeared to be going normally until April 14, some 205,000 miles away from the Earth.Jack Swigert was instructed to mix the oxygen tanks, which, when he did, caused an explosion.The explosion caused multiple failures on board making the Mission Control personnel initially think that there was simply a communications or monitoring equipment failure.However, once Jim Lovell & Fred Haise regained control of the damaged ship, Jim Lovell reported to Mission Control those immortal words, "Houston, we have a problem."Once Mission Control personnel realized the severity of the situation, they considered ordering the crew to turn back, but there was no way to know whether the main rocket booster had been damaged.Instead, they opted for the safer, but longer route that would have the damaged ship go around the moon, then begin its return to Earth.Since the crew had to shut off power and had no active guidance computer, the tension was very high as Jim Lovell & Fred Haise manually operated the lunar-lander's rocket to cause the ship to return to Earth.Other problems included the intense cold (since there wasn't enough power for heat), having to adapt the square air filters from one ship to work in the round filter holes in the other so that they would not die from asphyxiation, boredom, not knowing whether or not the ship's systems would come back on properly, not knowing whether the heat shield had been damaged and Fred getting sick.This was truly one of NASA's finest moments in being able to assist the otherwise helpless crew be able to return to Earth, including Ken Mattingly working hard on the ground to help ensure that the Apollo 13 crew would be able to turn on what they need with the little power that they had available.

    Other memorable characters in the film include Mission Control chief Gene Kranz (Ed Harris), Marilyn Lovell (Kathleen Quinlan) and Blanch Lovell (Jean Speegle Howard, 1927-2000).For its overall realism, wonderful cinematography, engaging story and wonderful acting, I rate "Apollo 13" with a resounding 5 out of 5 stars.The film won two Oscars for Best Film Editing and Best Sound, but was also nominated for Best Picture, Best Visual Effects, Best Art & Set Decoration and Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium.Additionally, Ed Harris received an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor, as did Kathleen Quinlan for Best Supporting Actress.If you have never seen the film, but aren't sure that you want to purchase a copy, I highly recommend seeing it at least once. ... Read more


    15. The Guns of Navarone (Special Edition)
    Director: J. Lee Thompson
    list price: $19.94
    our price: $14.96
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0767821785
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 961
    Average Customer Review: 4.27 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (45)

    5-0 out of 5 stars One of the great war films of the 1960's
    The Guns of Navarone is an excellent WWII adventure based on the novel by Alistair MacLean. It tells the story of Captain Keith Mallory and a team of expert saboteours who must destroy two radar controlled guns on the Mediterranean island of Navarone. If they do not succeed in their mission, 2,000 Allied troops on the island of Kheros will be killed unless they can be picked up before a German invasion. This movie is full of adventure as the team climbs a 400 foot cliff, battles German patrols all over the island, disputes among themselves, and so much more. This movie never slows down from beginning to end as the team tries to make their way into the small island fortress containing the guns. Boosted by an excellent Dimitri Tiomkin score similar to his score for The Alamo, this is a great movie with plenty of action and an excellent cast.

    Gregory Peck stars as Captain Keith Mallory, who must lead the team on their mission. He is his usual good self in the role. David Niven and Anthony Quinn are both excellent as Corporal Miller, the logical explosives expert, and Colonel Andrea Stavros, a Greek guerilla fighter who has a past with Mallory. The rest of the team includes Anthony Quayle as Major Franklin, Stanley Baker as Brown, the expert with machines and knives, James Darren as Papadimos, the ruthless killer, and Irene Pappas and Gia Scala as two underground fighters on the island. James Robertson Justice and Robert Harris also make brief, but very effective, appearances early in the movie. The special edition DVD includes production notes, widescreen presentation, theatrical trailers, a documentary, commentary, and several featurettes. This is an excellent WWII adventure with great action and a perfect cast. If you like the movie, check out the novel by Alistair MacLean. Don't miss The Guns of Navarone!

    4-0 out of 5 stars Great Guns...
    The Guns Of Navarone is a classic WW II adventure story. Based on the novel by Alistair MacLean, the story follows the adventures of a group of Allied commandos on a mission to destroy a pair of Nazi cannons emplaced into the side of a cliff, on the Greek island of Navarone. The long and winding tale would be the first of MacLean's many novels to reach the screen, and remains one of the better adaptations of his works.

    After an air strike fails to destroy the guns, it is decided that an undercover attempt to destroy them will proceed. The team is headed by Major Mallory (Gregory Peck) a renowned mountaineer. The rest of the group includes, Colonel Andrea Stavros (Anthony Quinn), explosives expert Corporal Miller (David Niven), Major Franklin (Anthony Quale), Pvt. Pappadimos (James Darin) and Pvt. "Butcher" Brown (Stanley Baker). The first leg of their journey is by sea into dangerous waters patrolled by the Germans. The group barely manages to get ashore on Navarone, before their boat is broken on the island's rocky shore. Their next step is to scale a sheer cliff, at night and in a driving rain. Somehow, they make it to the top, but not without casualties, as Franklin suffers a broken leg on the climb. From there, the group treks through the mountains with the wounded man, pursued by the Germans. They make contact with two members of the local resistance, Maria (Irene Papas) and Anna (Gia Scala), and proceed to the town of Mandrakos where they are captured. Escaping from the Germans, and now dressed in German uniforms, the group arrives in the town of Navarone, and prepares for their ultimate challenge, the destruction of the guns. It's no easy task, and the group is badly shaken by internal problems. With new resolve, they forge on taking the story to its explosive climax.

    For screen adventure in classic tradition, don't miss this one. For the time, this was the height of action and adventure filmmaking. Now, over 40 years old, you may not believe that this film won an Oscar for best special effects. The transfer to DVD of the restored print is excellent for a film of this age. Extras include an informative documentary as well as some behind the scenes featurettes shot during the making of the film. They add to the enjoyment and appreciation of this war epic. Director J. Lee Thompson's commentary track, is sporadic and delivered in a halting speaking style, which may be a bit slow for some. Bear in mind that Mr. Thompson was probably about 85 years old at the time, recalling events that happened 40 years before.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Gregory Peck leads the way!
    This was one of the first war movies I ever saw & even after watching modern masterpieces like Saving Private Ryan this is still one of my very favorites. This classic WW2 flick has it all: suspense, awesome & believable characters, great action (of course!), humor, & even romance. The three main stars are Gregory Peck, David Niven, & Anthony Quinn. Peck is perfectly cast as the leader of the group of commandos, & I've always thought he was great playing officers in war films (Pork Chop Hill, MacArthur, Twelve O'Clock High, etc.). Niven is both fun & annoying as the uptight Brit who constantly challenges Peck's authority. Quinn is a real treat as a deadly Greek who holds a grudge against Peck for a past "incident". This movie has many unforgettable scenes: Quinn taking on an advancing German column of troops with his sniper rifle, the confrontation with the traitor, & the incredible climax. I agree with other reviewers that they don't make 'em like this anymore! Whether you love war movies or are new to the genre, this is a definite must!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Amazing Barrage & Fast-Paced Stories Within A Story
    I remember first seeing The Guns of Navarone when I when I was about 10 years old. I was totally enraptured from word-go. It is still one of my favourite films. The action is non-stop. We learn about all of the key players; finding out that, even though they are on the same side, they have deeper conflicts between/amongst themselves - more so than with the common enemy. Eventually, they are forced to drop their differences and unite to destroy one of the most threatening weapons against the Allied Forces: The Guns of Navarone. High-tech (for that era) guns invented by the Germans. Not only do you find conflicts within this team of saboteurs, you find friendships that form among them as well. Even though this film isn't true to the book, by Alistair MacLean, it is still excellent none-the-less. I find it rather difficult to give details of an almost 3-hour epic, without giving away too much information; I want the viewers to be caught up with this stories-within-a-story, as I was. The elements of surprise are truly stunning. I also experienced that my watching The Guns of Navarone several times, I see and/or hear new things that I missed before. The details are subtle as well as obvious. An all-star cast of Gregory Peck, David Niven, Anthony Quinn, Stanley Baker, Anthony Quayle, James Darren, Irene Papas, Gia Scala, James Robertson Justice, and Richard Harris. The music by Dimitri Tiomkin is wonderful. It's well worth having. This VHS tape is not only wide-screen, but it also has a series of short documentaries of restoration, the film itself, and theatrical trailer. I highly recommend this.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Intriguing war movie
    Action filled war movie, great story, great cast. Concerns a commando team small enough to allow growth of character for most of the members, but large enough to have a few killed off, adding to the intrigue. Plenty of unexpected turns to maintain the interest, even though the viewer assumes from the beginning that the "objective" will be attained. Unexpected romance ads spice to the dish. The "effects", great for 1961, are still sufficient to carry the story.

    Great performances by Gregory Peck, David Niven, and Anthony Quinn. James Darren of music and surfer movie fame does an especially good job in an action role. ... Read more


    16. Practical Magic
    Director: Griffin Dunne
    list price: $14.96
    our price: $11.22
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    Asin: 0790740060
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 1683
    Average Customer Review: 4.19 out of 5 stars
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    Actor Griffin Dunne improves a bit on his first film as a director, Addicted to Love, with this drama-comedy about a family of witches. Nicole Kidman and Sandra Bullock play spell-casting sisters of different temperaments: the former is a high-living, free-spirited sort, while Bullock's character is a homebody who can't get around a family curse that kills the men in their lives. A widowed single mom, Bullock gets into a jam with an abusive Bulgarian (Goran Visnjic) and is helped out by her sibling, but the result brings a good-looking, warm, inquisitive cop (Aidan Quinn) into their lives. The film has a variety of tonal changes--cute, scary, glum--that Dunne can't always effectively juggle. But the female-centric, celebratory nature of the film (the fantasies, the sharing, the witchy bonds) is infectious, and supporting roles by Dianne Wiest and Stockard Channing as Kidman and Bullock's magical aunts are a lot of fun. --Tom Keogh ... Read more

    Reviews (231)

    5-0 out of 5 stars I loved this movie.
    No matter what religion you are or how you feel about witchcraft, if you enjoy good acting & a great storyline, you'll like this film. Both Bullock & Kidman are excellent & their characters are well-drawn, likable & familiar. Most women will relate to the loves & losses, trials & errors of these independent young women.

    They are, of course, different in some ways. Born into a legacy of witches & dark history, the Owens females live under a curse that destroys any man who gets too close to them. (Then again, some of us may have felt 'cursed' more than once in our love lives...)

    Bullock plays Sally, the levelheaded one who is determined to have a "normal" life. She falls in love early (w/a little crafty help from the aunts -Stockard Channing & Dianne Wiest), then marries & has two daughters who look exactly like she & 'Gillie' (Kidman). For a few years, Sally is blissfully happy until the day she hears the cricket chirp - a sign of impending death. After her husband is killed, Sally falls into a depression so deep that only her sister can pull her out.

    They have an unbreakable bond - not only of blood & love, but of spirit. The strength of this bond actually saves Gillie's life, when she manages to hook-up with an evil madman who 'comes back' from death. The ending is quite well done.

    This was a movie about belief, trust, family & a very old fight - good vs. evil. It was also about a love strong & pure enough to break a centuries-old curse, true enough to save a woman pulled in the depths of true evil. It is touching, satisfying & emotionally uplifting. Rent it! Then rent it again for the soundtrack alone!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Powerful Performance by Kidman
    While many reviews are positive and a few of them negative in this section, I found it to be a fantastic tale about women and the Craft. Yes, Bullock could give a better performance, but I don't think it is about her or Kidman. Instead, I challenge all of the people who have written negative reviews to examine EVERY DAY LIFE and then watch the movie. I found this a heart-warming tale about the "magical" instances in our childhood. As a child, I was told of curses, boogey stories, voodoo, magic and it was left for me to decide what to believe. Depending on the viewer's BELIEFS, the story could or could not happen. The thing that I ultimately think made the movie was the special effects and the composition of the scenes. The director (Dunne) utilized them in a way that they did not stand out. Rather, the effects were blended seemlessly into the film. To those doubters, watch it first, then again, noting the effects. Only after the second time, decide wheather you like it or not. Overall, I found the movie (DVD) captivating. I will be buying this on DVD very soon.

    3-0 out of 5 stars To live and to die in strange circumstances.
    This was a fun movie, a romp through a fantasy life of three generations of witches. The house was set somewhere in Maine but the action took place in some strange places. It almost makes one belief that witchcraft is alive and well in the modern age.

    The two older witches were especially good. Sandra Bullock, on the other hand, was playing a continuation of her character in HOPE FLOATS, same funky outfits and the acting just the same.

    These beautiful witches had the bad luck to always kill the men they love. No matter how many potions they tried to concoct, nothing ever came out right. The little ones had no special magic, and yet their peers called them witches just the same.

    The living dead had eyes like Riddick. Now, I understand where he got his strength; he was already dead. What'd he have to lose?

    I enjoyed this romp, but I have always been interested in how the women in Salem and along the Eastern coast were burned as witches. Even Guinevere in Richard Harris' version of CAMELOT was 'almost' killed as a witch. Thank God, she was rescued by her Sir Lancelot to waste away in a nunnery. What a price women have to pay when they love the wrong men!

    Can love travel back in time and heal a broken heart? I like to think so.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Great! Two Thumbs to the sky!
    It was great! According to real witchcraft, it was pretty accurate!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Fantastic!
    The story line is fantastic--that of friendship, sisterhood, attaining dreams, and love. This movie shows witches in a more realistic light incomparison to the ole tale of green skin and bubbling eyes of newt. It, also, shows the politics that they face due to these deeply rooted tales and lends hope that the general populus will become more embracing/accepting of others' beliefs--particularly that of earth-based religions. ... Read more


    17. The Searchers
    Director: John Ford
    list price: $14.97
    our price: $11.23
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 6304696566
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 1171
    Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars
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    A favorite film of some of the world's greatest filmmakers, including Martin Scorsese and Steven Spielberg, John Ford's The Searchers has earned its place in the legacy of great American films for a variety of reasons. Perhaps most notably, it's the definitive role for John Wayne as an icon of the classic Western--the hero (or antihero) who must stand alone according to the unwritten code of the West. The story takes place in Texas in 1868; Wayne plays Ethan Edwards, a Confederate veteran who visits his brother and sister-in-law at their ranch and is horrified when they are killed by marauding Comanches. Ethan's search for a surviving niece (played by young Natalie Wood) becomes an all-consuming obsession. With the help of a family friend (Jeffrey Hunter) who is himself part Cherokee, Ethan hits the trail on a five-year quest for revenge. At the peak of his masterful talent, director Ford crafts this classic tale as an embittered examination of racism and blind hatred, provoking Wayne to give one of the best performances of his career. As with many of Ford's classic Westerns, The Searchers must contend with revisionism in its stereotypical treatment of "savage" Native Americans, and the film's visual beauty (the final shot is one of the great images in all of Western culture) is compromised by some uneven performances and stilted dialogue. Still, this is undeniably one of the greatest Westerns ever made. --Jeff Shannon ... Read more

    Reviews (120)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A classic western
    The Searchers is considered by many to be one of the best westerns ever made, and I cannot disagree with them. The story follows the efforts of two men trying to track down a kidnapped girl from Comanches over the course of five years. The men tracking the tribe are a Confederate veteran and the girl's uncle and the other a family friend and also part Cherokee. The film is beautifully shot as all John Ford westerns are, which adds to the overall mood of the movie. There is a vastness to some scenes which show the futility of tracking down this girl after so many years. The Searchers is a classic that provided John Wayne with a role that was different from any other he had previously played.

    John Wayne stars as Ethan Edwards, the Confederate veteran trying to track down his niece after his brother's family is slaughtered by a Comanche raiding party. He plays the role of the racist veteran to perfection. At times it is startling to see him in a role that differs so greatly from most other movies he had done. Jeffrey Hunter plays Martin Pawley, the Duke's partner in his search for the kidnapped girl. He plays a good sidekick to Wayne throughout since they have such differing personalities in the movie. Also starring are Natalie Wood, Ward Bond, Harry Carey JR, Patrick Wayne, Hank Worden, Ken Curtis and plenty of other Wayne stock actors. The DVD is good but could have been much better. You can view the movie in fullscreen or widescreen, with trailers included alongside four documentary shorts. A must have for western fans that is up there with Shane and The Wild Bunch as some of the greatest westerns of all time!

    5-0 out of 5 stars John Wayne at his Western Best now on WideScreen DVD!
    "The Searchers" (1956) Anamorphic Widescreen DVD version is one of the best classic westerns ever made! Ranked in the American Film Institute's (AFI) top 100 movies of the last 100 years (1998). Having the best Western Director, John Ford partnering up with his favorite cowboy star, John Wayne can only be the beginning of a grand movie. Adding Widescreen Technicolor, the colorful Panoramic Monument Valley - Utah (Ford's favorite western area to film), a fantastic musical score and top supporting cast leads us on one of the best filmed westerns ever!

    Summary - Ethan Edwards (John Wayne) is returning home to his only Brother & his family. After he and a posse of Texas Rangers (Lead by Ward Bond) were decoyed away by distant marauding Indians. The actual Indian raid was on remaining defenseless families left behind. Ethan's returned to find his Brothers family massacured all but his youngest niece, Debbie (played by Lana (younger)& Natalie Wood (older). His vengence takes him on a 5 year journey to recover her. Wayne is brilliant and proves he is a great actor.

    "The Searchers" is a powerful 2 hour emotional rollercoaster ride. This movie will leave you with more respect of John Wayne's ability to act, Director John Ford's genius to tell a very complex story. Leaving us forever with a Great Western Classic! Enjoy.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Searchers!!
    Ethan Edwards, (John Wayne), finds his way home after the civil war to his brothers homestead. Some cattle are rustled and he and a few men track them only to discover it's a Comanche trick to lure them away while they kill out the folks left behind which is Ethan's brother, wife, and kids. They arrive back too late, all are dead except Ethan's niece who was taken captive. Ethan sets out to find his niece accompanied by Martin Pauley, (Jeffrey Hunter), who Ethan found as a baby years earlier after another Indian raid. Ethan loved his brother's wife which is clear in the book by Lemay but very lightly alluded to in the film. This helps to explain his rage because everything he cared for in the world is gone. He will pursue the Comanche that have his niece until hell freezes over. Along the way he finds that he is still a human being. This film is widely considered the greatest western of all time and a favorite film of Martin Scorsese and Steven Spielberg if that means anything to you, I thought I would toss it in anyway.

    3-0 out of 5 stars STILL SEARCHING FOR AN ADEQUATE TRANSFER
    John Ford was a master craftsman of the American cinema. Though he dabbled in melodrama and action during his directorial career, his everlasting contribution to the movies remains in those galvanic distillations of the old west put forth by an unparalleled series of legendary films. "The Searchers" ranks among his most finely wrought and meticulously hand crafted projects. Indeed it seems to be the film in which the culmination of Ford's own commitment to the power, beauty and frailty of the western frontier tragically come together in a revisionist perspective that exposes both its grandeur and its flaws. The film stars the iconic John Wayne as Ethan Edwards - a strangely majestic antihero who vows bloody revenge after his cousin and family are slaughtered by marauding Comanches. But Ethan's search for his surviving niece (Natalie Wood) becomes a sinister and all-consuming obsession when he learns that she - having been abducted while still a child - has now adopted the ways of her captors and, at least in Ethan's mind, has become one of them. The film tackles racism in the form of Ethan's distrust of one time family friend (Jeffrey Hunter) who is part Cherokee and the sweep and spectacle of Death Valley has never been quite so poignantly captured on film.
    THE TRANSFER: While Warner Home Video has made "The Searchers" available in anamorphic widescreen in a print that is light years ahead of anything the film has looked like before for the home film enthusiast, compared to more current DVD releases, the visual splendor of the transfer falls short of expectations. Though colors are rich there's something of a muddiness and lack of balance to them in many of the indoor scenes. Also, several scenes appear to be suffering slightly from color shrinkage, creating a slightly out of focus image quality that is distracting. Age related artifacts are present but do not distract so much as the digital anomalies of pixelization and edge enhancement which greatly plague the background information in most of the long shots. A slight shimmering is inherent in all of the scenes. Black and contrast levels can be solid at times, while sometimes appearing slightly pasty. Ditto for the unnatural flesh tones which are either overly pink or a ruddy orange. The audio has been remastered and delivers a nice expansive presentation which is in keeping with the vintage of the original sound elements.
    EXTRAS: Not this time around. Sadly, this film deserves a documentary.
    BOTTOM LINE: "The Searchers" is a masterful western, on par with "Stagecoach" and "High Noon". Definitely one to add to your film library.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Best Western Ever Made
    This is the best Western ever made. There's simply too much to say about it here to do it justice. The imagery, John Wayne's character's growth, the comraderie between the "searchers", the supporting cast and the theme will make seeing this film worth the while of even those who "hate" Westerns. It's a classic, and purchasing it will be money well spent.

    Enjoy. ... Read more


    18. Murder on the Orient Express
    Director: Sidney Lumet
    list price: $14.99
    our price: $11.24
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0002I832C
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 1463
    Average Customer Review: 4.16 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (37)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Approved by Agatha Christie
    Having read the book many times I've come to know its complexities well enough. Albert Finney embodied Poirot from top to bottem so much so that all other portrails pale by comparison. Even the remarkable work of David Suchet cannot touch Finney. Poirot is an eccentric ego-ist who is also one of the most intelligent characters ever created and Finney captures his qualities perfectly. The rest of the cast is equally superb! With an interational cast of Vanessa Redgrave, Lauren Bacall, Ingrid Bergman, Wendy Hiller, Sean Connery, Richard Widmark, Jean-Pierre Cassel etc. one wonders why all of them were not nominated for Oscars. The entire film is a work of art from the production design to the costumes, make-up and music. All these elements under the direction of Sidney Lumet are kept flowing swifty so that you have to rewind over and over till you catch all the nuances. The book can be a bit confusing and plodding despite the wonderful prose but the film clears away any clutter and solidifies the story. Yes the film changes some names and some early locations but it also clarifies some plot points particularly the Armstrong case. Agatha Christie saw this version of her story brought to life on screen and approved of it. This film will delight the viewer with each repeated playing to the point that after a while you're going to have to get another tape the old one will become so worn!

    4-0 out of 5 stars Still one of the most stylish who-dun-its
    Nearly 30 years after its release, the star-studded "Murder on the Orient Express" remains one the the best of the big screen's adaptations of Agatha Christie's works. Confined to the fabled train with the richest of the ultra-privileged class and trapped by a mammoth snow drift, everyone comes under suspicion when a self-described businessman (Richard Widmark) who turns out to be the mastermind of a child kidnapping that ends in murder of the child, is himself murdered (who can ignore the obvious similarity to the Lindbergh baby kidnapping?). Everyone in the all-star cast comes under suspicion, from Lauren Bacall as a character intended to scrape the nerves raw, to Ingrid Bergman in an Oscar-winning supporting role, to the breathtakingly beautiful Jacqueline Bissett, to Anthony Perkins, the late Sir John Geilgud and a magestic Wendy Hiller. But Albert Finney, as celebrated investigator Hercule Peroit, is amazing. True to Christie form, we come to a totally unexpected solution and resolution that doesn't deter us from watching this film time and again. Lavishly produced and rich in scenery, we actually get a sense of being trapped on the motionless train wondering who of our fellow passengers did the dirty deed, which is what makes this film so enjoyable with every viewing. More satisfying is that the viewer won't feel cheated by an ending that one critic at the time dismissed as "too easy." That aside, it's little wonder the film was an Academy favorite in multiple nominations.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Can't wait...
    "Murder on the Orient Express" probably had the most intense production values as any film in 1974. The period detail was exquisite and the ensemble cast was stellar, all put into perspective by the brilliant Sidney Lumet. 1974 saw "Godfather II" and "Chinatown", wonderful in their own right. Can't argue too much about comparisons, but the editing in "Orient" is a true work of art, shifting its time-frame constantly. The viewer always knows everything, but really knows nothing. Albert Finney is a terrific Hercule, and the whole ensemble cast was great! Ingrid Bergman won the Oscar for this, but I thought Rachel Roberts was the best of all. So VERY classy, and so very grisly... all done with aplomb by a brilliant cast and America's own, very underrated great director, Mr. Lumet. Don't forget, Lumet did the original "12 Angry Men" in the 50's, as well as "Long Day's Journey Into Night". The man has control. Experience it!

    5-0 out of 5 stars "...there are too many clues in this room..."
    Thirty years ago in 1974, Sidney Lumet (who is known for directing "Network" in 1976, "Serpico" in 1973 and "Death Trap" in 1982) directed a murder-mystery film based upon the 1934 novel "Murder on the Orient Express" (a.k.a. "Murder in the Calais Coach"). The novel was written by the famous murder-mystery author Agatha Christie (1890-1976) and was the ninth book in the series that featured her famous fictional detective named Hercule Poirot. The Orient Express began service in 1883 as a passenger rail service between Paris and Venice. An additional southern route (known as the Simplon Orient Express) was started in 1919 that ran from Paris to Istanbul that also passed through Venice. It is upon the Simplon Orient Express that Agatha Christie placed the location for her novel.

    The 1974 film adaptation included an all-star cast, including the famous actor Albert Finney who played Hercule Poirot, for which he received an Oscar nomination for Best Actor. (Albert Finney has been nominated 4 times by the Academy for Best Actor and once for Best Supporing Actor, which was for his role as Ed Masry in the 2000 film "Erin Brockovich".) Poirot boards the Orient Express on his journey home after solving a murder case. On the train, in the sleeper cabin next to his is the millionaire businessman Mr. Ratchett (Richard Widmark), who is accompanied on the train by his secretary, Hector MacQueen (Anthony Perkins, 1932-1992), and his butler, Mr. Beddoes (Sir John Gielgud, 1904-2000). Other passengers on the train include the Countess Andrenyi (Jacqueline Bisset), Greta Ohlsson (Ingrid Bergman, 1915-1982), Mrs. Harriet Belinda Hubbard (Lauren Bacall), Colonel Arbuthnot (Sean Connery), Princess Dragomiroff (Wendy Hiller, 1912-2003), Mary Debenham (Vanessa Redgrave), Hildegarde (Rachel Roberts, 1927-1980), Count Andrenyi (Michael York), Mr. Hardman (Colin Blakely, 1930-1987) and Signor Bianchi (Martin Balsam, 1914-1996). The conductor was Pierre Paul Michel (Jean-Pierre Cassel). One night with the train en route, Mr. Ratchett was murdered. When Poirot learns this, he begins an immediate investigation in the hopes of finding the murderer before the train reaches its next scheduled stop. As Poirot questions the passengers, he is amazed that many of them may share something in common from many years earlier. Tension on board mounts when the train becomes trapped following an avalanche covering the tracks ahead of it. Before the tracks can be cleared, can Poirot solve this very mysterious murder on board the Orient Express? You'll have to watch this very well made film to understand the mystery.

    In addition to Albert Finney's Oscar nomination for Best Actor, "Murder on the Orient Express" received four other nominations including Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design, Best Original Score and Best Adapted Screenplay. Ingrid Bergman won her nomination for Best Supporting Actress. Overall, I rate this outstanding film with 5 out of 5 stars. It is a tribute to the great mystery and literary skills that Agatha Christie shared with the world in her many novels. I highly recommend the purchase of this film that is being released on DVD, which, thankfully, is in widescreen format.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Overall good, but as for Finney's Poirot...mon dieu!
    One of Agatha Christie's most famous mysteries was adapted to the big screen in 1974, two years before the author died. Murder On The Orient Express was the first in a brief series of cinematic and TV movie Christie adaptations continuing with Death on The Nile, Evil Under The Sun, Easy To Kill, A Caribbean Mystery, The Mirror Crack'd, and Appointment With Death.

    Mr. Ratchett, an American businessman, tries to employ Poirot after he has been getting threatening letters. Poirot turns him down, and the following morning, he is found dead in bed from multiple stab wounds. Clearly, it was someone on the coach, but who? And before the murder, there was a lot of weird activity going on. Someone wearing a fancy nightgown knocks on Poirot's door. Ms. Hubbard calls the wagon-lit conductor and reports a man in her room.

    There then follows the usual Poirot method of questioning the suspects one by one, sifting out lies and clues, of which he notices there are too many, after speaking to them. Poirot discovers that Ratchett was the mastermind behind the kidnapping of Daisy Armstrong, a young girl who was ransomed and murdered despite the money being paid. But Daisy was not the only casualty. A maid was falsely blamed in collusion and committed suicide. Ms. Armstrong gave birth to a stillborn child and died later, and Colonel Armstrong ended up shooting himself.

    One of the key motifs of Christie mysteries and others was the use of flashbacks to accompany testimony of the people being interrogated, as well as the denouement, where in tried and true Christie fashion, Poirot gathers everyone in the room and tells them who did it, with scenes of what actually happened, something used in the later movie adaptations.

    Murder On The Orient Express boasts an all-star cast of the top draws at the time, Sean Connery (Colonel Arbuthnot), Vanessa Redgrave (Miss Debenheim), Jacqueline Bisset (Countess Andrenyi), and Anthony Perkins (Hector McQueen), as well as some old veterans such as Dame Wendy Hiller (Countess Dragomiroff), Martin Balsam (Mr. Bianchi), Richard Widmark (Ratchett), and George Coulouris (Doctor Constantine). Despite being more svelte than the character to the novel, Lauren Bacall is the strongest actress as Harriet Hubbard, and one who exasperates Poirot and the other passengers with her aggressive bossiness, although her character's name was Caroline Martha Hubbard in the novel. Ingrid Bergman won her third Oscar, albeit for Best Supporting Actress as the simple-minded Greta Ohlson.

    Some changes made in the movie is John Gielgud as the elderly and masterfully unflappable valet Biddoes. In the novel, it was Edward Masterman, who was 39 years old! And originally, Mr. Bianchi was a Monsieur Bouc, a fellow Belgian friend of Poirot. And the second set of interviews with the suspects is deleted from the movie. Other than that, I was surprised that the movie more of less followed the book.

    There is a splashy elegance to the whole thing. The music veers from the sumptuous glamorous orchestra to the eerie horror sounds given in the prologue and in the reenactment of the murder. However, the biggest debit is Albert Finney (Poirot), who doesn't fit Agatha Christie's famed dignified Belgian sleuth. He's tall, has a rough voice, laughs like he's on drugs, and looks more like a grotesque gargoyle than a calm and refined gentleman. A pity David Suchet wasn't born sooner, as Peter Ustinov's Poirot is only slightly better. ... Read more


    19. The Alamo (Widescreen Edition)
    Director: John Lee Hancock
    list price: $29.99
    our price: $22.49
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0002DRDBY
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 1792
    Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (79)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A poignant epic to be remembered for it's honesty
    Although I haven't seen the film yet, as it is not due to be released in the United Kingdom until Friday, the 3rd of September, I have seen the trailers and have read the screenplay and the novel based on it. I also have the original soundtrack cd, as well. I am quite taken with "Deguello de Crockett" from the soundtrack. I found the story, although told many times before, to be refreshingly compelling in it's honesty and down-to-earth approach. Even though, as an American originally from Georgia, I knew the story well, I found myself hoping for a better outcome to the familiar battle as I read the story. Unlike all the other previous tellings, it presents the men in the Alamo, most significantly, Crockett, Bowie and Travis, as flawed and human, rather than just as caricatures of themselves. It makes them just like everyone else involved. They feel and explore emotions such as dread, fear, apprehension and are racked with doubts and regrets about just what they have gotten themselves and those who followed them into. Billy Bob Thornton probably brings more depth, reality and humanity to Crockett than any other actor who has ever played the role. His attempts to try to "escape" from the image of coonskin cap wearing "Davy" that most everyone has of him and be just the simple and ordinary man, "David" that he really is are the best parts of the story. The filmmakers deserve credit for their attempt to bring a more realistic story to the screen. It's just a pity that they were not able to get a longer running time. Judging from the screenplay and the novel, I fear that much of the surprisingly involved story was shortened, sacrificed for the finished product which eventually made it to the screen. Personally, as much as I liked and admired John Wayne, his Crockett was badly miscast (John Wayne wearing a coonskin cap??) and like his lavish and patriotic version of this story, stirring, but quite unrealistic and farcial. All-in-all this new film would seem to come closer to the truth, despite shattering myths about things we would rather believe really happened at The Alamo. It is quite obviously a flawed and far from a perfect film, but it probably was not ever intended to be all things to all people. Some people will probably get more from it than others. I personally found the unfolding and somewhat sprawling story to be moving and memorable. It changed the way I viewed the story and those involved. I will definitely see the film as soon as I get the chance and will eventually add it to my DVD library, as well.

    4-0 out of 5 stars "REMEMBER THE ALAMO!"
    While I'm not 100% sure about the idea of Billy Bob Thornton playing the iconic legend Davy Crockett (John Wayne gave the best performance in "The Alamo" [1960]), the rest of the cast (including Dennis Quaid as Sam Houston) and exciting battle sequences (including San Jacinto as well as the battle for the Alamo) should make this an impressive movie-going experience! Prepare for another great historical epic! But check out John Wayne's classic 1960 film as well as the latest Civil War epic from Ronald F. Maxwell ("Gettysburg"), "Gods and Generals!"

    5-0 out of 5 stars amazed
    this movie is very good. critics hated it, alot of people hated it too. i loved it. how you could hate this movie is impossible for me to understand. this is one movie that did everything perfectly. it gave great action, a great story, and wasnt burdened by trying to make a love scene/story. unlike alot of people i thought denis quaid was wonderful. after the battle of the alamo i was really hoping theyd continue with that last charge and they did. dennis quaids speech was awesome. also this is one of the first movies to get the sound of gunfire right. i am very impressed

    5-0 out of 5 stars Best re telling of the Alamo story to date
    Here is a movie that was done with forethought and care. Billy Bob's Crockett is memorable on all levels. Michael Corenblith's set should be perserved like the Wayne set in Brackettville. It's more a film about people than a battle. The history is almost the backdrop for the transitions of the characters. For the first time there is a real feeling of siege. Only Disney's Davy Crockett came any where close to that feeling of "waiting".
    This film will grow in prestige and will be regarded as a truly classic film as the years go by.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Alamo
    I don't care what you all say, this is the best Alamo movie I have seen!! They do not have Travis look like a whimp, they have him look like he was. No one knows how Davy Crockett died, so they put a twist to it. I thought the movie was very historically accurate, and I should know, I am a historian, and the Alamo is my area of expertice. So if you say it was bad, that's just good for you, but it was very accurate, and entertaining!!! ... Read more


    20. Saving Grace
    Director: Nigel Cole
    list price: $24.98
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    Asin: B00003CXMY
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 2965
    Average Customer Review: 4.35 out of 5 stars
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    Imagine a Cheech and Chong pothead comedy, only instead of two scruffylowlifes, the movie is about an aimless Scottish gardener and a middle-agedBritish widow with a green thumb. Grace (Brenda Blethyn of Secrets andLies and Little Voice) has just discovered that her recently deceasedhusband has left her with an enormous debt when her gardener Matthew (CraigFerguson, The Big Tease) asks her to help him tend to his small,personal-use marijuana crop. Grace soon realizes that they can turn her greenhouse into a hydroponics laboratory and turn out a profitable crop--if only theycan keep the local constables at bay and then find a dealer to actually sell thestuff. Saving Grace has well-developed characters, intelligent dialogue,a charming and capable cast, and clean, clear direction. But at heart it's stilla marijuana comedy, with most of its funniest moments coming from the silly,stoned behavior of elderly ladies and other stuffy Brits. Nothing wrong withthat, and Blethyn and Ferguson give the film a strong anchor. The ending goes alittle over-the-top, but most of the movie is well-grounded in genuine humanbehavior. A subplot about Matthew's girlfriend's pregnancy is treated withrespect and integrity. Sweet, silly, and sincere. --Bret Fetzer ... Read more

    Reviews (55)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Quaint, entertaining and enjoyable
    This droll English comedy kept me enchanted and amused throughout. Grace Trevethyn (Brenda Blethyn) is widowed by her husband when he takes a flying leap out of an airplane without a parachute. Upon putting their affairs in order, she discovers that he spent all their money and mortgaged the estate leaving her penniless and steeply in debt. In a last ditch effort to save the estate, she hits upon the idea of using her hothouse and her considerable skills with plants to grow and sell high quality marijuana. Thus, the formerly wealthy widow collaborates with her gardener to grow and process the weed and attempt to bring it to market. The results are often hilarious, especially her negotiations with the drug kingpin and the reactions of the local residents.

    The film is well directed and written with numerous funny situations throughout. Director Nigel Cole keeps the pace brisk and works well with the actors to produce a good deal of physical comedy laced with comical reaction scenes by various characters. He also treats us to some terrific locations that show off the wonderful English countryside. The acting is excellent, especially by Brenda Blethyn, who is quite humorous as the fish out of water determined to make her way in the drug culture. She has a quality that makes her equally believable as a proper English aristocrat and a common conniver. Craig Ferguson is also good as her partner in crime, a hapless fellow whose harebrained ideas are always getting him into trouble.

    The story is not very original, the film having thematic similarities to numerous British comedies of the recent past ("Waking Ned Devine", "The Full Monty"), however one can do worse than imitate the success of these films. I rated it an 8/10. Overall, it is quaint, entertaining and enjoyable. For those looking for a light film that will tickle them, this is an excellent choice.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Charming and Quirky
    I first saw Saving Grace on a Virgin Atlantic flight in July, coming home from Scotland. I never heard of the movie, but was quickly drawn in by the characters setting and plot. When it finally opened in the U.S., I became a one-man PR firm, talking the film up and getting people to go see it. Brenda Blethyn is one of my favorite actresses, back from when she played the mother in "A River Runs Through It." She plays Grace with dignity, warmth, and just a touch of desperation. Craig Ferguson is nothing like the character he plays on Drew Carey. His Matthew is sweet, concerned, and a little irresponsible, but trying hard to do the best he can. The supporting cast is wonderful too, adding a richness to the village in Cornwall that makes you care about what is happening, and believe it to be possible. Martin Clunes as Dr. Bamford, and Valerie Edmond as Matthew's girlfriend, Nicky, provide a sense of whimsy and groundedness to the events that unfold. Combine the performances with a good soundtrack and the beautiful setting on the Cornish coast and you have a great "little" film in which you will discover new things with each viewing.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Pass the dutchie, Grace
    I loved Brenda Blethyn so much in "Secrets and Lies" that picking up "Saving Grace" was a no-brainer for me. Grace Trevethyn (Blethyn) is devestated by her husband's sudden suicide, but even more astonished at what apparently brought it on- he mortgaged everything they own and the bank is ready to foreclose. As Grace brainstorms how to get the dosh to keep her home, her gardner and loyal friend Matthew ("Drew Carey"s Craig Ferguson), whose girlfriend is unexpectedly pregnant, offers Grace a solution that will solve their prospective money woes: use Grace's horticulture know-how and ample greenhouse to nurse and multiply his marijuana plant to sell to a dealer. The humor sometimes slips into Benny Hill mode as Matthew and his doctor friend Martin (played by "British Men Behaving Badly"'s Martin Clunes, who is also the voice of the children's cartoon "Kipper")help Grace fend off the bank and the cops, not to mention the stodgy residents who all know what Grace is up to, but don't discuss it. One of the films funniest moments comes when two old ladies (one of whom is played by Emma Thompson's Mum Phyllida Law) stumble upon Grace's stash and think it's tea. They brew up a cuppa and get seriously stoned. Then, the film takes a more ridiculous approach as Grace and her husband's mistress enter a seedy London club to find a dealer to sell the stuff to. Still, this little ripple isn't enough to bring "Saving Grace" down to 4 stars for me. All around jolly good fun!

    4-0 out of 5 stars It'll sneak up on you
    This charming, amusing film starts out fairly quiet and unassuming. When the recently widowed Grace Trevethyn (Brenda Blethyn) finds that her husband left her with a pile of debt, she slowly realizes that if she doesn't find a way to increase her income dramatically, she would lose her house. Her gardener Matthew Stewart (Craig Ferguson) encourages her to help him with his struggling pot plants. She takes this to her greenhouse and is hit by an idea on how to make money. All this is encouraged by her doctor Martin Bamford (Martin Clunes). Watching the remaining sequence of events unfold will leave you laughing.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Cornwall is not in Scotland or Northern England..?
    Contrary to some really bad reviewers on this site [Shashank Tripathi on "'WEED"ING OUT MONEY TROUBLES IN A CORNWALL SETTING" and Ante Soda on "Grace saved herself"] Cornwall is not in Scotland or Northern England..? Some of this film's harshest reviewers have no idea about the setting of this work. Were they stoned when they watched the show, or wrote their reviews? Either way, don't take their word for it because they are obviously clueless about this motion picture which is outstandingly charming. British comedy fans won't be disappointed with "Saving Grace" either... ... Read more


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