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1. Emma
$19.99 $8.41
2. Shaft
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3. Velvet Goldmine
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4. The Last Shot
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5. The Sixth Sense (Collector's Edition
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6. About a Boy (Widescreen Edition)
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7. Muriel's Wedding
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8. The Hours (Widescreen Edition)
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9. About a Boy (Full Screen Edition)
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10. Changing Lanes
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11. The Sixth Sense (Vista Series)
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12. The Hours (Full Screen Edition)
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13. Japanese Story (Special Edition)
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14. Thief and the Cobbler
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15. 8 1/2 Women
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16. Dinner with Friends
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17. Connie And Carla (Widescreen Edition)
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18. Dirty Deeds
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19. 8 1/2 Women
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20. Cosi

1. Emma
Director: Douglas McGrath
list price: $14.99
our price: $11.24
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Asin: B00000G3AZ
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 554
Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (195)

5-0 out of 5 stars An all-around superb film
For some reason, people who see this movie either completely adore it or completely despise it. I will never understand those who despise it, because Emma is one of the most well-made movies I have seen. The entire cast is wonderful, with almost all of the actors accurately portraying the characters from Jane Austen's novel (which I believe everyone must read before they can fairly judge this movie). The score was excellent (apparently the Academy agreed) and the costumes were beautiful. Considering that Austen's novel is more than 400 pages long, I would have to say that the director did a fabulous job of turning it into a two hour movie. Gwyneth Paltrow is the exact Emma I envisioned when I read the novel for the first time, and Jeremy Northam is absolutely adorable as Mr. Knightley. The humor is subtle, but that is characteristic of most of Austen's novels. Despite the quality of this film, it's probably not for everyone. The language may be hard for some to take for two hours, and it is a period piece, which not everyone enjoys. However, I would still recommend this movie to anyone.

4-0 out of 5 stars Brilliant in so many ways
Being a die-hard Austen fan, I couldn't resist watching this movie. Emma Woodhouse's story has always been my favorite of
Austen's efforts, and I am always glad to see her work brought to the screen. I was VERY pleased with this film.

Casting was well done. Northam provides a sturdy, but not overly-stern, Knightley, and Paltrow does an amazing job of convincing us that she is, indeed, British in her portrayal of Emma. Her accent is nearly flawless, and I felt that she truly captured the personality of Austen's most spoiled heroine. The sets and lighting are bright, airy, and perfectly suited to the comedic approach taken by this particular director. The scenes are edited just brilliantly. Each scene flows seamlessly from one to another, and the pace of the plot runs along just perfectly. It moves fast enough to keep everyone interested and slowly enough to make sure that everyone has enough time to absorb what's going on.

The criticism I've heard most often is that the film really only touches on the Jane Fairfax/Frank Churchill subplot for the briefest of moments. I did not find that to be injurious to the film. It's plain, while watching this version, that the director wanted to keep the story light and funny. Adding Jane and Frank's saga would have done two things: First, it would have seriously darkened and dramatized the bouncy and bright atmosphere of the entire film. Second, it would have taken the spotlight off of Emma Woodhouse as the focus of the story. I felt that, given the abbreviated length of time that a movie has in which to communicate a story...the omission of Frank & Jane's affair was a wise choice.

The second criticism I've heard of the film is that it's just too clean and "pretty" to be accurately representative of Regency England. Again...this didn't bother me. The focus of this film is NOT to be true to history. It is not a Regency documentary. It is a fun and aesthetically pleasing depiction of Emma Woodhouse and her friends. It's romantic, funny, charming, and very very pretty to look at.

I loved it.

3-0 out of 5 stars Misguided, but somehow pleasing.
There's no reason this should work as well as it does. This is a very broad adaptation and the performances in general are unsubtle and broad as well. Ms. Paltrow's accent is heinous, and Ms. Collette's work is frankly annoying (though that is in part as written.) As the movie moves from set piece to set piece, lingering endlessly on the beautiful design, one can't help but think that if Ms. Austen's Emma had actually had so much to do, she'd have been little bored enough to spend so much time meddling in her friends' affairs. But in the end, the good will evinced by all involved somehow makes a film that charms very much in spite of several and severe flaws. The BBC version of Emma is much superior in adherence to the Austen story, and Clueless certainly has the edge for humor, but this is a fair adaptation that ultimately is more success than failure.

5-0 out of 5 stars Love this movie!
Beautiful people, clothes, quirky characters and a flawed Emma make this movie enjoyable time after time. There aren't a lot of movies I can watch multiple times, but this is one I always enjoy!

5-0 out of 5 stars Paltrow and Northam light up the screen!
Whether you've read the novel or not, this movie adaptation is enjoyable to watch. The characters are so vividly brought to life that it's impossible not to feel their joys and their sorrows. Paltrow is adorable as the young Emma and her scenes with Mr. Knightly (Jeremy Northam) spark with romantic chemistry. Mr. Knightly comes off as charming and very handsome thanks to Northam's own charm and classy good looks. Miss Bates makes you laugh but at the same time, she breaks your heart. Great sets, scenery, and acting by entire cast. Highly recommended! ... Read more


2. Shaft
Director: John Singleton
list price: $19.99
our price: $19.99
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Asin: B00004Z1FX
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 11120
Average Customer Review: 3.43 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (86)

3-0 out of 5 stars So-so action film...
I've never watched the original Shaft, so I have nothing to base this remake on. It's not a very serious action film. Jeffrey Wright and Busta Rhymes providing most of the comic relief. It is interesting to note that Richard Rountree (the original shaft) and Gordon Parks (the original director) played parts in this film.

After watching this film, I can say I don't mind it. I've seen a lot worse, and I've seen better. Atleast with this film, you have Samuel Jackson playing another cool, suave character. It's too bad Venessa William didn't play a more integral part to the story. I would've liked to see a better dynamism between the two. But then again Shaft has always been a lone-ranger of sorts.

This is not a plot-heavy story. It's about a rich kid that murders an African American, but this crime is witnessed by a waitress who goes into hiding after being threatened. Shaft is disheartened by the inadequacy of the system and decides to investigate on his own. Like I said, not plot-heavy.

LEAP rating (each out of 5):
============================
L (Language) - 3 (nothing special, except for Jeff Wright's almost incomprehensible speech)
E (Erotica) - 1 (opening sequence and a good kiss scene)
A (Action) - 3.5 (unapologetic killings)
P (Plot) - 2 (simple plot)

2-0 out of 5 stars This film should have gotten the "shaft"
"Shaft" (2000)

Shaft's (Richard Roundtree) nephew, also last-named Shaft (Samuel L. Jackson), is the star in this movie. But it is nothing like the original starring Roundtree and directed by Gordon Parks (although both of them make cameos in this film). The first "Shaft" was a blaxploitation flick and is a classic. This movie, directed by John Singleton, seems less black, more made-for-Hollywood. The plot is thin and unlike the original, the only love scene to be found is in pieces during the opening credits. And what was Busta Rhymes' purpose? It added nothing to the movie. Sorry, Sam Jackson is a hell of an actor but his Shaft doesn't make me forget about Roundtree's. -EJR

1-0 out of 5 stars Singleton ruins yet another legend. somebody stop him.......
Samuel L. Jackson in Shaft could have been a great movie. He has the talent and skill to effectively play the role. Unfortunately, he is prevented from doing a giving a good performance because of the weak direction and script by Hack Extrodinare John Singleton. Someone please stop Mr. Singleton Before he directs again.
Singleton's terrible script and direction turns Shaft into a campy over-the top superhero movie instead of an intruigung murder mystery. Most of the characters come off like cartoonish stereotypes instead of real people the way they did in the 1971 original. Shaft fans know he is smart, smooth and clever; he's subtle about the way he does things. He's not a black batman wannabe as depicted in this film. Perhaps Mr. Singleton dreams of doing a Batman movie and thought he could apply those concepts here. He was sadly mistaken.
In the openeing scene he comes off as menacing and threatening, that he scares the witness even more and puts the white racist (Christian Bale) on the offensive by arresting him. A litle subtlety would have helped the story here and made the character more interesting. In the subplot our menacing shaft threatens a neighborhood drug dealer (Geoffrey Rush) and arrests him on some trumped up charges. While in jail the two consipire to find a witness who can finger Bale's character for the murder he committed. Sounds a lot like Batman Returns doesn't it? Just so he can have something to do, Shaft goes on a macho search to find the witness who can help his case. Personally, I think Singleton wanted to have a ton of frames of Sam Jackson looking cool in Armani leather. This goes on until the last act the movie which turns into a great big comic book action sequence chock full of shootings and mayhem. To conclude the story, the scene where Bale's character is coming to court to finally stand trial for his crimes is ripped straight from Mario Van Peebles ending scene of New Jack City.
Singleton wastes yet another opportunity and fails to utilize his cast of talented actors who do their best with his terrible script. Sadly, Gordon Parks, the man who wrote and directed the original Shaft was on set and Singleton did take the opportunity not pick his brain for ideas or even ask him what he was thinking when he set up certain scenes. This film would have been better if Singleton would have done thatn andjust STUDIED the films of this genere and understood the subtle nuances that make them work before starting this project. Then when he understood what made those films work he could then apply those approaches to his work. John Singleton needs to go back to film school. He still has a lot to learn about the craft of moviemaking.

4-0 out of 5 stars VERY GOOD REMAKE OF THE 1971 CLASSIC
SHAFT'S SAME-NAMED NEPHEW [SAMUEL L. JACKSON] GOES AFTER A DOMINICAN DRUG LORD AND A RACIST SERIAL KILLER. VERY GOOD REMAKE. IT HAS PLENTY OF GOOD ACTION, AN INTERESTING STORY, AND IT HAS GOOD CHARACTERS. THIS IS ACTUALLY NO BETTER OR WORSE THAN THE ORIGINAL. RICHARD ROUNDTREE [WHO PLAYED THE ORIGINAL SHAFT] AND GORDON PARKS, JR. BOTH MAKE APPEARANCES IN THIS MOVIE.

4-0 out of 5 stars wonderful remake
a great remake with Jackson being the man Shaft. good action with some unexpected turnabouts. Christian Bale is menacing as the racist who kills Mehki Phifer then has to answer to Shaft and Jeffrey Wright is a spectacular badguy as well. a good ride ... Read more


3. Velvet Goldmine
Director: Todd Haynes
list price: $19.99
our price: $15.99
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Asin: 0788815741
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 3424
Average Customer Review: 4.12 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Todd Haynes, ever unpredictable, follows up his experimental trilogy Poison and his restrained Safe with this flamboyant study in glam rock through the kaleidoscopic lens of Citizen Kane. Christian Bale plays Arthur Stuart, a reporter sent to investigate the legend of rock legend and bisexual pop icon Brian Slade (Jonathan Rhys-Meyers as a not-so-thinly veiled David Bowie), who disappeared a decade ago after staging his own mock assassination. But Arthur is flooded with memories of his own adolescence as he interviews Slade's friends and business associates, peeling back the layer of makeup and spangles that was the model of rebellion for a generation of middle-class British kids and discovering a hollow center. Ewan McGregor almost steals the film as the punk pioneer Curt Wild (equal parts Iggy Pop and Kurt Cobain), the genuine article to Slade's calculated, coifed image of glitter stardom.Haynes's film lacks nothing in capturing the flamboyance and spectacle of the era with flashy filmmaking and kitschy costumes, and if the plot seems lost in the preening and visual fireworks, perhaps that's the point: behind the façades and manufactured fronts is nothing but glitter, energy, and a beat. --Sean Axmaker ... Read more

Reviews (216)

5-0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, Lyrical, Fascinating, Glam Movie
I absolutely loved this movie from the first time I watched it late one night strictly by accident. The acting is superb by all of the main characters with McGregor really shining in his wonderful punk role of Curt Wild. This guy really proved what a talented performer he truly is. John Rys Meyers who plays Brian Slade was quite delicious to watch and I'm a straight female...I must say the scene where Slade and Wild are on stage together for the first time and the guitar scene was quite a turnon.

Of course, I'm a huge Christian Bale fan and he was wonderful as well as the reporter investigating the disappearnce of our rock icon Slade 10 years after a fake murder was staged. The flashbacks to his youth were well done and inciteful into his character.

Jack Fairy was a great character that added a bit of mystery and a true image of glam days. Eddy Izzard, what can you say, the guy is fantastic.

I loved this movie for it's glitz and glamour, for it's quirkiness and campiness but mostly for the FANTASTIC music and acting. CRANK IT UP and enjoy!!

5-0 out of 5 stars stellar cast and far out cinema create incredible parable...
a lot of people will tell you they don't like velvet goldmine. they say it has no plot, or that it's boring, or its just based on david bowie's life. if you lived through the 70's and you're looking for a movie that is totally about celebrating the glam of your youth, then maybe this movie is not for you. however, if you're nutty for well crafted historical fiction, insanely innovative cineamatography, and really good, well acted movies than velvet goldmine will be right up your alley!!

velvet goldmine is about a young reporter (Christian Bale) who's been running from his past for ten years. the decade has brought him full circle to the ackwardness and loneliness he's been trying to escape, by taking him down memory lane in his latest assignment; an article asking, "what ever happened to brian slade (johnny rhys-meyers)?". on his quest, the reporter hears a very bowie-esque (and cinematographically, amazing) story about slade, and in the end, discovers that he doesn't have to run from his past anymore.

5-0 out of 5 stars Just like a Prancer, a Gypsy dancer pt. 2
In addition to my last review, I should point out, after reading reviews saying "this isn't what Glam was really like"... The movie isn't supposed to be a historically accurate. "The ages live in history thru their anachronisms" (Oscar Wilde). The movie is "a work of pure fiction", and if you try to degrade it into fact, you're missing the beauty of it. It's a fairy tale. Glam rock, Oscar Wilde, etc... are merely vehicles for it to play out.

5-0 out of 5 stars Just like a prancer, a Gypsy dancer
The film is beautiful. It's a fairy tale, love. Make no mistake about it. It's not a "history" of Glam rock and the characters are composites of many real people without being too much of anyone. It's a fairy tale.

The film is very symphonic and atmospheric, and flutters thru the celluloid sky. It can be confusing at first viewing, because everything is juxtaposed and jumbled. It flickers between eras, characters, and storylines in a half-remembered dream way. The movie must be watched as a feeling, not a sit-back-and-relax caper.

The movie is NOT based on David Bowie and Iggy Pop, at least not entirely. They never had such an affair and never had such lives. The movie is fiction. Brian Slade is no more David Bowie than he is Marc Bolan or Jobriath, and Curt Wilde is no more Iggy Pop than he is Lou Reed and David Johansen. And neither of them are any of them. They're composites of the essence of real people - or of the feeling of them - thrown into a London backdrop thru the lens of Citizen Kane and an Oscar Wilde fairy tale.

Many of the events are real events (Brian's Top of the Pops performance, as well as his relationship with Cecil, is very much akin to Marc Bolan's performance and relationship with Simon Napier-Bell -- The Maxwell Demon album cover is an almost exact remake of Jobriath's self-titled album cover, etc...). Many of the events are real fictions (the movie plays out threw a Citizen Kane-like sequence -- Oscar Wilde's story "Star Child" is carried throughout the movie via a green pendant which is passed around, not to mention many Wilde quotes and parables from stories such as "The Remarkable Rocket" and "The Picture of Dorian Gray"). But nothing in the movie is real. It's simply beautiful fancy.

The film is based around reporter Arthur Stewart, who is, in 1984, on a quest to discover the mysteries behind a fake murder/publicity stunt of Brian Slade in 1974. Everything and everyone in the movie circles back to him, and his discovery. What does he eventually discover? Symbolicly, himself. Literally... watch the movie.

The real Star of the film is Jack Fairy, a beautifully elusive archeotype with the grace of Garbo, the fantasy of Oscar Wilde, and the power of Marc Bolan who silently glides thru the movie, not saying a word until the end, but playing one of THE MOST VITAL ROLES in the movie (he and Arthur make the movie... Brian and Curt are just vehicles for everything to happen).

Many great songs too, from T. Rex, Roxy Music, Lou Reed, Cockney Rebel, etc... Most of them covers, though. As well as newbies such as Shudder To Think and Pulp.

It's a beautiful film. Not action packed, kinda confusing, and not too tethered to a plot. But beautiful - ethereal. It's very layered. If you enjoy Glam rock, Oscar Wilde, Citizen Kane, fairy tales, or just things and people to fall in love with, you'll probably like the movie.

Oh, one interestingly thing to point out is the surplus of Roxy Music songs, but the lack of a Bryan Ferry-like character. Bryan was a consultant for the film, so methinks that's intentional - he made sure they kept him out of the muck.

1-0 out of 5 stars Very disappointed
I am a big fan of the whole "70 Glam" era. I am also a huge fan of Iggy Pop and the Stooges.
Here is the low down.
1. This movie is lame.
2. The only cool part of the movie was when Ewan/Iggy/Kurt was singing TV Eye.

This movie portrayed Iggy Pop/Kurt as David Bowie's lover. I don't think Iggy was having sex with Bowie. I wasn't there and I don't know for sure.

This was a huge disappointment. I think I was expecting something different. ... Read more


4. The Last Shot
Director: Jeff Nathanson
list price: $29.99
our price: $22.49
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Asin: B0007US79O
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 2300
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Taking off from an amazing true story, The Last Shot mines some pleasing inside-Hollywood gags about indie-film production. But this is no ordinary indie:An FBI agent (Alec Baldwin) sets up an elaborate ruse to sting some mobsters in Rhode Island, by picking a screenplay from the slush pile and financing pre-production. The movie will never be made, but the bogus production will lure the mobsters into the trap. The hitch is, the starry-eyed writer-director (Matthew Broderick), cast, and crew have no idea they're part of an undercover operation--the poor saps think their ship has come in and they're actually making a movie. Adding to the joke is that Baldwin finds himself enchanted by the moviemaking world and beginning to care about his unsuspecting stooge (Broderick is at his most engaging). Writer-director Jeff Nathanson (who scripted Catch Me if You Can) doesn't quite trust this funny set-up, sweetening the pot with too sentimental nudges, but the two stars develop a handy odd-couple chemistry. Toni Collette, as a has-been actress, and Joan Cusack, as a sharp-tongued agent, have some riotous moments. --Robert Horton ... Read more

Reviews (5)

4-0 out of 5 stars Making Arizona In Rhode Island?!
The Last Shot is a very unique black comedy about the making of a fake movie as an FBI plot to capture the mobsters. Alec Baldwin is an unerdercover cop named Joe Devine pretending to be Lou Diamond, a movie producer who hires a wannabe screenplay wright(Matthew Broderick/Steven Zancht) to direct a movie based on his script entitled Arizona. This movie is based on a true story and it's funny to see how Broderick's character go through the whole experience without a clue his "directorial debut" is captured on candid camera the whole time.

Toni Collette is very striking as a washed up A-list nominated actress(Emily French) desperately seeking a career revival role, and she got the lead of Arizona after doing a dead on audition for Diamond and Zancht. Calista Flockhart plays Zancht's girlfriend who is an umemployed actress, and she ended up having to play a supporting role in Arizona. Other supporting players including Ray Liotta, and Joan Cusack who gets to deliver some very dirty lines. Both Alec Baldwin and Matthew Broderick turned in funny and convincing performances.

4-0 out of 5 stars "We are going to make your movie!"
With its penchant for crude, mordant sardonic humour, the Last Shot would have to be of the funniest movies to be released in recent years. Remarkably clever in its re-imagining of a supposedly true story, The Last Shot also features a fine ensemble cast that includes Alec Baldwin, Matthew Broderick, Calista Flockhart Tim Blake Nelson, and the gorgeous Toni Collette.

Baldwin starts as FBI agent Joe Devine, who is trying to catch some mobsters on Teamster-related racketeering charges by posing as a Hollywood producer. He heads to Los Angeles to make a movie, any movie, and happens upon a screenwriter named Steven Schats (Broderick) who's penned a tear-jerker called "Arizona," about a woman with cancer combing the desert for the Hopi Indians before she dies.

When Devine asks the innocent and down and out Schats to direct the movie, he's overwhelmed. Maybe things will start looking up again, he lives near the city pound and he currently needs to get out of his apartment otherwise his struggling actress girlfriend (Flockhart) is really going to go mad at all the barking dogs.

Of course the whole production is a sham, but Devine needs to have a reason to get close to the Teamsters, who, are in Rhode Island, which means that he has to convince Schats to ship the shoot east, where "Arizona" can still be made, with Providence starring as the Grand Canyon. Schats doesn't understand how that could possibly happen but he rolls with it, desperate to make his dream of being a successful come true.

Much madcap hilarity ensures as the production team set up shop in Providence and score the big time with a "nominated" vile, irreverent starlet (an hilarious Collette). Even wackier is when the FBI gets carried away and begins to insist on having input into the movie's creative process. One thing leads to another and the FBI eventually catch up with the mob, just as the first scene of Arizona is about to be shot.

Director Jeff Nathanson displays real off-kilter flair, with an ability to find humor in, of all things, dog suicide, and urinating in a glass. His humor is at once shocking but also remarkably cheeky, and he knows how to pace his story well. The actors appear to be having a ball with the wacky dialogue, which stretches from loopy to the bilious. An unaccredited Joan Cusack is particularly hilarious, playing a crazed, cynical, potty-mouthed producer who lists among her accomplishments, that she once "dated the black guy on Hill Street Blues."

Although Broderick does his trademark wretched, innocent sad sack, he really makes you feel for his character, imbuing him with integrity and making us believe that really loves Devine for believing in him and his cruddy little movie.

Nathanson is also having lots of fun actually poking fun at the industry, and Los Angeles locals will really appreciate his efforts to create an absurd entertainment microcosm that is really a hilarious slant on the real industry. Playfully overwritten and over directed, and mostly a loveless letter to Hollywood, The Last Shot is full of pathetic people slouching toward fame, but who are also incredibly endearing in their ultimate love of movies.

The film is ultimately a movie about movie fakery, based on a true story about a bogus movie, but in the end, none of it matters because the fakery is all so incredibly well done. Mike Leonard May 05.

4-0 out of 5 stars Satirical Take on Filmmaking. Inspired by True Story.
"The Last Shot" is a satirical but good-natured look at the film industry and the passion to make movies. It was inspired by a real 1989 FBI sting operation, in which an FBI agent posing a producer enlisted two unwitting filmmakers to make a movie in Providence, Rhode Island in order to net some mobsters. In "The Last Shot", ambitious FBI agent Joe Devine (Alec Baldwin) dreams up "Operation Dramex" to nail mobster Tommy Sanz (Tony Shalhoub) by bribing him to intercede with the Teamsters on a movie that Divine will pretend to produce. But first Divine will need a script. Stephen Schats (Matthew Broderick) has been trying to stir up interest in his script, called "Arizona", for years while managing a movie theater and running a kennel for celebrities' dogs in Hollywood. He thinks his dreams have finally come true when Joe offers to finance the film, with Stephen allowed to direct, no less. Devine doesn't actually want to make the movie, but only to use pre-production to trap Sands. But Devine and his FBI colleagues get caught up in cinematic and professional ambition and end up taking the film and the sting operation farther than they had intended.

"The Last Shot" sends up the entire film industry, from Hollywood players to aspiring producers to writer wannabes. It even pokes fun at the vaunted passion to create art. Writer/director Jeff Nathanson's decision to spare no one is one of the film's strengths. Another is the fantastic cast. Alec Baldwin is perfect, and the depth of the supporting cast kept surprising me. Toni Collette is very funny as a screwed-up actress and former "it girl" desperate to resuscitate her career. Calista Flockhart is Steven's actress girlfriend even more desperate to start a career. Joan Cusack parodies a television producer recruited to teach the FBI about the movie business. Ray Liotta is Joe Devine's brother and FBI superior. Maybe only big fans of film and of filmmaking will find "The Last Shot" hilarious, but, if that's you, you won't want to miss this all-out send-up.

The DVD (Buena Vista 2005 release): Bonus features include a featurette about the true story that inspired the film, a variety of material that didn't make the final cut, and a audio commentary. In "Inspired by Actual Events" (12 minutes), FBI agent Garland Schweickhardt and former filmmakers Gary Levy and Dan Lewk talk about their experiences with the real 1989 FBI operation on which the film was based. "Robert Evans Presents" (2 minutes) is a few scenes in which legendary producer Robert Evans provided narration for the film that was eventually cut. You can choose to view the film with the narration or just watch the narration by itself. "Joan Cusack's Montage" (1 1/2 minutes) is a few clips of Cusack's performance that didn't make the final cut. There are 3 extended scenes and one deleted scene available. The audio commentary by writer/director Jeff Nathanson and actor Matthew Broderick is casual, with a lot of comedic banter, but also contains information on directorial decisions and filming. Captions for the film are available in English. Subtitles are available in Spanish and French.

4-0 out of 5 stars Can't remember when I laughed that hard before!
Okay, so I saw this movie a looooong time ago at a screening when I lived in L.A., and thought the movie was incredibly funny.I've been waiting for the movie to come out, telling everyone that they had to see it, and am a little surprised (and disappointed) that I never heard of it being in the Theatres.

It's not the usual humor that I like, but I can't remember a time throughout the whole of it that I, and the rest of the audience, wasn't laughing hysterically.In fact, I can't remember a movie that I've ever seen that I laughed that hard at.The only part of the movie that I didn't like was the ending, but I am pretty sure that they have changed that part of it, because no one liked it.All in all, it really is a fantastic movie for those times when you need a nonstop laugh-fest!It's just a shame that (to my knowledge) it never made it to the theatres!

5-0 out of 5 stars VERY HILARIOUS!!
This is Matthew at his best! This movie is very hilarious. It is actually inspired my an actual true story. It is very funny from beginning to end. If you like Matthew Broderick, you will really, really like this movie. ... Read more


5. The Sixth Sense (Collector's Edition Series)
Director: M. Night Shyamalan
list price: $19.99
our price: $14.99
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Asin: B00004BZIY
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 1111
Average Customer Review: 4.21 out of 5 stars
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"I see dead people," whispers little Cole Sear (Haley Joel Osment), scared to affirm what is to him now a daily occurrence. This peaked 9-year old, already hypersensitive to begin with, is now being haunted by seemingly malevolent spirits. Child psychologist Malcolm Crowe (Bruce Willis) is trying to find out what's triggering Cole's visions, but what appears to be a psychological manifestation turns out to be frighteningly real. It might be enough to scare off a lesser man, but for Malcolm it's personal--several months before, he was accosted and shot by an unhinged patient, who then turned the gun on himself. Since then, Malcolm has been in turmoil--he and his wife (Olivia Williams) are barely speaking, and his life has taken an aimless turn. Having failed his loved ones and himself, he's not about to give up on Cole.

This third feature by M. Night Shyamalan sets itself up as a thriller, poised on the brink of delivering monstrous scares, but gradually evolves into more of a psychological drama with supernatural undertones. Many critics faulted the film for being mawkish and New Age-y, but no matter how you slice it, this is one mightily effective piece of filmmaking. The bare bones of the story are basic enough, but the moody atmosphere created by Shyamalan and cinematographer Tak Fujimoto made this one of the creepiest pictures of 1999, forsaking excessive gore for a sinisterly simple feeling of chilly otherworldliness. Willis is in his strong, silent type mode here, and gives the film wholly over to Osment, whose crumpled face and big eyes convey a child too wise for his years; his scenes with his mother (Toni Collette) are small, heartbreaking marvels. And even if you figure out the film's surprise ending, it packs an amazingly emotional wallop when it comes, and will have you racing to watch the movie again with a new perspective. You may be able to shake off the sentimentality of The Sixth Sense, but its craftsmanship and atmosphere will stay with you for days. --Mark Englehart ... Read more

Reviews (761)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great movie and a great DVD
Haley Joel Osment turns in a great performance as a young boy who sees dead people. Finally, after 2-bit thrillers like Scream and I Know What You Did Last Summer, we have a film that doesn't use violence and screaming women with tight shirts to put you on the edge of your seat. This film makes you think and once you've seen the ending you'll want to watch it again immediately. Needless to say Bruce Willis turns in another stellar performance as the psychologist who helps little Cole (Osment) with his odd 'gift'.

The DVD also gives you cut scenes (with explanations) and the normal behind the scenes that come along with all good DVDs. Picture quality is great and the sound quality is descent (although I didn't get a chance to watch it on Dolby 5.1). Plus you get to see the first film by director M. Night Shyamalan.

Although it didn't win any Academy Awards, it certainly was deserving of all the nominations, especially Osment's Supporting Actor Nom. Great movie, definantly worth the purchase.

5-0 out of 5 stars Subtle, creepy, and intelligent!
Here comes a thriller which is smart and uniquely chilling, unpredictable and starkly original. "The Sixth Sense" falls into an enjoyable but very tricky genre of filmmaking: thrillers which succeed in balancing suspense and tension with an equal level of emotion. Writer/director M. Night Shyamalan does so much with this story, his third feature, yet he keeps the plot twists on the down-low so that the movie speaks to us in such a way that our only choice is to follow it through to the final, gut wrenching climax. Through a combination of subtly effective cinematography and a powerful cast, "The Sixth Sense" rises up to become one of the best movies of 1999.

Setting itself up quite nicely with an eerie opening credits scene, the movie introduces us to Malcolm Crowe, who has just one a prestigious award from the city of Philadelphia for his work as a child psychologist. That same night, upon going upstairs to their bedroom, he and his wife Anna find a strange man in the bathroom, claiming to be a former patient of Crowe's who feels his bedside manner was less than helpful. After a lengthy "session" of trying to calm him down, Malcolm is shot in the stomach, and the intruder commits suicide.

Skip ahead a year, in the fall season, and we find Malcolm embarking on another assignment: helping a small child named Cole deal with visions of ghosts that permeate his thoughts and come to him in reality, leaving visible scars on his body and causing his severe fright. The child is at first reluctant to reveal these apparitions, but once he knows he can trust Malcolm, he tells all. Malcolm, whose life has taken a bit of a nose dive (his wife barely speaks to him anymore, and he suspects that she's having an affair), is not about to stop helping Cole, who wants more than anything to be rid of the terrifying "sixth sense" he has been given.

The film's story structure and plot machinations are completely unique and possess zero predictability factor, keeping the story moving at a slow, easy pace which allows us to take in everything that's important. What is really nice about this movie is its attitude towards it audience: it knows exactly what we want to see, and it gives us that in an ultra-creepy form without falling into any of the clich├ęs or pitfalls of other thrillers. Visions of ghosts are nothing new, but the reasons for which they haunt Cole are completely new and fascinating, providing for some incredibly taut twists and surprises as the story rounds itself out to absolution.

Suspense and intensity are evident in the plot as well, yet are not the in-your-face types we are so used to from mainstream thrillers. Shyamalan substitutes hardcore scare tactics for sinister, eerie instances that rarely last more than a second. The effects are never gory or bloody, which softens the senses while throttling the mind with twists that need attention in order to grasp the final impact the film will have. There is a lot to miss in this movie if you do not keep yourself focused on it, but the final climax is worth all the attention you give it.

Countering the suspense and tension is an equal amount of emotional feeling and intensity, which has a great impact, even on cynics. It's impressive to watch Cole handling the situations he finds himself in; he is truly frightened, but finds the courage to try and solve the problem, with some help, of course. His relationship with his mother provides heartwarming moments of love and devotion. His mother truly does love him, and through their struggles and happy times, we believe it because it is totally convincing.

Cinematography plays a big role in this film as well, aiding the movie in its quest to break away from the regular methods and tactics used in filmmaking. Throughout the movie, cinematographer Tak Fujimoto conveys an atmosphere that is cold and, at times, dismal. Flesh tones and an overall casting of shadow on many shots, as well as the setting itself, all add to the sense of eeriness and the unknown. This is some pretty effective material here, all of which gives us the creeps without ever totally sending us off the deep end.

Characterization and acting bring a lot to this movie, and is the key element in bringing it to life. Bruce Willis gets a chance here to play a role that's a little out of his league from the action blockbusters and high-speed films of his career, taking a more quieter and gentle approach with his acting as Malcolm Crowe. This is his best work to date, and marks him as a very talented actor for his ability to play it rough in action films and totally segue into this area of acting with ease and effect. The main star of this movie, whom all the action and plot centers around, is Cole, played brilliantly by Haley Joel Osment, a small boy with eyes that speak when his mouth does not. Cole is portrayed as being wise beyond his years, and his fear and emotions are brought out wonderfully under Osment's incredible performance. Toni Collette is Cole's mother, Lynn, who does a fine job of playing out her confusion and fright over her son's actions and conditions.

"The Sixth Sense" is a landmark piece of filmmaking, one of those movies that stays in the mind long after it is seen. You need to keep close attention fixated on the film, but the movie does such a tremendous job of bringing you into its story and suspense that your attention will do anything but hinder. The performances are intriguing, the material is brilliant and intense, and the overall effect the movie has in the end, along with being a superb surprise, is one of refreshment and satisfaction.

5-0 out of 5 stars first rate psychological thriller
I was listening to the Movie Show on Radio one Saturday as I was working on my truck, when I heard Mad Max Weiss mention that The Sixth Sense had one of the most surprising endings of any movie. That did it, I had to rent it.

Staring Bruce Willis as child psychologist Malcolm Crowe and Haley Osment and the disturb child Cole Sear, The Sixth Sense is both a psychological thriller and a horror movie at the same time. Terrifying visions of dead people haunts the child, Cole. He has learned to repress what he sees for fear of being called insane. So at first, we see it as a psychological thriller. Later, we learn that the visions are real, so perhaps we are watching a horror flick, but as the move progresses it never degenerates into a silly horror movie, but keeps its psychological edge.

Although Bruce Willis is one of my favorite actors, I am afraid that I have underestimated his acting ability. This is an outstanding movie that grabs your attention and does not let go until the final credits roll. And the ending, oh yes, it was a surprise- I did not see it coming. If you have not seen this movie, rent it now. You will want to watch it several times. It is that good. Not a movie for the faint of heart or your wee ones- it will give them nightmares for a week; but if you are looking for a first rate psychological thriller you may want to add this to your DVD collection.

5-0 out of 5 stars Un-Finished Business
The Sixth Sense

The Sixth Sense (1997) directed by M. Night Shyamalan, which he wrote and plays the part of Dr. Hill, a psychiatrist, is a timely masterpiece. The late 90's was a time for increased and renewed spiritually. Many individuals were and are still seeking answers to what happens after we die. Shyamalan was born in India where belief in reincarnation is very strong. While he was born in India he grew up in the United States in Philadelphia. There is a quality of "other world ness" or "wholly unknown" that he brings to the screen. What some have only imagined or "wholly sensed" he brings to life on film. His works include Signs (2002) and currently he is in post production of The Village (2004). What he and fellow director Jerry Zucker (Ghost, 1990) both portray through the genres of drama, mystery, and thriller is: Unfinished business keeps you around after you die.

Unfinished business is what keeps Malcolm Crowe, a child psychologist around for a while. Despite the fact that his grieving wife has not been able to let him completely go- she plays home movies to keep him close, for a while. Individuals do sense sometimes their loved ones who have passed on are right beside them. This could be in the role of protector, as in Ghost, where Sam Wheat (Patrick Swayze) tries to protect his girlfriend Molly Jensen (Demi Moore) from harm, or as a guardian angel. One theme within both films is that of coming to terms with oneself and to be at peace. This was accomplished for Sam when he was able to communicate his message through Oda Mae Brown (Whoopi Goldberg), thus saving Molly from certain death. In The Sixth Sense Crowe feels guilty about not being able to help is de-ranged ex-client. To do penance for that he tries to help, and succeeds in doing so, Cole. Cole for his part learns to face his fears, and works with his gift instead of against it. He helps the dead girl communicate a message to her father about her death. Through the process Crowe walks with Cole, afterwards he is able to let go, but first he whispers into his wife's ear how much he loves her.

What makes this film and others like it so interesting is that our society has within it a sub-culture of those who believe in the supernatural. The popularity of Crossing Over with Jonathan Edwards attests to this fact, as well as It's a Miracle. People want answers and will go to almost any length to get them. Many individuals have testified that they have either sensed or seen deceased family members at one time or another. The Sixth Sense is a great film for those of us with imagination and also for those without imagination.

5-0 out of 5 stars UPLIFTING
Cole Sear (played wonderfully by Haley Joel Osment) is always hiding behind the "magnificent red curtain". Unable to comfortably associate with his peers, he has accepted the delegated task of the minor player, the victim, the bullied. Only when Sear tried to accept his 'fate', with the help of child psychologist Malcolm Crowe (brilliantly acted by Bruce Willis), did he realise the many beautiful opportunities he could have.

M. Night Shyamalan delivered, for me, an unusually uplifting suspense thriller. Sort of a 90s "Wizard of Oz". His craftmanship is superb. It was highly disappointing he failed to win the OSCAR Best Director trophy for The Sixth Sense.

Australian actress Toni Collette, as Cole's mother, is wonderful in her minor role. She is a world-class actor, and the car scene with Osment would have to be one of the best acted scene in the history of the silver screen. Subtle yet powerful!!! ... Read more


6. About a Boy (Widescreen Edition)
Director: Chris Weitz, Paul Weitz
list price: $14.98
our price: $11.24
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Asin: B00005JL7Q
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 1081
Average Customer Review: 4.27 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (216)

5-0 out of 5 stars At least a comedy that is not only to laugh
The fifth star of this movie is awarded to the DVD itself. It's really enjoyable not only the making off, but the cut scenes and the off-commentaries of the directors. It is interesting to see the real job of editing and making off this excellent film.

I like it very much the way Hugh Grant (Will) and the boy Nicholas Hoult (Marcus) tell the story as it goes for both of them. It seems that complicity of both characters is totally represented by both actors. I have seen Hugh Grant in a huge number of romantic comedies and I didn't expect much of him but THIS IS DIFFERENT. As he says in the extra material he represents 100% a British, rich, handsome, useless bachelor. He is even more irresistible for children than for women.

Some acting parts are beautifully absurd: when Will plays guitar helping Marcus to sing "Killing Me Softly", when he goes to the SPAT to meet all divorced women into therapy, when Marcus tries to conquer the older girl by singing his brand-new rap CD...

And taking in mind the work of the directors, I think now I am even able to go and watch "American Pie".

4-0 out of 5 stars Great Light Entertainment!
This is a really entertaining if slightly lightweight film. Good story line, wonderful characters, witty dialogue and excellent acting throughout. In fact all the main characters give wonderful performances-none more then Hugh Grant who was an actor I really didn't care much for until recently. He is superb as the spoilt likeable rogue who is the centrepiece of the movie. He's inherited mountains of money from his father who happened to have a fluke Christmas hit in the 50's. The substantial royalty acts as both a blessing and a curse as this journey of discovery takes him from being someone who has brief romances, never has to work, has all the latest gadgets and fashion accessories and of course lives a complete live of leisure. Yet he soon comes to realise that his life is pretty shallow-there's nothing interesting about him, he may as well be a handsome cardboard caracuture. He discovers that single mothers are a great source of romance and it is here he eventually discovers the other lead-the boy Marcus. This boy lives with his closetted, veggie, depressed hippy Mom played by the amazing Toni Colette. Grant pretends to have a son but Marcus discovers his secret and sort of inflicts himself on Grant. You see both characters need each other but obviously in very different ways.
This is a great piece of light entertainment-some of the scenes are hilarious and the dialogue is generally sharp, witty and yet cringe-inducing at the same time. Like another film based on Nick Hornby's writing High Fidelity-some of About A Boy's funniest moments come through the characters expressing their thoughts in a monologue. This film kept me entertained throughout-and even the duller moments you still have the stupendous soundtrack composed by Badly Drawn Boy to enjoy.

5-0 out of 5 stars A contemporary classic...
First and foremost, I want to state that Hugh Grant, as an actor and screen presence, deserves to be respected more. Some of the abuse this guy has endured, at the hands of the media and general public has been unwarranted and cumulative to the point where one of this generations most unappreciated talents is considering retirement at an early age.

The root of Grant's success and criticism is his championing of the romantic comedy. Once a well respected genre (think It Happened One Night - which swept all major Oscar awards in 1934) the "romcom" is only now reemerging as a force to be reckoned with, due in part by the success of When Harry Met Sally('84), Pretty Woman('90), Sleepless in Seattle('93), Groundhog Day('93), but more in part to the work of Hugh Grant.

The man has almost single-handedly restored the genre to its rightful place as audiences are beginning to appreciate the depth, quality and cathartic power that movies like About a Boy are capable of achieving. But his success has come at a price. Grant is in a unique predicament, not unlike most pop star idols, of being lionized by romcom audiences (largely female) and lambasted by the media and the average Joe six-pack for being too feminine and foppish and (pick your own). When I hear someone make an easy joke about Grant, I have made them myself, it is usually a cheap shot - he is an easy target- but more often than not, everyone who makes them sees a side of themselves in his charming smile and self-depracating humour that we all want to be a part of-this is the appeal of Hugh Grant and the romcom in genral.

So now we have Mr. Grant deliberately seeking out roles with more weight and "steel". Not only is this a step in the right direction for the continued health and success of Grant, but also the logical evolution of the romantic comedy with the drama. This shift is represented by Grant's character Will in About, who at first glance is a carefree, hip thirty-something bachelor with no real worries but finding a nice lay. In reality, however, Hugh, I mean, Will, is vulnerable and afraid and fast approaching a crisis. We watch as he must break his cocoon of complacency or break down and die under its weight. The risks are really quite high: a life is at stake. And we watch this man break his shackles and gain a life of happiness, social connection and ultimately, love.

The story is a timeless one of personal transformation and freedom from mental barriers that we as vulnerable creatures erect to cope with the pressures and anxieties of modern living. About a Boy remembers that at the heart of every good story is a character flawed in some capacity that must engage in battle with his own personal demons before balance and harmony are attained. Through Will's transformation, we as witnesses to his story must embrace his struggle as our own - this is the power of movies - thereby challenging ourselves to grow and improve.

About a Boy is a landmark in cinematic history and is in my personal top-20 list of all-time movie classics. Thank you Mr. Grant (and team) for your excellent work, and continued success.

5-0 out of 5 stars An Original Feel-Good Movie
I love this movie because it is a sweet story about a jerk (Will) who ends up helping people, with a great girl, and a new look on life, yet it is not sappy or cheesy. Amazing. It's cute, funny, and original. I haven't read the book, but even without reading it, this is a great movie with a wonderful cast and a story that's fun for anyone to enjoy.

5-0 out of 5 stars movie
I never really liked a hugh grant film until this one. Its very funny and touching about how a boy changed a man's life. The film feels very long but each scene is meant to be there and its worth watching more than once. ... Read more


7. Muriel's Wedding
Director: P.J. Hogan
list price: $14.99
our price: $11.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0788814958
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 2273
Average Customer Review: 4.43 out of 5 stars
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Ever since the late '70s when the Australian New Wave was in full surge, DownUnder directors have delivered movies that often hit you like news from another planet. Offbeat characters, weird narrative twists, and a tartmixture of laughs and catastrophe--this is the juice that fuels such flicks as Proof, The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, Strictly Ballroom, Heavenly Creatures, and most certainly Muriel's Wedding. Directed by P.J.Hogan (who would go on to helm the Hollywood hit My Best Friend's Wedding),this little gem follows tradition by featuring an authentic misfit: Muriel(Toni Collette), a great overweight horse of a girl obsessed with gettingmarried and the music of ABBA. Appropriately, we first meet Muriel at awedding, all trussed up in a leopardskin number she's boosted for theoccasion. When her snotty peers insist that she give up the bridal bouquet tosomeone who might actually get hitched, when one of the guests turns out to be a clerk in the very store where Muriel ripped off her outfit--you gottalaugh, she's such an unmitigated mess. A loser, her philandering politician father (Bill Hunter) calls her--along with his doormat wife and his othercouch-potato offspring. But this movie's no exercise in geek-bashing. AsMuriel takes up with feisty Rhonda (Rachel Griffiths) and moves from PorpoiseSpit to the big city, her good-hearted grin and zest for life draw us indespite hilarious gaffes and mishaps. (Making out with a boy for the firsttime, Muriel suddenly finds herself awash in styrofoam: the oaf has unzippedthe beanbag chair instead of her skin-tight leather pants.) Muriel's Wedding covers territory Hollywood would banish from a comedy--Rhonda's cancer, thesuicide of Muriel's mother, a marriage of convenience to an arrogantathlete--yet, like its heroine, it never loses its sense of humor, its will to move on to whatever good thing might happen next. Everyone in theidiosyncratic cast is terrific, but it's Toni Collette's Dancing Queen whomakes Muriel's Wedding a cinematic celebration you won't forget. --KathleenMurphy ... Read more

Reviews (102)

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the finest movies I've ever seen
Muriel Heslop is a young woman who dreams of getting married and moving far away from her boring life in Porpoise Spit, Australia. Unfortunately, even after her dreams do come true (and changes her name to Mariel), she discovers that while she has gained everything she has desired, she has also alienated herself from her family and her best friend Rhonda, and by the end of the film goes back to being good-ol' Muriel Heslop.

The performances in this film were excellent, especially Toni Collette in the lead (who gained a few pounds for her role), and future Oscar nominee Rachel Griffiths as Rhonda, a woman suddenly sticken with a potentially fatal illness.

Despite it's seemingly simple plot, it's a suprisingly rich and complex story. It's about a family on the verge of insanity, the value of friendship, and is a fable with a positive message: Be yourself, and you will like yourself for it.

Whether you like comedy or drama, you'll absolutely fall in love with this movie.

4-0 out of 5 stars Unconventional comedy
This is one of those comedies that will make you laugh hysterically and then shut the audience up with a sudden tragedy. The story follows Muriel (Collette), an overweight ugly duckling who is ridiculed by her friends and her father but finds solace in ABBA songs and best friend Griffiths. Moving from her home town of Porpoise Spit she begins to find a new life for herself.

Fortunately this rites-of-passage drama doesn't lay it on heavy with the sentimentality. This brings about a conclusion that's nothing short of depressing but still poignant. The comedy is wonderfully crass, especially from Muriel's friends from Porpoise Spit and the sheer gaudiness of the whole movie is beautifully carried by all concerned. When Muriel's bridesmaids waddle up the aisle to an ABBA song, or Collette and Griffiths jubilently belt out tunes at a karaoke bar, you'll be laughing.

Given this, it's rare to find such comedy that will bring you crashing down to earth with suicide, cancer and an unhappy arranged marriage. This is one of those movies that will never make you cry; it will make you sympathise with its characters. It's certainly a great gift of Hogan's that he manages to pull both genres off so well at the same time.

But this wouldn't be half as good if it wasn't for Collette and Griffiths' magnificently crazy, emotional performances. 'Muriel's Wedding' should also be cheered for the fact that it doesn't succumb to typical Hollywood glitz and glamour. Muriel remains overweight throughout the whole movie, there's no 'Pygmalion'-like twist, it's the person that changes and perhaps that's what the movie is about. Completely unmissable.

5-0 out of 5 stars Porpoise Spit Sheila's Move It On Over To Big City Sidney!
Australian writer/director P.J. Hogan's modern masterpiece, "Muriel's Wedding" serves up wedding cake with wheelchairs, confetti with cancer, ABBA with ardor, sweetness with stealing, and more importantly friends with foes in this one of a kind black comedy.

"Muriel's Wedding" not only launched P.J. Hogan's directing and writing career but gave a leg up to Toni Collette who agreed to pack on 30 lbs. for the once in a lifetime role of Muriel Heslop, citizen of small town Porpoise Spit, Australia. Rachel Griffiths from "Six Feet Under" also got her first shot playing Muriel's friend, wild child and general black sheep of Porpoise Spit, Rhonda Epinstalk. Rhonda and Muriel escape the small town and small people of Porpoise Spit for the big city lights and acceptance of Sidney, Australia.

A low self-esteemed wedding obsessed wannabe, Muriel lies, cheats and steals her way to her ultimate goal. Getting HITCHED! At least that's what Muriel thinks she desires, but all she wants is to truly be accepted by friends, family and her WHOLE world. Muriel's whole existence is based on "Why Can't It Be Me? Why Can't I Be The One?"

Muriel's parents, Bill and Betty Heslop, played by Aussie actors Bill Hunter and Jeanie Drynan both turn in excellent and believable performances. Especially Jeanie Drynan as the put upon mother who unconditionally loves her children and only wants to think the best of them.

Also featured are four judgemental and witchy women who are Muriel and Rhonda's former high school classmates. Some of the greatest comedy scenes take place between the six gals and are hilarious!

The film ALSO has a GREAT 70's soundtrack with the likes of:

Sugar Baby Love by The Rubettes
We've Only Just Begun by The Carpenters
Tide Is High by Blondie
Waterloo by ABBA
I Go to Rio by Peter Allen
I Just Don't Know What to Do With Myself by Dusty Springfield
Dancing Queen by ABBA
I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do by ABBA
and Happy Together by The Turtles

I highly recommend this film not just as a "chick flick" but a great and terrific movie that examines not only the comedic side of life but of true friendship, love and death...

Happy Watching And Go Porpoise Spit High!

5-0 out of 5 stars Good Movie
Toni Collette plays an awkward, clumsy woman named Muriel who fantasizes about getting married and listens to ABBA. Living in Porpoise Spit, she has no life of her own. She, as well as her family, are mentally abused by the father, a philandering politician who will do anything to gain popularity. The group of women that she hangs around with, don't want her around because she doesn't live up to their standards--beautiful and stupid. While on vacation, she meets with a high school friend, Rhonda.
Before her performance in "Six Feet Under", Rachel Griffiths plays Rhonda, a high school friend of Muriel's who is transformed into a swan. The popular quartet accepts her but she rejects them because of their cruel treatment of her in high school. She and Muriel move to Sidney, and Muriel starts anew. But when Rhonda is hit with cancer, Muriel goes back into her dreams of being a bride. Muriel does marry but for the wrong reasons. Muriel is forced to confront herself, her family, and the people in her life that hurt her emotionally.
This movie deals with acceptance and Muriel had to accept that there were some things you could and couldn't change.

5-0 out of 5 stars My favorite movie
*..*
I watched this wonderful movie about a year after it originally came out. I connected with the (very real lives of the) characters.

The story of a woman who discover the shollow ways of the people around her, Muriel's Wedding is one of those rare movies with deep messages.

Anyone who's ever had any kind of self issues will compeletely love it. Check it out. ... Read more


8. The Hours (Widescreen Edition)
Director: Stephen Daldry
list price: $14.99
our price: $11.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00005JKTI
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 2502
Average Customer Review: 3.77 out of 5 stars
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Description

THE HOURS tells the story of three very different individuals who share the feeling that they have been living their lives for someone else.Virginia Woolf (Kidman) lives in a suburb of London in the 1920’s as she struggles to begin writing her first great novel, Mrs. Dalloway, while also attempting to overcome the mental illness that threatens to engulf her.Laura Brown (Moore), a young wife and mother in post-World War II Los Angeles, is just starting to read Mrs. Dalloway, and is so deeply affected by it that she begins to question the life she has chosen for herself.Then, in contemporary New York City, Clarissa Vaughan (Streep) is a modern-day mirror image of Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway as she plans what may be the final party for her friend and former lover, Richard (Harris), who is dying of AIDS. ... Read more

Reviews (294)

4-0 out of 5 stars An Emotional Film About Disease, Despair and Death
Virgina Woolf (Nicole Kidman), Laura Brown (Julianne Moore) and Clarissa Vaughn (Meryl Streep) are three women apparently connected through the book MRS. DALLOWAY. Woolf as the author, Brown as the reader and Vaughn as the embodiment today. This is a complex and nuanced story that is translated to film in a very effective way. The scene shifts which gradually reveal the nature of the interrelationships among these women (both symbolic and real) are incredibly well directed, and the three stars are all superb. There are several additional excellent performaces, especially Ed Harris as the dying writer and friend of Vaughn for whom she is having a party (which mirrors the parties in the hours we experience in the lives of the other two women). In one of the strange turns of fate, Julianne Moore is cast as a troubled housewife in the seemingly idyllic fifties, thus in effect reprising her role in FAR FROM HEAVEN. And John C. Reilly does a great job as her seemingly clueless husband, recreating his role in CHICAGO without the musical routines.

The overlapping stories of these three women are emotionmally powerful, but I suspect that as some reviewers have opined this is one of those instances where the movie does not and indeed cannot do total justice to the book given the inherent limitations in its format. While the cinematography is striking and the scene cuts among the three time periods well edited, there is an incredible amount of information for the viewer to absorb and little time to contemplate the events. (At times it would have been nice to be able to press pause or rewind, or to be able to reread a chapter or put down the book to think.)

My sole caution is that this is a movie that is entertaining but not uplifting. Several reviewers have commented that it is about life, but the lives in this movie are not lives of joy. This is about people suffering from mental and physical disease (depression and Aids) who are living lives of quiet desperation and for whom the ultimate solution is sometimes suicide. These are people who even when outwardly appearing to cope with life with various degrees of success are frequently experiencing despair. My wife enjoyed the movie and was completely absorbed by the story and the powerful emotions that it elicted. While I agree that it was a well made film and an interesting story and was entertained by the excellent performances, I did not find it particularly compelling or enjoyable. However, I did feel that the surprise ending was excellent and was one of the factors that made me glad that I had seen the film.

5-0 out of 5 stars A writer, a reader and a character living in The Hours
A fine cast headed by Nicole Kidman (Virginia Woolf, England, 1941), Julianne Moore (Laura, LA, 1951) and Meryl Streep (Clarissa, NYC, 2001), presents the story adapted from the award-winning book by Michael Cunningham, "The Hours". The story juxtaposes the lives of a writer (Woolf), a reader of her book "Mrs. Dallaway" (Laura) living in an LA suburb in after-WWII times, and a NY book editor (Clarissa), who pretty much goes through an ordinary day in her life, getting set for a party she's going to throw later in the day for her friend Richard (Ed Harris), a poet who's just received an award. As simple as such a plot may strike you, it is a complex one, but a careful editing labor, a passion for storytelling, some outstanding acting and the music by minimalist maestro Philip Glass serve as the thread between the stories of these three women.

Complementing an already outstanding film statement, the make-up and the dialogs ring once and again, with Kidman's face virtually hiding away to bring Woolf's back to life, and when you listen to the lines of all the characters taking on a life of their own, almost moving away from Woolf, away from Cunningham... even away from the very adapter, David Hare, as if told by any of us. Because this is a movie not about trauma, or tragedy, or a sad or sorry existential life of a middle-aged woman (or group of women). This story is about our eternal search for happiness, "the choices we make in that search, and their consequences" as the director, Stephen Daldry, so brilliantly put it.

A small bit from the lines of Streep, when talking to her daughter Julie, played by Claire Danes:
"It wasn't the beginning... it was happiness. It was the moment, right then!" as if to say, happiness is not a destination, it's the journey that we make every day, while we lead our very ordinary lives, it's in the moments that hide behind the hours, those that we inexorably face. All in all, this movie is now and will be for as long as I can remember it, a classic and a constant reference.

Final comment: I don't agree with the comments about another reviewer about the movie being JUST about homosexuality, though there are definite moments where a lesbian side of the characters comes across. If you can't see beyond the fact that some people will just live their lives in a different way than others, and realize that the movie actually does apply to all of us, then you are limiting your life in a very sad way.

5-0 out of 5 stars Worth Your Time
I actually saw this movie before I read the book--something I rarely do. And for once, I'm glad it was in that order. The trio of actresses playing the roles did such a fabulous job, that I liked having pictures of them in my head as I read the book, and in retrospect, marveled at the film maker's ability to jump back and forth in time so seemlessly.

A beautiful, thought-provoking and creative story. Well done.

5-0 out of 5 stars Gorgeous
I had put off seeing this film, mostly because of a couple friends saying how "dark" and "depressing" it was. To the contrary, I found it to be just beautiful. The acting is of course brillant--a handful of the most talented actresses of our time. But the real star is the script! Just the most amazing piece of writing ever. A very moving film that I can't recommend more.

5-0 out of 5 stars Melodramatic Yes....Dissapointing No!
Recently I viewed the movie, "The Hours" starring Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman, Ed Harris and Julianne Moore. The movie is based on the book by Michael Cunningham and follows the book's ideas about as precisely as possible for a screenplay conversion.

The story revolves around the author, Virginia Woolf, as she writes her story, "Mrs. Dalloway" and how the words she writes affect two other women in different time periods. Virginia is portrayed by Nicole Kidman and she does a wonderful job showing the essence of Virginia's depression and self-doubt. A brilliant writer who involves all of your senses in her prose she succumbs to the artist's tendency to be self-doubters and insecure, possibly from all the exposure to critics at every bend and corner. The cigarettes she smokes seethe about her as she contemplates her suicide and a word to leave behind, like her soul is going up in smoke. She lies beside a dead bird and she feels dead before her time, unable to fly and stifled by depression that is never fully explained. Her end is filmed in such a way that she surrenders herself to the river's current and slowly gets swept away by nature but she seems somehow freed by her own death, floating along in time and crossing the borders that time presents.

Julianne Moore plays the character, Laura Brown; a pregnant homemaker in the 1950's who is struggling with what life has to offer her. She seems to exist in a blur of emotion all of which sways towards depression. She attempts to bake a perfect cake for her "perfect" husband's birthday and fails sending herself into a moment of panic that almost produces her own demise. She runs away from her child and stays alone in a hotel ready to take her life and that of her unborn. She reads "Mrs. Dalloway" and becomes involved in another's misfortune which somehow awakens her to her senses and she retreats back to the normalcy of her mundane life. I could not help but be emotional during a scene where she is preparing herself for bed and her husband calls from the bedroom, "Come to bed Laura Brown," it left me with a sickened feeling. In Laura's eyes you see her sadness and her desperate need to leave but she stays, unhappily, like a servant.

Meryl Streep plays, Clarissa Vaughn, a modern woman who follows the footsteps of Virginia's character "Mrs. Dalloway" as she spends her day catering to others. She buys flowers in desperate attempts to cheer up those around her when in fact she is the one who is in need of cheer. She tries to revive a dying man played brilliantly by Ed Harris, Richard, who is succumbing to the power of AIDS and all of its downfalls. Clarissa opens windows for brightness where all she sees is gray; she perks up the grayness with flowers but only manages to bring a feeling of hopelessness to Richard instead. His writing award seems to go unnoticed although she plans a tremendous celebration his soul just shuts down. Under all of the pressure Clarissa breaks down and experiences the sadness of the day and the reality of death. Richard falls from his own window in his desperate act of suicide and mercy. Clarissa is left to deal with all of the pain.

In the end we learn that Richard is in fact the son of Laura Brown. Seemingly she has transferred her loneliness and despair to the life of her own son without regret. She explains that she abandoned her family after all, needing to conduct her life on her own terms.

The music and the language of the film inspire creative juices, especially the scenes where Virginia Woolf is speaking. Having read the book first I was able to experience more than the film managed to contain although the film was more easily explained. I recommend both expressions for the full impact of these desperate women and the lives they lead. It will not take hours to be gripped by their needs. ... Read more


9. About a Boy (Full Screen Edition)
Director: Chris Weitz, Paul Weitz
list price: $14.98
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Asin: B00006GEXQ
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 3457
Average Customer Review: 4.27 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (216)

5-0 out of 5 stars Unexpectedly wonderful
Ok I admit I was forced to watch this the first time but I was floored by how good it is! It's rare to find a movie with so many unexpected plot twists and all aspects are top notch. It really is a new classic as mentioned in other reviews. I watched it 20 nights in a row before tiring of it =)

1-0 out of 5 stars About a What?
First of all Hugh Grant? Why?
This is a film that makes absolutely no sense and has abosolutely nothing of value in it. It quite frankly put me to sleep faster than Moulon Rouge, and that didn't take long. This is what seems to be a british attempt at comedy which failed miserably. I can't handle Hugh Grant any more than I can handle watching someone vomit. And for someone to pay him to actually put him on the big screen is absoulutly absurd to me. If you seriously want to walk away from a movie being less intelligent than when it started, then watch this moive.

5-0 out of 5 stars An Amazing Movie
About three people recommended this movie to me when it came out, but I only just saw it, and it's one of the best movies I've seen in a long time. The movie is told from two boys' point of view; first, there's Will, a lazy, self-centered 38-year-old man who "does nothing" except live off the revenue from a hit Christmas song his father wrote. Then there's Marcus, an unusual 12-year old boy who's the outcast at school and who's only family is his depressed mother.

When Will decides that single mothers are the perfect people to date, he goes to a SPAT (Single Parents Alone Together) meeting and pretends to have a 2-year-old son. This results in a date with one of the single moms from the group, but after their first date - where they're babysitting Marcus - they find Marcus's mom attempting to commit suicide. Although she lives, it scares Marcus to think that she might try to kill herself again. Marcus decides that two isn't enough (you need backup), and tries to set up his mom and Will. This doesn't work at all, but Marcus ends up coming over to Will's house every day after school. His mom isn't happy when she finds out, but can see that Will is important to Marcus, so their unusual relationship continues to grow.

Then after Christmas (which Will unwillingly spends at Marcus's) both boys develope crushes. Marcus falls for the bad girl at school, Ellie, with her dreds and nose ring, and although they are complete opposites, she excepts him as a friend so the rest of the school does as well. Then Will meets an interesting woman, Rachel, at a New Year's Eve party, and is forced to admit that he's "taking time off from taking time off." The only thing he can think to do to keep from loosing Rachel is pretend that he has a son again, only this time Marcus is forced to play the part. Other than Rachel's son Ali being a little troubled about his mom dating, everything seems to be going well, although Will realizes that the whole lieing thing isn't exactly good idea, but he doesn't want to give up Rachel.

Meanwhile, Marcus's mom seems to be losing it again, and he's desparate to find a way to make her happy. Although he's warned by Ellie that "it's suicide" and he'll be teased by everyone again, Marcus signs up to sing in a show at school, because his mom told him that her heart was filled with joy when he sang. Of course I'm not going to tell you what happens, but I will say that this there's a great ending (it's actually my favorite part). I would recommend About a Boy to anyone who can appreciate a movie right on the edge between seriousness and humor.

4-0 out of 5 stars Not bad at all.
You've got to have a regular job to melt into your society, otherwise you'd only become an romote and isolated island. The guy in this movie lived a peaceful life, a kind and gentle man, but still a loner and loser in other standards. This a man who could afford a not-so-bad living by not doing a job is actually everybody's day dream. I just wish I could be that kind of guy.

5-0 out of 5 stars I love this movie!
This is such a great film. This movie is to Hugh Grant what 'Jerry Maguire' is to Tom Cruise (assuming you thought Jerry Maguire was a groundbreaking role for Tom Cruise) The screenplay stays so true to the book, while still managing to update it to keep it current. For example, in the book Will introduces Marcus to Nirvana but in the movie, he gives him a Mystikal CD. I hate it when I read a great book only to see the film version not do it justice, but this film stays true to the book while still being funny and original. You'll laugh, you'll cry...see it!

The DVD has several extras that make it worth the price. It has director commentary, behinds the scenes special, and an 'English-to-English' dictionary. You can also see videos from the soundtrack done by Badly Drawn Boy. ... Read more


10. Changing Lanes
Director: Roger Michell
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Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 9064
Average Customer Review: 3.48 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (137)

5-0 out of 5 stars The hard choices that have to be made every day
Starring Ben Affleck and Samuel L. Jackson, this is the story of how a seemingly small fender-bender incident changed the lives of two men forever. Affleck is cast as Gavin Banek, a young Wall Street lawyer married to the boss's daughter, who is on his way to court to file some papers that were obtained unethically. He doesn't have the document with him, however, and realizes he lost it during his encounter with Jackson on the expressway. Jackson, cast as Doyle Gibson, is a recovering alcoholic, who is also on his way to court. He's in the process of obtaining a mortgage on a modest house and is trying to keep his wife from moving across the country with his two young sons. When he is 20 minutes late for the custody hearing, he loses his case. Both men are now hurtled into a series of confrontations with the kind ofescalating intensity that kept my eyes glued to the screen as the tension increased.

The screenplay, by Chap Taylor and Michael Tolkin, was excellent, and kept the audience not only wondering what would happen next, but also gradually understanding the character of each man, and how this affected their next moves. The plot twisted and turned as the men became more and more real, with the human frailties that hurtled the action along, showing how the way that each had been living his life contributed to what would happen next. Some deeply moral and ethical questions were raised with no easy answers. And in, at the end, as each man had to deal with his own personal demons, the conclusion was resolved on a positive note, leaving everyone wiser.

Roger Michell, the director, was able to get outstanding performances out of all of the supporting cast members, as well as the stars - most notably Toni Collette as a colleague and sometime mistress of Affleck, Amanda Peet as his wife, Sidney Pollack as the head of the law firm, and Kim Staunton as Jackson's wife. The New York setting was also wonderful and I'm glad that a decision was made not to edit out the World Trade Towers. It was a real and important part of New York, and I personally enjoyed seeing them there, a visual reminder of how quickly things can change, which fit in perfectly with the story.

I highly recommend this film, not just for the action, but also for the uncompromising view of how a person's character determines the outcome of situations and the hard choices that have to be made every day. See it!

4-0 out of 5 stars A surprisingly good film about modern morality
Despite trailers portraying the movie as an action flick, Changing Lanes really is a morality story. How far would you go, who would you hurt, to save yourself?

Skillfully telling the story of an essentially good-at-heart lawyer (Ben Affleck) at the verge of becoming corrupt amidst an unsavory law firm, and the story of a father (Samuel L. Jackson) losing custody of this two sons, Changing Lanes presents the dark side that is present in everyone. This is a small story about how a minor car accident can escalate and bring out the worst in people. Everyone's been in similar situations, and that experience makes this film very personal.

Aside from the questions this film raises on morality, it remains unpredictable. Where is it going? How will it end? So many films follow a predictable storyline today, its refreshing to not know the outcome here.

Changing Lanes is a surprisingly good film, and while it may not be a masterpiece, it is an intelligent and thought-provoking film that will force you to contemplate your own moral identity.

1-0 out of 5 stars It is a crime to make movies this bad
Yet another masterpiece that everybody is praising. Starring Ben Affleck(who plays a hotshot lawyer and whose long chin and bad acting always get on my nerves) and Samuel Jackson( who plays divorced father of two). Ben is supposed to be in court and so is Samuel. They get in the traffic accident and when Ben wants to just give Samuel a check because he is in a hurry, Samuel wouldn't take it because he wants everything to be "just right"(whatever the hell that means). Ben decides the hell with this and leaves. Samuel is late for court and because it was for a custody hearing, judge awards custody to his wife. He is royally pissed. Then, we go back to Ben who realizes he left an important document in Samuel car. Okay, Ben is pissed too. He tries to track down the other guy who promptly tells Ben to go to hell. Shortly thereafter he realizes that there is some fun to be had at Ben's expense and sends him a fax(although how he gets Ben's number is not explained) indicating he has the document and is not giving it back. Ben, who is pissed beyond belief decides to have some revenge and hires a hacker to screw Samuel's credit history. Next step, Samuel unscrews the wheel of Ben's car making a serious car accident a sure thing. Ben has the stage at this point and he threatens Samuel's kids. And so it goes. Oh, somewhere in the middle, Ben discovers that his boss(who is also his father-law) is a crook and he has to do some serious soul searching which almost made me lose my lunch(it was that painful to watch). Of course, at the end, everybody does the right thing-meaning that both men stop acting like lunatics and try to make amends. To say that it was boring, would be an understatement. To say that it was a good movie would be a crime against humanity

3-0 out of 5 stars Many wrongs never make right
This is a movie with no heroes, no nudity, no CGI and practically no fancy stunts, yet somehow it manages to hold your interest.

After feeling genuine hatred for the two lead characters, more so for Banek (Affleck) than Gipson (Jackson), I found that the ending wrapped up too quickly, too conveniently and too smoothly, and while it was reasonably watchable the first time, I probably wouldn't want to see it a second time.

Both Affleck and Jackson play their parts convincingly, and make it almost believable that a fender bender could lead to such chaos. In the real world however, Banek should have wised up to his work situation from the beginning, and Gipson would have certainly fallen off the wagon. Personally, I could never be charitable to a man who purposely sets out to destroy my family's chance for happiness, or lies about my kids safety, which makes the somewhat neat ending leave a bad taste in my mouth.

The bankruptcy story thread was unconvincing. The highly paid professional just accepting his failure with a shrug off is just not realistic. There are other parts of the movie where the lead characters cause significant damage to office property without repercussions, and some of the support actors tenuously cling to the storyline like afterthoughts.

Considering that this movie is about greed, arrogance, despair, revenge, deceit and blackmail, it does very well to maintain a reasonable entertainment value. The "positive message" comes too late to be of significant redeeming value.

Jackson's performance carries the movie as far as it can go.

3-0 out of 5 stars "You're addicted to chaos."
'One Wrong Turn Deserves Another", that's the tagline for the film Changing Lanes (2002), starring Ben Affleck and Samuel L. Jackson, directed by Roger Michell, someone I've never heard of before here, but I found out he also directed the Julia Roberts film Notting Hill (1999), which I have yet to see, mostly because Julia Roberts kinda scares me with those big horse teeth of hers.

As the film begins, we sort of meet two individuals, a fancy schmanzy lawyer named Gavin Banek (Affleck) and a telephone insurance salesman Doyle Gipson (Jackson). The two men, while both on their way to court, Banek involved in a case worth a lot of money to the law firm he's a partner in, and Gipson involved in a custody hearing with his divorced wife, get into a car accident with each other. Gipson wants to handle the situation in the correct manner, but Banek, who caused the accident, has little time to deal with the formalities, tries to deal with the matter expeditiously, pawning off a blank check on Gipson, leaving not only the scene of the accident, but leaving Gipson stranded as his car is totaled. In his haste, Banek accidentally leaves an important document with Gipson, one that could potentially cost his firm over 100 million dollars and even prison time for Banek. As a result of the accident and being stranded by Banek, Gipson misses his appearance, and the court rules against him, allowing for his ex-wife to move away with their two sons. Banek, in the meantime, is allowed until the end of the day to produce the lost document, and later discovers Gipson still has possession of it, but is disgruntled over the treatment he received from Banek and losing his custody hearing, setting up a cycle of revenge between the two men, each sort of 'one upping' each other to increasingly dangerous and life-altering levels.

First of all, I just had a hard time buying Affleck as a partner in a big law firm, despite the fact that his father-in-law, played wonderfully by Sidney Pollack, is also a partner. I think he's a decent actor, a bit over-rated, and he's certainly got the smarmy quality down, inherent in many of his roles, but I didn't feel like he had the level of intelligence required to hold the position he does...and are all lawyers smarmy, greedy, opportunistic liars looking to rip people off? Maybe...I don't know, but this movie would have you believe so...Jackson is pretty good, but he's pretty much playing a role I've seen numerous times before from him, the angry, loud black man who yells a lot. It's toned down a little here, but not much. In the film, we find his wife left him because of his problem with alcohol and his addiction to rage. Throughout the film, she would seem on the verge of possibly reconciling with him, but then would quickly change her mind. This happened three or fours times, and given the film takes place over the course of one day, I could see where Jackson's character might react the way he does, given that she has such a penchant for flip flopping. One of the things I disliked about this film was each time one of the main characters would initiate some form of revenge on the other, they would suffer from moralistic pangs, which would soon pass as the cycle continued. And honestly, there weren't really any likeable characters in this film, despite any attempts of redemption by the characters within the story. Banek is a self-serving lawyer, one whose professional dealings seem awful shady (he struggles with this throughout most of the movie, as we are supposed to believe his conscious is now bothering him, despite his previous actions). Oh yeah, he's also an adulterer...and Jackson's character, a recovering alcoholic telephone insurance salesman with confrontation issues, one who his AA sponsor (played by William Hurt) say is 'addicted to chaos'. We do see him desperately trying to put the pieces of his life back together and develop a relationship with his two young sons, but I always got the feeling like his attempts were always too little, too late. I did like the performances by Pollack and Hurt, even though they got so little screen time and it seemed like their characters were a bit contrived as plot devices, both seemingly only present to serve as external forces for good, with Hurt and Jackson, and bad, with Pollack and Affleck, to put it simply. Toni Collette makes an appearance or two, as a colleague of Affleck at his law firm, but her character is almost a non-character, offering little more than a foil for Banek to bounce off of as he deals with his conscience. And I have to say, while I think she's normally an attractive woman, she did not look good here, with here bleached out hair. I was expecting a much different direction at the end, as the film reminded me slightly of the 1993 Michael Douglas film Falling Down, in that events continuously build on each other leading to an inevitable conclusion, but here, things wrapped up just a bit too convenient for my tastes, especially given the self destructive nature of the characters and events that transpired.

The wide screen anamorphic picture here looks wonderful, and there are a few special features available including a really worthwhile commentary track by the director, a 15 minute 'Making of' featurette, deleted and extended scenes (only about three total and not really offering much more to the story), a five minute 'A Writer's Perspective' featurette, and a theatrical trailer for the film. The product page here mentions alternative endings, but I didn't see those listed in the special features of the disc. By the way, if you ever get into a one upping contest with Samuel L. Jackson, check your car's lug nuts regularly.

Cookieman108 ... Read more


11. The Sixth Sense (Vista Series)
Director: M. Night Shyamalan
list price: $29.99
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Asin: B00005RHGM
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 18089
Average Customer Review: 4.24 out of 5 stars
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Description

Hollywood superstar Bruce Willis (ARMAGEDDON, THE SIEGE) brings a powerful presence to an edge-of-your-seat thriller from writer-director M. Night Shyamalan (Oscar(R)-nominee for Best Original Screenplay and Best Director) that critics are calling one of the greatest ghost stories ever filmed. When Dr. Malcolm Crowe (Willis), a distinguished child psychologist, meets Cole Sear (Oscar(R)-nominee Haley Joel Osment, Best Supporting Actor), a frightened, confused, eight-year-old, Dr. Crowe is completely unprepared to face the truth of what haunts Cole. With a riveting intensity you'll find thoroughly chilling, the discovery of Cole's incredible sixth sense leads them to mysterious places with unforgettable consequences! ... Read more

Reviews (325)

5-0 out of 5 stars Cole Sear's initiation
As of this writing, Amazon.com already has 594 customer reviews for THE SIXTH SENSE; however, this movie was so awesome I can't prevent myself from writing about it, regardless as to whether or not it may be useful. It is rare to find a movie that approaches ghosts and psychic ability in such a realistic manner; this one's a treasure to those who follow the subject.

The story centers around two people, Malcolm Crowe (Bruce Willis) and Cole Sear (Haley Joel Osment). Malcolm is a child psychologist who is shot by one of his now-adult former patients, Vincent Grey (Donnie Wahlberg), in the opening of the story. Several months later, Malcolm has apparently recovered and starts treating a new patient, nine-year-old Cole Sear, who is in a similar situation to Vincent's and showing the same symptoms. Cole's parents are divorced and he has no close friends. As a matter of fact, many call him a freak. Cole's mother, Lynn (Toni Collette), keeps noticing odd occurrences around her son and begs him to tell her what's going on. Finally, Cole confides to Malcolm that he sees dead people. Malcolm is skeptical at first, then finds some corroboration for this "gift" in his archives of Vincent's case. It soon becomes clear to Malcolm that the guidance Cole really needs is to face his talent and how to work with it. In the meantime, this inexperienced child gives Malcolm advice on how to handle his marriage problems.

The mood of this vehicle is quiet, building up its tension with suggestion, which starts when Malcolm's wife, Anna (Olivia Williams) shivers while grabbing a bottle of wine in the basement of their home. The way it briefly fades to black after major crisis points adds to its momentum. It replaces the historical atmosphere of Philadelphia, where the story takes place, with one of spookiness. The ghosts who come looking for Cole in his home have a bone-chilling affect that makes the audience jump.

Willis gives a performance that's worthy of an Oscar nomination, even if the Academy preferred five other performances from last year. He sheds enough of his macho image to play a sensitive professional who has private frustrations. He is convincing in this gentler role. Guilt over Malcolm's failure with Vincent underlines Malcolm's motivation in regard to Cole.

Osment is exceptional as the troubled child. Despite Cole's resistence to talk about what's really bothering him, Osment's eyes constantly implore others for help. Anyone with any compassion would be anxious to offer him comfort. Once Cole is relieved, it's amazing how much lighter Osment projects his character.

Collette portrays the baffled, single mother well. At first it's hard to tell whether she's abusive or protective, and the ambiguity serves the story well. Williams has the most challenging scene to play in the restaurant and her sarcastic yet woeful words achieve just the right effect. Wahlberg as the unhinged assailant conveys the fright, confusion, and nihilism of the unresolved circumstances that have hovered over Vincent most of his life.

In an interview director and screenwriter M. Night Shyamalan did on NPR's FRESH AIR when this movie was first released, he claims he has had no outstanding paranormal experiences. It's hard to believe he's that out-of-touch after an incident another medium had.

When I went to see THE SIXTH SENSE during the first week of its release, I had arranged to go with a few friends, one of whom is a medium of the same caliber as Cole. We were to meet at a restaurant then go to a showing at the theater across the street. The medium neither met us at the restaurant nor caught up with us at the theater, even though she has always been very good about letting people know when she couldn't fulfill her engagements. When I talked to her later, she said for some reason, she couldn't find the restaurant. That was rather odd, since it was an area she was familiar with. Instead, she went to a nearby mall to window shop until she could meet the rest of us at the theater. Unfortunately, she missed the show when she realized too late that it was past time to go. Several days later, she saw the movie on her own and claims it turned her into a basket case. It was uncannily similar to her own experience and shook her up more and more as the story progressed. She had no idea what the movie was about beforehand and needed the rest of the evening alone to compose herself. Her "circle" of spirit guides had prevented her from attending the outing we had planned for that very reason. (And I was bursting to ask her all kinds of questions afterward. They were correct she wouldn't have gotten any peace.)

This story is more realistic than Shyamalan may credit. When you're a medium at Cole's level, you need to form a great deal of shielding, like the tent Cole keeps in his bedroom, to avoid the onslaught of demands these wandering souls have. There is a great deal of character growth in the ending, but in actuality some of Cole's greatest challenges come in learning afterward how to deal with his sixth sense.

This movie is a gripping picture of paranormal life. The ghosts don't reach out and brutilize people the way they do in THE HAUNTING or THE HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL, they're frightening just by looking for attention. THE SIXTH SENSE is a gem that shows how disruptive the ability can be to the lives of those who have it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Creepy flick, GREAT DVD!
Director M. Night Shyamalan's breakthrough film is one of my all-time favorite creepfests. Haley Joel Osment ("A.I.") plays a boy with the power to see ghosts -- and he sees them everywhere. Bruce Willis ("Armageddon") is the psychiatrist who at first tries to help the boy with what he thinks are delusions, but soon grows to believe in.

Shyamalan's "Signs" is another great scary flick, and for a simple reason: Shyamalan knows the secret to horror. It's all about the quick, fleeting glances of the darkness. It's all about building up the proper, terrified state of mind. I've never considered slasher flicks like "Halloween" or the endless "Friday the 13th" sequels to be even remotely scary. Shyamalan knows that what you imagine is scarier than what he can show you, and he uses it.

"The Sixth Sense" pulls you in and makes you feel for these characters before the resolution, followed by what has become one of the most famous twists in recent cinema history.

This Vista Series DVD is a great presentation, as well. Special features include a featurette about religion and the afterlife in movies and a cool look at Shyamalan's storyboarding process... but why still no commentary? C'mon, Night, tell us what was going through your head while you were making these flicks!

5-0 out of 5 stars The Return of Good Horror Films
"I see dead people". If you've been hiding under a rock for the last few years you missed this fantastic horror film. The return of good horror films after a long long dry spell of Scream, Friday the 13th and all the other stupid horror films. This is a fantastic smart horror film. A must own.

5-0 out of 5 stars "I see dead people,"
M. Night Shyamalan's THE SIXTH SENSE has ranked high on my list of favorite films ever since its 1999 theatrical release.

First of all, it hits close to home. Why? First off, Shyamalan graduated from Waldron Mercy Academy, my private Catholic school, back when it was Waldron Academy and all-boys. Today, the nationally renowned school is coed. Second, THE SIXTH SENSE is filmed in the bustling city of Philadelphia, PA, very close to where I lived. I recognized most, if not all of the places shown in Shyamalan's thriller.

That said, it didn't necessarily mean I was going to automatically enjoy the film. At the age of 11, I was hasty to see it. But my Daddy, as usual, bribed me into it, assuring me I wouldn't regret seeing the movie.

"Whatever," I muttered as he dragged me to the neighborhood cinema.

I had set my standards low. I arrived in the theatre, expecting a Pepsi, a Hershey bar, and a nap.

I was pleasantly surprised. In fact, I was elated!

The talented Bruce Willis takes on the role of psychologist Dr. Malcolm Crowe, very distinguished in his profession. Haley Joel Osment, newcomer to the big screen, plays Cole Sear, a disturbed 8 year-old. His mother, up in arms about what to do with her withdrawn and unhappy son, calls Dr. Crowe to help sort out the situation. Mrs. Sear, a single parent, is wonderfully played by Toni Colette, who brings life and significance to her character, giving off a near immaculate 3-dimensional performance.

Cole is blessed. Or is he cursed? You decide. He has been bestowed/cursed with the power of the sixth sense, a skill both ugly and horrible, in a sense. Cole, with this magical skill, can help others. Yet at the same time, his sixth sense haunts him to the point of insanity. "I see dead people," he eventually explains to Dr. Crowe. Indeed, young Cole speaks the harrowing truth. He sees ghostly apparations that haunt him by night and show themselves by day, terrifying and confusing him to no end. Alas, Dr. Crowe is unprepared when Cole enlightens him with this information.

Yet this new knowledge is a beginning for various journeys. Together, the doctor and his young patient travel to places previously unbeknownst to them. Their adventures lead them to both saddening truths and irrevocable consequences.

THE SIXH SENSE proves to a fickle audience, namely America, that special effects aren't required to make a superb and memorable horror film. M. Night Shyamalan's unforgettable effort (not his first, FYI) is bone chilling, dazzling, and beautiful, with performances that either launched careers or furthered them. This film is a masterpiece, no matter how you try to look at it, and it deserved all 6 of its Oscar nods. Yes, it broke my heart when it didn't win any...

Enjoy this thrilling treat, if you haven't already.

3-0 out of 5 stars An Entertaining film
It's somewhat scary, and holds your interest for sure. But, sorry; IMHO not a five-star film by any means. The ending can be surprising ... or not. Worth seeing. ... Read more


12. The Hours (Full Screen Edition)
Director: Stephen Daldry
list price: $14.99
our price: $13.49
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00008XOF9
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 14169
Average Customer Review: 3.77 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (294)

4-0 out of 5 stars An Emotional Film About Disease, Despair and Death
Virgina Woolf (Nicole Kidman), Laura Brown (Julianne Moore) and Clarissa Vaughn (Meryl Streep) are three women apparently connected through the book MRS. DALLOWAY. Woolf as the author, Brown as the reader and Vaughn as the embodiment today. This is a complex and nuanced story that is translated to film in a very effective way. The scene shifts which gradually reveal the nature of the interrelationships among these women (both symbolic and real) are incredibly well directed, and the three stars are all superb. There are several additional excellent performaces, especially Ed Harris as the dying writer and friend of Vaughn for whom she is having a party (which mirrors the parties in the hours we experience in the lives of the other two women). In one of the strange turns of fate, Julianne Moore is cast as a troubled housewife in the seemingly idyllic fifties, thus in effect reprising her role in FAR FROM HEAVEN. And John C. Reilly does a great job as her seemingly clueless husband, recreating his role in CHICAGO without the musical routines.

The overlapping stories of these three women are emotionmally powerful, but I suspect that as some reviewers have opined this is one of those instances where the movie does not and indeed cannot do total justice to the book given the inherent limitations in its format. While the cinematography is striking and the scene cuts among the three time periods well edited, there is an incredible amount of information for the viewer to absorb and little time to contemplate the events. (At times it would have been nice to be able to press pause or rewind, or to be able to reread a chapter or put down the book to think.)

My sole caution is that this is a movie that is entertaining but not uplifting. Several reviewers have commented that it is about life, but the lives in this movie are not lives of joy. This is about people suffering from mental and physical disease (depression and Aids) who are living lives of quiet desperation and for whom the ultimate solution is sometimes suicide. These are people who even when outwardly appearing to cope with life with various degrees of success are frequently experiencing despair. My wife enjoyed the movie and was completely absorbed by the story and the powerful emotions that it elicted. While I agree that it was a well made film and an interesting story and was entertained by the excellent performances, I did not find it particularly compelling or enjoyable. However, I did feel that the surprise ending was excellent and was one of the factors that made me glad that I had seen the film.

5-0 out of 5 stars A writer, a reader and a character living in The Hours
A fine cast headed by Nicole Kidman (Virginia Woolf, England, 1941), Julianne Moore (Laura, LA, 1951) and Meryl Streep (Clarissa, NYC, 2001), presents the story adapted from the award-winning book by Michael Cunningham, "The Hours". The story juxtaposes the lives of a writer (Woolf), a reader of her book "Mrs. Dallaway" (Laura) living in an LA suburb in after-WWII times, and a NY book editor (Clarissa), who pretty much goes through an ordinary day in her life, getting set for a party she's going to throw later in the day for her friend Richard (Ed Harris), a poet who's just received an award. As simple as such a plot may strike you, it is a complex one, but a careful editing labor, a passion for storytelling, some outstanding acting and the music by minimalist maestro Philip Glass serve as the thread between the stories of these three women.

Complementing an already outstanding film statement, the make-up and the dialogs ring once and again, with Kidman's face virtually hiding away to bring Woolf's back to life, and when you listen to the lines of all the characters taking on a life of their own, almost moving away from Woolf, away from Cunningham... even away from the very adapter, David Hare, as if told by any of us. Because this is a movie not about trauma, or tragedy, or a sad or sorry existential life of a middle-aged woman (or group of women). This story is about our eternal search for happiness, "the choices we make in that search, and their consequences" as the director, Stephen Daldry, so brilliantly put it.

A small bit from the lines of Streep, when talking to her daughter Julie, played by Claire Danes:
"It wasn't the beginning... it was happiness. It was the moment, right then!" as if to say, happiness is not a destination, it's the journey that we make every day, while we lead our very ordinary lives, it's in the moments that hide behind the hours, those that we inexorably face. All in all, this movie is now and will be for as long as I can remember it, a classic and a constant reference.

Final comment: I don't agree with the comments about another reviewer about the movie being JUST about homosexuality, though there are definite moments where a lesbian side of the characters comes across. If you can't see beyond the fact that some people will just live their lives in a different way than others, and realize that the movie actually does apply to all of us, then you are limiting your life in a very sad way.

5-0 out of 5 stars Worth Your Time
I actually saw this movie before I read the book--something I rarely do. And for once, I'm glad it was in that order. The trio of actresses playing the roles did such a fabulous job, that I liked having pictures of them in my head as I read the book, and in retrospect, marveled at the film maker's ability to jump back and forth in time so seemlessly.

A beautiful, thought-provoking and creative story. Well done.

5-0 out of 5 stars Gorgeous
I had put off seeing this film, mostly because of a couple friends saying how "dark" and "depressing" it was. To the contrary, I found it to be just beautiful. The acting is of course brillant--a handful of the most talented actresses of our time. But the real star is the script! Just the most amazing piece of writing ever. A very moving film that I can't recommend more.

5-0 out of 5 stars Melodramatic Yes....Dissapointing No!
Recently I viewed the movie, "The Hours" starring Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman, Ed Harris and Julianne Moore. The movie is based on the book by Michael Cunningham and follows the book's ideas about as precisely as possible for a screenplay conversion.

The story revolves around the author, Virginia Woolf, as she writes her story, "Mrs. Dalloway" and how the words she writes affect two other women in different time periods. Virginia is portrayed by Nicole Kidman and she does a wonderful job showing the essence of Virginia's depression and self-doubt. A brilliant writer who involves all of your senses in her prose she succumbs to the artist's tendency to be self-doubters and insecure, possibly from all the exposure to critics at every bend and corner. The cigarettes she smokes seethe about her as she contemplates her suicide and a word to leave behind, like her soul is going up in smoke. She lies beside a dead bird and she feels dead before her time, unable to fly and stifled by depression that is never fully explained. Her end is filmed in such a way that she surrenders herself to the river's current and slowly gets swept away by nature but she seems somehow freed by her own death, floating along in time and crossing the borders that time presents.

Julianne Moore plays the character, Laura Brown; a pregnant homemaker in the 1950's who is struggling with what life has to offer her. She seems to exist in a blur of emotion all of which sways towards depression. She attempts to bake a perfect cake for her "perfect" husband's birthday and fails sending herself into a moment of panic that almost produces her own demise. She runs away from her child and stays alone in a hotel ready to take her life and that of her unborn. She reads "Mrs. Dalloway" and becomes involved in another's misfortune which somehow awakens her to her senses and she retreats back to the normalcy of her mundane life. I could not help but be emotional during a scene where she is preparing herself for bed and her husband calls from the bedroom, "Come to bed Laura Brown," it left me with a sickened feeling. In Laura's eyes you see her sadness and her desperate need to leave but she stays, unhappily, like a servant.

Meryl Streep plays, Clarissa Vaughn, a modern woman who follows the footsteps of Virginia's character "Mrs. Dalloway" as she spends her day catering to others. She buys flowers in desperate attempts to cheer up those around her when in fact she is the one who is in need of cheer. She tries to revive a dying man played brilliantly by Ed Harris, Richard, who is succumbing to the power of AIDS and all of its downfalls. Clarissa opens windows for brightness where all she sees is gray; she perks up the grayness with flowers but only manages to bring a feeling of hopelessness to Richard instead. His writing award seems to go unnoticed although she plans a tremendous celebration his soul just shuts down. Under all of the pressure Clarissa breaks down and experiences the sadness of the day and the reality of death. Richard falls from his own window in his desperate act of suicide and mercy. Clarissa is left to deal with all of the pain.

In the end we learn that Richard is in fact the son of Laura Brown. Seemingly she has transferred her loneliness and despair to the life of her own son without regret. She explains that she abandoned her family after all, needing to conduct her life on her own terms.

The music and the language of the film inspire creative juices, especially the scenes where Virginia Woolf is speaking. Having read the book first I was able to experience more than the film managed to contain although the film was more easily explained. I recommend both expressions for the full impact of these desperate women and the lives they lead. It will not take hours to be gripped by their needs. ... Read more


13. Japanese Story (Special Edition)
Director: Sue Brooks
list price: $24.96
our price: $22.46
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0001L3LUO
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 8365
Average Customer Review: 3.58 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

The incandescent Australian actress Toni Collette (from The Sixth Sense and Connie and Carla) has one of her biggest, juiciest roles in this delicate character study. She plays a geologist stuck babysitting a Japanese businessman when he visits the Australian outback. Some passable road movie stuff and a slow-developing romance keep the slender premise going for a while, and then a single event--which comes quite out of the blue--changes everything. This event also stops the story dead in its tracks, a problem director Sue Brooks can't find a way around. As with so many Aussie road movies, the desert scenery is spectacular and beautifully photographed. But the main reason to see this mood piece is Toni Collette, who creates a vivid character, by turns rowdy and contemplative, a woman who sees life as a lark and discovers that there may be something more to it. --Robert Horton ... Read more

Reviews (24)

4-0 out of 5 stars Underrated Little Gem
Japanese Story is a good film, let me be clear about that.
It might not be the masterpiece that the Australian Film Board Awards (the equivalent of the Oscars and Baftas) thought it is, winning a lot of nominations, but it is nevertheless a well acted and directed film.
A love story with a twist between an Australian geologist played to perfection by Toni Collette (and a well deserved award for her role) and a Japanese business man, played by Gotaro Tsunashima in his first feature role, the film does offer a fresh treatment of the cross cultural romantic encounters that I thought very few films approached.
Without spoiling the twist in the film, I very much believe that Japanese Story has been misunderstood and its points missed on many,and hence my desire to write this review.
A business road trip with two very unlikely characters from two different worlds, leads rather maybe predictably to a connection that is strengthened after a night lost and spent in the vastness of the Australian desert.
Many reviewers have thought that this romance was rather very quick and not quite believable, but I think differently..In real life, there are countless examples of instant infatuations' or 'love at first sight' and while this is not the case with our two leads, it somehow makes sense that the sharing of hardships between them , the subdued humor of Gotaro, the loneliness and increased interest of Colette might very well have led to love.
(A rather distant example can be made with the romance of Dr Zhivago and Lara, when they were thrown by circumstances together, irrespective of the established lives they had outside their relationship)
The sad and unexpected ending where Colette shows her finest acting to date, is touching, because she realized how much she cared for him after the incident..as if he has revived feelings she tried to hide or did not take seriously, until too late.
So in that respect the film works beautifully..
Although some of the conversations between the two were rather weak, it is the whole atmosphere of the film, the beauty of the vast and empty spaces,and the bonding of two people in unconventional and potentially dangerous situation, that I found was well done in the film..
There are some love scenes as well, one of which I found surprisingly very erotic and tastefully done.
Japanese Story is a quite, sweet and sad little film that soothes the eyes,and moves with its fine acting and competent direction. Compared to many similar films of late, it is far from bad, and definitely worth a look.. or two..

4-0 out of 5 stars "It's desert not dessert"
Directed by Sue Brooks, JAPANESE STORY delves into the love-hate relationship between two unlikely individuals: an Australian geologist and a Japanese businessman. By means beyond her control Sandy Edwards finds out she is stuck escorting Hiromitsu through the desert in Western Australia while visiting various mining sites. As they drive through the arid landscape both seem to barely tolerate each other's company. To make matters worse after their Land Rover gets bogged down on an unpaved road in the middle of nowhere their nerves appear to be frayed beyond redemption, until they join mental and physical forces to rescue their vehicle and themselves from a dire and dangerous predicament. Both are in high spirits signing songs and they actually make an effort to communicate for the first time. It is at this time that they lay aside their weapons and begin to appreciate each other for the first time.

One of the most interesting aspects of this film is its stunning cinematography of the Pilbara Desert in Western Australia and the red rock formations. It is truly gorgeous and magnificent.

JAPANESE STORY is a good film with an excellent soundtrack and a good deal of heartfelt drama.

5-0 out of 5 stars Sentimental Slice of Life
This movie is a cinemagraphic diary of a memorable event in the lead character's life. If you don't enjoy sharing the experiences of others, you probably won't enjoy this film. The days and events progress as they do in real life. First impressions change, bad decisions are made and overcome, the most mundane moments turn tragic. Life goes on.

5-0 out of 5 stars one of the best of "04
one of the nicest surprises in films for the year - and one of the very best. perhaps only a women (director) would have brought the layered insights and restraint toa film that is as much about what is quilted quietly BETWEEN -- as it is it's (seemingly) predictable storyline. an understated reality check that is depicted gracefully, gently-paced and always with genuine affection for it's talent and tale. Toni Collette (affleck's lover / co-worker in "changing lanes") is nothing short of amazing in her transition of a character coming to life over the course of the story.

extras: check out the "international" and australian version of the beginning (that's versus the "american" cut version) and listen to the director's comments for some terriffic insight into film as a cultural medium.

don't miss it.

1-0 out of 5 stars A knockout movie... not in a good way.
"A Japanese Story" is one of those movies that has the effect of rushing up from behind you and hitting you over the head. The PROBLEM with this is, instead of knocking the wind out of you with profound messages or some kind of punch-line at the end of the movie, this movie has more the effect of giving you one great, whopping head-ache, leaving you just barely awake and sane enough to feel the pain. I like Toni Collette as a rule, she was brilliant in "About A Boy", but this movie falls out of the 'romance movie with a point' category and into the 'dismally boring, depressing, and drawn out' column.

With that said, there is one good thing about this movie. The first half of the film has a pleasantly cute, atmospheric romantic comedy with a unique atmosphere. Again, however, even during this charming little sequence of the movie, you run constantly into pot-holes of long, boring scenes with seemingly no purpose. Oh, don't worry though, it get's better! Right when you think things are picking up (with both the characters and the plot-line) the train-of-thought that the movie has been following takes a sharp turn straight into a brick wall. What happened? All of a sudden (with no warning, foreshadowing, or purpose to the plot) the Japanese lead of the movie dies a sudden, unexpected and depressing death. He dives into a pond and breaks his neck. At this point, the viewer is thinking "What happened?"
"Well, I dunno. He's dead... right? Or wait, is she going to do CPR? No, wait, he's alive. Nope, no, no-no, he's dead alright."
"So, what happens next?"
Now THERE'S a good question, because I'm still trying to figure it out. The first hour of the movie is followed with a forty-five minute sequence (that seems to be backed with the same, annoying, repetitave song - all forty five minutes of it) that could have been condensed and cut in half by three. Fifteen minutes would have sufficed to communicate the poignant movies in the plot, which, in the prolonged series of torturous, 'trying-to-hard-to-be-meaningful' scenes are lost.

All in all, this leaves the unwitting viewer of the movie (since the film case gives no hint to the bizarre twist in this movie) feeling starved, thirsty, sick, sad, and seriously wishing they had their one-hour-and-forty-five minutes of their life back. ... Read more


14. Thief and the Cobbler
Director: Richard Williams
list price: $29.99
our price: $26.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0006Q93L0
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 13701
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Description

Behold this critically acclaimed feature-length fantasy created, written, and directed by Richard Williams, the three-time Academy Award(R)-winning animator. Almost 30 years in the making, it incorporates extraordinary M.C. Escher-like backgrounds with classic two-and-a-half-dimension hand-painted animation. In the ancient city of Baghdad, magically protected by three Golden Balls, a timid shoemaker named Tack falls for the lovely, adventure-loving Princess Yumyum. When a bumbling thief manages to steal the enchanted orbs, they fall into the hands of the wicked wizard Zigzag. Tack and the Princess must recover the magic balls, defeat the evil Zigzag, and save their beloved city from destruction! Feast your eyes and ears on this exotic mosaic of exquisite color, hilarious comedy, enchanting music, and all-star voices. The magic of THE THIEF AND THE COBBLER will steal your heart and the hearts of your entire family! ... Read more

Reviews (35)

1-0 out of 5 stars I'M OUTRAGED! SHAME ON YOU, MIRAMAX!
It's almost been a full year since I developed interest in this film. I remember reading that Richard Williams himself announced in 2000 at one of his Master classes that the workprint version of The Thief and the Cobbler will be released on DVD. This is contrary to what he promised. It all turns out to be the infamous heavily butchered version from those scissor-happy morons at Miramax! It's almost been 10 years since it was released under the name, Arabian Knight, 3 years after it was disowned from Richard. They first released the DVD a few years ago on boxes of Froot Loops, and only in Canada(how's THAT for insulting?), But this has gone far enough!! I gave this DVD only 1 star, because I want to let you know what a mockery they've made of what would've been the greatest animated film of all time. They've done a lousy job on Special Features. There's only English and French audio, scene selections, and it's only in fullscreen, which subtracts much from the original film. Don't buy this! Instead, spread the word about the film's troubled history and demise, the websites I strongly recommend are:

www.geocities.com/eddie_bowers
(This site will tell you everything you need to know about the film. It has, pics, clips from the workprint, articles about the film's history, and a "Help Save It!" part with addresses to write to Disney and Miramax to help inspire releasing the workpint to the public. Believe me, when you read the articles of the film, you'd be outraged. Strongly Recommended site.)

cobblerclub.deviantart.com
(A small art page dedicated to helping spreading the word on the film in the way it was meant to be. I wasn't a member of the site, but I've contributed a lot of info to the owner, including the original narration to the workprint's opening.)

www.petitiononline.com/thiefcob
(An online petition to help release the Workprint version on DVD Uncut and Unedited, Also strongly recommended.)

Also, if Disney and/or Miramax are reading this, if you ever get around restoring the film, I have some Requests for The Thief and the Cobbler: Workprint version: Special Collector's EditionDVD Extras:
* A very special introduction to the DVD, hopefully by Richard Williams himself(He can host other parts of the DVD. Roy E. Disney can appear too, but it should be Williams).

* The Whole Movie Uncut and Unedited (an obvious one).

* In Widescreen (also obvious)

* Fully Digitally Restored and Remastered footage and Audio (also obvious, especially the samples of "Scheherazade" by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov from the workprint).

* A very Special Audio Commentary by Richard Williams or his son, Alex Williams, whichever one's available.(Preferably Richard. He'll pour his heart out the most in the commentary).

* English, Spanish, and French Captions and Subtitles.

* Early and rare Artwork, drawings, and pencils tests.

* All the documentaries documenting the film's progress, courtesy of the BBC.

* An all-new exclusive documentary on the film, its troubled history, and its demise, featuring fans, animators, animation/film historians, family, friends and people who ever worked with Richard, and also featuring clips of his other work in it.

* Richard's commercials and other short films, The Little Island; Love Me, Love Me, Love Me, etc. Courtesy of him.

* A small acknowledgment to those loyal and determined fans who pitched in to make this DVD possible.

And there better be at least 11 of those features on that DVD(that would be all of them, if you've counted, correctly).The DVD can be a limited series like the Walt Disney Treasures, but you should make widespread copies for everyone's access. You can do either one, as long as it's how Richard Williams intended it. We want this to be one heck of a DVD, with the same care and top notch quality as Miyazaki's films, and other features to make this DVD worthy of the name,"Special Collectors's Edition". The Australians (who have The Princess and the Cobbler) deserve this DVD, too. Maybe a limited theatrical release across American cinemas and IMAX theatres wouldn't be bad either. It's all part of the plan of releasing the workprint to the public, isn't it? Richard and his associates MUST be round the restoration project at all times, and let him design the poster/DVD cover.

It's up to us to help convince Disney/Miramax to make Richard's dream come true, even if it's going to be risky and expensive. And I don't care how relations between the 2 companies are, there's a vision to be restored, and they need to do it, now! One more thing, Stay away from the Butchered Version.


1-0 out of 5 stars All of the above....
Not much more to add that hasn't been said already. I'm very pleased that so many people know the history of this troubled little gem of a movie and are angered by it's mistreatment.

1-0 out of 5 stars This full-frame version is not worth the money
One star for this DVD, five stars for the original concept and animation. I am a huge fan of Richard Williams' work and to me, he's the most brilliant animator ever (he's the animation director of "Who Framed Roger Rabbit", for which he received two Oscars), but this DVD is a joke. I don't know why Disney even bothered releasing this piece of garbage. It's almost the same version as the one released on Laserdisc a couple of years ago. In fact it's identical minus the widescreen (2.35:1) presentation. So, this film is still the butchered version in full frame with the very annoying voice-over (except for the late Vincent Price). If Disney didn't want to spent the money restoring this masterpiece to its original glory, than they should've had the decency to release this version in the full cinemascope aspect ratio and including the original work print on a second DVD. If you have a code-free (or code 2) player you can order the widescreen DVD from www.cdjapan.co.jp and for more information on Richard Williams and this movie check www.geocities.com/eddie_bowers/ . Having said this the original sequences done by Richard Williams and his team in London are absolutely mind blowing, the animation is extremely fluid and very beautiful to watch. Bottom line: since it's very unlikely Disney will ever restore the movie properly, the widescreen version (even butchered) is definitely a must have for any animation enthusiast.

1-0 out of 5 stars NO WIDESCREEN? What a Waste of disc and My Patience!
If Disney/Buena Vista CAN NOT release a DVD correctly then DON'T BOTHER releasing it at all. It was shot 2.35:1 NOT 1.33:1 Why do I want to pay a retail price of 29.99 for 50% less picture than the film has. That is all you get is 50% of the film. If you bought this DVD I would ASK DISNEY to reimburse you half of the price since you only got half of the film.

2-0 out of 5 stars Not Letterboxed-Why bother?
As an avid fan of animation, it always puzzles me that a good number of DVD editions of animated films do not offer a letterboxing option. I know that many arguments will state that pan and scan formats are more family friendly. However, so much can be lost when animated films are edited to fit a TV screen. Theif and the Cobbler suffers greatly because of it. The story itself is pretty average and the music is pretty mediocre too. It's only saving grace is some of the intricate animated in this film. I can remember seeing a trailer for this film in theatres and it blew me away. The artistry in the sequences that were shown was amazing. When you cut the scope of the picture in half you are left with only a taste of what this film was.

The DVD edition has precious little to offer and for what you are paying for you are not getting your money's worth. For the $29 list price, some extras and both versions of the film would have been more appropriate. As for me I will wait and hope that a letterboxed version will one day be available ... Read more


15. 8 1/2 Women
Director: Peter Greenaway
list price: $14.98
our price: $13.48
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0000A1HQ7
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 16299
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16. Dinner with Friends
Director: Norman Jewison
list price: $9.97
our price: $6.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00005TPL2
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 18214
Average Customer Review: 4.56 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Directed by Norman Jewison and adapted by Donald Margulies fromhis Pulitzer Prize-winning play, this acclaimed HBO production offers awelcome antidote to the superficiality of mainstream Hollywood. Withthe same attention to emotional detail that he brought toMoonstruck, Jewison establishes a delicate balance of anguishand bittersweet humor, reaching peak intensity as two couples confrontthe aftershocks of infidelity. Dennis Quaid and Andie MacDowell playthe steady pair, committed to surviving every marital peak and valley.Greg Kinnear and Toni Collette are splitting up, divided by hisinfidelity and forced to reevaluate connections to their long-termfriends. While Jewison and cinematographer Roger Deakins expertlytranslate the stagy material, the revealing, nonjudgmental quality ofMargulies's dialogue inspires excellence from this quartet ofunderrated actors. Funny, painful, and full of truth, Dinner withFriends presents marriage as an organic work in progress, never tobe taken for granted, and never guaranteed. --Jeff Shannon ... Read more

Reviews (9)

5-0 out of 5 stars A "Thinker"
This movie amazed me. After the credits rolled, I sat there thinking that I should probably just start it back up and watch it again. What a surprising, detailed portrayal of self-deception. The way we can live with lies and not realize it at all. And manipulate others so that they reinforce those ways we are deceiving ourselves. Whew. Great acting from all four. Great story.

5-0 out of 5 stars encompassing. . .
This film is a flawless treatment of four people's views of one universal abstraction: love (and the commitments it entails). Refreshing dialogue, encompassing performances (particularly Greg Kinnear and Toni Collette), and beautiful framing combine to make a terrific and demanding film experience.

5-0 out of 5 stars A thought-provoking and reflective film about relationships
This was a remarkable work of art. It was quite obvious that everyone involved was emotionally invested in the project.
First of all, kudos to the playwright; I'm always impressed when male writers can capture the female psyche with expertise and intuition and translate it to a three dimensional character. Expect nothing less than completely truthful revelations about what women are like, or what they can become, in long-term relationships. It may be painful for some people to watch because many of us in this society go through our relationships with blinders on; a lot of couples live in denial. Hopefully this film will foster some degree of understanding, compassion, and discussion in its viewers.
Secondly, the cast was nothing less than extraordinary. Because of the rich dialogue, these actors were finally given a chance to show a great deal of range. Dennis Quaid's performance was simply incredible; he surprises me all the time by outdoing himself with each new role. It's a testament to how often women underestimate men and their complex needs and desires within a relationship. A couple of the scenes involving Dennis Quaid's and Greg Kinnear's characters are the most heart-breaking because they reveal a great deal of wisdom that tragically, they cannot manage to impart with their wives. Toni Collette and Andie MacDowell are equal to the task of playing against the two male leads. There is a great deal of humor, warmth, and chemistry between all of the actors.
I highly recommend this film to anyone who is interested in understanding the opposite sex. There's an important lesson to be learned as well: when it comes to relationships, we are all active participants and we need to learn to take accountability for our actions. Especially those we inflict on our loved ones.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good dialogue movie with good dialogue!
As an accidental rule, I love movies with 6 characters or less; the ones stripped down so that each characters personality can come through in a way that can not be enhanced by effects, special settings or other frills.

I've watched this movie twice now and I can already say that I've picked up on several of the many, I'm sure, nuances here. Four characters, two mairrages, one divorce and each is remarkably done. I especially appreciate that none of the characters (even Kinnear's adulterous character, which he seems typecast for now) is presented as flawed, spirited and in a way, noble. Gabe (Dennis Quaid) is heartbreaking as he has taken back-seat in a mairrage to a strong woman (McDowell) who, while wanting, nay demanding, her husband talk to her more, always manages to tell him how stupid the things he says are. Also the contrast between the pairs is phenomenal. Tom is the confident divorcee, Gabe is the soft-spoken married one. Beth is the free-thinking, and maybee too free-thinking, now single, artist, and Karen is the organized and 'moralistic' married woman, trying all-too-hard too hold a friendship between the four together.

Whether you are 21 or 71, married or single, male (well...maybe) or female (for my part, I am a 26 year old, happily single, male), parts of this film will speak to us all. Whether it's Tom's frank talks with Gabe about his wife's refusal for even basic physical contact, Gabe's rebuttal about the joys of mairrage and growing old with a sweetheart, Karen's dream about "the two us's" or Beth's attempts to remain aloof and free from it all. You may laugh, you'll certainly cry, you'll probably scatch your head, you'll pick a character to hate and find out you werer wrong, and you'll pick a character to love and find out you were right.

4-0 out of 5 stars Pretty good.
Enojyable, thought-provoking movie, but with some major flaws. Firstly, the characters - though engaging - are unrealistic. Andie MacDowell and Dennis Quaid are of course the so called hero's of the film, but A.M. is so annoying that you find it hard to side with her. Greg Kinnear is great as always as is the lady who plays his wife (though she's not terribly appealing either). The movie seems, not intentionally, hell-bent on portraying women as being nagging and annoying, though they do it subtlely enough so that you don't realize whats going on while you're watching it. The guys on the other hand are sympathetic and genuine. This might sound strange considering the movie is a character annalysis, but once you get past the characters themselves the movie is actually really good. The characters are unrealistic and annoying, but their situation is so intriguing and perpetuating that they could have cast Adam Sandler, Carrot Top, Jeanine Gerafolo (spelling?) and Andie MacDowell in it and it still would have been engaging. In short you can't help but imagine yourself in their situation, and so the movie, a very short way into it becomes about you. Its very interesting how they managed this, and perhaps thats not the case for everyone, but thats how i felt about it. Whatever. ... Read more


17. Connie And Carla (Widescreen Edition)
Director: Michael Lembeck
list price: $29.98
our price: $26.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00005JN1K
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 5871
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18. Dirty Deeds
Director: David Caesar
list price: $24.99
our price: $22.49
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Asin: B0000CABJJ
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 24093
Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars
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Description

DIRTY DEEDS opens with business as normal for prominent Australian gangster Barry Ryan (Brown) who runs the girls, clubs, and illegal casinos.Ryan’s wife, Sharon (Collette), sees little of her husband as he spends most of his time with fellow mobsters or his mistress.But things start to get out of hand when Ryan’s business is threatened by a Chicago Mafia boss who sends two of his thugs to check out the casino scene for a potential takeover.When Tony (Goodman) and Sal, the two goons sent to check things out, try to fit in to Australian culture, they end up sticking out like two giant sore thumbs. Barry will have a difficult enough time negotiating with the Americans, but the biggest drama occurs when it is discovered that one of his own gang members has been less than truthful. ... Read more

Reviews (5)

4-0 out of 5 stars Down Under Down and Dirty
Here's the mix: throw in a coupla Yank Mafia guys--Sal and Tony. Blend with an Aussie mob operation based in Sydney, circa early 70s. What's the op? Slot machines. This is what's driving Sal and Tony's boss after the money to be made. Made men means make money. How Jimmy, the Mafia boss, found out about all the cash in Sydney is beyond the scope of this flick.

But that's OK. This works great. John Goodman is Tony, a kinda soft hearted Mafia soldier who's the perfect counterpart to Sal, his violent partner--shorter on brains and faster on the trigger finger (except when boar hunting). Bryan Brown is Barry, the main Aussie gangster who runs things in Sydney. Barry is married with a young son, but this doesn't stop him from cussing right to his kid's face or getting nasty when he has to.

Barry's not big on any takeover from the Yanks. Who would be, with a nice steady income stream every week? Not even for a coupla mil. This leads to some punchy (literally) things taking place, not least of which is Barry's nephew taking up with Barry's mistress, a young know-it-all waitress. Barry's wife, played by Toni Colette in a great performance, takes none too kindly to the extracurricular shenanigans.

And Barry's local rivals, one of whom was killed by Barry's men, are not exactly thrilled with Barry either. All this adds up to an edgy neo-noir with a unique Australian flavor. Very nifty. Writer-director David Caesar uses a hip, slice and dice jump-cutty style that is a teensy bit garish, but mostly works really well for the material. Skewed camera angles fit in with the period piece trappings--including spot on rock music and loud-color dress.

A different kind of neo-noir, entertaining and fun. Recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars Dirty Deeds Done Right
What happens when the Chicago mob moves in on the Aussie nickel slot-machine business? John Goodman's world weary wise-guy takes on Bryan Brown's edgy mob boss in this action-packed black comedy that does for the gentlemen what "Down With Love" did for the ladies--brings back the 60s through an affectionate and humorous lens. Sam Neil and Toni Collette put in strong supporting performances as Bryan Brown's corrupt cop "pal" and his feisty wife, and Sam Worthington demonstrates excellent comic timing as the lad just back from Nam who can't decide whether he wants to be a gangster or open the first pizza parlor in Australia.
Worth renting, just to hear Bryan Brown's advice to his young son on how to get vampires out from under the bed, and if you happen to be (as I am) a fan of any one of these fine actors, you won't be satisfied until you add this film to your collection.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good Fella's in thongs
Good movie- But if you are interested in another great Aussie Gangster film starring Heath Ledger and Bryan Brown- Hunt down "Two Hands", you won't regret it- unfortunatly,as yet it is not available on Amazon.

5-0 out of 5 stars Nice surprise
Didn't expect much and I was pleasantly surprised. Nice picture quailty, comical characters, good soundtrack. Had a nice funky attitude that was refreshing in a stale atmosphere of gangster movies.

3-0 out of 5 stars Crime Film From Down Under
John Goodman and Sam Neil make up a stellar cast in this nostalgic crime film. Set in Australia in the year 1969 it is the story of a crime ring operating slot machines out of night clubs. When Jimmy, a rival mafia man from the states, sends his gangsters Sal and (John Goodman) to Australia to get a piece of the pie trouble ensues. Barry is the local head of the slot ring and controls his town and the police (Sam Neil). Freddy is the local rival crime boss looking to make a deal with the Americans. Brent is Barry's nephew who's just come back from Vietnam looking to make big money. No one knows for sure where the others loyalty lies in this caper. Fairly well done independent film I would recomend viewing. David Caesar wrote and directed this movie and I had not seen a gangster movie from Australia before so it was an enjoyable watch. The sledge hammer scene and the outback pig hunt are my favorite moments in this picture. John Goodman was excellent and every member of the cast gave good performances. ... Read more


19. 8 1/2 Women
Director: Peter Greenaway
list price: $24.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00004X13S
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 36339
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20. Cosi
Director: Mark Joffe
list price: $19.99
our price: $17.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B000089794
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 8860
Average Customer Review: 4.47 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (15)

5-0 out of 5 stars Been there, done that, got the t-shirt!
I love this movie! I am Australian and you may think that makes me biased, but I'm not a great fan of all Australian movies. Having worked in another Psychiatric Hospital very near to the one where this was filmed, I can vouch for the characterization of the patients and staff. I saw exact replicas of patients I'd known, and yes a lot of them really do act like that. No-one gave a bad performance but the three knockout actors were Jackie Weaver( Cherry), Barry Otto (Roy) and David Wenham (Doug). We don't make many formula movies in Australia-we leave that up to Hollywood ,but if you like something different, offbeat and gritty and you're a fan of movies like Strictly Ballroom, Priscilla or Muriel's Wedding, you'll love this. I found it hilariously funny but also touching in a not-so soppy way.

4-0 out of 5 stars A rare treasure in a sea of bad Aussie movies! ;)
Cosi is an absolutely fantastic find in the sea of Australian movies that are often total trash! A truly honest and original film, it creates several hilarious psychiatric patients including a pyromaniac to make Cosi a captivating story that really does entertain you for a couple of hours.

Based on the play written by Louis Nowra, Cosi is the uplifting story of how a group of psychiatric hospital tenants come together to perform an Italian opera Cosi Fan Tutte (Mozart) against the initial thoughts of the amateur director who has agreed to help the patients "come out of their shells". This is a tale of how "Jerry" (as one of the patient labels him) learns to accept these people and eventually he discovers and reveals to the audience that although these people are considered "crazy lunatics", they are, in essence, no more crazy than the people on the 'outside'.

This movie is for those looking for an original, creative film that guarantees laughs and smiles as well as entertaining characters and good ol' Aussie humour.

4-0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable!
This is a funny and poignant story- our hero is hired to direct a play at a mental hospital as a type of therapy for the patients. Lewis is not quite sure what he is in for. He meets an vaired assortment of societal outcasts and oddballs who in the end don't appear to be all that different from the people outside the institution.

Notable performances-
Ben Mendelsohn as Lewis the director
Rachel Griffiths as Lucy his girlfriend
Toni Collette as Julie a troubled young woman whose parents have sent her to a mental institution to deal with her drug problem
David Wenham ( aka Faramir from Return of the King) plays Doug a disturbed pyromaniac who stirs up trouble for the production.

The patients do not settle for some lame variety show and push to put on an opera- Cosi Fan Tutte by Mozart. They do the opera as a play in English with singing for the finale. The play's theme is echoed by the events of the film- Lewis's friend Nick moves in with Lewis and Lucy and tells Lewis she is cheating on him. They make a bet. The play revolves around two young soldiers who make a bet that their women will be true- and then deceive them and the women fall in love with the new men they think they have met while their men are off at war.

The comedy is typical Aussie- a combo of physical slapstick and sight gags and some biting verbal barbs.

Toni Collette proves here she can sing beautifully- does an a cappella rendition of Stand By Me that steals the show.

Enjoyable overall- a gem in the rough I was pleased to stumble onto!

5-0 out of 5 stars Haven't received it yet
After two full months after my Visa was charged, my copy of Cosi (one of my favourite movies) hasn't arrived. There's no way I can contact the company directly, so I have to use this medium. I can only hope that someone will read this and try to fix this problem. Otherwise, they've stolen my money!

5-0 out of 5 stars the most hillarious of all time
ive loved this movie since the first day i saw it 6 yrs ago. every time i see it i still find myself laughing till im purple. you will never see a movie that has so many interesting characters doing so many different styles of comedy. if you like anything from the wedding singer to spy hard, space balls to theres something about mary, youll love this one. ... Read more


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