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41. Henry V
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41. Henry V
Director: Kenneth Branagh
list price: $14.95
our price: $11.21
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 079284615X
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 1236
Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars
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Very few films come close to the brilliance Kenneth Branagh achieved with his first foray into screenwriting and direction. Henry V qualifies as a masterpiece, the kind of film that comes along once in a decade. He eschews the theatricality of Laurence Olivier's stirring, fondly remembered 1945 adaptation to establish his own rules. Branagh plays it down and dirty, seeing the bard's play through revisionist eyes, framing it as an antiwar story. Branagh gives us harsh close-ups of muddied, bloody men, and close-ups of himself as Henry, his hardened mouth and willful eyes revealing much about this land war. Not that the director-star doesn't provide lighter moments. His scenes introducing the French Princess Katherine (Emma Thompson) are toothsome. Bubbly, funny, enhanced by lovely lighting and Thompson's pale beauty, these glimpses of a princess trying to learn English quickly from her maid are delightful.

What may be the crowning glory of Branagh's adaptation comes when the dazed, shaky leader wanders through battlefields, not even sure who has won. As King Hal carries a dead boy(Empire of the Sun's Christian Bale) over the hacked-up bodies of both the English and French, you realize it is the first time Branagh has opened up the scenes: a panorama of blood and mud and death. It is as strong a statement against warmongering as could ever be made. --Rochelle O'Gorman ... Read more

Reviews (107)

5-0 out of 5 stars Stunning
This may be the best Shakespeare film ever made. In 1942, Laurence Olivier delivered a jingoistic, stylized wartime production of "Henry V" that nonetheless stood as the standard interpretation. Nearly fifty years later, Kenneth Branagh's film appeared not only as a powerful and amazingly accessible recasting of the text, but a serious examination of the nature and the costs of the war that was Henry the Fifth's only real achievement.

Although studded with a fine array of subsidiary characters, "Henry V" is essentially a one-man play, and Branagh's performance informs and naturally influences all of the rest. His character has most of the lines, and he delivers them with a refreshing naturalism and candor that re-infuses the humor into the funny bits and cuts a lot of the potential for stilted jingoism out of the patriotic and warlike ones. If the real Henry's delivery of the St. Crispin speech was anything like Branagh's, it's no wonder the English won.

Slogging through the mud and rain of Harfleur and Agincourt with Branagh is a masterful supporting cast, including the incomparable Judi Dench as Mistress Quickly, Brian Blessed as a marvelously solid Exeter, and Ian Holm, wonderful as the irreverent and sarcastic Fluellen. On the French side, Paul Scofield's King is weary and indecisive rather than weak and mad; Michael Maloney's Dauphin is entertainingly arrogant, and Emma Thompson delivers a small but charming performance in playwright-broken English and much better French than Shakespeare likely spoke. Tying it all together is Christopher Ravenscroft, who invests the herald Mountjoy with a sympathy that extends to both sides, and a phenomenal showing by Derek Jacobi as the earnest, mocking and informative Chorus.

"Henry V" was released and went to video before the heyday of production for DVD, and as such, a "deluxe edition" has not been produced- this disc contains no making-of documentaries, no in-depth interviews with the cast, no online screenplay. But at least in this case, that's all for the best. The film is stunning enough on its own to need no such accompaniment, and its magic is thereby undiminished.

5-0 out of 5 stars Oh, for a muse of fire...
For a first effort at feature-film direction, now-veteran director/writer/actor Kenneth Branagh provided an astonishing introduction to his many talents in filmmaking with his 1989 production, 'Henry V'. There is a gritty realism brought to the screen in this production that combines in dynamic and interesting ways with the Shakespearean dialogue and situations. The battle scenes are some of the best in cinema for depicting the kind of royal and knightly battles. A special commendation goes to cinematographer Kenneth MacMillan, art directors Martin Childs, Norman Dorme, John King, and costume designer Phyllis Dalton for combining elements of stage and screen together to complement the story perfectly without overpowering it. Indeed, the picture won the Oscar for Best Costumes; Branagh was nominated for Best Leading Actor and Best Director. The film and crew were nominated for and won many other awards as well.

One of the problems of Shakespeare on the silver screen is that the situations, settings, and acting often ends up somewhat contrived. That rarely happens here, because of this remarkable team.

The principle writing credit of course goes to William Shakespeare, but as is always the case, the play is recast to make the film medium more natural for the story. Kenneth Branagh is the one credited here, and has shown himself several times after this film as a master of adapting Shakespeare faithfully to the screen.

The play itself is one of Shakespeare's history plays -- remember the broad three categories of Shakespeare: history, drama (some say tragedy), and comedy. Like most of the history plays, there is creative license taken with the actual history, as it is invariably adapted to make the present regime look good, credible and more legitimate. This explains why Richard III in Shakespeare is far more villainous than in actual life; in Henry V, the country had a great and (for the period) uncontroversial hero - the last king of England to be acknowledged the dominant power in Britain and in France, succeeding in unwinnable situations, and, as befits a good historical hero, dies young before he has the chance to destroy his image. The play has always been popular in times of national crisis - see Olivier's production of Henry V during World War II depicting the king as a national saviour against continental foes.

The action of the play and film turns on the legitimacy of Henry's rule in France (an issue still for Elizabethan audiences, as Elizabeth was crowned with supposed rights to France). The French are depicted as haughty and disdainful of the young king (interesting how some things don't change), and the battle lines are drawn. The film here sets the stage for a far more ambiguous justification for war than is often depicted in the play, leaving the viewer wondering if, for all the glory of the battles, was there a real point, or was it legalistic/diplomatic trickery?

There is also the interesting scene with the conspirators against the king, unmasked as the forces are about to depart for France. Cambridge, Scrope and Grey are exposed, but the dialogue and acting hints as a more intimate relationship with Henry V - possibly this references obliquely the rumours of homosexuality, or at least bisexuality, in the historical Henry.

The players are excellent here, from Branagh himself as Henry V, and Brian Blessed his strong right arm Exeter. Paul Scofield (Thomas More in 'A Man for All Seasons') plays the ancient French king, Charles VI, and his son the Dauphin is played by Michael Maloney. This is, on the whole, a rather 'young' film, as Branagh himself was not yet 30 at the time of production, and most of his aides and friends in the play are similarly young, save for a few senior advisors. Emma Thompson, a staple in Branagh's films, plays the only significant female role, the princess Katherine, to whom Henry will be wed. Her part is almost entirely in French. Her maid, Alice, is played by Geraldine McEwan (perhaps best known from 'Mapp & Lucia').

The famous speeches here are preserved; Branagh does a fantastic job with his spirit-raising monologue for the troops prior to the battle of Agincourt, on Crispin Crispian day. The speech on horseback in the early seige of Harfleur, 'once more into the breech!' is also remarkable. The lines delivered by all the actors are done with care and precision - Exeter's report to Henry at the opening ('tennis balls', said with great sneer) and to the French party ('scorn', said with so much scorn the word need not be spoken) are but a few examples of this.

The film expands upon the play's use of Falstaff's companions as a comic relief, by incorporating what would be flash-back scenes from events in the Henry IV play cycle, premonitions of events currently in the play. Robbie Coltrane turns in a good performance as Falstaff; look for Judi Dench in a minor role as the Mistress, and a very young Christian Bale as the boy.

The music for the film is triumphant, foreboding and dark. This is a wonderful score produced by Patrick Doyle, known for work on other Branagh films such as 'Dead Again' and 'Much Ado about Nothing', as well as other films such as 'Indochine' and literature-based films like 'Gosford Park' and 'Great Expectations'.

Derek Jacobi, veteran Shakespearean, portrays 'Chorus', the narrator of the action, one who casts the right spirit from beginning to end, and appears throughout. There are few Shakespearean asides done by the actors here (a few under-the-breath comments that might qualify), but Jacobi's role is always directly to camera, directly to us as the spectators. The ending portrayed by Chorus is both victorious and tragic, much as the cycle of history must be.

This is a glorious film.

3-0 out of 5 stars Great Film, Less than Great Transfer
Kenneth Branagh's splendid Henry V is the best Shakespeare film of the last forty years. Unfortunately, the picture quality of this DVD is only so-so. MGM really needs to do a better job than this.

5-0 out of 5 stars "Cry Harry! England! And Saint George!!!"
Kenneth Branagh is truly inspired. As both the director and lead actor he is simply superb. Of all the Oscars this was nominated for, including Best Actor and Best Director for Branagh, all it walked away with was Best Costume Design. The costumes are great, by the way. But what makes this film work is the authentic emotional element that all the actors bring to their roles. Tears fall, hearts soar, and blood flows! This is easily my favorite film from director/actor Kenneth Branagh. There is a huge cast of name actors, such as Ian Holm, Judi Dench, and Emma Thompson, and all acquit themselves with honorable performances worthy of singular recognition. There are complex tracking shots and finely tuned film editing, all adding to the immense grandeur that envelopes this film. It is easy for me to recommend this outstanding Shakespearean adventure. If you love Shakespear, this film is an absolute necessity for your collection. Thank you.

5-0 out of 5 stars This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England....
From various reference sources, in brief, here's the historical background both to Shakespeare's play and to this film. Henry V, the eldest son of Henry IV and Mary Bohun, was born in 1387. An accomplished and experienced soldier, at age fourteen he fought the Welsh forces of Owen Glendower; at age sixteen he commanded his father's forces at the battle of Shrewsbury; and shortly after his accession he put down a major Lollard uprising and an assassination plot by nobles still loyal to Richard II . He proposed to marry Catherine in 1415, demanding the old Plantagenet lands of Normandy and Anjou as his dowry. Charles VI refused and Henry declared war, opening yet another chapter in the Hundred Years' War. His invasion of France served two purposes: to regain lands lost in previous battles and to focus attention away from any of his cousins' royal ambitions. Henry possessed a brilliant, strategic military mind and defeated the French at the Battle of Agincourt in October of 1415. By 1419 he had captured Normandy, Picardy, and much of the Capetian stronghold of the Ile-de-France.

By the time the Treaty of Troyes was signed in 1420, Charles VI not only accepted Henry as his son-in-law but passed over his own son to name Henry heir to the French crown. Had Henry lived a mere two months longer, he would have been king of both England and France. However, he had prematurely aged because of having lived the hard life of a soldier, became seriously ill, and died after returning from yet another French campaign. Catherine had given birth to his only son while he was away but Henry died without ever seeing the child.

The historian Rafael Holinshed, in Chronicles of England, summed up Henry V's reign as follows: "This Henry was a king, of life without spot, a prince whom all men loved, and of none disdained, e captain against whom fortune never frowned, nor mischance once spurned, whose people him so severe a justicer both loved and obeyed (and so humane withal) that he left no offence unpunished, nor friendship unrewarded; a terror to rebels, and suppressor of sedition, his virtues notable, his qualities most praiseworthy."

It would be a disservice to compare and contrast this film with the version which Laurence Olivier directed 45 years earlier. Each has its own unique strengths and both are worthy of high regard. When Shakespeare's play and this film begin, newly crowned Henry V (Branagh) attempts to resolve animosities between England and France. When those efforts fail, he and a small army invade France and defeat the French troops at Agincourt. Branagh brings to the role exceptional energy and dramatic impact, most evident in two scenes: when he delivers his St. Crispin's Day speech just before heading into battle and then afterward as he rides amidst the carnage, carrying a dead boy across one shoulder. The resources and technologies for special effects available to Branagh were far more abundant than those available to Olivier. Branagh makes the most of them, recreating the gore and grime of Agincourt with a series of indelible images. (I suspect that Mel Gibson carefully studied the tracking sequence when preparing to film Braveheart.) The acting throughout is first-rate, notably Paul Scofield (King Charles VI), Judi Dench (Mistress Quickly), and Ian Holm (Captain Fluellyn). Sir John Falstaff does not appear in this film version (as he does in Olivier's) and scant attention is paid to the "corrupting influences" in Prince Hal's "decadent" youth. Branagh focuses primarily on the human dimensions prior to and following the magnificent military victory at Agincourt. It is also a pleasure to observe Branagh's interaction with Emma Thompson in her role as Katherine. The "word games" courtship scene is delightful.

This is a visually stunning and emotionally stimulating tribute to Henry V and his warriors, of course, but also to the country which produced such men:

This royal throne of kings, this sceptred isle,
This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars,
This other Eden, demi-paradise,
This fortress built by Nature for herself
Against infection and the hand of war,
This happy breed of men, this little world,
This precious stone set in the silver sea,
Which serves it in the office of a wall
Or as a moat defensive to a house,
Against the envy of less happier lands,-
This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England.

(Richard II, Act II, scene 1) ... Read more

42. Spaceballs
Director: Mel Brooks
list price: $14.95
our price: $11.21
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Asin: 0792844890
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 704
Average Customer Review: 4.37 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (238)

4-0 out of 5 stars great satire from the late eighties
Mel Brooks definitely lives up to expectations with Spaceballs. This parody of the Star Wars movies will deliver laughs whether you are a sci fi fan or not. The cast of characters (including Bill Pullman, John Candy, and Rick Moranis...and of course Mel Brooks) closely parallels the familiar cast of Star Wars, but Rick Moranis takes the cake as Dark Helmet, the Darth Vader-like figure. ("And now you see that evil will always triumph, because good is dumb.")

Personally, I found this movie amusing at 10, and now at 22 I still think it's wonderful. Most of the other reviews give you an idea of what the movie contains, so I won't get into a long explanation, but I have to recommend this one pretty highly as a great comedy.

5-0 out of 5 stars Spaceballs
The Planet Spaceball has a problem; They're slowly running out of air. However, they have a plan; Capture Vespa(Daphne Zuniga), the Princess of their peace-loving neighbor planet Druidia, which would force their father, King Roland(Dick Van Patten), to give them the combination to the air shield, which underneath contains 10,000 years of fresh air. Instead, the Princess and her droid Dot Matrix(Voice of Joan Rivers), running away from her wedding to Prince Valium(JM J.Bullock), they find her. After being offered $1 million spacebucks, which they need to pay off gangster Pizza the Hutt(Dom DeLuise), space pirate Lonestarr(Bill Pullman)and his half dog/half man sidekick Barf(John Candy)go to stop the evil Lord Dark Helmet(Rick Moranis)and Spaceball President Skroob(Mel Brooks)and along the way, Lonestarr learns the ways of the Schwartz from the everlasting know-it-all Yogurt(Mel Brooks)

This movie, along with "DRACULA DEAD AND LOVING IT" is Mel Brooks at his best. It's fricking hilarious!! Bill Pullman is great as Lonestarr, a spoof combination of Han Solo and Luke Skywalker, Daphne Zuniga gives her all as Princess Vespa, John Candy is hilarious as Barf, Joan Rivers is decent as Dot Matrix, Rick Moranis is downright classic as Dark Helmet, a wimpy puny spoof of Darth Vader(He's the funniest guy on this movie!!!)and the rest of the cast is average.

Highly recommended as one of Mel Brook's best and with lines like "I am your father's brother's nephew's cousin's former roommate", "You are to refer to me as idiot, not you captain!", you won't stop laughing. So see this film.


3-0 out of 5 stars because good is dumb
although not a mel brooks masterpiece this film does not suffer solely from lack of comedic inspiration. in fact i find it to be one of his best. its main problem, in my opinion, was the shift in audiences. for the most part films such as Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein catered to an audience that was, by 1987, much older and focusing on family life. plus, brooks' comedic venom was now aimed at a less familiar target in Star Wars. intially, even i had a hard time time convincing myself it was worth seeing. but after repeated viewings i realized that it was as funny as many of brooks' best. now dont get me wrong, you wont laugh as often as you did for High Anxiety but you'll laugh none the less. sadly, the core players of previous films are missing here (Harvey Corman & Madeline Kahn) and it suffers becasue of it but the times were changing and so were the films. only later on did brooks really get into a stupor with Robin Hood: Men In Tights and Dracula: Dead and Lving It, starring the one dimensional Leslie Nielsen.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Funniest Movie Ever!!!
Spaceballs, a comic masterpiece directed by Mel Brooks, is one of the funniest movies that I have ever seen. I own the trilogy of Star Wars and I watched every movie in the trilogy before I viewed this movie. After I watched Spaceballs, I found myself in a state of pure laughter as I saw Mel Brooks and John Candy imitating the trilogy of Star Wars. Anyone that wants a good funny movie to view should buy Spaceballs today.

5-0 out of 5 stars Holy Crap it was good!!
This movie was absolutely crazy and funny!! I couldn't help but laugh the whole way! My favorite moment was the spoofing scene of Alien. Sooo funny. Watch Spaceballs and get ready to laugh hard. ... Read more

43. Friends - The Series Finale (Limited Edition)
Director: Pamela Fryman, Sam Simon, Mary Kay Place, Michael Lembeck, Joe Regalbuto, Shelley Jensen, James Burrows (II), Thomas Schlamme, Paul Lazarus, Alan Myerson, David Schwimmer, David Steinberg, Steve Zuckerman, Peter Bonerz, Dana DeVally, Kevin Bright, Gary Halvorson, Todd Holland, Ellen Gittelsohn, Stephen Prime (II)
list price: $14.96
our price: $9.99
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Asin: B00020HAWY
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 269
Average Customer Review: 3.91 out of 5 stars
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"Closure. That's what it is, that's what I need." So determined a drunken Rachel in the season 2 episode "The One Where Ross Finds Out." And closure is what this mega-hyped series finale gives loyal and faithful viewers who have been there for Monica, Chandler, Ross, Rachel, Phoebe, and Joey, even when Friends seemed stuck in second gear. Television's most popular and comforting comedy did go gently into that good night, packing off new parents Monica and Chandler to the suburbs to start a family; domesticating the once free-spirited Phoebe, and, yes, finally bringing star-crossed, on-again-off-again Ross and Rachel together ("I got off the plane" will take its place in series lore alongside, "We were on a break").

There were some keenly felt absences, most notably Elliott Gould and Christina Pickles as Monica and Ross's maddening parents, and very few surprises, save for one climactic Ross revelation that allowed David Schwimmer's hapless character one of the episode's best lines: "We almost made it 10 years without that coming out." Gunther professing his unrequited love for Paris-bound Rachel was a nice grace note for one of the series' most valuable players, as was the touching, sniffle-inducing ending in which each Friend turned in their key to the apartment each had shared at one time or another over the past 10 years. In the end, it was all about Ross and Rachel, but it seems we will not have ultimate closure until the inevitable reunion special, "The One with Ross and Rachel's Wedding." Until then, between reruns and home video, Friends fans need not fret. As singer Dan Hicks once said, how can we miss them when they won't go away? --Donald Liebenson ... Read more

Reviews (198)

5-0 out of 5 stars The one that did NOT disappoint!
The finale episode of FRIENDS, which aired on NBC on May 6th and is now available on Collector's Edition DVD, did not disappoint this loyal fan. I've watched the show since day one, and like so many others, have come to love this sextet of NY pals.

With so much hype leading up to the finale episode, my fear was that the show would go the way of SEINFELD, whose finale was a big let down. FRIENDS, however, stayed true to form. While the show certainly had it's big moments, the writers and producers didn't try to fill every moment with huge events. In some ways the finale felt like a regular episode, with funny situations and jokes (like the new chick and duck getting stuck in the fooseball table). And that's a GOOD thing!

It was touching to see Chandler and Joey have their final moment together after years as roommates, talking about the happy times they had playing fooseball. And of course they wrapped up that scene with one of their famous hugs!

Chandler and Monica's surrogate mother having twins--and a boy and a girl, no less!--was touching, although it seemed highly unrealistic that they came home with the babies practically MINUTES after Erica gave birth. Necessary to speed the episode along, I guess.

And of course we all knew the big ending would be Ross and Rachel finally getting together! The build-up gave us just enough tension to keep us on the end of our seats--Ross not being able to admit how he feels, Gunther finally telling Rachel he loves her (that was sweet), Ross and Phoebe going to the wrong airport, Rachel boarding the plane the first time...up to the moment when Ross's answering machine cuts off Rachel's message!

But the moment Rachel walked into Ross's apartment saying, "I got off the plane..." was priceless! It's what we've waited for for the past ten years, ever since the pilot episode when Ross (after pining for Rachel since high school), tentatively asked if he might be able to ask her out sometime. In the finale, they finally declared that they love each other, were done messing up their relationship, and wanted to be together forever. It was a classic moment when Ross joked, "Unless we're on a break." EXCELLENT!

The subtle final moments of the episode were a perfect fade out...all six of them leaving their apartment keys on the counter, and walking out to go down to the coffee shop one last time. Of course, Chandler got in one final joke, asking "Where?" when Rachel suggested getting a cup of coffee.

Thanks to the cast, writers, producers etc. for 10 wonderful years!

5-0 out of 5 stars The End and the Beginning
So, after 10 years, it comes down to this. Chandler and Monica are at the hospital waiting for the birth of their baby on the day before they move to their new house. But they might just have a surprise waiting for them. Meanwhile, Joey has a housewarming present for them, Chick Jr. and Duck Jr. Phoebe wants to turn the day into a musical. But the finale wouldn't be complete without another chapter in the Ross/Rachel soap opera we've been following for 10 years. Rachel's leaving for Paris, and Ross needs to decide if he wants to try to stop her by telling her how he feels. And with this gang of six involved, you can be sure there will be plenty of laughs.

I've been a fan for a few years now, catching up on the show thanks to constant reruns. And while the show did loose something in the last couple of seasons, I kept watching. This finale was exactly what this Friends fan was hoping for - plenty of laughs as the gang of six faced some changes in their lives. It really did feel like starting a new chapter and not a harsh goodbye at all, even if the last couple of scenes were very bitter sweet. It was especially nice to see a few nods to classic moments from the show, with appearances by Gunther and Mike, Joey's present, and the infamous "We were on a break!" line.

With the quick release and low price of this DVD, I wasn't expecting much in the way of extras. Since my expectations were low, I wasn't disappointed. The DVD features the broadcast version and an extended version of the finale as well as an extended version of the pilot. Boy have styles changed in 10 years! Both episodes feature great sound and clear picture. It also features the music video for the classic theme and 10 of the opening credits. As any Friends fan knows, they usually changed them half way through the season, so we're only getting about half here. But we do get a couple special ones, like the London opening and the Arquette joke.

Since I'm sure it won't be long before season 10 hits selves in a complete set, it's really up to you to decide if you want to get this now or wait for the set later. I loved the finale so much I just had to go out and get it.

Now everyone sing with me. "So no one told you life was gonna be this way....."

1-0 out of 5 stars Review, part two
You who did not have the guts to state your name, you are the opinionated one because you do not believe others have a right to their opinions. You must see that this review forum is not just for 5 star reviews, it is so people can voice their opinions on a show/DVD. In my case, I must in all honesty rate this show one star. You may do as you wish, in case you didn't notice my one-star rating did not prevent many 5-star ratings. All I can say is, YOU should get a life if all you do is look at reviews on Amazon and rip people for having a different opinion.

5-0 out of 5 stars The episode of all episodes
Ladies and gentle men this the best *(swearword)* dvd ever and there is absolutely no argument i'm afraid. Friends is most definately the greatest show of all time so this legendary episode is a perfect way to end a legendary show. It's the end of an error and to be honest.... well...I cried my ass off..

5-0 out of 5 stars It's Really Over...
*sigh* It seems like it was only yesterday Rachel walked into Central Perk in a wet wedding dress. But it wasn't. It was TEN years ago.
Re-live the comedy and drama and romance in the final episode, originally aired on NBC on May 6, 2004 @ 9:00/8:00c.
Go back to Central Perk for a cup of coffee and scone for one last time...
The Final episode left us with the answer to a 10-year question: will Ross and Rachel end up together? Yes. In the Final episode, Chandler and Monica finally become parents after years of trying, Joey gets a chick and a duck again, named Chick Jr. & Duck Jr., and Phoebe and her husband decide to have kids as well. Who'd thunk their FRIENDShip would last this long and through all the bad, and good stuff? The birth of Phoebe's brother's triplets, the birth of Ross & Rachel's Emma, Chanler and Monica's wedding, and Joey's first real-starring role.
This DVD is awesome and it'll help you remember how good these F*R*I*E*N*D*S really are. It's loaded with extra stuff you'll love, and comes with the un-cut finale, and the original broadcast. ... Read more

44. Much Ado About Nothing
Director: Kenneth Branagh
list price: $14.95
our price: $11.21
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0000714BZ
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 1473
Average Customer Review: 4.55 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (88)

5-0 out of 5 stars Branagh brings Shakespeare to life!
Kenneth Branagh is, undoubtedly, my favorite Shakespeare actor and director. He casts based on talent rather than popularity and his choices really pay off. His own roles are instilled with a vibrant energy and life not often seen in film.

This screen adaptation of Shakespeare's romantic comedy takes us on a light-hearted adventure of match-making and deceit. Branagh plays Benedick, a soldier in the company of Don Pedro of Aragon and a "professed tyrant" to the female sex who swears he will die a bachelor. Emma Thompson, then Branagh's wife, plays Beatrice, a free-spirited female version of Benedick. The two are engaged in a "merry war" of wits, and constantly offend one another. Their friends, however, see them as the perfect couple and endeavour to bring them together against their own wills.

The second love story is that of Claudio, another favored soldier of prince Don Pedro, played by Robert Sean Leonard, and Hero, a career-starting role for actress Kate Beckinsale. Theirs is a case of love at first sight, and they soon become engaged to be married. Don John, the prince's outcast brother, however, will do anything to destroy the happiness of one of Don Pedro's favored men. He and his henchmen enter into a plot to break up the engagement.

Don Pedro is played by Denzel Washington, and the role highlights his amazing versatility and talent as an actor. This is definitely one of his best performances. It is also refreshing to see a movie where the good brother is played by a person of color and the bad brother, Don John (Keanu Reeves) is white. Branagh made an excellent casting choice and both characters shine.

Comic relief is provided by an outstanding performance of Michael Keaton as Dogberry, the local sheriff who's more than a little off his rocker, but harmlessly entertaining. Delightful performances are also given by Richard Briers as Leonato, Brian Blessed as Antonio, and Richard Clifford as Conrade.

With great acting, verbal and physical comedy, and a wonderful musical score, this film is a definite must-see for any fan of Shakespeare and Kenneth Branagh. A truly delightful movie!

5-0 out of 5 stars Much Ado About Something...
A warning: watching this film is apt to take away from your pleasure in watching any other film of a Shakespearian play. Simply, it's beautiful. The cast is a surprising ensemble that works incredibly well together (except, alas, for Keanu Reeves, who despite his best efforts, cannot act - luckily, the role doesn't require that he do so), the cinematography is beautiful, and the joy of watching Shakespeare done by good actors is that you actually understand the wordplay and the plot. Furthermore, there is no one star of the show (perhaps two, if Benedict and Beatrice are counted as the leads), so you don't get as sick of Brannaugh as you usually do in his mind-numbing epics (i.e. Hamlet - wherein near the end you feel like screaming, "There's a knife right there! Get it over with!). Finally, Emma Thompson and Denzel Washington are wonderful; Thompson is so consistently exquisite in all of her movies that Britain should put out an insurance policy, and I am very embarrassed to say that, of all of Washington's excellent films, I love this one the best. I have never seen Shakespeare done better in a movie.

5-0 out of 5 stars Good or not..??
Good or not?? Its a GOOD movie I tell ya. I love it. First time I watched it was in my english class. Though I was quite suprised that we're allowed to watch movies that has nudity in it....don't know why. Yeah, there was a bit nudity and AHEM in here. But it is a HILARIOUS movie!! Theres famous actors today, Emma Thompson, Kenneth Baragnan, Micheal Keaton, Keanu Reeves, Kate Beckinsin, Richard Briers, Denzel Washington...lots more that I can't remember. Lots of comedy and romance. Come on, its a Shakespeare play. Its awesome!! Trust me, watch it or buy it I meant. ^_^

5-0 out of 5 stars My Favorite Love Story
Many find William Shakespeare's Romeo and Julliet to be their favorite love story, but after seeing this movie it won me over. When you read his work after you see this movie it feels more exciting.
I enjoyed reading A Midsummer Night's Dream, but I haven't seen the motion picture, yet. This was also another great love story with colorful characters.
His colorful characters are one of the reasons why I love his writing so much. They have personalities; they have life. When the protagonists take too much of the story it gets boring, but when you have a rich melting pot of characters in which their lives all meet at some degree its a lot of fun.
In this movie you see song and merriment of the Mediterranean countires. Many courtships arise and the strenght of love, faith and trust are put to the test. See who wins and see who fails and see who gets a second chance.

4-0 out of 5 stars Very Entertaining
This movie really took me by surprise. I guess I was expecting it to be dated and more serious, but in Shakespeare fashion it was quite entertaining and timeless. It was a brilliant take on a classic. Enjoy! ... Read more

45. Life Is Beautiful
Director: Roberto Benigni
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Reviews (540)

5-0 out of 5 stars Simply Astounding
This movie has a very simple message and you read it in the title Life is Beautiful taking place during the holocaust in Italy no one could ever guess that this movie could be so touching and honest...Roberto Benigni who I believe won the Academy Award for his performance does the wonderful job in the role as a happy go lucky man who's whole life changes during the holocaust and it is up to Benigni to keep his family together...Another refreshing thing to see was the fact that this movie takes place in Italy during the holocaust and what is was really like for jewish families in Italy during the holocaust and very few history students know today that Italy was allies with Germany for a time...I love Benigni and enjoy watching his struggles and watching his love for his son and his wife. Why can't there be more guys like Benigi out there? The DVD features an English language track and of course English subtitles...I prefer the subtitles myself so I can get a real feel for the movie.I have been moved by this movie and you should rent or buy this movie the end of this DVD you'll either be in tears or screaming life is beautiful!

2-0 out of 5 stars Life is Beautiful, Movies can be Weird
After skimming the reviews here, Roberto Benigni has obviously struck a chord with a lot of people.
I would not argue with them but I found myself with the reviewer who called this film MR. BEAN GOES TO AUSCHWITZ. Actual history proved just too distracting for me to get caught up in this "fable."

Actually, the film I kept thinking of has never been seen: Jerry Lewis' THE DAY THE CLOWN CRIED. I've read the script and I can only imagine the reviews of that film if it was ever released! (Now there's a film in itself: a daffy but deranged filmmaker, popping pills and performing pratfalls, producing his movie about a German clown entertaining Jewish kids on their way to the ovens. Yikes.)

LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL doesn't go that far, but I found myself constantly distracted by Benigni's rubbery slapstick taking place in a concentration camp. Yeah, it's sweet that he wants to spare his son the horrors of the camp...but they're in a camp, a concentration camp.
The first half of the film actually plays like a whimsical, slightly-more-witty Jerry Lewis movie. Then the Nazis arrive. Individual scenes manage to touch and charm, but overall it just feels very odd.

Jerry Lewis must have gone nuts when Benigni won the Best Actor Academy Award (William Goldman, the sage of screenwriters, certainly did in print by saying this was the greatest Oscar abomination since THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH won Best Picture in the 1950s). I admit I was put off at Benigni's antics at the Oscars--"I LUFF YOU, I LUFF YOU ALL, I MAKE LUFF TO YOU ALL!" I can't even picture Jerry Lewis carrying on that much if he'd won Best Actor for THE BELLBOY. Now that I think about it, maybe he would....

Yes, movies are a great escape from reality--but there are some realities that shouldn't be part of that escape.
We have new generations of kids coming up who are quite removed from the terrifying reality of the Holocaust and the near-slapstick version of it portrayed in LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL could diminish the true horror of it.
That heaviness, that memory, made buying into the humor nearly impossible.

5-0 out of 5 stars "I want to make love to all of hollywood"
The pride of Italy Roberto Benini in his WWII masterpiece, tastefully combining comedy with drama in an oscar winning foreign film. A must have. Make sure you watch it in Italian with the subtitles.

5-0 out of 5 stars ETMR - Life is Beautiful
1. Humanity: How does Guido express the human quality of endurance?

2. Implications: Life is Beautiful expresses the need for family strength. What does this mean for today?

3. Evolution: Life is Beautiful employs a style that is at first jarring to watch, and then succeeds on its own as a force of comedy. How has this affected cinema since its release in 1998?

4. Realism: Is the game Guido plays with his son feasible realistically?

5. Stageplay: The basic story is one of a man trying to remain optimistic during a time of intense suffering. How does the light-heartedness of the plot change the realistic consequences of the Holocaust?

5-0 out of 5 stars A Beautiful film
Never before has such a brilliant hybrid of comedy and the tradegy of war been so skillfully woven togen. The film, although disjointed slightly in its early stages, presents a delicate balance between the otrocities of the second world war and the genuine warmth and kindness of its protagonist. There are times when you will you laugh, others that you will feel deeply saddened by the plight of the characters, with the comfortable compromise reached at the film's conclusion leaving a pleasant after taste in spite of the circumstances. Brilliantly acted and filmed, Life is Beautiful presents a different take of what life was like in that dark period of history whilst leaving intact the integrity of the central themes and the brutality of war. This is a movie that can be enjoyed on multiple levels and is a worthy Oscar winner. ... Read more

46. Leon - The Professional (Uncut International Version)
Director: Luc Besson
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Average Customer Review: 4.66 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (339)

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the greatest films ever.
I think this film is a masterpiece. Luc Besson has beautifully directed this achievement and it is probably his best film (Fifth Element aside). The best thing about this film is the different emotions you feel. You feel hatred, happiness, worry, and sadness all for one character. Leon is a professional (hence the title) cleaner, or hitman. He is a very alone person who has no friends. He does have a soft spot for the 12 year old girl Mathilda(wonderfully portrayed by Natalie Portman). When Mathilda's family is killed, she stays with Leon, but she wants revenge. Leon begins teaching her the tricks of the trade which provides some very funny moments. They begin to get very close, and he feels love for the girl. I will not ruin the whoile story for you but it really is a must see.Jean Reno was born for this part and Gary Oldman plays the eccentric bad guy very well. This movie does have some explosive action scenes, but it is really more of a drama. Yes there is a directors cut which in my opinion isn't much better than the regular and the regular is 10 bucks cheaper. Buy this film either way and you will be wonderfully happy with your purchase.

5-0 out of 5 stars Best Film Ever Made. Natalie Portman is Perfect.
This movie has, what I beleive, the best performance from a child actor ever, from a 12-year-old Natalie Portman. Her character Mathilda shows the innocence of a kid, and the depth of a person out for revenge. Why she didn't get an Oscar is beyond me. And this was her first movie.

The story is really good. A hitman named Leon (Jean Reno) helps a girl named Mathilda after her family is shot down by corrupt DEA officers led by Norman Stansfield (Gary Oldman). When she finds out about Leon's job as a "cleaner" she asks to be trained as a hitman to avenge her little brother's death. Despite Leon's concerns he teaches her anyway, but over the course of his teachings, Mathilda develops feelings for him. This is something the uncut version explores a little deeper.

I suppose some of the scenes were taken from the American release for their subject matter. A scene where Mathilda wants to take her love for Leon to the next level really gives a good insight into Leon's past. It dosen't lead to anything between the two, so I don't see why they cut it. Other scenes included are Leon giving Mathilda some on the job training when he goes on his hits. I can see where some groups in America could have protested that, but it makes their relationship more deeper and complex.

An outstanding film, you really should see this version to get the whole story. I highly recommend it, it is my favorite of all time. Luc Besson's masterpiece can be fully appreciated on this release. I've been hearing rumors about a sequel in the works. I can only pray it's true, but this film is a tough act to follow.

5-0 out of 5 stars Natalie Portman in her best role!
I don't usually like to watch movies about hit men or cops and robbers. I remember I got interested in this movie because of two things: Luc Besson's movie the Fifth Element, which was so wildly different and fascinating that I wanted to see what else this French director had done; and secondly, seeing Natalie Portman for the first time in the Star Wars: Phantom Menace movie.

Behind all of the dense make up and bad script and horribly non-existent directing from George Lucas in Phantom Menace, I sensed in Natalie Portman one heck of a terrific young actress struggling to come up with a meaningful performance. In "Leon - The Professional", working with a superb director, her acting talent is on full display.

When one thinks of modern day child actors, Anna Paquin comes to mind, in "The Piano", because she aced out some terrific adult actresses in 1993 to win the Oscar. Well, Natalie Portman, at age 12, had Anna Paquin beat by a mile in this movie, since her character takes up about half of the movie. If not for the truly unusual and off-beat story line of this movie, Portman would have gotten a lot more attention for her role in this movie, I think.

If you just focus on Portman's facial expressions and the way she carries herself in this movie, she goes through an amazing acting range in this movie, from hurt, terrified, bored, stuck up, cool and calculating, manipulative, sweet, child-like, and pubescent sexual allure.

As mentioned by other reviewers, the uncut version restores scenes that basically give a harder edge to Natalie Portman's character. The additional scenes of her assassin training with Leon and her efforts to attract and get closer to Leon definitely put her character in a harsher light. I remember from my first viewing of the cut U.S. version that Mathilda came across as a much more sweet and innocent child. The uncut version shows her more to be a hardened child of the mean streets of New York. Given the usual Hollywood propensities, it's not that surprising that these scenes got cut for the U.S. release. The uncut version does show the fullest acting range of Natalie Portman, even if they make her character less sympathetic.

Basically, the movie skates close to, but avoids the pedophilia controversies of the "Lolita" movies by having the character of Leon adhere to a strict code of ethics that firmly blocks all of Mathilda's advances. Even at the end, when he kisses her good-by and says that he loves her, it is clearly in the vein of being her protector and a big brother/father surrogate figure.

All in all, this was a great movie. Jean Reno was just so hauntingly sad as the loner-assassin Leon. Gary Oldman was definitely over the top in his portrayal of the crazed DEA agent - you almost expected his Dracula fangs to come out and his eyes to glow red when he popped those pills into his mouth.

So all of you Natalie Portman fans, this movie is a definite must-see. All of you Phantom Menace/Attack of the Clones haters who think that Natalie Portman can't act, you've got to see this movie to understand that no, Natalie Portman is a terrific actress. It's just really, really tough to play opposite total stiffs like Hayden Christiansen and Jake Lloyd, working with an idiot director like George Lucas.

5-0 out of 5 stars Got Milk?
There's hardly anything I can say that will do justice to the splendor of 'Leon - The Professional'. The insanity of both the action sequences and Gary Oldman's performance... the touching love story of 2 lonely outcasts... the fantastic cinematography... the heart-breaking tragedy... the pulsing score... the violent life of a shy, milk-drinking, plant-loving hitman... the soul of an innocent little girl... the blistering, chaotic, blood-drenched fury that lives in all 3 of these characters...


...It's just a vortex of beautiful destruction. All these things crammed into one amazing film. A remarkable cast giving remarkable performances, and a very visual director shoving this seething powerhouse of a film right in our faces...

Like I said, there's nothing I can say. So, just believe me when I tell you that this is a very great film.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great cinematic masterpiece

47. War Games
Director: John Badham
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Reviews (67)

5-0 out of 5 stars Global Thermonuclear War
What happens when a computer hacker breaks into the defense department's computer system and starts playing what he thinks is a computer game? Would you believe World War III?

That is the premise of this movie in a nutshell. But don't let the simple plot line summary fool you. This is a great movie.

Half the fun of this movie is in watching David Lightman (played by Matthew Broderick) get himself in deep water when he accidentally gets the United States to believe that the Soviet Union is attacking. The other half of the fun is in watching David and his new girlfriend (played by Ally Sheedy) desperately try to find the only person on the face of the earth who can stop the computer (called Joshua) from starting World War III.

This is a fun, escapist movie that can be enjoyed by the entire family. Don't worry about the plot holes, or the lack of believability in some areas. Just watch the movie for the fun that it is meant to be.

5-0 out of 5 stars The best hacker movie ever made!
"WarGames" is easily one of the best hacker movies ever made. Matthew Broderick did a very good job playing in this movie. Broderick is David Lightman, a young man, who breaks into the computer's defense system and almost starts World War III. Ally Sheedy is awesome, in her supporting role, as Jennifer Mack, David's girlfriend. Dabney Coleman is excellent as John McKittrick, a cocky computer expert, and John Wood is wonderful as Stephen Falken, a wizardly computer genius. I have this movie on DVD and I am glad to own it.

4-0 out of 5 stars Dated but still worth watching.
When this movie was released it was very up to date with the technology it featured. In this day of laptop computers and Internet access to mobile phones it certainly looks dated but put that aside and you are still left with a really good movie with a plot idea that still works today.
The story revolves around an underachieving, bored teenager (played by a very young Matthew Broderick) whose main interest in life is his computer. From his bedroom he can alter his school grades, reserve flights, and download software, all by hacking into other computers. While searching for new games from a software company he comes across a set of titles he assumes are games and decides, with his girlfriend, to play Global Thermonuclear War. Unfortunately it isn't a software company he has hacked into but a military system and he is playing against NORAD's computer. When the realisation hits that the NORAD computer, when it's turn comes round, will launch atomic missiles for real, the race is on the stop the game.
This is still a gripping film that can well pump up the tension even after several viewings. Recommended

1-0 out of 5 stars well be back in two and two
this movie is best seen in sequence after slingblade, american psycho, kids in the hall, wag the dog, and lawnmower man. Not to be rude or anything, but I find this movie slightly erotic when the computer asks mathew if he wants to play a game. after you watch this, you need to really get the totally erotic euphoria of Bob Roberts and you got a really good movie marathon. Seriously though, if you have a blind date, rent this one and shell do anything you ask, even if she doesnt like you, I swear by this DVD as a date movie, it sets the mood just right. The performances and Brodericks beedy eyes make it a two thumbs up thriller that few other movies will come close to.

4-0 out of 5 stars The original W.O.P.P.E.R.
This animal is a whopper in more ways than one. All you have to do is suspend any type of belief in reality and it is a lot of fun trying to outguess the next move. Even after you have seen it a million times you will find your self kibitzing "look look look it is still running." And what is Joshua doing at the back door?

A teenager, David Lightman (Matthew Broderick) that is too tech savvy for his own good is searching for the new game on the net. He stumbles into the NORAD mainframe evidently it was DARPA/net. For those with a short lifespan DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) was the precursor to the internet. We all know what happens when you do this. Yep, now David with the help if his teenage sweetie, Jennifer (Ally Sheedy) must worm his way into NORAD and stop the game or we are toast. ... Read more

48. Full House - The Complete First Season
Director: Don Van Atta, John Tracy (II), Howard Storm, Steve Zuckerman, Bill Petty, Peter Baldwin, Russ Petranto, Tom Rickard, Joel Zwick, Jack Shea (III), James O'Keefe, John Bowab, Jeff Franklin, Richard Correll, Bill Foster (IV), Lee Shallat Chemel
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49. The Brady Bunch - The Complete First Season
Director: Leslie H. Martinson, Allen Baron, Jerry London, George Tyne, John Rich, Jack Arnold, George Cahan, Peter Baldwin, Irving J. Moore, Jack Donohue, Bruce Bilson (II), Richard Michaels, Oscar Rudolph, Herb Wallerstein, Hal Cooper, Robert Reed, Lloyd J. Schwartz, Russ Mayberry, Roger Duchowny, Norman Abbott (II)
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50. Pearl Harbor
Director: Michael Bay
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Sales Rank: 1338
Average Customer Review: 3.39 out of 5 stars
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To call Pearl Harbor a throwback to old-time war movies is something of an understatement. Director Michael Bay's epic take on the bombing that brought the United States into World War II hijacks every war movie situation and cliché (some affectionate, some stale) you've ever seen and gives them a shiny, glossy spin until the whole movie practically gleams. Planes glisten, water sparkles, trees beckon--and Bay's re-creation of the bombing itself, a 30-minute sequence that's tightly choreographed and amazingly photographed, sets the action movie bar up quite a few notches. And in updating the classic war film, Bay and screenwriter Randall Wallace (Braveheart) use that old plot standby, the love triangle--this time, it's between two pilots (Ben Affleck and Josh Hartnett) and a nurse (Kate Beckinsale) who find themselves stationed at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, during what they thought would be a nice, sunny tour of duty. Then, of course, history intervened.

For the first 90 minutes of the movie, Affleck and Beckinsale find a nice, appealing chemistry that plays on his strengths as a movie star and hers as a serious actress--he gives her glamour, she gives him smarts. Their truncated romance--the beginning of which is told in flashback so we can get right to the point where he has to leave her to go to England--works, thanks to their charm. They're no Kate and Leo from Titanic (a strategy the film strives hard toward), but they're pretty darn adorable in their own right. Hartnett, as the not entirely unwelcome third wheel, squints bravely but makes only a slight dent in the film. Everyone else in Pearl Harbor--from Cuba Gooding Jr.'s brave navy seaman to Jon Voight's able impersonation of FDR--is pretty much a glorified walk-on, taking a backseat to the pyrotechnics and action sequences that keep the three-hour film in fairly constant motion. But when that action does take hold, Pearl Harbor is quite a thrilling ride. --Mark Englehart ... Read more

Reviews (1812)

2-0 out of 5 stars 'Pearl Harbor' a big misfire
From up to its pretty exciting 15-minute sequence as the Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor, 'Pearl Harbor' is a lumbering, barely involving film, which gives us a love triangle between two hunkish World War II fighter pilots, Josh Harnett and Ben Affleck and pretty nurse Kate Beckinsale.

'Pearl Harbor' tries to capture the atmosphere and engaging set up of 1997's better "Titanic" by setting up three star-crossed lovers, instead of the usual two. It fails terribly, but it's mostly scripter Randall Wallace's fault, which tries to balance three to four subplots by compromising the film's integrity and intelligence.

This 3+ hour film is obviously meant as a tribute to the people who died December 7, 1942 and has pretty nice cinematography, but the film itself is a shoddy-made puzzle in which all the pieces don't quite fit together.

The characters wallow in sentimentality and the film unsuccessfully tries to create atmosphere, romance and humor, but the film's bottom drops out in the final third, not only to reveal a plot full of holes, but a incomprehensible story told in bad faith.

Sorry, Bruckheimer. Nice try but no cigar.

5-0 out of 5 stars September 11, 2001: Another "date that will live in infamy!"
"Pearl Harbor" is a movie of far greater importance after the terrorists attacks of September 11. We are now at war against ideologues committed to destroying our nation. Americans only a few months ago considered "Pearl Harbor" as merely a depiction of a bygone tragic era, but not particularly relevant to our present
concerns. Needless to add, this mindset is no longer embraced by the majority. Jon Voight brilliantly portrays President Franklin D. Roosevelt. You will have a difficult time remaining stoic and tearless when Voight gives tongue to Roosevelt's famous radio speech to the American people after the Japanese treacherous
December 7, 1941 assault on Pearl Harbor. "We are at war," declared the President and "we have been described as weaklings and playboys" unwilling to overcome formidable obstacles, and too cowardly to fight. Does this rhetoric sound familiar? History has been repeated, and once again we are challenged to bravely confront our enemies.

The cast that includes Ben Affleck, Kate Beckinsale, Cuba Gooding Jr, Josh Harnett, Alec Baldwin, and Jon Voight are fantastic. Michael Bay should be congratulated for directing this work of art. The lengthy battle scene ranks among the best of all time. Every moral person should also be taken aback by the scene
where a wounded seaman curses a Japanese-American physician who comes to his aid. Racial and ethnic bigotry was wrong in 1941, and must be wholeheartedly rejected today when some less than admirable individuals are tempted to blame their fellow Americans of Arab descent for the horror of just a few weeks ago. The
United States courageously and ethically faced its enemies over fifty years ago. We must do so once again.

The very fact that this film's creators relied so extensively on focus groups to guide the making of this film was a serious mistake. Both Liberal and Conservative commentators used this as an excuse to blast "Pearl Harbor" immediately upon its initial release. Many wrongly concluded that these marketing studies might be dismissed as a mere cynical attempt by the producers to increase their profits. I strongly disagree with this assessment, and instead strongly recommend that every citizen view this film at least once. It may very well be your duty to so.

1-0 out of 5 stars Awesome deleted scenes
This is the DVD to get, it has the deleted scenes of the love affair between Doolittle (played by Baldwin) and Beckinsale - the child Beckinsale carries was actually Doolittle's, not Josh Harnett's - in this restored, original version

2-0 out of 5 stars good but not THAT good
This is a good movie but not great. It's way too long and the actors are not really that good. The special effects are amazing to look at but it gets boring after a while. Jennifer Garner had a very small role in the movie. Why didn't she got a bigger part is beyond me. This unrated version is not that special only has a lot more gore/violence. Why did I waste time and money on this one I really don't know. If you love violence movies buy this now if now avoid it at all costs.

2-0 out of 5 stars Pearl Harbore, and inaccurate
I must say that, when I saw this film. I was expecting a high intensity build towards the ultimate climax of the attack itself. Instead, we get the usual Hollywood love fest, Hollywood liberties on the truth (though I am not bothered by the liberties themselves, but sometimes the liberties are too ridiculous!) For example, some of the ships used in the movie to be hit by torpedoes are woefully modern, IE not of WWII time period. The Doolittle Raid, look at the aircraft carrier, it shows an angle that only modern nuclear ACC's have, back then the ACC's were long rectangler shaped vessels.

Lastly, I just found it boring and it was like the director was attempting to do a Titanic style story with fictional characters caught in a love triangle all the while the story builds towards the attack as a secondary mentioning. Just way too much Hollywood liberties taken against one of the darkest times for America, and I can't help but feel that the veterans, especially those who were there, should have been given something that respected them more.

I will say though, the attack itself is stunning, why I give it two stars... other than that this movie falls flat for me. ... Read more

51. The West
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Sales Rank: 6379
Average Customer Review: 4.53 out of 5 stars
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Produced by acclaimed filmmaker Ken Burns, this sweeping documentary reveals the American West stripped of its Hollywood mythology, yet filled with intense drama and peopled with a mix of larger-than-life heroes and villains. Spanning the years from the first European advance into the wilderness to the dawn of the 20th century, the series portrays the profound, often devastating impact the onrushing white settlers, adventurers and exploiters had on Indian peoples and the land. In vivid imagery and in words spoken by many of today's best-known personalities, The West shows how the discovery of gold in California changed the country forever. Witness the torrent of violence triggered by the Civil War, the building of the transcontinental railroad, the tragedies at Little Big Horn and Wounded Knee -- all the key events and the people who created and shaped this great American story. ... Read more

Reviews (15)

5-0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Magnificent.
Photography breathtaking. Music spellbinding. The story riveting. This documetary should be mandatory viewing in every American History class. True history here - not the whitewashed watered down, self serving glorification of the conquest of the untamed West. Here is the story of America at its genecidal worst; ruthless, murderous, calculating, and devestating. And yet this same story shows unimagineable beauty, heroics, love, and the enevitability of change. This is undoubtably one of the most fair tellings of what happened to the West and the people who took it from the People who loved it. See it, feel it, and continue to think about it.

2-0 out of 5 stars Selective History
I looked forward to viewing this, since the history of the west is so rich. It would have been very difficult to present a comprehensive documentary of its history, but it seems that in this case Ives doesn't even try. He is consumed by victimology. It is perfectly appropriate to give a comprehensive account of the Native Americans and the great injustices that were done to them, although much was left out about the different tribes, regions they inhabited, culture, etc.. I would expect that this would be a major part of the series, which it was. Unfortunately, the rest is literally drenched with some sort of guilt-driven quest by the director to include every persecuted group of people, and individually outline their plights (blacks, chinese, mexicans, mormons). The message has become terribly boring by now. Whites bad, everyone else good. And only a passing mention of the Donner party? Believe it or not, you get a much better history overall from Kenny Rogers' "The Real West".

1-0 out of 5 stars Dreary P.C. stuff
Yes once more the academic liberals have hijacked what could be an interesting subject and turned it into a P.C rant. There is not much history here and given the biases that are so evident throughout the series, I am guessing that we should take all statements with a great grain of salt.

5-0 out of 5 stars "someone finally got it right ~ The West!"
Growing up in the Midwest, I thought "The West" was Hopalong Cassidy, Randolph Scott and John Wayne ~ nevertheless Westerns or B-Westerns captured my interest and I became addicted to what it was like from the very beginning of the West! Here is a wealth of history collected within the realm of centuries, put down on paper by Geoffrey C. Ward and Dayton Duncan ~ directed by Stephen Ives and presented by Ken Burns on five discs, as we take the journey westward bringing together all races, nationalities and religions striving for a new land and freedom for all her people.

Never have I witnessed such openness in the telling of the triumphs and tragedies of America's westward expansion ~ it took more than 75 historians on this project to make it right. Right from the git go we have Episode One(The People/Bonus DVD Features), Episodes Two & Three (Empire Upon The Trails/The Speck of the Future), Episodes Four & Five (Fight No More Forever/The Geography of Hope) and Episodes Eight & Nine (Ghost Dance/One Sky Above Us) ~ featuring some of the most beautiful photography of our country. The entire collection covers the period of 1800 to 1915, wonderfully narated by Peter Coyote (whose voice sounds very much like Henry Fonda).

This is one of, if not the best documentaries on "The West", I've ever seen. Been collecting Time/Life leatherbound books on the subject for years ~ Frederic Remington and Charles M. Russell books and paintings ~ plus bronze of "The Mountain Man", "The Rattlesnake" and "Comin' Through the Rye" by Frederic Remington. Ken Burns "The West" on DVD is something I will cherish the rest of my life ~ will pass it on to my children and grandchildren, so they will know this is the way it was moving WEST!

Total Time: 12 Hours ~ PBS B8891 ~ (9/30/2003)

5-0 out of 5 stars PBS; The Best DVD production around....
This movie, like all films on DVD that were made and released by PBS, has a high level of quality to them. They show the whole movie in it's entirety. No cut and paste editing that comes with commercial TV film prints, and they useually allow the film maker to put in extra footage that was not part of the original PBS boardcast, but widens the enjoyment of the film in it's DVD release. I must say that films made on PBS give you your money's worth and are not part of the big rippoffs that come from releaseing whole seasons of forgethable TV shows on other DVD boxed sets that cost way too much money and are not worth the film that they were made. I stay with PBS DVDs. They are worth it. ... Read more

52. The Last Unicorn
Director: Arthur Rankin Jr., Jules Bass
list price: $14.98
our price: $11.24
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Asin: B00019330Y
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 555
Average Customer Review: 4.48 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (419)

5-0 out of 5 stars Still one of my MOST favorite movies!!!
My mother tells me that when I was little, I used to make her rent this movie every week. I still remember what the old cover looked like. I have to say that I bought a copy a few years ago and I still watch it every once and a while. I know all the songs by heart - I can still repeat my favorite lines - This is an incredible movie for all ages that I think everyone should watch to get a glimpse of that magic of the imagination that we tend to forget exists after we've grown up!

The plot of the movie is based on the book by Peter S. Beagle(read it if you like fantasy!), but I have to say that I like the movie better. Of course, the author did the screenplay, so that might explain why the movie is so good. It's about a unicorn searching the world for others of her immortal kind. On her journey, she meets humans who help her on her path, like Schmendrick(sp?) the bumbling magician who transforms her into a human woman to carry out her quest, Molly Grue the cynical outlaw, and Prince Lir who becomes a hero for her sake. But some of those she meets, like Mommy Fortuna the witch and King Haggard with his castle by the sea, will try to stop her from solving the mystery of her lost people. Will she be able to hold onto herself long enough overcome the ominous Red Bull who drove the other unicorns down all the roads long ago?

Again, I say that this is one of the movies that defined my childhood, one of the things that convinced me I wanted to be a writer and believe in the magic of imagination. This is a great movie for kids, but there's plenty there for an adult to appreciate as well. Buy it and watch it!!! It's worth it.

5-0 out of 5 stars An exquisite film... not quite for everyone, I believe
I recall seeing this movie on TV when I was like 8-years-old and its beauty and meaning really affected me. Not again a film has touched me the way this did. I am not giving away what is about, only thoughts and images. The journey of the last unicorn that runs thru the world to find her lost kin and finds love instead... A clumsy but noble magician named Schemndrick... A sad woman who has lost almost everything... A bitter and lonely king searching for hapiness and his adopted son, who will turn to be a hero... A haunting world with wonderful landscapes... An overwhelming score by Jimmy Webb and America... Let's just say that if you like fantasy and still carry with you that good old inner child and also have a taste for melancholy, this film will stay with you. But, if you are into happy endings, better stay away.
Even at that early age I saw this picture, I had a sense of loss and sadness when it ended. I think that actually, it changed me forever. A part of the innocence was gone, in a good way. It deals with deep and mature matters, kind of heavy and serious for an animated flick, but I think it's good for a child to learn to think and awaken sensibility.
I am not sure to recommend it for little children, 3 to 5... I think it's too much for them. From 7 and on, they can appreciate it more, and better for a 10 year-old. There's some middle cursing also, like "hell" and "damn", so very concerned parents should avoid it until their little ones are a little grown up.
The cast is great. Christopher Lee shines. Mia Farrow, Alan Arkin and Jeff Bridges are also here and deliver powerful performances.
Read the book which this movie was based on, written by Peter S. Beagle -who made the screenplay too, thank God, for it is perfect.
An unforgettable, beautiful, charming, touching, thought-provoking, heart-squeezing movie that you can fall in love with.

1-0 out of 5 stars AVOID
This is a very good film that has yet had a decent video release here in the US. This DVD release is a disaster.

This particular print has several major defects. First this movie suffers more than most when cutting it from widescreen to full screen. But the pan-and-scan job (the technique used to make a widescreen film fit on a regular television) was also totally botched leaving many scenes showing only half a face or character.

There is also many color problems. The print is biased to red. Dark scenes, of which there are many, show a red tint. Related to this is that the greens are subdued. Many objects that should be green show as blue.

The print is also grainy showing more video noise than normal.

The soundtrack is extremely harsh sounding making it dificult to listen to.

I'd recommend you seek out the widescreen version which has none of these problems.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Last Unicorn
I have seen this movie over 100 times and I really believe it is one of the greatest films of our time. I loved it as a kid and I don't know that I fully understood it, because now as an adult I appreciate the heart that goes into this film. It is a beautiful love/life story about being true to who you are. I cry almost every time I watch this, it is definetly worth buying.

4-0 out of 5 stars good movie bad singing
It a good movie, with a good plot. The characters were good and well drawn. the only problem was the singing, now the songs were good. But they got people who thought they could sing who couldn't. But other then that a good buy. ... Read more

53. Deliverance
Director: John Boorman
list price: $14.96
our price: $9.99
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Asin: 6305558159
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 1363
Average Customer Review: 4.45 out of 5 stars
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One of the key films of the 1970s, John Boorman's Deliverance is a nightmarish adaptation of poet-novelist James Dickey's book about various kinds of survival in modern America. The story concerns four Atlanta businessmen of various male stripe: Jon Voight's character is a reflective, civilized fellow, Burt Reynolds plays a strapping hunter-gatherer in urban clothes, Ned Beatty is a sweaty, weak-willed boy-man, and Ronny Cox essays a spirited, neighborly type. Together they decide to answer the ancient call of men testing themselves against the elements and set out on a treacherous ride on the rapids of an Appalachian river. What they don't understand until it is too late is that they have ventured into Dickey's variation on the American underbelly, a wild, lawless, dangerous (and dangerously inbred) place isolated from the gloss of the late 20th century. In short order, the four men dig deep into their own suppressed primitiveness, defending themselves against armed cretins, facing the shock of real death on their carefully planned, death-defying adventure, and then squarely facing the suspicions of authority over their concealed actions. Boorman, a master teller of stories about individuals on peculiarly mythical journeys, does a terrifying and beautiful job of revealing the complexity of private and collective character--the way one can never be the same after glimpsing the sharp-clawed survivor in one's soul. --Tom Keogh ... Read more

Reviews (104)

5-0 out of 5 stars What REALLY happened on the Cahulawassee River?
When it comes to fictional survival stories, few can approach the sheer grueling brutality of DELIVERANCE. Brilliantly adapted by James Dickey from his best-selling book and superbly directed by John Boorman (POINT BLANK, HOPE AND GLORY), this is a tremendous endeavor. So much so that horror writer Stephen King and Boorman's fellow director Stanley Kubrick both expressed a tremendous admiration of it.

As pretty much everyone knows, DELIVERANCE focuses on four Atlanta businessmen (Burt Reynolds, Jon Voight, Ned Beatty, Ronny Cox) who decide to take a canoe trip down the Cahulawassee River in the Appalachian Mountains of northern Georgia before it is dammed up into a lake. It is apparent, however, that the local folk don't take kindly to these "city boys" messing around in their woods. And when Voight and Beatty are sexually assaulted at gunpoint by a pair of sadistic rednecks (Bill McKinney, Herbert "Cowboy" Coward), in the infamous "SQUEAL!!" segment, what began as a canoe trip explodes into a nightmare.

Much is made, and justifiably so, not only of the "SQUEAL" scene but also of the "Dueling Banjos" part, between Cox and a retarted mountain kid. But DELIVERANCE has much more to offer besides these moments. Like A CLOCKWORK ORANGE and STRAW DOGS, it offers a hard-hitting and unflinching look at Man's penchant for violent and (arguably) abhorrent behavior. The four leads are extremely good in their roles, and McKinney and Coward make for two of the more frightening and vicious villains in screen history. Dickey appears in the film's final reel as a local sheriff who, as he puts it would "kinda like to see this town die peaceful."

Shot totally on location, and featuring ominous cinematography from the legendary Vilmos Zsigmond, DELIVERANCE is a great and frightening piece--arguably a modern gothic horror film, certainly a great action film with an undercurrent as sinister as the Cahulawassee River itself. It is not to be missed,

4-0 out of 5 stars Terrific, violent and distressing thriller!
In 1972, the English filmmaker John Boorman ("Excalibur", "Hope and Glory") accomplished one of the most contusing and acclaimed dramas of Hollywood history.Based on James Dickey's original best-selling novel, Deliverance is a vigorous picture about the human cruelty directed with mastery by Boorman, who substituted the original profesional chosen to make the film, Sam Peckinpah. Dickey also worked on the movie (and he even has a small part as a sheriff), helping to give the correct contours and maintaining the fidelity to his shocking book: four friends, common and hard-working citizens, decide to spend the weekend challenging the dangerous and fast rapidses of the "last unpolluted river in Georgia".Worst is what waits for them in the margins. Starting from the moment in which they arrive in the mountains, the confusion with the eccentric hillbillies gets announced and explodes later into mutilation, murder and rape. After Voight and Beatty are assaulted by two hillbillies, comes one of the most distressing cinematography's sequences ,Ned Beatty under the power and strength of a sick local's inhabitant .Then, Reynolds kills one of the homosexuals, and the other scapes, this is the point in which Boorman sets inside that hostile and natural enviroment a type of "primitive" tribunal. This is the most frightening moment: what should they do?hide the body, kill the other mountain man who fled, and pretend that nothing happened, deceiving the authorities, or go to the police, admit the crime and take the risk that resides in a possible trial? the dignity and the heart of each character will be tested!Burt Reynolds gives an outstanding performance and, perhaps, the best of his career, as a man obsessed by adventure who will do to everything to survive,but the most astonishing and brave acting belongs to Ned Beatty,terrific as a poor overweight salesman who receives the most impressive punishment by the hillbillies. Agile, violent, and extremely dramatic, this thriller is powerful and courageous.

5-0 out of 5 stars Thrilling, Exciting and Still Disturbing...
DELIVERANCE (1972) was adapted from the great and controversial best-selling novel, written in 1970 by James Dickey. Made by British director John Boorman, who was relatively new to Hollywood at the time, this film was a faithful adaptation of the book, with the exception of some humor being interlaced into some of the earlier scenes. In some ways, it is even more disturbing; by juxtaposing some light comedy in the first half, Boorman makes what happens in the second half that much more nightmarish by comparison. And it is a nightmare...happening in the middle of the woods on a sunny day in the deep South.

The book told the story of four middle-aged surburbanites---Ed Gentry, Lewis Medlock (guess he did have a last name, after all), Drew Ballinger and Bobby Trippe---encouraged by nature-loving, alpha-male Lewis to brave the rapids of a river before it gets dammed for good. Told in first-person by Ed, who harbors latent homosexual desires for Lewis (though never acts upon them), the men paddle downstream in two canoes---Lewis & Drew in one, Ed & Bobby in the other---when they are separated at a river fork. As Ed & Bobby manage to get their boat ashore, and try to figure out a way to rejoin their friends, they are confronted by two mountain men with shotguns. Both are ugly. One of them is toothless. The non-toothless one forces the chubby, soft-bodied Bobby to strip half-naked and then rapes him at gunpoint, as Ed is restrained by being chained to a tree. When he has finished with Bobby, the toothless man prepares to force Ed to go down on him when Lewis finally catches up with his lost friends and shoots the first attacker with his bow & arrow, killing him almost instantly. As the toothless man runs off, Lewis attempts to lead his friends to safety down the river. However, banjo-playing Drew is shot to death by an unseen sniper (presumably the Toothless Man) and Lewis is incapacitated in an accident soon after. It is up to citified friends Ed and the now-broken-spirited Bobby to somehow gather their muster, and for Ed to learn to use his long-buried primordial instincts to help them get out of this horrible situation *and* to not arouse suspicion by the law.

The book was a compulsive page-turner and nail biter, and the well-made film is no different in that respect. Deciding to work with a 30-something cast instead of 40-somethings, Boorman cast then-rising-stars Burt Reynolds and Jon Voight as Lewis and Ed, supporting player Ronny Cox (who would achieve stardom over a decade later in BEVERLY HILLS COP, 1984) as Drew, and then-unknown Ned Beatty (in his film debut) as the unfortunate Bobby. It was casting genius. Reynolds fills Lewis Medlock perfectly, with his macho swagger hiding a surprising sensitivity which emerges once he is rendered practically useless. This performance made him a superstar (and should have earned him a Best Supporting Actor nomination), and began a decade of Burt dominating at the box office, though usually in Southern-fried comedies. Voight, who had already been Oscar-nominated as urban cowboy gigolo Joe Buck in MIDNIGHT COWBOY (1969), correctly tones down his usual overplaying tendencies to convey Ed Gentry's low-key complacent nature. Ronny Cox brings Drew Ballinger to life, and nearly steals the show with the film's early "Duelling Banjos" scene, and shows a lot of dramatic ability in the film's darker half. But it's Ned Beatty, in his brilliant performance as the at-first clownish and wimpy insurance salesman Bobby Trippe whose horrific trial-by-fire at first breaks him, then rebuilds him into a man who can stand up for himself and prevail, that is the film's emotional centerpiece. He definitely should have earned an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor for this very difficult role. Kudos must also be given to Bill McKinney, as the Mountain Man who rapes him; his portrayal is among the most chilling and creepy in cinematic history.

Speaking of that, this was the very first time male-on-male rape had ever been depicted on the big screen. John Boorman directed this scene with utmost care for his actors, while creating a scene that was in some ways even more horrific than had been described in James Dickey's book (there is no "squeal like a piggy" order given by the Mountain man in the book). According to Burt Reynolds' account in his autobiography, Ned Beatty was only going to do one take of this scene and Bill McKinney took his Method Acting a little too far and actually seemes like he was really going to "bang" Ned Beatty (it is maintained that he even had an erection at the beginning of this scene!); Burt and director Boorman had to intervene at one point! No matter what actually happened, this scene was handled bravely, and considering the fact that it was filmed in 1972, was especialy not easy to do. Lastly, the author himself appears at the end as Sheriff Bullard, and is amazingly well-cast in a subtely threatening (as scary as heck) cameo.

DELIVERANCE is still no less impacting as it was over 30 years ago. It is a must-see for anyone who calls themselves a movie fan.


5-0 out of 5 stars Banjo, anyone?
City folk Burt Reynolds (Louis), Jon Voight (Ed), Ronnie Cox (Drew) and Ned Beatty (Bobbie) take a canoe trip down a backwoods Georgia river which will soon be flooded out when a new dam is constructed.

The foursome hire some possibly-inbred hillbillies to drive their cars down to Aintry to be picked up later. Off they go downriver. They encounter small rapids, bugs, and then Ed and Bobby are assaulted by two unpleasant hillbillies. They make Bobbie drop his drawers and squeal like a pig, and tell Ed he has a "real purty mouth". Louis and Drew sneak up on them and kill one of the men as the other runs off.

This leads to a moral dilemma among the four canoers. Do they tell the cops? Do they bury the body and act innocent? They make a decision, and continue downstream. At one point going through some rapids, Drew falls overboard, apparently shot by the second hillbilly, and Louis breaks his leg. Bobby camps out with Louis as Ed climbs up a cliff to reconnoitre and ferret out the second man. Finally, they continue down to Aintry, where they recuperate, and are questioned about their experience.

The screenplay was written by James Dickey based on his book, and he has a small part as the sheriff who wonders what the men had been up to.

Good ensemble acting (probably Burt's best role), beautiful photography and locations, and a great story make this an impressive movie. Oscar nominations for director (John Boorman), picture and editing, and Golden Globe nominations for director, picture, actor (Voight), song ("Dueling Banjos") and screenplay. The reasonably-priced DVD has the R-rated full-screen and wide-screen format movie, a good documentary, English or French language and subtitles, Dolby sound, chapters, cast/crew/production notes, and a trailer.

5-0 out of 5 stars Duelling banjos and a lot lot more
I have always known the movie 'Deliverance' because of the dueling banjos tune and that is why I finally wanted to see this movie. Turns out that this is one of the best movies I have seen in a long long time.

It is the story of four Atlanta businessmen on a rafting trip. While on the river they encounter some 'crackers'. One of the four gets raped and the other almost before one of the businessmen (someone who does not believe in law) kills the attacker with an arrow. Because the whole valley will be flooded soon they decide to leave the body there and tell no one. The one with a heavy heart falls overboard however.

What is right? What is wrong? are questions asked in this movie and no one is sure. The movie is very disturbing, a strange look into the human mind and human society and also that part of the world where civilization as we know it does not exist.

The duelling banjos are fun, but the movie is really good. ... Read more

54. Elektra (Full Screen Edition)
Director: Rob Bowman
list price: $29.98
our price: $22.49
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0007P0Y7W
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 1524
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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While 2003's Daredevil was a conventional superhero movie, the 2005 spinoff, Elektra, is more of a wuxia-styled martial arts/fantasy flick. Elektra (Jennifer Garner) has returned to her life as a hired assassin, but she balks at an assignment to kill a single father (Goran Visnjic, ER) and his teenage daughter (Kirsten Prout). That makes her the target of the Hand, an organization of murderous ninjas, scheming corporate types, and a band of stylish supervillains seeking to eliminate Elektra and tip the balance of power in the ongoing battle of good vs. evil.

As the star of Alias, Garner has proven that she can kick butt with the best of them, and some of the visual effects are impressive, but the action sequences tend to be anticlimactic, and there's not much to the story. Fans will notice numerous references to Frank Miller's comic books, but there's very little resemblance to Miller's cold-blooded killer (Elektra with an agent? Elektra referring to herself as a "soccer mom"?).

Is Elektra better than Daredevil? Not really, even with the distinct advantage of having all Garner and no Ben Affleck. That could be the spinoff's greatest disappointment: after Spider-Man 2 raised the bar for comic-book movies, Elektra lowered it back to Daredevil's level.Directed by Rob Bowman (the X-Files movie), and featuring Terence Stamp as the mysterious mentor Stick, Will Yun Lee (Die Another Day) as the chief villain, and NFL-player-turned-mixed-martial-arts-champion Bob Sapp as the immovable Stone.

DVD features
Ben Affleck's much-rumored cameo is one of the deleted scenes on the Elektra DVD.It's a one-minute throwaway, and while he's supposedly appearing as Matt Murdock (who romanced Elektra in Daredevil), the barrage of celebrity gossip makes it impossible to see him as anything other than Jennifer Garner's real-life boyfriend.There's also a making-of featurette, which is mostly promotional hype other than a few interesting effects shots; four editing featurettes; and Jennifer Garner's videotaped message to ComicCon.--David Horiuchi

More on Elektra

Elektra: The Album (Soundtrack CD)

Elektra: The Movie (Comic Adaptation)

Frank Miller Comic Books

Daredevil (Director's Cut) (DVD)

Jennifer Garner stars in Alias (DVD)

More Superhero DVDs
... Read more

Reviews (163)

3-0 out of 5 stars Not bad
I don't understand when people complain about Elektra being trashy. Com' on, you know you're watching a comic character, a character written from comics, how intellectual do you want the movie to be?

I love the trashiness of the movie.

1-0 out of 5 stars More like E-Suck-tra...
This was one of the crappiest movie I have ever seen in the history of movies. The boss fights were stupid, the final boss, stupid, The tatoo guy that was supposed to be TOTALLY sweet died way way way too easily. She had this stiff pissed look the entire movie which just made me fell Stiff and pissed. I think the only part I found entertaining was how they died, If you want to laugh get this movie, if you want action(which is what you expect from this movie) Go try Samurai Champloo.

1-0 out of 5 stars good dvd release but worst superhero movie i've ever seen
I'd never seen this movie in big screen, but one of my friends told me it was an average movie. when the dvd released, I Bought to put it near my daredevil DVDs (special 2 discs edition & directors cut), oh my... when i watched it... it was not an average movie but one of the worst superhero movies i've ever seen. too much lies! terrible actings and a boring story! not comperable with daredevil in any way, daredevil was a five star movie but this can hardly get one star! its just like one of jackie chan recent and cheap movies with a TV Worthy picture and special effects. it's not even worth to rent. don't be fool by the beautiful and kind of sexy photo on the cover of dvd! don't buy it even you are a super hero DVD Collector

4-0 out of 5 stars Good acting , silly story
I was surprised that someone like Jason Isaacs would appear in a movie like this... special effects are very good, but still, the story wasn't very good. Goran Visnjic did a great job, excellent. But I don't it if you want to have some fun.

3-0 out of 5 stars A Different Concept ?!!/ Disappointing and Medicore!!!!
I personaly am a comic book fan and can tell you from experience that the comics of Elektra are way better. The movie was somewhat weak with barely any action scenes!!! The only good part of the movie was Jennifer Garner which put some flavor into the movie and was in fact perfect for playing the part of Elektra!!! I place all blame on marvel who basically focused too much on setting up for the sequel and less on the action!!! This movie had so much potential but in the end it was barely amusing!!! If you want the truth the only reason I gave this movie 3 stars was because, of pitty and Jennifer Garner!!! It was a nobel effort but there are way better movies than this!!! The special features aren't that special either and not worth buying the movie over!!! Some hardcore Elektra fans will have a special place in their hearts for this movie!!! Don't buy this movie because of Jennifer Garner, if you want to see more of her just watch Alias/ or buy the first season!!! Marvel used to be about making comics and pleasing their main fan group, but now they have turned into a bunch of corporate business investors trying to make a profits!! The movie "Hulk" was even worse than this, which makes this look good!!! If you are looking for good movies from marvel here are some suggestion:

spiderman 2
X Men
X Men 2
The Punisher
The Incredibles

I hope Marvel is wise and makes more movies like the one's listed above!!! I suggest you rent this movie first to see if you truly want it!!! If you are a action fan like me you will probably not like it!!! Better luck on the sequel!!!

-Anonymous ... Read more

55. Saturday Night Fever
Director: John Badham
list price: $14.99
our price: $11.24
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00003CXCH
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 984
Average Customer Review: 4.24 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan essential video

Saturday Night Fever is one of those movies that comes along and seems to change the cultural temperature in a flash. After the movie's release in 1977, disco ruled the dance floors, and a blow-dried member of a TV-sitcom ensemble became the hottest star in the U.S. For all that, the story is conventional: a 19-year-old Italian American from Brooklyn, Tony Manero (John Travolta), works in a humble paint store and lives with his family. After dark, he becomes the polyester-clad stallion of the local nightclub; Tony's brother, a priest, observes that when Tony hits the dance floor, the crowd parts like the Red Sea before Moses. Director John Badham captures the electric connection between music and dance, and also the desperation that lies beneath Tony's ambitions to break out of his limited world. The soundtrack, which spawned a massively successful album, is dominated by the disco classics of the Bee Gees, including "Staying Alive" (Travolta's theme during the strutting opening) and "Night Fever." The Oscar®-nominated Travolta, plucked from the cast of Welcome Back, Kotter, for his first starring role, is incandescent and unbelievably confident, and his dancing is terrific. Oh, and the white suit rules. --Robert Horton ... Read more

Reviews (93)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Disco Era Classic Film
In 1977 not everybody knew what the innovative disco music was, and to what extent night clubing was going on. This film depicts John Travolta as Brookyn's Tony Manero, hero to the dance floor. His dead end job at a paint store makes him live for The Saturday Night disco scene. Travolta meets Karen Gorney and enters a dance contest with her but she refuses his sexuall advances. Gorney sees herself going to Manhattan to move on with her life. Travolta sees her as a snob. One local girl played by Donna Pescow likes Travolta but is pushed away by him for Gorneys character since she's a better dancer and Pescow is considered boring. What underlies is Trvoltas often at odds relationship with his family. Racial gang wars and a friend you can't help but wonder about his sexuality. Not only did this movie imitate the era, it influenced the next seven years with it's record selling soundtrack and the great timing in which some of the best nightclubs in America remained open. The movies message is vague but lets you fill in the blanks as Travoltas (Manero) becomes fed up with his existing lifestyle. Moviegoers became so enthralled with it, it would continue into the mid 80's. A PG version was recut to feature the dancing and less social conciousness with virtually no explicit language. This movie had one of the biggest impacts of late 70's films!

5-0 out of 5 stars More relevant after all these years
After reading all the reviews, the one by Gareth from Disco Mountain hits it right on the head. I loved it when it came out almost 25 years ago, I think it's a masterpiece now. There's no dead space in that movie. When you consider all the issues raised, it's astounding that more people don't see the authenticity and humanity within all the flaws of the characters. What Badham did was create a seamless integration of many contemporary themes, and they still hold today in some other neighborhood anywhere in the world. First, it has some of the most natural dialogue ever written. Gritty and powerful and sexy. When I first saw it, I reacted to it with passion. Today, I see the brilliant writing and directing, and those issues! feminism, racism, class consciousness, family dysfunction, religious uncertainty, teenage angst, the inevitable changes encroaching the neighborhood. And all these social commentaries to the beat of nonstop, exhilirating music. The apathy and despair in the family scenes alone go right to the gut. I know these people! Finally, blend that in with those great Brooklyn accents, the dancing, Travolta and company, and you've got one of the most authentic movies made in the last 25 years.

4-0 out of 5 stars Admit it
You liked this movie when it came out. And John Travolta's dancing was possibly the coolest thing you'd ever seen. Then came the disco backlash and it suddenly was uncool. Which is unfair because this movie is a classic of time and place, despite it's technical flaws (the occasional visible boom mike, obvious reuse of 2nd unit dance footage, and conversations where lips aren't moving.) Not for nothing was this the late, great Gene Siskel's favorite movie instead of say, Roller Boogie or Can't Stop the Music.

I was going to write about some of the best scenes from this movie but who HASN'T seen it? Instead, let's just focus on this DVD. It does have some extras which are always nice but they are on the skimpy side. There are 3 deleted scenes that are largely throw-aways. I'm curious why they didn't include the extra footage they used for the PG version which includes more dance scenes. There is a decent VH1 Behind the Music episode about it. If you saw it when it was on, then there's no reason to see it again; although it does have some fabulous rehearsal footage of John that's definitely worth viewing. The best of the bunch is director John Badham's commentary which is very good and exactly what a director commentary should be-peppered with amusing trivia (e.g. the lady who played Travolta's grandmother kept presenting him with scenes she had written to beef up her part), technical details, and wry humor. And plus you have a true screen classic on DVD. Re-watch it after all these years and still discover something new to enjoy.

5-0 out of 5 stars Any night fever
John Travolta makes his starring film debut in this film as Tony Manero,a paint store sales associate who during the day is at the store and is at the real non-existent 2001 Odyssey discotheque and nightclub at night. Karen Lynn Gorney is Stephanie Mangano,a girl Tony meets at a dance studio. They'd later go to 2001 Odyssey together. Tony still lives with his mom,dad and his little sister in Brooklyn and in the last scene,announces to Stephanie his plan to move to Manhattan where she lives. Tony's buddies went with him to the nightclub also. Tony loses his job at the paint store after he takes a day off against his boss's authority. Tony is later reinstated. John Travolta was the star of TV's "Welcome Back Kotter" when he made this film. It wouldn't be long after wrapping up this film that he'd do his next starring film "Grease" with singer Olivia Newton-John. The soundtrack album is the biggest-selling in pop music history thanks in part to 5 songs on the album by the Bee Gees. Their composition IF I CAN'T HAVE YOU,was recorded by Yvonne Elliman. The Bee Gees would later record the song themselves. However,there are 2 versions of MORE THAN A WOMAN on the album,recorded by the Bee Gees and Tavares. Get a load of,in one of the first scenes,Travolta strutting while simultaneously eating two slices of pizza! The Matrix in Bay Ridge,Brooklyn now stands where 2001 Odyssey did. In addition to the Bee Gees,we hear great songs by K.C. and the Sunshine Band,Kool & The Gang and even the Trampps' DISCO INFERNO(10 minutes and 52 seconds in length on the album). Director John Badham later directed Mel Gibson and Goldie Hawn in BIRD ON A WIRE. There's also in the film,Donna Pescow as Annette,who was Tony's girlfriend before Stephanie and Martin Shakar as Tony's minister brother,who quit the priesthood and returned home. After its theatrical release 26 years ago,SNF remains one of the most popular all-time films.

5-0 out of 5 stars YOU SHOULD BE DANCIN' YEAH!!!!!

56. Saturday Night Live: The Best of Chris Farley
Director: Gary Weis, Bill D'Elia, Dave Wilson, Walter Williams (IV), James Signorelli, Tim Robbins, Beth McCarthy-Miller, Christopher Guest, Mike Judge, Robert Altman, Adam McKay, Eric Idle, Andy Warhol, Robert Marianetti, Claude Kerven, David Wachtenheim, Paul Miller, Albert Brooks, Paul Thomas Anderson, Robert Smigel
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Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars this is the best fukin SNL movie ever
this is one hilarious gut busting comedy with all of chris farleys greatest SNL moments. GET THIS DVD

5-0 out of 5 stars Mostly great for boring times
I saw this at a friends house. It's pretty funny, but some is not. ... Read more

57. The Princess and the Pirate
Director: Sidney Lanfield, David Butler
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Asin: B0007O3902
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Bob Hope is in top form in this Technicolor parody of pirate pictures, doing his best vaudeville shtick as an inept performer trying to save princess Virginia Mayo from the evil clutches of governor Walter Slezak and pirate Victor McLaglen. It's all ridiculous fun, of course, but if you're a fan of Hope, you never tire of his self-effacing gags and double-entendres. His out-of-place show biz jabs were always clever, and they're all the funnier in this period setting--particularly the Bing Crosby jokes. But Walter Brennan nearly steals the film as a wacky pirate scheming to steal buried treasure, and tattooing the map on Hope's chest. Yet the two best routines are when Hope tries to conceal his chest while taking a bath with Slezak, and when he tries to impersonate McLaglen as "the Hook." --Bill Desowitz ... Read more

Reviews (10)

4-0 out of 5 stars Bob Hope as the classic cowardly pirate
"The Princess and the Pirate" is one of my favourite Bob Hope comedies right up there with "My Favourite Blonde" and "The Ghost Breakers". During the war years escapism was high on peoples wish list and the period saw an influx of top grade pirate adventures set in far off lands on screen such as "The Sea Hawk", and "The Black Swan". Bob Hope, ever quick to pick up on the latest popular trends created his own mini classic here in "The Princess and the Pirate", with a roushing send up of the whole Pirate genre that suited his comic talents to a tee.

This film has it all, from cut throat pirates to beautiful maidens in distress, fantastic galleons filled with treasure, beautiful technicolour, swashbuckling sword play and at the centre the comic Hope in one of his famous coward roles filled with hilarious one liners. Of course no Hope film would be complete without a few Bing Crosby jokes and they are laid on in abundance here. Even San Goldwyn who produced this film comes in for a comic slaying! Bob Hope playsSylvester the Great a second rate performing act who unknowingly gets involved with a group of cut throat pirates headed bythe notorious "The Hook' played superbly by Victor Mclaglen. In a plot too convoluted to lay out here Hope unknowingly gets a rare treasure map tatooed onto his chest and thus becomes the target for the greedy pirates bent on retreiving the treasure. Along the way Sylvester becomes involved with the Princess Margaret (played by the lovely Virginia Mayo)who is being held as a captive by the pirates and who in a surprise twist at the finale, after romancing Hope throughout the entire film suddenly runs into the arms of a well known rival of Hope's whos name I wont mention here!!

The film is full of wonderful scenes and performances. Walter Brennan in a distinct change of pace literally steals the show as the wacky featherhead, the giggling pirate who tattoes the map onto Hope's chest. Bob Hope's quip upon hearing him giggling to "hurry up and lay that egg" is probably one of the funniest lines in the whole film. Virginia Mayo while perhaps not the best leading lady that Bob Hope had in his films is cooly beautiful as Princess Margaret but does perhaps lack a bit of the fire that a Maureen O'Hara type would have brought to the role. Bob Hope I feel has one of his very best roles here. Whether he is playing the wisecracking Sylvester ducking from cut throat killers or dressed as a cackling old gypsy womanto avoid detection on the pirate ship, romancing the Princess or deceiving the dreaded Hook and the govenor, he is in fine form full of the lovable quips and Crosby insults that were his stock in trade. Hilarious scenes abound throughout "The Princess and the Pirate". Stand outs are the priceless scene where Hope and the princess arrive at the boarding house in port to find a room for the night and find that the previous occupant had mysteriously "checked out" while leaving all his clothes! and the absolute rib tickler where Bob ends up sharing a bath with the corrupt governer La Roche (Walter Slezak in another funny performance) and tries to hide the tattoo of the treasure map from him, that one is guaranteed to have you laughing till you drop!.

The overall look of this production is lavish and no expenses was ever spared on Bob Hope films around this time. The colour is beautiful and the costumes, sets, and period flavour are top notch. For a fun filled, hour and a half of pure mayhem and Hope madness "The Princess and the Pirate", is unsurpassed. If you are a Hope fan like I am you cannot miss this one to see him at the absolute peak of his abilities and comic timing. Enjoy a rousing time on the high seas with Bob Hope at his cowardly best!!

5-0 out of 5 stars a great and beautiful film!
This film is very good, so entertaining and colorful.It's packed, with glamoour, romance, comedy, and adventure.A little of everything.Virginia Mayo is wonderful in it and so is Bob Hope.

4-0 out of 5 stars Classic Gut-buster
My siblings and I caught this movie on Sunday afternoon TV once, and laughed until we cried.Very silly gags interspersed with hilarious one-liners make this oldie stay fresh.I'm not someone who generally likes classic comedy, and I LOVE this movie!

4-0 out of 5 stars Good, simple pic
Everytime Bob Hope made a picture in a costume, people would cringe.It doesn't have to be that way, as this movie is heads and tails above "Cassanova's Big Night".This is a fun, silly pirate movie that I loved as a kid, and still love now as a twenty-something unemployed male unable to graduate from a state college.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good, simple pic
Everytime Bob Hope made a picture in a costume, people would cringe.It doesn't have to be that way, as this movie is heads and tails above "Cassanova's Big Night".This is a fun, silly pirate movie that I loved as a kid, and still love now as a twenty-something unemployed male unable to graduate from a state college. ... Read more

58. Ken Burns' America Collection (Brooklyn Bridge/The Statue of Liberty/Empire of the Air/The Congress/Thomas Hart Benton/Huey Long/The Shakers)
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These seven brilliant programs by America's foremost documentary filmmaker comprise a glorious anthem to a great nation and its people. "Brooklyn Bridge" and "Statue of Liberty" chronicle the conception and building of these magnificent structures that grace New York Harbor. "Empire of the Air" is an absorbing history of radio and the men who created it, while "The Congress" is a fascinating portrait of this unique American institution. Opposites in almost every way, artist "Thomas Hart Benton" and politician "Huey Long" are portrayed in compelling biographies. "The Shakers" is a moving tribute to the most enduring religious experiment in American history. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent collection of Ken Burns' shorter works.
This collection contains seven of Ken Burns' shorter documentary works that range from his early days as a film maker to those that show him at the height of his craft. While "The Brooklyn Bridge" is rather weak, the other six films more than make up for it. Truly an excellent showcase for Burns. See below for a review of each film in this collection.

"The Brooklyn Bridge: Running Time: 60 minutes Narrated by David McCullough

Although parts of "The Brooklyn Bridge" hint at the excellent work Ken Burns would produce in later films, this particular documentary falters in its last 20 minutes.

The Brooklyn Bridge is many stories, but it's mainly the tale of how perseverance can make an almost impossible vision take form. The Bridge took many years and several million dollars to build. It faced political and social opposition. It weathered scandals and corruption. And when it was over, it stood as a monument to mechanical brilliance and souful aspirations. Burns only spends forty minutes on the story of the Bridge's construction. He spends the last 20 minutes focusing on what the Bridge means to various scholars, poets and New Yorkers; this is where the film lags. Admittedly, the Bridge is important as a cultural icon, not just for New York, but for America. However, if Burns was going to devote this much time to testimonials, then the film should have been at least 90 minutes or, better yet, two hours.

When the film concentrates on the Bridge's construction, it shines. Burns has carefully selected photos, drawings, contemporary newspaper accounts and personal journals of key participants in the Bridge's inception to vibrantly tell this story. He just should have spent more time on his subject. The pace of this documentary is so hurried and awkward, you can tell where Burns is skipping key parts of the story in order to get to the testimonials. A good effort, but it pales before his later output.

"The Statue of Liberty" Running Time: 60 minutes Narrated by David McCullough

"The Statue of Liberty" by Ken Burns is a moving testament to the spirit of the American ideal. Like Burns' earlier "Brooklyn Bridge," this film also chronicles the construction of an American landmark as well as the reactions of various people to what that landmark stands for. Unlike the "Brooklyn Bridge," however, this approach works in "The Statue of Liberty." What the Statue means to one person or another is part of its importance, and Burns has captured that beautifully.

Using wonderful footage, sketches, photos and personal accounts of its construction, Burns ably documents the struggle to make a vision a reality. Burns well captures the engineering brilliance required to build the Statue. He also illustrates how the Statue has become a representation of the best and worst of our American ideals. The Statue is a symbol of new hope and second chances, and this film illuminates the power of that symbol.

"The Shakers: Hands to Work, Hearts to God" Running Time: 60 minutes Narrated by David McCullough

In "The Shakers: Hands to Work, Hearts to God" Ken Burns truly hit his stride as a documentarian. By combining personal journals of early Shakers, historic and social commentary of scholars and contemporaries, and wonderfully insightful interviews with present day Shakers, Burns tells a simple story, but tells it beautifully. By illustrating the Shaker life and ideology, Burns presents a group of dedicated people who strove to put God into every aspect of their lives.

If you know the Shakers for only their furniture and ritual dancing, then this film will illuminate your understanding of early America's most powerful Utopian movement.

"Thomas Hart Benton" Running Time: 60 minutes Narrated by Jason Robards

"Thomas Hart Benton" is a revealing and immensely watchable biography of an artist who probably reached more Americans than any other. As Ken Burns ably proves, Benton's work captured the spirit and history of the average American man and woman.

Combining samples of Benton's work, interviews with art critics, family, friends and enemies as well as footage of Benton himself, Burns presents a perfectly balanced approach to an artist's life and his statement of America as a struggling, vibrant land.

You don't have to like Benton's art to like this film. In fact, several of the critics Burns interviewed for this one-hour documentary dismiss Benton as a serious artist. However, what they say about Benton is as revealing as the praise of critics who revere him. Perfectly balanced and entertaining. "Empire of the Air" Running Time: 120 minutes Narrated by Jason Robards

Although Marconi may have invented the technology for radio, three men made it a force for change. "Empire of the Air" examines the lives of those men, Lee de Forest, Edwin Armstrong and David Sarnoff. All three would contribute some necessary component to radio's development, but could never agree or acknowledge the work of the other.

Today we take radio's constant presence and role for granted, but this documentary proves what a struggle it was to bring it into being. Burns uses personal interviews with the key players in radio's development and their contemporaries, as well as archival footage and historical commentary to illustrate how radio has impacted us as a society. The story of radio's three primary "fathers" plays like a radio drama full of struggle, triumph and tragedy. This is an outstanding documentary.

"Huey Long" Running Time: 90 minutes Narrated by David McCullough

Although forgotten or largely discounted today, Huey Long came closer to becoming a total dictator than any other American. This film by Ken Burns brings the power and presence of Long into its proper context of a poor and desperate state in the throes of a crippling depression. Burns illustrates this documentary with excellent interviews with Long's contemporaries, constituents, friends and opponents. There is also revealing footage of Long himself that reflects his intended image of a "countrified buffoon," which caused his enemies to underestimate him. This doucmentary brings Long back to life as a veritable dictator who might have won the presidency if not for his assassination.

The film's main strength lies in its balanced approach to this controversial figure. Although Burns interviewed many of Long's enemies, he also sought the opinion of the average Louisiana citizen who benefited from Long's provision of free school books and hospital care. These people were Long's source of strength of power who still regard him as a great man and never cared how Long managed to give them these things. Again, Burns balances the man who provided relief to a struggling people, and the dictator who compromised decomcracy in order to provide that relief. This is an excellent documentary.

"The Congress" Running Time: 90 minutes Narrated by David McCullough

Ken Burns' "The Congress" is a wonderful history of an essential but underrated American institution. In only ninety minutes, Burns captures the strengths and weaknesses of our legislative branch like few documentarians could. Congress, often accused of gridlock and pork barrelling, actually exemplifies the American ideal of self-rule. This film touches on key successes and failures of this body throughout its entire history. Burns examines the contributions of such pivotal congressmen as Joe Cannon, Henry Clay, Daniel Webster, George Norris and a host of others. Burns alters our current perspective of Congress to show us an organization of great power that has, at times, ruled the country in counterbalance to weak presidents.

Burns uses contemporary newspaper accounts, archival footage, personal interviews, and journals to transform Congress's history in a fascinating parade of men and women who represented the best and worst of America. A great film. ... Read more

59. Blackboard Jungle
Director: Richard Brooks
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Novelist Evan Hunter burst America's postwar bubble when he described an inner-city school terrorized by switchblade-wielding juvenile delinquents. Director-screenwriter Richard Brooks's 1955 adaptation of Blackboard Jungle still packs a tremendous wallop (even if it was shot mostly on the back lot). A forerunner of Rebel Without a Cause and West Side Story, this black-and-white classic--set to Bill Haley and His Comets' "Rock Around the Clock"--is part exposé, part melodrama, part public-service announcement. "It is the frankest, the toughest, the most realistic film since On the Waterfront," ballyhooed MGM at the time.

Glenn Ford, at his slow-to-rile best, plays Richard Dadier, an incoming English teacher at North Manual High School. An idealist who knows how to handle himself in a dark alley, Dadier stands his ground and earns the begrudging respect of school thugs led by Vic Morrow and Sidney Poitier. Anne Francis plays Ford's especially vulnerable wife; Richard Kiley (later in Brooks's Looking for Mr. Goodbar) is the timid math teacher with the priceless jazz-record collection; Louis Calhern and John Hoyt are among the more cynical North Manual High veterans. See if you can ID Jamie Farr and director Paul Mazursky as gang members. The film was nominated for four Oscars. --Glenn Lovell ... Read more

Reviews (15)

4-0 out of 5 stars More Exploitation Than Exploration of Juvenile Delinquency
"The Blackboard Jungle" raises many interesting questions about the root causes of student apathy and delinquency in the inner-city schools.At the same time it seems to wallow in the most extreme behavior of students i.e. a near rape of an attractive female teacher, multiple assaults on teachers, a student brandishing a switchblade in the classroom.One character is enigmatic to me, the Artie West character played by Vic Morrow.Not to say that Morrow doesn't play the character well because he is sufficiently menacing but it seemed over-the-top for the film.There is much to recommend in this film particularly the starring role of Richard Dadier played by Glenn Ford.Ford's solid acting keeps the film from veering into melodrama.A young Sidney Poitier as Gregory Miller, a gifted student whose superior intellect is wasted in this apathetic environment, does a charismatic turn.In a note of irony, in 1967 Poitier portrayed a teacher attempting to make a difference in an inner-city school in what I feel is a superior film, "To Sir, With Love".

5-0 out of 5 stars "Jungle" vs. "Rebel"
"Blackboard Jungle" vs. "Rebel Without A Cause". The two most provocative films of juvenile delinquency from the same year. Both have their own identity and attitude. Here's how they compare in the "Tale of the Tape(or DVD)":


Jungle: Mean streets of New York.
Rebel: Squeaky-clean 'burbs of L.A.

Advantage: Jungle. Couldn't be grittier.

Targets of Hostility:

Jungle: Teachers
Rebel: Parents

Advantage: Jungle. It got funny when Kotter's Sweathogs did it.

Future Movie Icon:

Jungle: Sidney Poitier
Rebel: James Dean

Advantage: Dean. Too fast to live, too young to die.

Future Doomed Supporting Player(s):

Jungle: Vic Morrow
Rebel: Natalie Wood, Sal Mineo, Nick Adams

Advantage: Rebel. At least Natalie won an Oscar and married Robert Wagner.

Future Director:

Jungle: Paul Mazursky
Rebel: Dennis Hopper

Advantage: Hopper. "Easy Rider" was the 60s "Rebel Without a Cause"

Future Sitcom Support Player:

Jungle: Jamie Farr(Klinger)
Rebel: Jim Backus(Thurston Howell III)

Advantage: Farr. So that explains the dress!

Favorite Class Clowning:

Jungle: Mr. Dadier(Glenn Ford)'s kids calling him "Daddy-O"
Rebel: Jim Stark(James Dean)'s "moo" noise at the planetarium.

Advantage: Jungle. It inspired the Coasters' lyric, "Who calls the English teacher 'Daddy-O'? Charlie Brown..."

Any other comparisons?

4-0 out of 5 stars Those "Rock around the clock" times!
This film announced from another angle the enormous no satisfaction social disseminated in several social spheres. This generation who was born just at the beggining of the WW2 expressed with the characteristic rage the rules. This behavior has been an eternal ritornello. The ingenuity innocent , the continue defy to the Status Quo has prevailed always, but specially in those hopeless and confused ages when the radical changes in the whole world even drew new expectations and questions: the rock was an important mass phenomena and somehow allowed to overthrow a good portion of cumulate tensions. In the other side of the Atlantic Ocean the New Wave was born with similar proposals.

The familiar conflicts, the huge number of orphans, the alcoholism , the obvious fear to the ghost of the nuclear weapons, the presence of the Cold War needed some answers but most of the adults ignored them , which it meant a major social effervescence.

Blackboard jungle works out as a frenetic emblem of the miscarried youth, orphan of love and spiritual guides.

Vic Morrow and Sidney Poitier were particularly effective. Glenn Ford's tour de force acting lead this movie with special credibility.

By these destiny's ironies , ten years after Poitier would be just in the other side of the classroom in "To sir with love".

5-0 out of 5 stars Awakening a Generation
Restless post-war youth may have hit the road on Brando's motorcycle, but it wasn't until this film that they found their sound. From driving downbeat to throbbing close, Bill Haley's title tune promises a party around-the-clock -- from twelve midnight to broad daylight -- to which teens of the day responded with uncaged delight, raucous cheers, and spontaneous twirling in the aisles. A full year before Elvis, a new generation was on its feet, the legendary youth culture was born, and Rock and Roll was here to stay. America would never be the same -- a mighty heavy load for one modest B-movie from famously conservativeMGM!

Needless to say, the film is an absolute must. Minimize the story line which veers from 50's-style social realism to mild reassurances from writer-director Richard Brooks, (this was, after all, the height of the Cold War and the restrictive production code). Instead, concentrate on the seminal images and associations, so vividly presented, whose residue continues to the present day: Rock-music -- unruly youth -- alcohol and violent sex --menacing urban underclass. And in two of the most symbolic scenes -- thetrashing of Richard Kiley's record collection and thethrusting arms through the iron bars --there are serious overtones of barbarians at the gates, against which Glenn Ford's reflex liberalism appears tellingly inadequate. From this point on, only communism was more feared than the spread of Rock-and-Roll and its seditious offspring, juvenile delinquency.

Sure, there are better films from that era than Blackboard, maybe even better teen movies. But, arguably, none are more significant to the course of popular culture. For a brief accidental moment, a little movie from Hollywood not only reflected emergent trends from deep within society, but mobilized them as well. With: a grimly determined Glenn Ford, an arrogantly sinister Vic Morrow, a decidedly unthreatening Sidney Poitier, and in a usual thankless supporting role, the great John Hoyt, whose memorably cruel face was born to preside over either prisons or high schools, take your pick.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Rock and Roll Era Begins
I saw this movie in 1955. It was one of the best in that age in the genre about alienated youth, dealing as it did with ghetto kids and minorities rather than the spoiled brats of "Rebel Without a Cause."

Most of all, the movie introduced me and a million other kids to Rock and Roll.I remember listening spellbound to "Rock Around the Clock" by Bill Haley and the Comets at the end of the movie.Something, I perceived in my little noodle brain, had changed -- and nothing would ever be the same again. ... Read more

60. Stealing Beauty
Director: Bernardo Bertolucci
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4-0 out of 5 stars A Beautiful Vacation
In this 1996 film, Liv Tyler makes her stunning debut. Set to a soundtrack that is a good mix of quintessentially '90's music (a la Portishead and Liz Phair) and retro classics (like "My Baby Just Cares For Me" and "I'll Be Seeing You,"), this film takes both Liv's character, Lucy, as well as the viewer, on a journey into mystery and enchantment. Lucy embarks on her journey to Italy after the death of her mother, a famous poet and artist. She travels there in search of greater knowledge about her mother, who spent a brief few weeks there one summer. But what Lucy really uncovers in Tuscany are the answers to secrets in her past. And, as the film goes on, she discovers more and more about herself, and the woman she is to become. This film is a great, slowly paced meditation on sex, love, art and self-awareness. When Lucy finds out that she was "conceived" in the olive groves of the artists' villa there, her curiosity deepens and the search for her birth father becomes one of the main goals in her journey. Faced with the loss of a future with her mother, Lucy is looking towards the past for information about those she loves, for knowledge about herself and where she came from, and for hints about where this might lead her as she takes on the life of an adult.

The film begins with shots of Lucy sleeping on the train on her way to Tuscany. There is even one devilish strategic close-up shot of her jeans which is perhaps explained later in the film when it is revealed in a comical exchange between Lucy and Jeremy Irons' character that the beautiful 19 year old Lucy is a virgin. Unbeknownst to Lucy, she was being taped on her journey by a fellow passenger on the train. But he gives her "beauty" back to her in the form of the videotape. Her fate is still in her hands. From there, the film follows several slow, melodic plot lines, one of which is the attempt to find the perfect first sexual partner for the young and much-loved Lucy.

Liv plays a perfect beauty here. She is innocent, touching, bright, curious, and passionate, and as the film goes on, she takes a cue from the artists at the villa and becomes and more free in her expression, more comfortable in her own skin. But she is also careful. She wants her passion to be shared with someone worthy of it, someone who gives as well as takes. It takes a while for her to find out who that perfect catch is, but as in life, the story is what happens while she is waiting for the "pay-off."

Her curious habit of striking a match to each finished poem and burning it up seems to say that she is not yet confident in her artistic abilities, that she wants to keep some things sacred, private. She is cautiously awaiting sharing herself on a deeper level with those whom she grows to love.

Jeremy Irons' character, a man struck by illness in the most beautiful of places, is a nice offset to the virginal beauty of Tyler. Together, they bring the film full circle from youth and glowing health to the natural course of death and dying. The attention they pay to one another is mutual. Lucy in this way is wise as well as youthful.

The countryside in this film is magical. The vineyards of Tuscany, with the glowing sun above, are lovingly captured by Bertolucci. The film is as much an ode to youth and innocence, and the inevitable loss of it (which I think Bertolucci is saying can also be beautiful) as it is to the Italian countryside.

Others in the film who have gone on to receive wide acclaim and appear in such movies as Shakespeare in Love, Elizabeth, Swept From the Sea, and The Mummy are the two British actors Joseph Fiennes and Rachael Weisz.

4-0 out of 5 stars gorgeous at every turn
If you watch this film for nothing else, soak in the beauty of the setting.
While I enjoy this film for both its plot and its artistic/aesthetic qualities, I have to admit that it is at its most stunning best when it comes to its cinematography. what a gorgeous backdrop for a virgin coming-of-age story! the plot may be a bit tired, and the characters too well known, but the twists that are supplied are enough to make it engaging. Liv Tyler is, of course, gorgeous and mesmorizing. The Italian and British actors that flank her almost eclipse her, but as her debut film, she does truly shine.
There are several scenes that are physically intriguing, but I most enjoyed the entire "party" sequence.... some odd, yet stunning filming.
Let's face it, everyone in this film is beautiful to look at (even Jeremy Irons as a dying man). You begin to lose interest in Lucy's (Tyler) quest at some point, but once the answer is revealed it is still somewhat satisfying.
I can highly reccommend this film to anyone that is into gorgeous scenery, lovely and easy story lines, and has and eye for the pleasing aesthetic so many films lack these days. Nothing earth-moving... but a VERY pleasant movie experience!

5-0 out of 5 stars it's my favorite, but not for everyone
you may not, but i love this movie. the characters are solidly interesting and well-played, the storyline is simple but itriguing, and it has simply beautiful scenery.

3-0 out of 5 stars Good movie but needs subtitles in parts
I really like this movie. The scenery is beautiful and the movie's focus on the interactions between a variety of characters in the Italian countryside is interesting. I would rate it higher except for one thing- quite a bit of the movie is in Italian and there are no subtitles for this dialogue. This really doesn't make sense, especially considering the vhs copy that I use to own did have them. The parts in Italian aren't just snippets of dialogue either- some are entire conversations. If you've seen this many times with subtitles (and know what they're saying in Italian) I would definitely buy it. If not, it's still a good purchase but be aware that you're missing quite a bit of the movie.

1-0 out of 5 stars What about "no stars"?
As an Italian (who teaches Italian in HS and college in the U.S.) I really looked forward to a good film after one of my students recommended this one to me.

As a professor, I can sit through a lot of boring stuff, but this movie was so awful I couldn't even finish it. The scenery is nice but after watching this film for over an hour I found it to be pointless. ... Read more

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