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141. The Best of the Power Rangers
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142. Runaway Jury (Widescreen Edition)
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143. The Island of Dr. Moreau
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144. Horror of Dracula
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145. The Sea Chase
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146. Panic Room (Superbit Collection)
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147. Michael Jackson - Dangerous: The
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148. Lightning in a Bottle
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149. Joan of Arc
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150. The French Connection (Five Star
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151. Little Man Tate
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152. Ragtime
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153. The Best of Arli$$, Vol. 1
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154. House of Bamboo
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155. Things to Do in Denver When You're
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156. One True Thing
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157. Tales from Avonlea - Beginnings
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158. 8 1/2 (Single Disc Edition)
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159. Andersonville
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160. Dutch

141. The Best of the Power Rangers - The Ultimate Rangers
Director: John Weil, Paul Schrier, Jonathan Tzachor, Worth Keeter, Adrian Carr, David Blyth, Robert Radler, Armand Garabidian, John Blizek, John Stewart, Vickie Bronaugh, Terence H. Winkless, Robert Hughes (II), Shuki Levy, Larry Litton, Marco Garibaldi, Strathford Hamilton, Isaac Florentine, Jeffrey Reiner, Douglas Sloan
list price: $19.99
our price: $15.99
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Asin: B00007AJGJ
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 3590
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Chosen by fans, the five Power Rangers episodes on this disc are a cross-section of major events from the long-running series. (Dear to the hearts of PR faithful is remembering the succession of actors and characters who have donned Ranger costumes at different times. This anthology helps.) "White Light Parts 1 & 2," from season two, finds Lord Zedd unleashing the very strange Scarlet Sentinel, and the Rangers in nervous anticipation of their new leader, the unidentified White Ranger. "Countdown to Destruction Parts 1 & 2" would probably impress Roger Corman with its budget-conscious but slick mix of stock footage, computer effects, and rapid cutting in the story of the Rangers' near-defeat battling an invasion of Earth. Another nostalgic favorite, "Wild Force: Forever Red," involves an exciting reunion of past and present Red Rangers. Wild, crazy, engrossing stuff, though special features would have been nice. --Tom Keogh ... Read more

Reviews (20)

3-0 out of 5 stars The ultimate episode collection... not quite
It was about high time that Disney had finally released Power Ranger episodes on DVD, rather than just the direct-to-VHS approach that it did when it had first bought the franchise (including the entire Saban video library) in August 2001. I was so excited when I heard that a DVD was coming out that had eight different episodes on it, and I decided to get a copy when it came out.

THE EPISODES

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: White Light - Parts 1 & 2 ~ This 2-part episode is one of the better episodes of season two of MMPR. Lord Zedd sends down the Scarlet Sentinel, and the Power Rangers need more help to defeat the monster. Zordon and Alpha create a sixth Ranger - the White Ranger - to help defeat the Scarlet Sentinel. Entertaining, but it's not one of the best episodes.

Power Rangers In Space: Countdown to Destruction - Parts 1 & 2 ~ This 2-part episode has been begging for a DVD release ever since it first premiered in 1998. The Space Rangers face massive armies as Astronema attacks the Earth, and the Rangers are nearly defeated. This episode is the pre-9/11 cut, so that the footage that was cut out is put back in.

Power Rangers Lost Galaxy: To the Tenth Power ~ Trakeena discovers the five Psycho Ranger data cards and decides to reanimate them to attack the Galaxy Rangers. Then Andros arrives with the Space Rangers to help defeat them. One of the best episodes, although inclusion of 'The Power of Pink' and/or 'Protect the Quasar Saber' would've helped those who hadn't seen 'Lost Galaxy' before.

Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue: Trakeena's Revenge - Parts 1 & 2 ~ Trakeena comes back and plans to use stolen energy to take her revenge on the Rangers. Leo comes back with the Galaxy Rangers to help the Lightspeed Rangers defeat Trakeena, leading to predictable results. This episode doesn't deserve the DVD treatment, as 'Lightspeed' wasn't one of the better shows out there, and this episode is no exception.

Power Rangers Wild Force: Forever Red ~ Five remaining Machine Empire generals have discovered Serpenterra buried on the surface of the moon. Cole must reunite with the rest of the Red Rangers (including Tommy and Jason) to help defeat the generals and save the Earth. Quick-paced episode has some annoying plot holes, unconvincing CGI effects, and an unsatisfying ending. A 2-part episode would've fared a lot better, but the episode is still good. Jason Narvy and Paul Schrier briefly reprise their roles as Bulk and Skull, and 3 PR alums voice three of the generals (Archie Kao, Catherine Sutherland, Walter St. Jones).

OVERALL QUALITY:

All the episodes are presented in their original 1.33:1 full-screen ratio. The picture quality for the episodes is excellent for the most part, save for some grain and specks in 'White Light' and 'Countdown to Destruction'. The audio quality is nearly perfect. Aside it from being a Dolby Digital 2.0 mix, the background sounds, music and dialogue come out quite nicely for a 2.0 mix.

Aside from an English subtitle option and ads for the CD and the first two PRWF tapes, the extras here are nonexistent. And what's worst, the episodes don't have chapter stops in them, so that you can't access a particular scene, go to the second part of the episode (like in 'White Light'), skip the opening credits, or go to the ending credits - in order to do that, you have to fast forward through the episode. You have 2 ways you can watch the episodes - either you can watch all the episodes together in a movie-like format (here the episodes are chapters), or you can view them each separately.

The DVD is the bare minimum: the episodes and nothing else. Also, Disney has failed to make even an animated menu for the DVD... the menu is basically the DVD cover. Aside from a neat collector's edition mini poster included with the DVD, there's no extras to peruse through on the DVD itself. And about 2 more episodes could've been added, such as 'The Power of Pink' and/or 'Protect the Quasar Saber' (considering the 158 minute running time), or a 2-disc set would be better.

Overall, the audio and picture quality of all the episodes are good, and the mini-poster is a nice one, but I really would've appreciated some effort in the extras department. If you love any or all of these episodes (and have a DVD player), this DVD is a must. Just don't expect anything more.

5-0 out of 5 stars This is only the beginning....I hope
I was soo glad when I heard that this DVD was coming out. I am hoping that there have been enough sales, so we can all convince Disney to re-release all of the episodes, not just the new ones. For those of you who were fans from the beginning, like me, this DVD is the one to buy.

4-0 out of 5 stars Better than you might expect...
I pretty much bought this DVD on a whim. I didn't really expect to enjoy it all that much since I had only ever really gotten into the original "Mighty Morphin" version of the series. However, with the exception of the "Lightspeed Rescue" episode "Trakeena's Revenge Parts 1 & 2", this DVD was, if not excellent, then certainly way above average from what most non-fans, casual viewers may expect.
Certainly, of the selections on the DVD the standout has to be "Countdown to Destruction Parts 1 & 2" from "Power Rangers in Space". These episodes, spliced together into one, as they are presented on this disk, make for an extremely surprisingly enjoyable low-budget (I'd say semi-reminiscent of Roger Corman's work) sci-fi, alien invasion film. Above that, though, the story has a great deal of emotional weight to it, with the sacrifice Zordon makes, along with the interactions between Andros and Astronema, among many other examples that I could mention (but won't for the sake of those who have yet to see it). I will admit that I found myself weeping a little from it by the end.
I also really enjoyed the installments of "Lost Galaxy", and "Wild Force", specifically "To The Tenth Power" and "Forever Red" respectively.
Sadly, though, I feel they dropped the ball as to the best of "Mighty Morphin Power Rangers". If it had been me, I would have put the "Space", "Lost Galaxy", "Lightspeed Rescue", and "Wild Force" episodes on the other side of the disk, and filled side 1 with the five part "Green With Evil" saga, which introduced Tommy as the Green Ranger.
Overall, though, this is a very surprisingly good DVD, that I recommend you give at least one viewing to.

3-0 out of 5 stars Making a change
This is really a good DVD. The only thing I would perfer is that they used the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers episode "Return of the Green Ranger Parts 1, 2 and 3" instead of White Light. I would have gotten it purchased if it had that episode.

5-0 out of 5 stars Power Rangers....an amazing show!
Power Rangers is an amazing show, and has affected many people in very positive ways. Now that many of the original power ranger viewers are entering young adulthood, and taking their love for the power rangers with them, I'm sure this show will only grow bigger in popularity. Their are many good episode choices in this DVD including 'countdown to destruction' and definitly 'Forever Red'. While the dvd is low on extras it is still a pretty good DVD. I highly recommend it! (I obviously love the show.) ... Read more


142. Runaway Jury (Widescreen Edition)
Director: Gary Fleder
list price: $19.98
our price: $15.98
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Asin: B00014NEZI
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 2936
Average Customer Review: 2.88 out of 5 stars
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Based on the bestseller by John Grisham, Runaway Jury is a slick thriller that's exciting enough to overcome the gaps in its plot. The ultimate target has been changed: Grisham's legal assault on the tobacco industry was switched to the hot-button issue of gun control (no doubt to avoid comparison to The Insider) in a riveting exposé of jury-tampering. Gene Hackman plays the ultra-cynical, utterly unscrupulous pawn of the gun-makers, using an expert staff and advanced electronics to hand-pick a New Orleans jury that will return a favorable verdict; Dustin Hoffman (making his first screen appearance with real-life former roommate Hackman) defends the grieving widow of a gun-shooting victim with idealistic zeal, while maverick juror John Cusack and accomplice Rachel Weisz play both ends against the middle in a personal quest to hold gun-makers accountable. It's riveting stuff, even when it's obvious that Grisham and director Gary Fleder have glossed over any details that would unravel the plot's intricate design. --Jeff Shannon ... Read more

Reviews (284)

3-0 out of 5 stars Weak adaptation made good by Weisz, Hackman, and Hoffman.
Very weak adaptation of the John Grisham novel lacks the big bang of the book, and settles for a messy look at Gun Control that does not fit the structure of what the book was intended. The film itself looks unprofessional, and the screenplay is not good ether. The plot has no soul, and the intentions of the characters are not really giving a real motive to work with. The whole high tech side of gathering information about the jury is really ridiculous and should be put in a spy film other than a court movie. The acting is good with Gene Hackman, Rachel Weisz, and Dustin Hoffman doing their best with what is giving but their efforts are wasted in keeping the movie afloat while the script problems begins to eat itself alive while you are watching the screen. Never the less, Hackman, Weisz, and Hoffman do keep you compelled with what is going on, even when the movie does not.

Judging by how they made this film, John Grisham should never let Hollywood make another movie out of his books, because they always turn out pretty bad.

4-0 out of 5 stars Improbable but Intriguing Thriller.
New Orleans is set to be the site of a monumental courtroom battle between gun manufacturers and anti-gun activists. A woman whose husband was killed when a disgruntled client went on a shooting rampage at his brokerage firm has enlisted the help of prominent New Orleans attorney Wendell Rohr (Dustin Hoffman) in suing the gun manufacturer whose "Saturday night special" killed her husband for damages. The Vicksburg Firearms Company has gotten themselves the best attorney that money can buy, and they have hired a crack jury consultant by the name of Rankin Fitch (Gene Hackman) to ensure their victory before the trial has begun. But both Fitch and Rohr discover, much to their consternation, that the jury may not be theirs to influence. Juror Nick Easter (John Cusack) and his girlfriend Marlee (Rachel Weisz) have the jury in their pocket and intend to sell it to the highest bidder.

"Runaway Jury" is based on John Grisham's best-selling novel of the same name. I haven't read the novel, but I understand that Wendell Rohr's character has been altered substantially for the film in order to more clearly differentiate between the two rival parties, and a gun manufacturer has been substituted for a tobacco company. The explosive confrontation between Rohr and Fitch -the only scene that these two great actors share- did not occur in the book. "Runaway Jury" is an effective, although almost entirely implausible, thriller that sucks the audience in by giving us a taste of what goes on behind the scenes in high profile court cases. Specifically, we get to see the bizarre sub-culture of jury consultation and manipulation. The length and expense to which parties will go to stack a jury is endlessly fascinating and overcomes the story's more fantastic elements. The "war room" where Fitch and his team plot and plan is particularly interesting. The film's cast is spot-on. John Cusack is one of those actors that inspire sympathy in any role, which is helpful here since we know nothing about Nick except that he is trying to sell a jury. Dustin Hoffman is convincingly idealistic and naive as Rohr. And Gene Hackman is deliciously ruthless as Fitch. "Runaway Jury" has enough twists, turns, and thrills to keep us interested for the duration of its 2-hour-plus running time. It's a fun, unpredictable thriller with the added bonus of some insight into the art and science of jury selection.

The DVD: This is a terrific disc that will more than satisfy fans and film buffs alike. These are the bonus features: 2 deleted scenes with director's commentary. 2 scenes from the film with actor commentary: Gene Hackman comments of the film's last scene, and Dustin Hoffman comments on the Washroom scene in which he appears with Hackman. "Exploring the Scene" featurette about the genesis and filming of the Washroom scene, the only scene in the film which Hoffman and Hackman share, including interviews with the two actors and director Gary Fleder. "Off the Cuff", an interview in which Hoffman and Hackman talk about their long friendship since 1956 when they were both students at The Pasadena Playhouse, sharing an apartment in New York, and some more recent anecdotes. "The Ensemble", a short featurette about the cast, including interviews with Rachel Weisz and John Cusack. A "making-of" documentary, which isn't very informative but includes, among other things, a short interview with Jo-Ellan Dimitrius, who was the jury consultant for the defense in O.J. Simpson's trial. "Shadow and Light", an interview with the film's cinematographer, Robert Elswit. "A Vision of New Orleans", in which production designer Nelson Coates shows us around the courtroom set that was created for the film. "Rhythm", an interview with the film's editor, William Steinkamp, in which we see an example of his important contribution to the film. The disc also has a full-length audio commentary by director Gary Fleder, which I didn't listen to, because I was worn out from the other extras. Much thanks to 20th Century Fox for putting together a feature-packed disc and especially to Dustin Hoffman and Gene Hackman for contributing so much of their time. Dubbing is available in French and Spanish. Subtitles are available in English and Spanish.

2-0 out of 5 stars The strong performance of Rachel Weisz is the only plus here
Derivative thriller that not only does not stay close to the book but also lacks the insight to give a better show. The script has too many problems and the pacing starts and stalls at will in the most starling of moments. The acting is fine with Rachel Weisz stealing the show and doing better than she should have consitering the script is flat and Gene Hackman doing his best work in years. The whole espionage aspect to the film just does not work, and in reality, the case would have been throng out of a real court. The acting is the only plus in this film and that is a miracle because the rest of the film just does not work.

Thanks to Rachel Weisz and Gene Hackman, the movie is just ok but if it had a decent script, it could have been better.

1-0 out of 5 stars Anti-gun propoganda
This movie is utter nonsense done by leftist actors who hate the 2nd ammendment more than the people who actually kill people. Don't waste your time by watching this or any other left wing nonsense.

2-0 out of 5 stars Weisz, Hackman and Hoffman are great but the film is not.
Lackluster adaptation to the John Grisham novel has only the acting to save it for total disaster with great performances by Rachel Weisz, Gene Hackman, and Dustin Hoffman but they are working from a half baked script that in essence does not know what it wants to be and direction that is marginal at best. The tobacco story is gutted for a pure and simple look at gun violence, and the setting of New Orleans is not the original setting of the book.

If you want to see this movie, the acting more than makes up for the problems it has, but not by much. ... Read more


143. The Island of Dr. Moreau
Director: Richard Stanley, John Frankenheimer
list price: $14.98
our price: $13.48
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Asin: 0780619951
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 19152
Average Customer Review: 2.85 out of 5 stars
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Previously filmed in 1933 (as Island of Lost Souls) and 1977, the classic H.G. Wells story was filmed again for this graphic 1996 version. The film was roasted by critics, but it's an utterly fascinating failure, largely due to the performances of David Thewlis, Val Kilmer, and especially Marlon Brando in the title role as a mad (and in this case outrageously bizarre) scientist whose experiments in crossbreeding humans with animals have gone terribly awry. Thewlis plays the wayward scholar who is rescued at sea by Kilmer and brought to Moreau's island to discover the doctor's unnatural "children." Fairuza Balk plays Moreau's half-cat daughter, but it's Brando and Kilmer (in one scene doing a killer Brando impersonation) who steal the show, along with the astounding makeup effects created by Stan Winston. A guilty pleasure by any measure, this movie has definite cult-favorite potential, and in addition to offering a "director's cut" with previously unseen footage, the DVD includes audio commentary by director John Frankenheimer, who replaced the original director on short notice and completed this film under highly stressful conditions. --Jeff Shannon ... Read more

Reviews (60)

3-0 out of 5 stars Not terrible, not great
I owned a copy for a while and watched it several times. I did keep thinking it could have been so much more, but I was entertained to a certain extent. The acting was good in places. The bad animal costumes was distracting at times and I'm sure they could do the special effects so much better now. It's worth a rental.

1-0 out of 5 stars Bad adaptation
The original book by H.G. Wells is perhaps one of the best books I've ever read (not the top, but up there). The visuals I got that book, from the animals chanting the law to the narrator's chase through the forest, chilled me the way no movie could. Speaking of which...

This movie is nothing like the book, except for the fact that a guy is stranded on an island with a man who claims to have the name Moreau and is a doctor. The book had a lot to say about our society and the inner beast, but the movie is basically violence accompanied by a corny love story that was just as unnecessary. It wasn't romantic, you have to wonder why Fairuza Balk looked more human than the other animal-people, and you also have to wonder why Doctor Moreau didn't consider her the "perfect human" that this film claims the doctor was looking for.

The animal designs in general were pretty awful. They're all almost the same - it's basically "Planet of the Apes" with spotted and striped apes. The people in "Cats" looked more feline than the character Cheetah. There was probably very little creativity put behind this aspect of the film.

Making the doctor some thing of a sadist dictator is a bad turn as well. The first film adaptation, "The Island of Lost Souls," portrayed the doctor as a sadist dictator as well. H.G. Wells was alive at the time and hated that portrayal, and I'm certain he would abhor this film version. Much of the doctor's wit and wisdom is lost in the screenplay, which is sad considering Marlon Brando has some amazing acting talent and would have been a perfect choice to play the title character. In fact, most of the actors have amazing potential but are wasted with a bad script. The hero is perhaps the only hammy one of the group, and his character's only highlight is at the end when he turns the villains against each other.

The last five minutes try to make up for H.G. Well's symbolism, as if the writers thought, "Wow that was some badass action, awe darn we forgot the plot!" Sadly, its too little too late. If they had taken out the mutant rats, the catgirl, and the script, they might have had some thing, but unfortunately all efforts are wasted.

5-0 out of 5 stars Tragically underrated
I can't stress enough how important it is for anyone considering seeing this movie to ignore the heaps of negative reviews here. Most justify their opinions by calling this film strange, grotesque, or both. Both are fitting, but there's alot more to this film than that, and those two things in themselves are not necessarily reason to dislike a film. Quite the contrary, when Hollywood is so overrun with unchallenging, unoriginal fodder.

I could praise the movie on any number of levels. Every actor here carries his or her eccentric role with a perfectly tasteful care not to go over the top or become too cartoonish. The dialogue is free of fluff and carries quite an element of eloquence, which is fitting when considering the overall dramatic intent. On a more basic level, the creature effects used on the half human, half animal hybrid creations inhabiting Moreau's Island are handled by none other than Stan Winston and done very well, and the soundtrack is appropriately eerie, with tribal drumming used in parts to enhance the mood. And, of course, the themes explored here, despite their familiarity (the power of instnct, and the danger of playing God), are driven home with potent efficiency, probably thanks to the extreme and sometimes bizzare nature in which they're handled.

The fact that this movie carries such a human element with it is what I really like about it. It's easy to feel for the man-beasts, tragic abominations intelligent enough to know they're nothing but the waste products of a madman's search for genetic perfection. The protagonist, as well, benefits from the fact that he is very much an introvert and probably speaks less than Val Kilmer, who is less vital to the plot. His quiet observation helps add to the realism and mold a film which could have easily been a silly mess into a moving, artfully crafted piece of work.

If you choose to judge this movie as harshly as most have, then go ahead, but at least see it first with an open mind. I for one feel a movie this bold deserves every bit of respect.

1-0 out of 5 stars one of the worst movies of 1996
come on people, 5 stars for this junk. yes it has Val Kilmer and Marlon Brando in it but they dont save it, not by a long shot. it starts off good but then when they get into all that beast and grotesque situations..it downs the movie big time and did we have to see that mother beast giving birth I mean come on now!! the only good part is when Kilmer's and Brando's characters die. a mess of a movie

1-0 out of 5 stars zero stars
Yes folks, it really is THAT bad. Brando is funny playing a loon, but then he gets killed for no good reason. His mini-Brando sidekick is pitifully ugly, too; you feel sad looking at him. David Thewlis is a fine actor, but he has trouble reacting properly to the people in bad make-up and the computer generated mutant rats. Somehow, everything explodes in the end. This is a horrible film, not even so-bad-it's-good (like, say, Showgirls). ... Read more


144. Horror of Dracula
Director: Terence Fisher
list price: $19.97
our price: $17.97
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Asin: B00006G8K0
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 10065
Average Customer Review: 4.57 out of 5 stars
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Description

Jonathan Harker, a student of vampires, ventures to Dracula's castle and attacks him. The revengeful vampire leaves his dark abode to prey on the family of his attacker's fiancee. The only man able to protect Harker and his fiancee is Dr. Van Helsing, a friend of Harker's. As a fellow-student of vampires, he's determined to destroy Dracula. ... Read more

Reviews (92)

5-0 out of 5 stars The epic Hammer version of Van Helsing versus Dracula
"The Horror of Dracula" is perhaps the finest film produced by the Hammer Studio. At the very least, it epitomized the Hammer style at its best. Peter Cushing as Dr. Van Helsing gets a welcome respite from playing Victor Frankenstein while Christopher Lee quickly enter screen immortality as Count Dracula in one of the few Hammer films that allowed the vampire to have recognizable dialogue instead of inarticulate animalistic howls and the like. Jimmy Sangster's script streamlines Bram Stoker's novel, eliminating the Renfield character and subplot, and taking a more direct approach by having Jonathan Harker (John Van Eyssen) come to Castle Dracula for the purpose of staking the Count. After Harker's initial attempt fails, Van Helsing has to save his friend's soul and then protect Jonathan's fiancée, Lucy Holmwood (Carol Marsh), her brother Arthur (Michael Gough) and his wife Mina (Melissa Stribling), as Dracula's hit list grows. The names of the characters are the same as Stoker's novel, but the relationships have certainly changed. The strength of this film is Cushing's Van Helsing, a character as dynamic as the vampire he pursues. When Dracula is dispatched it is because the good doctor's brains are backup by some compelling physical action. Bernard Robinson's set designs for Castle Dracula belie the fact this film was produced for under $200,000 and the script's overt violence and subtle eroticism certainly plays to the strengths of director Terence Fisher. Of the eight Dracula films produced by Hammer, "The Horror of Dracula" is definitely the first and the best.

5-0 out of 5 stars "An all time classic with the best bloodsucker to date"
Terence Fisher's Dracula is without doubt the most superior version of Stokers Gothic chiller ever to grace the screen. After the success of "The Curse Of Frankenstein" in 1957 Hammer decided to remake Dracula and although it is debatable whether the Hammer Frankenstein is better than the 1931 version Hammers Dracula is most certainly superior to the Lugosi in almost every way. Christopher Lee makes his debut as the King vampire oozing eroticism and fear and although his scenes are brief every time is rivetting. Peter Cushing is also excellent as the enegetic Van Helsing hell bent on destroying the Count at any cost. Wonderful sets by Bernard Robinson and an the excellent three-note score by James Bernard is now a classic piece of horror music. This is romantic horror, which is not as scary as later adaptions but it still remains the closest to Bram Stokers novelbringing out the underlying sexual overtones in the story that were never touched before. The final scenes of Lee and Cushing physically duelling in the castle are also classic horror scenes up there with "the Exorcist" and others. This is British horror at its peak and very best.

5-0 out of 5 stars The best in the entire Hammer series!
Definitely the best of all the Christopher Lee Dracula films. The sequels do not live up to this film, mainly because they do not contain all of the original characters such as Lucy, Jonathan Harker, and of course, Van Helsing. This film sticks with the original Bram Stoker novel with these characters. The only person missing is Renfield, plus nothing is ever mentioned about Dracula being able to turn into a bat, a werewolf, or mist. Yes, this was 1958 before visual effects were what they are now. But, in the Bela Lugosi film, at least mention is made of these things.

Lee is smooth as the Count, and Peter Cushing is a delight at Professor Van Helsing. These two were great together in other films, and it is too bad Cushing did not continue into the sequels (with the exception of the present day setting films). He would have made those films better and much more entertaining to watch.

A must have for any horror film fan.

5-0 out of 5 stars A classic film of dark, ominous foreboding
This excellent horror film is by far the best of all other Dracula screen adaptations. No other film of this type approaches this Hammer production for drama, color, storyline, atmosphere, music score and acting. The movie is a straightforward narrative of the attempt to destroy the dark prince of the undead that becomes a struggle for survival between the resourceful, erudite Dr. Van Helsing and the frightening, evil Count Dracula. There are graphic bloodletting scenes, tense, scary moments and buxom ladies who become Dracula's victims. The film moves at a brisk pace towards its conclusion as Van Helsing races against time and Dracula to reach his castle before dawn or lose him and Mina Holmwood forever in the vast catacombs and underground passages. James Bernard's eerie, haunting music expertly suggests the tension and horror of the proceedings

5-0 out of 5 stars The Blood Is RED and The Fangs are Bared!
This picture is seminal in that it is the first partnership between Christopher Lee and the wonderful Peter Cushing in the Hammer Dracula series. Arguably the best of the series. This film still holds the power to shock today--despite the lack of heads being ripped from their torsos. From the first moment, one is transfixed by the Scarlet Blood dripping over the tomb with "Dracula" engraved upon the crypt lid. This was very alluring in the 1950's. Vampirism and colour were a very new thing indeed. Peter Cushing while maintaining some semblance of humanity is every bit as ruthless to destroy Dracula as Dracula is to destroy those who dared to violate his sanctum. Though not completely faithful to the book, one will find this movie an enjoyable and frightening venture into the Hammer world of Horror. I am only waiting for the equally terrible: Brides of Dracula to be released on DVD. The immediate sequel to Horror of Dracula, though missing Lee as Dracula, this film is even more inspired in its images of horror. And it is a master stroke to have one of Dracula's disciples: David Peel, actually appear with blond hair. The perfect angel, which makes him the perfect devil when he suddenly transforms. Peter Cushing is also in Brides of Dracula. Hurry and release this terrifying film (one of the top five best vampire films ever done!).

IN CHRIST JESUS: THE LIVING GOD,

W Braithwaite
*Gospel John Ch. 1; John 3:16-18*

Email: wbraithwaite@tampabay.rr.com ... Read more


145. The Sea Chase
Director: John Farrow
list price: $14.97
our price: $13.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0007P0XCS
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 7931
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Description

Adventure, drama and romance of an outlaw ship and the = people aboard her. Based on Andrew Geer's novel. ... Read more

Reviews (11)

5-0 out of 5 stars A rather strange role for the Duke, but a great fim!
I just recently stumbled onto this movie while searching through Amazon for war movies, and hesitated getting it because I had never heard of it before. Though available through Amazon channels on VHS, it wasn't the easiest to obtain.I finally got it on VHS though, and immediately found it to be a great little movie.It is now, of course, available on DVD, thankfully.

As my title suggests, and other reviewers have already noted, this is a strange role for the Duke. It is hard to imagine him as anything but an all-American hero. That being said, he put in a performance equal to any he has done before or after this movie. The beautiful Lana Turner added a valuable dimension to the film, and I was amazed at the number of familiar faces in the picture. As the movie was made in 1955, some of the more familiar faces were just getting started, and have become familiar to us after seeing them in many other films or on TV. Tab Hunter, Alan Hale, Jr (Skipper on Gilligan's Island), James Arness (Gunsmoke) are just a few. You'll be surprised at how many others you will recognize.

The story is a simple one. John Wayne has been demoted to a tramp steamer after, what must have been, an honorable career in the German Navy. He "earned" this demotion after making his opposition to the Nazis common knowledge. Even though he has no use for Hitler and crew, he is a German nationalist through and through. His aging ship is docked in Australia as the invasion of Poland by Hitler and the Nazis begins, bringing England and, of course, Australia to war with Germany. He has two choices--either being interned in Australia, along with his crew, or making a run for home. The title tells you what choice he makes. Lana Turner is a German agent "engaged" to a British Naval officer. This officer happens to be an old friend of Wayne's from a previous life. One thing leads to another, and she ends up with Wayne when he leads his ship in a breakout. Her "ex" becomes a lead officer in the chase across the seas, and the plot thickens from here on. Confused? Not if you see the movie. The ending is a bit unusual and unexpected, at least to me, although you sense something similar has to happen. I won't give it away, but getting to the end is suspensful and entertaining.

The Duke is every bit the true to form hero in this movie, German or not. As others have mentioned, there is no attempt at accents by any, other than the Aussies, and that makes it difficult to see any of them as Germans, especially without the stereotypical Nazi uniforms and insignia.

All-in-all, I enjoyed the movie, and am happy to recommend it and add it to my collection. I am very happy to see it come out on DVD, since it was getting more difficult to find on it VHS. If you have a chance to see it--do. If you collect war genre movies, as I do, it is a valuable addition to any collection.
One of John Wayne's better movies even though it is, perhaps, not as well known.

5-0 out of 5 stars Epic World War II Intrigue

It's almost axiomatic that whatever movie John Wayne was part of could be given several stars, but this one is so atypical to his roles that it is seems unusual that he would choose it.

Recently I saw the movie on AMC, not having watched the movie in many years. Recently too, I became aware that the DVD had been issued. Having a good impression of the movie after seeing it on AMC, I purchased the DVD.

I prefer John Wayne in westerns, and am most familiar and comfortable with the 'saddle em up & move em out' roles, that it takes a bit of role switching to see him as a World War II German freighter captain. But John Wayne was so adaptable in his acting abilities that it comes across just fine; and with Lana Turner, an oft-times underrated actress, his performance gets only better.

If you like a World War II action adventure based on fact, intertwined with human interest, this is a very good DVD to add to your collection.

Recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Sea Adventure
Even though John Wayne plays a German sea Captain during WWII this film is concerned more with adventure than politics and that's what makes it work. The stereo sound is outstanding. There are many character actors throughout this movie. It's a good one.

5-0 out of 5 stars Karl Ehrlich just wants to go home
This story is told secondhand by Cmd. Jeff Napier as he recalls it. So it is one long flashback with narration.

Capt. Karl Ehrlich (John Wayne) is the German captain of a tramp steamer in an Australian harbor. Cmd. Jeff Napier an old friend is showing off his new fiancée Elsa Keller (Lana Turner). From their eye movement it looks as though the captain and Elsa know each other. When the commander steps out, Karl confronts Elsa with her past and sends her packing.

Things heat up pretty fast from here. Even though the captain is an old naval officer he was dismissed when he opposed the Nazi régime. But he is still a German nationalist. With the invasion of Poland Australia is dragged into the war leavening Karl with only a small chance of sneaking the ship out in the fog. At the last minute the German Consulate hands him one of their best agents (spies). One guess as to who that agent may be.

Now the chase is on and Cmd. Jeff Napier has a professional and personal reason to track down Karl before he reaches Germany.

The real story is that of the action between the different members of the crew. The nature of the agent adds complications to the voyage. And there is a conflict of morals aboard.

Will Capt. Karl Ehrlich make it home?
Or will Cmd. Jeff Napier blow him out of the water?
What becomes of Elsa?

"What flag is that sir? It does not have a swastika."
"That is the German Imperial Battle Flag"

A fun side interest in this movie is that instead of the standard John Wane repertoire of actors, this is an interesting mix including, Tab Hunter, James Arness, and Claude Akins.

3-0 out of 5 stars A Wayne romantic film in style of John Wayne
A common John Wayne film with typical John Wayne styles and macho manners.The German Captain is nobody but John Wayne.He talked like John Wayne, acted like John Wayne.Even romaticises like John Wayne.A simple John Wayne film except he was dressed in German Uniform. ... Read more


146. Panic Room (Superbit Collection)
Director: David Fincher
list price: $14.95
our price: $13.46
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00006CXGF
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 9321
Average Customer Review: 3.81 out of 5 stars
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Description

The Superbit titles utilize a special high bit rate digital encoding process which optimizes video quality while offering a choice of both DTS and Dolby Digital 5.1 audio. These titles have been produced by a team of Sony Pictures Digital Studios video, sound and mastering engineers and comes housed in a special package complete with a 4 page booklet that contains technical information on the Superbit process. By reallocating space on the disc normally used for value-added content, Superbit DVDs can be encoded at double their normal bit rate while maintaining full compatibility with the DVD video format. ... Read more

Reviews (351)

5-0 out of 5 stars One Fine Thriller
I enjoy this movie more every time I watch it. It is an absolute must see for anyone who loves films. The plot is intricate, clever and very suspensful. I thought this movie was excellent: the story, the actors and the ending. If you haven't seen Panic Room you are truly missing out.

3-0 out of 5 stars Just like Home Alone except....
it's not a comedy and there are no little kids.

That's what came to my mind when Jodie Foster turns the tables on the not so clever intruders shortly after she and her daughter lock themselves in the "panic room". Oddly enough, there is even a reference to Joe Pesci who happens to be 1 of the bad guys in Home Alone.

This movie has good atmosphere, i.e. a big creepy house, a stormy night, and a trio of nasty guys trying to steal some loot from the house. Overall it was a good movie - good acting, suspense, and a decent plot. The ending left something to be desired, too many loose ends to suit me, with Jodie and her daughter peacefully looking through the newspaper for a new house.

Not much extra on the DVD, just a trailer and filmographies. I would recommend renting it, not buying unless you're a fan of Jodie Foster.

3-0 out of 5 stars Panic Room
Following the huge success of the excellent SE7EN and FIGHT CLUB, David Fincher's latest thriller is perhaps somewhat less impressive than his previous efforts, but there are still some gripping moments in the film that make it worthwhile. The premise provides from some effective boo! scares and shocking twists, but as a follow-up to FIGHT CLUB, this one is somewhat underwhelming. Jodie Foster shows that she's still good when it comes to this genre, and Howard Shore's brooding score racks up the tension. Creepy music is one of the key elements to making films like this scary, and Shore has proven that he can do tense, nail-biting scores (THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS) and large-scale adventure (THE LORD OF THE RINGS). Fincher's trademark stylistic M.O is full bore here, with some fantastic visual flourishes. The anti-climactic ending is the only letdown, but it's worth renting out from Blockbuster to witness another notch is Fincher's increasingly impressive style.
The DVD extras are dissapointing, with only trailers. With the popular re-re-release pattern of most DVDs, it would be advisable to wait until a 'Special Edition' comes along.

2-0 out of 5 stars NOT worth your time/money
You have your typical twists and turns in a suspense movie with a bad guy that just doesn't die, obvious but unsuccessful attempts by the director to build suspense (this happens quite often and gets very annoying), and leaving the audience questioning each other on why the frequent loopholes/ambiguities of the movie. In addition, you have an ending which is abrupt and inconclusive.

Watch this as a one-timer when you're incredibly bored. I would not recommend viewing this with guests.

On a positive note, there are impressive visual effects at the beginning of the movie, but still does not compensate for everything else it lacked.

Bottom Line: Not worth your time. ESPECIALLY not worth your money.

2-0 out of 5 stars This is only worth renting, not purchasing.
We watched this movie last night and found ourselves thinking it was pretty ridiculous towards the middle and end. It was barely worth renting, let alone purchasing.
Jodie Foster is a great actress, but we wondered why she chose this movie. ... Read more


147. Michael Jackson - Dangerous: The Short Films
Director: David Kellogg, Billy DiCicco, Vincent Paterson, David Fincher, Andrew Morahan, Joe Pytka
list price: $14.98
our price: $13.48
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00005A1T0
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 12931
Average Customer Review: 4.97 out of 5 stars
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Description

Songs: Black or White, Heal The World (Super Bowl version), Remeber the Time, Will You Be There, In the Closet, Gone Too Soon, Jam, Heal the World, Give In to Me, Who Is It, Dangerous. 112 minutes. ... Read more

Reviews (32)

5-0 out of 5 stars The best, baby!!!
As we all know, Michael Jackson is the KING OF POP! This number-one film was in the Guiness book of World Records as the highest selling music video on '94!! Containing never-before-seen footage, behind the scenes action, unreleased videos, and all are full-length. This price is also a bargain. Pick it up even if you're not a die-hard. It is so worth it!! Dangerous is one of MJ's greatest albums with some record-breaking fantastic music videos! "The Short Films" contains: The Teaser (you have to see it!!), the controversial full lentgh Black or White (complete with The Simpsons ending and the face morphing and dance sequence), The Superbowl Heal The World performance (excellent), Remember The Time (starring Iman, Eddie Murphy, and Magic Johnson), also has behind the scenes (great dancing!!), Will You Be There, In The Closet (with Naiomi Campbell- the best MJ video ever!!)(with behind the scenes action also,) Gone too Soon, (A tragic remembrance of AIDS victim Ryan White), Jam (a awesome video with Michael Jordan, Kris Kross, and Heavy D.), Heal The World (donate to the foundation! It's a worthy cause!!), Give In To Me (featuring Slash from Guns n' Roses), Who Is It (such a great beat!!) and last but not least, concert footage to the Dangerous Tour. This movie is something. You have got to see it. The album is legendary, the beats are ear-piercing and jammin'!! All of these perfect music videos have such a story to tell. Michael Jackson is the KING OF POP!!!!

5-0 out of 5 stars A Dangerous DVD
Michael has so much talent. Good album and good VHS. I just descovered this page on amazon and I hope that a DVD version will be avaliable. I am writing the first review so hopefully I can get a certificate so I can get it as soon as possible. The DVD should contain the same stuff that the VHS one contains (maybe the publishers may put in more features) The video (and assumingly the DVD as well) contains all but 3 songs from the DANGEROUS album (I Can't Let Her Get Away, She Drives Me Wild, & Keep The Faith).

The Video and most likely the DVD contains the full videos of:

-Black or White (controversy, plus making of)

-Remember The Time (behind scenes)

-Jam (behind scenes Michael Jordan comentary)

-In The Closet (an awesome MJ song and video, plus behind scenes)

-Heal the World (two times, super bowl performance and the video)

-Will You Be There (the complete and non-Free Willy version)

-Gone Too Soon (about that kid with AIDS that everyone forgot about)

-Dangerous (played while showing us snip shots from ihs concert world tour)

-Why You Wanna Trip On Me (played durring the credits)

-Give Into Me (Michael knows good rock with Slash)

-Who Is It (done by the director of FIGHT CLUB, excellent beat)

-(Bonus stuff) of 2 awards and a pretty deep speech from Michael and a little Michael singing with Michael "I'll Be There"

Lets hope this wish of having avaliable this long awaited DVD comes true and we may get it. Michael still has fans in the USA, so let them have their DVD!

5-0 out of 5 stars The best, baby!!!
As we all know, Michael Jackson is the KING OF POP! This number-one film was in the Guiness book of World Records as the highest selling music video on '94!! Containing never-before-seen footage, behind the scenes action, unreleased videos, and all are full-length. This price is also a bargain. Pick it up even if you're not a die-hard. It is so worth it!! Dangerous is one of MJ's greatest albums with some record-breaking fantastic music videos! "The Short Films" contains: The Teaser (you have to see it!!), the controversial full lentgh Black or White (complete with The Simpsons ending and the face morphing and dance sequence), The Superbowl Heal The World performance (excellent), Remember The Time (starring Iman, Eddie Murphy, and Magic Johnson), also has behind the scenes (great dancing!!), Will You Be There, In The Closet (with Naiomi Campbell- the best MJ video ever!!)(with behind the scenes action also,) Gone too Soon, (A tragic remembrance of AIDS victim Ryan White), Jam (a awesome video with Michael Jordan, Kris Kross, and Heavy D.), Heal The World (donate to the foundation! It's a worthy cause!!), Give In To Me (featuring Slash from Guns n' Roses), Who Is It (such a great beat!!) and last but not least, concert footage to the Dangerous Tour. This movie is something. You have got to see it. The album is legendary, the beats are ear-piercing and jammin'!! All of these perfect music videos have such a story to tell. Michael Jackson is the KING OF POP!!!!

5-0 out of 5 stars Awesome collection!
The audio counterpart of this package was on hit parade from its release in the fall of 1991 to early 1993. HEAL THE WORLD is very similar to WE ARE THE WORLD,recorded in 1985 by MJ and about 40 other American artists as USA FOR AFRICA. In fact MJ penned WATW with ex-Commodore Lionel Richie(Richie was another participant). WILL YOU BE THERE features clips from the 1993 Warner Bros. film FREE WILLY. That song was the film's theme. BLACK OR WHITE features MJ's actor pal MacCaulay Culkin. JAM is an ode to basketball players. REMEMBER THE TIME is awesome. Hollywood great Eddie Murphy plays a pharoah in a castle. All the other videos are 100% awesome!

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent
The Super Bowl performance is worth getting this DVD. This one is a keeper. Recommended. ... Read more


148. Lightning in a Bottle
Director: Antoine Fuqua
list price: $24.96
our price: $18.72
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00078RPGW
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 1802
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Part concert, part history lesson, part summit meeting, and all blues, Lightning in a Bottle puts a bright spotlight on this quintessential American music. There are some heavy hitters at work here, both behind the camera (Martin Scorsese executive produced, while the film was directed by Antoine Fuqua of Training Day and King Arthur) and especially in front of it, with a superb house band and a mind-boggling array of musicians (including B.B. King, Bonnie Raitt, Aerosmith's Steven Tyler and Joe Perry, Solomon Burke, Keb' Mo', Macy Gray, the Neville Brothers, Robert Cray, and John Fogerty, to name but a few) performing at New York's Radio City Music Hall in February, 2003. The idea was to trace the music from its beginnings; thus we get an African song (by Angelique Kidjo), some early gospel blues (the great Mavis Staples), acoustic Delta blues, and so on, right up to blues-drenched electric rock and even some rap (a riveting version of Howlin' Wolf's "Killing Floor" by Chuck D.). Virtually all of the immortals who defined the blues (Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters, and even Jimi Hendrix, whose fiery style is re-enacted by Buddy Guy) enter the picture, either through vintage film clips or new performances of their songs. One might wish for more insight into the influence of the blues on jazz (Billie Holiday's "Strange Fruit," sung here by India.Arie, is a fine song, but it's not a blues tune) or country, but overall, Lightning in a Bottle is an edifying and, most important, highly entertaining portrait of the music and its heritage. --Sam Graham ... Read more

Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars the Blues edition of The Last Waltz
Back when The Band was splitting, Mr Scorsese gave us a stage filled with a revolving personnel of the Rock heavies of the day.
This show gives you the same kind of entertainment with a revolving personnel of the absolute Blues masters - plus some bloody entertaining ring-ins.
Video files are perfection. Sound is clear and full.

5-0 out of 5 stars Tearjerker Stylin' with a Groove and a Happy Ending
People who appreciate this kind of music might still be surprised at the ample, 109 minutes' worth of joyful tears rolling down their faces when they watch this. If that ain't the blues, I don't know what is.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Great Start To The Year Of The Blues
This memorable concert was filmed at New York's Radio City Music Hall in February 2003. It was the start of the "Year Of the Blues". Martin Scorsese, who gave us the wonderful (but a bit controversial content-wise) series of Blues Films (which took over a year to be screened and available here in Australia) opens the show, after the Blues Year he was also a voice in "Shark's tale"!

There is no denying that this is a memorable and well presented concert. Many of the greatest living Blues players are hear as well as those we might refer to as marginal-transitional people with Blues interests. Some we don't get to hear, Robert Jr Lockwood and Jimmie Vaughan are seen, but not heard. the concert itself represents a musical journey through various Blues styles from African songs, to WC Handy, to music hall styles, women singers, the lone Juke Player right up through B.B. King and Hendrix and, yes, Chuck D trying to stop the Iraq Invasion with "Boom Boom" Rap!

This DVD is most enjoyable and a great and reasonably priced addition to one's music library. Highlights for me include B.B. King's story about "Sweet Sixteen" and his performance. Robert Cray's input, as usual is outstanding with his clean understated guitar work. Honeyboy Edwards, who knew Robert Johnson provides a rare self-penned tune (he mostly did covers during his career), Hubert Sumlin(who has just lost a lung!! And was smoking in the interview!!!! And who I got to meet in 1991) plays a great rendition of "Killing Floor" with the riff he made famous for Howlin' Wolf. Natalie Cole (a comeback?) does a great update of Bessie Smith's "Saint Louis Blues"-reminds me a bit of Janis Joplin-remember she started out sounding like Aretha on "This Will Be". The tune with Natalie, the great Mavis Staples (who does a great version of Blind Lemon Jefferson's "Be Sure My Grave's Kept Clean") Ruth Brown and Bill Cosby "Men Are Like Street Cars" is a great humourous blues. It was horrible to hear the Ruth had suffered a stroke prior to this concert and was still superb (see more of this delightful lady in the "Blues Story" DVD).

Solomon Burke, who I just saw in Australia, was fabluous as usual. His singing is great and he sure knows how to work the crowd (like all great church inspired soul singers). Clarence"Gatemouth" Brown was an awesome talent. This was probably his last recorded performance. His no pick guitar style was unique and classic. His playing is a highlight of the entire DVD!

Macy Gray does a great version of "Hound Dog" in the style of Big Mamma Thronton. It's interesting to see her at the rehearsal a bit perplexed about the whole thing and then transform on stage. Buddy Guy is Buddy Guy, he's great, out front, out of tune, and, to me, stands for what the Blues is all about. He does a rare acoustic version of "I Can't Be Satisfied" in dedication to his mentor Muddy Waters. He also does a bit of Jimi Hendrix's "Red House"-this was great because if purists ran the show this would not have been done. I agree with the previous reviewers the rap, Aerosmith, John Fogarty and rock in general are farther from the blues than Jimi Hendrix, but in a show like this I can stomach anything, for one thing the band is so great.

Another highlight of this show is Odetta, the hippy Black folk singer from the 1960s. She does a great version of Leadbelly's "Jim Crow Blues" and even phrases like Leadbelly! A wonderful effort. The documentary footage between songs, the lighting and effects and the interviews are great. The bonus tracks are suberb as well. Get this if you are a Blues lover!

4-0 out of 5 stars TERRIFIC, ONCE IN A LIFETIME, BLUES CONCERT
Martin Scorsese executive produced and Antoine Fuqua ("King Arthur") directedLIGHTNING IN A BOTTLE (Sony), the vibrant blues concert at Radio City Music hall that is nothing less than a compressed celebration and history on the hundredth anniversary of this uniquely American art form.

Legendary performers from the roots of rock, jazz and gospel gather for a once-in-a-lifetime concert to benefit musical education.B.B. King, Mavis Staples, Macey Gray, Keb Mo, Buddy Guy, Mos Def, Bonnie Raitt, India Arie ( she sings Billie Holiday's "Strange Fruit"), the Neville Brothers, John Fogerty and more perform vintage and modern material in an exceptional looking and sounding digital recording.

I especially enjoyed the African song (by Angelique Kidjo), the early gospel blues and the haunting acoustic delta blues.

5-0 out of 5 stars A sort of History of The Blues...
Great HD - transfer.If you have an HDTV you will really enjoy this. Audio / video was superb.All DVD concerts should be of this quality.Except for a few "rap" style tracks - it was a great show. There were a few tracks in the "bonus" portion that should have been included or swapped out for the "rap" tracks.This was a blues history concert with some fabulous musicians and singers - except for the "rap"...If your interested in blues music from the "roots" you will enjoy this... ... Read more


149. Joan of Arc
Director: Victor Fleming
list price: $19.99
our price: $17.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0001UZWMU
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 6984
Average Customer Review: 4.75 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

The lavish 1948 production of Joan of Arc may not qualify as a great movie, but it scores a triumphant victory as a great DVD. Thanks to a stunning restoration by the renowned UCLA Film and Television Archive, this relic from Hollywood's golden age can now be appreciated in all its magnificent Technicolor glory, restored to its original theatrical length of 145 minutes after decades of truncated TV broadcasts. Under the direction of Victor Fleming (whose credits include Gone with the Wind and The Wizard of Oz), this is a stodgily respectable mini-epic, adapted from Maxwell Anderson's acclaimed play Joan of Lorraine and giving 33-year-old Ingrid Bergman one of her quirkiest star turns as the 19-year-old "Maid of Lorraine," destined by divinely inspired fate to rescue imperiled France from British occupation, and face trial on charges of witchcraft. Winner of three Oscars (for cinematography and costumes, and an honorary award to Producer Walter Wanger for boosting Hollywood's "moral stature") and five nominations (including acting nods for Bergman and José Ferrer, making his screen debut as the French Dauphin), the film suffers from an abundance of talky exposition and stage-bound incident, but the battle scenes are still rousing, Bergman glowing beatifically in polished armor and surrounded by a seasoned cast of studio-era character players in a rampant case of Hollywood anachronism (somehow, Ward Bond just doesn't belong in medieval France!). If you get bored during the slow parts, you can always marvel at the pristine restoration, full of heavenly sunbeams, masterful matte paintings, and enough colorful detail to make most 1948-vintage films pale by comparison. Frame by gorgeous frame, martyrdom never had a classier showcase. --Jeff Shannon ... Read more

Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars A SUPERB REMASTERED ORIGINAL AND UNCUT!!!
For those who own or who have seen the "butchered" version of this 1948 classic, RUN, don't WALK to your nearest video store and get the newly restored, uncut version!!!

The art of film preservation has done a SPECTACULAR JOB on all counts!! The film is in its original 146 minute version and will disappoint no one. As one of the other reviews mentioned, this is THEEEE Joan of Arc movie of ALL Joan of Arc movies. No one can surpass Ingrid Bergman in her portrayal. This is the way movies were meant to be made.

Victor Fleming, who directed Gone With the Wind and The Wizard of Oz, directed this with equal finesse and this ranks among his finest work. He died shortly after the film's release. He would be proud to see that, now, with the original restored version, it has withstood the test of time just like "Wind" and "Oz".

The performances are stellar, the battle scenes terrific, the musical score outstanding and the cinematography in GLORIOUS TECHNICOLOR is unbelievable!!! This is film preservation at its very best, Hollywood movie making at its best!!!

Trust me....would that all films would have the happy ending of restoration and uncutting as this one has!!!

This is a true classic and I'd give it 20, 30 or 1000 stars!!!!!
They don't get much better than this!

5-0 out of 5 stars The real thing!
If you have been disappointed by the 100 minute video of JOAN OF ARC in the past, you will be delighted with this original version. This is the same version that I saw in 1949, immaculate and with nothing added or subtracted.

Anyone who knows anything about Saint Joan of Arc is deeply disappointed by the 100 minute video version which cut many parts essential to understanding Joan's complicated story. The full length version fills us in on the historical background through clever dialogue, portrays faithfully scenes from the trial in Joan's own words and best of all draws us in to the exciting, courageous and saintly life of one of history's unique figures. The brilliant colors and exquisite costumes make the film a visual feast! Ingrid Bergman's captivating performance reflects the profound affection that the actrice felt for Saint Joan.

5-0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Epic, Finally Available at Last!!!
First of all, let me begin by saying this is not "A" Joan of Arc movie, this is "THE" Joan of Arc movie--unexcelled and unsurpassed by any movie made before it or since. Millions of dollars and painstaking attention to detail were invested in this grand epic to ensure that it was truthful and true-to-life down to the minutest detail. The events, clothes, and portrayals were all garnered from the the current records and historians of the day (for example, we have the entire transcript of Joan's trial). Ingrid Bergman dutifully and extensively studied St. Joan in an attempt to accurately capture her mulit-dimentional personality--unlike modern portrayals which are either inconsistent with the historical records (showing Joan to be crazy) or flat, wooden, one-dimensional portrayals.
Fans of this movie will shudder to know that the studio almost destroyed this great film by butchering it to death. It was a misguided attempt to get more people to come to the theater to see it. There was nothing wrong with the film in it's original incarnation. It simply was released at a time when Ingrid Bergman was unpopular in the American press due to things in her personal life. The studio's cutting and re-editing of this film almost caused us to lose it in its original form for all time. Prints had to be brought in from overseas to restore it.
I know I've been waiting for years for this great classic to be restored and re-released and I'm finally glad it has been.

4-0 out of 5 stars Restored epic tells Joan's story sincerely, honestly
This DVD hasn't been released yet, but from the details that are supplied it looks to be the complete theatrical roadshow version that has been unavailable in the US, at least, for 35 years or longer (I have faint memories of seeing this on TV, in two parts, in the Sixties). Finally! I understand that this has involved a major film restoration project and will hope that the technical results have been worth it, since this is the best English-language Joan of Arc film to have been made, still. (More recent films have been marred by slipshod performances, weak scripts, and dubious historical accuracy at best.) This movie has been previously released on home video in a criminally butchered 100-minute version and even that is long out of print.

This important movie belongs in the collection of anyone with a serious interest in learning something about the life and career of Jeanne d'Arc.

Update, May 21, 2004: The DVD is available now; I have viewed about half of this so far and can report that it is a spectacular job of film restoration. The colors are vivid and distinct, the image sharp, and the soundtrack clear and distinct even in its monophonic mix. This 56-year old Technicolor movie looks like it was released last week. All the fantastic detail work in the backgrounds, costumes, and matte paintings is clearly visible and Ingrid glows more beatifically than ever before. (She may not be the definitive screen Joan, but she was certainly one of the most sincere in her approach.) The DVD includes no special features but a box insert briefly describes the history of the film's production and restoration. A superb job for this deserving epic. ... Read more


150. The French Connection (Five Star Collection)
Director: William Friedkin
list price: $26.98
our price: $21.58
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00003CXA3
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 3789
Average Customer Review: 4.23 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (74)

4-0 out of 5 stars 4.2 out of 5
Adapted from Robin Moore's fact-based novel, THE FRENCH CONNECTION was the breakthrough film for both direction William Friedkin, who later went on to direct THE EXORCIST, and Gene Hackman. Hackman stars in his Academy Award-winning role as "Popeye" Doyle, a New York City cop who, along with partner "Cloudy" Russo (Roy Scheider), stumbles upon a drug ring headed by a Frenchman (Fernando Rey) who uses an innocent-seeming actor (Frederic de Pasquale) to cover the operation. Along with Hackman's forementioned award for "Best Actor", the film also took in Best Director for Friedkin; Best Film Editing; Best Writing (Ernest Tidyman) and a deserved Best Picture. The chase scenes are outstanding and some of the best ever filmed; Hackman is excellent in one of his greatest roles. Action fans won't want to pass this one by; followed by FRENCH CONNECTION II and a floppish TV movie.

5-0 out of 5 stars Still love that car chase
It's getting a tad frayed around the edges, but "The French Connection" has stood up remarkably well over thirty years, thanks largely to a great cast, a great director (William Friedkin) and a crackerjack plot - not to mention the mother of all car chases. Only Gene Hackman could have played Popeye Doyle, a straight-up jerk whose bull-in-the-china-closet operating method rolls over everything in his way, including his own colleagues. Playing his partner admirably well is Roy Scheider as Buddy Russo, whose patience at Doyle's antics sometimes wears as thin as the soles on his shoes. The two of them are narcs, and they are out to intercept the arrival and distribution of a monster shipment of heroin from Marseilles by a drug kingpin named Alan Charnier. The movie zips along as Doyle and Charnier attempt to outwit each other; one of the best sequences in the film is Doyle following Charnier along the streets of midtown Manhattan into the subway (native New Yorkers have fun identifying the path they take) and losing him on the train. Doyle in his own way is as repulsive as the drug dealers he's up against; he's a racist, selfish, insensitive, uncaring about anybody but himself. But his single-minded mania serves him well in this chase; he'll bring down his prey one way or another. The classic scene in this movie is, of course, the car chase under the elevated subway that practically defined the term "car chase"; it's mind-boggling to try to imagine how Friedkin managed to shoot this sequence. The supporting actors in the movie are excellent; I especially liked Tony LoBianco as the middleman Sal Boca, Arlene Farber as his wife Angie, Benny Marino as his brother Lou (does the family that deals together stay together?), Patrick McDermott as the cool-as-ice chemist testing the purity of Charnier's stock and stamping it with his seal of approval; and above all, the sinister performance given by Marcel Bozzuffi as Pierre Nicoli, Charnier's hitman, who will shoot anyone in cold blood without batting an eyelash. The cinematography has a kind of grainy quality that enhances the gritty story being played out. Even though it seems a bit dated, "The French Connection" still stands out as one of the high points of American film.

5-0 out of 5 stars the 4th time viewing got even better experience
simply fantastic! the 2nd dvd got lot of significant details about this great movie making. the quality of the dvds are so crispily sharp. very very good viewing experience. gene hackman admitted it set off his career and confessed the difficulties to bring himself into playing the popei role. by viewing his performance only proved that he's one of the greatest modern time actors. think back....almost all of his movies roles were great, no matter how lousy the movies themself was. gene hackman is a national treasure.

5-0 out of 5 stars Groundbreaking
After two decades of watching squeaky clean LAPD Sergeant Joe Friday on "Dragnet", and decades of Chicago's favorite fed, Elliot Ness on "The Untouchables", and then the innocent buffoons of the NYPD on "Car 54 Where Are You?", it was little wonder that people of the t.v. era were shocked by this movie's unflinching look at New York's lawmen. THE FRENCH CONNECTION, if not for anything else, will be remembered as the film that ultimately de-romanticized the noble cop legend. Popeye Doyle (marvelouly portrayed by Gene Hackman) is the anti-cop. He is not a crooked cop by any means. However, he's bigoted, amoral, prone to violence, self-possessed, and oblivious to the rules of police conduct. Norman Mailer once said of bad cops that they are sworn to uphold the law but feel they are above it; that they are supposed to keep the peace, but are inherently violent. That's Popeye Doyle.

The plotline of the film is fairly simple: the police receive information about a major drug operation about to go down, and they try to prevent it and arrest everyone involved. But Director Friedkin infuses the film with the complexities and dreariness inherent in pursuing such a case. I developed an appreciation of the hours of stake-out drudgery that the police go through. And then, of course, there's the danger every policeman confronts.

There's something for everyone in this film, including the greatest car chase in movies (even if the car is chasing an elevated train). Note: the elevated tracks that Gene Hackman drives under are the same tracks that appeared in the opening credits of "Welcome Back, Kotter" and, more importantly, they are the same tracks that John Travolta saunters under in the open scene of "Saturday Night Fever". If you're interested, those are the elevated tracks of the West End line (now the "D" train) on 86th Street in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn.

3-0 out of 5 stars Good but not great
This movie was good, but it wasn't THAT good.
The ending itself is a HUGE left-off-hanging disappointment.
It doesn't really stand out from a lot of other cop movies that received far less attention. ... Read more


151. Little Man Tate
Director: Jodie Foster
list price: $14.95
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Asin: B00005LOKW
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 10975
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Jodie Foster and Dianne Wiest star in Foster's engaging directorial debut. Single mom Dede Tate is doing her best to raise her brilliant-but-lonely son Fred on a waitress's salary. Jane Grierson (Wiest), something of an expert on being brilliant but lonely, spots Fred's genius and wants to enroll him in her school for the gifted. It's a simple story, but it is very well told. Foster and Wiest both give excellent, sensitive performances, conveying the selfishness in each character's desire to have Fred to herself as well as the pain in not being able to fulfill all his needs on her own. Adam Hann-Byrd gives a remarkable performance as Fred, showing his intelligence without getting precious about it. Foster already shows a steady directing hand, but the best moments are the more whimsical ones in which she reveals the quiet exhilaration of Fred's mental leaps, as when a pool game suddenly becomes a beautiful collision of lines and forces. The DVD version shows the film in its original widescreen format and includes commentary from Foster. --Ali Davis ... Read more

Reviews (12)

5-0 out of 5 stars Heart-warming, insightful
In a swift enjoyable story, Jodie Foster plays an adverage single parent, Dede Tate, trying to do what is best for her gifted son, Adam Hann-Byrd (Fred Tate). He's college-level genius who struggles with worldly issues and anxiety. But, his grades draw the attention of guru educationalist - - Dianne Wiest, playing Jane Grierson, who convinces Foster to let Little Tate move in with her, be embued in higher-education surroundings, adopt her diet and sophisticated habits. Where does that leave Mom? And how will that affect a little boy who feels cursed for having a brain? How far should a kid be pushed? Who gets to be the judge on what is better for the child? Terrific performances: Jodie Foster, Dianne Wiest, Harry Connick Jr., David Hyde Pierce, Debi Mazar

4-0 out of 5 stars Geniuses Have Feelings Too
An excellent movie detailing the trials and tribulations of a grade school genius. Jodie Foster does a super job of acting and directing. Its nice to see her warmth and concern when trying to look out for her son's best interests. Also intriguing is Jodie Foster's struggles in relating to her son.

But beyond the fine acting is the story which depicts young Fred's struggles with fitting into a mainstream society. In spite of his great mental prowess, all young Fred would like is a playmate. While waiting to go on a television show, his most innocent bonding is with the makeup artist's little son. Fred is curious and genuine and wants to make friends. Unfotunately there are many difficult people out there who certainly try to limit his confidence in developing relationships. Its a series of attempts and little successes and failures that enable Fred to grow interactively. He sure has the intelect.

Anyway, engaging and charming this movie certainly is. Try it on to get perspective on what its like to be a child prodigy.

4-0 out of 5 stars GOOD DIRECTIONAL DEBUT FOR JODIE FOSTER.
Jodie Foster is known as one of the best actresses in these days, but with 'Little Man Tate' she proved that she is capable of direct a good movie. 'Little Man Tate' is a simple story, but it has many interesting angles.

Basically it's the story of Fred Tate, a prodigious kid (expert in mathematics, physic, music and painting, among many other things), and the struggle of his mother Dede (Jodie Foster) to give his little son the possibility of enjoy a normal life without significant worries, like most of the 8 year old kids have. Eventually they meet Dr. Jane Grierson (Dianne Wiest), who sees in Fred a reflex of herself, and she tries to develop even more Fred's abilities and intelligence.

'Little Man Tate' is a movie with interesting and multidimensional characters, even though this is a little movie, almost independent cinema, it's interesting enough to see Jodie Foster's solid directional debut. The best performances in 'Little Man Tate' are: Adam Hann-Byrd as the little Fred Tate, he is the centerpiece of the plot and the movie, also Dianne Wiest is fine as Dr. Jane Grierson, her presence changes the life of Fred and his mom Dede. In 'Little Man Tate' Jodie Foster is adequate as an actress, but as a director she is even better.

5-0 out of 5 stars Remarkable Performances
The first time I watched this movie, I knew I was going to love it. Jodie Foster is a *superb* actress and director. In fact, "Little Man Tate" is her directoral debut. Dianne Wiest also gives a wonderful performance in this movie as the psychologist with whom Fred Tate (a stunning performance by Adam Hann-Byrd) studies. A little overbearing at times, she really gave her character life. Dede Tate (Foster) is Fred's Mom who doesn't have a steady job and feels like she is competing with Jane (Wiest) for Fred's affection. She finally comes to the realization that her son is looking for one thing and one thing only: a Mom. So now it's up to her to prove that she is a good mom. This movie is definitely meant for anyone who likes these actors. I say that because they are all at their best in this brilliant movie. The commentary by Jodie Foster is also a great addition to the movie. This is one movie that I will not get tired of anytime soon.

4-0 out of 5 stars Very Well Done
When this movie first came out, I saw it with a friend, and thought it was good. Little did I know, one day, I too would be faced with the difficult challenge of raising a gifted child. I watched this movie a few days ago, and I could relate to what that mother felt, and I could also see how my son feels when he is rejected by his peers and finds he has no place to fit in.

This is a movie worth seeing. ... Read more


152. Ragtime
Director: Milos Forman
list price: $14.99
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Asin: B0002WZTO8
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 4000
Average Customer Review: 4.48 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (21)

5-0 out of 5 stars Underrated Classic
A complex, engaging, colorful, masterpiece. Milos Forman has never disappointed as a director. Typical of him, he captures America better than just about any American director. The cast is superb. Howard Rollins, Jr. is nothing short of amazing as Coalhouse Walker, Jr. Elizabeth McGovern, Mary Steenburgen, James Olson and Brad Dourif also give great performances.

I have admittedly not read the book, nor have I seen the Broadway musical. I don't know what EL Doctorow thinks about the movie of his book (I gather he is not crazy about it). But the film has a wonderful pace and the soundtrack is stunning as well.

I think it is a crime that the soundtrack is not available on cd and the movie not available on DVD!

5-0 out of 5 stars The ignored classic.
RAGTIME was one of Milos Forman's three great literary adaptations of the 80's, the others being AMADEUS and VALMONT. AMADEUS was a hit, but RAGTIME, which was largely ignored by the public and the critics, who badly wanted to show off the fact that they read the book, was a flop. Too bad. The original novel is like "Forrest Gump" in the early 1900's. A sketchy work in which the members of one upper class family meet with every possible type of person, real or imagined, including every famous person that you can find from that period in the encyclopedia. Forman's film, however, is a genuine masterpiece and one of the very best films ever made about America. He fleshed out the characters, eliminated the unnecessary, and concentrated basically on three main story lines. Unfortunately, the film was deemed too long, and Forman was forced to cut one of the story lines. I hope that when the DVD is released, the missing storyline is put back. Of the film as it stands now, Film Critic David Thomson said " it is a much underrated film. Complex about the time and its ideas." The only possibly distracting thing about the film is the amount of soon to be famous actors appearing in small parts, including Jeff Daniels, Samuel L. Jackson, Fran Drescher, etc.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Milos Forman Classic
If you missed seeing "Ragtime" back in 1981, it wasn't your fault because you probably didn't even know it existed. Much like Terry Gilliam's "Adventures of Baron Munchausen", this truly great movie was poorly distributed and miserably publicized and advertised when it was released. This is too bad because both films deserved much better. Anyway...

Milos Forman has time and again proven that he is not only one of the world's best directors but also one of the sharpest viewers of American culture and history. "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest", "The People vs. Larry Flint", and, to an extent, "Man on the Moon" have at their core an indictment of American society: its racism, its hypocrisy, its perversity, its corruption, and its insanity. However, Forman is by no means anti-American. In fact, these movies also have at their hearts a deep fascination with America and a yearning to make it better. And like few directors can do, he doesn't create a manifesto disguised as a film. His characters and dialogue are believeable, and his filming is gorgeous to watch.

Of all his films--and that includes "Amadeus"--"Ragtime" is perhaps his best, in my opinion. Its complex narratives are logically, fluidly and masterfully meshed together. But what I find fascinating about the movie is that all the complicated, volatile emotional reactions the characters experience--sometimes ending in violence--all start from simple wants. Coalhouse Walker, Jr. (powerfully played by the late Howard Rollins) wants the racists who vandalized his car to repair it. Harry Thaw (played by the underrated Robert Joy) is an erratic millionaire who simply wants a nude statue of his wife taken out of public view. A father (movingly played James Olson) simply wants to keep his family together. His brother-in-law (Brad Dourif in an extraordinary performance) simply wants the girl he loves to love him back. And a Jewish immigrant (a wonderfully manic Mandy Patinkin) simply wants to make it in America. It's when all these desires collide that the fireworks of "Ragtime" begin. And like the great American tradition of 4th of July fireworks, "Ragtime" is dazzling to watch.

5-0 out of 5 stars From a boy to a Man
I saw this film for the first time as a junior and have always thought it was a masterpiece. So, I decided to purchase the film on DVD, but to my surprise, it's not available on DVD, VHS it is. I have since watched this film a number of times and my appreciation for this work of art has continued to grow. This film is truly one of the best films ever made and is more than deserving of its place on Digital Versatile Disc b.k.a DVD...

5-0 out of 5 stars fantastic movie
What a terrific movie. The music is just wonderful and fits the movie to a 'T'. I recently bought the CD at Borders, Books and Music (Dec 21, 03), because years ago I owned the LP!!! I was disappointed to find that the movie is only available on VHS though. Guess I'll reluctantly buy it because I'd love to laugh and cry all over again. Can't even rent this anymore, it's a shame. The good movies go and the junk is always rentable. ... Read more


153. The Best of Arli$$, Vol. 1
Director: Lev L. Spiro, Tucker Gates, Stephen C. Confer, Rodman Flender, Perry Lang, John Fortenberry, Michael Grossman, John Murray (IX), Jace Alexander, Andy Wolk, Rina Sternfeld-Allon, Melanie Mayron, Mary Kay Place, Peter Baldwin, Robert Wuhl, Timothy Marx, Linda Rockstroh
list price: $39.98
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Asin: B00008WJBD
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 11475
Average Customer Review: 3.75 out of 5 stars
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These 13 episodes from the long-running HBO series have plenty of the bells and whistles that make Arli$$ so much fun to watch: celebrity cameos, topical satire, swatches of deep poignancy, and pure silliness. Comic actor Robert Wuhl, who created and stars, plays Arliss Michaels, a sports super-agent driven by twin motivations of profit and idealism. Arliss is in the race to realize his clients' dreams of stupendous wealth, but he's just as likely to put his reputation (and big bucks) on the line to help a fading player claim his niche in history. As with HBO's The Larry Sanders Show, Arli$$ gets a lot of mileage out of verisimilitude. In these Best of shows, we meet the likes of Dave Winfield, Ernie Banks, Frank Deford, Lloyd Jones, Tommy Lasorda, and even O.J. attorney Bob Shapiro, playing themselves in some very funny stories about the perennial hopes and startling realities that drive professional sports. --Tom Keogh ... Read more

Reviews (8)

1-0 out of 5 stars One of HBO's Two Big Mistakes
I was stunned they put out this critically bashed, unpopular show on DVD. Any disc containing something called "The Best of Arliss" should be blank. There was no "best." This stinker tied with "The Mind of the Married Man" as the worst two shows in HBO's history. How come this junk is available on DVD and either "Police Squad" or "Sledge Hammer" isn't?

3-0 out of 5 stars Good but interesting choices
I was a huge fan of the show when it aired on HBO Sunday Nights; however I find the "Best of" choices to be quite interesting. There were many other episodes that were much better than the ones presented in this set. Where was the episode where Kirby must outdrink the Volleyball player? or the Battle in the Big ouse boxing match or the one with the Katarina Witt or
some of the other classics. Instead we are treated to episodes that make one yawn. Next time let's see more humorouse episodes.

5-0 out of 5 stars Its about time!
First of all, I don't know what took them so long to start putting this show on DVD. I have been looking and waiting for months now. Well, it's about time because this is one of those shows that you need to get and keep. It's a good thing they put this show on HBO because it would have never worked on network or cable TV.
Arliss is one of the funniest shows I have seen. Not sitcom family funny, but adult only almost X-rated funny at times. Believe me, this show is not for the kids, it is adult humor all the way. Arliss Michaels is a sports super agent and the show basically deals with his everyday life and the headaches and problems he has to go throw. Everything from making deals between players and teams to finding the next big plan to make more money! Arliss is an original show that is very smart and funny. There are a ton of cameos from actors and sports stars that are fun to watch! If the sports world or sports agents interest you at all then you will like this show. It's a good time, pick it up!

4-0 out of 5 stars Tones of Jerry MaGuire? Please!
I find it ridiculously dense of people who think Arli$$ is nothing more than a show trying to ride the cotails of the success of Tom Cruise's hit. Further, I think it's pretty idiotic to pigeon-hole anything involving sports agents into Jerry Maguire. The world of athlete representation is a vast one, more entertaining and intriguing than 95% of careers in this world. What Robert Wuhl has done has taken this profession, satirized it, and made it an enjoyable show for people who are sports fans and fans of comedy. Does he have some similarities to Cruise's character? Sure. But most good agents will anyway. MaGuire is a character in a profession, just as Arliss Michaels is. You'll find Arli$$ is a better representation of Drew Rosenhaus than anything, but that would require research and knowledge of the industry....something some editorials have proven otherwise. All in all, it's a great show if taken at face value. Highly reccommend to anyone.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Show, Great DVD Set
I'm waiting for more episodes from this smart and witty comedy series which is easily the best show from HBO in a while. Whilst The Sopranos and Sex In the City get all the critical attention and Today show fawning Arliss is the show that deserves all the accolades. It is all due to Robert Wuhl, the goofy reporter from Batman, who would have guessed? But the guy is a comic genius and this show is great. Every episode leaves you with a smile, even when they are serious, which some of them are. The sense of life in this series is very benevolent, which is what makes it so much better than the other two HBO series. The DVD is of great quality, only adding to the enjoyment. ... Read more


154. House of Bamboo
Director: Samuel Fuller
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Asin: B0006UEVVI
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 7604
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155. Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead
Director: Gary Fleder
list price: $9.99
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Asin: B00000IQC9
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 3772
Average Customer Review: 4.29 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (49)

4-0 out of 5 stars Slick and original
A friend of mine told me about "Things to do in Denver..." a few years ago. For my birthday this year I recieved the DVD. While I love all of Quentin Tarantino's films, I don't believe any of his work can live up to a film such as this (with the exception of maybe "Pulp Fiction"). Andy Garcia plays Jimmy the Saint, an ex-mafioso that gets pulled back into the business by The Man With The Plan (Christopher Walken, that's the only name we get). To unfamiliar ears, the story might sound familar and worn out. It is not, in fact screenwriter Scott Rosenberg puts an entirely different spin on the plot, keeping this audience in suspense until the very last closing credit.

This movie works on several different levels. First, the casting was phenonminal. Andy Garcia, Treat Williams, Christopher Lloyd, Bill Nunn, Gabrielle Anwar, William Forsythe and Christopher Walken comprise the ensemble cast. Second, Scott Rosenberg's irresistable knack for clever dialogue and twisted plots will always be a crowd pleaser.

With "Things to do in Denver...", you simply cannot go wrong. Purchase the DVD and let us know what you think. If there were only a few more extras on the disc, I think I might add it as one of my faves.

4-0 out of 5 stars With more extras, this one would be a slammer!!
You've probably never heard of this movie, and gotten here by mistake. But do yourself a favour, and read on. Please.
This movie is my third favourite movie of all time (1. the crow, 2. Fearless.)
The movie is a classic about a more hidden mafia organisation gone in hiding, and Jimmy 'The Saint' Tosnia (Andy Garcia) trying to live a normal life again. His new found job doesn't really pay as much, and his temptation for one last job with the boss himself "Man with the Plan" (Christopher Walken.)gets the better of him.

What happens next is up to you to find out, but I promise you: Loads of action, drama, humour, and GREAT acting is what you'll experience in this great flick! Christopher Walken gets a role he really shines in, Andy Garcia is nothing else but spectacular, there is even a little extra sparcle when Steve Buscemi enters the scene as assassin Mr. Shhh, and actually EVERYBODY in this movie does a marvelous job in their specific roles giving this movie the "real feel".

The extras are just clips from interviews with the actors. Some of the interviews seem to jump in the middle of a conversation, and it is hard to get to grips with what is actually being said. A more throughout interview with Walken himself, and more of Garcia, would have been preferred. But nonetheless, this is a DVD you can not afford to miss if you call yourself a fan of movies.

4-0 out of 5 stars GREAT FILM NAMES, GREAT PACE.
They must have liked the script and great characters as Jimmy The Saint, Franchise, E-Z Winn and Mr. Shush. Andy Garcia, Christopher Walken, Steve Buscemi and others decided to forego their usual paydays to act in this now indie classic. THINGS TO DO IN DENVER is a great paced, extremely likeable film. The most fervent work is turned in by Treat Williams, as psychotic Critical Bill, and the major cool, Walken as the wheelchair bound, Man With The Plan (Jenny McCarthy as his nurse). Jack Warden old-pros his way by semi-narrating the tale of a group of misbegotten criminals and their impending doom. I'd buy at the Thick 'N' Rich anyday. Boat drinks all around!

1-0 out of 5 stars This movie is like a commercial...
all stylish and aimed-to-please, until you realize that you are being had. So much style and so little substance. The only thing going for this flick is the fact that somehow the director/writer has each of these 10 characters legitimately vying for the honor of biggest d-bag to ever grace the screen. That takes some kind of talent at least. If any of these jerks hung out with a mutual friend, you would avoid your friend like the plague. And what's up with these catch phrases? They're obviously meant to be cool, but it would be cooler listening to a group of nerds talk amongst themselves at a pocket protector seminar. "Give it a name?" I can think of quite a few names to give it. And let's talk about the plot. Why's a well-off entrepreneur ex-mobster tough guy need to assemble a 'crew' to threaten a stoner? Can't a mob boss find someone a little more competent? My god, it's so asinine it's cracking me up right now.
If you have any taste, do not believe the close-to-5-star rating. This movie is comparable to thinking you lucked out getting a date with the coolest, hottest person in school only to find out later that evening that they don't wipe properly. It's not what it seems.

3-0 out of 5 stars Post-Tarantino knock-off, tries too hard, has its moments...
No, you've probably not heard of this movie before. Yes, there is probably a good reason for that (any number of movies like this came out in the year following "Pulp Fiction"). No, this movie is not a waste of your time. Yes, within a few minutes you will have a PERFECTLY clear understanding of the term "wanna-be". And NO, I do not plan on spending the rest of this review writing like this.

An impressive gathering of character actors like this can mean only one thing: "Indie Cred" (or the desperate attempt to obtain it). And making a "stylish gangster movie" is probably the most obvious way to get there. Create some unusual (even disturbing) characters, write some slick dialogue, and add an air of inevitable doom to the atmosphere and you've pretty much captured the elements that made Quentin Tarantino a fortune and has enabled him to squander the talent that he has for the last 10 years.

In this narrative tale (not entirely convincingly told by Jack Warden) we find the typical "trying-to-go-straight" but struggling career criminal (Andy Garcia) being enticed back to work for his former mob boss (Christopher Walken in the first of two memorable roles spent confined to a chair -see "Suicide Kings"). It's a simple job; "encourage" the boyfriend of the boss's son's ex-girlfriend to leave her, hoping that she'll give the boss's son (who is borderline psychotic, by the way) another chance. Garcia hooks up again with the assortment of characters who make up his former gang and everything goes wrong bigtime. Mob boss Walken is not amused, orders everyone killed, and the movie progresses from there.

It's a lot like "2 Days in the Valley", actually...except it's in Denver. And Denver, I have to say, never having been there in person, looks like a charming city.

The real reason to see this movie is to watch The Greatest Pick-Up Line Ever. Andy Garcia delivers it when he meets the hopelessy sexy Gabrielle Anwar, and even though you KNOW it's an obvious line, he pulls it off amazingly well. Definitely worth seeing. Worth owning if you dig the genre. And definitely worth owning if you're a Christopher Walken fan. ... Read more


156. One True Thing
Director: Carl Franklin
list price: $14.98
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Asin: 0783230583
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 5359
Average Customer Review: 4.23 out of 5 stars
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Based on Anna Quindlen's bestselling novel, this is a mother-daughter and father-daughter story, two for the price of one. But director Carl Franklin also tries to inject a police-mystery angle that it neither needs nor will support. Renee Zellweger plays a young writer on the rise, who has finally gotten her break for a New York magazine. While home for a birthday party for her nearly famous writer father (William Hurt), she learns that her mother (Meryl Streep) has been diagnosed with cancer. Then her father does the unthinkable: He all but commands her to put her career on hold to take care of her mother and nurse her through her illness. Dad, a popular college professor who has never gotten the literary acclaim he always believed he deserved, essentially checks out--and daughter must play parent to her mother. Strong performances by Streep and Zellweger give this parent-child relationship the heart--and the anger--of the real thing, while Hurt seems slightly disembodied as the self-involved father whose needs have dominated both women. Still, the detective-story aspect (the film is told in flashback, as the cops try to discover whether someone slipped Mom a fatal dose of morphine) is a construct that could have been done without. --Marshall Fine ... Read more

Reviews (47)

5-0 out of 5 stars Meryl Streep Was Robbed of the Oscar !
Meryl Streep continues to amaze me by adding another performance to her gallery of great roles. Being a guy l have to be honest to say that l cried throughout the film, especially near the end. The whole issue of cancer is a very challening topic to present on film. "One True Thing" does a fantastic job at addressing one family's struggle with the life-threatening illness. Although the film starts off very slowly, l was intrigued with the struggle and friction that exists within a family. Meryl Streep earned her 11th Oscar nomination for this performance and she is amazing. I have to say that she was robbed of the Best Actress Oscar. Gwyneth Paltrow for "Shakespeare In Love" ? Pleeeease. The bathroom scene where Renee Zellwegger helps Meryl out of the bathtub is heartbreaking to watch. And when Meryl asks her daughter to help her out of her pain is the point of the movie where l'm sobbing like a baby. I was totally blown away by the power and raw emotion of that scene. I don't want to spoil the whole movie for you but if you're a fan of Meryl Streep's work, then you won't be disappointed. And forget about getting the tissue out, bring a whole roll of toilet paper cause you're gonna need it. This movie is 5 star weeper.

5-0 out of 5 stars One True Thing is a one true movie!
Since I became very interested in Renee Zellweger, I had decided to rent this, and I thought it was such a beuatiful movie. After learning that her mother has cancer, Ellen (Zellweger) is asked by her father (William Hurt) to come back home to care for her. At first, she refuses, but finds the strength to do go home, and in the process begins to have a more loving relationship with her mother that she never really had before. I had never watched many of Meryl Streeps movies before, but just watching her playout this character who is indeed suffering a great deal made me totally upset, and like Ellen you wish so much to want to help her even if you can't. However, when I think more of it, it really is better to have loved than to have lost. And in a very beautiful way, both Ellen and her mother found that bond which will always be with them. I wish I could review more, but in a way as I write this, I am feeling a little emotional over it. There really are no other words. Except one love: love. I guess less is more.

5-0 out of 5 stars THE EXTRAORDINARY SOUL OF A REGULAR "HOUSE WIFE"
If there's one actress that can get into the skin of her character, Streep is it. She effortlessly portays a regular housewife, embroidering pillows and decorating cribs one minute, and being a veritable fountain of love and understanding the next! William Hurt turns in a convincing performance too, as the aloof and careless Regular Husband, while Zellweger adds a mean punch with her rich and dynamic presence.

The theme is hardly anything earth-shattering, but there's a fine line between the genuinely moving and the saccharine, and under Franklin's low-key direction "One True Thing" succeeds where many pictures fail by maintaining its dignity and, just as importantly, its honesty. You won't cry out of a sense of obligation, but because the incredible cast drive the material straight to the heart.

Highly recommended if you're in the mood for a stirring "Ordinary People" type of a drama. Keep a Kleenex handy.

3-0 out of 5 stars Please read the book
Although the acting is very fine, this movie does an injustice to the book. The book is the story of Ellen's developing awareness, and is told very subtly. Before her mother's illness, Ellen had been seeing the world through her father's eyes. In the process of bonding with her mother, she develops a much deeper view of herself, her parents, their life as a family, and of how she intends to live. The movie comes close to reducing this complex story to a morality tale espousing the beauty of traditional feminine virtues, and makes what should be a subtle story a nearly black and white one. The problem is not that the movie differs from the book; it's that the movie fundamentally distorts the book's meaning.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good movie
This was a really nice dramatic movie which Meryl Streep truly shines in. The movie also stars Renee Zellweger and William Hurt. Zellweger plays a workaholic who lives in New York, and goes home to visit her family for her father's (Hurt) birthday. She learns that her mother (Streep) has cancer and her father asks her to move home to take care of him, thus leaving her career, life and boyfriend behind in New York. Zellweger plays a cold character who is distant from her family, but she has to hold it together for all of them. She soon learns how much her mother does day to day, and finds herself growing with resentment towards her father who takes no part in helping or caring for his wife. He also has affairs and is emotionally distant from the family. The movie focuses mainly on the women, so you find yourself relating to them more than the father. The movie was well done and Streep stole the performance as the dying mother, nothing short of excellent work as usual. My only complaint is the way the scenes are put together. The movie starts in 1988 where Zellweger's character is talking to a lawyer, and then you watch the past and see the story interjected between these scenes, which cuts between the drama and is not very effective in my opinion. Also, in the end when the mother dies from drug overdose, the daughter believes her father did it, and vice versa. It was not explained very well or even exposed that the mother was the one who did it, it just seemed to sneak in right at the end. Overall a good movie though. ... Read more


157. Tales from Avonlea - Beginnings
Director: Paul Shapiro, Harvey Frost, Richard Benner, Graeme Lynch, Charles Wilkinson, William Brayne, Stuart Gillard, Bruce Pittman, Allan Eastman, Gilbert M. Shilton, Robert Boyd, Graeme Campbell, Kit Hood, Stacey Stewart Curtis, Allan Kroeker, Stephen Surjik, Otta Hanus, Allan King, Eleanor Lindo, George Bloomfield
list price: $29.99
our price: $26.99
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Asin: B00019PDWK
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 7691
Average Customer Review: 3.86 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (7)

4-0 out of 5 stars Sort of a greatest hits of "Avonlea" from seasons one & two
"Tales from Avonlea: Beginnings" is a mixed bag, with the good news being that you can get the eight of the first sixteen episodes from the first and second seasons of the beloved series (I got the Disney channel just to watch it), but nothing else in this stripped down DVD. Based on characters featured in "The Story Girl," which was author Lucy Maud Montgomery's favorite novel, and its sequel "The Golden Road," the series also adapted tales from two collections of short stories known as the "Chronicles of Avonlea." The eight episodes provided are:

Episode 1.1, "The Journey Begins" tells how young Sara Stanley (Sarah Polley) is shipped off to her late mother's relatives on Prince Edward Island when When her father is threatened with financial ruin. Sara arrives in Avonlea with her Nanny Louisa is tow, only to meet up with the formidable King family, headed by the imperious Aunt Hetty (Jackie Burroughs), who also happens to be the local school teacher.

Episode 1.6, "The Proof of the Pudding" finds Felicity in charge of her siblings when Alec and Janet go to Charlottetown to celebrate their anniversary. Sarah is added to the mix when Aunt Hetty goes to visit the Governor's office to prevent an over-zealous lawyer from denying the King's water rights to the local pond. Actually it is sawdust that ends up in the pudding and the woman who shows up at the King's farm is not the tone deaf Great Aunt Eliza but Agnes Leslie, the wife of the Governor.

Episode 1.3, "Quarantine at Alexander Abraham's" is one of the best adaptations of a Montgomery short story. Mrs. Rachel Lynde (Patricia Hamilton) is put in charge of the boy's Sunday School class and when she finds the young boy who work's Alexander Abraham's farm has gone truant, she heads out to save the boy's soul. However, everybody involved is in for a big shock when they all end up in Abraham's home only to discover he has been quarantined because of the small pox.

Episode 1.4, "The Materializing of Duncan McTavish," begins when Sara asks Marilla Cuthbert (Colleen Dewhurst) "Did you ever have a beau?" Having endured a lifetime of slurs because she never did, Marilla defiantly declares "I had one once" and weaves a fantasy about her beau Duncan (because it is her favorite name) and McTavish (because she sees an advertisement for McTavish Porous Plasters). Of course, who should arrive in town but Duncan McTavish himself and Sara Stanley knows Fate has brought the two former lovers together again.

Episode 1.11, "The Witch of Avonlea" is about Peg Bowen (Susan Cox), who lives in the woods smoking her pipe and doing whatever she wants with no concern for what the good folks of Avonlea think or say. When Felix King (Zachary Bennett) finds himself unable to spell anything during the class spelling bees because he is so afraid of Aunt Hetty, his nightmares convince him she might be a witch. So he goes off to visit Peg, who gives him a "magic" stone to give him confidence

Episode 1.13, "Nothing Endures but Change," finds that Blair Stanley, Sara's father, has been acquitted of the scandalous embezzlement charges that forced him to send his daughter to live with her mother's relatives on Prince Edward Island. Blair arrives in Avonlea ready to take Sara back to Montreal, at which point everyone of Sara's King relatives absolutely freaks, especially Aunt Hetty, who announces she will not give the child up to her father. Sara wants to say goodbye to all her friends and attend the upcoming skating party she has been looking forward to, but her father wants to get out of Avonlea and as far away from Hetty as quickly as possible. Sara cannot abide the thought that two of the people she loves most in the world cannot even talk to each other civilly, and so she hatches up a plan to force their reconciliation.

Episode 2.2, "How Kissing Was Discovered" begins Great Aunt Eliza (the real one) coming for a visit and turning the King household upside down. Meanwhile, Alec discovers that playing cricket is not as easy it was when he was a younger man and Felicity has her eye on a young cricket player on the visiting team. After all, she is now all grown up and has decided it is time to receive her "first kiss." However, Sarah and Felix have made a new friend in Gus Pike (Michael Mahonen), a young sailor recently arrived in Avonlea and looking for work. Alec lets Gus stay in his barn and while Felicity will not give the boy the time of day, it is clear that he finds her rather interesting.

Episode 2.3, "Aunt Hetty's Ordeal" begins the pivotal relationship between Gus Pike and Hetty King begins. Given how Hetty treats Sara, Olivia and everybody else in the extended King family, you have to worry about poor, uneducated Gus. The problem is that everybody in Avonlea knows to take Hetty King with a grain or salt. But Gus thinks everything Aunt Hetty says is carved on stone tablets and when Hetty makes a heated offhand remark to the young man it has significant repercussions. Gus had been a minor character in previous episodes, and "Aunt Hetty's Ordeal" is where he starts becoming more important to the show in general (and Felicity King in particular). This is also the point where Hetty King, who tended to be a bit insufferable for my money, started to thaw, because the big difference between Gus and Sara, is that Gus is not family and Hetty ends up opening her heart to him.

Granted, these are probably the better half of those first sixteen episodes. But the legion of fans for "Avonlea" would be better served by having each season available on DVD and they may well hold out for that then pick this up.

2-0 out of 5 stars Complete seasons found!
For all of those who would like to see complete seasons of Avonlea, I have found them! Released through Sullivan Entertainment, you can go to www.sullivanboutique.com and purchase the first three complete seasons of Road to Avonlea on dvd. Not only are all of the episodes included, there are also bonus features, such as bios and behind the scenes. I have also found these dvds on ebay, where you might be able to purchase them for less. Hope this has been helpful!

4-0 out of 5 stars good, but not what I was expecting
This is a wonderful DVD whether you grew up with this show as I did or its your first exposure to the wonderful series. However, I bought this thinking it was the complete first season - for those of you who are familiar with the series, please be aware that it is not. This dvd contains 8 episodes - 6 from season 1 and 2 from season 2, and the episodes are not in direct sequence. However, I still very highly recommend this dvd as the complete seasons are difficult to find and very expensive.

4-0 out of 5 stars Full Season Sets (Season 1 and 2) are Available
After opening up the box, I was so disappointed to find that only eight episodes were listed on the back. I don't what I had been thinking, but had been under the flase impression that I had ordered a complete season set.

However, if you go to amazon.ca (Canada) you will find much more to choose from on this wonderful series!

3-0 out of 5 stars Quality of DVD leaves much to be desired...
I was thrilled to find out the television series "Avonlea" had finally be released on DVD in the United States. I was very disappointed to discover that Disney was the one releasing it, however, and not Sullivan Entertainment. Instead of the complete first season on DVD, only eight episodes from the series are available. Disney really ought to reconsider bringing out a complete first season set of the series. I, for one, wouldn't mind spending a little more money to have ALL of the episodes instead of just eight. Another thing I was very disappointed with was the quality of the DVDs themselves. The disc art is great, but the menus on the disc are absolutely horrible. No care was taken into putting them together at all. All-in-all, I'm glad to have at least some form of Avonlea on DVD, but Disney should've taken more care with such a splendid series. Let's hope they fix this if they plan on having future releases of the series. Major fans of the show really ought to consider buying the show on DVD from Sullivan Entertainment's web site. They offer all the episodes from the first three seasons in three sets, complete and uncut. Yes, it's a lot pricier, but at least you get the whole package. If I had the money right now, that's definitely the version of "Avonlea" that I would be purchasing... ... Read more


158. 8 1/2 (Single Disc Edition)
Director: Federico Fellini
list price: $19.99
our price: $17.99
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Asin: B00006IUIG
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 6174
Average Customer Review: 4.62 out of 5 stars
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Description

Federico Fellini's towering masterpiece follows burned-out celebrity director Marcello Mastroianni through a series of bizarre encounters and wild daydreams, the first of which finds him ascending into the clouds during a traffic jam. Seeking solace and rejuvenation at a remote health spa, he finds himself plagued by journalists, his producer, his mistress, and most inconvenient of all, his wife ("A Man and a Woman's" Anouk Aimee). Caught between past, present, and fantasy, he longs to make a pure and honest film while his producer goads him into shooting a big budget science fiction spectacle. Widely regarded as one of the greatest films ever made, this visually dazzling feast also stars Claudia Cardinale (The Pink Panther), Barbara Steele (Black Sunday), and Rossella Falk (Modesty Blaise). Outrageous and unforgettable! 1963 Academy Award winner for Best Foreign-Language Film. ... Read more

Reviews (78)

5-0 out of 5 stars We invent ourselves endlessly!
1. Federico Fellini. Sensitive, vulgar - il maestro.
2. Saraghina - beauty and repulsion just a few jiggles away.
3. Sandra Milo is dimples dangerous and blessed.
4. Marcello M. as Guido Enselmi, loveable hypocrite.
5. Guido's father moaning about his burial arrangements.
6. A little fantasy in reality or a little reality in fantasy.
7. Claudia Cardinale carrying mineral water.
8. Crappy musical inspired by film. How many movies claim that honor?
1/2. The spaceship - masculinity/identity in progress of going up or coming down?

The "close but no cigar" portion of the list:
Terry Gilliam carries on about how scenes in this movie have influenced his career (see no.2); Nino Rota's music, brilliant as always, probably should have been included in my top eight list; DVD extras - especially lost gem A DIRECTOR'S NOTEBOOK; boring commentary; when this picture first opened in Italy, the anticipation was compared to the excitement over a new Rossini work in his time; Fellini was like a fish in water when it comes to film design and invention - a true master; It moves at its own pace and logic, critics be damned; Fellini was brilliant because the people who worked on his films were equally brilliant - the best in their respective fields; the whip-master fantasy, I can actually agree with the impulse behind that one; it's an epic about one man's over-sized ego - what a wonderful subject to create a brilliant film about! The perfect movie for a century that has been incredibly affected/effected by the ideas purported by the science of psychology. Fellini had stated he was a great admirer of Carl Jung's work, and it is no surprise he would take up that banner.

If you can, check out CITY OF WOMEN - another film by Fellini that works on a similar logic, but takes it several steps beyond what he did with 8 1/2. Ciao!

5-0 out of 5 stars Life is our greatest invention!
1. Federico Fellini. Sensitive, vulgar - il maestro.
2. Saraghina - beauty and repulsion just a few jiggles away.
3. Sandra Milo is dimples dangerous and blessed.
4. Marcello M. as Guido Enselmi, loveable hypocrite.
5. Guido's father moaning about his burial arrangements.
6. A little fantasy in reality or a little reality in fantasy.
7. Claudia Cardinale carrying mineral water.
8. Crappy musical inspired by film. How many movies claim that honor?
1/2. The spaceship - masculinity/identity in progress of going up or coming down?

The "close but no cigar" portion of the list:
Terry Gilliam carries on about how scenes in this movie have influenced his career (see no.2); Nino Rota's music, brilliant as always, probably should have been included in my top eight list; DVD extras - especially lost gem A DIRECTOR'S NOTEBOOK; boring commentary; when this picture first opened in Italy, the anticipation was compared to the excitement over a new Rossini work in his time; Fellini was like a fish in water when it comes to film design and invention - a true master; It moves at its own pace and logic, critics be damned; Fellini was brilliant because the people who worked on his films were equally brilliant - the best in their respective fields; the whip-master fantasy, I can actually agree with the impulse behind that one; it's an epic about one man's over-sized ego - what a wonderful subject to create a brilliant film about! The perfect movie for a century that has been incredibly affected/effected by the ideas purported by the science of psychology. Fellini had stated he was a great admirer of Carl Jung's work, and it is no surprise he would take up that banner.

If you can, check out CITY OF WOMEN - another film by Fellini that works on a similar logic, but takes it several steps beyond what he did with 8 1/2. Ciao!

3-0 out of 5 stars A CONTROVERSIAL MOVIE.
Frequently, the name or label "Art film" is given to a movie that presents innovative techniques, an experimental narrative, abstract and ambiguous characters, complex dialogues...and slow pace, with complicated scenes, so complicated that the audience doesn't quite know what's happening, sure you can say a theory or what you think might be happening, but in the "Art films" sometimes even the director can't give an accurate explanation. Anyway, since "8 ½" presents all those elements, "8 ½" is an art film.

Federico Fellini's cinema is one of the most mysterious and influent styles at the same time, modern filmmakers such as David Lynch owe a lot to the italian director. With "8 ½" happens something very interesting, there are a lot of scenes that are almost incomprehensible, but they are very interesting to see, because since the movie offers few explanations, the audience must be thinking most of the time, trying to solve the puzzle, so "8 ½" requires an active audience.

The cast is very good, the obvious mentions are Marcello Mastroianni and the gorgeous actress Claudia Cardinale. "8 ½" presents some of Fellini's trademarks: there are a lot of surreal scenes that look like a complicated Dream, or a Nightmare if you wish. The use of the camera is very artistic and groundbreaking. And the pace is slow.

The thing with the "Art cinema" is that for some, it's the only way of cinema that really counts, and for others the art cinema is just a pretentious way to call a slow and boring movie. I choose not to be in any of those extremes, I rather be in the middle because to me "8 ½" is a very, very interesting movie, worthy of study and analysis, but sincerely I think that Fellini did better movies, like "La Strada" or "La Dolce Vita".

Anyway, "8 ½" definitely is not for fans of the "American Pie" trilogy or the Adam Sandler's comedies. "8 ½" is for lovers of the cinema in its more artistic expression.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fellini's fragmented masterpiece of an internal crisis...
The prominent film director Guido (Marcello Mastroianni) finds himself overworked, harassed, and fatigued in all aspect of being. Guido is sent to a health spa where he is supposed to recover from his stressful life, but instead is continuously pursued by people around him, by his past, and by his conscious. The people around Guido are either dependent on him, desire his company, or merely try to advertise themselves in his presence. In order to cope with a large number of people Guido has developed a social dance where he is able to circumvent or approach the individuals of his choosing. This dance is also Guido's way of dealing with life and its complications, which affects him physically, psychologically, and socially.

8½ fragmentally displays Guido's life as he dances between reality, dreams, and memories in the developmental stage of a film production. This cerebral dance helps him to avoid what is deemed as uncomfortable as he escapes into his memories where he can find some joy and peace. However, Guido often reminds himself of how his past sometimes plagues him as he can recollect deep memories of discomfort and guilt. These negative emotions lead Guido into an internal crisis where he struggles with his decisions in the light of moral judgment that is heavily weighted by his Catholic upbringing. Despite the internal crisis, the dance continuous as Guido is compelled to flee his painful memories by seeking company outside of his marriage as he seeks self-affirmation when he is alone. The cheating provokes further guilt which urges Guido to remain dancing as he escapes into a dream world where he attempts to unify memories with the present where his consciousness sets the rules. But to Guido's dismay he finds the dreams forcing him back into reality as his dreams rebel against himself. This is due to his conflicting ideas that are simultaneously rejected and approved of in order to find temporary happiness and please those around him. In essence, it is Guido's denial of his own lies that is the root to his guilt and unhappiness.

Fellini's 8½ is a cinematic masterpiece, which encourages analytical and artistic thinking as it dives into a dense fabric of inventive imagery. Vividly Fellini paints Guido's moral crisis onto the silver screen, which offers a surreal cinematic experience as it drifts between reality and dreams. In addition, 8½ shows Fellini's profound understanding of human psychology, which possibly could have been based on himself. The fragmented story line enhances the visual feeling of the stress that Mastroianni's character experiences as well as developing a deep understanding for his mind. The opening shot where Guido dreams of being enclosed in a smoldering car stuck in traffic displays Fellini's true cinematic genius as he develops an image of panic, anxiety, and fear. This visualization is something that can be discovered in every film that Fellini has directed as well as his trademark of having a circus-like atmosphere. 8½ has everything of what makes it a Fellini film, which offers a unique experience that could only have been accomplished by a true cinematic artist.

5-0 out of 5 stars Best Movie About the Artist
I saw 8 ½ (1963) for the first time on South Street in Philadelphia at the old TLA theatre. I was in my mid-twenties and liked the big-breasted women. Saw the movie again yesterday at the Colonial in Phoenixville, PA, a wonderfully restored small town theatre, and reentered the world of the great director Federico Fellini. The cast consisted of Marcello Mastroianni (mid life crisis of the great director), Claudia Cardinale (the perfect woman), Sandra Milo (the chesty but dim lover) and Anouk Aimée (the ordinary wife he cheats on).For Fellini, 8 ½ continued a trend away from the realism of his early movies to a surrealistic view of his own life. The film has a simple premise. The great director has no idea what his next movie is about, while his producer and film company wait for Mastroianni to tell them what the movie is about. It does not help that Mastroianni falls in love with every woman in the cast and every woman he ever knew. The famous harem scene is near the end of the movie, where all the women in his life await his every whim. The older ones get banished upstairs. When the women revolt, he gets his whip and regains order. The women love him again. Oh, irony, but in Surrealism, Freud reigns supreme and dreams are a wish. I rate 8 ½ one of ten best movies ever made. ... Read more


159. Andersonville
Director: John Frankenheimer
list price: $14.97
our price: $11.98
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Asin: B00009AV9W
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 4646
Average Customer Review: 4.33 out of 5 stars
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Description

They left the nightmare...and entered Hell. Captured Union soilders cope with life inside the Civil War's most notorious prisoner-of-war camp. A powerful, compeling tale of war and will, with Emmy Award-winning direction by John Frankenheimer and a cast including Frederic Forrest (Apocalypse Now) and William H. Macy (ER, Fargo) Year: 1996 Director: John Frankenheimer Starring: Jarrod Emick, Frederic Forrest, Ted Marcoux ... Read more

Reviews (30)

5-0 out of 5 stars Humanity at it's worst
If you are looking for a feel good movie,well,this isn't it.This film shows the horrors and despair of one of the most infamous POW camps in the Civil War,Andersonville. Once again Ted Turner has the insight to bring the personalities of the soldiers into play. This is the same formula that made "Gettysburg" such a great film. If you want "light & breezy" don't watch this film. If you don't mind a hard dose of cruel reality that war brings,this flicks for you.

5-0 out of 5 stars Puts chills in my spine
Another great Civil War movie. Andersonville is a great historical and factual piece of work. It reveals how cruel men were back in the 1860's. I believe that the acting done by the cast was the finest i have ever seen. They truely made it feel like you were there in the prison

4-0 out of 5 stars Worst of the Worst.......
After watching most movies, you absorb it and a day later it is more or less forgotten. NOT ANDERSONVILLE! This movie stuck with me for a solid week after viewing. Very similar to the way I felt after watching Schindlers List......

However, I think this movie should be viewed as a look into what all of the Civil War camps were like. The Union obviously had prison war camps also. Such as Fort Jefferson, Fort Delaware & Camp Chase to name a few. Many of the conditions in these camps were just as bad.......

However, Andersonville was the worst of the worst of all prison camps North & South. And this movie depicts the conditions extremely well. Great movie!!!!!!

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Civil War Drama
This fine movie focuses on one aspect of the war; namely, prisoners of war, and, therefore has considerably more substance than most Civil War dramas. The fact that I've viewed this more than once should speak for itself. The fine ensemble cast makes it work with support from hundreds of civil war re-enactors. As with any historical drama, it sometimes is loose with the facts as pointed out by other reviewers. If you want accuracy, you should consult as many sources as possible to negate bias. I do take issue with the idea that conditions at Andersonville were related to the southern war shortages. This same excuse has been used to explain away the treatment of allied POWs by the Japanese and also the holocaust. That part of Georgia had an abundance of corn and rice so there was no excuse for the starvation. As for Ted Turner's "yankee bias", in "Gettysburg" he was wearing a Confederate uniform.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Movie
This is a great movie for teachers to show for a U.S. History class. I am a student that has recently watched this movie and has thouroughly enjoied it. It was very informational and entertaining. It tugs at your heart a little bit too. By showing how Prisoners Of War had to live like animals really made me more thankful of the things I have today. ... Read more


160. Dutch
list price: $14.98
our price: $13.48
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Asin: B00076ONUK
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 8459
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