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    $19.49 list($29.99)
    1. Cinderella (Disney Special Platinum
    $14.99 $14.59 list($19.98)
    2. Fiddler on the Roof (Special Edition)
    $11.24 $8.61 list($14.98)
    3. Monty Python's Life of Brian
    $22.49 $17.93 list($29.99)
    4. Alice in Wonderland (Masterpiece
    $20.97 $20.48 list($29.95)
    5. Monty Python and the Holy Grail
    $14.99 $13.33 list($19.98)
    6. Office Space (Widescreen Edition)
    $20.96 list($29.95)
    7. A Very Long Engagement
    $11.24 $9.33 list($14.99)
    8. Tuesdays with Morrie
    $15.98 $9.99 list($19.98)
    9. Jesus Christ Superstar (Special
    $17.97 $11.85 list($29.95)
    10. The Lord of the Rings - The Return
    $11.24 $9.63 list($14.98)
    11. Monty Python's The Meaning Of
    $9.98 $5.27
    12. Standing In The Shadows of Motown
    $21.59 $16.09 list($26.99)
    13. The Mission (Two-Disc Special
    $14.99 $14.36 list($19.99)
    14. Amelie
    $19.99 $13.95 list($24.99)
    15. The Story of O
    $9.97 $5.21
    16. Barbarians at the Gate
    $27.99 list($39.98)
    17. 3rd Rock from the Sun - Season
    $14.99 $9.39 list($19.98)
    18. Saturday Night Live: The Best
    $22.46 $9.49 list($29.95)
    19. The Lord of the Rings - The Fellowship
    $9.98
    20. Rikki Tikki Tavi/Yankee Doodle

    1. Cinderella (Disney Special Platinum Edition)
    Director: Hamilton Luske, Wilfred Jackson, Clyde Geronimi
    list price: $29.99
    our price: $19.49
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0007Z9R7A
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 164
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    Disney's adaptation of the beloved fairy tale became a classic in itsown right, thanks to some memorable tunes (including "A Dream Is a WishYour Heart Makes," "Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo," and the title song) and some endearingly cute comic relief. We all know the story--the wicked stepmother and stepsisters simply won't have it, this uppity Cinderella thinking she's going to a ball designed to find the handsome prince an appropriate sweetheart, but perseverance, animal buddies, and a well-timed entrance by a fairy godmother make sure things turn out all right. There are a few striking sequences of pureanimation--for example, Cinderella is reflected in bubbles drifting through the air--and the design is rich and evocative throughout. It's a simple story padded here agreeably with comic business, particularly Cinderella's rodent pals (dressed up conspicuously like the dwarf sidekicks of another famous Disney heroine) and their misadventures with a wretched cat named Lucifer. There's also much harrumphing and exposition spouting by the King and the Grand Duke. It's a much simpler and more graceful work than the more frenetically paced animated films of today, which makes it simultaneously quaint and highly gratifying. --David Kronke ... Read more

    Reviews (63)

    5-0 out of 5 stars I LOVE THIS MOVIE AND CAN'T WAIT FOR OCT 4, 2005!!!
    Despite from what other reviews say, I am putting my 2 cents in here about this movie.
    I loved this movie when I was young and I still love it and now since I have a 2 yr old child it makes it that much better for she LOVES the movie (have it on VHS)and it makes it more fun for a Mom and Daughter movie night together!!! For I wish it was Oct 4 so I can get it for her!It is a fairy tale movie not an educational movie (as someone's review complained that it's not educational or giving the right message but I think they claim Shrek does)for it's kind of like what every little girl wants which is to find her Prince to live happily ever after.
    This is one of the best Classic Animations that Disney has done along with Snow White.

    Also you expect for alittle girl wanting to have an ugly girl like one of the step sisters to marry the prince??? For girls love pretty Princesses not ugly ones.They are Fairy tales for children to watch.That's all and little girls are not watching it to find messgaes.For what is a 2yr old like my daughter who loves this movie gonna pick up from it besides seeing a pretty Princess living happily ever after??

    2-0 out of 5 stars Go watch Shrek Instead
    I remember watching this as a child in the 70's and feeling a bit board...now as an adult I don't think the message is very healthy! Cinderella gives children the harmful impression that "it pays to be pretty."I don't think there are any positive messages in this film for young girls.I would recommend that you go out and rent Shrek instead.

    5-0 out of 5 stars WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
    I've just seen the images, and waouh! I an sooo looking forward October 4 I hope the original film has been restored I want to see the real Cinderella (the one Disney had drawn himself not the one who looks like a Japanese cartoon) and please the real songs.... quick quick quick I want it soooooooo much!
    Nell

    5-0 out of 5 stars THE ULTIMATE FAIRY TALE NOW ON DVD!
    This animated feature saved the Disney studio from almost cetain bankruptcy; there hadn't been a big hit since Snow White, and the studio was foundering, badly. Cinderella came along and put on the glass slipper and showed it to the world and the rest, as they say, is history. The songs from Cinderella have stayed with me all my life, and are a fixture I carry with me from many years ago when I saw this magical movie for the first time, my favorite being "So This is Love..." Cinderella contained a scene that Walt himself stated was his personal favorite of all from the wonderful features he created, and that is when Cinderella gets her dress from her Fairy Godmother. The dress, if you notice, is a color that literally defies description and really does seem to come from the magic wand of the FG; the entire scene is fantastic, the mice turned into beautiful, horses to pull the exquisite coach, created from a lowly pumpkin, that dances on it's vine over to the FG so she can transform it into the thing of splendor, the Fairy Coach. The stars and twinkles from the dress and the transformations are spectacular, and it is hard to imagine the meticulous detail the animators used to draw these fairy dust particles that add such enchantment to the scene. Cinderella's old horse becomes a buck-toothed coachman and is clearly delighted to be included in the excitement of the night. An actress/dancer named Ilene Woods was rotoscoped (a technique where the actors are filmed and then drawn over) for her part as Cinderella and it is her movements that became Cinderella's. The Wicked Stepmother is a great Disney Villain, voiced by Eleanor Audley, who later voiced Maleficent for Sleeping Beauty; her voice is fantastic, the perfect blend of sophistication and malevolence. When first seen in her vast bedroom, stroking the wretched cat Lucifer, she seems to be a real witch with her familiar, and her face remains in shadow for a time...The mice are wonderful little characters, the cutest, IMHO, is Gus-Gus, a tubby little guy Cinderella finds in a trap and rescues and gives him, as all her little mice friends have, tiny clothes including shoes. Lucifer the cat is dreadful, such a bad kitty you dislike him all the way, and Bruno, Cinderella's old hound dog saves the day and sends Lucifer to his just reward. Jacques, the lead mouse, is the real hero, and saves the day at a critical point toward the end. There is a wonderful scene of the King lamenting his son's lack of a suitable wife to the Grand Duke, another great and very amusing character, and yearns for grandchildren while looking at portraits of the Prince from childhood up until the present day, and as the Prince gets older, the portraits get bigger and bigger and the last one is so enormous it has to hang in a castle of truly magnificent and royal proportions.
    This is the all-time classic fairy tale, originally written by Charles Perrault, who also wrote Sleeping Beauty, another of my favorite Disney classics in ever sense of the word. I have this on VHS, and have watched it too many times to count; and now I cannot even imagine how beautiful and rich the colors will be on DVD; I cannot wait to get my copy and look forward to many viewings of this wonder that saved the Disney stuido from disaster, for the unending benefit of all of us children, from infants to 100+ year olds. Enjoy!

    3-0 out of 5 stars Damn ESPN commercials!
    I haven't seen this movie since I was like 5 or 6 years old. But I've been sick of it lately because of those ESPN commercials during March Madness where Cinderella drops the slipper and the guy chases after her when she drops it. Otherwise it's an ok movie. Nuff said! ... Read more


    2. Fiddler on the Roof (Special Edition)
    Director: Norman Jewison
    list price: $19.98
    our price: $14.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00005N7YZ
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 256
    Average Customer Review: 4.82 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (90)

    5-0 out of 5 stars The best contextual musical ever
    Norman Jewison's "Fiddler On the Roof" is the story of a poor milkman living in tsarist Russia, which in the outskirts of Russia. This is one of the most original musicals, based on the stories of Sholom Aleichem. Played by Chaim Topol and Norma Crane as Tevye and Golde, the acting of this role of parents of five daughters in an orthodox Jewish family is done brilliantly. Tevye's misquotings of the bible is hilarious. The songs in the movie are outstanding and poignant. Starting from the beginning with "Tradition", with violinist Isaac Stern doing his magic, every song has its uniqueness.

    Each of his three older daughters choose a different path. The first one refuses to marry the person chosen by the father as she in love with the tailer Motel. The way Tevye cons his wife into agreeing for this wedding is one of the funniest pieces of the movie. The characters chosen are unique and beautifully portrayed. The song before this, "Matchmaker, matchmaker" is beautiful. The way Yente, the matchmaker looks at the youngest daughters as though they were caravans wares is extremely funny. The second daughter Tseitel chooses the revolutionary who is against the Tsar and wishes communism. The song in the bar "To life, Le Chaim" is unusual and shows the way the Jews and the Christians can get along in a limited manner. The third daughter chooses a gentile.

    Though this is a musical, the acting, story and the character portrayal is deep. Songs range from comic like "If I were a rich man", to haunting, "Sunrise, sunset", to sad and lonely, "Little bird". Though being Jewish will help one understand this movie better, it is not a necessity. The screenplay is wonderful. The particular one that I like is when Avraham comes and tells that there are bad things going on in the world. Another person says, "Why should I break my head about the outside world, let the outside world break its own head". Here Tevye says, "He is right, if you spit in the air, it lands in your face." Then the revolutionary says, "Nonsense, you cannot be blind to what happens outside." Then Tevye says, "You know, he is also right." At this time Avraham points to the revolutionary and the other person and says, "He is right and he is right, they can't both be right." Now Tevye looks at Avraham and says, "You know, you are also right."

    When the Jews are evicted, it is extremely sad. They console themselves saying that their village Anatevka was not exactly the garden of Eden. This song, "Anatevka", is sad and heartbreaking. They have so little but still love it. It reminds one that happiness is something of the inside and has nothing to do with material possessions. This movie is a classic and a timeless masterpiece. It might be difficult for some people to understand due to the history of Tsarist Russia and its pogroms and the context, otherwise, to date it is my favorite musical.

    5-0 out of 5 stars One of the greatest musicals of all time...
    Fiddler on the Roof is a cinematic masterpiece. Originally a musical, this movie is an amazing adaptation that remains faithful to the original, while at the same time not making it seem "theatrical" to the point where it looks contrived. The characters are played perfectly with Topol (who plays Tevye, the poor village milkman) taking the highest honors.

    Fiddler on the Roof is simply a timeless story, even if it finds itself placed in czarist Russia. The story revolves around Tevye, a poor Jew living in Russia and his struggle to stay true to his faith (and ideals) in a world that is rapidly changing. This film follows Tevye in his journey to meld his rich Jewish past with the modern world that surrounds him. His arguments with himself ("On the other hand,...") are priceless and allow us to relate with Tevye as he struggles with his heritage (the pogroms), his financial status ("If I Were a Rich Man") and his family (his daughters are entering marrying age).

    Ths music is wonderful. The songs are poignant and easily remembered. I guarantee that you'll wind up singing/humming "Tradition" or "If I Were a Rich Man" days after watching the movie. The movie itself is humourous at times, and sorrowful the next and the storyline is deep, but is not a damning social commentary. The cinematics are also extraordinary, with the film being shot "on location" in Zagreb, Yugoslavia.

    This is an ideal family movie, and I can remember watching (and loving) this movie at an early age. I'm glad I purchased this movie for my DVD collection, as it will become one of my most watched (and sung to) films. The box comes with only a single DVD, but is double-sided and contains additional footage, an additional song (cut at production) and a commentary on the movie itself.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Fiddler on the Roof
    IT was absolutely amazing. Everything about it! The backround and effects were amaxing and it was a very touching story with absolutely wonderful actors and unforgetable songs. SPECTACULAR!

    5-0 out of 5 stars An excellent film, except for the cover art
    I love this movie, but was highly dissaponted with the ugly cover art design. They should have stuck to the original poster art. Anyways, the music is great, and it is good to see such movies being restored on DVD.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The best of all musicals.
    I agree with HeadbangerDuh in every sense. This is the best of musicals. While some other musicals amy be corny, boring, and downright dumb, Fiddler shows humor, interest, and is educational. Although part one is funnier, part two I feel is richer, and more full, not as goofy. This is probably the best film of the century. ... Read more


    3. Monty Python's Life of Brian
    Director: Terry Jones
    list price: $14.98
    our price: $11.24
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 6305388458
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 265
    Average Customer Review: 4.71 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com essential video

    "Blessed are the cheesemakers," a wise man once said. Or maybe not. But the point is Monty Python's Life of Brian is a religious satire that does not target specific religions or religious leaders (like, say, Jesus of Nazareth). Instead, it pokes fun at the mindless and fanatical among their followers--it's an attack on religious zealotry and hypocrisy--things that that fellow from Nazareth didn't particularly care for either. Nevertheless, at the time of its release in 1979, those who hadn't seen it considered it to be quite "controversial."

    Life of Brian, you see, is about a chap named Brian (Graham Chapman) born December 25 in a hovel not far from a soon-to-be-famous Bethlehem manger. Brian is mistaken for the messiah and, therefore, manipulated, abused, and exploited by various religious and political factions. And it's really, really funny. Particularly memorable bits include the brassy Shirley Bassey/James Bond-like title song; the bitter rivalry between the anti-Roman resistance groups, the Judean People's Front and the People's Front of Judea; Michael Palin's turn as a lisping, risible Pontius Pilate; Brian urging a throng of false-idol worshippers to think for themselves--to which they reply en masse "Yes, we must think for ourselves!"; the fact that everything Brian does, including losing his sandal in an attempt to flee these wackos, is interpreted as "a sign." Life of Brian is not only one of Monty Python's funniest achievements, it's also the group's sharpest and smartest sustained satire. Blessed are the Pythons. --Jim Emerson ... Read more

    Reviews (186)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Holy Hilarity!
    Life of Brian is not as well known by the movie going public as Monty Python?s classic "Monty Python and the Holy Grail", but it is definitely is as, or maybe even funnier than Holy Grail. This is especially true for people who are familiar with the Biblical stories it pokes fun at. It is perfect satire, for nothing is sacred and everything is a joke.

    The story revolves around Brian, a very unlucky resident of Judea who just happened to be born the same day the Christ child was born. Missing his chance at glory, Brian lives his life selling animal parts at the Coliseum, dominated by a violent mother who is very "friendly" to the Roman occupiers. The rest of Brian's environment is inhabited by a very wild bunch. The neo- or archo-Marxist group, the People's Front of Judea, battles the Romans daily by holding meeting after violent meeting, plotting against the legions and their arch rivals, the Judean People's Front. The Romans, on the other hand, are led by the Pontius Pilate, who, contrary to Biblical reports, has quite a lisp and an endearing sense of stupidity. When Brian rebels against his mother and joins up with the wild band of revolutionaries, his life is changed forever. Quite by accident, Brian is then thought to be the messiah, although he is quite reluctant in his leadership.

    Satirically, this movie is absolutely ruthless. Everything is skewered, everything. The performances are all fantastic, especially that of John Cleese, who is just the man in this movie, playing about six separate characters. Joke after joke hits the viewer, which results in just non-stop humor. It's just a wonderful movie by the Python pioneers who really revolutionized comedy. The Criterion DVD edition is great, with tons of hilarious extras that are worth the price on their own. To the people that use this to either justify their atheism or believe it to be an attack on their religion, calm down. It's a comedy for God's sake, why do the opinions of some British comedians affect your outlook on life? Just laugh damn it!

    4-0 out of 5 stars Great extras on this Python DVD
    THE LIFE OF BRIAN has remained one of my favorite Python flicks after the glow of the Holy Grail began to wear thin from overuse. If you're considering purchasing this movie, you've probably seen the movie already and are a Monty Python fan. If not, get ready for one of Python's most sacrilegious and hilarious movies of their collection! If you are easily offended, you might think twice. However, the satire here is equally distributed and is not aimed so much at religion itself but moreso at the amusing ways in which people can behave "under the influence" of zealotry.

    I thoroughly enjoyed rewatching the movie, but it was a great surprise to find that this DVD comes packed with some great bonus materials. Several full-length, revealing interviews with the cast go into more Python history than just that surrounding this flick. And a rather large collection of scenes cut from the final release are also quite interesting.

    The video and audio quality seem to be on par with most of the other DVD movies I've seen so far, despite the film's age.

    All in all, a great addition to any Python collection.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Is nothing sacred? NO! And that's why this is a riot!
    Irreverent, brilliant, ingenius... I'm getting all these words out of the way now before I forget them! Even though I'll probably use them a dozen times!

    The funniest thing to come from England since The Stamp Act, Monty Python's Flying Circus could always be depended upon to provide the world with brilliantly twisted humor. The LIFE OF BRIAN is no less a comic masterpiece than anything else these boys have done. Ostensibly a parody of the life of Jesus, LIFE OF BRIAN is a hilarious attack on liberalism, conservatism, colonialism, individualism, communalism, organized religion, disorganized religion, fanaticism, feminism... take your pick of any of a hundred topics. It doesn't matter, it's still brilliant. And the script and direction holds it perfectly all together, even if there's a space ship chase sequence thrown in for the hell of it.

    Once again, the members of MPFC each play several roles and every viewer has his or her favorites, so what the hell, I'll mention mine. Michael Palin, while playing a wonderfully foppy Pontius Pilate, is equally hilarious as a twitchy, hyperactive leper that Jesus had cured. Instead of being grateful, he complains that his rehabilitation has ruined his livelihood as a beggar. (Speaking of rehabilitation, Palin plays the part like a junkie in need of a fix.) John Cleese has several great moments, but his role as a Centurion turned sadistic Latin teacher is nothing short of genius. Everyone who has studied Latin will be beside themselves during this scene. And Terry Jones as Brian's mom still stuns me 25 years later. "My Brian is not the messiah! He's a very naughty, naughty boy."

    Monty Python's LIFE OF BRIAN is irreverent, brilliant, and ingenius and this edition, complete with outtakes, behind-the-scenes footage, and interviews make this package worth the price. Whether you are an individual or not, "Monty Python's Life of Brian - Criterion Collection" will save your comic soul.

    5-0 out of 5 stars a review of a movie
    A brilliant movie with a brilliant finale.

    5-0 out of 5 stars funny but wheres Bodge?
    This is a very funny movie. It takes place int he Stone Age. About a guy named Brian and this is his life. Most of the humor is because his name is brian and people confuse him for somebody else. "I'm not so anso I'm Brian." Also there is a very funny moment when a man says his wife is called Continual Buttocks (a butocks is a bottom) or soemthing. Some of the humor is called toilet humor that I'm not a fan of. My friends and I only thought that Bodge would have looked great in this film with his beard and BRITISH accent!!! Where was he? He would have been perfect! ... Read more


    4. Alice in Wonderland (Masterpiece Edition)
    Director: Wilfred Jackson, Clyde Geronimi, Hamilton Luske
    list price: $29.99
    our price: $22.49
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0000TG9E2
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 466
    Average Customer Review: 4.17 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (148)

    5-0 out of 5 stars One of the best animated movies of all time
    The story of the animated film is similar to that of the first book, but contains parts of the second book. Dozy Alice is so silly she follows trouble by chasing a talking rabbit down hs hole. At the bottom, she drinks an unknown substance which helps her get through a talking door into Wonderland. Here she meets the Dodo, TweedleDum and TweedleDee (who tell her the story of the Walrus and the Carpenter), the Talking flowers (watch out for the snobby Iris!), the Caterpillar and the Cheshire Cat. She even has un-birthday tea with the Mad Hatter and the March Hare. However, Alice gets caught up in a game of croquet with the Queen of Hearts, and later a trial. The whole thing becomes such a nightmare, Alice realises she's had a dream while she dozed off.

    Firstly, I don't know why loads of people think this film is cheesy. I know Alice isn't for everyone, but when you look at the other films made based on Children's classics by Disney (eg- Jungle Book, Hunchback of Notre Dame), you'll see it's more faithful than those films to the original. However if you have read the books and haven't seen this film, some characters are missing (eg- Duchess, Mock Turtle, Knave of Hearts, White Knight). This may just think that Disney has ruined this classic forever. They haven't. It's the best adaption I've ever seen.

    Although I actually have the PAL version, I suppose the movie is just the same over in North America. The best bits are the Walrus and the Carpenter, the garden of singing flowers and flamingo croquet. And the Mad Tea Party is still the funniest part of a Disney classic. So buy this movie. Wether it's a video tape or DVD.

    (I also live near Carroll's birth place!)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Disney's 13th Animated Masterpiece!
    Following the success of Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland is snother Disney gem, this colorful,classic animated feature tells the adventures of young Alice in a rather odd way since it doesn't really follow the book by Lewis Carroll, but still, makes a wonderful and entertaining film. Although it was not well-liked when it was first released, it is considered today another one of Disney's greatest masterpieces. The colorful characters will make you laugh from beginning to end. It is hard to say who is the wicked villain in this film, since they all play a role in making Alice's day in wonderland not very pleasent, starting from the Mad Hatter, the March Hare, the Chessire Cat and the Queen of Hearts, who just wants to see someone's head roll.

    This new Masterpiece Edition DVD set brings Alice in Wonderland to a more deserved release than that previous Gold Collection, which brought very little bonus features. The masterpiece edition does bring many more bonuses, and one of my favorites is that "Virtual Wonderland Party", in which children can enjoy a little while in a fantastic tea pary. Really great! This DVD also has the greatest cover art, I love it. 5 stars!

    4-0 out of 5 stars Follow the white rabbit Neo - no sorry, I mean Alice
    I just spent a couple of hours looking at this wonderful movie and the extra features. The aptly named Masterpiece Edition is worth every penny, and like The Matrix, should be included in any movie collection, whether you have a child to hide behind or not.

    Beautifully adapted and animated from Lewis Carroll's highly imaginative, high-trippin' classic, the imagery and illustrated puns amaze and amuse, especially the little things like the rocking-horse fly, the bread-and-butter flies, the vultures, the pencil and hammer birds, the momeraths, and the bird in the tree (Queenie Leonard) yelling "Ser-pennnnnt !"

    The animators drew each frame based on the portrayals by the actors voicing the parts, and the stand-outs are Kathryn Beaumont as Alice, Ed Wynn as the Mad Hatter, Verna Felton as the Queen of Hearts, Bill Thompson as the White Rabbit, and the very flexible and versatile J. Pat O'Malley as Tweedle Dum, Tweedle Dee, the Walrus AND the Carpenter, in one of the best scenes in the movie.

    With fourteen songs, this is the most musical Disney around, but unfortunately, the songs are not very easy to sing along to, making me sound like William Hung every time I try to impress people with my thorough knowledge of the lyrics.

    There are lots of interesting tidbits in the extras, such as the discarded Cheshire Cat song, and the fact that one of the songs was later re-worded for Peter Pan. There are other links between Alice in Wonderland and Peter Pan, but you'll have to watch the extras to find out just what, cause I'm not telling.

    For those who don't want to watch the previews at the beginning of the DVD, just press "Menu" and get plugged directly into Wonderland.

    Amanda Richards, July 18, 2004

    5-0 out of 5 stars Disney-ized
    One of my fav children's books gets Disney-ized. I find that this version is simply AMAZING! Yes, there are LOTS of drugged out images (ie..the caterpillar is smoking an opium pipe, she eats mushrooms to get bigger or smaller etc) but its a magical story and its told VERY well by the Disney guys. Not to be missed, grab it before its out of print.

    1-0 out of 5 stars It stinks!
    This movie is nothing like the original book, skip it and watch the Hallmark version instead. ... Read more


    5. Monty Python and the Holy Grail (Special Edition)
    Director: Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones
    list price: $29.95
    our price: $20.97
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00005O3VC
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 72
    Average Customer Review: 4.63 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (630)

    5-0 out of 5 stars one of the best comedies ever and dvd extras to rave about!
    This is what dvds were invented for -- there are so many great features here! So in addition to seeing one of the funniest movies ever made, you can be entertained for hours with the extras, and the extras are terrific: subtitles in English, French or Spanish; audio track choices -- English (the original mono or a brand new full stereo version), French, a directors' (Gilliam and Jones) track or a commentary track with Cleese, Idle and Palin; a copy of the script overlaid on the film; a painstaking, hilarious Henry the IV-ish subtitle for those who don't like the film; a hard-of-hearing feature; killer rabbit easter eggs; animated menus using Gilliam's original animation; karaoke renditions of 'Knights of the Round Table', 'Sir Robin' and the 'Monks Chant'; a delightful 45 minute visit to the locations with Jones and Palin; an educational film about the 'other' uses of coconuts; Japanese versions of the French Castle and Knights Who Say Ni scenes, including references to the 'holy sake cup'; a 1974 BBC Film Night visit to a location site during filming; photos of tickets, press releases, reviews, posters, production stills and original artwork; trailers; cast credits (Palin played over a dozen parts!) with pictures of each character; a Lego knights version of the Camelot scene; pictures of sketches that were never used (a killer snail?!); a web link.

    A lot of effort went into this special edition dvd, and it shows. I particularly enjoyed seeing Jones and Palin visit locations. They were in a jolly mood, their comments are interspersed with film footage, and they meet affectionate and funny fans along the way.

    If you like this film you will love this dvd version; if you love the film, you wil adore this two-dvd set. An essential item for your collection.

    Highest recommendation.

    5-0 out of 5 stars I Never Thought Looking For A Shrubbery Would Be This Fun!!
    In the early 1970's the Monty Python troop (Michael Palin, Graham Chapman, Eric Idle, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, and Terry Jones) stars from the immensely popular television series Monty Python's Flying Circus began producing, with the help of a fundraising concert headlined by Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd (You lie!! No, I didn't!), initial photography on what would later become (from all my extensive years of movie watching) the single most unforgivably sidesplitting, enormously irreverent, shrewdly perceptive, unremittingly uproariously aggressive, gruesomely hysterical, and endlessly quotable comedies EVER. Not even Mel Brooks's Best Efforts (The Producers, Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein) comes very close to the revolutionary medieval merriment sustained in this royal purebred of cult classics. BAR NONE. No contest here.

    Endlessly stockpiled with hauntingly hysterical sketches that will probably never leave your mind (no matter how hard you try) including, The Knights Who Say Nei, The Self-Abusing Monks (Eah aay ess eay dom eay nay), The Black Knight, The Trojan Rabbit, the Ever-Appearing Verbally Abusing French (I don't want to talk to you no more!!!), The Enchanter Named Tim, The Killer Bunny, The Bridge of Death (What is the capital of Hysteria?), The Old Woman Named Dennis, and so many countless more great sketches to include here that I'd die trying. Monty and Python and the Holy Grail remains an ever-enriching mirthful cult-classic that just seems to improve with age. Since Columbia has a bountifully hefty new special edition of the Holy Grail out now there should be no excuse, if you've never seen it (I think I'll go for a walk!!), just drop everything your doing (including Bringing Out Your Dead) and go experience this life changing movie today. You won't be disappointed, just tell them the Knight Not Appearing In This Film sent you, and they'll know what to do.

    As for the options on the special edition here's a run-down:

    Disc One: -"21st Anniversary" cut of the film running an extra 24 seconds; -Anamorphic Widescreen; -Dolby 5.1 track; -Original Mono Track; -Audio commentary with Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones, John Cleese, Eric Idle and Michael Palin; -subtitles "for people who don't like the film" (you get the text from Shakespeare's Henry IV instead); -an "on-screen screenplay" feature which lets you read the screenplay as you watch the film; -"Follow the Killer Rabbit" feature;

    Disc Two: "Three Mindless Sing-Alongs"; -"The Quest for the Holy Grail Locations" featurette; -"How to Use Your Coconuts" educational film; -"Monty Python and the Holy Grail in Japanese" (with English subtitles); -the BBC Film Night special "On Location with the Pythons; -an interactive cast directory; -still galleries with Terry Gilliam's original sketches and behind-the-scenes photos; -"A Load Of Rubbish" with mystery items; -unused ideas and other material; -two trailers
    and web-links.

    Both discs represent the absolute final word resource for EVERYTHING and I do mean everything you'd need to know about the Python's greatest film. An Absolute Necessity for any Python Fan!!

    P.S. You can't base a system of government just because some watery tart threw a sword at you.

    5-0 out of 5 stars What are you going to do, bleed on me?
    excellent. Possibly the funniest movie ever made. Who could forget such a line as "I fart in your general direction. Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of eldeberries." This is a great movie and a great dvd edition that gives it justice. This is completely worth the money. A comedy Classic.

    5-0 out of 5 stars This movie didn't make me Run Away! (or) Run away FASTER!!!
    Monty Python and the Quest for the Holy Grail is, by far, my favorite movie -and I'm sure it always will be! Being a truly hilariously-random film, this DVD does an awesome job of showcasing this fact to the highest extent. The killer white "rrrrabit" will live on in my heart forever, and I will always be knowledgeable that African swallows are non-migratory. What other movie has a group of knights requesting shrubberies -from King Arthur, no less- to create a 'two-level effect with a path through the middle'? Only Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
    The movie might sound strange as I mention these things out of context, but I assure you it is much stranger when Monty Python says it!
    So, to conclude this review, I definitely give "Monty Python and the Quest for the Holy Grail" DVD a 5 star rating, as I know it will entertain millions for years to come. Enjoy!

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Lego Camelot Number Alone is Worth the Price
    Who would have thought that, after nearly 30 years, the world's goofiest movie could be made even moreso? Not only is this DVD a comedy triumph (it would be simply if it were the DVD version of the classic film, in which a crew too broke to afford horses for King Arthur and his Knights changed history and college kids' banter forever by introducing coconuts as migrating props). Oh, no, this DVD is one that may become a standard for other DVDs. Just look at this list of extras above! To be sure, some of them are fluff. The "load of rubbish" selection is simply some receipts and a few odd notes. But most of it is stupendous.

    The first disc contains the movie itself, along with some choices of how to watch it.... subtitles, commentary by directors Terry Jones & Terry Gilliam or by John Cleese & Eric Idle & Michael Palin. Then "for people who don't like the film", there's subtitles from Shakespeare's "Henry IV, Part II". Now, these do not faithfully follow Henry IV verse by verse, but they do come from the play, and it's hilarious how the phrases Shakespeare wrote do actually match up with the action on the screen.

    Disc Two contains several mementoes: a film of John Cleese, Terry Jones, and "Grail" production manager John Young (who also played the hapless "Historian" towards the end of the film, and the "I'm not dead!" guy) paying a return visit to Castle Doune , in 2000. At first it's fun to hear them reminisce at the filming site, but since it's a very small spot with nothing but a wall and a bit of ground, they appear uncomfortable and that quickly gets old. More interesting is the home movie made by the two Terries when they looked for prospective film locations in the seventies. Their excitement is palpable.

    A somewhat painful scene (except for the chance it gives us to watch Terry Jones in action as a director) is the BBC documentary made during filming. The interviewer seems more interested in trying to be funny himself than in the Pythons. But there are several great comic extras, including words to some songs, a coconut skit, two scenes dubbed in Japanese, and best of all, an animated feature of the "Camelot" scene and song done entirely in Lego...must be seen to be believed.

    Finally, someone has made good use of the storage space on a DVD. ... Read more


    6. Office Space (Widescreen Edition)
    Director: Mike Judge
    list price: $19.98
    our price: $14.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 6305508550
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 242
    Average Customer Review: 4.54 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (493)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Way underrated
    Anyone who has ever worked in corporate America will relate to this hilarious gem.
    It is low key as opposed to slapstick comedy. I think the movie was well cast about a cube dweller who had enough and basically quits working and gets a promotion to upper management while his hard working and dedicated buddies get slated for layoffs by "The Bob's" two management consultants.
    Ron Livingston does a great job as Pete Gibbons, and Ajay Naidu as "Samir Nu, ne, nunu, uh nnn ,not work here anymore" David Herman as Micheal-why should I change - Bolton.
    The boss Lundbergh is played perfectly deadpan by Gary Cole, and I think there is a Tom Smykowski and Milton Waddams in every organization. Lets not forget the "Bob's" I knew two idiot consultants just like them.
    Office Space has it all, from stupid meetings, CI programs, and of course the infamous TPS reports - "didn't you get the memo about the new cover sheets?"
    I could not stop laughing through the whole thing.

    Well worth the price of the DVD, even though the transfer was only fair.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Hiliariously Close to the Truth
    Though the situations and characters in Office Space are certainly larger than life, they are not that far from the truth--to which those of us in the corporate world will readily attest. That's what makes the movie so delightfully funny: seeing characters on screen act out (without much exaggeration) the trials and tribulations of today's desk-bound workforce.

    The plot of the movie itself is somewhat secondary to its entertainment value. Basically, the main character (Ron Livingston) isn't happy with his job; having been asked once by his high school guidance counselor to picture what he'd do without being paid and consider that his ideal job, he responded that he's like to sit around and do nothing. The rest of the main plot centers on his attempt to get his life back on track, from discovering a love interest in a local waitress (Jennifer Anniston) also unhappy with her job to plotting revenge on his company for firing his friends.

    Quickly one sees exactly why the characters are so unhappy with their jobs: a clueless, paper-shuffling boss who speaks in total monotone; inane office regulations requiring more time spent on reports than on real work; faulty office equipment; and so on. Carefully crafted to represent archetypes we all know from our own office experiences, the characters and their attempts to break free of the 9-to-5 drudgery are absolutely hilarious.

    You don't have to be a computer programmer or engineer to enjoy this film--all you need is to have worked somewhere once in your life that was far from the ideal environment. Watch this film and enjoy a laugh at schmucks who have it ten times worse than you ever have!

    5-0 out of 5 stars THE comedy movie to see from the late 90s
    If you see one comedy from the late 90s, see this one! The cast is great, and the story is better. The only person I know who didn't like this movie just doesn't understand the modern industrial/metroplitan environment. Driving to work in Silicon Valley REALLY IS THIS BAD, and if your definition of heavy traffic is going 15-20 mph on the freeway, you might not appreciate this film.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Dilbert's got it easy!
    OFFICE SPACE either suffered from bad marketing or poor distribution because I had never heard of it nor did many of my movie-going friends. When I saw it on cable, I kept asking myself, "Where did this come from?" While the film occasionally breaks down in predictable sequences and cheap shots, it really does hold together remarkably well. This is one of the better written, directed and acted comedies in a long time. Even though the late 90's office world it illustrates is long gone, muddle-headed supervisors, know-nothing consultants, and very weird office workers are not. Enjoy this movie!

    5-0 out of 5 stars A MODERN CULT CLASSIC
    Having seen and enjoyed bits and pieces of this movie countless times on cable (usually on Comedy Central) over the last couple of years, I finally broke down and purchased it to add to my DVD collection. Smart move on my part. Now that I've seen the entire movie from start to finish, it makes a lot more sense now (I'd never seen the hypnotism scene). It has all the makings of a modern cult classic. How do I know? Because every time I roll across it on cable I usually wind up watching the balance of the film and enjoying it all over again. Having 2 Geto Boys songs on the soundtrack and co-starring Jennifer Aniston doesn't hurt either. Damn it feels good to be a gangsta. ... Read more


    7. A Very Long Engagement
    Director: Jean-Pierre Jeunet
    list price: $29.95
    our price: $20.96
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    Asin: B0007Z0NYQ
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 892
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    Both epic and intimate, A Very Long Engagement reunites Audrey Tautou and Jean-Pierre Jeunet, the star and director of the hugely popular Amelie. A young woman named Mathilde (Tautou, Happenstance)separated from her lover by World War I refuses to believe he's been killed and launches an investigation into his fate--an investigation that spins in all directions, creating dozens of miniature stories (including that of an Italian prostitute avenging the death of her own lover by elaborate means) that shift to and fro in time. The dazzling curlicues of narrative put brutality and tenderness back to back, shifting between crushing inevitabilities and miraculous rescues with deft storytelling skill and the lush visual style of the director of Delicatessen and The City of Lost Children. Through it all, Tautou--fierce and luminous--anchors the movie effortlessly. She's among the most emotionally engaging actresses in cinema, with the kind of expressive beauty that transcends language. A gorgeous, far-reaching film; the huge cast also includes Jodie Foster (The Silence of the Lambs), Gaspard Ulliel (Strayed), and Dominique Pinon (Alien: Resurrection). --Bret Fetzer ... Read more

    Reviews (30)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Ridiculous comments!
    I can't help but commenting on the review featured below posted by: Vyto Stoskus "Bookroom regarding the film `A very long engagement'. I respect the fact that the film is not everybody's cup of tea (I personally think it's a masterpiece) in the end, it's all a matter of tastes. But suggesting the French people stick to making comedy because (apparently) it's what they do best is the most ridiculous comment I have ever heard. Some people sadly (and it's a shame) don't much about French cinema!

    1-0 out of 5 stars flying bodies
    90% flying corpses and those--bleeding to death--about to be corpses. Great showcase for the make-up dept. 10% storyline: amnesia--big hairy deal. Aren't there any more stories worth telling? Shame on everyone associated with such travesty. The French should stick to what they do best--comedy. Or maybe this was and they're laughing at all us suckers who spent our money and an interminable 2 hours+ watching their multimillion dollar joke on us.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A great artistic film!
    Once more the French fertile imagination decides to make a real punch demostration of superb good taste and charm picture, get its goals without apparent effort. The dinamism and engaging script won't let you down. You will face and be part of this sensible drama in search for a love in the middle of the First War. Pierre Jeunet employs the War only as a big frame to tell us a love story and the inexhaustive hope that feeds the soul of Audrey Tautoo, a twenty years old girl who never gives up for his love's life. She suffered of polio in her early childhood but that is not any obstacle to prevail in what she believes.
    The script is real web that will involve several secondary stories but the whole ensamble is conceived as a huge watch mechanism, so well articulated and filled of intelligent doses of black humor all the way.
    Andre Dussollier, Jodie Foster, Dominique Pinon and all the cast is simply outstanding. The crude war sequences are admirably well filmed, loaded with intense realism and profound humanity before any other circumstance. Jeunet does not judge, he just only watchs and presents the kindness and the abominable horror of certain human beings not only in the War but far beyond the War field. The destroyed indult letter of Poincaré that never came, will work as a complex fixed idea of revenge because the life of these five men will be narrowed linked.
    If you like the artistic films, if you want to enjoy of a whole film, without fissures that face you with the reality of those years you will enjoy this one. No doubt just a second and go for this artwork.
    Nowadays the lovely, funny and expresive face of Audrey Tautoo. Jeune as Stanley Donen with the other Audrey, and at least fifty million people in the world are simply bewithced with her charisma and outstanding presence. Undoubtedly she would seem to fill the long long time expected emptiness left by the other Audrey, at last.
    Pierre Jeunet's handle camera is just equalled by Terry Gilliam in what rapture travellings and close up concern.
    A must in your collection.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Sustaining Plot and High Film Art
    This film reminds us of how films can be made, with care and sincerity. Each scene renders a time and place with vivid imagery and authentic treatment. The acting is excellent, and story compelling, and editing and directing inspired. It may have deserved the Oscar for best picture last year.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Simply Engaging Story about Love That Prevails
    To make a filmed version of French bestselling novel 'A Very Long Engagement' has been THE dream of director Jean-Pieere Jeunet, best known for international hit 'Amelie.'Now Warner Brothers, who owned the right of the book, agreed to co-produce the film with the star Audrey Tautou, and now this is the result of this Hollywood studio's wise decision.Thank you, Warner Bros.

    But the film is definitely French, in language and in style, and the story begins NOT with the endearing characters in Paris, but with the rain-soaked trenches during the time of WW1.Five soliders are being court-marshalled for wounding themselves, and they are sentenced to be expelled into the no man's land, the terrirory between the German and French lines.One of them happens to be young Manech (Gasper Ulliel, 100% different from 'Strayed'), who received a terrible shock during the last battle.

    But the true protagonist is Matilde (Tautou radiently beautiful as ever).She was in love with Manech, and still is even after the war is over, and the five soliders are supposed to be dead.However, Matilde believes that her love is still alive.Believing in her unfailing intuition, she doggedly follows the traces of the witnesses and clues that are scattered all over France while she needs a wheelchair to travel.

    A word of warning first; unlike 'Amelie' in which everything looked charming (but in fact it is not though), some parts of 'A Very Long Engagement,' especially the war scenes, are very violent, though not too graphic.And don't forget that there are some killings (by one mysterious lady Tina).But her MOs are so ingenious that you may be rather fascinated to see them.

    The film is well-crafted in whatever way you may think of -- gracefully Gothic visuals, rousing music score (by Angelo Paralamenti known for David Lynch films), and first-rate acting (including by one Jodie Foster speaking French.And she was once in a French film 'Blood of the Others' by Claude Chabrol, so that's no surprsing matter).At the end credit you will find many names familiar to French film fans -- Tcheky Karyo, Jean-Claude Dreyfuss, Dominique Pinon, and ... but making a list may be pointless after all.

    For the star of the film is Audrey Tautou as Matilde.Every audience will fall for her, and be impressed with her strong acting as the independent heroine.Though the film looks awfully whimsical at times with so many characters and incidents, she remains the pivotical presence all through thefilm.

    The original novel is written by veteran Sebastian Japrisot, who died one year before the film was completed.(Many of his books had been filmed, 'Rider on the Rain' for example.)As they compressed so many things in the original into 130 minute film, 'A Very Long Engagement' suffers from very confusing relations between so many characters.In book, we can stop and think; in film, well, you can stop your DVD player, but I'D rather not.Let the film keep on telling its story, and enjoy the world of Jeunet's visual genius.You never get bored with the strikingly original images he presents. ... Read more


    8. Tuesdays with Morrie
    Director: Mick Jackson
    list price: $14.99
    our price: $11.24
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00008L3SE
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 1336
    Average Customer Review: 4.33 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (27)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great Movie
    In the movie Tuesdays With Morrie, Mitch (Hank Azaria) is a successful sportswriter who suddenly learns that one of his old professors, Morrie (Jack Lemmon) is ill. Mitch visits Morrie and the two form an emotional bond, allowing Mitch to see what is really important in life. Tuesdays With Morrie is categorized as a drama but it does contain some funny parts and some sports. Some things that Morrie said made me laugh. They show Mitch at sporting events and press conferences. Mitch ends up flying 700 miles to Boston from Detroit every Tuesday to visit his dying professor. Mitch feels bad the first time he goes to visit Morrie because he had not talked to Morrie for 16 years after he said that he would keep in touch at his graduation at Brandeis University. At the end of the movie, Morrie finally got Mitch to open up and cry. He also got Mitch to talk about what he was afraid of in life. He taught Mitch a lot about living and about dying. Tuesdays With Morrie is an easy flowing movie and it is very simple to understand. It is a movie for people of all ages. The actors, especially Jack Lemmon, do an exceptional job playing their roles in the movie. The book and the movie are almost identical. There are not really any major differences between the book and the movie. One of the differences is that in the book Janine is Mitch's wife and in the movie Janine is Mitch's girlfriend. I think that Tuesdays With Morrie was a very good movie. It made me think of what is important in life, including friends and family. This movie changed my outlook on life. It made me realize what is most important in life and how I need to treat people, especially my elders. I think the theme of this movie was to get people to treat people better, with dignity and respect. I think that anybody that watches this movie will leave happier and with a better understanding about life and how to treat others.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Genuine.
    A genuinely touching movie is a rare thing. Attempting to pull at our heart-strings often results in a lot of sap and drama, without much substance.

    However, Tuesdays with Morrie is heartfelt, somber, funny, and sad.

    The movie details a relationship (The film is adapted from a best selling nonfiction book) between a sports columnist, and his beloved professor which he learns is dying of Lou Gehrigs disease. What follows is a look at the short, poingant relationship they shared. You see, Morrie was a man of the world. He often showed a keen insight into the nature of man. He did much to teach his former student about life, often quoting W.H. Auden's poem "September 1st, 1939"

    The movie, as the book, is filled with philisophical, as well as practical insights. Deeply moving, even while not being cinematically brilliant.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent movie ---really worth your time and tears!!!!
    This movie has touched my heart and enriched my mind so much! (I cried the entire 2 hours.) Yes, we already know a lot of the things that it tries to convey, but this movie has encouraged me to act now and address many of my own personal issues---family, career, friendships, health, etc. and what's really important in life. Jack Lemmon is so good here, and made me think about the importance of caring for my own sick parents. I love him in this movie and God bless his soul for his contribution to humanity--good acting!!!. --of course, kudos to the author Mitch Albom for sharing Morries' wisdom . I will make sure that my daughter gets to watch this movie and read the book and so as all my siblings and dear friends. The book and the DVD are great 40th b-day gifts that I will also make sure I get.=:) AAAAAAA++++++++++++++

    4-0 out of 5 stars The Best Farewell
    Wasn't this Jack Lemmon's last film before his death?? Anyway, I found it deeply stirring and enjoyable to watch. The first time I saw it I vowed that anyone whose life I care about should have this... I truly loved it. If this was Jack's last, what a gift to be able to make this movie while making his own transition... Wow!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Some get it & some don't
    I've read the book & watched the movie. I've read the reviews on this movie as well. Most get it & a few wasted their precious time watching it, then wasted my time with their childish & foolish comments. They probably loved Lost In Translation .. now that was a major yawn for me!

    Jack Lemmon was at his best in my opinion.

    Unless you've confronted death up close & personal and who hasn't by now or truly have a sensitive side, this movie will likley only distract you. Probably because you're too busy not being in the NOW! Slow down, watch it again, without phones or kids or talking .. just take it in and if it still doesn't touch you in some way then you're probably already dead! ... Read more


    9. Jesus Christ Superstar (Special Edition)
    Director: Norman Jewison
    list price: $19.98
    our price: $15.98
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00028HBIO
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 4563
    Average Customer Review: 4.34 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (172)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Rice & Lloyd Webber's Operatic Passion Play on Film
    After the bizarre Broadway staging of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber's rock opera, the film version of "Jesus Christ Superstar" had to be a more traditional offering. Producer-Director Norman Jewison filmed on location in Israel, using natural settings and sparsely constructed sets for what is essentially a string of music videos (since it was written as a studio album first, the music presents problems for moving from one scene to the next). The framing device for the film is the cast arriving/departing by bus. Ted Neeley's voice is suited to the role, but certainly he is the shortest Jesus I can recall seeing in films. Yvonne Elliman and Barry Dennen remain from the original studio album and Broadway production as Mary Magdalen and Pilate, which is perfectly all right. However, it is clearly Carl Anderson as Judas who gives the best performance in the film. The film version suffers from the inadequate voices of several of the supporting cast members (most notably Josh Mostel as Herod) and the grossly reduced chorus of singers which never comes close to matching the number of bodies on screen, and there are a few unintentional laughs (as when Israeli tanks come over the dune and chase Judas). But the use of paintings depicting the crucifixion and the final shot of sheep being herded past the cross the cast leaves behind on the hill, are particularly effective. Of course as with most movies, if you want to watch it you want to get a hold of the widescreen edition, otherwise you cannot appreciate the Last Supper tableau or just enjoy the compositional elements of the shots. Every Easter weekend I watch this film, even if I do not have time to do all of "Jesus of Nazareth" or "The Greatest Story Every Told." The only thing radical here is the music, but I still have to think it qualifies as the requisite joyful noise.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Controversial Rock Opera
    Jesus Christ Superstar was Andrew Lloyd Webber and Time Rice's first major success. The rock opera was first a concept album that exploded on the charts hitting number one and spending almost a year in the top ten and unleashed Murray Head on the world. It was then made into a successful Broadway play starring Ben Vereen. In 1973, respected director Norman Jewison (In The Heat Of the Night, Fiddler On the Roof) brought it to the big screen. The film was shot on location in Israel and that gives it an authentic feel. There is no dialogue in the film, everything is sung in true opera fashion. It kind is like a forerunner of the music video in that fact. Mr. Jewison mixes the biblical setting with modern nuances such as guards carrying machine guns, tanks and planes appear and at the beginning of the film, the cast arrives by bus and at the end it leaves on the same bus. The beginning of the film shows the cast setting up what appears to be a play. They get into costumes and set up for the play. The movie focuses on the last seven days of Jesus and Ted Neeley appears in the title role. The movie focuses on Jesus' relationship with Judas, who is played by Carl Anderson. The plot likens Jesus to a modern-day rock star, who rises above all the other prophets due to the hype-machine. Judas thinks that Jesus is believing the hype and moving away from his humble roots. He turns traitor in the belief he is helping the nation. At the end, we are left wondering if this was just a play or was it real as all the cast members get on the bus except Mr. Neeley. The movie fades out quite powerfully in the sunset on the cross. The movie moves along through the series of songs and is well choreographed. The album, play and film were highly controversial due to its take on the Passion of Jesus, but putting religious beliefs aside, it is an excellent film.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Most powerful movie ever produced!
    Too many people miss the point. This movie was not made as a literal portrayal of Jesus' last days...it was (and remains) a figurative interpretation of the last days of one who would inspire a new branch of religion.

    From the opening moments of the movie when Carl Anderson (Judas) sings ("...my mind is clearer now, at last, all too well, I can see, what we all, soon will be...") through Ted Neely (Christ) during "Gethsemane" ("Allright! I'll die, just watch me die!") the viewer is mesmerized by some of the most powerful music, lyrics, and staging ever written and performed. This particular sequence (when Jesus is climbing the mountain, fairly crying out for God's explanation of things to come ~ "Show me just a little of your omnipresent brain") still brings tears to my eyes and I've seen this movie at least 100 times!

    The movie was shot on location in Israel a few years after the 6 day war, and during the Vietnam war. These realities are not lost on the writers, and evidence of their beliefs and opinions are sprinkled throughout the movie (the tanks coming over the horizon and the F-16's flying over Judas' head were a nice touch). Their religious convictions are displayed in such moments as when the priests are on the scaffolding ("He is dangerous") and the crowd extols Jesus below ("Haysanna, hosannah, sanna sanna ho, sanna hey sanna hosanna; hey JC, JC won't you die for me...") watch Jesus' face at that moment....

    Yvonne Elliman (Mary Magdelene) does a fine job of balancing the angst of Judas with the over-arching compassion of Jesus, and Barry Dennen (Pilate) captures a high point when he washes his hands of Jesus' plight. Bob Bingham's (Caiphas) bass rattles your soul with his deep melodic tonality.

    While the acting is certainly not on par with the great actors of our times, one has to take that with a grain of salt. I was 7 when I first saw it and I still watch this movie at least once per year (can you guess which day? :) By far this is Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice at their best.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Who the Hell did they get to play Jesus?!
    The guy who plays Jesus is an awful singer. He ruined the entire movie sounding like the lead from some punk band. Also, it's clear they did not cast the actors based on their looks (or even their talent for that matter). I tried very hard to like this. I love musicals but this ranks down there with Cats, Hair, and Nine. If you want a great musical based on the scripture, check out the amazing Godspell.

    5-0 out of 5 stars awesome
    OK, granted this musical was done in the early 70's and therefore has some 70's overtones, but the acting and singing are magnificent. The relationship between Judas and Jesus is powerful, and Ted Neeley stares right into your soul. I first saw this movie when I was about 7 years old and it left a lasting, positive influence on me regarding Christ. ... Read more


    10. The Lord of the Rings - The Return of the King (Widescreen Edition)
    Director: Peter Jackson
    list price: $29.95
    our price: $17.97
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00005JKZY
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 73
    Average Customer Review: 4.61 out of 5 stars
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    Description

    The final battle for Middle-earth begins. Frodo and Sam, led by Gollum, continue their dangerous mission toward the fires of Mount Doom in order to destroy the One Ring. Aragorn struggles to fulfill his legacy as he leads his outnumbered followers against the growing power of the Dark Lord Sauron, so that the Ring-bearer may complete his quest. ... Read more

    Reviews (941)

    5-0 out of 5 stars The new "King" of film
    The heavily-anticipated film adaptions of J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Lord of the Rings" began in 2001 with THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING, a truly extraodinary film. In 2002, it was continued with THE TWO TOWERS, which topped THE FELLOWSHIP. And now, in 2003, we have THE RETURN OF THE KING - a film which rules all others. Here, ladies and gentlemen, is a serious candidate for best movie ever made.

    The first part of the film is actually taken from the novel of "The Two Towers". We find Pippin (Billy Boyd) being taken to Gondor by Gandalf (Ian McKellen), who hopes to prevent war there by counselling stubborn, angry Denethor (John Noble). At the same time, Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen), Legolas (Orlando Bloom), and Gimli (John Rhys-Davies) lead King Theoden's (Bernard Hill) men into battle.

    Meanwhile, as they approach the outskirts of Mordor, Frodo (Elijah Wood) and Sam's (Sean Astin) friendship is tested as the scheming Gollum (voice of Andy Serkis) leads the two into a trap. All looks dark for the forces of good.

    RETURN OF THE KING goes beyond words. Adventurous story, terrific acting, perfect direction, flawless visuals - it is a perfect film. Peter Jackson has done an outstanding job of bringing Tolkien's beloved fantasy tales to the screen. I can think of no one who could do it better.

    Howard Shore once again contributes the film's score. He creates here music that is more beautiful than the previous two films', much less forceful, with the exact feeling of hopeless surrounding it as is with the movie's characters. This is almost certainly Shore's best score.

    The acting is terrific, better than the first films, if such a thing is possible. We see more of the characters which were paid lesser attention to in the previous installments. Gollum's character is almost completely re-done.

    There is no doubt that about 90% of the people who see this movie will shed a tear or too. There are some dramatic, emotional moments to the film, but most of the crying going on will just be because we've come to the end of a magnificent, beautiful journey - which has become one of the most important in cinematic history.

    THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RETURN OF THE KING is a triumph of modern moviemaking. It goes past the previous two, seemingly unbeatable films to become a serious candidate for the greatest film of all-time. It is sheer brilliance. The Lord of the Rings has been a beautiful experience. It is sad it has finally come to an end. At least it has an ending fit for a king.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The first masterpiece of the trilogy - astonishing!
    It goes without saying that I have not been a huge fan of the LOTR series at all. The first film is corny and overdrawn, and most of The Two Towers suffers from what many middle sections of 2-hour movies do - the 2nd act drag. Only at the end of The Two Towers do Frodo and Sam and the gang really feel like they're becoming fleshed-out characters and not just action figures charging a castle wall. If you look closely at the end of Towers, it's Sam's speech to Frodo about the possibility of them becoming legends that the movie begins to whisper of what's to come, and what has come to pass in The Return of the King is...well...astounding. I tell you, reader, if you're not terribly fond of The Lord of the Rings, it is the compelling, deeply-moving final film that shows of what director Peter Jackson is truly capable.

    Actor Andy Serkis's Gollum has been a joy to watch ever since he appeared on screen in Towers, even despite constant ribbing by Saturday Night Live and the fact that, yeah, he does sound a little silly when he menacingly screeches "My preciousssssssss!" every few minutes. The Return of the King takes a moment to bring additional depth and meaning to Gollum's character by showing his first discovery of the ring even before "The Return of the King" logo graces the screen. Luckily, Gollum is not the only character in the film that is made into a living, breathing, three-dimensional being and not a comic book caricature. The whole film seems to take on a lush, heavy air of true dramatic consequence that seemed to be holding back before.

    Frodo and Sam are ever-so-closer to reaching Mordor; Aragorn is coming ever-so-closer to his destiny as, well, look at the title; and (in the most inspiringly great plot move of the film) Merry, Pippin, and Eowyn show their capacity for uncanny acts of heroism they've had in them all along. In addition, Gandalf kicks more Middle Earth butt like he was born to do while protecting Pippin (who is thought to have the ring), and the time for the final battle for the Middle Earth comes nearer by the minute. It seems like a lot is going on, but this third film is remarkably the easiest to follow and also the most accessible. The third film also has a few huge advantages that work in its favor: (1) it actually has an end (and what an ending!), (2) the characters have had more than 6 screen hours to develop, so they're at their peaks here, and (3) the tension leading to that do-it-or-die moment is worth two years of waiting. It's more obvious than ever by King that all three movies are just one big movie chopped into three parts, but that means that this is the equivalent of a no-holds-barred, all-the-stops-out, slam-bang finale of a 2-hour movie -- and that's exactly what it feels like.

    The Battle of Helm's deep looks like nothing compared to the steadily-climaxing action of The Return of the King. Unlike some of the scenes in the first two films, the action seems to have a purpose here, and this reviewer will admit - I alternated between tears and the giddy excitement of a schoolboy throughout most of the movie. I'm sure that will be a common reaction. At the same time, Frodo's greed for the ring, and how it affects his relationship with Sam reminded me of The Treasure of the Sierra Madre. Elijah Wood is no Bogie, but he certainly can conjure up that all-encompassing greed when he wants to. I may get annoyed when he says "Mr. Frodo," but Sean Astin's Sam is really a standout character here - he's kind of been the 2nd string sidekick in the past two, but he actually gets the honor of carrying the film to its remarkably quiet and moving finale even after displaying his prodigious talent as a young actor in the tense Mordor sequence. This may sound like a blanket comment, but everyone is simply fantastic in the film - even when they've been not-so-much earlier.

    The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King is a compelling tale of redemption and heroism, and in a way, it has redeemed itself through this smashingly fantastic film.Yes, it does slip in a few moments (most notably at the very end, when it could end about 6 different times, but give Jackson some slack - it had to be hard to let go of it), but I really don't feel it was detrimental to the end result of the movie at all. The last 20 minutes or so, even when it's doing the ending fakeouts, it's a tearjerker - not only for what it means for the third film, but for what it means for the trilogy as a whole. I found myself smiling through being choked up at the end in one of the great scenes of the whole 10 hours of the epic: a group of people (I won't say who, for it might spoil things for those die-hard fans out there) sit around a table in a tavern clutching their ale and simply sit in silence. They've been through so much that words won't work. At times, I wonder if words will even work to describe what a great feat of American filmmaking The Return of the King is. I can give only this: Congratulations, Peter Jackson, you've made a masterpiece. Grade: A

    5-0 out of 5 stars The crowning touch to an amazing trilogy!!
    The only bad thing I can say about this movie is that it's the last one. Oh yeah, and it isn't the extended version DVD. I had to buy this movie even though I knew a better version was coming out before Christmas; it's just too good to wait that long. Although I loved the movie, I did have one complaint: the whole Saruman plotline is wrapped up in a really odd way. (Peter Jackson promises that this will be rectified in the extended version.) The extras on this DVD aren't anything special, but I don't buy DVDs for the extras. If you loved the first two Lord of the Rings movies, you'll definitely love this one too!!

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Masterpiece Beyond Description
    It is impossible to fairly credit the genius and masterpiece that this movie is in a few short words. Each movie in my opinion, has been better than the last, making for an epic third movie.

    To begin with, the acting. People have said that the acting in each of the three movies has never been exceptionall, hence only one Oscar nomination to an actor/actress out of all three movies, (That was Ian McKellan FOTR.) However in this third installment there are several actors who must be recognized for their achievments, namely Sean Astin as Sam, and again Ian McKellan as Gandalf. Sam's incredible acting with his relationship with Frodo draws sympathy and emotion from me every time I see the movie. And Gandalf, with his several stirring speeches, both mostly to Pipin, are a a great acting performance worthy of recognition. Honorable mention must also go to Viggo Mortensen as Aragorn and Bernard Hill, who plays Theoden extremely well.

    Next a look at the visual aspect of the movie. In a sense of the natural beauty of the film, it is incredible. All three films incorporate a level of beauty and grandeur hard to find in many films. New Zealands fresh and exotic landscapes are always present throught the film, and can often take ones breath away. One scene in particular is that of the lighting of the beacons, as Peter Jackson takes the viewer on a spectacular ride over snowy mountains and sweeping valleys. The shot itself is not only a testiment to the amazing cinemetography and editing of the movie, but also the amazing beauty of New Zealand that is presented through the entire film.
    However as with the first two movies, The Return of the King's visual aspect relies not only on New Zelands beauty and Peter Jackson's camera moves, but also upon the amazing digital and visual effects that are integrated seamlessly throughout the movie. The Weta Digital visual effects team that brought to life such creatures as Gollem and Treebeard, have created the benchmark by which all visual effects will likely be judged from here on. Their ability to make a digital thing like Gollem who exists in a computer resonate emotion and feeling is a work of true genius. The visual effects shine not only in the obvious areas such as Gollum, but in the subtle effects that can barely be noticed; shadows formed by digital creatures that aren't there, lighting effects that create a mood in the scene that is otherwise non-existent. All of these things have been worked together so will with the real-time footage and acting, that you end up never knowing what is real and what is digital.

    Everytime I watch the movie, I never am bored. Peter Jackson has made a perfect blend of drama, emotion, action, even some humor and romance, that the movie never grows old. Scenes such as Faramir's ride towards Osgiliath and death, the charge of the Rohiram upon Pelennor fields, the last battle in front of the Black gate, while Frodo and Sam struggle up Mount Doom, just to name a few, are beautifully done and are implanted in my mind forever.

    The Lord of the Rings trilogy, which ended with this rousing finale, has created a pop culture phenomenon that will no doubt last for many years to come. If you haven't seen by all means must buy or rent this DVD. If you have, then I suggest the same thing, buy it. You won't be sorry you did.

    1-0 out of 5 stars I WATCH THIS WHEN I CANT FALL ASLEEP
    NOPE, I JUST DONT SEE HOW PEOPLE LOVE THIS MOVIE. BUT I TELL YOU THIS THE THE HOLLYWOOD MEDIA FAVORS THIS MOVIE ALOT, AND SO DO THE PEOPLE FOLLOW.WELL PEOPLE ARE DIFFERENT I GUESS.BUT I WALKED OUT OF THE THEATERS ON THIS ONE. WENT TO WATCH A BETTER MOVIE.GOOD SPECIAL EFFECTS THOUGH. ... Read more


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    The movie itself: 5 stars.

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

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

    The movie is completely unwatchable in this configuration.

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

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


    12. Standing In The Shadows of Motown
    Director: Paul Justman
    list price: $9.98
    our price: $9.98
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    Asin: B00008J2HC
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 856
    Average Customer Review: 4.84 out of 5 stars
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    Description

    Detroit, Michigan, 1959.Berry Gordy gathers the bestmusicians from the city's thriving jazz and blues scene for his newrecord company:Motown.For the next 14 years these players are theheartbeat on "My Girl," "Baby Love," "Ooo Baby Baby," "Bernadette," "IWas Made To Love Her," "I Heard It Through The Grapevine," "Dancing InThe Street," and every other hit from Motown's Detroit era.By the endof their phenomenal run, the unheralded group of musicians plays on moreNumber One hits than the Beach Boys, the Rolling Stones, Elvis Presley,and The Beatles combined, making them the greatest hit machine in thehistory of popular music.They call themselves the Funk Brothers.Butno one knows their names...this is their story. ... Read more

    Reviews (76)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Motown and Hockey Town
    So the other night I put on my Red Wings jersey and took my wife to see Standing in the Shadows of Motown, celebrating the Detroit I knew back in the early sixties and the music of my life. The documentary honors the Funk Brothers, mostly African - American, but a couple white guys, who played on all those Tempts, Smokey, 4 Tops and Supremes classics. I was in the 8th or 9th grade when My Guy and Please Mr. Postman launched it all. The relaxed reminiscences of those years from the surviving Funk Brothers, their tributes to each other and to the fellow players -- bassman James Jamerson first and foremost -- nicely recreate a time when Detroit had reason beyond the Red Wings to feel optimistic. Some period footage is a nice bonus, as is seeing the gorgeous Martha Reeves again. The music and the Funk Brothers playing are as powerful as ever. Ben Harper and Me'Shell NdegeOcello are particularly effective interpreters of the classics. Joan Osburne does pretty well also, but Chaka Khan is a really bizarre choice to sing What's Goin' On, and does it as poorly as you would expect. It is just about the only flaw in a richly entertaining and overdue tribute.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Breathtaking
    I had searched for several years for information regarding the Funk Brothers, but, until now, so little was known or written about them. I had only heard them mentioned on TV twice -- once during an interview with Martha Reeves and again during a documentary on the history of rock and roll. Both times peaked my interest as I already appreciated that the Motown sound was really the musicians (taking absolutely NOTHING away from the great vocalists and performers). Recognition of these outstanding men was long overdue (and that's quite an understatement). The movie is highly personal and highly entertaining. Watching the fascinating story of the men who invented the Motown sound is akin to actually being there with them at the time they were creating history in "The Snake Pit." In a sense, you are given a very unique opportunity to travel back in time and feel the same emotion they did. Kudos to Martha Reeves for being part of the film. There are also cameos by Mary Wilson, Otis Williams, and Stevie Wonder. I only wish other Motown stars had been with them during filiming or available to comment on these men who were at the heart of their success. This DVD is truly indispensible for anyone who loves Motown and soul but, most espcially, for anyone who loves and appreciates popular music. PUT THIS ON YOUR SHELF!!

    5-0 out of 5 stars mesmerizing!
    i loved this eye-opening, behind-the-scenes look at the incredible musicians responsible for so many of those #1 Motown hits.
    long overdue. it's too bad that some of the guys passed on before the film was made and hardly received the respect and glory while alive.

    last, hardly least: joan osborne's version of "What Becomes of the Broken Hearted" just may bring tears to your eyes.
    (Having been a great fan of music for many years) i am ashamed/embarrassed to admit that until this movie i had no real idea how gifted a singer this woman truly is.

    i sat in awe as she belted out this song and could not stop myself from playing it a few more times after the initial viewing of the film.

    i guess there is no alternative for me, but to go out and buy a CD or two by this great talent.

    see this DVD. it's a gem. thank you, funk brothers, for enriching our lives through your magical gifts!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Feeling the real sound of Motown
    I have just view this DVD today and was totally blown away. Born and raised in Detroit area I grew up with Motown and loved everything connected with it. It is still one of my favorite music venues and brings back great memories. With all the stars up front like the Four Tops my (ultimate favorites) I was unaware of the backbone of Motown. Thank you for bringing me to light of the wonderful talent of the great Funk Band.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Tribute to the Funk Brothers
    Sure, everyone's heard of Diana Ross and the Supremes, Marvin Gaye and Smokey Robinson, but what about the Funk Brothers? Never heard of them? It turns out that even if you've never heard of them, you've most likely heard this group of musicians before: it turns out they've played on more #1 hits than the Beatles, Elvis, Rolling Stones and the Beach Boys combined. Standing in the Shadows of Motown is a documentary that raises some debatable issues: someone in the film says that anybody could have sung the songs because it was the music (and the musicians) that was the key element in the song's success. Director Justman makes it seem like it was a gross miscarriage of justice the way that label head Berry Gordy didn't publicly acknowledge the Funk Brothers' contribution to the Motown sound. What fails to be kept in mind is that this oversight isn't unique. I mean, when kids listen to Christina Aguilera or Avril Lavigne today, how many actually stop to think about the backing musicians? The actual size of the Funk Brothers' contribution is never made completely clear here and none of the relevant people are interviewed (Berry Gordy, Diana Ross, etc.) so the tone remains decidedly one-sided. Even so, it's still an entertaining ride as the Funk Brothers liven up the proceedings with fascinating anecdotes and by reminiscing about Motown's heyday in the 60s which are much more vivid and memorable than director Justman's cringe-worthy use of reconstructions. Another touchy point is the fleeting, unnecessary mention of the Vietnam War and how the Motown sound apparently brought comfort to the soldiers: it seemed to have been included for sentimental value and didn't fit with the rest of the film and the reason why the soldiers listened to Motown was left unexplained. The many musical performances by the Funk Brothers and the guest singers are what make this film worth watching, even if it's a tad too long at 116 minutes. It's one thing to hear them say that the music was what made the song, not the singer, but the performances say so much more. Joan "What If God Was One Of Us" Osborne gives a powerful, touching rendition of "What Becomes Of The Brokenhearted" while Gerald Levert sounds every bit as good as Gloria Gaynor on "Reach Out I'll Be There". Even though Standing in the Shadows of Motown is a tribute to the Funk Brothers as musicians, it is the Funk Brothers as men that is really being honoured here: even with rumours that they were cheated out of royalties by Motown and the lack of public recognition, the Funk Brothers don't come across as bitter and vengeful at all, and this magnanimous attitude is what saves this documentary from being a humdrum VH1 special, despite director Justman's attempts to (over)lionize the Funk Brothers. ... Read more


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

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

    Reviews (158)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


    14. Amelie
    Director: Jean-Pierre Jeunet
    list price: $19.99
    our price: $14.99
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    Asin: B0000640VO
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 211
    Average Customer Review: 4.61 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (807)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A heart-shaped French delicacy!!!
    Amelie is a rare delight. The title character is a painfully shy loner who discovers a small box filled with a little boy's keepsakes. She seeks the rightful owner of the box. The charm of this film is that Amelie wants to perform her little miracles, hiding in the shadows, with no recognition for herself. The characters in this piece are fascinating, each one reflecting back a facet of Amelie's personality. In the end, Amelie's compassion ends up being her own salvation - and that is what makes the film so much of a joy to watch. Hollywood has pretty much exchanged emotion and subtlety for rudeness, crudeness, and over processed digital special effects. Like a good French wine, this motion picture is an experience to be savored - not devoured. Amelie has a look and feel that stands out from anything I've seen in recent years. So many modern films are filtered with a grayish or orange tint, which tricks the viewer's eye into thinking it is watching a stark, gritty documentary. Steven Soderbergh seems to be the reigning master of this technique. Amelie by contrast, with it's deep reds and fluorescent and forest greens accented by cobalt blues and electric yellows, transports you to a world full of magic and hope. The effect is enchanting.

    The DVD package is complete with commentaries and documentaries on the making of the film. These added features make it clear that this film was carefully planned by director Jean-Pierre Jeunet, much like "The Sixth Sense." Shots were storyboarded, set up, and orchestrated months in advance. And any extra footage of Audrey Tautou is always welcome in my home. A blend of the beauty and grace of Audrey Hepburn, the humor and physical skill of Charlie Chaplin, and the vulnerability of early Winona Ryder, and the sultry elegance of a sixties European model. Her method of using her eyes, facial expression, and body language (relying less on verbal expression) to create a character is what helps makes Amelie transcend language barriers.

    I was a little disappointed there wasn't a version with dubbed English, but after 15 minutes or so, I didn't even notice that I was reading subtitles. There were more than quite a few belly laugh moments, and it became very apparent that this is one of those rare films that is so good it completely transcends culture, language - the universal message is "The good you do for others returns - especially when you don't expect it to." A French delicacy. I just hope we get to sample more of Jeunet, Tautou, and the rest of this team's products soon. Thanks, Miramax.

    4-0 out of 5 stars A Mainstream Hit Dipped In Euro-Sauciness!
    The lack of any decent films from the English lingo countries of England and America has given rise to an increase in recognition of some of the finer foreign language exploits into cinema. Earlier this year we had "Amores Perros", and in England we had Japanese shock-fests "Audition" and "Battle Royale" (the latter has to be seen to be believed). The most successful foreign language film this year, bar "Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon" obviously, was this French trifle that whilst appealing to the fickle tastes of mainstream audiences superbly serves up its romantic hokiness in a touching and cute way. Over-hyped, to be sure, but not without its pleasures.

    Jean-Pierre Jeunet's "The City Of Lost Children", which he co-directed with Marc Caro, bears the most resemblance to the look of "Amelie", which looks different to any other film this year with all of its rich, antique-looking cinematography as well as its inclusion of several effects shots that help to render Paris as paradise on Earth. Visual coups include Amelie herself collapsing to the ground as a puddle of water and the titular garden gnome that travels the world much to the chagrin of its owner, Amelie's father. Everything smacks of resplendence in this movie and no cinematic trick is left not utilised.

    In all respects, "Amelie" is likely to play better in America than it should in Europe, where its cute benevolence will be welcomed by many, especially after September 11. If you are one of those people who can't help but giggle as bug-eyed little girls stare into the camera with a cheeky smile, then this film is for you (indeed, Audrey Tautou is bug-eyed, cheeky and very good in the title role). If you are like those who criticised "Amelie" for its lack of interracial characters, then don't bother: this beguiling trifle is a fantasy, pure and simple, like "Amelie" herself.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Green and Red beauty and smiles
    A beautiful movie about a simple, and pretty weird girl. Pay particular attention to the beautiful color selection and Audrey Tautou's flawless acting. Amelie is the feel-good movie of our times and is sure to bring a smile to anyone's face.

    3-0 out of 5 stars really, what's so great about this?
    Its quirky and pretty and all, but then it turns into a typical love story in the end. Dissapointing, I would rather it be a film where she makes everyones lives nicer, and this importance isn't placed on her Only Being Happy If She Gets The Guy. The actress is really pretty, there are nice scenes and ideas, parts are funny, but I don't understand why it has this cult status.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Lithe and awake.
    Jean-Pierre Jeunet makes a welcome return to his home country after the loud but pedestrian 'Alien Resurrection'. In 'Amelie' Jeunet seems to have taken as much influence from Danny Boyle as Francois Truffaut. The accelerated jump-cuts, tracking shots and zooms all make for high-octane energy even if most of it is artifically created. Although 'Amelie' herself is almost too twee to identify with, many of the other characters' faces simmer with restrained intensity (increasingly becoming a Jeunet trademark.) The acting is above average (exception being the always good Domnique Pinon), but it's the quality of the storytelling that shines. Trust the French to be able to remind us that cinema is still relevant in it's second century, that evocative minor epiphinies such as running your hand through grain or the sights and sounds of a market are not just the preserve of the written word but can actually be rendered on screen (and still find an audience!). Through imaginative editing, camerawork and a little help from CGI, Jeunet's film packs in more incident and wonder than most of today's novels are capable of producing. ... Read more


    15. The Story of O
    Director: Just Jaeckin
    list price: $24.99
    our price: $19.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B000065RSW
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 2574
    Average Customer Review: 3.53 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    A milestone of cinematic eroticism, The Story of O was an art house sensation in 1975, and it's still worthy of intelligent discussion. As with the controversial French novella by Pauline Réage, reactions to Just Jaeckin's sumptuous adaptation range from moral outrage to masturbatory indulgence, yet this remains one of the few sex films that stand the test of time (and a lot of academic study). Championed by practitioners of bondage and discipline and vilified by feminists, this metaphorical "love dream" (as Jaeckin has called it) follows the beautiful fashion photographer "O" (Corrine Clery) as she, like many gorgeously naked women before her, is "trained" for a seemingly satisfying life of love and discipline, her freedom sacrificed to the man (Anthony Steel) whom she willingly obeys. The debate whether Jaeckin's feminine-empowerment ending, which differs from that of the novella, justifies a story of humiliating submission is just one more reason why The Story of O endures. (Note: This DVD presents the 97-minute version of the film, edited by the director to improve pacing and not for purposes of censorship.) --Jeff Shannon ... Read more

    Reviews (45)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Masterwork of Erotic Fiction
    I was prompted to write this review after seeing some of the tripe written about the film. Most so-called adult films are mindless, empty, clinical depictions of rutting and most "erotica" is childish and bland. The Story of O is different: it is literature and the film is an excellent adaptation of the novel. I read the novel first and felt nothing but satisfation on viewing the film. The director and cast bring the novel alive as it is meant to be.

    This story, written by a woman I might add, is not about the exploitation of women or a woman. It is not about submission to anything other than one's own love and sexuality. It is symbolic, so profoundly so, that it must touch upon our archetypes.

    Many might miss that through submission, O conquers her lover--totally. There is an irony here in that her lover ends up the submissive one. She taps into the infinite power of her femininity and becomes a goddess. I am not into bondage and discipline personally, yet this movie is a favorite of my wife and me. O haunts, she is supernally erotic, and profoundly feminine.

    The quality of the film is first class, it is well acted, and is a classic. IMO, it is a must have film. It is the only erotic film in our house--the rest just are so bland.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Masterwork of Erotic Fiction
    I was prompted to write this review after seeing some of the tripe written about the film. Most so-called adult films are mindless, empty, clinical depictions of rutting and most "erotica" is childish and bland. The Story of O is different: it is literature and the film is an excellent adaptation of the novel. I read the novel first and felt nothing but satisfation on viewing the film. The director and cast bring the novel alive as it is meant to be.

    This story, written by a woman I might add, is not about the exploitation of women or a woman. It is not about submission to anything other than one's own love and sexuality. It is symbolic, so profoundly so, that it must touch upon our archetypes.

    Many might miss that through submission, O conquers her lover--totally. There is an irony here in that her lover ends up the submissive one. She taps into the infinite power of her femininity and becomes a goddess. I am not into bondage and discipline personally, yet this movie is a favorite of my wife and me. O haunts, she is supernally erotic, and profoundly feminine.

    The quality of the film is first class, it is well acted, and is a classic. IMO, it is a must have film. It is the only erotic film in our house--the rest just are so bland.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Classic Soft Core
    The Story of O doesn't stand much as a story at all on the surface. It
    really is just a film that dared to be original for it's time and probably
    succeeded only because of it's massive amounts of nudity. I for one (of many
    it's assumed) absolutely adore nudity. The Story of O is actually deeper
    than I give it credit for and that is actually something I can appreciate.
    I enjoy being convinced that these characters are real and caring about them
    and so forth and then seeing the best looking ones rip off there clothes and
    prance about in nothing but their epitdermis. That's my absolute favorite
    part of cinema actually. Call me primal, shallow and a glutton but it's
    among my favorite things.

    Corinne Clery is a model turned actress who had a good string of
    exploitation-like films going there for quite some time. She is my
    definition of perfect in terms of thin brunettes with beautiful faces. Her
    body is indeed nice to look at and here we see her more naked than quite
    possibly anyone had ever been in film. We don't see anything too graphic
    unfortunately but she is nude for about 80% of the film. One more comment
    on this dimension, this film does contain my all-time favorite female full
    frontal nude scene ever. Toward the end we see Cori in all in glory
    standing up, tied to two posts covered in sweat and some nice whiplash marks
    as she shakes about with semi-wet hair. Very nice indeed.

    O.K., enough on the shameless aspects. The Story of O is a standout
    landmark in this genre directed by softcore staple Just Jaekin (Emmanuelle).
    He gives an element to softcore that only Andrew Blake can give to hardcore
    and what really should be the goal of this now dying genre. This work is far
    more intimate and at first seemingly less gratuitous but lets face it, the
    end result is really no different to the majority of viewers anyway. The
    crowd that is just happy to get Cori Clery paused or looped on their DVDs (I
    consider part of myself among them to some degree). However, in the vain of
    films that push mainstream and well directed projects to the limits, The
    Story of O will always be remembered.

    I've heard comparison's to the Image. If you liked the Image, keep in mind
    that The Story of O doesn't go that far. Metzger's work is always somewhat
    gratuitous and pornagraphic, this film is not. All situations are
    stimulated and played down. Nice displays of the female body but also not
    an anatomy lesson either. Jaekin actually despises pornography probably
    because it mostly misguides the motivations for creating intelligent
    pictures about this kind of subject matter.

    5-0 out of 5 stars One of the best and most erotic films ever made.
    "The Story of O" is a masterpiece. I wish I would have seen it in its original language (French), but it's dubbed in English pretty good. Do you remember that famous orgy scene from Stanley Kubrick's Eyes Wide Shut? Well, this entire film feels like that scene and that's very cool. It creates a mysterious and dreamy atmosphere, it has good acting and it's beautifully photographed and edited. You don't get to see a movie like this everyday.

    Was this film really made in 1975? If I didn't know I would have sweared it was a new release. As jacked as it may sound "The Story of O" deserves to be such a classic -- it stands with brio the test of time and after "Nine 1/2 Weeks" it could very well may be the best erotic film ever made. As jacked as it may sound, I was intrigued by it from the beginning to the end.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Coulda, Shoulda
    This one could have been a lot better and should have been a lot sexier. It kinda misses the mark in all areas, except for the fact that if you can get a girl to watc it with you she'll probably be up for some sweating later on -- due to the erotic nature of the film. I'd like to contrast this with the "New Sex Now" video, which, while it is very low in production values, delivers a major payload in the content and expertise that it bestows upon lucky viewers. O, I wish this "O" had been something near as good as the book "Story of O" which was PHENOMENAL -- but alas, it woulda been nice. ... Read more


    16. Barbarians at the Gate
    Director: Glenn Jordan
    list price: $9.97
    our price: $9.97
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00005MHOC
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 3794
    Average Customer Review: 4.53 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (17)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great entertainment if you like Wall Street, etc.
    People who complained that this movie doesn't compare to the book should relax a little. Any movie that's based on books cannot do the book justice in less than 2 hours. If you have 3 hours a la Lord of the Rings or 4 hours like the A&E production of Pride & Prejudice, then maybe and I would have adjusted my rating accordingly.

    But this movie is under 2 hours and managed to take a very complicated topic in Leveraged Buy-Outs (LBO's) in one of the biggest LBO's of our time in RJR-Nabisco and manages to make the story very entertaining. It flows quickly and I had no trouble following what's going on.

    The acting is superb; Jonathan Pryce played Henry Kravis as a cold, calculated and ruthless corporate raider (whether Kravis is like that in real life I don't know) and James Garner did a nice job as F. Ross Johnson. Overall, if you like wall street type movies like Wall Street with Michael Douglas and Charlie Sheen, I would highly recommend this movie. In fact, I like this better than Wall Street.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Infamous LBO and Characters Interestingly Depicted
    In the wild and wooly 1980s, leveraged buyouts (LBOs) -- financed predominantly through the issuance of junk bonds -- reigned supreme. James Garner gives a nice performance as CEO of RJR Nabisco, F. Ross Johnson. After reluctantly meeting with KKR's LBO guru Henry Kravis (portrayed masterfully by Jonathan Pryce), Johnson figures it would be best to go his own route to accomplish the buyout; after all, Johnson wants to retain his autonomy and Pryce would unlikely allow this to happen.

    An all-out power war ensues, with Johnson working with Shearson Lehman Brothers pitted against Kravis and the powerhouse Drexel Burnham Lambert (mysteriously downplayed).

    The performances are great and the storyline moves fast and holds your interest. Not to be missed if the dynamic world of finance is your thing. A very different movie than Wall Street both cinematically and contextually.

    Stars James Garner, Jonathan Pryce (really, really good), and Peter Riegert.

    5-0 out of 5 stars I could see this movie over and over
    This is a great movie, particularly for someone interested in true stories of corporate behavior. Several of my finance professors when I was pursing my MBA recommended this movie. I was not disappointed.

    Due to a high volume of profanity, this movie is not appropriate for young children.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Not as great as the book, but a DELIGHTFUL farce
    The book this movie is made from is a masterpiece of business literature. It is impossible to make that wonderful book into anything less than an extended documentary or a several part mini-series. That being admitted and set aside, this is a very good and very funny movie. Amazingly, it tells a lot of the actual story as you can cram into a standard movie format.

    It is bitingly funny and like all satire that truly bites, it is funny because it is based on truth. This movie condenses the RJR - KKR competition into something like a farce (as it seemed in the papers at the time). Some may object to making such a huge deal into something of a joke, but c'mon, this whole deal had a large dose of the absurd about it. How else could they have played this story in two hours?

    And it is has the additional benefit of being educational for business students. You will see how managers misuse shareholder money by treating it as if it were their own (agency costs). You will see planeloads of money poured into bad projects (NPV). You will see naked greed, inept investment advice, and broken trust (corporate ethics). You know, late 20th century American business! It is funny, dramatic, and a bit touching, for example, as they fly the sick pooch home on his own private corporate jet. (Which some deny every happening, but it has entered the realm of legend - so whether it happened or not it has become something like a kind of truth.)

    James Garner is terrific (he almost always is) as is the whole cast. It really is a delightful movie and that is almost miraculous given how deadly boring this topic could have become.

    But don't forget to read the book!

    3-0 out of 5 stars If you read the book, it's a disappointment.
    If not, it can be funny even to laymen. Obviously, it's practically impossible to transfer everything from the book to movie. So don't expect too much, Wall Street guys. ... Read more


    17. 3rd Rock from the Sun - Season 1
    Director: James Burrows (II), Robert Berlinger, Phil Joanou, Terry Hughes
    list price: $39.98
    our price: $27.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0007WQGVI
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 345
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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    Description

    3rd Rock from the Sun, which has earned 31 Emmy nominations,is an inspired half-hour comedy series farcically dealing with the human condition.It was created by Bonnie Turner and Terry Turner in association with Carsey-Werner Productions, LLC for NBC-TV.Set in the fictional city of Rutherford, Ohio, this gentle-hearted series stars John Lithgow as the High Commander of an investigative team sent to Earth on a mission to learn everything about humans and their so-called advanced cilvilization. ... Read more

    Reviews (21)

    5-0 out of 5 stars THE DVD GODS
    I must be doing something right in my life because the DVD gods have really answered my intense prayers with this release of 3rd Rock from the Sun.During the 90s there were not too many sitcoms that I liked.Third Rock was the exception.I truly love this series and I have watched it in syndication many, many times; however, I always felt rather frustrated due to the severe cuts in the programs and the unending commercials.Therefore, I wished intently that the show would be released on DVD and now they have done it!
    I truly feel that 3rd Rock is one of the funniest sitcoms ever, and I feel that one day it will be viewed as a classic television program.The writing, characters, direction, etc. are superb.What a cast!John Lithgow and Jane Curtin head a marvelous group of actors displaying great comic timing.There are so many funny moments that I remember from this sitcom.I am truly thrilled that it is FINALLY commercially available!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Put on your cheese head and get ready to laugh
    Third Rock from the Sun was one of my favorite sitcoms of the 1990's and I am glad to hear that it will finally get the respect it deserves starting with Season One on DVD. The show ran from 1996 to 2001 on NBC and lasted 6 seasons and 139 episodes. This first season release should contain the first 20 episodes.Amazon has listed this as a 6 disc set and I am not sure why the studio has decided to make the set so large. Third Rock was a half hour show and they could easily have fit more episodes per disc but the price Amazon has listed is fantastic at only $27.99. I am hoping that the extra space on these DVDs will be used for some bonus features. I would love some comentary tracks from the cast and crew, deleted scences, and some behind the scences footage of how this show was done. Anchor Bay usually does a fair job with their TV on DVD sets and I am hoping that this set will meet the standards of the fans of the series.

    5-0 out of 5 stars please put it on dvd
    why is it not on DVD here in America but it is in the UK? we need to get these DVD's!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Please
    We must get this on DVD. It's so hilarious and the best comedy show. Please get it on dvd.

    5-0 out of 5 stars It really is not on...
    ...that you cannot get this marvellous series on DVD in the USA, it was fresh and bold on it's release and is now fast achieving classic and cult status. I have had the good fortune of seeing re-runs here in Britain recently and it really is sublimely funny. All the central performances are excellent, the entire Soloman "family" are weirdly, wackily and deliciously played. The support cast is equally red hot, even the guest appearances were cleverly cast, an issue that come become a "sold to the highest bidder", problem on other shows.
    I would urge you all to demand it's immediate release, it is available in my Country (UK) and it is surely one of your boldest and bravest comedy outings! ... Read more


    18. Saturday Night Live: The Best of Chris Farley
    Director: Gary Weis, Bill D'Elia, Dave Wilson, Walter Williams (IV), James Signorelli, Tim Robbins, Beth McCarthy-Miller, Christopher Guest, Mike Judge, Robert Altman, Adam McKay, Eric Idle, Andy Warhol, Robert Marianetti, Claude Kerven, David Wachtenheim, Paul Miller, Albert Brooks, Paul Thomas Anderson, Robert Smigel
    list price: $19.98
    our price: $14.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0000C2IQW
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 765
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (2)

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

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


    19. The Lord of the Rings - The Fellowship of the Ring (Widescreen Edition)
    Director: Peter Jackson
    list price: $29.95
    our price: $22.46
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00003CWT6
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 598
    Average Customer Review: 4.52 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com essential video

    As the triumphant start of a trilogy, The Lord of the Rings: TheFellowship of the Ring leaves you begging for more. By necessity, PeterJackson's ambitious epic compresses J.R.R. Tolkien's classicThe Lord of the Rings,but this robust adaptation maintains reverent allegiance to Tolkien's creation,instantly qualifying as one of the greatest fantasy films ever made. At 178minutes, it's long enough to establish the myriad inhabitants of Middle-earth,the legendary Rings of Power, and the fellowship of hobbits, elves, dwarves, andhumans--led by the wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellen) and the brave hobbit Frodo(Elijah Wood)--who must battle terrifying forces of evil on their perilousjourney to destroy the One Ring in the land of Mordor. Superbly paced, the filmis both epic and intimate, offering astonishing special effects and productiondesign while emphasizing the emotional intensity of Frodo's adventure. Ending ona perfect note of heroic loyalty and rich anticipation, this wondrous fantasycontinues in The Two Towers (2002). --Jeff Shannon ... Read more

    Reviews (3438)

    5-0 out of 5 stars An astonishing masterpiece.
    Considered both as fantasy adventure and as an adaptation of a beloved literary classic, Peter Jackson's film of "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring" sets new standards for cinematic excellence. Everything about this film feels exactly right, from the casting to the screenplay to the special effects. The last are amazing, putting to shame anything George Lucas has come up with, and yet they always serve to advance the story; unlike Lucas, there's never any hint that Jackson is merely playing with his toys. Jackson shows great respect for Tolkien's text, but not slavish devotion. Certain characters--such as the lovable Tom Bombadil and Frodo's poisonous Aunt Lobelia--are missing, and Tolkien would be chagrined to find that the little poems and songs he loved to write are nowhere quoted. But if Jackson gives short shrift to Tolkien's whimsy, he more than makes up for that by giving us Tolkien's intensity, pathos and moral vision absolutely undiluted. Above all, Jackson never forgets that Tolkien's chief emphasis was always on the characters he created. Jackson casts wonderful actors to play those characters and--again unlike Lucas--he actually allows them to give performances. How wonderful to find the great Sir Ian McKellen, a uniquely commanding and charismatic actor, as Gandalf, or the charming and touching Elijah Wood as Frodo. You can go straight down the list--Viggo Mortensen as Aragorn, Sean Astin as Sam, Ian Holm as Bilbo, Cate Blanchett as Galadriel--and find nothing but perfection. This is one of the very few big-budget blockbusters that unqualifiedly deserves its success, and all we can do now is look forward with excitement to the release of "The Two Towers" in 2002 and "The Return of the King" in 2003. Like the books they came from, these three fillms will be cherished by future generations.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Wonders of Middle-Earth
    The fate of Middle-earth lies in the hands of Elijah Wood in the grand fantasy epic "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring". When the forces of evil storm the mystical realm of Middle-earth to reclaim the Ring of the Dark Lord, Sauron, the brave Frodo (Elijah Wood) and the wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellen) embark on a quest to destroy the One Ring that could doom the land. With the help of a fellowship of good friends and powerful allies, Frodo faces incredible dangers and the fierce minions of the Dark Lord. "The Fellowship of the Ring" is an astonishing epic tale of good versus evil. Director Peter Jackson delivers the wonders and emotional intensity of J.R.R. Tolkien's classic with such stunning amazement. The movie includes exceptional performances by Viggo Mortensen, Elijah Wood, Cate Blanchett and Ian McKellen as the wizard Gandalf. It also contains amazing special effects, beautiful backgrounds and a superb music score.

    "The Lord of the Rings: the Fellowship of the Ring" is certainly one of the best DVDs of the year. The splendid fantasy adventure is presented in standard full screen format. The DVD has marvelously flawless picture quality and a great 5.1-EX Dolby Digital sound. If special features are a must then this DVD is a welcome addition to any collection. Its supplemental material includes numerous behind-the-scenes featurettes, trailers including a preview of the upcoming "The Two Towers", a music video, DVD-ROM extras and impressive interactive menus. Overall, "The Fellowship of the Ring" scores an "A".

    5-0 out of 5 stars Awe-struck
    I'm still reeling from this film! The performances, costuming, props and special effects, direction, and cinematography are astounding. There were times whilst viewing this film when I was on the edge of my seat or grabbing my seat to hold on; times when my heart was pounding; times when I was moved to shed a tear by either sadness or greatness. The movie captures every part of human emotions, wraps them all up, and unleashes them at the viewer at an almost rapid pace; which can, at times, be a bit too much. The Fellowship Of The Ring is a very strong, very powerful, visually stunning, and entirely emotive film. And I give top marks to WETA for the highly notable achievement of creating a thoroughly credible height ratio effect for the Hobbits and Dwarves in regards to the taller races of Middle-earth. Brilliant!

    However, as much as I was stunned by this film, the screenplay and adaptions were absolute rubbish! In my opinion, Mrs. Jackson and anyone who worked with her should be fed to the Balrog, along with Peter Jackson himself for allowing it. Their were changes in characters and character, aspirations, and events. Tolkien's dialogue was rarely followed. Some reviewers say this doesn't deter from the story. It does deter from the story! That's exactly what it does. How difficult is it to follow a story and dialogue that has already been written? Editing is one thing and is understandable when approaching a big screen adaptation with time constraints, but arrant changes to a story are not. This I find unforgivable. In addition, no Fatty Bolger playing up appearances in Frodo's new house in Buckland; no Willow The Wisp; no Tom Bombadil; no Barrow-wights; no Rhadaghast The Brown, and very little attention payed to the Hobbits' stealth from and cat and mouse games with the Black Riders in The Shire. In addition, very little of Tolkien's dialogue was covered. The Fellowship Of The Ring is mainly dialogue, and takes place mainly in The Shire. What happened to Peter Jackson's boasting about how closely he was going to follow Tolkien's story? With all its faults, Ralph Bakshi's film follows Tolkien's story and dialogue more closely than Jackson's version does! Jackson is either pandering to his own ego (or his wife's), or just trying to make the film(s) appeal to more people than just Tolkien fans; and the only reason for the latter would be money.

    Aside from the above criticism, I was very annoyed by WETA's cheesy computer-generated Cave Troll and Balrog. This garbage belongs in a video game, not an important epic film. What ever happened to employing the talents of real artists like Ray Harryhausen or Jim Henson's Creature Shop? Is it just me, or are today's film makers relying too heavily on computer-generated effects, and using the words "can't be done" or "not within the budget" as a scape-goat to seeking alternative ways of creating effects, like the filmmakers of old had to do?

    However all scrutinising aside, The Fellowship Of The Ring is an overwhelming cinematic experience, and one which should not be missed by anyone; with the exception of pre-teens, to whom this film will only terrorise. This is a tremendous Christmas present, and I thank Peter Jackson and everyone involved in its creation for it. It's difficult to believe that there are two more films of this calibre to follow. I look forward to their release, as well as a few more viewings of The Fellowship Of The Ring.

    In closing I'd just like to say that Tolkien fans have still not been given a definitive screen version of The Lord Of The Rings. In fact, the only way I believe it would be possible to remain faithful to Tolkien's story and (even edited) dialogue, would be to make a complete mini-series for non-commercial television; basically, a visual accompaniment to the long BBC Radio production. Perhaps one day someone with enough integrity and who cares enough will.

    5-0 out of 5 stars If I could give this more than five stars, I would!!!
    "We can make them longer, stronger, better!" When Peter Jackson said this about the extended DVD versions of the films, I'm sure hordes of movie fans disagreed. They were WRONG!! The Lord of the Rings trilogy is quite possibly the best thing that's ever happened to the movie industry, and these extended version DVDs are the best things to ever happen to DVD players. This first installment was great in the theater, but the extended version is better. Several things are explained in greater detail, and you can't tell where new material has been inserted. It's flawless, from the acting to the music to the scenery. I can't say enough good things about this movie. Oh yeah, the extras are nice too.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Will be remembered as one of the best films of all time....
    Without repeating the reviews of the rest listed here....I can say that the extended editions add more texture to the story and the documentary DVD's give you more background and understanding of the story.

    It made me want to read the books to see what the films couldn't touch upon ...the poetry and descriptions of middle earth are very much on target. I really hope that Jackson gets the chance to do the Hobbit. It would be a crime if it wasn't adapted by him in the very near future. All I have to say to the film makers is ..Lets see the Hobbit before the actors become unavailable to produce the film! ... Read more


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