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161. Othello
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162. Bullet in the Head
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163. Battleground
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164. The Phantom
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165. 24 Hour Party People
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166. Agatha Christie's Why Didn't They
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167. Windtalkers
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168. Saturday Night Live - The Best
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169. Ciao, Professore!
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170. Paul McCartney - In the World
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171. Andromeda Vol 4.4 Season 4
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172. The Time Machine
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173. A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur's
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174. Love in the Afternoon
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175. The Best of Arli$$, Vol. 1
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176. They Died with Their Boots On
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177. The Lost Weekend
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178. First Daughter
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179. Code 46
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180. Balto

161. Othello
Director: Orson Welles
list price: $24.99
our price: $22.49
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Asin: B00000JN1N
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 6503
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Description

Orson Welles' daring and visually adventurous production of William Shakespeare's classic play. Welles, one of the greatest directors ever, revered Shakespeare and was determined to bring his own versions of the Bard's work to the silver screen, though the studios resisted the idea. Without studio funding, Welles struggled for three years to make "Othello" with his own money. The film won the Grand Prize at the Cannes Film Festival and critical acclaim but was rarely seen for many years. Over $1 million dollars in restoration work was spent, including re recording the score and re creating the sound effects, as well as updating the audio to digital. "Othello" remains a testament to Welles' legendary genius. ... Read more

Reviews (18)

4-0 out of 5 stars A near-perfect translation of play to film
A must-see for fans of Orson welles and William Shakespeare alike, "Othello" is nearly as impressive and visually brilliant as Welles' masterworks "Citizen Kane" and "Touch of Evil"--maybe more so, considering the director/star shot it bit by bit over several years, jetting back to Hollywood to take acting jobs that helped finance this film and then later assembling it when every shot was finally complete. A Shakespearen expert, Welles superbly pares the source play's text down to the bare bones and uses powerful visual images to communicate the essence of the Moor's tragic story. Aside from fine direction, Welles also turns in an excellent, informed performance. Since many of the bit players weren't available for dubs when the film was near completion, listen for Welles' terrific vocal mimickry "covering" for the missing actors here and there. A fine example of cinematic storytelling, its style and technique surpass the limitations of its threadbare production values.

5-0 out of 5 stars Put Out Thy Light!
This film blew me away! I always know what I am looking forward to in an Orson Welles film; brilliant camera angles over lapping dialogue and that masterfull voice but I was floored by how well all of those aspects are used in Othello. It's hard to believe it was four years in the making and that the production of this film was marred by unusual circumstances but welles never gave up and the beauty is on screen to marvel at. Welles was a master of Shakespeare since a child so the dialogue flows as if second nature to him and the rest of the seasoned veterans handle it just as well and that is the key to this film. Welles always had pure facial emotion working in his favor and when those huge glowing eyes of his is used in the final scenes as he kills Desdamona its as if headlights of danger are piercing through his face and the dark almost unbearable lighting can't hold back those eyes or the viewers emotions and the soundtrack that damn haunting score never looses it's pacing simply amazing. Finaly Welles' fluxuating girth comes in handy his Othello is so imposing and commanding that u to would fear the repercussions of his hand if you betray him! Just cut out all the lights unplug the phone and watch with amazment at the best adaption of Othello ever made! McLiammour plays Iago with such contempt and an under lying lust for the moor that another level of depth is revealed. The opening is all out dramatic and ever the more shoking and draws you into the story instantly! Welles' reworking of the dialogue and dramatic use of the camera and lighting makes the flick ever so frightening and perverse! Doves flying above in a clear sky, the shores crashing against the waves as Othello is told by Iago of his wife's deceit or the gripping of the knife being shoved into Welles' by himself to redeem himself for the crime he has committed against his love! Shakespeare has never been told with the passsion upon which Welles tells it!

4-0 out of 5 stars Welles' indomitable spirit in the face of penury shines...
THE TRAGEDY OF OTHELLO: THE MOOR OF VENICE/ US/France/Italy/Morocco 1952 (3.5 STARS)

The recent restoration of Othello brings to cinematic space the magic of another masterpiece from Orson Welles. To think that a whole master negative of this film (which won the Best film at Cannes in 1952) was lying abandoned in a New Jersey warehouse, was discovered by accident and is the reason for this print that we now have access to, is enough to send shivers down the spine of any Welles-phile.
• Mise-en-scene: Like with many of his other works involving especially Shakespeare, be prepared for Welles' licenses and personal interpretation of subject matter pertaining to Othello. Yet at the end, we are left with a feeling of deep tragedy and loss for Othello, played by Welles himself, and though we feel that Othello was quite an idiot, we at least feel that he was a very unfortunate idiot at that!
• The problem may have been that the critical scene where Iago poisons Othello's mind and fuels his suspicion is scrappy and left unexplored. This may well have had little to do with Welles' artistic choices, and more with his monetary situation at the time. Welles' penury through his European sojourn is widely known and the passion with which he would invest into his films, every penny earned through moonlighting his booming voice and above-average acting skills is legendary, and should put this in context.
• The figure behavior of Micheál MacLiammóir is utterly convincing as the detestable Iago who is consumed by jealousy and rage at being overlooked as the second-in-command. But the person to steal our hearts is Suzanne Cloutier who portrays the fair-dame Desdemona. She is every bit as dainty as we would have imagined her to be.
• The stripped down set design works wonderfully for the film and even though budgets may have been the driving force, Othello's barren palace is preceded only by the barrenness of his blinding jealousy and irrational actions.
• Cinematography: As we have come to expect, Orson Welles has a unique cinematic language, through which he creates a Wellesian world of skin-burning close ups, dutched crazy world-frames and low angle shots to create a tense atmosphere of foreboding. But there is no better example of exploring and using frame depth than in Othello. Time and again Welles plays with foreground element to reveal psychologically subjective and meta-diagetic moods while cleverly using the depth in the frame to forward the narrative and plot the next progression. The title shots of the film are harrowing in their effect, with the interplay of high-contrast earth and sky contours that at once establish the mood for an intense cinematic experience.
• Sound & Editing: The restored version has a brand-new soundtrack mentored by Welles' daughter, and while it enhances the experience to telling effect, it is irony to note that just the new soundtrack cost much more than what Welles assembled the whole film for. The fact that parts of the film were shot MOS and other parts used ADR is distracting due to the obvious lack of lip-sync, but in the final analysis, we watch Welles with reverence almost as if on a visit to Sunday Mass, paying homage, never once forgetting that were are witness to a filmmaker stripped of resources, devoid of many essential tools, but one with indomitable spirit who refused to be cowed-down. Othello is magical in its story telling and another worthy showcase of the genius of Orson Welles.

4-0 out of 5 stars Welles' images match the beauty of Shakespeare's language
Considerable controversy has surrounded this 1992 restoration and re-release of Orson Welles' "Othello." First, the film was wrongly labelled a "lost classic" - not technically true, as Welles aficionados will realize. More seriously, the restoration crew (under the aegis of Welles' daughter, Beatrice Welles) re-synced the dialogue and re-recorded the musical score - an abomination to Welles purists. While it would have been preferable to adhere to Welles' vision for the film, such an endeavor becomes extremely difficult when no written record of Welles' intent exists (as it did with his famous 26-page memo to Universal regarding "Touch of Evil"). So it's true that this version lacks a degree of authenticity; but what are the alternatives? Grainy, scratched, poorly synced public domain prints (c.f. "Mr Arkadin" and "The Trial")? Or, worse, no available copy at all (c.f. "Chimes at Midnight")?

Anyway, on to the film. "Othello's" existence helps disprove the charges of profligacy and "fear of completion" that plagued Welles' career after "Citizen Kane." Shot over four years in Morocco and Italy, and financed largely by Welles himself, "Othello" manages to avoid a low-budget look, thanks largely to virtuoso editing that masks the incongruities of time and space. Welles' powers of invention are on full display here, most obviously in the famous Turkish bath scene (an improvised set necessitated by a lack of costumes). Set designer Alexandre Trauner's astute choice of Moroccan and Venetian locations instantly establishes a geographic authenticity; Welles initially expolits them for all their stark beauty before retreating into noirish interiors, underscoring Othello's descent into darkness.

Aside from Michael Macliammoir's chilling Method performance as Iago, the acting in Welles' "Othello" has been criticized as too restrained and modulated for Shakespearean tragedy. Such criticism is largely unwarranted, for this "Othello" is as much for the eyes as the ears: Welles' bold framing and expressionistic camera angles de-theatricalize the play, undermining the need for stage elocution. Indeed, the camera is the true star of this film, as Welles generates images that match the grandeur and eloquence of Shakespeare's language.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wow!
Great, just great. Yes, some of the music one wonders if Welles would have used, but it is pure Welles. If not updated the missing elements might take away from this work, instead they compliment it. A must own! ... Read more


162. Bullet in the Head
Director: John Woo
list price: $49.95
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Asin: 6305120382
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 15339
Average Customer Review: 4.21 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

The 1990 film Bullet in the Head engages at every turn. At once a political epic, a story about childhood friends and loyalty, as well as a tale of corruption and war, John Woo's action-packed face-off contrasts '60s idealism--the Beatles and Elvis--against the shifting tide in the East. It's plain that Woo has pulled his trio of heroes straight from Sergio Leone's Once Upon a Time in America as well as Michael Cimino's The Deer Hunter, but there are bits of Nicholas Ray's Rebel Without a Cause tossed in for good measure. The old Chinese way of life is fading in the face of the emergent Vietnam War and Chairman Mao's Red Army, and Hong Kong struggles under archaic British rule. Three friends--Ben (Tony Leung), Frank (Jacky Cheung), and Paul (Waise Lee)--rub up against gang warfare, capitalism, and opportunism in a life that is strongly tinged by Western culture. Ben falls in love and wants to marry Jane (Fennie Yuen). Frank has borrowed money from a warlord to pay for his pal's bridal bash but a rival group, led by Ringo and his thugs, are hell-bent on keeping loose-cannon Frank from keeping his promise. The boys kill Ringo in a face-off and the cops come looking for them, separating Ben and Jane. The trio escapes to exploited luck-of-the-draw Saigon to make their fortunes. Luck, however, isn't with them. In a violent, balletic dance to honor, greed, and a teenage pledge that is challenged with adulthood, Bullet in the Head is sentimental despite its exquisitely choreographed blood bath; it's steeped in the kind of code-of-ethics morality that has been the glue of buddy films since the beginning of cinematic time. Bullet in the Head is a tale of love and betrayal played out against a backdrop of wartime chaos, and while Woo had made other vital and vibrant movies--The Killer, Hard Boiled, and A Better Tomorrow--none were as impassioned as Bullet in the Head. That it retains its innocence at all is a tribute to this Hong Kong action auteur, who brands his movies with visual flair as well as a palette splattered with blood. --Paula Nechak ... Read more

Reviews (33)

5-0 out of 5 stars It's Intense and excessive, but its John Woos best!
This rivals the killer as the best John Woo film. People say this one isn't his best but I disagree.
It's also one of the most violent Hk films I've ever seen, the shootouts are intense and well done, like the nightclub scene, it was very well done with the best part is when Paul guns down about 20 guys with a machine gun in a stairwell.
The acting is pretty good, the best performance goes to Tony Leung of course but Paul (Waise Lee) and Luke (Simon Yam) have some strong stellar scenes, and the so-so award goes to Jacky Chueng who in the POW camp scene makes you want to almost laugh at his suffering. However this version is cut about 18 minutes from what I've heard, and most of the subtitles are wrong and the audio is choppy. The extra 18 mins would probably explain some of the confusing scenes and scenarios (where did they learn how to shoot machine guns and shotguns with one hand?). Too bad this isn't A better tomorrow 3 because Chow Yun Fat would have been EXCELLANT in Luke's Character.
The story goes like this Three lifelong friends find themselves in trouble in 1967 British ruled Hong Kong when. On his wedding night Ben (Tony Leung) and Frank (Jacky Cheung) kill a gang leader in a fight. So they (Including Paul for some reason) get the idea to go to war torn Vietnam to sell illegal goods, but their luck turns sour when there stuff is blown up in a bombing. After that they meet Luke (Simon Yam) who puts their friendship in a downward spiral from there on in. Paul gets greedy when he takes a casket of gold leaves and turns him into a cynical, "stay-away-from-my-gold or Ill kill you" person while the friendships fall to pieces.
The action scenes while heartfelt (In a disturbing way) and gut wrenching are pretty senseless and over-the-top. The POW camp scene is absolutely disturbing almost to the point where I turned it off. To tell you the truth I'd rather see what's in this POW scene then what's in the uncut full POW scene (Yes its THAT disturbing). This film is NOT a heroic bloodshed film there is no heroes in this only people whose lives we must watch fall to pieces. You'll have to be pretty used to disturbing violence to see this so be very prepared. Very very well done and One of my Highest Recommendations ever!
P.S DO NOT let anyone under 12 see this

4-0 out of 5 stars John Woo's finest to date?
Produced in the wake of the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989, John Woo's BULLET IN THE HEAD is both a response to the appalling violence that was taking place in mainland China at the time, and a pointed examination of the director's traditional themes of loyalty and brotherhood and the consequences of betrayal. For all its explosions and gunplay, the film is actually a very human drama, played out against the vast backdrop of the Vietnam conflict, and invested with such a palpable sense of love and compassion for its leading characters and their circumstances that it defies all attempts at categorisation. The cast is pure gold: Tony Leung (superb as the film's tragic 'hero'), Jacky Cheung (giving a revelatory, career-making performance) and Waise Lee play lifelong friends who flee from a murder rap during the civil unrest of 1960s Hong Kong, only to have their loyalties tested to breaking point by their experiences in wartime Saigon. Overall, the film is less an action-thriller than an operatic valentine to Woo's teenage years in HK and to the personal values which have shaped and defined all his films since A BETTER TOMORROW. Only HARD-BOILED comes close to it in terms of greatness, though many people - myself included - would argue that BULLET is not only Woo's finest achievement to date, but also one of the best films ever made, anywhere. In terms of content, the widescreen HK DVD version is virtually identical to Made in Hong Kong's uncut UK video release, though the familiar Golden Princess logo at the beginning of the film has been replaced by Media Asia's insignia. As expected, the increased resolution of the DVD format has yielded a visibly superior image, but the disc's muted color scheme is a disappointment, and the optional English subtitles - though reasonably coherent - are no match for MIHK'S definitive translation. BULLET's effectiveness depends on your complete comprehension of the dialogue, and Media Asia's clumsy subtitles often stumble over the dramatic highlights, thereby diluting their quite considerable impact. Sadly, Media Asia has also remixed BULLET's original mono soundtrack in 5.1 Dolby Digital surround, apparently for no other reason than the fact that DVD technology allows it. Aside from the newly-directional gunshot effects and the magnificent music score (which, amongst other things, transforms Jacky Cheung's poignant farewell sequence into an occasion of shattering heartbreak), the remix adds nothing that wasn't already conveyed in the original version. Bottom line: A fine film, and the DVD is certainly worth a look, but first-time viewers are advised to check out MIHK's UK video version before taking the plunge. Believe me, you WON'T be disappointed...

5-0 out of 5 stars Best Film ive ever seen. MUST SEE. Trust Me
IF YOU LIKE GOODFELLAS, CON AIR, SCARFACE, FACE OFF, GODFATHER, DESPERADO, KILL BILL etc. You have to see this, im telling you.
I thought the best film ive seen were one of the above. But no. its defenitly Bullet in the Head.
IT HAS A BRILLIANT STORYLINE. The ACTING WAS MAGNIFICENT. Tony Leung (Hard Boiled/Prison on Fire)is Excelent alongside (Waise Lee (A better tomorrow) and Simon Yam (Full Contact) But The Outstanding Serious Performance which will get to you is Jackie Cheung (as tears go by/Jet Lis Meltdown). Its John Woos personal Favourite. Everybody i Lent it to absoulutely LOVE it. its a Hong Kong Classic which doesnt come on TV. If its available to in your local shops or ebay.co.uk I advice you to Buy It. you wont be dissapointed. If you are then You have BAD TASTE in Movies. No offence.PEACE

2-0 out of 5 stars Exhausted
In "The Killer", perhaps the best pulp/asian thriller of all time, the violence felt full, voluptuous; its excess created a kind of operatic grandeur. In "Bullet in the Head" the violence is so over -the-top, so gratuitous, you want to run for cover (I might have blown up my tv if I had to watch another gangster do a cartwheel as a big explosion lifted him of his feet). This movie proves to me how repetitive a director Woo is, and I got a similar feeling from Face/Off - its like watching a figure skater do figure 8's all night - you want to shout "ok, I get it!"

Loud, irritating and chaotic. Jacky Cheung's shameless overacting and bulgy, beady eyes were as irksome as the excessive violence - give this one a miss - its a wet blanket of sentimentality and schlock.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the best
This is not only one of the best HK action films ever but quite possibly one of the best films ever. Period. ... Read more


163. Battleground
Director: William A. Wellman
list price: $19.97
our price: $15.98
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Asin: B0001FVE40
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 4042
Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars
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Description

Van Johnson, Ricardo Montalban and George Murphy star in this remarkable war film, nominated for six Oscars(R) (including Best Picture) about courageous American G.I.s caught up in the battle at Bastogne.Year: 1949 ... Read more

Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars The best movie about World War II
This is the best movie ever made about a democratic society going to war against fascism.

The movie captures the fear and courage of American soldiers in war, fighting not to conquer like the Germans or destroy civilization like terrorists, but to defend their fellow man.

There's no sunshine patriotism in this movie. No flag waving or false heroics. But the lofty ideas behind the nation that made men such as these is there hidden like the sun behind fog and clouds. And at the end, the glory embodied in the men blazes true and shines as brightly as the sun when the weather lifts.

5-0 out of 5 stars A terrific film!!!
When I was a kid living on an army post in Europe, Battleground used to wander through whenever there was a lag in getting movies from the States. Goodness, my brother and I must have seen this 100 times and it still has so many memorable scenes and roles. James Whitmore was absolutely perfect as the machine gun toting sergent. Van Johnson was fine, George Murphy, John Hodiak, Ricardo Montabaln. A great cast. Favorite lines/scenes:

"Get a load of mama!"
"There is a boarding house far, far away..."
"The fight they put up was one for the books." (talking about the wounded fighting the attacking Germans)
"That's for sure, that's for dang sure."
"Texas leaguer, right over the 2nd baseman's head."
The ambush by the railroad tracks.
Whitmore seeing his shadow as the weather finally breaks.

It goes on and on. And great sets! It seems it was mostly filmed on a sound stage but the sets are very realistic.

Just perfect filmmaking.

4-0 out of 5 stars One missing item
It may not portray war as realistically as we do in 2004. It covers everything soldiers went through except the most private functions (there is nothing private in the Army). That is the way it was; if only you could feel how cold it was! I'm sorry that you could not put out a DVD of the colorized version because it was well-done. That is the missing item. Colorized I would give it 5 stars. You need to see this movie because it is the true story of any number of GIs in the 101st. Go Airborne!

4-0 out of 5 stars When films had scripts
Battleground is the definitive squad-lvel war film. It concentrates on a small group of soldiers and shows their cold food, gripes, hopes - and the reason why they fought in the 1940s.
Well acted and very well written (garnering a screenplay Oscar), the movie concentrates on a small group of men in the 101 Airborne -and not the "spectacle" of war. At times the lack of a bigger budget - and the lack of any Wehrmacht tanks on-screen is a liability for some viewers; in some scenes the film reminded me of a Shakespearean play, where the actors point offstage to the major battle. But the humanity of the film make it much more compelling than the bombastic but somehow hollow modern efforts like Blackhawk Down.
The only real knock is the very grainy look of the dvd - a combination of all the fog in the film and poor source material. Rarely crisp, it still looks better than I've seen it before. If you want a gripping war film that puts people ahead of explosions, Battleground is a classic.

4-0 out of 5 stars TAUT, TERRIFYING AND TERRIFIC: BATTLEGROUND HAS IT ALL!
"Battleground" is the all-star grim depiction of an Allied offensive in the Ardennes forest during WWII. It's remarkably hard edged by 1949 standards - a tribute to the tough, hard-hitting directorial style of director, William A. Wellman. Starring Van Johnson, Ricardo Montalban, James Whitmore, Scotty Beckett and John Hodiak the on camera camaraderie amongst the men seems geniune, in part because Wellman insisted that his actors train with real soldiers to fully appreciate their brief tenure in military service. MGM refridgerated a cyclorama built inside one of their sound stages to recreate the unsettling and terribly cold atmosphere of winter. This is a top flight, ensemble war drama that engrosses and entertains. Oscars for screenplay and cinematography.
THE TRANSFER: Warner gives us a much improved transfer from previously available versions. The gray scale is nicely balanced. Blacks are generally solid. Some scenes have a bit more film grain and grit that one would like to see, but over all the image quality is very smooth and consistent. While previously issued versions of this film suffered from a misregistration - resulting in ghostly halos around objects and a general blurring of the image quality, this DVD is remarkably solid and sharp. Edge enhancement crops up but is minimal. Pixelization is also present but only marginally. The audio is MONO but very nicely remastered.
EXTRAS: Sorry, war fans. There's nothing to celebrate about here.
BOTTOM LINE: "Battleground" is one of the best war dramas ever made. It is tops in action, establishing taut tension, providing serious storytelling and detailed character development, and truthfully - how many of the more recent war films (Peal Harbour, anyone?) can you say that about? ... Read more


164. The Phantom
Director: Simon Wincer
list price: $14.99
our price: $13.49
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Asin: B00000ILBM
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 5814
Average Customer Review: 3.95 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (58)

5-0 out of 5 stars SUPER FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT five stars
He is a hero who is simple a decent person. A hero without super powers or trust funds. A very humane person with a code of decency. A hero who is certainly needed today. It is a film that is needed today. It is a film to watch and enjoy. This movie leaves one with a good feeling. It is not a film to nitpick or compare to others because that would totally miss the reason for escaping into it. A truly wonderful family film, that will live in the memories of those lucky enougn to watch it together. What a great cast! Billy Zane,his penetrating eyes framed by the Phantom' mask, brings the hero to life. Kristy Swanson and Catherine Zeta-Jones are strong,independent women. Veteran actors such as John Capaodice, Al Ruscio, and Samantha Eggar to name a few,lend their considerable expertise to the production. Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa appearence dominates the screen, generating much excitement. Patrick McGoohan's presence and voice is a outstanding. He is truly an screen legend.

Unfortunely the critics in their wisdom contributed to the short run at the box office office nevertheless the viewers know quality. The Phantom and all he stands for lives in the hearts of those willing to understand.

2-0 out of 5 stars Ineptly written and directed
The Phantom has one saving grace: Billy Zane. Without this fine actor, the film would have been absolutely horrendous, possibly unwatchable. The simple fact is that The Phantom could have been good entertainment, but it's so poorly written, directed, and acted, I have to wonder why the film was greenlighted in the first place.

Sure, the prospect of an Indiana Jones-type film is a fun idea, but it's nowhere in the vein of the the films in that series; it never generates any thrills or genuine fun. The action sequences are simply too routine and are occasionally terribly choreographed.

As for the script, it's been a while since I've heard dialogue this hackneyed. It makes the recent Mission to Mars look like something written by David Mamet in comparison. The plot's also fairly ridiculous and is done with a touch of camp, but nowhere near enough to at least make the movie so bad it's almost enjoyable to watch. I can't believe Jeffrey Bowman doesn't show any of the creative touches he put in The Last Crusade.

Performances, the less said the better. The only guy who does a fine job is Billy Zane, and though he never always convinces as a superhero, he's charismatic enough to make the experience bearable. Treat Williams as the villain overacts to an extent I would rather not describe. Catherine Zeta Jones also shamelessly hams it up with a cheesy accent; I bet she's taken this film out of her resume. As for Kristy Swanson, I guess we can tell why she won't nowhere. If anything, the movie proves she's not a very capable actress.

4-0 out of 5 stars Pulp hero
Billy Zane plays the Phantom perfectly. He's not a dark, grim superhero like Batman or a neurotic superhero like Spider-Man. The Phantom loves being a superhero and being the good guy.

This is one of the best adaptions of a comic book (cartoon strip) ever captured on film. This is the type of movie meant for children of all ages. If you're looking for a movie with deep meaning, thought provoking dialogue and lots of introspection, what the heck are you doing watching The Phantom? Go see a different movie. If you're looking for entertainment in the vein of pulp fiction heroes from the Golden Age this is the movie for you.

3-0 out of 5 stars Nifty live-action comicbook
This is the type of DVD that works best if you watch it on a rainy Saturday morning. I missed "Phantom" when it was released theatrically many years ago and discovered it on DVD. This is an old-fashioned comicstrip/movie serial sort of film that's perhaps too straightforward for most tastes. There's no irony or winking references here, which sets it apart from most other superhero movies. I liked it, but didn't love it, and I can fully understand if it's not to everyone's taste. I suggest you rent it, watch it on a gloomy weekend and see if it doesn't make you feel like a kid again if only for a few minutes.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great Comic adventure
The Phantom is quite good and the cast is great too. The Phantom was an enjoyable facinating comic, and any fans of the comic book will find no reason not to watch the feature-length movie. This movie is a great action ride adventure and i'm sure you'll love the story. Same charecters and no flaws, this movie is perfect. 8.5/10. ... Read more


165. 24 Hour Party People
Director: Michael Winterbottom
list price: $14.95
our price: $11.96
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00007BK2N
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 3604
Average Customer Review: 4.09 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (55)

5-0 out of 5 stars Manchester music scene
The film "24 Hour Party People" is presented in documentary style by narrator Steve Coogan who plays Tony Wilson--a television journalist. The film begins in the late 70s with Wilson lucky enough to attend an early Sex Pistols concert (with footage thrown in). Wilson's assignments lack a certain seriousness, but he compensates by promoting the Punk Rock scene in Manchester. Wilson forms Factory Records "an experiment in human nature," opens the Hacienda club in Manchester, and explains that the music scene "is like a helix"--as one trend ascends--another descends. And we see trends come and go.

The film charts the rise of Joy Division and the band's metamorphosis into New Order, and the introduction of Rave music "when even the white man dances." If you enjoyed the music of the 80s or have an interest in music history, you will probably enjoy this film. Coogan adds an amusing touch as the enterpreneur Tony Wilson.

4-0 out of 5 stars Happy Happy Joy Joy
"24 Hour Party People" was among the most entertaining motion pictures released in 2002, and easily one of the most engaging and innovative films that I've seen in years. Although certainly not for everyone, if you've an interest in the music industry, the UK indie scene, and/or Factory Records (of course) then this is mandatory viewing material.

I'll not bore you with a summary of the plot...but it's no secret that there's almost as much fiction as fact in this comedic, documentary-style account of Tony Wilson and his legendary Factory record label. However, there are numerous exceptional portrayals of the central figures from Factory's sordid history, and the city of Manchester is a star in itself, functioning as the drab backdrop to the movie's colorful story.

The DVD has two featurettes - a ten minute 'behind the scenes' piece (obligatory for almost all DVD releases) and a five minute quickie about the real Tony Wilson. Neither contain particularly engrossing content but they're welcome just the same. There are eleven deleted scenes, only a couple of which are really worth a toss (ironically, the cut scene with Vini Reilly that Steve Coogan's Tony Wilson actually references in the film isn't even included). There's a photo gallery with at least 40 stills taken during the film's production, although including pictures of the real people and places depicted in the movie would have made more sense. I've not listened to the running commentary by the real Tony Wilson or his celluloid facsimile, but I understand that both are enlightening.

With the exception of the James Bond series, MGM Home Video is notorious for lacking in the special features sections of their DVD releases, so this product is actually commendable on their part. Of course, the UK DVD release of "24HPP" (complete with a Factory catalog number - FACDVD 424) is a 2-disc set packed with extras vastly superior to what's offered to us poor Yanks. So while I'd give the film five stars, the DVD rates only three, thus my average of four stars overall.

5-0 out of 5 stars Punk Rave and Dry Humor.... What a combo...
Great movie, lots-o-british humor, lots-o-british music history. Too much Happy Mondays, not enough about New Order but you get to see the birth of the rave scene which is very cool. Where else can you get a movie and see a guy hang himself while watching a chicken dance on his TV....

5-0 out of 5 stars Improves with Time
If you are a Joy Divion acolyte or something of that nature, you will not enjoy this film as much as if you are a devotee of Manchester's music scene in general. Somehow I made the transition from Joy Division fan to dj afficinado, so I found the whole thing quite excellent. What I have noticed is that things grow funnier with time. Steve Coogan's performance reveals itself funnier every time. Example: Ian C's funeral and he says, in the midst of all this gaudy crap, with a straight face: "That is the musical equivalent of Che Guevera." Absolutely hilarious.

5-0 out of 5 stars brilliant!
This was an especially fun movie for me to watch. These were my favorite bands in 1980, and it is fun to see them relived. There weren't many photos back then, and Factory Records had few, if any, liner notes.
The film has great cameos, such as Howard Devoto, and Marky Smith. I think it was well made, and anyone would enjoy it. ... Read more


166. Agatha Christie's Why Didn't They Ask Evans?
Director: Tony Wharmby, John Davies
list price: $29.95
our price: $26.96
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Asin: B00008K772
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 11125
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Brew some tea and curl up by the fire for murder, intrigue, and madcap upper-class high jinks in Agatha Christie's Why Didn't They Ask Evans? James Warwick and Francesca Annis play plucky amateur sleuths Bobby Jones and Lady Frankie Derwent (and yes, you've also seen them paired as plucky amateur Christie sleuths Tommy & Tuppence). In the very opening scene, Bobby happens upon a dying man who whispers the mysterious title question and we're off. Why Didn't They Ask Evans? has everything one looks for in an old-fashioned bloodcurdler: murder, false identities, a mysterious institution, and even morphine addiction. Warwick and Annis have the light touch of seasoned pros and slide with ease into the period setting. The rest of the cast dives into the fun and includes such noble veterans as Sir John Gielgud and Joan Hickson, herself one of the more memorable incarnations of Christie's Miss Marple. --Ali Davis ... Read more

Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars For Tommy and Tuppence Fans!
If you like the Agatha Christie Partners in Crime Tommy and Tuppence series, you're going to love this story! Actually, it doesn't matter because this is an enjoyable 1920s mystery romp with just enough humor and romance blended into the more serious goings-on to please most everyone. It's amazing how complex and LONG a story this is. I checked the online description and the back of the box, but I couldn't discover if this had been a television mini-series or just a lengthy made-for-TV movie. Even though it's lots of fun, it does seem to go on forever!

The lead characters, played by Francesca Annis and James Warwick, are just as attractive a couple as they are in Tommy and Tuppence, except they don't seem to realize it until they've both had romantic "flings" with other characters in the cast. The sets and costumes look authentic 1920s, and the cars are particularly interesting, especially in the used car lot.

The only reluctance I had for giving this DVD release 5 stars is because of the uneven look of the movie itself. Sometimes this looks like sharply focused videotape, and at other times it looks like fuzzy film. This is probably because of the source material from 1980 rather than the fault of the DVD production, but it still should be noted. This is the same "look" as on the earlier Upstairs, Downstairs programs.

Nit-picking aside, this is a thoroughly worthwhile DVD that should appeal to most mystery and Agatha Christie fans in particular.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Fun Mystery Movie
And why indeed didn't they? While this long, made for T.V. movie could have been much shorter if they simply had asked Evans, it would not have been nearly as enjoyable. The script, adapted from an Agatha Christie novel of the same name, mimics the pace and rythem of the original quite well. While the quality of acting was good, the picture quality of the DVD was grainy and the sound faded in and out at times. The attempts at action and/or suspense via fights or late night escapades also did not come off very well partially due to the bad picture quality. These scenes did not in any real way hinder the movie since the real fun is trying to solve the mystery before Bobby and Frankie do. (If you find out who Evans is before they do, my hat is off to you!) The last scene with the villain is a clumsy and implausable plot device (how many times is Frankie going to fall for the same ruse?) to the viewer to get a detailed description of the plot from the villain himself but if you like mysteries in the Agatha Christie style, then you will enjoy this movie.

4-0 out of 5 stars Nice
As an Agatha Christie fan, I love the story. You do not know the murderer till the end. The acting is wonderful, typical british. Costume and sceen is beautifully selected. The only pity is the DVD effect is not obivious, maybe because the movie is comparably old - 1981

5-0 out of 5 stars Top notch Agatha Christie mystery thriller.
Why Didn't They Ask Evan's? is a terrific Agatha Christie mystery story (based on Christie's novel The Boomerang Clue) made into a terrific mystery movie. The plot, though a bit convoluted, is well developed and the excellent cast carries it out superbly. Although this is not one of Agatha Christie's biggest hits, it definitely is one of her best stories and as fine a Christie-based movie as I've ever seen. Now that it's available on DVD I hope it will achieve the recognition it amply deserves. Highly recommended. ... Read more


167. Windtalkers
Director: John Woo
list price: $14.95
our price: $11.96
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Asin: B00005JK8K
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 3454
Average Customer Review: 2.68 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (214)

2-0 out of 5 stars A great shame.
John Woo films have always had a tendency to rely more on explosive action sequences than masterful acting to pull the crowds. Face Off was loud but intriguing. M.I. 2 was loud but fairly stylishly done. Unfortunately, Windtalkers is really just loud.

The central plot is actually very good. Two U.S. marines must escort a pair of Navajo Indians who are trained to use a secret code to make transmissions to allies without Japanese troops earwigging. A factual plot too-this really happened. So all the potential was there, but the main problem from my point of view is that this movie was simply overdone.

Although the action sequences themselves are well done, nearly all of them are accompanied by dramatic war music which spoils the reality of them. There are also, if you can believe it, too many of them. Great war films like Saving Private Ryan and We Were Soldiers(watch that!) offered respite between the bangs for some thought provoking dialogue. Not so here.

The acting is far too over the top. Nicolas Cage is unusually poor, while Christian Slater barely breaks a sweat. I found that I did not care what happened to the characters-NOT a good sign.

This movie is a prime example of the fact that explosions cannot make a movie on their own. John Woo has made a good effort, but sadly this movie just did not hold my interest. If you REALLY like war films, you may like this movie, but otherwise, it's not really worth the postage and packaging!

ASIN: B00008PBZW

2-0 out of 5 stars emotional, but lacking
i admit, it made me cry - but what ever happened to the lady nurse who helped Joe Enders pass his hearing test in order to be able to go back to war, and was writing him all the time? the characters are static, though the Navajos are slightly more dynamic; there was little background info. too much bombs and shooting throughout, and i especially did not like the melodramatic part when Enders killed Whitehorse along with the Japs and then told Yahzee,"I killed him. I threw a bomb and blew him up," acting so sarcastic, wanting to provoke and die. finally, the code language should have been featured more.

2-0 out of 5 stars ful of stereotypes!
It is a well done typicall Hollywood movie but I have seen all this so many times. Everything is so predictable. The movie with such great actors as Nicolas Cage and Christian Slater doesn't have any material for them to work with. I was shocked that such inventive director as John Woo could make such lame movie. Not recommended.

1-0 out of 5 stars I Wonder What the Wind Would Say
First of all I will say that the importance of the concept for this film is necessary and much overlooked. The involvement of American Indians in war is sadly left out of too many history books.

I was hoping this film would be better than it turned out to be. The historical facts should be recoginized along side all of the other celebrations of war heroes. Sadly this film was a complete bomb. The direction was predictable and the action scenes could have been shot by a five year old boy playing "war hero" in the backyard, alot of noise and piles of dust and actors pretending to be dead. All this with the constant drone of a musical score best left for a karoke bar to hum along to.

And what happened to Nicolas Cage? He used to be a great actor with individual style and presentation. It seems that he just keeps slipping away. I just was not convinced of his "hero" ability in this film....and his death scene is almost the most horrendous I have ever witnessed, not for the gore or emotional impact, but because it was simply awful acting!

1-0 out of 5 stars Windtalkers
This DVD is not widescreen . And I need all my DVDs widescreen because I have a windscreen TV. Went to Hasting all of Windtalkers DVD are both widescreen and Fullscreen.
And I went back to my order from you and it show it was widescreen that was order.
What happen? ... Read more


168. Saturday Night Live - The Best of Molly Shannon
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: $14.98
our price: $11.24
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Asin: B0000A1HPQ
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 1632
Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (5)

4-0 out of 5 stars Good, but pales in comparison to "The Best of Will Ferrell"!
Will Ferrell and Molly Shannon were like two peas in a pod on "Saturday Night Live." They had good chemistry and when they combined forces they could induce plenty of laughs. Of course, Will Ferrell is equally funny without Molly Shannon. "The Best of Molly Shannon" proves it is exactly the opposite for her.

Yeah, she's a funny lady, but she pales in comparison to such "SNL" comediennes as Gilda Radner, Jane Curtain, and even Chery Oteri, who is very goofy. Molly Shannon's "Best Of" collection is fine, I suppose, but I didn't laugh that much -- and not nearly as often as I did with Will Ferrell's "Best Of" DVD.

Here she plays her most famous (and mostly original) characters: Salley O'Malley, Mary Katherine Gallagher, Courtney Love and Anna Nicole Smith (in a disgusting but funny segment with Ben Affleck), among others. But they're never exactly laugh-out-loud funny; I smiled a few times. I enjoyed some of the gags. But I was only really laughing when Will Ferrell was interacting with Molly.

Whether or not they are good films is definitely arguable, but there's a reason that Will Ferrell has been cast in virtually every mainstream Molly Shannon film. They go together. She cameos in his movies, he cameos and/or stars in hers. Remember "Superstar"? Remember "A Night at the Roxbury"? Maybe they're not good, but at least Lorne Michaels was smart enough to realize that the two have some sort of chemistry.

I noticed that Molly Shannon likes to move around a lot. I watched the Conan O'Brian interview with her (included on the DVD), and she absolutely could not sit still at all, just like her "Joyologist" character, who, in the DVD's outtakes, flipped over her chair from moving around so much.

She's good as Courtney Love, and Molly Shannon is undoubtedly a good comedic actress, but to say that she deserves her own collection of best moments at this point in time is a bit presumptuous, especially considering the fact that classic "SNL" actors have yet to appear in any sort of "Best Of" DVD collections. (Or am I just not finding them on Amazon and in the stores?) Besides, most of the compiles sketches aren't even that great -- or is it just that Molly Shannon herself isn't that great? I hope it's the former.

If you're a fan of Molly Shannon and/or "Saturday Night Live," I would definitely pick up this DVD. I bought it for fourteen dollars, and I've got to say that I'll probably return to it once and a while for some good grins. But not nearly as often as I am already returning to "The Best of Will Ferrell," which still stands as the best "Saturday Night Live" DVD I own at the current time (only three, but I'm getting there).

"Saturday Night Live: The Best of Molly Shannon" runs 76 minutes. It contains outtakes, a deleted dress rehearsal scene, a picture gallery, two TV interviews with Conan, and so on. It is not rated, but contains some language and sexual content/partial nudity. The feature's guest stars include, among others: Val Kilmer, Matthew Broderick, Gabriel Byrne, Tina Turner, Alex Baldwin, et al. It is now available on video and DVD.

4-0 out of 5 stars Molly: One of the all time GREAT TV ladies of comedy!
Molly Shannon's presence is sorely missed on "Saturday Night Live" but not you can relive some of her finest moments with this DVD. Although I personally would have chosen some different sketches , this DVD is sure to put a big smile on even the grumpiest of faces.

Included are:

"Mary Katherine Gallagher"- Mary auditions for the school variety show and sings "Sometimes When We Touch" and does a Meredith Baxter Birney tv movie monologue. (with Gabriel Byrne)

"Helen Madden, Licensed Joyologist"- "I love it! I love it!" Helen appears on "Pretty Living", hosted by Ana Gasteyer. (with Matthew Broderick)

"The Courtney Love Show"- Courtney's got a talk show, and she interviews Julie Andrews (played by Christine Baranski)

"Elizabeth Taylor"- Elizabeth picks the winning lottery numbers on Weekend Update ("Gladiator!")

"Jeanne Darcy"- the very unspontaneous and over rehearsed comedienne makes an inappropriate appearance at a nursing home.

"Monica Lewinsky"- Monica addresses court, with Hillary watching.

"Sally O'Malley"- Sally auditions to be a Rockette! "I'm 50 years old! And I like to kick! Stretch! And kick!" (with Danny DeVito).

"Veronica & Co."- The European supermodel has a talk show whose set is located in the middle of a fashion show runway (with Val Kilmer).

"Delicious Dish On NPR"- Molly & Ana Gasteyer as the very low-key hosts of a radio cooking show. This is the famous "Schweaty Balls" episode (with Alec Baldwin).

"Leg Up!"- Molly as Ann Miller, and Cheri Oteri as Debbie Reynolds. (with Phil Hartman as a very cranky Frank Sinatra)

"MTV FANatic"- Molly as Anna Nicole Smith (with Ben Affleck as an obsessed fan who looks to Anna Nicole for a mother figure).

"Mary Katherine Gallagher"- Mary meets the real Tina Turner by hiding in her dressing room. (with Alec Baldwin)

"Rae Murphy"- an awkward blind date at an airport bar goes horribly wrong (with Will Ferrel and Chris Kattan).

"Dress Rehearsal Sketch"- that was cut from the final broadcast features Molly as an odd, accent loving girl who brings home date Bill Paxton to meet her parents (with Ana Gasteyer and Horatio Sanz).

Also features a photo gallery of Molly in different costumes, outtakes: Molly as Xena, Princess Warrior (with Brendan Frasier), as Helen Madden (with Ben Stiller), NPR's Delicious Dish (with Alec Baldwin), 70's Ladies In Bar (with Calista Flockhart), Dog Show! (with Will Ferrell- it's just a teeny blooper clip), and Jeanne Darcy on Weekend Update.

Two more goodies: two appearances on Conan O'Brien. On the first one she discusses how Courtney Love didn't seem pleased to be parodied and how Gary Coleman once trapped her in his hotel bathroom and tried to put the moves on her; the other appearance is with Will Ferrell and she talks about dating and a new sketch she was working on called "Hot Cocoa Girls."

Great collection! I would have given it five stars had it included some "Goth Talk" and "Dog Show" sketches on it. My absolute favorite Mary Katherine Gallagher sketch isn't here either (Gwenyth Paltrow was the host that week)- but it'd be nearly impossible to include everyone's favorites. I'd say that Molly Shannon definitely deserves a second "Best Of" DVD!

3-0 out of 5 stars Good, but brief.
I believe that most people buy a "Best of" title mainly to see some of their favorite skits. Don't set your expectations too high here. This is just 76 minutes long, which includes outtakes, tv interviews, a dress rehearsal, and some recognizable skits. One can always argue about what should be on a "Best of", but this is so limited as to leave one convinced that this was made short to allow for other "Favorites" to be bundled up by producers for other DVD's to be released later. Disappointing.

5-0 out of 5 stars Query about review
What happened to the review I wrote two weeks ago?

5-0 out of 5 stars Molly Shannon at her most hilarious!
Out of all the Saturday Night Live collections that I have viewed, this one is the most consistently funny. Like some of her fellow SNL alumni, she may not have carved out a film career for herself, but she still does some of the most side-splitting routines. This DVD contains two Mary Katherine Gallagher sketches, her Betty Broderick monologue and her meeting Tina Turner; her Sally O'Malley "I'm 50 years old" bit with Danny De Vito; her spot-on impression of Courtney Love; the giddily over-the-top sketch about "joyologist" Helen Madden; her impression of a spaced-out Elizabeth Taylor randomly spewing out lottery numbers; her Jeannie Darcy bit in the elderly ward ("Don't get me started"); and the "Schweaty Balls" sketch with Alec Baldwin. Some of the other routines, such as the Veronica & Co. clip, the Anna Nicole Smith scene (poorly developed) and the airport bar scene with Will Ferrell, are less consistently funny. However, the first 45 minutes or so of this DVD more than compensate for the last 20 minutes. If I wanted to cheer up a friend, I would give him or her this DVD. In fact, I know that I will give it to some of my colleagues in the future. This DVD is heads above my Dana Carvey, Steve Martin, and Will Ferrell DVDs. How much do I like this Molly Shannon? Don't get me started! ... Read more


169. Ciao, Professore!
Director: Lina Wertmüller
list price: $19.99
our price: $15.99
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Asin: B0000DZ3BJ
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 3952
Average Customer Review: 4.92 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (12)

5-0 out of 5 stars An Italian "To Sir, With Love"
This is a very touching movie. The story has been told in many ways, but somehow this movie shows a freshness of its own. A northern Italian teacher is sent to southern Italy (Napoli or a town near it) due to an error. Few of the children go to school because of economic and social difficulties. Il professore goes out to the streets and homes and drags the children to class. The children are mostly street smart wise guys. The movie is rated R due to a constant stream of crude language by the children, but don't let that stop you. (I would like to know what a fart jockey is.)

Eventually, the teacher and the children learn from each other profoundly, etc.

The acting more than makes up for the plot!

Enjoy!

5-0 out of 5 stars "Me, let' shope I'll make it" - Simple and touching film
I saw this film several times - I was born and went to elemntary and grade school in Naples - as it reminded me all to well of both the incredible warmth, generosity and spirit of my fellow Neapolitans as well as the many evil and decaying aspects of life that persist. I was lucky enough to live in the City itself and go to a better school; however, the film is actually based on very real events and is merely somewhat adapted to ease the translation into film. The movie - and most of the dialogue - is based on a book that collected the essays of grade 3 students in the De Amicis school in Arzano, a poor suburb of Naples, in the late 80's. The teacher had collected the genuine and honest tales of life as precieved by his students. In the film the teacher comes from another city through bureaucratic error; in the book he's as Neapolitan as pizza. The excellent children actors - who were chosen among regular school children in Arzano (called Corsano in the film) - in fact use dialogue that is lifted directly from the essays. Unfortunately, to capture the full humor, knowing Italian is not enough, it's necessary to understand Neapolitan dialect and the psychology of Neapolitans. One of my favorite characters - apart from the briosche loving fat kid (I love briosche also) is the old and very sarchastic uncle who advises the baby that life is tough and hardly a collection of smiles. Like all Wertmuller's films, this one has a lot of humanity and is ultimately optimistic about the future of humanity. i suppose that's why she chooses so many of her film subjects among the very human people of Naples.

5-0 out of 5 stars Completely Magical!
CIAO, PROFESSORE is a film that deserves to be in everyone's collection. Every aspect of this utterly charming story is so well done that it feels perfect. Based on actual 3rd grade children's essays from a school outside of Naples, Italy, the script sings and dances in words that only children could have spoken. Lina Wertmuller takes this fine script and populates it with fine actors: Paolo Villaggio is inimitable as the Professor who comes form Northern Italy to the squalor of Southern Italy with all of the ideals of a dedicated teacher in place - or out of place, as he finds in the poverty and crime stricken city of Corsano; Isa Danieli is the coarse and world-hardened Principal of the school; and the children who begin as renegades and slowly enter a mutual transformation with the Professore are played by 'non-professional actors' gleaned from Naples. The children steal the show, so individual and committed are they to their roles. A film about poverty and misguided kids could be depressing, but Wertmuller and her fine cast make this a celebration of the human spirit without ever dipping into bathos. This is one of the finest movies about the teacher/student relationship that has ever been made -and that is saying a lot. Highly Recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars Ciao Professore !
This movie, of a professore from the North, who gets transferred in error to a village outside of Napoli is a funny but sobering look at the conditions that the southerners had to live with and still do. You'll love the approach of the film to the societal problems of the south, you'll laugh and then want to cry, all at the same moment. If your family origins are from southern Italy, the memories of our dialect are unmistakable, enjoyable, nostalgic and funny.

4-0 out of 5 stars Ciao Professore
A delightful tale told well about life in the ghettos of Naples and how kids get trapped into a life with no future. The amazing part of this film is that the children who played the parts of the ghetto kids were actually local kids from the ghetto with no acting experience! They do an acting job that puts most of Hollywood's kid stars to shame. All the acting was first rate as was the direction and technical aspects of the film.

Heart warming and very funny. Certainly worth seeing from both an entertainment and educational point of view. ... Read more


170. Paul McCartney - In the World Tonight
Director: Geoff Wonfor
list price: $19.99
our price: $17.99
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Asin: 6305038732
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 19898
Average Customer Review: 4.23 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Following fast on his work on The Beatles Anthology, Paul McCartney was inspired to make his 1997 release, Flaming Pie, a tribute in part to his days with the Fab Four, and one of the best things he'd done in 20 years.The songs are laid-back, breezy, and soulful, like Paul has remembered everything he used to be.We can thank Anthology for that, and also for this documentary on the making of Flaming Pie, a record of the making of a record.The title, Flaming Pie, Paul tells us, is from an article written by John Lennon for the local paper, The Mersey Beat, in 1961.In the story, John says he had a vision that a man came to him on a flaming pie and said, "From this day you are the Beatles with an A." So that's that.The documentary itself is partway between a music video and a proper documentary, with Paul getting silly at times, and at other times sounding a poignant note unwittingly, such as when he sings a love song to Linda. The sound on the disc is excellent, making this a worthy addition to the library of any fan of the Beatles or McCartney.With a little help from his friends: Ringo Starr, Steve Miller, George Martin, Lenny Kravitz, Linda McCartney, and (surprise) Bill Clinton. --Jim Gay ... Read more

Reviews (13)

5-0 out of 5 stars SIR PAUL'S DOCUMENTARY OF HIS GREAT "FLAMING PIE" CD
A great documentary by Sir Paul of his then new "Flaming Pie" album. This is his best album of the 90's and his best since "Tug Of War". "Young Boy" (under-represented here) is one of the catchiest Beatles related songs ever, and you can see why it was a top 20 hit in the U.K. As far as the DVD, I had the VHS, and the DVD is clearer (with no lines) and the sound is crisper. However, Rhino has the "track" listing badly out of order. A correction is sorely needed. You pretty much have to watch it in order and don't rely on the printed list on the inside cover. The pace is good, and with Linda's passing shortly afterwards, this being her last footage is quite touching (especially both of them recording "Great Day"). With this and the newly released "Standing Stone" being Sir Paul's only available titles on DVD, this is a must buy as it is a very enjoyable 75 minute video. Here's to hoping that some of his other videos make it to DVD soon, like "Rockshow", "Put It There", "Get Back:Concert Movie", and "Paul Is Live"! Also, how about a video compilation Paul?

5-0 out of 5 stars A Lesson in Studio Arts and Music
"In the World Tonight," is an intimate 1997 lesson in studio arts set to the music of Paul McCartney's album Flaming Pie. The cinema verite camera lends initmacy as Paul speaks, sings, plays, and improvises in his music studios, animation studio, and television studio. But the television aspect ratio and light editing of the home-movie styled shots leave Paul in the center of the screen almost all of the time--so the cinematography is a little predictable.

In the film you might expect to see the result of Paul having a movie camera follow him around throughout his career. Paul uses relaxed poses around a campfire in a woods, boyish facial expressions and charming movements in his home studio, bright reactions in the television studio, and serious looks in the Abbey Road studio.

Voice, song, music, drawing, painting, animation, and architecture all play a part in making this "home movie" of a historic artist stay fresh. But, like a home movie, the loose style of the film leaves a couple of funny shots or shots that could be a little embarassing too.

Musicians and artists should like "In the World Tonight" because it gives a close up look at how Paul speaks, sings, plays, composes, draws, or paints in unique home, public, and arena settings. You can see Paul improvise funny songs and sing in his studio and rehearsing or recording with Ringo at home, and you can see him in formally orchestrated recording sessions at Abbey Road Studio and performing before a historic audience of 180,000 people in an arena in South America.

The cinema verite film is also a news reel of Paul's life in the mid 1990's. Paul's daughter Mary and her husband Alistaire produced and directed the film. Wife Linda sings informally with Paul in the recording studio, and rides horseback with him in the woods, but she appears in the film to be a more secondary figure than she has seemed after her death, but her appearance could be a major part in the film.

In the segment that documents Paul's award of knighthood toward the end of the film, Paul says that knighthood gives you a chance to make your girlfriend a Lady, but Linda always was a lady.

5-0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Pie
Sometime ago I bought in Hong Kong the VCD version of this superb artist's work for Flaming Pie, one of his most accomplished album ever.
It's always rewarding watching an artist at work. See the places and people around him. The actual instruments played, etc. I specially enjoyed George Martin's orchestra input and rehearsal for the recording of Beautiful Night. It's really powerful the way it blends with the basic melody and Paul's singing (and Ringo's drumming!).
Images of World Tonight somehow reminded me of The Magical Mistery Tour, which I saw in December 1967 (then a kid) when first shown on British TV...cool! Now, I don't quite see a guy like Paul hanging around the streets listening to his own tunes carrying a radio - he's probably a bit too mature for that

4-0 out of 5 stars Macca's Triumphant Flaming Pie
Interesting footage of Sir Paul as he puts together his best album in....well, quite awhile. Includes videos for The World Tonight, a VH-1 town meeting, Paul and Ringo, Paul and Steve Miller, Paul and Jeff Lynne. Also included are Macca discussing painting, his knighthood, his studio, working with Sir George Martin on Beautiful Night. It's all quite a diverse little trip inside the world of Paul McCartney and a good compliment to the truly wonderful Flaming Pie.

1-0 out of 5 stars A Shocker
The thing with Paul is that he gives nothing away. There is nothing new in this doco. It is just egomaniac Paul going on and on about what a suberb bloke he is. There are some very embarrassing moments in this. Definitly one I wouldn't play to my mates! ... Read more


171. Andromeda Vol 4.4 Season 4
Director: T.J. Scott, Allan Kroeker, J. Miles Dale, George Mendeluk, David Winning, Pat Williams (III), Philip David Segal, Brenton Spencer, Jorge Montesi, Mike Rohl, Peter DeLuise, Allan Eastman, Richard Flower, Michael Robison, Allan Harmon, Brad Turner, David Warry-Smith
list price: $39.98
our price: $35.98
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Asin: B0006IIPIA
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Andromeda chronicles the adventures of Captain Dylan Hunt (Kevin Sorbo) and his crew on the starship Andromeda Ascendant as they search the galaxies in an effort to rebuild the Systems Commonwealth, a community of worlds strewn across the universe working together for peace. ... Read more

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5-0 out of 5 stars Andromeda Season 4 Volume 4.4
These Are The AndromedaEpisodes You Get When You Buy This Dvd

Episode 414 : The Others

Episode 415 : Fear Burns Down To Ashes

Episode 416 : Lost In A Space That Isn't There

Episode 417 : Abridging The Devil's Divide ... Read more


172. The Time Machine
Director: Simon Wells
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Average Customer Review: 3.27 out of 5 stars
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4-0 out of 5 stars A LOT better than the original
Ok, I'm really getting sick of hearing people flog this movie. The fact of the matter is that it's a lot better than the original in every way. Let's start with the beginning. The original film's first act, yes, the first HALF HOUR is set in a sitting room...with a bunch of people talking. Be careful not to doze off here. Also there is a flashback here, put in for apparently no reason. The scientist, who is never given a name, just wants to see if time travel is possible, that's his only real motivation. Then we are treated to some REALLY godzilla-like special effects and hokey Star Trek: The Original Series sets. When he finds the girl, she has 50s styled hair, speaks perfect english with no explanation whatsoever, and is dumb as a stump. The plot hole here are numerous. Check this out "You mean you have no government?" "No". "You don't work?" "No". If they don't do these things, how the heck do they know what he's talking about? Then the morlocks come bounding out. Remember that old bad monster flick with the guy in the gorilla suit and the deep sea helmet? These aren't far off. Now let's talk about the new movie. Aside from the really annoying "quirk" Guy Pierce comes up with, hanging his mouth open for the entire first act, I liked it. He now has an impotace to change the past, then a motivation to go forth into the future. I loved the broken moon thing, much more interesting than a nuclear attack that sets off a volcano in New York. The Eloi are no longer Star Trek extras, but a real culture. They don't just meander around like zombies but have real tasks to do. When the Morlocks show up, It gets pretty intense. The notion of 3 different kinds was cool. I also liked that Jeremy Irons justifies their behavior. The ending was much better, more fun, and wasn't just some geek professor turning into Rambo and punching out white gorillas.

3-0 out of 5 stars There Was Potential...
At best, Time Machine was a worthwhile Saturday watch. The effects were top rate and very convincing worthy of even George Lucas' ILM stamp of approval (althought the f/x were done by another company).As a previous viewer commented, it was painful to watch Guy Pearce's performance in some scenes. He either displayed "wooden emotions" or he tried a bit too hard. Also, his appearance looked gaunt and very tired in the first 30 to 40 minutes of the film. The ending or fading out of the film had a sort of Titanic feel with overlapping the past and future together in one particular melancholy scene. Despite the advances in special effects over the past 40 years since the original, the 1960 version will always be the best and is definitely a classic. In addition, the 1960 release produced some very grotesque and terrifying images with regards to the underground dwellers (the Morlocks; who can forget their yellow glowing eyes and savage growls)! However, what was admirable in the new version was the introduction of actor Jeremy Irons' intellectually sinister character role ! To hear him say his lines was like hearing his voice all over again from The Lion King playing the evil Scar. Showing that although the human future race was near extinction the existence of a multi-ethnic population was still possible (unlike the original). What I kept yearning for was more adventuresome exploring by the time traveller before he would finally advance to 800,000 years into the future. Also, it would have been fascinating if the writers or director would have gone the H.G. Wells route where supposedly the time traveller goes so far into the future that the entire planet is near total destruction (possibly leaving the traveler lingering in outerspace). This was the room for potential I was talking about!

5-0 out of 5 stars better than harry potter and the chamber of secrets
yup this movie is better than harry potter and the chambers of secrets. since that movie didn't have great acting the quiddich game was not appealing.

5-0 out of 5 stars unbelivable
this movie was unbelivable. since this movie never gets boring.

5-0 out of 5 stars stunning
this movie i would say is stunning. since this movie has phenomenal action and special effects. ... Read more


173. A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur's Court/The Emperor Waltz - Double Feature
Director: Billy Wilder
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5-0 out of 5 stars Right up Bing's alley.
These two films feature Bing at his "Average American" best. Though handsome enough, Bing was no Cary Grant. With ears sticking out and rug a-top head, he oozed a certain comfortable "normal-ness" which at the same time was never mediocrity. For no one did it like Bing. Made it look so easy, that is.

In Mark Twain's tale we have the Average American of the early 20th century-- a time when automobiles and other inventions were replacing the old ways of a yonder time and place. So how would this hard-working fellow from Connecticut fare in the Arthurian age? Quite well, judging from Bing's adventure. He uses every trick up his sleeve to win over the very charming old king, the beautiful Rhonda Fleming, and William Bendix as a loveable oaf of a knight. This is all tongue-in-cheek fun, complete with wonderful songs, "When Is Sometime?" "If You Stub Your Toe on the Moon" and a favorite of mine, "We're Busy Doing Nothing" ( . . . "working the whole day through/Trying to find lots of things not to do/We're busy doing nothing/Isn't it just a crime?/We'd like to be unhappy/But we never do have the time.")

Can you believe the director who gave us "Double Indemnity," "Sunset Boulevard" and "The Apartment" also gave us the fun Crosby musical "The Emperor Waltz"? Billy Wilder obviously put a lot of joy and love into this picture, which has a certain Austrian-German sweetness to it. The cinematography is gorgeous, the songs are lovely, and lovely too is the great Joan Fontaine. Bing must really pull off the "Average American" thing here-- again at the start of the 20th century, as a travelling salesman (of phonograph machines!). He must be a regular guy, a charmer, a cold businessman (on the surface anyway), and have a warm child-like spirit too-- all at the same time. And there's just about the cutest dog you'll ever see in a movie-- and a nice moral that rings very true.

So these are two colorful musical feasts, lots of fun with humorous performances from all concerned, and two good stories to boot. But the success of these pictures rests in the hands of Bing Crosby, who is very much at home in settings which showcase his cozy virtuosity.

3-0 out of 5 stars With all it has going for it...
...you'd think this would be a winner -- Bing Crosby at the height of his film popularity, Billy Wilder as director, and the lush scenery of Canada's Japser National Park. However, despite the truly beautiful restoration by Universal, this is a yawn...and I'm a bit of a Crosby fan. Here, Bing plays a phonograph salesman trying to sell his wares to Austrian royalty. He falls in love with Joan Fontaine, a countess, while his dog falls in love with her dog, who is supposed to mate with the Emperor's dog. The scenery is just beautiful. The script is ho hum. I sat thinking how could this be Billy Wilder??? Well, I guess the concept is rather anti-class system, so perhaps that's what attracted Wilder. Aside from that, it's fluff...albeit pleasant fluff.

On the other hand, "A Connecticutt Yankee In King Arthur's Court" is much nicer. A nice turn on the old story, with a hoot of a supporting performance by William Bendix ("Life Of Riley"). Crosby is in fine voice and this film has a bit of a heart to it. A nice diversion with Crosby in his cinematic heydey. ... Read more


174. Love in the Afternoon
Director: Billy Wilder
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Fairy-tale Paris doesn't get more enchanting than Billy Wilder's Lovein the Afternoon, an ode to picnics on the grass and champagne at the Ritz.Audrey Hepburn (who had already made Sabrina with Wilder) is at her bestas the inexperienced cellist with a fascination for millionaire American playboyGary Cooper. Maurice Chevalier (who else?) is Hepburn's father, a privatedetective with ample evidence of Cooper's crowded history of l'amour.Alongside the sheen of the romance is Wilder's unerring sense of craftsmanship;watch how inanimate objects such as a liquor tray, a white carnation, or thelittle dog in the suite next door are developed into sublime running gags. Theage difference between the two leads has often been questioned, but perhaps thisis what gives the gossamer material the whiff of welcome melancholy. The finalthree minutes leave no doubt that Wilder hatched the best endings in Hollywoodhistory. --Robert Horton ... Read more

Reviews (43)

3-0 out of 5 stars Cute but superficial romance
"Love in the Afternoon" is a cute but superficial romance. I realize that some elements of the film are intended as a satire on French cinema of the time, but Wilder went too far in a few instances, in my opinion.

Audrey Hepburn is beautiful, as always, in her excellent performance as a young music student who falls madly in love with American playboy Gary Cooper, a visitor in her native Paris. Both actors are elegantly funny and exchange witty banter, but a few elements of the relationship were quite disturbing and just TOO unrealistic. First, Cooper looks every bit of his 56 years, while Hepburn appears to be a college freshman. Second, why doesn't Cooper immediately realize that virginal Hepburn isn't the flighty young woman she claims to be? His ignorance is astounding. Third, the ending is just too over-the-top. This film was cute, especially watching Hepburn recount her many, many (fictional) affairs to a perplexed Cooper, but if you really want to see a good Hepburn romance, get "Roman Holiday" or "Breakfast at Tiffany's." Those two films top this one any day.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wilder's Parisian souffle
With two of Hollywood's most glamorous stars, and (despite the silly plot) a sharp and witty script, this film is an evergreen, and one I never tire of watching.
Audrey Hepburn is enchanting as the spunky "Thin Girl", a cello student who falls in love with a millionaire playboy bachelor, played with grace and charm (and quite a bit of humor) by Gary Cooper. Hepburn was 28 at the time, and looked younger, Cooper was 56, and looked perhaps older, but despite the age difference, their chemistry together sparkles and sizzles.

The romantic cat and mouse game played by Hepburn to intrigue and win Cooper's heart is all very innocent and sweet, and I always shed a few tears at the magical ending.
Maurice Chevalier as Hepburn's father, a private detective specializing in matters of love and deception is fabulous, and gets most of the funny lines, and John McGiver, as one of Chevalier's jealous husband clients, is also very amusing.

The b & w cinematography by William Mellor is exceptional, and how the camera loves Audrey, looking exquisite in an array of beautiful gowns. There is also a quartet called "The Gypsies", who serenade the lovers throughout the film with some terrific czardas, and the melodic song "Fascination".
Light, frothy, and thoroughly enjoyable, this is one of Billy Wilder's most delightful films, and it's a treasure for Hepburn and Cooper fans.
Total running time is 130 minutes.

3-0 out of 5 stars Cute but superficial romance
Audrey Hepburn delivers a wonderful performance as a naive young music student who falls hopelessly in love with a much older playboy American tourist. Both Hepburn and Cooper are funny, and their witty banter is wonderful. I know this is a comedy, and partly a satire, but I was disturbed by several aspects of this film. First, the age differences between the two characters is a bit disturbing. Cooper looks every bit of his 56 years, while Hepburn looks like a college freshman. Second, couldn't the worldly Cooper tell that virginal Hepburn wasn't the flighty woman she claimed to be? Third, I was also disturbed by the "happily ever after" ending. Maybe my tastes are a little superior to this film (I much more prefer the ending to "Roman Holiday," a much better romantic comedy), but I simply could not swallow the final scene. Other than that, this film is a cute romantic comedy, especially the scenes where Hepburn describes her many (fictional) love affairs. Worth a viewing, but this one isn't being added to my DVD collection, even though I am an avid Audrey fan.

1-0 out of 5 stars A tragedy disguised as a love story
This movie helps us to understand why the divorce rate is so high amongst this generation. The story line is written to depict a great love founded on lies and deceit. Cooper plays a skirt chasing, immoral, philanderer, who has absolutely no depth of character and nothing positive to offer, other than financial security. Hepburn portrays an idiot child who can't see what a loser she pursues. The differences in their ages could suggest that Cooper is a child molester. I found this movie disturbing and annoying.

5-0 out of 5 stars Cooper too old? Ask Ted Kennedy
or Michael Dougless or Bob Packwood ... Read more


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

Reviews (8)

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

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

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

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

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


176. They Died with Their Boots On
Director: Raoul Walsh
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Sales Rank: 3486
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Bert Glennon, who shot Stagecoach and seven other John Ford classics, has given this Raoul Walsh biopic of George Armstrong Custer a burnished glow--an evocative interplay of raw sunlight and elegiac shadow like no other vintage Warner Bros. Western. Glennon's artistry and Walsh's trademark gusto sustain enthusiasm even as the screenplay beggars belief. The flamboyant Custer (Errol Flynn), rushed into Civil War service straight from West Point, did get promoted overnight to general and establish a spectacular record for "ride to the guns" leadership. However, Custer as defender of Indians' rights--to the point of willing his own Last Stand so he could accuse corrupt Indian Commissioners from the grave--is historical rewrite of such sweeping chutzpah as to shame DeMille. Flynn and Olivia de Havilland make an even more appealing couple than usual, and the big supporting cast is unflaggingly energetic above and beyond the call of duty. --Richard T. Jameson ... Read more

Reviews (38)

4-0 out of 5 stars Enjoy it for What it Is, Not What it Isn't ...
"They Died With Their Boots On" was one of the first really big films that saw Errol Flynn cast without Michael Curtiz in the Director's chair. The result was pure (if somewhat propagandist to say nothing of racist) magic.

Flynn always thought the idea of using him in westerns was ridiculous. On paper it probably was. He may have looked like the most dashing of cowboys but with his Australian accent he certainly didn't sound like one. It was never a problem though. Flynn had the ability to deliver any line easily and make it utterly convincing. That, coupled with his natural charisma made almost any hurdle insignificant. His performance as Custer, from the comic situations in the first half of the film to the darker moments later on is never less than brilliant. Of all the portrayals of Custer on film his may be one of the least accurate but it's the most believable. Only a great actor could manage that feat.

Great films don't become what they are with just one great actor though. Olivia de Havilland (though she has a smaller part) matches him step for step. These two always worked well together but this pairing may be their best one. Her character is just as well developed as his. She is funny, thoughtful, assertive and supportive. Any scene she does without Flynn on the screen she steals. Together they're either hilarious or tender. There is never a moment where it seems the love they have for each other is anything but total. Their parting scene has to be one of the great ones in all of film. Arthur Kennedy is just as strong as Ned Sharp, the villain of the piece. Some of the scenes involving him and Flynn are very strong. The final interaction between them is chilling. Other great names from film (Sydney Greenstreet and Anthony Quinn to name two) are just as strong in their parts.

Great films also require great direction. With Raoul Walsh in the Director's chair this one had it. This was the first film Flynn made with Walsh and (with the possible exception of "Objective Burma") it may be their best. Walsh knew how to get the best out of actors and he knew where the camera should be to make the most of dramatic moments. His other films include "White Heat", "High Sierra", "The Naked and the Dead", "The Lawless Breed", "The Roaring Twenties" and "Gentleman Jim" (another of Flynn's great films).

The film isn't without problems. The nicest thing that can be said about its portrayal of people from any race other than white is that it's condescending (the worst is that it works to keep the racial hierarchy of the time intact). Hattie McDaniel (who was anything but a simpleton) plays the part of one. Anthony Quinn plays Crazy Horse as the atypical "Hollywood Indian" of the time. And things haven't improved much. The Hollywood community may have dropped those stereotypes but they keep coming up with new ones. Films like "Marci X" (for instance) prove that.

Some good points are made though. The scene where the Cadets loyal to the Southern cause depart from West Point captures the pain of that split without sermonizing over it. That fact makes it all the more touching. The portrayal of how greedy individuals wilfully sacrifice other people to instigate wars that serve them is exceptional. Even though it's done from a point of view that's never better than patronizing the film makes it clear that the blame for all the major violations of treaties made between the white man and the Indians lay with the white man. It also makes it clear that these things were done in the service of commerce. The "incidents" depicted may not be accurate but the patterns they portray are. The idea of creating situations that get people to demand war is a method that's been used since the dawn of civilized society. This film gives a textbook lesson on how it's done.

"They Died With Their Boots On" isn't historically accurate (or even close). It's not intended to be either. It's entertainment that rises above its problems. It should be enjoyed as such.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Entertainment
In a few short words,I just want to say how wonderful and entertaining this movie is.I have had it on tape for years,now that it is on DVD I will treasure it.I wish most critics would not hamper on about "Historical Inaccuracies" etc and just let us,the public decide for ourselves.The movie never intended to be accurate and Raoul Walsh the director had a knack of bringing tension through great rousing set-pieces.Along with "Robin Hood" and "Objective Burma" "Boots" is my favourite Flynn movie

5-0 out of 5 stars DIED? STILL ALIVE AND WELL!
Many, many years ago, when I was much younger and much skinnier and movie theaters had one screen, I was lucky enough to meet Olivia de Havilland. She was speaking at a local cinema, reminiscing about her life and career, the famous folks she knew, the movies that made her a star. Everyone wanted to know about the movie: Gone With the Wind.

What was Clark Gable really like? Was Vivien Leigh really that beautiful? Was Leslie Howard really that aloof? Was Hattie McDaniel really that fat? No fool was she. De Havilland answered candidly and cordially, recalling the 1939 classic as "a great event that I am proud of." (Yes, I was keeping notes even back then. No April fool was I!)

When the chat was over, I snuck into the room in which de Havilland was relaxing, waiting for the signal her car was ready. I introduced myself and handed her a still from Captain Blood and asked if she would sign it. She took glasses from her purse and stared at the photo. "Oh! Errol Flynn! He was the most virile, the most famous, the most magnetic man I ever knew. And we were so very much in love."

De Havilland asked me what I knew about the man with whom she co-starred in eight films. I told her I knew little - that he was a swashbuckler, known for his love of the fast life and his wicked, wicked ways; that he was acquitted of a statutory rape charge; that his autobiography was published after he died and that co-star Bette Davis hated him. "You know so little," she said softly. "Do yourself a favor and research his life. He was quite the man."

I never took her advice. I discovered Judy and Liza and Annie and Tracy and Hepburn and Bud and Lou and Stan and Ollie, but never Errol Flynn.

Until now.

The other day, a friend who works for Turner Classic Movies sent me an advance copy of the documentary, The Adventures of Errol Flynn, making its TCM debut Tuesday, April 5, at 8 p.m. (The show will be followed by an evening of Flynn flicks; TCM will present more than 30 EF classics in all, every Tuesday throughout the month, from the classics to the curious ... including the ones made with de Havilland). On April 19, TCM will offer an encore presentation of the documentary at 8 p.m. - the same date Warner Home Video is releasing Errol Flynn: The Signature Collection, a library of DVDs including Captain Blood, The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex, The Sea Hawk, Dodge City and They Died With Their Boots On.

So I cleaned my heads and cleared my head. So this was the man she was talking about! Crammed with rare footage, home movies and revealing interviews - including several with de Havilland - The Adventures of Errol Flynn paints a portrait of a man noted as much for his screen work as his predisposition for rebelling against authority.

"His life was a series of adventures," says narrator Ian Holm, "and movie making was one of them." Flynn said it a bit differently: "I have a zest for living, yet twice an urge to die."

Seeing the clips and footage is telling - even his 1932 screen test for In the Wake of the Bounty, the first feature film made in Australia, shows his natural charm and sex appeal - but hearing, first-hand, from people who knew and respected him puts a different face on the legend. There's Greer Garson and David Niven (Flynn and Niven once shared a beach house together, a den of booze and sin they nicknamed "Cirrhosis By the Sea"). Joanne Woodward recalls that "like Peck's bad boy, you would forgive Flynn anything. It was the smile. It was that sense of knowing a secret." de Havilland remembers that "he was accustomed to getting his way, which was often very harmful to him. No sense of consequences. I think the rest of his life really did illustrate that particular failing of his over and over again." (A side note: The beginning of the film is simply hysterical: In 1957, his personal demons bulging and his popularity waning, Flynn appeared on The Steve Allen Show in a spoof of To Tell the Truth. The two other gents proclaiming "My name is Errol Flynn" were mustached Don Knotts and Louis Nye. Funny, yet quite sad.)

And when those people are his third wife, Patrice Wymore Flynn, and daughter (from his second marriage), Deirdre Flynn, the man behind the smile and devil-may-care attitude becomes more human and less a creation of the silver screen. Says Deirdre: "He was very down-to-earth and very much a parent. But nobody ever writes about that. Nobody ever looked at that side of him." Patrice harks back to the day they made their first film together: "My hairdresser said, `I think Flynn has his eye on you.' I said, `Don't be silly - he's engaged to be married. Let's just show him this is one woman he can't get.' And I got caught in my own trap. The friendship started, I got to know him and I fell in love."

There's much crammed into the hour, and I don't want to give it all away. de Havilland's stories are priceless. His warped relationship with his parents is abundantly clear: There's rare color footage of sailing with his father, a noted marine biologist, and nothing but hatred for his mother who, ironically, was a descendent of Fletcher Christian of H.M.S. Bounty fame, whom Flynn would play on screen. Former wife Patrice says that Flynn and his mother's relationship was "like two pieces of steel being rubbed together;" director pal Vincent Sherman recalls that when Flynn spoke of his mother, :"it was the first time I heard a man use a four-letter word to describe his mother." And his demise is shattering ... as his daughter describes finding the needles that her father used to shoot himself with morphine and him telling her they were "vitamin shots."

5-0 out of 5 stars I Don't Care
I don't care if the film is historically inaccurate.Errol Flynn may not have been an ideal figure in real life but the movies he was in, well, I was raised with the 30's and 40's films and his films always gave me a hero to look up to and how things should have been done.They inspired me and taught me right from wrong and how to treat people fairly.Along with my Dad's guidelines, I was better for it. That's all I care about, not whether it was historically accurate.Mr. Flynn, even in real life, was a chip off the old block.I love this film.I grew up with it and it still gets an emotional rise out of me when I view it.Its what Custer should have been in my opinion and as a young boy watching this for the first time, influenced me for the rest of my life.Errol Flynn was my hero after I saw this and his WWII Burma movie.Its a shame he's gotten a bad shake from the critics whether now or in the past.

3-0 out of 5 stars TDWTBO Is not History As She Is Spoke -- but it's FUN
I thought TDWTBO was in B&W......

Some of the Hollywood Historians here, while cautioning readers that this film isn't historically accurate, are woefully inaccurate about Custer.

He was NOT an "often inept commander."He was one of the more briilliant commanders of horse to come out of the Civil War.A master of the *flanking* attack. Who was pivotol in holding off the CSA's rear attack on the Union at Gettysburg.Who was pivotal at Appomattox.

While he certainly would not sacrifice himself and his troops, he did put his career on the line in Spring 1876 when he testified before Congress regarding the Indian Bureau's corruption.

He did not ignore his Indian scouts' advice at Little Big Horn -- in fact, he took their advice, which was to attack the village NOW before it broke up and scattered.

Custer was not "arrogant" -- he was supremely confident in himself and his troops.Would you prefer to serve under a commander who thought otherwise?He was Cavalry -- supreme confidence came with the territory.

The most common terms I come across when contemporaries describe Custer, are "Gentleman."And "soft spoken."The only things he really bragged about were his hunting dogs and his own hunting prowess.

Custer had a great sense of humor and was pretty good at deprecating himself.Flynn manages to portray all of this. If Custer had never existed, he would have to have been invented for Flynn to portray in a movie.

THEY DIED WITH THEIR BOOTS ON is a rip-snorting adventure, full of humor, pathos honor, and gallantry.Which really was what Custer was about. ... Read more


177. The Lost Weekend
Director: Billy Wilder
list price: $14.98
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Asin: B0000549B1
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 8199
Average Customer Review: 4.43 out of 5 stars
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Description

Billy Wilder creates a searing portrait of an alcoholic. Don Birnam is a writer whose lust for booze consumes his career, his life, and his loved ones. ... Read more

Reviews (28)

5-0 out of 5 stars A powerful movie about alcoholism
Don Birnam, an want-to-be writer with writer's block, is ecstatic when his brother Wick finally leaves their apartment for a long weekend in the country. Free of the constant watching, he is incredibly happy and feels even better after the second drink. Throughout the five days, Don drinks, makes and forgets promises, discovers a brilliant idea for writing and forgets it just as quickly, loses track of time. His mind takes him on a guilt-ridden trip through past experiences and hallucinations. He even awakens after a spill down the stairs to find himself in the alcoholic wing of a sanitarium.

Billy Wilder's film adaptation of the novel by Charles Jackson does a fine job of detailing what happens to someone in the grips of alcoholism: the desparate need, the hallucinations, the blackouts, etc. Ray Milland delivers one of the finest screen performances as Don, giving the impression that you are living every moment with Don, suffering his hallucinations and withdrawal, and thirsting for alcohol. This performance also earned him the Best Actor Academy Award. Jane Wyman is wonderful as Don's girlfriend Helen, who wants to see him through this terrible ordeal. Phillip Terry also gives a strong performance as Don's brother Wick, who wants to help Don by being the strong one, but always caves in, feeding Don's dependency.

For anyone who has read the book, certain aspects from the story have been removed and altered, but this in no way detracts from this portrait of a man in the throes of alcoholism. It's still a very potent and powerful film dealing with an almost taboo subject at the time. Highly recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars Compelling vintage classic
"The lost weekend" was a great adaption of Charles Jackson same name novel.Billy Wilder's terrific directing always a bonus. It's about a struggling writer's weekend. Everything happened over a weekend.

The film began with Don pretend to pack his luggage with a bottle tied to a string hanging outside his window.Don's life and fate changed. Don Birnam has writer's block, he is also a alcoholic. He is aware but unable to kick it.He even trade his typewriter for drinks. He been through a lot in a few days and forced to face up to his problem. Luckily he has love and support from his brother and girlfriend.

Ray Milland gave a splendid performance which totally deserved his oscar.He showed Don's fear, depression and all his emotions so vividly. His role is pathetic and psychologically realistic.

This film has a superb script with detailed description of nightmares images and visions. Breakthrough during that era. One of the memorable scene is when Don went to a musical play with actors drinking and he see 'Bottles dancing' instead.

Although this film is black and white I find it amazingly well made and many contemporary movies couldn't hold a candle.

I'm always fascinated by old classic film from 1940 to 1970. Although I belong to new generation I love the feeling and sincerity of old movies.

I find this film psychoanalytic,truthful,compelling and a vintage classic! One of the best film ever made.

5-0 out of 5 stars Still effective after all these years.
Superb mellow drama about a drunk, Don Birman, played by Ray Milland, & his battle with the bottle over one week-end in New York City. Nobody is a drunk anymore. They are said to have a "substance abuse " problem.
There is little stigma attached to the problem today as compared to the self-loathing Milland felt & the repugnance the neighborhood & even his favorite bartender felt towards him. In fact, the long, fairly one-sided conversations with Nat the bartender, played by Howard de Silva, are some of the best scenes in the movie.
Brakett & Wilder took some chances in this ground-breaking movie. They fought the Hollywood studios who probably wanted it watered down & rendered more palatable. They didn't give in &, as a result, this was the best movie of the the year 1945. It was well deserved. Ray Milland also got an Oscar & he was never better. Jane Wyman does a fine job as his long suffering girl friend, Helen.
It is unbelievable that that kind of woman, a real lady, would put up with a loser like that for so long. But after all, this is a movie. A pat ending that doesn't matter at all. The combination of gritty, street level scenes of New York City, the noir atmosphere & black & white filming all combine to make this one of the best aging movies, still relavent, I've seen in a long time.

4-0 out of 5 stars Demon Alchohol
This movie which won 4 academy awards including best picture stars Ray Milland as a debonair drunk who hides alcohol in his apartment and cares more about booze than girls. Playin an aspiring writer, he meets the Jane Wyman character when his ticket stub gets inadvertently switched at the coat rack of a theater: he is perturbed because there is a bottle in its pocket. Even though it's Hollywood, and its dated, it's not easy to watch the Milland character miss his dates, go through delerium tremens, and sink socially because of his obsession with this sometimes-very-addictive legal drug. (The coat caper is rectified by the film's end.)

5-0 out of 5 stars Compelling Film About Alcoholism
I rarely watch older films. By "older" films, I mean movies made before 1960. It's not due to some prejudice on my part about black and white cinematography: my inability to view many early films arises from the fact that far too many of these movies are so melodramatic. You know what I mean: lots of swooning, hands swept across foreheads, and exaggerated body movements all set to crashing waves of syrupy orchestral music. Those swelling violins alone are enough to set my teeth on edge anytime I watch an old film, but occasionally a picture overcomes all of these pet peeves of mine and truly delivers on multiple levels. "The Lost Weekend" is one of those films. Sure, the emoting is there, as is the music and the swooning, but this compelling story about an alcoholic at the end of his rope always pulls at my heartstrings. I am going to start seeking out some classic older films that will tickle my fancy, but I don't expect to find too many of them with the power of "The Lost Weekend."

Ray Milland (an actor who starred in several schlockfests at the end of his career, such as "Frogs") plays Don Birnam, a painfully insecure writer who just can't make his life work. Birnam quickly learned that the soothing balm of alcohol took the edge off his various phobias, but he just as quickly learned that drinking took the edge off his talent, too. For years, Birnam never wandered far from the neighborhood bar or the liquor store, secure in the knowledge that a bottle of rye was always within reach. His brother Wick not only financially supports his boozy sibling; he also covers for him when the drinking causes problems. Of course, Don doesn't care much about his brother one way or the other as long as he gets his shot of whisky when he needs it. Another problem for Don appears in the form of Helen St. James (played by an enormously cute Jane Wyman), a successful writer at Time magazine who accidentally met Don at the opera one night and has since latched on to him despite his chronic alcoholism. When Birnam isn't trying to outwit Wick or Helen, he's down at the local bar spouting alcoholic witticisms to Nat the bartender (played wonderfully by Howard Da Silva) and flirting with a beautiful barfly named Gloria. We learn most of the story through a flashback sequence told by Birnam as he ties on yet another massive drunk.

The film starts with a nervous Don packing for a weekend trip with brother Wick, where the two siblings hope to get out of New York City for a nice change of pace. Of course, Don doesn't want to go because he's not sure he can survive without ready access to booze. In fact, during this opening sequence we see Don hiding a bottle of whisky from his brother by hanging it from a piece of string outside his window. In order to start drinking, Birnam convinces Wick and Helen to go to a concert, a little piece of trickery that is only the beginning of the devious schemes hatched by Don throughout the film. Thus begins a downward spiral over the course of a four-day weekend, as Don resorts to outright theft, robbery, and beggary in order to secure just one more drink. This bender comes with a high price, though: Don suffers excruciating blackouts, nearly gets himself arrested, and ends up in the alky ward at the city asylum. The capper is Birnam's bout with the DTs in his apartment, an incident that reduces him to a shattered, screaming wreck. "The Lost Weekend" is a memorable experience.

Only a person who has never had a problem with alcohol would criticize some of Birnam's philosophical musings about drinking. There is a great bit of dialogue where Birnam tells Nat why he drinks, about how alcohol makes a person feel as though he or she is a great artist on top of the world. Believe me, this is how an alcoholic feels when they tie one on, at least in the early euphoric stages of the addiction. Birnam's enthrallment for rituals of drinking is also dead on; such as his fascination about the rings the shot glass leaves on the bar and the propensity to "see" liquor in the most mundane circumstances (look for the dancing raincoats with the rye bottle in the pocket). An alcoholic does not merely work at his trade part-time; the process of drinking is a full-time job built on a series of elaborate rituals that reinforce this nefarious addiction. "The Lost Weekend" captures the intricacies of alcoholism in a way few films ever have. Unfortunately, the movie lost some of its power due to some hokey effects and a conclusion that had me throwing my hands up in disbelief.

The DVD release is quite good for a film nearly sixty years old. There is a trailer and cast biographies included here, as well as a short bio for director Billy Wilder. The transfer looks pretty good, although I thought I saw a few scenes where certain parts of the picture looked a tad blurry. "The Lost Weekend" won four Oscars: Best Actor for Ray Milland, Best Picture, Best Screenplay, and Best Director for Billy Wilder. As far as I can see, this movie deserves its accolades. If you haven't seen "The Lost Weekend," you are definitely missing out on a great film loaded with grim atmosphere, great dialogue, eerie background music, and excellent performances. ... Read more


178. First Daughter
Director: Forest Whitaker
list price: $27.98
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Asin: B0006GAOCW
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 5393
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179. Code 46
Director: Michael Winterbottom
list price: $26.98
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Asin: B00067BBMI
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 6195
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Amazon.com

Like Gattaca did before it, Code 46 extrapolates from the present to posit a chilling, dystopian look at our genetically regimented future. In the corporate-controlled, near-future scenario presented by prolific director Michael Winterbottom and his regular screenwriter Frank Cottrell Boyce, nations and languages have merged to form a polyglot society in which genetic imperfections are avoided by the strict enforcement of Code 46, which prohibits sex between people who share 100%, 50%, or even 25% matching DNA. As an insurance-fraud investigator in Shanghai to investigate the issuance of forged passports (a major offense in an overcrowded world), Tim Robbins meets his prime suspect (Samantha Morton, echoing her role in Minority Report), and their violation of Code 46 has tragic and ultimately dehumanizing repercussions. Fascinating as a "what-if" scenario, Winterbottom's film is more successful as a melancholy mood-piece than a science-fiction tale. While the plot and characters suffer from occasionally vague definition, Code 46 offers a fascinating study of human longing in an age of oppressive globalization. --Jeff Shannon ... Read more


180. Balto
Director: Simon Wells
list price: $19.98
our price: $15.98
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Asin: B00005TSMN
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 3675
Average Customer Review: 4.78 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (51)

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful!
This is a film I have no problem recommending to anyone! Suitable for adults and children alike, Balto is a movie that first touched my heart back in 1995 when it was first released and continues to reign as my all-time favorite animated movie. Kevin Bacon delivers an excellent performance as the humble and timid, Balto, while the rest of the voice cast brings to life his simple but captivating world. I can't say enough about this movie. While it isn't exactly historically correct, the movie uses the true story of Balto as a stepping-stone into a tale about friendship, love, and what real courage is. Relaying a timeless message of excepting others for who they truly are, Balto is a movie thats perfect for helping children realize that hate, prejudice, and discrimination are evil poisons. It also delivers a message about loving those who hate you and that one person (or dog) can make a difference- they just have to be willing to stand up and step in. These are lessons that not just children but also adults need to be reminded of and this is just the movie to do that. Forget Disney for awhile and check out this true masterpiece from Universal.

5-0 out of 5 stars Couldn't be a better film!
This is a really good movie.I've been watching it for as long as I can remember.It's about a dog (part wolf)who is an outcast in Nome,Alaska.He's friends with a Russian snow goose called Boris (the funniest character in the movie) and 2 polar bears called Muk and Luk who can't swim.He's also in love with a dog called Jenna, and there's a villian called Steele.
When a disease strikes (with Jenna's owner, Rosie, among the sick) and the sled team sent to get the anti-toxin is lost, Balto must find and rescue the team and face avalanches,icicle falls and (of course) Steele.A brilliant movie.

5-0 out of 5 stars A powerful story
My only regret with this movie, is that I did not catch it at the cinema! However when I first rented it from a video store, I instantly fell in love with it (and ended up re-renting it out quite a few times before finally receiving a VHS copy of my own later on). Now it is on DVD and so I have happily purchased this to keep forever more, it really is an absolute favourite of mine.

Story Summary:

Our main character is a half-dog, half-wolf protagonist who is shunned by the townspeople and rejects the outside life of the wolves, he doesn't belong anywhere. This story sees the children of the town threatened by a virus and when it seems that the life-saving medicine will be impossible to obtain, our protoganist throws himself into the world of both realities for the sake of others and getting his chance at proving his worth to the world, but not without it's trials and tribulations of course. Place in an overbearing and selfish lead husky, a gentle canine love interest, a cynical goose partner, and some fun polar bears, then be prepared for a ride filled with danger, love and humour. All carried along with a powerful message that "You don't need a pedigree to help someone" and of acceptance of the self so as to cherish those personal qualities that make you different and attempt to rise above the odds by acting to your fullest.

Elements:

The animation is wonderfully done, very impressive and carries the story well. As mentioned before, the music is also a treat, the end credits vocal fits the whole movie extremely well and is as powerful as the movie's message itself, the instrumental soundtrack also gives a powerful underlying atmosphere to all the dynamic scenes. The plot is played out well, as firstly you are gradually introduced to the main characters through fitting scenes and get a good feeling for who they are and how they carry themselves out in life, an important factor for following a character driven plot. Then there is a good variety in the action, causing our protagonist to be pitted against an array of odds that keep you gripped and doesn't let the pace die. As mentioned, the voices are all acted out very well.

Conclusion:

Either way this film is a must-see in my opinion, and one I have happily seen many times myself. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Sidenote:

However on another note, I believe the VHS cover would of been better than this new cover, it seemed to have a more powerful composition with a nice variety of colour. If I remember right, it doesn't outrightly say "true story", it was more like "the story that became a legend" which could still be in a fictional sense since it is a word often used in mystical themes, rather than the word "true" that pulls away any doubt of this not being from something or other based in reality. If I remember correctly that is. Either way, since I didn't enter this movie initially thinking in a forward manner of "This is based on a true story" I felt the ending words had an added impact. But this is an extremely minor point, and this movie is very impacting either way in my opinion.

So, as stated, this is based loosely on a true story. For the purpose of this version of the original story things have been re-invented and so on. I do not believe this being an alternative interpretation detracts from this movie, incase you wondered, and I feel it's very impacting and influential. When I first watched this film I had no idea of this being based at all on a true story, so when the final words came, "Based on a true story", I was very touched as the underlying achievement is extremely impressive. To see the bare facts you may wish to see other documentation in company with this movie, however.

All in all, a great and influential story.

4-0 out of 5 stars Lots of fun!
Does it really matter that this isn't exactly "historical?" I mean c'mon people, it's entertainment, not a history book.

My only gripe is that is was released in 4:3, aka "Full Screen." This was probably done for the kiddies, but for those of us that enjoy a good animated flick, release it in widescreen! That's the only reason it doesn't rate 5 stars.

If you've got access to a region free DVD player, order the German version from Amazon.de. It's a much nicer presentation, in it's original 16:9, with the english dialogue track.

Maybe Universal will release a special edition here in the states, with the theatrical version. Don't hold your breath too long, tho!

4-0 out of 5 stars Another Universal Classic Animated Feature
Balto has been around since 1995 and even today the animation is still spactacular. There is nothing but absolute beauty in every shot and in every note in the compelling music score. The voice acting is performed very well. Especially Phill Collins as Muk and Luk. If there's one complaint I have about this film is the fact that it's not acclaimed as much as it should be. I do wish that a widescreen presentation was availible and I don't very much agree with them changing the cover art. Unfortunatey Universal doesn't seem to care much. But the film is a joy either way. ... Read more


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