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  • Zarchi, Meir
  • Zarindast, Tony
  • Zeffirelli, Franco
  • Zemeckis, Robert
  • Zieff, Howard
  • Zielinski, Rafal
  • Ziller, Paul
  • Zinberg, Michael
  • Zinnemann, Fred
  • Zito, Joseph
  • Zucker, David
  • Zucker, Jerry
  • Zuniga, Frank
  • Zwick, Edward
  • Zwick, Joel
  • Zwigoff, Terry
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    $37.49 $24.99 list($49.98)
    1. Quantum Leap - The Complete Third
    $12.97 $10.74 list($19.96)
    2. The Last Samurai (Widescreen Edition)
    $11.24 $9.29 list($14.99)
    3. Romeo & Juliet
    $14.97 $12.25 list($19.96)
    4. Hamlet
    $9.98 $5.24
    5. The Day of the Jackal
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    6. Fat Albert
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    7. Airplane!
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    8. Full House - The Complete First
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    9. Glory (Special Edition)
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    10. Brother Sun, Sister Moon
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    11. Forrest Gump
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    12. Badder Santa (Unrated Widescreen
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    13. Oklahoma!
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    14. The Last Samurai (Full Screen
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    15. Top Secret!
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    16. Highlander - The Complete Series
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    17. A Man for All Seasons
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    18. Tea With Mussolini
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    19. Highlander The Series - Season
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    20. Cast Away

    1. Quantum Leap - The Complete Third Season
    list price: $49.98
    our price: $37.49
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0007UDCX0
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 134
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (39)

    1-0 out of 5 stars NOT the original version of the show - music edited
    If you are one of those idiots who says "oh shut up and stop complaining, it's just the music, waaa waaa", take your DVDs and BURN them. You know nothing about what it means for the music to be an important part of the show and are just a complete moron (I can't express in words the anger that goes through me reading someone go "it's just the music"; it's NOT just the music!!!, it's the SHOW that is screwed up!!!)
    Quantum Leap is one of those shows where the music is crucial aspect of show; the music is not just some background noise; it sets the mood. The show is completely ruined and is not worth a cent without the original soundtrack. Awful job on the part of Universal.

    5-0 out of 5 stars excellent series
    No matter what this series is excellent. Anyone griping about the music must remember its better to have the series on dvd rather than not available at all. Hopefully season 4 will come out soon as its my favorite!

    1-0 out of 5 stars Hey, Universal, call me when you come to your senses.
    Having read that Universal once again mucked up the music, I won't be buying Season 3 of Quantum Leap.There are some shows in which the music doesn't really matter - Laverne & Shirley's first season, for example, mentions on the box that the music is different, but the songs in Laverne & Shirley are merely incidental, background sounds.In QL, the music was a major part of the show, helping to set the time period, helping to set the mood.

    I have read some of the reviews from people who claim that the change in music makes no difference (generally such comments are written in a boorish, bumptious, hectoring tone, a fact which I find rather interesting and quite telling).No?Close your eyes and imagine the Lord of the Rings movies with elevator music instead of the soaring splendor of its real score.Ponder "American Graffiti" with the sort of synthesized slop that has replaced the original music in QL. Then try to tell me that music doesn't matter.

    The choice is not these travesties or nothing for most QL fans; it's a choice of a poorer-quality taped-from-TV video with the real music, taking up more shelf space than a DVD set; or a better-quality picture with no commercials that has had much of the atmosphere stripped from it. I'll take my tapes, thank you very much.If Universal comes to its senses and releases QL in unmangled form, even if it costs more, I'll buy it. Until then, count me out.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Classics never get old!
    I have been waiting for this season for a long time now. The series reached its peak with episodes like "The Leap Home" and "The Boogie Man". Scott and Dean do their best work when the story really gives them the chance and the episodes of the third season really give them the best chances of the entire five-year run! It is pure pleasure to watch them perform. It is a shame that they only got five years! They could have gone on for many more!!!
    (BTW, if anyone is confused by the other reviewers complaints about the change in the music, don't worry about it. What you heard on TV is what you get. They didn't change the music for the DVD release - which is exactly what I thought they were complaining about!) So buy this DVD set! You won't regret it!

    1-0 out of 5 stars Forget It
    Music replacement abound, once again.A truly great show is being given the shaft by Universal, who only percieves it's formidable fan base as an open wallet.Boycott.Don't listen to the soulless collectors who only want to line their DVD shelves.QL without the original music arrangements is a travesty. ... Read more


    2. The Last Samurai (Widescreen Edition)
    Director: Edward Zwick
    list price: $19.96
    our price: $12.97
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0001JXOVC
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 96
    Average Customer Review: 4.14 out of 5 stars
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    Description

    Epic Action Drama.Set in Japan during the 1870s, The Last Samurai tells the story of Capt. Nathan Algren (Tom Cruise), a respected American military officer hired by the Emperor of Japan to train the country's first army in the art of modern warfare.As the Emperor attempts to eradicate the ancient Imperial Samurai warriors in preparation for more Westernized and trade-friendly government policies, Algren finds himself unexpectedly impressed and influenced by his encounters with the Samurai, which places him at the center of a struggle between two eras and two worlds, with only his own sense of honor to guide him. ... Read more

    Reviews (441)

    5-0 out of 5 stars This film was amazing!!!
    The story focuses on a Civil War veteran named Capt. Nathan Algren ( Tom Cruise). He reluctantly agrees to train and lead an army of Japanese soldiers to defeat rebellion of the country's remaining Samurai. Unfortunately, Algren is captured in battle by the Samurai, and is held prisoner by them. The leader of the Samurai, Katsumoto ( Ken Watanabe), is interested in the American culture and wants to keep Algren alive to learn from him. As time passes, Algren comes to develop a friendship with Katsumoto. He also comes to embrace the Samurai way of life as well, and trains to become one of them, so that he can fight along side of the Samurai against the Japanese forces that oppose them.

    With the acception of "Mystic River", "The Last Samurai" was my favorite film of 2003. For 2 1/2 hours, I was literally glued to the screen, and loving every minute of it. It has been quite some time since I have been that captivated by a film. The only downfall this film may have, is the fact that the story is almost a complete rip off of "Dances with Wolves". However, that does not make the film any less enjoyable. In fact, "The Last Samurai" is almost better. The story comes across as being much more dramatic and action packed when dealing with the Samurai. They have a deeper sense of honor, and their fighting style is much more deadly. Director Edward Zick did an amazing job of capturing every aspect of the Samurai culture, from the costume designs and simple way of life, to the weaponry and fighting style. The final battle between the Samurai and the Japanese soldiers is the best I have seen since "Braveheart". The Samurai are completely outnumbered, and still manage to put up one heck of a fight. Tom Cruise gave one of the best, if not the best performance of his career. However, the best performance of the film goes to Ken Watanabe. He was flat out amazing as Katsumoto and nailed every aspect of the Samurai warrior. The film's soundtrack and scenery are extremely beautiful as well.

    Overall, "The Last Samurai" is an amazing film. Every aspect of the Samurai way of life is captured accurately, the performances given by the actors involved were amazing, and the final battle was incredible. Also, please check out the extras listed by Amazon for this 2 Disc DVD set. From the look of things, the extras are reason enough to purchase this film. There are deleted scenes, featurettes on the making of the film, a featurette comparing real life Samurai, and more. This is definately a bonus for myself and anyone else who appreciates the film, and the Samurai in general.

    A solid 5 stars...

    3-0 out of 5 stars Good movie, but nothing special
    The Last Samauri is a good movie, beautifully filmed and well acted, yet it really does nothing to make it stand apart.

    Tom Cruise is a captain in the US army haunted by his own actions in the wars against the US. native Americans. He sells his services to Japan to train Japanese soldiers to battle the savage samurais.

    Cruise is captured after one battle and his life is spared after Ken Watanabe's character sees Cruise fight bravely and kill his brother-in-law. The best part of the film is the hour or so that Cruise spends living with the Samurais. He lives with the family of the man he killed and the kids grow to like him and the beautiful wife learns to accept him. The Samurais learn from Cruise and Cruise begins to train with the samurais and becomes friends with Watanabe.

    Cruise is released and the end of the movie results in Cruise fighting with Watanabe against the Japanese army.

    The Last Samurai seems like a Japanese version of Braveheart, with epic battles and valiant characters. This movie did show a lot about the Japanese culture, including the practice of killing yourself if you are shamed (Which is incredibly stupid thing to do in my opinion).

    I enjoyed this movie. It doesn't break any new ground in the epic battle genre, but it is still fun to watch.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Don't expect too much
    What's the reason for watching The Last Samurai? The sword-fighting scenes. There are a lot of sword-fighting scenes, they're well-done, and if you enjoy watching them you'll find entertainment value in the movie. Also, the Japanese countryside is filmed beautifully here, so if you have an appreciation for nature, it's another incentive to watch.

    Otherwise, The Last Samurai is nothing special. The storyline is simplistic; the samurai are all two-dimensional and unquestionably the fine and good people in the film. They can do no evil, truly. For Cruise it's one of those self-righteous roles where he gets to look angsty for the camera. There's one scene at the end for example, where he's kneeling and holding up a sword, and he's trying to look like someone who is under great emotional strain and there are these ludicrous close-ups of his sweaty face - really gratuitous. The movie defintely would have benefited from some editing and character development.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Long, slow, boring, pretentious - I want my money back
    Typical Hollywood claptrap. All white guys are evil and corrupt. All Japanese are noble, kind, considerate - even though they kill each other with abandon. Apparently in Hollywoodthink it is ok for Cruise to desert, be a traitor and go over to the enemy. Hard to figure out exactly why this Samurai is the enemy, he serves the emperor too, except his honor demands that several thousand die. Glorifies the Bushido code which is the mindless emperor worship that resulted in so many Japanese atrocities in WWII - some of which rivaled anything the Germans did. Swords and arrows flying everywhere, special effects direct from Lord of the Rings. Dialog that telegraphs itself, you just know they are going to say something really relevant and dramatic...in croaking whispers. I was glad when Cruise got shot, meant the movie was finally ending. Save your money, watch it when it shows up on TV. For those reviewers who think this movie has any historical significance - read a book on Japanese history. None of these things would have happened.

    4-0 out of 5 stars I liked this movie!
    I guess everything that needs to be said about the actors, the set and the story has been said here, many times over. .

    My hat is off to the Japanese actors and the costume & set designers. The atmospheric element in this movie is stunning; for example, the first charge of the samurai in that misty forest, is unforgetable. I loved the ninja attack. This is one of the few recent productions in which the masculine is portrayed in a wholesome manner: the warrior spirit, the camaraderie, the honor, and the respect for the inner peace that is brought by zen meditation practice, are brought out very well.

    While the script was IMO kinda clichey & mediocre, Cruise's acting was not bad and rather subtle for a scientologist :) Zimmer's music was predictably good (if less conspicuous as in, say, Black Hawk Down) and if you're into kendo or swordsmanship, well, you will want to see this film several times. ... Read more


    3. Romeo & Juliet
    Director: Franco Zeffirelli
    list price: $14.99
    our price: $11.24
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0792165055
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 893
    Average Customer Review: 4.61 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (142)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A sumptuous Renaissance feast!
    Franco Zefirrelli's 1967 film was revolutionary in using teenaged actors to play the two most famous lovers of all literature. Olivia Hussey is heartbreakingly beautiful, a vulnerable and courageous Juliet, while Leonard Whiting's poetic good looks make him a sensitive and appealing Romeo. Zefirrelli's career as an opera director is put to spectacular use here--each scene is meticulously crafted to be an exact replica of the Renaissance. Stunningly beautiful clothing, jewels, furniture, food, glass, sculpture--it is an overwhelming feast for the eyes. The preserved medieval towns of Tuscany, and the lovely Borghese palace where the balcony scene is set, give the film the look of an animated Renaissance painting. Zefirrelli took some liberties with Shakespeare's original script for the sake of brevity, but unless you are a die-hard purist, this is a minor flaw. I saw this film a dozen times in the theater, and never without the sound of girls weeping by the end--I was often one of them. Leslie Howard was a better actor, and Leonardo DiCaprio/Clare Danes more modern, but if you love beauty, this is THE quintessential Romeo and Juliet on film. END

    5-0 out of 5 stars Zeffirelli's Quintessential Version! Every Aspect Excellent!
    This is THE must see version of Romeo and Juliet. Zeffirelli's 1968 masterpiece stars 17-year-old Leonard Whiting and 15-year-old Olivia Hussey with great music by Nino Rota. Filmed "on location" in Italy this version also has the fingerprints of the 1960s all over it, from moddish long hair, the debut of Michael York as Tybalt, John McEnery as Mercutio, the lush balcony scenes, the nude scene, and an emotional intensity throughout. McEnery brings just the right comic touch to the comi-tragedy and screenwriters Franco Brusati, Maestro D'Amico, and Zeffirelli keep true to Shakespeare with a take on the story that's easily accessible to a wide audience, thereby making this one of the most popular films of the '60s.

    Especially effective is the ambiguity of intent of the Tybalt-Mercutio duel, and the overall editing of dialogue just enough to keep it succinct and believable yet retain the poetic and philosophical virtuosity of the playwright's playwright. The music is used effectively and as it rises during the love scenes it's a manipulation that's an enhancement to rather than distraction from the emotion--a rare successful pull-off of this. And that balcony scene is extraordinary, the lush dark atmosphere, Romeo's giddiness, Juliet's beauty...I believed it.

    Milo O'Shea (who later played the Judge in "The Verdict") does a believable Friar Laurence and Robert Stephens (I)(with a long list of Shakespearian roles to his name) an intensely serious Prince of Verona. It's hard not to fall in love with Olivia (watch for her new film role as Mother Theresa).

    Some bits of trivia: Before 1968 Romeo and Juliet was not generally taught in US high schools and this film's popularity changed all that as most of you reading this had it in high school. Michael York turned down the role of Oliver in Love Story--one may read into this he felt it was a poor man's Romeo and Juliet...just a thought. Also Olivia Hussey briefly dated Prince Charles. And here's the clincher: Paul McCartney got the original offer to play Romeo. I'm glad he turned it down, as Whiting is perfect here. And for those who wonder, the story did not originate in historical fact, though one may wish it so. The story came from mythical legend starting in 5th century Greece, later evolving into "The Tragical History of Romeus and Juliet" translated into English in 1562 by Arthur Brooke and originally written about 1530 by Luigi da Porto., 'til Shakespeare got a hold of it (circa 1594) and breathed into it the life that will last as long as humanity does most probably.

    This towers over the 1st film version with a 34-year-old Norma Shearer and a 43-year-old Leslie Howard, and as for the 1996 mess sorry guys; American accents, present day gang violence, over-the-top overacting, LA locales, and Leonard DiCaprio do not great Shakespearean tragedy make. This 1968 one is the one to see over and over.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent movie...Great actors
    Watching this as part of a highschool assignment, the teacher only allowed us to watch about 15 minutes of it. When I saw it playing on cable, I sat down to finish it. This, I must say, is the best version of Romeo and Juliet. In the '68 version The actors are young and even though it was made in '68, you can relate to them in this day. The acting is superb, no one better could have been picked for the parts. It was a real tearjerker. Not to mention the soundtrack...the songs were just amazing to hear. Just watch the movie once, you'll fall in love with it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Defintive R & J
    I could watch this version of Romeo and Juliet over, and over, and over. The performances are dead on, especially John McEnry's turn as Mercutio (you understand the reason why he's killed off: people would have cared more about him than about the tragic heroes if he'd been around too much longer!). I would advise teachers, however, that this is not the first version they show students of the show. While most ninth graders read this play, the giggling that can abound in a classroom watching Romeo in tights often distracts from the meaning of the film.
    So, for with the exception of ninth graders, this is the Romeo and Juliet to see.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Zeffirelli and Shakespeare: A Perfect Match
    There is nothing worse than bad Shakespeare but not to worry here-- Franco Zeffirelli and Shakespeare come together here in a lavish, opulent production of ROMEO AND JULIET, just when we thought there was nothing fresh to say about them. Zeffirelli has broken new ground by casting Leonard Whiting, who is 17, and Olivia Hussey, who is all of 15 but looks even younger, in this timeless classic story about "star-crossed" lovers. With the possible exception of some parts of the musical score-- although much of it soars-- this film is as good today as it was when first released in 1968. (The musical theme was beautiful the first 50 times I heard it on the radio. Then it became trite.)

    There are no bad actors here. In addition to the two lovers, Michael York as Tybalt and Pat Heywood as the nurse give outstanding performances, just to name two. My only negative comment about the acting is that Romeo always seems to run to and from an event or meeting; he never walks. Perhaps that is what a seventeen-year-old, testosterone-laden lad does, however. On the other hand, Romeo and Juliet's tragic story is completely believable and will put chills on your spine. Additionally, the dance scenes and duel scenes are quite wonderful. The wardrobe department got everything right as well.

    A word about the language-- it goes without saying that Mr. Shakespeare is and ever shall be the greatest writer in English. Hearing his words again is a transcendent experience. ... Read more


    4. Hamlet
    Director: Franco Zeffirelli
    list price: $19.96
    our price: $14.97
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00019072G
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 1898
    Average Customer Review: 4.06 out of 5 stars
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    Description

    Treachery.Madness. Murder.The story of Hamlet has been told for 400 years...but it's never been told like this!Mel Gibson (the Mad Max and Lethal Weapon films) takes on his richest part to date, the title role in a dynamic new version of Shakespeare's Hamlet.Directed by Franco Zeffirelli (Romeo and Juliet, Jesus of Nazareth), the location-shot production has a sumptuous look that won Academy Award nominations for Art Direction and Costume Design.Gibson plays the prince of medieval-era Denmark, who senses treachery behind his royal father's death.Glenn Close (Fatal Attraction, Dangerous Liaisons) plays Hamlet's mother Gertrude, all too dangerously entangled in that treachery.A brilliant supporting cast, including Alan Bates as Claudius, Paul Scofield as the ghost of Hamlet's father, Ian Holm as Polonius and Helena Bonham-Carter as Ophelia, adds its powerful presence to this immortal tale of high adventure and evil deeds.Big, bold and heroic, this is a vivid and virile Hamlet for the modern age and all time. ... Read more

    Reviews (124)

    5-0 out of 5 stars To Thine Own Self Be True...
    While this is a complex movie that demands your full attention, this has to be one of my favorite Shakespeare plays. It is beautifully acted out in a gorgeous castle filled with tapestries and everything you would imagine a castle to be from the candlelight to the dimly lit spiral staircases.

    The most enjoyable scenes are when Hamlet expresses his thoughts in soliloquies and gives insight into what his character is feeling. Mel Gibson becomes Hamlet and I thought this was perhaps some of his best acting ever! Glenn Close is exceptional as Gertrude, the incestuous mother. The uneasiness and distrust in Denmark since King Hamlet's death and Queen Gertrude's remarriage sets the mood for the rest of the movie.

    The story begins on the outer ramparts of Elsinore castle. A ghost appears and Hamlet, speaks to his deceased father. The ghost asks Hamlet to revenge his "most foul, strange, and unnatural murder." Hamlet then deviously plots a psychological revenge by putting on a play in which a scene portrays the actual murder of his father.

    "I'll have grounds
    More relative than this-the play's the thing
    Wherein I'll catch the conscience of the King." -Hamlet, Act 2, 603-605

    Once guilt takes hold of the King, the pieces of the puzzle start to fit together and you realize that one immoral action only makes another wrong even more probable.

    Throughout the play, Hamlet shows his intellectual superiority and states his case by saying: "Do you think I am easier to be played on than a pipe?" While he desires to have the upper hand until the end, he cannot of course know all the intentions of those around him nor can he escape his own fate.

    An Unforgettable story that made an impression on me in school and still holds a
    certain fascination for me. Did Hamlet ever really love Ophelia? That is the question.

    "It is in my memory locked." -Ophelia

    4-0 out of 5 stars hamlet
    The movie Hamlet directed by Franco Zefferelli is a historical drama, based on the popular Shakespearean Tragedy. Zefferelli decided to retain the name Hamlet, which I think could be modified to be more effective. Theoretically, a title is a microcosm of the theme, which 'Hamlet' doesn't really accomplish; a title that can foreshadow the theme of the play will be more formidable. Perhaps the director could have excerpted one of the dominant quotes out of the play, the most famous being "To be or not to be". This would have at least given a foreshadowing to the indecision seen by the tragic hero throughout the plot. Generally speaking, the movie was well done and I comment the director for his concise but accurate representation of Shakespeare's 'Hamlet'.
    On the whole the actors depicted the roles of their characters quite well. Hamlet played by the Australian, Mel Gibson took command of his part, and captivated the viewers with his emotional conversations, as well as addition of humor and a masculine vigor to Hamlet. He portrayed his part with a great deal enthusiasm, bringing the play to life. The royal couple played by Alan Bates and Glenn Close, as king Claudius and queen Gertrude respectfully, were able to capture the conduct of a monarchial leadership, of the middle ages with little difficulty. Claudius displayed an exceptional representation of a lusty, murderous king. The minor characters such as Ian Holm as Polonius, Nathaniel Parker as Laertes, and Helena Bonham Carter as Ophelia gave considerable support to the leading characters, as they were subtly but effectively able to dictate the plot.
    Hamlet is noted as one of Franco Zeffirelli's best productions as he recreated yet another Shakespeare masterpiece. He took a conventional approach to this production of Hamlet as he kept with the mindset most people would have to character and setting, in other words he tried not to give any surprises. Zeffirelli's main goal was to create a lighthearted enjoyable movie that would appeal to the general public who don't have the time and stamina for Branagh's four-hour version. In keeping with typical Shakespearean movies the director chose a soundtrack consisting of classical pieces, which is suitable for what he was trying to achieve. Little special effects were used, which may be a major flaw when trying to grasp the attention of modern day viewers, perhaps he could have included some more dynamic effects, especially with the ghost who appeared almost as though he was a living character.
    This movie is a concise version of the original text and has left out and/or shortened many scenes keeping only the ones necessary to tell the story. I really liked the way he incorporated old Hamlet's funeral in the beginning and the voyage to England. However, there were a few scenes like the fight between Laertes and Hamlet in the graveyard, which could have been further accented. The major flaw I observed in the movie when compared to the book was the exclusion of the sub-plot with Fortinbras and the Norwegian influence. This led to the ambiguity the viewers were left in once the movie ended, as there was no hint to the outcome of Denmark.

    5-0 out of 5 stars best film version i've seen (and i've seen them all!)
    through my endeavors i've had to read Hamlet 7 times (twice my senior year of high-school). much as i don't like Shakespeare this play is part of my life.

    The Olivier version is more accurate to the stage version but the camera techiniques are over-blown and hokey (circling the swords before the duel to see which one is tipped, it made me dizzy). the Branagh version, while creative in it's set up (modernizing it to imerial Russia), and using the entire text, complete with Prince Fortinbras of Norway, is SO long and SO over-acted (especially on the part of Branagh) that i needed a nap after i saw it. and i choose not even to dignify the Ethan Hawke version it was so terrible.

    This one is my favorite, all the scenes which are cut aren't necessary for the forwarding of the plot in my humble opinion (the opening scene with the palace guards meeting the dead kingis cut yet horatio's explaination of this happening later in the movie is sufficient). Gibson chooses to play Hamlet as insane (that decision is left to the director) and as i am in the camp that Hamlet IS insane, you could also see why i favor this version. Glenn Close is EXCELLENT as Gertrude as is Helena Bonham-Carter as Ophelia.

    solid performances with a great cast, what more does a 400 year old play need?

    5-0 out of 5 stars Mel has captured Hamlet's soul
    What a masterpiece. As much as I love Braveheart, I truly think this is Mel Gibson's finest work. It throws all over attempts into shadow, including the great Lawrence Olivier and certainly Kenneth Branaugh or Ethan Hawke. So often the female characters are reduced to cardboard mock-ups of feminine ideals of the Shakespearean age. Not here! Ofelia and Gertrude have souls and minds to probe, filled with as many dark secrets as Hamlet himself. I could never say enough about the caliber of this film. Suffice it to say that it is THE Hamlet of the ages and worth a look as well as a few dollars to own it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A great BRIEF history of The Bard's greatest Play
    There are two main versions that currently work the best in getting a feel for this play, Gibson's & Brannaugh's. Gibson's is very much stripped down to focusing on the three main character's. It does loose a lot by this device, but it does gain considerably in that the viewer doesn't have to shift through all the sub-plots. Brannaugh's, however is far more complete & I would consider it far more the best " study " version of the play. If you've read the play ( & this is the reason I give it 5 stars ), Gibson's version is great beause you can fill in the blanks quite easily & nothing is lost. The Ghost is by far better in Gibson's version ( remember, this is not a ghost in the modern sense, so it's important not to judge by appearences ), & the interplay between them in their first meeting is just amazing. However, the politics of the play suffers badly, in my opinion, becuase many of the characters in the sub-plots are missing, especially Polonius' machinations....however, he certainly DIES better in Gibson's version. I personally like this version & I am impressed with all the actors. If this had been the entire play, I think it would definitely have given Brannaugh's version a run for it's money, but being so stripped down, I feel the actuall story suffers greatly. As one reviewer put it, a CLIFT NOTES verion, with which I must agree. ... Read more


    5. The Day of the Jackal
    Director: Fred Zinnemann
    list price: $9.98
    our price: $9.98
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0783226853
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 1941
    Average Customer Review: 4.83 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    With its high-intensity plot about an attempt to assassinate French President Charles de Gaulle, the bestselling novel by Frederick Forsyth was a prime candidate for screen adaptation. Director Fred Zinnemann brought his veteran skills to bear on what has become a timeless classic of screen suspense. Not to be confused with the later remake The Jackal starring Bruce Willis (which shamelessly embraced all the bombast that Zinnemann so wisely avoided), this 1973 thriller opts for lethal elegance and low-key tenacity in the form of the Jackal, the suave assassin played with consummate British coolness by Edward Fox. He's a killer of the highest order, a master of disguise and international elusiveness, and this riveting film follows his path to de Gaulle with an intense, straightforward documentary style. Perhaps one of the last great films from a bygone age of pure, down-to-basics suspense (and a kind of debonair European alternative to the American grittiness of The French Connection), The Day of the Jackal is a cat-and-mouse thriller that keeps you on the edge of your seat until its brilliantly executed final scene (pardon the pun), by which time Fox has achieved cinematic immortality as one of the screen's most memorable killers. --Jeff Shannon ... Read more

    Reviews (72)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Why can't they make movies like this any more?
    Rarely does a movie do justice to a book, but Fred Zinneman's production of "The Day of the Jackal" is wonderful adaptation of Frederick Forsyth's novel which, I continue to believe, is one of the greatest thrillers ever written.

    It's hard to put a finger on what exactly makes this film great: excellent performances by relatively unknown actors, a wonderful plot, fantastic location shooting or a complete desire to avoid the bells and whistles, special effects laden movies that are all that makes up the "suspense" genre of films these days. Like other reviewers have said, be this the first or the fiftieth time that you watch this film, you will be left on the edge of your seat with its "cat and mouse" plot of the search for a lone assassin hired to murder President De Gaulle. The young Edward Fox is brilliant in the title role and the supporting cast excellent.

    If anything, this film proves that you do not need big named stars, explosions around every corner or computer generated effects to make a fantastic film. The only downside to watching this film is that you realise that the movie industry just does not make films like this any more.

    Highly, highly recommended.

    4-0 out of 5 stars ONE SHOT IS NEVER ENOUGH !
    Fred Zinnemann's THE DAY OF THE JACKAL is not the kind of thriller you are familiar with nowadays. For once, french actors don't look silly and have the terrible task to trace Edward "The Jackal" Fox who gives an award-deserving performance.

    DAY OF THE JACKAL made me think of these cold war spy movies of the seventies. Do you remember ? We had the impression they were filmed only in green and blue, the characters didn't speak much leaving to the audience the task to understand the plot by itself. You will feel this kind of atmosphere in this film with the difference that Zinnemann worked with a solid gold screenplay.

    The final scene, the day of the jackal, is about 30 minutes long and is already part of Motion picture History.

    A few problems with the images ; white spots, images standing still during 1 or 2 seconds. The sound is, in my opinion, the best we can expect from a 1973 movie.

    A DVD worthy of multiple viewings.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent adaptation from Forsyth's novel. A winner!
    Why not the jackal?
    This is the answer given by the hard and cold assasin who signs the agreement to kill De Gaulle.
    The story runs through a set of historical issues who are part of the story. A group of officers decides by themselves to revenge the lost honor of France due the fact about the independence of Algiers.
    Edward Fox - one of the best actors of his generation - played with sublime perfection the demanding role of the Jackal.
    So from the first images of the film you'll be engaged with this chess film. All the movements of this exceptional mind are guided by an amazing sense of hunter behavior. He acts like a western samurai , without blinking , he kills when the circunstances don't let him other choice. The feelings don't exist in this professional.
    You are invited to presence an authentical tour de force. And since the moment an important link is arrested , your histamina and cold sweat will invade you.
    The efforts of Le Surete for following any possible clue leads to an unforgettable mind game to spark the human chase since the moment the Jackal decides to go ahead with the plan and drive to France from Niza.
    The rest of the story runs for you when you acquire this legendary and hair raising punch thriller. And once more you'll admire how the famous film maker Fred Zinemann could win with this story.
    The locations and the sense of the drama are extraordinary made. And the words are not enough to describe the countless sequences of hard beating you'll experience.
    A perfect film and believe me ; you won't feel the 140 min of the picture.
    This is the first and best version!

    5-0 out of 5 stars A First Rate Spy Thriller


    Not so much "spy" as "assassin," though, for Edward Fox is cast as an assassin, doing a job that will earn him his retirement. He is to kill President Charles de Gaulle, "le Grand Charles" himself, in Liberation Day, as we eventually find out--but not until much later in the film.

    The killer goes through many personalities, disguises, and changes, and manages to kill a few innocents on the way to his final conquest. He is unknown to the gendarme, who are on his trail early, with the help of an informer on the inside, but eventually his appearance becomes known to them--and even then, in spite of an alert commissioner of police in Paris who is every bit his match, Inspector Lebel (Michel Lonsdale)--he almost makes his kill. Had he done so, of course history would have had to be re-written because of a movie, an unlikely event--so we knew that he would fail, but still the plot was so well played that the suspense was never lost.

    Written by Frederick Forsyth and directed by Fred Zinneman, perhaps this film was predestined for greatness, but in any case it is one of the great ones.

    Joseph (Joe) Pierre

    author of Handguns and Freedom...their care and maintenance
    and other books

    5-0 out of 5 stars If only it had had a happy ending
    _Day of the Jackal_ is one of the best film adaptations of a book ever done, the directors managed to keep the vital elements of the plot and the pacing of the book and successfully transfer them from one medium to another. When I read the book after seeing the movie I was amazed at how much they had managed to keep. Edward Fox was perfect as the Jackal, it's a pity that he's ended up starring in so many bad films in his career as he is truly a fantastic actor. There are some wonderful moments of irony such as when the leader of the French terrorists says that no soldier of France will ever raise a weapon against him and then is shown being shot by firing squad the next day. The only thing that would have improved this movie is if the Jackal had succeeded in blowing Charles DeGaulle's head all over the pavement in Paris, I mean really, the guy goes to all of this work and fails in the end, and come on, he's trying to shoot DeGaulle, it's not as if he was attempting to shoot a decent human being or something, heck, even Eisenhower and Churchill wanted to shoot DeGaulle because he was such a useless, vainglorious prick. ... Read more


    6. Fat Albert
    Director: Joel Zwick
    list price: $29.98
    our price: $22.49
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    Asin: B0007N1A36
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 1950
    Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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    The bright cartoon colors of the Saturday morning classic Fat Albert get brought into the real world--or a Hollywood facsimile of reality, at any rate. When a teenage girl named Doris (Kyla Pratt) sheds a tear onto her TV's remote control, her unhappiness summons Fat Albert (Kenan Thompson, Barbershop 2), Mushmouth, Dumb Donald, Old Weird Harold, and the rest of the gang from Bill Cosby's popular cartoon (inspired by his childhood memories of growing up in Philadelphia). Doris is, to say the least, a little freaked out and doesn't really want Fat Albert to help solve her problems--but with the blithe confidence that only cartoon characters can have, Fat Albert and the gang follow her to school to root out the source of her misery. One of the movie's problems (which are legion) is that Doris's world isn't much more real than the cartoon one; it's a sterile, clean-cut caricature of a city neighborhood. In fact, the whole movie feels suspiciously like a commercial for a DVD of Fat Albert cartoons, an advertisement for which actually appears in the movie, making for a bizarrely self-referential product placement. Thompson, surprisingly, hangs on to his dignity in the face of the inane proceedings and even gives Fat Albert a hint of gravitas. --Bret Fetzer ... Read more

    Reviews (63)

    1-0 out of 5 stars What is wrong with you people the movie is bad!
    I know that everyone is sayin that this movie is great but in my opinion it's really not. I watched it the other day and it's horrible. I do think Kenan Thompson is hilarious but not in this film I don't. This movie really does suck. The acting is terrible, the soundtrack is okay I guess but I just didn't really like the movie much. What a waste of time to watch for a hour and a half but please don't bother seeing it. I just thought it was the worst Bill Cosby movie ever made.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Cartoon much better
    I miss the old cartoon..this movie does not compare.This new version of the old is okay...wish Bill Cosby would have played more of a role in this...it may have helped with ratings.
    I also wanted to see this to see a friend who had a stand in role with her son.
    Was nice too that it wasn't filled with bad language that could have ruined this all together.
    Rent don't buy!!!

    2-0 out of 5 stars You're like school on Saturday: no class.
    Is there an unwritten rule in Hollywood that if you choose to recreate comedy, it has to be less funny than the original so that it doesn't overpower the genuine moment of the first?I am a strong believer that there is such a rule because I fully witnessed it in the film Fat Albert.This film had so much potential that I really wanted to jump into my television and start grabbing necks a-la Homer Simpson.Frustration grew inside of me as jokes were tossed out towards the viewing audience with such disappointment that to laugh would have given the film way too much credit.The characters were flat, the story was "normal chaos that has been done in nearly every other film", and the class of the television program Fat Albert was diminished by cheap thrills and over-budgeting.Did Bill Cosby have a true writing credit to this film?It would be hard for me to believe that he seriously considered this work great, but then again, he is older and has bills to pay ... so why not?While the ending tried to bring a tear to your eye, I was already crying at the utter lack of appreciation that this film carried and influenced the youth of our nation.

    To say that this film was horrible would be too kind of a word, to quote a line from the film "(Fat Albert is) like school on Saturday: no class" would again, probably be giving it too much credit.From the opening credit sequence to the overly animated cartoons to the lack of animation in the characters when they became real was difficult to watch. Kenan Thompson tries really hard to empower the soul of Fat Albert, but what comes through the screen are just pathetic.He has no backbone and literally, he gives Albert this image of ignorance.Instead of being this helpful friend, Thompson's Albert has these huge glazed eyes that roll around whenever trouble begins.He just didn't seem to have that pizzazz that I remember Albert having from the television programs.If Albert was a leader in the cartoon, he was not one in this film.Unless you count the fact that the other actors in this film followed his suit by also leaving their energy at home.Childish humor coupled with this sense of apathy really didn't spark this film onto the level it should have been.I kept seeing glances of this really humorous story about Fat Albert in the real world, but instead I was forced through yet another Cool World.That is how I would best describe this film, Cool World for children.

    With our characters firmly not caring about their careers, we are then forced to focus on the non-existent story that apparently the writers of this film chose to not write.Instead of creating a plot with some climactic moments, our writers of this film chose to just let Fat Albert wander until something funny happened.I kept wondering to myself if this was an actual scripted film or just Thompson and Zwick allowing improv to occur anywhere and anytime.Now, if you were working with a genuine comic actor this could have worked (like Robin Williams or Will Ferrell), but with Thompson it just felt forced.Nearly every scene felt forced or overworked in this film.Spontaneity was not an element that these writers considered.This ultimately caused the jokes to be extremely flat.The humor just didn't bring the true life of Albert onto the screen.This is where I question the validity of Cosby being involved with this production.I know he was getting paid, but how much did he work?The jokes felt so old and used that I am surprised that children responded to them.Maybe it was the urban feel that Albert somehow felt comfortable in ... who knows?Either way, the loose story allowed for unfizzy jokes, which ultimately lead to the demise of this picture.

    Finally, I would like to say that Fat Albert (when I was growing up) was an inspiration and "every man" to us all.The group that followed him and his actions somehow always felt like a part of us.There wasn't anything that could stop Fat Albert from helping another lost soul, and somehow in this film adaptation, none of these old feels could be remembered.It wasn't as if they were trying, but this was definitely not the same Fat Albert that I grew up with.He didn't reach me like he used to, and perhaps it was the larger budget or the lack of imagination, but Albert hurt the soul in this film.I am surprised that he was able to assist Doris in her problem (this obscure problem that was never quite defined), because if I were in her shoes, I would have politely kicked this Albert to the curb.Cosby needed to reconsider his options before allowing this Albert to see the light of day.

    Overall, as if you couldn't tell already, this film hurt me.As I watched this dopey picture, I couldn't help but wonder if this film was focused correctly.When it first started I had this feeling that Albert would be called to help Doris with her problem, causing him to be a secondary character (like her own Jiminie Cricket), but instead what happened is that Thompson's camera excitement stole the performance away from Doris while creating a film centered around Albert.This should not have been the case for this to be a truly inspirational film.We lost the central focus of the film, and then the story just went fuzzy.Too many hands in the honey pot with one hand wanting to be on top.It was sad, and ultimately destroyed this film.

    Grade: ** out of *****

    1-0 out of 5 stars Bill Cosby must not have had an active role in this
    I think there should be a competition on fear factor to see how many times someone could watch this movie. It's so dumb. Every corny comedy cliche about a person from the past who comes to the future is hit in this travesty. You could have more fun by throwing yourself down the stairs of your house.

    1-0 out of 5 stars FAT ALBERT IS HOT AIR
    This is 1 of the most horrible movies that I have ever seen.I couldn't even get to the end of it before I got up to come and write this review.The actors in the movie need to hone their skills and stop trying to make movies to fit everyone.I don't know if they realize it but this movie is STRICTLY for the kids because they do not know any better.If I could have given this movie ZERO stars, I would have done so. ... Read more


    7. Airplane!
    Director: Jerry Zucker, Jim Abrahams, David Zucker
    list price: $14.99
    our price: $11.24
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    Asin: B00004Y62W
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 503
    Average Customer Review: 4.68 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (155)

    5-0 out of 5 stars An Overdose of Comedy
    In the 1970's, Hollywood created an endless stream of disaster movies. Having found a "winning formula" they latched onto it and milked it for every penny producing disaster flick after disaster flick until it all became a joke onto itself. Enter Airplane. The result of a couple of guys who, seeing all these airplane disaster movies thought it had all gotten so ridiculous that the entire genre was a joke, a brilliant idea was born. Enter the era of the spoof.

    Today we take spoofs for granted but back then the idea was brand new, and thats what makes Airplane such a brilliant masterpeice, it literally spawned a whole new genre of movies that is being copied this very day. Naked gun, or Scary movie would not exist today without Airplane, and yet, Airplane is funnier than every other spoof ever made even all these years later.

    Put simply, this movie is non stop rapidfire comedy. It's saturday night live on qualudes. It's nonstop wisecracks and jokes and gags. If you like intelligent critical movies, run away...quickly. This is not your movie.
    If however you enjoy pure slapstick a la three stooges, just pure bumbling humour. Totally idiotic side gags. This is your dream come true. This is more than likely the most hillarious movie ever made. It's become a classic like Gone with the wind or the godfather, but for Comedies, and with good reason. The jokes simply are nonstop beggining to end. Right from the opening scene with the Hare Krishna's at the airport until the autopilot waving goodbye in the end scene. The movie simply does not stop for even an instant. At certain points you literally have to stop laughing even if you think a joke is funny just to breath. Don't expect brilliant writting here, it's all slapstick but it REALLY is hillarious stuff. The guys who did this by the way have gone on to write many of hollywoods great comedic scenes and we can see their raw talent to great effect here, completely unrestrained. This is the granddaddy of the Spoof Genre. If you love slapstick, by all means, Get this movie. You won't regret it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars I AM serious, and don't call me Shirley!
    The greatest movie spoof and funniest film of all time is on DVD! Directed by the Zucker Brothers, AIRPLANE is the king of all spoofs, putting lame attempts like SCARY MOVIE to shame. The relentless number of gags is the key here, with so many jokes it takes several viewings to catch them all. My favourite gags are the Saturday Night Fever disco mock, the mayhem jokes on the plane (crash postions etc), Stephen Stucker as Johnny ("The tower! Rapunzel!) and the very patient cab driver! And of course, one of the best lines, "Surely you can't be serious!" "I AM serious, and don't call me Shirley!" and "Joey, do you like movies about Gladiators?" Classic! The jokes come fast and frequently, providing enough weird humour to satisfy fans of this genre. Great fun. The DVD extras consist of a terrific Commenatary from the directors and a trailer. More extra stuff would be nice, but the commentary alone is worth it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Outrageously funny!
    God this movie is so incredibly hilarious! Few movies have such witty and original jokes as 1980's Airplane! does. This is one of the best comedy movies of all time and is strongly recommended for those struggling with depression or just want a good laugh.

    A jetliner is bound for Chicago but when contaminated fish spreads illnesses on most of it's passengers and incapacitates both of it's pilots, it's up to a war veteran to fly and land the airliner and save the passengers before the illness claims their lives.

    This movie is so incredibly funny and is highly recommended for comedy audiences. They sure don't make comedy movies like they used to.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Outrageous Comedy About 70's Disaster Films
    Airplane was released in theatres in 1980 and was in production in 1979. Evidently, "Airplane" was a spoof of the 70's disaster film "Airport." This movie was an original concept in comedy at the time that made way for future spoof movies as the Scary Movie series in recent years and the Naked Gun movies in the 90's. Stars Robert Hays, Julia Hagerty, Leslie Nielsen and Peter Graves with a special appearance by Lakers player Kareem Abdul Jabaar. Leslie Nielsen would move on to doing other such comic films, particularily at home with the Nake Gun series and Spy Hard.

    The movie was a comic farewell to the 70's, a milieu which this movie holds on to visually- disco music, including a scene ripped off from Saturday Night Fever in which Robert Hays and Julia Hagerty dance while two women fight each other at a disco/bar. The comedy is non-stop and everything is a gag or joke, written into the script. Highlights include an elderly white lady who can speak Jibe or black street slang, Ted and Elaine in an African village as part of a peace corps mission. Ted is teaching the native men how to play basketball while Elaine demonstrates Tupperware to the village women. The movie is cartoonish, over-the-top, silly but lots of fun. Look also for the film's sequel, released in 1982.

    5-0 out of 5 stars One of the all-time great comedies!
    Airplane! is most definitely one of the ten greatest comedies of all time, and it's held up well over the past 24 years or so. Normally, this type of parody/slapstick comedy bores me to tears, but I think it's the dry delivery in Airplane! that makes everything work. A classic performance from Leslie Nielsen doesn't hurt, either. Even though this movie spoofed some of the biggest movies of its time period, the fact that Airplane! is remembered just as fondly (if not "fondlier") is testament to how great this film is. Anyone that enjoys comedies must A)Watch this movie, B)Own this movie, and C)Repeat lines from this movie as often as possible. ... Read more


    8. Full House - The Complete First Season
    Director: Don Van Atta, John Tracy (II), Howard Storm, Steve Zuckerman, Bill Petty, Peter Baldwin, Russ Petranto, Tom Rickard, Joel Zwick, Jack Shea (III), James O'Keefe, John Bowab, Jeff Franklin, Richard Correll, Bill Foster (IV), Lee Shallat Chemel
    list price: $29.98
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    Asin: B0006N2F0E
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 1909
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    9. Glory (Special Edition)
    Director: Edward Zwick
    list price: $29.95
    our price: $22.46
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    Asin: B000051YMQ
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 1537
    Average Customer Review: 4.76 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (279)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Honor and Horror
    The story of the 54th Massachusetts Infantry is told in a solid and entertaining movie. The casting is brilliant, including the surprisingly good choice of Matthew Broderick, an actor I'm normally indifferent to, who is utterly believable as the scion of a wealthy Boston family who accepts a commission as Colonel in command of the first black regiment in the Civil War. Rounding out the cast are Morgan Freeman and Denzel Washington, the two finest actors of ANY color working in Hollywood these days, and Cary Elwes in easily his best performance since The Princess Bride. If there is anything negative to say about this film, it is in the archetypical nature of several of the characters (I do not know how "fictionalized" the indivdual soldiers are) and a bit of, yes, "glorification" of what ultimately was one of the most horrific and wasteful events in history. But ultimately that is what makes honor and glory: sacrifice for the future. The tragedy should not be forgotten in the glory. So when you see this movie, let your heart swell for the glory and honor, and let your eye weep at the waste of human life.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Movie for Warmongers and Pacifists alike
    The Academy Award winner from 1989 stands out as a monumental film with stunning acting, crisp cinematography and one of the most realistic depictions of the horrors of war ever filmed.

    Matthew Broderick is compelling as Robert Gould Shaw, the young and inexperienced commander of the 54th Regiment of Massachusetts, an all-black unit initially deprived of the right to fight but eventually allowed to prove its mettle in a pivotal battle of the Civil War. Morgan Freeman exudes paternal strength and wisdom as the eldest member of the platoon. Andre Braugher, Cary Elwes, Jihmi Kennedy, and a brilliant Denzel Washington (winner of "Best Supporting Actor" Oscar) make this film a genuine classic.

    Making small but significant contributions to the film are Jane Alexander as Shaw's mother and veteran Raymond St. Jacques (his last role) as Frederick Douglas.

    A further nod of praise goes to James Horner's masterful score. His music, along with the harmonies of the Boys Choir Of Harlem provides as glorious a background as is the inspirational story itself.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Great American Movie!
    This is one of the most historically acurate films about the Civil War. Not only that, it's one of the best acted and best shot movie in many years. Denzel Washington's performance is worth the Oscar he recieved. Matthew Broderick and Morgan Freeman are also exceptional. It's an unforgetable film about an event that changed the course of history.

    5-0 out of 5 stars HOTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT
    THIS IS ONE OF THE BEST MOVIES I HAVE EVER SEEN!
    Matthew Broderick is AMAZING buy it and you won't be disapointed.

    5-0 out of 5 stars American tragedy
    For so long, the image of the Civil War has existed in the collective American mind as a series of sepia-tone Matthew Brady photographs: ghoulish and nightmarish landscapes littered with bodies and body parts. However, with the notable exceptions of his portraits of the field generals, there is a sort of anonymity to the corpses in Brady's works. In one of GONE WITH THE WIND's most powerful scenes, scores upon scores of wounded soldiers lie in the streets, until they appear to be one large, unidentifiable mass of pain--which was the filmmaker's point. Edward Zwick's GLORY was one of the first films to put a human face and individuality to those who fought and died in America's most brutal years. Based upon the true story of Boston's young colonel, Robert Shaw, and his efforts to allow his all African-American outfit (the "54th") to fight on the side of the Union, GLORY is one of those rare films that successfully combines history with movie-making.

    Wonderful performances abound in this powerful film: Washington, Broderick, Freeman and Elwes all give their best efforts. But the real star of the show is the camera. The battle sequences, as other reviewers have mentioned, are horrific, as is the scene in the triage tent. (THIS MOVIE IS NOT FOR PEOPLE WITH WEAK STOMACHS.) But the scenes in between, the relatively quiet ones, have as great an impact. I especially have in mind the training sequences. In another director's hands, the scenes in which the troops begin understanding each other, and as the officers begin understanding their troops could have wound up a syrupy mess. Instead, their horrible predicament unites them in an unsentimental, yet sensitive manner. Zwick's camera-work throughout is exemplary, making GLORY one of the best films about America's most tragic episodes. ... Read more


    10. Brother Sun, Sister Moon
    Director: Franco Zeffirelli
    list price: $14.99
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    Asin: B00015HX9A
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 3328
    Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (115)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Vivid religious parable for 'youth' audience
    BROTHER SUN SISTER MOON (UK/Italy 1972): The early life of St. Francis of Assisi (Graham Faulkner), the son of a wealthy merchant who underwent a spiritual conversion following his experiences in the crusades and later renounced his worldly goods before establishing a holy order separate from traditional Church teachings.

    Conceived and executed in much the same visual manner as his ultra-popular ROMEO AND JULIET (1968), Franco Zeffirelli's BROTHER SUN SISTER MOON attempts to draw parallels between the work and philosophy of St. Francis and the ideology which underpinned the worldwide hippy movement throughout the 1960's and early 70's. Hence the ragged-but-lyrical cinematography (by Ennio Guarnieri), fractured editing (by Reginald Mills), and the use of contemporary - but strangely timeless - folk songs written and performed by Donovan, all of which conjures the requisite mood of spiritual awakening whilst simultaneously dating the movie quite firmly within its period. Cynics will hate it, while others will embrace Zeffirelli's defiant romanticism. Daringly, Zeffirelli's script (co-written by Suso Cecchi d'Amico and Lina Wertmuller) contrasts Francis' piety and virtue with the bloated pomp of official Church doctrine, weighed down by internal politics and social indifference, though it's difficult to gauge if this represents a veiled attack on Christian orthodoxy or is simply a reflection of Francis' dismissal of outdated customs in favor of a return to Nature.

    Lovingly crafted by Lorenzo Mongiardino (art direction) and Danilo Donati (costumes), the movie is toplined by a cast of gifted newcomers and screen veterans, including Judi Bowker (one of the most beautiful actresses of her generation), Leigh Lawson, Kenneth Cranham, Valentina Cortese and Alec Guinness. But the film derives much of its visual strength from Faulkner as the young, battle-scarred nobleman laid low by his wartime experiences, who emerges from the horrors of conflict with a completely new and spiritual outlook on life. Faulkner was one of a handful of young actors (including FELLINI-SATYRICON's Hiram Keller and LISA AND THE DEVIL's Alessio Orano) who emerged from European cinema in the 1970's, handsome and talented in equal measure, to burn brightly and briefly before disappearing into relative obscurity. Here, Faulkner's intense beauty and fresh-faced innocence are illuminated by Guarnieri's worshipful camera and Zeffirelli's attentive direction, which places him center-stage throughout (there's even a generous, PG-level nude scene halfway through the movie). This was Faulkner's cinematic debut, and while Zeffirelli couldn't have made a better choice for such a crucial role, the director later described him as being slightly aloof from his fellow actors, which may explain his subsequent disappearance from the movie scene. But here, his grace and dignity are displayed in abundance, and it's hard not to fall in love with him, every time he appears on-screen.

    Picture quality on Paramount's DVD is grainy in places and vivid in others, but overall, this is a huge improvement over previous video incarnations, all hideously cropped from the original hard matte widescreen version presented here. Sadly, there are no extras whatsoever, not even a trailer! It would have been nice to see footage from the Italian cut (FRATELLO SOLE SORELLA LUNA), which runs approximately 14 minutes longer and replaces Donovan's music with a fully orchestral score by Riz Ortolani. The film's editor, Reginald Mills, produced a 16mm documentary in 1973 entitled FRANCO ZEFFIRELLI A FLORENTINE ARTIST, compiled from footage shot during the making of the movie and featuring a lengthy interview with the director himself. Running a mere 51 minutes, it provided an invaluable insight into Zeffirelli's working methods and the thinking which gave rise to the finished product, and its absence from Paramount's disc is hugely disappointing. It's nice to have the film on DVD in its present form, but the lack of extras reeks of missed opportunity.

    120m 56s
    1.75:1 / Anamorphically enhanced
    DVD soundtrack: Mono 2.0
    Theatrical soundtrack: Optical mono
    Optional English subtitles and closed captions
    Region 1

    5-0 out of 5 stars A movie that changed my outlook on life
    This film with all its historical inaccuracies and its poor account of St. Clare and Bishop Guido has however the spirit of Franciscanism at its heart and its message is a relevant today as it was in the 13th century. Faulkner is brilliant, he captures the simple, pure humility of St.Francis. What ever happened to him after the movie? Donovan's music is outstanding and fits in perfectly with the simple and humble atmosphere permeating throughout the movie. To learn a more accurate account of the life of St. Francis I must recommend a book called 'St. Francis of Assisi, The Legend and the Life' by Michael Robson OFM Conv.

    Pax et Bonum, A young Irish Secular Franciscan.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Inspirational
    Dated; yes, but boring? . . . Never. Maybe if you're looking for action instead of inspiration. I've watched this movie countless times and have never failed to find its anti-materialist message inspirational. If it contains historical inaccuracies; show me a movie or book about a 13th century character that doesn't. Yes, it is dated to the '70s in places, but what of it? This is a movie with an essential message told well: i.e. The glory of war and possessions can't ultimately satisfy. And while I may hesitate to recommend this movie to anyone, say, under 40; if you want to know how it feels to leave the pursuit of yet another crummy dead-end job, for inner peace, Brother Sun Sister Moon may just do the trick.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful
    The editorial review by Amazon.com (Tom Keogh) should stop after the first sentence. Tom's review is "a decorous effort" to tweak his ego and impress readers who enjoy uppity reviews more than good movies. I don't know why Amazon would even allow their review to discourage sales, for one thing. More importantly, this is a beautiful movie, to a different tempo, with lovely music and spiritual significance for the gentle recipient.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Spirit of Francis
    This movie was a major inspiration in my life as a Franciscan. It captures the spirit of Francis of Assisi, the joy, the freedom, the devotion to Christ. It is true that it is "ahistorical" which is NOT to say unhistorical, but rather creative fidelity to the spirit of the saint. All of Zeferelli's work has a quality of caricature, but faithful even though exaggerated. Many people have used those songs by Donavan as well, as they are quite moving and joyous. ... Read more


    11. Forrest Gump
    Director: Robert Zemeckis
    list price: $19.99
    our price: $14.99
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    Asin: B00003CXA2
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 285
    Average Customer Review: 4.23 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    "Bein' a idiot is no box of chocolates," but "at least I ain't led no hum-drum life," says Forrest Gump, the lovable, surprisingly savvy hero of this wonderful comic tale.When the University of Alabama's football team drafts Forrest and makes him a star, that's only the beginning!He flunks out--and goes on to be a Vietnam war hero, a world-class Ping-Pong player, a wrestler, and a business tycoon.He compares battle scars with Lyndon Johnson, discovers the truth about Richard Nixon, and suffers the ups and downs of true love.Now, Forrest Gump's telling all--in a madcap, screwball romp through three decades of the American landscape.It's Gump's amazing travels...and you've got to hear them to believe them. ... Read more

    Reviews (484)

    5-0 out of 5 stars The best movie of the 1990s
    Forrest Gump guarantees to be one of the greatest movies you ever see.
    Forrest is a simple man who lives by his beliefs, and lives by his mother's advice. He talks of his incredible life while sitting at a bus stop in Alabama, of teaching Elvis new dance moves, of bceoming a war hero in Vietnam, and of meeting several Presidents. At the same time, he recollects about his childhood sweetheart Jenny, who is living a horrible life after being abused as a child.
    This is a truly inspirational movie, one of humour and light-hearted fun, while looking back at some of America's biggest moments.
    Tom Hanks richly deserved Best Actor, as did the film deserve Best Picture, and Forrest Gump is one of the least-challenged Academy Award decisions in recent memory. This film really can say that it will make you laugh and cry, as well as thoroughly enjoying the best movie of its decade.
    Forrest Gump is a must have movie, and is one to watch many times!

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Powerful Story Of Love And Adventure
    FORREST GUMP is a movie about a backward young boy who grows up to lead a remarkable life while managing to get involved in some of the most important world events of the Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon years. The film is a powerful story of love and adventure-especially love.

    Tom Hanks is superb as Forrest Gump. The strong supporting cast includes Robin Wright, Sally Field, Gary Sinise, Mykelti Williamson and a very young Haley Joel Osment.

    FORREST GUMP won Oscars for Best Picture, Director (Robert Zemeckis), Actor (Tom Hanks), Adopted Screenplay, Art Direction, Film Editing and Visual Effects. It also received nominations for Best Supporting Actor (Gary Sinise), Cinematography, Sound, Sound Effects Editing, Make-up and Original Score.

    Robert Zemeckis will be remembered in addition for his direction of BACK TO THE FUTURE and ROMANCING THE STONE.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The best
    Tom Hanks at his best. A very intelligent comedy and one of the best reviews of 20th century America in a very light hearted way. Fully deservant of the shower of Oscars it received. Must have!

    5-0 out of 5 stars THE BEST FILM EVER MADE
    The first time I saw this film, I was amazed beyond beleife. Tom Hanks is outstanding as Forest Gump, and every sapporting actor was perfect for the role. This movie has so many memorable lines in it, its almost insane. This movie is almost a modern day Rocky, in which it shows what one man could do with his life, and what we should do with our lives. Easily deserved every reward it got.

    5-0 out of 5 stars the best family film ever
    a special guy sits on a bench and tells anyone who will listen about his story book adventure style life.it stars tom hanks.he is abselutely hilarious while simaltaneously being simple and blissfully unaware.the kids can watch it but they should really not look when jennys around.shes a whore and a half.it is easily the best tom hanks movie ever made.this movie is for everybody.if you do not like this movie you need help because something is seriously wrong with you.it is a very emotional movie from watchimg gump struggle to walk as a child up to when his loved ones began dying.if you are the sensitive type,do not forget to take your prozac or youll ball your eyes out.the only chick in it is jenny.she toys with forrests emotions throughout the entire movie and puts out at least 9 or 10 times.there are a lot of people who play thier roles well here.most everbody does well.its one of those movies you have to watch on tape because it never stops being good long enough to stop for a snack or a bathroom break.its that good!if a second one were somehow dreamt up it would be only a shadow of its predecesser.it is long,but an abselute gem in any video library. ... Read more


    12. Badder Santa (Unrated Widescreen Edition)
    Director: Terry Zwigoff
    list price: $29.99
    our price: $22.49
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00020HAB0
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 283
    Average Customer Review: 3.64 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (149)

    3-0 out of 5 stars Raunchy, funny, but repetitive. And not for the kids.
    "Bad Santa" is a movie from that dirty magazine row tucked in the back of gas stations: It is thrilling, and funny, and eventually a little tiresome and disappointing, to watch Billy Bob Thornton play a degenerate, drunk thief masquerading as a department store Santa Claus. Appropriately named Willie T. Stokes, Thornton achieves a kind of white trash zen, slurring, stumbling and cursing his way through nativity sets.

    And Willie's just the jumping off point. "Bad Santa" is a comedy cast like a noir picture, where every player reveals a touch of the bizarre. There's Willie's dwarf partner (Tony Cox), a fat kid who takes to Willie as a father figure and Willie's Jewish girlfriend (Lauren Graham), who has a Santa fetish. Bernie Mac and John Ritter have smaller, goofy roles as department store employees; the late Ritter, sadly, is again cast as a nebbish, probably gay man for no particular reason and to little avail.

    The humor is repeatedly pitched at basic crassness, or maybe just a notch above, as Thornton and his co-stars run the same gags into the ground; there are only so many ways the dwarf can verbally dress down Willie, or Willie dress down the kids. Some scenes border on scatological "Who's On First?" routines. Terry Zwigoff's direction is painfully flat and amateurish for a guy who made "Ghost World."

    The idea, of course, is to offer perfectly intelligent, affluent adults a bargain-budget 90 minutes to indulge in the communal loathing of precious tykes and holiday materialism while extolling the virtues of loose women, cheap whiskey and stone cold burglary - essentially a middle finger to the very suburbanites that will be among its biggest fans. If your SUV can handle an evening in the cold, there are worse ways to get over yourself.

    Note: "Bad Santa" has drawn some fire from Christian conservatives for debunking that long held Christmas myth that, apparently, Santa and Jesus are long lost buds. That couldn't be better publicity for a movie like this.

    5-0 out of 5 stars FOR THOSE WHO LOVE DARK COMEDY
    If you love comedy, especially dark comedy then this is the movie for you. When I first saw the commerical on TV I knew I had to see this movie and I was right- it was excellent. Movies arent meant to be the same and I have never seen a Santa like this before!!!! It's a collectible item if you ask me and a must have. People with a sense of humor shouldn't miss it.

    4-0 out of 5 stars FEARLESSLY BAWDY BUT FUNNY
    Bad Santa has many crass gags, it almost drags you into a dark alley of tasteless humour and thrashes you up. Imagine Billy Bob Thorton in a comic lead role, tough to visualize. But the man is bloody hilarious! Some parts are better scripted than others, but for a film that's so determined NOT to have a heart, it does surprise you with one. A wonderfully perverse treat that goes by in a flash, so it can't be all that bad any way. Recommended!

    5-0 out of 5 stars The funniest movie ive seen in a long time
    this movie is god awful funny, if you have a problem with sex or language this movie is in no way for you. For all of the rest of us, this movie is hilarious. Billy Bob Thorton is funny as hell throughout the whole movie and you will be quoting him for weeks after. please, if you dont mind language or sex, watch this movie, you will love it.

    3-0 out of 5 stars A Funny Contrast to The Christmas Story
    It's true, most reviews I have seen, they have described "Bad Santa" as a Christmas movie for cynics. Billy Bob Thornton takes a huge risk with the leading role, as a hard drinking, swearing, unkempt department store Santa with a fetish for plus-size women.
    Let me be completely frank...although I admit most kids nowadays have been seasoned with the F-word, I think the language in the movie alone would dissuade most parents from screening it for young children. This is for adults, folks. Anyway, Bad Santa teams up with his partner, Marcus (who masquerades as a black elf) to rob department stores every Christmas. They have an interesting modus operandi..get jobs at the mall at Christmas time as Santa and elf, break in after hours, and abscond with the store's safe contents and assorted loot. Next season, different city, different mall, and so on. Thornton's Santa, real name Willie, is portrayed with no redemptive qualities. He is talked every year into the robbery scheme by his diminutive partner Marcus. Let's face it..Willie is only good at two things..drinking and safe cracking. The fact that Willie can barely tolerate people and hates children creates a great deal of comedy in itself. His exchanges with the children who sit on his lap and the department store manager (well played by the late John Ritter)are both shocking and funny in their audacity.
    Anyway, through a bizarre set of circumstances involving a young boy (it was a stroke of genius for the director to cast the child as a fat, socially inept stalker) and a kinky bargirl who has a fetish for Santas, Willie goes through a slight reformation..sort of. Don't get me wrong..there are no "It's a Wonderful Life" brush strokes of cinema in here. "Bad Santa" knows why some people spend Christmas in bars..and gets more than a few twisted laughs from its observations. ... Read more


    13. Oklahoma!
    Director: Fred Zinnemann
    list price: $19.98
    our price: $14.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 6305320802
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 625
    Average Customer Review: 3.94 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    The hit Broadway musical from the 1940s gets a lavish if not always exciting workout in this 1955 film version directed by old lion Fred Zinnemann (High Noon). Gordon MacRae brings his sterling voice to the role of cowboy Curly, and Shirley Jones plays Laurie, the object of his affection. The Rodgers and Hammerstein score includes "The Surrey with the Fringe on Top," "Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin'," and "People Will Say We're in Love," and Agnes DeMille provides the buoyant choreography. Among the supporting cast, Gloria Grahame is memorable as Ado Annie, the "girl who cain't say no," and Rod Steiger overdoes it as the villainous Jud. --Tom Keogh ... Read more

    Reviews (66)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Vibrant, memorable film version of musical classic
    "Oklahoma!" was a classic AMerican musical, groundbreaking in its seamless integration of story, score, and dance, and a highly entertaining show in its own right with a thin but delightful story and classic score, the first of many classic scores to come from Rodgers and Hammerstein. THankfully, most of that vitality, freshness, and joy, not to mention the story and score, translate accurately and brilliantly, and very entertainingly, into the splashy 1955 film version, which is perfectly cast, sung and orchestrated, and competently directed by Fred Zinneman, (of "High Noon" and "From Here To Eternity" fame) whose only movie musical this was.

    The gorgeous shots of the Midwestern landscape can probably best be appreciated in the widescreen Todd-AO version. (The film was famously filmed twice, in the new process and in standard Cinemescope to accomadate theatres who did not have the new technology installed) Gordon McRae is a marvelous Curley, full of energy, sarcasm, and romantacism, and he sings those songs to perfection. He and the original Curley, Alfred Drake, are the best I've heard. The radiant Shirley Jones is perfect in her film debut as Laurey. The supporting cast is all first-rate; other reviewers have mentioned Gloria Grahame's Ado Annie, which is indeed a hilarious and unforgettable performance, but there is also Gene Nelson's wonderful Will Parker, Charlotte Greenwood's loveable and delightful Aunt Eller, and Rod Steiger's adaquately menacing Jud Fry. (That last character loses some dimension through the deletion of his solo "Lonely Room," but Steiger probably wouldn't have sung it all that well, and the rest of the film is so perfect, that this is really a minor quibble) It should be noted that, even though this cast contains quite a few actors not noted for their singing pipes, no one is dubbed, and everybody sings very well. (Though again, Steiger might not have been up to the demands of "Lonely Room," though he does a fine job on "Poer Jud Is Daid") It could be argued that these classic songs have never been better-sung then they are here, and the augmented original Robert Russell Bennett orchestrations are great. Agnes de Mille recreates her original choreogrpahy to great effect; "Kansas City" still is amazing in how casually it comes out of the situation, "The Farmer and the Cowman" and "Many a New Day" are delightful, and the famous "Laurey Makes Up Her Mind" dream ballet is still stunning. Not the best R&H musical, ("Carousel" and "The King and I" outclass it in story and score, and "The King and I" is probably a better film) but certainly one of the best film versions of one of their musicals with the makings of a highly entertaining evening for the whole family. A fine tribute to a classic of musical theatre.

    4-0 out of 5 stars This movie Rocks!!
    "Oklahoma!" is one GREAT movie. I don't think I ever smile so much during a movie as I do when I watch this one, it just makes me so darn happy! Ok, so the plot isn't amazing... but it doesn't matter, because the plot isn't really what drives this film. This movie is all about the characters, and the positive mood it creates, and the wonderful music that you will be humming for days after you watch the film. I actually bought the soundtrack a few weeks ago, (that's how much I liked it) and I haven't been able to stop playing it. I've seen a lot of musicals, both movie and stage, and I believe that "Oklahoma!" ties with "West Side Story" for having the best music of any musical, ever. The famous Rogers and Hammerstein score is just awesome. All of the songs are great, there isn't a bad one in the movie, but "People Will Say We're In Love" is my personal favorite. The scene were Curly and Laurie are singing this to each other in the peach orchard is so amazingly cute. I guess I'm just a silly hopeless romantic, but I can't help it. Shirley Jones as Laurie is wonderful, she has a BEAUTIFUL voice, and does a fine acting job too, especially considering she was only 20 years old and this was her film debut. The sparks just fly between her and Gordon MacRae (Curly), and this chemistry between the two leads is really what makes the movie work as well as it does. I was also stunned by the visual beauty of the film. It's beautiful color and exceptional picture clarity is uncommon for an older movie, so when I first watched "Oklahoma!" I had to double check to make sure it was really made in 1955. The special Todd-AO filming process other reviewers have gone into detail about really made a difference here. Anyways, I seem to have rambled on a bit, but I'll try to make my point here. This is a fun, romantic movie, that's a bit hokey at times ( but endearingly so, I believe) and has a few weak moments. But these few weak elements are far outweighed by the great ones. I judge a movie mainly on these two factors: 1) by the way I feel immediately after I've finished watching it, and 2) if it has a lasting impression on me. After this one, I just feel happy, and giddy, and like I want to dance around my living room and break out into song. And as far as lasting impressions go, I liked it so much I felt compelled to write this review and reccomend it to the world. So if this sounds like the kind of movie you'd enjoy, go for it, and have fun watching this classic.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Oklahoma
    Well I'm surprised to find that I seem to be in the minority but I think Oklahoma is the Greatest Screen Musical of All Time.
    I'll go in to why I think that but first I want you to know that I'm a great fan of musicals and have seen most of the great ones many, many times on the tube and on the big screen. Films like Top Hat, Gay Divorcee, Gold Diggers of 33 and 35, 42nd Street, Footlight Parade, Swingtime, Follow the Fleet, Holiday Inn, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Pennies from Heaven('81) and of course My Fair Lady are as good as it gets and hold a cherished place in my heart.
    They all have teriffic stars, good humor and above all wonderful music and wonderful songs. Oklahoma has more of that than any other movie. Every song
    is a winner, a gem, a pearl. They eliminated the few "clinker" songs from the stage production (it ran for 26 years) leaving only the absolute winners for the movie. Shirley Jones was eighteen and wonderfully radiant. Her singing was even better than the original stage recording. Her singing was marvelous.
    Howard Keel was originally slated to play Curly but opted out because he refused to shoot two movies, as they duplicated every scene for two different film processes. (The A-O Todd version is the one seen on the DVD and has much higher resolution than the
    Cinemascope one seen for years on TV) What a stroke of luck, Howard Keel (much too old and stiff to play opposite Miss Jones) is out and Gordon MacRae (the perfect fit) is in. His voice, while not as dynamic as Alfred Drake's, is perfect for the screen
    but best of all he brings a sensiblity and earthy quality to the role missing from all the others I've seen. Some bizarre casting
    in the minor roles like Gloria Grahame as Ado Annie and Eddie Albert as Ali Hakim and Rod Stieger as the "bully colored" Judd Frey add a strange flavor to the mix. But it's not the only strange thing going on. The story itself is not particularly a pleasant one and one might find the treatment of Judd or Judd himself unpleasant. It themes aren't necessarily family fare. There's even a dream sequence featuring some dark moments in a bordello. These elements add to the complexity and depth of this best-of-all musicals. And now the real muscle, Oh What a Beautiful Morning, Surrey with the Fringe on Top, I'm Just a Girl Who Can't Say No, Everything's Up to Date in Kansas City,
    Never Will Come a Day, People Will Say We're in Love, Poor Judd is Dead, The Farmer and the Cowhand Should Be Friends, With Me It's All or Nothin' and Of course Oklahoma. No musical, not The King and I, not Singin' in the Rain, not Carousel, not any other save My Fair Lady can boost so many landmark songs. Throw in three or four marvelous dance sequences and big dash of Americana and you have the best screen musical ever. Thanks for your tolerance and thank you Amazon for letting me get that off my chest. There is one other musical I gotta mention, because it puts so many others to shame but I'm afraid I'll lose any crediblity, if any, I've got. Well, here it goes, South Park, Bigger, Longer, Uncut is better than all of Andrew Llyod Webber's musicals wound-up into one. In fact I don't think he's got a single song that can outdo ANY song in S P, B, L, U.
    There I've said it and now I'm done. Thank you.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Still one of the best
    I just watched "Oklahoma" again for the first time in a few years. I can understand why some viewers disliked this musical. The plot concerns farmers and ranchers fighting for dominance over land in the midwest in the 1800's. It's difficult for some of us modern urban dwellers to relate to this dilemma. Also, the characters in "Oklahoma" all speak in a cutesy, rubish dialect which is sometimes hard to understand and can even be annoying.

    And it must seem quaint to us that escorting a girl on a picnic could create the kind of conflict that it does in this story. Another disconcerting element in "Oklahoma" is the sight of supposedly rough, rugged cowboys performing in pristine, balletic sequences staged by Agnes De Mille. After our generation has grown up on the gritty realism and sensuality of choreography by the likes of Bob Fosse or even Baz Luhrmann, this type of choreography seems dated and out of place.

    But despite these criticisms, "Oklahoma" is still a great musical because of the music itself, and the way the music is so seamlessly integrated into the plot and characterizations. Simply stated, the melodies composed by the prodigious Richard Rodgers and the lyrics written by the poetic Oscar Hammerstein II for "Oklahoma" are magnificent.

    For instance, is there a grander or more exuberant description of a wondrous new day than in "Oh What a Beautiful Morning"? Or a more lilting expression of reluctant love than in "People Will Say We're in Love"? Or how about the lyrical beauty and grace of the waltz "Out of My Dreams"? Or the syncopated melody and lyrics of "Surrey with the Fringe on Top" which is a perfect accompaniment to the clippity-clop of a horse pulling a carriage? And what about the joyous, unbridled energy of the celebratory theme song "Oklahoma"?

    They all add up to a superb, exceptional score. Other assets of the movie version of "Oklahoma": the vibrant color photography; the solid performances by a talented and versatile cast; and the rich, beautiful singing voices of Gordon MacRae and Shirley Jones.

    "Oklahoma" is not a perfect musical, but it's still one of the best and well worth your time if you possess an open mind and a discerning ear.

    1-0 out of 5 stars I really hate this movie...(* 1/2)...
    I have never seen anything more boring and tedious than this film. I was forced to watch this one summer Sunday night when nothing else was on T.V., and had finished the book I was reading. I wasn't particulary looking forward to seeing it, because I didn't like "The Sound of Music", "South Pacific", or "Carosuel", but I like old movies, and thought I'd give it a chance. Also it had gotten such great reviews and all and I believe it won Best Picture at the Academy Awards back in '56. After what felt like 48 hours of bordem, I came to the conclusion that this was offically the most over-rated film I have EVER seen! The promblem wasn't even that it was a musical. I like musicals, but this was just awful! The (lyrical) music and dancing was just STUPID. The story was over-used, and the charectors ANNOYING! The only reason I give this a star and 1/2 is because it was tecnically well made, even tho the music and dancing was atrocious! I can't really reccomend this movie or not, becuase I think it really depends on a persons taste. If you like "The Sound of Music", and "Carosuel", you'll probably like this... ... Read more


    14. The Last Samurai (Full Screen Edition)
    Director: Edward Zwick
    list price: $19.96
    our price: $12.97
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0001JXOUS
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 412
    Average Customer Review: 4.14 out of 5 stars
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    Description

    Epic Action Drama.Set in Japan during the 1870s, The Last Samurai tells the story of Capt. Nathan Algren (Tom Cruise), a respected American military officer hired by the Emperor of Japan to train the country's first army in the art of modern warfare.As the Emperor attempts to eradicate the ancient Imperial Samurai warriors in preparation for more Westernized and trade-friendly government policies, Algren finds himself unexpectedly impressed and influenced by his encounters with the Samurai, which places him at the center of a struggle between two eras and two worlds, with only his own sense of honor to guide him. ... Read more

    Reviews (441)

    5-0 out of 5 stars This film was amazing!!!
    The story focuses on a Civil War veteran named Capt. Nathan Algren ( Tom Cruise). He reluctantly agrees to train and lead an army of Japanese soldiers to defeat rebellion of the country's remaining Samurai. Unfortunately, Algren is captured in battle by the Samurai, and is held prisoner by them. The leader of the Samurai, Katsumoto ( Ken Watanabe), is interested in the American culture and wants to keep Algren alive to learn from him. As time passes, Algren comes to develop a friendship with Katsumoto. He also comes to embrace the Samurai way of life as well, and trains to become one of them, so that he can fight along side of the Samurai against the Japanese forces that oppose them.

    With the acception of "Mystic River", "The Last Samurai" was my favorite film of 2003. For 2 1/2 hours, I was literally glued to the screen, and loving every minute of it. It has been quite some time since I have been that captivated by a film. The only downfall this film may have, is the fact that the story is almost a complete rip off of "Dances with Wolves". However, that does not make the film any less enjoyable. In fact, "The Last Samurai" is almost better. The story comes across as being much more dramatic and action packed when dealing with the Samurai. They have a deeper sense of honor, and their fighting style is much more deadly. Director Edward Zick did an amazing job of capturing every aspect of the Samurai culture, from the costume designs and simple way of life, to the weaponry and fighting style. The final battle between the Samurai and the Japanese soldiers is the best I have seen since "Braveheart". The Samurai are completely outnumbered, and still manage to put up one heck of a fight. Tom Cruise gave one of the best, if not the best performance of his career. However, the best performance of the film goes to Ken Watanabe. He was flat out amazing as Katsumoto and nailed every aspect of the Samurai warrior. The film's soundtrack and scenery are extremely beautiful as well.

    Overall, "The Last Samurai" is an amazing film. Every aspect of the Samurai way of life is captured accurately, the performances given by the actors involved were amazing, and the final battle was incredible. Also, please check out the extras listed by Amazon for this 2 Disc DVD set. From the look of things, the extras are reason enough to purchase this film. There are deleted scenes, featurettes on the making of the film, a featurette comparing real life Samurai, and more. This is definately a bonus for myself and anyone else who appreciates the film, and the Samurai in general.

    A solid 5 stars...

    3-0 out of 5 stars Good movie, but nothing special
    The Last Samauri is a good movie, beautifully filmed and well acted, yet it really does nothing to make it stand apart.

    Tom Cruise is a captain in the US army haunted by his own actions in the wars against the US. native Americans. He sells his services to Japan to train Japanese soldiers to battle the savage samurais.

    Cruise is captured after one battle and his life is spared after Ken Watanabe's character sees Cruise fight bravely and kill his brother-in-law. The best part of the film is the hour or so that Cruise spends living with the Samurais. He lives with the family of the man he killed and the kids grow to like him and the beautiful wife learns to accept him. The Samurais learn from Cruise and Cruise begins to train with the samurais and becomes friends with Watanabe.

    Cruise is released and the end of the movie results in Cruise fighting with Watanabe against the Japanese army.

    The Last Samurai seems like a Japanese version of Braveheart, with epic battles and valiant characters. This movie did show a lot about the Japanese culture, including the practice of killing yourself if you are shamed (Which is incredibly stupid thing to do in my opinion).

    I enjoyed this movie. It doesn't break any new ground in the epic battle genre, but it is still fun to watch.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Don't expect too much
    What's the reason for watching The Last Samurai? The sword-fighting scenes. There are a lot of sword-fighting scenes, they're well-done, and if you enjoy watching them you'll find entertainment value in the movie. Also, the Japanese countryside is filmed beautifully here, so if you have an appreciation for nature, it's another incentive to watch.

    Otherwise, The Last Samurai is nothing special. The storyline is simplistic; the samurai are all two-dimensional and unquestionably the fine and good people in the film. They can do no evil, truly. For Cruise it's one of those self-righteous roles where he gets to look angsty for the camera. There's one scene at the end for example, where he's kneeling and holding up a sword, and he's trying to look like someone who is under great emotional strain and there are these ludicrous close-ups of his sweaty face - really gratuitous. The movie defintely would have benefited from some editing and character development.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Long, slow, boring, pretentious - I want my money back
    Typical Hollywood claptrap. All white guys are evil and corrupt. All Japanese are noble, kind, considerate - even though they kill each other with abandon. Apparently in Hollywoodthink it is ok for Cruise to desert, be a traitor and go over to the enemy. Hard to figure out exactly why this Samurai is the enemy, he serves the emperor too, except his honor demands that several thousand die. Glorifies the Bushido code which is the mindless emperor worship that resulted in so many Japanese atrocities in WWII - some of which rivaled anything the Germans did. Swords and arrows flying everywhere, special effects direct from Lord of the Rings. Dialog that telegraphs itself, you just know they are going to say something really relevant and dramatic...in croaking whispers. I was glad when Cruise got shot, meant the movie was finally ending. Save your money, watch it when it shows up on TV. For those reviewers who think this movie has any historical significance - read a book on Japanese history. None of these things would have happened.

    4-0 out of 5 stars I liked this movie!
    I guess everything that needs to be said about the actors, the set and the story has been said here, many times over. .

    My hat is off to the Japanese actors and the costume & set designers. The atmospheric element in this movie is stunning; for example, the first charge of the samurai in that misty forest, is unforgetable. I loved the ninja attack. This is one of the few recent productions in which the masculine is portrayed in a wholesome manner: the warrior spirit, the camaraderie, the honor, and the respect for the inner peace that is brought by zen meditation practice, are brought out very well.

    While the script was IMO kinda clichey & mediocre, Cruise's acting was not bad and rather subtle for a scientologist :) Zimmer's music was predictably good (if less conspicuous as in, say, Black Hawk Down) and if you're into kendo or swordsmanship, well, you will want to see this film several times. ... Read more


    15. Top Secret!
    Director: Jerry Zucker, Jim Abrahams, David Zucker
    list price: $14.99
    our price: $11.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B000066C6Z
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 2409
    Average Customer Review: 4.72 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (97)

    3-0 out of 5 stars They Had It Coming
    The creative Zucker/Abrahams/Zucker team behind the successful "The Naked Gun" and "Airplane!" spoof war and Elvis films in the surprising comedy "Top Secret!" An American rock idol (Val Kilmer) goes on a goodwill tour in East Germany and teams up with a freedom fighter (Lucy Gutteridge) to rescue her father from the dreaded East German High Command. The comic team delivers the same non-stop laughs as their previous hit "Airplane!" This very silly spoof contains hilarious comic scenes and great visual gags. The cast is inspiring with Omar Sharif and Peter Cushing in outstanding roles. The side-splitting comedy is presented in its 1.85:1 widescreen format. Its picture quality is disappointing but the 5.1 Dolby Digital sound is quite satisfactory. The menus are simple and unimpressive. The DVD includes alternate scenes, a feature-length commentary with filmmakers and its widescreen theatrical trailer. Like so many Paramount DVDs, "Top Secret!" doesn't surpass average and earns a "C+".

    4-0 out of 5 stars If you liked Airplane! you'll love Top Secret!
    I've been a fan of the ZAZ team for as long as I can remember. And this is one of their classic films- Top Secret! spoofs both Elvis musicals and doubleya-doubleya two films- and does it really well. There's sight gags, background gags, puns, a scene shot entirely in reverse, an underwater saloon fight, what else do you want in a movie? I've watched Top Secret! on a regular basis for 15 years, whether it's the version I taped off of TV or the DVD, and am still not bored with it. I always find some new gag that somehow escaped me in previous viewings. While Top Secret! isn't as well known as Airplane!, it's just as hilarious. Watching it with the commentary is not advised- it's quite possibly the worst commentary track I've come across and it's mostly just a bunch of guys laughing. A note- the "alternate scenes" featured in the DVD were re-inserted for the TV version of the movie.

    5-0 out of 5 stars "You're alright now, I'm here. S'alright"
    YEAHHHH!!!!!!!! this movie is flat-out FUNNAY! It's about this "American Rock 'n Roll Star" (kilmer) who helps a German girl find her father along with some pretty kewl cats. This movie has awesome not-obvious jokes and quotes you'll seriously LOVE until your dying day.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Well-Deserved Exclamation Point
    Top Secret! - the Jim Abrahams/Zucker Bros.' follow-up to Airplane! - does for (or is that *to*) Elvis movies and WWII espionage films what the earlier feature did for/to the airborne disaster genre. The gags are slightly more immature (not necessarily a bad thing, but in some cases may have been better had they been allowed to age a little before being put into production), but some, like the forced-perspective oversize phone or saying farewell to the Scarecrow, rival anything the ZAZ team has ever done.

    The music is a mixed bag. "Skeet Surfing" and the Macy's jingle are great. "Tutti-Fruitti" and "Straighten the Rug" are less so (not that every song in an Elvis movie was worthy of screen time, either). Kudos to Val Kilmer, though; even when he's camping it up, the musical numbers remain watch- and listenable.

    The only thing I don't care for on the disc is the audio commentary. The production team really rips the movie apart as if they had tried to make a "serious" film that fell apart. In that case, learning why/how it failed would be interesting and instructive. To shred a spoof film, especially a sophomore and sophomoric effort like Top Secret!, is entirely unwarranted. Sure there are plot holes. Sure it makes no sense that submarine would crash into a prison dungeon. Sure some things are only mildly amusing. Drawing undue attention to them is doubly pointless. Sheesh! If you're a big fan, skip the commentary.

    I really enjoyed this movie and really (mostly) enjoyed its presentation on the DVD. There aren't a lot of extras, but be sure to hunt for the Easter Egg - it's definitely worth finding.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A very clever "silly movie"
    Besides being a little dated, this ecclectic comedy mixes spoofs, satire and every possible form of visual humour and adds up to a hilarious film that bases its strength in never letting the viewer rest.
    Some visual gags are place in the background and need repeated views to be found, and enjoyed (like a statue shaped as a pigeon where humans stand on).
    One example of the wacky sense of humour of this film is that the scene where Hillary and Nick go into the Swedish bookstore was staged, shot and then run backwards to make the dialog sound sweedish.
    If you like movies like Airplane and Naked guns series you will have a little feast with this less known movie.
    Watch for a young Val Kilmer in the leading role and a great cameo by Omar Shariff. ... Read more


    16. Highlander - The Complete Series (Seasons 1-6)
    Director: Jorge Montesi, Yves Lafaye, Mario Azzopardi, Jerry Ciccoritti, George Mendeluk, Adrian Paul, Ray Austin, Charles Wilkinson, Paul Ziller, Dennis Berry, Clay Borris, Gérard Hameline, Daniel Vigne, Paolo Barzman, Neill Fearnley, René Manzor, Bruno Gantillon, Duane Clark, Robin Davis, Richard Martin
    list price: $539.98
    our price: $377.99
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    Asin: B0007DA3V6
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 20284
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (2)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Finally, the complete series is quickening to dvd
    This show was sometimes great entertainment to me. Basically a dimestore romantic-adventure novel brought to life. I think the producers were mostly successful with providing something for everyone. The shows ranged from brilliantly written, to definitely a bit cheesey. The dvd collection is better than the vhs, however questions did arise quickly about it's quality. I think it was the 2nd episode on disc one, when the disc appeared to be sort of freezing up for a minute. I hit FF for a second, and it was fine again. ( This was with a brand new dvd player ) Since that occurance, I have not yet run into any other problems; although I've only watched 1/3 ofthe discs. I did have a couple other little gripes about these dvd's, but nothing too serious. I would have preferred more than three episodes on a disc...a typical season for ex. has NINE discs-three unfolding booklets of 3 discs, which all fit into this 1/2 box...I wasn't too crazy about that at all. There is however a lot of content within them if you like bloopers and interviews and watcher chronicles...I do and I don't.. I mean, it's tough enough to watch all 6 seasons..I really don't need boxes hoggin up all my shelf space just so studios get extra market value-which is also why it took em so long to go over to dvd's, and why it's off the air. Nevertheless, I do still appreciate the Highlander phenomenon. It's solidly entertaining while it also demonstrates virtues that I like. I can live without the Duncan Macleod boxer shorts though, and the pillows with kissy lips, and the rest of the merchandising extraveganza. THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE!

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Best series ever made
    It's jam pack with everything a fan really wants, and the best part you can go form your favorite episode to another. 2 tumbs up!!!
    ... Read more


    17. A Man for All Seasons
    Director: Fred Zinnemann
    list price: $19.94
    our price: $14.96
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    Asin: 6305252564
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 1494
    Average Customer Review: 4.63 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com essential video

    Robert Bolt's successful play was not considered a hot commercial property by Columbia Pictures--a period piece about a moral issue without a star, without even a love story. Perhaps that's why Columbia left director Fred Zinnemann alone to make A Man for All Seasons, as long as he stuck to a relatively small budget. The results took everyone by surprise, as the talky morality play became a box-office hit and collected the top Oscars for 1966. At the play's heart is the standoff between King Henry VIII (Robert Shaw, in young lion form) and Sir Thomas More (Paul Scofield, in an Oscar-winning performance). Henry wants More's official approval of divorce, but More's strict ethical and religious code will not let him waffle. More's rectitude is a source of exasperation to Cardinal Wolsey (Orson Welles in a cameo), who chides, "If you could just see facts flat on without that horrible moral squint." Zinnemann's approach is all simplicity, and indeed the somewhat prosaic staging doesn't create a great deal of cinematic excitement. But the language is worth savoring, and the ethical politics are debated with all the calm and majesty of an absorbing chess game. --Robert Horton ... Read more

    Reviews (92)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A longtime favorite
    One of the greatest English language films ever made about one of the greatest men who ever lived. St. Thomas More was a man of extraordinary conviction and through the years has proven to be a great inspiration to me, personally. When Sir Thomas is asked to endorse Henry VIII's petition for annulment from his marriage to Catherine of Aragon, he's fully aware of the consequences of his refusal. Nevertheless, he did what he knew and felt was right and he paid the ultimate price. A true martyr in every sense of the word and a film that makes the viewer question his own value system and sense of passion and integrity. Paul Scoffield's brilliant and profound characterization of Sir Thomas is still a wonder to behold. He imbues this larger than life person with such quiet dignity and grace that it belies the reality of his existence. This is not a man worried about dying. This is a man worried about living without the courage of his convictions, knowing that he supported something he truly abhorred and knew was wrong. Robert Shaw's performance as Henry VIII is equally wonderful, as are Susannah York, Dame Wendy Hiller and Orson Wells. I never tire of watching this film or reading the play; incidentally, also one of my favorites.

    4-0 out of 5 stars A well-crafted film...
    I first saw "A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS" in 1966 when it first came out. I was a senior in high school, and since this was the pre-hippie era, everyone was gung-ho about Sir Thomas More's duty, integrity, etc. There's no question that Fred Zinnemann crafted a masterpiece on the tiny budget allowed him by Columbia, since all the studios were losing money on talky, period pieces.The acting is incomparable, a perfect ensemble centering around the unflinchingly confident performance of Scofield (he'd done the role hundreds of times on stage). The costumes won an Oscar, and were certainly beautiful, though they were so bulky it looked really difficult for the characters to get close to each other. It won an Oscar for Cinematography, too, though the film really is somewhat of a filmed play (I thought the filming of "Hawaii" and "The Sand Pebbles",also nominated, was more breath-taking). Though these are minor problems, they are soon forgotten when one pays attention to the incredible screenplay of Robert Bolt.Loaded with passion and strong character development, it's also a valid history lesson. Don't watch this if there are any distractions (kids, company, etc.) since its maximum appreciation requires concentration. I'm also wondering why the DVD is substantially higher-priced than most others, since there are absolutely NO extras of any kind. This film is notable also for Vanessa Redgrave's unbilled film debut as Anne Boleyn, on screen for only a few minutes, but an absolutely riveting film moment. Everyone should see ths film, but I'd hesitate to recommend you buy it if only due to the unreasonable price.

    5-0 out of 5 stars "Seasons" offers poignancy, pause
    Paul Scofield's quiet, dignified portrayl of Sir Thomas More is one of the most riveting performances one will ever find.

    With a determined, yet not brash or unseemly stance against Henry VIII (Robert Shaw, in all his young glory), More creates a devastating question for the viewer: how long do our principles remain dear to us. To discomfort? To imprisonment? To death?

    Perhaps one of the most endearing qualities of More's character is that he does not waver. It is a quality that is only universal in the sense that it is respected by all men and possessed by very few.

    In the end, perhaps the only validation More is given is the dignity of his death, his detractors exposed as dishonest, biased men. Is that enough? Certainly More was able to change little of history by the manner of his death. It did not stop the divorce OR the Anglican church. Perhaps the only prize integrity has is itself. Certainly More himself believed a much higher reward awaited him. After watching this movie, regardless of religion, you will find yourself hoping he was right.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Most Interesting of Six Thomases
    This period in English history and then the Elizabethan era which follows have always interested me. You thus can understand my appreciation of Derek Wilson's book In the Lion's Court: Power, Ambition, and Sudden Death in the Reign of Henry VIIII. Wilson focuses his primary attention on six Thomases: Wolsey, More, Cromwell, Howard, Wriothesley, and Cramner. Henry's VIII's relationships with all six serve as the basis of Wilson's narrative. By the way, there really were lions in London at that time ("the King's Beasts") housed in the Tower menagerie and a major tourist attraction. More once compared the king's court to a lion pit "in which the magnificent and deadly king of beasts held sway." Of the six, More interests me the most. His rectitude threatens and infuriates Henry, and eventually results in More's execution. Thus presented, More is a tragic but noble political victim and religious martyr, later canonized by the Roman Catholic Church. He is no less admirable as portrayed by Wilson but, in my opinion, is much more complicated than Bolt and others suggest. For years, More skillfully navigated his way through a court ("a lion pit") characterized by what Wilson refers to as its "seamy realities": "The royal entourage was a vicious, squirming world of competing ambitions and petty feuds, guilty secrets and salacious prudery. Courtiers, vulnerable to threats and bribes, could be induced to perjure themselves, to exaggerate amorous incidents which were innocent in the context of stylised chivalric convention, to indulge personal vendettas....Over all these momentous happenings looms the larger-than-life figure of Henry VIII, powerful and capricious yet always an enigma."

    People still disagree about Robert Bolt's characterization of More in the play and then in the film for which Bolt received an Academy Award for best adapted screenplay. I agree with others who insist that More was less noble than Bolt suggests. No one, however, disputes the fact that More courageously accepted decapitation rather than compromise his religious faith. Cynics suggest that More was already a dead man...and knew it. He had an estate to protect and family obligations to accommodate. I am unqualified to speculate or even comment further on More's motives even as I marvel at his survival skills when drawn into "the lion's court."

    Paul Scofield received and deserved his Academy Award for best actor in a leading role. The film and director Fred Zimmermann also received Academy Awards. The cast is exceptionally talented, especially Nigel Davenport (Duke of Norfolk), Wendy Hiller (Alice Cromwell), John Hurt (Richard Rich), Leo McKern (Thomas Cromwell), Vanessa Redgrave (Ann Boleyn), Robert Shaw (Henry VIII), Orson Welles (Cardinal Wolsey), and Susannah York (Margaret More). Unlike many stage productions later filmed, this one derives substantial benefit from Ted Moore's cinematography, especially the exteriors shot throughout and beyond royal residences. Moore also received an Academy Award for his work.

    Those with an especially keen interest may wish to examine The Last Letters of Thomas More as well as several solid biographies of him by Peter Ackroyd, J.A. Guy, Richard Marius, and Gerard B. Wegemer.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A film for all viewers
    Without a doubt, this is one of my top ten films of all time, mainly because there is so much that can be drawn from.

    Zinnemann's adaptaion of the Robert Boltman play was done on a low budget, and whilst it takes artistic license slightly further, the film remains a historical masterpiece. Paul Schofield as More is magnificent, combining a stoical adherence to truth on the one hand, with a dry wit on the other, and this is an accuracy of depiction that could not have been drawn from the words of the script. Robert Shaw as Henry is also fantastic, showing the viewer both the very personal side of the monarch, when he is disappointed at More's non-attendence at the wedding to Anne Boleyn; and the aggression of a lion as he shouts (in full hearing of all party guests) - "I ask you, do they take me for a simpleton?" The swift change from an amiable friend to a dominating absolute monarch is brilliantly played by Shaw, and though it is a marked contrast to the plain More, the performances are equally great.

    In October 2000, John Paul II made Thomas More the Patron of politicians (he was already the unofficial patron of Catholic lawyers in the UK). Both positions indicate what a great man he was. A scholar of great learning, a man of letters, a liberal in an autocratic age. His character was perhaps best displayed as his end, in his words to the executioner - "Pluck up thy spirits, man, and be not afraid to do thine office; my neck is very short; take heed therefore thou strike not awry, for saving of thine honesty." The combination of humor and greatness, even in the face of death, povide a role model for all.

    If you enjoy the film, read the play and 'The Life of Sir Thomas More' by William Roper, his nephew. Although it bears relation to a specific incident, this popular poem of the time is a fitting epitaph for this great man -
    When More some time had Chancellor been
    No more suits did remain.
    The like will never more be seen,
    Till More be there again. ... Read more


    18. Tea With Mussolini
    Director: Franco Zeffirelli
    list price: $14.95
    our price: $11.96
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    Asin: 630560097X
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 2465
    Average Customer Review: 4.23 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    In filming this semi-autobiographical account of life in Italy duringthe dawn of World War II, director Franco Zeffirelli imbues Tea with Mussolini with the mixed blessings of fond reminiscence. It's a warmly inviting film, as impeccable as any Merchant-Ivory production, but like a hazy memory it's uncertain in its narrative intentions. And yet with an exceptional cast to compensate, the film's as engaging as it is inconsequential.

    Zeffirelli's alter ego is Luca (Charlie Lucas in youth; Baird Wallace as a teenager), who is raised in Florence by Mary (Joan Plowright), the middle-aged secretary of his absentee father. Luca lives among a loose band of British and American women, nicknamed "Il Scorpioni" for their stinging wit in the shadows of Mussolini's thuggish dictatorship. Along with Mary there's Hester (Maggie Smith), a crusty ambassador's widow; Arabella (Judi Dench), a lively bohemian; lesbian archaeologist Georgie (Lily Tomlin); and Elsa (Cher), a flamboyant American who quietly finances Luca's education.

    Il Scorpioni witness the rise of fascism and the dangers of resistance, weathering dictatorial custody and (in Elsa's case) falling prey to heartbreaking betrayal. But Tea with Mussolini carries little dramatic weight; you have to forgive its unfocused structure to appreciate its merits. Zeffirelli gently conveys the passage from pleasantry to wartime, and he's drawn uniformly fine performances from this seasoned cast. If the film is vaguely unsatisfying, it's only because it had the makings of greatness and settles instead for an ethereal quality of anecdotal enchantment. --Jeff Shannon ... Read more

    Reviews (47)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Rich, beautiful, layered, and delicious
    With Judi Dench, Joan Plowright, Cher, and Maggie Smith, how could this movie be anything but wonderful? Set in Italy in the 30s and 40s, Mussolini's era, with WWII as a backdrop, it's the semi-autobiographical story of director Franco Zeffirelli's childhood. Beautiful scenery and costuming, beautiful sets, it's in many places a mood piece more than a deep examination of the issues involved. It spite of its occasional superficiality, a very wonderful film with stellar acting.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent and worth buying!
    One of the best films to ever grace my screen. The film was quite spectacular and really helped to understand the history of WWII more as an outsider caught up in the policies of war. I really felt as though I was there and found myself becoming "friends" with each and every one of the characters. Definately calls for a trip to Florence now! Baird Wallace has a wonderful career ahead of him. Cher was-as usual- great! Judi Dench's character was lovable and emotional. Joan Plowright was truly a gem among stones. She's brilliant! Don't bother to rent this movie. buy it for you, your family and your grandkids. You won't be disappointed!

    5-0 out of 5 stars This Is The Best Tea I've Ever Had!
    Tea with Mussolini is an excellent movie. I have to agree with most everyone else's comments. My personal favorite is Hester. Played brilliantly by Maggie Smith, she is a pivitol character with a comically blind faith in Mussolini. I would (and do) recommend this movie in a heartbeat.

    4-0 out of 5 stars A Great Cast!
    Set in Florence and covering roughly 10 years from the brink of World War II to the liberation of "Il Scorpioni", Zeffirelli's film boasts a great cast: from the group of English women who love all things Italian-- Maggie Smith as Lady Hester, Judi Dench as Arabella, Joan Plowright as Mary to Lily Tomlin as Georgie, Cher as Elsa, and last but certainly not least, Baird Wallace as the older Luca based loosely on the director, himself. The group of English women will not leave Florece even in the face of an impeding war; Lady Hester, in her naivete assumes that tea with Mussolini will guarantee her and her friends' safety.

    The film is a little predictable and somewhat rosy. On the other hand, If Luca is based on Zeffirelli, he obviously lived to tell his tale so perhaps this rosiness is justified. Cher seems to play Cher and isn't terribly convincing as a rich Jewish American; and her wardrobe is gaudy enough to belong to her. On the other hand, the three British actresses are great, particularly Maggie Smith who cannot abide Americans. My favorite line of hers is that Americans [referring to Elsa] can even "vulgarize" ice cream.

    Of course it's impossible to make an ugly movie that's filmed in Florence; this one is no exception. (It's probably impossible for this director to make a less than beautiful movie.) While this may not be Mr. Zeffirelli's best film, it's much better than the best efforts of a lot of his contemporaries.

    4-0 out of 5 stars An Engaging Movie Worth Your Time
    With the many talented actresses in this film, you might have expected to have heard more about it. While the editing is questionable, this is still a wonderfully acted, engaging little film. Although, it does drag a few times, the story is worth knowing and the performances are top notch.Particularly Cher, who lights up the screen as Elsa. Especially, near the film's end as Elsa boards a small boat to escape with the assistance of the charming character Luka. Simply breath taking!

    Grab your favorite beverage and check this film out! ... Read more


    19. Highlander The Series - Season 6
    Director: Jorge Montesi, Yves Lafaye, Mario Azzopardi, Jerry Ciccoritti, George Mendeluk, Adrian Paul, Ray Austin, Charles Wilkinson, Paul Ziller, Dennis Berry, Clay Borris, Gérard Hameline, Daniel Vigne, Paolo Barzman, Neill Fearnley, René Manzor, Bruno Gantillon, Duane Clark, Robin Davis, Richard Martin
    list price: $89.98
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    Asin: B00020HCBI
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    20. Cast Away
    Director: Robert Zemeckis
    list price: $24.98
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    Asin: B00003CXRP
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 11406
    Average Customer Review: 3.77 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (503)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Man Out Of Time
    It's hard to think of a movie in which the hero ponders a metaphorical crossroads in his life while standing at a literal crossroads. Insipid or inspired? The problem with Robert Zemeckis's visually and viscerally eye-punching Robinson Crusoe ins that you can't say for sure. Could the movie really be as thematically trite as an insprirational office poster? Or is it an admirably stripped- down examination of the ancestral essence of being human?
    Chuck Noland (Tom Hanks) doesn't worry about such big questions. He's airlifted into Moscow and other emerging capital hot-spots when local operations are absolutely, positivly running from that tireless hunter: time. (It's alerrgorical! Get it?) Summoned on Christmas to make an emergency run, Chuck leaves his fiencee Kelly (Helen Hunt) with the promise that he'll return New Year's Eve. Cue from a "Perfect Storm": Chuck and the FedEx jet crew lose radio contact and crash into the Pacific Ocean in a truly harrowing, you-are-there disaster sequence. This is no film for the squeamish, particularly after Chuck and a few FedEx packages wash up on an unnamed, utterly uninhabited island (Fiji's Monukiri and Mana, actually).
    Almost everything, from what Chuck's forced to eat to his horror at consequences of a desert-island toothache, is accompanied by all the blood and guts left over from SAVING PRIVATE RYAN.
    Add in Chuck's deteriorating hold on sanity---evinced by the inspired conceit of his relationship with a volleyball on which he has drawn a face---and you have a long middle section of bravura filmaking.
    But once Chuck get home, the film turns anticlimatic and emotionally nil, and there's a startling lack of chemistry between Hanks and an unimpressive Hunt.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Cast Away
    Cast Away
    The first thought I had after seeing this film was whether or not I fully understood all of what I had seen. Posing this question will undoubtedly offer no easy answers, which for a film like Cast Away is probably a good thing. Cast Away begins with Fed Ex Executive Chuck Nolan (Tom Hanks in another stellar performance) explaining to his employee's that quote "We live by the clock". It's Christmas Eve and Chuck is enjoying a good meal with family and friends when his beeper rings and he finds himself forced to go out on a quick job. He tells his beautiful girlfriend Kelly (Helen Hunt) that he will be home in time for new years celebrations. He promises. However a tragic plane crash into the ocean (which is very thrilling and realistic) changes all that. Now Chuck will no longer be living by the clock because he's now got all the time in the world. A trailer that gives away the entire movie ruined cast Away for many people. A spokes man for 20th Century Fox Entertainment said that Cast Away is movie about a man lost at sea and how he deals with coming home to world of change. Frankly I do not see it that way. I am a firm believer that people want to be surprised when they go to the movies. The only other quibble I have about the movie is the ending from which I think we the viewers are left with too many questions. Besides those problems I walked out of the theatre feeling really satisfied with what I had seen. The acting is top flight. The cinematography is excellent and the score is also a plus. One thing to mention to people is that there isn't allot of dialogue in the movie which may turn some people off. However, those people not too fussy may find this film truly riveting. For me it was a breathtaking experience. Review: **** out of five

    5-0 out of 5 stars unwooden Hollywood
    Greeting comrads. Whats all can be said. read Yugijouohs' stunning review here in this Amazon customer review section, and you can believe me, he be harsher than I would have been if i talk , but that's repeating, he has said all there is to say! But I'll toss my 2 lira - Helen Hunt is the cats pajamas for ME personally--as opposed to me impersonally haha eddu make funny--and if had known she was not going to appear in Cast Away, I would not have even gone to see it.As mia santa momma said , flattery is no pizza,...but I will smash that rule here. WHENEVER Ms. Hunt is on picture, the movie is EYECATCHING! Again, see Yugijouohs review for more "depth" , I only write to urge you, the last TWENTY minutes of this movie recall the label on minestrone soup cans when i was a boy- Mm Mm GOOD! Probably the best use of digital storage in this crazy filmmaking world. Happily, this is my first positive review on Amazon, and this kind of filmmaking must "be a shining city on the hill" like Ronald Reagan speech! I say, Stay away from bad foreign film, go see Hollywood..(you may learn english)! To say 1 negative thing, the scenery shots ARE boring & Hanks seems a very disengenous man. To believe this movie was hardly "test screened", I love that this type of movie ending is not what world "wants"(?) At most you cant turn your DVD off when Mr Hanks is rescued,the movie would get malto bazillioniano stars I give in the review. This is my best advice.

    5-0 out of 5 stars I shared the same experience as Chuck Noland did...
    This movie is very touching, and it's been hard for me to watch it again. Why you ask, because I use to date a girl back in 1996 when she lived here in Fitzgerald, GA. Her name is Kelly aswell. We dated briefly, but that all ending when her dad had to move to Houston, TX because of his job being transfered from the railcart co. here in Fitzgerld, GA, to Houston, TX. Me and her lost contact with each other until 2002, when I was able to find where she was and to finally get in touch with her again. She came back to Fitzgerald and We hugged each other for a long while. She stayed for a day or so here in town with another family member of her's, then they left to go back to Houston, TX. Sadly she started dating someone there in January of 2003. She told me that she did not think she could take having a long distance relationship, which that does make since. She did however came back later that year, but it was different. She saw it as a Friendly visit instead. But we still email each other everynow and then.

    I know you could care less about my experience compared to this movie, but anyway Tom Hanks again brings in a great performance in "CastAway", just like he did in "Saving Private Ryan". The only thing I dislike about this movie is that he sounds like he is apologizes for not coming back to Kelly(Helen Hunt). It's not his fault the plane went down and he got stranded on an island, and Kelly(Helen Hunt) should have held out longer to see if he would indid be found. Which he is found and returns to Texas, and to his job as a Fed-Ex worker. But Kelly(Helen Hunt) is now remarried and has a daughter. But the movie does end on a positive note.

    I recommend this movie to anyone wanting to see an adventure type movie, after you watch this movie it will make you look at life a different way and to stay close to the love ones you so dearly treasure.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Tom Tanks
    Castaway was gravely lacking whether it was a true story or not. I hope it was true because that would at least validate the reason why somebody would put an anti-climactic and obvious-to-the-point-of-silliness story like that on a screen. The only enjoyable parts were where he lost something: Wilson the volleyball and his only companion of four years; blood, in the ocean accident where he tries to row a deflated lifesaver tube towards a light in the distance and breaks his leg open on the coral; his flashlight burning out; his soul-mate re-marrying and starting a new family; etc. It was enjoyable because I wanted him to suffer further. I think sympathetic feelings should only be lent to greatness, like Stalin or the Hindenburg exploding into flames, not to some shlub lost at sea who survives against great odds and endures to what? Saving his life only to give into the convention of letting things be as they are? Of course if there is resistance one shouldn't push and pull, but it seemed the only thing holding him back were the qualms and strictions of leaving well enough alone. Too bad this didn't register in his brain on that island and save the two hours and twenty plus minutes of film. Although there were some amusing parts there was never really any suspense as the viewer knows without any advance warning that he would survive his ordeal no matter the severity or peril he faced. Two stars begrudginly because it was 50 times better than Wendigo and I like to be consistent. ... Read more


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