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    1. The Phantom of the Opera (2-Disc
    $20.96 $19.42 list($29.95)
    2. Team America - World Police (Uncensored
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    3. National Treasure (Widescreen
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    4. The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou
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    20. Pride and Prejudice (Special Edition)

    1. The Phantom of the Opera (2-Disc Special Edition)
    Director: Joel Schumacher
    list price: $29.95
    our price: $20.97
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0007TKNL0
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 10
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Amazon.com

    Although it's not as bold as Oscar darling Chicago, The Phantom of the Opera continues the resuscitation of the movie musical with a faithful adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber's blockbuster stage musical. Emmy Rossum glows in a breakout role as opera ingénue Christine Daae, and if phantom Gerard Butler isn't Rossum's match vocally, he does convey menace and sensuality in such numbers as "The Music of the Night." The most experienced musical theater veteran in the cast, romantic lead Patrick Wilson, sings sweetly but seems wooden. The biggest name in the cast, Minnie Driver, hams it up as diva Carlotta, and she's the only principal whose voice was dubbed (though she does sing the closing-credit number, "Learn to Be Lonely," which is also the only new song).

    Director Joel Schumacher, no stranger to visual spectacle, seems to have found a good match in Lloyd Webber's larger-than-life vision of Gaston LeRoux's Gothic horror-romance. His weakness is cuing too many audience-reaction shots and showing too much of the lurking Phantom, but when he calms down and lets Rossum sings "Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again" alone in a silent graveyard, it's exquisite.

    Read our CD buying guide
    Those who consider the stage musical shallow and overblown probably won't have their minds changed by the movie, and devotees will forever rue that the movie took the better part of two decades to develop, which prevented the casting of original principals Michael Crawford and Sarah Brightman. Still, The Phantom of the Opera is a welcome exception to the long line of ill-conceived Broadway-to-movie travesties.

    DVD Features
    The two-disc edition of The Phantom of the Opera has two major extras. "Behind the Mask: The Story of The Phantom of the Opera" is an hourlong documentary tracing the genesis of the stage show, with interviews by composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, director Harold Prince, producer Cameron Macintosh, lyricists Richard Stilgoe and Charles Hart, choreographer Gillian Lynne, and others. Conspicuously absent are stars Sarah Brightman and Michael Crawford. Both do appear in video clips, including Brightman performing with Colm Wilkinson at an early workshop, and Crawford is the subject of a casting segment. Other brief scenes from the show are represented by a 2001 production. The other major feature is the 45-minute making-of focusing on the movie, including casting and the selection of director Joel Schumacher. Both are well-done productions by Lloyd Webber's Really Useful Group.

    The deleted scene is a new song written by Lloyd Webber and Charles Hart, "No One Would Listen," sung by the Phantom toward the end of the movie. It's a beautiful song that, along with Madame Giry's story, makes him a more sympathetic character. But because that bit of backstory already slowed down the ending, it was probably a good move to cut the song. --David Horiuchi

    More on The Phantom of the Opera


    The Phantom of the Opera (Special Extended Edition Soundtrack) (CD)

    The Phantom of the Opera (2004 Movie Soundtrack) (CD)

    The Phantom of the Opera (Original 1986 London Cast) (CD)

    Evita (DVD)

    Andrew Lloyd Weber: The Royal Albert Hall Celebration (DVD)

    Visit the Andrew Lloyd Webber Store
    ... Read more

    Reviews (659)

    5-0 out of 5 stars RJ from Blacksburg, VA
    Excellent!!The movie is much better than the Broadway production - better character development, better acting, better singing.Madame Giry is a much more intriguing character in the film.Christine's attraction to the Phantom is more understandable and believable. Plus, we get to see the Phantom's past and why he is the way he is.

    In response to the comment about the sword fight:The Phantom would know very little about fencing because he's lived alone beneath an opera house all his life.You must practice fencing to become good at it.

    All of my family members (ages from 10 to 47) highly recommend the film version of The Phantom of the Opera.(good music, comedy, suspense, romance, lavish costumes and sets)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Beautiful film, great transfer to DVD
    I am not going into a long detailed explination of the script, acting, or performances, they are all what the producers wanted, and it all works very well, the film is gorgeous to look at, and the transfer to DVD is the best I have seen so far, it even surpasses the Lord of he Rings trilogy, and that is saying something, the effect is so good it's three dimentional (an almost impossible task when viewed on a 73" screen), my one gripe, and it's a big one, is intelligibility. or rather the lack of it, there was a time when film studios and record companies went to great lengths to make sure every word could be understood, in recent years this is a rarity, this film has far to much of the massed voices recorded so that way to much of it can't be understood, considering the quality of todays recording equipment, I find this to be a disapointment, if not downright disgraceful, but at least there is an english subtitle track, which of course most likely means they know it's the only way to be sure that all the dialog is understood, complaints based upon seeing the stage production just don't fly with me, what works on stage rarely if ever work on film, if it did, Producers could save millions and just film the stage production, view stage productions filmed for PBS, of the many I have seen the only two that have been successful at it are The Merry Widow, and Oklahoma

    4-0 out of 5 stars Film rivals book!
    *gasp*

    Dare I say it?

    Yes, Webber's production is much better than Leroux's novel.

    Will everyone agree with what seems to be my very deluded opinion?Of course not!

    Perhaps I think like this because while reading Leroux's novel, I couldn't imagine a horrifying, stenchy Erik aka phantom...
    forgive me but I just couldn't.I tried, and I shed a couple of tears when Daae ripped off his mask and he taunted her with his ugliness, but that's because I felt sorry for him.

    The kidnapping part in the film ROCKED! it had so much action and suspense! while in the book the lights simply go out...*yawn* The chandelier falls in the movie! it also does in the book but while Carlotta is belting out her toad voice.

    He horrifies Daae in the book, while in the film he seduces her.Both make sense, and I really can't argue on behalf.

    The ring Daae wears as a gift from the phantom should have been included in the film.This makes Erik less of a lunatic.
    He actually gave her permission to leave him so long as she didn't take the ring off or lose it.

    The sword fighting scene was awesome! it totally makes sense how the phantom would lose to the viscount Raoul de Chagny.
    This guy was trained to swordfight, while the phantom's department is music.Yeah it probably makes him look like a sore loser but it makes sense...he loses christine what's losing to a swordfight right?

    Now for what I thought about the casting.

    Emmy Rossum did a very sweet and innocent Christine. She has a very sweet voice!no complaints except for 2 major details.
    1)While Rossums voice could charm a bird out of its nest, it's hard to believe that with such a voice you're expected to believe this girl to be visited by the so-called angel of music who gives her free voice lessons.Don't get me wrong, Rossum has an exquisite voice, but to say that it sounds inhuman is impossible.
    There are MANY women out there who are privileged to posess inhuman pipes.I expected something ethereal, haunting, beautiful, jawdropping, INHUMAN, as the book mentions.
    2) Perhaps it's because she was only 16 when she filmed the movie, or perhaps she does need to improve on her acting.
    I didn't believe for a second that she was hypnotized at the sound of Erik's voice (but then again, who would be listening to Gerard sing right?) I really wasn't convinced that she was Christine Daae, I merely saw her as Emmy Rossum.I think she did good, but I expected for the second star of the movie to be more believable, real.

    Patrick Wilson may have the voice, but the guy needs to relax those shoulders and ACT.You'd think he'd know since he's done broadway but then again stage isn't the same as camera.
    I forgive him.

    *sings* As for our star Mr. Gerard Butler...lol
    Let's just say that in my opinion, he BECAME the phantom.
    He became Erik.I would've never guessed it!
    While his singing leaves much to desire, his acting is among the best around!I was impressed! He delivers presence, emotion, mystery, charisma, sensuality, menacy...
    The man is spell-binding in this film.He manages to seduce both Daae and most of the female audience! At the same time, he manages to inspire compassion and a tear here and there.
    He's very real!

    Webber failed to clue us in on the name! so what's the phantom of the opera's name? As if murdering cold bloodedly and having a disfigured complexion weren't enough to subtract from his humanity.Now he's nameless? he's not an IT you know.

    Regardless, it's a very dark and seductive film.
    I recommend it any day at any time.Now if you're like my buds who've turned it down for seeming too lovey dovey, weird, or just because it's a musical...you're missing out BIG TIME!


    5-0 out of 5 stars Beautiful and sad!!
    Anyone who doesn't like this movie probably doesn't like much of anything.It is visually beautiful and full of emotion.I have the soundtrack of the original play with Michael Crawford and Sarah Brightman; I also saw the play on Broadway with other actors.Frankly, I think the movie is better.Emmy Rossum sings like the innocent she is portraying and her voice is clear and sweet.Patrick Wilson has a nice tenor and is believable as her young suitor, ready to conquer the world for her. (Loved the hair!!)However, it is Gerald Butler who steals the show; he should be called the "Man of a thousand faces" and looks different in every movie I've seen him in.He freely admitted in an interview that he's not a singer; in fact, he had to take a crash course in vocalizing to sing the part.Given that bit of information, I think he did a fine job and his acting is superb. The only complaint is that it must have been hard to make him look bad, given his Scottish good looks. I was rooting for the Phantom for most of the movie, and I wouldn't mind if he wanted to lock me up in his dungeon. He is extremely seductive in the part, and I can't think of anyone in Hollywood who could have done a better job. With his mask, the Phantom is powerful, commanding, fearsome and magical.Without it, he is like most of the rest of us in the world--weak, vulnerable, and emotionally fragile.Minnie Driver was a bit of comic relief, as were the 2 owners of the opera, who made a fortune in "scrap metal" (junk). So far, I have watched the DVD 5 times since I got it, and I reach for the tissues at the end every time.I loved this movie!!!

    5-0 out of 5 stars LOVED IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1
    Yes, I know the last exclamation mark is a 1

    This film has taken its place among my top 3 favorite movies, the first 2 being The Lord of the Rings trilogy and the first Pirates of the Carribean movie (they're making a sequel).

    First, let's talk about the music. The music is brought to the grand scale that Andrew Lloyd Webber had always dreamed of, now that it is being played by a full orchestra and not a pit band.

    The production design is extraordinary. I was rooting for the art department to win the Oscar for Best Art Direction. The grand scale of the stage show has been elevated to new heights.

    The treatment of the show itself is excellent. I loved the added touches of backstory and action and mystery. I personally preferred the sword fight in the cemetary because it works better on film than what actually happens on stage (the Phantom throws fireballs.) I also love how Schumacher gave the characters of Madame Giry and Joseph Buquet so much more to do than in the stage version. Frankly, they're just throwaway characters in the stage version but in the movie, we realize what Buquet is all about and we get to see that Madame Giry had a more vital role to play in the Phantom's life.

    Now for the cast:

    Emmy Rossum has the voice of an angel and is perfect for the part. She's the right age and has a young, crystalline voice.

    Gerard Butler as the Phantom. I don't agree that his singing voice is the best in the world. I know he's not really a trained singer but they could have trained him just a tad harder. Then again, Schumacher did not want a pretty voice for the Phantom. So, I forgive him. To tell the truth, his voice isn't that bad.

    Patrick Wilson has vocal chords made of gold, which is only right since he has done Broadway. He is perfect as the dashing, romantic, swashbuckling, and somewhat wimpy Raoul.

    Minnie Driver is hysterical as La Carlotta (I 'ATE MY 'AT!!!!)It's a pity that she's not really an opera singer.

    Miranda Richardson has an ok singing voice. She also puts on a convincing French accent. I've noticed that Madame Giry is normally the only member of the cast who has to do a French accent. She's less of a throwaway in the movie than in the stage version and more of a driving force. We see that she truly cares about Meg and Christine. So when the new managers are checking the two out, she's like, "Don't even think about it!"

    Simon Callow and Ciaran Hinds (pronounced KEE-ran HINDS; long I) are hysterical as the two managers (this never happened in the junk business; scrap metal!)I feel that Simon Callow's singing voice rivals Ciaran Hinds by far.

    Jennifer Ellison is a little delight as Meg Giry. And she's the first Meg I've ever heard who can sing. She's so petite and adorable that I thought Kristen Chenoweth was playing the part!

    Victor McGuire as Piangi is wonderfully hammy and henpecked. He has a wonderfully exaggerated tenor which gets crappy in all the right places. (Sad to return to find the la-a-a-and we love).

    I still don't understand why that midget was there all the time.

    Kevin McNally as Buquet. Well, he's better than the stage Buquet, who was a total throwaway character. At least he has more to do (like trying to catch the Ballet Girls getting dressed)

    The makeup on the Phantom was somewhat of a let down. It looked more like he had an encounter with acid as a young child. Then again, in the movie, it's never established that he was deformed from birth, so that may be what happened.

    The guy who played Monsuier Reyer was also funny (UNDERSTUDY!? There is no understudy for La Carlotta!)

    Just for the record, the horse in the title song is a homage to the original novel. The Phantom takes Christine to his lair on a horse.

    And now the special features:

    The featurette on the history of the musical was really cool. I especially liked the film clips of the Sydmonton production, the current production in England and clips from the music videos (the British DVD has the full, unedited music videos. Lucky dogs! Oh, well, they've had this show and Andrew Lloyd Webber longer.)

    The deleted song, No One Would Listen, is lovely even if it is really the first draft of Learn to Be Lonely.

    It's an awesome film and if the upcoming movie versions of Rent, The Producers, and Dreamgirls once again kill the movie musical which has barely been resurrected by Chicago and Moulin Rouge, this will be a reminder that this generation had its share of movie musicals. What can I say? I'm a sucker for movie musicals. I even liked Man of La Mancha. ... Read more


    2. Team America - World Police (Uncensored and Unrated Special Collector's Edition)
    Director: Trey Parker
    list price: $29.95
    our price: $20.96
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0007Y08IS
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 11
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Amazon.com

    An elite U.S. counter-terrorism squad loses a member while decimating half of Paris in the reckless pursuit of Middle Eastern maniacs; a Broadway actor with a traumatic childhood secret is naturally hired to replace him. Oh--and they're all marionettes. South Park maestros Trey Parker and Matt Stone (along with co-writer Pam Brady) came up with this shameless satire of pea-brained Hollywood action flicks and even smaller-minded global politics, so don't expect subtlety or even a hint of good taste. Team America is soon on the trail of North Korea's evil Kim Jong Il, who treats us to a tender song about his loneliness before ensnaring Alec Baldwin and the rest of the oblivious Film Actors Guild (F.A.G. for short) in a plot to blow up every major city on the planet. Just as the mindless squad cheerfully demolishes everything in sight, so do director Parker and company. Throwing punches Left, Right, and in-between, the movie's politics leave no turn un-stoned; there's even time to bludgeon the musical Rent. It's offensive, irresponsible comic anarchy seemingly made by sniggering little boys. Painfully funny sniggering little boys.--Steve Wiecking ... Read more

    Reviews (249)

    4-0 out of 5 stars "Team America"....f*ck yes.
    Alot of people will dig this movie. It's accessable to mainstream audiences whether or not they get beyond the surface humor that might have linked "Team America" back to "Basketball", but it's also damn smart on so many different levels. There's the obvious connotations of the marionettes, but they've done so much more than strip bare the Hollywood blockbusters that too many people can watch with a straight face while the rest of us stand outside the theater gagging; they've displayed the cheesiness that seeped out of michael bay movies into the modern American mentallity. During no other 20th century war has cliche fiction had so many striking similarities to our hero-enemy soap opera ideas of what liberty is. But is the patriotism of the right really reminiscent of the hot blooded Reagan-era action flicks this film spoofs? Is the media role-playing of the left the result of Hollywood refusing to leave childish namecalling and immature ideology to elementary school playgrounds? Well, it's never seemed so familiar and never felt so much like there's been a mudslinging contest with the tactics and wit of a simple puppet show going on right under our noses.

    2-0 out of 5 stars "From the Guys who brought you SouthPark"...
    That says it all right there, if you are unfamiliar with the now infamous landmark of the Comedy Central channel on cable, 'Southpark' are basically poorly drawn children characters that curse and make bodily function jokes at each other all day. The aim of it's creators is to basically smash every barrier of good taste and offend every group in society that they can, but where do you go from there? Team America functions along the same lines. The puppets in here are amazingly filmed, and I would recommend you see the way they look on screen. However, only see this film if you are a liberal and have a healthy sense of humor. There are a lot of infantile jokes, gross out humor and some very, very offensive material, often in poor taste. There's plenty of harsh language and this film is definitely not for children. I don't offend easily, but I even turned away during the puppet making love scene, in which they mimic all sexual positions and then go too far I feel, in showing the puppets deficate and urinate on each other. The premise of the film is obviously poking fun at Bush and the war on terror and a thinly veiled way of saying that we often poke our nose in other countries affairs. No one is left unoffended in this film. I would mainly say that if you like that Southpark
    type of humor, this is your film. If that type of humor offends you, stay far away from this film.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Disgusting!
    I thought this movie was going to be very funny, but I should have known better, being created by the people of south park. This was one of the worst things I have ever seen. The movie was filthy, the language grotesque, extremely perverse and total garbage!
    The creators, producers and anyone involved in this movie should be extremely ashamed of themselves.
    This movie should have been rated X or XXX.
    If this is your version of what America should be then i feel terribly sorry for you.
    Even if this IS your type of movie, it wasn't even funny.
    Don't subject yourself to watching this blight on humanity.
    0 starts!

    4-0 out of 5 stars I have not laughed as hard all year as I did at the scene...
    ...involving all the vomit. The sex scene got all the attention from critics and pundits but for my money, the extended regurgitation scene took the prize.I realize some people probably found it disgusting but they were probably watching the wrong movie.

    And maybe I'm just jaded but I actually didn't think it was as raunchy as it's rep proclaimed.There's actually kind of a sweet undercurrent to the whole thing, despite the fact that it's basically making fun of the left, right and everyone in between.

    Another highlight: Kim Jong Il's musical number.In fact, all the songs were dead-on parodies.You really have to pay attention to pop country anthems to nail them the way Parker and Stone did.

    The extra features on the disc are pretty good, too.I never thought watching puppeteers could be so interesting.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Kinda Funny
    3 and a half stars for me, please. There is no real reason for this to be uncensored, but it just did not turn out to be as funny as I hoped. Don't get me wrong...it's still entertaining. This is how things are when you mix terrorism with celebrities and Kim Jong Il with marionettes. That's it. All I can really say is that I'm at a total loss to describe this movie. I can relate most to Kim Jong Il's feelings............


    "MATT DAMON!!" ... Read more


    3. National Treasure (Widescreen Edition)
    Director: Jon Turteltaub
    list price: $29.99
    our price: $19.49
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00005JN5E
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 17
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Amazon.com

    Like a Hardy Boys mystery on steroids, National Treasure offers popcorn thrills and enough boyish charm to overcome its rampant silliness. Although it was roundly criticized as a poor man's rip-off of Raiders of the Lost Ark and The Da Vinci Code, it's entertaining on its own ludicrous terms, and Nicolas Cage proves once again that one actor's infectious enthusiasm can compensate for a multitude of movie sins. The contrived plot involves Cage's present-day quest for the ancient treasure of the Knights Templar, kept secret through the ages by Freemasons past and present. Finding the treasure requires the theft of the Declaration of Independence (there are crucial treasure clues on the back, of course!), so you can add "caper comedy" to this Jerry Bruckheimer production's multi-genre appeal. Nobody will ever accuse director Jon Turtletaub of artistic ambition, but you've got to admit he serves up an enjoyable dose of PG-rated entertainment, full of musty clues, skeletons, deep tunnels, and harmless adventure in the old-school tradition. It's a load of hokum, but it's fun hokum, and that makes all the difference. --Jeff Shannon ... Read more

    Reviews (263)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Entertaining movie!
    Imagine a cross between "Indiana Jones" and "Mission Impossible" and you have some idea of what's in store for you with this movie.Nicholas Cage plays the current generation of a family which long ago was given the secret of the location of the Knight's Templar treasure.Succeeding generations of the family have hunted for the treasure with no success.Cage takes the hunt one step further and discovers that vital clues are on the back of the Declaration of Independence.Unfortunately some of the men who were originally helping him look for the treasure have decided that they want it all to themselves and they plan to get to the Declaration before he does.Throw in a beautiful government agent and an amusing sidekick and you have all of the ingredients for an entertaining evening.Enjoy!

    4-0 out of 5 stars A Fun Movie
    I liked this movie. Lots of adventure, history and it reminds me of the Indiana Jones Trilogy. Some of it is a little formulaic and you might roll your eyes when 200+ year old torches light up like they were made yesterday, but the story is intriguing and gets your attention. If you don't know the story line by now it involves Cage as Benjamin Franklin Gates whose Family has been convinced about a massive treasure older than colonized America, hidden away during the revolutionary years. Through each succeding clue he finally learns that there is a map on the back of the Declarition of Independance, the only drawback is his partner has turned on him and is going to steal it for himself. No on in the government will listen to him, so Gates decides he'll steal it first to protect the document and the treasure. Lots of High-Tech action, spooky Mason intrigue and history, although some of it is a little questionable. All in all, definetely recommended.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Accomplishes An Entertaining Goal
    One of the first things taught at journalism schools is that most "news stories" are to be written at a 6th grade level of education - the editorial page is the place for more erudite discussion.National Treasure is written at a level that would make the "average" person think "hey, that's pretty clever!", keeping in mind that the "average" person might not know that Benjamin Franklin wrote anonymous letters to newspapers while a teenager under the name "Silence Dogood". (He wrote hundreds of OTHER letters under other fictitious names as well and, given the piddling state of education in the U.S. I'd guess that the "average" person doesn't know that Old Ben was also "Poor Richard" or even know what his almanac was all about.) But I digress. Some people love to trash things that they think aren't up to their level, and so "National Treasure" didn't receive stellar reviews from the professional critics. I think it's safe to say the movie wasn't made for professional critics.

    It's an entertaining little adventure and anyone who claims that it has no clever parts must be very clever indeed.Much of the movie is a historical scavenger hunt that the founding fathers have laid out for the person who can decipher the clues - with the treasure of the Templar Knights at the end of the rainbow.One of the first clues is carved into the stem of a meerschaum pipe. The stem of the pipe detaches from the carved bowl, andhas raised etchings.Our hero figures out that these etchings are intended to be used like an ink stamp, so he pricks his finger to use his blood as ink and rolls the pipe stem out to reveal the next clue.I thought that was pretty clever.

    The hero, Benjamin Franklin Gates, is the Grandson of John Adams Gates, and the Gates have been thought of as the mad scientists of American History because every generation has handed down the story of the hidden treasure and spends decades of their life trying to find the treasure, or at least get other historians to take them seriously.The plot takes them to Washington (to steal the Declaration of Independence in a concise little caper that's at least as clever as the one in "After the Sunset", and THAT was SUPPOSED to be a "caper" movie.) Ben has an assistant named Riley who serves two purposes: to add clever little comments like "so who wants to go down the creepy tunnel first?" and to provide someone that Ben can give exposition to: such as who Silence Dogood was.Diane Kruger is the love interest - a Washington Ph.D. who works at the National Archives.She's the pretty face used to represent all the keepers of the Declaration of Independence.Sean Bean is a rival treasure hunter and the movie goes to great lengths to show that Heroic Ben is only after the treasure for it's historical significance while Bean's Ian is only out for the money.Harvey Keitel plays the FBI agent who becomes interested after the Declaration is stolen, but he's little more than a plot marker himself.A couple of times he gets to say "SOMEBODY's going to prison."

    Hmmmm... Will good Ben or Evil Ian be the one going to prison?Will Ben and company find the magnificent treasure? For the answers to those questions check out National Treasure.... but is it too much of a clue if I tell you it's a Disney movie?

    5-0 out of 5 stars Fun for the WHOLE family!
    It is very unusual to find action films in today's society that is appropriate for kids and adults alike. That is just one reason that I was thrilled to see National Treasure. It has the wit and humor one would expect from a Disney film as well as a lot of action and adventure thrills, but steers clear of gratuitous language and violence. If you like "Indiana Jones" or "Pirates of the Carribean", this film is a must see. Be sure to bring your kids, though, because they're sure to love it too!

    5-0 out of 5 stars national treasure
    this is avery good movie, i watched it last night. the things that ben(nicholas cage) does are hard to predict and the story has many twists. i would recomend renting this movie because it is not as goodf the second time around and there after because you now what is going to happen ... Read more


    4. The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou - Criterion Collection (2-Disc Special Edition)
    Director: Wes Anderson
    list price: $32.99
    our price: $23.09
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00005JNLQ
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 22
    Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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    In The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, director Wes Anderson takes his familiar stable of actors on a field trip to a fantasy aquarium, complete with stop-motion, candy-striped crabs and rainbow seahorses.And though Anderson does expand his horizons in terms of retro-special effects and a whimsical use of color, fans will otherwise find themselves in well-charted waters. As The Life Aquatic opens, Zissou (Bill Murray), a self-involved, Jacques Cousteau-like filmmaker, has just released a documentary depicting the death of his best friend Esteban, who was eaten by some sort of sea creature--possibly a jaguar shark. Zissou’s troubles also include his waning popularity with the public, and a nemesis (Jeff Goldblum) who hogs up all the grant money. Hope arrives in the form of Ned Plimpton (Owen Wilson), an amiable Kentuckian who may be Zissou’s son. Despite his lack of enthusiasm for fatherhood, Zissou welcomes Ned--and Ned in turn saves Zissou’s new documentary (in which he seeks revenge on the jaguar shark) in more ways than one.

    One of Wes Anderson’s greatest achievements as a director to date has been launching the autumnal melancholy phase of Bill Murray’s career, starting with Rushmore in 1998, and Murray delivers a similarly comedic yet low-key performance here. Unfortunately, Zissou is one of the few characters in this ensemble to achieve multi-dimensionality. Even co-star Wilson doesn’t get to develop Ned much beyond Noble Southerner, and he ends up seeming more like a prop for illustrating Zissou’s emotional development rather than his own man. The Life Aquatic probably won’t be remembered as a great film, but it is still one that no Anderson (or Murray) fan can afford to miss.--Leah Weathersby
    ... Read more

    Reviews (152)

    1-0 out of 5 stars Stinks
    worst movie of the year. This movie has alot of great actors but the story is lame and the jokes are not funny. In short stay away from this bomb.........

    5-0 out of 5 stars A beautiful, intelligent, and fun film
    I loved this film from start to finish and it only got better the second and third times I watched it.There is a very nice feel to it: mellow, easy and cool, even when the action is on.This feel is perhaps captured best in the remarkably enjoyable Brazilian covers of classic David Bowie songs.

    One thing worth noting about this film, beyond the "quirky" stylings that you expect from Wes Anderson (and that don't always come off, to my mind, as I just couldn't get in to The Royal Tenenbaums much as I wanted), is the way the film plays with and responds to the popularity of the "nature documentary," especially those of Jacques Cousteau.In the nature documentary, we feel as though we are getting "closer" to nature.We believe that we are getting at something real.What we tend to forget or be unaware of, is how much mediation is involved in the presentation of nature.The nature we see on film is never nature "as it is" but nature as it has been framed and captured in accordance with certain expectations of what will sell, what values will play to a wide audience.

    It should also be remembered that this is a Disney film, and Wes Anderson appears tobe very self-conscious of the fact that a large part of Disney's name and popularity was established through Disney wildlife films.Walt Disney himself once remarked that he saw his live action wildlife films to be merely an extension of his animations -- because he knew how much the editor and filmmaker are involved in showing what you want to show.What they did show was not Darwin's "nature red tooth and claw" but a sanitized nature, where danger was always contained, and family values were reinforced by the behaviors of animals: a mother and her pups, for example.

    That, it seems to me, helps explain the fact that Wes Anderson chose not to employ "real" underwater animals but chose stop motion animation as his medium.It reminds us that nature appears on screen always mediated, through a "nature hero" (as Zissou once was) and through a set of decisions about what to include, how to edit it, what to value.

    Anyhow, I could go on and on about what I liked and thought about this film, but I can say that I didn't expect to like this film but found myself surprised feeling very nice (and a bit odd, not sure what to think) about half way through and leaving with a smile and a hint of sadness as I walked the theater.Any film that can do that to someone as jaded as I am has something going for it.

    1-0 out of 5 stars ZZZZZ....Is This A Movie?!
    Holy cow! I tried staying awake long enough to see if this movie would develop a plot, have some intersting special effects, but nothing even remotely resembling a movie ever took place. I barely was able to keep my eyes open. I thought maybe it was an artsy attempt at being clever, but this was absolutely the lamest, low budget, poor plot-movie I had ever seen. Even the usually likeable and clever Bill Murray fell FLAT in this movie. I watched it wih my brother and wife. She only made it through the first 20 minutes. My brother and I are more optomistic and somehow made it through the first 70 min., fast forwaded to the end, and didn't even carre that Owen Wilson's character had died!! If you want a movie that will put you to sleep, this is it!

    4-0 out of 5 stars Call me weird...
    ...but I really enjoyed watching this film. Willem Dafoe carried a manic comic energy throughout that was the perfect foil to Bill Murray's well developed drollery. I thought the take off on the Jacques Cousteau TV specials was spot on and truly humorous. I did not laugh out loud all the way through this film mind you, it is chock full of dull stretches and things that just make you want to scratch your head in puzzlement. I do that all the time with Wes Anderson movies, so I guess this one should be no surprise. I found this film to be clever, smart, profoundly silly, and usually just plain fun. The views of the fanciful sea critters encountered by the crew were very well done and showed a great deal of imagination and wonder at work. The fellow who kept popping up singing David Bowie songs in Portuguese somehow stole my soul and I couldn't get the sounds out of my head. Lovely idea squeezed into a wonderfully odd little film. C'mon, since when does everything have to make sense to be fun?

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou
    This was a pretty funny, ironic, amusing yet realistic story. I think it deals with some interesting existential issues. Giving wrong people too much credit and basing your life on it. Like in real life, it is not always (or ever?) that better people win and suceed. You can base your whole life on wrong assumptions and pay for it dearly...
    I was definitely inspired to re-examie the values I base my life on and instincts I trust. The music is brilliant and many scenes were extremely beautiful. Anjelica Houston is very good. ... Read more


    5. Chappelle's Show - Season 2
    Director: Bob Goldthwait, Bill Berner, Scott Vincent, Neal Brennan, Peter Lauer, Rusty Cundieff, Andre Allen (II)
    list price: $38.99
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    6. The Aviator (2-Disc Widescreen Edition)
    Director: Martin Scorsese
    list price: $29.95
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    Asin: B00080ZG10
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 5
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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    From Hollywood's legendary Cocoanut Grove to the pioneering conquest of the wild blue yonder, Martin Scorsese's The Aviator celebrates old-school filmmaking at its finest. We say "old school" only because Scorsese's love of golden-age Hollywood is evident in his approach to his subject--Howard Hughes in his prime (played by Leonardo DiCaprio in his)--and especially in his technical mastery of the medium reflecting his love for classical filmmaking of the studio era. Even when he's using state-of-the-art digital trickery for the film's exciting flight scenes (including one of the most spectacular crashes ever filmed), Scorsese's meticulous attention to art direction and costume design suggests an impassioned pursuit of craftsmanship from a bygone era; every frame seems to glow with gilded detail. And while DiCaprio bears little physical resemblance to Hughes during the film's 20-year span (late 1920s to late '40s), he efficiently captures the eccentric millionaire's golden-boy essence, and his tragic descent into obsessive-compulsive seclusion. Bolstered by Cate Blanchett's uncannily accurate portrayal of Katharine Hepburn as Hughes' most beloved lover, The Aviator is easily Scorsese's most accessible film, inviting mainstream popularity without compromising Scorsese's artistic reputation. As compelling crowd-pleasers go, it's a class act from start to finish. --Jeff Shannon


    DVD Features
    In his commentary track, director Martin Scorsese offers his own impressions of Howard Hughes and rattles off his memories of experiencing Hughes's films.He mentions how he made Cate Blanchett watch every Katharine Hepburn film from the '30s on the big screen, and observes that Kate Beckinsale had "a real sense of the stature of a Hollywood goddess."But in general he doesn't talk much about the craft of making the film.That area is covered better by editor Thelma Schoonmaker, who also appears on the commentary track, and producer Michael Mann makes a few appearances (all were recorded separately).The picture is brilliant, but the 5.1 sound is not as aggressive in the rear speakers and subwoofer as one might expect, other than some nice surround effects in the Hell's Angels flying sequence.

    The second disc collects almost three hours of features.There's one unnecessary deleted scene, and an 11-minute making-of featurette that's basically the cast and director heaping praise on each other.More interesting are the short featurettes on visual effects (including the XF-11 scene, of course), production design, costumes, hair and makeup, and score, and Loudon Wainwright discusses his and his children's musical performances.Historical perspective is provided by spotlights on Hughes's role in aviation and his obsessive-compulsive disorder, and a 43-minute Hughes documentary from the History Channel (part of the Modern Marvels series, it focuses on his mechanical innovations and spends less than a minute on his movies).More unusual are DiCaprio and Scorsese's appearance on an OCD panel, and a half-hour interview segment DiCaprio did with Alan Alda.--David Horiuchi

    The Personalities ofThe Aviator

    Click the links to explore more movies by these stars.

    Leonardo DiCaprio as Howard Hughes
    "Sometimes I truly fear that I... am losing my mind. And if I did it... it would be like flying blind."
    Cate Blanchett as Katharine Hepburn
    Howard Hughes: "You're the tallest woman I have ever met."
    Katharine Hepburn: "And all sharp elbows and knees. Beware."
    Kate Beckinsale as Ava Gardner
    Howard Hughes: "Does that look clean to you?"
    Ava Gardner: "Nothing's clean, Howard. But we do our best, right?"
    Gwen Stefani as Jean Harlow
    Jean Harlow in Hell's Angels: "Would you be shocked if I put on something more comfortable?"
    Jude Law as Errol Flynn
    Errol Flynn in Captain Blood: "Up the riggings, you monkeys! Break out those sails and watch them fill with the wind that's carrying us all to freedom!"
    Director Martin Scorsese
    "You get a sense of Howard Hughes being Icarus with the wax wings. Those wings were great for a while, but he flies too close to the sun." --Martin Scorsese

    Other Movies by The Aviator's Oscar® Winners

    Production Designer Dante Ferretti
    Film Editor Thelma Schoonmaker
    Costume Designer Sandy Powell
    Cinematographer Robert Richardson
    See all the Oscar® winners atOscar Central

    The Aviator at Amazon.com


    The Aviator soundtrack

    The Screenplay

    Howard Hughes: The Real Aviator


    Howard Hughes movies

    Great movies of the 1930s

    The films of Martin Scorsese

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    Reviews (147)

    3-0 out of 5 stars "Bring in the milk!"
    Let me state a few facts about myself and, in doing so, set up a very sincere question about "The Aviator."

    1) I'm a huge fan of Howard Hughes, an absolute buff on the guy.I've read two biographies of him and have to say he's one of the most interesting historical figures of the past century: His brilliance, his wealth, his flaws, his successes, his peculiarities and the periods in which he lived all combine to create a fascinating figure.

    2) I'm a tremendous fan of Martin Scorsese.He's made some of my favorite movies and I think he's probably one of the top five greatest directors working today.There's just something about the way he photographs images and people that makes even his worst movies worthwhile.

    3) I also think Leonardo DiCaprio is a really good actor, a fact that has been publicly obscurred (but not hampered) by the "Titanic" hype and by some poor choices (or lack of choices, in recent years).

    4) And I think "The Aviator" was probably the best produced movie of 2004.The cast is excellent, the sets and costumes and designs are fabulous, the cinematography is exquisite.

    So, THAT SAID, why didn't I like the movie more?It's an impressive achievement but I seem to appreciate the parts more than the whole.And as good as DiCaprio is, I think he may have been miscast.Only a star of his level could've gotten this kind of budget, but he simply doesn't look right in the part.It's not until after he grows a moustache that he really start to resemble Hughes.Most of the time, Hughes looked like a guy who was quietly trying very hard not to leap out of his skin but DiCaprio seems more intent on burrowing deeply *into* his body.
    He just doesn't have the same kind of intrinsic uncomfortability.

    Still, it's an impossible movie not to recommend.There are long stretches of space but every so often, there's a brilliant explosion.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The opulance and scope. Brought to you by Scorsese.
    This film is entertaining, and much more effective than any one biography of Howard Hughes. The pace of the movie, coupled with the fantastic acting by Leonardo DiCaprio as the livid Howard Hughes, gives an aura of 3hrs much in the way of inspiration. For underachievers this is a shockingly, unbelievable film. You can feel the energy pulse out of the life of Howard. Sharing his passions for aviation. Revealing the breadth of his contributions to air america. The esprit de corp is flavorful, in symbolisms of the fastest jet planes and the hardest hitting reality at zero hour. A much more breaking of the usual norm of film. It is so wonderful to think that movies such as these aren't being overlooked by the latest craze. When will Scorsese win a *(**( academy award for best director!

    2-0 out of 5 stars IT WAS OKAY!
    THE AVIATOR WAS OKAY I REALLY DIDN'T CARE TOO MUCH ABOUT IT IT WAS TOO LONG!

    FROM KIRSTEN

    4-0 out of 5 stars Another Oscar-worthy epic from Martin Scorsese.
    Director Martin Scorsese makes filmmaking look so easy sometimes.With "The Aviator" he once again breaks from the Gangland themes of his more famous films such as "Mean Streets" and "Goodfellas" and journeys off on yet another unexpected road (e.g. "The Age of Innocence," "Kundun," "The Last Temptation of Christ").Yes, he recently directed "Gangs of New York," but he followed that with yet another left turn by doing a biography on the intensely eccentric Howard Hughes, "The Aviator."Leonardo DiCaprio owns his role here of the off-center genius who has frequent and exponential mental breakdowns, leaving all around him wide-eyed and wondering why he keeps repeating himself as if a record in his brain is skipping.This is easily the best work he has done in years.There are two other actors here that match him.One is Cate Blanchett who nails her characature of the late, great Katherine Hepburn and her short-lived romance with Howard Hughes.Her performance is a breath of fresh air amid all the seriousness of the story.The other is a diabolical and utterly slimy turn from veteran actor Alan Alda.It doesn't hurt that he has some of the best lines in the script, but his scenes with Leonardo DiCaprio have some of the best ebb-and-flow, subtelty acting that I've seen in a very long time.The two pros are butting heads and enjoying every minute of it!There are many solid acting performances from a stellar cast of name actors, though it would have been nice to see the character of Ava Gardner, played competently here by Kate Beckinsale, in depth and her more substantial connection to Howard Hughes.But the movie was long enough, anyway.The visual effects and overall production value are excellent, and the scope of the picture is epic and professionally done.This is top-notch filmmaking in every respect, and is easy to recommend.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Hughes Air West
    You have to give credit where credits due. "The Aviator" is a fantastic film.I think it will be more appreciated by film fanatics, it's not what I would call a "popcorn movie".I enjoyed the cinematography more than anything.I have never seen a film using the shades of colours they used.It was enough to wake up the senses.The acting was phenomenal, Leo was fantabulous as were the rest of the cast.Cate Blanchett soared as Katheren Hepburn, in some scenes emulating Ms. Pac Man with those outrageous red lips flapping away."The Aviator" soared with creativity and good quality film making.The score, which evokes a deep yet frantic appeal tells the story of a flawed, troubled soul as it unravels into a quary of intense and manic emotions. Martin Scorsese directs another classic film, although overlooked by the Academy (which seems to have cast a blind eye).R U blind or do u have 20/20 vision, "The Aviator" paints an abstract portrait of someone who had too much and didn't know what to do with it. ... Read more


    7. The Incredibles (Widescreen 2-Disc Collector's Edition)
    Director: Brad Bird
    list price: $29.99
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    Asin: B00005JN4W
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 15
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    After creating the last great traditionally animated film of the 20th century, The Iron Giant, filmmaker Brad Bird joined top-drawer studio Pixar to create this exciting, completely entertaining computer-animated film. Bird gives us a family of "supers," a brood of five with special powers desperately trying to fit in with the 9-to-5 suburban lifestyle. Of course, in a more innocent world, Bob and Helen Parr were superheroes, Mr. Incredible and Elastigirl. But blasted lawsuits and public disapproval forced them and other supers to go incognito, making it even tougher for their school-age kids, the shy Violet and the aptly named Dash. When a stranger named Mirage (voiced by Elizabeth Pena) secretly recruits Bob for a potential mission, the old glory days spin in his head, even if his body is a bit too plump for his old super suit.

    Bird has his cake and eats it, too. He and the Pixar wizards send up superhero and James Bond movies while delivering a thrilling, supercool action movie that rivals Spider-Man 2 for 2004's best onscreen thrills. While it's just as funny as the previous Pixar films, The Incredibles has a far wider-ranging emotional palette (it's Pixar's first PG film). Bird takes several jabs, including some juicy commentary on domestic life ("It's not graduation, he's moving from the fourth to fifth grade!").

    The animated Parrs look and act a bit like the actors portraying them, Craig T. Nelson and Holly Hunter. Samuel L. Jackson and Jason Lee also have a grand old time as, respectively, superhero Frozone and bad guy Syndrome. Nearly stealing the show is Bird himself, voicing the eccentric designer of superhero outfits ("No capes!"), Edna Mode.

    Nominated for four Oscars, The Incredibles won for Best Animated Film and, in an unprecedented win for non-live-action films, Sound Editing.

    The Presentation
    This two-disc set is (shall we say it?), incredible. The digital-to-digital transfer pops off the screen and the 5.1 Dolby sound will knock the socks off most systems. But like any superhero, it has an Achilles heel. This marks the first Pixar release that doesn't include both the widescreen and full-screen versions in the same DVD set, which was a great bargaining chip for those cinephiles who still want a full-frame presentation for other family members. With a 2.39:1 widescreen ratio (that's big black bars, folks, à la Dr. Zhivago), a few more viewers may decide to go with the full-frame presentation. Fortunately, Pixar reformats their full-frame presentation so the action remains in frame.

    The Extras
    The most-repeated segments will be the two animated shorts. Newly created for this DVD is the hilarious "Jack-Jack Attack," filling the gap in the film during which the Parr baby is left with the talkative babysitter, Kari. "Boundin'," which played in front of the film theatrically, was created by Pixar character designer Bud Luckey. This easygoing take on a dancing sheep gets better with multiple viewings (be sure to watch the featurette on the short).

    Brad Bird still sounds like a bit of an outsider in his commentary track, recorded before the movie opened. Pixar captain John Lasseter brought him in to shake things up, to make sure the wildly successful studio would not get complacent. And while Bird is certainly likable, he does not exude Lasseter's teddy-bear persona. As one animator states, "He's like strong coffee; I happen to like strong coffee." Besides a resilient stance to be the best, Bird threw in an amazing number of challenges, most of which go unnoticed unless you delve into the 70 minutes of making-of features plus two commentary tracks (Bird with producer John Walker, the other from a dozen animators). We hear about the numerous sets, why you go to "the Spaniards" if you're dealing with animation physics, costume problems (there's a reason why previous Pixar films dealt with single- or uncostumed characters), and horror stories about all that animated hair. Bird's commentary throws out too many names of the animators even after he warns himself not to do so, but it's a lively enough time. The animator commentary is of greatest interest to those interested in the occupation.

    There is a 30-minute segment on deleted scenes with temporary vocals and crude drawings, including a new opening (thankfully dropped). The "secret files" contain a "lost" animated short from the superheroes' glory days. This fake cartoon (Frozone and Mr. Incredible are teamed with a pink bunny) wears thin, but play it with the commentary track by the two superheroes and it's another sharp comedy sketch. There are also NSA "files" on the other superheroes alluded to in the film with dossiers and curiously fun sound bits. "Vowellet" is the only footage about the well-known cast (there aren't even any obligatory shots of the cast recording their lines). Author/cast member Sarah Vowell (NPR's This American Life) talks about her first foray into movie voice-overs--daughter Violet--and the unlikelihood of her being a superhero. The feature is unlike anything we've seen on a Disney or Pixar DVD extra, but who else would consider Abe Lincoln an action figure? --Doug Thomas

    More Incredibles at Amazon.com


    The Incredibles Toy Store

    CD Soundtrack

    The Art of The Incredibles Book

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    The Essential Guide Book

    The Pixar Feature Films

    • Toy Story, 1995
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    Also from Filmmaker Brad Bird


    The Iron Giant (Writer/Director)

    "Family Dog" on Amazing Stories (Writer/Director)

    Batteries Not Included (Cowriter)

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    The Critic (Consultant)

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    Reviews (281)

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Incredibles
    Disney-Pixar's 2004 animated feature about a super hero and his family who come out of hiding to battle a new villain.Mr. Incredible and his wife Elastigirl live quiet normal lives as Bob and Helen Parr in suburbia under government supervision due to previous public lawsuits that put them and other superheroes out of business.All is not well though as their superhero instincts and talents clash with mundane work and little excitement.Elastigirl has managed to adapt, but Mr. Incredible discreetly moonlights with his pal Frozone on "bowling night" saving people from fires and knocking out common criminals.Mixed in this trial are the children Dash and Violet, confused about their inherited superpowers while trying to cope with the difficult social challenges at school.Lastly is Jack-Jack the baby brother who appears to have been spared of any super talents.

    Just when Mr. Incredible feels he has hit rock-bottom, he's hired by an apparent secret government organization to defeat a renegade robot at their base on a remote island.Mr. Incredible is successful and looks forward to more exciting assignments.It isn't long, however, before he finds out he's been duped into serving as a test bed for robots at the hands of Syndrome, an evil genius posing as a new superhero through clever gadgets.When Elastigirl learns of her husband's whereabouts, she heads out via jet to find out what's going on.Dash and Violet secretly follow their mom, and through a series of events, all find themselves battling Syndrome and his army of bad guys and robots.

    This is a gem of an animated feature.While Pixar has ratcheted another progressive advance in animation, the characters and the story are terrific and not overshadowed by the techno-visual display.Dash and Violet are a joy to watch as they learn how to use their superpowers in the fight against evil, especially Dash's chase sequence when he's pursued bybad guys flying saucer hovercraft.Mr. Incredible and Elastigirl sorting out their family problems in the midst of this excitement are humorous and all the actors who voice the characters could not have done better.And not to be forgotten, Jack-Jack reveals his special powers near the conclusion of this feature.

    Obviously the ending of this movie leaves options open for a sequel, and while this looks like a promising proposition, Pixar will have to work hard to compliment this feature successfully.

    5-0 out of 5 stars More For Adults?
    This is a great movie for families, very funny and enjoyable to watch. Many of the themes will go over the head of younger children, more so than in most animated movies.But it's more fun for adults than most, and kids will still really enjoy it.I was pleasntly surprised by this movie, and would highly recommend it.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Not as good as Finding Nemo
    Genre: Computer-Animated, Comedy

    Genre Grade: A

    Final Grade: A-

    This was a great addition to Pixar's wonderful collection of films. While I believe Finding Nemo and even Toy Story were better than this movie, it still had some hilarious moments and great characters, namely Holly Hunter. I will say, however, that this is the most stunning computer animated movie I've ever seen. It's INCREDIBLE! Hahaha, sorry. I would have liked to have seen Samuel Jackson in more of the movie, and I think they could have made their characters a bit more quirky, honestly. Why was Finding Nemo so good? Because of a little fish named Dori. One character can make a movie (Toy Story hada number of them that made it), and I guess to me, this movie was just lacking in any incredible characters. Still great though!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Could not stop watching it over and over again
    I have always been impressed with Steve Jobs and Pixar's work but this is the first time I was just blown away by what I took in with the multi viewing of The Incredibles. I didn't see this picture in the movies when it was released. I rented with a mail order online store. This movie was awe inspiring from begining to end. From its throw back look and feel to its technologically fantastic special effects. It brought me back to a time when having a super hero on your wall in your room meant something. I was never a big fan of comic book hero's but I would have loved to see The Incredibles in comic book form back in my younger days. As a african american male I was deeply touched by the movie having an african american super hero. One that didn't die in the begining of the film but really had an impact to the whole story line. I also enjoyed the fact that it depicted flawed super hero's that were not perfect and made mistakes. They seemed so real to life and genuine in all the things that happened to them. I only own one other Pixar movie Finding Nemo but this one hands down is my ultimate favorite yet. I do hope Pixar continues in this series for I am looking forward to the Incredibles 2.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Not just a "kid movie"
    Some people love animation and some people could do without it. I'm addressing this review to the second group of people whom I urge to watch this for a number of reasons.

    First, the characters. I guarantee that most people will forget this is animated for large stretches because of how interesting the characters are AND how well they are developed. Two methods are used to accomplish this brilliantly. One is the great interplay and dialogue which is typically confrontational between close friends and family members as well as between the heroes and villians. Another is the "historical backdrop" provided at the beginning of the movie where the heroes are shown "back in the day" before the primary plot conflict begins. This, I believe, is key to the success of every great story from "Lord of the Rings" to "Star Wars (IV,V,VI)" to "Harry Potter".

    Secondly, the plot is superior among animated movies. I admit I liked "Toy Story I & II" as well as great Japanese stuff like "Spirited Away", but although they are spectactularly animated they're still kid movies. This flick has a great complex superhero plot which has several great surprises and twists and isn't revealed to the audience all at once. The suspense continues until the very end which ends on an uplifting family note and ties off all the subplots for each character beautifully.

    Lastly, the comedic aspect is superb. From the strained family relationships stemming from the inability to use their super-powers to the "ever had one of those days?" theme this movie will draw in even those most critical of this budding genre of computer-aided animation by, once again, the film's ability to suspend the audience's realization that these aren't "real people". The overcoming of personal obstacles which characterizes the best of superhero movies is front and center in this movie, but unlike Batman and Spiderman, the family aspect gives the movie a kind of "everyman" applicability that the average film-goer will appreciate. ... Read more


    8. Star Trek The Next Generation - The Complete Seasons 1-7
    list price: $979.93
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    9. Star Trek Enterprise - The Complete Second Season
    Director: Michael Grossman, Terry Windell, James Whitmore Jr., David Straiton, James L. Conway, Rob Hedden, Patrick R. Norris, Robert Duncan McNeill, LeVar Burton, Michael Dorn, Roxann Dawson, James A. Contner, Jim Charleston, David Barrett (VI), Marvin V. Rush, Michael Vejar, Les Landau, Allan Kroeker, David Livingston, Winrich Kolbe
    list price: $129.00
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    Asin: B0009I7NGW
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    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (13)

    4-0 out of 5 stars To Be Continued
    I am a big Star Trek fan and I enjoyed the idea of going back to where it all began, 150 years from now but also 150 years before the original with Capt. Kirk and crew.The problem I have is the continuing story line that started at the end of season 2.There are too many shows on TV where you have to have seen the previous show to know what's going on.It works for Deadwood and Desparate Housewives, but not for Enterprise.They tried to fix this in season 4 where they were like a series of mini series, but I much prefer stand alone episodes.I have some life and don't have time to keep up with all the shows that are now using this soap opera format.To be fair to this second season most of the shows are stand alone but ends with a major cliff hanger.Season 3 is one very long episode.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Well written, acted, and filmed - just one thing wrong...
    As a long time fan of the Star Trek franchise, I tend to be among the more lenient fans as far as where the writers and producers take the stories.I suppose this is what to expect from a fan who was drawn in by Star Trek: The Motion Picture.

    Nevertheless, I thoroughly enjoyed Enterprise as a series on it's own, but it is very obvious that there are differing views on where the fans wanted the series to go as opposed to the writers.

    I understand the producers desire to explore new ideas (Temporal Cold War, Xindi) but we Trek fans are nitpickers, and there were so many good opportunities to "fill in the gaps" created by the other four series.What caused the various conflicts with the Klingons and the Romulans?How was Section 31 started?And season four left me wanting for more about the early development of the Federation.

    There were some very notable episodes this season, particularly Carbon Creek, Horizon, and Bounty.Minefield makes you want for more of the origins of the Starfleet-Romulan conflict, and Dead Stop seems to foreshadow the Borg storylines better than Regeneration, as I feel it was unnecessary to actually have the Borg in Enterprise at all.

    The ultimate shame is that the last season was the one that the fans wanted, and was actually so good that I was anxiously awaiting the next episode after watching each weeks' story.It might be nice to see an occasional made for TV movie with this cast, maybe with a creative idea for a Romulan war (hint, hint.)

    I will say, though, if you are only willing to invest in a single season, wait for the fourth one.It's truly worth it.

    2-0 out of 5 stars The Worst of the Four Seasons
    If in season one "Star Trek:Enterprise" lurched to its feet like an amnesiac zombie formerly known as "Star Trek:Voyager," it just resigned itself to keeling right back over by season two.Retread plots, inconsistent characterizations, and a thumb to the nose regarding continuity with the original series were just some of the offenses that helped drive millions of viewers away.Most of the blame rests with the producers, who seemingly saw fit to endorse these obvious shenanigans, and the writers, who took a paint-by-numbers approach to plot and dialogue. Scott Bakula, despite a fine turn in "Quantum Leap," continues to register "zero" in the charisma department; it's amazing that William Shatner is so often lampooned for his staccato and swagger in later episodes of the original series when Bakula, with his herky-jerky, angry-for-no-reason approach to Jonathan Archer, is just as affected in his acting style--he's simply not remotely as effective.The rest of the cast is fine.In fact, Connor Trinneer, Jolene Blalock, and John Billingsley easily could have carried the show without Bakula, even if the producers and writers insisted on propping up his bland character as someone of significance while making the others look like sycophantic observers.Too bad the U.S. ethnic minorities on the show generally get less attention than the guest aliens of the week or the many cumbersome and jargony phrases that no real person would utter, like "polarize the hull plating." However, many episodes of season two are blessed with topnotch special effects, so there are pretty pictures to look at, even if the pacing and music that accompany them are usually as directionless as space itself.

    By season three, "Star Trek:Enterprise" started to show signs of life, even if it had turned into a soap-operatic serial involving a "Star Wars"-ish race to stop a planet-killing weapon.The best season easily is its last--save for the high-school-quality "Daedalus" and the insultingly awful "These Are the Voyages."Cheers to Manny Coto for a valiant effort at breathing life back into a series so determined to commit dramatic suicide.Too bad he wasn't around from the beginning, when it would really have mattered.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Enterprise crosses intoSeason two
    The second season dealt with the completion of the Shockwave cliffhanger. Unfortunately the show really took a turn for the worse viewer-wise as many trek fans abandoned the show. I liked the idea of the temporal cold war but it was indeed a bit ambiguous and confused fans. Not enough appearances by the Andorians or Tellarites in season 2-two races that helped form the UFP. This show had so much potential and by the end of this season, with an exciting episode "The Expanse" ,we see a Xindi story-arc that would take us through all of season 3.

    In all honesty the seeds of failure were planted in the second season with some truly weak episodes, despite that the idea of this show remained bright, it was only the poor writing that drove off viewers. Cannon violations and lack of addressing important pre-federation issues was obvious.

    But I still loved ENTERPRISE...after all it was in its infancy as a series.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Reboot or parallel timeline?
    With the second season, ENT continued to anger many long-time fans as Archer and his crew tangled with the Borg, the Ferengi and the Romulans long before TOS and TNG did. The back door excuse that continuity was maintained was that the crew never learned of their names (though the Borg issue remains very muddled). Brannon Braga -who was asked by a fan to explain the Borg episode Regeneration - seemed to confirm that this Trek was a complete Reboot of the franchise or a Star Trek that occurs in an alternate universe. There is something called Many Worlds, a parallel time theory that contends that most historical occurrences, such as the signing of Magna Carta and what not, did happen only that principles might have been slightly different.And that essentially, since Star Trek: First Contact, the entire franchise now exists in this parallel timeline.Essentially, what happens is the Borg and TNG Enterprise journeys into the past and changes history. Here, then, reality splits into two versions -one road depicting the changed history, and the other road is were the original reality exists before the change.In the end, it is the only way to explain the Borg episode and Star Trek: Enterprise. Had Braga and Berman basically thought this out, maybe I could've forgiven them for the drivel they put out for three seasons until Paramount and UPN let Manny Coto take over the last season (which has been the best since DS9). I'm sad to say that Trek really ended with DS9. All others, have just been pale imitations.
    ... Read more


    10. The Andy Griffith Show - The Complete Second Season
    list price: $38.99
    our price: $27.29
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0007Y08P6
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 29
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    Description

    THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW - THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON, is a comedy about a North Carolina widower named Andy Taylor who divides his time between raising his son, Opie (Ron Howard) and being sheriff of the small and virtually crime-free town of Mayberry.With next to no crimes to solve, Andy spends time philosophizing and trying to calm down his cousin, Deputy Barney, played by Don Knotts. ... Read more

    Reviews (29)

    5-0 out of 5 stars I don't want to make a big mulage, or anything
    this is a wonderful collection!Great quality--- love the "lost snippets" that we never see due to television chopping these up so painfully!My ONLY complaint is about the previews on Disc 1 -- First of all, why would ANYONE who loves TAGS want to see previews to McGyver and Charmed???? puuuuleeeeeeeease!Secondly, if they MUST put previews, WHY can't we at least fast-forward them?I think it was pretty low for the company to make the previews unable to be forwarded through-- low!

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Andy Griffith Show - The Complete Second Season
    For those that complain, about the 7 minutes of advertising - obviously you all don't have the kind of DVD player I have, because I had no problem hitting the fast forward button a few times to 4th speed and I'm there. I'm watching all the wonderful episodes, while everyone else is complaining. My suggestions get some cheese with your wine!
    Besides if you all think you can do a better job, by all means do it and stop complaining!

    5-0 out of 5 stars GREAT TV!!!!
    What A Wonderful Set!!! The Added Sponser Spots By The Cast Are Very Funny!!! Lots Of Great Guest Stars, & Terrific Episodes!!! Bill Bixby, Barbara Eden & Alan Hale!!! As For The Paramount Ads....WHO CARES!!!!!!! Ten Minutes Of Ads To Get A Season Full Of Warmth, Heart & Humor Seems Like A Small Price To Pay!!! Keep The Seasons Coming!!!!!!!!!

    5-0 out of 5 stars I'm not "forced" and I love the DVD!!!!
    I agree with David.I had little problem advancing passed the commercials, so I was not "forced" to watch any of them.Of course, Paramount could have been nice and left the commercials off, but their main concern is making money, and lots of it.The inconvience of spinning through the commercials (which takes me approximately 10 seconds) is nothing when compared to the rest of the DVD's content!This is easily the best situation comedy of all time and has never stopped being aired in the nearly 45 years since it first ran on CBS.This DVD will be highlighted in my DVD collection, just as season one is.I especially like the added "original sponsor spots",many of which I don't remember ever seeing before.Does anyone know if these "spots" ran during the first season of the show?If so, I hope they tag them on to the season three set along with the season three spots.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Commercialism Destroys The Enjoyment of Mayberry
    Paramount Studios (owned by Viacom) has taken their commercialism to an all time low.The Andy Griffith Show has been one of my favorite, most relaxing shows for many years.I purchased the complete 2nd season, anticipating laughs and relaxation.But, hold on.Paramount forces the viewer to sit through at least 10 MINUTES of advertisements on disc one - you cannot fast forward through it - you cannot switch to the top menu.The viewer must endure 10 miserable minutes, watching advertisements for other DVD's (which many of us have no interest in).This was not done on the complete first season.I'm seriously considering the return of this DVD set - I do not like to be exploited / forced to endure 10 unending minutes of commercial trash.I don't even watch regular TV - to avoid commercials.What a shame.What a shame that such a materialistic, moronic company owns the rights to The Andy Griffith Show.This has taught me to avoid ALL Paramount DVD's in the future.Burn me once, shame on you - there will not be a second time.

    Comments / complaints can be sent to:



    Paramount Studios
    5555 Melrose Avenue
    Hollywood, CA 90038

    323.956.5000

    ...Tom ... Read more


    11. Meet The Fockers (Widescreen Edition)
    Director: Jay Roach
    list price: $29.98
    our price: $19.49
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00005JN5T
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 40
    Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    Meet the Parents found such tremendous success in the chemistry produced by the contrasting personalities of stars Robert De Niro and Ben Stiller that the film's creators went for broke with the same formula again in Meet the Fockers. This time around, Jack and Dina Byrnes (De Niro and Blythe Danner) climb into Jack's new kevlar-lined RV with daughter Pam (Teri Polo), soon-to-be son-in-law Gaylord (Stiller), and Jack's infant grandson from his other daughter for the trip to Florida to meet Gaylord's parents, Bernie and Roz Focker (Dustin Hoffman and Barbra Streisand in a casting coup). The potential in-laws are, of course, the opposite of Jack, a pair of randy, touchy-feely fun-lovers. The rest of the movie is pretty much a sitcom: put Bernie and Roz together with Jack, and watch the in-laws clash as Gaylord squirms. As with the original, there is a sense of joy in watching these actors take on their roles with obvious relish, and the Hoffman-Streisand-Stiller triumvirate is likeable enough to draw you in. But the formula doesn't work as well in Fockers mostly because much of the humor is based on two obvious gimmicks: Gaylord Focker's name, and the fact that Streisand's character is a sex therapist. As a result, the movie itself is more contrived and predictable, and a lot less fun than the original. The casting is grand, but one wishes more thought was put into the script.--Dan Vancini ... Read more

    Reviews (189)

    1-0 out of 5 stars Since the movie is so impossibly boring...
    and cliché, and predictable and tongue-in-cheek, and trited, and mindless, I'm going to summarize this movie as:
    Utter Waste of Money and Time.
    There's nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing positive to say about this movie. They were pushing it with the first one, however, it was passable and watchable. This sequel is one that should have never put out. It's so enclosed in its idiocy that it obfuscates the acting value of thespians of great caliber. Avoid!

    4-0 out of 5 stars Don't Believe the Negativity...It's Hilarious
    I'm so tired of everyone looking for Shakespearian perfection in every film, bottom line, it's a dumb comedy, so turn your pompous search for meaningful dialogue and great script-writing
    off and enjoy the laughs. It's a comedy, not Macbeth. I kept hearing how horrible it was, well guess what, surprise, surprise
    the critics were wrong again! If you enjoyed the first film, you'll love the second, it was every bit as funny, if not funnier. I don't laugh easy either, but it had me rolling most of the film, in tears laughing at times. I know when to be critical and when to put the brain on pause and just enjoy a good old fashioned laugh. It has that Farelly Brothers-type gross out humor, if you enjoy that sort of thing which I do, then you'll enjoy this. If not, go rent 'Annie Hall,' and spend needless hours pining over the film's lighting and set direction, you know, 'the important things in film'...rolls eyes.

    1-0 out of 5 stars please, not a third time!
    Gee, it's pretty sad to see actors of this caliber, who've been in so many memorable movies, get mired in this kind of horrible dreck.

    But, this is what really offended me:in "Meet the Parents" there was one trained animal to provide a few cute jokes.In this sequel, not only did they feel the need to throw in a pathetic looking dogfor a few more "America's Funniest Videos" style laughs, they effectively used a child in the role of a third "trained animal".Sick.They must have figured that it worked well with "Mini-Me" in the "Austin Powers" sequel, so why not stick Robert DeNiro with a similar sidekick?The people who made this movie deserve a swift kick (or two) in the pants.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Clash of the Icons
    Moviegoers flocked to "Meet the Fockers," making this star-studded sequel to "Meet the Parents" a box-office smash. Now that Gaylord "Greg" Focker (Ben Stiller) and his fiancée Pam Byrnes (Teri Polo) are finally getting married, it's time for Pam's conservative parents (Robert De Niro and Blythe Danner) to meet Greg's freewheeling parents (Dustin Hoffman and Barbra Streisand). De Niro is once again terrific as Jack Byrnes, the suspicious ex-CIA operative (though Jack's obsession with the "circle of trust" has grown a bit tiresome). Stiller reprises one of his most humorous--and appealing--screen personas as the beleaguered male nurse. Hoffman gives the films best performance as Bernie Focker, a frisky lawyer-turned-househusband and Streisand is especially funny as Roz Focker, a straightforward sex therapist for seniors. Blythe Danner and Teri Polo are wonderful in their supporting roles and Owen Wilson's cameo appearance is a hoot. The DVD extras include deleted scenes, bloopers, and a Matt Lauer interview with the cast.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Total Mind Pollution... I would rather not give any stars
    Listen to the people who didn't like this movie.I LOVED the first movie and watched it several times.The first movie had some crudeness in it, but most of the humor was just plain funny.This movie was nothing but crudeness and I think my IQ went down just by sitting through it.If you enjoyed this movie, you are extremely immature.There are some very funny movies out there, they just don't need to be as crude as this one.I think I only laughed once during the movie and I don't even remember when that was because most of the time I was sitting there debating on whether or not I should just turn the movie off. ... Read more


    12. Sideways (Widescreen Edition)
    Director: Alexander Payne
    list price: $29.98
    our price: $19.49
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0007TKOAA
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 26
    Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    With Sideways, Paul Giamatti (American Splendor, Storytelling) has become an unlikely but engaging romantic lead. Struggling novelist and wine connoisseur Miles (Giamatti) takes his best friend Jack (Thomas Haden Church, Wings) on a wine-tasting tour of California vineyards for a kind of extended bachelor party. Almost immediately, Jack's insatiable need to sow some wild oats before his marriage leads them into double-dates with a rambunctious wine pourer (Sandra Oh, Under the Tuscan Sun) and a recently divorced waitress (Virginia Madsen, The Hot Spot)--and Miles discovers a little hope that he hasn't let himself feel in a long time. Sideways is a modest but finely tuned film; with gentle compassion, it explores the failures, struggles, and lowered expectations of mid-life. Giamatti makes regret and self-loathing sympathetic, almost sweet. From the director of Election and About Schmidt. --Bret Fetzer ... Read more

    Reviews (304)

    4-0 out of 5 stars delicious little movie
    The risk involved in describing "Sideways" as a road movie about obsessive wine tasting is that people who are not wine buffs/connoisseurs are likely to stay away from it, which would be a pity. So let me discuss it from a different perspective: Sideways is in fact a buddy movie, and not an overly comic one. Granted, there is a fair share of funny scenes but overall the tone of the movie veers clearly toward the dramatic.
    Meet Miles and Jack. The former is a small-time english teacher (and aspiring novelist...too bad his aspirations are constantly frustrated), the latter is a washed-up tv actor with a career that after a promising start never really took off. Both are middle-aged guys who are coping with lowered expectations and shattered ambitions.
    Jack is about to marry (although he feels uneasy about his marital future) and the two friends embark on a wine-tasting extended bachelor party that eventually feels much like a coming of age story.
    There is a lot of wine talking going on throughout the movie but wine isn't the whole point. Wine is more like a metaphor for life and there is a brilliant dialogue between Miles and Maya (the girl he falls in love with) that clearly shows this point.
    This is not a happy-ending movie. There's a lot of stark realism in it and although the finale leaves some hope for Miles, it's quite obvious that this is LIFE, not some fairy tale.
    This is no educational movie either. There are scenes where "getting sideways", far from being frowned upon, is elevated to something very romantic or, at least, something that lets us understand Miles' deep suffering, forcing us to be sympathetic to his condition.
    Anyway, enough with the social commentary, I greatly appreciated this movie and I think that anybody with a passing interest in non-mainstream stuff should see it.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Will This Film EVER End!
    A slice of life? A road movie?To be a slice of life the lives should be interesting.To be a road movie interesting things should happen en route.Aside from a lengthy plug for the California Wine industry, the whole movie struck me as tedious.There are some amusing moments and dialogue tucked between a lot of mundane, unfunny and often depressing conversation and events.The lead character steals from his mother and despite his affection for wine in the abstract, drinks to deal with depression by getting sloppy drunk.Meanwhile his buddy shows such respect for the woman he's driving north to marry that he's willing to bed anything with a pulse between Los Angeles and the Napa Valley.And we're supposed to care about these people?Why the movie industry is so high on this film beats me.After watching it carefully twice, trying to find some overlooked redeeming quality, I just don't see it.Possibly I'm not sophisticated enough to enjoy it.Possibly it's not that great a movie.

    It may have some appeal to the wine connoisseur or wanna'be who's always wanted to impress his friends by saying things like, "It's a sassy little pinot that perfectly complements ze flavour of ze Ritz Crackers and ze Cheeez Whiz." but I found myself wishing it was a much shorter movie.I certainly won't recommend it to anyone I like or remember it 6 months from now ... probably less.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Cineaste's Dream
    I won't rehash the plot, the characters, etc., as that's all so familiar by now.Why is this film a small wonder?Because it's what happens in the interstices, between the minimal action and the raucous laughs.Like the characters or not, they are painfully real, and we get so few real characters in movies today.We get so few honestly-motivated characters today.And the reason:one has only to peruse the one-star reviews on this site.Has anyone noticed that the one-star reviews are generally very short, as if the attention span of the denouncer couldn't sustain a paragraph, let alone a reasonably lengthy explanation of their disgust?It's usually "boring" -- it's not to any true cineaste, of course -- or the characters are morally bankrupt -- so, that's not a valid reason to loathe a movie; in fact, it's a completely biased and stupid reason to mount a criticism of a work of art on.Face it, "Sideways" was made for people who love film that challenges them, surprises them, moves them, forces them to see life in a different light.Most people don't want to be challenged -- you know who you are, you brain-dead video gamers, you Internet-addled, low-alpha brain-wave unguents -- so why bother to voice your complaints about this brilliant movie unless you really have something profound to say in defense of your criticism.Compared to the one-star reviews, the five-star reviews are very lengthy, usually articulate and thoughtful and understand what the filmmaker was trying to accomplish.An Alexander Payne should be celebrated, a studio that gives him money should be extolled.It's just too bad there aren't more of him.I did have one criticism of the DVD, though -- but it won't change my five-star rating -- and that's the voice-over commentary by Thomas Church and Giamatti.It's so puerile at times, so uninformative; too bad Payne didn't do it with his writing partner.Oh, well, fortunately one doesn't have to listen to their drivel, and even if one decides to suffer it, it in no way detracts from their courageous performances.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Interesting movie with excellent characters
    I guess I could start with a short synopsis.Two college buddies are headed North to the wine country for a week long bachelor party.Miles is in a depressed state because of a divorce and Jack is looking to get some before he gets married.From this spouts some crazy situations in and out of vineyards.

    What you do get from this movie is excellent characters.Even though Miles could be incredibly annoying you end up feeling for him.I think a lot of people have friends that are like Jack.They're a bit older but still act immature at times.Virginia Madsen and Sandra Oh are both awesome too.While Sandra Oh's character could have been developed more I don't think the movie suffers because of it.

    The dialogue is witty and sarcastic sometimes to the point of being outright hilarious.Granted it may take a special kind of humor to understand why some things are funny.There are some things that are just sophomoric but they lighten the film at times where you think Miles might drag you down.

    There is definitely a reason why this movie was nominated for a bunch of awards.You can't go wrong with sharp/witty writing and excellent acting/direction.I would highly recommend at least going out and renting this movie.I know it will soon become a part of my collection.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Best Pinot Noir Film Ever!
    Ok, it is a shame that people won't order Merlot from me anymore (Oregon state merlot, people), but there's no denying the fact that this is a masterful piece of work here.

    This film has everything I love-- witty dialouge with an underlying sense of sarcasm and black humor, it's about a writer, wine, dispicable characters, social commentary on how shallow secular America has become in relationships with other people, and wine.

    I loved seeing Giammatti's character-- a pansy New York Times reading whiner, get his midlife crisis in full, and the scenery was masterfully incorporated into the story, adding a whole other dimension to the poignancy.

    The acting was top notch, and it is a brilliantly written character study. People who are dissing this film do it because they're reminded of their own pathetic lives. At least, that's my take on it.

    Cheers! ... Read more


    13. National Treasure (Full Screen Edition)
    Director: Jon Turteltaub
    list price: $29.99
    our price: $19.49
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0007L43D2
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 50
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    Like a Hardy Boys mystery on steroids, National Treasure offers popcorn thrills and enough boyish charm to overcome its rampant silliness. Although it was roundly criticized as a poor man's rip-off of Raiders of the Lost Ark and The Da Vinci Code, it's entertaining on its own ludicrous terms, and Nicolas Cage proves once again that one actor's infectious enthusiasm can compensate for a multitude of movie sins. The contrived plot involves Cage's present-day quest for the ancient treasure of the Knights Templar, kept secret through the ages by Freemasons past and present. Finding the treasure requires the theft of the Declaration of Independence (there are crucial treasure clues on the back, of course!), so you can add "caper comedy" to this Jerry Bruckheimer production's multi-genre appeal. Nobody will ever accuse director Jon Turtletaub of artistic ambition, but you've got to admit he serves up an enjoyable dose of PG-rated entertainment, full of musty clues, skeletons, deep tunnels, and harmless adventure in the old-school tradition. It's a load of hokum, but it's fun hokum, and that makes all the difference. --Jeff Shannon ... Read more

    Reviews (263)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Entertaining movie!
    Imagine a cross between "Indiana Jones" and "Mission Impossible" and you have some idea of what's in store for you with this movie.Nicholas Cage plays the current generation of a family which long ago was given the secret of the location of the Knight's Templar treasure.Succeeding generations of the family have hunted for the treasure with no success.Cage takes the hunt one step further and discovers that vital clues are on the back of the Declaration of Independence.Unfortunately some of the men who were originally helping him look for the treasure have decided that they want it all to themselves and they plan to get to the Declaration before he does.Throw in a beautiful government agent and an amusing sidekick and you have all of the ingredients for an entertaining evening.Enjoy!

    4-0 out of 5 stars A Fun Movie
    I liked this movie. Lots of adventure, history and it reminds me of the Indiana Jones Trilogy. Some of it is a little formulaic and you might roll your eyes when 200+ year old torches light up like they were made yesterday, but the story is intriguing and gets your attention. If you don't know the story line by now it involves Cage as Benjamin Franklin Gates whose Family has been convinced about a massive treasure older than colonized America, hidden away during the revolutionary years. Through each succeding clue he finally learns that there is a map on the back of the Declarition of Independance, the only drawback is his partner has turned on him and is going to steal it for himself. No on in the government will listen to him, so Gates decides he'll steal it first to protect the document and the treasure. Lots of High-Tech action, spooky Mason intrigue and history, although some of it is a little questionable. All in all, definetely recommended.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Accomplishes An Entertaining Goal
    One of the first things taught at journalism schools is that most "news stories" are to be written at a 6th grade level of education - the editorial page is the place for more erudite discussion.National Treasure is written at a level that would make the "average" person think "hey, that's pretty clever!", keeping in mind that the "average" person might not know that Benjamin Franklin wrote anonymous letters to newspapers while a teenager under the name "Silence Dogood". (He wrote hundreds of OTHER letters under other fictitious names as well and, given the piddling state of education in the U.S. I'd guess that the "average" person doesn't know that Old Ben was also "Poor Richard" or even know what his almanac was all about.) But I digress. Some people love to trash things that they think aren't up to their level, and so "National Treasure" didn't receive stellar reviews from the professional critics. I think it's safe to say the movie wasn't made for professional critics.

    It's an entertaining little adventure and anyone who claims that it has no clever parts must be very clever indeed.Much of the movie is a historical scavenger hunt that the founding fathers have laid out for the person who can decipher the clues - with the treasure of the Templar Knights at the end of the rainbow.One of the first clues is carved into the stem of a meerschaum pipe. The stem of the pipe detaches from the carved bowl, andhas raised etchings.Our hero figures out that these etchings are intended to be used like an ink stamp, so he pricks his finger to use his blood as ink and rolls the pipe stem out to reveal the next clue.I thought that was pretty clever.

    The hero, Benjamin Franklin Gates, is the Grandson of John Adams Gates, and the Gates have been thought of as the mad scientists of American History because every generation has handed down the story of the hidden treasure and spends decades of their life trying to find the treasure, or at least get other historians to take them seriously.The plot takes them to Washington (to steal the Declaration of Independence in a concise little caper that's at least as clever as the one in "After the Sunset", and THAT was SUPPOSED to be a "caper" movie.) Ben has an assistant named Riley who serves two purposes: to add clever little comments like "so who wants to go down the creepy tunnel first?" and to provide someone that Ben can give exposition to: such as who Silence Dogood was.Diane Kruger is the love interest - a Washington Ph.D. who works at the National Archives.She's the pretty face used to represent all the keepers of the Declaration of Independence.Sean Bean is a rival treasure hunter and the movie goes to great lengths to show that Heroic Ben is only after the treasure for it's historical significance while Bean's Ian is only out for the money.Harvey Keitel plays the FBI agent who becomes interested after the Declaration is stolen, but he's little more than a plot marker himself.A couple of times he gets to say "SOMEBODY's going to prison."

    Hmmmm... Will good Ben or Evil Ian be the one going to prison?Will Ben and company find the magnificent treasure? For the answers to those questions check out National Treasure.... but is it too much of a clue if I tell you it's a Disney movie?

    5-0 out of 5 stars Fun for the WHOLE family!
    It is very unusual to find action films in today's society that is appropriate for kids and adults alike. That is just one reason that I was thrilled to see National Treasure. It has the wit and humor one would expect from a Disney film as well as a lot of action and adventure thrills, but steers clear of gratuitous language and violence. If you like "Indiana Jones" or "Pirates of the Carribean", this film is a must see. Be sure to bring your kids, though, because they're sure to love it too!

    5-0 out of 5 stars national treasure
    this is avery good movie, i watched it last night. the things that ben(nicholas cage) does are hard to predict and the story has many twists. i would recomend renting this movie because it is not as goodf the second time around and there after because you now what is going to happen ... Read more


    14. 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


    15. Chappelle's Show - Season 1
    Director: Bill Berner, Scott Vincent, Neal Brennan, Peter Lauer, Bob Goldthwait, Rusty Cundieff, Andre Allen (II)
    list price: $26.99
    our price: $18.89
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    Asin: B00018YCIM
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 79
    Average Customer Review: 4.55 out of 5 stars
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    The 2003 debut of Chappelle's Show on Comedy Central marked a high point for the cable channel, and now the entire, wildly creative first season can be seen, with hundreds of bleeps removed. That's not to say Chappelle's Show is perfect entertainment: there are too many moments among the 12 episodes here that descend into pointless scatology and booty fever. But for the most part, Chappelle, a talented comic slowly growing into greatness, is trying to push the sketch-humor envelope and succeeds at surprising us with original concepts and merciless execution.

    The merely clever material includes "National Geography's Third World Girls Gone Wild," basically an update on those topless-native-women gags of yore, and Chappelle's "Educated Guess Line," in which the sage comic eschews psychic powers to logically deduce racial insights from his callers' questions. Far more wicked is an in-your-face satire on such autobiographical film fare as Antwone Fisher and 8 Mile, in which Chappelle plays himself ascending from street hustler to rapper-comedian to bona fide savior of America. The best thing here, however, is a parallel-universe version of The Real World, in which the usual racial proportions on MTV's workhorse series are reversed, thrusting a token white guy into a Hoboken houseful of crazy African Americans. There are also laughs in "Ask a Gay Guy with Mario Cantoned," as well as a sketch about an "inner-thoughts cam" and a nasty piece about Chappelle's Make-a-Wish visit to a dying child, which decays into a cruel video game competition. Overlooking the series' weaker material, this is outstanding television comedy. --Tom Keogh ... Read more

    Reviews (142)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Best cross over comic since Murphy! Now on DVD!
    When I heard about Dave getting his own show last year I was so happy. I was impressed with his ability to stay "ghetto" and have that "white" humor that many may not get.
    His strong point is that he can cross between the two and pull in both audiences. It's not 100% all the time. Especially when he's injecting his politics.
    Other than that he is able to poke fun at everyone. Just like Chris Rock, no race or gender is safe. His sketch comedy routines voice the things that one race may not like to say about another. Most importantly, it voices the things races feel about themselves. His show just allows you to laugh at them in a playful manner.
    Best features are the "Great Moments In Hook Up History" complete with stats and that great NFL Films-esque voice over.
    There is also the infamous "Piss On You" video and the following remix.
    The second seems to be another classic, but, that's for the next DVD set.
    Twelve episodes seems to few to enjoy. But, it's worth the price.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Chapelle's Show First Season DVD REVIEW
    Perhaps the most underrated comedian in the industry today, Dave Chappelle brought his racially-charged brand of comedy to Comedy Central in 2003 with hilarious results. While the first season was somewhat of a mixed bag and certainly not Dave's best material, the two-disc "uncensored" collection of all twelve original episodes has plenty to offer. With such memorable sketches as Clayton Bigsby, a blind KKK publicist who happens to be black, "Great Moments In Hook-Up History" and Dave's take on a number of classic movies, "Chappelle's Show" offers countless laughs. Not only does this DVD restore all the stuff that was censored out on cable but it includes tons of bonus footage like a bloopers reel and more of "Ask A Black Dude" with Paul Mooney. While I didn't think the show truly found its voice until the second season, the first season definetly had more than its share of side-splitting moments.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Funnier the second time around.
    Dave Chappelle keeps showing why he is the funniest, maybe not the most talented, but still the funniest comic of our generation. Chappelle allows you to join in his skits by showing his genuine enjoyment of making them. This is a man who enjoys his work and the audience feeds on his enthusiasm. These skits are first rate, but be aware they can be very crude, albiet funny at the same time. Rick James........:)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Funny Show
    Dave Chappelle is a good comic.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Player's Haters Ball & the R. Kelly Piss On You Remix
    I don't think I could have laughed harder... ... Read more


    16. Star Trek Deep Space Nine - The Complete Seasons 1-7
    list price: $909.93
    our price: $636.95
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    Asin: B00062RCC6
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 9792
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    17. The Phantom of the Opera (Full Screen Edition)
    Director: Joel Schumacher
    list price: $27.95
    our price: $19.57
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    Asin: B0007TKNIS
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 57
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    Although it's not as bold as Oscar darling Chicago, The Phantom of the Opera continues the resuscitation of the movie musical with a faithful adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber's blockbuster stage musical. Emmy Rossum glows in a breakout role as opera ingénue Christine Daae, and if phantom Gerard Butler isn't Rossum's match vocally, he does convey menace and sensuality in such numbers as "The Music of the Night." The most experienced musical theater veteran in the cast, romantic lead Patrick Wilson, sings sweetly but seems wooden. The biggest name in the cast, Minnie Driver, hams it up as diva Carlotta, and she's the only principal whose voice was dubbed (though she does sing the closing-credit number, "Learn to Be Lonely," which is also the only new song).

    Director Joel Schumacher, no stranger to visual spectacle, seems to have found a good match in Lloyd Webber's larger-than-life vision of Gaston LeRoux's Gothic horror-romance. His weakness is cuing too many audience-reaction shots and showing too much of the lurking Phantom, but when he calms down and lets Rossum sings "Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again" alone in a silent graveyard, it's exquisite.

    Read our CD buying guide
    Those who consider the stage musical shallow and overblown probably won't have their minds changed by the movie, and devotees will forever rue that the movie took the better part of two decades to develop, which prevented the casting of original principals Michael Crawford and Sarah Brightman. Still, The Phantom of the Opera is a welcome exception to the long line of ill-conceived Broadway-to-movie travesties.

    DVD Features
    The two-disc edition of The Phantom of the Opera has two major extras. "Behind the Mask: The Story of The Phantom of the Opera" is an hourlong documentary tracing the genesis of the stage show, with interviews by composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, director Harold Prince, producer Cameron Macintosh, lyricists Richard Stilgoe and Charles Hart, choreographer Gillian Lynne, and others. Conspicuously absent are stars Sarah Brightman and Michael Crawford. Both do appear in video clips, including Brightman performing with Colm Wilkinson at an early workshop, and Crawford is the subject of a casting segment. Other brief scenes from the show are represented by a 2001 production. The other major feature is the 45-minute making-of focusing on the movie, including casting and the selection of director Joel Schumacher. Both are well-done productions by Lloyd Webber's Really Useful Group.

    The deleted scene is a new song written by Lloyd Webber and Charles Hart, "No One Would Listen," sung by the Phantom toward the end of the movie. It's a beautiful song that, along with Madame Giry's story, makes him a more sympathetic character. But because that bit of backstory already slowed down the ending, it was probably a good move to cut the song. --David Horiuchi

    More on The Phantom of the Opera


    The Phantom of the Opera (Special Extended Edition Soundtrack) (CD)

    The Phantom of the Opera (2004 Movie Soundtrack) (CD)

    The Phantom of the Opera (Original 1986 London Cast) (CD)

    Evita (DVD)

    Andrew Lloyd Weber: The Royal Albert Hall Celebration (DVD)

    Visit the Andrew Lloyd Webber Store
    ... Read more

    Reviews (659)

    5-0 out of 5 stars RJ from Blacksburg, VA
    Excellent!!The movie is much better than the Broadway production - better character development, better acting, better singing.Madame Giry is a much more intriguing character in the film.Christine's attraction to the Phantom is more understandable and believable. Plus, we get to see the Phantom's past and why he is the way he is.

    In response to the comment about the sword fight:The Phantom would know very little about fencing because he's lived alone beneath an opera house all his life.You must practice fencing to become good at it.

    All of my family members (ages from 10 to 47) highly recommend the film version of The Phantom of the Opera.(good music, comedy, suspense, romance, lavish costumes and sets)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Beautiful film, great transfer to DVD
    I am not going into a long detailed explination of the script, acting, or performances, they are all what the producers wanted, and it all works very well, the film is gorgeous to look at, and the transfer to DVD is the best I have seen so far, it even surpasses the Lord of he Rings trilogy, and that is saying something, the effect is so good it's three dimentional (an almost impossible task when viewed on a 73" screen), my one gripe, and it's a big one, is intelligibility. or rather the lack of it, there was a time when film studios and record companies went to great lengths to make sure every word could be understood, in recent years this is a rarity, this film has far to much of the massed voices recorded so that way to much of it can't be understood, considering the quality of todays recording equipment, I find this to be a disapointment, if not downright disgraceful, but at least there is an english subtitle track, which of course most likely means they know it's the only way to be sure that all the dialog is understood, complaints based upon seeing the stage production just don't fly with me, what works on stage rarely if ever work on film, if it did, Producers could save millions and just film the stage production, view stage productions filmed for PBS, of the many I have seen the only two that have been successful at it are The Merry Widow, and Oklahoma

    4-0 out of 5 stars Film rivals book!
    *gasp*

    Dare I say it?

    Yes, Webber's production is much better than Leroux's novel.

    Will everyone agree with what seems to be my very deluded opinion?Of course not!

    Perhaps I think like this because while reading Leroux's novel, I couldn't imagine a horrifying, stenchy Erik aka phantom...
    forgive me but I just couldn't.I tried, and I shed a couple of tears when Daae ripped off his mask and he taunted her with his ugliness, but that's because I felt sorry for him.

    The kidnapping part in the film ROCKED! it had so much action and suspense! while in the book the lights simply go out...*yawn* The chandelier falls in the movie! it also does in the book but while Carlotta is belting out her toad voice.

    He horrifies Daae in the book, while in the film he seduces her.Both make sense, and I really can't argue on behalf.

    The ring Daae wears as a gift from the phantom should have been included in the film.This makes Erik less of a lunatic.
    He actually gave her permission to leave him so long as she didn't take the ring off or lose it.

    The sword fighting scene was awesome! it totally makes sense how the phantom would lose to the viscount Raoul de Chagny.
    This guy was trained to swordfight, while the phantom's department is music.Yeah it probably makes him look like a sore loser but it makes sense...he loses christine what's losing to a swordfight right?

    Now for what I thought about the casting.

    Emmy Rossum did a very sweet and innocent Christine. She has a very sweet voice!no complaints except for 2 major details.
    1)While Rossums voice could charm a bird out of its nest, it's hard to believe that with such a voice you're expected to believe this girl to be visited by the so-called angel of music who gives her free voice lessons.Don't get me wrong, Rossum has an exquisite voice, but to say that it sounds inhuman is impossible.
    There are MANY women out there who are privileged to posess inhuman pipes.I expected something ethereal, haunting, beautiful, jawdropping, INHUMAN, as the book mentions.
    2) Perhaps it's because she was only 16 when she filmed the movie, or perhaps she does need to improve on her acting.
    I didn't believe for a second that she was hypnotized at the sound of Erik's voice (but then again, who would be listening to Gerard sing right?) I really wasn't convinced that she was Christine Daae, I merely saw her as Emmy Rossum.I think she did good, but I expected for the second star of the movie to be more believable, real.

    Patrick Wilson may have the voice, but the guy needs to relax those shoulders and ACT.You'd think he'd know since he's done broadway but then again stage isn't the same as camera.
    I forgive him.

    *sings* As for our star Mr. Gerard Butler...lol
    Let's just say that in my opinion, he BECAME the phantom.
    He became Erik.I would've never guessed it!
    While his singing leaves much to desire, his acting is among the best around!I was impressed! He delivers presence, emotion, mystery, charisma, sensuality, menacy...
    The man is spell-binding in this film.He manages to seduce both Daae and most of the female audience! At the same time, he manages to inspire compassion and a tear here and there.
    He's very real!

    Webber failed to clue us in on the name! so what's the phantom of the opera's name? As if murdering cold bloodedly and having a disfigured complexion weren't enough to subtract from his humanity.Now he's nameless? he's not an IT you know.

    Regardless, it's a very dark and seductive film.
    I recommend it any day at any time.Now if you're like my buds who've turned it down for seeming too lovey dovey, weird, or just because it's a musical...you're missing out BIG TIME!


    5-0 out of 5 stars Beautiful and sad!!
    Anyone who doesn't like this movie probably doesn't like much of anything.It is visually beautiful and full of emotion.I have the soundtrack of the original play with Michael Crawford and Sarah Brightman; I also saw the play on Broadway with other actors.Frankly, I think the movie is better.Emmy Rossum sings like the innocent she is portraying and her voice is clear and sweet.Patrick Wilson has a nice tenor and is believable as her young suitor, ready to conquer the world for her. (Loved the hair!!)However, it is Gerald Butler who steals the show; he should be called the "Man of a thousand faces" and looks different in every movie I've seen him in.He freely admitted in an interview that he's not a singer; in fact, he had to take a crash course in vocalizing to sing the part.Given that bit of information, I think he did a fine job and his acting is superb. The only complaint is that it must have been hard to make him look bad, given his Scottish good looks. I was rooting for the Phantom for most of the movie, and I wouldn't mind if he wanted to lock me up in his dungeon. He is extremely seductive in the part, and I can't think of anyone in Hollywood who could have done a better job. With his mask, the Phantom is powerful, commanding, fearsome and magical.Without it, he is like most of the rest of us in the world--weak, vulnerable, and emotionally fragile.Minnie Driver was a bit of comic relief, as were the 2 owners of the opera, who made a fortune in "scrap metal" (junk). So far, I have watched the DVD 5 times since I got it, and I reach for the tissues at the end every time.I loved this movie!!!

    5-0 out of 5 stars LOVED IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1
    Yes, I know the last exclamation mark is a 1

    This film has taken its place among my top 3 favorite movies, the first 2 being The Lord of the Rings trilogy and the first Pirates of the Carribean movie (they're making a sequel).

    First, let's talk about the music. The music is brought to the grand scale that Andrew Lloyd Webber had always dreamed of, now that it is being played by a full orchestra and not a pit band.

    The production design is extraordinary. I was rooting for the art department to win the Oscar for Best Art Direction. The grand scale of the stage show has been elevated to new heights.

    The treatment of the show itself is excellent. I loved the added touches of backstory and action and mystery. I personally preferred the sword fight in the cemetary because it works better on film than what actually happens on stage (the Phantom throws fireballs.) I also love how Schumacher gave the characters of Madame Giry and Joseph Buquet so much more to do than in the stage version. Frankly, they're just throwaway characters in the stage version but in the movie, we realize what Buquet is all about and we get to see that Madame Giry had a more vital role to play in the Phantom's life.

    Now for the cast:

    Emmy Rossum has the voice of an angel and is perfect for the part. She's the right age and has a young, crystalline voice.

    Gerard Butler as the Phantom. I don't agree that his singing voice is the best in the world. I know he's not really a trained singer but they could have trained him just a tad harder. Then again, Schumacher did not want a pretty voice for the Phantom. So, I forgive him. To tell the truth, his voice isn't that bad.

    Patrick Wilson has vocal chords made of gold, which is only right since he has done Broadway. He is perfect as the dashing, romantic, swashbuckling, and somewhat wimpy Raoul.

    Minnie Driver is hysterical as La Carlotta (I 'ATE MY 'AT!!!!)It's a pity that she's not really an opera singer.

    Miranda Richardson has an ok singing voice. She also puts on a convincing French accent. I've noticed that Madame Giry is normally the only member of the cast who has to do a French accent. She's less of a throwaway in the movie than in the stage version and more of a driving force. We see that she truly cares about Meg and Christine. So when the new managers are checking the two out, she's like, "Don't even think about it!"

    Simon Callow and Ciaran Hinds (pronounced KEE-ran HINDS; long I) are hysterical as the two managers (this never happened in the junk business; scrap metal!)I feel that Simon Callow's singing voice rivals Ciaran Hinds by far.

    Jennifer Ellison is a little delight as Meg Giry. And she's the first Meg I've ever heard who can sing. She's so petite and adorable that I thought Kristen Chenoweth was playing the part!

    Victor McGuire as Piangi is wonderfully hammy and henpecked. He has a wonderfully exaggerated tenor which gets crappy in all the right places. (Sad to return to find the la-a-a-and we love).

    I still don't understand why that midget was there all the time.

    Kevin McNally as Buquet. Well, he's better than the stage Buquet, who was a total throwaway character. At least he has more to do (like trying to catch the Ballet Girls getting dressed)

    The makeup on the Phantom was somewhat of a let down. It looked more like he had an encounter with acid as a young child. Then again, in the movie, it's never established that he was deformed from birth, so that may be what happened.

    The guy who played Monsuier Reyer was also funny (UNDERSTUDY!? There is no understudy for La Carlotta!)

    Just for the record, the horse in the title song is a homage to the original novel. The Phantom takes Christine to his lair on a horse.

    And now the special features:

    The featurette on the history of the musical was really cool. I especially liked the film clips of the Sydmonton production, the current production in England and clips from the music videos (the British DVD has the full, unedited music videos. Lucky dogs! Oh, well, they've had this show and Andrew Lloyd Webber longer.)

    The deleted song, No One Would Listen, is lovely even if it is really the first draft of Learn to Be Lonely.

    It's an awesome film and if the upcoming movie versions of Rent, The Producers, and Dreamgirls once again kill the movie musical which has barely been resurrected by Chicago and Moulin Rouge, this will be a reminder that this generation had its share of movie musicals. What can I say? I'm a sucker for movie musicals. I even liked Man of La Mancha. ... Read more


    18. The Godfather DVD Collection
    Director: Francis Ford Coppola
    list price: $105.90
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    Asin: B00003CXAA
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 175
    Average Customer Review: 4.44 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (463)

    5-0 out of 5 stars If there was ever an offer you couldn't refuse, it's this!
    Francis Ford Coppola and Paramount Home Entertainment held a press conference and street fair in Brooklyn, and yours truly was there! The exciting news, of course, was announcing the release of THE GODFATHER DVD COLLECTION on October 9, 2001! If the preview of the set is any indication, then I must say this will be the crown jewel in any DVD collection!

    The three films will only be released together in this set. The Godfather and The Godfather Part III will each be on one disc, and The Godfather Part II will take two discs. The first of the good news? Francis Coppola has recorded full-lenth audio commentaries for all three films!

    But wait, there's a fifth disc that will blow your socks off! Check this out -- the bonus disc contains 3+ hours worth of special features, including: > "The Godfather Family: A Look Inside" documentary > "Francis Coppola's Notebook", an inside look at taking the book to screen! > "On Location" with production designer Dean Tavoularis! > "The Godfather Behind The Scenes" 1971 featurette! > "The Cinematography of The Godfather"! > "The Music of The Godfather" -- two featurettes! > "Coppola and Puzo on Screenwriting"! > Storyboards from GF2 and GF3! > "The Corleone Family Tree" character and cast bios! > Academy Award® acceptance speeches! > Photo galleries with captions! > Theatrical trailers! > Filmmaker bios! > Corleone Family timeline, with real-life events mixed in! > Never-seen alternate opening of GF3! > And "all" of the extra footage found in the televised Godfather Saga!

    The picture quality looked fantastic -- Coppola's American Zoetrope did a wonderful job restoring the films! From what I could tell, the sound quality was perfect, and the on-screen menus looked great. And the DVD packaging looks very nice.

    All three films are in widescreen format with English 5.1 surround sound, French mono, and English subtitles.

    Perhaps the only "bad" news I heard was that there were no plans at this point to release the chronological version on DVD. Francis said that the films were meant to be seen with the flashbacks, and I tend to agree. The biggest plus of having The Godfather Trilogy or Epic on tape, or watching The Godfather Saga on TV, was all the extra footage included. Well, the bonus disc in The Godfather DVD Collection contains "all" of the extra footage, and even something we've never seen anywhere before: an alternate opening for The Godfather Part III. Francis didn't give a firm "no" though; he cited technical reasons for not being able to include all the extra footage on DVD: the different scenes are in various levels of production ("they weren't mixed and scored"), making it difficult to add them seemlessly with today's technology. Maybe, but they seemed to be okay in the boxed sets and on TV to me.

    Do yourself a favor and order the biggest DVD release of all time!

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Godfather Series: Movies You CANNOT Refuse.
    What can one say about The Godfather series? All three films were masterpieces. Classics. Part One told the tale of Vito Corleone played by Marlon Brando--the Mafia Don of a family in the 40's and 50's, which eventually is head by his son, Michael (Al Pacino) in the sequel. Part Two also tells the story of Vito as a young man in Sicily played by Robert DeNiro. In the final installment set about twenty years after the original, Michael's dreams of becoming legit are countered by his trigger-happy nephew (Andy Garcia), along with new and opposing foes that make it impossible to go straight and leave his crime backround behind. To quote Pacino: "Just when I think I'm out, they pull me back in," and countless other lines will be quoted for years to come. The performances are absolutely perfect, the screenplay and direction are superb by Mario Puzo and Francis Ford Coppola. What more can I say? You must watch all three to appreciate just how great these movies are. At three hours apiece they would be great fun for a rainy day. Pop them in at 8 in the morning and by 6 you'll be a member of the family. Part One is my favorite. Check out GoodFellas, another one of the best films of all time.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Classic
    Ah, the music, the scenery, the horse's head...

    Belonging to a family headed by two German matriarchs who married two Italian guys, watching The Godfather every year or so was a family tradition. I felt like I knew the Corleones and loved them, never mind they knocked off a few people who deserved it now and then. This mixed feeling is what makes the series so fascinating.

    The story is really about four men - Marlon Brando/Robert de Niro as Don Vito Corleone, the ultimate old-school mob boss, and his three sons - James Caan a force of nature as hotheaded Sonny, who lives to regret going to his sister's rescue one fateful day; John Cazale heartbreaking as Fredo, who's existence depends on his mother's continued good health after he makes the worst mistake of his life, and, most of all, Al Pacino; bonechilling as Michael, who outlives them all but lives to wish he hadn't.

    The first movie has most of the cliches - the Italian wedding, the "sleeping with the fishes" line, the amazing baptism/massacre scene, and Brando's whole performance. The second ostensibly deals with the respective rises of Vito and Michael to power and Michael's gripping cat-and-mouse game with wily old Hyman Roth, but I'll bet what everyone never forgets about this one is what happens to poor Fredo. If Michael hasn't lost his soul by the end of Part I, he's lost it by the end of Part II. Part III was inevitable, I suppose, but there's really nothing else to say. A good movie, yes, but the other two are so great that it's almost an anticlimax.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Coppola's legacy enclosed with others
    While the original film ranked #2 on the AFI's list of 100 Greatest Movies (#1 being Citizen Kane), many film buffs, afficionados, and audiences believed that the first Godfather film deserves that #1 spot. How many people do you know who know some of those famous quotes like, "I'm gonna' make him an offer he can't refuse," or "Never take sides against the family again, ever..." A few maybe? Or perhaps you grew up in an Italian family like mine and your father can translate the Italian for you while you watch? Now how many people can quote Citizen Kane beyond, "Rooooosebuuuud...."

    Despite the excellence of the first film, it is my opinion that Godfather part 2 delves deeper into the family, more into the two-toned life that Michael Corleone orchestrates between the family business and his family. Nowhere is this more apparent than with the relationship he cultivates between himself and Hyman Roth (wonderful performance by Lee Strasberg), cementing the old adage that you keep your friends close and your enemies closer. On the surface they are friends, behind closed doors they are co-conspirators, between each other they are close friends and confidants. Beneath it all, in the depths of each man's heart, they are mortal enemies, Corleone ultimately the victor. The whole movie is a mounting tension between the two, reaching heights as when Hyman fumes over the death of a great man, Mo Green, whom Corleone had killed in the first film. In the end, Hyman becomes just another victim, mowed down by a Corleone footman.

    The court proceedings are shot in a way that transmits the claustrophobia and morose tedium of the justice system back in the days of McCarthyism (the eras align somewhat, both post-war 1950's). The court is crowded, people line the walls, journalists write furiously in the heat of the courtroom, in the background, people walk in and out of the proceedings like is was a Wal-Mart. People speak into microphones, their voices drone in the hollow, sparse room.

    And then Michael Corleone has his own brother killed. Many would say this is when Michael gives himself over fully to the title "Godfather." This is actually one of the central themes of the first film, when exactly does Michael become Godfather? The first film has a wonderful moment where, in the family office (the predominant colors are brown and orange), Brando gets out of his chair, moves over to the side of the office, Michael gets up from the couch on the other side, moves to the desk, and sits in his fathers chair. This is when Michael becomes Godfather in my opinion, but Coppola is good enough to give us more moments that question exactly, "When?"

    Coppola's film legacy lies within this box set, as does Pacino's, Brando's, Caan's, and Duvall's. DeNiro managed to go off and do other things, his legacy lies somewhere else, but to the aforementioned actors, they have never done another film or role as well as what they did in the Godfather films. You don't realize it until you pop in the bonus disc, but composer's Nino Rota and Carmine Coppola also put their legacy into this film with the music. Who can forget Rota's seven-note theme that opens and closes the film? Carmine Coppola adds a more Italiano flavor to the music in the flashback scenes featuring DeNiro as a young Vito Andolini (a.k.a. Don Corleone in the first film).

    There's so much to go over, the least of which is film #3. But the contents of the other three discs justifies the cost, which could actually be higher. But really, this collection is an offer you can't refuse, or do I have to put a gun to your head??

    5-0 out of 5 stars Godfather collection~ a def. 5 stars
    personally, I thought Godfather II was the best out of the three films. I loved the fact that the movie kept fading from Michael's reign as Godfather to Vito Corleone's in 1920s New York and his olive oil (wink wink) business. great storytelling on Mario Puzo and Francis Ford Copolla's respective parts in II.
    Godfather was a classic, no mistake in that..what's weird is that the movie makes the audience love the mafia...never have I seen the mafia world portrayed from the inside out so unbelievably.
    part III was a bit disappointing...really made us want more of Michael Corleone and the rest of the family. ... Read more


    19. Ocean's Twelve (Widescreen Edition)
    Director: Steven Soderbergh
    list price: $27.95
    our price: $18.17
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0007P0XBO
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 46
    Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    Like its predecessor Ocean's Eleven, Ocean's Twelve is a piffle of a caper, a preposterous plot given juice and vitality by a combination of movie star glamour and the exuberant filmmaking skill of director Steven Soderbergh (Out of Sight, The Limey). The heist hijinks of the first film come to roost for a team of eleven thieves (including the glossy mugs of Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Bernie Mac, and Don Cheadle), who find themselves pursued not only by the guy they robbed (silky Andy Garcia), but also by a top-notch detective (plush Catherine Zeta-Jones) and a jealous master thief (well-oiled Vincent Cassel) who wants to prove that team leader Danny Ocean (dapper George Clooney) isn't the best in the field. As if all that star power weren't enough--and the eternally coltish Julia Roberts also returns as Ocean's wife--one movie star cameo raises the movie's combined wattage to absurd proportions. But all these handsome faces are matched by Soderbergh's visual flash, cunning editing, and excellent use of Amsterdam, Paris, and Rome, among other highly decorative locations. The whole affair should collapse under the weight of its own silliness, but somehow it doesn't--the movie's raffish spirit and offhand wit soar along, providing lightweight but undeniable entertainment. --Bret Fetzer ... Read more

    Reviews (197)

    3-0 out of 5 stars Please spare us Ocean's Thirteen
    Genre: Comedy, Mystery

    Genre Grade: A-

    Final Grade: B-

    This was a good follow-up to the first movie, although it did not even get close to matching the thrill of it. The story was MUCH weaker in this one, most of it contrived so confusingly that when you find out the outcome you are mad at how they took such an easy way out. You either like the tricks they do in this movie or you feel cheated. Or you feel a little of both, as I did.

    I can't say much about the plot because there are so many spoilers, but I will say there is a big surprise with one of the characters from the first movie that is quite funny. Some people hated it (one of the "cheap" moments) but I thought it was great. There are many plot holes but director Soderbourgh keeps you so interested in the characters and flashy style of the movie that you might not even notice them. No other director could get away with it, that's for sure.

    There is mild controversy over who, exactly, is Ocean's twelfth member. I honestly can't say 100% for sure because there are three people who could be considered as such. But there is one person who seems a little more likely to be that person because of a certain...event?

    In conclusion, I hope that if Soderbourgh decides to give us another helping of this franchise that he gets a much more clever story for Ocean's Thirteen...

    1-0 out of 5 stars The real theft;steal your money with a bad sequel!
    Hollywood returns to "independent" type cuts, erroneously assuming that it is the latest cash crop craze.So they hire youngsters to waste film and money shooting scenes that distract from quality dialogue, acting, and storyline.This is an excellent example of how NOT to make a movie.Don't waste your time unless you are a film student wishing to learn from others' mistakes.Not worth the price of popcorn!

    1-0 out of 5 stars Don't Waste Your Money
    This movie should never have been made. It was dull and unispiring. The acting seemed forced and rather then everyone playing a part, a few characters were seen through out and nothing more. If you truly liked Ocean's 11 then leave it at that. My personal recommendation is that you do not watch this movie and rather just stick with the first film. You will be better off by far.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Save your money
    Wow - what a bad movie. The all-star cast needs to exercice better judgment before accepting parts like these. The favorite side characters you'll remember from the first movie and played by solid/enjoyable actors (Don Cheadle, Bernie Mac, etc...) are left with meaningless lines and no part to play. Brad Pitt's on camera eating habits in the first movie were something to smile at, in this one, it's simply annoying. Julia Roberts pretending to be Julia Roberts - what a stretch for the writers! The camera action is exhausting and attempts to add pace to a movie that does not have any. The plot is so twisted, it's unbelievable and ... without any interest. Soderbegh has done some excellent movies - this is probably his worst. Save your money, don't fall for the marketing hype. If you want Clooney at his clever and charming best, get "Out of Sight". If you want some good Soderbergh (nice camera work, interesting cinematography), get "Traffic". And I can't come up with something decent to suggest for Pitt since "Seven" or "Fight Club".

    4-0 out of 5 stars Much better than expected
    Quite a few people I know told me the movie wasn't good so I didn't go see it on big screen. Now that I've watched in on DVD, surprisingly I quite like it and actually think it's as good as its prequel [in a different way though].

    I like the combination of light action, romance, comedy, and a bit of suspense here. The strongest point of the movie must be a medley of huge stars [Clooney, Pitt, Damon, Garcia, Zeta Jones,Roberts]. Even supporting actors are all first-class! All of them play their parts really really well and even the supporting cast could hold their own against the big actors. It is amazing that you can feel a burst of energy and charms from these people in almost every scence. I actually felt like watching a celebrity party in a way, LOL.

    Another thing I like in the movie is the sizzling romance. They didn't even have to use cheap sex scenes to tell the story. The chemistry between Clooney and Roberts is okay and the Pitt-Jones pairing is just incredible.

    More good things: neat script with lots of funny quirky lines, good editing and delicious outfitting [but well we all know that Clooney, Pitt, Damon, Zeta Jones, and Roberts would look good even if they wore paperbags!]

    Okay, now the weak points: The plot is kinda weak and not very believable. The movie could be confusing at times. I had to watch it twice to pick up some of the details. Also, those who go in expecting series of action would surely be disappointed. There is not a single violent scene in the movie if I remember correctly. The suspense element is not too good either. What else, there is not a whole lot of high tech gadgets for this Ocean's 12. Maybe these are why some people don't like this sequel as much as Ocean's 11.

    So to sum it up, I think it's a fun movie if you watch it as a romantic comedy. The movie can't quite boast its action and suspense elements though.

    Recommendation: Rent it and you'll get good two hours of entertainment. I bought the DVD just because I like many many funny scenes in the movie and wouldn't mind watching them over and over again.



    ... Read more


    20. Pride and Prejudice (Special Edition)
    Director: Simon Langton
    list price: $39.95
    our price: $27.97
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00005MP58
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 82
    Average Customer Review: 4.53 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (596)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A marvelous adaptation of one of the great novels.
    This A&E/BBC miniseries is a true masterpiece, bringing Jane Austen's most popular novel to life in a near perfect production. It has everything: authentic Regency Period atmosphere, costumes, settings, a beautiful musical score, excellent performances by a well-chosen cast. Andrew Davis's script does full justice to Austen's original. Colin Firth is excellent as Mr. Darcy, but Jennifer Ehle just takes my breath away with her magnificent performance, which catches every nuance of Elizabeth Bennet's character exactly right in every scene. It is a pleasure to watch all 4 1/2 hours straight through again and again. As a longtime devoted admirer of Jane Austen's works, I am very critical of any movies based upon her novels, but this has to be one of the very best adaptations of any major literary work.

    5-0 out of 5 stars WORTH OWNING AND REPEAT VIEWING
    I'm usually very hesitant about adaptations from book to film (especially classics), but this movie does justice to Jane Austin's timeless masterpiece. I rented this movie on a whim, thinking that it would at least be somewhat entertaining, but to my surprize and great pleasure, it not only captivated the true essence of the novel but the characters really came alive and stayed true to the story the whole way through. I eventually bought the DVD and I have NOT had "buyer's remorse" ever since. I get caught up in every moment of every scene of every viewing.

    There are no annoying "Hollywood stars" in it like in Ang Lee's Sense and Sensibility, yet the acting is incredible. Although I enjoyed Sense and Sensibility (on the second viewing because the first time I watched it I fell asleep), it doesn't hold a candle to Pride and Prejudice. This adaption lets your imagination steep in the imagery, language, and essence of the film so you never get "pulled out" of a scence. If you're unsure as whether or not to buy this gem, just do what I did and rent it for the weekend. You'll soon discover that your movie collection will be lacking without this rendition of Pride and Prejudice.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Superb, true to Jane Austen adaption
    This version of Pride & Predjudice is my absolute favorite. I have owned the tapes and the original DVD. As far as the movie itself goes, the characters are all perfectly cast. From the embarassingly annoying Mrs. Bennet, the sweet oldest sister Jane, the condescending and IQ challenged Mr. Collins, to the feisty Elizabeth and the Proud Mr. Darcy, you will find yourself engrossed in every character's story. The script was written to stay true to the original novel. The scenery in breathtaking, and you will find yourself paying as much attention to the beautiful countryside as you will the drama.
    As for technical details, the biographies that are included on this special version are simply printed words on the screen. Interesting information, but each bio is only one or two paragraphs long with a complete list of credits for only a few of the characters. The mini featurette is okay.
    My bottom line: if you love romance, drama, and history then this is the movie for you. If you already own it on tape or have the original dvd, save your money and enjoy the version you have.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Period Movie - Lovely to watch
    As an avid lover of period movies, I received this particular one last Christmas. I've been able to watch it multiple times. I love Colin Firth's portrayal of a proud and prejudice man who finally learns there are more important things. It's funny and romantic and the dialogue, as with any period piece, will keep you on your toes . . . maybe that's why I can re-watch so many times. It is a timeless movie!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Colin Firth...need I say more? Great Movie Colin Firth aside
    This movie is so amazing I've watched it so many times and I never get tired of it. I thought this was by far the best film adaptation of the novel. Colin Firth portrayed Mr. Darcy exactly as I pictured him in my mind. I loved all the characters and felt like the actors/actresses lived up the their characters in the novel. While the picture quality may not be that great (read several comments about it) it didnt bother me one bit. The locations they filmed were simply beautiful, the story and characters entralling, and the costumes and scenes eye catching....I didnt even notice the quality. ... Read more


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