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1. What Dreams May Come
$17.99 $13.87 list($19.99)
2. Map of the Human Heart
$31.24 list($19.95)
3. What Dreams May Come
$22.46 list($24.95)
4. The Navigator

1. What Dreams May Come
Director: Vincent Ward
list price: $14.98
our price: $11.24
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00007GZR5
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 673
Average Customer Review: 4.05 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (344)

4-0 out of 5 stars Visually spectacular (unbelievably cheesy storyline)
I know "What Dreams May Come" is a constant punching bag for movie critics alike and it wasn't exactly a blockbuster smash for Robin Williams but I sincerely like this film. I first saw "What Dreams May Come" when it was in the movie theaters. It was total eye candy with the gorgeous colors and the art-like quality. I felt like I was watching an artist creating his art work. The premise of the film is a bit silly. Robin Williams's character Chris is killed in a freak accident, leaving his emotionally unstable wife Annie played by Annabella Sciorra devasted and alone. The viewer also finds out that their two children were killed earlier in a car accident so when Chris dies, Annabella is completely consumed by grief and chooses that life is not worth living any more. Chris is sent to heaven which is basically a Monet painting. The bright vivid colors were stunning and made it a joy to watch. Cuba Gooding Jr. welcomes Chris into the after life and eventually helps Chris in his quest to find Annie. At the time, I enjoyed the storyline but as I was watching it tonight on tv, I never realized until now just how hokey the storyline and dialogue could be. Despite the hokiness of the film, I still enjoy watching "What Dreams May Come". I think my favorite scenes had to be when Chris literally went to purgatory. The images and colors were spectacular. Those scenes of people falling from the waves as well as from the air and exploding when hitting the ground was stunning to say the least. Those scenes were pure eye candy. "What Dreams May Come" is a good movie. It isn't nowhere as emotionally manipulative as "Patch Adams" was except maybe for a few scenes that involved the children. Otherwise "What Dreams May Come" is a good popcorn movie. It may not be Masterpiece Theater but I will take this movie over something as tripe as "Patch Adams" or overblown as "Armaggedeon" any day.

5-0 out of 5 stars I wish my dreams were this cool.
What Dreams May Come is a very powerful movie. Simply put, it can make you think some very deep thoughts.

The story is very moving and brilliantly crafted. The main character is a doctor named Chris (Robin Williams). He has a wife (Annabella Sciorra) and two kids. His family is great and he seems to be living the American dream. Then his children are killed in a car accident and his life is shattered. He spends the next four years trying to recover from the tragedy. Then he is killed in another traffic accident and the story takes off as he goes to the beautiful afterlife.

The movie seamlessly transitions from present to flashback to give a sense that time is irrelevant in the afterlife and to fill in the rest of the story. The first person he sees is a young version of the doctor he apprenticed under (Cuba Gooding Jr.) who later turns out to be someone else, but I won't tell you because I don't want to ruin any parts of the movie. He is then taken to a beautiful heaven, which is actually his mental re-creation of one of his wife's paintings. He later learns that his wife has committed suicide and in doing so has trapped herself in a never-ending spiral of guilt (a.k.a. Hell). Chris then has to travel to the depths of Hell to find and attempt to bring back his wife.

This movie is loaded with abstract thoughts and themes. For example: Your obsessions in life will become your afterlife; Thought is real, physical is the illusion; God lets bad things happen to good people; and far too many others for me to list here.

The movie is visually breathtaking and the computer-generated graphics add greatly to the realness of the movie. The acting is good and director obviously knew what he was doing. I will recommend this movie to anyone who has ever contemplated his or her existence.

4-0 out of 5 stars Visually beautiful and theologically interesting
There are surprisingly few movies dealing with a nonterrestrial afterlife. While there are hundreds of films dealing with the existence of individuals following death as embodied or disembodied spirits on earth, there are remarkably few that provide any glimpse of heaven. The few that do tend to present it as an inconceivably white, vast, and indistinct place, from HERE COMES MR. JORDAN to A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH to THE HORN BLOWS AT MIDNIGHT. In contrast to these other films, WHAT DREAMS MAY COME stands out as one of the most intensely colorful, beautiful, and vividly concrete films in cinema history.

The cast of the film is strong, but it would be a mistake to imagine that they are the reason for the film's success. Robin Williams as Chris Nielsen, Cuba Gooding Jr., Rosalind Chao (who I previously mainly knew only from STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION), Max von Sydow, and the lovely but underused (not only in this film, but by Hollywood in general) Annabella Sciorra all hand in wonderful performances, but they are largely overwhelmed by the astonishing beauty of the sets, the inconceivably vivid colors, and the marvelous use of light. No performers could have competed, though they try gamely.

I find the film especially interesting for theological reasons. Ron Bass based the screenplay on a novel by Richard Mattheson. I must confess to not knowing the work of either, but I would lay heavy money that one of them (probably Mattheson) knew well C. S. Lewis's THE GREAT DIVORCE. In that work Lewis was concerned to lay out a concept of heaven and hell that did not regard God as responsible for sending people to hell. Instead, he described an afterlife in which people in hell still had the option of leaving hell and departing for heaven. These two ideas--of people placing themselves in hell and of having the option to leave hell for heaven--drive the metaphysics of WHAT DREAMS MAY COME, as I'm sure anyone who has seen the film will recognize.

So why do I give the film only four stars after all the nice things I have said about it? Primarily because the film doesn't really have all that much of a story to tell. The plot feels like a short subject stretched to feature length film proportions. Once you subtract all the amazing visuals, there simply wasn't that much to the film. The challenge for the filmmakers was primarily padding out the action of the film. Nonetheless, I do recommend this as an interesting and intensely beautiful film, despite the slender narrative.

Interestingly, the title of the film comes from Hamlet's famous soliloquy, in which he ponders whether or not to commit suicide. In the end, he decides not to because of the dreams that the dead may dream, presumably worse for having killed oneself. But such dreams did not prevent Annie Nielsen in the film from committing suicide. It is a nice ironical touch.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Different Type of Love Story
This is a wonderful tale of death and love. Robin Williams dies in a car crash and wakes up in heaven. He sees his old dog and friends from his life that have died before him along with his two children that have died in a previous car accident. Robin finds out he that his wife is having an impossible time of living without him. She ends up committing suicide and then is sent ot hell. The rest of the movie is Robin on his quest to find his wife in Hell. The movie is stunning in detail and is truly beautiful to look at. Cuba Gooding Jr. and Max Von Syndow give stellar performances as supporting actors in this film. The DVD has the usual extras including a less than happy alternate ending.

4-0 out of 5 stars A great movie despite some flaws
"What Dreams May Come" is an overlooked film that should have gotten more attention than it did. While not perfect, it's one of the most visually stunning and thought-provoking films to come around in a long time. Chris (Robin Williams) and Annie (Annabella Sciorra) are a happy couple who suffer the devastating loss of their children. Shortly afterwards Chris dies himself and goes to an afterlife, which turns out to be a surreal lush dreamworld that is a reflection of his wife's paintings (which deservedly won the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects). While there Chris meets an "angel" (Cuba Gooding Jr.) who guides him through the transition. Meanwhile, back in the real world, Annie becomes unable to cope with all the pain and losses and takes her own life, sending her to Hell. Determined to rescue Annie from an eternity in damnation, Chris sets out to find her and re-establish their bond together.

This movie could have easily been a masterpiece, with such a great cast, excellent visual effects and production. However, there are two things which severely take away from its effectiveness. For one, the flashback style becomes tedious after a bit and interrupts the flow of the story. Many other reviewers have commented on this. It's a major drawback. And two, some scenes simply do not work. For example, when Chris arrives in Hell and begins maneuvering around the heads sticking out of the ground. This scene is done in a humorous way, seemingly for comic relief. It simply does not work and is majorly out of place. Comic relief isn't what should happen here.

Aside from these flaws, "What Dreams May Come" is an enlightening viewing experience and will stay with you long after you're finished watching it. It can be interpreted in many ways: a film about the possibility of life after death: a film about never-ending love: a film about affirming the beauty of life. However you may see it, you will surely take away at least something from it after the credits roll. ... Read more


2. Map of the Human Heart
Director: Vincent Ward
list price: $19.99
our price: $17.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0001MDQ58
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 12189
Average Customer Review: 4.52 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (29)

5-0 out of 5 stars Magnificant, compelling, and beautifully photographed.
This love story is one that spans from childhood thru adulthood. Mr. Ward's vision and superb cinematography make this a must see film. It flows evenly, and alternately makes you laugh and cry. The special effects are really well done and the last mission over Dresden are scenes that will haunt you forever. The final scenes are the most revered of the entire film. They are wonderfully done. As Albertine and Avik fly overhead in a balloon, he sees himself dying below on the arctic ice shelf. He was dreaming all of this, and Mr. Ward really knows how to make a movie. The alternating sequences of the mirror shining in their faces thru out the film lend something special to this offering. This is one film, I can watch over and over and never tire of it. My only regret is that is not available on DVD.

4-0 out of 5 stars A romantic tale of life-long love
I found this to be one of the most romantic movies I've ever seen. It tells the story of Avik, a young Eskimo boy who meets Walter Russell (Patrick Bergin) when Walter comes to map his village. Avik discovers he has Tuberculosis, and Walter takes the young boy to Montreal where he stays at a Catholic hospital. There he meets Albertine, a young girl of mixed French Canadian and Indian blood. They grow attached to each other, in spite of the meddling of one of the nuns, played by Jeanne Moreau. Eventually, Avik and Albertine are separated. Avik returns to his village, and becomes a man. He finds he is ostracized by his fellow tribe, because he has lived too long among the white people.

Avik as an adult is played by Jason Scott Lee. By this time, Canada is involved in World War II, and Avik joins the Air Force and flies on bombing raids. He is reunited with Albertine (Anne Parillaud) in London, who is also in the military. Unfortunately, so is Walter Russell. And it seems that he and Albertine have met and become romantically involved. Avik does not want to interfere in the relationship, because Walter saved his life.

This is a story of two people who are truly in love, but whom the fates keep apart. An old theme, but with a new twist. I found it heart breaking and romantic. I loved the period portrayed. And the love scene atop the blimp is quite something! This film isn't for everyone, but if you like a good romantic tear jerker, this is for you.

5-0 out of 5 stars Magnificent Movie, Less Than Magnificent DVD
Since the story of "Map of the Human Heart" is found in other reviews on this page, I will focus instead on what makes the film so special and the contents of the DVD.

"Map" is essentially a tried 'n true romantic story of two people who are destined for each other, but separated by fate. What makes this film so wonderful are the spectacular location shots, the superb acting, and the ambition of the storyline.
The most notable sequences are the bombing of Dresden, the "dance" atop the ceiling/roof of the famous Albert Hall theatre, the balloon sequence at the end of the film, and the most indelible site, the love scene atop a barrage balloon. Jason Scott Lee and Ann Parillaud are wonderful in the title roles and Patrick Bergan turns in a really good performance in what may be the most complex character he's ever played (though he does get a "movie star" moment in the film when he dramatically turns around to greet Avik in a London Ballroom).

Special note must be made of the young Avik (Robert Joamie) and Albertine (Annie Galipeau, who possesses an interesting voice to say the least) in the Catholic hospital/school. There is real chemestry present between the actors and it shows. Particularly the scene in which both of them are trying to escape, Albertine gives Avik a knife and says, "Take a part of me.", Avik proceeds to cut off some of her hair, the scene was so moving it left me in tears.

The DVD presentation is really dissapointing considering how long we've had to wait for it. While the movie itself is presented in clean widescreen (using the European cut from what I understand, it's about five minutes longer than the American version), the only extras are four deleted scenes. Three of which take place when Avik & Albertine are at the Catholic hospital/school. Apparently, the "Bunny Ears" deleted scene must be rather infamous considering a promo shot from it is used on the DVD cover. The scene itself looks like it never made it to a preview audience (the film is unprocessed) and it ends with a urination bit that left my jaw on the floor. The deleted scene with Avik tearing a hole through a wall is rather nice, ending with him and Albertine playfully kissing each other.

It's rather puzzling that there were no other extras like a photo gallery (promo photos were used on the menu pages), cast & crew bios, and production notes were put in, in lieu of a director's commentary (which I can understand may have been difficult to get).

"Map of the Human Heart" is one of the finest films ever made that vitually no one has seen. It's well worth seeking out and adding to your collection. Trust me, you will not be dissapointed.

5-0 out of 5 stars the DVD is finally here
The five stars are for the movie, not necessarily the DVD, which, after an inexplicable wait, has finally arrived on shelves. I'll leave it to others to talk about the movie itself; I'll just make a few points about the DVD.

First of all, you should be aware that this is the European edit, not the American one, which for reasons unknown to me was not the version chosen for the DVD transfer. The American version runs about 109 minutes, the European PAL version about 5 minutes longer. There are a couple of scenes that until now only the Europeans could see (for example, after Walter tells Albertine, "I'd do anything for you," he takes her into the next room where he has secreted a horse into their apartment!). Now this is included. Another difference that will be immediately noticeable is that the voice of Avik and Albertine's daughter is no longer voiced over with that sweet and mellifluous voice, but is now the raucous and heavily accented voice of the actress you see: quite jarring if you've never heard it before. In addition, the European version was much more leisurely with the editing pace (such as during the interview between Avik's daughter and him on the snow: there are many extra lines now), with longer establishing shots, Avik nearly getting run over by a snowplow, etc., and this more relaxed pace has been preserved.

THE GOOD:

1. "Map of the Human Heart" was not filmed in 1.85:1 as I long thought, but full widescreen, 2.35:1, and provided your player is set up to play it, this DVD will play the full "dollar". This is not, however, the tremendous experience rabid fans of this movie might think it is, since I feel director Vincent Ward didn't really use that extra space off to the sides, so you haven't been missing much. As far as I know, ONLY widescreen is available, and no "fullscreen" version of this movie is even offered on DVD. The version you would purchase from this page (ASIN: B0001MDQ58) is letterbox, though Amazon doesn't make that clear.

2. The deleted scenes are interesting but frankly I understand why they wound up on the cutting room floor. There are only four included. I happen to know of a couple of other deleted scenes which were filmed but haven't made it on this disc: Avik in a POW-type convoy after Dresden, and Walter searching among the overturned tables and chairs for the missing Albertine (!) during the final dream sequence with the air balloon. However, I was dumbfounded at the urination sequence!

THE BAD:

1. I was hoping that the subtitles would clarify some lines I've always wondered about, but instead they were poorly done -- evidently by somebody who was in a great hurry or who simply didn't care. Just a couple of irritating examples: When Avik bombs Dresden, the subtitles have him saying, "We are on target," instead of, "What have I done?" Or when Jeanne Moureau as the imperious nun rips the sheet off the two kids, the subtitles have her saying, "The worn skin only stands so much damage," instead of "The walls can only stand so much damage," referring to the kids' hijinks in a scene that didn't make the final cut. Subtitles are also available in Spanish (with the same errors), but not in any other language.

2. There is no commentary or any kind of interview with the director, Ward, or anybody else, such as Louis Nowra or Gabriel Yared. This was a disappointment, even though the quality of Ward's voiceover on the "What Dreams May Come" DVD is less than tremendous.

Incidentally, if anybody knows where principal locations of this film were, I would appreciate the clarification. For example, is there really a "horse" lake in the Midlands? If so, where? And I have heard that the sanatorium is located in Canada but not near Montreal at all... Anybody know?

5-0 out of 5 stars Deceptively Simply, Beautiful, & Moving ¿ Different
Someone once said, "A story doesn't necessarily have to have happened to be true." This is a wonderful story that provides a unique perspective that rarely is provided in a Hollywood movie. One can study facts and statistics about history, but it takes a story like this for one to begin to understand how it all tied together to define one person's life. Many people can tell you about the US involvement in World War II and the Eskimo culture, but few know how they affected each other. This film does just that with sincere compassion and beautiful cinematography.
When two cultures collide the "assimilation" of one into the other has profound effects. If one assimilates completely into the dominating culture they will lose their heritage. On the other end, if one does not assimilate at all then they will be destroyed, thus unable to pass on their heritage. This movie does not try to make a point about right or wrong, but rather focuses on the human realities of such a conflict. If you enjoyed the book, A Light in the Forest by Conrad Richter, you'll love this movie. Also, this has moving cultural aspects as did "Dances with Wolves," but better represents the "White Cultures" as struggling to protect their ways of life. Finally, for you country music fans, this movie has a plot line somewhat close to that of the song "The Ballad of Ira Hayes" by Johnny Cash (which is a true story). That's all I'm saying - you'll have see it yourself.
The first time I watched this movie was in Alaska with a Siberian Yupik (Eskimo) friend of mine. From both of our perspectives we were impressed with how historically and culturally accurate it seemed to be. The interesting part came at the ending - he expected it, and it caught me with an emotionally gripping surprise I'll never forget.
I own about ten DVDs. I only purchase DVDs if they are magnificent and hard to find. This one is both. ... Read more


3. What Dreams May Come
Director: Vincent Ward
list price: $19.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00000ICD9
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 13668
Average Customer Review: 4.05 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Robin Williams and Annabella Sciorra star in this visually stunning metaphysical tale of life after death. Neurologist Chris and artist Annie had the perfect life until they lost their children in an auto accident; they're just starting to recover when Chris meets an untimely death himself.He's met by a messenger named Albert (Cuba Gooding Jr.) and taken to his own personal afterlife--a freshly drawn world reminiscent of Annie's own artwork, still dripping and wet with paint. Meanwhile a depressed Annie takes her own life, compelling Chris to traverse heaven and hell to save Annie from an eternity of despair.

The multitextured visuals seem to have been created from a lost fairy tale. Heaven recalls the landscape paintings of Thomas Cole and Renaissance architecture complete with floating cherubs, while hell is a massive shipwreck, an upside-down cathedral overgrown with thorns and a sea of groaning faces popping out of the ground (one of those faces is German director Werner Herzog). Williams is the perfect actor to play against the imaginative computer-generated imagery--he himself is a human special effect. But the lack of chemistry between Williams and Sciorra is painfully apparent, and the flashback plot structure flattens the story's impact despite its deeply felt examinations of the heart and the spirit. Still, there's no denying Eugenio Zanetti's triumphant production design and the Oscar-winning special effects, which create a fully formed universe that is at once beautiful, eerie, and a unique example of movie magic. --Shannon Gee ... Read more

Reviews (344)

4-0 out of 5 stars Visually spectacular (unbelievably cheesy storyline)
I know "What Dreams May Come" is a constant punching bag for movie critics alike and it wasn't exactly a blockbuster smash for Robin Williams but I sincerely like this film. I first saw "What Dreams May Come" when it was in the movie theaters. It was total eye candy with the gorgeous colors and the art-like quality. I felt like I was watching an artist creating his art work. The premise of the film is a bit silly. Robin Williams's character Chris is killed in a freak accident, leaving his emotionally unstable wife Annie played by Annabella Sciorra devasted and alone. The viewer also finds out that their two children were killed earlier in a car accident so when Chris dies, Annabella is completely consumed by grief and chooses that life is not worth living any more. Chris is sent to heaven which is basically a Monet painting. The bright vivid colors were stunning and made it a joy to watch. Cuba Gooding Jr. welcomes Chris into the after life and eventually helps Chris in his quest to find Annie. At the time, I enjoyed the storyline but as I was watching it tonight on tv, I never realized until now just how hokey the storyline and dialogue could be. Despite the hokiness of the film, I still enjoy watching "What Dreams May Come". I think my favorite scenes had to be when Chris literally went to purgatory. The images and colors were spectacular. Those scenes of people falling from the waves as well as from the air and exploding when hitting the ground was stunning to say the least. Those scenes were pure eye candy. "What Dreams May Come" is a good movie. It isn't nowhere as emotionally manipulative as "Patch Adams" was except maybe for a few scenes that involved the children. Otherwise "What Dreams May Come" is a good popcorn movie. It may not be Masterpiece Theater but I will take this movie over something as tripe as "Patch Adams" or overblown as "Armaggedeon" any day.

5-0 out of 5 stars I wish my dreams were this cool.
What Dreams May Come is a very powerful movie. Simply put, it can make you think some very deep thoughts.

The story is very moving and brilliantly crafted. The main character is a doctor named Chris (Robin Williams). He has a wife (Annabella Sciorra) and two kids. His family is great and he seems to be living the American dream. Then his children are killed in a car accident and his life is shattered. He spends the next four years trying to recover from the tragedy. Then he is killed in another traffic accident and the story takes off as he goes to the beautiful afterlife.

The movie seamlessly transitions from present to flashback to give a sense that time is irrelevant in the afterlife and to fill in the rest of the story. The first person he sees is a young version of the doctor he apprenticed under (Cuba Gooding Jr.) who later turns out to be someone else, but I won't tell you because I don't want to ruin any parts of the movie. He is then taken to a beautiful heaven, which is actually his mental re-creation of one of his wife's paintings. He later learns that his wife has committed suicide and in doing so has trapped herself in a never-ending spiral of guilt (a.k.a. Hell). Chris then has to travel to the depths of Hell to find and attempt to bring back his wife.

This movie is loaded with abstract thoughts and themes. For example: Your obsessions in life will become your afterlife; Thought is real, physical is the illusion; God lets bad things happen to good people; and far too many others for me to list here.

The movie is visually breathtaking and the computer-generated graphics add greatly to the realness of the movie. The acting is good and director obviously knew what he was doing. I will recommend this movie to anyone who has ever contemplated his or her existence.

4-0 out of 5 stars Visually beautiful and theologically interesting
There are surprisingly few movies dealing with a nonterrestrial afterlife. While there are hundreds of films dealing with the existence of individuals following death as embodied or disembodied spirits on earth, there are remarkably few that provide any glimpse of heaven. The few that do tend to present it as an inconceivably white, vast, and indistinct place, from HERE COMES MR. JORDAN to A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH to THE HORN BLOWS AT MIDNIGHT. In contrast to these other films, WHAT DREAMS MAY COME stands out as one of the most intensely colorful, beautiful, and vividly concrete films in cinema history.

The cast of the film is strong, but it would be a mistake to imagine that they are the reason for the film's success. Robin Williams as Chris Nielsen, Cuba Gooding Jr., Rosalind Chao (who I previously mainly knew only from STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION), Max von Sydow, and the lovely but underused (not only in this film, but by Hollywood in general) Annabella Sciorra all hand in wonderful performances, but they are largely overwhelmed by the astonishing beauty of the sets, the inconceivably vivid colors, and the marvelous use of light. No performers could have competed, though they try gamely.

I find the film especially interesting for theological reasons. Ron Bass based the screenplay on a novel by Richard Mattheson. I must confess to not knowing the work of either, but I would lay heavy money that one of them (probably Mattheson) knew well C. S. Lewis's THE GREAT DIVORCE. In that work Lewis was concerned to lay out a concept of heaven and hell that did not regard God as responsible for sending people to hell. Instead, he described an afterlife in which people in hell still had the option of leaving hell and departing for heaven. These two ideas--of people placing themselves in hell and of having the option to leave hell for heaven--drive the metaphysics of WHAT DREAMS MAY COME, as I'm sure anyone who has seen the film will recognize.

So why do I give the film only four stars after all the nice things I have said about it? Primarily because the film doesn't really have all that much of a story to tell. The plot feels like a short subject stretched to feature length film proportions. Once you subtract all the amazing visuals, there simply wasn't that much to the film. The challenge for the filmmakers was primarily padding out the action of the film. Nonetheless, I do recommend this as an interesting and intensely beautiful film, despite the slender narrative.

Interestingly, the title of the film comes from Hamlet's famous soliloquy, in which he ponders whether or not to commit suicide. In the end, he decides not to because of the dreams that the dead may dream, presumably worse for having killed oneself. But such dreams did not prevent Annie Nielsen in the film from committing suicide. It is a nice ironical touch.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Different Type of Love Story
This is a wonderful tale of death and love. Robin Williams dies in a car crash and wakes up in heaven. He sees his old dog and friends from his life that have died before him along with his two children that have died in a previous car accident. Robin finds out he that his wife is having an impossible time of living without him. She ends up committing suicide and then is sent ot hell. The rest of the movie is Robin on his quest to find his wife in Hell. The movie is stunning in detail and is truly beautiful to look at. Cuba Gooding Jr. and Max Von Syndow give stellar performances as supporting actors in this film. The DVD has the usual extras including a less than happy alternate ending.

4-0 out of 5 stars A great movie despite some flaws
"What Dreams May Come" is an overlooked film that should have gotten more attention than it did. While not perfect, it's one of the most visually stunning and thought-provoking films to come around in a long time. Chris (Robin Williams) and Annie (Annabella Sciorra) are a happy couple who suffer the devastating loss of their children. Shortly afterwards Chris dies himself and goes to an afterlife, which turns out to be a surreal lush dreamworld that is a reflection of his wife's paintings (which deservedly won the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects). While there Chris meets an "angel" (Cuba Gooding Jr.) who guides him through the transition. Meanwhile, back in the real world, Annie becomes unable to cope with all the pain and losses and takes her own life, sending her to Hell. Determined to rescue Annie from an eternity in damnation, Chris sets out to find her and re-establish their bond together.

This movie could have easily been a masterpiece, with such a great cast, excellent visual effects and production. However, there are two things which severely take away from its effectiveness. For one, the flashback style becomes tedious after a bit and interrupts the flow of the story. Many other reviewers have commented on this. It's a major drawback. And two, some scenes simply do not work. For example, when Chris arrives in Hell and begins maneuvering around the heads sticking out of the ground. This scene is done in a humorous way, seemingly for comic relief. It simply does not work and is majorly out of place. Comic relief isn't what should happen here.

Aside from these flaws, "What Dreams May Come" is an enlightening viewing experience and will stay with you long after you're finished watching it. It can be interpreted in many ways: a film about the possibility of life after death: a film about never-ending love: a film about affirming the beauty of life. However you may see it, you will surely take away at least something from it after the credits roll. ... Read more


4. The Navigator
Director: Vincent Ward
list price: $24.95
our price: $22.46
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B000055ZAY
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 22718
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (15)

4-0 out of 5 stars A fantastic pilgramage! I call for higher-budget remake!
The Navigator is a great movie, although the plot seems cloudy at times and the movie too short. After watching it I was left wanting more. I would definately like to see a higher-budget remake of The Navigator: A Medieval Odessy. The idea of pious medieval peasants really time traveling to the modern day makes for a story of adventure and fantasy. One full of human moments and perhaps even a little humor. How will modern day priests react to these pilgrams? and their story? These are just a few things I was left wanting to see. I recommand renting this movie first. Then decide for yourself if its worth owning.

5-0 out of 5 stars Unparalleled in its visual brilliance and imagination
Vincent Ward's The Navigator is truley a unique movie. Despite its low budget, it is visually stunning and tremendously imaginative. Some viewers may find the storyline too odd for those taste, but movie fans with a sense of adventure will be rewarded. Combining elements of time travel, adventerous quests, prophecy, tragedy, and set in the time of the great plague the film keeps the viewer engrossed throughout. The cast of no name New Zealand actors do a incredible job of bringing together an incredbily complicated story. Vincent Ward (director of Map of the Human Heart and most recently What Dreams May Come) has the courage to experiment, but pulls it off!

A movie for Science Fiction fans who recognize a world beyond Star Trek and movie fans who recognize a world beyond Hollywood.

5-0 out of 5 stars an amazing, thought-provoking experience
As a PhD student in medieval history, I usually approach films set in the Middle Ages with no small sense of trepidation. The Navigator: A Mediaeval Odyssey is the exception. It is a visually stunning, well-written well-acted little film that manages to be both thought-provoking and entertaining. What I found particularly worthy of note is Vincent Ward's use of imagery. His choice to film the medieval scenes in mid-winter and in black and white conveys the bleakness of medieval peasant life and the muted colours of the modern scenes have a mystical feel to them. The film actually feels medieval, and since it does not refer to an historical event more specific than the Black Death, there's no opportunity to get annoyed with historical inaccuracy (a curse of all we would-be professional historians!) I recommend it highly to anyone who likes fantasy and adventure.

4-0 out of 5 stars Haunting
I rented this film at the local Video Store in the most casual manner: by scanning the box art for a clue to something different, knowing nothing of the movie or its creators. It turned out to be the most haunting cinema experience I have ever had. Images from the film have never left me. A modern city is magically transformed and redefined through the eyes and spirits of people from another time. The quest for protection by a higher power highlights a universal need. This is a wonderful film.

5-0 out of 5 stars A compelling fable
Set in 1348 in Cumbria in North West England during the plague this is an outstanding tale.

There are many reasons why the film is outstanding, the mix of black and white and colour photography is beautifully balanced, even to the extent of mixing within individual scenes,this all adds to the mythical qualities of the story. The desolate snow swept landscape of Cumbria (New Zealand doubles up for Cumbria)are stunning and the perfomance by Hamish McFarlane as the visionary boy is suberb.

It is partly about time travel, the boy with a small group of his fellow villages go through a mine to find themselves in a modern day New Zealand city, that essentially is more barren than where they came from. They are in search of a miraculous church and their quest is to place an icon on top of the steeple. There are some nice gags but essentially the film is about the boy's vision. Did in fact the travel through time actually happen or was it part of the boy's spirituality.

Is in fact the film a subtle allegory that,without preaching, equates the plague with Aids and the barreness of the landscape and the villagers on the edge of not surviving, a post nuclear apocalyptic vision? The film was made in 1988 when these possibilities dominated. Equally though, these possibilities are as relevant today.

A lyrical but disturbing fable. ... Read more


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