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    1. The Phantom of the Opera (2-Disc
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    2. Team America - World Police (Uncensored
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    3. Band of Brothers
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    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
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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


    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
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    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. Band of Brothers
    list price: $119.99
    our price: $85.74
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00006CXSS
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 27
    Average Customer Review: 4.85 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Description

    Based on the bestseller by Stephen E. Ambrose, the epic 10-part miniseries Band of Brothers tells the story of Easy Company, 506th Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division, U.S. Army. Drawn from interviews with survivors of Easy Company, as well as soldiers' journals and letters, Band of Brothers chronicles the experiences of these men who knew extraordinary bravery and extraordinary fear. They were an elete rifle company parachuting into France early on D-Day morning, fighting in the Battle of the Bulge and capturing Hitler's Eagle's Nest at Berchtesgaden. They were also a unit that suffered 150 percent casualties, and whose lives became legend. ... Read more

    Reviews (703)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Band of Brothers - The Complete 10 Chapter Miniseries
    This 10 chapter miniseries set is an exquisite mix of Saving Private Ryan with the documentary feel of an A&E type production and the drama, look and the inevitable touch of Spielberg/Hanks brilliance and genius.

    Incredibly real and gut wrenching, the miniseries begins at 101st Airborne Division training camp at Camp Toccoa, USA. Whereupon we learn about the tough reality of being in the Airborne Division and the severity of living under a military chain of command. Under the command of Lt. Sobel, Easy Company is trained and drilled every single day until they become on of the best companies in the Division, a fact that will prove to be woeful in battle.

    At long last (2 years in training) the Allies have concocted a plan to start the invasion/liberation of Nazi occupied France and Europe. D-day is gruesome but Easy Company is more terrible events are yet to come.

    As we follow along the story, we slowly get into knowing people like Lipton, Luz, Perconte, Winters, Buck, Bull, Skip Muck, Popeye, Guarnere and many memorable characters who we see triumph, survive and perish in the cruelty of war.
    We are taken into the very jaws of the enemy at battles like Foy, Carentan, Bastogne, the Eagle's nest, all these in the dreariest and bitter conditions of bad weather and lack of supplies. We are also shown the harsh confrontation and evil they were up against when Easy and other companies face the concentration camp in Landsberg.

    A miniseries all WWII fans and followers are sure to enjoy, hands down a top 5 stars and Thumbs Up.

    You will enjoy it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Powerful testament to the human spirit
    BAND OF BROTHERS (USA/UK TV 2001): The trials and tribulations of Easy Company, 506th Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division, from the D-Day landings in Normandy to their capture of Hitler's Eagle's Nest in Austria at the end of World War II.

    Co-produced by Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg, HBO's epic 10-part miniseries (based on a terrific bestselling book by the late Stephen E. Ambrose) was the most expensive TV undertaking of its day, costing a massive $120 million to produce. And, as the old saying goes, every penny is up there on the screen. Borne from the success of Spielberg's SAVING PRIVATE RYAN (1998) - with which it shares a similar dramatic and visual style - BAND OF BROTHERS' recreation of a glorious (and hard-won) chapter in American history assumed an even greater patriotic significance during its initial US broadcast, when it coincided with the horrific attacks that destroyed the World Trade Center in September 2001. Written with economy and grace, and directed with emotional intensity by a series of directors (including Phil Alden Robinson, Richard Loncraine and Hanks himself) whose combined efforts achieve a genuine aesthetic uniformity, the movie is a masterpiece of storytelling and historical documentation. Punctuated by horrific battle sequences, in which the camera is placed within mere inches of the death and destruction, the film manages to transcend its educational remit by its relentless focus on the human cost of war. Almost every episode opens with testimony from surviving members of Easy Company (none of whom are identified until the end of the series), which further strengthens the emphasis which BAND OF BROTHERS - book and film - places on the bonds which drew them together in times of conflict. And, because it's a true story, there's no telling from one episode to the next which of the 'characters' will live or die, which makes it all the more potent and visceral.

    The entire production represents quality writ large: Beautifully filmed on various European locations (including the UK and Austria), the movie is noble without being the least bit pompous or austere, and it manages to humanize a large cast of essential characters with small touches of humanity and humor, all of which serves to heighten the sense of terror as they descend into the maelstrom of conflict. The first - and longest - episode is deceptively staid, featuring David Schwimmer (a long way from TV's 'Friends') as the bullying, cowardly commanding officer Herbert Sobel, whose tyrannical methods nevertheless shaped Easy Company into a fighting force which eventually cut a swathe through the heart of occupied Europe. Brit actor Damian Lewis takes the spotlight thereafter as Easy Company's most respected platoon leader, Richard Winters, with Ron Livingston as his right hand man, Lewis Nixon. Other standout performances in a flawless cast include Matthew Settle as battle-hardened platoon leader Ronald Speirs whose wartime career was distinguished by numerous acts of bravery (fuelled by a unique - if morbid - personal philosophy), Shane Taylor as company medic Eugene Roe, Neal McDonough as 2nd lieutenant 'Buck' Compton (laid low by his horrific combat experiences), and Donnie Wahlberg as 1st sergeant C. Carwood Lipton, who maintained the morale of his fellow soldiers, even when the odds seemed stacked against them. Every episode has its merits, but stand-outs include David Leland's 'Bastogne' (ep. 6), which recounts the horrendous circumstances surrounding Easy Company's involvement in the Battle of the Bulge, and David Frankel's 'Why We Fight' (ep. 9), in which the full horror of the Nazi regime is uncovered in a German forest. Additionally, the closing moments of chapter 10 ('Points', directed by Mikael Salomon) are truly heartbreaking.

    Like the movie itself, HBO's region 1 DVD is magnificent. Housed in a beautifully embossed metal case, all ten episodes are spread across five discs (running a total of 624m 23s). The image is letterboxed at 1.78:1, anamorphically enhanced, and picture quality is stunning throughout, with faded colors (a deliberate artistic choice) and strong contrasts. The Dolby 5.1 soundtrack is spectacular and horrific, designed specifically to immerse the viewer in some of the most terrifying battle scenes ever captured on film. Closed captions are included, though there are no open subtitles. Crucially, each disc contains biographical information on the soldiers represented in every episode, which allows the viewer to keep track of an extensive array of characters, and there's a useful glossary, map and timeline of Easy Company's advance across Europe. Perhaps the number of chapters per episode could have been doubled (as it stands, there are six for each instalment), but that's a minor glitch in an otherwise exemplary presentation. The sixth disc in HBO's package contains a fascinating, feature length documentary on the real members of Easy Company (essential viewing), and a series of video diaries by actor Ron Livingston of the boot camp to which many of the cast were subjected in preparation for filming, during which the actors seem to have cultivated the same bonds of friendship experienced by real soldiers in combat situations.

    It's doubtful that a more fitting tribute to the men of Easy Company could have been devised than BAND OF BROTHERS, a truly remarkable experience, given the Rolls Royce treatment on DVD. By turns engrossing, provocative and deeply, profoundly moving, it stands as a testament to those who fought and died for our freedoms, almost a lifetime ago.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Who did save Europe?
    I have seen this mini-series and like every movie that will ever be made by any film maker (US, Ireland, China, Germany, etc…) it is not an accurate account of what really happen. If the US did not save Europe who did? Was it the Russians, the French, the German’s? I forgot the German’s where conquering Europe. Ireland, who did HELP save Europe? Any way, I am thankful and grateful for all who fought to free Europe and the rest of the countries in this world. I am a naturalized citizen and retired member of the Arm Forces of the USA, who with out their sacrifices I would have not been able to come to this great, wounderful, and giving nation I call my home. It also shows the stupidity of the leadership of all nations, but most of all it shows the prize that Americans paid for the freedom we have today. God bless all those who fight for freedom. This is what this movie is all about, FREEDOM!

    1-0 out of 5 stars Idiot's guide to WWII
    This tripe just reinforces the idiotic opinion held by so many Americans that "America saved Europe" from the Nazi's. Rubbish. Read a good book instead.

    5-0 out of 5 stars "It appears the Germans are bad, very bad."
    I was lucky enough to catch this excellent mini-series on a replaying on the history Channel because 1.) I don't have HBO and 2.) I don't have over $100 to spend on this box set. But I wish I did. This is probably the best war movie I have ever seen. It follows Easy Company, probably the most famous platoon of world war 2 from their training in boot camp, to the very end at hitler's "Eagle Nest." They were a platoon that suffered 150% casulties.

    With the exception of its length (over ten hours) this is right up their with a big bedget movie. It has great actors, awesome cinemetogrophy, and great war special effect. Don't let the fact that this tv miniseries is a wimpy piece of junk. It's not! Because it was on HBO, the makers made sure to keep it realistic with the violence (lots of blood, injures, lossed limbs, etc...), theirs bad language and even a little nudity. So don't let a little kid watch this. The late Michael Kamen provides the excellent score and really provides a ambient backdrop to the sorrow and loss and horrible side of war.

    If you are at all interesting in Worl War II or like war movies in general. You must do yourself a favour and check this masterpiece out. You will not be dissapointed. ... 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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    Amazon.com

    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. Elvis - The '68 Comeback Special (Deluxe Edition DVD)
    list price: $49.98
    our price: $37.49
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00025L42Q
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 518
    Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com essential video

    Released in conjunction with a two-disc deluxe edition of Elvis: Aloha from Hawaii, the three-disc deluxe edition of Elvis's '68 Comeback Special is another incredible treasure trove of footage documenting a high point of the King's career and a milestone of televised musical performances.Taped and broadcast in 1968 after Elvis had seemingly abandoned live performing in favor of a movie career, the '68 Comeback Special was a remarkably intimate show, Elvis singing his old songs on a small stage, often alone, surrounded on all sides by a rapt audience.The show's numbers fall into three general categories: the black leather stand-up shows, in which Elvis performs solo on stage; the black leather sit-down shows, in which Elvis jams with former bandmates Scotty Moore and D.J. Fontana and others; and big production numbers, often overdone and now looking as dated as any other 1960s variety show.

    In addition to the complete, uncut TV special (with the bordello number that was deemed too daring for TV), this DVD set includes both of the original stand-up shows and both of the original sit-down shows (the first was released mostly complete as One Night with You), and multiple takes of numerous production numbers.The numerous glitches and stumbles of the production numbers have limited replay value, but the complete stand-up and sit-down sessions are like gold for those who couldn't get enough of them during the 73-minute television special.Decades after the original telecast, Elvis has made another comeback.--David Horiuchi ... Read more

    Reviews (46)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Absolute Must Have!
    This three dvd set is amazing! You get to experience all four live NBC studio performances. (The 2 complete sit down jam sessions and 2 complete stand up performances) The highlight of the first stand up performance is when Elvis asks for his electric guitar, starts strumming the blues riff to "Baby What You Want Me To Do" and all of a sudden, the house band joins in for a smoking jam session! Elvis, being a total Rock Star, in black leather, playing lead guitar in an unplanned blues jam! How cool is that! Most people don't realize that Elvis is actually a descent guitar player. The sit down performaces clearly prove this. Elvis plays Scotty Moore's electric guitar throughout most of the two shows, while the other guys play "unplugged". Other highlights include the extra, unused footage to the production numbers. You get a sneak peek of serious flirtation between sexy actress/dancer Susan Henning and Elvis. (Something was going on there!) Seven hours of historic Elvis at his coolest!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Sensational!
    Sensational is the word that comes to mind while browsing through the new "Elvis - The '68 Comeback Special (Deluxe Edition DVD)". This 3-disc set assembles all the footage related to the famous '68 Comeback Special. A great deal of the material shown is released here for the first time in its entirety, or released for the first time pure and simple.

    While some parts, delightful as they are, will definitely be for Elvis fans only (the takes and raw components of the production numbers on disc 3), the bulk of this set is essential watching for any rock enthusiast - the two sit-down shows, the two stand-up shows, and the adapted NBC TV special as it was originally aired on December 3, 1968, represent not only some of Elvis's finest moments of his whole career, but are nothing less than some of the most exciting rock gigs ever filmed. Watching these shows now, in great remastered sound (there's choice between Dolby stereo and Dolby 5.1) and unseen picture quality, and realizing that they have been in the vaults for more than 35 years, one can but wonder why it took them so long to release them. In his emphatic effort to reinvent himself, Elvis continually transcends the limitations of space and time, revealing along the way as only he could what rock 'n' roll is all about - and we have a true classic performance on our hands.

    You can now watch some 7 hours of it. Not to be missed.

    (In the European issue of this set "It Hurts Me" has been erroneously left out on the Original Broadcast Version of the Comeback Special.)

    5-0 out of 5 stars If You Only Get One Elvis DVD, This One Should Be IT!!
    This DVD shows Elvis at his Best! You can just see the music flowing through him by watching his face and his whole body. Then, you have an insight into why his voice has so much strength and feeling. You can listen to and enjoy cds and albums, but you don't get the total picture until you see him sing. It's like going to a live Elvis concert in the comfort of your living room, with the ability to play it over and over.

    This is the one to have!! I'm writing this having watched ONLY ONE of the three included dvds. If this first dvd was the only one in this package, it would have still been well worth the price.

    Personally, I like the unedited 'sit-down' and 'stand-up' performances BETTER than the edited, packaged TV Special. But, it's all here, allowing you to pick and choose your own favorite cuts.

    Buy It!

    4-0 out of 5 stars Great but lacking
    I purchased this DVD to get a complete copy of the show, But this set is still missing parts. In the Guitar Man
    production It Hurts Me is still missing from this disk but list it on the package as being there. I was not happy when I found this out. It is not the complete package it is made out to be.
    I will copy my Laser disc version to DVD, This will be the only way to ever get the complete show.

    1-0 out of 5 stars A TRAP in order to get your money
    I am giving one star because this DVD is not what they advertised: ..."everything in its complete, raw form". It is missing the production "It Hurts Me"... And yes, it hurt me when I found out after expending too much money for it.

    This is the 3rd time it happens. The people behind the Elvis Enterprises are dishonest and they are laughing at us, in order to get the money. Next time, I will not rush and buy the next Elvis product on Ebay for a lot less money.

    In the "68 Comeback Special" you will see a gorgeous, energetic, Elvis; specially when he is singing with his original small group. It is a little bit annoying the full band that he uses for other songs. The horns are too loud and harsh. I agree with Paul McCartney when he said that Elvis was better with a small band than with a full orchestra ...and definitely I agree with Scotty Moore when he stated... "68 Comeback Special: A Farewell Performance" ... Read more


    6. Blade - Trinity (Unrated Widescreen Edition) (New Line Platinum Series)
    Director: David S. Goyer
    list price: $29.95
    our price: $22.46
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0007V6ITE
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 90
    Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    Even skeptical fans of the Blade franchise will enjoy sinking their teeth into Blade: Trinity. The law of diminishing returns is in full effect here, and the franchise is wearing out its welcome, but let's face it: any movie that features Jessica Biel as an ass-kicking vampire slayer and Parker Posey--yes, Parker Posey!--as a vamping vampire villainess can't be all bad, right? Those lovely ladies bring equal measures of relief and grief to Blade, the half-human, half-vampire once again played, with tongue more firmly in stone-cold cheek, by Wesley Snipes. With series writer David S. Goyer in the director's chair, the film is calculated for mainstream appeal, trading suspenseful horror for campy humor and choppy, nonsensical action. The franchise still offers some intriguing ideas, however, including Drake (Dominic Purcell), the original vampire, whose blood contains the secret that could destroy all blood-suckers in a plot that incorporates a sinister "blood farm" where humans are held--and drained--in suspended animation. And Biel's wise-cracking sidekick (Ryan Reynolds) in her cadre of "Nightstalkers" provides comic relief in a series that's grown increasingly dour. All of which makes Blade: Trinity a love-it-or-hate-it sequel... supposedly the last in a trilogy, but the ending suggests otherwise. --Jeff Shannon ... Read more

    Reviews (174)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Royal road copy cats
    Interesting!
    Matrix..Japanimation..Zombie..Vampire...
    This movie has plagiarized grand various movies.
    But it's funny on the contraly.
    It is a movie interesting for seeing without considering anything.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Van Wilder Saves The Day
    After the doodie-fest that was 'Blade 1' and 'Blade 2', I was expecting another log to squirt out of the turd factory when I stuck in 'Blade Trinity'.I was surprised to see that this entry wasn't as completely stinky as its predecessors.

    Thankfully 'Blade Trinity' has pushed the most annoying character in the series into a nearly supporting role.That role is Wesley Snipes' Blade.With his totally 1991 haircut, cheesy outfits, and lame one-liners Snipes has played three times now the most irritating and completely lame superhero ever.But thankfully we don't have to put up with him excessively in this flick like we did in the first two.

    Now, pushing Blade's character into a supporting role is the addition of Van Wilder and 7th Heaven.I wasn't expecting too much out of either of them but they pleasantly surprised me.Van Wilder is pretty funny with his constantly homosexual-related humor and 7th Heaven, while basically there to be eye candy, isn't too bad playing the hot chick role.And as an added bonus is comedian Patton Oswalt in a supporting role as lame-o Blade's gun supplier.

    The overall plot is super-lame though:ohhh, Dracula has returned...again.Like we haven't seen this before in numerous other films.The action scenes are pretty average and the script isn't that good(save for Van Wilder's lines).And as another added bonus you get to see Kris Kristofferson die.Awesome.Now, we just have to wait for him to get gunned down in real life.

    Regardless, the addition of new cast members revitilized this excessively lame franchise.Maybe one day there will be a 'Blade 4' only Wesley Snipes will not be in it.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Not a bad movie, but put together poor
    i bought this movie and was very excited.as i normally do, i decided to watch the orginal version and skip the one that had added content.to my great suprise my dvd player kept pausing to cut out the added scenes.sometimes dvds mess up a bit between chapters but this was rediculous.i have a very good dvd player so i know that wasn't the problem.for shame on NewLine.they use to be so good at their dvds and now they've become mediocre.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Ok, but not great
    This installment was not the greatest one of the three, but with the help of Jessica Beil it managed to perform somewhat. It is not bad, but needed more action. Also despite what others say Parker Posey was a terrible choice for the lead vampire villian. Her acting is subpar at best. In almost any scene her presence served only to drag things down. This is supposed to be the last one, but as usual the ending says otherwise. Although considering all vampires die in this one except Blade I wonder who they are going to hunt.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Best Blade Yet!
    Wow! That's all i can say...Wow! THis movie was way higher than what i expected. It wasn't even on my "To Do" List to see it but when i did, i went back to the theater again, and i was just as amazed! ... Read more


    7. 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


    8. Kinsey (Two-Disc Special Edition)
    Director: Bill Condon
    list price: $34.98
    our price: $24.49
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0007PALGQ
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 85
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    One of the best films of 2004, Kinsey pays tribute to the flawed but honorable man who revolutionized our understanding of human sexuality. As played by Liam Neeson in writer-director Bill Condon's excellent film biography, Indiana University researcher Alfred Kinsey was so consumed by statistical measurements of human sexual activity that he almost completely overlooked the substantial role of emotions and their effect on human behavior. This made him an ideal researcher and science celebrity who revealed that sexual behaviors previously considered deviant and even harmful (homosexuality, oral sex, etc.) are in fact common and essentially normal in the realm of human experience, but whose obsession with scientific method frequently placed him at odds with his understanding wife (superbly played by Laura Linney) and research assistants. In presenting Kinsey as a driven social misfit, Condon's film gives Neeson one of his finest roles while revealing the depth of Kinsey's own humanity, and the incalculable benefit his research had on our collective sexual enlightenment. With humor, charm, and intelligence, Kinsey shines a light where darkness once prevailed. --Jeff Shannon ... Read more

    Reviews (66)

    2-0 out of 5 stars Pretentious Attempt
    In retrospection, Kinsey is over-rated. It rides on the 21st century's fetish of sexuality and pretends to be another "Beautiful Mind" but fails and flops. It is one of those pretentious artistic attempt.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Truth or Perversity?
    This became more and more difficult to watch as the movie went along.A selected biography in the style of Ray or Delovely, but quite a different choice of subject matter.

    Kinsey's father set the tone of Kinsey's own life, with a certainty that becomes obnoxious.The certainty that he knows what the answer is, in this case to the issues of human sexuality and its associated ignorance and taboos, and as with all people who think they know, there is a fall.At the time that Kinsey was achieving his fame there were restrictions on the entire subject of sex practices and sex mores.It stands to reason that the only people who were working in this area were strange themselves, or at least unconventional.That's where I had difficulty.Were Kinsey and his associates really as perverse as they appeared in the movie?Or were their banter and actions exaggerated for the sake of a good story.

    I found no sympathy for Kinsey nor for anyone else in the movie.And some of the conclusions that they reached seem so counter-intuitive that they defy belief.I didn't know whether they were trying to find truth or to present perversity.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Potent Film with Certain Foundation for Heated Debate...
    Galileo Galilei and scientists alike announced through in-depth research that the Earth was not flat and faced heavy persecution.Their different thinking broke the standards of the 16th century pious beliefs, which had been used a long time before scientists questioned the validity and reliability in what they observed.This offended the Catholic Church who proclaimed that they held the highest truth, a truth deeply rooted in unquestioned morality.The questioning of the religious beliefs triggered a witch-hunt of the scientists that disagreed with the moral teachings of the Catholic Church.However, the truth eventually emerged, as Galileo's theories are still the instruments of current astronomical research that continues to evolve the human existence beyond the earth.

    The Catholic Church and Lutheran Church persecuted people with different ideas of Christianity.Those who desired to exercise their own freedom of religion sought refuge in America where they could exercise their freedom to express their own ideas of religion.After the War of Independence, the founding fathers formed the Congress that drafted the 10 amendments.The first amendment brings the people freedom of speech, which includes religion.However, the very same ideas that sought freedom in America later turned from being the persecuted to the persecutor, as these notions harassed new different thinkers.The notion of cyclical history comes to mind when scientists like Alfred Kinsey are being silenced based on morality and unfounded facts.

    Kinsey (Liam Neeson), a biologist, was brought up under strict puritan rules, as his father consistently proclaimed being the ultimate source of knowledge.In a sense he grew up with similar persecuting standards as Galileo, but instead of conforming to the rules he broke the bond with his father when he accepted a partial scholarship to Bowdoin to study biology.Kinsey's father wanted him to become an engineer, which has a certain level of irony to it, as his father believed that all modern inventions at the beginning of the 20th century were evil.The pursuit of the biology degree brought him through Harvard to Indiana University where he took a position as an assistant professor while studying stag beetles and later the American Cynipidae also known as the gall wasp.

    Years of research and collecting the American Cynipidae allowed Kinsey to meticulously catalogue his gall wasp library.During this time Kinsey met his wife Clara (Laura Linney) with whom he had three children.However, before having the children they had difficulties in the bedroom, as Clara assumed it was because they physically would not fit together.This was an unacceptable answer for Kinsey who approached the problem, as if there were an answer, which there was.It simply was painful for Clara to have sex as her hymen was too thick, and with a quick procedure by a doctor she had this fixed.Consequently, Kinsey continued to help other couples with problems of sexual nature, but realized that he did not have any real answers to the questions that were posed to him.

    In the 1940s, Kinsey got his chance to do teach a marriage course in regards to sex and the social aspects of sex between husbands and wives.As the class went on his interest deepened through the vast number of questions people asked in regards to sex.This concluded in Kinsey beginning to research the taboo ridden topic, which so many have been taught to avoid at all costs except for the purpose of having children.Kinsey opposed the abstinence with his statement, "society has interfered with what should be a normal biological development..."

    The sex research forced Kinsey to travel uncharted waters, as he had to find a way to collect data that were valid and reliable.Through this process he design an interview style that had to be nonjudgmental in order for the interviewee to reveal everything without having to feel any negative feelings.This process gave them surprising facts about sex, as they also encountered homosexuality, extramarital affairs, and premarital affairs.They also found evidence of deviant sexual practices, which most of the society rightfully did not tolerate such as pedophilia.An important note to this is that Kinsey was only collecting data, he did not advocate harmful sexual practices.However, in the eyes of the society Kinsey was in the end drawn into the mud, as much of his intentions was misunderstood.

    Nonetheless, Kinsey helped breaking the ice of the forbidden issue that in the end opened up the society to understanding this hushed, but normal behavior.If Kinsey did not push the envelope the society might have continued its intolerance towards sexual issues, an intolerance that would force many to hide their true identity in the fear of repercussions and prejudice based on hatred and fear.For example, John Edgar Hoover created a profiling center for homosexuals and other undesirables.The very same intolerance would function as a shield that would have protected many of the Catholic priests that have been uncovered to molest children.It is thanks to Kinsey and researchers alike that it has become acceptable to discuss this taboo topic in media, where horrendous crimes such as child molesting can be caught.Yet, there are still many who believe that Kinsey was wrong to do what he did, and they are naturally free to have their own opinions.As they should let the truth be unveiled from darkness and not let erotophobia, i.e., learned negative emotional response to information of sexual nature, affect any decision-making that could help human beings discover a better future.

    Kinsey is a political and potent film that will undoubtedly make many feel awkward and uncomfortable.Yet, it is also an important film, as it displays the importance of learning the truth and not hiding behind groundless rules and laws based on fictionalized morality.The film also has historical value to our contemporary society where many laws often are passed based on morality, which ends up hurting a fraction of the society and slows the progress of humanity.When this happens, history seems to be have drifted into oblivion as prejudice and intolerance continues to haunt the society.Hopefully, the film Kinsey offers an opportunity for debate and insightfulness, and not continued narrow-mindedness.

    5-0 out of 5 stars On balance, a positive contribution to human understanding
    Alfred Kinsey did a great service to the study of sex.Yes, some of his methodologies were suspect, "self-selection" throwing a monkey-wrench in the whole randomization requirement.His subjects were perhaps not the most representative sampling of the population.Furthermore, he and his staff became too personally involved in the work.His assistants comprised a sort of swinger's club.Kinsey could be faulted for not having anticipated the conflicts brought about by such activities among colleagues.

    Unfortunately, these aspects of his life and the film will obscure - for many - the more significant meaning of his work: Bringing the discussion of sex out of the dark corners of human consciousness and into the light.Also, by removing the shame factor from sex, a natural healthy aspect of the human animal, Kinsey legitimized the scientific study of sex.

    As far as the film per se, I was impressed with the honesty of the piece.Contrary to what some reviewers have said, this film does not make Kinsey a hero.It rightly credits him for his work, yet reveals a conflicted, troubled psyche at the same time as Kinsey tries to navigate the line between his objective scientific observation and his subjective sexual experiences.This blurring is where Kinsey erred.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Interesting insight into groundbreaking study
    Alfred Kinsey was a pioneer in the study of human sexuality. He was a professor at Indiana University and spent the first 20 years of his career studying an insect, the "gall wasp." This movie, starring Liam Neeson in the title role, depicts Dr. Kinsey as having an obsession with his study of the gall wasp, collecting hundreds of thousands of specimens and devoting his life to studying this species. Tapped to teach a course on marriage and the family, Kinsey developed an interest in human sexuality and he bacame as obsessive in this study as he was in his earlier endeavor. He was driven and pushed his staff hard. He employed interviewers who spoke with thousands of people in taking sexual histories. Kinsey was very hands on as he personally instructed his staff on how to put subjects at ease as they conducted the interviews.

    Dr. Kinsey was the son of a morally strict father, convincingly played by John Lithgow. Neeson's depecition of Dr. Kinsey shows the results of this upbringing. His characterization of Kinsey comes across as very stiff and uptight. He is not one to really let his hair down yet, in his groundbreaking study, there is no taboo that he is unwilling to explore. Indeed, he explores his own sexuality as he has an extramarital gay affair. Despite serious misgivings at first, his wife, played by Laura Linney, is accepting.

    The studies were very controversial, having been done in the 1940s, long before the "sexual revolution." Some people found his findings to be very liberating in that they discovered that they were not alone in their sexual feelings. Other people were shocked, believing that the subject was taboo and should not be discussed. There is one brief scene in which a woman, who agonized over her lesbian inclinations, was liberated by Dr. Kinsey's findings and, thereby allowed herself to enter into a relationship. Others, including Kinsey's father, were scandalized. Ultimately, however, Kinsey's father allows himself to be interviewed by his son and reveals his own, painful secrets of a repressed childhood.

    We live in a more sexually open era than we did, generations ago. This movie gives an insight into one of the reasons this is so. I recommend this dvd. ... Read more


    9. The Notebook
    Director: Nick Cassavetes
    list price: $27.95
    our price: $19.56
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B000683VI4
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 435
    Average Customer Review: 4.57 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (105)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful, magical movie about the power of love.
    I recently saw "The Notebook" and am so glad I did. This is my new favorite movie. I've never seen another like it. It's a wonderful adaptation of the book by Nicholas Sparks. It's cinematography is beautiful as well as the script and the acting is unforgettable. Ryan Gossling and Rachel McAddams are wonderful in this and give tour de force performances as the young lovers. They have a great chemistry together that electrifies the screen. Let us not forget James Garner and Gena Rowlands they are wonderfully cast as the older lovers. Sam Sherpard and Joan Allen also turn in wonderful performances in their roles. I cannot recommend this movie enough. It is moving and poignant, there wasn't a dry eye in the theatre when the movie ended. I think it is rare to see a movie that can be that affecting. GO SEE THIS MOVIE!!!!!!! You will not regret it in fact you'll probably want to see it again.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Sweet, Sappy, Romantic, Beautiful
    I got to see the sneak preview of this movie this past Saturday (6/12/04) and I absolutely loved it. I've seen Ryan Gosling on television before (Breaker High), but I hadn't seen Rachel McAdams until now. Their characters were so real and so believable. Even though the end may be predictable, this film lacks the typical structure of most romantic movies I've seen. It was interesting to see how the characters evolved and came together.

    The film begins with James Garner reading pages out of a notebook to alzheimer(?) patient Gena Rowlands. As the story unfolds, we meet Allie and Noah. Allie comes from a wealthy Southern family. Noah works in the lumber yard. We see their joys as well as their struggles. Though they seem like complete opposites, they fall in love only to be torn apart when Noah leaves for World War 2 and Allie becomes engaged to another man.

    I won't spoil the ending, but the two lovers reunite and Allie is faced with the decision of whether to keep her promise to her fiance or to go back to the man she left behind.

    5-0 out of 5 stars my fav. movie of all time
    I loved the movie The Notebook. After I saw it for the first time I immediately felt the need to see it again, I ended up going to see it 5 more times that week even though the prices were so high. I havent seen a movie this good in a long time. I laughed, I cryed, and so much more. I felt as if I was experiancing the same things I wanted to be Ali, I wanted to be there. I even fell in love with the cast every 1 that played the roles were perfect. It was just a great movie.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent!!!!
    I thought this movie was exellent! I rate it five stars because I don't cry much in films and this was a tissue grabbing type of movie! It had three generations of girls in my family crying all at one time!

    Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling were fabulous together I thought. They had great chemistry on screen. I love the true fairytale type romance and this was def. a movie that made people wish they were the lead role! I also enjoyed the hints of humor in the movie, even if it was a serious part they made it enjoyable! I think this is a def. buyer! To anyone out there who hasn't seen it, go, you won't be dissapointed! Also, check out Nicholas Spark's books. Nicholas Sparks also wrote the book A Walk to Remember which is now a film as well with Mandy Moore as the lead actress.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The actors were incredible
    The plot was mediocre, I won't lie about that, but the one ingredient that saved this movie from being just a disastrous chick-flic was the acting. Rachael McAdams, Gena Rowlands, and James Garner were moving and the movie was remarkably poignant. Ryan Gosling was convincing, to say the least, but I prefer to see him in more intense roles, like The Believer.

    If romances are your type of movies, go for it. Chances are you will enjoy it. Bring tissues if you're a crier. Actually, bring them even if you aren't. I've been described as "unsensitive" and I cried for the last 30 minutes. ... Read more


    10. Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events (2-Disc Special Collector's Edition)
    Director: Brad Silberling
    list price: $38.99
    our price: $25.34
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0007TKGQW
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 190
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    If you spliced Charles Addams, Dr. Seuss, Charles Dickens, Edward Gorey, and Roald Dahl into a Tim Burtonesque landscape, you'd surely come up with something like Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events. Many critics (in mostly mixed reviews) wondered why Burton didn't direct this comically morbid adaptation of the first three books in the popular series by Daniel Handler (a.k.a. "Lemony Snicket," played here by Jude Law and seen only in silhouette) instead of TV and Casper veteran Brad Silberling, but there's still plenty to recommend the playfully bleak scenario, in which three resourceful orphans thwart their wicked, maliciously greedy relative Count Olaf (Jim Carrey), who subjects them to... well, a series of unfortunate events. Along the way they encounter a herpetologist uncle (Billy Connolly), an anxious aunt (Meryl Streep) who's afraid of everything, and a variety of fantastical hazards and mysterious clues, some of which remain unresolved. Given endless wonders of art direction, costume design, and cinematography, Silberling's direction is surprisingly uninspired (in other words, the books are better), but when you add a throwaway cameo by Dustin Hoffman, Law's amusing narration, and Carrey's over-the-top antics, the first Lemony movie suggests a promising franchise in the making. --Jeff Shannon

    DVD features
    Packed into the two-disc special edition of Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events is over two hours of serious behind-the-scenes features, deleted scenes, and interviews with the production staff. The most generous of these is A Woeful World, an in-depth overview of the production design with extensive commentary from Oscar-nominated production designer Rick Heinrichs. Kids who've read the books will enjoy seeing how creative minds transform the world of the books into a movie. "Costumes and Other Suspicious Disguises" is one of the most fun extras with footage of Jim Carrey comically ad-libbing as his different characters during the on-screen costume tests. The special features contained on the single-disc editions are also quite good, but most fans will find it worth it to pay the few extra dollars for this edition because of the insights it gives into the production. --Dan Vancini

    A Message from Count Olaf

    Dear Adoring Fan of Count Olaf,

    Perhaps once every thousand years, a talent emerges that completely changes the way movies are made, orphans are orphaned, and heartthrobs throb. Often this talent has only one eyebrow, as is the case with one of the most cherished and admired actors scheming today. Surely you can you guess of whom I think.

    No, you fool! I am referring to the One...the Only...the Unbelievably Handsome Count Olaf!

    Or, as I like to call him, Me.

    If you’ve already seen my performance in Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events, you must still be speechless. But if you haven’t, you are in serious danger. Just teasing. But you could be after I send one of my gifted henchpersons to your home!

    So why not get my movie on DVD? This major motion spectacle has everything. Me, acting! Leeches, attacking! Orphans, almost falling off a cliff! Of course, if you are familiar with books by Lemony Snicket, you know that they include all of these things too, but most of what he says is lies, and the rest is completely boring.

    There's never been a film that demands repeated viewing in quite the same way, with a diabolical genius writing you a letter that says, "I DEMAND REPEATED VIEWING!!!" Plus with DVD extras, you’ll get at least 20% more Olaf for your money. And... just for you, for an unlimited time only, I’ll throw in Aunt Josephine free with purchase.*

    So, noble Amazonians, put down your hunting spears and exotic headdresses, and prepare to bask in True Greatness. Or, as I like to call it, Me.

    Of course you may have my autograph!

    Count Olaf

    *Count Olaf will not be held liable or accept blame in any way for any and all liability, loss, damage, or personal injury (including death), without limit and without regard once Aunt Josephine is thrown in, due to the unpredictable behavior of hungry leeches.

    Stills from Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events (Click to Enlarge)


    Violet, Count Olaf, and Klaus

    Aunt Josephine

    Count Olaf and Aunt Josephine

    Directing Jim Carrey

    Klaus, Mr. Poe, Sunny, and Violet

    Count Olaf

    Olaf Ascending

    The Baudelaire Orphans

    All Things Snicket

    See a complete list of all Lemony Snicket's creations, including books from the Series of Unfortunate Events, calendars, and more.


    The Essential Lemony Snicket Books


    A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Ominous Omnibus, Books 1-3

    The Situation Worsens: A Box of Unfortunate Events, Books 4-6

    The Dilemma Deepens: A Box of Unfortunate Events, Books 7-9

    The Slippery Slope: A Series of Unfortunate Events, Book 10

    The Grim Grotto: A Series of Unfortunate Events, Book 11

    A Library of Unfortunate Events, Books 1-10

    Behind the Scenes with Count Olaf: A Series of Unfortunate Events Movie Book

    Lemony Snicket: The Unauthorized Autobiography

    The Puzzling Puzzles Activity Book

    More from the Movie


    Original Movie Poster

    Soundtrack

    Wall Poster

    Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events Computer & Video Games


    For PS2

    For PC

    For Xbox

    For GameCube

    ... Read more

    Reviews (254)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Well Done, Witty
    This is a VERY witty, whimsical, and surprisingly dark film. I don't see very many similarities between this and Harry Potter, like everyone says. The only Harry Potter that is remotely similar is Prisoner of Azkaban.
    I really enjoyed this movie, you will too.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Lemony Snicket
    I love his books!They are so facinating!Sometimes I just can't put them down! I first started reading them in 6th grade then I just couldn't stop.Then I decided to get my own copies of all of the books.I like Lemony's sense of humor, especially in Book 1, on page 94.Authough I wish he would continue with the series by writing books 12 and 13 because I would really like to find out if the Baudilares will really defeat Count Olaf an his troupe for good.One more thing:In the movie they pronounce Klaus as (Kl-aW-se) and Olaf as(O-lav).I prefer to pronouce the names (clause)for Klaus and (Ol-if)for Olaf. It is ok if you don't but my preferances would make more sense.
    Thanks
    P.S. My favorite is Violet, authough you may have a different favorite.You should read the books....I have a feeling you would love them.

    1-0 out of 5 stars .... GOOD ART direction doth naught a moving picture maketh
    'SOMEONE' should REALLY have a frank discussion with Mr. Carrey ~ [a super talent - really] about these artistic career choices that lead to cul-de-cat-in-the-sacks ?????

    REALLY a dreadfully, boring little feature, showing lots of $$$ on screen, but Oh My - the Horror! The Horror!

    Meryl Streep with a REALLY bad wig, check the hairline .... ditto Jim's eyebrows ...... and the Count Costume [Goodness is he ?? over? Andy Kaufman?] but do check 'Heartbeeps' the lost Kaufman movie with Bernadette Peters - and compare the costume[s].

    .....pity ....[and was that a tribute to Robin William's 'Popeye'?]

    4-0 out of 5 stars Good but the books are better!!
    When I got this I thought I would like the books better and well I was right. Don't get me wrong it was good but it was hard to follow if you didn't read the books. Defintely read the books before watching.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Why Lemony, why?
    How could Lemony Snicket allow Hollywood to do this to his great books? Lemony Snicket wrote 11 books of "A Series of Unfortunate Events.I have only the first 9 but that doesn't mean I can't bash this trash.
    Let's talk about the story: Three children who have this really big house with a library and everything lose the house and their parents in a fire.The children now become orphans and have to live with their third cousin four times removed (or was it fourth cousin three times removed?) named Count Olaf (Jim Carrey).Olaf is a mean greedy man who intends to have the three orphans killed in order to get a hold of their tremendous fortune their parents left behind before the fire.
    That's also the story of the first book.What the movie does is it tries to get cute and funny (far more than the books).The books were hardly ever cute and funny.They were serious and (as the title tells you) unfortunate.They were describing the pain and misery that the three children had to go through in their lives.The movie turns them into kids you couldn't give a crap about.
    Another thing I hate about this movie is that they started out with the first book and went to the second one without having the first one end the way it did in the book.Then they skipped a bunch of parts in the second and third book.Instead of going to the fourth book, the movie actually ends the same way the first book did (just thought that those of you who have read the books ought to know that before you witness this cheesy adaptation).
    Those of you who have not read the books nor seen the movie, OK, you could give this movie a try but you would probably find the books more interesting and more serious.
    Those of you who have not read the books but have seen the movie and you're viewing this review just so you can say, "Oh, what a jerk.This movie is excellent", well, read a book, wait for them to make movie out of it, and then you'll know how that "jerk" felt. ... Read more


    11. Young Frankenstein (Special Edition)
    Director: Mel Brooks
    list price: $14.98
    our price: $11.24
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 6305168857
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 222
    Average Customer Review: 4.74 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com essential video

    If you were to argue that Mel Brooks's Young Frankenstein ranks among the top-ten funniest movies of all time, nobody could reasonably dispute the claim. Spoofing classic horror in the way that Brooks's previous film Blazing Saddles sent up classic Westerns, the movie is both a loving tribute and a raucous, irreverent parody of Universal's classic horror films Frankenstein (1931) and Bride of Frankenstein (1935). Filming in glorious black and white, Brooks re-created the Frankenstein laboratory using the same equipment from the original Frankenstein (courtesy of designer Kenneth Strickfaden), and this loving attention to physical and stylistic detail creates a solid foundation for nonstop comedy. The story, of course, involves Frederick Frankenstein (Gene Wilder) and his effort to resume experiments in re-animation pioneered by his late father. (He's got some help, since dad left behind a book titled How I Did It.) Assisting him is the hapless hunchback Igor (Marty Feldman) and the buxom but none-too-bright maiden Inga (Teri Garr), and when Frankenstein succeeds in creating his monster (Peter Boyle), the stage is set for an outrageous revision of the Frankenstein legend. With comedy highlights too numerous to mention, Brooks guides his brilliant cast (also including Cloris Leachman, Madeline Kahn, Kenneth Mars, and Gene Hackman in a classic cameo role) through scene after scene of inspired hilarity. Indeed, Young Frankenstein is a charmed film, nothing less than a comedy classic, representing the finest work from everyone involved. Not one joke has lost its payoff, and none of the countless gags have lost their zany appeal. From a career that includes some of the best comedies ever made, this is the film for which Mel Brooks will be most fondly remembered. Befitting a classic, the Special Edition DVD includes audio commentary by Mel Brooks, a "making of" documentary, interviews with the cast, hilarious bloopers and outtakes, and the original theatrical trailers. No video library should be without a copy of Young Frankenstein. And just remember--that's Fronkensteen. --Jeff Shannon ... Read more

    Reviews (219)

    5-0 out of 5 stars I have a "hunch" you'll love this!
    Frederick Frankenstein (Gene Wilder) wants nothing more than his job teaching biology at the university, the love of his life Elizabeth (Madeline Kahn), and to put behind him the legacy of his grandfather, the infamous Baron Viktor von Frankenstein. He never planned on inheriting his ancestral castle complete with assistants (Marty Feldman, Terri Garr, Cloris Leachman). He never planned on finding his grandfather's notes . He didn't plan to reanimate a corpse (Peter Boyle) with an abnormal brain. And he certainly didn't plan for said corpse to get loose...

    Put that way, this hardly sounds like a comedy at all. Ah, but Gene Wilder and Mel Brooks, like Dr. Frankenstein, have deftly grafted inspired lunacy to a touching and solid story and given their creation life. Wordplay, slapstick, innuedno, sight gags and cinema's most memorable musical scene combine in a hilarious brew. Yet it is the original core, the story of the deformed oucast and the creator who ultimately redeem each other, that keeps it all from simply being vaudeville. Peter and Gene are fabulous at being silly and sincere simultaneously.

    On to the extras! The trailers and production stills are nice, standard fare. The outakes are little disappointing. Several of the clips are close-up shots of a single performer, the camera never moving, so we hear the cast and crew cracking up, but don't always understand why. Some of the deleted scenes were pretty funny, and a shame they didn't make it into the final cut. The making of documentary interviews several of the key figures and does a good job of exposing what exactly it took to make the film. (Note to techno-geeks: not much detail on special effects, if that's your thing.) Also, there a couple of interviews done for a Mexican studio with Marty and Gene (don't worry, they also speak English).

    Did you ever watch old home movies with, say, an uncle who'd reminisce and sometimes just make silly comments about what's going on? OK, now imagine that your uncle is Mel Brooks and that his home movie is this multi-million dollar spectacle. That's what the comentary track is like. It was really neat to hear not only what Mel had in mind for the various scenes, but his unabashed adulation at the creative talent he had to work with. He even talks about the fellow who plays Inspector Kemp's chauffeur!

    All in all, a wonderful movie with a good helping of juicy extras.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Homage to Horror
    This is probably Mel Brook's finest work, though some might vote for Blazing Saddles or the Producers. Not me, though. I'll take this one. In a tribute to the old horror movies of yore, Brooks puts together the perfect cast to carry it out. Gene Wilder as Dr. Frankenstein (pronounced FRONKENSTEEN), Marty Feldman as Igor (pronounced EYEGORE), Teri Garr as the lab assistant Inga, Peter Boyle, Cloris Leachman, and my personal favorite from the movie Madeline Khan. Her scene with Marty Feldman standing at the doorway of the castle and the one where she saunters into the bedroom looking like Elsa Lanchester are both absolute total screams. The great thing about the cast is the fact that they all are in total flow with the movie and with each other. The DVD has many extra features which makes it miles ahead of the VHS tape.

    3-0 out of 5 stars "Roll, roll, roll in ze hay."
    Mel Brooks' "Young Frankenstein" is not only a loving tribute to James Whale's original Frankenstein films, but a wildly entertaining spoof that still generates laughs years after its original release. This is Brooks in his prime and that is indeed a wonderful sight to behold.

    Dr. Frederick Frankenstein (Gene Wilder) is the grandson of the notorious Victor Frankenstein. After reviewing his grandfather's work, Frederick tries to recreate the famous reanimation experiment at his ancestral castle. Frederick succeeds in bringing his own creation to life but as luck would have it, there is a problem with the brain implanted in the monster (Peter Boyle). Soon, the monster is roaming the countryside and finding itself in one hilarious situation after another until Frederick catches up with him and promptly puts his tap-dancing talents to good use.

    "Young Frankenstein" is blessed with top quality comedic performances from start to finish. Wilder and Boyle are pitch perfect as the doctor and his creation and the supporting cast of Marty Feldman, Madeline Kahn, Terri Garr, Cloris Leachman, and Gene Hackman all shine. The production design also is top notch as the Frankenstein Castle's interiors and exteriors are faithfully recreated - with the help of some of the original props - in glorious black and white and literally look like holdover sets from Universal's "Frankenstein" (1931) and "The Bride of Frankenstein" (1935). You would never think that source material like Mary Shelley's original work could inspire such a funny film, but leave it to Brooks to prove it could be done.

    5-0 out of 5 stars "PARDON ME BOY...IS THIS THE TRANSYLVANIA STATION?"
    "Yah, yah, track twenty-nine...I hope you make it in time!" Non stop gags; a terrific atmosphere, worthy of the classic Universal Frankenstein movies we all know and love...James Whale would have LOVED this! Whenever the name Frau Blucher (Cloris Leachman) is mentioned, the horses go into a frenzy of neighs; GREAT stuuf. At night in the graveyard, Igor (Pronounced EYE-GORE) and Wilder are digging up a corpse (digging because Igor took the wrong brain...Abby Normal!) for their nefarious lab work; Wilder starts complaining and Igor (Feldman) says: "Could be worse....could be raining." No sooner are the words out of his mouth then we hear a terrific crash of thunder, then see lightning, and then the skies open up. Then Igor says: "I have a hunch..." This is so funny it can make you sick from laughing; when Peter Boyle, as Frankenstein's Monster, launches into his famous "Puttin' on the Ritz" you are pretty much over the edge and barely able to breathe any more. One of my favorite lines is when Igor is driving Wilder to the Castle and there is a howl in the distance; Wilder says nervously: "What was that?" And Igor replies: "Werewolf." Wilder: "Werewolf?" Igor: "There...wolf."
    Feldman, Wilder and Cloris Leachman are wonderful in this, and it was shot, appropriately, in black and white. I was fortunate enough to be at the studio when this was being shot and went onto the set and opened a door in the Castle and there were Peter Boyle, Wilder and Feldman all sitting around a table, taking a break...and Boyle had the most sickening shade of green make-up all over his face; he looked terrific. the sets were fantastic, and it was a thrill to be allowed to see them all. Great stuff and a very funny movie.

    5-0 out of 5 stars comedy at its best
    Young Frankenstein is one of the few movies that EVERYONE knows. The actors do an excellent job of delivering the great "slap-stick" comedy throughout the film. The entire movie is also delivered in black and white to give it that old horror film feeling, and takes place mostly in the castle of Dr. Frankenstein. Now that the infamous Dr. Frankenstein has passed, his grandson, Fredrick, goes to the castle.

    While in the castle he falls upon his grand fathers old library and realizes that bringing people back to life after death could work, and creates a fully operational hulk! This movie is great if you ahve a sharp grasp on humor and a bit of information from the timespan. Some jokes will pass right over the heads of some of the younger viewers, such as the scene where Dr. FRONKenstein (as he likes to be called) arrives at the train station at track 29 and a boy asks if he can give him a shine. Me being a high school student, i am greatful that my jazz choir sang the chatanooga choo choo or i would have never understood that one. in conclusion the movie is a hilarious collection of old cliches about horror movies, yet never gets tiresome like some of monty pythons movies. A great, entertaining trip to Transylvania awaits you! ... Read more


    12. Closer (Superbit Edition)
    Director: Mike Nichols
    list price: $28.95
    our price: $20.27
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0007OCG4W
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 94
    Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    Four extremely beautiful people do extremely horrible things to one another in Closer, Mike Nichols' pungent adaptation of Patrick Marber's play that easily marks the Oscar-winning director's best work in years. Anna (Julia Roberts) is a photographer who specializes in portraits of strangers; Dan (Jude Law) is an obituary writer struggling to become a novelist; Alice (Natalie Portman) is an American stripper freshly arrived in London after a bad relationship; and Larry (Clive Owen) is a dermatologist who finds love under the most unlikely of circumstances. When their paths cross it's a dizzying supernova of emotions, as Nichols and Marber adroitly construct various scenes out of their lives that pair them again and again in various permutations of passion, heartbreak, anger, sadness, vengeance, pleading, deception, and most importantly, brutal honesty. It's only until you're more than halfway through the movie that you'll have to ask yourself exactly why you are watching such a beautifully tragic tale, as Closer is basically the ickiest, grossest, most dysfunctional parts of all your past relationships strung together into one movie. Ultimately, it falls to the four actors to draw you deeper into the story; all succeed relatively, but it's Law and Owen whose characters will cut you to the quick. Law proves that yet again he's most adept at playing charming, amoral bastards with manipulative streaks, and Owen is nothing short of brilliant as the character most turned on by the energy inherent in destructive relationships--whether he's on the giving or receiving end. --Mark Englehart ... Read more

    Reviews (259)

    4-0 out of 5 stars 4 great actors, 4 great stars
    This is the story of four people: two men and two women. It souds plain simple, but the story is not so. It is not the typical story of a love quadrangle. It's a story of power, pride, self-confidence and, of course, love.

    The greatest and the lowest of human condition. All for love, but all for gaining the higher respect and best appearance in front of the rest of the world.

    The story is fantastic but, what to say of the actors? It is not only Portmann to take care. I think Julia Roberts makes her best acting ever. Jude Law is plain correct but Clive Owen is the great discovery for me. It is clear that this is "a film for actors", to show the best of them and they really succeed.

    The only problem is that these two facts (story and acting) hide a poor direction and some minor aspects. Personally, I think the producer did the budget and realized he has nothing to spend in such details.

    But it is a very recommendable movie to spend the afternoon at home. I saw it in the cinema and I had such a great impression that I hired it to see it again (and I haven't done it in more than ten times).

    1-0 out of 5 stars Shockingly Disappointing
    I don't understand how anyone could enjoy this film.It was by far the worst movie I've seen this year.In fact, it was so bad that I doubt I'll be able to enjoy watching the main 4 actors ever again.

    Although some people feel that watching 4 people destroy each other is beautiful, I find it to be depressing.This movie is about 4 "lovers" who use each other uncaringly, cry a lot, use the "f" word multiple times in every sentence, and who are completely unlikeable.It's like the director thought that having 4 beautiful people in a film was enough.I love a good drama, but this wasn't even close.

    The plot is as shallow as the characters.The ending is very silly; we find out information that the film makers thought would create a "Usual Suspects" type of ending, but it all falls flat and seems contrived.Amazon has many better DVDs for sale than this garbage.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Mike Nichols at his best...
    Genre: Dark Romance

    Genre Grade: A+

    Final Grade: A

    This was a great movie - except it's possibly one of the most verbally sexual movies I've ever seen - but I can handle a little sex talk! There were about, I dunno, eight people or so who walked out of the movie because of the offensive language and sex talk. This movie breaks many barriers and talks about problems in relationships and tries to take a closer look at the raw emotions of affairs. The acting was Oscar-worthy from each person, Clive Owen coming out on top in my opinion. Natalie Portman was amazing as well, and Julia Roberts actually gives the audience something new.

    This movie is extremely depressing, and is not a date movie unless you want to walk away feeling hopeless. It leaves us with a despairing look at humanity and our own desires, and the film brings to light things that are normally left in the bedroom or simply remain unspoken. Definitely worth seeing just for the performances (especially the amazing encounter between Julia Roberts and Clive Owen, and then later the discussion between Jude Law and Clive Owen), the AMAZING dialogue, and just because of the fact that Mike Nichols directed it.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Great Performances save this film!
    This movie is hard to follow.No question about that.Most movies that are adapted from Broadway plays don't fair well on screen unless they're made from the classic playwrights (Tennessee Williams, David Mamet, Eugene O'Neill, etc.).Many of the negative reviews here on Amazon.com expecting more action are justified.However, I found the movie to be better than expected.Mike Nichols is one of Hollywood's finest directors.And with four of the best actors around, he does very will with the challenging subject matter.Natalie Portman has become the "Harrison Ford" of the Star Wars genre by breaking out into a great Oscar nominated role.British TV star Clive Owen also breaks free of his shell with his excellent performance.Juila Roberts & Jude Law round out this excellent cast.If you can stay with it for the performances, you'll be amused.

    1-0 out of 5 stars One of the worst movies I've ever seen
    I was really excited about seeing this, since it got such good reviews. Boy, was I surprised. This movie is so depressing, with everyone cheating on each other and getting hurt. There was a review that said that this is a real love story, but if that's true we all might as well throw in the towel. If you like feeling like you want to slit your wrists, then watch the movie. If not, definitely look elsewhere. ... Read more


    13. Schoolhouse Rock! (Special 30th Anniversary Edition)
    list price: $29.99
    our price: $22.49
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00005JKTY
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 131
    Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    It's a good bet that any American kid growing up in the '70s or '80s learned some elementary lesson from the seminal musical series Schoolhouse Rock!. Airing from 1973 to 1984 (and often revived), the ABC Saturday morning shorts effortlessly introduced kids to grammar, science, multiplication, money, and American history--three minutes at a time. In one smart, comprehensive 2-disc set, all 46 songs and plenty of extras are collected. The four creators developed the series slowly, a welcome diversion from their advertising agency jobs, and ended up taking home four Emmys over the years. The background material includes 10 audio commentaries and a making-of feature for the new song, "I'm Gonna Send Your Vote to College." The DVD subtitle option is a great bonus for those who need to know every word from such favorites as "Three Is a Magic Number," "Interjections," "I'm Just a Bill," and "Conjunction Junction." (Ages 3 and older) --Doug Thomas ... Read more

    Reviews (108)

    5-0 out of 5 stars This Is So Cool--Facts can be Fun!!
    And it's even educational! I was so pumped (now that I have a DVD player) to hear that they were releasing a big-time anniversary edition of Schoolhouse Rock in its entirety. I've had four of the videos for years, but this set is so much better. Disc One has all of the original songs--you can play them in order, randomly, just the top ten--and an all-new song about the Electoral College (inspired, no doubt, by the 2000 presidential election). The way you can navigate your way through any and/or all of the songs is very easy and great for when you don't just want to hear about grammar (or history, math, etc. . .).

    What really puts this over the top, though, is Disc Two, with a bucket load of extras: the lost "Weather Show," a new computer three-song set, a making-of feaure, top 20 countdowns, an interactive trivia game, music videos by contemporary artists, audio commentaries, Emmy Award footage, etc. . . . I can't wait to explore even more than I got to last night! This will be such a great tool for my 21-month-old daughter (who will know how a bill becomes a law and how to use a conjunction in a sentence!) and a ton of fun for me in the process.

    The video quality isn't MONSTERS, INC., but it doesn't have to be. The old animation holds up just fine, as does the audio, which audiophiles could probably complain about if they want to poop the party for the rest of us. What really stands up to the test of time, aside from the basic content, is the music. These guys (primarily) did some really good arranging, little of it in the rock 'n roll genre, ironically. Jack Sheldon delivers some spectacular jazz vocals on several of the more famous tunes. Complicated yet catchy melodies are the strength--that's why we all remember "I'm Just a Bill" and "Conjunction Junction"--with great backing vocals and instrumentation to boot. The contemporary artists' renditions didn't hold up to the originals, but they were pretty interesting to hear. The interactive stuff will be great for kids hearing these songs for the first time. The interviews and commentaries are really interesting, especially in hindsight. Great new additions, discoveries, and formats all add to the charm of the original forty-six songs. How they managed to get all of that factual information into essentially a music video, while keeping the kids (and me) entertained, is still a mystery to me.

    Bottom Line: You'll be hard-pressed to find a better combination of education and entertainment. If there are any factual inaccuracies, they are minor enough to overlook and could actually spark interesting conversations. The basic content is right on-the-money. The fact that they'll actually be talking about and be interested in the grammar, history, science, and economics is important enough to overlook any minor flaws.
    The fact that my daughter, who two years (and a couple of months) old, actually knows that "Wow!" is an interjection, a fact that most of my juniors (I'm a teacher) wouldn't know off the top of their heads, speaks volumes. . . !

    5-0 out of 5 stars Schoolhouse Rock totally rocks!
    I'd been waiting to see if I'd get this for my birthday, but I couldn't wait anymore. I bought it today and had to pop it in. These great animated shorts helped kids learn multiplication, science, grammar, american history and money. You want an explanation of our national debt? - watch Tyrannosaurus Debt :-).

    The first DVD has all the original shorts categorized by groups, you can play them by group, or play them all in order or play them all or shuffle. If you choose a particular group, you can pick the ones you want to play in the playlist or select the Play All button. I was having a blast seeing remembering how many of these I could still sing.

    The 2nd DVD is the Extra Credit portion of the set. You can watch with Captions or Audio Commentary. I really had fun with the "Earn Your Diploma" Trivia and the Arrange A Schoolhouse Rock song. The Earn Your Diploma gives you a set of questions to answer to each group (Science, Money, etc). When you get them all right, you get a clue which when you solve all the groups you can then solve the Master Jumble to become a Schoolhouse Rock Graduate. The Arrange A Schoolhouse Rock Song has 3 of the Schoolhouse rock songs mixed up and its up to you to get the lyrics in order. When you get them right, the song clip will play. The music videos section was funny - the first 3 had the original animated shorts but the music/voices were redone by Better Than Ezra ("Conjunction Junction"), Lemonheads("My Hero Zero") and Deluxe Folk Implosion("I'm Just A Bill"). I didn't care for the last one by Goodness ("Electricity, Electricity"). That was just a music video but that one doesn't take away from the rest of the DVD.

    I saw one review here getting a little too deep in reviewing the american group. I say, don't worry about it - these were meant to help kids learn and I can say they definitely did me good. This collection was well done and it's worth the price :-)

    5-0 out of 5 stars School House Rock
    I learned more from this as a kid than in school. To expensive on Amazon, I got it cheaper at my local Vons grocery store.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Wow! Hurray! Hey! Hallelujah!
    Yes, I'm using all the Interjections from SchoolHouse Rock to sing it's praises. I grew up with Schoolhouse Rock, but to be honest I thought about it only when my husband and I laughed nostalgicly about memorable songs like Conjunction Junction. Then, he bought the 30th anniversary edition for our daughter (he was trying to qualify for free shipping when he was buying the Tripletts of BelleVille!). So, it can be said that neither of us anticipated how fantastic this DVD would be -- STILL! My 3 year old LOVES it, and I can't say enough great things about the creative lyrics that teach grammar, numbers and how the body works (maybe I should reach into my bag of adjectives, which my daughter charmlingly calls "magictives"). It is the one DVD we own that I don't feel any apprehension about evil or scary characters, dark plots or questionable character influences (which are startling present in many videos for preschoolers).

    If you're wondering about getting this video, wonder no more. It is a timeless winner that won't disappoint (unless you're looking for dark plots and questionable character influences!)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Re: Jason James Taylorville, KY
    Mr. James I hope you have learned a valuable lesson from this experience. Read the product information before you buy it. You can look at the picture and see that it's animated/a cartoon. Come on don't trash the video because you didn't bother to read the product information before you bought it. I'm sure that you saw the cover on the DVD after you took it out of the package. I can't believe you opened it and actually watched it. Well, to each his own. ... Read more


    14. The Big Red One - The Reconstruction (Two-Disc Special Edition)
    list price: $26.99
    our price: $18.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0007TKNLA
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 139
    Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    Sam Fuller's The Big Red One was already one of the best films of 1980, despite the fact that the version released to theaters ran barely half as long as the director's cut. Fuller had been America's ballsiest B-movie auteur, an ex-newspaper reporter of the hardnosed breed who made fiercely personal, radically stylized, and politically outspoken films between the early '50s (The Steel Helmet, Pickup on South Street) and the early '60s (Shock Corridor). The Big Red One was his long-dreamt-of account of World War II as experienced by his own squad of the 1st Infantry Division, USA, from the first shot fired (by a dead man, on the coast of North Africa) to the last (in a concentration camp in Czechoslovakia).

    Even in the studio-truncated version, there was no shortage of astonishing moments and sequences: the squad choking on dust in a bat-filled cave in North Africa as German tanks clatter past the entrance; Fuller's cold-blooded distillation of the D-Day slaughter on Omaha Beach, with a wrist watch on a dead arm in the surf marking time as the water slopping over it grows redder; the rifle squad delivering a Frenchwoman's baby in a German tank on a battlefield full of corpses; a commando-like raid on Nazi troops bivouacked in a Belgian insane asylum. A quarter-century later, film critic Richard Schickel and Warner Bros. executive Brian Jamieson succeeded in restoring 15 never-seen sequences and fleshing out 23 others to create The Big Red One: The Reconstruction, a "new" film nearly an hour longer.

    Above all, BR1: The Reconstruction has a rhythm the 1980 cut lacked. The arc of years, battles, and battlegrounds is so much more satisfying. Greater play is given to Fuller's feeling for children caught up in the sidewash of history and atrocity. And the 2004 cut puts sex back into the movie, not orgiastically but as a fact of life and a rarely forgotten driving force. We can see now that Fuller touched, bluntly and shockingly, on the phenomenon of infiltrators--English-speaking German warriors who donned GI khaki and moved among their enemies waiting for a chance to strike.

    It's also apparent, as it was not in 1980, that Lee Marvin as the eternal Sergeant leading the young squad is magnificent. This was Marvin's greatest role, rivaled only by his walking dead man in John Boorman's Point Blank. Just beneath the masterly implacability, we glimpse the tenderness, rage, dark humor, experience, and wisdom beyond guilt that have enabled him to survive, to preserve others and to soldier on. His performance, like Fuller's film, is a masterpiece. --Richard T. Jameson ... Read more

    Reviews (54)

    5-0 out of 5 stars THE BIG RED ONE - THE RECONSTRUCTION.
    Like other reviewers, I saw the film when it first appeared and liked it. But I also felt that it also lacked some missing features which the novel supplied. Fortunately, a reconstruction has now occurred with the "missing footage" making an accomplished film more like the masterpiece Sam Fuller intended. Thanks to DVD, one does not have to live in a major city to see films like this. The 2 disk reconstruction is amazing and the restored footage is really where it belongs. This is a major work of cinema which needs to be widely disseminated.

    On the whole Richard Schickel and the restorers have done a good job. On the audio-commentary, Schickel mentions that the reason Fuller's work is now relevant to today (rather than his more illustrious Academy Award winning contemporaries) is because it reflects the insecurity of life and rejects any false sense of complacency. The film contains one of Lee Marvin's best performances supported with sterling performances by those young actors who play the Four Horsemen to say nothing of those other great performances by Stephane Audran, Serge Marquand, Siegfried Rauch, and Christa Lang Fuller herself in a restored scene. I have one hesitation to record. Both Shickel and the restorers often refer to cinematic cohesion. However, Samuel Fuller would always bend or break the rules at times. That is what made his films so iconoclastic and revolutionary in the same way that his absurd dialogue such as "If you die, I'll kill you" had great emotional reverberation. It is a shame the voice-over was not removed entirely because it is really redundant. The excellent acting and relevant silences speak for themselves in the best manner of silent cinema. Somne "deleted" sequences such as the Vichy officer debate could have been restored.

    But, in the last analysis, these are really minor points and we should be really grateful for this restoration which really should stimulate a Samuel Fuller Collection on DVD containing not only his most well-known works but others such as CHINA GATE (in restored letterbox form), VERBOTEN, THE CRIMSON KIMONO, and WHITE DOG to show the real diversity of this man's talent and the valuable cinematic heritage he has lef for future generations to appreciate.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Truthful, brutal and magnificent
    This film commences with a hard hitting statement that is unmistakably Sam Fuller. "THIS IS FICTIONAL LIFE, ABOUT FACTUAL DEATH". From that moment, he grabs the audience by the scruff of the neck and takes them on a fascinating, ballsy, unsentimental ride through WWII as he saw it. The film is refreshing for it's determined 'survivor's' point of view. He does not judge with emotions in the simplistic way that so many war films do. Instead he puts you in the state of mind you need to actually survive a war, and given Fuller himself survived WWII, he might just be on to something. The art in this film is all in the contradictions of real life and the perverse pleasures that can arise in even the most horrific of settings. A scene in Italy where the rifle squadren liberate an asylum is magnificently chaotic and amoral in it's presentation. In the midst of this madness Griff (Mark Hamill) somehow enjoys a transformative sexual experience with a psychologically damaged woman. We are reminded time and again that these men are only human, with needs that make little sense in the context of war. Fuller shows the straightforward machine you need to become to survive a war. If you know someone in your platoon is going to die, don't bother getting to know them too well. Harsh, but that, according to Fuller, is how you make it through. Lee Marvin's performance, commented upon here by many reviewers is an engine house of repressed humanity. And it's not overdone - you wouldn't even know the humanity was there. Watch this performance then watch Liam Neeson in Schindler's List. With respect to Neeson, he is playing a character. Marvin is playing a man.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Surviving is part of the fight in reconstructed classic
    Surviving war is the most challenging part of it. Whether it be surviving the physical and psychological rigors of war or it's sometimes nasty aftermath "The Big Red One: The Reconstruction" is one of the finest movies made about World War II. Fuller ("Shock Corridor" among many other films)made a lot of exploitation films during his long varied career but it's clear that here Fuller had found his best story to tell.

    Lee Marvin gives a terrific performance (and one of the best of his career)as the leader of a group of young soldiers. Most of the cast does an exceptional job as well (particularly Robert Carradine essentially playing Fuller). The film has its minor flaws certainly (some of the performances are a bit stilted)but film critic Richard Schickel a long time admirer of Fuller and this film has done a marvelous job of restoring Fuller's masterpiece to its original projected length. Schickel used the original script, production notes and the memories of some of the production participants to help recreate the film Fuller intended to release in the first place.

    The new version runs two hours and forty two minutes with the first disc devoted to the film. The second disc has alternate scenes; "Anatomy of a Scene" looks at the film both before and after the restoration. I haven't had time to watch "The Real Glory:Reconstructing The Big Red One" or the War department reel "The Fighting First" yet but the qualtiy of the documentary on Sam Fuller and the rest of the material is quite good.

    4-0 out of 5 stars War Classic -HORRIBLE PACKAGING MATERIALS!
    Great film, DVD done right, package LOOKS good, but when I went to open it up it took ALMOST A HALF AN HOUR AND EVEN THEN THE LOW-GRADE SUPER-STICKY TAPE ON ALL EDGES OF THE CASE RUINED THE COVER! Whoever made choices contributing to this fiasco needs to be shot! Or at least fired and drummed out of the industry. Didn't help matters that on the fancy black slip cover Best Buy had slapped a big ugly price sticker that wouldn't come off all the way, even after I heated the glue up with a hair dryer. Hey, I hope you slobs responsible for these stupid choices are reading this because you are a bunch of incompetent unprofressionals. Still, buy this DVD, anyway.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Pretty good aswar movies go
    As a kid I enjoyed this movie very much.It has some pretty good action sequences and in some parts, you can have true actual feelings for what soldiers go through when in battle.It has a very good ending and I feel it is definitely worth watching when you have the time.One of my favorite war movies. ... Read more


    15. The Essential Steve McQueen Collection (Bullitt Two-Disc Special Edition / The Getaway Deluxe Edition / The Cincinnati Kid / Papillon / Tom Horn / Never So Few)
    list price: $68.92
    our price: $48.24
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0008ENHV2
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 187
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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    Description

    Bullitt features Steve McQueen and the unforgettable car chase scene. Now available as a two-disc special edition, it includes over 5 hours of special features, including 2 new documentaries. In The Getaway, McQueen teams up with Ali McGraw in a supreme action thriller directed by Sam Peckinpah. Steve McQueen brings his cool fire to the title role of The Cincinnati Kid, one of the best poker movies of all time. In Papillon, McQueen teams up with Dustin Hoffman to escape from prison on Devil's Island. In Tom Horn, McQueen performs exciting recreation of Horn's latter-day career in a turn-of-the-century West where gentler ways supplanted the law of the gun. Steve McQueen stars in his first big-budget film Never So Few with Frank Sinatra. ... Read more

    Reviews (1)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Long Time coming
    If anyone deserves a box set it's Seve McQueen. The greatest of the Hollywood "Mans Man". McQueen made some great movies for Warner Brothers as he did for MGM before them, and we are lucky to get the fantastic Warner Brothers DVD treatment that they have bestowed on their recent box set.

    While The GREAT ESCAPE is my personal favorite McQueen film I am happy to see BULLIT, and NEVER SO FEW in the same set. It's pretty funny seeing a movie not starring Steve McQueen in his box set. Never so few was a staring vehicle for Frank Sinatra, but because of his scene stealing co-star Sinatra went on record as calling NEVER SO FEW a McQueen film. It also had a great Director John Sturges who also made THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN, and THE GREAT ESCAPE with McQueen.

    PAPILLON, THE GETAWAY, THE CINCINATTI KID, and the very underated TOM HORN are also included in the awesome box set. I was not yet born when Steve McQueen passed away, but I can tell you this, I have not been on the planet for more than twenty three years, but I can safely say that there has not been a actor/stuntman cooler than Steve McQueen. ... Read more


    16. Baraka (Special Collector's Edition)
    Director: Ron Fricke
    list price: $19.98
    our price: $14.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00005M91K
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 566
    Average Customer Review: 4.63 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (209)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Baraka will evoke joy, pity, fear, anger...and love
    Set to the music of ethnic chants and indigenous instruments from around the world, this film will compel you to see the world in a new light. You'll see beautiful vistas of terraced paddy fields, deserts, and city scapes. You'll see the dances of the aboriginees, african tribes, and amazon Indians. You'll see the faithful praying in places of worship that range from the Vatican to the shores of Ganges. In short you'll see how similar we all are beneath our different wardrobes and languages and faiths.

    The score to the movie complements the scenes and intensifies the emotions one feels watching the movie. Particularly haunting are the scenes of burning oil fields in Kuwait set to the music of Scottish bagpipes, Tibetan water music, and Japanese drumming.

    The movie explores love, faith, joy, war, death, rebirth and circle of life by showing scenes from around the world for each of these topics. Each time I have watched this movie I find myself discovering more of its hidden meanings. I think each viewer will come out with his own feelings and interpretations. But even if one isn't inclined to be philosophical, the music and cinematography alone is worth getting the DVD.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Cultural Enlightening
    I can gaurantee this is unlike any film you've ever seen before. Baraka is not a movie with a plot or words, but it is one massive work of art, a composition with the scenery as the main "characters". This movie will open your eyes to the fact that there is a whole world of different cultures, religions, and rituals out there. It will give you chills, make you smile, make you gasp, and make you appriciate diversity. Baraka is not a film for everyone. If you are ethnocentric, you might not see the point. If you have a passion to learn and become enlightened, you will love it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Beauty beyond words
    Baraka is a visual feast like no other, a film that begs to be seen on the largest screen possible so the viewer can absorb the grandiose feel of the images. This is the type of film that IMAX was made for. Filmed on a 70mm camera in a total of 24 countries, it is a dialogue-free film that takes the viewer around the globe into uncharted lands. The first half of the film shows us the natural beauty of earth as we are shown striking images of mountain ranges, deserts, tropical rain forests, volcanoes, solar temples, exotic animals. The whole thing is done to the tune of a spellbinding soundtrack of ambient music, Gregorian chants, flutes and other exotic sounds by world music artists such as Harmonic Choir and Dead Can Dance.

    But Baraka is much more than just National Geographic for the visually inclined. Its purpose is to give us a view of the world good and bad. And as the second half of the film unwinds, the tone of Baraka becomes increasingly dark and pessimistic as we are exposed to some of the harsh realities of the world like homelessness, poverty, slave labour, hunger. Horrifying images of tree-chopping, sweatshops, subway-cramming in Tokyo and scenes in a chicken factory will make many cringe and think twice about eating chicken for a while. But sometimes even within these backdrops of despair can be found things that are beautiful such as the joy and happiness on children's faces despite growing up in poverty-stricken 2nd world countries. These kids grow up with practically no material possessions yet they seem so HAPPY, much happier than kids of first-world countries who grow up with any material object their heart desires.

    Baraka is certainly not the kind of film we are used to seeing. I struggled with it for the first 10 minutes or so but then immediately fell under its spell and forgot that I was watching a film with no dialogue. Sometimes it's nice to be able to flick off the brain, not worry about following a story and just let oneself be absorbed by what's on screen, and that's what this film does. The only minor squabbles I had were the absence of writing on the screen to let us know where in the world we are and that the film did peter out a little towards the end. Baraka is a film worth purchasing that will stand well to multiple viewings and might even make some think twice about where their real priorities ought to be.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Save time & shoot yourself in the head
    If your interested in seeing what the film claims to be, " a transcendently poetic, world-wide tour of the globe blah blah blah ..speaks directly to the soul" - dont bother, it dosent happen. Instead you will find about 10 minutes of lovely scenery followed by lengthy film of poverty, cruelty and torture, including images of baby chicks having their beaks burnt off, graphic pictures of death camps and over-worked donkeys collapsing and dying (?!). Anyone who finds this "visually stimulating" needs psychiatric help.
    Fair enough if the film would actually indicate that your in for a visual experience depicting the apparent desperate state of the world, but there is no indication whatsoever of this pathetic morbidness in filmmaking, in fact it is offensive that the cover would suggest what lies within is even remotely "beautiful". Anyone who insists on watching it plse think twice before scaring your children with it - and if the film does have one worth-while message it is nothing to do with cinematography, its simply this : Think twice where your next KFC wing came from! And is it worth it ?

    5-0 out of 5 stars You'll watch it again and again
    Lets not kid ourselves. This is awe inspiring and captivating film. This review tackles all those who haven't rated it 5 stars. Most of these have seen earlier work by Godfrey Reggio and Ron Fricke. The only thing that separates these earlier works is that some people prefer them over this. In truth, the films are very similiar in technique, time-lapse and camera angles with the only differences being editing, music and locations.
    In earlier work Philip Glass composed the music which was appropriate and brilliant (although now slightly dated) and in Baraka, Michael Stearn tried to meld the music to the location. Michael Stearn -in my opinion- creating the better atmosphere.
    If you've not seen any of these following Chronos, Koyaanisqatsi, & Powaqqatsi. Then see Baraka, as it is the superior film and tends build on methods, techniques and angles visited in the previous films. I'd also like to mention Alton Walpole who doesn't seem to get much say in reviews, but he's also had an active part in all of these films and part of the 3 main people behind these films.
    When you see it make sure that it's on the biggest screen possible, with the best sound system possible in a dark room. And let the music and film take you on the journey that is Baraka. ... Read more


    17. The Complete James Dean Collection (East of Eden / Giant / Rebel Without a Cause Special Edition)
    list price: $68.92
    our price: $48.24
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0007TKNK6
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 76
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    The Complete James Dean Collection includes two-disc special editions of the three major films Dean made during his meteoric career: East of Eden (1955, never before available on DVD), Rebel Without a Cause (1955), and Giant (1956).In addition to new transfers, the films collect new and vintage documentaries, commentary tracks, publicity materials, and even the infamous "Drive Safely" commercial spot Dean filmed shortly before his death in an auto accident.

    East of Eden is an acknowledged classic, and the starring debut of James Dean lifts it to legendary status. John Steinbeck's novel gave director Elia Kazan a perfect Cain-and-Abel showcase for Dean's iconic screen persona, casting the brooding star as Cal, the younger of two brothers vying for the love of their Bible-thumping father (Raymond Massey) in Monterey, California, at the dawn of World War I. Massey is a lettuce farmer, striving for market domination with an ill-fated refrigeration scheme. Having discovered that his presumed-dead mother (Oscar winner Jo Van Fleet) is a brothel owner in nearby Salinas, Cal convinces her to finance an investment that will restore his father's lost fortune, but neither money nor the tenderness of his brother's fiancée (Julie Harris) can assuage Cal's anguished need for paternal acceptance that comes nearly too late. Kazan's oblique camera angles and Dean's tortured emoting may seem extreme by latter-day standards, but their theatrics make East of Eden a timeless tale of family secrets and hard-won affection.

    When people think of James Dean, they probably think first of the troubled teen from Rebel Without a Cause: nervous, volatile, soulful, a kid lost in a world that does not understand him. Made between his only other starring roles, in East of Eden and Giant, Rebel sums up the jangly, alienated image of Dean, but also happens to be one of the key films of the 1950s. Director Nicholas Ray takes a strikingly sympathetic look at the teenagers standing outside the white-picket-fence '50s dream of America: juvenile delinquent (that's what they called them then) Jim Stark (Dean), fast girl Judy (Natalie Wood), lost boy Plato (Sal Mineo), slick hot-rodder Buzz (Corey Allen). At the time, it was unusual for a movie to endorse the point of view of teenagers, but Ray and screenwriter Stewart Stern captured the youthful angst that was erupting at the same time in rock & roll. Dean is heartbreaking, following the method acting style of Marlon Brando but staking out a nakedly emotional honesty of his own. Going too fast, in every way, he was killed in a car crash on September 30, 1955, a month before Rebel opened. He was no longer an actor, but an icon, and Rebel is a lasting monument.

    Giant got its name because everything in the picture is big, from the generous running time (more than 200 minutes) to the sprawling ranch location (a horizon-to-horizon plain with a lonely, modest mansion dropped in the middle) to the high-powered stars. Stocky Rock Hudson stars as the confident, stubborn young ranch baron Bick Benedict, who woos and wins the hand of Southern belle Elizabeth Taylor, a seemingly demure young beauty who proves to be Hudson's match after she settles into the family homestead. For many the film is chiefly remembered for James Dean's final performance, as poor former ranch hand Jett Rink, who strikes oil and transforms himself into a flamboyant millionaire playboy. Director George Stevens won his second Oscar for this ambitious, grandly realized (if sometimes slow moving) epic of the changing socioeconomic (and physical) landscape of modern Texas, based on Edna Ferber's bestselling novel. The talented supporting cast includes Mercedes McCambridge as Bick's frustrated sister, put out by the new "woman of the house"; Chill Wills as the Benedicts' garrulous rancher neighbor; Carroll Baker and Dennis Hopper as the Benedicts' rebellious children; and Earl Holliman and Sal Mineo as dedicated ranch hands. ... Read more

    Reviews (2)

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Icon Who Never Gets Old
    On Sept. 30, 2005, we mark the 50th anniversary of the death of James Dean.While baby-boomers may find that incredible, what's even more incredible is that throughout those 50 years, Dean's status as the icon of disaffected youth and rebellious adolescence has not only held up, but burnishes itself anew every time it is displayed before our eyes.
    In a film career which spanned only 16 months and included only three films, James Dean defined the disorientation of disaffected youth, as one strives to carve out one's identity, separate from one's parents, and discover what values truly define and shape that identity and self.The remarkable thing about his movie roles is that they did this not only for his generation, but speak for each succeeding generation down to the present day.In no small part due to his tragic death at the age of 24, he never ages, and therefore remains the icon of all that is cool to all generations, whether you identify with Elvis, the Beatles, Sting or Kurt Cobain.Onscreen, James Dean remains the Real Thing in a way few other movie stars have ever been.
    Bringing what Marlon Brando called "a subtle energy and a sense of intangible injury" to each of his roles, Dean created a cinematic presence which was so compelling, it had few, if any equals.He became at once the gravitational center and the propulsive force of every scene he was in.It did not matter if he was acting with Raymond Massey, Julie Harris, Natalie Wood, Rock Hudson or Elizabeth Taylor.For each and every moment he was onscreen, you could not take your eyes off him and what he was doing.
    In the process, Dean managed to encapsulate and project all the conflicts and contradictions of youth in a manner and to a degree which remains unparalleled.Dean's characters were full of hurt and hubris, anger and uncertainty, confidence and vulnerability... all at once.Other young actors are merely young, and maybe heartfelt.Dean's characters are young with an experience which defies their years, thereby expressing an intensity of feeling and inner conflict that no one else could match.
    This collection of all three of Dean's starring vehicles providessomething of serious value to everyone who cares about movies and American culture.The DVD transfers are first rate, and it's hard to believe, for instance, that "East of Eden" has been unavailable to viewers in any format for the past 10 years.Take advantage, movie fans!Even 50 years later, James Dean remains as compelling, as fascinating and as powerful as he ever was, and... HE NEVER GETS OLD.

    5-0 out of 5 stars It's About Time!!!
    James Dean will have been dead for 50 years on September 30th, 2005, and seeing that death has only enhanced his iconic image, even if Dean only starred in three studio pictures, I don't think it too much to ask that these films finally get the recognition they deserve. In fact, fans have had to wait so long for a "Dean Collection" that these discs better be flawless as the films themselves almost are. "East of Eden", "Rebel Without A Cause", and "Giant" will be included in this set and the first two mentioned really are screen burners in every aspect.

    James Dean made his starring debut in "East of Eden", based on the best-selling John Steinbeck novel which retells the Adam and Eve story, and he was a star from then on. Dean plays Cal Trask, the "Cain" character, to glorious, brooding perfection. In fact, when Steinbeck himself met Dean, he told director Elia Kazan "He is Cal".

    "Rebel Without A Cause", probably Dean's best-known film, is a landmark of method acting. Dean as Jim Stark, a pseudonym of James and Trask (as in Cal Trask from Eden), is not the quintessential teenager that everyone paints him. He is so much deeper and older than he appears. "Rebel Without a Cause", directed by Nicholas Ray, is truly a magnum opus of a film. A must see!

    "Giant" is a very lush and grand film. Perhaps a bit overdone, but entertaining none the less. Edna Ferber, who wrote the novel, also said Dean was a wonderful choice to play Jett Rink, a common salt of the earth man, who rises to great heights, only to be ruined by his own demons. Dean is the most fascinating thing about "Giant" and easily steals every scene he is in. "The Complete James Dean Collection" is long overdue in any format, let alone DVD. Now, a new generation will be able to experience the myth that is James Dean. ... Read more


    18. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (Special Edition)
    Director: George Roy Hill
    list price: $14.98
    our price: $11.24
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00003RQNJ
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 693
    Average Customer Review: 4.57 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (93)

    5-0 out of 5 stars "You Just Keep Thinking, Butch...!"
    This film truly deserves the description of being a "Classic." Paul Newman and Robert Redford (in the company of Director George Roy Hill and a particularly appealing Katharine Ross), take the history of the bloodthirsty "Hole-in-the-Wall Gang," and turn it into an affectionate cinematic portrayal of male bonding and cultural change.

    Taking place at the end of the 19th century, Butch and Sundance are, as veteran actor Jeff Corey, playing a sympathetic sheriff and accidental existentialist, snarls, "two-bit outlaws on the dodge!" They spend much of the movie dodging a posse hired to hunt them down and kill them in the wake of a series of amusing train robberies. The location shooting of their escape is breathtakingly beautiful.

    Ultimately, they have to flee the closing frontier, and end up in Bolivia, which is portrayed as a kind of low-rent version of the Old West. Their trip to South America is an intermezzo, done in sepia tint, focusing on their stay in New York, which, with its (relatively) modern conveniences, underscores how anachronistic their lifestyle has become.

    Their inability to rob banks in Bolivia without using Spanish-language crib sheets is both hilarious and touching, a kind of paradigm of cultural and technological dislocation.

    In keeping with its 1969 release date, the film has a strong antiestablishment cant to it: Authority is faceless, unyielding, and, mostly, inept. It is telling that Butch and Sundance kill no one until they "go straight" as payroll guards. Their criminal lifestyle is romanticized as a kind of "On The Road" on horseback. That this doesn't offend the audience is a measure of how fine this movie is. The warmth and humor overcome both the moral relativity of the characters and their sad ending.

    Newman and Redford are wonderful together as the affable outlaws. Newman's Butch is a charming, flaky visionary who is trying desperately to cling to the past. When confronted with the new alarms and teller's cages at a favorite bank, he dismisses the guard's explanation of, "People kept robbing us" with a wistful, "It's a small price to pay for beauty."

    As Butch says: "The future's all yours, you lousy bicycles!" In a sense: the Western Outlaw was succeeded by "Public Enemy Number One" when cars succeeded horses, and train and bank robberies became Federal crimes. "Your times is over!," Jeff Corey insists, and he's right.

    Redford plays Sundance as the stylish straight man, never quite falling prey to Butch's dreams, but never able to dismiss them utterly: "You just keep thinking, Butch, that's what you're best at!" The onscreen chemistry between Newman and Redford is so palpable that although they only made two films together ("The Sting" in 1973 is a modernized version of "Butch & Sundance"), they can easily be considered one of the finest comedy duos ever, anywhere. The dialogue between them is banter between two very good, very old, very comfortable, friends. Maybe there was a script involved, too.

    "Butch and Sundance" may be short on facts, but it speaks a kind of truth for which facts are not needed.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Newman & Redford's First Film Together
    Paul Newman and Robert Redford are two of the biggest movie stars of all time. They are also the best of friends and that friendship shines through on their first film together, Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid. The film is set in the old west, but it has a definite 60's feel to it. Butch and Sundance are anti-heroes who defy the "establishment" by robbing trains. Finally the train company gets fed up and sends an elite team of bounty hunters to track them down. This inspires the film's classic catchphrase, "who are those guys" as Butch & Sundance can't shake their pursuers. The film has a light comical side to it as Mr. Newman is at his charming best as Butch and Mr. Redford elicits laughs as the uptight Sundance. Katherine Ross provides a pretty diversion as Sundance's beautiful schoolteacher girlfriend, Etta Place. Mr. Newman & Mr. Redford are instantly likable in the lead roles and you can feel their real affinity for one another come through in the film. The movie was a major box office hit and won and William Goldman won an Oscar for his crisp and witty script and But Bacarach and Hal David won an Oscar for the film's theme song "Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head" which B.J. Thomas took to number one in late 1969.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Style and Substance
    I remember seeing this movie at the cinema as a kid (many years ago)and being knocked out by how COOL Redford and Sundance were. You know the scene in Blues Brothers, the doorway of the transient mens refuge and the rocket launcher, and they just get up, brush themsleves off, music resumes and go on as if nothing happened. That cool. And so when they get to the stage of being concerned "who ARE those guys" we have substance for the actions they take afterwards. Now watching this movie on DVD with my kids, they didn't get enraptured as I did at their age. As you might guess, not enough action for their generation - and yet, when there is action, it plays with as much emotion as the best of hollywood today. A tremendous cast delivering a tremendous performance, this will always be one of my favorite movies.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Sticks pretty well to historical fact
    For one when Butch and sundance are being chased up the mountain by the posse Butch mentions Joe LaFors (sp?). I checked a while ago. LaFors really existed as a lawman at the time. But Etta Place (Kathryn Ross)though she really existed was actually not a school teacher. More likely she was a prostitute.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Butch & the Kid
    Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid is one of the best movies (if not the best!!!) I have ever seen. The action, the interplay and the chemistry between the 2 leading stars (Newman, Redford) is like "poetry in motion". The action is non-stop, as well as the comedy, especially of Newman. Even though there is quite a bit of violence throughout the movie, I would recommend that everyone buy the video!!! ... Read more


    19. Hoop Dreams - Criterion Collection
    list price: $29.95
    our price: $22.46
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0007WFYBG
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 296
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com essential video

    This completely absorbing three-hour documentary follows the lives of two inner-city African American teenage basketball prodigies as they move through high school with long-shot dreams of the NBA, superstardom, and an escape from the ghetto. Taking cues from such works as Michael Apted's 35 Up, director Steve James and associates shot more than 250 hours of footage, spanning more than six years, and their completed work actually moves like an edge-of-the-seat drama, so brimming with tension, plot twists, successes, and tragedies that its length--170 minutes--is never an issue. Yet, what makes the film more impressive is how James moves his scope beyond a competitive sports drama (although the movie has plenty of terrific, nail-biting basketball footage) and addresses complex social issues, creating a scathing social commentary about class privilege and racial division. The film opens by introducing William Gates and Arthur Agee, two Chicago hopefuls, as they are being courted and recruited by various high schools to play ball, and continues until the pair are college freshmen. James allows the audience the experience of not only watching their journeys and daily routines (it's a sobering portrait of inner-city life), but also witnessing their maturation. Each takes a separate path along the way, stumbling over several obstacles (William suffers injuries, Arthur fails to meet his coach's high expectations); but James takes particular care to stress the importance and strong commitment of each character's family along the way, giving the film a essential center. The parents and siblings emerge with as much depth and complexity as the two main "characters," and turn Hoop Dreams into an unforgettable film experience. --Dave McCoy ... Read more

    Reviews (40)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great Documentary
    I turned on ESPN and saw this and I soon got entranced by it.
    It follows the stories of two High School Basketball prodigies.
    Being a fan of all the prospects I knew I must watch this movie. The two kids William Graves and Arthur Agee were both guards from the Inner City Chicago and they were both many of the basketball prodigees. I turned in to see there Freshman years William was one of St. Josephs school and was a starter something that even Isiah Thomas was not at the same school.
    The other guy was Agee who was the starter for the Freshman team. He ran into his problems with the school and by the time they both entered there sophomore year Agee was having trouble with the School and had to transfer to a Inner City School.
    Graves was called the "Next Isiah" by many folks in Illinois.
    in 1985 his brother Corey was compared to Michael Jordan but his career did not pan out. By there Junior year William had a serious knee injury and Arthur had school and team troubles. He worked hard to help his team out. By this time William had a daughter Alicia. By the time of the start of there Senior season William was invited to the prestigious ABCD Basketball camp presented by Nike. This tournament is the very best High School players by there year. His year just happened to be the class of 1991 a class that had the Fab 5 in it and also had the likes of Glenn Robinson and others. 1991 was a great year. William was injured again over the summer and was blasted by the coach of his school. Artur Agee had to get his life in line. Arthur was being scouted by many schools but chose Marquette. Arthur chose a Junior College in Missouri. There senior years were different the top team St.Josephs had a succesful but disapointing season and Arthur's school won city championships including a win over the number one team in the Nation. They would loose in the state quarters.After High School they both graduated college and Arthur played in the ABL
    and William had a brief stint with the Wizzards in 2001.

    5-0 out of 5 stars HOOP DREAMS STILL ALIVE
    Simply put, this is the best basketball movie ever made... and in my opinion, the best documentary ever.
    I am looking forward to the follow-up sequel to see what happened to Arthur and William.
    This movie is absolutely brilliant, and couldn't have been better if it was written.Everyone should view it, if not own it.
    FIVE STARS.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Follow Up Film in the Works
    For those who enjoyed this film, the New York Times has reported that Criterion is backing the film-makers in creating an entirely new film that follows up on the lives of these two men.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful documentary
    'Hoop Dreams' is one of the best documentaries ever made, in fact it may be one of the best films ever made.

    It follows the stories of two young African American men (William Gates and Arthur Agee) and their families as they attempt to realise their dreams and escape the ghetto through basketball. The documentary follows the boys through four years of High School and on to college.

    It is a moving, sometimes heartbreaking film that allows you to accompany the boys on their journey and on the way provides great insight into the wider issues. In many ways Hoop Dreams is a classical documentary - the filmmakers shot hours footage and then edited it down to the three hour film. There is very little editorial, they simply show us the edited highlights of what they recorded and allow the viewers to draw their own conclusions. This approach allows the filmmakers (and us) to examine not just high-school basketball but also the wider racial and social issues.

    I am not sure that it is possible to spoil the plot of a documentary but if you want it to be a surprise, read no further....

    The story beings with St Joseph's - an up market high school - recruiting both boys on partial scholarships. William is an instant success - even from the brief clips it is obvious he has an amazing talent for basketball - he makes the school first team as a freshman (very uncommon) and looks to have a professional career in front of him. Arthur is a different story. He has talent but he seems to lack the maturity to utilise it and he is kicked out of school at the end of his freshman year for unpaid school fees. William, the potential star, has been found a personal sponsor who pays the rest of his tuition ensuring that he can stay in school, there is a strong implication that if Arthur had been a better player sponsorship would have been found for him as well. The school emerges with no great credit over their treatment of Arthur as over the next few years they ruthlessly pursue his family for the money, withholding his school records to make life very difficult for him at his new school. Sadly things turn sour for William as well, he gets injured and then re-injured playing when he should not. Although his physical injuries heal he is never the same player again.

    Even from the start, the extent to which their families are pinning all their hopes on the two boys is terrifying and heartbreaking (we know the odds are stacked against them). They both live in a very poor and dangerous neighbourhood - with the other members of their family working at minimum wage jobs to try to keep the family afloat - basketball is their only way out, their only chance to live the American dream. William has an older brother, Curtis, who had the talent but not the temperament to make it as a basketball player; he now lives vicariously through William, simply adding to the pressure. Arthur's dad has problems with drugs and domestic violence that tear his family apart.

    There can be few more tragic scenes ever filmed than the segment showing Arthur shooting hoops at the local playground while his Dad scores drugs in the background. Equally unforgettable is the scene where Arthur, just before he leaves for college, plays basketball with his Dad and the years of repressed anger explode. In many ways the most memorable moment from the whole film is the line uttered by William at the end; it seems to sum up the predicament of these boys. "People say, 'When you make it to the NBA, don't forget about me.' I feel like telling them, 'Well, if I don't make it, make sure you don't forget about me.' "

    This is a fabulous film - watch it you can find it - you will not be disappointed. The only disappointment is that the DVD does not provide an update to what happened to the two boys and their families

    5-0 out of 5 stars Best sport...Best Film
    I, too, have long waited for this DVD to come out. I have a grainy copy of the film off of our local PBS station, as well as the reunion show that PBS had several years after the movie was out. Hopefully, this DVD would have more recent news on the boys. Agee had subpar hoop skills but was so doggone focused on making it to the pros, he could not/would not accept/realize the truth when it was slapping him right on the face, that though his love for the game was immeasurable, his skills were limited. And you need skills to make it in Division 1 colege hoops and more so in the NBA. To be used by a USBL team hoping to ride his coattails and signing him, that was sad. Yet through it all, Agee believed he belong. In contrast, Gates had superior hoop skills but tore his ACL and frankly had better things to do then being eslaved by the game as Agee was. I think Gates' decision making and accepting reality spoke volumes about the kid's character. He knew where his priorities lie, as husband, as a father, as a son. Finally, I think Agee's mother was a strong force in this film as well, and in her family's life. Her story of how she empowered herself, to better herself, within the challenging environment she was in was simply inspirational. Her story had nothing to do with hoops, but it was a strong storyline in the film. This is absolutely the best basketball movie ever made. Bar-none. It's amazing that people still think that "Hossiers" is the best hoops movie ever made, even professional ballplayers think this! You simply cannot beat REAL LIFE. Amazing movie, hopefully, even more amazing DVD. ... Read more


    20. The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou - Criterion Collection
    Director: Wes Anderson
    list price: $29.99
    our price: $22.49
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0007UC8Y4
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 878
    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


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