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    $19.49 list($29.99)
    1. National Treasure (Widescreen
    $19.47 $13.55 list($29.95)
    2. The Aviator (2-Disc Widescreen
    $17.49 $17.23 list($24.98)
    3. Elvis By the Presleys
    $17.99 $14.95 list($29.99)
    4. The Incredibles (Widescreen 2-Disc
    $19.49 $9.00 list($29.98)
    5. Meet The Fockers (Widescreen Edition)
    $19.49 $10.99 list($29.98)
    6. Sideways (Widescreen Edition)
    $19.49 $10.50 list($29.99)
    7. National Treasure (Full Screen
    $18.89 $15.65 list($26.98)
    8. Hotel Rwanda
    $18.89 $18.15 list($26.99)
    9. Chappelle's Show - Season 1
    $19.57 $15.19 list($27.95)
    10. The Phantom of the Opera (Full
    $18.17 $7.47 list($27.95)
    11. Ocean's Twelve (Widescreen Edition)
    $22.46 $12.70 list($29.95)
    12. Nova - The Elegant Universe
    $19.95 $17.95
    13. Classical Pilates Technique -
    $18.87 $16.95 list($26.96)
    14. William Shakespeare's The Merchant
    $26.24 $21.41 list($34.99)
    15. Anne Of Green Gables - The Sequel
    $19.56 list($27.95)
    16. The Notebook
    $20.96 $10.99 list($27.95)
    17. The Phantom of the Opera (Widescreen
    $11.24 $8.95 list($14.98)
    18. Young Frankenstein (Special Edition)
    $19.49 $12.87 list($29.98)
    19. Meet The Fockers (Full Screen
    $19.95
    20. Water Crystals in Motion- Messages

    1. National Treasure (Widescreen Edition)
    Director: Jon Turteltaub
    list price: $29.99
    our price: $19.49
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00005JN5E
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 17
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

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

    Reviews (263)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


    2. The Aviator (2-Disc Widescreen Edition)
    Director: Martin Scorsese
    list price: $29.95
    our price: $19.47
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00080ZG10
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 5
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    From Hollywood's legendary Cocoanut Grove to the pioneering conquest of the wild blue yonder, Martin Scorsese's The Aviator celebrates old-school filmmaking at its finest. We say "old school" only because Scorsese's love of golden-age Hollywood is evident in his approach to his subject--Howard Hughes in his prime (played by Leonardo DiCaprio in his)--and especially in his technical mastery of the medium reflecting his love for classical filmmaking of the studio era. Even when he's using state-of-the-art digital trickery for the film's exciting flight scenes (including one of the most spectacular crashes ever filmed), Scorsese's meticulous attention to art direction and costume design suggests an impassioned pursuit of craftsmanship from a bygone era; every frame seems to glow with gilded detail. And while DiCaprio bears little physical resemblance to Hughes during the film's 20-year span (late 1920s to late '40s), he efficiently captures the eccentric millionaire's golden-boy essence, and his tragic descent into obsessive-compulsive seclusion. Bolstered by Cate Blanchett's uncannily accurate portrayal of Katharine Hepburn as Hughes' most beloved lover, The Aviator is easily Scorsese's most accessible film, inviting mainstream popularity without compromising Scorsese's artistic reputation. As compelling crowd-pleasers go, it's a class act from start to finish. --Jeff Shannon


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

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

    The Personalities ofThe Aviator

    Click the links to explore more movies by these stars.

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

    Other Movies by The Aviator's Oscar® Winners

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

    The Aviator at Amazon.com


    The Aviator soundtrack

    The Screenplay

    Howard Hughes: The Real Aviator


    Howard Hughes movies

    Great movies of the 1930s

    The films of Martin Scorsese

    ... Read more

    Reviews (147)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    FROM KIRSTEN

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

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


    3. Elvis By the Presleys
    list price: $24.98
    our price: $17.49
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00094ASEK
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 60
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Description

    ELVIS BY THE PRESLEYS, a new entertainment special that will feature a collection of new, intimate interviews with his former wife, Priscilla Beaulieu Presley, and their daughter, Lisa Marie Presley, includes exclusive, never-before-seen television performances, photographs from the Presley Estate archives and Presley family home movies.

    In the special, Priscilla and Lisa Marie speak with unguarded candor about their lives with the legendary Elvis Presley and offer an intimate look at their family and private life. Rare interviews with Elvis's first cousin, Patsy Presley Geranen, and Priscilla's parents, Ann and Paul Beaulieu, are also featured.

    Vintage, never-before-seen performance footage will be interwoven with photographs from the Presley Estate archives and press coverage of Elvis over the years. Private home movies of the Presley family illustrate and illuminate his story with vivid detail, honest insight and great warmth. Different aspects of Elvis's life, including his tours, his time in Hollywood and his home life, are depicted with the insight that only his family can bring. His career ups and downs, his kindness and generosity and his human frailties are all brought to light as well as a reflection on his place in entertainment history and his enduring legacy. ... Read more

    Reviews (17)

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Humanizing Of The King
    There is probably no single entertainer in our American culture that has been profiled more in recordings, TV specials, books, etc. than Elvis Presley, the undisputed King of Rock And Roll.In fact, the amount of Elvis literature over the years would probably fill an entire bookstore.Much of it, of course, is quite tawdry and has almost always focused more on the King's many eccentricities than the fact he had a life and that he touched millions.

    But ELVIS BY THE PRESLEYS is a different matter altogether.For this time around, we get to a much deeper side of Elvis through the people that knew him best, including former Memphis Mafia member Jerry Schilling, and most especially Elvis' wife Priscilla and daughter Lisa Marie.All here testify to the kind of person that the press constantly ignored while he was alive, and still do even close to twenty-eight years after his untimely demise at age 42.Through home movie footage of him, and the time he met his future wife Priscilla while stationed in Germany during his Army years, we see Elvis still as the King until the bitter end, but also the human being he always tried to be first and foremost.

    We see his explosive entry onto the American scene in the mid-1950s.We witness his return from Army life.We witness his struggle with all the formulaic B-movies the Colonel forced him to make in the 1960s at the expense of making real recordings or far superior films.We see his extraordinary comeback of 1968.And at the end, of course, we see a very unhealthy-looking Elvis in the late spring of 1977 nevertheless giving everything he has left in him onstage, putting his own stamp on "My Way."

    Both Priscilla and Lisa Marie are very candid but unsensationalistic in the way they describe the problems Elvis had, both with the Colonel's often questionable business decisions (made at the expense of Elvis' health and creativity) and his struggle with prescription medication, a struggle that he sadly lost.But they also hold Elvis in the highest regard, as a great husband and father, and a tireless giver who never stopped giving and who never stopped caring.I had the utmost respect for Elvis before, as the greatest pop music icon America has ever had.After ELVIS BY THE PRESLEYS, I have an even greater respect for him as a human being.It is high time that the world know the human being that the King really was.

    4-0 out of 5 stars finally....
    have seen many "ELVIS" biographies and "secrets of...". however, this one coming from the only 2 surviving women in his life that matter, priscilla and lisa marie, has the ring of authenticity to it.saw the broadcast and will definitely buy the dvd.however, what about the previous movie w/john rhys meyers?he looked more like ELVIS than any of the other men who've played him over the years, but the dude can't dance.for my money, the best of all the ELVIS bios is still the first, featuring kurt russell.no one's done it better and captured the personality, as well as the moves.when will this classic be released on dvd?i've been waiting forever(or at least since 1979) for this one!

    3-0 out of 5 stars O.K. , but....
    This is another creative way of making money. Same old story with same old stuff except for a few home movie clips which were shown over and over again. The documentary is mostly about the "Elvis-Priscilla" times. Maybe you (not me) might like to know the fact that Elvis & Priscilla once used LSD or that he would not make love to her anymore...blah...blah...blah...

    I wish for a documentary by Scotty Moore or the other musicians that toured and recorded with Elvis during the early years. That's what I am interested: the young, the energetic and creative ELVIS.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Can't Help Falling in Love with Elvis!
    What a wonderful tribute! I have loved Elvis since the age of 5 (my age, not his)and it has been a love affair that has never diminished even after 40 years.I was lucky enough to spend 8 days in Memphis last year and seeing the home movies during the special was surreal as I had just been in those rooms! The holiday dinner was touching. I have seen Priscilla talk about Elvis several times, and each and every time I listen to her I truly believe she still has a great amount of love for him. The companion book and CD are fabulous additions to the entire experience- I think that this type of documentary was long overdue and I for one am grateful that is was put out on DVD so quickly, but I also think that a VHS edition should also have been made available as some people still have a VCR and have not converted to DVD- Everyone should have the opportunity to see this poignant view of the King!

    4-0 out of 5 stars Elvis's family talks about life with him
    I taped this special when it aired last Friday, and I finnaly got to see it yesterday. And I can't believe that it has been released on dvd already, and it should be bound to be on vhs too. That had to be either same time, or quicker time then when the Freinds series final arrived on dvd. Elvis Presley's ex-wife Priscilla Presley reminisces about her life with Elvis Presley. Also featured is their only daugther Lisa Marie, along with Priscialla's step father and mother Paul and Ann Beaulieu, and one of his best friends also talks during this special, but this especily minus other of his freinds like Charlie Hodge, and Joe Esposito. If you love the king, this migth be a dvd to add to your colelction, but please check it out first before you add it on. Elvis Presley, his father, and Elvis' manger Tom Parker, are seen on and heard on tape. I just and laways have to wonder what happened between Elvis and Hollywood, after he returned from the army, since before he left that he had 3 dramas, and his first movie which was a western, before he got stuck doing this musical comedies, and very rearely had a drama since. ... Read more


    4. The Incredibles (Widescreen 2-Disc Collector's Edition)
    Director: Brad Bird
    list price: $29.99
    our price: $17.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00005JN4W
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 15
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Amazon.com essential video

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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    Reviews (281)

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Genre Grade: A

    Final Grade: A-

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

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

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

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

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

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


    5. Meet The Fockers (Widescreen Edition)
    Director: Jay Roach
    list price: $29.98
    our price: $19.49
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00005JN5T
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 40
    Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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    Meet the Parents found such tremendous success in the chemistry produced by the contrasting personalities of stars Robert De Niro and Ben Stiller that the film's creators went for broke with the same formula again in Meet the Fockers. This time around, Jack and Dina Byrnes (De Niro and Blythe Danner) climb into Jack's new kevlar-lined RV with daughter Pam (Teri Polo), soon-to-be son-in-law Gaylord (Stiller), and Jack's infant grandson from his other daughter for the trip to Florida to meet Gaylord's parents, Bernie and Roz Focker (Dustin Hoffman and Barbra Streisand in a casting coup). The potential in-laws are, of course, the opposite of Jack, a pair of randy, touchy-feely fun-lovers. The rest of the movie is pretty much a sitcom: put Bernie and Roz together with Jack, and watch the in-laws clash as Gaylord squirms. As with the original, there is a sense of joy in watching these actors take on their roles with obvious relish, and the Hoffman-Streisand-Stiller triumvirate is likeable enough to draw you in. But the formula doesn't work as well in Fockers mostly because much of the humor is based on two obvious gimmicks: Gaylord Focker's name, and the fact that Streisand's character is a sex therapist. As a result, the movie itself is more contrived and predictable, and a lot less fun than the original. The casting is grand, but one wishes more thought was put into the script.--Dan Vancini ... Read more

    Reviews (189)

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

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

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

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

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

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


    6. Sideways (Widescreen Edition)
    Director: Alexander Payne
    list price: $29.98
    our price: $19.49
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0007TKOAA
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 26
    Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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    With Sideways, Paul Giamatti (American Splendor, Storytelling) has become an unlikely but engaging romantic lead. Struggling novelist and wine connoisseur Miles (Giamatti) takes his best friend Jack (Thomas Haden Church, Wings) on a wine-tasting tour of California vineyards for a kind of extended bachelor party. Almost immediately, Jack's insatiable need to sow some wild oats before his marriage leads them into double-dates with a rambunctious wine pourer (Sandra Oh, Under the Tuscan Sun) and a recently divorced waitress (Virginia Madsen, The Hot Spot)--and Miles discovers a little hope that he hasn't let himself feel in a long time. Sideways is a modest but finely tuned film; with gentle compassion, it explores the failures, struggles, and lowered expectations of mid-life. Giamatti makes regret and self-loathing sympathetic, almost sweet. From the director of Election and About Schmidt. --Bret Fetzer ... Read more

    Reviews (304)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Cheers! ... Read more


    7. National Treasure (Full Screen Edition)
    Director: Jon Turteltaub
    list price: $29.99
    our price: $19.49
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0007L43D2
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 50
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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    Like a Hardy Boys mystery on steroids, National Treasure offers popcorn thrills and enough boyish charm to overcome its rampant silliness. Although it was roundly criticized as a poor man's rip-off of Raiders of the Lost Ark and The Da Vinci Code, it's entertaining on its own ludicrous terms, and Nicolas Cage proves once again that one actor's infectious enthusiasm can compensate for a multitude of movie sins. The contrived plot involves Cage's present-day quest for the ancient treasure of the Knights Templar, kept secret through the ages by Freemasons past and present. Finding the treasure requires the theft of the Declaration of Independence (there are crucial treasure clues on the back, of course!), so you can add "caper comedy" to this Jerry Bruckheimer production's multi-genre appeal. Nobody will ever accuse director Jon Turtletaub of artistic ambition, but you've got to admit he serves up an enjoyable dose of PG-rated entertainment, full of musty clues, skeletons, deep tunnels, and harmless adventure in the old-school tradition. It's a load of hokum, but it's fun hokum, and that makes all the difference. --Jeff Shannon ... Read more

    Reviews (263)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


    8. Hotel Rwanda
    Director: Terry George
    list price: $26.98
    our price: $18.89
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    Asin: B0007R4T3U
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 34
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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    Solidly built around a subtle yet commanding performance by Don Cheadle, Hotel Rwanda emerged as one of the most highly-praised dramas of 2004. In a role that demands his quietly riveting presence in nearly every scene, Cheadle plays real-life hero Paul Rusesabagina, a hotel manager in the Rwandan capital of Kigali who in 1994 saved 1,200 Rwandan "guests" from certain death during the genocidal clash between tribal Hutus, who slaughtered a million victims, and the horrified Tutsis, who found safe haven or died. Giving his best performance since his breakthrough role in Devil in a Blue Dress, Cheadle plays Rusesabagina as he really was during the ensuing chaos: "an expert in situational ethics" (as described by critic Roger Ebert), doing what he morally had to do, at great risk and potential sacrifice, with an understanding that wartime negotiations are largely a game of subterfuge, cooperation, and clever bribery. Aided by a United Nations official (Nick Nolte), he worked a saintly miracle, and director Terry George (Some Mother's Son) brings formidable social conscience to bear on a true story you won't soon forget. --Jeff Shannon ... Read more

    Reviews (146)

    5-0 out of 5 stars OPEN YOUR EYES - see it
    In 1994 a mass genocide took place in an African country called Rwanda. Have you not heard of this tragedy or have you CHOSEN to turn the other cheek? Now, let us break down the word genocide, the Merriam-Webster dictionary defines genocide as "the deliberate and systematic destruction of a racial, political, or cultural group." Does Hitler pop into your mind? Well, less then ten years ago (in your lifetime) this event happened. The movie Hotel Rwanda is an excellent portrayal of the absolute devastation that took place. Millions of Rwanda natives were killed in this mass genocide. Don Cheadle gives an astonishing portrayal of Paul Rusesagagina a savior for thousands caught up in the madness occurring right outside the gates of the Hotel Mille Collines. "When the world closed its eyes, he opened his arms," a tagline that fits oh so well into the heartfelt movie that puts you right into the conflict. Perhaps you did not care to pay attention in 1994 when the conflict fully unraveled, but see this movie and you may change your thoughts about looking at the horrors occurring abroad within our own small world.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A horrifying, eye-opening, yet uplifting and inspiring film.
    One of the most intensive killing campaigns in human history was conducted in the tiny Central African country of Rwanda in 1994. The brutal ethnic conflict between the Tutsis and the Hutus, which exploded into mass murder that year, have origins which go back to Belgium's colonial rule, where the minority Tutsis were favored, thus exacerbating differences between the two tribes.

    In April 1994, the plane carrying Rwandan President Juvenal Habyarimana was shot down. This event was the last straw which, after years of strife, triggered the tragic and brutal genocide. Extremist Hutu militia, aided by the Rwandan army, launched systematic massacres against Tutsis almost immediately after the plane crash. Despite reports of mass killings, most of the world turned a blind eye to the people of Rwanda. The UN failed to take immediate action to stop the bloody genocide, due to opposition from France and the US. Militiamen broke into supposedly sacrosanct Red Cross ambulances and hospitals searching for victims. Around 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus were killed within 100 days, and over three million people fled to neighboring countries.

    Terry George's "Hotel Rwanda" is a gritty, realistic depiction of this terrible tragedy. The storyline is based on the true life activities of a single, man whose goal was to save as many people as humanly possible. Don Cheadle plays Paul Rusesabagina, a Rwandan who formerly managed the Milles Collines, a Belgian-owned luxury hotel in the capital city of Kigali. When Hutu extremists begin to slaughter members of the minority Tutsi tribe, Rusesabagina, who has been working as a diplomat, returns to the hotel and does everything in his power to save his family, friends, then orphans, and ultimately strangers. He uses the 4 Star facility as a refuge for as many as the walls will hold, and then some. The film follows Rusesabagina, through his real life drama, as he wheels, deals, finagles and barters for seemingly every single human life he touches. A Huti married to a Tutsi, Paul qualifies as a target for both factions. His story is that of an ordinary man who rises-up, courageously, to defy death in the name of his fellow man. "Paul Rusesabagina saved the lives of 1,268 Africans by standing with them at Hotel Rwanda."

    The almost nonstop fear, suspense and sense of anxiety which permeate this film are due, in part, to Mr. Cheadle's extraordinarily believable performance, and in part, because Director George so clearly conveys here the chilling reality of recent history. George, who co-wrote the script with Keir Pearson, was assisted in his work by the actual Paul Rusesabagina and by eye witnesses to the events.

    The supporting cast is excellent and features: Sophie Okonedo, who gives an outstanding performance as Tatiana, Rusesabagina's wife; Joaquin Phoenix as Jack, an American news reporter; and Nick Nolte as the indefatigable UN Colonel Oliver, who tries against all odds to keep the peace.

    Man's wont to commit genocide, in the 20th century alone, makes a somber, shameful statement about the human race. Watching "Hotel Rwanda" does take an emotional toll. It is a powerful, disturbing, educationally eye-opening experience. There are some extremely unsettling images, as when Rusesabagina and a co-worker get out of their vehicle on a foggy morning, just after dawn, to inspect the road for obstructions. They find it littered with corpses, as far as the eye can see. I found myself sobbing more than once. Do not let this deter you, however. This is a brilliant movie with some incredibly uplifting and inspiring moments. "Hotel Rwanda" is a must see film about a period in recent history when most of us were too busy going about our lives to pay much attention to what was going on a small world away.
    JANA

    5-0 out of 5 stars Too powerful to be described by mere words
    "The Kite Runner" may be the best book I have read in recent history, and without a doubt, "Hotel Rwanda" wins the corresponding prize for movies.Unable to believe the senseless violence and slaughter of innocents, my eyes opened wider and wider as the movie progressed, until at some point, the tears could not be held back any longer.

    Don Cheadle aces a career making role as Paul Rusesabagina, the quiet, understated hotel manager of a five star hotel in Kigali, Rwanda, who breaks every rule in the management book to protect not only the hotel guests, but refugees from both sides of the genocide that rocked Rwanda in 1994, while the rest of the world looked the other way.

    A Hutu by birth and passport stamp, Paul is married to a Tutsi woman (Sophie Okonedo, whose voice changes drastically in octave as the role demands), and by this distinction, his children are also Tutsi, and therefore branded as cockroaches to be exterminated.

    Because of his position and well-placed contacts, Rusesabagina is able to cling tenuously to his little safe house, putting up a brave front for the 1200 people he is sheltering from the Hutu tribal forces.When he finds out that the UN peacekeepers cannot help them, and that the rest of the world doesn't want to know about African problems, he resorts to the local language, securing protection by whatever means necessary from the authorities, led by General Bizimungu, who has a weakness for Scottish water of life, foreign currency and self preservation.Being only human, and in a crisis situation, he makes crucial errors in judgment, but by his conviction he manages to hold it all together for as long as necessary.

    There are too many powerful scenes to describe, and you have to watch the movie to fully appreciate the horror.There are no gory images as in "Saving Private Ryan" or "Blade", but the Director manages to effectively portray the despair and mass killings without being offensively graphic or crude.One of the most heart rending scenes takes place on a road in the early morning fog, and this is the final straw that rips through Rusesabagina's brittle façade of being in control.

    Joaquin Phoenix (you know I have to mention him), in a small role as a cameraman sums it up best when he said "I've never been so ashamed."

    This one is a must see.

    Amanda Richards, May 23, 2005

    5-0 out of 5 stars Everyone bailed, Anarchy reigned, and 1 MILLION DIED!
    Whoah.
    I was a freshman in college in 1994, and all I remember are bleeps on the news about Rwanda.Maybe I was like the rest of the world, and just wasn't paying attention enough.

    This movie is about the modern day holocaust.A movie about people being killed for no reason, other than a cosmetic attachment of how certain people are labeled via "tribe name" by how wide their noses are and how tall they are.A movie about a man who risked his life again and again, playing games, telling white lies, and doing everything he could to ensure the safety of some 1200 people inside a nice hotel in the Rwanda.

    What grabs you about this film as well, is the documentary.At first I was angered when I found out that NOONE, not a single nation, did a damn thing to stop it.Then I was even more outraged when it showed that the French military that were at one of the killing sites actually dug the holes to bury the 45,000 dead.That very same 45,000 had fled to that spot because they thought the French would help them.

    Why is it we are in the 21st century but this kind of horrible thing still happens?It's minds boggling, sad, atrocious, and horrifying.

    I can't tell you how much this movie could move you, and like the American press reporter played by Jaqioun (sp) Phoenix said:
    "I've never been...so ASHAMED!"Nick Nolte does an excellent job playing a UN field commander who's hands are tied.Yes this movie show's that the UN, like in BLACK HAWK DOWN, really didn't accomplish anything.Like Nolte's character exclaims; "We're peace keepers, not peace makers".Of course that was right when they were getting all of the "white people" out to head to the airport and basically save them before the slaughtering came their way.

    Okay I know I could go on and on...but watch this movie.Watch it with family..well not little kids it's a bit graphic of course.But watch it with your loved one.Hold them close.Talk about what you think brings people to be ignorant and hateful, what mistakes were made, and how it could be prevented in the future.If more people did this, perhaps we could stop the genocide that is happening around the world today.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Five stars, this one . . .
    What can an ordinary Rwandan hotel manager possibly do?

    Plenty, as it turns out. Paul is a Hutu, but his wife, Tatiana (Sophie Okonedo), is a Tutsi, and so, by default, are their children. He is driven by a primal need to save his own family, but as the slaughter continues, more and more friends and neighbors beg him for help.

    By the end, Paul shelters 1,200 people in his hotel, saving them from certain death by doing what he always has done: bribing and cajoling the Hutu powers, calling in favors, lying and outsmarting his foes.

    He is the Oskar Schindler of Rwanda, a man who becomes a hero by chance and circumstance, using qualities not generally considered heroic. He's no Rambo: He's scared, and conflicted, and full of doubts. Throughout the film, you can see he'd rather just save his family and not have to shoulder this burden of heroism.

    Director Terry George (SOME MOTHER'S SON) knows not to get in the way of this harrowing story, which Rusesabagina himself insisted on telling straight, without movie-ish embellishment. It's all true and, given the context, remarkably subtle. (George earned the PG-13 rating by only suggesting the terrible violence, not showing it.)

    Still, as the tension builds you can't help but feel you're watching the heir to a classic Western -- perhaps the "High Noon" of modern times, or SHANE -- as this one man steps up to save the town from the marauding bad guys. Of course, he doesn't save the entire town. As with SCHINDLER'S LIST, you're left with the grim knowledge that the people Rusesabagina saved were but a tiny percentage of those who were killed. The triumph comes tempered by the greater tragedy. ... Read more


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

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

    Reviews (142)

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

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

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

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

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


    10. The Phantom of the Opera (Full Screen Edition)
    Director: Joel Schumacher
    list price: $27.95
    our price: $19.57
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    Asin: B0007TKNIS
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 57
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    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


    11. Ocean's Twelve (Widescreen Edition)
    Director: Steven Soderbergh
    list price: $27.95
    our price: $18.17
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0007P0XBO
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 46
    Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars
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    Like its predecessor Ocean's Eleven, Ocean's Twelve is a piffle of a caper, a preposterous plot given juice and vitality by a combination of movie star glamour and the exuberant filmmaking skill of director Steven Soderbergh (Out of Sight, The Limey). The heist hijinks of the first film come to roost for a team of eleven thieves (including the glossy mugs of Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Bernie Mac, and Don Cheadle), who find themselves pursued not only by the guy they robbed (silky Andy Garcia), but also by a top-notch detective (plush Catherine Zeta-Jones) and a jealous master thief (well-oiled Vincent Cassel) who wants to prove that team leader Danny Ocean (dapper George Clooney) isn't the best in the field. As if all that star power weren't enough--and the eternally coltish Julia Roberts also returns as Ocean's wife--one movie star cameo raises the movie's combined wattage to absurd proportions. But all these handsome faces are matched by Soderbergh's visual flash, cunning editing, and excellent use of Amsterdam, Paris, and Rome, among other highly decorative locations. The whole affair should collapse under the weight of its own silliness, but somehow it doesn't--the movie's raffish spirit and offhand wit soar along, providing lightweight but undeniable entertainment. --Bret Fetzer ... Read more

    Reviews (197)

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

    Genre Grade: A-

    Final Grade: B-

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



    ... Read more


    12. Nova - The Elegant Universe
    Director: Joseph McMaster, Julia Cort (II)
    list price: $29.95
    our price: $22.46
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0000ZG0TA
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 443
    Average Customer Review: 3.69 out of 5 stars
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    Based on Brian Greene's book, this three-part Nova program should do for physics what Cosmos did for astronomy. Greene hosts the program on the relative new concept of String Theory, a potential (and explosive) answer to the Holy Grail of science: a single, ultimate theory for everything. Part of Greene's (along with filmmakers Julia Cort and Joseph McMaster) genius is the ability to explain complex issues with ease thanks to a generous helping of graphics and humor. It starts with a perplexing anecdote: Einstein died trying to figure out if there could be an ultimate theory. His General Theory of Relativity brought order to the laws of large objects, but could not explain the chancier world of Quantum Mechanics (which deals with atomic particles). String Theory tries to marry the two. Greene and many colleagues give us a history of the quest and how String Theory was "discovered" in the 1980s. The formula has a lot of quirks, the most dazzling being the insistence there's 11 dimensions in the universe. Greene is not as natural as Cosmos creator/host Carl Sagan, but he is certainly friendly and encouraging (albeit it's quite odd for the host to be interviewed at various times in the program). Because it's a three-part show, there is some overlap at the start of hours 2 and 3. --Doug Thomas ... Read more

    Reviews (29)

    3-0 out of 5 stars Good, but not Great
    I was excited to see these programs put out by NOVA, and I have always thought highly of the television program. However, I did not actually learn a whole lot from these specific episodes. While being a show on String Theory, the program beat around the bush about explaining how String Theory works. While covering Newton, Einstein, and Bohr, the NOVA never made a real attempt to explain their theories, but rather gave extremely vague understandings of everything.

    No I do not believe that "The Elegant Universe" should delve on hairy mathematics, but it should answer "whys" and "hows" rather than just simply tell us that there are strings in subatomic atoms. Instead, it wasted so much time repeating things over and over like "people who believed in more dimensions a long time ago would have been labeled 'crackpots' but now String Theory demands it" or "if you can't test something then it's runs the risk of being philosophy." While those are interesting points, they are repeated in these documentarys over and over by the same people with computer graphics running all over the screen, never really doing a great job explaining any these claims.

    I think this would actually be pretty good for anyone who has little knowledge on physics, but definitely not for anyone who is at least familiar with what String Theory is.

    5-0 out of 5 stars High Quality CG Animation realizes String Theory to Everyone
    I was struggling whether I should spend $35Cdn (I bought this from amazon.ca) on this 'String Theory' that I have no clue of what it is but only aware of the interesting sound of 'Theory of Everything'. I was also worrying my limited education background and brain capacity for such complex concept. I took the risk and completed my order. Two days later, I got my dvd delivered to my door, couldn't stand finishing my dinner, I opened it and watched it right away.

    The first 3 minutes was the trailer/intro of this 3 hours DVD. It really drew my attention with interesting topics and high quality special effects & CG animation. I knew my $35Cdn was very well spent. The first hour talked about the ground concepts of basic forces: Gravity & Quantum Mechanics. Don't worry, you don't need a science or physic degree to understand these concepts. The beauty of this DVD is that it uses various scenarios, via pictures, animiation, & special effects to depict the complex concepts to you in a very simple & understandable way. Trust me, even your grade 6 children are able to comprehend the elegant universe theory from this DVD. The first hour was focusing on these basic forces, what Albert Einstein wanted to do with unification, and what the problems were. The second hour talked about how the String theory evolve and help to solve the puzzle of Einstein's unification problem. And the last hour will take the String theory to realize the possiblilities of 11th dimensions, the impacts to our world, and the future of this 'Theory of everything'. If you still find difficulties to understand those concepts, don't worry, you will find lots of interactive education materials from the second DVD. There's an initeresting demo let you to build from 1 dimensional line to a 4-dimensional hypercube visually. I absolutely found those extra goodies were very helpful.

    The only picky thing I disliked was there're quite lengthy advertisings at the beginning of each episode. However, you can always skip it using fast forward. Honestly, this is a true FIVE STARS DVD. It's entertaining, it's simple, visual, excellent three hours programme. You and your kids will sure benefit from this amazing 'Theory of Elegant Universe' --- String.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Elegance Succumbs to Giant Sucking Sound
    Reading the commentary on here is almost more entertaining.

    Well, here are the few points I wanted to make that are not in the work itself and don't seem to be in here:

    1. One of the most interesting parts of this thing is how the community responds to the idea of postulating about problems that cannot be observed. It almost plays like a Lutherian drama at that point (faith/works threatening to split a rift that will lead to civil war). But let's face it: a. the main discovery of the 20th C was uncertainty, which means that even if you can see the electron trail, you have not really succeeded in observing it (at least cleanly), and b. this is an edge that we are bound to have come upon and furthermore, consider the question of what we would do even if we could see down into a realm that bears no resemblance to where we exist, what would we be able to deduce (c.f. Ambrose Bierce's "The Damned Thing": 'nothing')? Anyway, I found this part and the echoes of it here most amusing.

    2. Doesn't 1 kind of point in the direction of Wolfram's unoriginal revolution? Aren't we bound for a world of new information derived solely from simulation? Or are we already there? Why aren't scientists screaming when the proteomics people talk about simulating protein formation?

    3. Scientists are sometimes great story tellers, and sometimes not. This is definitely a case of not. The Newtonian/Einsteinian vectors being returned to ad nauseum are clear signs of a threadbare, almost infantile notion of story construction (with the apple falling standing in, for instance, for the fallen cherry tree of yore). Gleick's book about Feynman shows that that great man view of all things is certainly gone (if it ever did make any sense). Great to herald the accomplishments of others, but should be in a context that provides more depth than the rodeo scene from "Annie Get Your Gun."

    4. Most of the hard questions here were really ultimately ducked or served cold. The buildup to the genius coming in and solving the five models problem was so drawn out I started to think TiVo was tormenting me by replaying sections (I couldn't imagine a conscious editor called for that many repeats). And then the genius' conclusion is that the five models are all reflections of one reality. Ah, I see.... Hello? Are we that dumb? If so, why are we watching? A little more detail please.

    I hope this cat doesn't decide to do a film about Fermat's Last Theorem... I'd like see something that takes a bit more bother with the seminal moment and less with the titillation.

    1-0 out of 5 stars A DISSERVICE TO SCIENCE
    {APOLOGIA: A review as damning as what follows will inevitably seem hyperbolic and unkind. Yet "The Elegant Universe" is such a singular case, and egregious misexample to both the science-documentary profession and public, that I have only said here what was accurate, condign, and the duty of any conscientious, technically knowledgeable commentator.}

    What a vapid production! Terribly, almost moronically, edited, taking forever to say anything, endlessly repetitious. Narcissistic. Precision and key details missing everywhere. No profound development of ideas. Images and props constantly get in the way of meaning and exposition, and most of what IS said will surely already be known to the majority of the literate public.

    Ironically, "The Elegant Universe" is the least elegant of science productions. It could be skillfully cut to a third or a fourth of its present length without substantive, persuasive, or artistic loss, but much dramatic gain.

    Absurd platitudes fairly trip over one another's feet. Why is Isaac Newton supposed to be the "greatest scientist of all time"? In point of fact, he is a most unlikely choice.

    This is the worst science film I have ever seen as a scientist, at least for its length and melodramatic ambition. Although kindergartners might like it. Certainly the ingenious visual and musical simulation of the jittering Dirac vacuum is magnificent!

    With respect to superstring theory itself, this supposed documentary is more like an advertisement than an honest examination of what to date remains a charming but sterile scientific theory, a theory that could easily be joined by a thousand other ideas, neither less nor more plausible, on the same shallow pond of data, where they could all figure skate together. A scientific theory never "proclaims" anything about the universe; only its exponents - physicist Greene, in this instance - can be guilty of THAT.

    Although I found much to enjoy, and more than a little enlightenment, in Brian Greene's superb book of the same title years ago, and strongly recommended its purchase to sophisticated lay friends, in this extraordinarily bathetic television tutorial there is little or no trace of his expository genius and style. I am afraid that in the making of this program the youthful Prof. Greene allowed himself to be badly misused by his handlers.

    The universe is not a cartoon, and science - as publicly understood and professionally pursued - can only be degraded and perverted by such undignified, unintellectual drivel.

    Final impression: Revolting! Literally an embarrassment to watch.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece !
    This is an easy one to rate, for me anyway. The depth and continuity of this 3 part series on a heretofore uncovered topic is excellent. Only Timothy Ferris has produced science documentaries at this level in the last decade or so ("Beyond Earth", "The Creation Of The Universe")

    A superb presentation that explores the boundary between physics theory that can be experimented against (quarks, etc), and that which currently cannot (strings). ... Read more


    13. Classical Pilates Technique - The Complete Mat Workout Series (Modified Basic / Basic / Intermediate / Advanced / Super Advanced)
    Director: Classical Pilates: Complete Mat Workout
    list price: $19.95
    our price: $19.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B000069YWP
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 456
    Average Customer Review: 4.43 out of 5 stars
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    Description

    THE COMMUNICATOR AWARDS, a prestigious international awards competition that recognizes outstanding work in the communications field, has conferred the 2003 AWARD OF DISTINCTION to four instructional DVDs produced by Classical Pilates Inc.: (1) Classical Pilates Technique: The Complete Mat Workout Series; (2) Classical Pilates Technique: The Complete Magic Circle Mat Series & Reformer Mat Workout; (3) Classical Pilates Technique: The 3rd Edition Complete Universal Reformer Series; (4) Classical Pilates Technique: The Studio Equipment Series. As a winner of these four Communicator Awards, Classical Pilates Inc. joins an exclusive list of video professionals who are recognized as the best within the industry. Entries are judged by industry professionals who assess the highest standards of excellence and whose work serves as a benchmark for the industry. ... Read more

    Reviews (128)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Documenting The Real Thing
    This DVD is an unapologetic documentary of Joseph Pilates' original mat workout series with superb demonstration of exercises, and expert verbal instruction by Bob Liekens. The workouts move quickly without stopping so that your heart gets pumping and your muscles start working. This is precisely the point: The Pilates method is supposed to be vigorous as you gain familiarity with the exercises. Learning Pilates is sort of like learning a language. You start slowly at first then you pick up the pace then interact with your new 'movement vocabulary.'

    If you want a slower workout, the "modified basic" routine on this DVD gives you the basics. I recommend this video without reservation, yet you should always try to take Pilates lessons from a certified instructor, so you can glean the full benefits from the method, from this DVD, or from any other DVD.

    Classical Pilates has the best example of Pilates done well. This DVD shows the full range of exercise levels.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A 10 Star Video!
    I have been working out in the Pilates method for several years and take private lessons only once in a while. I live far from certified instructors who have extensive training, so I have to rely on mat classes and video instruction. When I heard about this Classical Pilates video, the recommendation seemed too good to be true, but I bought it anyway. This video is so pleasurable to watch because the demonstrators are precise, focused, dynamic, and fluid. This video is also thorough enough to be considered as a 'visual encyclopedia.' I have never seen another video that exhibits every level! Other Pilates videos charge about the same price, however, they only supply a single workout. The point is that I can grow with this video, and learn from Bob Liekens' insightful instruction, as if I were taking lessons in a New York City studio. Another thing I'm very satisfied with is that I actually get a workout! Many other videos show so many flashy camera angles, and explain the movements in so much detail, that I don't sweat. Classical Pilates claims to preserve the original Pilates method in their video. Since I do not know very much about the Pilates method, I can't adequately comment on this. But I have heard that Joseph Pilates was a tough guy and all around athlete who put his clients "through their paces," and he would encourage people to workout intelligently with robust energy. From watching other students and instructors practice the Pilates method, I can see that Classical Pilates technique is flawless, so I am inclined to believe that Classical Pilates keeps the true flame of Joseph Pilates' tradition burning brightly for the rest of us. I am very impressed

    4-0 out of 5 stars Hurts so Good
    This DVD is a little dry, nothing fancy here, but it is a great - no, excellent - Pilates workout.

    The buildup from Beginner to Advanced is appropriate (I did the Ana Caban (Giaim) beginning and intermediate Pilates DVDs to compare) -- but,WARNING you should probably have taken a beginners Pilates class or done at least one other Beginner Pilates DVD several times before diving into this one. The other reviews are correct, this is a technical DVD with little review of the basics of Pilates, so to start with this one would have been confusing and probably very frustrating.

    The "Super Advanced" section provides a worthwhile goal, when I am feeling uninspired I look at/attempt those excercises.

    If you can do the Advanced workout all the way through with correct pace, breathing, and form I would say you would be in very (very) admirable shape.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Conditioning & Healing
    In addition to physical therapy, Pilates lessons and this video helped me recover from a back injury that stopped me in my tracks. Sometimes I lift heavy boxes as part of my job. One day I wasn't paying close attention. All of a sudden I felt a snap in my lower back. I could hardly stand upright; it hurt to stand up, sit down, even roll over in bed when I was sleeping. I couldn't exercise for several weeks.

    Anyway, my PT said I should take Pilates. I was willing to try anything to help my aching back. This video starts off slowly, which was really important. After practicing the pre-basic workout for several weeks, I went on to the full basic workout. This was invigorating and it moves quickly. Now I'm practicing intermediate.

    All in all, this video has helped me fully recover. I recommend this product to my friends and work associates. Thank you for making this video!

    5-0 out of 5 stars I Like The Style
    The guiding ideas of this program seem to be: It's a workout. Do it well. Look good!

    I play tennis, ski, and surf. I just enjoy being physically active, and I like to practice sports that involve discipline and skill. The same applies to body conditioning. Pilates is not easy. It demands concentration, strength, and creativity to do it well. I appreciate this DVD isn't a watered-down version of Pilates that underestimates my ability. So I'm learning, having fun, and staying in good shape. ... Read more


    14. William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice
    Director: Michael Radford
    list price: $26.96
    our price: $18.87
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0007WRT4Q
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 72
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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    Rarely has The Merchant of Venice, one of Shakespeare's most complex plays, looked as ravishingly sumptuous as in this adaptation, directed by Michael Radford (Il Postino). In a decadent version of renaissance Venice, a young nobleman named Bassanio (Joseph Fiennes, Shakespeare in Love) seeks to woo the lovely Portia (newcomer Lynn Collins), but lacks the money to travel to her estate. He seeks support from his friend, the merchant Antonio (Jeremy Irons, Reversal of Fortune); Antonio's fortune is tied up in sea ventures, so the merchant offers to borrow money from a Jewish moneylender, Shylock (Al Pacino, Dog Day Afternoon). But Shylock holds a grudge against Antonio, who has routinely treated the Jew with contempt, and demands that if the debt is not repaid in three months, the price will be a pound of Antonio's flesh.

    The Merchant of Venice is famous as a "problem play"--the gritty matters of moneylending and anti-Semitism sit uncomfortably beside the fairy tale elements of Portia and Bassanio's romance, and some twists of the plot can seem arbitrary or even cruel. The strength of Radford's intelligent and passionate interpretation is that he and the excellent cast invest the play's opposing facets with full emotional weight, thus making every question the play raises acute and inescapable. Irons is particularly compelling; kindness and blind prejudice sit side by side in his breast, rendering the clashes in his character as vivid as those in the play itself. --Bret Fetzer ... Read more

    Reviews (38)

    4-0 out of 5 stars "How Sweet the Moonlight Sleeps"
    This is, generally, a very satisfying filming of a very problematic play.Director Radford, who also adapted the screenplay, deserves credit for his bold choices in casting and for his not shying away from some of the more troublesome aspects of the text.Is Pacino a successful Shylock?I think so, although by way of Brooklyn.He is especially powerful in the famous courtroom scene, which otherwise comes dangerously close to being exploitative on the screen.There is much to recommend here, including a stellar supporting cast.Few actors can hold their own next to Pacino, but Lynn Collins comes close.After an unfortunate entrance as the young lawyer (she looks uncomfortably like Sonny Chiba), Collins makes us forget the incongruities in her role and attend, instead, to Portia's masterful polemics.The quality of makeup is not strained!(Collins, by the way, is an actress from Texas, but this does not become an issue.She has been linked romantically with Keanu Reeves, her costar in "Il Mare."Perhaps these two will at some point treat us to a film of "Anthony and Cleopatra"?--another of Shakespeare's plays that has been criminally neglected by Hollywood.)Other actors worthy of mention are MacKenzie Crook and Ron Cook as the younger and older Gobbos, and Kris Marshall and John Sessions as Gratiano and Salerio.Heather ("Kinsey") Goldenhersh as Nerissa and Allan Corduner as Tubal are also fine.Several up-and-coming young actors appear in supporting roles, including Tony Schiena, Julian Nest, and Tom Leick, who is soon to be seen in "House of Boys," with a screenplay by J.T. LeRoy.

    I have given the film 4 stars, but I would like to give the DVD itself 5. Watching the film, I had many questions for the director--for instance, why are certain scenes deleted, while others are out of sequence?--and I'm happy to say that most all of these are answered in the delightful director's commentary, for which Michael Radford is joined by Lynn Collins.I learned a lot about the rationale behind certain casting and directorial choices and came to appreciate the film itself better as a result.For example, the director has choreographed certain scenes to reflect a love triangle among Antonio, Portia, and Bassanio, something that is heavily debated in Shakespearan criticism.Radford even gives us a rationale for his having asked the actresses playing prostitutes to appear with their breasts exposed!See this film, certainly; it has many qualities to recommend it, not the least of which are a lovely soundtrack by Jocelyn Pook and location filming in both Venice and Luxemburg.But, to get the whole experience, see it on DVD and then watch the director's commentary.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Not Bad
    Good sets.Good costumes.Al appears to be reading from cue cards off camera in some scenes, although I think he plays a believable part. I wish Jeremy could speak up a little. No subtitles in English, only French; kinda dumb isn't it?

    3-0 out of 5 stars Pacino and Shakespeare save this movie from itself
    Shakespeare's lines will carry any movie above the waterline, and the same can be said of Pacino's acting. They both make this movie presentable and even excellent at times. However, the angle of the movie seems to be one of contradiction to the text, beginning with the introductory text prior to the film's dialogue (text from the Director NOT Shakespeare). This text attempts to excuse the very play itself for its characterization of Christians and the Jew, Shylock. If the play needed an intro, Shakespeare would have written a prologue. It certainly works to bias the audience in a way. The other attempt to do this is several scenes where the "Christian" characters are carousing in a bawdy house with a bunch of half-naked prostitutes. Clearly, the director attempts to make a martyr of Shylock and hypocrites of all the non-Jew characters: however Shakespeare's text is what it is. The nudity is utterly unnecessary and detracts from the integrity of the play--plus it cannot now be shown to young people.

    Other than those detractions, I think the film is excellent. The trial scene is superb and brings the tension of the moment to life. Besides Pacino the other actors do a fine job. Unfortunately, though I am a lover of Shakespeare, I would not want to watch this again.

    Author of "Shakespeare on Spirituality: Life-Changing Wisdom from Shakespeare's Plays"

    3-0 out of 5 stars gratuitous nudity
    While this film is a relatively accurate and well acted version of the Shakespeare play, it has nudity in it where none is called for. This makes it unusable in the American classroom and cheapens the play itself.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Great production of a play that is hard to like!
    This is an outstanding production of the one work of Shakespeare that is the most difficult to like.It is impossible to get around the anti-Semitism.This production tries very hard to put the anti-Semitism in context and I think to tone it down, but in the end it is impossible to eliminate it.To some extent Shylock is being punished for being vindictive and not showing mercy, but it is impossible to ignore that in the end the play seems to celebrate Shylock's foced conversion to Christianity.

    Al Pacino's performance is disconcerting as he seems to be playing Shylock with a New Yawk accent.But Lynne Collins is truly oustanding as Portia.This version of Merchant really shines in the comic portion of the story where Portia masquerades as a man and successfully entreats Bassanio to give up his wedding ring (which he had earlier promised Portia he would never part with).This is one of the few Shakespearean productions I have seen where a woman masquerading as a man is actually credible.

    The settings, costumes, and photography are all spectacular.I found I was able to focus on the positive elements and not get bogged down with the more distressing parts of the plot.But I sympathize with those who find the anti-Semitic aspects of the story too distressing. ... Read more


    15. Anne Of Green Gables - The Sequel
    Director: Kevin Sullivan
    list price: $34.99
    our price: $26.24
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00005Y7AN
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 882
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    16. 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


    17. The Phantom of the Opera (Widescreen Edition)
    Director: Joel Schumacher
    list price: $27.95
    our price: $20.96
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0007TKNII
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 241
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    Although it's not as bold as Oscar darling Chicago, The Phantom of the Opera continues the resuscitation of the movie musical with a faithful adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber's blockbuster stage musical. Emmy Rossum glows in a breakout role as opera ingénue Christine Daae, and if phantom Gerard Butler isn't Rossum's match vocally, he does convey menace and sensuality in such numbers as "The Music of the Night." The most experienced musical theater veteran in the cast, romantic lead Patrick Wilson, sings sweetly but seems wooden. The biggest name in the cast, Minnie Driver, hams it up as diva Carlotta, and she's the only principal whose voice was dubbed (though she does sing the closing-credit number, "Learn to Be Lonely," which is also the only new song).

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

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

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

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

    More on The Phantom of the Opera


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

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

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

    Evita (DVD)

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

    Visit the Andrew Lloyd Webber Store
    ... Read more

    Reviews (659)

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

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

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

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

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

    Dare I say it?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Now for what I thought about the casting.

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

    Now for the cast:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    And now the special features:

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

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

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


    18. 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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    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


    19. Meet The Fockers (Full Screen Edition)
    Director: Jay Roach
    list price: $29.98
    our price: $19.49
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0007UM8WG
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 130
    Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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    Meet the Parents found such tremendous success in the chemistry produced by the contrasting personalities of stars Robert De Niro and Ben Stiller that the film's creators went for broke with the same formula again in Meet the Fockers. This time around, Jack and Dina Byrnes (De Niro and Blythe Danner) climb into Jack's new kevlar-lined RV with daughter Pam (Teri Polo), soon-to-be son-in-law Gaylord (Stiller), and Jack's infant grandson from his other daughter for the trip to Florida to meet Gaylord's parents, Bernie and Roz Focker (Dustin Hoffman and Barbra Streisand in a casting coup). The potential in-laws are, of course, the opposite of Jack, a pair of randy, touchy-feely fun-lovers. The rest of the movie is pretty much a sitcom: put Bernie and Roz together with Jack, and watch the in-laws clash as Gaylord squirms. As with the original, there is a sense of joy in watching these actors take on their roles with obvious relish, and the Hoffman-Streisand-Stiller triumvirate is likeable enough to draw you in. But the formula doesn't work as well in Fockers mostly because much of the humor is based on two obvious gimmicks: Gaylord Focker's name, and the fact that Streisand's character is a sex therapist. As a result, the movie itself is more contrived and predictable, and a lot less fun than the original. The casting is grand, but one wishes more thought was put into the script.--Dan Vancini ... Read more

    Reviews (189)

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

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

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

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

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

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


    20. Water Crystals in Motion- Messages From Water
    list price: $19.95
    our price: $19.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0966531248
    Catlog: DVD
    Sales Rank: 5519
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Description

    See how spoken and written words change the structure of water. This ground breaking work from Dr Masuro Emoto shows us that what we say, and feel and well as what we listen to has an effect on water, and because we are made up of water, it has an effect on us. This DVD shows how the water crystals are formed and the process used to capture the images of water as it is exposed to written and spoken words as well as music.This imagry was recently utilized in the movie What The Bleep Do we Know. This work has also been referenced by Wayne Dyer, Lee Carol, Gregg Braden, Drunvalo Melchizedek, and Jonathan Goldman to name a few. ... Read more


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