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    $19.99 list($34.99)
    1. The Lion King
    $6.98 $5.62
    2. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
    $85.99 list($19.98)
    3. My Name Is Bill W.
    $42.94 list($14.95)
    4. Crossing Delancey
    $20.99 $5.25 list($24.99)
    5. Harry Potter and the Chamber of
    $13.99 $8.90 list($14.95)
    6. Monty Python and the Holy Grail
    $23.74 $6.25 list($24.99)
    7. Shark Tale
    8. East of Eden
    $21.99 $17.18 list($24.99)
    9. Calendar Girls
    $74.95 list($19.98)
    10. Yentl
    $33.97 list($9.98)
    11. Bright Eyes
    $14.98 $5.95
    12. The Land Before Time IV - Journey
    $13.99 $5.99 list($14.98)
    13. The Land Before Time II - The
    $47.93 list($19.99)
    14. Masada
    $14.98 $9.49
    15. The Land Before Time III - The
    16. Yellowbeard
    $13.99 $5.29 list($14.98)
    17. The Land Before Time V - The Mysterious
    $13.99 $5.29 list($14.98)
    18. The Land Before Time VI - The
    $48.90 list($14.95)
    19. Pride and Prejudice
    $9.94 $2.65
    20. Red River

    1. The Lion King
    Director: Rob Minkoff, Roger Allers
    list price: $34.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 6303314015
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 398
    Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan essential video

    Not an ideal choice for younger kids, this hip and violent animated feature from Disney was nevertheless a huge smash in theaters and on video, and it continues to enjoy life in an acclaimed Broadway production. The story finds a lion cub, son of a king, sent into exile after his father is sabotaged by a rivalrous uncle. The little hero finds his way into the "circle of life" with some new friends and eventually comes back to reclaim his proper place. Characters are very strong, vocal performances by the likes of Jeremy Irons, Nathan Lane, and Whoopi Goldberg are terrific, the jokes are aimed as much (if not more) at adults than kids, the animation is sometimes breathtaking, and the music is more palatable than in many Disney features. But be cautious: this is too intense for the Rugrat crowd. --Tom Keogh ... Read more

    Reviews (339)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Well worth your hard earned money
    This new two disc set for the Lion King is yet another masterful DVD production job by the Disney folks. The video and audio quality are top notch, with plenty of choices how to see the film (both original and extended). There are an amazing amount of extras included on disc two, it will take some hunting to find them all, and quite a bit of extra time to view the entire contents. A few are overly self promotional, but there is so much stuff here, just skip to the next item if that bothers you. Some of the games are actually fun too.

    With both Lion King and Sleeping Beauty being newly released on DVD right now, if you can only get one of them, there is no question this is by far the better choice. The impressive animation, the story, the fantastic sound, the extras are all superior in this Lion King package. This still isn't my favorite Disney release (Roger Rabbit will always have that honor), but maybe top 5--certainly top 8.

    Lion King Platinum is well worth the investment for your DVD collection. Your family will get many years of enjoyment from it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Lion King
    The first time I ever saw "The Lion King" was on September 14th 1995, the day it came out on video. Strangely, I went to all of Disney's releases from "The Little Mermaid" to "Aladdin" (including rereleases of their older classics) but missed out on "The Lion King". Silly me. "The Lion King" is a masterpiece. The film is visually amazing. Some scenes stand out in particular; such as the wild-beast stampede and the opening sequence. The movie wouldn't be completed without the powerful score and songs, composed by Hans Zimmer and Elton John, respectively. The Oscar-winning "Can You Feel The Love Tonight" and the ever-popular "Circle Of Life" are all here. The characters in this movie have also become wildly popular, especially Timon and Pumbaa. The villain, Scar, is the ultimate villian: evil and deceitful, yet wit and sarcastic. In this 2-disc special edition, the film looks like a video-game, in terms of sharpness and clearity. You won't believe of how smooth the image can be. "The Lion King" is a movie that deserves all the praise and success that it had gotten.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Earns its place among the old Disney classics
    Animation films are incredibly tricky. Adults(or just mainly uptight people view animated films as kids only. However kids see them as great pieces of film that they "get". For once, Disney gets it right. This was really a powerhouse film when it came out and held the record for the biggest animated film of all time(until recently when a so-so film about finding a fish called Nemo came out).

    Simba is a young lion in the Serengeti(they call it the Pride Lands though) who just can't wait to be king. However, he's a mischievous little cub who gets into trouble a bit easy. When a terrible tragedy strikes, Simba exiles himself where he meets a warthog and meerkat and develops a carefree lifestyle. Now an adult, he returns to the Pride Lands to reclaim the throne from his evil uncle, Scar.

    Sounds a bit like Hamlet huh? But you won't care. Many impossibly catchy songs, funny moments and jokes and words that even appeal to adults(do you really think a kid would understand "illustrating the differences in your royal mangerial approaches"? Exactly.)

    Voice acting is top notch, animation is absolutely gorgeous, and it's done by hand by the way, none of that Finding Nemo/Toy Story/A Bug's Life CGI stuff. There's a reason why this is considered the best Disney film but you owe it to yourself to find out why.

    5-0 out of 5 stars This is NOT a violent movie for kids
    I'm sorry, but if you found this movie to be too violent for kids over the age of five, then you're robbing your children of a valuable experience. Yes, there is death. Yes, it is not a safe and simple death. But kids CAN handle it. An evil man killed a great man. It's not a theme that kids should enjoy, but it's one that is of particular resonance to us as Americans. This movie is simple, beautiful and moving- seemingly one of Disney's last treasures. While the Broadway show may be even more moving, this movie has the power to move us. I hope you'll see it if you haven't. I hope you'll let your kids watch it if you haven't. And I hope you'll enjoy it as much as I have. Humbly submitted, -Matt Calcara, Overland Park, KS

    5-0 out of 5 stars Best movie of all times
    I really love this movie it was so cute and the songs were great I gave my neice this movie when she was born and she watches it all the time and she is 7 years old now Thanks to everyone who created it your the best ... Read more

    2. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
    Director: Elia Kazan
    list price: $6.98
    our price: $6.98
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 6301773586
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 76
    Average Customer Review: 4.51 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Elia Kazan made his directorial debut with this adaptation of Betty Smith's novel about a bright, young girl growing up in turn-of-the-century Brooklyn, trying to rise above her tenement existence. Sensitively filmed by Kazan, and graced with wonderful performances by James Dunn as the wistful, alcoholic father and Dorothy McGuire as a strong-willed mother. Peggy Ann Garner won a special Oscar for her performance. --Tom Keogh ... Read more

    Reviews (35)

    2-0 out of 5 stars Heartbreakingly dissapointing
    I read the astonishingly true book A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. I loved it- and understood it. I expected so much from the movie- but when it was finished, I was just dissapointed. I understand that sometimes parts of books had to be changed to make a movie. And yet... it was probably the small cast of characters, and the MANY alterations. Wherer is the cruel, evil Granpa Rommely? Why do the characters talk so FAST. They need to slow down, and relax. Where's Little Tilly, or Gussie? The movie, as I can call it, is cute. I would give it 2.5 stars. But, it shows a glossed over version of Francie's life. Francie was a child who lived in a world of brutality. She went to a school (from 6-10 anyway) where the teachers were CRUEL, and DIRTY. She wore smudged clothes, ripped, and patched. She never had enough to eat. The most refreshing aspect of the book was that she was able to find magic IN SPITE or all of this. But the movie changes a mature book into a G-Rated film.I will never hear the names Francie, Neely,Sissy and Katie, and see Peggy Ann Garner, Ted Donaldson,Joan Blondell and Dorothy McGuire. I will always see Francie as a skinny, ragged looking child, with wondering eyes, and a timid smile. I will always see Neely as a scruffy, ragged kid, with a little-boy grin on his face. I will always see Sissy as a dark-haired, full-figured ''bad girl'' sensitive beauty, and I will always see Katie as a wide-eyed, unexplainable fighter.The only acotr who captured the essence of the character is James Dunn as Johnny. Now HE deserved his Oscar. They took too much out of the book to make the movie good. Where's Aunt Evy, and Uncle Wille Flitmann? More importantly WHERE'S THE EXPLAINATION OF HOW KATIE AND JOHNNY MET. They just skipped right past that part. I have always read reviews of movies I loved- and seen one person who gives a 5-star movie (atleast 5-star to me) and gives it 2-stars for not following the book, and I feel angry. But in this case- I urge anyone who loved the movie to thoroughly read the book, then watch it again. The movie COULD HAVE BEEN SO GREAT! They should have followed Francie's life until the end of the book. They should have shown Francie and Lee, her true love. A part in the book read, after Katie had heard Francie call her ''mother'' instead of ''mama'': '' Mother! Katie remembered when she had called her mother ''mother'' instead of ''mama''. She had said ''Mother'' when she had been ready to marry Johnny. When she had called her mother ''Mother'' she had finished growing up. She had never said ''mama'' again. Now Francie.... And this is just the problem. The movie never fully ''grows up''. I hope someday, someone takes the time (though it will take a long time) to make a movie TRUE TO THE BOOK.If people loved this movie, wait until they see a movie that follows the book. They will be astonished at the difference!

    5-0 out of 5 stars What a Great Film !
    From the opening scene, this movie hooks you in. It is the story of a little girl, Francie Nolan, and her family. The setting is turn-of-the-century Brooklyn. This film stands up to repeated viewings, something movies seldom accomplish. The basic story line centers around Francie, an intelligent girl filled with wonder. Her father, Johnny Nolan, loves his daughter and does everything he can to support her wishes. The mother is the serious, single-layered breadwinner of the house, and is often more concerned with public perception of her family than with the family itself. Starring Dorothy McGuire, James Dunn, Peggy Ann Garner, Lloyd Nolan and Joan Blondell, it doesn't get much better than this, folks...have some tissues readily available. Elia Kazan's direction makes tear-jerkers out of certain scenes, like when Francie throws her arms around her father and proclaims "I just love you so much, Papa". Another GREAT scene is when Papa is in Francie's room, just before going to look for a job. The piano scene. The tree catching scene....and on and on. A real classic.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Faithful to the book
    Even though this movie has been around for quite a while, one wonders (and worries) how faithful the movie-makers were to the book, especially since the novel made a come-back thanks to Oprah and her gang. What a relief it was to find out that "A Tree Grows" was mostly like the book. One can only hope that McCrae's "The Bark of the Dogwood" will receive similar treatment when it is made into a film--let's hope so. I highly recommend this heart-warming tale of life in Brooklyn, even if it does have its ups and downs.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Francie's World
    A Tree Grows In Brooklyn is a beautiful and thoughtful book. The screen version is one of my favorite films of all time. It tells the story of Francie, a poor girl growing up in Brooklyn at the turn of the 20th century. The acting, with Peggy Ann Garner as Francie, James Dunn as her father and Joan Blondell as Francie's aunt, is superb and evocative of that bygone era. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is a movie that can be enjoyed again and again. You never get tired of it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Tender Passage of Youth
    Betty Smith's heartfelt and timeless novel of a young girl's passage through her youth in the Brooklyn slums was transformed by director Elia Kazan into one of the most touching and deeply felt films ever made. It has that rare ability to break your heart one moment and make you smile the next. There is a tenderness here that has rarely been captured on film. Many point to Elia Kazan's flashier films, but it was this sentimental film that was his crowning achievement. There are moments in this film when even those who never cry at the movies will be moved to tears.

    Peggy Ann Garner was so wonderful as the young and sensitive Francie, the Academy gave her an Oscar for Most Promising Juvenile Performer. James Dunn garnered an Oscar also as Francie's loving father, Johnny Nolan, a singing waiter with a gift for dreaming he passes on to Francie, who wants to be a writer. Francie's papa makes their hard life worth living and Francie worships him. He understands and adores her.

    But when he isn't working, Johnny is usually drunk. Everyone in their poor neighborhood knows Johnny is a good man, however, and loves and respects him. He is the one who will find a way for Francie to attend the school she dreams of, even though it is far from their home. Francie's mother is the only one who doesn't seem to see how special Johnny is.

    Dorothy McGuire gives another terrific performance as Francie's hard working mother, Katie, who tries desparately not to love her boy Neely more than Francie, and fails; tries desparately not to become bitter with the charming lad she married in her youth, but can't; and tries desparately not to let her heart grow cold and hard, and fails once more.

    Francie and her family may live in poverty, but Kazan takes the time to show the joy that can be found in the small things in life. For Francie, her father represents happiness and living. Joan Blondell, as Katie's sister and Francie's aunt Sissy, with her free spirit and big heart, adds to Francie's joy in life. It is one of Blondell's finest roles.

    It is Peggy Ann Garner's emotional performance, however, you will always remember. She brings a sweetness and sincerity to Francie that makes her unforgettable. Purchasing this film is an opportunity to own one of the true masterpieces in American cinema. It will touch your heart and remind you what Hollywood was once capable of, and make you wonder where it all went wrong. ... Read more

    3. My Name Is Bill W.
    Director: Daniel Petrie
    list price: $19.98
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 6303101410
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 488
    Average Customer Review: 4.83 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Here's another example of TV giving James Woods the chance to stretch out from the intense-psycho roles he seems restricted to in too many of his movies. In My Name Is Bill W. he plays Bill Wilson, the overreaching businessman from the Roaring '20s who went on to found Alcoholics Anonymous. Woods gets plenty of chances to stretch out here in Bill's headlong slide to the bottom, through the terrors of the Wall Street crash (which amplifies a two-fisted drinking problem) and into the loss of everything he holds dear. Yet Woods also is convincing as the man who understands just how insidious his disease is and learns to try to take everything one day at a time. He receives strong support from James Garner as the alcoholic physician who teams with Bill to make AA a viable proposition. --MarshallFine ... Read more

    Reviews (18)

    5-0 out of 5 stars The "ROOTS" of "Alcoholics Anonymous"
    Are you an alocoholic? Is someone you love an alcoholic?

    It really doesn't matter. This movie, regrettably is available only on VHS, will give you insight, understanding, and hope. Hope, that most fragile of words, is the basis of this incredible made-for-TV motion picture.

    Bill Wilson comes home from World War I a hero. He then conquers Wall Street. He marries the love of his life, Lois. He then discovers both a new god, a new lover, a new idol; the bottle. This unflinching film looks at the descent of of alcoholic into hell, and his journey back, guided, not by the spirit of Virgil, but by another alcoholic, Doctor Bob. Together, they find a "cure" for an "incurable" disease. The disease of alcoholism.

    Neither could cure themselves, but together, they could find the way out of hell into if not paradise, at least life; life on life's terms.

    This film has been called the AA "Roots." I won't take up that guantlet. This film stands alone. The performances by James Woods, JoBeth Williams and James Garner stand on their own merits. It tells the story of one man's descent into the hell of addiction < and YES, alcoholism is an addiction >, and his return to the land of the living.

    Woods plays Bill W. with remarkable restraint, not denigrating into the hystrionics of Jack Lemmon in "The Lost Weekend"; as brilliant and well-meaning as that film is. Nor does this movie fall into high camp, as did "Reefer Madness" in the late Thirties.

    Instead, in "My Name Is Bill W.", we see a man driven to the depths of despair. A man beaten is beaten into the dust. To quote Cecil B. DeMille, "the dust from which prophets and holy men are formed. . ."

    Yet, this film is not preachy. It tells a story. A true story, all the more frightening, because it is true.

    Watch this movie. Listen to its message of hope, of truth, of honesty, openness, and willingness. Hear the story of the damned, who somehow, someway, found salvation.

    You will be moved. I promise you.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Movie on The Birth of A. A.
    As a recovering alcoholic myself, I find this movie an accurate and moving portrayal on the life of Bill Wilson and the early history of Alcoholics Anonymous. James Woods is always a marvelous actor, but here he delivers a tour de force performance as Bill Wilson. Also in the cast is the ever-delightful JoBeth Williams of Big Chill fame. James Garner plays Dr. Bob Smith, who, along with Bill, founded A. A. in 1935. Garner also co-produced the project. This was originally aired on television as a Hallmark Hall Of Fame movie in 1989. Very inspiring!

    5-0 out of 5 stars A MUST SEE FOR ANYONE IN THE 12 STEP PROGRAM
    If you are recovering from any type of substance abuse and want to know the history of how Alcoholics Anonymous was founded, you MUST see this video. It tells the story of Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob Smith and their fight in overcoming their life threatening illness of alcoholism. This is the story on how AA got started and if you participate in AA you will gain a new perspective on how hopelessness can turn into peace and serenity in this incredible fellowship. If you've read Bill's Story in the Big Book, you will be amazed at how well this film was done!

    5-0 out of 5 stars NO HUMAN POWER
    I saw an interview with James Woods, where he stated that the directors wanted to cut out the seen where Bill is standing by the window explaining to Lois how cunning, baffling and self-destructive his disease is, but inspite of all that what he really wants most right now is another drink. James Woods told them that if they cut it out, he would not accept the role because it is what every alcoholic needs to hear and identify with. I highly respect him for that and would like to say THANKS!!! The scene at the end were Bill is 12-stepping a newcomer is priceless. The seen where he's in the motel trying to get in touch with Dr Bob, will make any recovering alcoholic grateful that we don't have to go to the same lengths as he did to share their experience, strength and hope with another alcoholic to stay sober one more day. Great performances by all!

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Movie That Every Recovering Alcoholic Must OWN
    I have watched this movie at least 6 times and never tire of it. As a recovering alcoholic it could be me in that movie and it makes me remember what it was like. I am also a proud member of AA and Thank God for Bill W. !! ... Read more

    4. Crossing Delancey
    Director: Joan Micklin Silver
    list price: $14.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 6301255011
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 1760
    Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    A sweet tempered urban love story, Crossing Delancey argues that true love may be in the first place you look. Amy Irving is a single Jewish woman working at an upscale bookstore on the Upper West Side of New York. As much as she longs to be a part of the intellectual literary scene, she is tethered to her roots on the Lower East Side, where her old-fashioned grandmother is forever trying to fix her up. Irving has her eye on a handsome brooding author, but her grandmother enlists the help of a local matchmaker to fix her up with Peter Riegert, a quiet Jewish man who runs a pickle stand in the neighborhood. Soon she must decide what it is she really wants out of life and what love really means to her. Though a very traditional love story, Crossing Delancey has its moments of soul searching drama and an unlikely romance. --Robert Lane ... Read more

    Reviews (20)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Literate, Charming Romance!
    This is the movie that "Moonstruck" WISHES it could have been! Amy Irving and Peter Reigert star in this literate, well written, wonderfully acted New York story in which Upper West Side sophistication meets Lower East Side tradition. Irving's "Izzy" lives in a world of books, editors, writers, and intellectuals, while Reigert's "Sam" owns a pickle stand in the heart of Lower Manhattans old world Jewish community, the East Side below Delancey Street. Sam and Izzy are brought together when Izzy's old fashioned Grandmother hires a matchmaker to find Izzy a suitable man to finally settle down with. Tradition clashes with modern life in New York when Sam enters Izzy's world and forces her to look at herself and those around her.

    5-0 out of 5 stars "A joke and a pickle...for only a nickle."
    I hate to use the word "adorable", but, I must. This film is just adorable. The story of Izzy, the sophisticated, independent, N.Y. City career girl (wonderfully played by Amy Irving), and "Sam , The Pickle Man", (also wonderfully played by Paul Riegert), is a heartwarming, funny, sweet love story. Izzys "Bubby" hires a marriage broker, hysterically played by Sylvia Miles, to "match-up" her granddaughter, "Miss Fancy", who she perceives as living a lonely life.."A dog should live alone !" Izzy is involved in the literary world, and aspires to an intellectual, sophisticated life, only miles away, but a million miles away from the old -world kosher existance of her beloved Bubby. Reizl Bezyk ,who was a popular star in Yiddish theater, plays Bubby, and she is really the outstanding character in this movie. Her practical, no-nonsense approach to life & love, with a kind of "you're born, you eat, you love, you die" mentality, is in direct opposition to granddaughter Isabelles (Izzy). She speaks in "Bubby-isms", and she is hysterical, implying the world in just a look. Izzy immediatley rejects the arranged match-up with Riegerts "Sam", the pickle man, simply because she can't get past the pickles. She sees the pretentious Russian author, to whom she is associated in her job at an old book store, as being more complementary to her. He is a cad who woos her with quotes from Confucious, and he can offer her the prestige and entree into the world of intelligensia that she aspires to be in. The ensuing conflict, between the world she hopes for, and the opportunity that's right in front of her... that she won't see, is very touching and funny. This is just a great little love story about sometimes finding what you're looking for in the most un-likely package, and not letting your pre-conceived expectations get in the way. It is beautifully filmed around wonderful Manhattan locations, and the soundtrack by "The Roches" perfectly complements the story as it happens. A terrific little "feel-good" movie... and you're gonna love that "Bubby."

    4-0 out of 5 stars Searching & Finding Meaning in the Middle of Romance
    "Crossing Delancey" is presumed at first a romance, and it is. Deeper than the romance is a search for meaning. This two-level movie is funny with an undercurrent of a genuine plot stronger than the usual romantic comedy.

    Part of the ego-driven, superficial but pretentious New York literary scene, Isabelle Grossman brings together writers and other literati for soirees feting the personalities behind the books.

    Isabelle, or Izzy, herself is not a writer, but feels she is important because of the names and numbers in her Rolodex. She works hard and late, only to go home to an empty apartment. Her only love is accommodating the occasional lonely nights of a friend who fights with his wife. She tolerates his affections in what amounts to be no more than a recurring one-night stand.

    Although Izzy's emptiness surrounds her, she never notices it, not even when her grandmother has a matchmaker attempt setting her up with Sam, a neighbor bachelor. Unfortunately for Sam, her intentions are set on Anton, a dashing, but caddish author whose books are bestsellers. He only wants her to appease his desires, and has no love for her, but she is blind to his true intentions. She curtly rejects another date with Sam.

    With a single romantic signal, Pickleman Sam, the man she pushed away in a matchmaking dinner now effectively woos her heart into confusion. He had noticed her years ago and now happily accepted the chance to be introduced by the matchmaker. When he tells her this, a spark is lit. He isn't the suave author she begs for, and his lifestyle is more simple than those whose books are reviewed in the New York Times. She fumbles opportunity after opportunity to connect with Sam, but he is patient.

    Anton makes advances that are alluring to Izzy as her heart tries to reconcile her fondness for Sam. This conflict causes Izzy to ask the important questions about integrity, meaning and happiness.

    With the light, but poignant backdrop of her Jewish family and friends, this romance makes statements both serious and comedic. Outside of the periodic stereotyping of Jewish grandmothers, it works.

    I fully recommend "Crossing Delancey."

    Anthony Trendl

    5-0 out of 5 stars This Movie Needs to be out in DVD!
    I saw Crossing Delancey when it first came out, 16 years ago. It is a wonderful story about New York, family, and learning that the person who, at first glance, doesn't fit into your world turns out to be perfect after all. I have recommended this movie over the years to everyone I know. The videotapes are getting scarce and I don't understand why it's never come out on DVD!

    5-0 out of 5 stars The charm of the pickle seller
    This urban love story stars Amy Irving as a single Jewish woman who is balanced between two worlds: the literary life of the Upper West Side in Manhattan where she works in an upscale bookstore and the ethnic hotbed of the Lower East Side where her yenta of a grandmother is forever trying to arrange a marriage "with a nice Jewish boy."
    Granny wants to fix her up with a quiet guy who runs a neighbornood pickle stand - and Amy's not having any of it. I mean, a PICKLE SELLER?? Come on, Granny!

    But watch what happens...
    A traditional romance, lovingly told. Enjoy it. ... Read more

    5. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
    Director: Chris Columbus
    list price: $24.99
    our price: $20.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00008DDXB
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 169
    Average Customer Review: 4.23 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan


    The next installment in the Harry Potter series finds young wizard Harry Potter (DANIEL RADCLIFFE) and his friends Ron Weasley (RUPERT GRINT) and Hermione Granger (EMMA WATSON) facing new challenges during their second year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry as they try to uncover a dark force that is terrorizing the school. ... Read more

    Reviews (649)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Fascinatingly enchanting as it is entertaining
    Summer vacation is a dreaded time for Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) as it means having to endure the histronics of his mean aunt and uncle. Returning back to his Hogwarts School of Witchcraft would seem a much wiser option but Dobby the House Elf warns him of "a plot to make most terrible things" is in the brewing. With disregard of the warning, the boy wizard begins his sophomore year at the school of magic - and things happen - when his schoolmates are 'petrified' into statues. In fact this is only the beginning when he later takes on gigantic spiders, screeching mandrakes, Fawkes the phoenix and the fearsome Basilisk.

    The second entry adapted from J.K Rowling's legacy has neither the epic sweep of the fourth book (The Goblet of fire) nor the mystery of the third (The Prisoner of Azkaban) but is nonetheless an engaging adventure and a riveting story. What's more with director Chris Colombus at the helm who shows more precision and familiarity after his first attempt, Harry Potter and the Chamber of secrets is a majestic adventure filled with visionary sets and fluid CGI effects that astonishingly enhance the darker fantasy tale and adventure. The soaring adventure thrills with its enshrouding perils, awesome moments of wonder and enlightening morality and friendship.

    It thus resembles more of an awkward adolescence stage in this saga for the three main casts. Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grinch as Harry, Hermoine and Ron reprises their role with the loss of their innocence along with veterans Maggie Smith as Professor McGonagall, the late Richard Harris as the benevolent headmaster Dumbledore, Robbie Coltrane as giant Hagrid and Alan Rickman as Professor Snape. The new interlopers are equally scene-grabbing in their own rights: Kenneth Branagh does a rib-tickling interpretation of braggadocio Gilderoy Lockheart as well as Jason Issacs as the wicked Lucius Malfoy.

    With a solidly ensembled cast and sumptuous sets, the second installment is fascinatingly entertaining as it is enchanting enough to sustain its 3 long hours without any misgivings.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Just as good if not better!
    This DVD gives you a great movie, lots of special features, and great commentary from the stars and people behind the scenes. Just as good a movie as the first Harry Potter installment, this is definitely a great addition to anyone's DVD collection!

    4-0 out of 5 stars Not as goood as the book
    This film is not as good as the book, but still a very good film. There are a few scenes from the book that I wish had made the final cut. It does drag a little after the climax, but those scenes are need to tie up loose plot lines as well as items that might have an impact in future editions.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets-Widescreen Edition
    This movie was definately a great work of theatre and art alike. The entire movie was captivating, and while the director, Christopher Columbus, could of done better on some parts, this movie does what most do not, and it stayed true to the book. I loved this, and I watched it about 3 times before I was satisfied with it! Go get the movie and see it, and you'll see what I mean!!! The scenes with the Chammber of Secrets were beautifully detailed, giving you a clearer picture than even the book did! So buy this, sit back and be amazed by the production of Harry Potter's second year at Hogwarts school of Withcraft and Wizardry! Enjoy!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Harry Does It Again! Better Than The First!
    "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets" pulls off something that only "The Empire Strikes Back" has done. It's better than the first film! Not only is the story more interesting(though the first was tops as well), it's packed with even more wonder and imagination than the first as well. The castmembers of the first flick return, as well as Kenneth Branagh in a superb performance as Lockhart, the bumbling, vain writer of "Magical Me."

    I'm sure the naysayers had a wonderful time bashing this sequel for its evil undertones. Students get "petrified" and the basilisk takes shots at Harry, but all in all, Harry prevails. He makes the right choices, does the good deeds and fights a good fight. How dare he promote such horrible values!

    Please folks, I used up a lot of space harping on how kids need to have fun in my review of the first film. The same applies to this movie as well. Don't worry about your kid becoming a warlock or praying to Satan, just let them have a little fun. If you raise them right, you won't have to worry about any of that anyway.

    The "Potter" books encourage kids to read and use their imagination. That's a good thing in my book. The movies encourage kids to use their imaginations as well.

    You've just got to love something that promotes so many good things. We need more heroes like Harry. He's a good character to let your kids read about and watch on the big screen. He's caring to others, takes his studies reasonably serious(you might want to promote Hermione's study habits to your kids, though) and he always tries to do the right thing.

    Overall this movie is fun and enjoyable for the whole family. Some of the scenes might scare the little ones, but this movie is worth explaining those scenes in order to get the message across.

    Watch this one and have a ton of fun. It's great for everybody. Highly recommended. ... Read more

    6. Monty Python and the Holy Grail
    Director: Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones
    list price: $14.95
    our price: $13.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 6302293553
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 107
    Average Customer Review: 4.63 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan essential video

    Could this be the funniest movie ever made? By any rational measure of comedy, this medieval romp from the Monty Python troupe certainly belongs on the short list of candidates. According to Leonard Maltin's Movie & Video Guide, it's "recommended for fans only," but we say hogwash to that--you could be a complete newcomer to the Python phenomenon and still find this send-up of the Arthurian legend to be wet-your-pants hilarious. It's basically a series of sketches woven together as King Arthur's quest for the Holy Grail, with Graham Chapman as the King, Terry Gilliam as his simpleton sidekick Patsy, and the rest of the Python gang filling out a variety of outrageous roles. The comedy highlights are too numerous to mention, but once you've seen Arthur's outrageously bloody encounter with the ominous Black Knight (John Cleese), you'll know that nothing's sacred in the Python school of comedy. From holy hand grenades to killer bunnies to the absurdity of the three-headed knights who say "Ni--!," this is the kind of movie that will strike you as fantastically funny or just plain silly, but why stop there? It's all over the map, and the pace lags a bit here and there, but for every throwaway gag the Pythons have invented, there's a bit of subtle business or grand-scale insanity that's utterly inspired. The sum of this madness is a movie that's beloved by anyone with a pulse and an irreverent sense of humor. If this movie doesn't make you laugh, you're almost certainly dead.--Jeff Shannon ... Read more

    Reviews (630)

    5-0 out of 5 stars one of the best comedies ever and dvd extras to rave about!
    This is what dvds were invented for -- there are so many great features here! So in addition to seeing one of the funniest movies ever made, you can be entertained for hours with the extras, and the extras are terrific: subtitles in English, French or Spanish; audio track choices -- English (the original mono or a brand new full stereo version), French, a directors' (Gilliam and Jones) track or a commentary track with Cleese, Idle and Palin; a copy of the script overlaid on the film; a painstaking, hilarious Henry the IV-ish subtitle for those who don't like the film; a hard-of-hearing feature; killer rabbit easter eggs; animated menus using Gilliam's original animation; karaoke renditions of 'Knights of the Round Table', 'Sir Robin' and the 'Monks Chant'; a delightful 45 minute visit to the locations with Jones and Palin; an educational film about the 'other' uses of coconuts; Japanese versions of the French Castle and Knights Who Say Ni scenes, including references to the 'holy sake cup'; a 1974 BBC Film Night visit to a location site during filming; photos of tickets, press releases, reviews, posters, production stills and original artwork; trailers; cast credits (Palin played over a dozen parts!) with pictures of each character; a Lego knights version of the Camelot scene; pictures of sketches that were never used (a killer snail?!); a web link.

    A lot of effort went into this special edition dvd, and it shows. I particularly enjoyed seeing Jones and Palin visit locations. They were in a jolly mood, their comments are interspersed with film footage, and they meet affectionate and funny fans along the way.

    If you like this film you will love this dvd version; if you love the film, you wil adore this two-dvd set. An essential item for your collection.

    Highest recommendation.

    5-0 out of 5 stars I Never Thought Looking For A Shrubbery Would Be This Fun!!
    In the early 1970's the Monty Python troop (Michael Palin, Graham Chapman, Eric Idle, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, and Terry Jones) stars from the immensely popular television series Monty Python's Flying Circus began producing, with the help of a fundraising concert headlined by Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd (You lie!! No, I didn't!), initial photography on what would later become (from all my extensive years of movie watching) the single most unforgivably sidesplitting, enormously irreverent, shrewdly perceptive, unremittingly uproariously aggressive, gruesomely hysterical, and endlessly quotable comedies EVER. Not even Mel Brooks's Best Efforts (The Producers, Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein) comes very close to the revolutionary medieval merriment sustained in this royal purebred of cult classics. BAR NONE. No contest here.

    Endlessly stockpiled with hauntingly hysterical sketches that will probably never leave your mind (no matter how hard you try) including, The Knights Who Say Nei, The Self-Abusing Monks (Eah aay ess eay dom eay nay), The Black Knight, The Trojan Rabbit, the Ever-Appearing Verbally Abusing French (I don't want to talk to you no more!!!), The Enchanter Named Tim, The Killer Bunny, The Bridge of Death (What is the capital of Hysteria?), The Old Woman Named Dennis, and so many countless more great sketches to include here that I'd die trying. Monty and Python and the Holy Grail remains an ever-enriching mirthful cult-classic that just seems to improve with age. Since Columbia has a bountifully hefty new special edition of the Holy Grail out now there should be no excuse, if you've never seen it (I think I'll go for a walk!!), just drop everything your doing (including Bringing Out Your Dead) and go experience this life changing movie today. You won't be disappointed, just tell them the Knight Not Appearing In This Film sent you, and they'll know what to do.

    As for the options on the special edition here's a run-down:

    Disc One: -"21st Anniversary" cut of the film running an extra 24 seconds; -Anamorphic Widescreen; -Dolby 5.1 track; -Original Mono Track; -Audio commentary with Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones, John Cleese, Eric Idle and Michael Palin; -subtitles "for people who don't like the film" (you get the text from Shakespeare's Henry IV instead); -an "on-screen screenplay" feature which lets you read the screenplay as you watch the film; -"Follow the Killer Rabbit" feature;

    Disc Two: "Three Mindless Sing-Alongs"; -"The Quest for the Holy Grail Locations" featurette; -"How to Use Your Coconuts" educational film; -"Monty Python and the Holy Grail in Japanese" (with English subtitles); -the BBC Film Night special "On Location with the Pythons; -an interactive cast directory; -still galleries with Terry Gilliam's original sketches and behind-the-scenes photos; -"A Load Of Rubbish" with mystery items; -unused ideas and other material; -two trailers
    and web-links.

    Both discs represent the absolute final word resource for EVERYTHING and I do mean everything you'd need to know about the Python's greatest film. An Absolute Necessity for any Python Fan!!

    P.S. You can't base a system of government just because some watery tart threw a sword at you.

    5-0 out of 5 stars What are you going to do, bleed on me?
    excellent. Possibly the funniest movie ever made. Who could forget such a line as "I fart in your general direction. Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of eldeberries." This is a great movie and a great dvd edition that gives it justice. This is completely worth the money. A comedy Classic.

    5-0 out of 5 stars This movie didn't make me Run Away! (or) Run away FASTER!!!
    Monty Python and the Quest for the Holy Grail is, by far, my favorite movie -and I'm sure it always will be! Being a truly hilariously-random film, this DVD does an awesome job of showcasing this fact to the highest extent. The killer white "rrrrabit" will live on in my heart forever, and I will always be knowledgeable that African swallows are non-migratory. What other movie has a group of knights requesting shrubberies -from King Arthur, no less- to create a 'two-level effect with a path through the middle'? Only Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
    The movie might sound strange as I mention these things out of context, but I assure you it is much stranger when Monty Python says it!
    So, to conclude this review, I definitely give "Monty Python and the Quest for the Holy Grail" DVD a 5 star rating, as I know it will entertain millions for years to come. Enjoy!

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Lego Camelot Number Alone is Worth the Price
    Who would have thought that, after nearly 30 years, the world's goofiest movie could be made even moreso? Not only is this DVD a comedy triumph (it would be simply if it were the DVD version of the classic film, in which a crew too broke to afford horses for King Arthur and his Knights changed history and college kids' banter forever by introducing coconuts as migrating props). Oh, no, this DVD is one that may become a standard for other DVDs. Just look at this list of extras above! To be sure, some of them are fluff. The "load of rubbish" selection is simply some receipts and a few odd notes. But most of it is stupendous.

    The first disc contains the movie itself, along with some choices of how to watch it.... subtitles, commentary by directors Terry Jones & Terry Gilliam or by John Cleese & Eric Idle & Michael Palin. Then "for people who don't like the film", there's subtitles from Shakespeare's "Henry IV, Part II". Now, these do not faithfully follow Henry IV verse by verse, but they do come from the play, and it's hilarious how the phrases Shakespeare wrote do actually match up with the action on the screen.

    Disc Two contains several mementoes: a film of John Cleese, Terry Jones, and "Grail" production manager John Young (who also played the hapless "Historian" towards the end of the film, and the "I'm not dead!" guy) paying a return visit to Castle Doune , in 2000. At first it's fun to hear them reminisce at the filming site, but since it's a very small spot with nothing but a wall and a bit of ground, they appear uncomfortable and that quickly gets old. More interesting is the home movie made by the two Terries when they looked for prospective film locations in the seventies. Their excitement is palpable.

    A somewhat painful scene (except for the chance it gives us to watch Terry Jones in action as a director) is the BBC documentary made during filming. The interviewer seems more interested in trying to be funny himself than in the Pythons. But there are several great comic extras, including words to some songs, a coconut skit, two scenes dubbed in Japanese, and best of all, an animated feature of the "Camelot" scene and song done entirely in Lego...must be seen to be believed.

    Finally, someone has made good use of the storage space on a DVD. ... Read more

    7. Shark Tale
    Director: Vicky Jenson, Bibo Bergeron, Rob Letterman
    list price: $24.99
    our price: $23.74
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0006JMLT8
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 916
    Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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    When a shark accidentally clobbers himself, a small fish named Oscar (voiced by Will Smith, I, Robot) just happens to be around, prompting everyone to believe that he killed the shark himself. This lie soon makes Oscar a celebrity, worshipped by the general mass of fish, wooed by a glittering golddigger (Angelina Jolie, Girl, Interrupted), missed by his best friend (Renee Zellweger, Cold Mountain)--and hunted by the godfather of great whites (Robert De Niro, Goodfellas). Can a vegetarian shark named Lenny (Jack Black, School of Rock) get Oscar out of this mess? The formulaic story of Shark Tale never reaches the giddy heights of Pixar's output (Finding Nemo, Monsters Inc., Toy Story) or the freewheeling comedy of Shrek, but it's capably told and impeccably animated--the sheer technical skill is stunning. Kids won't get the mobster jokes or the other pop-culture references, but they'll enjoy it nonetheless. --Bret Fetzer ... Read more

    Reviews (145)

    2-0 out of 5 stars Rotten fish........
    Now a days, when you see a computer animated film (especially from Dreamworks), you expect it to please not only the kiddies, but the adults as well. You assume there will be humorous references that some children won't be able to catch, but that the grown-ups will understand and find entertaining as well.

    You count on a little something in there for everybody (i.e. Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Shrek, Toy Story).

    More importantly, you hope the movie will strike the funny bone of both generations so that the film can be appreciated and enjoyed by both genres.

    Shark Tale has very little of this, and what it does manage to muster up, is surprisingly unfunny. In fact, Shark Tale is a pretty horrible film altogether. Not all the star power in the world could make this film less than the dreadful bore that it is.

    These fish live in a very adult-like society (think of New York underwater), but there is just no good adult humor in this film!!

    Maybe kids will like it. But this is not an enjoyable film for us grown-ups. In fact, this movie is so bad, I won't bother to review its lousy story any further. There are plenty of other reviews that do that.

    Be warned:

    This fish STINKS......badly

    The best thing for this reviewer about Shark Tale was the fact that I rented it and didn't buy it. Returning a movie never felt so good!

    2-0 out of 5 stars the commercials seem great, but the movie is boring
    this seems like a good movie when you see the commercials. the animation is great, but this is definitley not Dreamworks Animation's greatest film. the movie is very boring.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Great animation and voice talents, but weak plot
    Oscar (Will Smith) is in the wrong place at the right time when great white shark Frankie accidentally runs into an anchor and dies.Oscar, a very small fish and with a lowly job as a tongue scrubber, takes the credit for Frankie's demise and becomes famous as The Shark Killer.

    Only Frankie's brother, vegetarian great white Lenny (Jack Black) knows the truth behind Frankie's accidental death, but has enough problems of his own trying to please his `Godfather' type father, Skyes (Robert De Niro).

    When Oscar was a nobody, he could always count on best friend Angie (Renee Zellweger) to help him.Angie even gave Oscar her grandmother's pearl to help him out of his debts, but when he becomes famous he is sought after by gold-digger temptress Lola (Angelina Jolie).Oscar cannot hold onto his lies forever, and eventually must find out that friends can't be bought with fame and money.

    `Shark Tale' barely deserves four stars, earning that simply on the beauty of the animation and the plethora of screen talents gathered together for the voices.The plot was rather weak, and at times even boring.While some of the jokes were funny, most were pretty lame, and the subversive advertising got to me in a negative way.Still, it's a pretty movie, and one that your kids will probably like better than you do.Enjoy!

    4-0 out of 5 stars Funny, but I'm not a very big Zellweger fan
    This was pretty funny up until a few days ago, especially considering I use to be huge fan of Renee Zellweger, but that all changed, (I may not be a fan but congratulations Renee if you ever read this, tell your new love that the Make A Wish girl says hey).Anyway, like I said, the story's alright, I lovedthe storyline.My favorite part was actually when the shark was killed.In real life I can't imagine any person's last word being "Moron!!"so I pretty much cracked up at that.Overall, it was funny, but I only gave it 4 stars because of the recent Renee Zellweger thing.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Funny
    A funny movie kind of like finding nemo.Good and funny.I didnt get to see in the movie.But i bought the dvd and well worth it. Renée Zellweger and Angelina Jolie are hot. ... Read more

    8. East of Eden
    Director: Elia Kazan
    list price: $19.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 6300267865
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 388
    Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan essential video

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

    Reviews (41)

    5-0 out of 5 stars DEEP & HAUNTING.
    I first watched this movie on television when I was about 16, because I wondered what all the fuss was about James Dean. I soon found out: he was so unbelievably natural in his acting technique that the audience is captivated by his brilliance. This was Dean's film debut and he burst like a thunderclap in the public's ears, not to mention staid Hollywood, which came to both fear and admire the handsome, rebellious youth. In this haunting John Steinbeck tale, Dean is the neurotic half of twin sons belonging to Bible - reading lettuce farmer Raymond Massey, whose vast acreage stretches through the rich Salinas Valley in California. Aron (Davalos, in another powerful debut) is the well-adjusted upstanding son whose normal relationship with his girlfriend and his diligent pursuit of continuing his father's legacy is admired by the patriarch. Cal is very different from his brother and the troublesome youth mistakenly believes his father doesn't love him. A haunting scene has Dean introduce Davalos to their supposedly dead mother. The boys were brain-washed by their father into believing their mother Kate was some sort of angel: the truthful realisation that she's a financially successful Madam who operates a whorehouse in Monterey causes Davalos to become deeply traumatised. Many people will feel empathy for BOTH brothers during this powerful scene: it shows us that Cal is, if anything, REAL while his brother is somewhat sheltered and idealistic in comparison. The performances are all splendidly colourful and absorbing: Dean is unforgettable as Cal - for whom the audience feels empathy - Julie Harris is fine as Abra (she succumbs to Cal's raw sexuality) and Jo Van Fleet is excellent as the tough yet essentially tender-hearted tubercular Kate who likes her boy Cal because he "has sense" as she believes she does. Raymond Massey is fine as the puritanical father, Adam. Burl Ives is memorable as Sam: he quotes the Biblical passage which includes the picture's title. Some critical snobs say that the film was over-directed by Kazan but it made Dean an over-night sensation who acted with a unique naturalistic style and died a legend at the tender age of 24.

    4-0 out of 5 stars James Dean's Best Performance
    Although this may be the least known of Dean's three major films, I think this is by far his best performance and the one that most fully explores his talent. Dean stars as the troubled son of Raymond Massey, always trying to please his father, but without much success. Richard Davalos is Dean's brother, and he has his father's love and the love of a sensitive young girl played by Julie Harris. The boys are named Cal and Aaron, which reminds us of Cain and Abel, and so does their relationship. Dean gives one of those raw, emotional performances that is sometimes almost uncomfortable to watch it is so real. The rest of the cast is also excellent, with Jo Van Fleet giving an edgy portrayal of the boys "lost" mother. The struggle for approval and the feeling of not fitting in is one that we can all appreciate, and it is sensitively and dramatically presented. The Steinbeck story is a classic, and in the hands of director Elia Kazan and his terrific cast, so is the movie.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful acting by James Dean and Jo Van Fleet.
    East of Eden is a great, sprawling American novel by nobel prize winning author John Steinbeck. The film East of Eden, directed by Elia Kazan, dramatizes only a small part of the magnificent book. However, what the film does, it does exceptionally well, thanks to the riveting performances of James Dean and academy award winner Jo Van Fleet.

    Much has been written about Dean as an actor and what is certainly true is that when he is on screen, you can't take your eyes off him. As young Cal Trask, Dean vies for the attention and love of his father, Adam, Raymond Massesy, with his twin brother Aaron, Richard Davalos. Cal is a loser, no matter what he does, and Dean portrays sensitively the conflict Cal feels as he grows to manhood unloved and uncared for.

    The rivalry between Cal and Aaron for their father's love as well as the affections of Abra, Aaron's girlfriend played by Julie Harris, generates much of the action and dramatic tension of the film. All Cal's gifts are rejected by his father, in contrast to Aaron, whose presents are appreciated and valued.

    Like Cain in the Bible, Cal has a dark side which he thinks comes from his mother Kate, who abandoned him at birth and whom he has discovered runs a brothel in Salinas, California, a short train ride from the Trask ranch. Cal introduces himself to Kate, played to perfection by Jo Van Fleet, first to try to learn about himself, who he is and why he experiences his inner rage and frustration. Later he will borrow money from her to invest in order to help his bankrupt father. Cal's investment in bean futures, just prior to America's entry in World War I, pays off, but his father rejects his money in a confrontation which moves us toward the dramatic conclusion of the film.

    The scenes with Dean and Van Fleet are the highlight of the film and a treasure of American movie making. Both actors are electric with Dean drawing from his inner uncertainty and fire and Van Fleet, the consumate professional, using all her skills and intelligence. They approach one another gingerly, each testing the response of the other, not trusting themselves and their own emotions, and finally becoming frustrated with their inablility to connect with one another. These scenes are wonderful to watch. We should not expect a happy ending and we don't get it.

    East of Eden, released in 1955, justly takes its place in a small list of fine American films, not just because of the great performances of James Dean and Jo Van Fleet, but also because it dramatizes timeless themes in a most convincing fashion. Those viewers who love the film and like to read will almost certainly enjoy the novel on which the film is based.

    5-0 out of 5 stars It's only a matter of time....
    Given the nature and extent of Oprah Winfrey's influence, it is only a matter of time before this film -- based on the Steinbeck novel of which she is so fond -- is available in a DVD format. Let's all hope that the special features are worthy of our patience and forbearance in the meanwhile. It has been almost 50 years since this film first appeared, in the same year during which Rebel Without a Cause was also released. Both feature James Dean. I have often wondered to what extent his unique and abundant talents as an actor would have developed, had he not perished in a car accident immediately after the filming of Giant had been completed. Of course, we will never know. His was a compelling presence in each of only three films and especially so in East of Eden in the role of Cal Trask.

    The basic story is derived from the Biblical account of Cain and Abel. Adam Trask (Raymond Massey) has two sons, both of whom he presumably loves. However, he favors Aron (Dick Davalos) because he (unlike Cal) never says or does anything to irritate him. Aron is "the good son," complete with a girlfriend Abra (Julie Harris) whom his father obviously adores. Of course, Cal feels resentment toward both his father and brother. He desperately wants his father's love. (Later in the film, he even tries to buy it with profits he earns from investments enriched by World War One.) Under Elia Kazan's brilliant direction, tensions build relentlessly to what seems certain to be a tragic conclusion. Feeling rejected by his father, Cal seeks out his mother who left her husband and sons years ago. Kate Trask (Jo Van Fleet) now owns and manages a brothel in another town nearby and has become wealthy. Cal climbs aboard a freight train so that he can visit her frequently. Over time, they develop mutual respect and affection. Finally the climatic moment occurs and then....

    The acting throughout the cast (with one exception) is outstanding. Van Fleet received an Academy Award for best actress in a supporting role and Dean was also nominated for the award as best actor in a leading role. Burl Ives and Albert Dekker are noteworthy in their supporting roles. However, Julie Harris (age 30 at that time) seems to me miscast as the teenage Abra. As for Massey, he does the best he can with the role of Adam Trask, recycling elements of his earlier portrayal of John Brown in Sante Fe Trail. Most of Steinbeck's fiction is set in the Monterey area, as is East of Eden. Kazan and his cinematographer, Ted D. McCord, took full advantage of that uncommonly lovely area when shooting various exteriors.

    Having seen what can be done to enhance the clarity of image and sound in other classic films such as The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938), I eagerly await the DVD version of East of Eden. Hopefully, its "special features" will also be special.

    5-0 out of 5 stars James Dean's Greatest Film
    Alright its about time that the DVD for this movie came out. The movie itself I thought was incredible well made. The story was beautiful and some of the scenes were perfectly staged.
    And of course there's James Dean. This is his best film. "Rebel Without a Cause" was good but over-done and a little rediculous at times, and Dean wasn't in "Giant" enough to warrent it being his best work.
    All in all a great movie and the DVD needs to come out. ... Read more

    9. Calendar Girls
    Director: Nigel Cole
    list price: $24.99
    our price: $21.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0001I55ME
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 97
    Average Customer Review: 4.12 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (48)

    3-0 out of 5 stars Amusing Story. Bland Movie.
    "Calendar Girls" is a fictionalized account of the events surrounding the publication, in 1999, of a nude calendar featuring the ladies of the Rylstone Women's Institute of North Yorkshire, England. The calendar caused a media sensation in Great Britain and the United States on account of its photographs of women of a certain age performing quaint everyday tasks in the buff. In the film, Chris (Helen Mirren) organizes the calendar to raise money on behalf of her best friend Annie's (Julie Waters) husband, who is dying of leukemia. "Calendar Girls" dramatizes the challenges of convincing a group of middle-aged and older women to pose nude, garnering support for the project, and coping with the resulting flood of international publicity.

    The cast is well-suited to their roles. The characters are all appealing. But "Calendar Girls" takes too much time to get off the ground and moves very slowly once it does. This "dramedy" isn't nearly as funny as it should be. It's just bland. The story of the WI calendar is really more interesting than this film.

    As for "Calendar Girls" accuracy, this really is a fictionalized account. The characters do not represent real people specifically, except for Chris and Annie, who are based loosely on real women. Any strife between characters in the film is dramatic license. The calendar's photographer was not a stranger, but one of the ladies' husbands. The calendar was indeed intended to raise money for a local hospital's cancer ward on behalf of Angela Baker's husband, John Baker, to whose memory "Calendar Girls" is dedicated. And a similar 2004 calendar featuring the actresses in this film has been released as a further fund-raiser for charity.

    The DVD: Bonus features include two mini-documentaries and four deleted scenes. "The Naked Truth" is a 15-minute documentary about the real story behind the infamous calendar. It features interviews with the women who organized and graced the pages of the calendar and its photographer, following the calendar's story from its genesis to this film's premiere. "Creating the Calendar" is a 6-minute short about filming the nude scenes and photographing the calendar for the movie. Captions are available in English, subtitles in Spanish. And dubbing is available in French.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Quiet and Likeable! Also (gasp) kinda sexy!
    I went into watching CALENDAR GIRLS dreading it might be a female rip-off of THE FULL MONTY. No need to fear, because the movie is about a lot more than aping a successful indie formula. The movie centers on a group of women of Rylstone Women's Institute in North Yorkshire, England who through a tragedy decide to raise money for a hospital with their annual calendar. The only catch? These well-aged women are going to pose in the buff with strategically placed items of household drudgery hiding the naughty bits and pieces. And when the calendar comes out? They all have to deal with the infamy that comes along with posing nude. And deal with success as well! Or new found confidence.

    It is a story rich dramatically and still just plain funny. The nudity is tasteful, and not all that revealing. Think Dianne Keaton's SOMETHINGS GOT TO GIVE flash, and you get the idea. And Helen Mirren and a STRONG cast give it all a dignified English air that plays well. I really loved this movie. It made me smile widely! And hammered home the message that beauty is in ALL forms. Everybody has a shine to them, and the 50 MOST BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE are the ones with the courage to make fun of themselves and smile all the while. No body doubles here either! Yea for them! Brave women with "bigger buns!".

    The DVD is a special treat. You get a documentary on the real life CALENDAR GIRLS who look a lot like their film counterparts. You also get to see the movie cast MAKING the calendar! Okay, maybe just TALKING about making it. Also you get some deleted scenes, and assorted trailers.

    I'm getting sunflowers for my house just to remind me of people that always reach for the sun! Very nice image. We need more movies like this -- celebrating wisdom and friendship. And hey - it's just simple fun.

    5-0 out of 5 stars a smart, lovely comedy!!
    This movie is inspired by a true story where these middle aged women go in the nude posing for their calendar which becomes a huge success! I really loved this movie for its wonderful acting and it was hilarious!! The whole way I felt like cheering the women on! This movie made me laugh out loud and its a great change from some other funny movies that all they offer is bathroom jokes and other stupid humor. This is a one of a kind smart hilarious movie!!

    1-0 out of 5 stars Marginal, at best
    This is one of those small budget Britcoms that is supposed to be hilarious and all the trailer clips suggest that. Problem is it's not very funny, well-acted, or even mildly engaging. It's flat out boring. It is not a female "The Full Monty," as the ad campaign leads you to think. If that were the case I would have loved it. Others can re-tell the plot, but there isn't really much beyond these ordinary women in a small English town do a nude calendar to raise money and all the hinjinx prevail. Except there really are no hijinx. Just the usual stereotypical disapproving neighbors and officials, combined with the always surprising support from the most unlikely (wink-wink) circles. Been there--seen that over and over. It's as if every cliche in these types of movies were rehashed over and over.

    Save your money. Frankly, I think the positive reviews on this are the true comedy.

    4-0 out of 5 stars a joyous comedy
    One of the most delightful films of recent years, "Calendar Girls," a distaff version of "The Full Monty," is the true story of a group of middle-aged English women who became international celebrities when they designed and posed for a nude fundraising calendar that sold millions of copies worldwide. Julie Walters and Helen Mirren head a wonderful cast, with Walters as a woman whose husband dies of leukemia and Mirren as her best friend who comes up with the idea of the calendar as a way of both honoring his memory and raising money for the local hospital.

    The risk for any "feel good" comedy is that it will become cloying, coy or cutesy. Luckily, "Calendar Girls" boasts an enormously witty screenplay and first-rate performances by its highly gifted cast. Each of the "girls" is given her own unique personality so that we see them not just as a group, united in this inspiring endeavor, but as individuals working through their own personal demons on the rode to the project's completion. The women face the expected roadblocks and snafus in the form of "shocked," disapproving voices in the community, but their belief in the rightness of their cause brushes all such problems aside.

    This charming film provides more genuine, out-and-out laughs than almost any comedy of recent times. "Calendar Girls" is heartwarming, touching and inspiring - and what more could one ask from a "feel-good" film than that? ... Read more

    10. Yentl
    Director: Barbra Streisand
    list price: $19.98
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 6301978587
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 1111
    Average Customer Review: 4.43 out of 5 stars
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    Barbra Streisand made her directorial debut with this 1983 adaptation of the Isaac Bashevis Singer story about a young Eastern European woman (Streisand) who disguises herself as a male at the turn of the century in order to get an education. Except for an excessive musical score with too many songs and Streisand's tiresome tendency to play characters who suppress their beauty, the film is crisp and engaging, and the gender-bending love story complications are fun, if gimmicky. Streisand gives a smart, vulnerable performance and gets fresh work from costars Mandy Patinkin and Amy Irving.--Tom Keogh ... Read more

    Reviews (56)

    4-0 out of 5 stars A Triumph for the Director, Not the Actress
    When "Yentl" was first released it proved to be neither the I-told-you-so triumph producer-director-star Barbra Streisand hoped, nor the total failure nay-sayers gleefully predicted. In years since, "Yentl" has become the punchline for many jokes (men who were dragged to see this with their wives or girlfriends can't seem to say enough nasty things about it), but most of those jokes aren't warranted.

    As a director, Streisand has much to be proud of. She gets stellar performances from co-stars Mandy Patinkin and Amy Irving (Streisand has proven herself to be an actor's director), the photography is lush and she makes the non-commercial story quite compelling. The movie's main weakness, though, is Streisand's work in front of the camera. Being miscast is nothing new for the star of "Hello, Dolly!" and "A Star is Born," but usually she's buoyed by her star power. In "Yentl," that star power is a detriment. This is a movie that needed an actress, not a star.

    However, not many film actresses have Streisand's voice, and this is a musical, after all. The songs in "Yentl" (all sung by Streisand; fellow singer Patinkin doesn't even hum along) function as internal monologues, and as such they work fine in the context of the movie. But this is no "Funny Girl"--despite a finale that looks very similar to that movie's "Don't Rain on My Parade" sequence. There are few tunes that'll be stuck in your head by the final credits. Turning "Yentl" into a musical seemed more of a concession to the studio, anyway.

    Despite its shortcomings, and despite what all those snarky husbands and boyfriends say about it, "Yentl" proved Streisand's formidable talents aren't just limited to singing and acting.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Why isn't this on DVD!
    I just adore this movie. Great acting, sweet story, lots of culture and absolutely fabulous music... I listen to the soundtrack all the time.

    Barbara Streisand is perfect at playing an intelligent, yet vulnerable woman in a time and place in which women were supposed to be illiterate and considered to be silly. Her father was a more forward-thinking man in a culture that considered teaching a woman to read something perverse and criminal. When her father dies,she loses everything... women can't read, own property or make decisions concerning the course of her life.

    She decides that her persuit of knowledge of the holy scriptures is too important to let the opportunity slip through her fingers, so she cuts her hair and lives life as a male Rabbinical student. Life takes a twist she doesn't expect when she falls for her classmate and subsequently is forced to marry a young girl.

    There are a lot of laughing-out-loud moments, but this is mostly just an extremely sweet story of love, sacrifice, tradition and freedom. It's definitely a feel-good movie that will put a lump in your throat. I highly recommend this film.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Poor Quality Copy
    The VHS desperately needs remastering. If people want to see Babs dressed up like a man, then we need to get this released on DVD.
    I know I can't wait!!!

    4-0 out of 5 stars LESS WOULD OF BEEN MORE
    I love Barbra. I saw her final Concert in Los Angeles so I am a fan! I like this movie! HOWEVER I did not Love it! I think this movie is TOO LONG! Since this is Streisand's baby you can see every frame was a labor of love! If you want to see a great Streisand movie get "Funny Girl" However Barbra if your reading I would trust you would do a great job of acting and directing in the muscial adaption of Sunset Boulevard! You are the greatest star of them all!

    5-0 out of 5 stars There are moments you remember all your life...
    ... and seeing Yentl certainly was such a moment. The movie had a profound impact on my life when I was a girl of 14. More than 10 years later, it has not lost any of its message. "Revisiting" Yentl from time to time has helped me choose the path I really want to go. Some of my dreams have come true, but there is more to come, I am sure. It also gives me courage to do what I need to, like Yentl, and like Mrs. Streisand whose work as female director was groundbreaking at the time. Chapeau! ... Read more

    11. Bright Eyes
    Director: David Butler
    list price: $9.98
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00005ASSD
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 1381
    Average Customer Review: 4.35 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (17)

    3-0 out of 5 stars OUR FAVOURITE WAIF
    This was the first movie actually crafted just for Shirley and the kids should find it a fun diversion, even today. It's in this movie in which Temple sings her famed version of ON THE GOOD SHIP LOLLIPOP - while on an airplane! The supporting cast includes the little seen silent screen actress Lois Wilson who plays Shirley's mother (employed as a maid) and the talented Irishman, James Dunn - he won an Oscar for the happy alcoholic singing waiter in A TREE GROWS IN BROOKLYN - does well as Shirley's kind uncle. Cheeky Jane Withers (Remember Josephine, the plumber who endorsed Comet cleanser in the sixties?) plays Joy, and she's fun in contrast to Shirley's goody-goody personna- she's wild, mischievous, noisy, jealous, messy, angry and not particularly cute; she was eventually ranked second in popularity to Temple as a thirties female child star. Recommended for the little ones because these Temple films are inoffensive (with very few exceptions) and are expertly computer colourized!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Jane and Shirley light up the screen!
    Shirley Temple and Jane Withers are a dynamic duo together as Shirley plays a orphaned child that everybody wishes to adopt and Jane plays a selfish brat who has no compassion for Shirley or anybody else. This movie is simply hysterical with the rude Joy (Jane Withers)and the funny and political Uncle Ned. I have never laughed as much as I did in any other Shirley Temple film! Shirley sings her trade mark song "On the Good Ship Lollipop" and will dazzle you with her charm. The plot of the story is easy for young children to follow and consists of tear jerkers, hysterical moments, and dramatic scenes. I have to say this movie wouldn't receive 5 stars without Jane Withers!

    5-0 out of 5 stars "Sweet Landings"....
    This review refers to the 20th Century Fox DVD edition of "Bright Eyes".....

    I've always been a sucker for little Shirley Temple singing "On The Good Ship Lollipop" and couldn't resist picking up this DVD.From 1934, this story takes you back to a time of innocence that just can't be done again in today's world. Shirley will tug at your heartstrings and you're happy to let her do it!

    This story was tailor made for Temple's charms. Already having lost her father, "the best aviator there ever was", she is now the apple of they eyes of all the flyers at the airport.Espcially one,'Loop' Merritt(James Dunn), her father's best friend who loves her dearly.Shirley lives in the home of a wealthy but nasty couple where her mother is a maid. When tragedy strikes again, and Shirley's mom meets with an unfortunate accident, the fight begins over who will adopt this adorable orphan.

    In the short span of 83 minutes, it's a story that has laughter, tears, adventure and lots of love. If you love Shirley..this is a must have. But it's not just the Shirley show...the rest of the cast is terrific. James Dunn, Jane Darwell,and Lois Smith will all touch you, but the two that nearly steal the show are Charles Sellon as Uncle Ned, an old curmudgeon who becomes a real softy around Shirley, and little Jane Withers...the brattiest brat there ever was. All this little tyke wants for Christmas is a machine gun!

    I was very pleased with this DVD by 20th Cent Fox. Yes it was a bit on the grainey side, but the film, now 70 years old, showed no scratches, lines or cracks.I hope I look that good at 70! I nearly had a panic attack though when I read the back of the box and it said that this version was colorized, but don't worry, when you pop it in the player, the first thing that comes up is a choice of the original B/W or the colorized you can watch both and see which you prefer. You also get the choice of viewing it in the newly enhanced stereo or mono.There are also subtitles in English(captions), and Spanish.

    It's a nice one to watch during the holidays as a good part of the story takes place during Christmas.If you are a fan..introduce a new generation to Shirley. This a great one to start with.

    Sweet Landings.....Laurie

    3-0 out of 5 stars One of her better movies.
    The movie has the seen that the TV networks always have qued up with her singing: On the good ship lollypop.

    3-0 out of 5 stars One of the cutest films!!!
    Shirley is VERY cute in this film. She plays a very unselfish and cute little girl who likes to help out and visit the airport. She basicially does not have to act in this film because the way her chartacter acts is how Shirley acts herself . (Notice that her name is Shirley in this film.)
    It deserves a three star though because I didn't see much dancing in this film except for The Good Ship Lollipop, and when you watch Jane Withers and Shirley together you can feel guilty when you act selfish. ... Read more

    12. The Land Before Time IV - Journey Through the Mists
    Director: Roy Allen Smith
    list price: $14.98
    our price: $14.98
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 6304171277
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 512
    Average Customer Review: 2.91 out of 5 stars
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    Littlefoot and the gang meet a shy newcomer, Ali, but the pleasantries stop there. There's a dire environmental theme to this third sequel in the series, in which the world's weather changes beyond the Great Valley, and what had been dry land is now a "land of mists." The shift brings new creatures who push out older inhabitants, and Littlefoot sees these radical changes for himself when he has to venture into the area to find a medicinal flower for his sick grandfather. While the animation is slow and contained the way direct-to-video cartoon releases often are, the story is sound and the now-familiar characters are memorable. --Tom Keogh ... Read more

    Reviews (11)

    5-0 out of 5 stars The best Land Before Time of them all
    Journey into the Mists captivated both my children (3 and 5 years old), my wife and me. It is a story of courage, acceptance of others (hence the song "It takes all kinds"), and family ties. This movie is based upon the original Land Before Time video and is yet another sequel in this very popular series.

    In this story, Little Foot meets another small long neck named Allie. Allie is afraid of other dinosaurs because she has only been among other long necks. As part of a band of migrating long necks, she and her family come into the Great Valley while fleeing their former home, which has become a misty swamp that they now derisively call "The Land of Mists." After their arrival, Grandpa Longneck faill mysteriously ill and the migratory long necks identify his malady and proscribe a cure - a plant that only grows in the Land of Mists. Little Foot wants to go to find the mysterious plant, and he needs Allie's help. Allie refuses, however, to go unless Little Foot's friends do not come along.

    Herein lies the most positive part of this tale - Allie must get over her fear of other dinosaurs if she is to be of help to Little Foot and the others. She has to learn that accept and work with those who are different from herself.

    The story resolves, and the children learn valuable lessons. This story also includes a couple of very funny villians who are constantly telling each how worthless they are. These two cracked us up, but their constant bantering and bickering might be a little over the top for very small children. My two laughed and laughed for hours on end. We found that it was important to explain that this behavior is inappropriate and this is why it is funny. This was easily done, since the story shows that these two end up working against each other most of the time and not with each other.

    I highly recommend this video. There are some tender moments in this video and some great songs. I would however caution parents with very small children, since there are two villians who are not very nice to anyone. My three and five year old really liked it, but for children younger than that, I would exercise caution.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Obnoxious, mean characters ruin this episode
    I have really like the first 3 episodes in this series, and my young kids have, too. Our viewing has coincided with an interest in dinosaurs by my 4 year-old son. So, he's learned a lot about dinosaurs from them. And the movies are wholesome and promote friendship and good behavior.

    THIS EPISODE WAS A HUGE DISAPPOINTMENT BECAUSE OF THE MEAN-SPIRITED BANTERING OF THE TWO VILLAINS. The prehistoric crocodile and pterasaur (dinosaur bird) are constantly telling each other how much they "hate" each other. There is a song they sing back and forth about how "I need you like a hold in the head" and that type of thing. And their voices are terribly annoying.

    I was immediately uncomfortable, but then I heard my son starting to say this stuff to his sister...



    4-0 out of 5 stars Not my favorite, but good overall...
    In this film, Littlefoot's grandpa gets sick with a fever. The only cure is for him to eat a golden nightflower. But there's a problem; it grows in "The Land of Mists", a place off limits to all dinos. Of course, dear old grandpa can't die can he? So Littlefoot, Cera, Ducky, Petrie, Spike, and their new friend Ali, set off to find the golden flower. Which they do (while dodging a few obstacles along the way). Nightflower found? Check. Grandpa lives? Check. Overall, it's a cute, fun little movie that the kids will probably enjoy. Ignore those two bad guys though...

    2-0 out of 5 stars Journey Through the Mists
    My 2 yr old absolutely loves The Land Before Time series but this is one we could have done without. The bad guys are really bad and Ducky's voice is different and more irritating. We usually love Ducky's little voice but not on this one. Normally my son loves the songs and sings along with them but on this one he just fusses for me to skip past the singing.

    5-0 out of 5 stars My kids loved it!
    We had a great time watching this one. My kids are always asking to see it again. I appreciate the positive messages too! ... Read more

    13. The Land Before Time II - The Great Valley Adventure
    Director: Roy Allen Smith
    list price: $14.98
    our price: $13.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 6303148387
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 251
    Average Customer Review: 3.17 out of 5 stars
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    Young brontosaurus Littlefoot and his pals venture out of the Great Valley into the Mysterious Beyond and encounter a T-rex and a pair of omnivores who just want to be friendly. (Gulp.) The gang learns how hard it is to be a kid on one's own in a scary place--what with landslides and ferocious "sharptooths." This first sequel to The Land Before Time mostly holds up the visual quality of Don Bluth's original, though the story is narrower and less interesting. Music by the Roches and James Horner. --Tom Keogh ... Read more

    Reviews (12)

    5-0 out of 5 stars 6 yr old rates this the best
    We have all The Land Before Time videos, and I asked the 6 yearold critic which was the best. He said this one, without hesitation,and it is certainly the one that has been played most often. He particularly likes the songs in this one, and I think the concept of being scared (within the safety of the living room, with mum and dad nearby) is very tantalising.

    Each of the movies has a "message" and while it can be a bit cloying for adult viewers, they do seem to strike a chord with the kids. In this one the kids are alone facing danger, and they "learn just how hard it is to be a grown-up - and how nice it is to be a kid! - in this captivating story of hope, love and trust." (from box notes).

    4-0 out of 5 stars Mesmerizingly bad, but hilarious.
    These four stars are there both for levels of hilarty. One, mind numbingly awful songs. Two, bad voice work. Three, the sappy cornyness. Four, a few good intese scenes. I guess I should expect this since I'm not a 6 year old who loves all animated films. This could be for people who love a good laugh. Think of it as a well animated PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE eithout the plot meets musicals about dinosaurs. For those who don't understand, I am talking about it's direct to video quality. Peace out!

    5-0 out of 5 stars #2

    2-0 out of 5 stars poor piece of crap
    One of my favorite movies is Land Before time. The story is great, the characters are cool, and the sequals...........well, are poor. A sequal might seem like a good idea. But, they were poor. The music on the video is terrible. sounds like my friend who can't sing a note. And the story is horrible. It's not good. Avoid every sequal, if you can help it.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Oh my god...
    This sequal is a disgrace. The fact its a nonsensical, wimpified sequal to a powerful movie like "The Land Before Time" is even more of a disgrace. Its like making a sequal to "Schindler's List" and having it be a slapstick comedy.

    Ducky's character is made annoying and I wanted her to die several times in the movie. Peetwee now speaks in the third person and is almost similar to Ducky's personality, and...gaaah! Just thinking about this movie gives me a tumor!

    Don't watch it. No, not even with kids. I watched this as a little kid and I hated it. That's when you know a movie is sad. ... Read more

    14. Masada
    Director: Boris Sagal
    list price: $19.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 630018238X
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 6933
    Average Customer Review: 4.33 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (18)

    2-0 out of 5 stars Pretty Despicable
    The film almost totally ignores the sole surviving ancient historical account of Masada (contained in Josephus' "Jewish War") as well as the evidence found during modern excavations of the site in favor of presenting an almost wholly made up and, at times, tawdry melodrama. The only events in the film which come from the sole ancient source (Josephus) are the building of an inner wall of wood and earth for the fortress and its subsequent destruction by fire. All other events in the film are devices employed in the service of a fraudulent patriotic fantasy--as any legitimate scholar of the ancient world will attest. As pure drama, this film would not be so bad. Unfortunately, the film does not settle for that--it also claims to be actual history, and, on that scale, it fails miserably. Worse than only not informing, it actually misinforms its tabloid browsing, television "Movie of the Week" watching audience.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Get the 4-tape version, definitely
    The major virtue of the hacked 1-tape version is that it inspired me to go get the real one.

    This miniseries is one of the few historical epic TV series that is any good -- and strangely enough it is way more than "any good" -- it is superb. The two leads (Roman general and Zealot leader) are almost equally charismatic, compelling actors, though Peter O'Toole's trademark weary melancholy tends to steal the show. The supporting parts are solid. The writing is tight, wry, and literate. The scenery is convincing, the siege weaponry looks darned authentic.

    I have a weakness for costume epics, and this is perhaps the all-time best... reasonably large in scale, very well-mounted, but best of all, very well written and acted. It feasts the eyes without insulting the intelligence.

    The viciously cut 1-tape version is incoherent, of course, but by Hollywood standards it's still a pretty good film -- many mainstream movie directors can't be coherent even when they know they're working to a 120 min format. But do yourself a favour and get the complete edition.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Complete Masada Mini-series Available on 4 VHS!!
    I bought my copy of the miniseries, MASADA. I just looked and I saw one copy from there. When I bought mine, I got it, factory sealed, from a seller called I went to website and the movie is on back order but, hey, you've waited this long, right? I also see that has it for sale; you will need: (item # 072787). I am looking to get mine put on DVD to preserve the video. I, too, remember watching it as a child and the indelible etching it left on my memory. I have watched all 394 minutes again as an adult and it is as huge and glorious as I remember it. I didn't even know an expurgated version exists - I can not imagine cutting even a minute from this perfect epic. It would be like cutting The "10 Commandments" or Homer.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Brilliant historical epic
    Masada the mini-series was first shown in Australia on Network Ten in 1982 and then repeated once only a few years after its intital premiere. I was 10 years old when I first watched it back in 1982 and it has always lived in my memory up to today as a magnificent spectacle.

    I doubt any remake would surpass the original, even with computer technology that is available today. With actors like Strauss and O'Toole, who would be able to surpass them for the characters that they portrayed.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Great Roman Siege, Story Shortened Egregiously
    From a Latin teacher's viewpoint, this is great to demonstrate Roman siege techniques, but as compared to the uncut version, it is sadly lacking. I find myself constantly having to fill in information gleaned from the book and uncut version to make it coherent for my students. ... Read more

    15. The Land Before Time III - The Time of the Great Giving
    Director: Roy Allen Smith
    list price: $14.98
    our price: $14.98
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 6303861733
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 302
    Average Customer Review: 3.67 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (6)

    2-0 out of 5 stars Better...but not good...sequel...
    The second sequal is...marginally good on account of one good song (yes I know that sounds impossible). However, it doesn't make up for the fact that the rest of the movie stinks.

    Especially god she does nothing but scream for five minutes in one scene!! It makes you irritated beyond belief! Oh sure, you may think I'm overreacting, but you listen to some one give a girly high-pitched scream every two seconds for five minuntes and then tell me how you feel. Sarah should have been killed off and saved us all a lot of mercy. She probably should have been killed by Sharptooth in the first movie!

    This sequel could be enjoyable for some. Could be.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Fun way to learn about working together
    Even though words like "dumb" were used, this is a reality for children. It gives parents an opportunity to talk to children about how it feels to be called names and to be sensitive to others feelings. My kids love all the movies and pretend play the characters. They see what being a good friend is all about. I can refer back to the movie to make a point.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Warning, Warning! Not suitable for children!!!! 0 stars!
    "Hip" the young bully dinosaur refers to Littlefoot, Cera and the other young dinosaurs as big babies. He also uses the words stupid and dumb. This is very unfortunate for an otherwise wonderfully creative concept. I now find myself trying to explain to a 2 year old that these are unacceptable things to say.......

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great fun with Great morals!!
    My 3 1/2 year old son can not get enough of this whole series. He wants to watch them over and over. The stories & characters are fun and the songs are wonderful. The best part is they all have great lessons and messages for kids to learn. They are all about caring and good morals without preaching to the children. My son loves to talk about the story after watching them and doesn't even realize he has learned whatever message they were trying to get across. Kids seem to identify with the little dinosaurs and their relationships with the adults. A great video collection that makes both children and adults happy.

    5-0 out of 5 stars One of the best of this series.
    Excellent film, with interesting characters and well-chosen topics ... Read more

    16. Yellowbeard
    Director: Mel Damski
    list price: $20.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00000G00T
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 2979
    Average Customer Review: 4.69 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (72)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Nothing's as dangerous as a Yellowbeard....
    Why don't they make more pirate movies? Probably because the mold was broken after Yellowbeard. I mean, Cutthroat Island was funny, but I don't think they meant it to be. Graham Chapman stars as the scurvy dog himself, and his supporting cast is wonderful, including Pythons John Cleese and Eric Idle, Cheech Marin & Tommy Chong, Peter Boyle, Kenneth Mars, Susanna York, the late great James Mason, the late great Madeline Kahn, the late great Goon Spike Milligan, the late great Beyond The Fringe alum Peter Cook, the late Sir Michael Horndern, and finally, the late great Marty Feldman in his last role. Feldman died in Mayheeco before this was finished, hence the disjointed ending, but he was wonderful while he lasted. This sprang from the fertile & addled brain of Who drummer Keith Moon, who died before it was made. David Bowie was on vacation in Mexico in the same area while this was filmed, and makes an uncredited cameo. John Cleese is wonderful as Blind Pew (Cleese: "'oi 'ave acute 'earing." Idle- "I don't care about your jewelry"). James Mason is a hoot, playing it straight as a brutal English captain. Cheech & Chong are great, although I half expected to see them launch into their classic shtick of "Buggery On The High Seas". If your sense of humor is twisted, get this movie. If your SOH is just silly, get it too. If you miss Marty Feldman half as much as I do, then that means I miss him twice as much as you. There's also a "Making Of Yellowbeard" program out there. Keep your eyes peeled for it, too, it is worth it.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Wild and Crazy Pirate Movie!
    I'm a Monty Python fan and I also happen to like pirate movies so when this movie was shown unedited and commercial free on cable I taped it and just watched it the other day and though it's not my all time favorite pirate movie as a spoof of pirate movies it does have it's funny moments and three of my favorite Monty Python members, Graham Chapman, Eric Idle and John Cleese. The movie has a huge cast that also stars, Peter Boyle, Peter Cook, Madeline Kahn, James Mason, Marty Feldman, Martin Hewitt, Cheech and Chong and also look out for Bernard Fox who played Dr. Bombay in the classic television sitcom Bewitched. I wonder why this movie isn't on DVD yet. The station I taped the movie from played it in fullscreen and I would think that a movie like this had to have been filmed in widescreen so maybe a widescreen DVD will be available someday.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Okay but Not Great!
    I watched Yellowbeard recently and well it was basically a funny movie though there were some hits and misses with the humor and the rape jokes got tiresome after awhile!

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Unknown Sidesplitter
    The great groups of 20th century comedy are all here: Spike Milligan from The Goon Show, Peter Cook from Beyond the Fringe, Graham Chapman, Eric Idle, and John Cleese from Monty Python, Peter Boyle, Marty Feldman, Kenneth Marz, and Medeline Kahn from the Mel Brooks Art Players, Cheech and Chong -- plus British stalwarts like Michael Hordern and Peter Bull (in drag) -- plus James Mason in his rarely seen dry-as-dust comic mode -- plus an uncredited cameo by David Bowie. As a teenager, my daughter tested potential friends by showing them this movie and, if they loved it, they passed. A MUST for DVD.

    5-0 out of 5 stars One of the greatest of all time...
    For fans of the Python, this is one of the greatest movies of all time. You will be in tears the entire time. Let's just hope someday they remaster and re-release it on DVD ... Read more

    17. The Land Before Time V - The Mysterious Island
    Director: Charles Grosvenor
    list price: $14.98
    our price: $13.99
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    Asin: 0783221800
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 181
    Average Customer Review: 4.56 out of 5 stars
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    This fourth sequel in the series finds "leaf gobblers" eating all the vegetation in Great Valley, driving Littlefoot, the young brontosaurus, and the other dinosaur inhabitants out. Arguments break out among the adults during migration, and Littlefoot and his friends decide to take matters in their own hands by crossing the "big water" to an unknown island. There they meet an old friend from The Land Before Time II--Chomper, the T-rex, who has to protect the gang from his own, carnivorous parents. Plenty of drama in this one, and as the series has been wont to do from the beginning, it shows adults as sometimes being less than perfect. --Tom Keogh ... Read more

    Reviews (9)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Very cute little movie
    For every Land Before Time video I buy, it seems to appeal to me every time, and this one is no exception. In this film, "swarming leaf gobblers" (grasshoppers) eat up all the food in the Great Valley. This means that all the dinosaurs will have to move. :( Soon, the grown-ups start fighting (again) about where they should go to find more food. Of course, Littlefoot and his friends try and solve the problem by setting of on another journey to find food themselves. And they find it, on an island. The rest of the story follows up with a "return of Chomper" part in it, a t-rex chase (of course), and "peace on dino earth" (a happy ending). Over-all, it's a cute movie that kids of all ages are sure to love.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Kids (of all ages) love this movie!
    My girls are 3 & 4 years old. My 3 year old asks to watch a movie from this series at least once every other day! This one has catchy tunes "Big Water" and "Friends for Dinner" that even my husband and I sing along with! My husband & I don't mind watching this one with the girls, it's entertaining! It teaches kids how to work together...and a few other life lessons. It's a keeper! I recommend it, and all of the movies in this series.

    4-0 out of 5 stars A tasty animated delight
    I was introduced to "The Land Before Time V: The Mysterious Island" by my 5-year old nephew, and it's one of our favorite films to watch together. This animated tale, the fifth in the series, takes the viewer on an adventure with Littlefoot and his mixed-species group of young dinosaur friends. Separated from their parents after an invasion by locusts, Littlefoot and pals wind up on the "mysterious island" of the title, where they are re-united with the friendly little Tyrannosaur named Chomper. The story concerns the young dinos' effort to survive dangers and to find their way back to their families.

    "LBT5" has likeable characters, fun songs (especially the catchy "Friends for Dinner"), and some good humorous moments.

    I felt that the movie's one weak link was its unsettling portrayal of relations between predator and prey species. Granted, this is a fantasy about talking dinosaurs, but it's still unnerving to know that Chomper and his family eat members of the other characters' species. The film's attempts to mine humor out of this grisly situation (thankfully, no successful predation occurs in the film) left me uneasy. (You may get the same queasy feeling from the way the same theme is addressed in "The Lion King"). This aspect of the film didn't bother my nephew at all, but it left me wondering if the filmmakers were unconsciously putting messages about social Darwinism into the film.

    Oh, well--I may be reading too much into a kid film. Bottom line: LBT5 is good fun, as long as the adults in the family don't think too much about the film.

    5-0 out of 5 stars 3-year old review
    My three-year-old daughter loves this movie. She repeatly watches it and even sings along with all of the songs. I sometimes even find my nine-year-old son watching the movie with her. We all love this movie because it teaches morals and lessons to the children without lecturing them. This is an overall wonderful movie and my daughter and I would recommend it to everyone, but I still think the 1st movie is the best of them all.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Prodigious! Amazing! But...
    Prodigious! Amazing! But some songs always make me cry like "Always There." It always makes me cry. In that song, LittleFoot and his friends reflect on their parents. Hinting from the first movie when LittleFoot reflects about his mother. I have seen all 6 movies and I like all of them except the first one. It's the saddest of them all. When I mean sad, I mean crying sad. Once I saw that movie, BAM! The waterworks were on! I want a seventh movie! My little brother imagines that the last movie will be when the asteroid hits the earth and sometime cavemen come! He has a nice imagination. The land before time is appearing in commercials. Hinting on the next movie... ... Read more

    18. The Land Before Time VI - The Secret of Saurus Rock
    Director: Charles Grosvenor
    list price: $14.98
    our price: $13.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0783223234
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 214
    Average Customer Review: 3.73 out of 5 stars
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    Ten years and six films (most released straight to video) have madethese pluckydinosaurs favorites among the younger set. This new adventure is, well, prettymuch like all theothers. Littlefoot hears the story of a legendary dinosaur that defended theland years before and ispraised by the mysterious land form known as Saurus Rock. When a strangebrontosaurus namedDoc wanders through town, Littlefoot is convinced he is the legend. Same oldfare: earthshakes,mean old "sharptooths" (T-Rexes), lots of screaming, and a lesson learned. Onlythree songs. Thebiggest surprise is Kris Kristofferson as the voice of Doc. --Doug Thomas ... Read more

    Reviews (15)

    5-0 out of 5 stars One of my daughter's favorite movies...
    My daughter Elise -- now 3 1/2 years old -- loves this movie. It's often the movie she picks to watch just before bedtime. She loves the characters...Little Foot, Sarah, the Twins, Spike, Ducky...and I have to admit I'm starting to like them too.

    We have about 5 movies in the Land Before Time series, but this is perhaps the best of all. There's Doc, an old Long Neck, who is a great character.

    The songs are great should see my daughter sing "The Lone Dinosaur". She loves the song, although she thinks it's the "long" dinosaur. I've tried to tell here it's the "lone" dinosaur, but she won't listen to me!

    This is a good one.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Perfect for little boys ages 3-6
    Okay, if you have small boys like me. This dvd, actually-- the whole Land Before Time series is what you will want for rainy-indoor days. My boys absolutley love all the characters & sings along to the songs.. "..he's the.. LONE DINOSAUR.., dinosaur, whenever you may need him.."

    5-0 out of 5 stars What an Adventure!
    Yet another winner from The Land Before Time series! This is no different from all of the others in that your kids will love it! As in all, the young ones go on an adventure that makes them work together & count on each other for safety. I haven't met a kid yet that doesn't sit through the whole movie from beginning to end - singing as they go! Worth the money!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Our children loved it!
    My youngest daughter just received this for her 5th birthday. Both my 5 year old and my 6 1/2 year old love this movie. They currently own five of the LBT dvd's and want the remaining ones.

    They also own the original, The Big Freeze, Journey to Big Water, and The Mysterious Island. They love all of them. However, my youngest likes the original the best and my oldest likes the Stone of Cold Fire the best (which we have only rented and have to still purchase). The Secret of Saurus Rock is their second favorite, but they just received it so it could still just be that its new!

    2-0 out of 5 stars Sorry to rain on the children's parade
    Children's videos and stories don't have to be this dumbed-down. As the editorial review says, this story is much like the others - and that's my big problem with the whole series.

    Sarah screams as often in this movie as she does in the first one. Spike still can't talk (except when he's particularly moved, say, by the thought of losing a friend). Ducky is still helpless, and hasn't advanced with her speech pathology therapy. I don't have the sense that the characters learn anything they don't know when they start; these characters don't develop. Come on, doesn't Little Foot ever get testy with his grandpa when he has flashbacks of his mother dying?

    The contrast with Disney movies is tremendous. Not only are the Disney songs listenable (I can't believe an adult can listen to "The Lone Dinosaur" and not cringe), but the characters there *learn* something during their adventure. This is probably why Disney movies don't lend themselves to good sequels - the character's development is all played out in the original movie, so what more does Simba or Ariel have to learn? Here, the sequels are naturals, because all the characters stay the same.

    Perhaps this is comforting for young folks, but I don't think so. I asked my six-year-old whether she liked these movies as much as Lion King or Lilo and Stitch; she said no, she found them boring.

    Another quibble with this movie: there is a dumb (I can't think of a better word) subplot about "bad luck." Did Doc bring "Bad Luck" to the Great Valley? Do you believe in "Bad Luck?" What if "Bad Luck" really exists? I've seen the movie several times, and I have no idea what this subplot is supposed to be teaching children, except that sometimes Stephen Spielberg funds movies that raise nonsensical questions. ... Read more

    19. Pride and Prejudice
    Director: Robert Z. Leonard
    list price: $14.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B000056BRD
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 6977
    Average Customer Review: 3.62 out of 5 stars
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    Jane Austen's classic novel about the prejudice that occurred between the 19th century classes and the pride which would keep lovers apart. ... Read more

    Reviews (84)

    3-0 out of 5 stars Miscast Elizabeth
    Greer Garson stars as Elizabeth Bennet in this 1940 version of Pride and Prejudice. She plays the clever and witty eldest of five daughters, who are all looking for rich husbands. Lawrence Olivier plays Mr. Darcy, a suitably wealthy prospect, however he is too arrogant for Elizabeth's liking. The story follows the two as they tease and rebuff, only to end happily with their engagement, as we always knew it would.

    Being such an old film, the quality of the picture and sound were poor. Even so, they were better than the outrageous casting of Greer Garson as the lead. She was much too old to play Elizabeth, and was utterly unconvincing. Two of her sisters were played by Anne Rutherford and Maureen Sullivan. They were both excellent and would have done better in the lead. Olivier was wonderfully snooty as the aristocratic Mr. Darcy.

    The other major weakness with the film was the costume design. The ladies' gowns and men's suits looked like they were borrowed from the set of Gone With the Wind. The dresses were full and puffy, not at all like the delicate and low-cut gowns of the early 1800s in England.

    There were no exterior shots of the grand houses; rather we saw only small rooms with very ordinary furnishings. The photography was drab, even considering the age of the film.

    The screenplay was co-written by the famous Aldous Huxley, who, it seems, had no knack for reproducing Austen's glorious dialogue. All in all, I found this film an acceptable introduction to Jane Austen's classic book, but not deeply satisfying or beautiful.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful movie of a timeless novel
    This version of Pride and Prejudice first got me interested in Jane Austen. Though it may not be the most acurate version of the famous novel, it is very funny and all of the characters are played well. Lawrence Olivier IS Mr. Darcy, and Greer Garson shines as Lizzy, despite her age difference to the character.

    2-0 out of 5 stars An inferior adaptation of a great book
    There are three film versions of Jane Austen's immortal "Pride and Prejudice" extant, and this one, the first, is by far the weakest. It would be hard to tamper with the great story, which is so well known as to need no rehashing here; but although the film tries to follow the story, Aldous Huxley proved incapable of incorporating Austen's incomparable dialogue into the film script, as the two later versions were able to do with remarkable success. There are other, more egregious shortcomings, in this film, which are:

    1) Casting Greer Garson as Elizabeth Bennet. Whoever had this idea should have been put in the stocks and pelted with water balloons. Elizabeth Bennet is 20 years old in the book, and Greer Garson, on the wrong side of 35, looks absolutely ridiculous trying to play a young ingenue. Who was she kidding? She doesn't even look like Austen's description of Elizabeth. Vivien Leigh might have made a great Elizabeth, if she wasn't already fixed in the public mind as Scarlett O'Hara. Which brings us to:

    2) The 1860-ish costumes. Were they trying to move the timeline up? Somebody should have told the costume department that Longbourn and Tara were six thousand miles and sixty years apart. "Pride and Prejudice" was set sometime between 1790 and 1810 (Austen's biographers are in disagreement as to the exact date), but the costumes in this first version of "Pride and Prejudice looked like leftovers from the set of "Gone With the Wind". A big no-no.

    3) The casting of Lawrence Olivier as Darcy was a mistake. Austen describes Darcy as being tall and handsome. Olivier was handsome but he didn't look much taller than Garson. Or maybe Garson was too tall. Whatever... it was a total mismatch.

    4) The whole scene at Pemberley, which is central to the book, was eliminated. So how did Elizabeth's one-eighty from loathing to love take place? The movie doesn't say and we're left totally unconvinced.

    It is a truth universally acknowledged that "Pride and Prejudice" is one of the best-loved books in English literature. It certainly deserved a better film adaptation than this one. Fortunately it has not one, but two: the BBC version of 1985 starring Elizabeth Garvie and David Rintoul (my personal favorite), and the A&E film of 1995 starring Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth. Watch either or both of these after seeing the Garson/Olivier movie, to see what a good film adaptation of a great book really is.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Worst Adaptation!
    This film was the worst adaptation of Jane Austen's famous novel that I have ever seen in my life. It is not really true to the novel, the costumes are ridiculous looking, not to mention that they do not match the kind of clothing that was worn in Austen's time. They hardly ever use the famous words and/or phrases from the book, only once or twice but they are somewhat changed. Granted I think Laurence Olivier made a great Darcy if he was more like Darcy is suppose to be, instead his version of him was more perky and uppity than nonchalant and melancholy and a little arrogant, which to me is what Darcy is actually like. If you want to see the greatest adaptation of Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice" ever made then check out the BBC and A&E production starring Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle, I guarantee you'll watch it all the way through with a satisfied and happy smile on your face.

    2-0 out of 5 stars It is a truth universally acknowledged that this movie is
    Misleading, to say the least.

    I saw this movie last week on Turner Classic Movie channel, expecting to see a nice little 40's style rendition of that book we oh-so dearly enjoy.

    What a silly movie.

    Granted, I'm sure making a two hour movie out of the novel is difficult, but if you were to take a high school test on Pride and Prejudice after seeing this movie instead of reading the book, you would fail miserably.

    The dresses were too elaborate. Mary is way too pretty. Greer is too blonde to play Elizabeth, where are those dark "fine eyes"? Darcy grossed me out. I don't even remember Bingley or Jane, and Elizabeth's transition from hating to loving Darcy goes a little something like this (paraphrased, of course):

    Elizabeth: "Oh, how I miss Mr. Darcy"
    Jane: "What? I thought you hated him?"
    Elizabeth : "Well now, quite suddenly I love him!"

    This is without the reunion at Pemberly. Its rushed, to say the least.

    I did like Lydia, and there is a lovely, albeit irrelevant scene where Mrs. Bennet and the girls Mrs. Lucas and Charlotte (who is much too pretty in this adaptation) are racing neck and neck via carriage to get to Netherfield to meet the eligible men.

    And the slightly amusing part where Mr. Bingley is talking about what's wrong with Jane when she's sick. That was just weird. Trés 40's, no?

    Mr and Mrs Bennet are enjoyable characters, but I imagine that it would be difficult to screw up those well-written characters in any cinematic endeavor.

    And the part with Lady Catherine acting as a "secret agent" for Darcy. What the hell.

    Ugh. This movie is slightly amusing, if it was 5 hours of nonsense I would give it one star, but since its only 2 hours you might as well watch it if you feel so inclined.

    But read the book and check out the 1995 BBC production one, too. ... Read more

    20. Red River
    Director: Howard Hawks
    list price: $9.94
    our price: $9.94
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    Asin: 6304429754
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 272
    Average Customer Review: 4.66 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan essential video

    Talk about epic grandeur! This magnificently photographed account of the first cattle drive on the Chisholm Trail has everything you could ever want in a western: gunfights, stampedes, Indian attacks, hangings, betrayal, revenge, romance, glorious scenery, and a towering performance by John Wayne that prefigured his definitive portrayal of the bitter Ethan Edwards in John Ford's The Searchers eight years later. Tom Dunson (Wayne) adopts a young boy, Matt (brilliantly played as an adult by Montgomery Clift), whose family has been massacred by Indians. Years later, after Dunson has become a successful rancher, mentor and protege have an acrimonious falling out during a grueling cattle drive and go their separate ways, with Dunson vowing to kill Matt. Red River is a true classic and unquestionably one of the greatest westerns of all time. --Jim Emerson ... Read more

    Reviews (41)

    5-0 out of 5 stars THE cattle-drive movie
    Having weighed-in on _The Culpepper Cattle Company_, I have to genuflect at the altar of THE cattle-drive movie-- _Red River_.

    This film pre-dates _The Searchers_ by about eight years. The lead character, Tom Dunson, is a sort of prototype for Ethan Edwards. This is John Wayne without sentiment or schmaltz, until the final scene which differs from the story on which the film is based, and which jars a bit.

    That being said, _Red River_ still stands as the definitive cattle-drive movie. Wayne/Dunson builds an empire but then must head the herd north on a drive that simply _has_ to get through-- despite conflicts with nature, rustlers, Indians, and between Dunson and his men, including his adopted son, Matthew Garth.

    Wayne is cast against his own stereotype as Dunson and comes across as a hard and unlikeable character. Walter Brennan as his sidekick, Groot, nearly steals the show just as he did (again) in Hawk's _Rio Bravo_. Montgomery Clift does a passable job as Matthew Garth, but is outclassed by John Ireland as Cherry Valance, the gunfighter turned cowhand.

    The rest of the cast is outstanding. You need only look at the cast list to appreciate the fine ensemble company that Howard Hawks put together for this movie. This is also on of Dimitri Tiomkin's finest musical scores.

    Finally, I agree with Maltin on this point: beware edited and abridged copies of this film. Anything less than a 133 minute running time should not be bothered with.

    "Take `em to Missouri, Matt!"

    3-0 out of 5 stars A Flawed Western
    For an hour and 20 minutes or so, Red River is a great western (even with such embarrassing moments such as Wayne killing the Indian and discovering the bracelet he had given his girl, the stuttering cowboy who is killed in the stampede, etc.). It boasts a stunning Dimitri Tiomkin score, terrific B&W photography by Russell Harlan, a wonderful performance from Montgomery Clift, a powerful (if typically one-note) performance from John Wayne ... and then Joanne Dru enters the story and it basically falls apart from this point on. She is so completely incompetent that she manages to almost sink the film! Her dialogue is, admittedly, terrible (Hawks bragged that he wrote most of it!), but her line readings are so terrible that it just makes the awkward dialogue even more awkward. The ending is absurd, a complete build-up to a deadly collision and it ends up a rather weak fist-fight. Perhaps, had Wayne's performance included emotional shadings, the ending might have worked, but since he is so one-note hard and uncompromising throughout, not for one moment do I believe the final sequence. In the original Borden Chase novel, the character dies at the end. It should have happened here, also (same major flaw in Wayne's The Searchers, too). On top of which, the John Ireland character is built up as a major challenge to Montgomery Clift, but this is simply dropped halfway through. Indeed, the Ireland character is allowed to fizzle out. The auteur theory is what keeps critics from analysing this film from a more objective viewpoint. But it is very watchable and its strengths certainly outnumber its weaknesses.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Black and white sensation!
    John Wayne's Red River is one of the most exciting and classical westerns of our century. So, if somebody hates black and white, screw them, it's their problem. Don't even review the product, genius! Alongside The Searchers, this is one of the Duke's landmark films. Also, John Wayne was our ultimate hero, prevailing in every gunfight and every story. His acting AND his strength certainly prevail here. Also filled with action packed gunfights and suspenseful scenes. The ending is fine.
    The DVD transfer is nothing special, and somewhat grainy at times. MGM DVDS are not known to be the best DVD makers on the market. To shape up this classic western, expect a Criterion Collection re release and enjoy!

    5-0 out of 5 stars An American Treasure
    In the rich history of American film, this piece of work by Howard Hawks makes the short list. It has been used as a template for any filmmaker wishing to make a Western, and further, it is one of those rare pieces of culture by which a society defines itself. If you needed to demonstrate to a foreigner what the American character is all about, you could show them this movie.

    As a Western, it certainly has it all: cowboys killing Indians, men leaving women for the call of the trail, gunfights, stampedes, love, betrayal, and finally redemption. It is also gorgeously filmed, beautifully written, and well acted throughout. And finally, it stars John Wayne, an actor that towers over today's crop of male actors like an oak over weeping willows.

    This film also stars Montgomery Clift as the surrogate son that eventually challenges Wayne for control of the drive. In terms of acting styles, Clift and Wayne were about as different as two actors could be: Wayne seemed always to act on instinct and charisma, while Clift was one of the young Turks through the 40's and 50's, a proponent of a new style of acting - the method developed by Lee Strasburg (one can easily imagine Wayne giving his crooked sarcastic grin over the very idea of a "school" where young people learn acting). Yet, casting these two together works. By all reports, the two hated each other at the beginning of the production, but had developed an actor's respect for one another by the end of filming. Wayne, after watching Clift in one of his scenes, was quoted as saying something like "damn, that little queer sure can act."

    John Wayne, for his part, goes toe-to-toe with the new school of internal acting and more than holds his own. His portrayal of a powerful, unbending man who slowly descends into bitterness and hate is a real treat to watch. His performance was, to use a phrase Wayne would have hated, multi-layered and very, very skillful.

    Other performances to watch: the ever-faithful Walter Brennan, one of the greatest character actors of all time, is perfect as Wayne's partner/friend. It is in watching Brennan's reaction to Wayne's increasing dementia that we see how far off track he's gone. John Ireland also is a standout as Cherry Valance, the pistoleer, who is full of casual grace and menace. As if all the above wasn't enough, the great Harry Carey is onboard briefly as Mr. Melville, radiating authority.

    Every film lover should own this film and watch it at least once annually.

    Every American should treasure it as a source of national pride.

    One note: this is one film that simply demands a better DVD treatment. The picture and sound isn't bad, but it isn't widescreen, and there are absolutely no special features. C'mon, Criterion Collections, where are you? --Mykal

    4-0 out of 5 stars Mutiny on the plains
    Howard Hawks' 1948 RED RIVER is an ambitious, sprawling, epic western. It's on a number of top-100 lists, and it belongs there.
    The movie tells the story of cattle rancher Tom Dunson and the first drive along the fabled Chisholm Trail. It's based on Borden Chase's "The Chisholm Trail"
    The movie hits the ground running. Within the first five minutes there's a romantic leave taking, an indian attack and a burning wagon train. The romantic parting of Dunson (John Wayne) and his intended is a key incident in the development of this bitter and hard-driven character. Dunson and Groot Nadine (Walter Brennan), who left the wagon train with Dunson, are joined by a survivor of the massacre, Matt Garth - who, fourteen years later, will become the quick-drawing Montgomery Clift. The shocked boy is leading a cow, Dunson and Groot have a surviving bull, and with this bovine first couple they make for the open land south of the Red River.
    Fast forward 14 years and Dunson has 10,000 head of cattle and a depressed, post-Civil War southern economy that can't afford to buy them. They must drive them to Missouri and sell them to the more prosperous northerners or face ruin. During that drive Dunson descends to near insanity and Matt ascends as a moderating influence and, apparently, becomes the only one who can successfully lead the men and cattle to market. Without giving too much away, something happens on the drive that will drastically change Dunson's and Matt's relationship and jeopardize both of their lives.
    It's pretty heavy stuff, and John Wayne is rock solid great as the troubled Dunson. This is one of the greatest roles in the career of a sometimes under-rated actor. Montgomery Clift is fine in his screen debut.
    Walter Brennan's Groot is a marvel. That guy was such a good actor. Like all good sidekicks, and Brennan was the best, Groot is part court jester and part moral barometer. It helps that he plays most of the movie without his upper teeth in, too. Brennan was always better when his mouth was half empty.
    There are some images that will stick with you for a while. Thousands of cattle crossing the Red River, a midnight stampede with a couple of hair-raising rescues. And there's a neat little bit with an angry John Wayne striding down a long street crowded with cattle - Wayne doesn't break stride, of course, and the cattle move out of his way like a longhorn Red Sea parting for an angry Moses.
    For the most part the script is well written, and there's enough amusing scenes (usually including Brennan) to keep the whole thing from collapsing under it's own weight.
    For instance, when Dunson and Matt are deciding who's to go along on the drive, Dunson excludes Groot (bum leg.) Groot mutters to himself like a live-action Popeye while Dunson and Matt continue their conversation. A distracted and exasperated Dunson finally says:
    Dunson: What are you saying? I can't understand you. Where's your store teeth Matt bought you?
    Groot: They're in my pocket.
    Dunson: Well, why don't you use them?
    Groot: 'Cause they whistle. I use them for eating.

    Then there's the Joanne Dru character, Tess Millay. It doesn't help that her first appearance occurs in the third scene. One hour and forty-one minutes into the 2:20 movie, by my clock. My guess is the scriptwriters didn't want to clutter up the action with a romantic subplot until absolutely necessary. Fair enough, but it means that Millay's and Matt's romance has to be telescoped severely. Basically they meet, fall in love, and part in a day. It stretches an audience some. Worse, Dru as an actress simply wasn't right for the part.
    One of her character traits, as written, is to talk and keep on talking when something worries or frightens her. She does this to negligible effect. It's a role that seemed to have been custom written for Jean Arthur, who always could blabber on to good effect, who could always drop her voice down to a husky purr or have it emit an abrupt squeak for maximum dramatic effect. Unfortunately Arthur was nearly fifty when this movie was made, so I guess casting her as a romantic lead opposite the young Clift would have, uh, added an strange and unwelcome dimension to the movie. Dru, in one of her earliest roles, just doesn't have the chops to carry off the role convincingly. All things considered, I think this piece of miscasting is more Hawks' fault that anyone elses. Anyway, I shaved a point off because of it.
    I don't normally notice bad transfers, but there are a few dark night scenes in RED RIVER that look like someone lit a Fourth of July sparkler. And, less forgivable, my new factory-sealed-from-a-reputable-national-outlet retailer did NOT contain the advertised four page booklet. Finally, I've played the movie twice so far, and each time the start up menu screen doesn't appear until AFTER the movie is over. ... Read more

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