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    $12.95 list($14.95)
    1. The Shoes of the Fisherman
    $12.77 list($22.99)
    2. Toy Story 2
    $11.03 $8.68 list($12.98)
    3. Star Wars - Episode II, Attack
    $18.70 list($22.99)
    4. Toy Story
    $17.99 $13.97 list($19.95)
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    14. The Sound of Music
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    20. Becket

    1. The Shoes of the Fisherman
    Director: Michael Anderson
    list price: $14.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00003OSTW
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 4240
    Average Customer Review: 4.62 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Description

    All eyes are focused on the Vatican, hoping to see the traditional puffs of white smoke that signal the selection of the next Pope. But this time, much more is at stake. The new pontiff may be the only person who can bring peace to a world hovering on the edge of nuclear nightmare. Year: 1968 Director: Michael Anderson Starring: Anthony Quinn, Oskar Werner, David Janssen, Vittorio De Sica, Leo McKern, Sir John Gielgud ... Read more

    Reviews (16)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great movie
    Really interesting movie about the papacy, inner Vatican turmoil, philosophical aspects of Christianity, and maintaining your principles in a morally complex, often violent world. That might sound off-putting, but it's anchored by exceptionally strong, moving performances by the late Anthony Quinn, Leo Mckern, Oskar Werner, and others. Kind of old-school Hollywood, with bittersweet rewards--it's pleasing in the manner of 'Inn of the Sixth Happiness' or 'Ben Hur.' It looks and acts like a movie made in the late 60's, but that's a definite plus in my view. Leonard Maltin's review is unnecessarily harsh--he must have been having a bad day. Or sore at the pope or something. Don't let it deter you from enjoying a very colorful, well-acted, thoughtful and old-fashioned movie.

    4-0 out of 5 stars The Authenic Christian Revolution of a Russian Pope
    This 1968 film, based on Morris West's novel, has Anthony Quinn as Kiril Lakota, released after twenty years in a Siberian work camp to become a Cardinal and then Pope at a time when the Soviet Union and a starving People's Republic of China are about to go to war. The idea that the first non-Italian pope in centuries would be from a Communist country certainly seems prophetic today. Lakota is released by the Soviet Premier (Laurence Olivier), who is taking a chance that a sympathetic Vatican might tip the balance towards peace. Lakota emerges from imprisonment as something of a saint, admired by the Elder Pope (John Gielgud) for having refused to deny the faith even when seven priests were brought before him and shot.

    Although the obvious comparison is to John Paul II, Quinn's pontiff is actually more like John Paul I, who was considered a "pastoral" Pope, capable of relating to the people more on the level of a parish priest. When he is elected and has to change into his papal robes, he introduces himself to his new valet saying simply,"I am Kiril Lakota." The politically charged atmosphere is a bit melodramatic, but the strength of this film is in its portrait of the inner workings of the Vatican where both politics and personalities come into play. My favorite scene is when the college of Cardinals are deadlocked, repeated votes having been "insufficient for election," and one of the elder statesmen of the church stands up to declare his belief that God has sent them the man intended to be the next Pope. With growing horror, Lakota watches as the momentum builds for his stunning election (Now if somebody could just explain to me, when reporter David Janssen announces "They have elected a Russian Pope" is the word "Russia" an adjective or a noun in that sentence? This has been driving me crazy for other 30 years).

    Of the two subplots the romantic estrangement of Dan Janssen, the reporter covering the Vatican and his doctor wife, Barbara Jefford, is trivial soap opera nonsense, although it does lead to a nice scene where the Pope sneaks out of the Vatican disguised as an ordinary priest. The doctor sends him to the pharmacy for medicine and is stunned when he returns and is able to do prayers in Hebrew over the dying man. The other, with Oskar Werner as Father David Telemond, is much more provocative and provides an interesting counter-point to the main story line. Telemond has written several books, none of them published, dealing with what he calls the "Cosmic Christ." A Pontifical Commission is investigating his writings as being heretical. Certainly there is a sense in which this film, in the wake of the Vatican II Council, was trying to confront the Catholic Church with certain issues. Ultimately "The Shoes of the Fisherman" is a much more subversive film than "The Last Temptation of Christ."

    Quinn's dignified performance holds "The Shoes of the Fisherman" together, aided by Leo McKern and Vittorio De Sica as a pair of Cardinals seated high in the Church hierarchy. This is not a great film by any means, but it is certainly thoughtful even without the provocative final scene in which the new pope proposes to actually implement "the authentic Christian revolution: work for all, bread for all, dignity for all men." Certainly it treats it characters and its subject matter with great seriousness. Michael Anderson's direction is hampered by the film's 157 minute length, but it is still worth the viewing.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Quinn and Werner make this a winner
    This epic film has a few bumpy moments, but overall, it's vastly entertaining, with its fascinating cast, interesting premise, excellent cinematography and art direction.
    Anthony Quinn is fabulous as the Russian Pope. It's a powerful portrayal, and not the type of role one would normally associate with him. Oskar Werner, in a part based on Teilhard de Chardin, is absolutely superb.

    Other notable performances come from Laurence Olivier (as the Soviet Premier), John Gielgud (former Pope), Leo McKern and Vittorio de Sica (Cardinals), and Arnoldo Foa (the Pope's valet).
    The part of a journalist (David Janssen), is used as a narrator, to move the plot along, and explain certain Vatican procedures, like how a new Pope is elected. I only wish less time had been spent on his petty romantic problems...the film feels more like an "Airport" movie while these scenes are taking place.

    This is a sprawling 60's Hollywood treatment of Morris West's best seller, and I think it succeeds. It's thought-provoking, good for several viewings, and Quinn and Werner are riveting.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Movie Every Religious Person Should See
    This movie was great and I am not a Catholic, I am a Protestant minister. Even though this was just a novel and pure fiction, I learned more about the inner workings of the Catholic Church than I had ever learned from my years of reading about all the "Bad Things" in the history of the Catholic Church. Protestant history, and no other religion's history is "pure white" either. I'm talking about such things and the Inquisition burnings at the stake, and other hedious torture methods that only a feind from hell could think of.

    See this movie, meditate on it, and realize the horrendous impack all religions have on Planet Earth for both good and bad. It has been said that if you know only one religion, you really don't know much about any religion--- I agree!

    See the struggle in the Church to know God, to understand God's will, to choose its leaders, to be loyal to its leaders, to reach conclusion about all moral, ethical, and social questions. All religions go thru this same process to one degree or another, even your local church. Compare your Minister and the problems in your Church to the the problems of the Pope and the Catholic Church. They are not really all that different. We all have a duty and a tremendous responsibility resting on our shoulders.. We must try to understand each other, love one another, forgive one another, pray for each other, and work together in every way possible......

    .....If we will do this then we can help Planet Earth and its people take a "Quantum Leap" up and forward in spiritual consciousness and awareness - where The Word(or Love) becomes Flesh in us - which will usher in a New Day, a New Level of the Kingdom Of God On Earth, that is beyond words to describe. Planet Earth People, are you with me, will you join me in this glorious effort? We all have a Divine Mission and Destiny to fulfill while on Planet Earth. Ken Pamplin, 4504 N.W. 11th Street, Oklahoma City, OK 73127

    5-0 out of 5 stars Favorite Movie
    This film is inspirational. The scene where the new Pope is proclaimed, against his wishes, he only wants a humble servent life is excellant. To watch Anthony Quinn's expression change when he hears that the Cardinals are talking of him is a classic. lso, his roaming the streets of Rome in a black cassock shows is humanity, wanting to get to know his flock. I think is conseling David Jansen's wife is important. ... Read more


    2. Toy Story 2
    Director: Lee Unkrich, John Lasseter, Ash Brannon
    list price: $22.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00003CX7L
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 28
    Average Customer Review: 4.85 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Amazon.com

    John Lasseter and his gang of high-tech creators at Pixar create another entertainment for the ages. Like the few great movie sequels, Toy Story 2 comments on why the first one was so wonderful while finding a fresh angle worthy of a new film. The craze of toy collecting becomes the focus here, as we find out Woody (voiced by Tom Hanks) is not only a beloved toy to Andy but also a rare doll from a popular '60s children's show. When a greedy collector takes Woody, Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen) launches a rescue mission with Andy's other toys. To say more would be a crime because this is one of the most creative and smile-inducing films since, well, the first Toy Story.

    Although the toys look the same as in the 1994 feature, Pixar shows how much technology has advanced: the human characters look more human, backgrounds are superior, and two action sequences that book-end the film are dazzling. And it's a hoot for kids and adults. The film is packed with spoofs, easily accessible in-jokes, and inspired voice casting (with newcomer Joan Cusack especially a delight as Cowgirl Jessie). But as the Pixar canon of films illustrates, the filmmakers are storytellers first. Woody's heart-tugging predicament can easily be translated into the eternal debate of living a good life versus livingforever. Toy Story 2 also achieved something in the U.S. two other outstanding 1999 animated features (The Iron Giant, Princess Mononoke) could not: it became a huge box-office hit. --Doug Thomas ... Read more

    Reviews (453)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Toy Story 2 Is Better Then the Original!
    I had expected a dull child's cartoon with a meaningless plot and dull characters...wow was I ever wrong! Toy Story 2 is funny, exciting, dramatic, and very entertaining! This time around, Woody is stolen by a greedy toy collector...why? Because it turns out that Woody is a valuable doll from the 1950's when he had his own popular TV show! As Buzz and the rest of the toys frantically try to find a way to rescue Woody, our cow-boy hero meets other toys just like him---Jesse the cow-girl, the Prospector, and Woody's hillarious horse. And all this time Woody starts to wonder if maybe he's found his rightful home...or has he? The animation is tops, the plot is engrossing, and the movie is excellent! If you think an animated feauture is just a bunch of interesting graphics then you're wrong! This is a heart-warming and wonderful family film.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Toys
    Toy Story (1995, 80 minutes, Dolby Digital Surround; Audio Commentary, Interviews) As 6-year-old Andy's favorite toy, Woody (Tom Hanks), a take-charge, pull-string cowboy, is confident in his role as room leader. But after Andy's birthday party, newcomer Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen), a flashy space ranger with laser action and pop-out wings, crash-lands into Woody's world.

    Buzz instantly wins the admiration of Andy's other toys, igniting a rivalry that lands the duo inside the home of Sid - the toy-torturing boy next door. To escape Sid's evil plans, Woody and Buzz must work together and realize they've got the perfect friend...in each other!

    Toy Story 2 (1999, 94 minutes, Dolby Digital 5.l Surround EX; Audio Commentary, Sep. Film Score Audio Track, Outakes) Andy goes to summer camp and the toys face a new crisis: Woody turns out to be a valuable collectible, and is kidnapped by an evil toy collector. It's now up to Buzz and the gang to find a way to save him.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Five stars for the movies, one star for Disney
    Why must they stick to this archaic way of releasing their movies on video/DVD? I could understand discontinuing collector's or limited editions, but why discontinue entire movies? Well we all know the answer, I just hate to be jerked around like this. Disney is the largest movie company in the world but our enjoyment of their films is based around their idiotic release/discontinue schedule.
    Well, with that unpleasantness out of the way, I must say Toy Story 2 is my favorite animated movie of all time and the Toy Story series is my favorite animated series (if you think about it, though, that's not saying a lot). Let's just do this in the order they came out.
    Toy Story blew my mind, because the things they did in that movie (the first in particular) were so like me when I was a kid (at that age). Toy Story is sure enough my second favorite animated movie ever. It's funny, and colorful, and touching. I think all good kid's movies should have a sense of wonder, or delight, and it shouldn't be in either a cynical or naive way. They should show wonder in a way that can be found in the real world, which is a balance hard to find. The original Toy Story has all kinds of wonder and awe, both in positive and negative ways (some kids could be afraid of Sid but I bet they won't be able to stop looking at him). It's about finding your place in life, and what to do with what you've got. When Buzz happens upon a commercial for himself and then tries to fly through the window-well that is one of the most touching scenes in any movie I've seen. And the whole ending sequence is beautiful, from Buzz and Woody on the RC car going through traffic, or them being blasted from a rocket through the air. Not to mention it's filled with all kinds of toy-related jokes that any kid can relate to. I think it's safe to say it'll be looked back on like the very first full-length animated movie (it was Snow White, wasn't it?).
    Toy Story 2 is nearly flawless. It has one of the craziest openings for a movie ever, and I love the way it can find a way to have characters with all kinds of motives. Al is driven by his greed, the Prospector is jaded but just wants to be loved, Jessie hasn't given up hope yet so is overjoyed when she can find a way to confirm her hopefulness. The movie uses the toys as a metaphor for growing up and moving on: or not. You can aspire for your dreams or you can realize you're happy with what you've got. Toy Story 2 is/was the last movie Disney made with Pixar before they got too smug and self-indulgent. They realized they had the power to stir emotions and awe (they also realized they could make a ton of money), but instead of giving us a sweet movie like Toy Story, we got the self-congragulatory Monsters Inc, with its obvious conflicted main character, and instead of a great secondary character like the Prospector, we got Boo. Finding Nemo was a step in the right direction, but in my opinion doesn't have the heart of the Toy Story movies.
    I can actually think of one thing wrong with Toy Story 2, and that's that lame Sarah Mclachlan song. I'm not one of those people with a weird Randy Newman fascination, but his songs were so much better than that one Mclachlan song. I guess it's because the scene in which it's used is already so emotional, instead of Newman's weird but effective delivery we got Mclachlan hammering the point home with her yodeling. But I love that scene because it shows how the little girl grew up. Other than that, Toy Story 2 is great: funny and vibrant, even on my crusty old VHS tape.
    I wish I had these movies on DVD. They spark wonder in me at my age just like they did when I first saw them. They have plenty of in-jokes and such but also have a timeless quality (and a strong sense of innocence). Five stars for the both of them, the best animated series of all time.

    5-0 out of 5 stars It's Different.
    It's different from your average animated film. So was Toy Story part 1 but this one is better. The movie plotting is a lot better in this part. I give it five stars(I'd give it six if it was in my hands!)

    4-0 out of 5 stars The secret lives of toys
    Woody (Tom Hanks), who turns out to be a rare collectible, is stolen by an unscrupulous toy store owner and slated to be sold to a toy museum in Japan. Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen) and friends embark on a dangerous cross-town rescue mission. This is a very entertaining and perceptive film that remembers the guilt that a child can feel over outgrowing a favorite toy. Sammy the bear was my own constant companion when I was a young child. As I grew older, I sometimes felt a pang of shame when I would encounter him lying unloved and unplayed-with in the bottom of my old toy chest. I hope he's as philosophical and understanding about it as Woody is. As cheerful as this film is, it takes on an added dimension by honoring that first melancholy that a child feels upon outgrowing a formerly cherished plaything. The animation and voice talent are also top-notch. ... Read more


    3. Star Wars - Episode II, Attack of the Clones
    Director: George Lucas
    list price: $12.98
    our price: $11.03
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00006HBUG
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 135
    Average Customer Review: 3.38 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (1926)

    4-0 out of 5 stars The force is strong with this one.
    Star[]Wars! The series has come back into full swing with 'Attack of the Clones.' Everything that 'Phantom Menace' tried to be and more, we return to the rollicking space adventure that made the first three classics. Don't pay attention to the negitive reviews, aside from a little cheese covered romance the goods are delivered in great fashion. 'Attack..' is packed with extremely well lensed action set pieces that remind the viewer of the summer of 1980. The acting is decent and works for the material provided...I mean, this is Star Wars not Shakespere and lines are delivered with intended monotonality; lightsabers speak louder than words and emotion a Jedi does not crave. I found this film to be better than 'Return of the Jedi' due to its return to the swashbuckling action/adverture of the first two movies sans cute little talking kid friendly creatures that help generate mechandise sales for the toddler marketing target group. The special effects are outstanding of course, and the sound effects were really cool. The story was decent enough to get you to care what happens to the heroes and dislike the villians (finally, villians. That seemed to be missing from episode one save Darth Maul who was way underused). All around an excellent chapter in the saga and a great movie in itself. This film makes you look forward to the next installment and the man himself-Darth Vader. Thanks, George for reigniting the magic that was, and is, Star Wars.

    5-0 out of 5 stars the best of the star wars movies
    in this one,yoda fights.this is truly awesome.anakan is growing up.he goes to get his mom from slavery but shes been killed by these nasty little monsters.so he goes genocidal on them all.ben is tring to teach anakan but hes learning way faster than normal and is quite the showoff.the kids will like it.it is the last full length movie of the set.there is an animated short film after this part called clone wars.the last one is due out next summer.just anybody bwill like it.the chick is a young teen ans ends up being anakans girlfriend.i dont know what you heard but this is an all time great.the special effects are cool.this movie is a classic!

    2-0 out of 5 stars Big Trouble In Little Greece: Attack Of The Kung Fu Robots
    If I were a movie director and for some reason I decided to undertake the project of making the most grotesque parody and mockery ever made of the original Star Wars trilogy, I would do the following:

    First, I would open the movie where the main character of the movie -The Jedi- freefalls some 10,000 stories in a sprawling metropolis, all the while narrowly missing multitudes of careening hovercrafts which literally filled the sky, only to finally land safely inside one of them just in the nick of time, nanoseconds before he was about to slam into the ground.

    Secondly, I would include the most bland, personality-less, emotionally-uninspiring actors and actresses I could find. Also, I would incorporate pseudo-Greek cultural and archeological elements throughout the movie (which had no relevancy to the sci-fi theme of the movie) so as to confuse the viewer as to what planet...or planets the movie was taking place in...or what universe and epoch(s) for that matter. I'd include several pseudo-romantic scenes where there wasn't an iota of emotion or chemistry between the two love birds and whose forced, stimulated 'romantic scenes' seemed to serve no purpose, either.

    I would then attempt to completely destroy...annhilate the original Star Wars's sacred notion of the force -as being stimulated and channeled by spirituality and mind over matter- and any drama associated with it as well. MY notion would be that the measure of one's force can be determined by analyzing mitochondrial DNA samples to tally the number of antibodies present in the protoplasm.

    Next, I would blow away the concept of the original Star Wars's wimpy 2-jedi battle scenes with an epic magnitude-12 mega battle scene which consisted of 10,000 jedis and 100,000 jedi foes engaged in flipping-through the-air somersault kung fu moves that render the likes of "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" and all '70s special-effects-laden Chinese kung fu flics obsolete. You thought that Luke Skywalker jumping 10 feet out of a carbon freeze container was cool? Could Luke Skywalker stay airborne for 10 seconds all the while throwing barrages of backroundhouse kicks and punches? Screw that punchless Luke Skywalker single-blade lightsaber. Behold, I introduce the double-edged light saber which all jedis are equipped with. FULLY FUNCTIONAL AND OPERATIONAL. Only an elite and intelligent class of human being can be a jedi? Not anymore. Any living, crawling, oozing intelligence-devoid parasite, wingless bat or orc -of any gender-can be a jedi.

    Finally, I would end the movie with Kung Fu/Force-Master Yoda defeating the Master Evil Jedi with triple and quintuple cartwheel backroundhouse kicks and punches, while airborne, and lightning-fast Tae Kwan Do slaps and curled finger combinations that would put Jackie Chan to shame. The very last scene of the movie would end with the Evil Jedi Master becoming so angry, because of his defeat, that his head grew to the size of a large balloon, then exploded with the force of 20 grenades. Maybe I'd include that scene only in the UNCUT version.

    The result: The sci-fi sequel to "Big Trouble in Little China" -Big Trouble in Little Greece: Attack Of The Kung Fu Robots...or as some people may prefer to call it -Star Wars II: Attack Of The Clones.

    2-0 out of 5 stars My Take on Mr. Lucas
    OK, here's my rant. I'll keep it brief (unlike some other reviewers)

    Best Parts:
    1. Phantom Menace - Pod Race, Darth Maul
    2. Attack of the Clones - Yoda's lightsaber flight

    That's it. Everything else in these films is an utter joke. I could go on for many paragraphs, but I'll spare you. You gotta realize that there was a reason George didn't direct Empire or Jedi. He's an awful director. He has no ear for dialogue. The newer digital film process looks really awful. Only good ol' George could manage to waste the talents of Christopher Lee, Sam Jackson, Ewan McGregor, and Natalie Portman. And I think Hayden Christensen is the only other actor who possesses Keanu Reeves' atrocious wooden technique. His Anakin doesn't possess darkness, just stupidity. I hope Lucas gets a tumor in that fat double chin of his. If you don't like it, sue me. He's destroyed the meaning of my childhood favorites, so the hell with him. Do you really think the next film is going to make up for it? Only if it's about four hours long and is directed by someone else.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Star Wars is Star Wars-No matter what anyone thinks
    I am writing on behalf of all the Star Wars movies. Sure the prequals aren't life changing but they still make the cut worthy of the title Star Wars.Back in the 70s/early 80s America needed a major facelift. We had nothin to look foward to anymore and just went by living. The movies out back then were dark and dreary. our common mythology had faded into the closet. Then came Star Wars. It was just supposed to be another space family film that would eventually be forgotten about. We were decieved. What George Lucas put on this Earth was meant to be. He dragged us out of the gutter and gave us something to talk about. People had a place to escape to and run away from there troubles. It wasn't like your average cowboy movie where you know the outcome and the setting. It was a strange galaxy with weird looking creatures and strange spaceships. It was all so real and lifelike. It was the total opposite of Star Trek. It was cool. People wanted more. They got two more. Each delivering there own set of memories. The lines became legendary. The sound of a light saber instantly recognizable. Movies nowadays are always borrwing lines and plots of other movies. Star Wars only borrowed one thing. Creativity. The Star Wars story was pulled out of mid-air. It wasn't like George Lucas said he wanted to make a space movie kind of like an old western. He created the idea of A Space Saga Trilogy. He's the one who threw us into this exciting new world called Star Wars. Fans wanted more. They got comics and books. then Star Wars movies were no more. They were still in the movies. Oter movies had borrowed lines and plots for their own. Thats why Star Wars is pop culture ICON. That is what the prequals lack. When someone comes up yo you with a stick in one hand and is waving it around they don't say "Watch out Count Dooku". They say watch out Darth Vader. The prequals are good movies but they aren't life changing like the Classics. If the prequals came first people wouldn't be walking around saying Look A destroyer droid. They don't have the trademark line like they do in the Classics. They didn't create new famous lines, they just took them from the old ones. As a movie I would give Phantom Menace and AOTC a 4 Star award. As a Star Wars film I would give it 2. The negative two is for lack of creativity. The OT is so popular because of what it was nd what it was created as. George did'nt give us that sense of story and herics like he did with the OT. George didn't create the OT because he wanted to tell a story for himself. He made it for us. For Episode one we weren't thrown into this new world with weird craetures and memorable charecters. In a sense of story The prequals fit nicely with the OT. But for a regular movie It gives us nothing to remember and say over and over again and to instantly recognize as Star Wars. I know it is hard to repeat what happened in the 70s/80s but there was nothing George Lucas could do about it. The Prequals are out in a world where evereything has already happened and didn't ignite the flame as the OT did. The Phantom Menace just continued in the name of Star Wars. The OT are just such good movies in themselves and it just doesn't matter which one you see first. They are all memorable. Don't get me wrong, the prequals are good movies and definantly worthy in the name of Star Wars but they are just thrown in with all the other movies which were created around one movie-Star Wars. Other movies wouldn't be the same without there Star Wars moment. That is why when in the movie Just Married Sarah(Brittany Murphy) asks Tom(Ashton Kutcher) if he ever dreamed of anything more glorious in his childhood than his wedding night, he flashes back to when he was playing lightsabers on the playground with other kids to the famous tune that Changed The World. Da da da DAAAA daa-you know the rest!
    "Remember, the Force will be with you, Always" ... Read more


    4. Toy Story
    Director: John Lasseter
    list price: $22.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 6304089767
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 160
    Average Customer Review: 4.89 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (81)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Toy Story
    1995's "Toy Story" was the first feature length film generated entirely by computers, and Pixar's first dive into theatrical films. The movie opens as young Andy turns 7. The undisputed leader of Andy's toys, a 50's cowboy doll named Woody (Tom Hanks), finds himself challenged by the new toy on the block, "space ranger" Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen). When Woody's plan to get rid of Buzz backfires, the two find themselves lost in the suburbs. Woody and Buzz relize they have to work together to get back to Andy's, and they eventually become the best of friends. The humor and animation is terrific, and a great start for Pixar. This lead to several other successes, such as A Bug's Life and Finding Nemo.

    Now on to "the vaults". Disney is trying to squeeze every last penny out of the cash cow, and have the two Toy Story films under lock and key, no doubt so they can sell millions of "Special Editions" in five years. Once again, Disney appalls me with their unmatched corperate greed. In conclusion, Toy Story is an excellent film and a true must-see.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Secret Lives of Toys Revealed
    "Toy Story" is a modern fairy tale created with appropriately modern computer animation. Its snappy dialougue will appeal to adult viewers, the spectacle of fantastic toys coming to life will appeal to children, and adults may wax nostalgic about the toys they enjoyed as children, several of which are featured in this movie.
    The story revolves around a cowboy doll named Woody, and his imminent replacement as the favorite toy of his owner, Andy, by Andy's new Buzz Lightyear doll, a multigadgeted gift that Andy receives for his birthday.
    Tom Hanks'personality shines through in the persona of Woody, and Tim Allen's voice lends the right amount of charisma to Buzz.
    In the process of forming an eventual friendship, the characters go through a lot of antagonism and a lot of other real human emotions. As they prepare for life in a new home, they are imperiled by the sadistic kid next door named Sid, into whose clutches they fall by accident.
    It's entertaining to watch the toys interact with each other.
    Buzz gradually learns that he is simply a child's plaything and not the noble space crusader he fancied himself to be in the beginning, and Woody learns to share his special place in Andy's heart. A great supporting cast including Annie Potts as Woody's sweetheart, Bo Peep, Don Rickles as Mr. Potato Head, Jim Varney as Slinky, Wallace Shawn as Rex, John Ratzenburger as Ham, and Laurie Metcalfe as Andy's mother help fuel this tale.
    Seeing this innovative film made me want to buy dolls of Woody and Buzz as collector's items. But I am content with just a copy of this movie. The second installment of the "Toy Story" saga is an enhancement of the first one, and just like the first, nothing short of delightful.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Original and fun for the whole family!
    This movie took me by storm when I saw it back in the summer of 1995 at the theatres and let me tell you, this movie is still one of the best computer animated movies of all time. In fact this movie shattered new grounds back in 1995 by not using drawing cel animation and instead this movie is the first of an unbroken chain of computer generated animated movies that has continued to date with "Finding Nemo".

    The plot is absolutely joyful and stunningly original. The story revolves around the quiet family home of a quiet town where a boy owns numerous toys with his toddler sister. The toys however, are almost like beings of their own and are 'living' as well but stop 'moving' when the boy comes back into his room. However, a cowboy named Tim is the most popular 'toy' in the boys bedroom and is kept by the pillow almost every night until on his birthday, he gets a fancy astronaut toy named Buzz Lightyear who has many 'gizmos' and in time takes over the toy cowboys place as the most popular toy and Tim gets enormously jealous of this. However, after a botched attempt to remove Buzz, the cowboy himself along with Buzz end up in the hands of a punk teenager who takes joy in blowing up toys with firecrackers and or other means like burning, breaking, or smashing them and/or even taking them apart and re-assembling their parts to create 'mutant' toys and now the clock is ticking for Tim and Buzz to escape from the boys house before they end up being blown to molecules.

    This movie is absolutely fun and original even by 1995 standards. The computer generated special effects are innovative and unbelievable especially considereing the fact that this movie came out nearly a whole decade ago. The whole tone of the movie is just fun and charming and is for the entire family. Not only that but this was what put the then newcomers Pixas right into the front seat of movie animation and would be the start of an unbroken streak of excellent movies from this dynamite team.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Computer animation wow. 16th april 2004.
    The toys are great, the graphics and scenery is too. The collectables are boys mostly but the film is ace for anyone. The 3D toys look real, the colors are excellent[like finding nemo]. The talking toys are all friends, and they live with their owner andy.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Hit Me With Another One!
    Give me another Toy Story and while your at it lets go for a 5th. Wow lets see...Tom Hanks and Tim Alan...Pixar and Disney...Go get it or miss out! ... Read more


    5. Enchanted April
    Director: Mike Newell
    list price: $19.95
    our price: $17.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 6302728657
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 46
    Average Customer Review: 4.82 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    This lovely, 1991 adaptation of Elizabeth Von Arnim's novel has a superb cast and a tone so mellow you can feel your pulse get slower. Josie Lawrence and Miranda Richardson play a pair of unhappily married women who rent an Italian villa for a month, sharing the rent with a crusty Englishwoman (Joan Plowright) and a lonely aristocrat (Polly Walker). Sun, rest, sinking into the green grass for long naps--they all have a soulful effect on the quartet, and then on the men in their lives who make a surprise visit. Mike Newell (Into the West) directs with seeming effortlessness, and it is impossible not to be swayed by the promise of restoration for these burdened characters--or for anyone alive. Wonderful performances all around, including a particularly sensitive one by Alfred Molina and a very funny one by Jim Broadbent. --Tom Keogh ... Read more

    Reviews (77)

    4-0 out of 5 stars A Rare Gem
    This is the kind of movie that American studios loathe to make. It has too much charm. It was made on a shoestring budget and the major American studios seem to salivate at only the big budget type films. It's a story about women. It's a love story with no sex. It's a remarkable movie, deftly directed by Mike Newell, with no major stars, yet it shines.

    Each of the actors, from Alfred Molina to Joan Plowright to the little known but charming Josie Lawrence, give fine performances. Based on the Elizabeth von Arnim novel, two repressed English women seek adventure and find it when they vacation in an Italian villa. The villa seems to change everyone's mood and outlook in life. It's similar in theme to "A Room With A View".

    Shot on what had to be a shoestring production, the story, the actors and the camerawork more than make up for any limitations of budget. The film tops off with a satisfying ending that will leave you in a mood quite the opposite of what most films do today. When was the last time that happened?

    5-0 out of 5 stars Wisteria and Sunshine
    Enchanted April is simply a wonderful film, filled with quiet romance and the mystery of life, and love. Watching this film is like watching a beautiful flower bloom from the most miniscule bud, wet with the dew of love. There is a charm and warmth found here that is sadly missing in film today.

    When an ad is placed in the paper offering a vacation of wisteria and sunshine at a castle by the sea in Italy, two Englishwomen, Lottie (josie Lawrence) and Rose (Miranda Richardson), who are friends from church, leave their mates behind to join two other women for an April to remember. Hesitant at first, everything changes on their first morning there when Lottie opens her bedroom shutters upon the most beautiful vista she has ever seen. She is flooded with love and seems to have a deeper understanding of the human heart than ever before.

    Sharing the villa and its enchantment are an older woman with quite a past, and a stunning socialite tired of being pawed at by men. Joan Plowright is delightful as the elderly Mrs. Fisher, who begins to live again under the spell of wisteria and sunshine. But it is beautiful Polly Walker's portrayel of Caroline Hester, with her magic eyes and Louise Brooks look, that nearly steals the show.

    The internal musings of Lottie and Rose prompt both women to do the unthinkable and send for their husbands, bringing humorous and unexpected events to this April on the Riviera. Each will begin to find inner happiness and a rebirth of love. Even Caroline, who wanted to be alone, will discover love and beauty beyond her appearance.

    Few films have the depth to sooth the soul and leave you feeling good about life like this magical film. Take your own enchanted holiday by picking this up as soon as you can.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The most unusual
    While some may say this is a "chick flick" I couldn't disagree more. The form, casting, story, and, well, everything is just so unusual. The cast is superb with Polly Walker and Joan Plowright coming out on top. And the photography and settings are the best. But what I liked most about it was the lack of a formulaic approach. The movie starts out with dissonances and then does nothing but resolve itself slowly so that by the time you're at the end, you feel like YOU'VE been on vacation. This isn't a movie; it's a work of art.

    5-0 out of 5 stars For Rent: Peace of Mind
    This is a great movie, it is more of a "Chick Flick" so to speak, but if you are in the mood for a chick flick that you don't really need kleenex for, this is the one. An unhappily married woman is running her errands on a blustery rainy day when on the back of someones news paper she sees an add for a castle in Italy for rent for the month of April. She tells her friend about it, they pool their money, find 2 other women to go in on the expenses with them, and life unfolds before their very eyes. They make realizations about themselves, their lives, and the men in their lives. At some point in everyones life, they need to find this kind of an add... It is heart warming, life affirming, and just a really great movie.

    5-0 out of 5 stars I was enchanted AND I laughed
    There's a lot of humor in this film, much of the humor is subtle, and some of it is obvious. For example, some intellectual humor where the simple-minded but endearing Lottie asks the stuffy old woman if she knew Keats, a poet who had been dead for over a hundred years! Or the scene where she's trying to get permission from her husband to go to Italy with her friend.. that whole scene is priceless, very funny. As far as obvious humor, one example would be her husband having a rather... explosive... accident while he's taking a bath!... and then he comes out half-naked and charred only to be met by the old woman!! You'll laugh :)

    AS you can imagine, this film is a satire or lampoon of the attitudes and mores of the 1930s which is when this story takes place. But don't worry, it's not a stuffy old boring period piece--far from it! This is an immensely enjoyable and accessible film that will really delight you. Very easy to follow and enjoy, very amusing and funny.

    David Rehak
    author of "Love and Madness" ... Read more


    6. Cry-Baby
    Director: John Waters
    list price: $6.99
    our price: $6.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 6301763041
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 15
    Average Customer Review: 4.57 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com essential video

    John Waters's goofy, 1990 comedy about a Baltimore girl (Amy Locane) who can't decide if she should remain "good" in her 1954 world or hang out with the motorcycle boys is funny in a scene-by-scene way, but doesn't quite gel into the grand piece the director was hoping for. The cast is exceptionally likable, however, including Johnny Depp as an Elvis type and Iggy Pop as a chattering loony. The best material is set in a fringe world of bikers and losers on the outskirts of town, and Waters writes some hilarious sardonic dialogue for the characters. Cry-Baby is the last of Waters's more undisciplined features; he followed it with the glossier but no less perverse Serial Mom. --Tom Keogh ... Read more

    Reviews (107)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Extremely silly, stupid and bad. It's great!
    This movie is so bad it hurts. It's incredibly campy and silly, a wonderful parody. I'd say a definate must for Johnny Depp fans (and I can't say I'm one of them) and for anyone who enjoys a good laugh at stupidly silly films. No smart comedy hear, no deep message or meaning, just a hilarious spoof filled with catchy songs and dance moves. A good rainy day film, or for cheering you up, though I think if you were really in a bad mood this movie would just seem stupid and make you want to scream. Still, not bad when you want a laugh. I wouldn't recommend this movie to anyone looking for witty comedy or a serious or engaging film, just someone ready for a silly and over-the-top movie filled with song and dance and tons of unbelievabley stereotyped fun characters.

    4-stars for a quirky and silly movie. Nothing extrodinary, but still fun!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Cry-Baby Walker Rules
    I had seen this movie in the movie theatre as a teenager and it Rocked!! That started my enjoyment of Johnny Depp films. I never watched 21 Jump Street until this movie. The cast is so funny. The TV version I seen added parts that I had not seen in the theatre but cut out parts that were extremely funny. Now I have a copy of the TV version plus the video version which was what I seen in at the movies. It would be really great to get on DVD with both versions together (played together or both on one disc). To this day I can sing every song (I had the soundtrack before the videos) and say most of the words with everyone. It is a funny movie that just won't get old watching over and over!! In fact I watched it today. I just can't say enough about how hilarious this movie. It is the "bad boy" falling in love with the "good girl" just like "Grease" and other great movies like that. I think they did a great job at making it look like the 50s in the movie. It has been my favorite movie since I seen it.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Cry Baby........
    I wouldn't recommend this film. I think I got bored. It was so long ago, but I believe I was bored.

    5-0 out of 5 stars He's so hott!
    I have been watching this movie ever since I was 6, and now I'm 15. It's great and the best part is that Johnny Depp is in it. I think he's incredibly hott no matter what he wears. This movie should definately be on dvd. What I don't get is why does Johnny and (Amy) make out in the movie when she is still dating the other guy, lol. But, it's a very cute movie. I think everybody who hasn't seen it yet, should!

    5-0 out of 5 stars why on EARTH is this not on dvd?!?!
    I thought that this film was great and fantastic for cheering you up. The songs were really catchy and cheesy (in a good way) and Johnny Depp looked incredible. A must for ALL fans. It just makes me wonder what is going through the directors head by not putting this on dvd, it is mazing. ... Read more


    7. National Treasure
    Director: Jon Turteltaub
    list price: $29.99
    our price: $23.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0007L43DC
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 32
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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    Like a Hardy Boys mystery on steroids, National Treasure offers popcorn thrills and enough boyish charm to overcome its rampant silliness. Although it was roundly criticized as a poor man's rip-off of Raiders of the Lost Ark and The Da Vinci Code, it's entertaining on its own ludicrous terms, and Nicolas Cage proves once again that one actor's infectious enthusiasm can compensate for a multitude of movie sins. The contrived plot involves Cage's present-day quest for the ancient treasure of the Knights Templar, kept secret through the ages by Freemasons past and present. Finding the treasure requires the theft of the Declaration of Independence (there are crucial treasure clues on the back, of course!), so you can add "caper comedy" to this Jerry Bruckheimer production's multi-genre appeal. Nobody will ever accuse director Jon Turtletaub of artistic ambition, but you've got to admit he serves up an enjoyable dose of PG-rated entertainment, full of musty clues, skeletons, deep tunnels, and harmless adventure in the old-school tradition. It's a load of hokum, but it's fun hokum, and that makes all the difference. --Jeff Shannon ... Read more

    Reviews (266)

    4-0 out of 5 stars MASTER CODE 405
    National Treasure is a far fetched family film, full of fun and adventure.Since there are enough details about this film, I will get to the point.During my first viewing, I was somewhat disenchanted.I thought something was missing.Hmmm, the movie has explosions, chase scenes, a bit of fantasy, pretty neat special effects, etc.; what could be missing.Now I know what's missing - no cursing, crudity, nudity, or offensiveness.

    This is a movie, that I can watch with the kids, neighbors, etc., and everyone will have a good time.OK, there are some corny lines that go over the top on the wholesome meter, but hey, that's the joke.I watched the movie for a second time with the trivia track and enjoyed this movie even more.

    Once the master code 405 is typed in, all the special features are displayed, including a movie trivia track.The track provides tid bits of information about the key characters, history, and the making of the film, which is worth a viewing.I found the special features utilization to find the code annoying and time consuming.A two second internet search and I was up and running in no time, with the 405 master code.

    National Treasure - Recommended for a Night of Family Fun.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Not up to par with Indiana Jones, but still worth the watch!
    I missed this movie when it came out in the theaters, and so decided to rent the DVD when it came out. Needless to say, I wish I had seen it while it was still showing. I've always been a fan of U.S history and Indiana Jones, so this was an ideal match. Stunning performance by Justin Bartha; he really provided the comic relief in the movie. The plot was amazing, and each subsequent clue that they found, and each stymie they ran into really rolled the movie along. I thought Nicholas Cage and Diane Krueger (really different from Troy, eh?) did some pretty good acting as well. Sean Bean and the rest of them, well, I thought they could have done better. Overall, this was a fun, exciting movie, and is definitely worth a watch with the family!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Follow Bob's Advice! Ignore the Critics, Enjoy the Film!
    I'm beginning to wonder if all critics simply refuse to sit back and be entertained.Does every film have to be The English Patient or Schindler's List?Geez...

    Anyway I liked this movie a lot and wasn't bored for a minute.It was nonstop action and no Eff words were heard (hallelujah!) and my 10-year-old son enjoyed it as well, even plugging in the "pipe key" clue near the end.A good, safe movie for Family Night!

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

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


    8. The Tango Lesson
    Director: Sally Potter
    list price: $21.96
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0767800958
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 137
    Average Customer Review: 4.25 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    Sally Potter's self-reflective film stars Potter (an actress and the director of Orlando), more or less as herself, learning to tango from master dancer Pablo Veron and considering making a film called The Tango Lesson. The film that we happen to be watching, however, is concerned largely with the delicious conflict between the politics of tango--the need for one partner, typically the woman, to yield to the other--and the expectations of the filmmaker to do things on her own terms. Can Potter simultaneously surrender and control for the duration of this circular project? The question is made more complicated by Veron's desire to be in one of Potter's films--in other words, to follow her lead. Potter may not be Veron's equal on the dance floor, but that isn't the point of this interesting movie and its provocative, internal debate. --Tom Keogh ... Read more

    Reviews (56)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Striking movie that captures the spirit of the Tango
    Most dance movies obscure the actual dancing in a barrage of MTV-quick-cut shots of heads and feet. This one doesn't. Why not? Because it doesn't have to. The dancers are terrific, and shooting them full-length, with the camera on them for minutes at a time, shows them and the Tango to advantage.

    After a distracting yet stylish introduction, the movie settles down into its intelligent portrayal of two exceptional people learning to love each other and dance together. The director wisely keeps the dialogue to a minimum, and lets the dancing tell the story. And what dancing! The Tango is a captivating dance to begin with, and these folks dance it with grace and passion.

    Pablo Veron has more screen presence than any other actor alive, and he's a world-class dancer to boot. Sally Potter, the movie's director who plays his partner is also an excellent tanguera. Did I say it before? The dancing is amazing!

    From the parks of Paris to the Tango salons of Buenos Aires, the characters speak to each other in French, Spanish, and English. This ain't Hollywood fare. No car chases, no pulling of heart strings, no wacky characters. Just striking cinematography, a fine, spare script, and delightful dancing. If you like beautiful things, you'll like this movie.

    5-0 out of 5 stars To set things straight...
    I saw the Tango Lesson and found it a genuine work of Art. I recommend those who love good movies to watch this one. The Tango Lesson perhaps has a weak plot, but a film director isn't necessarily a story teller. The meta-narration which takes place in the Tango Lesson certainly makes this movie an advanced art product, which has nothing to do with the telling of actual occurrences, but rather focuses on the developing of Art itself in the mind and life of an Artist. In my opinion, one of the strong-points of this film is that it allows us to peek into the director's head, and see Art through her eyes (I can assure it's quite a sight). Some may interpret this film as an "exercise in self-indulgence," but personally, I think this approach misleading, in the age of the "Self." We're talking Art here, and Sally Potter is the Artist. Herself: no one else should be the starting point and centre of her own movie. The Lady knows how to direct, act, dance and sing: why shouldn't she do all of the above? I think she deserves much admiration: she's a well rounded Artist, and there aren't many! (Besides, as I've said already, to me the film is about Art and Life before anything else: the director uses her own experience and many skills to make a point and to get things done exactly how she wants them, but the movie isn't "about" Sally Potter.) Now to the point. The editing has character, it's intelligent, original, definitely not a Hollywood product. The photography is breathtaking - and eloquent: it says "the Tango Lesson is about Aesthetics, Beauty itself." The acting is honest, fresh, and charming. In my opinion, the acting is superb: Sally Potter really knows what measure and elegance are. The soundtrack is exquisite. The tango pieces are great, and so is the leitmotiv of the movie: the seagull-like cry in the airport scene tears my heart out every time I listen to it (it's also the one track that made me decide to buy the CD). This film, someone said, has little to offer the general public. I'm afraid this is accurate. Or rather, "the general public" probably would have some difficulty in tacklig this art-movie, which I don't believe was meant to give easy answers to difficult questions (like so many other films) but to make people think. Nonetheless, seeing this movie made me realise all over again that it's definitely worth trying.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Great dancing, great locales, not enough courage.
    Sally Potter is a great director and Pablo Veron, her sometime teacher/boyfriend is a great dancer. Having said that, there is a reason why this film , despite its apparent honesty, fails.

    It doesn't cut deep enough into the dark or shamefull flaws of the leads. It's too subtle for its own good, or rather it's subtle by default, it lacks courage. Sally plays herself and wistfully looks up at the apartment building where her teacher, Veron (who also plays himself) resides. It's a beutifull shot, with snowflakes falling. . .

    In another scene she tells him she has been in love with him as a woman for over a year but that he just wants her to get into the movies and be a star, whereupon his reaction is once again, er...subtle.

    The point I'm getting at is that she's much more than merely 'wistful' , she'a a middle aged woman who is making a complete ass of herself, acting like a 14 year old with a crush towards a man who is indeed ruthlessly exploiting her for the money of the lessons and for his chance at a movie role.

    But we don't get to the heart of that.

    These dark sides are whitewashed in wistfull snowflakes . . .

    Had these flaws been brought out the characters would have been infinitely more vulnerable and interesting. The love between them (yes , despite their flaws there is love) would still have been there, the magic of the dance and its art would also have been there in all its glorious obsession. Most of all, the contradictions that make these two human beings unique and interesting would have come forth.

    Still worth watching for some of the best Tango numbers choreographed. But it's a pity compared to what it could have been. . .

    5-0 out of 5 stars One of My Favorite Movies
    I absolutely loved it because it's an adult love story told from an adult point of view. The two main characters have strong personalities, and because of their occupations, are used to being in control. They learn that in life, sometimes you lead and sometimes you follow. The cinematography is perfect; you only see what needs to be on screen, nothing superfuous. The same can be said about the dialogue. Sally Potter was involved in every aspect of her film: directing, writing, acting, dancing, writing music/lyrics, and singing. There is great chemistry between the two main characters and the music and dancing are wonderful. You won't be sorry you purchased it. The music will make you raptuous and the dancing will inspire you to dance.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Choregraphy is great!
    The film as a film justly explores the politics of tango and is well directed. The film may lead the uninitiated to believe a student could reach such an advanced level of dance in such a short period of time. However . . . it is a film produced as entertainment.

    All in all - for tango lovers, the dance scenes are worth watching again and again. ... Read more


    9. Winged Migration
    Director: Jacques Cluzaud, Jacques Perrin, Michel Debats
    list price: $14.94
    our price: $13.74
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0000D0YXW
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 12
    Average Customer Review: 4.44 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (160)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A gorgeous film/Sony at fault
    This film is a stunningly beautiful masterpiece filled with breathtaking cinematography. The four years of work that went into making it shows during every second of the film. Jacques Perrin and the people he worked with have created a piece of work that is in essence a spectacular gift to the world. Watching birds of various kinds fly gracefully through the air seemingly without any effort is a sight to behold. You feel privileged to be able to glimpse this magical world in which the birds inhabit. Also a treat is watching what the birds do when they are not flying, whether it is Clark's grebes dancing on the surface of a lake or male sage grouse strutting their stuff by inflating their throat sacs and creating weird noises with them or gannets plunge-diving into the ocean to catch fish. The scene involving the sage grouse is quite stunning. At the beginning of the scene, you see sage grouse on a partially snow-covered grassland in Idaho. In the background, you see several flocks of migrating birds flying against a backdrop of mountains. Some of the aerial shots of birds flying are so beautiful that they appear unreal. It is as if a skilled artist had painted the landscapes. There are numerous scenes of flying birds that will take your breath away. I will mention three. The footage of Canada geese flying throught Monument Valley, Utah, is gorgeous. The rock formations provide a breathtakingly beautiful backdrop for the shots of the birds. The footage of trumpeter swans flying over a river in a Southeast Asian rainforest on their way to Vietnam is also incredibly beautiful. When they arrive in the paddy fields of northern Vietnam by flying past a landscape of green dotted with majestic rock formations, your breath is taken away by the beauty that you see onscreen. The footage of the white storks flying over the sand dunes of the Sahara Desert is so incredible that it appears fake. You really have to see it to believe it. There is also a magical shot of the Great Wall of China on a foggy day. It looks so incredible that you may actually think that a master Chinese painter had painted what you see onscreen.

    I do have several gripes with the film. First of all, the selection of birds that were shown in the film had a glaring omission. I only noticed one scene showing ducks in full flight. This was the scene of a single male Mallard duck flying through the French countryside and eventually joining a flock of geese over the river Seine in Paris. Why weren't more ducks showcased in the film? Second, the scene where a mother bobwhite quail is nesting in the path of moving farm combines is an unnecessary addition to the film. Third, the scene of the Canada geese drinking water from a broken-down truck is unique, but in my opinion, out of place with the rest of the film. Also, the scene involving the same geese flying over a herd of running mustangs is so fake that its inclusion in the film is almost embarrassing. What is such a shot doing in a film that claims to have no special effects?

    This DVD of the film is amazing. The picture quality is stunning. The transfer is amazingly clear. The sound quality is rich and clear. Several extras are included. They are well worth viewing. The Behind-the-Scenes featurette is a pleasure to watch. It explains very well the process that was used in filming the birds and all the effort that went into making the film. We learn that the white pelicans became sick during the airplane flight from France to Senegal. We also learn that the footage of the film showing snow geese flying through snowy weather in the Adirondacks in New York State was improvised when bad weather conditions forced the film crew to abandon a staged scene of geese hunting. Watching the cute baby birds at the beginning of the featurette, especially when they are running with ultralight planes on the ground, is an absolute delight. In one shot, you can see that baby white storks demonstrate the same weird neck-bending, beak-clapping behavior as adult white storks. The narrator of the featurette makes a few mistakes. He pronounces "Adirondacks" as "A-DIR-on-dacks" instead of "A-dir-ON-dacks". The last part of the featurette is about the filming of white storks flying over the Sahara Desert. The narrator mistakenly refers to the storks as "swans" at least twice.

    I highly recommend the film and its DVD. Your view of birds will be forever changed by watching this film. Anyone who has had a chance to watch this film has been incredibly lucky. As you know, the film only received limited theatrical release in the US. Sony released the film in American theaters only in the summer of 2003. This was months after it was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Documentary. This makes absolutely no sense. Also, Sony did a huge disservice to the film by not running any ads on American TV for it. The people who run Sony should be ashamed of themselves.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Sublime cinematography
    WINGED MIGRATION is filmmaker Jacques Perrin's stunning documentary study of bird migration. My wife and I left the special studio screening exclaiming, "How'd they do that!?"

    The film begins along a minor waterway in Europe as a flock of geese begins its annual migration north to its summer breeding ground. It then cuts to other locales around the world as other species of large birds - usually cranes, swans, and storks, but also gannets, loons and others - begin their respective journeys. In all cases, the captioning identifies the species, their start points and destinations, and the miles between the two. Occasionally, Perrin makes the point more spectacularly by superimposing the flying flock on an image of the Earth taken from near-orbit. Voice overs are kept to a minimum.

    Except for New York (with the WTC still standing), Paris, and a dismal industrial wasteland in eastern Europe, the flocks are shown flying through unpopulated landscapes both varied and magnificent: beaches, ice fields, Monument Valley, northern tundra, open oceans, snow-covered mountains, Asian farmlands, forest-enclosed lakes, deserts, and tropical rainforests. The sunset and weather (blizzards, fog, thunderstorms) provide dramatic backdrops. Then, at journey's end, the birds are shown in their summer habitats - usually steep, dramatic cliffs or rock-strewn shores with sea-ravaged margins.

    But certainly the most eye-popping camera work is with the bird formations on the wing. The apparent vantage point of the lens is among the flock, with individual birds only an arm or hand-length away above, below, or to the side. I mean, you're RIGHT THERE! You'd think they'd have to be computer animated models. But a disclaimer at the film's beginning states that no special effects were used in the filming of the birds.

    While Perrin emphasizes the round trip to, and the stay in, the breeding grounds, he doesn't gloss over the dangers. The viewer watches as individual birds fall victim to animal predators, human hunters and poachers, and industrial pollution. Some circumstances are heartrending, as when a disabled bird is surrounded and overcome by predatory crabs on an African beach.

    Before concluding back at the same waterway and with the same flock of geese which began his documentary, the filmmaker makes a digression at first seemingly inconsistent with the title, i.e. with flightless Emperor penguins in the southern hemisphere. Of course, they use their wings to swim a couple hundred miles.

    WINGED MIGRATION is a film to remind us that the real world can be just as spectacular and amazing as any one of the mega-budget, FX-laden, mindless thrillers dished out to the masses. It's wonderful.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Let's appreciate birds
    Too many people have taken the time to bash this exquisite and wonderful film that celebrates the avian life on earth. I, for one, take offense to their lies and misleading "facts". First of all, there are TWO bird-hunting scenes in the film. One takes place in the Adirondack Mountains of New York and involves snow geese and the other takes place in a marsh somewhere in EUROPE and involves greylag geese.

    Second, to obtain the spectacular footage for the film, the birds shown in the film HAD to be IMPRINTED. Otherwise, it would have been impossible to film them up-close on their migration routes. Which wild birds do you know of that would let filmmakers fly close to them while they are flying their migration routes? Answer that, critics of the film!!!!

    Third, the birds were taken to a wildlife sanctuary in Normandy, France, after the filming was over. They are taken care of by seven workers.

    This film is GORGEOUS and all bird lovers should see it. Ignore the people who feel compelled to bash it.

    After having read Errol Fuller's book "Extinct Birds", I felt lucky and honored to be able to see up close and personal today's birds in wonderful flight. Fuller's book contains illustrations and descriptions of so many EXTINCT birds that it saddened me. Watching "Winged Migration" has uplifted my spirits. Man has caused the extinction of at least 75 bird species since the year 1600. Be glad that a small percentage, but wide variety, of today's bird species are captured on film for your viewing pleasure and for posterity. If passenger pigeons, which once numbered in the BILLIONS, were still alive today, I have no doubt that footage of their SPECTACULAR mass migration flights would be included in this film. Such footage would make the starling flight footage in the film look puny in comparison.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Stunning Vistas, Typically French
    Fantastic landscapes, complete with the obligatory French swipe at America. The one and only scene in the film which depicts wild birds being shot out of the air by hunters takes place in, you guessed it...

    According to the film's credits:

    "The hunting scene was filmed in North America, on sites where it takes place every year."

    As if the sport of bird hunting is somehow limited to North America, or was introduced to the world by North America.

    And Duck L'Orange isn't a French dish?

    At least for me, the swipe detracted greatly from this otherwise wonderful film.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Very nice!
    The images of the birds flying were so lovely....I really liked this video, as I love birds, but I have to admit, in the middle of the DVD, I was a bit bored. Beautiful video, just not for someone who likes exciting films, but over all, very good. I would reccomend "Winged Migration" to everyone who likes bird watching or calm, peaceful movies. ... Read more


    10. Beauty and the Beast (Disney)
    Director: Gary Trousdale, Kirk Wise
    list price: $24.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 6302526574
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 186
    Average Customer Review: 4.62 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (332)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent job Disney.
    I saw this when it first came out in theaters back in 1992. I was only 7 or 8 at the time, and it just didn't appeal to me as much as The Little Mermaid or The Rescuers Down Under. I don't really know why, but having just getting the DVD in the mail, my view of the movie is completely different.

    Beauty and the Beast really is one of Disney's top 4 animated films. How they managed to combine a massive cast of characters into the main plot is amazing. Beast is one of my favorite Disney characters after re-watching this. There's so much emotion inside of him. Anger, rage, pity, ambition, and love. You'll really care for him from the moment he appears on screen. Belle is possibly the most humble heroine to date. She doesn't see that she's beautiful, but just cares for helping others and reading books. The supporting cast is just as good. Gaston, the villain, is just a....well I can't use the word. You can bet your money you'll feel the same way. But the characters are just the icing on the cake. The story is what the strong point's always been. Disney did a great job adding so much more to it, whereas the original didn't focus on anyone but Belle and the Beast really. But I'm sure you all know the story, so I'll just get into the features on this DVD.

    On the first disc, you get 3 different versions of the film- theatrical, work in progress, and special edition. The theatrical is what you saw in theaters or on the home video release. Work in progress is mostly drawings in black and white while the voices and everything else is put in. The special edition has a few lines changed here and there, and the added musical "Human Again" into the film. Personally, I hated "Human Again". It comes right after and before other songs in the film, making you want them to just get on with the story. Plus the animation in it really stands out since it's newer and has those annoying shadows on every character that you see in so many made for video animated movies. There's also a commentary track that adds a lot of depth and information, and a game that unlocks another game. People complain about the picture quality of the movie, but it's not that bad. On a scale of one to ten, I'd give it a 7.5.

    The second disc has a well done documentary on the making of Beauty and the Beast, story origins of a few other Disney movies, art galleries, music videos, more games, and much more. Amazon lists that the Broadway Musical is on this, but it isn't. It's mentioned in the documentary, that's all. This sets the standard for extras on Disney special editions of their movies. It's too bad The Lion King has nothing compared to this. Either way, if you like Disney at all...or just movies, you should go for this while you can. It's a masterpiece, and getting harder to find.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A thinking girl's heroine
    When I saw "Beauty and the Beast" in the theater, I had a rare and magical experience: I felt like a child again watching an enchanting Disney movie. In fact, "Beauty and the Beast" seemed even better than the Disney classics like "Cinderella" and "Sleeping Beauty" that were such a wonderful part of my childhood. The animation is absolutely gorgeous--particularly the waltz scene, which feels incredibly three-dimensional. The songs are beautiful, singable instant classics.

    Despite the animated characters, I felt like I was watching an old musical. The movie opens with a scene reminiscent of "The Sound of Music," with our heroine, Belle, singing on a hilltop about wanting more out of life. The "Be Our Guest" scene, featuring a Lumiere (the Maurice Chevalier-inspired singing candlestick), dancing dishes and champagne corks popping like fireworks, reminded me of the Busby Berkely musical extravaganzas of the '30s.

    A big appeal for me is that Belle is a much different heroine than the Disney princesses of my childhood. Belle isn't looking for a man to rescue her from her life of drudgery. She loves to read and longs for a more interesting life. She already has the "town catch," Gaston, wanting to court her, but she's having none of it.

    Belle's escape from "her provincial life" begins when her father, a kooky inventor, doesn't return from his travels. (He has sought shelter from a snow storm in a spooky enchanted castle and is being held prisoner by the Beast.) Belle tracks down her father and, out of concern for his ailing health, takes his place in captivity. The Beast, who has been placed under a spell, wonders if Belle might be "the one"--the young woman whose love will return him to his original human form.

    The enchanted furniture, candlestick, clock and dishes added lots of fun characters to the traditional story. Cogsworth, a stuffy clock, and Lumiere, the match-making candlestick are a great comic duo. Cogsworth's romantic advice to Beast about wooing Belle is especially funny: Give her "flowers, chocolates, promises you don't intend to keep."

    Gaston, meanwhile, wants to woo and wed Belle himself. He sings about his he-man attributes in one of the funniest ode to a redneck that I've ever heard: "I use antlers in all of my decorating," Gaston sings about himself.

    When Gaston realizes that Belle loves the Beast instead of him, he stirs up an angry mob to head to the castle. In another twist on the traditional fairy tale ending, Belle ultimately rescues the Beast--not the other way around.

    "Beauty and the Beast" is a delightful classic whether you are a child or a grownup who knows how to feel like a child at times.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Pure Magic!
    Bringing this classic fairy tail to life is one of the best things that Disney has ever done. Every second of this film is full to the brim with wonder and magic. More than ten years after first seeing it, there are still some scenes that make me gasp at their beauty.
    The movie provides all of the usual Disney elements of gorgeous animation, skilled voice actors, awesome original songs, and non-stop entertainment, but there's something special in the mix. We get one of the most believable and heart felt romances to ever grace the animated world. As a child every time I read a picture book of this Fairy Tail I found it impossible to believe that a woman could love a beast, but Disney found a way to make it happen. You truly believe that it's possible, and feel her pain when she thinks she's lost him.
    In the classic Disney fashion, Beauty and the Beast brings along a message for the kids to learn. We see the value of intelligence and compassion, learn to look beyond the superficial, and discover that love knows no boundaries.

    5-0 out of 5 stars After A While One Doesn't Notice It Is Animated
    It is quite rare for any animated film to be treated with the same respect as any other honored non-animated one. In BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, directors Kirk Wise and Gary Trousdale take the time-worn fairy tale of the outwardly loathsome beast who impossibly enough allows his inner nobility to shine forth sufficiently to cause the beauty to fall in love with him. Robby Benson is the voice of the Beast and Paige O'Hara is Beauty. Even for those readers familiar with the spoken tale or the revamped music video with Meatloaf as the Beast cannot help but allow themselves to be entranced with the seamless melding of sight to sound. The plot is simplicity itself with the Beast as the archetypal symbol of the rebirth of nobility long hidden by the evil spell of a unnamed wizard. There is nothing childish is the unfolding of the tale of Belle the Beauty who chooses to sacrifice herself in marriage to save the life of her doddering inventor father. Enter the Beast who is initially presented as the roaring brute that his tormenting wizard clearly intended him to be. Yet, as Belle ministers to his psychic wounds of self-loathing and his physical wounds incurred in defending her against a pack of wolves, the viewer can see a competing spell at work, one that is older than time itself--the power of love that the film's many songs allude to and function as as subtext that imbues it with timeless energy. There is, of course, some needed plot complications of unwanted attention heaped on Belle by the handsome but warped Gaston, who plots to snare Belle in marriage as firmly as he would stalk a reindeer for its antlers. As Gaston leads the villagers in an assault on the Beast's manor, one is reminded in reverse of the cliched villagers pounding at the walls of Doctor Frankenstein's castle, but in this case the attack in presented in comic tones that keep the real world of harm at bay.

    BEAUTY AND THE BEAST has no down moments, with each fresh plot advancement heralded by stunningly effective animation and song. This film was a deserved nominee for Best Picture in 1991, and with repeated viewings, one may rest assured that the alternately gloomy and resplendent halls of the Beast will eternally resonate with the same cachet that gives Tara, Oz, or Rick's Cafe a ticket that allows the bearer to see just how awesome the human spirit can be.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Beauty
    This is a beautiful movie and is in a wonderful set. It has two discs with great behind the scenes stuff for Beauty and the Beast that you definitely wont want to miss out on.
    The colors in this movie is beautiful and the music is lovely.
    I really wouldn't miss out on this movie because it's a great film and a wonderful set. ... Read more


    11. A Man Called Peter
    Director: Henry Koster
    list price: $12.98
    our price: $11.99
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    Asin: 6301628624
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 558
    Average Customer Review: 4.75 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (12)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Peter Marshall - A Man for All Generations
    "A Man Called Peter" is an excellent depiction of the true life story of Peter Marshall, an immigrant Scotsman who rose to Chaplain of the U.S. Senate before his untimely death in 1949. Marshall was a real man who served our real God. The movie is very true, generally speakly, to Catherine Marshall's book by the same title.
    The part of the movie that shows Catherine Marshall's alma mater, Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Georgia, was filmed on location. As a native of Decatur, Georgia, this movie had a huge impact on me. Especially since my mother had actually heard Peter Marshall preach and was greatly affected by his sermons.
    Peter Marshall's message is ageless and inspiring. Young people who hear or read his sermons today feel as though Marshall is speaking to them just as he did to my mother's generation.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Beautiful Movie
    This is the true story of the Reverand Peter Marshall. It begins in Scotland where he is called by God for a special mission. It goes to Georgia, where Peter meets & marries Agnes Scott College student Catherine Wood (This part of the movie was filmed on the ASC campus). Finally, the movie takes us to Washington DC, where Peter is the minister at the Church of the Presidents and becomes Chaplain of the US Senate. The movie showcases some of him most memorable sermons - like his sermon on marriage. This is a great film for everyone in the family.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Bravo!
    Bravo to Richard Todd and Jean Peters and the rest of the ensemble of this beatiful, inspiring and superbly made film based on the book by Catherine Marshall. Where was the Academy of Motion Pictures when this film came out? Both Peters and Todd deserved nominations. The film certainly did (it is far better fair than most others nominated in 1955 for Best Picture)
    See it and feel 100% better about life - and living

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Man of Character Committment and Conviction
    In our days of pluralism and completely relative morality embracing spirituality in any form, this movie sets a strong tone of inspiring faith and conficenc in God through Jesus Christ. Peter Marshall was an unusual minister of the gospel who made mistakes but loved his family and the Lord with no reservations. The movie is full of the traditional church persons who are more interested in maintaining their traditons than in establishing the traditions of the gospel. Peter's response to them is both loving and confrontive. I recommend this movie very much.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Man Called Peter
    An outstanding movie with uplifting characteristics. This is the story of a truly remarkable man and those who doubt the sencerity of this man ( and the movie ) do not know people who were exposed to Peter Marshall. This is a true classic with elevating overtones that should raise anyone's spirits. ... Read more


    12. Meet the Parents
    Director: Jay Roach
    list price: $9.98
    our price: $9.98
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    Asin: B00003CXO0
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 595
    Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (368)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Full blown comedy with a killer cast
    Meet the Parents is one of the best comedy movies to hit the shelves in recent years. With an all-star cast including Ben Stiller, Robert DeNiro, and the one and only Owen Wilson, this movie delivers the laughs perfectly!

    Greg Focker, male nurse, is about to propose to Pam, his "special friend" of ten months, when he hears about her recently engaged sitster, whose husband to be made the right move and asked her father first. Now he's got to do the same, which means he's got to meet the parents. And with the plot set, the laughter ensues...

    What really makes this movie work is the characters we can all relate to. First there's Greg, who is desperately trying to win the parents' approval, but somehow manages to screw up everything he possibly can along the way. And to make matters worse, he's got to to deal with Pam's ex fiance while he carries out this death sentence of a weekend. And then there is Pam, whose father is well...just a little strange to say the least.

    Also, Owen Wilson is just insane in this and the movie is worth it for his performance alone, not to mention being able to see DeNiro do a comedy this good.

    See it for the laughs, see it for the cast, see it for the experience, because this is one of the best lately. And if that is not insentive enough, I leave you with a quote..."Well I have nipples Focker, could you milk ME?"

    2-0 out of 5 stars Skip This Meeting
    Stale, unoriginal humor is the downfall of this take-it-or-leave-it Ben Stiller comedy. Stiller plays male nurse Gaylord Focker (whose name is the inspiration for at least a quarter of the movie's jokes), a hapless soul whose attempts to propose to his girlfriend (Teri Polo) are interrupted by a phone call announcing her sister's engagement. This leads to the wedding trip, and Stiller's opportunity to meet the parents.

    What follows are a series of mildly amusing situations and one-liners, none of which you'll probably be itching to repeat at work tomorrow. Owen Wilson is a bright spot, as usual, playing Polo's ex-fiance. He also delivers the best line in the movie, a deadpan joke about the inspiration for his hobby, carpentry. Robert DeNiro and Blythe Danner, however, are both too woefully underchallenged to be able to turn in memorable performances.

    The DVD's extra features include the standard outtakes, commentaries, and deleted scenes, as well as interactive personality quizzes which are fun to take but whose answers seem somewhat random. Overall, Meet the Parents is only worth renting if you're desperate to see a movie and this is the just about only thing left on the video store shelves.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Calamity after calamity - Very Funny
    "Meet the Parents" is funny, outrageous, and full of fun. Pratfalls and pitfalls await our comic star Ben Stiller as he pursues his love and ingratiates himself with his father-in-law to-be, Robert DeNiro. DeNiro is a crazed, over protective, retired CIA agent who zealously protects his daughter from her would-be suitor.

    Calamity follows calamity, and the sight gags cascade until the end unwinds all the zaniness in a satisfying ending. It is a lot of fun with several belly laughs thrown in for good measure.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Oh no, no, no, no, no, it's not very good. Way over rated.
    This movie is not funny, just dumb. Is saying "focker" over and over and over again really that funny? I'm sorry, folks, but NO, it's just not all that funny, and this is the same dull plot that we've seen over and over again in the movies and on tv. Not recommended.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Unwatchable
    I wanted to leave the theater halfway through this garbage but I already ponied up my $8. Predictable gag after predictable gag after predictable gag, this movie made me hate Ben Stiller. ... Read more


    13. That Darn Cat!
    Director: Robert Stevenson
    list price: $9.99
    our price: $9.99
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    Asin: 6304285388
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 115
    Average Customer Review: 4.81 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    When a slightly cross-eyed Siamese cat named D.C. (Darn Cat) turns upwith a wristwatch around hisneck instead of a collar, it could be just the clue the FBI needs tocrack a series of bank robberies in this lightweight comedy fromDisney.The watch belongs to a bank teller whohas been taken hostage.Dean Jones stars as the good-hearted FBI agentassigned to the case.Unfortunately, he is highly allergic to, you guessedit, cats.Hayley Mills is D.C.'s doting owner who hatches a hair-brainedscheme to follow D.C.'s every move until he returns to the crooks' hideoutwhere he got the wristwatch.After a lot of sneezing, slapstick, and comedic intrigue, the bank robbers are foiled, the hostage is safe, and everyone ishappy. An impressive supporting cast of Frank Gorshin, Elsa Lanchester,Roddy McDowall, and Ed Wynn add to the zaniness. Released in 1965 (and remade in 1997), it is understandably dated, but the performances are funnonetheless.Hayley Mills is delightful as the determined and unflappablewannabe sleuth, and Dean Jones proves he is adept at physical comedy. This is a movie of little consequence, just a clean, fun diversion that thewhole family can watch. The theme song is sung by Bobby Darin. --Peggy Maltby-Etra ... Read more

    Reviews (21)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Mill's Best Film Ever!
    While out prowling one night DC,a siamese cat whose name stands for 'darn cat,' happens upon two kidnappers & their hostage, a bank teller by the name of Maragret Miller. While the hostage is up cooking for the two DC comes in, taking off her wrist watch & scratching the 'help' on the back, slips it on the back, & puts the cat out, hoping that somebody will find it.

    When DC returns home, his owner Patti (Hayley Mills) finds the watch on DC's neck & with her wild imagination comes up with a near correct theory. Her sister Ingrid (Dorthey Provine) disaproves with the whole thing & leaves for work the next morning with one note of instruction, Patti is not to notify the police about the watch.

    Instead of telling the police Patti notifies the FBI, & agent Kelso (Dean Joanes) is assigned to the job of following the cat. The movie was followed 32 years later with a fairly good remake starring Christina Ricci & Doug E Doug.

    5-0 out of 5 stars "That Darn Cat" is a Disney gem!
    Young teenager Patti Randall (Hayley Mills) discovers that the Randall cat, D.C. which stands for Darn Cat, comes home one night wearing a wrist-watch around his neck. Scratched behind the watch are the letters 'H', 'E', and part of an 'L'. Patti's imagination runs away with her and she figures out that the letters were supposed to spell out the word "HELP"! Patti thinks that the watch belongs to a kidnapped teller, Margaret Miller (Grayson Hall). And she is correct! Ms. Miller had been kidnapped by two bank robbers Dan (Neville Brand) and Sammy (Frank Gorshin) and fearing for her life, had put the wristwatch on D.C. Luckily, Patti, ignoring her sister Ingrid's (Dorothy Provine) commands on not to call the police, instead calls the FBI and gets help from Agent Zeke Kelso (Dean Jones). From there starts a zany adventure in which Zeke Kelso has to follow D.C. to the crooks while fighting off nosy neighbors, jealous boyfriends, and D.C.'s disappearing maneuvers.

    Based on the book "Undercover Cat" written by the Gordons, "That Darn Cat" is a Disney gem! For those who have read the book must be warned though that this movie is very different from the book, yet still hilarious and exciting! One of the best things about this movie though is that superb cast of stars! Everyone is perfect for their parts, from Hayley Mills the full-of-life Randall girl, Ingrid the serious sister, Dean Jones the allergic FBI agent, Roddy McDowall the short-tempered neighbor, Elsa Lanchester the nosy neighbor, her husband played by William Demarest, Tom Lowell as Canoe the jealous boyfriend, Ed Wynn the very nervous watch jeweler, and Richard Eastham as the FBI Supervisor. And of course we can't forget D.C. who is actually a very good actor! The title song is fun to listen to, very jazzy and sung by Bobby Darin.

    If you still haven't seen this movie, I really recommend that you do! For other great Disney Hayley Mill's movies, I suggest you watch "The Parent Trap", "Pollyana", "The Moon Spinners", and "Summer Magic".

    5-0 out of 5 stars Cats Rule & Dogs SUCK!
    The best movie of all time! My favorite part is when the cat tricks that bulldog ((...) that dog was so stupid!). So the cat climbs up the tree and knocks the hummingbird feeder off and it falls in the corner of the yard. The bulldog wakes up and runs over to the spot and starts jumping up and down barking. That (...) dog did not even notice the cat slinking up and start eating his food. Then he finally notices the cat and chases him. The cat jumps on top of a loose board, causing the other end to come up. Just as the dog gets there the board hits him HARD on the face. And he's all whimpering 'n' stuff and the cat runs away! Then the dog sticks his sorry face up and he says, "That Darn Cat!" I could not stop laughing through the whole movie! THIS IS DEFINATLY A MOVIE FOR CAT LOVERS (NOT DOG LOVERS!). HOPE YOU THINK SO TOO!*

    5-0 out of 5 stars Classic Cat!
    This movie is a crowd pleaser to this day! I show it as a special reward to my 2nd grade classes each year, and it is wonderful to see that a good, old-fashioned family film is enjoyable after 40+ years! They love the slapstick humor, and they like to complain about the nosy neighbor. Disney at its finest!

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Darn Good Movie
    Get this movie if you have kids. They'll love it. You'll love it. Only positive messages here. ... Read more


    14. The Sound of Music
    Director: Robert Wise
    list price: $6.98
    our price: $6.98
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    Asin: B000067JG3
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 19
    Average Customer Review: 4.65 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (337)

    5-0 out of 5 stars The happiest sound in its best version yet!
    Reviled by some, beloved by many, consistently referred to as the most popular movie musical ever made, THE SOUND OF MUSIC more than fulfills the promise of its beautiful visuals and expert song numbers on home video via DVD. This edition tops the 1995 laserdisc by allowing the sparkling, exemplary design of its 70mm. Todd-AO frame to be exhibited with increased sharpness and resolution. The 4.1 Dolby Digital soundtrack is powerful and clean, but since this film was originally mixed for six-track magnetic stereo, it's curious why the effort wasn't made by Fox to split the surrounds! Nonethless, the film sounds terrific. The extra features make this package a bargain at the price. Full length commentary by director Bob Wise, with the musical numbers presented sans vocals, is a great touch. And the two documentaries are beautifully presented; full of facts and bits of arcane information that any fan will truly enjoy. A great movie, and a great DVD rendition. More like this, PLEASE!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful!!! One of the Best Musicals Ever Made!!!
    First of all, I'd like to confess that I've probably watched this movie more than one hundred times in my lifetime.

    "The Sound of Music" is such a popular movie that people can't enough of making fun of it, which is understandable: I mean, a nun, seven children, songs by Rodgers and Hammerstein, and Austrian landscape. In reality, most of these people probably haven't sat down and watched this movie, because it is an absolutely unforgettable experience.

    Julie Andrews is absolutely magical as Maria. When she runs on the mountaintop and starts singing the famous lyrics "The hills are alive...," it sends chills down my spine to this day. Christopher Plummer cuts a good figure as the captain but gave a rather stiff performance: he doesn't bring anything extra to the role. Eleanor Parker, as the Baroness, was wasted--a role like that was far beneath her talents. But the children were all wonderful, especially Charmian Carr who was charming as Liesl.

    This movie is ultrasentimental and proud of it. But I'll stick with this rather than some of those one-dimensional slasher flicks which are in fashion these days. It has a plausible story, some of the world's most remembered songs, and the glorious Austrian and Swiss Alps in the background. Overall, I can't say anything other than I loved it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Hills Are Alive...Now and Forever
    No matter how many times you've seen this 1965 musicalization of the 1959 stage classic, it's still a joy to behold. For me, there are many reasons. On location filming in Saltzburg heightens the story's magnitude. The casting of Julie Andrews as Maria Von Trapp was a coup for both 20th Century Fox and director Robert Wise. She's magnificent and ever so professional. Back then, this was only her third Hollywood movie. But she's a pro from start to finish. Everything she does it fraught with such emotion and conviction, you'd swear she was Maria Von Trapp. Opening up the stage play with several new scenes, sub plots, songs, characters and dialogue also benefits what could have been a very sticky situation. Finally, there's the DVD itself. This is the widescreen version that was shown back in theaters when the film first opened. It includes the intermission and the Act II opening music. With no formatting for television, you get to see everything in all it's technicolor glory. On video, half the Von Trapp children didn't fit on the televsion screen. Musical numbers lost there scope as did scenes where you had 13 characters in one room and only saw 7 on the screen. I highly recommend this DVD. But wait, there's more. The 87-minute documentary is awesome. So are segments showing scenes that were cut and up dates on how the kids look today.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Incredible movie, must see, but don't buy the one disc
    First off. Think you have seen the Sound of Music? Well you haven't. I thought I had, many times. Of course it was always around Xmas with the commerical breaks. But that is a much edited version. There are small but significant cuts everywhere in that version. So this is a great thing to have. My 3 stars relates directly to the lack of extras on the one disc. The movie is 5+ stars, but the lack of extras warrants the 3 stars.

    So this is a must buy. Also the commentary is very good here. But given the price for this on Amazon, just buy the 2 set version. I got the one disc version at a very good price so it is not a bad buy. But for $6 more, why not enjoy the double DVD? This is a must get for any movie fan, and if you are not into the extras, by all means buy this one. This movie, like all of Rogers and Hammerstein's work is emotional without ever being fake or sentimental. It is full of sentiment and completely honest sentiment at that, but never sentimentality. It totally puts to SHAME almost every director and producer and writer working in Hollywood today. Complete and total shame and disgrace. Nothing coming out of Hollywood today can hold a candle to this. Entire director's careers with academy awards can't even begin to even compare to just this one movie. So get some version, especially if you have young ones. Sit them down, and let them experience what a real movie can be.

    5-0 out of 5 stars This has been a great thing to share with my daughter.
    I grew up with this video and watched it on TV every year. The songs have always stuck in my head. I even did the Sound of Music Tour when I was in Austria. But now I've got my daughter introduced to this beautiful music. This and the Wizard of Oz are her favorites.

    I bought the easy piano scores for her to play the songs on the piano, and singing lessons on CD "Voice Lessons TO GO", by Vaccarino (They're great and a lot cheaper than private voice lessons!) for her, (even though I use them when she's at school). So she is confident to sing along while she plays her Edelweis and Do a Dear. We love it. ... Read more


    15. Star Wars - Episode IV, A New Hope
    Director: George Lucas
    list price: $19.98
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    Asin: 6301773551
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 5930
    Average Customer Review: 4.57 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (283)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A long time ago, in a cinema far, far away...
    A long time ago, in a cinema far, far away, a certain film called STAR WARS was released. Now, George Lucas' first installment in the hugely popular STAR WARS franchise is generally regarded as the greatest movie ever made. Why? Well, what's not to like? From the opening shot of the Blockade Runner accompanied by that great theme tune by John Williams, you know you're in the unique world of the STAR WARS universe. Before George's action-packed THE PHANTOM MENACE and ATTACK OF THE CLONES, A NEW HOPE was known only as STAR WARS. Audiences had never seen anything so original and amazing. Now, the series has entered into the fanboy culture all over the world. In comparison, Episode 4 seems somewhat tame compared to ATOC, but it's still an astounding adventure filled with great characters, great action set-pieces and strident theatrical music.

    From Hero Luke Skywalker's symbolic journey from his home Tatooine to the moment of victory at the finale, we are greeted with a myriad of fantastic characters, especially Han Solo, played by a pre-Indy Harrison Ford and his buddy Chewbacca, flying around in their Millenium Falcon. And the ultimate incarnation of evil, Darth Vader. British veteran actors Alec Guiness and Peter Cushing are excellent as a wise yet ageing "Old Ben" Kenobi and Vader respictively. And that, more than anything, is what made TPM so hollow. While the action was good, the lack of good characters was disappointing. But AOTC has regained much of the sense of adventure that this film started off.

    Lucas' grand vision illuminates the entire film, with inventive creatures and events. Several scenes that are my favorites are Obi Wan's conversation to Luke about the Clone Wars and Vader, Solo's disposal of Greedo, Obi Wan and Vader's last battle and the destruction of the death star. The prominant influences that left their creative mark on the film range from westerns to Akira Kurosawa's Samurai pictures. The influence the film itself had on cinema (it invented the Summer Blockbuster) is astounding, with everything from figurines to frisbees from the hysteria over the film's captivating originality and subsequent zeitgeist. One of my all-time favorite films, STAR WARS is THE great adventure.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Do I really have to Say anything?
    It's what? Going on 30 years since "A New Hope' was released to massive success (and even again in 1997)? You bet, and it still looks fresh and feels right. The film has an attitude to it. A little arrogant and a little sarcastic, but still thrilling and and made the foundation for almost every action and fantasy movie to follow. Only the recent release of the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy has had near that much impact (which I consider this generation's Star Wars).

    George Lucas was at his creative peak in the "Hope," and it shows. The special effects are used to help paint the world in which the characters live. They don't distract and they don't take away from the actors' performances. The trench run with the Death Star can still live today with modern special effects laden scenes. And the actors are so convincing in their roles, unlike some in the prequels. Alec Gunniess leads the cast with his Shakesperian wisdom, and the cool Harrison Ford is just , well, cool. Also Mark Hamill is great, as is Carrie Fischer as princess Leia. And who can forget Chewie? Star Wars still delivers, watch and enjoy.

    5-0 out of 5 stars It's Star Wars!
    If you have seen this movie, then no words need to be said. But if you haven't, come out from under that rock and watch it!
    This movie just has to be seen!
    By the way, just skip the prequels. Those ones suck.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Yes, Han Shoots First!
    Ah, c'est la vie, the best movie of the trilogy, followed closely by "The Empire Strikes Back". "Star Wars" is a classic tale of friendship, loyalty, and bravery. Full of action. Ah, and this version has no CGI Jabba. Han shoots first. Jawa scene where they unload R2 and 3PO. A lot better than Lucas' pile of dog sh*t the so-called Special Editions. Go, original theatricals. Nothing stops these movies in their 1977, 1980 and 1983 debut.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Hard on the eyes - I must disagree with the fans
    I much rather want to think about the great theme music by Meco (for which I am giving the 2 stars) than the almost painful visual roller-coaster ride of a movie it came with. The special effects may have been ground breaking, but they were a bit much to watch. I was 15 and could handle such things much better than I could today -- I'd just walk out! Princess Leah was beautiful, but I liked her much better on SNL doing the Beach Scene with Frankie & Annette (Gilda & Bill).** ... Read more


    16. Mrs. Doubtfire
    Director: Chris Columbus
    list price: $9.98
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    Asin: B00005UWCA
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 51
    Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (15)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Charming, Funny and Touching
    I loved this film. It was charming, funny, fun, and of course sad at times. This is a movie about a family struggling to come to terms with a divorce. It shows all sides of the story and I didn't see where it left anything out.

    Robin Williams is spectacular! He is funny as usual, but he captures the hurt when necesary too.

    I don't think you will regret watching this one.

    5-0 out of 5 stars B-e-autiful movie!
    Mrs. Doubtfire is the sweetest movie ever. Though it's rated PG-13, it's still a perfect movie to watch with your kids. Also, look at Robin Williams and think, "Thank God that's not my life!"

    5-0 out of 5 stars Laugh Out Loud Funny
    This is laugh out loud funny. Robin Williams makes it what it is and the rest of the actors are just props. If you like Robin Williams, you won't want to miss this one. Outstanding!!!

    The best scene is the restaurant scene. While it is a comedy, it does have something to say about love, that it can take many forms...that a wacky transvestite can be loved too. :)

    5-0 out of 5 stars We never tire of this one
    It's hard to find a movie these days that the whole family can enjoy, but this is one of them. Some stellar set pieces by Robin Williams stay in my memory: dancing with the vacuum, the son walking in on his dad (dressed as a woman) peeing while standing up, smacking out his/her flaming fake bosom with pot lids, quitting his job as voice over by imitating Elmer Fudd and telling his boss to p-p-p-p-p-piss off, the switching roles and costumes at the restaurant near the end...
    It's the story of divorce, and mom has custody and prevents dad (Williams) from seeing the kids. So he dresses as a British nanny and is hired to care for them. Beautifully acted by everyone. Very touching message lies just below the surface of all the slapstick. Invite the kids, your parents, the neighbors, the babysitter, and watch it over and over.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Hilarious film and brilliantly acted by everyone!
    This was one of the best films of the 90's. Robin Williams does an amazing job playing both comedy and dramatic parts. Sally Field, as always, shines in her portrayal of a divorced mother trying to move on with her life with her kids and a new man, Pierce Brosnan.

    The hijinks will keep you laughing throughout the movie. Not only funny, it is heartwarming and will be helpful for all families no matter whether they are from divorced homes or not. Very famiy friendly.

    I love this film. Get it and you won't be disappointed. ... Read more


    17. Valley of the Dolls
    Director: Mark Robson
    list price: $12.98
    our price: $12.98
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    Asin: 0793910471
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 230
    Average Customer Review: 3.92 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com essential video

    They don't make 'em like this anymore. Well, John Waters might, if he ever had a big enough budget. A steamy "inside look" at the alternately sleazy and glamorous world of catfighting, backbiting show-biz starlets, this Hollywood hit from the bestselling novel by Jacqueline Susann is a high-gloss camp artifact--a time capsule (or some kind of capsule, anyway)--from the screwy '60s, when a broad was a broad, a bitch was a bitch (whether "her" name was Neely O'Hara or Ted Casablanca), and a "doll" was a prescription drug. These dames of whine and poses obsessed over their bust lines, booze, and barbiturates. The once-shocking and scandalous language and behavior of these Broadway babes has been eclipsed by Dallas, Dynasty, and Melrose Place, but time has only enhanced the stature of Valley of the Dolls as a classic--and it still puts Showgirls to shame. With Patty Duke, Susan Hayward, Sharon Tate, Lee Grant, Barbara Parkins, and Martin Milner (and juicy, scene-chewing dialogue such as the infamous: "They drummed you out of Hollywood, so you come crawling back to Broadway. But Broadway doesn't go for booze and dope--now get out of my way, I've got a man waiting for me!"), Valley of the Dolls is the Mount Rushmore of backstage movie melodramas. --Jim Emerson ... Read more

    Reviews (106)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Patty Dukes it out in Dolls
    This is truly the ultimate Camp Classic film of all time. Patty Duke gives a mezmerizing performance as Singer Neely O'Hara and creates an unforgetable character in the process. It is HER film all the way, although Susan Hayward does an excellent job in a supportive Role. And, as Neely O'Hara Patty gets the opportunity to perform such songs as "It's Impossible", "Give a Little More" and of course the memorable "Come Live With Me". Just for these moments alone, the film is worth viewing. It will be interesting to see if the DVD will contain some out-take footage for the film's many many fans to see. Judy Garland, who originally was slated to portray Helen Lawson, was too ill at the time of filming to complete her scenes. Thus, Susan Hayward was called in to replace her and does a good job with the tough-as-nails Helen Lawson character. If you want to be totally entertained and mezmerized, buy or rent this video. And remember, you're not nutty, you're just hooked on Dolls.

    5-0 out of 5 stars RELIVE THE MOVIE IN YOUR CAR OR W/ YOUR WALKMAN!
    I would most definitely recommend this soundtrack for anyone is who is a big fan of the movie! The music is perfectly matched to each scene and when you listen to the soundtrack you can, as one of the previous reviewers said, picture each scene in your mind. I get a good chuckle listening to "Neely's Career Montage" and picturing Patty Duke's "workout" and rise to fame! And when I hear "Jennifer's French Movie", I see the beautiful Sharon Tate tossing around under the covers and speaking French! Barbara Parkins's distinguished and elegant narration make the first track a priceless, campy gem that sets the tone for the festivities. While it is disappointing that the title track ("Theme from 'Valley of the Dolls'" - apparently Dionne Warwick's record label had a dispute with the record label that released this soundtrack) and "I'll Plant My Own Tree" are not the versions heard in the film, they still sound similar enough that they manage to convey the same feelings of nostalgic joy! Interestingly enough, the songs Patty Duke's character sings are not really Patty's voice, but the singer they used was a great match for Patty's persona in the movie and both fabulous songs appear here! What more can I say?! If you aren't a big fan of the movie, then this soundtrack probably won't do a thing for you, but if you LOVE the movie like I do, then I a certain you will LOVE this delightfully cheesy soundtrack!

    5-0 out of 5 stars More Quoteable Quotes
    I can't resist....More Quotes:

    "Ted Casablanca is NOT a fag. And I'm the dame who can prove it."

    "You're not the breadwinnah either."

    "Tony! Tony! To-neeeeeeeee!"

    "Miriam.....I'm pregnant."

    "Sparkle Neely...Sparkle."

    "She's the one who wanted the kiddies and the vine covered cottage."

    "My beautiful little doll. Just one, and one more."

    "We're closing now Miss O'Hara."

    "Oh God you've got your costume on for the second act!"

    "Lyon? He's in the shower. I'll have him call you back."

    "I've done pills, booze and a funny farm. I don't need anybody or anything!"

    "The song goes, and the kid with it"

    "I know all about run-of-the-play contracts."

    "Neely, just a few short years ago you were an unknown little girl singing for her supper. Now because of the lush, warm notes that have emerged from your throat, you have become the idol of record buyers and movie goers all over America."

    5-0 out of 5 stars I need more than 5 stars
    Heck - the quotes alone will cover a page. See if you can add to this list:

    "I wanted a marriage like mom and dad's, but not yet. First I want new experiences, new faces, new surroundings. Lawrenceville will be there foreveah."

    "I remember the night I told them I was going to New York. They said it was a dreadful place for a vacation. I announced I was going to work there."

    "George Washington didn't sleep there but he did dip a bucket of water from our well."

    "I can still see them standing there waving. Aunt Amy, Mama and Willie. Poor Willie, he didn't know I was leaving his life forevah."

    "Queenie's pregnant again. My Siamese. Drat! I hope its not that beat up black Tom."

    "Black Siamese should be very pretty. I'm Anne Wells."

    "Oh yes, the agency phoned about you. A BA in Radcliffe. Mr. Bellamy will like that. He will thin it will gives the office tone."

    "Don't give her that I loved you when I was a little girl routine or she'll stab you in the back."

    "Neely never had that hard core like me. She never learned to roll with the punches."

    "Find yourself a wife. Have kids. Or one day you'll wind up alone like me. I wonder what the hell happened?"

    5-0 out of 5 stars "They drummed you right out of Hollywood.....
    ...so you come crawling back to Broadway"....

    Just one of a myriad of oh-so-quotable lines from the classic VALLEY OF THE DOLLS, based on Jacqueline Susann's steamy pulp-fiction bestseller of 1966. The acting is pure cheese, the script is a paler, watered-down imitation of Susann's text and the songs are God-awful. But there is something about this little gem that draws me in time after time. I could easily watch it once or twice a day and never get bored with it.

    The story recounts three girls in New York: Anne Welles (Barbara Parkins - BEAR ISLAND), Neely O'Hara (Patty Duke - THE MIRACLE WORKER) and Jennifer North (Sharon Tate).

    Anne has just arrived from small-town Lawrenceville, and landed a job as secretary in an entertainment law-firm. This leads Anne to the acquaintance of Neely, a young up-and-coming Broadway singer who's just been dumped from the new musical starring Helen Lawson (Susan Hayward - I WANT TO LIVE). The reason?...Neely would easily steal the show, and the only star of a Helen Lawson show is Helen Lawson...!

    Anne also meets Jennifer, a sweet but by her own admission, talentless showgirl/model. Anne's boss Lyon Burke (Paul Burke) arranges for Neely to sing on a charity telethon, and she quickly lands her own revue at a prominent nightclub. Jennifer marries handsome crooner Tony Polar (Tony Scotti) against the wishes of his sister/manager Miriam (Lee Grant - VOYAGE OF THE DAMNED). Anne then gets discovered by a cosmetics firm and becomes the glamorous 'Gillian Girl'.

    The story moves to Hollywood where both Neely and Tony are turned into movie stars. Success comes too fast and easily for Neely who disappears into a heady world of dolls and alcohol. Tony is tragically struck down with a mysterious disease which leaves him paralysed in a sanitarium. To make ends meet, Jennifer becomes an adult-film star.

    After going through two failed marriages, Neely hits bottom and is admitted into a rehab center, at Lyon and Anne's behest. With the offer of a new Broadway musical, Neely emerges and quickly finds her feet again, only to break Anne's heart when she claims Lyon for herself. Jennifer quits the porn business and discovers she has breast cancer.

    At a party for Helen Lawson's new musical, which bombed out-of-town, Neely and Helen duke it out in the ladies' room, resulting in the famous wig-ripping scene, which is probably the greatest piece in the whole film.

    Another great moment is Susan Hayward singing "I'll Plant My Own Tree" standing in the middle of a huge mobile, constructed of broken traffic-lights! Margaret Whiting provided Hayward's singing, though the role of Helen Lawson was originally earmarked for Judy Garland (and the song reeks of Garland influence).

    VALLEY OF THE DOLLS is a campy little gem, one that has a HUUUGE and dedicated following. Patty Duke has never eaten so much scenery in any of her subsequent films, Sharon Tate is luminous and Barbara Parkins (aka the Living Mannequin) is just what is called for the role of Anne.

    VALLEY OF THE DOLLS. A true classic. Accept no substitutes. ... Read more


    18. Star Wars - Episode I, The Phantom Menace (Widescreen Edition Boxed Set)
    Director: George Lucas
    list price: $29.98
    our price: $29.98
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 6305750750
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 9998
    Average Customer Review: 3.48 out of 5 stars
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    "I have a bad feeling about this," says the young Obi-Wan Kenobi(played by Ewan McGregor) in Star Wars: Episode I, The PhantomMenace as he steps off a spaceship and into the most anticipated cinematic event... well, ever. He might as well be speaking for thelegions of fans of the original episodes in the Star Wars sagawho can't help but secretly ask themselves: Sure, this is StarWars, but is it my Star Wars? The original elevatedmoviegoers' expectations so high that it would have been impossible forany subsequent film to meet them. And as with all the Star Warsmovies, The Phantom Menace features inexplicable plot twists, afistful of loose threads, and some cheek-chewing dialogue. Han Solo'sswagger is sorely missed, as is the pervading menace of heavy-breatherDarth Vader. There is still way too much quasi-mystical mumbo jumbo,and some of what was fresh about Star Wars 22 years earlierfeels formulaic. Yet there's much to admire. The special effects arestupendous; three worlds are populated with a mélange of creatures, flora, and horizons rendered in absolutedetail. The action and battle scenes are breathtaking in theircomplexity. And one particular sequence of the film--theadrenaline-infused pod race through the Tatooine desert--makes the chariot race inBen-Hur look like a Sunday stroll through the park.

    Among the host of new characters, there are a few familiar walk-ons. Wewitness the first meeting between R2-D2 and C-3PO, Jabba the Hutt looksyounger and slimmer (but not young and slim), and Yoda is as crabby asever. Natalie Portman's stately Queen Amidala sports hairdos that makePrincess Leia look dowdy and wields a mean laser. We never bond withJedi Knight Qui-Gon Jinn (Liam Neeson), and Obi-Wan's day is yet to come. Jar Jar Binks, a crossbetween a Muppet, a frog, and a hippie, provides many of the movie's lighter moments, while Sith Lord DarthMaul is a formidable force. Baby-faced Anakin Skywalker (Jake Lloyd) looks too youngand innocent to command the powers of the Force or wield a lightsaber (much less transmute into the future Darth Vader), but hisboyish exuberance wins over skeptics.

    Near the end of the movie, Palpatine, the new leader of the Republic,may be speaking for fans eagerly awaiting Episode II when hepats young Anakin on the head and says, "We will watch your career withgreat interest." Indeed! --Tod Nelson ... Read more

    Reviews (2449)

    5-0 out of 5 stars 5 stars for DVD quality, 3 stars for the movie
    I'm reviewing only the DVD, and not the movie itself, which was a bit of a stinker, in my opinion. Well produced, beautifully filmed, but very poorly written.

    Anyway - this is an awesome and incredibly well done DVD. Lots and lots of extras. Great commentary by Lucas, the producer, the sound man, etc. Interview with the composer. Lots and lots and LOTS of background materials on the making of the film, and the entire process of putting it together from initial writing to final production, and the making of the DVD itself.

    The image of the movie is *very* crisp and clean. The deleted scenes are a nice addition to the movie. I am very impressed (and surprised, to be cynical about it) that Lucas has given us the full-featured DVD the first time out, and not offered us one scaled down DVD version, only to offer us a better version in a year, and then the full-scale one a year after that, like he's constantly done with the VHS versions of his movies. Thank you, Lucas, for taking care of your fans this time, and not trying to pad your pockets a few times before giving the fans what they *really* want.

    Quality-wise, this is absolutely one of the most loaded, best-featured DVDs I have in my collection.

    (as a p.s. - after hearing Lucas' commentary, and talking about some things coming up in the next movies, I have realized that a few things I criticized about this movie actually make sense oin terms of the upcoming story-line. However, I still think that, overall, the writing for this movie was only a cut above old b-movies)

    4-0 out of 5 stars OK Movie, Great DVD
    The Phantom Menace was probably the most heavily anticipated movie in history. It was the prequel to the original Star Wars series and George Lucas was taking the helm as director for the first time since Star Wars in 1977. The film was hyped incessantly and, of course, the final product failed to live up to the expectations. The Phantom Menace is not a bad film. It actually is absolutely amazing to look at and the special effects are incredible. The problem with the film is the plot. It seems disjointed as it bounces around from scene to scene. It seems that Mr. Lucas was to preoccupied with getting the film to look right than the actual story (which is what made the first Star Wars so great). Many people weren't happy with the casting of several roles, especially Ewan MacGregor as Obi Won Kenobi, but he does a decent job in an undeveloped role. Liam Neeson is commanding as Qui Gon Jin and Natalie Portman is quite good as Queen Amadala. The biggest complaint that most people had with the film was with the character of Jar Jar Binks and I won't disagree with most of what's been said about the annoying character. Mr. Lucas has previously shunned the DVD arena (American Graffiti is the only one of his films to appear in the format), but he goes about this release with a vengeance. The extras, including seven deleted scenes, are worth buying this DVD alone. Mr. Lucas spent an additional four million dollars on them and the money is well spent.

    5-0 out of 5 stars prequel?
    in this one,there is a council of jedis who rule everything and keep the peace.yoda,ben,some black dude and on like that.a younger ben finds a little kid-who is called anakan and later vadar.that kid wins his freedom with bens help in a very cool pod race.ben recognizes the force in the little one and decides to train him as a jedi.the bad guy is darth maul who has a double bladed light saber-very cool.hes the coolest looking character yet.i think peple came down too hard on jar-jar.hes a dork but there have been a lot worse.the kids will like it.it is the 4th part but the first episode.everybody should go see this one because just anybody will like it.anakans mom was pretty nice if she cleaned herself up.this movie isnt as good as the tv says but they blow everything all out of proportion anyway.this movie is abselutely incredible though.i think the black dude may be in the matrix too.its good too.the special effects are good.after this there is one more.then there is an animated short film.there is also another one on the way next summer.

    2-0 out of 5 stars To Lucas: Eye of the Tiger, Man!!
    To quote the famous lines by Apollo Creed from Rocky III, "You lost for all the wrong reasons, you lost your edge. Eye of the tiger, man!"
    A good analogy when you think of it...

    When Lucas made the first trilogy he was a relativly unknown up-and-comming writer/director full of desire and well, "hunger" to make his mark. That drive lead to the masterpieces of pop culture we know as ANH and ESB. By ROTJ his edge was already waning but thankfully it was the last one... or so we thought.

    By the time TPM came out he lost it completely and produced a quite mediocre if at best ordinary film. Living like a king for the past 20+ years made him not "hungry and full of desire" but fat and content. He lost his edge.

    Peter Jackson's LOTR Trilogy is so much better than Lucas' last 2 efforts for this same reason. Jackson has the "eye of the tiger"!

    Lucas HAS to get his edge back. Most agree AOTC is better than TPM but not by much. Will episode 3 prove that Lucas got it back??

    If only reality played out like the fantasy of Rocky III and Lucas brings home a REAL winner....

    1-0 out of 5 stars What drug was George Lucas on?
    I love Star Wars, Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi. I think that George Lucas should have stopped there. The two movies: The Phantom Menace and the Attack of the Clones....SUCK! What was George Lucas thinking? Jar Jar Binks needs to tossed off the face of the earth, and Hayden Christansen (while hot), needs to take some acting lessons. Not enough special effects in the world could make me want to see the third release. Poor acting and writing have made me want to run for cover! Where's the FORCE when you need it? ... Read more


    19. Ray
    Director: Taylor Hackford
    list price: $23.98
    our price: $20.38
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0006OD44E
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 76
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    Jamie Foxx's uncannily accurate performance isn't the only good thing about Ray. Riding high on a wave of Oscar buzz, Foxx proved himself worthy of all the hype by portraying blind R&B legend Ray Charles in a warts-and-all performance that Charles approved shortly before his death in June 2004. Despite a few dramatic embellishments of actual incidents (such as the suggestion that the accidental drowning of Charles's younger brother caused all the inner demons that Charles would battle into adulthood), the film does a remarkable job of summarizing Charles's strengths as a musical innovator and his weaknesses as a philandering heroin addict who recorded some of his best songs while flying high as a kite. Foxx seems to be channeling Charles himself, and as he did with the life of Ritchie Valens in La Bamba, director Taylor Hackford gets most of the period details absolutely right as he chronicles Ray's rise from "chitlin circuit" performer in the early '50s to his much-deserved elevation to legendary status as one of the all-time great musicians. Foxx expertly lip-syncs to Ray Charles' classic recordings, but you could swear he's the real deal in a film that honors Ray Charles without sanitizing his once-messy life. --Jeff Shannon ... Read more

    Reviews (276)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great Job by Jamie Foxx
    Jamie Foxx gives a five star, award-winning, performance of a lifetime in this movie filled with drama, romance, humor, drugs, triumph, and quality music. Showing the trials and tribulation of one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century it follows Ray Charles Robinson from the start of his career as he deals with such various obstacles as blindness, racism, his brother's death as a child, and heroin addiction. This film is well rounded with numerous familiar faces but one unknown face deserves just as much recognition as Foxx. This person is Sharon Warren who portrays Ray's strong willed mother who makes his learn to stand up for him self despite his handicap and not to let anyone keep him from what he wants in life. While not being the most glamorous portrayal of a legend it show how strong and utterly amazing the man really was. Laced with the actual music of and by Ray Charles you get the feeling you are really watching the man himself. Highly recommended.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent film...one of the best of 2004
    Genre: Bio-Pic Drama/Musical

    Genre Grade: A+

    Final Grade: A

    This was an excellent movie. It was much more serious-toned than I thought it would be, giving a strong glimpse into adultery and drug addiction and also gives a horrific glimpse into Ray's childhood. The movie is also uplifting with the story of Ray finding his own sound, and just all the music in general. Definitely worth seeing (and worth sitting nearly three hours for), and although the conclusion of the movie feels very rushed and unexpected, it has such a strong body and introduction that make it worth it. Jaime Foxx was amazing in it, and I've got my bets on him for taking home the Oscar next year. There were seriously a couple of moments in the movie where it almost seemed like they inserted some old footage with the real Ray Charles in it because he stepped into the role so well. Great movie, see it!

    3-0 out of 5 stars Sheesh...big deal!
    Oh please!Enough with all these accolade about Jamie Foxx's performance.All I saw was an IMPERSONATION.He wasnt multidimensional and I didnt see CHARACTER.Acting like Ray Charles is not enough,he should have lived it through the movie.Im not pretending to be an acting expert here (because im not) but Jamie Foxx doesnt deserve all these compliments,seriously.
    About the movie,its actually more fitting for HBO but what's good about this movie is that they didnt force the audience to think that Ray Charles was this noble being,unlike other biopics,which portrays the famous characters as if theyre saints.There are lots of holes in the movie and it focused on his music and his womanizing and we can get a glimpse of his childhood with a subplot of him being banned to play in his hometown,other than that,theres nothing else.You should buy this if youre a big fan.But if you just like the music,just rent it.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Superlative Performances Elevate Solid, Episodic Biopic
    At this point, it seems superfluous to say Jamie Foxx gives a brilliant, surprisingly nuanced performance as Ray Charles, as he not only mimics the singer's mannerisms flawlessly but also provides texture and depth to the pained man underneath. It's startling to see Foxx perform at the piano in that idiosyncratic spasmodic style that Charles had, as the actor very often becomes indistinguishable from the legend. In the private moments also depicted here, Foxx is amazingly perceptive about the troubled, hard-shelled, often nasty man Charles apparently was in real life. Hardly the image one remembers from the Pepsi commercials or his other frequent, sometimes ridiculous TV appearances...anyone remember he was in several episodes of "The Nanny"?

    But the movie is not about the deconstruction of Ray Charles. In fact, director/writer Taylor Hackford and co-writer James L. White have written a literate, often powerful screenplay that makes us understand the complexity behind Charles' genius and the reasons for his inner demons. The challenge is that in order to remain true to his life story, Hackford and White have overstuffed the movie with so many milestone moments that it becomes episodic and sometimes rather wearing, especially when it comes to the film's depiction of Charles' two-decade heroin addiction. The sight of Charles shooting up and denying his addiction becomes almost a repetitive plot device, as if to provide melodramatic filler between the triumphant moments when he conquers musical frontiers that initially meet with resistance. That's not to say there aren't strong, compelling moments, as there are many. Ironically, one of the most memorable has nothing to do with Foxx but depicts a moment in Charles' hardscrabble Georgia childhood when little Ray trips over a chair and screams for his mother. Wordlessly, he picks himself up and becomes attuned to the sounds around him, picking up a cricket and realizing his mother is right in front of him. It's a transcendent moment.

    Hackford is not the most subtle of filmmakers (he made the over-the-top "The Devil's Advocate" among others), and unfortunately his exaggerated sense of melodrama creeps in now and then, in particular, the last section when he decides to go for a 1960's movie-style approach to drug rehabilitation and inserts a fantasy scene back to Charles' childhood that provides pat closure to his long-standing issues.It's an oddly surreal Hollywood-style scene that I feel betrays the honesty of what was presented before. But sometimes Hackford's excessiveness works in his favor, as in the supposedly improvised way that classics like "What'd I Say?" and "Hit the Road, Jack" were composed. I also think he does an effective job in making racism an inherent part of the story, not just a pointed plot device, specifically in showing how much of the manipulation Charles experienced in his career was not at the hands of white promoters. The movie also highlights Charles' decision not to play an unsegregated venue in Georgia and revisits that decision in a coda that takes place years later.

    Beyond Foxx, there is a gallery of superlative performances, especially by a trio of fine actresses. Kerry Washington is superb as Charles' wife Della Bea providing strength and tolerance in the face of her husband's drug addiction and constant adultery.Regina King plays backup singer Margie Hendricks, Charles' on-the-road mistress, with her requisite sass but with a penetrating desperation. Best of all is Sharon Warren, who portrays Charles' proud mother Aretha in flashbacks that make you understand where Charles got his courage and unbridled fury. Also providing excellent support are C.J. Sanders as the young Ray, who witnesses his young brother's accidental drowning and faces his impending blindness, and Clifton Powell as Charles' right-hand man Jeff Brown. The more well-known figures are played gamely though less memorably by Larenz Tate as an ambitious, very young Quincy Jones; Curtis Armstrong as an overly measured Ahmet Ertegun; and Richard Schiff as an anxious Jerry Wexler. At 153 minutes, the movie is rather long, and because of its episodic nature, stops rather abruptly in 1966 when Charles' personal and private lives seem to gain equilibrium. Regardless, the wondrous Foxx elevates this film biopic into something quite extraordinary.

    The two-disc DVD package has several extras worth noting. On the first disc, the chief addition is fourteen scenes deleted in the theatrical version that have been spliced into the version here and notated accordingly. Some provide interesting context to the story, though they sometimes slow the pacing, a problem coupled by the addition of dead pauses that hurt the overall quality of the viewing experience. All told, the extended version clocks in at a staggering 178 minutes. Taylor Hackford's commentary on the alternate audio track is informative but on the perfunctory side (I only wish Foxx could have added his perspective and can only dream what Charles could have contributed had he lived long enough to "see" the film's release.) On the second disc, those fourteen deleted scenes show up individually, and there are also three featurettes. The first is the obligatory making-of short, "A Look Inside Ray", which includes comments by the filmmakers and actors on making the film.The next short, "Walking in His Shoes", is about the meeting between Foxx and Charles before his death and discusses how Foxx got under the skin of the character. The last, "Ray Remembered", is a quick tribute to the spirit of Charles by those who loved and admired him.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Road Leads Back To You
    Most of us under sixty think of Ray Charles as a perpetually smiling, swaying, grayed old man wearing sunglasses, glued to the piano bench who mumbles out "Georgia."What most do not realize is that Ray Charles had been performing since the 1940's until his death in 2004.This film shows Ray as a vibrant young man and opens our eyes to a whole new world that many have never known, a world that includes segregation and the civil rights movement.The movie spans from Ray's childhood up until around 1963.Considering that Ray's career went on for forty years AFTER that is astounding.

    Ray Charles was born in Albany, Georgia, in 1930.Growing up in poverty in Florida during the Great Depression, he lost his little brother in a tragic accident that would haunt him the rest of his life.Around age seven, he went blind from glaucoma.Ray honed his knack for music at the state school for the blind and deaf.

    Although a true genius and pioneer of jazz, R&B, and even country western, Ray (Jamie Foxx) was not a perfect human being by any means.Ray had learned to be fiercely independent from his fiery and dedicated mother Aretha (Sharon Warren), who died when he was fifteen.Yet he was dependent on a couple of demons - women and heroin.These addictions had tragic consequences.The fact that Bea, his long-suffering wife (Regina King), stood by him all those years is an example of the kind of chemistry and love this man inspired.

    The movie reminds me so much of The Temptations (1998) as far as how the plot unfolds, that I would have given "Ray" four stars if it were not for Foxx's and Warren's performances.Foxx won Best Male Leading Actor for his sublime performance of a legend and an icon.Sharon Warren was so intense as Ray's mother.With her visible biceps on a fragile frame, she embodied the plight of all African Americans during Jim Crow.I want to see Warren again in a film.She is absolutely amazing.

    The movie has sexuality and drug use, but nothing too graphic.There is no bad language.All of the songs in the film are Ray's original recordings, lip-synched very well by Foxx and the backup girls.When I heard that the songs would be lip-synched, I did not think I would enjoy it, but it works very well and was very entertaining.

    The DVD has commentary by the director, and short readable bios of just about all the main and supporting actors in the film.It is a little annoying to have to read the white font and keep scrolling endlessly through each bio.

    ... Read more


    20. Becket
    Director: Peter Glenville
    list price: $29.98
    our price: $26.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 6300198731
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 197
    Average Customer Review: 4.64 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (39)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Peter O'Toole: A god, a genius, a maniac
    I just finished reading a (german) biography about Peter O'Toole and came here to see which movies are available on DVD. Unfortunately this one isn't.
    Peter O'Toole was (pardon: still is) an outstanding actor and "Becket" is one of his best movies. He and Richard Burton team up to give the performance of their lives. O'Toole as King Henry II and Burton as his friend and boon-companion and later archbishop Thomas Becket.
    Both were nominated for an Academy Award in a leading role and luckily neither of them won it. They both would have deserved the award equally.
    Kate Hepburn once called Peter O'Toole a "lousy picker". To often did he choose to do the wrong (=bad) movies and not even his superb acting could save these movies. This time he was right, perfectly right.
    Becket is a great movie and I would love to have it in my DVD library.

    5-0 out of 5 stars I Love Being King!
    Peter O'Toole says "I love being King," in the so called sequel to Becket. However he might as well mean it in this movie for his performance is so real as to make one think he actually is the king. Richard Burton does a fantastic job as the martyred Archbishop Thomas Becket. Burton's performance reminds one of his another great film (The Robe) where his character was also transformed from a self serving playboy to a pious saint. The scenery, script, dialogue, and direction are all academy award material. The film was so well done it gives one the illusion of being in 12th Century England, the history errors not withstanding. O'Toole is every inch King Henry II in "Becket" as Burton is every inch King Henry VIII in "Ann Of A Thousand Days." This movie is must see for any Anglofile and a must for any video library. It was truly one of Hollywood's greatest movies.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Will this EVER be on DVD??
    What a wonderful movie buta horrific version on VHS. Some of the scenes are so dark you have to really stretch to even make out basic facial features. It's sad indeed, with one of the best films by both Burton and O'Toole.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Rendering unto Caesar...
    "Becket" explores the question put to Christ two millenia ago of whether man owes his primary loyalty to his monarch or to God. The search for the resolution of that question, and how it was answered, makes "Becket" one of the best historical dramas ever made. Peter O'Toole and Richard Burton are in top form as the young Henry II of England and his partner-in-mayhem Thomas Becket, whose primary interests are wine and women and not necessarily in that order. England in the 12th century was devoutly Roman Catholic, and the Catholic hierarchy enjoyed a level of power and prestige equal to, if not higher than, the king himself. But when the old archbishop dies and Henry needs to appoint a successor in his place, Henry outfoxes everyone by doing an end run around the bishops and naming Becket as the new archbishop. The bishops are upset; they believe Henry intends for Becket to be a puppet figure to be used to further the king's own ends. But to everyone's surprise, Becket takes his job more seriously than Henry ever intended. No one could be more stunned and shocked at this development than Henry himself.

    The confrontation between Henry and the clergy is set immediately following the old archbishop's death, when Henry informs the assembled bishops that there will only be one head honcho in England, and that is the king. The bishops are not used to having their power abrogated by anyone outside the church; they answer only to the pope and to God. The king and clergy are on collision course, and Henry, to his chagrin, finds that Becket is solidly on the side of the Church his king has appointed him to represent. There will be no compromise here. The stage is thus set for a fateful confrontation.

    One has to wonder: when Henry blurted out his petulant rhetorical question "Will no one rid me of this turbulent priest?", did he really not expect to be taken at his word? He's made it clear over and over again that he is the king, and the king is the law. So it's hard not to feel a sense of disgust at Henry's hypocrisy as he undergoes a ritual flogging in the cathedral crypt to expiate his guilt at having instigated Becket's murder, and immediately afterwards announces on the church steps that Becket will be venerated as a saint. Power-hungry to the last, Henry has abrogated to himself the privilege of an announcement that should have come from the new archbishop, or from the pope who alone has the power of canonization.

    The film has everything going for it: a great plot, two excellent performances by Burton and O'Toole, terrific direction and cinematography, and fine historical accuracy. The Gregorian chant running through the scenes in the cathedral transport the viewer 700 years back in time. For two unforgettable hours, we're part of 12th century England.

    And finally, let me add my request to those of the other reviewers of this excellent movie: Will someone please hurry up and release this film on DVD? I'll be first in line to buy it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Dual Portraits: Monarch and Martyr
    Peter Glenville's direction of this film in no way diminishes the quality of acting among members of the cast, notably Burton and O'Toole, both of whom were nominated for an Academy Award for best actor in a leading role; however, Glenville allows a somewhat sluggish pace which reduces the dramatic impact of the plot, and especially of the multi-dimensional relationship between Thomas Becket (Burton) and his monarch, Henry II (O'Toole). In fact, Edward Anhalt received an Academy Award for his adaptation of Jean Anouilh's play. I wish Glenville had made better use of his cast as well as of Anhalt's screenplay. That said, Burton and O'Toole are magnificent. They portray youthful best friends who share a commitment to hedonism...and to little else. Later, Henry II selects an obviously reluctant Becket (by then a priest) to serve as Archbishop of Canterbury. Becket's acceptance marks a defining moment which he recognizes but his king does not: Henceforth his highest loyalty will be to Almighty God, not to the occupant of the English throne. Opinions vary as to whether or not the historical Henry specifically ordered Becket's assassination but all agree that he would never have authorized it to be done in Canterbury Cathedral. Nonetheless it was.

    This is a visually stunning film, perhaps even moreso than (for example) The Lion in Winter (1968) in which O'Toole also appears as Henry II. Granted, the relationship between Henry and Eleanor in that film is quite different from Henry's relationship with Becket. Also, The Lion in Winter covers only a few days during one Christmas season whereas the timeframe in Becket extends over several decades. However, both films focus on conflicting as well as congenial relationships. In Becket, Henry (in effect) finds himself competing with God for Becket's loyalty and devotion. He loses. The supporting cast is first-rate. Notably John Gielgud (Louis VII), Donald Wolfit (Bishop Folliot), Martita Hunt (Queen Matilda), and Gino Cervi (Cardinal Zambelli). The role of Queen Eleanor (Pamela Brown) is minor when contrasted with Eleanor (Katherine Hepburn) as she is presented in The Lion in Winter.

    Question: Why is there no DVD version of Becket?

    Those who share my high regard for this film are urged to check out the aforementioned The Lion in Winter as well as Cromwell  (1970), Elizabeth (1998), A Man for All Seasons  (1966), Anne of the Thousand Days (1969), and Mary, Queen of Scots  (1971). ... Read more


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