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  • Ubach, Alanna
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    $9.98 $8.34
    1. Robin Hood - Men in Tights
    $7.40 list($14.94)
    2. Quo Vadis?
    $69.89 list($19.98)
    3. Flower Drum Song
    $200.00 list($19.95)
    4. Mindwalk
    $39.98 list($9.98)
    5. Animal Farm
    $89.99 list($19.98)
    6. Airborne
    $6.99 list($14.99)
    7. The Great Muppet Caper
    $6.85 list($22.99)
    8. Robin Hood
    9. The Buddha of Suburbia
    10. Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit
    $4.97 $2.59
    11. Tracey Takes On...Fern & Kay
    $9.94 $4.95
    12. Legally Blonde
    $11.99 list($9.95)
    13. Gattaca
    $13.99 $5.24 list($14.98)
    14. Lonesome Dove (EP version)
    $14.98 $7.99
    15. Spartacus
    $27.90 list($12.98)
    16. The Scarlet and the Black
    $4.97 $3.65
    17. Tracey Takes On: Sex Romance Fantasy
    18. Go Tell the Spartans
    $16.40 list($14.95)
    19. Sayonara
    $19.98 $12.99
    20. Charlie Chan at the Opera

    1. Robin Hood - Men in Tights
    Director: Mel Brooks
    list price: $9.98
    our price: $9.98
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 6302946387
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 19
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan essential video

    It's not Blazing Saddles, but there are some chuckles to be found in Mel Brooks's 1993 spoof of the Robin Hood legend. Cary Elwes is Robin (with a lighthearted jab at Kevin Costner's bad English accent in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves), while Richard Lewis plays an angst-ridden King John, and Roger Rees a snotty Sheriff of Nottingham. Comic David Chappelle has some good moments as the only black member of Robins's noble thieves, and Brooks does his own spin on Friar Tuck: Rabbi Tuchman. The song-and-dance sequences featuring a chorus line of the Merry Men ("We're men / men in tights") is vintage Brooks, but otherwise the film can't get any traction. --Tom Keogh ... Read more

    Reviews (115)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A spoof for people who hate spoofs.
    If you're sick and tired of spoofs, especially the dumb ones of today, like "Mafia!" or "Scary Movie", this is the spoof for you. This movie has all kinds of crazy humor that doesn't offend anyone or go over the top, and has a mess of celebrities in it, like the main star, Cary Elwes, and a great supporting cast consisting of Amy Yasbeck, Dave Chappelle, Isaac Hayes, Megan Cavanaugh, and even Patrick Stewart, under the direction of comedy legend Mel Brooks, who also appears in the movie. This movie has all kinds of humor, from humor spoofing modern times, to "secret" humor, to metaphorical humor, and to simply wacky humor anyone can laugh at. Like the Monty Python movies and the Naked Gun trilogy, you'd have to be dead not to find this movie funny.

    So in short, see this movie! You'll laugh till your sides hurt!

    3-0 out of 5 stars It is not one of Mel Brook's best but there are some laughs
    I read that Mel Brook's made this movie because he is facinated with the Robin Hood legend (In particular the Errol Flynn version) Remember "When things were rotten" back in the seventies. He did this movie to poke fun at the Kevin Costner version "Prince of thieves". Apparently Kevin Costner refused to wear tights and as far as Mel Brooks was concern Robin Hood wore tights. I remember one line in which Rabbi Tuckman said to Robin Hood. Robin Hood you just won the heart of the princess YOU PRINCE OF THIEVES YOU!"

    Robin Hood is played the versitile actor Cary Elwese, who has done both comedy and drama. One of his most memorable lines in this movie was "Unlike other Robin Hoods, I have a British accent."

    My main complaint his that many of the Jokes are recycled from previous Mel Brook's movies. The scene with Dom De Louis as a Godfather like character was funny. It was a pretty good immitation of Marlon Brando.

    The actor who played hangman in this movie was also the Hangman in Blazing Saddles.

    Of course Mel Brook's always played a character in his movies. He played Rabbi Tuckman who made money by going to differevt villages performing circumcisions.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Funny?
    I saw this when it was released in theaters. I had hopes for quite a few laughs. Instead there were just a few. Very few. Ever see a "comedy" where you keep waiting for the funny stuff to happen, but it never does? That's what happens with "Robin Hood-Men In Tights".

    4-0 out of 5 stars A Classic Brooks Adventure!
    "Robin Hood: Men in Tights" was the first of Mel's movies that I saw. It was also one of the movies that sealed me as a Brook's fan! Cary Elwes was the classic Robin, with fun pokes at all the various others who had been in the role. The merry men were the funniest group gathered on one screen and the raps that began and ended the movie were a different idea, but still really cool. This movie should be given more credit as a hilarious comedy. In fact, when my school did the musical "Brigadoon' (which takes place in Scotland), a bunch of the guy actors did a parody of "Robin Hood" as a school broadcast commerial. They changed the words of the famous song "We're men in tights!" to "We're men in Kilts". It was classic! If you are looking for a good film, this is it!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Where is the DVD?
    This is one of the funniest movies ever made. If Dracula: Dead and Loving It can make it to DVD, then why not this? Not only that, but it is available in Europe and Australia but not in the US. What are they waiting for? ... Read more

    2. Quo Vadis?
    Director: Mervyn LeRoy
    list price: $14.94
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00003OSTV
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 930
    Average Customer Review: 4.59 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (27)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Real Christian Movie For Once
    Quo Vadis is a movie Ive seen many times and never tire watching. It has beautiful and panoramic scenes making it worthy of an epic. I loved Ustinov playing the evil demonic Nero and Laffan playing Nero's Empress wife. Truely I rarely see such great acting in our films of today.
    The greatest attributes of the film are the colliseum scenes in which the Christians are slaughtered for falsley being blamed for the burning of Rome. Nero was fully responsible for this horrid act. The scenes of Nero's court are entertaining and funny to see. Watching all of Nero's men cowtowing to their emperor and at the same time showing contempt for Nero's actions.
    The sets are great for 1951 standards and even by todays standards. The Roman Legion formations and custumes were excellent. Taylor's acting is medicore but sufficient and Debra Kerr is a beautiful woman who portrays the poor Christian slave convincingly. It is so so convincing, you would think she was a devout Christian in her private life to her credit as an actress. Also the costumes deserve a five star rating!
    The only negative thoughts to the film are the historial accuracies which reveal how short of time the Christian persecution lasted. It didn't end with the end of Nero. Don't let this keep you from buying a great film which does show some Roman and early Christian history and how Roman society existed during Nero's rule. I can't wait for the DVD production of this film. I only wish Hollywood would show films of this quality.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The biggest of the spectacle movies!
    Quo Vadis is a shining example of Hollywood at it's best, for a change! Big cast, big budget and a big plot set in Nero's Rome. Robert Taylor turns in one of his finest performances as Marcus Vinicus, an arrogant Roman commander who slowly finds his way of life and love being changed by a shy Christian girl, Deborah Kerr. Kerr is bewitching as the innocent in a debauched Rome and Peter Ustinov is chilling as the nutty but deadly Nero. All I can say is, if you buy this movie, you'll never regret it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A musical review.......
    Miklos Rozsa did a terrific job in composing the music for this movie. The great passion and emotion he can communicate is unsurpassed. In my opinion as a freelance composer it was very difficult to write the music for this tremendous film. It requiered a kind of kaleidoscopic character, each scene needed its own aura, its own color and unlike most filmscores it does not and it can not consist of short flimflams, each scene needed its own musical movement.

    The most I like the `Christ is King` theme for choir wich is also sung by the matyrs in the arena. A song wich is unstoppable and will not die or fade away, it is the centerstone of the Quo Vadis' musical climax.

    4-0 out of 5 stars VERY ENTERTAINING EPIC!!!
    I love this movie but I will not buy this on VHS. Why isn't it available on DVD? This movie deserves to be released on DVD - there is no excuse. What's the problem? PLEASE RELEASE THIS MOVIE ON DVD!!!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Christianity Versus The Decadence of Nero's Rome
    "Quo Vadis", based on the novel by Henryk Sienkiewicz would have to be near the top of my list of favourite 1950's religious epic productions. Indeed "Epic" is the word to fittingly describe this mammoth MGM production that cost an amazing 7 million dollars to make in 1950 and was the studio's biggest money maker since "Gone With The Wind". It has everything an epic movie lover could desire, the already stated fine literary source, breathtaking sets (no computer generated effects here!), meticulously researched historical costumes, enormous crowds scenes and a stunning recreation of Pagan Rome at it's height. The film boasts an extraordinary cast but towering over all of them is the late Peter Ustinov in his unforgettable performance as the deranged Nero. His interpretation of this infamous Emperor who began the first concentrated persecution of the early Christians is still the visual image for a lot of people, myself included,that first comes to mind when Nero's name is mentioned. Already having been filmed a number of times in the silent era and once again since this 1951 film, this is still the definitive version of the story of the early Christian Church struggling to survive in Nero's Rome after the great fire.

    With the advent of television in the early 1950's Hollywood fought back with splashy, lavish productions that could not be matched by the flickering black and white image of television in it's infancy. "Quo Vadis", lent itself perfectly for this purpose and an already shaky MGM put all of it's resources into the filming of this elaborate production. The story centres around cocky Roman soldier Marcus Vinicius (Robert Taylor) who after three years of successful campaigning returns to savour the delights of Nero's Rome. Detained at the villa of a retired Roman general Marcus falls for the simple charms of the general's adapted daughter Lygia (Deborah Kerr) who unbeknown to Marcus is secretly a Christian. Seeing her love for him but not understanding the families belief in the love of a single god and in loving your fellow man despite their background or race Marcus has Lygia taken to Rome and placed in Nero's "House of Women" and seeks to make her is own. Lygia escapes and is taken in by other believers but in the meanwhile Marcus finds himself the focus of the unwelcome and quite dangerous affections of the Empress Poppaea (Patricia Laffan). Meanwhile Nero's meglomania continues to grow and he develops a wild scheme to rebuild Rome to his own glory and secretly sets the city on fire. The backlash from this act however sets Nero to find a scapegoat and thus begins the persecution of the Christian sect that are, to the amazement of the Romans, the disciples of a simple young carpenter from Galilee who was executed for his beliefs. Marcus finds Lygia however both are imprisoned together as Christian believers to become the sport of Nero's festivities in the arena. The appearance of the Apostle Peter who has been called to Rome by Christ's message gives the Christians the strength to endure their ordeals and Marcus and Lygia are married by him just prior to his own matrydom on Vatican Hill. Nero however goes too far in his persecution and the mob turns on him resulting in his fall from power and suicide and the reins of power being taken over by the more level headed General Galba.

    While "Quo Vadis", in some areas is not always accurate historically the faults are not glaring ones and it does give a vivid picture of the growth of the early Christian movement and the persecution it endured which of course went on long after Nero's death. First and foremost it is inspiring and dramatic viewing and is the classic example of old style movie making at its most lavish. The film is filled with unforgettable images, for example the huge crowd scenes during Marcus' triumpiant entry into Rome, and the burning of the city by Nero which incredibly was done on both full sized and miniature sets. The cold blooded destruction of the Christians in Nero's Circus of course is probably the most vivid image in the film and is riverting in it's horror and accurate depiction of people being eaten by lions or being used as human torches. These scenes in "Quo Vadis", have I believe never been bettered in depicting the insanity and brutality of Nero and his regime. Performances are uniformily fine here. As the two lovers Robert Taylor and Deborah Kerr are just perfect as the two illmatched lovers from different worlds. Finlay Currie does a most inspirational piece of work as Peter and special mention must go to Patricia Laffan who is perfect in a chilling performance as the evil Empress Poppaea. Directed by MGM veteran Mervyn LeRoy, who was responsible for such diverse MGM productions as "Waterloo Bridge", and "Blossoms in the Dust", here he is still just as at home with this super scale type of film and his directoral integrity is evident in every frame of this film. "Quo Vadis", ended up being nominated for 8 Oscars including Best Picture and Best Supporting Actor for Peter Ustinov.

    I always find "Quo Vadis", a moving viewing experience generally around Easter time when my thoughts often go back to the earliest years of my religion. Liking the older style of movie making I can also appreciate the film on its superb technical achievements and massive historical recreation. This however never submerges my appreciation of its very simple message that all people need to love each other despite their differences for the world to be a happier place. Take time soon to view this epic production of "Quo Vadis", you wont regret it. ... Read more

    3. Flower Drum Song
    Director: Henry Koster
    list price: $19.98
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 6300184242
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 2234
    Average Customer Review: 4.29 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Rodgers and Hammerstein made BIG musicals--sweeping song and dance numbers, elaboratestagings, sweet heroines, and love struck but confused heroes. Flower DrumSong has all these elements, so why is it so little known? Perhaps becauseit had the misfortune to be released the same year (1961) as West SideStory, or maybe because at 133 minutes it's overlong, or did the audiencehave trouble accepting an all-Asian cast in an Asian-themed musical? Whateverthe reasons, it's time to recognize Flower Drum Song for the gem itis.

    Picture bride Mei Li (Miyoshi Umeki) and her father arrive in San Francisco,having smuggled themselves into the country so Mei Li can marry nightclub ownerSammy Fong (whose mother arranged the whole deal). Mei Li is fascinated by thecity and immediately charms its denizens with a delicate rendition of "OneHundred Million Miracles." Fong (Jack Soo), who is having an affair with hisstar singer, the sexy and scheming Linda Low (Nancy Kwan), pawns Mei Li off onthe Wang family, whose eldest son, Ta (James Shigeta), needs a wife (at leastthat's what his father has decided). Old Chinese culture and new American idealsclash at every turn, with the elders struggling to understand their Americanizedchildren and the children struggling to accept and honor their heritage. Thoughthe movie is dated in some respects, the theme of assimilation vs. separationholds up remarkably well and rings true. "The Other Generation" beautifullyillustrates the generation gap.

    As this is a romantic musical, you know from the beginning which couples willend up together. The most famous song is "I Enjoy Being a Girl," sung by LindaLow as she dresses to seduce Wang Ta. Though too many triangulations andmisunderstandings prolong the inevitable conclusion, Flower Drum Song isa very enjoyable and often funny ride. --Dana Van Nest ... Read more

    Reviews (31)

    5-0 out of 5 stars An Ahead-Of-Its-Time Musical
    Based on the novel by C.Y.Lee,it is probably the most ambitious of all R and H shows,and did have one of the shortest Broadway runs (600 performances,which is roughly a year)

    People tend to class their shows as follows-

    The Hits-South Pacific,Sound Of Music,Carousel,Oklahoma!,and The King And I.

    The Flops-Allegro,Me And Juliet.

    The In Betweens-Cinderella and Flower Drum Song.

    Nancy Kwan is great as Linda Low,although she was used as the 'marquee name' to draw the crowds.Broadway's Pat Suzuki would have made a bigger splash in the film.

    The charming Miyoshi Umeki is charming in her Broadway role,and Juanita Hall also scores big in the film.

    R and H really had their opus with the lilting and sad ballad,'Love Look Away'. It should be counted as one of the best,if not THE best,songs they wrote.

    3-0 out of 5 stars An uneven mixture redeemed by Umeki and some great songs
    This may be the most frustrating of all the Rodgers and Hammerstein's adaptations because its the most uneven. On Broadway, FLOWER DRUM SONG was anchored very firmly by twin star performances by Miyoshi Umeki as Mei-Li and Pat Suzuki as Linda Low. The film version wisely retained Umeki (and even allowed her more lines--and to sing almost the entirety of her great first song, "A Hundfred Million Miracles" by herself), but cast as Linda Nancy Kwan, who is paradisiacally beautifully and a fine dancer but who just does not have Suzuki's sock-it-to-me charisma. Nor did the singer who dubs Kwan: as a result, some of the more mediocre songs that Suzuki hit out of the ballpark on Broadway (like "Grant Avenue") just don't make it here.

    While it was extremely rare for a Hollywood film with not only a plotline concerning Asian-American themes but also mostly Asian-American actors, the director, Henry Koster, seems to have approached San Francisco's Chinatown as if it were a magical mythic kingdom like Munchkinland, and a little of this goes a long way. (You feel sorry for the actors forced to say things like "See ya Pop--don't take any wooden chopsticks!") On the other hand, the strength of many of the performances carry the day, and the score has some exceptionally beautiful songs, particularly the famous "Love, Look Away," lipsynced here by Reiko Sato (very fine in a difficult role) for Marilyn Horne's voice.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Sharing the thoughts of many others
    I cannot believe this is not on DVD yet. There is a song by Kwan that is presented in widescreen on the VHS, but the scene of the boy dancing in the baseball uniform is pan and scan. Horrible to take away the scenery and perspective.
    I consider this movie to be one of the top three musicals in my heart.

    5-0 out of 5 stars I was nine when I first saw this movie in Boston with my
    mother. She always picked the really good movies. This was when the movie theatres were elaborate and there were matrons in the ladies rooms. And the theatre carpet didn't smell like feet. I fell in love with James Sigata and I thought Nancy Kwan was the most beautiful woman. When I got home I got my little paper fan and pretended I was Nancy singing "I enjoy being a girl" to my mirror. I'm glad that I bought the CD and I hope they put this movie on DVD or reissue it on VHS. I'd love to have it. And a little trivia-Miyoshi Umeki was Mrs. Livingston on the TV series The Courtship of Eddie's Father.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Without widescreen it's a disappointment!
    Producer Ross Hunter lavished some pretty expensive-looking production values and some very capable talent on this film and, as was almost de rigueur back then, mounted it in Panavision and, of course, color. Let's have a DVD with the original ratio preserved, please! Hermes Pan's dance numbers especially (one of this enjoyable film's chief assets) cannot be fully appreciated unless they're seen on the widescreen (or its video equivalent). A panned-and-scanned VHS tape just doesn't do justice to a film which was a fine example of Hollywood professionals working their magic. I saw it first-run, way back when, and despite some reservations, thought it was pretty slick entertainment and would add a properly presented DVD version to my library without any hesitation. ... Read more

    4. Mindwalk
    Director: Bernt Amadeus Capra
    list price: $19.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 6302670306
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 2895
    Average Customer Review: 4.26 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    This strange experiment in filmed conversation finds three people--a physicist, a poet, a politician--yammering about the environment, science, art, government, and much else, all in an effort either to find or to dispute connections between disparate subjects. There is no story, as such--just lots of chatter (much of it not particularly profound) shot against a variety of picturesque backgrounds. If director Bernt Capra thought this would turn out to be another My Dinner with André, that fantasy falls on its face. --Tom Keogh ... Read more

    Reviews (65)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Loved Sam, John, Liv; Castle; but "required reading" film ??
    I need to watch this film again, especially after reading all the wonderful reviews others wrote. This is not a movie that goes with my popcorn. This movie was not entertainment, but rather work! It's castle setting is splendid, and the actors are very pleasant because their personalities show through. Enjoyed smiling at the poet's role (John Heard), and also enjoyed the charm of lost-Presidental-race-politician (Sam Waterston), but I felt sorry for all the WORK Liv Ullmann went to just to learn ALL those lines rather than what her character was saying, which took up the majority of the movie. Perhaps I just don't care for so much philosophy outside the college classroom. My summation: I'm probably not the audience to fully appreciate this kind of movie in the evening when concentration is ebbing. I will, however, give it another try, if only to make myself feel brighter, then hope others will view it too. (We bought MindWalk because we're collecting most Sam Waterston videos for our library. We like his work of the past 15 years better than most earlier works.)

    2-0 out of 5 stars Worthwhile but not remotely openminded or scientific
    This film is a perfect summary of mid-eighties 'New Age' environmental philosophy and worth watching on that basis. It does not even remotely approach "My Dinner With Andre", which provides the viewer with two passionate and more-or-less opposing viewpoints on life and art. Idea-wise this is a setup from the beginning, since there is no real opposition to the opinions of 'physicist' Liv Ullman as she propounds the simplistic 'good nature, bad Western World' diatribe once holy writ with the Natural Law Party.

    The idea that all things are interconnected is fine, but the examples are skewed and simplified to fit a particular political outlook. Descartes is, de riguer, simplified to fit the theory that everything has been going to hell because of the industrial revolution. This doesn't NECESSARILY make it a bad film; I happen to like the Phil Glass score, and the French island fortress off Mt St Michel is beautiful. The real problem is that without any serious intellectual challenge to the ideas presented the piece is pretty dull. Sam Waterston does a workmanlike job as a straw man making a feeble resistance to Liv Ullman's 'thoughtfully concerned' act of dismay at the government's failure to force people to act the way 'An Expert' thinks they should. John Heard flutters about supporting her. It results in a pretty dry piece of propaganda.

    Does 3rd world debt cause people to destroy rainforests, or have people been destroying rainforests for millenia in order to own their own land and better their lives (or to get a nice tract house in the suburbs...)? If you believe the former is THE ANSWER and don't care to have your views challenged, this film should make you quite comfortable, since by now you've heard these ideas many times before.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Where is the Conservative Response?
    Wouldn't you just love to see Rush Limbaugh explaining why there is no global warming?

    5-0 out of 5 stars Changed my view on the world.
    Every educated person should see this wonderful movie. It is not a movie to watch if you want to mindlessly watch TV. This is a thinking person's movie, one that will change the way you see the world.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Mindwalk--on several levels
    The surface of mindwalk is characterised by a scientist, a poet, and a politician. However, on another level they are aspects of a single individual--the scientist is the mind, the poet is the heart, and the politician is the action, the hands and feet if you will. Thus the film can reflect an internal dialog to understanding how to move away from a machine metaphor worldview toward a systems/quantum worldview.

    I found the whole idea to be stimulating and refreshing, however the feeble attempt at a plot was a mistake in my opinion. therefore 4 stars. ... Read more

    5. Animal Farm
    Director: John Stephenson (II)
    list price: $9.98
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0000365DR
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 15358
    Average Customer Review: 2.96 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Reviews (46)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Absolutely great...until the ending
    Animal Farm and 1984...along with Aldous Huxley's Brave New World...are my favorite books. So, naturally, I was ecsatic about TNT bringing this classic to life as a movie (TNT usually does better book-to-movie adaptations than Hollywood anyways)

    Well, by the end of the film I had decidedly mixed emotions. As far as Orwell's story goes, the film was precise and to the number. The two warring philosophies of leadership, as embodied by pigs Napoleon and Snowball (Stalin & Trotsky) are voiced perfectly by Kelsey Grammar and Patrick Stewart. I think for megolomania, you can't do better than Stewart.

    Jesse, the dog, is as I always imagined, the typical Russian citizen during communism, who realizes the evil of totalitarianism, but is too afraid to go against it. And the supporting cast, like Boxer the Horse, represent the many victims of a dictatorship, whose "uselessness" as judged by the state ends in their ellimination.

    The makers of this movie put together a fine parallel to Orwell's novel. But the ending didn't sit right with me. Of course, certain imagery, like the rock wall collapsing, is an obvious metaphor for the Berlin Wall falling, and the end of communism. But I don't see why the filmmakers decided to tack on this happy, optimistic ending, with the "brave and free-minded" Americans coming in to take over the farm and save the animals. Why couldn't they have just left it the way Orwell left it, uncertain and hopeless?

    Orwell probably knew when he wrote the book that communism would fall in the future, but he left that out because I imagine it wasn't his intention to be a prophet, or a bringer of hope to the Russians. It was his intention to show the evils of totalitarianism, which this movie does well until that ending. Oh well. In the end, it still remains a very good movie, both on its own and as an adaptation.

    "All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others!"

    2-0 out of 5 stars "O.K., 'Babe', time to make you ham again!"
    Orwell's bleak fable about revolution betrayed gets the full sunny "family-entertainment" Hallmark treatment and the result, as you can imagine, is abominable! Pity, for it has a great cast and several scenes worth looking at, but, as a whole, this movie -as all TNT "adaptations"- is completely off the mark! 'Animal Farm' ...for kiddies? With a happy ending? So the entire family can "squeal with delight"? Just who the hell thought that out?! No one, it seems, and it shows. The film is too tame for adult viewers who'd like to see the grim little novel on screen, and too violent for children who certainly won't expect to witness a cutesy Babe-like talking piggie executing his brothers-in-arms legs. My guess is they'll both be horrified at the end, its patched-up "happy" conclusion notwithstanding: Kids, because they're not stupid and sure realize it's back to the chopping block for their furry & feathered friends the moment the "new owners" step in, and adults, not only for the outrageous "liberties" taken from the book, but because -come to think of it- the sugarcoated finale holds a new ominous moral in itself: No, don't worry, the future won't be a Communist dictatorship after all; the future will be one big, happy, postcard-looking Americana, owned by cool Ken and Barbie, whose kinder, gentler slaughterhouse still awaits for your neck! "Hey! Whaddaya expectWe're running a FARM here!"

    2-0 out of 5 stars It made me sleepy.
    I haven't read the book, but I've recently had to watch the film in class. Usually, I like watching movies, but this one made me sleepy.

    The animals of Manor Farm, owned by Mr. Jones (who is a lazy, ignorant farmer), are hungry and tired. Mr. Jones doesn't know how to take care of his farm animals and farm itself properly. The animals are tired of waiting for Mr. Jones, and decide to take matters into their own hands.

    Old Major, an old pig, speaks words of wisdom to the animals in the beginning of the film. He represents Karl Marx (or so I believe). But Old Major is soon killed after his speaking of a revolution and the animals are shocked. A group of the other pigs see this as a chance to seize the animals, particularly the new leader, Napolean.

    The animals drive out the Joneses and Manor Farm is renamed to Animal Farm. At first, life is now dandy for all the animals. They are happy with the changes and believe that Napolean is always right because he is an intelligent pig.

    Napolean and his pig croonies, however, slowly change their ways. They become more greedy and self-centered. The animals' number one enemy is man and they do not wish to do anything with man. The group of ruling pigs soon appear to act like man does and this appalls the other animals.

    You can basically guess what happens afterwards. I heard that the ending of the film is not like the book at all, and I was disappointed with the ending.

    1-0 out of 5 stars BAD!!!
    The movie is not the same as the book. They change the ending. that was the worst. They also have the dog Jessie narrate it and she doesn't in the book. TERRIBLE!!!!!!

    2-0 out of 5 stars Insulting! (Warning: Review Contains Spoilers)
    I gave this movie 2 stars, because it is clear that a lot of attention and concern was put in the creation of the talking-animal effects. Unfortunately, one cannot say the same for the script. Orwell's "Animal Farm" was a thinly disguised allegory for the failure of the Russian Revolution. By 1999 the USSR was a thing of the past, so the scriptwriters must have felt they had to rework the story for modern times. Perhaps they assumed that their audience had never reads the book, menaing they could change it any way they wanted without opposition. The result was a badly thought out polemic that makes no sense, literally or allegorically.

    For example, the characters of Moses the Raven (who symbolized religion) and Clover the mare (the refusniks) were written out. As a result the remaining animals seem to be little more than a faceless mob, differentiated by their species but remaining the same ideologically. When the mob starts to object to the pigs' rulership, they are pacified with television. Now, forgiving the supreme arrogance of a made-for-TV movie portraying TV as a pacifying force (I am sure the animals were not watching TNT, the producers of this film), this pivotal plot point makes no sense. Taken literally, how do you explain animals being interested in visual fare made by, for and about humans? Taken allegorically, the TV broadcasts were an outside force beyond the pigs' control, filling the viewers' heads with visions of unpartiotic decadence. Would-be dictators who permitted such things would have to be very foolish indeed.

    Finally there is the ending, where well-intended humans take over the failing farm and become the benevolent guardians of the animals, with the animals' support. If this was an attempt to paste a happy ending over Orwell's cynical but powerful conclusion, it failed. If taken literally it suggets that the animals' sacrifices and efforts were for nothing, making the movie irrelavent. If it was meant to be taken allegorically, the message is that people should not even try to better their society, they should just submit themselves to benevolent masters an avoid this fuss of self determination (any nominations who said masters should be?).

    Failed allegory, cheesy animal flick or greedy attempt to cash in on the success of "Babe," the movie version of "Animal Farm" fails on every level. ... Read more

    6. Airborne
    Director: Rob Bowman
    list price: $19.98
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 6303018033
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 2142
    Average Customer Review: 4.65 out of 5 stars
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    A teenage boy, a set of rollerblades and an interschool athletic rivalry are the ingredients for a whiz-bang comedy sparked by astounding feats of skating pyrotechnics. Year: 1993 Director: Rob Bowman Starring:Shane McDermott, Seth Green, Brittney Powell ... Read more

    Reviews (52)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A good time... to the EXTREME!
    I grew up in Cincinnati, so in the Fall of 1992, when I heard that a major motion picture was about to start filming near my neighborhood, I jumped at the opportunity to witness a talented filmmaker at work.

    While parts of "Rain Man", "Traffic", and the underrated "The Public Eye" (Joe Pesci) were filmed in Cincinnati, "Airborne" was the first big-budget movie filmed entirely on location in the Queen City (aka Cincinnati, Ohio).

    "Airborne" tells the story of Mitchell (played by newcomer Shane McDermott), a California surfer boy, that is sent to Cincinnati to live with his aunt (the DELIGHTFUL Edie McClurg), uncle (the very funny Patrick Thomas O'Brien), and cousin (Seth Green from "Austin Powers").

    Mitchell quickly realizes that he's not in California any more. Ha! Sounds like "The Wizard of Oz", doesn't it? Well, the similarities stop there.

    Mitchell was the "cool guy" in school back in California, but now that he's attending school in Cincinnati, he is teased for his radical clothes, his tubular hairstyle, and his surfer lingo. When Mitchell hears about an opening on the roller hockey team, he sees this as an opportunity to win over his fellow classmates. Using his surfer know-how, and his charming Californian ways, Mitchell quickly becomes the hero of the team, and begins to attract the attention of the team captain's girlfriend. UH OH!

    When the captain finds out about his girlfriend's extra curricular activities, he challenges Mitchell and friends to a death-defying Roller blade race down "Devil's Backbone". Mitchell agrees to the dangerous challenge - anxious to impress his new love, and settle the score once and for all with his arch nemesis.

    "Airborne" is an accurate portrayal of what life is really like in Cincinnati. When I was in high school, many disputes were settled with a challenging Roller blade race (although, in my day, they were roller SKATES), or at the bowling alley.

    Filled with exciting stunt sequences, witty dialogue, and a breakthrough performance by Seth Green, "Airborne" is sure to please the extreme sports (and Cincinnati) fan in all of us!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Simply a great movie!
    Airborne is truely a great piece of cinema. The young and the old alike should enjoy this movie. If you judged this movie just by looking at the cover you would assume that Airborne was just a mindless rollerblading movie. It's not! True there is rollerblading and the end of the movie focuses on a rollerblade race, but the rollerblading is just a "backdrop" to the film. Airborne mainly focuses on an out-of-town kid from California who tries to make the best of a bad situation while he stays with his cousin in Ohio. In doing so he becomes close to his cousin and falls in love with a girl who is a town local. He also makes some enemies during his stay in Ohio. Can he win the love of the girl he longs for? Can he make friends of the people that bully him in school? Can he survive the harsh winter in Ohio!?! Well, you'll have to rent or buy the movie to find out!

    5-0 out of 5 stars AWESOME!!!!
    BEST MOVIE EVER!!!!!! I have watched this movie hundreds of times and i never get sick of it. Rollerbladers shreding down "Devil's Backbone", crazy pranks and the ocassional jack black thrown in there really makes for a funny movie. I love the story about a sufer that ends up in Clevland, smack dab in the middle of a snow storm, booya! Mitchell tries to fit in but the guys dont seem to buy it but the ladies sure do. Snake also has a 1.1 GPA. Always a good time with the sufer dudes, but dont forget the po dunk ghetto kids and then the preps. Hockey is the sport, Wylie's dad drives a zambonie. Wrong goal surfer dude, BAP!, gets creamed and then some. Sand in the locker, wet tp and some iching powder can't hurt the mahurushi. So Mitchell gets his blades and then tears up the city making friends as he goes along, then aaaawww, there is the love of his life, better show off, oops cracked my skull, lets go look at plants and flowers, you better know your stuff because its a test. Ladi dodi, its time to depants some preps...hmmm. Crazy sufer kids!! DEVIL'S BACKBONE, its a race to the death with only one thing on their minds, who gets the chicas, nope, first team to get three across the line wins. Sucka!!, sufer dude rules the air and shows off his incredible talents by flying through the air making sure to pose for the camera and eventually throwing king prep into the water. The end

    5-0 out of 5 stars A rather intermittent experience with Moral Fiber
    For all of you 'nay-sayers' I got two words for you: Moral Fiber. Yes, you heard me correctly. That is what Airborne provides, my friends. You may think I am a mentally deficient human-being for enjoying this movie, but lend me your ears. If you look at it from my perspective you will see a whole new world of Airborne.

    Quite frankly this movie is one of the most allegorical movies I have ever seen. This movie is so intellectually jampacked with references to the second World War, I nearly wet myself during the first showing. For example, Micthell is the U.S., and those bullys are the Japanese. Seth Green's character is obviously the British, and I will take a venture to say that Jack Black's character is probably the French.

    The bullys also represent the Germans. I spent myriad hours examining the movie, and I can't truly identify who Hitler is meant to be. I watched to the whole movie in reverse and discovered in scene 36, where Mitchell's toliet paper is sabotaged (this represents the German invasion of France, duh!)that the bully's say 'Axis freedom, down with the Allies'. If you play it in reverse you will see as well.

    The roller hockey game where Mitchell pulls down the bully's pants clearly represents the Battle of Normandy, where the Allied troops stormed the beaches. The race down Devils Backbone is obviously the final battle of WWII in which the underdogs won.

    I have one minor quibble: the guy who won the race. ...? By the way, the man who made the analogies with Jack Black and shining after a shower- you are right on my good sir.

    I hope you see the movie in a different light with my guidance.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Do the words "Best Movie Ever" mean anything to you?
    this movie has made me wanna be a better man. Mitchell is in a word "bangin" and jack black shines like my skin when i'm out of the shower. the one chick is doable and i find the rollerblading action extreme. the special effects were out of this world. i would recommend this movie to anyone looking for a good time. if u like this movie, be sure to view "the monster squad." ... Read more

    7. The Great Muppet Caper
    Director: Jim Henson
    list price: $14.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 6302642485
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 6643
    Average Customer Review: 4.75 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (28)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great fun, great laughs, and great muppets
    I've only seen this movie on a recorded-off-TV format, but this is probably one of the funniest movies you can see (at least with Kermit the Frog in the starring role), and certainly the best Muppet movie, as far as I'm concerned.

    The movie begins with Kermit, Fozzie, and Gonzo in a balloon, floating high above the city, reading the credits as they roll. ("Kermit? What does B.S.C. stand for?" "I dunno..." and "Nobody really reads these do they?" "Well sure they do. They all have families.")

    Once the credits finish, the balloon plummets to the street, where the trio introduce the movie with a large song-and-dance number amidst a chaotic street scene, complete with a robbery on set!

    The rest of the movie is loads of laughs as Kermit and his friends travel to England for their newspaper to interview Lady Holiday (Diana Rigg). Their Muppet entourage grows when the three book their stay at the Happiness Hotel, a run-down England hotel occupied by a crew of lazy Muppets.

    Kermit, Fozzie, Gonzo, Miss Piggy, Animal, Dr. Teeth and the whole gang eventually team up to foil Lady Holiday's brother (Charles Grodin) and his three partners in crime from stealing the fabulous Baseball Diamond at the Mallory Gallery. It's pure, hilarious, and classic Muppet mayhem.

    Kiddos and adults one and all will most likely enjoy this movie, and you don't have to worry about any unclean humor whatsoever.

    I'm in my late teens and I still laugh at this movie. Definitely worth the money.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Great movie, lousy DVD
    I've always had a soft spot in my heart for the Muppets, even as I got older and started watching more "grown-up" movies.

    Of the three Muppet movies made while Jim Henson was still alive, this was the first one I ever saw, and remains my favorite. The jokes are hilarious (my favorite being the recurring joke "We'll catch them red-handed." "What color are their hands now?"), and the puppetry is just incredible, especially during the scene where everyone goes for a bike ride.

    Unfortunately, I can't give this 5 stars, because I'm not just rating the movie, I'm rating the DVD it's on. And quite frankly, the DVD stinks. Even though some bonus features (like on the "Muppet Movie" and "Muppets Take Manhattan" DVDs) would have been nice, what was REALLY lacking was the picture quality. The opening scene with Kermit, Fozzie, and Gonzo in the hot air balloon looked dirty and grainy. This film seriously needed to be cleaned up before being transferred to DVD.

    So while the movie itself is great and gets five stars, I can only give the DVD three.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Great Muppet Caper
    I really enjoyed this's great for the whole family!

    3-0 out of 5 stars Cute but Not my Favorite Muppet Movie!
    I saw The great Muppet Caper in a movie theater with my family when I was about 16 years old and though I preferred The first movie and I also prefer the third movie The Muppets Take Manhattan this was a cute movie too but I just didn't enjoy it as much but I do recommend it to Muppet fans but though I would buy the other two movies on DVD I'm not sure if I would buy this one unless I found it on sale at a very low price. Like in a bargain bin or something.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Witty, witty, witty...
    As I am indulging in all things British at the moment, I wondered how Jim Henson would be at a British murder mystery. The answer is absolutely fabulous!

    In the opening credits, Fozzy complains about how long the credits are taking and says, "Does anyone even read those names?" "Sure," replies Kermit, "they have families." From there Henson takes you on a pure romp of fun, finding the humour in the British, in fashion design, in plot development, in seedy hotels, in Columbo, and in the Muppets themselves. Throughout the film, Henson also plays with the audiences' mind as he breaks down the barrier between the plot and reality. He was an incredibly clever man!

    Also, if you have a favorite among the Muppets, yours will probably have his time in the spotlight. My favorites are Beaker and the Swedish Chef, and I was not disappointed in them. However, my appreciation for Kermit, Miss Piggy and Gonzo also grew in this film. (It's been awhile since I watched the Muppets.)

    So, all in all, this is a good time for anyone, with humour and creativity there to inspire folks of all ages. ... Read more

    8. Robin Hood
    Director: Wolfgang Reitherman
    list price: $22.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 6302178924
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 9031
    Average Customer Review: 4.59 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (73)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Disney Great
    I recently rediscovered this film in our video collection. I loved it as a young child and still love it now!

    Disney's Robin Hood is so funny! There is plenty of silliness for kids and great humor for adults. I find something new to laugh at with each viewing. My favorite line, however, has to be Prince John's "Hiss! Hiss! You're never around when I need you!" (Hilarious in context, I promise) Portraying the characters as animals works well for the film. It makes the story (a classic itself) more accessible to children. The score is simple, but superb and the songs are delightful. Although, as a University of Illinois fan, I am slightly miffed at the use of 'On, Wisconsin!' for Lady Kluck's football-esque run past a score of King John's guards. This is a great story told in classic Disney style.

    Although frequently overlooked, I consider this to be the best film version of Robin Hood and Disney's best movie. Enjoyment is guaranteed.

    4-0 out of 5 stars OO-DE-LALLY, golly! What a movie!!
    The first movies I can remember watching as a kid are Robin Hood and The Jungle Book. It makes me very curious to read some of the reviews on here that claim that this is a "lesser known" Disney movie, yet so many people have given testimonials about being an adult who still loves this movie. Well... here is my suggestion - buy this movie, a package of microwave popcorn and stake out a spot on the couch with a kid you love and introduce them to this timeless classic!

    It is true that the extras are not as great as those on other Disney DVDs (this is a GOLD Collection DVD remember), but are you really buying the DVD for the extras, or for the movie itself? Note to reader: if you answered "extras", then go rent this, rather than buy it. You'll be too disappointed by the one song sing-a-long, storybook option, and brief 16 question quiz to really enjoy your purchase. However, despite being a colorized version of the original, you might get a kick out of the 1933 Mickey cartoon "Ye Olden Days".

    Robin Hood is a well-known old English legend, based in part on actual historical people, places and medieval life (ex. King Richard, Price John, Nottingham, caste system, etc). Sounds like a mini history lesson disguised as Disney entertainment! *wink* Older kids might be interested in comparing the Disney version of the story to other film and or book versions of Robin Hood. I know it sounds like I am analysing this too much, but having written a paper on this exact topic for a college english class, I know what I'm talking about. You can't ask for a better assignment than watching a Disney movie, eh?! :)

    For whatever reason you choose to watch this DVD, and at whatever age you are, you will love this movie and it will become one of your favorites!

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Best
    This is one of the BEST Robin Hood films ever made! I caught this one on Disney when it first came out. I loved the silly king and the goofy vile snake. Such a great classic film. Memories to be made with this one.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A breakthrough in Anthropomorphic characterization!
    Disney's version of "Robin Hood" was a breakthrough in the use of Anthropomorphic or "humanized" animals in animation. It was the first time any animation studio created an all-animal cast playing roles usually reserved for humans in a full length movie. It holds a unique place in Disney Animation just for this reason.

    Believe it or not, this movie's influence has been far-reaching on the design and stories of later animated movies (Don Bluth's "The Secret of NIMH", Disney's own "Lion King"), many animated television shows ("Ducktales", "TaleSpin"), comic books, video games (Nintendo's "Starfox"), Asian Anime and the growing "Furry" Fandom on the internet today.

    The 70's were a uninspired and directionless time for Disney Animation and "Robin Hood" shows the effects of this. The animation is flat and looks cheaply done due to the use of Xeroxing the pencilled animation onto cells instead the precise but expensive way of hand tracing. Some of the animation where characters are dancing was directly copied from "Snow White" and "The Aristocats". When Sir Hiss stares hypnotically into Prince John's eyes for a few seconds - its the same exact animation you saw in 1967's "The Jungle Book". This reuse of animation was fine for Hanna-Barbera and other low-budget TV animation companies but a travesty for Disney which created and set high standards with their animation in the 1930's through the early 1960's (and thankfully recapured some of those standards in the 1990's).

    Some characters are recycled from other Disney movies - Little John and Sir Hiss are carbon copies of the Jungle Book's Balloo the bear and Kaa the snake. The songs besides Roger Miller's "Oo-De-Lally" (which was sampled and sped-up for the popular Radio Disney staple "The Hampsterdance") just aren't that memorable or very good. Add to that the direction is very pedestrian with little style or "zing" - typical of most Disney films of the period.

    Despite all these flaws the movie is still one of the most charming, fun and entertaining of all of Disney's 1970's output. The biggest reason is the great cast of voice actors - they sound like they were having fun making this movie and their enthusiasm give the characters "life" when the animation doesnt. Peter Ustinov almost steals the movie with his voicing of Prince John. The story is one of the better adaptations of the Robin Hood legend and the script is well paced and full of funny one-liners that might go over the head of young kids but adults will enjoy.

    Disney's DVD version is a huge improvement over the old VHS tape from the 80's - but there are still scenes where the colors look washed out from a faded print. Also the movie's soundtrack is still in the original mono. Besides the original trailers and the classic Mickey Mouse short, the extras are only for the kids and not die-hard animation fans. I wish Disney would have spent more time and money for this reissue, restored the color, add archival footage, interviews and remixed the audio for 5:1 stereo like they have done for "Cinderella" and "Sleeping Beauty". This classic movie deserves better than a basic bare-bones presentation.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Awsome!
    This is a very good movie. My sister and i really enjoyed it. It is not the modern day war etc. movies it is a nice classic movie with a cool plot.
    It is awsome. ... Read more

    9. The Buddha of Suburbia
    Director: Roger Michell
    list price: $4.97
    our price: $4.97
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00004WGAO
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 1133
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Before Velvet Goldmine, there was Buddha of Suburbia.The coming of age story of Karim, an assimilated Indian in London during the swinging seventies.Winner of seven international film awards. Soundtrack by David Bowie. ... Read more

    Reviews (3)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Five stars - four hours went by too fast!
    This movie (miniseries, actually) remains on my top ten list of favorite films. The writing, the acting , the storyline, everything, just leaves me wanting to watch more (after four hours, that is saying a lot!). This film is inventive and captivating without a lot of special effects or high budget - it is just good. The basis of the story is the coming of age in 1960's London, of Kareem, (played by Naveen Andrews, from the English Patient) who is the son of and Englishwoman and Indian man. His place in English culture, in Indian culture, among his respective extended families on each side, as well as his place in life - exploring his career options, his [body], etc. - make this a thoroughly enjoyable experience. This movie is very entertaining and quite funny, especially when Kareem's ... father decides to jump on the East-West Hindu yoga and spirituality bandwagon of the sixties to make money. I just cannot describe all of the amusing and touching scenes from this film that make it such a gem. Very well made, and it has a very good soundtrack as well, featuring some good David Bowie songs. This film is a must-see.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Buddha of Erotica
    Wonderful BBC film adaptation of the Hanif Kureishi novel of the same name. The translation to the small screen worked well primarily because Kureishi himself co-wrote the screenplay.

    A satirical witty look at bi-racial issues in the teeming London (and its suburbs) of the 1970's. The film is unexperimental on a cinematographic level but carried brilliantly by a well writen screenplay and superior acting.

    Narrated from the perspective of a selfish young man, this is on the surface a tale of a suburban London youth trying to get laid and make it in the world.

    Issues of family and commitment are looked at with a subtlety that is refreshing in a world of films that often try to beat you over the head with their moralizations.

    Karim is confussed about the world around him (as young people all are) and trying to balance loyalty to his quirky family with the duality of his racially mixed background. All of this is set upon a backdrop of a young man trying to find sex and excitement and his place in the world.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Kureshi is spectacular!
    Hanif Kureshi is one of the best contemporary authors on the shelf. the BBC's interpretation of his book does him justice! Buy it! ... Read more

    10. Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit
    Director: Bill Duke
    list price: $9.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 6303140157
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 7480
    Average Customer Review: 3.98 out of 5 stars
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    Whoopi Goldberg returns in a gratuitous, poorly written sequel that contrives a reason to get her character back into Maggie Smith's convent. The "socially conscious" plot finds Goldberg being asked to relate to a bunch of street kids and pull them together into a choir. Since a bad guy is needed, the script grabs that old chestnut about a rich guy (James Coburn) preparing to close down the convent's school, and runs with it. The film is slow and unconvincing from start to finish, although costars Mary Wickes and Kathy Najimy get some good laughs, and the music is pretty spirited. --Tom Keogh ... Read more

    Reviews (41)

    5-0 out of 5 stars This is my favorite movie!!!
    I've seen it so many times I could almost play each part. In fact, it comes on this afternoon on Showtime. It's a continuing story of Delores Van Cartier aka Sister Mary Clarence (Whoopi Goldberg) who uses her gifts of music and determination to keep a school open as well as change the lives of all those her life touches. Great music, great humor and drama. Lauren Hill (pre-Fugees) is in this as well as Jennifer Love Hewitt and Monica Calhoun if you look really, really carefully. Buy it, enjoy it.
    Hey, maybe you'll catch it on Showtime during one of it's airings. I'm positive when it's over, when you can finally stop yourself from humming one of the great tunes, and possibly put down your tissue (I cry EVERY TIME I see it)( and baby, I've seen seen it so many times that I've got ot turn it off when my husband comes home because he says "Are you watching that again?) You will say "I wish I had that movie!" So get it so you'll have no regrets!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Fantastic sequel
    Though there is room for improvement with regards to the story line, this movie delivers what I most enjoy in a film. The acting is superb, including the minor cast roles. The music is absolutely fantastic!...Lauren Hill and Ryan Toby steal the show with their voices. The plot, though quite simple and predictable, is believable. Many of the scenes are very moving, including the ending sequence involving Lauren Hill's character, Rita, and her mother.

    Overall, this is a great family movie that everyone can enjoy. The comedy is simple enough for children to understand, and there isn't one scene in the movie (that I can recall) which is inappropriate for all ages. Like a few other reviewers, I've found that I long to hear a few of the songs from the movie when I need cheering up.

    If you enjoy good, clean family movies, you can't go wrong with this one.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Part 1 was Great..Part 2 Wasnt.
    SAw it in the movies.... Fell asleep midway... All the magic from part 1 which was AWESOME...was lost. Boring story... They should have left it at part 1.

    5-0 out of 5 stars So much fun!
    FANTASTIC sequel! Just as enjoyable, if not more, than the first! All of the musical numbers are glorious!! A successful sequel all the way!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Loved it
    I've read all of the reviews on SA2 and it is quite obvious this movie is not for everyone, however, if you enjoy "feel good " movies , this is for you. The storyline iis quite predictable, the acting is good , but the music is a delightful bonus,just wish there was more of it. I know that if I'm feeling a little down, I can pop in this movie and feel better. ... Read more

    11. Tracey Takes On...Fern & Kay
    list price: $4.97
    our price: $4.97
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0783115091
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 17718
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Fern Rosenthal and Kay Clark are two women with almost nothing in common. Fern is a whining, kvetching Jewish socialite from "Lawngiland" (known to the rest of us as Long Island). Kay is a caring, optimistic, but naive bank teller from merry ol' England living in California to take care of her bedridden mother. Fern and her retired husband, Harry the pharmacist, are following their destiny; living in Boca Raton (Rat Mouth), Florida, dreaming of the day they will run the condo board. The sheepish Kay remains unmarried, but is always on the look out for a true love, wherever he may be. Fern spends much of her time dissecting her friends' and family's wardrobes and personalities, and strategically tosses around guilt, forcing others to succumb to her ways. Kay selflessly aids exiled Albanian royalty and houses illegal immigrant workers, all in the hopes of nabbing Mr.Right. The trait these two do share is that they both wear their emotions, hearts, and opinions on their sleeves for the whole world to bear witness. And with the talented Tracey Ullman breathing life into these lovely ladies, hilarity of course ensues. --Rob Bracco ... Read more

    Reviews (2)

    5-0 out of 5 stars It's fun to laugh at ourselves!!!!
    Tracy Ullman, the British mimic takes no prisoners when it comes to portraying the wonderful stereotypes of nationalities and eccentricities of humans. Fern is deliciously a JAP, Jewish American Princess! I don't know any New York Jewish people, living in California, but she's what I THINK they might be like, somewhat loveable like Fran Fine, "The NANNY" on TV. Her exploits keep me in stitches and I PRAY Tracy keeps on with more skits. Poor "Kay Clark", the perpetual virgin caretaker is so codependent with her mother it makes me spills soda from my nose because all of us can relate to her antics at "excaping" her mother and running away to indulge in her fantasies with the various infamous customers that come into her bank such as Pable Escobar! Cameo appearances with Cheech Marin only add to the merry adventures of Kay. ANY Tracy Ullman tape is worth the money and I have all that are commercially available and all the have come out on HBO. HIGHLY recommend for a great belly laugh!!!

    5-0 out of 5 stars A must own for Tracy Ullman fan's
    Tracy takes on Fern & Kay is one of the funniest tapes I own. Fern is your average Long Island woman. She has everything down to the trashy Accient. Kay is one of my favioret Charactars that Tracy plays. The typical mousey english woman who enjoys her scooter and "Spotted Dick" pudding.There really isn't else to say beside"s. "BUY THIS MOVIE" it's awesome ... Read more

    12. Legally Blonde
    Director: Robert Luketic
    list price: $9.94
    our price: $9.94
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00005O5JV
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 2980
    Average Customer Review: 4.27 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (482)

    3-0 out of 5 stars Gentlemen prefer blondes
    If there were 1/2 ratings, I would have granted an extra half-star if only for the moxie and flair for fun acting that Reese Witherspoon displays in Legally Blonde. An absurd storyline is carried by the actress in a script that fits Ms. Reese tighter than the designer outfits made into a running joke in the film.

    Though ably directed and acted by a supporting cast including Luke Wilson and a chihuahua, 5 star storyline it is not. This movie is for fun, not for keeps. Yet, as weak as the foundation may be in Legally Blonde, I found myself smiling at the antics of Elle Woods (Reese W.), a grown up version of Alicia Silverstone's Clueless character. The sorority depictions were frightenly parallel to the one's I recall in college, which only made the stereotype more humourous. And Elle's college entrance video submitted to the Harvard Admission Committee makes the film almost worthwhile on its own.

    Men, be not afraid to rent this film with your girlfriend, wife, or boyfriend. Whatever your fancy, Legally Blonde has enough tom-foolery of the collegiate level to keep you laughing. Women, you will only solidify your stature as the significant other who can pick out a movie even your Marine Corp. boytoy will enjoy.

    4-0 out of 5 stars fun despite the weak idea
    Reese Witherspoon is Elle Woods, a blonde and beautiful if slightly ditzy college senior whose life is turned upside-down when her rich boyfriend Warner Kensington the Third (Matt Davis) dumps her. With her daddy's plastic, a bottomless wardrobe and a college career based on "Fashion History" Elle is something of a Barbie Doll come to cruel life. Getting into Harvard Law School, and having a promising future ahead of him, Warner sees himself as a future JFK, and JFK isn't supposed to choose Marilyn over Jackie O. Convinced that she still has a chance, Elle pulls out all the stops and manages to crack into the freshman class at school where she sticks out like a sore (and poorly accessorized thumb). Making no friends, and confirming every dumb blonde stereotype ever conceived, Elle is ruthlessly victimized by her seemingly smarter and insecure classmates. Elle wouldn't make it past her first day if not for her inexplicable capacity to dig out the common sense buried under the heady legal theory. Instead, she sort of prospers becoming a success story and more mature person while still being the same cute Elle that only Reese Witherspoon can create.

    It's a thin plot, and the tacked criminal trial added at the end seems an excuse to keep a lame idea going, but it works because, like Elle, the script has an endless reservoir of pluck and manages some cute tricks of its own. The dim homilies guiding Elle's sorority lifestyle are bound by a fierce sense of loyalty (people who exercise can't kill people - the endorphins make them too happy), one that the script remains true to. In the end, Elle wins her case because of her loyalty to an accused killer and former sorority sister, one that you'd never think twice about doubting. Neither seem to deserve the attention or loyalty, but manage to win the case anyway. See it if only for Reese Witherspoon.

    3-0 out of 5 stars A film for girls everywhere
    I was expecting this movie to be full of dumb blonde jokes, but was pleasantly surprised. Considering I'm naturally dark, and dye my hair as dark as possible, I'm never gonna be blonde, and it probably wouldn't suit me. But I do have what people would call my "blonde moments" where I say/do something stupid. I don't see why brunettes can't be labelled a bit daft at times too! Cos I definitely am!

    This movie is carried by a strong cast: Reese Witherspoon, Selma Blair, Stifler's Mom from American Pie, Ali Larter, Thomas Andrews from Titanic, and many more! My faves out of the cast have to be Ali Larter and Stifler's Mom! They stole the movie out from underneath Reese Witherspoon.

    What is amazing about this movie, is the sheer amount of time spent on Reese's hair (which looks suspiciously like extensions). Throughout the movie, she has a mere 40 different hairstyles, which sometimes feels like a different hairstyle for each scene of the movie. Reese also wears a lot of different clothes for each scene, a lot of them with something pink in them, which she all got to KEEP after this was finished shooting! Free clothes, alright for some!

    Once again, Selma Blair comes across as a bit of an ice queen in her role as Vivian, but you'll be glad to hear, the ice melts before the end of the movie!

    What didn't I see coming in this movie? What Victor Garber's character really turns out to be. And trust me, he's not as nice in this, as he was in Titanic.

    There is a sequel too, which I'm sure I'll manage to get my hands on eventually. And Stifler's Mom comes back for that too! That's how good her role is! But this is basically a feel good movie, which shows you don't need to change for anybody.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Legally Blonde
    Legally Blonde DVD ~ Reese Witherspoon is a funny movie without any real social pretense. Witherspoon is awesome in her depiction of the felmale lawyer in stiletto heals and super feminine approach to life. More women should be like her...

    5-0 out of 5 stars Hilarious comedy!
    This movie is one of my favorites. It's a fish-out-of-water comedy about a feminine, ditzy (but actually quite smart) sorority girl, Elle Woods (Witherspoon), who goes to Harvard Law School to get her boyfriend back. She ends up realizing that she's a lot smarter than people give her credit for, and succeeding beyond everyone's expectations including her own. The movie is hilarious the whole way through, and Witherspoon plays her part just perfectly. This is also one of those movies, at least for me, that you can watch over and over again and not get tired of it. I recommend everyone who enjoys comedy to watch this! ... Read more

    13. Gattaca
    Director: Andrew Niccol
    list price: $9.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0800103661
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 10310
    Average Customer Review: 4.58 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (277)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Brave New World II
    Gattaca pleasantly surprised me as a thoughtful and rather worrisome view of the possible future instead of the special-effects-laden sci-fi movie I was expecting.

    The story takes place at a time when genetic excellence is the yardstick by which individuals are measured. The ability to preselect genes among offspring and measure one's genetic potential through simple biological tests gives rise to a new form of discrimination that bars the genetically flawed protagonist, played by Ethan Hawke, from his lifelong goal of becoming an astronaut. Undaunted, he sets out to fool a genetic screening system and gain admission to the space program where he can pursue his dream. A scandalous incident at the space center (Gattaca) casts a scrutinizing light on each of the employees and threatens to expose his deception.

    The details of this movie are clever and well thought out. The film has a graceful, almost poetic quality bolstered by a lush musical score. The acting is quite good all the way around. Ethan Hawke's fine performance certainly puts him on the map if he wasn't already there. Jude Law almost steals the show with his convincing portrayal of the broken golden child made miserable by his own misfortune but who comes to share in the dream of Ethan Hawke's character as he helps him outwit the system.

    Gattaca shows us that lackluster natural potential coupled with unwavering desire and ambition can ultimately reach higher than mere genetic predisposition. Well worth seeing; four-and-a-half stars.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Celebrates the strength of spirit and desire
    This is truly one of the most inspiring movies I've ever seen.

    It's replete with symbolism: helix shaped stair cases, red and green lights indicating valid and invalid, the heart disease of Vincent (the natural born) as opposed to the lack of heart (spirit) of Jerome (the "superior", genetically engineered human), etc. The setting also makes use of connotations associated with the past. Slick hair styles, clothing, and sterile interior furnishings have an organized, repressed feeling evoking the controlled and prejudiced 1950's. This helps enhance the mood of lifeless surrender. Even the bald head of the geneticist at the beginning of the movie was a statement against the pursuit of perfection by means of perfecting the body and brain. Wealth of living is not found in the the physical plain, but in the spirit in which each day is lived.

    Add to all this wounderful cinnematography, an unforgettable musical score, and fine acting that meld together into a fluid whole, and you've got a fantastic movie that repays many viewings.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Biology Lovers Unite and watch Gattaca
    If you love Biology, especially genetics and DNA, this movie is for you. Gattaca combines a love story, with high-paced action, that is sure to get your adrenaline pumping. Gattaca will at first be confusing, but it will all make sense in the end, and it will be sure to make a place on the front of your DVD/VHS shelf.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Gattaca is an unforgettable warning
    The best exploration of the possibility of genetically modified people becoming a separate social and economic class leaving behind and opressing those who are not genetically modified.

    5-0 out of 5 stars My favorite film
    The word "Inspiring" is grossly overused in film reviews. Gattaca is one of the very few that genuinely deserves it. In a nutshell, it's the story of a mutt (Ethan Hawke) bypassing and surpassing a world that's designed against him. This movie really affected me (another overused appraisal.)

    Maybe I just love this movie because I relate too much to the protaganist, Vincent. Despite everyones expectations, from my high school counseler on, and my lack of any prestigious schooling, I'll soon have my physics PhD.

    This is a wonderful movie. That it didnt sweep the Oscars only validates the movies point. ... Read more

    14. Lonesome Dove (EP version)
    Director: Simon Wincer
    list price: $14.98
    our price: $13.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 157492589X
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 296
    Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan essential video

    Robert Duvall and Tommy Lee Jones star as Gus McCrae and Woodrow Call, aging cowboys and former Texas rangers and who organize a 2,500 mile cattle drive for one last great adventure in this excellent 1989 miniseries adaptation of Larry McMurtry's novel. The best friends, who steal the herd from a gang of Mexican cattle rustlers, drive their herd from Texas to Montana, battling horse thieves, angry Indian tribes, and a renegade half-breed killer named Blue Duck (Frederic Forrest) on a mission of revenge. The excellent cast also includes Robert Urich as cardsharp and former Ranger Jake Spoon, Anjelica Huston as McCrae's old flame Clara Allen, Danny Glover, Ricky Schroder, Diane Lane, Chris Cooper, D.B. Sweeney, Steve Buscemi, and even a small role for author Larry McMurtry. Australian director Simon Wincer shows a tremendous capacity for balancing sweeping drama and intimacy against the gorgeous landscape of the American Southwest, giving a grandly epic feel to the film despite its small-screen target and limited budget, and for forging memorable characters of even the smallest supporting parts. The heart of the drama belongs to McCrae and Call, memorably etched by Duvall and Jones as the last of the range romantics. In the age of revisionist Westerns, this excellent cattle-drive drama nicely maintains an old-fashioned feeling while still showing the dark side of the American West. Winner of seven Emmy Awards and responsible for two miniseries sequels (Return to Lonesome Dove and Dead Man's Walk) and a TV series. --Sean Axmaker ... Read more

    Reviews (172)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Probably the Greatest Western Ever!
    A few years ago I had the opportunity to speak personally with Robert Urich about his role as ill-fated Jake Spoon in the epic western Lonesome Dove. Simply put, he said that it was "the most fun I have ever had making a movie. Think of it. Riding and shooting every day with two of the greatest western stars ever: Robert Duvall and Tommy Lee Jones! I won't have that much fun ever again!" I am sure that he could have gone on for hours but, unfortunately, time would not permit. The look on his face and the light in his eyes said it all. Tragically Urich passed away a year or two thereafter.

    The legend and the story live on in the Pulitzer Prize winning book by Larry McMurty and in this faithful video depiction of the classic story.

    A star-studded cast, headed by Duvall, Jones and Urich, along with one of the most beautiful western soundtracks ever composed make Lonesome Dove a viewing experience that you will enjoy time and again.

    5-0 out of 5 stars One of the best things ever done for television.
    Although the phrase "made for television" conjures up the images of the tabloid story of the week and women-in-peril films; Larry McMurtry's epic novel "Lonesome Dove" would not have been given justice in any other format. Television allowed that magnificent work to be brought to life in some form resembling the novel. The six hour running time enabled character and storyline development that would not have been possible if the novel had been adapted for theaters.

    Although it does have the jarring breaks that marked where a commericial interuption had once been and it's share of television stars (Urich, Shroeder, Corbin); "Lonesome Dove" is movie big. Big stars. Wonderful cinematography. Great locations. An authentic look. A terrific score. The producers, cast, crew, and director went the full measure to ensure that this movie did not look or feel like a "movie of the week" production.

    Personally, I believe it, along with "Roots," to be the finest work ever done in the medium of television. It really does make you feel for its characters. The viewer will cheer and hope for them, and when tragedy occurs, as it does throughout the film, it will shake the viewer. Nobody is safe: comic relief characters, children, and, even, experienced Rangers. McMurtry drives home the message that death in the Old West could occur to anyone at anytime with shocking suddenness. In the end, Captain Call looks back and remembers his friends and comrades who did not return with him. As he does, tears come to the eyes of this taciturn character; and rest assured he is joined by many in the viewing audience.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Return of the Western
    It's ironic that the western, a staple of TV until sci-fi eclipsed its presence, would find its home again on the small screen during a time when big budget westerns seemed to be biting the dust to space opera blockbusters. And that it would take an Australian to realize it. Director Simon Wincer's big-vista understanding of the genre is apparent throughout "Lonesome Dove," which also features some great performances by screen familiars Robert Duvall and Tommy Lee Jones, even if the latter too often looks like a scowling Kenny Rogers here. This tale of an arduous cattle drive by two retired lawmen has the sweep and grist of such classics as "True Grit," "Red River," and "Once Upon a Time in the West," with which it shares many elements (the conversational style, the brutal drive, and the buddy relationship, respectively, the most obvious). And while "Lonesome Dove" doesn't really say anything new about the old west, it is entertaining and fares better compared to many westerns past in terms of presenting the ethnic diversity that history records. Look for many bravura--and few corny--moments like Captain Call's (Jones) reaction to a cavalry scout's whipping of Call's alleged son (a likable but sometimes too aw-shucks Rick Shroeder), MacCrae's (Duvall) gutsy stand against a pack of outlaws, and the touching and remarkably in-character last goodbye between the leads. Basil Poledouris, an underrated composer, provides a solid score. Of the episodes, only one stands out as pedestrian, making this a pretty good choice for viewers who want to savor their entertainment choice.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Yes, it is 360 minutes, not 240.
    240 minutes refers to the much shorter Return to Lonesome Dove mini-series. There is nowhere on the the Amazon website that the original series of Lonesome Dove DVD set is only 240 minutes, it is 360 minutes.

    By the way, my daughter and I loved this series when it was on TV and I purchased the multi-tape set VHS way back when. But the last tape was bad and Cabin Fever, the manufacturers/publishers, would not replace my bad tape (they never even answered my mail except to tell me how to order the set), so, now that I have the DVD version, I finally have a complete set of watchable scenes.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Sorry SD, you're wrong. It's not complete. Check IMDb.
    I'm sorry to have to point out to those of you who think this is the complete version, but if you go to IMDb and look up Lonesome Dove, you will find that it has a 384 minute running time. Amazon's version is listed at only 240 minutes. That's over two hours difference from the original film, and no, we're not talking about commercials.
    So unless Amazon has their listed time wrong and it is actually a full 6.4 hours, you've been duped. I wouldn't pay for less than the original length film.

    So, the question stands for those of you who actually bought this DVD, was it 6.4 hours long, or only 4 hours long? ... Read more

    15. Spartacus
    Director: Stanley Kubrick
    list price: $14.98
    our price: $14.98
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B000054OW2
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 9835
    Average Customer Review: 4.15 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (107)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Cry for Freedom
    Even though the story of SPARTACUS takes place in ancient Rome, the film itself is a profoundly contemporary work of the time that it was made; the eve of the Civil Rights movement in the US, and at the end of the HUAC witch hunt in Hollywood.

    The chief engineer of this project is producer Kirk Douglas who portrayed the salve hero, but the wisdom behind all that is screenwriter Dalton Trumbo, black-listed in Hollywood, worked under various pseudonyms during the fifties for films such as ROMAN HOLIDAY, here properly restored to his rightful position of one of the best screenwriter in the business, with his own name credited on screen. The original novel is also written by another black-listed writer, Howard Fast, who claims that the idea of writing a film about the slave revolt came into his mind during the time that he spent in prison.

    So the message that its story carries is unviersal, and even contemporary: man's struggle for freedom, striving for human equality, the solidarity of all that are oppressed disregarding their creed, birth and color of skin--the gladiator whose death triggers Spartacus' revolt is portrayed by Woody Strode, afro-american actor and a regular of John Ford's movies. The film embraces humanity, freedom to chose the way he wants to live, the freedom to trust one's friend, even the freedom of sexuality --Spartucus and his lover Varinia are never legally married, but she gives birth to his son--, and the freedom and passion to sacrifice oneself for the sake of his pears and the great cause of human freedom.

    One the other hand, the film strongly accusse the corruption of power, the decadence of those who have power, and the rise of fascism. Democratic politician Charles Laughton, with all the virtues and vices that a regular politician has, taken over and eventually eliminated by seemingly much "cleaner" military leader Laurence Olivier. Needless to say, the clashes performed by those two great actors is a great excitment to watch.

    Kirk Douglas gives one of his most convincing performances as the revolutionary leader of slaves, Jean Simmons plays his innocent, healthy and strong partner with a healthy sensuality, and Tony Curtis gives credibility to Spartacus' surrogate son who represents culture and education; they are not barbaric slaves, they can be as cultured as their masters are, and even better because they are true, honest humans as opposed to the corrupted masters whose wealth and culture are based on oppression of other humans.

    To simply put, SPARTACUS is a fine example of how a good entertaining movie can carry a powerful message; when it truly suceeds, it'a great joy to watch.

    This fully packed DVD is a re-issue of Criterion's celebrated LaserDisc edition. Added to a interesting commentary track by the filmmakers including Douglas and Peter Ustinov who won an oscar for his performance, there is another track on which Dulton Trumbo's notes to the rough cut of the film is read--a great lesson to all those who wants to learn how to write a film. Othe supplements includes a hillarious interview with Peter Ustinov, a lot of scketches and stills, and more. It's a great DVD. Please enjoy it as many times as you want.

    note: the superb package design is a reproduction of the original poser art created by Saul Bass. The poster is also among the suplements of this DVD.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Strong story, weak depth, but epic & entertaining
    Based on the novel by Howard Fast, Spartacus recounts the life of a slave turned gladiator turned freedom fighter. The story of Spartacus begins with him as a free spirited Thracian slave in 70BC. Spartacus is trained in a gladiator school, where he meets and falls in love with the slave girl Varinia. He then leads the other gladiators in revolt, and assembles a huge army of thousands of slaves to challenge the might of Rome. The ending is tragic, but not without hope. Spartacus was in fact a historical figure and the movie's story of his squashed rebellion against Rome - including the crucifixion of 6000 survivors - is largely rooted in truth.

    The movie can best be described as epic. On a grand scale, the Roman empire is brought to life, with its corrupt aristocracy and its simple lower class. The epic battle scene which forms the climax of the movie features 1000s of extras, and although it is sometimes hard to tell who is on which side, the effect is magnificent and grandiose. Despite the action scenes, the movie is surprisingly introspective at times. Unlike modern efforts such as Gladiator, Spartacus is not an action movie as such, and fans of contemporary action movies not surprisingly find it disappointing. Spartacus' struggles are just as much emotional as they are physical. But to me this is a strength and not a weakness: the shortcoming of most modern action movies is not present here because the characterization is superb.

    Even though the movie is not gory (although it is bloody at times), the adult themes make it unsuitable for children. For instance, successful gladiators are given women to have their way with them. And on numerous occasions, although nudity is not shown it is strongly implied and barely concealed. The implication of bisexuality (in a scene not present in the original) and promiscuity is also strongly evident as part of the corruption in Rome. But it also touches Spartacus. In a rather daring move for the 1960s, Spartacus and his woman Varinia conceive a child out of wedlock, which is presented as natural and good. Spartacus' fight for freedom apparently includes sexual freedom. Its hardly surprising that these two fall in love in a rather sappy love-at-first-sight Hollywood romance, where they don't even know each other as yet. Ultimately it is not only Rome that chases gold, girls and glory without morals, but Spartacus himself is not really much different.

    But it is not only the moral ambivalence of this movie that disturbs me, but also its underlying political themes. How is Rome presented? As totally corrupt, with no redeeming qualities. "If a criminal has what you want, you do business with him." How are the slaves presented? As noble and good. "We're brothers." The army of slaves proceeds in a carnival like atmosphere, and the producers present lots of images of joyful children and exuberant elderly as part of their number, to arouse sympathy for their cause. But isn't this rather a cliché? It is, but that's the whole point. Aristocratic Rome is presented as evil, and the oppressed lower class need to be liberated from her corrupt rule. The rich are all evil, the poor are all good. Sounds familiar? It's a defence of the brotherhood of communism. Ultimately the movie endorses peasant revolt as a legitimate option, and advocates rebelling against authority. Rather than rendering to Caesar what is Caesars, it encourages open rebellion, in order to usher in a new political system of brotherhood and freedom from repression. Sound too far-fetched? Here's the clincher: Howard Fast, author of the novel on which this movie was based, was a devout and committed member of the Communist Party of the USA, and for many years his works were black-listed. The story of Spartacus may be rooted in history, but Howard Fast has reinterpreted it as a defence of his own political communist ideals. Rome represents Western Capitalism, and the slaves represent the oppressed peasant proletariat. Spartacus' defence of liberty, equality and fraternity is in fact anachronistic.

    So sure this is an epic movie. At the time of its production in 1960, Spartacus was the most expensive movie ever made. With a cast of star actors, especially the compelling performances of Kirk Douglas as Spartacus, Laurence Olivier as Crassus (the influential Roman senator), Peter Ustinov as Batiatius (the bumbling and greedy owner of a gladiator school), and Charles Laughton as Gracchus (the corrupt and scheming Roman senator), it's no wonder it won four academy awards. But the fact that Spartacus is an epic movie does not disguise the fact that it is not deep. Any deeper themes that the movie does have to offer are communist and hedonistic, and this ideology mars the story. This may be a movie that rivals the grandeur and scale of Ben Hur, but thematically, it doesn't come close.

    Even so, it's still worth a look. Even if one cannot share the cause of Sparticus and political ambitions it embodies, one has to admire the spirit in which Spartacus fights for his cause: it is a losing battle, and yet with dignity and fervour he fights for what he believes is right - a quality to be coveted. And it's ironic that if you can overlook the weaknesses of its depth, the strength of this movie lies in its superficial story. It has comedy, tragedy, triumph, romance, action, intrigue, and an epic scale. As entertainment, it's an enduring epic that still can be enjoyed today.

    3-0 out of 5 stars 3 Stars For 3 Outstanding Performances...
    Kubrick replaced Tony Mann on directing duties for this brave, but lumbering costume epic which is ultimately propped up by three beautiful performances. Peter Ustinov(won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his work here), Charles Laughton(should have been similarly nominated)& Laurence Olivier all do incredible work under the guidance of a very young Kubrick & all deliver what comes very close to their best work. Their presence is notable chiefly for the fact that without them, SPARTACUS would never have been the extraordinary spectacle it surely is. Kirk Douglas gives a brooding(& lifeless)performance in the title role, ultimately undermining any sequence not containing the three aforementioned thespians. Jean Simmons, as the love interest, is similarly uninteresting & while undeniably beautiful, fails to evoke for the viewer the love & devotion she receives from Douglas & ultimately Olivier. Pre CGI, it comes armed with some beautifully choreographed & violent battle sequences, but for those looking for an earlier version of Ridley Scott's GLADIATOR, this one may come off a little old-fashioned. It is worth noting(& you'll learn this from the wonderfully insightful 1992 Ustinov interview[his impersonation of Laughton is a riot]contained in the bonus material)that Ustinov rewrote all the scenes he plays with Laughton. It should come as no surprise to the discerning viewer, they are easily the best moments in the film.....

    5-0 out of 5 stars Divine Right of Kings
    Sparticus represented more than a gladiator-slave uprising. Sparticus represented the Italian's people dissatisfaction with the Roman Senate and the general corruption and impotence within the Senate.

    Citizens once had a voice with the Senate and the Senate listened keeping the republic free. Now, the Senate caved to the demands of the dictators and military commanders and installed for the first time an Emperor giving him six legends too suppress the slave uprising.

    In the end the slave and citizen uprising could not resist the Roman legions. Many of the people joining Sparticus were discontent citizens of Rome and individuals from countries that did not like Rome. Originally, the republic which was composed of strong free men. The military started the slow strangulation of the republic by replacing it with an empire. Julius Caesar was introduced as the shadow of the wings of power. Crassus was depicted as the total dictator who put oppressive demands on Rome and the Senate as the body that had lost its power. The Senate historically would have debated the issues and objected to outrageous demands. Instead, the Senate allowed the Emperor to rule Rome and the Emperor established the laws and source of the law and executed the law. The Emperor had power too repeal old laws and establish new laws, in place of the old ones. The punishments for violation of the law could be death and probably a Roman death on the cross demonstrating the Emperors absolute power. The Citizen did what they were told and they did not act without permission. Secret police reported any activity that could bring punishment on the citizen. The laws were supposedly designed to bring security. As the Emperor distrusted and feared the people this only accelerated the downfall of Rome.

    The notion of divine right of kings was established. Taxes imposed on the people support the huge military appetite generated as Rome conquered many European countries. The government would become an autocracy and the Emperor the supreme commander.

    Sparticus hoped to flee Rome, negotiated with pirates too build ships using gold taken during conquests that would take them from the tip of Italy away to a promise land. Instead, the pirates betrayed Sparticus and did not build the ships allowing the Roman legends to trap Sparticus from the South pushing him towards Rome and forcing a confrontation in the fields close to Rome.

    Sparticus was defeated, his men cruxified along the way to Rome, when captured his men coined the phrase "I am Sparticus" when asked who was Sparticus. Sparticus wife would become a member of Crassus Heirloom yet the Senator would arrange for her escape and continue with his own suicide and Sparticus son would remain free.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Good movie, bad transfer
    It should be noted that the reviews on this page refer to two different versions of the Spartacus DVD. This review refers to the Universal single disc edition, not the Criterion two-disc release.

    While both versions of the film are the same, this version is devastated by a bad transer: both sound and picture quality are seriously lacking - even as far as a blue edge to blacks, including the widescreen matting, and blue fades in parts of the film. The sound is poorly balanced - voices are too quiet, music too loud. I was contantly turning the volume up and down throughout. So much for "fully restored."

    If you are interested in quality and really like this movie I would skip this version and go for the Criterion release, which many other people own and have approved. ... Read more

    16. The Scarlet and the Black
    Director: Jerry London
    list price: $12.98
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 630264366X
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 6925
    Average Customer Review: 4.55 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (33)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent true life World War II suspense story!
    Gregory Peck and Christopher Plummer give outstanding performances as Monsr. Hugh O'Flaherty(Peck) and SS Col. Herbert Kapler(Plummer). The action and suspense of the movie keeps it going at a brisk pace. The story follows Peck as a Vatican official trying to save Italian Jews and Allied escaped POW's from the hands of the German SS. Plummers portrayal as Col. Kapler is both chilling and frightening, especially when he personally executes a Catholic priest who was caught helping the Resistance. Peck's portrayal of Father O'Flaherty is very moving to watch. The intelligence and compassion of this man truly shows through and shows how much Father O'Flaherty deserved the awards and decorations he received from the Allies after the war. And the ending is very surprising as well! It is also a plus having the movie shot in Rome where the actual events took place. A truly classic movie. I highly recommend it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent true life World War II suspense story!
    Gregory Peck and Christopher Plummer give outstanding performances as Monsr. Hugh O'Flaherty(Peck) and SS Col. Herbert Kapler(Plummer). The action and suspense of the movie keeps it going at a brisk pace. The story follows Peck as a Vatican official trying to save Italian Jews and Allied escaped POW's from the hands of the German SS. Plummers portrayal as Col. Kapler is both chilling and frightening, especially when he personally executes a Catholic priest who was caught helping the Resistance. Peck's portrayal of Father O'Flaherty is very moving to watch. The intelligence and compassion of this man truly shows through and shows how much Father O'Flaherty deserved the awards and decorations he received from the Allies after the war. And the ending is very surprising as well! It is also a plus having the movie shot in Rome where the actual events took place. A truly classic movie. I highly recommend it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars amazon bias
    erik reitz review is incredibly bigoted and hostile toward catholics - however i wrote a review pointing this out and incredibly you don't post my review but retain his - another thing i've noticed that amazon allows bigoted views against western civ, christianity, catholicism, anglos, men, heterosexuals etc to be posted & while some people will reply exposing this bigotry amazon runs the double standard of allowing unrestrained bigotry on one side while censoring the other side - you claim to moderate fairly yet what you do is allow left wing bigotry unchecked and the rest censored - amazon has presented a hostile evironment to the above mentioned censored majority of which i am a part - i cringe everytime i shop amazon's reviews that my sensibilities will not only be ignored but trampled and violated

    4-0 out of 5 stars The Scarlet & The Black
    Great Job ... Acting, Location & Story. Its nice to see one more positive telling of the Church during the war. Not too many people know that the Chief Rabi of Rome during and immediately after the war, Israel Zolii, was so impressed by the Christians in Rome who tried to protect Jews from nazi persecution, that he was baptised as Catholic shortly after the end of the war. He took for his Christian name Eugene ... the same first name as Pope Pius XII, whom he especially admired as a friend and protector of Jews. He died as a devout Catholic.

    5-0 out of 5 stars One of the best!
    This movie never gets enough credit! This is one of the best war time movies ever and with Mr. Peck's passing this is a must see for Peck fans who have not seen this movie. Gregory Peck and Christopher Plummer in one of his best roles play a cat and mouse game during WW2. The acting is fantastic and there is a lot of suspense! A must see! ... Read more

    17. Tracey Takes On: Sex Romance Fantasy
    Director: Dennie Gordon, Thomas Schlamme, Michael Lange, Don Scardino, Michael McKean
    list price: $4.97
    our price: $4.97
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0783112548
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 13637
    Average Customer Review: 4.67 out of 5 stars
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    Saucy character comedian extraordinaire Tracey Ullman dons the guise of her most famous personas and candidly lays the issues of Sex, Romance, Fantasy on the table for all to gawk at and admire.In this three-episode set, pulled from her successful HBO series, Ullman's characters act out and display the age-old issues that drive our desires. The elderly Chinese bakery lady philosophizes on the similarity of romance and the donut business.The Arabian stud Chic the Cab Driver tells the tale of how the "Chic magnet" came of age in the steamy desert of his homeland with a pro that begged him for more. Veteran makeup artist Ruby Romaine, Star Maker, gives professional words of wisdom and support to the rising starlets on a porn set. The middle-aged Jewish ladies duet, Fern and Kay, discuss the adventurous highlights and shady lowlights of their sex lives over a pastrami on rye. Sex, Romance, Fantasy may not provide answers to life's most complex questions, but, as always, Ullman's wry sense of humor won't disappoint. --Rob Bracco ... Read more

    Reviews (3)

    5-0 out of 5 stars British Comedy Girl Wonder makes us laugh & think
    The Tracey Takes On comedy series is definitely a cut above the usual "ha-ha" material out there. Tracey Ullman finds the comedy in every day situations, but also the absurdity and irony in life's little and big surprises.

    Whether it's a stereotypical portrayal of a middle-class "New York Jewish woman" fearing for the health of her heart-attack victim husband, an elderly Asian woman fulfilling her American Dream with her donut shop, or a small-time golf-pro who hesitates acknowledging her gay relationship to the world, Tracey Ullman takes on every possible viewpoint on the issues of Sex, Romance and Fantasy.

    The sketch about a woman reporting to the police that she had briefly been abducted by aliens is a gem! There are many great scenes in this batch of goodies cooked up by one of Britain's brainiest comedy stars. Tracey Ullman's gift for comedy rivals that of the up-and-coming "French & Saunders" team. Tracey Takes on receives a solid 5-star rating!*****

    5-0 out of 5 stars BRILLIANT, Hilarious, Classic Comedy
    Tracey Takes On is one of the most outstanding comedy series that I have ever seen. The show combines the literate wit of British Comedy, the American pop culture sensibility of the Harvard Lampoon, and the "broken Hollywood dream" reality of a Tarantino film. This series is a true work of genius. Not only is Tracey Ulman to be applauded, but also the writers and the supporting cast. It's unbelievable that a show of this calibre was produced in the same country as Night Court.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Hillarious
    Tracey is wonderful in this video. My favorite skit in this series is the Women's PGA Golfing Tour. All I can say is, "Come on baby, come to mama!" ... Read more

    18. Go Tell the Spartans
    Director: Ted Post
    list price: $9.94
    our price: $9.94
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 6302365686
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 3090
    Average Customer Review: 4.71 out of 5 stars
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    Burt Lancaster delivers one of the finest performances of his career as a hard-boiled major in command of a Vietnam outpost. A classic of wartime confrontation. ... Read more

    Reviews (17)

    5-0 out of 5 stars pre vietnam drama
    one of the better vietnam war movies out
    burt lancaster is in fine form as a gritty veteran
    who knows the in's and out's of politics
    a young marc singer as his captain gives a great performance
    the battle scenes, and american attitudes
    make this war movie a slight better tan the rest of
    the vietnam movies that followed

    5-0 out of 5 stars great war movie
    i seen this movie at the theatre when it was 1st released
    and vietnam war movies were trickling in.
    burt lancaster and marc singer give stand out performances
    as the american advisors.
    the battle scenes, and american views of the people
    of south vietnam, give this gritty war drama a boost of realism.
    not sure where this was filmed, kinda looked liked a california
    back lot....beat feet and see this movie..!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Viet Nam, the Early Years
    Go Tell the Spartans is one of the best, albeit little known, movies about the Viet Nam war, which was overshadowed by Platoon, Hamburger Hill and Full Metal Jacket.

    It takes place in the early years of the war, when a few Americans were in-country as advisors to the South Vietnamese government(s). Burt Lancaster does an outstanding job as a team commander, whose career is on a downward slide following some mischief in Washington. His job is to help hold the line from the early Viet Cong infiltrations and attacks in the South.

    His support troops range from an educated draftee and a drugged out medic, to a young hotshot captain wanting to earn his CIB and a senior staff NCO who has been in combat a little too often.

    The movie is a fine character study and, although movies are the last place to learn history, this one gives a pretty good view of how we got involved and the politics that was rampant in the South - a Viet Nam veteran's perspective.

    The violence is minimal for a war movie. This one is definately character driven. See it. You won't regret it.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Vastly Overrated
    I bought the title based on the Amazon reviews - but now I wonder if Amazon reviews are written by industry flacks or consumers who actually watched the film and lived through the period - Five stars is ridiculous for a B-movie that cannot decide whether it means to be a comedy or a tragedy - by straddling the line it manages to be neither. Worse, it is full of plot and character cliches derived from old westerns - the actors (apart from Lancaster and Wasson) flounder about without help of direction. The film is an expression of such cynical fatalism that it is painful to see it performed so uncompellingly. Admittedly the tone fits with the mood of the nation when the film was made - immediately after the 1975 US defeat - shame and disgust at the moral bankruptcy of a supine electorate indulgent of a monumental waste of treasure and blood by its hubristic leadership (Richard Nixon) - but this fact cheapens the film because it was decidely not made when it might have made a difference - before the defeat - to counter the jingo-ism of 'Green Berets' and the daily television propaganda of 'body counts.' It is not true to the period it purports to depict -- one of optimistic idealism at what America could do to defeat the march of communism toward the oil-rich Indonesian archipelago. The minimal production values are evident from the first cliched tap of snare drum and the whine of a deuce and a half truck - the landscape is utterly unconvincing - there isn't a tropical plant to be seen. The film is no way comparable to the great post-Vietman War films that were soon to follow: 'Apocalypse Now,' 'Taxidriver,' 'Platoon,' 'Born in the USA,' and finally the devastating 'Full Metal Jacket.' The production exactly resembles the television program MASH that became a hit AFTER the defeat and appears to have employed the same southern California back lot - nothing feels right for Vietnam - military protocols are wrong (corporals call sergeants 'Sir') suggesting that financing was so tight that the production lacked a military advisor - or else they were so anti-military that they didn't care to have one. The cliched approach to the enemy 'other' is as simplistic and predictable as an old western - Vietnamese soldiers and peasants are never heard to speak their own language properly - mime suffices except when a formal translation is depicted - the culture of the locals is non-existent - villagers are shown as a mute clutch of extras who are later proven without apparent exception to be as treacherous as Hollywood Apaches - the writing and direction are so lax that the film trudges sluggishly toward the climax with actors pretending to be soldiers standing around without any suitable business to do to avoid looking utterly awkward -- the VC enemy behave like cliched Indians suicidally charging the circled wagons - cheapening the drama of the climactic attack -- the impression is of a bad comedy with the American advisors shown as pathetic misfits more suitable for an adult 'Sergeant Bilko' -- a druggie medic named Abraham Lincoln, a burned out alcoholic sergeant who commits suicide just before the climax, a comically wan naif (Wasson), an absurd psych warfare officer (who resembles Phil Silvers), a deluded dysentery-ridden lieutenant who is perpetually running to the honey bucket, a corrupt SVA general with a patently fake French accent and a ridiculous moustache, a passed over US Army major (Lancaster) who limps about on a bum knee (why is never explained), a vicious SVA non-com, etc. Nobody wears a GI haircut - no one carries a backpack or an ammo satchel or lifts a canteen to his lips unless it's filled with bourbon - a tiny Bell chopper carries a pallet of supplies to the fortified post, etc. etc. What little military flavor exists derives entirely from the salty language of the major (Lancaster) and his obscene story -- practically no one else save for the sergeant in heard to speak a four letter word. As one would expect from the title everyone dies in the end save for the Ishmael figure (Wasson) -- the overall tone is fatalistic and defeatist which is in keeping with the moral exhaustion felt at the time of defeat ten years after the period depicted in the film. The sense of cynicism and defeat evident in the film's premise (i.e. - final defeat could have been predicted from the beginning) wouldn't be so bad except that history supports the view that the early US advisors were gung-ho and largely first-rate (see the film 'Best and the Brightest'). Ultimately 'Go Tell the Spartans' is more interesting as a piece of post-Vietnam sociology than as entertainment, tragedy, or history. One star is to help right the imbalance of the vastly overrated five stars given by blind and empty-headed viewers.

    5-0 out of 5 stars One of the best Vietnam movies ever!
    In 480BCE 300 Spartan Hoplites held a pass for the better part of 3 days against a Persian force that may have numbered over 200,000 men. The Spartans were aided by around 7,000 coalition troops during the first 2 days. However, they were dismissed on the 3rd day. The Spartans, their Helots and the Thespians allies died to a last man. It was one of the most gallant stands in all of military history.

    To this day there is an inscription on the funeral mound @ Thermopylae that serves as a memorial to their sacrifice. An English translation is as follows:


    The title of this movie is an allusion to Thermopylae. However, the film itself is about the earliest days of Vietnam. It recounts a time not long after the fall of Dien Bien Pu; an epoch when the U.S. did not have a commitment of a significant number of troops. During the period covered in this movie all that we had over there were a handful of military advisors.

    The film details an obscure event at a Vietnam village known as Muc Wa. Although the battle itself will not likely even find its way into the footnotes of history, it nevertheless serves as an excellent "premonition" of what was to come. It narrates how much the U.S. underestimated the fighting prowess and resolve of the Viet Cong. In fact, Muc Wa can be said to be a microcosm of how the entire Vietnam War went for the United States.

    The cast of the film is fairly impressive. The lead is taken by Burt Lancaster who portrays a Major who is asked to do the impossible with almost no resources at all. A very young Marc Singer plays his XO. Craig Wasson (best known for his leading role in Brian Depalma's BODY DOUBLE) plays a shy young corporal.

    This is a terrific Vietnam movie that encapsulates just about everything that went wrong for the U.S. in the ill-fated conflict. It's a must see for all who seek to learn and understand the facts of the early stages and how it all went downhill from there. ... Read more

    19. Sayonara
    Director: Joshua Logan
    list price: $14.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B000035P7S
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 16857
    Average Customer Review: 4.75 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (28)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful love story, great acting, beautiful scenery.
    This movie was nomiated for Best Picture, Best Actor(Marlon Brando), Red Buttons won Best Supporting Actor. Very moving love story, Brando is an Air Force pilot who is sent to Japan to rest up during the Korean War. He meets a Japanese actress (who hates Americans) and falls in love. The background is beautiful, some big stars had roles in this film. Brando is wonderful, as well as his co-stars.

    5-0 out of 5 stars An under seen masterpiece!
    When I mention the film Sayaonara to anyone who likes a good flick, the first thing they say is "never heard of it". Then I lend it to them and and they are simply speechless! Sayonara is a film that made such a strong impression on me the first time I saw it some 15 years ago, that I never forgot it and till this day I can recall the dialogue, scenery, and characters like it was yesterday. This film has always been a favorite of mine. I have a soft spot for a well made epic love story and the plot of a G.I. in a foregin land falling for a mysterious and beautiful woman. Then the realization of both characters knowing that their love may not be possible and may cause nothing but anguish and harm is simply amazing and heart felt! This film is up there with the "Love Is A Many Splendored Thing" (AND THAT MOVIE IS AMAZING!!!) as a total tear jerker. The scene where brando must follow Japanese custom and remove his shoes in his lovers house for the first time is just an all around exhale of human emotion. I cry till this day and can't wait to cry over the film in a more clearer transfer of the characters facial expressions of their emotions on screen-a CLASSIC!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Sayonara
    This is Brando at his very best. I loved this movie from beginning to end. It is sentimental without being sappy, it is simply a great love story without any of the modern day 'scenes'. Red Buttons is simply superb, along with James Garner. Marlon was able to do the southern accent seemingly without any variation. This movie was excellent from beginning to end and left me feeling extremely happy to have a copy. The Japanese actresses fit the roles without exception. Would recommend this movie to anyone who loves a great love story with an exceptional ending

    5-0 out of 5 stars Watch it for this one scene, if nothing else.
    This is a well done, enjoyable, and interesting film, and those qualities make it worth watching, but there is one scene in this film that is a high example of the filmmaker's art. This scene, in its perfection, is the most powerfully romantic movie scene I have ever beheld. This scene transcends story telling with film; it is literature.

    It evokes thoughts of something from Madame Bovary (Gustave Flaubert), or Anna Karenina (Leo Tolstoy). That is to say, the scene portrays something vital about the human experience. At least it does for me; but then, I admit I'm a sucker for stories of love between American men and Asian women.

    The scene to which I refer is when Lloyd Gruver (Marlon Brando) encounters Hana-ogi in Joe Kelly's (Red Buttons) house. It begins when he opens the sliding door and sees her kneeling, erect, serene, and dignified, waiting for him to arrive. If not on the first watching, then on the second, fourth, or eleventh watching, one will become aware that the lighting, the sound, the furnishings of the room, her hair, her kimonos, her makeup (especially her painted lips) are all perfect. What an ambiance! What a setting for a man and a woman to fall in love!

    Gruver is immediately struck by her presence; this is plain to see. Nevertheless, he recovers his usual demeanor and proceeds to try to make small talk, his mind and body regarding this lovely creature with respect and admiration, but also lust. She just sits there, regarding him without moving, without even blinking, betraying no thoughts or emotions. His discomfort rises.

    Then, when it is time and not before, she begins to speak. She speaks word of deep humanity, compassion, wisdom, and sincerity. The power of her words is greatly enhanced by the quiet dignity with which she speaks them. Gruver is dumbfounded, and Brando plays this role very well. You can see on his face (Flaubert or Tolstoy would have painted the picture with words) that his life, unexpectedly, has just been bifurcated. There is now the life before this encounter, and what will come after. He can never again be the same man. He can never again regard women the same. Hana-ogi is a new paradigm, and his lust, far from being extinguished, has maybe even been elevated, but is now part of an ethereal, not just corporeal experience. He never looked for such a thing before, because he never imagined such a woman or such a feeling could exist.

    This scene is for me the climax of the film, and if the story ended there, it would be satisfyingly complete. The purpose of the rest of the story is to set the table for this connection between two immortal souls. Nevertheless, what goes before, and what ensues is still interesting and worthwhile.

    Some people continue to insist such love themes are racist. That is absurd. It is the antithesis of racism. This is the profoundest love flourishing in spite of different races and cultures, and the inevitable perils incumbent with this relationship in this place at this time. This is love between a man and a woman, as unfettered by affectations and expectations as love can be. This is the raw, real thing.

    Your humble correspondent was raised as far from the Enchantment of the East as one can get, and like the protagonists of this story had no expectation of being enchanted when I first traveled there. But, through experience, I can attest the irrepressible bond this film portrays between the lovers is real, and is not exaggerated. Also, the perils are real, although nowadays not the same ones.

    I have been in love in Japan, China, and Southeast Asia-married once among these encounters. When a man knows love in the East, he may also know tragedy, but he'll know he's alive. This film tells this tale, exquisitely done.

    5-0 out of 5 stars I love this film
    I`ve seen this movie many times on cable and am always charmed by it.The delightful way the japanese women talk and Brando`s southern accent and dialogue is both charming and funny.James Garner and Red Buttons both give great supporting performances.This film will make you laugh and tug at your heartstrings.Recommended. ... Read more

    20. Charlie Chan at the Opera
    Director: H. Bruce Humberstone
    list price: $19.98
    our price: $19.98
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 6301798678
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 1199
    Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (5)

    4-0 out of 5 stars A solid member of the Charlie Chan series
    This is a terrific film that shows the quality of the Charlie Chan series. Set in a theatre showing an opera, Chinese private detective Chan and his son solve a baffling murder mystery with plenty of false leads.

    The opera being performed was actually written for the film by Oscar Levant and the recording is still available today. One of the main suspects Karloff seems to have wondered in from a Universal horror film, but it does not detract from the overall quality of the film. It is great fun.

    It is not possible today to watch Charlie Chan without seeing some racial undertones. It is worth noting that it is an Asian character who is mentally faster and far more polite than his counterparts that solves the mysteries. He never resorts to violence and is calm in all situations. Rather than being racist, perhaps the films were a slap in the face to those who considered whites to be superior. But it must be said some scenes do jar a bit.

    The mystery is played fair. All the clues are there. So go and enjoy it.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Karloff Used His Own Singing Voice
    Warner Oland played Chan for the thirteenth time and Boris Karloff co-starred in this somewhat overrated film. Music credits were shared with two others by none other than Oscar Levant. Boris Karloff's role was that of an operatic baritone. He actually used his own singing voice. Lee Chan was again played by Keye Luke.

    4-0 out of 5 stars One of the finest in the series
    Charlie Chan films are frequently accused of pandering to racial stereotypes. There is a certain truth to this, but Charlie Chan and company were neither more nor less stereotypical than such other popular series as the "Blondie" or "Dr. Kildare" series, and--while we may occasionally roll our eyes at a few 1930s sensibilities--its stereotypes are never mean-spirited and Charlie (along with his various sons) is always presented in a positive light.

    CHARLIE CHAN AT THE OPERA is certainly one of the finest--and some argue the single best--of the series for the film was not made as quickly or inexpensively as most in the series. OPERA is given the first class treatment, and producers even went so far as to have Oscar Levant write an opera ("Carnival") for use in the film. The film pits Warner Oland's Chan, played with typical drop-dead aplomb, against none other than Boris Karloff, who plays a mysterious patient escaped from an insane asylum and now haunting an opera house during a stellar performance. Keye Luke appears as Chan's "number one son" Lee, and the supporting cast also includes such notables as Netta Harrigan and the always welcome William Demarest. The story and script are slight, but every one concerned is clearly having a terrific time with the project, and the result is quite a bit of fun. Fans of the series will enjoy it, and it is a recommended introduction to Charlie Chan for newcomers as well.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Boris Karloff makes this the best of the Charlie Chan films
    "Charlie Chan at the Opera" is one of the best films in the series starring Warner Oland as the great sleuth, with Keye Luke as his Number One Son. The reason is that the villain this time around is played by Boris Karloff, who plays the great operatic baritone Gravelle. Everyone thinks the singer died in a theater fire, but he survived and ended up as an amnesiac in a mental asylum. One day he sees a newspaper photo of his wife, the soprano Lilli Rochelle (Margaret Irving), and suddenly Gravelle remember that she and her lover, Enrico Barelli (Gregory Gaye), tried to murder him by locking him in his dressing room when they set the place on fire. When Lilli learns her life is in danger, she calls Charlie Chan to save her. During a performance of "Faust" the two lovers are stabbed to death on stage. Is Gravelle the murderer or does Chan have another suspect?

    Seeing Karloff dressed up as Mephistopheles is a treat, but what I like best about "Charlie Chan at the Opera" is that the script, by W. Scott Darling and Charles S. Belden, actually makes good use of the opera "Faust." Oland and Luke continue to work well off of each other, but the scenes between Oland and Karloff have a nice spark. This 1937 film was directed by H. Bruce Humberstone, who directed three other films in the series. But this one is the best, even taking into account the inherent racism of these films. Ironically, the following year Karloff made the first of his movies as the other great Chinese detective of cinema James Lee Wong in "Mr. Wong, Detective."

    4-0 out of 5 stars good mystery//great music
    This Charlie Chan entry is 1st rate.The racial slurs might offend some people///remember it was made in the 30's//. The original operatic music was composed by Oscar Levant and it is quite good. Boris Karoff is an extra added attraction. The production is excellent and the supporting cast is in top form. This is an enjoyable 30's who done it..Sit back and enjoy this film ... Read more

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