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1. Thirteen Days
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2. Fist
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3. Wall Street
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4. Jagged Edge
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5. Vital Signs
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6. The China Syndrome
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7. Shadow of Doubt
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8. Something for Joey
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9. Congo
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10. Return of the Living Dead 2
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19. Behind Enemy Lines
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20. Thirteen Days

1. Thirteen Days
Director: Roger Donaldson
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Asin: B00005NSYB
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 20627
Average Customer Review: 3.94 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (199)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Best Historical Film of the Year (2001)
THIRTEEN DAYS is simply outstanding! One of the best historical films I have ever seen! It is even more "History" then "Hollywood".

I think the Cuban Missile Crisis is one of the most important events in American History. However, many younger Americans know so very little about the very important events depicted in this carefully planned and conscientiously researched film.

Steven Culp's portrayal of Robert F. Kennedy was simply uncanny. It has got to be difficult to act as a person so many people know so well. I thought his performance was fabulous. Kevin Costner played the role of presidential aide Kenneth O'Donnell. His performance was very good however; his Boston accent was terrible and really does get on your nerves, especially in the beginning of the film. Bruce Greenwood plays John F. Kennedy and does this great president justice.

I highly recommend the infini film DVD version of this movie. The Beyond the Movie features are wonderful. The Historical Figures Commentary features archival audio of John F. Kennedy, Robery McNamara, P. O'Donnell, Pierre Salinger, Sergie Khrushchev, and many others. There is a 48 minute documentary entitled "Roots of the Cuban Missile Crisis" which features film footage from the era along with modern interviews covering post World War II United States and Soviet relations. There are also historical biographies of all the major figures in the movie too.

If you enjoy historical movies this one is a must see!

5-0 out of 5 stars On The Brink
In October 1962, the world came closer to nuclear extinction than it ever had before or would again. When a U-2 spy plane photographed the installation of Soviet ballistic missiles on the island of Cuba, the United States and its president John F. Kennedy were faced with a monumental dilemma: how to force the Soviets to withdraw the missiles without touching off World War III. That is the story ingeniously told in the terribly underrated political drama THIRTEEN DAYS, one of the best films of that type since ALL THE PRESIDENT'S MEN.

Seen through the eyes of JFK presidential adviser Kenneth O'Donnell (Kevin Costner), THIRTEEN DAYS is a fascinating look at the machinations that went on in the highest circles of power in Washington during that traumatic time known as the Cuban Missile Crisis. Bruce Greenwood, known prior to this for playing bad guys (DOUBLE JEOPARDY; RULES OF ENGAGEMENT), gives an extremely credible portrayal of John Kennedy, who finds himself caught between a rock and a hard place. On one side are the Joint Chiefs of Staff, led by staunch Cold Warriors General Max Taylor and Dean Acheson, pushing for an invasion and surgical strike against the missiles. On the other is the president's own conscience, for he knows that anything as rash as what the Joint Chiefs are leaning hard on could mean the end of life on Earth.

Alongside Greenwood's sterling performance, Steven Culp portrays his brother Bobby Kennedy with the right tact and straight-forward believability. Costner's heavy Boston accent is not always credible, but this is only a minor flaw in his performance as Ken O'Donnell, which is otherwise quite good. A true standout performance is Michael Fairman's portrayal of UN ambassador Adlai Stevenson, a former presidential candidate and an old "political cat" who denounces the Soviet Union's stonewalling at the United Nations in front of the world--"Yes or No?! Don't bother to wait for the translation"; "I'm prepared to stay here until Hell freezes over, if that's what it takes!"

David Self's screenplay is very cagily based on White House tapes, documents, and memos from that two-week edge-of-the-seat rollercoaster ride the human race had to endure. It all comes together under the crisp, taut direction of Roger Donaldson, who directed Costner in 1987's NO WAY OUT. Even though it is a rather long film at 146 minutes, it plays like Great American theatre, the kind that Hollywood has somehow left behind in its rush for big bucks.

Like any film drama based on real events, besides the slight fictionalizations, a person's knowledge of these events might make THIRTEEN DAYS predictable. But the reason these kinds of films work is not so much the end result as to finding out how the end result was achieved. That is the real triumph of this movie, and why it ranks very close to ALL THE PRESIDENT'S MEN, in my book.

1-0 out of 5 stars Boring
I saw this film in a history class I was taking and it definitely was not viewed for the sake of accuracy, more as a comparative piece to an actual historical documentary and I must say I found the documentary of still pictures & voice overs more entertaining. I struggled to stay awake during this drag of a movie.

5-0 out of 5 stars Spell binding from beginning to end
I had seen this movie only in bits before on TV but had never seen the whole thing. I recently purchased it and within the last week have literally watched it again and again. I can only vaguely remember hearing the words "Cuban Missile Crisis" when I was 8 years old and had no idea just how close we came to WWIII. This is an excellent, attention holding film. I loved Kevin Costner in this and also "JFK - a must see also". Both Greenwood and Culp did a wonderful job of portraying the Kennedy brothers. I would highly recommend this movie. Use both this and JFK to educate your children, if you can get past the foul language somehow.

5-0 out of 5 stars COMPARE THE CUBAN CRISIS WITH IRAN-CONTRA
"Thirteen Days" re-created the Cuban Missile Crisis, elevating the Kennedys to virtual sainthood while painting Curt LeMay as an advocate for nuclear holocaust. It was a fantastic picture, like many of them, but in it is an interesting scene in which Kenny O'Donnell, played by Kevin Costner, tells a Navy plot to lie to LeMay about being shot at, because LeMay would supposedly have ordered a strike if he had been. The film paints this lie as the right thing to do because it advocates the Kennedy's position, which was to maintain level heads and a calm demeanor. However, in 1987 Ollie North was excoriated by the Left for lying about the funding of anti-Communist guerrillas, which was Reagan's position. Funny about that.

STEVEN TRAVERS
AUTHOR OF "BARRY BONDS: BASEBALL'S SUPERMAN"
STWRITES@AOL.COM ... Read more


2. Fist
Director: Norman Jewison
list price: $9.94
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Asin: 6304773412
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 6941
Average Customer Review: 3.56 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (9)

4-0 out of 5 stars One of Stallone's better efforts
This movie from the late 70s, loosely based on the life of Jimmy Hoffa, about a labor leader, Frank Kovak, who makes a Faustian bargain with the mob for which he ultimately pays the price, was done before Stallone became locked into the ironjawed superhero mode. In the early scenes of the movie, he is still able to display the qualities of charm, humor and humanity that distinguished his performance in the orginal Rocky and, further back, in The Lords of Flatbush.
Moreover, the film is graced with strong supporting performances. In particular, I would single out Tony Lo Bianco's performance as the mob boss, Babe Milano, to whom Stallone turns when the survival of his trucker's union is on the line, for its chillingly effective qualities of understated and insinuating menace, especially from an actor who I have found to be prone to overacting.
The main criticism that one could make of this effort if one references it to the life of Hoffa is that Kovak is treated as genuinely heroic instead of the corrupted person that Hoffa in fact became, for although Kovak made a deal with the mob, more specifically, Babe Milano, it is made clear that he did so only because he thought it was necessary to insure the continued existence of his union when its striking members were being beaten up by company goons, not for his personal aggrandizement. Moreover, for what it is worth, I remember reading at the time of the film's release that Stallone insisted that the character be portrayed this way. In spite of this caveat, I find Fist to be both dramatically compelling and strongly acted.

4-0 out of 5 stars one of stallones best
one of stallones best feature film efforts
cast's him as a labor leader who has to deal with
organized crime invading the rank and file of american
working class people, a class struggle between the common
man and the rich, peter boyle, and rod steiger deliver
great supporting performances.
along with rocky, this is a great film of the underdog trying to make it........

5-0 out of 5 stars Best Movie Ever
This is up there with The Sound Of Music. It should have won best picture, but was knocked out for the political sense of the movie. My father was a main part in making this movie possible. He was the director.

5-0 out of 5 stars Go on DVD Now!
MGM needs to release this above-average drama on DVD. It is similar to the Jimmy Hoffa story and it's captivating. Sylvester Stallone gives one of his most heart-felt performances and is overshadowed by "Rocky". So, please MGM, release this and the missing "Red Sonja" with the other immortal deity. These are good movies and I would definitely buy at least ten copies on DVD of each movie. Thank you!

5-0 out of 5 stars Why this movie is not a hit and on DVD is BEYOND me!
First off, Sylvester Stallone is my favorite actor and secondly I believe this to be probably one of his best films (besides Rocky) and why it was not a hit is beyond me because it really is a great story and Stallone does a great job in the acting --- its 2 1/2 hours long but I throughly enjoyed every minute of it and can't wait til I can get my own copy and watch it again.

If you like Stallone this is a DEFINITE must. ... Read more


3. Wall Street
Director: Oliver Stone
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Asin: 6301016289
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 4841
Average Customer Review: 4.43 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com essential video

Michael Douglas won an Oscar for perfectly embodying the Reagan-era credo that "greed is good." As a Donald Trump-like Wall Street raider aptly named Gordon Gecko (for his reptilian ability to attack corporate targets and swallow them whole), Douglas found a role tailor-made to his skill in portraying heartless men who've sacrificed humanity to power. He's a slick, seductive role model for the young ambitious Wall Street broker played by Charlie Sheen, who falls into Gecko's sphere of influence and instantly succumbs to the allure of risky deals and generous payoffs. With such perks as a high-rise apartment and women who love men for their money, Charlie's like a worm on Gecko's hook, blind to the corporate maneuvering that puts him at odds with his own father (played by Sheen's offscreen father, Martin). With his usual lack of subtlety, writer-director Oliver Stone drew from the brokering experience of his own father to tell this Faustian tale for the "me" decade, but the movie's sledgehammer style is undeniably effective. A cautionary warning that Stone delivers on highly entertaining terms, Wall Street grabs your attention while questioning the corrupted values of a system that worships profit at the cost of one's soul. --Jeff Shannon ... Read more

Reviews (110)

4-0 out of 5 stars one the definitive films of the '80s finally on DVD!
WALL STREET has always been one of my favourite Oliver Stone films. it crackles with the same intense, acerbic dialogue as SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS. from his "Greed is good" speech to the way he handles day to day deals with ruthless efficiency, you can see how Michael Douglas nailed this role of the ultimate amoral insider and deservedly won the Oscar that year for Best Actor.

after watching this film on a crappy pan and scam VHS tape, it is so gratifying to finally see this film given a proper DVD treatment. the transfer is crisp and clear with good sound but the real selling points are the fascinating documentary -- which features Douglas and Charlie Sheen and their views and thoughts of the film after all this time -- and Stone's informative and candid audio commentary. for someone like myself who has seen this film a zillion times, listening to Stone's observations on his movie was a real treat. great stuff. along with GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS, this is one of THE best films about money, greed and the people who ruthlessly pursue it.

4-0 out of 5 stars 'Gekko the Great'
Real-life bigtime investment banker Jeff Beck not only advised Oliver Stone when he made 'Wallstreet' but also stars in this film for a few minutes playing himself at a climactic meeting of topdog-lawyers and bankers. He delivers one of the many exhilirating monologues in this Epic tale of greed, pride and innocense lost. "Now your boss will really start thinking he's Gekko the Great!" He shouts at Bud Fox (Charlie Sheen) who plays a struggling young stockbroker who's desperately trying to get on the fast-track to becoming a "player".

Michael Douglas who plays 'Gordon Gekko' (not 'Gecko' as the Amazon review suggests, the name can be seen in the scene where Charlie Sheen turns on his computer in the morning and finds out it's "Gekko's Birthday") puts on such a mindblowing performance he really can be dubbed 'Gekko the Great'. The character is right up there with Don Vito Corleone, Tony Montana, Popeye Doyle and some other members of that elite group of high-octane male movie-characters that will long outlive the actors that created them.

Gordon Gekko is a high profile corporate raider that was probably modeled after Ivan Boesky (the biggest corporate raider of the 80's who eventually went behind bars for insider-trading), Michael Milken (creator and unchallenged 80's king of the high yield or junk-bond) and John Guttfreund (CEO of Salomon Brothers in the 80's who'se extravert and bizarre behaviour is documented in the classic books "Liar's Poker" (Michael Lewis) and "Barbarians at the Gate" (John Helyar).

Michael Douglas seems to have been born to play this part and from the moment he is introduced ("Lunch? whaddaya kiddin' me, lunch is for wimps!") to the moment we viewers have to part from his hypnotic character ("I gave you Darian, I gave you everything!") he reduces any leaps of faith that his character may present us with to tiny hops due to his powerhouse presence. In fact, whenever I see Michael Douglas in another movie I have the strange feeling that Gordon Gekko is trapped inside and might burst out at any time to hose us down with sardonic one-liners. ("Love is just an old lie created to keep people from jumping out of windows.")

Gekko is truly the "mother of all high-rollers", and his performance alone more than warrants the purchase of this film.

Charles Sheen plays a believable 'Bud Fox' but one wonders what a late 80's Tom Cruise or Kiefer Sutherland might have done with the part. Charlie never really creates the electricity that Douglas shocks the audience with.

I won't get into the details of the story here but will post some comments on the general themes in the movie.

There's the theme that Stone had already explored in 'Platoon' of two fathers fighting for the soul of their son. In Platoon it was Tom Berenger and Willem Dafoe battling for custody of Charlie Sheen's spirit. In Wallstreet it's Douglas and Martin Sheen representing the 'exciting but evil' and 'wholesome but tedious' ways to go for Charlie Sheen's character. This theme introduces some good tension in the storytelling.

The other theme that Stone put into this narrative is the bleeding heart "Capitalism is bad and unfair" jingle. "I don't produce anything...I own..." Gekko confesses at one point. "How many boats to waterski behind do you need? When is it enough?!" cries a shocked Bud Fox. The moral comments on succesful capitalists come accros somewhat naive and in my opinion don't really work. I won't go into the details but most people I've met who've seen the movie don't even remember what it was about Gordon Gekko that was so wrong. All they remember is the classic "Greed is Good" speech and ironically most of them agree with Gekko on the issue. The fact that Oliver Stone lets Gekko initiate industrial espionage is the reason I gave the movie only four stars instead of five.

I personnaly think this was a real blooper. A man in Gekko's position doesn't need the aggravation of blatantly breakin the law. There's a good plot-line concerning a fictive company 'Bluestar Airlines' that Gekko has his own plans with to make himself rich and get scores of hard working people fired that adds enough suspense to the tale. It seems as though Stone was so set on painting a negative picture of egoistical an a-moral Wallstreeters that he went one bridge too far.

Fact is that, if anything, this movie is like a recruiting video for Investment Banking. What "Top Gun" did for Naval Aviation "Wall Street" has done for Investment Banking. Big corporate banks have never had to complain about the amount of interested well educated young hopefulls but nowadays there's probably not one person sitting in any dealing room anywhere in the world who has not seen Wall Street. I am currently a trader in Amsterdam and I am convinced that if it wasn't for the scenes that have the camera following runners and stressed out yuppies yelling "How about those september 40's!" I wouldn't have been in this racket.

The dealing room-scenes are some of the most exhilirating scenes in the history of cinematography. Spielberg sucked in audiences with his scenes of Normandy's beaches in '44. Stone creates the same spellbinding grip on the audience without getting anybody shot or brutally maimed. That alone is a great achievement for any director in Hollywood. More so for the man who made a career in gory cinematic violence with 'Scarface', 'Platoon' and 'Natural Born Killers'.

Al Hail Gekko the Great! See this movie again and again. It's full of catchy one-liners that will make you not only the toast of any party but might provide you with more of an energy boost than any Tony Robbins video ever will. "Life all comes down to a few moments...this is one of them."

4-0 out of 5 stars One of the Best Movies of the 1980's
Oliver Stone will never be known for subtlety. "Wall Street" bashes you over the head with its message- getting to the top in society requires duplicity, dishonesty, and the willingness to destroy any obstacle. However, unlike Ayn Rand, Stone vilifies rather than lauds this dubious morality. Bud Fox is a fresh faced, innocent stock broker trying to get ahead through hard work and elbow grease, as he was taught by his father. Bud soon meets powerful, charismatic corporate raider Gordon Gekko, incapable of love, remorse, or empathy. Gekko, we are told, sold NASA short 15 minutes after the Challenger exploded (impossible since the shuttle was destroyed in 1986 and the film is set in 1985!). Gekko predictably seduces Bud with his world of "perks", and Bud's star rises dramatically the farther he falls into corruption.

Throughout the film, Bud serves as a sounding board for the rival values of Gekko and his father. The speech most cited by critics and fans is the immortal "Greed is Good" monologue. While this speech, standing alone, is a vigorous defense of capitalism and selfishness, it is important to note that Gekko is using it at a shareholders' meeting against a lousy, entrenched, and greedy management!

Inevitably, Bud is forced to decide whether to follow his father's philosophy or Gekko's, and to pay the price for his misdeeds. A slight complaint with the ending- the fate of Gekko is hinted at rather than displayed. Gordon Gekko has become something of a hero for young, wanna-be big shots, who are attracted to the glamour of his lifestyle and his "up your's, I got mine!" attitude much as Bud was. Perhaps seeing Gekko get his comeuppance could have made an impression.

Overall, Wall Street is a tight, well done character drama populated with iconic characters delivering iconic dialogue that acts as an indictment of a decade. The movie and its message will stay with you long after viewing it.

As for the DVD, the sound, although in 5.1, is relegated almost exclusively to the center channel. One does not hear the sounds of Manhattan from all directions as Bud navigates the concrete jungle. The video quality appears grainy in some areas. This is a great movie worthy of better treatment on DVD.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good.
'Wall Street' was a good movie, although once again, Oliver Stone goes way over the top. Powerful speech about greed by Michael Douglas though.

5-0 out of 5 stars My favourite movie
I found this movie to be fantastic. I loved every minute of it. Most of this movie seemed to tie in with politics. Being a conservative, I found this very interesting. The plot of millionare Gordon Gekko followed along the ways life should be lived. Greed, power, and self-confidence.

Revenge was another big part in this movie. I liked how Charlie
Sheen played his role of Bud Fox. Towards the end the focus was to screw over Gekko and to have sweet revenge.

From this movie came my favourite quote of all:
"... greed, for the lack of a better word , is good. Greed is right, Greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essense of the evolutionary spirit. Greed, in all its forms-greed for life, for money, knowledge has marked an upward surge of mankind..."

I'm not sure that my way is the way that Oliver Stone intended his movie to be interpereted. Oh well, I don't necessarilly care. Greed is Good! ... Read more


4. Jagged Edge
Director: Richard Marquand
list price: $9.95
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Asin: 6302800757
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 19136
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Before screenwriter Joe Eszterhas wrote the ridiculous Showgirls, he crafted some entertaining if porous thrillers along the lines of the 1985 Jagged Edge, a taut mystery about an attorney (Glenn Close) who defends a newspaper publisher (Jeff Bridges) accused of murder. The fact that Close's character falls for him is more convenient than plausible, but it is a necessary emotional bridge for Eszterhas and the late director Richard Marquand (Eye of the Needle) to build toward a powerful finale. Scary, fun as courtroom dramas go, the film is well serviced by the two lead stars and has impressive support from costar Peter Coyote and especially from Robert Loggia, who plays Close's cop buddy. --Tom Keogh ... Read more

Reviews (15)

5-0 out of 5 stars Did he do it or didn't he? That is the question.
"JAGGED EDGE" begins on a stormy night at a beach home. A killer walks through the halls with a jagged hunting knife in his hands. After he has killed a rich woman and her maid, and written the "B" word on the wall with her blood, Jack Forrester, the victim's husband, is arrested. Glenn Close plays his lawyer who falls in love with him. The two have a forbidden affair. Did he do it? Or didn't he? There's plenty of evidence on both sides. Is Glenn Close's character defending him because she honestly believes in her mind he is innocent, or is "another part of her anatomy" doing the thinking? Suspense and mystery are so well done in this film, and it is never boring. What an exquisite movie, with marvelous performances from Glenn Close and Jeff Bridges. The beginning is very eerie and frightening, but it would have been even more frightening had it not been on a "mysterious stormy night" like most thrillers, and it was just a nice, serene night, and suddenly he comes in and kills her. Still, it was very well done. The ending could have included more detail, but really, I loved the movie so much, I don't care. WHAT A MYSTERY! WHAT TWISTS! WHAT A THRILLING RIDE! FOR FANS OF MYSTERY AND COURTROOM DRAMA I DEFINELY RECOMMEND THIS SPECTACULAR FILM!!! P.S. The music perfectly fit the moods of the movie too.

4-0 out of 5 stars Close Call
Jagged Edge is a notable thriller, and while it will more than hold your interest, some elements of the story are a bit problematic

When a San Francisco socialite is brutally attacked and murdered, her publisher-husband, Jack Forrester (Jeff Bridges), is accused of the crime. Teddy Barnes (Glenn Close) decides to defend the charming, manipulative Jack, only to disregard legal ethics by having a torrid affair with him. With the help of private eye Sam Ransom (Robert Loggia), she takes on ruthless D.A. Thomas Krasney (Peter Coyote) who's using the case as a political stepping-stone and will do anything it takes to win a conviction.

Rather infamous screenwriter Joe Eszterhas certainly knows the highs and lows of a lopsided career. He has gone from writing gems like Basic Insinct, to the mediocre at best...Sliver, to total trash that is Showgirls. I would put this particular story somewhere between Basic Instict (not as good) and Showgirls (not as bad) The way that Jack and Teddy get together seems a bit forced in my opinion. The ambiguity of Forrester's guilt or innocence throughout isn't as effective here and is foreshadowed too early for my tastes. Close gives a strong performance as Teddy, a woman torn between her judicial duties, and her attraction for her client. The forbidden affair component probably prepared her for her turn later on in Fatal Attraction. For his part, Bridges is Ok, but doesn't have the needed range to handle the duality of his character on a consistant level throughout the movie...The late Richard Marquand proves that you can direct a mega sci-fi epic, like Return Of The Jedi, and then take on a thriller like this. Clearly, he was going for a film that oozes the Hitchcock style, as a homage and not a mere rip off. Most of the film works--save for a few missteps and hiccups that I mentioned.

The DVD doesn't have much on it, in the way of bonus material, save for a few production notes and the seemingly standard theatrical trailer. You can choose to watch the movie in either the full-screen, or, widescreen formats.

Despite a few of my "issues", with Jagged Edge, I still recommend it.

3-0 out of 5 stars Typical Courtroom Drama that Falls Below Expectations
I won't say Jagged Edge isn't good or entertaining because it is a very good film. The problem starts with loopholes within a terribly predictable plot. By the middle of the film, even the smart defense tactics of Teddy Barnes ( Glenn Close ) can't help the film's demise. There was no question that Jack Forrester ( Jeff Bridges ) committed the murders. The problem is the director can't keep this a secret for very long.

There is no difference between this and a million other courtroom dramas. You have the smart, fiesty female lawyer who swears to everyone she won't fall for the charms of the handsome rich defendent but, of course she falls for his charms and into his bed. From that point Teddy Barnes lost all credibility of claiming she's a smart lawyer. The plot doesn't stay true to the characters. Teddy's a smart woman yet she plays the dumb victim at every turn. She misses signs anyone in their first year of law school should spot. Jack is painted as suave and brilliant yet he leaves the typewriter ( the item that brings it all together ) in his closet for Teddy to find. Jagged Edge has a lot of supposedly smart folks doing dumb things and it makes no sense. The film started out as an intelligent thriller but switched to a cheap serial killer flick with a tacky and very stupid ending.

On the flipside, this is a very good movie IF you watch it for entertainment only. If you watch it for knowledge or to see a good thriller you are wasting your time. The plot can be figured out by a five year-old in ten minutes and this film is NOTHING unique. Close's and Bridges' chemistry keeps you interested no matter how shabby the film ends up. But the true winners are Robert Loggia and Peter Coyote who steal the show easily with their vibrant, exciting performances. Loggia brought some comedy relief to the drabby scenes and Coyote sparked things up when Close got boring. Jeff Bridges appeared quite dry and I didn't buy him as someone with the brains of masterminding a so-called great plan. Glenn Close played Teddy the way she should have been played. The problem is the character was written with too much heart and not enough brain. That's not too good for a lead character that everyone keeps claiming is such a great lawyer. I would definitely recommend this but beware...disappointments await just around the corner. Since Jagged Edge was made there have been hundreds of films of this nature. I would recommend 1993's Guilty As Sin as one that should be top on your list.

4-0 out of 5 stars a comfortable favorite
I come back to this film quite a bit - it's a great way to pass a quiet afternoon or a sick day from work. Part of its appeal, I think, is the viewer's familiarity with the suspense/sourtroom drama genre. We know how these films go, and this one has all the elements: a handful of suspects, a conflicted defense attorney, a victim with a complicated past, and a likeable defendant on trial. The writing, acting and directing make these familiar materials into a particularly enjoyable film though, through their attention to detail and craft.

If you enjoy watching real pros work their changes on a familiar
convention, you'll enjoy this entertaining suspense flick.

5-0 out of 5 stars I screamed out loud
I just knew he was going to come thru that back door. I knew it, I knew it, I knew it. But I still screamed when he finally did. Jagged Edge is a twisted tale of a lawyer (Glenn Close) who defends a publisher accused of murder - and in the process she ends up falling in love with him. Played by Jeff Bridges, the publisher is, shall we say, duplicitous and perhaps not entirely to be trusted - or believed. It's when Close begins to doubt her own defense tactics that things get scary. I won't say more, because if you haven't seen Jagged Edge yet, I wouldn't want to spoil it.
But trust me: you'll scream. ... Read more


5. Vital Signs
Director: Marisa Silver
list price: $9.98
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Asin: 6301777492
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 25591
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Fast-paced entertaining look at med school
Adrian Pasdar and Diane Lane stand out as the med students who fall in love. The rest of the cast is just as talented and the majority of characters are three-dimensional (except the "bad guy"). This is an interesting look into the lives of med students: their duties, relationships with their patients and each other, their angst, ethical worries, and the political system within the medical community. There are enough plots and subplots to keep one's interest the entire time. There is never a dull moment and it turns out to be a fun movie and a well-written one also. One of my favorite movies of all time. ... Read more


6. The China Syndrome
Director: James Bridges
list price: $9.95
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Asin: 6303257216
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 3273
Average Customer Review: 4.33 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com essential video

James Bridges (Urban Cowboy, Bright Lights, Big City) directed this 1979 film that became a worldwide sensation when, just weeks after its release, the Three Mile Island nuclear accident occurred. Jane Fonda (Klute, Julia) plays a television news reporter who is not taken very seriously until a routine story at the local nuclear power plant leads her to what may be a cover-up of epic proportions. She and her cameraman, played by Michael Douglas (Wall Street, American President), hook up with a whistleblower at the plant, played by Jack Lemmon (Save the Tiger, Missing). Together they try to uncover the dangers lurking beneath the nuclear reactor and avoid being silenced by the business interests behind the plant. Though topical, the film (produced by Douglas) works on its own as a socially conscious thriller that entertains even as it spurs its audience to think. --Robert Lane ... Read more

Reviews (21)

4-0 out of 5 stars A Thriller That Has Not Dated
THE CHINA SYNDROME is one of those rare films that has more than just highly competent acting, scripting, and directing going for it. Current events also pops up from time to time to remind us that the events on the screen fit only too carefully into the jigsaw puzzle of art imitiating life. Just a few weeks after this nuclear power plant disaster film was released, a real life and similar catastrophe happened at the Three Mile Island nuclear plant. And then a decade later, a colossal meltdown at the Russian nuclear facility at Chernobyl again served as warning that if fallible human beings are permitted to design and run nuclear power plants, then the events of THE CHINA SYNDROME are just waiting to happen.

Director James Bridges pictures the fictional Ventana nuclear facility as an inevitable calamity to be. Jack Lemmon is shift supervisor Jack Godell, a man who is dedicated to the safety of the people of California. At first, he staunchly defends the integrity of his bosses who warn him that this plant must go online on time. Soon enough, with the help of television reporter Kimberly Wells, (Jane Fonda) and cameraman Richard Adams, (Michael Douglas) Godell discovers that safety has taken second place to corporate greed and the Almighty Buck. These three are horrified that the plant came THISCLOSE to an accident that might have poisoned the entire state for centuries. The final thirty minutes is a lesson to current directors about how to generate and maintain suspense and audience involvement without gratuitous sex or violence. Lemmon has never been better. Even his later Oscar for SAVE THE TIGER takes a back seat here. Fonda does well as she sets up the pace with a live interview with Lemmon that shows him both tongue tied and exasperated. In the hands of a lesser director, Lemmon might have sounded supremely confident and glib. Lemmon's inability to articulate was itself a tribute to his skill to communicate effectively even when he seemed not to. The closing moments of THE CHINA SYNDROME suggest that all that separates humanity from unimaginable disaster is the courage and wisdom of good company men like Jack Godell, who want only to be allowed to do their job without a board of directors pushing dollars over lives. During the twenty five years following the release of this film, repeated viewings have forced us to view its events under the constantly changing perspective of world events which ironically enough focus on terrorism as the cause of the next disaster. This film simply should not be missed.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great Acting, Story and a Landmark In Film
The China Syndrome does a great job of keeping you on the edge of your seat, with compelling performances from Jack Lemmon and Jane Fonda. The suspense the film creates is top notch.

For those of us who grew up in the 70's and early 80's, nuclear power as well as the threat of nuclear war were a big part of our social conscience and fears. The China Syndrome does an admirable job of representing that widespread uneasiness with nuclear power through it's dialogue-rich storyline. Three Mile Island and Chernobyl were incrediby scary things to be exposed to as a child, and The China Syndrome succeeds in never letting those of us who remember...forget, what that can feel like.

I picked this DVD up for a fair price...and it's an excellent addition to my growing collection of film classics. It is a tremendous film.

4-0 out of 5 stars Three Mile Island: A Warning
This movie came out a year before the incident at Three Mile Island but it is freakishly alike.

A news-reporter is making an item at a nuclear power plant and sees an incident happening right before her eyes. The camerman (Michael Douglas) tapes it all and gives to tape to the anti-nuclear people.
First the corperation does not want to come out and says nothing has happened. One of the people working at the plant (Jack Lemmon) get regrets and wants to come out. The movie has it's highpoint in the end, in the contral room of the plant...

It is a very important movie to show to people the dangers of nuclear power plants and especially the role of human error. Still topical after 25 years, a must-see

1-0 out of 5 stars Toxic film
The acting was bad and the science was bad. If it weren't that Three Mile Island happened around that time, the film would have been an utter flop. Don't waste your time with this toxic lie.

5-0 out of 5 stars A lesson in corporate greed.
The 70's were known for a string of disaster movies, like Earthquake, Airport and The Towering Inferno. The script for The China Syndrome could have easily followed that theme and laid waste to a large part of California (an event some of you reviewers were hoping for!) but it manages to avert disaster while teaching all of us several important lessons. Primarily, it shows us how corporate greed and meddling can not only side-step government regulations in the interest of profit, but also put a substantial percentage of our population at great risk.

As the plot goes, PG&E (Pacific Gas & Electric) has been running the Ventana Nuclear Power Plant for a short time, and is looking to add additional plants in their operating area. They are about to break ground on a second nuclear plant and wish to put the public at ease with the idea of nuclear power as a viable source of energy by allowing a T.V. news crew (played by Jane Fonda, Michael Douglas and another fellow) to tour the Ventana plant.

While in the visitors booth, in full view of the plant's control room, the news crew witness an emergency that causes the reactor to "scram", subsequently shutting down the plant. Without authorization, Douglas captures the entire event on film. When the drama subsides, PG&E's media suit gives the news crew a watered-down explanation for what just happened.

Fonda, with her first piece of "hard news", hopes to air the story immediately, but is stone-walled by the news station's management. It soon becomes clear that PG&E has gotten word of the film's existence and successfully stops it's airing on television. Shortly thereafter, Douglas steals the film from the station's film vault and secretly shows it to a couple of renouned physicists. What he finds out is very chilling, indeed.

Jack Lemmon plays the Shift Supervisor at Ventana, coming off excellently as a loyal, dedicated company man, who must balance his feelings for his beloved plant, with his growing concern that the plant may not be safe to operate. Digging deeper, he discovers significant evidence that PG&E and its sub-contractors have by-passed safety regulations in the construction of the plant. When he presents this evidence before his superiors, he is amazed to find out that they only care about getting the plant up-and-running again to make money.

The rest of the movie you will have to see for yourself. It exposes the reality of corporate greed and fraud. It gives you a sense of what a whistle-blower in today's world might go through to get their story out. Some companies are killing us and we don't even know it. For example, PG&E (a real company, for those of you who didn't know) recently settled a class-action law suit for contaminating ground water, it's employees and nearby residents with carcinogins. It made many people sick and some died. Many more will die from the long-term effects of expose. You may remember the movie that was inspired by the story: Erin Brokovich.

I was about 12yrs old when The China Syndrome came out. It's just as scary to me now as it was then. I also understand why some of today's youth don't see it that way. Most movies today require extreme graphics and violence to get their message out to an audience. The China Syndrome will seem a little dry to some. If another event, like Three-mile Island or Chernobyl occurs, and it will, then this movie will make more sense to them. It's not the nuclear energy I fear; It's the people who profit from it who scare me. ... Read more


7. Shadow of Doubt
Director: Randal Kleiser
list price: $19.95
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Asin: 076783254X
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 52373
Average Customer Review: 1.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (4)

2-0 out of 5 stars Bleah. Interesting up to a point, but still, a dud.
I was a stupid dolt and actually thought this was a re-make of the Theresa Wright film "Shadow of A Doubt". But I misread the title. My stupid mistake.

The plot was a typical murder mystery, and while it was not the best told tale, I was interested in finding out "who dunnit". So I stuck around until the end. But there were many elements to this film that I found flawed, or just irritating.

And then there was the cast. I like Melanie Griffith. I like Tom Berenger. However, they could not redeem this film. Melanie Griffith came off as self concious of her beauty and "super confident"--which grated on my nerves after a while. Berenger was fine in the role he had, but he didn't get a lot screen time. He really should have been billed as a supporting actor, but the impression I got from the film's advertising was that he was a CO-star. His role wasn't all that big (it was important, but not that big). Supporting actor Huey Lewis got more screen time than Berenger! (Not that I minded--I like Lewis.)

It was nice seeing Nina Foch working again too. She's been around forever, and still has what it takes to give a good performance. Also, nice score by Joel Goldsmith (Jerry Goldsmith's son). Still, I wouldn't recommend this film. Rent it if you must.

If you are a big Griffith fan, you might be tempted, but this is certainly not her best roll. Tom Berenger fans will be disappointed--his part isn't all that interesting.

1-0 out of 5 stars Good cast but dopey script, stupid characters.
I enjoy almost anything Melanie Griffith is in, but this one was too silly and unbelievable. Her character is supposed to be a smart, tough lawyer but she does everything that would either get a real lawyer disbarred, laughed out of court -- or killed. Beautifully shot, great sets and locations, but everybody is wasted in this dopey script. Nina Foch is a GREAT witchy woman, but I missed John Ritter completely (fooled by the beard)and had to rewind to catch his scene in the very beginning.

1-0 out of 5 stars Miscast, Misdirected, Mistake
Let's see, where to start. Melanie Griffith is supposed to be one of the best, toughest, smartest defense attorneys in the city, but acts more like a former stripper playing at being a recent law school grad. I guess seductive whispers, a slinky walk, and tepid one-line comebacks are all it takes to free rapist/killers. Realism is non-existent as she voluntarily gives away key information/evidence to the DA and her powerful adversaries before the trial even starts. Her crack investigative team manages to stumble across valuable clues at the drop of a hat without even a trace of intelligent, logical, deductive reasoning or sleuthing. The dialog is absolutely inane, including an awful scene where this supposedly hard-boiled attorney (Griffith) who has successfully defended the scum of the earth, suddenly realizes a full five minutes into the interrogation of her client (a major slimeball) that she believes his story--that he was just having kinky sex, slapping his date around, and didn't really kill the girl--and starts crying at this realization. Supposed to be touching I'm sure, but instead it was so out of place and baffling, I cringed while laughing. In addition there's this weird, pointless side story about a former client whom she got acquitted, then slept with, only to find out he was actually guilty of rape all along. Throughout the movie he repeatedly calls her and taunts her through her answering machine causing her to listen for several minutes before unplugging it, or turning it off, or throwing it against the wall, but never doing anything that makes sense, like changing her phone number. Even this elicits no real emotion from her, she basically sleepwalks through the movie. But, worst of all, this movie is boring--no suspense, no thrills, and I didn't care one bit about the fortunes of any of the characters. I have really liked Griffith in several recent movies and do not understand this one at all, except that she's just horribly miscast--as is everyone in this film. In fact, why I even devoted this much time in reviewing this escapes me--except maybe I'll save someone a few bucks and a couple of wasted hours.

2-0 out of 5 stars RUN OF THE MILL THRILLS, SAVED BY STARS
"Shadow of Doubt" sounded very intriguing on its back cover. To boot, it also starred Melanie Griffith and Tom Berenger. It's a classy production, great visuals, dialogue and interesting story. The thriller is about a laywer (Griffith) who is defending a young man accused of raping and killing a young woman. She believes the man is innocent, unlike fellow lawyer, Tom Berenger. Soon a politician's family gets wound up in the murders, and the lawyer must seek out information. Craig Sheffer (A River Runs Through It) also stars as a past client of Griffith's, who is a former raper too. Singer, Huey Lewis also stars in the film as does James Morrison and John Ritter (Bride of Chucky). You have seen all this before in films like "Kiss the Girls" and "The Gingerbread Man", but this one suffers because it's just too long, causing you to fall alseep after half way.zzzzzzzzzzzzzz...... ... Read more


8. Something for Joey
Director: Lou Antonio
list price: $19.95
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Asin: 156364990X
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 20272
Average Customer Review: 4.95 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (19)

5-0 out of 5 stars Something For Joey---"I really loved it."
I first saw this movie when I was about 7 years old, it came on TV. I loved it. I saw it again when I was at a friend's home in college, it was contained in her video collection. I missed the opportunity to acquire a copy of it. I'm kicking myself now. The fact that it was a true story made the movie even more enjoyable. It portrayed true human compassion and spirit, I've seen few things since that have moved me more. John where ever you are today, I'm sure Joey continues to be with you. I've thought of this movie a few times throughout my life for my own personal reasons and it continues to keep me reminded of why I do what I do.

I would just love it if anyone would be willing to send me a copy through the US Mail System or by some other means. Don't worry about the cost of the blank video or the shipping, I would be more than pleased to accept responsibility. Wishing at some point that Amazon.com makes this video available once again. Take care to all the reviewers to this classic, past and future. Joseph.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Movie that Withstands Time
I had seen this movie 4 or 5 times as a child. It made such a great impression on me that I have searched for it for 10-15 years. It shows the remarkable relationship between John and Joey Cappelletti. As Joey continues to request touchdowns from his brother, they build one of the strongest, most productive, relationships possible. Tears cannot help but be shed. Although in the end, Joey does pass away, John wins the one thing that will serve as a continual reminder of his brother--the Heisman Trophy. His love for Joey was the biggest motivator for his success. This is absolutely a "must see" movie. I bought it to share the experience with my children.

5-0 out of 5 stars View on ESPN Classic
ESPN Classic will show "Something for Joey" on September 12, 2004. Check local listings for time in your area.

5-0 out of 5 stars Something for Joey Info
Something for Joey is a great inspring movies. For anyone who is interested ESPN2 will be airing the film Sunday, Sept. 14 8pm and 10:30pm. Thanks

5-0 out of 5 stars Please help me
I adored the movie "Something for Joey" My sister and I were both majorettes at PSU and she is in the movie in a band shot, however, that is NOT why I want it. My 11 year old son who is a MAJOR PSU fan has listened to me talk about this movie for years (...) ... Read more


9. Congo
Director: Frank Marshall
list price: $9.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0792136926
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 25806
Average Customer Review: 3.16 out of 5 stars
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This is a terrible movie. Frank Marshall (Arachnophobia) demonstrates no control over story, actors, effects, or general presentation in this adaptation of a Michael Crichton novel about an expedition into deep, dark Africa that runs into an unknown race of killer apes. The big monkeys attack and attack and attack and have to be fought off with machine guns and lasers--that's pretty much the story, except there's probably an even better one behind "fourth Ghostbuster" Ernie Hudson's bizarre decision to speak with a British accent. While Marshall wants us to root for the human characters, they're all so obnoxious and unbelievable you can't help but feel lousy for the poor apes when they get chopped to bits just for defending their homes against these twerps. If you're not feeling enough environmentalist ire these days, watch this and get angry. --Tom Keogh ... Read more

Reviews (85)

3-0 out of 5 stars Preposterous, But Fun Jungle Adventure
In the tradition of H. Rider Haggard and "Indiana Jones" comes another blockbuster adaptation of a bestselling Michael Crichton novel. Up until now, this has not been one of his better known books, although it was a good enough read. The film is okay, but hopefully it will lead people to the even better book.

The story begins in the jungles of the Congo. An expedition of scientists has discovered an incredible find: a huge source of pure, blue diamonds. They communicate the good news back home, but before they can transmit their coordinates, they are suddenly attacked and killed. But by what?

Another scientist is sent in to find out. Dr. Karen Ross (Laura Linney), for reasons best left unexplained, attaches herself to a mission already bound for Zaire. A primatologist (Dylan Walsh) is returning his talking gorilla-she communicates through sign language-to her home in Africa. He is accompanied by a mysterious and very shady Romanian "philanthropist" with the unlikely name of Herkermer Homolka (Tim Curry). Karen comes along at a crucial time with a pile of money and is soon part of the gang.

Once in Africa, they meet up with Monroe Kelly (Ernie Hudson), their Great White Hunter "who happens to be black." That's when their adventure begins in earnest and it is a wild one. I won't give it away here-you probably wouldn't believe me anyway-but it is exciting and suspenseful, if never actually believable.

The screenplay for "Congo" was written by noted playwright John Patrick Shanley ("Moonstruck"). He has an odd sense of humor-witness his underrated "Joe Vs. the Volcano"-that is very much in evidence here. The story at times borders on the ludicrous and it is filled with all the delightful cliches that usually populate jungle adventure films (e.g. porters who go missing in the night, and a corpse with a diamond clutched in its hand).

Maybe the film wouldn't have worked any other way. I don't know. By making the story a pseudo-spoof, though, Shanley has removed the dramatic tension and suspense that made the novel work. Since everything is played for laughs-all too frequently unintentionally-then it is almost impossible for us to really get involved and care about what is happening.

Still, there is always pleasure to be had from a film that doesn't take itself too seriously and is not above poking fun at the customs of its genre. "Congo" has that, plus a few exciting scenes and some fun performances, particularly by Ernie Hudson. It is certainly not a great film, but it is a pleasant diversion on a hot summer day.

5-0 out of 5 stars Why are these folks so critical, was the book so good?
I did not read the novel and while I won't say it's the best movie ever made (It's probably a four and a half in my opinion) I found it perfectly entertaining. Admittedly, I have read a lot of SF and like well made SF and adventure movies (Aliens 2, Matrix, even Bakshi's LOTR) but I also enjoy any genre of movie that is created with attention and art if possible and not with lowest-common-denominator formulaic design or for contract obligations. True, if your looking for dramatic acting, go watch "Boys Don't Cry", or "Men Don't Leave" (Movies, not a Four Seasons greatest hits compendium) Congo lacks the special effects of the newer Godzilla movie, but I enjoyed it more than the latest Star Wars movie (Phantom Menace) Congo, which I have watched twice on VHS and will most likely pick up on DVD, has, as one of the other reviewers noted, a Saturday morning adventure feel. It was tense and the gorillas were well done for monster movie make-up. The characters all unobtrusively played out their archetype roles. I recommend this movie to those who can keep thier minds open and who have a taste for adventure in a E. R. Burroughs vein.

5-0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT STORY-EXCELLENT MOVIE!!!
Definitely a great adventure and one of my personal favorites, Congo, brings to the screen a tale set in the African jungles involving an unlikely group that has banded together in search of a lost city and the rare diamonds that are rumored to exist there in abundance. The actors' performances are outstanding, especially Tim Curry whose "Romanian philanthropist" character steals the show. The plot, the jungle ruins, and the battles are all wonderful, making this film one of the best of its kind.
Congo is an action packed movie with strong elements of Indiana Jones and Tomb Raider, therefore, a "must see" for those with a passion for archaeology, mystery and adventure.

3-0 out of 5 stars Before Python there was Congo
Made way back in 1995. A horror story about a lost city and killer gorillas. A research team is slaughtered by some unknown creature will locking for a dimon to power a laser. Design for communication. She goes on a quest across the africian border to retrive it.

What she things is an ancient legendary city and killer gorilas. Can the survive and get off the island. Before the volcano errupts.

If you like Congo I also recomend Raptor, Python, Phyton 2, Anadaconda.

5-0 out of 5 stars Entertainment well done
I loved this movie, bought the DVD and watch it over and over the performance is so good. It is hard to single out any one thing. The musical score and songs are so good, I keep playing them over in my head. The scene where Dylan Walsh's character starts singing "California Dreaming" to Amy and everyone of the Africans join in the song shows the universality of music and song to people. As with any well executed movie, the details were done right letting the viewer enjoy the actors work. All of the priciple actors came accross as believable in their characters. The only mystery to me is the total lack of credit listing for Joe Pantoliano's participation and his character not even being listed in the ending credits! There must be some Hollywood Gossip behind that. Ernie Hudson really stole the show. The using of a British accent was genius. Since the English colonized and ruled most of Africa for years and set up most of the schools, an African guide would speak English with a British accent. The ending sequence with the volcano erupting and the land splitting brings back fond memories of 1940s "expedition" movies that always ended with such a scene.

"Congo" is entertaining, well directed, scored and acted. It is well worth the price of purchase and my only critcism (the devil is in the details) is the depiction of too few porters to haul the amount of equipment they kept coming up with for different scenes. Laura Linney's character was great! She had the best lines in the movie too.

Rent it or buy it, you will not regret it. ... Read more


10. Return of the Living Dead 2
Director: Ken Wiederhorn
list price: $14.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 6302814359
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 18150
Average Customer Review: 3.27 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (62)

3-0 out of 5 stars Pure B-grade cheese
The first Return of the Living Dead (thank God its finally on DVD) was an instant classic, and the filmakers of this sequel decided to throw any kind of seriousness out the door completely and offer up some laugh out loud zombified fun. Thom Matthews and James Karen return to their roles from the original, this time a few kids discover a broken cannister which soon leads to zombies taking over the entire town. As with the first film, these zombies aren't just stumbling around; they are fast, smart, and vicious, but the film itself isn't scary or even overly gory for the most part, its just intentionally funny (by the time the Michael Jackson "Thriller" zomie jumps in out of nowhere during the electricution scene at the end I was literally rolling around the floor laughing like an idiot), but horror fans looking to take this seriously will hate it. All in all, those looking for a horror/comedy with some brains (no pun intended) should be satisfied with this. Look for X-Files and Shocker alumnus Mitch Pileggi in a cameo.

5-0 out of 5 stars Strill good even now.
This movie may not have the same tone or feel of the first film but hey, its an 80's zombie gorefest complete with another slimy Trioxin zombie. This film gives the zombie epidemic more effect b/c it's not just limited to the graveyard and its surroundings.....these zombies reak havoc(albeit silly)on the city. The music in this one isnt as good as the original...no Cramps or 45 Grave this time. Not much else to say other than its a good zombie film. Not as good as the first but it still goes well with it. Hell, I thought the third one was decent and gory despite the love story...we need more zombie love stories..right? right?! Get this on dvd and enjoy until you too become (un)dead

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Classic
I really think this is the best out of all the return of the living dead movies.
1.You get to see more zombies.
2.It is more entertaining ,and fun.
3.There is more gore.
The first one most of the zombies were covered in mud as with this one the movie has more better make up effects. Sure it is cheesy but that is what i like about. I am so glad this is finally coming out on dvd if you truly love zombie movies this is definately worth having in your collection because the just don't make fun,good or creative horror movies like this anymore.

4-0 out of 5 stars Hey its No original....but at least its a worthy sequel!!
Its pretty clear to everyone that this sequel is not a good as the first one....but it has its cool moments, unlike the third one!!!! BUT BEHOLD RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD FANS!! A studio is finally producing this classic sequel on dvd for the first time. There will also be many extras to satisfy the long wait on this title. These are not rumors either, this is accurate news. Just be patient..I have a feeling whatever studio producing this title on dvd will not let the fans down...so be on the look out!!!!!!!

5-0 out of 5 stars ...
Time for a DVD, what are they waiting for? ... Read more


11. Hardbodies 2
Director: Mark Griffiths
list price: $79.99
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Asin: 6302824281
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 43375
Average Customer Review: 2.92 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (12)

1-0 out of 5 stars Final Proof that Kids Are Dumb and Tasteless.
Everyone should be forced to sit through this travesty as an adult at least once, especially if you loved it as a kid. That way you can realize what a dumb kid you were. At least I was. I loved Yor like every other kid that was between 5 and 10 years old in 1983. There isn't really any plot, per se, but our story goes a little like this...

Yor is a caveman type seeking to find the answer to the mystery of a strange medallion around his neck with his friends Ka-Laa and Pak. After a load of terrible editing, bad voice-overs (as though the characters were saying anything comprehensible anyway), and cheesy post apocalyptic fighting, Yor makes his way to an island where he learns that his parents and others are resisting the power mad Overlord! Will Yor and his people defeat Overlord and usher in a new age? Will he get into Ka-Laa's knickers? Hey, sit through it like I did and find out!

Now, we've all heard of lousy little movies that have a following simply because they are sooo bad, but this mother takes the cake. Watching it really is painful, mainly because it is for the viewer, as it is for Yor, a voyage of self discovery. You'll learn you had zero taste as a kid.

5-0 out of 5 stars A must have!!!
I remember watching this movie when I was a kid, I thought it was funny then and I was only 11! So when I found it used I jumped at this great deal! This movie is actually a plot worth being redone with a budget over $10,000! But really folks its so funny, the theme song is just plain gut bursting good fun the effects are also great! Wigs that just make you smile, and acting that not often seen, well anywhere!!! I think Yor is really worth adding to your collection of classics! If your reading this chances are you already saw this movie but it was a long time ago, so i am telling you give it another try years later and have fun!!!!

1-0 out of 5 stars i really wish mst3k had done this one
i couldn't decide whether to give this 1 or 5 stars. it's so bad, it's fun to watch. the soundtrack is hilarious. it sounds like queen gone horribly wrong. a must see if you like cheesy movies.

1-0 out of 5 stars This is the movie to slit your wrists to!
Thank god i'm still alive after seeing this movie. the only worse movie in existence is perhaps "Legend" from 1985 starring Tom Cruise. This movie WILL cause you to have an obnoxious bowel movement right there in your seat. After you recover, and watch "spacehunter 3D", you'll likely be dead for sure.

5-0 out of 5 stars BEST FILM OF 1983
This is probably the best film of the decade. The script is overpowering and emotional, the soundtrack is beyond incredible, and the performances are top-notch. Best Actor for Reb Brown. The direction is also masterful. Ground-breaking special effects. The guy who plays Overlord is an acting genius. A neglected gem that is worth seeing over and over again. 5 stars all the way. Best movie of the '80s. ... Read more


12. Any Given Sunday - Special Editon Director's Cut
Director: Oliver Stone
list price: $9.94
our price: $9.94
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Asin: B000053V9E
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 22225
Average Customer Review: 3.44 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (205)

5-0 out of 5 stars Any Given Sunday
This was truly an excellent film. This movie is Oliver Stone's best since Platoon. The fast-moving and dizzying cinemaphotography fits the high adrenaline atmosphere of the professional football world well. The film is also perfectly cast. Pacino gives life to the head coach, and Cameron Diaz's clearly most intense role as the team's owner is believeable. James Woods gives an excellent performance as the team doctor, who doesn't really seem to care about anyone but himself. Jamie Foxx has a breakthrough dramatic role as the new hotshot quarterback, whose ritualistic vomiting adds humor to the movie. With his performance, we find out Foxx really can act. LL Cool J, also puts through a convincing performance as the team's running back. Dennis Quaid doesn't really do much as the former QB with injury problems except help to develop Pacino's character. An outstanding cast, that features Charlton Heston as the football comissioner, and Ann-Margaret as Cameron Diaz's alcoholic mother. Former pro football players Jim Brown and Lawrence Taylor pop up as members of the team. I recommend it highly. This is possibly the best sports movie ever made.

3-0 out of 5 stars War games.
Oliver Stone's cinematic obsession with portrayting American culture as a Vietnam battleground continues with this exhausting study of their national sport.

Once again abandoning the traditional story-telling conventions in favour of flashy cutting, trippy camerawork and a barrage of electic musical snippets, this is a game of two halves. Although the hour or so of in-your-face American football footage is hypnotic, thrilling, scary and technically astounding, the off-field conflicts offer the same old tired sports cliches, albeit with big names and Stone's eccentric camerawork.

The first half hour of the film is almost a mini masterpiece. Sticking the audience smack in the middle of a ferocious game of American footbal, he brilliantly orchestrates frenetic, muddy, bloody, bone-crunching MTV visuals in a Natural Born Killers vein, and introduces the stressed protagonists. There's explosive coach Tony D'Amato (Al Pacino), cynical owner Christina Pagniacci (Cameron Diaz), dedicated star player 'Cap' Rooney (Dennis Quaid) and self-important star player to-be Willie Beaman (Jamie Foxx). When Rooney receives a major injury, Beaman is thrust into the spotlight and begins to show his potential. As his quarterback skills improve and the team seems destined for a play-off place, his arrogant disregard for the rest of the team causes majoy ructions. Meanwhile, Tony and Christina's major hate-hate relationship worsens.

There's a handful of other subplots too, which you could probably write yourself and the fine supporting cast - James Woods, Matthew Modine and Aaron Eckhart - are criminally underused. The behind-the-scenes drama is decently performed, but it seems so flat and pedestrian compared to the explosive games, that you find yourself willing on the next touchdown. Pacino is energetic as usual, even if he is in shouty auto-pilot, Foxx is almost Oscar-worthy in a memorable performance, and Diaz is pretty amazing, it is good to see the actress playing different roles, as her character, Christina Pagniacci is a cold-hearted bitchy business woman, and Diaz usally plays blonde sweet-hearts.

It would seem that the character-and-plot driven days of Platoon and Born on the Fourth of July are long gone for Oliver Stone. Pushing the technical envelope is an alright decision, but it is about time Stone varied his game a little.

4-0 out of 5 stars About more than just the game
I'm not a football fan. In fact all I know about the game is that there is a ball that must be moved from one end of a rectangular field to the other. Stone decided to draw parallels between this modern game and the gladiators in Ancient Rome. The suggestions were anything but subtle, what with the grunting, clashing sounds, the numerous shots of Ben Hur and the actual references in the film you couldn't help but notice.

Although this movie is ostensibly about football, I came away from it learning a bit more about life. The movie is about an old coach (Al Pacino) whose love of the game has blinded him to life's real pleasures, an injured QB (Quaid) who is easily manipulated by others to continue playing even if it is detrimental to his health. The daughter (Diaz) of a dead football 'baron', who seeks to fulfill her father's lost hope for a son, and a rising star (Foxx) who is blind to everything but his own gratification. From these cast of characters Stone creates drama.

This movie is exciting even for those, like me, who aren't too interested in football. The game scenes seem more like gladiatorial battles than actual football games, and you are left wondering if we have really changed from those Romans thousands of years ago, the way 'we' love these slugfests.

As some earlier reviewers mentioned, Stone appears to be slightly biased in his portrayal of the management of these teams. They are definitely out to make money, but I doubt they are as ruthless as they were made out to be. He should have had some perspective in this movie so as not to make it seem like the management were the 'baddies' and the players hapless pawns.

Overall, this was a great movie. I'd recommend it to anyone who likes drama. For those with kids, you might want to watch it beforehand as it has some sexual scenes, nudity and quite a lot of obscene language.

4-0 out of 5 stars Not quite there, but entertaining.
In Oliver Stone's Any Given Sunday, the audience gets hit by cliches as fast and as hard as the fictional Miami Sharks' quarterbacks get hit by other players during the film's opening game. The audience also get hit hard by the (overly) kinetic editing, both of the film and of the mish-mash adrenaline pumper of a soundtrack, featuring an assortment of rock, rap, and techno beats. Stone and co-writer John Logan push (overly) to get us to buy into their vision of the NFL as a modern gladiatorial arena, and frankly, it doesn't always work; Logan would later get his gladiator fix by co-writing Ridley Scott's crowd-pleaser, well, Gladiator. Still, Logan and Stone manage to score some points with their (overly) broad script which tries to give us an all-encompassing view of modern professional football. Inevitably, it proves too much, and the writing just proves too wide in scope to create a balanced and clear film, though it does have its shining moments, such as when Coach D'Amato (Al Pacino) has comments on the (overly) commercial persona the NFL has adopted, or when Cameron Diaz's character's mother describes the "tragedy" that is her daughter.

Pacino, completely at ease in an Stone flick, gives his first real performance in a long time. Both in his in-game frenzy and in his drunken, sadder scenes, Pacino delivers the goods. Comedian Jamie Foxx also turns in a winning dramatic performance as the rookie quarterback. Come to think of it, the whole cast is stellar and all perform well. Stone seems to bring out strong, almost flamboyant, performances in his actors, and in Oliver Stone films, that's very appropriate. However, the MTV-inspired soundtrack and cinematography detract from the serious delivery of some of the film's concepts. At times, the film seemed more an extended music video than anything else.

Any Given Sunday is a rough movie, both in terms production and in content. The film, despite its lengthy runtime, still feels like it left much of its ideas unsaid; the script just tries too cover simply too many characters and concepts, leaving many of the key players in a somewhat shallow and cardboard like state. Still, Any Given Sunday is an entertaining movie, and fans of football, Oliver Stone, and movies overloaded with dizzying amounts of music and testosterone will no doubt be pleased by the time the credits roll.

5-0 out of 5 stars MOST REALISTIC SPORTS MOVIE EVER
Among Oliver Stone's work includes "Any Given Sunday" (1999), as good and realistic a sports movie as has ever been made. It features an over-the-top performance by Al Pacino as a veteran pro football coach who can still motivate his over-paid, over-sexed, over-drugged, slightly thuggish, mostly black (except for a few White Aryan Brotherhood linemen) mercenaries with a speech that sends Knute Rockne to the bench.
He reportedly is working on the story of the 1934 Republican industrialists who recruited Marine hero Smedley Butler to overthrow Franklin Roosevelt, which was the genesis of "Seven Days in May". We are still waiting for Tinsel Town to take on Kennedy stealing the 1960 election. It could be a long wait. If any producers are reading this, I am offering my services at the Writers Guild minimum. ... Read more


13. Willies
Director: Brian Peck
list price: $9.98
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Asin: 6302888824
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 23698
Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars Not Bad
This is a hidden gem. I saw this movie when i was a kid after reading a promotional comic book in the video store. I watched the movie and fell in love with it. It reminded me of when I used to tell creepy stories to my friends. Granted this movie will not win any awards it will be enjoyable to watche. It's a good movie to watch when you are feeling nostalgic. So just give it a chance.

4-0 out of 5 stars Just For Fun
This movie is just plain fun. I saw it when I was about 13 years old, and I still remember all the stories. Its not going to scare you to death, its not going to win any awards, and it doesn't dazle you with special effects. What does it do? It will give you a fun ride while watching it, and you'll probably agree its a memorable flick.

So if you want a fun movie that has a "ghost stories in the backyard" type of plot, then I suggest you grab a copy of The Willies.

4-0 out of 5 stars what a fun movie!
Truely a fun movie. A great start to a promising career for a lot of people, actors and crew. Deffinetly a laugh, and a great memory stirrer. We've all been curious and truth stretching kids before. It was fun to see that captured in film.

5-0 out of 5 stars WOW! BLEW MY MIND!
Very artistic! This film is full of deep meaning - It really made me ponder my spirituality. It's a thinking man's film.

1-0 out of 5 stars I found this movie rather silly and nasty than scary.
This is a rather stupid movie and is very un-life like. Huge flies might scare some but not me. ... Read more


14. I Never Sang for My Father
Director: Gilbert Cates
list price: $19.95
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Asin: 0800132580
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 25264
Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent drama
Anyone who grew up in a difficult family, who is still dealing with those issues as an adult, and who is now confronted with the past as they deal with the present reality of aging parents should see this film. Stumbled upon it the other night on AMC.

There is *nothing* dated about the relationships and struggles portrayed. (I speak from experience.) The human element is right on target. The scenes when Hackman shops for a nursing home were particularly powerful, horror music appropriate. Been there recently, and things haven't changed much in 30 years...

5-0 out of 5 stars What a gem!
I recently discovered this absolute gem, which seems to be totally underrated.

The movie features Melvin Douglas as the father of the title (Tom Garrison in the movie) and Gene Hackman as the son (Gene Garrison in the movie). Tom Garrison's drunken father deserted the family and his mother died when he was 10, leaving him to fend for himself and his siblings, which he did very successfully. He ends up hating his father, but nonetheless keeps his picture and the only note his father ever wrote him. He grows up a seemingly self-centred, cold, even mean and very dictatorial old man to his children, Alice and Gene. His background explains, however, why he finds it difficult, if not impossible, to show love. The dialogue reveals his hurt about his father and his lost childhood, as well as his very deep affection for Gene - but he cannot show it.

Gene tries everything to please his father to gain his approval and his love, but never seems to succeed, leaving him feeling inadequate. Tom still gives him directions to the house he grew up in! He doesn't really like his father, yet feels bad about it and still endeavours to somehow get the approval he never had.

The relationship reaches its climax when Gene's mother dies, leaving Tom Garrison alone, now starting to display the effects of early Alzheimers. Gene knows that he has to do something about his dad. He wants to get married again and move to California, Tom wants him to stay and support him. This leads to the powerful inner struggle Gene experiences: can he just leave his dad to fend for himself and how can he deal with the guilt he would feel if he pursues his own life? On the other hand, if he stays to support Tom, he will probably never really have a worthwhile relationship with his father and will give up his opportunity to live a meaningful life outside of the dominance of his father.

The horror music another critic complains about is perfectly functional here, playing whilst Gene visits an institution for the aged. The scenes of senile old people strikes a very false chord with Gene and he cannot envisage his powerful father in such an institution, despite the onset of Alzheimers.

The conflict between father and son (verbally and psychologically) is brilliantly acted out by Melvin Douglas and a young Gene Hackman. The final scene acts out the effects of Gene's eventual decision - and his father's reaction to it.

If you had a father figure who seemed rough and unloving, yet strong and somehow comforting - you will identify with this movie.

Find the movie and see it - it will enlighten you about parental and other relationships.

5-0 out of 5 stars one of my favorites
Gene Hackman is simply astonishing in this film. It has to do with troubled relations with a father that doesn't know he's alive. It captures all the angst of middle age, combined with the heartache of trying to capture a parent's love. It isn't a happy film but I strongly urge you to see it if you like quiet, sensitive films- one of the best! I'm waiting for it to come out on DVD.

4-0 out of 5 stars Tour Fe Force Acting.
Gene Hackman,s ending monologue is somewhat reminiscent of Tom Wingfield,s ( The Glass Menagarie). Its a downbeat film about real people..in terminal conflict.

Is there any doubt that Mr. Hackman is one of our finest film actors. Here, Douglas delivers as he did in films such as " Hud" 1962.

If your tired of FX, absurd ..high decibel film scores and you want to see a good drama...this is a good bet. Estelle Parsons is around as Hackmans sister whose realities in life are understood better than her brothers.

CP

3-0 out of 5 stars Extremely dated but powerful at the end.
Really bad soundtrack with music playing at inappropriate times for way too long? Main character who is practically engaged but who has a bedmate when he needs it -- but somehow we are not supposed to question his commitment to his girlfriend? Sound like a typical early 1970s movie to you? Well, you're right, but this one has a powerful script involving a son (Gene Hackman) whose guilt over not loving his father (Melvyn Douglas) and his inability to stand up to his father threaten to keep him from moving forward with his life. This is a film that begs to be remade, but in the meantime, this version has great acting by Hackman and Douglas, and a truly powerful last scene. Yes, you have to suffer through some excruciatingly long dialogue-free scenes with the awful music mentioned above (Hackman walking around his parents' house with some God-awful ballad in the background; later taking a tour of an old age home with horror (no, I'm not kidding: HORROR!) music playing), but it's all worth it for the final confrontation. If you've ever had family problems, this movie will hit you hard. ... Read more


15. Mulholland Dr.
Director: David Lynch
list price: $14.98
our price: $14.98
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Asin: B000060MY6
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 21418
Average Customer Review: 3.68 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (897)

2-0 out of 5 stars "No hay banda! There is no band. It is all an illusion."
David Lynch's "Mulholland Drive" is a whole lot of nothing. People have attached various meanings to the images, dialogue, and events in it, but this has been a waste of a tremendous amount of time. "Mulholland Drive" is nothing more than a failed-television pilot that was edited together with some newly-shot material so that all the previously-shot footage would not go to waste. To think that some people believe that the end product is a momentous creative accomplishment is mind-boggling because "Mulholland Drive" is all smoke and absolutely no fire.

Wide-eyed Betty Elms (Naomi Watts) arrives in Los Angeles hoping to become a major star in the entertainment industry. Rita (Laura Elena Harring) has been targeted for death but has her life spared when an accident enables her to escape her fate. The lives of the two women become strangely intertwined when Betty finds the amnesiac Rita taking a shower in her aunt's apartment. In the course of trying to find out who Rita really is, the two women come across a movie director named Adam Kesher (Justin Theroux) who might hold some of the answers the women are seeking. Before all is said and done, a decomposing body is discovered which proves to be the key to unraveling the mystery behind Rita's identity and the strange relationship she has with Betty.

So what did Lynch intend to accomplish with "Mulholland Drive"? Did he want to create a surrealist work that would redefine the film narrative? Did he want to create a post-modern film noir that was so stylish and complex that it would belong to a category all its own? Did he want to prove that a film could effectively tell a story using only symbols and metaphors? Did he want to create the cinematic version of the cosmic joke? The more you think about it, it seems the "cosmic joke" choice might be the correct answer - and boy, did Lynch pull a fast one by tricking Universal into releasing this film and tricking us into watching it. Truth be told, "Mulholland Drive" is not the crowning achievement of his career - it is instead incontrovertible proof that Lynch has crossed over from being a director who makes "unique" films to being a director who makes "incomprehensible" films. The fine performances by Watts, Harring, and Theroux are wasted here as is the beautiful production design and cinematography. It is too bad that all of these separate elements did not find a home in a better production. "Mulholland Drive" is simply the equivalent of an abstract painting in which people see whatever they believe they see when looking at it. If you believe that pointless ambiguity is a desired goal of the creative process then this film is for you. Look elsewhere if you're not entertained by staring at nothingness.

4-0 out of 5 stars a beautiful masterwork
This film has a haunting beauty that is akin to experiencing Klee upon the first time. The mystery and sensuality wrecks havoc of all your senses. I relished the experience.

5-0 out of 5 stars Midgets!
This film is David Lynch doing what he does best: screwing with people's heads until they want to smash their VCRs. There's everything you expect from Lynch; bizarre, dreamlike situations, whacked-out characters with no clearly defined purpose, an inexplicably foreboding atmosphere. Oh, and of course, the entire cast shifting identities in the last half hour. While I loved it, there was one particular moment which was a bit too unsettling, even for Lynch. You see, there's this elderly couple who appear at the beginning. They're kind of strange, and have smiles plastered on their faces. They disappear for the next two hours, which is nothing new. Near the end, they show up again - as...hyperactive two-inch tall midgets. Even Eraserhead's singing worm creature didn't disturb me as much. I mean, midgets are kind of disturbing, and old people who can't keep smiling are also kind of disturbing, and when you combine the two...

4-0 out of 5 stars 25354. IRS97, stick to reviewing Charlton Heston movies
... Because apparently that's all you know.
Your recent attacks on 'Age' for her response to your original aggresively offensive review attacking anyone who has a taste for Lynch's art are as 'ignorant' as your original review was.
Age, as most people who admire Lynch's art, has a passion for the art of film and music.
Dirge9 (whom I do not know!) recently wrote a superb review of Mulholland and what it truly is.
A lot of reviewers (besides myself and my group of 7 artists)
have responded to your 'movies are just movies mentality'.
And, your conservatism shows IT'S age.
Comparing the art of Lynch to the 'art' of someone like Charlton Heston is excrutiatingly laughable.
I can see why, as an American conservative, you 'get' Heston, the most arrogant Hollywood actor of all time. There's even an 'in joke' in Mulholland with the casting of Chad Everett (who brilliantly parodies his own Hollywood image) that is comparable to the like and mentality of Heston, the once president of the Hollywood Actors Union who blatantly attacked Ed Asner for his political stances and had enough Hollywood clout to see to it that 'Lou Grant' was taken off the air.
Mulholland is so anti-Hollywood in every frame. It mocks Hollwood's 'The story must be clear, cohesive and literal' mentality.
This film pulls the rug out from under the Hollywood type viewer's feet in every sense imaginable.
Hollywood is a facade and Mulholland mocks that facade. Nothing is as it seems, hence the two halves of the film. First, we have the facade, then the ugly truth comes out and does so in such a way that it brilliantly leaves the viewer scratching his head.
'What the hell just happened?' is the typical response.
Admittedly, this film is not at all friendly to the Hollywood type viewer (aka yourself).
it's amusing too that in looking now at all of your reviews that you liked 'The Shining' (another anti-Hollywood film), anD detested both 'Twister' and 'Zardoz'.
'Age', in the college we attended, wrote reviews very similar to your views on those three films.
And yet,even though you, like her, pointed out the downright ignorance of 'Twister', and the Hollywood hyper pretentiousness of Zardoz, and praised the brillance of that horror epic, 'The Shining' you did not 'get' the similar sentiments of Lynch's 'Mulholland and 'Lost Highway'.
There are movies and there are films and Mulholland fits squarely into the latter.
Film is as much a visual 'art form' as painting is, while 'movies' are valid forms of entertainment, usually created by Hollywood business men.
Europe is far more advanced in it's thinking regarding film as an art form and Lynch has a very European artist's frame of thinking.
Another reviewer recently wrote of 'elitistic taste' and wrote that this is something to strive for.
Mulholland is a perfect example of a film being for 'eltistic taste' and like Dirge9 I agree that the fact that this film gets the passionate reviews that it does, is refreshing because it proves that Lynch's art is indeed challenging and every negative review you give it further proves this point.

2-0 out of 5 stars and another thing, part two
I notice my previous review is getting only "unhelpful" votes. So let me try to explain myself yet again. David Lynch is interested in making preposterous movies. David Lynch is perniciously interested in making movies that are basically terrible, yet terrible in a dissociative way. The essence of a David Lynch movie is that it is a load of horse puckey, to quote the apartment manager in Mulholland drive. What's that? You want examples? Well, lets take another of Lynch's movies, Lost Highway. Bill Pullman's character is established as morosely mellow and more or less inert. Cut to: a scene of him playing his saxophone in a club, "wailing on it" as they say. This is in total contradiction to what we have just seen - contradiction being the main form of literary humor - but more importantly, Pullman is a very, very bad saxophone player. His playing is preposterous. One cannot take him seriously as a musician. Another example, from the same movie, is Richard Pryor as the garage manager on the phone to a potential customer. He says, "We got eight guys here. I'll let you talk to five of them; and if you can get that price from ONE of them, I'll let you ask the other three." Any questions? Is this not self-evidently complete and utter nonsense? And what about the fact that halfway through the movie Bill Pullman turns into a totally different guy and so is let out of jail. After all, since he is not the same guy they put in there, they gotta let him out. That follows, don't it? Am I making myself clear?
No? Okay, what about David Bowie in Fire Walk With Me? He plays a Texan. I am sure he was cast as a Texan precisely because David Lynch figured on Bowie being unable to do a convincing accent. He says to his casting director, "Let's have Bowie play the Texan. He'll do a terrible job and it'll sound like sh*t." Am I getting through to you people now? David Lynch intentionally makes very bad movies. What?!?!? Another example?!?!? Well, how's about Laura Palmer saying to her boyfriend, "I'm long gone, like a turkey in the corn." "Don't say that. A turkey's one of the dumbest birds there is." (tears falling down her cheek)"Gobble...gobble...gobble..." Can't you see what I'm saying to you?!?!?
DO YOU BEGIN TO SEE THERE IS NO BOY THERE IN THE DARK ROOM?!??! ... Read more


16. Boy Who Loved Trolls
Director: Harvey S. Laidman
list price: $14.95
our price: $14.95
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Asin: 1577420586
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 20220
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars Great Production hampered by poor video quality
The Good News: You can actually buy this video!
The Bad News: The poor video quality detracts greatly...

I love this video, it was one of my very favorite Wonder Works Productions. Too bad it doesn't look or sound any better than the copies I made off PBS on my own VCR... ... Read more


17. Sam's Son
Director: Michael Landon
list price: $9.98
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Asin: 6302259916
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 19508
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars STRONG STORY WITH A TWIST FROM LANDON
Michael Landon directed and acted in Sam's Son, his autobiography, about his struggles as a kid growing up. He discovers his strengths are taking care of a bully, being a javelin thrower and helping his wonderful father. It's an inspirational film I truly enjoyed. I loved the ending of this movie. The Four Aces singing "Dream" over the closing credits was the icing on the cake.

Timothy Patrick Murphy (Mickey Trotter from Dallas) played the young Landon, and appeared to have a childhood-type likeness to Landon.

4-0 out of 5 stars A good clean movie
A very good movie. Michael Landon always has movies that are very good to watch for the whole family. I really liked this one. ... Read more


18. Capricorn One
Director: Peter Hyams
list price: $9.99
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Asin: 6303079636
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 40879
Average Customer Review: 3.83 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (46)

4-0 out of 5 stars A Good Yarn
Suprisingly, I saw this movie for the first time just a few short days ago, even though I was old enough to have seen it when it hit the theaters. A shame I let it go so long.

At the beginning of this movie, three astronauts (played by James Brolin, Sam Waterston, and O.J. Simpson) are pulled from a space flight destined for Mars. There was something wrong with the life-support system. The director of the space program (Hal Holbrook) says that they can't afford for the flight to be cancelled, so the three astronauts are coerced through threats to go through with a fake landing filmed on a closed base.

A reporter (Elliot Gould) talks with a friend (Robert Walden) who claims there is something mysterious going on with the flight. Immediately after this revelation, the friend disappears with no trace of him having ever existed. The reorter begins a quest to find out what is going on.

Meanwhile, the now unmanned spaceship burns up on re-entry. This means that except for the three astronauts and few head people in the space program, everyone else thinks they're all dead. This leads to the exciting last half of the movie.

A similar conspiracy theory (held mostly by extreme nutcases) revolves around our own moon shots, but this movie makes the plot an extremely good way to pass a couple of hours.

4-0 out of 5 stars All the President's Nasa Men
A nifty adventure that fits in well with many of the 1970's paranoid thrillers (i.e. Marathon Man, Three Days of the Condor, etc.).CAPRICORN ONE stars James Brolin (THE AMITYVILLE HORROR, WESTWORLD), Sam Waterson (tv's LAW AND ORDER), and O.J. Simpson (THE NAKED GUN) as the three astronauts who reluctantly agree to stage a fake landing on Mars when Nasa determines the mission is unsafe and that the government does not want anymore failures. However, the astronaut's attitude does not sit well with an unscrupulous mission controller Dr. James Kelloway (Hal Holbrook-MAGNUM FORCE) and plans to kill them. Then, they must escape and expose the truth. Director Peter Hyams (2010: THE YEAR WE MAKE CONTACT,TIMECOP) does a pretty good job in the suspense and action while handling a delicate and very interesting plot. Good support roles especially Eliot Gould as the investigative reporter trying to find the truth, Brenda Vaccaro as one of the astronauts wives, David Doyle (tv's CHARLIE'S ANGELS' 'Bosley'), Robert Walden (tv's LOU GRANT, SHIRTS/SKINS) and Telly Savalas.

3-0 out of 5 stars Underground Classic for Conspiracy Buffs
If this wasn't the original Black Helicopters movie, it sure went a long way toward immortalizing that aviatory image as a sure sign of evil government conspiracies. On a personal note, I remember it for two things -- seeing it on a Sunday afternoon with my Dad on the best weekend we spent together of my pre-teen years; and first hearing the "black guy dies first" movie custom from Dad.

The plot is simple and, at the time, rather chilling. Remember, it was only nine years after the 1969 moon landing, even less after Vietnam lies began coming to light and four years after Watergate climaxed with Nixon's resignation. Also, it's one year after the Viking unmanned craft landed on Mars.

The first manned mission to Mars has a wee bit of a problem -- a life support system that was too cheap and discovered too late. NASA needs this mission to be successful with no glitches to keep its considerable funding amidst dying interest in the space program. Solution? Fake the mission! Hal Holbrook explains all this to astronauts James Brolin, Sam Waterston and O.J. Simpson (there were athletic black actors who could ACT in the 1970s, but the trend was to use famous and semi-famous jocks. Probably has something to do with Q ratings and bankability). Holbrook persuades them to go along in a manner that makes you ask "Are the government or major corporations such as the aerospace industry siblings, distant cousins, kissing cousins or incestuous siblings with the Mafia?"

All is well until technology and the astronauts begin little rebellions that hint this mission isn't exactly a space oddity. This puts Eliott Gould, a newspaper guy always foolishly swinging for the fence sexually and professionally, on the case. Unlike others, I think the part as written called for Gould, someone who could flow between drama and comedy seamlessly.

So you've got Gould doing his Scooby Gang thing and the whole months long fakery being pulled off when there's another wee problem on reentry. That sets up the last third to half of the movie when we get black helicopters, snake lunches and Telly Savalas.

Not a great flick for the quality cast involved (Gould, Waterston, Holbrook, Denise Nicholas, Robert Walden) but a good one. It does drag in some spots. The DVD doesn't have enough extras to be a great DVD or even a good one -- no commentaries, just some production notes. I bought it just because I wanted the movie. I'm not sorry I did, but the DVD package is still disappointing.

3-0 out of 5 stars An uneven film, still worth the effort
In many ways, Capricorn One is a quissential example of a '70s action film. The film tells the story of the first manned spaceflight to Mars and the three dedicated pioneers (played by James Brolin, Sam Waterston, and O.J. Simpson -- and yes, it is impossible to watch the film without thinking about Simpson's most recent role) who bring hope to a cynical country by conquering the Red Planet. The only problem, of course, is that the whole thing is a fake. The three men are actually in a hastily constructed studio in the middle of a barren desert and their spacecraft is empty as it journeys through space and time. As implausible as this plot may sound, the film actually goes to the trouble to make the reasoning behind this plot believable and it even goes to the trouble to provide some humanity to the plot's mastermind, a NASA official played by Hal Holbrook. Because the film actually takes the time to set up the situation, it remains compelling even when that empty spacecraft happens to burn up on reentry, meaning that -- in order for the three spacemen to remain martyrs and for NASA to continue to get funding -- they have to die in reality as well. As the three men try to escape across the barren desert (pursued by three very ominous helicopters -- never has a sinister government conspiracy ever looked so realistically sinister), a reporter played by Elliott Gould slowly starts to uncover the conspiracy and soon his life is in danger as well.

While the basic plot itself is similar to quite a few recent action films, what distinguished Capricorn One is that the film -- made while the nation, still feeling the pain of Watergate and Viet Nam, was still getting used to not being able to trust the government -- plays this story totally straight. Neither of the film's leads (Brolin and Gould) manage to get off a single smirky one-liner in the style of our modern action heroes and the film makes it painstakingly clear that neither one of them is invulnerable. Brolin's trek through the desert is almost painful to watch (at one point, nearly dead of dehydration, Brolin very graphically kills and eats a rattlesnake -- a scene that would verge on disgusting if it wasn't obvious that Brolin's life depends on his actions). As for Gould, he has a wonderful scene in which he discovers that his car's breaks have been tamepered with and the entire sequence of his car racing out of control down the streets of Houston before eventually plunging off a bridge is almost totally shot from his point of view -- it's a scary sequence that is well-directed and if it's conclusion seems a little far fetched, the build-up is almost equal to the famous car chase in The French Connection.

That said, this is not a perfect film. Director/Writer Peter Hyams allows quite a few scenes to go on a bit too long. (The film is full of quirky characters but occasionally, the spend so long being quirky that it becomes obvious that they're there for no other purpose other than to show off that quirk.) This is a two hour film that would have been better if it had been thirty minutes shorter. The film has a clever script but far too many scenes (especially of Gould's character trying to figure out the conspiracy) seem to repeat each other for no basic reason other than the lack of a good editor. The performances are a mixed bag. Gould does a good job for the most part except for a few scenes when he was seems to be chanelling Dustin Hoffman from All The President's Men. As for the three astronaughts, their characters aren't strong developed beyond a few identifying quirks -- Brolin is the heroic one, Waterston is the funny one, and Simpson -- well, he doesn't really get any identifying quirks beyond being O.J. Simpson. Of the three, only Waterston gives a memorable performance and this is largely because he gets the funny lines. Brolin is -- well, he's Brolin, vaguely likeable but mostly dull. Simpson's performance is a typical O.J. Simpson performance -- he seems to be trying really hard to excel at something that he has no talent at. You'd almost feel sorry for him if he wasn't O.J.

As far as the supporting roles are concerned, there's a lot of familiar faces and it's a mixed bag. Both Karen Black and Telly Savalas put in what the credits assure us are "special appearances." Black is occasionally amusing even if her character serves no real purpose while Savalas manages to bring the film to a dead stop by wildly overplaying a role that one hopes was meant to be comic relief but, which in the end, just serves as a very annoying distraction. On the plus side, Brenda Vaccaro is sympathetic and compelling as Brolin's wife and the undderrated Denise Nichols has one good scene as Simpson's wife -- one almost regrets that the crew of Capricorn One had to be male as Vacarro and Nichols give the type of performances that should have come from Brolin and Simpson. However, the film's greatest performance is given by the great Hal Holbrook who, instead of playing an outright, melodramatic villian, instead plays a human being who, for good reasons, does some truly evil things. Indeed, the film's main strength is Holbrook's villian who serves as a great testament to what can happen when idealism gives way to self-righteousness. By the film's end, you may hate Holbrook but you never cease to understand him and even mourn the person he used to be.

Capricorn One is a flawed film and it's a dated film but it is still a film that is worth seeing for both it's nostalgia value (Yes, Virginia, there actually was a time when journalists were considered heroes) and for an example of a believable and compelling action film.

4-0 out of 5 stars Plays to the "Moon Landing Was a Hoax" crowd


Good entertainment. It plays on the old "the moon landing was all a giant hoax" conspiracy theory. There are people who still believe that, and this film is built on the same plot. The trip to Mars was a failure, and so the "power brokers" stage it with real astronauts who have to be killed in the end, and movie and television tricks.

Hal Holbrook plays the heavy (bad government guy in charge of the hoax, including killing folks). Elliott Gould is the plucky young reporter (Caulfield) who is being set up by the government because he knows too much, and suspects more than he knows. The three astronauts are played by James Brolin, O.J. Simpson and a young Sam Waterson. They are supposed to be killed when their heat shield fails on re-entry (to avoid any embarrassing leaks later), but they escape from their southwest location. Even Telly Savalas gets a part in the solution, as Elliott Gould closes in on the bad (read "government") guys who are caught red-handed in their hoax on the gullible American people (aren't they always?).

This film has the whole schmeer, including the black helicopters, bad politicians (probably Republicans, of course), car chases, gun battles from airplanes, and the bad guys getting their comeuppance in the end.

It's good entertainment.

Joseph (Joe) Pierre

author of Handguns and Freedom...their care and maintenance
and other books

... Read more


19. Behind Enemy Lines
Director: Mark Griffiths
list price: $59.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0792899849
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 51441
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars behind enemy lines
EXCELLENT MOVIE!!!!!!KEEPS YOUR INTEREST AND VERY EXCITING SCENES.DEFINITELY A MUST BUY FILM!

5-0 out of 5 stars Ass Kicking Action
This was the best action movie I've seen in years. Stupid plot, lots of gore...the bad guys always lose. Worth buying definitely. The sleeper hit of the decade. ... Read more


20. Thirteen Days
Director: Roger Donaldson
list price: $109.99
our price: $109.99
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Asin: B00005J787
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 48495
Average Customer Review: 3.94 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (199)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Best Historical Film of the Year (2001)
THIRTEEN DAYS is simply outstanding! One of the best historical films I have ever seen! It is even more "History" then "Hollywood".

I think the Cuban Missile Crisis is one of the most important events in American History. However, many younger Americans know so very little about the very important events depicted in this carefully planned and conscientiously researched film.

Steven Culp's portrayal of Robert F. Kennedy was simply uncanny. It has got to be difficult to act as a person so many people know so well. I thought his performance was fabulous. Kevin Costner played the role of presidential aide Kenneth O'Donnell. His performance was very good however; his Boston accent was terrible and really does get on your nerves, especially in the beginning of the film. Bruce Greenwood plays John F. Kennedy and does this great president justice.

I highly recommend the infini film DVD version of this movie. The Beyond the Movie features are wonderful. The Historical Figures Commentary features archival audio of John F. Kennedy, Robery McNamara, P. O'Donnell, Pierre Salinger, Sergie Khrushchev, and many others. There is a 48 minute documentary entitled "Roots of the Cuban Missile Crisis" which features film footage from the era along with modern interviews covering post World War II United States and Soviet relations. There are also historical biographies of all the major figures in the movie too.

If you enjoy historical movies this one is a must see!

5-0 out of 5 stars On The Brink
In October 1962, the world came closer to nuclear extinction than it ever had before or would again. When a U-2 spy plane photographed the installation of Soviet ballistic missiles on the island of Cuba, the United States and its president John F. Kennedy were faced with a monumental dilemma: how to force the Soviets to withdraw the missiles without touching off World War III. That is the story ingeniously told in the terribly underrated political drama THIRTEEN DAYS, one of the best films of that type since ALL THE PRESIDENT'S MEN.

Seen through the eyes of JFK presidential adviser Kenneth O'Donnell (Kevin Costner), THIRTEEN DAYS is a fascinating look at the machinations that went on in the highest circles of power in Washington during that traumatic time known as the Cuban Missile Crisis. Bruce Greenwood, known prior to this for playing bad guys (DOUBLE JEOPARDY; RULES OF ENGAGEMENT), gives an extremely credible portrayal of John Kennedy, who finds himself caught between a rock and a hard place. On one side are the Joint Chiefs of Staff, led by staunch Cold Warriors General Max Taylor and Dean Acheson, pushing for an invasion and surgical strike against the missiles. On the other is the president's own conscience, for he knows that anything as rash as what the Joint Chiefs are leaning hard on could mean the end of life on Earth.

Alongside Greenwood's sterling performance, Steven Culp portrays his brother Bobby Kennedy with the right tact and straight-forward believability. Costner's heavy Boston accent is not always credible, but this is only a minor flaw in his performance as Ken O'Donnell, which is otherwise quite good. A true standout performance is Michael Fairman's portrayal of UN ambassador Adlai Stevenson, a former presidential candidate and an old "political cat" who denounces the Soviet Union's stonewalling at the United Nations in front of the world--"Yes or No?! Don't bother to wait for the translation"; "I'm prepared to stay here until Hell freezes over, if that's what it takes!"

David Self's screenplay is very cagily based on White House tapes, documents, and memos from that two-week edge-of-the-seat rollercoaster ride the human race had to endure. It all comes together under the crisp, taut direction of Roger Donaldson, who directed Costner in 1987's NO WAY OUT. Even though it is a rather long film at 146 minutes, it plays like Great American theatre, the kind that Hollywood has somehow left behind in its rush for big bucks.

Like any film drama based on real events, besides the slight fictionalizations, a person's knowledge of these events might make THIRTEEN DAYS predictable. But the reason these kinds of films work is not so much the end result as to finding out how the end result was achieved. That is the real triumph of this movie, and why it ranks very close to ALL THE PRESIDENT'S MEN, in my book.

1-0 out of 5 stars Boring
I saw this film in a history class I was taking and it definitely was not viewed for the sake of accuracy, more as a comparative piece to an actual historical documentary and I must say I found the documentary of still pictures & voice overs more entertaining. I struggled to stay awake during this drag of a movie.

5-0 out of 5 stars Spell binding from beginning to end
I had seen this movie only in bits before on TV but had never seen the whole thing. I recently purchased it and within the last week have literally watched it again and again. I can only vaguely remember hearing the words "Cuban Missile Crisis" when I was 8 years old and had no idea just how close we came to WWIII. This is an excellent, attention holding film. I loved Kevin Costner in this and also "JFK - a must see also". Both Greenwood and Culp did a wonderful job of portraying the Kennedy brothers. I would highly recommend this movie. Use both this and JFK to educate your children, if you can get past the foul language somehow.

5-0 out of 5 stars COMPARE THE CUBAN CRISIS WITH IRAN-CONTRA
"Thirteen Days" re-created the Cuban Missile Crisis, elevating the Kennedys to virtual sainthood while painting Curt LeMay as an advocate for nuclear holocaust. It was a fantastic picture, like many of them, but in it is an interesting scene in which Kenny O'Donnell, played by Kevin Costner, tells a Navy plot to lie to LeMay about being shot at, because LeMay would supposedly have ordered a strike if he had been. The film paints this lie as the right thing to do because it advocates the Kennedy's position, which was to maintain level heads and a calm demeanor. However, in 1987 Ollie North was excoriated by the Left for lying about the funding of anti-Communist guerrillas, which was Reagan's position. Funny about that.

STEVEN TRAVERS
AUTHOR OF "BARRY BONDS: BASEBALL'S SUPERMAN"
STWRITES@AOL.COM ... Read more


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