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1. Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate
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2. There Goes the Neighborhood
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3. Beetlejuice
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4. Home Alone 2 - Lost in New York
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5. Pippi Longstocking
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6. Home Alone
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8. Waiting for Guffman
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10. Betsy's Wedding
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12. The Best of John Candy on SCTV
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13. Best in Show
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14. Witch's Night Out
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20. Searching for Debra Winger

1. Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events
Director: Brad Silberling
list price: $22.99
our price: $20.69
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0007TKOM8
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 624
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

If you spliced Charles Addams, Dr. Seuss, Charles Dickens, Edward Gorey, and Roald Dahl into a Tim Burtonesque landscape, you'd surely come up with something like Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events. Many critics (in mostly mixed reviews) wondered why Burton didn't direct this comically morbid adaptation of the first three books in the popular series by Daniel Handler (a.k.a. "Lemony Snicket," played here by Jude Law and seen only in silhouette) instead of TV and Casper veteran Brad Silberling, but there's still plenty to recommend the playfully bleak scenario, in which three resourceful orphans thwart their wicked, maliciously greedy relative Count Olaf (Jim Carrey), who subjects them to... well, a series of unfortunate events. Along the way they encounter a herpetologist uncle (Billy Connolly), an anxious aunt (Meryl Streep) who's afraid of everything, and a variety of fantastical hazards and mysterious clues, some of which remain unresolved. Given endless wonders of art direction, costume design, and cinematography, Silberling's direction is surprisingly uninspired (in other words, the books are better), but when you add a throwaway cameo by Dustin Hoffman, Law's amusing narration, and Carrey's over-the-top antics, the first Lemony movie suggests a promising franchise in the making. --Jeff Shannon

DVD features
Packed into the two-disc special edition of Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events is over two hours of serious behind-the-scenes features, deleted scenes, and interviews with the production staff. The most generous of these is A Woeful World, an in-depth overview of the production design with extensive commentary from Oscar-nominated production designer Rick Heinrichs. Kids who've read the books will enjoy seeing how creative minds transform the world of the books into a movie. "Costumes and Other Suspicious Disguises" is one of the most fun extras with footage of Jim Carrey comically ad-libbing as his different characters during the on-screen costume tests. The special features contained on the single-disc editions are also quite good, but most fans will find it worth it to pay the few extra dollars for this edition because of the insights it gives into the production. --Dan Vancini

A Message from Count Olaf

Dear Adoring Fan of Count Olaf,

Perhaps once every thousand years, a talent emerges that completely changes the way movies are made, orphans are orphaned, and heartthrobs throb. Often this talent has only one eyebrow, as is the case with one of the most cherished and admired actors scheming today. Surely you can you guess of whom I think.

No, you fool! I am referring to the One...the Only...the Unbelievably Handsome Count Olaf!

Or, as I like to call him, Me.

If you’ve already seen my performance in Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events, you must still be speechless. But if you haven’t, you are in serious danger. Just teasing. But you could be after I send one of my gifted henchpersons to your home!

So why not get my movie on DVD? This major motion spectacle has everything. Me, acting! Leeches, attacking! Orphans, almost falling off a cliff! Of course, if you are familiar with books by Lemony Snicket, you know that they include all of these things too, but most of what he says is lies, and the rest is completely boring.

There's never been a film that demands repeated viewing in quite the same way, with a diabolical genius writing you a letter that says, "I DEMAND REPEATED VIEWING!!!" Plus with DVD extras, you’ll get at least 20% more Olaf for your money. And... just for you, for an unlimited time only, I’ll throw in Aunt Josephine free with purchase.*

So, noble Amazonians, put down your hunting spears and exotic headdresses, and prepare to bask in True Greatness. Or, as I like to call it, Me.

Of course you may have my autograph!

Count Olaf

*Count Olaf will not be held liable or accept blame in any way for any and all liability, loss, damage, or personal injury (including death), without limit and without regard once Aunt Josephine is thrown in, due to the unpredictable behavior of hungry leeches.

Stills from Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events (Click to Enlarge)


Violet, Count Olaf, and Klaus

Aunt Josephine

Count Olaf and Aunt Josephine

Directing Jim Carrey

Klaus, Mr. Poe, Sunny, and Violet

Count Olaf

Olaf Ascending

The Baudelaire Orphans

All Things Snicket

See a complete list of all Lemony Snicket's creations, including books from the Series of Unfortunate Events, calendars, and more.


The Essential Lemony Snicket Books


A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Ominous Omnibus, Books 1-3

The Situation Worsens: A Box of Unfortunate Events, Books 4-6

The Dilemma Deepens: A Box of Unfortunate Events, Books 7-9

The Slippery Slope: A Series of Unfortunate Events, Book 10

The Grim Grotto: A Series of Unfortunate Events, Book 11

A Library of Unfortunate Events, Books 1-10

Behind the Scenes with Count Olaf: A Series of Unfortunate Events Movie Book

Lemony Snicket: The Unauthorized Autobiography

The Puzzling Puzzles Activity Book

More from the Movie


Original Movie Poster

Soundtrack

Wall Poster

Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events Computer & Video Games


For PS2

For PC

For Xbox

For GameCube

... Read more

Reviews (254)

4-0 out of 5 stars Well Done, Witty
This is a VERY witty, whimsical, and surprisingly dark film. I don't see very many similarities between this and Harry Potter, like everyone says. The only Harry Potter that is remotely similar is Prisoner of Azkaban.
I really enjoyed this movie, you will too.

5-0 out of 5 stars Lemony Snicket
I love his books!They are so facinating!Sometimes I just can't put them down! I first started reading them in 6th grade then I just couldn't stop.Then I decided to get my own copies of all of the books.I like Lemony's sense of humor, especially in Book 1, on page 94.Authough I wish he would continue with the series by writing books 12 and 13 because I would really like to find out if the Baudilares will really defeat Count Olaf an his troupe for good.One more thing:In the movie they pronounce Klaus as (Kl-aW-se) and Olaf as(O-lav).I prefer to pronouce the names (clause)for Klaus and (Ol-if)for Olaf. It is ok if you don't but my preferances would make more sense.
Thanks
P.S. My favorite is Violet, authough you may have a different favorite.You should read the books....I have a feeling you would love them.

1-0 out of 5 stars .... GOOD ART direction doth naught a moving picture maketh
'SOMEONE' should REALLY have a frank discussion with Mr. Carrey ~ [a super talent - really] about these artistic career choices that lead to cul-de-cat-in-the-sacks ?????

REALLY a dreadfully, boring little feature, showing lots of $$$ on screen, but Oh My - the Horror! The Horror!

Meryl Streep with a REALLY bad wig, check the hairline .... ditto Jim's eyebrows ...... and the Count Costume [Goodness is he ?? over? Andy Kaufman?] but do check 'Heartbeeps' the lost Kaufman movie with Bernadette Peters - and compare the costume[s].

.....pity ....[and was that a tribute to Robin William's 'Popeye'?]

4-0 out of 5 stars Good but the books are better!!
When I got this I thought I would like the books better and well I was right. Don't get me wrong it was good but it was hard to follow if you didn't read the books. Defintely read the books before watching.

1-0 out of 5 stars Why Lemony, why?
How could Lemony Snicket allow Hollywood to do this to his great books? Lemony Snicket wrote 11 books of "A Series of Unfortunate Events.I have only the first 9 but that doesn't mean I can't bash this trash.
Let's talk about the story: Three children who have this really big house with a library and everything lose the house and their parents in a fire.The children now become orphans and have to live with their third cousin four times removed (or was it fourth cousin three times removed?) named Count Olaf (Jim Carrey).Olaf is a mean greedy man who intends to have the three orphans killed in order to get a hold of their tremendous fortune their parents left behind before the fire.
That's also the story of the first book.What the movie does is it tries to get cute and funny (far more than the books).The books were hardly ever cute and funny.They were serious and (as the title tells you) unfortunate.They were describing the pain and misery that the three children had to go through in their lives.The movie turns them into kids you couldn't give a crap about.
Another thing I hate about this movie is that they started out with the first book and went to the second one without having the first one end the way it did in the book.Then they skipped a bunch of parts in the second and third book.Instead of going to the fourth book, the movie actually ends the same way the first book did (just thought that those of you who have read the books ought to know that before you witness this cheesy adaptation).
Those of you who have not read the books nor seen the movie, OK, you could give this movie a try but you would probably find the books more interesting and more serious.
Those of you who have not read the books but have seen the movie and you're viewing this review just so you can say, "Oh, what a jerk.This movie is excellent", well, read a book, wait for them to make movie out of it, and then you'll know how that "jerk" felt. ... Read more


2. There Goes the Neighborhood
Director: Bill Phillips
list price: $14.95
our price: $14.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 6302800064
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 36216
Average Customer Review: 3.33 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (3)

2-0 out of 5 stars short use of good talent
i really must say that it was ok could've been better, alot better! if they only would've taken more time & care on the script. the casting was superb that's why it's a shame it falls soo short of greatest , a great idea just poorly excuted. jeff daniels & catherine o'hara are pefect in their roles but the script leaves little for them to do,the beginning is great but runs out of steam.

there are some funny moments that's about it. it's PG-13 for profanity.

4-0 out of 5 stars Paydirt - VHS
It's a copy of mad mad mad mad world. Jeff Daniels strikes again, he is one of the funniest people on this planet, what would the world be whiteout him.

4-0 out of 5 stars PAYDIRT - VHS
It's a copy of mad mad mad mad world. Jeff Daniels strikes again, he is one of the funniest people on this planet, what would the world be whiteout him. ... Read more


3. Beetlejuice
Director: Tim Burton
list price: $6.93
our price: $6.93
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Asin: 6302814790
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 2844
Average Customer Review: 4.31 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com essential video

Before making Batman, director Tim Burton and star Michael Keaton teamed up for this popular black comedy about a young couple (Geena Davis and Alec Baldwin) whose premature death leads them to a series of wildly bizarre afterlife exploits. As ghosts in their own New England home, they're faced with the challenge of scaring off the pretentious new owners (Catherine O'Hara and Jeffrey Jones), whose daughter (Winona Ryder) has an affinity for all things morbid. Keaton plays the mischievous Beetlejuice, a freelance "bio-exorcist" who's got an evil agenda behind his plot to help the young undead newlyweds. The film is a perfect vehicle for Burton's visual style and twisted imagination, with clever ideas and gags packed into every scene. Beetlejuice is also a showcase for Keaton, who tackles his title role with maniacal relish and a dark edge of menace. --Jeff Shannon ... Read more

Reviews (107)

5-0 out of 5 stars Say it once, say it twice, third time's the charm!
When this movie first came out about fifteen years ago, my father owned a video store and every Wednesday night was "Beetlejuice" night. I'm older now, obviously, but I still cannot get enough of this movie.

Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis play Adam and Barbara Maitland, two Connecticut yuppies who die prematurely in a car wreck. Within a couple weeks, their home is overrun by an ultra-trendy New York City family, Charles and Delia Deetz, and their Goth daughter, Lydia (played respectively by Jeffrey Jones, Catherine O'Hara, and Winona Ryder). Adam and Barbara want their house back, and attempt to scare the Deetz's out of the house by wearing sheets and even by possessing them over dinner, making them sing and dance to Harry Belafonte's "Day O." Those attempts fail and enter Michael Keaton as Betelguese, "the afterlife's leading freelance bio-exorcist." The movie is dark without being scary and funny without being ridiculous.

In my opinion, one of the real gems in this film is the late Sylvia Sidney as Juno, Your Case Worker. Sidney was pushing eighty when this film was made, but turns in a great performance as the embittered equivalent of an afterlife social worker. Love how the smoke from her ever-present cigarette comes out of the slit in her throat.

If you've never seen this movie, see it. If you have seen it but don't own it on DVD, get it. The picture quality is better than ever.

4-0 out of 5 stars tim burton=a classic movie
a couple dies.they live in a house as spirits and then some people move in.the dad is a dork.the mom is a control freak,crazy women who sculpts.she is a similar character in home alone but in that one shes a unbelivably terrible and neglectful psycho mom.the daughter is a dark depressed girl played by wyona ryder.she looks very sexy in thisone.a cool line is:my whole life is a dark room.one big dark room.they get constant visits from other weirdos also.the 2 dead people-some dork and a belive it or not somewhat sexy geena davis play them.they spirits try to scare the living out but are too good natured to suceed.so they hire michael keaton-beetlejuice-to get rid of them.he is more forceful.it is a tim burton movie which of course means its awesome.most everyone could like this.wyona ryder looks awesome in a red wedding dress late in the film.that stupid child hater of a mom lady is this movies only flaw.shes such a bitch.this movie is full of well written mastery and great special effects.it is great!

4-0 out of 5 stars beetlejuice
this movie was really good, it was so creative, like edward scissorhands. i loved the story and the underworld scenes were great. i think that winona ryder did an excellent job as Lydia, the troubled daughter. betelguese was hilarious! this is not your mainstream kid movie, be aware of that if if you plan on showing it to your kids.

5-0 out of 5 stars Remains one of my favorites
Re-watching Beetlejuice more than a decade after it thrilled, frightened and enthralled me as a child makes me sad about Mr. Tim Burton's transformation into a Hollywood favorite semi-quirky remake-director (Planet Of The Apes, Sleepy Hollow) in recent years (Big Fish indeed signals a hopeful recovery - if only Charlie And The Chocolate Factory doesn't spoil it...!) At the young age of thirty, and in only his second full length feature, Burton created a cult favorite that is one for the ages. In this bizarre, off-beat script by Michael McDowell (who collaborated with him before on an episode of the 'Alfred Hitchcock Presents' television series) he found the ideal vehicle for his unique and strange imagination - and indeed, Burton's unique vision is more apparent here than in any of his movies, The Nightmare Before Christmas being the happy exception. Though it's true that it's not as personal a creation as 'Nightmare' or Edward Scissorhands, this is the movie that would place Burton on the map as a major director, and would earn him his breakthrough job - directing the first Batman feature film. It is on Beetlejuice that he would also start several long-time collaborations with actors who would work with him again in the future - Michael Keaton (Batman & Batman Returns), Winona Ryder (Edward Scissorhands), Jeffrey Jones (Ed Wood, Sleepy Hollow), Glenn Shadix and Catherine O'Hara (both of whom did voiceovers for Nightmare Before Christmas).

So, again, while Beetlejuice isn't as deep and personal film as we would see in Nightmare Before Christmas, Edward Scissorhands, Ed Wood or Big Fish, Beetlejuice is an incredibly imaginative and captivating film and is a perfect black comedy. Geena Davis and Alec Baldwin are both more than adequate, but Michael Keaton in the title part is of course the real star of the show - although in reality his part is much smaller than those of Davis and Baldwin. Keaton is electric and mesmerizing as the bio-exorcist or 'the Ghost with the Most', Beetlejuice (spelled BETELGEUSE!), probably the greatest and most memorable performance of his career (with the possible exception of the part of Batman). Keaton really let loose in Beetlejuice, and he and Burton were seemingly having a blast - they created one of the most memorable horror and comedy characters on the big screen. Seventeen year old Winona is also terrific as Goth-girl Lydia, fascinated and repulsed by Betelgeuse's extreme personality. Similarities between her character here and the one in Edward Scissorhands are easy to find, but for my money her performance as Lydia is the better one.

And in conclusion, if there's any movie that I'd recommend to own on VCR or DVD, it's Beetlejuice; because Burton at his best made films that are well rewarding in repeated viewing, and Beetlejuice is Burton at his very, very best, even if it's not his best film. So even if it's not an essential masterpiece like Edward Scissorhands, Beetlejuice is one of the classic cult films of all time, and I can't imagine going through life without it - that is, if you have the tiniest bit of a sense of fun and humor.

1-0 out of 5 stars This is the dumbest movie I ever saw...
I can't see why so many people liked this movie. I think it stinks. It has no script, Burton's story telling is lost in bad effects and cheesy dialoge and Keaton gets to act like a goofball. These two were no way the right ones to make Batman. ... Read more


4. Home Alone 2 - Lost in New York
Director: Chris Columbus
list price: $9.98
our price: $9.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 6302765536
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 366
Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

This somewhat unpleasant 1992 sequel to the blockbuster Home Alone revisits the first film's gimmick by stranding Macaulay Culkin's character in New York City while his family ends up somewhere else. Again, the little guy meets up with colorful people on the margins of society (including a pigeon woman played by Brenda Fricker) and again he gets into a prop-heavy battle with Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern. The latter sequence is even worse than the first film in terms of violence inflicted on the two villains (director Chris Columbus, who also made the first film, can't seem to emphasize the slapstick over the graphic effects of the fight). The best running joke finds a concierge (Tim Curry) at the swank hotel where Culkin is staying trying and failing to prove that the boy is on his own. --Tom Keogh ... Read more

Reviews (60)

5-0 out of 5 stars You guys give up? Have you had enough pain? "Nevahhhhhh!"
What kind of idiots do you have working here?
"The finest in New York."
- This is just an idea of the great writing & acting in Home Alone 2:Lost In New York. This is the second of 4 movies by Chris Columbus. Lil' Kevin McCallister gets caught up in more trouble again in this sequel to Home Alone.
Home Alone 2:Lost in New York starts with the Christmas Pageant where young Kevin manages to get himself in a bit of bother with Buzz who manages to make Kevin look like a laughing stock in front of many parents. Buzz then makes a very phony,but convincing apology to the family who accept it (as idiots).As he brings this apology to an end,he calls Kevin a "troutsniffer". The acting in this film is pure brilliance,especially the parts of the two "Wet Bandits" played by Joe Pesci & Daniel Stern.This film is such a hilarious film especially with great actors such as Joe Pesci,Daniel Stern,Catherine O'Hara,Tim Curry,Rob Schneider & not forgetting the fine young actor Macaulay Culkin. If you like Home Alone 2:Lost in New York then you are bound to love Home Alone.Although Home Alone 3 & 4 are not worth seeing as they are not the originals with Macaulay Culkin & the original Bandits

5-0 out of 5 stars "He's Done it Again"
this is the best movie ever! if you liked the first one then you will definetly love this one no matter what! Little Kevin has done it again-he's all by himself again but this time in New York around christmas time. at first he is really happy that he is in new york without his family who are in Florida (where there is no christmas trees)after getting in a fight with his older brother (Buzz) and then in a fight with the rest of his family. But he soon learns that he wants his family to be with him after reuniting with the wet bandits (Marv and Harry). But on the way he gets in trouble with the Plaza hotel (New Yorks most exciting hotel)and he saves DUNCANS TOY CHEST from being robbed. and he also meets a couple of friends that at first scared him.on christmas eve his mom finally finds him at rockafella center and the family is all together. this is by far my favorite movie because (1) it takes place in New York (2)it takes place during christmas time and (3) the story is great!

5-0 out of 5 stars Kevin McAllister Strikes Again!!!
This movie is too FUNNY!!!I love the Second Home Alone Movie as much as I like the 1st one.My favorite part the movie when Kevin sets up those Boob Traps for the 2 Burglars.And gets the wrong that goes to New York & Kevin gets sparated from his family again.This movie is the best,I gotta get this movie!!!

5-0 out of 5 stars A brilliant sequel
Ok, so Home Alone 2 is very similar to Home Alone, but that's what's so brilliant about it. I think that the this film is better than the original, mainly because of the superb addition other characters make to the movie. Tim Curry is brilliant in this.

So yeah, if you like Home Alone, you'll love Home Alone 2. It rocks!

5-0 out of 5 stars Best Movie EVER!!
This is the best movie of all time!!! Although the first one was EXCELLENT, this one is a little better. When Kevin gets separated from his family, he winds up in New York City, where he gets into some mischeif. BEST MOVIE EVER!!! I recommend this movie for everyone! Macaulay, YOU ROCK!!! ... Read more


5. Pippi Longstocking
Director: Michael Schaack, Clive A. Smith, Bill Giggie
list price: $19.96
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 6304621841
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 4020
Average Customer Review: 3.57 out of 5 stars
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Description

Get set for a hilarious, fun-filled adventure as one of the world's most enduring and beloved characters Pippi Longstocking, debuts in her first animated feature film. Inspired by Astrid Lindgren's timeless books and featuring a host of unforgettable songs, Pippi Longstocking is an instant classic that will knock the socks off your entire family! Year: 1997 Director: Waldemar Bergendahl, Michael Schaack, Starring:Melissa Altro, Catherine O'Hara, Gordon Pinsent, Dave Thomas ... Read more

Reviews (7)

4-0 out of 5 stars Let's talk about Pippi...
Chances are you've heard of Pippi Longstocking. The little red-haired girl that makes a habit of tossing around livestock, drawing on floors, washing the floor with her feet and so forth... Is this movie an accurate representation of her character? Is it even fun to watch?
The answer? To some degree.
The movie suffers from having too many songs, but many of them are frenetic enough to be easy to get used to and even like, though there are a couple of unlikable ones, I found the sound to be in general, good.
My main problem with this movie is that it tamed the story for some reason. Most of Pippi's wild stories are completely gone, and she no longer manhandles anyone who isn't a farm animal. The characters themselves often change on the spur of the moment to accomidate this. Even the fight at the circus (one of my favorite parts in the book,) became a tamer weight-lifting contest.
However, unlike the live version, the general attitude of Pippi is mostly similar to the one she had in the book, except perhaps that she's slightly less arrogant and lies a LOT less. This certainly gives it the edge it needs to be superior to the live-action movie, which trampled all over the character of the girl wonder.
There's only one scene in the movie that disturbed me a little, and that was near the end, where Prissilious tries to grab Pippi and she actually looks scared. That's not like Pippi at all.
But still, that's a fairly small thing, and if you MUST see Pippi on your TV screen (and I can't imagine why that would be,) this is the place to do it.
However, you're still far better off getting to know the REAL character of Pippi by reading the books, if you happen to have the time and literacy.

3-0 out of 5 stars Mr. Nillson
Her real name is Pippilotta Delicatessa Windowshade Mackrelmint Efraim's Daughter Longstocking, but you can call her Pippi. Anyways, Pippi's father gets washed away at a sudden storm at sea and says these last words that Pippi heard him say, "I'll see you in Villa Villekulla!" Villa Villekulla is Pippi's home, where she is by herself execept for a monkey named Mr. Nillson and her horse named Horse. To Pippi's surprise, a boy and girl live next door. A boy named Tomy and a girl named Annika and their parents live in the house. (By the way, Pippi's mother is anangel.). . .

5-0 out of 5 stars The funniest movie in the history of movies!
Pippi Longstocking was one of the few movies I loved the first time I saw it. A couple of my favorites in Pippi's gang are Kling, Klang, Bloom, and Pippi herself. I advise you (especially if you need some cheering up) to watch this movie. It is great for kids of all ages.

1-0 out of 5 stars This was a great movie for my 7yr son.
I enjoyed watching Pipi with my son. I remember watching Pipi Longstocking movies in the theaters when I was young, in the 1970's. I have been unable to find those movies, so I was excited to see some new updates on Pipi.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Story and Brilliant Animation
I have seen this animated children's story on the Disney channel and it never fails to amuse and entertain. Pippi is high spirited and infectiously non-conformist. All of the musical performances are memorable especially the duet with the school teacher. Highly recommended! ... Read more


6. Home Alone
Director: Chris Columbus
list price: $9.98
our price: $9.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 6302091632
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 88
Average Customer Review: 4.45 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Now and forever a favorite among kids, this 1990 comedy written by John Hughes (The Breakfast Club) and directed by Chris Columbus (Mrs. Doubtfire) ushered Macaulay Culkin onto the screen as a troubled 8-year-old who doesn't comfortably mesh with his large family. He's forced to grow a little after being accidentally left behind when his folks and siblings fly off to Paris. A good-looking boy, Culkin lights up the screen during several funny sequences, the most famous of which finds him screaming for joy when he realizes he's unsupervised in his own house. A bit wooden with dialogue, the then-little star's voice could grate on the nerves (especially in long, wise-child passages of pure bromide), but he unquestionably carries the film. Billie Bird and John Candy show up as two of the interesting strangers Culkin's character meets. Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern are entertainingly cartoonish as thieves, but the ensuing violence once the little hero decides to keep them out of his house is over-the-top. --Tom Keogh ... Read more

Reviews (111)

4-0 out of 5 stars A Holiday Classic...
In 1990, another Christmas movie classic was made. This movie, "Home Alone" is a holiday classic that you can't find anywhere else. The cast is great, the scenes are hilarious, and it's wonderful family movie. Macaulay Culkin starts his fame as the family icon for parents and thier children.

The movie starts out in Chicago, IL at the McCillister house. Here we meet Kevin's family that is running all over the house preparing for their Christmas trip to Paris. Also in the house scoping out the place is Harry (Joe Pesci), a crook posed a cop that is planning on robbing the house after they leave. Now here is where the problems start. When the whole family is eating pizza for dinner, Kevin (Culkin) is looking around for his plain cheese pizza because that's all he eats. So his older brother Buzz (Devin Ratray) eats it on purpose. Then Kevin attacks him and the place becomes a mess and soda is spilled and the passports are soaked, etc. Kevin's mother Kate (Caterine O'Hara) sends him to his room. In Kevin's state of anger he says to his mother that he doesn't want to see his family again. Now while in bed Kevin says, "I wish they would all dissapear." During the night the power goes out and the alarm clocks goes out. The next moring they are rushing left and right to get to the airport. Here's the problem: THEY FORGOT KEVIN!

Now kevin wakes up an sees nobody is home. He actually thinks that his wish came true. Now at first Kevin loves this. He jumps on the bed, shoots his brother Buzz's BB gun, takes his brother's life savings, and eats all the junk food in the world and watches "R" rated films. While the family is on the plane, Kevin's mother gets the feeling they forgot something. Kevin's father Peter (John Heard) asks her, "What could we have forgotten?" Then Kate screams: KEVIN! Now while Kevin still is having fun back at home, the family is in Paris trying to get a flight back home. and calling the police, etc.

One day, Kevin goes out shopping and spots a misterious van in the neighbor's driveway. It's the crooks. Marv (Daniel Stern) and Harry (Pesci), The Wet Bandits. Now after Kevin actually goes out shopping to get food and milk, he notices the guys in the van. Now he realizes they are after his house. Sorry Christmas Eve night he plans his battle against the crooks.

The gadgets and the tricks he pulls on the crooks are undoubtably hilarious. First, when the crooks starts talking to Kevin through the back door pretending to be Santa Claus and an Elf, Kevin takes his borther's BB gun and sticks it through the cathole and shoots Harry is the lower region. Then Marv sticks his heasd through the cathole and he gets shot in the head. Now there is ice on all the stairways, the front door knob is burning hot and when Hary touches the knob, the knob's inprinted "M" is impronted into Harry's hand. Lol! Then in the basement there is tar paper on the stairs and eventually there is a nail sticking up which Marv steps on with his bare foot. See what other tricks Kevin has got up his sleeve.

This movie, "Home Alone" is the perfect holiday movie that the entire family can enjoy. It's another Christmas classic. One thing this movie does for me is it gets me into the holiday spirit. In the beginning when Kevin said he didn't want to see his family again, throughout the movie, you realize how important family is, especially around the holidays. Buy this movie for you and your kids and you will love it as much as I do. Merry Christmas! Ho, Ho, Ho!

5-0 out of 5 stars A Christmas Favorite
Home Alone has always been one of my favorite Christmas movies, It's funny and entertaining!

The movie is about a boy named Kevin McCallister[Macaulay Culkin] who accidently gets left behind in his home in Chicago when his family goes off on a trip to France. While Kevin is at home, two burglars are trying to break in. The burglars are played by Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern. One of the burglars was at the house at the beginning, pretending to be a policeman, to check out the house. After Kevin finds out, he sets up a set of booby traps on the night they arrive. Meanwhile, Kevin's mom[Catherine O'Hara] wan'ts to get home as quickly as she can when she finds out that Kevin was left behind. So, instead of going on a plane she travels back to Chicago on a truck with a group of musicians and their polka king of the midwest[John Candy] when they offer to take her home. After the burglars get arrested with one of Kevin's plans, Kevin's mom arrives home with the rest of the family including his dad[John Heard] and they all feel so grateful to see him.

This is a movie your whole family will enjoy!!!

5-0 out of 5 stars Home Alone
This is a great family film. You will laugh and laugh when you see keven (macaulay culkin) jumping for joy that his family is not at his house, but when robbers try to brake in the house he starts to see that he really wants his family. This will make the kids laugh seeing growns up laughing. This truely is a great movie!

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Maculay Culkin
I own 1,2,and 3! I don't own 4. I don't like it!

5-0 out of 5 stars My favorite holiday movie of all time (Or for any other day)
I am EXTREMELY happy that this movie finally made it to DVD because this is one of the most exciting and nicest holiday and family movies ever made. Everything from beginning to the end reminds me of the Back to the Future movies - when I watch that movie, I always notice something interesting, familiar, funny, or exciting when I see those movies and Home Alone. Many people may not like this DVD release because of inferior picture and sound quality and lack of bonus features - I THINK THIS DVD IS GREAT! Of course, the only bonus features on this DVD are the trailers to the Home Alone trilogy, and the sound is only stereo, but still, that's great because I LOVE THIS MOVIE! You know, because I love the funny parts - including the fake movie Kevin watches and uses to scare off the pizza guy and the villians (I always wanted to try that!) The fake movie, in case you didn't know, is translated into foreign languages as well! Speaking of which, this DVD comes in English, French, and Spanish audio and English subtitles. I've seen this DVD in English sound with closed-captioning from the TV, and on the computer in Spanish sound with English subtitles (still remains Kevin's infamous scream)! Yeah, I'm glad Fox has a Spanish option for this disc because I'm currently finishing up my Spanish class at my prep school and from time to time, I watch DVDs in Spanish (if available; otherwise it's French for the Canadian viewers!) You know, this week or next week, I'm bringing this DVD into Spanish class for my teacher to show. EVERYONE WOULD LAUGH!

This is a sweet movie. The DVD may not be the best, but it's still a great buy! Enjoy!

sethn172 ... Read more


7. Best in Show
Director: Christopher Guest
list price: $107.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00005BK5V
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 11230
Average Customer Review: 4.02 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (239)

4-0 out of 5 stars I Give This Four Barks Out of Five
Best in Show is a clever 'mocumentary', a delightful satire of the dog show world. Director Christopher Guest and co-writer Eugene Levy also star in the movie, along with a slew of other comic actors. As writers, Guest and Levy are throwbacks to kinder, gentler times. Their brand of satire is funny and sometimes biting, but it is never brutal. They allow the performers to improvise a lot. This doesn't always work out, but when it does, the results are hysterical. The movie succeeds because the dogs' owners, not the dogs themselves, are the real characters. It shows that in the bond between man and dog, man may be the strangest and funniest half.

At the start, we meet several couples and individuals who will be showing their dogs in the Mayflower competition in Philadelphia. Some are shown in real scenes, other in fake interviews. Christopher Guest is Harlan Pepper, a down home North Carolina boy who runs a fishing supply store. He also raises champion blood hounds and dreams of being a ventriloquist. Eugene Levy and Catherine O'Hara play the Flecks. He literally has two left feet, and she is an aging hot babe, who is constantly running into men from her past, much to Mr. Fleck's annoyance. Parker Posey and Michael Hitchcock are the Swans, a couple of yuppie lawyers who have channeled way too much emotion into their dog. Sherri Ann [Jennifer Coolidge] is a very buxom and very wealthy matron who, along with her trainer, Christie [Jane Lynch], has entered her pom-pommed poodle. Finally, we met Scott and Stephan [John Michael Higgins and Michael McKeen], a gay couple who has entered one of their beloved toy dogs. In their spare time, Scott and Stephan produce calendars, using photos of their dogs dressed up like characters in famous movies.

The movie follows the characters before, during and after the competition. The show itself is quite authentic looking. It even spoofs sports announcing. One of the announcers is a proper Englishman, full of knowledge about dog shows. The other is an American who is completely clueless. Their scenes are among the film's funniest.

The humor is Best in Show is too dry for some viewers. It's often subtle comedy. I enjoyed it, but I like my humor from broad to dry and everything in-between. I also think I share Guest and Levy's point of view. They seem to be dog lovers who think that what goes on in the world of championship dog lovers is somewhat over the top. What the characters in the movie express towards dogs isn't exactly love. It's more obsession and a need to be noticed. In fact, these people require more attention than their mutts do.

5-0 out of 5 stars Funny Mock-u-mentary
There's a shallow gold-digger married to a wealthy but mute 90 year old. There's a flamboyantly perky hairdresser (a most amusing character!) who is coupled with a hairdresser. There is also the two lawyers, married, dysfunctional, and highly high-strung. Then there's the former "popular" and experienced prom queen married to the nerdy and self-conscious salesman with two left feet (literally). And finally, there's "Harlan", the ventriloquist wannabe. What do they all have in common? Besides being hysterically human and flawed, each enter their prize dogs in a "Best in Show" contest. With excellent dry humor and in the mode of a documentary, "Best in Show" displays very aptly the human condition, relationships, ambition, and quirky but spunky dog owners and how they react to life, to thier self-worth and to winning (or not winning). I loved this movie for many reasons. The acting was superb; the storyline was choppy but worked very well; and the humor was intelligent and some of the one-liners hit you 5 seconds after they're said--the most powerful form of comedy. This is not for those who like fast moving movies; it's for those who like intelligently quiet humor and can read in between the lines by taking a simple process of entering a dog show and making it into a social, psychological, and fun story. You'll enjoy it!

3-0 out of 5 stars Not quite "Best"
Christopher Guest has a rare misstep in "Best in Show," the follow-up to comedy classic "Waiting for Guffman." While "Best" is still a fun and frenetic mockumentary, it isn't up to the standards of its sibling mockumentaries -- it's a little too repetitive and over-the-top.

Welcome to Philadelphia, the home of the Mayflower Kennel Club Dog Show. Among the crazy dog owners are Starbucks yuppies Hamilton and Meg Swan (Michael Hitchcock and Parker Posey), gay couple Scott and Stefan (John Michael Higgins and Michael McKean), ventrilogist hick Harlan Pepper (Christopher Guest), and buxom airhead Sherri Ann (Jennifer Coolidge) and her lover/trainer Christy Cummings (Jane Lynch). Front and center is two-left-footed Gerry Fleck (Eugene Levy) and his wife Cookie (Catherine O'Hara), whose sexy past keeps coming back to haunt her.

All these people converge at the dog show, and face difficulties ranging from wrenched knees to televised lesbian smooches to lost squeaky toys -- and some of the dogs are getting a bit crazy as well. With an obnoxious commentator watching over it all, they all strive for the ultimate prize. Poodle, Norwich terrier, bloodhound, Shih Tzu or emotionally scarred Weimaraner -- who will be best in show?

"Best in Show" does for dog shows what "This is Spinal Tap" did for old metal -- it makes affectionate fun of them. Christopher Guest returns to mockumentary turf in the moderately funny "Best in Show" -- it's flawed, but still far above the average comedy.

The biggest problem with "Best in Show" is that Guest tries too hard. The jokes and goofiness are over-the-top, belying the mockumentary format. And the jokes get a bit repetitive. How many times can Cookie run into old boyfriends? Isn't the gay humor both cliched and overdone? But, the humor itself is quite funny, with plenty of strange lines like "We have so much in common! We both love soup... and the outdoors... snow peas... talking and not talking. We could not talk or talk forever and still find things to not talk about."

No flaws can be found in the veteran mockumentary cast -- these people look like they're having a good time. Hitchcock and Posey are chillingly good as the couple who met over J. Crew catalogues in a Starbucks, while Coolidge is deliciously dumb as a bisexual Anna Nicole Smith clone. McKean and Higgins, despite being cliched, play their roles with unadulterated delight. Fred Willard's vulgar commentator is over-the-top stupid, but still amusing.

Despite repetitive humor and the occasional dud joke, Christopher Guest's follow-up to "Waiting for Guffman" is an amusing look behind the scenes of dog shows. It's not "Best in Show," but it's one of the best of breed.

4-0 out of 5 stars Definitely the funniest of the mockumentaries
This is a fast moving and funny movie that's a truly great comedy, worthy enough to stand alongside This is Spinal Tap.
This one has everything. Conflict-who will win the dog show? Humor, and lots of it. Fred Willard again proves he needs his own TV show (nay, his own channel) as a dog-show commentator so obliviously stupid he's lovable. Eugene Levy and Catherine O'Hara are perfect as your typical, middle-class east-coast family; Eugene's plays somewhat of a "loser", Catherine's great as the promiscuous wife. Jennifer Coolidge is pretty funny as the "glamorous" lesbian who can be aggressive in subtly funny ways.
The best thing about this movie is that it's truly humorous with truly funny actors. These people aren't puppets for lame sex jokes (well, not counting both gay couples) they're funny because they (as in the talented actors, the whole lot of 'em) inherit their characters and give them a life of their own. I mean, I bet that Eugene Levy came up with his character's two left feet on the spot because he knew he had to make a somewhat pathetic character even more pathetic. There's an absolutely pointless scene where Guest's character, a southerner/hunter/ventriloquist, talks to the camera about how he used to stay up all night naming nuts. It's funny though, because it makes no sense but somehow falls in line with the character.
This is a great comedy that makes few cheap shots but is consistently funny through and through.
The DVD has a pretty entertaining commentary with Guest and Levy, and some funny deleted scenes (look for the one where Hamilton tells Posey about "a saying my father used to say"). Those extras are enough for this disc though, and the price is great. Buy this inspired and funny comedy.

3-0 out of 5 stars Best in Show
BEST OF SHOW was a little disappointing. I couldn't connect with Christopher Guest's hillbilly character, Eugene Levy's character lost me behind his buck teeth and two left feet (No, they really are two left feet!), and I thought Fred Willard's ringside color-man bit was more irritating than slashingly satiric. Bummer. It was because they were in it that I got this one.
On the other hand the movie is filled with strong characterizations and funny bits. Larry Miller has a hilarious scene as one of Catherine O'Hara's ex-lovers who, to husband Levy's obvious discomfort, describes things in graphic detail. Ed Begley Jr. hits the right note as the quietly helpful hotel manager. The bickering yuppie couple and the gay couple were fun, too. ... Read more


8. Waiting for Guffman
Director: Christopher Guest
list price: $14.95
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Asin: 079073155X
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 1932
Average Customer Review: 4.59 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

One of the funniest films in many a moon was hiding at art housetheaters in 1998. Former Saturday Night Live comedian and Spinal Tap member Christopher Guest creates the ultimate parody of small-town dramatics,Waiting for Guffman. Corky St. Claire (Guest), an overwhelming drama director hiding out in Blaine, Missouri, thinks he has found the vehicle to put him back on Broadway:the city's 150th anniversary play, Red, White, and Blaine. As rehearsals start, we learn of the town's history ("the stool capital of the world") including a brush with a UFO. The mockumentary follows the various townsfolk wishing for stardom: Parker Posey as a Dairy Queen clerk, Catherine O'Hara and Fred Willard as stage-struck travel agents, Matthew Keeslar as the town's bad boy, and Eugene Levy (who cowrote the film with Guest) as a dentist who dreams of glory on the stage. The film is a hoot from beginning to end, and be sure to watch the closing credits. Fans of Guest's deft dry humor should not miss his other parody of the entertainment world, The Big Picture (Kevin Bacon as a student filmmaker who goes to Hollywood). --Doug Thomas ... Read more

Reviews (333)

3-0 out of 5 stars JUST THE BOX ART WILL MAKE YOU LAUGH!
Christopher Guest is Corky St. Clair, small town Blaine ("The Stool capitol of the world"), Missouri's resident community theater director. With plans of getting back to Broadway, he has created a musical extravaganza "Red, White and Blaine" to celebrate the town's 150th anniversary.

This sly, often hilarious, mock documentary features Guest's resident troupe of improvisational actors -- Eugene Levy (co-writer), Catherine O'Hara, Parker Posey, Fred Willard and Bob Balaban as the stage-struck locals who pin their amateur hopes on being discovered when Corky hints that legendary talent scout Mort Guffman will be in the audience.

If you appreciated "Best In Show," than check out its predecessor. Over 80 hours of film were shot in Super 16mm and edited down to a brisk 84 minutes. The widescreen print is especially sharp and the sound is clear. Co-writers and stars Guest and Levy share a loose and funny commentary and there's at least 30 minutes of whimsical and surprisingly poignant deleted scenes with optional commentary. Recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars "Is it karma? - Maybe."
This is what director 'Corky St Claire' has the NERVE to say, congratulating himself on the progress of his self-penned show, 'Red, White and Blaine'. This 'mockumentary' is THE FUNNIEST MOVIE I'VE EVER SEEN! It has it's own 'groove', and once you get onto the Guffman wave-length, you soon become an addict! Christopher Guest delivers his finest performance ever as small town Blaine's resident 'creative type', a tubby, autocratic drama teacher with 'off-off Broadway' experience. The fictional town of Blaine is so 'small town' that the fact that Corky is obviously gay never enters their thoughts; he's 'creative' (and 'from New York'!) The supporting cast, however, are in danger of stealing the movie from under his feet! Parker Posey is pathetically delightful as 'Libby Mae', a Dairy Queen employee who dreams of hitting Broadway so she can "meet Italian guys". Also praisworthy are the characters of "Ron" and "Sheila", a married couple of zero-talents who "Corky" dubbs 'The Lunts of Blaine'. Yet the real prize has to go to Eugene Levy as "Dr Pearl", the local dentist who lands a starring role in 'Red, White and Blaine'. "Dr Pearl" fancies himself as a comedian ("At family functions, I love breaking people up.") and Levy SOMEHOW manages to be hilariously funny playing a character who TRIES to be funny - and ISN'T! Anyone who has ever been involved with local theatre on any level whatsoever will ADORE this movie! Not only does it take a playful stab at Middle America, it ALSO pokes fun at the documentary genre itself (those tense close-ups, those hand-held cameras!) The cleverest, most intelligent comedy in years - 'Waiting for Guffman' has become a cult movie, and quite rightly!

5-0 out of 5 stars After years, and years of clinical research.
I have determined that this is funniest movie of all time. If you don't agree with me, or even worse, if you don't
"get it", you are part of the problem, and deserve everything
you have coming to you.

5-0 out of 5 stars "I find I have no feeling in my buttocks."
Hey Amazon censor - "buttocks" is not a bad word. Lighten up :-)

"Waiting For Guffman" is another Christopher Guest-and-ensemble-cast mockumentary, this time involving community theater in Blaine, Missouri, "the stool capital of the world."

There was no real script, but the actors did have certain plot-points to work around, and they pull off a very funny movie.

The musical in the movie, entitled "Red, White, and Blaine" is to be performed on the 150th anniversary of the founding of the town of Blaine, which involved cross-country wagoneers who at night believed they had reached the Pacific ocean, but when the sun rose they discovered they did not quite make it, subsequent quality stool manufacturing, and alien abduction.

There is the crop-circle scientist who explains that although the diameter and circumference change slightly, the radius is always the same, as is the weather - "when you step into that circle it is always 67 degrees with a 40 percent chance of rain - always".

There is the alien abductee (perhaps my favorite part) played by Paul Dooley. He had the misfortune to be probed by many aliens (though not all at once) which leads to his buttocks being numb on Sundays.

Cast regular Eugene Levy plays a Jewish dentist, and Fred Willard and Catherine O'Hara are husband and wife travel agents who have never been outside Blaine. Bob Balaban plays the straight-laced local music teacher who is somewhat put upon trying to get Christopher Guest (Corky, the show's director) to hold proper rehearsals. Parker Posey is the local Dairy Queen employee with dreams of stardom and a father in prison.

The group goes through the audition process for their role in the musical, then rehearsals, and finally the performance, during which they anticipate the arrival of an influential NY drama critic, Mort Guffman - hence the title.

There are a lot of funny little moments, such as Corky wearing those big pants and doing his little dance, or Levy singing "I Dream of Jeanie With the Light Brown Hair", or rehearsing his "how high a ridge I could not tell" line, or Willard talking about his reduction surgery and trying to show it to Eugene Levy who retorts in a Johnny Carson voice..."Medicin man not go near...'Dances With Stumpy'.

Much of the show music was written by Guest, Michael McKean, and Harry Shearer from "Spinal Tap" fame.

The DVD had deleted scenes with optional commentary, a text-based behind the scenes, a commentary by Guest and Levy, subtitles and a trailer.

"I'll tell you why I can't put up with you people. Because you're (...) people. That's what you are. You're just (...) people, and I'm goin' home and I gonna - I'm gonna bite my pillow, is what I'm gonna do!"

4-0 out of 5 stars What time is it?
Haven't you been paying attention? It's Midnight at the Oasis!
I originally wrote that this film is too deadpan and straight for my liking, especially coupled with a commentary that I still find rather boring. However, I think this is the best thing about these movies and Guest's personality in general. Most movies like this play down to their audience, continually winking at them and patting them on the back for getting all the jokes. Waiting for Guffman is so off the wall that it can play to any audience but a certain kind of people will get all the jokes and non-jokes (a term that I use for dialogue and scenes that don't have explicit jokes in them but have a humorous bent: take the scene with David Cross, for example).
Anything with Fred Willard is classic. Eugene Levy saying he was not the class clown, but sat near the class clown and studied him. And of course, "what do your keen and perceptive eyes see?"
Bestin Show is probably the funniest (not counting This is Spinal Tap), while A Mighty Wind is probably the most touching, feels the most complete and polished. Waiting for Guffman is so subdued though, which is why it's great. There's still a lot of laugh-out-loud (especially if you're a first time viewer, or the first time in a while) moments, and the ending is one of the best comedy endings of all time.
I love the little moments here, (Catherine O'Hara's little speech about "less is more" acting, Fred Willard telling Dr. Pearl "this is my wife Sheila, you may remember her from previous bills") there's just something so pure about these movies that makes them rewatchable. It's a pretty good movie, but keep in mind it's pretty rough and in my opinion the "worst" of the mockumentaries.
On the DVD side of things, I couldn't help but think the commentary was, well, boring. There was a lot of dead time. Guest seemed so bored during the recording, then again he could've just been kidding. We learn of the movie's incredibly small budget and cramped shooting schedule, however. And the deleted scenes are a treat, my favorite probably being the "Nothing Ever Happens in Blaine" song. Aside from that, there's little else, though. But the disc is pretty good (and cheap), so it's a no-brainer purchase. Get it. ... Read more


9. A Mighty Wind
Director: Christopher Guest
list price: $6.93
our price: $6.93
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0000ALFVE
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 6459
Average Customer Review: 4.05 out of 5 stars
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Description

Documentary-style Comedy.Christopher Guest follows up his acclaimed ensemble comedies Best in Show and Waiting for Guffman with a docu-comedy about three folk groups from the 60s who reunite for a memorial concert in New York City following the death of a legendary folk manager. ... Read more

Reviews (147)

4-0 out of 5 stars Guest just keeps on going, and going, and going....
Christopher Guest first came to prominence in 1984, as an assistant and star in Rob Reiner's hilarious "This is Spinal Tap".

Guest learned at the hands of the master, and the last 20 years of his career have been spent on mockumentary efforts ("Waiting for Guffman", "Best in Show", and, in 2002, "A Mighty Wind", where he decided to satirize the 60's folk music movement, something he and his fellow Spinal-Tappers had once done as a skit on Saturday Night Live). There are hallmarks in Guest's work. He utilizes a co-writer, the newly popular Eugene Levy (the best part of Steve Martin's recent "Bringing Down the House"), he has a regular cast of character actors that ad-lib their way through zany and satirical situations in all three films, and he conquers the art form of teasing fans and popular culture icons with gentle spoofing, double entendres, hidden meanings, and really great filmmaking.

Although I enjoyed the film in the theater, it really came into its own when I was able to watch the DVD where I could marvel at the details and depths of Guest and Levy's imagination, and the brilliance of their comedy. It's strewn throughout the film, but a lot is captured and hightlighed in the DVD's special features.

The premise of the film is simple:

Irving Steinbloom, aged icon of the 50's and 60's folk music scene, has died in New York. His son, who followed him in managing folk music acts, Jonathon (Bob Balaban)endeavors to create a "PBN" concert in his dad's memory, bringing together three of dad's oldest and most famous acts. We get to see the faded stars in their lives today, deciding to do the show, then practicing, traveling to the Big Apple and enduring some mild hoopla and memories. Finally, we see the big event.

It was easy to pick out the most outstanding performance of the film, it belonged to co-writer Levy (as Mitch), who completely convinces you, iron gray wig and all, that he is an unhinged, deer-in-the-headlights folk icon, with much of his early musical promise deadened by the cornucopia of meds he's taken over the last three decades, to try to capture some mental stability. To fully appreciate his performance, and the droll wit that drives Levy, see his ad-lib in the Special Features press conference, where Mitch does a completely credible and incredible speech, comparing Rap music to folk music. You gotta see it to believe it!

Strolling through the DVD also brought out the idiosyncrasies in the film and let me marvel at the comedic turns of the delightful Jennifer Coolidge (as Amber Cole, eastern European escapee and PR agent) and John Michael Higgins (as Terry Bohner. Leader of the "New Main Street Singers"). Both were completely over the top in "Best of Show", and even more laughable here. Both are amazing scene stealers, but you have to think back over the scene to realize it.

In the Special Features, you're really crushed to find deleted scenes that should have survived the film's editing (particularly Coolidge in a deadpan "piccolo" joke), memorable songs ("The Good Book", by the New Main Street Singers, is hilarious) and the unmatched wry and acerbic humor of commentators Guest and Levy. Guest, with amazing attention to detail, even filmed the concert portion of "A Mighty Wind" with TV cameras to be able to recreate the concert as it might have appeared on PBS or public access.

"AMW" is not for everyone. Those who won't want to probe for the humor or the double entendre or can't reminisce about the golden age and the innocence of folk music will probably think it dull, dull, dull. I've rated it four stars, because it pales in comparison to Guffman and Best in Show, but I must say, I really enjoyed the film.

Guest is a genius at understated, satirical comedy and at making gentle, loving jibes at pop culture stereotypes. Although "AMW" may be the lesser of his three films, it still proves that he is truly the king of film comedy. Can't wait for his next one!

5-0 out of 5 stars A Mighty Wind.... A Mightier DVD!
Christopher Guest, Harry Shearer and Michael McKean came down to Sydney, Australia for a special screening of 'A Mighty Wind' with a Q&A session afterwards. I was lucky enough to attend and was even luckier to hear the plans they had for the DVD.

First off, if you're not familiar with Christopher Guest's movies you simply have to know one thing, they are all Improvised. No script just acting on the spot. All Guest's movies (Best In Show, Waiting for Guffman) are in the style of a documentary (Mockumentary) where the storyline is plotted out before hand and the scene is just given an outcome which the actors then have to Impro. This makes the movie fresh and funny plus its what differentiates itself from other films, giving it a unique element.

The movie itself centres around when folk icon Irving Steinbloom passed away, he left behind a legacy of music and a family of performers he had shepherded to folk stardom. To celebrate a life spent submerged in folk, Irving's loving son Jonathan (BOB BALABAN) has decided to put together a memorial concert featuring some of Steinbloom's best-loved musicians.

There's Mitch & Mickey (EUGENE LEVY and CATHERINE O'HARA), who were the epitome of young love until their partnership was torn apart by heartbreak; classic troubadours The Folksmen (CHRISTOPHER GUEST, MICHAEL McKEAN and HARRY SHEARER), whose records were endlessly entertaining for anyone able to punch a hole in their center to play them; and The New Main Street Singers (featuring JOHN MICHAEL HIGGINS, JANE LYNCH and PARKER POSEY), the most meticulously color-coordinated "neuftet" ever to hit an amusement park near you.

Now, for one night only in New York City's Town Hall, these three groups will reunite and gather together to celebrate the music that almost made them famous.

Christopher Guest stated that the DVD was set to release in 6 months, making it around Christmas time or early January (Depending if Warner Bros decides to push it forward or hold it back).

The DVD is set to have feature commentary by both Christopher Guest and Eugene Levy (Writers). Also the whole 'Ode to Irving' show at New York City's Town Hall will be played in its entirety for all those fans of Folk Music out there. There will also be around an hour of Deleted Scenes (Additional Commentary), Trailer and Production Notes.

This DVD is definitely worth the buy. It may not be packed with Special features but the film itself is whats worth the money. If you loved Reiner's spin on Rock music with Spinal Tap wait till you see (if you haven't) Guest's take on Folk Music. With over 80 hours of footage shot and around 8 months to edit it, it really shows how passionate Guest is about his films and what he feels is the Creme da la Crème to make into a 5 star movie.

A must see movie. A must buy DVD.

4-0 out of 5 stars Funny + folk-music + Eugene Levy
Why only 4 stars and not 5? I cannot believe that in 2004 there are still companies that package DVDs in flimsy cardboard cases rather than plastic clamshell keepsakes. And this is a film you'll want to keep.

If you only know Eugene Levy from the American Pie films, you will be pleasantly surprised with A Mighty Wind. I had no idea Eugene Levy could sing so well, or was capable of a serio-comic performance. I usually love his bit roles in films, and this one was way better than I expected. Aside from Levy, this is another of director Christopher Guest's mockumentaries, albeit an extremely good-natured and lighthearted one centered around a PBS folk-music concert. Guest is one of the few filmmakers who can make the mockumentary format work (aside from Woody Allen), and he leads a brilliant cast into a largely improvised framework that contains laughter and sentimentality.

I'm not a folk-music fan at all, but I enjoyed the music in the film a lot. It's pleasant rather than annoying and preachy.

5-0 out of 5 stars "You can't get to heaven on the wings of a gun"
I got a lot of enjoyment out of this movie, and basically agree with most of the other positive reviews on this site, but my main reason for posting this review is to highlight the hilarious "Children of the Sun" video which is one of the special features. This is a Folksmen tune that they released in 1968, from their "Saying Something" LP (where they broke their covenant with the fans by not hyphenating the album title.) This was when the true folk era was dying out and bands needed to make the transition to something just a little more psychedelic sounding. (Of course, this is all fictional...) But the video just had my whole family (teenage sons included) doubling over with laughter, with the primitive but "far out" video FX, the trippy-cheesy lyrics and the earnest delivery of the songs Transcendent Message. As a 7-year old kid in 1968, my consciousness was saturated with that stuff, as my parents were into Donovan, the Fifth Dimension, the soundtrack to "Hair" and all the other earnest performers out there singing similar Anthems of a New Generation. The whole disc is full of great amusing material, but "Children of the Sun" really did top it all off quite brilliantly.

5-0 out of 5 stars Very subtle and very funny!
Compared to WAITING FOR GUFFMAN and BEST IN SHOW, the humor in this mockumentary is a bit subtler. It is funnier every time I watch it, as I catch more of the wry, understated humor with each viewing. The songs are catchy, too. You really care about what develops with the central characters played by Eugene Levy and Catherine O'Hara. This is a great comedy in keeping with Christopher Guest's other masterpieces! BUY IT! ... Read more


10. Betsy's Wedding
Director: Alan Alda
list price: $9.99
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Asin: 6301827643
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 26808
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Alan Alda wrote, directed, and starred in this lightweight comedy about a wedding and the havoc it causes in one family. Dad (Alda) wants it big and splashy; Betsy (Molly Ringwald), the one who's actually getting married, wants something small and personal (and is even considering eloping). As the momentum shifts back and forth between lavish and intimate, other comic tussles are played out in the background--such as how Dad is going to pay for all this. The best moments belong to the odd couple of Ally Sheedy and Anthony LaPaglia: She's a cop and the bride's sister and he's a Mafia underling who discovers he has a thing for a woman in uniform. Even if it doesn't add up to much, it's painlessly entertaining nonetheless. --Marshall Fine ... Read more

Reviews (10)

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, Warm and Funny!
I love this movie. It's so funny and warm. Stevie D is hilarious, and of course Alan Alda is stupendous. If it was available to purchase, I'd own it!

4-0 out of 5 stars Very funny. Alda comes off as the typical dad.
I've always been a fan of Alan Alda's work. This movie is one of his best. When he's eating dinner with the mafia gang and the bodyguard starts to shoot, I laughed to bust a rib. Alan Alda sure hasn't lost his touch.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of 1990's most popular films
In Alan Alda's "Betsy's Wedding",he is Eddie Hopper,a construction foreman and architect. His daughter Betsy(Molly Ringwald) and her boyfriend Jake Lovell(Dylan Walsh) announce their engagement at a family gathering. Betsy's sister Connie(Ally Sheedy) is happy herself but jealously upset because she can't find herself a man. The late Madeline Kahn is Lola,Eddie's wife. At the gathering Lola's sister Gloria Henner(Catherine O'Hara) tells her she plans to get even with her husband Oscar(Oscar winner Joe Pesci) for all his inept schemes. Gloria says "Someday,when I have my nice little nestegg,I can take a walk and he can go f--- himself." Anthony LaPaglia is Stevie Dee,a guy who would later in the film become Connie's boyfriend. Stevie Dee's uncle Georgie(Burt Young) is a business associate of Oscar's. There's once scene where when Betsy and Jake meet with the man performing their wedding ceremony,the Dixie Cups' CHAPEL OF LOVE is played. They want to be pronounced "husband and wife" instead of "man and wife" and they have "obey" omitted from "love,honor and obey". The late Julie Bovasso plays Rose,Eddie's mother and Joey Bishop is Eddie's deceased father. The father,as a ghost,is seen and heard only by Eddie. The wedding was somewhat disasterous. It took place in a rented tent on a rainy evening. The tent was made of cheap,not-too-strong materials so a hole in the roof where the rain fell into increased to the point where it caved in. After a heated argument between Gloria and Oscar at the reception also in the tent,Gloria pulls a loose thread causing the growing hole and the dowse of fallen rain. So Connie and Stevie Dee can be together more often,Stevie Dee applies to the police academy,since Connie's a cop. Unbelievably,the wedding dinner was pizza! By the way,Oscar planned to divorce Gloria and become romantically involved with his secretary,who also attended Betsy's and Jake's wedding. That was one of the things that led to the argument. The wedding ceremony was performed in the Jewish style. Jake stepped on a wine glass wrapped in a cloth napkin. This film was Alan Alda's most successful and not a minor hit like "A New Life",another one of his personally scripted films.

5-0 out of 5 stars ITS SO FUNNY I LOVE IT
ITS A FUNNY MOVIE ALAN ALDA DID A WONDERFUL JOB ACTING WRITING DIRECTING IT I CAN WATCH IT 10 TIMES OR MORE AND NEVER GET BORED WATCHING IT.

FROM A BIG ALAN ALDA FAN FOR 4 YEARS NOW KIRSTEN

4-0 out of 5 stars Underrated Comedy about Family and Being Married.
When a family man (Alan Alda-Also the Film`s Director) tries to make the best situation of his daughter (Molly Ringwald) wedding, because he trying to created a old fashioned expensive wedding, but he`s needs the money, he needs but he caught between his complicated family and his gangster friends.

Directed by Alan Alda made a often uproarious comedy. This film has a great supporting Cast including:Madeline Kahn, Oscar-Winner:Joe Pesci, Ally Sheedy, Burt Young, Joey Bishop, Catherine O`Hara and Anthony La Paglia, this is a light-hearted film. Grade:B+. ... Read more


11. The Nightmare Before Christmas
Director: Henry Selick
list price: $14.99
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Asin: 6303122647
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 519
Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars
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For those who never thought Disney would release a film in which Santa Claus is kidnapped and tortured, well, here it is!The full title is Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas, which should give you an idea of the tone of this stop-action animated musical/fantasy/horror/comedy.It is based on characters created by Burton, the former Disney animator best known as the director of Pee-wee's Big Adventure, Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands, and the first two Batman movies. His benignly scary-funny sensibility dominates the story of Halloweentown resident Jack Skellington (voice by Danny Elfman, who also wrote the songs), who stumbles on a bizarre and fascinating alternative universe called ... Christmastown!Directed by Henry Selick (who later made the delightful James and the Giant Peach), this PG-rated picture has a reassuringly light touch.As Roger Ebert noted in his review, "some of the Halloween creatures might be a tad scary for smaller children, but this is the kind of movie older kids will eat up; it has the kind of offbeat, subversive energy that tells them wonderful things are likely to happen." --Jim Emerson ... Read more

Reviews (247)

5-0 out of 5 stars Kidnap the Sandy Claws!
This is my favorite animated film and in my opinion the best to come out of the Burton/Elfman team. The plot is... well... "different": The denizens of Halloween Town kidnap Santa Claus and have their way with Christmas. i.e. make a complete mess out of it. The visuals are spectacular (if a little dark) and the music and songs are wonderful and fit right in with the action. Regarding the "family appeal" of this movie: just keep in mind that this is a Tim Burton creation (Beetlejuice, Sleepy Hollow) and therefore it is dark, a little scary and the humor is on the sarcastic side. Oh, and if you absolutely can't stand musicals, then this movie will either make you a believer (like it did to me) or will put you off.

About the DVD edition: I've seen this movie in the theater, on TV, on VHS and now on DVD and I must say that the DVD edition had the best sound quality. They could have included some bonuses (a "the making of..." type of feature is really missing) but the excellent sound and decent picture quality was good enough for me.

Go ahead and give it a try, especially if you're a Burton/Elfman fan!

5-0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, wonderful, and moving...
I've not seen this movie in a very long time, and it wasn't until just recently that I revisited it. The Nightmare Before Christmas' title sounds like something from a horror movie, but it certainly isn't one. Sure, everything looks grim and creepy, but that's just the setting. The story of Jack Skellington feeling as if everything is a routine for him and wants to experience something different was kinda touching, as is with the songs he sings to himself in the film. The music is creepy at times and is beautiful when needed, and it's all composed by Danny Elfman; who in turn also wrote the songs, and does Jack Skellington's voice. TNMBC was skillfully animated, using the stop-motion style, which most likely took them quite a while to finish. The end product looks pretty good too, especially for a movie released back in '91. Tim Burton has always been one of my favorite directors, and this film didn't let me down. Not only did it bring back some nice childhood memories, but it also made me feel good in the process. Those parents who aren't sure of showing this film to their kids because it may scare them, at least consider that the movie has NO violence either than a stitched-up lady jumping from a building, but she doesn't get harmed as she puts herself back together. If your kids can handle the creepy looking monsters and creatures, by all means let them watch this movie. They most likely will never forget it.

5-0 out of 5 stars the best christmas and halloween movie ever
wellllllllllllll.the guys from halloween land go to x-mas land and kidnap santa and do x-masup thier own way.its animated or something so no stars per say.this one is for some kids and not for others.the sensitive types need to be in bed.it is another one of tim burtons abselute masterpieces.there are basicly 2 kinds of movies.your julia robetrs-sell out-hollywood-junk and movies that actualy required some thought.so anyone with an imagination will like it.this is themost over the top and wild x-mas movie ever.

5-0 out of 5 stars Spellbinding
This movie is beyond enchanting, delving into the realms of spellbinding. I never thought that an animated film could be so stunning with its cinematography mixed with the music. That's the amazing beauty of Tim Burton's world: it's filled with contrasts. In particular is Sally (voiced by the Canadian goddess Catherine O'Hara) the ragdoll who externally is not the most beautiful thing with her stitchings and patched clothes, but internally she is pure and filled with love for Jack. Even her singing (again Catherine) sounds like an innocent child, straight tone (no vibrato) and a flowing, velvet soprano.
The world of Halloweentown is dark, but filled with beauty and rich melodies straining through (by the genius Danny Elfman). The construction of the film is so perfect making Halloweentown filled with browns and blacks whereas Christmastown is bright and cheerful, joyful as we expect Christmas to be and the real world is somewhere in between. All of it pulls together beautifully to create a timeless story and the most magnificently filmed ending with Sally and Jack in the snow.
Just proves the genius of the film makers.

1-0 out of 5 stars yuck
Why does "everyone" love this movie? It's not that good. Not at all. I saw this when I was four and I absolutely hated it when I found out they kidnapped Santa Clause. The zombie girl taking her head off at one point in the movies was pretty gross too...yuck. I don't reccomend this film. ... Read more


12. The Best of John Candy on SCTV
list price: $9.95
our price: $9.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 6302486661
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 3600
Average Customer Review: 4.65 out of 5 stars
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The late John Candy rarely was able to find a movie vehicle that could capture the protean nature of his massive wit, a circumstance made all the more disappointing given his prodigious output during his years on TV's breakthrough comedy series SCTV. Though never the hit on American TV that it should have been, the series offered Candy some of his most hilarious roles, captured here on this compilation tape: Johnny Larue, the self-involved SCTV star; Yosh Shmenge, who, with brother Stan (Eugene Levy), was the polka king of late-night TV; Dr. Tongue, star of awful 3-D movies; the Fishin' Musician, and an adult version of Beaver Cleaver. One of the few tapes available of the great SCTV shows.--Marshall Fine ... Read more

Reviews (17)

3-0 out of 5 stars A John Candy Teaser
While this video has some hilarious snippets of John Candy's most inspired work, it is not nearly enough to satisfy the legions of SCTV fans who remember entire episodes. I was disappointed that the video did not contain more of the classic sketches in their entirety. If it is true that there will soon be a major video release of SCTV material (oh, please, let it be so!), then save your money for that - - this teaser will only leave you frustrated.

4-0 out of 5 stars You Can't Edit Genius!
I, like the other reviewers, am a huge fan of SCTV. This video consists of clips of John Candy from SCTV, but you just can't chop this kind of satire up and still make it work -- it's like the "Beatles' Greatest Hits"; like making Fred and Ginger dance in a refrigerator box; like "Julia Child Cooks Celery" or "Hamlet, the Readers' Digest Version."

They need to either reproduce the SCTV programs whole, or not at all.

5-0 out of 5 stars WOnderful
What more can one say, I only they would get the liscense through to making SCTV dvds!!!!!

5-0 out of 5 stars the greatest comedy show ever
I have been a fan of SCTV for years...and i agree that they should make a collection of all the shows on DVD or VHS...everyone on that show was amazing..Thomas as Walter Cronkite on Dialing for Dollars..Dr. Tongue ...Miss Farbo's land...the Schemenge brothers...the list goes on and on..the best were the commercials for "new shows"..the Fish Police (stop or i'll cast)..Enrique Gomez, FBI Jockey (John Candy as a jockey!!!)..and the Sammy Maudlin Show..a laugh riot...if they ever put those shows on any media..ill be first in line to buy

5-0 out of 5 stars Amen
Amen to Matt Hollis ... why can't we have more SCTV videos? ... Read more


13. Best in Show
Director: Christopher Guest
list price: $4.97
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00005NKC9
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 2957
Average Customer Review: 4.02 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (239)

4-0 out of 5 stars I Give This Four Barks Out of Five
Best in Show is a clever 'mocumentary', a delightful satire of the dog show world. Director Christopher Guest and co-writer Eugene Levy also star in the movie, along with a slew of other comic actors. As writers, Guest and Levy are throwbacks to kinder, gentler times. Their brand of satire is funny and sometimes biting, but it is never brutal. They allow the performers to improvise a lot. This doesn't always work out, but when it does, the results are hysterical. The movie succeeds because the dogs' owners, not the dogs themselves, are the real characters. It shows that in the bond between man and dog, man may be the strangest and funniest half.

At the start, we meet several couples and individuals who will be showing their dogs in the Mayflower competition in Philadelphia. Some are shown in real scenes, other in fake interviews. Christopher Guest is Harlan Pepper, a down home North Carolina boy who runs a fishing supply store. He also raises champion blood hounds and dreams of being a ventriloquist. Eugene Levy and Catherine O'Hara play the Flecks. He literally has two left feet, and she is an aging hot babe, who is constantly running into men from her past, much to Mr. Fleck's annoyance. Parker Posey and Michael Hitchcock are the Swans, a couple of yuppie lawyers who have channeled way too much emotion into their dog. Sherri Ann [Jennifer Coolidge] is a very buxom and very wealthy matron who, along with her trainer, Christie [Jane Lynch], has entered her pom-pommed poodle. Finally, we met Scott and Stephan [John Michael Higgins and Michael McKeen], a gay couple who has entered one of their beloved toy dogs. In their spare time, Scott and Stephan produce calendars, using photos of their dogs dressed up like characters in famous movies.

The movie follows the characters before, during and after the competition. The show itself is quite authentic looking. It even spoofs sports announcing. One of the announcers is a proper Englishman, full of knowledge about dog shows. The other is an American who is completely clueless. Their scenes are among the film's funniest.

The humor is Best in Show is too dry for some viewers. It's often subtle comedy. I enjoyed it, but I like my humor from broad to dry and everything in-between. I also think I share Guest and Levy's point of view. They seem to be dog lovers who think that what goes on in the world of championship dog lovers is somewhat over the top. What the characters in the movie express towards dogs isn't exactly love. It's more obsession and a need to be noticed. In fact, these people require more attention than their mutts do.

5-0 out of 5 stars Funny Mock-u-mentary
There's a shallow gold-digger married to a wealthy but mute 90 year old. There's a flamboyantly perky hairdresser (a most amusing character!) who is coupled with a hairdresser. There is also the two lawyers, married, dysfunctional, and highly high-strung. Then there's the former "popular" and experienced prom queen married to the nerdy and self-conscious salesman with two left feet (literally). And finally, there's "Harlan", the ventriloquist wannabe. What do they all have in common? Besides being hysterically human and flawed, each enter their prize dogs in a "Best in Show" contest. With excellent dry humor and in the mode of a documentary, "Best in Show" displays very aptly the human condition, relationships, ambition, and quirky but spunky dog owners and how they react to life, to thier self-worth and to winning (or not winning). I loved this movie for many reasons. The acting was superb; the storyline was choppy but worked very well; and the humor was intelligent and some of the one-liners hit you 5 seconds after they're said--the most powerful form of comedy. This is not for those who like fast moving movies; it's for those who like intelligently quiet humor and can read in between the lines by taking a simple process of entering a dog show and making it into a social, psychological, and fun story. You'll enjoy it!

3-0 out of 5 stars Not quite "Best"
Christopher Guest has a rare misstep in "Best in Show," the follow-up to comedy classic "Waiting for Guffman." While "Best" is still a fun and frenetic mockumentary, it isn't up to the standards of its sibling mockumentaries -- it's a little too repetitive and over-the-top.

Welcome to Philadelphia, the home of the Mayflower Kennel Club Dog Show. Among the crazy dog owners are Starbucks yuppies Hamilton and Meg Swan (Michael Hitchcock and Parker Posey), gay couple Scott and Stefan (John Michael Higgins and Michael McKean), ventrilogist hick Harlan Pepper (Christopher Guest), and buxom airhead Sherri Ann (Jennifer Coolidge) and her lover/trainer Christy Cummings (Jane Lynch). Front and center is two-left-footed Gerry Fleck (Eugene Levy) and his wife Cookie (Catherine O'Hara), whose sexy past keeps coming back to haunt her.

All these people converge at the dog show, and face difficulties ranging from wrenched knees to televised lesbian smooches to lost squeaky toys -- and some of the dogs are getting a bit crazy as well. With an obnoxious commentator watching over it all, they all strive for the ultimate prize. Poodle, Norwich terrier, bloodhound, Shih Tzu or emotionally scarred Weimaraner -- who will be best in show?

"Best in Show" does for dog shows what "This is Spinal Tap" did for old metal -- it makes affectionate fun of them. Christopher Guest returns to mockumentary turf in the moderately funny "Best in Show" -- it's flawed, but still far above the average comedy.

The biggest problem with "Best in Show" is that Guest tries too hard. The jokes and goofiness are over-the-top, belying the mockumentary format. And the jokes get a bit repetitive. How many times can Cookie run into old boyfriends? Isn't the gay humor both cliched and overdone? But, the humor itself is quite funny, with plenty of strange lines like "We have so much in common! We both love soup... and the outdoors... snow peas... talking and not talking. We could not talk or talk forever and still find things to not talk about."

No flaws can be found in the veteran mockumentary cast -- these people look like they're having a good time. Hitchcock and Posey are chillingly good as the couple who met over J. Crew catalogues in a Starbucks, while Coolidge is deliciously dumb as a bisexual Anna Nicole Smith clone. McKean and Higgins, despite being cliched, play their roles with unadulterated delight. Fred Willard's vulgar commentator is over-the-top stupid, but still amusing.

Despite repetitive humor and the occasional dud joke, Christopher Guest's follow-up to "Waiting for Guffman" is an amusing look behind the scenes of dog shows. It's not "Best in Show," but it's one of the best of breed.

4-0 out of 5 stars Definitely the funniest of the mockumentaries
This is a fast moving and funny movie that's a truly great comedy, worthy enough to stand alongside This is Spinal Tap.
This one has everything. Conflict-who will win the dog show? Humor, and lots of it. Fred Willard again proves he needs his own TV show (nay, his own channel) as a dog-show commentator so obliviously stupid he's lovable. Eugene Levy and Catherine O'Hara are perfect as your typical, middle-class east-coast family; Eugene's plays somewhat of a "loser", Catherine's great as the promiscuous wife. Jennifer Coolidge is pretty funny as the "glamorous" lesbian who can be aggressive in subtly funny ways.
The best thing about this movie is that it's truly humorous with truly funny actors. These people aren't puppets for lame sex jokes (well, not counting both gay couples) they're funny because they (as in the talented actors, the whole lot of 'em) inherit their characters and give them a life of their own. I mean, I bet that Eugene Levy came up with his character's two left feet on the spot because he knew he had to make a somewhat pathetic character even more pathetic. There's an absolutely pointless scene where Guest's character, a southerner/hunter/ventriloquist, talks to the camera about how he used to stay up all night naming nuts. It's funny though, because it makes no sense but somehow falls in line with the character.
This is a great comedy that makes few cheap shots but is consistently funny through and through.
The DVD has a pretty entertaining commentary with Guest and Levy, and some funny deleted scenes (look for the one where Hamilton tells Posey about "a saying my father used to say"). Those extras are enough for this disc though, and the price is great. Buy this inspired and funny comedy.

3-0 out of 5 stars Best in Show
BEST OF SHOW was a little disappointing. I couldn't connect with Christopher Guest's hillbilly character, Eugene Levy's character lost me behind his buck teeth and two left feet (No, they really are two left feet!), and I thought Fred Willard's ringside color-man bit was more irritating than slashingly satiric. Bummer. It was because they were in it that I got this one.
On the other hand the movie is filled with strong characterizations and funny bits. Larry Miller has a hilarious scene as one of Catherine O'Hara's ex-lovers who, to husband Levy's obvious discomfort, describes things in graphic detail. Ed Begley Jr. hits the right note as the quietly helpful hotel manager. The bickering yuppie couple and the gay couple were fun, too. ... Read more


14. Witch's Night Out
Director: John Leach (II)
list price: $7.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 6303816339
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 22208
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars Hilarious and Brilliant
This is one of the best Halloween animated pieces of all time. It is very clever and extremely funny. This is not just for children, it is just as much for adults. It's one of my family's favorites, right up there with the Great Pumpkin. It is intelligent and original in it's themes and style. Gilda Radner's performance as the witch is priceless. She holds nothing back in her hilarious portrayal. The animated expressions and reactions on the witch's face are pure genius. The music and theme song is brilliant as well.

This animated special deserves a quality DVD release. Hopefully it will one day get the attention it deserves.

4-0 out of 5 stars this IS scary.......
I must admit, I found the story and crude animation rather entertaining (hence the four stars). I really don't know if this is something that children should view. The character "Rotten" has a stereotypical Italian-American New York accent. The young girl's name is "Tender" (I won't even dare to comment on this). When the witch turns a woman into a vampire, the woman has bat wings and is dressed in underwear and bra...not so much a vampire, but a "Vamp". The females are drawn very provocatively whereas they have large breasts and look as though they are naked or wearing spandex. In the beginning of the feature the witch says "Hark!" but it sounds too closely like a four letter expletive beginning with "F." When the rest of the people beg to be changed into scary characters the witch says "Come to my mansion and I'll turn everybody on!" at which point she spins around and her drab clothing turns into a flashy red dress with a garter belt peeking from underneath. In conclusion I would suggest viewing this before allowing your children to watch. Very young children may not notice the stereotypes and sexual innuendo, but use discretion. The box for the VHS tape says "For Ages 4 to 12." - I think they meant "For Ages 18 to 24."

3-0 out of 5 stars Witch's Night Out
Terrific music!! Really interesting animation--not the stuff on the box!!! Fine story. However, the producers of this video elected to sell it in SLP rather than SP, probably to save a few pennies. Ergo, if you are looking for a high quality picture, you will not find it in this product!

5-0 out of 5 stars A lot of fun for the whole family
I just watched this video for the first time in a good many years, and found that I remembered almost every line of dialogue in it! So you can tell that it made a strong initial impression on me. The animation is basic in the extreme, but the backgrounds are quite nice and the character design of the witch is excellent--some of her facial expressions are extremely amusing. (She rather puts me in mind of Gloria Swanson in "Sunset Boulevard.") The script is very funny--I think adults can enjoy it just as much as children. Great for watching around Halloween! The only drawback to this tape is that it's recorded in EP, the slowest VHS speed, so the video quality isn't as good as it could be.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great for kids on a joyous and scary halloween night.
Great for the kids and the kids at heart. If you're looking for a fun filled movie that will have you laughing and having a good time with a little Halloween twist to it, then this is the movie for you. I always watched this movie as a kid and enjoyed it a great deal. I hope others will too. ... Read more


15. After Hours
Director: Martin Scorsese
list price: $19.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 6300270912
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 4807
Average Customer Review: 4.93 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

This well-regarded cult film is a tense Kafka-esque tale concerning what happens to a likable computer guy who is in the wrong place at the wrong time in the city that never sleeps--New York. This is a New York infested with bizarre characters vividly brought to life by a once-in-a-lifetime cast. Griffin Dunne's wonderfully controlled comic performance as Paul Hackett is the glue that holds this increasingly surreal film together.Scorsese utilizes a full array of independent and underground film techniques, including special film speed manipulations, angles, and edits, deftly capturing the strange rhythms of an after-hours New York City. Many will find the jokes clever, and occasionally laugh-out-loud funny. Some, however, will find the film an excruciating series of staged circumstances setting up a sadistically cruel dark nightmare of horrors. And there are a few lines of dialogue so poorly written they remind you how unbelievable the thin story really is. But forgive the film these few lapses--overall it's a wild, surreal ride. The most offbeat character is the beehive-sporting, Monkee-obsessed neurotic played to perfection by Teri Garr. And the moment when Griffin Dunne uses his last quarter to play Peggy Lee's "Is That All There Is" and dances with Verna Bloom while an angry mob searches SoHo for him is an inspired bit of lunacy. --Christopher J. Jarmick ... Read more

Reviews (43)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent! A Scorsese Gem!
Martin Scorsese was honored with by the Cannes Film Festival as best Director in 1986 for his brilliant dark comedy After Hours. It is an amazing and immensely funny film which features an absolutely amazing performance by Griffin Dunne and great supporting performances by many up-and-comers. What makes this movie so awesome is the fact that you never know what is going to happen next to this poor sap who just wanted a little love. The story is simple and very clever, with Paul Hackett(Griffin Dunne), a boring word processor, who meets an interesting but odd girl(Rosanna Arquette) in a coffee shop. Returning home, he decides to call her, and he is invited over to the apartment. Paul doesn't know it, but he is about embark on an incredible journey through "after hours" New York, where all the weirdos (...) are free to roam. The weirdos (...) include Cheech and Chong, Teri Garr, Linda Fiorentino, Verna Bloom, Catherine O'Hara(In her first film appearance), and John Heard. Bronson Pinchot gives a memorable cameo as an ambitious word processor in the beginning of the film. You will love this film, especially the shocking finale. Scorsese is the best!

5-0 out of 5 stars Scorsese's Masterpiece.
I remember seeing this movie on cable in 1987, and I remember thinking that it was great. I didn't even realize it was Scorsese at the time. Since then this film has become one of my favorites. A relatively unknown actor, Griffin Dunne, is the lead character of this midnight movie. It's basically the night in the life of your average pencil pusher. What happens to him in one night is hilarious. A dark comedy by Scorsese this is bound to be, and already is a classic. Most people haven't seen this film, but I think it's a must have for any movie collector. Unfortunately, it's still not available at this time on DVD. Soon, I hope. Look for great eccentric appearances by Rosanna Arquette, Teri Garr, John Heard and Cheech and Chong (their last film appearance together).

5-0 out of 5 stars This review is for Amazon's impeccable memory
When I searched for this film two years ago Amazon.com informed me that it wasn't available on dvd, but if I wanted they'd send me an email when it became available. And now, two years later, they've sent me that email! I've had friends tell me that they'll call me back in five minutes and they forget to do it, but Amazon.com, after two freaking years, remembers to get back to me about this obscure, hard-to-find movie. This blows my mind.

5 stars to Amazon, and maybe I'll get around to watching "After Hours" some day.

5-0 out of 5 stars In my top 5 favorite films / Totally original script
A funny black comedy set in Manhatten. I remeber as a kid watching this film on movie channel in the 80's and being mesmerized by the quirky characters. The main story is an average guy looking for romance in r Manhatten and for one night can't seem to make it back to his apartment. He goes out for a late night coffee at a diner meets Rosanna Arquette & from there encounters all these wacky characters in west village while trying to get back home. The script is amazing and totally original. This is character driven you don't forget the people in this movie Teri Garr as a crazy lonely monkey obsessed nuerotic waitress. Linda Fiorentino as an underground paper machute artist. John Heard as a paraniod bar owner. Griffin Dunne is a hilarious lead character who gets himself in all these oddball situations from one minute to the next. After refusing Teri Garr's advances he ends up having a mob after him. He ducks into an underground night club puts Peggy Lee's "Is that all there is" in the juke box and dances with a lonely lady who comes to his rescue at the end in a very bizarre way. One of my favorites films of all time. This is a must see original Scorsese movie one can't beat the surreal originality of this script.

5-0 out of 5 stars Totally original and surreal
I first saw this movie when I was wandering around some party many years ago and came across this room where "After Hours" was showing. I missed the first ten minutes and had no odea what was going on, but I was amazed by this incredibly original and strange movie. Griffin Dunne is excellent as a nervous and nerdy office worker that lands in the bizarre world of SOHO without a dime to his name and no way home. The cast of characters he encounters are all original and bizarre and give the movie a slightly disturbing, yet funny because it isn't you quality. How many other movies are out there where the main character is being hunted by an insane Mr. Softy truck driver and a bunch of gay men? There's also some great music, in particular a "Bad Brains" song I hadn't heard in a decade. Buy the movie and watch it! ... Read more


16. The Nightmare Before Christmas - Special Edition (Widescreen)
Director: Henry Selick
list price: $14.99
our price: $14.99
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Asin: 6305949972
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 2035
Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars
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Description

Enter an extraordinary world filled with magic and wonder -- where every holiday has its own special land ... and imaginative, one-of-a-kind characters! THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS tells the heartfelt tale of Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King of Halloween Town, and all things that go bump in the night. Bored with the same old tricks and treats, he yearns for something more, and soon stumbles upon the glorious magic of Christmas Town! Jack decides to bring this joyful holiday back to Halloween Town. But as his dream to fill Santa's shoes unravels, it's up to Sally, the rag doll who loves him, to stitch things back together. This critically acclaimed movie milestone captured the heart and imagination of audiences everywhere with its Academy Award(R)-nominated stop-motion effects, engaging Grammy(R)-nominated music, and the genius of Tim Burton (BATMAN, PLANET OF THE APES). THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHIRSTMAS -- a delightful treat the whole family will enjoy! ... Read more

Reviews (247)

5-0 out of 5 stars Kidnap the Sandy Claws!
This is my favorite animated film and in my opinion the best to come out of the Burton/Elfman team. The plot is... well... "different": The denizens of Halloween Town kidnap Santa Claus and have their way with Christmas. i.e. make a complete mess out of it. The visuals are spectacular (if a little dark) and the music and songs are wonderful and fit right in with the action. Regarding the "family appeal" of this movie: just keep in mind that this is a Tim Burton creation (Beetlejuice, Sleepy Hollow) and therefore it is dark, a little scary and the humor is on the sarcastic side. Oh, and if you absolutely can't stand musicals, then this movie will either make you a believer (like it did to me) or will put you off.

About the DVD edition: I've seen this movie in the theater, on TV, on VHS and now on DVD and I must say that the DVD edition had the best sound quality. They could have included some bonuses (a "the making of..." type of feature is really missing) but the excellent sound and decent picture quality was good enough for me.

Go ahead and give it a try, especially if you're a Burton/Elfman fan!

5-0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, wonderful, and moving...
I've not seen this movie in a very long time, and it wasn't until just recently that I revisited it. The Nightmare Before Christmas' title sounds like something from a horror movie, but it certainly isn't one. Sure, everything looks grim and creepy, but that's just the setting. The story of Jack Skellington feeling as if everything is a routine for him and wants to experience something different was kinda touching, as is with the songs he sings to himself in the film. The music is creepy at times and is beautiful when needed, and it's all composed by Danny Elfman; who in turn also wrote the songs, and does Jack Skellington's voice. TNMBC was skillfully animated, using the stop-motion style, which most likely took them quite a while to finish. The end product looks pretty good too, especially for a movie released back in '91. Tim Burton has always been one of my favorite directors, and this film didn't let me down. Not only did it bring back some nice childhood memories, but it also made me feel good in the process. Those parents who aren't sure of showing this film to their kids because it may scare them, at least consider that the movie has NO violence either than a stitched-up lady jumping from a building, but she doesn't get harmed as she puts herself back together. If your kids can handle the creepy looking monsters and creatures, by all means let them watch this movie. They most likely will never forget it.

5-0 out of 5 stars the best christmas and halloween movie ever
wellllllllllllll.the guys from halloween land go to x-mas land and kidnap santa and do x-masup thier own way.its animated or something so no stars per say.this one is for some kids and not for others.the sensitive types need to be in bed.it is another one of tim burtons abselute masterpieces.there are basicly 2 kinds of movies.your julia robetrs-sell out-hollywood-junk and movies that actualy required some thought.so anyone with an imagination will like it.this is themost over the top and wild x-mas movie ever.

5-0 out of 5 stars Spellbinding
This movie is beyond enchanting, delving into the realms of spellbinding. I never thought that an animated film could be so stunning with its cinematography mixed with the music. That's the amazing beauty of Tim Burton's world: it's filled with contrasts. In particular is Sally (voiced by the Canadian goddess Catherine O'Hara) the ragdoll who externally is not the most beautiful thing with her stitchings and patched clothes, but internally she is pure and filled with love for Jack. Even her singing (again Catherine) sounds like an innocent child, straight tone (no vibrato) and a flowing, velvet soprano.
The world of Halloweentown is dark, but filled with beauty and rich melodies straining through (by the genius Danny Elfman). The construction of the film is so perfect making Halloweentown filled with browns and blacks whereas Christmastown is bright and cheerful, joyful as we expect Christmas to be and the real world is somewhere in between. All of it pulls together beautifully to create a timeless story and the most magnificently filmed ending with Sally and Jack in the snow.
Just proves the genius of the film makers.

1-0 out of 5 stars yuck
Why does "everyone" love this movie? It's not that good. Not at all. I saw this when I was four and I absolutely hated it when I found out they kidnapped Santa Clause. The zombie girl taking her head off at one point in the movies was pretty gross too...yuck. I don't reccomend this film. ... Read more


17. Wyatt Earp
Director: Lawrence Kasdan
list price: $4.97
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 6303269826
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 4613
Average Customer Review: 4.17 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

This massive, in-depth study of the dark Western icon comes off with mixed results. Trying to capture the whole life, (warts and all) of the lawman-criminal-brother-fortune hunter, director Lawrence Kasdan gains points for sheer scale, giving us a rich epic painted in dark colors with gritty settings. But the visual poetry and extensive foreshadowing ruin the dramatic drive. Some scenes have as much impact as stalker movies; you're just waiting for someone to get knocked off. As Earp, Kevin Costner is not afraid to look rumpled and play colorlessly (as in The Bodyguard), but it saps the energy of this 3-hour-plus film. The only relief is Dennis Quaid as a droll Doc Holiday, a much more engaging character. New faces Linden Ashby and Joanna Going (as an Earp brother and a lover, respectively) are solid finds, though the remainder of the female cast is barely given anything to do. Best is the first half, with Costner, as hip as he was in his Silverado days, going through a series of ups and downs until he accidentally finds his profession. Great set design (Ida Random) utilizes dozens of similar settings that always look distinctive. Recommended to fans of the star and the genre, but the story never justifies its length. --Doug Thomas ... Read more

Reviews (82)

4-0 out of 5 stars Wyatt Earp was a Man
A lot of people forget that Wyatt Earp was a real man who had more courage and integrity then most people you will ever know. This movie is a pretty accurate portrayl of that man. Kevin Costner and Dennis Quaid (Doc Holliday) do a superb job, although the supporting cast has a lot to be desired. This movie differs from the movie "Tombstone", in that it portrays a lot of Wyatt's life from being a teenager during the Civil War to his and Josie's adventure to the Alaskan gold fields near the turn of the century. "Tombstone" deals primarily with the happenings in Wyatt's life in that one town, which ironically dealt with less than 2 years of his long adventurous life. I liked this film because it dealt with an approximate 35 year time span of Wyatt's life, and the movie is long enough to dipict this. There are a lot of historical accuracies in the movie which include proper representations of places and dialogue such as what is said on the way to and during the gunfight. The inaccuracies are easily overlooked such as Virgil being shot in the wrong arm and the reference to "Johnny behind the duece" as "Tommy." All in all though, a good film about the life of a great man, Wyatt Earp.

5-0 out of 5 stars BUY THIS DVD!
At last Warner Bros. has seen fit to release Kasdan's masterpiece on DVD. Sadly and inexplicably this movie was overlooked at the time of it's release. This superbly written,beautifully played piece is the definitive account of the life of a western archetype achieving everything that previous Earp accounts have failed to with the possible exception of Hour Of The Gun. Avoiding the ludicrous romanticism of My Darling Clementine, or the appaulingly laughable Lancaster/Douglas fiasco, Gunfight At OK Corral, Kasdan's portrayal presents these characters as the contradictory individuals they undoubtedly were and the actors and actresses do a tremendous job of bringing them to life. Costner is utterly believable as a complex man who, influenced by his father's belief in the family unit, almost destroys the very family he is trying to protect. We see him go from an idealistic young man to becoming a resolute, serious individual as a result of circumstances often beyond his control which serve to form his hardened personality and tunnel vision. Dennis Quaid is superb as Doc Holliday and presents a real person rather than Val Kilmer's amusing charicature in the over rated t.v movie-quality Tombstone. JoBeth Williams, Catherine O'Hara and Isabella Rosselini are great in their portrayals of the role of women in the west. Each of the actresses in this movie portrays a distinctly different character never resorting to cookie-cutter characterisations but the one thing they all have in common is, true to the period, women were expected to be supportive but not to have minds of their own; No revisionist western this.
Technically the movie looks and sounds great. Kasdan creates a visual style without being heavy handed and we are presented with a west in various stages of development from shanty towns to the developing, lawless Dodge City and Tombstone where law and order are trying to take hold even when the "law" is being enforced in a very subjective manner, again there is a lot of gray in this movie.
Finally I have to praise James Newton Howard for his wonderful score which, if it were isolated on the DVD would make this a 6 star release.
Apparently deleted scenes are being included on a second disc. An expanded lazer disc was released some years ago which restored this footage to the film, adding even more depth to the characters and as a result an even better movie.
Please buy this movie and, in doing so, encourage Warner's to release the expanded version in the near future. You will not be disappointed.

3-0 out of 5 stars Western Classic
No doubt this movie is a western classic. I saw it years ago and loved it. I don't have anything negative to say about the movie itself. I almost picked up this 2 disc set until I learned it's a cut down or edited version. Why is the complete 212 min version only available on VHS ? That's just stupid. This is a great movie worthy of a director's cut edition maybe 3 disc set? I'd spend the extra cash on a deeper edition, until then I'll save my money. Please, please release the FULL version on DVD!

5-0 out of 5 stars I'm very disappointed-why not the Director's Cut on DVD??
I was actually planning to but Wyatt Earp on DVD, but as I already have the Director's Cut on VHS video, I'll wait until the release of it on DVD. I believed this would be the "definitive" video release of Wyatt Earp. I'm quite disappointed!! I would rather have had the complete film on DVD than all of the extras!! Five-stars for the film, one-star for the short-sightedness of this DVD's content!! This is just as puzzling as why the restored version of John Wayne's The Alamo is not on DVD yet, either.

3-0 out of 5 stars Typical Costner - long drawn out epic!
While the story was great and gave some interesting, perhaps unknown insight to the character of Wyatt Earp (did you know he was married and lost his wife to Typhoid? I didn't!) the movie was a very long, slow, drawn out epic like most of Costner's films. While Dennis Quaid portrayed a believable Doc Holliday, his performance was paled by the superior, more entertaining version by Val Kilmer in "Tombstone". In either movie it was almost unbelievable that the character was played by Dennis Quaid and Val Kilmer respectively (although Val Kilmer was more recognizable), I think both versions of Doc Holliday outshined the portrayal of Wyatt Earp in either movie. While still a good Western for this century, I would not rate this one higher than 3 stars because it was too long and drawn out. 3+ hours is just too long to sit through for something that could have been accomplished successfully in maybe 1-1/2 to 2 hours.
The rating age only goes up to 12, I'm actually 40 years old - LOL ... Read more


18. The Paper
Director: Ron Howard
list price: $6.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 6303204139
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 31730
Average Customer Review: 4.05 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Highly entertaining albeit thin journalism thriller, this examination of a 24-hour period in the life of a New York Post-ish tabloid focuses on a hard-working metro editor (a pitch-perfect Michael Keaton) thinking of going to a loftier job at a rival paper. Edgy, "NYC as the center of the universe" full of sweat and grit, the paper debates the hot story of the day: a racial shooting. Like most movies from Ron Howard's universe (Parenthood, Backdraft), it's always just a movie, full of dramatic, over-the-top setups instead of the genuine article. Still, the film has the feeling of being there, full of workman's vigor where "I'm on deadline" is the family motto. The cast is just right although the roles are stereotypical: the grizzled editor-in-chief (Robert Duvall) the cold female manager (Glenn Close), the slightly whacked-out ace columnist (Randy Quaid), and the rest. Each actor has choice moments in this movie that may turn fans on to the hectic side of journalism. --Doug Thomas ... Read more

Reviews (21)

5-0 out of 5 stars Because your whole world can change in 24 hours
Is the theme of this film, one of the best films I have ever seen at the only movie I have ever seen eight times in the theater. Yes, I saw ONE movie eight times in the movie theater, but the thing is I never got sick of it. I'm already a bit biased given Michael Keaton is my all time favorite actor, but I love this movie for so many more reasons. The acting by Michael, Marisa Tomei, Robert Duval, Randy Quaid and Glen Glose is just exceptional, and Ron Howards directing is on the mark as always.
There are also some good cameos by the late William Kunstler and Jason Robards. There's also a hillarious cameo by Bob Costas which I won't give away, you've just gotta see it:)

Henry Hackett (Michael Keaton) has a grueling job as an editor at The New York Sun (my guess being it's supposed to be a ficitional verison of The New York Post judging by such front page headlines as "No Parking Except For Me" and "Gotcha") that usually keeps him from his wife nine months pregnant wife Martha (Marisa Tomei) 24/7, so she's pressuring him to get a cushier job at The New York Sentinal (fictional version of The New York Times based on their mantra of "We Cover The World.") Henry of course doesn't want to be out of the action that makes him down Cokes and Tums all day, and finds himself subconsciously sabatoging the interview in the pursuit of finding out the truth behind a grizzly murder and exonerate the two boys arrested for the murder whom he knows in his gut are innocent. The movie takes place during these twenty four hours; from battling with bosses, to fights, to shootings to a father trying to make ammends with his daughter he neglected; this movie shows a day in the life of five people as they try to find the truth behind the murder and the truth about their lifes. Because your whole world can change in twenty-four hours.

5-0 out of 5 stars An hilarious look at workings of a semi-reputable paper
"The Paper" is one of the funniest films of the 1990s, providing an extraordinarily realistic view of the behind-the-scenes (dys)function of a newspaper office. This tabloid-styled commuter paper is just large enough to need to be seriously professional, while also being just small enough for that serious professionalism to be virtually impossible to accomplish.

Unless you are a journalist for the type of 'paper of record' which the film satirizes in the form of the stuffy, rival "Sentinal" (clearly modelled on the NY Times), "The Paper" will yield much of its humour from its high realism.

"The Paper" covers a single day in the implosively pressurized life of a reporter (Michael Keaton) who also happens to adore his job. The dynamism generated by the wise-guy supporting cast (which includes Randy Quaid, Roma Mafia, and Robert Duvall) makes it easy to understand why journalism is not a profession so much as an addiction. What would make a saner and more timid employee flee for the hills, produces a soaring high to the seasoned journalist. As Keaton's wife (Marisa Tomei), hugely pregnant and stuck on leave, exclaims after a gunshot is suddenly fired in a news office: "God I love this place".

Virtually every line spoken in the newspaper office is beautifully snide and worth catching, so keep the remote control close at hand.

The genuinely crazed encounters between Keaton and Glenn Close, playing a penny-pinching, ethically-challenged manager whose need to respect a deadline collides with Keaton's eleventh-hour attempt to produce an accurate and ennobling story, contribute strongly to an overall comedic masterpiece.

Though the journalistically-inclined will get a special kick from "The Paper", its appeal should be nearly universal, such is delerious wit of its dialogue and the thrill of its frenetic pacing.

5-0 out of 5 stars Smart, Smart, Funny Movie.
This movie is about a day in the life of a New York tabloid and the people who pour life and soul into the paper. It's a marvelous cast and ensemble piece. It has some very funny lines and furious dialogue. I've lost count of the number of times I've seen this movie. I know every bit of the plot and just about every line in it. Yet is never fails to make me laugh nor am I even the slightest bit tempted to fast-forward to the punch line. Well worth having in your movie library.

3-0 out of 5 stars Good movie, Bad DVD...
Ron Howard isn't the most dynamic of directors -- his style is pretty vanilla and he hasn't picked the greatest projects in the world (i.e. Ransom) but he was right on the money with The Paper. While he tends to cram a little too much into one day -- nobody has that exciting a day -- you have to give him a bit of artistic license -- it is a movie after all.

Michael Keaton is well-cast as the big city paper editor with too much on his plate. He can do the manic side of his character (see, well, any movie he's ever done) and he's also up for the serious stuff too. Obviously, he must enjoy playing a journalist as he did a great job as one in Live From Baghdad as well.

The cast is what makes this film work so well. Aside from Keaton, the other real stand-out is Randy Quaid as a fellow reporter and friend. For years now, Quaid as been typecast in dumb guy roles. It so refreshing to see him actually play an intelligent, street savvy reporter in this film. He gets all the great lines and steals all the scenes he's in. The film really kicks into gear when he and Keaton team-up to blow the lid off of a high profile story. I'd love to see these guys do another film together.

While the film does get a tad on the preachy, idealistic side, it still is a very entertaining look at working on a major newspaper in New York City. It's a shame that the DVD is such a letdown. No extras and pan and scanned. Ugh. However, Opie seems to be revisiting his films on DVD with new special editions (i.e. Splash, Ransom). Hopefully, this one will get the deluxe treatment.

5-0 out of 5 stars Extra! Extra! Read All About It!!! This is one great movie!
Another great movie from Ron Howard!!! A great cast!!! A treat from start to finish!!! And this DVD version delivers!!! It looks and sounds great!!! A top notch DVD from Universal!!! A Five Star Movie!!! A+ ... Read more


19. The Life Before This
Director: Jerry Ciccoritti
list price: $14.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00004Z1II
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 42871
Average Customer Review: 3.33 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (3)

1-0 out of 5 stars It's been said before by better directors and writers
The 'what if'/'if only I had known' genre is not served by this badly-written, badly-directed 92 minutes of my life that I will never get back.

Catherine O'Hara and Joey Pants are splendid as always, but there are too many characters given equal importance, leading to a choppy and unresolved story.

For the best of the genre, check out 'Memento' and 'American Beauty' instead.

5-0 out of 5 stars ..and here we are again.
"The Life Before This," never before has tradegy been displayed so beautifully. Out of jest one night, I was pacing up and down the aisles at the local video store. Nothing was looking good at all, and after just skimming titles, I decided to get 'int depth' about certain movies that looked appealing, yet none that were quite mainstream. So after doing so, I just saw the cover of this box. It seemed to display a story already just from the simple imagery on the cover. Right away I was enticed to see what this tale was about... to sum it up, you know when you have a decidsion or you nee to decide what to do for a certain evening, and I'm sure we've all had these moments where we can't decide between the two or so more options give. Well imagine going with one...just see what happens that night. Good or bad, it's a given. Now imagine if you were to do the latent of the two, the other thought that you had in mind..if only you've stuck with that one, where would it take you?

'The Life Before This,' deals with that. It takes this small circle of charcaters whose life all communicate with eachother in someway, and it takes the last night of their tragic death and transforms it into a fairytale, if they were only to do one simpe thing different the day of their passing. This movie yes, isn't the most uplifting, but it has a beauty to it that could never be describe with the most of elegant words. It starts off displaying the ending, but take syou througha dream of sadness, happiness, life and regret through each different standpoint allowed... what if this were your last day to breathe? Would it end in a peaceful fashion, or one which you'd always wish you'd have said more... 'The Life Before This' is recommended for any seeking anything from a deeper philosophical meaning, to just someone whom just appreciates a good movie. It is most definitely, not the type to let down.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Thought Provoking Art Film from Canada
"My Life Before This" is one of those movies (usually relegated to the "arthouse" movement these days!) that really leaves you thinking about what you have just watched, and you will be thinking about this film long after the movie has ended! The film deals with the impact of our choices and decisions in our lives. Even the most mundane and seemingly "unimportant" choices can have life-altering, and even catastrophic results, as the characters in this artfully crafted drama soon find out! The film begins in a coffeshop, where we are introduced to most of the films main characters. The lives of everyone in the coffeshop is forever changed when a crime being committed in a nearby building spils over into their midst. Next, the film switches gears and takes us back in time, showing us an "alternate" view of what COULD have happened that day in the coffeshop, if only different, seemingly "unimportant" choices had been made by some of those involved. The film then ends back in the coffeshop, showing us the results of this "alternate" set of choices. The film's message will really stay with you. It will really make you consider the decisions that you make in day to day life, and how those decisions may effect others. The film shows a hint of influence from the great Canadian director Atom Egoyan, and so I was not suprised to see some familiar faces from Egoyan films, namely Sarah Polley and Alberta Watson, who previously appeared together in Egoyan's masterful "The Sweet Hereafter". Another familiar face to art-film buffs will be Stephen Rea, who previously appeared with Polley in the underrated "Guinevere". (And was also excellent as a faded rock star in "Still Crazy".) The whole cast is quite good in their roles, and comic actress Catherine O' Hara (of "Second City TV" and "Home Alone" fame) takes on a slightly more serious role as a bridal shop worker who is herself, unlucky in love. (She does manage to get in a few of the films only comical lines). One thing I must say is that if you don't plan to pay attention to this film, then don't even bother! With its interweving characters and plotlines, this film will need your full attention to be truly appreciated. That being said, I would highly recommend this film to anyone who enjoys thought-provoking arthouse cinema...But be prepared to think after you watch! ... Read more


20. Searching for Debra Winger
Director: Rosanna Arquette
list price: $44.98
our price: $44.98
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Asin: B00019GHT8
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 27194
Average Customer Review: 3.55 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (11)

3-0 out of 5 stars Wine and Whine - Interesting Perspectives
Rosanna Arquette directs this documentary (originally on Showtime) about the problem actresses over the age of forty have getting quality roles. There's a lot of truth told here, but the routine becomes exhausting after twenty minutes. In nearly every scene, groups of actresses (Diane Lane, Teri Garr, Holly Hunter, Meg Ryan Sharon Stone and more) are shown partying with wine in hand and complaining about the big male Hollywood thugs who only look at their tits. To be fair, there is truth to this, but the general atmosphere is a non-ending complaint fest. Jane Fonda and Vanessa Redgrave (both solo interviews) add some needed class with their own interpretations of what happens when an actress reaches a certain age, but they are few and far between. It was also hard to believe that Redgrave cannot afford to retire. Whoopi Goldberg is refreshing with her funny, no-nonsense, laissez-faire observation about the realities of life.

However, the actresses interviewed forget that there really are some women with talent over forty that are working. How about Julianne Moore, Cate Blanchette, Meryl Streep, Judi Dench, Jessica Lange, Naomi Watts, Gena Rowlands, Anjelica Huston, Halle Berry, Susan Sarandon, Jodie Foster, Emily Watson, Patricia Clarkson, Ellen Burstyn, Kathy Bates, Diane Keaton, Annette Bening, Helen Mirren and Sissy Spacek? I like all of the actresses in this documentary, but they are not the best of Hollywood. When Debra Winger does appear near the end of the film, we find yet another interesting take on an 'older'actresses life. It seems to put the entire film in perspective and a surprising one at that. It would be interesting to see a follow-up documentary to hear the responses from the aforementioned actresses after hearing Winger's point of view.

5-0 out of 5 stars Celebrities' Humanity
Rosanna Arquette heads up this exploration of the pressures, choices and sacrifices that female actors face working in the entertainment industry, particularly as they hit 40 and begin being overlooked for certain roles. Debra Winger is the example of a pioneer in this battle because of her decision to bow out of the industry while still in her prime.


Director:Rosanna Arquette
Starring:


Credited cast:
Patricia Arquette .... Herself
Rosanna Arquette .... Herself
Emmanuelle Béart .... Herself
Katrin Cartlidge .... Herself
Laura Dern .... Herself
Roger Ebert .... Himself
Jane Fonda .... Herself
Teri Garr .... Herself
Whoopi Goldberg .... Herself
Melanie Griffith .... Herself
Daryl Hannah .... Herself
Salma Hayek .... Herself
Holly Hunter .... Herself
Anjelica Huston .... Herself
Diane Lane .... Herself
Kelly Lynch .... Herself
Julianna Margulies .... Herself
Chiara Mastroianni .... Herself
Samantha Mathis .... Herself
Frances McDormand .... Herself
Catherine O'Hara .... Herself
Julia Ormond .... Herself
Gwyneth Paltrow .... Herself
Martha Plimpton .... Herself
Charlotte Rampling .... Herself
Vanessa Redgrave .... Herself
Theresa Russell .... Herself
Meg Ryan .... Herself
Ally Sheedy .... Herself
Adrienne Shelly .... Herself
Hilary Shepard .... Herself
Sharon Stone .... Herself
Tracey Ullman .... Herself
JoBeth Williams .... Herself
Debra Winger .... Herself
Alfre Woodard .... Herself
Robin Wright Penn .... Herself
(more)

3-0 out of 5 stars Five stars for content -- whole lotta collective wisdom
I salute Ms. Arquette for doing something original: piercing the facade of the successful actress stereotype and inducing a plethora of fascinating and accomplished women to speak openly about their life experiences. The film works well at a number of levels -- personally I am not AS interested in acting per se as I am in creativity in general, and there was ample interesting material on what it means to be creative, and on the tension between pursuing one's creativity and achieving balance in one's life. Beyond the creativity issue, there is the equally interesting question of how one should approach aging and what growing older means; it was an inspiration and a pleasure seeing so many women who are past their Hollywood "primes" talking about the pressures, but also the rewards, of aging. I suspect there are not many men who would enjoy this film, which is a shame because men face these issues too. But this film is a gold mine of material for women, and particularly female artists working in any medium. I also enjoyed the soundtrack. I only gave three stars because, notwithstanding the good concept and the excellent quality of some of the interviews, the film shifted focus a lot: one second we're hearing about how Hollywood only cares about sex appeal, the next we're hearing how hard it is for an actress to raise kids, the next we're hearing about the challenges of nurturing both an intimate relationship and a career, the next we're hearing about what it means to be an aging actress. And, actually, the nominal subject of the film, Debra Winger, raises a whole separate issue, which is why we even need the outward trappings of success to be "successful" in our lives and creative pursuits. Also, the camera work was pretty basic, and the editing of the piece as a "documentary" could have been much more imaginative. Other than using the scenes from "The Red Shoes," which was inspired, the film was almost nothing but talking heads. A few family photos would have been refreshing, for instance, when Ms. Arquette talked about her mother raising five creative kids and stifling her own creativity. Or some scenes from films in which some of the interviewees had starred. Or any little detail to enrich the film's texture. Although the comparison may be unfair, Michael Moore understands how to make a documentary visually riveting; just because a film is a "documentary" doesn't mean it should ignore the pursuit of "movie magic."

3-0 out of 5 stars Unfocused Documentary Has Still Some Inspired Interviewees
THE FILM starts with Rosanna Arquette questioning herself: "Cannot actresses balance between work and family? Especially after reaching 40?" Well, she says not exactly, but to the effect, and makes her intention very clear with a footage from Michael Powell film "The Red Shoes" (1948). The point is clear, and interesting if you watch the heroine's fate.

SO ROSANNA STARTs her journey, holding a hand-held camera, interviewing as many actresses as possible. Some of the interviewees are her good friends while some are probably encountered at the film festival in Cannes, and agreed to say a thing or two. The film comprises these footages until Rosanna goes to Debra Winger, who Rosanna says, retired from the profession. (But I am afraid that not all people share Rosanna's view that she actually 'retired.')

Now, let's face it. AS A DOCUMENTARY, "Searching for Debra Winger" is a big failure, being too disjointed and having no focus. After all, there are so many actresses out there now, and many opinions too, especially those about their professions, this case acting. It's diversity, which should be treated more carefully.

THE INTERVIEWEES include Patricia Arquette, Emmanuelle Beart, Katrin Cartlidge, Laura Dern, Jane Fonda, Teri Garr, Whoopi Goldberg, Melanie Griffith, Daryl Hannah, Salma Hayek, Holly Hunter, Dinae Lane, Kelly Lynch, Julianna Margulles, Chiara Mastroianni, Samantha Mathis, Frances McDormand, Catherine O'Hara, Julia Ormond, Gwyneth Paltrow, Martha Plimpton, Charlotte Rampling, Vanessa Redgrave, Theressa Russell, Meg Ryan, Ally Sheedy, Hilary Shephard-Turner, Sharon Stone, Tracy Ullman, JoBeth Williams, Debra Winger, Alfre Woodard, and Robin Wright Penn. I don't know why, but Roger Ebert pops up, saying very unique things about one Angelina Jolie film. (Come on, Roger, you must be kidding, right?)

SOME OF THE INTERVIEWEES are very inspired, giving us insights into the business with humor and charms. You see Frances McDormand, and you understand her good-natured personality instantly. Or look at Charlotte Rampling (who appears with Katrin Cartlidge), and how she dresses herself. She is gorgeous, as seen in "Under the Sand" and her fashion sense! And we miss late Katrin Cartlidge, who shows her amiable down-to-earth personality. What is regrettable is that the time alloted to them (or some others) are too short. Why did they decide to include Roger Ebert?

And if you say that actress's job gets harder after 40 (and I do not disagree), OK, where are those people? I mean, Streep, Weaver, Keaton, Close, Sarandon, and so on and on? On the UK side, how about Denti or Mirren? Or another Redgrave? On French side, how about Moreau or Deneuve? Rosanna must have approached to them, and if they declined interview, why did they? Because they think differently? Or just too busy? But if busy, Rossana's argument (about the profession) is no longer valid. I kept on thinking about it, and the idea certainly weakens the impact of the film's contents.

You might, moreover, still hate some of the interviewees, who give too strong opinions. SOme of them are not convincing, and some are downright irritating. At least Rosanna Arquette should be prasied for inducing them to be honest, and whether you like it or not, what they say before the camera is never boring.

The film is interesting to see regardless of the director's intentions, which gets blurred as the film goes on. Too many talks are gathered to support one coherent idea, but the interviews themselves are always fascinating.

1-0 out of 5 stars Thank you Jamie Cantwell
Until I saw this movie, I never knew just how tough things are for these incredibly beautiful, internationally famous multi-millionaires. ... Read more


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