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1. Unbearable Lightness of Being
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2. Chocolat
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3. Mr. Jones
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4. Romeo Is Bleeding
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5. Chocolat
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7. Mystery Men
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9. The Unbearable Lightness of Being
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20. The Ninth Gate

1. Unbearable Lightness of Being
Director: Philip Kaufman
list price: $19.99
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Asin: 6301179501
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 10174
Average Customer Review: 4.21 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com essential video

Daniel Day-Lewis stars as Tomas, the happily irresponsible Czech lover of Milan Kundera's novel, which is set in Prague just before and during the Soviet invasion in 1968. Lena Olin and Juliette Binoche are the two vastly different women who occupy his attention and to some extent represent different sides of his values and personality. In any case, the character's decision to flee Russian tanks with one of them--and then return--has profound consequences on his life. Directed by Philip Kaufman, this rich, erotic, fascinating character study with allegorical overtones is a touchstone for many filmgoers. Several key sequences--such as Olin wearing a bowler hat and writhing most attractively--linger in the memory, while Kaufman's assured sense of the story inspires superb performances all around. --Tom Keogh ... Read more

Reviews (68)

5-0 out of 5 stars Exquisite Film Was One of The 1980's Best
Phillip Kaufman reached an artistic pinnacle with this elegant translation of Milan Kundera's book about the 1968 Czechoslovokian crisis. Daniel Day-Lewis plays Tomas, a physician, whose life consists in seducing women, one of whom - an artist Sabina (Lena Olin) - is his sexual and spiritual soulmate. Into his life comes another woman, Terezina, (Juliette Binoche) who demands more of a committment to her than he will permit to any woman including Sabina. His crisis between the carefree artist and the more demanding Terezina mirrors the crisis of Czechoslovokia between the "liberation" of the Prague Spring and the Soviet repression of August 1968 although neither Kauffman nor Kundera crudely makes Sabina represent the one nor Terezina the other. Although these characters may lead apparently amoral lives, the film and novel are all about the moral consequences of their choices. Many American critics, similar to the one who provided the first customer review, feel that Kaufmann has simply made a piece of arty Euro-lite soft-core: intellectual and opaque enough to appeal to the high-brow crowd yet tittliating enough to strike at their lowbrow desires. While I'll concede that this judgement applies well to his follow-up film "Henry and June" (1990), it's grossly unfair to characterize this film as such. The narrative and themes are presented clearly, the cinematography is gorgeous but never in an overly-arty way like in "Henry and June", and his whirling direction keeps this film moving along at an effervescent 172 minutes. The actors - especially Day-Lewis and Olin - do phenomenal work and contribute mightily to bring Kaufmann's evocation of late 1960's Europe to life. In a strange way, the film compliments the book rather than adapts it and stands on its own as a fully realized cinematic work.

People conditioned to see sex on the screen as a smutty joke or leading to painful reprecussions had problems with Kaufmann's playful sensuality here. He compounded their discomfort by coating all these goings-on with a veneer of class, larding the film with literary references and putting Janacek on the soundtrack. And it was easy to dismiss the film as nothing but a bunch of amoral European sophisicates who make love in between bouts of literary discussions or fighting political repression. But the film pulls us into these character's lives in a much more impassioned and alive way than European art cinema does with its deliberate distancing effects and pretentious moralizing (good recent example: Lars Von Trier's interminable "Breaking The Waves"). The film weaves its larger concerns about freedom and responsibility seamlessly through the narration - we can follow the film without knowing all the allusions and references. Some may see the characters and their bed-hopping as shallow and affected but they are forced to deal with their country's politics and history and have to come to terms with their own lives in ways that Euro-fluff soft-core comedies like "French Twist" never have to. Indeed, the moral choices placed on these apparently frivolous characters gives the film its greatness.

In other words, "Unbearable Lightness" has a sophisticated air because it is sophisticated: in its ideas, direction, writing, and acting. Kaufmann's work since has generally disappointed but here he's made one of the richest and intelligent films of the decade.

5-0 out of 5 stars the Prague Spring
If you've read the book you won't be disappointed with this film which doesn't try to convey all Kundera's philosophy but it does retain the spirit of the book. Really the book had what some considered to be too much philosophy in it which got in the way of the story which was not Kunderas main concern anyway as his characters were just actors he used to elucidate his ideas. For Kaufman the real heart of the book was not in its ideas but in the way Tomas and Tereza relate and how that relationship evolves within a very specific historical circumstance, the Russian occupation of Prague in 68. That moment in time is really brought to life both in the cafes as we hear a Czech. version of"Hey Jude" being played and in the streets when the actual invasion takes place at which point hand held black and white cameras are used to give an on the spot feel to it.
When we first meet Tomas(Daniel Day Lewis) he is involved with Sabina(Lena Olin)and what they share is an almost religious belief in the erotic and an equalllly strong belief in retaining their individuality and frredom. On a visit to a spa in the country to perform an operation however Tomas comes across the innocent waitress Tereza(Juliette Binoche) and his life after that is never quite the same. Sabina resents the intrusion at first but soon she and Tereza are friends, in fact the moment they become friends on a rainy afternoon taking pictures of each other is one of the best scenes in the movie. A lot is made of the historical happenings and how they affect each characters personal life. I found it a little hard to believe that they would willingly return to Prague under communist rule after they had made their escape to Zurich but you may feel differently. The use of the terms "lightness" and "weight" that so often appeared in the book always seemed to my ears rather vague, the movie gratefully only employs those terms on rare occasion. The last scenes in the countryside are some of the most beautiful cinematography I have seen, quite memorable images evoking the really valuable things in life.
Certainly one of the best adaptations of a novel.

1-0 out of 5 stars Please read Kundera's book instead
Kundera's novel The Unbearable Lightness of Being is absolutely amazing, and this film falls so far short of it. Despite my almost-immediate dislike of the film, I actually stuck it out and watched the entire thing (hoping that Daniel Day-Lewis could somehow salvage it or that the film might actually express some idea from Kundera's book). But I was sorely disappointed.

But please read Kundera's novel, because it is wonderful. I can't help but think that Kundera was referring to this film when he wrote in his later novel Immortality: "The present era grabs everything that was ever written in order to transform it into films, TV programs, or cartoons. What is essential in a novel is precisely what can only be expressed in a novel, and so every adaptation contains nothing but the nonessential."

3-0 out of 5 stars A nice historical fiction movie
This review is for the Criterion Collection DVD edition of the film.

This movie is set against the backround of the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in the 1960's It is about a doctor who has physical relationships with many different women. He then meets a woman whom he wants to pursue a romantic and emotional with. She wants him to be monogamous. The ensuing results are quite original.

The film is also a good history lesson about the Soviet invasion but is not appropriate for school age children. The film has a well deserved R rating for scenes of nudity and sex which I think were unnecessary and prevent a wider range of audience from seeing the film. I greatly hope that the producers would offer a version of the film witht he nude and sex scenes cut so that it could be shown in history classes in school.

There is also a scene that Beatles fans may like where the song "Hey Jude" is sung in the Czech language. It also has many pieces of music by Czech composer, Leos Janacek.

The DVD also has audio commentary by the director Philip Kauffman, Editor, Walter Murch, Co writer John Carrière, and Actress Lena Olin.

4-0 out of 5 stars beautiful
This film, is one of the best screenplays I have ever seen (and I seen many). I had read the book before, and the film is just an extension of the beautiful superiority of the book.
I particulary enjoyed the mixture of 'real' footage of the occupation of Praque and the film footage. Very well done.
The reason I've only given this film 4 stars is because it didn't have a specific secene which I was looking forward to seeing.
But the reast of the film definatly makes up for it.
And by the way... the director is the director of Quills. ... Read more


2. Chocolat
Director: Lasse Hallström
list price: $9.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00005QFHG
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 5221
Average Customer Review: 3.96 out of 5 stars
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Description

Nominated for 5 Academy Awards(R) including Best Picture, Best Actress (Juliette Binoche -- THE ENGLISH PATIENT), and Best Supporting Actress (Judi Dench -- SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE), CHOCOLAT is the beautiful and captivating comedy from the acclaimed director of THE CIDER HOUSE RULES! Nobody could have imagined the impact that the striking Vianne (Binoche) would make when she arrived in a tranquil, old-fashioned French town. In her very unusual chocolate shop, Vianne begins to create mouth-watering confections that almost magically inspire the straitlaced villagers to abandon themselves to temptation and happiness! But it is not until another stranger, the handsome Roux (Johnny Depp -- SLEEPY HOLLOW), arrives in town that Vianne is finally able to recognize her own desires! ... Read more

Reviews (311)

5-0 out of 5 stars Dark and creamy
"Chocolat", chocolate in french, is one of the few quality fables filmed in history. Its sweet tooth theme is perfect with the characters' emotions. The old town french town was wonderfully crafted. The fashion designers crafted the costumes perfectly to look 1959. Lasse Hallstrom directed this movie brilliantly. The writers give the movie the extra unique touches that most other today's movies need. They make all the events fit together as one.

Juliette Dimoche was the perfect actress to play Vianne, a chocolate cook whom most of the town calls her "Satan" for no reason. Judi Dench wonderfully portrays a cranky old woman whose fate becomes unexpected. Both deserved their Oscar nominations. Johnny Depp proves that he's improved greatly in the past few years in his role as a river drifter who falls in love with Vianne. Lena Olin plays a battered wife emotionally.

***Important word of caution: One will become very hungry while watching this movie. A small bowl of chocolate will cure the craving and will give the experience an extra touch.

5-0 out of 5 stars Yummy!!...
This movie is so well made, it is sometimes difficult to remember it was filmed in 2001 and not 1959. It's a mouth-watering experience. Being that I own this movie now, and have seen it 3 or 4 times, I always order chocolate-drizzled brownies from a local restaurant while we watch it. Beware, you don't want to see this one without something sweet.

Vianne(Binoche) and her daughter Anouke, travel with the North winds. On this new journey(in 1959), they land in a small town outside France that seems to be stuck in a time warp.

"Tranquility" , says the town mayer, is the "motto" of his small province. Vianne and her Chocolaterie, bright red shoes, sexy clothes, and illegitimate daughter are exactly what the mayor does not welcome into his quiet little town. Epecially, during Lent.

Vianne still manages to stir up love and lust with her ancient chocolate formulas under the watchful eye of the Mayor. "One bite and you are hooked". Her time in the little moral town is interupted with wonderful characters and new friends. I loved Johnny Depp as the gypsy who lands his riverboat alongside the little town, only to cause distubances amongst the chuch-going frenzy of people. He and Juliet Binoche light up the screen and make a sexy match.

The movie, although a dramatic one, has some outrageous funny moments as well. Dame Judi Dench, one of my favorite actresses, plays the landlord of Vianne's Chocolaterie. Every word out of her mouth is sarcastic and somewhat "dirty"(very reminiscent of her small coveted role in Branagh's "Henry V"). I enjoyed her truthfulness and laughed along with her lines.

It doesn't need to be Valentine's Day for someone to enjoy this delicious movie. Why not buy it and package it with a box of chocolates for your sweetheart.

3-0 out of 5 stars Chocolat
I didn't get all the hype around Chocolat that everyone made it seem.The acting and dialogue aren't the problem.The film is just extremely strange which made me kind of like it, but it was to odd and boring at times.It tells a sweet tale and ends well but I just didn't get into it.Binoche does a great job along with much of the cast.The characters are loved and you hurt when they are hurt but it doesn't pay back for the dullness.I just can't sit two hours through a film like that.I get bored and start to doze off especially later at night.Don't get me wrong it has a sort of heart warming tale and great looking chocolate but that doesn't help a movie get a good rating.Johnny Depp and Judi Dench especially do a fabulous job and Dench really was in my opinion a stronger and more believable character.Another thing that is interesting about the film is the setting and it's moral.I didn't like the cloudly dark feeling around the film either.The overall major problems though are the dullness and unusual plot; also it is a bit predictable.I really only reccomend this one if you are very easily impressed by all movies or you may want to check it out if your bored.

It is the late 1950s, but it might as well be the late 1850s in a small French town where everyone behaves as they should (supposedly), and attends church regularly. When a strong North wind blows through town, it brings the vivacious and mysterious Vianne (Juliette Binoche) and her young daughter Anouk (Victoire Thivisol). Vianne is soon the talk of the town: an unwed mother who declines to go to church and opens up a chocolate shop in the midst of Lent. Her good-natured, honorable personality and psychic ability (she can predict what kind of sweets best suit each person, and magically cures each of them of their particular maladies) make her as irresistible as her delectable treats. However, Vianne and her daughter are resented by the conservative mayor, the Comte de Reynaud (Alfred Molina), and by the pious Caroline (Carrie-Anne Moss), who has disowned her own spirited mother (Judi Dench, who plays Vianne's landlady), refusing the elderly woman access to her beloved grandson.This touching fairy tale, based on the novel by Joanne Harris, was filmed on location in rural France. An intelligent, exquisitely filmed fable that deals with the idea of 20th Century paganism rising up against a closed-minded church and a persevering aristocracy, CHOCOLAT is enjoyable, romantic, and entertaining, with affecting performances by both its stars and its supporting actors (Lena Olin and Johnny Depp.)

1-0 out of 5 stars Where's the "E"?
I'm a collector of movies with the word 'Chocolate' in the title (Willy Wonka and the chocolate factory, Like Water For Choclate, Chinese Choclate, Stawberry and Chocolate, etc.) I don't really watch the movies, A.) because I don't want to break the anti-theft seal and reduce the collector's value. B.) because I don't really have the patience for movies. C.) Even if I DID have the patience for movies, I wouldn't have the patience for movies like "Chocolate And Strawberries" and "Like Water for chocolate" because I find them--I don't know--artsy fartsy, I guess you'd call it. The only reason I watched "Chocolat" is because I was intrigued that the director would leave the "e" off Chocolate which everyone knows ends in "e". I found myself dozing through a lot of it because-- like I said-- most movies with chocolate in the title are rather boring and arty. Also my father was always telling us when we were kids that he'd "sell us to the Gypsies" if we didn't behave so it was hard for me to get behind the Jonnny Depp character. I don't know, I just always loved movies with the word chocolate in the title. I don't even really like the word chocolate written on anything else, nor do I like the sound of it spoken aloud. I don't eat chocolate because it gives me hives. I just like the word chocolate in movie titles be they on marquees, video, or dvd boxes; and so I expect to see the full word there without any dropping of the last letter.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of my favorites
This moving is moving and touching. I loved how chocolate bought the town together. ... Read more


3. Mr. Jones
Director: Mike Figgis
list price: $9.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0800126033
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 26795
Average Customer Review: 3.94 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Richard Gere is pretty convincing as a severe manic-depressive whose episodes of euphoria sometimes find him dancing on a two-by-four far above the street or climbing onstage during a symphony performance to "conduct" the orchestra. When the pendulum swings the other way, he is practically catatonic. As a character study, this film by Mike Figgis (Leaving Las Vegas) has its truly compelling moments, but Mr. Jones isn't just a character study. Inexplicably, Figgis ushers in a preposterous romance between this poor fellow and his psychiatrist (Lena Olin), a relationship that is supposed to raise interesting ethical and dramatic issues. All it does is make one wonder what the devil the doctor is thinking of, and why Figgis felt it necessary to go down this lose-lose path. With Delroy Lindo in a nice part as a sympathetic construction worker who tries to help Gere's character. --Tom Keogh ... Read more

Reviews (16)

5-0 out of 5 stars Funny, Charming and Romantic
This is a pretty good movie I thought. Richard Gere plays Mr.Jones a man who suffers from manic depression who has suicidal tendencies. When I saw it I thought this is one of Richard Gere's best performances in a long time. He really did a great job and it is probably the best acting that I've seen him do in quite awhile. Lena Olin is also very good as the psychiatrist who takes an interest in him both as a patient and in the personal sense. I really liked this movie and have added to my movie collection. It is one of those rare movies that you can see just about anytime. Overall is a good movie but if you need more convincing than that then see it beause of Richard Gere he is excellent in this film and that should be reason enough I think.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful movie about a fascinating mental disorder
I am a fan of Richard Gere, and I came across this gem a few years ago by word of mouth. This is a wonderful movie that tackles a thorny mental disorder that is receiving much attention today -- bi-polar, manic depressive disorder. It seems that bi-polar sufferers, despite their having a classified "mental disorder", are often exceptionaly creative, brilliant individuals. Many of our great artists, writers, painters, and musicians were (are) manic.

Mr. Gere does a fantastic job of portraying such a brilliant/unstable manic sufferer, and really brings the disorder, with all of its twists and turns, to life. The story is true to the struggles and realities of manic sufferers, and uses wonderful images of planes crashing overhead, tightrope walks, and grandiose symphonies that metaphorize what it must be link to be manic. The story veers only in its hollywood insistence on the highly unlikely patient-therapist romance.

Five stars for a compelling and original performance by Richard Gere, and a movie that brings to light the fascinating and devestating consequences of manic depression.

3-0 out of 5 stars MUST get past that she's his psychiatrist to enjoy the movie
Gere does an amazing job as Mr. Jones, a man suffering from Manic-Depression. The big flaw in the movie is having he and his psychiatrist involved in a sexual relationship. Why they couldn't have made her just a woman he meets, I don't know. Gere's performance is madly wonderful and his relationship--just pretend she ISN'T his doctor, and it will be o.k.--is full of heat and chemistry. There are some worthy moments between Gere and Olin. This is a nice film

4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent with many funny, touching moments
I'm M-D so take that into consideration. Gere doesn't get enough credit for his acting because he has his own persona like John Wayne and critics can't get over this. His is an outstanding performance, trust me. Lena is my favorite actress to watch and listen to so factor that in also. There are just so many funny scenes in this movie! (And a few oddities; Gere is no carpenter--you hammer nails with your wrist, not your arm.) Fun moments: Gere quoting from Alice In Wonderland while playfully teasing Olin's stock psychologist demeanor, the dialogue in and around the car ride, the table tennis sequence is priceless, in fact all of the dialogue between these two excellent actors is worth watching. Two outstanding dramatic moments are 1)the point of Gere's discovery of Olin's prying into his past(and catching him in a chilling lie)and 2)the subsequent confrontation in the rain; this is Olin at her--or anyone's--best...economical and searing. The only major misfire in this movie is the sexual involvement...should have been platonic but this is easily one of Hollywood's best efforts from the 1990s. I bought it. Aaaahhh, Leeena!! Yum

5-0 out of 5 stars Surprise :)
This movie looks as though it will be another one of those trite, over-simplified stories of a mentally ill man. Surprise! Barring the Hollywood idea that all therapists sleep with their patients, this is a great movie that accurately depicts a serious and complex mental illness. I will say that were a therapist to become romantically involved it would probably be with a bipolar patient because their manic cycle is so exciting and exhilirating after endless lifeless burdened people. Gere is astoundingly accurate in his portrayal of both the manic and depressive cycle of bipolar - impressive. A great movie!!! ... Read more


4. Romeo Is Bleeding
Director: Peter Medak
list price: $14.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 6303102239
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 32262
Average Customer Review: 4.44 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Romeo Is Bleeding is the flawed black comedy from director Peter Medak (The Krays) about a bad cop who slowly gets his due. Gary Oldmanplays yet another quirky character, this time a New York detective on the take. His life goes haywire as he squares off with a Russian hit woman. Despite an intriguing cast and great dialogue, the movie becomes a bit too eccentric forits own good as several actors have nothing to do. The high point is Lena Olin, who finally has a role she can sink her teeth into: her zesty, monstrous assassin, Mona Demarkov, is one of the great movie villains. --Doug Thomas ... Read more

Reviews (32)

5-0 out of 5 stars Keep feeding the hole / Very dark movie
A very dark film about a man's love, greed, and moral dilemma. Gary Oldman plays a crooked cop named Jack Grimaldi who is cheating on his wife, stealing money from the FBI working for the mob giving up key witnesses for a payoff. His character still has emotion and morals in himself which he struggles with and yet is still likeable in a strange way. He gets in a jam when the key witness he supposed to catch he's also supposed to kill. He comes up with a plan to have the russian sick Mona Demarkov fake her death by giving her a fake death certificate for money in return. But this plan back fires. The fight scene with him and Demarkov in the car is intense. By the end he is left to his own devices but makes it out okay in his own way. A story about one man's struggle with greed vs moral. One of my favorite films.

5-0 out of 5 stars Sex, drugs,money and the Journey to Hell
Lena Olin gives a great performance as a cold blooded Russian mob boss. The short version of this movie? Gary Oldman plays a currupt cop who is seduced by Olin. She plays the most devilish character I've ever seen. She convinces the Oldman character to give up his wife,mistress and way of life for cash and some affection. It's a [heck] of a ride. Run out and buy this one. This one can stand up to repeated viewings.

3-0 out of 5 stars THIS MOVIE HAS STYLE AND SUBSTANCE. IN THAT ORDER.
What a tragic waste of such a great cast.

The film's self-absorption with creating high octane noirish melodrama does it in. As though the directors have seen and savoured a lot of neo-noir stuff, which allows them to be sardonic about it.

The end product is shocking, violent, and more often than often simply over-the-top. That covers pretty much all that one could remember it for. Oodles of sexual games, sadistic antics and titillating come-ons. The soundtrack provides sporadic respites.

Which makes for a semi-decent flash in the pan. Problem is, someone lost the recipe.

5-0 out of 5 stars a great movie
critics are often undecided until they see how others react because they are stupid take dracula 92 laughed at at first now those same critics call it the greatest horror movie of our times and say that gary oldman deserved an oscar well here u go again another great acting job by gary oldman whose a crooked cop trying to not let his loved ones findout when hes suddenly in a cat and mouse game with a russian hitman a great movie try it out

5-0 out of 5 stars Romeo Is Bleeding From His Foot: A Compelling Thriller
REVIEW BY NICK EVANGELISTA:
The Female Villian in this film is spooky beyond words. You just have to see her. This film works from start to finish. ... Read more


5. Chocolat
Director: Lasse Hallström
list price: $106.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00005M4JS
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 1513
Average Customer Review: 3.96 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Reviews (311)

5-0 out of 5 stars Dark and creamy
"Chocolat", chocolate in french, is one of the few quality fables filmed in history. Its sweet tooth theme is perfect with the characters' emotions. The old town french town was wonderfully crafted. The fashion designers crafted the costumes perfectly to look 1959. Lasse Hallstrom directed this movie brilliantly. The writers give the movie the extra unique touches that most other today's movies need. They make all the events fit together as one.

Juliette Dimoche was the perfect actress to play Vianne, a chocolate cook whom most of the town calls her "Satan" for no reason. Judi Dench wonderfully portrays a cranky old woman whose fate becomes unexpected. Both deserved their Oscar nominations. Johnny Depp proves that he's improved greatly in the past few years in his role as a river drifter who falls in love with Vianne. Lena Olin plays a battered wife emotionally.

***Important word of caution: One will become very hungry while watching this movie. A small bowl of chocolate will cure the craving and will give the experience an extra touch.

5-0 out of 5 stars Yummy!!...
This movie is so well made, it is sometimes difficult to remember it was filmed in 2001 and not 1959. It's a mouth-watering experience. Being that I own this movie now, and have seen it 3 or 4 times, I always order chocolate-drizzled brownies from a local restaurant while we watch it. Beware, you don't want to see this one without something sweet.

Vianne(Binoche) and her daughter Anouke, travel with the North winds. On this new journey(in 1959), they land in a small town outside France that seems to be stuck in a time warp.

"Tranquility" , says the town mayer, is the "motto" of his small province. Vianne and her Chocolaterie, bright red shoes, sexy clothes, and illegitimate daughter are exactly what the mayor does not welcome into his quiet little town. Epecially, during Lent.

Vianne still manages to stir up love and lust with her ancient chocolate formulas under the watchful eye of the Mayor. "One bite and you are hooked". Her time in the little moral town is interupted with wonderful characters and new friends. I loved Johnny Depp as the gypsy who lands his riverboat alongside the little town, only to cause distubances amongst the chuch-going frenzy of people. He and Juliet Binoche light up the screen and make a sexy match.

The movie, although a dramatic one, has some outrageous funny moments as well. Dame Judi Dench, one of my favorite actresses, plays the landlord of Vianne's Chocolaterie. Every word out of her mouth is sarcastic and somewhat "dirty"(very reminiscent of her small coveted role in Branagh's "Henry V"). I enjoyed her truthfulness and laughed along with her lines.

It doesn't need to be Valentine's Day for someone to enjoy this delicious movie. Why not buy it and package it with a box of chocolates for your sweetheart.

3-0 out of 5 stars Chocolat
I didn't get all the hype around Chocolat that everyone made it seem.The acting and dialogue aren't the problem.The film is just extremely strange which made me kind of like it, but it was to odd and boring at times.It tells a sweet tale and ends well but I just didn't get into it.Binoche does a great job along with much of the cast.The characters are loved and you hurt when they are hurt but it doesn't pay back for the dullness.I just can't sit two hours through a film like that.I get bored and start to doze off especially later at night.Don't get me wrong it has a sort of heart warming tale and great looking chocolate but that doesn't help a movie get a good rating.Johnny Depp and Judi Dench especially do a fabulous job and Dench really was in my opinion a stronger and more believable character.Another thing that is interesting about the film is the setting and it's moral.I didn't like the cloudly dark feeling around the film either.The overall major problems though are the dullness and unusual plot; also it is a bit predictable.I really only reccomend this one if you are very easily impressed by all movies or you may want to check it out if your bored.

It is the late 1950s, but it might as well be the late 1850s in a small French town where everyone behaves as they should (supposedly), and attends church regularly. When a strong North wind blows through town, it brings the vivacious and mysterious Vianne (Juliette Binoche) and her young daughter Anouk (Victoire Thivisol). Vianne is soon the talk of the town: an unwed mother who declines to go to church and opens up a chocolate shop in the midst of Lent. Her good-natured, honorable personality and psychic ability (she can predict what kind of sweets best suit each person, and magically cures each of them of their particular maladies) make her as irresistible as her delectable treats. However, Vianne and her daughter are resented by the conservative mayor, the Comte de Reynaud (Alfred Molina), and by the pious Caroline (Carrie-Anne Moss), who has disowned her own spirited mother (Judi Dench, who plays Vianne's landlady), refusing the elderly woman access to her beloved grandson.This touching fairy tale, based on the novel by Joanne Harris, was filmed on location in rural France. An intelligent, exquisitely filmed fable that deals with the idea of 20th Century paganism rising up against a closed-minded church and a persevering aristocracy, CHOCOLAT is enjoyable, romantic, and entertaining, with affecting performances by both its stars and its supporting actors (Lena Olin and Johnny Depp.)

1-0 out of 5 stars Where's the "E"?
I'm a collector of movies with the word 'Chocolate' in the title (Willy Wonka and the chocolate factory, Like Water For Choclate, Chinese Choclate, Stawberry and Chocolate, etc.) I don't really watch the movies, A.) because I don't want to break the anti-theft seal and reduce the collector's value. B.) because I don't really have the patience for movies. C.) Even if I DID have the patience for movies, I wouldn't have the patience for movies like "Chocolate And Strawberries" and "Like Water for chocolate" because I find them--I don't know--artsy fartsy, I guess you'd call it. The only reason I watched "Chocolat" is because I was intrigued that the director would leave the "e" off Chocolate which everyone knows ends in "e". I found myself dozing through a lot of it because-- like I said-- most movies with chocolate in the title are rather boring and arty. Also my father was always telling us when we were kids that he'd "sell us to the Gypsies" if we didn't behave so it was hard for me to get behind the Jonnny Depp character. I don't know, I just always loved movies with the word chocolate in the title. I don't even really like the word chocolate written on anything else, nor do I like the sound of it spoken aloud. I don't eat chocolate because it gives me hives. I just like the word chocolate in movie titles be they on marquees, video, or dvd boxes; and so I expect to see the full word there without any dropping of the last letter.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of my favorites
This moving is moving and touching. I loved how chocolate bought the town together. ... Read more


6. Queen of the Damned
Director: Michael Rymer
list price: $6.93
our price: $6.93
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Asin: B000069I5V
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 1169
Average Customer Review: 3.11 out of 5 stars
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Description

After years of slumber, the legendary vampire has awakened and found acceptance in a tattooed, pierced and black-clad world. He's a rock star. And his awesome punk-chic sound has echoed around the globe...and stirred to life the fearsome Mother of All Vampires. Based on "The Vampire Chronicles" by Anne Rice, whose work previously came to the screen in "Interview with the Vampire." ... Read more

Reviews (559)

5-0 out of 5 stars Stop complaining!
Ok, i'm not actually 13 but i can't be bothered to sign up. ok, firstly to all the people who feel the need to point out that the movie wasn't perfectly accurate or that Akasha didn't actually look anything like Aaliya and that she should have been black. This is a MOVIE! it's not meant to be a perfect adaptation of Anne Rice's novel, i for one thought that the movie itself was excellent. you can't go into a movie based on a book and expect it to be true to every single detail in the actual story, so deal with it and quit whining.
in my opinion, Queen of the Damned is a great movie just to sit back and watch. sure it'll leave you guessing on occasion but most movies do. It revolves around the vampire Lestat who wakes up during the 1980's after being asleep for what we can only assume to be about 200 years. hearing the music of todays metal bands he decides to join them and cast himself into the open, declaring the the world that he is a vampire and breaking just about every vamp rule doing it. meanwhile, he catches the attention of Jesse, a member of the Talamascan, a paranormal research group or something along those lines. these two have an interesting chemistry in the movie and bring more depth of feeling to Lestats character. unfortunately, Lestat's music awakens Akasha, the mother of all vampires, who wants to kill all of humanity and have Lestat as her king. needless to say this causes some conflict.
i say watch the movie and see what you think of it without believing all the negative things that you may have read, judge it for yourself.

3-0 out of 5 stars Less a sequel and more of a reimagining...
Anyone who is a fan of Rice's "Vampire Chronicles" knows that the author herself oversaw much of the script writing of "Interviw with the Vampire." Thus, aside from a few alterations (the most traumatic being the drastic changes to Armand's character), "Interview" followed as close to it's literary predecessor as most "book movies" can.

Not so with the tricky follow-up, "Queen of the Damned." The movie is, at best, a shaky but fun rock'n'roll vampire movie that really has no true resemblance to its original form. The biggest problem facing this interpretation of The Vampire Chronicles is that it attemps to amalgamate two separate books, "The Vampire Lestat" and "Queen of the Damned," both of which are longer than the book "Interview" on their own. Most of the original story, centered around the origin of the vampires and the legend of the twins Mekare and Maharet, is missing. Stuart Townsend is a rather corny and disappointing replacement for Tom Cruise, who, in my opinion, captured the character of Lestat perfectly. The infusion of a pseudo-love story between Lestat and Jesse is also down-right atrocious, especially considering that it is David Talbot who, in the novels, eventally steals Lesat's undead heart.

Is there anything good about this movie? Aaliyah. She's beautiful, frightening, and the saving grace of this film. The few scenes she has she performs with magnifiscent screen presence and mastery over her skill. Aaliyah as Akasha is, perhaps, the best casting choice in this series since Kirsten Dunst's performance as Claudia in "Interview."

The supporting characters are also, surprisingly, just as wonderful. Marguerite Moreau as Jesse, Paul McGann as David Talbot, and Lena Olin as Maharet are especially entcing. They, along with Aaliyah, rescue what would otherwise be an incredibly disappointing film.

Overall, not as intelligent as "Interview," but most of "Queen of the Damned"'s faults lie in the writing and execution of plot. Compared to the novel and the storyline set down in "The Vampire Lestat" and "Queen of the Damned," this movie is nowhere near the level of seductive, masterful writing that Anne Rice pens in her books and the screenplay of "Interview." However, awesome special effects, sharp editing, and a stellar supporting cast lead by Aaliyah make this movie at least worth giving a chance.

3-0 out of 5 stars Interview vs Queen
I hated Tom Cruise as Lestat. I thought he violated the heart of the character. He played Lestat as a fop which to some degree was the misperception of Louis. (Louis didn't know at the time that Toms family was pretty much wiped out and actually was minor nobility and Louis didn't understand until much later Lestats loneliness nor how Lestat had protected him. He also didn't know then that all of Lestats kills even then were justice and not indiscriminate)Tom Cruise came across as a vicious prankster.

Although Interview was very sumptuous visually, Tom Cruises portrayal ruined the movie for me.
Townsons portrayal was much more accurate, dangerous,danger loving and sexual at the same time. The only thing really amiss in the characterization is that Lestat can be very introspective though never to the degree Louis is(well he came pretty close in M the Devil.) Also I thought the MTV video type action was quite in keeping with the tone of the book.
What was totally frustrating was the ending. The movie departed so much from the book and made such a mess of the characters that you would have a hard time relating to the remaining books if Queen the movie was your only reference.

5-0 out of 5 stars ULTIMATE IN EVERY WAY
This movie didnt really appeal 2 me when i first watched it, i only like the soundtrack, so i kept watchin it again 4 the songs, but the more i saw the more dramatic, entertaining and erotic it became. stuart is a spunk who oozez dark sexiness and so is the late aaliyah who showed just how great she would have was and just how far she could have gone. im totally in luv wit this film but if u arnt into dark eroticness then maybe it aint 4 u.

4-0 out of 5 stars Do not compare...
I felt this movie was a young, refreshing take on the story we all fell in love with. When watching this film, one must keep in mind that as with all films made from actual books, it is up to the director's creative vision as to how they turn out. I noticed quite a few inconsistancies between The Vampire Lestat/Queen of the Damned books and the movie Queen of the Damned. There were many things not only wrongly stated, but left out and improperly portrayed compared to the book. As previously stated, however, we must look at this movie just for what it is...A movie. As a movie, it displayed amazing visual effects, body-moving music that appeals to a much younger crowd than Interview with the Vampire (I adored that movie by the way) and an erapturing cast that had me pulled in every direction their character went. I felt this movie was very well assembled despite the high expectations IWTV set for it, the change in casting and the fact that it was a combination of two books meaning that the director had more material to work with in an even less amount of time. ... Read more


7. Mystery Men
Director: Kinka Usher
list price: $9.98
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Asin: 0783241585
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 8610
Average Customer Review: 3.38 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (192)

5-0 out of 5 stars Stupid--But Hilarious
Ok, perhaps I'm just a little bit more enthusiatic about this movie then the average person. But it really is a humerous movie. Basically, the plot quite simple. The city's favorite superhero, Captain Amazing, is kidnapped by the bad guy, Casanova Frankenstein (as a result of his own publicity stunt). Someone has to save him. It becomes a job for the Mystery Men. The original three, Mr. Furious, the Shovler, and the Blue Raja, recruit Invisible Boy, the Spleen, and the Bowler, and along with the help of a mysterious, legendary hero and a mad scientist, save the city from Casanova. Now Captain Amazing fate...well, I'll let you see it for yourself. It's humerous, though. Sure, it's filled with bad puns (Blue Raja, master of silverware, frequently says things like "i shall fork-give you" or "see you spoon"). But if you aren't expecting some intellegent, award-winning masterpiece, you'll be happy with the movie. One think I don't understand is the PG-13 rating. Perhaps it's for violence, although it's not really that violent. The language is actually relatively tame, considering most movies today. So it really makes a nice movie for pre-teens as well as the older crowd.

4-0 out of 5 stars It ain't Shakespeare --
-- so, just sit back and enjoy it! Original, very funny andentertaining movie about a group of superhero-wannabes who bandtogether to save their city's real, yet commercially-sponsored,superhero (Greg Kinnear) from the clutches of the evil Casanova Frankenstein (Geoffrey Rush) and his Bee Gees-loving henchmen. Led by The Shoveler (William H. Macy)and Mr. Furious (Ben Stiller), the "Mystery Men" -- a misnomer since the group's person with any real powers is a woman (Janeane Garofalo at her sarcastic best)-- team up with a non-lethal weapons expert (Tom Waits) to save their city. Some really funny moments and memorable lines, especially from the Blue Raja (Hank Azaria), the "British" superhero who doesn't have a shred of blue in his outfit, and the "terribly mysterious" Sphnix ("Dances with Wolves'" Wes Studi). I would have loved to seen more development of Invisible Boy's (Kel Martin) character -- no pun intended -- but less of scenes like Spleen's (Paul Reubens) encounter with the skunk. The movie's message is obvious -- we identify with these heroes because they represent who we are. Bottom line -- rent it first, because you'll either love it or hate it. If ya love it, I'm sure Amazon can hook you up. If not, then take comfort that there are worse movies you could've rented. Peace!... END

5-0 out of 5 stars Hysterical and very Art Deco!
This film is really special. It's not some low budget comedy movie but it's a mix between Batman, Seinfeld and Austin Powers, an overall bizarre combination!

I really like the part when Stiller jumps on the badguys' car and tries to scratch the label off! LOL!

If you really want to give yourself a break and indulge in some innocent childish fun you should watch this movie.

3-0 out of 5 stars An Interesting Cast Makes the Film Better
With all honesty we know this film would have been like gum underneath a shoe if it hadn't been for the cast. The story is nonexistent, the dialogue a joke and the plot...well you get the picture. The best part of Mystery Men is how the cast is so colorful they come together to rescue what would otherwise be a disastrous movie. This is not a film you can easily recommend to anyone. It's not a film that's so black and white you can classify it so it's truly up to people's tastes whether they should see it or not. I bought it in 1999 and have watched it about ten times since then. It's a good film to watch if you're bored but I can't say it's so wonderful you should run out and buy it. Just wait to see it on television. You'll enjoy it better when you save your money. It's entertaining even if the story centers around a bunch of funny, yet weird morons.

5-0 out of 5 stars ONE OF THE BEST MOVIES OF 1999
This is one of the best movies ever I could not believe how good
It was It was much better than A Beautiful Mined and Pearl Harbor it is a must buy.

#28 ... Read more


8. After the Rehearsal
Director: Ingmar Bergman
list price: $19.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 6302800463
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 26442
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9. The Unbearable Lightness of Being
Director: Philip Kaufman
list price: $14.95
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Asin: 0792846400
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 1435
Average Customer Review: 4.21 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (68)

5-0 out of 5 stars Exquisite Film Was One of The 1980's Best
Phillip Kaufman reached an artistic pinnacle with this elegant translation of Milan Kundera's book about the 1968 Czechoslovokian crisis. Daniel Day-Lewis plays Tomas, a physician, whose life consists in seducing women, one of whom - an artist Sabina (Lena Olin) - is his sexual and spiritual soulmate. Into his life comes another woman, Terezina, (Juliette Binoche) who demands more of a committment to her than he will permit to any woman including Sabina. His crisis between the carefree artist and the more demanding Terezina mirrors the crisis of Czechoslovokia between the "liberation" of the Prague Spring and the Soviet repression of August 1968 although neither Kauffman nor Kundera crudely makes Sabina represent the one nor Terezina the other. Although these characters may lead apparently amoral lives, the film and novel are all about the moral consequences of their choices. Many American critics, similar to the one who provided the first customer review, feel that Kaufmann has simply made a piece of arty Euro-lite soft-core: intellectual and opaque enough to appeal to the high-brow crowd yet tittliating enough to strike at their lowbrow desires. While I'll concede that this judgement applies well to his follow-up film "Henry and June" (1990), it's grossly unfair to characterize this film as such. The narrative and themes are presented clearly, the cinematography is gorgeous but never in an overly-arty way like in "Henry and June", and his whirling direction keeps this film moving along at an effervescent 172 minutes. The actors - especially Day-Lewis and Olin - do phenomenal work and contribute mightily to bring Kaufmann's evocation of late 1960's Europe to life. In a strange way, the film compliments the book rather than adapts it and stands on its own as a fully realized cinematic work.

People conditioned to see sex on the screen as a smutty joke or leading to painful reprecussions had problems with Kaufmann's playful sensuality here. He compounded their discomfort by coating all these goings-on with a veneer of class, larding the film with literary references and putting Janacek on the soundtrack. And it was easy to dismiss the film as nothing but a bunch of amoral European sophisicates who make love in between bouts of literary discussions or fighting political repression. But the film pulls us into these character's lives in a much more impassioned and alive way than European art cinema does with its deliberate distancing effects and pretentious moralizing (good recent example: Lars Von Trier's interminable "Breaking The Waves"). The film weaves its larger concerns about freedom and responsibility seamlessly through the narration - we can follow the film without knowing all the allusions and references. Some may see the characters and their bed-hopping as shallow and affected but they are forced to deal with their country's politics and history and have to come to terms with their own lives in ways that Euro-fluff soft-core comedies like "French Twist" never have to. Indeed, the moral choices placed on these apparently frivolous characters gives the film its greatness.

In other words, "Unbearable Lightness" has a sophisticated air because it is sophisticated: in its ideas, direction, writing, and acting. Kaufmann's work since has generally disappointed but here he's made one of the richest and intelligent films of the decade.

5-0 out of 5 stars the Prague Spring
If you've read the book you won't be disappointed with this film which doesn't try to convey all Kundera's philosophy but it does retain the spirit of the book. Really the book had what some considered to be too much philosophy in it which got in the way of the story which was not Kunderas main concern anyway as his characters were just actors he used to elucidate his ideas. For Kaufman the real heart of the book was not in its ideas but in the way Tomas and Tereza relate and how that relationship evolves within a very specific historical circumstance, the Russian occupation of Prague in 68. That moment in time is really brought to life both in the cafes as we hear a Czech. version of"Hey Jude" being played and in the streets when the actual invasion takes place at which point hand held black and white cameras are used to give an on the spot feel to it.
When we first meet Tomas(Daniel Day Lewis) he is involved with Sabina(Lena Olin)and what they share is an almost religious belief in the erotic and an equalllly strong belief in retaining their individuality and frredom. On a visit to a spa in the country to perform an operation however Tomas comes across the innocent waitress Tereza(Juliette Binoche) and his life after that is never quite the same. Sabina resents the intrusion at first but soon she and Tereza are friends, in fact the moment they become friends on a rainy afternoon taking pictures of each other is one of the best scenes in the movie. A lot is made of the historical happenings and how they affect each characters personal life. I found it a little hard to believe that they would willingly return to Prague under communist rule after they had made their escape to Zurich but you may feel differently. The use of the terms "lightness" and "weight" that so often appeared in the book always seemed to my ears rather vague, the movie gratefully only employs those terms on rare occasion. The last scenes in the countryside are some of the most beautiful cinematography I have seen, quite memorable images evoking the really valuable things in life.
Certainly one of the best adaptations of a novel.

1-0 out of 5 stars Please read Kundera's book instead
Kundera's novel The Unbearable Lightness of Being is absolutely amazing, and this film falls so far short of it. Despite my almost-immediate dislike of the film, I actually stuck it out and watched the entire thing (hoping that Daniel Day-Lewis could somehow salvage it or that the film might actually express some idea from Kundera's book). But I was sorely disappointed.

But please read Kundera's novel, because it is wonderful. I can't help but think that Kundera was referring to this film when he wrote in his later novel Immortality: "The present era grabs everything that was ever written in order to transform it into films, TV programs, or cartoons. What is essential in a novel is precisely what can only be expressed in a novel, and so every adaptation contains nothing but the nonessential."

3-0 out of 5 stars A nice historical fiction movie
This review is for the Criterion Collection DVD edition of the film.

This movie is set against the backround of the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in the 1960's It is about a doctor who has physical relationships with many different women. He then meets a woman whom he wants to pursue a romantic and emotional with. She wants him to be monogamous. The ensuing results are quite original.

The film is also a good history lesson about the Soviet invasion but is not appropriate for school age children. The film has a well deserved R rating for scenes of nudity and sex which I think were unnecessary and prevent a wider range of audience from seeing the film. I greatly hope that the producers would offer a version of the film witht he nude and sex scenes cut so that it could be shown in history classes in school.

There is also a scene that Beatles fans may like where the song "Hey Jude" is sung in the Czech language. It also has many pieces of music by Czech composer, Leos Janacek.

The DVD also has audio commentary by the director Philip Kauffman, Editor, Walter Murch, Co writer John Carrière, and Actress Lena Olin.

4-0 out of 5 stars beautiful
This film, is one of the best screenplays I have ever seen (and I seen many). I had read the book before, and the film is just an extension of the beautiful superiority of the book.
I particulary enjoyed the mixture of 'real' footage of the occupation of Praque and the film footage. Very well done.
The reason I've only given this film 4 stars is because it didn't have a specific secene which I was looking forward to seeing.
But the reast of the film definatly makes up for it.
And by the way... the director is the director of Quills. ... Read more


10. Hollywood Homicide
Director: Ron Shelton
list price: $9.95
our price: $9.95
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Asin: B0000B1OGM
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 3742
Average Customer Review: 2.68 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (105)

3-0 out of 5 stars NOT REALLY A COMEDY, BUT A LIGHT-HEARTED ROMP THRU COP LIFE
Harrison ford and Josh Hartnett play homicide detectives investigating the quadruple murder of an up-and-coming rap group. Yet, no, don't go in expecting a nailbiting police procedural.

The film is strewn with several cliches but I fail to see why reviewers tend to compare it to "Lethal Weapon" and "Rush Hour." The partners are not mismatched, not constantly annoying each other , and it is filled with interesting characters that make up for the generic storytelling.

Ford's character for instance moonlights as a real-estate agent who, despite not having sold a house in some time, dabbles in the business because being a cop can't pay the bills. Hartnetts character takes yoga lessons, in the process meeting women. This makes even the most generic scenes seem fresh and new.

So, when watching an otherwise predictable car chase, you will find yourself worrying more about the characters reactions than the actual car chase itself. This is a film that relies more on characters than action and eye-candy. You will probably wear a slight grin on your face when Hartnett re-enacts "A Streetcar Named Desire" on the balcony of a Beverly Hills condo, or when Ford closes a real estate deal on his cell phone in the middle of an intense gunfight.

Yes, the story is stale, but the characters are not, and that is probably the point. "Hollywood Homicide" puts itself a step above other cop films by offering characters (or caricatures thereof) that we can actually care for.

3-0 out of 5 stars ok movie/ nothing great
Hollywood Homicide is a decent movie.
nothing great.

plot is ok, predictable.

but good entertainment.

3-0 out of 5 stars BUM RAP
HOLLYWOOD HOMICIDE plays like a Starsky and Hutch episode, that might air on Showtime since it's violent and has some nudity. Harrison Ford is a LAPD cop who moonlights as a real estate broker; Josh Hartnett is his young partner, who wants to be an actor and teaches some kind of yoga on the side. Together they investigate the execution style slaying of a rap group named H20 Slick, a group who was planning on getting out of their contract with a sleazy record producer, played by Isaiah Washington (True Crime, Ghost Ship). Add Bruce Greenwood (Below) as an IA cop who's trying to nail Ford due to an old vendetta; Gladys Knight as the mother of an eyewitness to the crime; Lena Olin as Ford's psychic radio star girlfriend; Lou Diamond Phillips as a male hooker undercover cop; Martin Landau as a hasbeen director; Master P as a record producer out to buy the perfect house; cameos by Robert Wagner and Eric Idle---you get the picture.
Ford and Hartnett have a good rapport and some of their dialogue is hilarious, but the movie is so disoriented and implausible, it leaves you wanting more...of what, I'm not sure, but something's missing.
Not a bad time passer.

2-0 out of 5 stars Homicide's DOA
Harrison Ford and Josh Hartnett star in "Hollywood Homicide", an action comedy that has a lot to say about the sillieness of buddy-cop movies. Ford and Hartnett are partners assigned to investigate a nightclub massacre. The problem is that neither one of them really want to be cops; Ford has a real estate buissness on the side and Hartnett is an actor off duty. I am sorry to say that there are no stand out performances here, which is sorry to say considering the outstanding cast involoved. Ford and Hartnett are usually very good, but here they are just, well, blah. Lina Olin is just kind of there in a very rediculos subplot involving her psycic powers. Isaiah Washington, Lolita Davidovitch, Keith David, and Matrin Landau are all underused in their bit roles. The problem is that it wants to be a comedy, but it isn't very funny, too many cliches. It isn't very action packed, either. The only real action piece is at the end, but it is too long, and it just dosn't seem to have any punch to it. I was very disappointed, I am truelly sorry to say. If you can find it on TV, that would be best. All I can say in it's defense is that It's biggest problem is that it feels like no one was really trying, it is just a lazy movie all the way through. It's only defense is I have seen much worst.

1-0 out of 5 stars hollywood waste of time and talent
harrison ford is playing a over the hill grandfather of a cop in his 60's moon lighting as a realestate salesman and the handsome josh harnett playing the doof partner.

get a real storey with substance, harrison ford does have a fan base, but stay away from the hip hop element or sound track, it just annoys people seeing that in a theatre.

harrison ford get a face lift, ya look like a worn out old man ! ... Read more


11. The Ninth Gate
Director: Roman Polanski
list price: $9.98
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Asin: 6305909326
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 7681
Average Customer Review: 3.16 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (264)

3-0 out of 5 stars Gate to the Kingdom of Disillusion
First, a few reasons why I bothered to see this movie:

1. Roman Polanski is one of my favorite directors. 2. The theatrical/tv trailer looked intense 3. Interesting subject matter (occult). 4. French actress/wife of Polanski Emanuelle Seigner 5. Emanuelle Seigner 6. Last but not least, Emanuelle Seigner

Now, a few reasons why I was left disappointed:

1. The ending 2. The ending 3. ...and the ending.

This film was excellent for it's spectacular cinematography and various global locations. The plot and story itself were easy to comprehend . The mood, setting, atmosphere was very creepy and at times Gothic. Yet, it was not enough to frighten or thrill. As for the climax, maybe some of us are lazy and lack imagination to draw conclusions;However, I still wanted to know what really happened to Johnny Depp's character Corso at the end ( and have it explained to me by the director and actors) The ending was too ambiguous and symbolic (though the movie was filled with symbols figuratively and visually). As for Emanuelle Seigner, she is one underrated talented beauty only known for her modeling and acting in Europe. I wanted to know more about her character; Was she one of Satan's dominions or Satan himself ? She was definitely not heavensent(only to the eyes)...

This movie gets 3 stars because it left me with more questions than answers; No closure whatsoever...and leaving the ending for personal or individual interpretation doesn't count Mr. Polanski

1-0 out of 5 stars The Worst Movie I Ever Viewed
I made the mistake of seeing this in the theatre...DO NOT BUY THIS MOVIE! It is far and away the most disappointing movie experience of my like.

1-0 out of 5 stars 2 hours of my life I wont get back.
Your time and money would be better spent if you were to commmit these rescources to the study of your own ass!

5-0 out of 5 stars not a FLOP by any means
I'm currently watching the TRIO channel's disgusting butchery of this film as apart of their "month of flops" promotion. The only FLOP I see is their editing of essential footage. They have condensed the movie to under 2 hours...and have subsequently made certain scenes appear as "stupid" (for lack of a better word).

This movie grew on me. I was not intially impressed, but after viewing it with friends and family, I have become a big fan of its haunting yet calming persona. The subject matter deals with Satanic idolatry, but the movie is in no way "goth". It's the kind of film you could watch with your children and not worry about them being scarred for life.

As far as comedy, Johnny Depp's bad luck with women is hilarious. His facial expressions (even while killing "the albino") are a hoot.

As for the ending, after many viewings I believe Depp went to hell where he was praised for being the human father of the anti-Christ. All along, the lady in the sneakers was Satan.

4-0 out of 5 stars YES, THE END IS A GYP. OTHERWISE A HAUNTING THRILLER!
The absolutely creepy yet sublime direction of this Polanski endeavour makes it a worthwhile watch. Almost Kubrick-like, wide angle shots and lax-paced screenplay and all.

I was riveted. Riveted, that is, right until the somewhat confusing fire and cobblestone ending, which admittedly leaves you with very little to chew on and instead of appearing clever and ambiguous, as it perhaps wanted to, mostly comes off as complacent.

Yet, the point of a mystery noirish film is to keep you intrigued through out, and the movie manages to do that quite successfully. The sleuthing process is almost done in tandem with the audience, which is fun. Johnny Depp is immaculate in his potrayal of a detached book detective and all others contribute richly. The music is tacky in bits, but not too distracting.

Recommended rental for haunting cinematography of Portugal and France, and a fabulously captivating atmosphere in general. ... Read more


12. Havana
Director: Sydney Pollack
list price: $9.98
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Asin: 6302000963
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 14518
Average Customer Review: 4.31 out of 5 stars
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When Havana was released in 1990, a lot of reviewers unfavorably compared it to Casablanca, and those comparisons (in addition to audience indifference) turned the film into a box-office disaster. It deserved a better fate, because, while this is certainly no masterpiece, it's an intelligent and lavishly produced film about a chapter of history--the final days of Cuba under the collapsing Batista regime--that remains largely unfamiliar to the American mainstream. It's a compelling political backdrop for the story of a high-stakes gambler (Robert Redford) who comes to Cuba seeking the big score in poker games, following his expectation that high rollers will bet wildly as the Cuban government crashes around their heads. In Havana, Redford meets the wife (Lena Olin) of a Communist revolutionary (Raul Julia) with ties to Fidel Castro, and their attraction becomes powerfully mutual after her husband is presumed killed by Cuban police. What follows, as Cuba falls and Redford's character is forced into a crisis of conscience, is a mini-epic love story with tragic overtones, handled with great skill (albeit lagging pace) by longtime Redford collaborator Sydney Pollack. True, it's not nearly as memorable as Casablanca, but this is a worthwhile film, especially if you're interested in the political upheavals in pre-Castro Cuba. --Jeff Shannon ... Read more

Reviews (13)

4-0 out of 5 stars A moving love story with beautiful performances
I was really surprised that this film film did so bad at the box office. I mean it gave a chance to Robert Redford to not play Robert Redford again. As Siskel (god bless him) and Ebert said this film is a burried treasure. It has a great story and becautiful sceneries and performances. There was a lot of chemistry between Redford and Olin and they are good together. For those who complained about lack of chemistry watch Horse Whisperer with Redford. Now, that is a film with no chemistry among leads. I particulary enjoyed the last scene when Redford gets out of his car in front of the beach and looks at horizon hoping for Bobby to show up. But he knows she is not coming. It was an unjustice not to give Raul Julia credit. I don't why they did that. But he was very good. I think in time this film will be rediscovered. Frankly, I enjoyed this much better than Out of Africa which I found slow and non involving.

4-0 out of 5 stars Bad Reputation Undeserved.
Many will claim that Sydney Pollack and Robert Redford were on auto-pilot while making this film. Based on their previous collaborative efforts, the well-received Three Days of the Condor, The Way We Were, The Electric Horseman, and Out of Africa, which swept the Academy Awards, people wanted to see their movies. They could make any movie they wanted. They made Havana, and NOBODY wanted to see it.

Maybe Pollack, brilliant in his own right, set his watch according to Redford's schedule at this time, and history shows that, subsequent to Havana, and its box office failure Sydney Pollack basically quit directing. His influence in film is still served, and may be better served as a producer, witness Sliding Doors, Sense and Sensibility, Fabulous Baker Boys, and Searching For Bobby Fischer, all of which he helped bring to the screen.

But, back to the matter at hand-Redford as a gambler, Lena Olin, his distraction (and what a distraction)--the film feels good, looks good, and gives us some perspective on Cuba in the waning hours of Batista.

Olin (pre-Romeo is Bleeding, post Unbearable Lightness of Being) is properly introduced to American audiences, and is not inappropriate as leading lady to one of Hollywood's leading stars, Redford, who, even on auto-pilot, delivers a strong, engaging performance.

I understand this film was heavily maligned at release, and failed dismally at the box office, but I enjoyed it. It is a beautiful film to watch with attractive leads-and that alone stands it well ahead of many of the alternatives out there today.

5-0 out of 5 stars Cuba Libre.
In a highball glass, pour 1.5 - 2 oz rum over ice cubes, add the juice of 1/2 lime and fill up with coke.

That's the recipe for the drink political correctness has renamed "Rum and Coke," but which most of us also still know by its original name, Cuba Libre. And the cocktail invented just over 100 years ago to celebrate Cuba's freedom from Spain perfectly epitomizes the state of the island republic's society towards the late 1950s' end of the Batista regime: A sweet, tangy, intoxicating Caribbean foundation, mixed with the classical American exports; from Coke, cars and cigarettes to expatriates and their money ... except, alas, for the greatest thing the U.S. might have brought to Cuba, assistance in establishing democracy. Instead, during Batista's 30-year dictatorship, Cuba - and particularly Havana - became the Latin Las Vegas, a place where the action was on, the stakes were high, flesh was cheap, gambling was legal (and largely controlled by American mobster Meyer Lansky) and the party never ended.

Until, beset by the revolutionary movement led by a certain Fidel Castro, Batista fled the country in the early morning hours of January 1, 1959. And suddenly the party was over.

The last days of Batista's regime are the backdrop for 1990's "Havana," which sees high-stakes poker ace Jack Weil (Robert Redford) in Cuba for the game of his life. He has played "every elks' club and moose hole in America" and remembers every hand of every game, he tells Lansky's right-hand man Joe Volpi (Alan Arkin). Now he wants a shot at the big one - playing with guys who don't even think how much they're playing for. And he knows that the revolutionary fever in the air has the same effect on gamblers as a potent aphrodisiac on those in pursuit of Havana's other main commodity; so in Jack's eyes, now's the time or never. Yet, although liberally indulging in all of Havana's pleasures, he couldn't care less about Cuban politics. All he thinks he needs to know is who's in charge, and how to stay out of trouble.

But then he meets Roberta Duran (Lena Olin at the top of her game), the wife of a wealthy physician aligned with Castro. (Raul Julia who, despite a stellar performance, chose to remain uncredited, reportedly because he didn't receive first billing alongside Redford - a great pity, and a disservice to himself.) Now Jack falls in love, badly enough to go against his life's entire philosophy to try and save Roberta from Batista's henchmen after her husband has been arrested and supposedly killed, and she questioned and tortured by the secret police. And now Jack really does get to play the game of his life - except that now it's no longer about cards at all; and when Volpi at last does put together the big game he has lobbied for, Jack is no longer even in attendance. Instead, he's out putting his personal interests at stake for Roberta.

"Havana" was Robert Redford's and director Sydney Pollack's seventh cooperation after "This Property Is Condemned" (1966), "Jeremiah Johnson" (1972), "The Way We Were" (1973), "Three Days of the Condor" (1975), "The Electric Horseman" (1979) and "Out of Africa" (1985); and it shows, for better and for worse. At his best, Redford delivers magically, whether dealing cards at a poker table surrounded by marks and beautiful women, or arguing with Roberta about her stake in the revolution, or letting her captured husband know how he has enjoyed being with Roberta; realizing jealousy's potency in stirring a betrayed, hot-blooded husband's fighting spirit, after Jack has decided, against all self-interest, to free and reunite him with her. But there are those few occasional lines, those few mannerisms that smack of just a pinch too much routine; and why an exchange like "Were you waiting for me?" - "All my life" didn't make Redford's and Pollack's usually unfailing kitsch-o-meters go into overtilt, I honestly don't understand. (Besides, whoever had the brilliant idea of making Redford wear a Hawaii shirt in the closing scene should be flogged and hung out to dry in a Hawaii shirt himself. Eeeewwww ...)

Undeservedly, "Havana" flopped at the box office and only later began picking up audience favors. This is primarily blamed on its unfair (and shallow) initial comparison to "Casablanca," which I don't think it ever set out to replicate; in addition to its somewhat two-dimensional political outlook (and here I agree). Redford himself has also been quoted commenting on his suddenly prominent facial lines, an effect only underscored by the fact that he had last been seen on the big screen four years earlier in "Legal Eagles" with decidedly lesser visible lines. But come on, folks - the man was over fifty when he made "Havana" ... have you ever wondered to what extent you've internalized Hollywood's youth addiction if you did *not* expect his age to start showing at some point? Frankly, I rather think it's admirable if an actor whose looks have always factored highly in his appeal makes a point in going against the expectation that he submit to plastic surgery, *and* then continues to make his mark on society and the movie business regardless.

So forget "Havana"'s bad rep. This is a beautifully shot, superbly edited, sumptuous drama (a particular delight editing-wise are the scenes setting Jack's forays into Havana's night life against the city's less glamorous realities); part romance, part political thriller; magnificently scored by Dave Grusin and endowed with all of Pollack's and production designer Terence Marsh's known attention to detail, whose authenticity even "spooked" Cuban-born Tomas Milian, (who plays secret police commander Menocal), as Milian says in the DVD's featurette - and this although for obvious reasons the entire set had to be reconstructed in the Dominican Republic. It may not be one of the multiple Oscar-winning Redford-Pollack collaborations ... but overall it's still head and shoulders above many another production I'll refrain from naming here.

2-0 out of 5 stars Disapointing
It could have been a good one. But everything seems to be out of focus. The love story does not work between Redford and Lena Olin, the story is too simplistic: revolutionaries are good and the Batista regime is evil. What a way to learn some of your neighbor's history! Of course there's more than that.
Simplifying the views may be good for propaganda effects but as for art or even for plain entertainment you need to give us something better. We may not know or care about Cuba's recent history but we know when the teacher is playing sides.
I don't understand how a good director like Pollack can sell himself -and his reputation- so cheap to the Holywood-propaganda-industry.

4-0 out of 5 stars Loved it then, love it now
I absolutely loved this film when it was first released in 1990. I thought it was terribly underrated, and was disappointed when I learned that it got some negative reviews. The performances by Redford and Olin were understated and wonderful. I thought they worked well together. The music alone is worth the price of admission. I purchased the sound track on cassette, and played it to death. Today this movie was shown on AMC and I, once again, was mesmerized by all of it. Now Olin is gaining some fame again on the TV show,"Alias" as Jenifer Garner's mother. She is as beautiful as ever. Havana is a great flick-----buy it and see for yourself!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ... Read more


13. Polish Wedding
Director: Theresa Connelly
list price: $5.98
our price: $5.98
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Asin: 6305265682
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 32059
Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (39)

4-0 out of 5 stars I didn't see the beginning....
... and, in fact, I didn't even know the name until I came here and looked this movie up for reference to see its name. But, I watched it just last week on HBO, and I was absolutely riveted. I was flipping channels, and I ended up watching the entire thing standing up in my living room!
I have read the other reviews here, but I will say this movie captured my imagination and I found the portrayals by Lena Olin and Gabriel Byrne to be particularly stirring. Claire Danes was fine in a supporting role, but it was the tension and love between her parents which really moved me.
Perhaps my imagination was captured so readily because my family immigrated from Poland some 70 years ago, and I wanted to see this portrayal of Polish life and community. But what stayed with me was the breathless tension between Jadzia and her husband, the power this beautiful woman had over him, the confusion and strength in his silence, the seeming clumsiness of her values, their stumbling around their own lives and loves. There is something quite endearing about the wanton way in which they live and love.
It may not change the world, but this movie certainly transported me for an afternoon.
Highly recommended.

1-0 out of 5 stars PATHETHIC!!!!... not even worth this one star
Being of Polish background I though that buying this movie was a good idea. I WAS WRONG!!! After watching this movie, my entire family and I were speechless, offended and degraded. I am positive that the director of this move KNEW NOTHING, NOTHIG AT ALL about the Polish culture and the Polish people. After watching the movie, I threw it in the garbage... where it belonged right from the beginning!!!

5-0 out of 5 stars Hello Hamtramck!
I love this movie, mainly because the city that it is set in, Hamtramck, is where my mother and grandparents were born. Being 3rd generation Polish-American in Detroit, I can really relate to this movie, Polish mothers tend to be the final word in the family, much like Lena Olin's character in the movie. Over all it's a very good movie, touching and funny, especially when Lena Olin and her four sons go after the boy who impregnated Hala (Claire Danes) with hockey sticks. It was very touching to see the church featured in the movie, St. Florian's, because it has long been an integral part of my family. A fantastic movie, I would recommend it to anyone who wants a good movie that is NOT a "chick-flick" but one of those movies that makes you feel better about life in the long run.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great Movie ...A few dumb reviews
I tend to miss the very beginning and the end of this movie, nevertheless it's a good movie. I decided to browse the reviews on it to see if I'm truely missing out on a great ending. I was surprised to see a few reviews that were pointless. Critizing the setting and the background of the story as being unbelievable, threw me way off. Apparently, there's a few things that those reviewers should know in order to better appreciate this movie.

1. In the Midwest (Detroit is considered a part of the midwest)there are cities that are still segragated (for lack of a better word) to an extend based on ethnic background. People are born, live and die without ever living outside the 2 mile radius of their neighborehoods.
2. 5th-7th generation Polish-Americans tend not to have a distinct stereotypical cartoony accent.
3. People still hang their laundry out to dry. Where do you think "Downy" got 'Summer Breeze" from?
4. Ethnic movies like this one and " My Big, Fat Greek Wedding" are usually made by people of that ethnic background. There is a difference regarding poking fun at your own background, your ethnic background, racial stereotypes, and racial truths. Both of these movies seem to be poking fun at life in general from their observation. You have to be very small minded to think that any ethnic movie represents an entire race. If you felt that these movies are stereotypes, I suppose you might say the same thing about "The Joy Luck Club" or "Soul Food".

5. And lastly, why do I feel the need to make these points? I'm from the Midwest and I noticed the reviewers who made those un-supported critisms are from the Soutn and West coast and I'm guessing have never lived in the Midwest. Polish Wedding holds true to a realistic setting that I can compare to the Polish-American neighborhoods of Milwaukee, WI, from which I was born and raised.

1-0 out of 5 stars good acting fails to overcome flawed concept
Lena Olin does an especially good job as the mother, as does Claire Danes as the daughter, in this heavily flawed movie with "art film" ambitions. Set in Hamtramck, the one-time Polish enclave in Detroit, the movie harkens back to decades ago although it is mistakenly set in the present.

Although the plot is subtle enough, with not-everything-spelled out, the many factual errors detract considerably from the viewer's experience. (Who leaves laundry outside on the line all night in humid southeastern Michigan? And how many parishes, no matter how ethnically traditional, still hold processions of the Virgin Mary? For that matter, what priest would choose as Mary's representative, an aimless high school dropout whose mother is the local sleep-around? And the Polish-Americans of Hamtramck, while proudly descended from old-country emigrant ancestors of decades ago, speak unaccented English, with the rare exception of a few octogenarian-plus grandmas.) Sorry, my own "suspension-of-disbelief" just doesn't stretch that far!

The competent acting performances, turned in by the entire cast, are wasted in this film which has many unintentional bits of humor (see above). The intentional bits of humor---the mother and brothers and father chasing with hockey sticks after the young policeman who impregnated the family's daughter--are just not funny enough to redeem this film. ... Read more


14. Enemies, A Love Story
Director: Paul Mazursky
list price: $9.99
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Asin: 6301682998
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 39008
Average Customer Review: 2.43 out of 5 stars
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Nobel laureate Isaac Bashevis Singer wrote often about despair and redemption, the subjects of his novel on which this Paul Mazursky film is based. Ron Silver plays a Holocaust survivor who has moved to America and married the Polish gentile who hid him from the Nazis. An intellectual, he is not satisfied with this simple peasant woman and so he has an affair with a sultry émigré (Lena Olin). His life is then made more complicated by the reappearance of his wife from the old country (Anjelica Huston), who he thought had died in the Nazi death camps. Mazursky and his terrific cast find the pain, irony, and sad humor in this material, capturing Singer's tone and bringing it to life. --Marshall Fine ... Read more

Reviews (7)

4-0 out of 5 stars grief, love, forgiveness
I saw this movie after reading Steven Pinker's non-fiction book on socio-biology, "The Blank Slate." Pinker recommended this movie based on a tale by Isaac Bashevis Singer, for its study of the human condition, ripe with irony, seasoned with despair, love and forgiveness.

The casting is excellent, and the acting is first-rate from beginning to end. Male viewers will wonder how Herman Broder gets so lucky, having three different but highly appealing women in love with him. Tidily, the three women are from three boroughs of New York City, a typical Singer touch, and the movie includes a scene where Broder stands at the subway entrances deciding which direction to take.

Highly recommended.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great film, awful DVD
I concur with other viewers who found the DVD unacceptable in sound quality. Oddly enough, it gets excellent reviews as a DVD transfer. They must have had a different copy. But the film itself remains as fresh and exciting as when it first was issued. Mazursky captures the spirit (if not all the nuances) of I. B. Singer's marvelous novel about Holocaust survivors in New York in the 1950s. None of the reviewers here seem either to have read the book or really understood the point of the film -- Herman Broder, ghost writer, who was hidden during the war by the Polish servant who saved him and marries her (Jadwiga), finds passion with Masha, who survived the camps with her mother (Eros and Thanatos certainly go together here), and discovers his first wife (Tamara), who was shot with her children by the Einsatzgruppen and left for dead, is actually alive. Each represents a different facet of the catastrophe, conveniently divided among the New York boroughs. Anyone, by the way, who has read anything of Singer, including this book, would recognize his very typical take on male sexuality. I would advise viewers to see this film (or see it again) and think more deeply about what's at stake in this ironic tragicomedy than look for mindless and shallow entertainment.

2-0 out of 5 stars Great movie. Lousy soundtrack remaster. Disappointing!!
I have to concur with another posted review. Played a rented DVD on my home 2-speaker system. The Dolby 5.1 soundtrack is flat, muffled, and during several outdoor scenes, features a digital "howling" harmonic from background sound FX (street traffic, maybe?). It made the film difficult to listen to, and disappointing. The laserdisc release featured "Dolby Surround" audio (now called Dolby 2.0), which would indicate that someone messed this new release up in the transfer. Shameful.

4-0 out of 5 stars Enemies - a Love Story
I have recently bought the video of this film and very much enjoyed it. The acting, direction, music and photography were all excellent. However, I do have one gripe and that is the sound quality. I had to re-run the tape several times to find out what the actors were saying. I don't know whether it's a sound fault or the actors mumbling. Whichever, it marred the film for me. I do love the film, though, and have played it several times.

1-0 out of 5 stars Enemies : A Warner Bros. Ripoff
I don't know about anyone else but I bought this dvd having seen it when it was first in theatres and remember it being enjoyable. The story of a Jewish immigrant in New York who finds himself either married or invovled with three different women at the same time. So far so good but here's where my problem comes in. I put in the dvd ready to enjoy myself and I couldn't hear what was going on. The sound quality on this pressing was TERRIBLE! The music and dialogue kept going in and out and was muffled so bad that I didn't even get a chance to see 10 minutes of the movie. It says it was in dolby digital stereo and I have a surround sound system and I still couldn't hear without turning the volume way up and it still was muffled. I returned the movie and didn't bother getting another fearing they were all pressed the same way. Did anyone else run into this problem or did I just get a bad copy... ... Read more


15. Ninth Gate (D Theater High Definition Video)
Director: Roman Polanski
list price: $34.98
our price: $34.98
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Asin: B0000JCFQ8
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 63367
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16. The United States of Leland
Director: Matthew Ryan Hoge
list price: $29.99
our price: $29.99
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Asin: B0002I837C
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 49376
Average Customer Review: 4.17 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars Ryan Gosling will compete with Johnny Depp
I predict that the 2005 Oscar race will invovle at leats these 3 men- Johnny Depp for Finding Neverland ( just by speculation), Jamie Foxx for Ray and Ryan Gosling for USoL. Now since nobody gives johnny depp the credit he deserves (Edward Scissorhands, Benny and Joon) he won't win because of the fact that ray charles has just since passed and the movie will be sooooo touchy-feely that the academy wont resist, but Gosling should win. His performance captivated me and when i left the theater, i had myself (a die-hard Johnny Depp fan of over10 years) questioning whether i should start being more of a Gosling fan. He should have won for the Believer, too. If you like johnny depp, you will like the quirkiness of Gosling and his baby-face!

5-0 out of 5 stars Kevin Spacey's Sequel to American Beauty
I have rarely witnessed such depth of thought and feeling in an American film. This one made every other American film I have seen recently seem superficial. Kevin Spacey seems to be on the brink of being the premier artistic commentator on suburban family values. What a fresh approach to try to explore the deep thread of unhappiness within the American Dream. Teenage Leland's motivation for killing the unfortunate child (for whom he has the greatest sympathy)is not anger, which is cable TV's perpetual answer, but sadness, sadness at the human condition. This movie puts me into Dostoyevsky's world and I never expected this in American film. Every character is sympathetic because their real and not conventional feelings are revealed. I have not seen such astonishing humanity in a long time, if ever. Maybe in Boys Don't Cry but this film does not have the lurid overtones, just the quiet but overwhelming feel of humanity denied in a materialistic American culture.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Work
Contrary to what any random self-proclaimed person of thought would try to spout, this film is glorious. It's full of various thoughts drawn together, and it provides a unique story that is provoking. To begin to summarize the story wouldn't do it justice, at least not in my words. Highly recommended, from the same producer of Requiem for A Dream and Waking Life.

Various people claim to be offended by the movie, though if one can be truly morally offended by a movie, they clearly have more significant issues to deal with.(... ) And any number of therapists my try to refute various pointsi n the film, but they, as many others, apparently missed the train en route to receiving their little ol' diplomas.

Top notch film, definitely worth seeing.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent movie
I enjoyed this film. While some parts of the film are a bit slow, the cast comes together wonderfully. I think the mis-reviews don't understand that the dullness in some of the characters is not bad acting, its the awe from the crime. Spacey managed to pull off a cute performance, and even, are you ready for this? Chris Klein had his best performance yet. That is a directing accomplishment on its own. Best movie I've seen so far this year, and can't wait for the DVD.

1-0 out of 5 stars Lame, contrived, and stupid - I'd give this turkey 0 stars
Watching The United States of Leland tonight, I was still hanging on by the tiniest thread at the halfway point in the movie. Sure, I hated what I was seeing, despised every hoity-toity, derivative word of dialogue, and wished I could slap the puppy-dog grin off actor Ryan Gosling's tortured little face, BUT I had nothing better to do at 10:20 on a Friday night. That is, I was hanging on by a thread until it sunk in what a hilarious movie it really was...and then the laughter came. And it wouldn't stop. I would look up on the screen, see two characters about whom I cared nothing, listen to their angry-13-year-old girl dialogue (this movie was written by a grown man, mind you) and then torrents of snickers started flowing. And kept flowing. Ladies and gentlemen, The United States of Leland stands as the first movie where I've had to leave the theater to get myself together - and it's a drama about a senseless murder and the lives that it affects.

Ryan Gosling has the kind of fiery intensity inside of him that can either be brought to brilliant fruition or squandered like there's no tomorrow, and it becomes very obvious within the first moments of Leland that the latter will be the case. Every comment, every gesture, every action that his title character makes stems back to this wounded puppy dog look that he plasters on like it's something profound. He stares out windows, he looks deep into a fishtank, the dude contemplates everything - but what comes out in voice-overs that guide the film is the drivel of an angsty teenager who hides under his bed and scribbles emo lyrics into a journal. The main problem with the main character of the film here is that this dude does some serious stuff - murdering a retarded child - and some kind of understanding of him (I don't ask for much) is really needed to ground the film. Writer/director Matthew Ryan Hoge, though, makes him this cypher who tells his maudlin, Dawson's Creeki-esque story to a little journal while he's incarcerated. A particularly funny little gem of bad screenwriting is the first thing he pens: "I know what they want from me."

And we're supposed to care about the people in this movie who walk in and out of it like just what they are: badly written characters. There's the retarded kid who gets about 10 seconds of screen time, so who really cares that he's dead? Then there's Leland's girlfriend, played by Jena Malone, who battles a heroin addiction and likes having boys whisper "Everything's going to be okay" into her ear. Oh, and Kevin Spacey pops in for a cute little cameo as a jerk famous writer (who happens to be Leland's father). Then there's Don Cheadle, who plays a teacher in the jail who takes a selfish interest in Leland, therefore giving him the opportunity to spout whiney, pointless drivel about all the sadness in the world and how he sees it in everyone. There are some other characters, like the rest of the family of the dead kid, but who cares about them because they get tossed around in the movie like the director has no idea what he's doing. Oh wait! He doesn't!

Why is this movie so bad? Well, I think I have it figured out. There are bad movies, like Anger Management and Legally Blonde 2: Red, White, and Blonde - and I dislike them with a passion. They may have a little something to say, but what they really want you to see is Jack Nicholson farting naked in bed and a cute little chihuahua that matches its owner. This movie, though, wants to explore real issues, and that's where it commits the gravest sin of them all - wanting to discuss real things about life, but exploiting them to the max just to write cheesey dialogue that sounds enlightened. The sensless murder of a retarded child is not an issue that should be taken lightly, and I really think that this movie could have been put in the right hands (with a COMPLETELY different script) and been meaningful. Director M.R. Hoge and producer Kevin Spacey, though, care about nothing more than taking some difficult subject matter and then manipulating you, the viewer, with background guitar music and awful acting. And it's laughable. That's right - hilarious. It's such a trainwreck it's almost unbelievable anyone even gave this the greenlight. Let alone talented actors (and Spacey as a producer!!!) who are so much better than this disgusting script and maudlin plot development.

I honestly didn't know how this disaster could have possibly ended, but it didn't disappoint, let me tell you. The final plot tie-up of the film elevates it to even more horrible than the the American Beauty, Dawson's Creek rip-off that is. A supporting character who had hardly been developed at all throughout the movie comes in and completes the course of the action and then Gosling finishes up the movie with some ham-handed monologue that, in so many words, tries to bring some kind of justification to his actions. And it offended me. At first, I thought it was a stunted script. Then I realized it was an unintentionally funny movie. And finally Leland becomes a morally offensive, despicable wreck of a movie that should have never been made. By the end of those excruciating 108 minutes, I had laughed myself out of the theater, tried to touch my nose with my tongue, and attempted to crawl into the fetal position. Oh, I also hoped that some natural disaster would tear the roof from the Drexel and send me sailing into the night far away from the movie. You'd be surprised how close I am to touching my nose with my tongue - at least those 108 minutes weren't a complete waste of time. GRADE: F ... Read more


17. Night Falls on Manhattan
Director: Sidney Lumet
list price: $14.95
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Asin: 0782007058
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 27081
Average Customer Review: 3.92 out of 5 stars
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The dominant themes of director Sidney Lumet's distinguished career are in full force in this moral melodrama involving a young district attorney (Andy Garcia) who takes on a career-making case only to uncover his father's possible involvement in pervasive police corruption. Balancing personal ethics and political compromise in a high-wire act of power and its abuse, Lumet relies on dialogue and superb performances (including those by Ron Leibman, Richard Dreyfuss, and Lena Olin) to achieve a devastating impact. The script (based on the novel Tainted Evidence by Robert Daley) is too smart and Lumet's direction too sure-footed to fall back on the black-and-white exploits of conventional criminals and their crimes. The movie's moral framework (like that of Lumet's earlier film Q&A) is more realistic, dealing in the gray areas between right and wrong where misdeeds can arise from the best intentions. At the center of Garcia's dilemma is his father, a seasoned New York cop played so convincingly by Ian Holm that you'd never guess the actor was British. Although it received mixed reviews when released in 1997, Night Falls on Manhattan ranks among Lumet's finest films. --Jeff Shannon ... Read more

Reviews (12)

4-0 out of 5 stars STRUGGLES OF CONSCIENCE
It seems like it was Andy Garcia week here on the Icelandic movie channel. Tonight this movie and another night Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead. Night Falls is a solidly good film. Garcia is great as a new attorney who is more seasoned than his fellow public attorneys because he is the son of a lifelong cop and has been a cop himself for many years. He studied law at night and became an attorney the hard way. When a surveillance operation on a drug dealer (on which his father has been working) goes awry, and Garcia's father (played by Ian Holm) is shot, the attorney general asks Garcia to try the case personally. The case is won easily, and Garcia beings a quick celebrity. He runs for election to become attorney general and wins. The subplot is the defence attorney (Richard Dreyfuss) for the drug dealer (who shot Garcia's father) introducing evidence that would potentially expose corruption in the police department. The case involving the stakeout proved that more than one precinct responded to the call for back up. Excessive use of authority and force come into play. People wanted to make sure that the drug dealer was killed in this operation because it became obvious that the drug dealers were paying off certain cops in order to keep them off their backs. Garcia discovers that his father's partner is one of the crooked cops (the crooked partner is played by James Gandolfini of the Sopranos. He always seemed so much like the supporting role actor in roles just like this one, but he seems to have made himself much more indispensable as Tony Soprano). Garcia confronts his father also, but the father claims to have no role in the corruption, although Garcia uncovers that the father forged the warrant for arrest that was used to arrest the drug dealer in the first place. The story is multilayered and shows the complexities that are faced in law enforcement and justice system everyday. Garcia's love interest is Lena Olin, who is an attorney for Richard Dreyfuss's firm. She discovers the forged warrant and could use it to overturn the conviction of the drug dealer but she chooses not to. Little decisions in life that bend the rules are the highlight of this film. Very interesting film well worth watching.

4-0 out of 5 stars A nice treat for Lena Olin fans!
Always in search of Lena Olin! Well, aren't we all? Night Falls on Manhattan gives us a trace of her performance mixed with what is a predominantly male cast including Andy Garcia and Richard Dreyfuss. She appears infrequently during the film, but her appearances are well worth getting your own copy. She shot one particularly moving scene where she and Andy Garcia are discussing their new-found future together over morning coffee. The conversation relfects on her unwillingness to pursue something more permanent with him....mostly hinging on the feeling that she didn't want to give her heart away if there was any possibility that he might decide that she wasn't good enough for him. In my own words (can't remember her lines exactly) she reveals that if she turned-out not to be good enough for Andy Garcia's character, she didn't want to know that about herself. Not being a wordsmith in my own right, it's difficult to describe what that meant in the exact way that she portrayed it, but if you see it, I think it's something everyone can all identify with. Overall, it was delightful to have the opportunity to see what I consider to be the greatest single actress of all time in such a warm, romantic, loving role. Way to go Lena!

(Sleepless in Deutschland)

4-0 out of 5 stars Awesome legal battle with one's conscionce
I just watched this movie on TV, and I would definitely wanna see it again one day. Garcia is brilliant and shows strong character facettes in acting. The movie is about more than the legal ins and outs of corruption and partnership. It's about the fact that one has to stay a human being in life.

5-0 out of 5 stars Justice does not always follow the strict letter of the law.
This 1997 film is based on a novel by James Daley and directed by Sidney Lumet, who also wrote the screenplay. It's a fast-moving police procedural with constantly shifting questions about the law, political favors and what is really right and wrong. There are quite a few obstacles in the path of righteousness, but in the end I was satisfied with the conclusion, which shows that justice does not always follow the strict letter of the law.

Andy Garcia stars as a young assistant district attorney whose father, Ian Holm, is a cop who's been injured in a shootout with a drug dealer, played by Shiek Mamud-Bey. Ron Liebman, the District Attorney, lets Garcia prosecute the case, which seems to be simple. But the defense lawyer, played by Richard Dreyfus, introduces the concept of police corruption. And so, even though the outcome of the case is clear, other issues come into play, especially since the young prosecutor's own father might be involved.

The film moved fast, the plot deepening as the story moved along. And it was nice to recognize two actors who later went on to fame in The Sopranos: James Gandolfini is cast a cop and Dominic Chianese, who plays Uncle Junior, is cast as the judge.

The story held my interest, the acting good and the ending was satisfactory and believable. You'll enjoy it if you like cop dramas. Recommended.

3-0 out of 5 stars Implausible Plot + Distracting Casting
Watching this movie in late 2002 makes it difficult to avoid indulging in typecasting. Wow - there's Bilbo Baggins and Tony Soprano, sitting in a car together!! Hey, isn't that Uncle Junior Soprano playing the Judge? Well, it's obviously not Sidney Lumet's fault - he had no idea when he made this movie that those actors would end up in such hugely popular roles.

As for the movie itself, other reviewers here have remarked about the implausible plot, which is mainly silly due to the unlikelihood of a lowly assistant DA suddenly having a career zoom up to the highest office of DA solely on one case. As for the case itself, for the cop-killing drug dealer, I found the whole thing laughable, and the part of the drug dealer was written and played as a horribly one-dimensional stereotypical character.

The whole "morally-conflicted prosecutor" concept wouldn't seem so boring now if we hadn't already been pounded over the head with it on TV in the last 5 years or so - "Law and Order", etc have managed to make the legal process interminably boring for me, and I am going to avoid any such movies or shows like the plague for the time being. ... Read more


18. The Ninth Gate
Director: Roman Polanski
list price: $14.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 6305905401
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 15536
Average Customer Review: 3.16 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Reviews (264)

3-0 out of 5 stars Gate to the Kingdom of Disillusion
First, a few reasons why I bothered to see this movie:

1. Roman Polanski is one of my favorite directors. 2. The theatrical/tv trailer looked intense 3. Interesting subject matter (occult). 4. French actress/wife of Polanski Emanuelle Seigner 5. Emanuelle Seigner 6. Last but not least, Emanuelle Seigner

Now, a few reasons why I was left disappointed:

1. The ending 2. The ending 3. ...and the ending.

This film was excellent for it's spectacular cinematography and various global locations. The plot and story itself were easy to comprehend . The mood, setting, atmosphere was very creepy and at times Gothic. Yet, it was not enough to frighten or thrill. As for the climax, maybe some of us are lazy and lack imagination to draw conclusions;However, I still wanted to know what really happened to Johnny Depp's character Corso at the end ( and have it explained to me by the director and actors) The ending was too ambiguous and symbolic (though the movie was filled with symbols figuratively and visually). As for Emanuelle Seigner, she is one underrated talented beauty only known for her modeling and acting in Europe. I wanted to know more about her character; Was she one of Satan's dominions or Satan himself ? She was definitely not heavensent(only to the eyes)...

This movie gets 3 stars because it left me with more questions than answers; No closure whatsoever...and leaving the ending for personal or individual interpretation doesn't count Mr. Polanski

1-0 out of 5 stars The Worst Movie I Ever Viewed
I made the mistake of seeing this in the theatre...DO NOT BUY THIS MOVIE! It is far and away the most disappointing movie experience of my like.

1-0 out of 5 stars 2 hours of my life I wont get back.
Your time and money would be better spent if you were to commmit these rescources to the study of your own ass!

5-0 out of 5 stars not a FLOP by any means
I'm currently watching the TRIO channel's disgusting butchery of this film as apart of their "month of flops" promotion. The only FLOP I see is their editing of essential footage. They have condensed the movie to under 2 hours...and have subsequently made certain scenes appear as "stupid" (for lack of a better word).

This movie grew on me. I was not intially impressed, but after viewing it with friends and family, I have become a big fan of its haunting yet calming persona. The subject matter deals with Satanic idolatry, but the movie is in no way "goth". It's the kind of film you could watch with your children and not worry about them being scarred for life.

As far as comedy, Johnny Depp's bad luck with women is hilarious. His facial expressions (even while killing "the albino") are a hoot.

As for the ending, after many viewings I believe Depp went to hell where he was praised for being the human father of the anti-Christ. All along, the lady in the sneakers was Satan.

4-0 out of 5 stars YES, THE END IS A GYP. OTHERWISE A HAUNTING THRILLER!
The absolutely creepy yet sublime direction of this Polanski endeavour makes it a worthwhile watch. Almost Kubrick-like, wide angle shots and lax-paced screenplay and all.

I was riveted. Riveted, that is, right until the somewhat confusing fire and cobblestone ending, which admittedly leaves you with very little to chew on and instead of appearing clever and ambiguous, as it perhaps wanted to, mostly comes off as complacent.

Yet, the point of a mystery noirish film is to keep you intrigued through out, and the movie manages to do that quite successfully. The sleuthing process is almost done in tandem with the audience, which is fun. Johnny Depp is immaculate in his potrayal of a detached book detective and all others contribute richly. The music is tacky in bits, but not too distracting.

Recommended rental for haunting cinematography of Portugal and France, and a fabulously captivating atmosphere in general. ... Read more


19. Ignition
Director: Yves Simoneau
list price: $103.99
our price: $103.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00008K7AZ
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 71085
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Reviews (2)

2-0 out of 5 stars Cartoonish, a bit of fun
Much worse than you might expect given such a sterling cast (Olin and Pullman.) Plenty of cheesy stuff with Pullman over the top as tough-guy type trying to protect "bitchy" federal judge from all sorts of bad guys.

5-0 out of 5 stars Exceptional!!!
I'm a huge Bill Pullman fan anyways, but even if I wasn't before, I would be after this film. The urgency and intensity in this film is contagious, and leaves you at the edge of your seat. This film has everything... danger, emotional entanglements, suspense, romance, deception, explosions, and more! If you like action movies, you'll love this one. There are many unique and utterly charming scenes here that will make this film worthwhile for anyone's tastes. ... Read more


20. The Ninth Gate
Director: Roman Polanski
list price: $14.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 6305905622
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 76318
Average Customer Review: 3.16 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Reviews (264)

3-0 out of 5 stars Gate to the Kingdom of Disillusion
First, a few reasons why I bothered to see this movie:

1. Roman Polanski is one of my favorite directors. 2. The theatrical/tv trailer looked intense 3. Interesting subject matter (occult). 4. French actress/wife of Polanski Emanuelle Seigner 5. Emanuelle Seigner 6. Last but not least, Emanuelle Seigner

Now, a few reasons why I was left disappointed:

1. The ending 2. The ending 3. ...and the ending.

This film was excellent for it's spectacular cinematography and various global locations. The plot and story itself were easy to comprehend . The mood, setting, atmosphere was very creepy and at times Gothic. Yet, it was not enough to frighten or thrill. As for the climax, maybe some of us are lazy and lack imagination to draw conclusions;However, I still wanted to know what really happened to Johnny Depp's character Corso at the end ( and have it explained to me by the director and actors) The ending was too ambiguous and symbolic (though the movie was filled with symbols figuratively and visually). As for Emanuelle Seigner, she is one underrated talented beauty only known for her modeling and acting in Europe. I wanted to know more about her character; Was she one of Satan's dominions or Satan himself ? She was definitely not heavensent(only to the eyes)...

This movie gets 3 stars because it left me with more questions than answers; No closure whatsoever...and leaving the ending for personal or individual interpretation doesn't count Mr. Polanski

1-0 out of 5 stars The Worst Movie I Ever Viewed
I made the mistake of seeing this in the theatre...DO NOT BUY THIS MOVIE! It is far and away the most disappointing movie experience of my like.

1-0 out of 5 stars 2 hours of my life I wont get back.
Your time and money would be better spent if you were to commmit these rescources to the study of your own ass!

5-0 out of 5 stars not a FLOP by any means
I'm currently watching the TRIO channel's disgusting butchery of this film as apart of their "month of flops" promotion. The only FLOP I see is their editing of essential footage. They have condensed the movie to under 2 hours...and have subsequently made certain scenes appear as "stupid" (for lack of a better word).

This movie grew on me. I was not intially impressed, but after viewing it with friends and family, I have become a big fan of its haunting yet calming persona. The subject matter deals with Satanic idolatry, but the movie is in no way "goth". It's the kind of film you could watch with your children and not worry about them being scarred for life.

As far as comedy, Johnny Depp's bad luck with women is hilarious. His facial expressions (even while killing "the albino") are a hoot.

As for the ending, after many viewings I believe Depp went to hell where he was praised for being the human father of the anti-Christ. All along, the lady in the sneakers was Satan.

4-0 out of 5 stars YES, THE END IS A GYP. OTHERWISE A HAUNTING THRILLER!
The absolutely creepy yet sublime direction of this Polanski endeavour makes it a worthwhile watch. Almost Kubrick-like, wide angle shots and lax-paced screenplay and all.

I was riveted. Riveted, that is, right until the somewhat confusing fire and cobblestone ending, which admittedly leaves you with very little to chew on and instead of appearing clever and ambiguous, as it perhaps wanted to, mostly comes off as complacent.

Yet, the point of a mystery noirish film is to keep you intrigued through out, and the movie manages to do that quite successfully. The sleuthing process is almost done in tandem with the audience, which is fun. Johnny Depp is immaculate in his potrayal of a detached book detective and all others contribute richly. The music is tacky in bits, but not too distracting.

Recommended rental for haunting cinematography of Portugal and France, and a fabulously captivating atmosphere in general. ... Read more


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