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$5.99 list($9.94)
1. Stand and Deliver
$6.93
2. Selena
list($14.99)
3. Blade Runner
$19.99 $9.49
4. The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit
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5. The Road to El Dorado
$19.00 list($59.99)
6. 12 Angry Men (1997)
$14.98 $12.71
7. My Family, Mi Familia
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8. Stand and Deliver
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9. Blade Runner - The Director's
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10. The Disappearance of Garcia Lorca
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11. Ballad of Gregorio Cortez
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12. Dead Man's Walk
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13. Blade Runner
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14. Selena
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15. In the Time of the Butterflies
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16. The Burning Season - The Chico
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17. 500 Nations, Vol. 8: Attack on
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18. Gossip
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19. The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez
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20. 12 Angry Men

1. Stand and Deliver
Director: Ramón Menéndez
list price: $9.94
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Asin: 6302878691
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 14508
Average Customer Review: 4.47 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (34)

5-0 out of 5 stars A wonderful movie
I really liked this movie a lot. It was entertaining and uplifting. It was a motivational movie because it proves that anyone can learn if they try. It also shows that hard work pays off, and that even uneducated students can learn something as challenging as calculus.

It was also humorous sometimes because the teacher tries to motivate his students by doing strange things. There are some quite funny scenes and some scenes that will bring you to tears.

I was amazed by this movie for one strange reason: Mr. Escalante, the calculus teacher, actually looks like a math teacher I had. My math teacher was Spanish too!

This movie from the beginning is quite interesting. We learn the Jamie Escalante wants to teach computer science but he can't because the school doesn't have the computers. So he teaches math instead. He motivates his students to work extra hard and they succeed. There are bumps in the road, but the students work hard and study.

This is a little-known movie that is both entertaining and educating. I would enjoy watching it over.

3-0 out of 5 stars A HERO IN AN UNHEROIC SITUATION
Jaime Escalante was a teacher who inspired students who might otherwise slip through the cracks. He followed through with a group of kids who might otherwise not have a chance and he taught them calculus and gave them hope. This seems like fantasy, far-fetched and totally out of a Disney story. But it was real life. Edward James Olmos gives a good performance as the inspirational teacher who inspired a movie. Lou Diamond Phillips is supposed to be the toughest of the bunch, giving the teacher the most problems. But he turns out all right in the end. My brother, for some reason, wants to invite Lou Diamond Phillips to Thanksgiving. My brother says Phillips just seems like "a nice guy". My brother is not particularly a fan of Phillips. It is all about being a nice guy. The movie overall is a bit too "feel good" for my tastes, but there is nothing wrong with it. It is the kind of thing that my junior high school math teachers "rewarded" us with right before winter break... a nice movie (meaning we did not have to do classwork) about, what else? Math. There are a lot of movies that fall into this kind of category. They stretch back to Sidney Poitier's To Sir, With Love. Sandy Dennis in Up the Down Staircase. Michelle Pfeiffer in Dangerous Minds. Meryl Streep in Music of the Heart.

4-0 out of 5 stars Better Than " Lean on Me "
I was in elementary when this film came out and I didn't see the value of it then. Now I appreciate it for being a decent film about a teacher trying hard as possible to make students depend on education. There's not too many familiar faces in this. Lou Diamond Phillips and Edward James Olmos are the only ones around you'd remember. This film stays true to the true-life of the teacher and unlike Lean on Me doesn't rely on fictious elements to make the story move. Stand and Deliver also doesn't spend the entire film showcasing the students and blaming the teachers for everyone's problems. It's a simple little story that tells a true story about a man who made a difference if only for a short while. I highly recommend it. It is one of few positive Hispanic films around and that alone makes it a must-see.

5-0 out of 5 stars An inspiring film teaching that there are no limits
I was first recommended this movie to watch because I was having a hard time with math. I thought was boring and didn't see the point in it. But my father made me watch it, and I'm glad I did.

This film is about Jaime Escalante (portrayed masterfully by Edward James Olmos) and his math class that he had in 1982 (based on a true story). Escalante was a Bolivian living in America that went to East L.A.'s Garfield High School to teach computer science. It turned out that the school had no funding for computers, so they redirected him to teach math instead. His class of eighteen Latin-American students, convinced they would never amount to much, were still struggling with the concept of fractions. They're troublemakers and gangmembers. One of the most complicated and difficult students, Angel (Lou Diamond Phillips), goes home every night to end up drinking, smoking, and throwing bricks through shop windows.

Escalante learns to work with these students, motivating them to learn. Ganas, or desire, are required from everybody. "With ganas you can do anything you want," says Escalante. "And if you don't have ganas, I'll give you some. I'm an expert." Deciding he needs a challenge, he decides that in two years he'll teach the students calculus and have them pass the A.P. (Advanced Placement) Calculus exam. What happens next is truly emotional and inspirational. I won't reveal the ending, as it's for you to see.

4-0 out of 5 stars Stands tall.
Good movie about the importance and value of education. Almost every high school student should see it. ... Read more


2. Selena
Director: Gregory Nava
list price: $6.93
our price: $6.93
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Asin: 6304779674
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 801
Average Customer Review: 4.64 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (166)

2-0 out of 5 stars More Tribute Than Biopic
Jennifer Lopez does a great job of portraying the lovely Selena, even though the only resemblance that Jennifer and Selena have is due to race, not feature. However, this movie isn't about Selena-the-human-being or even Selena-the-star. This the sanitized, Disney view of the life of a young, fast-rising star whose life was cut short in her prime. Now, I'm not saying that this is a rotten movie at all. It's actually a good movie. It's well written, well-acted, and you can't tell that Ms. Lopez is lip-synching. However, you're not going to get a clear picture of Selena-the-person from this movie. I love Selena as much as the next Selena fan, but I would have liked to see a movie named Selena that's actually about Selena, not just what her dad thinks is appropriate. Playing down her murder was not good, because how is someone going to get a clear picture of the mourning that went on all over the United States when they don't see all the things that came out after? How does one get a picture of Yolanda the Fruitcake if they don't see how fruity the woman is? We know what we lost. It would be nice if this movie at least showed us the why. Selena's memory would not have been damaged if this had been in the movie. Like I said, I like this movie as just a movie, but as a biography it falls short.

5-0 out of 5 stars Lopez at her very best!!!!!!!
I actually didn't see this film until about 6 months ago when it was on tv late one Sunday night. After watching it i was very impressed and went out straightaway the nexy day and purchased a copy on dvd for myself. Jennifer does an outstanding job portraying Selena, so good in fact that whilst i'm watching it i actually forget it's JLO and think it's the real Selena! She perfected Selena's dance moves right down to a T. The Astrodome recreation is perfect and very close to the real thing. I like the film because every scene builds on from the previous one. Every stage of Selena'a life is documented including her most triumphunt moments such as when she won the Grammy, when "Como La Flor" went to number 1 etc. I highly recommend this film to any Selena fans out there- go out and buy yourself a copy right now, you won't be disappointed!!!

5-0 out of 5 stars Selena
The movie really touched me. Today I'm 26 years old and I didn't know Selena until I watched the movie. Pray for us Selena from up high in Heaven. Selena I think you know what I mean.

4-0 out of 5 stars Portrait of a superstar
Many know that Selena is my all-time favorite performer and this film is a beautiful (thought not thoroughly accurate) tribute of the slain Grammy-winning Tejano Queen. I don't usually enjoy Jennifer Lopez performances - acting OR vocal - but this being her first breakthrough role she does quite well; this 1997 film came out before her diva-esque image took over and she became a glitzy woman who won't tip bellhops after carrying up some 20-something bags.

5-0 out of 5 stars the angel selena
this movie makes me sad! selana was a beautiful singer just becoming popular when i was in junior high then she was tragically killed and her star burned out as fast as it came the movie shows the hardwork of her life growing up traveling and singing with her family only to finally hit it big find love marriage and soon a baby but sadly she was killed by a lunatic obsessed fan jennifer lopezs best acting job by far is in this movie she becomes selena from her gorgeous smile to her funny infantile manner and beautiful voice this movie shows u who selena was an angel ... Read more


3. Blade Runner
Director: Ridley Scott
list price: $14.99
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Asin: 6300146154
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 2361
Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars A wonderfully dark film!
Blade Runner tells of human-like robots which are in danger of gaining emotions and becomming too human to exhist by human laws. I loved this movie when I first saw it and I find it wonderful to notice in the background the company logos (which at the time were powerful up and coming companies) of which most are out of business (though Atari has made a comeback). The soundtrack sets the tone and the weather (which it always is raining in the film except for the very ending) also keep things looking bleak. I do enjoy the directors cut cause I am a big fan of Widescreen... but that is the only reason I like it. I wish they had kept the narration (or at least had a two sided disk so a person could chose to have the original unedited narration or the directors cut version). I know some people think the narration is the studios way of saying that the audiance cannot understand the film without dumbing-it-down with narration. This is definitily not the case. The narration reminds me of those old TV Cop dramas where the cops thoughts are always stated as the action is happening. I do feel that it adds to the film. I highly recommend the movie regardless of which version you see. Rutger Hauer is my favorite.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Dirty Future run by Businessmen and Politicians
It is never enough for the powerful: in this film they manufacture people and then "recall" them like Chevy did the Vega... but we find that people aren't machines even when they are manufactured. The man who is called to track down the last of the androids falls in tough love with the last best of her breed!

5-0 out of 5 stars Dark Sci Fi at its best
A truly fabulous cinematic work, I only wish it was still available for purchase. Philip Dick would be proud of the adaption of his novel. Vangelis renders a beautiful score. No one does it better than Rutger Hauer.

5-0 out of 5 stars A depressingly dark moody film that makes you think.
I have both versions, the original release with Ford's voice over, and the "Director's" cut (which is surprisingly, shorter than the original). Of the two, I tend to prefer the original.

Purists tend to find the voice over of the original distracting and un-necessary, but I find it adds to the mood.

I love the cinematography.

It also sports early or first appearances of many now well known actors.

I would consider this movie to be within my top favorite movies.

5-0 out of 5 stars The very best science-fiction/action/romance ever made.
Okay, the voice-over detective's dialog is hokey, but I love it; it's Sam Spade with smog. Years after the original release, the movie isn't dated or tired. It may always be my favourite flick. ... Read more


4. The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit
Director: Stuart Gordon
list price: $19.99
our price: $19.99
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Asin: 6305268851
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 4338
Average Customer Review: 4.57 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (21)

5-0 out of 5 stars An enchanting movie from start to finish.
The epitome of the "feel good" movie, "The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit" was the perfect Friday night family movie. We watched it 3 times in one day. Appropriate for younger children (there is one fight scene). What made this film work was the genuine love and compassion the main characters come to feel for each other. Wonderful.

5-0 out of 5 stars Magical, musically entertaining, amusing and clean!!
The premise of this movie is quite unusual, five men pool their last few dollars to purchase a brilliant "ice cream" white suit that will empower them. Humorous, heartful, musical, silliness and action!

The men, Bien Azul, Martinez, Dominguez, Gomez and Daminos schedule the suit for an hour on the first night. Each takes his turn at wearing the suit, and reluctantly share it with the very filthy, smelly street urchin, as he contributed also.

They take extreme pride in the suit and the urchin must be bathed, hair cut, and he needs specific instructions: He is not to fall down, no standing under trees with birds in it, no drinking wine, no smoking, don't eat juicy tacos. One other request: don't go to the Red Rooster where the fat one, Ruby Escadrillo is because she would sit on his lap and crush the suit, put powder and lipstick on it and most of all she has a mean boyfriend "El Toro", the monster.

Well, the fun begins when he goes to the Red Rooster and does everything they told him not to do! The battle begins as they try to "protect" the beloved suit.

There are clever slow motion shots during the action and fighting at the Red Rooster. Entertaining, fun, clean movie!

This is an all star cast of talented Hispanic actors, Esai Morales, best known for "La Bamba", Edward James Olmos, Joe Montegna, Liz Torres, etc. There is plenty of music to fill this humorous movie. It's great for the entire family because it is clean and decent ...MzRizz

5-0 out of 5 stars Nice movie
I really enjoyed this movie. Couldn't find the soundtrack anywhere... loved the songs. Very good movie. good movie.. is very funny

5-0 out of 5 stars A Celebration of Life!
I refuse to even contemplate living in a world in which Ray Bradbury does not exist. For within Bradbury's mind resides an entire universe filled with metaphor and dreams; galaxies teeming with life and love and poetry, with tales told and untold of such things as this world has never known and would never know, except for that magic that flows from his heart, through his brain and out through his fingertips, where they are born on the keys of his typewriter. And within that very same, ever fertile imagination, that wellspring of creativity, the words were formed, in a rush! and a swirl!, then tempered on Bradbury's mental forge of the fantastic, that ultimately came together and burst! forth as "The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit," a transporting film directed by Stuart Gordon.

Gomez (Joe Mantegna) lives in the barrio; a poor man, except in spirit, for Gomez has dreams, ah, such dreams! of something better, of a better life, of the magic that can happen if you but want it badly enough and will it to! And Gomez knows how to make that magic happen. There is a store, a certain clothing store, and in the window there is a suit; not just any suit, but a magnificent white suit, as white as the clouds, as white as the snow that falls in the mountains. Oh, such a suit! The kind of a suit that can make the man who wears it anything he wants to be. And the price? The cost of this bottle holding a genie who can grant your every wish, your every desire? $100.00!

Gomez has $20.00...

But, he has a plan! If he can only find four others like himself-- others with dreams but no means-- and of equal size and weight (and, of course, $20.00), they could buy the suit together, and share the magic! Ah, such a plan for such a suit! For one day at a time, taking turns, they could each wear the magnificent suit that's as shiny and bright and as white as ice cream; and for a time be able to realize their dreams. And so, very quickly, or even sooner, at that very moment! Gomez puts his plan into action, driven on by the vision he holds in his mind's eye of himself, wearing that wonderful ice cream suit.

Ray Bradbury wrote the screenplay for this film, which he adapted from his own play of the same title, and this is vintage Bradbury. Under the auspices of director Gordon, the film successfully captures the very essence of Bradbury the writer, Bradbury the poet, Bradbury the genius, Bradbury the beautiful dreamer; this man from Illinois, who walks with kings and dines with gods, and dares to dream such dreams. More than a film, this is a celebration of life; an acknowledgement of the joys of living, captured exuberantly in music and song, poetry, performance and, of course, in Bradbury's words-- those exquisite, noble, transcendent words, born of some special, personal, inner muse-- that flow so splendidly in time with the rhythm of his heart and conjure up the images of his singular vision. All of which Gordon manages to grasp, grab hold of and transfer so resplendently to the silver screen.

The performances are first rate, beginning with Mantegna as the indomitable Gomez, who believes he can rule the world when wearing that wonderful suit; Esai Morales, as Dominguez, who dreams of enchanting beautiful women with his music and songs, and knows he can with the suit; Gregory Sierra, as Villanazul, who looks to the suit for the words of hope and encouragement he can take to his people; Clifton Gonzalez-Gonzalez, as Martinez, hoping that the suit will attract the girl of his dreams; and Edward James Olmos, as Vamanos, who just wants to have a good time! Respectively, their portrayals are alive, and with their collective breath, they bring this film to life, as well.

The supporting cast includes Liz Torres (Ruby Escadrillo), Sid Caesar (Sid), Howard Morris (Leo), Lisa Vidal (Ramona), Mike Moroff (Toro) and Mercedes Ortega as the beautiful Celia Obregon. From the opening credits, awash with dazzling color and brilliant imagery, "The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit" is an exhilarating, unique treasure to be embraced with the heart; a masterpiece of delights to be watched again and again. And most importantly, it honors the man who created it all, Ray Bradbury; a man who is, himself, invested with the same kind of life and joy his film brings to the screen. It's a fitting tribute to the inimitable Bradbury, Purveyor of Happiness, Magistrate of Joy.

--Then through an open window blew
the winds of night, and creatures,
dark they were and golden-eyed;
and calling to the Son of Kong they whispered
"Something wicked this way comes!"
And then, a sound of thunder!
She rises! She rises!
And from twenty thousand fathoms came
the dragon,
as if summoned by his master from the deeps;
and the Man from Illinois
held his sword above the crowd,
the blue flame cracked and sparked
and leapt into our bodies! then,
"Farewell, my friends," said he
as on the dragon's back he mounted,
"Live forever!"
"Live forever!"
Live forever...

(From the poem, "Bradbury," by JH Clues)

5-0 out of 5 stars great movie & great music !
5 guys pour their money together for an icecream-white suit and take their turns wearing it, creating 5 sub-stories of how these guys gaining their magics from the suit and use their magics. The movie is slow tempo and lay-back, more like a brazilian or spanish movie. And that it has no hip-hop, techno beats but salsa and spanish guiatar. Too bad they didn't release the soundtrack for this movie. ... Read more


5. The Road to El Dorado
Director: David Silverman, Bibo Bergeron, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Don Paul, Will Finn
list price: $9.99
our price: $9.99
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Asin: B00003CXG6
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 6434
Average Customer Review: 4.26 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

In its third foray into animated features, DreamWorks came up with something unfortunate: the routine animated picture. Plagued with production problems (it was originally conceived as a mold-breaking PG-13 adventure), the likable film is a Hope/Crosby-style road picture about two scalawags who stumble upon the Latin American paradise of El Dorado, the mythical city with riches of gold. Kenneth Branagh and Kevin Kline are quite fun as Miguel and Tuilo, two Spanish con artists who are shipwrecked in the New World with a scene-stealing horse. The pair follow a map to the secret city where their loyalty will be tested: do they return home rich men or continue to live in this paradise? Of course there are some obstacles: a high priest (Armand Assante) is locked in a power struggle with the benevolent chief (Edward James Olmos) and the perfunctory girlfriend (Rosie Perez) puts the two friends at odds. Like too many of the animated features of its time, The Road to El Dorado impresses only on a visual level (it's drenched in gorgeous greens and golds). The story and Elton John's songs are quite forgettable; only Branagh and Kline's playful banter keeps the film alive. The PG rating is for some bare backsides and a suggestion of off-screen sex that should soar right over the little ones' heads. Slick and light, it's a fine 83-minute entertainment for ages 5 and up, including the nondiscriminating adult. --Doug Thomas ... Read more

Reviews (86)

4-0 out of 5 stars Another Road Movie.
Bing Crosby and Bob Hope made several "ROAD" movies together. The movies basically had the same plot: the duo traveled to some far off location, involved the duo getting into some kind of trouble, and had a beautiful woman fall in love with one of the duo (usually Crosby). The movies were also known for their cheesy songs and the frequent breaking of the theatrical fourth wall.

With that said, THE ROAD TO EL DORADO is basically another Hope and Crosby film, except it's animated and it doesn't star Hope or Crosby. The animated visuals of the movie are rather spectacular in some parts and Kevin Kline and Kenneth Branaugh keep the picture moving as the bumbling duo of Julio and Miguel.

The plot of the movie revolves around Julio and Miguel being accidently stowed away on one of Cortez's ships headed for the New World. The duo escapes in the night and in the process save Cortez's prize horse. The three companions eventually wash up on shore and discover they have landed on the shores of a distant land where El Dorado, the legendary city of gold, can be found. Eventually, the companions find El Dorado and are mistaken for gods.

The plot of the movie does move rather slow and the film's songs, written and performed by Elton John, are rather cheesy. Nevertheless, THE ROAD TO EL DORADO is more enjoyable than many other animated pictures and proves to be an enjoyable animated action/adventure buddy flick that the entire family can watch together.

5-0 out of 5 stars Waiting impatiently for the DVD!
I am a very discriminating adult and an aspiring animator, and I thought The Road to El Dorado was fantastic! It was humorous, intelligent, and action-packed, with some of the finest animation Dreamworks Studios has to offer. I wasn't bored for a single second, and I even went back to the theatre to see it a second time. I thought the music was catchy, interesting, original and fun, and really suited the feel of the movie. Elton John writes perfectly wonderful music and Tim Rice is a great lyricist. There were two things I liked in particular. First, that the heroine Chel isn't a slender willow wand of a girl-a popular heroine depiction that encourages anorexia and bulemia at an early age. There's nothing sadder than a perfectly healthy seven year old girl who's "on a diet". I know. I've seen it. Chel is hippy and voluptuous with plenty of meat on her bones in a very Frazetta-style fashion-and she's also very attractive. What a way to insinuate that a girl can be sexy without being under one hundred pounds soaking wet. The second thing that struck me was the incredible animation of Miguel's face. Sure, Tulio was much "purtier", but it was Miguel's far more expressive face that held me transfixed. The range of emotions and expressions that showed on that face reminded me over and over again of the astounding magic of the animated medium and exactly why I'm working so hard to achieve it in my own life. Altogether, The Road to El Dorado was funny, interesting, and exciting and, as in everything Dreamworks has animated so far, visually breathtaking. I'm waiting eagerly for the DVD and I hope it'll have plenty of features and goodies on it for me to explore! On a more personal note, I have to admit I sort of envied Chel in this film-riding off with two attractive males all to herself-at least, for the time being. Of course, if I was in Chel's place, I'd have to say I'd favor Miguel over Tulio-but then, I've always been a bit of a fool for a pair of big green eyes on a guy! lol

5-0 out of 5 stars This is Not A Child's Movie
There are loads of underlying adult themes even though the overall moral of the story is excellent for children to learn about. There is a sexual scene, though not graphic, but I wouldn't want my children seeing it, especially in the light that it is portrayed in. There are scenes of drunken partying, the resulting hangover, and other tiny stuff like that.

But do make a note of this: the movie is an excellent movie! It is hilarious, and is one of the rare cartoons that you can really dissect and discuss as if it were literature. The animation is excellent; I've never seen a cartoon so accurately portray human facial and body expression like this movie. You will appreciate how much detail is given to the animation, plot, and to the unity of the entire film: everything is explained.

It's a definite must for your collection, but again, I would not recommend it for any child under 11.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Great Movie for anyone.
I cannot see why the American critics rate this movie poorly!
The Australian version has a G rating, though.
It is a great movie, my 3 year-old brother watches it all the time and he loves it! You might say that the relationship between Chel and Tulio is a bit adult, but anyone who would say that is a drama-queen! It's perfectly clean!
There is nothing wrong with this movie at all and I urge that you buy it, even if you don't have any kids!

3-0 out of 5 stars Pay attention to rating - adult themes, but otherwise ok
For me, the story on the whole is pretty good and the people (especially the two main characters and their horse, but others as well) are quite funny. I was a little frustrated with parts of it, and I didn't really care much for the leading lady, but on the whole, I was entertained. For an adult, I'd say go ahead and buy. But before buying it for your children, just be aware that the PG rating is for a some pretty frightening supernatural scenes near the end, a "mooning" scene, and a suggested sex scene.

To give you a better idea of what the sex scene is all about, it goes something like this: The leading lady seduces one of the main characters in order to keep him from following the other main character, she massages his shoulders from behind as he sits on a sofa, she puts her hands far down the back of his shirt (at one point, he yells "ow!"), he resists her and they switch places, but she tells him that she is "free now" and pulls her hair aside from her shoulders to expose them better, then he gives in and massages her shoulders as a drunken smile comes over his face, then the scene cuts to something else, but it later returns to their voices and an empty sofa where, on hearing the voice of the villain, she pops up from the floor all worried about being found with him, she pulls her leg over 'something' to sit up, then he sits up with the drunken smile still, and she straightens his clothes and shoos him to meet his visitor -- they are clothed all along (her always rather scantily anyway), but they were obviously laying on the floor, and she was fairly obviously laying on top of him. Also, it may be inconsequential to some, but the suggested sex is outside of marriage or a present love relationship of any kind in the movie. Gotta say I was pretty shocked at this being in an animated DreamWorks film (PG-rating and all), even though the two do end up inlove which then didn't seem believable as there was not much more to their relationship than a mutual friendship of convenience.

If you don't mind your kids seeing that (and you won't always know if a child totally missed it, is curious but just doesn't want to discuss it, or for an older kid, has a pretty good idea and is now being influenced by its acceptability in the film) or the scary supernatural scene, I'd say go ahead and buy because it's worth seeing otherwise. But don't let Hollywood desensitize you (or other reviewers bully you) into thinking you have to accept what makes you uncomfortable or you're just an old prude -- think for yourself and use your own best judgment ESPECIALLY when it comes to your kids. ... Read more


6. 12 Angry Men (1997)
Director: William Friedkin
list price: $59.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0792899830
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 5202
Average Customer Review: 4.06 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (35)

3-0 out of 5 stars Doesn't stand up to the original
Despite fine performances by all, especially Jack Lemmon in the Fonda role, this remake does not even come close to the original. It lacks the punch of the original and not all the actors meet the standards set by the original actors. Even the great Hume Cronyn, as good as he is, doesn't compare to his predecessor. Maybe I am disappointed in this movie because I saw the original first and judge it by that standard. On it's own, it's not a bad film but once you've made a classic why remake it? Do you really think you can get it better. Don't waste your money. Buy the original.

5-0 out of 5 stars What a remake!
I consider myself a very demanding movie watcher, and this one definitely satisfies my expectations. I had the chance to see both 1957 and 1997 versions for "12 angry men", and I must say my vote goes to the recent one. Friedkin manages to create a whole atmosphere which seems much more realistic to me than the rather rigid and sometimes mechanic performances shown on the earlier version. In my opinion, Friedkin's cast looks so natural in their expressions and personality, they don't seem to be 'acting', which is a fault often seen in older movies. Characters and psychological profiles were improved so that you recognize and identify everyone of them, and you have a feeling no man's missing and no man's unnecesary. Jack Lemmon and George C. Scott offer an astonishing display of talent, and Scott's final monologue makes Lee J Cobb's performance look pale and opaque. If I were to choose a lawyer, I'd take Lemmon instead of Fonda, no doubt about it. The variety of the cast brings a refreshing, believable and solid mosaic of personalities I just don't see in Lumet's film (1957). Don't turn your back on this remake. You may be missing a great movie.

3-0 out of 5 stars Nice effort, but doesn't stand up to the original
I really don't think a masterpiece like 12 ANGRY MEN needs a remake. This remake of the classic 1957 film makes many good efforts, but falls short in many points. First of all, I think Scott is excellent, and could stand serious comparison with Cobb in the original. (Alright, maybe his final monologue isn't quite as cyclonic as Cobb's, but perhaps Scott was wise in not trying to emulate that.) Many of the other actors are also very good. But some of the actors miss the mark on their characterizations. Olmos' watchmaker is a confused mess. (Who is he? Where is he from? What is his social class?) Gandolfini's Juror # 6 is surly and disagreeable, unlike Edward Binns' kindly original. The actor playing Juror # 5 is too confident and bold; in the original, this character was a scared and self-conscious young man who identified with the defendant. I admit that making Juror # 10 a former Nation of Islam member was a creative choice. But why does the judge (female in this version) not set up the atmosphere of physical discomfort and indifference, which are important themes in the movie? And why does # 10 decribe the defendant as a "common ignorant slob"? His appearance and dress do not suggest this! In the original movie, ALL the actors were superb and perfect for their parts; there were no weak links.

Another problem I have with this movie is that in some places it fastidiously modernizes, while in others it stays stubbornly in the 1950's. Why are there two Europeans on the jury? Before I saw the movie I thought sure there would be a Hispanic, an Asian, or a Middle Easterner. Why does Juror # 7 still sell marmalade as in the original? (Danza seems more like someone who would sell sports equipment or big-screen TV's!) Why does Juror #12 still present the dated stereotype of the 50's advertizing man? Why is the Olmos character still a watchmaker? Indeed, the screenplay was adapted by Reginald Rose, the writer for the 1957 version, and it is pretty close to the original script. I think in some instances he should have changed more than he did. The black and white and the camera work of the original do a much better job of creating the atmosphere of heat, claustrophobia, and grittiness in the jury room. And of course the central problem of updating this movie is that juries today would probably not consist entirely of men.

But above all, I find that this remake lacks the depth and richness of the original. I could spend all day analyzing the 1957 version, its many telling details, its layers of meaning, the countless psychological insights which the actors lend to their portrayals. Not so here. A case in point is Lemmon. His performance is good as far as it goes, but it is straightforward and one-dimensional. He has none of the complexity and shades of self-doubt that Fonda brought to the role. He seems more like a self-assured amateur lawyer than an architect pulled from the street. To sum it all up, I think the original 1957 12 ANGRY MEN is a timeless classic that neeeds no updating. This version has some good performances and is interesting to watch, but in the end it is superfluous.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Great Success
This movie was simply mesmerizing, I saw the first 12 angry men on AMC. But it was very tedious, and boring. My mother got summoned to jury duty a few months later and she would come home pissed off that she had to do this boring civil duty. so one night she stopped by BLOCKBUSTER VIDEO and rented the new version of 12 Angry Men and it blew us away. We still watch this video at least two times a week, Because it's hilarious, and refreshing to see the diversity in the cast (mainly due to a 40 year time time difference in the two movies) . At the same time it makes you think. I love all the performances by these fantastic actors. Especially those of Mykelti Milliamson, and George C. Scott, potraying the angriest jurors of all. I love when people can let their rage take over and show us all their real feelings towards people from other races, countries,etc.

5-0 out of 5 stars Very good!
Excellent remake, I think this one is better than the original. George C. Scott and Jack Lemmon are at their absolute best. Highly recommended. ... Read more


7. My Family, Mi Familia
Director: Gregory Nava
list price: $14.98
our price: $14.98
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Asin: 6303667821
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 1692
Average Customer Review: 4.66 out of 5 stars
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Description

Three-generational epic saga of the Sanchez family as told by the eldest son. ... Read more

Reviews (29)

5-0 out of 5 stars great acting and a great cast.
My Family chronicles the Sanchez family over three generations. From the parents migration from Mexico to East LA. The movie shows the struggle of the Immigrants to survive in America with the lack of education, but a determination to improve their lives in America. The family is split by the cynical views of the rebel sons Chucho(Esai Morales) and Jimmy(Jimmy Smits) and the political views of the NUN(eventually marries) sister and her also political (former priest) husband, and the educated lawyer brother, who is engaged to the white girl from UCLA and is slightly embarrassed when his future in-laws visit EAST LA. All the time the Sanchez family is struggling with their lives Jose and Maria try to keep the family together. The movie trys to show the diversity that can occur in the lives of this mexican/american family and the culture associated with a typical family of that ERA it illustrates some of the hostile feelings felt by this familiy of their perceived prujudices against them by the establishment. The characters all go thru some transformations as they mature. James Olmos as the oldest son Paco and his narration is the movie. Esai Morales and Jimmy Smits turn in some brilliant performances, and my wife swoons at every scene with them both. They have mastered the 50'S/60'S Pachucos roles. The allstar cast of LA Latin Actors Enrique Castillo, Morales , Olmos are excellent as always and aptly supported by Mary Steenburgen and Scott Baculla as well as the other latino actors Lupe Ontiveros Jennifer Lopez and others. If you are of thAt ERA and ethinic background this movie is a must. Its a great family movie and just as awakening as AMERICAN ME AND ZOOT SUIT. In closing, being of that 50's era and my Mexican background I especially enjoyed the generous portions of the slang and music references throuhout the movie to recreate the way it was back then, and referencing an actual artist Rosie and the originals (Jeanette Jurado of Expose) was genius on the part of the director/Author Mr. Nava. Addios Vince Guillen from Burque.

5-0 out of 5 stars Powerful Movie
I first saw this movie in 1995 when it was first released in theaters. Nine years later, the movie still has the same effect as it did when I first saw it. Although my experiences and my family's experiences are not identical to the ones experienced by the Sanchez family, there are similarities, and I'm sure many other Mexican-Americans can identify with the small things that make this movie so good.

What makes this movie so good is that the director, Gregory Nava, captures the nuances that many Mexican-Americans can relate to. 'Crossing the Bridges,' as Edward James Olmos explains, is something that the patriarch of the family must do when he goes to work on the other side of downtown LA. What's so strange is that many people continue to cross those bridges every day of their lives (literally and figuratively).

Little things like this as well as Chucho's pride in having the best creased pants, the mother's passion for her 'novelas,' and Jimmy Smits' hard personality really give this movie a feeling of familiarity. I also like the fact that Memo goes to UCLA.

The casting is good, and it's weird to see Jennifer Lopez in small roles like this before her rise to stardom. While the movie may not identically reflect the experiences of every Mexican-American, it will be hard not to see some parallels.

5-0 out of 5 stars My Family
One of the best movies I have ever seen!

5-0 out of 5 stars my family
best mexican american story line of the struggle most mexican families live. Good story line and very good actors.

4-0 out of 5 stars Nice epic look at one family and their trials
Jimmy SMits really nails this role. He does such a great job it was kind of surprising that his film career never really got off the ground. He's just meant for television, I suppose. But you'd never know it from this film! Excellent storyline, plot, characters. ... Read more


8. Stand and Deliver
Director: Ramón Menéndez
list price: $14.95
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Asin: B00000F13Q
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 1612
Average Customer Review: 4.47 out of 5 stars
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Based on a true story, this inspiring American Playhouse production stars Edward James Olmos as a high school teacher who motivated a class full of East L.A. barrio kids to care enough about mathematics to pass an Advanced Placement Calculus Test. Not exactly a variation of To Sir, With Love, the film concerns itself with assumptions and biases held by mainstream authorities about disadvantaged kids, and Olmos's efforts to keep his students coolheaded enough to prove them wrong. Olmos, virtually unrecognizable as the pudgy, balding instructor, gives a career performance in this fine piece directed by Ramón Menéndez, and written by the director and Tom Musca. --Tom Keogh ... Read more

Reviews (34)

5-0 out of 5 stars A wonderful movie
I really liked this movie a lot. It was entertaining and uplifting. It was a motivational movie because it proves that anyone can learn if they try. It also shows that hard work pays off, and that even uneducated students can learn something as challenging as calculus.

It was also humorous sometimes because the teacher tries to motivate his students by doing strange things. There are some quite funny scenes and some scenes that will bring you to tears.

I was amazed by this movie for one strange reason: Mr. Escalante, the calculus teacher, actually looks like a math teacher I had. My math teacher was Spanish too!

This movie from the beginning is quite interesting. We learn the Jamie Escalante wants to teach computer science but he can't because the school doesn't have the computers. So he teaches math instead. He motivates his students to work extra hard and they succeed. There are bumps in the road, but the students work hard and study.

This is a little-known movie that is both entertaining and educating. I would enjoy watching it over.

3-0 out of 5 stars A HERO IN AN UNHEROIC SITUATION
Jaime Escalante was a teacher who inspired students who might otherwise slip through the cracks. He followed through with a group of kids who might otherwise not have a chance and he taught them calculus and gave them hope. This seems like fantasy, far-fetched and totally out of a Disney story. But it was real life. Edward James Olmos gives a good performance as the inspirational teacher who inspired a movie. Lou Diamond Phillips is supposed to be the toughest of the bunch, giving the teacher the most problems. But he turns out all right in the end. My brother, for some reason, wants to invite Lou Diamond Phillips to Thanksgiving. My brother says Phillips just seems like "a nice guy". My brother is not particularly a fan of Phillips. It is all about being a nice guy. The movie overall is a bit too "feel good" for my tastes, but there is nothing wrong with it. It is the kind of thing that my junior high school math teachers "rewarded" us with right before winter break... a nice movie (meaning we did not have to do classwork) about, what else? Math. There are a lot of movies that fall into this kind of category. They stretch back to Sidney Poitier's To Sir, With Love. Sandy Dennis in Up the Down Staircase. Michelle Pfeiffer in Dangerous Minds. Meryl Streep in Music of the Heart.

4-0 out of 5 stars Better Than " Lean on Me "
I was in elementary when this film came out and I didn't see the value of it then. Now I appreciate it for being a decent film about a teacher trying hard as possible to make students depend on education. There's not too many familiar faces in this. Lou Diamond Phillips and Edward James Olmos are the only ones around you'd remember. This film stays true to the true-life of the teacher and unlike Lean on Me doesn't rely on fictious elements to make the story move. Stand and Deliver also doesn't spend the entire film showcasing the students and blaming the teachers for everyone's problems. It's a simple little story that tells a true story about a man who made a difference if only for a short while. I highly recommend it. It is one of few positive Hispanic films around and that alone makes it a must-see.

5-0 out of 5 stars An inspiring film teaching that there are no limits
I was first recommended this movie to watch because I was having a hard time with math. I thought was boring and didn't see the point in it. But my father made me watch it, and I'm glad I did.

This film is about Jaime Escalante (portrayed masterfully by Edward James Olmos) and his math class that he had in 1982 (based on a true story). Escalante was a Bolivian living in America that went to East L.A.'s Garfield High School to teach computer science. It turned out that the school had no funding for computers, so they redirected him to teach math instead. His class of eighteen Latin-American students, convinced they would never amount to much, were still struggling with the concept of fractions. They're troublemakers and gangmembers. One of the most complicated and difficult students, Angel (Lou Diamond Phillips), goes home every night to end up drinking, smoking, and throwing bricks through shop windows.

Escalante learns to work with these students, motivating them to learn. Ganas, or desire, are required from everybody. "With ganas you can do anything you want," says Escalante. "And if you don't have ganas, I'll give you some. I'm an expert." Deciding he needs a challenge, he decides that in two years he'll teach the students calculus and have them pass the A.P. (Advanced Placement) Calculus exam. What happens next is truly emotional and inspirational. I won't reveal the ending, as it's for you to see.

4-0 out of 5 stars Stands tall.
Good movie about the importance and value of education. Almost every high school student should see it. ... Read more


9. Blade Runner - The Director's Cut
Director: Ridley Scott
list price: $14.95
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Asin: 6305363668
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 12412
Average Customer Review: 3.84 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (746)

3-0 out of 5 stars THE FUTURE IS DISMAL - SO IS THE TRANSFER!
Ridley Scott's "Blade Runner" is an apocalyptic postmodernist vision of the future. The story involves a bounty hunter, Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) who is assigned to kill three replicants - android style robots that look identical to humans, but who have come to earth to seek revenge on their creator - Eldon Tyrell (Joe Turkel). Sean Young costars as Rachel, the latest model of replicant who is so incredibly life like that not even she knows that she's not human. Also in the cast are Rutgar Hauer as Roy Batty - the ultimate killing machine, Edward Olmos as a drugged out police detective, Gaff, and Darryl Hannah, as the psychotic replicant, Pris. Flawed in its narrative, but visually stunning, "Blade Runner" has developed a cult following - and it is easy to see why. The production is layered with multi-references to the steady moral and social demise of our own society that stir the mind into rethinking this movie as much more than a sci-fi adventure. This version of the film is the re-edited director's cut that audiences were never shown in 1982. The subtle tweaking of story and plot elements really doesn't enhance one's viewing experience so much as it just alters the story in a different direction.
But what a shame about the transfer! Though the general color balancing and attention to fine details, even in the darkest scenes, is adequate, there is simply NO EXCUSE for leaving the chips, scratches and in some cases, tears in this DVD transfer. Pixelization crops up now and them, but the most disturbing part of the transfer is that it fails to pay attention to the dirt and (in some cases) hair, stuck to the film negative. The result is a dirty looking picture that, while perhaps in keeping with Ridley Scott's vision of a dank, hard universe of the future, is most definitely not what the director had in mind. Saving grace: the transfer is anamorphically enhanced for widescreen televisions. The sonic characteristic of the 5.1 audio is rich, though dated. Strong bass and reasonably well balanced dialogue and effects, though there are a few perceived occasions where dubbing in of dialogue sounds possible. And one final insult from Warner Brothers, this disc has NO extras - not even a theatrical trailer!

5-0 out of 5 stars Stunning - The Best Sci-Fi Film Ever Made
Directed by Ridley Scott, possibly the best director in Hollywood, Blade Runner: The Director's cut is an outstanding medley of action, noir, sci-fi, and suspense. Robots have been taken to a new level - Nexus 6 Generation Robots called "replicants", which outmatch humans in strength and ability and equal in intelligence, but lack one human quality - emotions. They were used for "slave labor" to work in places too hazardous for humans. However, replicants after a few years begin to develop their own emotions, which causes them to rebel against their masters. Special cops, called blade runners, were assigned to exterminate criminal replicants. Eventually replicants were declared illegal on earth, and were banished to a shuttle in space. LA, 2017. Rick Deckard, (Harrison Ford) a retired blade runner, is forced to "retire" five replicants that have escaped from the shuttle, but winds up falling for one, Rachael. (Sean Young) Roy Batty (Rutger Hauer) leads the other three replicants to find their creator, Eldon Tyrell, to expand their short four-year life span. Incredible action scenes, dark, brooding noir, creeping suspense, and excellent sci-fi, Blade Runner: The Director's Cut will please fans of any of these genres. The Director's Cut offers production notes, subtitles, added character developement, the original ending, a unicorn dream sequence, and the deletion of unnecessary scenes and the annoying voice-overs. Plus, it is digitally restored to excellent picture and sound quality. Some "sensitive" viewers might find the plot and noir atmosphere cold, but action, noir, sci-fi, and suspense fans will enjoy it very much. With stunning special effects, incredible cinematography, compelling plot, and rich, incredible characterizations (esp. Rutger Hauer), I strongly recommend Blade Runner: The Director's Cut to action/sci-fi fans.

3-0 out of 5 stars Not quite the Blade Runner I remember
After purchasing and viewing the DVD director's cut release, all I can think is "where can I find the original theater release version". I sat my family down to watch it two nights ago and they lost interest very quickly. While it is still visually stunning to watch, it is not enough overcome the seeming lack of narrative/plot. In fact, one of the key things removed from the director's cut version is the voiceover narrative by Harrison Ford's character Deckard. For those that know the original version, it can even be a challenge to remember the significance of each scene. For new viewers of BR, they're left wondering, scene after scene, "OK what just happened and what relevance does it have to anything?". Bring back the voiceover!

1-0 out of 5 stars The Director's Cut is AWFUL.
Compared to the original version the Director's Cut is awful. Background narration has been removed; the ending has been changed. Don't waste your money.

3-0 out of 5 stars this is still a good DVD
but not as good as the original release. I preferred the narration and for that reason, I probably don't watch this movie as much as i did when I had it on VHS. I really don't understand why they don't make both versions available. ... Read more


10. The Disappearance of Garcia Lorca
Director: Marcos Zurinaga
list price: $14.95
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Asin: 0800186117
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 9776
Average Customer Review: 3.45 out of 5 stars
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The fate of Spanish poet Federico Garcia Lorca under the brutal Franco regime is the subject of this political thriller. Esai Morales plays an expatriate writer named Ricardo who returns to his hometown Granada in 1954 to find out what happened to Lorca (Andy Garcia), his boyhood hero. With Franco's forces still in power, Ricardo meets a lot of official resistance, takes a few beatings, and defies the wishes of his own host (Jeroen Krabbé), an army colonel who was thickly involved in the torture and assassinations of the 1936 revolution. The closer the intrepid journalist gets to the truth of Lorca's disappearance, however, the more gray that truth becomes, and the more obscure the line between heroism and villainy. This film by Marcos Zurinaga suffers from a bit of miscalculation--Morales's character is simply not interesting enough to hold the center of the story and be our window into the great Lorca--but it is nonetheless startling and tragic in its revelation of complicated truths. As Lorca, Garcia is the picture of nobility, and supporting roles by Krabbé, Edward James Olmos, and Miguel Ferrer add a great deal of dramatic texture. --Tom Keogh ... Read more

Reviews (33)

3-0 out of 5 stars A nice introduction to the legendary Al Andalus
Not everyone knew Garcia Lorca or Andalusia (Al-Andalus, Arabic version) that well-or at all-but this movie will give you a romantic introduction to a remote province in today Spain. The setting took place during the Spanish Civil War, not too long before World War II for those short on their history, but the roots go back to the days when Al Andalus was governed by Muslims.

Garcia represent those poets who died at a young age but left masterpieces on their traces. If you like long-historic-romantic poems and controversial plays, then try his works for a size. As a warning, the movie doesn't dwell too deep into the life of Garcia Lorca, rather on his shadowy murder and the endless effort to reveal it. The final outcome still to be discussed and debated properly, but the message into finding the truth-no matter what the cost-is clearly and excellently displayed

I personally don't watch movies, but this had to be a significant exception.

4-0 out of 5 stars Brings Lorca Larger than Life
I picked this movie up on several different excursions to the video store. Finally, I risked bringing it home, having never before heard of Federico Garcia Lorca. The opening sequence, where Garcia recites an English translation of Lorca's "Llanto por Ignacio Sanchez Mejias" over footage from the Spanish civil war, ignited something for me that the rest of the movie couldn't put to rest. Who was Lorca? What happened during the Spanish civil war? The hints dropped in the movie weren't enough. I now own the movie, books on the Spanish civil war, and Lorca's poetry, both in Spanish (which I read poorly) and English (some translations are more poetic than others, but he's providing plenty of impetus to polish my Spanish).

(Lorca was a homosexual Spanish poet & playwright, whose work is well worth reading, even in translation. Death, nature, and the indomitability of the human spirit were central themes to his lyrical, almost Zen at times, poetry. The Spanish civil war is much to complex to explain here. Orwell's "Animal Farm" gives an allegorical point of view, his "Homage to Catalonia" gives a more autobiographical perspective.)

The movie invents the story of Fernando, the child of a bourgeois Spanish businessman, who idolized Lorca as a child. In his early 30's, living with his family as expatriates in Puerto Rico, he cannot seem to bring a book he's writing about Lorca together. He sets out for Granada, his home town, to discover "The Truth" about Lorca's end.

During the movie, he discovers many "truths" about Lorca's final moments; not all of them support each other. He encounters a girl pal of his from childhood and develops that relationship. He also must deal with the harsh realities of fascism and censorship. Perhaps at its deepest level, this is a movie about the problem of History—sorting out which history to tell, since The True History is not available.

Andy Garcia plays a noble Lorca, a character easy to idolize. He's larger than life--mythic, really, and that fits well with Fernando's quest for a childhood hero. In this age where most celebrities can propel a ball in some special manner, make popular sounds on the radio, or enact trivialities on a screen, having a poet for a hero is a pleasant change. Throughout the movie, Garcia narrates Lorca's poems.

Nobody feels safe telling what they witnessed, not even Colonel Aguirre, a friend of Fernando's family. Beneath the seemingly normal veneer of this portrait of Franco's Spain, violence...looms. When the State fails to preserve individual rights, terror inevitably becomes woven into the very fabric of society.

Lines from Lorca's "Llanto" show up at different places in the movie. The "Llanto" was a poem written after the death of Lorca's friend Ignacio Sanchez Mejias in the bull arena. Mejias had retired, had joined the world of the arts for a time, then returned to the ring, only to die after being gored by a bull. This helps tie the opening of the movie together with some of the climactic scenes towards the end.

The movie could have been more artistic, more poetic. Although Lorca wrote some great love poetry, the love interest in the movie does not live up to Lorca's romantic words. More could have been done with Lorca's theme of death throughout the movie, explicitly contrasting the life affirming ending. Although a powerful movie, it had room for improvement—perhaps explaining less and dancing more poetically with the viewers.

Five star subject matter with four star execution. I found the story far more powerful after having read Lorca and learned more about the Spanish civil war. Get a copy of the movie, get Lorca's "Selected Verse: a bilingual edition," edited by Maurer, read Orwell's "Homage to Catalonia" and Bookchin's "The Spanish Anarchists: The Heroic Years." You'll never experience the world quite the same way again.

(If you'd like to dialogue about this movie, click on the "about me" link above & drop me an email. Thanks!)

4-0 out of 5 stars Very Moving, if not completely historically correct
This movie was very good. Given that, yes, some of the lines were cheesy and there were some questionable characters(the cab driver and Gabino). Nevertheless, this movie did bring to life the lives that Lorca touched and the beauty of his work. Andy Garcia gave a wonderful performance and his acting was so touching. The only thing that irritated me was that there was a sex scene. I know the old saying,"Sex sells" but come on! This was not a pornographic movie. This was about a poet and his death. I didn't particularly want to see Esai Morales "get it on" with a childhood friend. That was unnecessary. Otherwise, I was moved and inspired by this movie. I bawled my bloody eyes out at the end. Good movie. Please watch it.

1-0 out of 5 stars Useless Song
This is one of those movies where everybody shouts, weeps, cries and overacts in all sorts of ways in order to mask a lousy script. If you look beyond the politically correct platitudes, there's lots of worn clichés to be acknowledged:

* There's the Fairy Godmother disguised as a friendly local serviceman -a consierge, a doorman (Bob Newhart in "Legally Blonde 2") or, in this case, a cab driver- who happens to know everything and everybody, and who's always there to assist the young hero in times of trouble.
* There's the mysterious villain who's not what appears to be, and there's the helpful character who will show his evil colors in due time.
* There's the gorgeous unknown actress who'll perform the pre-requisite nude scene to pay for her shot at stardom.
* There's the habitual scene where the girl discovers her beloved dad is actually an unspeakable monster.
* There's the mandatory bullfight -present in all political movies set in Spain or Mexico- with the ensuing parallel scenes between the bull being killed and the victim being murdered.
* And there's the awful final scene, complete with its ridiculous plot-twist, where everything comes out in the open. Quite predictable, really.

If you're interested in who Lorca was and how was he murdered, allow me to save you some time (perhaps even money):

At the time of his death, Federico García Lorca was an international superstar; Spain's most renowned avant-garde poet. Contrary to what is shown in the film, he was not a political writer. In fact, he had lots of friends and fans in both sides of the conflict precisely because he wasn't, including one José Antonio Primo de Rivera, head of the Falange -the Spanish fascists. Politicians everywhere paid Lorca lip service and hoped to have him on their side. The Left even considered him a national living treasure.

The Spanish Civil War was the long bloody aftermath of a failed coup d'état attempted by the Right in 1936. Although it did not overthrow the legitimate government overnight, it caught everyone off guard: people were astounded as to the magnitude of the conspiracy and no one was above suspicion.

On the eve of the uprising, Lorca made a surprise visit to his hometown Granada, deep in the south of Spain -a zone that would turn for Franco from the very begining. That journey raised a lot of eyebrows among the intellectual circles of Madrid: What was Lorca doing there? And why? And why just now? Was he against the Republic? Had he joined the traitors?

Rafael Alberti, a communist writer and personal friend of Lorca, hotly denied such gossip, going as far as to say on the air that Lorca not only had always been a commited revolutionary, but that he was actually doing some work there for the loyalists. That broadcast sealed Lorca's fate, for he was arrested that very night (at the house of a fascist friend) and promptly assasinated in secrecy (a common practice to both sides of that war).

No side rejoiced over that murder. Certainly not Franco's, for it was a heavy PR setback to his cause. Later on he would even exploit the Lorca cult to suit his needs, leaking that the falangists (no longer in high favour) were to blame for the crime. They in turn blamed the Catholics, and the Church blamed "the war". To this day no one knows for sure who did it or why.

There were no witnesses to come forward, no anonymous account of what happened. The movie's (preposterous) execution scene is somewhat based upon the poem Antonio Machado composed on Lorca's wake:

"Se le vio, caminando entre fusiles,
por una calle larga,
salir al campo frío,
aún con estrellas, de la madrugada.
Mataron a Federico
cuando la luz asomaba.
El pelotón de verdugos
no osó mirarle la cara..."

These few lines do Lorca more justice than two wasted hours of fake eulogy. Read the guy, skip this bomb.

2-0 out of 5 stars Lorca fan
This film is a complete failure. The film never seems to commit itself to taking an actual stand on Lorca's death. The charectors are a banal typecast and hypothesis of what Spain suffered under the Franco regime. The actors are miscast as Spaniards. First Lorca was just over feet tall and pretty ugly by his own accounts. Andy Garcia is tall and handsome, kind of misleading no? They could have at least used some camera tricks to disguise this. The film's holds little historical accuracy and is unengaging. If one wants a better perspective on Spain durring the civil war, I woulds say "Silencio Roto," or even the Orwell inspired "Land and Freedom." ... Read more


11. Ballad of Gregorio Cortez
Director: Robert M. Young
list price: $14.99
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Asin: 6302844134
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 24377
Average Customer Review: 4.67 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (3)

4-0 out of 5 stars Read the book too!
Great film, thoroughly enjoyable. However, even more enjoyment can be had by understanding the entire story to be found in Americo Paredes' book "With a Pistol in His Hands." Here you will find out that fact can be more amazing than legend.

5-0 out of 5 stars 6 star rating.
I have seen The Gregorio Cortez Movie probably about 20 times. I was good friends with Dr. Americo Paredes, the writer of the book and live very close to the area that Senor Cortez lived and worked. This movie should be made a standard in every school in America. It was very dramatic, sensitive, and a eye opener.

5-0 out of 5 stars Bravo to MGM/UA for re-releasing this hard-to-find classic!
Probably the most authentic Western ever made, this gripping adventure film recounts the true story of the largest manhunt in Texas history. In June 1901, six hundred Texas Rangers chased Gregorio Cortez, a Mexican-American ranch hand, for ll days across 450 miles of terrain. Was Cortez a cold-blooded killer or an innocent man fleeing injustice? You decide. Starring Edward James Olmos ("Miami Vice", "Stand and Deliver"). Based on the book by folklorist Américo Paredes, "With A Pistol in His Hand" (1958, Austin: University of Texas Press). Olmos, who met this author in February 2000, told her in person he has two favorite films from the many he has made--this one and "Caught" (1996). ... Read more


12. Dead Man's Walk
Director: Yves Simoneau
list price: $14.98
our price: $14.98
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Asin: 1574925911
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 5244
Average Customer Review: 3.79 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (14)

4-0 out of 5 stars KEITH CARRADINE WAS SIMPLY TERRIFIC
I've watched this movie about 4 times, and really enjoyed the personifications of these historic characters (albeit apocryphal). Johnny Lee Miller and David Arquette are very convincing as Gus and Woodrow. The most memorable performance is easily by that of Keith Carradine. He portrayed Bigfoot Wallace, a larger than life frontiersman, who actually outlived the firing squad at Saltillo, in a clever, poetic and humorous way. The only downer of the movie, is the same with any and all Larry McMurthy films: they're depressing as hell! Death, tragedy and sufferin'! And as with all of his films, the conquering will of the human spirit shines through. A fine example of a Western film.

5-0 out of 5 stars A very very enjoyable movie based on Larry McMurtry's novel.
Dead Man's Walk is based on Larry McMurtry's book by the same name. The main characters, Woodrow Call and Gus McRae (from his best known in this series - Lonesome Dove) are shown as young men - probably in their late teens or very early twenties. This one is a little bloody at times. David Arquette (fiancee of Courtney Cox and they guy on those goofy 10-10-321 commercials) is Gus McRae. Jonny Lee Miller (Trainspotting, Hackers, Afterglow) is Woodrow Call. Jonny Lee is the standout in this video. His interpretation of Woodrow Call is right on the money - he says so much with just an expression and since Woodrow doesn't say much - that's pretty important. We really enjoyed it but again, younger kids might want to skip this one.

5-0 out of 5 stars Dead'sMan's Walk
I watched the flim about 50 times, and I was very impressed with
young Gus and woodrow, also I could not stop laughing when shad and bigfoot were telling the boys all about the methods the comanches use to
kill and torture the only thing that I did not like is that buffalo hump got off too easy, and bigfoot being one of the men to face the firing squad.
All in all I enjoyed the flim very much and I really like how all the actors played their parts jonny was scream, but Gus seem to be jealous of woodrow even though the two of them were great friends I am still trying to figure out what was buffalo hump doing out there all alone sitting on a blanket?

1-0 out of 5 stars One of the dullest, most inane movies that I ever watched
To be fair, I also disliked the much praised Terms of Endearment, so maybe McMurtry fans will love this. For myself, if there are ever prizes for the worst beginning and end of a movie, this is a contender for both. The first beginning is an elderly Native American woman warning her son to beware of a truly odd pair of women. Then it switches to a fascinating discussion among the cowboys: "Woody, did you ever see a whore (pronounced hur) with a snapping turtle?" "Why no, Gus, I never did see a hur with a snapping turtle. How about you Clem, did you ever see a hur with a snapping turtle?" "Why gracious sakes alive, no, I never did see a hur with a snapping turtle." I'm sure it didn't really last for twenty minutes, but it was a long time until she finally threw it at someone. "How about you Slim, did you ever see a hur with a snapping turtle?" "Oh no, I seen an investment banker with a snapping turtle, but never no hur." Maybe the idea is to convince us that, say what you will about television, it beats flying snapping turtles. "How about you, Russ ..." Most of the movie consists of watching the characters drop like flies from various causes, mostly being shot. This is less exciting than one might think: the very few characters I liked died, and I was utterly indifferent to the fate of the rest. Finally, our surviving heroes are held captive by the Mexicans and then sent on their way with two women and a boy. They are nearly attacked by the aforementioned Native American warrior. However, his mother did warn him that if he saw a white woman with leprosy riding naked on a horse followed by a black woman, also riding, brandishing a sword, he should high-tail it out of there. The most bizarre thing is that the women assume these postures as if this were the well-known, sure-fire method of scaring off attacking Indians. The viewer should take the hint and vamoose as well.

5-0 out of 5 stars An excellent prequel to a Western classic.
'Dead Man's Walk' is a wonderful introduction to the characters of Gus McCrae and Woodrow Call.I was most impressed by Johnny Lee Miller's Texas accent--he is one of England's rising stars and his accent was very believable.David Arquette captured Gus and his mannerisms perfectly and I thought that he and Johnny had great chemistry.Special mention has to go to Keith Carradine and his performance--he is one of America's finest actors. The picture quality was not as good as I had hoped as the video was in extended play format.I would like to know if there is a video in SP version.Other than that I would recommend 'Dead Man's Walk' to anyone who loves Westerns. ... Read more


13. Blade Runner
Director: Ridley Scott
list price: $19.98
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Asin: 6302732778
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 6695
Average Customer Review: 3.84 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com essential video

When Ridley Scott's cut of Blade Runner was finally released in 1993, one had to wonder why the studio hadn't done it right the first time--11 years earlier. This version is so much better, mostly because of what's been eliminated (the ludicrous and redundant voice-over narration and the phony happy ending) rather than what's been added (a bit more character development and a brief unicorn dream). Star Harrison Ford originally recorded the narration under duress at the insistence of Warner Bros. executives who thought the story needed further "explanation"; he later confessed that he thought if he did it badly they wouldn't use it. (Moral: Never overestimate the taste of movie executives.) The movie's spectacular futuristic vision of Los Angeles--a perpetually dark and rainy metropolis that's the nightmare antithesis of "Sunny Southern California"--is still its most seductive feature, an otherworldly atmosphere in which you can immerse yourself. The movie's shadowy visual style, along with its classic private-detective/murder-mystery plot line (with Ford on the trail of a murderous android, or "replicant"), makes Blade Runner one of the few science fiction pictures to legitimately claim a place in the film noir tradition. And, as in the best noir, the sleuth discovers a whole lot more (about himself and the people he encounters) than he anticipates.... With Sean Young, Edward James Olmos, Daryl Hannah, Rutger Hauer, and M. Emmet Walsh. --Jim Emerson ... Read more

Reviews (746)

3-0 out of 5 stars THE FUTURE IS DISMAL - SO IS THE TRANSFER!
Ridley Scott's "Blade Runner" is an apocalyptic postmodernist vision of the future. The story involves a bounty hunter, Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) who is assigned to kill three replicants - android style robots that look identical to humans, but who have come to earth to seek revenge on their creator - Eldon Tyrell (Joe Turkel). Sean Young costars as Rachel, the latest model of replicant who is so incredibly life like that not even she knows that she's not human. Also in the cast are Rutgar Hauer as Roy Batty - the ultimate killing machine, Edward Olmos as a drugged out police detective, Gaff, and Darryl Hannah, as the psychotic replicant, Pris. Flawed in its narrative, but visually stunning, "Blade Runner" has developed a cult following - and it is easy to see why. The production is layered with multi-references to the steady moral and social demise of our own society that stir the mind into rethinking this movie as much more than a sci-fi adventure. This version of the film is the re-edited director's cut that audiences were never shown in 1982. The subtle tweaking of story and plot elements really doesn't enhance one's viewing experience so much as it just alters the story in a different direction.
But what a shame about the transfer! Though the general color balancing and attention to fine details, even in the darkest scenes, is adequate, there is simply NO EXCUSE for leaving the chips, scratches and in some cases, tears in this DVD transfer. Pixelization crops up now and them, but the most disturbing part of the transfer is that it fails to pay attention to the dirt and (in some cases) hair, stuck to the film negative. The result is a dirty looking picture that, while perhaps in keeping with Ridley Scott's vision of a dank, hard universe of the future, is most definitely not what the director had in mind. Saving grace: the transfer is anamorphically enhanced for widescreen televisions. The sonic characteristic of the 5.1 audio is rich, though dated. Strong bass and reasonably well balanced dialogue and effects, though there are a few perceived occasions where dubbing in of dialogue sounds possible. And one final insult from Warner Brothers, this disc has NO extras - not even a theatrical trailer!

5-0 out of 5 stars Stunning - The Best Sci-Fi Film Ever Made
Directed by Ridley Scott, possibly the best director in Hollywood, Blade Runner: The Director's cut is an outstanding medley of action, noir, sci-fi, and suspense. Robots have been taken to a new level - Nexus 6 Generation Robots called "replicants", which outmatch humans in strength and ability and equal in intelligence, but lack one human quality - emotions. They were used for "slave labor" to work in places too hazardous for humans. However, replicants after a few years begin to develop their own emotions, which causes them to rebel against their masters. Special cops, called blade runners, were assigned to exterminate criminal replicants. Eventually replicants were declared illegal on earth, and were banished to a shuttle in space. LA, 2017. Rick Deckard, (Harrison Ford) a retired blade runner, is forced to "retire" five replicants that have escaped from the shuttle, but winds up falling for one, Rachael. (Sean Young) Roy Batty (Rutger Hauer) leads the other three replicants to find their creator, Eldon Tyrell, to expand their short four-year life span. Incredible action scenes, dark, brooding noir, creeping suspense, and excellent sci-fi, Blade Runner: The Director's Cut will please fans of any of these genres. The Director's Cut offers production notes, subtitles, added character developement, the original ending, a unicorn dream sequence, and the deletion of unnecessary scenes and the annoying voice-overs. Plus, it is digitally restored to excellent picture and sound quality. Some "sensitive" viewers might find the plot and noir atmosphere cold, but action, noir, sci-fi, and suspense fans will enjoy it very much. With stunning special effects, incredible cinematography, compelling plot, and rich, incredible characterizations (esp. Rutger Hauer), I strongly recommend Blade Runner: The Director's Cut to action/sci-fi fans.

3-0 out of 5 stars Not quite the Blade Runner I remember
After purchasing and viewing the DVD director's cut release, all I can think is "where can I find the original theater release version". I sat my family down to watch it two nights ago and they lost interest very quickly. While it is still visually stunning to watch, it is not enough overcome the seeming lack of narrative/plot. In fact, one of the key things removed from the director's cut version is the voiceover narrative by Harrison Ford's character Deckard. For those that know the original version, it can even be a challenge to remember the significance of each scene. For new viewers of BR, they're left wondering, scene after scene, "OK what just happened and what relevance does it have to anything?". Bring back the voiceover!

1-0 out of 5 stars The Director's Cut is AWFUL.
Compared to the original version the Director's Cut is awful. Background narration has been removed; the ending has been changed. Don't waste your money.

3-0 out of 5 stars this is still a good DVD
but not as good as the original release. I preferred the narration and for that reason, I probably don't watch this movie as much as i did when I had it on VHS. I really don't understand why they don't make both versions available. ... Read more


14. Selena
Director: Gregory Nava
list price: $19.98
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Asin: 0790732564
Catlog: Video
Average Customer Review: 4.64 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (166)

2-0 out of 5 stars More Tribute Than Biopic
Jennifer Lopez does a great job of portraying the lovely Selena, even though the only resemblance that Jennifer and Selena have is due to race, not feature. However, this movie isn't about Selena-the-human-being or even Selena-the-star. This the sanitized, Disney view of the life of a young, fast-rising star whose life was cut short in her prime. Now, I'm not saying that this is a rotten movie at all. It's actually a good movie. It's well written, well-acted, and you can't tell that Ms. Lopez is lip-synching. However, you're not going to get a clear picture of Selena-the-person from this movie. I love Selena as much as the next Selena fan, but I would have liked to see a movie named Selena that's actually about Selena, not just what her dad thinks is appropriate. Playing down her murder was not good, because how is someone going to get a clear picture of the mourning that went on all over the United States when they don't see all the things that came out after? How does one get a picture of Yolanda the Fruitcake if they don't see how fruity the woman is? We know what we lost. It would be nice if this movie at least showed us the why. Selena's memory would not have been damaged if this had been in the movie. Like I said, I like this movie as just a movie, but as a biography it falls short.

5-0 out of 5 stars Lopez at her very best!!!!!!!
I actually didn't see this film until about 6 months ago when it was on tv late one Sunday night. After watching it i was very impressed and went out straightaway the nexy day and purchased a copy on dvd for myself. Jennifer does an outstanding job portraying Selena, so good in fact that whilst i'm watching it i actually forget it's JLO and think it's the real Selena! She perfected Selena's dance moves right down to a T. The Astrodome recreation is perfect and very close to the real thing. I like the film because every scene builds on from the previous one. Every stage of Selena'a life is documented including her most triumphunt moments such as when she won the Grammy, when "Como La Flor" went to number 1 etc. I highly recommend this film to any Selena fans out there- go out and buy yourself a copy right now, you won't be disappointed!!!

5-0 out of 5 stars Selena
The movie really touched me. Today I'm 26 years old and I didn't know Selena until I watched the movie. Pray for us Selena from up high in Heaven. Selena I think you know what I mean.

4-0 out of 5 stars Portrait of a superstar
Many know that Selena is my all-time favorite performer and this film is a beautiful (thought not thoroughly accurate) tribute of the slain Grammy-winning Tejano Queen. I don't usually enjoy Jennifer Lopez performances - acting OR vocal - but this being her first breakthrough role she does quite well; this 1997 film came out before her diva-esque image took over and she became a glitzy woman who won't tip bellhops after carrying up some 20-something bags.

5-0 out of 5 stars the angel selena
this movie makes me sad! selana was a beautiful singer just becoming popular when i was in junior high then she was tragically killed and her star burned out as fast as it came the movie shows the hardwork of her life growing up traveling and singing with her family only to finally hit it big find love marriage and soon a baby but sadly she was killed by a lunatic obsessed fan jennifer lopezs best acting job by far is in this movie she becomes selena from her gorgeous smile to her funny infantile manner and beautiful voice this movie shows u who selena was an angel ... Read more


15. In the Time of the Butterflies
Director: Mariano Barroso
list price: $4.94
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Asin: B000063K4K
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 8125
Average Customer Review: 3.33 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (18)

2-0 out of 5 stars Skip the DVD. Read the book!
Adapted from the novel by Julia Alvarez about the three Mirabel sisters who were murdered by the Trujillo regime in the 1950s Dominican Republic, this 2001 made-for-TV-movie attempts to tell the story. I read the book several years ago and found it excellent. However, this film is rather thin and misses the richness of the story in several ways.

The film focuses on just one character, Minerva Mirabel, and that is one of its weaknesses. There were actually three sisters who were murdered and each one of them has her own complex story that is just hinted at in the film. Also, there was one sister who survived and her story is important too. But perhaps the limits of constricting a story into a tight time frame forced this abbreviated version.

Salma Hayek is the star and she does do a fine job. The wicked regime seems awful. But I just couldn't feel the emotions that were intended by the author. Of course it's a sad story; it's supposed to be. And, because of a wide TV audience, it probably reached a lot of people with its message of these heroic women who became martyrs for their cause.

4-0 out of 5 stars "Justice? Here? There is no justice."
From 1931 until his assassination in 1960, Rafael Trujillo (El Jefe) was the brutal dictator of the Dominican Republic, remaining in power with the silent acquiescence of a fearful church, the aristocracy, intellectuals, and the press. Based on Julia Alvarez's strong novel of the same name, this film focuses on the role of the Mirabal sisters, known as "las Mariposas" (the Butterflies), in opposing Trujillo's brutal rule. As children living comfortably in the country, the Mirabal sisters had been protected from the political dangers of the city. When three of the four sisters, Minerva (Salma Hayek), Mate (Mia Maestro) and Patria (Lumi Cavazos) decide to go to a convent school in the city, leaving sister Dede (Pilar Padilla) behind, they are exposed for the first time to the realities of Trujillo's rule.

Some years later, Minerva, Mate, and Patria, now attractive young women, gain the unwelcome attention of El Jefe at a dance. When Minerva slaps his face because he fondles her, he retaliates by arresting and torturing her father. Vowing a personal revenge against him, Minerva eventually joins other students who work to foment rebellion--printing leaflets, distributing guns in the countryside, and speaking to women's groups. When Mate and Patria eventually join her, the three become known as Las Mariposas, "the Butterflies." Jailed and tortured when they are caught by Trujillo's army, they and their husbands hope that by their example they will make life better for their children and for their country.

Director Mariano Barroso sacrifices the broad scope and universal themes of the book by concentrating almost exclusively on the personal lives of "las Mariposas," the risks they took, and the tortures they endured. This narrow focus removes the Mirabal sisters from their political context and diminishes the sacrifices of thirty thousand other Dominicans who were executed by Trujillo. Though the four sisters are clearly differentiated in the book and show the important and quite different reasons that people do or do not fight a dictator, here they are virtually indistinguishable from each other, another sacrifice of the broad picture in favor of easier myth-making.

Salma Hayek is gorgeous, even under jailhouse conditions, posing so attractively in her closeups that it is difficult to imagine her as a committed revolutionary. Edward James Olmos, as Trujillo, alternately sneers and smirks but remains mostly an off-screen presence. Several scenes of sadistic violence stir the emotions, but do not provide the catharsis of real tragedy. Though it is admirable that Hollywood chose to memorialize "the Butterflies," it is too bad that the film feels more like a Hollywood production than a memorial to the very real women who made such real sacrifices. Mary Whipple

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent movie- Emotional, Interesting and historical
I Loved this movie; different content and effort to bring a part of the history of the first city of the new world, The Dominican Republic. After I saw this movie, I was moved to research more abou the Dominican Republic and the Dictator Trujillo and I was amazed to know that this small Island located in the "antillas" is the cultural heritage of America, where the first university, Hospital, catedral of the new world "America" was founded. Trujillo destroyed very important historical sites and used his brutal power over the Dominicans,torturing and planting the seed of terror and resignation in his own people; In my research I found that he used to have all the families to post a sign at the entrance of their houses that prays "In this house Trujillo is the Boss". The movie will not reflect the real misery that people lived, but the excellent work of consolidated actors make this film more interesting. I loved the movie, the "Trama", as I never imagined that three sisters would have the courage and strenght to face an evil man and sacrifice in the name of Freedom and love to their motherland; I live and was born in a country of Europe and did not need to tras-culturized myself in order to understand a part of any other country's history. I will give this Real life Story a 5 stars. If you are a very well cultured person, you will love to discover a part of a distant island that have the pride to be the first in the best of "America"s foundation.

5-0 out of 5 stars Deserves a Much Wider Audience
I appreciate the comments from other reviewers, especially those from the Dominican Republic, for whom this deeply moving story is a familiar one. I ask them to consider, however, that for many viewers outside Latin America this story of the raw courage and self-sacrifice of the Mirabal sisters in opposing the brutal Trujillo dictatorship is virtually unknown.

For all the shortcomings mentioned below -- not being filmed in the Dominican Republic, plot of movie thinner than the book, etc. -- the film is an important introduction to a part of the common history of the Western Hemisphere. It tells a compelling story about events with which even those of us who try to stay abreast of developments in Latin America may nonetheless have been unaware.

The portrayals of the two principal characters -- Selma Hayek as Minerva Mirabal and Edward James Olmos as Trujillo -- are of a very high standard indeed. As other reviewers confirm, the film has inspired many who had previously known little of the Dominican Republic or of the Trujillo regime to delve further into the history and politics of this period, and in particular to learn all they can about the remarkable courage of the Mirabal sisters.

Like another neglected masterpiece -- Michael Verhoeven's "The White Rose" ("Die Weisse Rose"), which recounts the similarly selfless (almost reckless) courage of Hans and Sophie Scholl in leading a resistance movement against Hitler at the University of Munich in the 1940s -- this film tell a compelling story of resistance against hopeless odds and an almost incomprehensible personal courage. Despite a few minor weaknesses, "In the Time of the Butterflies" is a compelling film that greatly deserves to be seen by a wider audience (and the modest cost of this excellent DVD allows that to happen).

My one reservation is that -- particularly since both Selma Hayek and Edward James Olmos are a joy to listen to in the Spanish language -- it is a pity that no Spanish language sound track was included (there are only subtitles in Spanish). Perhaps MGM will do us the favor of reissuing this important DVD in a dual-language format, with both principal actors speaking their roles in Spanish? (One would think that the Spanish-speaking market for a film with these two very popular Spanish-speaking actors would be at least as great as the English-speaking one.)

In any case, it is clearly a distortion for a film like this, with a compelling theme on a neglected and important episode of recent history and with two fine actors in the principal roles, to be given only one or two stars, when the latest special-effects driven vapidity from the major studios typically receives four or five. Very strongly recommended.

4-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful!
Some people say that this movie was nothing but "hollywood fluff". I beg to differ, and I use the word "beg" in all it's true meaning. I never knew of the Mirabal sisters, but after watching this film I felt moved. This film made me want to learn more of them. Their sacrifices and all that they endured could never fully be represented on film. But I feel that this movie at least gets the ball rolling for all of us out there who didn't know of the Mirabal sisters. After watching this film, I wanted to know more of them. This film made me want to educate myself. Only 10 mins after first watching this film, I felt compelled to research more and find out more. If a film can do that for someone who knew nothing, then it is a success. ... Read more


16. The Burning Season - The Chico Mendes Story
Director: John Frankenheimer
list price: $19.99
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Asin: 6303388345
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 7833
Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (5)

4-0 out of 5 stars A Great Film
The film The Burning Season is a wonderful movie. It represents the trials and tribulations of the rubber tappers. The movie focuses on the courageous acts of Chico Mendes. He stood up for what he believed in and prevented a highway from being built in the amazon. However, the cattle ranchers had a big influence in wanting the rain forests to be destroyed. They would do anything to stop the protests even if it meant killing Chico Mendes. I felt that the director did a good job presenting the history of Brazil and the struggle of the rain forests. On the other hand I feel that the fact that this movie was made in " holly wood" so to speak, it hurt the film. I think that Chico Mendes was portrayed as being perfect in the film. People, whether they are from Brazil or the United States that want to help save the rain forests will feel they can't can't because they cannot meet the standards of Chico Mendes. So therefore I hope people see past this message that only perfect people can do great things. The truth is everyone can help and take part in saving the rainforests!

4-0 out of 5 stars The Life of Chico Mendez
The Burning Season is a wonderful film about the life and struggles of Chico Mendez. Chico (played by Raul Julia) fought his entire life to save the Amazon from ranchers and miners that wanted to cut it down. He lived a very peaceful life in Brazil as a seringueiro or rubber tapper until the cattle ranchers and miners took over his land and destroyed it. Mendez was a pioneer for the start of many efforts to save the rain forests. Unfortunately, his efforts were cut short when the son of a cattle rancher shot and killed him at his home. The movie does a great job of making viewers aware of what is happening in Brazil and how much destruction of the Amazon rain forests actually takes place.

5-0 out of 5 stars One Man's Ecological Odyssey
Originally airing on HBO, "The Burning Season" stars the late Raul Julia as Chico Mendes, the founder of Brazil's ecological movement to preserve and save the Amazon rainforest from the destruction by herders, miners, and other companies wanting to exploit the region's rich natural supplies.

Mendes, who led a movement from the small frontier town of Acre, became an international celebrity after he went on Brazilian television to fight the destruction of the Amazonian Rainforest. With the ban on Argentine beef, Brazilian farmers saw the Amazon as being an emerging area to raise cattle in order to meet the world demand for beef. Miners, who were moving onto Indian lands to mine for gold, copper, and other minerals were also effecting the rainforest's ecology.

Mendes, who was a "seringuiero," or "rubber-tapper," relied on the Amazon's vast supply of rubber trees in order to make a living. Seeing that his source of income was in peril with the elimination of trees in order to make room for miners and farmers, Mendes began a national movement to awaken the consciousness of the world about the obvious dangers that lurked nearby if the rainforest was cleared. However, his life will take a tragic turn when he was only starting to gain international awareness and support for his movement.

Puerto-Rican born actor Raul Julia, gives on of the final performances of his gifted life as Chico Mendes. Brazilian actress Sonia Braga also lends her talents to this important film that was filmed in Mexico's Yucatan region. Both actors, as well as the film's realism add depth and realism to a film that should be watched by all, especially when recent news indicate that the world's sea levels are rising due to global warming.

This is a must-see film for everyone. Chico Mendes' mission to educate the world of the immense importance that Brazil's rainforest is to world's climate control should not die in vain. This important, ethical film will awaken your awareness of what the Amazon's destruction and development will have on the world's population

5-0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking action film!
Raul Julia sympathetically portrays a modern icon of the environmental movement in a wonderful propoganda film. The film delves headfirst into issues of social and environmental justice and ethics. The viewer cannot come away without stirred emotions and be haunted by the images.

3-0 out of 5 stars The real story that fill my power.
Not great production, not new concept theme but it show the power of one like GANDHI . And fill my non violent mind but strongest way. Not just only wild forest conservation but for all . ... Read more


17. 500 Nations, Vol. 8: Attack on Culture - I Will Fight No More Forever
Director: Jack Leustig
list price: $19.99
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Asin: 6303418759
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 50712
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Description

This eight part documentary on the indigenous people of the Americas starts from Pre-Columbian history and covers the arrival of and colonization by the Europeans through modern times. The series shows the full and rich civilizations that proliferated in ancient times, as well as the current efforts of Native Americans to preserve their cultures and traditions. 500 Nations presents information from a variety of sourcesvia documents, photographs, eyewitness accounts and computer graphics. Educational and entertaining. ... Read more


18. Gossip
Director: Davis Guggenheim
list price: $12.94
our price: $12.94
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Asin: B000053V52
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 23855
Average Customer Review: 3.34 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (50)

3-0 out of 5 stars ** Gossip - Not the best **
"Gossip" is not the greatest movie. The actors were pretty good. However, Travis (Norman Reedus) didn't do too well at acting scared and serious, but did good acting drunk. Although, the average acting of the actors was quite benefic.

The film "Gossip" is about how one small rumor carries, into a homicide. If you are schooling now, I am sure there is a rumor going around. However, it isn't as twisted as this one. Rumor has it, that a girl named Naomi (Kate Hudson) had sex with a boy named Beau (Joshua Jackson). They really didn't, but three friends wanted to start a big rumor to help their journalism paper. Having sex wasn't a big deal, however, the rumor changed and said that it was a foursome. It changed again, and said that she had chains and the whole deal. It changed again, and said Naomi passed out because she was drinking and he STILL had sex with her. Then it took the final turn.

Beau was then charged for rape. This is all because one little rumor that three kids started. However, there is more to the story then just the rumor. It leads into a homicide. The three kids, Derrick (James Marsden), Cathy Jones (Lena Headey), and Travis feel very guilty. What should they do?

The ending was weak. It was very predictable, and when it happened, the whole movie went pointless. However, the moral of the movie was well laid. It's a movie all should see, but there are a lot better movies out there.

5-0 out of 5 stars Gossip Gone Too Far: A Thriller
The 2000 film "Gossip" which was not mainstream or even that much publicized stars attractive young people- James Marsden, Joshua Jackson (from Dawson's Creek)and Kate Hudson. The movie is a bit of a thriller and teen angst drama about the negative consequences of gossip and the evil it can produce. Set in a college, three roomates decide to spread a vicious rumor about a rich girl (Kate Hudson) who gets drunk at a club party. The rumor is that she was date raped by her date. This results in dangerous problems for many of the characters as slowly the truth is developed. The movie may lack some substance as it attempts to be a serious drama about the evil nature of gossip. Like other reviewers have claimed, it's a bit of an intense and dark soap opera in which good looking people set out to harm others. In this case, it's a lot like Cruel Intentions which was in itself a modern take on the French series "Dangerous Liasions".

The movie is very dark. Some of the mystery is vague as we don't know what to believe is true and what is just gossip. Eventually we discover that James Marsden's character Derek Webb is the real villain and the cause of all the trouble. He had been the high school boyfriend of Kate Hudson's character "the poor little rich girl" as he described her. He raped her and again at the party. His lying and scheming comes to an end as he is caught red-handed in confession at the end of the film. The movie is a pretty adult film and not to be seen by too young an audience. I believe there is enough R rated material here to indicate that is intended to be viewed by a mature audience- violence, (...)and language. The college classroom scenes are by far what most attracted me to the story. It is proof that people do love gossip and rumor, as our society does today, but it dehumanizes and corrupts. The battle of the (...)discussion is also quite interesting. But the movie's heart lies in the fact that Derek Webb is a young man we know all too well exists out there and may be getting away with crimes. I hope this movie opens people's eyes about gossip and about lies and how to value the truth which is the greatest human gift of all.

5-0 out of 5 stars Hot Gossip
This is one of my favorite movies, it's well directed and has a good message at the end and James Marsden is so hot. I'm wondering why people found it confusing because it was pretty straight forward... I'm in my 20's and don't get the comparison of it being a "12-17" crowd thing, it makes me wonder if people who say that even went to college...like drinking and partying doesn't happen..get real. I think the biggest problem is the touchy issue of the rumor being spread having to do with date rape. Overall the movie is worth seeing, the acting was great and I also liked watching the commentary.

1-0 out of 5 stars Liar Liar
Oh well, another teen movie...This one, however, has an agenda and manages to deliver a message about the power of rumours and lies in today`s world (particularly in a US Campus). The plot focuses three college students, a pretty, arrogant and rich boy, a curious and smart girl and a reserved, shy artist-wannabe. These journalism students create a gossip just for fun (and also for a work they had to make), but its consequences end up being more serious than what they first thought.

Yes, the movie`s premise isn`t bad, yet its execution is not very interesting, delivering a contrived morality tale that, despite some attempts at being hip and surprising, doesn`t dare to go beyond a typical afterschool special. The direction is nothing special, the soundrack is decent and the acting is just a collection of cute faces that present flat and cardboard characters.

"Gossip" is watchable but unsubstancial, an average teen movie that lacks edge and a good script (the ending is particularly ridiculous and childish). Still, some highschool students out there may like this nonetheless, since they probably can relate to it. Anyway, spread the gossip: this flick is worth skipping.

3-0 out of 5 stars Good...but not great 'gossip' to spread.
While the premise of the movie was interesting, and the cast was good looking, it's a movie you might want to see once but not again.

'Derek', 'Jones' (the only female) and 'Travis' live in Derek's overly lush apartment with rent that had to range in the high thousands every month ('Travis' doesn't even have the money to pay his side of the rent.). Though we're supposed to be convinced that everything is covered by Derek's trust fund.

They're college students (Freshmen even.) but old enough to drink. Derek has a full bar and the three go to clubs and bars more than twice in the movie. Derek seems to have a thing with saying "Let's all just have a drink."

The three decide to spread a rumor for a class and track it's progress and how much it's changed when they hear about it again. The rumor itself was, at a party all three and many other students attended; a rich girl named Naomi has sex with her date Beau in a bedroom upstairs. Naomi is supposed to be a sweet and celibate girl and as it turns out, she can't remember a thing anyway from the party.

Accusations, bad versions of the rumor and fights ensue because of this. Which leads to Jones starting to feel bad, especially because it was her idea to start a rumor for class. But the rumor itself was thought up by Derek. Travis...does all the work it seems. He's the artistic and loyal one of the three.

Travis is the only one we see recording any facts for the assignment from endlessly making graphics that show these events happening and putting them on his wall (Derek: "What are you going to do, turn in your room?") to recording students' thoughts, while Jones fights for 'the truth' behind events that take place or have taken place and while Derek revels in his lifestyle, bar and popularity with women.

There's many plotholes in this movie and you'll either be annoyed or draw your own conclusions. Norman Reedus (Travis) is really the most experienced and talented actor in this movie and it's too bad he did get a small part even if he did play it well. And I find it amusing that he was referred to also as a young new actor when he has done a good ten movies before this one and was 29/30 when filming 'Gossip'. (Even though he can still easily pass for mid twenties.) James Marsden was impressive to a degree as was Edward James Olmos, everyone else while attractive, I was only impressed by on a mediocre level.

The DVD was good for the special features including the full club scene with Poe singing "My Lips Are Sealed" and Tonic's video for the movie only including 'Travis' and clips from the movie.

The alternate ending on the DVD makes much more sense than the one they chose. The ending left us bored, questioning and frustrated because the movie was good and intriguing (Albeit not very realistic.) but the ending was a let down. See for yourself, like the DVD says; "'Gossip' can turn you on, or it can turn on you." ... Read more


19. The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez
Director: Robert M. Young
list price: $9.94
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0792845161
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 16097
Average Customer Review: 4.67 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (3)

4-0 out of 5 stars Read the book too!
Great film, thoroughly enjoyable. However, even more enjoyment can be had by understanding the entire story to be found in Americo Paredes' book "With a Pistol in His Hands." Here you will find out that fact can be more amazing than legend.

5-0 out of 5 stars 6 star rating.
I have seen The Gregorio Cortez Movie probably about 20 times. I was good friends with Dr. Americo Paredes, the writer of the book and live very close to the area that Senor Cortez lived and worked. This movie should be made a standard in every school in America. It was very dramatic, sensitive, and a eye opener.

5-0 out of 5 stars Bravo to MGM/UA for re-releasing this hard-to-find classic!
Probably the most authentic Western ever made, this gripping adventure film recounts the true story of the largest manhunt in Texas history. In June 1901, six hundred Texas Rangers chased Gregorio Cortez, a Mexican-American ranch hand, for ll days across 450 miles of terrain. Was Cortez a cold-blooded killer or an innocent man fleeing injustice? You decide. Starring Edward James Olmos ("Miami Vice", "Stand and Deliver"). Based on the book by folklorist Américo Paredes, "With A Pistol in His Hand" (1958, Austin: University of Texas Press). Olmos, who met this author in February 2000, told her in person he has two favorite films from the many he has made--this one and "Caught" (1996). ... Read more


20. 12 Angry Men
Director: William Friedkin
list price: $9.94
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00004Y86Z
Catlog: Video
Average Customer Review: 4.06 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (35)

3-0 out of 5 stars Doesn't stand up to the original
Despite fine performances by all, especially Jack Lemmon in the Fonda role, this remake does not even come close to the original. It lacks the punch of the original and not all the actors meet the standards set by the original actors. Even the great Hume Cronyn, as good as he is, doesn't compare to his predecessor. Maybe I am disappointed in this movie because I saw the original first and judge it by that standard. On it's own, it's not a bad film but once you've made a classic why remake it? Do you really think you can get it better. Don't waste your money. Buy the original.

5-0 out of 5 stars What a remake!
I consider myself a very demanding movie watcher, and this one definitely satisfies my expectations. I had the chance to see both 1957 and 1997 versions for "12 angry men", and I must say my vote goes to the recent one. Friedkin manages to create a whole atmosphere which seems much more realistic to me than the rather rigid and sometimes mechanic performances shown on the earlier version. In my opinion, Friedkin's cast looks so natural in their expressions and personality, they don't seem to be 'acting', which is a fault often seen in older movies. Characters and psychological profiles were improved so that you recognize and identify everyone of them, and you have a feeling no man's missing and no man's unnecesary. Jack Lemmon and George C. Scott offer an astonishing display of talent, and Scott's final monologue makes Lee J Cobb's performance look pale and opaque. If I were to choose a lawyer, I'd take Lemmon instead of Fonda, no doubt about it. The variety of the cast brings a refreshing, believable and solid mosaic of personalities I just don't see in Lumet's film (1957). Don't turn your back on this remake. You may be missing a great movie.

3-0 out of 5 stars Nice effort, but doesn't stand up to the original
I really don't think a masterpiece like 12 ANGRY MEN needs a remake. This remake of the classic 1957 film makes many good efforts, but falls short in many points. First of all, I think Scott is excellent, and could stand serious comparison with Cobb in the original. (Alright, maybe his final monologue isn't quite as cyclonic as Cobb's, but perhaps Scott was wise in not trying to emulate that.) Many of the other actors are also very good. But some of the actors miss the mark on their characterizations. Olmos' watchmaker is a confused mess. (Who is he? Where is he from? What is his social class?) Gandolfini's Juror # 6 is surly and disagreeable, unlike Edward Binns' kindly original. The actor playing Juror # 5 is too confident and bold; in the original, this character was a scared and self-conscious young man who identified with the defendant. I admit that making Juror # 10 a former Nation of Islam member was a creative choice. But why does the judge (female in this version) not set up the atmosphere of physical discomfort and indifference, which are important themes in the movie? And why does # 10 decribe the defendant as a "common ignorant slob"? His appearance and dress do not suggest this! In the original movie, ALL the actors were superb and perfect for their parts; there were no weak links.

Another problem I have with this movie is that in some places it fastidiously modernizes, while in others it stays stubbornly in the 1950's. Why are there two Europeans on the jury? Before I saw the movie I thought sure there would be a Hispanic, an Asian, or a Middle Easterner. Why does Juror # 7 still sell marmalade as in the original? (Danza seems more like someone who would sell sports equipment or big-screen TV's!) Why does Juror #12 still present the dated stereotype of the 50's advertizing man? Why is the Olmos character still a watchmaker? Indeed, the screenplay was adapted by Reginald Rose, the writer for the 1957 version, and it is pretty close to the original script. I think in some instances he should have changed more than he did. The black and white and the camera work of the original do a much better job of creating the atmosphere of heat, claustrophobia, and grittiness in the jury room. And of course the central problem of updating this movie is that juries today would probably not consist entirely of men.

But above all, I find that this remake lacks the depth and richness of the original. I could spend all day analyzing the 1957 version, its many telling details, its layers of meaning, the countless psychological insights which the actors lend to their portrayals. Not so here. A case in point is Lemmon. His performance is good as far as it goes, but it is straightforward and one-dimensional. He has none of the complexity and shades of self-doubt that Fonda brought to the role. He seems more like a self-assured amateur lawyer than an architect pulled from the street. To sum it all up, I think the original 1957 12 ANGRY MEN is a timeless classic that neeeds no updating. This version has some good performances and is interesting to watch, but in the end it is superfluous.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Great Success
This movie was simply mesmerizing, I saw the first 12 angry men on AMC. But it was very tedious, and boring. My mother got summoned to jury duty a few months later and she would come home pissed off that she had to do this boring civil duty. so one night she stopped by BLOCKBUSTER VIDEO and rented the new version of 12 Angry Men and it blew us away. We still watch this video at least two times a week, Because it's hilarious, and refreshing to see the diversity in the cast (mainly due to a 40 year time time difference in the two movies) . At the same time it makes you think. I love all the performances by these fantastic actors. Especially those of Mykelti Milliamson, and George C. Scott, potraying the angriest jurors of all. I love when people can let their rage take over and show us all their real feelings towards people from other races, countries,etc.

5-0 out of 5 stars Very good!
Excellent remake, I think this one is better than the original. George C. Scott and Jack Lemmon are at their absolute best. Highly recommended. ... Read more


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