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  • Zahedi, Caveh
  • Zanuck, Lili Fini
  • Zanussi, Krzysztof
  • Zappa, Frank
  • Zeffirelli, Franco
  • Zeltser, Yuri
  • Zemeckis, Robert
  • Zidi, Claude
  • Zieff, Howard
  • Ziehm, Howard
  • Zielinski, Rafal
  • Ziller, Paul
  • Zinberg, Michael
  • Zinnemann, Fred
  • Zito, Joseph
  • Zlotoff, Lee David
  • Zucker, David
  • Zucker, Jerry
  • Zuniga, Frank
  • Zwick, Edward
  • Zwick, Joel
  • Zwigoff, Terry
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    $9.95 $4.67
    1. Romeo and Juliet
    $4.97 $4.75
    2. My Big Fat Greek Wedding
    $75.00 list($14.98)
    3. Endless Love
    $18.48 list($19.98)
    4. Back to the Future
    $11.95 list($14.95)
    5. Hamlet
    list($14.95)
    6. Glory
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    7. Forrest Gump
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    8. The Spitfire Grill
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    9. Fat Albert
    $11.99 $8.53 list($12.98)
    10. Oklahoma!
    $47.30 list($59.99)
    11. The Last Samurai
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    12. Julia
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    13. Leaving Normal
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    14. Airplane!
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    15. Romancing the Stone
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    16. The Disappearance of Garcia Lorca
    $9.95 $2.49
    17. Ghost
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    18. High Noon
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    19. From Here to Eternity
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    20. The Nun's Story

    1. Romeo and Juliet
    Director: Franco Zeffirelli
    list price: $9.95
    our price: $9.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 6300216039
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 695
    Average Customer Review: 4.61 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (142)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A sumptuous Renaissance feast!
    Franco Zefirrelli's 1967 film was revolutionary in using teenaged actors to play the two most famous lovers of all literature. Olivia Hussey is heartbreakingly beautiful, a vulnerable and courageous Juliet, while Leonard Whiting's poetic good looks make him a sensitive and appealing Romeo. Zefirrelli's career as an opera director is put to spectacular use here--each scene is meticulously crafted to be an exact replica of the Renaissance. Stunningly beautiful clothing, jewels, furniture, food, glass, sculpture--it is an overwhelming feast for the eyes. The preserved medieval towns of Tuscany, and the lovely Borghese palace where the balcony scene is set, give the film the look of an animated Renaissance painting. Zefirrelli took some liberties with Shakespeare's original script for the sake of brevity, but unless you are a die-hard purist, this is a minor flaw. I saw this film a dozen times in the theater, and never without the sound of girls weeping by the end--I was often one of them. Leslie Howard was a better actor, and Leonardo DiCaprio/Clare Danes more modern, but if you love beauty, this is THE quintessential Romeo and Juliet on film. END

    5-0 out of 5 stars Zeffirelli's Quintessential Version! Every Aspect Excellent!
    This is THE must see version of Romeo and Juliet. Zeffirelli's 1968 masterpiece stars 17-year-old Leonard Whiting and 15-year-old Olivia Hussey with great music by Nino Rota. Filmed "on location" in Italy this version also has the fingerprints of the 1960s all over it, from moddish long hair, the debut of Michael York as Tybalt, John McEnery as Mercutio, the lush balcony scenes, the nude scene, and an emotional intensity throughout. McEnery brings just the right comic touch to the comi-tragedy and screenwriters Franco Brusati, Maestro D'Amico, and Zeffirelli keep true to Shakespeare with a take on the story that's easily accessible to a wide audience, thereby making this one of the most popular films of the '60s.

    Especially effective is the ambiguity of intent of the Tybalt-Mercutio duel, and the overall editing of dialogue just enough to keep it succinct and believable yet retain the poetic and philosophical virtuosity of the playwright's playwright. The music is used effectively and as it rises during the love scenes it's a manipulation that's an enhancement to rather than distraction from the emotion--a rare successful pull-off of this. And that balcony scene is extraordinary, the lush dark atmosphere, Romeo's giddiness, Juliet's beauty...I believed it.

    Milo O'Shea (who later played the Judge in "The Verdict") does a believable Friar Laurence and Robert Stephens (I)(with a long list of Shakespearian roles to his name) an intensely serious Prince of Verona. It's hard not to fall in love with Olivia (watch for her new film role as Mother Theresa).

    Some bits of trivia: Before 1968 Romeo and Juliet was not generally taught in US high schools and this film's popularity changed all that as most of you reading this had it in high school. Michael York turned down the role of Oliver in Love Story--one may read into this he felt it was a poor man's Romeo and Juliet...just a thought. Also Olivia Hussey briefly dated Prince Charles. And here's the clincher: Paul McCartney got the original offer to play Romeo. I'm glad he turned it down, as Whiting is perfect here. And for those who wonder, the story did not originate in historical fact, though one may wish it so. The story came from mythical legend starting in 5th century Greece, later evolving into "The Tragical History of Romeus and Juliet" translated into English in 1562 by Arthur Brooke and originally written about 1530 by Luigi da Porto., 'til Shakespeare got a hold of it (circa 1594) and breathed into it the life that will last as long as humanity does most probably.

    This towers over the 1st film version with a 34-year-old Norma Shearer and a 43-year-old Leslie Howard, and as for the 1996 mess sorry guys; American accents, present day gang violence, over-the-top overacting, LA locales, and Leonard DiCaprio do not great Shakespearean tragedy make. This 1968 one is the one to see over and over.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent movie...Great actors
    Watching this as part of a highschool assignment, the teacher only allowed us to watch about 15 minutes of it. When I saw it playing on cable, I sat down to finish it. This, I must say, is the best version of Romeo and Juliet. In the '68 version The actors are young and even though it was made in '68, you can relate to them in this day. The acting is superb, no one better could have been picked for the parts. It was a real tearjerker. Not to mention the soundtrack...the songs were just amazing to hear. Just watch the movie once, you'll fall in love with it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Defintive R & J
    I could watch this version of Romeo and Juliet over, and over, and over. The performances are dead on, especially John McEnry's turn as Mercutio (you understand the reason why he's killed off: people would have cared more about him than about the tragic heroes if he'd been around too much longer!). I would advise teachers, however, that this is not the first version they show students of the show. While most ninth graders read this play, the giggling that can abound in a classroom watching Romeo in tights often distracts from the meaning of the film.
    So, for with the exception of ninth graders, this is the Romeo and Juliet to see.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Zeffirelli and Shakespeare: A Perfect Match
    There is nothing worse than bad Shakespeare but not to worry here-- Franco Zeffirelli and Shakespeare come together here in a lavish, opulent production of ROMEO AND JULIET, just when we thought there was nothing fresh to say about them. Zeffirelli has broken new ground by casting Leonard Whiting, who is 17, and Olivia Hussey, who is all of 15 but looks even younger, in this timeless classic story about "star-crossed" lovers. With the possible exception of some parts of the musical score-- although much of it soars-- this film is as good today as it was when first released in 1968. (The musical theme was beautiful the first 50 times I heard it on the radio. Then it became trite.)

    There are no bad actors here. In addition to the two lovers, Michael York as Tybalt and Pat Heywood as the nurse give outstanding performances, just to name two. My only negative comment about the acting is that Romeo always seems to run to and from an event or meeting; he never walks. Perhaps that is what a seventeen-year-old, testosterone-laden lad does, however. On the other hand, Romeo and Juliet's tragic story is completely believable and will put chills on your spine. Additionally, the dance scenes and duel scenes are quite wonderful. The wardrobe department got everything right as well.

    A word about the language-- it goes without saying that Mr. Shakespeare is and ever shall be the greatest writer in English. Hearing his words again is a transcendent experience. ... Read more


    2. My Big Fat Greek Wedding
    Director: Joel Zwick
    list price: $4.97
    our price: $4.97
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00007J88X
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 111
    Average Customer Review: 4.08 out of 5 stars
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    Description

    Toula Portokalos is a quiet, devoted daughter in a big, hectic, crazy Greek family. Working at her father's restaurant, "Dancing Zorba's," she hides behind a mop of mousy brown hair and thick, impenetrable glasses, keeping her family close and the world at a distance. But one day at the restaurant, she finds herself pouring coffee for a man so strikingly good-looking, that he inspires her to change her life - and the way she sees the world - forever. With a new hairdo, wardrobe, contact lenses, and most important of all, a whole new attitude, Toula steps out into the world a new woman, all ready to meet her man. Ian Miller is tall, handsome, but definitely not Greek. And whether he can handle Toula, her parents, her aunts, uncles, cousins and several centuries of Greek culture remains to be seen. But when you see the world through Toula's eyes, anything is possible! ... Read more

    Reviews (686)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Surprise Hit - Well Worth Watching!
    Screenplay writer doubling as actress, Nia Vardalos plays herself - the frumpy daughter in a paternalistic Greek family in Chicago. She's dying to get out from the family business, a Greek restaurant, so that she can take some classes at the local college.

    Enter Ian, a handsome suitor that is perfect in every way but one. He's not Greek.

    Hilarity ensues as Ian introduces Nia to his family and she introduces Ian to her family. The cultural and familial differences make for many laughs.

    The film nails the family relations perfectly - aunts that like to talk about their medical conditions, overprotective brothers, a misguided but loving father that likes to use Windex, a mother obsessed with cooking, the nosy beauty-queen cousin....

    Most anyone will be able to identify with this film. It makes no difference whether one comes from a Greek background or not.

    The film is filled with genuine laughs and subtle humor (e.g. as Ian tries to attract Nia's attention outside the storefront window he runs into an old woman who then takes it out on him with her purse). I found myself laughing throughout.

    The characters are well played. Nia plays the role she was born to play - herself, and the film is thankfully absent of any high-powered Hollywood names. With no big names to distract the viewer, it makes the film work well.

    Look for either a sequel or a sitcom to be spawned from this surprise blockbuster. Three cheers for independent films!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Hilarious and sweet
    I saw this movie with my best friend and it was awesome.

    I love how Ian goes to great lengths to be accepted by Toula's family. He's someone any woman would love to have. When Toula was "frump girl" he saw past that and just saw her as she is.

    Although her family can be a huge pain in the ass, they only want what's best for her. In a way,they remind me of my family.

    Everyone should see this movie. It'll make you laugh and it has really sweet moments.

    3-0 out of 5 stars It's All Greek To Me!
    My Big Fat Greek Wedding is the Greek-American take on love, work, food, drink, school, language, religion, fashion and dating among other things. As the title suggests, it features a massive cast of relatives, half of which are called "Nick".

    Toula (Nia Vardalos) is a 30 year old Greek-American waitress at her parents restaurant. Her folks want her married and with children. She is shy, a little ashamed of her family, and looking for something new in her life. She lands a job at a Greek-American run travel agent and meets Ian Miller (John Corbett), a handsome, long haired guy, and a non-Greek to boot. HE'S something new! Toula falls in love with him, secretly dates him, and eventually gets proposed to by him. A clash of cultures follows as the wedding draws near!

    The love element is just the icing on the cake. What this film is really about is Greek-Americans and their way of life, which may often seem strange and silly to outsiders but really is close knit, fun loving and family centred. I have some Greek friends, and though living in Australia they're slightly different here, the attitudes, the values, the oddities and the relatives are pretty similar to those shown in the film. It's not that exaggerated or played up upon, as a lot of other Hollywood films often are.

    If anything, maybe it's a little downplayed. My Greek friends are a lot louder and larger than life that this cast. A little more entertaining too, actually. Maybe because of this, "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" it didn't really have a big impact on me. I'd seen all these cultural elements before, so it wasn't a novelty, and since I'm not a Greek immigrant myself (or a child of), it was harder to relate to. Still, that's just me. This film is warm hearted, funny and insightful, and you can tell that everyone involved had a lot of fun recreating a Greek-American household.

    If you liked this film, you may also like to see "The Wog Boy", a slightly sillier movie about the life of a workshy Greek-Australian.

    4-0 out of 5 stars You have to see this movie!!!
    I first saw My Big Fat Greek Wedding alone on the big screen. I had no idea that it would be such a hit.

    Nia Vardalos does an incredible job about bringing out the humor in what it means to be a Greek American. I laughed before things were even said in the movie -- the Greek school scene, the Greek "boys" her dad wants her to marry, the brother, and the pomp & circumstance of the wedding. This is a funny movie, I think for non-Greeks, but for Greeks, it's a must. You have to see this movie. How often does anyone make a movie about Greek Americans anyway??

    That being said, the dialogue could have been improved. Ian was a bit boring and flat of a character. I suppose that was the point, seeing as we were supposed to "see" Toula better. I think if Vardalos had realized what a hit she had on her hands, there would have been more polish on the movie. As it is, it is a diamond in the rough -- more or less.

    4-0 out of 5 stars A funny light entertainment
    This film is austere but delightful. Written with sincerity and honesty. Affective memories support this movie.
    Laughable situations along the process to approach to the greek mood.
    Good performances and fluid script. ... Read more


    3. Endless Love
    Director: Franco Zeffirelli
    list price: $14.98
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 6302035139
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 3138
    Average Customer Review: 4.04 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (27)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A SAD BUT GOOD ROMANCE FLICK!
    I was recently flipping the channels when I first saw this and I came on the scene where Brooke Shields is walking up the stairs to meet up with Martin Hewitt at a party. I was so fascinated by the movie, that I continued to watch it many times after that. Even though it's not out for release right now, it's still good (if you have cable or satellite dish) to look for it on The Love Stories Channel, which frequently shows it. I love this movie and the song. I don't understand why some critics have said it was a bad movie, because it's the best love story I've ever seen. I'm reading the book right now, and they're quite different, but both give a lot of depth and show David's endless love for Jade.

    4-0 out of 5 stars If your are late 20's or early 30's you remember!
    I have read the newer reviews, & kids these days just do not appreciate the good "older movies". I can remember watching this
    movie OVER & OVER & OVER again years ago. It is one of the best
    "younger age" movies of it's time. Movies now have changed (for the worse in my opinion), & in it's day, this movie was extraordinary. Endless Love is & will always be part of my video collection...A classic in it's time...I can only hope I'll get it on DVD one of these days (please release it!!!!).It's worth every penny in my book!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Sometimes you gotta dig a little deeper...
    to understand a much misunderstood movie! Endless Love is one such movie. So what brought me to this conclusion? Viewing it three times in a row and finally "getting it." You see, when I read reviews depicting this movie as a world-class disaster I was surprised, seeing as how Franco Zeferelli directed it. It couldn't possibly be that bad, I thought to myself...so I rented it. To be honest, the first time I watched it I was a little disappointed. Although the cinematography was excellent, I noticed far too much "choppiness" and little editing errors here and there. I was also a bit uncomfortable with the way the storyline was headed, partly because I had my own preconceived notions and felt "set up" for something different than what I was seeing. As one reviewer put it, "Endless Obsession" would have been a more suitable title, or so I thought at the time. When the movie ended I felt a little uneasy, like I had just missed something big. So what did I do? I rewound the thing and began to watch again, this time trying to ignore the inconsistancies and kept an open mind. As I sat there immersed in Jade and David's world, I finally began to understand. Franco Zeferelli knew exactly what he was doing, he was telling us this story through the eyes of these kids, not as the more knowledgable interpreter. To suggest that this movie would have been better if Jade and David's love had been more "mature" is ridiculous. That would have killed the whole point. Were Jade and David truly in love? Yes, I believe they were...however, they weren't ready to handle the intense emotions they were experiencing maturity wise, and this is presicely why everything span out of control when Jade's parents allowed them to have adult relations, especially in their own house! For many people, sex can be a powerful force, and it's extremely difficult to break the emotional and physical bond it creates. Most teens are simply too naive and irresponsible to handle the baggage that comes with a sexual relationship. Like the saying goes "fire is beautiful in a fireplace, but it's destructive anywhere else." I believe Jade's mother permitted this to go on because of her own longing for her youth, when her kind wholeheartedly believed in "free love" and the paradoxal delusion of a "more innocent time" ran rampant. Her own twisted nostalgia prevented her from being the older and wiser mother she should have been. When push came to shove and David was banished (Of course he didn't see that one coming), it's no wonder he lost his mind. They had led him on into thinking that he had already became part of the family, then suddenly BOOM, see ya. So what if it was only a month-long banishment? A month feels like eternity to a teenager who is in love. As far as David was concerned, They may as well have told him never to come back again. By that time him and Jade had already spun their cocoon, and come hell or high water testosterone driven David was going to protect what they had created. Simply put, bad news and raging hormones don't mix. I don't believe that David had "metal issues." He was terribly misguided and in his own mind was almost grieving a death. His idea of being the hero who rescues his beloved Jade is extremely stupid in retrospect, however I couldn't help but feel deep pity for him. He needed someone to shake some sense into him and remind him that a month isn't forever, that he still would have seen Jade at school. When I saw David as being the kid he was portraying, my attitude toward his suffering changed. David is a classic example of Freud's theory of "Return of the Repressed," by denying yourself you create what you fear. David and Jade were the victims of a self-fulfilling prophecy, perpetuated by the ignorance and indifference of their parents. In it's own way, Endless Love is a masterpiece, because it doesn't automatically assume that what Jade and David are experiencing is "puppy love," but rather reluctantly allows the idea of them being in love and poses the question "what if?" What if they really are in love, how would it work given the circumstances they are in? Given their lack of maturity, wisdom, positive family influences, life experiences, etc., how exactly would their love flourish? The answer is sad but very realistic. A love at that stage in life has a nil chance of surviving, and even if it does work out, it won't be the likes of a storybook fairy tale. Chances are that the road will be full of impossible hurdles, road blocks and many tears. Problems are inevitable, however love is a precious thing and the movie does its best to emphasize it in the end. Was this movie perfect? NO, I wouldn't go that far. I think that for its time, it does stick out among all the other teen flicks that were made during that decade. Next to Risky Business, Endless Love is one of the better movies that actually have depth if you look for it. Just my humble opinion!

    2-0 out of 5 stars Silly Soap Operaish Teen Exploitation Movie!!
    I was about 16 years old when this movie was in the movie theaters and being a fan of Brooke Shields I watched Endless Love and though it started off as a pretty decent movie and had potential it soon dissolved into a silly soap opera. It's really nothing more then a silly teen exploitation movie!

    1-0 out of 5 stars Endless torture
    I have no idea why this film is practically out of print & why it's so expensive when it's so indescribably awful. I also have no idea why so many people love this film. I purchased a copy of it recently to see what the hype was all about (e.g. the rumor floating around that it had a lot of sex in it & my parents forbidding my older sisters to see it in the '80's. This was surprising since my parents were pretty lenient in letting us watch almost every movie we wanted to when my sisters & I were growing up). To my dismay, the sex scenes really didn't show that much. The only decent things I can say is that the cinematography is good (e.g. the orange lighting in the scenes where Jade (Brooke Shields) & David (Martin Hewitt) are making love. Martin Hewitt is great eye-candy for the female viewers in this film.

    The film's not even so bad it's good. I did recently watch "I Love the '80's Strikes Back 1981" on VH-1 & was amused by how awful the stars on the show said it was & the jokes they made about it. The acting is awful by everybody & no one is really likable in the film. Jade's parents are morons. The father tries to be cool & smoke grass & drink alcohol with the kids. He usually ends up making a fool out of himself, dancing around idiotically. Basically, he's only nice when he's under the influence. Jade's mom struggles to sputter out easy sentences & sayings, souding like a child learning Hooked on Phonics & is so sex-starved that she tries to pull an a la Graduate & make it with David. Jade's older brother (James Spader) is not happy with David dating Jade even though he introduced the two!

    Brooke Shields disturbs me in this film. I always got the feeling that she was exploited in this film (as she was in many others when she was young e.g. Pretty Baby as a 12-year-old prostitute, The Blue Lagoon in which she's way too young to be wearing barely nothing & having sex) as some unstable, young nymphomaniac who acts much younger than 15. This is especially evident in the rape scene that was so nauseating I had to fast forward past it. It's long after David has intentionally set fire to Jade & her family's house & they meet up again a couple of years later & he rapes her, making her demand over & over again to proclaim his love to her & she's crying. Afterwards, she's still on his bed, acting flirty & nonchalant as if nothing happened. What a f@#%*# up scene!

    After the scene I just mentioned, I kept on fast forwarding through the film to stop the madness & because I really didn't care what would happen. I just wanted it to end. Does it have a point? Maybe it does - that arson will not win back the heart of the girl you love? Or maybe that obsessive love will, most likely & almost always, lead to tragic consequences? But who really cares any way? I suggest you save your money & rent better films about obsessive love like the uncensored version of 9 1/2 Weeks & the 1st version of Romeo & Juliet. ... Read more


    4. Back to the Future
    Director: Robert Zemeckis
    list price: $19.98
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 6300184234
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 2794
    Average Customer Review: 4.87 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (186)

    5-0 out of 5 stars "Once this baby hit's 88 miles per hour..."
    "Back to the Future" has to be one of the funnest movies I've ever seen and it's one the greatest films of the 1980's, if not of all time.

    Marty McFly is a 17 year-old living in the small town of Hill Valley (not sure of the state) and hasn't got a great life; he's stuck in a family of losers, notably his wimpy father, and is not a successful student. The only things Marty has going for him are his pretty girlfriend Jenny and his friendship with the zany Doctor Emmett Brown. Marty's life begins to make a huge turnaround when he travels to the past in a time machine that Doc Brown has invented out of a DeLorean sports car. Landing in the year 1955, Marty inadvertently prevents his parents from meeting the way did as teens and this change ends up disrupting the events of his future; if Marty is unable to get his parents toghether, he'll cease to exist! Marty's is forced to go onto a madcap scramble to save the future and his very life.

    So many things work great in "Back to the Future." Rob Zemeckis gives the film some excellent direction, packing it with lots of energy and excitment. Something else I really love about the film is the script. You can describe it in three words: smart, snappy, and witty. You don't see that in a lot of sci-fi movies and it's certainly a welcome addition to this film. The acting, meanwhile, is superb. Michael J. Fox gives what may very well be the best performance of his career playing Marty McFly. Christopher Llyod and Crispin Glover, who play Doc Brown and Marty's dad respectively, are just as good. Llyod virtually steals every scene that he's in with that eccentric look of his and Glover plays the role of a nerd to perfection. Though this film was made almost 20 years ago, the special effects look pretty good, even by todays standards. I'm betting this film laid a lot of ground work for special effects later on.

    This movie is a must-see. If you really consider yourself a movie fan, then you can't miss out on "Back to the Future." It's the complete package. Check it out.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Its a wonder I was even born at all !
    Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, time travel and an ingenious story. What more could you want. All of these terrific actors disappear melting into their original characters. When you think of Michael J. Fox, you may think of Spin City, but more likely than not the name Marty McFly enters your mind. Christopher Lloyd has done many characters in several movies, but none compare to his perfect portrayal of Doc Emmit Brown. Lea Thompson's post Caroline in the City role had me wondering when I was a child whether it was possible that she was playing both young and old versions of Marty's mom. In fact, I had an argument with my own mother about it. "No way!" I said. Now that Im older I know better, but it just seems that a more perfect cast has never been assembled.

    Robert Zemeckis has crafted a fine story envolving a paradox and simplicity. Guess what? The Trilogy is coming to DVD in December! I can't wait to add them to my collection. I'm sure you can't either!

    Back to the Future is a movie so close to so many heart's that it will forever remain a classic, whether or not it makes A.F.I.'s top one hundred list. I consider it to be one of the funniest and incredible movie's ever made. What would you do if you could take a trip into the past?

    5-0 out of 5 stars Time Travel Adventure filled with Pop-Culture
    An 80s high school kid (played by Michael J. Fox) must travel back in time to make sure his parents actually end up together. A "nutty professor" has come up with the machine to enable the trip: A 1985 DeLorean powerd with plutonium. Fox not only manages to make his parents fall in love with each other, but ends up changing the future of his entire family forever.

    There are many enjoyable references to 50s life (they never heard of skate boards or using your hands to twist the cap off a bottle of Pepsi, not to mention "Calvin Kline briefs" or the "devil music" of Chuck Berry). This is a wonderful film for any age audience. It's in my personal all-time top 10 (and I've seen my share of good films!). Zap yourself an Orville Reddenbacher, grab a "ring pull" Pepsi and enjoy this fun fun fun film!*****

    3-0 out of 5 stars Really movie-like movie
    As a tenager in the real life 1980's I personally testify that no one had life like the fictional character of Marty McFly in BTTF. Nobody! His whole life, dialogue, situations all totally Hollywod style and thus movie-like. Oh yeah-- and we didn't travel around in cars that could go back in time eithr.

    5-0 out of 5 stars maker that made the story nobody have thought is wonderful.
    The Back to the future‡T is the best favorite works in1-3. Certainly for 1985 film, the fashion and film making etc is a little out of date. But the comedy and wondeful story that nobody have though ever will not be inferior to all other works. From a long ago, time mathine etc, there have been such tume theme stories, but they go back old age and by varying the codition as should exist originally, they recover now truth themself. The story was tempted very much.

    The character of the cast was tempted me too. For instance, the docter that is devoted to the crazy experiments always or the timid but comic father that can not resist to the aggresive boss and funny dog that was named to Ainsyutaim.

    Though it was pitiful, the scene that the father was tease to the boss in the child age even in a coffe shop was fun. the last scene that the father beated the boss is happy to me too.

    Certainly the maked film is old, for instance in the movie Chicago Cubs was said the lowest rank all the time and could get to the victory, but last year the team advanced to the play off games.
    But the story was very wonderful. After I wathced to the film, my feeling became refleshing though I can not express very well. Anyway old, young, woman,man, it is the movie that everybody can enjoy.

    Thank you for reading poor English. ... Read more


    5. Hamlet
    Director: Franco Zeffirelli
    list price: $14.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 6302096243
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 19519
    Average Customer Review: 4.06 out of 5 stars
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    Franco Zeffirelli's stripped-down, two-hour version of Shakespeare's play stars Mel Gibson as a rather robust version of the ambivalent Danish prince. Gibson is much better in the part than many critics have admitted, his powers of clarity doing much to make this particularHamlet more accessible than several other filmed versions. The supporting cast is outstanding, including Glenn Close as Gertrude, Alan Bates as Claudius, Ian Holm as Polonius, and Helena Bonham Carter as Ophelia. Zeffirelli's vigorous direction employs a lively camera style that nicely alters the viewer's preconceptions about the way Hamlet should look.--Tom Keogh ... Read more

    Reviews (124)

    5-0 out of 5 stars To Thine Own Self Be True...
    While this is a complex movie that demands your full attention, this has to be one of my favorite Shakespeare plays. It is beautifully acted out in a gorgeous castle filled with tapestries and everything you would imagine a castle to be from the candlelight to the dimly lit spiral staircases.

    The most enjoyable scenes are when Hamlet expresses his thoughts in soliloquies and gives insight into what his character is feeling. Mel Gibson becomes Hamlet and I thought this was perhaps some of his best acting ever! Glenn Close is exceptional as Gertrude, the incestuous mother. The uneasiness and distrust in Denmark since King Hamlet's death and Queen Gertrude's remarriage sets the mood for the rest of the movie.

    The story begins on the outer ramparts of Elsinore castle. A ghost appears and Hamlet, speaks to his deceased father. The ghost asks Hamlet to revenge his "most foul, strange, and unnatural murder." Hamlet then deviously plots a psychological revenge by putting on a play in which a scene portrays the actual murder of his father.

    "I'll have grounds
    More relative than this-the play's the thing
    Wherein I'll catch the conscience of the King." -Hamlet, Act 2, 603-605

    Once guilt takes hold of the King, the pieces of the puzzle start to fit together and you realize that one immoral action only makes another wrong even more probable.

    Throughout the play, Hamlet shows his intellectual superiority and states his case by saying: "Do you think I am easier to be played on than a pipe?" While he desires to have the upper hand until the end, he cannot of course know all the intentions of those around him nor can he escape his own fate.

    An Unforgettable story that made an impression on me in school and still holds a
    certain fascination for me. Did Hamlet ever really love Ophelia? That is the question.

    "It is in my memory locked." -Ophelia

    4-0 out of 5 stars hamlet
    The movie Hamlet directed by Franco Zefferelli is a historical drama, based on the popular Shakespearean Tragedy. Zefferelli decided to retain the name Hamlet, which I think could be modified to be more effective. Theoretically, a title is a microcosm of the theme, which 'Hamlet' doesn't really accomplish; a title that can foreshadow the theme of the play will be more formidable. Perhaps the director could have excerpted one of the dominant quotes out of the play, the most famous being "To be or not to be". This would have at least given a foreshadowing to the indecision seen by the tragic hero throughout the plot. Generally speaking, the movie was well done and I comment the director for his concise but accurate representation of Shakespeare's 'Hamlet'.
    On the whole the actors depicted the roles of their characters quite well. Hamlet played by the Australian, Mel Gibson took command of his part, and captivated the viewers with his emotional conversations, as well as addition of humor and a masculine vigor to Hamlet. He portrayed his part with a great deal enthusiasm, bringing the play to life. The royal couple played by Alan Bates and Glenn Close, as king Claudius and queen Gertrude respectfully, were able to capture the conduct of a monarchial leadership, of the middle ages with little difficulty. Claudius displayed an exceptional representation of a lusty, murderous king. The minor characters such as Ian Holm as Polonius, Nathaniel Parker as Laertes, and Helena Bonham Carter as Ophelia gave considerable support to the leading characters, as they were subtly but effectively able to dictate the plot.
    Hamlet is noted as one of Franco Zeffirelli's best productions as he recreated yet another Shakespeare masterpiece. He took a conventional approach to this production of Hamlet as he kept with the mindset most people would have to character and setting, in other words he tried not to give any surprises. Zeffirelli's main goal was to create a lighthearted enjoyable movie that would appeal to the general public who don't have the time and stamina for Branagh's four-hour version. In keeping with typical Shakespearean movies the director chose a soundtrack consisting of classical pieces, which is suitable for what he was trying to achieve. Little special effects were used, which may be a major flaw when trying to grasp the attention of modern day viewers, perhaps he could have included some more dynamic effects, especially with the ghost who appeared almost as though he was a living character.
    This movie is a concise version of the original text and has left out and/or shortened many scenes keeping only the ones necessary to tell the story. I really liked the way he incorporated old Hamlet's funeral in the beginning and the voyage to England. However, there were a few scenes like the fight between Laertes and Hamlet in the graveyard, which could have been further accented. The major flaw I observed in the movie when compared to the book was the exclusion of the sub-plot with Fortinbras and the Norwegian influence. This led to the ambiguity the viewers were left in once the movie ended, as there was no hint to the outcome of Denmark.

    5-0 out of 5 stars best film version i've seen (and i've seen them all!)
    through my endeavors i've had to read Hamlet 7 times (twice my senior year of high-school). much as i don't like Shakespeare this play is part of my life.

    The Olivier version is more accurate to the stage version but the camera techiniques are over-blown and hokey (circling the swords before the duel to see which one is tipped, it made me dizzy). the Branagh version, while creative in it's set up (modernizing it to imerial Russia), and using the entire text, complete with Prince Fortinbras of Norway, is SO long and SO over-acted (especially on the part of Branagh) that i needed a nap after i saw it. and i choose not even to dignify the Ethan Hawke version it was so terrible.

    This one is my favorite, all the scenes which are cut aren't necessary for the forwarding of the plot in my humble opinion (the opening scene with the palace guards meeting the dead kingis cut yet horatio's explaination of this happening later in the movie is sufficient). Gibson chooses to play Hamlet as insane (that decision is left to the director) and as i am in the camp that Hamlet IS insane, you could also see why i favor this version. Glenn Close is EXCELLENT as Gertrude as is Helena Bonham-Carter as Ophelia.

    solid performances with a great cast, what more does a 400 year old play need?

    5-0 out of 5 stars Mel has captured Hamlet's soul
    What a masterpiece. As much as I love Braveheart, I truly think this is Mel Gibson's finest work. It throws all over attempts into shadow, including the great Lawrence Olivier and certainly Kenneth Branaugh or Ethan Hawke. So often the female characters are reduced to cardboard mock-ups of feminine ideals of the Shakespearean age. Not here! Ofelia and Gertrude have souls and minds to probe, filled with as many dark secrets as Hamlet himself. I could never say enough about the caliber of this film. Suffice it to say that it is THE Hamlet of the ages and worth a look as well as a few dollars to own it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A great BRIEF history of The Bard's greatest Play
    There are two main versions that currently work the best in getting a feel for this play, Gibson's & Brannaugh's. Gibson's is very much stripped down to focusing on the three main character's. It does loose a lot by this device, but it does gain considerably in that the viewer doesn't have to shift through all the sub-plots. Brannaugh's, however is far more complete & I would consider it far more the best " study " version of the play. If you've read the play ( & this is the reason I give it 5 stars ), Gibson's version is great beause you can fill in the blanks quite easily & nothing is lost. The Ghost is by far better in Gibson's version ( remember, this is not a ghost in the modern sense, so it's important not to judge by appearences ), & the interplay between them in their first meeting is just amazing. However, the politics of the play suffers badly, in my opinion, becuase many of the characters in the sub-plots are missing, especially Polonius' machinations....however, he certainly DIES better in Gibson's version. I personally like this version & I am impressed with all the actors. If this had been the entire play, I think it would definitely have given Brannaugh's version a run for it's money, but being so stripped down, I feel the actuall story suffers greatly. As one reviewer put it, a CLIFT NOTES verion, with which I must agree. ... Read more


    6. Glory
    Director: Edward Zwick
    list price: $14.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 6301777867
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 2010
    Average Customer Review: 4.76 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (279)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Honor and Horror
    The story of the 54th Massachusetts Infantry is told in a solid and entertaining movie. The casting is brilliant, including the surprisingly good choice of Matthew Broderick, an actor I'm normally indifferent to, who is utterly believable as the scion of a wealthy Boston family who accepts a commission as Colonel in command of the first black regiment in the Civil War. Rounding out the cast are Morgan Freeman and Denzel Washington, the two finest actors of ANY color working in Hollywood these days, and Cary Elwes in easily his best performance since The Princess Bride. If there is anything negative to say about this film, it is in the archetypical nature of several of the characters (I do not know how "fictionalized" the indivdual soldiers are) and a bit of, yes, "glorification" of what ultimately was one of the most horrific and wasteful events in history. But ultimately that is what makes honor and glory: sacrifice for the future. The tragedy should not be forgotten in the glory. So when you see this movie, let your heart swell for the glory and honor, and let your eye weep at the waste of human life.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Movie for Warmongers and Pacifists alike
    The Academy Award winner from 1989 stands out as a monumental film with stunning acting, crisp cinematography and one of the most realistic depictions of the horrors of war ever filmed.

    Matthew Broderick is compelling as Robert Gould Shaw, the young and inexperienced commander of the 54th Regiment of Massachusetts, an all-black unit initially deprived of the right to fight but eventually allowed to prove its mettle in a pivotal battle of the Civil War. Morgan Freeman exudes paternal strength and wisdom as the eldest member of the platoon. Andre Braugher, Cary Elwes, Jihmi Kennedy, and a brilliant Denzel Washington (winner of "Best Supporting Actor" Oscar) make this film a genuine classic.

    Making small but significant contributions to the film are Jane Alexander as Shaw's mother and veteran Raymond St. Jacques (his last role) as Frederick Douglas.

    A further nod of praise goes to James Horner's masterful score. His music, along with the harmonies of the Boys Choir Of Harlem provides as glorious a background as is the inspirational story itself.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Great American Movie!
    This is one of the most historically acurate films about the Civil War. Not only that, it's one of the best acted and best shot movie in many years. Denzel Washington's performance is worth the Oscar he recieved. Matthew Broderick and Morgan Freeman are also exceptional. It's an unforgetable film about an event that changed the course of history.

    5-0 out of 5 stars HOTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT
    THIS IS ONE OF THE BEST MOVIES I HAVE EVER SEEN!
    Matthew Broderick is AMAZING buy it and you won't be disapointed.

    5-0 out of 5 stars American tragedy
    For so long, the image of the Civil War has existed in the collective American mind as a series of sepia-tone Matthew Brady photographs: ghoulish and nightmarish landscapes littered with bodies and body parts. However, with the notable exceptions of his portraits of the field generals, there is a sort of anonymity to the corpses in Brady's works. In one of GONE WITH THE WIND's most powerful scenes, scores upon scores of wounded soldiers lie in the streets, until they appear to be one large, unidentifiable mass of pain--which was the filmmaker's point. Edward Zwick's GLORY was one of the first films to put a human face and individuality to those who fought and died in America's most brutal years. Based upon the true story of Boston's young colonel, Robert Shaw, and his efforts to allow his all African-American outfit (the "54th") to fight on the side of the Union, GLORY is one of those rare films that successfully combines history with movie-making.

    Wonderful performances abound in this powerful film: Washington, Broderick, Freeman and Elwes all give their best efforts. But the real star of the show is the camera. The battle sequences, as other reviewers have mentioned, are horrific, as is the scene in the triage tent. (THIS MOVIE IS NOT FOR PEOPLE WITH WEAK STOMACHS.) But the scenes in between, the relatively quiet ones, have as great an impact. I especially have in mind the training sequences. In another director's hands, the scenes in which the troops begin understanding each other, and as the officers begin understanding their troops could have wound up a syrupy mess. Instead, their horrible predicament unites them in an unsentimental, yet sensitive manner. Zwick's camera-work throughout is exemplary, making GLORY one of the best films about America's most tragic episodes. ... Read more


    7. Forrest Gump
    Director: Robert Zemeckis
    list price: $9.95
    our price: $9.95
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    Asin: 6303402348
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 604
    Average Customer Review: 4.23 out of 5 stars
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    The Academy Award winner for Best Picture, Best Director Robert Zemeckis, and Best Actor Tom Hanks, this unlikely story of a slow-witted but good-hearted man somehow at the center of the pivotal events of the 20th century is a funny and heartwarming epic. Hanks plays the title character, a shy Southern boy in love with his childhood best friend (Robin Wright) who finds that his ability to run fast takes him places. As an All-Star football player he meets John F. Kennedy; as a soldier in Vietnam he's a war hero; and as a world champion Ping-Pong player he's hailed by Richard Nixon. Becoming a successful shrimp-boat captain, he still yearns for the love of his life, who takes a quite different and much sadder path in life. The visual effects incorporating Hanks into existing newsreel footage is both funny and impressive, but the heart of the film lies in its sweet love story and in the triumphant performance of Hanks as an unassuming soul who savors the most from his life and times. --Robert Lane ... Read more

    Reviews (484)

    5-0 out of 5 stars The best movie of the 1990s
    Forrest Gump guarantees to be one of the greatest movies you ever see.
    Forrest is a simple man who lives by his beliefs, and lives by his mother's advice. He talks of his incredible life while sitting at a bus stop in Alabama, of teaching Elvis new dance moves, of bceoming a war hero in Vietnam, and of meeting several Presidents. At the same time, he recollects about his childhood sweetheart Jenny, who is living a horrible life after being abused as a child.
    This is a truly inspirational movie, one of humour and light-hearted fun, while looking back at some of America's biggest moments.
    Tom Hanks richly deserved Best Actor, as did the film deserve Best Picture, and Forrest Gump is one of the least-challenged Academy Award decisions in recent memory. This film really can say that it will make you laugh and cry, as well as thoroughly enjoying the best movie of its decade.
    Forrest Gump is a must have movie, and is one to watch many times!

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Powerful Story Of Love And Adventure
    FORREST GUMP is a movie about a backward young boy who grows up to lead a remarkable life while managing to get involved in some of the most important world events of the Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon years. The film is a powerful story of love and adventure-especially love.

    Tom Hanks is superb as Forrest Gump. The strong supporting cast includes Robin Wright, Sally Field, Gary Sinise, Mykelti Williamson and a very young Haley Joel Osment.

    FORREST GUMP won Oscars for Best Picture, Director (Robert Zemeckis), Actor (Tom Hanks), Adopted Screenplay, Art Direction, Film Editing and Visual Effects. It also received nominations for Best Supporting Actor (Gary Sinise), Cinematography, Sound, Sound Effects Editing, Make-up and Original Score.

    Robert Zemeckis will be remembered in addition for his direction of BACK TO THE FUTURE and ROMANCING THE STONE.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The best
    Tom Hanks at his best. A very intelligent comedy and one of the best reviews of 20th century America in a very light hearted way. Fully deservant of the shower of Oscars it received. Must have!

    5-0 out of 5 stars THE BEST FILM EVER MADE
    The first time I saw this film, I was amazed beyond beleife. Tom Hanks is outstanding as Forest Gump, and every sapporting actor was perfect for the role. This movie has so many memorable lines in it, its almost insane. This movie is almost a modern day Rocky, in which it shows what one man could do with his life, and what we should do with our lives. Easily deserved every reward it got.

    5-0 out of 5 stars the best family film ever
    a special guy sits on a bench and tells anyone who will listen about his story book adventure style life.it stars tom hanks.he is abselutely hilarious while simaltaneously being simple and blissfully unaware.the kids can watch it but they should really not look when jennys around.shes a whore and a half.it is easily the best tom hanks movie ever made.this movie is for everybody.if you do not like this movie you need help because something is seriously wrong with you.it is a very emotional movie from watchimg gump struggle to walk as a child up to when his loved ones began dying.if you are the sensitive type,do not forget to take your prozac or youll ball your eyes out.the only chick in it is jenny.she toys with forrests emotions throughout the entire movie and puts out at least 9 or 10 times.there are a lot of people who play thier roles well here.most everbody does well.its one of those movies you have to watch on tape because it never stops being good long enough to stop for a snack or a bathroom break.its that good!if a second one were somehow dreamt up it would be only a shadow of its predecesser.it is long,but an abselute gem in any video library. ... Read more


    8. The Spitfire Grill
    Director: Lee David Zlotoff
    list price: $19.98
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00000JKN4
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 4884
    Average Customer Review: 4.91 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (34)

    5-0 out of 5 stars One of the most amazing films I've ever seen
    The Spitfire Grill is a movie that shows the beauty of life and the hope that can be found inside it. This film can make you cry; I've seen this a few times and I still cry. You cry because you feel like you've lost part of your heart when it's over, like it's part of you. Allison Elliot portrays a girl that just needs love, and she's remarkable at it. Everyone should see this.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Heartbreaking Treasure
    This is a moving and rewarding film that places our heart in it's palm and slowly squeezes until we feel it's pain. You will never forget Alison Elliot's quiet performance of young Percy Talbot, fresh from prison and trying to start her life over. In a sad and pivotal moment in the film, she reveals the heartbreaking reason she was incarcerated, and why she has picked Gilead, Maine to start over; "I thought maybe....in someplace small..."

    The day to day life of a small town and it's people is perfectly captured as Percy comes to work for Hannah (Ellen Burstyn) at The Spitfire Grill. Hannah knows about pain and gives Percy a chance. Marcia Gay Harden gives a fine performance as a shy and sweet soul who's husband uses her for a doorstop and hates Percy for being her friend and encouraging her to be herself.

    Many lives are touched in this small town by Percy who has seemingly found her home at The Spitfire Grill in Gilead, Maine. There is the mystery of the food Percy leaves out back at Hannah's request that is gone the next morning. There is the underlying sadness of Percy's past that is always present. An essay contest to find a new owner for the Grill so Hannah can retire is part of the small town mosaic painted in this wonderful film.

    There is tragedy as well as we are reminded how life does not always give us the chance to start over. There is also redemption and the message that what we do in our lives does affect others and can even change the way they think. To say this is a small independent film is to do it an injustice. This is a great big film about the small things in life, the things that matter. If you really love the movies and want to see something you'll remember and keep in your heart forever then this is your DVD. Don't miss this one.....

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Film of Redemption
    I won't get into any plot details, as several previous reviews have already discussed the character and scene development. I thought the film was a minor masterpiece in its subtle understatement and remarkable artistic achievent. The film seemed to adumbrate several themes; namely, the quest to find peace and harmony in a remote town far away from the hustle and bustle of modern urban stress. As it turns out, however, that there is an undeniable malaise which pervades this small town located in the far away wilderness of Maine. The name implies biblical associations. There are the themes of loss, of alienation, of lack of understanding and communication among the towns people. Despite the undeniable beauty of the place, there emerges a sort of spiritual wasteland which poisons the town. Along comes Percy, a stranger with her own desolate past. As the movie progresses Percy's involvement and commitment to her work and to several of the inhabitants involve the viewer's growing awareness that she is somehow a redeeming force. The scene between Percy and the reclusive, hermetic son near the end fully defines her role as the young woman redeemer of this wasteland. Her death, not unlike the ultimate sacrificial act brings the townspeople together in a sort of final requiem. The town is awakened and is ready to accept the new caretaker of the Spitfire Grill. A wonderful film.

    5-0 out of 5 stars It captures the Spirit of a northern New England town!
    Having lived both in Maine and in northern New York, I can tell you that the Spitfire Grill captures exquisitely the spirit and essence of a small town in both of these places. Characters abound in these parts of the country --just as they do in this excellent movie, "The Spitfire Grill". This is one of those movies that has a little bit of everything. It is good, clean entertainment that even the kids can watch. It is at times thrilling, at other times heart warming; and it may even bring tears to your eyes. Acting is all around superb! The Spitfire Grill is now one of my all time favorites. Its both in full screen and widescreen.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The colors of New England never fade.
    I came upon this film completely by accident years ago. It was being shown on a cable channel and out of sheer boredom, I decided to watch. It is, quite simply, a beautiful story. I couldn't find a fault anywhere. Having grown up in the East Coast, the film depicts New England accurately down to the last fall, colored maple leaf.

    We have the small town values and concerns pitted against the dark and mysterious past of a stranger, an outsider. Redemption. Acceptance. Forgiveness. Understanding. The more you need, the harder you'll have to work in order to get it. ... Read more


    9. Fat Albert
    Director: Joel Zwick
    list price: $19.95
    our price: $18.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0007NMHME
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 6535
    Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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    The bright cartoon colors of the Saturday morning classic Fat Albert get brought into the real world--or a Hollywood facsimile of reality, at any rate. When a teenage girl named Doris (Kyla Pratt) sheds a tear onto her TV's remote control, her unhappiness summons Fat Albert (Kenan Thompson, Barbershop 2), Mushmouth, Dumb Donald, Old Weird Harold, and the rest of the gang from Bill Cosby's popular cartoon (inspired by his childhood memories of growing up in Philadelphia). Doris is, to say the least, a little freaked out and doesn't really want Fat Albert to help solve her problems--but with the blithe confidence that only cartoon characters can have, Fat Albert and the gang follow her to school to root out the source of her misery. One of the movie's problems (which are legion) is that Doris's world isn't much more real than the cartoon one; it's a sterile, clean-cut caricature of a city neighborhood. In fact, the whole movie feels suspiciously like a commercial for a DVD of Fat Albert cartoons, an advertisement for which actually appears in the movie, making for a bizarrely self-referential product placement. Thompson, surprisingly, hangs on to his dignity in the face of the inane proceedings and even gives Fat Albert a hint of gravitas. --Bret Fetzer ... Read more

    Reviews (64)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A True G Movie...even though it's rated PG.
    Wow, I thought movies like these weren't made anymore (Totally Wholesome).....and I'm just 35 yrs old. I saw this movie with my 6 1/2 year old daughter, we both enjoyed it.
    There is no refrence to sex or drugs and there is absolutly no cursing.... how great is that. The movie is suprisingly good, a nice family movie.

    1-0 out of 5 stars What is wrong with you people the movie is bad!
    I know that everyone is sayin that this movie is great but in my opinion it's really not. I watched it the other day and it's horrible. I do think Kenan Thompson is hilarious but not in this film I don't. This movie really does suck. The acting is terrible, the soundtrack is okay I guess but I just didn't really like the movie much. What a waste of time to watch for a hour and a half but please don't bother seeing it. I just thought it was the worst Bill Cosby movie ever made.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Cartoon much better
    I miss the old cartoon..this movie does not compare.This new version of the old is okay...wish Bill Cosby would have played more of a role in this...it may have helped with ratings.
    I also wanted to see this to see a friend who had a stand in role with her son.
    Was nice too that it wasn't filled with bad language that could have ruined this all together.
    Rent don't buy!!!

    2-0 out of 5 stars You're like school on Saturday: no class.
    Is there an unwritten rule in Hollywood that if you choose to recreate comedy, it has to be less funny than the original so that it doesn't overpower the genuine moment of the first?I am a strong believer that there is such a rule because I fully witnessed it in the film Fat Albert.This film had so much potential that I really wanted to jump into my television and start grabbing necks a-la Homer Simpson.Frustration grew inside of me as jokes were tossed out towards the viewing audience with such disappointment that to laugh would have given the film way too much credit.The characters were flat, the story was "normal chaos that has been done in nearly every other film", and the class of the television program Fat Albert was diminished by cheap thrills and over-budgeting.Did Bill Cosby have a true writing credit to this film?It would be hard for me to believe that he seriously considered this work great, but then again, he is older and has bills to pay ... so why not?While the ending tried to bring a tear to your eye, I was already crying at the utter lack of appreciation that this film carried and influenced the youth of our nation.

    To say that this film was horrible would be too kind of a word, to quote a line from the film "(Fat Albert is) like school on Saturday: no class" would again, probably be giving it too much credit.From the opening credit sequence to the overly animated cartoons to the lack of animation in the characters when they became real was difficult to watch. Kenan Thompson tries really hard to empower the soul of Fat Albert, but what comes through the screen are just pathetic.He has no backbone and literally, he gives Albert this image of ignorance.Instead of being this helpful friend, Thompson's Albert has these huge glazed eyes that roll around whenever trouble begins.He just didn't seem to have that pizzazz that I remember Albert having from the television programs.If Albert was a leader in the cartoon, he was not one in this film.Unless you count the fact that the other actors in this film followed his suit by also leaving their energy at home.Childish humor coupled with this sense of apathy really didn't spark this film onto the level it should have been.I kept seeing glances of this really humorous story about Fat Albert in the real world, but instead I was forced through yet another Cool World.That is how I would best describe this film, Cool World for children.

    With our characters firmly not caring about their careers, we are then forced to focus on the non-existent story that apparently the writers of this film chose to not write.Instead of creating a plot with some climactic moments, our writers of this film chose to just let Fat Albert wander until something funny happened.I kept wondering to myself if this was an actual scripted film or just Thompson and Zwick allowing improv to occur anywhere and anytime.Now, if you were working with a genuine comic actor this could have worked (like Robin Williams or Will Ferrell), but with Thompson it just felt forced.Nearly every scene felt forced or overworked in this film.Spontaneity was not an element that these writers considered.This ultimately caused the jokes to be extremely flat.The humor just didn't bring the true life of Albert onto the screen.This is where I question the validity of Cosby being involved with this production.I know he was getting paid, but how much did he work?The jokes felt so old and used that I am surprised that children responded to them.Maybe it was the urban feel that Albert somehow felt comfortable in ... who knows?Either way, the loose story allowed for unfizzy jokes, which ultimately lead to the demise of this picture.

    Finally, I would like to say that Fat Albert (when I was growing up) was an inspiration and "every man" to us all.The group that followed him and his actions somehow always felt like a part of us.There wasn't anything that could stop Fat Albert from helping another lost soul, and somehow in this film adaptation, none of these old feels could be remembered.It wasn't as if they were trying, but this was definitely not the same Fat Albert that I grew up with.He didn't reach me like he used to, and perhaps it was the larger budget or the lack of imagination, but Albert hurt the soul in this film.I am surprised that he was able to assist Doris in her problem (this obscure problem that was never quite defined), because if I were in her shoes, I would have politely kicked this Albert to the curb.Cosby needed to reconsider his options before allowing this Albert to see the light of day.

    Overall, as if you couldn't tell already, this film hurt me.As I watched this dopey picture, I couldn't help but wonder if this film was focused correctly.When it first started I had this feeling that Albert would be called to help Doris with her problem, causing him to be a secondary character (like her own Jiminie Cricket), but instead what happened is that Thompson's camera excitement stole the performance away from Doris while creating a film centered around Albert.This should not have been the case for this to be a truly inspirational film.We lost the central focus of the film, and then the story just went fuzzy.Too many hands in the honey pot with one hand wanting to be on top.It was sad, and ultimately destroyed this film.

    Grade: ** out of *****

    1-0 out of 5 stars Bill Cosby must not have had an active role in this
    I think there should be a competition on fear factor to see how many times someone could watch this movie. It's so dumb. Every corny comedy cliche about a person from the past who comes to the future is hit in this travesty. You could have more fun by throwing yourself down the stairs of your house. ... Read more


    10. Oklahoma!
    Director: Fred Zinnemann
    list price: $12.98
    our price: $11.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 6305282927
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 122
    Average Customer Review: 3.94 out of 5 stars
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    The hit Broadway musical from the 1940s gets a lavish if not always exciting workout in this 1955 film version directed by old lion Fred Zinnemann (High Noon). Gordon MacRae brings his sterling voice to the role of cowboy Curly, and Shirley Jones plays Laurie, the object of his affection. The Rodgers and Hammerstein score includes "The Surrey with the Fringe on Top," "Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin'," and "People Will Say We're in Love," and Agnes DeMille provides the buoyant choreography. Among the supporting cast, Gloria Grahame is memorable as Ado Annie, the "girl who cain't say no," and Rod Steiger overdoes it as the villainous Jud. --Tom Keogh ... Read more

    Reviews (66)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Vibrant, memorable film version of musical classic
    "Oklahoma!" was a classic AMerican musical, groundbreaking in its seamless integration of story, score, and dance, and a highly entertaining show in its own right with a thin but delightful story and classic score, the first of many classic scores to come from Rodgers and Hammerstein. THankfully, most of that vitality, freshness, and joy, not to mention the story and score, translate accurately and brilliantly, and very entertainingly, into the splashy 1955 film version, which is perfectly cast, sung and orchestrated, and competently directed by Fred Zinneman, (of "High Noon" and "From Here To Eternity" fame) whose only movie musical this was.

    The gorgeous shots of the Midwestern landscape can probably best be appreciated in the widescreen Todd-AO version. (The film was famously filmed twice, in the new process and in standard Cinemescope to accomadate theatres who did not have the new technology installed) Gordon McRae is a marvelous Curley, full of energy, sarcasm, and romantacism, and he sings those songs to perfection. He and the original Curley, Alfred Drake, are the best I've heard. The radiant Shirley Jones is perfect in her film debut as Laurey. The supporting cast is all first-rate; other reviewers have mentioned Gloria Grahame's Ado Annie, which is indeed a hilarious and unforgettable performance, but there is also Gene Nelson's wonderful Will Parker, Charlotte Greenwood's loveable and delightful Aunt Eller, and Rod Steiger's adaquately menacing Jud Fry. (That last character loses some dimension through the deletion of his solo "Lonely Room," but Steiger probably wouldn't have sung it all that well, and the rest of the film is so perfect, that this is really a minor quibble) It should be noted that, even though this cast contains quite a few actors not noted for their singing pipes, no one is dubbed, and everybody sings very well. (Though again, Steiger might not have been up to the demands of "Lonely Room," though he does a fine job on "Poer Jud Is Daid") It could be argued that these classic songs have never been better-sung then they are here, and the augmented original Robert Russell Bennett orchestrations are great. Agnes de Mille recreates her original choreogrpahy to great effect; "Kansas City" still is amazing in how casually it comes out of the situation, "The Farmer and the Cowman" and "Many a New Day" are delightful, and the famous "Laurey Makes Up Her Mind" dream ballet is still stunning. Not the best R&H musical, ("Carousel" and "The King and I" outclass it in story and score, and "The King and I" is probably a better film) but certainly one of the best film versions of one of their musicals with the makings of a highly entertaining evening for the whole family. A fine tribute to a classic of musical theatre.

    4-0 out of 5 stars This movie Rocks!!
    "Oklahoma!" is one GREAT movie. I don't think I ever smile so much during a movie as I do when I watch this one, it just makes me so darn happy! Ok, so the plot isn't amazing... but it doesn't matter, because the plot isn't really what drives this film. This movie is all about the characters, and the positive mood it creates, and the wonderful music that you will be humming for days after you watch the film. I actually bought the soundtrack a few weeks ago, (that's how much I liked it) and I haven't been able to stop playing it. I've seen a lot of musicals, both movie and stage, and I believe that "Oklahoma!" ties with "West Side Story" for having the best music of any musical, ever. The famous Rogers and Hammerstein score is just awesome. All of the songs are great, there isn't a bad one in the movie, but "People Will Say We're In Love" is my personal favorite. The scene were Curly and Laurie are singing this to each other in the peach orchard is so amazingly cute. I guess I'm just a silly hopeless romantic, but I can't help it. Shirley Jones as Laurie is wonderful, she has a BEAUTIFUL voice, and does a fine acting job too, especially considering she was only 20 years old and this was her film debut. The sparks just fly between her and Gordon MacRae (Curly), and this chemistry between the two leads is really what makes the movie work as well as it does. I was also stunned by the visual beauty of the film. It's beautiful color and exceptional picture clarity is uncommon for an older movie, so when I first watched "Oklahoma!" I had to double check to make sure it was really made in 1955. The special Todd-AO filming process other reviewers have gone into detail about really made a difference here. Anyways, I seem to have rambled on a bit, but I'll try to make my point here. This is a fun, romantic movie, that's a bit hokey at times ( but endearingly so, I believe) and has a few weak moments. But these few weak elements are far outweighed by the great ones. I judge a movie mainly on these two factors: 1) by the way I feel immediately after I've finished watching it, and 2) if it has a lasting impression on me. After this one, I just feel happy, and giddy, and like I want to dance around my living room and break out into song. And as far as lasting impressions go, I liked it so much I felt compelled to write this review and reccomend it to the world. So if this sounds like the kind of movie you'd enjoy, go for it, and have fun watching this classic.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Oklahoma
    Well I'm surprised to find that I seem to be in the minority but I think Oklahoma is the Greatest Screen Musical of All Time.
    I'll go in to why I think that but first I want you to know that I'm a great fan of musicals and have seen most of the great ones many, many times on the tube and on the big screen. Films like Top Hat, Gay Divorcee, Gold Diggers of 33 and 35, 42nd Street, Footlight Parade, Swingtime, Follow the Fleet, Holiday Inn, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Pennies from Heaven('81) and of course My Fair Lady are as good as it gets and hold a cherished place in my heart.
    They all have teriffic stars, good humor and above all wonderful music and wonderful songs. Oklahoma has more of that than any other movie. Every song
    is a winner, a gem, a pearl. They eliminated the few "clinker" songs from the stage production (it ran for 26 years) leaving only the absolute winners for the movie. Shirley Jones was eighteen and wonderfully radiant. Her singing was even better than the original stage recording. Her singing was marvelous.
    Howard Keel was originally slated to play Curly but opted out because he refused to shoot two movies, as they duplicated every scene for two different film processes. (The A-O Todd version is the one seen on the DVD and has much higher resolution than the
    Cinemascope one seen for years on TV) What a stroke of luck, Howard Keel (much too old and stiff to play opposite Miss Jones) is out and Gordon MacRae (the perfect fit) is in. His voice, while not as dynamic as Alfred Drake's, is perfect for the screen
    but best of all he brings a sensiblity and earthy quality to the role missing from all the others I've seen. Some bizarre casting
    in the minor roles like Gloria Grahame as Ado Annie and Eddie Albert as Ali Hakim and Rod Stieger as the "bully colored" Judd Frey add a strange flavor to the mix. But it's not the only strange thing going on. The story itself is not particularly a pleasant one and one might find the treatment of Judd or Judd himself unpleasant. It themes aren't necessarily family fare. There's even a dream sequence featuring some dark moments in a bordello. These elements add to the complexity and depth of this best-of-all musicals. And now the real muscle, Oh What a Beautiful Morning, Surrey with the Fringe on Top, I'm Just a Girl Who Can't Say No, Everything's Up to Date in Kansas City,
    Never Will Come a Day, People Will Say We're in Love, Poor Judd is Dead, The Farmer and the Cowhand Should Be Friends, With Me It's All or Nothin' and Of course Oklahoma. No musical, not The King and I, not Singin' in the Rain, not Carousel, not any other save My Fair Lady can boost so many landmark songs. Throw in three or four marvelous dance sequences and big dash of Americana and you have the best screen musical ever. Thanks for your tolerance and thank you Amazon for letting me get that off my chest. There is one other musical I gotta mention, because it puts so many others to shame but I'm afraid I'll lose any crediblity, if any, I've got. Well, here it goes, South Park, Bigger, Longer, Uncut is better than all of Andrew Llyod Webber's musicals wound-up into one. In fact I don't think he's got a single song that can outdo ANY song in S P, B, L, U.
    There I've said it and now I'm done. Thank you.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Still one of the best
    I just watched "Oklahoma" again for the first time in a few years. I can understand why some viewers disliked this musical. The plot concerns farmers and ranchers fighting for dominance over land in the midwest in the 1800's. It's difficult for some of us modern urban dwellers to relate to this dilemma. Also, the characters in "Oklahoma" all speak in a cutesy, rubish dialect which is sometimes hard to understand and can even be annoying.

    And it must seem quaint to us that escorting a girl on a picnic could create the kind of conflict that it does in this story. Another disconcerting element in "Oklahoma" is the sight of supposedly rough, rugged cowboys performing in pristine, balletic sequences staged by Agnes De Mille. After our generation has grown up on the gritty realism and sensuality of choreography by the likes of Bob Fosse or even Baz Luhrmann, this type of choreography seems dated and out of place.

    But despite these criticisms, "Oklahoma" is still a great musical because of the music itself, and the way the music is so seamlessly integrated into the plot and characterizations. Simply stated, the melodies composed by the prodigious Richard Rodgers and the lyrics written by the poetic Oscar Hammerstein II for "Oklahoma" are magnificent.

    For instance, is there a grander or more exuberant description of a wondrous new day than in "Oh What a Beautiful Morning"? Or a more lilting expression of reluctant love than in "People Will Say We're in Love"? Or how about the lyrical beauty and grace of the waltz "Out of My Dreams"? Or the syncopated melody and lyrics of "Surrey with the Fringe on Top" which is a perfect accompaniment to the clippity-clop of a horse pulling a carriage? And what about the joyous, unbridled energy of the celebratory theme song "Oklahoma"?

    They all add up to a superb, exceptional score. Other assets of the movie version of "Oklahoma": the vibrant color photography; the solid performances by a talented and versatile cast; and the rich, beautiful singing voices of Gordon MacRae and Shirley Jones.

    "Oklahoma" is not a perfect musical, but it's still one of the best and well worth your time if you possess an open mind and a discerning ear.

    1-0 out of 5 stars I really hate this movie...(* 1/2)...
    I have never seen anything more boring and tedious than this film. I was forced to watch this one summer Sunday night when nothing else was on T.V., and had finished the book I was reading. I wasn't particulary looking forward to seeing it, because I didn't like "The Sound of Music", "South Pacific", or "Carosuel", but I like old movies, and thought I'd give it a chance. Also it had gotten such great reviews and all and I believe it won Best Picture at the Academy Awards back in '56. After what felt like 48 hours of bordem, I came to the conclusion that this was offically the most over-rated film I have EVER seen! The promblem wasn't even that it was a musical. I like musicals, but this was just awful! The (lyrical) music and dancing was just STUPID. The story was over-used, and the charectors ANNOYING! The only reason I give this a star and 1/2 is because it was tecnically well made, even tho the music and dancing was atrocious! I can't really reccomend this movie or not, becuase I think it really depends on a persons taste. If you like "The Sound of Music", and "Carosuel", you'll probably like this... ... Read more


    11. The Last Samurai
    Director: Edward Zwick
    list price: $59.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0001KU90U
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 944
    Average Customer Review: 4.14 out of 5 stars
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    Description

    Epic Action Drama.Set in Japan during the 1870s, The Last Samurai tells the story of Capt. Nathan Algren (Tom Cruise), a respected American military officer hired by the Emperor of Japan to train the country's first army in the art of modern warfare.As the Emperor attempts to eradicate the ancient Imperial Samurai warriors in preparation for more Westernized and trade-friendly government policies, Algren finds himself unexpectedly impressed and influenced by his encounters with the Samurai, which places him at the center of a struggle between two eras and two worlds, with only his own sense of honor to guide him. ... Read more

    Reviews (441)

    5-0 out of 5 stars This film was amazing!!!
    The story focuses on a Civil War veteran named Capt. Nathan Algren ( Tom Cruise). He reluctantly agrees to train and lead an army of Japanese soldiers to defeat rebellion of the country's remaining Samurai. Unfortunately, Algren is captured in battle by the Samurai, and is held prisoner by them. The leader of the Samurai, Katsumoto ( Ken Watanabe), is interested in the American culture and wants to keep Algren alive to learn from him. As time passes, Algren comes to develop a friendship with Katsumoto. He also comes to embrace the Samurai way of life as well, and trains to become one of them, so that he can fight along side of the Samurai against the Japanese forces that oppose them.

    With the acception of "Mystic River", "The Last Samurai" was my favorite film of 2003. For 2 1/2 hours, I was literally glued to the screen, and loving every minute of it. It has been quite some time since I have been that captivated by a film. The only downfall this film may have, is the fact that the story is almost a complete rip off of "Dances with Wolves". However, that does not make the film any less enjoyable. In fact, "The Last Samurai" is almost better. The story comes across as being much more dramatic and action packed when dealing with the Samurai. They have a deeper sense of honor, and their fighting style is much more deadly. Director Edward Zick did an amazing job of capturing every aspect of the Samurai culture, from the costume designs and simple way of life, to the weaponry and fighting style. The final battle between the Samurai and the Japanese soldiers is the best I have seen since "Braveheart". The Samurai are completely outnumbered, and still manage to put up one heck of a fight. Tom Cruise gave one of the best, if not the best performance of his career. However, the best performance of the film goes to Ken Watanabe. He was flat out amazing as Katsumoto and nailed every aspect of the Samurai warrior. The film's soundtrack and scenery are extremely beautiful as well.

    Overall, "The Last Samurai" is an amazing film. Every aspect of the Samurai way of life is captured accurately, the performances given by the actors involved were amazing, and the final battle was incredible. Also, please check out the extras listed by Amazon for this 2 Disc DVD set. From the look of things, the extras are reason enough to purchase this film. There are deleted scenes, featurettes on the making of the film, a featurette comparing real life Samurai, and more. This is definately a bonus for myself and anyone else who appreciates the film, and the Samurai in general.

    A solid 5 stars...

    3-0 out of 5 stars Good movie, but nothing special
    The Last Samauri is a good movie, beautifully filmed and well acted, yet it really does nothing to make it stand apart.

    Tom Cruise is a captain in the US army haunted by his own actions in the wars against the US. native Americans. He sells his services to Japan to train Japanese soldiers to battle the savage samurais.

    Cruise is captured after one battle and his life is spared after Ken Watanabe's character sees Cruise fight bravely and kill his brother-in-law. The best part of the film is the hour or so that Cruise spends living with the Samurais. He lives with the family of the man he killed and the kids grow to like him and the beautiful wife learns to accept him. The Samurais learn from Cruise and Cruise begins to train with the samurais and becomes friends with Watanabe.

    Cruise is released and the end of the movie results in Cruise fighting with Watanabe against the Japanese army.

    The Last Samurai seems like a Japanese version of Braveheart, with epic battles and valiant characters. This movie did show a lot about the Japanese culture, including the practice of killing yourself if you are shamed (Which is incredibly stupid thing to do in my opinion).

    I enjoyed this movie. It doesn't break any new ground in the epic battle genre, but it is still fun to watch.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Don't expect too much
    What's the reason for watching The Last Samurai? The sword-fighting scenes. There are a lot of sword-fighting scenes, they're well-done, and if you enjoy watching them you'll find entertainment value in the movie. Also, the Japanese countryside is filmed beautifully here, so if you have an appreciation for nature, it's another incentive to watch.

    Otherwise, The Last Samurai is nothing special. The storyline is simplistic; the samurai are all two-dimensional and unquestionably the fine and good people in the film. They can do no evil, truly. For Cruise it's one of those self-righteous roles where he gets to look angsty for the camera. There's one scene at the end for example, where he's kneeling and holding up a sword, and he's trying to look like someone who is under great emotional strain and there are these ludicrous close-ups of his sweaty face - really gratuitous. The movie defintely would have benefited from some editing and character development.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Long, slow, boring, pretentious - I want my money back
    Typical Hollywood claptrap. All white guys are evil and corrupt. All Japanese are noble, kind, considerate - even though they kill each other with abandon. Apparently in Hollywoodthink it is ok for Cruise to desert, be a traitor and go over to the enemy. Hard to figure out exactly why this Samurai is the enemy, he serves the emperor too, except his honor demands that several thousand die. Glorifies the Bushido code which is the mindless emperor worship that resulted in so many Japanese atrocities in WWII - some of which rivaled anything the Germans did. Swords and arrows flying everywhere, special effects direct from Lord of the Rings. Dialog that telegraphs itself, you just know they are going to say something really relevant and dramatic...in croaking whispers. I was glad when Cruise got shot, meant the movie was finally ending. Save your money, watch it when it shows up on TV. For those reviewers who think this movie has any historical significance - read a book on Japanese history. None of these things would have happened.

    4-0 out of 5 stars I liked this movie!
    I guess everything that needs to be said about the actors, the set and the story has been said here, many times over. .

    My hat is off to the Japanese actors and the costume & set designers. The atmospheric element in this movie is stunning; for example, the first charge of the samurai in that misty forest, is unforgetable. I loved the ninja attack. This is one of the few recent productions in which the masculine is portrayed in a wholesome manner: the warrior spirit, the camaraderie, the honor, and the respect for the inner peace that is brought by zen meditation practice, are brought out very well.

    While the script was IMO kinda clichey & mediocre, Cruise's acting was not bad and rather subtle for a scientologist :) Zimmer's music was predictably good (if less conspicuous as in, say, Black Hawk Down) and if you're into kendo or swordsmanship, well, you will want to see this film several times. ... Read more


    12. Julia
    Director: Fred Zinnemann
    list price: $19.98
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 630024718X
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 2892
    Average Customer Review: 4.67 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com essential video

    Part of the late-'70s wave of films about strong women (as if none had existed before that), Julia starred Jane Fonda as writer Lillian Hellman in a story based on some of Hellman's own writings. The stronger woman here is the title character (Vanessa Redgrave), a socially active young woman who teaches Hellman the importance of sticking to her beliefs--even in the face of Nazi terror. The subplot focuses on Hellman's growth as a writer, under the supportive wing of lover Dashiell Hammett (Jason Robards). Lushly photographed by Fred Zinnemann, it's one of the few films that projects a sense of how a writer writes; it also was unafraid to explore the dark consequences of conscience, when Resistance-fighter Julia is captured by the Germans. Robards and Redgrave both won Oscars (leading to Redgrave's Zionist hoodlums acceptance speech). Watch for Meryl Streep in a tiny role in her film debut. --Marshall Fine ... Read more

    Reviews (9)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great Movie
    Its a great movie.The actors are great.
    The best performance came from Maximilian Schell
    as "Johann",he gave a stunning portrayal of a man
    with ideals in the Naziregime.Strong Turns also
    by Jane Fonda and Vanessa Redgrave.For me as a german
    are this kind of films very important.

    PS.
    A nice debut from Meryl Streep

    4-0 out of 5 stars Jane Fonda Comes of Age
    Too bad this one's out of stock, but worse was that the poltical backlash Vanessa Redgrave's Best Supporting Actress acceptance speech detracted from the film's importance. Despite that, "Julia" may well be the best work in Redgrave's and Jane Fonda's impressive bodies of work. For the latter, the film launched the socially-themed works that followed, and Fonda may well have come of age in this one. She plays writer Lillian Hellman to Redgrave's title character, an upper-class rich kid who grows into social activist and lays her life on the line to smuggle condemned Jews from the death camps of Hitler's Third Reich. Redgrave is superlative, and Fonda is rivting as Julia's childhood friend who gradually comes to recognize the evil unleashed by man on man at the time. As Julia's long-time lover, Dashell Hammitt, the late Jason Robards nailed down one of his back-to-back Supporting Actor Oscars ("All the President's Men" was the other), and the raw talent of the Fonda-Redgrave-Robards package helps make "Julia" one of Fonda's best works. The importance of the film's subject matter is so overwhelming that it easily displaces the Vietnam-related controvery that dogged (and may still) Fonda through the '70s and the unpopular words Redgrave used in her Oscar acceptance speech (she was literally booed off the stage). Far from a "chick flic," "Julia" is an important film that delves into but one relam in the darkest of human history, and it's earned a lofty spot among films of its genre.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Story of Two Friends
    This story traces the friendship of writer Lillian Hellmann and her friend Julia, from their times together as adolescents to their very different lives as adults. Jane Fonda is somewhat one-note as Hellmann, struggling to get her first play finished, feeling overshadowed by her lover, the great Dashiell Hammett, well played by Jason Robards. She also tries to keep contact with Julia, played by a glowing Vanessa Redgrave, as Julia becomes more and more mired in the tumultuous politics of 1930's Europe. Eventually, Fonda herself gets pulled into the political upheaval as she tries to help her friend out. There are a number of reasons why I liked the film. The production team does an excellent job of recreating the time period, giving the viewer a real sense of what it would have been like. I enjoyed the insight it gives to the writer's process and the frustrations that go with it. The "adventure" that Fonda goes on to get money to her friend is well played out dramatically, and their meeting is filled with unspoken words, a credit to the screenplay, the actresses, and the fine direction by veteran Fred Zinneman. I don't know how much of the story would prove to be true, but I think there are many truths in it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Classic Movie-making
    It's a shame that questions about the veracity of Lillian Hellman's memoirs may have cast a negative light on this beautifully made film. Whether the story is fact or fiction is inconsequential to the outstanding quality of this beautiful movie. 'Julia' stands on its own merits as classic movie-making at its best. Jane Fonda and Jason Robards are at their best portraying the complex relationship between Hellman in her first flush of success as a playwright and Dashiell Hammett, the father of detective fiction whose career as a writer is nearing its end. The two drink, fight and support each other as Lillian writes her first play 'The Children's Hour' and becomes a Broadway sensation. But the heart of the story is Hellman's relationship with her childhood friend, a girl from a wealthy family with an over-riding social conscience named Julia. Vanessa Redgrave brings her trademark understated strength, grace and beauty to this pivotal role. As Lillian struggles with writing 'The Children's Hour' during the early 1930s, she corresponds with Julia who is living in a socialist community in Vienna. The film incorporates flashbacks of the two friends from childhood with actresses Susan Jones & Lisa Pelikan, who are amazing look-alikes for Fonda and Redgrave, playing the young Lillian & Julia. Julia becomes involved with the Resistance movement as the Nazi menace threatens to engulf Europe. Ultimately she calls on Lillian to help the cause. The strong ties of friendship between the two women compel Lillian to overcome her fears and journey into the heart of Nazi Germany. Her reunion with Julia in a Berlin cafe is the emotional climax of the film and Fonda & Redgrave are superb, portraying every nuance of feeling in this poignant, heart-wrenching scene. The production values of the movie are first-rate with nicely detailed settings and costumes evoking 1930s America and pre-WWII Europe. With veteran director Fred Zinnemann at the helm, 'Julia' is a fine example of Hollywood film-making at it's very best. Tastefully produced, brilliantly written and acted, the film tells a compelling story that remains fascinating and enthralling throughout. Forget about the whole did Hellman lie or didn't she controversy and enjoy this movie for the great story that it tells so beautifully.

    5-0 out of 5 stars MESMERIZING
    Fact or fiction, or a combination of both, taken on its own terms as a movie, Julia is astonishing and effective. The attention to detail in costumes, set decorations, props, locations dazzle you and place you squarely in another time and place. The performances, particularly the intimate friendship between Fonda as Hellman and Redgrave as Julia, blow you away. Redgrave embodies this brilliant character with knowing subtlety; you get the feeling she is Julia to some degree, and probably is. The exploration of adult friendship in a time of peril finds its center in a well-crafted suspense story that only ever hints at real danger, yet it is the slow and deliberate revelations regarding Julia's fate that provide tension and heartbreak. This is a purposely artful film, with its share of indulgence, but each one works as a part of a lovely whole. And the world Helman created in her story -- with its rich characters, both real and imagined -- is created here with an evocative freshness. Like a memory you love to call upon, this movie works best in total silence, except perhaps rain falling outside. Let it take you away. ... Read more


    13. Leaving Normal
    Director: Edward Zwick
    list price: $14.98
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 6302507308
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 10043
    Average Customer Review: 4.69 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (16)

    5-0 out of 5 stars An auroraborialis of a film!
    The strikingly life-like performances in this gem of a film...give goose-bumps. I mean it!

    Witness Marianne (Meg Tilly) attempting to have a quiet anxiety attack in the hotel bathroom. Darly (Christine Lahti) trying to babysit two very prissy children. Darly and Marianne, while watching fireworks, compare themselves to see who really is, "the most terrible".

    This film knows something.

    Watch it and you will fall in love, with this unpredictable, unforgettable and wonderful movie.

    I could not give it more definite thumbs up! END

    5-0 out of 5 stars One of the best Christine Lahti movies!
    Hearing that this movie is a sort of second-rate 'Thelma and Louise' may lead you to wrong conclusions. Nothing could be further from the truth, as this film never tries to imitate T&L. What we have here is a sweet, touching tale of two women whose pasts have been marked by sorrow and difficulties, and who end up joining and travelling to Alaska. It was supposed to be a comedy, and while having it's good humour at points (the scene where Christine lays an egg just has to be seen to be believed!!!), it's also deeply touching. Christine Lahti has here one of her best performances, altough many critics seem to disagree. Why? Because the film doesn't try to give explanations or hints about the future. The films develops as real life does, without predictability. And we still have to make decisions and take choices. In the end of the movie, we're left without knowing what the future will be or if the characters have taken the right decisions, but we are hopeful nevertheless. Just as in real life :) END

    5-0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Fabulous
    This film is one of the best films I've ever seen. It touched me deeply. I, too, don't know why it's compared to "Thelma & Louise" -- why, because it's about two women? So is "Chicago" --so what?

    Both actresses are great and there are some one wonderful lines (especially when Christine is smoking in front of the kids) and there is a beautiful outside scene where a lovely song with a vocal is played in its entirety... a sign that the director is obviously sensitive to music as well as all other elements which combine to make a great film. Totally underrated; absolutely fabulous. Where is the DVD version and why do we have to wait for it? It should be out and available now!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Kindness and intelligence
    This is one of my ten favorite movies. I see it perhaps twice a year and weep every time (behind a closed door, I'm a straight white guy). It is one of the smartest, most decent movies ever made. Whoever is keeping it from being released on DVD should be blacklisted. Get a move on! These VHSs won't last forever.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A boost when you need it.
    I picked this up at a video store--because it was on the monitor at the time. After I'd watched it the first time, I IMMEDIATELY rewound the tape and watched it again! It's an all-time favorite, one that I watch at regular intervals to lift my spirits. This movie delivers the same kind of surprises that life does. ... Read more


    14. Airplane!
    Director: Jerry Zucker, Jim Abrahams, David Zucker
    list price: $9.95
    our price: $9.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 6300213986
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 4186
    Average Customer Review: 4.68 out of 5 stars
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    The quintessential movie spoof that spawned an entire genre of parody films, the original Airplane! still holds up as one of the brightest comedic gems of the '80s, not to mention of cinema itself (it ranked in the top 5 of Entertainment Weekly's list of the 100 funniest movies ever made). The humor may be low and obvious at times, but the jokes keep coming at a rapid-fire clip and its targets--primarily the lesser lights of '70s cinema, from disco films to star-studded disaster epics--are more than worthy for send-up. If you've seen even one of the overblown Airport movies then you know the plot: the crew of a filled-to-capacity jetliner is wiped out and it's up to a plucky stewardess and a shell-shocked fighter pilot to land the plane. Robert Hays and Julie Hagerty are the heroes who have a history that includes a meet-cute à la Saturday Night Fever, a surf scene right out of From Here to Eternity, a Peace Corps trip to Africa to teach the natives the benefits of Tupperware and basketball, a war-ravaged recovery room with a G.I. who thinks he's Ethel Merman (a hilarious cameo)--and those are just the flashbacks! The jokes gleefully skirt the boundaries of bad taste (pilot Peter Graves to a juvenile cockpit visitor: "Joey, have you ever seen a grown man naked?"), with the high (low?) point being Hagerty's intimate involvement with the blow-up automatic pilot doll, but they'll have you rolling on the floor. The film launched the careers of collaborators Jim Abrahams (Big Business), David Zucker (Ruthless People), and Jerry Zucker (Ghost), as well as revitalized such B-movie actors as Lloyd Bridges, Peter Graves, Robert Stack, and Leslie Nielsen, who built a second career on films like this. A vital part of any video collection. --Mark Englehart ... Read more

    Reviews (155)

    5-0 out of 5 stars An Overdose of Comedy
    In the 1970's, Hollywood created an endless stream of disaster movies. Having found a "winning formula" they latched onto it and milked it for every penny producing disaster flick after disaster flick until it all became a joke onto itself. Enter Airplane. The result of a couple of guys who, seeing all these airplane disaster movies thought it had all gotten so ridiculous that the entire genre was a joke, a brilliant idea was born. Enter the era of the spoof.

    Today we take spoofs for granted but back then the idea was brand new, and thats what makes Airplane such a brilliant masterpeice, it literally spawned a whole new genre of movies that is being copied this very day. Naked gun, or Scary movie would not exist today without Airplane, and yet, Airplane is funnier than every other spoof ever made even all these years later.

    Put simply, this movie is non stop rapidfire comedy. It's saturday night live on qualudes. It's nonstop wisecracks and jokes and gags. If you like intelligent critical movies, run away...quickly. This is not your movie.
    If however you enjoy pure slapstick a la three stooges, just pure bumbling humour. Totally idiotic side gags. This is your dream come true. This is more than likely the most hillarious movie ever made. It's become a classic like Gone with the wind or the godfather, but for Comedies, and with good reason. The jokes simply are nonstop beggining to end. Right from the opening scene with the Hare Krishna's at the airport until the autopilot waving goodbye in the end scene. The movie simply does not stop for even an instant. At certain points you literally have to stop laughing even if you think a joke is funny just to breath. Don't expect brilliant writting here, it's all slapstick but it REALLY is hillarious stuff. The guys who did this by the way have gone on to write many of hollywoods great comedic scenes and we can see their raw talent to great effect here, completely unrestrained. This is the granddaddy of the Spoof Genre. If you love slapstick, by all means, Get this movie. You won't regret it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars I AM serious, and don't call me Shirley!
    The greatest movie spoof and funniest film of all time is on DVD! Directed by the Zucker Brothers, AIRPLANE is the king of all spoofs, putting lame attempts like SCARY MOVIE to shame. The relentless number of gags is the key here, with so many jokes it takes several viewings to catch them all. My favourite gags are the Saturday Night Fever disco mock, the mayhem jokes on the plane (crash postions etc), Stephen Stucker as Johnny ("The tower! Rapunzel!) and the very patient cab driver! And of course, one of the best lines, "Surely you can't be serious!" "I AM serious, and don't call me Shirley!" and "Joey, do you like movies about Gladiators?" Classic! The jokes come fast and frequently, providing enough weird humour to satisfy fans of this genre. Great fun. The DVD extras consist of a terrific Commenatary from the directors and a trailer. More extra stuff would be nice, but the commentary alone is worth it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Outrageously funny!
    God this movie is so incredibly hilarious! Few movies have such witty and original jokes as 1980's Airplane! does. This is one of the best comedy movies of all time and is strongly recommended for those struggling with depression or just want a good laugh.

    A jetliner is bound for Chicago but when contaminated fish spreads illnesses on most of it's passengers and incapacitates both of it's pilots, it's up to a war veteran to fly and land the airliner and save the passengers before the illness claims their lives.

    This movie is so incredibly funny and is highly recommended for comedy audiences. They sure don't make comedy movies like they used to.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Outrageous Comedy About 70's Disaster Films
    Airplane was released in theatres in 1980 and was in production in 1979. Evidently, "Airplane" was a spoof of the 70's disaster film "Airport." This movie was an original concept in comedy at the time that made way for future spoof movies as the Scary Movie series in recent years and the Naked Gun movies in the 90's. Stars Robert Hays, Julia Hagerty, Leslie Nielsen and Peter Graves with a special appearance by Lakers player Kareem Abdul Jabaar. Leslie Nielsen would move on to doing other such comic films, particularily at home with the Nake Gun series and Spy Hard.

    The movie was a comic farewell to the 70's, a milieu which this movie holds on to visually- disco music, including a scene ripped off from Saturday Night Fever in which Robert Hays and Julia Hagerty dance while two women fight each other at a disco/bar. The comedy is non-stop and everything is a gag or joke, written into the script. Highlights include an elderly white lady who can speak Jibe or black street slang, Ted and Elaine in an African village as part of a peace corps mission. Ted is teaching the native men how to play basketball while Elaine demonstrates Tupperware to the village women. The movie is cartoonish, over-the-top, silly but lots of fun. Look also for the film's sequel, released in 1982.

    5-0 out of 5 stars One of the all-time great comedies!
    Airplane! is most definitely one of the ten greatest comedies of all time, and it's held up well over the past 24 years or so. Normally, this type of parody/slapstick comedy bores me to tears, but I think it's the dry delivery in Airplane! that makes everything work. A classic performance from Leslie Nielsen doesn't hurt, either. Even though this movie spoofed some of the biggest movies of its time period, the fact that Airplane! is remembered just as fondly (if not "fondlier") is testament to how great this film is. Anyone that enjoys comedies must A)Watch this movie, B)Own this movie, and C)Repeat lines from this movie as often as possible. ... Read more


    15. Romancing the Stone
    Director: Robert Zemeckis
    list price: $6.98
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    Asin: 6300247821
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 3287
    Average Customer Review: 4.38 out of 5 stars
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    Director Robert Zemeckis (Forrest Gump, Contact) had a hit with this 1984 comedy that first teamed Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner, and Danny DeVito. Turner steals the show from the guys, however, playing a pushy romance novelist who gets stuck among some dangerous figures in Colombia and has only a rumpled guide (Michael Douglas) as an ally. The chemistry between the stars is infectious (the trio went on to make a sequel, Jewel of the Nile, and then an interesting, dark comedy directed by DeVito, The War of the Roses). Zemeckis--whose specialty at the time was creating set pieces of raucous action (as in his Back to the Future)--keeps things hopping with lots of kinetic material. --Tom Keogh ... Read more

    Reviews (40)

    3-0 out of 5 stars Neither Good Nor Bad
    ROMANCING THE STONE could be seen as the poor man's Indiana Jones movie. It's short on snappy dialogue, coherent plot and memorable characters.

    Essentially this is a vehicle for Douglas as rough and ready Jack Colton, and Turner to show her versatility as Joan Wilder, the novelist who sheds her loner image and eventually becomes a heroine. Danny DeVito crops up as a slimy rival to the duo's quest, but his part is overplayed and underwritten.

    The story as it is revolves around Wilder going to Columbia to rescue her kidnapped sister. This leads her into a journey of adventure to recover a fabled jewel with adventurer Colton. An almost sinister kidnapping becomes a farcical adventure comedy: I found the switching in tone of this movie at times confusing, and at other times far too blunt.

    Whilst ROMANCING THE STONE is not a movie that will leave any lasting impression on you, it is passable as entertainment - saved as it is by the one thing that causes it so many problems: the reliance on the Turner-Douglas on-screen relationship to carry it through.

    5-0 out of 5 stars On A Par With Indiana Jones Movies
    Without even looking at other reviews, I'm sure I'm the first to draw this parallel.

    *uses pliers to remove tongue from cheek*

    Romancing the Stone jumped in to ride the wave of adventure movie semi-fanaticism spawned by the Indiana Jones movies, but gave us a more comedic villain in Danny DeVito; a less indomitable and less scrupulous hero in Michael Douglas; more pratfalls, and a stronger, less nice, more sultry heroine in Kathleen Turner.

    There are several things that make this a five-star adventure movie. The action and the pace are great; there is a moderately complex plot; the special effects, while less than what you see in an Indy movie, are well-done; the music is rousing, and the scenery/setting is gorgeous. But, what I see as setting this film apart is the same factor I've noticed in most of my favorite films: the actors appear to be having the times of their lives playing their parts to the utmost. They seem to be enjoying being their absolute most in their parts, and their enthusiatic spills off the screen and flows through the room.

    If you are a fan of adventure movies, you should see this one.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Romantic Comedy Adventure: Turner And Douglas
    This 1984 film was the first that brought together the incredible on-screen chemistry of Kathleen Turner and Michael Douglas. The film, a romantic and comic version of the Indiana Jones films, involves a romance novelist (Kathleen T) and how she gets wrapped up in a hunt for a rare and valuable diamond. As her love interest and her partner in the search is Michael Douglas. At first, the two don't get along very well. Their fighting and bickering as well as game-playing (they each plan to dump the other and take the diamond for themselves) is only an overture to the subsequent romance and passion that overwhelms them. At the end of the movie, they are on a boat on top of a car in New York City headed for a romantic world travel adventure.

    This movie also stars Danny Devito (this team- Turner, Douglas and Da Vito would later make War Of The Roses which was a darker comedy about a nightmare divorce). Danny DeVito is hilarious as he is a shlemiel. The location was shot in South America, specifically Columbia, and the lush scenes of photographic landscapes - jungles, rivers, waterfalls, rapids and villages, make this a very engaging adventure story. Kathleen Turner and Michael Douglas are really great together and it is the real salvation of the movie. For Turner's character, her life becomes an adventure and a romance as any of the novels she has written. Highly enjoyable, very comedic and never aging, this movie is a welcome fill for any space in your DVD collection. On DVD, it's even better. Greater color and sound, picture quality and bonus feature such as insight on the film, the actors and commentary.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Jewls For Romance
    This is the story of a romance writer, who needs a romance. It's a silly story but fun none the less. It's a chick flick I guess but it's fun.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great casting
    Who knew that Kathleen Turner and Michael Douglas would turn out to be such a super casting duo? And then add Danny DeVito to the mix as the inept, addled wannabe villain, and you've got an instant winner. The story line revolves around a romance novelist (Turner) accidentally gone astray in Colombia. Douglas is her opportunistic rescuer/ally, and the pratfalls and plot twists keep coming fast enough to keep an audience on the edge of their seats. ... Read more


    16. The Disappearance of Garcia Lorca
    Director: Marcos Zurinaga
    list price: $14.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    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


    17. Ghost
    Director: Jerry Zucker
    list price: $9.95
    our price: $9.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 6301966988
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 1166
    Average Customer Review: 4.11 out of 5 stars
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    Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze are the passionate lovers whose romance is undone when the latter is murdered during a bungled hit arranged by a rival. The clever concept by screenwriter Bruce Joel Rubin (director of My Life) extends outward into comedy (Swayze's character communicates through a sassy medium played by Whoopi Goldberg, who won an Oscar for this role), horror (the afterlife is populated by hell-bound demons and the like), and romantic complications (a handsome suitor, played by Tony Goldwyn, comes on to Moore while Swayze's spirit is still hanging around). Directed by Jerry Zucker, previously best known for codirecting Airplane! and similar broad comedies, Ghost is a careful balancing act of strong commercial elements, but at heart it is a timeless Hollywood tearjerker that easily gets under one's skin. --Tom Keogh ... Read more

    Reviews (93)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Pleasing ghostly experience.
    A picture-perfect modern-day romance that tells an exciting romantic story, "Ghost" is one of the best romantic films ever made. In it, we see just what lengths someone will go to for their love for someone else, and also shows us that the love we have for someone in our life goes on after death. Director Jerry Zucker, and acting by Patrick Swayze, Demi Moore and Whoopi Goldberg, all make this movie a landmark that everybody knows about.

    What is so special about the story is the connection between the two romantic leads. Swayze plays Sam Wheat, who, with his longtime girlfriend Molly, is remodeling a penthouse apartment in New York, where they soon live together, completely happy and in love. We have no reason to question the love story angle because the direction and acting tell us from the very beginning the nature of their relationship, and does it in understandable terms. Sam also works for a major banking corporation, where he has a best friend Carl, who seems more than willing to take certain workloads off of Sam's shoulders. One night, Sam and Molly are set upon by a thief, who demands Sam's wallet, and after a struggle, Sam is left with a fatal gunshot wound. Of course, being dead, he is now a ghost, and must watch as Molly comes to the realization that her lover is dead.

    The acting of these two actors is what makes all of this incredibly affecting, most especially Molly's coping with Sam's sudden exit from her life. She keeps his personal things, as well as any little scrap of paper or memory she can hold onto, with Sam watching all of this from behind her shoulder and Carl trying his best to comfort and console her. Sam soon pays a visit to a con artist medium named Otta Mae Brown, played by Whoopi Goldberg, who is the only person that Sam is able to talk to. The comedy of the movie really picks up as we are given scenes of Brown walking in the streets arguing with the air, talking to the walls, and having hissy fits with Sam in public. Goldberg is really given a chance to shine in this role, playing out some of her best lines and material ever.

    Comedy then mixes with drama and action as the plot reveals that Carl was a mastermind behind a murder conspiracy. Carl is in desperate need of money, and when he found out that Sam was in charge of a four million dollar bank account, he hired a hitman to have Sam killed in order to try and take over the account and steal the money. As he further tries to worm his way into Molly's life, Sam becomes more and more determined to try and find a way of reaching her aside from giving Otta Mae instructions on what to say to her. Swayze is able to give us a powerhouse performance here, as his character sits back and can do nothing to physically protect his love. He feels weak, helpless, and these emotions are played out brilliantly.

    The film won an Academy Award, one of two, for Best Original Screenplay for 1990. The script is a melting pot of many different elements: comedy that comes from the relationship of Otta Mae and Sam's collaboration, supernatural elements stemming from the ghost angle, thriller techniques that reside in the mystery of Sam's death and Carl's intentions, and most important, the love story that Molly and Sam live out, which serves as the basis for everything that happens. It has a little bit of everything for everyone, which gave diverse audiences what they wanted and made it a sheer success among people.

    Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze both give excellent performances that keep the love story going. They both have a chemistry that never stops or staggers the film, but keeps it going. Whoopi Goldberg is Otta Mae Brown, a role she was born to play and for which she won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. Her comic genius and diverse areas of acting play a major role, and sometimes become the heart of the film. Tony Goldwyn plays the conniving Carl, and does so effectively. He is one of those few people in a movie that the audience can truly despise for his crimes, and when the ending comes, it is pure satisfaction to watch him get what's coming to him.

    "Ghost" is nothing short of a successful movie, keeping us enthralled with comedic, romantic and thrilling elements, making us believe in things beyond this world. It never stops moving, it is utterly original, and it keeps us at the edge of our seats as well as tugging at our hearts.

    5-0 out of 5 stars One of the best movies from the 90's
    Fantastic blend of romance, drama, suspense, comedy, and special effects in this decade old stroy about love after death.

    When Sam (Patrick Swayze) is brutally murdered, his spirit, which is trapped between 2 dimensions, returns to earth to investigate the crime and protect his grieving girlfriend Molly (Demi Moore). After discovering that his death wasn't just an accidental mugging and his killing was orchestrated by a seemingly unlikely culprit, Sam realises that Molly's life is very much in jeopardy.

    Desperate to communicate to Molly the danger she is in, Sam seeks the help of Oda Mae Brown (Whoopi Goldberg, who won a deserved Oscar for this role), a confidence trickster/storefront psychic with big hair and an attitude to match. At first Molly is sceptical of Oda Mae's ability to hear Sam's voice (and so is everyone else) but after discovering that it isn't fake, she and Oda Mae team up to thwart the evil intentions of Sam's murderers.

    "Ghost" was released cinematically at around the same time as "Always" and "Almost An Angel," and it is by far the best film of the 3. Its story and messages combine to assure the viewer, no matter what religion they may be, that although we will all physically die, we will never be truly dead unless we are forgotten and that love is immortality.

    4-0 out of 5 stars a real 'weepy'
    This is a real tearjerker of a movie. Watch it with a box of tissues to hand.
    It essentially covers the theme of life after death and is about Sam (Patrick Swayze) and his girlfriend Molly (Demi Moore) and their lives after Sam is murdered.
    The real scene-stealer is Whoopie Goldberg as the medium trying to act as go between. She manages to inject humour into the role, which stops the film becoming too morose. Her reaction when she realises she has real psychic powers and is not just a fake conning bereaved people is hilarious.
    Well worth watching.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Terrible script...
    This was the first movie I ever saw where the credits said "Written by" and then the rest of the movie played itself out and I figured the script was just a cheap soap opera disguised as a movie. Boil it down, there is not much story here. Man comes back in ghost form to save girlfriend from the man who killed him. The dialoge is really cheesy and makes little sense. Moore and Swazie are miscast, and the ending is predictable and lacks any emotional impact. This was typical of a lot of manstream movie production in the 90's. The scripts were badly written and looked like they belongd more on cheap television shows. The trend still continues to this day.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Without Whoopi It'll Be NOTHING
    whoopi apparently isnt as pretty as Halle but definitely she is aa phenomenal actress. The black society hasnt fully accepted her bcos she is fond of white guys. I believe it comes with the territory. Its a risk for anyone who wants to make it real big in the game. She added spice to the movie and made it really worth watching. Every person needs to go cop this DVD. ... Read more


    18. High Noon
    Director: Fred Zinnemann
    list price: $14.98
    our price: $14.98
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0782008348
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 1411
    Average Customer Review: 4.51 out of 5 stars
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    Written by Carl Foreman (who was later blacklisted during the anticommunist hearings of the '50s) and superbly directed by Fred Zinnemann, this 1952 classic stars Gary Cooper as just-married lawman Will Kane, who is about to retire as a small-town sheriff and begin a new life with his bride (Grace Kelly) when he learns that gunslinger Frank Miller (Ian MacDonald) is due to arrive at high noon to settle an old score. Kane seeks assistance from deputies and townsfolk, but soon realizes he'll have to stand alone in his showdown with Miller and his henchmen. Innovative for its time, the suspenseful story unfolds in approximate real time (from 10:40 a.m. to high noon in an 84-minute film), and many interpreted Foreman's drama as an allegorical reflection of apathy and passive acceptance of Senator Joseph McCarthy's anticommunist campaign.Political underpinnings aside, this remains a milestone of its genre (often referred to as the first "adult" Western), and Cooper is flawless in his Oscar-winning role. --Jeff Shannon ... Read more

    Reviews (103)

    5-0 out of 5 stars One of the Best Westerns ever. Gary Cooper wins 2nd Oscar!
    This Western is told in a real time, nail biting, how does it feel to be alone scenario. Digitally remastered the picture & sound are extrodinary to the story telling. Oscar winning opening song "Don't Forsake Me" sung by Tex Ritter sets the stage for the "Miller Gangs" return.

    Will Cain (Cooper) on this his happiest day of his life having a wedding and retirement ceremony (from being the town Marshall) has his past suddenly become the challenge of a lifetime. Vengeful returning outlaws are seeking Cain.

    Everyone wants him to go on his honeymoon and leave town immediately. His sense of loyalty & duty is to stay until the new Marshall arrives. Problem no one stands beside him to defend the town. Will Cain must do it alone.

    What is so wonderful about this classic black & white western is the real-time scenario from about 10:40 am until 12:00pm "High Noon". Clocks & railroad tracks are the major ingredients to the suspense. These desparados are coming on the noon train.

    This is a great movie and "The Making of High Noon" with Leonard Maltin is wonderful. You'll be watching this movie more than once. This is a western to have in your DVD library now!

    5-0 out of 5 stars High Noon Does Not Foresake the Viewer
    Gary Cooper and Grace Kelly are spectacular in what is considered one of the best westerns ever made, but should be ranked as one of the greatest films ever produced because it easily transcends its genre.

    A morality play that was deliberately produced in stark black-and-white to heighten the mood, the story revolves around Cooper's character, the aging Marshal of Hadleyville who, when the film begins, weds Kelly's character. Cooper has retired and plans to return after his honeymoon as a store keeper because his wife is a Quaker and a pacifist. Plans immediately go awry, however, when it is discovered that a notorious killer whom Cooper had arrested and was expected to have been executed, was instead pardoned. The killer is expected to arrive back in town on the noon train to take revenge on Cooper. Three of his equally savage gang have already arrived and are waiting for him at the train station.

    The townspeople urge Cooper to flee with his new wife, but as he starts out of town, he stops, then returns, convinced that he has a responsibility to protect the town and bring the outlaws to justice. Pinning the marshal's badge back on, Cooper tries to deputize residents, but no one will help him and he is forced to stand alone. In powerful scenes, Cooper is forced to ask for help time-after-time but is turned down by residents who refuse to accept civic responsibility or acknowledge the debt they owe Cooper, rationalizing their decision not to act.

    Kelly doesn't understand her new husband and threatens to leave on the same noon train if he persists in remaining as the marshall this one last time. Kelly eventually begins to understand what drives Cooper but only after forming an unlikely friendship with his former girlfriend, who teaches Kelly about loyalty and character. Ironically, it is Kelly the pacifist who saves Cooper's life by picking up a .45 and killing one of the gunmen.

    In the last scene, the steets are utterly deserted until the gunmen are killed, then the townspeople, who had been hiding, flock around Cooper and Kelly. Without a word, Cooper removes his badge and drops it in the dirt. He and Kelly leave together.

    Throughout the movie, the stirring music and the real-time focus of the minutes ticking by until High Noon, serve to increase the movie's tension. The film combines elements of love, trust, duty, honor and courage in unexpected ways that are both thought-provoking and entertaining. The DVD version is crisp and clean, the story as powerful today as when it was filmed. If you have never seen this movie, you owe it to yourself to pick up this DVD.

    4-0 out of 5 stars The clock is ticking
    It's half past ten in a little western town, and the local marshall of law, Mr. Kane (Gary Cooper) just got married to a gorgeous Quaker girl (Grace Kelly, always a sight for sore eyes). Mr Kane will now retire as a marshall, and head to a new and peaceful life. Or will he? At the telegraph station the postmaster gets a cable stating that a dangerous bandit (Frank Miller) will arrive in the twelve o'clock train. At the train depot, three of Miller's gunmen are wating for him. When he arrives, they will seek revenge against the one man that tried, unsuccessfully, to convict Miller of a capital crime: Mr Kane himself.

    During these 90 minutes, Gary Cooper will try to get help from the local population, old friends, and a man who wants to be the next sheriff (Lloyd Bridges). But it will not be an easy task. Add to that the fact that his brand new wife abhorres violence, and threatens to leave him less than two hours after the marriage - in fact she says she'll leave in the train that brings the outlaw Miller to town.

    People think this is a western classic. Wrong. "High noon" is surely a classic, but not a western. It only happens to be set in the old west. To say the truth, "High noon" is more like a thriller with a Hitchcockian feeling to it. The western setting (violence, lack of respect for the laws, gunfights, dry and sun-scorched landscape, etc.) is present to add to the mounting tension and suspense that grow with each shot depicting the face of a clock and the relentless passage of time towards noon and the train arrival.

    What makes this movie great is the seemingly dead-end situation, the great dialogues, and very good acting by Gary Cooper (which earned him an Oscar, when the Academy Awards were not given for political reasons), Grace Kelly, Lloyd Bridges, among others (and Lee Van Cleef, the infamous "Angel Eyes" from "The good, the bad and the ugly" - he doesn't say a word, but those eyes are surely creepy).

    I will not give "High noon" five stars because I felt the script could be a little more developed. The ending is too rushed and kind of unsatisfying. But this is an excellent movie nonetheless. And, I say it again, this is not a "western" in the common sense of the genre.

    Grade 8.0/10

    4-0 out of 5 stars High time for High Noon
    "High Noon" is the classic western movie about a marshall facing down four badmen alone after the townsmen refuse to help him. Although it has a western setting, it could have easily been most any other locale because the psychological and social aspects are the important themes, not the old West, or riding horses. Made during the time of McCarthy and the Communist witch hunt, many have read political undertones into the movie.

    A seemingly unusual cast includes Gary Cooper ("Sergeant York", "Pride of the Yankees") as the good-guy out-going marshall, Grace Kelly ("Rear Window") as his new wife, Lloyd Bridges ("Sea Hunt", "Airplane") as the deputy, Lee Van Cleef (the "bad" of "The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly") as one silent badguy, Lon Chaney ("The Wolfman"), and Henry Morgan ("MASH").

    The movie proceeds in nearly real time - it starts about 10:30 AM and ends shortly after noon - and clocks are increasingly prominent in nearly every scene. The leader of the badmen, Frank Miller, who was sent to prison by the marshall under a death sentence but was released, is now coming to town on the noon train to kill marshall Kane. Three of his friends are waiting at the station to greet and assist him in killing the marshall. That same morning, Kane is getting married to a violence-abhoring Quaker woman and is going to give up being marshall because of it. After learning Frank Miller is coming to town, the wife convinces Cane to essentially skip town and they leave, but the marshall gets his sense of duty back and returns to town. He and his wife argue, and she is determined to leave on the noon train. The judge also packs his things and leaves town. The marshall's deputy also quits. Kane goes around town trying to organize a posse, but only one capable man volunteers (the other is a one-eyed drunk) but he subsequently backs out.

    Cane is forced to face the men alone. I won't spoil the ending.

    At a time when movies (even bad ones) were being made in color, "High Noon" was shot in black-and-white, trying to get an unglamorous look to it modeled after Matthew Brady's photographs of the civil war, and succeeds. There is no beautiful sky and clouds, or cactus and sunsets. It is great cinematography however. Oscars for Best Actor, Editing, Song and Score.

    Reasonably-priced DVD picture and sound are good. It has an average commentary by daughter of actor, son of singer, son of writer and son of director. Also has a short documentary, a fair behind-the-scenes, and a 5-plus minute radio interview with singer Tex Ritter.

    5-0 out of 5 stars When people do nothing...
    As a high school student, I was taught how to write a screenplay through the first 5 minutes of this film. I never forgot how to do it either! It's simple storytelling, really. This is a classic story of one man forced to take care of unfinished business without any help. It's a story of good and evil. And it's a story of what happens when people don't help each other. Gary Cooper is awesome as the Marshall who must fight alone. Grace Kelly is beautiful in this movie. Though it may seem ugly to watch, the director, Fred Zimmerman and his Cinematographer shot this film without any special lenses or adjustments, making this movie an outstanding piece of work and possibly the greatest western ever made! ... Read more


    19. From Here to Eternity
    Director: Fred Zinnemann
    list price: $14.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0800100832
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 2322
    Average Customer Review: 4.02 out of 5 stars
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    Here's a model for adapting a novel into a movie. The bestseller by James Jones, a frank and hard-hitting look at military life, could not possibly be made into a film in 1953 without considerably altering its length and bold subject matter. Yet screenwriter Daniel Taradash and director Fred Zinnemann (both of whom won Oscars for their work) pared it down and cleaned it up, without losing the essential texture of Jones's tapestry. The setting is an army base in Hawaii in 1941. Montgomery Clift, in a superb performance, plays a bugler who refuses to fight for the company boxing team; he has reasons for giving up the sport. His refusal results in harsh treatment from the company commander, whose bored wife (Deborah Kerr) is having an affair with the tough-but-fair sergeant (Burt Lancaster). You remember--the scene with the two of them embracing on the beach, as the surf crashes in. The supporting players are as good as the leads: Frank Sinatra and Donna Reed won Oscars (and Sinatra revitalized his entire career), and Ernest Borgnine entered the gallery of all-time movie villains, as the stockade sergeant who makes Sinatra miserable. Zinnemann's work is efficient but also evocative, capturing the time and place beautifully, the tropical breezes as well as the lazy prewar indulgence. This one is deservedly a classic. --Robert Horton ... Read more

    Reviews (59)

    5-0 out of 5 stars AFI top 100- Winner of 8 Oscars-Including Best Movie 1953!!
    "From Here to Eternity" made from Best Seller book of 1951 written by James Jones. Now digitally re-mastered both in video and sound provides us with this classic on DVD with background extras. The cast (Burt Lancaster, Deborah Kerr, Montgomery Cliff, Donna Reed and Frank Sinatra)was perfectly chosen and proved by the 13 Oscar nominations and winner of 8 including "Best Picture and Director - Fred Zinneman". Frank Sinatras "Best Supporting Actor" come back role is just the beginning.
    In Summary: a few days prior to Pearl Harbor we find ourselves involved with these military characters and women struggling to find better lives in the volatile world of 1941. Knowing war is coming they try desparately to make their lives more meanigfully. The main focus is around the Army life style and how their lives were effected by events they had no real control over. Lancaster played a top sergeant having an affair with his Company Commanders wife (Kerr), Cliff and Sinatra were 2 soldiers in the same company who befriend each other and end up both being killed by circumstances in this troubled time of December 7, 1941.
    This Black & White classic film broke all kinds of barriers for subject matter and character/star representation. Reed as a saloon gal. Kerr as a steamy temptress (infamous Beach Love scene with Lancaster).
    Sit back and take a ride "FROM HERE TO ETERNITY".

    2-0 out of 5 stars "A man don't go his own way, he's nothing."
    Fred Zinnemann's "From Here to Eternity" simply has not aged well. It's place in cinematic history remains secure: Frank Sinatra's Oscar, Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr embracing in the surf, and the Oscar for Best Picture. Yet, what was considered an adult film back in 1953 plays like a run-of-the-mill soap opera in the present day.

    As Sergeant Warden (Lancaster) and Karen Holmes (Kerr), the wife of his superior, start to fall in love, Private Prewitt (Montgomery Clift) is trying to find a way to avoid participating in his unit's boxing championship. Prewitt finds support from his friend Maggio (Sinatra) who tries to protect him from the pressures around him and finds love with Lorene (Donna Reed), a "working girl" who has temporarily relocated to Hawaii. Into the mix is thrown a sadistic warden played by Ernest Borgnine and the bombing of Pearl Harbor which plunges all involved straight into World War II.

    "From Here to Eternity" is filled with one character after another who is desperate. All of them are either desperate for power, desperate for love, desperate for acceptance, or desperate to escape their past. Yet, the plotlines in the film do not produce the same emotional jolt it did five decades ago. Extramarital affairs, bullying authority figures, and fallen women are all topics on trivial daytime television shows today. These mature themes just do not hold your interest anymore when looked at through the veil of time. When this aspect of the film is removed, what is left is just a routine "day-in-the-lives" story.

    Yet the film still has many things going for it. All of the performances are fine: Sinatra reminds viewers just how talented an actor he was in years past, the chemistry between Lancaster and Kerr is still electric, and Clift turns in another low-key but effective performance. And even though it's legacy may be slightly diminished, "From Here to Eternity" will always be fondly remembered as the film that more than any other made making out at the beach fashionable.

    2-0 out of 5 stars 1950's Hollywood Mess
    The Godfather got Sinatra the part of Maggio, but I think the producer was right; Sinatra stinks in that part. Talk about over acting; Sinatra has no subtlety at all. Now Lancaster is terrific, a soldier's soldier and Deborah Kerr slips into the part of a lonely wife of a louse effortlessly. The script of the James Jones book is a mess. The Lancaster-Kerr romance works almost, but the Cliff-Donna Reed love story is hurried and unbelievable. She's a dance hostess my a**. The mores of the 1950's did this interesting story wrong. These people are seething with sexuality, but somehow, Hollywood squeezed the juice out of em.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Great movie, so-so DVD
    While the digital transfer is good and I enjoyed the movie for the first time without all the white noise and sound pops, all the special features that it boasts are disappointing.
    For people who enjoy classic movies, you really can't do better than this. The movie is able to stand well enough on it's own without really needing these "features" to back it up and I recommend this DVD version only for that reason.
    However those who love collectors edition DVD's, especially ones on Oscar flicks may feel slighted. There are two lackluster featurettes. One being a "Making Of" that is more or less a rehash of the production notes found inside of the case. The other focusing on Fred Zinneman, the movie's director, is slighlty more interesting. But both have more footage of the film itself than behind the scenes and both run under ten minutes. What they should have done was combine the two. The Commentary by the son of the director also leaves much to be desired. The only reason why I harp on these is that I know what Columbia is capable of doing better. Take a look at "Lawrence of Arabia" and "Bridge on the River Kwai"

    However, I'm glad I got this and recommend it despite my gripes. Just be aware of the its shortcomings. It's a great film that speaks for itself and after having the DVD for a few years now, I still find myself taking this off the shelf from time to time.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Peacetime Classic !
    "From Here to Eternity" is a Hollywood classic. It may be the finest film ever about the military in peacetime. The background is Schofield Barracks, Hawaii in the Fall of 1941. That was the old "brown boot" Army! This reviewer is a Vietnam era vet, so I can't address the realism of the setting. Judging by the crisp dialog and snappy khaki uniforms, I'm giving the director the benefit of any doubt. I always thought it fascinating that an Austrian born Director could be at the helm of such classics as "High Noon" and FHTE -in consecutive years no less. What did Mr. Zinnemann know of the Old West or the American Army? The male lead is Burt Lancaster as First Sergeant Warden, a tough but fair NCO that any enlisted man would want for his "top". The second male lead is Private Prewitt, played by Montgomery Clift. Prewitt is a top bugler who isn't allowed to bugle and a top boxer who reuses to box for the company team! How that automatic conflict plays out is the heart of the movie. Another conflict is between Frank Sinatra, a happy go lucky but harmless enlisted man who trouble seems to follow and an evil Ernest Borgnine, the top MP at the Schofield stockade. Their "dispute" plays out too, with Clift a surprise key figure in its' "resolution". This reviewer believes that far too much attention has been lavished on the affair between Lancaster and Deborah Kerr, the wife of the Company Commander. I found it hard to swallow that any serious career man would run around openly with an officer's wife. Lancaster was one step away from a bust down to the lowest private and a trip to the stockade. The real female star here was Donna Reed, a bar "hostess' who would be a prostitute in real life. Her sensitivity toward Clift produces some of the best scenes in FHTE. Someone must have agreed because Donna walked off with the Best Supporting Actress Oscar- and promptly fainted after receiving it. The interplay between Lancaster/Kerr and Clift/Reed caused some huge challenges for the Director in making the bawdy best selling novel "clean" for the silver screen in the still conservative, prudish America of 1953. FHTE also contains some of the sharpest dialog and one liners this reviewer can remember. Two favorites: "Never disturb a man when he's drinking" (Lancaster) and "No one lies about being lonely"(Clift). In addition to Reed, Oscars were awarded for Best Picture, Director, Screenplay, Film Editing, Cinematography and Supporting Actor, (Sinatra). The last two are important: FHTE revived Frank's career. Many believe that "pressure" was applied to Harry Cohn and Columbia Pictures to hire Sinatra. Do we remember the "horses head in the bed" scene from Godfather I? Others claim that his then wife, Ava Gardner, supplied the "influence". Finally FHTE is yet another example of why black and white classics should not be colorized. If there is such a thing as "beautiful black and white", it is this one. .... ... Read more


    20. The Nun's Story
    Director: Fred Zinnemann
    list price: $14.95
    our price: $13.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 6302636779
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 820
    Average Customer Review: 4.41 out of 5 stars
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    Fred Zinnemann's epic drama is a splendid showcase for Audrey Hepburn, who stars as the young nun Sister Luke, who is deeply spiritual yet conflicted about whether or not she can conform to convent life. Though the film is a mesmerizing--and quite leisurely--two and a half hours, its plot is fairly simple--young Gabrielle (Hepburn) enters the convent pledging her life to God, learns the disciplines associated with the life, receives her dream assignment of going to the Congo as a missionary nurse, and once there, is forced to face whether she is meant for the rigorous life of poverty, chastity, and most difficult of all, obedience. The film does a marvelous job of portraying the challenges of cloistered life without being either off-putting or overly romantic. And Hepburn, sometimes with only her eyes, communicates all the drive, faith, and conflict of a young woman so torn. --Anne Hurley ... Read more

    Reviews (32)

    4-0 out of 5 stars A Conflicted Soul
    In a truly great performance, Audrey Hepburn stars as Gabrielle (and later, Sister Luke), a young Belgian girl and daughter of a famous surgeon, who enters the convent with the ultimate dream of working as a nurse in the Belgian Congo. From the outset, Hepburn has difficulty working within the vow of obedience, and it becomes a daily struggle to remain faithful to her vow. The struggle becomes more pronounced in the Congo when working with Peter Finch, a brilliant surgeon who sees her conflict but is not a believer. Hepburn and Finch have a relationship that is one of the highlights of this film. The Nun's Story is not an action packed feature, but rather a character study about coming to grips with one's faith, character, and true self. Hepburn does a terrific job of portraying Sister Luke's conflicts, all the more difficult given the emotional restraint she must show in the role of a nun. The supporting cast of film veterans adds to the excellence of the acting. I also enjoyed the insight into the training and demands placed on nuns. The level of sacrifice required surprised me, and although it's not an experience that most of us will ever have ourselves, there's much about human nature that can be appreciated and learned in this film.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Nuns who look like and act like nuns!!
    This is one of the truly great films of the late 50's in the genre of religion. It details with wonderful accuracy the plight of a woman caught in an order of nuns that asks her to be a nurse and cloistered nun all in one. The schizo life-style does not suit Audrey Hepburn who suffers to live it, from Belgium to the Belgian Congo and back to the ravages of WW II. She must make a decision weather to aid the allies or stay in the convent and be neutral and therfore somewhat conspirstorial; it all couched under the vow of obedience which haunts her from the very start, acting as a metaphor for individual will vs. institutional Church. For the time this was produced, the themes and the ending are daring indeed. The Catholic Church hated this film but could not have it cut or condemned because it was a blockbuster in one week.On the cutting edge of Vatican II this story, beginning in the 20's, ending in ww II, is quite prophetic. Audrey Hepburn has more than just convent ways..she is a nun, with a habit that makes her look like a true nun. A stunning performance and an academy award winning one, but she did not get it. In any case, get The Nun's Story and learn about religious life in the Catholic Church before it disappeared. By the way, where is the lbx DVD of this film????

    2-0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
    The entire movie, I thought she was going to marry the doctor in Congo, and then she doesn't! The end was much too solemn. The conclusion wasn't powerful either; it was very abrupt.

    Here's how I think the ending should have gone: Gabriel leaves the convent with a smile on her face and sails for the Congo. When she arrives, she finds the doctor converted. They're overwhelmingly glad to see each other, and they have a beautiful wedding. OR, as an alternate ending, Gabriel can marry Gene. Either way, I'll be satisfied.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Hep-py now?
    It's a testament to the filmmakers that the scene in which Sister Luke signs papers to leave the church has real gravity.
    The final shot sits on the fence, that is if to say "you can walk in as well as out", but I found it too distracting. I kept thinking: "You close doors behind you." Guess I'm not terribly spiritual, then.

    4-0 out of 5 stars The Nun Story : The Failure of the Flesh
    I have found the Nun's Story to be a fascinating study of what the "fleshly" Christian experiences when he/she tries to lead the Christian life. Saint Paul draws an important distinction between the truly spiritual Christian and the fleshly or carnal Christian. The fleshly Christian tries to obey and please God in his own strength, or--to use another term--by relying on his flesh. When Sister Luke reaches the end of her own resources, that is, the resources of her flesh, she realizes her life in the convent and to obey God, is impossible for her. It would take a miracle for her to be able to forgive the Germans after she learns that they have savagely killer her father.

    But that's just the point!! It would have been a truly inspiring story if at this point, Sister Luke gets down on her knees, utterly broken by the events of the world, and prays something like the following,"Dear Lord, I cannot do what you ask me to do, You will have to do it for me and in me--by revealing Your dear Son, Jesus Christ in me. In my own strength, in my flesh, I am absolutely powerless! I am absolutely depending on your grace and Life. It is utterly impossible for me to forgive these Germans--apart from you! Amen!!" This, I think, is what Paul is talking about when he says in II Corinthians 12:9 that God told him, "My grace is sufficient for you, for [My]power is perfected in [your] weakness."

    One night, Corrie Ten Boom experienced this dependence on God when she finished preaching on forgiveness, only to find the former German prison guard, the man responsible for the death of her beloved sister, standing before her at the altar call. She confessed to God, her inability to forgive the man--in her own strength, i.e., in her flesh--and called out to God to forgive him through her, that is, to give her the supernatural ability to forgive. And He answered her prayer! She forgave the man with tears in her eyes, to the glory of God, the Father!!

    A parallel can likewise be drawn to the film "The Keys of the Kingdom," starring Gregory Peck. In this film a very proud nun, learns to depend on the indwelling life of Christ to meet her needs to be loving. She remarks, "It's odd that my moment of deepest humiliation has also brought me to my moment of deepest peace." (I'm paraphrasing.)

    It is intriguing and frustrating to watch The Nun's Story, but I learned a lot about my own walk through watching it and reflecting on it deeply. ... Read more


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