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    $13.46 $9.51 list($14.95)
    1. Lady Sings the Blues
    $9.98 $6.63
    2. Once Upon a Time...When We Were
    $49.62 list($54.92)
    3. Roots
    list($14.95)
    4. To Sir, With Love
    $4.97 $3.00
    5. Malcolm X
    $6.98 $4.03
    6. Our Friend, Martin
    list($14.95)
    7. Glory
    $9.98 $6.00
    8. The Piano Lesson
    $4.79 list($4.94)
    9. In the Heat of the Night
    $14.95
    10. Michael Jordan - Come Fly With
    $10.99 list($9.94)
    11. A Lesson Before Dying
    $9.98 $5.75
    12. Do the Right Thing
    $9.95 $4.55
    13. Eddie Murphy - Raw
    list($99.88)
    14. The Civil War - A Film by Ken
    $19.98
    15. American Experience: Malcolm X
    $8.75 list($9.99)
    16. What's Love Got To Do With It?
    $9.99 $1.50
    17. Amistad
    $29.98 $7.38
    18. Girl 6
    $6.72
    19. Carol Burnett Show Collector's
    $9.95 $5.99
    20. Higher Learning

    1. Lady Sings the Blues
    Director: Sidney J. Furie
    list price: $14.95
    our price: $13.46
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 6300216381
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 465
    Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    Diana Ross stars as legendary blues singer Billie Holiday in this biopic that chronicles her rise and fall. It begins with her late childhood, a stint as a prostitute, those early days as a blues singer, her marriages, and her drug addiction. Overly glossy and lacking depth, this is worth seeing only for the performances. Diana Ross was nominated for an Oscar for her acting debut. A dynamo with sparkling screen presence, she realistically conveys the confusion and unhappiness that caused Holiday so much grief. Her performance is almost matched by romantic interest Billy Dee Williams. Watch for Richard Pryor, who is most powerful in a dramatic supporting role as the piano player in a brothel. --Rochelle O'Gorman ... Read more

    Reviews (29)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Awesome story, even better acting and producing!!!
    I have always been a huge fan of Diana Ross and Lady Day, but putting that aside this movie is truly worth every penny, every minute you spend watching. The Billie Holiday story stands by itself as an incredible testimony to what it was like to be black in 1930's America, but add to that Diana's vulnerability and beautiful voice and you have one of the best stories ever put on film!!!! I just can't wait until it is put on DVD with 5.0 dolby digital sound..........does anyone out there know when that might happen????? :) Buy the movie, you will not regret it.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Not Billie's real story, but I give Diana props
    I'm not a Diana Ross fan, but in this movie, she was excellent and convincing as Lady Day. Dynamic performances by Billy Dee Williams and Richard Pryor as well. My only fault with this movie that it was not Billie Holiday's real story. It was filled with inaccuracies and purely fictional situations. Even Berry Gordy, Ross' one-time lover and mentor, admitted that the script was bogus, but it still was very riveting. This was Ross' first film and even though she never took a drama lesson in her life, she pulled this off with no problem. Definitely worth checking out.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Not only is the film historically inaccurate,
    but it's an absolute DISGRACE to the memory and legacy of the real Lady Day. Diana was a decent (solo) to great(Supremes) soul singer, but she's no great actor. She's simply competent ... watching Mahogany proves that beyond a shadow of a doubt. To do the story of Billie Holiday, easily one of the most influential and lasting jazz/torch singers of the 20th century, and not cast a known quantity was a serious mistake on Gordy and Motown's part. Not only didn't Ross look the part, she certainly didn't act it, and her voice is nothing like Billie's;it's far weaker and devoid of the "body" Lady Day had. The only bright spot in this was Rochard Pryor's part, even though, again, it was 99% fiction. Save your time, save your money. Buy a Billie Holiday CD, her autobiography, and enjoy the real thing. Maybe one day someone will make a REAL film bio of the Lady.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Inaccurate, but the performances are powerful
    The complex life of jazz singer Billie Holiday cannot be summed up in a two-and-a-half hour film unless it's a documentary. Therefore, LADY SINGS THE BLUES misses the boat in portraying Billie's life, but hits the target in casting Diana Ross, Billy Dee Williams and Richard Pryor. The chemistry between these three thespians are a joy to behold. And Ms. Ross sings Billie's songs very well without resorting to imitating the jazz legend.

    3-0 out of 5 stars MINUS 2 STARS FOR INACCURACY...
    But a STRONG 3 stars for Diana's acting and rendering of Billie's tunes (I got chills when she sang "Strange Fruit"). This story doesn't represent the life of Billie Holiday AT ALL, but it was a nice fantasy. I must admit that Billie Dee Williams' over-the-top performance was really annoying, hokey and downright laughable. Richard Pryor added a lovable and humorous spark to the flick that was unforgettable! I'm hoping the reason it's taking so long for this movie to come out on DVD is that they are going to make it fabulous with all sorts of extra features and whatnot. Otherwise:

    WHAT'S TAKING SO LONG FOR THIS MOVIE TO COMING OUT ON DVD?!?!?!?! ... Read more


    2. Once Upon a Time...When We Were Colored
    Director: Tim Reid
    list price: $9.98
    our price: $9.98
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 6304138431
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 2060
    Average Customer Review: 4.56 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    Tim Reid's wonderful film about life in the black neighborhood of Glen Allan, Mississippi, from the mid-'40s to the dawn of the civil rights movement, is thick with terrific, inspired actors and possessed of a mature, limpid visual style. The story is told from the point of view of a young boy raised by his stalwart grandfather and his kind aunt. But the collective tale of a community coming to terms with the risks it must take to fight racism and achieve political rights is equally important and compelling. Beautifully written (based on the autobiographical novel by Clifton Taubert), Reid's vision is rich in scenes of ritual and community that have rarely, if ever, been revealed on film. This is more than just a good movie; it's a watershed event in this nation's cultural history. --Tom Keogh ... Read more

    Reviews (9)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Once Upon A Time...When We Were Colored
    Step back in time to 1946, to a place called Glen Allen, Mississippi. Racial discrimination is at an all time high, and hate groups like the KKK parade in the streets. African Americans are forced to use different bathrooms, and different water fountains, and Clifton Taulbert is born in a cotton field right in the middle of it all. This horrible time to be African American is where Once Upon A Time...When We Were Colored takes place.

    The movie spans a total of 16 years, beginning when Cliff was born, and ending when he is seventeen. The character of Clifton Taulbert was played by three different actors (age 5, age 10 through 11, and age 17). Charles Earl Taylor Jr. (who played Cliff at age 5) did a superb job, as well as Damon Hines (Cliff at age 17). Ray J (who played Cliff at ages 10 through 11), I believe, could have played his part in the movie better by adding a little more expression in his voice. On the whole, all of the other actors in the movie performed wonderfully.

    The theme of racial discrimination is evident from the beginning birth scene in the cotton fields where the white owner of the fields refused to give the mother of Clifton a full days pay because of his inconvenient birth in the middle of the cotton crop. The movie then moves on to a scene where Cliff (age 5) needed to use a restroom at a gas station. It was marked "white only" and the gas attendant stopped him before Cliff had a chance to use it. His Uncle Cleave (played by Richard Roundtree) then showed young Cliff a "W" and a "C" and explained to him that he could only use things marked with a "C" (for colored). Cliff's Uncle Cleave, who delivered ice for the people who owned iceboxes in Glen Allen, was a major roll model in Cliff's life. Cliff's Uncle always told him to get a good education so he could move away from Glen Allen when he was older. Perhaps the scene with the most evidence of racism is when Cleave takes Cliff into town and they see the KKK in white hooded robes marching down the street.

    This movie receives four stars out of five from me because of the disappointing acting from Ray J (Cliff Age 10 through 11) that in my opinion could have been played much better.

    Also throughout the movie there are scenes that clearly show the local color of the town of Glen Allen. A church scene, where the people of Glen Allen gathered together to worship god and have a picnic, showed the great sense of family in the town. Other scenes (like one of a dace club) help us get a feel for what life was like living in Glen Allen. I think that these scenes were a very good addition to the movie.

    All in all, with its wonderful directing, fantastic cast, and a good moral, Once Upon A Time...When We Were Colored was superbly made. The fact that it was a true story is stunning in itself because of the abundance of racial discrimination that happened in these times. Once Upon A Time...When We Were Colored is a must see movie for anyone who wants to learn more about racial discrimination.

    5-0 out of 5 stars THIS MOVIE CAN INFLUENCE PEOPLE OF ALL AGES
    IF THERE WAS A TEN STAR RATING, THIS MOVIE WOULD DESREVE IT, IN MY OPINION IT WAS JUST AS GOOD AS THE COLOR PURPLE. THIS IS A MOVIE FULL OF THE TRUTH, AND THE ACTORS AND ACTRESSSES DELIVER AN PERFORMANCE THAT WILL BE HARD TO MATCH. THIS IS HOW THINGS TRULY WERE IN THE SOUTH. I'M GLAD SOMEONE IS FINALLY REVEALING THE WHOLE STORY.

    4-0 out of 5 stars The icemen are left with a smaller customer base
    11/4/01 The more important subplot to me was the decline of business for icemen with non-blacks(mainly the white race) investing in refrigerators and the different ploys used in the small town to have all the black residence to switch to the" big ice company" that had come to this remote as well as last location where they knew the ice was still needed .

    5-0 out of 5 stars Clifton Talbert's powerful prose
    Al Freeman does great justice to Clifton Talbert's powerful novel. Clifton inspired me as an author. He used the first person narrative in such a humble manner. I have heard it said that only arrogant, self-glorifying people employ a literary style center with the word, "I." Yet, Clifton does so with such a sense of humility. His "I" illustrates the power being there, but in his work, virtually every person he describes is made to seem more bold, virtuous and sincere than the author himself. In Al Freeman's adaptation of this excellent literary work, the humble and sincere sense that imbued Clifton's novel comes to life. Genuine, sublime, personal and powerful, this is a movie guaranteed to touch your heart.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great Film!
    I saw this movie when it first came out and really enjoyed it. So, I was really excited to see it was available on DVD and ordered it immediately. It is a great film, and I am proud to have it as a part of my personal movie collection. ... Read more


    3. Roots
    list price: $54.92
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 6302571251
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 1156
    Average Customer Review: 4.47 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com essential video

    From the moment the young Kunta Kinte (LeVar Burton) is stolen from his life and ancestral home in 18th-century Africa and brought under inhumane conditions to be auctioned as a slave in America, a line is begun that leads from this most shameful chapter in U.S. history to the 20th-century author Alex Haley, a Kinte descendant. The late Haley's acclaimed book Roots was adapted into this six-volume television miniseries, which was a widely watched phenomenon in 1977. The programs cover several generations in the antebellum South and end with the story of "Chicken" George, a freed slave played by Ben Vereen whose family feels the agony of entrenched racism and learns to fight it. Between the lives of Kunta and George, we meet a number of memorable characters, black and white, and learn much about the emotional and physical torments of slavery, from beatings and rapes to the forced separation of spouses and families. Nothing like this had ever confronted so many mainstream Americans when the series was originally broadcast, and the extent to which the country was nudged a degree or two toward enlightenment was instantly obvious. Roots still has that ability to open one's eyes, and engage an audience in a sweeping, memorable drama at the same time. --Tom Keogh ... Read more

    Reviews (57)

    5-0 out of 5 stars The spirit and the Spirituals
    Two days ago, I finished watching "Roots" ( the re-edited DVD version) , a series I scarcely remembered from my adolescent years. I remembered I had liked it. That was just about it.
    Well.....now I'm 40, a musician (choral conductor and educator) and a profound lover of Spirituals and Gospel music. So....let me tell you that "Roots" moved the very bottom of my heart. I cried every episode, deeply touched by the sadness of the story but also by the invincible courage that has led African Americans through a hard history in the U.S. From my knowledge of Spirituals I've always admired this courage, this strength of the spirit reflected throughout all the melodic and rhythmic richness, ( "Hush...hush... Somebody's calling my name") the spiritual and physical beauty of a race, the deep and sincere approach to Christianity!
    I think and I do hope that, someday, those "in power" all around the world will open their eyes and finally come to understand that racism, and all forms of discrimination, belong to the darkest and the most ignorant side of the human heart!
    Just one last question: Is it possible to buy the printed Screenplay?
    Santiago Zuleta. (Bogotá, Colombia)

    4-0 out of 5 stars The Roots of Roots
    Warner Brothers has done a wonderful job in bringing David Wolper's 1977 television classic to DVD. This 3 DVD box set comes in an attractive tri-fold insert with an extensive chapter list and summary of each episode of the 573 minute production. The picture is colorful and sharp and the audio is a satifactory digital mono. The box claims "feature-length" audio commentary. Although commentary is extensive and entertaining, it does not run through the entire feature, constantly. There are also video commentaries on each disc from various people who worked on the film, which show highlights from the film as the actors speak on their memories. Some of actors have not aged well. There is also a behind-the-scenes documentary. My only quip is that one can not switch back and forth between the film's audio track and the commentary track at whim. One has to go to the main menu and switch to the commentary feature, much like Warner Brothers's release of Ben Hur, a mild irritation. There is a Spanish language track and English, French, Spanish subtitles. It is interesting to read the subtitles to study subtle nuances of the dialog. It is a pleasure to finally discard my 6 bulky, cumbersome tapes and replace them with 3 thin discs that I can access any portion instantly. If you love the story, you'll want to own this boxset.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Really sad!
    All though i only saw first part of these mini-series it's really sad.How kuntah kinte and some other blacks were forced to be in a slaver,get sold to plantation owners and such.And its really heartwrenching when they abuse the slaves and hit them with their whips,anyways this is a cool series.You sometimes think how can other people have treated other people in the past like this.5/5!

    4-0 out of 5 stars Funny & Dramatic
    I liked the movie. I mean, I'm kind of young but I really liked the movie. It was funny too. In the way it was funny was when like, they talk in these Southern accents when they come from New York, or something like that. The dramatic part is when they get raped and stuff like that. It's really sad to know that my people was treated like that. You know what I mean? Not the white people's people just the black peoples' people, you know. I think it was a good show. My favorite character was Kizzy my least favorite character was the overseers. You know, the slavemasters. Well, I liked the movie and I can't wait to see the Next Generation.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great educational series
    This is truly one of the great epic mini-series of all time. This series caused me to do research of my own. Everything told in this story happened at various places and times in the United States (both North and South) and some things even worse. One of the glaring things that was left out (that relates to modern times ) was the fact that many of the Africans were sold to Christian White European Slavers or their Black agents by conquering Arabic and Black Moslems (selling people who wouldn't convert to Islam) who were crusading through Africa (and still are). Why would the Whites want to risk getting hurt or killed when they had lots of people willing to gather this "Human" harvest for them? This program of Slavery continues today in Africa and Asia. While you can take my word or not this series should challenge people to find out the truth for themselves. Discover the true "Roots" of the modern world, not just America. Alex Haley did it, but be prepared...Alex didn't tell everything...he was being kind and politically correct. Ask yourself why Mr. Haley didn't become Moslem himself when he had many good friends (he was a very open minded man) who were Moslems. Could it be that he found the idea of converting to a religion that sold his ancestors into slavery unappealing. Buying this DVD and reading the book is a GREAT place to start, but don't stop at the PG version. ... Read more


    4. To Sir, With Love
    Director: James Clavell
    list price: $14.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0800104803
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 3511
    Average Customer Review: 4.84 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com essential video

    Novelist James Clavell wrote, produced, and directed this 1967 British film (based on a novel by E.R. Braithwaite) about a rookie teacher who throws out stock lesson plans and really takes command of his unruly, adolescent students in a London school. Poitier is very good as a man struggling with the extent of his commitment to the job, and even more as a teacher whose commitment is to proffering life lessons instead of academics. The spirit of this movie can be found in such recent films as Dangerous Minds and Mr. Holland's Opus, but none is as moving as this one. Besides, the others don't have a title song performed by pop star Lulu. --Tom Keogh ... Read more

    Reviews (44)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Poitier Is Masterful
    1967 was an incredible year for Sidney Poitier. He starred in three magnificent films, the Academy Award winning films, In The Heat Of the Night & Guess Who's Coming To Dinner and this superb movie. Mr. Poitier stars as Mark Thackery who is an engineer, but in need of a job accepts a teaching position at a tough West End school. His class is made up of unruly ruffians and at first they rebel against him. It becomes obvious to Thackery that these kids don't have an interest in learning normal academics and that none of them will pursue higher education so he decides to prepare them for live by giving them lessons on how to cope in the real world. He gives cooking lessons, make up lessons for the girls, takes them to museums and they develop a respect and love for each other. Judy Geeson is fabulous as Pamela Dare, a blond beauty who develops a crush on Thackery. Christian Roberts is Devin the leader of the group. He is a thug not use to rules and is constantly testing Thackery. Lulu is Babs Pegg and she does a credible acting job and supplies the film with its famous theme song. Michael Des Barres has a minor part as one of the students and he would go on to minor rock career and marry one of the most famous of all rock groupies Pamela Des Barres. Mr. Poitier is the glue that holds the film together and he is equally forceful and compassionate in his performance. To sir With Love is dated in some ways with regards to the fashions and slang language, but it's story is timeless

    5-0 out of 5 stars Flawlessly wonderful
    This is my all-time favorite movie. The story is of a Black engineer, born in British Guyana and educated in California, who takes a job teaching at a high school in a depressed area of London. He has no teaching experience, and so develops his teaching style from his own experience. Gradually the relationship between the teacher (Poitier) and his students evolves from suspicion, to respect, to love. There is the obligatory romantic attraction between Poitier and one of his students, Judy Geeson. (Geeson, who plays this part with endearing and convincing sweetness, grew up to become the supercilious and insufferable across-the-hall neighbor from Paul Reiser and Helen Hunt in the TV sitcom "Mad About You").

    Everything is perfect in this movie. If you can watch the very last scene without tears, then you are stronger than I. In retrospect, I think this movie was one of the influences which caused me to become a teacher, 17 years after I first saw it. I hope it has done the same for some others, and that it will continue to do so in the future. See it!

    4-0 out of 5 stars Heartwarming Film
    Poitier is a stunning actor.

    This is a heartwarming film. This is a good feel-good movie for anyone who may be feeling down!

    Jeffrey C. McAndrew
    author of "Our Brown-Eyed Boy"

    5-0 out of 5 stars One of Sidney Poitier's outstanding movies
    This movie, based on E.R. Braithwaite's book, was one of the outstanding movies of Sidney Poitier. I am a sucker of such movies, especially as I can relate to them. I was in a difficult school during my teenage years with bad schoolmates and some good teachers set me straight, otherwise, I would have been in trouble. This movie inspired many other movies but did not do such a splendid job. The main difference was the script and the actors.

    Sidney plays the part of Mark Thackerey who is an engineer who does not get a job as an engineer and decides to become a teacher as an intermediate job. In the East End school he sees how bad the standards of the students are and realizes that he is not making any difference. Finally one day he loses his cool, and then hits on an idea to change the students attitude. Gradually, the students warm up to him. Though some of the ideas might be dated (language, customs etc) for the present day, the ideas of racism, generation difference, teacher-student trust and problems are well brought out. This is still a timeless classic and for anyone who has worked with schools, teachers and problem students.

    The DVD quality is excellent. Both video and sound transfer are good. Sidney is Sidney, what can I say, his quiet, dignified style of acting and the way he handles all the situations by showing his emotions is fantastic. The theme song of this movie is also special. Do not miss this movie.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A BEAUTIFUL FILM
    "To Sir With Love" was a beautiful story about a black teacher, Sidney Poitier, who overcomes racial barriers to teach West London toughs and toughettes the meaning of life. It was, literally, banned in Alabama, which was ruled entirely by...the Democrat party. In 1967, Poitier again stirred the red-necks with "In the Heat of the Night", where he plays Virgil Tibbs, a competent Philadelphia cop stuck overnight in a Mississippi town. It must be 110 degrees at night. The white boys sweat like stuck pigs while Virgil is as cool as a cucumber in a Savoy Row suit. The sheriff, Rod Steiger, is discomfited by circumstances in which Tibbs is "lent" to him to solve a murder that happens to occur when he is there. In working together, layer after layer of characterization is stripped away in marvelous fashion, through the skill of director Norman Jewison (who tells everybody he is not a Jew, he is Methodist), until understanding between the two men become a metaphor for the healing of a divided America. Very good stuff.

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


    5. Malcolm X
    Director: Spike Lee
    list price: $4.97
    our price: $4.97
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 6302787556
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 13300
    Average Customer Review: 4.43 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com essential video

    Just as Do the Right Thing was the capstone of Spike Lee's earlier career, Malcolm X marked the next milestone in the filmmaker's artistic maturity. It seemed everything Lee had done up to that point was to prepare him for this epic biography of America's fiery civil-rights leader, who is superbly played by Oscar-nominated Denzel Washington, from his early days as a zoot-suited hustler known as "Detroit Red" to his spiritual maturity after his pilgrimage to Mecca, as a Black Muslim by the name of El Hajj Malik El Shabazz. Do the Right Thing climaxed with the photographic images of Malcolm X and Dr. Martin Luther King engulfed by flames of rage; Malcolm X explores the genesis and evolution of that rage over Malcolm's lifetime, and how these two great figures--held up to the public as polar-opposites within the African American human rights movement (King for nonviolent civil disobedience, Malcolm for achieving equality "by any means necessary")--were each essential to the agenda of the other. Lee careens from the hedonistic ebullience of Malcolm's early days to the stark despair of prison, from his life-changing conversion to Islam to his emergence as a dynamic political leader--all with an epic sweep and vitality that illuminates personal details as well as political ideology. Angela Bassett is also terrific as Malcolm's wife, Betty Shabazz. --Jim Emerson ... Read more

    Reviews (72)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Awesome man, excellent tribute
    Denzel Washington makes this little understood nearly mythical man breath. After studying the life of Malcolm X in a sociology of religion class, we watched this film to relax a bit. The script seems fairly accurate to history, and the imagery helps bring the conflict, drive and sincerity of Malcolm X to life.
    In the movie, it becomes so obvious that Malcolm had just reached a kind of Buddhist nirvanna in his Islamic faith. Had he been allowed to live, his newly found spiritual insight gained from his pilgrimage to Mecca most likely would have helped to enlighten other Americans, Muslim or Christian, white or black. Malcolm appears on the verge of something even greater than he had previously been. Malcolm appears to be on the verge of becoming a national and perhaps even global spiritual and secular leader at the time of his death. Denzel makes more mourn the death of a man I never met. Inspiring, insightful. I'm grateful to Denzel and Spike for bringing me this "joint."

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Biopic, One of the Best!
    A sweeping biopic of an admirable man, who, while his ideas were wrong, had the will and the determination to defend his ideas and to say them publicly. A powerful film, with a sweeping force and excellent production values. While the film is extremely long (200+ min.), it is never boring ans always fascinating, it is divided in equally interesting stages; Malcolm's youth, prison time, his dedication to Elijah Muhammad, and the ultimate betrayal and death of Malcom X. A compelling study of a complicated, angry man, and whether you agree with his ideas or you don't, the movie remains a riveting biopic that is one of the best movies of the 90's. The reason the film works so well is mainly because of the performances and the assured direction by Lee. Not as incendeary or provocative as one would expect from a Spike Lee film, only the first and last few minutes are controversial. Denzel Washington delivers a powerful performance that ranks among his best. Also Angela Bassett is great in support. From a scale of 1-10 I give this film a 9!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Powerful...
    ...is the best way to describe Malcolm X, Denzel Washinton's greatest work in cinema so far. It tells the story of Malcolm X, the strong-willed black revolution leader whose ironic and powerful views differed very differently from Martin Luther Jr.
    Denzel Washington gives an extraordinary performance, and with heart he shows the metamorphosis of Malcolm X, from hip young kid, to his life of crime days, to when he was a white-hating civil rights leader.
    There are many other great performances in the film, and Spike Lee makes Malcolm X his best "joint" ever. You can feel that this is a Spike lee film, because it is a little strange and it swings from one mood to another. Spike lee also stars in the film, but as a minor character.
    I thoroughly enjoyed watching Malcolm X, and it ranks as one of the best film of the '90s. If you love Denzel Washington, you haven't seen him perform until you have seen him in Malcolm X.

    5-0 out of 5 stars BEST MOVIE EVER
    Movies are never good as the book, but its good to see a visual. One thing I didn't like about the movie is the way they protrayed Elijah Mahammad.
    This movie changed my life, for someone like me in High School that didn't like to read. lol It was becasue of this movie I joined the Nation Of Islam when I was 18. I figured I would go to the source, Malcom X just repeated what Elijah said, and look how great he became. Malocom X was so great, but always thought he would come back to the N.O.I....Give thanks to Malcom X our living Ancestor...

    4-0 out of 5 stars Definite classic
    But... while this film marks Spike's high point as a director and one of Denzel's highest points as an actor (THIS is what he should've goitten the Oscar for, not Training Day, and it's criminal that Spike wasn't nominated.)
    That being said, the film is overall excellent and historically accurate, even when it hurts, such as the corruption of the Nation of Islam. Two things, however, mar it: First, Freeman's Elijah sounded like he belonged in Kung Fu film; the real Elijah (there are tapes)didn't quite sound that Asian. Second, the ending just didn't fit. That was just Spike trying way too hard to say something that really didn't need to be said. The film could've ended at the assassination and been near perfect. The rest was attempted spin-doctoring.
    DEFINITELY see this film. It's essential in understanding a lot of the early '60s political scene. ... Read more


    6. Our Friend, Martin
    Director: Vincenzo Trippetti, Rob Smiley
    list price: $6.98
    our price: $6.98
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 6305196141
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 3428
    Average Customer Review: 4.12 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    This animated time-travel adventure features a stellar cast and is a delight for kids and adults alike. When Matt, a black teenager, has to go on a class field trip to the museum of Martin Luther King Jr., he thinks that he'd rather play baseball. But the trip turns into an exciting adventure when he and his best friend, Randy, who's white, are sent back in time to meet Dr. King.

    The story is also remarkably moving, as Matt and Randy learn what Dr. King did for humanity, and come to see him as a real person, not a historical figure. Matt and Randy experience segregation firsthand when they aren't allowed to eat on a train together. Together, they witness the bus boycott, the Birmingham riots, and the "I Have a Dream" speech. They discuss the theme of "non-violent resistance" with their new friend Martin and the work of Ghandi in India. As King tells Matt, "We must meet hate with love. It will take time, but somebody's got to start." Authentic historical footage blended with animation make this an excellent choice for teaching kids about the legacy of Dr. King. --Elisabeth Keating ... Read more

    Reviews (26)

    5-0 out of 5 stars "Pick of the Month" of Good Housekeeping Mag., Feb. 1999
    Good Housekeeping Magazine has selected this video as their "Pick of the Month". I have not seen it, but would love to take a look at it as something to possibly share with my six-year-old and her first grade class. GH writes: "Coinciding with Black History month is the debut of this appealing, made-for-video movie, a child's-eye look at the life of Martin Luther King, Jr. "OF,M" combines animation and documentary footage of the civil rights leader to tell the story of two boys who magically travel back in time and meet King at various points in his life. The production features the voices of such stars as Angela Bassett, Danny Glover, Whoopi Goldberg, James Earl Jones, Susan Sarandon, Oprah Winfrey, and LeVar Burton as King." This sounds like a potential winner to me!

    3-0 out of 5 stars Good Movie, but too Intense for young children
    My 6 year old daughter came home very upset after viewing the movie at school. The movie is very intense and portrays ALL White people as bad! The real life footage is too deep for young children to assimilate. If you let your kids watch the Simpsons, then they will enjoy the Cartoon Characters. As an adult, I did enjoy the movie, though I would never have let my child watch it without being present to explain everything. She said MLK touched her heart, but she now has nightmares because she is so upset about him being killed, and ALL white people being so very mean. I think this movie would be more appropriate for 6th graders and up.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A gem!
    This is an excellent educational video. I agree with other reviewers that it is not appropriate for young viewers. However, as a fifth grade teacher, my students were fully capable of handling the presentation and the discussions that we had before and after.

    This video truly encourages children to think about the choices they make. Not only does it make Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. someone a child can relate to, but it explores the idea that one person can make a difference. It urges children to stand up for the right thing even when it is difficult.

    1-0 out of 5 stars yuck
    I've been forced to watch this film every year for the past five years at school. This movie is probably the stupidest thing to ever grace the Earth. If you are going to teach kids about the civil rights movement than do it right, show them a documentary or a realistic film. This movie is a real joke and the characters suck.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Informative and Interesting for my 4 yr old
    I watched this on DVD with my 4 yr old son. He was VERY interested and really liked the movie. He understood immediately that the show was NOT saying that all White people are bad, that in fact skin color is a very silly thing to judge people by.

    It was refreshing to see a show on the Civil Rights movement that did not show The Selfless and Heroic White Man coming in to save and protect the apathetic and helpless minorities, but instead portrayed the courage and determination of the people who had engaged in the struggle for freedom for years... centuries.

    It gave was a good portrayal of the attitudes and realities that made the Civil Rights struggle so difficult, desperate, and dangerous. ... Read more


    7. 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


    8. The Piano Lesson
    Director: Lloyd Richards (II)
    list price: $9.98
    our price: $9.98
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1574922815
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 14499
    Average Customer Review: 3.62 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    The only one of August Wilson's plays to be filmed (and for television, at that), this 1990 Pulitzer Prize-winner is an amazing piece of work. Adapted by Wilson and directed by Lloyd Richards, who staged it on Broadway, the play deals not just with racism and its effects but with the ongoing legacy and curse of slavery on modern blacks. Set in 1920s Pittsburgh, the story deals with the arrival of Boy Willie (Charles Dutton) from Mississippi, to claim a family heirloom from his sister Berniece (Alfre Woodard): the piano, carved by their ancestors with symbols of slavery. He wants to sell it to buy the land his grandfather worked as a slave; Berniece refuses to give it up because it represents a horrifying episode from the family's past. Add in ghosts, superb performances, and Wilson's poetically charged writing, and you have a startlingly solid piece of theater that works well as a film. --Marshall Fine ... Read more

    Reviews (24)

    3-0 out of 5 stars The Piano Lesson
    Overall I thought this movie was pretty good although there were some parts of it that were pretty boring. In the beginning of it the movie seemed strange because the family was being haunted by Sutter's ghost. I'm not going to tell you that much more about it because I think you should go and see it for yourself.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Hallmark censorship
    An already posted review claims that this TV version is true to August Wilson's play. Only partly--and the differences are almost certainly attributable to Hallmark. Wilson adapted his own original stage script, but this version is shorter than the original (which may be a good thing--Wilson does like to let his characters gab) and the language is very different. For example, the nice, politically correct folks who want to sell greeting cards at Hallmark no doubt forced Wilson to remove the numerous instances of the word "ni____" from his play. Some other "rough" language (which can now be heard on the evening news, much less TV fiction) also failed to pass Hallmark's censors.
    The TV production also "opens" the play from its original setting in Doaker's living room and kitchen and adds a silent, visual accompaniment to Doaker's marvelous tale about the family piano.
    Do these changes damage the play? No, but they certainly do alter its flavor.
    On one hand, I'm very happy that this great Black American playwright allowed one of his scripts to have a TV production and that we now have this video record of that production. On the other hand, it seems a shame that Wilson had to compromise his artistry in order to reach a wider audience than theatre itself can supply.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Lesson of My Own
    I teach language arts, including drama, at a rural high school. I read "The Piano Lesson" and was hoping for a film version that I could show to my students to go along with their reading. This film is true to the play and shows viewers what happens when we don't carry on family traditions and make good use of the gifts and talents we have. The cast and production crew have done a marvelous job of creating a compelling version of this Pulitzer Prize winning play. I highly recommend it for its many levels of enjoyment and learning.

    5-0 out of 5 stars This is the best video I've ever seen!
    I haven't watched the film, but the guy on the right looks like Tim Meadows, so it is with irreverence and insincerity that I give this film AN EMOTIONAL TWO THUMBS UP! I mean, FIVE STARS!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent!
    Very creative film with a subtle supernatural twist. All actors turn in great performances. The men singing around the kitchen table is a scene not to be missed. ... Read more


    9. In the Heat of the Night
    Director: Norman Jewison
    list price: $4.94
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 6304961685
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 20961
    Average Customer Review: 4.35 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com essential video

    This 1967 film took home lots of Oscars for its fascinating drama about a Philadelphia detective (Sidney Poitier) who assists a redneck Southern sheriff (Rod Steiger) in solving a murder. A study in racism that ebbs a bit through the collective and shared need between a black man and a white man who don't want to be working together, the film continues to strike a chord today. Steiger is a mass of snarling danger, Poitier a bundle of nerves covered in class. Norman Jewison (Moonstruck) directs with a keen feeling for the cultural and social atmosphere of the setting. --Tom Keogh ... Read more

    Reviews (34)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Explosive Mystery-Drama
    In The Heat Of The Night is an explosively powerful murder mystery that at the time of its release in 1967 was quite controversial. It deals with a black detective, Virgil Tibbs (Sidney Poitier) going to a small southern town to investigate a murder. At first he meets the usually hatred and racism from the local cops led by the gruff and racist sheriff, Bill Gillespie (Rod Steiger) He is arrested and accused of the murder, but when discovered innocent, he goes on to solve the mystery and gain the respect of the sheriff. Both Mr. Poitier and Mr. Steiger are brilliant in the film. Although they do sometimes plays things over the top, the acting fits the mood. The actors make a fine team and they push one another to excellence. The supporting cast is quite strong with Lee Grant, Warren Oates and William Schallert and Norman Jewison guides the movie with his deft hand. Haskell Wexler's cinematography is sharp and Quincy Jones' soundtrack is right on. The film went on to win the Best Picture Oscar and Mr. Steiger took home the Best Actor prize.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Cinema's all-time best detective thriller.
    Between the dark film noir of "The Maltese Falcon" and the creepy gorefests inspired by "The Silence of the Lambs," the detective film wasn't exactly a vital film genre. But at least one entry into the genre made a major impact during those years, and that was 1967's "In the Heat of the Night." Since it was released, much has been made of the movie's status as a powerful story of race relations during the time of segregation, but the fact is, these elements are somewhat secondary to its brilliant character studies and expertly-handled mystery investigation. This is THE detective film, and quite possibly THE police film as well.

    The film begins with Bill Gillespie (Rod Steiger) -- sheriff of the small town of Sparta, Mississippi -- investigating the scene where a powerful businessman has been murdered. Gillespie's deputies arrest a traveller named Virgil Tibbs (Sidney Poitier) for the murder simply on the grounds that he is black, but he turns out to be a homicide detective from Philadelphia who was just passing through. After being cleared, Tibbs is anxious to leave Sparta, but Gillespie -- in need of such an expert -- convinces him to stay and help solve the case. And from there, we have our movie.

    Besides the story, the main thing "In the Heat of the Night" has going for it are the performances of its lead actors. It would have been incredibly easy to portray Tibbs as a noble black crusader, forced by his innate nobility to offer his help in the face of hatred (Poitier had played this type of good-natured gentleman in many of his other films). It would have been even easier for Gillespie to come off as a mindless racist redneck. Neither description comes anywhere close to describing the characters in this film. Virgil Tibbs is arrogant and aloof when we first meet him. He's no hero; he's a real human being who reacts to the way the Sparta police have treated him in the understandable manner of trying to get out of town as quickly as possible. He doesn't want to help them, and even when he's forced to, he lets his prejudices against Southern whites cloud his investigation (Tibbs spends the majority of the film believing one of the victim's business rivals -- a detestable racist -- to be the murderer, only to be proven wrong).

    If Poitier's portrayal of Tibbs as a realistic human being rather than a flawless screen hero is admirable, then Rod Steiger's handling of the Sheriff Gillespie character is downright masterful. Bill Gillespie does not like or trust African-Americans, and he makes no secret of this. And yet the filmmakers didn't fall into a cliche trap and take care to show that even though Gillespie is a bigot, he's also a good cop. Unlike certain similar characters (and even some of his deputies in this film), Gillespie doesn't allow his prejudices to stand in the way of his investigation (a character flaw that, oddly enough, Tibbs gives in to while Gillespie does not). This is no "Bull Connor" character; this is a man who knows his job, and does it well. Tibbs and Gillespie begin the movie as two prejudiced men who begrudgingly admit to needing each other's help due to the circumstances (Gillespie's lack of a homicide expert; Tibbs' being forced to remain in an unfamiliar and hostile environment), and end it with a powerful respect for one another.

    "In the Heat of the Night" won Best Picture at the 1968 Academy Awards (the first detective film to do so), and Steiger took home the Best Actor award for his career-best portrayal of Gillespie. (Because this, "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner," and "To Sir, With Love" were all released in the same year, Poitier was unable to consolidate enough votes for any one film and thus failed to be nominated; Norman Jewison lost Best Director to "The Graduate"'s Mike Nichols.) That perfectly sums up this film's legacy: a brilliant film with two powerful lead performances, and an all-time classic of the detective genre.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Just About as Good as a Movie Gets
    In 1967 Poitier made this movie and Look Who's Coming to Dinner. Both were extremely well received and this won academy awards for best picture and best actor. Poitier's career slid downhill from here almost immediately. That his status as The Greatest Black Actor Ever hasn't diminished nearly 40 years later is a testament to his excellence and influence in the late 50's and the 60's up until '67. The movie is nearly perfect. Rod Steiger gives the performance of his career. Poitier is excellent, of course. The story is good but the movie is really about the racial tensions and two men forced to work together despite their desire not to be in the same room together. Also at hand is a backward and archaic South being slowly dragged kicking and screaming into postwar 20th century.

    2-0 out of 5 stars TENSIONS FLAIR IN THE HEAT OF THIS NIGHT!
    "In The Heat of the Night" is the racially charged melodrama that made Sidney Poitier a star. Poitier is Det. Virgil Tibbs, an out of state detective assigned to investigate a racially motivated crime in the deep South. Tibbs' initial congenial good nature immediate brand him a push over by both his fellow officers and the populous. But Tibbs is a man of conviction. He immediately runs into interference from Police Chief Bill Gillespie (Rod Steiger), a bigoted and pompous law man who begins to change his ways when it turns out that Virgil's hunch on the case might just turn out to be true. Both the central performances of Poitier and Steiger, and the unlikely bond and ultimate friendship that ensue, are electrifying reasons to revisit this powerful drama of the 1960s. Lee Grant, Beah Richards and Warren Oates costar. In the late 80s "In The Heat of the Night" became a prime time television series starring Caroll O'Connor. But by then much of the tempestuous and confrontational aspects of its subplot had been removed.

    MGM/UA gives us a non-anamorphic widescreen DVD. Colors are severely dated with a lot of fading present throughout the print. Age related artifacts are everywhere and sometimes distract. Black levels are often weak. Pixelization is primarily responsible for an unstable image. The audio is mono and badly dated as well, strident and poorly balanced. There are no extras.

    5-0 out of 5 stars STEIGER AND POITIER AT THEIR HEIGHTS OF POWER
    In 1967, Sidney Poitier again stirred the red-necks with "In the Heat of the Night", where he plays Virgil Tibbs, a competent Philadelphia cop stuck overnight in a Mississippi town. It must be 110 degrees at night. The white boys sweat like stuck pigs while Virgil is as cool as a cucumber in a Savoy Row suit. The sheriff, Rod Steiger, is discomfited by circumstances in which Tibbs is "lent" to him to solve a murder that happens to occur when he is there. In working together, layer after layer of characterization is stripped away in marvelous fashion, through the skill of director Norman Jewison (who tells everybody he is not a Jew, he is Methodist), until understanding between the two men become a metaphor for the healing of a divided America. Very good stuff.

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


    10. Michael Jordan - Come Fly With Me
    list price: $14.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 6305337977
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 7928
    Average Customer Review: 4.86 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (7)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A MUST HAVE FOR JORDAN FANS
    One Word: Bestsportsvideoever.

    Awesome highlights from his early years. The dialogue from this video and the calls of the announcers will stick in your head. If you play basketball, Every time you touch a basketball you will try to immitate highlights from this video. If you are a Michael Jordan fan, you absolutely MUST have this video. If you aren't a Michael Jordan fan, you still should have it. Best sports video I have ever seen. If you are a Michael Jordan fan, you will not be able to take this tape out of your VCR.

    5-0 out of 5 stars AIR JORDAN'S BEST VIDEO BY FAR!!
    This is easily the best NBA video around.I wasn't sure at first but when I watched Jordan's gravity defying dunks and shots it blew me away!It has got more spectacular highlights than any other NBA video I have ever seen.It starts off with Jordans childhood on the baseball field,then his brilliant college days,then to the best stuff...his early days in the NBA where he earned lots of awards.Made before he stunned the world by leading the Bulls to a double three-peat,this tape captures the glory days of both slam-dunk contests,his injury and how he came by it to become the best player ever,all his dunks,lay-ups and game winners,his success in the olympics in L.A,and his own commentary on what it was like to be such a star performer.There is also some footage of his greatness at golf aswell.Only one dissapointment,not enough footage of his All-Star games.I ordered this over-seas because Britain dosent sell NBA videos.Also great service from Amazon.Buy this if you are an NBA fan and want to witness the greatest player ever...AIR JORDAN!

    5-0 out of 5 stars THE BEST SPORTS VIDEO EVER !
    This is the number one selling sports tape of all time.

    I used to watch this tape everyday and I know the hold tape

    by voice threw. This is not even my tape when I moved from

    my old neighborhood I kept his Jordan tape from my friend.

    Even if you don't like Jordan you will find youself captivated

    by his work ethic abilities and achievements. This tape is

    addicting you will find yourself watching it late at night for

    no reason. This tape can also inspire you to workout or if

    you want to get hype for a local church tournament.The piano

    part at the very begining is also nice. MICHAEL JORDAN COME FLY

    WITH ME THE BEST SPORTS VIDEO EVER .I hope they put this classic

    on DVD!

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Best Jordan Video of All
    I have seen almost all of the Michael Jordan videos yet Come Fly With me is special. This is the only video that captures the essence of Michael Jordan in his prime. Jordan was definitely most breath-taking to watch when he consistently went for the daring lay-ups and the spectacular dunks. This video was filmed before Jordan was a world icon and doesn't contain all the scrutiny and controversy that is present in such videos as Above & Beyond and Air Time. If you are all about the highlights, this is your video.

    5-0 out of 5 stars My favorite Michael Jordan video
    I have a few Michael Jordan videos and "Come Fly With Me" is definitely my favorite. Just about the whole video is full of awesome highlights. "Come Fly With Me" starts out by telling of how Jordan grew up playing basketball and baseball, then it gets to the good stuff. It shows footage from some of his college games all the way to the 1988 All-Star Game and Slam Dunk Contest. It tells about his injury at the beginning of the 1986 season and how he rebounded from it and became an even better player. You'll also hear a lot of insight from Michael's parents and even see some highlights of him playing golf in the offseason.

    If you're a Michael Jordan fan and you like seeing a lot of highlights that only Jordan himself could make, then you need to get "Come Fly With Me." It probably has more dunking and other gravity-defying highlights on it than any other Michael Jordan video out there. ... Read more


    11. A Lesson Before Dying
    Director: Joseph Sargent
    list price: $9.94
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00000JSJV
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 16751
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com essential video

    On a bright sunny day in 1948, Jefferson (Mekhi Phifer) sets off down the road to go catch some fish; by the end of the movie's opening sequence, he is the one who's been caught, and wrongly accused of the murder of a white shopkeeper. Racial inequality, at the time, is so pervasive in Louisiana that the white defense lawyer's argument at Jefferson's trial is that his client is not worthy of conviction: "You might just as soon put a hog in the 'lectric chair as this," he declares.Outraged by this statement, Jefferson's godmother (Irma P. Hall) does not want her godson to die as a hog.To this end she enlists the reluctant aid of the black community's teacher, Grant Wiggins (Don Cheadle), to teach him to "be a man." As Grant and Jefferson get to know each other (and the viewer gets to know them both), it's not clear which of them needs the lesson more. As in Ernest J. Gaines's award-winning novel, the movie goes beyond the conflict between the races to explore divisions that splinter the black community: education versus religion, dark skin versus light.And, thanks to masterful performances from Cheadle and Phifer as well as a thoughtful screenplay by Amy Peacock, A Lesson Before Dying goes even further, examining what it means to be human and the responsibility a man has to himself and to his community.Originally made for HBO, this adaptation of Gaines's novel richly deserves to be seen by a wider audience. --Larisa Lomacky Moore ... Read more

    Reviews (8)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Very good movie, grab a box of tissues.
    This movie was excellent, very sad but realistic about racism and how African Americans were not treated equally in the South. A great line from the movie that sums up the entire film is "when a white man dies, a black man has to pay for it", in summary. No matter who is actually guilty, whether there's proof or not, a black man must die. I don't think I'd want to see this movie again because it was very, very sad, but powerful. A great movie and I'm glad I watched it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Faithful to the book
    This movie faithfully captures the essence of the book and brings it to life. When I read the book I just loved it. Shortly after I finished reading the book, I found out that HBO was going to show the movie, but I didn't have HBO. So when I saw that it had come out on DVD, I knew I had to buy it. When I got it, I popped it in right away and WOW, I was pleasantly surprised. It followed the book very well and wasn't "Hollywood-ized".

    I warn that this movie isn't very action-packed, but it's a great intriguing drama. I recommend it to anyone looking to see an intelligent, well-made movie.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Deals With Issues Much Deeper That Skin Color
    I missed the first few minutes of this film, so I watched the rest not knowing if the convicted man was guilty. By the end of the film, it was no longer an issue...
    The same appeared to happen with the racial issues presented. The open demoralizing of the blacks (by the whites) was soon overshadowed by the more personal issues of spirituality and self-esteem. One of Cheadle's finer performances, in my opinion, with equally impressive supporting performances.

    This is a wonderful film, with a "Lesson" or two for us all.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Dreadful PC Propaganda
    I'm a huge Don Cheadle fan, but this film is unworthy of him. [People] who claim that it's a story about racism either don't understand the film or don't understand racism. Basically, here's the plot: The character played by Mekhi Pfeiffer is an unwitting accomplice in a botched armed robbery that leaves three people dying on the floor of a grocery store. Rather than summon help for the others, all Pfeiffer can think to do is help himself to the money in the cash register. He is caught, and in the ensuing trial the prosecutor calls him an animal because of his depraved indifference to human life. That is supposed to be the psychological turning point in the film, because Pfeiffer's family insists on proving that he's no animal and can take his punishment -- in this case, death -- with his head held high. Yeah, right. Guess what? He is an animal, and if the story had involved all-black or all-white characters, racism wouldn't be an issue. A more compelling question: if Pfeiffer's family was so concerned with his "dignity," why didn't they teach him moral values in the first place?

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great Film Adaptation!
    This was one of the best film adaptations of a book that I have seen in a long time! The film had a great cast and managed to capture the essence of the book. ... Read more


    12. Do the Right Thing
    Director: Spike Lee
    list price: $9.98
    our price: $9.98
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    Asin: 1558801596
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 2540
    Average Customer Review: 4.53 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com essential video

    Spike Lee's incendiary look at race relations in America, circa 1989, is so colorful and exuberant for its first three-quarters that you can almost forget the terrible confrontation that the movie inexorably builds toward. Do the Right Thing is a joyful, tumultuous masterpiece--maybe the best film ever made about race in America, revealing racial prejudices and stereotypes in all their guises and demonstrating how a deadly riot can erupt out of a series of small misunderstandings. Set on one block in Bedford-Stuyvesant on the hottest day of the summer, the movie shows the whole spectrum of life in this neighborhood and then leaves it up to us to decide if, in the end, anybody actually does the "right thing." Featuring Danny Aiello as Sal, the pizza parlor owner; Lee himself as Mookie, the lazy pizza-delivery guy; John Turturro and Richard Edson as Sal's sons; Lee's sister Joie as Mookie's sister Jade; Rosie Perez as Mookie's girlfriend Tina; Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee as the block elders, Da Mayor and Mother Sister; Giancarlo Esposito as Mookie's hot-headed friend Buggin' Out; Bill Nunn as the boom-box toting Radio Raheem; and Samuel L. Jackson as deejay Mister Señor Love Daddy. A rich and nuanced film to watch, treasure, and learn from--over and over again. --Jim Emerson ... Read more

    Reviews (94)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A brilliant, scorching movie
    Spike Lee takes us to a single block in Brooklyn on the hottest day of the year in his awesomely brilliant movie "Do The Right Thing". The movie opens on a sultry early morning; by the time it ends, on a sweltering midnight of the same day, the heat, and the movie, have built up unbearable tensions that explode in in a confrontation that engulfs the street and everyone in it. At the heart of the block and the movie is Sal's Famous Pizzeria, run by Sal and his two sons from Bensonhurst (also in Brooklyn but it might as well be on the other side of the planet), with its "Wall of Fame" covered with photographs of famous Italian-Americans, glaringly out of place and insultingly insensitive on this African-American street in Bedford-Stuyvesant. The movie presents us with an unforgettable set of characters, including Danny Aiello in a great performance as Sal, Spike Lee as Mookie, his delivery man, Rosie Perez as Mookie's long-suffering and neglected girlfriend, Giancarlo Esposito as Mookie's radical friend Buggin' Out, Bill Nunn as Radio Raheem with his suitcase-size boom box that eats up 20 D batteries at a clip, the nearly legendary husband-wife acting team of Ossie Davis and Ruby Lee as Da Mayor, the street bum, and Mother Sister, the neighborhood snoop (every neighborhood has to have one), Samuel L. Jackson as Senor Love Daddy, and Joie Lee, Spike Lee's real-life sister, who plays Mookie's sister Jade in the film. Among a host of minor characters, the best are the three men parked on the sidewalk, ML, played by Paul Benjamin, Coconut Sid, played by Frankie Faison, and Sweet Dick Willie, played by the late Robin Harris, who act as a kind of Greek chorus to the unfolding events. Much of the speaking parts of these three was ad-libbed on camera, and the actors seem to have had a ball with their characterizations (Buggin' Out: "You wanna boycott Sal's Famous Pizzeria?" Sweet Dick Willie, observing Buggin' Out's every-which-way haircut: "You oughta boycott that barber who f---ed up your head.") Always present, and intrusive, are a squad car with two white cops, who view the neighborhood inhabitants, and are viewed by them, with undisguised contempt. The street, and the environs, are so convincingly portrayed that the heat is palpable; we can almost feel their discomfort as we sympathize at their attempts to alleviate it. One of the most priceless scenes in the film is the loudmouthed "alien" who drives through the block in an open Cadillac convertible and dares the kids to get it wet (when he finally manages to pull over and open the door, Niagara Falls spills out). A demand by Buggin' Out that Sal put some photographs of blacks on the Wall of Fame, which Sal dismisses out of hand, sets the stage for the confrontation that will blow sky-high. Buggin' Out returns to the pizzeria just before closing time with Radio Raheem, boom box blasting away at full volume, and Sal, his last nerve shot, silences the noise with a baseball bat. The resulting free-for-all spills out into the street just as the police arrive; Radio Raheem is pulled off Sal, who he is choking silly, and killed by the police with an illegal choke-hold. The police speed off (one could say they fled the scene of their crime), leaving Sal and his sons alone to face the neighborhood's rage. The pizzeria is torched, the neighborhood riots, and the firetruck arrives with firehoses turned on the rioters instead of the pizzeria, in a scene reminiscent of Sheriff Bull Connor in 1960's Alabama. "Do The Right Thing" is one of the most searing commentaries on American race relations that has ever been put on film. It's provocative, it's insightful, it's profound, it's a masterpiece, and it's definitely Spike Lee's best movie.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Do the Right Thing Review
    It's the hottest day of the summer and racial tensions run deep in the Bed-Stuy section of Brooklyn, New York. This is the backdrop for Spike Lee's controversial 1989 film, "Do The Right Thing". Many critics and movie-goers were quick to blast this film for being what they perceived to be a "racist" movie. Most people who say this have probably only seen the movie once and were so quick to complain about its tension-filled ending.

    "Right Thing" stars writer-director Lee as Mookie, a somewhat lazy pizza delivery boy who works at the local pizzeria run by Sal and his Italian-American sons. Through Mookie's many trips through the neighborhood, we get acquainted with some of the other "characters" such as the block's "wise man" (or "town drunk", depending on how you perceive him), "Da Mayor" (Ossie Davis). We also get introduced to the trouble-making Buggin' It Out who is intent on boycotting Sal's Famous until they "put some brothas on the wall". Then, there's Radio Raheem, whose boombox blasts Public Enemy's "Fight The Power" loudly through out the movie. He doesn't speak much as the music seems to be his outlet of expression. It also happens to get him in a lot of trouble as the movie progresses.

    Lee's treatmant of certain characters in "Right Thing" is questionable at times. He seems to feel strongly that many of the white characters in this New York neighborhood would root for Boston sports teams because their top players are also white. At times, Danny Aiello's Sal seems sympathetic and kind while in the end, he is more or less portrayed as a "closet racist". This might be why some of us are so fast to make observations about the film's racial biases but I've never felt that "Do The Right Thing" has ever been about who is right and who is wrong. In the end, everyone loses out because rather than go about handling certain small problems by compromising, people choose to argue over who is "doing the right thing" and who isn't. In the end, people are hurt and killed, property is destroyed, and all that seems to remain is animosity.

    While I may argue with the way that Spike wrote certain characters, this is "his" movie. Would the ending situation have been any different if he had re-wrote them? Probably not. So many of its critics fail to see the big picture with "Do The Right Thing". It isn't about whether Sal was right or whether Mookie was right or Buggin' It Out. The original problem was so small, so minor, and each of the characters allowed it to balloon into a big one. Even the less important characters contributed to the problem by instigating it further. The only character who seemed to understand what was going on was Samuel L. Jackson's almost narrator-like radio DJ, Senor Love Daddy. He understands it, he sees the tension esculating, and he is telling everyone to relax but it's too late. "And that's the triple truth, Ruth".

    5-0 out of 5 stars "The left hand is hate. The right hand is love."
    This movie is largely an angry, outrageous film. But it is also a beautiful and enlightening one. DO THE RIGHT THING garnered Spike Lee, writer, director, and star of the film, both praise and criticism. But what you must remember, those who either praise it or look down upon it, is that DO THE RIGHT THING couldn't be further from the truth.

    DO THE RIGHT THING was an introduction to Lee's brazen and bold style of filmmaking. He had a part in every aspect: direction, cast, production, writing the screenplay, etc. That's why, if someone is interested in seeing a "Spike Lee joint", I will definitely recommend DO THE RIGHT THING first and foremost.

    It's a look at race relations in America circa 1989, a drastic glimpse in which the outsiders, meaning the audience, can feel as if they are right there in Harlem with Mookie (Spike Lee).

    Mookie is an unmarried father, a boyfriend to Tina (Rosie Perez), loud and outspoken with her buxom figure. She pushes Mookie to spend more time with her and their son, complaining about him being a deadbeat dad. His excuse? Work.

    True, much of Mookie's time is spent working at Sal's, a pizzeria in Harlem, run by white Italians in a neighborhood where the population appears to be around 99.5 percent black.

    Other characters include Radio Raheem (Bill Nunn), Da Mayor (Ossie Davis), Mother Sister (Ruby Dee), Buggin' Out (Giancarlo Esposito) and Jade, Mookie's sister (Joie Lee). Radio Raheem's dialogue throughout the film it limited - he more or less expresses his freedom through his incessantly blaring radio. In fact, throughout the entire movie, Public Enemy's "FIGHT THE POWER" blasts throughout the neighborhood. Buggin' Out is irked with a situation at Sal's that he feels must immediately be taken care of. He just wants Sal to "put some brothas" up on his restaurant's walls, right beside pics of Frank Sinatra and Clark Gable. Sal (Danny Aiello) refuses to comply with Buggin' Out's request.

    In the end, Radio Raheem and Buggin' Out fuel an argument that quickly evolves into a neighborhoodwide conflagration. Alas, Mookie fuels the fire by hurling a trashcan through the glass window of the pizzeria - his boss' pizzeria - and the brawl proceeds, with Sal and his sons standing on the sidelines.

    DO THE RIGHT THING is an odd title for a film like this, some people may think. Is the right thing done? Does Lee believe that the characters in his film did the right thing? I'm not sure. The title can be interpreted in a number of ways, I suppose. First, I suspected it was irony. No, Mookie didn't do the right thing! He fueled the fire and instigated the riot to mammoth proportions! Property was destroyed and damaged! My second conclusion was merely that "doing the right thing" serves as an argument for the people, for people unwilling to make compromises or verbally come to an agreement through reasonable, mature conversation. In reality, the film isn't about who is right and who is wrong and why. You had people like Mookie, who seemed to act on impulse, and then you had Da Mayor, trying to calm the livid people down, trying to talk sense into their heads. People evidently followed Mookie's lead and in the process, they hurt and killed others, seriously damaged and neighborhood properties. Not only that, but mere misunderstanding and hate seems to exist between them, even after the riot ends. That's a sad thing, yet it's also a very true thing.

    Lee's picture clarifies the fact that yes, misunderstanding between peoples does fuel hate, which, in turn, fuels even bigger and uglier physical problems. DO THE RIGHT THING was taboo for how it portrayed peoples of different races, yet for film's time, the state of Harlem and its residents was portrayed with frank and genuine realness that simply can't be denied. Certain characters, settings, and events rung clear and true. DO THE RIGHT THING is arguably one of the finest examples of race relations illustrated in film. You can watch and rewatch - and learn - from this tumultuous and dramatic "Spike Lee joint".

    5-0 out of 5 stars An EYE OPENER
    The eye opener of the year...I loved it. Excellent story line and a must see movie by mature audiences only. Very compelling!

    5-0 out of 5 stars That¿s the double-truth¿ Ruth
    In all likelihood Spike Lee's most important achievement - as director, writer and actor (though to my taste Mo' Better Blues is just as good a picture) and one of the strongest films you'll see about race relations, 'Do The Right Thing' looks dated at times, but it lost none of its impact and relevance. The movie takes place in a particularly hot day in a primarily African-American neighborhood in Brooklyn, and follows the various personalities who live there throughout the day; the center of the story is Sal's Famous Pizzeria - its owners, some of the few white people living in the neighborhood: Sal (Oscar nominated performance for Danny Aiello) and his two sons (John Torturro and Richard Edson), and Mookie (Spike Lee himself), the black delivery boy. What starts out as a light, entertaining movie with some amusing characters and light humor, gradually builds up tension to the point of being unbearable, up to the dramatic and tragic climax. Spike doesn't put as much emphasis on the characters themselves as he does on the relationships and the tension between them; and in this image of a very specific and small frame in time and place, makes a strong and important message about racism and race relations in general.

    The film is populated with many different characters, all of them very memorable and each one a representative of a certain belief, mode of behavior or state of mind - on both sides of the conflict. From the uninhibited anger of Buggin Out (Giancarlo Esposito) and Radio Raheem (Bill Nunn) on one side and Pino (John Torturro) on the other side, to Jade (Joie Lee, Spike's sister in the film and in real life) and Vito (Richard Edson), who are trying to connect and live at peace with the other side, to Da Mayor (Ossie Davis), in his isolated but peaceful state of mind, living in complete peace with the world around him, and Smiley (Roger Smith), living in his own isolated existence. Then there's Mookie, who is stuck in the middle, torn between his commitment and responsibilities to both sides. Finally we have Mister Senor Love Daddy - played gorgeously by the one and only Samuel L. Jackson, in one of his finest performances - half active character and half all-knowing narrator - who represents the voice of reason in the conflict, the reason which is bound, ultimately, to collapse. Each and every character plays an important part in the climatic and dramatic conflict to which the movie builds up, and though it's the radical ones - Buggin Out and Radio Raheem - who trigger the events that cause the tragedy, they are not necessarily the ones who finish it. It is Mookie and Sal, in fact, who ultimately play the main part.

    Do The Right Thing is not an easy watch; it's a mesmerizing, tense, difficult film that breaks many taboos and slaughters many holy cows. But in the end of it - hopefully - you'll be wiser than you were in the beginning, and that's what Lee have always tried to achieve in all his films. Watch it to get a real view on racism that doesn't duck the difficult issues and isn't afraid to tackle the real problem, and to see a master director at work. It's one of the best films of its time. ... Read more


    13. Eddie Murphy - Raw
    Director: Robert Townsend
    list price: $9.95
    our price: $9.95
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    Asin: 6300989011
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 3022
    Average Customer Review: 4.51 out of 5 stars
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    Description

    The record-setting number one concert film, EDDIE MURPHY: RAW shows Eddie Murphy doing what he does best: making people laugh.Filmed live at New York's Felt Forum, Murphy delights, shocks, and entertains with celebrity impersonations, observations on 'love, sex and marriage in the 80's, a remembrance of Mom's hamburgers and much more. ... Read more

    Reviews (47)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Stand-Up Comedy At Its' Best
    In the same tradition of raunchy stand up comedy kings such as Richard Pryor and Red Foxx, Eddie Murphy's comedy pokes fun at many groups and celebrities. Filmed at the height of Eddie's status as the world's biggest film star (while on contract with Paramount), "Raw" is an hour and a half of hysterical impersonations and skits.

    Written by comedy star/director Keenan Ivory Wayans ("Scary Movie"; "I'm Gonna Git You Sucka"; television's "In Living Color") and directed by Robert Townsend ("Meteor Man"; "Hollywood Shuffle"), Raw's highlights include Eddie's trip to San Francisco (where he is greeted at the aiport by flamboyant gay men), his trouble with women, and celebrity put downs.

    The most memorable skit in this film probably has to be Eddie's imaginary wedding to an African tribal woman who gets corrupted by American women upon her arrival to the U.S. "Unfoofoo" (his African wife's name) and Eddie's discussion of how he met her made me laugh out loud. Truly, only a comedy genius could have thought of such a funny skit.

    Although not a film for young kids due to its' use of foul language and discussion of sexual situations, the film showcased Murphy at his best, long before his string of family oriented films ("Dr. Doolittle" "Nutty Professor"). While there is a new king when it comes to raunchy comedy nowadays (Chris Rock) Eddie still remains one of the best. "Raw" is a showcase of great comedic writing and performance.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Four -and-a-"HALF!" stars
    The year was 1987 and after been widely known for his classic "Delirious" stand-up act and Beverly Hills Cop movies, Eddie Murphy comes to New York City to perform his latest act in this feature called "Raw". If you were laughing at the jokes from "Delirious", then chances are that you were rolling on floor in laughter when you watched this.

    Before the performance is a Keenan Ivory Wayans-produced sketch where it shows Eddie as a kid (played by Deion Richmond [Kenny on "The Cosby Show"]) telling a nasty joke in front of his family, which sets the tone of what his act will be: funny but in bad taste. If you look closer, his family members consist of other people who weren't famous yet like Tatyana Ali ("The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air") and Samuel L. Jackson.

    Now, on to the act (directed by Robert Townsend, I might add). Though he does less impressions of stars than he did in "Delirious", it is still hilarious to see him do a fed-up Michael Jackson, a scolding Bill Cosby, and a dead-on impression of Richard Pryor, his idol. The audience is noticeably having a good time and even catches Eddie cracking himself up when he talks about getting arrested by a certain type of police.

    In this day and age when African-American comedians' whole routine is usually about how black folks are different from white folks, you wonder if they ever studied Eddie Murphy's monologues, because Murphy had a LOT more to speak on. See the discussion on prenuptial agreement: if you (the man) don't get one with your wife, when it's time for your divorce, she'll ask for "HALF!" of your money. Of course that comes off as misogynistic and derogatory, but it's just comedy, not necessarily commentary.

    You'll bust a gut laughing at Oomfufu, Eddie's pretend wife; his mama's hamburger that's "better than McDonald's"; and his reenactment of a fight that happened in a club. His funniest jokes, however, revolve around how the audience members' reactions might be: for example, when he suggests that women would rather be alone with her man instead of seeing this show, a woman would say, "That's true! [Eddie's] funny, but he ain't that funny!"

    I knocked off a half-a-star because the bit about his drunk father, first introduced in "Delirious", ran too long. But that doesn't make "Raw" any less of a classic. If you've been living under a rock up until now, see this film today.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Eddie Murphay At His Best
    This is one the all time greatest Stand up performances ever. The Title "Raw" says it all. This is Eddie Murphy at his best, raw and uncut. From his jokes about TV shows and its characters to childhood, cheating, divorce, Italians, and his belligerant father, you'll be laughing from start to finish. Its been 17 years and I still enjoy it as much as the first time I saw it. I could go on for days about this film, but it's far better than words can describe. Seeing is definately believing. From the Richard Pryors and Red Foxxes to The Chris Rock's, Bernie Mac's and Dave Chapelle's ... "Eddie Murphy Raw" is the undisputed King of Comedy!!!

    5-0 out of 5 stars he gets away with it!!!!
    This has got to be the most unbearably crude, politically incorrect comedy routine ever - and he pulls it off, with real style!!! OK, it is somewhat dated, coming from the 80s, but this man has got to be one of the funniest comedians since Bill Cosby. They are both geniuses. But Murphy takes being black head on (head first?), as well as men-women, gays, you name. If you can stop laughing, there is something to offend EVERYONE. He is also a first rate actor/impersonator. Best I've seen in a long time = I am getting ready to return to the states, and this is the PERFECT preparation in the age of Bush II.

    5-0 out of 5 stars PAINFULLY FUNNY!!!!!
    THIS IS ONE OF EDDIE'S BEST STAND UP MOVIES EVER I LOVE THIS I LOVE THE WHOLE VIDEO I LOVE IT. I LOVE EDDIE HE IS SO FUNNY IN THIS MOVIE HE WILL HAVE YOU CRYING HE IS SO FUNNY. EVERY SINGLE JOKE HE TELLS IN THIS MOVIE IS VERY FUNNY AND I LOVE IT THEREFORE, IF YOU ARE A FAN OF EDDIE MURPHY THEN YOU WOULD DEFINITELY ENJOY THIS MOVIE!!!! ... Read more


    14. The Civil War - A Film by Ken Burns (Boxed Set)
    list price: $99.88
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 6301996135
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 8314
    Average Customer Review: 4.58 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com essential video

    The most successful public-television miniseries in American history, the 11-hour Civil War didn't just captivate a nation, reteaching to us our history in narrative terms; it actually also invented a new film language taken from its creator. When people describe documentaries using the "Ken Burns approach," its style is understood: voice-over narrators reading letters and documents dramatically and stating the writer's name at their conclusion, fresh live footage of places juxtaposed with still images (photographs, paintings, maps, prints), anecdotal interviews, and romantic musical scores taken from the era he depicts. The Civil War uses all of these devices to evoke atmosphere and resurrect an event that many knew only from stale history books. While Burns is a historian, a researcher, and a documentarian, he's above all a gifted storyteller, and it's his narrative powers that give this chronicle its beauty, overwhelming emotion, and devastating horror. Using the words of old letters, eloquently read by a variety of celebrities, the stories of historians like Shelby Foote and rare, stained photos, Burns allows us not only to relearn and finally understand our history, but also to feel and experience it. --Dave McCoy ... Read more

    Reviews (144)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Introduction
    Ken Burns' Civil War is an excellent introduction to the period, told well with style. It's a documentary, not a history book. It is, however, far more accurate and balanced than other Civil War documentaries (such as the History Channel's Civil War Journal).

    To hit on a couple of criticisms in other reviews, slavery as a cause of the Civil War is an argument bordering on the level of a holy war, itself. Recent magazine articles and essays have done a good job of discussing it. The result is that both Burns' view and the "Burns' is wrong, it was all about states rights" views are both simplistic. Burns' documentary does a good job of capturing the Southern view of slavery and abolition but he does over state the view of the north as abolitionist. While there were Southern abolitionists and Southern soldiers who didn't care one way or another, Burns shows quite well that without slavery there would have been no war. (The statement that the South only fought for "states rights" was actually championed in the 1880s. If states rights were the only reason for fighting the war, why did the Confederate Constitution prevent any Confederate state from passing a law against slavery, even if that state wanted to abolish it?)

    To the point of Grant being the first Lt. General since Washington, Burns is both right and wrong. Winfield Scott was made Lt. General, but it was a brevet (something a little more than honorary) rank. It was a brevet specifically so that Washington would be the only man to have officially held that rank. This changed when Grant was given the rank.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Fine Film
    There's no denying that Ken Burns' sweeping documentary of the American Civil War is a success. Through photographs, modern footage of the places in question, period music, and voices reading primary source documents of the time, Burns conjures up the conflict in all its thrilling drama, bloody tragedy, dark humor, and stirring nobility. Personal and engaging, this film brought a new awareness of American history to millions of viewers. It should be noted that a huge topic such as the Civil War cannot be entirely crammed into one film, however long; this is necessarily an overview, though an excellent and detailed one. (At least the Civil War had a compact number of years to it; Burns subsequently took on huger topics still such as Baseball and Jazz, with less success. His finite films like this one and "Lewis and Clark" are easier to see as a whole.) I have one quibble with this show - I think it oversimplifies the causes of the war. To be specific, it sees only one cause - slavery - and pays no attention to states' rights or economic issues. This is no surprise; his other films have shown us that Burns sees race as the defining issue of our country. Whether you entirely agree with this idea or not, you are sure to enjoy and learn from this epic documentary.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Civil War - A Film by Ken Burns
    This one is superb........well worth the money..it can be purchased for much less at eBay though. Shelby Foote's comments thoughout the film are outstanding. He is truly a southerner and you will enjoy his thoughts relative to the film. I highly recommend the film and will be glad to answer any questions anyone might have regarding the film. You can email me at jimsuz@swbell.net with your questions!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Get the best version
    It should be recognised that there are three versions of the series in circulation. The original series itself was released in 3 versions: complete (with varying episode lengths), slighly shortened (to provide similar length shows) and short version (about 1 hour per episode. The slightly shortened version was the one initially distributed on Video and DVD. This is the one that has the wobbly transfer. The new DVD version (2003) is a digitally enhanced full release. Ken Burns returned to the original film to achieve a new hi-resolution transfer and then proceded to digitally clean it up. This is demonstrated in a mini-doco on the DVD. No one questions the quality of the series and with this release the reproduction quality matches it. Ken Burns turned me into a Civil War buff and collector. I still found the series highly moving even after several viewings.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Be Forewarned About This Shamefully Cheaply Packaged DVD
    Let me start off by saying the documentary itself is wonderful. Certainly, it may be slightly biased, and woefully short on info about the western campaign, but it is well intentioned and researched, as well as being both thought provoking and entertaining. The presence of Foote helps correct the obvious Northern bias, and I think the film was fairly clear about Lincoln starting out as a moderate on the slavery issue. And let us be fair; no project this ambitious is ever going to be perfect nor satisfy everyone, and this one is far better than most.

    But, the DVD packaging is just horrible. The literally paper thin disk container fell apart on the second day that I had it. I have a fairly large DVD collection with many, many box set collections and this is by far the cheapest presentation I have ever encountered. Now, had this been a budget box set designed to be low cost so as to make itself available to the greatest number of people possible, I would accept this. But as you must know, this set is actually quite expensive compared to most box sets. Therefore, the ridiculously flimsy packaging is inexcusable. This series deserves better. I STRONGLY urge you to wait until a higher quality presentation is put on offer. ... Read more


    15. American Experience: Malcolm X - Make it Plain
    Director: Orlando Bagwell
    list price: $19.98
    our price: $19.98
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 6303450873
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 26668
    Average Customer Review: 4.25 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (8)

    5-0 out of 5 stars The *best* documentary on Malcolm I have ever seen
    I went to the library, and borrowed 5-6 tapes on Malcolm X. Out of all of them, including the Spike Lee movie, this one is *THE* best. We even showed it at our University twice because it was so good. Includes aspects of the history such as the "Fruit of Islam" and other little tidbits you won't see in the other documentaries!

    1-0 out of 5 stars Not much Malcolm
    This is typical of the modern style of documentary. Very little of the actual subject matter -Malcolm X, rarely shows up on his own tape. Instead of showing Malcolm himself speaking, they give us OTHER people telling us what a great speaker Malcolm was. Rather than having Malcolm explain himself, we have a variety of "experts" explaining Malcolm's beliefs. When you finish watching a tape like this, you can't understand what all the fuss over this guy is about. You don't get a sense of his personality or charisma.

    Its really annoying how John Henrick Clarke, Joseph X and others are allowed to speak sentence after sentence about Malcolm, but when a clip of Malcolm himself is shown, its often cut after only one sentence.

    A much better choice is "Malcolm X: His Own Story as it Really Happened" which was made back in 1972 when the trend in documentraies was to include as much of the original subject mattera as possible.

    5-0 out of 5 stars One of the better M/X documentaries
    This is one of the few Malcolm X documentaries that does not require previous reading on the subject to understand what is going on (the also-good "Biography" segment does a good job too). It should , however, inspire you to read some more afterward.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Tedious
    A way-too-long, poorly-edited documentary. Incessant, unrelated & generic footage distracted from the subject himself. Like too many other mediocre documentaries, it attempts to reconstruct the entire era on just one video tape, and so waters down the intensity of this very interesting individual. It would have sufficed as a story of a very complex man, and his remarkable intellectual development.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Engaging and Educational
    The American Experience is an excellent series on PBS. In my opinion, Malcolm X: Make It Plain, is one of the best of the entire series. ... Read more


    16. What's Love Got To Do With It?
    Director: Brian Gibson
    list price: $9.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 6303022928
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 15356
    Average Customer Review: 4.41 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com essential video

    Tina Turner, that dynamic diva of pop/soul/R&B from the '60s to the '90s, sings like a woman whose life story is every bit as rough and tough as her voice. And What's Love Got to Do With It, based on her autobiographical account (inI, Tina, written with Kurt Loder) of her years under the iron fist of her abusive husband and musical partner/Svengali Ike, is further proof of what we've always known about Tina: She's what you call a survivor. The movie is sort of the Disney version of Tina Turner's story--a glossy but thoroughly enjoyable, old-fashioned showbiz biopic with laughs, tears, great music, and outrageous (but faithful) period decor, costumes, makeup, and hairstyles. Our Heroine triumphs not only over the rigorous demands of her career in the music business, but finally manages to bust out of her troubled, violent marriage as well and become her own person. This is a movie that'll have you shouting at the top of your lungs: "You go, girl!"--Jim Emerson ... Read more

    Reviews (34)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A TRIUMPHANT STORY OF A REAL LIFE SURVIVOR....
    This is an incredible, highly energized film about the life of rock and roll diva, Tina Turner, and her stormy relationship with her controlling and physically abusive husband, Ike Turner. Award calibre performances are turned in by Angela Bassett, as Tina, and Laurence Fishburne, as Ike. They are both absolutely riveting.

    Ms. Bassett plays Tina with all the earthy charm and sexual magnetism of the real life Tina Turner. Laurence Fishburne gives an amazingly effective performance as Ike, at once both repellent and charismatic. The movie focuses on their relationship, one which sowed the seeds for the Tina Turner we know today.

    What started out as a match made in heaven, quickly soured as Tina naturally took the lead musically in their Ike and Tina Turner Revue. When it became clear that Tina was the one for which the fans were clamoring, Ike did not take lightly to being second banana, and their relationship became one of domestic discord and abuse, with Ike easing into the role of abusive husband with relative ease.

    When Tina finally had had enough, she divorced Ike, taking nothing from the marriage except her children and her show business name, the name she earned. From there, she went on to rebuild her life and career, becoming the world reknowned rock and roll diva she is today. Ike, a substance abuser, ended up in prison for narcotics possession and fell into relative obscurity, little more than a footnote in rock and roll history.

    This is a film well worth watching, with great performances and great music. Look for the live stage performance by the real life Tina Turner at the end of the film. That alone is worth the price of this video.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Intense and Extremely Well Performed
    Celebrity bio-pics are very hit or miss, but once in a great while a really good one comes along--and WHAT'S LOVE GOT TO DO WITH IT is one of them. Based on the autobiography of Tina Turner, the film offers a glossy but intense portrait of her rapid rise to stardom under the sponsorship of husband-manager Ike Turner--a relationship that quickly turned dark and became increasingly abusive as Tina's fame began to outstrip Ike's own.

    Although the film is a bit on the obvious side, it is well-crafted and the two leads offer powerhouse performances. Angela Bassett is simply astonishing as Tina Turner; where most other actresses might have simply imitated, Bassett accomplishes the impossible: she makes you believe that she is Tina Turner, capturing both Tina's famous on-stage performing style (the concert scenes are really exciting) and giving a completely believable interpretation of her off-stage personality as well. The script offers Laurence Fishburne little more than a one-dimensional role, but he plays it brilliantly from start to finish, and both are well supported by the overall cast.

    There is certainly a great deal more to the lives of both Ike and Tina Turner than this film conveys--but what it does show it presents with considerable power and conviction, and by the time Tina finally hits back at Ike you'll be roaring for her to hit him again--and again--and again--and eager to see her finally triumph entirely on her own. Recommended.

    5-0 out of 5 stars ANGELA IS WONDERFUL !
    Even though Dorothy Dandridge & Whoopi Goldberg have the most incredible performances by any actresses Angela's personification as Tina made me forget that she wasnt Tina. I was enchanted so much that even though Angela has no resemblance to Tina my mind couldnt tell otherwise. Angela is definitely my Queen. She has made such an impact and has widened the doors for the African American actresses. Even though the Academy failed to properly recognize her, we the fans would forever cherish her amazing performance as PROUD MARY. You go GIRL.

    5-0 out of 5 stars All that I can say is...
    WOW! I have seen this movie hundred's of times and I never get sick of it. Angela Bassett does an excellent job potraying Tina Turner, from the costumes, the singing, to the emotions, it was all wonderful. Laurence Fishbourne is FANTASTIC as Ike Turner, he embodies the real Ike Turner's personality so well. It's a conspiricy that NEITHER Angela B. Or Laurence F. recieved an oscar for their roles in this movie because they both gave excellent performances. Vanessa Bellcalloway also gives a suprisingly good performance.
    I dont feel the need to go into detail because I think most people know the movie is about Tina Turner's life and how Ike was horrible to her and abused her THIS MOVIE WILL MAKE YOU laugh at Ike's ignorant and at the same time wanna smack him for how mean he is. You will cheer for Tina, when she finally gets away from that man. BUY IT NOW!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Angela Bassett Deserved the Oscar, not Halle Berry
    That is my sentiment. When Angela Bassett exploded on the silver screen as the irrepressible Tina Turner and was nominated for an Oscar....I was certain she would win. However, she didn't. Instead, Halle Berry earned the distinction of the being the first woman of African descent to win the Best Actress Award...and for a performance that doesn't come anywhere close to Bassett's. In fact, many Oscar winner's performances pale to Bassett's and people still remember Bassett's showstopper and didn't even remember whom she lost the award to.

    Based on Tina Turner's autobiography, it "chronicled" Tina's rise to stardom as Ike Turner's partner. The relationship, already tumultous from the start, turned for the worst when Tina's fame pulled ahead of Ike's. Tina finally left the relationship and started from scratch, becoming the successful solo artist that she is today.

    Ike is very much maligned in this movie, understandable since it is told from Tina's point of view. In any case, Laurence Fishburne delivered a tour-de-force performance that rivals Bassett's.

    As for Bassett herself, I agree with reviewers that she did not imitated, or even looked much like Tina. To imitate someone only shows you are NOT that person. In any case, Bassett did an incredible job of endearing herself to the audience into believing that she IS Tina Turner. So successful was she that when the real Tina showed up in a concert clip at the end of the movie, it seems a bit of a comedown...because we have already attached to and identified with Angela; and invested a good portion of our emotions toward her.

    Some reviewers seem to take umbrage with the fact that Tina's Black husband is the villain of the piece while benevolent White men "saved" Tina in the end.

    Got news for you, despite what PC and feminism like to make you believe, heterosexual white men are not the only oppressors of the world. ... Read more


    17. Amistad
    Director: Steven Spielberg
    list price: $9.99
    our price: $9.99
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    Asin: 0783227272
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 5068
    Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com essential video

    Steven Spielberg's most simplistic, sanitized history lesson, Amistad, explores the symbolic 1840s trials of 53 West Africans following their bloody rebellion aboard a slave ship. For most of Schindler's List (and, later, Saving Private Ryan) Spielberg restrains himself from the sweeping narrative and technical flourishes that make him one of our most entertaining and manipulative directors. Here, he doesn't even bother trying, succumbing to his driving need to entertain with beautiful images and contrived emotion. He cheapens his grandiose motives and simplifies slavery, treating it as cut-and-dry genre piece. Characters are easy Hollywood stereotypes--"villains" like the Spanish sailors or zealous abolitionists are drawn one-dimensionally and sneered upon. And Spielberg can't suppress his gifted eye, undercutting normally ugly sequences, such as the terrifying slave passage, which is shot as a gorgeous, well-lit composition. At its core, Amistad is a traditional courtroom drama, centered by a tired, clichéd narrative: a struggling, idealistic young lawyer (Matthew McConaughey) fighting the crooked political system and saving helpless victims. Worse yet, Spielberg actually takes the underlying premise of his childhood fantasy, E.T. and repackages it for slavery. Cinque (Djimon Hounsou), the leader of the West African rebellion, is presented much like the adorable alien: lost, lacking a common language, and trying to find his way home. McConaughey is a grown-up Elliot who tries communicating complicated ideas such as geography by drawing pictures in the sand or language by having Cinque mimic his facial expressions. Such stuff was effective for a sci-fi fantasy about the communication barriers between a boy and a lost alien; here, it seems like a naive view of real, complex history. --Dave McCoy ... Read more

    Reviews (99)

    4-0 out of 5 stars So what if history is made more entertaining?
    Have the critics of this film's historical "accuracy" never heard of "dramatic license"? If they had, then they would understand that Spielberg, like most of his profession, slightly alters history to make for greater theatrical effect or even heighten the events of the story. "Amistad" achieves both with scenes of horror combined with those of great poignancy that make for a total movie experience.

    While there are times when the film drags, the performances and the engrossing story itself make up for the few inadequacies. Though stars Morgan Freeman (especially riveting in the inspection of the Amistad scene), Anthony Hopkins, and Matthew McConaughey perform well in their respective roles, the best acting belongs to Djimon Hounsou, Razaag Adoti, and Abu Bakarr Fofanah as three of the Africans, and the underrated Pete Postlethwaite as prosecutor Holabird. Nigel Hawthorne, as the inept President Van Buren, and Peter Firth as a conscious-ridden British ship captain are also memorable.

    Spielberg skillfully balances a movie that is a courtroom drama mixed with an indictment against the slave system of America's past. The scenes of the events of the cursed "Middle Passage" are as graphic as is possible within the confines of Hollywood filmmaking.

    John Williams contributes a beautiful and understated score, just below the surface of the on-screen events, providing just enough to carry the story along.

    5-0 out of 5 stars McCoguhney's Best!
    Steven Spielberg's debut film for DreamWorks Pictures, Amistad, stars a distinguished cast led by Morgan Freeman, Anthony Hopkins, Djimon Hounsou and Matthew McConaughey.

    Earning acclaim for its filmmaking and power, Amistad was honored with four Academy Award nominations; Best Supporting Actor (Hopkins), Best Music, Best Costume Design and Best Cinematography.

    Based on a true story, the movie chronicles the incredible journey of a group of enslaved Africans who overtake their captor's ship and attempt to return to their beloved homeland. When the ship, La Amistad, is seized, these captives are brought to the United States where they are charged with murder and await their fate in prison. An enthralling battle ensues that captures the attention of the entire nation, confronting the very foundation of the American justice system. But for the men and women on trial, it is simply a fight for the basic right of all mankind... freedom.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Badley scripted and direction
    This was Spielberg's first Dreamworks picture and it was really awful. Mostly in poor script and lack of direction. The subject material was not for a director with his style of film making, and the poor performance of this movie has pretty much been the case for every picture this joke of a studio has continued to do since.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Powerful and Shameful
    The word "powerful" has become a cliche when describing movies, which is unfortunate. However this film contains material that really moved me to strong emotion- something rare in today's bland entertainment market. Amistad does not simplify slavery as the above reviewer stated- rather it shows the audience the reality of slavery, and that we as a nation were guilty of supporting a terrible injustice. America embraced slavery for many years after most of our European friends had abolished it- a fact clearly demonstrated in this film by the presence of a british naval officer tasked with finding and destroying a carribean slave base.

    This movie does revolve around the courtroom, but does so in a way that is both entertaining and educational. It shows how even the best courts can be warped or crippled by political influence and red tape. The characters are simple yet believable. In particular the roles of Cinque and John Q. Adams are played masterfully.

    The speech given by Adams at the conclusion is a word-for-word transcript of his actual speech given to the Supreme Court. This speech is one of the more bold and patriotic speeches given in American history, and gives me goose bumps every time I read/see it. Amistad is an exceptional movie that forces the viewer to look back on our past with an unflinching eye and embrace both our courage and our shame as a nation.

    5-0 out of 5 stars MORE THAN A MOVIE ABOUT LA AMISTAD
    AMISTAD tells the story of 1839 events involving a shipload of slaves who, having freed themselves from their captors aboard the cruel slaver La Amistad, try to sail back home. Instead they are tricked into sailing north and are captured in New England. The trial that resulted began in insignificance but escalated until it drew in some of the most powerful individuals of the time, especially former President John Quincy Adams.

    The fact-based thriller transcends itself in Spielberg's epic. Yes, the story is one of heroism on the part of men trying to secure their freedom. But the real importance of AMISTAD is its gritty, nauseating portrayal of slavery and of those who fought it and of those who espoused it. It tells of how many of the ridiculous politicians of the time continued to bury their heads in the sand rather than take the hard steps that would require America and Americans to live up to the creeds and beliefs that had made them what they were.

    Djimon Honsou (GLADIATOR) is wonderful in his portrayal of Cinque, the reluctant leader of the band of Africans. Matthew McConaughey portrays Lawyer Roger Sherman Baldwin, Morgan Freeman is Mr. Joadson and Anthony Hopkins is absolutely striking in the role of John Quincy Adams. John Williams provides one of his most soaring and original soundtracks ever.

    THE HORSEMAN ... Read more


    18. Girl 6
    Director: Spike Lee
    list price: $29.98
    our price: $29.98
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 630410765X
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 12095
    Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    Perhaps only Spike Lee could make a dignified yet extremely funny comedy-drama about phone sex. Theresa Randle (Bad Boys) is the title character, a hard-working actress who becomes addicted to this peculiar form of safe sex (the movie is verbal, not physical, in that department) at a high-class New York agency. Throughout the film, Girl 6 (she's unnamed beyond this) sports a dazzling array of new looks, hairstyles, and clothes. Randle radiates every step of the way. Lee even delivers on fantasy elements when Girl 6 finds herself in a send-up of blaxploitation films and a keen lampoon of The Jeffersons (the three-minute sequence is better than any planned TV-to-movie film that may come along). Revelations about Girl 6's life are brought out through her ex-husband (Isaiah Washington), who, in his very flawed but honest way, plans to reunite with her. Better yet are conversations with the next-door neighbor (Spike Lee, doing some of his best work). Solitary, experimental, with plenty of delicious cameos (including Madonna), Girl 6 is playwright Suzan-Lori Parks's first screenplay. Similar in tone to Lee's debut, She's Gotta Have It, Girl 6 also boasts an energetic mix of old and new songs by Prince and, as always with Lee, colorful camerawork. An alleyway kiss near the end is a great romantic image. --Doug Thomas ... Read more

    Reviews (15)

    5-0 out of 5 stars One of my favorite films
    I really liked this movie so much that I want to buy my own copy. I'd heard about the film when it first came out in 1996, but like so many smaller films, if you don't see it right away you miss your chance. Right away, the Prince soundtrack is wonderful and sets the tone and you hear so many great songs throughout the film. This movie has great dialogue and is very well written. If that isn't what you like, you will be bored and should go see some mindless action flick. I can't imagine how anyone would not like this film. It is my favorite Spike Lee film without a doubt. There is definitely an ethereal and dreamy quality to the film that I liked very much. The main character, Lovely or Girl 6, played by Theresa Randle, is stressed and and overworked from too many part time jobs. The movie is set in and around Manhattan. Lovely is working all the jobs so that she can be free to go on acting auditions. Her agent gets her a great audition for a film and she believes she is doing fine until the director says he needs her to take off her top so he can look at her breasts. She is so disgusted by this treatment that she walks out on the audition and she becomes increasingly frustrated at what it seems it will take for her to get a break in the acting field. While looking at want ads while riding the subway (we see her sick, coughing and exhausted from overwork and stress) she sees an ad that promises great money doing phone sex and she interviews for the job. The whole process of her inquiring about the job, training for the job and the people she encounters, not to mention the whole "business" of phone sex is so entertaining. There are some great cameos in this film, including Madonna (who is terrific), Naomi Campbell, Richard Belzer and Quentin Tarantino. Debi Mazor is another phone girl who warns Lovely (Theresa) not to take it all too seriously. Spike Lee is wonderful as Lovely's neighbor- a dreamer just like her. He chastises her for doing the "phone bone" when she ought to be pursing her acting career, but as Lovely points out, her job actually is acting on a certain level. There are some touching moments, too such as when Lovely hopes to meet one of her clients in Coney Island and she's waiting for hours and looking for him. There is also a very frightening scene when a sicko (snuff fantasy) client finds out where Lovely lives and wants to make his fantasy a reality. There is a funny side plot about Lovely's ex-husband who steals from local merchants such as fruit vendors. This ex-husband wants Lovely back and never stops trying. I won't give the rest of the plot away, but if any of this sounds remotely interesting, check out this film. I think that this film was well done in all aspects and I consider it one of my all time favorite films.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Serious Comedy From Spike Lee
    1996: Spike Lee directed this movie believe it or not. He wrote the screenplay and performed in the role of the wise, comforting and dreamer neighboor in Lovely's apartment. Theresa Randle of the Bad Boys film, stars as Lovely, or the eponymous Girl 6. When I saw this film, I could not believe it was a Spike Lee film, but his presence in the movie and his signature urban themes are distinctly marked in this movie. The film deals with an aspiring actress who is coaxed into working as a phone sex operator. Despite the good money it pays, it becomes messy and dangerous for her after a client becomes insanely obscessed with her. Her relationship with her (boyfriend ? husband ?) is in jeopardy due to her choice of work. Although clearly this movie attempts to be serious, there are many comic features written into many of the scenes, particularily the sordid, bizarre and outrageous sexual fantasies of the clients. The phone sex scenes that play out between the operators and their clients are hilarious! The "fantasy sequences" in which Lovely acts out various roles from television and film are also hilarious. These roles are: Lovely as Dorothy Dandridge in Carmen Jones, as the daughter in the old sitcom The Jeffersons, as Pam Grier's Foxy Brown in 70's exploitation movies and as a 30's or 40's Hollywood Golden Age diva towards the end of the film shot in black and white.Guest stars abound in this witty urban comic drama. Among them Madonna, as a phone sex operator instructor who is giving the girls tips and advice via a monitor, Halle Barry in a brief interview scene, and even Quentin Terentino shows up in the film. I don't know whether to laugh non stop at one of the silliest films ever made by Spike Lee or to wonder at the subtle signficance of its theme. Spike Lee seems to be portraying a strong black woman who undergoes terrible misfortune in a dark and risky business only to give it up in a beautiful scene towards the end when she and her boyfriend/husband kiss and telephones start falling from the sky in slow motion. In Hollywood, she does not give up her morals or dignity and refuses to do a nude sex scene that might be featured in pornpgraphy. It's really a look at Hollywood's love for sex, its classless tastes and its exploitation of women. It might be Spike Lee's greatest film. Just try to look beyond the comedy.

    5-0 out of 5 stars This is in my top 10
    One of my favourite films of all time. There's something about Spike Lee's *Girl 6* that's particularly stuck with me. In short, it's about a phone-sex agency and the people that work there. Theresa Randle plays Girl 6 brilliantly as a woman of great strength and tenderness. Like the film itself, very funny, yet painfully gritty. A surprisingly good performance from Naomi Campbell as Girl 75. An excellent cameo from Madonna playing the aging scarlet-woman with too much makeup spouting sexual profanitys - typecast or what! And the cherry-moon on the cake is the ace use of Prince music running through the film... *How Come U Don't Call Me Anymore* (which was a rare track back then), *HouseQuake*, *17 Days* and *Hot Thing* (which plays during Madge's monologue) being the musical highlights, for me. Oh, and Mr Lee himself is pretty good in it too... I really hope he gets around to releasing this on DVD... soon?!

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Spike Lee Surprise
    Spike Lee's "Girl6" proves to be a fantastic exploration into the urban american dream. Although it took me more than one viewing, i find this movie to be on the same level as "Do the Right Thing" and "Crooklyn." What does it take to strike out on your own? What is the difference between reality and imagined reality? These are questions that Theresa Randle encounters as she executes a steller performance as an aspiring actress new to the Big Apple in "Girl6". Lee's unique use of composition and setting create tangible texture with potent imagery. Originally a play, "Girl6" maintains theatrical dialogue and pacing. At first, subtleties are difficult to tap into, but through a more aware viewing "Girl6" blooms into a cinematic gem.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Uneven and Inaccurate
    The film had uneven humor throughout and little accuracy in it's portrayal of the phone sex industry. I am in the phone fantasy business and "Girl 6" is largely fantasy. While callers do indeed have a racial bias and many quirks; offices never are even half that nice and working from home isn't scary. Although I suppose there are girls who give their personal number out to callers and obsess over their work; most of us are well adjusted educated women with normal homes and families in suburbia who keep a safe distance from our clientel. ... Read more


    19. Carol Burnett Show Collector's Edition: Sammy Davis Jr/ Shirley MacLaine

    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0006GQ3W2
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 14260
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    Product Description

    2 Episodes Guest Star: Sammy Davis Jr Airdate September 20, 1975 and Guest Star Shirley MacLaine Airdate October 4, 1975 ... Read more


    20. Higher Learning
    Director: John Singleton
    list price: $9.95
    our price: $9.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 630350986X
    Catlog: Video
    Sales Rank: 28784
    Average Customer Review: 3.58 out of 5 stars
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    This ambitious 1995 film by John Singleton (Boyz N the Hood) doesn't quite succeed at painting the illuminating, collective portrait of college life in the '90s that the director seeks. But Singleton does do a fine job of defining some conflicting impulses for young people on the cusp of adulthood, particularly the desire to broaden horizons on the one hand and circle the wagons with like-minded allies on the other. Students in the film's Columbus University divide themselves along lines of race, sexual preferences, ideology, and, most dangerously, levels of paranoia. Among the fine cast is Michael Rapaport, who portrays a loner drawn to a local community of neo-Nazis. His resultant problems with the school's African-Americans takes over the story at the expense of other, parallel dramas, but Singleton's insights into race hatred on campus--a microcosm of the surrounding culture--is not to be dismissed. --Tom Keogh ... Read more

    Reviews (67)

    3-0 out of 5 stars Wish I could've liked it more. . .
    This could have been an excellent film, but it falls short by making some significant relationships one-dimensional. I'm mainly thinking of the 2 female roommate characters in the movie, (one white, one black) who could have demonstrated something other than the rather extreme, racially polarized aspects of race relations in college. These characters actually got along and found a way to live with eachother and even become friends despite the chaos around them.

    John Singleton, in trying to incoroporate every problem on college campuses today (date rape, drained financial resources) shortsights many of them. Instead, the movie principally becomes about Micheal Rappaport, and his journey from small-town insecure guy to violent racist. It's in this character that the movie is strongest. Rappaport's acting is suberb -- he captures Remy's insecurities and slide towards self-destruction wonderfully.

    In sum, this is worth catching, simply because it is one of the few movies to even try to capture racial unrest on college campuses.

    4-0 out of 5 stars An Average Movie on Campus Life.
    This is a movie in the backdrop of Columbus University, on the different issues of college students often divided along the lines of race, ideology and sexual orientation. John Singleton's attempt is to bring out almost every problem on the campus to light, but ends up focussing on a psychotic young man in a neo-Nazi group. His encounters with the African-American group of students, leads to a high drama of race hatred and violence on the campus. The story line is rather spread out, but the characters are well-portrayed e.g. Omar Epps, Michael Rapaport etc.

    5-0 out of 5 stars I liked it
    I like a movie that will get people upset, and then maybe think. WHite kids got to put up with a lot of crap in society, blacks think they are owed everything and Hispanics are taking over anyway, so what's whitey to do? Shave his head and start shooting. MAke no mistake about it. The majority of white people in society are angry and one day we will fight back. Also chicks going lezzie is pretty cool.

    4-0 out of 5 stars A powerful piece of work
    "Higher Learning" stumbles upon many issues, the most emphasised being racism. At first, I thought this movie was one of those teen movies where they put in some cheap (immature) laughs here and there but it's a movie that really grows on you as it progresses and you may actually start to feel for some of the characters. I kind of got the same feeling as I did when I watched "American History X". Both films suck you in right till the end and then hit you with one big punch.

    The DVD is nothing to rant about, it does have a trailer, a commentary track and some talent profiles. Nothing fancy but better than a kick in the pants. I have yet to watch the film while the commentary is playing. I'm not sure if I should because I believe the film can be interpreted in many different ways and I don't want anyone changing it for me.

    1-0 out of 5 stars The Grade is "F"
    Higher Learning is a thinly veiled attempt to inject the audience with Singleton's opinions and values. From the first frame to the last, it feels more like a preachy ABC Afternoon Special than a feature film. Despite the slick veneer of a fine cast, Singleton once again reveals himself to be the main attraction, an angry director trying to promote his bitter social agenda. ... Read more


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