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1. Somewhere in Time - 20th Anniversary
$9.98
2. Flash Gordon
$4.99 list($14.95)
3. Heavy Metal
list($9.98)
4. Mystery Science Theater 3000:
$7.47
5. A Clockwork Orange
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6. The Rocky Horror Picture Show
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7. Somewhere in Time
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8. Plan 9 from Outer Space
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9. A Clockwork Orange
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10. Blade Runner - The Director's
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11. Donnie Darko
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12. Zardoz
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13. Solaris
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14. The Man Who Fell to Earth
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15. Invasion of the Body Snatchers
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16. Videodrome
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17. Attack of the 50 Foot Woman
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18. The Fly
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19. Death Race 2000
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20. The City of Lost Children

1. Somewhere in Time - 20th Anniversary Edition
Director: Jeannot Szwarc
list price: $9.98
our price: $9.98
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Asin: B00004W46H
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 1080
Average Customer Review: 4.49 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (188)

4-0 out of 5 stars It's about time
It may not be one of the best films ever made, but I love it anyway. The scenery and costumes are beautiful...not to mention the beautiful Jane Seymour & Christopher Reeve. But what's fascinating about the movie is element of time travel. It's not that Richard (Christopher Reeves) falls in love with the woman in the picture (Jane Seymour); rather, the picture stirs a remembrance within him. Not realizing what it is at first, Richard seeks answers through research which eventually leads him to the belief that...he was there. Thus the obsession with time travel and the quest to return.

Watch for the details and the glimpses of things in the present and see the connection when he's in the past. For instance, watch his relationship with Arthur.

There are all kinds of details that I appreciate about the movie. Notice the view from Miss McKenna's room at the beginning of the movie and compare that with the view from Mr. Collier's room at the end. Notice the use of camera angle, lighting and furniture (namely the fabric) to transition Richard from the present to the past.

Probably the most disappointing thing about the movie is the ending. But as a hopeless romantic, it's none-the-less a favorite movie.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Love throughout Time
Somewhere in Time is an excellent film that combines Time Travel with romance, using an interesting and unique idea involving hypnotizing your mind to believe you are actually in that moment in history. If you can avoid analyzing the rationality of time travel and suspend your disbelief, this film will be very enjoyable for you. The idea of travelling back through time to find your soulmate is something both men and women can believe in. It is to the credit of the performances of the leads, Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour, that the viewer believes that such a thing is possible. Reeve and Seymour also look well together and have obvious chemistry, making their love affair entirely believable. Especially with their first kiss, there is a deep and passionate love that seems entirely real. The third element is the acting of Christopher Plummer, who is always excellent and quite effective here as the overprotective manager of Seymour's character. But, there are two more elements that contributes greatly to the atmposhere of the film - the moving music composed by John Barry, and the Grand Hotel where most of the movie is set. The handsome and expressive Reeve, the calm beauty of Seymour, the brooding and calculating Plummer, the romantic and moving music and the timeless presence of the Grand Hotel combine into a magical film for the hopeless romantic.

DVD Comments: Compared to reference DVDs the video and audio quality are average, with slight graininess at times. However, this can be forgiven because of the excellent quality of the film. Those who have only seen Pan Scan versions on Cable and VHS will enjoy the widescreen presentation. The extras include a Behind the Scenes Special, Trailer, Fan Club Information, Bios and Production Photos. All are excellent and welcome additons. Of note, I found the Behind the Scenes Special added to the film experience. You will learn interesting tidbits about the making of the movie, with comments by the director, Reeve, Seymour and other players. It becomes readily apparent that the actors and crew loved making this film and hold it in a special place in their hearts. To see Reeve, who suffered a horseback-riding accident that left him paralyzed years after making the film, lends to the heartbreaking experience of seeing the film again. His comments about the final scenes of the film are very interesting and insightful to his own tragic life experience. The production photos are excellent, especially the stills of Seymour with her incredibly beautiful face and long, flowing hair. It is easy to relate and believe that Reeve's character would fall so hopelessly in love with her picture alone. The events that occur in the film, the time travel and events that happen at the end of the film are believable because of Seymour's beauty and acting ability. All of the actors, the setting, and the music are important aspects of the film, but Seymour makes the movie. Therefore, if you are a hopeless romantic, or a fan of Reeve or Seymour, I highly recommend this DVD to you.

4-0 out of 5 stars Get the Ben & Jerry's and settle in...
At times this movie does put the "suspension of disbelief" to the test... it is far-fetched, but enjoyable if you allow yourself to accept the story as it's presented. The acting is ok, the music beautiful and haunting.

This is a great movie for those times when you feel the need to have an emotional outlet. There are some scenes where you can almost think it's a comedy, and then the mood changes to something more serious. The end seemed a little awkward, and is a real tear-jerker if you've let yourself get sucked into the story. With a pint of Ben & Jerry's and a few tissues (and some friends, if you're into sharing tears with them), it's worth the time if you're in the mood.

5-0 out of 5 stars In a Class by Itself
As other reviewers have said, this movie seems to transcend all of its faults and strike a a very personal chord in the romantics among us. Its intense romanticism prompts us to break the rules in judging what makes a good movie, much as Christopher Reeve's love for Jane Seymour allows him break the rules of time. And, the movie is even more poignant today, since it's about going back into the past, and it reminds us of the past physical vibrance of Christopher Reeve, not as Superman, but as the healthy young man he was.

In many ways, this is Reeve's movie. He almost ruins it with his occasional lapses into Clark-Kentish oafishness, but he also injects into the film its dreamy sweetness, with his hungering eyes and his boyish awe of Miss Seymour. Speaking of her, I think she is one of the most beautiful and competent screen actresses in films and I have no idea why she never really became a huge movie star.

Christopher Plummer adds the right notes of meanness, thinly-veiled jealousy, lurking menace, and his own inner hurt as the blunt end of a love triangle. He also embodies reality, reminding us, by his dissapproving presence, of the vulnerability of the fragile love affair between Reeves and Seymour.

The special segment on the making of the film (in the collector's edition DVD) is a good one. It convincingly shows that the director, crew, and cast loved making this film and had high hopes for it. It also provides some interesting insights into how the novel was adapted for the screen and the choices, sometimes painful, that had to be made in the process. It's gratifying that this segment, which is low-key and refreshingly sincere, features the three principal stars of the film, the director, the composer, the author, and other players and crew members. Only the composer, John Barry, seems a bit taken with himself.

Somewhere In Time was nominated for the American Film Institute's list of the 100 most romantic movies of all time, but it didn't make it. As far as I'm concerned, it should have topped the list.

3-0 out of 5 stars Somewhere in Time
I really didn't care for this movie that much.I guess it's just not my genre.The film seemed very boring.The plot is extremely deep and intellect which is probably the only reason it got such a good grade.The dialogue is your usual love/romance dialogue.Everything is just so much like a fantasy that I felt stupid.If this was a book it was probably really well written and this would have been a good adaption, but this just isn't my type of film.I think I would have liked it better with a different cast.Christopher Reeve did a good job ;though.The setting is also nice.That and some of the plot is mainly the only reason it gets a 6.It lies on border line of fresh/rotten.Only check this one out if your a fan of the genre.

"Come back to me." These were the strange words uttered by aged actress Elise McKenna to playwright Richard Collier, and they have haunted him ever since. When he hears that Elise has died, an irresistible impulse leads him to travel to the historic hotel where she lived. There he discovers an old photograph of Elise and realizes, to his amazement, that in another life he was once her lover.
Richard wills himself into the past and meets Elise again, now young and beautiful and acclaimed. Their romance blossoms anew, but not even true love can defeat the power of time... ... Read more


2. Flash Gordon
Director: Mike Hodges
list price: $9.98
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Asin: 6300182355
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 424
Average Customer Review: 4.31 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com essential video

When the totalitarian planet of Mongo decides on a whim to obliterate Earth, it's up to the lunk-headed quarterback Flash Gordon and his oddball companions to make the universe safe for democracy. Based on the classic (and infinitely more reputable) comic strip and its '30s screen serialization, this cotton-candy-colored trash classic deserves immortality for Queen's unforgettably pulsating soundtrack alone. The legendary Max von Sydow appears to be having a blast as the evil Ming the Merciless, while Ornella Muti, as his daughter, is the living embodiment of what attracts adolescent boys to comics in the first place. (She makes Barbarella look mundane.) One of the most shamelessly entertaining movies ever made, this is a knowingly absurd sensory freak-out that'll have the viewer blissfully checking the sky afterward for signs of Hawkmen. --Andrew Wright ... Read more

Reviews (99)

5-0 out of 5 stars An overlooked classic from the 80's
Sometimes certain films end up being much better than they have any right to be. Flash Gordon is one of those films. It is, in fact, and I say this in mortal fear of being mocked and shunned by my peers, one of my all time favotite movies. I can watch this film endlessly, and every time I see it I walk around smiling for the rest of the day... it's just that kind of movie.

The cast, first and foremost, is excellent. They work wonders with the material they're given... admittedly this isn't Shakespeare, but it plays remarkably well, with very few cringe-worthy moments. Standout performances include Max Von Sydow as the astoundingly evil Ming, Peter Wyngarde as the almost equally evil Klytus, Brian Blessed as the leader of the Hawkmen, and Topol(?) as an eccentric Dr. Zarkov. Then, of course, there's the absolutely stunning Ornelia Muti as Ming's beautiful daughter Aura... she's wonderful to look at, and has an exotic accent to boot. When I saw this film in the theater as a wee lad, I had quite the childhood crush on Miss Muti... sigh. Anyway, all of the actors seem to be having a grand time with their roles, and it definitely shows.

With all due respect to the actors, however, I really think it's the brilliant soundtrack that makes Flash Gordon stand out most in my mind. Queen, near the peak of their popularity, provided a wonderful, throbbing, highly eccentric collection of songs and instrumental bits that fit the film perfectly. I badgered my poor mother to buy me the 8-track, in fact, and then proceeded to play it at every opportunity... a very patient woman, my mother. She probably still hears "dumdumdumdumdumdumDUMDUM **FLASH!!** ah-AHH!..." in her sleep. Sorry, mom.

The special effects are actually still pretty impressive, as well... bear in mind, however, that I have a soft spot for 1980's effects. I really miss the days when the answer to "How'd they do that?" wasn't always "With computers." There's a certain mystery to these old effects, and I always respect the effort and creativity that went into making things happen with such limited technology. Sigh... Still, the film is very,very colorful, and there are a LOT of costumes, backgrounds, etc. Everything has a very shiny, surreal sort of look to it, in stark contrast to the realistic, worn-out look of the Star Wars films. It's pretty neat in its own way.

In the end, though, Flash Gordon is just plain entertaining. There's hardly ever a dull moment, and the film's almost 2 hour running time goes by in a flash (pun fully intended, with all apologies to the reader). You get a lot of action in those 2 hours... there are laser battles, lots of starships, hand to hand combat on a floating spike disk(?), catfights (in a harem, no less), flame-throwing rings, dominatrix henchladies, evil Space People, a surprising amount of implied sexuality, and the list goes on and on. Just put it in, turn off your brain, and for God's sake HAVE FUN!

On a side note, I have to say that the DVD release is a bit disappointing. The five star rating is strictly for the film itself, not for the disc. Although the video and audio quality is fine (easily the best version currently available), there is absolutely nothing in the way of extras. Zip. Zilch. Nada. Not even a trailer, for crying out loud. Here's hoping that someone, perhaps Anchor Bay (king of the cult classic), will have the good sense to release a Special Edition. I would love to see outtakes, trailers, making of bios, commentary, etc. This film certainly deserves better treatment than it's given here.

Still, this DVD is currently the best edition of Flash Gordon you're going to find (and it's WIDESCREEN!). Plus, it can be picked up pretty cheaply, if you can actually find it. I wholeheartedly recommend that you search it out, watch it over and over, and then join me in waiting patiently for a collector's edition to come along. Even with its shortcomings, Flash Gordon on DVD most definitely deserves a spot in your collection. Just file it under "Guilty Pleasures." :)

4-0 out of 5 stars Goofy but Affectionate Escapism
"Flash Gordon" has more in common with 1968's "Barbarella" than the comic strip hero of the same name, but still manages to deliver many of the goods expected of campy adult fantasy. Sam Jones is a dopey version of Buster Crabbe's dashing serial hero--fittingly, an over-hormoned football star with a heart that works faster than his brain. Lovely Melody Anderson embodies Dale Arden as a spunky 1930's girl-next-door transplated into the plastic, "modern" 1980s, while sultry Ornella Muti, as Princess Aura, is every adolescent boy's imagining of sex. International stars Topol and Max Von Sydow chew up the scenery as astrophysicist Zarkhov and evil Emperor Ming, respectively, and Peter Wyngarde and ex-James Bond Timothy Dalton do dark turns in secondary roles. The story, laced with PG-rated violence and sexual innuendo, is a tongue-in-cheek rehash of the serials, as Ming ravages Earth until our intrepid heroes rocket to his kingdom to set things straight. This time, they find worlds created with the most elaborate visual effects of the day, some convincing, many not, but all strangely beautiful. If you liked the original, you'll see that most of the swipes are gentle and that as juvenile as the script is, the movie is really aimed at grown-ups. A spirited performance by British TV veteran Brian Blessed and a thumping soundtrack by rock supergroup Queen help make this one memorable.

3-0 out of 5 stars Cool Movie, Lousy DVD
This review applies to the current Image DVD release. Most people who purchase Flash Gordon remember it from their childhood and wish to relive a part of it. No complaint there! Unfortunately, the DVD is now out of print and a copy can be expensive. About the only thing commendable about the disc is its widescreen aspect ratio. The soundtrack clearly warbles in places, the sound mix is not in 5.1 and generally lousy, and the video is grainy throughout. This is quite a shame, because the soundtrack and effects lend themselves to a great presentation. There are no extra features at all.

The DVD release rights were licensed by Universal to Image Entertainment. I have purchased 3 Image DVDs and they have all been massive disappointments. Fortunately, Universal re-released Sixteen Candles and I hope they will eventually do the same for Flash Gordon.

4-0 out of 5 stars Flash Gordon and Max
Many reviewers have focused on how fun this movie is. Others have commented on Princess Aura who is...very fine indeed. However, I enjoy the performance of Max von Sydow. As Ming, he is perfect. Max has a sneer that meets if not beats that of Harry Potter's Professor Snape. Ming is amazing to the end...or did he end?

5-0 out of 5 stars Classic filmaking
It's ia classic right up there with Star Wars. The acting isn't all that great but, it deserves credit for great scenery and costumes. It is definitely worth buying. ... Read more


3. Heavy Metal
Director: Gerald Potterton, Jimmy T. Murakami
list price: $14.95
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Asin: 6304039220
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 22295
Average Customer Review: 4.13 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (90)

4-0 out of 5 stars A very cool universe...
I remember sneaking in to the movies to see this back in '81 - and it's remained a nostalgic favorite ever since. Heavy Metal is an ambitious series of six metaphorical vignettes loosely strung together by a Darth Vadar-ish emerald orb, Loc-Nar, the self-proclaimed "sum of all evils." Introduced by way of a space truckin' archeologist piloting a Corvette throughout the Heavens (a classic opening sequence), the glowing jewel is brought home and given to his daughter. The orb melts dad into slime and confronts the daughter who, by some cosmic dint, holds the key to the green ball's destruction. And this is just the first three minutes.

The film was created by an army of 1,000 artists, animation experts and technicians from seventeen countries. Given the current state of technology, the movie today would probably only take a half-dozen animators and a few lap-tops. Regardless of its dated stylishness and rough edges, Heavy Metal was a pioneering film in 1981 and remains an infuential body of art today. A visual mixed bag of matte, blue screen, live action, stop motion, and Star Wars-influenced drawing/animation styles, the dazzling sci-fi epic scored a bullseye with its comic hipness, imagination, and drug kaleidoscope presentation. The final installment, Tarna, is the most mind-bending in terms of fluid animation, spectacular color schemes, imagination, and graphics, which appears 3-D. The green ball crashes into a mountain and the lava it produces turns the civilization around it into a merciless warring faction. They prey upon neighboring villages who then summon The Defender, a naked chick with a giant bird. The sequence in which Tarna, The Defender, slowly and enticingly dons her bondage-like battle gear and hip boots remains one of the hottest scenes ever in a movie, animated or not. All clothes aside, this tale is the centerpiece of the movie's artistic accomplishments.

The best part of this Collector's Series disc is the plethora of extras included. The disc includes a voiceover by Carl Macek reading his book "Heavy Metal: The Movie". It also includes a documentary titled "Imagining Heavy Metal" which runs approximately 35 minutes. The disc also includes deleted scenes, including a rough cut of a entire additional segment which was cut form the movie titled Neverwhere Land, and an alternate framing sequence which can be heard with or without commentary by Carl Macek. There is a segment called "Artwork of Heavy Metal" which includes 26 pencil drawings, 59 conceptual art stills (2 of which are animated), 29 single cell stills, and 191 layered cell stills which expose some of the layering techniques used during the animation process. There are also 18 production photos of behind the scenes work which was done on the film and a segment which contains all the Heavy Metal Magazine covers from 1977 through 1999. But the best extra on this disc is the entire full-length rough cut of the pencil drawings used to get the look and feel of the production prior to the final production stage. This rough cut can also be viewed either with or without a full commentary by Carl Macek.

5-0 out of 5 stars Classic animation, with a hard rockin soundtrack
I can't believe the number of negative reviews this movie has gotten! I bet these people don't like James Bond movies, either.

To fully appreciate Heavy Metal, one has to understand the era it came out in. At the time, most animation, at least what was seen in the US, was frequently of the "family entertainment" variety seen in Saturday morning cartoons and TV commercials. Apart from Ralph Bakshi, most animators were basically shackled by the need to present something that was "rated G". Heavy Metal took the exact opposite route. It was a liberating experience for the animators working on the film to be allowed to draw things they usually weren't allowed. And they got paid to do it, too!

After the opening Soft Landing sequence, we're introduced to the Loc-Nar, a glowing green orb responsible for all the evil that has plagued the universe (or at least, that which has plagued the human race). The various stories contained in the film are told by the Loc-Nar to a young girl, as examples of it's awesome power.

The stories include the film noir homage Harry Canyon, the male "wish fulfillment fantasy" of Den (which demonstrates the versatility of the late John Candy, who voices both Dan, the science nerd who gets transported into an alternate dimension by the Loc-Nar, as well as Den, the Conan/He-Man-esque beefcake that he is magically transformed into), the highly amusing Captain Sternn (trivia: the voice of the prosecutor is done by John Vernon, the actor who portrayed Dean Wormer in Animal House), the EC-esque B-17 (aka Gremlins, which went through so many script revisions, it's a miracle it got finished at all), the bizarrely hilarious So Beautiful And So Dangerous (ok, maybe there's some truth to the juvenilia charges during this segment, but only a corpse could keep from laughing at this piece), and revenge scenario of Taarna (imagine a tougher, sexier version of Xena, only about a decade and a half earlier).

While there IS some element of juvenilia here, it's no worse than any other movie that's been released by any major studio during the last 25 years. In fact, I bet it's a little more cerebral than most of those other movies. Harry Canyon is a rather crafted film noir homage, while some elements of Taarna are clearly patterned on Sergio Leone's spaghetti westerns. And while there are a couple sex scenes and a certain amount of excessive violince in Heavy Metal, again, it's nothing compared to some of the garbage that's shown on cable TV these days. I'd certainly rather watch this than Basic Instinct or No Way Out.

This movie is a classic piece of animation. Yeah, some of it's rough around the edges, but that has a lot to do with Columbia's decision to move up the deadline so they could have the original movie out in time for the summer 81 season. One has to consider the scope of the undertaking, and the relatively short time that was at hand to create it.

Look at the "travelling sequence" during Taarna, where she's shown riding her mount (a sort of large bird creature) over a rolling landscape, and consider that it was done WITHOUT the use of any kind of computer generated work. It's explained in the audio commentary on the rough cut of the film, as well as during the documentary how it was done, and why it didn't quite turn out as planned). No one had ever done anything like that, and it had to all be done by hand.

Really, you can't take this movie too seriously. It's a movie that exists soley to entertain. There's no big message or point to the movie. Just put the DVD in the player, turn out the lights, turn up the volume LOUD, and just enjoy the trip.

It should be noted, that this disc also contains some of the best bonus features I've seen on any DVD. Besides the regular movie, you get a full length "rough cut" of the film, consisting of storyboards, pencil tests, and some completed animation. The only audio for this rough cut (besides the optional audio commentary, by Carl Macek, who also does a completely different commentary for the finished movie) is the dialog. There's long stretches of silence, but it's worth watching, as there's lots of bits of dialog that were cut from the final movie (we learn, for instance, that Katharine, like Den, was also transformed when she was transported to this mysterious alternate universe). It's also interesting to note that the stories weren't always in the order that they were in the final movie.

There's also a half hour documentary with interviews from many of the filmmakers involved in making the film. We finally find out why we see a model of a house blowing up at the end (because they didn't have time to finish the animation for that one bit), and also why Cornelius Cole's Neverwhere Land was cut from the movie (either for reasons of length/continuity, or because Cole didn't finish it in time, depending on exactly which version of the story you wish to believe.

You also get a few minutes of deleted scenes, most notably the above mentioned Neverwhere Land, which was originally supposed to link Captain Sternn and B-17. There's also a few minutes that surround an early version of the framing story (in whence the Loc-Nar was actually the power source of a magical merry-go-round, and the various objects on the merry-go-round related in one way to the stories...ie, there's a taxicab, Taarna's mount, etc...each time the girl takes a ride in a different vehicle on the merry-go-round, she experiences a different story).

And finally, you get all Heavy Metal covers up through 1999, plus various bits of production drawings, cels, etc.

In short, this is a classic film that should be viewed by all fans of animation and/or heavy flicks. Prudes and conservatives who get cranky at the very thought of a movie being ruined by a little too much flesh or blood (and really, there isn't THAT much of either in this film) or a little warped humor (ok, there's PLENTY of that here) are advised to keep away. I just wish they had restored Neverwhere Land to it's original place between Captain Sternn and B-17.

4-0 out of 5 stars Cult Classic HEAVY METAL Not a Clunker
Some critics and film historians have labeled 1981's HEAVY METAL as the last film to genuinely reflect the mishmash sensibilities of the post-hippy 1970s counter-culture, and stylistically and thematically this appears to be true. Based on the adult counter-culture cult comic of the same name, HEAVY METAL definitely is a sort of spacey concatenation of disparate visual aesthetics and heterogeneous science-fiction/fantasy narratives. But despite being a hodgepodge as a whole, the film still manages to offer a very entertaining way to kill 90 minutes.

As with the magazine, the film is basically aimed at horny male adolescents, offering plenty of nude, amply bosomed women running around in the midst of stylized violence and gore; lots of rock music (though these ditties from popular metal bands of the late '70s may not appeal to the current generation of horny male adolescents); and references to the drug-oriented sub-culture (definitely not a cartoon for the pre-teen crowd). Each individual segment of HEAVY METAL was scripted and directed independently of the others, which likely accounts for the varying aesthetic and narrative styles. But many of these contributors were (and are now) some of the most talented people in the film industry, including writers Dan O'Bannon, Len Blum, and Daniel Goldberg, and directors John Bruno, John Halas, and Jimmy T. Murikami. (Gerald Potterton, listed in the credits as the film's director, was in reality the overseer for the project as a whole.)

Because the film does not contain a single cohesive plotline, it is best to evaluate each animated segment in its own right. Some of those individual stories are quite thought-provoking or humorous--or both--and even some of the more mediocre segments still offer some fantastic visuals. One of the most intellectually interesting is a story called DEN, in which a young bespectacled geek is transported into a parallel universe and transformed into a handsome, muscled barbarian hero. After falling in love with a curvaceous maiden, he helps her save her people from their draconian Caligula-like dictator. B-17 is probably the most earnest segment, though there seems to be no intrinsic logic to the sparse narrative. In it, the dead crewmembers of a WWII bomber plane are inexplicably resurrected as flesh-eating zombies, subsequently seeking to make a meal of the plane's still-living pilot. Visually, however, this segment is quite stunning, evoking the deliciously gruesome artistic style of the old E.C. comics of the '50s and early '60s. And in the funniest segment--entitled SO BEAUTIFUL, SO DANGEROUS--a gorgeous Pentagon secretary is inadvertently sucked into an alien spaceship that resembles a huge smiley face. After confronting the spaced-out druggie crewmembers, she ultimately becomes the lover of the ship's robot and decides to remain aboard.

After its initial release, HEAVY METAL attained a cult following of sorts and became a favorite of the midnight-movie crowd. Unfortunately, its release to the home-video market was delayed for years due to disputes over copyrights for some of the rock songs used in the soundtrack. Because of this, poorly produced bootlegged copies of the flick were illegally sold (usually at Sci-fi cons) and swapped among fans, and the inferior video quality contributed to the film's unfair reputation for being a mediocre film. But the music disputes were eventually resolved somehow, and the film became commercially available to the home market in the mid 1990s and regained its popularity as a cool cartoon. (Some statistics indicate that it is the most popular film in the Columbia/Tristar home-video catalog.)

Columbia/Tristar's Special-Edition DVD of HEAVY METAL offers a beautiful digital transfer of the film and soundtrack, along with some really cool bounus material. For animation fans, one of the best of the bonus features is a fascinating feature-length pencil-test version of the film (with optional commentary). Columbia/Tristar also offers a version of the HEAVY METAL in their SuperBit collection, but as with their other SuperBit films, the disc space required for the higher bit rate precludes the inclusion of any bonus material. Unless the buyer has a high-definition TV and can appreciate the increased picture quality of the SuperBit disc, the Special-Edition version is the way to go. Either way, HEAVY METAL offers enough entertainment value to make it a worthy addition to the DVD collection of any SF or animation fan.

5-0 out of 5 stars Heavy Metal special edition
Heavy Metal is an excellent movie. And it's a great way to see the magazine come to life. It has great rock and Heavy Metal music along with it's motion picture score.
It's a cult classic for Friday night viewing. Not to be missed and represents the 1980's at it's best.

4-0 out of 5 stars A science fiction/ fantasy animated sampler
If you aren't a science fiction fan, then you probably aren't going to get into this film. However, if you have at least a passing familiarity with the genre and it's evolution over the years then it will hold your interest.

First of all, the framework that holds all the various animated segments together (in an old, isolated, Victorian house) seems to be a tribute to Clifford Simak's work. The first segment (Harry Canyon) is a gritty cyberpunk story set in a decaying New York of the near future, ala PKD. The second piece (Den) is a parody of heroic fantasy fiction, ala Edgar Rice Burroughs. The third (Captain Sternn) is a parody of heroic, hard science fiction, ala Roddenberry and the early Heinlein. The fourth (B-17) is pure graphic horror ala William Gaines and the horror mags of the 50's. The fifth segment (So Beautiful, so Dangerous) reminds one of the underground comics of the 60's and 70's in its look and content (drug humor.) Lastly, segment six (Taarna) is an original piece of straight heroic fantasy reminiscent of perhaps Robert E. Howard.

The editors did a pretty good job of tying all of these diverse segments together with reference to the Lok-nar (a sentient, glowing, green orb from space that represents the origin of pure evil in cosmic and human history- perhaps this is a tribute to Lovecraft.)

Back when this film first came out there was an organised feminist campaign to destroy it. I used to wonder if those people ever actually watched the film- I can't imagine a more heroic feminine archetype than Taarna....

This digitally remastered edition is really worth having. I don't remember the images being this crisp and bright when I first saw this in the theaters in '81. As for the sound track (Black Sabbath, Blue Oyster Cult, Cheap Trick, Devo, Grand Funk Railroad, Journey, Nazareth, Stevie Nicks, etc.) I don't see how it could be much better.

Oh yes, as for the Stingray with the astronaut driving it dropping out of the orbiting shuttle- I don't have a clue as to what that was all about.... ... Read more


4. Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie
Director: Jim Mallon
list price: $9.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 630414069X
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 2339
Average Customer Review: 4.72 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

The cult television show (in which a hapless space explorer and his robot pals are forced to watch and deliver a hilarious running commentary on bad movies) makes a successful transition to the big screen as Mike and the 'bots lay waste to the '50s sci-fi yarn This Island Earth (a painfully stiff would-be epic that's actually a cut above the usual MST3K fare). While ardent fans may be a little miffed that more advantage isn't taken of the expanded theatrical venue (aside from a tad more scatological humor than usual, the content here would fit in comfortably as a regular episode of the series), the nonstop, hyper-literate salvo of comedy riffs that run the gamut from references to Tommy Chong's backyard to Yes album covers more than make up for any conceptual complacency. Be prepared to laugh till it aches. --Andrew Wright ... Read more

Reviews (123)

5-0 out of 5 stars The MST Treatment Saves Another Cheesy Sci-Fi Movie!
"Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie" is the big screen version of the once-popular Comedy Central (later Sci-Fi Network) series. In the series, Mike (or Joel) and his robot pals Gypsy, Tom Servo, and Crow make running wisecracks while watching awful sci-fi movies beamed up to them by the evil Dr. Forrester (Trace Beaulieu, who also voices Crow). In the big screen version, Mike and the 'bots take on Universal's "This Island Earth" with hilarious results!

One of the best reasons for owning this movie is that it is able to overcome many of the technical limitations placed on TV series (such as the motions of the robots, for instance). This provides a more intimate and interesting portrayal of the lives that the crew lead on the Satellite of Love.

If you are deciding whether to watch or buy this movie, please PLEASE ignore the Amazon.com review written by Miles Bethany. It's painfully apparent that he has never seen this movie from the fact that he continually refers to someone named "Jim". There's no character named Jim on the show (although Jim Mallon does the voice of Gypsy). He's clearly referring to either Joel or Mike, but in any event Miles Bethany ought to be fired for this if he's on Amazon's payroll!

Once you watch this movie, you'll hunger for episodes of the series if you've never seen it. Fortunately, the Sci-Fi Network Episodes are not yet available. They're not as funny as any of the early episodes and tend to get a little overindulgent. Additionally, Beaulieu left the series before it got picked up by Sci-Fi, and the actor who replaced him transformed the rather cute, insecure Crow into a character that I grew to dislike.

The William Shatner jokes are really funny on this movie, as well as Crow's impersonation of George Takei, which leaves me rolling on the floor. In any event, I recommend that you check out this movie if for no other reason than to find out what the hell an interocetor is (and hopefully how you spell the damned word)!

4-0 out of 5 stars Great movie, but needs more
MST3K:TM on DVD is very good. You get the standard excellent picture and incredible sound, and of course, the funniest movie of the decade. But what is missing here is the extra added features which would have warranted this receiving 5 stars. Think of all the fun things which could have been added: a blooper reel, comments from Jim Mallon, Mike Nelson, Trace Beaulieu, and Kevin Murphy about their film, extra scenes which were excluded from the final theatrical version and much more. All you get with MST3K: TM on DVD is the standard jump-to-any-scene-you-wish interface and widescreen presentation.

Granted, if you are a fan of Mike and the Bots, you don't need any extra features to keep your attention, however, the lack of extras may scare off potential buyers, especially those who are not fans.

If you don't know by now, MST3K:TM is the story of a mad scientist marooning a janitor in space with 3 robot pals on an orbiting satellite. Mike Nelson, and two of his bot pals-- Tom Servo and Crow T. Robot are forced to watch an edited down version of the 1955 sci-fi magnum opus "This Island Earth." The mad doctor Clayton Forrester monitors Mike's, Crow's and Tom's minds while they are watching the film so that he can unleash the result on the unwitting public and rule the world. Mike and the bots do not go quietly, throwing a bunch of witty and often humorous insults back at the screen. What you get is a product which has propelled the TV series to a ravenous cult following, boasting a 100,000+ member fan club, numerous internet websites, a book and even a Peabody award.

MST3K:TM is truly unique and it is truly incredible to see the "cow-town puppet show" unleashed on DVD.

3-0 out of 5 stars Look around, and you might find it. . .
I bought this movie for 7 bucks (used) at a movie/music/book store. I suggest doing the same, since it's being sold for MUCH more on the internet. Hunt around - there's bound to be someone who sold it not knowing it's real worth.

While this movie is definitely not as good as the t.v. episodes, it is worth seeing.

4-0 out of 5 stars "Glad you could join us here at the Buddy Epson Society!"
Judging by some other UK reviews, it seems a fair few people here caught its late night airing on ITV. Considering how rare the show is here, I made sure I taped this.

The plot isn't really too important. Average joe Mike is an unwilling pawn in his bosses plans to find the worst movie ever created and unleash it on the world to secure an easy take over. With the aid of robot pals Tom Servo and Crow T. Robot, Mike does his best to survive the experiments by mocking the hell out of them. The results are hilarious.
The film being mocked this time round is "This Island Earth", a typical old fashioned sci-fi with a handsome hero, a damsel in distress and an out of control monster. A nuclear scientist is recruited by a strange individual who claims he is working towards world peace, but is really covering his true agenda... The film is cheesey and fits the MST requirements quite nicely. As others have said, TIE is edited down to fit it in so those interested may want to look in finding the original.
The one weak area is the parts with just the MST cast. Dr Clayton Forrestor provides some laughs, but scenes such as Mike crashing into the hubble will likely have you looking at your watch and wondering when they'll be back to the theater.

MST3K:The Movie is definetly worth a purchase, being a hilarious comedy that just about everyone can enjoy. For max enjoyment, watch with a group.

5-0 out of 5 stars MST3K goes big-screen
MST3K- The Movie is essentially the same as the television show, only with higher production values. The riffing here is top notch, and the host segments are pretty good. The only bone I have to pick with The Movie is the very large theater seats, which were quite annoying to this reviewer. All in all, a terrific movie worth watching over and over again! ... Read more


5. A Clockwork Orange

(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0790701022
Catlog: Book (1991-01)
Publisher: Warner Home Video
Sales Rank: 91196
Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com essential video

Stanley Kubrick's striking visual interpretation of Anthony Burgess'sfamous novel is a masterpiece.Malcolm McDowell delivers a clever, tongue-in-cheek performance as Alex, the leader of a quartet of droogs, a vicious group of young hoodlums who spend their nights stealing cars, fighting rival gangs, breaking into people's homes, and raping women.While other directors would simply exploit the violent elements of such a film without subtext, Kubrick maintains Burgess's dark, satirical social commentary.We watch Alex transform from a free-roaming miscreant into a convict used in a government experiment that attempts to reform criminals through an unorthodox new medical treatment.The catch, of course, is that this therapy may be nothing better than a quick cure-all for a society plagued by rampant crime.A Clockwork Orange works on many levels--visual, social, political, and sexual--and is one of the few films that hold up under repeated viewings.Kubrick not only presents colorfully arresting images, he also stylizes the film by utilizing classical music (and Wendy Carlos's electronic classical work) to underscore the violent scenes, which even today are disturbing in their display of sheer nihilism. Ironically, many fans of the film have missed that point, sadly being entertained by its brutality rather than being repulsed by it. --Bryan Reesman ... Read more

Reviews (567)

3-0 out of 5 stars More like A Clockwork Tangerine!
Some consider this to be Kubrick's masterpiece. In my opinion Dr. Strangelove was his masterpiece, but Orange is a master work, nonetheless. It's a dark tale of prophecy, a vision of a bleak future, violent and vicious in the extreme, which some might also say we're living in today, judging by the headlines.

So this is a great movie, but this DVD is a great disappointment! Despite what the details above say and what it says on the disc snap-case, the film is not in widescreen letterbox format, but is in full screen format! And the image quality is only fair-to-good. The sound is OK on my mono TV speaker but evidently is not Dolby multi-channel. And the theatrical trailer freezes at various points during playback. There's a chapter index and a list of awards the movie won or was nominated for, and that's about it for bonus features! One can only hope that the next release of this movie on DVD will do it justice, and make it a true Kubrick collectible!

5-0 out of 5 stars Substance and Style!
Perhaps the greatest irony in "A Clockwork Orange" occurs in the scene where Alex is reading the Bible in prison. He informs the viewer that he loves the violence and sex contained in the first part, but really has no use for the preaching in the latter half. I've come across a lot of folks who have seen this flick and it never fails- there are many out there who, like Alex and the Bible, love the brutality of the first hour of the film, and cannot abide the preachy second half. If you are one of those, stop reading this review.

"A Clockwork Orange" is an ingenious comparison of two theories of punishment- retributivism and utilitarianism. Debate has raged over the proper role of a criminal justice system. Is the goal to punish the criminal according to the old eye for an eye standard (retributivism) or to reform the criminal into a useful, law abiding citizen (utilitarianism)? At the outset, many people dismiss utilitarian values as a lot of liberal silliness: soft on crime. A more important question is whether we should reform criminals whether they desire to be reformed or not for the good of society. One of the more interesting aspects of this film is that is shows utilitarianism can be a far more brutal method than retributivism, contrary to popular thought.

Here we have the debate crystallized as if the proponents of both, Kant and Bentham, were debating the merits before our very eyes through the characters on screen. Alex is unquestionably rotten to the core; he maims and rapes helpless victims for laughs. The first hour of the film is dedicated to underscoring this point. When Alex is apprehended by the authorities, he is dealt with in the old fashioned Kantian way- punishment.

Alex then volunteers for a special treatment that will "cure" him, in exchange for freedom. The cure is a form of conditioning that causes Alex to become terribly ill whenever any inclination towards sex or violence surfaces- he now has a reflexive aversion toward evil, and "ceases to be a being capable of moral choice". The final act of the film deals with the consequences of being "cured" in such a way.

By now you probably get the idea- go see this film (but not as a "date"). To further entice you, it's one of the most visually exciting movies ever made, with vibrant images that will burn themselves into your mind. If you've never seen it on DVD, the transfer is great, and you will see things you've missed before. And as a final bonus, look for the guy who plays Darth Vader as a bodyguard.

5-0 out of 5 stars I'm laughing at clouds
"A Clockwork Orange" is screenplay writer/director/producer Stanley Kubrick's interpretation of the book of the same name by Anthony Burgess. The dialog includes some of Burgess' made-up language from the book.

The plot revolves around Alex de Large and his group of friends who are very violent, and get their kicks by raping and assaulting people. After Alex and friends commit various crimes, Alex is finally arrested and put in prison with a sentence of 14 years. Eventually, his sentence is commuted in exchange for him undergoing experimental aversion therapy which makes him physically ill at the thought of sex or violence. However, it also makes him hate Beethoven's 9th Symphony which was played as background music to some aversion films during treatment. After an attempted suicide, Alex is re-treated with apologies by the government for inhuman treatment, and Alex appears he will resume his old ways.

This movie is highly stylized, including wardrobe, hairdo's (mom has purple hair, another woman had dark blue hair), set dressing, location and props. There is a fair amount of full frontal nudity of both sexes, and some stylized and slow-motion violence. Kubrick has made some good and bad movies, but this is his most stylized and over-the-top effort. Not for everyone.

DVD has chapters, English or French spoken language, several subtitle languages, a trailer and list of awards.

5-0 out of 5 stars MUST SEE!!!
Amazing portrayal of the effects of a violent youth on society, and the effects of society on the violent youth in turn. Not enough can be said for Malcom McDowell's genious, artistic performance as the lead character "Alex". This character would be despised if played by any other actor, but Mr Mcdowell's rendition somehow finds us leaving the film with an almost endearing "fondness" for the boy.Fabulous must see art film, but definitely not for sissies!

5-0 out of 5 stars gorgeousness and gorgeosity made flesh
With this provocative, amusing and beautiful tour-de-force Stanley Kubrick established himself as the most audacious and original directors of his time. Though the are thoses who despise it, no one can deny the power of this film to spark impassioned discussions on the film's sudject matter. And I for one feel this is an achievement all on its own. This stirring classic, I hope, will endure and inspire generations of young film enthusiasts like myself. ... Read more


6. The Rocky Horror Picture Show - The 25th Anniversary Edition
Director: Jim Sharman
list price: $9.98
our price: $9.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00004U8PA
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 1657
Average Customer Review: 4.47 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (291)

4-0 out of 5 stars 'The Rocky Horror Show' Movie
There is one reason why everyone should see "The Rocky Horror Picture Show": it is the best cult film ever made. There are also three reasons why everyone should want to watch it: 1) It is one of the only 'R' rated musicals in existence. 2) It has strong science-fiction overtones. 3) It is very funny. The movie starts Barry Bostwick and Susan Sarandon (before they were stars) as the recently engaged Brad and Janet. However, they are upstaged in nearly every scene by Tim Curry who plays Frank N. Furter, the mad doctor. The cast delightfully performs many memorable songs including "Over at the Frankenstein Place" and, of course, the "Time Warp". To fully enjoy RHPS, one must not be closed minded or the picture could prove to be quite offensive. Don't think it's gratuitously violent- it isn't. Merely, the situations the characters find themselves in could shock or appall overly sensitive viewers. If you think you won't enjoy RHPS, going to a midnight screening might be your best bet. The live audience participation will guarantee you a good time, despite your opinion of the actual film. So overall, RHPS is quite a good adaptation of Richard O'Brien's original concept, which always honors its roots on the stage.

5-0 out of 5 stars DVD = Perfect format to truly experience "Rocky" at home
I loved going to "Rocky Horror" when I was in college, but watching on home video just wasn't the same. I'm probably committing heresy but there's a reason why this sci-fi, horror, B-movie satire, rock musical didn't really make it big until theaters started showing it as a midnight movie and fans started attending in costume and talking back to the screen. The 25th anniversary DVD, with several audience participation options, really is the next best thing to being there.

For the uninitiated, "Rocky Horror" tells the story of two clean-cut American youths, uptight Brad Majors (Barry Bostwick of "Spin City") and Janet Weiss (Susan Sarandon of "Dead Man Walking") whose car breaks down on a dark, deserted road in the middle of a storm--the classic beginning to many horror movies--and who seek help at a nearby castle. Castles, as Rocky fans know, don't have phones! What this castle has instead is a cross-dressing mad scientist Frank-N-Furter Tim Curry, in perhaps his finest performance), two very creepy servants, Riff-Raff (Richard O'Brien, who wrote the musical) and Magenta (Patricia Quinn), and various other hangers-on, including lovers Columbia (Little Nell) and biker Eddie (Meat Loaf). Brad and Janet walk in on a party celebrating the creation of Frank-N-Furter's muscle-bound boy-toy "Rocky." Bed-hopping chaos soon ensues, until the servants reveal their true identities and take control.

Punctuating this wacky plot are some of the wildest rock-musical songs ever written. In addition to the classic "Time Warp," there's O'Brien's salute to cult-classic B-movies, "Science Fiction Double Feature," Meat Loaf's "Hot Patootie," and Sarandon ode to sexual self-discovery, "Toucha Toucha Touch Me!"

So much for the "Rocky virgin" portion of the review... What makes the DVD so exceptional is the chance to experience "Rocky Horror" at home nearly like you would in the theater. The DVD has the option of turning on the audience screen comments as well as another option for viewing members of the Rocky Horror Fan Club performing select scenes before returning to the main movie. For those less familiar with audience participation, the DVD can prompt when to throw toast, toilet paper, rice, etc., light a match, put your newspaper on your head, etc.

The second disc contains fascinating interviews with cast members, where fans can find out about their reaction to starring in this cult classic. Meat Loaf's description of not realizing what "Rocky Horror" was going to be about and running out of the theater when Tim Curry entered wearing fishnet stockings, spiked heels, a merry widow, and a leather jacket and singing "Sweet Transvestite" is hysterical. Patricia Quinn talks about how her fondness for the opening song, "Science Fiction Double Feature" made her want to take the role even though she hadn't read the rest of the script. What? Don't remember Quinn singing that number? In the stage versions she did, but the song got reassigned in the film version--and Quinn makes her feelings about that QUITE clear. Sarandon makes the interesting observation that "Rocky Horror" probably kept a lot of art house theaters in business over the years, since they could count on good revenue from the midnight movie, even if the latest regular-hours offering flopped. In Bostwick's interview, however, the actor sounds a bit like William Shatner giving his anti-Trekkie diatribe on "Saturday Night Live."

The only disappointments on the DVD are that the outtakes really aren't that interesting and actor bios aren't provided. I would have liked to see what else the "minor" cast members did after Rocky, but that information is limited to a few lines in the companion booklet. Also, some of the audience-participation comments are nearly impossible to understand because fans are talking over each other. But then that's part of the modern-day theater experience. Even Sarandon noted in her interview that talking back to the screen has gone from the more unison catechism approach to a loud free-for-all.

What seemed so risqué and shocking a few decades ago seems much more innocent today, but it was great when it all began and it's still great! If you've never ventured into the theater to experience "Rocky Horror," this is the best way to experience it at home.

5-0 out of 5 stars Mesmerizing film.
This is a very outrageous movie. The rock is the background to tell us a horror movie but also spiced with sex , ransvestism and above all a splendid tribute to the movies specially King Kong .
One couple strands in an old house full of weirdos . This movie (here between you and me)could have inspired for Tim Burton in Beetle juice .
In this decade there were great visuals films too . Sherman built a magnificent story absolutely free , intelligent and sarcastic, irreverent and bitter . You might state that Fellini's influence (dressed of english manners and clothes) is present all along the film .
Inmediatly after its release this one acquired the status of cult movie.

5-0 out of 5 stars The original is still the best!
Don't bother with the play, or the music from the play. The original is still the best. Nobody can fill the shoes of Sarandon, Curry, etc. They originated the roles and have been associated with them for far too long for anyone else to come in try to change them so many years later and attempt to redo them. Stay with the best.

1-0 out of 5 stars Those Gold Shorts!
Ahhhhh...Rocky had such a lovely outline showing in his gold lame shorts. ... Read more


7. Somewhere in Time
Director: Jeannot Szwarc
list price: $14.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 6300182371
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 1775
Average Customer Review: 4.49 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

It's silly, it's superficial, it's so desperately earnest about its tale of time-spanning love that you almost wish for a cheap flatulence gag just to break the solemn mood. But there's something so unabashedly gushy and entertaining about Somewhere in Time that you can't begrudge its enduring popularity. The film has become a staple of romantic-movie lovers since its release in 1980, and endless showings on cable TV have turned it into a dubious classic of sorts--a three-hanky weeper that anyone can enjoy as a guilty pleasure or a beloved favorite, with no apologies necessary.

In his first film after the star-making success of Superman, Christopher Reeve stars as a contemporary playwright who visits a posh hotel and sees the portrait of an actress (Jane Seymour) who had performed there in 1912.He becomes obsessed with this beautiful woman and learns all he can about her, and then discovers a method of hypnotically transporting himself backward in time to meet her. "Is it ... you?" she says upon seeing the lovestruck playwright, and it's clearly a mutual attraction. But even the slightest reminder of the playwright's modern time can jar him from his seemingly real existence in the past, so his wonderful love affair is constantly just a step from being stolen away.

Based on Richard Matheson's novel Bid Time Return, this flaky film may strain one's tolerance for plot holes and corny romance, but it's hard to deny its lasting appeal--and let's face it, guys, it'll make wives and girlfriends swoon if they're in a tearjerker mood. --Jeff Shannon ... Read more

Reviews (188)

4-0 out of 5 stars It's about time
It may not be one of the best films ever made, but I love it anyway. The scenery and costumes are beautiful...not to mention the beautiful Jane Seymour & Christopher Reeve. But what's fascinating about the movie is element of time travel. It's not that Richard (Christopher Reeves) falls in love with the woman in the picture (Jane Seymour); rather, the picture stirs a remembrance within him. Not realizing what it is at first, Richard seeks answers through research which eventually leads him to the belief that...he was there. Thus the obsession with time travel and the quest to return.

Watch for the details and the glimpses of things in the present and see the connection when he's in the past. For instance, watch his relationship with Arthur.

There are all kinds of details that I appreciate about the movie. Notice the view from Miss McKenna's room at the beginning of the movie and compare that with the view from Mr. Collier's room at the end. Notice the use of camera angle, lighting and furniture (namely the fabric) to transition Richard from the present to the past.

Probably the most disappointing thing about the movie is the ending. But as a hopeless romantic, it's none-the-less a favorite movie.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Love throughout Time
Somewhere in Time is an excellent film that combines Time Travel with romance, using an interesting and unique idea involving hypnotizing your mind to believe you are actually in that moment in history. If you can avoid analyzing the rationality of time travel and suspend your disbelief, this film will be very enjoyable for you. The idea of travelling back through time to find your soulmate is something both men and women can believe in. It is to the credit of the performances of the leads, Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour, that the viewer believes that such a thing is possible. Reeve and Seymour also look well together and have obvious chemistry, making their love affair entirely believable. Especially with their first kiss, there is a deep and passionate love that seems entirely real. The third element is the acting of Christopher Plummer, who is always excellent and quite effective here as the overprotective manager of Seymour's character. But, there are two more elements that contributes greatly to the atmposhere of the film - the moving music composed by John Barry, and the Grand Hotel where most of the movie is set. The handsome and expressive Reeve, the calm beauty of Seymour, the brooding and calculating Plummer, the romantic and moving music and the timeless presence of the Grand Hotel combine into a magical film for the hopeless romantic.

DVD Comments: Compared to reference DVDs the video and audio quality are average, with slight graininess at times. However, this can be forgiven because of the excellent quality of the film. Those who have only seen Pan Scan versions on Cable and VHS will enjoy the widescreen presentation. The extras include a Behind the Scenes Special, Trailer, Fan Club Information, Bios and Production Photos. All are excellent and welcome additons. Of note, I found the Behind the Scenes Special added to the film experience. You will learn interesting tidbits about the making of the movie, with comments by the director, Reeve, Seymour and other players. It becomes readily apparent that the actors and crew loved making this film and hold it in a special place in their hearts. To see Reeve, who suffered a horseback-riding accident that left him paralyzed years after making the film, lends to the heartbreaking experience of seeing the film again. His comments about the final scenes of the film are very interesting and insightful to his own tragic life experience. The production photos are excellent, especially the stills of Seymour with her incredibly beautiful face and long, flowing hair. It is easy to relate and believe that Reeve's character would fall so hopelessly in love with her picture alone. The events that occur in the film, the time travel and events that happen at the end of the film are believable because of Seymour's beauty and acting ability. All of the actors, the setting, and the music are important aspects of the film, but Seymour makes the movie. Therefore, if you are a hopeless romantic, or a fan of Reeve or Seymour, I highly recommend this DVD to you.

4-0 out of 5 stars Get the Ben & Jerry's and settle in...
At times this movie does put the "suspension of disbelief" to the test... it is far-fetched, but enjoyable if you allow yourself to accept the story as it's presented. The acting is ok, the music beautiful and haunting.

This is a great movie for those times when you feel the need to have an emotional outlet. There are some scenes where you can almost think it's a comedy, and then the mood changes to something more serious. The end seemed a little awkward, and is a real tear-jerker if you've let yourself get sucked into the story. With a pint of Ben & Jerry's and a few tissues (and some friends, if you're into sharing tears with them), it's worth the time if you're in the mood.

5-0 out of 5 stars In a Class by Itself
As other reviewers have said, this movie seems to transcend all of its faults and strike a a very personal chord in the romantics among us. Its intense romanticism prompts us to break the rules in judging what makes a good movie, much as Christopher Reeve's love for Jane Seymour allows him break the rules of time. And, the movie is even more poignant today, since it's about going back into the past, and it reminds us of the past physical vibrance of Christopher Reeve, not as Superman, but as the healthy young man he was.

In many ways, this is Reeve's movie. He almost ruins it with his occasional lapses into Clark-Kentish oafishness, but he also injects into the film its dreamy sweetness, with his hungering eyes and his boyish awe of Miss Seymour. Speaking of her, I think she is one of the most beautiful and competent screen actresses in films and I have no idea why she never really became a huge movie star.

Christopher Plummer adds the right notes of meanness, thinly-veiled jealousy, lurking menace, and his own inner hurt as the blunt end of a love triangle. He also embodies reality, reminding us, by his dissapproving presence, of the vulnerability of the fragile love affair between Reeves and Seymour.

The special segment on the making of the film (in the collector's edition DVD) is a good one. It convincingly shows that the director, crew, and cast loved making this film and had high hopes for it. It also provides some interesting insights into how the novel was adapted for the screen and the choices, sometimes painful, that had to be made in the process. It's gratifying that this segment, which is low-key and refreshingly sincere, features the three principal stars of the film, the director, the composer, the author, and other players and crew members. Only the composer, John Barry, seems a bit taken with himself.

Somewhere In Time was nominated for the American Film Institute's list of the 100 most romantic movies of all time, but it didn't make it. As far as I'm concerned, it should have topped the list.

3-0 out of 5 stars Somewhere in Time
I really didn't care for this movie that much.I guess it's just not my genre.The film seemed very boring.The plot is extremely deep and intellect which is probably the only reason it got such a good grade.The dialogue is your usual love/romance dialogue.Everything is just so much like a fantasy that I felt stupid.If this was a book it was probably really well written and this would have been a good adaption, but this just isn't my type of film.I think I would have liked it better with a different cast.Christopher Reeve did a good job ;though.The setting is also nice.That and some of the plot is mainly the only reason it gets a 6.It lies on border line of fresh/rotten.Only check this one out if your a fan of the genre.

"Come back to me." These were the strange words uttered by aged actress Elise McKenna to playwright Richard Collier, and they have haunted him ever since. When he hears that Elise has died, an irresistible impulse leads him to travel to the historic hotel where she lived. There he discovers an old photograph of Elise and realizes, to his amazement, that in another life he was once her lover.
Richard wills himself into the past and meets Elise again, now young and beautiful and acclaimed. Their romance blossoms anew, but not even true love can defeat the power of time... ... Read more


8. Plan 9 from Outer Space
Director: Edward D. Wood Jr.
list price: $9.95
our price: $9.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 6305399352
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 4818
Average Customer Review: 3.83 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (166)

5-0 out of 5 stars Out of this world!
"Plan 9 From Outer Space" has been dubbed the worst film ever made. I can't disagree with that. Here are just a few of the things that qualifies it for that title.

- When the police drives from the town to the cemetary time somehow switches from night to day back to night.

- The Swedish accent of wrestler Tor Johnson, playing a police officer / walking corpse.

- The six feet tall, blonde chiropractor that replaced deceased Bela Lugosi.

- The plates-glued-together UFO's with strings completely visible.

- The cardboard tombstones that wiggle.

- The cemetery ground, obviously a piece of fabric covered with leaves.

- The plot, or rather lack thereof.

- The dialogue, hilariosly funny only because it's meant to be serious.

- The actors. Nuff said.

Still, it's also one of the best films ever made. Ed Wood Jr. was a filmmaker with a passion. He wanted to make films, so he made films. You can't help but respect that. That's why this movie deserves five stars, and "Deathstalker III: Deathstalker and the Warriors from Hell" deserves none.

4-0 out of 5 stars Future events such as these...
Uttery obscure until the Medved brothers' 'Golden Turkey Awards' highlighted it as the 'Worst Film Ever Made', this is not so much a 'bad' film as a hysterically incompetent one. Consistently failing to triumph over the lack of money, resources and technique available, it quite neatly shows how films should not be judged in terms of 'bad' or 'good', but in terms of 'entertaining' or 'not entertaining'. Whilst 'Plan Nine' is clearly the work of bungling, but enthusiastic incompetents, it's hugely entertaining in a way that the professionally-done 'Speed 2: Cruise Control' is not. Only 'Robot Monster' comes close the the tone of insane incoherence. Where else can you see such a diverse, iconic cast (featuring the recently-deceased Bela Lugosi, a late-night-television horror movie hostess, a wrestler, and a minor celebrity hypnotist) deliver dialogue such as 'Inspector Clay's dead, murdered, and somebody's responsible'?

Note that there are two DVD releases - this one has a lengthy (longer than the film, in fact) documentary, whilst the other has a plug for Tim Burton's equally-good 'Ed Wood'. This one is slightly more expensive, but worth getting, as the documentary is excellent. Commenting on picture and sound quality seems somehow inappropriate, really.

5-0 out of 5 stars Well it ain't the worst
In fact besides I'd go as far as to say this is perhaps the most competent Ed Wood movie around. Sure there are glaring errors such as Bela running back and forth to the grave in broad daylight ( when it's supposed to be night-time ) and his replacement is obvious ( come on, he's at least 4 inches taller I reckon ). And indeed the last 20 minutes descended into a farce that unfortunately sunk the film. Yes, it shows a degree of ineptitude on Ed's part but for most of the film there was an almost professional air to how the actors acted.

Ed thought that he'll be remembered for this film. This was his big one and he's right, it's the one we remember him most for. However I don't think he would have liked the tag it's been given but if you want to be remembered he certainly went about the right way in doing it ( even if the results were all wrong )

But if we start at the start with Bela's last real scene where he mourns his lover's death - that was a really touching scene. The emotion in that looks too real that it can't be described as fake or cardboard cut out. If anything that was the most poignant scene Ed ever captured on film. He may have been an inept film-maker but that was a stroke of genius - no kidding!

I get the feeling Ed cast Vampira as Lugosi's wife mainly because if you've seen the Tim Burton movie you'll know that Lugosi thought she was " a honey " and it was certainly a nice gesture to Bela to do that. Vampira doesn't have to do much in this film. Just walk really slowly and look ominous whenever the camera is on her. Looks beautiful while doing so I have to admit. I'm almost certain that she inspired George Romero to make Night of The Living Dead by her walking alone.

Criswell makes his appearance in this film and you have to say, him, along with Vampira and Tor, got almost uncanny lookalikes in Tim Burton's biopic that it seems almost spooky.

Hats off to whoever had the idea of using saucer lids for um the use of flying saucers. Really neat and easily identified even if it was black and white. Still not too bad a job. Oh and who could forget Saturn as a ballbearing - Top Class!

The last 20 minutes are a farce as I've said before mainly because it's supposed to be a showdown between the humans and the aliens....or to be more precise 3 men with guns and a man and a woman in funny clothing that are supposed to be aliens. The acting here is horrifically poor and despite it all being passionately acted it just seems.....well a bit silly. And whatever niggling doubts you had about the film leading up to the last 20 minutes, will no doubt be exposed by the end. A shame because the film showed Ed at his most coherent. And that sadly was the pinnacle of Ed's career.

So all in all it's not the worst movie of all time and certainly not the worst you'll ever see ( unless you're a connoisseur of good taste and in that case what the hell are you reading this for ). Definitely his most enjoyable film. Now if someone could only just tell Criswell to shut up ( I wish Ed had tried, honestly try to do that ).

But for Ed, this would be his shot at greatness and while it backfired, it was about as good as he could make it. Perhaps if he were making these now and not 40 years ago he might have gotten away with it. And I'm sure Ben Affleck would have been great as the dumb pilot if it were made now. Think about it

Here's to Ed though - he may not have been the greatest but he sure knew how to entertain us

5-0 out of 5 stars Bela Lugosi Lives! (Just not in this film)
How does one describe a movie such as this? Like "Robot Monster," it is a masterpiece, and like "Robot Monster," this is not because "Plan 9 From Outer Space" has even a shadow of an ounce of quality to it. Rather, this is an example of just how wrong everything in any creative project can go if it is in the hands of the right angora-wearing genius.

For nothing (and I mean NOTHING) came out right in this movie. Continuity? Hah! Realistic dialogue? Pish! Convincing acting? Gah! Remotely realistic special effects? Heaven forbid! No, what Ed Wood gave us with "Plan 9" is quite simply a cinematic failure that not even Orson Wells could have duplicated if he had tried. In what other movie is one of your stars dead even before the script is written or shooting begins?

No, "Plan 9" is unique, a thing that we mere mortals can only begin to try and understand. Instead we can only watch, transfixed and trembling in awe that Wood's vision was transmitted so perfectly to the silver screen. This is a movie that well deserves to be ranked among the immortal creations of motion picture history, despite or perhaps because of the fact that it completely lacks any of the features that would normally merit such an inclusion.

To think otherwise can only be the result of stupid minds. Stupid! Your stupid, stupid minds!

3-0 out of 5 stars "You see. You see. Your stupid minds. Stupid. Stupid."
Also known as "Grave Robbers From Outer Space", Edward D. Wood's masterpiece of horrific filmmaking has been called the "worst movie ever made" by more than a few critics and movie fans. This hasn't kept this unintentially hilarious sci-fi dud from becoming a massive cult classic. And rightfully so. Ed Wood's art for making movies so bad that they're actually good has never been more apparent than it is here.

"Plan 9" revolves around a couple of space invaders in bad suits who fly around in spaceships on strings and resurrect the recently dead to haunt the inhabits of a small town where it seems to go back and forth from night to day a lot. The humans aren't having it though as a joint team of the local police, military, and an overacting airline pilot refuse to be terrorized by the undead creatures (who can't decide whether they're ghouls or vampires). But these visitors from a badly-drawn planet resembling Saturn have their own intentions. They're hear to warn us of a new solar-powered weapon that the Earth will eventually create and wipe out the universe. But our heroes aren't going down without a fight. They've got enough army movie stock footage to send them aliens back where they came from.

What makes "Plan 9" so entertainingly terrible? Where do I start? There's the overly-descriptive narration of Criswell who practically gives play-by-play for every action in the film. You've got Bela Lugosi who appears courtesy of silent footage recorded before his death and with the help of a stand-in who looks nothing like him. And who could forget those cooky cops who don't allow the discovery of their Captain's horrifying death to damper their moods any? Also there's Duke Moore's hards-as-nails detective who fearlessly uses his gun to fix his hat when necessary.From the bargain basement graveyard chalk full of cardboard headstones to the hungry young overactors spitting out silly dialouge, "Plan 9" is truly the "Citizen Kane of bad movies".

For those looking to pick this gem up on DVD, the Image edition is the only way to go. Not only is the picture the best that it's ever looked but it comes with a feature-length documentary, "Flying Saucers Over Hollywood: The Plan 9 Companion" and the trailer for the movie. Avoid the Passport version which has a company logo imprinted in the bottom corner similiar to the ones that TV networks use. ... Read more


9. A Clockwork Orange
Director: Stanley Kubrick
list price: $19.98
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Asin: B00005ATQA
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 8100
Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars
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3-0 out of 5 stars More like A Clockwork Tangerine!
Some consider this to be Kubrick's masterpiece. In my opinion Dr. Strangelove was his masterpiece, but Orange is a master work, nonetheless. It's a dark tale of prophecy, a vision of a bleak future, violent and vicious in the extreme, which some might also say we're living in today, judging by the headlines.

So this is a great movie, but this DVD is a great disappointment! Despite what the details above say and what it says on the disc snap-case, the film is not in widescreen letterbox format, but is in full screen format! And the image quality is only fair-to-good. The sound is OK on my mono TV speaker but evidently is not Dolby multi-channel. And the theatrical trailer freezes at various points during playback. There's a chapter index and a list of awards the movie won or was nominated for, and that's about it for bonus features! One can only hope that the next release of this movie on DVD will do it justice, and make it a true Kubrick collectible!

5-0 out of 5 stars Substance and Style!
Perhaps the greatest irony in "A Clockwork Orange" occurs in the scene where Alex is reading the Bible in prison. He informs the viewer that he loves the violence and sex contained in the first part, but really has no use for the preaching in the latter half. I've come across a lot of folks who have seen this flick and it never fails- there are many out there who, like Alex and the Bible, love the brutality of the first hour of the film, and cannot abide the preachy second half. If you are one of those, stop reading this review.

"A Clockwork Orange" is an ingenious comparison of two theories of punishment- retributivism and utilitarianism. Debate has raged over the proper role of a criminal justice system. Is the goal to punish the criminal according to the old eye for an eye standard (retributivism) or to reform the criminal into a useful, law abiding citizen (utilitarianism)? At the outset, many people dismiss utilitarian values as a lot of liberal silliness: soft on crime. A more important question is whether we should reform criminals whether they desire to be reformed or not for the good of society. One of the more interesting aspects of this film is that is shows utilitarianism can be a far more brutal method than retributivism, contrary to popular thought.

Here we have the debate crystallized as if the proponents of both, Kant and Bentham, were debating the merits before our very eyes through the characters on screen. Alex is unquestionably rotten to the core; he maims and rapes helpless victims for laughs. The first hour of the film is dedicated to underscoring this point. When Alex is apprehended by the authorities, he is dealt with in the old fashioned Kantian way- punishment.

Alex then volunteers for a special treatment that will "cure" him, in exchange for freedom. The cure is a form of conditioning that causes Alex to become terribly ill whenever any inclination towards sex or violence surfaces- he now has a reflexive aversion toward evil, and "ceases to be a being capable of moral choice". The final act of the film deals with the consequences of being "cured" in such a way.

By now you probably get the idea- go see this film (but not as a "date"). To further entice you, it's one of the most visually exciting movies ever made, with vibrant images that will burn themselves into your mind. If you've never seen it on DVD, the transfer is great, and you will see things you've missed before. And as a final bonus, look for the guy who plays Darth Vader as a bodyguard.

5-0 out of 5 stars I'm laughing at clouds
"A Clockwork Orange" is screenplay writer/director/producer Stanley Kubrick's interpretation of the book of the same name by Anthony Burgess. The dialog includes some of Burgess' made-up language from the book.

The plot revolves around Alex de Large and his group of friends who are very violent, and get their kicks by raping and assaulting people. After Alex and friends commit various crimes, Alex is finally arrested and put in prison with a sentence of 14 years. Eventually, his sentence is commuted in exchange for him undergoing experimental aversion therapy which makes him physically ill at the thought of sex or violence. However, it also makes him hate Beethoven's 9th Symphony which was played as background music to some aversion films during treatment. After an attempted suicide, Alex is re-treated with apologies by the government for inhuman treatment, and Alex appears he will resume his old ways.

This movie is highly stylized, including wardrobe, hairdo's (mom has purple hair, another woman had dark blue hair), set dressing, location and props. There is a fair amount of full frontal nudity of both sexes, and some stylized and slow-motion violence. Kubrick has made some good and bad movies, but this is his most stylized and over-the-top effort. Not for everyone.

DVD has chapters, English or French spoken language, several subtitle languages, a trailer and list of awards.

5-0 out of 5 stars MUST SEE!!!
Amazing portrayal of the effects of a violent youth on society, and the effects of society on the violent youth in turn. Not enough can be said for Malcom McDowell's genious, artistic performance as the lead character "Alex". This character would be despised if played by any other actor, but Mr Mcdowell's rendition somehow finds us leaving the film with an almost endearing "fondness" for the boy.Fabulous must see art film, but definitely not for sissies!

5-0 out of 5 stars gorgeousness and gorgeosity made flesh
With this provocative, amusing and beautiful tour-de-force Stanley Kubrick established himself as the most audacious and original directors of his time. Though the are thoses who despise it, no one can deny the power of this film to spark impassioned discussions on the film's sudject matter. And I for one feel this is an achievement all on its own. This stirring classic, I hope, will endure and inspire generations of young film enthusiasts like myself. ... Read more


10. Blade Runner - The Director's Cut
Director: Ridley Scott
list price: $14.95
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Asin: 6305363668
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 12412
Average Customer Review: 3.84 out of 5 stars
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3-0 out of 5 stars THE FUTURE IS DISMAL - SO IS THE TRANSFER!
Ridley Scott's "Blade Runner" is an apocalyptic postmodernist vision of the future. The story involves a bounty hunter, Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) who is assigned to kill three replicants - android style robots that look identical to humans, but who have come to earth to seek revenge on their creator - Eldon Tyrell (Joe Turkel). Sean Young costars as Rachel, the latest model of replicant who is so incredibly life like that not even she knows that she's not human. Also in the cast are Rutgar Hauer as Roy Batty - the ultimate killing machine, Edward Olmos as a drugged out police detective, Gaff, and Darryl Hannah, as the psychotic replicant, Pris. Flawed in its narrative, but visually stunning, "Blade Runner" has developed a cult following - and it is easy to see why. The production is layered with multi-references to the steady moral and social demise of our own society that stir the mind into rethinking this movie as much more than a sci-fi adventure. This version of the film is the re-edited director's cut that audiences were never shown in 1982. The subtle tweaking of story and plot elements really doesn't enhance one's viewing experience so much as it just alters the story in a different direction.
But what a shame about the transfer! Though the general color balancing and attention to fine details, even in the darkest scenes, is adequate, there is simply NO EXCUSE for leaving the chips, scratches and in some cases, tears in this DVD transfer. Pixelization crops up now and them, but the most disturbing part of the transfer is that it fails to pay attention to the dirt and (in some cases) hair, stuck to the film negative. The result is a dirty looking picture that, while perhaps in keeping with Ridley Scott's vision of a dank, hard universe of the future, is most definitely not what the director had in mind. Saving grace: the transfer is anamorphically enhanced for widescreen televisions. The sonic characteristic of the 5.1 audio is rich, though dated. Strong bass and reasonably well balanced dialogue and effects, though there are a few perceived occasions where dubbing in of dialogue sounds possible. And one final insult from Warner Brothers, this disc has NO extras - not even a theatrical trailer!

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

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

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

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


11. Donnie Darko
Director: Richard Kelly (II)
list price: $9.98
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Asin: B00006G8O1
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 3144
Average Customer Review: 4.45 out of 5 stars
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5-0 out of 5 stars Watch Out For That Wascally Wabbit...
Donnie Darko has quickly become one of my all time favorite movies. How can I describe it? It is strange, dark (of course), cool, mysterious, enigmatic, scary, funny, serious, sarcastic, bleak yet hopeful, mystical, and even charming. Jake Gyllenhaal is Donnie, who is absolutely believable no matter what he says or does. Time travel? No problem! A seven-foot rabbit named Frank who predicts the end of the world in 28 days? No problem! Donnie's earnestness is mesmerizing. The rest of the cast is an incredible ensemble of big stars in small, crucial roles. Drew Barrymore (E.T., The Wedding Singer, Charlies Angels) plays the only teacher in Donnie's school who seems to realize that what's being passed off as an "education" is actually a long, dull course in mind-numbing mediocrity (hmmm... sounds like my highschool). Noah Wyle (ER) is the science teacher who has wild theoretical conversations with Donnie about time travel, then cuts him off competely when Donnie asks if God might be involved. Donnie's mom is played by Mary McDonnell (Dances With Wolves, Grand Canyon). She loves him while being frustrated and afraid of his condition. Katharine Ross (The Graduate, The Stepford Wives) is Donnie's psychiatist, trying to probe his mind and help him. Patrick Swayze (Dirty Dancing) plays Jim Cunningham, tele-guru and local self-help author, who is exposed by Donnie (and Frank) for who / what he REALLY is. Jena Malone is Donnie's new girlfriend Gretchen. She's got problems enough of her own. Together, this cast of characters orbits perfectly around Donnie's dark center of gravity. Do not expect the typical hollywood bucket of swill here! Donnie Darko took actual thought to create. It's style and story are unique. I had never even heard of it due to a less than half-hearted ad campaign (I'm a TV addict, yet saw not one DD commercial). I just happened to see the DVD on the shelf and took a chance. You should too...

5-0 out of 5 stars Gyllenhaal is outstanding in this haunting film
How to describe "Donnie Darko," the dark psychological drama written and directed by Richard Kelly? After seeing it I thought of the film as a sort of "Ordinary People" meets "Being John Malkovich," with a touch of "Pi" and "American Beauty" thrown in. But ultimately that equation is unfair; "Donnie" is, in the end, a true original.

The film takes place in 1988. Jake Gyllenhaal stars as the title character: a troubled, sleepwalking teenager who has recurring, frightening visions. Donnie is a quest to understand the forces that are affecting his life and sanity.

Gyllenhaal's outstanding performance helps to hold the film together. He is a quirky, offbeat leading man; at times frightening, at times appealingly vulnerable. Gyllenhaal's work is superbly complemented by that of an eclectic ensemble cast which includes Katharine Ross, Drew Barrymore, and Noah Wyle. I was particularly impressed by Patrick Swayze's turn as a creepy, oily motivational speaker.

"Donnie" defies genre classification. It blends together elements of serious family drama, 80s period piece, horror, satire, and science fiction. In a sense, it is a deconstruction of the whole 80s teen movie genre. The script makes intriguing use of 80s pop culture.

"Donnie" has scenes of weirdness and absurdity, and is often punctuated by bizarre dialogue and strange, frightening imagery. And there are some really moving scenes that tap into the universal experience of human loneliness and the need for love. If there was ever a movie that had all the elements to make it a cult classic, it's the haunting "Donnie Darko."

2-0 out of 5 stars Undoubted young talent produces pretentious film-making
I have high hopes for Richard Kelly as his talent, ideas, motivation, enthusiasm and everything you need for a good career in directing is evident in this movie.

Sadly, this time around, its a painful experience for the viewer, unless you are so into puzzles, sci-fi, symbolism and finding out what a movie means AFTER watching it that you can forgive what is, after all, really poor storytelling.

Hint - A really good movie doesn't need multiple websites stacked with backstory and explanations.

And, as usual, its all the fault of the script, which isn't a film script at all. Its a / Philosophy/ Religiousy / Science Fictiony puzzle (although I left out a few things there). This puzzle unfolds as a series of vignettes masquerading as scenes, related by Kelly's 'themes' but little else.

The majority of the characters are little more than pawns whose job is just to move the puzzle plot on... nice..... and.......... slowly (with the odd music montage and cute-dialogue sketch thrown in, as if they were ad breaks).

The main character was ok and most of the actors did well with what little they had to work with, but the MAJORITY of them should have been cut from the finished film, they are so redundant.

There is no drive in the film and little sense of progression. We know loosely what the main character is ultimately facing, but never immediately so there is never any sense of anticipation, suspense, hope or fear for the viewer. We are simply passed more information and explanations to debate and question later with our fellow sci-fi-symbol buffs.

I'm not saying you sit there waiting for things to happen because things do happen (to be fair some of the "scenes" are entertaining in their own way). But you do sit there waiting for a STORY to develop so you can start experiencing something (which is what we pay our money for, isn't it?).

But there is no drama, no connection and NO STORY.

All you get is a cool song and a plot twist (explained). Some people are happy with that I guess

4-0 out of 5 stars Lagomorph Odyssey
The young Richard Kelly, director of this film, graduated from USC Film School in 1997. This was his first feature film. He has spun a dark multi-layered vision, part dramatic comedy, part science fiction, part fantasy and allegory. The movie almost needs to be classified as three genres stirred gently. He set the world of the film as autumn 1988. It is, in part, a story of adolescent teenae angst, the familiar turf of a John Hughes project, but actually it is more like John Hughes meets David Lynch meets Steven Spielberg. Kelly has put several interesting twists into the high school yarn. It is like a hip FERRIS BEULLER'S DAY OFF.

Jake Gyllenhaal, from MIDNIGHT MILE & OCTOBER SKY, played Donnie Darko brilliantly. He was a young man smarter than his teachers, his parents, and his friends. An intrepid curious lad who could ask those questions very few wanted to answer. He is a kid who is being treated for mental illness, even though he may not have been clincially ill. He was outspoken, outrageous, and socially boorish...like most smart teenagers. Roger Ebert wrote," Donnie is appealingly smart yet sarcastic, more quixotic than eccentric, more curious than frightened.

The film's prologue is bang on target. A bright sunrise on dark foothills, suddenly interrupted in the frame by the insertion of the black silhousette of a young man's head. Donnie Darko, there on the hard ground near his bicycle, far from home. After he cycles home, his arrival is treated as familiar behavior; sleep sojourns, adventurous forays into the darkness. That very next night, we witness him roused from his slumber by someone calling his name. He slips outside and we meet the presence that has beckoned him...a medium longshot of someone in a rabbit suit...someone named Frank. But this rabbit, tall as HARVEY, is not a benign companion. Its face is twisted into a demonic death mask. With Darko away from the house, we see an accident happening. Something has fallen out of the night sky, and crashed directly into Donnie's bedroom; a 707 jet engine. If he had been there when the engine came acallin', he would have died instantly. Frank sends Donnie off to do devilish chores; flooding the school, and burning down a house.

Nothin is linear or logical in Darko's dreamlike world. His parents are too understanding. His new girlfriend, Jena Malone, is really too easy to get to know. Physical laws, like an axe being buried in a bronze statue, are tweaked and violated. The film can only approach some level of cohesiveness if one is able to conjure up a premise, a through line. For me, most of the characters presented are probably actually a part of Donnie's
"real" life, but as they were mostly presented in the bulk of the narrative, they were peopling his "dream" life. One possible explication for the whiplash lunges from drama to comedy to satire to science fiction and fantasy, was that most of the film's narrative occurred from the time Donnie was awakened in his bed, either by Frank's voice, or the faint sound of the 707 engine whistling and plummeting down toward his bedroom. Time was compressed, like in THE INCIDENT AT OWL CREEK BRIDGE on the Twilight Zone, a sort of Alice through the Looking Glass dream squeezed into those precious elongated seconds.

This film poses more questions than it offers answers for. There are theories that we, as spiritual entities, can sustain more than one version of our "Self" in parallel dimensions similtaneously. Somehow, it seemed that Donnie called on one of his alternate selves to swing through those last few brief moments, those seconds that stretched out into 30 days. Perhaps time is relative, and does not exist on the other side. I think this movie requires several viewings to begin to be fully appreciated. It is an original vision, bizarre yet strangely familiar, and immediate with it's punch to the emotional gut. It is eccentric, yet appealing.

5-0 out of 5 stars AMAZING
i didn't know a movie could change your life, 'till i saw donnie darko. this movie is stunning, it grabs you, i highly reccommend it. unbelievable soundtrack too, gary jules, joy division, echo in the bunnymen, 5 stars. see it. ... Read more


12. Zardoz
Director: John Boorman
list price: $19.98
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Asin: 6301744128
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 23087
Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars
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4-0 out of 5 stars Trippy
Zardoz is an extremely heavy-handed social satire. Like most head movies of the early 1970s, it is worth watching, if for no other reason, than as a relic of a period of time when directors really started experimenting with the medium of film (with quite varied results), e.g. using psychedellic images, etc. And, like many such films, while it often comes off as pretentious, it is never actually boring.

The society in Zardoz is an analogy for our own and you get a general picture of its setup in the first 20 minutes (so I'm not giving away any surprises). Sean Connery is part of a gang which is provided with weapons by a flying figure-head (literally speaking). This gang's role is to go around killing people, raping and pillaging and, consequently, they help control the population and keep it weak. The rest of the population does things like grow food and give it as offerings to the flying head, partly because it offers some semblance of control over the brutal gangs it created (and maintains) in the first place.

Sean Connery decides to jump on board the flying head for a ride and learns that it is not a god, but a machine built by an elite race of immortals who have all their needs provided for (via the flying head) by the rest of society while they live in leisure. The immortals also have (exclusive) access to all recorded art and knowledge, but seem incapable of producing any themselves. In other words, there are clear analogies to inner-city gangs, police states, law and order government, capitalism, media control, and their interdependence. The rest of the film is then concerned with Connery's interaction with the immortals, learning their weaknesses, etc., and the immortals' reactions to Connery when they realize that he is mentally and physically superior to them when freed from their continued interference and control of the rest of society. Like I said, rather heavy- handed satire, but definitely not unrealistic. People from the inner-cities will recognize its accuracy the most.

There are many campy touches, however most (not all) I believe are intentional. And the film has Boorman's usual stunning cinematography. This film is a cult classic which is at least always interesting if not always good. And keep in mind that Boorman, that whiz (wink wink), is not being entirely serious.

5-0 out of 5 stars Zardoz does it!
No matter how critical an attitude I bring to it, I simply cannot dislike this film! Its premises, performances, and images are a godsend to a lover of "thinking person's" science fiction. I have no idea what previous reviewers mean when they talk of a hippie sensibility pervading the film. I saw it twice during its initial release and have just seen it again after twenty some odd years; it still holds its special relevance and the satire still connects. Plus, it's a pleasure watching a science fiction film without a surfeit of gratuitous computer generated effects. Most of the story is told with the use of splendid cinematography, interesting sets, and a simple straightforward script with a few compelling twists. Some may argue that the actors' lines are trite; they are, but to wonderful biting effect. The masks worn by the Exterminators are marvelous, as is the floating head of Zardoz. The aerial photography and sound effects are also used to great effect near the beginning of the film to set the stage for the entrance into the Vortex and Zed's "big boy adventure" among the Immortals. Though Sean Connery's Zed chews most of the scenery, my favorite character was Friend played by John Alderton, especially after he received his sentence and was banished to the world of the aging Renegades. Hilarious!
Even the time lapse ending was effective. Normally this device is used as a crutch for a filmmaker simply because he/she doesn't know how to develop a denouement. Not here; it works perfectly!
This DVD release is crisp and vibrant with stunningly saturated colors and fine sound. I concur with a previous reviewer; this has to be the finest use of the Second Movement of Beethoven's Seventh Symphony ever in a film, heard in both it's original scoring and in a special choral arrangement--slow, stately and at a funeral march tempo, the way it should be despite the composer's score markings! I haven't heard the director's narrative track and am in no hurry to do so; the film speaks well for itself.
In my opinion, this rightfully ranks as a "must have" for fans of lovingly-made, imaginative, and thought-provoking films. Bring an open mind and a sense of humor along with the popcorn; you're in for a treat!

4-0 out of 5 stars Something to Think About ¿ Burt Reynold Was Originally Sched
One afternoon, 10 years after it was released, I saw Zardoz in a moviehouse in Georgetown and didn't get it - except that Sean Connery was still very sexy. Recently, the serendipity of watching The Swimmng Pool with Charlotte Rampling suggested giving this Boorman allegory another chance. I finally get it and had fun seeing it again. Three reasons to watch Zardoz are John Boorman's emerging vision and personal iconography, the power of Sean Connery's presence and acting (especially at the point in his career when he was trying to break from the Bond type-cast), and Geoffrey Unsworth's masterful photography.

Boorman and his actors put their hearts and talent on the line. Connery pulls off wearing the red loincloth and wedding dress, pulling a rickshaw and effectively performing scenes like the lecture on libido with subtle irony. Charlotte Rampling, Sara Kestelman, and other actresses can survive wearing go-go boots or performing nude while portraying strong women in conflict reacting to Zed's mojo. The whole cast of immortals are such good actors that you can giggle about the horror of wearing macramé tops and overly foofed hair, but they suspend your belief in the nightmare society these characters have created. Unsworth not only films this movie; he validates the vision with clear images that indulges Boorman's penchant for setting archetypes and going all Jungian on us. It is beautiful to watch and mostly poetic.

Boorman stuffs the movie with cinematic references like Welles and Peckinpah, much like the immortals have stuffed their museum. In his commentary, he admits putting too much in the film and that he would do things differently with more money and experience. At the beginning, there are moments that almost feel like Monty Python's Holy Grail or Woody Allen's Sleeper, but the movie progresses past that. The set design was interesting, but I felt that the costuming was just a little too groovy. He also admits that some of this cult classic is laughable, but the actors and the camera take it seriously enough to trap us in the Vortex and follow Zed as he searches for the truth. I am a sucker for personal films, and everybody involved made this personal to their truth.

Given what has been going on in Silicon Valley, Zardoz is still very pertinent. The irony is that celluloid projections on glass, superimposed images on film and light refracting from faceted crystals simulated computers, which were used to depict John Boorman's vision of 2293. In any remake, instead of green bread, Boorman's successor would have to direct the brutals in assembling green pizzas, and a notion of a religious mystery commanding the terminators would be named by the corruption of the phrase - Stock Option. Their god would be called Ckoption. Nyahhh! Just watch Zardoz.

4-0 out of 5 stars Strange, uneven and often beautiful
This is a very strange work, a large-scale but highly personal film with many beauties as well as some dubious elements. The opening fifteen minutes are among the most memorable: Boorman begins the movie with numerous striking compositions (greatly enhanced by this pristine DVD edition), and a dreamlike, largely silent progression which highlights his storytelling talent; Zed's 'learning sequence', later in the film, is also remarkably put together. The main character's quest for truth and knowledge is mostly compelling, but brought down a bit by Boorman's simplistic, rarely subtle views on sexuality and spirituality. On the other hand, his use of mythology, classical art and fairy tales is adept and intelligent, and the twist he gives to the Indo-European functional tripartition famously noted by Georges Dumezil (sovereign-religious / physical strength-war / fecundity) is quite provocative. 'Zardoz' is a cult movie par excellence: flawed but ambitious, its weaknesses are as definitive as its strengths in defining its special flavour. This unique film should be seen by adventurous viewers.

5-0 out of 5 stars Director John Boorman's Classic
ZARDOZ is director John Boorman's classic tale of future events. This came at a time when Sean Connery was giving up his James Bond image. ZARDOZ was one of the greatest "sleepers"of its time. This DVD combined with the film's shocking ending is very good. ... Read more


13. Solaris
Director: Andrei Tarkovsky
list price: $19.98
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Asin: 630212042X
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 15974
Average Customer Review: 4.25 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (101)

5-0 out of 5 stars Heartbreaking, Soulful Science Fiction
Andrei Tarkovsky's "Solaris," offered in an absolutely stunning digital transfer from the talented folks at Criterion, is an acquired taste. It's long, incredibly slow in its pacing, and oddly moderate in tone despite its subject matter (the main character, Kris, played by Donatas Banionis, seems too restrained at times, given what he experiences). It contains some idiosyncratic, perhaps even questionable, narrative and aesthetic choices. And it balances the intellectual and the emotional very precariously; even though Tarkovsky wanted to make a film that was more humane and emotional than Kubrick's "2001" (which he found to be cold and sterile), "Solaris" is still a film about abstract ideas, making one wonder if Tarkosvky succeeded in his aims. These elements can get in the way of the film's wonder and beauty if viewers aren't deliberately open to its possibilities.

For all of its techno-scienctific and philosophical approach to its themes of love, life, memory, grief, humanity, reality, and perception, "Solaris" is, at its core, a heartbreaking, soulful mystery that renders its deepest meanings not through space travel or planetary exploration or battles between good and evil, but through a touching, mystical relationship between a grieving widower and the dream-like, tangible apparition of his dead wife. Kris Kelvin, a psychologist, travels to a Russian space station hovering above the planet Solaris to investigate trouble and determine if the station should remain operational. In the process, he gets trapped by Solaris's mystery, the ability of its conscious, sentient life force to probe his memories and consciousness. His late wife Hari (magnificently played by Natalya Bondarchuk) appears and reappears and struggles to understand who (or what) she is, while Kelvin must struggle to understand his grief, his memory, and the proper uses of science and technology.

The remarkability of "Solaris" as a cinematic experience lies not only in the intrigue of its central event, but also in Tarkosvky's subtle, respectful, and appropriate emotional touch. If it takes a seemingly lengthy amount of time before Kelvin (and we) experience Solaris and its mysteries, the methodical pace makes the emotional impact all the more significant. Hari's and Kelvin's struggles are heartbreaking, and precisely because Tarkovsky needn't spell them out; he gives them the time and space they require. In addition, Tarkovsky's visuals are perfectly attuned to his intelletcual and emotional themes. In that stunningly beautiful, dreamlike, famous brief moment when Hari and Kris experience weightlessness in the space station, the film becomes viscerally alive, and you momentarily wonder if you have ever seen anything more beautiful.

"Solaris" is demanding, no doubt, and just when it seems that you have come to understand what it means, Tarkovsky makes it more mysterious by offering an ending that will force you to rethink the entire film. It's also a unique cinematic experience, a testament to Tarkovsky's powerful artistry, and proof that the most demanding of works tend to offer the most lasting rewards.

4-0 out of 5 stars 2001 Anti-Matter...A Different Vision
Made in the Soviet Union a few years after Kubrick's 2001, Solaris is maddening, enigmatic, sometimes illogical and frustrating, but in the end an engrossing, moody, eliptical meditation on science and morality, conscience and guilt, love and indifference.

The director, Andrei Tarkovsky, had seen 2001 prior to filming Solaris, and was determined to go in a different direction from the meticulous & detailed technologic bent of Kubrick's masterpiece. Special effects here are minimal, but adequate for Tarkovsky to tell his story. His is a messy, humanistic affair, with a trashed and lived-in space station as its setting, quite the oppposite of the coldly logical, icy brilliance of Kubrick's vision. Both films are concerned with the reason and meaning of being and mankind's fate or destiny, but while Kubrick's is related with minimal dialogue, Tarkovsky's people talk and talk.

I found the Solaris dialogue at times intriguing, often ungraspable and opague, enigmatic in interesting ways, and sometimes unnecessarily enigmatic at other times. The great similarity between the two films is the fantastic visual feast both directors bring to their very different stories. Kubrick's film captures the cold emptiness and vast isolation of space, and the tremendous amount of technology required to put fragile humans in that hostile environment. Tarkovky's space station is messy, used, lived-in and familiar, i.e., a human habitat.

The two films have a couple of other things in common: in both films the most "human" character in the story is "non-human", HAL in 2001, and Hari in Solaris; and, both the central characters eventually are taken on a mind-bending journey within themselves and without to a somewhere other than the world they know.

The Tarkovsky film is a 70's film. That means long takes and tracking shots, with a slow narrative that doesn't have jump cuts and the razzle-dazzle of today's editing. It requires patience and probably more than one viewing to absorb. Even at that, it will be open to interpretation, because for all the dialogue, Tarkovsky doesn't explain a lot, and in some instances, refutes the inner logic of this own story. This won't matter to many viewers who will be content with the visual treats and the wonderful evocation of mood and mystery, and a story of the emphemeral nature of love and existence, so easily slipping from one's grasp. Others may find it too confusing and slow and lose patience.

Considering the conditions and restrictions Andrei Tarkovsky was working under , both financially and politically, his achievement here is as impressive as Kubrick's daring and innovative film. Except for a few scenes that may be oblique comments on the Soviet system, you would not know this film had arisen from under the weight of that regime. Although sometimes a bit heavy-handed, Solaris is a film about the nature and meaning of being human, and how that fits in an increasingly cold and technological world. If you aren't in a hurry, it may be worth your while. 4-1/2 stars.

5-0 out of 5 stars Learning one's place
We find a creature who seems far more advanced than we are. Who we might like to destroy but hardly know if we can. Who can seemingly turn our minds against us. For whom we don't seem to be a priority at all. Of whom our best minds manage only feeble speculations.

I saw this movie first and only recently read Lem's story. Tarkovsky got a great start from Lem. It's difficult to compare text and movie. Tarkovsky seemed to have been reasonably faithful to the contents of the book, but added a long introduction as well as his own ending. Both works are impressive. Tarkovsky seems to linger often so a good deal of patience is a prerequisite for enjoying this film.

Now that I've read Lem's "Solaris", I'm less satisfied with Tarkovsky's "Solaris". Lem's book moved along well. Tarkovskky's added introduction (including moving up the inquiry of Burton) accomplishes little and the ending may be more explicit than is needed: hasn't Solaris already done enough to impress? On the other hand, Tarkovsky's cast is excellent (I especially enjoyed Hari and Snow) and visually the movie is a treat.

5-0 out of 5 stars A movie of Promethean scope
Tarkvosky's "Solaris" takes on so many deep seated philosophical questions at once that by the end of the film, the casual viewer may feel overwhelmed. It is a madness trip, an intellectual exercise, a visual piece, absurdism, a dramatic catharsis and an uncomfortable probing of the human self all at once. This is not "shut off your mind" stuff. The long and short of it: three scientists visit Solaris, a planet which seems to be an alternate reality, and suffer the consequences. Chris (really the main focus of the film), a scientist, is warned repeatedly by a colleague who suffered a mental breakdown on the station about how dangerous it is, but pays no heed. One commits suicide before the unfortunate Chris arrives. Hari, his wife who committed suicide when he left her years ago, appears and despite Chris' initial attempt to blast her in the space, is seemingly there to stay. Chris is warned by both men (a ruthless scientist and a drunk) that he is being deceived, and that she is not his real wife, but Hari seems to have feelings which are genuinely human despite being an illusion. There are awful scenes in which she splits apart, re-emerges painfully back into 'life', etc. All the while Chris engages in philosophical discussions about the worthy or unworthy nature of mankind, quoting Tolstoy and, of course, Dostoevsky. Some of it is drop dead funny, perhaps without intending to be: an air of absurdity overshadows everything taking place. When the two men on the ship with him decide that itss time Chris gave up the ghost and destroy Hari, he returns home and still seems to be a million miles away. We are not sure if he is sane in the last scene, which is frighteningly reminiscent. He is in slow motion, behaving like a man high on LSD. Will he ever regain his sanity? Was a part, at least, of Hari real? When she viewed his home videos with the 'original' Hari (among the scariest sequences in the film), why did she respond as if she knew? Tarkovsky skillfully keeps us dangling from his parapet. This is a kickass, disturbing movie.

5-0 out of 5 stars Its Strengths Far Outweigh its Weaknesses
Though it suffers from a maudlin and morbid fascination with negative emotions, Solaris is a tremendous achievement. The achievement is in the extreme physical beauty of the film itself and the challenging intelligence of the ideas raised but not always explored. At issue is nothing less than the nature of humanity. Is a human defined by its conciousness, its memories, its emotions, its senses, its history, its origin, its desire to live or some combination of all or some of those traits. Be forewarned, the film is extremely slow and deliberate & its lacks any real plot. We americans tend to like our movies with plots. It many cultures, the ideas are more important than the plots but in America the plot is generally more important than the ideas. Consequently, idea driven movies like Solaris are seen as dull and boring because there is no forward momentum. Here in America, it is considered acceptable to respond to movies like Solaris by saying, "I don't watch movies to think. If I want to think, I'll read a book." This is what happens when you raise millions of people on television and fast food. ... Read more


14. The Man Who Fell to Earth
Director: Nicolas Roeg
list price: $9.98
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Asin: 1572523166
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 8211
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (68)

4-0 out of 5 stars TERRIFIC SCI-FI...
I first saw this film when it was released in the mid nineteen seventies. I recalled how much I had enjoyed it, when I saw that it was available in DVD. The DVD itself is disappointing, as it offers virtually none of the features one has come to expect from a DVD.

This aside, the film itself, though somewhat abstract, is terrific, as it is not just a science fiction film with a twist. It is a film that explores themes that are timeless: desolation, alienation (no pun intended), and loneliness. At times, these themes are palpable, due to David Bowie's wondrously androgynous performance, which is heartbreakingly moving at times.

The plot is fairly simple. An alien, Davie Bowie, leaves his family on his dying and arid planet in search for water. He lands on earth and begins his project to send water to his devastated planet by amassing the wealth that he needs to do this. He patents numerous lucrative inventions which eventually find him at the head of a world wide conglomerate. He joins up with a kindly, though stupid and vapid woman who drinks gin like a fish, Candy Clark, with whom he begins a liaison of sorts. Yet, he is always lonely and melancholic, and like her, begins to spiral into an alcoholic haze, sometimes sidetracking him from his purpose here.

At some point, excruciatingly sad and lonely, longing for his family, he reveals himself to her for who he truly is, shedding his earthly appearance, only to be met with absolute horror and repugnance by her at the sight of him. She ultimately tries to understand him, but it is truly beyond her ken. He is infinitely sad at this and longs all the more for home.

On the threshold of returning to his planet and loved ones, he is kidnapped by corporate raiders who take over his holdings, and it is here that the movie begins to disintergrate somewhat. Yet, it remains strangely hypnotic and compelling, and becomes a sort of "Lost Weekend" of betrayal, booze, and promises that will never be kept. A parable of wanting to belong, yet knowing one never will. A story about wanting to go home, but knowing on some level that one can truly never go home again.

4-0 out of 5 stars Restored science fiction art classic
It was an odd year. 1976 saw the release of Logan's Run with its occasionally heavy handed parable about the youth culture, Ralph Bakshi's Wizards gathered steam at the box office and included a trailer for some movie called Star Wars. Along came Nickolas Roeg with his arthouse science fiction epic and totally mystified everyone. David Bowie is perfect as the alien in this classic science fiction film. He's left his arid, dying planet and come to Earth in hopes that some of "his" inventions could create enough capital so that he can take resources from our planet to save his.

Unfortunately, Bowie's character pretends to be human all too well--he's sucked into the very flaws that cripple humanity. He becomes a victim of our culture rather than master of it. Roeg's film is fragmented and spooky (particularly the scene where Candy Clark discovers that Bowie's character has various attachments to make him seem human). The visually unsettling photography and editing help bring an edge to the film. Roeg manages to fuse science fiction to his European art sensibilities very well. In fact, Man is probably Roeg's most powerful film outside of Don't Look Now his gothic take on the horror film.

Anchor and Bay have restored the film to its original, uncut running time. They also have gone back to the original negative and camera elements to create as sharp a print as I've ever seen. The aspect ratio is finally correct and the sound, while not perfect, is a huge improvement over the previous DVD, video and television versions that have been floating around.

5-0 out of 5 stars How to explain this movie...
This is one of those films that is best watched in the dark, by yourself, because sometimes, you just might want to shout out "WHAT?"

Basically this movie is a great cult classic about an alien who comes to our planet in search of water for his desert planet. David Bowie... how do you rate his performance with that of other conventional actors? You can't. He is brilliant in his role as Mr. Newton! I was completely mesmerized and even attracted to him as the thin redhead. I was surprised however that he was completely unclothed in one scene, but hey, it didn't hurt any part of the movie!

I would recomend this to anyone, period. I give the movie a 5, but Bowie's performance gets a 10!

5-0 out of 5 stars Loving The Alien
I never went into thi film expecting anything that
conventional,considering David Bowie stars in it.But it is a
socially relevant science fiction movie about an alien who comes
to Earth in search of water to aid his draught-ridden planet and
in the process get's caught up in the corrupt politics of human
culture.In the end he basically forgets why he came to Earth to
start with after falling in love and becoming owner of a big
cooperation.The overall message-if aliens arn't visiting this

planet there's a REASON!The movie uses stark settings and is
shot very surreally so it isn't for those without the most
open mind to avante-garde film making.Bowie,having already had
mime and theatre experience (and being the dramatic Ziggy Stardust of course) is brilliant as an actor and it is all too
believable that he doesn't come from Earth (I wonder if Bowie
really IS an alien sometimes anyway).But for those who can make
their mind and visual spectrum stretch and who don't mind a sadly
ironic ending you will enjoy this film.

2-0 out of 5 stars Another sub-par Anchor Bay disc
I suppose the flimsy slipcase, free-floating booklet design was intended to ward off Chinese pirates (Arrrh!) and sidewalk counterfeiters; however, the presentation is so awkward and unsatisfying to the die-hard collector that I've decided to consign this must-see film to my permanent memory bank and ditch this coaster set. As my collection grows, I find it increasingly difficult to find time to watch everything I've got (let alone multiple viewings which, if you think about it, is kind of the point of having a disc) and, thus, previously essential items are being turfed if they do not conform to Criterion-like presentation standards; heck, I'm even ditching some Criterions (take that, Antonioni!). Anyways, excuse the ramble folks and enjoy the rest of the reviews. ... Read more


15. Invasion of the Body Snatchers
Director: Don Siegel
list price: $9.98
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Asin: 6300208508
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 35049
Average Customer Review: 4.62 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (65)

5-0 out of 5 stars Body Snatchers Invade Video Collection
Don Siegel's Invasion of the Body Snatchers proves to be a classic of the science-fiction genre. Usually bored to death of sci-fi films, I quite enjoyed this film of pods taking over and transforming themselves into the citizens of Santa Mira, while they sleep, in the hopes of soon engulfing the entire world. Brilliantly acted by Kevin McCarthy in the role Miles Bennel, and Dana Wynter as Becky Driscoll, with a wonderful supporting cast, the film is easily believable. With Milt Rice in charge of special effects, the entire collaberation is a marvel for its time. Upon returning home from a trip, Miles finds the Santa Mira townspeople to be acting a bit unusual, but little does he know that one by one the townspeople are being taken over by pods from another world. Miles and Becky, Miles' girlfriend, attempt to warn the town and save the others, but it soon proves to be no easy feat for them to save themselves. The two drive, and then literally run, for their lives through the California hills. If they can make it to the highway and then to the neighboring town, perhaps they and the world can be saved. With impressive cinematography by Ellsworth Fredericks, notably the highway scene late in the film, and a striking musical score by Carmen Dragon, this film has quickly become one of my favorites. To occupy a place on the shelves amidst my usual favorites is not an easy thing for a film to do, especially for one that is science-fiction, but this brilliant sci-fi film, which hints a bit at McCarthyism, is a can't miss for any film lover.

4-0 out of 5 stars They're coming, and you're next!
Wonderful science fiction classic that concentrates on Kevin McCarthy's growing sense of fear and isolation. If anybody doesn't know the plot of this movie, its basic premise is that people are being replaced with alien replicas, with the only clue being a lack of emotion in the new versions. Paranoid people should not watch this film, which has also been classed as a horror film. I think it would have been better in a "Director's Cut" - originally there were no voiceovers, and the film ended with McCarthy standing in the middle of a highway, desperately trying to get someone to stop and listen to him, but the studio decided that was too bleak and demoralizing. Still, this is a great movie, only slightly less shocking for the additions. This version is presented in crisp B&W, in both widescreen and pan and scan. Also included is the original trailer and a short interview with McCarthy on some local TV show from the Seventies. I give the movie itself 5 stars, as it is one of the true classics (better than the 1978 version, and FAR better than the 1997 version), but the DVD gets 4 for its rather bland presentation.

3-0 out of 5 stars It's alright but I probably missed the political point
Having been born well after the McCarthy era the political sub-text was lost on me. I just thought it was another one of those 50s sci-fi b movies made. Of course I had vague ideas of America at the time and how they were run but I didn't exactly join the dots together and link them up. What I saw was a sci-fi b-movie - nothing else. Still it wasn't bad

I got this really cheap in a store ( 5 euros ) and basically what I got looked like I bought a copy of some guy's video. I'm not complaining about it considering 5 euros for a DVD is alright and besides - it was nothing major. It was in colour and it started off bizarrely. Bizarre in the sense at how the music was so strange and how for the first 15 minutes of the film it was all just people falling down a hole somewhere out in the fields. Seems fairly stupid so far but I do admit that it was quite frightening when the dad lashed out at his son. The realism in that shot was something I hadn't seen before.

Basically you can get the story now about what's about to happen and I won't want to say anymore in case I might ruin the film for you ( nobody likes that do they ). But I will say that I found the Martians and their underground lair to be rather pathetic. OK just the lair then. When the men in green suits start undertaking their tasks it's pretty funny to see white balloons just sway a little as if a little gentle breeze had passed. And the amount of times you had to hear " Let me go let go let me go " it really begins to get on your nerves.

Historically you could say that this is a good film if you know your history. If you just want a bit of an enjoyable sci-fi movie then this can also be achieved. Either way you get enjoyment out of it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Keep awake, keep awake!!!!.
This is a remarkable movie in many ways. With a relatively small budget a very interesting Sci-Fi / horror film is made. No big visual effects, no Big Stars in the cast, black n' white photography and still a griping story. There are two remakes of this story, they can't stand against the original one, even if they were produced with a bigger budget and known actors.

This is the plot: Dr. Bennell (Kevin McCarthy) returns to his small home town ready to attend patients. Different consultants tell him of a paranoid syndrome: their relatives seem somehow changed. A couple of days after that, they return to his office and tell him "Everything is OK".
Dr. Bennell and her old times girl friend Becky Driscoll (Dana Wynter) soon realize the town is being subject to an alien invasion plot. Huge seed are "planted" in basements or garages and evolved in a duplicate of a person (a clone will be called today). As soon as the victim fells asleep is "transformed". The tension grows up as time pass and the characters need to sleep.

Some comments issued around the film pointed out that it may be taken as a parable of the Cold War raging at the time it was released (1956). I think that there are more films of that period, alluding the frightful issue of "They are like us but they are NOT us and they are dangerous", as in "The Thing from another World" (1951) or "I Married a Monster from Outer Space" (1958).

The actress Carolyn Jones (later best known by her impersonation of Morticia at the "Addams Family" TV serial) play a short, but very well enacted, role
A very enjoyable film to be seen.
Duration: 80 minutes

5-0 out of 5 stars GREAT
This is a GREAT transfer of the original film! The sound is good, the picture is good, it's simply a grand dvd! The film here has good acting and casting. Good story and good ending. What more could a sci fi junkie need? This film was made countless times after but this is the original and the best.Kevin did great as the main character here. ... Read more


16. Videodrome
Director: David Cronenberg
list price: $6.99
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Asin: 6300182770
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 21255
Average Customer Review: 4.36 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com essential video

Love it or loathe it, David Cronenberg's 1983 horror film Videodrome is a movie to be reckoned with. Inviting extremes of response from disdain (critic Roger Ebert called it "one of the least entertaining films ever made") to academic euphoria, it's the kind of film that is simultaneously sickening and seemingly devoid of humanity, but also blessed with provocative ideas and a compelling subtext of social commentary. Giving yet another powerful and disturbing performance, James Woods stars as the operator of a low-budget cable-TV station who accidentally intercepts a mysterious cable transmission that features the apparent torture and death of women in its programming. He traces the show to its source and discovers a mysterious plot to broadcast a subliminally influential signal into the homes of millions, masterminded by a quasi-religious character named Brian O'Blivion and his overly reverent daughter. Meanwhile Woods is falling under the spell, becoming a victim of video, and losing his grip--both physically and psychologically--on the distinction between reality and television. A potent treatise on the effects of total immersion into our mass-media culture, Videodrome is also (to the delight of Cronenberg's loyal fans) a showcase for obsessions manifested in the tangible world of the flesh. It's a hallucinogenic world in which a television set seems to breath with a life of its own, and where the body itself can become a VCR repository for disturbing imagery. Featuring bizarre makeup effects by Rick Baker and a daring performance by Deborah Harry (of Blondie fame) as Wood's sadomasochistic girlfriend, Videodrome is pure Cronenberg--unsettling, intelligent, and decidedly not for every taste. --Jeff Shannon ... Read more

Reviews (66)

5-0 out of 5 stars Videodrome - It's Watching you!!!
David Cronenberg is obsessed with technology and body modification - especially how all of this equates to sex and death. How do things CHANGE us? VIDEODROME is probably one of his most blatant statements about television, and the dangers of being more than a voyeur. There is a danger lurking in every scene of this movie, and even the sex scenes take on a disturbing horror vibe. Graphic and disturbing? Yes. But also very thought-provoking, and well-done. The DVD lets you see the movie in its widescreen unedited gory glory. Also included is a very disorienting trailer that was produced on a COMMODORE 64! The performances are outstanding including James Woods at his most likeable, and Debbie Harry as a distant emotionally cold woman who is turned on by the atrocity that is VIDEODROME. The plot centers on Woods as a slimey cable producer looking for hardcore programming to launch his cable channel. He stumbles across a show called VIDEODROME that is pure sex and torture to the point of death. Is it real? Where is it coming from? And why does everyone who watches it become a part of it? EXIStENZ is VIDEODROME's bookend - the gaming side of this theme.

4-0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Horror
TV will rot your brain, some say- and in the world of Videodrome, that's exactly what happens. A group working with a media philosopher (a nice parody of Marshall McCluhan) has created a signal that can be superimposed on a video program that will, quite literally, mutate the brain. It may be a tumor- or it may be a new organ. It's infected cable TV president Max Venn (James Woods), and is starting to change him and his world in bizarre ways.

Videodrome is a wonderfully original movie that mixes a well crafted script with some novel (for the time) special effects and a marvelous darkly comic sensibility. Puns abound; the president of "Spectacular Optics"- itself a pun- is named Convex. Brian Oblivion (the Marshall McCluhan parody) founded the "Cathode Ray Mission" (as in "cathode ray emission"), where the homeless and destitute are re-integrated into society by providing them with exposure to television.

Underneath this is a dark, sexual theme- Max's attraction to the images of bondage and sadism that are his undoing, and to radio psychologist Nikki (Debbie Harry, in a compelling if inartful performance) who is willing to go a lot farther than is Max in her pursuit of kinky thrills.

Is Max really being physically transformed, or is it all in his head? Is the New Flesh real, or another delusion? All in all, a compelling and original film that will delight any fan of cult films and erotic horror.

5-0 out of 5 stars David Cronenberg Scores Again With Videodrome!
David Cronenberg is one of the greatest horror film directors to come on the scene. His stylish mix of science fiction and horror gives us surreal films easily compared to directors like David Lynch amoung others. Videodrome is probably my favorite Cronenberg film.

The film is about a television station that specializes in showing softcore pornography and other disturbing types of film. Max Renn, played wonderfully by James Woods, has people go out and find new footage for the network to play. In his search, Renn comes across a video entitled Videodrome, which contains footage of a brutal torture of a few woman. The video becomes an obsession of Renn's and begins to control his life.

An incredible film, with amazing performances from Debrah Harry, singer for the band Blondie, and Woods. The film gives a surreal look at how what we see on television can control our lives. I recommend it to anyone who loves Sci-Fi or horror movies. Definately a classic.

5-0 out of 5 stars "I want to play something for you."
Max Renn (James Woods) is the CEO of a sleazy little cable channel that is eking out its niche in the market by offering violence and soft-core pornography. Always on the lookout for something tougher, he becomes excited by the pirate broadcasts of a program called Videodrome, 30 minutes of torture with no pretense to any plot. He decides to track down the makers of the show, little realizing that he is already in way over his head...

David Cronenberg is a consistently interesting filmmaker and his major themes are on display here-the question of identity and the ways, both physical and psychological, that man is transformed by his technology. "Videodrome" is prescient in the way it forecasted the ever-increasing levels of depravity and sensation that has become available in the media. The film becomes increasingly surreal and phantasmagoric as the story progresses, but stick with it and think about it afterward. All the pieces fit together.

5-0 out of 5 stars Thank you Criterion.
This film is finally getting the treatment it deserves, a double-disc Criterion edition. It will be re-discovered and newly discovered by Cronenberg & Criterion fans alike.

The soundtrack and the dialogue were always more disturbing to me than the imagery, which still shocks and creeps under your skin more than any CGI effect ever could. It's the organic nature of Cronenberg's style that sets him apart from everyone, period.

It's also his most prophetic work, a warning for how television can and has warped our sense of reality.

"The battle for the mind of North America will be fought in the video arena, the Videodrome." ... Read more


17. Attack of the 50 Foot Woman
Director: Nathan Juran
list price: $14.99
our price: $14.99
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Asin: 0790731223
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 5088
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Description

Nancy Archer has had an alien encounter and it's left her 50 ft. tall! Now she sees the men in her life from a new angle--looking down on them--and it's time to fight back! Year: 1993 Director: Christopher Guest Starring:Daryl Hannah, Daniel Leroy Baldwin, William Windom ... Read more

Reviews (16)

2-0 out of 5 stars Attack of the 50ft Woman...er...for 15 minutes anyway
Although a weak movie in it's own right, it is actually a B-Movie classic. Allison Hayes is perfect for the towering Nancy Archer on the rampage in search for her cheating husband, Harry. But the actual 'attack' is only at the last 15 minutes of the film and Hayes barely scratched the actual city and just scares people off. As many people have heard, the special effects are an absolute joke, what with the huge rubber hands and when Hayes, with all her strength, picks up...er...a cotton woll doll (which was meant to be Harry). The movies not really worth buying but may be worth recording from the TV.

5-0 out of 5 stars fun cinema stuff
This movie was great fun, terrific acting, amusingly poor special effects but a camp 1950s scary movie classic that would definitely would be worth the purchase if it had been restored and presented in widescreen. I've seen this film many times but now I'd like to see the complete film.

4-0 out of 5 stars Hey, it might be bad but a giant Allison Hayes ain't boring
"Attack of the 50 Foot Woman," the 1958 cult classic, is everything that the 1957 science fiction film "The Incredible Shrinking Man" is not. It is about a woman instead of a man, growing bigger instead of shrinking, vengeance instead of philosophy, and bad instead of good. However, I come down on the side of those that think this film is gloriously bad and therefore an enjoyable camp romp.

Heiress Nancy Archer (Allison Hayes) is driving around in the California desert on Route 66 when a satellite crashes to earth and she has an encounter with a giant. Nancy heads back to town and tells everyone what happened, but the police just think she has been off on one of her drinking binges again (Nancy has been institutionalized in the past, you see). As for her husband, Harry (William Hudson), he is too busy paying attention to that cheap tramp Honey Parker (Yvette Vickers). Only now Harry sees his big chance to have Nancy declared mentally incompetent so he can get her $50 million inheritance and that big diamond she wears on the cheap chain around her neck. Fortunately, Nancy is again abducted by the giant alien and when she comes back to town she is 50-feet tall and ready to go on the attack with Harry her prime target.

The sequence as Nancy slowly but surely trashes the town as she tracks down Harry redeems the rest of the film, even if the same shot shows up repeatedly (albeit sometimes backwards). The sight of Allison Hayes in her cloth bikini is as memorable an image as you will find in science fiction films from the Fifties, right up there with Gort's appearance in "The Day the Earth Stood Still." Up to that point the film belongs to Yvette Vickers, who attains a level of performance as a bad girl usually reserved for your more traditional exploitation films from this period.

"Attack of the 50 Foot Woman" can be read as a proto-feminist film, with Nancy's crashing through the roof of her house being viewed as a metaphor for breaking the boundaries of repression which limited the growth of women in the real world. But where is the fun in that? Harry done Nancy wrong and fate has given Nancy the opportunity to engage in payback. This movie was made in 1993 with Darryl Hannah and while the special effects were vastly improved, the net gain was just not as enjoyable as the original romp in the desert, which remains a touchstone for fans of bad science fiction films.

1-0 out of 5 stars ZZZZZZZ
I LOVE the old 50's movies (The Incredible Shrinking Man, It Came from Outer Space,The Blob, The Body Snatchers") but, come on.....I literally fell asleep during this one. Slow, tedious and downright stupid! It's right up there or should I say down there with "Village of the Giants". Don't waste your money. Save it for something worthwhile.

4-0 out of 5 stars Dumb Fun
This is a good Saturday night popcorn movie...and Allison Hayes is a wow! ... Read more


18. The Fly
Director: Kurt Neumann
list price: $9.98
our price: $9.98
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Asin: 6300247589
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 11912
Average Customer Review: 4.39 out of 5 stars
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A dashing scientist's foolhardy experiment with matter transferenceleads his wife to seriously consider investing in No-pest strips in this deservedly classic melding of the horror, sci-fi, and mystery genres. The marvelous Vincent Price (as the good guy for a change!) leads an admirably straight-faced cast through this taut tale of man intruding on God's domain, presented in reverse flashback order. (Somewhat surprisingly, paid-by-the-pound novelist James Clavell was responsible for the atypically lean screenplay.) This well-paced, blackly humorous yarn can't hold a muck-encrusted candle to director David Cronenberg's ultra-visceral 1986 reimagining, but still contains some remarkably daring imagery for the time period. Squirmy, shuddery fun that still carries an icky jolt, particularly during its justifiably famous final scene. --Andrew Wright ... Read more

Reviews (18)

4-0 out of 5 stars Hellllp Meeee!
The film opens on the scene of a man who has been crushed in a machine and his wife said she is the one who pushed the lever, but something does not fit and her brother in law (Vincent Price) doesn't think she did it. This launches us into into a re-telling of how the women's scientist husband was obsessed with a matter dis-integrater he was working on. Something goes wrong with his work and he winds up with a fly head and hand. Now his wife is quickly trying to find the fly with her husbands head so that they can put him back together. This is better than the majority of science fiction during the 50's because the story tries to focus on the invention instead of falling into the old mad scientist routine. The film also shows the scientist as a tragic victim instead of as rampaging monster (which is what happened in way too many 50's films). The special effects are good enough and the acting is solid.

5-0 out of 5 stars The original sci-fi/horror classic....."help me! help me!"
What makes "The Fly" a classic of Horror/Science Fiction is not when we finally see that Andre Delambre (David Hedison) has the head of a fly, but when we see the screaming face of his wife Helen (Patricia Owens) multiplied by the insect's multi-faceted eye. But even that scene is nothing compared to when Francois Delambre (Vincent Price) and Inspector Charas (Herbert Marshall), discover a fly with the head and arm of a human, trapped in a spider's web and screaming "Help me!" over and over again in a high pitched voice of terror. Francois had been helping Andre with his teleportation experiments, which were going well until Andre used himself as the test subject and never noticed there was a fly in the chamber with him. David Cronenberg remade this film to show how this would have "really" happened, but this is one of those films where most of us willingly suspend our disbelief and go along for the ride. The story is told in flashback as a distraught Helen, accused of having crushed her husband's head and arm in a press, frantically insists no one in house hurt a fly--especially if it has a white head. With a script by James Clavell based on the story by George Langelaan (it appeared in Playboy with the artwork of a white page on which there was one small fly), this 1958 film was directed by Kurt Neumann. Do not even talk to me about the sequel, "The Return of the Fly," which shows how laughable such a story can be when the writing and acting is second-rate. If you want a double-feature, do this and the original version of "The Thing," one week and their remakes the next.

4-0 out of 5 stars THE FLY, THE ORIGINAL FLY.
1958's "The Fly" is the main inspiration of the 1986 version, the version that most of the people know. Not as flashy as the 1986 David Cronenberg's version, but the original "Fly" remains very intriguing. "The Fly" is more a mystery film than a thriller.

More storytelling oriented, "The Fly" is a very interesting movie, it's really hard to ignore the power of the film, because the "monster" has human feelings and human fears. You can't help but feel sorry for this unlucky scientist and his family

And yes, the final scene is very disturbing, after almost 50 years, still is a very shocking image.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Fly: Sight + Sound = Despair
One of the best horror films of any age is the 1958 version of THE FLY. What director Kurt Neumann has created is a film that includes the shock moments required of any horror movie, but to these moments he adds a disturbing montage of sight and sound that grab at the reader to yank him into the minds of the actors so that the viewer can see and hear the horror up close. Only the best science fiction movies can do this.
The movie begins in a flashback when Francois Delambre (Vincent Price) discovers that his sister-in-law Helen (Patricia Owen) has been accused of murdering her husband Andre (David Hedison) by squashing his head in a compressor. Her story forms the basis of the film. She insists that she is neither insane nor a cold-blooded murderer. Helen tells Francois that her scientist-husband Andre had been experimenting with a matter transportation device as in STAR TREK, but in this case, he had inadvertently allowed a housefly to enter the transportation chamber with himself. The result of the experiment was a man with the head and arm of a fly and a fly with the head and arm of a man. Scriptwriter James Clavell of SHOGUN fame had apparently never heard of a pattern buffer that could allow for simultaneous transport of dissimilar DNA hosts. What makes THE FLY click is Andre's reaction to his new form and Helen's acceptance of that reaction. At first, Andre is grief stricken, and tries to hide his condition from her. He places a scarf over his head and keeps his fly-claw in his pocket. There is no need for any fancy special effects here. The simple use of a scarf is all that is required to generate suspense. Later, when it is time to eat, Helen brings soup which he loudly slurps. This soup scene is one of a series of images that are all the more horrible for their morphed simplicity. The viewer can nearly literally taste what life is like for a man/fly hybrid. Andre communicates to Helen by using his human arm to scrawl messages, leaving her puzzled and anguished over her inability to help. She determines to see the face under the scarf and rips it off. This scene is one of the two indelible unions of sight and sound that cause viewers to remember THE FLY as some surreal mixture of a paradoxical link of disgust with an unwillingness to turn away their heads. As she sees Andre's head, the camera shifts perspective to Andre, who sees her as only a fly can: as a infinity of kaleidoscopic images of a screaming woman with each of an infinity of mouths howling an infinity of pain. Once she can gather herself together, she tries to help by recapturing the fly with Andre's head. Since a fly's lifespan is quite limited, the only hope she has to regain her husband is to find that fly, an unlikely prospect at best. In despair, he asks her to kill him with that compressor. She does so, and the movie reverts to the present with Francois discussing the case with Inspector Charas (Herbert Marshall). Each is sure that Helen has gone quietly mad, thus legally preventing her from trial. As Francois and Charas exit the house, the movie's second unforgettable grafting of sight to sound occurs when they see that a strange-looking fly has become entangled in a spider's web, and the spider, looking as large and ferocious as the monster in TARANTULA, looms ever closer. The camera zooms on the fly which has Andre's head attached. The viewer can see his eyes bug out as the spider approaches. He shouts a squeaky HELP ME over and over, but Francois is too slow to react. The spider kills the fly just before Francois kills the spider with a large rock.
The horror of THE FLY does not diminish with repeated viewings nor can the later remakes and sequels detract from its suggestion that the most ordinary things in nature can change into something so terrible as to cause the audience to squirm in its seat and think that the weirdness on the screen is not so far fetched at all.

5-0 out of 5 stars Intelligent Sci Fi thriller that packs a punch
I hate it when reviewers state that these types of films "still hold up quite well" or worse still "are quite dated". Dated compared to what? They weren't being made with 2002 audiences in mind and any film is "dated" after the year it is released. These types of Sci Fi efforts dont need to be viewed according to how films are made now. Simply appreciate them for the imagination they show in their special effects and story telling.

There is certainly alot to appreciate and enjoy in 1958's classic "The Fly". It is a film which I think is amazing in the story it tells which is both horrifying and very sad and at times very touching. The production as a whole is lush with beautiful Fox colour and a cast of fine, restrained performers who deliver thoughtful performances and who have an obvious respect for the material they are working with.

Heading the cast is one of my favourite actors Vincent Price playing Francois Delambre in a restrained performance which I feel is one of his finest. David (Al) Hedison who later found fame on the "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea" TV Series in the early sixities plays his brother Andre, a brilliant scientist and delves into the area of matter transfer with horrifying results. He makes the fatal mistake of using himself as a Guinea Pig in his experiments with the result that his own matter becomes entangled with that of a fly unwittingly involved in the transfer experiment. The result is one of the very best special effects efforts to come out of the 1950's in that Andre acquires the head and arm of the fly and his head and arm is transferred to that of the fly. It is a horrific look which still scares me to this day so effective is it in its depiction. The unveiling scene where Andre's wife Helene (played very effectively by Patricia Owens) pulls the black sheet off Andre's head is still one of the classic scenes in Science Fiction drama as her horrified reaction is multipled on screen as she screams in discovering the terrible truth of what has happened to her husband.

Andre's descent into desperation and madness as the fly's characteristics take him over are tragically done. His efforts to eat a meal from under his black sheet, his out of control "Fly" arm taking on a life of its own, and his frantic efforts to try to communicate with others using a type writer are graphically portrayed and are very disturbing. Never though is he really viewed as some sort of deranged monster out to harm anyone, rather an unfortunate individual who was careless in his experiments for one split second. When he scrawls on the blackboard that he still loves Helene while trying to control the horrible fly claw, for one moment an essentially horrific story takes on that of a great love story and our sympathy is totally with Andre in his dilemma.

Patricia Owens also deserves special mention for her performance in "The Fly" as well. Hers could have been a thankless love interest role however she infuses her character with real strength and the scenes of her and her son Philippe trying desperately to catch the fly with the human head in the house and garden are real edge of the seat suspense.

"The Fly" is intelligently written, very smoothly produced and has a good balance between story/character development and the essential horror tale. It is without a doubt one of the very best of the Sci Fi efforts to come out of the 1950's along with the original "Invasion of the Body Snatchers", "Them" and "It Came From Outer Space". Enjoy it as intelligent drama that doesn't strick for sensation in every frame. I get new things to appreciate from it with every screening. ... Read more


19. Death Race 2000
Director: Paul Bartel
list price: $9.98
our price: $9.98
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Asin: 6304238096
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 26468
Average Customer Review: 4.23 out of 5 stars
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Paul Bartel's 1975 cheap-o satire about a futuristic international sport--an anything-goes car race where drivers score points for hitting pedestrians--stars David Carradine as a hero behind the wheel and Sylvester Stallone as his nemesis. The film is clever and macabre enough as a modernist satire, but finally overplays its hand in grim, decadent humor. The sets are gloriously artificial, and former Warhol star Mary Woronov is in sexy, comic form. A DVD release is available. --Tom Keogh ... Read more

Reviews (48)

2-0 out of 5 stars A bad film, unless you like that sort of thing.
This is a very silly movie that hasn't aged well since its release in 1975. It has aspirations of being a clever social satire, but it's really just low-brow entertainment, often not too far removed from the "Skinimax" flicks of the late-80's. That may be a good thing if you're into cult flicks and B-movies, but for most viewers this is too cheesy to even be mildly amusing.

In "Death Race 2000", David Carradine stars as national hero and veteran racer Frankenstein, while Sylvester Stallone plays Machine Gun Joe Viterbo, his biggest competitor. They compete against three other drivers in a transcontinental road race where extra points can be earned by running over pedestrians. One by one, the five cars fall victim to a group of rebels who are intent on putting a stop to the gruesome sport.

The violence, of which there is very little, is played for comedic effect. However I think the intended reaction was more along the lines of "oh man, that was BRUTAL, haha!" rather than "oh man, that looked so cheap, haha!" Low budget film-lovers rejoice! This is your movie.

Interested parties should be prepared for Carradine's "dominatrix" outfit, complete with mask and cape. I think it was supposed to make him look sinister, but instead he comes off looking rail-thin and ridiculous. Stallone, in a supporting role as a stereotypical Italian tough guy, steals the movie.

The beautiful supporting actresses also overshadow the star, Carradine. Anyone familiar with producer Roger Corman knows that, in his world, fast cars and gratuitous violence go hand in hand with bare-breasts and the occasional catfight. "Death Race 2000" is no exception.

If you've seen this before and decided it's your type of film, then this is definitely version to get. Stay clear of the 1998 release by Digital Multimedia, a very poor transfer with blurry, grainy images and an ever-present hiss. This 1999 release by New Horizons looks infinitely better and the sound has been digitally re-mastered. It also has a few extras, like the theatrical trailer, bios and an interview with producer Roger Corman.

5-0 out of 5 stars Darth Frankenstein ?
Tell Me Mr. Lucas didn't get his idea for Darth from Frankenstein's wacky wardrobe. Even using the unmasking scene!!

5-0 out of 5 stars If my Auto Insurance Agent only knew!
I loved this movie, actually caught it at a drive-in theater back in 1975, not that long after getting my drivers license. David Carradine, fresh from the cancelled Kung Fu television series, played Frankenstein, a master driver, rumored to be half cyborg. This movies motivation was all about the anti-establishment, post Vietnam War era, and reflected the prevailing attitudes against US Imperialism. Seems a little ironic it takes place in 2000, with our return to that sort of attitude in government today.

In about 1978, just before the launch of the video game Space Invaders, the most popular arcade game in America was Death Race. You chased little stick figures (they called them gremlins... but you know :) ) with a car, and ran them down. They squealed, turned into crosses, (tombstones that is) you would hit reverse, and keep driving. At the end of the game, your score was the number killed. The moms of America were outraged at the game, and later a version was modified, (They renamed it Demolition Derby) you were chasing cars, which then turned into wrecks. In a nutshell, the original game is the plot of the movie Death Race 2000.

The movie is about a national sporting event, apparently to show that life is cheap, and only the meanest SOB wins. Racers get varied degrees of points, for mowing down pedestrians in a cross-country, racing event. A pre-Rocky Sly Stallone plays the main competition for Frankie. Carradine handles the role with just the right amount of campy acting, and without going too far overboard. While some of this stuff plays like an episode of the Road Runner, they never lose the spirit of the film, so it comes off well.

Believe it or not, some of the race itself is very exciting. For a low budget film that was probably made in a week or two, the action sequences were well thought out. The politics may be a little preaching at times in the film, but don't really get in the way of the fun. My five star rating, does not mean I think this is on par with past Oscar winners. What it means is, that for this type of low budget, camp movie, I consider it a classic along the lines of Motel Hell, Little Shop of Horrors, Harold and Maude, and Easy Rider.

5-0 out of 5 stars Very underrated movie
"Death Race 2000" is an incredibly entertaining movie on various levels. You can sit back and just enjoy the over-the-top acting, amazing cars, and bloody violance, or you can actually get into the story a little deeper, of how America is run by Mr. President and how various people (including, as we eventually find out, Frankenstein) try to take him down for the good of the country.

The film is filmed beautifully, especially when the cars are on the road. There's a lot of action as the cars run over people for points and battle each other to win the race.

The biggest regret I have about this DVD is that it is not in widescreen. This is a shame because, well, if it isn't in widescreen, you are being cheated. And this great film deserves to be in widescreen. (Let the VHS fans have the fullscreen.) Some deleted scenes would have been nice as well, as I have seen photos of action not in the final print, and even in the trailer on the DVD there is a line not in the film ("This is a death race," as said by Frankenstein). Despite no widescreen, still a must-buy.

5-0 out of 5 stars Classic Comedy
This look at the year 2000 from the 70's, point of imagination, is just as funny as it is disturbing. This movie is for the hit and run junkie, only you get paid for vehicular murder. The drivers race cross country in an all out frenzy to collect as many points as possible running people over. From the young to the old, rich to the poor, no one is safe on the streets of the future. So the next time you cross the street you better think twice about it, because Frankenstein ( David Carradine) Or Sly Stallone's car just might mow you down. The quality of this flic is a little distorted, and cheaply made, but is worth it's weight in gold, and should keep you amused the whole way through.
So grab the gear shifter and hang on For Dear Life, this is one crazy ride. Beep Beep The KritiK ... Read more


20. The City of Lost Children
Director: Jean-Pierre Jeunet, Marc Caro
list price: $21.96
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 6304083149
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 21535
Average Customer Review: 4.54 out of 5 stars
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The fantastic visions of Belgian filmmakers Marc Caro and Jean-Pierre Jeunet find full fruition in this fairy tale for adults. Evoking utopias and dystopias from Brazil to Peter Pan, Caro and Jeunet create a vivid but menacing fantasy city in a perpetually twilight world. In this rough port town lives circus strongman One (Ron Perlman), who wanders the alleys and waterfront dives looking for his baby brother, snatched from him by a mysterious gang preying upon the children of the town. Rising from the harbor is an enigmatic castle where lives the evil scientist Krank (Daniel Emilfork), who has lost the ability to dream and robs the nocturnal visions of the children he kidnaps, but receives only mad nightmares from the lonely cherubs. Other wild characters include the Fagin-like Octopus--Siamese twin sisters who control a small gang of runaways-turned-thieves--Krank's six cloned henchmen (all played by the memorable Dominique Pinon from Delicatessen), and a giant brain floating in an aquarium (voiced by Jean-Louis Trintignant). Caro and Jeunet are kindred souls to Terry Gilliam (who is a vocal fan), creating imaginative flights of fancy built of equal parts delight and dread, which seem to be painted on the screen in rich, dreamy colors. --Sean Axmaker ... Read more

Reviews (172)

5-0 out of 5 stars Yes, Urban Fairy-Tales Do Exist.
The first time I heard of CITY was after I saw ALIEN: Resurrection (another neo-classic stoner fantasy); I wanted to see more movies by this young French director (or wherever the Deuce he's from). The title impressed me immediately.

THE CITY OF LOST CHILDREN

How can you deny the appeal of such an interesting title? Even better, one of my favorite actors was in it: Ron Perlman, among the top five most versatile American actors. It was a year after hearing about the movie that I actually saw it; believe it or not: It was worth the wait.

Essentially, someone's stealing kids and when those someones steal the wrong kid, D'Henri, the "little brother" of circus strongman, Mr. One (Perlman), it sets into motion a series of events culminating into a beautiful street fairy-tale. It's got a group of child-thieves and a Siamese Twin ring-leader, a Mad Scientist and several clones, a disembodied brain and a midget wife, a group of blind zealots collectively known as the "Cyclops," hypnotizing fleas, and a little boy who can't stop eating. Who can resist all that?

Great color and surprisingly good special effects. It should come out on DVD, if it isn't already. (Hey, I'm talking to you, people who make DVDs. Whoever you are.)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Greatest Film of all time!
The City of Lost Children is absuloutely the greatest film ever made. From Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Marc Caro comes a twisted fairy tale with a load of villains and heros. It bases in a strange, twisted, floating city. Where a carnival strongman takes a poor, homeless boy into his home. But the evil Cyclops that terrorize the city kidnap. That's when the adventure begins. He then goes searching for him and teams up with a small girl named Miette. Together, the strong man (One) and Miette. Go searching for the lost boy. They soon enter a strange underworld. Learning that a madman played perfectly by Daniel Emilfork, a Princess, and six bumbling, clumbsy clones are kidnapping childre because the madman(Krank) was created with the others by a perfessor and Krank can't dream. So now they kidnap children and steal their dreams. But all the children fear him and have nightmares. Krank soon buys One's child from the Cyclops and uses him in his master plan. Now Miette and One bind a relationship while two evil twins hunt them down, while meeting a strange scuba diver, a psychotic circusman, and the Cyclops layer. All of the adventure is jammed pack into one movie. It's my favorite, I can't take my eyes off of it. See this film! The Directors and great and also directed a similar film, Delicatessan.

2-0 out of 5 stars jacque le blew- this blew!!!!!!!!
i take back my title , maybe this movie just wasn't for everyone. the dubbing was awful, and story just dragged on for too long. but all isn't lost........ the movie is visually stunning!! thats it take it or leave it!

5-0 out of 5 stars The wierdest movie I've ever seen!
This was one of the most bizarre and well done movies I've ever seen. It took me about three times watching it to understand the plot completely, but it was well worth it. The children in the movie are fabulos, and the visuals are really amazing. If you have not already seen this movie, I would highly recommend it.

4-0 out of 5 stars One of the best
So few movies these days really capture my mind. This is one of those movies from start to finish hands down one of the best. City of Lost Children is not for everyone but it's smart creative storytelling is all there. Dark humor and twisted effects set the tone for this film. if your a fan of a sweet films and dark humor than give this movie a try ... Read more


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