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|The Fifth Element
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New York cab driver Korben Dallas didn't mean to be a hero, but he just picked up the kind of fare that only comes along every five thousand years: A perfect beauty, a perfect being, a perfect weapon. Now, together, they must save the world. Bruce Willis, Milla Jovovich, and Gary Oldman star in acclaimed director Luc Besson's outrageous sci-fi adventure, an extravagantly styled tale of good against evil set in an unbelievable twenty-third century world.
Ancient curses, all-powerful monsters, shape-changing assassins, scantily-clad stewardesses, laser battles, huge explosions, a perfect woman, a malcontent hero--what more can you ask of a big-budget science fiction movie? Luc Besson's high-octane film incorporates presidents, rock stars, and cab drivers into its peculiar plot, traversing worlds and encountering some pretty wild aliens. Bruce Willis stars as a down-and-out cabbie who must win the love of Leeloo (Milla Jovovich) to save Earth from destruction by Jean-Baptiste Emmanuel Zorg (Gary Oldman) and a dark, unearthly force that makes Darth Vader look like an Ewok. --Geoff Riley
|Twin Peaks - Fire Walk with Me
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Brand: Warner Brothers
Sheryl Lee, Kyle MacLachlan. The enigmatic and fascinating movie furthers the mystery of Laura Palmer, serving as both an ending and a beginning to the hit series. 1992/color/134 min/R/widescreen.
Alternately fascinating and frustrating--and no doubt deliberately so on both counts--this controversial Twin Peaks installment (it was roundly booed by mystified audiences at the Cannes Film Festival) appeared in theaters after the series was canceled, serving as both prequel and coda to the whole remarkable Twin Peaks phenomenon. Designed especially for dedicated followers of the series (it would just bewilder anyone else), Fire Walk with Me further investigates the murder of Laura Palmer by exploring events that took place before the series's brilliant debut feature (Twin Peaks: The Premiere), up to and including the long, dark, terrible night of Laura's death. Familiar Twin Peaks denizens Sheryl Lee, Grace Zabriskie, and Ray Wise (as the three members of the Palmer family), Kyle MacLachlan, Peggy Lipton, James Marshall, Dana Ashbrook, Miguel Ferrer, Mädchen Amick, and director David Lynch himself reprise their series roles (with Moira Kelly subbing for Lara Flynn Boyle as Donna Hayward), joined by an equally motley group of guest stars, including Harry Dean Stanton, David Bowie, Chris Isaak, and Kiefer Sutherland. --Jim Emerson
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Author: William Shakespeare
Brand: Warner Brothers
Treachery. Madness. Murder. The story of Hamlet has been told for 400 years...but it's never been told like this! Mel Gibson (the Mad Max and Lethal Weapon films) takes on his richest part to date, the title role in a dynamic new version of Shakespeare's Hamlet. Directed by Franco Zeffirelli (Romeo and Juliet, Jesus of Nazareth), the location-shot production has a sumptuous look that won Academy Award nominations for Art Direction and Costume Design. Gibson plays the prince of medieval-era Denmark, who senses treachery behind his royal father's death. Glenn Close (Fatal Attraction, Dangerous Liaisons) plays Hamlet's mother Gertrude, all too dangerously entangled in that treachery. A brilliant supporting cast, including Alan Bates as Claudius, Paul Scofield as the ghost of Hamlet's father, Ian Holm as Polonius and Helena Bonham-Carter as Ophelia, adds its powerful presence to this immortal tale of high adventure and evil deeds. Big, bold and heroic, this is a vivid and virile Hamlet for the modern age and all time.
Franco Zeffirelli's stripped-down, two-hour version of Shakespeare's play stars Mel Gibson as a rather robust version of the ambivalent Danish prince. Gibson is much better in the part than many critics have admitted, his powers of clarity doing much to make this particular Hamlet more accessible than several other filmed versions. The supporting cast is outstanding, including Glenn Close as Gertrude, Alan Bates as Claudius, Ian Holm as Polonius, and Helena Bonham Carter as Ophelia. Zeffirelli's vigorous direction employs a lively camera style that nicely alters the viewer's preconceptions about the way Hamlet should look. --Tom Keogh
- Condition: New
- Format: DVD
- Anamorphic; Closed-captioned; Color; DVD; Subtitled; Widescreen; NTSC
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A fireman of the future burns books until he meets a book lover and becomes an outlaw. Directed by Francois Truffaut.
The classic science fiction novel by Ray Bradbury was a curious choice for one of the leading directors of the French New Wave, François Truffaut. But from the opening credits onward (spoken, not written on screen), Truffaut takes Bradbury's fascinating premise and makes it his own. The futuristic society depicted in Fahrenheit 451 is a culture without books. Firemen still race around in red trucks and wear helmets, but their job is to start fires: they ferret out forbidden stashes of books, douse them with gasoline, and make public bonfires. Oskar Werner, the star of Truffaut's Jules and Jim, plays a fireman named Montag, whose exposure to David Copperfield wakens an instinct toward reading and individual thought. (That's why books are banned--they give people too many ideas.) In an intriguing casting flourish, Julie Christie plays two roles: Montag's bored, drugged-up wife and the woman who helps kindle the spark of rebellion. The great Bernard Herrmann wrote the hard-driving music; Nicolas Roeg provided the cinematography. Fahrenheit 451 received a cool critical reception and has never quite been accepted by Truffaut fans or sci-fi buffs. Its deliberately listless manner has always been a problem, although that is part of its point; the lack of reading has made people dry and empty. If the movie is a bit stiff (Truffaut did not speak English well and never tried another project in English), it nevertheless is full of intriguing touches, and the ending is lyrical and haunting. --Robert Horton
|Hannibal Rising (Unrated Widescreen Edition)
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(Horror/Suspense) The terrifying Silence of the Lambs prequel that reveals the history of the infamous Hannibal and how he came to be a cannibalistic murderer.
Though Hannibal Rising's Lecter (Gaspard Ulliel) is a pussycat compared to Anthony Hopkins in Silence of the Lambs, this sequel's story of revenge is grizzly enough to satisfy lovers of Thomas Harris's epic tale. After young Hannibal (Aaron Thomas) is forced to watch his little sister, Mischa (Helena Lia Tachovska), devoured by starving soldiers in his homeland Lithuania, Hannibal vows to avenge his sister's death by slaying those who committed not only war crimes against the Lecters, but also against other families during WW II. In detailing Hannibal's revenge plan, the film investigates the psychological implications of witnessing cannibalism to justify Hannibal's insatiable appetite for human flesh. The most interesting aspect of Hannibal Rising—its analytical connections drawn between Hannibal's childhood traumas and his murderous adult obsessions—is also the film's weak point. The links oversimplify Lecter's complex character. For example, though titillating to see flashbacks of Lecter's sister hacked up and boiled while Lecter visits a Parisian meat market, the reference is too obvious. One learns why he excels in his medical school classes dissecting cadavers, and we're given explicit explanation for why he slices off and eats his victims' cheeks. The story only complicates when Hannibal interacts with his sexy Aunt, Lady Murasaki (Gong Li). When Murasaki educates him in the art of beheading, the viewer sees Hannibal's sword fetish as a manifestation of physical lust. --Trinie Dalton
- In Red Dragon we learned who he was. In Silence of the Lambs, we learned how he did it. Now comes the most chilling chapter in the saga of Hannibal Lecter the one that answers the most elusive question of all why? Written by Thomas Harris, the best-selling author of the Hannibal book series, this fascinating and terrifying journey into the making of a monster (Pete Hammond, Maxim), reveals for the
|Daft Punk - Interstella 5555
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Brand: Ventura Distribution
Blu-Ray pressing. Interstella 5555 is the animated musical based on Daft Punk's landmark album Discovery, which sold over 3.2 million worldwide. This Blu Ray is the continuation of Daft Punk's video collaboration with the world famous Leiji Matsumoto, considered the living god of Japanese animation. It includes the songs "One More Time", "Harder Better Faster Stronger," "Aerodynamic", and "Digital Love".
|Paris, Je T'Aime (Paris, I Love You)
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In PARIS, JE T'AIME, celebrated directors from around the world, including the Coen Brothers, Gus Van Sant, Gurinder Chadha, Wes Craven, Walter Salles, Alexander Payne and Olivier Assayas, have come together to portray Paris in a way never before imagined. Made by a team of contributors as cosmopolitan as the city itself, this portrait of the city is as diverse as its creators' backgrounds and nationalities. With each director telling the story of an unusual encounter in oe of the city's neighborhoods, the vignettes go beyond the 'postcard' view of Paris to portray aspects of the city rarely seen on the big screen. Racial tensions stand next to paranoid visions of the city seen from the perspective of an American tourist. A young foreign worker moves from her own domestic situation into her employer's bourgeois environs. An American starlet finds escape as she is shooting a movie. A man is torn between his wife and his lover. A young man working in a print shop sees and desires another young man. A father grapples with his complex relationship with his daughter. A couple tries to add spice to their sex life. These are but a few of the witty and serendipitous narratives that make up PARIS, JE T'AIME.
Even with the impressive talent involved, Paris, je t'aime could've ended up like a fallen soufflé. Though all 18 films aren't equally successful, they hit the mark more often than not. Romantics anticipating happy love stories set amongst the City of Lights may be disappointed to find that many are quite sad and that some parts of Paris are less inviting than others (each takes place in a different district). Further, the shorts aren't all en Français, since the actors and directors hail from around the world, but their outsider perspectives lend the project depth. The strongest entries are provided by Gurinder Chadha (Quais De Seine), Gus Van Sant (Le Marais), Oliver Schmitz (Place des Fêtes), and Alexander Payne (14ème Arrondissement), but all find interesting ways to explore cultural misunderstandings. In Joel and Ethan Coen's tragic-comic Tuileries, tourist Steve Buscemi angers a couple simply by making eye contact. Like Miranda Richardson in Isabelle Coixet's heartbreaking Bastille, he does all his acting with his expressive face. And while Maggie Gyllenhaal speaks the language adroitly in Olivier Assayas's intriguing Quartier des Enfants Rouges, Nick Nolte (purposefully) mangles it in Alfonso Cuarón's surprisingly weak Parc Monceau. The anthology ends with Payne's audio-postcard, in which Margo Martindale's postal carrier narrates her vacation in awkward, but endearing French. Instead of another person, she falls in love with Paris, simply for allowing her to be herself. It's the perfect finish to a poignant repast, like strawberries dipped in chocolate--sweet, but not cloyingly so. --Kathleen C. Fennessy
|La Vie en Rose (Extended Version)
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Brand: HBO HOME VIDEO
Picturehouse and HBO Films present a critically-acclaimed biopic about the legendary international singing icon Edith Piaf, whose voice and talent captivated the world. Starring award-winner Marion Cotillard (A Very Long Engagement, A Good Year) in an astonishing performance, the film is a portrait of a remarkable artist born into poverty who survived using the only gift she had â€" her voice. Piafâ€™s tragic life was a constant battle to sing and survive, to live and love, with no regrets.
Edith Piaf is the subject of La Vie en Rose, director Olivier Dahan's powerful if emotionally redundant biographical film about the iconic French superstar whose life, as depicted here, seems to have been a numbing succession of tragedies interrupted on occasion by artistic triumph. Dahan's portrait begins with Piaf's stay in a brothel as a young girl. Left to the care of her grandmother (who runs the place) after her father pulls her away from a narcissistic mother, Piaf undergoes significant health problems and grows up to sing on the street in lieu of outright prostitution. The film pulses along with the usual biopic rhythms, with pivotal moments in the life of Piaf (played as an adult by Marion Cotillard) turning up regularly only to be smacked aside by the unseen hand of perpetual misfortune. There's the impresario (Gerard Depardieu) who recognizes Piaf's great but raw talent only to have a run-in with the criminal element around her. There's the heavyweight fighter (Marcel Cerdan) who becomes the love of Piaf's life but can't be with her. Drug addiction, random car accidents, tax problems, you name it, it's all here, topped by an unnerving revelation that pops up in La Vie en Rose's final moments. After awhile, with such a concentration of bad news squeezed into 140 minutes, one begins to wish Dahan had taken a more expansive approach to Piaf's life and times. But the film is never less than interesting, and the lead performance by Cotillard is often astonishing. --Tom Keogh
- Condition: New
- Format: DVD
- AC-3; Closed-captioned; Color; Dolby; DVD; Subtitled; Widescreen; NTSC
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Brand: First Look Pictures
On the French Riviera, nothing comes cheap. And when it comes to men, Irene has very rich taste. One very confusing night, she is duped at her own game. Her knight in shining armor turns out to have no shine at all. Irene, however, is the woman of Jean's dreams. The only way to win her heart back is to turn the tables on her. Audrey Tautou (The Da Vinci Code, Amelié) stars in a romantic comedy that proves true love is PRICELESS.
Priceless provides a sweet and sour look at the world of the super-rich. Jean (The Valet's Gad Elmaleh) works at a luxury hotel on the French Riviera. His opposite number, Irène (Amélie's Audrey Tautou), lives off wealthy men, like elderly benefactor Jacques (Vernon Dobtcheff). While staying at Jean's Biarritz hotel, Irène meets the bartender, mistakes him for a guest, and plies her considerable charms. Flattered, Jean neglects to tell her the truth, and they spend a drunken evening together. The next day, she's gone. The only trace of her presence: a discarded paper umbrella. A year passes, and Irène returns with Jacques, who dumps her when he find out about the cheating, so she bilks Jean out of everything he owns before disappearing again. Wealthy widow Madeleine (Marie-Christine Adam) offers to takes care of Jean's debts--for a price. And just like that, he's sunk to Irène's level. The next time she sees him, she quips, "Now we're equals." So, instead of teaching her the value of legitimate work, Irène teaches Jean how to play Madeleine like a violin. Following in the footsteps of Pierre Salvadori's Après Vous, which centered around a suicidal sommelier, Priceless is unexpectedly melancholy for a comedy. Like the couple in Breakfast at Tiffany's, Jean and Irène are essentially two lost souls. Irène may be an icier creature than Audrey Hepburn's Holly Golightly, but Salvadori finds a satisfying way to tie a pretty bow on this somewhat prickly package and, naturally, the scenery is ravishing. --Kathleen C. Fennessy
|Riding Giants (Special Edition)
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From its early Hawaiian roots to its current status as a recreational lifestyle enjoyed worldwide, bigwave surfing is given the definitive exploration by acclaimed director Stacy Peralta (Dogtown and Z-Boys).
Riding Giants is more than another blissfulsurfing movie. It's an outstanding documentary about one era in American alternative lifestyles, when surfing was well-suited to a radical culture of social dropouts. Using an amazing array of amateur film clips, shot for the most part in Hawaii and California from the late 1950s and early '60s, director Stacy Peralta traces the rise of surfing's appeal to young men looking to test themselves in an unorthodox (and sexy) milieu--of "living life to the fullest," as former surfer-turned-screenwriter John Milius (Big Wednesday) puts it at one point. Lengthy chapters on the glories of Oahu's Makaha and the "superstition and dread" that accompanied the big-wave challenge of Waimea Bay are riveting and sometimes heroic, particularly told through the memories of surf legend Greg Noll. Great material, too, about the deadly wonders of surfing Mavericks, California, where the rocks will get one if the violent tides don't. --Tom Keogh
Stills from Riding Giants (Click for larger image)
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