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|The Long Ships
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Richard Widmark, Sidney Poitier, Russ Tamblyn. A high-seas action/adventure film with a Viking warrior and Moorish chief who race against time to find a hidden treasure, the long-lost and priceless Golden Bell. 1964/color/125 min/NR/widescreen.
Looking for a rousing Viking adventure that's cheesy and entertaining? The Long Ships is just the movie for you. As England's greatest color cinematographer, Jack Cardiff had filmed 1958's The Vikings, so he was well-prepared to direct this exciting, occasionally grisly mini-epic (a British/Yugoslavian coproduction, filmed in Yugoslavia), which received mixed-to-favorable reviews when released in 1964. Back then, it was a perfect matinee marvel if you were young and impressionable, and it's still worth its weight in hot buttered popcorn. While that most contemporary of actors, Richard Widmark, is clearly out of place as a maverick Norse warrior, he's sufficiently valiant as he guides his Viking brother (Russ Tamblyn, still hot from West Side Story) and a long-ship full of warriors in search of a huge, solid-gold bell coveted by Mansuh (Sidney Poitier), a Moorish prince obsessed with retrieving the legendary bell at any cost. Treacherous maelstroms, lovely damsels, corny battles, and casual humor make The Long Ships a lot of fun--like a Ray Harryhausen adventure without the animated creatures. (Oh, and Mr. Poitier? James Brown called... he wants his hair back.) --Jeff Shannon
|No Man's Land
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Between war and peace, humor and hate, capture and surrender, life and death lies No Man's Land. Set in the unforgiving trenches of the Bosnian-Serb conflict, this "astonishing" (Chicago Tribune) film follows the story of three soldiers caught between two fighting lines. Hailed as "one of the best films of 2001,"* No Man's Land is a "powerful, harrowing, shockingly entertaining" (Movieline) exploration of the absurdity of war. Fleeing enemy fire, an injuredBosnian soldier named Čiki retreats to a trench, where he finds himself trapped with a woundedcomrade and worse a Serbian! With no way to escape and with his fellow soldier lying on a spring-loaded bomb set to explode if he moves, Čiki realizes he must do the unthinkabletrust his enemyIf he wants to survive. *Associated Press, Chicago Tribune, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Hollywood Reporter, New York Daily News, New York Post.
Danis Tanovic's Academy Award®-winning satire of the war in the Balkans is an astounding balancing act, an acidic black comedy grounded in the brutality and horror of war. Stuck in an abandoned trench between enemy lines, a Serb and a Bosnian play the blame game in a comic tit-for-tat struggle while a wounded Bosnian soldier lies helplessly on a land mine. A French tank unit of the U.N.'s humanitarian force (known locally as "the Smurfs"), a scheming British TV reporter, a German mine defuser, and the U.N. high command (led by a bombastically ineffectual Simon Callow) all become tangled in the chaotic rescue as the tenuous cease-fire is only a spark away from detonation. Tanovic directs with a ferocious, angry eloquence and makes his points with vivid metaphors and a savage humor as harrowing as it is hilarious. Searing and smart, this satire carries an emotional recoil. --Sean Axmaker
- Rated R for Violence and Language
- Original Theatrical Trailer
- Serbo-Croatian: 5.1 Surround
- English, French & Spanish Language Subtitles
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Dennis Quaid, Nastassja Kinski. Bosnian war atrocities horrify a tough Foreign Legion soldier, who only joined the service to escape the loss of his wife and son in a terrorist bombing. 1998/color/103 min/R.
Filmed in Montenegro and based on true accounts of the early '90s ethnic clashes between Serbia and neighboring states, Savior is a harrowing triumph for Serbian director Pedrag Peter Antonijevic and actor Dennis Quaid. For Antonijevic, who shaped Robert Orr's script through his own knowledge of the Serb-Bosnian struggle, the story provides the daunting challenge of putting a human face on a monstrous chapter in modern Europe's geopolitical evolution, and of transcending nationalism by capturing an even-handed but hardly unemotional portrait of the "war psychosis" that only partly explains the deep, divisive hatreds at work. For Quaid, Savior rescues his artistic reputation after too many formulaic studio outings that attempted merely to cash in on his wolfish charms.
Quaid is Joshua Rose, an American in Paris traumatized by the death of his wife and child in an Islamic terrorist bombing, wreaking immediate and fateful vengeance on innocent Muslim worshippers, then escaping into a new life as a mercenary supporting Bosnian Serbs. Under the nom du guerre Guy, Rose is a remorseless, nearly comatose presence until he intervenes in a brutal attack on a Serbian woman (Natasa Ninkovic) pregnant from a Muslim rape. Guy's gradual immersion in his charge's destiny brings him face to face with the centuries-old political, religious, and cultural feuds that haunt the region, and Quaid's own salvation comes through a remarkably subdued, sober performance. That restraint, and Quaid's haggard, close-cropped features are all but unrecognizable to those more familiar with his cocky, grinning turns as a more conventional hero.
Antonijevic makes the journey absorbing and, ultimately, elegiac, punctuated by a few brief but convincingly gruesome action sequences including a civilian massacre that would have been the climax of a more conventional war film. Instead, it's Quaid's own epiphanies that distinguish this probing, heartbreaking drama. The DVD edition retains the original widescreen aspect ratio and includes an audio commentary from the director. --Sam Sutherland.
|Before the Rain (The Criterion Collection)
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Brand: Image Entertainment
The first film made in the newly independent Republic of Macedonia, Milcho Manchevski’s Before the Rain crosscuts the stories of an orthodox Christian monk (Grégoire Colin), a British photo agent (Katrin Cartlidge), and a native Macedonian war photographer (Rade Šerbedžija) to paint a portrait of simmering, entrenched ethnic and religious hatred about to reach its boiling point. Made during the strife of the war-torn Balkan states in the nineties, this gripping triptych of love and violence is also a timeless evocation of the loss of pastoral innocence, and remains one of recent cinema’s most poetic evocations of the futility of war.
DIRECTOR-APPROVED SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES:
• New, restored high-definition digital transfer, supervised and approved by director Milcho Manchevski • Audio commentary featuring Manchevski and film scholar Annette Insdorf • New video interview with actor Rade Šerbedžija • Manchevski's award-winning music video for Arrested Development's "Tennessee" • Stills galleries of Manchevski's photographs and on-set shots • Theatrical trailer • New and improved English subtitle translation • PLUS: A new essay by film scholar Ian Christie • More!
|When Father Was Away On Business
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Acclaimed political satire from director Emir Kusturica is set in Yugoslavia in the 1950s and follows the experiences of a 6-year-old boy whose father has, unknown to the youth, been sent to a labor camp after being found with a government official's mistress. Moreno D'E Bartoli, Miki Manojlovic star. 135 min. Standard; Soundtrack: Serbo-Croatian Dolby Digital stereo; Subtitles: English; interview; photo gallery. In Serbo-Croatian with English subtitles.
- It's an open secret that father has been sent away to the mines for fooling around with the voluptuous object of desire of a communist party official. That's the way things were in 1950's Yugoslavia. Six-year-old Malik, however, thinks Papa is away on business. As seen through his eyes, this film magnifies the emotions of his new experiences, punctuated by trips to visit his Papa. F
|Pretty Village, Pretty Flame
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This provocative and disturbing movie is based on an incident that happened in the first winter of the war in Bosnia in 1992. Two childhood friends, one a Serb the other a Muslim, square off on opposite sides of war, their friendship tattered and in ruins. Interactive Menus, Production Notes, Scene access, Trailer
|The Tin Drum (The Criterion Collection)
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Brand: Image Entertainment
Based on the classic novel by Gunter Grass, this drama of a young boy who beats a tin drum to combat his feelings of desperation and anger during the rise of the Third Reich is as dark and disturbing as it is utterly compelling. Winner of the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film.
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Brand: LIONS GATE HOME ENT.
At the turn of the last century, two brothers fall in love with the same woman. When she chooses the younger of the two, the embittered older brother travels to Europe where he becomes a reuthless mercenary, but the revolution soon takes a personal twist
Mortality and graphic slaughter are central to Macedonian director Milcho Manchevski's first film since 1994's Before the Rain. In modern New York a young man, Edge (Adrian Lester), breaks into an apartment inhabited by old lady Angela (Rosemary Murphy), who then tells him a story at gunpoint. In Angela's surreally symbolic tale, set around 1905, there are two feuding brothers: gunfighter Luke (David Wenham) becomes a bounty hunter in Macedonia; Bible-quoting, vengeance-seeking Elijah (Joseph Fiennes) follows, and hell goes with him. Dust is part contemporary drama, part spaghetti Western homage--with the Ottoman Empire forces standing in for the Mexican army--and all meditation on the nature of cinematic myth-making. The performances are variable, but a plethora of movie references, particularly to various Sergio Leone films, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, and The Wild Bunch, combine in a stylish and provocative fable that bears comparison with The Usual Suspects and Sex and Lucia. It also echoes Ararat (2002), in which a production crew makes a film about the 1915-18 Turkish genocide of the Armenians. Taken at face value the plot stretches credibility, but as a reflection on the nature of storytelling, Dust is an ingenious concoction. --Gary S. Dalkin
- DVD Details: Actors: Joseph Fiennes, David Wenham, Adrian Lester, Anne Brochet, Nikolina Kujaca
- Directors: Milcho Manchevski
- Format: Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC. Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only)
- Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1; Number of discs: 1; Studio: Lions Gate
- DVD Release Date: November 11, 2003; Run Time: 127 minutes
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Olympic gymnast Nadia Comaneci is profiled in this heart-warming family film. Nadia began training competitively at the age of six, with the now world-famous coach, Bela Karolyi and his wife Marta. At fourteen, she became the first Olympic gymnast to score a perfect 10 and walked away with five gold medals, two silver medals and one bronze at the 1976 Olympics. The petite gymnast from Romania was now an overnight media sensation, inspiring a whole new generation of future Nadias. But, fame came with a high price. As Nadia grew into a young woman she struggled with isolation, weight gain that threatened her career and the fear of exceeding increasingly high standards.
Nadia captures the hard work and determination of a young girl driven to success. The film stars Oscar® nominee Carrie Snodgrass (Diary of A Mad Housewife), Talia Balsam (Without A Trace), two-time Emmy® nominee Conchata Ferrell and Johann Carlo (Quiz Show).
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Clint Eastwood, Telly Savalas, Donald Sutherland. A top-flight cast highlights this big-scale story of a WWII American platoon that abducts a German general and accidentally discovers a fortune in gold. 1970/color/145 min/PG/widescreen.
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