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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
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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.
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Clint Eastwood stars in this wartime comedy-adventure as a U.S. Army lieutenant--busted down to private--who leads a ragtag band of soldiers on a dangerous mission behind enemy lines. But their motives aren't so much patriotic as greedy as it turns out they're looking to steal a fortune in Nazi gold. With Telly Savalas, Don Rickles, Carroll O'Connor, Gavin MacLeod, and Donald Sutherland as a proto-hippie tank driver. 143 min. Widescreen (Enhanced); Soundtracks: English Dolby Digital 5.1, French Dolby Digital mono; Subtitles: English, French; theatrical trailer.
This tongue-in-cheek 1970 variation on The Dirty Dozen looks less fresh than it did in the year of its release, but it still has some enjoyable moments. Clint Eastwood stars along with Donald Sutherland, Harry Dean Stanton, Telly Savalas, Don Rickles, Carroll O'Connor, and Gavin MacLeod in the story of American soldiers who try to steal gold behind enemy lines in World War II. Sutherland's hippie G.I. doesn't have the sardonic and timely appeal he did during the Vietnam War, but the film's irreverence and several of the performances are worth a visit. --Tom Keogh
|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
|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!
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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
|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.
This Oscar-winning adaptation of Günter Grass's novel is an absurdist fantasy about a little German boy (David Bennent) who wills himself at the age of three not to grow up in protest of the Nazi regime. Made unnecessarily notorious in recent years due to overzealous censors in some parts of the United States, the film is more startling and surreal than obscene. Bennent is very good, and while the 1979 film doesn't meet the high standards of the best work from the then-renaissance of German film, it has a special place in the hearts of many who saw it upon its release. Directed by Volker Schlöndorff (The Handmaid's Tale). --Tom Keogh
|Hey, Babu Riba
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This "perceptive film combines nostalgia and political commentary" (Leonard Maltin) into a captivating portrayal of five teenagers growing up against the ominous backdrop of social turbulence of 1950s Yugoslavia. A spirited and moving celebration of youth and the unconditional loyalty that often comes with it, Hey Babu Riba comes "alive with the energies of an unsettling period and the unsettled young" (The New York Times)! Pop, Glenn, Sacha and Kicha are four vivacious and impetuous teenage boys coming of age in Belgrade, 1953. All four are mad about Glenn Miller, the sport of rowing, American blue jeans and Marianatheir comely, ethereal rowing captain. But when the boys decide to risk everything to help their beloved Esther, it drastically and ironically changes the course of their lives forever!
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Brand: Repnet LLC
Post-Milosevic Belgrade is the capital of a nation struggling to find its soul, of a country whose turbulence has left many in a moral and existential desert. This is the home of Mladen, his wife Marija and their son Nemanja. When Nemanja develops a serious heart condition, the doctors urge an expensive operation abroad. Just when the boy s parents give up hope of raising the money, a man contacts Mladen and offers to pay the whole amount; in exchange, he must kill the man s business rival. The proposal repulses Mladen, but as his son s condition suddenly deteriorates, he begins to seriously consider the offer. If he accepts, he saves his boy s life but loses his soul; if he refuses, he will grieve as a righteous man until the end of his life. The trap is set....
|Cave of the Living Dead
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Brand: Image Entertainment
86 minute feature film DVD.
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