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|The Princess and the Goblin
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When her father's kingdom is terrorized by troublesome goblins, a young princess and her faithful companions try to put a stop to the problems with music, love and magical shimmering thread. This wonderful animated fantasy is filled with lively songs, adventure and humor. 82 min. Standard; Soundtrack: English.
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Although Sunshine was made by a Hungarian, István Szabó, and deals with the history of Hungary as refracted through three generations of a Jewish-Hungarian family, you might be more inclined to give it three hours of your own life if you approach i
Although Sunshine was made by a Hungarian, István Szabó, and deals with the history of Hungary as refracted through three generations of a Jewish-Hungarian family, you might be more inclined to give it three hours of your own life if you approach it as a David Lean movie in spirit. It is an English-language picture, and Maurice Jarre's music recalls his score for Doctor Zhivago. Szabó emulates Lean's intimate-epic style of merging the sweep of history with the crystalline detailing of individual lives, so that the shape of destiny is glimpsed through personal moments that feel at once evanescent and eternal. His lighting cameraman, Lajos Koltai, is one of the handful of cinematographers equal to capturing these moments in lapidary images--cinematic sunshine of the highest order.
"Sunshine" is a literal translation of Sonnenschein, the family name of the central characters. And "destiny" is one meaning of Sors, the name three Sonnenschein offspring choose for themselves to better assimilate as subjects of the Austro-Hungarian empire. Two are brothers, Ignatz (Ralph Fiennes) and Gustave (James Frain); their sister (by adoption) Valerie (Jennifer Ehle) is really their cousin. Both men love her, and Ignatz rocks the ultratraditional family by taking her as his wife. Nevertheless, the Sonnenscheins and the Sors enter upon the 20th century in loving solidarity, grateful to live under a liberal and tolerant regime. That's all swept away by the Great War, the rise of Nazism, and its replacement, the new fascism of Stalinist Communism. Valerie survives them all--though she's played later on by Rosemary Harris, Ehle's own mother. For his part--or parts--Ralph Fiennes goes on to embody two later generations of Sonnenschein/Sors men, the proudly patriotic Adam and his son, the rudderless Ivan, whose guilt over being a compliant prisoner at Auschwitz leads him to buy into the passionate puritanism of the Stalinist purges. Fiennes rises to the awesome challenge of creating three utterly distinct characters who all share the same congenital weaknesses and aching potential for greatness.
This is a film of considerable beauty and sometimes shattering power. Even three hours is not enough to do justice to all the characters, all the wrenching turnarounds of history and political allegiance and rectitude. But the film is never less than gripping, and as an essay on "family values," it's well-nigh definitive. --Richard T. Jameson
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When young Anna Holz (Diane Kruger), a Viennese music student is asked to transcribe scoring notes for the great Ludwig van Beethoven (Harris), she eagerly accepts, despite warnings about his volatile behavior. Part maestro, part mentor and part madman, Beethoven reluctantly relies on Anna to help him realize the culmination of his art.
A passionate, powerful drama based loosely on the final months of Ludwig van Beethoven's life, Copying Beethoven finds the maestro a haunted man, composing the most revolutionary yet unappreciated work of his lifetime; largely deaf; disappointed in his relationship with a wastrel nephew; and fascinated by a young, female composer, Anna Holtz (Diane Kruger), who goes to work for him transcribing music. Staying as a guest at a convent and engaged to a stolid engineer, Anna is drawn to Beethoven’s tempestuous genius. Half the time he's enchanted by her and seems to see straight through to her soul. The other half, he's shouting at her for her timidity or flattery. Hardly a mouse, Anna fights back. The more she does, the more Beethoven recognizes in her a kindred survivor, someone with whom he can reveal his vulnerability and the burden of his artistry. Ed Harris' Beethoven is wracked by pain but not overwhelmed by it; he looks like a man who understands his responsibility to nature too well to merely disintegrate. ("God whispers in most men's ears," Beethoven says. "He shouts in mine.") Director Agnieszka Holland (Olivier, Olivier) oversees a handsome, alternately tender and brutal drama, with several thrilling moments, including the stunned look of audience members hearing the world premiere of the glorious 9th Symphony. --Tom Keogh
Copying Beethoven Extras
Watch Ed Harris speak about portraying Beethoven in this exclusive clip.
Beyond Copying Beethoven
Copying Beethoven Soundtrack
Famous Composers: Ludwig Van Beethoven
More From MGM
Stills from Copying Beethoven
|Shot Through the Heart
Lowest new price: $3.89
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Brand: HBO HOME VIDEO
Two friends, each champion marksmen, are on opposite sides in war. One turns sniper for the enemy. One remains their town's last line of defense. In a terrible battle for power, two best friends must pull the trigger. Only one will feel the bullet - but both will feel the pain.
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Brand: Lions Gate
John Cusack, Noah Taylor, Leelee Sobieski. A tangled and emotional what-if" drama about a Jewish German WWI veteran who is running an art gallery and takes a promising painter under his wing-a young Adolf Hitler. 2002/color/108 min/R/widescreen.
The dark connections between art, desire, and evil fuel Max, an alternate-history fantasy that imagines what might have happened if a Jewish art dealer named Max Rothman (John Cusack, High Fidelity) had befriended Adolf Hitler (Noah Taylor, Shine) when he was a frustrated artist, before he turned to politics to vent his hatred. Some critics have expressed fear that even to attempt to make Hitler understandable is to diffuse or dismiss his malignancy; but watching Hitler vacillate between Rothman's attempts at mentorship and the encouragement of an ambitious military officer demonstrates the pettiness, desperation, and craven need that can bring horror into the world. Cusack portrays a generous man with simple decency and not a trace of grandstanding, but Taylor--with glittering eyes and lips twisted with bile--is both fascinating and repellent in an impressive performance. An intelligent and complex film, Max deserves to find an audience. --Bret Fetzer
- Actors: John Cusack, Noah Taylor, Leelee Sobieski, Molly Parker, Ulrich Thomsen.
- Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, DVD, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC.
- Language: English. Subtitles: English, Spanish.
- Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only).
- Rated R. Run Time: 106 minutes.
|Willy the Sparrow
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An amazing adventure teaches a young boy respect, kindness and the value of knowledge. What would it feel like to be a bird and fly over trees and housetops? A boy named Willy finds out when the Sparrow Guardian turns him into a sparrow for shooting a BB gun at the little birds! Suddenly, Willy’s own cat thinks of him as lunch but, luckily, some new sparrow friends rush to Willy’s rescue. They deliver him to a grandfatherly old bird named Cipur who takes Willy under his wing, teaches him how to fly, and so much more. In return, Willy fulfills Cipur’s lifelong dream for knowledge by teaching him how to read. Willy’s new friendships help him understand that all creatures have feelings and deserve to be treated with kindness and respect. Before Willy is turned back into a boy, he leads the sparrows in a brave but perilous plan to retake their home in the barn from Blacky the cat. Finally, the Sparrow Guardian offers Willy a very special opportunity.
|The Princess and the Goblin
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Brand: Good Times Video
This magical tale springs to life in this brilliantly animated full-length feature film based on the classic fairy tale by George MacDonald. When a peaceful kingdom is menaced by an army of monstrous goblins, a brave and beautiful princess joins forces wi
- One of the finest fairy tales ever written comes to life!The magical tale of the Princess and the Goblin springs to life in this brilliantly animated full-length feature film based on theic fairy tale. When a peaceful kingdom is menaced by an army of monstrous goblins, a brave and beautiful princess joins forces with a resourceful peasant boy to rescue the noble king.Run Time: 82 Minutes Format
|Shadow of the Sword
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Brand: MTI HOME VIDEO
Following in the footsteps of Luther Passion of the Christ and Kingdom of Heaven Shadow of the Sword is a tale about love courage and faith put to the test by the ruthless arm of the Church Inquisition in its drive to stamp out reformation in 16th century Europe.Starring:Nikolaj Coster-Waldau: Kingdom of Heaven Wimbledon Black Hawk DownPeter McDonald: Sea of Souls Felicia s Journey I Went DownEddie Marsan: The Illusionist Miami Vice V for VendettaJulie Cox: Second in Command Children of Dune DuneSteven Berkoff: The Flying Scotsman Beverly Hills Cop A Clockwork OrangeDVD Features:16:9 Widescreen Format5.1 Surround Sound The Making of Shadow of the Sword InterviewsInteractive MenusScene SelectionOptional Spanish SubtitlesBiosTrailersSystem Requirements:Run Time: 108 minsFormat: DVD MOVIE Genre: ACTION/ADVENTURE UPC: 039414520811 Manufacturer No: MTI2081DVD
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Brand: Velocity Home Entertment
The Budapest subway system, the world's second oldest, is a dark, labyrinthine netherworld as vast and various as the city above it. Of the hoards of people who can be found there, most are passing through on their ways to better, brighter places, where the sunlight shines and fresh breezes blow. But, there are those who spend most of their lives underground - the beleaguered ticket inspectors or "controllers", who are assigned in teams to various sections of the system, and whose thankless job it is to ensure that no passengers ride without paying. Deployed by those in control - unseen authority figures who monitor the trains and travelers on massive grids and screens - these inspector teams are a much-despised lot. Who, on his way to work or to an appointment, wants to be stopped and asked for a receipt? And who, having sneaked through a turnstile, wants to be apprehended by petty officers who represent power at its most powerless?
The setting of Kontroll is the Budapest subway system, one of the largest and oldest in the world, and a place that becomes an omniscient character in an ambitious film that jumbles dark comedy, slick action, and horror-movie conventions. The other main character is Bulcsú (Sándor Csányi), part of a team of disheveled ticket inspectors--controllers--who roam the grimy, fluorescent-lit city-under-the-city in a soul-destroying ritual. The job has become such a part of Bulcsú that he never leaves the underground. He has taken to sleeping on empty platforms and getting progressively more unkempt as he accumulates more bruises, bloody noses, and bitterness from his scraps with a variety of unseemly creatures of the night (and day). Among the post-punk, post-communist habitués of this subterranean metropolis are a cute girl in a teddy-bear suit, a rival gang of ticket inspectors who like to play a deadly game of chicken with express trains, and a hooded specter who may or may not be pushing people under subway wheels at crowded stops. First-time director Nimród Antal keenly juggles black comedy, character types, and genre styles, making the most of the weird angles and inherent dark creepiness of his chosen backdrop. Kontroll keeps pace as a hip, flashy, fast-moving set piece by any international measure. --Ted Fry
|The Red and The White
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Brand: Kino International
Banned for many years in the USSR, Hungarian director Miklos Jancso's masterful The Red and the White is a haunting, powerful film about the absurdity and evil of war. Set in Central Russia during the Civil War of 1918, the story details the murderous entanglements between Russia's Red soldiers and the counter-revolutionary Whites in the hills along the Volga. The epic conflict moves with skillful speed from a deserted monastery to a riverbank hospital to a final, unforgettable hillside massacre. The director of such Hungarian cinema classics as Silence and Cry (1968), My Way Home (1967), Jancso here creates what many believe to be his finest work. The Red and the White is a moving visual feast where very inch of the cinemascope frame is used to magnificent effect. With his brilliant use of exceptionally long takes, vast and unchanging landscapes and Tames Somlo's hypnotic black and white photography, Jancso gives the film the quality of a surreal nightmare. In the director's uncompromising world, people lose all sense of identity and become hopeless pawns in the ultimate game of chance.
Miklós Janscó takes the romance out of Russia's Revolutionary struggle in this simultaneously beautiful and brutal look at the civil war following the Bolshevik coup of 1918. Set in a remote region of Central Russia in 1919, The Red and the White follows the shifting balance of power around an abandoned monastery. The anti-Bolshevik White Army has embarked on a campaign to completely eradicate the area of Red Army soldiers, and scores of Hungarians, former Bolshevik prisoners thrust into battle, are caught in the middle. The graceful camerawork and lush, lovely landscape captured in stunning black-and-white widescreen stand in sharp contrast to the abrupt on-the-spot executions and sadistic cat-and-mouse games of the White Army, hiding behind a mask of politeness and civility as they line up their next row of victims. But Janscó's portrayal of the Bolsheviks, while decidedly more heroic, isn't much more sympathetic. The dreamlike poetry of Janscó's cinema and the surreal atmosphere of doom carries the film in place of a strong story or a central set of characters, but there is no mistaking his sympathies for the victims of the struggle--peasants and prisoners and civilians caught between collision of two armies, systematically stripped of their dignity and their lives as the battle rages around them like an evocation of hell on Earth. It's a brave stance for a Hungarian filmmaker working on Soviet soil in 1968 and it makes for a powerful film. --Sean Axmaker
- RED & THE WHITE, THE CSILLAGOSOK, KATON (DVD MOVIE)
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