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The Darjeeling Limited

· Actor: Owen Wilson | Adrien Brody | Jason Schwartzman | Amara Karan | Wallace Wolodarsky · Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1 · Audience Rating: R (Restricted) · Binding: DVD · Creator (Role: Writer): Jason Schwartzman | (Role: Writer): Wes Anderson | (Role: Producer): Alice Bamford | (Role: Producer): Anadil Hossain | (Role: Producer): Jeremy Dawson | (Role: Producer): Jerome Rucki | (Role: Writer): Roman Coppola · Director: Wes Anderson · EAN: 0024543494867 · Format: AC-3 | Dolby | Dubbed | DVD-Video | Subtitled | Widescreen | NTSC · Label: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment · Manufacturer: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment · MPN: 2249486 · Number Of Discs: 1 · Number Of Items: 1 · Package Quantity: 1 · Part Number: 2249486 · Picture Format: Widescreen · Product Group: DVD · Product Type Name: ABIS_DVD · Publisher: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment · Region Code: 1 · Release Date: 2008-02-26 · Running Time (Units: minutes): 91 · Studio: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment · UPC: 024543494867
» In this Criterion Collection release, The Darjeeling Limited is loaded with extras, from those that add conceptual heft to those more game-like, providing links to click and play with while sifting through material. Disc 1 offers a complete version of the 15-minute short film "Hotel Chevalier," starring the same protagonist, Jack (Jason Schwartzman), as The Darjeeling Limited. This is called a "short story" and an "introduction to the feature" by Wes Anderson in his audio commentary. "Hotel Chevalier," starring Jack and his thorny lover, portrayed by Natalie Portman, is meant to be viewed before Darjeeling Limited's opening sequence, in which Bill Murray rushes to catch a train he isn't destined to ride on. In the short film, clues about contents of the brothers' luggage in the feature are answered, but more importantly it gives the viewer access into Anderson's creative mind, fertilizing one character idea that he admittedly rolled into a larger script. Disc 2 offers some jaunty excursions, like an American Express commercial mocking the notion of the big personality, in this case Anderson's director persona, whipping out his credit card for grand expenditures. One sees Anderson's real "Trophy Case" and other personal snippets in a section called "Wari's Diary," a series of icons that open up to journalistic reminiscences about filming in India. In this, one sees animals the film crew saw, and a hilarious "Special Effects" link shows a bunch of men running past a still train car's windows with palm tree fronds to simulate a moving train on camera. A short film by Roman Coppola also adds to the travel-diary feel of this extras disc. The meatiest inclusion here is the 30-minute "Making of the Darjeeling Limited" by Barry Braverman, which chronicles some of the at-times humorous challenges the crew faced filming in India. "Conversation with James Ivory," a filmed interview between James Ivory and Wes Anderson, is fascinating, as it charts a history of Indian cinema and its soundtracks that both directors admire. Through this Criterion treatment, one will come away understanding Anderson's working environment and his inspirations both at large and specific to this film, and will get to know a bit about his creative process through seeing how his short films are seedlings for larger ideas. Great stuff. --Trinie Dalton

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Midnight in Paris / Minuit à Paris (Bilingual)

· Actor: Carla Bruni | Rachel McAdams | Michael Sheen | Owen Wilson | Kathy Bates · Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 · Binding: DVD · Creator (Role: Producer): Stephen Tenenbaum | (Role: Producer): Jaume Roures | (Role: Producer): Letty Aronson | (Role: Production Company): Inc.; Mediaproduccion, S.L. Gravier Productions · Director: Woody Allen · EAN: 0043396388215 · Format: Subtitled | NTSC · Label: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment · Manufacturer: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment · Number Of Items: 1 · Picture Format: Anamorphic Widescreen · Product Group: DVD · Product Type Name: ABIS_DVD · Publisher: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment · Region Code: 1 · Release Date: 2011-12-20 · Running Time (Units: minutes): 94 · SKU: K3-OMR7-LA9D · Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment · UPC: 043396388215
» Paris is a city that lends itself to daydreaming, to walking the streets and imagining all sorts of magic, a quality that Woody Allen understands perfectly. Midnight in Paris is Allen's charming reverie about just that quality, with a screenwriter hero named Gil (Owen Wilson) who strolls the lanes of Paris with his head in the clouds and walks right into his own best fantasy. Gil is there with his materialistic fiancée (Rachel McAdams) and her unpleasant parents, taking a break from his financially rewarding but spiritually unfulfilling Hollywood career--and he can't stop thinking that all he wants to do is quit the movies, move to Paris, and write that novel he's been meaning to finish. You know, be like his heroes in the bohemian Paris of the 1920s. Sure enough, a midnight encounter draws him into the jazzy world of Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, Picasso and Dali, and an intense Ernest Hemingway, who promises to bring Gil's manuscript to Gertrude Stein for review. Gil wakes up every morning back in the real world, but returning to his enchanted Paris proves fairly easy. In the execution of this marvelous fantasia, Allen pursues the idea that people of every generation have always romanticized a previous age as golden (this is in fact explained to us by Michael Sheen's pedantic art expert), but he also honors Gil's need to find out certain truths for himself. The movie's on the side of gentle fantasy, and it has some literary/cinematic in-jokes that call back to the kind of goofy humor Allen created in Love and Death.The film is guilty of the slackness that Allen's latter-day directing has sometimes shown, and the underwritten roles for McAdams and Marion Cotillard are better acted than written. But the city glows with Allen's romantic sense of it, and Owen Wilson has just the right nice-guy melancholy to put the idea over. A worthy entry in the Cinema of the Daydream. --Robert Horton

Gil et Inez sont deux jeunes fiancés américains préparant leur mariage. Ils passent quelques jours à Paris, accompagnant les parents d'Inez venus en France pour affaires. Alors que Gil est sous le charme de la capitale française et envisage de s'y installer, ni sa promise, ni ses futurs beaux-parents ne l'apprécient outre mesure. La rencontre inopinée avec un autre couple américain dont le mari est un ancien flirt d'Inez, suffisant et imbuvable, va contribuer à éloigner un peu plus les jeunes fiancés. Gil parcourt la ville à la recherche de l'inspiration pour son prochain roman et, alors que les douze coups de minuit ont sonné, il est invité à monter dans une vieille voiture qui va l'emporter vers le Paris des années 1920. Au fil des nuits, il va alors rencontrer Zelda et F. Scott Fitzgerald, Cole Porter, Ernest Hemingway, Juan Belmonte, Gertrude Stein, Pablo Picasso, T. S. Eliot, Salvador Dalí, Luis Buñuel, Man Ray, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Henri Matisse… Il va peu à peu tomber amoureux d'Adriana, qui est alors l'égérie de Picasso après avoir été celle de Modigliani. Pourtant celle-ci ne rêve que du Paris et du Maxim's de la Belle Époque, où ils finissent par se retrouver tous deux et où Adriana restera. Gil se séparera d'Inez et restera à Paris, où il rencontrera une jeune contemporaine aimant comme lui la ville sous la pluie.

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Midnight in Paris / Minuit à Paris (Bilingual) [Blu-ray] (2011)

· Actor: Carla Bruni | Rachel McAdams | Michael Sheen | Owen Wilson | Kathy Bates · Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 · Binding: Blu-ray · Creator (Role: Producer): Stephen Tenenbaum | (Role: Producer): Jaume Roures | (Role: Producer): Letty Aronson | (Role: Production Company): Inc.; Mediaproduccion, S.L. Gravier Productions · Director: Woody Allen · EAN: 0043396388239 · Format: Subtitled | NTSC | Anamorphic | Widescreen · Label: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment · Manufacturer: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment · Number Of Items: 1 · Picture Format: Anamorphic Widescreen · Product Group: DVD · Product Type Name: ABIS_DVD · Publisher: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment · Release Date: 2011-12-20 · Running Time (Units: minutes): 94 · Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment · UPC: 043396388239
» Paris is a city that lends itself to daydreaming, to walking the streets and imagining all sorts of magic, a quality that Woody Allen understands perfectly. Midnight in Paris is Allen's charming reverie about just that quality, with a screenwriter hero named Gil (Owen Wilson) who strolls the lanes of Paris with his head in the clouds and walks right into his own best fantasy. Gil is there with his materialistic fiancée (Rachel McAdams) and her unpleasant parents, taking a break from his financially rewarding but spiritually unfulfilling Hollywood career--and he can't stop thinking that all he wants to do is quit the movies, move to Paris, and write that novel he's been meaning to finish. You know, be like his heroes in the bohemian Paris of the 1920s. Sure enough, a midnight encounter draws him into the jazzy world of Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, Picasso and Dali, and an intense Ernest Hemingway, who promises to bring Gil's manuscript to Gertrude Stein for review. Gil wakes up every morning back in the real world, but returning to his enchanted Paris proves fairly easy. In the execution of this marvelous fantasia, Allen pursues the idea that people of every generation have always romanticized a previous age as golden (this is in fact explained to us by Michael Sheen's pedantic art expert), but he also honors Gil's need to find out certain truths for himself. The movie's on the side of gentle fantasy, and it has some literary/cinematic in-jokes that call back to the kind of goofy humor Allen created in Love and Death.The film is guilty of the slackness that Allen's latter-day directing has sometimes shown, and the underwritten roles for McAdams and Marion Cotillard are better acted than written. But the city glows with Allen's romantic sense of it, and Owen Wilson has just the right nice-guy melancholy to put the idea over. A worthy entry in the Cinema of the Daydream. --Robert Horton

Gil et Inez sont deux jeunes fiancés américains préparant leur mariage. Ils passent quelques jours à Paris, accompagnant les parents d'Inez venus en France pour affaires. Alors que Gil est sous le charme de la capitale française et envisage de s'y installer, ni sa promise, ni ses futurs beaux-parents ne l'apprécient outre mesure. La rencontre inopinée avec un autre couple américain dont le mari est un ancien flirt d'Inez, suffisant et imbuvable, va contribuer à éloigner un peu plus les jeunes fiancés. Gil parcourt la ville à la recherche de l'inspiration pour son prochain roman et, alors que les douze coups de minuit ont sonné, il est invité à monter dans une vieille voiture qui va l'emporter vers le Paris des années 1920. Au fil des nuits, il va alors rencontrer Zelda et F. Scott Fitzgerald, Cole Porter, Ernest Hemingway, Juan Belmonte, Gertrude Stein, Pablo Picasso, T. S. Eliot, Salvador Dalí, Luis Buñuel, Man Ray, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Henri Matisse… Il va peu à peu tomber amoureux d'Adriana, qui est alors l'égérie de Picasso après avoir été celle de Modigliani. Pourtant celle-ci ne rêve que du Paris et du Maxim's de la Belle Époque, où ils finissent par se retrouver tous deux et où Adriana restera. Gil se séparera d'Inez et restera à Paris, où il rencontrera une jeune contemporaine aimant comme lui la ville sous la pluie.

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King Kong [Blu-ray]

· Actor: Naomi Watts | Jack Black | Adrien Brody | Thomas Kretschmann | Colin Hanks · Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 · Audience Rating: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested) · Binding: Blu-ray · Creator (Role: Writer): Peter Jackson | (Role: Producer): Annette Wullems | (Role: Producer): Carolynne Cunningham | (Role: Writer): Edgar Wallace | (Role: Writer): Fran Walsh | (Role: Writer): Merian C. Cooper | (Role: Writer): Philippa Boyens · Director: Peter Jackson · EAN: 0025192008283 · Format: AC-3 | Color | Dolby | DTS Surround Sound | Dubbed | Subtitled | Widescreen | NTSC · Label: Mca (Universal) · Manufacturer: Mca (Universal) · MPN: 025192008283 · Number Of Discs: 1 · Number Of Items: 1 · Package Quantity: 1 · Part Number: 025192008283 · Picture Format: Widescreen · Product Group: DVD · Product Type Name: ABIS_DVD · Publisher: Mca (Universal) · Release Date: 2009-01-20 · Running Time (Units: minutes): 187 · Studio: Mca (Universal) · UPC: 025192008283
» Movies don't come any bigger than Peter Jackson's King Kong, a three-hour remake of the 1933 classic that marries breathtaking visual prowess with a surprising emotional depth. Expanding on the original story of the blonde beauty and the beast who falls for her, Jackson creates a movie spectacle that matches his Lord of the Rings films and even at times evokes their fantasy world while celebrating the glory of '30s Hollywood. Naomi Watts stars as Ann Darrow, a vaudeville actress down on her luck in Depression-era New York until manic filmmaker Carl Denham (a game but miscast Jack Black) entices her with a lead role. Dazzled by the genius of screenwriter Jack Driscoll (Adrien Brody), Ann boards the tramp steamer S.S. Venture, which she--and most of the wary crew--believes is headed for Singapore. Denham, however, is in search of the mythic Skull Island, hoping to capture its wonders on film and make a fortune. What he didn't count on were some scary natives who find that the comely Darrow looks like prime sacrifice material for a mysterious giant creature....

There's no point in rehashing the entire plot, as every movie aficionado is more than familiar with the trajectory of King Kong; the challenge facing Jackson, his screenwriters, and the phenomenal visual-effects team was to breathe new life into an old, familiar story. To that degree, they achieve what could be best called a qualified success. Though they've assembled a crackerjack supporting cast, including Thomas Kretschmann as the Venture's hard-bitten captain and young Jamie Bell as a plucky crewman, the first third of the movie is rather labored, with too much minute detail given over to sumptuous re-creations of '30s New York and the unexciting initial leg of the Venture's sea voyage. However, once the film finds its way to Skull Island (which bears more than a passing resemblance to LOTR's Mordor), Kong turns into a dazzling movie triumph, by turns terrifying and awe-inspiring. The choreography and execution of the action set pieces--including one involving Kong and a trio of Tyrannosaurus Rexes, as well as another that could be charitably described as a bug-phobic's nightmare--is nothing short of landmark filmmaking, and a certain Mr. Spielberg should watch his back, as Kong trumps most anything that has come before it.

Despite the visual challenges of King Kong, the movie's most difficult hurdle is the budding romance between Ann and her simian soulmate. Happily, this is where Jackson unqualifiedly triumphs, as this unorthodox love story is tenderly and humorously drawn, by turns sympathetic and wondrous. Watts, whose accessibility balances out her almost otherworldly loveliness, works wonders with mere glances, and Andy Serkis, who digitally embodies Kong here much as he did Gollum in the LOTR films, breathes vibrant life into the giant star of the film without ever overplaying any emotions. The final, tragic act of the film, set mostly atop the Empire State Building, is where Kong earns its place in movie history as a work that celebrates both the technical and emotional heights that film can reach. --Mark Englehart


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King Kong / King Kong (Bilingual) (Steelbook Edition) [Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy + UltraViolet]

· Actor: Naomi Watts | Jack Black | Adrien Brody | Jamie Bell | Andy Serkis · Binding: Blu-ray · Creator (Role: Producer): Jan Blenkin;Carolynne Cunningham;Fran Walsh;Peter Jackson · Director: Peter Jackson · EAN: 0025192232886 · Format: NTSC · Label: Universal Studios Home Entertainment · Manufacturer: Universal Studios Home Entertainment · Number Of Items: 2 · Product Group: DVD · Product Type Name: ABIS_DVD · Publisher: Universal Studios Home Entertainment · Release Date: 2014-05-06 · Studio: Universal Studios Home Entertainment · UPC: 025192232886

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Thin Red Line (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]

· Actor: Jim Caviezel | Sean Penn | Nick Nolte | Elias Koteas | Ben Chaplin · Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 · Audience Rating: R (Restricted) · Binding: Blu-ray · Creator (Role: Writer): Terrence Malick | (Role: Producer): George Stevens Jr. | (Role: Producer): Grant Hill | (Role: Producer): John Roberdeau | (Role: Producer): Michael Stevens | (Role: Producer): Robert Michael Geisler | (Role: Writer): James Jones · Director: Terrence Malick · EAN: 0715515062411 · Format: DTS Surround Sound | Special Edition | Widescreen | NTSC · Label: Criterion · Manufacturer: Criterion · MPN: CRRN1933BR · Number Of Discs: 1 · Package Quantity: 1 · Part Number: CRRN1933BR · Product Group: DVD · Product Type Name: ABIS_DVD · Publisher: Criterion · Release Date: 2010-09-28 · Running Time (Units: minutes): 170 · Studio: Criterion · UPC: 715515062411
» One of the cinema's great disappearing acts came to a close with the release of The Thin Red Line in late 1998. Terrence Malick, the cryptic recluse who withdrew from Hollywood visibility after the release of his visually enthralling masterpiece Days of Heaven (1978), returned to the director's chair after a 20-year coffee break. Malick's comeback vehicle is a fascinating choice: a wide-ranging adaptation of a World War II novel (filmed once before, in 1964) by James Jones. The battle for Guadalcanal Island gives Malick an opportunity to explore nothing less than the nature of life, death, God, and courage. Let that be a warning to anyone expecting a conventional war flick; Malick proves himself quite capable of mounting an exciting action sequence, but he's just as likely to meander into pure philosophical noodling--or simply let the camera contemplate the first steps of a newly birthed tropical bird, the sinister skulk of a crocodile. This is not especially an actors' movie--some faces go by so quickly they barely register--but the standouts are bold: Nick Nolte as a career-minded colonel, Elias Koteas as a deeply spiritual captain who tries to protect his men, Ben Chaplin as a G.I. haunted by lyrical memories of his wife. The backbone of the film is the ongoing discussion between a wry sergeant (Sean Penn) and an ethereal, almost holy private (newcomer Jim Caviezel). The picture's sprawl may be a result of Malick's method of "finding" a film during shooting and editing, and in some ways The Thin Red Line seems vaguely, intriguingly incomplete. Yet it casts a spell like almost nothing else of its time, and Malick's visionary images are a challenge and a signpost to the rest of his filmmaking generation. --Robert Horton

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The Pianist

· Actor: Adrien Brody · Binding: DVD · Director: Roman Polanski · EAN: 0824255050524 · Format: NTSC · Label: Distribution Select · Manufacturer: Distribution Select · Number Of Discs: 1 · Number Of Items: 1 · Product Group: DVD · Product Type Name: ABIS_DVD · Publisher: Distribution Select · Release Date: 2003-12-09 · SKU: N8-BQ3I-ZZ80 · Studio: Distribution Select · UPC: 824255050524
» Grand gagnant de la course aux récompenses de l’année 2003, Le Pianiste de Roman Polanski méritait amplement sa palme d’or, ses trois oscars et ses sept césars. Adapté de l’autobiographie de Wladyslaw Szpilman, ce film empreint d’une grande dignité raconte la lutte pour sa survie d’un pianiste juif, en Pologne, pendant la Seconde Guerre mondiale.

Polanski, lui-même juif, a attendu des années avant d’aborder ce sujet douloureux. Avec un classicisme tout en retenue, loin de la dramatisation excessive, le cinéaste au passé sulfureux tente ici d’exorciser des démons qui hantent le monde et sa vie depuis plus d’un demi-siècle. De la construction du ghetto de Varsovie à la libération de la ville par les Russes, Polanski nous fait vivre, de l’intérieur, l’incompréhension puis la terreur absolue de ce peuple persécuté.

Porté par l’interprétation subtile et émouvante d’Adrien Brody, en accord parfait avec la sobriété de la mise en scène et du propos, Le Pianiste offre des scènes finales bouleversantes, porteuses d’espoir. Un film qui, au-delà de l’horreur, a le mérite de laisser croire que l’humanité peut renaître de ses cendres. --Helen Faradji


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The Darjeeling Limited [Blu-ray]

· Actor: Owen Wilson | Adrien Brody | Jason Schwartzman | Amara Karan | Wallace Wolodarsky · Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1 · Audience Rating: R (Restricted) · Binding: Blu-ray · Creator (Role: Writer): Jason Schwartzman | (Role: Writer): Wes Anderson | (Role: Producer): Alice Bamford | (Role: Producer): Anadil Hossain | (Role: Producer): Jeremy Dawson | (Role: Producer): Lydia Dean Pilcher | (Role: Writer): Roman Coppola · Director: Wes Anderson · EAN: 0715515063319 · Format: Dolby | DTS Surround Sound | Widescreen | NTSC · Label: Criterion · Manufacturer: Criterion · MPN: CRRN1935BR · Number Of Discs: 1 · Package Quantity: 1 · Part Number: CRRN1935BR · Product Group: DVD · Product Type Name: ABIS_DVD · Publisher: Criterion · Release Date: 2010-10-12 · Running Time (Units: minutes): 91 · Studio: Criterion · UPC: 715515063319
» In this Criterion Collection release, The Darjeeling Limited is loaded with extras, from those that add conceptual heft to those more game-like, providing links to click and play with while sifting through material. Disc 1 offers a complete version of the 15-minute short film "Hotel Chevalier," starring the same protagonist, Jack (Jason Schwartzman), as The Darjeeling Limited. This is called a "short story" and an "introduction to the feature" by Wes Anderson in his audio commentary. "Hotel Chevalier," starring Jack and his thorny lover, portrayed by Natalie Portman, is meant to be viewed before Darjeeling Limited's opening sequence, in which Bill Murray rushes to catch a train he isn't destined to ride on. In the short film, clues about contents of the brothers' luggage in the feature are answered, but more importantly it gives the viewer access into Anderson's creative mind, fertilizing one character idea that he admittedly rolled into a larger script. Disc 2 offers some jaunty excursions, like an American Express commercial mocking the notion of the big personality, in this case Anderson's director persona, whipping out his credit card for grand expenditures. One sees Anderson's real "Trophy Case" and other personal snippets in a section called "Wari's Diary," a series of icons that open up to journalistic reminiscences about filming in India. In this, one sees animals the film crew saw, and a hilarious "Special Effects" link shows a bunch of men running past a still train car's windows with palm tree fronds to simulate a moving train on camera. A short film by Roman Coppola also adds to the travel-diary feel of this extras disc. The meatiest inclusion here is the 30-minute "Making of the Darjeeling Limited" by Barry Braverman, which chronicles some of the at-times humorous challenges the crew faced filming in India. "Conversation with James Ivory," a filmed interview between James Ivory and Wes Anderson, is fascinating, as it charts a history of Indian cinema and its soundtracks that both directors admire. Through this Criterion treatment, one will come away understanding Anderson's working environment and his inspirations both at large and specific to this film, and will get to know a bit about his creative process through seeing how his short films are seedlings for larger ideas. Great stuff. --Trinie Dalton

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Harrison's Flowers (Bilingual) [Import]

· Actor: Andie MacDowell | Scott Anton | Elias Koteas | Brendan Gleeson | Adrien Brody · Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 · Audience Rating: R (Restricted) · Binding: DVD · Creator (Role: Writer): Élie Chouraqui | (Role: Producer): Albert Cohen | (Role: Producer): Artemio Benki | (Role: Producer): Inigo Lezzi | (Role: Writer): Didier Le Pêcheur | (Role: Writer): Isabel Ellsen | (Role: Writer): Michael Katims · Director: Élie Chouraqui · EAN: 0031398214069 · Format: Closed-captioned | Color | DVD-Video | Widescreen | NTSC | Import · Label: Lions Gate · Manufacturer: Lions Gate · MPN: 21406 · Number Of Discs: 1 · Number Of Items: 1 · Package Quantity: 1 · Part Number: 21406 · Picture Format: Pan & Scan · Product Group: DVD · Product Type Name: ABIS_DVD · Publisher: Lions Gate · Region Code: 1 · Release Date: 2007-06-19 · Running Time (Units: minutes): 121 · Studio: Lions Gate · UPC: 031398214069

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The Thin Red Line (Widescreen)

· Actor: Jim Caviezel | Sean Penn | Nick Nolte | Elias Koteas | Ben Chaplin · Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 · Audience Rating: R (Restricted) · Binding: DVD · Creator (Role: Writer): Terrence Malick | (Role: Producer): George Stevens Jr. | (Role: Producer): Grant Hill | (Role: Producer): John Roberdeau | (Role: Producer): Michael Stevens | (Role: Producer): Robert Michael Geisler | (Role: Writer): James Jones · Director: Terrence Malick · EAN: 0024543030003 · Format: NTSC | Closed-captioned | Color | Dolby | DTS Surround Sound | DVD-Video | Widescreen | Anamorphic | Import · Label: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment · Manufacturer: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment · MPN: 024543030003 · Number Of Discs: 1 · Number Of Items: 1 · Package Quantity: 1 · Part Number: 024543030003 · Picture Format: Widescreen · Product Group: DVD · Product Type Name: ABIS_DVD · Publisher: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment · Region Code: 1 · Release Date: 2003-05-20 · Running Time (Units: minutes): 170 · Studio: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment · UPC: 024543030003
» One of the cinema's great disappearing acts came to a close with the release of The Thin Red Line in late 1998. Terrence Malick, the cryptic recluse who withdrew from Hollywood visibility after the release of his visually enthralling masterpiece Days of Heaven (1978), returned to the director's chair after a 20-year coffee break. Malick's comeback vehicle is a fascinating choice: a wide-ranging adaptation of a World War II novel (filmed once before, in 1964) by James Jones. The battle for Guadalcanal Island gives Malick an opportunity to explore nothing less than the nature of life, death, God, and courage. Let that be a warning to anyone expecting a conventional war flick; Malick proves himself quite capable of mounting an exciting action sequence, but he's just as likely to meander into pure philosophical noodling--or simply let the camera contemplate the first steps of a newly birthed tropical bird, the sinister skulk of a crocodile. This is not especially an actors' movie--some faces go by so quickly they barely register--but the standouts are bold: Nick Nolte as a career-minded colonel, Elias Koteas as a deeply spiritual captain who tries to protect his men, Ben Chaplin as a G.I. haunted by lyrical memories of his wife. The backbone of the film is the ongoing discussion between a wry sergeant (Sean Penn) and an ethereal, almost holy private (newcomer Jim Caviezel). The picture's sprawl may be a result of Malick's method of "finding" a film during shooting and editing, and in some ways The Thin Red Line seems vaguely, intriguingly incomplete. Yet it casts a spell like almost nothing else of its time, and Malick's visionary images are a challenge and a signpost to the rest of his filmmaking generation. --Robert Horton
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