A prominent banker unjustly convicted of murder spends many years in the Shawshank prison. He is befriended by a convict who knows the ropes and helps him to cope with the frightning realities of prison life.
NOTICE: Polish Release, cover may contain Polish text/markings. The disk has English audio.
Patch Adams raises two schools of thought: there are those who are inspired by the true story of a troubled man who finds happiness in helping others--a man set on changing the world and who may well accomplish the task. And then there are those who feel manipulated by this feel-good story, who want to smack the young medical student every time he begins his silly antics. Staving off suicidal thoughts, Hunter Adams commits himself into a psychiatric ward, where he not only garners the nickname "Patch" but learns the joy in helping others. To this end, he decides to go to medical school, where he clashes with the staid conventions of the establishment as he attempts to inject humour and humanity into his treatment of the patients ("We need to start treating the patient as well as the disease", he declares throughout the film). Robin Williams, in the title role, is as charming as ever, although someone should tell him to broaden his range--the ever-cheerful, do-gooder à la Good Will Hunting and Dead Poets Society is getting a little old. His sidekick Truman (Daniel London) steals the show with his gawky allure and eyebrows that threaten to overtake his lean face--he seems more real, which is odd considering that Patch Adams does exist and this film is based on his life. Monica Potter is the coolly reluctant love interest and she makes the most of her one-dimensional part. While moments of true heartfelt emotion do come through, the major flaw of this film is that the good guys are just so gosh-darn good and the bad ones are just big meanies with no character development. Patch Adams, though, does provide the tears, the giggles and the kooky folks who will keep you smiling at the end. --Jenny Brown
This inevitable sequel finds Jim Carrey reprising his role as the world's greatest pet detective. His latest case, the disappearance of a rare African white bat, draws him out of his spiritual retreat at a Tibetan monastery following the tragic outcome of his previous case. That traumatic experience, which makes for a hilarious opening-scene send-up of the Stallone thriller Cliffhanger, prompts Ace to venture to Africa, where he goes native with the tribe that hired him to find their symbolic bat. From that point anything goes, with Carrey pushing the boundaries of good taste (what, you were expecting good taste?) up to and including his now-infamous "birth" scene from the backside of a mechanical rhinoceros. Lighten up, and don't be ashamed if you find yourself laughing. --Jeff Shannon, Amazon.com
Searching for new directions, Sylvester Stallone starred in this farcical, 1993 SF piece about an ex-cop (Stallone) freed from 36 years of forced hibernation to help catch a criminal (Wesley Snipes) who released himself from a similar incarceration. The futuristic story finds Los Angeles a sea of Taco Bells and enforced peace and within that satiric overview Stallone's character becomes a gun-toting fish out of water. The film plays like a live-action cartoon and while there is nothing particularly wrong with that, Demolition Man is a rather flat experience. The irony of a peaceable society that both requires and despises its bloody saviours has been captured far more profoundly in movies like Dirty Harry. Sandra Bullock costars. --Tom Keogh
A man tries to uncover the circumstances behind his wife's death in this creepy thriller from the "Saw" team.
George Clooney & Mark Wahlberg star in this spectacular tale of a fishing boat caught at sea during the worse storm ever recorded.
For the first time on television this series tells the true story of Stalin's encounters first with the Nazis and then with Churchill and Roosevelt and consequently their enormous impact on World War II and later the fate of post-war Europe. An enthralling mix of high politics - including the inside story of the Allies' meetings at Tehran Yalta and Potsdam - and the dramatic personal experiences of those who bore the consequences of the decisions made by the powerful. Astonishing dramatic reconstructions carefully sourced from archive material reveal how the great leaders decided the future shape of the post-war world. These decisions had immediate and often harrowing effects for those on the ground. Their story is told through documentary footage dramatic reconstructions and illuminating interviews - including contributions from former Soviet secret policemen Allied seamen who served on the Arctic convoys and Red Army veterans who experienced hand-to-hand fighting on the Eastern Front. Written and produced by award-winning film-maker Laurence Rees (Auschwitz - The Nazis & the 'Final Solution' War of the Century Nazis - A Warning from History ) this series is a compelling new way of understanding the most secret and dramatic events of the Second World War.
This extraordinary tale of hope, friendship and survival inside a maximum security prison celebrates the decade since its release with a new three disc special edition.
The negroes fought gallantly and were headed by as brave a Colonel as ever lived", was one Confederate soldier's eyewitness verdict on the 54th Massachusetts Volunteers immediately after 247 of their 600-man regiment had fallen in bloody swathes beneath the withering fire from Fort Wagner near Charleston, South Carolina in 1863. Glory is their story: the mustering of the first black regiment in the US Army, their battles with the Southerners as well as with the Northern military authorities, and their own moment of glory when they paid a terrible price for the opportunity to demonstrate to the world their courage. In telling this little-known story, director Ed Zwick single-handedly changed perceptions of the American Civil War: when a Grand Review of the Armies was held in Washington at the end of the war, none of the almost 180,000 coloured troops who fought for the Union were present; when that parade was restaged in 1990 a year after the movie was released, the 54th Massachusetts re-enactors were at the front of the procession. Zwick's stirring, factually accurate account is greatly enhanced by obsessive period detail and frighteningly realistic battle reconstructions (which were not to be surpassed in scale until 1993's Gettysburg). But Zwick also illuminates individual characters in the regiment with great sensitivity. As crucial as the military set-pieces are the scenes of the men together: talking in the tent or baring their souls in song. Denzel Washington, as the embittered ex-slave, gives a performance of real depth; he richly deserved his Oscar win for the heartbreaking flogging scene alone. Morgan Freeman brings great gravitas to his paternalistic role, and Matthew Broderick's idealistic Colonel Shaw is the centre around which the story revolves. With a clutch of remarkable lead performances, a sensitive and touching script, one of James Horner's finest musical scores, and a director with both the vision and heart to pull it off it's easy to agree with the backcover blurb: "Glory is one of the greatest war movies ever made". Without even a hint of hyperbole, it undoubtedly is. On the DVD: This is a superb looking (anamorphic) and sounding (Dolby 5.1) print, and the disc has some excellent additional features. Ed Zwick's commentary is insightful and extremely detailed: here's a director who obviously cares deeply about this movie. Of the three featurettes, one is a short-ish promo piece but the other two are genuinely impressive: there's a 20-minute "Making of" feature with major contributions from Zwick, Freeman and Broderick, and best of all a 45-minute "The True Story Continues" feature narrated by Freeman which tells the complete story of the 54th Massachusetts from beginning to end using footage from the movie as well as archive material and film of battle re-enactments. Also included are two deleted scenes, although a third scene which was shot for the movie but not used (the Frederick Douglass' speech) crops up in the "True Story" piece. James Horner's emotive score gets an isolated track all to itself and there are also some filmographies and trailers. All in all, this is a superb DVD. --Mark Walker
THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION LIMITED EDITION Special Edition DVD and Script Set Starring Tim Robbins, Morgan Freeman Based on a novel by Stephen King cat.no. 371153391 barcode 5037115339133
Dark secrets, family torments and two murders swirl around the stoic, hardened figure of Dolores Claiborne (Kathy Bates), a housekeeper accused of murdering her employer of 22 years. Then there was that timely accident that took Dolores's husband (David Strathairn) during the solar eclipse of 1975. Yet with all the sombre suffering that follows Dolores like a miasma of pain, none of it compares with the heartache of a relationship she has with her grown daughter (Jennifer Jason Leigh). Although this flick is rife with horror, it is not of the supernatural kind, but rather of the torment only real people can impose on one another. The script is full of colourful language, and director Taylor Hackford successfully weaves several plot threads and psychological dilemmas throughout this engrossing tale without diminishing any of them. He not only culls intense performances from his cast, but he also brings to life the landscape around them. When Dolores Claiborne's best-kept secret is finally given up, it occurs under the surreal backdrop of a solar eclipse that is a truly sensational bit of cinematography. --Rochelle O'Gorman
""Space... The final frontier... These are the voyages of the Starship Enterprise. Its continuing mission: To explore strange new worlds... To seek out new life; new civilisations... To boldly go where no one has gone before!"" - Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) The complete fourth season of Star Trek: The Next Generation one of the finest sci-fi shows of all-time. Episodes Comprise: 1. The Best Of Both Worlds (Part 2) 2. Family 3. Brothers 4. Suddenly Human
Written and directed by Bruce Robinson (Withnail and I), this fast-moving potboiler finds its creator getting about as far from Withnail's fine wines and London and Lake District settings as it's possible to get, and into the world of bloody homicides, narrative red herrings and emotionally damaged policemen. John Berlin (Andy Garcia) is a big-city cop and, yes, that means he drinks a lot of coffee and has a terrible personal life (in this case, signified by a wife who just can't stop cheating on him). Leaving town to visit his understanding brother-in law and fellow detective Freddy Ross (Lance Henriksen), he promptly finds himself embroiled in the hunt for a serial killer with a grisly modus operandi for murdering blind women. As you might expect, it's not long before he's bumbling his way into a number of confrontations with the hick cops around him and an affair with Helena (Uma Thurman), the blind room-mate of one of the killer's victims. Slick and pacey, Jennifer 8 throws out so many plot that it eventually winds up falling over them in its haste to get to the overblown climax. Nothing here makes a great deal of sense and yet, despite its inherent cosmic silliness, Robinson handles the suspense-and-relief routine with a flashy aplomb, and the cast do well in the face of the material's shortcomings. (John Malkovich's brief appearance is a redemptive highlight, even if you do have to wait almost 90 minutes for it). --Danny Leigh
John Travolta is Vic Deakins, a bomber pilot who launches a devilish plan to hijack two nuclear missiles for big-time extortion. Vic never sweats, spews out great one-liners, knocks off money men with glee, toys with killing half a million people ... he even smokes!If you giggled at his "Ain't it cool" line from the trailer, you're in the right frame of mind for this comedic action film. Never as gritty or semi-realistic--or for that matter as heart-thumping--as the original DieHard, Broken Arrow still delivers. If Travolta is cast against type, everyone else is by the numbers; Christian Slater as Hale, the earnest copilot looking to foil the plot, Samantha Mathis as the brave park ranger caught in the middle, Frank Whaley as an eager diplomat and Delroy Lindo as a right-minded colonel. As with his previous script (the superior Speed), writer Graham Yost moves everything quickly along as Hale and the ranger try to cut off Deakins's plan over a variety of terrains. There are plane crashes, car chases, a pursuit through an abandoned mine, a helicopter-train shootout and lots of fighting between boys. Each time Hale finds himself perfectly in place to foil Deakins, you're suppose to laugh at the unbelievable situations. That's where Broken Arrow is deceptive: its tone is right for the laughter compared to the mean-spirited Schwarzenegger and Stallone action films with laboured jokes. Hong Kong master director John Woo (TheKiller and Hard Target) pulls out all the stops--slow motion of Hale and Deakins' gymnastic gun play, nifty stunts, countdowns to doomsday. Woo may know action but he needs more guidance in creating unique and stunning special effects. This is action entertainment at its cheesiest. Travolta and Woolater reteamed for Face/Off. --Doug Thomas
A young district attorney becomes a crusader for justice when a man is found innocent of the attempted murder of his wife.
A little-known chapter of American labour history is brought vividly to life in this period drama from writer-director John Sayles. It's a fictional story about labour wars among West Virginia coal miners during the 1920s, but every detail is so right that the film has the unmistakable ring of truth. The tension begins when the Stone Mountain Coal Company of Matewan, West Virginia, announces a lower pay rate for miners, who respond by calling a strike under the leadership of a United Mine Workers representative (Chris Cooper). Proving strength in numbers, the miners are joined by black and Italian miners who initially resist the strike, and a fateful battle ensues when detectives hired by the coal company attempt to evict miners from company housing. Violence erupts in a sequence of astonishing, cathartic intensity, and Matewan achieves a rare degree of moral complexity combined with gut-wrenching tragedy. The film salutes a pacifist ideal while recognising that personal and political convictions often must be defended with violence. To illustrate this point, Sayles enlisted master cinematographer Haskell Wexler, who creates the film's authentic visual texture--a triumph of artistry over limited resources. The result is a milestone of independent filmmaking, and Matewan remains one of Sayles's finest achievements. --Jeff Shannon, Amazon.com
Steven Seagal needed a new approach to his standard head-busting heroics, so he teamed up with Keenen Ivory Wayans for this routine 1996 action flick. This time stone-faced Steve plays Los Angeles homicide detective Jack Cole, newly transplanted from New York and teamed up with Jim Campbell (Wayans). They're assigned to track down "The Family Man," a serial killer who earned his nickname by crucifying entire families and leaving religious graffiti as his calling card. The case heats up when the latest victim turns out to be Cole's ex-wife, and Cole is considered a primary suspect. That makes Seagal get really mad--you don't want to get Seagal too upset, y'know--but he still has time to quote Buddhist wisdom and crack wise with Wayans, who plays it relatively straight as the practical half of this partnership. Glimmer Man is typical Seagal stuff all the way, with obligatory fight scenes every 10 minutes or so, but Seagal fans will enjoy it and Brian Cox makes a suitably hissable villain. --Jeff Shannon
This extraordinary tale of hope, friendship and survival inside a maximum security prison celebrates the decade since its release with a new three disc special edition.
Perfect Storm: George Clooney and Mark Wahlberg lead a talented cast in this harrowing special-effects adventure that intercuts the plight of seafarers struggling to reach safe harbor with the heroics of air/sea rescue crews. Directed by Wolfgang Petersen The Perfect Storm tosses excitement your way in waves. Three Kings: The Gulf War is over. Operation Desert Storm is no more. Now three American soldiers have the opportunity of a lifetime; to become Three Kings. Amid the partying and confusion three soldiers disappear into the Iraqi desert to find millions in stolen Kuwaiti bullion and are plunged into the heart of a democratic uprising that spins the day - and their lives - out of control. Deep Blue Sea: Researchers on the undersea laboratory Aquatica have genetically altered the brains of captive sharks to develop a potential cure for Alzheimer's disease. There is one unexpected side effect. The sharks are getting smarter. Which could mean trouble for the researchers. And lunch for the sharks.
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