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China


The Last Emperor

The Last Emperor Lowest new price: $19.94
Lowest used price: $11.87
List price: $29.95
Brand: Image Entertainment
Model: 4313378

Bernardo Bertolucci s The Last Emperor won nine Academy Awards, unexpectedly sweeping every category in which it was nominated quite a feat for a challenging, multilayered epic directed by an Italian and starring an international cast. Yet the power and scope of the film was, and remains, undeniable the life of Emperor Pu Yi, who took the throne at age three, in 1908, before witnessing decades of cultural and political upheaval, within and without the walls of the Forbidden City. Recreating Ching-dynasty China with astonishing detail and unparalleled craftsmanship by cinematographer Vittorio Storaro and production designer Ferdinando Scarfiotti, The Last Emperor is also an intimate character study of one man reconciling personal responsibility and political legacy.

DIRECTOR-APPROVED SINGLE-DISC DVD EDITION FEATURES:

Restored, high-definition digital transfer, supervised and approved by cinematographer Vittorio Storaro
Audio commentary by director Bernardo Bertolucci, producer Jeremy Thomas, screenwriter Mark Peploe, and composer-actor Ryuichi Sakamoto
Theatrical trailer
PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic David Thomson

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The Painted Veil

The Painted Veil Lowest new price: $4.32
Lowest used price: $2.19
List price: $10.40
Author: W. Somerset Maugham
Brand: Warner Brothers
Model: 198415553

Painted Veil, The (DVD) (2007)

Edward Norton and Naomi Watts star in W. Somerset Maugham's exotic,tragic love story The Painted Veil.1920s Shanghai. Newlywed Englishcouple Walter and Kitty Fane (Academy Award nominees Norton--TheIllusionist, American History X and Watts--21 Grams, Mulholland Drive)have traveled to China to find purpose in their lives. Instead, thediscover betrayal and estrangement. Given a chance at redemption, thecouple embark on a perilous journey of self discovery deep into theheart of the Middle Kingdom.Directed by John Curran (We Don't Live HereAnymore) with a Golden Globe-winning original score by AlexandreDesplat.

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Features:

  • Condition: New
  • Format: DVD
  • Widescreen; Closed-captioned; Color; Dolby; Surround Sound; Anamorphic; NTSC

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Winged Migration

Winged Migration Lowest new price: $2.84
Lowest used price: $1.43
List price: $10.02
Brand: Sony
Model: 2227323

Rolling Stone raved that Winged Migration, the critically acclaimed, awe-inspiring documentary, is A movie miracle! It soars! You feel privileged! Witness as five film crews follow a rich variety ofbird migrations through 40 countries and each of the seven continents. With teams totalling more than 450 people, 17 pilots and 14 cinematographers used planes, gliders, helicopters and balloons to fly alongside, above, below and in front of their subjects. The result is a film of staggering beautythat Entertainment Weekly hailed as Mesmerizing! and the Los Angeles Times applauded as Breathtaking! As lofty as it is exhilarating! Open your eyes to the wonders of the natural world as you flyalong with the world's most gorgeous birds through areas.

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The Kite Runner

The Kite Runner Lowest new price: $3.91
Lowest used price: $0.01
List price: $19.99
Brand: Paramount Pictures
Model: 117974

Amir is a young Afghani from a well-to-do Kabul family; his best friend Hassan is the son of a family servant. Together the two boys form a bond of friendship that breaks tragically on one fateful day, when Amir fails to save his friend from brutal neighborhood bullies. Amir and Hassan become separated, and as first the Soviets and then the Taliban seize control of Afghanistan, Amir and his father escape to the United States to pursue a new life. Years later, Amir – now an accomplished author living in San Francisco – is called back to Kabul to right the wrongs he and his father committed years ago.

Features:

  • Condition: New
  • Format: DVD
  • AC-3; Color; Dolby; Dubbed; DVD; Subtitled; Widescreen; NTSC

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Lust, Caution (Widescreen Edition)

Lust, Caution (Widescreen Edition) Lowest new price: $5.69
Lowest used price: $2.32
List price: $14.72
Brand: Universal Studios
Model: 3708538

Provocative, thrilling and passionate, Lust, Caution is the daring new film from acclaimed Academy Award-winning director Ang Lee (Brokeback Mountain; Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon). Set against the backdrop of a transforming country, a young woman finds herself swept up in a radical plot to assassinate a ruthless and secretive intelligence agent. As she immerses herself in her role as a cosmopolitan seductress, she becomes entangled in a dangerous game that will ultimately determine her fate. Erotic, breathtaking and suspenseful, this award-winning film is being called "exquisitely beautiful" (Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times) and "lushly sensual" (Leah Rozen, People).

Lust, Caution, Ang Lee's follow up to Brokeback Mountain, for which he won the Academy Award® for Best Director, continues his exploration of people with a passion for each other trapped in a world where their passion could be life-threatening, but in a very different context this time. Set in China during the Japanese occupation of early World War II, the underlying plot concerns the story of young Wong Chia Chi (Tang Wei), an actress and member of a small group of student resistors planning to infiltrate the home of Mr. Yee (Tony Leung), a high-ranking collaborationist government official, in order to kill him for his role in the torture and executions of Chinese resistance fighters. Chi ingratiates herself with Yee's wife, the sophisticated and cultured Mrs. Yee (Joan Chen) under the guise of being the wife of a wealthy but unseen tycoon. Flashbacks tell the tale of how Chi came to be involved with the resistors: her acting ability is her most valuable asset, and her assignment is to act the role of Mr. Yee's lover, right down to the sex. The story of their love and the painful intimacy it involves for both of them is told through their sexual relationship, which starts out violently, drifts into S&M, and shifts with their feelings, moving from pain and fear to some sort of desperate connection. This is lust with a capital L; the film's sex scenes have become famous for their frankness and acrobatic portrayals (they took 12 days to film), but amazingly enough, it's never prurient. The nature of their sexual relationship, and not the sex itself, is the point. Chi falls in love with the man she's supposed to kill, but there is no stopping the mission and she knows it. The danger of it all collapsing for them both is ever present, and that's the Caution. The cinematography and direction in Lust, Caution is masterful, and every scene is beautiful. The film does drift into a languid pace, and at times one wonders why Lee would feel the need to draw it out at the expense of delaying the crucial climactic scenes. Still, it's a wonderful piece of storytelling that should only help solidify Ang Lee's place in cinematic history as a master of films that express the difficulty of being essentially human in an inhumane world. --Daniel Vancini

Stills from Lust, Caution (click for larger image)



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Kill Zone

Kill Zone Lowest new price: $9.98
Lowest used price: $3.24
List price: $13.06
Brand: Genius
Model: 2262698

In this good cop versue bad gangster action thriller, Dectective Chan (Simon Yam) relentlessly pursues the vidious crime boss Po (Sammo Hung) but eventually gives up in frustration and looks toward retirement. His replacement, Ma (Donnie Yen) is a principled committed cop who is skilled in martial arts and has a reputation for violence. The death of a cop who was planted undercover in Po's gang causes further unbalance between the sides as the cops seek justice for the loss of their brother

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Seven Swords

Seven Swords Lowest new price: $2.49
Lowest used price: $1.48
List price: $6.95
Brand: WELLSPRING/GENIUS
Model: 2262798

In the early 1600's, the Manchurians have taken over sovereignty of China and established the Ching Dynasty. The newly set-up government immediately imposes a Martial Arts Ban, forbidding the practice of martial arts altogether in order to gain control and order. A group of soldiers travel the country seeking out those who would flout the law. A swordsman and his disciples decide to take the fight to the enemy, following a plea from a group of villagers. The SEVEN SWORDS is formed and their heroic journey begins. As they lead the entire village to the road of a safer place, they discover there is a trator amongst them. Between this narrow gap of life and death, the situation is further complicated by the blossoms of love.

As the title indicates, Seven Swords is in the epic spirit of The Seven Samurai and its American cousin, The Magnificent Seven. A grittier enterprise, it may not surpass Tsui Hark’s 1990s classics like Once Upon a Time in China, but offers its own unique pleasures--like non-stop action (for which it received a coveted Golden Horse Award). Based on the book Seven Swordsmen from Mountain Tian, the action begins in rural China in the 1600s. The Ching Dynasty has just banned martial arts, and in response seven dissidents band together to fight against Fire-Wind (Honglei Sun) and his minions. The septet includes Hong Kong superstars Charlie Young (Wu Yuan Yin), Leon Lai (Yang Yun Chong), and Hero's Donnie Yen (Chu Zhao Nan). One of the mountain villagers they save is pretty Korean refugee Green Pearl (So-yeon Kim), who falls for the moody Chu. Filmed on location in scenic Xinjiang, Seven Swords is a feast for the eyes. Though some critics have taken Hark to task for the army's anachronistic goth-punk garb, it sure looks menacing. Originally four and a half hours long, this version clocks in at 153 minutes. Hark's soft-spoken commentary, along with Hong Kong cinema expert Bey Logan, is on the first disc. Deleted scenes and other extras are on the second. Because of the cuts, the complex narrative isn't always easy to follow--and the film still feels long--but the gold-tinged visuals and fight choreography by Kar-Leung Lau (The Legend of Drunken Master) helps to compensate. --Kathleen C. Fennessy

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Jackie Chan's Project A

Jackie Chan's Project A Lowest new price: $17.77
Lowest used price: $1.37
List price: $9.99
Brand: Buena Vista Home Video

International martial arts megastar Jackie Chan (RUSH HOUR, TWIN DRAGONS, RUMBLE IN THE BRONX) directs and performs all his own death-defying stunts in a hard-hitting and humorous action adventure that's been called one of his very best! Chan rocks the high seas as Dragon Ma, a determined coast guard officer on patrol in late 19th-century Hong Kong. As he battles with a ruthless syndicate in a seemingly never-ending struggle for control of the dangerous waters, you'll be blown away as Jackie literally throws himself into some of the most amazing movie stuntwork ever captured on film! Also starring popular Sammo Hung (TV's MARTIAL LAW), this must-see, adrenaline-pumping adventure delivers all the intense thrills and witty fun that Jackie Chan fans demand!

For people who've discovered Jackie Chan through his American hit Rush Hour and want to learn what his Hong Kong movies are like, Project A is an excellent place to start. Chan plays a sailor in 19th-century Hong Kong; pirates have been terrorizing the seas for months, and all efforts to combat them have been sabotaged by the corrupt chief of police and a criminal gang, who are in cahoots with the pirates. But the plot is hardly the point--a Jackie Chan movie is about astonishingly acrobatic action sequences and breathtaking stunts, and Project A has plenty. Of particular interest is a bicycle chase that is more suspenseful than any car chase you've ever seen. Chan is joined by Sammo Hung (star of TV's Martial Law) as a shifty con man who comes through when the chips are down. Project A also features Yuen Biao, a frequent costar in Chan's movies, who's yet another astounding martial artist. But what separates Jackie Chan movies from other kung fu flicks is his sense of humor; every fight scene is punctuated by something--a clever use of a prop or sudden reversal of your expectations--that will make you bark with laughter. Sometimes it's just so exquisitely choreographed that the entire movie seems to float on a cloud of giddy delight. Purists may object to the movie being dubbed, but given the overall hamminess of the acting, it's not particularly intrusive. Jackie Chan is often compared to the classic silent comedians for his grace and timing--he lives up to it. --Bret Fetzer

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My Blueberry Nights (The Miriam Collection)

My Blueberry Nights (The Miriam Collection) Lowest new price: $2.00
Lowest used price: $0.99
List price: $7.75
Model: 4095660

In Wong Kar Wai's debut English-language feature, the internationally acclaimed director takes his audience on a dramatic journey across the distance between heartbreak and a new beginning. After a rough breakup, Elizabeth sets out on a trip across America, leaving behind a life of memories, a dream, and a soulful new friend, a cafe owner, all to search for something to mend her broken heart. Waitressing her way through the country, Elizabeth befriends others whose yearnings are greater than hers, including a troubled cop, his estranged wife, and a down-on-her luck gambler with a score to settle. Through these individuals, Elizabeth witnesses the true depths of loneliness and emptiness, and begins to understand that her own journey is part of a greater exploration within herself. (Weinstein Company)

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Transsiberian

Transsiberian Lowest new price: $1.45
Lowest used price: $1.39
List price: $9.99
Brand: FIRST LOOK HOME ENTERTAINMENT

Roy (Woody Harrelson) and Jessie (Emily Mortimer) are the perfect American couple traveling from Beijing to Moscow on the legendary Trans-Siberian Express train. The two strike a bond with another couple, Carlos (Eduardo Noriega) and Abby (Kate Mara), who are not exactly as they appear. Unwittingly, Roy and Jessie are caught in a web of drug trafficking and murderous deceit when all four become targets of ex-KGB detective Grinko's (Ben Kingsley) investigation.

In Transsiberian, a train twisting across the white Siberian landscape becomes a trap for a well-meaning American couple, Roy (Woody Harrelson) and Jessie (Emily Mortimer), who find themselves pursued by a Russian policemen (Ben Kingsley) while on a trip to Moscow. On the train, they befriend a younger couple--but the charming pair hold secrets that draw Roy and Jessie into a frozen nightmare. Transsiberian's snowy setting is both beautiful and eerie, providing an evocative atmosphere that helps carry the viewer through the sometimes bumpy plot. At its core, Transsiberian is about the anxiety of being in a new world--be it a new country or a new phase of your life--and not knowing the rules, the fear of taking the wrong step and falling. The thriller plot is little more than a delivery system for that sensation. But really, all director Brad Anderson (The Machinist, Next Stop Wonderland) needed was Mortimer's limpid face; every tremor that crosses her pale skin reverberates through the camera. Her essential vulnerability first came across in Lovely and Amazing; Anderson makes good use of this rare quality. --Bret Fetzer

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