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|The Last Emperor
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List price: $29.95
Brand: Image Entertainment
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
PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic David Thomson
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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.
|The Painted Veil
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List price: $19.96
Author: W. Somerset Maugham
Brand: Warner Brothers
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.]]>
- Condition: New
- Format: DVD
- Widescreen; Closed-captioned; Color; Dolby; Surround Sound; Anamorphic; NTSC
|The Kite Runner
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List price: $19.99
Brand: Paramount Pictures
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.
- Condition: New
- Format: DVD
- AC-3; Color; Dolby; Dubbed; DVD; Subtitled; Widescreen; NTSC
|Jet Li's Fearless (Unrated Widescreen Edition)
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List price: $7.99
Inspired by the true story of a real-life hero, Fearless is a thrilling masterpiece from action superstar Jet Li. When an ill-advised fight destroys the reputation of a renowned martial arts champion (Li) and his family, his difficult path to redemption will bring him face-to-face with the most ferocious fighters in the world. Orchestrated by Yuen Wo Ping, the legendary choreographer of The Matrix and Kill Bill, this sensational, riveting epic is being described as "astounding" and "visually stunning with brilliantly executed fight sequences" (Pete Hammond, Maxim).
A moving and inspiring story of redemption and personal triumph in the face of great odds, Jet Li's Fearless is the based-on-facts story of Chinese folk hero Huo Yuanjia (Jet Li). The son of a martial-arts master whose greatest strength was his restraint, Huo grows into an unbeatable fighter whose pride and thoughtlessness lead to a chain of tragic losses. After a classic wanderer-in-the-wilderness penance, Huo reinvents himself as a mature instructor of Wushu, a martial arts system that embraces all forms of fighting without preference or pre-judgement. He also becomes a populist symbol, at the dawn of the 20th century, of China's refusal to entirely capitulate to the boot of Western colonialists. Taking on whatever European, American, or Japanese fighter the outsiders bring in to demoralize the natives, Huo becomes a legend that, in real life, is still revered. Thrillingly directed by Ronny Yu (Warriors of Virtue), Jet Li’s Fearless is a dazzling action movie that transcends its breathless fight sequences with Huo's sportsmanship virtues, i.e., knowing when you've won by example, rather than by the fist. Jet Li is superb in the role. --Tom Keogh
|Lust, Caution (Widescreen Edition)
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List price: $11.78
Brand: Universal Studios
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)
|The Children of Huang Shi
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List price: $7.92
Experience the true story of British journalist George Hogg (Jonathan Rhys Meyers), who snuck across enemy lines in 1937 to expose the Japanese occupation of China. After capture and injury, a Chinese resistance leader, Chen (Chow Yun Fat), had to rescue and send him to hide in a remote orphanage. Now in this foreign land of lost children, far away from the front lines, he's found more stories than he could have ever dreamed. From his true love of an Australian nurse (Radha Mitchell), to his timeless friendships with Chen and the orphans, Hogg discovers a rare courage and the true pleasures of life in the unlikely sanctum of Huang Shi.
The Children of Huang Shi is a powerful, inspiring film about a real-life, outsider hero who emerged from Japan's catastrophic invasion of China in 1937. A British journalist, George Hogg (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) sneaks into Nanjing at the height of Japan's destruction of that cosmopolitan city. Rescued from certain death by a suave rebel named Chen Hansheng (Chow Yun-Fat), Hogg goes deep into China's countryside in search of another front to the war. Instead of furthering his career, however, Hogg is talked into taking control of a destitute orphanage occupied by starving, lice-ridden, half-savage boys. A roving nurse, Lee Pearson (Radha Mitchell), keeps Hogg focused on his task, provides him with medical supplies, and ultimately becomes his lover. But the former reporter has to figure many things out on his own, including how to inspire the boys to help fend for themselves.
With the Japanese closing in on the orphanage and the Chinese looking at the boys as likely soldiers, Hogg, Pearson, and Hansheng lead the kids on an extraordinarily strenuous, 700-mile hike to Marco Polo's so-called Silk Road, leading to the Gobi Desert. The second half of The Children of Huang Shi is taken up by this sometimes deadly labor, and director Roger Spottiswoode balances the dreariness of it with knockout images of mountains and eerie, desert vistas. The multi-national cast is the best thing about the film, which avoids canonizing the saintly Hogg by not ignoring his sins of pride (he refers to the kids as "my boys" to the wrong Chinese authority, and pays the price) and jealousy. Chow's jaunty persona adds an essential swagger to this Schindler's List-like story, but it's Mitchell's gritty, soul-weary performance that really grabs one's attention. --Tom Keogh
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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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List price: $19.93
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
|My Blueberry Nights (The Miriam Collection)
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List price: $7.75
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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