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|The Long Ships
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THE LONG SHIPS is a rollicking, action-packed Viking adventure saga starring Richard Widmark (Best Supporting Actor Oscar(r) nominee, Kiss of Death, 1947) and Sidney Poitier (Oscar(r)-winning Best Actor,Lilies of the Field, 1963). Viking brothers Rolfe (Widmark) and Orm (Russ Tamblyn, West Side Story)steal the Norse king's funeral ship as well as his beautiful daughter, Gerda (Beba Loncar), and head off in search of the fabled "Mother of Voices," a huge solid-gold bell "as tall as three tall men." The brothers battle a maelstrom, a mutinous crew and vengeful Moorish troops led by Prince El Mansuh (Poitier). Highlighted by rousing battle scenes, daring escapes and humorous interludes, Time magazine stated THE LONG SHIPS has "more enjoyable bloody foolishness than many an epic costing three times as much."
Looking for a rousing Viking adventure that's cheesy and entertaining? The Long Ships is just the movie for you. As England's greatest color cinematographer, Jack Cardiff had filmed 1958's The Vikings, so he was well-prepared to direct this exciting, occasionally grisly mini-epic (a British/Yugoslavian coproduction, filmed in Yugoslavia), which received mixed-to-favorable reviews when released in 1964. Back then, it was a perfect matinee marvel if you were young and impressionable, and it's still worth its weight in hot buttered popcorn. While that most contemporary of actors, Richard Widmark, is clearly out of place as a maverick Norse warrior, he's sufficiently valiant as he guides his Viking brother (Russ Tamblyn, still hot from West Side Story) and a long-ship full of warriors in search of a huge, solid-gold bell coveted by Mansuh (Sidney Poitier), a Moorish prince obsessed with retrieving the legendary bell at any cost. Treacherous maelstroms, lovely damsels, corny battles, and casual humor make The Long Ships a lot of fun--like a Ray Harryhausen adventure without the animated creatures. (Oh, and Mr. Poitier? James Brown called... he wants his hair back.) --Jeff Shannon
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After losing his beautiful wife (Nastassja Kinski) and young son in a terrorist bombing, Joshua Rose (Dennis Quaid) avenges their death in a murderous rampage. To escape his crime, he joins the Foreign Legion and assumes the name of Guy. But as a mercenary for the Serbs, Guy is still possessed by his mission of vengeance until he meets Vera (Natasa Ninkovic), a young Serb girl who is pregnant with her Muslim rapist's child. Together they embark on an unforgettable journey of survival through a war-shredded world. He is her only hope for survival. She is his only chance for redemption.
Filmed in Montenegro and based on true accounts of the early '90s ethnic clashes between Serbia and neighboring states, Savior is a harrowing triumph for Serbian director Pedrag Peter Antonijevic and actor Dennis Quaid. For Antonijevic, who shaped Robert Orr's script through his own knowledge of the Serb-Bosnian struggle, the story provides the daunting challenge of putting a human face on a monstrous chapter in modern Europe's geopolitical evolution, and of transcending nationalism by capturing an even-handed but hardly unemotional portrait of the "war psychosis" that only partly explains the deep, divisive hatreds at work. For Quaid, Savior rescues his artistic reputation after too many formulaic studio outings that attempted merely to cash in on his wolfish charms.
Quaid is Joshua Rose, an American in Paris traumatized by the death of his wife and child in an Islamic terrorist bombing, wreaking immediate and fateful vengeance on innocent Muslim worshippers, then escaping into a new life as a mercenary supporting Bosnian Serbs. Under the nom du guerre Guy, Rose is a remorseless, nearly comatose presence until he intervenes in a brutal attack on a Serbian woman (Natasa Ninkovic) pregnant from a Muslim rape. Guy's gradual immersion in his charge's destiny brings him face to face with the centuries-old political, religious, and cultural feuds that haunt the region, and Quaid's own salvation comes through a remarkably subdued, sober performance. That restraint, and Quaid's haggard, close-cropped features are all but unrecognizable to those more familiar with his cocky, grinning turns as a more conventional hero.
Antonijevic makes the journey absorbing and, ultimately, elegiac, punctuated by a few brief but convincingly gruesome action sequences including a civilian massacre that would have been the climax of a more conventional war film. Instead, it's Quaid's own epiphanies that distinguish this probing, heartbreaking drama. The DVD edition retains the original widescreen aspect ratio and includes an audio commentary from the director. --Sam Sutherland.
|Horrors of Spider Island (Special Edition)
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Brand: Image Entertainment
Eight sexy showgirls and their macho manager survive a plane crash and take refuge on a remote tropical island. As the gals adjust to the heat and humidity by shedding most of their clothes, they also meet one of their new neighbors: a dead scientist found caught in a giant web.
|Before the Rain (The Criterion Collection)
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Three segments explore religious tensions and ethnic hatred in Macedonia: "Words," "Faces" and "Pictures.]Religious tensions and ethnic hatred in Macedonia.]0]]Milcho Manchevski]]]Katrin Cartlidge]Rade Serbedzija]Gregoire Colin]Labina Mitevska]Silvija Stojanovska]]]]]
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Clint Eastwood, Telly Savalas, Donald Sutherland. A top-flight cast highlights this big-scale story of a WWII American platoon that abducts a German general and accidentally discovers a fortune in gold. 1970/color/145 min/PG/widescreen.
- Clint Eastwood Collection
|The Great Water
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A man near the end of his life relives a crucial period from his youth in this powerful drama. Lem Nikodinoski (Meto Jovanovski) is a prominent Macedonian politician who has suffered a severe heart attack. As Lem drifts between life and death, his mind wanders to his childhood, and he observes his younger self (played by Saso Kekenovski) during his days in a camp for children whose parents were unwilling to embrace Russia's Stalinist regime following World War II. Ariton (Mitko Apostolovski), the camp's headmaster, is a strong taskmaster, but he displays a genuine compassion for his charges; Olivera (Verica Nedeska), his second in command, takes a more stern approach, and is willing to dole out physical punishment to any child who does not absorb her Stalinist teachings. One day, a new boy enters the camp, Isak (Maja Stankovska), who displays a calm but resilient nature that's different from the fearful attitudes of the other children. After initial resistance, Lem becomes close friends with Isak, and their friendship helps Lem confront the horrors of camp life in a new way.
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Brand: Lions Gate
At the turn of the last century, two brothers fall in love with the same woman. When she chooses the younger of the two, the embittered older brother travels to Europe where he becomes a reuthless mercenary, but the revolution soon takes a personal twist
Mortality and graphic slaughter are central to Macedonian director Milcho Manchevski's first film since 1994's Before the Rain. In modern New York a young man, Edge (Adrian Lester), breaks into an apartment inhabited by old lady Angela (Rosemary Murphy), who then tells him a story at gunpoint. In Angela's surreally symbolic tale, set around 1905, there are two feuding brothers: gunfighter Luke (David Wenham) becomes a bounty hunter in Macedonia; Bible-quoting, vengeance-seeking Elijah (Joseph Fiennes) follows, and hell goes with him. Dust is part contemporary drama, part spaghetti Western homage--with the Ottoman Empire forces standing in for the Mexican army--and all meditation on the nature of cinematic myth-making. The performances are variable, but a plethora of movie references, particularly to various Sergio Leone films, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, and The Wild Bunch, combine in a stylish and provocative fable that bears comparison with The Usual Suspects and Sex and Lucia. It also echoes Ararat (2002), in which a production crew makes a film about the 1915-18 Turkish genocide of the Armenians. Taken at face value the plot stretches credibility, but as a reflection on the nature of storytelling, Dust is an ingenious concoction. --Gary S. Dalkin
|Siberian Lady Macbeth
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Brand: Kino International
Shakespearean tragedy collides with film noir in a remote Russian village in this dark fable from celebrated Polish filmmaker Andrzej Wajda (Danton, Ashes and Diamonds). Siberian Lady Macbeth observes the cruel machinations of Katarina, a ruthless woman (Olivera Markovic) who will let nothing threaten her affair with a mysterious drifter (Ljuba Tadic). When her father-in-law (Bojan Stupica) discovers her indiscretion, she dispatches him with a dose of rat poison. But soon others, including her husband, sister-in-law, and young nephew develop suspicions of their own... and test the limits to which Katarina's lethal passion will carry her. The film's barbaric setting (photographed in beautiful black-and-white by Aleksandar Sekulovic) emphasizes the primordial desires that propel its heroine toward destruction, while Wajda's carefully composed images (backed by a score drawn from the works of Shastakovich) endow the film with a visual impact and formal grace that make Siberian Lady Macbeth an unsung classic of Eastern European Cinema.
|No Man's Land
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Between war and peace, humor and hate, capture and surrender, life and death lies No Man's Land. Set in the unforgiving trenches of the Bosnian-Serb conflict, this "astonishing" (Chicago Tribune) film follows the story of three soldiers caught between two fighting lines. Hailed as "one of the best films of 2001,"* No Man's Land is a "powerful, harrowing, shockingly entertaining" (Movieline) exploration of the absurdity of war. Fleeing enemy fire, an injuredBosnian soldier named Čiki retreats to a trench, where he finds himself trapped with a woundedcomrade and worse a Serbian! With no way to escape and with his fellow soldier lying on a spring-loaded bomb set to explode if he moves, Čiki realizes he must do the unthinkabletrust his enemyIf he wants to survive. *Associated Press, Chicago Tribune, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Hollywood Reporter, New York Daily News, New York Post.
Danis Tanovic's Academy Award®-winning satire of the war in the Balkans is an astounding balancing act, an acidic black comedy grounded in the brutality and horror of war. Stuck in an abandoned trench between enemy lines, a Serb and a Bosnian play the blame game in a comic tit-for-tat struggle while a wounded Bosnian soldier lies helplessly on a land mine. A French tank unit of the U.N.'s humanitarian force (known locally as "the Smurfs"), a scheming British TV reporter, a German mine defuser, and the U.N. high command (led by a bombastically ineffectual Simon Callow) all become tangled in the chaotic rescue as the tenuous cease-fire is only a spark away from detonation. Tanovic directs with a ferocious, angry eloquence and makes his points with vivid metaphors and a savage humor as harrowing as it is hilarious. Searing and smart, this satire carries an emotional recoil. --Sean Axmaker
- Rated R for Violence and Language
- Original Theatrical Trailer
- Serbo-Croatian: 5.1 Surround
- English, French & Spanish Language Subtitles
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Olympic gymnast Nadia Comaneci is profiled in this heart-warming family film. Nadia began training competitively at the age of six, with the now world-famous coach, Bela Karolyi and his wife Marta. At fourteen, she became the first Olympic gymnast to score a perfect 10 and walked away with five gold medals, two silver medals and one bronze at the 1976 Olympics. The petite gymnast from Romania was now an overnight media sensation, inspiring a whole new generation of future Nadias. But, fame came with a high price. As Nadia grew into a young woman she struggled with isolation, weight gain that threatened her career and the fear of exceeding increasingly high standards.
Nadia captures the hard work and determination of a young girl driven to success. The film stars Oscar® nominee Carrie Snodgrass (Diary of A Mad Housewife), Talia Balsam (Without A Trace), two-time Emmy® nominee Conchata Ferrell and Johann Carlo (Quiz Show).
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