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|Star Wars - Episode I, The Phantom Menace (Widescreen Edition Boxed Set) [VHS]
Lowest new price: $5.17
Lowest used price: $1.01
"I have a bad feeling about this," says the young Obi-Wan Kenobi (played by Ewan McGregor) in Star Wars: Episode I, The Phantom Menace as he steps off a spaceship and into the most anticipated cinematic event... well, ever. He might as well be speaking for the legions of fans of the original episodes in the Star Wars saga who can't help but secretly ask themselves: Sure, this is Star Wars, but is it my Star Wars? The original elevated moviegoers' expectations so high that it would have been impossible for any subsequent film to meet them. And as with all the Star Wars movies, The Phantom Menace features inexplicable plot twists, a fistful of loose threads, and some cheek-chewing dialogue. Han Solo's swagger is sorely missed, as is the pervading menace of heavy-breather Darth Vader. There is still way too much quasi-mystical mumbo jumbo, and some of what was fresh about Star Wars 22 years earlier feels formulaic. Yet there's much to admire. The special effects are stupendous; three worlds are populated with a mélange of creatures, flora, and horizons rendered in absolute detail. The action and battle scenes are breathtaking in their complexity. And one particular sequence of the film--the adrenaline-infused pod race through the Tatooine desert--makes the chariot race in Ben-Hur look like a Sunday stroll through the park.
Among the host of new characters, there are a few familiar walk-ons. We witness the first meeting between R2-D2 and C-3PO, Jabba the Hutt looks younger and slimmer (but not young and slim), and Yoda is as crabby as ever. Natalie Portman's stately Queen Amidala sports hairdos that make Princess Leia look dowdy and wields a mean laser. We never bond with Jedi Knight Qui-Gon Jinn (Liam Neeson), and Obi-Wan's day is yet to come. Jar Jar Binks, a cross between a Muppet, a frog, and a hippie, provides many of the movie's lighter moments, while Sith Lord Darth Maul is a formidable force. Baby-faced Anakin Skywalker (Jake Lloyd) looks too young and innocent to command the powers of the Force or wield a lightsaber (much less transmute into the future Darth Vader), but his boyish exuberance wins over skeptics.
Near the end of the movie, Palpatine, the new leader of the Republic, may be speaking for fans eagerly awaiting Episode II when he pats young Anakin on the head and says, "We will watch your career with great interest." Indeed! --Tod Nelson
|The Last of the Mohicans (THX Widescreen Edition) [VHS]
Lowest new price: $14.98
Lowest used price: $0.49
List price: $12.98
Set against the panorama of a frontier wilderness, the daughter of a British Colonel and a rugged frontiersman raised by the Mohicans find love amidst the dangers of war.
Lowest new price: $199.34
List price: $19.98
|The Alamo: Original Uncut Version [VHS]
Lowest new price: $10.48
Lowest used price: $3.19
List price: $24.98
John Wayne produces, directs and stars in this "bigger than life" (Life) chronicle of one ofthe most remarkable events in American history. At the Alamoa crumbling adobe mission185 exceptional men joined together in a sacred pact: they would stand firm against an army of 7,000 and willingly give their lives for freedom. Filmed entirely in Texas, only a few miles from the site of the actual battle, The Alamo is a visually stunning and historically accurate celebration of courage and honor. Co-starring Richard Widmark, Laurence Harvey and Chill Wills, and garnering seven Oscar(r) nominations*, it is a "truly memorable movie spectacle" (Leonard Maltin). *1960: Picture, Supporting Actor, Cinematography, Sound (winner), Editing, Score and Song
John Wayne drew on what he learned from John Ford, Howard Hawks, and practically everyone who directed him during his long career when he made his own directorial debut on this labor of love. The Alamo is a sprawling, unabashedly patriotic epic of the sacrifice made by 187 men defending the Alamo from Santa Ana's bigger and better equipped army. Wayne stars as Col. Davy Crockett, the straight-talking, fun-loving frontiersman turned senator, with Laurence Harvey as the stiff, by-the-book Col. William Travis and Ricahrd Widmark as the legendary Jim Bowie who bristles under Travis's military protocol. The mix of regular army soldiers, Texican irregulars, scouts, and civilians makes for a volatile melting pot, but they all come together in a time of crisis in this metaphor for Wayne's heroic vision of America. Wayne spared no expense in this, one the last of the old fashion Westerns, re-creating the Alamo in exacting detail and corralling a cast of Western icons and old friends, including Richard Boone, Chill Wills (who earned an Oscar nomination), Hank Worden, Denver Pyle, Ken Curtis, and Olive Carey, in addition to teen heartthrob Frankie Avalon and Wayne's son Pat. Even old pal and spiritual godfather John Ford lent a hand shooting second-unit footage. Wayne is no Ford, but despite himself (and a talky script), he delivers an entertaining film full of intriguing characters and excellent action scenes, earning the film an Oscar nomination for Best Picture in 1960. Remember the Alamo! --Sean Axmaker
- Chicago Daily News "A diamond-hard, 'rough-hewn' masterpiece!"
|Terminator 2 Judgement Day Widescreen Laser Disc
Lowest new price: $9.88
Lowest used price: $7.75
sequel to the low-budget sci-fi action thriller that made him and star Arnold Schwarzenegger A-list Hollywood names, writer/director James Cameron upped the ante with this follow-up by employing a more sweeping storyline and cutting-edge special effects. Linda Hamilton returns as Sarah Connor, now a single mother to rebellious teen John Connor (Edward Furlong), during the late nineties. Having been informed by a time-traveling soldier in the first film that John will one day grow up to become humanity's savior from a computer-controlled Armageddon, Sarah has responded by becoming a muscle-bound she-warrior bent on educating John in survival tactics and battle strategies. Her ranting about humankind's future has landed Sarah in an insane asylum and John in the foster care system. The rebellious John has responded to his situation by getting into scrapes with the law. When a new and improved Terminator android called the T-1000 (Robert Patrick) arrives from the future to eliminate John, an older model T-800 (Schwarzenegger) is sent to protect the boy. The T-1000, however, has the ability to morph itself into any shape it desires, allowing it chameleon-like powers and near indestructibility. The T-800 saves John's life and helps break Sarah out of the institution. Staying only one step ahead of the dogged T-1000, Sarah leads her son and the T-800 to the headquarters of Cyberdyne Systems, the company that will invent a robotic intelligence that will eventually take over the world. There, they attempt to convince inventor Miles Dyson (Joe Morton) to help them stop the future from ever occurring by destroying his work. Dyson sacrifices himself in an explosion to save the world, leading to a final showdown between the two Terminators at a steel foundry. Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991).
- Widescree, Laser Disc, Didital Sound
- 1991, Running Time 137, Color, Rated R, Chapter Search
- 3 Sides, Closed Caption
|Raintree County (Widescreen Roadshow Version) [VHS]
Lowest new price: $39.94
Lowest used price: $14.73
List price: $19.98
An abolitionist John Wickliff Shawnessy drifts away from his high school sweetheart Nell Gaither and enters into a passionate love affair with a wealthy New Orleans belle Susanna Drake but is tricked into marrying her when she falsely tells him that she is pregnant. But even after Susanna tells him the truth his still stays with her out of love. But John soon learns that Susanna is hiding a dark secret which leads her into madness. This madness causes Susanna to flee to the South during the Civil War taking their son with her. John leaves home and enlisting in the Northern Army as his only means to pursue Susanna.
|James Bond 007 Giftset [VHS]
Lowest new price: $225.75
Lowest used price: $14.09
List price: $89.98
|The White Balloon [VHS]
Lowest new price: $51.00
Lowest used price: $18.99
In the mid-to-late 1990s, Iran began to be recognized as a refreshing source of low-budget, wryly naturalistic filmmaking, and Jafar Panahi's The White Balloon (winner of the Camera d'Or award at the 1995 Cannes Film Festival) was the first Iranian film to get a U.S. art-house release. Simple and spare yet filled with observant detail, it's a mild, beguiling movie about a 7-year-old girl's tenacious quest to buy a cherished goldfish for her family's New Year's Day celebration. That's really all there is to it, but it's wonderfully warm, funny, and generous in spirit. With an almost miraculous ability to capture moments and reality unhindered by the presence of a camera and crew, Panahi handles this seemingly trivial story as a child's emotional odyssey, set amidst the daily rhythms of Teheran as a city where kindness and cruelty can be found in close proximity. Anyone interested in international films and filmmakers should give this one high priority on their list of must-see movies. --Jeff Shannon
|La Petite Apocalypse [VHS]
Lowest new price: $2.94
Lowest used price: $5.80
List price: $35.97
|Spirits of the Dead [VHS]
Lowest new price: $14.95
Lowest used price: $6.35
Metzengerstein Directing his then wife and brother-in-law, Jane and Peter Fonda, Roger Vadim adapts this Poe story about a medieval woman who takes a liking to her cousin. When he doesn't respond in kind she sets his stable ablaze. Running into t
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