Praised as one of the best films of the year, KUNDUN is a motion picture masterpiece directed by five-time Academy Award(R)-nominated director Martin Scorsese. It's the incredible true story of one of the world's most fascinating leaders -- Tibet's Dali Lama and his daring struggle to rule a nation at one of the most challenging times in its history. Powerfully told and set against a backdrop of world politics -- the film's release created an international uproar! Featuring a striking Oscar(R)-nominated score by renowned composer Philip Glass, this extraordinary motion picture has been greeted with both controversy and worldwide acclaim -- experience it for yourself! It would be a mistake to call Kundun a disappointment, or a film that director Martin Scorsese was not equipped to create. Both statements may be true to some viewers, but they ignore the higher purpose of Scorsese's artistic intention and take away from a film that is by any definition unique. In chronicling the life of the 14th Dalai Lama, Kundun defies conventional narrative in favor of an episodic approach, presenting a sequential flow of events from the life of the young leader of Buddhist Tibet. From the moment he is recognized as the reincarnation of the 13th Dalai Lama in 1937 to his exile from Tibet in the wake of China's invasion, the Dalai Lama is seen as an enlightened spiritual figurehead. This gives the film its tone of serenity and reverence but denies us the privilege of admiring the Dalai Lama as a fascinating human character. There's a sense of mild detachment between the film and its audience, but its visual richness offers ample compensation. In close collaboration with cinematographer Roger Deakins, Scorsese filmed Kundun with great pageantry and ritual, and meticulous attention to details of costume, color, and the casting of actual Buddhist monks in the scenes at the Dalai Lama's palace. Certain images will linger in the memory for a long time, such as the Dalai Lama's nightmarish vision of standing among hundreds of dead monks, their lives sacrificed in pacifist defiance of Chinese aggression. Is this a film you'll want to watch repeatedly? Perhaps not. But as a political drama and an elegant gesture of devotion, Kundun is a film of great value and inspirational beauty--one, after all, that perhaps only Scorsese could have made. --Jeff Shannon
Product Information Specifications for Kundun Below:
A warrior marries secretly and leads a revolt against the tyrannical english king in 13th-century scotland. Oscars for best picture. Studio: Paramount Home Video Release Date: 05/18/2004 Starring: Mel Gibson James Robinson Run time: 177 minutes Rating: R Director: Mel Gibson
The epic saga of the legendary sea-faring hero comes to life in these epic films based on c.s. Forester's classic novels. Set against the bloody backdrop of the napoleonic wars. It charts a course for high adventure, following the raw recruit as he battles the french, evades capture and rises through the ranks.
Manufacturer: Warner Home Video
Brand: Warner Brothers
Roots: The Next Generations (DVD)Could there be a worthy follow-up to the most-watched miniseries ever? "We felt the other did so well," Alex Haley said, "that we should just let it hang there." But Haley began carrying around a tape recorder, dictating more of his family's tales as they came to his memory. Those remembrances filled a 1,000-page transcript: raw material for Roots: The Next Generations. Winner of the Emmy for Best Limited Series, this landmark continuation of a landmark event - with 53 stars and 235 speaking parts - "is in many respects a superior achievement," Newsweek said in comparing this to Roots. Twenty-five years later, it has lost none of its dramatic and emotional power to make us confront history and examine ourselves. One man's family remains everyone's!]]> Roots rocked the cultural landscape in the late '70s, creating a new wave of awareness of black history. That wave opened the door for its sequel, Roots: The Next Generations, even more of a star-studded event than the original, with stars like Olivia de Havilland, Henry Fonda, Marlon Brando, and James Earl Jones eager to partake in the tale. The sequel follows the rest of the saga of the family of author Alex Haley, from where Roots ended at the Civil War, up to the 1970s when Haley was researching and writing his earth-shattering family story. While nothing can rival the power of the original Roots' unflinching look at the slave trade and slave life in the early years of this country, the seq...
Manufacturer: Warner Home Video
Brand: Warner Home Video
Up Periscope (DVD)James Garner, in one his earliest starring roles, is Lt. J.G. Kenneth M. Braden, and elite U.S. solder during World War II. After being reluctantly pulled away from a week-long romance, Braden is given the dangerous mission of infiltrating a Japanese-held island. He must scuba ashore, and alone behind enemy lines, capture a top secret radio code before escaping to an awaiting U.S. submarine.]]> Anyone with a fondness for the conventions of the submarine picture will be content with the modest pleasures of Up Periscope, a World War II melodrama starring James Garner in one of his early Maverick-era roles. Pulled away from a week-long romance, Garner tags along with the sub to a Japanese-held island, where he will SCUBA ashore and copy a secret radio code. On top of the reliable suspense of a man alone behind enemy lines, the film also offers captain Edmond O'Brien, whose previous mission has his crew suspecting him of cowardice. Will he cut and run before Garner returns to the submarine? Director Gordon Douglas made a batch of entertaining pictures over the years (a bunch of Sinatra titles, the giant-bug classic Them!, In Like Flint) and he coolly finds some effective ways to photograph men in the close quarters of a sub. The main draw is James Garner in his youthful prime; even if the movie doesn't exploit his comic talent, it shows how effortlessly he connects with an audience. The supporting cast consists of the kind of actors who inevitably seem to people...
Foyle's War: Set 1 (The German Woman / The White Feather / A Lesson In Murder / Eagle Day)
Manufacturer: Acorn Media
The time is the early 1940s; the place is England's southern coast. As WWII rages around him, duty calls Christopher Foyle. Much to his frustration, however, the stalwart detective's responsibilities are on the home front, not the battlefront. Michael Kitchen (Reckless) stars with Edward Fox (The Strauss Dynasty) and Robert Hardy (All Things Great and Small) in a fast-paced four-part drama heavy on suspense and somber atmospherics. 6 hours 52 min. on 4 DVDs. Foyle's War is the rare mystery series that does more than plop a good detective into the middle of a decorative and bygone era. Created by writer Anthony Horowitz, Foyle's War makes profoundly resonant use of British society in 1940, a terrifying time in which the threat of an Axis assault on England disrupted ordinary life in often horrible ways, from the resettlement of city children (into the care of rural strangers) to a spike in xenophobia to a loss of personal freedoms. Against this heady backdrop is the near-solitary figure of Detective Chief Superintendent Christopher Foyle (Michael Kitchen), a London investigator who would rather be fighting Hitler abroad but is stuck solving domestic homicides--generally sparked by wartime fervor--with the help of a plucky driver (Honeysuckle Weeks) and a steadfast assistant (Anthony Howell). Kitchen's magnificently measured performance and Horowitz's masterful grasp of the moral and dramatic issues of his battle-scarred milieu make Foyle's War a must. --Tom Keogh
Horatio Hornblower - The New Adventures (Loyalty / Duty)
Manufacturer: A&E Home Video
Ioan Gruffudd, Robert Lindsay, Jamie Bamber. The adventures of C.S. Forester's seafaring hero fighting for the British flag against the armies of Napoleon come to life in two all-new, full-length features, Loyalty and Duty . 2 DVDs. 2003/color/3 hrs., 20 min/NR/widescreen. Dashing Ioan Gruffud stars as dashing Horatio Hornblower, unparalleled British naval hero, in two more delightful episodes from the A&E series. In Loyalty, a peace with France has left Hornblower decommissioned and short on funds. Only the help of his landlady's daughter Maria (heartbreaking Julie Sawalha, Absolutely Fabulous) keeps him from being kicked out into the street. Fortunately for our hero, Napoleon's armies are afoot, and Hornblower soon finds himself sailing to France in command of the Hotspur, grappling with Irish traitors and French skullduggery. Duty picks up where Loyalty leaves off; Hornblower marries Maria with some ambivalence, but the day after his wedding sails for the coast of France to find a missing ship. After rescuing a supposedly Swiss man and his American wife in a storm, Hornblower finds himself caught between an old foe in France and diplomats in England. Though the derring-do is sometimes melodramatic, Horatio Hornblower swiftly becomes engrossing and suspenseful. Credit is due to smart scripts, efficient direction, Gruffud's heroically curly hair, and a superb supporting cast, including Robert Lindsay and Paul McGann (Withnail and I). --Bret Fetzer
Manufacturer: Warner Home Video
Brand: Warner Brothers
Mrs. Miniver (DVD)Greer Garson delivers an Academy Award-winning performance as a British wife and mother whose courage and grace hold her family together through the terror of the World War II German Blitz--Mrs. Miniver. In this film lauded by Prime Minister Winston Churchill, which eloquently captures the hopes of England and America at a time defeat by Nazi Germany seems imminent, Mrs. Kay Miniver (Garson) refuses to allow the war to destroy her family even as she huddles with her children through bombing raids, faces enemy paratroopers and fears for her husband's life as he fights in a string of crushing defeats.]]> A movie doesn't win seven Oscars for nothing. A glowing Greer Garson (Best Actress) commands the screen as Mrs. Miniver, a middle-class British housewife whose strength holds her family together as World War II literally hits their home. Walter Pidgeon as her architect husband seems to be the prototype for future TV dads in this affecting portrait of love--familial and romantic--during war. But the relationship between Mrs. Miniver's college-age son (Richard Ney) and the upper-crust Carol (Best Supporting Actress Teresa Wright) is filled with inherent drama--as the war speeds up their young love, it also has the potential to doom it. The 1942 film, which also won for Best Picture and Best Director, is filled with colorful characters, snappy dialogue, and sensational plot twists. Although you spend much of the movie dreading that one of the Minivers will become...
By Dawn's Early Light (DVD)Nuclear war-- a nightmare that may become grim reality for the world in this riveting thriller. When a fanatical group opposed to friendly U.S./Soviet relations explodes a nuclear missile over a Russian city, it begins a chain reaction of accusations and actions that begin the groundwork for WWIII. As the clock ticks toward total nuclear annihilation, the American presidentand the Soviet president race toward a solution, fighting with their own camps as well as with each other. Two air force pilots involved romantically as well as professionally, Cassidy (Powers Boothe) and Moreau (Rebecca de Mornay), are ordered to take their B-52 bomber into the air and await further instruction from the president (Martin Landau). But when it is reported that a bomb has killed the President, pilots Cassidy and Moreau are ordered to perform the "grand tour", the systematic bombing of th ebunkers of all Russian leaders. Can these two follow through on a command that will mark the beginning of the end?]]>