Amistad Steven Spielberg  
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An epic journey of one mans fight for his life and his freedom. This story of courage and determination is presented by a director whose vision goes to the heart of the story and the soul of its characters. Once again steven spielberg has created a film event that will never be forgotten. Studio: Paramount Home Video Release Date: 02/13/2007 Starring: Morgan Freeman Djimon Hounsou Run time: 155 minutes Rating: R Director: Steven Spielberg

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The Amityville Horror Andrew Douglas  
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Studio: Tcfhe/mgm Release Date: 09/09/2008 Run time: 89 minutes Rating: R

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Andrei Rublev Lyudmila Feiginova, Olga Shevkunenko, Tatyana Yegorychyova, Andrei Tarkovsky  
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At last, the complete version of Andrei Tarkovski's 1966 masterpiece about the great 15th century Russian icon painter (a film suppressed by the Soviet Union and unseen until 1971) is available. It's a complex and demanding narrative about the responsibility of the artist to participate in history rather than documenting it from a safe distance. A landmark in Russian cinema, Andrei Rublev is a beautifully lyrical black-and-white film about harmony and soulful expression. As the late filmmaker says in a supplementary interview, each generation must experience life for itself; it cannot simply absorb what has preceded it. In fact, a whole host of supplements accompanies the film in this Criterion Collection release. Stick with it; it's worth the effort. —Bill Desowitz

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Andy Goldsworthy's Rivers & Tides Thomas Riedelsheimer  
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Studio: New Video Group Release Date: 09/28/2004 Run time: 90 minutes Rating: Nr

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Angel Heart Alan Parker  
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Set in Harlem and New Orleans in 1955, this supernatural thriller stirred a brief controversy when released in 1987 because some scenes featuring Lisa Bonet (then a popular cast member of The Cosby Show) were considered too sexually explicit to be rated R. The edited material was restored for the unrated video release, and the movie now makes a fitting double bill with Fallen, with its similar plot about a sullen detective (Mickey Rourke) who is hired to find a missing person by a shady client with pointy fingernails named Louis Cyphre (Lucifer, get it?), played with subtle menace by Robert De Niro. Rourke's investigation leads him into an underworld of voodoo and forbidden desires, and as the mystery unfolds director Alan Parker fills every scene with conspicuous style and atmospheric excess, compelling critic Pauline Kael to observe that, "Parker simply doesn't have the gift of making evil seductive, and he edits like a flasher." And yet, this movie does cast a spell of its own (Roger Ebert's review was considerably more charitable), and the performances of Rourke, De Niro, Bonet, and Charlotte Rampling are well suited to the ominous mood. —Jeff Shannon

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Angels in America Mike Nichols  
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Tony Kushner's prize-winning play Angels in America became the defining theatrical event of the 1990s, an astonishing mix of philosophy, politics, and vibrant gay soap opera that summed up the Reagan era for an entire generation of theater-goers. Post-9/11 would seem to be too late for a film version—philosophy and politics don't always age well—but this 2003 HBO adaptation, ably directed by Mike Nichols (The Graduate), provides a time capsule of the '80s and reveals the deep emotional subcurrents that will give the play lasting power.

The story centers around Prior Walter (Justin Kirk) and Louis Ironson (Ben Shenkman), a gay couple that falls apart when Prior grows ill as a result of AIDS. But cancer is not the only thing invading Prior's life: He begins to have religious visions of an angel (Emma Thompson, Sense and Sensibility) announcing that he is a prophet. Louis, who doesn't cope well with disease and suggestions of mortality, leaves and starts a relationship with Joe Pitt (Patrick Wilson), a closeted Mormon who works for Roy Cohn (Al Pacino, Dog Day Afternoon)—the real-life right-wing lawyer, notorious for his ruthless behind-the-scenes machinations. Add in Joe's depressed and hallucinating wife Harper (Mary Louise Parker, Fried Green Tomatoes), his determined but open-minded mother Hannah (Meryl Streep, Adaptation), a fierce drag queen/nurse named Belize (Jeffrey Wright, Basquiat, reprising his celebrated performance from the Broadway production), and you've still only begun to discover the wealth of characters and storylines in Kushner's ambitious work.

The powerhouse cast (also featuring James Cromwell, Michael Gambon, and Simon Callow) is uniformly superb. The script has its weaknesses—some of the fantastic elements, including Prior's journey to Heaven towards the end, fall flat—but even what doesn't work is bristling with ideas and a ferocious desire to capture human existence in this time and place. —Bret Fetzer

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The Animatrix Andy Jones, Kôji Morimoto, Mahiro Maeda, Peter Chung, Shinichirô Watanabe  
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Matrix writer-directors Larry and Andy Wachowski commissioned seven artists from Japan, America and Korea to make nine short films set in the world of their feature trilogy. Some of the top anime directors contributed to this anthology, including Yoshiaki Kawajiri (Ninja Scroll), Koji Morimoto (Robot Carnival), and Shinchiro Watanabe (Cowboy Bebop). Some of the films tie directly into the narrative of the live-action movies. Drawn in a style reminiscent of Jean "Moebius" Giraud, Mahiro Maeda's The Second Renaissance (Part I & Part II) depicts the human-machine wars that caused the enslavement of humanity and the creation of the Matrix. The duel between two flamboyantly costumed Kabuki warriors in Kawajiri's Program is an expanded version of the cybernetic training Neo (Keanu Reeves) undergoes in the first Matrix film. Watanabe evokes the look of old newspaper photographs in A Detective Story, which falls outside the storyline of the features. Fast-paced, violent and grim, The Animatrix is an uneven but intriguing compilation that represents a new level in the ongoing cross-pollination between Japanese animation and American live action. (Not rated, suitable for ages 16 and older: considerable violence, violence against women, grotesque imagery, brief nudity, alcohol use) —Charles Solomon

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Atonement Joe Wright  
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Studio: Uni Dist Corp. (mca) Release Date: 08/26/2008 Run time: 123 minutes Rating: R

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The Avengers Mick Audsley, Jeremiah S. Chechik  
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British secret agent john steed teams up with scientist emma peel to investigate dramatic changes discovered in the earths climate. The trail leads to ex-agent and arch villain sir agusut de wynter whose diabolical plan is to rule the world with his weather control machine. Studio: Warner Home Video Release Date: 02/03/2004 Starring: Ralph Fiennes Sean Connery Run time: 90 minutes Rating: Pg13 Director: Jeremiah Chechik

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The Aviator Martin Scorsese  
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The epic biopic depicting the early years of legendary director and aviator howard hughes career from the late 1920s to the mid 1940s. Studio: Warner Home Video Release Date: 11/11/2008 Starring: Leonardo Dicaprio Kate Beckinsale Run time: 170 minutes Rating: Pg13 Director: Martin Scorsese

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AVP - Alien Vs. Predator Paul W.S. Anderson  
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In delivering PG-13-rated excitement, Alien vs. Predator is an acceptably average science-fiction action thriller with some noteworthy highlights, even if it squanders its opportunity to intelligently combine two popular and R-rated franchises. Rabid fans can justifiably ask "Is that all there is?" after a decade of development hell and eager anticipation, but we're compensated by reasonably logical connections to the Alien legacy and the still-kicking Predator franchise (which hinted at AVP rivalry at the end of Predator 2); some cleverly claustrophobic sets, tense atmosphere and impressive digital effects; and a climactic AVP smackdown that's not half bad. This disposable junk should've been better, but nobody who's seen Mortal Kombat or Resident Evil should be surprised by writer-director Paul W.S. Anderson's lack of imagination. As a brisk, 90-minute exercise in generic thrills, however, Anderson's work is occasionally impressive... right up to his shameless opening for yet another sequel. —Jeff Shannon

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Babel Alejandro González Iñárritu  
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Tragedy strikes a married couple on vacation in the moroccan desert touching off an interlocking story involving six different families. Studio: Paramount Home Video Release Date: 01/27/2009 Starring: Brad Pitt Cate Blanchett Run time: 143 minutes Rating: R

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Ballistic Kiss  
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