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Adaptation (Superbit Collection) (2002)

Nicolas Cage , Meryl Streep , Spike Jonze  |  R |  DVD
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (368 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Nicolas Cage, Meryl Streep, Chris Cooper, Tilda Swinton, Jay Tavare
  • Directors: Spike Jonze
  • Writers: Charlie Kaufman, Donald Kaufman, Susan Orlean
  • Producers: Charlie Kaufman, Edward Saxon, Jonathan Demme, Peter Saraf
  • Format: DTS Surround Sound, Closed-captioned, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (DTS 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Dubbed: French
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    PLEASE NOTE:
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: May 20, 2003
  • Run Time: 114 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (368 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005JLRE
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #39,267 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Adaptation (Superbit Collection)" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Mastered in high definition
  • Compatible with all DVD players

Editorial Reviews

Director Spike Jonze delivers a stunningly original comedy that seamlessly blends fictional characters and situations with the lives of real people: obsessive orchid hunter John Laroche (Cooper), NewYorker journalist Susan Orlean (Streep), Hollywood screenwriter Charlie Kaufman (Cage), and his twin brother, Donald (also Cage). As Charlie struggles to adapt Orlean's best-selling book "The OrchidThief," he writes himself into his own movie. The various stories crash into one another exploding into a wildly imaginative film. ADAPTATION, the year's most talked about movie, is at once a hilarious drama and a moving comedy.

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
(368)
3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
119 of 132 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An imaginative, wacky and original movie. December 25, 2002
Spike Jonze's new movie, "Adaptation," is a funny and entertaining look at insecure screenwriters, Hollywood hokum, and the lengths to which people will go to get what they want.
Nicholas Cage is terrific in a dual role. He is Charlie Kaufman, a real-life screenwriter who has been commissioned to write the movie script for Susan Orlean's acclaimed novel, "The Orchid Thief." Unfortunately, Charlie has a monumental case of writer's block. He is also an insecure, nerdy guy who has trouble connecting with women and who is ashamed of his unkempt appearance. He is chubby and he wears a flannel shirt with the tails hanging out throughout much of the film. Cage also plays Charlie's twin brother, Donald, who is confidently writing a screenplay of his own. Donald's screenplay is formulaic and derivative, but he manages to sell it for a bundle. In addition, Donald has no trouble getting a beautiful woman to be his girlfriend.
The conceit of "Adaptation" is that Charlie proceeds to write a screenplay about his inability to write a screenplay. There are hilarious vignettes with the wonderful Meryl Streep, who plays the writer, Susan Orlean, as a repressed journalist who is depressed because of a lack of passion in her life. Chris Cooper almost steals the movie as the eponymous orchid thief, a toothless, lowdown individual who somehow connects with Orlean.
Jonze and Kaufman are making several statements here. They are saying that Hollywood is a place where desperate people will do anything to succeed, include writing formulaic potboilers. The way to survive is to adapt, to become whatever the public wants at the moment. You need to "get with the program" in order to succeed in Hollywood and in life.
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44 of 49 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:DVD
Nicolas Cage gives his edgiest performance in years, as Charlie Kaufman and twin brother Donald. Meryl Streep and Chris Cooper star as opposites-attract real-life characters, Susan Orlean (author of the Orchid Thief) and John LaRoche, horticulturist and the "orchid thief" himself. Brian Cox blusters brilliantly in a hilarious yet oddly touching ten minute supporting part as screenwriting guru Robert McKee. Adaptation is an adaptation of Orlean's the Orchid Thief. But it is a chronicle of the difficult task of writing that screenplay. It is intentionally and whole-heartedly an odd and difficult movie to sum up with conventional logic. What is real and what isn't? What is based on life? What is based on the book? And finally is it all just based simply on pure artistic chicanery?
Don't be fooled by the movie's alleged esoterism. Director Spike Jonze and real-life screenwriter Charlie Kaufman still plan on telling a story that has universal appeal. Orlean's The Orchid Thief dealt with disappointment and people's perception of success and failure. In thematic response, the plot of Charlie Kaufman's struggle to adapt the Orchid Thief, whilst being surrounded by his infinitely more successful brother, Donald, revolves around disappointment too. These themes resonate with the viewer. We grow to equally identify with Donald's good-natured ignorance as protoganist Charlie's paranoid neurosis. If one thinks outside the box (which is an absolute requirement for watching this movie) is is apparent that Charlie and Donald represent different sides of the same person (the real-lifeKaufman).
Charlie reminded me of the Adam Sandler character, Barry Egan in Paul Thomas Anderson's vibrant and beautiful Punch-Drunk Love. Both are too afraid of themselves to love.
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68 of 80 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A twisted triumph! March 27, 2003
Verified Purchase
"Adaptation" is not a film for viewers who gravitate toward conventional movies. Charlie Kaufman (Nicholos Cage) is a sweating, overweight screenwriter prone to voice-overs and fantasy. Given the coveted job of writing an adaptation of Susan Orlean's THE ORCHID THIEF, he struggles mightily with his art and the downturn of his personal life, which is also desperately in need of adaptation. When his twin brother Donald (also Cage), the archetypical mooch, decides on a whim that he, too, will become a screenwriter, Charlie is pushed to the edge. The movie begins to twist on itself, showing scenes from the story of "The Orchid Thief", Charlie's struggle with it, and, most comically, Charlie and Donald's head-banging exchanges about writing screenplays. It soon becomes evident that we are watching the finished screenplay of Charlie's (and Donald's) adaptations, with all its quirks and dramatic license.
Cage makes the real screenwriter Charlie Kaufman hilariously pathetic, and argues with his wide-eyed (and thinner) alter ego with equally comedic success. Meryl Streep is great in the role of Susan Orlean, especially as she takes her character from Charlie's to Donald's genre. Chris Cooper is incredible as LaRoche, the charming but strange orchid thief himself; I had to keep reminding myself that he was an actor and not the real-life Laroche himself.
Viewers who enjoy the type of weird ride that the screenwriter/director combo of Kaufman and Jonze ("Being John Malkovich") provide will find it hilariously clever; others will be left shaking their heads. If you like films by the Coen brothers such as "Fargo" and "Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?", you'll probably appreciate the humor and ambition of this film.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
well done
Published 1 month ago by wesley
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
crazy movie . but i did watch it to the end
Published 1 month ago by Clotidetlakin
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great script and cast
Published 1 month ago by Hawaii Physical Therapist
5.0 out of 5 stars very sharp and sweet film. Nicholas Cage
Charlie Kauffman is a screenwriter extraordinaire who broke EVERY 'rule' of screenwriting when he wrote the script for this memorable, very sharp and sweet film. Read more
Published 1 month ago by J. Guillory
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
Boring
Published 2 months ago by Daniel G Schreiner
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
love it
Published 2 months ago by loakley1968
5.0 out of 5 stars A well-done film such as this is as rare as a ghost orchid...
This is a meta-movie which bears watching more than once. I was amused by it the first time I saw it many years ago and then happened across an old review of the movie by film... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Michael Phillips
5.0 out of 5 stars Nicholas Cage is his usual quirky self as well as a funny competent...
Complicated insight into the psyche of an insecure Hollywood screenwriter, this film takes you on a journey from "what's up with this" to "oh m'god" at the end. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Jean B.
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
Just like the actor in the movie says: a cobbled together plot. Good acting thoughl.
Published 3 months ago by Mary E. Morgan
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprising
Forget the negative comments that people make about what they WANTED the movie to be. Any movie has to be judged by what it is, and this is a pretty smart movie. Read more
Published 3 months ago by D. Barker
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