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Ali - The Director's Cut

236 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Superstar Will Smith gives the performance of his career as boxing legend Muhammad Ali in a visually amazing epic drama from Academy Award(r) nominated director Michael Mann. Muhammad Ali thrilled the world with his ground-breaking boxing victories in the '60s and '70s. But the man behind the legend is grappling with a tumultuous romantic life, his deeply held religious beliefs and the pressures ofstaying on top. A quick-witted, winning personality and strong friendships with close associates, including renowned newscaster Howard Cosell (Golden Globe(r) nominee Jon Voight), help Ali "float like a butterfly and sting like a bee." But faced with a life-changing conflict outside of the ring, the famously opinionated boxer is forced to rely on the one person he knows the best: himself.

Additional Features

Michael Mann's Ali was released in 2001 to mixed reviews and box-office indifference, so it was perhaps inevitable that Mann would release a director's cut on DVD. A total of eight minutes have been restored (increasing the 157-minute theatrical release to 165 minutes), and while the differences seem subtle at first, they substantially enhance Mann's attempt to present Muhammud Ali as a symbolic hero standing firm in a tempest of history. Ali's resonant humanity is more evident here, as is the personal burden he bore while defying the U.S. draft and facing harsh criticism for his uncompromising pacifism, even from such African American luminaries as Jackie Robinson. Mann's commentary is rich in historical and political context, rarely addressing technical filmmaking issues but offering a deep understanding of the issues and incidents that were dividing America in the mid- and late 1960s. In dedicating his commentary to Will Smith, Mann acknowledges a collaboration that was undoubtedly intense and critically underrated. Smith's contribution, and his close affinity with Ali and Ali's legendary trainer, Angelo Dundee, are explored in the making-of documentary, a routine promotional featurette that offers revealing glimpses of Mann's directorial style. The lasting impression one gets from this DVD is that Ali remains a flawed but admirably ambitious film, full of virtues--and virtuoso filmmaking--that will be duly recognized with the passage of time. --Jeff Shannon

Special Features

  • Includes revised scenes and never-before-seen footage
  • Commentary by director Michael Mann
  • Exclusive new making-of documentary

Product Details

  • Actors: Mario Van Peebles, Jon Voight, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Will Smith, Jamie Foxx
  • Directors: Michael Mann
  • Producers: Michael Mann, A. Kitman Ho, Jon Peters
  • Format: AC-3, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Director's Cut, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    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: 2.40:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: June 1, 2004
  • Run Time: 165 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (236 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0001XAOL6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #101,493 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Ali - The Director's Cut" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Fafa Demasio on February 18, 2002
The movie "Ali" portrays the story of one of the world's most recognized boxers, Mohammed Ali (who was born Cassius Clay).
Actor Will Smith gives an excellent performance as boxer Ali. It is hard enough to portray a real character, much less a legendary one. Smith is successful in showing not only the physical side but also the charisma of the boxing personality, Ali, who has strong convictions and a funny wit.
The movie begins with Ali's fight against boxer Sonny Liston, which puts him on the map as a fighter. It ends with Ali's fight with George Foreman in Zaire (now called the Democratic Republic of Congo). This famous fight was billed as the 'Rumble in the Jungle.' In between, the movie covers the fighter's rise to success, his conversion to the Muslim religion, his name change and his fight against the U.S. government to keep from being enlisted in the army. We also see Ali's close friendship to two well-known people - sportscaster Howard Cosell and Malcom X.
The movie "Ali" also touches on the boxer's attraction to women and some of his many love relationships. (Smith's real life's wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, plays the role of Ali's first wife.) Ali is certainly attracted to all pretty women!
All the actors give wonderful performances - Jamie Foxx as Bundini Brown (the man who worked to motivate Ali and help him with his rhymes - "Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee!"), Jon Voight as Howard Cosell, Mario Van Peebles as Malcolm X, Mykelti Williamson as Don King, Giancarlo Esposito as Cassius Clay Sr., Jada Pinkett Smith as Sonji Roi (Ali's first wife) and Nona M. Gaye as Belinda Boyd, to name a few.
The shots especially of some of the African countries (Ghana, Mozambique and South Africa) are vibrant and rich.
Although I'm not much of a boxing fan and sometimes found the boxing scenes a bit prolonged, all in all I found the movie a great story of a great athlete set to a great music soundtrack.
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37 of 45 people found the following review helpful By the gunner VINE VOICE on April 3, 2008
Format: DVD

Will Smith is eerily like Ali. It's like Cassiuss Clay is playing himself. I remember watching Clay fight in the Olympics and Smith has him down pat. I'd admired Ali for being willing to go to prison for his convictions instead of fleeing to Canada like all the other bed-wetting, Mommas boys who opposed the War in Viet Nam. Jon Voight is good as Howard Cosell, who was a nobody until he weaseled his way into Ali's life. I understand that Smith and Voight both received Academy Award nominations for their roles in this move. I wonder how Smith "bulked up" for this role.

Highly recommended for fans of Will Smith, Jon Voight, boxing the way it use to be, and Cassius Clay, aka Mohammed Ali.

Gunner April, 2008
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By J. Long on April 29, 2002
Format: DVD
This film is everyhting you thought it would be and then some. I am 20 years old and did not have the plessure to live through the "Ali years." Although I have seen many sports documentaries and have read several books about the man, no one film or book captures the mythical essence of Ali as this movie does.
It is true that it would have been nice to see the young years when Clay grew up in Louisville, KY (just 30 miles from me,) and competed in the Olympics for the gold medal. (Which he then tossed into the Ohio River.) But, this film is about the man, the myth, and the legend. When the film is viewed like this, it is more understandable.
There are some of the most powerful moments in a "sports" film ever here. Being a serious fan of "Rudy," "Hoosiers," (I love Gene Hackman and I am from Indiana,) and "Rocky", I can say that the moment were Ali gets up out of the chair in the 8th to knock out Foreman after the now classic "rope a dope" form was used to wear him out is simplely uplifting. Is it correct to the actual event? No, I have the HBO DVD special to prove it. But it doesn't matter. Like I said, this film is about Ali, not the history of what Ali did.
Some things that make this movie special: They really hit each other. No "Rocky" high uppercuts that don't even graze Mr. T or Apollo Creed. Jamie Foxx is a brillant actor and extremely funny. "I'm just a black jew who can't read or write and that's half drunk." The fact that Will Smith and his wife make a love scene covencing because they really and truely are IN LOVE!... Howard is played brillantly in this movie. You can't tell that it's an actor!... "And Foreman goes DOWN HARD to the mat!..." That call makes my spine tingle.
The most powerful moment of all is when Malcom X is shot and killed.
Read more ›
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By L. Quido VINE VOICE on June 20, 2002
Format: DVD
I never thought it possible, but the unfortunate length (157 minutes) and the pacing of Michael Mann's film bogs down the story of a sports icon who may never be matched in the sheer amount of charisma he possessed. I'm a big fan of Michael Mann's - from the Miami Vice days to Last of the Mohicans to The Insider. His visual and sound vision were clearly present in this film, and his script and the caliber of his stars clearly produced some fine individual moments and some excellent performances. But, in trying to cover too much ground, Mann never clearly establishes a compelling single story line, and doesn't spend enough time revealing the connection (pro and con) between Ali and the American public. Ali always kept you guessing. Was it real, or was it Ali performing for the cameras?
As much as I enjoyed the boxing scenes, they probably did the most to drag the movie out too long....and I would have preferred more Liston and Frazier, and done Foreman only anecdotally. The same with his marriages....more anecdotally, since none of the relationships was really allowed to evolve on film (although it would have been a shame to miss Nona Gay, as wife Belinda; she was superb). Individual performances were striking, with Jon Voight in a career caricature as Howard Cosell, a tremendous performance by Jamie Foxx as Bundini, and brief but memorable cameos by Ron Silver and Giancarlo Esposito. And Will Smith? This was a really fine performance in a role that would have scared many actors. He truly studied his role and exacted everything he was capable of in the film. Was it worth an Academy Award nomination - I think not, but I now believe he's capable of making a real run for it in a future role.
Pound for pound, I preferred "The Hurricane".
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