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Ali - The Director's Cut

240 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 (240 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0001XAOL6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #133,175 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.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Gerald Booth on February 2, 2002
The movie focuses on the time between when a young Cassius Clay first wins the Heavyweight Championship of the World from Sonny Liston and when a 32 year old Muhammad Ali regains the Championship from George Foreman at the Rumble in the Jungle. The movie focuses less on Ali in the ring and
more on his life outside. You see the multiple marriages, his conversion to Islam, his fractured relationship with Malcolm X, and most importantly his battle with the United States Courts when Ali refused to serve in Viet Nam.
Michael Mann directs this in his usual visual intense style. If you have ever seen a production by Mann (Miami Vice, The Last of the Mohicanns, and The Insider to name a small few) you know that he deals with a variety of colors to focus the movie and the scenery tells the story almost as much
as the script.
The acting is superb by almost everyone involved in the movie but a few people really stand out. Will Smith proves that Robert De Niro is not the only one who will gain weight by packing about 20 to 30 pounds of muscle on his frame and then completely immerses himself in the cadence and style
of Ali's speech. Few actors today would seem to have the capability to spout off some of Ali's tirades as Will does. Jamie Foxx does an incredible job as Bundini Brown. His breakdown on drugs and the fight back to sobriety shows that this former In Living Color co-star can handle a great deal more
than we originally thought. The surprise of the movie was Jon Voight. People have portrayed Howard Cosell before but Voight actually becomes him. He sounded like Cosell and the make-up job was so detailed that I had to look a couple of times before I was able to actually recognize Voight.
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