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Dark Horse [Blu-ray]


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Product Details

  • Actors: Justin Bartha, Selma Blair, Mia Farrow, Jordan Gelber, Donna Murphy
  • Directors: Todd Solondz
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Virgil Films and Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: November 13, 2012
  • Run Time: 88 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B008ZQ4W5U
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #141,883 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

In his mid-30s, Abe (Jordan Gelber) clings to the trappings of his adolescence, including the extensive collection of toys and action figures adorning his boyhood bedroom. Still living with his parents Jackie (Christopher Walken) and Phyllis (Mia Farrow), Abe works for his increasingly disappointed Dad and spends evenings ruthlessly trouncing his Mom at backgammon. His older brother Richard's (Justin Bartha) success as a California doctor only feeds Abe's resentment and rage at his family over his failures.

When Abe meets Miranda (Selma Blair), whose personal and professional disasters have sent her scrambling back to the safety of her parents' suburban home, he sees what he thinks is a chance at true love. Abe throws himself into pursuing the overmedicated Miranda, convincing her to marry him after a whirlwind courtship. But, as the couple haltingly prepares to start a new life together, the film swerves into Abe's subconscious, where his crippling self-doubt and dark fears begin to undermine his nearly realized dream of a fuller life.

Review

"...Solondz's most waywardly endearing film, his gentlest triumph..." --Richard Corliss, TIME

"Solondz brilliantly -- triumphantly -- transforms what might have been an exercise in easy satirical cruelty into a tremendously moving argument for the necessity of compassion." --A.O. Scott, The New York Times

"We feel contempt. We feel pity. We shudder and identify. It is a vortex drawing us down into dark defeat and yet admitting glimmers of hope." --Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun Times

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Joshua Miller VINE VOICE on November 17, 2012
Format: Blu-ray
Dark Horse is the latest film from Todd Solondz and is a markedly different animal from his previous films. It still maintains his misanthropic spirit but it's lacking much of the provocative material that so often brings attention to his work. That's not to say Dark Horse isn't provocative; it just shows Solondz at his most gentle and forgiving.

Solondz has long had a knack for great opening scenes and this is no exception. Abe (Jordan Gelber), an overweight and balding man, sits at a wedding next to Miranda (Selma Blair). He begins hitting on her, completely unaware of her disinterest. Following her outside, he asks for her phone number and seems oblivious to her obvious reluctance to give it. From here Abe goes home and we see he epitomizes arrested development. He lives with his parents (Christopher Walken and Mia Farrow) in a room filled with action figures, he works for his father but brings nothing to the company, he blames all of his problems on the failings of others; he hates his brother Richard (Justin Bartha), a successful doctor, feeling that he received special attention that Abe didn't. In one scene he reacts childishly after trying and failing to return an action figure that has a scratch mark on it. Despite her obviously medicated state, Abe attempts to court Miranda and eventually asks her to marry him. Meanwhile, whether real or imagined, Abe is often confronted by Marie (Donna Murphy) a much older co-worker at his father's company, who warns Abe of his potentially disastrous decision making.

Much of Dark Horse seems to function in and out of reality and fantasy.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Chad Withers on September 23, 2012
Format: Amazon Instant Video Verified Purchase
Yeah I said it. I enjoyed this more than The Master which I saw on the same day as this. The Master was beautiful in many ways but this movie leaves you with so much more. Justin Bartha deserves an Oscar nomination for bringing this miserable character to life with out making him annoying or any more ridiculous than he needed to be. Donna Murphy was also incredible and deserves all the supporting actress awards that will be bestowed upon others.

No one makes movies like Todd Solondz. One of the only true independent filmmakers out there. Shoe string budget, unconventional storytelling, great performances and respect for the audience. Check this out while you have the chance. I would love to see more films like this (that are only released in a handful of cities) receive the accessibility and cost effectiveness of the digital format. Doesn't replace seeing it in the theater but if you live in bum-f*** Utah this might be your only shot.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By THE MOVIE GUY on December 3, 2012
Format: DVD
There is nothing like getting two dysfunctional people together to create a successful quirky indie. What I liked about this film more than many of the others in this genre such as "Jack Goes Boating" or "Greenberg" is that I felt comfortable laughing at the plight of the main characters.

Abe (Jordan Gelber) works for his dad and lives at home with his parents (Mia Farrow/ Christopher Walken). He still collects toys and hasn't reached his maturity potential. He lives in the shadow of his successful brother (Justin Bartha). At a wedding, Abe meets Miranda (Selma Blair) a shy, overly medicated woman once married to Mahmoud (Aasif Mandvi). Abe is supported by his secretary (Donna Murphy) who becomes his imaginary conscience.

The setting takes place somewhere in New Jersey between Eagles and Giants country. The title "Dark Horse" is a reference to Abe. His dad likes dark horses. i.e. like the old days when the Giants would lose, but cover the point spread. Abe proposes to Miranda on their second meeting, which she ponders over in her medicated state which is apt for the tone of the film:

Miranda: "I want to want you."
Abe: "That's enough for me."

I liked the toy details and shirt selection of Abe. Indie movies pay attention to background details. Although I would have to ask Todd Solondz (writer, director) what real toy collector would remove the Gimli Toybiz figurine from its pack? The "Toys R Us" store logo is blurred out, apparently there being some legal issue. The film gave me a few laughs, worth a view for indie fans. Acting was great.

If you don't like Indie films based on quirky characters with little action, then this is not for you.

Parental Guide: F-bombs. No sex or nudity.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Paul F. Gordon on October 8, 2012
Format: Amazon Instant Video Verified Purchase
I liked this film. It reminded me of Solondz film "Storytelling." I like the characters and I like the way they all have faults, some of them more severe than others. It's too bad this film didn't get a wider thearical release. It only stayed in San Diego one week, and I couldn't make it that week. I'm looking forward to purchasing the blu-ray when it is released.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By jonathan stephen ott on January 7, 2013
Format: Amazon Instant Video Verified Purchase
This movie is like if George Castanza from Seinfeld fell in love with April Ludgate from Parks and Recreation. Solondz himself described it as a darker Judd Apatow film.
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I'm conflicted about this movie. On the one hand Todd Solondz is one of my favorite directors, his movies are intelligent and they always make you think. Dark Horse was no exception, I find myself thinking about it long after I've watched it. It's a sign of a great film when it can make you do that.

But as entertaining and stimulating as I found Dark Horse to be, I completely disagree with its overall message. Dark Horse addresses the trend in our modern society that young men are moving out at later ages. I think this complex issue is simplified in the film. There is no mention of the current economic situation or the fact that we've had a very high unemployment rate for going on six years. Indeed the unemployment situation is so bad that it's looking like this could turn into a "lost decade". Nor does the film address the systematic bias that schools today have developed against men, and why so many more women are going to college today than men. Schools are feminine places run by women, and over the years they've taken away things like dodge-ball for example and have started punishing boys for being boys. There's also a lot more grants and scholarship opportunities for women.

The character of Abe is such an unrealistic figure who you'd never see in the real world. What makes him so unrealistic is that he is staying at home because he CHOOSES to. Abe has a wealthy family, a good job, and supportive parents. He drives a $50,000 Hummer. This is directly in contrast to us men living with our parents in real life. Most of us WANT to move out, but we can't because we're poor and we can't find jobs. If most of us men in this situation were even wealthy enough to own a Hummer like Abe, we would rather move out and sleep in the Hummer then stay living at home.
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Dark Horse [Blu-ray]
This item: Dark Horse [Blu-ray]
Price: $24.99 $22.37
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com