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4.6 out of 5 stars
A Far Off Place
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Format: DVD
I've voiced my displeasure at the current state of Disney movies before and pointed out how vastly different they are in the 21st Century to movies that were made as recently as the 90s.

Reese Witherspoon plays Nonnie Parker and Ethan Embry her reluctant friend Harry. Both kids are living with their parents in rural Africa when their home is attacked by Ivory poachers. With their bushman friend Xhabbo as a guide the kids take off across the Kalahari desert to reach the safety of the coast and nearest town, while the poachers plan to kill off their only witnesses.

A Far Off Place opens with the massacre of a herd of elephants. The killers themselves are then mercilessly gunned down by supporting hero Col. Theron. Would Disney DARE allow a scene like this in the 21st Century? Look at the quality of Tim Allen's The Shaggy Dog and you'll find your answer. For any family-orientated movie it takes some nerve to open with killing such as this but even 16-year-old Nonnie herself is at ease yielding a rifle and doesn't hesitate to blow-up bad guys.

The African desert scenery is gorgeous and director Mikael Salomon (who also made the underrated Hard Rain) fills the movie with lovely cinematography. The dunes, the blue sky, the night sky...it all makes you wish for a sunny holiday.

A Far Off Place (a combination of two novels "A Story Like the Wind" and "A Far-Off Place" by Laurens Van der Post) is not a well known movie and is quite hard to find, but it's worth hunting down. A shame that such a good movie has fallen off the radar.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on August 2, 2005
Format: DVD
This is one fo my favorite movies ever. I saw this movie for the first time when I was seven. My brother and I used to rent it about once a month growing up. It's honestly, Reese Witherspoon's best and most honest character role besides in Cruel Intentions. This movie shows the real heart of two kids faced with hardship and struggle and their amazing journey across the Kalahari. Nowadays, I catch it every time it's on cable. I even try to do the tongue click thing like Kabu.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on June 9, 2003
Format: VHS Tape
Mikael Salomon's "A Far Off Place" is a marvelous example of how skilled direction and production can turn a good story into a great film. Performances in the major roles are all excellent, and Ethan Embry's portrayal of the disgruntled, fish-out-of-water city boy forced into the wilds of Africa walks a delicate line (between authentic teenage muddle-headedness and just plain obnoxiousness) beautifully.
Critics may claim the film is a little two-dimensional, and in fairness, they are right. But by not trying to make the film too grand through obvious artifice, the good performances and great scenery let this film become memorable in a simple, direct way that's very much in harmony with the essence of the story: we don't always get to choose our circumstances, and how we react in those times may literally become a matter of life and death.
Two other minor themes help make this a favorite: the Reese Witherspoon character is a great role model for any young girl - sensitive and feminine without being a wimpy or dependent ingrate; and a rare and even-handed portrayal of the firearm as a tool - no better or worse than the purpose to which it is put by a human master.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on December 11, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
If you love travel and survival stories, this movie has it all, topped with being set in the Kalahari desert of Africa. The two teenagers with their bushman friend show cross-cultural friendship and cooperation at its best, combined with a respect for nature and a desire to preserve endanger animals (elephants) from poachers which sets the stage for the entire film. I loved this movie, I kept borrowing it from the library until they lost their copy, and was delighted to find it for sale here at Amazon.com. I cannot say enough how much I enjoyed this film.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on August 13, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
Lots of action in this movie...kept my family and my eyes glued to the screen. Beautiful Reese Witherspoon and Ethan Embry are both talented young teen actors. They both did an excellent job of portraying their characters in this movie. Good movie for the whole family.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on February 27, 2003
Format: VHS TapeVerified Purchase
This has to be absolutely the BEST movie I've seen in a very long time. It became my favorite when I first saw it years ago.
It's taken me a long time to think to even look for it here.
The story is riveting, holds you in to the end, leaves you wanting more. The characters are very believable.
The emotion is so real, you'll find yourself tearing up at times!
The greatest movie to see with your family. Unlike so many others out there. Get it, watch it, gotta have it!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on April 12, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
I loved this movie! I can't say enough about it! This movie has it all: action, suspense, and romance. Who could ask for more? And, the stars do a wonderful job of portraying these three teens. Oh, and Muponi was really cool! Everyone, word up! This would be great for family fun night, or just lounging around the house.Now really, guys, don't pass this one by while walking the video shelves. I can guarantee it is worth your time and effort to pick this movie up off the shelf and watch it! Who knows, you may even like it! I sure did, that's for sure!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on July 10, 2002
Format: VHS Tape
Im not trying to help someone with my review but, I LOVED THE MOVIE! I loved the ending, it was GREAT! (dont worry im not going to give it out to anyone hehe) Anyway, like I said the movie was awsome. I enjoyed it VERY MUCH and I hope you all will too. The first time I watched it it was in school and at the end I was balling my head off (not realising everyone was staring at me) because I felt happy for the two kids. So if its any movie to see its "A Far Off Place", its defentally a winner.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on December 19, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
This is a VERY fun movie. It has great charachters. And a Great story. The Scenery is also absolutely spectacular. I think you oughta see it:>)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on August 10, 2010
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
This is one of the best movies for anyone. Right after I first saw the video, I began thinking of ways in which to use this story to teach literature. Subsequently I have used it several times to cover everything from symbolisim to character developement to cultural and environmental awareness as well as many other literary topics. Both the prequel, A Story Like the Wind, and this story are relevant and capture students' attention and eventually their imaginations.

I can easily become passionate about this story on so many levels. The few curse waords at the beginning are quickly lost as the story becomes intense and dramatic within minutes of viewing.

Highly recommend this!!!!
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