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Freakonomics [Blu-ray] (2010)

Steven Levitt , Stephen Dubner , Alex Gibney , Eugene Jarecki  |  PG-13 |  Blu-ray
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (159 customer reviews)

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Freakonomics [Blu-ray] + Inside Job [Blu-ray] + Too Big to Fail (Blu-ray/DVD Combo + Digital Copy)
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Product Details

  • Actors: Steven Levitt, Stephen Dubner
  • Directors: Alex Gibney, Eugene Jarecki, Heidi Ewing, Morgan Spurlock, Rachel Grady
  • Format: AC-3, Blu-ray, Closed-captioned, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Spanish
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Magnolia Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: January 18, 2011
  • Run Time: 93 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (159 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0047UJBJU
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #251,718 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Freakonomics [Blu-ray]" on IMDb

Special Features

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Editorial Reviews

Freakonomics is the highly anticipated film version of the phenomenally bestselling book about incentives-based thinking by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner. Like the book, the film examines human behavior with provocative and sometimes hilarious case studies, bringing together a dream team of filmmakers responsible for some of the most acclaimed and entertaining documentaries in recent years: Academy Award® winner Alex Gibney (Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, Casino Jack and the United States of Money), Academy Award® nominees Rachel Grady and Heidi Ewing (Jesus Camp), Academy Award® nominee Morgan Spurlock (Super Size Me), Eugene Jarecki (Why We Fight) and Seth Gordon (The King of Kong).

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
36 of 41 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Buy the books January 27, 2011
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This is my constructive criticism, since I know that Levitt and Dubner read reviews.

I hate to write a mediocre review, but after reading and enjoying both Freakonomics and SuperFreakonomics, this movie was a little disappointing. It is not that it was bad, just that I had high expectation considering that the books were so good. I was very excited to order this and even show it in my microeconomics class, but after watching it I am not sure if I will use it at all- perhaps a clip or two.

The visual effects, illustrations, and cinematography were very good. I also was glad to seem some interviews from the authors, rather than some other format. However, if you had not already read the book, you might be a little lost on what they were talking about. I am not sure how it could have been done better, since they covered a lot of content and had limited time, but it does not seem like the viewers would walk away and say "Oh, I now have a more clear understanding of XYZ..."

The thing that bothered me most was the subtitles during the Sumo section. In addition to there being quite a bit of Japanese dialog, the subtitles were hard to read because they were all in white. Very distracting when a bright screen came up and you could not read them. I found myself anxious for this section to end so we could go back to English.

I think that the authors should consider a TV series instead of a movie, similar to their podcast now (which is great, BTW). Think Myth-Busters or Stossel's 20/20 programs: They could cover more topics without feeling rushed.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Documentary based upon much better book September 22, 2010
Format:Amazon Instant Video|Verified Purchase
I should not have paid as much as I did to watch this pre-theatrical release. I did so because I thought a documentary based upon the book "Freakonomics" would be very interesting. There were a number of interesting points in the film, but this is just one more case where the reviewer says that the book was much better. The main problem I had with the film is that it presented so little information in the time allotted. I believe this was because it attempted to be entertaining as well as the directors personalizing the content and wasting time by injecting too much of themselves into the content. This lead to a boring documentary where I felt cheated of time and money because so little real content was presented. I suggest reading the book and skipping the movie. If you would rather watch a film than to read a book, then wait til after the film is released in theaters and distributed on DVD. I do not think this film will be able to command a high price for very long after it is distributed on DVD and you should be able to rent or buy it at a discounted price. This book is essentially about looking at common phenomina from different or non-standard points of view. In doing so, there really is no timely earthshaking material so you will not have missed much by waiting for lower prices. I still believe the book or the film contain perspectives that make them worthwhile, but the film barely earns an average rating in my opinion which is generous in this instance.
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22 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars STRANGE NAME, GREAT MOVIE January 17, 2011
Format:DVD
Occasionally a movie comes along, based on a book, that inspires people to run out and pick up a copy and actually read. It doesn't happen often and in today's world where more people are in tune with a visual experience as opposed to a reading one, when it does happen it's wonderful. Such is the case with FREAKONOMICS.

Based on the best seller of the same name, the book was written by economist Steven Levitt and journalist Stephen Dubner. It focused on Levitt's research into the causality of numerous topics as explained via economics and tabulated information. The interesting thing, as he states, is that in seeking reasons for various topics people think things are connected to something else but it turns out not being the case. Trust me, its less complicated than you think and easier to understand than you would expect but more so after watching this film.

To make a movie out of the book, they chose 4 different notable documentary directors and went to work. Each one has their own look and feel, but all incorporate into the general picture at hand. The first is one of the most well known, Morgan Spurlock who did SUPER SIZE ME. Here he takes on the question of what is in a name.

The question here is is a person judged and their life set up early on by what their parents name them? Beginning with the example of a young girl named after Tempest Bledsoe of COSBY fame whose mother couldn't spell resulting in the name Temptress, we find that it wasn't her name so much as her environment that formed her life. But there's more to it than that. The choice of names and how they affect everything from your job acceptance to your place in society is discussed with results different than one might expect.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad but it can't match the book March 27, 2011
Format:DVD
When last year I saw the poster for this then yet-to-released movie at my local independent movie theatre, I was thrilled and really couldn't wait to see this, since I was such a fan of the book upon which this isbased. Then for whatver reason the movie never came to the theatres here in Cincinnati, so I recently checked out the DVD.

"Freakonomics" (93 min.) tries to bring onto the screen pretty much the same stories that the co-authors brought us in the book. Most of the stories as brought in the movie actually are condensed and gloss over a lot of the details, in particular the data supporting the seemingly unexpected results from the "hidden side of everything". That proves to be a fatal flaw for the movie, even if the movie is not bad as entertainment. The one section that goes further than what is in the book is the Sumo wrestling investigation to explore corruption, and that was foor me the best part of the movie. In all, it's not a bad movie, and certainly compared to the crap of most Hollywood mainstream commercial movies, this is a standout movie.

Every single reviewer of this movie falls into 1 of 2 categories: either as having read the book before seeing the movie, or as not having read the book. I can almost guarantee that very few of us who have read the book, will be entralled with the movie. If you happen to not have read the book or seen the movie yet, I'd suggest you save your money on this DVD and instead head on over to Amazon's Books section and buy Freakconomics and its sequel Superfreakonomics.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Educational
This is an excellent video that provides an alternative view on how things work. Statistics with a twist. Watch it.
Published 2 days ago by Barthel
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Thinking
It was interesting to watch and see situations that are based upon real numbers and the facts that are not bias.
Published 24 days ago by Barry Nelson
3.0 out of 5 stars Pretty Good
I was expecting a movie that would inform me more about economics and its connections to human behavior, which is gave some, but not really to a high degree of detail. Read more
Published 26 days ago by C. Glenn
4.0 out of 5 stars Wish We Could Click 4 1/2 Stars!
I read most of this book while visiting a friend, but had to leave before I finished it--and my friend wasn't letting go of her only copy. And I don't blame her. Read more
Published 1 month ago by SamMadHands
4.0 out of 5 stars Very informative while entertaining
I've read the book and enjoyed it immensely. Watching the video reminded me of the quirks that exist in the way we live. It was thought-provoking and very entertaining.
Published 1 month ago by Vanessa Headley
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent documentary
This documentary held my interest and was every bit as engaging as the book was. Good art direction and sound track as well.
Published 1 month ago by Matthew Cantillon
3.0 out of 5 stars Unbalanced
An interesting documentary, but most of its analyses are one-sided. I would like to have heard some dissenting views, especially regarding the more controversial theses.
Published 1 month ago by G. Butera
5.0 out of 5 stars Another perspective
Loved the book, it has inspired me to others as well such as Blink, tipping point...... to learn issues and look at idea from another perspective
Published 1 month ago by Ram1z
5.0 out of 5 stars Economics for real people
Puts everyday issues in real terms. Makes economics easy to understand. Also does this in a way to make it entertaining.
Published 1 month ago by DonnaM
4.0 out of 5 stars informative
interesting documentary to watch. A little on the boring side, but very informative. A good movie for people to educate themselves
Published 1 month ago by greggory
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