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Matt Letscher , Sarah Joy Brown , KEN TIPTON  |  DVD
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Matt Letscher, Sarah Joy Brown, John Dye, Greg Germann, Michael Dorn
  • Directors: KEN TIPTON
  • Format: NTSC
  • Region: All Regions
  • Studio: Vanguard
  • DVD Release Date: February 19, 2009
  • Run Time: 106 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001TK29AO
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #498,549 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Mike and Diane Howard were a typical young couple with dreams of raising a family and starting a business of their own. They opened the first videocassette rental store in St. Louis in 1981. With hard work, their company grew into a multi-million dollar chain of video stores. It was then that the Howards? were visited with increasing frequency by a group of religious people called the Citizens For Decency, who insisted they remove movies from their stores that they felt were "obscene,? films such as Taxi Driver, Agnes of God and Blazing Saddles. When Martin Scorsese's; The Last Temptation of Christ, was released on video, the Howards' were the only video stores in St. Louis unafraid to offer the film for rent. The CFD declared war and the Howards? received death threats against their daughter. A corrupt prosecuting attorney was in the pocket of the CFD by fear of being exposed for sexual indiscretions. Alleging they had ties to organized crime, the Howards? were shunned as social outcasts. Ultimately, they won their case in court, but the negative publicity and legal fees bankrupted their business and destroyed their family. Shortly thereafter, a chance encounter with a woman reveals the truth about the CFD and the attorney and the Howards? get their ultimate payback. (

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Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars
3.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heroes Really Do Exist - And This Film Proves It November 21, 2008
A wonderful film, well deserving of the awards it won and many more. This superlative film is based on a true story. It's not really a story of revenge though. It's much more: It's a powerful and touching account of how, even against terrific odds, justice can manage to prevail, and uplift and even change the human heart. Don't be surprised to learn that the production of Heart of the Beholder is a very meaningful labor of love -- this actually produces a special quality that shines throughout so that the audience senses that something truly different and remarkable is going on here.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars WHO'S THE MAN? June 18, 2012
The movie brings back those fond memories of biggest controversy of the 1980's: VHS or Beta-max. The era when only two types of people wore large crosses: Madonna fans and terrorists. This film is set amidst of the era when the far political right gained power by murdering abortion doctors, protesting evil Disney films, and manipulating DAs. Mike (Matt Letscher) and Diane (Sarah Brown) open a successful chain of video stores. In spite of the fact these stores closed down most of the adult movie theaters in the world, the religious right was upset it was renting a video entitled "The Last Temptation of Christ" to people who wanted to see the movie, unlike the protesters who never saw the film. Rather than toss the movie out, Mike and Diane decide to keep renting the film under some obscure law seeming known only to liberals as "The First Amendment."

Now personally I would not consider this film worthy to draw a line in the sand over. In my neighborhood they stuck the film in the adult section and claimed to have removed it from the store. This film progresses at a good clip. The drama wasn't overly intense. There was some minor humor to keep the subject matter from getting too dry.

Tony Todd plays a minor role as Chuck Berry. This was Chloë Grace Moretz debut film, and she doesn't have much of a role.

The movie tosses in an F-bomb with some sex and nudity (Katelin Chesna) which was a bit disappointing. Not that Katelin was disappointing, but that they had it in the film to begin with. It really didn't add anything to the film and could have easily been done without it, reaching a younger audience.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars As a movie store owner - I had to see it... June 21, 2008
This movie has garnered plenty of self promotional support, festival screenings the last three years, and heartfelt arguments against the naysayers. In my five years of being a movie store owner and reviewing films, this one appears to the most difficult for me to find impartiality.

DVD: The DVD had a fair quality transfer, with the camera artifacts, mic sounds and lighting shortages showing up throughout; ironically, the best clarity appeared in a brief segment at the paintball sequence where they changed cameras. The DVD promo was a wash of other films that would be hard pressed in finding distribution, and the slide show segment pushed more of the films obvious slant (understandably).

Cast: The cast is made up of a "where did I see that actor before" every few minutes, including pros from Star Tek NG, General Hospital, Ally McBeal, Third Watch, Three's Company, etc. The film resonates like a Lifetime movie both in film quality and production, but with the nudity, sex and language.

Film: I spent more time watching the background props (posters, cases, store fixtures) as the first 20 minutes reminded me of how I started in this business. The Chuck Barry tie-in was a surprise, as was seeing Beta beating VHS in customer count. The whole premise is actually very sad and scary, as I would have reacted much differently had it been my daughter. The acting was painful at times, but I know this was a passion piece, and Sarah Brown had one of the best scenes showing her abs without fear or makeup (bedroom 3-way scene at the end) - not common in Hollywood.

I have had a religious group boycott my store before over carrying documentaries, so I empathize with the story.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Amazon Instant Video
There was some good acting here, but I wouldn't call the cast a slam-dunk. As another reviewer noted, production and acting quality is on par with a lower-budget made-for-TV movie, especially (appropriately) those made in the 80's and 90's. But definitely watchable, even so.

The basic story is of a video rental business owner who is pushed out of business by the wheels of corruption and zealotry. There are some interesting twists and turns along the way, including surprising moments of violence considering the supposed offense the owner has committed (but then, isn't that always how it is with zealots?).

The movie does seem to have difficulty figuring out its tone; I don't mind mixing it up a bit, but when a movie seems to flip-flop back and forth between a light-hearted buddy-cop style movie (with civilians taking the place of the cops) and a suspenseful thriller, it may be trying too hard, exploring too many extremes. That said, on the whole there's a real story being told here, and that it could be even partially based on real life is distressing.

Sad to say, I'm not convinced that things are really that much better today. I would not be surprised to find that our public officials and hate-mongering groups have just gotten better at covering their tracks.

It occurs to me that the film has in it a bit of the "passion play" structure. There's a close-knit group of friends, the sacrifice of one of the group, and the betrayal of him by another. Granted, it's a bit out of order and Jesus wasn't known for his thirst for revenge. So maybe I'm just reading too much into the script. But if it was unintentional, then I find the similarities all the more ironic. :)
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