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Noel (Flexplay 48-Hour DVD) - Amazon.com Exclusive

3.9 out of 5 stars 201 customer reviews

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(Nov 17, 2004)
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Editorial Reviews

Flexplay is a new kind of DVD that offers the watch-anytime, take-anywhere convenience of a DVD you buy, at a price comparable to a DVD rental--without the hassles of returns or late fees. Flexplay DVDs work in all standard DVD players, with the same picture quality, surround sound, and other features of a regular DVD. There is no special setup or configuration required! Flexplay DVDs are "activated" when you open the vacuum-sealed package (inside the yellow-topped Flexplay sleeve). Once the package is opened, you have 48 hours to watch your DVD--as many times as you choose! Unopened Flexplay DVDs stay fresh in the package for about a year. So you decide when to watch.

About Noel
An all-star cast, featuring Oscar winner Susan Sarandon, Penelope Cruz, Paul Walker, and Oscar nominee Alan Arkin, delivers the true spirit of the holiday season in an inspiring, contemporary story of hope, forgiveness, love and redemption. It's Christmas Eve in New York City, and with a little help from each other, five people will discover new meaning on Christmas Day. As Jules (Marcus Thomas) finds the courage to step beyond his past, Artie's (Arkin) own tragic history shows Mike (Walker) where jealousy can lead, bringing renewal to his relationship with Nina (Cruz). And Rose (Sarandon) discovers new hope as Charlie--an unexpected friend--reminds her that no one is ever truly alone at Christmas. With a stunning backdrop created by Oscar-winning cinematographer Russell Carpenter ("Titanic") and multiple Oscar-winning composer Alan Menken ("Beauty and the Best"), Noel is sure to become a holiday classic. From Noel director Chazz Palminteri: "What is most important to me is the message of the film. It's a movie about hope; a movie about miracles that touches people of all ages, from all walks of life and in all circumstances. And in this day and age, I think we all need a miracle. The story of Noel will make people feel good inside as they reflect on the hope of the holiday season, and I am excited by the unique approach we are taking with its release." Official Selection, Toronto International Film Festival.

How Does Flexplay Work?
Flexplay DVDs are just like regular DVDs – but with a special chemical inside, and a special kind of plastic that gives the disc its red color. Removing the Flexplay DVD from its sealed package exposes the disc to air, triggering a precise chemical reaction. After 48 hours the disc turns from red to black, and the Flexplay DVD is no longer playable. Flexplay DVDs are non-toxic, environmentally friendly and can be recycled like any other DVD. (Recycling information is available at flexplay.com.) And with over 1 million units already distributed, Flexplay DVDs are field-proven. It's the new way to enjoy your favorite entertainment--on your schedule!

Special Features

  • Flexplay Limited Play DVD

Product Details

  • Actors: Susan Sarandon, Penélope Cruz, Paul Walker, Alan Arkin, Marcus Thomas
  • Directors: Chazz Palminteri
  • Writers: David Hubbard
  • Producers: Al Corley, Bart Rosenblatt, Daniel Adler, Eugene Musso, Howard Rosenman
  • Format: Surround Sound, Widescreen, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Parental Guidance Suggested
  • Studio: The Convex Group
  • DVD Release Date: November 17, 2004
  • Run Time: 96 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (201 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00068RELO
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #321,778 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Noel (Flexplay 48-Hour DVD) - Amazon.com Exclusive" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
I think the film has some good acting by Paul Walker, Susan Sarandon, and Penelope Cruz and some enjoyable plot twists that will entertain those looking for an enjoyable Christmas story in a modern-day setting.

The movie isn't likely to win any major awards, but it's better than most holiday dramas and many non-holiday films. I think young and more mature adults alike will enjoy NOEL. It's an excellent "date" flick.

Penelope Cruz will appeal to both men and women but for different reasons, but I think children and young teen viewers should be "spared" her bulging cleavage and ultra-mini skirts. I was most "surprised" by Paul Walker's performance. Early in the film I thought his character would be 1-dimensional (i.e., an over-the-top jealous lover), but I think he gives a believable performance as the "macho hunk" who is a man of heart, soul, and some depth of character.

Robin Williams and Susan Sarandon redeem each other and contribute to an uplifting climatic twist to end the movie on a hopeful, redemptive note. Definitely worth seeing.
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Format: DVD
NOEL is an unabashedly romantic little film, the type of movie Hollywood used to make for Christmas seasons before the toilet mouth Bad Santa, etc type became popular. Perhaps the time has returned for us to examine how the world can come together at this time of year, sort of a good omen that we just might all start taking care of each other again!

Chazz Palminteri takes on directing this story by David Hubbard, surrounds himself with a top notch crew of actors, and capably and sensitively brings off this little story of the interweaving of five lives on a Christmas Eve in New York City with all the tenderness and associated joy of placing old and loved garlands and bangles on a tree. It is a perfect film for re-discovering the meaning of Christmas.

Christmas Eve in Manhattan finds various characters who are in turmoil at this special time of the year. Successful book publisher Rose Harrison (Susan Sarandon) fights off depression by being kind to everyone: her lonely life is centered on spending her non-work hours tending to her mother who has advanced Alzheimer's Disease (she is divorced without children and without love). Across the hall from her mother's hospital room is a comatose man who never has visitors, and when Rose brings him an angel ornament for is window she meets Charlie (Robin Williams) who apparently has been visiting.

Elsewhere in the city is Jules (Marcus Thomas) who informs strangers that his only good Christmas memory as an unwanted and abused kid was one he spent in a hospital after a beating: he plans to have his hands broken so that he can spend the night in the hospital where he hopes to discover joy.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is a great xmas pic. The cast is incredible. Susan is flawless. Paul Walker is a revelation in a great dramatic romantic role. Penelope sambas! The stories are real and touching. Six very new york characters, each searching for someone on a christmas eve, find one another on christmas day. Great viewing cuddled up on the sofa with a date or the entire family. Cinematography and music are academy award caliber.
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Format: DVD
For those who prefer nutshell versions, here's a review of Noel for you: a good Christmas movie that will appeal to viewers that find themselves in the "middle zone" during the holiday season. By "middle zone" I'm referring to those that aren't fanatically overjoyed by Christmas to surreal heights, but also not loathing December 1 every year. The subject matter is "middle" as well...it's neither a fairy tale nor a depressing drama. It's a slice-of-life look into the lives of what probably represents a good 75% of the population at Christmas time.

The movie stars Susan Sarandon, Paul Walker, and Penelope Cruz, and includes a supporting cast with some well-known names as well. It was a surprise to me to discover how large a role Robin Williams (uncredited) plays in this movie. I happened to stumble onto this movie because of three main factors: its composer, its marketing, and its technological introduction.

Alan Menken is my favorite composer, so long before the movie was released, I knew it was coming out. It was a surprise to me, then, when I visited my local theater last Thanksgiving to see "The Incredibles," and nested within the lid of my soda was a promotional CD containing a trailer and the title song for "Noel." Being curious, I visited the official website to find that it was also the first title being released on a new DVD format called "Flexpay," a new process whereby a DVD (once exposed to air) would become unplayable after approximately 48 hours. This alone peaked my curiosity and, along with the other two points of interest this movie generated, prompted me to order the Flexpay DVD from Amazon.com.

What I found was a movie I could relate to more closely than I would normally have anticipated.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Movie quality was very poor and had strange movements of the picture, as though the cameraman is moving slightly while filming.

I cannot say that I have ever gotten dizzy watching a movie before, but this time, I sure did. I am disappointed because I bought it a while back and just watched it for a New Year's Eve Christmas movie marathon we do each year.
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