Customer Reviews


13 Reviews
5 star:
 (3)
4 star:
 (3)
3 star:
 (2)
2 star:
 (3)
1 star:
 (2)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars North Star Shines Bright
I thoroughly enjoyed this film. At first, I thought it would be another cheapie with an artic theme or one of those Disney concoctions suitable for a teen crowd. Not so,. Production values are first rate. Burt Young never looked so good. James Caan plays the psycho greedy bad man sans black hat, and even Christopher Lambert comes off well as a half indian-half white...
Published on March 22, 2005 by Steamboater

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars B Western in Alaska
"The North Star" is a 1996 film about the struggles between natives, Americans, and foreigners to control the gold fields in Alaska at the end of the 19th Century. It stars Christopher Lambert, James Caan, and Catherine McCormack and was directed by Norwegian Nils Gaup and produced by a joint French, British, Italian, and Norwegian group.

Christopher Lambert...
Published on April 20, 2011 by Dr. James Gardner


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars North Star Shines Bright, March 22, 2005
This review is from: North Star [VHS] (VHS Tape)
I thoroughly enjoyed this film. At first, I thought it would be another cheapie with an artic theme or one of those Disney concoctions suitable for a teen crowd. Not so,. Production values are first rate. Burt Young never looked so good. James Caan plays the psycho greedy bad man sans black hat, and even Christopher Lambert comes off well as a half indian-half white trying to prevent Caan and company from stealing claims to the gold diggings. (Someone mentioned the voice-overs didn't match the lip syncs; I never noticed there was any lip syncing and I don't think there was.) This film is pure adventure from start to finish and one that's a bargain at the very cheap price it's listed for at Amazon.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good Norwegian Western, July 13, 2000
This review is from: North Star [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Now here is a film with an interesting pedigree. Based on a novel by American author Will Henry, set in Alaska, but filmed in Norway by a British-French-Norwegian-Italian production. Whew! And with a cast that includes James Caan, Christopher Lambert, Catherine McCormack, and Burt Young, this film is about as multinational as it gets. Not that this is in the least bit unusual. Nils Gaup, best known to most people as the director of THE PATHFINDER, serves up another outdoor adventure set in the Arctic. Though hardly on par with his earlier effort, NORTH STAR is still a decent film on its own. At less than 90 minutes it is a briskly paced and beautifully photgraphed western. Christopher Lambert is either as good or as bad as he ever was, depending on how you feel about him. The idea of him playing a half-white, half-Indian named Hudson Santeek may strike some as ridiculous, but I think he's perfectly acceptable. Opposite Lambert is James Caan as xenophobic town patriarch Sean McLennon, who chews up scenery like there's no tomorrow. The conflict between them over a cave rich in gold but sacred to the people who raised Santeek results in a flurry of chasing, shooting, stabbing, and even a wolf mauling. Given all this, the climax and finale come off as rushed and rather disappointing. I must also admit that I liked John Scott's score in the European version much more than Bruce Rowland's in the American version. But that's a personal bias. The production values and technical aspects of the film are fine, the scripting and acting side less so. A shame considering the cast involved(especially McCormack, who is given too little to do), not to mention co-writer Sergio Donati, whose previous credits include ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST and THE BIG GUNDOWN. For all its flaws, NORTH START is still a good, solid, and enjoyable B-movie.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars B Western in Alaska, April 20, 2011
This review is from: North Star (DVD)
"The North Star" is a 1996 film about the struggles between natives, Americans, and foreigners to control the gold fields in Alaska at the end of the 19th Century. It stars Christopher Lambert, James Caan, and Catherine McCormack and was directed by Norwegian Nils Gaup and produced by a joint French, British, Italian, and Norwegian group.

Christopher Lambert (1957) is best known for his "Highlander" films but personally I thought his best performance was as Tarzan in "Greystoke" (1984). To younger viewers he is best known for his work in "Mortal Combat" (1995). He won the French Oscar in 1986 for "Subway". He says "the main purpose for doing what I'm doing is the passion in the work." Lambert plays a half breed who is trying to protect the land for his clan.

James Caan (1940) is best known as Sonny Corleone, the role for which he received an Oscar nomination in 1973. Over more than 100 roles he's been nominated for a Golden Globe 4 times and for an Emmy once. From 2003 to 2007 he had his own TV series, "Las Vegas". Caan plays a greedy land owner.

You'll remember Catherine McCormack's stoic yet beautiful face from "Braveheart" (1995) where she played the doomed wife of Mel Gibson. McCormack plays Caan's girlfriend who is kidnapped by Lambert (reminiscent of "Valdez is Coming").

The marvelously funny and simultaneously tough Burt Young (1940) plays Caan's henchman.. We know him best from the "Rocky" films for which he received an Oscar nomination in 1977. Young has been in more than 100 films, including notable roles in "The Killer Elite" (1975) and "Once Upon a Time in America" (1984). FWIW - Young was up for the role of Sonny Corleone, but Caan got it.

The film's director Nils Gaup (1955) won several International awards for his 1987 debut film "Pathfinder". This was his 5th film and after this film he turned his attention to TV.

Father/son screenwriters Sergio and Lorenzo Donati (1933) worked on the script. Papa Sergio gave us such memorable films as "Once Upon a Time in the West" (1968) and "Duck you Sucker" (1971) so you know there is a strong western background to the film. Paul Ohl from "The Highlander" films also contributed. The novel from which the film is based was the last work of Heck Allen (1912-1991) who wrote several westerns ("Mackenna's Gold", "Into the Badlands") but whose true legacy is the hilarious Tex Avery and Woody Woodpecker cartoons from the mid 40s to the mid 50s.

There aren't a lot of films about the gold rush in Alaska, even though we do have the classic 1925 "The Gold Rush" from Chaplin, John Wayne's comedy attempt "North to Alaska" (1960), and Disney's TV film "Goldrush" (1998). So I had hopes for this film. But while there is a little bit of background, the film rapidly deteriorates into a classic chase film with Caan and his baddies chasing Lambert who has kidnapped McCormack.

The photography and music are appealing, but the story has some inconsistencies and some key plot points are missing (e.g., what is the relationship between Caan and McCormack? What caused the strain between Lambert and his fellow Indians?). Basically, the film is a B western that take place in Alaska in 1899.

There's not much to recommend this film. It certainly had potential, but it fails to deliver.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Lutefisk Western, November 9, 2007
This review is from: North Star [VHS] (VHS Tape)
James Caan plays Sean McLennon, a greedy land owner who starts grabbing up gold claims in 1899 Nome, Alaska through murder and intimidation. Christopher Lamber plays Hudson Saanteek, a half-breed indian who is fighting to keep the native people on one of the richest of these claims.

The movie is not spectacular, and it has been noted by others that Lambert's acting skills are notab;y less than those of Keanu Reeves. Caan's bad guy is played annoyingly smirky, and Burt Young does nothing to expand beyond his usual generic tough guy range. That being said, there is some nice photography of the frozen northern wild which is pleasing to the eye. Speaking of which, Catherine McCormack is also pleasant to look at, though ultimately I have to admit that the story is not terribly engaging.

Directed by Norwegian Nils Gaup and filmed in Norway with a largely Norwegian cast, NORTH STAR seems to get a little preachy on the racism side of things, which I don't mind as long as there is a story to back it up. Unfortunately, this movie falls considerably short.

Jeremy W. Forstadt
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pleasant little story, June 10, 2007
This review is from: North Star [VHS] (VHS Tape)
I'm not a Western genre fan usually, but sometimes my husband coerces me into watching one with him. I was happy I sat down and spent the time on this one. Full of natural scenery and beauty and gritty recreation of 1890's Nome, Alaska it was a great story of the Native Americans honoring the earth, and the infestation of man, and what lengths some men will go to for the almighty dollar. Some parts of the story were sketchy, such as how did McClennen come to love 'Miss Sarah' so deeply and why did he worship her so much? Her character was not as developed as it could have been, but the writers didn't want to morph this into a 4 hr. movie like some guys do. McClennen's character, unfortunately, was not developed as I'd have like to seen, but it was still a good story.

I liked it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars A cool James Caan flick!!, February 9, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: North Star (DVD)
I don't see that many "Caan" movies that are of the Western genre but this one is interesting. You will be interested in the all the different modern cliff hangers in this one.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars nice outdoor dvd story, February 4, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: North Star (DVD)
i like outdoor movies and this one is one of those type of show i like stories about Alaska outdoors
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3.0 out of 5 stars A Winter Western with a rushed ending, February 2, 2013
By 
Wuchak (Eastern USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: North Star (DVD)
"North Star" was released in 1996 but went unnoticed at the box office. It's a Western that takes place in Nome, Alaska, (but shot in Norway) during the Alaskan gold rush of the late 1800s. James Caan plays the love-to-hate villain who denies mining claims to foreigners and attempts to kill a half-breed indian (Christopher Lambert) for the claim to a cave filled with gold, which the natives use in their ceremonies. The half-breed ends up abducting the villain's woman, played by the beautiful Catherine McCormack (who you might remember as Wallace's doomed wife at the beginning of "Braveheart").

As others have pointed out, there are elements of other Westerns here, like "Death Hunt," "Valdez is Coming," "The Far Country" and "Dances With Wolves (20th Anniversary Edition)," but that's to be expected and, besides, it's one of the few fully Winter Westerns that I can think of (of course, films like "Will Penny," "Jeremiah Johnson" and a few others have some fairly long Winter sequences).

While Caan's villainy is too over-the-top for my tastes (although he does it well), I found "North Star" to be a well-done Western up until the final 15 minutes or so. Like I mentioned above, it really dawned on me while viewing that this was the first Western I ever saw that focused exclusively on Winter conditions. The locations, sets and cast are all first-rate even while the story-telling has somewhat of a TV-movie vibe. But those last 15 minutes just throw the entire film off. It's like the filmmakers either rushed the ending to just complete the project or perhaps they weren't confident with the closing footage and awkwardly tried to "make it work" in the editing room. Either way, it shows.

Still, it's a worthwhile modern Western that attempts something unique even while being a pastiche of the genre.

GRADE: C+
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3.0 out of 5 stars North Star, March 4, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: North Star (DVD)
I enjoyed the setting of this movie, a frozen Alaskan wilderness and gold mining boom town making a unique backdrop for a western. The scenery was excellent but I thought the plot and writting left a lot to be desired, Lambert and Haan have been better, but as I've said the writting was not too good and they didn't have much to work with, definately not either mans best.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1.0 out of 5 stars Nothing works for this film, July 9, 2011
This review is from: North Star (DVD)
This is a really hard to watch movie. It has no redeeming qualities. Nothing works in this film. The best thing going for it is the length... only 89 minutes,
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

North Star
North Star by Nils Gaup (DVD - 2009)
$5.97 $5.00
In Stock
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Search these reviews only
Rate and Discover Movies
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.