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North [VHS]

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Product Details

  • Actors: Elijah Wood, Bruce Willis, Jason Alexander, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Marc Shaiman
  • Directors: Rob Reiner
  • Writers: Alan Zweibel, Andrew Scheinman
  • Producers: Alan Zweibel, Rob Reiner, Andrew Scheinman, Jeffrey Stott
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home E
  • VHS Release Date: March 13, 2001
  • Run Time: 87 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000056HQ8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #162,508 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

North is a 1994 American adventure fantasy comedy-drama film directed by Rob Reiner and starring an ensemble cast including Elijah Wood, Jon Lovitz, Jason Alexander, Alan Arkin, Dan Aykroyd, Kathy Bates, Faith Ford, Graham Greene, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Reba McEntire, John Ritter, Abe Vigoda, with Bruce Willis in several roles and Scarlett Johansson in her film debut. The story is based on the novel North: The Tale of a 9-Year-Old Boy Who Becomes a Free Agent and Travels the World in Search of the Perfect Parents by Alan Zweibel, who wrote the screenplay and has a minor role in the film. Despite an all-star cast and director Reiner at the helm, North was both a critical and commercial failure, and was hated so thoroughly by critics Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert that both named it the worst film of 1994. It is often regarded as one of the worst films ever made. It was shot in Hawaii, Alaska, California, South Dakota, New Jersey, and New York.

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Lawyeraau HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 21, 2005
Format: VHS Tape
I actually bought this movie by mistake, thinking that I had picked up Mr. North, the film adaptation of Thornton Wilder's book of the same name. The video lay around my house unviewed for some time after I bought it, and by the time I realized my error, it was too late to return it. So, I decided just to watch it and see what I had actually gotten.

Well, what I got was an enjoyable little fantasy/comedy directed by Rob Reiner. It centers around a terrific eleven year old kid named North (Elijah Wood) who feels that, despite his scholastic, athletic, and thespian achievements, his parents just ignore him. So, he does the unthinkable. He gets himself an attorney. He gets a legal separation from his parents. He then travels the world, searching for the perfect parents. In doing so, he inadvertently causes a mini-revolution that puts kids in the driver's seat, as parents scramble to remain the parents of record.

There are some very funny moments throughout this film, which boasts a stellar cast. Jason Alexander and Julia Louis-Dreyfus are well paired as North's self-absorbed parents. Jon Lovitz plays the role of North's sleazy attorney. Bruce Willis is the sage that mysteriously appears in every vignette in which North is trying out new parents for size. Probably the funniest potential new parents are those played by Reba McEntire and Dan Ackroyd. Moreover, one of the bonuses of having Reba McEntire in the film is that she sings in it and is simply terrific, as is the rest of the cast. This is definitely a funny little film that turned out to be a pleasant surprise.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By C. Petersen on March 17, 2005
Format: VHS Tape
This movie is not intended to be taken seriously, and to watch it, you have to remember what it was like to be a kid. Kids are a little egocentric(some more than others) and that is where the humor comes in. The stereotypes of all the places North visits are a dead giveaway that this is how these places are percieved in a child's mind. Typical things most people hear about a place, such as the french people being obsessed with Jerry Lewis. I must reiterate, you cannot take it seriously. Those people that find it offensive completly miss the point. The point was that North is a typical kid who doesn't appreciate his parents. The fact that he sees his parents as not appreciative of him is what is typical of children, and what makes him so amusing and adorable. He is not unreasonable in expecting acknowledgement of all his acheievements, and his baffled expression when he tells his coach his problem is just so believable. I think any kid can relate. "A child is born. He is given a life. And he is appreciated by everyone but the parents who gave him that life." That's pretty close if not an exact quote. He doesn't whine when he says this. Just looks confused. And when you see the opening scene of his parents rambling on about their work problems not even listening to each other while North feins a heart attack, you have to agree there is a problem. But it's obvious that they do care, because they finally acknowledge him when he falls out of his chair onto the floor yelling dramatically. The point is parents aren't perfect, although this is an exaggeration of that point. This is one of the things North realizes at the end of the movie, and he is all the wiser for his outrageous adventures.I thought this movie was charming, but not the best family film I ever saw.Read more ›
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Lonnie E. Holder HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 9, 2003
Format: VHS Tape
You have to see this movie to see macho man Bruce Willis in a bunny suit. Beyond Bruce Willis, Elijah Wood plays North, a young boy whose parents live the yuppie stereotype. It seems they never have time for him, though he's every parent's "perfect child". Because North is so unhappy, he decides to find new parents. There is a small plot twist here that I leave the viewer to find for themselves. During North's travels he meets all sorts of strange people, including one relatively normal family.
Perhaps the strangest and funniest of North's potential parents are Dan Ackroyd and Reba McEntire as over-the-top Texans. Everything on their ranch is big, and everything they do has a sense of exaggeration about it. It's campy and funny and corny. North also gets to go to Hawaii and Alaska among a couple of other places. There was one place where I felt a bit uncomfortable during his stopover in Alaska, though, as Grandpa (Abe Vigoda) was getting set to sail off into the sunset. While there may be some truth in the custom, I felt the portrayal was a bit disturbing.
Some reviewers have faulted this movie as being terrible or awful. While this movie was unlikely to win any awards, Elijah's performance was good. Further, I felt that this movie was suitable for children. The reaction I've seen from children thus far has been positive.
Many adults will likely not appreciate this movie as there are too many clichés. Furthermore, some aspects of the movie have been previously done. Lastly, the corny way in which some vignettes are done can be distracting. However, you need to remember the source of the vignettes, and realize that the camp and corn are appropriate to the source. Enough said.
I thought the movie was interesting and watchable.
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Topic From this Discussion
Why is North not on DVD??
I have to agree that I thought it was a great movie when I was younger, although admittedly I don't remember much of it.

That said, I'd still like to see Rifftrax for it - even good movies are better with Mike Nelson.
Aug 11, 2009 by Shelly |  See all 9 posts
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