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Payback [VHS]


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Product Details

  • Actors: Mel Gibson, Gregg Henry, Maria Bello, David Paymer, Bill Duke
  • Directors: Brian Helgeland
  • Writers: Brian Helgeland, Donald E. Westlake, Terry Hayes
  • Producers: Bruce Davey, Stephen McEveety
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Paramount Home Video
  • VHS Release Date: July 27, 1999
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (527 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00000JDIN
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #522,585 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

They stole his money, turned his woman against him, and left him for dead. Now tough-guy poster child Porter (the appropriately world-weary Mel Gibson) is back, bad to the bone, and a mite ticked off at the Organization that done him wrong. Mucho macho carnage ensues.

It took some major guts for first-time director (and Oscar winner for the script of L.A. Confidential) Brian Helgeland to take a shot at adapting Donald Westlake's pseudonymous, legendarily gritty novel The Hunter for the screen (especially considering that director John Boorman and irresistible force Lee Marvin had already produced a fairly definitive rendering of the source material with their enigmatic 1967 masterpiece Point Blank). Nonetheless this novice auteur managed to pull out a winner. Put simply, this compulsively watchable piece of scuzz-art hits like a well-placed Magnum round, with a wonderful '70s vibe and an awesome rogues' gallery of baddies (including James Coburn, Kris Kristofferson, William Devane, and the riotously sadistic Lucy Liu) for the charmingly battered star to play off of--and ultimately wade through.

Although this enjoyably seedy roll through the gutter of Crime Alley does occasionally threaten to wander off its downturned track (hands-on producer Gibson reportedly stepped in at the last moment to make his antihero a little more heroic), the final result is an admirably pulpy, distinctly dirty slice of neo-noir liberally marinated in blood, blue smoke, and bourbon. This particular payback's one tough little SOB, indeed. --Andrew Wright

Customer Reviews

Good story, great acting.
Michael Cavenaugh
To make matters worse, They changed the mian bad guy in the movie into a women it wasn't a good idea.
D. CO
Just the director's cut inside,Not contained the theatrical version.
Koolio

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

36 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Terrence A. VINE VOICE on May 18, 2007
Format: HD DVD Verified Purchase
If you're a fan of Payback at all, I think it's imperative that you watch this version not only because of how differently it plays out but because it is a great opportunity to see how a director's vision can be compromised by the studio system.

From the very beginning, you know you're in different waters when the tone of the film settles in. They do away with the voice over and there is far less humor in this version. Instead of the blue tinted palatte of the original, this film has a more lush and natural quality to it. The character of Porter (Mel Gibson) in this version is even more brutal and cold blooded, which is a big reason as to why the film was asked to be recut by the studio. I watched both versions back to back and I think I can say that this new version is almost like watching an entirely different movie. I like them both equally and this new version really adds to the experience.

That being said, this HD-DVD has several great supplementary features that should make your day. One in particular is a half hour doc that goes into why Brian Helgeland's original cut was rejected by the studio and contains insightful comments by key members of the cast and crew, including Mel Gibson himself who I have to give credit to for being involved with restoring this version and giving a genuinely humbling interview. The picture on this disc looks great and the sound really kicks in during scenes of gunfire and general action. I strongly recommend it, especially if you like the original cut!
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52 of 60 people found the following review helpful By Jason on April 10, 2007
Format: DVD
Like one review has already stated maybe one reason this movie didnt recieve all the glory it deserved is maybe american movie audience wasnt ready to see Mel Gibson in such a dark roll,thats my take on it to.Now with this unrated directors version its even better,gone is blue filter over the picture replaced with a remasterd version which colors are vibrant,crisp,its really has a great picture quality,its more vilolent and to the point,gone is Mel's voice over(which also makes it better),its got a completely new musical score,basicly the story is the same but its told diffrent with a completly new ending.There's also really great special features that includes a 30min piece on why and how this directors cut was made.I'm glad the director finally got his movie and way to go paramount this is not some hoax special edition like so many others its a diffrent kind of film a special edition worth picking up for sure...way to go Paramount
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48 of 56 people found the following review helpful By Flipper Campbell VINE VOICE on April 17, 2007
Format: DVD
The best action movie I've seen this year isn't in theaters. You may think you've seen it, but probably haven't. "Payback" is back, this time the way the director envisioned the film, not the suits. "You don't make pictures for the elite," producer/star Mel Gibson says today, explaining why Paramount and Warner Bros. took the noirish gangland movie away from freshman director Brian Helgeland. After 10 days of reshoots, a new final (third) act was tacked on, voiceover was added a la "Blade Runner" and Kris Kristofferson walked on as a new major character. Audiences still were amazed how brutal the Gibson character was when they had to "Get ready to root for the bad guy," as the marketing had it.

Same old story about artists and Hollywood, but this time came a happier ending. In 2005, Paramount and Gibson gave Helgeland another shot at the film, eight years after its release. The tapes turned up missing, so Helgeland and his editor recut the film using film. And so we have "Payback: Straight Up -- the Director's Cut."

Now, this is one hard-boiled movie. Gibson plays a criminal who comes back to town looking for the partner who stole half his loot, and his wife, following a heist. Along the way he single-handedly takes on both the syndicate and Asian drug dealers, slugs a woman (a scene the studios cut), and stirs up a John Woo-like shootout as the bloody finale. Supporting actors Lucy Liu, Gregg Henry and Maria Bello all do fine work.

There are multiple DVD extras, including a director's commentary, but the one to catch is the half-hour "Same Story -- Different Movie," all about the film's resurrection. Audio and video are sharp on the DVD -- and better on high definition discs, although in places the colors seem a bit too jacked up for a gritty, bleach-bypass film. "Payback" comes from the same book as "Point Blank" with Lee Marvin, an even better film from 1969.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Ollie on August 21, 2007
Format: DVD
For me the first version of Payback, interfered with by the hand of (Mad)Mel is the much superior version of this dark, violent and gritty movie. This feels like to me to be another case of Superman II syndrome. Film fanatics harp on for years about how great it could have been had it not been interfered with and then when we finally see a version as close as possible to the directors intended vision it comes as somewhat of a disappointment. I bought Payback:-Directors Cut DVD unseen based on the glowing reviews here on Amazon but I now wish I had simply rented first instead of wasting my money. For me, the last third just felt flat. The third act rolled along slowly reducing pace as it went until finally coming to a gentle stop. Porter got his money, but for the audience the sense of achievement felt for what Porter went through in the original to get this money is now gone. I'm sure that had I not seen the original Payback, I still would feel the same way towards the third act in this version. I can also say for certain that this version suffers greatly by the exclusion of Kris Kristofferson as the original Bronson who brought a great sense of villainy to the role as a much larger, threatening character who also builds the anticipation of a confrontation between Bronson and Porter. In this version Bronson is nothing more than a woman's voice on a speaker and even at that injects nothing into the character. As a result she does not come across as someone who would be tough enough to have risen to the top of an organisation such as The Syndicate. Gibson in his version added a voice over monolog, while I can't say that I missed it from this directors cut, given the choice, I would rather have it in than out so I'd score Gibson on that one also.Read more ›
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