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Pi (1998)

Sean Gullette , Mark Margolis , Darren Aronofsky  |  R |  DVD
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (846 customer reviews)

List Price: $14.98
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Product Details

  • Actors: Sean Gullette, Mark Margolis, Ben Shenkman, Pamela Hart, Stephen Pearlman
  • Directors: Darren Aronofsky
  • Writers: Sean Gullette, Darren Aronofsky, Eric Watson
  • Producers: David Godbout, Eric Watson, Jonah Smith, Katie King
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, Closed-captioned, Dolby, Letterboxed, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Lions Gate
  • DVD Release Date: January 12, 1999
  • Run Time: 84 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (846 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 078401213X
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #28,470 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
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  • Learn more about "Pi" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Behind-the-scenes montage
  • Lost scenes
  • Music video

Editorial Reviews

Sean Gulette, Ben Shenkman. A man searching for an all-important mathematical code is hounded by a Wall Street firm and a Hasidic group-all of whom think he is on to something. 1998/b&w/97 min/R/widescreen.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
198 of 217 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Calculus of Disbelief March 2, 2002
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
It is a remarkable surprise that, in a time of science fiction and fantasy films which continually strive do outdo each other in pyrotechnics, one of the best science fiction films I've seen is a little black & white masterpiece that was shot with a $60,000 budget. Darren Aronofsky, writer and director of 'PI', has created a film that is every bit as engaging as its 'big' brothers - in reality, even more so.
Mathematician Max Cohen (Sean Gullette) is on a quest. He is convinced that underlying the chaos of the stock market is a pristine order, a mathematical rule with which he can prove that everything can be reduced to numbers. His mentor and teacher is Sol Robeson (Mark Margolis), who was forced to give up his own investigations into PI when he suffered a mysterious stroke.
Cohen's investigation takes him far beyond the gyrations of the stock market into the mystical Kaballah and an intense questioning of the basic nature of reality. His tool for this journey is the silent, inanimate computer, Euclid, who seems to deconstruct Cohen's universe further with each strike of the return key. Even when Robeson urges Cohen to take a break from a quest which is clearly destroying the mathematician, torturing him with horrific headaches and hallucinations, Max is unable to stop. He is drawn step by step into the irrevocable gap between the sacred and the mundane.
Made with reversal film which heightens the contrast between light and dark, the film provides a continuous flow of symbolic content which plays in harmony with the world of ideas from with it is drawn. Ants and electric drills, computer chips and the swirls of cream in a cup of coffee all seem to have otherworldly referents.
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40 of 43 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Compelling Sci-Fi June 8, 2001
Format:DVD
First, this film scores because it is a quality script with that does not even try for "Hollywood" style production. Second, this film meets one of my personal criteria for a very good to great film in that it offers filmmakers / photographers good content to dig into, admire and learn from. Shot in black and white, the film has a certain 1960's-frenzied cheez-sci-fi style (maybe it was the weird, buzzing ambient score?) to it, but not to such a degree that it gets in the way. The cinematography actually reminded me of some segments from "Fight Club", believe it or not. Other reviewers either liked or were turned off by the pseudo-math that supports the plot - one man's search for underlying order in a chaotic, apparently random universe. Simply put, one cannot tell if this search is a schizophrenic episode or the result of a man's mind trying to comprehend something it was not designed to. They missed the simple fact that this ambiguity drives the whole plot. Sean Gullette never gives us a clue as to whether he's a genius or an annoying axe-grinder convinced that JFK was assassinated by the Moonies / "Blue Blockers" are a government mind-control device / there is an underlying, absolute, predictable order to the universe. Okay, just #3, but still... Gullette's performance, especially in "wing nut" mode, is great. By the end, he's shaved his head and recollects the best of Robert DeNiro in "Taxi Driver" in his intensity, although his character is not required to jump off a personal cliff quite so high as DeNiro's. Like all great films, this one leaves audiences with more questions than answers. Read more ›
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39 of 42 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars No Safety In Numbers February 9, 2001
By Phrodoe
Format:VHS Tape
Pi is one of the better independent low-budget films I've seen in the last couple of years. It's a strange, twisted, subversive film, which takes as its thesis the idea that it's possible to know too much, to ask too many questions, for one's own good. A good example is the troubled protagonist of Pi, played to chilling perfection by Sean Gullette, who struggles with both the outside world and himself in his quest for the ultimate knowledge -- an equation which will tie together everything, from the beginnings of the universe to the chaotic ups and downs of the stock market. He is spied upon by unnamed big business interests, hoping to cash in on the latter idea; he is spied upon by Hasidic Jews who hope to cash in on the former idea; both sets of spies add the perfect element of paranoia to the film, and convince you that there is far more going on here than meets the eye, far more going on than is being talked about. The ideas put forth in later scenes bear this out -- boy, do they! -- but I wouldn't want to spoil that for you. The events of Pi, especially in the later scenes, are so surprising that any discussion of the plot would be totally unfair -- like telling someone who hasn't seen Citizen Kane what Rosebud is. So instead I'll confine myself to theme and character, which are sort of intertwined in this film. Gullette's character is a genius mathematician (as you might expect), a child prodigy of sorts who has always, we are told by his narration, courted such dangerous ideas and notions...and has paid the price for his arrogance more than once. He suffers from migranes -- really serious, agonizing ones which give him nosebleeds and vicious hallucinations, and which no painkillers seem able to stop or tame. Read more ›
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm into these kinds of movies so I really enjoyed it. It is a niche...
I'm into these kinds of movies so I really enjoyed it. It is a niche film for sure. I didn't like the gore and the music was a little nerve wracking at times but the overall story... Read more
Published 10 hours ago by TinkerBob
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
Not great. Poor plot. Little action. Boring.
Published 3 days ago by Al Barras
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't waste your time!
I only got about 5 minutes into this before shutting it off. I'm glad I didn't waste any more time on it. Just seemed to be very boring. Read more
Published 4 days ago by Michael Hoten
5.0 out of 5 stars Beware: Not the US version
This is a fantastic film. The first of revolutionary director Darren Aronofsky's career. However, beware if you live in the US and want to purchase the Blu-Ray version of the... Read more
Published 7 days ago by The Street Doc
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't Bother Watching This One
Boring and confusing.
Published 7 days ago by Write_mark
5.0 out of 5 stars what's not to love?
A terrifically bizarre film. Mathematics, brain lesions, weird Wall St./religious conspiracies... what's not to love?
Published 12 days ago by A. R. Holmes
3.0 out of 5 stars so so
very artistic - B&W - OK story line but not enough to hold my interest
Published 15 days ago by Robert Coble
1.0 out of 5 stars I like artsy, original movies
I like artsy, original movies, but this one is overcooked. I shut it down about 2/3 in, just guessing it would not give more. And I was right, after later review. Read more
Published 16 days ago by Lee Tyler
2.0 out of 5 stars Strange movie with weak impact. If I'm going to ...
Strange movie with weak impact. If I'm going to sit through this kind of thing, it needs to make it worthwhile with an interesting outcome.
Published 17 days ago by Jeffrey Alderman
1.0 out of 5 stars What an insult to the golden ratio
Wow, what incoherent gibberish. Anyone with a little math and computer science background would see this film as "pure nonsense" Like most, I've seen my share of silly movies but... Read more
Published 20 days ago by Dr. Joseph Bianco
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