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Short Cuts (The Criterion Collection)

127 customer reviews

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(Oct 14, 2008)
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The Criterion Collection
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(Nov 16, 2004)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description



Roaringly funny...A terrific movie. --Vincent Canby, New York Times

A masterpiece of orchestration. --Sight & Sound

A masterpiece of orchestration. --Sight & Sound

Special Features

  • Video conversation between Robert Altman and Tim Robbins
  • Luck, Trust and Ketchup: Robert Altman in Carver Country, a feature-length documentary on the making of Short Cuts
  • To Write and Keep Kind, a PBS documentary on the life of Raymond Carver
  • Segment from BBC Television's Moving Pictures tracing the screenplay's development
  • One-hour 1983 audio interview with Carver, conducted for the American Audio Prose Library
  • Original demo recordings of the Doc Pomus-Mac Rebennack songs, performed by Dr. John
  • A look inside the marketing of Short Cuts
  • A booklet featuring an essay by film critic Michael Wilmington

Product Details

  • Actors: Andie MacDowell, Robert Downey Jr., Tim Robbins, Julianne Moore, Frances McDormand
  • Directors: Robert Altman
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Special Edition, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Criterion Collection (Direct)
  • DVD Release Date: October 14, 2008
  • Run Time: 183 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (127 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001CW7ZT4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #19,569 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Short Cuts (The Criterion Collection)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

64 of 68 people found the following review helpful By Archmaker VINE VOICE on April 4, 2002
Robert Altman takes another large cast and tells engrossing, interconnected and overlapping tales of modern LA life as no one else can. Based on the short stories of Raymond Carver, yes, the movie is long, 189 minutes long to be exact. But what stories! They echoed and resonated and stayed with me and I can't imagine what you would cut. So, its 189 minutes. Take your time.
There isn't a "movie minute" in the whole film, which doesn't mean there aren't surprises. These people act like real people, they do what real people do, which means they surpise the hell out of you all the time. Character is revealed not so much by words but by unanticipated responses and actions.
I don't want to divulge too much of the individual stories as it would spoil the moments of revelation. Suffice it to say, Tim Robbin's arrogant philandering motorcyle cop, Fred Ward's obtuse & callous fisherman, Lori Singer's sad cellist, Jack Lemmon's pathetic loser, Lily Tomlin & Tom Waits alcoholic trailer trash, Lyle Lovett's mistaken baker, Chris Penn's inwardly raging pool- cleaner, Davidson's & MacDowell's anxious parents, Modine's jealous surgeon, Gallagher's vengeful Ex, and all the other terrific performances both light and dark, will stay with you when the movie has ended.
This is Altman back doing what Altman does best, catching lightning in a bottle, and great performances on celluloid. First rate!
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53 of 57 people found the following review helpful By Swederunner on December 4, 2004
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
In society, people end up with careers and lives through situational opportunity and the coincidence of chance that struck them at a sudden moment. Short Cuts grasps this notion as a large number of characters, 22 to be precise, interact directly or indirectly through a wide variety of different opportunities and chances. The connection is that these character's ties are of variable closeness, as some know each other, some get to know each other, and some never get to know of the existence of one another, yet every action has an effect on everyone. It is this moment, which Robert Altman seizes, as Short Cuts becomes a tale of the little and epic episodes of life.

Robert Altman does a marvelous job in depicting the small daily deceits that are made in order to keep family life intact. The idea is based on Raymond Carver's work which Altman freely adapts onto the silver screen, and he does a marvelous job grabbing Carver's atmosphere. The atmosphere is of a detached society where no true values or customs exists, and only where a temporary fix can provide instant happiness. This is supported by an excellent cast consisting of talented actors such as Andie MacDowell, Jack Lemmon, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Anne Archer, Matthew Modine, Julianne Moore, Robert Downey Jr., and Tim Robbins among many others.

In the opening scene, a large number of helicopters take off into the sunset while families can hear about threats of the Medfly through a broadcaster. The hovering sound of helicopters roams over the Los Angles urban and suburban communities as the news continues of the helicopters that are set out to spray an insecticide over L. A. in order to combat the threatening Medfly.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Nearly Nubile on July 11, 2004
Format: VHS Tape
Altman's singature classic with twenty two characters and ten nearly distinct tales. Imagine the ingenuity required to interweave all of that into a seamless whole, but Altman manages the feat deliciously.
While the individual threads may coax discussion, it is their blending that enables a variety of perspectives. Most of them are poignant, for instance the life of a pool cleaner and his wife who vocalizes orgasms on the phone in her job as a tele-sex worker while changing her kids' diapers. Or the life of a couple whose son has been in a tragic accident that brings their lives to an abrupt halt. Etc.
Be warned, many of these vignettes, while very tautly scripted and cleverly screenplayed, remain "unresolved," which may not work for some viewers. Personally I feel that films like this are more genuine reflections of the world in which we live: people often don't change, questions are frequently left unanswered, and unbecoming things do happen every day.
It's a pure pleasure to find a movie that weaves such a deep and intelligent tapestry of human lives, with all their idiosynchratic travails and triumphs. An absolute gem for you to own, not just rent.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By snalen on December 1, 2004
Format: DVD
Three and a half days in the life of Los Angeles. Tess (Annie Ross) and her daughter Zoe (Lori Singer) are a very musical family. Mother sings jazz at a seedy club where disagreeable thug Joe Robbins (Darnell Williams) hangs out boasting about his violent history and threatening people who complain about his poor manners. Zoe is only really able to communicate with other human beings in the languages of classical cello and self-harm. She gives a concert attended by Marian and Ralph Wyman (Julianne Moore and Matthew Modine) who strike up a conversation with the audience neighbours Claire and Stuart Kane (Anne Archer and Fred Ward) and end up inviting them to dinner. Claire works as a clown entertaining children while Stuart goes off fishing with his yahoo-ish friends Gordon (Buck Henry) and Vern (Huey Lewis). They find a young woman's corpse in the river but leave it there until they finish their fishing before they bother to report it. En route they had stopped off at a diner and had a good leer at the rear end of waitress Doreen (Lily Tomlin), who has a stormy marriage to Earl (Tom Waits), who is given to getting blind drunk at the same club where Tess performs. Next door to Tess and Zoe live the Finnegans, Ann (Andie McDowell) and her newsreader husband Howard (Bruce Davison), with their little boy Casey (Lane Cassidy) whose birthday is fast approaching. So Ann visits baker Andy Birkower (Lyle Lovett) to order a very special cake. But then Casey is run over by Doreen on his way to school and has to go to hospital where, just to complicate life, Paul (Jack Lemmon), Howard's long estranged, gloriously self-centred and tactless father, who cannot remember his ailing grandson's name, decides to show up on a bridge-mending mission.Read more ›
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WTF? "New" edition already?! Really?
The reason for the lower retail price is that it no longer includes a book of Raymond Carver's short stories. That is the difference between the two versions.
Nov 12, 2008 by John Hartigan |  See all 3 posts
is there any english subtitles Be the first to reply
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