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The King

36 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Corpus Christie TX is the setting for this affecting drama of an estranged father and son. Gael Garcia Bernal is Elvis a young Mexican-American on leave from the Navy who seeks out his birth father (William Hurt) a fundamentalist preacher. When Elvis falls in love with his 16-year-old half-sister trouble brews.DVD Features:Available Subtitles: SpanishAvailable Audio Tracks: English (Dolby Digital 5.1) English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)Behind the ScenesFilmmaker CommentaryActor RehearsalsTrailerTrailer GalleryFormat: DVD MOVIE Genre: ACTION/ADVENTURE/THRILLERS Rating: R UPC: 821575547154 Manufacturer No: TF-54715

Special Features

  • Commentary by writer/producer Milo Addica and writer/director James Marsh
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Actor Rehearsals
  • Trailer
  • Trailer Gallery

Product Details

  • Actors: Gael García Bernal, William Hurt, Laura Harring, Derek Weston, E. Matthew Buckley
  • Directors: James Marsh
  • Writers: James Marsh, Milo Addica
  • Producers: Edward R. Pressman, Gwynneth Lloyd, James Wilson, John Schmidt, Maureen A. Ryan
  • Format: AC-3, Color, Dolby, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Velocity / Thinkfilm
  • DVD Release Date: October 10, 2006
  • Run Time: 105 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000H0M4AW
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #90,661 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The King" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 12, 2006
Format: DVD
This dark and unsettling allegory, which mixes very bad behavior with Christian evangelism, features two very fine performances from its leads Gael GarcÍa Bernal and William Hurt, but this tale of the prodigal son returning to his roots never really picks up steam beyond it's initial exposition. Consequently, we have a film that features a potentially great story, but for the most part, is too stultifyingly slow-paced to really make that much of an impact.

We first meet Elvis (Bernal), a twenty-something drifter, who has just been released from the navy. He arrives in Corpus Christi, Texas, hopefully seeking to reconnect with his estranged father (Hurt) who unknowingly fathered him. It turns out that his father is now an evangelical pastor with a nice family and predictably, and although he's civil to Elvis, he wants nothing to do with his illegitimate son.

Dejected, Elvis stays on in the City, rooming in a run-down, crummy hotel and obtaining employment as a pizza delivery boy. But some unstoppable, Machiavellian force begins to drive the young man and he begins to exact revenge on the pastor, starting by seducing his daughter a beautiful 16-year-old (Pell James) in all her Catholic innocent glory. Keep in mind he is seducing his half-sister.

But this seduction is nothing compared to Elvis has in store for the holy man's other geek son Paul (Paul Dano), a gawky teenage Christian rock singer and campaigner for intelligent design. Is Elvis just a mild-mannered, untroubled sociopath who is picking on an innocent family? Or is there perhaps more substance behind his motivations?

Director James Marsh has some good ideas here, embedding his main protagonist with a Ripley-like amoral sensibility, yet what he's eventually trying to say is never quite clear.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Timothy Kearney VINE VOICE on November 14, 2006
Format: DVD
If you read the summary of THE KING I read before viewing it, you probably expected a heartwarming tale. A young man named Elvis finishes his stint in the Navy and decides to look up his father who abandoned him. The father has since changed his life, married, started a family, and is now a minister. Such a summary promises a conflict or two, but also redemption. Well, I don't want to spoil the experience for potential viewers, but let's just say that when it's on television, it won't be shown on the Hallmark Channel or the Family Channel. It's not a uplifting tale of sin and redemption, but it's still interesting to watch.

The film has its weaknesses, but it also has strengths that make it a gripping tale. Gael Garcia Bernal plays Elvis, the young man in search of his father. He's almost emotionless in the role, but this is intentional. If he pushed for the sympathy vote as the abandoned child or went the psychopath route, the film would be too unbelievable. Bernal keeps us interested in what Elvis' next move will be, and we wonder what is going on in his head but we're never certain. William Hurt plays David Sandow, the minister and family man who is also Elvis' father. Paul Dano of LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE fame is the oldest son Paul, the apple of his father's eye who will soon graduate from high school and head to Bible college. Both Hurt and Dano work with the material, but one fault of the film is that we're introduced to some potentially wonderful conflictual situations between father and son (Paul), first son (Elvis) and beloved son (Paul), and conflict between the three, but they never materialize. The most troubling relationship in the film is that of Elvis and Malerie, the Sandow daughter.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Bob L on October 19, 2006
Format: DVD
The hottest new young actor out there, Gael Garcia Bernal, has once again expanded his range. In The King he brings to life a recently discharged servicemanr's plight when he tries to connect with what distant roots he has left. He visits the church where his father, who he has never met, preaches. He is looking for the home he feels he has missed. When he confronts his father, William Hurt, he finds no acceptance only a cautious warning. Hurt, who is now a respected member of the community and family man with a teenage son and daughter, has extreme apprehension about this son he admits to but has every intention of casting out.

What we soon find out is every action has a catastrophically ironic result. If only we knew what was to come we would have never have made that move but that's hindsight.

The King is excellent in every aspect. All principle acting is superb with Bernal and Pell James being standouts. I loved the music which maintained the sober tone that permeated the entire film. Beautiful cinematography and editing helped the compelling nature of the script. This is a perfectly executed, disturbing adult drama. Not for all tastes but packs a quite a wallop. Highly recommended.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Joshua Miller VINE VOICE on October 18, 2006
Format: DVD
"The King" is a haunting film from the studio that brought us "Down in the Valley" and features Gael Garcia Bernal ('Dot the I') and Oscar Winner William Hurt ('Kiss of the Spider Woman'). "The King" came and went pretty quietly. It got O.K. reviews (although Richard Roeper said that Hurt's performance was one of the best performances you'd see...Odd, since it's far from Hurts best) and slipped quietly onto DVD. It looked promising enough. The cover says "Disturbing" and the premice of the film sounded interesting. It's definitely a weird little movie. Bernal plays Elvis, a young man who is discharged from the Navy and heads to Texas to meet his father David (Hurt, covering up his trademark voice with a Texan accent). David is a pastor and is a borderline "fire & brimstone" kind of guy. He's married now to a woman named Tyla (Laura Harring) and has two kids Malerie (Pell James) and Paul (Paul Dano, 'Little Miss Sunshine'). David feels that Elvis was the product of past sinning and therefore, wants nothing to do with the boy. Elvis kind of moves on, but finds himself falling in love with Malerie. Even though we know it's, technically, incest. It's never really mentioned in the film. After Paul discovers that Elvis has been hanging around with his sister, he threatens to tell David and Elvis kills him. It's quick, shocking, and unexpected. Elvis quickly does what every movie character does; He ditches the body. As David searches for his "lost" son Paul and Malerie finds out that she's pregnant, David finds himself coming to terms with Elvis. The movie eventually throws a curveball and then ends abruptly. I didn't like the ending immediately, thinking "that was cheap.Read more ›
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