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What Dreams May Come [VHS] (1998)

Robin Williams , Cuba Gooding Jr. , Vincent Ward  |  PG-13 |  VHS Tape
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (888 customer reviews)

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What Dreams May Come [VHS] + Dead Poets Society [VHS]
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Product Details

  • Actors: Robin Williams, Cuba Gooding Jr., Annabella Sciorra, Max von Sydow, Jessica Brooks Grant
  • Directors: Vincent Ward
  • Writers: Ronald Bass, Richard Matheson
  • Producers: Alan C. Blomquist, Barnet Bain, Erica Huggins, Ronald Bass, Scott Kroopf
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, THX, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: USA
  • VHS Release Date: August 3, 1999
  • Run Time: 113 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (888 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00000IBRX
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #99,687 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Chris Neilson dies to find himself in a heaven more amazing than he could have ever dreamed of. There is one thing missing: his wife. After he dies, his wife, Annie, kills herself and goes to hell. Chris decides to risk eternity in hades for the small chance that he will be able to bring her back to heaven.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
194 of 213 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stellar film and visual effects! February 12, 2001
There is such a profound sense of drama, magic and emotion behind the story in "What Dreams May Come," a film based on the novel by Richard Matheson. There is a strong story with which anyone who loves someone else can identify, as well as an austentatious and elegant scope of visual and auditory imagery that jumps right for your eyes onscreen. Matheson's visions of heaven and hell are magnificently realized here, as well as the love between two people that is unbreakable, even after death.
The movie begins with the chance meeting of two American tourists traveling in Switzerland. Soon after, Chris and Annie become inseperable, and after their wedding, they bear two children. Many years later, Ian and Marie are killed in a car collision, leaving their parents distraught yet overcoming. Another couple of years later, Chris dies in a car accident as well, on his way to celebrate the "Double D" anniversary of his wife's emotional recovery from their childrens' deaths. This begins his trip into heaven, which is rocky at first during his attempts to console his living wife, then graduating into his acceptance of his immortality and ascemding into heaven, which turns out to be the creation of his own thoughts and settings. When he realizes that he is not completely happy without Annie, he becomes depressed, so it is no surprise that when Annie commits suicide and is sent to hell, he readies himself to rescue his wife from her emotional confines that keep her in her prison of eternal darkness.
The story for this movie is very ambitious, as are the filmmakers who bring it to life. There is an abundance of vivid memories in the form of flashbacks, many of which are precisely used to move the plot along and keep the story moving.
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48 of 52 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A spiritual film for the senses March 22, 2005
When I first saw this film in 1998, I was horrified because it was so different from the novel I had just read. I wanted to see a film more faithful to the novel and the beauty and awe I felt when I read it. This is not that movie.

I decided to watch this film again on its own merits. I haven't read the novel for years, so I'm able to see this film with fresh eyes, and judge it on its own merits. Its not the novel, and maybe someday there will be a film that is a closer representation of the novel, but this film presents the director's vision and still provides excellent insights into the afterlife. For that, its worth watching and owning.

This film is visually stunning as they recreated a world as one might expect if a person lived in a painting, or a place that resembled a painting. Having seen some actual works by Renoir, I know the feeling of being transported into another realm on the basis of a painting. This film does it perfectly. The symbology and recurring patterns (sailboats, for example) work exceptionally well.

The biggest changes made from the novel is that this film is about a family's connection in life and the afterlife, and the focus is on the relationships between husband and wife, father and son, and father and daughter. Robin Williams plays Chris Nielson, who meets his soulmate in Italy, and they marry and have two children, who die in a tragic car accident. The wife, played by the exceptional Annabella Sciorra, is institutionalized after the tragedy, and does get better...until her husband also dies in a freak accident. He finds himself in heaven and she's left to grieve alone, which is a burden too heavy for her to overcome.
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An interesting experiment... June 12, 2001
This movie is interesting because it tries to approach the idea of human mortality from an all-encompassing philosophical system by drawing on several different philsophical and theological ideas simultaneously so that no one religion or belief system is emphasized moreso than the other. By using this approach, the movie attempts to examine and communicate the raw truths of life and death. The film also communicates to its audience in raw emotion through the use of archetypical characters with often melodramatic performances that succeed even though they shouldn't. The images of Hell are obviously inspired by Dante's "Inferno". Though the Hell visuals are impressive, they by no means capture the hopelessness and despair of Hell. What's most impressive is the director's attempt at visually capturing on film an idea of Heaven. The attempt alone deserves merit and this is where the film's visuals succeed the most. On DVD, the colors are rich and bright and serve as a good reference disc to check to see if your TV is calibrated properly. There are generous extras and the audio mix is about average. After several repeated viewings, I have come to like this film more and more.
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45 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What if it were true October 30, 2003
By Flo
The acting in this film is wonderful. The story line was heart felt and thought provoking. Robin Williams is at his best. I have shared this movie with many of my friends. It brings about questions of faith but most of all it gives us hope about our live here on earth and after. No matter what your religion or whether you have a religion at all, it provides dreams.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
This is an awesome movie!!!
Published 2 hours ago by Monica A. East
5.0 out of 5 stars I love this
This is how I envision "life" after death. I love this movie
Published 3 hours ago by Alina H.
5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite Robin Williams Movie
What Dreams May Come has always been my very favorite Robin Williams movie - and it's become even more meaningful with his passing. Read more
Published 4 hours ago by Donna F. Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars In love with this movie
In memory of Robin Williams', I have been watching his movies and I came across this one. I usually stay away from movies like this because they bring me down but because Robin... Read more
Published 12 hours ago by Sarah
5.0 out of 5 stars God, how I love this movie!
The deep various colors of blue in every scene, , the music, the hope of life after death, every time I watch it I cry. There is something about it that really gets to me. Read more
Published 13 hours ago by Eden
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 13 hours ago by Jacki Phelps
5.0 out of 5 stars Timely, thought provoking perspective, fabulous sets, special ...
Timely,thought provoking perspective, fabulous sets, special effects, and cinematography.
Published 16 hours ago by Linda J Henning
5.0 out of 5 stars Robin Williams' death
I haven't received it yet but I know I will enjoy - Robin Williams can just stand there and I think
he's funny. His death breaks my heart - - -
Published 19 hours ago by Ginny Bork
5.0 out of 5 stars I love this movie
I love this movie. It brings me to tears every single time I watch it- and I love it. Williams is brilliant and heart wrenching, it's a brilliant re imagining of dantes inferno! Read more
Published 22 hours ago by Katy Howe
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good movie
Published 23 hours ago by Donnie
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