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The Fall (+ BD Live) [Blu-ray]

4.7 out of 5 stars 564 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

From the director of The Cell comes a visually stunning epic fantasy about a bedridden man who entertains a curious little girl by telling her a fantastical story of exotic heroes and far off places which reflects his state of mind. The central story takes place in a remote 1920's hospital where a small girl named Alexandria (Catinca Untaru) is recovering from a severe looking shoulder injury incurred in a fall while trying to pick oranges. One day she happens to meet Roy (Lee Pace) - a stunt or "gag" man for the "flickers" or moving pictures- who seems to have injured himself out of a future in a particularly reckless stunt, even for those times. He is a clearly unhappy man who- through his own carelessness- unwittingly leads Alexandria to believe that he intends to entertain her with a lavish, epic story of exotic heroes and far off places. As the stuntman's health reaches to the point of peril - so does the story he is telling her...with potentially fatal consequences.

Roger Ebert proclaimed it "one of the most extraordinary films I've ever seen," and there's no denying the avalanche of wild images in The Fall: grand castles, desert vistas, elephants swimming in the open ocean. Commercial and music-video director Tarsem has piled these visions into an elaborate remake of an obscure Bulgarian film, Yo Ho Ho, which is anchored in (but by no means limited to) a quiet hospital during the silent-movie era. A stunt man (Lee Pace) is laid up with leg injuries, and an eye-popping black-and-white prologue (utterly mystifying while we're watching it) tells us how he got here. Depressed over his disability and a recent lost love, he plans suicide, but is temporarily derailed by the inquisitive friendship of a little girl (Catinca Untaru), to whom he tells wild stories of adventurers and princesses. We see these stories, which is where the dizzying visuals come in. This movie probably won't inspire many lukewarm responses: either you'll fall madly for this paean to storytelling magic, or you'll be suspicious about the parade of pretty pictures, which tend to have a magazine-layout sheen. The movie certainly has more soul than Tarsem's yucky previous feature, The Cell, and the scenes between Pace and Untaru (who scores an 11 on the cuteness scale) are genuinely charming. The director actually put a considerable amount of his own money into the production (which shot in over 20 countries), and whether you buy his vision or not, he put his money on the screen. --Robert Horton

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Lee Pace, Catinca Untaru, Justin Waddell, Emma Johnson, Aiden Lithgow
  • Directors: Tarsem Singh
  • Format: AC-3, Blu-ray, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: French, English
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: September 9, 2008
  • Run Time: 117 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (564 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001BPJJ82
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,692 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Fall (+ BD Live) [Blu-ray]" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
I remember the days when I had stories read to me. I remember how it made me feel. Me and about twenty other kids would gather at the teacher's feet, and I would actually imagine the story unfolding as she read aloud. I think we all have those memories buried somewhere within, those wonderful moments when the spoken word transcends mere speech and becomes a definite vision. Tarsem's "The Fall" works in much the same way, not only for the characters, but also for the audience; reality and fantasy are interchangeable, not separate. People from our world appear in the story, and characters in the story are broadly drawn from the people in our world. It's much like the whimsical dreamscape of "The Wizard of Oz," in which Dorothy awakens in Kansas and realizes that the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, the Lion, and the Wizard were actually people she knew, therefore with her the entire journey.

But the dreamscape of "The Fall" is much more compelling than anything conjured out of whimsy. It's a character-driven fantasy that uses both its brain and its heart, with a story so compelling it doesn't let us escape. We don't much want to, especially if we hold true to the power of imagination and the hope of redemption. Paradoxically, it takes the imperfections of human existence to reach these perfect ideas; the characters of this film are flawed and vulnerable, far from a series of walking clichés. Many are manipulative and selfish. The main character is innocent, but at age five, she's also incredibly naïve. She sees and hears everything going on around her, and while she doesn't understand most of it, you can tell that she's trying to. Her name is Alexandria, and she's played by Catinca Untaru--she was so receptive to the material that I never once believed she was acting. She was living it.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
The wordsmiths of Amazon have enlightened us all much better than I could at what a masterpiece this film is, so the obvious question for me was how the transfer would sustain. Without any hesitation this BD and film mandate ownership; I feel comfortable in saying that no other film (as a whole presentation) comes close in color, detail, clarity or saturation - than Tarsem's preserved vision here.

I have been playing it in the store for several days on the HD display, and without exception it captivates the attention of everyone, even at the slower scenes.

The two documentaries on the BD (directed by Tarsem patriot Nico Soultanakis) prove there is something to be said for no talking heads or glossed over narrations in making behind the scenes films. Both are 30 minutes long and are produced identically to the main film, so expect lots of jumping around (literally) and heartfelt moments. The picture gallery is exclusive to the BD and contains 71 beautiful pictures of the cast and filming locations. The two deleted scenes were amazing (only a minute long) in scope and would have been great to see in the film.

The quality of the transfer is superb, and even the "night" shots on the island sequences looked perfect. Outside of the black and white intro, the heroes traveling through the badlands-style mountains tested the contrast/clarity the best (especially the deleted sequence of the same scene).

I hope the small volume of negative reviews and other detractors on the Net and elsewhere do not keep one from seeing this incredible film.
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Format: DVD
This little sleeper (and I use the word with a shiver) succeeds in more ways than I could have imagined.

Its visuals captivated, especially in the first half. Whoever composed the imagery had a knack for the very plain and very dramatic - the kind of thing you might call elegant, if it didn't knock you on your butt. Even if the rest of the movie wandered, that would have been enough for me.

But it didn't wander. It starts with a chance friendship between a man and a cute little girl. Mutual confinement in the hospital made it possible, a happy child's natural friendliness and trust made it work, and the others around (staffers and other patients) made it as safe as that simpler time would suggest. The man promised her stories, and spun tales of wonderful people and dramatic deeds for her. And, as the stories moved forward, her small and real person appeared within them. Maybe the fantasy wasn't real, but it contained scraps of reality and became real for her.

Behind it all, the man lay in smiling despair - not dishonest, but too defeated to let an unhappy look invite unwelcome concern. All he wanted was for his pain to end. Think about that: in a world with miracles every day, love in so many unexpected places, an infinity of hopes and possible futures, and people with hopes and feelings of their own, he wanted one thing. The pain to end, no matter what. If magic comes from power, that's a dark magic with huge power.

See it through. No linear telling will capture this story. Its emotional tone runs across a gamut that some viewers won't recognize - well, knowing what it means has a serious cost. It ranges up and down, it presents itself in simple images with dramatic color and composition, and ends with the lines blurred between fantasy and reality more than ever.

-- wiredweird
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