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The Postman

4.0 out of 5 stars 895 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Set in the near future after a catastrophic war which has destroyed the government, a traveler finds an old mail bag and starts delivering it.
Genre: Feature Film-Action/Adventure
Rating: R
Release Date: 8-FEB-2005
Media Type: DVD

Amazon.com

Falling from the Oscar-winning glory of Dances with Wolves to the opposite end of the critical and box-office scale, Kevin Costner must have been deeply humbled when this three-hour postapocalyptic tale--his sophomore effort as a director--was greeted with a critical thrashing and tepid audience response. One of the most conspicuous flops of its decade, the 1997 release must have seemed like a sure thing on paper: a kind of futurist Western starring Costner as a charismatic drifter-turned-hero who leads the resistance against a military tyrant (Will Patton) by reviving the long-dormant postal system to reunite isolated communities in their fight for freedom. The movie bombed, but, like many audacious failures, it's got qualities that make it at least partially endearing, and its earnestness (although bordering on corny) keeps it from being entirely silly. Faint praise, perhaps, but Costner's ode to patriotism is occasionally stirring and visually impressive. The dual-layered, widescreen DVD includes a documentary segment about the creation of the film's special effects sequences, featuring a running commentary by the special effects creators. --Jeff Shannon

Special Features

  • The Postman's CGI Route: special effects footage with commentary by the visual effects crew

Product Details

  • Actors: Kevin Costner, Will Patton, Larenz Tate, Olivia Williams, James Russo
  • Directors: Kevin Costner
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    R
    Restricted
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: June 9, 1998
  • Run Time: 177 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (895 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0790736500
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #25,015 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Postman" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By C. Spencer on June 5, 2000
Format: DVD
I believe that the reviewers must have been reading each other's reviews instead of actually watching the movie, and Costner-bashing has long been great sport among reviewers. The original David Brin novel has been improved upon in several ways. In particular, gone are the two cyborg/supermen who duked it out in the finale of the novel, a distraction and deus-ex-machina.
I especially loved the internal consistency, lack of impossible battles, and the strong development of a number of believable characters. The Holnist leader (who played a supporting role in "Armageddon") is more than a cartoon bad guy, and Costner's postman is plagued by guilt and doubt as he discovers how seriously everyone takes his "Restored United States". There is almost nothing in the movie that is irrelevant to the plot.
Yes, it is a bit slow in parts, and I was ready to quit watching after 30 minutes because I had heard that it was just another post-apocalyptic bore, but it turned into a sterling movie. Even my wife, no fan of that genre, wanted to watch it all the way through.
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Format: DVD
In the wake of Titanic's unexpected success in 1997, the media needed another Christmas epic to lambast, hence the grossly unfair pile-on that happened to Costner's The Postman. To pretend that this is another Dune or Heaven's Gate is not only hyperbolic, it is willfully dishonest (even Dune has gotten a grudging second chance with critics in recent years). The fact is, had the country's female populace not been busy swooning under Leo's spitballs, The Postman might today be regarded as the classic that it deservedly is.
Like Titanic, The Postman is lengthy and excessive, but it is also watchable and entertaining. Costner downplays his basically selfish and opportunistic title character, while his costars--Will Patton, Larenz Tate, Olivia Williams, and Giovanni Ribisi (in a brief supporting role as a grateful dupe in Bethlehem's army)--all give shining performances. Moreover, the movie's message is the opposite of blind patriotism; it cleverly skewers the militia movement in the U.S. while reminding us why democratic government came about in the first place: to keep gangsters, extortionists, and military tyrants out of our lives.
The Postman is worth your time if you haven't seen it; if you have, it deserves an honest and iceberg-free reassessment.
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Format: DVD
It is difficult to review a film that you like, when every professional critic has slammed it. On the other hand, I have to believe I am not alone in my tastes, so, here is some praise for "The Postman", Kevin Costner's cinematic version of the great book of the same name, written by David Brin.

After the success of "Dances With Wolves", it's pretty clear that Costner has been trying to recapture that epic feeling. But where "Water World" was silly to the point of being a caricature of a sweeping drama, "The Postman" avoids the trap. The nemesis, General Bethlehem is played seriously by Will Patton and the situation in general is believable if not completely explained.

I admit there were a few moments that were too heavy handed, the most memorable when the Postman gallops back to snatch a letter from a boy's hand. Even so, I can forgive a little over enthusiasm when it is mixed with a stirring tale. I know that during times of war, rhetoric is grist for the mill and so, the character's obsession with the American way, is understandable, given that it no longer exists.

You see, civilisation has fallen. It's implied that nuclear weapons were used, perhaps even biological weapons. Whatever the cause, people survive precariously, huddled together in fortified towns dreading the next visit of the Holenist army. A band of thugs created during the last days of the war and now led by General Bethlehem towards some nebulous vision, who's only constant is that Bethlehem will be the one in power.

Enter stage left, an unlikely hero. Kevin Costner's character may have a name but it is not revealed during the film.
Read more ›
5 Comments 170 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD
As stated several times before, after Waterworld, critics and Costner-haters walked into the cinemas like loaded weapons ready to blast this film apart. I promise this film would have been greeted with a much friendlier audience if not for it's timing.
Not that it doesn't have short-comings. It has the Costner-esque three hour length, which probably isn't as necessary here as it was in "Dances With Wolves," and the editing is a bit choppy, and sometimes the flow and pace slacks off a little. Strip these things away and you have a solid commentary on the aspect of hope, group dynamics, and the psychology of leadership.
Costner's role is decent enough, though the film is taken away by the stellar performance of Will Patton ("Armageddon", "No Way Out," & CBS' excellent but mistakenly canceled show "The Agency"). Patton's role pushes both borders of intellect and insanity, all the while holding on to some inner-confidence which drives him.
It's so easy to jump on the wagon and label this film a disaster, when the truth is that it gets better with each viewing, and sticks with you for hours and even days after the TV is turned off. Hope is a prominent topic in the state of the modern world, and this film expertly illustrates the ideal in grand fashion.
As a victim of unfortunate timing, this film is simply one of, if not THE most underrated film in the last three decades.
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