Requiem For A Dream/ Pi [DVD]
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REQUIEM FOR A DREAM: Darren Aronofsky follows up his acclaimed debut Pi with this gritty emotionally charged film set amidst the abandoned beaches and faded glory of Coney Island, Brooklyn. Based upon the novel by celebrated author Hubert Selby Jr., the story intricately links the lives of a lonely widowed mother (Academy Award (r) Winner Ellen Burstyn*), her son Harry (Jared Leto), his beautiful girlfriend Marion (Jennifer Connelly) and his best friend Tyrone (Marlon Wayans). REQUIEM FOR A DREAM is a hypnotic tale of four human beings each pursuing their vision of happiness. Even as everything begins to fall apart, they refuse to let go, plummeting with their dreams into a nightmarish, gut-wrenching freefall. *1975 Best Actress, Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore
PI: A brilliant mathematician teeters on the brink of insanity as he searches for an elusive numerical code in this critically acclaimed, sci-fi thriller!
Maximilian Cohen (Sean Gullette) is on the verge of the most important discovery of his life. For the past ten years, he has been attempting to decode the numerical pattern beneath the ultimate system of ordererd chaos - the stock market. As Max verges on a solution, chaos is swallowing the world around him. Pursued by an aggressive Wall Street firm set on financial dominance and a Kaballah sect intent on unlocking the secrets behind their ancient holy texts, Max races to crack the code, hoping to defy the madness that looms before him. Instead, he uncovers a seccret for which everyone is willing to kill.
Requiem for a Dream
Employing shock techniques and sound design in a relentless sensory assault, Requiem for a Dream is about nothing less than the systematic destruction of hope. Based on the novel by Hubert Selby Jr., and adapted by Selby and director Darren Aronofsky, this is undoubtedly one of the most effective films ever made about the experience of drug addiction (both euphoric and nightmarish), and few would deny that Aronofsky, in following his breakthrough film Pi, has pushed the medium to a disturbing extreme, thrusting conventional narrative into a panic zone of traumatized psyches and bodies pushed to the furthest boundaries of chemical tolerance. It's too easy to call this a cautionary tale; it's a guided tour through hell, with Aronofsky as our bold and ruthless host. The film focuses on a quartet of doomed souls, but it's Ellen Burstyn--in a raw and bravely triumphant performance--who most desperately embodies the downward spiral of drug abuse. As lonely widow Sara Goldfarb, she invests all of her dreams in an absurd self-help TV game show, jolting her bloodstream with diet pills and coffee while her son Harry (Jared Leto) shoots heroin with his best friend Tyrone (Marlon Wayans) and slumming girlfriend Marion (Jennifer Connelly). They're careening toward madness at varying speeds, and Aronofsky tracks this gloomy process by endlessly repeating the imagery of their deadly routines. Tormented by her dietary regime, Sara even imagines a carnivorous refrigerator in one of the film's most memorable scenes. And yet... does any of this have a point? Is Aronofsky telling us anything that any sane person doesn't already know? Requiem for a Dream is a noteworthy film, but watching it twice would qualify as masochistic behavior. --Jeff Shannon
Patterns exist everywhere: in nature, in science, in religion, in business. Max Cohen (played hauntingly by Sean Gullette) is a mathematician searching for these patterns in everything. Yet, he's not the only one, and everyone from Wall Street investors, looking to break the market, to Hasidic Jews, searching for the 216-digit number that reveals the true name of God, are trying to get their hands on Max. This dark, low-budget film was shot in black and white by director Darren Aronofsky. With eerie music, voice-overs, and overt symbolism enhancing the somber mood, Aronofsky has created a disturbing look at the world. Max is deeply paranoid, holed up in his apartment with his computer Euclid, obsessively studying chaos theory. Blinding headaches and hallucinogenic visions only feed his paranoia as he attempts to remain aloof from the world, venturing out only to meet his mentor, Sol Robeson (Mark Margolis), who for some mysterious reason feels Max should take a break from his research. This movie is complex--occasionally too complex--but the psychological drama and the loose sci-fi elements make this a worthwhile, albeit consuming, watch. Pi won the Director's Award at the 1998 Sundance Film Festival. --Jenny Brown
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Top customer reviews
The big problem with the movie Pi is that it is not anamorphic widescreen and will not play correctly on hi def widescreen TVs. This movie has the top and bottom black bars encoded into the movie so on a widescreen TV it still plays with those bars on the screen. The result is the movie appears on the screen with a black "frame" around the entire movie. If you use a zoom feature the movie loses resolution and sometimes cuts off part of the picture. As far as I can tell this movie was only released in the Letterbox version, although some descriptions of this movie are vague on that. The two pack of Pi and another movie I bought are described as "Anamorphic, Black & White, Color, NTSC." Only the other movie was anamorphic widescreen. Pi, listed by itself, was described "Letterbox" as it should be.
If you have a widescreen TV be aware of the format before purchasing this movie. I really like this movie but don't watch it often because of the Letterbox format. Now I have two copies of it. Oops.
Pi : Classic film, it is ! Also a film that may bring depression to you. Mathematical stress example in my opinion. Made me reflect on how I had felt in (Late Game) Chess at times where the 64 squares just felt infinite. I could relate to the pressure . Great Drama film.
Pi is good too. It's a little more "artsy" than RFAD, i.e. it's in black and white and there is a heavy emphasis on character development, so the movie doesn't have a whole lot of action, but it does deliver when it counts. The whole plot is just an interesting idea and it kept me intrigued the whole time. I'm not sure if this is one I would watch over and over though. Oh yeah, and the part with the brain on the stairs? I heard that it was actually a real brain...
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