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on September 21, 2009
After the white man gave the black buck two pieces of cornbread for curing his impotence/testicular cancer, I as DONE.

The metaphor of the demasculated black male's "blessed subservience" to the white man is profound.
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VINE VOICEon November 9, 2007
I honestly didn't think I would like this movie at all. I'm not a huge fan of Tom Hanks. He's impressed me a few times before but honestly I can't think of a time when he's ever `wowed' me. I am not a fan of Stephen King in that I never really have given him a try. Aside from `Misery' I have never read any of his novels. I have seen a few of the film adaptations and enjoyed them but I have also seen some of his adaptations and thought they were dreadful so really it's a mixed bag for me. I decided to give this a chance only because a friend of mine raved it, and it has received high amounts of praise from the critics and have I mentioned yet that it was nominated for Best Picture of the Year at the Academy Awards so with that in mind I decided to sit down and watch this, finally.

The film follows the effect one falsely accused man has on the prison guards in charge over him. This man is John Coffey, an extremely large black man accused of raping and murdering two young girls. Despite his immense size Coffey appears to be a very kind soul. This is noticed by one of the guards, Paul Edgecomb. Getting to know John, Paul realizes that he is, without a doubt, innocent but the evidence against him is surmountable and it appears that his execution is eminent.

While this is the main storyline for `The Green Mile' there is so much more to uncover, and there should be since the film is three hours long. I've read a while back that the character of John Coffey was modeled after Jesus Christ and this makes perfect sense when you watch this film and analyze it. John's `powers' are very similar to the ones heaped upon Jesus and John's predicament is also one similar to that of Christ. Everyone has turned on John except for a few men who put faith in his power to heal. He is wrongfully accused of a crime he did not commit and sentenced to death by the men he was trying to protect. It's something I did not expect to come from Stephen King, that's for sure, but then again I've never given him a fair chance...maybe I should.

The performances in this film also elevate the material, especially that of Michael Clarke Duncan who delivers a performance so solid and so tempered that without it the film would have failed. He is, with all due respect, the heart and soul of this film. Tom Hanks surprised me by delivering an outstandingly tender performance. It may actually be his best performance to date. Patricia Clarkson sizzles in what little screen time she has as does Bonnie Hunt and David Morse and Barry Pepper do their best to stand out amidst powerful performances by James Cromwell and more notably Doug Hutchison who plays the `evil' Percy Wetmore. Sam Rockwell is as disturbing as they come and the revelation of his character will chill you.

Like I said in my title for this review, it is far better than I assumed it would be but it still was not as grand as some have suggested. There are moments where the melodramatic feel doesn't quite mesh right and there are some scenes that tend to drag a bit. I'm not saying that the length is a problem for it enables the audience to truly sink into the mood of the film but there are some scenes that could have been trimmed. It is not one of my top five films of 1999, nor one of my top ten, but it rests well with my honorable mentions. It is not as disturbing as `Carrie' and not as meaningful as `The Shawshank Redemption' but it rest nicely in the middle and delivers solid and gratifying entertainment.
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HALL OF FAMEon October 12, 2000
Starring Tom Hanks as a death-row prison guard in 1935, and written by Stephen King, this is an example of story-telling at its finest. My most frequent criticism of films is that they tend to be overlong, but The Green Mile, at a three full hours, needed every precious second in order to pace the story, develop its characters, and lead the viewer into the satisfying conclusion.
Despite some gruesome scenes depicting the details of electric chair execution, the film is a testament to the humanity of people. The audience gets to experience the stress of the responsibility of prison guards seeking to bring a bit of dignity to the last days of the convicted men, and we share their moral dilemma when they are faced with hard choices.
Michael Clarke Duncan, cast as the simple and honest black man sentenced to die for supposedly killing two little girls, is absolutely superb and was nominated for an academy award for his outstanding performance. He's 43 years old, 6'5" tall and a former ditch digger and bodyguard. He has the rare quality to be able to show emotion in a way that makes the audience understand the complexities of his character.
Tom Hanks, of course, is excellent, giving us the kind of fine performance we have come to expect of him. And the rest of the cast, including Michael Jeter as the villain, and David Morse as a fellow prison guard are perfect. There is also a small cameo role for Gary Sinese as the Louisiana prosecutor who believes in the guilt of the supposed killer.
Directed by Frank Darabont who also shared the scripting of this film with Stephen King, every scene is constructed with just the right amount of tension to keep the viewer glued to the screen. There was not one wasted moment.
But by no means is this a simple "wrongly-accused killer" film. There's a slight suspension of reality well integrated into the story line. And constant thought-provoking questions that stay with you long after the video is over.
Unless you are the kind of person who absolutely can't bear some heart-wrenching brutal scenes, don't miss this video. I give it my highest rating.
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on February 6, 2010
it was unwatchable.it had pauses in it so it could not be recorded. i did not want to record it.it was a terrible disappointment.
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on October 12, 2000
Fast on the heels of Frank Darabont's truly magnificent sleeper "The Shawshank Redemption" comes this ridiculous mishmash of sentimentality called "The Green Mile." A guy by the name of Nadav (below) makes a strong case for condemning this piece of trash, and I can't help but agree with him. (Turns out Nadav's a fan of "The Big Lebowski" -- a work of pure genius, but I digress ...) William Goldman -- a journalistic idol of mine -- wrote some months before the release of "The Green Mile" that he'd seen Darabont's screenplay, and declared it brilliant. Why, Bill, why? Why is "The Green Mile" brilliant? The characterizations are so weak as to be barely recognizable as flesh-and-blood human beings. Take the prison wardens, who are all (with one exception) model citizens, wonderful spokespeople for tolerance and humanity. You just gotta love these guys; they're simply too good to be true. And THAT precisely is their problem. I'm not buying them for a second. The one guy I am ALMOST buying is the immature sadistic, racist, creep of a warden, painted here as being nothing less than 100% evil. Not 50% evil, not 80% evil. But 100% evil. Is that realistic? Is it? Does this guy have even a single redeeming feature? Nope, not one. So I'm not buying this guy either. But what about Tom Hanks -- surely he's playing a real character, surely. Sorry. He's as wooden as the rest. Perhaps even more so, except for one BRILLIANT exception. He suffers from severe recurring urinary tract infections. PRESTO! Suddenly we have a small cause to celebrate: the guy is human afterall. (I even turned to my wife during the movie and remarked how impressed I was to see a Hollywood lead with a faulty schlong!) But, of course, we find out later that the only reason he suffers urinary infections is SO THAT HE CAN MIRACULOUSLY BE CURED. Bummer. It was too good to last; there had to be a catch. And so a few scenes pass and then Hanks is cured by a semi-retarded innocent black christ figure, before the story limps on for another few hours. Whoah! What did I just say? Semi-retarded innocent black christ figure. Why, God, why, did he have to be ALL these things rolled into one, WHY? Mmm, let's see. Could we white folks have handled an INTELLIGENT innocent black christ figure? Hmm, you tell me. How about an intelligent GUILTY black christ figure? Now THAT'S interesting. OK, how about a INTELLIGENT GUILTY WHITE christ figure? Maybe. But we never find out because we're served up this demeaning racist (?) mishmash: a huge retarded black man, afraid of the dark. Doesn't wash with me. But let's skip all that and move on to something else, namely, the most fraudulent scene in the movie -- the tumour removal scene. How REALISTIC is this? A white guy lets a black convicted murderer enter his home in the middle of the night TO GO AND KISS HIS DYING WIFE -- in the South during the Depression era! I'm not gonna waste any ink discussing that remote possibility, so lemme say a few words about Hanks' character -- specifically, the MOST IMPORTANT DECISION HE FACES IN THE FILM. We're near the end of the movie, and we find Hanks in a dilemma: should he kill the christ figure or try to save him? Let's imagine for a moment what must be running through his head: "I know the innocent Christ figure is, well, innocent. So do I put him to death? Or do I try to save him? Maybe I should ask the innocent Christ figure what he wants. Hmmm, he says he's tired. Hey says there's so much evil in the world. Says he would rather die than endure all this pain. Hmmm, ya know what? It WOULD make things a lot simpler if he died. I wouldn't lose my job. I wouldn't lose the respect of the bigoted members of the society I Iive in. Sure, a few nights ago I risked my neck smuggling him out of here to save my friend's dying wife. But who cares? I'm just gonna keep my mouth shut. I'm just gonna kill him. He's right, let him FRY. OK, boys! Plug in Old Sparky!" Uh, yeah.
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on April 2, 2014
One of the most engrossing and beautifully crafted films I've ever seen. The Green Mile is one of the best adaptions of a Stephen King novel to date. Clocking in at a little over three hours the story never drags, drawing you into the lives of the Death Row guards and the prisoner's of "The Green Mile". This would be on my top 50 films I have to own list easily.

Darabont's direction and screenplay are again ( The Shawshank Redemption) at the top of cinema chain. A great story that unfolds like you are reading a book with well developed characters who aren't just black or white or good or bad. The cast including Tom Hanks (in one of his best performances) Michael Clarke Duncan, David Morse, Barry Pepper, Patricia Clarkson, Bonnie Hunt and a cast of top notch character actors including Sam Rockwell, Doug Hutchison and Michael Jeter are all in top form here.

The Blu Ray digi book edition is well worth the upgrade for the picture and sound, while not perfection it's a big improvement over both DVD editions and the complete film is on one disc (finally!) All the extras are carried over from the two disc DVD including some documentaries, deleted scenes and commentary but all are in SD.

So in short, a great film and pretty solid Blu Ray release, this is the version to buy.
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on June 4, 2015
Is there any filmmaker who's made more money and built a bigger reputation on fewer films than Frank Darabont? Quick, name any two films he made. OK, you forgot "The Majestic" and "The Mist," right?

But I'm sure you remembered "The Shawshank Redemption" and "The Green Mile." In 1994, as director and screenwriter, Frank Darabont made "Shawshank," a prison picture with little advance publicity and a modest cast. After a slow start it gathered momentum and went on to become a popular favorite. Obviously, Darabont hoped to duplicate this success with 1999's "The Green Mile," another prison yarn adapted from a story by Stephen King, this time with a healthy dose of fantasy thrown in and starring one of Hollywood's biggest names, Tom Hanks. The Academy nominated "The Green Mile" for four Academy Awards, including Best Picture. Nevertheless, whether you take to the newer film the way you probably took to "Shawshank" is problematical. I loved the earlier film but found "The Green Mile" somewhat less so and in some ways a little frustrating. In any case, after Warners gave "Shawshank" the Blu-ray Book treatment, they have now done the same for "The Green Mile," with similarly impressive results.

"The Green Mile" tells its story in flashback, as Paul Edgecomb (Hanks), a former head guard in charge of death row at Louisiana's Cold Mountain Penitentiary, looks back from the present to an exceptional year in 1935. The film's title refers to the color of the floor the prisoners walk to the electric chair. "The floor was the color of faded limes," says Paul. Edgecomb's fellow guards are basically a good, compassionate lot, except for one rotten egg, the obligatory sadist who delights in tormenting prisoners, getting away with it because he's the governor's nephew. When the movie opens, a new inmate arrives, a gigantic black man named John Coffey, convicted of raping and killing two young white girls. It doesn't take Edgecomb long to realize that Coffey is unusual in more than size; he can perform miracles, curing Edgecomb of a severe bladder infection that had been giving him grief for some time. After Coffey carries out several more wondrous feats, the guards question his guilt, the American justice system, the nature of God's ways, and themselves.

For any good fantasy to work, it must create its own believability through internal consistency; that is, it must fashion a universe, no matter how imaginative, that is convincing enough for viewers to suspend their disbelief without hesitation. Herein lies the problem: "The Green Mile" defies credibility at nearly every turn and only makes up for it through the sheer power of its cast's performances. For instance, where does John Coffey come from? He comes out of nowhere, with no background, no record, no family, no connections, apparently to kill two children. The film tries to justify his mysterious presence by saying that during the Depression numerous men wandered aimlessly about, but it's an ineffectual excuse. Does the film mean for us to take Coffey metaphorically? Is he an enigmatic Christ figure? When Coffey arrives at the prison, he is almost inarticulate, yet shortly thereafter he is conversing normally. Why, then, could he not have given a better account of himself at his trial? Would no one listen to him? Except for the circumstances of the time and place, racism is barely an issue in the picture. Then, too, how has Coffey gone though a lifetime of existence without anyone noticing his extraordinary powers? Why has no one exploited his supernatural talents? And why does Coffey himself hate his gifts so much, to the point of dying for them? Are we to interpret him as some kind of martyr? If the script had articulated the good vs. evil, innocence vs. guilt, or just plain religious implications more clearly, perhaps we wouldn't have to ask such questions.

No, "The Green Mile" is not the kind of film that bears up well under scrutiny. Yet it works perfectly well as a fable (even if the fable's ultimate message is somewhat vague). It's best just to accept the movie as it is and not think too much about it. Otherwise, we would have to grumble that like so much of Stephen King's writing, the three-hour story line goes on too long; that there are things in the plot that are extraneous; that the ending, which should have been poignant and stirring, is oddly flat; that there is one anticlimax piled on another; that most of the narrative events are entirely predictable; and that the whole affair wallows in sentimentality. In any case, the film suffers most by not having "Shawshank's" Morgan Freeman narrating it.

As I've said, however, despite the clichés and stereotypes the film's cast manages to lift it from the depths of the commonplace and make watching it enjoyable. Hanks, as usual, is solid and effective, as always the modern-day Jimmy Stewart, the unassuming Everyman. Never mind that Hanks has been playing the same part for far too long or that Edgecomb is the same guy who saved Private Ryan. I suppose if the formula works for Hanks, he should exploit it for all it's worth.

Michael Clarke Duncan plays John Coffey, and the fact that the Academy nominated him for a Best Supporting Actor award is pretty much self explanatory. The actor I most remember, though, is David Morse as Edgecomb's friend and sympathetic fellow guard. As officer Brutus Howell, Morse is the epitome of kindness, understanding, and simple decency. Of equal importance in the film are Doug Hutchison as the sadistic Percy Wetmore; Bonnie Hunt as Edgecomb's patient wife; Gary Sinese as Coffey's defense attorney; and veterans James Cromwell as the prison warden; Graham Greene, Michael Jetter, and Sam Rockwell as prison inmates; Dabbs Greer as the older Edgecomb; and Harry Dean Stanton as a prison trustee (there is even a character in the film named Dean Stanton, I assume an inside joke).

Yet as good as the supporting players are, the most-outstanding character in the movie is Mr. Jingles, a mouse that befriends and entertains some of the men. I told you this thing was sentimental.

Warner Brothers present the film in its original 1.85:1 aspect ratio, using a dual-layer BD50 and a VC-1 codec. The colors show up deeper and richer than ever before, and, naturally, the detailing is also better, probably as close to the original print as the transfer can get. However, as good as it, the image remains a touch soft and gritty in more than a few scenes, and the overall hues are most often too intense, with facial tones, especially, looking quite dark, overly deep and saturated.

The audio, which now comes via lossless Dolby TrueHD 5.1 as well as regular Dolby Digital 5.1, is as realistic and well balanced as ever. The sound was nominated for an Oscar, and you can understand why when you hear its lifelike nuances. I should remind readers, though, that while the soundtrack conveys a wide front-channel stereo image, it doesn't do much in the rear channels except reinforce a truthful sonic ambiance--thunder, music, background noises, material of that sort. This is a film that doesn't try to wow an audience with special sonic effects for their own sake. As for the new TrueHD, as always, it appears smooth and powerful.

Warners carry over the extras from the Special Edition DVD set, and again they are in standard definition. Here, you'll find an audio commentary by director Frank Darabont, and while three hours is a long time to listen to one fellow talk, Darabont gives it his best shot, saying at the end that he recorded it over a period of many months; maybe that's how we should listen to it. Next, you'll find two documentaries: The first is "Walking the Mile: The Making of The Green Mile," about twenty-five minutes, which, I'm afraid, doesn't really provide a lot of information we don't already know. The second documentary is newer and more satisfying. It's called "Miracles and Mystery: Creating The Green Mile," about 102 minutes, and divided into six parts. It will even tell you more than you probably wanted to know about the mouse.

Then, there are a few deleted scenes totaling about three minutes, with optional director commentary; Michael Clarke Duncan's screen tests, about eight minutes; Tom Hanks's makeup tests as the older Paul, a part that eventually went to Dabs Greer; "A Case Study," a five-minute explanation of a teaser trailer; the teaser trailer itself; and a conventional widescreen theatrical trailer.

Wrapping things up, the movie contains fifty-three scene selections; English, French, Spanish, German, Italian, Portuguese, and Turkish spoken languages; French, Spanish, Chinese Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Greek, Italian, Korean, Norwegian, Portuguese, Swedish, Thai, and Turkish subtitles; and English and German captions for the hearing impaired.

The disc comes housed in an attractive, thirty-five page Blu-ray Book filled with pictures and text, the disc fastened to the back cover as in most Digipak-type cases.

Parting Thoughts:
If the Academy Awards were a pissing contest, "The Green Mile" would win hands down. You'll see more people relieving themselves in more different ways than in any film around. Along with a particularly grisly execution, viewers might prepare themselves for some small, R-rated discomfort.

I have to admit that despite my reservations, the older I get and the more often I watch this movie, the more I like it. I suppose the new high-definition picture and sound don't hurt, either.
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on September 14, 2013
Upon receiving this movie, having only seen bits and pieces of it here and there, I knew what to expect, but at the same time wasn't sure quite what to expect. I'm very glad that I took the chance on this film in all respects. The movie is indeed rather long, but the acting is brilliant as well as the story captivating, and it's definitely worth a purchase at all costs.

In a Louisiana nursing home in 1999, Paul Edgecomb begins to cry while watching the film Top Hat. His elderly friend Elaine shows concern for him, and Paul tells her that the film reminded him of when he was a corrections officer in charge of death row inmates at Cold Mountain Penitentiary during the summer of 1935. The scene shifts to 1935, where Paul works with fellow guards Brutus "Brutal" Howell, Harry Terwilliger, and Dean Stanton.

One day, John Coffey, a giant black man convicted of raping and killing two young white girls, arrives on death row. However, he is shy, soft-spoken, and emotional. John reveals extraordinary powers by healing Paul's urinary tract infection and resurrecting a mouse. Later, he heals the terminally ill wife of Warden Hal Moores. When John is asked to explain his power, he merely says that he "took it back."

Percy Wetmore, a sadist with a fierce temper, has recently begun working in the death row inmates block; his fellow guards dislike him, but cannot get rid of him because of his family connections to the governor. He demands to manage the execution of Eduard Delacroix, promising that afterward, he will transfer to an administrative post at a mental hospital. An agreement is made, but Percy then deliberately sabotages the execution: Instead of wetting the sponge used to conduct electricity and make executions quick and effective, he leaves it dry, causing the execution to malfunction dramatically.

Meanwhile, a violent prisoner named "Wild Bill" Wharton has arrived, to be executed for multiple murders committed during a robbery. At one point he seizes John's arm, and John psychically senses that Wharton is also responsible for the crime for which John was convicted and sentenced to death. John "takes back" the sickness in Hal's wife and regurgitates it into Percy, who then shoots Wharton to death and falls into a state of permanent catatonia. Percy is then admitted to Briar Ridge Mental Hospital as a patient rather than an administrator. In the wake of these events, Paul interrogates John, who says he "punished them bad men" and offers to show Paul what he saw. John takes Paul's hand and says he has to give Paul "a part of himself" in order for Paul to see what really happened to the girls.

Paul asks John what he should do, if he should open the door and let John walk away. John tells him that there is too much pain in the world, to which he is sensitive, and says he is "rightly tired of the pain" and is ready to rest. For his last request on the night before his execution, John watches the film Top Hat. When John is put in the electric chair, he asks Paul not to put the traditional black hood over his head because he is afraid of the dark. Paul agrees, shakes his hand, and John is executed.

As an elderly Paul finishes his story, he notes that he requested a transfer to a youth detention center, where he spent the remainder of his career. Elaine questions his statement that he had a fully grown son at the time, and Paul explains that he was 44 years old at the time of John's execution and that he is now 108. This is apparently a side effect of John giving a "part of himself" to Paul. Mr. Jingles, Del's mouse resurrected by John, is also still alive -- but Paul believes his outliving all of his relatives and friends (including Elaine, who is shown to have died at the end of the movie) to be a punishment from God for having John executed, and wonders how long it will be before his own death.

This is such a brilliant film and yet another adaptation of a novel that was never paid its full respect.

Definitely a keepsake for the truest movie buff.
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on March 4, 2001
This is one of the most over-rated movies to come down the pike in a long time.
I bought this DVD for my wife as a stocking suffer for Christmas; I bought it on a whim and based on favorable word of mouth reviews and some of the reviews I read on here. (And because I got the DVD for a really great sale price.)
Boy were we disappointed.
We knew it was going to be a long film going in, so we can't fault that per se, although the length does not serve the movie well. (It's basically unnecessary for this movie to run over 3 hours.)
The characters were cartoonish at best, even John Coffey and Paul Edgecomb (Tom Hanks). So it was disappointing to spend 3 hours with such poorly drawn characters. (If you want to spend three hours with some fairly well-drawn characters, try "Heat" or "Braveheart" or "Anna and the King" or "The Insider" -- or even "Shadowlands" though that movie is considerably less than 3 hours long.)
It was very disheartening to see a character who realized how love is so often exploited in this world -- the bad guy killed two the little sisters "with the love they had for each other" -- and yet allows himself to be led like a sheep to his own pseudo-Christ-like death (John Coffey . . . initials "J. C."), a death which served no real purpose except to put him out of his own misery. Such dismal self-pity. The world has so little love in it, that he selfishly decides to withhold himself from it. Such silliness. Such silly self-love. Such silly screenwriting. Such silly thinking. (I think the conversation between Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman in "Se7en" when their characters were in the bar and talking about "apathy" is infinitely more interesting and on the mark than the silliness of John Coffey's speech in this movie.)
This movie was pathetic from the standpoint of the message it attempted to deliver. The movie probably deserves two or three stars overall, but since, in my opinion, the trend here has been to over-rate this movie, I may be under-rating a bit in some feeble attempt to balance out the overall rating of this movie. Because no way in heck is this a four- or five-star movie.
Some good "prison" movie alternatives -- "Dead Man Walking," "American History X," or even "The Chamber" ("The Chamber" was MUCH better than "The Green Mile.")
Some good "wake up and get busy living" movie suggestions . . . how about "Fearless" or "Dead Poets Society," to name a couple off the top of my head.
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Not much to be said about this impressive film that hasn't been covered by hundreds of other reviewers here. It's a great movie and covers just about all of the aspects that are in the book. Some gripe that it's too long, but if you were to start trimming things the film would really suffer. This movie will touch you and, while quite sad, it makes you sort of take a reflective view of your own life and the inevitable end of that life. I didn't think about that aspect as much when I first watched the movie on VHS years ago, but now that I'm fast approaching 50, it really does give me pause for thought.

I don't like this film as much as The Shawshank Redemption, but I suspect that's more because of the sadness of the story and the ending being somewhat more of a downer than Shawshank. It certainly is NOT because of the performances. All of the acting talent here is top shelf. Michael Clarke Duncan, as John Coffey, delivers a truly powerful performance that's equal to Tom Hanks, who turns in yet another of his many memorable turns as prison guard Paul Edgecomb. The supporting players are equally wonderful - especially Mr. Jingles! And I want to give a special shout out here to veteran character actor Dabbs Greer, as the elderly Paul. Except for a couple of small recurring character roles on TV, Greer spent most of his career playing bit parts. Even though his onscreen time in The Green Mile is brief, he demonstrates what a great actor he truly was. Such a shame he never got a chance to be a leading man, but everything happens for a reason, or so they say. And with over 300 film & TV appearances in his 50+ year career, at least we have many wonderful opportunities to catch a glimpse of this fine, underrated actor.

The Blu-ray for The Green Mile is well put together: the colors are rich, the focus is sharp and the audio is crisp, clear and nicely balanced. The disc includes a handful of cool bonus goodies to go along with the feature film. You can pick up a nice gently used copy for cheap thru Amazon, so there's no reason not to have this film in your collection! 5 stars for this moving human drama story.
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