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American Beauty (Academy Awards Edition)

4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (781 customer reviews)

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kevin Spacey at his best Jan. 10 2011
By Steven Aldersley TOP 50 REVIEWER
American Beauty BD Sapphire Series
Cast: Kevin Spacey, Annette Bening, Chris Cooper, Thora Birch, Wes Bentley, Mena Suvari
Director: Sam Mendes
Paramount Pictures | 1999 | 122m | Rated R |

MPEG-4 AVC | 1080p | 2.35:1

English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
French, Portuguese, Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1
English: Dolby Digital 2.0

English, English SDH, French, Portuguese, Spanish

Single 50GB Blu-ray disc, region free

American Beauty won Oscars for actor in a leading role (Kevin Spacey), cinematography (Conrad L. Hall), director (Sam Mendes), screenplay (Alan Ball) and best picture (Bruce Cohen and Dan Jinks). It's a weird tale told in an unusual way.

We learn during the opening narration that our protagonist, Lester Burnham (Spacey), is going to die. The events leading up to his eventual death are funny, moving, sad and unpredictable. Burnham is a pathetic character entering a mid-life crisis and the film shows how his character changes, as well as the lives of the people around him. There is a significant amount of character development in this story.

It's not strictly a comedy, but it's full of dark humor that is hard to predict. In short, it's the funniest kind of humor. If you found Fargo and Inglourious Basterds amusing, you'll probably laugh at this too.

Burnham changes his life by becoming more assertive and ceasing to care what other people might think. This catalyst for this rebellion is a meeting with his new neighbor, Ricky Fitts (Wes Bentley) who gets high with him before quitting his job on the spot.

The film contains nudity, violence, bad language, drug use and smoking, so the R-rating is warranted.
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Okay, so I know I’m about 15 years late on watching this movie, don’t hate me…I was only 8 when it first came out after all. Well, I’m 22 now and it’s always better late than never right? I had heard about this movie many times, but I never really knew what it was about. I was at work and a colleague of mine was talking about how she just re-watched it and forgot how good it was. When I confessed that I had never seen it before, she gave me one of those looks like, “You’re joking right?” The next day she brought me her copy of the DVD for me to borrow!

I popped in the DVD without even reading what the film was about. The first scene included a song that brought back memories for me as my sister used it for her first competitive solo dance routine. We are introduced to Lester Burnham played by Kevin Spacey, who is kind of a pushover. He decides he’s had enough and is no longer going to let his wife/daughter/boss/whoever run his life anymore. The film started off with a kind of satirical humour which I liked a lot. Kevin Spacy has the perfect dry sense of humour which of course is my favourite kind. Little did I know that about half way through, things started taking a dark turn.

I love when movies have a dark theme to them, it was so sudden in this film though which made me like it that much more. To have me laughing at the beginning to suddenly concerned for the characters was a different feeling for me that I wasn’t used to from a film. Characters start breaking and revealing more about themselves.

This movie was so perfect for me, I had to buy my own copy. It was real and dark and satirical and everything that I love in a film.
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4.0 out of 5 stars TAKING A CLOSER LOOK AT AMERICAN BEAUTY June 9 2004
By Nix Pix
"American Beauty" is the story of Lester Burnham (Kevin Spacey), a man unhappy in his home life, unsettled with the prospect of growing old and disenchanted with his career. Neither his wife, Carolyn (Annette Benning) nor his daughter, Jane (Thora Birch) respect him and his neighbors don't even know who he is. In short, Lester is a man swimming on the rim of a mid-life crisis. But the tide begins to turn in his favor when Lester decides to throw caution to the wind, blackmail his bosses and collect a hefty buy out settlement. Of course, Lester's new found independence does not sit well with Carolyn, who prides herself on being in charge of everyone's lives. To relieve her angst, she takes up with rival real estate agent, Buddy Kane (Peter Gallagher) while Jane attempts a misguided elopement with her strange boyfriend, Ricky Fitts (Wes Bentley). Of course all this upset leaves Lester free and clear to pursue a relationship with the high school trollop and Jane's best friend, Angela (Mena Suvari). What is so incredibly compelling about Sam Mendes' masterpiece of reflection, is not so much the way all these lives intersect on a crossroads ultimately doomed to destruction, but how ably the director has managed to capture a slice of the decline and fall of America's constitutional motto of "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."
The DVD transfer does a fine job of capturing the stylized color scheme. Colors are rich, bold and nicely balanced. Contrast levels are bang on. Blacks are deep and solid. There is a hint of pixelization that is more obvious during the darker scenes, but it does not distract from your viewing enjoyment. Fine detail is fully realized. Occasionally there is a hint of edge enhancement but again, it is not terribly obtrusive. The audio is 5.1 and delivers a very deep, rich bass, particularly in the music tracks. An audio commentary, featurette and stills gallery round out the limited extras on this disc.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Kevin Spacy and Annette Bening at their best'
Published 24 days ago by Lindsay Kelly
5.0 out of 5 stars dvd
very good dvd and excellent film too I have senne it a couple of years ago and just love it again
Published 4 months ago by Claude Couillard
5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic
A Classic. Superb acting all around, but especially by kevin spacey and his daughter's boyfriend. Fascinating examination of modern life.
Published 4 months ago by P PIDDINGTON
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic! Love it, see it or see it again!
The character's relationships, the what you see is not what you'll get later in the movie, more than one reason to love this movie.
Published 5 months ago by Martin Gendron
5.0 out of 5 stars Just A Plastic Bag Blowin In The Wind . . . .
I feel bad for people who don't get this film! And if you don't appreciate the "beauty" in the scenes where the plastic bag is blowing in circles in the wind ( and the narration... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Warren Green
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it
It was such a good relatable film with a dramatic heartfelt ending. The disc itself came in good condition. I would recommend seeing it
Published 10 months ago by Nicole
5.0 out of 5 stars Look Closer
Kevin Spacey is brilliant, and this movie is the capstone of his nineties career. Well acted, well written, and the overall message hits hard. Amazing.
Published 20 months ago by Jesse
5.0 out of 5 stars American Beauty
dear sir, the disc is in good shape and the movie was shown with excellent picture and great sound! Gus
Published on Nov. 21 2011 by gus
5.0 out of 5 stars Take a look!
If I had to name one american movie that is an example of great cinema done during the nineties, one movie that manages to stand out from the lot, both artistically and... Read more
Published on Nov. 19 2010 by Omnes
5.0 out of 5 stars a thing of beauty
I love this movie. It doesn't get any better than this, especially for boomers. What happens when the American Dream is not enough, when things like happiness, love, fulfillment,... Read more
Published on Dec 24 2009 by mocha
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