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American History X: SteelBook Edition [Blu-ray + DVD]

Edward Norton , Edward Furlong , Tony Kaye    Blu-ray
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (345 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 49.99 & FREE Shipping. Details
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American History X: SteelBook Edition [Blu-ray + DVD] + Fight Club [Blu-ray] + Reservoir Dogs: 15th Anniversary Edition [Blu-ray]
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Perhaps the highest compliment you can pay to Edward Norton is that his Oscar-nominated performance in American History X nearly convinces you that there is a shred of logic in the tenets of white supremacy. If that statement doesn't horrify you, it should; Norton is so fully immersed in his role as a neo-Nazi skinhead that his character's eloquent defense of racism is disturbingly persuasive--at least on the surface. Looking lean and mean with a swastika tattoo and a mind full of hate, Derek Vinyard (Norton) has inherited racism from his father, and that learning has been intensified through his service to Cameron (Stacy Keach), a grown-up thug playing tyrant and teacher to a growing band of disenfranchised teens from Venice Beach, California, all hungry for an ideology that fuels their brooding alienation.

The film's basic message--that hate is learned and can be unlearned--is expressed through Derek's kid brother, Danny (Edward Furlong), whose sibling hero-worship increases after Derek is imprisoned (or, in Danny's mind, martyred) for the killing of two black men. Lacking Derek's gift of rebel rhetoric, Danny is easily swayed into the violent, hateful lifestyle that Derek disowns during his thoughtful time in prison. Once released, Derek struggles to save his brother from a violent fate, and American History X partially suffers from a mix of intense emotions, awkward sentiment, and predictably inevitable plotting. And yet British director Tony Kaye (who would later protest against Norton's creative intervention during post-production) manages to juggle these qualities--and a compelling clash of visual styles--to considerable effect. No matter how strained their collaboration may have been, both Kaye and Norton can be proud to have created a film that addresses the issue of racism with dramatically forceful impact. --Jeff Shannon

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars American History Jan. 4 2012
Probably one of the best movies I've watched in awhile ---- confronting, violent & full of emotion ( a must watch ) be ready for the big ending -- AAA+++
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best movies I've ever seen March 29 2007
By tbott
After being introduced to Edward Norton in Primal Fear, I was once again blown away by his performance in American History X. Norton is supported by cast featuring such actors as Stacey Keach (Mike Hammer and Prison Break), Edward Furlong (John Conner, Terminator), Beverly D'Angelo (Ellen Griswald, European Vacation, et al) Elliot Gould (M*A*S*H*, The Shining) and Avery Brooks (Star Trek Deep Space Nine).

I would have to say that if you can make it through the first fifteen minutes of the film's graphic violence and hatred that the rest of the movie is a must see.

We are introduced to Derek, through his little brother's retelling of the violent episode that sent Derek to prison and the events thereafter. Danny Vineyard (Edward Furlong) idolizes his older brother and yearns to be just like him. He enjoys the knowledge that everyone identifies him as the brother of the most respected member of their white supremacy group, headed by Cameron. Stacey Keach is perfect in this role. You can almost see the slime oozing off him.

Conflict arises when a black high school teacher, whom Derek had admired before his initiation into racism, recognizes the potential that Danny possesses, but sees him following in his older brother's footsteps. He seeks Derek out in prison and asks his help in setting Danny on the right path.

The prison scenes alternate between horrifying and down right hilarious as Derek comes to the realization that he may have been wrong in his biases of people. Derek sets out to save his brother from perpetuating the life that he has led.

This movie runs the full gamete of emotions. In the space of an hour and a half, I laughed and I cried. I was disgusted, mortified, amused, and enlightened.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the most powerful films of our time Jan. 11 2004
By S. Culp
In a word, this film is fabulous.
It is an emotionally engaging, heartrending experience, essentially unlike anything I have ever seen before.
It is a shame that this movie remains relatively unknown--it is certainly comparable to some of the greatest "classic" films that people tout much more openly: the stark, unflinching way in which it addresses some of the darkest elements not only of our society, but of the individual, is unforgettable.
This is THE film for anyone who is looking for a thought-provoking, stirring, and unbelievably raw work.
Norton (who, incidentally, ended up contributing a great deal in the post-production process after the director effectively abandoned the project) delivers a fabulous and haunting performance.
NOTE: This film is not for everyone. Approach with an open mind, or stay away.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars American History X June 14 2004
How terrifying is it while listening to some of Edward Norton's rants in this movie....that you actually begin to understand his point of view on things? That's a very important aspect of this film. The hatred spewing from his mouth along with statistical evidence and insightful rhetoric places the viewer amist what seems to be an actual white supremicist rally. It becomes easy to see how so many fall into crowds like this with characters like the fictional Derrick Vinyard preaching to the masses. Many people don't like the way the world around them is. They're looking for a change. People like Vinyard offer a path to that change.
But this story is mainly about redemption. The redemption of the character in question, Derrick Vinyard. Only after he loses everything can he begin to see the horrible path that he has beaten for his younger brother who is speedily chasing after him. The unlikely friendship with a black prison inmate and the tutalage of his former principle are what helps him return to his humanity. The simple yet distanced solution to all the hatred and anger that he's felt most of his life comes like an epiphany: "It's just not worth it." A point that he vehemently drives into those around him.
Be forwarned, this is not a happy story. The ending is tragic yet depressingly real. Hatred becomes a vicious circle.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great movie, but the bluray has some flaws April 19 2013
By Samuelm
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
The movie is playing grewt, but the bluray adds nothing, no french dubs, no french subtitles, I meanit's a bluray, you got more an enough space to add those things
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5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome steelbook & great movie Jan. 20 2013
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
Great movie & awesome edition of Blu Ray, one of the best steelbooks ever made. If you are a steelbook movie collector must have this one.

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars American History X (1998) May 26 2004
Director: Tony Kaye
Cast: Edward Norton, Edward Furlong, Fairuza Balk, Beverly D'Angelo, Stacy Keach, Jennifer Lien.
Running Time: 118 minutes.
Rated R for some extreme violence, harsh language, and sexual situations.
There are certain films that come out that raise enough commotion due to a political ("Schindler's List"), religous (can anyone say "The Passion of the Christ"?), and historical themes that are sensitive issues for many people. Many of these films reveal to be an honest portrayal of the account in which they are trying to explain. "American History X" focuses on the horrors that the root of racism can breed, spreading aimlessly throughout a small California town, and sucking in innocent young adults into a world of fascist and prejudice living.
Edward Norton gives the best performance of his young career as a skinead Neo-Nazi who returns from prison to his Venice beach home. His evolution from a young, bright jock in high school to a thug full of hatred is a rigid, cunning depiction--but the film mainly focuses on his metamorphesis into an enlightened parolee and his relationship with a young brother (played exceptionally well by Edward Furlong, star of "The Terminator 2: Judgement Day") who is following in his toxic foosteps. Director Tony Kaye's vision of how racism ravages a middle-class family is staggering until the last few moments of the motion picture, taking the audience through a whirlwind of events that will shock, disturb, and expose the true nature of hate--and also the strength and courage that it takes to break the chain.
Truly one of the most important films of the last decade, "American History X" is a bold statement that is not for all--adults and children alike; however, it sends a message and tells a story that should be embraced by all people and is articulate enough with its delivery to create a monsoon of emotion. One of the best films of the latter part of the decade.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Steelbook Edition - No French Text for An English Movie
Love this Steelbook Edition, full artwork, inside and out, Region Free Disc, No French Text on the front, Nice and clean on the back with just the Alliance logo, No bilingual text... Read more
Published on March 23 2012 by bridb20
5.0 out of 5 stars American History X
What a powerful, emotionally charged movie! The anger, revulsion, empathy and shock you will experience while watching this feature will all hit you like a thunderbolt. Read more
Published on Nov. 3 2010 by RiverFront
4.0 out of 5 stars Exceedingly effective, overwhelmingly graphic.
This movie should be rated R. That said, I think the graphic violence and disturbing visual images were extremely effective in emotively extending this dead-weight issue. Read more
Published on March 23 2010 by Natalia Toronchuk
5.0 out of 5 stars amazing liberating movie!
they should make this movie mandatory in all schoools, this story is liberating and opens your mind to the racism that happens and we dont see it. Read more
Published on Dec 1 2009 by Just Jon
1.0 out of 5 stars Do we really need...
another movie to villianize white people? This movie, like so many other pieces of liberal propaganda, only serve to reinforce the notion that only whites can be racist, that... Read more
Published on Dec 5 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible Film
This movie will, quite simply put, blow you away. An incredible look into the mind of Derek Vinyard(a skin head) and his little brother Danny Vinyard(a up coming skin head). Read more
Published on July 16 2004 by Monica K. Cosgrove
5.0 out of 5 stars amasing...nothing like it
this movie is the most amasing movie ive seen. there is no other movie like it. This movie shows how anyone can change and that u shouldnt judge people by there race. Read more
Published on July 6 2004 by bryan
5.0 out of 5 stars Edward Norton At His Best
I absolutley loved this movie and was very moved by it. I do admit however that I think it is only because of Norton. Read more
Published on July 1 2004 by E. A Hill
3.0 out of 5 stars Very powerful film...
it makes its point and gives its message clearly enough. But Norton's performance actually outshines the movie itself. Worth seeing, but more for Norton
Published on June 29 2004
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