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Basic (Bilingual)

John Travolta , Samuel L. Jackson    DVD
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (93 customer reviews)
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Product Description

Seductive and electrifying with nonstop action.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very intriguing and suspenseful July 11 2004
Besides Identity, Basic is probably one of the best, well-made drama/suspense films I've seen. Roles were well casted; Samuel L. Jackson always makes a good, hardened army soldier, and John Travolta makes a good investigator who is very quick, nimble, if not full of mystery. I will admit it has taken a few times to watch to fully understand everything this rich plot had to offer. I would say my only reason for a 4 was the language... I usually don't mind language, but please take note this film as language-ridden like none other before it. For me it was a bit too much than what the film really called for.
However, weighing everything, this is a good film worth it's money.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly underrated- a real brain-twister July 1 2004
If you don't like to think while you're watching a movie then stop reading this and go rent some overblown blockbuster. Basic is an incredible movie with more viable twists than I've seen in any other movie. It's fun to watch it multiple times simply to try to figure out how it all fits together (which, I assure you, it does). I can't help but like Travolta in this movie, and Jackson is always great. Critics panned the movie in theaters- more proof that critics actually don't think themselves- but everyone I've shown it to has enjoyed it. If you like suspense/mystery, then don't miss this one.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars a lousy flunk-out copy of the japanese "rashomon" July 17 2003
this movie, like all the critics's reviews, is a totally clueless and messy movie. it's a japanese "rashomon" wannabe but failed pathetically and wasted the talents of those key-roled actors. well, everyone involved, witnessed, told a different story and none seemed true enough and believable. then as it twisted so many times and so out of control, the final scene was just a joking meaningless "well, that's all, folks!" cartoonized ridiculous ending. i just felt pity for those actors who got to do the actings in the downpouring rain (man-made or not man-made), got so wet but still, for nothing. like one of the movie reviews pointed out, after so many and so confused twists, whodonit or what, how, when and why, simply became purposeless and could not be cared less.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Trick or Treat? June 21 2004
One's enjoyment of this movie probably will be determined by one's tolerance for being somewhat "cheated" by the screenwriter and director. If you don't mind a certain degree of dishonesty in the service of plot and surprise (and don't mind John Travolta), you'll probably rate this higher than I did. On the other hand, if you believe that a well done thriller by definition has to play fair with its audience, you'll likely feel manipulated and, yes, cheated.
This is one of those films that are difficult to discuss without spoiling the plot. Suffice it to say that I found the production values first rate, and the sound and action sequences generally well done. I don't mind Travolta, like Connie Nielsen, and wasn't too put off by a fairly cliched performance by Samuel Jackson as the (usual) hard-bitten Sergeant.
However, the movie cannot stand up to close analysis of the plot and its various devices. Sins against the viewer are committed by the screenwiter and director--the principle one being that characters who are shown to have certain knowledge at the end do not act consistently with that knowledge throughout.
That's all I'm going to say except that having the DVD will enable you to replay some of the scenes sufficiently to see the extent to which the viewer has been manipulated. There is honest and clever manipulation that always takes place in good thrillers, but this movie, while clever in spots, isn't very honest.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Yow! May 22 2004
John Travolta as a soldier, cop, DEA agent or any sort of gun-weilding protagonist is simply not believable, therefore, the pretext for "Basic" is flawed before the story ever takes root.
Travolta reached his peak when he took top billing in "Saturday Night Fever", doing a great job of portraying a Brooklyn kid who is coming of age during the 70's disco era. But, outside of "Pulp Fiction" it's been all downhill after that, with a string of failures like "Stayin' Alive", "Broken Arrow", "Battlefield Earth", "Swordfish", and lest we forget, "Look Who's Talking II".
In "The Thin Red Line" Travolta played a U.S. Army General officer by method acting, evidently by imitating a talking plant. This (...) effort no doubt greatly contributed to the failure of that film to garner any sort of approval by veiwing audiences.
"Basic" is another such failure. Casting Travolta in a roles like the DEA agent he plays in this film is like a kiss of death for the entire project. For one thing, the idea that his character is a former Army Ranger is a hoot. Casting somebody like Pauly Shore or maybe even Martin Short as a a former Army Ranger would be more believable.
Very predictably, Travolta manages to stink up the whole story, which isn't all that great to begin with. Yet, with an extremely limited acting range, Travolta continues to crank out box office bomb after bomb after bomb.
Oh well... That's Hollywood politics. After all, no one ever went broke underestimating the sophistication of the American public...
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4.0 out of 5 stars MORE TWISTS THAN A PRETZEL May 2 2004
BASIC is one frustrating movie...I found myself wondering throughout the whole movie, what in the world is going on here? Who in the world is telling the truth? Who killed who? But, once it completes its rollercoaster ride, it leaves you snickering, come on, how can this be? And yet, I found myself riveted to the screen waiting for the "truth" to be told. John Travolta is at his smooth best in the role of an interrogator under investigation for bribery; Timothy Daly gives a good performance as his old buddy who lures him into the case; Connie Nielsen is pretty, but her performance is at times too wooden to be convincing; Brian van Holt is excellent as Ray, the stubborn soldier; Giovanni Ribisi (so good in "The Gift") is a little too "gay" in his role, but convincing; Samuel L. Jackson is Samuel L. Jackson, but certainly makes you hate him. John McTiernan's direction (he of the Die Hard fame) is crisp and shrouded in mystery. If you have a low frustration level, you may give up on "Basic"; but stick with it; it's ending comes out of nowhere, but it does have an impact.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars C'est parfait
very good
Published 13 days ago by sonia
3.0 out of 5 stars Suspenseful Military Mystery
This film is interesting and suspenseful the entire way through. Both clever and well written it tells the story of a military training mission gone wrong from the perspective of... Read more
Published on June 14 2004 by V. Marshall
3.0 out of 5 stars Twist
Basic is a movie about a supposed training accident involving marines and a hated sargeant played by Samuel L Jackson. Read more
Published on June 11 2004 by M. Buisman
5.0 out of 5 stars Basic deception
This is by far Travolta's best movie since "Face-off". Basic is almost impossible to predic, that's what I love about this moive, not many thrillers can do that anymore. Read more
Published on May 15 2004 by E -Man
1.0 out of 5 stars Worst movie ever!
Worst movie ever!
Please subtract 1 star from the 1 star rated.
Published on April 28 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars The Kings of the gold screen have reunited
This has got to be the best Travolta film out there today, the cast is plentyful and the dark tense action thriller is worth the watch. Read more
Published on April 22 2004 by Hadi Jones
1.0 out of 5 stars Painful to sit through
Travolta and Jackson cannot save this film with their professional acting skills that are wasted in an abhorrant pile of celluloid. Read more
Published on April 19 2004 by S. Koshgerian
5.0 out of 5 stars HAD TO CHUCKLE!
I thoroughly enjoy reading what others say about what they have seen and I had to chuckle that so many got left in the dust in understanding the movie. Read more
Published on April 12 2004 by M. Hartmann
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