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Coma [Import]

Michael Douglas , Rip Torn , Michael Crichton    PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)   DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
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Product Description

Amazon.ca

Something is awry at Boston General Hospital. Dr. Wheeler's (Genevieve Bujold) friend Nancy goes in for a routine procedure, but never comes out of the anesthesia and slips into a coma. Wheeler learns that a tissue sample from the young woman went to the lab, then soon finds out that a high number of patients have become comatose recently. She digs a little deeper and finds a conspiracy mired in hospital politics, running afoul of the head of anesthesia, Dr. George (Rip Torn) and the head of surgery, Dr. Harris (Richard Widmark). Nobody believes the young MD, not even her boyfriend Dr. Bellows (Douglas), but she soon uncovers a black-market trade in body parts, conducted offsite at the Jefferson Institute, a state-of-the-art coma-care facility. As a thriller, Coma certainly has its moments (the scene where a hit man is buried under a pile of frozen-stiff cadavers is an inspired touch), but it's not without its problems. Director Michael Crichton is an MD himself, and the film has a seamless, almost mechanical structure and plotline (taken from the Robin Cook novel). However, the movie's cold, detached feel works against it at times, making the suspense scenes oddly more effective but rendering the emotional content of the characters rather flat. Douglas in particular seems to not put much into his performance; Bujold, on the other hand, is strong and resourceful as the movie's protagonist. More telling, perhaps, is the way that the story shows its age in a time when medical ethics have changed and the phrase "organ harvesting" has made its way into our lexicon. --Jerry Renshaw

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Coma

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4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars WELL EXECUTED THRILLER Feb. 25 2004
Format:DVD
I discovered by chance that this 1978 thriller with Michael Douglas was written and directed by Michael Crichton, who was himself a qualified medical doctor, but this film would have one believe that he had no love lost for his original profession (as would "The Andromeda Strain".)
Coma despite being an "old" movie by many standards, is surprisingly fascinating on DVD. Crichton gets good performances from the whole cast, with Genevieve Bujold, in particular, reminding us of what a fine actress she can be. As a doctor suspicious of certain goings-on in her hospital but disbelieved by everyone around her, she shows courage and determination (without ever losing her femininity) which is welcome in a female lead. She finds herself forced to question her own sense of perspective, even her sanity, as she struggles to uncover the mystery of comatose patients that surround her.
There's one sizeable twist towards the latter half of the movie, but you generally know what's going to happen. The beauty of this movie is in the overall execution -- it's VERY well done.
Recommended rental. Especially for the medically inclined.
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5.0 out of 5 stars What a surprise! May 6 2004
By G.M
Format:DVD
I discovered this film when I was in desperate need of some blank tapes. All the local shops were closed, but I managed to find a bunch of used tapes in a second hand shop for about 50p.
Anyway, I bought them and went home with the intention of taping over them. When I got back, my brother was curious to see what was on them. First tape he stuck in was Coma. He had already seen it years earlier, and wouldn't let me tape over it.
So I didn't. And I'm glad I didn't, because what a great movie it is.
It's odd to see films like this nowadays. I get so used to modern Hollywood melo dramas, with there laugh a minute format, that when I see a film like Coma, it reminds how much better a serious film is, when it's actually serious.
And it's so true. Crighton paces this film very well, it keeps you on your toes throughout the whole thing, and it never fails to be interesting.
It's even got some X Files espionage type moments, that I can't help but enjoy.
Anyway, without giving anything away, let me just tell you that you won't regret buying or renting this film.
It's a breath of fresh air, or, it was anyway.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Medical Curiousities Feb. 29 2004
Format:DVD
I first saw Coma sometime in the mid 80's, at a time when the VHS format was king, and to be honest, my memories of the film were fuzzy at best. With that in mind, I decided to give it a look, knowing that popular figure Michael Crichton was behind the camera, made me even more curious to see it again.
Based on the best-selling novel by Robin Cook, Coma tells a creepy tale and is a solid thriller, though not without its problems. Dr. Susan Wheeler (Genevieve Bujold) suspects her colleagues of foul play when her closest friend lapses into a coma following a routine operation. When Wheeler discovers an alarming pattern of unexplained comas in her hospital, she becomes obsessed with finding an answer, even when it puts her own career and life in danger. Her lover, Dr. Bellows (Michael Douglas), admits there is a mystery but doubts there is a conspiracy and even suspects Wheeler of suffering from a mental breakdown.
While I never read Mr. Cook's novel, having Michael Crichton, as a former physcian, adapt the script and direct the film seemed like the right way to go. The film boasts fine performances from Bujold, Douglas, and the "creepy" Richard Widmark as Dr. Harris. Composer Jerry Goldsmith gives the movie another stellar score adding to the chills factor. All of that being said, I still noticed some problems with pacing and other technical gaffes that could have been avoided. Thanfully, there's not enough of these problems, to be of any real concern.
The DVD loses points from me, because, of the lack of any real extras. All you will be treated to, is your standard, run of the mill, theatrical trailer. I would have been interested to hear some comments from Crichton, about the film and his take on it now, given the time that has passed. A missed opportunity---in my opinion.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A good, entertaining medical thriller Feb. 17 2004
Format:DVD
For a period in the 1970s, it looked as if Michael Crichton was on his way to becoming a film director instead of the author of popular science-thrillers that he is principally known as today. He had a hit with the robot science-fiction meets the Western flick with "Westworld" in 1973, and he followed it up with this medical thriller in 1978. Based on a book by another M.D.-turned-novelist, Robin Cook, "Coma" is an entertaining suspenser with some good performances and nice pacing, helped immensely by Crichton's expertise on the medical profession and the politics of working in a hospital.
Unfortunately, "Coma" is one of those films that's good enough to make you wish it could have been even better. You feel satisfied with the viewing experience, but feel that the movie could have pushed itself even farther and turned from a good film into a very good film. The potential is certainly there, with a fun conspiracy plotline (Why are supposedly healthy people at a Boston hospital falling into irreversible comas? What is the purpose of the freaky, mysterious Jefferson Institute to where the coma patients are being shipped?), its level of paranoia (no one believes heroine Genevieve Bujold's suspicions -- or perhaps everyone around her is in on it), and Crichton's perfectly realistic representation of medical jargon and the workings of a busy hospital (a prelude to his television creation, E.R.). Many of the performances are excellent as well, especially Michael Douglas as Bujold's ambitious doctor boyfriend, Richard Widmark as the chief surgeon, and Elizabeth Ashley as the nearly robotic and incredibly frightening head of the Jefferson Institute. Rip Torn also pops in for a brief but noticeable role as the gruff head of anesthesia.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars still a good movie
I loved this film the first time I saw it many years ago. Great suspence movie. Still a good movie after all these years. Thank you
Published 19 months ago by alison Depatie
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than the new one...
This version was much closer to the novel. I thought the acting was better too. And besides, Genevieve Bujold is hot!!
Published 20 months ago by Parsha Lee
3.0 out of 5 stars Un Classique
Un film qui demeure un de mes classiques maison, mais qui vieillit un peu, à noter cependant une autre bonne prestation de Geneviève Bujold.
Published on Aug. 19 2012 by Soimègne
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun medical thriller
"Coma" is based on the novel by Robin Cook, and a thoroughly fun read has become a thoroughly fun movie. Read more
Published on Jan. 8 2004
4.0 out of 5 stars A good thriller.
Though made in the 1970's and featuring some aweful music, this thriller about simple and routine surgery "gone bad" is a fun ride. Read more
Published on Nov. 8 2003 by NHgboy
5.0 out of 5 stars CHILLING!!!!
If you're afraid of going to the hospital DO NOT WATCH THIS FLICK! I saw it while recovering from surgery and it totally freaked me out! Awesome!!
=^..^=
Published on March 24 2003 by Sandi Strehlau
4.0 out of 5 stars It's Burke and Hare all over again!
After his success with the 1973 sci-fi thriller "Westworld" director Michael Crichton followed up with 1978's "Coma". Read more
Published on Nov. 14 2002 by B.C. Scribe
3.0 out of 5 stars You won't fall asleep during this thriller
Writer/director Michael Crichton's second film was an adaption of Robin Cook's bestselling novel. Michael Douglas plays the role of the heroine while Geneviene Bujold has the... Read more
Published on Oct. 29 2002 by Wayne Klein
4.0 out of 5 stars Suspense flowing through every vein.
Genevieve Bujold gives a carefully restrained performance in this now classic suspenser. You'll be rooting for her "whistle blower" doctor every step of the way (and... Read more
Published on July 21 2002
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