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The Manchurian Candidate (Bilingual)

Denzel Washington , Liev Schreiber , Jonathan Demme    R (Restricted)   DVD
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
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Manchurian Candidate Manchurian Candidate 3.7 out of 5 stars (6)
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Product Description

Serving together in the Persian Gulf War, Captain Bennett Marco and Sgt. Raymond Shaw were part of a platoon of soldiers kidnapped and brainwashed. Ten years later, Shaw gears up for his vice presidential campaign while Marco eventually remembers being kidnapped and discovers Shaw's powerful mother played a big part in that scheme. Determined to reveal the truth behind everything, Marco must first convince Shaw that the brainwashing really happened. "The Manchurian Candidate, a classic of paranoid cinema from the 1960s, gets a cunning update, rife with hot-topic references to corporate war profiteering and electronic voting machines. Major Ben Marco (Denzel Washington, Training Day) has been haunted by nightmares ever since a firefight during the first Gulf War--a battle in which he believes he was saved by the heroism of Sgt. Raymond Shaw (Liev Schreiber, Kate & Leopold). But Marco's nightmares suggest otherwise and drive him to investigate what happened, which may threaten Shaw's candidacy for vice-president. Meryl Streep plays Shaw's mother, a senior senator who manipulates everyone around her with an iron will and a sharp tongue. The Manchurian Candidate loses steam towards the end, but up until then director Jonathan Demme keeps the movie rolling fluidly, crafting some creepy paranoia of his own while Streep tears into everything in her path." --Bret Fetzer

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:DVD
"The Manchurian Candidate" falls victim to the fate of many suspense thrillers. Quite simply, it loses its way in the third act. This is mainly due to some sloppy script writing. The acting is generally first rate with Streep stealing most of the scenes -she is the ultimate mother from cinematic Hell. The DVD has the usual bonus features - all competently executed but nothing extraordinary. The commentary track can become a little tiresome with all the endless praise for the actors, sound designers, catering people etc. On the whole though, this is a worthwhile film as long as you put the logical side of your brain aside before viewing. An entertaining summer popcorn flick.
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3.0 out of 5 stars the original is much better May 29 2009
By falcon
Format:DVD
this remake of the 1962 classic leaves a lot to be desired.it doesn't
live up to the original.the plot is just too hard to follow,in my
opinion.it's not straight forward at all.it's suspenseful and
dramatic,but not really all that exciting.i didn't care much about the
characters here.in the original,i felt really invested in the
characters.it was much more clever,and psychological.Meryl Streep is a
fine actress,but the character was played to much better effect by
Angela Lansbury in the original.the same can be said of the characters
portrayed by Denzel Washington and Liev Schreiber.Sinatra played the
same character as Schreiber and Laurence Harvey played the same
character as Washington.to be fair,it could be that the characters
were written better in the original,which i think is the case.bottom
line,this version pales in comparison to the original.my vote for The
Manchurian Candidate (2004) is a 3/5
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2.0 out of 5 stars No More Remakes! Dec 12 2008
Format:DVD
In this remake of the 1962 political thriller, Major Ben Marco (Denzel Washington) is a Desert Storm vet plagued by nightmares and hallucinations that he is unable to interpret. The only thing he is certain of is the involvement of a former member of his platoon, Congressman Raymond Shaw (Liev Schreiber), who is being pushed towards the White House by his domineering mother, Senator Eleanor Shaw (Meryl Streep).

Washington offers a subdued performance, more curious about the secret locked within his brain than tormented. As the emotionally challenged puppet of the Manchurian Global Corporation, Schreiber appears unsure of himself; wavering between sad and psychotic, he never truly defines his character. As the manipulative and sinister mother from hell, Streep is a tour de force; her carefully nuanced actions and words confirm her status as the most talented actress alive. The cast also includes the spirited Kimberly Elise, who appears as a love interest for Washington but may have a secret of her own.

Director Jonathan Demme, who hasn't had a hit since 1991's Silence of the Lambs, has tried to create a film full of paranoia but relies too heavily on symbolism and mood. Nevertheless, the intelligent script plays up the current state of fear that exists in the U.S., much like the Cold War did for the original. In keeping with modern sensibilities, the military is no longer portrayed as the evildoer; rather, big business is deemed to be the true Prince of Darkness.

With the impending U.S. election, The Manchurian Candidate is not only timely but eerily thought-provoking. Unfortunately, this version of the classic conspiracy film is not particularly memorable, and will go down in the annals of history as merely a footnote. Rating: 5 out of 10.
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