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Matilda [Blu-ray] (Bilingual) [Import]

4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
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Danny DeVito's adaptation of the Roald Dahl book for children is mostly just fine, helped along quite a bit by the charming performance of Mara Wilson (Mrs. Doubtfire) as young Matilda, a brilliant girl neglected by her stupid, self-involved parents (DeVito and Rhea Perlman). Ignored at home, Matilda escapes into a world of reading, exercising her mind so much she develops telekinetic powers. Good thing, too: sent off to a school headed by a cruel principal, Matilda needs all the help she can get. DeVito takes a highly stylized approach that is sometimes reminiscent of Barry Sonnenfeld (director of Get Shorty, a DeVito production), and his judgment is not the best in some matters, such as letting the comic-scary sequences involving the principal go on too long. But much of the film is delightful and funny. The DVD release has a pan-and-scan, full-screen presentation only, plus Dolby sound and optional French and Spanish soundtracks. --Tom Keogh

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun Movie Dec 19 2002
Matilda is worth watching, and I think worth owning too. However, let's get the reservations over before all the good stuff.
Miss Trunchbull, played by Pam Ferris, is a sadist. She is definitely mean. At two places in the movie she throws a child out a school window (she is really, really mean). Matilda's parents are self-absorbed and at best ignore Matilda, which occasionally borders on abuse. The images of Matilda's school can be disturbing, especially the "Chokie", a small cramped dark closet with spikes in the door. These images could be disturbing for younger children, particularly those under the age of 7 or 8. However, you have to judge the ability of your child to understand that these images are not real. These are the dark parts of the movie.
Matilda is clearly a genius, as evidenced by her actions from a very early age. Matilda overcomes her not very bright parents and learns how to fend for herself in the world. In fact, after a while she treats her parents as something to be concerned about, because they clearly do not know how to take care of themselves in the world.
Matilda is a positive role model throughout the movie. She learns to read on her own, and finds the value in the library and books. She learns that there are people who understand her (Miss Jennifer Honey, played by Embeth Davidtz) and love her for who she is. She also learns that people who seem scary to her (Miss Trunchbull) can be scary to others. Her desire to protect others and do what is right helps her overcome her fear of Miss Trunchbull and do what is right.
Mara Wilson plays Matilda very well. She has a lot of talent, and makes Matilda come alive.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A modern childrens' classic! June 18 1998
By A Customer
Based on the book written by Roald Dahl (who brought "Willy Wonka" to life), this story revolves around the 6-year-old title character and her incredibly dysfunctional "Typical American" family. Daddy is a used car salesman, Mommy is a throwback to the worst stereotype of the 1960's housewife, and her brother is equally without redeeming qualities, but she loves them anyway and tries to save them from themselves -- most of the time.
Matilda escapes her life as an unpaid and unloved receiving clerk for her father's business (which is under surveillance by inept FBI agents) by devouring every book she can lay her hands on.
The next step in her liberation is toward Crunchem Hall, the neighborhood school run by -- well, I won't spoil the plot, just suffice it to say that "Matilda" is a Must Buy for any home with kids and a DVD player!
This film is as rich and delicious as "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory," and is no more a "little girl movie" than "Wonka" was a "little boys' movie." For that matter, even adults will enjoy this one, especially when watching it with your (or anyone else's) kids. END
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Needs a Widescreen DVD! Oct. 29 2003
I watched Matilda with my nephew not thinking I was going to like it but I wound up liking the movie and thinking it was cute and I thought it was a good story of how a girl treated badly at home by her parents and her brother and at school by the cruel Agatha Trunchball discovers she has special magical powers and makes her life better and teaches that bully Miss Trunchball a lesson she will never forget and Matilda winds up finding that even though her self absorbed family doesn't care about her their are others who do especially her sweet and kind teacher Miss Honey. Mara Wilson was good as Matilda and this is a movie I could see us having on DVD but unfortunately it's only available in an edited pan and scan format and not widescreen and I really wish that a widescreen DVD would be released!
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4.0 out of 5 stars How To Survive Private School May 18 2004
Format:VHS Tape
Every now and then I see a movie intended for younger viewers that impresses me. Matilda, based on the book by Roald Dahl (Witches, James and The Giant Peach, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory) is one such movie. This is the story of a young girl who is special. She is very intelligent, self-sufficient, and inquisitive.
When Matilda's parents (Danny DeVito and Rhea Perlman) realize that she is old enough for school (sort of late) they send her to a private school run by a horribly mean woman who hates children. This environment, coupled with her life at home with a family that barely knows she is there, causes Matilda to discover and develop telekinetic powers. These she uses to help a friendly teacher and the rest of the students.
Once again a Roald Dahl book has been made into a very good movie. DeVito is excellent as a crooked used car salesman and Perlman is great as his wife. Matilda is played by the same actress who was in the remake of Miracle on 34th Street. The imagery and story are of the type that can only be found in stories for younger audiences. Although the movie does differ from the book this is a movie that I highly recommend.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Charming and Over-the-Top Movie March 16 2004
By A Customer
This has always been one of my favorite films. This fanciful tale of a young girl who escapes into the world of literature from her abusive parents and principal is a must-see for all families. Some of the material is a little frantic for very young children. Your children must be mature enough to understand that their school principal will not throw them over a fence by their hair.
The film has wonderful actors in it. Pam Ferris, as the child-hating principal of Crunchem Hall, put on an enthusiastically over-the-top performance. Danny De Vito and Rhea Perlman did a great job as the parents who can't understand their six-year-old daughter and her love of reading. Fresh out of "Schindler's List," came Embeth Davidtz playing the warm and loving teacher Miss Honey. And last, but not least, is Mara Wilson, who at a very young age put on a very convincing performance as a girl who loved to learn.
Even though the story has some absurdness, it has a wonderful lesson for children. They shouldn't spend all their time in front of the T.V. For the film buff's out there, the camera shots are very interesting for a family film. Composer David Newman ("Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure," "The War of the Roses") wrote a wonderful music score for the film. It had humor and sentiment, and it is one of his personal favorites.
So if your looking for a good family movie that is average as a film, but above the standards of a family film, this movie is for you.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Bruce Bogtrotter. BRUCE! BRUCE! BRUCE! BRUCE!
I grew up watching this movie and it has definitely withstood the test of time in my books. Roald Dahl stories tend to lend themselves quite well to films and this one is no... Read more
Published 17 months ago by Perpetual Pistachios
5.0 out of 5 stars Danny does Dahl....
It's a great kids story. Brilliantly acted by all. Fun, whimsical and the cast is fantastic. Every family should own this film....and the book.
Published 21 months ago by A. Hollingworth
5.0 out of 5 stars Good service
Movie arrived in proper time. It has already been enjoyed by children and adults alike. Was in great shape. Would order again.
Published 23 months ago by Currell
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie!
This movie brings back so many childhood memories! So glad it was quick and easy to purchase and no problem with getting here!
Published on July 9 2012 by Reeta Singh
5.0 out of 5 stars hu
good product. I had some problems but they helped me out fully and it all worked out. They were great to deal with
Published on Jan. 20 2012 by Tfrag
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best films ever
I have seen Matilda so many times that it gets boring,but it's still wonderful.Miss Trunchbull is the only British character,despite the fact the book was set in the UK,not... Read more
Published on Oct. 29 2006 by Aspro
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for kids and adults!
Matilda is a cute and wonderful story! It's funny and makes you wonder what will happen next! It is hard to turn the tv off before it is finished! Read more
Published on July 9 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars MATILDA. 16th april 2004.
Matilda [mara wilson], finds that she can have her own powers that come to her just like that. Her family never bother with her, and her teacher miss honey adopts her. Read more
Published on April 16 2004 by Kathryn Pointon
3.0 out of 5 stars quite good, but for younger kids
I saw this movie for the first time when I was about twelve, and loved it. I read the book, and liked it as much, maybe even better. Read more
Published on Jan. 17 2004 by Michael Sutcliffe
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-watch!
"Matilda" is a must-watch for anyone with a sweet-tooth for funny movies (like, for instance, myself). Read more
Published on Jan. 1 2004 by babydoh
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