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NEW Leaves Of Grass (DVD)

DVD
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: CDN$ 5.38
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Product Description

Norton/Nelson/Sarandon ~ Leaves Of Grass

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Most helpful customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars adequate in its way Oct. 26 2013
By Cheryl TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
As a fan of Tim Blake Nelson (writer, director, co-star), I perhaps expected too much. Also this was a well reviewed film which further led to high expectations. The "philosophical" leanings however, to poetry and Walt Whitman come across as a bit pretentious making the first half of the film slow, and the (total opposite) twin characters (Edward Norton) predictable. The subtle to black "humour" isn't original enough to hold more than vague attention. The film finally picks up, and it does get more interesting, however the conclusion (for the character) relegates the events to a long journey or parable of self-discovery. Though there are many dvd extras, I didn't have the interest to peruse. The film is adequate, but perhaps check your expectations at the door.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  78 reviews
34 of 38 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Philosophical Comedy that Gets You Thinking March 4 2010
By Compay - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
Leaves of Grass isn't a movie that you can easily categorize. While it doesn't offer up laughs every few minutes, it's still a clever comedy in the vein of a Coen Brothers film. But you also can't quite call it a black comedy completely in the spirit of Burn After Reading or Fargo. It's equal parts crime drama, humor, romance and philosophy.

The film revolves around the intertwining lives of two identical twins, played by the incredibly talented Edward Norton. Ivy League philosophy professor Bill Kincaid is lured back to his Oklahoma hometown as part of a scheme cooked up by Mary Jane growing brother Brady. The first half hour of the film moves slowly but quickly gains momentum when the two siblings eventually cross paths.

The best part of this movie is easily watching Norton put on brilliant performances as both brothers. The supporting cast is top-notch as well, especially director Tim Blake Nelson in the role of Bolger, Brady's partner in crime. Nelson slips into the role effortlessly, which is no surprise considering he himself is a real-life Okie (a Jewish one at that, which influences a subplot of the movie). My only gripe with casting was Richard Dreyfuss as Jewish gangster Pug Rothbaum, with Dreyfuss giving one of the most bizarre attempts at a Southern accent in film.

I enjoyed the cinematography, Jeff Danna's work on the score, and the infusion of philosophy into the film. As a Southerner, I appreciated the fact that Brady's accent was no reflection on his intelligence. While not as well-read as his sibling, he still gets the occasional profound message across. The only real complaint I have about the film are the jarring scenes of violence. Considering it's not entirely a dark comedy, scenes that involved murders seemed extremely out of place in this movie.

Overall, watching Edward Norton effectively tackle two completely different roles was a real treat. If you enjoy a good drama or comedy that makes you think, definitely check this one out.
18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars If you like the Coen bros, you will love it April 30 2010
By Kevin F. Tasker - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
A double performance by Edward Norton as two entirely opposite brothers is, surprisingly enough, not the only reason to see this film. Yes, Norton's a master of his craft and his stoner hick brother and oxford-cloth uptight prof brother are both equally masterful creations. He dominates every scene, on par with Nicholas Cage's similar turn in Adaptation or more recently Sam Rockwell's in the slow-burn space opera Moon. But even without a competent lead like Norton at the helm, the film succeeds, chiefly do the the adept writing/direction of Tim Black Nelson, who incidentally has a side-kick part as a dim-witted trailer trash fella with a heart of pure gold.
The script is great. Beginning with a philosophy lecture that doesn't feel at all forced and eventually delving into some pretty shocking violence (and lots of pot smoking...with pot that LOOKS LIKE REAL POT! Seriously, pretty convincing for once) the film is a down-home roller coaster ride that even manages to work in Whitman's titular namesake to pretty good effect. Don't except straight up comedy, as the film is pretty gory at times. The tone, in fact, takes a sort of 180 degree shift about 2/3 of the way in, becoming more dramatic ala a warmer, brighter Fargo or a more subdued, less western-oriented Red Rock West. The effect of this shift is a little disorienting, but ultimately it works, seeming to freshen the proceedings. There is palpable suspense. We feel for Norton's characters, both of them. His accent is pretty good and his eyes (especially as the rural brother) are strange and intoxicating. I can't stress enough how unique and interesting this film is. It works as a crime drama, stoner comedy, philosophical treatise on life/the choices we make that make us. It is equal parts funny, screwball, bloody and in the end pretty life-affirming. There are a couple scenes that feel sort of contrived (one subplot involving a wayward Jewish orthodontist seems a little too easy, but is interesting nevertheless) but overall this is a high-brow bit of sweaty-palmed but laugh inducing entertainment and not be missed if you have a fleeting interest in pot flicks and/or low-life crime character studies.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, but grim Dec 23 2010
By Pop S - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
I enjoyed this move. I thought it had character and realism. That said, I think it is wrong to call it a comedy. It is a fairly hard hitting movie that has very graphic violence and a gritty taste. The comedy is almost all based on tragedy.

I don't recommend it for folks that aren't ready for movie that is rated R based on violence and needs to be.

Good movie, but don't be fooled by characterizations you may read.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not the same predictable boring story over and over... Dec 5 2011
By Eric - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
There isn't much to say that hasn't been said by others.

My favorite thing about this film is that it was a new story, not the same boring, meaningless drivel that usually ends up making the most money. The actors & producers weren't trying to make everyone happy, they were trying to make a good film & knew it wouldn't appeal to everyone.

The thing which strikes me most about the story, and yet doesn't get mentioned - is that all of the violence and death in this film comes from the fact that the grass is under prohibition - just like all the violence which resulted from alcohol prohibition and just as regrettable. If Brady could have worked on his agriculture without the threat of prison, he wouldn't have had to deal with a shady dealer of dangerous narcotics for financing. If his plants were legal, he could have resolved his business dispute in court instead of with violence and nobody would have been killed.

Anyway... good movie, I'm glad the film industry still takes risks by shooting quirky, not-for-everyone stories that they know won't make as much money as vapid action thrillers. Every actor in this film earned their keep by presenting believable representations, and of course Ed Norton rocked the hell out of both roles. Not bad camera work either... I read a couple reviews that the "twins" don't exactly look each other in the eye when they're talking to each other... wha? I was too busy enjoying the story to notice nitpicks like that.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Norton Good as Actor But Plot Is Not For Me Aug. 23 2010
By carol irvin - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
I realize some people love this movie so I am going to say that it just might not be the movie for a 62 year old female. If you are a guy who smokes grass, you might consider this in your top ten, by contrast. So I am not seeking to offer my opinion as usable except for those who are like me and say "huh?" when reading over the plot summary.

The good thing about the movie is that Norton does an exceptional job playing two identical twin brothers. One is a University professor and the other grows grass back home in a prairie state. The grass growing twin is unrecognizable as Norton in every respect. What will bring these brothers back together as they have been apart for a long time? That is the basic plot, bringing them back together, as well as with their mother (Susan Sarandon).

Piled on top of this basic plot is a pregnant wife, romance in the air, problems with the pot market and especially the Jewish angle to the pot market, which lets them pour Richard Dreyfuss into the mix. The whole thing was just too much for me. On the whole, however, if you like the sound of this plot and the people in it, they certainly do a good enough job at the acting, writing and directing.

Visit my blog with link given on my profile page here or use this phonetically given URL (livingasseniors dot blogspot dot com). Friday's entry will always be weekend entertainment recs from my 5 star Amazon reviews in film, tv, books and music. These are very heavy on buried treasures and hidden gems. My blogspot is published on Monday, Wednesday & Friday.
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