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The Gift (Widescreen)


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Gift
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Product Details

  • Actors: Cate Blanchett, Katie Holmes, Keanu Reeves, Giovanni Ribisi, Greg Kinnear
  • Directors: Sam Raimi
  • Writers: Billy Bob Thornton, Tom Epperson
  • Producers: Gary Lucchesi, Grant Curtis, Gregory Goodman, James Jacks, Richard S. Wright
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, DVD-Video, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English, French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: R
  • Studio: Paramount Home Video
  • Release Date: May 11 2004
  • Run Time: 111 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (124 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005JH9M

Product Description

Blanchett/Swank/Holmes ~ Gift

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ellen on Jan. 7 2004
Format: VHS Tape
I happened to come upon this movie one night in the video store. I was gleefully surprised by the suspenseful plot and the genuinely good acting. The actors in it are less well known overall, but it was the best movie I saw in 2001. I recommend you pick it up at the video store too.
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Format: DVD
The Gift is destined to always be a three star out of five film, though don't let that dissuade you from watching it, because that's not to say that it's worthless. Far from it. Co-scripted by Billy Bob Thornton, The Gift relates the rather straightforward story of a woman (Cate Blanchett) haunted by her psychic visions of the murder of a young girl (Katie Holmes) from the backwater town she lives in. Red herrings abound, almost to the point of ridiculousness where you begin to suspect pretty much every character bar Blanchett's.
What lifts the movie out of its mediocrity is the fact that it's cast does so much with the slight material they've been handed. Blanchett proves that Elizabeth was no fluke, giving a typically strong performance of a woman on the edge of breakdown. Given her recent casting as lead in movies such as Charlotte Gray and Heaven, along with some high profile supporting roles in Lord of the Rings and The Talented Mr. Ripley, this is one actress who's undoubtedly going to go far. Every bit as good as Blanchett though is Giovanni Ribisi, playing a deranged man-child who forms an unwholesome attachment to Blanchett. His weepy yet electrifying performance rivets the movie in place in a much more powerful way that Keanu Reeves' bearded psycho could ever manage. Surprisingly, director Sam Raimi has also managed to garner Oscar-winner Hilary Swank who, despite turning in a solid performance, gives the impression that Boys Don't Cry might have been the best role she's ever likely to get in a while if she's taking relatively small roles in something like this.
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Format: DVD
Sam Raimi takes a detour from his blood and guts horror fare (that's Evil Dead, Evil Dead II, and Army of Darkness to you Mundanes) to create this spooky picture about a woman with the, well...the gift to perform tarot readings for the local townsfolk. The movie is most specifically about the deep south and its inhabitants. This movie taught me that apparently everyone living in the south is some kind of freakish, backward, ill-educated slob. Such a sadsack cast of characters provides plenty for Kate Blanchett's character to do as a result. Mostly, she acts as a psychiatrist.
More irritating is the use of completely non-Tarot-like reading. In a movie where Kate's character is perpetually harassed for her "Satanic" rituals of Tarot-reading, it's bizarre that an actual Tarot isn't used. Instead, we get the dumbed down version: symbols that represent the four elements, a star, a square, etc. The symbols are used to good effect -- when she reads the future of a murder victim, she draws four "water" cards. But really, couldn't they have used real Tarot cards? I expect a wee bit more daring from a guy who filmed an eyeball popping into a woman's mouth.
But I digress. The two outstanding actors in this film are Keanu Reeves and Giovanni Ribisi. That's right, you saw me type that correctly -- Keanu Reeves. Keanu has a typically vapid look about him that makes him a canvas for more complex stories. I call it the Kevin Costner effect. This is why he works so well in the Matrix -- he's bland enough to allow the ridiculously complex backstory of the Matrix to swirl around him. But what's most startling is to see that vacuous stare used to startling effect in The Gift. Add a few pounds, give Keanu a shaggy beard, and his soft brown eyes become the cold glaze of a killer.
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Format: DVD
This is only vaguely similar to the Sixth Sense, but it also reminded me of Blair Witch. Although it's predictable in places, it's not too predictable so you know what's going to happen before it happens, but certain scenes you can.
I was quite shocked when I discovered Billy Bob Thornton wrote this, and that Sam Raimi directed it. Billy Bob always comes across as weird to me - he looks so rough most of the time, but then you see him in films, he's totally unrecognisable, and doesn't look like the same person. Sam Raimi is a whole other kettle of fish. He previously directed The Evil Dead movies, the second one, which I managed to fall asleep during!
All the characters played their parts well in this. Especially Katie Holmes and Keanu Reeves. Both of them play different characters to what they would normally play in films. Katie is always known as sweet and virginal Joey in Dawson's Creek, but totally shows the viewers she can act and can do different characters. As a big fan of Keanu, I can't say I've seen him play a bad BAD guy, not to this extent anyway. His character is a wife beater, who does get accused of killing Katie's character. He could have been slagged rotten in the press and by critics for playing this kind of character, but he manages to pull it off, and succeeds. You believe in his character, and totally forget this is the guy from Speed, and the dork from Bill & Ted. His hair is grown out, he's got an albeit patchy beard, and dare I say it, he's looking chubby! (But not as bad as Chain Reaction!) Keanu got praise when this film was released, and he could have been stereotyped after Speed (and probably now after the Matrix), but has pulled off a number of different roles.
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