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The Hurricane [HD DVD]

Denzel Washington , Vicellous Reon Shannon , Norman Jewison    R (Restricted)   HD DVD
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (110 customer reviews)
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• IMPORTANT NOTICE: This high-definition disc will only play in an HD DVD player. It will not play in a Blu-ray player or a PS3.

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In his direction of The Hurricane, veteran filmmaker Norman Jewison understands that slavish loyalty to factual detail is no guarantee of compelling screen biography. In telling the story of boxer Rubin "Hurricane" Carter--who was wrongly convicted of murder in 1967 and spent nearly two decades in jail--Jewison and his screenwriters compress time, combine characters, and rearrange events with a nonchalance that would be galling if they didn't remain honest to the core truth of Carter's ordeal. Because of that emotional integrity--and because Denzel Washington brings total conviction to his title role--The Hurricane rises above the confines of biographical fidelity to embrace higher values of courage, compassion, and ultimate justice.

Jewison is woefully heavy-handed in his treatment of the fictionalized, absurdly villainous detective (Dan Hedaya) who zealously plots to keep Carter in jail, and anyone familiar with Carter's story may object to the film's simplified account. But what matters here is the shining star of hope that is Lesra (Vicellous Reon Shannon), the Brooklyn teenager who rejuvenates Carter's legal battle in the early 1980s. This surrogate father-son relationship is what revives Carter's hope for family and future, and makes The Hurricane so engrossing and emotionally effective. Lesra's real-life Canadian mentors are compressed from nine characters to three, but their efforts are superbly dramatized, and Jewison hits the small but important grace notes that make a good film even better. By its final scenes, The Hurricane conveys the rich, rewarding satisfaction of surviving a difficult but valuable journey of mind, body, and soul. --Jeff Shannon

Special Features

This special edition video includes over 20 minutes of additional material, including a featurette called "Spotlight on Location." Also available on the DVD, this behind-the-scenes look at the making of The Hurricane features interviews with the film's primary cast and crew.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
By Daniel Jolley TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
Rubin Carter was wrongfully imprisoned before I was even born, and I'm sure I am one of many who first learned of his shocking case through the telling words of Bob Dylan's song "Hurricane." Dylan was one of many who believed in Carter's innocence and helped raise awareness of the gross injustice he suffered at the hands of the justice system in New Jersey. I do not know all of the facts in the actual case, but I am aware of the fact that this film does not follow the history of events exactly - it's no secret, as a disclaimer of such appears at the beginning of the movie. This is not a documentary; it's a moving tale of prejudice, corruption, and hatred ultimately defeated by love, truth, and honor; as such, it captures the heart and spirit of Carter's tragic story in the most powerful of ways.

You could call what happened to Rubin Carter a travesty of justice, yet even this term barely begins to explain Carter's plight. He was tried and convicted of the murder of three individuals in a New Jersey bar in 1967 for two reasons: he was black and he was successful. He and a fan were heading home in a white car when they were pulled over, hauled over to a murder scene they knew nothing about and then to the hospital to see if anyone could identify them as the murderers - which no one did. This did not stop the lead detective from arresting and trying them for murder - by suppressing evidence and forging documents, not to mention engineering the false testimony of quite impeachable witnesses, the police and prosecutors got their conviction. Rubin Carter's boxing career was over, and this man - who could have been the middle-weight champion of the world - found himself looking at three life sentences for a crime he did not commit.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "And the Oscar goes to..." July 19 2004
Format:VHS Tape
Well, it should've gone to Washington for his breathtaking performance in this biopic from 2000. Washington captures the very essence of the different modes of "Hurricane" Carter, a man wrongly incarcerated for a crime that he didn't commit. Washington superbly displays the various sides of this most complex man: anger, defiance, reflection, intelligence, humility, and perseverance. As others have hypothesized, Denzel's win for "Training Day" was a reward for Academy oversights for earlier tremendous performances...and his work in "The Hurricane" ranks as one of his best.
Besides the work of Washington, the film benefits from marvelous turns from co-star Vicellous Reon Shannon as a young man enamored of the boxer and determined to right the wrong that has befallen Carter. The young man possesses the right amount of "wide-eyed innocence" as he confronts a man that he discovers in a long-forgotten autobiography. Who cannot be moved when man and boy share a tender moment by touching through the bars of the convict's cell???
This kid deserved a supporting acting nod, if nothing less.
And a film that sports such stellar character performers as Rod Steiger, Debbi Morgan, Dan Hedaya, Harris Yulen, Clancy Brown, and David Paymer is a cut above the others. Liv Shrieber, Deborah Unger, and John Hannah are wonderful as Canadians that assist Shannon's "Lesra" as the lad works to free his friend.
While there are a few slow moments, the overall film is worth viewing...and owning.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie To Bad It Is Based On Lies Feb. 9 2004
By A Customer
Format:DVD
I just watched this movie for the first time last nite, I dont know how I never heard of it, or the story of Hurricane Carter but I had not.
I really liked this Movie (until I did my homework). The Movie was very powerfull leaving you in disbelief, how could this happen? How could a innocent man be sentenced to Life for a crime he didnt commit?
The Movie's 2nd half left me teary eyed of the injustice done to Hurricane Carter and very touched by the young man that wrote, visited & belived in his innocence and who along with his Canadian Family worked so hard to free him.
Denzel Washington Does an exceptional peformance, what a great actor, But SHAME ON YOU Mr. Washington, This Movie is Based More on Lies than on the Truth, you were one of my favorite Actors, but your credibility has suffered, you had to of known of the Untruths of this Movie, and then to embrace Hurricane Carter and make a statement that this man is full of Love?
I gave this Movie 5 Stars because it was entertaining. The Movie left me with wanting more, immeadiately after watching the movie I did a search on Boxer Hurricane Carter. The First site was:
[...]
My first impression was, Wow this must be some Racial Web Site against Hurricane Carter, but after spending hours reading all the many pages of well documented articles and interviews, my conclussion is their is more evidence that this man, Hurricane Carter is a Guilty as charged, than an innocent man wrongly accused as partrayed in the Movie.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
In the movie DISCLOSURE, with Michael Douglas and Demi Moore (based on the Michael Crichton screenplay), a high-powered, very ambitious and very sexual woman sexually harasses Michael Douglas in a software company. The resulting chaos this causes in his personal and professional life forces him to accept the irony of his circumstance--him, a man, being harassed by a woman--and take her to court, or in this case, arbitration, to save his job. So much controversy was engendered by the plot of this movie and its relationship to the serious issue of sexual harassment (then a fairly new one) that most people ranting on either side about DISCLOSURE's true social significance forgot the actual plot of the movie, and as such, missed its real message: Demi Moore's character was brought to the software company Douglas' character worked for for the sole purpose of getting rid of him in the first place, so a pretty immoral and essentially illegal business transaction could go through, making the principal stockholders rich. The movie really begins when the sexual harassment subplot ends. Like ERIN BROKOVICH or WALL STREET, DISCLOSURE was really a window to the architecture and life-destroying immorality of corporate greed.
I was slightly put off by some of the publicity surrounding the treatment of the subject matter that is the life of boxer Reuben Carter before this movie came out. But after seeing it in the theatres and subsequently realizing the actual reason for the controversy, I am perplexed to the point of amused as to why everyone still rants about every aspect of the film's subject matter but not the actual film itself.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Must Watch!
One of the best movies I've ever seen- makes me cry every time. Canadians rock! (if you watch the movie you'll understand the reference!)
Published 4 months ago by Karpedmgirl
5.0 out of 5 stars Très belle histoire
Le film The hurricane a été reçu en bon état et conforme à l'annonce du vendeur. Le DVD fonctionne très bien.
Published 15 months ago by Daniel Mérineau
5.0 out of 5 stars A Boxer Denied
To capture the spirit of a wrongfully convicted prizefighter who manages to rise above a corrupt judicial system was the mandate handed to actor, Denzel Washington. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Paul Desjardins
5.0 out of 5 stars Hate put me in prison. Love's gonna bust me out.
In 1998 Rubin Carter came to my high school, to talk about his life and journey through prison. At this time we didnt know who he was, and took the sppech like another African... Read more
Published on Jan. 1 2008 by Rassool Auckbaraullee
3.0 out of 5 stars Consistant
This film always kept its focus and Denzel was supurb. The inaccuracies of the movie are to be expected because afterall, this is Hollywood's take. Read more
Published on July 13 2004
3.0 out of 5 stars Hollywood Revisionism At It's Freakin' Finest
The story is about 15% factual. Carter was set free because of two alleged procedural errors, NOT because of new evidence. Read more
Published on July 11 2004 by "retro_styled_crooner"
2.0 out of 5 stars I'm Still Puking....
The story of Rubin "Hurricane" Carter is one that will continue throughout the ages. A black man wrongly accused of a crime serves multiple years in prison without a... Read more
Published on June 30 2004 by Brennon A. Slattery
1.0 out of 5 stars big talker
should change his name to big talker saying nothing of any intellgence. Other things might be a matter of opinion but this is not; Carter lost 7 of his last 15 fights and was not... Read more
Published on June 16 2004 by S. Pastre
2.0 out of 5 stars Classic issue of what standard to apply to a film
Like Oliver Stone's "JFK," this film raises the issue of whether to judge a movie by historical accuracy or simply by the standard of if it is an entertaining and... Read more
Published on March 19 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars You can't bring down a legend
A decent drama based on real charecter, Rubin Carter sent to jail for a crime he didn't commit. If he wasn't sent to jail, would Muhammed Ali be called the greatest. Read more
Published on March 7 2004 by hadi jones
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