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40 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: Ana Torrent, Fele Martínez, Eduardo Noriega, Xabier Elorriaga, Miguel Picazo
  • Directors: Alejandro Amenábar
  • Writers: Alejandro Amenábar, Mateo Gil
  • Producers: Alejandro Amenábar, Emiliano Otegui, Hans Burmann, José Luis Cuerda, Julio Madurga
  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: Spanish
  • Subtitles: English
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: R
  • Studio: New Yorker Video
  • Release Date: July 2 2002
  • Run Time: 125 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 1928639011
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #63,158 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)
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Product Description

Spanish director Alejandro Amenábar grabbed the attention of American audiences with his dreamy thriller Open Your Eyes, but he earlier sent shock waves throughout Spain in 1996 with this disturbing debut. Thesis is a quietly creepy psychological thriller about a young college student, Ángela (Ana Torrent) investigating the social fascination with sensational violence for her thesis project. In her search for violent video footage, she stumbles onto what may be a real live snuff film, a videotape that her professor was watching before his untimely death. With the help of a geeky gore junkie she uncovers a conspiracy that may include her handsome but sinister new boyfriend, her thesis advisor, and even her weirdo partner. When she uncovers one too many secrets lying in the catacombs of the university basement, she realizes that she may be the next victim. It goes on perhaps too long, and Amenábar's pointed observations on the lure of violence and the dark side of human nature are lost as the spiraling mystery spins into a first-person nightmare, but his skill at weaving a paranoid world where evil may lurk behind every friendly face is undeniable. Thesis is reminiscent of Brian De Palma's early thrillers: dark, stylish, subdued, and bubbling with the characters' guilty (and ultimately dangerous) fascination with the transgressive. --Sean Axmaker

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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By K. Gordon TOP 50 REVIEWER on April 26 2011
Format: DVD
An entertaining, thought provoking and at times truly scary first film. It reminds me of early DePalma, both in it's strengths and weaknesses.

In his first feature, Amenabar uses violence and fear as means to explore deeper themes and psychology - in this case the way we're all drawn to violent images, even if we claim not to be. But these ideas stay pretty heady, and at times teeter on preachy or obvious. The film is full of wonderfully clever visual and sound techniques, but occasionally you become so aware of the flash and `hey, what a cool way to film a scene' that it takes you out of the movie. Also for me, the score is a little too obvious a Bernard Herrman homage.

It also goes on a little long. The first 75 minutes or so seemed downright brilliant, but when you drag a thriller out, often the creakiness of the plot shows through. In the end there are a few twists too many for credibility, and it crosses into, `c'mon, she would have gone to the cops by now' territory for the last half hour.

Yet, even once it starts to feel a bit silly, it's never dull, and the tension stays high. For all its flaws, it scared me and it got me to think, and that's always worth applauding.
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Format: DVD
We wanted to make an "AMERICAN STYLE THRILLER!" says director Alejandro Amenabar and crew concerning the film "Thesis," so much so that you can practically see the all caps and quotation marks whenever anyone mentions the phrase on the behind the scenes featurette. I think this statement even appears on the cover for the DVD edition. The question I have to ask after hearing this declaration is "Why?" Most American thrillers, at least in recent years, are dreadfully boring pieces of chaff churned out with cookie cutter precision. Usually, the characters in an "American thriller" rarely achieve any sort of depth, the filmmakers rely so heavily on special effects and violence as to reduce the plot to mere banality, and the starched, formulaic nature of the film guarantees you can recite the dialogue before the characters do. I suspect the director of "Thesis" probably referred to older American thrillers from the middle part of the twentieth century instead of the pap released over the last couple of decades. Whatever the case, I saw little resemblence to American thrillers as I watched "Thesis." I do think the film favorably compares to one of Dario Argento's giallo films rather than anything released on this side of the pond. And that, my friends, is ultimately a good thing.
"Thesis" tells the story of Spanish film student Angela Marquez (Ana Torrent) and her ghastly experiences as she prepares to work on her thesis at university. A closet voyeur fascinated with violence, Marquez hungers to do her thesis on the elusive film genre known as snuff. Snuff, of course, is the filming of real murder for entertainment value, and we all know such things do not exist in any marketable sense of the word.
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Format: DVD
Angela's thesis is on the subject of violence in the media, and in order to aid in her research, she asks her professor to get a movie from the Univerisity's film library. She also asks Chema, one of her classmates, to help as everyone knows he has a large collection of violent films.
The nest day, Angela finds her professor dead in a viewing room at the University, steals the tape he was viewing and takes it to Chema. They soon discover a snuff film - a filming of an acutal murder in one take. And, Chema recognizes the girl as a young student who disappeared two years ago. Together, they set out to discover who made the film. But Angela soon discovers that Chema is not exactly who he says. Can she trust him? And just what role does the university have with this video?
A very competent thriller from Spanish director Alejandro Amenabar. The script has enough twists to keep you guessing as to who is on Angela's side and who is telling the truth. Plus, with some excellent filming, you can feel Angela's anxiety as she watches the film for the first time, with the picture contrast turned to black, only hearing the sounds.
The picture quality of this DVD is a bit grainy, but the sound quality is very good. There are some nice extras, too.
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Format: DVD
Thesis is a cinematic journey into the darkness of our own personality where we should be questioning why we want to see violence. The film student Ángela Márquez (Ana Torrent) is establishing her own thesis with the same notion, and she is on a quest for some very violent films for her thesis. She asks her professor, who is supervising her project, if he could help her find some very violent films. She is also asking for help from a fellow film student at her university who is known to have a large collection of violent and brutal films. Her professor finds what she is looking for, but dies from--what it looks like to be--a heart attack from unusual circumstances. Ángela finds the tape that her professor was watching when he suffered from the heart attack, but she cannot bear to watch it, she only listens to the agonizing screams of someone who is being tortured and then murdered. The story is highly suspenseful and keeps the audience on alert from the beginning to the end. In addition, Thesis is a smart, macabre, and distressing cinematic experience that provides an opportunity to contemplate over why violence has an attraction value to the audience.
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