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Defending Your Life (Bilingual) [Import]

4.6 out of 5 stars 54 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: Albert Brooks, Meryl Streep, Rip Torn, Michael Durrell, James Eckhouse
  • Directors: Albert Brooks
  • Writers: Albert Brooks
  • Producers: Herb Nanas, Michael Grillo, Robert Grand
  • Format: AC-3, Dolby, Dubbed, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC, Import
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French, Portuguese, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: PG
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • Release Date: Nov. 9 2010
  • Run Time: 112 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 54 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B0045HCIY0
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Product Description

Product Description

Defending Your Life

Albert Brooks proves there's laughs after death with this almost heavenly comedy--almost heaven as in Judgment City, where recently perished Daniel Miller (Brooks) learns whether he is worthy of advancing to a higher plane of existence or will be sent back to earth for another incarnation.

His fate will be determined in a very special trial, during which scenes from his life are replayed on a giant screen. "Isn't it realistic?" a judge asks. "It makes some people nauseous." While the steely prosecutor (Lee Grant) will try to prove that Daniel failed in life to face his fears and insecurities, his glad-handing, reassuring defender (Rip Torn) will argue on behalf of this hapless "little brain" (a Judgment City term for residents of earth).

As Woody Allen did for the future in Sleeper, so does Brooks create an original vision of the afterlife. In Judgment City, white-robed residents can eat as much as they want without guilt or fear of gaining weight. They can also visit the Past Lives Pavilion, where they are greeted by a hologram of--who else--Shirley MacLaine.

Daniel finds himself touched by an angel. Meryl Streep gives an enchanting performance as Julia, whose exemplary life is in stark contrast to his. During her trial, the court watches in rapture as she saves not only children, but a cat from a burning building.

Daniel and Julia are a match made in Judgment City, but first Daniel must summon up the courage to express his true feelings for her, or she will surely advance without him.

Defending Your Life is Brooks's most ambitious film and, with Mother, his most accessible. --Donald Liebenson --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
A perplexing movie in that I don't really think it is all that good. Yet I continually come back to it. This is one understated movie from beginning to end. A couple of unexpected bumps would have been a welcome relief. It is a fairly ingenious plot but Brooks does little to develop it. There is nothing special about the characters, the acting or the humour. You have no real reason to cheer for the Brooks character, the Streep character is boring and, far too often, the movie settles for banal and effortless chuckles. Given the premise, there is plenty of opportunity for Brooks to say something profound, wry or witty. But he never does. The ending is pedestrian and devoid of insight. Heaven seems to be the most mundane place possible. I'm not sure I want to go there.
And yet, I have watched this movie many times and, everytime, catch myself sitting on the couch with the most idiotic smile on my face throughout the film. For that reason, and the fact that I invariably spend a couple of days afterwards wondering how my life would stand up to the same type of scrutiny, the film gets 4 stars. So, maybe in some devilishly subtle way, the movie does work after all. Despite everything I've said, I like it. I just don't know why.
While I'm here, someone help me out. In his review, does LP Quagmire really think Mel Brooks and Albert Brooks are the same person? Or have I been punk'd by a brilliant piece of sham idiocy?
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Format: DVD
Albert Brooks is one of the most talented writers and actors around. I have been a fan of his for years and I believe this movie is a perfect example of his comedic genius. It's terrific!
Brooks plays the part of Daniel Miller, a young professional with everything to live for, who is suddenly killed in a senseless accident. He then finds himself arriving in Judgement City where he is expected to defend his life, or rather, the manner in which he has lived it. Only then will the "powers that be" decide if he is ready to move on to the next level or if he will have to return to life on earth to give it another try. Daniel is surprised to learn that the things he will be judged on are much different than he expected!
Albert Brooks has a very neurotic, self-deprecating sense of humor and he is wonderful in this movie! Meryl Streep is lovely as Julia, the woman that Daniel becomes involved with during the course of his "trial." The contrast between her experience in Judgement City and Daniel's makes for some of the funnier moments of the movie. And while Brooks is definitely the star of this show, Rip Torn steals more than his fair share of laughs in his role as Daniel's defense attorney.
This is an unforgettable comedy whose basic message is that life is full of risks and sometimes we have to overcome our fears and make a few giant leaps if we want to be happy. Do yourself a favor and watch it soon!
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Format: DVD
I must give credit where it is due. I actually found out about the Defending Your Life movie after viewing an Internet Movie database comment for the Astral City: A Spiritual Journey movie. I rented it through one of my amazon accounts for $1.99, but plan to eventually purchase the dvd. The movie centers around a Los Angeles advertising executive who dies and goes to a heaven that includes some of the best earth inspired amenities (such as top hotel service, cooked restaurant meals, and recreation such as golfing). He has only a short time to enjoy this unexpected nirvana due to the fact that he has to defend himself on why he is ready to move on to the next heavenly realm instead of being forced to be reincarnated back on earth. The film stars Albert Brooks (upcoming 2016 movie: Finding Dory)Meryl Streep (Mamma Mia!, upcoming November 2014 film: Into The Woods )and Rip Torn (Men In Black, Men in Black II)During his stay, he falls in love with a woman who returns his feelings. Defending Your Life is a fun comedic film that lightheartedly pokes at the idea of what may happen if a spirit is also evaluated on how much they lived their life by trusting their heart versus fear.
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Format: DVD
I really like Albert Brooks. His comedy films are so inventive and funny that it makes other comic fantsies pale in comparison. Having not seen Defending Your Life yet, I went out and rented it.
I loved this movie! It's about a man who dies and goes to "Judgement City", and has to defend the actions he took in his life. Some of the lines are so funny too! It gets richer and richer through each viewing. Plus, you'll probably end up watching this a few times, because you'll want to show it to your friends.
Albert Brooks is great as always, but it was a joy to see Meryl Streep. She adds so much to her role and creates some nice scenes with Brooks. However, I LOVED the ending. It was one of the most satisfying I'd seen in a while, and it made me feel great inside.
I still can't believe Albert Brooks writes, directs, and stars in most of his works. I hope he continues his creative stretch for many more films to come.
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Format: VHS Tape
Released in 1991, "Defending Your Life" is one of those rare movies that is at once funny, intelligent and, yes, profound.
Writer, director and star Albert Brooks plays Daniel Miller - an advertising executive who finds himself driving headlong into a bus on his birthday. Waking up dead in the perpetually sunny and 74-degree Judgment City, Daniel discovers that he must "defend" the life he lived on Earth - a process which consists of reviewing selected days from his life to determine the extent to which he overcame fear and lived genuinely as a result. If he is found by the two judge panel to have sufficiently conquered fear, he is allowed to pass on to a higher plane, if not he will return to Earth to try again. He is assigned a Defender (played with amiable bluster by Rip Torn) and must argue against a steely Prosecutor (Lee Grant). During the course of his stay in Judgment City, Daniel meets and falls in love with Julia (the lovely Meryl Streep), another recently deceased arrival. Without revealing too much more, it is sufficient to say that the love Daniel develops for Julia is crucial to the outcome of his "trial".
This movie was a delight to watch! The humor ranges from wry observation about the human condition to pop culture sight gags such as Shirley Maclaine hosting the Past Lives Pavilion (a Judgment City attraction in which visitors can glimpse their past life incarnations). The philosophy of the film, the idea that fear is a crucial element to be worked through while we are here, resonated deeply with me. It is fear in one form or another, after all, which prevents us from leading genuine lives - the fear of death or the fear of defying Societal Will ("the Dragon of Thou Shalt", to quote Joseph Campbell) and being truly ourselves, for example.
"Defending Your Life" is the perfect antidote to the flood of moronic comedies that have been so popular of late, a movie that will make you laugh and, perhaps, think.
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