Empire of the Sun [Blu-ray] (Sous-titres franais) (Bilingual)
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Empire of the Sun (Blu-ray Book)
Roundly dismissed as one of Steven Spielberg's least successful efforts, this very underrated film poignantly follows the World War II adventures of young Jim (a brilliant Christian Bale), caught in the throes of the fall of China. What if you once had everything and lost it all in an afternoon? What if you were only 12? Bale's transformation, from pampered British ruling-class child to an imprisoned, desperate, nearly feral boy, is nothing short of stunning. Also stunning are exceptional sets, cinematography, and music (the last courtesy of John Williams) that enhance author J.G. Ballard's and screenwriter Tom Stoppard's depiction of another, less familiar casualty of war.
In a time when competitors were releasing "comedic," derivative coming-of-age films, Empire of the Sun stands out as an epic in the classic David Lean sense--despite confusion or perceived competition with the equally excellent The Last Emperor (also released in 1987, and also a coming-of-age in a similar setting). It is also a remarkable testament to, yes, the human spirit. And despite its disappointing box-office returns, Empire of the Sun helped to further establish Spielberg as more than a commercial director and set the standard, tone, and look for future efforts Schindler's List and Saving Private Ryan. --N.F. Mendoza --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
I regret to say that I am one of those people who had not seen this movie since it's release in 1987. Only this year did i get around to it, all this time mistakenly confusing it with The Last Emperor which totally eclipsed this movie by winning most of the honors at the Oscars. However, as soon as i started to watch Empire of the Sun, i was immediately taken in by the story and the characters, especially by Christian Bale's stellar performance, for any age. This is by far the best war movie for me, as well as one of the best emotional responsive one. Very rarely does a movie get to me. This one made me weep every time at the end. And i have seen it well over 30 times now!!!
Also, one of the consequences of watching this movie was that i became a huge fan of Christian Bale. I am his age, but i had never seen any of his movies, except some excerpts from Batman Begins. But after watching Empire of the Sun, my curiosity got the best of me and i wondered what other movies he had been in, and if his performances were as good. I have seen almost all of his movies, and he is truly the best there is. One of the most versatile actors ever.
When the film ended, I had forgotton how flawless the movie is. This was not only a young boy's coming of age story, but a coming of age for Spielberg as a Director as well. This was his 1st film (up to that point) without a real "Gee Whiz" element to it The performance by Bale is outstanding. As the viewer, you really get a sense of what it must have been like to be held captive in that prison. The scene where Jim runs back to the comforts of his home, shortly after being separated from his Mom and Dad, only to find it ransacked, and his parents gone, is particularly effective. The scene is both horrible and funny at the same time The film also boasts some fine production design and a good film score by John Williams. The film was the first to be shot in the People's Republic of China and eagled-eyed viewers will note a supporting role from funny man Ben Stiller.
The only extra feature of note on the DVD is, a good 45 minute documentary, made at the time of production. The documentary is narrated by Actor Martin Sheen. When this movie was released, I remember the reviews being somewhat mixed. That is a shame.Read more ›
Film critic Ernest Rister has written a brilliant review of "Empire of the Sun" where he details the unreality of the movie, how the viewer cannot trust what we are seeing on screen because it is the impressions of a 12 year old child and Spielberg gives us enough hints and allusions and images in the film that with a little bit of work, the viewer should be able to figure this out. Since I had read Mr Rister's review more than a year before I finally saw this movie, I tried to keep that knowledge in mind when I was seeing "Empire of the Sun" for the first time.
"Empire of the Sun" is the story of Jim (Christian Bale), a 12 year old British boy living in China with his parents. The movie is set during World War II when Japan was attacking China. During a raid on the city they are living in, Jim and his parents are trying to escape when they are separated. We don't know what happens to his parents, but Jim ends up in a Japanese internment camp. Jim meets an American named Basie (John Malkovich), whom he befriends and sort of tags along after. "Empire of the Sun" deals with the isolation and loneliness of this one boy who is quickly losing his innocence. That is really the heart of "Empire of the Sun", the loss of Jim's innocence in the midst of World War II.
The one thing that I struggled with was not taking this film at face value, that the events on screen are not truly happening, but rather how Jim is remembering them. They are happening as a twelve year old boy is seeing them, heightened and slightly distorted. I did not catch the clues that Mr. Rister wrote about, but I suspect you have to be studying "Empire of the Sun" to really grasp what Steven Spielberg is putting into the movie. Fortunately, "Empire of the Sun" works on two levels: as a straightforward film, and also on the level that Rister discovered and Spielberg intended.
Most recent customer reviews
A most « poetic » movie. The bOy's performance is great! And Malkhovic marvelous, as usual! Insparing. I watched it 3 times, and I read the biographical book par J.G. Ballard. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Claude R. Simard
I reacently purchased this video to replace my origianl copy on VHS. Not having seen the film in a long time I was stunned to find it even more moving than I remembered. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Booklover
Fantastic movie bears and possibly even demands repeated viewing. Blu-Ray is worth it, excellent quality all around.Published 7 months ago by Scissorpaws
One of the few movies I've seen that improve upon the book!Published 9 months ago by doug zdanivsky
Great Steven Spielberg's WWII drama in China. Storyline, actors, cinematographyare ssecond to none, he is the greatest director that is very hard copy on the big screen and now one... Read morePublished 14 months ago by Paul Palik
A used DVD that works. Good price, fast delivery and you only use it once, so it's worth it!Published 14 months ago by Anton Kranjcec
astonishingly great movie....I just happen to be same age as the 'leading'' boy...I also had WW2 experiences and relate closely to those very dramatic years... Read morePublished 14 months ago by Bob Pearson
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