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NEW Primal Fear (DVD)

4.4 out of 5 stars 71 customer reviews

Price: CDN$ 5.65
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Product Details

  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: R
  • Studio: Paramount
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 71 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B001NY4X46
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #117,674 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)
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Product Description


Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: VHS Tape
Retrospectively the most interesting thing about Primal Fear is that it saw the first movie of actor of a generation Edward Norton. However, this is a movie that would be worth seeing anyway. The plot has Gere as a hotshot attorney who defends 19 year-old Aaron (Norton) after he is captured running away from the murder scene of the a bishop who he claims to have been like a father to him. Seeming like an impossible case to win, Gere originally revels only in the prestige something so high-profile offers him, until Aaron is diagnosed with having multiple personality dissorder.
The cast is definitely the best thing about this movie though. Gere is competent though not an obvious choice as the lawyer, yet the succession of breakthrough roles is very impressive indeed. Norton is probably one of the most versatile and compelling actors I have ever seen on screen although strangely enough is only just starting to be recognised as such, mostly choosing if not indie movies then certainly ones that are often outside of the glare of Hollywood (excepting the recent Red Dragon). Anyone who has seen Fight Club, Rounder or in particular the astounding, electric performance he puts in for American History X, can testify to this. Primal Fear is no exception, and his performance here is probably second only to his in American History X. There's also an appearance from Frances McDormand before fame hit, as well as Maura Tierny (ER's Abby, who is surely just waiting for her big break anytime soon), both in medium roles. In addition, Laura Linney proves that she has more than it takes to become a leading lady in a largely unrewarding role.
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Format: VHS Tape
Martin Vale (Richard Gere) eats, sleeps and breathes the law. As a defense attourney he is feared and hated by every prosecutor in Chicago. Why? Because he's that good. He's known for his rough tactics as well as his brilliant performances in the courtroom. He loves being in court as much as he loves seeing his name in print and his face on the evening news. He believes "that a person is innocent until proven guilty" and believes in the basic goodness in people. He simply loves the law.
When Chicago's beloved Archbishop Rushman is stabbed to death (78 times) in his rectory and a blood-soaked alter boy (Edward Norton) is arrested as the prime and only suspect, Vail can't resist being the first to offer his services - pro bono. Aaron Stampler is the 19-year-old alter boy who claims he didn't kill the Archbishop. He says he was in the room at the time of the murder, but that there was a third person there and he blacked out. His stuttering Kentucky mountain accent and angelic boy scout look is only the beginning to a great defense.
Janet Venable (Laura Linney), a former girlfriend of Vail, is the prosecutor assigned to this case. I think she's looking forward to butting heads with Vail again. Her bosses want the death penalty and nothing less.
Based on the novel of murder and suspense by William Diehl, we've got a truly star-studded jackpot with "Primal Fear." The characters were so well written in the book, it must not have been too difficult to convert to film. It's easy to love and/or hate each character.
Richard Gere is always brilliant, putting everything he's got into each role. This character, Martin Vail, reminds me of his Edward Lewis in "Pretty Woman.
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Format: VHS Tape
First off, "Primal Fear" is an excellent movie, and shows why Richard Gere is such an underrated actor. His performance as Marty Vail is right on target, and is probably the best work he has done in films. Laura Linney, Andre Braugher and Frances McDormand were top notch as well. Even Alfre Woodard's minor role as the judge was brilliant. And of course, we can't overlook the Oscar-nominated performance of Edward Norton. I don't remember who won, but Norton should have. It's an understated, complex performance. Notice his eyes when he's the soft and gentle Aaron; then notice them again when Roy emerges. What a stunning turnabout!
Now, if you've read William Diehl's book upon which this movie is based, you have the distinct benefit of understanding a lot more about Stampler's background and driving forces. Unfortunately, the movie could not provide a real motivation for Stampler's murder of the archbishop. If the movie has shortcoming, it's that it never really explains why Aaron killed him. And the book has a lot more involving the alternate Roy that also helps deepen the complexity of Aaron/Roy. The chilling ending, however, in both the book and the movie, still packs a tremendous wallop. If you liked this movie, read the entire Marty Vail series by Diehl; if you think Aaron was bad in this one, wait till you see what he does in the future!
Oh, by the way, Gere and Linney's relationship was one of the most honest I've seen in some while; wish we could have seen more of why they really had "split," so to speak.
A great movie, though.
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