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CompleteMartialArts.com - Sleepers

List Price: $14.98
Our Price: $6.49
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Manufacturer: Warner Home Video
Starring: Robert De Niro, Kevin Bacon, Brad Pitt, Jason Patric, Billy Crudup
Directed By: Barry Levinson
Average Customer Rating: Average rating of 4.0/5Average rating of 4.0/5Average rating of 4.0/5Average rating of 4.0/5Average rating of 4.0/5

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Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
Audience Rating: R (Restricted)
Binding: DVD
Brand: Warner Brothers
EAN: 9780790729398
Format: Anamorphic
ISBN: 0790729393
Label: Warner Home Video
Manufacturer: Warner Home Video
Number Of Items: 1
Picture Format: Anamorphic Widescreen
Publisher: Warner Home Video
Region Code: 1
Release Date: 1997-04-01
Running Time: 147
Studio: Warner Home Video
Theatrical Release Date: 1996-10-18

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Editorial Reviews:

You hurt the neighborhood you pay the price. Thats how it is in new yorks hells kitchen of the 1960s. For four pals growing up there thats how it will always be. Fifteen years after terrible events scar their lives they are ready to even the score. Studio: Warner Home Video Release Date: 12/09/2008 Starring: Brad Pitt Kevin Bacon Run time: 148 minutes Rating: R Director: Barry Levinson

Spotlight customer reviews:

Customer Rating: Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5
Summary: Based on a True Story
Comment: Sleepers made headlines even before its release when claims arose that writer Lorenzo Carcaterra had lied about the book being "Based on a True Story." This seems redundant given the BROAD nature of the phrase but never-the-less some cared more about the accuracy of the film than the message that it delivered.

An all-star cast of Robert De Niro, Kevin Bacon, Brad Pitt, Jason Patric, Dustin Hoffman & Minnie Driver et al each provide a unique piece to the overall picture. De Niro's performance of Father Bobby is very convincing. He is the father figure to a lot of the potentially lost youth in Brooklyn.

The message of the movie is simple, these things happen to children because the system is a failure. The ending is a metaphor and it is clear...If justice is indeed blind, then those that are failed by the system can have their wrongs righted by beating the system. This is a great movie to say the least.

Customer Rating: Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5
Summary: sleepres
this is great movie it have great actor every body deserve thumb up

Customer Rating: Average rating of 1/5Average rating of 1/5Average rating of 1/5Average rating of 1/5Average rating of 1/5
Summary: bottom of the barrel
Comment: Like a particularly bad segment of the already-bad Dateline, this snoozefest proves that top talent and production values do not ANYTHING make. Scenes go on forever and the film is incredibly self conscious as to its time period. A mess.

Customer Rating: Average rating of 2/5Average rating of 2/5Average rating of 2/5Average rating of 2/5Average rating of 2/5
Summary: Dealing With Child Abuse: Can "Street" Revenege Or Manipulating Legal/Authorative Systems Help The Abused?
Comment: Because films are frequently the closest contact people have with certain subjects, one must look at how this film approaches a very real and socially escalating problem: "child abuse" (as well as the acknowledged, but never dealt with "spousal" and "familial abuses") and the consequences of such "abuse." Let me state for the record that even though I have taught numerous classes on this subject, and frequently in disagreement with my peers, I find it repulsive that we as a society and nation belittle reality with the term "abuse." It is my belief that there is nothing "abusive" about another person assaulting or terrorizing another person, and that it is demeaning, stigmatizing, stereotyping, and trivializing to say it is "abuse." Moreover, I would argue that it is a consequence of not recognizing that the story in the film is about assault and battery, and the terrorizing--not "abuse"-- of children (and others), that the makers and stars of the film were unsure how to present the story in more poignant and dramatic fashion.

Despite one's position ("abuse" versus assault/terrorism) on the subject mater of the story, the script and theme of the film--which really is more about how to "deal" with the effects of such actions--can only be described as cynical and pessimistic at best; and, more realistically, illegal/morally corrupt and vigilantism. Because, as far as I am concerned, what the film is about, when the movie ends, is that revenge is sweeter than either the victim's health or justice, let alone how to realistically deal with the problem. That is, the film condones the notion that the "best" thing one can do as a victim is break the law themselves, exacting revenge on their perpetrators while maintaining the illusion they and others see: that nothing ever happened to them. The failure of such an approach is alluded to at the end of the movie--two of the boys (victims) get killed acting out just as they were treated, and the two other boys become (depressed) lost and lonely in society. BUT I question how evident this is to most viewers. Indeed, my gut reaction to the film the first time I watched it was: "Yeah, that's how you deal with sicko child predators: kill them!" AND this is the movies "undoing," while it is also what gives the film a feel good dramatic effect on viewers.

As a society, most people "feel good" when revenge--especially when concealed in the imagery of "justice"--is the conclusion of the story. So what if the prosecutor broke numerous laws to lose the case; that a priest committed perjury (which is acceptable, apparently, since the president can do so without consequences); two "hardened" criminals--who essentially admitted to killing the guard (Kevin Bacon's character)--are found "innocent" of murder; and another man/guard is killed "street" style by a drug lord? In a society that refuses to acknowledge the true nature of "abuse," and therefore coddles said criminals (as well as allowing so called "abuse" to be used as an excuse for the victim's own criminal actions), people--myself at times, as well--need an outlet to feel like something is being done.

Movies (and other media) such as "Sleepers" provide that relief; and in doing so, I think, conceive a dramatic and satisfying exposure to one of our greatest threats to social order, in the movie "Sleepers." As such, this allows the viewer to empathize with the characters and theme of "Sleeper," and come away satisfied or really liking the movie. I think "Sleepers" also allows the viewer to (incorrectly) believe that the problem is not as bad as it is, and that it is being dealt with by others. As such, "Sleepers" essentially provides the viewer a sense that "Yes, 'abuse' is out there, but it is being dealt with by "someone" else; so who cares?"

However, it also keeps the viewer from asking more important questions: Does such revenge help the victims? Does such revenge help prevent the problem? Why are we as individuals so willing to view such violence and crime as nothing more than "abuse?" How is child assault and terrorism (aka "abuse") effecting other people, in addition to the victims and perpetrators--that is, to what degree has this problem disrupted/destroyed families, relationships, jobs, beliefs, and other socio-cultural aspects of our lives?

I purchased this movie based on two factors: the amazing cast and other reviews praising how well the film was made, glossing over the subject matter. Unfortunately, the cast--for the most part--gave mediocre performances relative to their past portrayals in other films; although, collectively, they did well enough to keep the drama moving forward. As such, "Sleepers" is an average movie, with an amazing cast of stars who, on the face of it, give solid performances; but really just "walk" their way through their scenes, being themselves. But, then again, an average performance by Robert Deniro or Dustin Hoffman is often superior to a really great performance my lesser actors.

Update--1 July 2008: If this review was not helpful to you, I would appreciate learning the reason(s) so I can improve my reviews. My goal is to provide help to potential buyers, not get into any arguments. So, if you only disagree with my opinion, could you please say so in the comments and not indicate that the review was not helpful. Thanks.

Customer Rating: Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5
Comment: "Sleepers" is an exceptionally fine and disturbing movie. The cast is superb. Kevin Bacon does a fearsome job in a thoroughly repellent role. Robert De Niro plays a warmly sympathetic, street-knowledgable priest, and Brad Pitt does a very compelling job with his role as a prosecutor who sets up an important payback. Dustin Hoffman could not be better in his portrayal of a disgruntled, unsuccessful defense attorney. And he's nothing to look at in the role. It's one of his finest performances. "Sleepers" is a rewarding, haunting movie.

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