Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Empire Falls Vol 1|
Every Small Town Has a Big Story
Director: Fred Schepisi
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Vol 1...You're Hooked!
L. Shirley | fountain valley, ca United States | 06/30/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"What a superb mini-series this was. I don't have cable,and never had the opportunity to view this one. So when I found this at my local video store and saw the cast, I figured it had to be worth a try. Other times, I have bought a film solely on the promise of a great ensemble, but have on occasion been disappointed(anyone remember "Dr T. and the Women?, yeah I thought not!). This one though, has the stars shining brightly, and a story that will hypnotize you from first frame to last. It stars Ed Harris, and here's the rest...Paul Newman,who will make you smile in every frame he is in, Joanne Woodward(I only wish those two would have had some screen time together), Philip Seymour Hoffman, Helen Hunt, Robin Wright Penn, Aidan Quinn,Theresa Russell,Dennis Farina, William Fitchtner and Estelle Parsons...WOW! I would also make mention of the younger stars Lou Taylor Pucci and Danielle Panabaker as the ones to watch for in the future. And oh yeah, all these greats were wonderfully directed by Fred Schepisi(Mr.Baseball/The Russia House). I just viewed it for the 2nd time and loved it as much this time around!
The story, based on the novel by Richard Russo, grabbed me right from the start. A small town in Maine is the setting, but this could be anywhere in America. On one side of town, the rich, powerful owners of what seem to be everything and everybody in Empire Falls. The Whitings. Woodward is the matriarch, and has control over the everyday workers in the town. Ed Harris is Miles Roby, your everyday middle aged man. Mrs Whiting seems to have a particularly tight hold on him. When Mrs. Whiting says jump, he says how high? He's an easy going guy, and seems to just flow with the program, while everyone around him, his father, his ex-wife, his brother, his daughter,the town sheriff, and even the regular customers at the restaurant he's been running for 25 years for Mrs. W., all have some drama going on in their lives.We wonder why he puts up with things as they are? What kind of hold does everyone have over him? His life is a puzzlement, and as he flashes back to his childhood, the pieces come together. What will it take for Miles to become his own man?
The answers to the questions, come beautifully in this film. It seemed to say it's never to late for anyone to bloom. The huge cast worked incredibly well together. Just like real life, it had some of everything. Some humor, some family drama, a tragedy, and of course love. Exquisite photography of the location surroundings, and charming music also added greatly to the series.
This series may be purchased as two separate volumes, or both together. This is Vol 1 only(ASIN B000G1JXSS) and it will hook you right away. Vol 2 may be found easily by entering the ASIN of B000G6M3F8 into the search or B0009W5IMO to order them both together. You can also just enter Empire Falls into the search and all 3 sites and the book will come up. Check for best prices, to see which way is best to order. Ordering the set from the outside sellers, seems to be the best way to go at this time(plus you would only have to pay shipping once instead of twice). If you decide to go through an outside merchant here, check with them to make sure you are getting the volume you want or the set if that is what you want..
The DVD picture is gorgeous and presented in a letterboxed format(16:9). There is Audio Commentary(on both parts).Vol 2. has a making of featurette as well. The sound is excellent in 5.1 (with the choice of 2.0 in English and Spanish), and there are subtitles for the film only(not the features) in English, French and Spanish. It is rated TV-14.
There are 8 chapters(total for both Discs) and an epilogue, and I tried, but couldn't stop after just one!
Enjoy this fabulous cast and story!....Laurie
Faithful screen translation
S. Seymour | Alexandria, VA United States | 02/02/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"First a warning to those who don't pay attention, like me. This offering clearly indicates Vol 1. Others offered aren't so clear that there are two volumes to this HBO miniseries, which must be separately ordered and purchased. Dumb idea. Anyway, I had read the book but missed this miniseries. This effort does a very good job of capturing the spirit and many of the specifics of the book. Much of the appeal of the author, Richard Russo, lies in his wonderful turns of phrase and descriptions of the mundane and not so mundane aspects of everyday life, especially small-town life. That's hard to translate to screen and does tend to make the pace somewhat deliberate. As usual, the book is superior, but the TWO DVDs are well worth seeing."