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Bless The Child [DVD] [2001]

Kim Basinger , Jimmy Smits , Chuck Russell    Suitable for 15 years and over   DVD
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
Price: 10.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Bless The Child [DVD] [2001] + Stigmata [DVD] [2000] + End of Days [DVD] [1999]
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Product details

  • Actors: Kim Basinger, Jimmy Smits, Rufus Sewell, Holliston Coleman, Angela Bettis
  • Directors: Chuck Russell
  • Writers: Cathy Cash Spellman, Clifford Green, Ellen Green, Thomas Rickman
  • Producers: Bruce Davey, Lis Kern, Mace Neufeld
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Warner
  • DVD Release Date: 9 July 2001
  • Run Time: 103 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005A3OD
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 70,032 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

From Amazon.co.uk

Bless the Child is one of several identikit supernatural thrillers released in the wake of The Sixth Sense. It's another attempt to update 70s satanic-child flicks such as The Omen, although the twist here is that the child is a force for ultimate good. One winter night, nurse Maggie O'Connor (Kim Basinger) arrives home to find her junkie sister Jenna on her doorstep, destitute and in dire straits, holding a newly born baby wrapped in swaddling. She takes them in, but shortly after Jenna absconds leaving the child, Cody, in Maggie's care. Six years later, Jenna returns with her creepy new husband, Eric (Rufus Sewell), in tow to reclaim Cody, who has grown into a quiet but precocious child with a talent for telekinesis. They promptly disappear leaving Maggie distraught and desperate to recover her adopted child.

The chief problem with Bless the Child lies in its premise. As the film reaches its denouement and a glowing angelic host attempts to save Cody by snuffing out Sewell's satanic presence, one begins to suspect that this is the Hollywood equivalent of a Christian Rock album, attempting religious conversion by stealth and subversion. That said, the movie rolls along at a cracking pace and features several nice touches: Sewell is suitably creepy as the squint-eyed cult leader; Christina Ricci literally loses her head to the forces of darkness in a blink and you'll miss it cameo; and Cody's horrific waking nightmares put a new twist on what really lies at the end of the bed when the lights go out.

On the DVD: An awkward audio commentary pairs director Chuck Russell with visual effects supervisor Joel Hynek. Russell is keen on spelling out the rather obvious motivations of his characters while Hynek relays the difficulties encountered in realising the film's numerous special effects sequences, but it's hardly the kind of stuff that enhances your viewing of the film. A 10-minute featurette contains the standard enthusiastic cast and crew interviews. The inclusion of a theatrical trailer and seven virtually identical TV spots is simply overkill. The clear picture quality of the main feature shows off Peter Menzies' suitably Gothic cinematography, presented in 2.35:1 anamorphic format with 5.1 Dolby Digital sound. --Chris Campion

Product Description

When Maggie (Kim Basinger of L.A. Confidential and Batman) comes home to her apartment building one night, she discovers her estranged, drug-addict sister Jenna huddling in the doorway. Jenna promptly abandons her newborn baby with Maggie, who proceeds to raise the child as her own, despite evidence of autism. But as the little girl, Cody, gets older, what seemed to be autism starts to manifest itself in more startling ways. At the same time, a series of child murders are sweeping the city--murders conducted by a mysterious cult with supernatural matters on their mind. Bless the Child starts promisingly, with subdued, creepy scenes contrasted with more outrageous moments like swarms of computer-generated rats. Fans of religious horror movies will enjoy its twist on The Omen, with an angelic child instead of a demonic one--only the child is still pretty eerie. The special effects go a little overboard towards the end. Jimmy Smits (Price of Glory) costars as an FBI cult chaser, and Rufus Sewell (Dark City, Cold Comfort Farm) gives a pleasantly restrained performance as the charismatic cult leader. Also featuring Christina Ricci as a cult escapee and Ian Holm as a Jesuit priest. --Bret Fetzer

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Little Girl Wanted By Satanics 18 Oct 2001
Format:DVD
The acting here is for the most part reasonably good. Besinger does seem a bit to sedate in many scenes but during the times she is supposed to exhibit maternal concern she rises to the occasion. Smitts is of course believable as the FBI agent that was a seminary student since most of us are predisposed to acceptance from his role in TV's NYPD Blue. There was not enough of his character shown in the film. The story would have been better with more expository information concerning Travis. Bettis as the junkie was well played. She manages to balance sympathy of her character and revolution for her self-destructive behavior as a junkie. The real star in this film is young Ms Coleman. She can convey more emotion with a glance than most adult actors can with a well-written script. She is a natural and I look forward to watching her grow in her craft. This is a difficult thing to accomplish after the success of Haley Joel Osment in the Sixth Sense. Sewell seems to be there just to fill the role. He was far better in something like Dark City as the victim rather than the cult lead here. He has the talent and the potential but did little to explore it here. Christina Ricci is shown in the trailers in a way that she appears to be a major character. She has a bit part that is expository in nature but all too short.
The director for this film was Chuck Russell. His previous films included the 1988 remake of the Blob, The Mask and Nightmare on Elm Street 3. This is perhaps the first time he has had to really present the psychological aspects of the characters to this degree. He has a good eye for framing a scene. There is a sense of balance in his use of camera placement and lighting. The set design captures the feel of New York, something I appreciate as a resident of this city for all my life. He uses the city as a backdrop that demonstrates the conflict of hope and despair central to the story.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Another Battle Between Good And Evil 28 Sep 2003
Format:DVD
Not too disimiliar to the Omen, where it was evil against good in the shape of Damien Thorne the antichrist, Bless The Child, sees the child being Cody a special child, the second coming representing all things good, against the evil, which is off course Satan.
The film opens with ordinary, practical, Maggie O' Connor played superbly by Kim Basinger, when she is visited by her wayward sister Jenna (Angela Bettis). Maggie soon finds out that with her Jenna has brought two shocking revelations. The first being nine day old Cody, the second more horrifying is that her younger sister is a drug addict. Jenna is quick to leave, leaving baby Cody with her older sister.
Six years later, after finding out the child is special and far from being autistic she is placed in a special catholic school. Maggie plays the doting mother and treats the child as her own, that is, until her real mother returns and wants her child back. Only this time she has with her Eric Stark (Rufus Sewell) who plays a charming, yet manipulative step-father. However there is more than meets the eye with this man who is the face behind the popular New Age popular cult.
The police meanwhile have their hands filled with a spate of child abductions and it seems like the cult is behind it. Especially when all the children are aged six and born on the same date. An FBI specialist in occult-related crimes is called in and together he and Maggie face a battle against time to stop Stark and his followers, the time being Easter Eve to save Cody's life.
Maggie first meets the FBI agent when one of the cult members turns up in hospital where Maggie works and she finds out where her sister is. She arranges to meet her and is given Stark's address.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Great Film 7 Feb 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
A bit some what unerving at times but the film is what it is and shows just how far the cults of today can go.
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5.0 out of 5 stars good film 4 Sep 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Brought this for my daughter how loves this kind of film and it certintly did not disappoint she was very pleased
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3.0 out of 5 stars nice catholic occult thriller 27 Aug 2012
By rob crawford TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
This is a fun movie about a special child, in appearance autistic but in fact gifted in uniquely special ways. Her aunt, Kim Bassinger, accepts responsibility for her and, only later, encounters a secretive organization that wants to control the child for its own ends. With a good cop, Smits, she rises to the occasion, in the process reexamining her life and faith.

The strongest point of the film is the acting. Bassinger is not a sex symbol, but a normal woman who is desperate to save a loved one. Her sister is movingly portrayed as a troubled addict, while the evil protagonist is truly frightening. Smits is also excellent as a priest turned cop, having found "another way to serve him." The chemistry of these characters works extremely well. The child is also eminently believable.

In addition, though dated the special effects are quite evocative, esp. at the end. I don't want to give away the plot: suffice it to say that even though I am a non-believer, I was moved, at times terrified, always interested. The atmospherics of the film are especially powerful.

On the weaker side, the plot was a bit far-fetched, full of chance encounters and desperate moves that didn't quite ring true to me.

Recommended.
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