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Pay It Forward [DVD] [2000]

245 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Kevin Spacey, Haley Joel Osment, Helen Hunt, Jay Mohr, Jim Caviezel
  • Directors: Mimi Leder
  • Writers: Catherine Ryan Hyde, Leslie Dixon
  • Producers: Jonathan Treisman, Mary McLaglen, Paddy Carson, Peter Abrams, Robert L. Levy
  • Format: PAL, Subtitled
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Arabic, Romanian, Bulgarian
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: 30 July 2001
  • Run Time: 118 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (245 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005LDEM
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,725 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

School teacher Eugene Simonet (Kevin Spacey) sets his class an assignment: they must each think up a way to make the world a better place. This prompts eleven-year-old Trevor McKinney (Haley Joel Osment) to develop the idea that instead of paying back good deeds, one should instead pay them forward. Putting his idea into practice, Trevor performs an act of kindness for three different people, requiring each of those three to perform three further kindnesses themselves. In doing so he starts a chain reaction which does indeed make the world a better place.

From Amazon.co.uk

Director Mimi Leder's third movie, Pay it Forward, finds her moving into softer, more intimate territory after making her name with a pair of high-budget action spectaculars, The Peacemaker and Deep Impact. This is a would-be heart-warming fable about the power of human kindness, but it's handled with such heavy sententiousness as to suggest that she might do better sticking to the big-bang stuff. Haley Joel Osment (The Sixth Sense, A.I.), son of a struggling lone parent (Helen Hunt) in Las Vegas, is influenced by inspirational teacher Kevin Spacey to come up with a scheme for social betterment: do acts of benevolence to three people, each of whom then does something good for three more, and so on. Inevitably, the lad's first ventures come to grief, but then the idea starts catching on and spreading, and a reporter in Los Angeles gets wind of it. This Readers Digest-ish scenario, treated with great solemnity by Leder and screenwriter Leslie Dixon, leaves the cast struggling to make something individual out of their pre-cooked roles. As you'd expect given such a line-up of acting talent, several scenes come off better than they deserve, and Spacey in particular does wonders with what is, in effect, two Hollywood clichés rolled into one: not just "offbeat inspirational teacher" but "shy, reclusive burns victim" as well. Interesting, too, to see a Vegas-set movie that shows a low-rent side of the city well away from the glitz and glamour of the Strip. But in the end, all else is drowned out by the clatter of predetermined plot-points being hammered home.

On the DVD: Extras include a commentary from Leder, and a 13-minute "making-of" documentary that includes cast and director interviews. None of it, though, tells us much we couldn't have gathered from the movie. The clean widescreen (1.85:1) print and the Dolby 5.1 sound deliver on quality, and come fully into their own in the all-out bravura finale--shameless tear-jerking on a grand scale. --Philip Kemp

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By bernie TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 18 Jun. 2004
Format: DVD
Pay it forwards seems like a simple statement. Is it a form of altruism or does one expect to receive satisfaction if not a direct results from pay it forward? Some people would give the movie stars for the idea without looking at the execution. Others may detract stars because of the primes, calling it a chick flick or some other pansy name.
In execution some see it accomplishing the purpose. While others say that the kid expected a payback, but just did not call it that. It starts off slow and formula. You can second-guess most of the first part of this film with all the stereotypes and clichés. Then it picks up speed and has unique twists, and unexpected reactions.
The ending scenes (which you will never hear from my lips) seem to polarize people further. Some people may go off on some religious tangent while others see that there was no other way to complete the movie. All agree that it is a tear jerkier. I purposely evaded describing any of the scenes as this movie only works if you do not anticipate it. I would recommend watching it once. However I am not sure it is worth collecting.
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 9 Feb. 2002
Format: DVD
Many reviews accuse this film of being emotionally manipulative. Which films aren't?.Whilst it skates very close to what might be described as sentimentality its own special qualities save it from falling into the swamp. Chief among these is the quality of the acting of the three leads.
The ending appears to cause some critics particular difficulty and I have noticed that their reaction to it is sometimes quite emotional considering their criticism of the manipulative 'sentimentality' of the film. I wonder whether this indicates a greater emotional impact than they would care to admit? Possibly a genuine grief reaction? I was certainly taken by surprise by the power of my own reaction, which I can only put down to a tremendous screen 'presence' built up throughout the movie.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By C. R. Williams VINE VOICE on 29 Feb. 2004
Format: DVD
This movie expresses how one soul can touch the masses.
This concept is inspirational! It defines belief, faith and the true spirit of human nature.
Watch it and weep!
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Joan Di on 23 Mar. 2006
Format: DVD
Pay It Forward is one of the most inspirational movies I have ever seen. The most inspiring characteristics of this movie is the actions of one child making a difference in so many lives. Everyone complains about life, but no one really does anything to change it. In "Pay It Forward" you see that one person can really make a difference, not in just one life, but many lives without ever knowing that person. Hayley Joel Osment is an extraordinary actor with such tremendous vision in his role in this movie. Kevin Spacey, gives one of the best performances of his career as the teacher trying to overcome his own insecurities. And Helen Hunt gives a compelling performance in the movie as well.
I think that classrooms around the globe should have students watch "Pay It Forward" to enlighten youngsters to truly make a difference. You never know the true genius that our own children have inside them.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By @GeekZilla9000 TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 6 Feb. 2010
Format: DVD
Shortly after the film opens we see a man stunned by the generosity demonstrated by a complete stranger when he gives him a brand new Jaguar car. The film then jumps back four months and we see the beginning of a chain of events leading up to that moment...

Mr Simonet is a new teacher who sets a piece of interesting homework for the pupils in his class - he asks them to think of something they can do which will change the world. Young Trevor sets his mind on the task and creates a karmic pyramid scheme which will eventually have an impact on himself and those around him. The scheme is a utopian plan where a person does a good deed to three people, they each then do a good deed for three more people, and it continues exponentially.

The film is segmented and we see acts of kindness and characters who seem to have little importance in the plot other than to show how the `pay it forward' scheme works, but as the film develops their significance is revealed. It would have been easy for this film to have been incredibly cheesy, especially when you consider that Trevor comes from a broken home and is trying to get his teacher and mum romantically involved - but the film balances the sentimental with solid characters whose lives are far from perfect. Despite what seems to be a very idealistic scheme to make the world a better place, there's a fair amount of darkness in Pay It Forward.

Kevin Spacey is brilliant as the scarred teacher who hides his disfigurement behind words. He manages to put across the awkwardness and pain of a man who on the surface appears very strong, but underneath lacks confidence.
Read more ›
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Wong Lee on 7 Aug. 2005
Format: DVD
After months of bugging from my friend to watch this film,i finally gave in,i can honestly say now that i wish i'd seen this film earlier,i love it!!!!!!! im not going to say who it stars (as the other reviews have already said it).
At first,i was a little confused how the scenes would link,as the first scene involves a psycho trying to kill his wife,with basically police around trying to stop him,then a nosey reporter comes into the scene wanting to know the latest happenings blah blah blah(sorry)the psycho then rams his car into the reporters car,and escapes now obviously the reporter cant use his car because its totally wrecked.
All of a sudden a strange man appears offering his jaguar or jagwaa as americans pronounce it.then the reporter basically goes on and on asking the man how can he give him his jaguar just like that?then the man just says that he is paying it forward.yea and then from that the film starts on its journey of finding out about paying it forward,then the scene flicks to 4 months earlier,then flicks to present time as well.
Anyway i loved this film,it made me laugh and cry BUCKET loads (my eyes resembled a panda!)i recomend this film 110% if you want to see a real good film. im going to start paying it forward,and so should you!
XX
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