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Sahara [DVD] [2005]

Matthew McConaughey , Steve Zahn , Rainn Wilson    Suitable for 12 years and over   DVD
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (72 customer reviews)
Price: £2.67 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Matthew McConaughey, Steve Zahn, Penélope Cruz, Lennie James, William H. Macy
  • Directors: Rainn Wilson
  • Producers: Clint Mansell, Stephanie Austin, Howard Baldwin, Karen Baldwin
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Italian, Spanish
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: Paramount Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 22 Aug 2005
  • Run Time: 124 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (72 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000A3DB7G
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 18,786 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



It took more than 25 years for another Clive Cussler novel to come to the screen after the financial and critical disaster of Raise the Titanic. Based on Cussler's oddly landlocked adventure, Sahara finds the author's hero, Dirk Pitt (Matthew McConaughey)--a sort of all-American, high seas variation of James Bond--in Africa looking for a Confederate ironclad ship that impossibly might have ended up there. Soon he and his faithful sidekick Al Giordino (Steve Zahn) are lost in another adventure, discovering a deadly contaminate being tracked by a beautiful doctor (Penelope Cruz). The results are checkered: there's no one outstanding sequence, but the action is enjoyably varied, while the thrills are mild yet not bombastic or gratuitous. The cast are all adept in their roles, yet the only one who sparkles is the scene-stealing Zahn, cast against type; McConaughey, who also produced, knows he might be starting a franchise character and plays it safe. He's never as dangerous as Cussler's hero is on the page (except in his introduction), and in fact, the whole movie plays towards comedy, infused by a soundtrack of 70s FM radio monsters. Cussler fanatics may not like this lighter fare, especially with the archeological portion (a Cussler strong point) not fully embraced, but with a very, very likable cast and colorful settings, Sahara is a kindler, gentler action film that has all the elements in place for a better, more memorable franchise if anyone cares to attempt it. --Doug Thomas,

Product Description

DVD Paramount Pictures, Region 2; Region 3 2005 124 mins

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
I don't mind a bit of Cussler now and again. He writes entertaining if undemanding page-turners, that are perfect fare for a long flight or lounging around on a beach.

I was therefore curious to see how this Cussler yarn transferred to the big screen.

Well, Sahara is certainly undemanding - the goodies and boo-hiss baddies are all very clearly demarcated early on. It has to be said though that Matthew McConaughey as our hero Dirk Pitt, bears only a passing resemblance to Cussler's creation. In the novels, Pitt comes over as far more mature and with a hint of military or secret agent about him. Let's face it, Pitt is James Bond-lite. The designer-stubbled, longish haired medallion man that McConaughey gives us, simply didn't feel like Pitt and will probably annoy the Cussler purists no end!

No matter! Let's discuss the plot in some detail now. Pitt saves the world from environmental disaster, discovers a hoard of Civil War gold and gets the girl. Errrm ... that's about it!

Doesn't sound like much does it? And yet, the movie still kinda works, if you're in the right frame of mind. Just go with the flow and you will have to acknowledge that Sahara is beautifully filmed, amidst spectacular landscapes and with expertly selected dynamic camera angles. The high-speed boat pursuit and the action atop the solar tower, although somewhat derivative, were undeniably spectacular. The improbability of some of the stunts is such that they would probably make Indiana Jones gulp with disbelief! What the hell though - this has no pretensions to be oscar material and the 110 minutes flew past in a blur of sumptuous colours, action and amiable camaraderie between McConaughey and his wisecracking sidekick Steve Zahn.

Great rocking soundtrack too! Oh and Ms Cruz is certainly rather decorative!

If you don't expect too much, you may well be pleasantly surprised.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost, but not entirely, unlike the book 9 Aug 2005
Over the years I've read all the Dirk Pitt novels, they can be a little slow to start, sometimes a little too explanatory - but they deliver the goods in the action department and I find them gripping and enjoyable.
Unfortunately Sahara is a very good book - one of the best, but the film although entertaining, leaves me wishing it had more.
Several elements have been rewritten, a lot has been ignored.
The part of Eva has been rewritten just to keep Penelope Cruz on screen, playing a character that in the book spends most of her time imprisoned in a slave mine.
The casting is a way better effort than Raise the Titanic (which I vainly hope will be remade sometime to do that soundtrack justice!), Matthew McConaughey and Steve Zahn get close to the Lancaster and Cravatt style partnership of Pitt and Giordino.
Action wise, it is fun, yes you've seen it all before, but it does not let you down.
I will happily buy this DVD, but I hope the other books that the studio has contracted to adapt can capture the book's atmosphere better. I certainly hope the relationship with Cussler himself can be repaired.
I do believe that, treated correctly these stories rival the Bond movie franchise, and I look forward to the next one.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars better each time you see it 8 Mar 2014
Took a while to get into first time seeing it, giving it another chance helps greatly and the action scenes are exciting and well handled..McConaughey is always watchable and the comedy sidekick not as annoying as most characters of this type, story is a bit meh!..but like the history of the stroy rather than the environmental plot.
When it starts it mentions this is "A Clive Cussler-Dirk PItt Adventure" if they were planning on making more, i'm guessing it didn't do as well as they would have hoped and scrapped the idea...shame really.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars What a Complete Load of old Cobblers! 24 Mar 2012
By Tim Kidner TOP 500 REVIEWER
'Sahara' is noisy, makes little sense and a bit too long. However, it gate-crashes all known logic that tells you it's tosh by being downright entertaining.

If you saw only the beginning and the end, you'd swear it was a different film entirely and even a completely different genre! From the U.S Civil War to James Bond style shoot-outs on a sci-fi set? You bet.

In between there is Penelope Cruz, being totally unconvincing as a world health officer and Matthew McConnuahey as a mixture of bad Indiana Jones and 007. More of the former, actually. Steve Zahn pops up as some sidekick or another but does so humorously and energetically, which is all that matters. There's a wicked dictator listed in the credits but I've already forgotten who that was - or what he looked like. Or she.

For rattling nonsense this is just fine. For anything else, look elsewhere!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Watchable but forgettable 25 July 2008
The producers of Sahara might have done well to have considered how well the previous attempt to bring one of Clive Cussler's Dirk Pitt novels to the screen went before pouring a hundred or so million dollars into it even before Cussler launched an ill-fated lawsuit against the end product. While it's not as dull as Raise the Titanic, it didn't exactly set the box-office on fire let alone kickstart a new Indiana Jones-style franchise about the maritime treasure hunter that the studio so desperately wanted. It's not that hard to figure out why. Matthew "Naked Bongos" McConaughey and Penelope Cruz make for an unsurprisingly bland pair of leads, not helped by a plodding script that, after a terrific prologue in the American Civil War, pretty much traipses along with only a single boat chase to hold your attention until an action-packed last half hour finally wakes the film up. The outlandish premise - McConaughey's hunting a Civil War ironclad ship in the Sahara desert while Cruz is tracking the source of a new disease that threatens to poison the continent and beyond - works rather better than it should and the film's other MaGuffin, a solar-powered toxic waste disposal plant, must have had the Bond people kicking themselves that they didn't think of it first, but not well enough to make up for the lack of any chemical reactions among the cast. Perfectly watchable but also perfectly forgettable stuff.

It's worth noting that Paramounts region 2 PAL DVD drops all of the extras from the US disc (two commentaries, featurettes and deleted scenes) and contains only the film itself.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie.
I like the movie, good quality recording. Recommended supplier. Particularly liked that there is no bad language. Areal adventure for the family.
Published 16 days ago by Shumi
3.0 out of 5 stars Fantasya
The book is beter than te movie. This is maybe a common saying, but true for this movie adaptation. Ones houd read the Clive Cussler Brooks,
Published 4 months ago by Luc Schevernels
4.0 out of 5 stars Great film
If you are looking for a good film with a little action, comedy & a tiny bit of romance to curl up and watch then this is the film for you. Read more
Published 6 months ago by lou
5.0 out of 5 stars A very good Adventure Movie
OK forget about the novel, this is a good adventure movie good cast and story. True it will not win any Oscars, but it is a good movie that keeps you watching to the end. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Michael Cowell
4.0 out of 5 stars A good film ruined by a book
First of all, let me say that I have never even heard of the book that `Sahara' is based on. I have no idea how accurate the film is, or whether the actors portraying the... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Albatross
4.0 out of 5 stars Popcorn entertainment
This is simply an entertaining popcorn flick nothing more. Nothing strenuous just a straight forward plot with a fair bit of action and adventure thrown. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Mr. P Patching
5.0 out of 5 stars Sahara (DVD) & Book
The film was every bit as good as the book. Brilliant! love all Clive Cussler books Pity there isn't more made into films.
Published 14 months ago by A BRAMWELL
5.0 out of 5 stars Sahara
A good rip roaring adventure that could be watched by all the family. It had it all, good adventure story, humour and great scenery what more could you ask
Published 23 months ago by M. Dyer
5.0 out of 5 stars DVD Sahara
You were enthralled by Clive Cussler blockbuster novel. You will be delighted with this excellent picture adaptation at a very attractive price.
Published on 19 Sep 2011 by cdonadille
4.0 out of 5 stars a pleasant surprise
I'm a Cussler fan - there, my guilty secret is out.

Sahara is based on what is probably Cussler's most popular Dirk Pitt novel, although the plot is markedly different... Read more
Published on 19 July 2011 by An avid reader
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