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Tape [2001] [DVD]


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Product details

  • Actors: Ethan Hawke, Uma Thurman, Robert Sean Leonard
  • Directors: Richard Linklater
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: In2film
  • DVD Release Date: 24 Dec. 2007
  • Run Time: 83 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000W2227A
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 24,160 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

Uma Thurman, Ethan Hawke and Robert Sean Leonard star in Richard Linklater's claustrophic drama, shot on digital video in a single motel room. Two old high school friends, filmmaker Johnny (Leonard) and drug dealer Vince (Hawke), meet for the first time in years and discuss their past lives and present situations. When the conversation turns to Johnny's relationship with Amy (Thurman), an ex-girlfriend of Vince's who still lives nearby, Vince pushes Johnny into confessing that he once raped her. Vince then reveals that he has videotaped the confession and invited Amy to join them.

From Amazon.co.uk

Richard Linklater's Tape doesn't announce itself as a Dogme movie, but it might very well qualify. Acted out in real time in a single setting--a cramped, grimy motel room--with no music score, a cast of just three and shot on grainy digital video, it marks a further step back to basics for Linklater after the woeful miscalculation of his gangster period drama The Newton Boys (1998). It's set in Lansing, Michigan, hometown of petty drug-dealer and part-time firefighter Vince (Ethan Hawke), who's come back for the screening, in Lansing's film festival, of the debut feature of his old school friend Johnny (Robert Sean Leonard), now an indie filmmaker. At least, that's Vince's ostensible reason--but it turns out he's got a hidden agenda that involves Amy (Uma Thurman), the girl they both fancied in high-school, and now the local assistant DA.

Tape was adapted from a stage play (by Stephen Belber, who also scripted) and often feels like it, with characters announcing their motivations and reactions in grandstanding, tell-don't-show speeches. The camerawork tends to the tricky, too--tilted angles and way too many whip-pans during dialogue sequences--as if Linklater was worried his single set might get visually boring. But the tight, twisty plotting, compact running time and intense performances keep the film absorbing. Hawke and Leonard's mutual lacerations carry a rancid sense of resentments banked up and brooded on for years, while Thurman's Amy, arriving halfway through the action, visibly relishes setting both men by the ears. As a meditation on the relativity of truth Tape may not be in the Rashomon class, but it shows Linklater doing what he does best, making pungent use of minimal resources.

On the DVD: Tape offers no extras on disc, just the trailer. Production-value splendour was obviously never on the menu here, but the 2.0 Dolby Digital sound and 16:9 anamorphic widescreen transfer do the original no disservice. --Philip Kemp --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Stevie G VINE VOICE on 24 July 2009
Format: DVD
Richard Linklater, director of Slackers & A Scanner Darkly, has adapted Tape from a stage production. Taking place solely in a motel room, the film is shot in real time, focusing on two friends (Ethan Hawke & Robert Sean Leonard) who meet up 10 years after graduation. Hawke is a small time dealer, with `anger' issues, whereas Leonard is a self-righteous filmmaker, whose debut film is premiering in town. Uma Thurman plays the former love interest. One of them is determined to learn the truth about an event from their past, with inevitably leads to their worlds colliding.

Tape is essentially one long conversation, so importantly dialogue is the strongest aspect. The rapid verbal exchanges are entertaining, and have a natural flow. The camerawork however, was shot on digital video film and is quite uncomfortable to watch. Yet it remains an interesting concept, and a faithful screen adaptation.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By "stussy71" on 1 Nov. 2002
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The beauty of TAPE is that you're never quite sure where it is going, and you're certainly not sure how its central issue will be resolved. A seemingly simple story, it evolves into something of a mystery as key revelations are made and reactions are noted.
Set entirely in a rundown motel room at the ironically named Motor Palace in Lansing, Michigan, the movie opens with 28-year-old buddies, Vince (Hawke) and John (Leonard), making small talk, trying to catch-up on the years since they have seen each other last. Vince is a loser and a literally two-fisted drinker who makes a living dealing drugs. His lack of success might be attributable in part to his consuming his own product since, between double beers, he smokes pot and snorts cocaine. A motor mouth, Vince can't keep his mouth or his body at rest. Like a 6-year-old, he bounces across the beds. He is such an obnoxious guy that it's hard to see why John would have accepted his offer to meet again.
John, on the other hand, is a filmmaker with a potentially bright future. A graduate of the prestigious USC film school, he's in town for a film festival, where his new film is to be shown. Although it would appear that Vince is the one with a disreputable life, he, nevertheless, gets John to talk about a possible sexual incident that happened ten years ago with Amy (Thurman). Vince wants John to tell him all of the sordid details. "Show me the dailies," Vince says, speaking John's language. About all that John wants to confess is that he might have "applied excessive linguistic pressure" on Amy to have sex with him.
The men go around and around arguing with each other until you start to get tired of their circular arguments. The story is ratcheted up a notch when Amy drops by the room to have a prearranged dinner with Vince.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jessica on 16 Aug. 2010
Format: DVD
This is a brilliant film. I found myself hanging on the actors' every word to descover what really happened, and there is so much tension and nervous energy in the little room where it all takes place. Brilliant.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By NICO VINE VOICE on 23 Sept. 2005
Format: DVD
I can't imagine this film - the screenplay, cinematography, and its stage ambience - being to everyone's liking, and I'm sure this will fall into the catagory of a "love it or hate it" movie. What you will not feel, however, is indifferent!

The stripped-back feel of the film allows for a masterfully drafted script to shine through, gripping the viewer from start to finish. One will find that their loyalties to the three characters are subject to change as the plot evolves. This does not, however, detract from the fact that the screenplay manages to arouse in the viewer a range of emotional reactions. At one point I was all consumed by a desire to throw a carefully aimed punch at Vince (Ethan Hawke).... through the TV screen!

All in all, this was for me a great find and comes highly recommended.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Rebecca Kydd on 24 Oct. 2006
Format: DVD
Written by Stephen Belber, this independant movie is thought-provoking and altogether mesmerising.

It is the story of John (Robert Sean Leonard), a film-maker, and his drugged-up friend, Vince (Ethan Hawke). On the eve of the most important day of John's life, Vince shocks him with his surprise guest - Amy (Uma Thurman) - a girl Jon hasn't seen since he slept with her ten years before.

I won't give away the story, but I do recommend it for anyone looking for a good night in, or for those who appreciates independant film-making.

Five stars given for the brilliant performances given by all three actors, particularly Robert Sean Leonard, and the superb writing and directing.

This movie is truly remarkable.
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