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The Basketball Diaries [DVD] [1995]

Leonardo DiCaprio , Lorraine Bracco , Scott Kalvert    Suitable for 18 years and over   DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
Price: 15.98 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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The Basketball Diaries [DVD] [1995] + This Boy's Life [DVD] + What's Eating Gilbert Grape [DVD]
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Product details

  • Actors: Leonardo DiCaprio, Lorraine Bracco, Marilyn Sokol, James Madio, Patrick McGaw
  • Directors: Scott Kalvert
  • Writers: Bryan Goluboff, Jim Carroll
  • Producers: Chris Blackwell, Dan Genetti, John Bard Manulis, Kathie Hersch, Liz Heller
  • Format: Anamorphic, PAL
  • Language: English
  • 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: 18
  • Studio: Columbia Tristar
  • DVD Release Date: 5 Aug 2002
  • Run Time: 98 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004TXIA
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 27,523 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



The pre-Titanic Leonardo DiCaprio stars as Jim Carroll, the poet and musician who spent much of his adolescence addicted to heroin and shooting hoops with fellow Catholic high-school kids. As a biography, the film doesn't amount to more than the sum of its gritty scenes of smack use, violence, perversions (poor Bruno Kirby plays a lecherous coach who comes on to young Jim), and the usual scream-and-puke dramas that go along with a cold-turkey session. Director Scott Kalvert doesn't seem to realise that most people don't know who Carroll is and therefore can't possibly understand why they should care about his gutterball youth. DiCaprio, having nowhere to go with his performance but maintain Carroll's tailspin, is boring and redundant. Some kind of allusion to the literary and rock & roll life that follows the mess we're watching might have been helpful. The DVD release offers the choice of a full or widescreen (letterbox) picture, plus interviews. --Tom Keogh,

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Great DVD in excellent condition, fast dispatch, UK SELLER

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
What a gripping film! Leonardo Di Caprio is excellent as a young basketball hopefull turned street junkie, with him another school dropout who turns to drugs is Mark Whalberg who deliverd another excellent performence, their best yet! really worth buying. All in all a fantastic, hard hitting drama that leaves you amazed.dan-66
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
I have got to agree with the previous reviewer that this movie is about various aspects of personal decadence and degradation. It's the story of a kid with potential (which is quite obvious from the onset) who spirals down the vortex of smack addiction and cannot come back. It is a story of disenchanted youth, of street harshness, of strayed paths and choices made that lead to very different outcomes, of a life reclaimed from the gutter, of an gruesome experience not only survived but also utilised for further growth.

It turns out that the story is about a poet and musician named Jim Carroll. Even better. I had no idea who Jim Carroll was before I saw the movie but this didn't take away from the movie. The fact that someone, anyone really, went through such experiences and lived to tell the tale was a powerful enough theme to make this movie an apt depiction of the hellride that is known as street junk... and of the boundless potential of human beings, no matter how downtrodden and beaten they are.

Having said that, the movie lacks the sharpness of a script that would place it in the top levels. The whole atmosphere is quite compelling, though, and transmits the arid reality of the urban desert, making up for the textual shortcomings. The four youths come across as a gang of great friends tested in the heat of puerile carelessness, and one cannot help but wonder how their lives would have turned out had their fifth friend not died from cancer, which is what sets off the whole downward spiral in motion ever so inconspicuously.

At the end of the day, people will do anything to feel good again. They will even die for it. Jim Carroll chose to live and tell the tale though. Let the man's story inspire despite the shortcomings of the film. "It's like a finger that points to the moon. Don't look at the finger or you'll miss all the heavenly glory."
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Disturbing bur remarkable! 30 Jun 2009
The basketball diaries stars Leonardo Dicaprio stars as a young,talented basketball player who loses everything to his addiction of heroin.The film descends more and more of his desperation to robbing elderly women to prostittuion.

Very depressing material.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Spike Owen TOP 500 REVIEWER
Jim Carroll's autobiographical account of his descent in to drug hell.

Basketball Diaries as a title conjures up quite a few images, none of them quite in tune with what this film is actually about. Jim Carroll loved to write and kept a journal of his life as it spiralled out of control, part of a group of Catholic lads who formed the school's basketball team, three of whom rebelled to such a degree it destroyed their futures, this is Jim's story. It's a harsh picture at times, but to me it never quite breaks free from a Hollywood sheen, with the reality being that if it didn't star Leonardo DiCaprio and Mark Wahlberg, it would have largely been run of the mill stuff. Both actors do good work here, with DiCaprio hinting at the great ability that was to come. His transformation from jovial school prankster to self destroyed sap lifts the film way above the ordinary. As Carroll's mother, Lorraine Bracco is badly under written, and the always reliable Bruno Kirby does fine with what he is given. Juliet Lewis pops in and out as a sort of moral warning character, while Ernie Hudson {in perhaps the films critical role} sadly suffers purely because the mentor character has become hackneyed over the years.

It's a good film, but after waiting for such a long time for it to be adapted to the screen, the final result falls somewhere in between twee and impacting. 6.5/10
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top ten film 22 Nov 2007
By J Z A
Leonardo DiCaprio is brilliant as is Lorraine Bracco as his desperate mother. If the scene with them either side of her door with him begging her for money doesn't make you cry then you are probably already dead. It is the story of a good boy (with a good Italian Catholic mother) going wrong and then turning it around. Starting with a bit of petty theft it saunters into drugs then freefalls into a state of desperation. Very moving.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Format:VHS Tape
Leo Dicaprio is brilliant, this is without question, the most brilliant portrayed role he has ever challanged, yet sadly has not been appreciated for. An eye opener toward the world of drugs, a warning and toward the deep outreach of the wrecked lives, that could have been something. A clear portrayed of the devistating effects this life can lead you too, and take from you. what is even more chilling is not only the reality that this occurs but also the spine invockeing reality that this disturbing bullet flying film, was based on a twisted reality, of young adolescents destroyed emotionally anguished existance.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!! 5 Dec 2000
By A Customer
This is a great film and shows what drugs can do to you. leo is an excellent actor in it and he makes it all look so real. This film would definately put you off ever taking heroin.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Read the book! 17 Nov 2013
By Kelsey
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
For anyone who has read the book, the film really does it justice. Although no film captures the books perfectly, Leo's performance was excellent. I would recommend that anyone who watches this film, also reads the book.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars information unclear
this was in Chinese which I was not happy about imformation unclear would not recommend this was for my daughter as she needed it for school so a complete waste of money
Published 4 months ago by sandra hutchison
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant film
Thank you so much. I have been searching for this film for years with no luck. It wasn't until someone suggested Amazon. well I didn't have a clue. Read more
Published 7 months ago by jolou
1.0 out of 5 stars basketball diaries
im very disappointed the dvd was set in a different region so all the play stations,x-box's and laptops in the house and it won't play. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Emily O'Connor
5.0 out of 5 stars young di'caprio at his finest.
the title says it all really. when my partner suggested this film i was put off, thinking it was about sport! Read more
Published 7 months ago by leigh.s
3.0 out of 5 stars Not so good print of an otherwise remarkable film!
The print of this film does not work so well on the kind of modern TV screen that I have got. The picture frame is very small and enlarged the quality of the picture do not become... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Mario Net
5.0 out of 5 stars The Basketball Diaries (DVD)
I have watched this film on numerous occasions, it is definitely a good film to watch as it is a true story.
Published 8 months ago by Louisa Harris
4.0 out of 5 stars the basket ball diaries dvd
this was quite a exspensive dvd didnt mind that and it came quick but the case was completly broken i was not very happy with this
Published 9 months ago by Jacqui Young
4.0 out of 5 stars Not a complete review
arrived quickly and well packaged, looks like what it is supposed to be but haven't got round to watching it yet to check play quality
Published 12 months ago by M
4.0 out of 5 stars Leonardo DiCaprio film
Bought as a xmas present,but recipient has not yet seen the film. The dvd arrived on time and I was pleased with the price.
Published 14 months ago by Mrs. F. E. Brenchley
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful and gripping...
In my opinion 'The Basketball Diaries' is a young Leo at his best!

This is a dark coming of age film, focusing on Jim Carroll a New York teenager through his struggle... Read more
Published on 21 Sep 2011 by Andy Roo
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are there subtitles ? 0 27 Oct 2008
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