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The Contender [DVD]


Price: £3.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Jeff Bridges, Joan Allen, Gary Oldman, Christian Slater, Sam Elliott
  • Directors: Rod Lurie
  • Producers: Marc Frydman, Douglas Urbanski, Willi Baer, James Spies
  • Format: DVD-Video, PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Icon Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 11 Feb. 2008
  • Run Time: 121 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000X4ZGRA
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 45,666 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

White House drama about the behind-the-scenes conflicts involved in the appointment of a new vice-president. When the old vice-president dies, President Jackson Evans (Jeff Bridges) choses Senator Laine Hanson (Joan Allen) as his successor, thereby making her the first woman ever to occupy the post. But congressman Shelly Runyon (Gary Oldman) opposes the appointment and, when he discovers photographs which seem to show Hanson taking part in an orgy, it seems that he will have no trouble undermining her position. Hanson's response is to stand firm and insist upon her right to privacy, but with the political storm gathering force around her, it is not clear how effective her principled stance will be.

From Amazon.co.uk

After years of yawn-inducing testosterone displays in the political arena, The Contender is a uniquely intelligent feminist statement. Written and directed by Rod Lurie, the plot is concerned with appointing a female Vice President (Joan Allen as Senator Laine Hanson) to the White House. Barring her way are the collective prejudices and petty-minded historical grudges that mire all politics. For her, they're all focused in the repellent form of an unrecognisable Gary Oldman as Sheldon Runyan. Several other performances stand alongside these two excellent leads: a commanding President from Jeff Bridges, a fresh-faced do-gooder from Christian Slater and an incendiary moustache-free presidential aide from Sam Elliott. Beneath the extremely engaging surprise-filled plot, there are also several layers of commendable moral thematics. Effectively put on trial for being who she is and what she may or may not have done in her past, Allen's character stands for much more than a position in the Office. Viewers are presented with the thought-provoking statement: "principles only matter if you stick by them when they're inconvenient."

On the DVD: a trailer, four TV spots, an interview with Joan Allen and 10 deleted scenes (totalling 16 minutes) with optional commentary from director Lurie, all worthy of your attention. But the enthusiastic commentary from Lurie and Allen is the real treat. Crammed with information about the advice on re-editing given by Steven Spielberg, Lurie reveals the fall-out it caused with Gary Oldman. Gossip aside, it's also fascinating to hear him explaining his feminist standpoint after having become father to a daughter.--Paul Tonks --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Curtis B on 30 Aug. 2013
Format: DVD
This film is nothing short of what you might expect from an American "political" drama, where the good guys unrealistically triumph over baddies without having to get their hands too dirty in the process. Whilst on paper the premise of The Contender is interesting, its execution is regrettably flawed. As a result the film merely offers the audience an overly obnoxious President who decides to nominate a woman to be his vice president in order to cement his own legacy, much to the chagrin of Gary Oldman's character. Throw in some clumsy dialogue and the ubiquitous Damascene Conversion and you have yourself a typical American film.

However what separates this from just being any ordinary B-Film, is its approach towards women. Whilst I personally find the notion of shattering the glass ceiling laudable, the decision to select the woman candidate is merely on the whims of a frankly irresponsible President, who spends more time bowling and trying to catch out his kitchen staff than actually running the country. As a consequence he merely chooses her as a means of promoting himself, rather than selecting a candidate on merit, which you would expect in such a situation. Not to mention the fact that all of the characters remain painfully Two-Dimensional, there is no middle ground in terms of characterisation: If you're a Republican you're bad, whereas if you're a Democrat you're good - It's essentially the old spaghetti western approach of black and white hats. It's this sort of characterisation that you expect from a child's film, where whenever the baddy comes on the screen there is a dramatic shift in the music. Moreover the films only saving grace is Gary Oldman, the baddy that we are meant to hate, which typifies his chameleon approach to characterisation.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 16 Nov. 2004
Format: DVD
After just catching this film again on TV, I felt (again) like I'd just watched a film that was oh so close to registering as a bona fide classic but was let down by some over the top chest beating in the final reels.
The story has been laid out on this page, so I won't go over it again. For three quarters of the film you are watching a tightly plotted film with truly stand out dialogue and acting of the highest class. Bridges is perfect as the Clinton-esque president, Oldman has a whale of the time as the puritanical and self motivated (and fantastically named) Sheldon Runyon while Allen again shows herself to be one of the top actresses working today as the stoic and morally bound Laine Hanson.
With all of these actors on top form, and other performances from Sam Elliott, Christian Slater, William Petersen amongst others lighting up linking scenes, the film moves smoothly along. It is a great shame then that all the good build up work is let down by (without giving too much away) a ridiculously unlikely twist spun by a central character, and a flag waving finale which contrasts completely with the calm and excellently made arguments brought before it, not to mention the sensational confrontations that litter the film.
Certainly worth watching, this is a film that we can assume was influenced by Hollywood's need for a barnstorming finish, which is ironic considering the subject matter.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By prisrob TOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 13 Oct. 2014
Format: DVD
Somehow I missed this film, but found it on Amazon's Prime list. This is a film that has outstanding performances by its actors. It certainly takes sides politically, which is quite obvious, and if you can't look at the film in an objective manger, than this may be a difficult film for you.

The film is liberal and Democratic, and the protagonist conservative and Republican. It appears that this film shows a feminine side of 'a sex scandal'. A Vice President has died in office, and after three weeks, the country is clam outing for a replacement. The President, played by Jeff Bridges has several choices. One is a governor who has become a hero by trying to save a drowning woman from a car accident. The problem is, the President tells Gov. Hathaway, played by William Petersen, is that the woman died. Sorry, next. sen. Laine Hanson, played by Joan Allen, is the perfect candidate until a sex scandal tries to derail her. GOP Rep. Shelly Runyon, played by Gary Oldman, in a remarkable performance does not like women in power and will use whatever device he can to bring her down. Old an plays this powerful character, either eating, drinking or smoking. And, his curly hair trying to hide a bald spot is the best I have seen. His is the performance to watch.

The mechanisms that run DC are very powerful in this film. All the deals and lies and deceit pike up except for Sen. Hanson, who will not play games nor lie. Is this the real DC, I very much doubt it, but I enjoyed this film. This is a film to observe actors, the political scheme may detract you, but go for the action and the performances.

Recommended. prisrob 10-13-14
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 29 Oct. 2001
Format: DVD
The premise of "The Contender" is that the president (Jeff Bridges) is seven years in office and is desperate to be remembered for something worthwhile. His Vice President has the good grace to die on him which gives Bridges the opportunity to appoint a replacement. The favourite for the job is however ruled out and the attention then focuses on Sen. Lane Hanson (Joan Allen) the Prez seizes the moment and puts her forward for the job. However there is a fly in the ointment in the shape of a vicious and sneering congressman(played to perfection by Gary Oldman) he is totally determined to stop Hanson at all costs. The scenes involving Oldman and Allen are the best part of this movie and the supporting cast in the shape of William Peterson and Christian Slater impress.
There are two problems with this film one is the performance of Jeff Bridges who as the President seems more interested in ordering more and more outlandish types of snacks from the kitchen than running the country, and the cack handed "twist" ending.
Those aside it is Gary Oldman who shines as the vicious congressman in one the best make up jobs Hollywood has done in the last five years.
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