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Xena: Warrior Princess - Series Finale [DVD] [2001] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

Lucy Lawless , Renée O'Connor    DVD

Price: £12.44
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Amazon.com: 3.5 out of 5 stars  91 reviews
259 of 291 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars XENA - THESIS OF SHOW AND THE SERIES FINALE 26 May 2005
By Lauren H. Lavine - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
XENA THESIS OF SHOW AND THE SERIES FINALE

The Director's cut of "A Friend In Need" Series Finale. At the very least the aired versions "A Friend In Need" parts one and two.

I know a lot of people didn't like it. I thought Rob Tapert did an EXCELLENT job. After all Xena (Lucy Lawless) said (in I believe it was the first season) in response to Gabrielle's (Renee O'Connor) comment about being old and gray together that people like us don't get old and gray. Meaning that when one lives that kind of life style it tends to be short.

It was very realistic when Xena died. Let's face it given the life she led. It was Karma really. She took so many lives in her evil years. Sometimes the show didn't give enough weight to the fact that had someone really done the things she did, they would have been sentenced to capital punishment. I don't believe in the death sentence, but I would have committed her to life without the possibility of parole.

She was truly EVIL. She killed for sport for god sakes. Her motto was basically death to them all kind of deal. She had no regard for the miracle or sanctity of life She had a passion and lust for power and didn't care who she had to destroy to get it. She murdered all the Amazon leaders because Alti promised that she would become The Destroyer Of Nations. The fact that she wanted to wear that as a mantle says it all. She wanted to wipe the Centaurs off the map and would have had it not been for Borias stopping her. She liked that people feared her. Sounds very much like a female version of Hitler.

It's also why she was so very good at fighting evil, because she was it, she understood it. She knew how evil people thought and therefore was really almost better equipped to fight it than most. She knew just how far some people were willing to go to get what they wanted and understood the mind set that takes and how to get in it's way.

It is also what made her character so very interesting. She was not a female version of Hercules. He was goody, goody all the time and let's face it that gets boring entertainment wise, not in reality. Her character had many layers and probably made it more fun for the actors to play. That is why the character of Gabrielle wasn't as good at fighting evil as Xena, because she didn't have it in her to be evil and at times didn't believe what lengths a person would go to get what they wanted. It's not because she wasn't as good a fighter or could be, it was because she just did not have that much of a dark side to her.

I thought Renee played Gabrielle extremely well. As Lucy did Xena.

Do I believe she could redeem herself? In reality no. Nevertheless, this is TV and there were times even in her evil years that she did show some compassion. So given that it's TV, yes I believe she could, but not without paying the ultimate price and she did. Her life. It pretty much had to end that way to give any substance to the series. Especially the way she died. The violent nature of it. It was the ultimate self sacrifice and to redeem herself she had to die, and die violently so that others (souls) will be freed. Others that she herself had condemned to eternal suffering.

Honestly, I believe I could write a thesis on the finale and how it gave the entire show meaning. It enriched every episode. After seeing it and then watching the show again from the trilogy on Hercules to the very first and through to the last episode of Xena knowing how it would all end, well it just made everything that much better.

I know the show is all fantasy and entertainment and I myself enjoyed it very much when it aired and still on occasion watch the DVD's, but realistically it pretty much had to end that way.

I consider myself a person that likes good story telling, acting, directing, just art in general. I don't however label myself a fan. I don't go to conventions or any of it. However, I liked the way that it ended so well that I wanted to put my two cents in.

Some fans did not like Gabrielle going off alone in life without her.

Well people wake up and smell the coffins. People we love die all the time. It's a part of life. Why is it that we all know intellectually that we will die and some how are shocked when it happens. Do you ever notice how people say IF I should die. There is no IF people, just WHEN. Yet that's all we ever hear.

I guess having cheated death myself several times, I have a better grasp than most on my own mortality.

The real point being that "A Friend In Need" was Epic in it's own right. One need never see any episodes and still enjoy it as a movie by itself. She was directly responsible for the death of 40,000 innocent people. Given the artistic license of the soul theory, (I personally believe we have a soul but, not everyone does) it only made sense that if all she had been working to do was to help others and eventually redeem herself. This was the perfect opportunity for her to let's say put up or shut up.

It gave more meaning to her life with Gabrielle and everything that she had learned from her through out their time together. She knew that if she was ever going to save her own soul that she had to be willing to put it on the line in the end. It gave her years of searching for the greater good meaning. I really believe the character learned more from Gabrielle than the other way around.

Gabrielle learned that in the end one must fight for what they believe in for she already understood Love and self sacrifice. Xena on the other hand learned that if she was ever going to find the peace and redemption that craved so much that she had to learn that Love and self sacrifice was the only way to achieve that goal.

Xena is one of the main reasons that "LORD OF THE RINGS" was filmed in New Zealand. Quite a few actors as well as crew and the clothing designer that worked on Xena worked on "LORD OF THE RINGS", and were nominated for Oscars. That in and of itself says a lot. In closing I must say that this is most definitely watching a movie of EPIC proportions. There is nothing just television about it.

The Director's cut is a MUST BUY!!!
61 of 70 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars To be Xena is to battle on.... 13 Jun 2002
By Laurel - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
I can't give this anything less than 5 stars but as Xena so eloquently put it in this one...it's "not exactly how I would've done it..."
Like many other reviewers here, I've been a devoted Xena fan from day one- through thick and thin, the tumult & triumpths... It seems to me that are three types of Xena fans out there- those who absolutely HATE the ending, those who LOVE it and those who continually vacillate between loving it and hating it the more times they see it. I'm the latter one.
When it first aired, I was infuriated how Xena ended with her trying to atone for her battered past, the seemingly thoughtless introduction of new characters, the artsy Japanese setting, the repeated use of the word "friend", the nagging feeling that everything was SO NOT Xena! Most of us fanatics wanted the lushness of ancient Greece in the backdrop, the traditional Xena & Gab costumes and demeanor, the sweltering emotional turmoil, the soul pinching dialogue, heartening bonds of love and loss, the complex struggles, the undaunting action sequences and every other great tool which helped define the INCREDIBLE 6th and final season. All of this was included in the finale but presented in such a way that was unfamiliar and unexpected...not very characteristic of the roughness and nobleness we've come to expect from the show and the show's writers. Sometimes I feel it was just downright bizarre- like it came from out of left field'; Other times, I respect Tapert's vision even though I don't necessarily agree with his tastes
The whole idea of Xena scampering off to an exotic place with hopes of fulfilling the wishes of a foreign female companion from her dark past (this was news to Gab!) had already been done in season 3! I just try to view this episode all on its own (if you don't, you'll probably be disappointed) The acting was remarkable, the scenery was fitting and warm to the story, the chemistry between X & G acceptable, the heroics were up to standard, the dialogue (except for the use of the word "friend" a few too many times) was enjoyable and very much characteristic of Robert Tapert's strangeness and obsession with foreign cultures and ideas.
I just finished viewing it with the audio commentary turned on (something I had put off doing on account that I felt it would take away from how I like to percieve Xena and Gabrielle on my own terms and how I simply value their characters so deeply.) Much to my disbelief, I was amazed! Lucy Lawless and Renee O'Connor are simply adorable- ragging on themselves, laughing, casually recollecting treasured moments and ideas, providing personal insight and glow, their takes on subtext (Lucy rocks when it comes to this! I have a totally new respect for her), reflecting on how they tried to view and portray their characters and why...they all really surprised me. Rob Tapert is more serious about it- explaining technical tidbits, overall regrets, the sources of his inspirations (mostly Chinese horror movies), how they pulled certain things off, his expectations, and voicing personal memories; It all seemed so rare; Most of my questions about the episode's intentions were eloquently answered. I know the point of commentaries are suppose to make you feel as if you're actually having a viewing with the director and actors...so often that's not the case yet this time, IT TRULY FELT THAT WAY! A very unique experience...
For a summary of what actually transpires, the editor's review is pretty accurate.
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Horrible! Don't Buy It! Don't Watch It for Free! 29 May 2011
By J. Lynch - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
I gave this stinker one star because it was the lowest I could go for a rating.

This is THE WORST ending to a show I've ever seen. I loved Xena and to see her go out like this was beyond sad and pathetic. Renee and Lucy did what they could with what they were given but, in the end, couldn't save this nasty piece of trash.

The story is convoluted and confusing. Why on earth they sent her to Japan for the last show is beyond me. This series was set in ancient Greece not Japan. We don't care about the characters she meets up with in Japan, why would we? There's no reason to and the entire story just drags on forever. The Director's Cut just makes a bad show even worse by putting in more footage and trying desperately to fix the ending.

Xena's death was unnecessarily grotesque and violent. The sight of her head on a table was truly morbid and disgusting. It was such an awful end to a character that we all grew to love and appreciate over the years.

Rob Tapert sullied his reputation forever with this bomb of a series finale. Save your money. It's not worth buying or even sitting through for free. Xena deserved far better than this but she didn't get it.

There are many great episodes in the 6 years this show was on, watch those instead. Remember Xena the way she was and totally disregard this awful attempt at a finale. You'll be glad you did.
30 of 36 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Tragic in more ways than one 29 Dec 2002
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
Director Tapert & writer Stewart wanted to do a remake of "A Chinese Ghost Story" & used the finale of "Xena: Warrior Princess" to do it. They introduced a whole new storyline, another new afterlife (with rules & regulations) & left lots of loose ends knowing full well no sequels were likely in the near future.

The photography was hazily pretty. The logic of the script was incoherent. Xena is supposed to be guilty of a massacre but the way it was filmed makes it seem like self-defense. A bit of film was added at the end to try to quell fan outrage but it only undercuts the supposed idea of redemptive sacrifice. The performances of Lucy Lawless & the supporting cast were uneven. Renee O'Connor, sadly underused, was magnificent.

The commentary has Tapert grumbling about places where he's not sure the audience will get things. He puts Lucy & Renee on the spot about the dreaded "side of beef" scene, which now even Lucy thinks might have been too much. I didn't get much insight from it.

Giving us new characters & situations we didn't know or care about made for boredom. Having Xena choose these over her soulmate Gabrielle was infuriating. For me & most of my friends this finale retroactively ruined the series.

If you love Xena & you've never seen this one- by all means skip it. For god's sake don't pay money for it.
22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Very unfortunate ending to a fantastic series 21 Feb 2002
By studiorow - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
I'm a loyal Xenite and have been for most of the series. I have seen all 134 episodes numerous times. This series finale doesn't work for me. All the special effects were fantastic. Both Lucy and Renee gave 110% to this 2 part episode. But the plot falls short of our expectations of how the series should have ended. Xena and Gabrielle should have walked off together like Hercules and Ioalus. The blame falls square on the shoulders of the Executive Producer and Lucy's husband, Rob Tapert. He made the decison to have Xena die. To die is one thing, but the way she dies is just sick. Seeing Xena beheaded is over the top. Seeing Gabrielle all alone was more than I could bear. It hurts to watch this episode. If you love Xena and Gabrielle like I do....watch "When Fates Collide" as your series finale. It's much easier on the heart. At the end they ride off together on the same horse.
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