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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Are we sure this is fiction....?
Taken just as a film, this is a decent effort. Good performances by the leads (especially Washington, who acts demented enough you know you wouldn't believe him if he told you his story), good script,and good direction.

The film is a remake, and although the characters are intact, Korea has been replaced by Kuwait, and the reasons for the mindwiping have become...
Published on 23 Feb. 2007 by FloridaDino

versus
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Average thriller that didn't need to be remade...
There really was no need to do a modern version of this film. The original Frank Sinatra starring vehicle was decent, quality in everything from acting to directing, and even had social reonances for the time. The same can't be said here.
My main gripe about the film was how bleakly depressive it all was. Everyone is SO serious and dull. A few lighthearted...
Published on 10 Mar. 2006 by Mr. J. WARE


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Are we sure this is fiction....?, 23 Feb. 2007
This review is from: Manchurian Candidate, The [DVD] [2004] (DVD)
Taken just as a film, this is a decent effort. Good performances by the leads (especially Washington, who acts demented enough you know you wouldn't believe him if he told you his story), good script,and good direction.

The film is a remake, and although the characters are intact, Korea has been replaced by Kuwait, and the reasons for the mindwiping have become very 21st century - money.Sinatra withdrew the original from distribution after what happened to Kennedy, and many believe that the assassin of Robert Kennedy, Sirhan Sirhan, was 'programmed' to do the job, as once it was done he was quite incoherent, and could not remember what he had done. Life imitating art...?

The film touches a raw nerve in that we all know these things are probably possible. The feeling of alienation and fear Washington conveys through the film, may be one we should all share.......

recommended, but be prepared to worry afterwards!
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Techno-Thriller Is Back!, 4 April 2005
By 
This review is from: Manchurian Candidate, The [DVD] [2004] (DVD)
Some years ago Robert Redford came out with two movies one after the other. The first was "The Last Castle" and the other was "Spygame". These both were brilliant.
Denzel Washington has joined a prestigious group of people able to pull off the same feat!
Hot on the heels of "Man On Fire" ( that was breathtaking! ) he follows up his performance with "The Manchurian Candidate". The tag line should have been "How do you trust?" The story is about a group of soldiers who return from the gulf war. One of them becomes a presidential candidate after having saved his unit during a firefight and receiving a medal for his heroism. Or did he? Denzel Washington is the unit leader who remembers events out of sequence but his fears are confirmed when the rest of his men experience a disconnection with the events of the firefight. How do you trust when you cannot even trust what you remember?
This is a must for the DVD collection. I look forward to his next movie with anticipation.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Average thriller that didn't need to be remade..., 10 Mar. 2006
By 
Mr. J. WARE "wolvieware" (London) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Manchurian Candidate, The [DVD] [2004] (DVD)
There really was no need to do a modern version of this film. The original Frank Sinatra starring vehicle was decent, quality in everything from acting to directing, and even had social reonances for the time. The same can't be said here.
My main gripe about the film was how bleakly depressive it all was. Everyone is SO serious and dull. A few lighthearted moments to break up the tedious, quite heavy going nature of the film would have been great. This is not friday night popcorn fare.
The other thing I didn't really like was the fact that it was trying to say something about the state of governments and politics today, but I feel it failed in this regard. It is not as politically cutting as it believes itself to be, and I felt that the almost sci-fi like nature of the plot lets down any notion of reflecting the politics of today.
But apart from that we get some fine performances, particularly Meryl Streep, and to a lesser extent, because he's quite dull in this outing, Denzel Washington. For those who havn't seen the film, it may hold some nice, unique plot twists, and it's a far from badly made film. It's a decent effort, but won't put you on the edge of your seat.
DVD wise, we get a few making ofs that together make a semi-decent documentary, and there's also a political pundit section, that I felt was a waste of space. It's nice to see the comparisons to the original film in the making of, though.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Two superstars Meryl and Denzel;Both win !!!, 17 April 2007
This review is from: Manchurian Candidate, The [DVD] [2004] (DVD)
After achieving only so-so results in reworking an old classic with the timid "The Truth About Charlie," director Jonathan Demme confidently updates "The Manchurian Candidate." Here he prevents the viewer from being distracted into keeping active count of the differences between his film and the original; the viewer can relax and watch an "original" film from the beginning. Demme immediately establishes his own distinctive approach: Bring characterization to the foreground. The original was compelling mainly due to its novel and intricate plot, but the acting was no-frills. Demme and his actors -- Denzel Washington, Meryl Streep, Liev Schreiber (and even minor players like Jeffrey Wright) -- create characters that are fleshed-out and human. They are far from the chess pieces of the original and thus better draw us into the film, offering the viewer an emotional entry point and a rooting human interest from beginning to end. While not superior to the original -- conspiracies in of themselves simply have lost their ability to shock these days -- the new "Candidate" achieves its own success by being a rare thriller: one that is emotionally moving.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sunday Afternoon with Biscuits film, 22 May 2006
This review is from: Manchurian Candidate, The [DVD] [2004] (DVD)
I'm unfamiliar with the original and knew nothing about the story aside from what the title suggested (mind you I had misread it and thought Denzel was going to play a Mancunian politician - must admit to some disappointment there!), so I was somewhat surprised to find a pretty decent espionage thriller which I best describe as a Dead Zone/X Files/Jacobs Ladder/Enemy of the State sandwich. Denzel Washington is turning into a real quality actor as the years go on, and speaking of quality actors, Meryl Streep's character has to be the nastiest, most evil women in cinematic history.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not a bad way to pass the time, 29 May 2008
This review is from: Manchurian Candidate, The [DVD] [2004] (DVD)
I saw this in the cinema first not realising it was an old film which was a good thing as I was seeing it not knowing what was going to happen but I found it really enjoyable with plenty of twists and turns in the plot. Denzel is hard to beat in the leading role in any film and this was no different.
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Quality film, quality cast., 24 April 2005
By 
R. J. Williams "Postie" (Clevedon, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Manchurian Candidate, The [DVD] [2004] (DVD)
The original Manchurian Candidate was released in 1962 and not only had I not seen it, I hadn't even heard of it.
So, unlike recent releases such as Dawn Of The Dead, The Italian Job and Assault On Precinct 13 I had very little idea what to expect on viewing this film.
What you do get is a fine blend of Jacobs Ladder style paranoia, conspiracy and US Goverment post 9/11 anti-terrorist propaganda.
The assembled cast is second to none, Denzil Washington, Jon Voight, Liev Shreiber are all superb but the star of the show is Meryl Streep as the powerecrazy, control freak mother/Senator Eleanor Shaw:
"Make no mistake, the American people are terrified, they know something's coming, they can feel it"
Remind you of anyone?
A top quality cast, fine performance's and a fairly rivetting plot make The Manchurian Candidate highly recommended viewing.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The view according to www.georgevader.co.uk, 5 Sept. 2005
By 
R. J. Williams "Postie" (Clevedon, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Manchurian Candidate, The [DVD] [2004] (DVD)
The original Manchurian Candidate was released in 1962 and not only had I not seen it, I hadn't even heard of it.
So, unlike recent releases such as Dawn Of The Dead, The Italian Job and Assault On Precinct 13 I had very little idea what to expect on viewing this film.
What you do get is a fine blend of Jacobs Ladder style paranoia, conspiracy and US government post 9/11 anti-terrorist propaganda.
The assembled cast is second to none, Denzil Washington, Jon Voight, Liev Shreiber are all superb but the star of the show is Meryl Streep as the power crazy, control freak mother/Senator Eleanor Shaw:
"Make no mistake, the American people are terrified, they know something's coming, they can feel it"
Remind you of anyone?
A top quality cast, fine performance's and a fairly riveting plot make The Manchurian Candidate highly recommended viewing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Demme stumbles yet again with another below-average remake, 5 May 2006
By 
Trevor Willsmer (London, England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Manchurian Candidate, The [DVD] [2004] (DVD)
The decline of Jonathan Demme into derivative hackery has often been put down to the curse of Oscar, but it's to be hoped that after his horribly misguided remake of The Manchurian Candidate the only way is up. Even were the original not such a terrific movie, this one would fall on its lack of wit or imagination, not least because of a strikingly poor script by Daniel Pyne and Dean Georgaris that not only fears what's best in the novel and the original film but also lacks logic, momentum, satire, characterization or, most crucially for a thriller, suspense or even cheap thrills. There are a few positives: the red menace now becomes Haliburton - sorry, Manchurian Global - the romantic interest has a more valid reason for involving herself with an obvious psychiatric case and there is one neat switch in the finale. Unfortunately they're all thrown away, with an epilogue that is truly absurd, while the political commentary is never embedded in the narrative but crudely pasted on in the form of news reports. And is it just me, but why do the hands-on villains have to be Brits? Can any nation have treated their allies in not one but two Iraq wars with such open contempt?

Even on a technical level, at times it's strikingly clumsy, be it the often crude editing, the inane nightmare sequences or the literally unbelievable sound mix (those cheers on the nomination speeches set a new low in credibility). But the biggest problem, along with chronic overlength, is that you never care about anyone in the film. Whereas Laurence Harvey's pathetic cold fish latched onto Frank Sinatra's Marco even though he knew he despised him out of a terrible and desperate loneliness born of self-loathing in the original, Demme and Levine keep the two apart for most of the film, denying both of them the relationships with `normal' characters that highlighted their damaged psyches in the original. Nor are the actors able to draw you in much either. Denzel Washington is on poor form for much of the film until his paranoia takes him over Parallax style. Liv Schreiber fares better, but seems to be channelling Robert Foxworth circa 1978. But the real nail in the coffin is Meryl Streep, an actress who may have heard of subtlety once but has since gone out of her way to avoid it at all costs, giving the worst performance of her career, displaying an unbelievable assortment of ridiculously over the top mannerisms that put you in mind of a drunken Robert Newton playing Widow Twankey in a rundown seaside town's annual Christmas panto. Her every scene is just painful to watch in a rather silly, drawn out film that aspires to be average and almost makes it.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Little Bit Chilling, 27 Oct. 2006
By 
Ms. L. F. Hammond (Coventry, West Midlands United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Manchurian Candidate, The [DVD] [2004] (DVD)
A little bit chilling doesn't really go far enough - the performances are intense and penetrating with Meryl Streep (at her most convincing) as Senator Prentice-Shaw/obsessive mother, Liev Schreiber compelling as the enigmatic Raymond Shaw and Denzel Washington pulling another brilliant performance out of the hat as dedicated ex-soldier Ben Marco.

The remake is everything it should have been. The film is even more 'chilling' than its predecessor; the special effects create a colorable sense of post Gulf War syndrome and contemporary paranoia which in turn creates a real connection with Richard Condon's cautionary tale. We have an updated insight into corporate power and its unyielding influence, rather than the post Cold War witch hunts of the original. This however, makes it no less of a story - rather, it is all the more capable of identification.

I loved it, and purely for the fact that for two hours, I immersed myself within something so alien, but yet so tangible - for anyone who loves like me, having their mind stimulated, if not a little rattled...
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Manchurian Candidate, The [DVD] [2004]
Manchurian Candidate, The [DVD] [2004] by Jonathan Demme (DVD - 2005)
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