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Empire Of The Sun : The Movie & More (2 Disc Special Edition) [1987] [DVD]

4.6 out of 5 stars 176 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Christian Bale, John Malkovich, Miranda Richardson, Nigel Havers, Leslie Phillips
  • Directors: Steven Spielberg
  • Producers: Steven Spielberg, Kathleen Kennedy, Frank Marshall
  • Format: PAL
  • Subtitles: Arabic, Bulgarian, Dutch, English, French, Italian, Portuguese, Romanian, Spanish
  • Dubbed: 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: 2
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Warner
  • DVD Release Date: 7 Aug. 2006
  • Run Time: 146 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (176 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000GQMLW8
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 150,516 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

A British boy living in Shanghai becomes separated from his parents when Japan invades China at the outset of World War II. The film, based on J.G. Ballard's autobiographical novel, traces his progress through prison camp life and his steely determination to survive. The score is by John Williams.

From Amazon.co.uk

Roundly dismissed as one of Steven Spielberg's least successful efforts, this very underrated film poignantly follows the World War II adventures of young Jim (a brilliant Christian Bale), caught in the throes of the fall of China. What if you once had everything and lost it all in an afternoon? What if you were only 12 years old at the time? Bale's transformation, from pampered British ruling-class child to an imprisoned, desperate, nearly feral boy, is nothing short of stunning. Also stunning are exceptional sets, cinematography and music (the last courtesy of John Williams) that enhance author J.G. Ballard's and screenwriter Tom Stoppard's depiction of another, less familiar casualty of war. In a time when competitors were releasing "comedic", derivative coming-of-age films, Empire of the Sun stands out as an epic in the classic David Lean sense--despite confusion or perceived competition with the equally excellent The Last Emperor (also released in 1987, and also a coming-of-age in a similar setting). It is also a remarkable testament to, yes, the human spirit. And despite its disappointing box-office returns, Empire of the Sun helped to further establish Spielberg as more than a commercial director and set the standard, tone and look for future efforts Schindler's List and Saving Private Ryan. --N.F. Mendoza --This text refers to the Blu-ray edition.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Bathed in nostalgia, and filled with sadness for the irrevocability of the past, for "a strange, inconceivable England" as Ballard says in his novel Empire of the Sun (New Windmills) (ch. 2) - albeit an England surreally transposed to the far east - Spielberg perfectly captures the spirit of the book with his gorgeous cinematography and a superb soundtrack courtesy of John Williams, including the hauntingly beautiful Suo Gan - a song which I don't think has ever been sung more beautifully (the soloist in this performance was James Rainbird). Complemented by a stellar cast, Christian Bale deserves a great deal of credit for his outstanding performance as Jim.

Blu-ray releases are often a case of hit-and-miss, but I'm glad to say that this blu-ray is excellent. Fans of the film will find that the cinematography is *enormously* enhanced by its being presented in glorious HD - the pin-sharp picture is just a complete joy to watch from beginning to end.

Extras:

Making-of documentary, 'The China Odyssey'
Theatrical trailer
(Both these were formerly available on DVD. Neither are in HD.)

The film can be listened to in its original (English language) soundtrack, or dubbed into French, German, Italian, Spanish (both Castilian and Latin), and Portuguese.

Optional subtitles:
English, French, German, Italian, Spanish (again, both kinds), Portuguese, Dutch, Finnish, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish and Chinese.
Read more ›
Comment 51 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD
As the previous reviewer has said this is a poweful, cinematic masterpiece. From the moment that Jim (Christian Bale) is separated from his parents we follow his journey of survival in a Japanese POW camp. I agree with the previous reviewer that the slow motion sequence with the bomber is powerful and moving but there are several other scenes which are equally moving. There is a moment when Jim saves the doctor (Nigel Havers) from a beating by bowing to his Japanese captor. Also, when Jim salutes the Japanese pilots and sings as they go off to fight. The scene in which Jim is convinced that a bright light is the passing of his friend but is actually the first atom bombs is masterful as well. However, for me the most memorable scene is the final one which I can't mention as it would spoil the story. This is a weepie movie but beautiful and Christian Bale is superb and brings out a wonderful array of emotions far beyond what you'd expect in someone so young.
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Format: DVD
An outstanding film based around the life of young Jim (Christian Bale in one of his first films), the son of a couple of aristocatic ex-pats living in shanghai around the time of the Japanese invasion of China in 1939. The movie is a masterpiece of cinematic set pieces and excellent casting including a brilliant John Malkovich as Jim's 'tutor' through his internment by the Japanese and a suprisingly good offering by Nigel Havers as the camps doctor.

This film has one of THE best scenes in cinematic history as far as I'm concerned, involving Jim (Bale) standing atop of a burned out building as a P51 Mustang fighter plane fly's by him so close that you clearly see the pilot smiling and waving at him. It is one of the finest slow motion sequences I have ever seen and I challenge anyone not to be moved by it.

Dont' even think about it - just buy the DVD today, you won't be disapointed.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I have watched this WWII portrayal several times and each time I learn something new of the horrors of war and the specifc adventure a young british boy experiences as he struggles then fights tooth and nail to survive the brutal stark indignity and horrors of captivity and basic starvation during japenese led invasion and capture.
A heart breaking story with loads of adventures along the way. The boy grows from pampered sheltered middle class "plenty"- to abject suffering and lack.
A happy ending I am pleased to say of a "comming of age" young boy who gets seperated from his mother during the round up for the concentration camps during WWII. I shan't tell you anymore,just to say: "Go AND Buy IT. You wont be disapointed.
A young Christopher bale ('Batman') makes his debut here and impressive it is as he acts his heart out. Sings hauntingly pure, too. Probably one of his finest performnances. Very watchable. Full of haunting brutality. Imaginative honest sensitive scenes and massive direction. At times over the top. At other times very understated...cleverly done.
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By A Customer on 23 Mar. 2006
Format: DVD
An amazing tale of the child's view of war. One of my favourite books and easily my favourite film. I recommend this to anyone with heart, consideration and understanding of the human cost of battle
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Format: DVD
This is a very good adaptation of a very good novel. Speilberg is a great film maker but, in my opinion, not always the best storyteller. Fortunately here we have very true reading of J.G.Ballard's work: far better than his re-working of Schindler's Ark into Schindler's List. Definately worth watching.
If you do enjoy this, I would also recommend you watch the Japanes anime "Grave of the Firlies", which is an even more
powerful examination of the impact of war on children.
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