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Meet Joe Black [Blu-ray] [1998]

4.6 out of 5 stars 238 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Brad Pitt, Anthony Hopkins, Claire Forlani, Jake Weber, Jeffrey Tambor
  • Directors: Martin Brest
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Japanese, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Greek, Polish, Korean, Norwegian, Portuguese, Swedish, Mandarin Chinese, Thai, Turkish
  • Dubbed: French, Italian, Spanish, German, Japanese, Latin Spanish
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Audio Description: None
  • Region: Region B/2 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: Universal Pictures UK
  • DVD Release Date: 24 Jan. 2011
  • Run Time: 173 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (238 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004GCK6XO
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 35,691 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

Bill Parish (Anthony Hopkins) has it all – success, wealth and power. Days before his 65th birthday he receives a visit from a mysterious stranger, Joe Black (Brad Pitt), who soon reveals himself as Death. In exchange for extra time, Bill agrees to serve as Joe’s earthly guide, but will he regret his choice when Joe unexpectedly falls in love with Bill’s beautiful daughter Susan (Claire Forlani)?

From Amazon.co.uk

Meet Joe Black seemed almost fated to fail when it was released in 1998, but this romantic fantasy--a remake of 1934's Death Takes a Holiday--deserves a chance at life after box-office death. Although many moviegoers were turned off by director Martin Brest's overindulgent three-hour running time, those who gear into its deliberate pace will find that Meet Joe Black offers ample reward for your attention.

Brad Pitt plays Death with a capital D, enjoying some time on Earth by inhabiting the body of a young man who'd been killed in a shockingly sudden pedestrian-auto impact. Before long, Death has ingratiated himself with a wealthy industrialist (Anthony Hopkins) and pursues romance with the man's beautiful daughter (newcomer Claire Forlani), whom he'd briefly encountered while still an earthbound human. Under the assumed identity of "Joe Black", he samples all the pleasures that corporeal life has to offer--power, romance, sex and such enticing pleasures as peanut butter by the spoonful.

But Death has a job to do, and Meet Joe Black addresses the heart-wrenching dilemma that arises when either father or daughter (the plot keeps us guessing) must confront his or her inevitable demise. The film takes its own sweet time to establish this emotional crisis and the love that binds Hopkins's semi-dysfunctional family so closely together. But if you've stuck with the story this far, you may find yourself surprisingly affected. And if Meet Joe Black has really won you over, you'll more than appreciate the care and affection that gives the film a depth and richness that so many critics chose to ignore. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to the DVD edition.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
I won't go into the details of what this film is about - its been summarised perfectly by the other reviews. I saw this at the cinema when it was first released, and found myself surrounded by people fidgeting, talking, and walking out. Granted, if you're not interested in something, then three hours is going to seem like an eternity, but I couldn't for the life of me understand why people were getting so bored. Watching this film, the time just flew by for me. I didn't once find myself looking at my watch - it was that engrossing.

The acting in this film is superb - especially by Hopkins. The soundtrack is also beautiful, and if you love the film I strongly urge you to buy that too, as it also plays a large part in the film's success.

This is one of my top 10 films, and in terms of its impact, its up there with the likes of Good Will Hunting and Brief Encounter.
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By A Customer on 15 Dec. 2001
Format: VHS Tape
Here's another cliche: breathtaking! I fell in love with this film and its characters. The central love story between Pitt & Forlani is just about the most moving I've seen. Joe's innocence as a fledgeling human being, and the effect he has on those around him, is incredibly touching and profound. And as for Anthony Hopkins! He gives such an intimate performance, you can almost read the characters thoughts. In an age with few healthy role models in the media, the characters in this movie, with their quiet dignity and their struggles towards integrity, provide so much to aspire to. I laughed, and cried and was touched many times by the wisdom in this film, but also by the quality of the performances. The scenes in which Joe converses in Pidgin-english with the old lady from "the islands" are stunning. Watch it if you are not a die-hard cynic - and don't forget your hankie!
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Format: Blu-ray
*** THIS REVIEW IS FOR THE 2011 'UK BLU RAY' VERSION ***

"Meet Joe Black" is the kind of film that elicits derision and affection in equal measure - well if it's one of your guilty pleasures - then you need to own it on BLU RAY.

I've had the now defunct HD-DVD format of Martin Brest's 1999 movie for a while now to have the film in High Definition - and this Blu Ray reissue uses the same menus. But it's the print-quality that will be the big draw here. With an aspect that fills the entire screen, the transfer is lush, detailed and a pleasure to look at practically all of the time. In short - "Meet Joe Black" is beautiful on Blu Ray...

Mixing the supernatural with romance could have been awkward and even 'silly' in places (it sometimes is - Pitt speaking jive in the hospital to a black woman who knows he's the Grim Reaper is cringing), yet Brest has achieved an assured beauty throughout. This is a nice film in so many ways. And possibly because of its themes of loss and how we live our lives, it manages real warmth and a rare intelligence. The growing attraction between Claire Forlani (as Susan Parrish) and Brad Pitt (as Joe Black) is nicely set up in a café at the beginning of the film and then played out against preparations for her father's 65th birthday in his mansion throughout the film (Death has taken over his body and is being shown around by a reluctant Hopkins). Thomas Newman's lovely score also adds a classy feel to the film too and is used when it's needed.
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Format: DVD
Absolutely one of THE BEST reflective, charming films ever. I can't believe this film hasn't gotten the recognition it deserves - but you know what? Who cares? If you don't watch this film then you are missing out.

Meet Joe Black is the story of Death taking a break from his usual duties and inhabiting the body of a recently deceased young man in order to learn of human experience.

The film covers three main story lines: a naive Angel of Death's (Brad Pitt) first experiences with simple pleasures such as peanut butter, Death's chosen guide's attempts to manage his business based on the principles on which he founded it, while coming to terms with his own mortality, and a romance between "Joe Black" and his guide's daughter, Susan (Claire Forlani).

The chemistry between Anthony Hopkins and Brad Pitt is brilliant. The settings, the pace, and the dialogues are brilliant. This movie makes you think

And a SPECIAL mention has to go out to the score of this movie, it is absolutely brilliant!

This movie reminds me of the good times, it gets beter and better every time you watch it, it is spellbinding and inspiring.
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Format: DVD
This film could so easily have gone a different route, playing on the "Romantic Comedy" tag and employing too many one-line death gaggs. Apart from the "Death and Taxes" reference it avoids this entirely, and is by far the better for it.

Yes Brad Pitt is less than animated, moving about in a solemn manner. But I think he was trying to convey his character's unused-ness in occupying human form. Brad is no genius as an actor, but has shown previously that he has the range and physicality to transform himself into roles. His performance in "Twelve Monkeys" for example is quite statling and shows he has the depth to do more than play eye-candy. I found his portrayal of Death hypnotic. He played Death as an innocent, a creature of almost childlike simplicity and genuine curiosity. For the menace and darkness of his character you have to look deeper, but you will find it in his silences and in his self assured restfulnes.

The scenes with the elderly Carribean woman are truly beatiful and extremely well played. Even Pitt's attempt at a Jamaican accent is surprisingly good, a risk that could have so easily proved corny and condescending.

Anthony Hopkins, sadly, is less inclined to take risks, and I feel he is in danger of lapsing into giving us the same performance over and over.

I confess that when I saw this film for the first time (at the cinema) I thought it too long.

Now I have watched it a few times on DVD I feel the pace is perfect, giving us time to think, time to get to know the themes and characters.

Hopkins asside, all the central characters are well played and I feel most of us will recognise ourselves and our families in there somewhere. The rivalries and jealousy, the quiet love and loyalty.
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