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Criterion Collection: Naked Lunch [DVD] [1991] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Region 1 encoding. (This DVD will not play on most DVD players sold in the UK [Region 2]. This item requires a region specific or multi-region DVD player and compatible TV. More about DVD formats)
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Product details

  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: R (Restricted) (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000CDUT5
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 133,554 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Where on earth do you start with this? I think that you either ' get ' William S. Burroughs or you don't and luckily for me he couldn't do anything wrong.Whether writing, painting, acting,' singing ' or just talking this man was a true genius. Cronenberg's Naked Lunch is a mixture of Bill's cut-up novel, autobiography and the writing of the novel and to my mind is absolutely sublime. The Criterion bluray isn't perfect but it's much better than any other release currently on sale and I highly recommend it.
I was going to list all the details, extras etc. But www.Bluray.com does it far better than I, so leave me, go there, read and order this immediately!
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Full recommendation!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars 109 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Perfect Paradox 21 May 2015
By Ozone Joe - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
William S. Burroughs is a writer who, on the face it, wrote books that are largely unadaptable to film. Some less than others, certainly, but I don't think you would have found a lot of people convinced that Naked Lunch was one primed for translation to screen. The novel lurches through the a series of stories that are loosely tied together, which suggests an anthology film more than a single narrative. So what do we have in David Cronenberg's attempt to bring the book to screen? Honestly, it's a pretty fantastic achievement. The film manages to not only give us Burroughs the writer but is a very effective distillation of the tone of many of his novels. The narrative follows Peter Weller as William Lee, an exterminator who becomes embroiled in an assassination plot that eventually drives him to flee to Interzone, a dusty crossroads where secret drug cartels and doppelgangers mix in among drug fueled hallucinations. In other words, it's a lot like reading a Burroughs novel. Managing to produce the feeling of reading the work of author who has a unique style is no small feat, and Cronenberg manages to do it exceptionally well. In many ways, he was probably among a very select few directors who could have managed it, as his interest in physical transformation mirrors many of the story elements Burroughs used throughout his books.

If you enjoy William S. Burroughs as an author and haven't seen the movie, do so immediately. It's unlikely you'll ever see anything get this close to capturing the spirit of his work again.
5.0 out of 5 stars A very weird film. 4.5 stars. 17 Dec. 2013
By Crank - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
I give it the full 5 just for even trying to replicate Naked Lunch the 'novel' and succeeding the way it does. They are very different pieces of art, but the film still pays much respect to its source. But you have to make a film out of that don't you? And they did.... mostly succeeding. Peter Weller is absolutely dead on as the crazed but solemn main character that takes you through this insane whirlwind of a farce. Cronenberg really puts everything he can on screen in a way that tries to rerender the absurd novel as much as possible while making the plot a little more coherent.

I don't want to spoil things for anyone but I think if you are fans of either of the three major artists of the film and novel you will want to give it a try. William Burroughs was a genius love him or hate him, and he redefined what could be written in novels and how it could be written. This film pays homage in a glorious, high-bitrate transfer that will leave you wondering what and the hell a DVD is even good for anymore.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Non-rational thought 9 Feb. 2010
By C McGhee - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This show was made from a book by a one of a kind author who lived a unique life & combined his life & his talent to create this story. William S. Burroughs' "Naked Lunch" was a novel many wanted to turn into a movie but it had to wait for F/X & a Director capable of filming its unreal expression of the Author's inner turmoil. David Cronenberg & modern film making combined to make it a unique & shining reality.

The cast is dynamite & do a tremendous job of portraying Mr. Burroughs characters. Peter Weller from Robocop as Bill Lee, Judy Davis as Joan Lee/Frost their wife, Ian Holm of Bilbo fame as Tom Frost, Julian Sands as Yves Cloquet & Roy Scheider as a Doctor of deception & others you'll know.

WARNING this show takes flight earlier & does not return. Get drinks first. A married exterminator & drug addict hooked on using his "bug powder" for intoxication as well as work begins his journey into psychosis on the train of hallucinations. His wife, then perceived as a problem, is easily removed at the direction of Bill's controller. It then becomes time to go undercover in a truly foreign country. Once there he will send out reports on enemy agents hiding in the same culture he is in. There are new customs, new friends, new enemies but still the same old Bill to try & deal with it all. That's this story line in a nutshell.

It gives you No Idea about what is visually contained in this movie. All of these scenes play out in an exquisitely detailed & totally outlandish manner thanks to the direction of David Cronenberg. He was truly the one director to handle the job of book story to finished film here. What he accomplished before doing this film was only training for the making of "Naked Lunch".

This movie is not ethereal & otherworldly the images are recognizable by anyone (I'm assuming you know what a typewriter is). Bill Lee our lead character is truly a stranger in his own strange land (pardon me Mr. Heinlein). To watch this show is to be in the middle of a psychotic mind visually. If you are a fan of the weird, the unusual, the bizarre & the unique you will love this. If you are a David Cronenberg fan this show is a non-stop Cronenberg fantasy you shouldn't miss.

This was worth the wait & a BIG thanks to all the people that backed off trying this because they knew it wasn't time to try yet. 5 BIG STARS!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Exterminate all rational thought" 24 May 2005
By N. Durham - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
When going into David Cronenberg's vision of William Burroughs' hallucinatory novel, it's a good idea to keep the above tagline in mind. Like Cronenberg's other films, Naked Lunch is not for the weak stomached, but it's a triumph of a director's vision as he brings this long dubbed "unfilmable" book to life. The film is nearly impossible to describe, with Peter Weller in the starring role as an exterminator. He and his wife (Judy Davis) play a William Tell game which ends with her dead, followed by a trip to "Interzone", in which he experiences all sorts of insanity, including meeting an exact look-alike of his wife, typewriters which morph into cockroaches, etc. The makeup and visual effects are spectacularly done, and Cronenberg is at his near best as a director here as he brings Burroughs' nightmarish vision to life. Weller is exceptionally good, and the rest of the cast, including Davis, Roy Schieder, and Julian Sands in a scene you surely won't forget, no matter how hard you may try. Like the DVD release of Cronenberg's Videodrone, Criterion has lavished this first time DVD release of Naked Lunch, including a commentary by Cronenberg and Weller, as well as a fantastic documentary, and the usual array of extras.
5.0 out of 5 stars A great surrealist riff on William S. Burroughs' revolutionary novel, but more coherent and comical. Nightmarish and entertaini 13 Sept. 2015
By Jim reigle - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
A great surrealist riff on Burroughs' revolutionary novel, but even more narratively coherent as well as more comical. Odd, nightmarish and entertaining, with terrific performances by Peter Weller, Judy Davis and Ian Holm. David Cronenberg outdid himself here. It also has a terrific jazz-inflected score, with instrumental contributions by the late, great Ornette Coleman.
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