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4.4 out of 5 stars
37
4.4 out of 5 stars
Format: Blu-ray|Change
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on 22 April 2017
In "The Burning Plain" although it takes a little while for all the characters and their significance within the story to be made clear, the way that the narrative makes that clear is very good, and the story is very skilfully told using flashbacks. Charlize Theron in the role of (one of) the central characters is amazing but the whole cast also deliver great performances and Jennifer Lawrence I thought was particularly good. A good story, some wonderful photography and, good music.

Guillermo Arriaga is the screen writer of some good films (“21 grams” for example) and he has directed a number of short films, but “The Burning Plain” his only full length feature to date (as a director) as far as I can see, which I think is a shame as I would like to see more of his work as a director.

On the DVD you get:

“The Burning Plain” (1 hour 42 minutes)
Scene Selection
Audio Options: 2.0 Stereo, 5.1 Surround
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on 29 July 2017
Most people say Jennifer Lawrence was amazing because of Hunger Games...I disagree (not to say she wasn't good in that series)...there were a few films before that where her performance was gold...this is one of them. This is a truly deep, semi-dark and captivating story of two families...if you like Romeo and Juliet you will feel a familiar vibe in parts of this film. I can't say I have seen many films that question loyalty over honesty or honesty and loyalty over family.
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on 27 November 2009
Kim Basinger again proves she can do no wrong, turning in a superb, low-key performance that is charged with electricity as a woman being torn apart by loves (plural intended). Likewise the always impressive Charlize Theron, who never fails to impress. But as superb as both performances are, the rest of the cast achieve the same high level. One of the great pleasures of the film is piecing it all together through the moves from present to past and back again, and again...so I won't rob you of that pleasure by divulging the plot. The script is superb, rings with truth and grips from beginning to end. Direction, likewise, is flawless and the cinematography beautifully depicts the coolness of the present and the heat of the past. Very highly recommended. Saw it on TV last night and definitely placing an order to add it to my collection.
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on 24 June 2017
its ok, not a bad dvd, great service
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on 15 April 2017
excellent
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on 11 May 2017
No problems
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on 18 August 2017
Great
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Shortly into the film, there is a scene where Charlize Theron has three men pursuing her, literally at the same time and place. Well, I know she's attractive but...however, all is explained. One of them is crucial, and he is the one not just after a quick leg-over. This is exactly the kind of film I enjoy, it may start in the middle and zap about a bit in time, but it ends at the end, with everything explained, and I found it easy enough to pick up what was going on. Eventually. The casting is brilliant, which means all the scenes are believable. Basically it's a plot about the far-reaching consequences of a bored and lonely mother who feels ugly after a mastectomy, having an affair with the father of another family. I found myself gripped, waiting for the inevitable catastrophe, exactly as I was during Amores Perros [DVD] [2001], which was written, as was The Burning Plain, by Guillermo Arriaga. Like that film, this deserves a second viewing. The crop-spraying scenes are especially evocative.
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on 28 June 2011
[When I first posted this review I gave this film 3 Stars and said it almost merited four. On reflection I think 4 stars is fairer. I have not significantly changed the review below.]

I understand this film was commercially unsuccessful and had mixed reviews from professional critics on release, not that that proves anything!

I am glad I watched it. It has very good, even memorable (in an understated way) performances from especially Charlize Theron (credited as an Executive Producer as well as the leading actress) and the two main younger members of the cast, JD Pardo and Jennifer Lawrence.

However, while this is rightly kept as a serious film the tone is a little too unremittingly earnest. Also, the film confusingly jumps back and forth in time by several years without making it sufficiently clear that is what is going on. That is an advantage to buying it on DVD or Blu Ray that allows a second viewing, when the scenes towards the beginning and end may mean more.

Those who assume that 'a great performance by a great actress' must involve floods of tears, shrieks or other obvious display of extreme emotion may find Charlize Theron's performance too low key. However, I think she is exactly right in portraying a character under more profound emotional pressures than she knows how to cope with, but whose way of dealing with it is to try to run and hide from the problem. Her character tends to think of herself first, but does have a conscience and a terrible weight on it.

Charlize T has a couple of fairly short nude scenes. Were they included partly as an incentive for male viewers to see this otherwise serious film [as per Halle Berry in Monster's Ball [DVD] [2002]]? This is not a complaint.

The plot concerns a teenaged boy and girl, one a blonde American and one of Mexican descent, brought together and pulled apart by the very ambivalent bond of shared tragedy. One loses his father and the other loses her mother, both killed in a fire at a remote location, where, their families are distressed and embarrassed to to learn, they had met for a covert adulterous liason.

This is not a love story although romance comes into it.

The younger characters' story takes up close to half the film, although the actors Jennifer Lawrence and JD Pardo who play them were not well known enough at the time to be given prominent billing in the credits. (Jennifer Lawrence has since achieved fame starring in films like 'The Hunger Games' and 'American Hustle'.)

While their parents' deaths were accidental, one character knows a secret about the circumstances that is more than they can cope with and causes them to behave in a way that, to those who do not know the reason, seems horribly callous and irresponsible.

Years later, awkwardly and tentatively, the characters try to resolve what has happened for the sake of themselves and others affected.

The ending is gently hopeful, but not 'too good to be true'. The characters will not forget what has happened between them and cannot undo it, but are going to put all that behind them and help one another.

For those who, despite its seriousness and its not being a big budget block buster, like this film and especially Charlize Theron in it, if you have not already seen them I suggest trying ? This is not a complaint.

The plot concerns a teenaged boy and girl, one a blonde American and one of Mexican descent, brought together and pulled apart by the very ambivalent bond of shared tragedy. One loses his father and the other loses her mother, both killed in a fire at a remote location, where, their families are distressed and embarrassed to to learn, they had met for a covert adulterous liason.

This is not a love story although romance comes into it.

The younger characters' story takes up close to half the film, although the actors Jennifer Lawrence and JD Pardo who play them were not well known enough at the time to be given prominent billing in the credits. (Jennifer Lawrence has since achieved fame starring in films like 'The Hunger Games' and 'American Hustle'.)

While their parents' deaths were accidental, one character knows a secret about the circumstances that is more than they can cope with and causes them to behave in a way that, to those who do not know the reason, seems horribly callous and irresponsible.

Years later, awkwardly and tentatively, the characters try to resolve what has happened for the sake of themselves and others affected.

The ending is gently hopeful, but not 'too good to be true'. The characters will not forget what has happened between them and cannot undo it, but are going to put all that behind them and help one another.

For those who, despite its seriousness and its not being a big budget block buster, like this film and especially Charlize Theron in it, if you have not already seen them I suggest trying In The Valley Of Elah [DVD] [2008] and (different kind of film) Young Adult [DVD], as well as some of her better known films like the admittedly dark and more violent, Oscar winning Monster [2003] [DVD]
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on 23 April 2017
Firstly, you should be aware that this is "The Burning Plain" re-released under another name to cash in on the fame of Jennifer Lawrence and Charlize Theron. Secondly, the front and back cover of this edition give away the "secret" of the film (stupid). Cynical and desperate marketing by the DVD company, using the word "Game" and a photo of Jennifer Lawrence on the front, could make you think that this might be something like "The Hunger Games". It's not (not that I'm a big fan of the "Hunger Games" films). The acting is excellent, but this is a very "arty" film and therefore has lots of nudity from the never-shy-of-taking-her-clothes-off Charlize Theron and much staring into space. Also **SPOILER ALERT!!** the two actresses look nothing like each other, so it's difficult to accept that they are the same person.
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