Black Book (Blu-ray)

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Product Overview

In the darkest days of World War II, Jewish fugitives attempt to escape occupied Holland - only to face a Nazi ambush. Rachel Stein (Carice van Houten) alone survives the attack and joins the Dutch Resistance to avenge her family. She soon confronts the ultimate test: she must infiltrate German headquarters by tempting Captain Ludwig Myntze (Sebastian Koch). In the heat of passion, he uncovers her duplicity...but keeps her secret. Then Rachel's espionage reveals that a murderous traitor lurks within Resistance ranks. Unable to fully trust anyone, Rachel navigates a minefield of deception and becomes an enemy to both sides. Epic, passionate, breathtaking, Black Book relates an untold story of World War II where the distinctions between good and evil become blurred by the complexities of human nature.

Specifications

Studio Sony
SKU 204966111
UPC 043396214880
UPC 14 00043396214880
Format Blu-Ray DVD
Release Date 1/4/2011
Rating Rating
Keywords
Nazis
Romance
Theatrical Release
Thriller
War
World War II
Editors Note
Note Dutch filmmaker Paul Verhoeven made his name in Hollywood with films such as ROBOCOP, BASIC INSTINCT, and STARSHIP TROOPERS. But Verhoeven got his start in the industry by making films (the acclaimed SPETTERS and SOLDIER OF ORANGE among them) in his native country, and it's to Holland that he returns for BLACK BOOK--his first Dutch film in 20 years. The story is set during the final days of World War II in Holland, and follows a Jewish singer named Rachel Stein (Carice Van Houten). Rachel attempts to avoid the Nazis and remains in quiet hiding until her family is brutally slain, causing her to join up with a resistance movement. On a subsequent undercover mission, Rachel crosses paths with a smitten German general named Ludwig Muntze (Sebastian Koch), with whom Rachel begins a relationship in order to feed vital information back to her colleagues in the resistance. But as the action and bloodshed escalate, Rachel realizes that she has genuine feelings for Muntze, and soon she is in enormous danger. ^Verhoeven's film is wildly ambitious and takes many intriguing twists and turns during its 145 minutes. BLACK BOOK commanded the largest budget of any film to be produced in Holland, and it shows. Explosions litter the screen, plenty of car chases ensue, and wince-inducing injuries and deaths propel the action. The director isn't afraid to criticize his fellow countrymen and inserts a fascinating subtext about the actions of the resistance fighters, asking some uncomfortable questions about the similarities between their behavior and that of the Nazis. Van Houten lights up the screen throughout and is surely destined for bigger things, and while the tumultuous experiences her character undergoes might push the boundaries of reality at times, Verhoeven has pointed out in interviews that Rachel is a composite character who encompasses the merged experiences of many real people from the era.
Reviews
Box Office "The expensive and expansive BLACK BOOK looks gorgeous, and there's no denying Verhoeven's genuine filmmaking talent..." 12/01/2006 p.64
Total Film 4 stars out of 5 -- "BLACK BOOK is brisk, frisky and glossed with a fine Hollywood sheen..." 02/01/2007 p.42
Uncut 4 stars out of 5 -- "For all its feisty sense of fun, BLACK BOOK is too dark and smart to let its characters fade out into a soft-focus happy-ever-after." 02/01/2007 p.102
Sight and Sound "[I]t is a fast-paced, action-packed ride through resistance and betrayal, with spectacular exploits, steamy sex scenes and more plot twists than can be counted." 02/01/2007 p.43-44
Rolling Stone 3.5 stars out of 5 -- "[T]his tremendously exciting film can suddenly, unpredictably move you to tears." 03/22/2007 p.91
Premiere 4 stars out of 4 -- "BLACK BOOK is Verhoeven's best film since ROBOCOP: audacious, smart, shamelessly entertaining." 04/01/2007 p.43
Movieline's Hollywood Life "BLACK BOOK remains riveting from start to finish, confirming that nail-biting suspense transcends national boundaries. This is a thriller that truly thrills." 03/01/2007 p.106
Ultimate DVD 3 stars out of 5 -- "Van Houten is superb as the chameleonic Stein, constantly adapting to her environment to survive and yet always maintaining an unbreakable, virtuous spirit..." 06/01/2007 p.116
Directors
Paul Verhoeven
Actors
Sebastian Koch
Thom Hoffman
Carice Van Houten
Cast & Crew
Anne Dudley - Original Music By
Carice van Houten - Actor
Gerard Soeteman - Writer
Graham Begg - Executive Producer
Halina Reijn - Actor
James Herbert - Editor
Jeroen Beker - Producer
Job ter Burg - Editor
Karl Walter Lindenlaub - Cinematographer
Paul Verhoeven - Director
Paul Verhoeven - Writer
Sebastian Koch - Actor
Thom Hoffman - Actor
Wilbert Van Dorp - Production Designer
Technical Info
Original Release Date 2007
Catalog ID 21488
UPC 00043396214880
Number of Discs 1
Running Time 145 minutes
Color Color
Original Language Dutch
Available Subtitles English, French, Hindi, Spanish
Available Audio Tracks Dutch
Aspect Ratio
Widescreen  2.35:1
Awards
Nominee (2007) British Academy Awards, Teun Hilte, et. al., Best Film not in the English Language
Winner (2006) Venice Film Festival, Paul Verhoeven, Young Cinema Award - Best International Film
Nominee (2006) Venice Film Festival, Paul Verhoeven, Golden Lion Award
Reviews
ReviewSource ReelViews
Review For Black Book, a film [Paul Verhoeven] has been writing (on and off) for 20 years, he has returned to his roots. The result is a powerful and compelling World War II thriller that features note-perfect performances and an almost flawless screenplay. Verhoeven's sure hand, honed as a result of 15 years of big-budget features, gives Black Book a polished look that few American war movies can exceed. An element of controversy has shadowed Black Book because Verhoeven has the temerity to portray resistance fighters as less-than-heroic and one high ranking Nazi as a nice guy...This is one of the best war movies to emerge about World War II in the last ten years. It has everything a good war thriller should have: impeccable period detail, wonderful performances, action, romance, tragedy, and heart-stopping suspense. Black Book offers the best of both worlds: Hollywood spectacle and European sensibilities. It's 145 minutes well spent.
ReviewDate
ReviewPage
Reviewer James Berardinelli
ReviewRating 9
ReviewSource Reel.com
Review Movies can be great for so many different and varied reasons that it's rare to find one that succeeds on just about every level: as high art and pulp entertainment, and as both a bold sweeping epic and a quiet character study. Citizen Kane comes to mind, as well as the first two Godfather films and Goodfellas. And now we have Paul Verhoeven's violent, romantic, challenging, and monumentally enjoyable WWII adventure Black Book, a masterpiece that sums up the preoccupations of the filmmaker's previous work and takes them to a whole new level of ambition. The closest we have to a modern-day Hitchcock in terms of his ability to smuggle deeply personal psychological and sexual obsessions into mainstream popcorn flicks, Verhoeven has returned to his native Netherlands after decades in Hollywood and made one of the best films of his career...Black Book stakes its claim as an unadulterated modern-day classic.
ReviewDate
ReviewPage
Reviewer Jim Hemphill
ReviewRating 10
Features
Widescreen, Aspect Ratio 2.35:1, Dolby Digital (5.1), English, French, Spanish, Subtitled
Product Attributes
Actor De Lint,Derek
Label Columbia/tri-Star
Music Format Blu-ray DVD
Video Format DVD
Quotes
Glenn Kenny, Premiere ...Verhoeven's best film since "RoboCop": audacious, smart, shamelessly entertaining.
Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader ...in its dark moral complexities it puts "Schindler's List" to shame...an exceptional cast.
Peter Travers, Rolling Stone Provocative and potently erotic! There's not a dull second in it!
Ray Bennett, The Hollywood Reporter ...a high-octane adventure rooted in fact with a raft of arresting characters, big action sequences and twists and turns galore.
William Arnold, Seattle Post-Intelligencer A highly original and progressively riveting personal adventure.

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