Empire of the Sun (Blu-ray Book)

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on 5/27/2013

Empire of the Sun gets lost sometimes in the film snob's library; it's an epic war film, but it's also a Spielberg film, which stereotypes this masterpiece as standard Hollywood-fare. Spielberg fans want it to be faster, war fans are made uncomfortable by the deep characterization of the child protagonist. Much like Blade Runner, the audience misconceives what the movie is really about, and many film-goers absolutely refuse to empathize with a bleeding-heart child character. My only supposition is that people are too guarded about their emotions to risk feeling the sorrow and pain that these characters go through; any notion that this film is over-acted, under-acted, or lacks in character development is simply false.

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Very Entertaining

by Christopher Grimes on 12/11/2013

Rakuten had the best price for this DVD. Great movie, Spielberg makes you feel like a kid again as he often does in other movies.

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Product Overview

Based on J. G. Ballard's autobiographical novel, tells the story of a boy, James Graham, whose privileged life is upturned by the Japanese invasion of Shanghai, December 8, 1941. Separated from his parents, he is eventually captured, and taken to Soo Chow confinement camp, next to a captured Chinese airfield. Amidst the sickness and food shortages in the camp, Jim attempts to reconstruct his former life, all the while bringing spirit and dignity to those around him.


Studio Warner
SKU 229848675
UPC 883929228072
UPC 14 00883929228072
Format Blu-Ray DVD
Release Date 7/23/2013
Rating Rating
Coming Of Age
Essential Cinema
Kids Adventure
Period Piece
Theatrical Release
World War II
Editors Note
Note Steven Spielberg's EMPIRE OF THE SUN, based on the autobiographical novel by J.G. Ballard, stars Christian Bale as Jim Graham, a British schoolboy separated from his upper-class colonial parents when the Japanese sweep into Shanghai during World War II. Temporarily orphaned, Jim attaches himself to Basie (John Malkovich), a fast-talking American opportunist determined make a buck off the spoils of war. Later, when the two are interned in a prison camp, Jim's boyish fantasies are fueled by the grace and daring of the Japanese fighter pilots whom he comes to idolize despite their enemy status. Spielberg's visually spectacular wartime epic is a testimony to the human will to survive and a child's ability to find wonder even in the midst of horror. Thirteen-year-old Welsh actor Christian Bale is brillant as Jim in his feature film debut. Spielberg himself identified more with Jim, a boy who is obsessed with flying and who experiences the death of his innocence, than with E.T.'s Elliott. After a year of negotiations with the Chinese, Spielberg and his crew were allowed to film in Shanghai, which was virtually unchanged since World War II.
New York Times "...[EMPIRE OF THE SUN] seems to speak a language all its own....Great and small triumphs...steadily deliver[ed]..." 12/09/1987 p.C25,Included in the New York Times "10 Best Films of 1987" 12/27/1987 p.II, 23
Variety "...[The] sweeping picture is studded by spectacular set pieces..." 12/02/1987
Premiere "Malkovich walks a line between sentiment and grit in his relationship with the young Christian Bale, and brings it off." 09/01/2005 p.130
Uncut 5 stars out of 5 -- "[With] astounding performances from John Malkovich and a teenage Christian Bale. Essential." 03/01/2006 p.134
Sight and Sound "The scenes in which the Japanese invade Shanghai and the English forlornly try to flee are handled with huge flair; but unusually for Speilberg, the performances and subtlety of his direction register equally strongly." 04/01/2006 p.88
Steven Spielberg
Christian Bale
John Malkovich
Cast & Crew
Miranda Richardson - Star
Ben Stiller - Star
Joe Pantoliano - Star
Nigel Havers - Star
Christian Bale - Star
Leslie Phillips - Star
John Malkovich - Star
J. G. Ballard - Source Writer
Allen Daviau - Director of Photography
Steven Spielberg - Producer
Michael Kahn - Editor
Tom Stoppard - Screenwriter
John Williams - Composer
Frank Marshall - Producer
Kathleen Kennedy - Producer
Menno Meyjes - Screenwriter
Steven Spielberg - Director
Technical Info
Original Release Date 1987
UPC 00883929228072
Number of Discs 1
Running Time 152 minutes
Color Color
Product Attributes
Video Format Blu-Ray

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