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Michael Douglas Film Collection [10 Discs] [DVD]

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Overview

Special Features

  • Closed Captioned

Synopsis

The War of the Roses
Divorce lawyer Danny De Vito warns his prospective client that the story he's about to tell isn't a pretty one, but the client listens with eager intensity -- as do the folks out there in the movie in the audience. The War of the Roses can best be described as a slapstick tragedy concerning the decline and literal fall of a marriage. After 17 years, Oliver (Michael Douglas) and Barbara (Kathleen Turner) Rose want a divorce. Not for this couple is there anything resembling a "civilized understanding": Barbara wants their opulent house, and Oliver isn't about to part with the domicile. Barbara nails the basement door shut while Oliver is downstairs, Oliver disrupts Barbara's fancy party by taking aim at the catered dinner, Barbara lays waste to Oliver's sports car....and so it goes, culminating in a disastrous showdown around, about and under the living room's fancy chandelier. DeVito and screenwriter Michael Leeson never let us forget that the couple's self-indulgent imbroglio exacts an awful price upon their children (Sean Astin and Heather Fairfield). The War of the Roses was adapted from the novel by Warren Adler. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

A Chorus Line
Broadway's celebratory musical about rejection makes it to the screen in a fizzless adaptation by Richard Attenborough that misses the whole point of the Broadway show -- i.e. the dancing and the dancers. Instead, the dancers become a limp Greek chorus for the dead love affair between a choreographer, Zach (a pre-Gordon Gekko Michael Douglas) and his old flame, Cassie (Alyson Reed) the star dancer. Zach is holding try-outs for a new Broadway musical and, as armies of dancers are brought on stage to audition for Zach, he sits in the darkened recesses of the theater, puffing on a cigarette, as he winnows out hopeful dancers who want to become part of the chorus line for Zach's new show. Finally, Zach has reduced the dancers to 16 men and women, and he asks each of them to step to the footlights and tell him about their lives and their dreams. But backstage, while the dancers are confessing their pasts to Zach, Zach's past walks through the stage door. Cassie, Zach's ex-lover, whom Zach met, courted and broke up with in the theatrical environs, has returned. Once a big star, Cassie has returned to the theater -- not to see Zach but to audition for Zach's musical. She needs the work. ~ Paul Brenner, Rovi

The Star Chamber
Fed up with watching vicious criminals walk on technicalities and loopholes, judge Michael Douglas accepts his older colleague Hal Holbrook's invitation to join "The Star Chamber." This sub-rosa organization consists of nine like-minded judges who endeavor to take the law into their own hands. Essentially, these are robed vigilantes, but Douglas joins them, determining that the end justifies the means. Before long, however, Douglas finds himself balking at sanctioning the murder of freed criminals -- and as a result becomes the target of the Star Chamber himself. Worth noting in the supporting cast of The Star Chamber are Diana Douglas, Michael Douglas' real-life mother, and Frances Bergen, widow of Edgar Bergen and mother of Candice Bergen. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

It Runs in the Family
A family takes on the difficult task of learning how to get along with one another in this emotional comedy drama. Alex Gromberg (Michael Douglas) is a middle-aged man who feels caught in the middle of his familial obligations as he muddles he way through a midlife crisis. While a successful businessman, Alex sometimes still feels as if he's under the shadow of his father, Mitchell Gromberg (Kirk Douglas), a successful attorney whose skills in the courtroom outstripped his gifts as a parent. Elderly Mitchell has recently survived a stroke, and Alex and Mitchell want to mend their relationship while there's still time, but making it so proves difficult, even with Alex getting advice from his wife, psychologist Rebecca (Bernadette Peters), and Mitchell being prodded by his long-suffering wife, Evelyn (Diana Douglas). Alex is also trying to reach out to his two sons, who are as different as night and day; college student Asher (Cameron Douglas) is an aspiring club DJ who seems to be styling himself to bear no resemblance to his father, while 11-year-old Eli (Rory Culkin) is an overly serious lad who is having trouble navigating the first steps of adolescence. It Runs in the Family marked the first time Kirk Douglas acted in a film with his son Michael Douglas; adding to the family atmosphere was Michael's son Cameron Douglas, working with his family for the first time, and Diana Douglas, Kirk's former wife and Michael's mother. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

The Jewel of the Nile
The Jewel of the Nile takes up where Romancing the Stone left off, with romance novelist Joan Wilder (Kathleen Turner) traveling around the world with her boyfriend, Jack Colton (Michael Douglas). But Joan is becoming bored with Jack and all the romantic attention; as she asks, "How much romance can one woman take?" Invited by Omar (Spiros Focas), a wealthy Arabian potentate, to travel with him to his homeland, Joan readily accepts. Jack decides to pass on the trip, preferring instead to sail through the Mediterranean. It turns out that Omar wants to usurp the role of an Arab holy man known as "The Jewel of the Nile" (Avner Eisenberg), and Joan finds herself thrown in prison with the hapless spiritual leader. Jack comes to the rescue, teaming up with the slapstick bad guy from Romancing the Stone, Ralph (Danny DeVito). Together, the foursome have to cross North Africa in order to escape Omar's minions. ~ Paul Brenner, Rovi

Wall Street
"Greed is Good." This is the credo of the aptly named Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas), the antihero of Oliver Stone's Wall Street. Gekko, a high-rolling corporate raider, is idolized by young-and-hungry broker Bud Fox (Charlie Sheen). Inveigling himself into Gekko's inner circle, Fox quickly learns to rape, murder and bury his sense of ethics. Only when Gekko's wheeling and dealing causes a near-tragedy on a personal level does Fox "reform"-though his means of destroying Gekko are every bit as underhanded as his previous activities on the trading floor. Director Stone, who cowrote Wall Street with Stanley Weiser, has claimed that the film was prompted by the callous treatment afforded his stockbroker father after 50 years in the business; this may be why the film's most compelling scenes are those between Bud Fox and his airline mechanic father (played by Charlie Sheen's real-life dad Martin). Ironically, Wall Street was released just before the October, 1987 stock market crash. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

The Sentinel
A man who has devoted himself to serving the leader of the free world is accused of plotting against him in this thriller. Pete Garrison (Michael Douglas) is a veteran Secret Service agent who has had a long and distinguished career helping protect the president of the United States. David Breckinridge (Kiefer Sutherland) is a fellow Secret Service agent who learned most of what he knows from Garrison and holds him in great respect. When intelligence data suggests that there is a mole within the Secret Service who is part of a plot to assassinate President Ballentine (David Rasche), Garrison launches an investigation to ferret out the rogue agent, and asks Breckinridge to go over the evidence with a fine-toothed comb. Breckinridge is shocked when the clues point to Garrison as the traitor within the Secret Service, but his sense of duty compels him to see that his former mentor is placed under arrest. Garrison eludes his captors and struggles to prove his innocence while tracking down the real conspirator and eluding the agents who were once his colleagues. As Breckinridge leads the search for Garrison, another ranking agent, Jill Marin (Eva Longoria) plays devil's advocate, convinced that Garrison couldn't possibly be the rat in the house. The Sentinel also co-stars Kim Basinger as the First Lady. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

Romancing the Stone
Kathleen Turner plays a writer of adventure stories, Joan Wilder, who has been having trouble selling her works of late because they aren't remotely believable. The basic problem is that the mousy Joan has never had any real adventure in her life. All this changes when she receives a frantic phone call from her sister, whose is being held prisoner by evil art dealers in Colombia. It seems that sis has mailed Joan a map leading to a valuable treasure. Nasty but cowardly Ralph (Danny DeVito), cousin of the principal villain (Zack Norman), has been assigned to claim the map from Joan. But upon arriving in Colombia, Joan and Ralph learn that others of a more homicidal bent are also after the map. Joan is rescued by soldier of fortune Jack Colton (Michael Douglas), who isn't quite clear about his stake in the proceedings. Jack and Joan undergo several perilous adventures in the wilds of Colombia. The treasure turns out to be a valuable jewel, which changes hands (one of them severed!) many times before it is swallowed by an alligator. Joan manages to break free from her pursuers, but Jack is presumed dead. Jack returns at the end of the film in Manhattan to surprise Joan. The sequel to Romancing the Stone was 1985's The Jewel of the Nile. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Don't Say a Word
This psychological thriller from screenwriter Patrick Smith Kelly reunites him with his A Perfect Murder (1998) star Michael Douglas. Dr. Nathan Conrad (Douglas) is a respected adolescent therapist faced with a nightmarish scenario when his young daughter (Skye McCole Bartusiak) is snatched by Koster (Sean Bean), a criminal with a talent for high-tech surveillance. Conrad learns that the kidnapper is desperate for a critical piece of information known only to Elisabeth Burrows (Brittany Murphy), one of his catatonic pro bono patients. While his wife Aggie (Famke Janssen) remains at home, bedridden due to a broken leg, Conrad races to unlock the secret stored in Elisabeth's fractured mind, while a New York City detective (Jennifer Esposito) inches closer to discovering the Conrads' dilemma. Don't Say a Word co-stars Oliver Platt and Guy Torry and is directed by Gary Fleder, who follows up his suspense smash Kiss the Girls (1997). ~ Karl Williams, Rovi

Shining Through
Kewpie-doll voiced Melanie Griffith does a sexed-up Nancy Drew turn in David Seltzer's adaptation of Susan Issacs' novel Shining Through. Set during World war II, Griffith plays Linda Voss, a spunky New York girl who applies for a job with international lawyer Ed Leland (Michael Douglas). Ed hires her immediately when he finds out that she speaks German fluently. The reason Ed is so interested in Linda's language skills is because Ed is an undercover OSS officer who needs a German translator. Their business relationship translates into love, but when America enters the war, Ed abandons his law practice to become a full-time spy. Utilizing Linda's charms, she travels to Berlin and infiltrates the Nazis as a domestic to try to discover information about "a bomb that can fly by itself." But Linda has personal as well as patriotic motives for agreeing to go undercover, since she has Jewish relatives in Berlin and wants to find out their whereabouts. ~ Paul Brenner, Rovi

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