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Chinatown on DVDChinatown (Special Collector's Edition)

Considered one of the greatest films ever made, Chinatown (1974) tells the story of seedy Los Angeles gumshoe Jake Gilles (Jack Nicholson) as he unwittingly uncovers a grand conspiracy involving the city's water supply.

Legendary screenwriter Robert Towne (who won the 'Best Original Screenplay' Oscar for Chinatown) is right when he says this 1974 film hasn't aged a bit, it looks and feels like it was shot yesterday.

Every aspect of this production is fully realized and meticulously detailed, leading to a near-perfect motion picture.

From the product description: Landmark movie in the film noir tradition, Roman Polanski's Chinatown stands as a true screen classic. Jack Nicholson is private eye Jake Gittes, living off the murky moral climate of sunbaked, pre-war Southern California. Hired by a beautiful socialite (Faye Dunaway) to investigate her husband's extra-marital affair, Gittes is swept into a maelstrom of double dealings and deadly deceits, uncovering a web of personal and political scandals that come crashing together for one, unforgettable night in...Chinatown. Co-starring film legend John Huston and featuring an Academy Award®-winning script by Robert Towne, Chinatown captures a lost era in a masterfully woven movie that remains a timeless gem.

Timeless gem is right. Nominated for 11 Academy Awards, this is one of the last of the great film noir classics, a film layered with powerful performances from John Huston, John Hillerman, Diane Ladd, Perry Lopez, James Hong, Burt Young, and Noble Willingham.

This Special Collector's Edition comes with wonderful bonus features including three marvelous documentaries on the making of the film containing interviews with the principal players - Robert Evans, Nicholson, Towne, and director Roman Polanski are all heard from. I love how they danced around the fact that Faye Dunaway was impossible to work with.

Devotees of this brilliant movie - or filmmaking in general - will love these funny and revealing insights.

This one retails for $14.99 but Amazon has it for only $10.48, 30% off.

The Two Jakes on DVDThe Two Jakes (Special Collector's Edition)

This acclaimed sequel to Chinatown was released in 1990. Directed by Jack Nicholson, it's a worthy successor that makes for enveloping viewing, especially if you watch it back to back with Chinatown, which I heartily recommend.

To some, Two Jakes was a disappointment but not to me (I actually worked on the poster design and trailer for this film). While not a critical or financial success at the time, both of these first rate films were written by Robert Towne and most of the supporting cast of Chinatown turns up in the sequel along with the always compelling Harvey Keitel.

If you enjoy films about pre and post-war Los Angeles as I do, The Two Jakes is a leisurely trip back in time.

From the product description: Jack Nicholson returns as private eye Jake Gittes in this atmospheric Chinatown follow-up that's hit upon "the elusive sequel formula for somehow enhancing a great original" (Mike Clark, USA Today). Much has changed since we last saw Jake. The war has come and gone; 1948 Los Angeles teems with optimism and fast bucks. But there's one thing Jake knows hasn't changed: "Nine times out of ten, if you follow the money you will get to the truth." And that's the trail he follows when a routine case of marital hanky panky explodes into a murder that's tied to a grab for oil--and to Jake's own past.

No film noir collection is complete without these two DVDs (particularly Chinatown) and there's no better way to view them than in a format where you can relish in the delicious details and rich storytelling both movies allow for. Great for repeated viewing over the years; I just watched this one last year and it was still fresh when I sat down with it again last week.

Included on The Two Jakes DVD is a fascinating new interview with Jack Nicholson on that gives you an in-depth look at the thinking behind both films and details about the third film, planned but never realized.

Chinatown / The Two Jakes on DVDI just wish there was a commentary track for The Two Jakes but that's a small quibble.

And what a bargain - both films can be purchased separately or together in a special package for less than $23.00 if you order now from Amazon., Inc.

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Chinatown / The Two Jakes on DVD

Chinatown on DVDChinatown (Special Collector's Edition)

Studio: Paramount Home Video
DVD Release Date: November 6, 2007
Run Time: 130 minutes

The Two Jakes (Special Collector's Edition)

Studio: Paramount Home Video
DVD Release Date: November 6, 2007
Run Time: 137 minutes

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