Black Book (Blu-ray)

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Description

Epic war drama based on a true story. Rachel Steinn (Carice van Houten) is a beautiful Jewish woman living in Holland during the early days of World War II. When Axis forces take control of Holland, Rachel's family are killed in a bombing raid while most of the city's Jews are rounded up and sent to Nazi death camps. Rachel manages to narrowly avoid capture, and joins the local resistance movement. With her hair dyed blonde, Rachel can easily pass for a gentile, and when the leader of the Dutch resistance movement learns his son has been captured by Axis forces, Rachel is asked to use her feminine charms to persuade a German commander to arrange for the boy's release. Rachel soon finds herself caught up in a dangerous double life as she becomes a sexual plaything for the Nazis while attempting to bring down their evil empire as a spy.

Product Details

Barcode
5023965379221
Department
Movies & TV
Released
25 Jan 2010
Type
Movies
Format
Blu-ray
Genre
Thriller
Region
Region B
Language
English
Studio
Palisades Tartan
Extras
  • Interactive Menus
Runtime
145 min
Age Restriction
15
Supply Source
UK

Movie

Title
Black Book
Release Year
2007
Running Time
145 min
Language
English
Alternate Title
Zwartboek
Categories
Dramas / Nazis / Romance / Theatrical Release / Thriller / War / World War II
Synopsis
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.
Cast & Crew
Director
Paul Verhoeven
Star
Christian Berkel / Peter Blok / Derek De Lint / Thom Hoffman / Michiel Huisman / Sebastian Koch / Halina Reijn / Carice Van Houten
Screenwriter
Gerard Soeteman / Paul Verhoeven
Composer
Anne Dudley
Producer
Jos van der Linden / San Fu Maltha
Director of Photography
Karl Walter Lindenlaub
Movie Critics
Box Office
"The expensive and expansive BLACK BOOK looks gorgeous, and there's no denying Verhoeven's genuine filmmaking talent..."
Shlomo Schwartzberg (1 Dec 2006, p.64)
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."
Stephen Farber (1 Mar 2007, p.106)
Premiere
4 stars out of 4 -- "BLACK BOOK is Verhoeven's best film since ROBOCOP: audacious, smart, shamelessly entertaining."
Glenn Kenny (1 Apr 2007, p.43)
Rolling Stone
3.5 stars out of 5 -- "[T]his tremendously exciting film can suddenly, unpredictably move you to tears."
Peter Travers (22 Mar 2007, p.91)
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."
Ginette Vincendeau (1 Feb 2007, p.43-44)
Total Film
4 stars out of 5 -- "BLACK BOOK is brisk, frisky and glossed with a fine Hollywood sheen..."
Matt Mueller (1 Feb 2007, p.42)
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..."
Chris Prince (1 Jun 2007, p.116)
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."
Hannah McGill (1 Feb 2007, p.102)