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     " Ignore the fact that it didn't get an exceptional amount of press when it was in theaters- the Count of Monte Cristo really is a fantastic film. "

      Title: The Count of Monte Cristo by Buena Vista Home Video

      Format: Action Drama

      Reviewing Monkey: Mojo Jojo

      The Hype: Based on a book written by the same guy who did "The Three Musketeers" The Count of Monte Cristo is an action revenge fantasy with a flare for the sword. But is it worth taking a stab at? Read on, my monkeys…Read on.

      What This Monkey Thought...

      Story and Acting: For anyone who's seen Zorro, this is the story that the masked man is based on. Betrayed by his amoral best friend over a woman, Edmond Dantes is imprisoned for a political crime with no hope for parole. Ostracized from human contact and only removed from his cell once a year for an annual beating, he finally meets the proverbial "ancient master" who is in the process of attempting escape. The two quickly become friends and then finally mentor-student as Dantes begins an education in literature, culture, and the martial arts. But more than just a master of all things intellectual, it turns out the old man is also the sole heir to a fortune in buried treasure and, after a dramatic escape, makes Dantes rich beyond his wildest dreams. Not content to simply live the rest of his life happy and fat on the hog, Dantes hatches a plan to ruin and kill (in that order) the man who betrayed him years before.
          Okay, so the story sounds a bit trite…But that's only because it is such a classic that it's been imitated a couple million times. This movie is based on the original and, as such, manages to carry off a sense of class and drama that few versions since have mastered. Add to that some phenomenal performances by Jim Caviezel and Guy Pierce as the antagonistic duo and you've got a great ride filled with action, ambition, and dueling over a girl. Gritty, intelligent, and believable, the Count of Monte Cristo may well be the ultimate revenge fantasy. 4 out of 5

      Action: You know, I dig action flicks as much as the next guy- but you can't deny that there's something about controlled violence in a good drama that just makes your blood pump. Dotted with sword fights and some very cool unarmed combat, Count manages to be both dramatic and exciting at the same time. It's also worth noting that the fighting is the most towards historically accurate we've seen in a while which is really nice. 4 out of 5

      Visuals and Directing: The visuals are smooth and exotically exciting with lots of sweeping mood shots and the colors and costuming are both above the norm. The action is believable and the locations are gorgeous. My only real gripe came in the editing- which definitely belies a longer movie cut down in post production, as there are numerous moments which seem to jump harshly ahead and dangling scenes that don't seem resolved quite right. 3.5 out of 5

      Sound Track: Nice period music with a touch of modern flare set a nice stage for the movie. Definitely apparent and memorable but not obtrusive to the action itself. 4 out of 5

      DVD Extras: Count of Monte Cristo is what DVDs should look like. It's not a special edition, it's not a bonus disk set, it's just a ton of good stuff you want to finish filling up the extra space left on a disk. Deleted scenes, making of features, storyboard info, script stuff, behind the scenes of the fighting and stunts, retrospectives…You name it, it's here. Just what you want if you liked the movie enough to buy it in the first place. 5 out of 5

      Value vs. Price: Normally, I say a DVD is worth $15-20 and that number can go up based on how good the flick was and what else they give you. Well, Monte Cristo is a fantastic movie and it's chalk full of features so I'd say it's easily worth its $25 price tag. Plenty for the buck. 4 out of 5

      The Verdict:

       Ignore the fact that it didn't get an exceptional amount of press when it was in theaters- the Count of Monte Cristo really is a fantastic film. Action, drama, and a bad ass DVD setup mean it's definitely one for the collection.

      The Good: This movie and the extras it comes with.

      The Bad: At $25 it's a bit more than I normally like spending.

      The Overall Ugly: A must have.

      What it's Worth: Market

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