January 30, 2007

DVD Pick of the Week: Catch a Fire

This week offers up a decent selection of recent films, some older cult films, some unknowns, and some new direct to DVD releases. While there are a number of titles that will vie for your attention, there are precious few hat belong to the "gotta have it now" category. Still, I was able to relatively easily select this week's pick.

This week's pick is the excellent political and personal drama from director Philip Noyce, Catch a Fire. It is a movie that puts a face ont he struggle to end apartheid in South Africa. It is a wonderful film with truly excellent performances.

It is the true story of Patrick Chamusso, played by Derek Luke. He was a loving family man with a good job, who is kidnapped by the government on suspicion of terrorist activities. He is not involved, yet they continue to hurt him and his family. These actions force him to become a man of action. Since they tortured him and his family for no reason, he set out to give them a reason. He stands up for what was right. On the other side of the coin is Tim Robbins, playing a member of the anti-terrorist unit seeking Patrick out.

Catch a Fire is a powerful movie. It gives a look into what was going on during this era of South Africa's history. I admit to not having much knowledge of the history of the country, but this gives a personal look into the era through the eyes of a patriot.

The DVD includes deleted scenes and a commentary track. Not terribly much, but the commentary track includes the real Patrick Chamusso, along with director Philip Noyce, producer Robyn Slovo, screenwriter Shawn Slovo, and actors Tim Robbins, Derek Luke, and Bonnie Henna.

Also out this week:
  • Open Season. Mediocre to low level CG animated film featuring the voices of Ashton Kutcher and Martin Lawrence. My favorite thing about the movie? Bunny violence!
  • Flyboys. This was a little low on character development, but the bi-plane battle scenes were electric. This is available in two disk and single disk editions.
  • The Marine. Looking for a little throwback to 1980's era action films? Look no further. This is not a terribly good movie, but it was a fun action diversion. Available in unrated and theatrical cuts.
  • The Passion of the Christ: Two Disk Definitive Edition. Finally, a special edition of the Gibson epic. This includes the original theatrical version and the recut editon that ran in theaters last year. It also includes numerous commentary tracks and a second disk filled with featurettes on the making of the movie.
  • Farce of the Penguins. Penguins for adults. This is a take off on March of the Penguins, obviosuly. It is narrated by Samuel L. Jackson and features birds with celebrity voices speaking in frank manner of their sexual proclivities.
  • The Silence of the Lambs: Collector's Edition. Just in time for the new Hannibal themed flick comes this new edition with a number of new featurettes. Not sure I will spring for this, but it is a great film.
  • Unknown. Despite star power, this is getting put straight to DVD, it may have had a limited theatrical run of which I am unaware. It looks like it could be interesting, featuring a group of strangers missing a part of their memory in a warehouse. Features Greg Kinnear, James Caviziel, Joe Pantoliano, Bridget Moynahan, and Barry Pepper.
  • Dynamic: 1 - The Best of davidlynch.com. This is a collection of short films and other footage that was previously only available to fan club members. Love him or hate him, there is sure to be some interesting content.
  • Gymkata. Not familiar with this one, but it looks goofy enough to provide some entertainment. It is an 80's action film starring a gymnastics champion who combines his gymastics with martial arts. Get it? Gymkata?
  • Iron Maiden: Death on the Road. The long delayed concert set finally seems ready to appear in the US. I had a copy of this months ago and it is a good show.
  • Maniac. Slasher film from William Lustig, and featuring makeup effects from Tom Savini, how can you go wrong?
  • Evil. Never heard of this one before, but it claims to be in the vein of Evil Dead and Dead Alive, so hopefully it will at least be mildly entertaining.

What are you getting this week?


RC said...

i really thought catch a fire was an interesting film worth checking out.

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