February 12, 2008

DVD Pick of the Week: Gone Baby Gone

Last week brought us one of my favorite movies from 2007, Across the Universe. This week was not able to match that with such a highly desired title of its own, but that does not mean it is bereft of titles worthy of being added to your collection. Quite the opposite, as a matter of fact. While none fly as high as the Beatles musical, there are plenty of releases that will surely spark at least some curiosity to not necessarily buy, but definitely add to your Netflix queue. Hopefully, I am not leading you down the wrong path, but hey, everything seen is another experience, right?

This week's pick involves one of everyone's favorite punching bags, Ben Affleck. That's right, the star of such cinematic gems as Gigli and Phantoms was also involved with this week's most desirable new release. That's right, this week's pick is none other than Gone Baby Gone, a film that has not one but two Affleck's. On top of that it has garnered an Oscar nomination. I think it is unlikely that it will win that award, but it does not diminish the fact that it got the nomination and is well deserving of it.

For those of you unfamiliar with this film, it concerns the kidnapping of a young girl and the young man who finds himself in the midst of the case. It is a film that navigates the murky waters rife with moral ambiguities leading to a climax that does not offer any easy answers and will stay with you long after the it ends.

The film was directed by and co-written by Ben, and marks his big screen debut at the helm. He acquits himself admirably in this new position. It clearly shows that while he was on the various movie sets through his career, he was paying attention to what was going on off camera. His future career could be interesting if he chooses to pursue more directing opportunities.

In front of the camera is Ben's younger brother, Casey, who has an Oscar nomination himself (although not for this film). He does a very good job as an investigator whose age is a detriment, but whose connections are invaluable. He is joined by Amy Ryan, Oscar nominee, as the mother of the missing girl. On top of that, Morgan Freeman and Ed Harris add considerable experience. In short, it is a strong cast and a strong movie that is well deserving of being seen.

Also out this week:
  • Becoming Jane. This pseudo-biopic features strong lead performances, but is a little flat when you come out the other side. Anne Hathaway and James McAvoy star.
  • No Reservations. This was not a great movie, but it definitely was sweet-natured and an enjoyable watch. Catherine Zeta-Jones, Abigail Breslin, and Aaron Eckhart star.
  • We Own the Night. Mediocre cop drama that fails to deliver what the trailers promise, but is nonetheless watchable. It does, however, feature a fantastic car chase.
  • Martian Child. Much like the above, this has plenty to offer, but is not great by any stretch. It does feature a strong performance from John Cusack.
  • George of the Jungle: The Complete Series. Fan of old school animation? This is for you!
  • Tyler Perry's: Why Did I Get Married? Never seen a Tyler Perry film, but this is the one that I was most interested in.
  • WWE: The Legacy of Stone Cold Steve Austin. My interest has waned in this entertainment over the years, but there is no denying the impact the Rattlesnake has had.
  • Guess Who's Coming to Dinner: 40th Anniversary Edition. Classic remastered for DVD, nows the time to pick it up if you haven't yet (myself included).
  • Blade the Series: The Complete Series. Better than expected series was canceled before its time. This would be a good one to add to the "to rent" list.
  • Romance & Cigarettes. Not familiar with this, but it has a strong cast and its a musical. Could be a weird one!
  • Warner Brothers Academy Awards Animation Collection. Available in 3 disk and single disk editions. This is going to be a nice set of cartoons! Warner's has some great work in their library.
  • The Wiz: 30th Anniversary Edition. Diana Ross and Michael Jackson head down the yellow brick road.
  • The Royal Tramp Collection. A new release from in the Dragon Dynasty line. This is a pair of films starring Stephen Chow (Kung Fu Hustle). I've been wanting to see these flicks for awhile now.
  • Four Swords: Shaw Brothers Box Set (Vengeance is a Golden Blade, Have Sword Will Travel, Water Margin, The Wandering Swordsman). Hard to go wrong with classic Shaw Brothers martial arts films. This is a repackaging of titles that together are cheaper than they are alone.


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