Invictus – Clint Eastwood’s latest directorial effort stars Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon in the true story of the 1995 South African rugby team and the miraculous run during the World Cup of Rugby. Tensions are high in South Africa with Nelson Mandela being elected president. Racism still exists between blacks and whites, and Mandela sees an opportunity to unite his country with the play of the national rugby team. He reaches out to the captain of the team, and slowly the country gets behind the Springboks, leading to their dramatic match in the World Cup final. The film was nominated for two Academy Awards (Best Actor – Morgan Freeman and Best Supporting Actor – Matt Damon). Clint Eastwood is one of the best directors in film history, and I think this film will find a greater appreciation on DVD than it did in theatres.
Valentine’s Day – This is an ensemble film (in the spirit of He’s Just Not That Into You) about the lives of people in Los Angeles on Valentine’s Day. The film features an all-star cast that includes Jessica Alba, Jessica Biel, Jessica Garner, Anne Hathaway, Queen Latifah, Bradley Cooper, Patrick Dempsey, Jamie Foxx, Topher Grace and Ashton Kutcher. If you’re seeing this film it is because of the star power, as critics tore this movie apart when it was released, and audiences soon vanished after February 14th.
Extraordinary Measures – This film stars Harrison Ford and Brendan Fraser and is inspired by true events. Fraser plays John Crowley and finds out that two of his children have a rare genetic disorder that threatens their lives. Fraser and his wife (played by Keri Russell) look to find a researcher that might be able to save their kids. He ends up meeting Dr. Robert Stonehill (Harrison Ford) and gets him to help find a cure for his children’s disease. The film was a disappointment in theatres, but I again think this film will find an audience on DVD just because Harrison Ford’s name is attached.
The Spy Next Door – Jackie Chan stars in this action-comedy for kids as a former CIA spy who looks after his girlfriend’s three kids. If you’ve seen the Vin Diesel vehicle The Pacifier then you know that no matter how good Chan was an agent, he is no match for looking after three kids. The story progresses to a point where one of the kids downloads a top-secret formula, which causes a Russian mobster to pay them a visit. Chan will have to use all his skills to take down the villain and save the family.
The Messenger – This critically acclaimed film stars Ben Foster, Woody Harrelson and Samantha Morton in the story about a soldier who is injured in Iraq and has to come home. When he returns to the U.S., he is assigned to the Casualty Notification Team, despite the fact that he has no training, and is not qualified to inform soldier’s families that their son or daughter died in combat. He is partnered with Woody Harrelson’s character to learn the ropes. The young soldier ends up falling in love with a woman who he had to tell that her husband died. Harrelson’s character tries to prevent the love from happening as he knows it is not the best thing for either of them in the long run. The film was nominated for two Oscars (Best Supporting Actor – Woody Harrelson and Best Original Screenplay), and is one of those hidden gems that is worth checking out.
The New Daughter – Kevin Costner stars in a film where he plays a single father that moves his two children to South Carolina. The move does not go well, and causes one of his daughters to behave strangely. The buzz on this film is not good, and it shows how far Academy Award Winner Kevin Costner has fallen. From what I have read about this film, you are best to rent a Costner film from his glory years of the 80’s and 90’s than watch The New Daughter.
TV ON DVD
Law and Order: Criminal Intent – The Fifth Year – This season starts off with Chris Noth returning to the franchise as Detective Mike Logan, and continues to follows the cases of the officers in the Major Case Squad. This was the penultimate year the series was on NBC, but as fans of the series know, it has gained a new life since being moved to the USA Network. It never reached the popularity of Law and Order or Law and Order: Special Victims Unit but it is still worth watching.
Until Next Tuesday!