Here are some great DVDs that we have found interesting and useful and enlightening. Descriptions are taken from Amazon.com. If you would like to purchase any of these offerings, click on the title which is a link to open another window directed at Amazon.com.
Francis Ford Coppola, Marlon Brando, Martin Sheen, Robert Duvall
Digitally remastered with 49 minutes of previously unseen footage, Apocalypse Now Redux is the reference standard of Francis Coppola’s 1979 epic. A metaphorical hallucination of the Vietnam War, the film was reconstructed by Coppola and editor Walter Murch to enrich themes and clarify the ending. On that basis Redux is a qualified success, more coherent than the original while inviting the same accusations of directorial excess. The restored “French plantation” sequence adds ghostly resonance to the war’s absurdity, and Willard’s theft of Colonel Kurtz’s beloved surfboard adds welcomed humor to the film’s nightmarish upriver journey. –Jeff Shannon
Forest Whitaker, Director Jim Jarmusch
Whitaker is Ghost Dog, a mysterious New York hit man who lives simply on a tenement rooftop and follows a code of behavior outlined in Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai (passages of this book are interspersed throughout the film).
Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne. Directors: Wachowski Brothers
A messiah of sorts, Morpheus presents Neo with the truth about his world by shedding light on the dark secrets that have troubled him for so long: “You’ve felt it your entire life, that there’s something wrong with the world. You don’t know what it is, but it’s there, like a splinter in your mind, driving you mad.” Ultimately, Morpheus illustrates to Neo what the Matrix is–a reality beyond reality that controls all of their lives, in a way that Neo can barely comprehend.
Jason Statham, Ray Liotta Director: Guy Ritchie
It’s a little bit more of a serious sort of psychological thriller… about being able to smash what controls you, but at the same time it’s all set within a world of ya know, violence, ya know that sexy shiny world that Guy Ritchie creates.
Mel Gibson, Sophie Marceau Director: Mel Gibson
Mel Gibson directs and stars in this Academy Award-winning epic based on the life of legendary thirteenth century Scottish hero William Wallace. Returning to his homeland following the death of an heirless king Wallace (Mel Gibson) finds the political landscape precarious.
Brad Pitt, Helena Bonham Carter, David Fincher (Director)
Fight Club, directed by David Fincher (Seven), is not for the faint of heart; the violence is no holds barred. But the film is captivating and beautifully shot, with some thought-provoking ideas. Pitt and Norton are an unbeatable duo, and the film has some surprisingly humorous moments. The film leaves you with a sense of profound discomfort and a desire to see it again, if for no other reason than to just to take it all in. –Jenny Brown
Gerard Butler, Lena Headey, Director Zack Snyder
The epic graphic novel by Frank Miller (Sin City) assaults the screen with the blood, thunder and awe of its ferocious visual style faithfully recreated in an intense blend of live-action and CGI animation. Retelling the ancient Battle of Thermopylae, it depicts the titanic clash in which King Leonidas (Gerard Butler) and 300 Spartans fought to the death against Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro) and his massive Persian army. Experience history at swordpoint. And moviemaking with a cutting edge.
Denzel Washington, Christopher Walken, Dakota Fanning Directed by Tony Scott
In Mexico City, a former Marine swears vengeance on those who committed an unspeakable act against the family he was hired to protect.
Russell Crowe, Directed by Ridley Scott
Before his death, the Emperor chooses Maximus to be his heir over his own son, Commodus, and a power struggle leaves Maximus and his family condemned to death. The powerful general is unable to save his family, and his loss of will allows him to get captured and put into the Gladiator games until he dies. The only desire that fuels him now is the chance to rise to the top so that he will be able to look into the eyes of the man who will feel his revenge.