New on DVD

by December Lambeth on August 29, 2006

in DVD Reviews 

We’re here to keep you informed on hot choices for renting or buying new DVD releases. Take the Lead, Akeelah and the Bee, The Sentinel, Friends with Money, Her Majesty, Lord of the Rings Trilogy – Limited Edition (Theatrical & Extended versions), Desperate Housewives: The Complete Second Season – The Extra Juicy Edition, Arrested Development – Season Three & Nip/Tuck – The Complete Third Season

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Here’s what is getting released today on DVD:

Film:

Akeelah and the Bee –  Okay you’ve probably seen this film before.  A child prodigy learns of his/her gift, finds a teacher, and in training learns about him/her self and valuable life lessons.  Akeelah and the Bee isn’t the most original film, and it is more than a little contrived, yet it somehow overcomes these limitations and presents a truly enjoyable film for the whole family with some of the best ensemble child acting I’ve seen in some time.

How cool are spelling bees?  The film asks that question multiple times and the answer shifts from person to person over the course of the film including our title character.  Akeelah and the Bee actually makes the National Spelling Bee look pretty darn cool.  Now c’mon folks, that should pique your interest. Get the rest of Alan’s opinion on Akeelah and the Bee.

The Sentinel –  Nearly everything under director Clark Johnson’s (S.W.A.T.) belt is either a procedural cop show or t.v. action drama, and it shows with his latest film, The Sentinel.  This by the book thriller starts with a clever premise and then very quickly breaks what Alan & I call the ‘One Dumb Move Rule’, which trips whenever the simplest decision is overlooked for the sake of convoluting the plot.  Michael Douglas stars as an aging Secret Service man whose watched those he’s trained surpass him in the ranks, with Keifer Sutherland as his once-friend-now-pursurer who thinks Douglas is behind an assasination attempt on the president.  It’s difficult to get into the specifics of this one without giving away all the ‘twists’, but needless to say this film, while passable, runs more like an extended pilot than a cinematic experience. Get the rest of Aaron’s opinion on The Sentinel.

Friends with Money – Friends with money is…well it just is.  It’s got a wide range of good performances from talented actresses like Catherine Keener, Frances McDormand, John Cusack, and Jennifer Aniston.  Problem is there’s not really any story to tie these character together.  It’s just life.

I wish Jennifer Aniston would get a new agent.  She stars in some really horrendous films and yet finds nice supporting roles in films like She’s the One and Office Space.  Then last year she finally hit paydirt in starring in one of the better films of the year in Rumor Has It, but it seems things are back to normal with the regretable The Break-Up and Friends with Money as well providing yet more disappointment for fans of the girl we fell for as Rachel Green. Get the rest of Alan’s opinion on Friends With Money.

Her Majesty – “Her Majesty” is a quaint film that warms the heart and makes the audience think about humanity. Set in New Zealand in the year 1953; it’s amazing to see the similarities between life at that place and time and what it’s like here and now. Elizabeth Wakefield (Sally Andrews), lead character, is faced with becoming a young lady, all that comes with it and more. She is dealing with her brat brother, racism against the Maori people, small town thinking, puppy love and idealizing the queen. Elizabeth thought of the queen as teens today would think of Paris Hilton, she hung posters up on her walls and put on play coronations. She had a huge crush on her drill team instructor, even though he was too old for her, and had an older brother that taunted her everyday, he could have used a good swatting or two. Elizabeth, against her father’s wishes, became close friends with a Maori woman, Hira (Vicky Haughton). She got the opportunity to learn so much from Hira; about the true history of the town and how the Maoris people had owned the land. Town folk had chastised Hira and the kids would torment her by throwing stones at her windows and calling her a witch. Elizabeth didn’t care if she would get the same treatment, she believed in truth and equality for all. She was quite a mature little girl with a clear way of thinking.

The characters are so rich and full of life and conviction in “Her Majesty”, one can’t help but to laugh and cry along with them. A fictional story that has taken it’s knocks and still found a path to the big screen and now your homes. Mark J. Gordon, writer and director, worked very hard to get the Hollywood studio system interested, but finally found himself going to outside funding. “Her Majesty” was funded completely by private individuals, this reason alone gives the film great integrity. If someone believed enough to give up their hard earned dollar, then it’s got to be worth seeing.

Special Edition:

Lord of the Rings Trilogy – Limited Edition (Theatrical & Extended versions) – Just in case you wanted to stay completely immobile for an entire like 36 hours, the perfect gift for you would be Lord of the Rings Trilogy – Limited Edition with both Theatrical & Extended versions. You know what I always say, you can never get enough hobbit in your life.

Television:

Desperate Housewives: The Complete Second Season – The Extra Juicy Edition –  Here you have it more Desperate Housewives and now it’s even juicier. The return of the over pampered and over sexed women who portrays the most unrealistic image of a housewife. A popular hit with everyone who has ever watched it and – been there done that. Wisteria Lane, never to go with out and always on your toes. All 24 episodes on six discs and specials like meeting TV’s most iconic housewives like Shirley Jones (The Patridge Family) and Marion Ross (Happy Days), interview with creator and director and plenty of juicy parts with the housewives themselves and the men who sweat on the show.

Arrested Development – Season Three –  Jason Bateman, anybody remember him from way back when? He’s back and funnier than ever in season three of Arrested Development. Jason, with a family now, must over come and conquer everyday trials and tribulations with son, mother, father and older brother. Many actors like Ben Stiller, Justine Bateman (sis), Scott Baio and Charlize Theron accompanied the set and crew and added to the laughs. DVD set includes 13 episode on 2 discs with 19 deleted scenes and a few extended, plus a bit of commentary.

Nip/Tuck – The Complete Third Season – A weird little show, with plenty of twists and turns, of the scalpel. Sexy plastic surgeons do there thing and odd little crimes seem to appear here and there that must be solved. This season is no different than others, except it maybe a little more extreme than usual. Most of the storyline revolves around “The Carver” which is a serial rapist who mutilates his victims. Who is it and will he or she be stopped?

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