What’s on DVD Tuesday, May 18, 2010?
What does Nelson Mandela do after becoming president of South Africa? He rejects revenge, forgives oppressors who jailed him 27 years for his fight against apartheid and finds hope of national unity in an unlikely place: the rugby field. Clint Eastwood directs an uplifting film about a team and a people inspired to greatness. Morgan Freeman is Mandela, who asks the national rugby team captain and his squad to do the impossible and win the World Cup. Prepare to be moved–and thrilled. (Amazon)
If the army has a second-worst job (it goes without saying that combat is by far the scariest and most horrific), it has to be the one depicted in director-cowriter Oren Moverman’s The Messenger, which draws us into the lives of the soldiers whose grim duty it is to inform next of kin that a loved one has died in the conflict in Iraq. Staff Sergeant Will Montgomery (Ben Foster) has just returned home, injured, decorated as a hero for saving several other soldiers, and only three months from being discharged, when he is assigned to Casualty Notification (described by his commanding officer as “a sacred mission”). (Amazon)
The starriest cast you may ever see sparkles in a hilarious and heartwarming romantic comedy from the director of Pretty Woman and The Princess Diaries. Stories crisscross, collide and boomerang in this look at a day in the life of love. There’s a proposal. Flowers that didn’t get sent. A big fat secret that’s finally told. The “I’ll show up and surprise him” that ended up surprising her. Fights, kisses, wrong turns, right moves and more. Whether new to or through with love, you’ll fall in love with this 19-star, funny-side-up celebration of romance. (Amazon)
Imagine Harrison Ford as a rogue scientist exploring not ancient artifacts of lost arks, but biochemical research to help cure rare diseases. In Extraordinary Measures, Ford manages to keep some of that wry rebellious Indiana Jones energy as he plays Dr. Robert Stonehill, a fringe researcher whose findings just might help keep alive the two children of John Crowley, played with heart and sobriety by Brendan Fraser. Extraordinary Measures is based on a true story, one chronicled in the gripping book The Cure: How a Father Raised $100 Million–and Bucked the Medical Establishment–in a Quest to Save His Children, by Wall Street Journal reporter Geeta Anand. (Amazon)
The Spy Next Door
THE SPY NEXT DOOR stars Jackie Chan as Bob Ho, an undercover CIA superspy who decides to give up his career in espionage to settle down with his next-door neighbor and girlfriend, Gillian (Amber Valletta). But Bob has one more mission to complete before Gillian agrees to marry him: winning over her three opinionated kids. When Gillian suddenly has to leave town, Bob volunteers to babysit the children so he can earn their approval. (Amazon)