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VanRamblings Recommends a Few DVDs For You To Watch

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IN HER SHOES

Earlier in the week, VanRamblings committed to acknowledging some of the more recommendable 2005 film releases that have débuted — or are about to début — on DVD. So with that salutary chore in mind, we’ll begin by recommending Curtis Hanson’s (L. A. Confidential) critically well-received, but woefully under-attended, In Her Shoes, a caustic, funny, accomplished, emotionally involving, and almost always surprising (but pleasantly so) comedy-drama, with Oscar calibre performances from Cameron Diaz, Toni Collette and Shirley MacLaine. Due out on DVD on Tuesday, January 31st, you’d be wise to reserve it right now.

SISTERHOOD OF THE TRAVELING PANTS

If you’re looking for something to watch this weekend, you could do a lot worse than The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, a real sleeper and one of the most appealing and irrepressibly sunny movie confections of 2005, a coming-of-age fantasy drama that tells a heartening and genuinely moving tale about a consequential summer in the lives of four lifelong best friends who've known each other since birth.

HUSTLE AND FLOW

If you’re in the mood for something a bit more gritty, Sundance Audience Award winner Hustle and Flow oughta be right up your alley. A tough, well-acted hip-hop drama, writer-director Craig Brewer’s début film strikes an almost perfect balance between grit and heart, capturing the hard edge of poverty and lack of opportunity but also the ray of hope for a better life. New out on DVD this week.

LAYER CAKE

Another gritty drama — due out on video next week — this time British and starring the new James Bond, Daniel Craig, is the brazeningly entertaining Layer Cake, a stylish and classic gangster saga about the clashing of rival empires, where the only thing worse than the killer before you is the killer waiting behind him. With its propulsive, colour drenched cinematography this corrosive confection emerges as high style, high octane entertainment of the first order.

RED EYE

New on video this week, and perfect entertainment to watch on your home theatre system: Red Eye, surprisingly effective B-grade fare that offers enough playful wit and genuine tension to make it a more than worthwhile DVD rental. Starring up-and-comers Rachel McAdams and Cillian Murphy, Red Eye’s white-knuckle airborne fun comes from director Wes Craven’s old hand familiarity with the way thrillers tick, predicated on the smallest and most banal of missed connections. Celebrated last summer as a minimalist exercise in maximalist suspense, while pulling every nail biting, edge of your seat trick imaginable, here’s one movie that truly entertains.

THE CONSTANT GARDENER

And finally, the most recommendable film of 2005, new on video this week: The Constant Gardener, VanRamblings’ pick as the number one movie of 2005. Don’t miss it. You may even want to purchase it. As we said in our 2005 Top 10 Film posting, The Constant Gardener is “far and away the best film of the year, this provocative and assured thriller-romance provided not only the most alluring love story captured on film this past year, this is a masterwork of suspense and political intrigue.”

Posted by Raymond Tomlin at January 14, 2006 12:48 AM in Video & DVD

   

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