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Welcome to VanRamblings’ newest


Welcome to VanRamblings’ newest weekly feature, New on DVD. Each and every Thursday, VanRamblings will point you in the direction of the week’s best new DVD releases available at your local home entertainment store.


Woefully overlooked at Christmas-time, and almost completely misunderstood, director Anthony Minghella’s adaptation of Charles Frazier’s best-selling novel, Cold Mountain was little short of magnificent, an epic movie that is all at once as rudely violent, treacherous and politically charged as the source work, yet at times managed a picaresque, hurtfully romantic, chastely sexy, and warmly humorous tone that proves entirely inviting.

How it is that Nicole Kidman’s performance as a privileged Southern Belle was overlooked for a Best Actress Oscar nomination for her work on this Christmas 2003 movie release beggars belief. Grand, poignant, heartbreaking, and exhiliarating in equal measure, Cold Mountain is a must early summer DVD rental (also available on VHS).


Were VanRamblings able to say the same of The Perfect Score, a middling teenage heist comedy. Director Brian Robbins, the former Head of the Class actor, has helmed a number of laclustre teen projects. The only sexy things in this tepid, forgettable teen movie are Scarlett Johansson’s cherry-printed underpants and Leonardo Nam’s bedroom eyes.


A warm-hearted and surprisingly ambitious sequel to the 2002 hit, Barbershop 2: Back in Business is less cartoonish and more generous than the original. From the often affecting flashbacks of Cedric The Entertainer’s early days in the shop during the combustible 1960s and early 1970s (which also give Cedric more time to riff and rip) to the wary eye it casts on contemporary political hypocrisy, Barbershop 2 finds hope in friendship, respect and community, and comfort in the company of a first-rate cast of African American actors, including Ice Cube, Eve and Sean Patrick Thomas.


And, finally this week, Seducing Dr. Lewis, about which Entertainment Weekly’s Lisa Schwarzbaum wrote: “In Jean-François Pouliot’s internationally charming, award-laden comedy Seducing Dr. Lewis, a guppy-size French Canadian fishing village in need of a resident doctor welcomes a smooth Montreal plastic surgeon offering a month’s medical services to expunge a minor drug charge ... but while Dr. Christopher Lewis plans a short stay, the citizenry, led by the town’s wily mayor, scheme to ensure longer-term commitment: They reinvent themselves as an irresistible, quaintly authentic Eden built on lies ... there’s shrewd wit to Pouliot’s gentle, no-bull farce.” And, by the way, she gives the movie a B+.

Posted by Raymond Tomlin at July 1, 2004 12:31 PM in Video & DVD


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