Feb 20, 2009

New DVDs in February--a selection

2001: A Space Odyssey
When a three-million-year-old puzzling monolith is discovered on the moon, a crew of researchers are sent to discover the monolith's origins. But when the artificially intelligent super-computer, HAL 9000, becomes cyber-psychopathic and holds supreme control over their spaceship, the crew must battle to overthrow HAL before it's too late. A 1968 Stanley Kubrick film masterpiece adapted from an Arthur C. Clarke fiction masterpiece.

Anne of Green Gables
The story of a young girl who finds adventure (and misadventure) as she makes her way from a series of unpleasant foster families and orphanage experiences to the paradise of Prince Edward Island and the stern Cuthbert household of Green Gables.
1985. Also available is Anne of Green Gables: The Continuing Story.

Brideshead Revisited
Matthew Goode stars as lower-class Londoner Charles Ryder, an aspiring artist who is beginning his studies in history at Oxford in the 1920s. A chance encounter with dandyish aristocrat Sebastian Flyte changes the course of his life. The film follows Charles from the carefree '20s through the beginning of World War II, focusing on his complicated relationship with the upper-class family and their estate, Brideshead. Fans of the book--and the 11-hour 1981 miniseries--may bristle at the film's relatively brief running time, but the story has been successfully distilled into the essentials. 2008.

Burn After Reading
When a disc filled with some of the CIA's most irrelevant secrets gets in the hands of two determined but dim-witted gym employees, the duo is intent on exploiting their find. Starring George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Francis McDormand and John Malkovich, it signals a return to comedy for the Coen Brothers. 2008.

Citizen Kane
The story charts the rise and fall of a newspaper publisher whose wealth and power ultimately isolates him in his castle-like refuge. The film's protagonist, Charles Foster Kane, was based on a composite of Howard Hughes and William Randolph Hearst. Every moment of the film, every shot, has been choreographed to perfection. The film is essential viewing, quite possibly the greatest film ever made and, along with THE BIRTH OF A NATION, certainly the most influential.
Starring Orson Welles, Joseph Cotten, Everett Sloane, and Agnes Moorehead. 1941.

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly
An all-new, fully restored version of this spaghetti western tale of greed, revenge, and epic warfare, with 18 additional minutes. Includes many special features including deleted scenes and documentaries. Award-winning cinematography and score. Starring Clint Eastwood, Eli Wallach and Lee Van Cleef. Its two predecessors, A Fistful of Dollars and For A Few Dollars More are also available. 1966.

Kung Fu Panda
Po is a fuzzy and clumsy panda who dreams of joining the world of martial arts. When he is trained to be the next Dragon Master by his idols, will he fail...or become an unlikely hero? Bonus features include commentary, featurettes, and more. 2008.

Lawrence of Arabia
David Lean's 1962 masterpiece, perhaps the greatest of screen epics, stars Peter O'Toole. While working on the staff of British Intelligence in Cairo in 1916, Lawrence's fluency in Arabic earns him a post on a mission sent to establish contact with Prince Feisal (Alec Guinness), leader of the Arab revolt and ally of the British against the German-sponsored Turks in WWI. As the Englishman's genius for guerrilla warfare becomes evident, he assumes the role of de facto leader of the Arab revolt, uniting the heretofore warring tribes into a devastatingly effective weapon. A visionary work that unfolds one indelible image after another, LAWRENCE OF ARABIA fuses the conflict of man against man, man against nature, and man against himself into a sublime poem of force. The film's outstanding cast includes Claude Rains, Jack Hawkins, Arthur Kennedy, Anthony Quinn, Jose Ferrer, and Omar Sharif in his unforgettable desert-crossing debut.

Leonard Shelby is searching for the man who raped and murdered his wife. He survived, but developed a mind block due to the attack. He can remember everything from before, but memories of anything that followed come and go every few minutes. Highly original, clever and complex. Guy Pearce. 2000.

Miracle at St. Anna
Four black American soldiers, who are members of the U.S. Army's all-black 92nd 'Buffalo Soldier' division stationed in Italy during World War II, find themselves trapped behind enemy lines after they risk their lives to save a young Italian boy. 2009.

Space Chimps
Ham III, grandson of the first chimpanzee in space, is asked to help retrieve a $5 billion Space Agency probe that has disappeared into space. 2008.

Step Brothers
Two middle-aged men find themselves becoming brothers after their parents meet each other and marry. When their laziness threatens to break up the family, the pair work as a team to get their mom and dad back together. Starring Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly. 2008.

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