Monday, August 6, 2007

DVD Round-Up 2006

COLUMBUS, Ohio —This December, hundreds of new release DVDs will hit stores. Instead of letting Ebert and Roeper decide which films make the holiday wish list, allow some Ohio State film studies students make their recommendations.

The industry revs up every year and puts out blockbuster films and academy award hopefuls in theatres and on retailers shelves.

“The thing about the holidays that is best for DVD sales is really just the fact that it’s cold outside, and people don't want to go out as much,” Brandon Boring said.

Like mistletoe and stockings, movies have come to be a major part of the holiday season. So much so, often times people forego their usual weekend’s festivities and replace a night on the town with a movie rental.

“I like sitting by the fire in my living room, drinking hot chocolate and watching movies with my family,” Catherine Hendel said.

The problem arises in deciding which of the hundreds are worth buying or renting. While many films are worth renting and viewing, here are some of the new releases on DVD that should make the wish list.

Polar Express

Based on Chris Van Allsburg's popular children's book, the story follows a young boy who finds himself doubting the existence of Santa Claus. The boy lies in bed Christmas Eve in hope of hearing the reindeers and sleigh bells in the night, only to be surprised by the sounds of a steam train and its whistle. He then embarks on a wonderful journey to the North Pole.

Hendel puts it with her top five Christmas movies of all-time, along with It’s a Wonderful Life, The Santa Claus, A Christmas Story and Elf.

The movie is extremely touching and true-to-heart. It is not your everyday Christmas flick. It speaks volumes about the holiday spirit and is capable of bringing people to tears. Released on DVD almost a year after it was in theaters, Polar Express is a must have for holidays.

Cinderella Man

This is the true story about a surprising sports legend names James J. Braddock, who was nicknamed Cinderella Man. The movie depicts his life in the early 1930’s, during the Great Depression. It follows his life and boxing career from being a ex-prizefighter to catching his second wind and facing the heavyweight champion, Max Baer.

Cinderella Man was a fantastic movie that really didn't get enough credit because it wasn't a box office hit,” Taryn Troyer said. “Russell Crowe is always stupendous and it's a really well made film.”

It has already been mentioned by critics as possibly being an academy award best picture of the year nominee.

Brandon Boring said that the DVD is “definitely worth buying” and Hendel describes it simply as “amazing.”

Star Wars: Episode III

Star Wars: Episode III: The Revenge of the Sith is the final installment of the saga. It takes place before the original A New Hope and after Attack of the Clones. Its sole responsibility in the story line is to tie up all the loose ends and answer the questions people have pondered for nearly 30 years. It follows Anakin Skywalker in his final days before turning to the Dark Side and becoming Darth Vader.

Of all the movies on DVD, Boring said Star Wars: Episode III is top five on his all-time must-see list. It grossed $847,262,555 at the worldwide box office, finishing at 11 all-time, three spots ahead of the original Star Wars from 1977.

The Producers

Based on the Tony-Award winning musical and the original movie from 1968, The Producers is being remade again for the big screen and is due out December 21. Before catching the remake starring Matthew Broderick, Will Ferrell and Uma Thurman, buy the original on DVD with Gene Wilder and Mel Brooks. It follows the failing theatrical producer Max in a scheme to make money with his accountant Leo to purposely produce a flop, “Springtime for Hitler.”

The Producers is one of the funniest movies of all time,” Taryn Troyer said. “Definitely see the original before the remake comes out.”

The Simpson’s: Complete Seventh Season

The Simpsons is the longest running animated series and primetime sitcom in television history. It follows a lampoon family in the hilarious city of Springfield. Amongst the family members are Homer, the working class, overweight father and Bart, his misfit son. The seventh season began with a bang, literally, when the character who shot Mr. Burns is finally revealed. Other episodes include Radioactive Man and Treehouse of Horror VI.

The Simpsons has won numerous awards, including Emmys.

“I already recommend the seventh season of The Simpsons,” Justin Luna said.

Mr. and Mrs. Smith

Amid all the newsstand controversy surrounding the real life triangle of love between Brad Pitt, Jennifer Aniston and Angelina Jolie a movie was produced that may or may not have started it all. Mr. and Mrs. Smith is the box-office hit ($427,930,528) that somehow survived (or possibly thrived) on all the scandalous headlines that surrounded it.

It follows the secret lives of two special agent assassins who are married to one another. The domestic lives they lead for each other are just a cover that neither has any clue about until their worlds collide and their agencies hire them to kill the same man.

Hendel recommends seeing this film after her experience with it in theatres, describing it as “very good.”

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