CATEGORIES DVDsThere's war in the air this week. In 'Green Zone,' director Paul Greengrass and actor Matt Damon wage war against Pentagon deceit and lies (about weapons of mass destruction) while waging the war in Iraq. In 'She's Out of My League,' there's the war of the sexes as average-joe Jay Baruchel woes gorgeous Alice Eve, much to the chagrin of his nay-saying friends and family. Read on. 'Green Zone'
What It's About: Director Paul Greengrass and actor Matt Damon team again (after the last two Bourne films) to present this harrowing look at the early days of the war in Iraq. During the U.S.-led occupation of Baghdad in 2003, Chief Warrant Officer Roy Miller (Damon) and his team of Army inspectors were dispatched to find weapons of mass destruction believed to be stockpiled in the Iraqi desert. Rocketing from one booby-trapped and treacherous site to the next, the men search for deadly chemical agents but stumble instead upon an elaborate cover-up by the Pentagon. There were no WMDs; it was all a well-calculated "lie" to rationalize the invasion of Iraq.
It's Kinda Like: 'Three Kings' meets 'Paths of Glory'
What We Say: To say this film is anti-climatic in its expose of the cover-up of non-existent WMDs in Iraq is to underestimate the power of the film. Despite the fact that most Americans already know about our government's misstatements about the war, it's still educational to see that from the very beginning there were those -- in the armed forces -- already challenging the conventional wisdom -- not for any particular agenda, but to seek the truth. Damon is fabulous as that truthseeker, and Greengrass' fast-paced action and attention to detail makes this a thinking person's political thriller right up there with "Z." The image and sound on the Blu-ray Disc puts you right in the action. | Rotten Tomatoes Reviews
'She's Out of My League'
What It's About: Very slight comedy about smart and sweet underachiever Kirk (Jay Baruchel), who works as an airport security agent and who can't believe his luck when the successful and gorgeous Molly (Alice Eve) falls for him. She's a '10' and he's lucky if he's a '5' and at any moment Kirk just knows that the other shoe will drop. But it doesn't, and now that he's got the girl, he has to contend with his own insecurities and the incessant barrage of ego-deflating "support" from his smart-ass friends, crazy family and obnoxious ex-girlfriend, and figure out how to make the relationship work
It's Kinda Like: 'The 40-Year-Old Virgin' meets 'Valley Girl'
What We Say: Fluffy comedy doesn't hold many surprises. The hero is smarter, hipper and cooler than he makes himself out to be (when he gets away from his jerky friends and family and acts like himself); the gorgeous girl has more on the ball than just good looks and a sexy body. Just what we would expect. It all boils down to self-confidence and not being superficial which, in it's reliance on some bathroom humor and stereotypical characters, this film does not rise above. | Rotten Tomatoes Reviews
'A Star Is Born'
Why the Re-Release? This restored version of one of Hollywood's classics is a joy to behold. The George Cukor-directed 1954 film starring Judy Garland and James Mason was shortened for theatrical release after its premiere; this edition uses the original camera negative (and some still photos to replace lost footage) to bring the film back up to its three-hour running time. The technicolor comes to life with shimmering colors and the musical numbers ring with authority.
New Special Features: There's nearly four hours of special features, including deleted scenes, alternate takes of some of the musical numbers, rare recording session music, alternate dramatic scenes, a 1954 studio exhibitor reel, and much, much more.
Is It Worth Upgrading? The last DVD edition of 'A Star Is Born' was in 2000; this one uses the latest technology to re-present the CinemaScope picture in all its glory, making it an important replacement for the previous, shortened edition. If you don't have it in your collection yet, get it now; particularly the Blu-ray edition if you have a Hi-Def setup.
Other New June 22 DVD Releases:
'Death Race 2000 Special Edition'
'The Good Guy'
'The Last Station'
'Night Train to Munich' (Criterion)
'Red Desert' (Criterion)
Check out other new June 22 DVD releases at OnVideo.