Don’t have the money for or transportation to a movie theater? That’s no longer a problem! Some recent DVD releases are proving that quality films are still being produced. “Children of Men,” directed by Alfonso Cauron (of Harry Potter fame), is a thriller which takes place in 2027. The world has been barren for 20 years and a seeming lack of political organization has led to constant turmoil and terrorism in Britain, the film’s setting. One woman, Kee (Claire-Hope Ashitey), miraculously becomes pregnant and protagonist Theo Faron (Clive Owen) agrees to escort her to safety. Their goal is to reach the Human Project; a group of doctors that will assist and study Kee, helping to provide hope for the future.
“Children of Men” may feature a science-fiction plot but it is not just for fans of the genre. The film proves to be very entertaining with edge-of-your-seat action sequences. Many of these action scenes are impressively shot as one take, showing the dedication of the actors and filmmakers.
On an entirely different note, “Happy Feet” also recently made its way to DVD. Directed by George Miller, the film features the voice talents of Elijah Wood, Robin Williams and Nicole Kidman, among others. The plot is a simple one: all penguins have a song in their heart. All penguins except for Mumble, that is, who has been given the gift of tap dancing. He wants to embrace it despite the fact that everyone else tells him it is wrong because it is different.
Perpetuating the idea of acceptance is beneficial to viewers of all ages, despite the fact that some may view this as just a child’s movie. “Happy Feet” took home the Oscar for Best Animated Feature in February. The film has a lot of humor, many popular songs and can be enjoyed by anyone.
For those who cannot get enough drama in their lives, there are the recent releases “The Pursuit of Happyness” and “Bobby.” “The Pursuit of Happyness,” directed by Gabriele Muccino, features Will Smith portraying the real-life Chris Gardner. Gardner suffers from divorce, homelessness and unemployment.
However, Gardner does whatever he can to not only better his life but the life of his young son. Smith’s performance is top-notch in a very moving film, which hopefully opens eyes to the poverty problem in America.
While “The Pursuit of Happyness” is driven by the performance of Smith, “Bobby” is an ensemble drama, including the talents of Anthony Hopkins, Helen Hunt, Elijah Wood, Lindsay Lohan, Shia LeBeouf, Demi Moore, Martin Sheen, and the list goes on.
Surprisingly, it is LeBeouf who appears sans underwear, not Lohan.
Emilio Estevez not only co-stars and directs, but wrote the screenplay telling the story of many characters’ lives which all intersect at the Ambassador Hotel on June 6, 1968, the night Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated.
Estevez expertly inserts actual footage of Kennedy and other important events, including the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., into the film. This technique helps to set the tone of the film and gives some important knowledge to younger viewers.
“Bobby” also offers some interesting commentary on today’s world. For example, the film takes place during the Vietnam War, which seems parallel to the current war in Iraq. Estevez’s film is probably not just about the story of Kennedy, but a message about today’s politics.
These are four quality films which manage to entertain, yet each offer something different to the audience. Whether you’re a fan of science-fiction, family films, or well-acted drams, there is something out there for you at the video store. It is even suggested to step outside your typical genre interest with new releases like these.