“Deliverance” has been released in a special deluxe edition DVD to put that fear in a new generation. The story follows four suburbanites as their weekend warrior canoe trip in the deep woods of Georgia goes horribly wrong. The new DVD includes a 4-part 35th anniversary retrospective, featuring new interviews with the cast, director John Boorman and James Dickey’s son.
The film itself is an uncomfortable, gritty action flick that is a bit too realistic for many. The key to this film is the pacing, which takes its time but eventually escalates into one of the worst trips a man can take. Watching the film 35 years after its original release shows that the casting was perfect, considering Ned Beatty and Ronny Cox were newcomers to the screen and have become as recognizable as co-stars Burt Reynolds and John Voight.
If you haven’t seen “Deliverance” – or haven’t seen it in a while – it’s worth revisiting. At the very least, it will help you remember how great movies were made without going over the top.
Additional features include a director’s commentary, the 1972 vintage featurette “The Dangerous World of Deliverance” and the original theatrical trailer.
"COMMANDO: DIRECTOR'S CUT"
Schwarzenegger galvanizes his place as a rock-solid action hero as John Matrix, a retired commando who is targeted by a South American former dictator (Dan Hedaya). Matrix’s daughter (Alyssa Milano) is kidnapped in order to force him to assassinate the dictator’s successor. However, Matrix uses his deadly skills to wage war against the kidnappers.
“Commando” serves as a template for many future action flicks, some of which also starred Schwarzenegger. It’s not a great story or a great plot, but as a 80s-era work of pop culture art, the film is a hoot. Schwarzenegger is in his element, looking the best he has in his career. There’s lots of blood, lots of bullets and some extra gruesome deaths in this remastered director’s cut.
The DVD includes both the theatrical version and the director’s cut, a full-length audio commentary with Mark Lester, a new retrospective featurette, a spotlight on the action, deleted scenes and an extensive still gallery.
"BLOODRAYNE 2: DELIVERANCE"
The sequel to the much-maligned “BloodRayne,” this installment has landed on video, marking one of Boll’s first appearances in the direct-to-DVD (or almost direct-to-DVD) market. This film is lower rent, mainly because of the absence of name power he had in the original film. Kristanna Loken has been replaced by Natassia Malthe as the title character, who has come to America to hunt vampires in the old West.
The historical figure of Billy the Kid (Zack Ward) is shown as a vampire who is trying to take over a town that will serve as a railroad hub. This will allow Billy to expand his army of cowboy vampires (I love that term, by the way) across the country. Rayne teams up with some outlaws to send the vampires pacing.
As with any Uwe Boll film, “BloodRayne 2: Deliverance” has many parts that don’t quite make sense. The dialogue is pretty bad, and the acting is rough (especially with Zack Ward). However, Natassia Malthe make an even sexier Rayne, and the film can be a fun horror action DVD.
There are two discs in the set – one containing the feature and the other containing the video game. Additional features include extended scenes, deleted scenes, cast and crew interviews, a director’s commentary and a pretty cool digital comic book.
The film tells the bittersweet story of a woman (Sally Field) dying of ovarian cancer. Her four children are brought together in her last weeks of life to say good-bye and put things in order. However, the kids haven’t gotten along perfectly in the past, and their mother’s tense last days put additional strains on their relationships.
Writer/director Steve Stockman made this film to help him deal with his own mother’s passing, and I have sympathy for him. However, I would hope my own family would have less to fight about and more to celebrate in my own death. This film is made for those who want to feel the emotional pain (e.g., guilt, regret, anger and envy) of a family drama, and that’s not really my cup of tea.
The performances are pretty solid all around, and Sally Field is supported well by her cast. However, the movie has been advertised and marketed as a comedy, which is grossly inaccurate. With the exception of two or three scenes that have forced humor, this is really a heavy drama.
The DVD comes with a director’s commentary, deleted scenes, a behind-the-scenes featurette and a digital guide for group discussion about the issues in the film.
For the past ten years, these disparate, interlocking stories have been popular in Hollywood. Some work well, while others don’t. Although “Even Money” missed a huge theatrical success, it’s a good example of how well these stories can be tied together.
Director Mark Rydell puts the characters in a web in such a way that we can find someone to relate to. It shows the dark world of illegal gambling and how things can get bad fast. The cast is excellent, featuring a slate of talent that also includes Danny DeVito as a has-been illusionist and Tim Roth as a ruthless bookie.
The DVD comes with no special features, but that shouldn’t dissuade a viewing of “Even Money.” The film is definitely worth a look.