Reviews for region 1 discs From Ultimate DVD #18

GHOST

TIGERLAND

Just two selections from Ultimate DVD's region 1 Reviews section.

Selected region 2
reviews here

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All Region 1 releases below are also covered in the issue

  • 102 Dalmatians
  • Bamboozled
  • Bounce
  • Dune (TV mini-series)
  • For the Boys
  • If I Wake Before I Die
  • The Legend of Bagger Vance
  • Men of Honor
  • Norma Rae
  • The Mummy: Ultimate Edition
  • The Substitute: Failure is Not an Option
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GHOST Rated: PG-13

The Movie

The film that made a potter’s wheel an essential part of any healthy relationship, Ghost is a life-affirming story about death. Investment broker Sam Wheat (Swayze) is attacked and killed, leaving destitute girlfriend Abby’s (Moore) life in tatters. But Sam refuses to step into the light, and remains on Earth – to discover that his murder was deliberate, and that Abby too is in danger…

An ideal date movie, Ghost was a massive hit on its 1990 release. Blending romance, comedy, thrills and the supernatural, it has a perfectly honed script by Bruce Joel Rubin, in which every single scene counts for something.

Swayze and Moore give their best performances ever (their interactions are truly gut-wrenching), but the star of the film is undeniably Goldberg as Oda Mae Brown. The con-woman-cum-psychic really deserved her own spin-off film… A DVD that should be a part of every movie buff’s collection, Ghost’s appeal 5 stars - Digital Dynamitehas a very long afterlilfe.

The Extras

The transfer is anamorphic; it’s acceptable, but not the best this reviewer has seen.

The Trailer (1.85:1) presents the film as a must-see experience, but revealing the last shot is always a bad idea in my book.

Writer Rubin and director Zucker team up for the Commentary track, and kick off with some big laughs. The former reveals his long-standing desire to make a film from the point of view of a ghost, and claims the idea was conceived in a Tibetan monastery. He also praises Zucker’s input into the film, changing the script for the better – for example, Oda Mae was originally male and a genuine psychic. Surprisingly, Zucker has less to say, but his input is interesting – for example, admitting initial reservations about casting Goldberg.

Remembering the Magic is a 22-minute retrospective, containing interviews with Zucker, Rubin, Swayze, Moore and Goldberg.

Thankfully not in the least bit self-congratulatory, it contains candid comments – including Zucker’s gut reaction to Swayze in the lead role (“over my dead body”). Excellent video footage shot on the set and in New York and snippets of film tests have curiosity value, while original casting choices (Hanks, Ford and Cruise for Sam; possibly Tina Turner for Oda Mae) give a glimpse of how the 4 stars - Damn Good Discfilm might have been.

Hankies at the ready...

Credits
Ghost on DVD

Cast
Patrick Swayze
Demi Moore
Whoopi Goldberg
Director • Jerry Zucker
Year • 1990
Duration • 126 mins
Screen Ratio • 1.85:1
Anamorphic • Yes
Audio • Dolby
Digital 5.1
Chapters • 16
Languages • English
Subtitles • English
Release Date •
April 24
Distributor • Paramount

 
 
 
 
 

Highlight

Chapter 15 –
Believe...

"See ya."

David Richardson

From Ultimate DVD #18

TIGERLAND Rated: R
Raw energy rediscovered

The Movie

Fort Polk, Louisiana, 1971: with America’s war in Vietnam going badly, a young platoon of Infantry recruits must learn the basics of soldiering at brutal speed. Their training will culminate in a week within a frightening simulation of the Vietnam jungle – known as Tigerland. Assuming anyone leading the platoon is still sane by then.

Private Bozz (an amazingly charismatic Farrell) is an audacious flouter of authority, and initially gets nothing but punishment. When a training sergeant makes Bozz platoon leader – an earlier choice is falling apart – the disruptive recruit starts becoming a reluctant hero. The rivalry between Bozz’s circle and jealous redneck Wilson (Whigham) however, is becoming explosive.

Put the director of the last two Batman movies on a ‘Nam project – surely you’ll get indigestible bombast and predictable heroics? Far from it: Schumacher has rediscovered his talent for energizing young, almost unknown casts (remember The Lost Boys or St Elmo’s Fire?) bolstered by a fine, humanizing story, and some raw, restless camera-work from Matt Libatique – Darren Aranofsky’s cinematographer.

It’s a compelling, stripped-down production with few frills, but the acting alone is worth the price of admission. Any of the half-dozen leads could have great things in store: Colin Farrell 4 stars - Damn Good Discalmost certainly has.

The Extras

During his astute, generous, socially aware Commentary, proud director Schumacher talks reverentially about the Dogme film-makers. Tigerland was (by Hollywood standards) perhaps a comparably short, sharp shoot using skeletal facilities – hence the dearth of B-Roll material for featurettes.

Thus the ‘Making of’ feature is simply the brisk Theatrical Trailer recycled with two extra minutes of talking-head snippets from Schumacher and – very briefly – Farrell and Collins. Four intriguing low-res sequences from Farrell’s casting session show how the Dubliner nailed the character before 3 stars - Worth A Watchfinessing the Texan accent.

[If you like war films there's also the trailer for Tora! Tora! Tora! here, which is coincidentally reviewed on Region 2 in this issue]

Mark Wyman

Credits
Tigerland on DVD

Cast
Colin Farrell
Matthew Davis
Shea Whigham
Clifton Collins. Jr.
Director • Joel Schumacher
Year • 2000
Duration • 101 min
Screen Ratio • 1.85:1
Anamorphic • Yes
Audio • Dolby Digital 5.1
Chapters • 24
Languages •
English
Subtitles • English, Spanish
Release Date • April 10
Distributor •
20th Century Fox

 
 
 
 
 

Highlight

Chapter 12
Just a Store Boy

Succeeding the distraught Miter (Collins) as leader, Bozz has to stop his predecessor from going AWOL. A magnificent, unglamorous two-hander.

From Ultimate DVD #18

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