Winter’s hit, spring DVDs
The crew is back: George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Julia Roberts and Don Cheadle are planning the next big heist. While Ocean’s Twelve added the lovely Catherine Zeta-Jones, the film itself is tired and bland. With Ocean’s Eleven the jokes still had some punch — in Twelve, the actors seem to be on cruise control. Inferior by every stretch of the word, Ocean’s Twelve very seldom offers laughs and too much unbelievable action. Making matters worse, the viewer loses interest in the characters and their European robbery rather quickly. Ocean’s Twelve is upsetting because of the film’s misuse of its stars. The movie features a dozen of Hollywood’s biggest and brightest thespians, but the end product is a big dull dud.
The DVD is a bare-bones release featuring a trailer for the film and subtitles in English, French and Spanish. It’s understandable that Warner Bros. wanted to cut its losses, as the movie only managed a lethargic $125 million despite a production and marketing cost of more than $180 million. Or just maybe this is an attempt to exploit the few who enjoyed the film by planning a more expansive (and probably two-disc) DVD further down the line. Twelve is most definitely not the new Eleven.
Focusing on the Rwandan genocide, Hotel Rwanda is one of last year’s most emotional and inspiring films. Don Cheadle is nothing short of brilliant, playing the film’s reluctant hero who saves the lives of 1,200 refugees during the siege. Hotel Rwanda sheds light on an event that went largely unnoticed by the world. Joining the ranks of Schlinder’s List and The Pianist, Hotel Rwanda paints a graphic picture of escaping impending doom, while documenting a piece of history that will hopefully never be forgotten.
The disc is stacked with a documentary about the tragedy, a commentary by Cheadle and, of course, a making of feature. Hotel Rwanda has quality over quantity working for its DVD, with the extras helping to further the viewing experience. This is the perfect film for a curious historian or someone unfamiliar with the Rwandan genocide that occurred in 1994.
Meet the Fockers
The sequel picks up exactly where Meet the Parents left off, but the laughs are obvious and lack creativity. Dustin Hoffman and Barbra Streisand are the only two characters consistently delivering moderately funny lines. Robert DeNiro and Ben Stiller reprise their roles from the original, but Stiller is a little worn out. His performance is awkward at best, and in a year crammed with five other Stiller-releases, his schick becomes a bit dated. Overall, Meet the Fockers has a few chuckles during the film’s two-hour runtime but fails to capture the same atmosphere of the original.
The highest-grossing live-action comedy of all time features quite a few nifty extras. The disc features an extended version of the film not seen in theaters, deleted scenes, outtakes and behind-the-scenes featurettes. None of the add-ons are extraordinary but work well in complimenting the flick, offering a few more reasons to cough up the dough.
— Compiled by Pablo Saldana