Our 'DVD RACK' feature is a special in honor of Leonardo DiCaprio and Clint Eastwood-the greatest actor and director of the moment-and their collaboration on this weeks new DVD release 'J. Edgar'.
SHUTTER ISLAND: The already legendary actor, furthered his greatness with two more career defining roles in 2010. Two films released in the space of six months which were among the stars best. Leo collaborated with classic director Martin Scorsese for the fourth time and after ten years of classics ('Gangs Of New York', 'The Aviator', 'The Departed') the director and his new De Niro muse may have made their best with 'Shutter Island'. This film really is one of the greatest films of the last decade. This film is that good. 'Shutter Island' evoked every chilling and demented aspect of it's novel and Scorsese's direction alongside The Band's, Robbie Robertson's soundtrack selections gave this dark psychological horror the chilling backdrop it needed. The film featured excellent support from Ben Kingsley to Michelle Williams but the best came from born-to-be-a-cop Mark Ruffalo and the character of the films set was just scarily perfect as well. From every mist of fog to clouded minds this film scared the hell out of you when there was nothing behind you. It's all in the mind here as DiCaprio takes his trademark conflicted, troubled man acting to the next, timeless, legendary level. A character development we would see more in his summer smash with Christopher Nolan but not like we witnessed in this Scorsese epic that cuts right through to the bone.
INCEPTION: In undoubtedly the movie of 2010 Leonardo DiCaprio assembles a team of dream thieves to 'incept' an idea into Christopher Nolan's favourite scarecrow Cillian Murphys mind. Expect incredible action, thrills and twists and turns while DiCaprio and his team go within dreams. This supporting cast/'The Dark Knight Rises' all step it up a level, especially the charming Tom Hardy and the riddling Gordon-Levitt. Again Nolans cinematography is captivating, his brothers script compelling and Hans Zimmer's score classic by any standard. This film is one part 'The Matrix', one part 'Memento' but overall very much it's own film. With shifts in gravity you'll never see better fighting scenes and Leonardo DiCaprio plays the conflicted man lamenting lost love again so well just like he did in 'Shutter Island'. As a matter of fact DiCaprio may have made two of his best films this year. As for Christoper Nolan's greatest, 'The Dark Knight' still reigns supreme but with 'Inception' Nolan hasn't told a better story since 'The Prestige'. Simply one of the best cinematic experiences you could ever dream up.
ROMEO + JULIET: Leo once again displays his youthful looks but mature mind as he bares his soul over the silver screen, still he has some talented company. John Legizamo is one of the business' most talented, underrated all-round actors. He's a great character actor but can lead too and although Baz Luherman's 'Romeo + Juliet' was best known for it's modern take and it's Romeo (Leo DiCaprio) and Juliet (Claire Danes) but arguably as Tibult, Leguizamo along with Harold Perrineau as Mercutio stole the show. Just check the adrenaline fuelled petrol station first act. As soon as he stubs out his cigar with his steel-capped heel and draws his sword, (or his gun), with all his charm and cocksure confidence he owns everybody, the moment and the movies best moment. Truly a theatrical moment, played up the right way. BANG!
THE BASKETBALL DIARIES: In one of Leonardo DiCaprio's youngest and greatest performances he gives us a brutally honest take on the effects of drug abuse in sports and the youth. This is no floppy haired 'Titanic' sweet tale. it's a movie drowned in darkness with the uplifting hope of redemption. Sure basketball is a back-story here but it's not the real issue that needs to be addressed. With great support from Mark Wahlberg and Juliette Lewis this movie slam dunks all over Hollywood shine and censorship. It takes the problems of youth out of bounds and lays it all out on the floor. Brave, bold and beautiful.
BLOOD DIAMOND: Forgive the slightly dodgy South African accent, for this is one of leading actor Leonardo DiCaprio's most defining performances. Epic, horrifically moving and thrillingly though-provoking it's... who really packs the punch however with his powerful passion. More Hollywood pictures should look at this genuinely concerned canvas for future references. As this movie captures the beauty of South Africa but the ugly truth's of it's blood diamonds that are lapped up by the Western world without consideration or care. They haven't, don't and probably won't make films like this again.
CATCH ME IF YOU CAN: Join Tom Hanks on a hot pursuit of one of DiCaprio's finest all-round performances on a true story that you have to see to believe. With an iconic Sinatra assisted airport scene that seems to have inspired new Christina Ricci T.V. show 'Pan Am' and countless airline commercials this movies legacy still lasts.
THE AVIATOR: Exploring the dark recess of the human psyche, this is Leo's best turn as a troubled man in turmoil. The story of aviation pioneer Howard Hughes is directed perfectly by Scorsese and portrayed by DiCaprio with just dignity, respect and excellence. Truly a modern classic.
THE DEPARTED: Scorsese, Boston, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, Mark Wahlberg, Martin Sheen, Ray Winstone, Vera Farmiga, Alec Baldwin and of course Leo...need we say anymore? TIM DAVID HARVEY
DIRTY HARRY: When it comes to detective's who's the best? Richard Roundtree's the man but this bad mother would kick John in the shaft and shut his mouth. You're damn right. I'm talking about 'Dirty Harry'. Can you dig it? The ultimate Eastwood picture. The Clint we all know; Frank Callahan. Cantankerous, classy, confident and in some ways contagiously charismatic and charming. Classic. The ultimate detective film. Part police officer, part Eastwood cowboy, minus the Stetson. Moody but magnificent with the force of a magnum. I know what you’re thinking, is there a cop better than him? Well look at five more police films or even six and see if any punks lucky enough to take his badge. Well, do you feel lucky…punk?
MILLION DOLLAR BABY: This is Clint’s picture that really directed towards greatness in the eyes of film fans and their view of who are the cinematic greats behind the lens. With a great performance on screen too, Clint brings the best out of Hilary Swank as together they pull all the punches and sandbag the notion, that women in boxing, or sports all together is something to be sneered at. Influential, impactful, sobering and serious, this film throws down hard, in and out the ring. Also with frequent collaborator Morgan Freeman again in his corner the two elder greats and statesman bring the best out of each other.
LETTERS FROM IWO JIMA: Alongside the classic ‘Flags Of Our Fathers’ Clint goes to war against ignorance and misplaced pride as he gives us a take on World War II from the Japanese perspective. With a stunning lead role by Ken Watanabe and arguably Clint Eastwood’s most direct, influential and important work behind the lens this revealing, thought inducing film is unconventional but should never be labelled controversial. It is character study of great depth and consideration that we should all look into, through our hearts and souls. It’s a look at the other side of the coin, someone else’s opinion, thoughts and feelings. With everything against him Clint does what any decent man should feel like it is his duty to do, and that is spare a thought for someone else and what they’re going through. There are always two sides to every story. We should all sit up and take notice.
CHANGELING: Challenging, moving, thought-provoking story of drama of the highest order. Another example of Clint’s subtle but sublime and serious direction and his work at raising awareness at crimes towards children. A subject he see’s as heinous but one that needs to be addressed. Rightfully so-like the incredible ‘Mystic River’-Clint does this with dignity and due diligence. Angelina Jolie gives an understated but magnificent performance as a grief stricken mother whose son is kidnapped. In her battle against the debt of doubt and a corrupt police force Jolie shows us just how much she deserves to be one of Hollywood’s biggest stars. Also Eastwood continues his legendary filmography with a perfect capturing of Los Angeles in the late twenties. Just like ‘J. Edgar’, despite some harsh overtones, the backdrop makes for a beautifully perfect, period piece. Compelling, cinematic and classic.
INVICTUS: Last year Matt Damon really displayed his versatility in 'True Grit' but if you thought this was the first time that Damon showed his range then you'd be wrong. Matt's portrayal of South African Springbok rugby star Francios Pienaar showed incredible dedication. The leading man bulked up and even dyed his hair a suspect Bros, blonde in a superb performance in Clint Eastwood's compelling epic. This was another great collaboration between Eastwood and Damon and Clint and another man. That man being Morgan Freeman in his long-awaited, highly anticipated, legendary, Oscar worthy performance as Nelson Mandela that defined the picture 'Invictus'. This utterly uplifting, incredibly inspiring story of how Mandela used the Rugby World Cup to help unite his people is pure poignancy and gold for the silver screen. Cinematic beauty from the struggle to the success, start to finish.
BLOOD WORK: What on the outside looks like a T.V. movie is really another Eastwood great with this director/actor’s incredible inside knowledge. With the donated heart of a murder victim, our maverick cop goes on the trail of the killer of the woman that gave him life. If it wasn’t for Clint’s trademark stoicism this would be a thing of poetry.
UNFORGIVEN: Gene Hackman and Morgan Freeman join Clint on his last Western ride as this Outlaw leaves the saloon for the last time. Hanging up his six shooters, Eastwood gave the West one of its wildest tales. In a chilling classic, the pitter patter of rain on the roof of a saloon has never sounded so sinister or gripping.
THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY: You’re parent’s favourite movie. Clint took the worlds greatest actress Meryl Streep (before she became that...this film helped) and a cheesy novel and turned it into a cornball free classic romance. Our leading man standing in the pouring rain won’t leave a dry eye. TIM DAVID HARVEY.
REVIEW: J. EDGAR