Rebecca Redshaw's "SOFA CINEMA: An Easy Guide to DVDs Volume 1" will be published this fall. Read all her DVD reviews compiled into one book.
The movies selected for review are the choice of the reviewer. Suggestions for DVD titles are welcome. Enjoy the movies.
"Revolutionary Road," rated R
Remember the 1950s? Somewhere between the lighthearted fantasies of the TV show "Happy Days" and the perpetual anger and angst of "Revolutionary Road" lies the reality of that decade.
Directed by usually reliable Sam Mendes, this period piece features April and Frank Wheeler (Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio, respectively) as a young couple moving to suburbia.
Frank commutes into the city to a boring job in a cubicle. April is a homemaker with two youngsters to tend to and a
house to keep neat as a pin.
The concept of living a "cloned" life like everyone else in the neighborhood becomes too much to bear and the couple decide to follow their dream and chuck it all, move to
Paris and start fresh.
Of course, everyone at the office has an opinion on the Wheelers' move, as do their neighbors and their friendly real estate agent (Kathy Bates). Frank, at 30, feels the need to bed a young steno in the office pool and then April becomes pregnant and then ... and then ... and then ... something always is going wrong in their perfect suburban life.
The problem with "Revolutionary Road" is, well, there are too many problems and after awhile you want the two-hour saga to be over because it feels like you've sat through a lifetime of misery and all you really want to do is escape with a rerun of "Happy Days."
"Seducing Doctor Lewis," unrated; sub-titled
Imagine a small island village where the fishing industry (which offered the residents their main source of income) has all but disappeared. A businessman is looking for a location to build his new factory, and the town's mayor, supported by the unemployed workers, is desperate to have the factory built in the town.
The one requirement? The village must have a resident physician. When young Dr. Christopher Lewis reluctantly comes to St. Marie-La-Mauderne, it is to fulfill a 30-day community service sentence for an illegal drug infraction.
The island's leader and self-appointed mayor Germain is a gruff but charming old salt who manipulates every scenario (with the exception of the truth) in order to entice the
handsome young doctor into staying.
Tapping Lewis' phone calls to his girlfriend in Montreal, creating a bogus cricket match and attaching a frozen fish to
the unsuspecting novice's line are just a few of the ways the village gets behind the colossal ruse to convince the doctor to stay.
Lots of interesting characters and contrived scenarios make "Seducing Doctor Lewis" a fun way to spend an evening.
"Body Heat," rated R
Summer days are hot in Florida, and steamy, but they can't hold a candle to the Florida nights. "Body Heat," released in 1981, was Lawrence Kasdan's first directorial feature and laid the groundwork for his reputation as a good storyteller. (Features that followed included "The Big Chill," "Silverado" and "The Accidental Tourist" to name a few.)
Attorney Ned Racine (William Hurt) initially is smitten and soon obsessed by Matty Walker (Kathleen Turner). Walker is an unhappily married lady whose husband is rarely on the scene, and in short order the heat on the screen is generated by the couple and not by the humidity.
The chemistry between Hurt and Turner is intense, and Kasdan keeps the viewer guessing as to who, what, when, where and why until the end credits roll. Strong support is offered from veteran actors Ted Danson, Richard Crenna and Mickey Rourke and a musical score by John Barry (plus a heavy dose of wind chimes) sets the mood for this sexually steamy thriller.
Rebecca Redshaw can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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