New on DVD

New on DVD

The Reader
Rated R for sexual content and nudity
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

Many found it to be a huge surprise when the Oscar nominations were released this year and The Reader made the top five for best picture, not to mention that Kate Winslet would walk away with the acting trophy weeks later.  It’s not that the film wasn’t worthy, but merely for the fact that hardly anyone saw it.  After all, it’s a tough, depressing drama that is hard for many folks to stomach.  The film is told in three time periods.  The first part tells the story of a German teenager in the 1950s that has an affair with an older woman (Winslet).  He reads her classic after classic before and after they make love.   The second part takes place years later as this teenager is now a law student watching his past lover being tried for war crimes in Auschwitz.  The third act shows the aftermath.  It’s a beautiful and sad story that is both moving and disturbing.  A-

Pride and Prejudice
Unrated – Suitable for all ages
Available on Blu-ray

Before this 1995 BBC six-part mini-series, classics were filmed like stage plays instead of theatrical releases.  It might not seem ground-breaking in this day and age, but 14 years ago it certainly was.  Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth star as Elizabeth and Darcy, one of the most famous couples in all of literature.  The performances, writing, directing, and overall production are incredible, but the real winner here is the new high definition restoration from the film negative rather than the print.  While the show was not shot in HD, the restoration was able to bring out the colors and overall life of the series to an unbelievable degree.  While I liked the newer Joe Wright P&P a little better, this slightly older version is still a wonderful piece of family entertainment that should give the videophiles something to smile at.  A

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