Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Denzel Washington Celebrity Pack |
Man on Fire, The Seige, Courage Under Fire
Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama
"I just arrange the meeting." -- Man on Fire
Bobby Underwood | Manly NSW, Australia | 05/27/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Denzel Washington turns on the star power in this collection. Two of the films here are excellent and must have items for fans. The weakest link here is "The Siege."
While the storyline is gritty and pre-dates the world which changed for all Americans after 9-11, it tries to be too politically correct and comes off preachy at times. What saves it is the screen presence of Denzel and the somewhat slinky performance of Annette Benning as a CIA operative whose relationship to some of the terrorists Denzel is after is somewhat murky. It loses credibility due to Willis also, but is still a good action flick.
"Man On Fire" is an absolutely terrific film that should have garnered Washington an Oscar nomination. He reunited with Tony Scott here and there is almost a gritty Michael Mann feel to some of this dark action film set in Mexico City, where kidnapping seems to be the biggest source of income.
Young Dakota Fanning is marvelous as the young girl Denzel finds himself protecting and Christopher Walken once again shows what a presence he is as his old pal from darker days he would like to forget.
There is a lot of style here but the drama never gets lost in the glitz. Denzel gives a moving performance as a man in need of redemption who finds it nearly too late when he loses Fanning and his tie to humanity and must return to his old way of life in order to get her back.
This is truly a great film and one that didn't get the attention it deserved. Perhaps the best way to describe it would be to say that it has the feel of one of the darker episodes of "Miami Vice" but set in the dusty streets of Mexico. It is fabulous entertainment and quite moving in the end.
Last but by no means least is "Courage Under Fire." This is a riveting soldiers in combat drama that works as a human drama also. Director Edward Zwick has made something special here as what could have been a routine story, takes on depth and a sense of honor and history as the investigation into the circumstances surrounding the first female officer killed in combat turns into a marshy quicksand of lies and deception about the events leading to her death.
Lieutenant Colonel Nathaniel Serling (Denzel Washington) is assigned the task of signing off on the details so Captain Karen Walden (Meg Ryan) can be given the Medal of Honor for her sacrifice. But as Serling begins to talk to the crew of soldiers who went down with Walden in the Medivac helicopter over Kuwait, he becomes unsure whether or not she deserves it. It is not any kind of preconceptions about women in combat that prompts his misgivings but his conversations with those involved.
Michael Moriarty gives a fine performance as Serling's superior and old friend Brigadier General Hershberg. The President wants to give Walden this honor and the pressure is great on Serling to hurry up and sign off on the investigation. Ilario (Matt Damon) was the closest to Walden personally and he seems just a little to scared of the investigation to Serling. Lou Diamond Phillips gives the performance of his career as the hard edged Sgt. Monfriez, a military lifer with a chip on his shoulder who thinks Serling is there to whitewash what happened, so refuses to tell him anything.
Denzel Washington gives another great performance as the flawed Lieutenant Colonel Serling, whose attempt to get at the truth may cost him his career. Scott Glenn has a nice turn in this quietly powerful drama as a reporter who smells a big story. This film is about honor and integrity and human weakness. The flashback scenes are riveting as each soldier tells his version of events. When Serling finally uncovers the truth, which is quite different from the offical version, it still remains a story of courage under fire.
Though Denzel gets most of the screen time, Meg Ryan not only holds her own but equals him. Her moments on screen paint a portrait of a very real person who served her country bravely and with honor. This film slowly draws you in until you are glued to the screen, waiting for the truth to come out. It is a testament to honor and sacrifice by our military, whatever the circumstances.
While it would have been nice if this collection had featured Denzel's "The Mighty Quinn" rather than "The Siege" to show the charm and humor he can bring to the screen, this is a great pack of films that you'll certainly enjoy immensely. You can't go wrong here with this one."