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The Guardian [Blu-ray]
The Guardian
Actors: Kevin Costner, Ashton Kutcher, Sela Ward, Melissa Sagemiller, Clancy Brown
Director: Andrew Davis
Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama
PG-13     2007     2hr 19min

Kevin Costner and Ashton Kutcher star in the powerful, action-packed drama The Guardian on Blu-ray?s high definition disc. Now this rousing adventure is more intense than ever in this astonishing new format. Relegated to ...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Kevin Costner, Ashton Kutcher, Sela Ward, Melissa Sagemiller, Clancy Brown
Director: Andrew Davis
Creators: Armyan Bernstein, Beau Flynn, Charlie Lyons, Lowell D. Blank, Peter Macgregor-Scott, Tripp Vinson, Ron L. Brinkerhoff
Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama
Sub-Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama
Studio: Buena Vista Home Entertainment / Touchstone
Format: Blu-ray - Color
DVD Release Date: 01/23/2007
Release Year: 2007
Run Time: 2hr 19min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 2
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 1
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Languages: English
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
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Movie Reviews

Changing of The Guard
Rocky Raccoon | Boise, ID | 10/06/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)

"There are many dangers for being a member of the Coast Guard. Taken to the icy waters of the Bering Strait off the coast of Kodiak, Alaska, the possibilities of danger with choppy waves, hypothermia, and broken vessels or rocky caves rise exponentially. Dreadful decisions meet the rescuer at every opportunity to save lives: Who can and should be saved? Who cannot be? As in any lifesaving seminar, the rescuer must stay alive to be able to save others. Hazardous conditions and low pay are part and parcel of the harrowing life of heroes. These factors set up the premise of a promising movie.

'The Guardian' shows us these possibilities with Ben Randall (Kevin Costner), a maverick, but aging senior chief who is still on top of his form. At the beginning we find him challenged by a rescue that runs out the clock and leaves his colleagues in harm's way. The descending rescue 'copter runs into a wave that sends it reeling into the sea where it explodes. The trajectory of the debacle sends Randall's best friend out at sea, but even his best efforts can't save him. Randall recovers, but he remains haunted by the memory of this recent disaster that left him impotent to save the others. His superior reassigns him to train recruits. He resists, but his senior officer is wise enough to know that trauma leaves even the best rescuers tentative until time can heal the inner wounds.

At the training academy, Randall becomes the best asset, throwing away the text book and always throwing his recruits into the thick of training with some grueling situations. Here he comes upon a smug, but promising Ivy League recruit, Jake Fischer (Ashton Kutcher), properly nicknamed "Goldfish" for his smimming prowess and silver spoon sensibilities. The friction between instructor and recruit is not all that different than movies we've seen before, especially 'An Officer and a Gentleman,' but the bond they develop is both strong and very different. They discover they have much in common, including an aptitude to break swimming records and a past that haunts each protagonist in a similar fashion. Tough Randall has some strong words that quickly silence even the most brazen of his potential crew, especially the cocky Fischer. A series of mishaps and Randall's constant browbeating do peel the layers off Fischer's self-centered shell, and we finally see both men's vulnerability. The relationship is the focal point of the movie, for Fischer brings vitality and enthusiasm, but he needs Randall's sage and seasoned experience. The rest of the movie finds them friends, but both have their mettle tested in a series of events that show them as the best they can be... Both, too, are in need of healing and forgiveness, while they try to forge a final bond with the women they love.

As with most adventure movies nowadays, there are able panoramic sea scenes, some of which are reminiscent of 'The Perfect Storm'. The story and the way it weaves through danger, relationships, and training has an emotional undertow that isn't entirely different than 'The Horse Whisperer'. And, though many comparisons can be made to other movies, the sum of 'The Guardian's parts is assembled in a unique way. Kevin Costner and Ashton Kutcher keep the drama afloat with focused performances that create memorable characters. Particularly, Kutcher delivers a genuine performance as a cocky recruit who has great pain and insecurity bubbling below the surface. The dialogue is above most adventure movies with some particularly poignant lines for Costner. 'The Guardian' delivers heroism and inspiration in a film that nearly steered a course into a wreck of sentimentality awash with cliches and stereotypes.

Pretty Good for a Kutcher Film
G. Jennings | Outside | 10/01/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I agree with reviews below that Kevin Costner has definitely matured as an actor and has found that comfortable place of depth and poingancy in his acting while still keeping his Americana charm. But most of his boyish boisterousness is out the window and replaced by steadfast masculine experience. He's much better this way.

Ashton Kutcher does a surprisingly good job in this film and plays his role well and slightly understated. As most military movies typically have that one cocky rogue character, Ashton's Jake Fische is no different. However, his interpretation was by far the most realistic. There's no over the top cockiness, but more of a concerted effort to meet and beat the Senior Chief's expectations and take some more on. What this movie does get right is the very realistic tone between instructor and trainee that you would see in a military training class today. None of that over dramatization of the military. For that I give Costner and Kutcher, two thumbs up.

Lots of interestingly appreciative training scenes of what the students go through in "A" school: training, teamwork exercises, drills, etc.
A movie well done and worth watching. The 2 hours, 20 minutes will fly by.
Surprised by a Good Movie
Buzz | Bahrain | 01/20/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Despite mediocre reviews and having struggled through An Officer and a Gentleman and Top Gun I decided to watch The Guardian with every expectation that I would not make it through the movie... I am glad that I went, one of the best movies I've seen in awhile. It's easy to find fault in any movie and The Guardian is no exception; the rescue scenes are bigger than life which should be expected in a military/disaster movie; but the overconfident and somewhat arrogant trainee (Ashton Kutcher) is believable at his age, and Kevin Costner was at his best since the late 80's (The Untouchables & No Way Out). Despite my surprise when learning that my college age children watched The Guardian, I was even more astonished that they discussed aspects of this movie - Service, sacrifice, relationships, and perseverance. In an office where I very rarely see 7 thumbs up; The Guardian got the grade."
A Bit Predictable but Great
Mark Baker | Santa Clarita, CA United States | 02/01/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Ben Randall (Kevin Costner) is a rarity in the Coast Guard. Even though he's over 40, he's still in the field serving as a rescue swimmer. Whenever the sea near his base in Kodiak, Alaska gets rough, he's the one who jumps out of the helicopter and rescues those who have fallen overboard. And he's one of the best at what he does, with an impressive record or saves against overwhelming odds.

He's hit a rough patch, however. His wife (Sela Ward) has left him and his entire crew was killed in an accident while they were trying to rescue the survivor of a shipwreck. In a move to help him recover emotionally, he's temporarily reassigned to "A" School, where the Coast Guard trains rescue swimmers.

And that's why Ben is on hand when Jake Fischer (Ashton Kutcher) enters the program. He's a high school swimming star who has turned down Ivy League scholarships to become a rescue swimmer. On the first day, he brags that he will beat all of Randall's old records.

Obviously, Jake has a problem with arrogance. Ben doesn't give him a break but spends all his time picking on his star student. Will Jake stand up to the pressure?

Given the previews and the plot of this movie, I'm sure it will surprise very few people when I describe it as formulaic. There were a couple surprises along the way, but for the most part, things unfolded exactly as I expected then to.

So, for a movie like this to succeed, it must rely on characters and actors. Here, the movie hits a home run. Both Ben and Jake are deeply flawed men who are struggling to maintain or regain their pride. Even Jake, who comes across as arrogant much of the time, has a truly compassionate side that surfaces as well. And Kevin Costner and Ashton Kutcher are excellent in their rolls. They balance the emotional and comedic scenes expertly. The movie focuses on these two characters, and the rest of them are underdeveloped as a result, but that's a minor complaint.

The movie is over two hours, but I was engrossed the entire time. The beginning and climax features some truly angry seas, and those special effects were awesome.

Even though the plot isn't the most original out there, the movie is still very entertaining and well worth seeing. I was moved and am very glad I saw it."