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DVD Pick of the Week: Breach

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This week's new releases offer little in the way of must-haves, but it still has a couple of choice titles and at least one box office curiosity. We also have a couple television titles in the mix. Now, like always, this list is not all encompassing, nor is it meant to be. I do this to spotlight my most interesting title each week as well as a point out a few other titles, for better or worse. For a more comprehensive list, be sure to check out the New Region 1 DVDs and the New Horror Release lists on Blogcritics. Otherwise, read on for my thoughts and choice spotlighted titles.

The pick this week is one of the best films to emerge from the young 2007 season, back in February. The movie in question is Breach, a real world based spy thriller that relies on the strength of the performances, the intrigue of the true events, and an understated approach that lets the story build slowly out of the characters. It is an excellent film, one that will hopefully find good word of mouth on the home video front.

Breach is the story of Robert Hanssen, an FBI agent who was a traitor, selling intel to the Soviets over the span of 22 years, before finally being arrested in February of 2001. The film chronicles the final two months leading up to the arrest. It is not flashy; there are no big explosions, no big shootouts, no car chases, yet it is an still an exciting foray into the world of the FBI. It moves forward at a slow, methodical pace that feels genuine as it slowly draws you in.

Billy Ray directed the film with a steady hand, allowing Chris Cooper, who portrays Hansen, build the creepily charismatic traitor, while Ryan Phillipe's blandness works to his favor as Eric O'Neill. The script offers plenty of room for the characters to play their cards while never revealing more than what was known by the players of the time, leaving us in the dark with regards to motivations. Very good film.

The features on the DVD release include: Commentary by Director Billy Ray and Former FBI Operative Eric O'Neill, Deleted and Alternate Scenes, "Breaching the Truth" Featurette, "Anatomy of a Character" Featurette, and "The Mole" Dateline Segment. Technical aspects: 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen, English 5.1 Surround, French 5.1 Surround, English Closed Captions, and French and Spanish Subtitles.

Other releases this week:

  • Ghost Rider. I liked this superhero movie, it is not perfect, it is not great, it is not what I really picture as a Ghost Rider movie, but I enjoyed it still. I am looking forward to the extended cut which is available on the two disk version.
  • Welcome Back, Kotter. I have seen some of this in reruns, and while no true classic, it is undeniably entertaining, especially with the young John Travolta.
  • Hellboy: Blood & Iron. The second Hellboy animated film and the second one to provide a lot of entertainment. I like the characters and they got just the right look for the animation.
  • Blood & Chocolate. This is one of those "or worse" titles that I mentioned earlier, it is a poor werewolf flick that never takes off. May be worth a rental at most.
  • The Hustler: Two Disk Collector's Edition. Paul Newman and Jackie Gleason together in a movie that I have not seen, but wish to.
  • Primeval. This is another one of those "or worse" titles, it is Jaws in the jungle, and not very good at its mimicry.
  • The Screwfly Solution. Another entry from Joe Dante in the Masters of Horror series, a tale that has men attacking women when they are aroused, based on a 1977 short story of the same name.
  • Silk. Japanese supernatural horror concerning a 13 year old ghost who has killed, why? That is what they aim to find out.
  • Zombie Blood Bath Trilogy. A trio of low budget gore flicks. Sounds like fun to me!
  • Zzyzx. A suspense-thriller feature-length motion-picture, inspired by the famed, mysterious exit sign seen and questioned by millions of drivers traveling to and from Las Vegas on Interstate Highway 15. Directed by Richard Halpern.

So, what are you going to watch?

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