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PHOTOGRAPHY

ANNAPOLIS

DVD Review by David Blackwell

DETAILS: 103 minutes, deleted scenes, audio commentary, two featurettes

STUDIO: Touchstone/ BVHE

RELEASE DATE: 6-27-2006

ANNAOPLIS is an inspiring movie and yet full of so many cliches. Jake Huard (James Franco) wants to go to the Naval Academy in Annapolis and be an officer in the Navy. He doesn't listen to authority and he has to learn to be part of a team. He falls for someone (Jordana Brewster) who teaches at the academy before he knows she's Navy (oops!) and he gets a hard nosed commanding officer, Midshipman Lt. Cole (Tyrese Gibson), a Marine who thinks Huard isn't good enough to be an officer. So like all hard headed guys, they settle their scores by boxing at The Brigades where all Navy people are equal and rank doesn't matter in the boxing ring. Huard finds friends in one of the commanders at the academy (Donnie Wahlberg) and Twins, one of the fellow first year students (plebes). ANAPOLIS is accurate with great detail of being at the Naval Academy and a good cast and a great music score from Brian Tyler, but the film is full of the obvious cliches seen in so many films and comparisons to the Rocky films will be drawn.  If you want a film where the underdog struggles against everyone saying he can't do it and he will fail, ANNAPOLIS is your type of a film.  It's an inspiring crowd movie.

VIDEO: 1.85:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen)

Image detail is OK, but I heard some people have complained about crappy Picture Quality.

AUDIO: English 5.1 Dolby Surround

Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish

Dialogue is clear and the music rises to the scenes in the film.

SPECIAL FEATURES: The feature audio commentary with Director Justin Lin, Writer David Collard, and Editor Fred Raskin. The audio commentary is worth a listen for all of the details that go into making a film from adding a scene at the last moment to the studio test screening process. 7 deleted scenes with optional audio commentary are among the extras. Many of the scenes are of interest to watch with the first two being my favorites.

Two featurettes are included on this DVD. Each one is 10 to 11 minutes long:

PLEBE YEAR: THE STORY OF ANNAPOLIS- The producers say what attracted them to the script and why they chose Justin Lin to direct, a little about the casting, and footage of the actors going through boot camp before filming.

THE BRIGADES- A look at the filming of the boxing scenes and behind-the-scenes footage of James Franco with his boxing trainer (who was really impressed with the effort that James put into his training).

FINAL ANLYSIS: ANNAPOLIS is an inspiring and entertaining film that is at least worth a rent on DVD. Don't be surprised if the military starts showing this film during the training of their new recruits.

this review is (c)6-26-2006 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission (except for excerpts and a link to the review). Look for additional content at http://enterlinemedia.livejournal.com and send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com