DVD Review: THE MISSING
by David Blackwell
THE MISSING is a great western directed by Ron Howard and stars Tommy Lee Jones, Cate Blanchett, Evan Rachel Wood, Jenna
Boyd, and others. It is a very realistic Western that features some details of how it was back in New Mexico during 1885 including
some stuff on the Apaches.
THE MISSING revoles around Maggie (Cate Blanchett) who has to ask for help from Jones (Tommy Lee Jones)- a father she hasn't
seen for years and have never forgiven for leaving his fmaily behind- to track down her oldest daughter Lily (Evan Rachel
Wood) that has been kidnapped by a Bruja (Eric Schweig), an Native American who delves into dark magic. THE MISSING is based
on the novel "THE LAST RIDE" by Thomas edison and Ken Kaufman has adapted it for the big screen. The cinematography has captured
some very beautiful scenery to an interesting music score from James Horner (Braveheart, Aliens). There is some great acting
from Tommy Lee Jones, cate Blanchett,a nd Evan Rachel Wood under a very well directed movie from Ron Howard.
The 2.40:1 widescreen transfer for the movie is great in most places, but sometimes some stuff looks a little too soft.
Also on the first disc are 10 trailers and an ad for the soundtrack for THE MISSING. There are trailers for THE MISSING,
SPIDER-MAN 2, 13 GOING ON 30, HELLBOY, RESIDENT EVIL: APOCALYPSE, PANIC ROOM, THE STATEMENT, THE MOTHMAN PROPHECIES, AND THE
On disc 2, there are 11 deleted scenes (in 1.78:1 widescreen) that amount to 16 1/2 minutes of footage. There are three
alternate endings (presented in 1.78:1 widescreen)- the first one shows lots of extra footage not in the movie, the second
ending has a slight variation to it, and the third one just seems like it's like the movie's ending. There are 2 1/2 minutes
There are five featurettes- THE LAST RIDE: THE STORY OF THE MSSING, NEW FRONTIERS: MAKING THE MISSING, THE MODERN WESTERN
SCORE, CASTING THE MISSING, and APACHE LANGUAGE SCHOOL. The featurettes run for about an hour total combined. NEW FRONTIERS
is about 30 minutes long.
IN RON HOWARD ON..., Ron talks about the home movies he did as a teenager, John Wayne, Editing, the Filmmaking Process,
his love for Westerns, and conventions of Westerns. Then you also have the chance to the home movies he did.
Three home movies Ron made as a teenager (they're all short Westerns shot in Super 8) are on the second disc too. The movies
show Ron had a talent for directing even when he was a teenager. THE DEED OF DARING DO stars Clint Howard, Ron's father, and
Cheryl Alley in a 3 1/2 minute short film that won Ron 2nd place in a Kodak Movie Competition at the age of 15. He submitted
the movie under the name of R.W. Howard. CARDS, CADS, GUNS, GORE AND DEATH... is a 2 minute film about a card game that ends
up in people getting shot. OLD PAINT is a 7 1/2 minute film that feature Ron's dad singing a western song and features Clint
Howard, Ron's dad and mom, Cheryl Alley, and some other actor as the stationmaster.
Rounding out the second disc are extensive photo galleries of the cast, the productions, and the locations filmed in the
All in All, THE MISSING is a good DVD for a Western that is even better than OPEN RANGE.
DVD Review: OPEN RANGE
by David Blackwell
OPEN RANGE is a movie where Kevin Costner excels. You can tell Kevin loves making westerns and OPEN RANGE is a movie about
a dying way of life as background for a tale of revenge.
On the second disc is BEYOND OPEN RANGE which has many featurettes that goes into the making of the movie from start to
finish with plenty of behind-the-scenes footage and narration from Kevin Coster. There are interviews filmed in 1.78:1 widescreen
(probably done for the DVD) while the rest of the material (in the featurettes) and clips from the movie are in full frame.
Next is AMERICA'S OPEN RANGE which is a 12 minute featurette that shows photos of people who went out onto the open range
as Kevin Costner narrates with details about the real people who went out west.
The 2.35:1 widescreen transfer is clearand full of color with a good sound mix. The widescreen format shows how well the
movie was shot with some beautiful cinematography.
Next there are 12 deleted scenes which consist of totally new scenes and alternate scenes that are 22 minutes in total
with opitional intros to each scene. Some of teh scenes should have been left in the movie like the scene where they're tracking
Moses, how the open range is a dying way of life, and how Boss considers Charlie to be like a son to him. Rounding out the
second disc are storyboards for OPEN RANGE and a music video.
It is a good movie to watch on DVD. OPEN RANGE is a movie that I'm glad that Kevin Costner and two of the producers put
up half fo the movie's budget to get this good western made.
DVD Review: BUFFALO SOLDIERS
by David Blackwell
The strong performances in this crazy movie are done by Anna Paquin, Ed Harris, and Scott Glenn. BUFFLA SOLDIERS revolves
around some U.S. Army soldiers stations in west germany just before the Berlin Wall comes down. Specialist Ray Elwood (Joaquin
Phoenix) is involved in some criminal dealings that his commanding officer- Colonel Berman (ed Harris)- is clueless about.
Elwood gets the criminal chance of a lifetime when a tank causes an accident at a gas station that kills the drivers of two
trucks carrying weapons. Elwood thinks it is the ultimate score, but his life gets more complicated as he is put under the
watchful eye of the new 1st Sergeant Lee (Scott Glenn) that has just been posted to the base that Elwood is station at. Lee
suspects Elwood is up to something illegal, and Elwood makes more trouble for himself when he takes out Robyn Lee (Anna paquin),
the Sergeant's daughter, out on a date and falls for her.
The 2.35:1 picture looks wonderful on the DVD and the sound is just right. There is a Anatomy of a Scene special (made
for Sundance Channel), a making of Buffalo Soliders featurette, and commentary from director Gregor Jordan. I wish there was
some deleted scenes and bloopers to this movie, but BUFFALO SOLDIERS is a good and crazy movie to watch on DVD.
the reviews are (c)2-17-2004 David Blackwell and this review can't be reprinted without the permission of the writer. send
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