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DVD Review: STANDER

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PHOTOGRAPHY

STANDER

DVD Review by David Blackwell

DETAILS: 112 minutes, director commentary, deleted scenes, Anatomy of a Scene, Theatrical Trailer, previews

STUDIO: COLUMBIA/ New Market Film Group

RELEASE DATE: 12-21-2004

ANALYSIS: Captain Andre Stander (Tom Jane) was a detective in South Africa. In 1976, he is called to do riot duty to quell a student protest in the Tembisa Township. That protest turns into a riot, and Stander kills an unarmed student. That one event changes his life. He requests to be taken off riot squad duty and decides to rebel against the system by robbing banks. One little mistake he makes has him getting arrested and ending up in jail. he soon breaks out and robs banks with two other escaped convicts.

STANDER is a bio-pic that looks into the life of Stander who ended up being a folk hero in South Africa. It also reflects the times of what is going on and the director even changed the story a little bit to reflect things told to her by one of the real life members of the Stander gang to make the movie more true. STANDER takes some dramatic license, but it is an interesting movie that features an outstanding performance from Tom Jane (Can't I just call him Thomas Jane again?!). The details of the times, the other actors, and the soundtrack to fit the time when it took place makes STANDER an outstanding film to watch at least once.

Tom Jane pulls off Stander, a man who loves the risk of robbing banks while hoping his estranged wife (Deborah Kara Unger) will join him when he goes to Fort Lauderdale, Florida as he has dreamed of when he first married her. One thing that stopped Stander from being caught after his jail break was the police force was trying to capture him quietly without bringing attention to the problems that existed in the police. Stander knew how the cops acted and used that to his advantage when robbing banks.

VIDEO/AUDIO: STANDER is presented in 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen. Colors and blacks are good. Image detail is good, but the transfer is soft. Some motion blurring is present if you pause the DVD during scenes with some movement.

STANDER can be heard in English 5.1 Dolby Digital or 2.0 Dolby Surround with the option of English or Spanish subtitles.

SPECIAL FEATURES: Two deleted scenes are on the DVD. They don't add anything to the movie, but the first scene is interesting to watch.

Also included on this DVD is the ANATOMY OF A SCENE episode for STANDER (courtesy of the Sundance channel) that goes into detail how an important scene early in the scene was filmed. ANATOMY OF A SCENE features interviews with Tom Jane and some of the crew (including the director, producer, and editor), archival footage and pictures from the riots in South Africa during the 1970s, and the scene in question that the episode focuses on.

The theatrical trailer for STANDER is included in addition to previews for BAD EDUCATION, BOBBY JONES: STROKE OF HENIUS, RIDING GIANTS, SHE HATE ME, and SILVER CITY.

Finally, there is a commentary track for the movie with writer/director Bronwen Hughes. It is a very informative track about the production of the movie and a must listen for anyone who wants to know more about Stander that featured in the movie. She even tells where they compressed events or changed them for dramatic license and budgetary reasons.

FINAL ANALYSIS: STANDER is an interesting bio-pic that is an alternative rental I recommend highly people should go rent this one on DVD. Tom Jane fans should buy the DVD.

this DVD Review is (c)12-9-2004 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission. Send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com and look for additional content (and site updates) at http://www.livejournal.com/users/enterlinemedia