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DVD Review by David Blackwell

DETAILS: 139 minutes, audio commentary, alternate ending, deleted scenes, two featurettes

VIDEO: 1.85:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen)

AUDIO: English, French, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital

Subtitles: English, French, Spanish (feature only)

STUDIO: Touchstone Pictures/ Beacon pictures/ Contrafilm/ Firm Films

RELEASE DATE: 1-23-2007

THE GUARDIAN is an audience pleaser. On the other hand, it takes a look into the training and job of U.S. Coast Guard Rescue Swimmers.  It takes very unique people to do this dangerous job.  Kevin Costner works great here as Yoda to Ashton Kutcher's Luke. Costner is over-the-hill rescue swimmer Reynolds that sees something great in hothead Fischer (Kutcher who for one isn't irritating). If you have watched many films and TV shows, you will see some recognizable faces like Clancy Brown, Neal McDonough, and Sela Ward. On a drama front, it works fantastic, but I disagree on whether the alternate ending would have ruined the impact of the film. Director Andrew Davis, star Kevin Costner, and the producers shot an alternate ending in case they couldn't use the ending they had planned.

The four deleted scenes aren't bad, but I think scenes one and three could have stayed in while the character scenes between Fischer and the school teacher aren't needed. The alternate ending has an intro while the deleted scenes have optional audio commentary by director Davis and screenwriter Ron L. Brinkenhoff. Their feature audio commentary is basically an extended and more detailed version of the 11 minute making of featurette, MAKING WAVES, while UNSUNG HEROES is a tribute that tells the stories of real U.S. Coast Guard Rescue Swimmers.  I did find it interesting they had to relocate from New Orleans when Hurricane Katrina hit and stories of people being housed next too their pool used is good to know too.  The wave pool they created for the rough water rescue scenes is what a little magic Hollywood creates to make the recues in the film seem so alive.

THE GUARDIAN will rent well and fans of any of the main actors in this should see it (or buy the DVD).

this review is (c)1-21-2007 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