Stand Off

disc royal affair

Welcome back to This Week In Discs! As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it. Beautiful Girls Willie Conway (Timothy Hutton) has returned home for his high school reunion at a very confused time in his life. His long time girlfriend (Annabeth Gish) joins him on the trip as he visits with friends, strikes up a purely platonic relationship with a 15-year-old neighbor girl (Natalie Portman) and decides if he’s ready to settle down and get married. The late Ted Demme has a few fine films to his name including The Ref and Blow, but this sweet, honest and funny movie remains his high point. Portman’s perfect encapsulation of the untouchable teen is fantastic in every regard, but to be fair her storyline is only a small part of the whole. Willie’s friends (Matt Dillon, Noah Emmerich, Max Perlich, Michael Rapaport, Rosie O’Donnell and more) run the gamut of emotional stages as some are satisfied with their lives and others are not, but all of them feel authentic. The story threads fold together so effortlessly, the performances feel so real and the Blu-ray debut is long overdue. Also, Natalie Portman. [Blu-ray extras: None]


Brendan Fraser Whole Lotta Sole

If there’s a single moment that can let us 90% know Brendan Fraser, it’s one where he’s in the middle of a poignant discourse on professionally becoming another person in order to help share a story with the world when the cartoon sproing-sproing ringtone of his phone cuts through. The fact that it’s his children needing to be picked up from school on the other end probably brings us close to the last ten percent. “Hey, I got kids, and don’t tell anyone, but I still feel like one,” Fraser tells me, pinning the tail on a question about the sideways decisions of his career, the latest of which to see theaters is Stand Off . In the film from Terry George, Fraser plays Joe Maguire, a man who escapes a bad home situation by going to Belfast and running an antique store that eventually becomes the epicenter of the action promised in the movie’s title (a title that used to be Whole Lotta Sole). Maguire is a fish out of water trying to understand a deep, troubled Irish history in a lighthearted action dramedy from the director of Hotel Rwanda. Yes, your intuition is correct. This role is another delightful head-scratcher from an actor who has already been all over the map.

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published: 02.01.2015
published: 01.31.2015
published: 01.30.2015
published: 01.30.2015

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