Beauty" on DVD
Awards Edition Disc
American Beauty is a smaller than life film about life in suburbia USA.
Winner of 5 Academy Awards, it stars Kevin Spacey and Annette Bening as
hubby and wifey in an ordinary neighborhood living ordinary lives.
He's a writer, though apparently not much of one, and she's a realtor,
though apparently not much of one. They have a nice home, a teenage daughter
with attitude. The daughter has a sultry friend, the family has a "video
stalking" neighbor. As such, they live in a typical Hollywood version
of the world.
American Beauty isn't what you expect, and it definitely has its ugly
side, but on the whole it's a pretty interesting yarn that's refreshingly
different from the typical Hollywood tripe. There's plenty of sexual tension,
personal hangups, and a story - well, we won't spoil it by giving away
too much. It isn't really what you expect from what you've heard or from
the film's setup, and that's a nice change from the all-too-predictable
fare Hollywood often churns out.
The widescreen DVD features both Dolby Digital and DTS surround tracks,
and picture and sound quality are terrific.
The DVD is a special "Awards Edition" and that means there's a pile of
extras over which you can pore. In fact, the package says there's more
than three hours of extra material included on the disc, and one certainly
can't complain about that.
From fairly standard (though no less welcome) fare as a liner essay (this
one was written by director Sam Mendes) to a running commentary by director
Mendes and writer Alan Ball, to "American Beauty: Look Closer," a feature
with cast/crew interviews, there's plenty into which you can get your
teeth. There's also a storyboard presentation, with commentary, cast/crew
bios and the usual trailer, chapters, etc. A DVD ROM component features
the "digital screenplay" with corresponding video and storyboards.
American Beauty from Dreamworks Home Video
122 minutes, Widescreen (2.35:1), Dolby Digital/DTS
Starring Kevin Spacey, Annette Bening, Thora Birch, Allison Janney, Peter
Produced by Bruce Cohen and Dan Jinks
Written by Alan Ball, Directed by Sam Mendes
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