"The Ice Storm" on DVD
Ang Lee's film about family values or the lack of same is if nothing
else an interesting time capsule of early 1970's America.
It also sends a pro-family message via its look at some very messed up
Kevin Kline and Joan Allen are middle aged married couple Ben and Elena
Hood. They have a successful life, two teenaged kids, and a nice place
in the suburbs of Connecticut.
They also have their share of messed up heads.
Tobey Maguire is their 16 year old son, Paul, who's attending a private
school away from home. He and his fourteen year old sister, Wendy (Christina
Ricci), are both in the years of blossoming sexuality, and are both keen
on exploring what puberty has to offer. Paul envisions a wonderful night
with the girl of his dreams, in her New York mansion (vacated by her family
for the Thanksgiving holiday), while the younger Wendy's experimentation
is more limited to "I'll show you mine if you show me yours" with the
Ben and Elena are good friends of the neighbors, especially Janey (Sigourney
Weaver). Ben's an especially good friend of Janey's: they've been carrying
on behind the scenes (though Janey's such a bitch one wonders why - other
than the adventure - Ben would bother).
Things come to a head just before Ben and Elena arrive at what turns
out to be a mate-swapping party at the home of a friend and, as an ice
storm hits meteorologically, metaphorically and emotionally, the movie
picks steam and barrels along to a tragic conclusion that actually ends
up bringing the Hood family closer together than they've been in a while.
The performances are all excellent, especially Joan Allen (you really
feel for her), and Christina Ricci as the put upon confused teen. Kline
does his usual fine job and Weaver's performance leaves you hating her
guts - which means she also pulls off her character with fine skill.
Director Lee does a fine job not only of capturing the era, but of drawing
us into the emotional athletics being performed.
"The Ice Storm" isn't really a movie to be enjoyed; it's more like an
experience - but by no means is it an ordeal, and the message it sends
is a positive one despite all the negativity that happens on the screen.
The DVD is in widescreen, anamorphic (16x9 TV compatible) and with Dolby
Digital 5.0 surround. Video quality is very good; the sound is also first
rate, though we missed the center front channel information that locates
dialogue at the TV screen.
Extras include a featurette and the trailer.
The Ice Storm, from 20th Century Fox Home Video
114 min, widescreen (1.85:1), 16x9 TV compatible, Dolby Digital 5.0
Starring Kevin Kline, Joan Allen, Sigourney Weaver
Produced by Ted Hope, James Schamus and Ang Lee
Written by James Schamus, Directed by Ang Lee.
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