The Waterdance on DVD
Eric Stoltz is a writer recovering from a life shattering hiking accident
in this tale about learning to live with the hand that life deals you.
The movie opens with him still wearing a "halo," a horrid piece of metal
contraption designed to immobilize him in the wake of his spinal cord
injury. He's in a ward populated by a motley assortment of men with similar
injuries, people who are in various stages of adjustment to their new
ways of living.
As he recovers, he builds unlikely bonds with his new associates and
begins to reassess and rebuild his life. His reassessment includes revisiting
his relationship with a married woman (played wonderfully by Helen Hunt),
who seems to be the one person trying hardest to adjust - and help him
adjust - to the new reality.
Wesley Snipes is excellent as Ray, another man struck down in the prime
of life, as is William Forsythe as a redneck biker, and the rest of the
supporting cast turn in very good, very sympathetic performances.
This could be a tear jerker, or a bore, but it ends up being neither.
Instead, perhaps because it was co-directed and written by someone who
knows what these unfortunate people are going through, it's a fascinating
look at life and love, coping with loss - and renewal.
Some of the camera work, especially early on, is great as it gives a
point of view look at hospital life from the perspective of Joel (Stoltz).
During their time thrust together, these people begin to put their lives
back together, learning to live again - and love again - or to at least
deal with things.
Slow moving it is, but despite that The Waterdance turns out to be an
unexpectedly interesting and entertaining film.
The DVD is presented in digitally mastered anamorphic widescreen, enhanced
for 16x9 TV's and Dolby Digital 2 channel audio. They say it's Dolby Surround
on the box, but you could have fooled us. Nevertheless, the audio quality
is fine and you don't really miss surround effects. The video is sharp
and clean, with good color depth.
Extras are limited to trailers and filmographies.
The Waterdance, from Columbia Tristar Home Video
106 min. anamorphic widescreen (1.85:1), 16x9 TV compatible, Dolby Digital
Starring Eric Stoltz, Helen Hunt, Wesley Snipes, William Forsythe and
Produced by Gale Anne Hurd and Marie Cantin
Written by Neal Jimenez, directed by Neal Jimenez and Michael Steinberg
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