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Based on the true experiences of Lt. Colonel Michael Strobl, who wrote eloquently of them in a widely circulated 2004 article, Taking Chance is a profoundly emotional look at the military rituals taken to honor its war dead, as represented by a fallen Marine killed in Iraq, Lance Corporal Chance Phelps. Working as a strategic analyst at Marine Corps Base Quantico in VA, Lt. Col. Strobl (Kevin Bacon) learns that Phelps had once lived in his hometown, and volunteers to escort the body to its final resting place in Wyoming. As Strobl journeys across America, he discovers the great diligence and dignity in how the military, and all those involved with preparing and transporting the body, handle their duties. Equally important, he encounters hundreds of people affected by Chances death, a vast majority of whom never knew him. This collective grieving eventually causes Lt. Col. Strobl, a veteran of Desert Storm now assigned to office duty, to probe his own guilt about not re-deploying to Iraq for the current conflict. Arriving in Wyoming, Lt. Col. Strobl completes his catharsis when he encounters Chances gracious family and friends, and discovers an extraordinary outpouring of community support.]]>
The made-for-HBO Taking Chance is based on perhaps the single most moving artifact to come out of the Second Gulf War, Lt. Col. Mike Strobl's first-person narrative of his voluntary mission escorting the body of a fellow Marine killed in Iraq. Strobl (played in the film by Kevin Bacon) hadn't known Lance Cpl. Chance Phelps but, noticing they'd been born in the same western town, he requested temporary leave from his duties as a manpower-deployment analyst at Quantico in order to accompany the 20-year-old's body home. Home, as it turned out, was no longer their shared birthplace in Colorado but the high-country Wyoming town of Dubois. The journey would take Strobl deep into the heart of his nation, and his own heart as well. There's no overstating the power and beauty of what he encountered: one instance after another of not just military personnel but airline employees, passengers, and bystanders doing honor--mostly wordlessly--to Chance's coffin and his escort as they passed by. First-time director Ross Katz deserves credit for declining to inflate any of these moments or underscore their meaning with grandiloquent speechifying, and Bacon--an actor who couldn't hit a false note if his life depended on it--is true to the Desert Storm veteran's self-discipline and emotional discretion. The picture's decency is unimpeachable, and Strobl's story, transcending pro-war and anti-war politics, is itself an act of healing. What's missing is the seasoned hand of a great director (Ang Lee, say) to invest it with the rhythm and movement of a fully achieved feature film. Still, this is a journey you'll feel enriched by sharing. --Richard T. Jameson
On the DVD
Several somewhat overlapping short videos offer testimony to Chance Phelps's fun-loving spirit, heroic death, and spiritual legacy by his family, friends, and fellow Marines. They're good people. There's also a brief deleted scene--actually, portion of a scene--and some not particularly illuminating commentary on the making of the film. --Richard T. Jameson
|House Of Cards:Season Five (4 Discs) (Blu-ray + UltraViolet)
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In the midst of the presidential election, tensions mount in the White House as Frank (Golden Globe winner Kevin Spacey) and Claire (Golden Globe winner Robin Wright) continue to navigate their political careers and redefine their relationships – particularly with each other. Season five of the Emmy Award-winning political drama is marked by violent power plays, new alliances, stunning betrayals and, as always, a desire to win at any cost – and not just from Frank Underwood.
|Gone with the Wind (Two Disc 70th Anniversary Edition)
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Brand: Warner Brothers
Period romance. War epic. Family saga. Popular fiction adapted with crowd-pleasing brilliance. Star acting aglow with charisma and passion. Moviemaking craft at its height. These are sublimely joined in the words Gone with the Wind.
This dynamic and durable screen entertainment of the Civil War-era South comes home with the renewed splendor of a New 70th-Anniversary Digital Transfer capturing a higher-resolution image from Restored Picture Elements than ever before possible. David O. Selznick’s monumental production of Margaret Mitchell’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book can now enthrall new generations of home viewers with a majestic vibrance that befits one of Hollywood’s greatest achievements.
- Condition: New
- Format: DVD
- AC-3; Color; Dolby; DVD; Full Screen; Original recording remastered; Special Edition; Subtitled; NTS
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Told from the perspective of the decision makers and the soldiers on the ground, this series follows the dramatic events from the 25th May 1940, to the early hours of 4th June. As British and French troops were forced back into an ever-decreasing pocket of land by the relentless onslaught of the Germans, the British Navy launched a momentous effort to save them at short notice and with very slender means. Through the use of hybrid drama and documentary techniques, this series offers unique perspective and a true understanding of what actually happened.
|Top Gun (Widescreen Special Collector's Edition)
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In Top Gun, Tom Cruise stars as Maverick, a talented training pilot in an elite U.S. school for fighter pilots. When he stumbles upon some MiG's over the Persian Gulf, and his wingman panics, Maverick cleverly talks him through the situation to safety. Consequently, he is moved up in rank and sent to the Top Gun Naval Flying School. There he has several conflicts with other students while trying to live up to his deceased father's reputation. Unable to cope with the death of his best friend, and fellow pilot, Goose, Maverick contemplates dropping out, but follows through with his dream and ultimately becomes one of the "best of the best."
- Condition: New
- Format: DVD
- Collector's Edition; Color; Dolby; DTS Surround Sound; DVD; Widescreen; NTSC
|Steven Spielberg Director's Collection (Jaws / E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial / Jurassic Park / The Lost World: Jurassic Park / Duel / The Sugarland Express / 1941 / Always) [Blu-ray]
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Brand: UNI DIST CORP. (MCA)
Steven Spielberg is one of the most prolific directors in motion picture history. Spanning over 40 years, Steven’s career began as a teenager when he made his way onto the Universal backlot and befriended studio executives. His passion and talent quickly developed, allowing him to direct an unprecedented number of blockbuster films. The Steven Spielberg Director’s Collection showcases a selection of the Academy Award winner’s unforgettable movies filmed for Universal, including his very first TV feature, Duel, and his first theatrical release, The Sugarland Express, and blockbusters such as Jaws, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial and Jurassic Park. Steven’s work has captivated audiences worldwide and continue to set the standard for filmmaking.
|The War - A Film By Ken Burns and Lynn Novick
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The Emmy® award-winning documentary THE WAR explores the history and horror of World War II from an American perspective by following so-called ordinary men and women who became caught up in one of the greatest cataclysms in history. This epic film focuses on the stories of citizens from four American towns taking the viewer through their personal and harrowing journeys, painting vivid portraits of how the war altered their lives.
Creating epic documentaries about war is nothing new for Ken Burns, nor is the subject of the Second World War, which never ceases to be a popular subject of films and TV shows. Yet with The War, Burns has definitely succeeded in breaking new ground, exploring in depth the effect of the war on common Americans, and not just the soldiers of The Greatest Generation that fought it. As the narration says at the beginning, "The war affected people in every house, on every street in every town in America." This is nothing less than an attempt to show how the war altered the lives of an entire nation through the portrayal of four individuals from four communities--Waterbury, Connecticut; Mobile, Alambama; Luverne, Minnesota; and Sacramento, California--that could represent any town in the country that went through the war. The result is another stunning achievement for Burns and co-director Lynn Novick. Together the filmmaking team succeeds in bringing the war home through the testimonies, letters, and footage of the people from these towns. The storytelling is compelling--Burns and Novick manage to find the most vivid, intimate, and personal dimensions of a global catastrophe--and brought to life with exceptional voice work from marquee stars like Tom Hanks, Alan Arkin, and Samuel L. Jackson. Much of the footage is brilliantly restored; even the most die-hard History Channel buff will see clips here that they've never viewed before. Many old grainy family films look almost as clean and bright as if they were just shot using a modern camera with black-and-white film (keeping in mind that most of the footage was shot without sound, the audio effects work on The War is particularly impressive and should bring attention to the underappreciated work of the foley artist). It took Burns and Novick six years to make this seven-part, 15-hour film--not surprising, really, considering the miles of footage they must have accumulated in the course of their research--and the time and effort shows in the results. The DVD also includes a making-of featurette, deleted scenes, extensive commentaries, and more, in addition to a companion book, The War: An Intimate History. --Daniel Vancini
- Brand Name: PUBLIC BROADCASTING SERVICE Mfg#: 00017017
- Shipping Weight: 0.90 lbs
- Genre: Television: PBS
- All music products are properly licensed and guaranteed authentic.
|Band of Brothers
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Brand: HBO HOME VIDEO
Band of Brothers (Viva SC/Rpkg/DVD)
Based on the bestseller by Stephen E. Ambrose, the epic 10-part miniseries Band of Brothers tells the story of Easy Company, 506th Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division, U.S. Army. Drawn from interviews with survivors of Easy Company, as well as soldiers' journals and letters, Band of Brothers chronicles the experiences of these men who knew extraordinary bravery and extraordinary fear. They were an elete rifle company parachuting into France early on D-Day morning, fighting in the Battle of the Bulge and capturing Hitler's Eagle's Nest at Berchtesgaden. They were also a unit that suffered 150 percent casualties, and whose lives became legend.]]>
|The Civil War 25th Anniversary Edition - Restored for 2015
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The Civil War, the Emmy® Award-winning nine-part series from Ken Burns, is now fully restored to high definition, achieving the optimal picture quality originally intended. This six-disc collector's set also features over two hours of new bonus video. Hailed as a film masterpiece and landmark in historical storytelling, Ken Burns's epic documentary brings to life America's most destructive and defining conflict. Here is the saga of celebrated generals and ordinary soldiers, a heroic and transcendent president and a country that had to divide itself in two in order to become one.
Bonus features:- Making The Civil War: 25 Years Later - Restoring The Civil War - Complete High Definition Shelby Foote Interviews - Additional Interviews
|Gardens of Stone
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The story of the war at home and the people who lived through it. From director Francis Coppola (The Rainmaker, The Godfather saga) comes GARDENS OF STONE, a poignant look at stateside military life during the Vietnam War featuring outstanding performances by James Caan, James Earl Jones and Academy Award(r) Winner Anjelica Huston.* "Gardens of Stone" refers to Arlington National Cemetery, its endless rows of tombstones marking the graves of America's fallen war heroes. This garden is tended by the "Old Guard," an elite Army unit led by decorated veterans no longer serving active duty. When brash young recruit Jackie Willow (D.B. Sweeney) is assigned to the unit, he becomes a surrogate son toSgt. Clell Hazard (Caan) and Sgt. Major "Goody" Nelson (Jones). The older men must prepare the younger for the deadly environment of war. Meanwhile, Hazard begins a love affair with an anti-war newspaper reporter (Huston) and Willow rekindles a romance with a former college sweetheart (Mary Stuart
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