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Last Chance Harvey (PG-13)

Anchor Bay Home Entertainment

When I look at a movie like Last Chance Harvey, my first instinct is to say, "Been there, done that." In fact, I was absolutely dreading this "middle-aged" romantic drama, but as I slowly settled into it, I discovered a warm, sweet, charming, loving story that was too enjoyable to dislike. Dustin Hoffman delivers a heart-wrenching performance as a man who's coming to terms with his obsolescence; recently fired from his jingle-writing job, he's now enduring his aloof daughter's wedding in England. By chance he meets Emma Thompson and, through the course of only hours, they bond and connect in a truly believable, mature way. That's why Harvey works so well: Instead of relying on silly pratfalls and ridiculous "meet cutes," it relies on the believable emotions and action of the characters. I wholeheartedly recommend this — you'll be as surprised as I was. — Louis Fowler

Purchase the DVD: Last Chance Harvey
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Wilco Live: Ashes of American Flags (NR)

Nonesuch

Those who have seen Wilco know it may be the best live band going, and this DVD certainly captures plenty of the musical magic common at its shows. The band not only plays its inventive songs with precision and verve, it can take them to ecstatic new heights. For example, see the rapid-fire guitar duel that brings "Handshake Drugs" to a fiery climax, the stormy treatment that energizes "Kingpin" and the beauty that guitarist Nels Cline brings to "Impossible Germany." The only quibble I have with Ashes of American Flags pertains to the interviews interspersed between songs. While insightful, they rob the DVD of the continuity that also characterizes Wilco shows. But that's a small beef for a disc that captures the genius of a group that can be mentioned in the same breath as the Band, Creedence or any other great American band. — Alan Sculley

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While She Was Out (R)

Anchor Bay Home Entertainment

Some of my favorite action films (well, most of my favorite action films) are of the revenge variety. Usually, an innocent everyman is attacked by teenage thugs, and with the law protecting the troublemakers he decides to take matters into his own hands, customarily (and hopefully) with bloody results. Think Charles Bronson in Death Wish. As of late, women have been given their turn at the revenge bat — first with Jodie Foster in The Brave One and now Kim Basinger in the tense While She Was Out. Basinger is a beleaguered, abused housewife who, when some toughs at the mall harass her, is forced to dispose of them one by one, in a wonderful variety of graphic ways. At times, I actually cheered to see her violently assert herself. I have no idea why this skipped theaters; don't let it skip your DVD player. Purchase the DVD: While She Was Out — Louis Fowler

  • Last Chance Harvey, While She Was Out, Wilco Live: Ashes of American Flags

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