Picks and Pans Review: DVD View
The Day After Tomorrow ($29.98)
The impressive special effects of Mother Nature running amok wowed summer audiences, but they lose their punch on the small screen, which makes the supreme silliness of the storyline—global warming kills millions, but at least Dennis Quaid bonds with estranged son Jake Gyllenhaal—even more apparent.
Extras: Producer Mark Gordon points out a cameo from Gyllenhaal’s then-girlfriend Kirsten Dunst and performs his own animated line readings (especially for Tomorrow‘s dim-witted President) in commentary that’s far more entertaining than the actual film; a disappointing feature on sound mixing subs for a look at the visual effects. (PG-13)
One of the summer’s pleasant surprises, this biting satire about Christian high school kids coming of age boasts winning turns from Mandy Moore as a holier-than-thou BWOC and Eva Amurri (Susan Sarandon’s daughter) as the school’s Jewish rabble-rouser.
Extras: Two run-of-the-mill cast and crew commentaries; deleted scenes that are largely unmemorable, save for a few juicy lines from Moore. (PG-13)
The Shawshank Redemption ($26.99)
Despite seven Oscar nominations, director Frank Darabont’s moving look at the relationship between prison inmates Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman came and went in 1994 without much fanfare. Ten years and seemingly thousands of airings on cable later, it’s deservedly remembered as one of the best films of the ’90s.
Extras: Reverential commentary from Darabont; cast and crew fondly look back in two effective documentaries; The Sharktank Redemption, a witty 25-minute spoof starring Freeman’s son Alfonso in his own prison as a Hollywood agency assistant. (R)