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THE GUARDIAN

Review by Chastity Campbell

Starring: Kevin Costner, Sela Ward, Ashton Kutcher, Melissa Sagemiller, Clancy Brown, Neal McDonough
Director: Andrew Davis
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1
Video: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Studio: Disney/Buena Vista
Features: See Review
Length: 139 Minutes
Release Date: January 23, 2007

Film ***

Take one grieving hero, mix in an over the top, cocky, testosterone juiced guy whoís out to prove no one is better than him, and what do you get?   The reason I am so frustrated with Hollywood right now! 

Setting my anger at the tunnel vision plaguing Hollywood writers, and directors aside, I have to say The Guardian is a good movie. 

Kevin Costner, Ashton Kutcher and a much beloved favorite of mine Sela Ward, took these overused characters and managed to do a pretty good job getting you to like them, and ultimately care about them.  Ultimately that is what acting is about, and I have to say each of them gave a performance that they can be proud of.

I also have to give a big set of Kudos to the director of this film, Andrew Davis.  Any director out there will tell you that filming against water or using water is one of the hardest mediums.  However, after viewing this DVD I am sure you will agree that Mr. Davis managed to make it look like a walk in the park.

Kevin Costner manages not to be boring as the former Hero turned instructor who sees something in the up and coming Jake Fischer played by Ashton Kutcher.  Jakeís biggest concern is breaking Ben Randallís records, and clinging to a secret that threatens everything he is working so hard to become. 

Will Jake be able to break through the barriers he is erecting for himself and become the Hero that Ben sees inside?  Will Ben get past his grief long enough to help Jake truly find his way?  Hmmm, interesting questions, and most likely you already know the answer, but watch The Guardian anyway. 

The action scenes and the acting itself, makes it worth the two hours plus youíll spend glued to your TV!

Video ***

The video quality on this DVD is remarkable.  I would never have guess that this DVD was only a 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen transfer.  The colors are crisp and vivid.  The dirt and grain kept to an extreme minimum.  

Filming against water is never easy, glare and a multitude of other things make it extremely hard to accomplish cleanly.  However, this DVD proves that it can be done, in a very visually pleasing way!

Audio ***

The Audio quality was very good on this DVD.  The levels remained constant throughout the film and extra features. There was never a time when I was unable to clearly and easily understand the dialogue despite the background tracks, and music bed.

I really like the fact that this DVD is presented in 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround Sound in English, Spanish, and French.  It is really nice to know that they took the time to make sure that this DVD will sound good in any language!

Features ***

Start your extra feature viewing fun with some Deleted Scenes.  These scenes come with an optional introduction by director Andrew Davis and writer Ron L. Brinkerhoff.

There is also a never before seen alternate ending (gotta love those), with an on-camera introduction by the films Director.

Two featurettes Unsung Heroes and Making Waves will take you down into the depths of the ocean, and show you how this film was made and the real life Heroes that inspired a story like this one.

Also, Audio Commentary with director Andrew Davis and writer Ron L. Brinkerhoff is a wonderful way to dig down even further into this films progression from ideal to completed product.

Finally, this DVD comes with both French and Spanish subtitles.

Summary:

The plot isnít new, and the characters are somewhat predictable.  However, the beautiful directing and the scenery along with the extras this DVD is packing, make The Guardian good enough to get my two thumbs up gotta have it rating! 

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