Blu-Ray Review: ‘Hostage,’ ‘Rounders,’ ‘Swingers,’ ‘Good Will Hunting’

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CHICAGO – A few beloved films from the ’90s are making their debut on Blu-ray…and “Hostage.” We can’t really find the tie between the Bruce Willis action flick and “Rounders,” “Swingers,” and “Good Will Hunting” but it actually is an underrated flick and it’s hitting HD this month from the same company (Lionsgate releasing Miramax titles) and we didn’t want to discriminate. The best of the bunch is probably the Gus Van Sant Oscar-winner but the movie that introduced the world to Vince Vaughn & Jon Favreau isn’t far behind. Pick up your favorite.

HollywoodChicago.com Blu-Ray Rating: 3.5/5.0
Blu-Ray Rating: 3.5/5.0

One of the most remarkable things about this quartet of releases is how old they’re likely to make you feel. Vince Vaughn looks SO young in “Swingers.” Matt Damon looks SO young in “Rounders.” Maybe it’s just me but time has flown in the movie world lately and it’s incredible how much these flicks feel like a product of a previous generation. Want to feel old? People born the year that “Swingers” came out will be able to drive next year. Ouch.

Good Will Hunting will be released on Blu-ray on August 30th, 2011
Good Will Hunting will be released on Blu-ray on August 30th, 2011
Photo credit: Lionsgate/Miramax

We’ll get to the list of special features, some of which are quite impressive, but if you’re wondering about the transfers, Lionsgate (who handled the three single-word titles) can be a bit frustrating when it comes to their catalog titles. They often look good, not great. These are not what some might expect from special editions or anniversary releases. They’re pure imports — taking what you probably already own and merely transferring it to a new format. If you already bought any of these four films and don’t feel the need to upgrade your entire collection, don’t bother. But if you’ve put off buying your favorite of the quartet, here’s what you’ll find:

“Good Will Hunting”

Synopsis:
A true motion picture phenomenon, this triumphant story was nominated for 9 Academy Awards(R) winning Oscars for Robin Williams (Best Supporting Actor) and hot newcomers Matt Damon and Ben Affleck (Best Original Screenplay). The most brilliant mind at America’s top university isn’t a student … he’s the kid who cleans the floors! Will Hunting (Damon) is a headstrong, working-class genius who’s failing the lessons of life. After one too many run-ins with the law, Will’s last chance is a psychology professor (Williams), who might be the only man who can reach him! With acclaimed performances from Academy Award(R)-nominee Minnie Driver (Grosse Pointe Blank) and Ben Affleck (Shakespeare in Love, The Town) you’ll find Good Will Hunting a powerful and unforgettable movie experience!

Special Features:
o Audio Commentary by Director Gus Van Sant and Academy Award Winners Matt Damon and Ben Affleck
o 11 Deleted Scenes with Audio Commentary
o Production Featurette
o Academy Award Best Picture Montage
o Miss Misery Music Video
o Behind-the-Scenes Footage
o Theatrical Trailer
o Digital Copy Of Feature Film

Hostage was released on Blu-ray on August 23rd, 2011
Hostage was released on Blu-ray on August 23rd, 2011
Photo credit: Lionsgate/Miramax

“Hostage”

Synopsis:
Action extraordinaire Bruce Willis (Die Hard, Pulp Fiction, The Sixth Sense) stars as Jeff Talley, a big city hostage negotiator who voluntarily trades trauma for house calls when he becomes Chief of Police in a sleepy town. But when a random crime escalates into a deadly standoff, Talley finds himself thrust into a situation far more volatile and terrifying than anything he could ever imagine! Also starring Kevin Pollack (The Usual Suspects, The Whole Nine Yards), Jonathan Tucker (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre) and Ben Foster (3:10 To Yuma, The Mechanic), this explosive hit packs a punch in more ways than one.

Special Features:
o Audio Commentary by Director Florent Siri
o Taking Hostage Behind The Scenes Featurette
o Extended Scenes with Optional Audio Commentary by the Director
o Deleted Scenes with Optional Audio Commentary by the Director

“Rounders”

Synopsis:
A modern classic gets the royal treatment on Blu-ray Disc with bonus material, a pristine picture and theatre-quality sound. Academy Award winner Matt Damon (True Grit, The Bourne Supremacy), Edward Norton, (Fight Club, The Italian Job), John Malkovich (Being John Malkovich) and John Turturro (Transformers) lead an acclaimed cast in a gripping story about competition, rivalry and the high price of friendship. After suffering a huge setback in a high-stakes poker game, Mike McDermott (Damon) promise to lay down his cards for good, but when his best buddy (Norton) gets in over his head with a ruthless underground club owner, Mike’s loyalty draws him back into the game.

Swingers was released on Blu-ray on August 23rd, 2011
Swingers was released on Blu-ray on August 23rd, 2011
Photo credit: Lionsgate/Miramax

Special Features:
o Audio Commentary with Director John Dahl, Screenwriters David Levien and Brian Koppelman, and Actor Edward Norton
o Audio Commentary with Professional Poker Players
o Behind-the-Scenes Special
o Inside Professional Poker
o Champion Poker Tips from Four Professionals

“Swingers”

Synopsis:
Hip and hilarious-critics and audiences alike are raving about this must-see comedy hit that’s so money, it catapulted Vince Vaughn (The Break-Up, Wedding Crashers) and Jon Favreau (Couples Retreat, Iron Man) to stardom! It’s the laugh-out-loud look at a fun group of friends who spend their days looking for work and their nights in and out of Hollywood’s coolest after-hours hangouts! When the lovesick Mike (Jon Favreau) can’t seem to shake a relationship rut, his smooth, fast talking buddy Trent (Vince Vaughn) decides he’ll do whatever it takes to show Mike a good time! Whether laughing over martinis in smoky cocktail lounges…or searching for beautiful babies on an outrages road trip to Vegas, the young Swingers are determined to rewrite the rules of modern dating!

Special Features:
o Filmmakers’ Audio Commentary
o Audio Commentary with Jon Favreau and Vince Vaughn
o Making It In Hollywood
o Original Documentary - Art Imitates Life: Writing The Story
o Life Creates Art: Getting Swingers Made
o Life Imitates Art: Swingers Culture
o Art Creates Life: Life After Swingers
o The Cutting Room Floor
o Swingblade Short Film
o Original Theatrical Trailer

“Hostage,” “Rounders,” and “Swingers” were released on Blu-ray on August 23rd, 2011. “Good Will Hunting” will be releasedon August 30th, 2011.

HollywoodChicago.com content director Brian Tallerico

By BRIAN TALLERICO
Content Director
HollywoodChicago.com
brian@hollywoodchicago.com

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