The Dreamgirls DVD features about a million extra things, including but not limited to: 12 extended and alternate scenes, the music video for Beyonce's "Listen" along with Beyonce's screen test for the film, a feature-length making-of documentary, Anika Noni Rose's audition, and "Steppin’ To The Bad Side" – the choreography audition. The film itself follows a trio of friends who hit it big as a girl group and then experience the highs and lows of fame and fortune. You may have heard that Jennifer Hudson won this year's Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her performance. Yet the tables may turn at the MTV Movie Awards, as she and Beyonce vie for Best Performance. I thought this movie was pretty good, though I maintain that Eddie Murphy gives the most amazing performance of all.
Two more great DVDs, so
Adapted from Tom Perotta's absorbing novel, Little Children tells a tale of suburban woe. Kate Winslet turns in a wonderfully nuanced performance as Sarah, a stay-at-home mother who finds herself bored with the other moms and often annoyed by motherhood itself. When she meets stay-at-home dad Brad, however, life gets a little rosier. The two form a friendship which soon turns into something deeper. Meanwhile, a disturbed man with pedophilic tendencies invokes the fear and ire of the townspeople. The direction is impressive, lending a hazy summertime feeling to issues that dive into very dark places. This is a rare time when I don't know which to recommend more: the novel or the film.
When Alpha Dog first came out, Justin Timberlake shocked many (myself included) by earning major kudos for his performance in this disturbing film. Based on a true story, Alpha Dog follows Johnny Truelove (Emile Hirsch), a drug dealer in a privileged L.A. suburb who becomes one of the youngest men to ever be on the FBI's most-wanted list. He and his friends imitate what they believe to be the glamorous gangster lifestyle, and when Johnny's competitor Jake Marzursky (Ben Foster) cheats him out of a chunk of money, Johnny kidnaps Jake's younger brother, Zack (Anton Yelchin). A total of 38 people witness the three days during which Zack is Truelove's prisoner, but no one thinks to break up the party and notify the police — until it's way too late.