DVD frenzy: More Oscar nominee reviews

Flags of Our Fathers
Though it has only gotten attention for its impressive sound effects, this first part of Clint Eastwood’s latest epic impresses with its acting. Ryan Philippe is Doc Baker, a Navy medic stationed in Iwo Jima during the historic battle. Doc is the film’s narrator and he flashes back to the publicity tour launched after the iconic flag raising photo. We meet publicity hound Rene Gagnon(Jesse Bradford) and alcoholic Ira Hayes(played by the always amazing Adam Beach, who after Smoke Signals, seems to always play the token Native American WWII soldier) as the three survivors face the difficult journey home.
available on DVD

Jesus Camp
I’m rooting for the better known Best Documentary nominee, An Inconvenient Truth, but was pleasantly surprised by this gutsy look at evangelical children’s ministry. The film follows Pastor Becky and three of the young students at her summer Bible camp as well as a radio pundit, who despite his Christian convictions, questions the rise of evangelicals and their Republican ties. While it is a hard look at America’s heartland, it also felt objective and sometimes sympathetic.
available on DVD

Cars
Another Pixar gem, this cartoon centers around arrogant Lightning McQueen(appropriately voiced by Owen Wilson), a race car who gets stuck in hick town Radiator Springs. There he finds a mentor, a best friend, a love interest, and his moral center. Props for casting John Ratzenberger for the umpteenth time as a well-meaning sidekick.
available on DVD

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