drama DVD and movie reviews and previews from curledupdvd.com - curled up with a good dvd
drama DVD reviews and previews from curledupdvd.com - curled up with a good dvd
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Monster's Ball - drama DVD review
MONSTER'S BALL Rated R by the Motion Picture Association of America curledupdvd.com rating: 4 stars
Actors: Billy Bob Thornton, Halle Berry, Heath Ledger, Mos Def
Director: Marc Forster   Studio: Lions Gate
DVD release: 11 June 2002   Runtime: 112 minutes (1 disc)
Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Letterboxed, Widescreen, NTSC
DVD Features: Audio Tracks (English, Dolby Digital 5.1; English, Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), Subtitles (English, Spanish), Audio commentaries (director Marc Forster & director of photography Roberto Schaefer; Halle Berry, Billy Bob Thornton, & Forster), Deleted scenes & outtakes, "Making of the Music" featurette

Directed by Marc Foster, with a script written by Milo Addica and Will Rokos, Monster's Ball stars Billy Bob Thornton as Hank Grotowski, a white, racist corrections officer who falls in love with the wife of the last man he executed, Lawrence Musgrove (Sean Combs). Hank is the lead officer of the team that will carry out the execution. His son, Sonny (Heath Ledger), is also a part of this team. "Monster's ball" refers to a party thrown by officers for other officers attending their first execution, which is Sonny's situation. Hank also has a tumultuous relationship with his racist and physically disabled father, Buck (Peter Boyle), who was also a prison guard.

Both Leticia (Halle Berry) and Hank lead stark, emotionally empty lives of desperate isolation. But after several traumatic incidents, they are both free and ultimately find solace in each other. Fueled by the intensely raw human emotions portrayed on the screen, many themes run through the picture: capital punishment, racism, economic and social boundaries, aging, and weight issues.

The searing performances by the cast lend credibility to the storyline that might otherwise have buckled under its own weight. Berry would go on to win an Oscar and a Screen Actors Guild award for her performance. The film's score is another highlight, airy, open-sounding music that matches the film to create a haunting yet beautiful mood. The DVD is loaded with extras: audio commentary by director Marc Forster and director of photography Roberto Schaefer, commentary by Halle Berry, Billy Bob Thornton, and Marc Forster, deleted scenes and outtakes, and a special making of the music featurette. Overall, a fantastic and gripping drama.
reviewed by Bobby Blades
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