4 Film Favorites: Cruising [4 Discs] (DVD) (Boxed Set)
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- The Firm includes: 2 theatrical trailers
- Vanilla Sky includes: Commentary by Director Cameron Crowe and Composer Nancy Wilson, featuring a conversation with Tom Cruise
- Two featurettes: Prelude to a Dream Hitting It Hard
- An interview with Paul McCartney
- Music video Afrika Shox by Leftfield/Afrika Bambaataa
- Teaser trailer
- International theatrical trailer
- Photo gallery with audio introduction by photographer Neal Preston
- Days of Thunder includes: Theatrical trailer
- Closed Captioned
The Top Gun team of producers Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer, director Tony Scott, and superstar Tom Cruise reunite for this excursion into stock-car racing that incorporates the vroom and rumble of deafening car engines with a rehash of the same elements that worked so effectively in Cruise's Top Gun, The Color of Money, and Cocktail. Cruise plays stock-car driver Cole Trickle, a young fireball on the Southern stock-car circuit who has loads of talent but no conception of how to channel that talent in to racing success. When Tim Daland (Randy Quaid) commissions veteran stock-car racer Harry Hogge (Robert Duvall) to built a car and hires Cole to drive it, Harry must instill in Cole his philosophy of winning and teach him how to channel his raw talent into success -- or, as Harry puts it, "controlling something that's out of control." Cole immediately comes into conflict with the circuit's star driver, Rowdy Burns (Michael Rooker), and their hijinks on the track causes them to smash up their cars and lands them both in the hospital. Because of his injuries, Rowdy is forced to withdraw from the circuit competition. With no rival to torment, Rowdy becomes Cole's supporter and friend, while Cole revs up his motors for Dr. Claire Lewicki (Nicole Kidman), the attractive brain specialist who supervises Cole's recovery from the crackup. Cole's health is restored, and he begins to race again, chastened and hanging onto Harry's every word. Cole appears to have centered himself for success, but in an orgasmic grand finale, Cole must compete against Russ Wheeler (Cary Elwes), a dastardly driver who not only wants to see Cole defeated but permanently disabled. ~ Paul Brenner, Rovi, Rovi
In this drama, based on the best-selling novel by John Grisham, Mitch McDeer (Tom Cruise) is a young man from a poor Southern family who has struggled through Harvard Law School to graduate fifth in his class. Mitch is entertaining offers from major firms in New York and Chicago, but when Memphis-based Bendini, Lambert, & Locke offer him a 20 percent higher salary than the best offer he's received, in addition to an enticing variety of perks and fringe benefits, he decides to sign on and remain in the South. Mitch's wife, Abby (Jeanne Tripplehorn), warns him that the deal sounds almost too good to be true, but it's not until after several weeks of working with Avery Tolar (Gene Hackman) that Mitch discovers that the vast majority of BL&L's business is tied to organized crime, with crime boss Joey Morolto (Paul Sorvino) using the firm to launder Mafia money. FBI agents Wayne Tarrance (Ed Harris) and F. Denton Voyles (Steven Hill) try to blackmail Mitch into helping them make a case against the firm, while BL&L's "security director" William Devasher (Wilford Brimley) is blackmailing him to do as he's told after Mitch foolishly allows himself to be seduced by a prostitute hired by the firm. The Firm was adapted for the screen by acclaimed playwright David Rabe and features performances by Hal Holbrook, Holly Hunter, and Gary Busey. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi, Rovi
A remake of the Spanish film Open Your Eyes (1997), this thriller from director Cameron Crowe bears one of several discarded titles for his previous, Oscar-winning film Almost Famous (2000). Tom Cruise stars as David Ames, a womanizing playboy who finds romantic redemption when he falls in love with his best friend's girlfriend Sofia (Penelope Cruz, reprising her role from the original film). Before that relationship can begin, however, David is coaxed into a car driven by an ex-lover, Julie (Cameron Diaz), who turns out to be suicidal. Driving her car off a bridge, Julie kills herself and horribly disfigures David. Reconstructive surgery and the loving support of Sofia seem to reverse David's luck, but eerie incidents are soon making him question the reality of his existence and his control over his life, even while he is suspected of complicity in Julie's death. Vanilla Sky (2001) bears the expected Crowe trademark of an obsession with recent pop culture and particularly rock music, a more important element of the remake than the original film. That project's writer/director, Alejandro Amenabar, crafted his own supernatural hit the same year with The Others (2001), starring Nicole Kidman, the soon-to-be-ex-wife of Cruise. ~ Karl Williams, Rovi, Rovi
A taxi driver is unexpectedly taken on the ride of his life in this stylish thriller from acclaimed director Michael Mann. Max (Jamie Foxx) is a cab driver who hopes to some day open his own limo company; one night behind the wheel begins promisingly when he picks up Annie (Jada Pinkett Smith), an attorney working with the federal government who is attractive, friendly, and gives him her business card after paying her fare. Max thinks his luck is getting even better when his next fare, Vincent (Tom Cruise), offers him several hundred dollars in cash if he'll be willing to drop him off, wait, and pick him up at five different spots over the course of the evening. Max agrees, but he soon realizes Vincent isn't just another guy with errands to run -- Vincent is an assassin who has been paid to murder five people who could put the leaders of a powerful drug trafficking ring behind bars in an upcoming trial. As circumstances force Max to do Vincent's bidding, the cabbie has to find a way to prevent Vincent from killing again and save his own skin, a task that becomes especially crucial when he discovers Annie is one of the names on Vincent's hit list. Collateral also stars Mark Ruffalo, Peter Berg, and Bruce McGill as police detectives hot on Vincent's trail. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi, Rovi