[VIDEO REVIEWS]Saving the World, Some Sanity and Grace

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[VIDEO REVIEWS]Saving the World, Some Sanity and Grace

New releases this week span the decades - a 1961 classic, a recent British comedy and a Kevin Costner docudrama.


Directed by Roger Donaldson. Starring Kevin Costner, Bruce Greenwood and Steven Culp.

The Cuban missile crisis, one of the most potentially dangerous moments in U.S. history, comes alive in "Thirteen Days," using a combination of declassified documents and some more fanciful reinterpretations.

In the White House, President John F. Kennedy (Greenwood), brother and Attorney General Bobby Kennedy (Culp) and adviser Kenny O'Donnell (Costner) became embroiled in a situation that came close to drawing the United States into nuclear war. It began Oct. 16, 1962, when President Kennedy saw photographic evidence of Soviet-installed ballistic missiles in Cuba. With the balance of power at stake, the president's office went into high gear to figure out a solution.

With conflicting opinions everywhere, one wrong step could have led to a disaster. This movie shows the complex chain of events that kept war from happening.


Directed by Ingmar Bergman. Starring Harriet Andersson, Max Von Sydow, Gunnar Bjornstrand, Lars Passgard.

The movie earned Bergman a second consecutive Academy Award for Best Foreign Film.

This film is structured like a string quartet, or what Bergman called the chamber play. There are only four characters. Karin (Andersson), a newly released psychiatric patient, is staying on a secluded island with her father, David (Bjornstrand), and brother, Minus (Passgard). Her doctors warn her that she is in between worlds, on the verge of either schizophrenia or healing, and that the next couple of days may determine the outcome.

She descends into madness.

Haunting music and beautiful cinematography build into a heartwrenching tale of isolation, religion and empty faith.


Directed by Nigel Cole. Starring Brenda Blethyn, Craig Ferguson, Martin Clunes, Tcheky Karyo, Valerie Edmond

The British comedy "Saving Grace" draws comparisons to "Waking Ned Divine." The protagonists are up to no good, really, but the audience is drawn along for the ride, cheering on a crooked scam.

Grace (Blethyn) is a complacent housewife whose husband dies, leaving her with nothing except terrible debts. In order to keep her house from the bank and survive, she concocts a scheme with her inept handyman Matthew (Ferguson) to grow and sell marijuana.

Grace becomes caught between the police, drug dealers and real estate agents. Blethyn is a talented actress, but overall, the movie has too many cliches.

by Joe Yong-hee

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