New DVDs: Feature Length Films and TV Series – April 2008

Forces of Nature
Ben has only two days to get from New York to Georgia for his wedding, but the forces of nature, and a free-spirited traveler, are working against him. Cast: Sandra Bullock, Ben Affleck, Maura Tierney, Steve Zahn, Blythe Danner, Ronny Cox. Rated PG-13.

Miss Austen Regrets
Austen fans will be delighted with the second disc in the new Sense & Sensibility set: Miss Austen Regrets is a perfect companion to the miniseries, starring Olivia Williams stars as the author, and Greta Scacchi–who could easily pass as Williams’ real-life sibling–as Austen’s sister Cassandra. The film takes a bittersweet look at Austen’s life and hints at what could have been had she married one of her suitors. Smart and headstrong, Austen refuses to cave into society’s notions of what a proper woman should do. While her famous heroines all paired up with dashing gentlemen, Austen found that the loves of her life were her written creations.

Murder Must Advertise
It looks like a tragic accident when Victor Dean falls down the spiral staircase at Pym’s Publicity Ltd. His replacement, Lord Peter Wimsey (Ian Carmichael), sets out to find the truth which leads him to a drug ring operating through someone at the agency. DVD release of the original 1973 BBC television drams seen on PBS’ Masterpiece Theatre. Based on the novel by Dorothy Sayers.

Sense & Sensibility
Masterpiece Theatre & the BBC produced this new 3-part adaptation of Jane Austen’s classic novel about love and marriage. Cast: David Morrissey, Janet McTeer, Hattie Morahan, Charity Wakefield, Dan Stevens, Dominic Cooper, Mark Williams, Claire Skinner, Anna Madeley, Daisy Haggard.

Smiley’s People
The bespectacled spymaster is once more called from retirement to come to the aid of the ‘Circus’–and he returns with a vengeance. The murder of an emigre Soviet General who was also a British agent, sends him digging into the past on a twisted trail across Europe that moves, inexorably, towards a final showdown with his old adversary, Karla of Moscow Center. Cast: Alec Guinness as George Smiley, with Eileen Atkins, Anthony Bate, Bernard Hepton, Michael Lonsdale, Beryl Reid, Patrick Stewart, and Bill Paterson. Based on the novel by John Le CarrĂ© ; sequel to his Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. Produced by BBC television in 1994