Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Ride With the Devil

If you mention the name Ang Lee, most people will answer "the guy who directed Brokeback Mountain" or might cite other Lee films like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon or Hulk.  But, it's perhaps Lee's best movie which is garnering attention today.

Ride With the Devil is being re-released today by the Criterion Collection on both Blu-Ray and DVD.  And, with the release comes another opportunity for Devil to gain the audience following which it missed in theatrical release.

This movie, filmed in Kansas City in 1998, details the border fighting, during the Civil War time period, along the Kansas-Missouri border.  And, in so doing, the movie is the best demonstration I've found to tell people "watch this if you want to 'get' the Kansas-Missouri 'rivaly.'"  The movie was only shown in a handful of markets and pulled in a paltry $670,000 at the box office.

As many movies do, the home video release allowed Devil to find critical mass...and critical acclaim.  The movie starred future big names like Tobey Maguire, Jeffrey Wright, Skeet Ulrich, Mark Ruffalo and Simon Baker.  A very young Jewel deftly played a war widow in the film.

Devil is one of my favorite films and probably the film that, when mentioned, gets the most quizzical looks from friends and acquaintances.  Now's the time, with the re-release, for all of you to finally check out this superb movie.

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