Review: The Next Three Days DVD

The Next Three Days DVD boxSTUDIO: Lionsgate | DIRECTOR: Paul Haggis | CAST: Russell Crowe, Elizabeth Banks, Liam Neeson, Brian Dennehy
RELEASE DATE: 3/8/2011 | PRICE: DVD $29.95, Blu-ray/DVD combo $39.99
BONUSES: featurettes, commentary, gag reel
SPECS: PG-13 | 133 min. | Thriller | 2.40:1 aspect ratio | Dolby Digital EX audio | English, Spanish subtitles

RATINGS (out of 5 dishes): Movie | Audio | Video | Overall

Despite starring usual on-screen juggernaut Russell Crowe (Gladiator), The Next Three Days didn’t take off when it ran in theaters, grossing only $21 million during its entire run (that’s less than just the opening weekend for Crowe’s Robin Hood), but the film is a tight, emotional thriller that deserves more attention on DVD and Blu-ray.

The Next Three Days movie sceneIn the movie, Crowe plays a husband and father whose wife (Elizabeth Banks, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, in a different role than her usual comedies) has been convicted of murder and run out of appeals. Now facing the rest of her life in prison, Banks starts to fall apart and Crowe sees only solution to reunite his family (including son Ty Simpkins) — to break her out. The performances are fine, as are the film’s direction and script in keeping the tension ramped up as well as our concern for this torn-apart family.

The drama is written and directed by Paul Haggis (Academy Award winner for Crash) based on a French movie by Fred Cavaye and Guillaume Lemans. The original piece, says Haggis in the DVD’s commentary, is much lighter, but Haggis made a much darker version of the story; a more European version of the French film, the director jokes. He talks about the differences between his version and the original in the commentary, as well as the choices he made to keep the tension high in the story.

Haggis also is featured in the making-of featurette, which isn’t the usual Hollywood kudos piece. Haggis, Crowe, Banks and actor Brian Dennehy (Every Day) talk about the characters and challenges of the film’s production. Haggis also goes into detail about how Liam Neeson (Unknown) signed off to do his cameo, which was shot in a day while Neeson was on a break from filming another movie.

Crowe, Neeson and Dennehy also are discussed in the featurette “The Men of The Next Three Days,” another interesting piece. There is some overlap in the two segments, however.

The disc also includes a gag reel called “Cast Moments,” lots and lots of deleted and extended scenes, and, on the fun side, the featurette “True Escapes For Love,” an E! True Hollywood Story-style piece hosted by Jason Beghe (TV’s Everwood), who played Detective Quinn in the film. Beghe tells the story of a number of real-life prison-escape love stories.

 

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About S. Clark

Sam Clark is the former Managing Editor/Online Editor of Video Business magazine. With 19 years experience in journalism, 12 in the home entertainment industry, Sam has been hooked on movies on since she saw E.T. then stared into the sky waiting to meet her own friendly alien. Thanks to her husband’s shared love of movies, Sam reviews Blu-ray discs in a true home theater, with a 118-inch screen, projector and cushy recliners with cup holders.