January Preorders / Stone's Feminine Side
Preorders open today (at 4 PM EST/1PM PST) for six new Twilight Time Blu-ray releases arriving January 19: From the Terrace, The Happy Ending, the 2-disc animated spectacular Harlock Space Pirate (3D/2D) (moved from December), Hawaii and two signature 1970s gems from director Hal Ashby: Bound for Glory and The Last Detail. This month is your month for star-packed melodrama, cutting-edge animation, epic journeys and indelibly acted movie greats.
Opening on Christmas Day 1993 and widening its release in January 1994, Oliver Stone’s Heaven & Earth was the final film of the director’s so-called Vietnam Trilogy, preceded by the Oscar®-winning pair of Platoon (1986) and Born on the Fourth of July (1989). Based on two memoirs by Le Ly Hayslip, a Vietnamese woman who survived her country’s torturous conflict and successfully relocated to the United States, it marked a new direction for the firebrand filmmaker, perceptively noted by Roger Ebert in his positive Chicago Sun-Times review: “The first film [Platoon] was about a patriotic young American who went to fight it. The second [Born on the Fourth of July] saw the confused and demoralized aftermath of the war through the eyes of a paralyzed veteran whose country wished to forget him. Now [in Heaven & Earth] comes a woman who represents all of the ordinary people who wanted only to get on with their ordinary lives.” Not a box-office success but appreciated by fans across the globe who admire Stone’s bravura filmmaking style, the film is a rare depiction of war from a distinctly feminine, emphatically noncombatant point of view and is ablaze with images both beautiful and horrifying, along with compelling performances by Tommy Lee Jones as a war-damaged Marine, Joan Chen and Haing S. Ngor as Le Ly’s indomitable parents and movie newcomer Hiep Thi Le as the innocent but determined Le Ly, somehow generating the inner steel needed to survive yet not forsaking her innate humanity while being caught between her country’s warring halves and later between her Vietnamese traditions and her new life in America. Photographed by three-time Academy Award® winner Robert Richardson (JFK, The Aviator, Hugo) and featuring a sinuous Golden Globe-winning score by Kitaro, Heaven & Earth rings with a new relevance 22 years later as the world grapples with the problems of civil-war refugees fleeing their homelands for new lives elsewhere -- and not always welcome. Available on Twilight Time hi-def Blu-ray with enthralling extras and a detailed Stone commentary, it’s a cinematic journey of uncommon power and passion.