REVIEW: Nicholas Sparks Limited Edition DVD Collection
Warner Bros. Pictures
DVD Release Date: January 28, 2014
Whether you’re celebrating Valentine’s Day with your significant other or flying solo, we have a reason for you to skip the movie theater date and stay in this year. Grab some popcorn and curl up on the couch with the Nicholas Sparks Limited Edition DVD Collection; a 7-film box set filled with some of the most beloved films adapted from Sparks’ timeless collection of novels, including: “Safe Haven” (2013) starring Julianne Hough and Josh Duhamel, “The Lucky One” (2012) starring Zac Efron and Taylor Schilling, “Dear John” (2010) starring Amanda Seyfried and Channing Tatun, “Nights In Rodanthe” (2008) starring Richard Grere and Diane Lane, “The Notebook” (2004) starring Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams, “A Walk To Remember” (2002) starring Mandy Moore and Shane West, and “Message In A Bottle” (1999) starring Kevin Costner and Robin Wright.
What I love about this Limited Edition box set is that there’s a movie for every kind of romantic – something that I think everyone can connect to. I remember seeing “A Walk To Remember” when I was a teenager with a few of my best girlfriends and being swept up in the fast-paced but profound love of teenagers Jamie Sullivan (Moore) and Landon Carter (West). The unknowingly pretty ‘good girl’ falls for the cute ‘bad boy’ when they’re thrown together to interact in various community-service activities after Landon gets himself into trouble? Yeah, you think you can predict the ending of this coming-of-age drama, but you can’t. We watched it, we cried, and then we watched it again. Two years later we fell in everlasting love with Allie (McAdams) and Noah (Gosling) in “The Notebook”, the story of two ‘love birds’ who have to find their way back to each other no matter the obstacle.
There’s a reputation about romance films that they’re unrealistic fairytales, but one of the best things about Sparks’ stories is that they’re as entertaining as they are gut-wrenching, and they’re as head-in-the-clouds romantic as they are tangible and powerfully testing, but most of all – they’re completely addictive. These are movies that you see again and again – and now you can, back to back!
THE GOOD: I tend to rush in opening a DVD set before reading the back of the box, so initially I thought there was a lack of Special Features because I didn’t see a bonus disc; however, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that nearly each disc includes the movie as well as either additional scenes, commentaries, alternate endings or featurettes. In addition to all of those goodies, you’ll find a heartfelt personal letter from Nicholas Sparks along with a set of beautiful collectible postcards celebrating each movie in the collection.
THE BUMMER: I was totally disappointed that this collection didn’t include “The Last Song” (2010) starring Liam Hemsworth and Miley Cyrus.
MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE (1999)
Grieving widower Garret Blake (Kevin Costner) builds boats for a living. Rebuilding his life-that’s another matter. But that’s before Theresa Osborne (Robin Wright Penn) comes to his North Carolina village. Theresa, a lonely divorcee and researcher for the Chicago Tribune, knows that Garret is the author of the message she found inside a bottle on a Cape Code beach. And she knows the message spoke to her in a way that profoundly touched her heart.
A WALK TO REMEMBER (2002)
A Walk to Remember is the story of an only son of a wealthy family that finds true love with the most unexpected person. The daughter of a minister (Mandy Moore) meets the only son (Shane West) and the story takes us through hard times, love and bitter sweet passion. This great love story shows us that it all comes down to who is by your side and who is willing to stand up for love even when it seems impossible.
THE NOTEBOOK (2004)
As teenagers, Allie (Rachel McAdams) and Noah (Ryan Gosling) begin a whirlwind courtship that soon blossoms into tender intimacy. The young couple is quickly separated by Allie’s upper-class parents who insist that Noah isn’t right for her. Several years pass and, when they meet again, their passion is rekindled, forcing Allie to choose between her soulmate and class order. This beautiful tale has a particularly special meaning to an older gentleman (James Garner) who regularly reads the timeless love story to his aging companion (Gena Rowlands).
NIGHTS IN RODANTHE (2008)
The stars of Unfaithful rekindle their on-screen chemistry in this rich tale of hearts’ awakenings from the bestseller by Nicholas Sparks (The Notebook, Message in a Bottle). Richard Gere is Paul, a surgeon who long ago unwittingly traded family for career. Diane Lane is Adrienne, a devoted mother trying to move on after her husband’s infidelity and struggling with his desire to return to their marriage. At a remote inn on the Outer Banks, both separately expect to do some serious soul-searching. But an approaching storm forces each turn to the other for strength, setting the stage for a life-resonating romance.
DEAR JOHN (2010)
The story of John Tyree (Channing Tatum), a young soldier home on leave, and Savannah Curtis (Amanda Seyfried), the idealistic college student he falls in love with during her spring vacation. Over the next seven tumultuous years, the couple is separated by John’s increasingly dangerous deployments. While meeting only sporadically, they stay in touch by sending a continuous stream of love letters overseas – correspondence that eventually triggers fateful consequences.
THE LUCKY ONE (2012)
U.S. Marine Sergeant Logan Thibault (Zac Efron) returns from his third tour of duty in Iraq, with the one thing he credits with keeping him alive—a photograph he found of a woman he doesn’t even know. Learning her name is Beth (Taylor Schilling) and where she lives, he shows up at her door, and ends up taking a job at her family-run local kennel. Despite her initial mistrust and the complications in her life, a romance develops between them, giving Logan hope that Beth could be much more than his good luck charm.
SAFE HAVEN (2013)
When a mysterious young woman (Julianne Hough) arrives in a small North Carolina town, her reluctance to join the tight-knit community raises questions about her part. Slowly, she begins putting down roots, and gains the courage to start a relationship with Alex (Josh Duhamel), a widowed store owner with two young children. But dark secrets intrude on her new life with such terror that she is forced to rediscover the meaning of sacrifice and rely on the power of love in this deeply moving romantic thriller.
*Official movie synopsis via www.NicholasSparks.com.
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