The Guardian

Cover Art and Menu: 5/10
This cover and the menu inside are both pretty standard. The thing that’s so funny is that I saw the cover and jokingly said, “That looks like Ashton Kutcher.” But guess what, it IS Ashton Kutcher…not that that has anything to do with the quality of the cover art, but I thought it was worth sharing. Not to mention, I have nothing else to say about the subject of the packaging, so it’s a nice way to stretch it out a bit 🙂

Extras & Features: 9/10

  • Deleted Scenes With Optional Director Introduction – Some of these scenes could have been interesting left in the movie, but they wouldn’t have changed the story.
  • Alternate Ending With Director Introduction – This alternate ending really would have put a different emotional topper on the movie. It’s better with the ending that they chose to use, but it’s good to see the other option for something to think about.
  • Unsung Heroes A Tribute To The Real-Life Coastguards – This extra includes a lot of old photos of some of the first Coastguards and a history of how they have patrolled the waters and shores of our country for over 200 years. Yea, 200 years.
  • Making Waves The Making Of The Guardian – When you see the movie you will wonder, how the heck did they do that? So, here’s your answer. This extra shows how they made the ocean seem so real, and how they got the cast in shape with the real Coastguard to guide them through.
  • Director & Writer Commentary – This director likes to talk in detail how the scenes came together technically and doesn’t dwell too much on the movie star stories, which I like.

The Movie: 8/10
Once again I had no idea what movie I was about to watch when the home theater director churned up the DVD player and TV. I sat in the dark as the menu came up. I saw the title, The Guardian, and then the movie started. I mean it really started. There were not credits at the beginning of the movie. No little blurb every few seconds with the stars or director. Just pure movie. How cool is that?

Speaking of beginnings, this is a powerhouse of a start. It’s always nice to be dropped into the middle of the action with a story I know nothing about. There was Costner, a helicopter, wet suits, chewing gum, people to save, and big waves in a very unruly ocean. It was clear from the first scene that Costner is “the man”. He’s brave and determined, and skillful..blah blah blah. He’s got the goods, so to speak.

As the story unfolds Senior Chief (Costner) has his weaknesses and heartbreak revealed. He goes to teach what he knows to young up and comers, including Goldfish (Kutcher). There is the normal average clan of students, one is weak, one is a girl, one is a show off..etc. They are pushed to their young innocent limits by Senior Chief with cinder block swimming exercises, pools full of ice, and lots of yelling directly at and around their heads. Well, Senior doesn’t do much yelling, but the other drill sergeant types make up for it.

Goldfish is the obvious star pupil with speed and determination, but he’s too cocky (surprise) and as his story creeps in little by little, it’s obvious he’s the new flavor of the day. It will just take some time for him to find that magical thing inside him that makes him as good as Senior, but younger, faster, and ready to start his 25 years.

It’s not an original tale. It’s got a lot of excellent performances and amazing special effects. The story is compelling and yea, it made me cry a few times. I can admit it. It’s inspirational to a degree, but what it mostly did for me was make me realize that right now, while I write this, some people in this world are hanging out of a helicopter rescuing someone from certain death. That dangling person is risking their own life every time they go to work and only “so others may live” (The Coastguard motto).

I wasn’t in love with the formula that was hidden in all the good stuff, but I can deal with it. A love story stuck in the middle of this kind of drama always seems like a tagged on thing, just to get the chick vote. This time it was ok though. I didn’t hate the sappy moments. There were actually several sappy-wannabe moments that didn’t get too sweet and gooey. Somebody must have had the emotional blackmail button turned of the day they edited the film, even if it does tug your heart strings here and there. I’ll admit, it was a pleasant surprise. There is tons of action and it looks amazing. Kutcher is pretty good and Costner still does it for me in his own charming way. They wanted to tell the story of the unsung heroes of the Coastguard, and they succeeded. So, don’t hesitate to see it when you get a chance. Bring a tissue.

Value: 8/10
For as low as 15 bucks you can get The Guardian online, probably even at your local discount super mega whopper warehouse place. This is a good solid movie to add to your collection of emotionally charged, inspirational DVD’s section. I recommend it one way or the other, if you don’t want to shell out the full price, go rent it and have a good cry.

Overall Score 8/10