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PEACEFUL WARRIOR: DVD

SYNOPSIS:
Dan Millman (Scott Melchowicz) is a gifted but arrogant college gymnast trying out for the Olympics. He meets the mysterious service station operator he dubs Socrates (Nick Nolte) who becomes Dan's mentor, teaching him new powers to tap into whole new worlds of strength and understanding within himself. When a motorcycle accident leaves Dan with a shattered leg, he defies the odds and learns to walk again, returning to gymnastics. With the help of Socrates and Joy (Amy Smart), he learns to start living in the moment, finding that it is his spirit that leads him to true greatness.

Review by Andrew L. Urban:
"Dan Millman lives in Northern Carolina with his wife Joy ... he's now an author who has inspired millions around the world" so the end credits tell us after this 'inspired by a true story' movie ends in triumphant fashion. Inspiration is the word used around this film, the story of a gymnast who met a mysterious stranger and learnt the secrets of spiritual strength. Strength to live a life beyond day to day worries. He learnt to take out the garbage ... the garbage in his head that was stunting his growth as a spiritual human being.

The stranger (Nick Nolte) is a mystical figure, seemingly capable of amazing physical and mental feats. He is a peaceful warrior who is not satisfied when held up at gunpoint to surrender his wallet; he calls the thugs back so they can take his jacket and shoes... He doesn't single handedly demolish them.

The film's tone is indeed mystically propelled, but while these elements seem far fetched, the sheer depth of commitment by the cast make us overlook that. Scott Melchowicz is credibly intense as Dan the determined gymnast who changes from an arrogant, selfish egotist to an enlightened human being. Nick Nolte plays the mystic with a minimalist touch and a barely audible rasping delivery that authenticates his other-worldly status. His philosophies put us in mind of those great martial arts legends who rely in the power of the mind to achieve impossible things in the physical world.

The story is engaging: promising gymnast injured before Olympic trials; personality clashes; dreams shattered, etc, etc. Even a hint of romance, with Joy of course.

In the extras, the Dan Millman interview is of course the most interesting, although it's criminally short (under 3 minutes) and lacks any real detail about the elements we are most interested in. Like who or what was the real life version of Nick Nolte's mystic?

Published March 27, 2008



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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 1
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 0

PEACEFUL WARRIOR: DVD (PG)
(US, 2006)

CAST: Scott Melchowicz, Nick Nolte, Amy Smart, Tim DeKay, Ashton Holmes, Paul Wesley

PRODUCER: Mark Amin, Robin Schorr, David Welch, Cami Winikoff

DIRECTOR: Victor Salva

SCRIPT: Kevin Bernhardt (novel by Dan Millman)

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Sharone Meir

EDITOR: Ed Marx

MUSIC: Bannett Salvay

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Bernt Capra

RUNNING TIME: 115 minutes

PRESENTATION: 16:9

SPECIAL FEATURES: Interviews with Nick Nolte, Scott Melchowicz, Amy Smart and Dan Millman;

DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Hopscotch/Roadshow

DVD RELEASE: March 20, 2008







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