• Frys.com #5739762
  • Manufacturer: Lionsgate
  • UPC #031398216742
  • Model #21674



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    Detailed Description
    (Manufacturer # 21674 )

      Director Marc Forster, winner of Best Feature at Slamdance for his debut film Loungers (1996) and the "Someone to Watch" Independent Spirit Award for his indie drama Everything Put Together (2000), follows up those acclaimed projects with this intense, racially charged romance. Billy Bob Thornton stars as Georgia prison guard Hank Grotowski, a hard-drinking racist ex-cop whose father, Buck (Peter Boyle), is dying of emphysema and whose son, Sonny (Heath Ledger), works the execution detail at the prison's death row. When Sonny commits suicide, Hank is devastated and quits his job, spiraling into a deep depression until, one night, he comes to the aid of Leticia (Halle Berry), a beautiful African-American woman whose son, Tyrell (Coronji Calhoun), has been hit by a car. When Tyrell dies, Leticia and Hank find themselves to be unexpected soul mates linked together by tragic grief. It's not long before Hank discovers that Leticia is the widow of Lawrence Musgrove (Sean Combs), the man whose execution by electric chair he and his late son helped to orchestrate. Monster's Ball (2001) is based on a screenplay by actors Milo Addica and Will Rokos, who spent five years developing their script into a feature. Their title refers to the name of an English tradition requiring jailers to throw a party for a condemned man on the night before his death. ~ Karl Williams, Rovi
    Movie Type
    Movie Level Themes
      Interracial/Cross-Cultural Romance, Redemption, Fathers and Sons, Race Relations, Starting Over, Death Row, Death of a Child
    Movie Level Tones
      Melancholy, Intimate, Poignant, Earthy

    DVD Features

    • Audio commentary by director Marc Forster & Academy Award-Nominated Writers Milo Addica & Will Rocks
    • Music For the Film: Monster's Ball
    • Deleted scenes
    • Cast and director interviews
    • Behind the scenes with producer Lee Daniels
    • On the set
    • Theatrical trailer
    • 2001--Screen Actors Guild, Halle Berry-Winner
    • 2001--Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Halle Berry-Winner
    • 2001--American Film Institute, Halle Berry-Nominee
    AMG Rating


      For the first time since Losing Isaiah in 1995, Halle Berry steps into a role she's shown reluctance to play: a working-class woman of limited intelligence and refinement, who speaks with a dialect and vocabulary that invokes cruel stereotypes. In the dreadful comedy B.A.P.S. and the wicked satire Bulworth, she offered spoofing variations on that character type, but only here does she stare it down. The result is not only the performance of her career, but one of the best onscreen in 2001. The stratospheric praise given her work led some critics to honor the rest of Monster's Ball with equal vigor, but the film is more a collection of great parts than a complete whole. It's certainly full of incendiary moments; surprising deaths blend into lurid and uncomfortable sex scenes, then into vitriolic bursts of racism, all with a disaffected resignation that's bracing. But one wishes director Marc Forster and screenwriters Milo Addica and Will Rokos would have extracted more of a discernible message from these isolated pockets of pain and rage. The minimalism of their approach leaves many questions. The viewer never learns, for example, why Billy Bob Thornton's corrections officer despises his son (Heath Ledger), which might have explained more of both characters' actions. As an actor-driven work, however, Monster's Ball crackles. Sean Combs shows unexpected depth and dignity as the doomed inmate, and Thornton offers another portrayal of wordless hurt that nicely complements his work in The Man Who Wasn't There. Peter Boyle, returning to the big screen after a three-year absence, personifies the bull-headedness endemic to racism in the South. ~ Derek Armstrong, Rovi


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