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6 Degrees Entertainment

'The Company Men'
(Tommy Lee Jones, Ben Affleck, Kevin Costner, Maria Bello, Chris Cooper, et al/ DVD / R / (2010) 2011 / Weinstein Company and Anchor Bay Entertainment)

Overview: Bobby Walker (Ben Affleck) is living the proverbial American dream: great job, beautiful family, shiny Porsche in the garage. When corporate downsizing leaves him and co-workers Phil Woodward (Chris Cooper) and Gene McClary (Tommy Lee Jones) jobless, the three men are forced to re-define their lives as men, husbands and fathers.

DVD Verdict: This is a film that oozes with realism and timeliness. The GTX corporation, headed by an overpaid, callous CEO (Craig T. Nelson) - who cares only about the stockholders, a new corporate headquarters, and his salary and stock options - cuts divisions and lays off thousands of workers - some of whom have been with him and the firm for decades. It's not that they aren't hardworking and dedicated, it's just "business."

One of the men who is laid off is in his thirties (Ben Affleck); the other is twenty years older (Chris Cooper). Another (Tommy Lee Jones) roomed in college with the CEO and helped him build the company from the ground up, concentrating on shipbuilding in the Boston area. All three men live lavishly, with fancy houses, furnishings, and cars.

Affleck is great as the proud, bitter, and then humbled white-collar executive, who has to sell his million-dollar home (in the depressed housing market) and Porsche, and then move in with his parents and work for his brother-in-law (played nicely by Kevin Costner) constructing someone else's mega-house. Cooper is also good - downtrodden and desperate, forced to dye his hair, and grovel at job interviews and with associates. And Jones is wonderful - a man with a conscience in the business world, who cares about the people who work at GTX. He also starts to reevaluate his life, both professionally and personally, in middle age.

The film - written and directed by John Wells - hits home. Most of us know people like the ones we see in The Company Men. They can be vain, pushy, and full of themselves; but when things don't go their way, they can be depressed and helpless. Yes, people need to make a living, but they also need to think about what's really important--family, friends, and self-fulfillment. This is a film that makes you think about these things. [SM] This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.77:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.

www.anchorbayentertainment.com





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