Mill Creek Through the Decades: 2000s Collection

Wow, was the new millennium twenty years ago? Mill Creek is reminding us how old we all are with the new Through the Decades: 2000s Collection. You get ten movies from that era across a variety of film types so there’s something here for everyone. You can order it from Deep Discount.

I found it pretty wild that there were several Neil LaBute movies on this, as other than his remake of The Wicker Man I had not watched many of his films. The 2000s seem as dark and cynical as the 70s on this set, which had to be some kind of post-millenial tension.

While there aren’t any extras, the films look great and you get a good variety for a decent price. My favorite part of these sets is that they make me watch movies I would have ordinarily never checked out, which is so much of the fun of getting deeper into film.

Here’s what’s on the set:

Nurse Betty (2000): Obsessed with her favorite soap opera character, Dr. David Ravell, Betty travels across the country to meet the man of her dreams while pursued by two hired killers.

One Night at McCool’s(2001): Three different men recall how the beautiful Jewel came into McCool’s one night and brought chaos with her. The problem is their stories just don’t seem to line up.

Spy Game (2001): Retiring CIA agent Nathan Muir works under the table against agency politics to free Tom Bishop, the agent he mentored, after Bishop is captured in China during a mission gone wrong and sentenced to death in 24 hours.

The Emperor’s Club (2002): Idealistic prep schoolteacher William Hundert takes it upon himself to mentor the unruly, troublemaking son of a U.S. Senator.

The Shape of Things (2003): A quiet, unassuming man begins to change in a major way after meeting and falling for a beautiful art student, and his new personality doesn’t sit well with his best friend.

21 Grams (2003): A freak accident intersects the lives of a dying man, a grief-stricken mother, and an ex-con who found God in this gripping drama about consequence and human connection.

Baby Mama (2008): After learning that she has slim chances of getting pregnant, successful businesswoman Kate Holbrook clashes with her surrogate Angie on how best to behave when you’re expecting.

State of Play (2009): The killing of a congressional aide sends Washington, D.C. Journalist Cal McAffrey down a path of cover-ups, corruption, and corporate conspiracies.

The Hitcher (2007): When a young couple picks up a seemingly harmless hitchhiker, a good deed becomes a brutal, edge-of-your-seat fight for survival with the open road as the battlefield.

Cry Wolf (2005): Eight students at a well-to-do boarding school find that their usual games of lies and deception are no laughing matter when people start dying and no one can be trusted.

MILL CREEK DVD RELEASE: Through the Decades: 2000s Collection: Cry Wolf (2005)

There weren’t all that many slashers of note in 2005 — The Devil’s RejectsHouse of Wax and Urban Legends: Bloody Mary are about all I can think of — but this movie sure made an effort.

Directed and co-written (with producer Beau Bauman) by Jeff Wadlow (Blumhouse’s Truth or Dare and Fantasy Island), Cry Wolf is all about Graham (Ethan Cohn), Mercedes (Sandra McCoy), Lewis (Paul James), Randall (Jesse Janzen), Regina (Kristy Wu), Tom (Jared Padalecki), Dodger (Lindy Booth) and Owen (Julian Morris) who are playing a game called Cry Wolf.

In this game, one of the players is the wolf and everyone else must guess who it is. It’s also known as Mafia and Werewolf. The players decide to include the entire school in the game and make up a story that a serial killer is attacking campuses, dressed in green camo, an orange ski mask, combat boots and black gloves.

As you can imagine, the killer becomes real and the game is that anyone could be the killer, including journalism professor Mr. Walker, who is having an affair with at least one of the potential wolves.

How 2000s is this movie? Well, American Online made an AIM virtual game to promote it.

And oh yeah — Jon Bon Jovi plays Mr. Walker.

The Mill Creek Through the Decades: 2000s Collection has some great movies for a great price like Nurse BettyOne Night at McCool’sSpy GameThe Emperor’s ClubThe Shape of Things21 GramsBaby MamaState of Play and The Hitcher. You can order it from Deep Discount.

MILL CREEK DVD RELEASE: Through the Decades: 2000s Collection: The Hitcher (2007)

In the 2000s, Platinum Dunes seemed like they were on a mission to remake every movie I ever loved.

Their boss, Michael Bay, said, “I loved it as a kid, and we can add some cool twists and turn it into a rocking film.”

Well, he’d already messed with The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and The Amityville Horror — and would also remake Friday the 13th and A Nightmare On Elm Street — so I guess anything was on the table.

Jim Halsey (Zachary Knighton) and Grace Andrews (Sophia Bush) are driving across the country when they meet hitchhiker John Ryder (Sean Bean) who they first nearly hit with their car, then pick up and are nearly killed when he goes wild with a knife.

There’s one difference between this remake and the original — beyond the fact that this movie is as unnecessary as the sequel and oh yeah, it sucks even worse — is that the protagonist and person torn in half by a truck are gender swapped.

I tell you that as to not spoil the movie but also there’s no reason why anyone should ever watch this.

The Mill Creek Through the Decades: 2000s Collection has some great movies for a great price like Nurse BettyOne Night at McCool’sSpy GameThe Emperor’s ClubThe Shape of Things21 GramsBaby MamaState of Play and Cry Wolf. You can order it from Deep Discount.

MILL CREEK DVD RELEASE: Through the Decades: 2000s Collection: State of Play (2009)

Based on the BBC show, State of Play is the story of Congressman Stephen Collins (Ben Affleck), who believes that his mistress Sonia Baker didn’t kill herself, and reporter Cal McAffrey (Russell Crowe), who get caught up in the conspiracy of murder that follows.

The true villain? PointCorp who has a monopoly on government surveillance and defense contracts/ They’ve used the Patriot Act to privatize American security and now look to get even richer from mercenary activities in the Middle East and even within our country.

Cal ends up conflicted, as he holds stories about his friend’s romantic dalliances, all while other papers make money from them, angering his editor Cameron Lynne (Helen Mirren). It’s also suggested that Collins’ wife Anne (Robin Wright) was part of a love triangle between the two friends.

There’s an interesting conceit in this movie, as all of the many tentacles of this conspiracy are revealed: if you do great things in your life, is it morally acceptable if you had one major failing?

Originally, this movie would have reunited Fight Club stars Brad Pitt and Edward Norton. Schedules conflicted and that’s how we got Affleck and Crowe. I think it’s funny that Crowe is playing a character from East Liberty and is even referred to as a yinzer in the script.

The Mill Creek Through the Decades: 2000s Collection has some great movies for a great price like Nurse BettyOne Night at McCool’sSpy GameThe Emperor’s ClubThe Shape of Things21 GramsBaby MamaThe Hitcher and Cry Wolf. You can order it from Deep Discount.

MILL CREEK DVD RELEASE: Through the Decades: 2000s Collection: Baby Mama (2008)

Kate Holbrook (Tina Fey) is a woman who put her career above her life. Angie Ostrowski (Amy Poehler) has a life that’s a party that she plans on only slowing down to make money by giving birth to Kate’s child.

The truth is that Angie never planned on having that baby and was going to run off with the money. But now she’s actually pregnant thanks to her common law husband Carl Loomis (Dax Shepherd), all while Kate is falling for juice bar owner Rob Ackerman (Greg Kinnear), whose business is being eyed by her boss Barry Waterman (Steve Martin) and his Round Earth Organic Market.

Director and writer Michael McCullers started his career at Saturday Night Live and has made a pretty good run of writing comedies like Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged MeAustin Powers in Goldmember and The Boss Baby.

It’s a fine comedy, but obviously Fey and Pohler were meant for bigger things. Good news: they succeeded.

The Mill Creek Through the Decades: 2000s Collection has some great movies for a great price like Nurse BettyOne Night at McCool’sSpy GameThe Emperor’s ClubThe Shape of Things21 GramsState of PlayThe Hitcher and Cry Wolf. You can order it from Deep Discount.

MILL CREEK DVD RELEASE: Through the Decades: 2000s Collection: 21 Grams (2003)

Director Alejandro González Iñárritu and writer Guillermo Arriaga made a “Trilogy of Death”, starting with  Amores Perros and closing with Babel. This film comes in the middle and has the past, the present and the future come together united by a hit and run accident that changes every life.

Jack Jordan (Benicio del Toro) is a man of faith who has conquered his demons.

Paul Rivers (Sean Penn) is a math professor with a fatal heart condition and a struggling marriage to Mary (Charlotte Gainsbourg).

Cristina Peck (Naomi Watts) is a recovering drug addict and now a suburban mom who has left her past life behind.

Their lives meet on the night that Jack accidentally kills Cristina’s husband and children while driving home. Her husband’s heart is given to Paul and his life comes back as his marriage ends. He finds out from a detective whose heart is in his chest and begins to follow Cristina. Meanwhile, Jack’s former life of faith has fallen to nothingness. He turns himself into the police and while Cristina refuses to press charges, he finds himself unable to rejoin the human race or his family, instead working as a laborer and pretty much waiting to die.

A handheld shot film with different colors for each character and film techniques for where their lives are at, 21 Grams is an emotional film despite the jarring way that its narrative is delivered. I think about it quite frequently. It was a movie I didn’t like upon my first watch but as I continued going back to it in my mind, I’ve watched it several times and found so much more to like. It rewards further watches.

The Mill Creek Through the Decades: 2000s Collection has some great movies for a great price like Nurse BettyOne Night at McCool’sSpy GameThe Emperor’s ClubThe Shape of ThingsBaby Mama, State of PlayThe Hitcher and Cry Wolf. You can order it from Deep Discount.

MILL CREEK DVD RELEASE: Through the Decades: 2000s Collection: The Shape of Things (2003)

The Shape of Things was directed and written by Neil LaBute and based on a stage play he also created. It tells the story of Adam Sorenson (Paul Rudd), whose life is changed after he begins dating Evelyn Ann Thompson (Rachel Weisz). She convinces him to eat right, work out, change his clothes, be more confident and even get plastic surgery. His life gets better, even if she ruins the relationship between his best friend Phillip (Frederick Weller) and his fiancée Jenny (Gretchen Mol), as well as tell Adam to leave them behind.

The darkness within this film is that everything is a lie. Adam is part of Evelyn’s MFA final project. She set out to change his world through their relationship and presents everything in their life together in an art gallery, including a sex tape and the engagement ring that Adam gave to her. We’re left with her telling him the only bit of honesty was what she whispered to him while they made love; he keeps watching the clip over and over again in tears, straining to remember what she said.

Not since The Last American Virgin has a female character so utterly devastated the male protagonist.

The Mill Creek Through the Decades: 2000s Collection has some great movies for a great price like Nurse BettyOne Night at McCool’sSpy GameThe Emperor’s Club21 Grams, Baby Mama, State of PlayThe Hitcher and Cry Wolf. You can order it from Deep Discount.

MILL CREEK DVD RELEASE: Through the Decades: 2000s Collection: The Emperor’s Club (2002)

Based on Ethan Canin’s short story “The Palace Thief”, The Emperor’s Club is about a prep school teacher named William Hundert (Kevin Kline) and his students at St. Benedict’s Academy near America’s capitol.

Hundert is dealing with a problem student named Sedgewick Bell (Emile Hirsch in younger days, Joel Gretsch), a senator’s son who could care less about his education. The teacher take an interest in the young man and even raises his grades — a conflict of ethics — to keep him encouraged and so that he can participate in the school’s annual Mr. Julius Caesar contest, in which the top three students compete in a quiz. During that contest, it is apparent that Sedgewick has help from the headmaster and already has the questions. Even though he loses to Deepak Mehta (Rishi Mehta as a teen, Rahul Khanna as an adult), their friendship never comes back. The senator’s son goes back to his old ways and barely graduates.

Twenty-five years later, Sedgewick is running to be a senator and says that he will make a big donation to the school if the entire class — including the person who should have been in the contest, Martin Blythe (Paul Dano in the past, Steven Culp in the present) — comes to his resort hotel for another Mr. Julius Ceasar challenge. Nothing has changed, as Sedgewick has an earpiece to get all the answers.

The teacher must now reveal to his old student what he did and deal with whether or not his career as an educator had any impact. As the son of teachers, this scene really resonated with me.

I’d never choose to watch this movie, so that’s why I love these Mill Creek decades sets. I came away really enjoying this film.

The Mill Creek Through the Decades: 2000s Collection has some great movies for a great price like Nurse BettyOne Night at McCool’sSpy GameThe Shape of Things, 21 Grams, Baby Mama, State of PlayThe Hitcher and Cry Wolf. You can order it from Deep Discount.

MILL CREEK DVD RELEASE: Through the Decades: 2000s Collection: Spy Game (2001)

Tony Scott’s Spy Game unites Brad Pitt and Robert Redford, two gorgeous actors who became known just as much for their acting as their looks as their careers progressed onward.

Redford is CIA Case Officer Nathan D. Muir and Pitt is an agent he mentored, Tom Bishop. Bishop has been detained in China along with his lover, relief worker Elizabeth Hadley (Catherine McCormack), a civilian asset that broke up the friendship between the two men.

Even though Muir is retiring, he feels that he must atone for the way that he and Bishop came to stop being so close by rescuing him, even if he must put his long career and accomplishments on the line to make it happen.

This movie was very important to the people who made it: Pitt turned down The Bourne Identity while Scott felt that a helicopter was so necessary to the Berlin scene that he paid for it himself.

I don’t think this movie would have the same impact without the two stars, but I’m also a big fan of Tony Scott’s films. He could make something that would be total junk by anyone else yet would find so much personal art within it that you couldn’t help but watch the final film.

The Mill Creek Through the Decades: 2000s Collection has some great movies for a great price like Nurse BettyOne Night at McCool’sThe Emperor’s Club, The Shape of Things, 21 Grams, Baby Mama, State of PlayThe Hitcher and Cry Wolf. You can order it from Deep Discount.

MILL CREEK DVD RELEASE: Through the Decades: 2000s Collection: Nurse Betty (2000)

Waitress Betty Sizemore (Renée Zellweger) escapes the sadness of her life and bad marriage to car salesman Dale (Aaron Eckhart) by watching the show A Reason to Love. Things are worse than she thinks, as Dale is sleeping around and also selling drugs, which brings hitmen Charlie (Morgan Freeman) and Wesley (Chris Rock) into their lives. Betty watches as they scalp her hubby for the drugs he’s stolen — they are in her car — and the trauma causes her to become a character on the show she loves so much — at least inside her PTSD mind.

Betty goes on a journey to Los Angeles where her knowledge from the show allows her to work in a hospital and meet the love of her character’s life, Dr. David Ravell, who is really actor George McCord, who is really played by Greg Kinnear.

At the same time, Charlie and Wesley are still coming for her and the money that was taken from them. Can Betty’s inherent goodness win out against a brutal world?

Director Neil LaBute also made the remake of The Wicker Man and it’s strange to imagine that that movie came from the same person who made this.

The Mill Creek Through the Decades: 2000s Collection has some great movies for a great price like One Night at McCool’sSpy Game, The Emperor’s Club, The Shape of Things, 21 Grams, Baby Mama, State of PlayThe Hitcher and Cry Wolf.You can order it from Deep Discount.