Music & Musicals DVD Rentals
1- Ray DVD
This biopic tells the life story of rhythm and blues legend Ray Charles (Jamie Foxx, who won a Best Actor Oscar for his portrayal). Born to a poor family in Albany, Ga., Charles contracted glaucoma at age 6 (which robbed him of his eyesight) and nonetheless went on to become a world-famous pianist and performer. He dealt with racism, romantic letdowns and his own heroin abuse, but managed to triumph over all obstacles. Taylor Hackford directs.
2- Walk the Line DVD
Among the pantheon of great country singers, Johnny Cash (played here by Joaquin Phoenix) may just be the most enigmatic. James Mangold's film distills Cash's transformation from man to icon -- from his hardscrabble days on an Arkansas farm to Sun Records in Memphis, Tenn., where Cash finally found a way for his talent to come into its own. Reese Witherspoon plays his beloved June, alongside co-stars Robert Patrick and Shelby Lynne.
3- Chicago DVD
Roxie Hart (Renee Zellweger) hungers for stardom, but instead ends up in the slammer in 2002's Best Picture winner. Velma Kelly (Catherine Zeta-Jones) is a superstar whose fame flares -- then dims -- when she shoots her cheating husband and lands in jail. When Velma's lawyer, notorious Billy Flynn (Richard Gere), makes Roxie a tabloid sensation, he sets up a singing, dancing catfight between the two ambitious women. Based on the Broadway musical.
4- The Phantom of the Opera: Special Edition DVD
Andrew Lloyd Webber's stunning musical comes alive on-screen in this Joel Schumacher rendition. A talented recluse (Gerard Butler) disfigured in a tragic accident roams beneath the Paris Opera. Fueled with resentment, he terrorizes other musicians until he falls for the lovely Christine (Emmy Rossum), a formidable singer whom he takes under his wing, molding her so she can become the sensational soprano he envisions her to be.
5- Hustle & Flow DVD
Terrence Dashon Howard turns in a true star performance in director Craig Brewer's indie drama. DJay (Howard) is a pimp with aspirations of grandeur -- he wants to make it as a rapper -- but he soon discovers that fame isn't all it's cracked up to be. Offering strong characters and notes of sweet romance amid the urban beats of its central plot, this 2005 Sundance Audience Award-winner was produced by John Singleton.
6- Rent DVD
Members of the original 1996 Broadway cast star in Chris Columbus's adaptation of the award-winning musical set in New York's East Village. Based on Puccini's "La Boheme," the story follows a group of bohemians through life's ups and down as they face true love, broken hearts, HIV, drug addiction … and of course, paying the rent. Rosario Dawson, Adam Pascal, Anthony Rapp, Jesse L. Martin, Taye Diggs, Idina Menzel and Wilson Jermaine Heredia star.
7- Moulin Rouge DVD
Naïve young poet Ewan McGregor falls in love with cabaret star Nicole Kidman, and their ill-fated romance serves as a convenient peg on which to hang a dazzling array of numbers that span musical idioms (from snatches of Rodgers and Hammerstein's "The Sound of Music" to Madonna's "Like a Virgin"). But the real star of the show is director Baz Luhrmann, who came up with this infectious concoction.
8- De-Lovely DVD
Kevin Kline plays talented and celebrated composer Cole Porter, who penned many hits, including "Anything Goes," "Night and Day" and the delightful "It's De-Lovely," which inspired the movie's title. As seen through the eyes of Porter himself, his life is told like one of his musicals, replete with drama, suspense and joy, at the center of which is his mercurial relationship with his wife, Linda (Ashley Judd).
9- O Brother, Where Art Thou? DVD
Three convicts (George Clooney, John Turturro and Tim Blake Nelson) break out of jail during the 1920s with an eye toward retrieving a cache of hidden money. Along the way, they fast-talk their way out of jams, sidestep alluring riverside sirens and record a hit country song. O Brother is a rollicking romp in the tradition of Bob Hope and Bing Crosby's "road" pictures.
10- 8 Mile DVD
The people of Detroit know 8 Mile as the city limit, a border, a boundary. It is also a psychological dividing line that separates Jimmy Smith Jr. from where and who he wants to be. A provocative fictional examination of a critical week in Jimmy's life, 8 Mile stars multi-platinum recording artist Eminem in his first feature-film leading role, along with Kim Basinger (as Jimmy's mother), Mekhi Phifer, Brittany Murphy and Eugene Byrd.