DVD Vault Bids a Fond Farewell

Welcome back, versatile disc lovers, to this very last installment of The DVD Vault.
As this school year draws to a close, I find myself more and more drawn to movies about endings. Thanks to the magic of DVD, there are plenty to choose from with these being just a few personal favorites.
Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991)
One of three ‘Trek’ movies (out often so far) that requires no previous experience with the series to enjoy, even the title ‘The Undiscovered Country’ references an ending.
The basic plot involves Captain Kirk getting caught up in an assassination plot and condemned, along with Dr. McCoy, to a lifetime of servitude in a dilithium mine. There is much, much more to the movie than that though, most notably a very well done Cold War allegory.
The assassination plot is kicked off when the Klingons suffer a disaster in their primary energy production facility and try to end years of hostility with Starfleet. The problem is that neither side of the conflict knows anything but war. So, the movie is ultimately about the end of hate, the end of a way of life, and the end of the line for Kirk and Co. It’s a wonderful movie, still very relevant, and handled with all the poignancy and delicacy you could ask for. A recently released, and quite well-produced, two-disc special edition can still be bought for about $15, so pick it up and boldly go for a great ride.
American Beauty (1999)
An odd choice, you say? Maybe so, but I didn’t get where I am today by making conventional choices. Then again, where I am today is writing DVD columns for the New U., so maybe I should start playing the ‘normal’ game. But I digress.
The beautiful thing about ‘American Beauty’ is that over the course of the movie, everyone dies. Sort of.
The opening monologue informs us that Kevin Spacey’s character, Lester Burnham, will be dead by the end of the film, so it’s a testament to director Sam Mendes’ ability that after a few minutes, the audience has completely forgotten. As the story progresses, every single character makes choices that seem normal and understandable at the time, but lead to their own demise