A Euro-thriller conspiracy with assassins, car chases and identity theft
Liam Neeson gets down and dirty when he wakes up from a coma to find his identity stolen and his wife (January Jones) in on the theft in "Unknown" (Warner).
Though not any kind of sequel to "Taken," the English-language Euro-action film that managed to turn the dignified actor into the kind of action hero where experience and guile trump youth and arrogance, it promises a return to that territory, this time with Neeson as an American intellectual in Berlin for a biotech conference. By the time he pulls himself from a near-fatal detour into the river, he's either the victim of a conspiracy or he's really lost his mind. Diane Kruger is the German cab driver who reluctantly signs on to his tour through the Berlin underworld to find out the truth and Bruno Ganz and Frank Langella take small roles with big footprints.
See an MSN Exclusive clip from the DVD/Blu-ray release below
"Director Jaume Collet-Serra classes up his act after the opportunistic pseudo-thrills of "House of Wax" and "Orphan" and applies his studio-approved technical proficiency to something a little more, erm, substantive, which at least yields some better-than-acceptable suspense/action set pieces," writes MSN film critic Glenn Kenny. "And January Jones, as the aforementioned trophy wife, looks fabulous."
Still, he warns audiences to approach with measured expectations. "Turn off your "I hope this plot twist is awesome" part of your brain and just enjoy big, gruff, increasingly Frankenstein-monster-looking Neeson kicking the crap out of everyone who gets in his way, pausing only occasionally to register that existential anxiety that comes with literally not knowing who one is."
Andrew O'Hehir, over at Salon, is even more impressed, proclaiming it "a stylish and muscular thriller with some nifty twists and turns, a wicked sense of humor, several terrific performances and not one or even two but three of the best car chases in recent action-flick history."
The DVD features "Unknown: What Is Known?," a promo piece that barely qualifies as a featurette at under five minutes, and the Blu-ray adds another, just-as-brief micro-featurette, "Liam Neeson: Known Action Hero." There's also a Blu-ray+DVD Combo pack with a bonus digital copy of the film for portable media players.
Just for fun, check out Ignatiy Vishnevetsky's essay on what he hopes will become it's very own subgenre: the Liam Neeson Euro-Thriller.
Ralph Meeker is Mike Hammer: American Opportunist
"Kiss Me Deadly" (Criterion)
Robert Aldrich's 1955 film noir apocalypse "Kiss Me Deadly" is unlike any other noir ever made. From the opening scene, where Cloris Leachman (naked under a trenchcoat) runs barefoot down a coastal highway flagging down cars, to the Pandora's Box scream of destruction unleashed in the finale, it pushes the conventions past the breaking point.
Ostensibly based on Mickey Spillane's hugely successful pulp novel, Aldrich and screenwriter A.I. Bezzerides turned the story inside, transforming it into a white-hot blast of tawdry pulp and film noir cynicism for the atomic age. Aldrich had just come off of "Vera Cruz," a mercenary western that looks forward to the cynical opportunism of the spaghetti westerns, and that tone carries over to "Kiss Me Deadly." Mike Hammer is turned into a blithely amoral opportunist, a corrupt private detective who specializes in divorce cases (a "bedroom dick," in the parlance) and stumbles into a conspiracy that he thinks he can parlay into a payoff, and Ralph Meeker plays him with a perpetual sneer of a smile and an arrogance that is rarely justified. This is a guy who pimps out it secretary/lover Velda (Maxine Cooper) between smooches and makes a play for almost every beauty who crosses his path.
"Kiss Me Deadly" delivers a pulp punch while it savagely satirizes the entire hardboiled mythos with its bare-knuckle brutality, flights of purple prose dialogue and the sheer he-man chauvinism of its dogged hero of scar tissue and street smarts, who isn't nearly as smart as he thinks he is. Quentin Tarantino paid tribute to it in "Pulp Fiction" (and, before that, so Alex Cox in "Repo Man"). Mickey Spillane hated it. I love it. Va-va-voom! Pow!
Criterion gives the film, previously available on an indifferent DVD from MGM, the special edition treatment on the beautifully remastered DVD and Blu-ray releases.
It features detailed, in-depth commentary by film noir historians Alain Silver and James Ursini, a video tribute by director Alex Cox, excerpts from documentaries on screenwriter A.I. Bezzerides and author Mickey Spillane, a video tour of the film's locations then and now, the altered ending that was seen for years before the 1998 restoration and a booklet with a new essay by J. Hoberman and an archival article written by Robert Aldrich for the New York Herald-Tribune, defending the film during the controversy over its violence. (You can read J. Hoberman's essay from the booklet at Criterion Current here.)
And if that's not enough reason, the inspired art direction, recalling not just a lurid "True Detective" cover but the entire pulp magazine through the pages of the booklet, is icing on the radioactive cake.
Funniest show on TV? Maybe not, surely the most painfully honest.
"Louie: The Complete First Season" (Fox)
New York comedian Louis C.K. designed his first (short-lived) sitcom (which he made for HBO) around the life of a thirtysomething guy with a wife and young family. Now he's a divorced father of two and his life is once again the inspiration for his amazing FX series "Louie," a sitcom by strict definition but not like any you've ever seen. Playing essentially a version of himself, he's a working comedian, a devoted (if sometimes overwhelmed and confused) dad and a fumbling forty two-year-old single man in a dating scene he doesn't feel comfortable in and shows work through these and other situations (a visit to the doctor, taking on a heckler) without the usual sitcom structure.
Like "Seinfeld," the shows are framed by his stand-up act but the resemblance ends there. Drawing from everyday events of his own life, "Louis" finds the absurdity in the mundane and pushes the envelope of offensiveness and discomfort as it explores the very concept of what is offensive and why. And sometimes Louis C.K., who also writes and directs every episode of the first season, creates sublime moments of humanity captured under the lens. "Bully" (episode 9) is like nothing else I've seen on TV, at once uncomfortable, frustrated, scared, angry, curious and, finally, open to the fact that life is complicated beyond our ability to encompass and the best that we can do is share our limited understanding with one another.
But don't get scared off by that. The show is also funny, consistently surprising and daring. It defies the conventions of sitcom structures with stories that have the shape of an extended comedy skit by way of a John Cassavetes improvisation. Except that it's funny. Check out this New York Magazine profile of Louis C.K. and his creative approach to the show:
But perhaps the most unusual aspect of the show is that Louis C.K. gets no notes from the network during filming, no script approval—an unheard-of “Louis C.K. deal” that has made him the envy of comics and TV writers alike. It’s a situation Louis is not taking for granted.
I meant to include a clip from the show but, so help me, I couldn't find a one that would be safe for all audiences.
Videodrone's thumbnail view of the biggest, coolest and cultist releases of the week.
Videodrone's thumbnail view of the biggest, coolest and cultist releases of the week.
Perusing the New Release rack for the week finds a pair of mid-budget action pictures with a splash of romance. Matt Damon and Emily Blunt fight the power in "The Adjustment Bureau" (Universal) a high concept romantic fantasy with a team of supernatural secret agents with great hats and a dash of metaphysical science fiction (reviewed on Videodrone here), while Liam Neeson gets down and dirty when he wakes up from a coma to find his identity stolen and his ice-queen wife (January Jones) in on the theft in "Unknown" (Warner). Reviewed on Videodrone here.
Less essential is "The Eagle" (Universal), starring Channing Tatum as a stalwart Roman officer in 2nd Century Britain seeking the secret of the lost Ninth Legion. Sleeper of the week is "Cedar Rapids" (Fox), a low-key comedy starring Ed Helms in fine form as the good-hearted small town naïf who learns the facts of life—without losing his essential idealism—in a "big city" insurance convention.
TV on DVD:
Catch up with "Louie: The Complete First Season" (Fox), Louis C.K.'s quasi-autobiographical sitcom about a recently divorced comedian with two young daughters and an awkward reintroduction to the dating scene, on DVD and Blu-ray before the new season begins. In an age where cable keeps trying to push the envelope of acceptable material, "Louie" tosses it out there and then confronts it head on: racism, homophobia, politics, sex, all of it, done smartly and with a sense of humor. Reviewed on Videodrone here.
"Medium: The Seventh and Final Season" (Paramount) wraps one of the most underrated shows on TV, a family drama wrapped in a supernatural mystery, and "The Closer: The Complete Sixth Season" (Warner) brings back the most well-oiled detective squad on TV as the new season begins. Animation fans will appreciate the debut of the Nickelodeon original "Rocko's Modern Life: Season One" (Shout! Factory).
Cool, Classic and Cult:
Criterion gives the special edition treatment to "Kiss Me Deadly" (Criterion), Robert Aldrich's atomic age reworking of Mickey Spillane. Some have called it the greatest film noir of all time; it is certainly the most apocalyptic and one of the most brutal, and it delivers a pulp punch while it savagely satirizes the entire hardboiled mythos. Mickey Spillane hated it. I love it. Reviewed on Videodrone here.
The rediscovery this week comes via "Raffaello Matarazzo’s Runaway Melodramas: Eclipse Series 27" (Criterion/Eclipse), four overheated Italian melodramas from the late forties/early fifties, where Catholic morality meets the emotional storms of tormented lover and villainous schemers in wickedly twisted plots. And the feature debut of Todd Haynes gets a new edition in "Poison: 20th Anniversary Edition" (Zeitgeist).
On the cult front comes the notorious 1974 TV movie "Born Innocent" (Hen's Tooth), starring Linda Blair as a girl chewed up in the juvenile justice system, and the new SyFy original "Mega Python vs. Gatoroid" (Image) starring Debbie Gibson, Tiffany and giant swamp creatures on steroids and on the rampage. Plus "The Women in Cages Collection: The Big Bird Cage / The Big Doll House / Women in Cages" (Shout! Factory), a trio of women in prison films introducing Pam Grier. Reviewed on Videodrone here.
Build Your Library Essential of the Week:
"Kiss Me Deadly" (Criterion) – Beautifully remastered for DVD and Blu-ray, the new edition features commentary by film noir historians Alain Silver and James Ursini, a video tribute by director Alex Cox, excerpts from documentaries on screenwriter A.I. Bezzerides and author Mickey Spillane, a video tour of the film's locations then and now, the altered ending that was seen for years before the 1998 restoration and a booklet with new and archival pieces.
The complete calendar of releases this week is after the jump:
These Big Brothers aren't just watching you, they're rewriting your future
"The Adjustment Bureau" (Universal)
Who would have guessed that men with hats are responsible for the fate of the world? Seriously, according to this film a bunch of guys who dress like the cast of "Mad Men" (and for that matter includes a co-star of "Mad Men" with his wardrobe intact) are rewriting the narrative of our lives: changing bad decisions, repairing mistakes and erasing the evidence of their intrusion. Kind of like moving the furniture around while we're not looking and then convincing us it was never otherwise, and all for our own good.
It's a fun premise and one of the more playful bits of Big Brother paranoia in the canon of Philip K. Dick, whose ideas are as endlessly borrowed by Hollywood as they are misunderstood. Or ignored. By the time writer/director George Nolfi is done with his adaptation of the PDK short story "Adjustment Team," all that's left is a premise for a romantic adventure about how the power of love overcomes the near-magical interference of God's secret service detail.
Given that, Matt Damon is a likable hero as the underdog political hopeful undone by his past mistakes and Emily Blunt is appealing as a modern dancer with her own impulse issues. They meet cute (in the men's room, where it turns out they are both hiding out), she inspires him, and the adjustment bureau goes into action to unravel the "damage" of a love affair that blossoms when they fail to intercept another chance meeting. It's kind of cool as they leap all over New York City through doors that, for them, open up to shortcuts across town (it's all in the hats, I tell ya), and it makes for a lively climactic chase and a whirlwind tour through the Big Apple, which is photographed to striking effect by cinematographer John Toll. Too bad the film doesn't have anything else to offer besides the chemistry between the photogenic leads, the handsome location shooting and the usual bromides of risking all for true love.
"It's a hyper-adrenalized date movie, one that owes far more to Nicholas Sparks than Philip K. Dick," observes MSN film critic James Rocchi. "The sentiment of "The Adjustment Bureau" isn't necessarily what sinks it, but the overexplained softened edges of the story turn what could have been an exceptional brain-bender into a good, but fairly standard-issue, heart-warmer."
The DVD and Blu-ray releases feature practical but dull commentary by director/screenwriter George Nolfi, who dutifully walks us through his choices and creative paths without offering anything resembling artistic inspiration or excited engagement with the film. "Leaping Through New York" is an eight-minute tour of the significant locations of the film and a quick explanation of how the startlingly simple effects were accomplished but the rest of the featurettes (the promo-piece "Destined to Be" and the Emily Blunt profile "Becoming Elise") are pretty uninformative. The six deleted/extended scenes are notable mostly for revealing a deleted character who was wisely removed from the film; his personality would have completely ruined upset the tone that Nolfi set.
Exclusive to the Blu-ray is "The Labyrinth of Doors," an interactive map of New York that invites the viewer to follow the paths of the doors and offers various behind-the-scenes clips. Unlike a lot of the gimmicky interactive supplements tossed onto Blu-ray discs, this one is both fun and revealing.
Your guide to our coverage of the new DVD/Blu-ray releases
Here's what's new and notable on DVD and Blu-ray this week as featured on Videodrone
"Battle: Los Angeles" – The aliens have landed? Call the Marines!
"Red Riding Hood" is Not So Little in This Version
"Legend of the Fist: The Return of Chen Zhen" with Donnie Yen
TV on DVD:
"Haven: Season One" – Welcome to Stephen King's World
"The Glades: Season One" – The Cable Cop Show Formula Goes to Florida
Cult Watch/TV on Blu-ray: The Road Show Ride of "Supernatural"
TV on DVD Round-Up: Sherlock's Inspiration and Early "Doctor Who"
The Cool and the Collectible:
Cult Watch/TV on Blu-ray: The Road Show Ride of "Supernatural"
Coming next week:
"The Adjustment Bureau" (Universal)
"The Eagle" (Universal)
"Cedar Rapids" (Fox)
"Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules" (Fox)
"happythankyoumoreplease" (Anchor Bay)
"Kiss Me Deadly" (Criterion)
"Raffaello Matarazzo’s Runaway Melodramas: Eclipse Series 27" (Criterion/Eclipse)
"Poison: 20th Anniversary Edition" (Zeitgeist)
"Louie: The Complete First Season" (Fox)
"Rocko's Modern Life: Season One" (Shout! Factory)
"The Closer: The Complete Sixth Season" (Warner)
"Medium: The Seventh and Final Season" (Paramount)
"The Island" (Blu-ray) (Paramount)
|Tags:||Week in review|
Plus the cult crime film "The Boondock Saints" "Vera Cruz," "The Long Riders" and more
It may not be the big Blu-ray news this week, but I got caught up in the new Blu-ray release of the season of the cult CW series "Supernatural." I don't believe in guilty pleasures so make what you will of my guilt-free pleasure here.
"New York, New York" (MGM)
Start spreading the news. Martin Scorsese's take on the American musical is as characteristically volatile and idiosyncratic one would expect from the still-young auteur. Robert De Niro is a jazz saxophone player with dreams of fronting his own band and Liza Minnelli is an aspiring vocalist he meets in the celebrations of V-J Day. They may make beautiful music together, but their artistic impulses are at odds and their romance is all sparks and clashes. While not Scorsese's best film—it's all ambition and no discipline—his love of the classic musicals and the Hollywood studio style is all over the film, while his own instincts for improvisation and dramatic collision plays counterpoint to the gloss. Dan Callahan offers an insightful essay on the film at Altscreen here: "A downbeat homage to bright-lights showbiz dramas, an epic orchestration that indulges in stubbornly obsessive riffs, Martin Scorsese’s "New York, New York" (1977) seems to value awkwardness and indecision above all else."
Features the supplements of the previous DVD special edition: commentary by director Martin Scorsese and film critic Carrie Rickey, select scene commentary by cinematographer Lazlo Kovacs, the two-part, 52-minutes documentary "The New York, New York Stories" (with interviews with Scorsese, producers Irwin Winkler and Robert Chartoff, and cinematographer Laszlo Kovacs), the interview featurette "Liza on New York, New York," an introduction by Martin Scorsese, 25 minutes of alternate takes and deleted scenes, a still gallery, the original trailer. And it sports great Al Hirschfeld cover art.
"The Boondock Saints: Truth and Justice Edition" (Fox) - Sean Patrick Flanery and Norman Reedus are Irish brothers who believe vengeance is theirs when the Russian mob muscles into their South Boston neighborhood, and Willem Dafoe is the FBI agent torn between duty and secret support as he tracks them down through the trail of corpses they leave behind. Troy Duffy's 1999 American indie created a bidding war as script, flopped upon release and all but destroyed the career of its arrogant writer/director (as chronicled in the scathing documentary "Overnight"). On video, however, it turned into a minor cult hit and a Blu-ray release was just a matter of time.
Just in time for the 10th Anniversary comes the Blu-ray debut, a two-disc collection with both the theatrical version and unrated director's cut of the film and the new featurette "The Boondock Saints: The Film and the Phenomenon." Carried over from the previous DVD special edition are two commentary tracks (one by writer/director Troy Duffy, the other by actor Billy Connolly), deleted scenes and outtakes.
"Vera Cruz" (MGM) – Robert Aldrich’s cynical South of the Border adventure is an undeniable inspiration for the Italian spaghetti westerns of the 1960s. Southern gentleman turned hard-bitten adventurer Gary Cooper teams up with mercenary Burt Lancaster, a perpetually grinning bandit king in black, to steal a fortune in gold in the chaos of the Mexican revolution. The shifting alliances, double crosses, and fluid sense of friend and foe keeps a wicked tension on the ruthless tale and Aldrich is a master at turning cynical opportunists into deviously riveting characters. Only the creeping sentimental attachment to the peasant revolutionaries betrays this otherwise ruthless western. No supplements.
"The Long Riders" (MGM) – Walter Hill teamed with executive producers the Keach brothers for this extended brother act recreation (joining them are the Carradines, the Quaids, and the Guests) of the original all-in-the-family James-Younger Gang story. It’s a rich film, confidently balanced between a classical remembrance of western conventions and mythology and an unsentimental evocation of the hard times and brutal lifestyle that followed the Civil War in the Deep South. The slow-motion violence (notably in the fateful final robbery) recalls Peckinpah, with a sadder, wiser inflection, less savage and powerful than bloody Sam perhaps, but truer to the frontier portrait he’s painting. A lovely score by Ry Cooder completes the picture. No supplements.
"Hair" (MGM) – Milos Forman directs the screen incarnation of the legendary stage musical, a free-form, audience-interactive production tamed with a linear narrative. John Savage, Treat Williams and Beverly D'Angelo star and Twyla Tharp provides the choreography.
"Johnny Mnemonic" (Image) – Keanu Reeves stars in the 1995 adaptation of the William Gibson short story, which manages to bend his cyberpunk imaginings into Hollywood cliché. Dina Meyer, Ice-T, Dolph Lundgren and Takeshi Kitano co-star, and Udo Kier gets sliced and diced in the niftiest bit of cyber-murder the movies offered up to that time.
For another survey of Blu-ray releases for the month, check out my MSN colleague Glenn Kenny's blog "Some Came Running" for his Blu-ray Consumer Guide for June.
Plus Radley Metzger, Claude Sautet, a giant robot double feature and more "Jackass"
Warner Home Video has been carefully pacing its "Ultimate Edition" releases of the Harry Potter series. Now, just a month before "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part Two" brings the series to an end on the big screen, comes the deluxe editions of "The Order of the Phoenix" and "The Half-Blood Prince" on DVD and Blu-ray. I cover these collectible releases on Videodrone here.
Meanwhile, Claude Chabrol gets some of the worst DVD treatment an auteur has had to endure just as Criterion announces it will release his first two films on DVD and Blu-ray in September. Details here. And while we're on the subject, Criterion releases a pair of more recent features on DVD and Blu-ray this week. Read on…
"The Makioka Sisters" (Criterion) – Kon Ichikawa was nearing 70 years old when he embarked on this prestigious drama, adapted from a beloved literature classic (it has been called the "Gone With the Wind" of Japan) that charts the culture of pre-World War II Japan through the lives of four sisters who inherit the family kimono manufacturing business. " You can easily see why Ichikawa’s vision of the 20th-century Japanese-lit landmark is considered definitive," writes Time Out film critic David Fear, "the way he elevates the story’s soap-operatic elements to a level of extraordinary sublimity makes the melodramatic seem positively majestic." Glenn Erikson reviews the disc for DVD Savant (""The Makioka Sisters" is fascinating as a study of life in an upscale Japanese household, and much too rich in characterization and cultural context to be regarded as a mere soap opera.")
No supplements on Criterion's DVD and Blu-ray release apart from a booklet featuring an essay by Audie Bock's (also posted on the Criterion Current here).
"Insignificance" (Criterion), director Nicolas Roeg's big screen adaptation of Terry Johnson's play about four unnamed people who look and sound a lot like Albert Einstein, Marilyn Monroe, Joe DiMaggio, and Joseph McCarthy and debate life, philosophy and relativity in a New York hotel room in the late fifties, gets the Criterion treatment on DVD and Blu-ray. The parts are played by Michael Emil, Theresa Russell, Gary Busey and Tony Curtis (respectively). ""Insignificance" represents the peak of Roeg's meditative cultural dithering," opines Joseph Jon Lanthier in Slant Magazine, who describes it as "a piquant alternate history of vague social damnation: an a-pop-calypse, a darkly talkative masturbatory fantasy that seems to have sprung from the perspiring forehead of Norman Mailer."
Criterion releases the film on DVD and Blu-ray in a new director-approved master, both featuring new interviews with Nicolas Roeg, producer Jeremy Thomas and editor Tony Lawson and the short documentary "Making Insignificance." The booklet features an exchange between playwright Terry Johnson and director Nicolas Roeg (originally published in 1985) and a new essay by film critic Chuck Stephens, which is also reprinted at the Criterion Current here.
"The Image" (aka "The Punishment of Anne") (Synapse) – Radley Metzger (under the pseudonym Henry Paris) delves into the kinky and at times disturbing world of S&M in his 1975 adaptation of Jean De Berg’s erotic novel. Carl Parker is the ladies man who becomes obsessed with the way gorgeous young Anne (Mary Mendum) willfully submits to her mistress (Marilyn Roberts), so he borrows her for his own private plaything, putting her through a series of humiliating sexual encounters. Not exactly pornography, but easily the most beautifully shot portrait of explicit sexual kink, voracious domination, and willing submission to pain and humiliation put to film. Jean Rollin regular Brigitte Lahaie has a small role. Previously released on DVD by Synapse, it's been newly remastered in HD for both DVD re-release and its Blu-ray debut. The unrated film features the original English language track in both original mono and newly remixed DTS-HD 5.1 surround. The dubbing, however, remains as stiff as it ever was. Features an isolated music score and liner notes.
"Mado" (Pathfinder) – Claude Sautet directs this 1976 romantic thriller from France, starring Michel Piccoli as a man who falls in love with a young prostitute while his business is on the verge of collapse. In French with English subtitles, and unlike the other recent Pathfinder releases of French films from the Cinema Arts collection, this one is from an anamorphic master.
"Giant Robot Action Pack: Robot Wars / Crash and Burn" (Shout! Factory) - Never one to let an investment or a franchise possibility go unexploited, Full Moon Entertainment direct-to-video mogul Charles Band followed up his troubled special effects film "Robot Jox" with this pair of budget-minded more giant robo features. He directs "Crash and Burn" (1990), starring Megan Ward and Bill Moseley, and hands off the 1993 "Robot Wars," with Barbara Crampton and Lisa Rinna, to his genre movie veteran father Albert Band ("I Bury the Living"). No supplements, but lots of robot action.
Also new this week:
"Jackass 3.5: The Unrated Movie" (Paramount) doesn't simply present an expanded, unrated version of the film, it offers more than an hour of all-new supplements, including the documentary "Jackass: The Beginning" and a featurette on the "Jackass European Tour." Also includes deleted scenes and outtakes. The Blu-ray edition is (at least for now) available exclusively through Best Buy.
"Action-Packed Double Feature: Gordon's War / Off Limits" (Shout! Factory) – It's a Vietnam-themed double feature. Ossie Davis directs the 1973 Vietnam vet drama "Gordon's War," starring Paul Winfield as a Green Beret who returns to Harlem and takes on the mob in a war much closer to home. Willem Dafoe and Gregory Hines star as plainclothes U.S. military policemen tracking a serial killer in 1968 Saigon in "Off Limits," a 1988 thriller directed by Christopher Crowe. Both feature commentary ("Gordon's War" by cinematographer Victor J. Kemper and actor Tony King, "Off Limits" by writer/director Christopher Crowe and Willem Dafoe).The Associate" ("L'associe") (Pathfinder) – Michel Serrault is a meek businessman who creates a fictional partner to bolster his success, and then finds himself overshadowed by the fictional creation. The comedy, directed by René Gainville, was remade as a Whoopi Goldberg vehicle in 1996. In French with English subtitles, in a non-anamorphic letterbox presentation of a substandard video master.
"The Practice of Love" (Facets) – A limited edition release of the 1984 film from avant-garde filmmaker Valie Export. German with English subtitles.
"Spider-Woman – Agent of S.W.O.R.D." (Shout! Factory) – A motion comic edition of the comic-book mini-series written by Brian Michael Bendis and illustrated by Alex Maleev. Also includes "A Visual History of Spider-Woman."
"Midnight Movie: The Killer Cut" (Bigfoot) is a new, extended edition of the 2008 micro-budget horror film by Jack Messit, with new scenes and upgraded special effects. Sorry, no review from me, but here's an interview with the director on Hollywood Today website.
"Elvira’s Movie Macabre™: The Satanic Rites Of Dracula & The Werewolf Of Washington" (eOne) – Two more double features of B-movie horrors hosted by Cassandra Peterson's eighties era TV horror host persona Elvira. These are full-screen presentations with wraparounds and occasional interruptions by Elvira, and include behind-the-scenes footage, stills and a music video.
"Demon King Daimao" (Sentai) – The complete 12-episode anime series on two discs.