CATEGORIES Comedy, Drama, Foreign Language, Independent, Thrillers, New on DVD, Home Entertainment, Cinematical Indie, Features, DVDs, CinematicalA glance at DVD Journal's release calendar reveals a jam-packed week. My personal pick is Jafar Panahi's superb Offside, which manages to pack drama, humor, tension, sports, feminism and social commentary into an Iranian girl's burning desire to watch an important soccer match in person. It's entertaining too! Cinematical's Erik Davis was positive in his review and so was Jeffrey M. Anderson.
If your cinematic diet includes thrillers, check out Antibodies (from Germany) or Red Road (from the UK). Antibodies borrows an idea from Silence of the Lambs by featuring a serial killer who will only talk to a local bumpkin cop. The cop has become obsessed with catching the killer of a local girl, to the point that his family is falling apart and he's suffering from nightmares. As a whole, the film doesn't completely work, the narrative crumbling as it dives deeper into madness, but director Christian Alvart has a terrific visual sense. Andrea Arnold's Red Road is a quieter work that relies more on the slow building of tension. Jeffrey M. Anderson's positive review has all the plot details you'll need.
In the indie comedy/drama aisle, we have Year of the Dog, written and directed by Mike White, which received nods of approval from both Scott Weinberg and Kim Voynar; when those two agree, it's an automatic "must rent." Molly Shannon stars as a lonely women dealing with the loss of her beloved canine companion. Joe Swanberg's second feature, LOL, gets the deluxe treatment from new distributor Benten Films. Karina Longworth quite liked it when she saw it at SXSW last year -- and Mr. James Rocchi offers a brand-new review right here.
Though I haven't seen either The Beautiful Washing Machine (from Malaysia) or The Blossoming of Maximo Oliveros (from the Philippines), both received good reviews. For example, David Ng of the Village Voice said Washing Machine "demands at least two viewings" and Dennis Lim wrote that Maximo was "further evidence of a mini renaissance in the country's long dormant cinema."