CATEGORIES Comedy, Documentary, Drama, Foreign Language, Horror, Independent, New on DVD, Cinematical Indie, DVDs, CinematicalMy personal DVD picks this week are the new editions of Lewis Teague's Alligator (scripted by indie filmmaker John Sayles), John Boorman's Deliverance (which is shockingly indie, even though it was released by a major Hollywood studio in 1972) and William Friedkin's Cruising (c'mon! Al Pacino in gay bars chasing a serial killer? That would definitely be an indie today.). But if you're looking for sometime a little more recent, here are three titles that received (mostly) positive reviews from our Cinematical critics.
Everyone's favorite Danish provocateur, Lars von Trier, made a "refreshing change" with The Boss of it All, according to our own Ryan Stewart. He said the director "turns his attention back to his own side of the Atlantic and finds his faith in humanity just as lacking, and his comic timing as sharp as its ever been." He felt the film "is absolutely a worthy entry in the von Trier canon and a reminder of the natural directing skill that he possesses."
Kim Voynar saw Francois Veber's comedy The Valet at AFI Dallas and enjoyed it. She noted that the plot was "a tad predictable" but "the film is genuinely funny, and at times the laughter from the packed house was so loud I was grateful for the subtitles so I could keep up." On the other hand, Nick Schager did not laugh so much: "This lack of any dynamic energy, any hysterical verve, is what ultimately dooms The Valet's attempts at innocuous whimsy." Sony's DVD includes an audio commentary by the director.
Zoo is a documentary that tackles "the difficult task of exploring the death of a man who had sex with a horse," as Kim Voynar wrote in her Sundance review. That may be enough for you to decide if you want to rent it, but Kim expounded at length if you'd like to know more. The DVD from ThinkFilm includes an audio commentary by writer/director Robinson Devor and writer Charles Mudede.
One consumer warning, I'm afraid. As I've written before, Thai horror film The Victim looks gorgeous, but its unimaginative use of horror movie conventions (loud! bang!!) and "twists" that are telegraphed far in advance quickly become tiresome.