CATEGORIES Comedy, Documentary, Drama, Foreign Language, New on DVD, Home Entertainment, Cinematical Indie, War, Features, DVDs, CinematicalPop quiz: what was one of the most critically lauded films of the year, yet barely got seen in the US? Syndromes and a Century received many admiring reviews off its play at various film festivals and finished #4 in the indieWIRE Critics' Poll; DVD might be a natural home for director Apichatpong Weerasethakul's latest meditative drama. The Strand Releasing DVD is bare-bones, with only a few trailers included, but kudos to them for making this more easily available.
The Ten features an all-star cast in a comic dissection of the Biblical Ten Commandments. In his review, Scott Weinberg acknowledged the "fairly sketchy" framework but said he "discovered a solid handful of worthwhile chuckles in the flick." James Rocchi summarized: "The Ten's a wacky, hit-and-miss, shotgun blast of a comedy that stands apart from the corporate commodity comedy's become in major-studio Hollywood." The DVD from ThinkFilm includes an audio commentary, more than 55 minutes of alternate takes and deleted scenes, an interview, a "making of" feature, ringtones (!) and wallpaper.
PBS is broadcasting Robert Stone's JFK doc Oswald's Ghost starting this week, but it's also available on DVD with extra features, including an interview with Stone, "The Zapruder film and beyond," and a visit fo Dealey Plaza. In my review, I called it "the rare film whose power increases with distance," though I wish that more of Stone's opinions had been expressed. Maybe the DVD's extra features will add the "degree of balance of perspective that is otherwise missing from a very well-made documentary."
Kim Voynar felt Operation Homecoming: Writing the Wartime Experience, a documentary about a project that brought together distinguished writers, soldiers and their families, at times seems "uncertain of just what kind of film it wants to be," lacking any new insights into the Iraq War. She thought it would lend itself more to the intimacy of television "much more than the big screen." The DVD includes a discussion guide.