Normally I update my review list when I have a new piece on a theatrical release that is opening on the weekend, but haven't had any movies worth seeing in a couple of weeks. It's going to change next week as the summer season continues its trend of starting earlier and earlier, but since the list is getting unwieldy, let's look at some DVDs ahead of that, shall we?
A bit of comic book-themed material this week, too.
UPDATED TO CRITERION CONFESSIONS...
A pair of reviews of Wes Anderson films got me some surprise attention. Read them in this order:
* The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, the often maligned undersea dramedy has a lot going for it, as far as I'm concerned. Well worth a reassessment.
* Bottle Rocket, Wes Anderson's debut, while having its moments, proves everyone has to start somewhere.
THIS WEEK IN DVD REVIEWS...
* 1612, a boring historical fantasy epic from Russia forces me to ask, "What hath Peter Jackson wrought?"
* Deadly Sweet, Tinto Brass' wild twist on crime thrillers is a pop-art, comic-book treat. Storyboarded by Guido Crepax, even.
Would make a good double-feature with...
* Detective Bureau 2-3: Go To Hell Bastards!, a loopy crime flick from Seijun Suzuki and his star, Jo Shishida.
* La Grande Bouffe, in which four Italian men try to eat and screw themselves to death. Not even Marcello Mastroianni can save this tepid shocker.
Would make a queasy double-feature with...
* In the Realm of the Senses, the controversial introduction of hardcore smut into Japanese cinema. (Also at Criterion Confessions.)
* Max Fleischer's Superman: 1941-1942, the classic cartoon shorts finally get a reliable packaging. I love these!
* NOVA: Is There Life on Mars?, an episode of the long-running PBS series focusing on Mars Rover discoveries. First those PBS pinkos will give Mars life, then socialism!
* Poil de carotte, Julien Duvivier's 1925 silent picture chronicling the troubled childhood of a freckle-faced redhead. May not sound like much, but it's a potent portrait of a rough life.
* Wolverine and the X-Men: Heroes Return Trilogy, a collection of the first three episodes of the surprisingly fun and cool looking cartoon. But where's the rest of the show?
Current Soundtrack: Peggy Lee, "Something;" Boo Radleys, "Twinside;" Gaylan Ladd, "Repulsive Situation;" Maxïmo Park, "The Unshockable;" Rex Garvin & The Mighty Cravers, "Sock it to 'Em J.B." (as in James Bond!); The View, "I've Just Seen a Face" (Beatles cover); Tears for Fears, "Ideas as Opiates;" Cat Stevens, "Lady D'Arbanville (Live)"
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All text (c) 2009 Jamie S. Rich