Tuesday, August 19, 2008

DVD releases for August 19

Please support you local independent video stores. I've already seen one very near and dear to me go under, and I hope not to see another.

Recount (2008) directed by Jay Roach
Although keeping Comcast out of my life forever is one of my main goals, I often regret not having those premium channels with all their clever programming. But I don't regret it for long, because inevitably those clever programs come out on DVD. But just seeing the trailer for Recount in theaters got me racking my brain to figure out if I even knew anyone who had HBO. Just seeing the very short clip of Laura Dern playing Katherine Harris was enough to give me the giggles. Has it been long enough that we can laugh about the 2000 election? Or at least have a communal laugh about how absolutely screwed up it was? Either way, this looks like a good vehicle to do just that.

Twenty-Four Eyes (1954) directed by Keisuke Kinoshita
This film is a time honor classic in Japan and first heard about this film from Japanese friends. I admit my ignorance of the film by mistakenly reading the title as 20 Four Eyes instead of 24 Eyes until I finally saw the film on a Hong Kong import DVD. Twenty-Four Eyes is a charming film film that plays on everyone's love for nostalgia and respect for determination. This is a Criterion disc that boasts a new transfer and a better translation, but not much else.

Quid Pro Quo (2008) directed by Carlos Brooks
It would be hard to sell a fictional feature about people who long to lose a limb because they feel it doesn't belong to their body. It would be hard, that is, if you haven't seen Melody Gilbert's documentary on the subject entitled Whole. Quid Pro Quo got a sneak peek at the Walker (reported on here at Getafilm) a couple months ago but then never got a wider release, even though it was scheduled to. Can we blame it on Batman?

Please Vote For Me (2007) directed by Chen Weijun
Well, all be darn. Book man Hans at Micawber's just asked me if I had heard of this documentary and here it is. I'll simply go on his recommendation that this is a fascinating documentary about the prestige involved in being school monitor in China. As a microcosm, it works to show how much pressure there is on kids to perform, and that is something you can see on the faces of everyone of the athletes at the Olympics. Looking at various reviews of the documentary, it looks like Hans' recommendation is spot on. Check it out, and then go buy a book from his store.

Enough! (2007) directed by Djamila Sahraoui
A part of the Global Lens series, this screened at the Walker last year. I can't for the life of me remember if I saw it, but I think there-in lies the major downfall of most of the films included in Global Lens: totally forgettable international films.

The Small Black Room (1949) directed by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger
Leave it to Criterion to point out my filmic inadequacies. I did not write this: "Based on the acclaimed novel by Nigel Balchin, The Small Back Room details the professional and personal travails of troubled, alcoholic research scientist and military bomb-disposal expert Sammy Rice (David Farrar), who, while struggling with a complex relationship with secretary girlfriend Susan (Kathleen Byron), is hired by the government to advise on a dangerous new German weapon. Deftly mixing suspense and romance, The Small Back Room is an atmospheric, post-World War II gem."

Don Quixote directed by Orson Welles
Assign whatever date you would like to this film. Orson Welles started shooting the film in 1955, and, if you believe rumors, he was still mumbling the words 'must. finish. don. quixote.' on his death bead. A Spanish distributor and producer picked up the ball after Welles died and release a version at the 1992 Cannes Film Festival. Who knows how close they got to Welles dream, but it is in there somewhere. Obviously Welles himself had a hard time finding it.

Wizard of Gore (2007) directed by Jeremy Kasten
This is one for Crispin Glover fans, but I'm not sure about everyone else. Click the link about to check out the trailer...not very promising.

...and two other films that might be okay for a rainy day: The Life Before Her Eyes, and
Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day.


Mason said...

I waited for it, but Quid Pro Quo never left the coasts...had no idea it was here for a spell. I did rent it though. The trailer brought this (in)famous story to mind:


It's graphic, but it's also an April Fools joke on behalf of the magazine.

Kathie Smith said...

Jeez, I'm glad I came back to your comment after following that link to see that it was an April Fools joke! (I'm pretty gullible....)

Mason said...

Ha! I have a pretty high tolerance but the idea/thought process behind it almost made me ill; it seriously boggled my mind. I was actually relieved when the gig was up.

Daniel G. said...

Thanks for the send, Kathie!

Just in case people are looking for something further, somebody with BIID actually left some really interesting comments on that review of QPQ.

I saw a couple of the Global Lens movies this year and I think they'll last. They have so far. Maybe I just picked two of the better ones - The Custodian and Let the Wind Blow.