DVD RELEASES 2010/9/14

Recommended

Looking For Eric (MPI Home Video) — Ken Loach just about bites off more genres than he can chew in this story of a downtrodden single father whose life is falling apart, until his hero, ex-Manchester United footballer Eric Cantona, miraculously appears in his life to provide him with some healthy perspective and advice. Part social drama, part uplifting comedy, part crime thriller, Looking For Eric is a surprisingly sweet entry in the Loach canon. Buy it on DVD.

Sorry, Thanks (Cinema Epoch) — Dia Sokol’s Sorry, Thanks has all the pleasures of the [Mumblecore] “genre”: wince-worthy awkwardness; a loving eye cast on the mundane and aimless; freckled, chubby people you could easily know. But the film avoids the pitfalls that make films like Funny Ha Ha and Kissing on the Mouth obtuse to the average cinema-goer. Someone whose tastes don’t lean toward the indie can clearly recognize Sorry, Thanks as a real live movie: the sound is clear, the image is steady and the plot is tight. Read the rest of Lena Dunham’s review here, then buy it on DVD.

Afterschool (MPI Home Video) — Afterschool is a movie not unlike so many punky, fishnet wearing, Sartre reading high school students; the type you don’t often encounter in this kind of picture. Like that tired cliché for transitory and defensive teenage identity, Afterschool doesn’t much want to be loved and bites you for trying. It’s a film that sees, with alarming precision and clear-eyed, long-take candor, the emotional atrophy that an entire generation of children and young adults has been subjected to; interpersonal relationships which have become dominated and mediated by digital modes of communication, coupled with the abdication of responsibility on the part of the generations preceding them. Read the rest of Brandon Harris’s review, then buy it on DVD. ***ADDED: This home video release isn’t labeled “Special Edition” but it certainly has enough extras to qualify it as such, including audio commentaries, outtakes, storyboards, and another well received Campos short film that screened at Cannes.***

New To Blu-Ray

Breathless (Criterion) — I think Jean-Luc Godard’s feature-length debut is what they call one of those game-changing, French New Wave defining classics? But you’ve probably heard that once or twice already. Buy it on Blu-ray.

Se7en (New Line Home Video) — When I first saw David Fincher’s 1995 thriller, it physically shook me in a way that few films ever have. I haven’t revisited it in years, partly because that seems like an act of conscious masochism, but also because I’m worried it might not hold up. Does it? Buy it on Blu-ray.

Jacob’s Ladder (Lionsgate) — Adrian Lyne’s haunting 1990 drama is a personal favorite of mine, as it was one of the first movies I saw as a teenager at my local multiplex that made me realize cinema had the power to go deeper than the surface. Buy it on Blu-ray.

The Proposition (First Look Studios) — Before he took on one of the most beloved books of the 21st century (that would be Cormac McCarthy’s The Road for those of you who have been living in a fallout shelter), and before he was busy ripping off George Washington in the name of advertising, John Hillcoat added this deeply impressive Western to the canon. Buy it on Blu-ray.

Have Not Seen But Should

Casino Jack and the United States of Money (Magnolia Pictures) — Alex Gibney is the Joyce Carol Oates of documentary filmmaking. This time, he sets his sights on disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Buy it on DVD.

Wild Card Of The Week

My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done? (First Look Studios) — A film directed by Werner Herzog, starring Michael Shannon, and executive produced by David Lynch can’t go wrong, right? Wrong. At least to my (admittedly overly eager) eyes. I know people who think this thing is some kind of tweaked out masterpiece, so don’t let me rain on your picnic. But I do recommend bringing an umbrella in case the film does. Buy it on DVD.

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