Pick of the Week
Surrogate Valentine (Indie Blitz) — Dave Boyle’s third feature is a comedy, like his previous film, the 2009 crowd-pleaser White On Rice. But where WOR was a sharp blast of laughing gas, Surrogate Valentine is a mellow buzz that steals up on you slowly. There’s a gently lulling rhythm to the storytelling; scenes unfold with a looseness that feels semi-improvised. This mood fits with the energy level of the main character, who is also the movie’s co-writer (with Boyle and Joel Clark), the talented San Francisco-based singer/songwriter Goh Nakamura. Playing himself or a version thereof in his feature-film debut, Nakamura isn’t an obvious choice for what’s essentially a romantic lead part—soft-bodied and moon-faced, he’s likable enough but doesn’t project much presence until he picks up a guitar and sings, which he does with grace and wit and leisurely command. Read Nelson Kim’s full review. Available on DVD.
The Staircase (New Video) — If you haven’t seen Jean-Xavier de Lastrade’s incredibly absorbing documentary that plays like an extended top-notch Hollywood thriller, you must do it as soon as possible. Available on DVD.
New/Old to DVD/Blu-ray
Have Not Seen Yet But Really/Kinda/Sorta/Maybe Wanna
Wild Card of the Week