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Archive for the ‘New on DVD’ Category

Carla Gugino and Timothy Olyphant in "Elektra Luxx"

“ELEKTRA LUXX” (Now available)

I’ll watch Carla Gugino in anything (“Spy Kids” movies excepted); apparently I’m not alone in this.

Which may account for the straight-to-video success of 2009’s “Women in Trouble” and now this sequel, “Elektra Luxx.”

Both comedies feature Gugina — ravishing in blond wig and cleavage-challenging fashions — as Elektra Luxx, a legendary porn star. This new entry finds Elektra retired from the skin game and pregnant with the baby of a recently deceased rock star.

The films — both directed by Sebastian Gutierrez — are story thin and smarm rich. Basically they’re a series of loosely-related comic episodes (more…)

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“DELIVER US FROM EVIL”   (Available June 28)

This gritty Scandinavian thriller clearly was inspired by Sam Peckinpah’s seminal “Straw Dogs” (which, perhaps not coincidentally, is the subject of an American  remake set for September release).

It begins as a sort of dysfunctional family drama. Johannes (Lasse Rimmer) is a well-to-do lawyer who has returned to his small hometown in Jutland’s lowlands. He’s got a sexy wife, a couple of kids and lots of big-city ideas that the brutish locals find amusing and somewhat irritating.

Among these primitives is Johannes’ ne’er-do-well brother Lars (Jens Andersen), an over-the-road trucker who, while fumbling with a cell phone, drives over a local woman. Hiding her body near the highway, (more…)

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“ERASING DAVID” (Available June 28)

In this hugely thought-provoking doc from Britain, filmmaker David Bond kisses his child and pregnant wife goodbye and attempts to disappear.

His goal: to elude for one full month a pair of  professional investigators  he’s hired to track him down.

For anyone who has ever though it might be cool to simply pack it all in and live off the information grid, “Erasing David” will be a sobering reality check. (more…)

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A balloon the size of a football stadium will lift the BLAST telescope array above Earth's atmosphere to photograph deep space.

The science is hands on and way out there in two recent documentaries just out on DVD:

“BLAST!”:  The title stands for “balloon-bourne large aperture submillimeter telescope” which, I’ll grant you, doesn’t sound all that sexy.

Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

Paul Devlin’s documentary is about a group of astrophysicists who hope to photograph deep space by using a massive balloon — it’s the size of a football stadium — to lift a sophisticated telescope above our atmosphere. There it can drift for several days, taking pictures of parts of our universe never before seen.

Most of the team members — professionals and grad students — hail from the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Toronto.

Devlin’s film follows months of preparation as the telescope is hand crafted. Then his cameras tag along (more…)

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“God Went Surfing with the Devil”

The surfing documentary has been a cinema staple ever since Bruce Brown’s “Endless Summer” back in 1966, but I don’t think we’ve ever seen anything quite like “God Went Surfing with the Devil,” professional skateboarder Alexander Klein’s heady blend of Middle Eastern politics and wave-catching abandon.

Klein’s doc follows activists with Surfing4Peace who are attempting to do their small part for world peace by shepherding a shipment of surfboards into Gaza. They envision Arab enthusiasts joining their Jewish counterparts in riding the waves of Gaza’s sandy beaches.

Sounds like an easy enough task, (more…)

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For a long time gay cinema had basically one story: the coming-out tale.

But the liberalization of public attitudes about homosexuality (for most people under age 40 it’s simply not an issue) has meant that a “gay movie” now can be many things.

At the center of the Peruvian feature “Undertow” (on DVD May 31) is a same-sex relationship, but you’d be doing the picture a disservice by pigeonholing it as a gay movie.

Writer/director Javier Fuentes-Leon packs this feature with all sorts of good stuff. It’s a very realistic (more…)

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Richard Harris gives his all for love in "A Man Called Horse"

The Duke, Josey Wales, Sean Connery, a dude called Horse and Henry Fonda at his most bad-assedness…screw neckties, now you can get Dad something he’ll really like for Father’s Day.

That’s because the home entertainment industry has unleashed a slew of classic manly movies for the first time on Blu-ray…and some of them are killer.

Let’s start with the least impressive and work our way up.

CBS Home Video has just come out with Blu-rays of the John Wayne’s “Rio Lobo” and the Richard Harris hit “A Man Called Horse,” both from 1970. (more…)

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