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6/30/2010

Film & Video

DVD Nuts!
Lesser-seen OW-approved titles

 

It Came From Kuchar

The Devil’s Cleavage, Hold Me While I’m Naked and I Was a Teenage Rumpot hardly sound like classic films, but in the world of underground cinema these are as well-known as Casablanca. They’re the works of the Kuchar brothers – two of the biggest names in the B-movie world – and, understandably, a documentary about their lives and work might not be that appealing if the viewer has no concept of that genre. But Kuchar, writer-director Jennifer M. Kroot’s homage to the twins, does a good job selling their style and wit against the backdrop of the 1960s and ’70s, splicing clips of their zany films with interviews with filmmakers like John Waters, who cites George and Mike as one of his biggest influences. (available now)

Special Features: Commentary with the Kuchar brothers and director, deleted scenes.

Pretty Bird

Is Billy Crudup the new Paul Rudd – a once-bland screen presence who discovers, late-career, a heretofore-unseen hilarious side? Pretty Bird, a quirky start-up comedy starring Crudup as a platitudinous entrepreneur who dreams of a business that sells jetpacks, suggests so with his cheeky, naturally endearing performance. Written and directed by Parks and Recreation star Paul Schneider, the easygoing film also stars Paul Giamatti as a disturbed rocket scientist and Kristen Wiig, playing it down just a tad, as a potential love interest for Crudup. It’s tonally messy – the movie can’t decide what it wants to be and finally settles on a wisp of a narrative – but engagingly so. By the time the rocket takes flight, Schneider has satisfied our expectations enough to diverge into a darker rant. (available now)

Special Features: None.

When You’re Strange

A Film About the Doors: Brash, arrogant, pseudo-poetic and occasionally brilliant … and Jim Morrison is in it, too! This worshipful collection of previously unseen Doors footage (which is often a marvel to witness) suffers from awe-inspired narration from Johnny Depp and an overall sense that director Tom DiCillo, who made one of the best movies about movies ever with 1995’s Living in Oblivion, has spent too much time admiring the 1960s acid-rock band and too little dissecting their briefly all-encompassing stature as rock gods. Why did Morrison, preening and posing in nearly every piece of footage, hold any sway over the rock world post-LSD? Although distant and incurious, this film works on the merits of its footage alone, including an interesting short film starring Morrison alone as a road-tripping hippie. (available now)

Special Features: Exclusive interview with Jim Morrison’s father.

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