Film & VideoDVDs Nuts!
I canít tell you how heartening it is to see that Europe hasnít yet given up on the feature-length procedural crime drama. Unlike the oversaturated American market thatís led the genre down the path of cynicism and perverse one-upsmanship, overseas audience are still appreciative of a well-told whodunit, and Girl is one of those. Melancholy but hopeful and beautifully shot even for a supposedly boring small town, the film takes all the crime-drama hallmarks Ė weary detective, pretty dead girl, town full of suspects Ė†and treats them with care. There are no shouting interrogations or alcoholic cops; just townsfolk and inspectors alike who all wish they didnít have to endure the pain of the teenage girlís death. What a welcome surprise. (available now)
Special Features: None
We donít cover a lot of TV in this column, and even less so the supposed summer fluffery of USA shows, but the fourth season of Psych, a comedy-mystery about a fake psychic (James Roday) and his investigative partner (West Wingís Dulť Hill), demands attention. Given time to find its voice, the uproarious hourlong program has evolved into a genuine jack-of-all-trades genre blender. Equally adept at slapstick, murder mystery and heartbreak, Emmy-nominated Psych has truly lifted its game. The season finale, co-written and directed by Roday, is a nail-biting Hitchcockian high point that ups the character stakes to a tear-jerking level. (available now)
Special Features: Video and audio commentary, deleted scenes, gag reels and more
A messy debut feature from Hue Rhodes, this road-tripping Dante allegory wisely casts schlubby Steve Buscemi as an insurance adjuster who encounters circus freaks, nudists and wheelchair-bound strippers on his quest to disprove a claim. Joining him is The 40 Year Old Virginís Romany Malco in a breakthrough performance that showcases his considerable range and attention to character detail. Heís enough to forgive the film its many quality gaps. (available now)
Special Features: none