Bardot, Buñuel, Handy Manny, and Home Run Derby
Reviewed by Shawn Badgley, Fri., Aug. 17, 2007
Brigitte Bardot: 5-Film Collection(Lions Gate, $39.98)
Of Naughty Girl, Love on a Pillow, The Vixen, Come Dance With Me, and Two Weeks in September, none would be watchable if not for Bardot. With her, each very much is, male gaze be damned. She's at her most alluring as a wayward nightclub dancer in 1956's Naughty Girl -- which preceded her efforts for Godard (Contempt), Malle (A Very Private Affair), and Clouzot (The Truth) -- and at her most interesting in the disturbing Love on a Pillow (1962), written and directed by her ex-husband Roger Vadim. This set's only bonus is its sexy packaging: soft, curvy, and pleasant to the touch. Too bad its subject is a lunatic right-wing witch who likes horses better than she does people now.
Luis Buñuel: 2-Disc Collector's Edition(Lions Gate, $29.98)
Speaking of lunatics. This guy. In a good way. Buñuel moves to Mexico and compromises himself with his first film there, 1947's Gran Casino, but establishes himself in America and bounces back with the English-shot The Young One (which stars the great Austinite actor Zachary Scott, who also got to work with Renoir when he emigrated). Both are thrillers -- the latter, about a falsely accused black guy, is better and more relevant than the other -- and both are included here. Another in LG's line of poor man's Criterion boxes: nice to have around but sort of second-tier.
Stephanie Daley(Liberation Entertainment, $28.95)
The critics loved this little Sundance darling (critic speak), which never reached theatres here in town. I haven't seen it, but it's another psychological thriller about someone accused of a crime -- in this case Amber Tamblyn's title character of killing her kid. Apparently, the truth is less cut-and-dry than in The Young One, and Tilda Swinton is brought in to get to the bottom of things. Also stars Timothy Hutton and Jim Gaffigan. Directed by Hilary Brougher (The Sticky Fingers of Time). I'm looking forward to curling up with this one and a cup of hot cocoa.
Handy Manny: "Tooling Around"(Walt Disney Video, $19.99)
What's next, Maidy Lady? I mean come on. And of course his last name is Garcia, and he has "mismatched" tools. Who talk. Includes never-before-seen episode "Squeeze's Day Off," in which Manny's co-worker and roommate is busted getting high with the banker's wife, setting off deportment proceedings.
The First Films of Samuel Fuller(Criterion Eclipse Series 5, $44.95)
This paper goes crazy over Fuller and has written a crap-load about him (not to mention Criterion releases in general), so I'm going to keep this short: includes The Baron of Arizona, I Shot Jesse James (his first film), and The Steel Helmet. The Eclipse thing means no supplements or restorations.
51 Birch Street(Image Entertainment, $19.99)
I love this movie. "What happens when a parent becomes a person?" wrote the Chronicle's Kimberley Jones when it played South by Southwest Film 06. "For documentarian Doug Block, it was a radical rethinking of who his parents were and what their marriage was about. The project began in the wake of Block's mother's sudden death and his father's swift remarriage." The DVD includes a featurette of family reactions. Awkward.
Home Run Derby: Volume two(MGM, $14.98)
We used to watch this show in the summer when I was a kid. ESPN replayed the vintage episodes on weekday afternoons. I highly recommend it. It's awesome. Hank Aaron was awesome. Still is. Barry Bonds was awesome when I was a kid, but then he stopped being awesome. Screw you, Barry Bonds, you big, fat, cheating, crippled baby.
The Dark Crystal: 25th Anniversary Edition(Sony, $24.96)
Really weird. Was never a big fan, actually.
Labyrinth: Anniversary Edition(Sony, $24.96)
In many ways weirder. I love how it could be any anniversary. Power of the babe, indeed.
The Kids in the Hall: "The Pilot Episode"(Medialink, $19.98)
Special Headcrusher Edition goes heavy on the bonuses with footage, commentary, and interviews.
recent and upcoming DVD releases, Brigitte Bardot: 5 Film Collection, Luis Buñuel: 2-Disc Collector's Edition, Stephanie Daley, Handy Manny: Tooling Around, The First Films of Samuel Fuller, 51 Birch Street, Home Run Derby: Vol. 2, The Dark Crystal: 25th Anniversary Edition, Labyrinth: Anniversary Edition, The Kids in the Hall: Pilot Episode