Sunday, August 31, 2008


Given that I write more reviews than what you see here, below is a list of non-Criterion films I covered in the past month that may be of interest to Criterion fans.


* Pineapple Express, a sprawling comedy reuniting Seth Rogen and James Franco under the tutelage of director David Gordon Green. It's a real departure for the director from his serious indie fare, and he drops all restraints.

* Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Woody Allen goes abroad for a scintillating romantic drama about passionate, pretty people.


* The Anton Chekhov Collection, six discs with ten BBC adaptations of the master playwright's stage work.

* Blues in the Night, Anatole Litvak's lively 1941 picture attempting to bring jazz to Hollywood. Features director Elia Kazan in a supporting role.

* Delicatessen: Special Edition, a straight-up reissue of the Jean-Pierre Jeunet dark comedy from 1991.

* Derek, an illuminating documentary about pioneering queer filmmaker Derek Jarman.

* Extasis, featuring a young Javier Bardem in a Spanish thriller suitable for Tom Ripley.

* Joy House. Speaking of Tom Ripley, this film teams up Rene Clement and Alain Delon, the Purple Noon team, for a disappointing but interesting thriller released as a lacklustre DVD. With a very young, so very hot, Jane Fonda.

* Moontide, in which Jean Gabin washes ashore in Hollywood to find Ida Lupino, only to make a so-so thriller with her.

* Pete Kelly's Blues, a stiff Jack Webb vehicle elevated by appearances by Ella Fitzgerald and Peggy Lee.

* Road House, a mullet-free 1948 noir with fantastic performances by Ida Lupino and Richard Widmark. If you've seen the Swayze movie and not this one, you're what's wrong with with this country. 'm just sayin'.

* Satantango, Bela Tarr's seven-hour masterpiece is a riveting human tragedy. Not the greatest DVD in the world, but the movie transcends all.

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