Link Dump #5: W., Stars, Vampire Weekend, and Criterion Blu-Ray

W., un film de Oliver Stone


If this trailer (for Oliver Stone’s W.) were just a joke, it would be a great joke. We’ll see what happens with the movie.

Music Video: Stars/”Bitches in Tokyo”

“This is what you’re worried about: something called The New York Dolls.”


Music Video: Vampire Weekend/”Oxford Comma”

It’s probably too soon for the Wes Anderson homage videos, but whatever.

Criterion Collection, High-Definition Division

240_chungking.jpgSpeaking of Wes Anderson, The Criterion Collection has just announced details on its November (delayed from October) opening salvo of Blu-ray Disc releases, and it’s a doozy. Bottle Rocket. Chungking Express. (Swoon.) The Third Man. The Man Who Fell to Earth. And The Last Emperor. Five solid selections from five great directors — and two films (the one with Faye Wong and the one with Orson Welles) that I absolutely adore. I am so there.



My review of Felon on Blu-ray Disc is online at

If Jeffrey Lebowski had made a few wrong turns in life–if, let’s say,

he had brutally murdered some very bad men, as well as their

families–he may have turned out not entirely unlike John Smith, the

hulkingly mellow convict played by a moustachioed, goateed Val Kilmer

in Felon. Judging from the wide berth the rest of the inmates

give him, Smith is known as the silent-but-deadly type. Kilmer plays

him from behind a whole bunch of prison tattoos with a steely glare,

but also with a kind of openness that doesn’t immediately compute.

Although he’s tagged as a sociopath, he’s really just the opposite. He

believes in justice, and he longs for the death sentence he feels his

crimes deserve.



In a happy development for cult and genre-film fans, non-English-language offerings beyond the highbrow are continuing to trickle out on Blu-ray Disc. And while you can’t buy a HD copy of My Blueberry Nights in the U.S. (and with the dollar in the toilet, who can afford to import movies these days?), you can pick up this lesser-known Thai horror-fantasy from 2006. Directed by Pleo Sirisuwan, it’s a low-budget adventure about the various creatures — human, humanoid and otherwise — lurking deep inside the jungle. It’s one of those movies where the hero’s face gets more and more jacked up and bloody as it goes along.

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The Ruins [Unrated Blu-ray Disc]


Watching the quick-moving but grueling horror movie The Ruins [my original review is here] on its theatrical release — a bare three months ago! — was an intriguing enough experience that it sent me running immediately to grab a copy of the source novel that author Scott Smith adapted for the screen. Reading the book was somewhat confusing, since the characters’ fates were scrambled on the way to the multiplex and my brain struggled a little bit to keep the movie’s characters at bay as I dug into the novel. But it’s a more satisfying version of the story, owing largely to Smith’s literary tactic of shifting the narrative perspective, round-robin style, from character to character, a virtuoso move that the film (maybe wisely) doesn’t even consider emulating. The book lets you get far enough into the heads of its doomed characters — and telescopes the scope of the action across a long enough period of time — that their actions, and eventual insanity, become more understandable.

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Other Boleyn Girl, The


My review of The Other Boleyn Girl on Blu-ray Disc is online at

I don’t think much of The Tudors, but at least it boasts lots of sex

and scandal, with [Jonathan] Rhys Meyers reliably chewing up the scenery. The Other Boleyn Girl

is just a soap opera without the suds, a melodrama without much drama.

Although the (cheesy, Photoshopped) video cover promises a

bodice-ripper, this is at best a skirt-tugger, a button-fiddler.

Vengeance of the Zombies (1972)/Night of the Werewolf (1980) [Blu-ray]

Image nicked from Tim Lucas’s excellent Video Watchblog entry on Night of the Werewolf.

It’s surely convenience, or just

coincidence–rather than any nods to quality or pent-up demand–that these are the first two Euro-horror titles to arrive in high definition on

Blu-ray Disc. This double-feature package from BCI and Deimos

entertainment pairs two films starring the well-loved (and prolific)

Spanish horror actor Paul Naschy. Vengeance of the Zombies (La

Rebelion de las Muertas, 1972) is a potboiler from cult director Leon

Klimovsky involving a charismatic Indian cult leader (Naschy), his

less-attractive brother (also Naschy), and a beautiful redhead (Romy)

from a cursed English family. And Night of the Werewolf (La Retorno

del Hombre Lobo, 1980) is a genre mash-up directed by Naschy

in which he stars as the wolfman Waldemar Daninsky and faces off against a

bevy of vampire women led by Elizabeth Bathory herself. (Scroll way down to read about some problems with these discs.)

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