RT on DVD: Kite Runner, Stephen King's The Mist Enter Your Homes!
The horror, the horror!
Stephen King's The Mist
Frank Darabont has twice before adapted Stephen King to critical acclaim (The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile) but this time around he may have picked the wrong story. Set in a small town in Maine, The Mist finds a group of townspeople trapped in a grocery store enveloped by a thick, mysterious fog -- vapors that conceal terribly hungry monsters that may or may not be punishments from God. Critics were split on the flick, which stars Thomas Jane and Marcia Gay Harden; while perfectly fine as a creature feature, some thought Darabont failed to seamlessly merge horror pic with message movie. A director commentary, eight deleted scenes, and a Stephen King -- Frank Darabont featurette appear on the standard DVD release; five more featurettes and a black and white version of the film comprise a 2-Disc Special Edition.
The Kite Runner
Marc Forster's The Kite Runner has nearly as compelling a production story as the fictional lives of its protagonists, two childhood friends from Afghanistan. Well-to-do Amir is best friends with Hassan, the son of his family's servant, but their friendship is shattered by one pivotal traumatic event. Years later, Amir must come to terms with his childhood act of cowardice and return to Kabul to set things right. Critics gave credit to Runner's strong performances, though at two hours (and with the best of intentions) the film may feel plodding. The filmmakers' decision to film partially in the native Dari language and to evacuate the child actors and their families from Afghanistan were bold choices that make this film all the more intriguing.
Patrick Fugit, Shannyn Sossamon, and Tom Waits (in a supporting role) star in this indie black comedy about suicide victims still searching for answers after death. Lovelorn Zia (Fugit) wakes up to find the afterlife is a vast alternate world of unhappiness (quite like our own), setting off on a road trip when he hears his ex-girlfriend has also arrived. Absurdist and artful -- what Roger Ebert slyly terms "the birth of the Post-Slasher movie" -- Wristcutters tackles a difficult subject but does so bittersweetly. Music by Gogol Bordello perfectly compliments the feeling. A filmmaker commentary, storyboards, making-of, deleted scenes and Fugit's own on-set photo gallery round out the release.
What exactly do presidents do when their four years are up? Some of them, like 39th United States President Jimmy Carter, turn to public service with seemingly more gusto and more freedom then they did while in the Oval Office. The peanut-farming, best-selling author and Nobel Peace Prize winning Carter -- who hails from Plains, Georgia -- only served a single term (1977-1981) as America's leader, but has devoted his post-Presidential life to humanitarian work. Director Jonathan Demme, who went from his directorial debut, Caged Heat, to winning an Oscar for Silence of the Lambs, followed Carter on a book tour for three months to make this documentary, resulting in an intriguing and candid portrait of the former president.
Arthur Penn's seminal 1967 classic about real-life criminal couple Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow enjoys a much deserved spot in the annals of film history; now the newly re-mastered cut can enjoy a much deserved spot in your DVD library! Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty star in the revisionist tale of Depression-era criminals Bonnie and Clyde, who shot and robbed their way across America in the 1930s. Penn's comic touch and grisly violence broke new ground in American cinema and influenced generations of filmmakers. Pick up the 2-Disc Special Edition with over two hours of bonus material like a History Channel documentary about Bonnie and Clyde, a making-of featurette, deleted scenes, Beatty's wardrobe tests, and a theatrical trailer; a hardcover collectible photo book and the 1967 original press book come in a separate Collector's Edition.
Ah, Sliders. Watching Quinn Mallory (Jerry O'Connell) jump between parallel worlds with a homemade but undependable "timer" made for some fun television back in 1995. Cancelled by Fox after its first season, the show was revived thanks to fan intervention; eventually the show would fire Jonathan Rhys-Davies, lose original token girl Wade (Sabrina Lloyd) to an actress-on-actress spat, and inexplicably replace O'Connell with his own brother, Charlie O'Connell (playing Quinn's brother, Colin). But before Sliders lost the original O'Connell -- right when the storylines turned to the awkward Kromagg war -- there was Season Four, out this week on DVD. Re-watch the last starring season of the apex of Jerry O'Connell's career once more!