Kicking and Screaming
Long before Noah Baumach teamed up with Wes Anderson, he wrote and directed this little movie that proved he was ready to stand on his own.
From the outset, this 1995 dramedy (man, do I hate that word!) about four young men graduating from college and having to face the world shows Baumbach's ear for quick dialoge and quirky humor. Our heroes are played by Josh Hamilton, Carlos Jacott, Jason Wiles and Chris Eigeman (aka "Digger" Styles from "The Gilmore Girls.") The large ensemble cast also includes Olivia D'Abo, Parker Posey, Eric Stoltz and Elliott Gould.
Supplements for this spectial edition include an interview with Noah Baumbach; conversations with Baumbach and cast members Hamilton, Eigeman and Jacott; deleted scenes; Baumbach's 2000 short film "Conrad and Butler Take a Vacation" featuring "Kicking and Screaming" cast members Jacott and John Lehr, and a 1995 interview with Baumbach and the cast.
How could I not make a movie that introduced one of my favorite directors to the world my pick of the week? Definitely check it out.
I own almost every season of Helen Mirren's work as D.I. Tennyson in "Prime Suspect" on DVD, so anytime I hear she's gonna be on TV I get excited.
About a year ago, she played the famed virgin queen in this two-part HBO movie that focused on her relationships with two men: Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester (Jeremy Irons) and Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex (Hugh Dancy). Though it's clearly far removed from the mean streets of "Prime Suspect," Mirren and her men shine in this surprisingly good drama.
Coming from HBO, it will probably be horribly overpriced, but if you spring for it you'll get supplements including two featurettes, "The Making of Elizabeth I" and "Uncovering the Real Elizabeth."
"Sketches of Grank Gehry"
On paper, at least, this one definitely sounds like the snooze pick of the week, but it somehow works really well.
Directed by Sydney Pollack, much of it is conversations between Pollack and the architect Gehry about what drives Gehry in his pursuit of art in a commercial medium. Pollack's early admission that he knows nothing about architecture and his clear curiosity about it gives these scenes more interest than you might think.
This one somehow made it to downtown Macon's Capitol Theatre for a few shows, and I'm glad I saw it then. It's definitely worth revisiting through Netflix.
TV pick of the week
I've dedicated plenty of type in this space to raving about "Veronica Mars," so I'll try to keep this brief.
At the outset of season two, out on DVD today, the show was at a crossroads. Our heroine (Kristen Bell) had solved the major myster of season one, so where would they go next? The writers came up with plenty of new twists for year two, with the main story line being a tragic bus wreck that kills a dozen students and looks more and more like murder with every revelation. Since she was supposed to be on the bus, Veronica takes a major interest in the case.
I just love this show, which seems to get better as it goes on. Take this chance to catch up before it gets paired with "Gilmore Girls" this fall to give the CW a stranglehold (at least in my household) on Tuesday nights this fall.
Lemon of the week
I guess we all knew this day had to come. Wolfgang Petersen's excremental "Poseidon" is out on DVD. Please, please, avoid it at all costs.
Not only is this one of the most boring movies I've ever seen, the dialogue is also at many points simply cringeworthy. You doubt me? Here's a little sample: Before the wave hits, daughter Emmy Rossum, leaning over a table where dad Kurt Russell is gambling, then asks if he was checking out "the twins." On what planet is this entertaining? Oh well .. at least Fergie apparently dies in the carnage.
Consider this word of warning my gift from me to you, and please take my advice on this one. It's just that bad.
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
Kicking and Screaming