Another reason to worship at the altar of Cate Blanchett: She nails Bob Dylan with her Oscar-nominated portrayal of the icon in â€œIâ€™m Not There,â€ Todd Haynesâ€™ impressionistic portrait of the artist as a self-indulgent enigma.
In all, Haynes casts six actors, including Heath Ledger, Christian Bale and Richard Gere, as Dylan, each representing a different aspect of the performer; outlaw, poet, dreamer/liar, iconoclast, egotistical brat. Some (Ledgerâ€™s and Blanchettâ€™s) work is better than others. All are edgy. Blanchettâ€™s, shot in black and white, also serves as a kind of homage to Fellini, with its stylistic, black-and-white cinematography and Fellini-esque portraits. Which is fine, except that the style often distracts from the substance, such as it is.
The film comes in at a few lyrics over two hours but it feels longer. Suggestion: Watch the segments that work for you and fast-forward through the rest. On the plus side, the soundtrackâ€™s packed with great Dylan songs.
Extras: Filmmakerâ€™s commentary; song selections and on-screen song lyrics; deleted scenes; alternate/extended scenes (worth a look); auditions; chat with Haynes; shorts on soundtrack, premiere; Ledger tribute; more.
Just realized I made a typo: Meant to type â€œOver Her Dead Bodyâ€; instead I typed, â€œOver Her Dead Comedy.â€ Gotta love that subconscious. Eva Longoria Parker is an expressionless stunner as the ghost of Paul Ruddâ€™s fiancÃ©e, killed by an ice angel on their wedding day (morbid but amusing) in this comedy wannabe. Longoria Parker acts bitchy and looks good, but thatâ€™s all there is. Rudd again plays a nice guy well, which may be the limit of his range. Heâ€™s quick with a quip, though, and he does seem like a nice guy.
Lake Bell gives her all as a psychic/caterer who tries to help Rudd move on with his life, falls for him, then must deal with his interfering ex â€“ the psychicâ€™s the only one who can see her. Other than animals. Did I mention the writingâ€™s terrible? Jason Biggs plays the psychicâ€™s ostensibly gay best pal.
Extras: Nothing. Just as well.
Momâ€™s Day special
OK, some moms would probably prefer the â€œDie Hardâ€ set. But more most likely mirror my friend, who would go nuts over â€œThe Romance Collection: Special Edition.â€ Among the titles is Colin Firth version of â€œPride and Prejudice,â€ which my friend says sheâ€™s seen it 17 times (not an exaggeration). She has a thing for Firth. Two other female friends also claim Firthâ€™s their heartâ€™s desire. I donâ€™t get it. But then, that film and this collection donâ€™t target my gender (although â€œThe Scarlet Pimpernel,â€ an adventure classic with Richard E. Grant, and the lusty â€œTom Jones,â€ with Max Beesley and Samantha Morton, can be seen as cross-gender).
The rest of the set consists of â€œEmmaâ€ with Kate Beckinsale; â€œVictoria & Albertâ€ with Nigel Hawthorn; â€œJane Eyreâ€ with Deborah Findlay and Ciaran Hinds; â€œIvanhoeâ€ with Steven Waddington and Hinds; and â€œLorna Dooneâ€ with Martin Clunes and Amelia Warner.
Extras: Cast bios and filmographies; author bios and biblios; making-of short on Firthâ€™s â€œPride.â€
Sex is dangerous
A young woman is born with mutated teeth between her legs in â€œTeeth,â€ a darkly humorous horror film that can be construed as a womenâ€™s-empowerment metaphor, a pro-celibacy parable or a men-are-cads reminder.
Inspired by the vagina dentata myth, the film stars Jess Weixler as an innocent teen cursed with, and frightened by, the teeth thing. The filmâ€™s compelling between the gory snap-bite-and-sever sequences, but could use some sharpening.
Extras: Thoughtful commentary by writer-director Mitchell Lichtenstein; making-of short; deleted scenes.
Also on DVD
â€œAce of Heartsâ€: A detective (Dean Cain) and his teenage daughter (Britt McKillip) try to prove his German Shepherd partner in the K-9 unit is a good dog Ââ€” yes you are â€” and innocent of hurting a suspect.
â€œBellaâ€: After his career comes crashing down, a hotshot soccer star (Eduardo Verastegui) and a struggling waitress (Tammy Blanchard) connect via the daily special: an act of kindness.
â€œThe Business of Being Bornâ€: Rikki Lake documentary offers insights into childbirth.
â€œDans Parisâ€: After a bad breakup, a man sulks back to Paris, moves in with his divorced dad and testosterone-driven brother, and, with help from women, gets happy again; in French with subtitles.
â€œDavid Beckham: Life of an Iconâ€: Gooaaaaallllll!
â€œDeliriousâ€: Comedy with Steve Buscemi as an ambitious, low-rent celeb photographer who becomes jealous of a homeless man (Michael Pitt) he hires as an apprentice when the latter sparks with a female pop star.
â€œFirst Sundayâ€: Caper comedy with Ice Cube and Tracy Morgan as petty crooks out to rob a church to pay a debt so one (Cube) can keep his son.
â€œFrontier(s) Unrated Directorâ€™s Cut: Four young fugitives hide out in an inn that harbors an evil family cult and tunnels filled with subhuman cannibals; in French; buy it now.
â€œGamersâ€: Comedy about four slackers who deal with life by trying to break the world record for playing a role-playing game; with John Heard, Beverly Dâ€™Angelo, William Katt, Kelly LeBrock.
â€œHiya, Kids!! A â€˜50s Saturday Morningâ€: Complete episodes of 21 pioneer, black-and-white kids shows on two discs inclue â€œHowdy Doody,â€ â€œAndyâ€™s Gang,â€ â€œKukla, Fran and Ollie,â€ â€œThe Cisco Kid.â€
â€œThe Hottie & the Nottieâ€: Paris Hilton stars (not a misprint) is a comedy about a hottie (guess who) who refuses to give her suitor a tumble until he finds a beau for her not-hot girlfriend (Christine Lakin).
â€œP.S. I Love Youâ€: Letters from her late husband (Gerard Butler) help a woman (Hilary Swank) cope with his death and get on with her life.
â€œSenior Skip Dayâ€: Geek throws bash at his house to make up for ruining high school seniorâ€™s skip day; raunchy comedy with Tara Reid.
â€œShiva Rea: Flow Yoga for Beginnersâ€: Tips your mom never gave you on movement and breathing.
â€œSteel Cityâ€: Two brothers react differently to their fatherâ€™s incarceration; with America Ferrera.
Reach Barry Caine at email@example.com.