DVD in Stores 2/15/2006 




The Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art will host a discussion of the film Brokeback Mountain from 2-3:30 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 18, in the museum’s Clowes Sculpture Court. Panelists include Brian Owens, director, International Film Festival; Ed Johnson-Ott, film critic, NUVO Newsweekly; Pamela Powell, director, Indianapolis LGBT Film Festival; Dennis Bingham, associate professor and director of film studies, Department of English, Indiana University School of Liberal Arts; Dawn Boarman, chair, Film Selection Committee, Indianapolis LGBT Film Festival; and James Nottage, vice president and chief curatorial officer, Eiteljorg Museum. The dialogue will explore the historical and social significance of Brokeback Mountain and issues of Western diversity, stereotypes and realities. The audience is invited to join the panelists in critically exploring the film and discussing its social impact.

“Part of the Eiteljorg Museum’s mission is to inspire an appreciation and understanding of the art, history and cultures of the American West,” says John Vanausdall, president and CEO, Eiteljorg Museum. “We are committed to exploring the real stories of the diverse peoples that populate that part of our country. Brokeback Mountain is set in the West and centered upon an icon of Western culture — the cowboy. Discussing the movie with a scholarly panel allows us to explore Western mythology and stereotypes and better understand the social and cultural meaning of the film.”

Admission to this event is FREE. Participants are invited to come early and visit the museum for a $2 discount. Visitors can enjoy a Southwestern-inspired lunch in the Sky City Café, explore the museum and listen to a jazz performance by George Middleton and Musique in the Clowes Sculpture Court. For more information on Eiteljorg Museum events and exhibitions, visit www.eiteljorg.org or call 317-636-9378.


New Line Cinema has launched a nationwide casting search to fill three roles, including the lead role of Tracy Turnblad, in its upcoming feature film adaptation of the hit Broadway musical Hairspray. It was announced Friday by Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, producers of Hairspray and the Golden Globe and Academy Award-winning Best Picture Chicago. The casting search will hit Chicago on Feb. 18 with an open call audition at the Chicago Academy of Arts. Other auditions are also being held in Atlanta on Feb. 4 and in New York on Feb. 11. Complete details of the auditions are available at www.hairspraymovie.com. In addition to the open call, interested actors can fill out an audition application by mail or e-mail through www.hairspraymovie.com as well.


La Bête Humaine: Criterion Collection (NR) Jean Gabin, Simone Simon, Fernand Ledoux, Blanchette Brunoy. From the press notes: Based on the classic Emile Zola novel, Jean Renoir’s 1938 feature La Bete Humaine was one of the legendary director’s greatest popular successes, tapping into the fatalism of a nation in despair. Jean Gabin’s emblematic portrayal of doomed train engineer Jacques Lantier granted him a permanent place in the hearts of his countrymen. Part poetic realism, part film noir, the film is a hard-boiled and suspenseful journey into the tormented psyche of a workingman. 96 minutes. DVD INFO: New, restored high-definition digital transfer of the original uncut version. Bonus materials include an introduction to the film by Jean Renoir; a new interview with director Peter Bogdanovich; archival interviews with Renoir discussing his adaptation of Emile Zola’s novels, his process with actors and directing actress Simone Simon; a gallery of on-set photographs and theatrical posters; new and improved English subtitle translation; plus a booklet featuring writings by film critic Geoffrey O’Brien, historian Ginette Vincendeau and production designer Eugene Lourie.

Mirrormask (PG) Stephanie Leonidas, Dora Bryan, Gina McKee, Rob Brydon. Fantasy tale of an intelligent young girl on a journey through a magical world, written by Neil Gaiman (Sandman) and directed by frequent collaborator and illustrator Dave McKean, who mixes live action and animation. Helena (Leonidas) is a young girl who juggles in her father’s circus, but longs for a “normal” life. She spends her free time drawing elaborate, fantastical black-and-white pictures that cover every surface of her bedroom. The night before her mother (McKee) is to have surgery, Helena is mysteriously transported to a world which bears a strong resemblance to her own drawings, and is populated by strange creatures who follow an even stranger logic. 104 minutes. DVD INFO: Includes “Day 16: A Time-Lapse Video of One Day On-Set”; “Neil Talks: A Conversation with Neil Gaiman”; ComicCon 2003: a Q&A session; behind the scenes with Dave McKean; “Flight of the Monkeybirds” featurette; plus a making-of featurette.

Proof (PG-13) Gwyneth Paltrow, Anthony Hopkins, Hope Davis, Jake Gyllenhaal. An enigmatic young woman is haunted by her father’s past and the shadow of her own future in a story that explores the links between genius and madness, the tender relationships between fathers and daughters and the nature of truth and family. On the eve of her 27th birthday, Catherine (Paltrow), a young woman who has spent years caring for her brilliant but unstable father, a mathematical genius named Robert (Hopkins), must deal not only with the arrival of her estranged sister, Claire (Davis), but also with the attentions of Hal (Gyllenhaal), a former student of her father’s who hopes to find valuable work in the 103 notebooks of Robert’s. 100 minutes. DVD INFO: Includes audio commentary by director John Madden; deleted scenes with optional commentary; and “From Stage to Screen: The Making of Proof.”

Saw II (R) Donnie Wahlberg, Shawnee Smith, Tobin Bell, Franky G, Glenn Plummer, Emmanuelle Vaugier. Jigsaw is back. The twisted mastermind who wreaked havoc in the first film is back for another round of horrifying life-or-death games. When a new murder victim is discovered with all the signs of Jigsaw’s hand, detective Eric Mason (Wahlberg) begins a full investigation and apprehends Jigsaw with little effort. But for Jigsaw, getting caught is just another part of his nefarious plan. Eight more of his victims are already fighting for their lives — and now it’s time for Mason to join the game. 91 minutes. DVD INFO: Two separately packaged DVDs are available: One preserves the film in the anamorphic widescreen format, while the other hacks off nearly a third of the picture for the fullscreen (aka pan & scan) version. Shop carefully. Both versions include audio commentary by director Darren Lynn Bousman and stars Donnie Wahlberg and Beverley Mitchell; “The Props of Saw II”; “Deconstructing Jigsaw’s Traps”; deleted scenes; plus production interviews.

Zathura (PG) Jonah Bobo, Josh Hutcherson, Dax Shepard, Kristen Stewart. Director Jon Favreau (Elf) works wonders with this fantasy feature, from the author of Jumanji, about two young brothers who play a magical board game that sends them into outer space. The movie has a great retro look, the special effects — costumes and models mostly instead of computer graphics — are cool, the music is effective and the cast is talented. Unfortunately, Favreau’s best efforts can’t disguise the fundamental passivity of the story. A big part of the appeal of tales like this is experiencing the adventure vicariously through the lead players, but because of the way the story is structured, the boys don’t do much of anything. You can’t have a real adventure without derring-do and Zathura derring-doesn’t. 95 minutes. DVD INFO: Two separately packaged DVDs are available: One preserves the film in the anamorphic widescreen format, while the other hacks off nearly a third of the picture for the fullscreen (aka pan & scan) version. Shop carefully. Both versions include Jon Favreau and Peter Billingsley audio commentary; “The Making of Zathura”; visual effects documentary; the cast of Zathura; “Zorgons, Robots and ‘Frozen Lisa’; Making the Game”; miniatures and the world of Zathura; plus “The World of Chris van Allsburg.” —EJO

TV on DVD THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW: SEASON 5, CHARLES IN CHARGE: SEASON 1, THE FRESH PRINCE OF BEL-AIR: SEASON 3, GIMME A BREAK: SEASON 1, THE GOLDEN GIRLS: SEASON 4, GREY’S ANATOMY: SEASON 1, HE-MAN AND THE MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE: SEASON 1, VOLUME 2, LIVING SINGLE: SEASON 1, NBA SHAQ TV: SEASON 1, NEWSROOM: SEASON 2, THE PRETENDER: SEASON 3, RED DWARF: SEASON 1 and SIGNIFICANT OTHERS: COMPLETE SERIES. NOTE: Some studios have the nerve to market box sets of TV series containing episodes that were trimmed down by several minutes each for airing in syndication. Before laying down your money, make sure the box set includes the words “original and uncut.”

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