The Act of Killing - Drafthouse Films - Blu-ray and DVD
Director: Joshua Oppenheimer
The Act of Killing is the kind of film that's so dense and complicated and important that it's almost hard to believe it exists. That's not to make it sound like Joshua Oppenheimer's debut film is hard to follow and only art house lovers should watch it (that's far from the truth), it's just that it's such a perfect storm of intersecting winds of real life and cinema that it's mind-boggling to think that it's not all made up. It would certainly be a more convenient truth if it were fiction, but sadly this documentary about a man who personally killed over a thousand people is all too real.
This is the kind of film that just needs to be seen to be believed. It's a staggering look at institutionalized oppression, how people can rationalize their behavior, no matter how utterly horrifying it is, and what happens when that rationalization starts to crumble. You've simply never seen a movie like it before, and hopefully you'll never have to see one like it again.
Special Features: The theatrical and director's cuts of the film; commentary with Oppenheimer and Executive Producer Werner Herzog; "Democracy Now" interview with Oppenheimer (45 minutes); "Vice Presents Werner Herzog and Errol Morris on The Act of Killing" (12 minutes); deleted scenes; trailers for other Drafthouse Films releases.
Other Notable New Releases
You probably know whether or not you'll ever watch Big Ass Spider! based on the title alone. If you laugh at the cover, you're the kind of person who will get their money's worth from this mighty fine, low-budget monster movie. This isn't a Sharknado-esque cash-in on bad disaster movies that doesn't care about things like characters or script. Big Ass Spider! actually has a really great buddy-cop vibe going on that goes a long way to separate it from countless other schlocky movies.
I haven't seen Jim Mickle's remake of We Are What We Are, but I've heard nothing but great things about it. I have seen the original Mexican film it's remaking, though, and as strong as that film is, its story about a family of cannibals just trying to get by is certainly one that could withstand an Americanization.
If The Act of Killing has you in the mood for some more sobering films, you can check out the documentary Inequality for All, which is former U.S. Labor Secretary Robert Reich's look at the U.S.' widening economic gap, or Warner Bros.' new Blu-ray release of Roland Joffé's landmark film The Killing Fields.
And finally, it came and went with almost zero fanfare, but if you were mildly intrigued by the trailers for the Justin Timberlake-vs.- Ben Affleck offshore crime flick Runner Runner, you'll be midly intrigued to know it's now available on home video.
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