New on DVD/Blu-ray: A Great Week for Fans of Indie and International Movies

New on DVD/Blu-ray: A Great Week for Fans of Indie and International Movies

Jul 25, 2013

Graceland - Drafthouse Films - Blu-ray and DVD
Directed by: Ron Morales
Cast: Arnold ReyesMenggie CobarrubiasDido Dela Paz,Leon MiguelMarife NecisitoFull cast + crew

Graceland is like the art-house version of Taken. Instead of having an ex-CIA badass tearing through a foreign city to look for his kidnapped daughter who is about to be forced into prostitution, we've got a politician's poorly paid driver who goes on a mission through hell after his daughter is accidentally kidnapped in place of the politician's daughter. That's about where the similarities end, though. I just wanted to get the attention of anyone who otherwise may not pay attention to a Filipino thriller.

Graceland is a dark, unflinching movie about the limits men will go to when they're pushed over the edge. It's a brutal affair and its raw depiction of some of the heinous things that happen to young girls in the Philippines is not easy to watch, but it is a rewarding film about the often radical lines that divide right and wrong, and how they can get blurred by those with power and those without. 

Special Features: Commentary track with writer-director Ron Morales, producers Rebecca Lundgren and Sam Rider, and DP Sung Rae Cho and gaffer Blaise Miller (first time I've ever heard a gaffer on a commentary track); "A Life for Every Lie: The Making of Graceland" (12 minutes); deleted scenes (five scenes totaling 10 minutes); alternate ending (the original ending to the film, which is only one minute); trailers for all of Drafthouse Films' releases.

 

Other Notable New Releases


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Twixt is a very strange movie that has to be seen to be believed. Francis Ford Coppola's latest is operating on weird, funky wavelengths and makes some truly bizarre creative choices. Many may take those qualities to mean that it's an overtly bad film - and you could certainly argue that - but I like to be a bit more optimistic and go with the word baffling instead of bad. It's lyrical and gothic and ethereal, and that's all by design, the trouble is that makes it feel like you've interrupted a stage play in another universe halfway through the production. It's a weird, weird movie.

Read our interview with Francis Ford Coppola here.

If you want your vampire movies considerably more straightforward, check out Kiss of the Damned. It's a sexy, traditionalist vampire movie that should appeal to fans of Interview with the Vampire and older, more European fare. The average horror fan may find it a bit too lavish, but vamp fines will dig it (and you may want the alternate cover, which is way better).

As Coppola already proved above, great directors don't always hit it out of the park. Unfortunately Trance is the film that proves that's true for Danny Boyle. Despite the great cast, despite the slick production value, and despite the intriguing premise, this movie just doesn't really gel together. It's got a good hook to it, but it then wriggles a bit too much on that hook for a bit too long. Still, it's worth checking out if you are a Boyle loyalist, just don't expect another gem from the beloved director.

If you'd like some thrillers that do work, turn your eye toward South Korea. This week we've got New World, a crime drama starring original Oldboy Min-sik Choi that made a big dent on audiences and critics alike in its homeland. And then we have Pieta, the latest from beloved director Ki-duk Kim (3-Iron, Spring, Summer, Fall,Winter... and Spring) . I haven't seen it yet, but considering the director's fantastic track record and the fact that it was South Korea's submission to this past year's Oscars for Best Foreign-Language Film, it's a safe bet that it's worth picking up.

 

Everything Else


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