The Good Life

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

DVD Spotlight: Aug. 13 - Aug. 19

By R. Kurt Osenlund, The Good Life film critic

Since summer cinema is much more about theatrical blockbusters than home video hits, the selection of new DVD releases in the months of July and August isn't so hot. I've already dished on "Watchmen," "Coraline" and "Two Lovers," which all but covers the bases in terms of recent, recommended DVD titles. But, fear not, reader. I've managed to dig up three more newly available films to help you pass the time while beating the heat in your air-conditioned living room.

Dir. Laurent Cantet
2008, 128 min.

Winner of the coveted Palme d'Or at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival and nominated for the 2008 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, "The Class," a French flick written by and starring Francois Begaudeau, dramatizes Begaudeau's real-life experiences as a literature teacher in inner-city Paris. Though I've not yet seen this movie, its reputation precedes it: I've essentially heard nothing but glowing acclaim. The most common adjective used to describe it? "Inspiring."

Dir. Jennifer Lynch
2009, 98 min.
"Surveillance," directed by eccentric wizard David Lynch's daughter, Jennifer, is funny enough to keep you giggling and, ultimately, disturbing enough to keep you up nights. Though not for everyone, this creepy little thriller is surprisingly unique, twisting in ways you don't expect and starring a motley crew of actors that, somewhow, create a rather strong ensemble (Bill Pullman, Julia Ormond and French Stewart are among the unlikely co-stars).

Dir. John Hamburg
2009, 105 min.
In this silly-smart bromance, Paul Rudd and Jason Segel star as a groom-to-be and his best man-for-hire, respectively. A gigglefest from a handful of guys who've recently rose to superstardom courtesy of Judd Apatow, "I Love You, Man" co-stars Rashida Jones, Jaime Pressly, Andy Samberg and J.K. Simmons. Astutely funny, it doesn't disappoint.


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