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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

new on dvd: Colin Farrell, Colin Farrell, Colin Farrell! oh, and some crap, too

This is the learned level of discourse that goes on round here at FlickFilosopher Central all day: My friend JoAnn emailed me this morning — having noted, obviously, that I’ve already seen Miami Vice — to inquire of my opinion of one aspect of the film. Did she ask about the atmospheric DV cinematography? Did she ask about the challenges of reimagining a popular retro television series for contemporary audiences? No. She wanted to know:

Is Colin totally hot in the film?

And so I applied my vast repositories of critical acumen and replied:

I generally find him totally hot, but he’s a bit too grubby here for my taste.

But he is totally hot in Ask the Dust (read my review/buy at Amazon), the historical drama hitting DVD today. Farrell stars as naive young writer Arturo Bandini, who arrives in Los Angeles during the height of the Great Depression only to have Salma Hayek kick his ass… figuratively speaking, of course. Arturo is kind of a jerk, actually, which greatly diminishes his hotness, but if you’re the kind of movie fan who is able to see past an unlikeable character to drool over the talent of the actor portraying him (and talent is always hot, no matter what a dude looks like or what kind of scrumptious accent he’s got), you’ll find plenty to enjoy in this intriguing but flawed film.
Speaking of Miami Vice, Universal has rereleased the box sets of the first two seasons of the 80s TV show (not reviewed/buy at Amazon) and slashed the price — they’re effectively two-for-one if you buy ‘em both.

My second-worst film of the year so far is now available for home reviling: The Benchwarmers (read my review/buy at Amazon), featuring Rob Schneider’s horrifying attempts at Serious Acting. Be afraid.

There’s little to be afraid of in Final Destination 3 (read my review/buy at Amazon), which substitutes sadism for scares. A truly disgusting movie.

Since I missed a coupla weeks’ worth of DVD updatin’, here’s some other newish stuff:

Basic Instinct 2 (read my review/buy at Amazon): Ah, god bless Sharon Stone, still making us laugh at her vamping after all these years.

On a Clear Day (read my review/buy at Amazon): Swimming the English Channel as therapy? Okay, I’ll buy that.

ATL (read my review/buy at Amazon): Better-than-average teen flick that actually treats kids as people.

Tsotsi (read my review/buy at Amazon): Winner of 2005’s Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film, and a worthy one.

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  • It would be interesting to hear what you think of the original “Miami Vice” series, MaryAnn.

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