new on DVD: Oscars and Olympics, sorta

If the action in Torino isn’t hot enough — or, actually, cold enough — for ya, there’s always the snowboarding documentary First Descent (read my review / buy at Amazon), just out on DVD today. It’s pretty much strictly for boardheads, or whatever it is that dedicated snowboarders call themselves — they’ll love the movie’s self-congratulatory tone.

Or you could take home one of two Oscar-nominated actresses: Charlize Theron’s performance in North Country (not reviewed / buy at Amazon) is much better than the movie it’s in, which is disappointingly conventional. A lot more fun is Keira Knightley’s Domino (read my review / buy at Amazon) — she’s nominated for another, more demure performance this year, but her modern bounty hunter here and the 18th-century damsel she’s getting all the Oscar love for share a huge dose of spunk and a spirit of nonconformity.

Nicolas Cage wasn’t nominated in 2005, but he turned in a couple of interesting performances, including one on The Weather Man (not reviewed / buy at Amazon), as an insecure meterologist trying to figure out what he wants from life. It’s a familiar story, but charmingly told, and Cage is at his best.

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