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cultural vandal | by maryann johanson

teetering pile o’ dvds: ‘Syriana,’ ‘20,000 Leagues Under the Sea,’ more

This is something I’ve been meaning to get to once in a while, so here goes: I’ve got piles of DVDs sitting around here haunting me, waiting patiently for me to review them. I hear them whispering plaintively to me: “Watch me, watch me….” It’s very sad. They’re screeners of foreign and indie movies in small theatrical release, they’re advance copies of commerical DVDs, they’re teeny-tiny indies hoping for some attention. Some are sent to me unsolicited; some I request from publicists and filmmakers, and those, of course, are the ones that really weigh on my conscience. I’m gonna run down what’s in the pile every once in a while, and maybe this will be the little kick in the butt I need to finally do them justice. Here’s what’s waiting:
Clean, Olivier (Demonlover) Assayas’s drama starring Maggie Cheung and Nick Nolte, already playing in limited release (official site)

Coastlines, starring Timothy Olyphant, Sarah Wynter, and Josh Brolin, from director Victor (Ulee’s Gold) Nunez, also in limited release (official site)

Green Street Hooligans, starring Elijah Wood, which I missed in theatrical release last year — it’s coming to DVD this month (buy at Amazon)

Syriana, Stephen Gaghan’s oil drama starring George Clooney and Matt Damon, also coming to DVD this month — I caught this last fall but never reviewed it, which I’d like to do now (buy at Amazon)

Pulse (Kairo) (buy at Amazon), the J-horror flick that’s getting an American remake next month

The War Within (buy at Amazon), a fictional narrative about terrorism

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, the 1997 TV miniseries starring Michael Caine and Patrick Dempsey, which just landed on DVD this past April (buy at Amazon)

• a handful of flicks from Wolfe, the video company that focuses on gay/lesbian-themed movies: Unveiled, about an Iranian lesbian in Germany (Amazon); Robin’s Hood (Amazon), a hip-hop lesbian Robin Hood tale; and Show Me (Amazon), a psychological thriller, all recently arrived on DVD

• a handful of super tiny indies: The Altruist, Waterbourne, They Shoot Movies, Don’t They?, Illusion, The Call of Cthulhu, and 50 Ways of of Saying Fabulous

• the first two episodes of the new season The Closer, which starts Monday on TNT (official site); the first season was so great, I can’t wait to see the followup

And that’s not even counting the pile of discs from Netflix… *sigh*

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