LITTLE ROCK Beasts of the Southern Wild, PG-13, 93 minutes
The Little Rock Film Festival, known for remarkably prescient programming, brought Beasts of the Southern Wild to its lineup this year, where it quickly became the hottest ticket in town.
The poetic fable, which acquired admirers at Sundance (“Visually stunning and boldly unorthodox, Beasts of the Southern Wild spins a fearsome and intoxicating tale of life beyond the borders of civilization,” wrote Huffington Post executive entertainment editor Michael Hogan) and Cannes (where it won this year’s Grand Jury prize) as well as LRFF, is now available on DVD.
Like the films of Terrence Malick, the dreaminess of Beasts may seem more accessible when you can kick back in the living room and allow it to take you where it will instead of viewing it in a theater with a finite amount of time to sort it all out.
There’s no pressure to decide what is real and what is metaphor in the creative screenplay by Lucy Alibar and director Benh Zeitlin. Just follow closely behind bright, imaginative 6-year-old Hushpuppy (an extraordinary performance by Quvenzhane Wallis), who, after a game-changing storm, courageously leaves her ill-tempered ailing father and the Bathtub, her isolated bayou home, to battle the damage done to her world.
Our film critic Philip Martin says, “Wild might prove to be one of those movies that opens up new avenues of delight for you in that it shows you a world familiar yet strange and fresh with extravagant human feeling ... a strange hybrid of documentary and fantasy film.”
Beasts was filmed in Louisiana, mostly in Terrebonne Parish about 90 miles south of New Orleans. Extras on the DVD include a makingof documentary and the theatrical trailer. The Blu-ray has those, along with deleted scenes with commentary by director Zeitlin and information on auditions, the music, and the mythical Aurochs (or are they?).
Other DVD releases this week:
The Dark Knight Rises (PG-13, 165 minutes) stars Christian Bale in Batman’s last stand against formidable Bane (Tom Hardy). “Hardy’s Bane, with his Orson-Welles-on-a-Champagne-bender voice and his brutal physicality, is as close as the film comes to creating a truly unnerving pulp icon,” says our critic Piers Marchant.
Tell No One (not rated, 125 minutes) is a spectacular French thriller, released in 2008 and just now coming to DVD. It stars Francois Cluzet as pediatrician Alex Beck, who receives an anonymous e-mail showing his wife standing in a crowd and being filmed in real time — but she was murdered eight years earlier, and he was the prime suspect. Subtitled.
Purple Noon (PG-13, 119 minutes), a 1960 film based on Patricia Highsmith’s novels, stars Alain Delon as monstrous, charming, cunning criminal Tom Ripley, who, as we know from Matt Damon’s turn in 1999’s The Talented Mr. Ripley, can get away with almost anything, including murder. “The best thing about the film is the way the plot devises a way for Ripley to create a perfect cover-up, a substitution of bodies [for which a second corpse comes in handy],” says Chicago Sun-Times critic Roger Ebert. “Ripley’s meticulous timing, quick thinking and brilliant invention snatch victory out of the hands of danger.” Subtitled.
Butter (R, 90 minutes), starring Jennifer Garner, is a satire about a champion butter carver in Iowa whose statewide supremacy is threatened by a foster child of a local couple and her husband’s mistress, among others. But she won’t go down without a fight. “Best in show is definitely Garner, who knows how to play comedy of the absurd,” says Peter Travers in Rolling Stone. “Too bad she’s stuck in a movie that wishes it were a Christopher Guest sendup but comes off like a cheap imitation.” With Hugh Jackman, Olivia Wilde, Alicia Silverstone and Rob Corddry.
Hope Springs (PG-13, 121 minutes), in which a comfortably aging couple (Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones) start seeing a therapist (Steve Carell) in hopes of re-energizing the physical as well as the emotional aspects of their marriage.
MovieStyle, Pages 33 on 12/07/2012
Print Headline: HOME MOVIES