DVD Spotlight: 3/20.

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(Also posted on GreenCine Daily.)

DVDs, 3/20.

Southland Tales "What an awesome disaster of a movie," writes Waggish of Southland Tales. "Panned at Cannes, left for dead by Sony, eventually raking in $300K on an $18 million budget and forcing a promise from Richard Kelly that he will be more commercial in the future, I now say that it's the major American movie of 2007 that I enjoyed the most, far more than limp critic-fodder There Will Be Blood and No Country for Old Men."

"I know, for myself, that whereas No Country for Old Men stunned me in its first weekend, by the time it won Best Picture I had come to feel what a bleak trick it is," writes David Thomson in the LA Weekly. "But I find myself still close to tears with Bonnie and Clyde, even though I know it shot for shot, and I'm not sure now whether I am moved by Warren and Faye, by the idea of cinema, or by the bloodshot summer of 1967. I cannot forget that when the picture opened (for me) in London that August, I saw it day after day, leaving the job I dreaded and telling myself that my life had to change, even if I ended up shot to pieces with those two shampooed darlings."

"The Lumière Brothers - scientists and industrialists - saw their invention as a way of dispassionately recording reality for study purposes, but [Georges] Méliès was their temperamental and professional opposite: a veteran showman who saw in the new technology a bigger and better way of continuing to bamboozle the public that flocked to his magic shows." Dave Kehr reviews the five-disc collection Georges Méliès: First Wizard of Cinema (1896 - 1913). More from Glenn Kenny and from Michael Atkinson ("Not for nothing was Freud a youthful contemporary - but Méliès never dared to suggest textual insight, making only comedies and always, always striving towards irreverence, another advantage he had and still has over [Edwin S] Porter and [DW] Griffith"), who also reviews Khadak for the IFC.

The Dragon Painter "To watch The Dragon Painter today is to realize how little the role of Asian characters, viewpoints, and aesthetics has advanced over the history of mainstream American cinema," writes Andrew Chan at the House Next Door. "Here is a long-lost silent film, one of the countless casualties of the medium's early era, coming back from the dead to return to us the legacy of forgotten Asian-American icon Sessue Hayakawa - only to remind us that, in the intervening years, almost no Asian Americans have come close to rivaling his eminence as a traditionally dashing male lead." [More from Jeffrey Anderson on GreenCine Guru.]

Also, The Ice Storm "still feels like the most mechanical exercise of [Ang Lee's] hit-and-miss career." But Glenn Kenny still finds it "spectacular, and a breakthrough for Lee, in that his debut collaboration with cinematographer Frederick Elmes marks the first time his work contains some visual kick." More from Josef Braun and Brian Gibson in Vue Weekly.

Noel Vera: "Was looking at Vertigo (Alfred Hitchcock, 1958) again, drinking in all the little details...."

"What's in Your DVD Player, Chris Cooper?" asks Sean Axmaker for MSN Movies.

The latest addition to the AV Club's Scott Tobias's "New Cult Canon": Babe: Pig in the City.

DVD roundups: The AV Club; Sean Axmaker (MSN); Monica Bartyzel, Matt Bradshaw and Peter Martin (Cinematical); Bryant Frazer; Kevin Crust (Los Angeles Times); DVD Talk; and Slant.

And as always: Watch the Guru

 

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