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NEW RELEASES - APRIL 18 HIGHLIGHTS

FRESH FROM THE THEATERS

Breakfast on Pluto (2004).

"Breakfast on Pluto is an oddly kaleidoscopic movie that may cram too much material, too many changes in setting and dramatic plot shifts, into its 135 minutes," admits Salon's Andrew O'Hehir. "Nonetheless it's an exhilarating work, featuring an extraordinary performance by Cillian Murphy as Patrick 'Kitten' Braden, the cocksure kid who constructs a faux-naive drag persona that allows him to survive a brutal small-town childhood, the terrorist (and counterterrorist) violence of the Irish 'Troubles' of the 60s and 70s, and a litany of exploiters, abusers, would-be murderers and other specters after he escapes to London."

See Jonathan MarlowNeil Jordan in which they talk about this one, The Crying Game, The Company of Wolves, Interview With the Vampire and more. s

Mrs. Henderson Presents (2005).

"This is a shimmery beaded curtain of a movie, a slight, charming picture that's almost all facade. But what a facade!" exclaimed Stephanie Zacharek in Salon.

"The ever-dependable Stephen Frears, who brought his Dirty Pretty Things to Toronto three years ago, returns with another keeper," wrote Michael Rechtshaffen for the Hollywood Reporter when he caught it at the fest.

Starring Bob Hoskins and Judi Dench, who scored another Oscar nomination for her performance.

Stryker (2004).

"On one hand, Stryker presents a slightly romantic picture of First Nations gang life, full of innately appealing anti-heroes," writes James Simons for Eye Weekly. "Indeed, there's a certain vicarious pleasure that comes from watching the reckless abandon of young kids doing drugs, having sex and getting in fights. On the other hand, the film communicates the tragic desperation felt by its array of drug addicts, homeless kids, male strippers and trans hookers - so shame on you for enjoying it so much."

Hostel (2005).

A "viciously entertaining exploitation thriller, about American college students who find themselves trapped in an Eastern European slaughterhouse where rich businessmen pay to torture hapless victims," wrote Christopher Kelly in a controversial piece for the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram recently in which he defended the recent wave of particularly gruesome horror films. "The movie creepily captured the experience of being a clueless American in a foreign country that pays you very little heed. (It also showed us what it might look like to have your eyeball slowly pulled out of its socket with pliers.)"

CLASSIC

The Complete Mr. Arkadin (1955).

"The legend of Orson Welles looms so large it overtakes the man, a legend partly engineered by Welles himself," wrote Sean Axmaker here a few years ago.

Criterion now releases more than just a crisp new transfer of three versions of one of the brilliant filmmaker's most enigmatic works (which, in Welles's case, is saying quite a lot), but a package devoted to the mysteries of the film, complete with audio commentary by Jonathan Rosenbaum and James Naremore, interviews with Welles biographer Simon Callow, star Robert Arden, radio producer Harry Alan Towers, director Peter Bogdanovich, and film archivists Stephan Droessler and Claude Bertemes, a doc on the film, three episodes of The Lives of Harry Lime, on which the film is based, plus outtakes, rushes, alternate scenes and so on and so on and so on.

FOREIGN

Natural City (2003).

Natural City is something of a Korean take on Blade Runner.

DRAMA

Cuban Blood (2004).

Harvey Keitel, Gael García Bernal and Iben Hjejle star in the story of a charismatic "fixer," Che (Keitel), who tries to keep order in his town while revolution ignites outside.

Irresistible (2005).

Sophie Hartley (Susan Sarandon) is convinced that she is being stalked. She becomes increasingly certain that her husband's beautiful co-worker, Mara (Emily Blunt), wants her children, her husband (Sam Neill) and her life. But will anyone believe her?

COMEDY

No Money Down (1997).

Originally released in a very few theaters as The Definite Maybe, No Money Down is a comedy about two young guys (Josh Lucas and Jeffrey Beuhl) who head to the Hamptons - a locale that lends itself to countless cameos from the likes of Al Franken, Ally Sheedy, Teri Garr and so on and so forth - looking for, well, sex, basically.

MUSIC

Coachella: The Film (2006).

A blend of performance and interviews featuring Beck, Mos Def, Perry Farrell, Morrissey, The Arcade Fire, Radiohead, The Pixies, The Flaming Lips and more.

DOCUMENTARY

Michael Palin: Sahara (2003).

This BBC production shows once again why Michael Palin is the world's favorite travel guide - he's one of us, though he may embrace new experiences with a tad more foolhardy curiosity and humor than many of us might on our best days.

San Francisco's Greatest Quake (2006).

As only National Geographic can, San Francisco's Greatest Quake tells the terrifying and inspiring tale of a pitched battle between man and nature told by the stories of people who lived through it 100 years ago.

ANIME

Ultra Maniac Volume 7: Magical Ending (2006).

"Fans of magical girl anime will probably fall in love with Ultra Maniac, as it has everything a magical girl fan could want: lots of magic, transformation scenes, an animal companion who can talk and change form, cute guys, amusingly awkward situations involving said cute guys, a cute costume idea for cosplay, and even the stereotypical obsessive geeky character," writes Theron "Key" Martin for the Anime News Network.

Browse the New Releases Archive for more recent arrivals.

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© 2006 All Media Guide, LLC. Portions of content provided by All Movie Guide®, a trademark of All Media Guide, LLC.