A look at what’s weird in theaters, on hot-off-the-presses DVDs, and on more distant horizons…
Trailers of new release movies are generally available on the official site links.
IN THEATERS (LIMITED RELEASE):
Melancholia (2011): Lars von Trier‘s latest is a metaphorical, apocalyptic sci-fi drama; a planet (called Melancholia) is set to collide with Earth on a woman’s wedding day. Kirsten Dunst walked away from the Cannes with Best Actress honors; Charlotte Gainsbourg, Keifer Sutherland, Charlotte Rampling and John Hurt round out the fine cast. Melancholia official site.
Dueling Snow White’s: It looks like the story of 2012 will be the Snow White sweepstakes, as it has just come to our notice (why are we always the last ones to hear?) that there are two reimaginings of the fairy tale scheduled to battle it out next year. Relativity Media/Studio Canal’s “Untitled Snow White Project,” which we reported on a few weeks ago, now has a title (Mirror, Mirror), and it will reach theaters in March 2012. The higher profile offering is Universal’s Snow White and the Huntsman (from the producers of Alice in Wonderland), starring Kristen Stewart as White and Charlize Theron as the Evil Queen. Huntsman has an effects-heavy trailer and looks to be another revisionist/feminist/video game styled action/fantasy; it’s slated for a summertime opening. Our cynical guess is that both fairy-flicks will be underwhelming, but if we have to pick one as more promising than the other, we’ll stick with Mirror, Mirror. We find an aging Julia Roberts a more intriguing Queen than an aging Charlize Theron. Director Tarsem Singh (The Cell, The Fall) is a proven commodity vs. first time helmer Rupert Sanders (who comes from the world of television commercials). But the most important factor in Mirror, Mirror‘s favor is that it is not from the producers of Alice in Wonderland. Mirror, Mirror on Facebook / Snow White and the Huntsman official page.
NEW ON DVD:
1 in the Gun (2010): Direct-to-DVD erotic neo-noir sees a homeless artist hired to paint a trophy wife’s home, followed by lots of twists and (per the promo material) “David Lynch-style surrealism.” The director has been quietly busy directing a series of softcore movies reviving the old Emmanuelle franchise, including Emmanuelle vs. Dracula and the upcoming Emmanuelle in Wonderland! Buy 1 in the Gun.
Great Directors (2009): Interviews with ten auteurs, including Catherine Breillat, Richard Linklater and David Lynch. Cinephiles and fans of the profilees may want to check it out. Buy Great Directors.
In a Glass Cage [Tras el Cristal] (1987): A former Nazi pedophile now confined to an iron lung finds himself at the mercy of a young caretaker. Shocking stuff when it was released, and definitely not for anyone who can’t stand to see children in jeopardy. The bonus disc includes interviews with director Agusti Villaronga and three of his early experimental short films. Buy In a Glass Cage (2 Disc Special Edition).
Skeleton Key 3: The Organ Trail (2011): It’s hard to say exactly what caught our interest about this third microbudget horror-comedy sequel to a movie we’d never heard of before, but it probably had something to do with this odd promotional copy: “Can you handle naked bodies bouncing through every scene? Can YOU! HANDLE! A French puppet?” Plus, it has a cameo from Lloyd Kaufman, and he’s never loaned his presence to any flick that wasn’t of the absolute highest quality—has he? Buy Skeleton Key 3: The Organ Trail.
The Sleeping Beauty (2010): Catherine Breillat takes her second stab at adapting a classic fairy tale with modern feminist sensibilities (after the strangely muted, very slightly weird Bluebeard). Much of the narrative here takes place in Beauty’s dreams as she slumbers and encounters dream ogres and dwarfs, giving rise to hopes of more surrealistic imagery this time out. This French offering is not to be confused with Australian Julia Leigh’s Sleeping Beauty (2011), starring Emily Browning. Buy The Sleeping Beauty.
ThanksKilling (2009): Read our capsule review. We have no idea what happened to the previous DVD version of ThanksKilling, or how this disc differs, but here’s a new release of this heartwarming gore classic, just in time for Turkey Day. Buy ThanksKilling.
NEW ON BLU-RAY:
The Adventures of Shark Boy & Lava Girl (2005): Read our capsule review. The first movie for 7-year olds written by an actual 7-year old! Buy The Adventures of Shark Boy & Lava Girl [Blu-ray].
Blue Velvet (1986): When young Jefferey discovers a severed ear in the grass, the search for its owner leads him on a voyage where he will discover the dark side of small town America, and of himself, in this nightmarish mystery that ranks as one of David Lynch‘s best. Blue Velvet on Blu-ray, now there’s a match made in weird heaven. Buy Blue Velvet [Blu-ray].
Fanny and Alexander (1982): Semi-autobiographical drama from sometimes weird director Ingmar Bergman about a boy who grows unhappy when his widowed mother re-marries a stern bishop. Though it’s perhaps not the Swedish director’s weirdest, there are fantasy elements, a nephew who is a woman, and blurred realities. The Criterion Collection fits the five hour television cut, the three hour theatrical cut, and a host of extras on 3 Blu-rays (which are currently cheaper to purchase than the 5 disc DVD set). Buy Fanny and Alexander [The Criterion Collection Blu-ray].
The Fisher King (1991): Terry Gilliam pic about a homeless man (Robin Williams) who believes he’s a medieval knight errant searching for the Holy Grail doesn’t reach the bizarrist heights of the director’s Imagination Trilogy, but there are some inspired flights of fantasy mixed in with the drama (the waltz in Grand Central Station is magical). Somehow bargain bin releaser Image Entertainment obtained the rights to this, which means no special features (as a trade-off, the price is rock bottom). Buy The Fisher King [Blu-ray].
Frankenhooker (1990): Frank Henenlotter‘s tale about a man who rebuilds his decapitated fiancée using body parts from Times Square hookers, inventing supercrack in the process, is a bad taste comedy classic. A very elaborate release from Synapse featuring a restored print; all that’s missing is a button on the cover that says “wanna date?” when you press it. Buy Frankenhooker [Blu-ray].
In a Glass Cage [Tras el Cristal] (1987): See description in DVD above. Buy In a Glass Cage [Blu-ray].
FREE (LEGITIMATE RELEASE) MOVIES ON YOUTUBE:
Blood Feast 2: All U Can Eat (2002): “Godfather of Gore” Herschell Gordon Lewis returns to moviemaking after a 30 year hiatus with this uncredited rip-off of the Certified Weird Blood Diner (don’t write in, it’s a joke…) Watch Blood Feast 2: All U Can Eat on YouTube.
What are you looking forward to? If you have any weird movie leads that I have overlooked, feel free to leave them in the COMMENTS section.