Calling out sick never quite works for me...confessions of a blogaholic, I guess. Here are today's new DVDs. (Links go to Netflix for your ease of queue'ing)
The Must See
Ashes of Time Redux I once tried to watch a copy of Ashes of Time before the "reworking" and the image quality was so bad that I gave up after five minutes. Who wants a Wong Kar Wai movie with its visuals compromised? Nobody who knows how ravishing his imagery is, that's who. I'm thrilled to have a real go at this swordsmen drama starring the unbeatable Tony Leung Chiu-Wai and his two greatest screen lovers: Happy Together's Leslie Cheung and In the Mood for Love's Maggie Cheung. Plus there's Tony's frequent co-star and offscreen wife Carina Lau, Jacky Cheung and the legendary Brigitte Lin (The Bride With White Hair). Yes please sextupled.
Your Other Options
I've Loved You So Long Kristin Scott-Thomas slow burns through this French drama like a woman possessed by intractable personal demons. Some people think she should've been in the Oscar lineup. My interview with this great British actress is here.
Beverly Hills Chihuahua Remember when Dalmations were all the rage and everybody had to have one and true animal lovers were a little concerned that people weren't getting pets for the right reasons. That's what's going on with chihuahuas now, right?
Lake City Sissy Spacek and Troy Garity (Soldier's Girl) star in this indie drama as an estranged mother and son. If the script is as good as these two actors it might be a gem.
Australia Baz Luhrmann's messy '30s outback epic might be both diminished and reenergized on DVD. On the downside, the huge vistas will be smaller and that great cattle drive sequence, the obvious highlight, will be less of a stunner. On the other hand, DVD viewing tends to break up movies and Australia might feel less like a misfire and more like a generously overstuffed adventure serial once you're able watch it in pieces. Baz's wife Catherine Martin fetishizes Nicole Kidman with costumes and Baz fetishizes Hugh Jackman with the camera. Mucho eye candy [full review]
Wonder Woman If you're a fan of the Amazon princess you'll want to savor this new animated feature since you know that that live action film is never going to happen, right? You've accepted that, haven't you? DC does not have a clear vision for their movie franchises. Remember how long it took them to get Superman flying again? Wonder Woman is basically DC's kryptonite. She's always popping up and the very thought of her defeats them. We'll be lucky if a live action Wonder Woman gets made in our lifetime. Or maybe we'll be luckier if it doesn't since her transfer would be tremendously difficult to pull off. She'd need a strong screenplay and directorial vision, not a corporate board, guiding her to the screen.