Tuesday, February 15, 2005

DVD Tuesday: Wood's 'Fools' & Holm's 'Glass' - Xoanon @ 13:53 PST
Chain of Fools

Until recently, anyone who wanted to see cult heist comedy "Chain of Fools" would have to go to Australia or the Phillippines to find a copy. Now Americans can also get to experience this hilarious, Tarantinoesque little movie, with its oddball characters and screwball story. Just be glad Americans can get it now.

Barber Kresk (Steve Zahn) is a loser -- he isn't good at his job, he's been tossed out of his home, and his wife just dumped him for the marriage counselor (isn't that a breach of professional ethics?). Now he's depressed, and contemplating suicide. And yes, things get worse: a criminal named Avnet (Jeff Goldblum) has stolen three priceless coins, and decided to blackmail Bollingsworth (Tom Wilkinson), his billionaire partner in crime. After Kresk overhears this, he almost gets shot -- and Avnet ends up impaled on a pair of barbers' scissors.

Now Kresk is in a considerably nastier situation, so he steals the gun and the coins. But things take a sharp turn when he hires a hit man named Mikey (Elijah Wood), and discovers that the hit man is only seventeen and emotionally traumatized by his parents' suicide. And that Kresk is falling for the cop/Playboy model Sgt. Meredith Kolko (Salma Hayek), and that his nephew Scottie (Devin Drewitz) has now swallowed the coins. Now Kresk is in over his head, and has to deal with the strange and sometimes dangerous people around him. [Order 'Chain of Fools' on Amazon.com Today!]

Alice Through the Looking Glass

A delicious combination of live-action, animation, and special effects tells the fantastical adventures of Alice as she returns to Wonderland, in this imaginative adaptation of Lewis Carroll's classic story of the same name. Kate Beckinsale plays Alice, a young girl who steps through a magical mirror and is transported from the real world into an enchanted one of talking insects, nonsensical questions, and reversals of logic. Her journey is marked by mostly incomprehensible encounters with quirky characters such as Tweedledee and Tweedledum, Red Queen and White Queen, and Humpty Dumpty. Beckinsale's Alice is a believable blend of curiosity, poise, and impertinence whose presence in nearly every scene carries the film. Other strong performances include Desmond Barritt, as Humpty, who recites a chilling rendition of "Beware the Jabberwocky," and Ian Holm (The Lord of the Rings), as White Knight, with a soliloquy as colorful as his hair. If, as Carroll states at the end of his tale, "all life is but a dream," this wacky version is one to remember. [Order 'Alice Through the Looking Glass ' on Amazon.com Today!]