Monday, June 12, 2006

DVD Tuesday: NZ's 'Indian' Wood's 'Hooligans' - Xoanon @ 22:33 PST
The World's Fastest Indian: New Zealand director Roger Donaldson pays affectionate tribute to real life kiwi hero Burt Munro, the senior citizen who set off from Invercargill, New Zealand, for the Bonneville Salt Flats of Utah to put his customized 1920 Indian Scout motorcycle to the test in the late 1960s and set a landspeed record. It's a typically offbeat downunder character piece turned funky road trip adventure. The eccentric, resilient old coot Munro charms everyone he meets along the way and is adopted as a kind of mascot by the speed fans who petition to get the unregistered hopeful a spot on the field. Hopkins' easy-going performance is a charmer as well and makes Munro great company. Diane Ladd, Aaron Murphy, Paul Rodriguez and Annie White co-star. Donaldson profiled the real life Munro in his 1971 documentary Offerings to the God of Speed, which is included on the DVD. Details: Color, 127 mins, Magnolia, Widescreen anamorphic, 1.78:1. Supplements: Roger Donaldson's original 1971 documentary Offerings to the God of Speed about Burt Munro; "Southland: Burt's Hometown of Invercargill" featurette; "The Making of The World's Fastest Indian" featurette; Deleted scenes. Audio: English (Dolby Digital 5.1). Commentary by director Roger Donaldson (Dolby Digital 5.1). Optional Spanish subtitles. [Order]

16 Blocks: Bruce Willis is a burn-out cop assigned to get the star witness (Mos Def) in a Grand Jury indictment against a corrupt cop to the courthouse alive in the high concept action thriller from Richard Donner. To do it, he has to take on practically the entire department. The lean plotting discards the cute twists and physics-defying superhuman feats that pepper so many American action films for a more down to Earth drama. It's nothing new, but the clean professionalism of Donner's direction, the low-key turn by Willis and the street level heroics make it a satisfying piece of genre filmmaking. David Morse co-stars. Details: Color, 102 mins, Warner, Widescreen anamorphic, 2.35:1. Supplements: Alternate ending not seen in theaters (viewable separately or incorporated into the film); Deleted scenes with director/screenwriter commentary; Theatrical trailer. Audio: English (Dolby Digital 5.1) and French (Dolby Digital 5.1). Optional Spanish, French and English subtitles. [Order]

Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang: The directorial debut of action-movie screenwriter Shane Black is a deliciously inventive riff on crime movie conventions and clichés, starring Robert Downey Jr. as a small-time New York thief who runs from a petty heist right into a Hollywood casting session that sends him to LA and a real life murder mystery with no-nonsense private detective Val Kilmer. Black shares Tarantino's love for shuffling genre conventions and he fills this with nods, winks, tributes, and tongue-in-cheek commentary on itself, but never turns it into an actual spoof. For all the humor of this energetic, vivid little modern noir tale, there is a gravity to the death that gives the film an unexpected weight. Michelle Monaghan, Corbin Bernsen, Dash Mihok and Larry Miller co-star. Details: Color, 103 mins, Warner, Widescreen anamorphic, 2.35:1. Supplements: Gag reel; Theatrical trailer. Audio: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1) and Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround). Commentary by Val Kilmer, Robert Downey Jr., and Shane Black. Optional Spanish, French and English subtitles. [Order]

The Pink Panther: Steve Martin slips into the trenchcoat left by Peter Sellers in the revival of the hit mystery farce series created by Blake Edwards. In this incarnation, the bumbling French Inspector Jacques Clouseau is assigned a case he's not meant to solve by the exasperated Chief Inspector (Kevin Kline), and leaves a wake of destruction in a disastrous investigation of a stolen diamond. Beyoncé Knowles, Jean Reno, Emily Mortimer and Kristin Chenoweth co-star and Shawn Levy directs from a script co-written by Martin. Details: Color, 93 mins, Sony Pictures, Widescreen anamorphic, 1.85:1. Supplements: 11 Deleted and extended scenes with optional director's commentary; Beyonce music video: "Check On It."; Exclusive Beyonce performance with commentary; Alternate opening sequence with optional director's commentary; Documentary: "Cracking The Case"; Three featurettes: "Animated Trip," "Deconstructing the Panther" and "Sleuth-cams on Set"; Commentary with director Shawn Levy. Audio: English (Dolby Digital 5.1) and French (Dolby Digital 5.1). Optional French and English subtitles. [Order]

Green Street Hooligans: Elijah Wood is a disgraced Harvard journalism student who finds a new identity when he heads off to London to visit his sister (Claire Forlani) and winds up adopted by her brawler brother-in-law (Charlie Hunnam) and "the toughest firm in England." Marc Warren and Leo Gregory co-star in Lexi Alexander's drama of England's football hooligan culture. Details: Color, 108 mins, Warner, Widescreen anamorphic, 2.35:1. Supplements: "The Making of Hooligans"; Terence Jay "One Blood" music video.. Audio: English (Dolby Digital 5.1). Optional Spanish, French and English subtitles. [Order]