While the new "Twilight" film on DVD may "eclipse" the indies and smaller films this week (and let's not forget the Nic Cage fantasy "The Sorcerer's Apprentice"), there's still a notable list of films headed to the home market this Tuesday. Here's indieWIRE's top five for this week:
1. "Cairo Time" (criticWIRE rating: B-)
In "Cairo Time," Juliette (Patricia Clarkson) arranges a vacation in Cairo with her husband, a UN employee working in Gaza. When her husband is late, Juliette is taken around Cairo by her husband's friend Tareq. Lauding the film as a standout in its genre, Rob Nelson of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune says, "Like Tareq, 'Cairo Time' proves hard to resist, the film's familiarity gradually giving way to a playfulness that feels new to the impossible-love subset of bourgeois melodrama." For an exclusive clip from indieWIRE with insight from Nadda, click here. The film arrives on DVD today.
2. "Waking Sleeping Beauty" (criticWIRE rating: B) "Walt & El Grupo," and "The Boys: The Sherman Brothers' Story"
Three Disney-themed docs come out on DVD today, but only two are produced by the studio itself. The one film not produced by the studio, "Walt & El Grupo," follows Disney with a number of close confidantes to South America during his worker's strike. In "Waking Sleeping Beauty," we see the ten-year period that marked Disney's comeback, with hits like "The Little Mermaid," "Aladin," and "The Lion King." In The New York Times, Stephen Holden calls out the generally well-received film: "the movie is a sly retrospective exercise in corporate self-congratulation masquerading as an insider’s tell-all." Finally, Disney also releases "The Boys," a profile of the Sherman Brothers, the masterminds behind such classic Disney songs as "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" and "It's a Small World."
3. "Knight and Day"
"Knight and Day" has its stars in roles that are not what they're known best for these days. When the Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz vehicle came out this summer, the film garnered compliments from Anne Thompson, "Let’s hope that 'Knight and Day' shows Hollywood that it doesn’t take James Cameron and 3D to sell an original." See the film, which Thompson calls a "romantic action comedy...a meta-movie that deconstructs and riffs on its genre formulas," on DVD and Blu-Ray today.
4. "Fantasia" Four Disc Box Set
Speaking of Disney, one of the most idiosyncratic films on the Disney shelves is "Fantasia," the 1941 film that featured classic orchestral music by the Philadelphia Orchestra, played over various animated vignettes. The original film, as well as the 2010 sequel, with music by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and introductions by celebrities like Quincy Jones, Angela Lansbury, and James Earl Jones, are available in a four disc Blu-Ray/DVD box set.
5. "Valhalla Rising" (criticWIRE rating: C+)
IFC Films' Danish epic, Nicolas Winding Refn's "Valhalla Rising," has gotten mixed reviews from the critics. And who doesn't like to see pre-Christian Viking Denmark on the small screen? John Anderson, writing in the Wall Street Journal is a fan. "As we've seen in Mr. Refn's ultraviolent 'Pusher' trilogy, in 'Bleeder,' and in the underappreciated 'Bronson,' the director aims to get under one's skin, but 'Valhalla Rising' is far from pure provocation. It's a trip into a primordial world and primeval sensibilities, and if you're looking to shake off the mall-movie blahs, there are few better places to look."