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Why 'La Haine' Tops Indiewire's 5 DVD Picks This Week

Photo of Nigel M Smith By Nigel M Smith | Indiewire May 8, 2012 at 10:38AM

This week on DVD/Blu-ray: A black-and-white French classic that's not directed by Jean-Luc Godard; one of the craziest comedies to ever play at the Sundance Film Festival; a moving drama from New Zealand; a comedic rush courtesy of Bobcat Goldthwait; and a mother's day treat for those who didn't think "Serial Mom" was violent enough.
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"La Haine"
The Criterion Collection "La Haine"

This week on DVD/Blu-ray: A black-and-white French classic; one of the craziest comedies to ever play at the Sundance Film Festival; a moving drama from New Zealand; a comedic rush courtesy of Bobcat Goldthwait; and a mother's day treat for those who didn't think "Serial Mom" was violent enough.
 

#1. "La Haine (The Criterion Collection)"

You might know Matthieu Kassovitz best as Audrey Tatou's bumbling love interest in "Amelie," but before wooing the hearts of cinemagoers worldwide, Kassovitz directed "La Haine," a black-and-white explosive expose on the racial and cultural unrest present in modern-day France.

The film, which has gone on to become a landmark of French cinema since first enthralling audiences in 1995, centers on one day in the lives of three friends from immigrant families living in the low-cinome banlieue district on Paris's outskirts. When a local youth is beaten unconscious by the police, a riot ensues bringing the simmering tension in the area a full on boil. Vincent Cassel ("Black Swan") headlines the exceptional ensemble cast.

Extras: Criterion never dissapoints in the supplements departments, and this release is no different. Included is an audio commentary by Kassovitz; an introduction by Jodie Foster (!); a documentary that brings together cast and crew a decade after the film's release; a featurette on the film's setting; production footage; deleted and extended scenes; a gallery of behind-the-scene videos; trailers; plus a booklet featuring an essay by film scholar Ginette Vincendeau. Phew!

#2. "Tim and Eric's Billion Dollar Movie"

"Tim and Eric's Billion Dollar Movie" finds Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim stretching their sketch comedy program "Tim and Eric's Awesome Show, Great Job!," to feature-length proportions. The result? A total absurdist blast. No point in describing the plot since it plays like a strung together series of sketches; suffice it to say, if you're a fan of the show, you'll love their "Billion Dollar Movie."

"'Billion Dollar Movie' opens with a slew of abrupt transitions and goofy exchanges best described as stimuli rather than a more precise kind of humor. It's only once Heidecker and Wareheim (also the movie's directors) attempt to tell a story with their onscreen characters that their full aim becomes clear: 'Billion Dollar Movie,' at its best, inherits the throne left vacant by 'Dumb and Dumber,'" wrote Eric Kohn in his review out of Sundance, where the film world premiered earlier this year.

Extras: Fans won't dissapointed. Included is a raucous audio commentary by the duo; deleted and extended scenes; and interviews with the pair.

This article is related to: Small Screens





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