New on DVD/Blu-ray
Top Pick: “Kaboom”
Director: Gregg Araki
The Deal: With “Kaboom,” bad boy indie auteur Araki returns to his “The Doom Generation” mode of sex, teens and drugs. The film, which premiered at last year’s Cannes Film Festival follows Smith (Thomas Dekker), a college student majoring in film studies who lusts after his straight roommate and sparks up a sexual tryst with the promiscuous London (Juno Temple). “Despite a rocky first act, the story drifts along with a persistent dedication to fun,” wrote Eric Kohn in his review. “The freely lackadaisical plot structure eventually reaches a crescendo of pure campy delight: Everything apparently builds toward something… and ends up, in a final outrageous punchline, building toward nothing at all. Araki colors the zany developments with a pure goofball mentality, sprinkling bits of radicalism onto the now-commercial slacker paradigm of “Dude, Where’s My Car?””
Extras: Commentary with Araki, some outtakes and deleted scenes.
Director: Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu
The Deal: Inarritu’s (“Babel,” “21 Grams” and “Amores Perros”) latest, set in the gritty underbelly of Barcelona, tracks the free fall of Uxbal (Javier Bardem), a street criminal and devoted single father of two who grapples with his many demons after learning he has terminal cancer. The drama earned Bardem an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor and the Best Actor award at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival.
Extras: “The Making of Beautiful” documentary and the film’s theatrical trailer.
“Queen to Play”
Director: Caroline Bottaro
The Deal: Kevin Kline squares off against Sandrine Bonnaire in this dramedy from first-time director Bottaro. Bonnaire stars as a French chambermaid who falls in love with chess and enlists the tutelage of an American doctor (Kline). The film marks Kline’s first French-speaking role.
Extras: A 20-minute behind-the-scenes documentary and the U.S. trailer.
Director: Javier Fuentes-Leon
The Deal: Set in a tiny Peruvian seaside village, “Undertow” centers on Miguel, a young fisherman wedded to the beautiful Mariela, but in love with Santiago, an openly gay painter. “At times turning into a glorified Latin American soap opera, the movie nonetheless overcomes the boundaries of its hackneyed scenario with intense, believable performances and mounting circumstances that have an increasingly stirring effect,” wrote Kohn in his review.
Extras: The 18-minute “Undertow: A Look Inside,” interview with the cast, 23 minutes of deleted/extended scenes, the film’s trailer and a GLAAD PSA.
New on Video on Demand
Director: Matthew Chapman
The Deal: One step can change a life forever in “The Ledge,” a sexy and suspenseful thriller, starring Charlie Hunnam, Liv Tyler, Patrick Wilson and Terrence Howard. After embarking on a passionate affair with his evangelical neighbor’s wife (Tyler), Gavin (“Sons of Anarchy”‘s Hunnam) soon finds himself in a battle of wills that will have life or death consequences. As a nonbeliever, Gavin is lured by his lover’s husband (“Insidious”‘s Wilson) to the ledge of a high rise and told he has one hour to make a choice between his life or the one he loves. Without faith in an afterlife, will he be able to make a decision? It’s up to police officer Hollis (Howard) to save both their lives, but the clock is ticking in this edge-of-your-seat film that will leave you gasping until the final frame. [Synopsis courtesy of IFC Films]
Where to Find: IFC.