DVD Reviews – May 2008

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Facets Video
Street 02.28
When the top slots at the box office contain another failed attempt at making Owen Wilson funny outside of a Wes Anderson flick and one more notch on Martin Lawrence's turd-belt, it's refreshing to see a film that focuses purely on a story and its characters. Philippe Faladeau's Congorama centers on the lives of two strangers, Michel (Olivier Gourmet) and Louis (Paul Ahmarani), and reveals how a road trip, an emu, and an electric car can transform their fates forever. While the story is simple, it's genuine. The characters are unique and diverse, which creates a picturesque palette of beauty and soulfulness. Faladeau has captured something I haven't seen in a Hollywood production in a long time...originality. So, before McG creates an American nightmare version of this film starring Wilson and Lawrence, clear 105 minutes from your schedule and witness the underrated quality missing from most current movies...simplicity. –Jimmy Martin

Koch Lorber Films
Street: 04.01
It has recently come out that the STD situation in Utah is much worse than previously thought. I'm hearing flashy numbers, like one of every four teenage girls could have an STD. Even being misinformed and not taking the proper precautions, there is hopefully still some slight chance that you won't get anything. This movie is about a family with a wicked curse that kills you after you make nasty with your one true love, and in most cases leaves your one true love stranded in some far away land. A good idea at first, but eventually the plot becomes predictable––someone is going to sleep with someone else and bites the big one. It's mildly humorous with some beautiful scenery, but it does get a little dull. And remember kids, practicing safe sex might be the only thing standing between you and a deadly family curse. –Ben Trentelman

Good Copy Bad Copy
Street: 2007
What do Elton John, Notorious B.I.G. and Destiny's Child all have in common? If you said, "They're all musicians," congratulations, you're an idiot. If your answer mentioned the sampling/compilation works of mastermind DJ Girl Talk, then kudos to you. When jamming out to unauthorized remixes of various artists, the questions of copyright infringement and Internet pirating materialize quite effortlessly. Directors Andreas Johnsen, Ralf Christensen and Henrik Moltke have spotlighted the issue in their hour-long documentary, Good Copy Bad Copy. This continent-jumping adventure focuses on the various "illegal" activities occurring in the United States, Nigeria, Russia, Sweden and Brazil. Not only are the concerns of unlawful music modifications recognized, but the subjects of movie pirating and file sharing are acknowledged too. Capturing the positives and negatives of copyright violations, the film candidly asks the questions, "What is the purpose of copyright?" and "Who owns what?" It's insightful, shocking, and flat-out entertaining. This was an online-only release, check it out at nofilmschool.com/2008/03/seen-good-copy-bad-copy -Jimmy Martin

Hip Hop Time Capsule – The Best Of RETV - 1994
MVD Visual / RAP ENT 2
Street: 04.15
RETV is a flashback to 1994, proving it to be one of Hip Hop's legendary years with huge hits by Notorious B.I.G., NAS, Snoop Dogg and Wu-Tang Clan. The music through this documentary is surprisingly great, and gave me a flashback to my high school years of listening to whatever was on the radio. Included in the documentary of '94 rap kings is a mixture of popular music videos of the year and interviews with apparent legendary producers and artists that were influenced by the '94 era. Though this is a good basis of what happened that year in hip-hop there is a lot of filler and nothing different than what you might see on VH1 or MTV. -Adam Palcher

Koch Lorber Films
Street: 04.01
The well-respected duo of Italian film makers, Paolo and Vittorio Tavianni, crafted this film in 1984 by portraying Sicily and five fables that occur in its countryside. The stories provide interesting exposure of turn of the century life in the city and surrounding areas. This film is subtitled so those who really hate captioning should steer clear. A major highlight of the film is the cinematography though, making it enjoyable even if you don't understand the language. One of the better pieces focuses on the tale of a potter sent to repair a rich olive farmer's giant pot. While fixing it he gets stuck inside and dark hilarity ensues. Fans of historical movies will enjoy watching how Sicilian past plays out. The shorts are conjoined without any structure so each can be enjoyed solo if the three plus hours of running time are a problem for one sitting. -Jon "JP" Paxton

La La Land
Runaway Films
Street: 09.07
This is my first experience with an all female snowboarding expose. The ladies at Runaway Films spent the past two winters gathering footage for this film. The lineup is stacked with the top women's riders that encompass all disciplines of snowboarding. Salt Lake's favorite hipster snowboarder, Laura Hadar, stomps some brutal big street airs to flat landings. Big mountain shredder extraordinaire, Victoria Jealouse, shows how to shred a steep face like a girl. Each chick uses a sort of used magazine store porno intro that makes you want to see what else these girls can do. I am pretty siked to see how far girls have taken the sport in the past ten years. The level that these girls are riding at now is so amazing your going to hope your buddies start saying that you ride like a girl. –Mike Reff

Richard Kern Extra Action (and Extra Hardcore)
Street: 03.18
I was excited to get this DVD because it looked like porn. SLUG doesn't usually deal with porn, despite my relentless lobbying, so I was thinking this was a great opportunity to get out of writing a DVD review and get free porn. I tried to tell SLUG that I couldn't do the review because this was porn. They told me that I had to do it because Richard Kern is a famous photographer. I've always had a hard time understanding photography as art. I know it takes talent, but I just don't get it. I don't know what makes one picture better than another picture. But since Richard Kern mostly takes pictures of naked chicks, I can easily say that I admire his work. On the cover of this DVD it says that Richard Kern likes real women, which may be true, but the girls in this video are pretty much A+, even the one wearing the nicotine patches. If you use my freshwater fish scale (that I sometimes use to rate women) this video is full of Rainbow Trout and lacking Carp. And as far as this whole art vs. porn debate goes, I have a problem with neither, but rules for both. And the rules are simple: if it makes me think, it's art, but if it gives me a boner, it's porn. This DVD totally gave me a boner––like I believe it was intended to. Thank you Richard Kern, keep up the good work! To see Richard Kern's work for yourself check out www.vbstv.com. –Mike Brown

Yeah Dude
Poor Boyz Productions
Street: 11.07
I have seen pretty much every Poor Boyz movie to date. Now with the Hamman himself, Tyler Hamlet, fronting the operation, things could not be better. Tyler and the Boyz do an excellent job at capturing the reason why people are still skiing, the fun. Traveling around the world with a bunch of silly French Canadians makes the adventures a bit more interesting. One of the things I hate with ski and snowboard films today is playing ridiculous pre-pubescent euro-pop tunes just because they are fucking ironic. Fortunately this film does not fall into that category. These guys keep it real with classics like Jethro Tull and other tracks that kept me interested instead of disgusted. –Mike Reff