Media | A2Q Archives | A2Q #54: The "Cafeteria" Edition | September 2, 2008: Welcome to this week's home video release highlights, a column tragically focused entirely on the American market. Sorry, rest of the world. Region locks are the home video industry's way of saying they still don't understand the Internet.


Roundup by VsRobot | Posted September 2, 2008


Out This Week


Before I Forget
An aging, HIV-postive gay lothario finds himself on the verge of destitution when his benefactor dies and his inheritance is challenged by the family. This is as much a picture about aging, death and one's personal legacy as it is "gay-themed."


How To Rob A Bank
Execrable reviews ("derivative, self-conscious") scared me away from watching this heist flick starring Nick Stahl. I thought Stahl was going to break out after Terminator 3, but unfortunately he's still stuck in roles like this.


Itty Bitty Titty Committee
Directed by Jamie Babbit (But I'm a Cheerleader!), IBTC is the story of a meek young lesbian who works at a plastic surgery clinic. When her place of work is defaced by a guerrilla feminist from the CiA (Clits in Action, natch) she begins to hang out with a crowd that challenges her beliefs and helps her begin her transformation from mousy young girl to bold, mosh pit-diver.

A few things struck me about this title: first, the DVD cover art is awful, especially compared to the theatrical posters which featured an artistic black and white photo of a jostling mosh pit rather than a close-up of two teenage girls kissing. I'm always curious about those skeevy guys who (perhaps unwittingly) rent films chock-full of gay issues and feminist messages based on their slightly-lurid box art. Does any of it sink in? Second, Guinevere Turner is in it, and she co-wrote and appeared in one of my favorite films, American Psycho, so I've been checking in on her career sporadically since then. Lastly, But I'm a Cheerleader! was a really great title for a film, but Itty Bitty Titty Committee is even better.


Married Life
Chris Cooper's character takes up with a pretty young mistress, and rather than ask his wife for a divorce decides to poison her. Because obviously she's better off dead than living without him! His friend, played by Pierce Brosnan, decides that he wants the mistress for himself and begins sniffing around. Comparable to In the Company of Men and set in post-WWII America, it appears to be the kind of dark drama that I can really sink my teeth into. Chris Cooper is always good, and Brosnan has shown in The Matador and The Tailor of Panama that he is a much better actor than his turns as Remington Steele or James Bond would suggest.


The Promotion
John C. Reilly is a really funny guy. Shame about all those Will Ferrell movies, but I guess a man's gotta earn a living. This film is about two ambitious supermarket employees competing for the manager position of the newly built location. Gamesmanship ensues.


Then She Found Me
Oh man, when a plot description begins by describing the main character as "staring down menopause" the alarms start to ring. Bail out! Bail out! Anyway, apparently this little indie (directed by and starring Helen Hunt) is about a depressed school teacher who is found by her biological mother, a local radio celebrity played by Bette Midler, soon after her adoptive mother dies.


Transformers
Now you can watch your childhood being ravaged with the perfect image clarity and high-quality audio offered by Blu-ray! Of course, some early adopters (who turned out to have picked the wrong side in the format wars) had this in HD already -- but look at them now. Blu-ray won! And our prize: giant robots peeing on stuff. Somehow the victory feels hollow.


Under Siege 2
It is inscrutable the catalog titles that end up hitting BD. Why this and not, you know, a good movie?


Water Lillies
So this is a film about three teenage girls in the "whacked-out world" of synchronized swimming. I get the feeling a lot of people are going to rent this who normally wouldn't rent a French coming of age drama. They'll probably put in their cart next to the feminist drama Itty Bitty Titty Committee and last week's Penis Massage (not covered in the column, thankfully).



Housekeeping


Cover art courtesy of Amazon. It's hard to choose a favorite among so many great tracks, but "The Greatest Love of All" is one of the best, most powerful songs ever written about self-preservation, dignity. Its universal message crosses all boundaries and instills one with the hope that it's not too late to better ourselves. Since, Elizabeth, it's impossible in this world we live in to empathize with others, we can always empathize with ourselves. It's an important message, crucial really. And it's beautifully stated on the album. Follow me on Twitter. You can also e-mail me at vsrobot [dot] blog [at] gmail [dot] com. Thanks for reading!