Written by: John Cusack, D.V. DeVincentis, Steve Pink & Scott Rosenberg, based on the novel by Nick Hornby Directed by: Stephen Frears Starring: John Cusack, Iben Hjejle, Jack Black, Todd Louiso, Tim Robbins
Conversations with Cusack and Frears
Released by: Touchstone Region: 1 Rating: R Anamorphic: Yes
My Advice: Rent it.
One of John Cusack‘s most criminally underviewed films. Rob Gordon (Cusack) is what you would call “adrift in life.” He’s just lost his girlfriend (Hjejle) and decides to go on a tour of his past romantic failures to try and figure out exactly why he’s had it so rough when it comes to matters of the heart. Not exactly helping matters are his two pseudo-employees, Barry (Black) and Dick (Louiso), who are fueling his musical snobbery and sometimes frightening away customers.
Written by: John Hamburg, Drake Sather & Ben Stiller Directed by: Ben Stiller Starring: Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Christine Taylor, Will Ferrell, and more celebrity cameos than you can shake a stick at
Running audio commentary by Stiller, Sather & Hamburg
5 deleted scenes with running audio commentary by Stiller
5 extended scenes with running audio commentary by Stiller
Music video – “Start the Commotion” by the Wiseguys
2 original skits from the ‘VH1/ Vogue Fashion Awards, 1996/97’
Alternate end title sequence
Released by: Paramount Region: 1 Rating: PG-13 Anamorphic: Yeah, bro.
Written by: Laura Jones, based on a novel by Elizabeth Jolley Directed by: Samantha Lang Starring: Pamela Rabe, Miranda Otto, Paul Chubb, Frank Wilson
Filmographies of Pamela Rabe and Miranda Otto
Released by: Fox Lorber Region: 1 Rating: NR Anamorphic: It’s gone walkabout. (Translation: no)
My Advice: Avoid It.
Hester (Pamela Rabb) is a lonely, responsible, repressed spinster on a farm in the Australian Outback. She hires Katherine (Miranda Otto) to help with the house. Katherine is Hester’s opposite: fun loving, wild, and reckless. So of course, they form an “opposites attract”, co-dependent friendship. When they accidentally run over a stranger in the road, both the relationship–and their collective sanity–begin to crack.
Written and Directed by: Matthew Gissing & Malcolm Ingram Starring: Jason Lee, Jason Mewes, Renee Humphrey, Carmen Lee, Martin Brooks
Cast and Crew Audio Commentary track with Gissing, Ingram, Jason Lee, Mewes, Humphrey, Carmen Lee & Kevin Smith
Technical Audio Commentary track with Gissing & Ingram
Director’s Cut of film
Released by: Indie DVD Region: 1 Rating: NR Anamorphic: Forget about it.
My Advice: Borrow It.
Donner (Jason Lee) has become dissatisfied with the stagnant slacker lifestyle that he and his friends have in Toronto. Having post-modern discussions about Scooby-Doo, smoking weed, and subsisting on Canadian welfare has lost its appeal. Losing their welfare benefits motivates Donner to have the group go on a road trip to a cabin in the Canadian wilderness. But Donner has a secret agenda that will change his life. How this vision affects the others is the story of Drawing Flies.
Released by: A&E Region: 1 Rating: NR Anamorphic: N/A, appears in its original 1.33:1 format.
My Advice: Rent it.
A lot of documentaries talk about various subjects and how they shaped the course of the world. As far as world shapers go, this subject happens to be one of the granddaddies. With a number of scholars commenting on two millennia of Christian progress, the narrators spin an overview of the history of one of the biggest belief systems on the planet.
Written by: Rick Podell & Michael Preminger Directed by: Garry Marshall Starring: Tom Hanks, Jackie Gleason, Eva Marie Saint, Hector Elizondo, Sela Ward
Released by: Sony Pictures Region: 1 Rating: PG Anamorphic: Yes.
My Advice: Borrow It.
David Basner (Hanks) has a great life: a successful career at an ad agency and lots of beautiful women to have sex with. Then out of the blue, his mother Lorraine (Saint) leaves his father Max (Gleason) after 36 years of marriage. Now while trying to land a major client, he has to get involved in the lives of his parents. Putting aside his own self-involvement, he finds the strength to connect to them through the pain and hurt caused by his parents’ loveless marriage.
Written by: Connie Willis Published by: Bantam Doubleday Dell
Death is the ultimate mystery, a conundrum that unites us all. Many feel a clue to this riddle is the Near Death Experience. Dr. Joanna Lander is trying to conduct a scientific study of the phenomena. This isn’t helped by the familiarity the public has with the classic NDE. She is further hindered by pop psychologist and best-selling author Maurice Mandrake. With his leading questions and constant preaching of his New Age pseudo-Christian version of the afterlife, most of the patients Dr. Lander want to talk to only have Mandrake’s vision in their heads. Even the subjects that give untainted descriptions cause her problems. Maisie, a child with a failing heart which takes her near death too often is a master of keeping adults around to keep her company. So Dr. Lander needs all the help she can get.
Dr. Richard Wright seems to be that help. His project involves a drug that stimulates the brain in the same pattern as an NDE. He has volunteers taking the drug then telling their experiences. Unfortunately, the volunteer pool is full of crackpots, Mandrake followers, and other unsuitable candidates. So, Dr. Lander volunteers herself to take the drug. What she experiences and the doctors’ work to unravel those experiences could change the way we perceive NDEs and maybe life and death itself.