Now you officially have no excuse not to see Steamboat Bill, Jr.
If you’re the guy who nods blankly as Jackie Chan or Bill Irwin or Steve Martin — or even Neil Patrick Harris — rhapsodizes about the shrewd, calculated genius of Buster Keaton’s elaborately conceived pratfalls, stunts, and deadpan stares, your excuses for writing it off as “old tyme” have run out. Watch this exceptional new restoration, remastered for DVD and Blu-ray, and you will be a convert. Not that this is homework: It’s not just one of film’s finest comedies, it’s also practically a Roland Emmerich–esque disaster movie, in which a cyclone ravages poor Bill’s Mississippi river town in such a spectacular (and yet still funny) way that anyone but the unflappable Bill Jr., a college kid returned home to his blue-collar home, would be in a state of utter panic. The set includes a feature-length documentary on the elaborate process behind all of Keaton’s much-imitated stunts, multiple versions of the film, all kinds of soundtrack options, and a YouTube-ready montage of Keaton’s best pratfalls called Why They Call Him Buster. Also out this week is Lost Keaton: Sixteen Comedy Shorts: 1934-1937, a skippable collection of his latter-day work, when Keaton was well past his prime.
See silver fox Richard Gere get it on as a bad cop in Brooklyn’s Finest.
Big chunks of Antoine Fuqua’s Brooklyn crime flick starring Ethan Hawke, Don Cheadle, Wesley Snipes, and Richard Gere are familiar, derivative good-cop-versus-bad-cop bombast, but it’s a blast nonetheless. The accents mostly work, and the violence is satisfyingly head-thwacking. Plus, there’s even something for the ladies: Actress Shannon Kane has a sex scene with the grizzled Gere, and she told us that he had a method to his cinematic seduction: “One thing he did do was put his hand on my stomach and make sure we were breathing in the same way, before we would ever start a scene, to make sure we were centered.”
Bored with the summer TV lineup? Plug in Project Runway: The Complete Seventh Season.
The most recent season of the series returned to New York after season six’s ill-advised sojourn to Los Angeles. If it went a little light on the drama, it brought it with the clothes. The extras include even more raised-eyebrow commentary from Tim Gunn.
After each episode, read our recaps from the season, and when it’s over, check out the complete looks of the finalists’ runway shows.
See the best angora since Ed Wood in A Single Man.
Okay, Gucci designer Tom Ford’s overwrought suicide film was kind of giggle-inducingly awful, an overstuffed costume closet of pretty outfits and bad dialogue that did little to disprove our assumptions that as a director, Ford would turn in a glorified photo shoot. But what about Nicholas Hoult, that kid from About a Boy and Skins who plays Colin Firth’s sudden, much younger love interest? Boy, has that boy grown up! And, boy, can he wear a soft white sweater. He’s the film’s one beautiful effect that isn’t utterly overwrought.
Earler, Hoult told us that Ford nicknamed him “Lollipop” in this interview.
Will David Fincher’s American adaptation of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo really be that much better than the first version from Denmark?
Let’s be honest: Stieg Larsson’s best-selling books aren’t exactly the most airtight, best-written pieces of fiction ever. But Danish director Niels Arden Oplev puts his own stylish spin on the story of a tattooed super-hacker crime solver, with a sharp lead in the appropriately sexy-disturbing actress Noomi Rapace. At the very least, it’s worth seeing this version so you can compare later when David Fincher’s version comes out with Keira Knightley or Die Antwoord’s Yo-Landi Vi$$er.
Also out this week:
The Lovely Bones; ER: The Complete Thirteenth Season; Have Gun Will Travel: The Complete Series; Jet Li: 8 Films; Squidbillies: Volume 3; Tales From the Crypt: Seasons 3 and 4; Eyeborgs; Doctor Who: Underworld; Doctor Who: Horns of Nimon.