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New DVDs: Orson! Dexter! The Next Peter Parker!

Meet Christian McKay (and forgive Zac Efron for Charlie St. Cloud) in Me and Orson Welles.
Whether they’re mumbling slackers (Slacker, Dazed & Confused), hyperverbal almost-intellectuals (Before Sunrise, Before Sunset), or hypnotically animated babblers (Scanner Darkly , Waking Life), Richard Linklater’s characters often offer actors the best and most memorable roles of their careers. Think: Jack Black in School of Rock; Matthew McConaughey in Dazed & Confused; Ethan Hawke in Before Sunrise. Even when Linklater’s films don’t click, there’s always at least one performance that makes it all worthwhile, like Bruce Willis’s turn as a terrifying fast-food slickster in the underwhelming Fast Food Nation. Linklater’s latest film delivers not one, but two great turns. Zac Efron surprises, playing a charmingly naïve ambitious kid caught up in a one-week whirlwind of an Orson Welles production. And as Welles, Christian McKay more than overcomes the unenviable task of playing the much-imitated, perpetually moving auteur. Maybe that’s not enough to forget Charlie St. Cloud — but it’ll help temper the memory. As for McKay, his experience inhabiting Welles shows: Read our review of the actor’s 2007 performance as the director in the stage play Rosebud here.

Get caught up on all of Dexter’s kills before season five starts by watching Dexter: The Fourth Season.
Before True Blood was the most hysterically bloody show on television, Dexter was the most gruesome kid on the block. Now that the vampires are all naked on the cover of Rolling Stone, do you think they might amp up the sex and violence a bit? We guess yes. To further prepare for the debut of season five on September 26, pick up this set and relive the John Lithgow arc, then read our interview with Michael C. Hall here and bone up on all our Dexter coverage, including recaps of every episode of the last two seasons here.

Get to know the next Spider-Man a little better in Red Riding Trilogy.
Linked by the Yorkshire Ripper case, this adaptation of David Peace’s blue-collar crime odyssey Red Riding Quartet is split into three films: one each by directors Julian Jarrold, James Marsh, and Anand Tucker. The best of the three, by far, is the first (1974), by Jarrold, in large part because it features a terrific turn from Andrew Garfield as a young journalist on the track of the serial killer, which should calm any Spider-Man fan’s fears about his ability to play Peter Parker. Vulture spoke to James Marsh about directing his film here.

Suit up with Friday Night Lights: The Fourth Season.
Eric starts up his scrappy new team at low-rent East Dillon High, and focuses his attention on Vince, his troubled new starting quarterback (is there any other kind?). Then his team inherits the transferred Luke, the star West Dillon running back. Then a lot of heartbreaking things happen along with small moments of uplift and you begin wrestling with the tragic reality that next season will likely be the show’s last. Read Vulture’s complete coverage of the show here.

Can’t afford a ticket to Brazil? Take one more summer vacation with Black Orpheus.
Marcel Camus’s 1959 Palmes d’Or winner recasts the the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice with the sparkling flash and bossa nova beat of Rio de Janeiro’s Carnival. Visually and sonically, it’s a lush sensory overdose, lovingly restored by the Criterion Collection and packed with extras, including Looking for Black Orpheus, a documentary about its lingering impact in Brazil. Watch the lovely, seductive trailer here.

Also out this week: Cemetery Junction; Furry Vengeance; The Last Song; One Tree Hill: Season 7; The City of Your Final Destination; Off and Running; Sorority Wars.

New DVDs: Orson! Dexter! The Next Peter Parker!