SPECIAL FEATURES B
DVD GEEK FACTOR 7
(OUT OF 10)
Francis Ford Coppola's latest, which he wrote and directed, is a wonderful if unintentionally goofy and sprawling piece of work that sees the old master returning to the type of cinema he does best. It's nothing if not experimental.
Vincent Gallo (in a role originally intended for Matt Dillon) plays the title character, a would-be writer living an exiled life in Buenos Aires. His long unseen brother, Bennie (Alden Ehrenreich), winds up on his couch, and their stalled relationship finds a new beginning.
Shot in black and white, with occasional flourishes of color (a look reminiscent of Coppola's Rumble Fish), this is Coppola's finest work since Dracula. There's a richness to the look and feel, even when the screenplay goes off the rails a bit. You sense he's really enjoying the craft again after collecting paychecks for tripe like the abominable Jack.
Gallo is a great choice for this film. The movies he's directed and starred in (Buffalo '66 and The Brown Bunny) fall into the same category as Tetro: wildly experimental and just a little wonky. Having him onboard must've fueled Coppola's willingness to get a little crazy and adventurous.
Relative newcomer Ehrenreich embodies the earnestness required for Bennie, a young man seeking to rediscover his heritage while attempting to jumpstart his brother's creative side. Maribel Verdú (Y tu Mamá También), probably one of the most beautiful women in the world, is moving as Tetro's eternally patient wife. Klaus Maria Brandauer delivers memorable work as Tetro's mysterious father.
While Coppola might get a C+ for screenplay structure, he's put together a movie so visually wonderful that you might forgive its foibles. With this, and the equally gonzo Youth Without Youth, Coppola finds himself almost starting over again, and it's a beautiful thing to behold.
SPECIAL FEATURES: An enjoyable Coppola commentary and a behind-the-scenes look at the film.
No Time for Sergeants
SPECIAL FEATURES F
DVD GEEK FACTOR 6.75
(OUT OF 10)
Andy Griffith goes to town as Will Stock-dale, a naive Southern boy who gets drafted into the Air Force and thinks it's a vacation. Whether he's pulling permanent latrine duty and thinking it's a privilege, or chugging lighter fluid and thinking it's fine liquor, Griffith's Stockdale is a great creation.
You can see the roots of his The Andy Griffith Show character in Stockdale. Sheriff Andy was sort of like Stockdale, with all the sweetness (and a little more of the smart juice). Don Knotts shows up as a military test administrator, already honing his Deputy Andy mannerisms.
Griffith's country-bumpkin narrations and Stockdale's tendency to break the fourth wall are a lot of fun. The great joke of the movie is that, although simplistic, Stockdale gets through the military and life with great success. Forrest Gump owes it all to this 1958 film and Pvt. Will Stockdale.
SPECIAL FEATURES: You get nothing—and you'll like it!
SPECIAL FEATURES C-
BLU-RAY GEEK FACTOR 5.5
(OUT OF 10)
This movie's version of the Old West is a little too clean and perfect. Characters like Wyatt Earp (Kurt Russell) and the sickly Doc Holliday (Val Kilmer) always look like they just got out of the shower, and the sets look like the façades for an Old West shootout show at your local amusement park.
Still, Russell puts in good work as the infamous lawman, as does Kilmer as the constantly coughing Holliday. Of the two giant Wyatt Earp dramas that came out within six months of each other (the other being Kevin Costner's tedious Wyatt Earp), this is definitely the more entertaining one.
SPECIAL FEATURES: Just a making-of short and some storyboards—but the film does look pretty and clean on Blu-ray.
SPECIAL FEATURES C+
BLU-RAY GEEK FACTOR 5
(OUT OF 10)
Director David Lynch turned down George Lucas' offer to direct Return of the Jedi to make this movie. Oh, what I would do to see what Lynch would've created with the whole Ewok thing. That would've been some twisted shit!
As for his take on the Frank Herbert classic, it's one of the more insane films to ever emerge from Hollywood. Yes, the desert planets, the big worms and Mr. Sting are all present, as are copious amounts of bodily fluids. Mr. Lynch didn't shy away from the blood and, egad, puss.
The film is quite boring and repugnant in spots, but Lynch's fans can find more than enough to appreciate. It marks his first pairing with Kyle MacLachlan, who would go on to great things in Lynch's Blue Velvet and Twin Peaks.
While I still don't like it, I have to admit Dune is going down easier as the years tick by, and it looks great on Blu-ray. The "Original Music by Toto" credit still cracks me up.
SPECIAL FEATURES: Some deleted scenes and behind-the-scenes featurettes. Not much.