Armchair Cinephile

This week, the New Releases shelf is very much a stick-your-neck-out affair, with an assortment of guilty pleasures and boy-do-I-hope-they're-pleasures.

What am I talking about, exactly? Well, there's Alexander Revisited: The Unrated Final Cut (Warner). After releasing a dud in the theaters, then taking a second crack at cutting it for the DVD market, are you ready to let Oliver Stone have three and a half hours of your time for another try?

Speaking of filmmakers who may have, over the years, earned a degree of your trust, are you interested in seeing Terry Gilliam's Tideland (ThinkFilm), which puts a little girl through hell (junkie dad, icky sexuality, etc) and caused walkouts at film fests?

Or would you rather see an Ed Wood movie? How about one he didn't get to direct, like The Bride and the Beast, released as a "Positively no Refunds" double-feature with the 1945 White Gorilla by VCI? If you need a palate cleanser afterward, the label has a charming collection of vintage cartoons on Alice in Cartoonland.

Are you ready to gamble that Jack Black and Kyle Gass can stretch their short TV films to feature length in Tenacious D in the Pick of Destiny (New Line)? Wouldn't Beelzebub want you to?

Safest long-shot of the week: Let Will Ferrell take a shot at drama in Stranger Than Fiction (Sony), a modestly charming romantic comedy that isn't as formally inventive as the trailers suggested but does offer winning performances all around.


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