Armchair Cinephile: The Cine-Mini

The Fabulous Baker Boys (MGM): Can someone explain why the ever-watchable Jeff Bridges isn’t in more movies these days, or why the ones he’s in aren’t better? (Maybe the answer is wrapped up somewhere in that sentence?) Ah, well. While I’m waiting, seems like a nice time to revisit this team-up with Jeff’s brother Beau and Michelle Pfeiffer.

Dynamic: 1 — The Best of (Subversive Cinema): Lynch has been putting experiments, oddball fragments, and exclusive short films on his members-only web site for a few years now. Let’s hope this is the first in a series of "greatest hits" releases.

Catch a Fire (Universal): Not as deeply involving as his previous two, The Quiet American and Rabbit-Proof Fence, perhaps, but Phillip Noyce’s tale of an apolitical South African driven to militancy by the government’s abuses of power does at least one thing worth praising: It reclaims Bob Marley from the privileged American stoners, making his music sound urgently political once more.

Band of Angels (Warner Bros.): Clark Gable and the late Yvonne De Carlo (the actress best known as Lily Munster, who passed away last month) star in an epic Southern romance authored by Robert Penn Warren.

GRINDHOUSE FARE: Maniac (Blue Underground); Maniac Cop (Synapse); Slaughter of the Vampires and Jess Franco's Count Dracula (Dark Sky); Roger Corman’s Cry-Baby Killer and Grand Theft Auto (Buena Vista); Assassination in Rome/Espionage in Tangiers (Dark Sky)

Looker (Warner Bros.): Wack-job bestseller mogul Michael Crichton was ahead of his time thematically in 1981, envisioning computers that recreated human actors — too bad he turned it into such an uninspired little thriller.

The Silence of the Lambs (Collector's Edition) (MGM): Just how many reissues of this one will the market bear? If Hannibal Rising is as big a crapfest as it looks, will moviegoers run to this for refuge, or avoid the mad cannibal altogether?

Zatoichi: The Blind Swordsman - Volume Six (Media Blasters): Yet more adventures of the improbably deadly wandering masseur, one of Japan’s favorite fictional characters.


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