December 16, 2009

Inglourious Basterds

Also this week: Taking Woodstock, The Hangover, The Beat Goes On

Highlight of the Week

Inglourious Basterds (Alliance) Quentin Tarantino’s adored and abhorred take on World War II and film history was one of this year’s most hotly debated movies and topped numerous critics’ lists (see Lead Film page 20-21). We won’t weigh in further, save to proclaim this swift home video release as a winner. You’re just not going to see or hear a superior high-def title that doesn’t feature disguised robots or souped-up cyborgs. Even better are the two-disc and BD version’s awesome extras, including a cheery roundtable with film critic Elvis Mitchell, Brad Pitt and QT (in his lone extras appearance); a nifty segment on the original and accurately spelled movie The Inglorious Bastards; the Eli Roth–directed film-within-a-film and its meta making-of; more. 

Also Available

Taking Woodstock (Alliance) Ang Lee’s wobbly-yet-watchable nostalgia trip never actually takes us to the festival’s legendary concert stage but at least manages to avoid the brown acid. The humour’s too broad and the first half drags, but once the hippies show up, our buzz gets much better. Extras: director and producer commentary, entertaining featurette, deleted scenes. 

The Hangover (Warner) All you bros waiting for Todd Phillips’ next Old School sleeper hit: rest assured that his newest dude-com delivers terrifically middlebrow laughs and gratuitous male nudity. Ideal for pizza, booze and buds (take “buds” however you like) — right down to the cliché Vegas debauchery, Mike Tyson’s air-drumming and a Memento-meets-Dude, Where’s My Car? backwards narrative. Two-disc and BD extras: unrated and theatrical cuts, featurettes, gag reel, more missing-camera pics.

This Beat Goes On (Capitol/EMI) A late-breaking gift idea: if that Michel Gondry compilation, featured here last week, won’t cut it with your old man, you can fill the Dad-rock void with the story of the ’70s Can-rock biz as chronicled by Canadian rock-scribe staple Nicholas Jennings (and narrated by Jian Ghomeshi). The two docs, presented on two discs, cover the rise of CanCon folk, glam, punk, new wave, pop, reggae and more by way of archival footage and interviews with some of the Great White North’s most important musical movers. Extras: bonus interviews.