Filmmaker Atom Egoyan takes a break from his typical impenetrable-trauma-obsessed films for a detour into the lost art of the erotic thriller with this sensual, subtle and captivating genre pic. When the strained marriage of a flirty professor (Liam Neeson) and his suspicious wife (Julianne Moore) nears the brink, she hires a prostitute (Amanda Seyfried) to try to seduce her husband, just to see if he'll do it. But the prof is easy prey for Seyfried's haunting Chloe, as she sets her sights on the more elusive — but curious — Moore. A hint of Fatal Attraction and a dash of The Hand That Rocks the Cradle later, and Egoyan has immersed the viewer in a beautifully shot playground of deceit and lust. (available July 13)
Special Features: Commentary, deleted scenes, making-of
Speaking of dangerous lust, if there's one fantasy that this age of Dr. Drew has doused with cold water, it's the idea of the nymphomaniac as a guy's gift from the heavens. We know now that it's an addiction like any other with all the same bummer traits: danger, disease and despair. Christian Molina's Diary takes us through one nympho's downward spiral, from the softcore high times to the sad subway-sex-with-a-stranger nadir, and even further down. Belén Fabra's turn as Val, a woman coming to grips with her drug, elevates the often disjointed material — both Spanish and French are spoken, usually overdubbed for no clear reason — and helps calm the eager-to-please Molina's ambitions toward something more character-driven. (available July 13)
Special Features: Making-of
The cultural phenomenon of the year finally arrives on DVD, a format for living-room viewing that's not nearly as flattering as the beach is to its source novel or big-screen art houses were to the film's limited run. Although less spectacular at home, the ability to rewind or rewatch opens up the late Stieg Larsson's labyrinthine murder mystery and allows it to roam free in the imagination. The superb Michael Nyqvist plays disgraced journalist Mikael Blomkvist, who's been assigned the ice-cold, 40-year-old case of a missing girl by the girl's wealthy family. Tracking Blomkvist along the way is the titular Girl, Lisbeth Salander (the wonderful Noomi Rapace), a hacker surrounded by sleazy men. Full of cheap Dan Brown-esque twists and turns and supplemented by elegant character development, this is appointment viewing now while Hollywood gears up its remake.
Special Features: Nonefilm@orlandoweekly.com
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