DVDs Nuts! 


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Bergman Island It's natural, if unnecessary, that elite DVD company the Criterion Collection would take on this Swedish TV documentary that visits legendary director Ingmar Bergman at his precious home on Faro Island. Along with Akira Kurosawa, Bergman is the favored son of Criterion's catalog, and this filmed conversation with the man, which feels like a greatest-hits take on Truffaut's Hitchcock talks, is obligatory. But the scarcity of bonus footage (and there must be tons of it) or commentary tracks speaks to the lightness of the project. (NR)

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Fired Up Here is a film that was surprisingly mediocre when it flashed into theaters for a brief, unheralded moment, but which earns itself an unalloyed recommendation on DVD. Helmed by TV writer Will Gluck, the story of two alpha dogs who hitch a ride to cheerleading camp to get laid, but eventually (of course) develop an appreciation for the sport, would drip off the screen if not for the chemistry of the two leads, Nicholas D'Agosto and Eric Christian Olsen. Despite their horndog ways, they come across as just harmless enough to get behind, if guardedly, and the quippy one-liners land more times than not. If you don't expect a funny ratio any higher than that, it's a score. (PG-13)

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My Dinner With Andre After a torturous length of time off the American market, this Louis Malle masterpiece finally returns in pristine condition thanks to (again) the Criterion Collection. The beautifully restored print of an exquisitely conflicted dinner conversation between a playwright (Wallace Shawn) and a theater director (Andre Gregory) reminds us that, nearly 30 years later, the central question behind their talk has yet to be answered: Can a person live within his art, following inspiration wherever it takes him, or is there a time to grow up and be content to pay the bills? Noah Baumbach (The Squid and the Whale) conducts present-day interviews with Gregory and Shawn in the bonus features, along with Shawn's own filmed conversation with Louis Malle. So, lots of talking. (NR)

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Nobel Son Writer-director Randall Miller's Bottle Shock, an Alan Rickman–starring charmer about the rise of American wine that was very close to good, was released on DVD just a few months ago. Now comes another of Miller's not-quite-there romps starring much of the same cast, this time about a Nobel Prize winner (Rickman) whose son is kidnapped, released, then embroiled in a dizzying triple-cross that aims for Hitchcock but lands closer to Tony Scott as a grad student. Although neither film succeeds entirely, Miller's work is nevertheless enjoyable, even if he'll never be content with that. (R)

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Also worth checking out:

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Gran Torino (R)

; jstrout@orlandoweekly.com

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