This is going to be a rough weekend if you love new movies – and we mean really love new movies, in the sense that R. Kelly loves the legal system and his own urine. Having dutifully trudged out to see Hancock when it opened this past Tuesday, you now have not a single new film headed your way until Hellboy II drops July 11.
In the interim, you’re just going to have to kick back with an Ellen Page DVD. Or a James Bond comic. Or even some ABBA tunes. Just not all three at once, unless you’re OK with simultaneously feeling sleazy, suave and queer. (And if you are, odds are you’re Charlie Crist.)
Available Tuesday, July 8
Batman: Gotham Knight Warner Bros. certainly learned an invaluable lesson from its experience with the Matrix trilogy. “Don’t push your luck?” Sadly, no. We’re thinking more along the lines of how to ramp up interest in a franchise by marketing a tie-in DVD filled with animated shorts that amplify but don’t interfere with their live-action cousins. So it goes with this compilation, which offers a sextet of adventures meant to take place between the events of 2005’s Batman Begins and the forthcoming The Dark Knight. And they’re all rendered in that edgy “anime” style the kids seem to be so crazy about these days. (PG-13; Warner Home Video; also as two-disc collector’s edition and for Blu-ray)
Jet Li’s Fearless (Unrated Director’s Cut) For the first time, viewers in the cradle of freedom that is Region One get to experience the full, unexpurgated version of Li’s 2006 martial-arts epic. Its 37 extra minutes incorporate an entirely new subplot featuring Michelle Yeoh. Fun, vaguely reassuring trivia: Director Ronny Yu recently helmed the first good episode of NBC’s summer horror anthology, Fear Itself. (Universal)
Joe Strummer: The Future Is Unwritten We totally neglected to mention it when Julien Temple’s documentary about music icon Joe Strummer opened at the Enzian Theater for a brief run two weeks ago. At least we now get to alert you that it’s available for home study, offering a crash course in how Strummer led the Clash in keeping punk alive after the collapse of the Sex Pistols … then went on to do a bunch of other stuff everybody pretends to appreciate. (Sony Legacy)
nThe Mummy: 2-Disc Deluxe Edition; The Mummy Returns: 2-Disc Deluxe Edition Universal really wants you to know that a new Mummy movie is coming out (Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, Aug. 1). So they’re re-releasing the first two entries in the series, which include … a preview of the upcoming flick. The studio is even pushing an updated package of erstwhile Mummy director Stephen Sommers’ 2004 abomination, Van Helsing, for some unfathomable reason. Our advice: Skip ’em all and instead pick up the Universal Legacy special edition of the original 1932 Mummy, out the same day. It features a profile of makeup genius Jack Pierce, whose fans are lobbying to get him a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. That’s right: The guy who brainstormed the immortal looks of the Mummy and the Wolf Man doesn’t have his own star. If Heidi Montag gets one first, we’re taking hostages. (Universal)
Sleepwalking Dennis Hopper leads a dysfunctional family in a film that Jeff Vice of the Deseret News called “Generic Bleak Sundance Film Festival Drama No. 500.” What a great opportunity to complete your collection! (Anchor Bay; also for Blu-ray)
The Tracey Fragments When it had a brief theatrical run two months ago, critics savaged this experimental drama, which casts Ellen “Juno” Page as a “feisty, independent-minded teenager with a unique view of the world.” Well, there you go: She was working outside of her comfort zone. (Image Entertainment)
Available Tuesday, July 8
James Bond: The Paradise Plot While you wait for November’s Quantum of Solace, thrill to this 007-centric graphic novel, culled from a comic strip that saw print in a British news paper in the 1980s and hasn’t been published since. Depending on which report you believe, the book’s introduction was written by either Moonraker leading lady Lois Chiles or David Hedison, one of the 5,267 actors to play Bond buddy Felix Leiter on the screen. (Titan Books)
Vampyres of Hollywood Adrienne Barbeau of Creepshow and Swamp Thing fame co-wrote this novel about (you guess it) undead doings in La-La Land. “If I’d known she could write like this, I would’ve stuck around a little longer,” lauds Barbeau’s ex-husband, John Carpenter, effectively making James Cameron look true-blue. (St. Martin’s Press)
Available Tuesday, July 8
Mamma Mia! Having shown off her pipes in A Prairie Home Companion, Meryl Streep tries her hand at the timeless ABBA hits you despised in the 1970s and 1980s, came to admire in the 1990s and are now on your way to hating again. Thanks, Broadway! (Decca)[email protected]
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