Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Bonus CineFiles: Frolicking hippies, lip-synching drag-queens, cheating spouses and spanked models!

Posted by on Tue, Jul 5, 2011 at 10:52 AM

Most weeks, I review more DVDs than the Indy can fit into print. You can look for extra write-ups here on the IndyBlog.

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Hair (PG) / The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (R) (Both Blu-ray)
MGM/20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

As MGM continues to raid its vaults for lost treasures to premiere on Blu-ray, you’re bound to get a few misses among the hits. One such miss is the hippie relic Hair, an unwatchable musical mess. It's not too good for a supposed anti-war musical that follows around a group of rejects from The Warriors as they harass good, upstanding citizens in a lame quest for free love and free handouts. On the other hand, the fabulously fun Aussie outing The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert shines and shimmers on Blu-ray, just in time for Gay Pride Month. Following a trio of witty drag performers as they make their way across the Outback in a dilapidated bus, Priscilla effortlessly mixes total hilarity with heartbreaking pathos, all to an insanely catchy soundtrack. It’s a shame Terence Stamp didn’t get an Oscar nomination for his groundbreaking performance.


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Original Sin (NR) (Blu-Ray)
MGM/20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

Do you ever forget that some movies even exist? That’s what happened with the Antonio Banderas and Angelina Jolie period-piece hump-fest Original Sin. When it was originally released in 2001, I saw it in the theater and I guess was so indifferent about it that I just completely excised it from my memory. It’s not that great — a Hitchcockian mystery set in late 19th-century Cuba, with Banderas as a coffee tycoon who orders a bride from America, who, as luck would have it, turns out to be Jolie. She’s got some issues, however, mostly with murderous tendencies, which, of course, hampers their relationship and puts it on a bloody (but comically melodramatic) downward spiral. Less an intriguing caper than a spectacularly sleazy misfire, Original Sin is, in retrospect, a fun “bad” movie that ranks up there with Wild Orchid or Sliver as silver-screen attempts to see your favorite actor's nude body parts for a good 30 seconds.


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The Image (NR) (Blu-Ray)
Synapse Films

I have triumphed acclaimed ’70s classy-smut director Radley Metzger’s cinematic sojourns into arty, pretentious erotica in the past, and after viewing The Image, those same compliments still hold up. The dude knows how to make a sex film that you could watch with your mom in a local art-house theater without shame. Based on Catherine Robbe-Grillet’s classic novel, this update finds young swinger Jean seduced and brought into a sadomasochistic relationship between two female acquaintances that results in numerous mind games. Given its numerous acts of titillating fetishism and perversity, if you’ve never seen a Metzger flick, you’ll be in for a treat, shocked and aroused in a very thought-provoking manner. (Even if we old hands find it little more than another sleazy notch on the Blu-ray player.)

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