Cinematic Titanic Presents: Blood of the Vampires (NR)
Those smart-aleck movie-riffin' wiseacres at Cinematic Titanic are back with their best movie-mocking yet! This time, they're taking on the 1966 B-movie Blood of the Vampires, featuring a Filipino cast playing 19th-century Mexicans who are keeping their elderly vampire mother locked in the hacienda's basement-slash-dungeon. When she bites her son, low-budget hell breaks loose. As the ridiculously asinine plot unfolds, the CT crew shows no mercy, picking apart everything the hammy overacting, cheap sets, dime-store fangs and use of white actors in blackface. As usual, this grassroots, independent comedy venture is essential for fans of movie commentary, la Mystery Science Theater 3000. It's available directly from the Web site, either as a hard copy or download. Louis Fowler
Yes Man (PG-13)
Warner Home Video / Release date: April 7
With a plot similar to that of 1997's Liar Liar, Yes Man (also starring Jim Carrey) figured to be a pointless retread. This time, Carrey's playing Carl Allen, a banker who has opted out of life and spends his evenings at home watching videos until a self-help guru challenges him to say "Yes" to everything for a year. The stunt leads to positive changes most notably a promotion at work and a romance with a spontaneous albeit slightly kooky woman (Zooey Deschanel, who plays this type well) until he gets in over his head. Maybe my expectations were low, but in retrospect, I'd argue that the jokes connect, the characters are sympathetic, Carrey's antics are pleasantly restrained, the requisite "lesson" isn't too heavy-handed, and the plot twists are just silly enough to be fun. Jill Thomas
Filmmaker Guy Maddin (My Winnepeg) is as pretentious as they come, and Careful, his acclaimed 1992 feature, is probably the best representation of that pretentiousness. But don't get me wrong: It's a wholly entertaining pretentiousness, with its mock silent-film look, community-theater acting and melodramatic score. Described by Maddin jokingly (I think) as a "pro-incest movie set in the mountains," Careful is about a town in the Canadian Alpine where no one dares utter a sound for fear of setting off an avalanche. As he spoofs strict repression among the townspeople, sexual and otherwise, Maddin works in incestuous adult love triangles and quadrangles in the most comical of ways. It's a must-view for those who've been intrigued by Maddin, but just didn't know where to start. Or finish, really. Louis Fowler
The striking colors and textures are reminiscent of Southern Colorado and New Mexico. Lovely work.