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Takashi Miike's Gozu (NR)

Cinema Epoch

It's weird to think Japanese director Takashi Miike, the madman behind Audition, Ichi the Killer and The Happiness of the Katakuris, is bigger in America than his native land. His melding of traditional Japanese genres, such as the Yakuza film, with a Westernized, perverse David Lynch sensibility, is a total mind-warp, not a viewing as much as an experience. The brutally dream-like Gozu has a basic plot, following a young Yakuza who must "dispose" of his crime mentor, but is presented in a totally non-linear fashion, one bizarre sequence after another. Scenes feature a tiny lapdog doubling as a "Yakuza attack dog," a cow-headed minotaur at the foot of a bed, and the most unsanitary use of a soup ladle imaginable. Hilarious, shocking and utterly visceral, this two-disc collector's edition of Gozu is a great starting point for budding Miike fans. — Louis Fowler

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The Cove (PG-13)

Lionsgate Home Entertainment

A band of activists led by former dolphin trainer Richard O'Barry (who coached animals used in the 1960s TV show Flipper) and Louie Psihoyos of the Oceanic Preservation Society (a nature photographer making his feature debut) steal into a protected cove in a Japanese fishing village. They are determined to capture audio and video evidence illustrating the horror and pointlessness of the annual slaughter of tens of thousands of dolphins. The Cove is a documentary with balls: It doesn't merely use the narrative structure of a heist movie to tell its tale, it appropriates the spirit of the attractive-criminal story, too, engaging us in its aggressively anti-authoritarian attitude. It's a confident and optimistic reminder that those sayings about dedicated people changing the world and unreasonable people driving progress don't just sound good; they're true. — MaryAnn Johanson

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Frat Party: Unrated! (NR)

Anchor Bay Home Entertainment

Remember movies like Animal House, Revenge of the Nerds or, God forbid, PCU, in which preppy asshole frat boys were the enemy of our hapless nerdy heroes? Twenty years later, times have changed, and now those Axe Body Spray-coated automatons are the leading men du jour. Hopefully, the awful, straight-to-DVD flick Frat Party will be the apex of the genre. Randy Wayne, looking like a young Scott Stapp minus the charisma, is the BMOC, with naked women falling at his feet. He's about to marry a nice Italian girl with an offensively stereotyped Italian family. Can he resist temptation? Will he make it to the wedding? Do you give a damn? When recycled porn star Jesse Jane, a wholly horrifying caricature of humanity, makes a gratuitous appearance, the bigger question is, "Do men really get off to this chick? Really?" — Louis Fowler

  • Takashi Miike's Gozu, The Cove, Frat Party: Unrated!

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