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Skellig: The Owl Man (NR) (Blu-Ray)

Image Entertainment

Harry Potter? Yawn. Percy Jackson? Groan. It seems like every single whimsically fantastical and irritatingly dark young adult book is getting propositioned for the big screen. And with all the major-league names taken, it's time to start scraping the bottom of the barrel in a desperate search for something to stick against the wall. Skellig: The Owl Man definitely does stick — and in a completely good way. Tim Roth is a mean-spirited, mutant owl-man-thing, living in a shack and eating snails and bugs until a soft-spoken little kid makes nice with him, giving him Chinese food and beer. He's nursed back to health and uses his mutant owl powers to heal people, or, more specifically, babies with heart conditions. I might sound flippant, but Skellig is actually a wonderful and moving movie, far better YA fare than anything Potter could pull out of his hat. — Louis Fowler

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Kalifornia (R) (Blu-Ray)

MGM/20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

Oh, the early '90s. Anyone with a couple bucks, a stash of rubber guns and an intense high from huffing Tarantino's fumes could make a movie for the über-hip masses to gobble up in their clamor for the next big indie darling. Such is Dominic Sena's hilariously dated Kalifornia, starring soon-to-be superstar Brad Pitt as a redneck serial killer. Along with his developmentally disabled girlfriend, he hitches a cross-country ride with future X-Filer David Duchovny, who, fortuitously, is writing a book about serial killers. What a stroke of luck! Pitt stabs and sneers his way through the screen, delivering a powerful-yet-contrived performance, while Duchovny is just as monotonously bland as ever. Still, Kalifornia is far better than contemporaries Natural Born Killers and True Romance, and, for pure grunge nostalgia, is worth the price of a dorm room poster. — Louis Fowler

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Forbidden World (R)

Shout! Factory

Forbidden World is the ultimate example of why Roger Corman is known as the only guy in Hollywood who's made more than a hundred movies and never once lost a dime. Recycling sets and effects from an earlier flick, Galaxy of Terror — reviewed last week — Forbidden World is an even cheaper, scuzzier and more desperate rip-off of Alien, with little to no story or acting talent. Yet between the heaping helpings of slime and nudity, you don't really seem to notice. A shape-changing mutant works through a spacecraft full of badly written characters, ripping them apart in between their numerous showers. It's like something you'd see in an SNL Digital Short. This Shout! Factory DVD is a two-disc special edition, with both the theatrical version and the director's cut that adds five more minutes. And, man, are those five minutes golden. — Louis Fowler

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Multiple Sarcasms (R) (Blu-Ray)

Image Entertainment

Multiple Sarcasms is yet another "dramedy" about ultra-self-absorbed upper-class white New Yorkers and the utter dissatisfaction they feel with their charmed lives. It's a pseudo-art pioneered by Woody Allen and currently being diluted by numerous other Big Apple hacks — in this case, director Brooks Branch, who seems to think he's deeper and cleverer than he really is. Timothy Hutton, a long way from Oscar, is sad-sack architect Gabe, inspired to write a play about the gratingly quirky women in his life, including his "schmoozing" wife, his punk-rock-loving "best friend" and his irritatingly precocious daughter. Gabe is such a whiny jerk, in a state of constant arrested infantilism, that the only hit you want him to have is head-on with a bus. Multiple Sarcasms is so bad on so many levels that I'm actually inspired to make an indie movie about the ordeal of sitting through it. It can be your next picture, Brooks! — Louis Fowler

  • Skellig: The Owl Man, Kalifornia, Forbidden World, Multiple Sarcasms

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