Monday, November 8, 2010

Bonus CineFiles: Party up, road warriors and a philosophizing mummy!

Posted By on Mon, Nov 8, 2010 at 5:21 PM

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

Party Down: Season Two (Not Rated)
Anchor Bay Home Entertainment

In case you haven't heard, with the end of season two, the folks at the Party Down catering company have served their last plate of shrimp puffs. Unceremoniously canceled by Starz, Adam Scott and the crew will be missed, but, here's the final season on DVD. Picking up a few months after season one, Scott is now the team leader and Jane Lynch is gone, replaced with the equally funny Megan Mullally as a divorced stage-mom. This season finds the gang catering an orgy, a community theater cast party, taking on a rival catering company in a vomit-riddled game of kickball and, in an episode that should be nominated for an Emmy, Steve Guttenberg's birthday party. If you haven't had a chance to watch Party Down, now is the time to get on it. And then kick yourself for not becoming a fan sooner.

Mad Max (Rated R) (Blu-Ray)
MGM Home Entertainment

Having not seen it in close to 15 years, it's scary how prophetic Mad Max, the 1979 Australian dystopic sci-fi classic, is. I'm talking “Book of Revelations” scary: as countries fight over the last remaining barrels of oil, society starts ripping apart at the seams, with disarray and disrepair becoming an everyday occurrence, law and order crumbling quickly. Max Rockatansky (a powerful Mel Gibson, in his breakout role) the last of the good cops, runs afoul of the feral Toecutter and his motorcycle gang, who, in a shocking scene, mow down Max's wife and child. Gone the way of society, the last vestiges of Max's humanity die and he becomes an unstoppable road fury, seeking justified vengeance against the highway marauders. Mad Max isn't post-apocalyptic — it's a chronicle of the beginning stages of it. And it's damn near starting to come true.

Secrets of Sex (Rated R)
Synapse Films

With its bright pink colors and underwear-clad go-go booted lasses, Secrets of Sex, just judging from the box art alone, looks like a fun, frothy, yet completely disposable swingin' 60s British sex comedy, a low-rent Carry On/Laugh In of sorts. But, when one realizes that it was actually directed by avant-garde eccentric Antony Balch, you might as well drop some acid and ask a loved one to monitor you, because you're in for a fantastically trippy 90 minutes! An anthology movie based around the ancient battle of the sexes — and hosted by a philosophizing mummy, no lie! — we're treated to O. Henry-esque stories that deftly mix uneasy horror, gallows humor and a twisted sense of eroticism into a strange, but fully drinkable brew. And, if that wasn't enough, the special features contain two short films that Balch made with America's favorite junkie, William S. Burroughs, both of which a happily heroin-iriffic.

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