Director Henry Selick finally steps out of Tim Burton’s shadow with his adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s graphic novel Coraline. One of the best animated films in some time, it’s also refreshingly dark. Dakota Fanning, Teri Hatcher and Ian McShane provide voices.
From Criterion With Love
Coming at the end of a string of incredible films in the ’60s, Jean Luc-Godard’s 2 or 3 Things I Know About Her hints at the end of an era for the director and the New Wave. In a whisper, Godard narrates the film that is broken down into a series of “lessons” covering Vietnam, television and the “Her” of the title, which is a housewife who is also a prostitute, the actress playing her and the city of Paris. The widescreen cinematography is some of Godard’s best.
Seth Green and company are back for another round of good-natured ribbing in Robot Chicken: Star Wars - Episode II. The stop-motion animation tackles all those plot holes and logic gaps, imagining the twisted things that were really going on in a galaxy far far away. Extra features include the premiere at Skywalker Ranch.
The only current TV drama to come close to the all-too-brief heyday of HBO, “Mad Men” is now available in its second season. The show follows the lives of the employees of a New York advertising firm in the early 1960s. It could benefit from an injection of humor, but it’s beautifully shot.
“The Mighty Boosh,” a bizarre and hilarious import from the U.K. follows two zookeepers, one a self-styled poet/philosopher, the other a vain glamrocker. Together they go through a series of surreal adventures through time and space, from kangaroo boxing, to traveling to the arctic in search of Shackleton’s frozen corpse. Fans of Monty Python and “Flight of the Conchords” will love it. Seasons one, two and three are now available.
The giftedly observant yet lazy Shawn Spencer convinces the Santa Barbara Police he’s psychic by solving the crimes they can’t. Thinking he’s found pay dirt, he opens a psychic P.I. firm with his reluctant best friend in “Psych.” The hour-long comedy/mystery strikes a refreshing balance in tone and remains eminently watchable in its third season.
Everyone’s favorite redhead, Lucille Ball returned to the sitcom form she helped shape in “The Lucy Show” premiering in 1962. Reuniting with Vivian Vance of Ethel fame, the two continue their on-screen chemistry as a pair of single mothers who live together. Garry Marshall began his writing career here. The Official First Season is now available.
Also available: Reno 911!: The Complete Sixth Season, Route 66: Season 3, Volume 1, Leverage: The 1st Season, Grey Gardens, This American Life: Season Two
Frank Miller and Zack Snyder (Watchmen) teamed up to bring Miller’s epic historical action graphic novel 300 to the big screen. The digitally painted look and uber sharp cinematography are perfect for high def. The Complete Experience Blu-ray is now available.
Two films from Italian satirist Marco Ferreri (La grande bouffe) come to DVD. Bye Bye Monkey stars Gérard Depardieu as a New Yorker who decides to raise the son of the recently deceased King Kong. Don’t Touch the White Woman stars Catherine Deneuve and Marcello Mastroianni, transposing Custer’s last stand to modern day Paris.
Also available: Ménage by Bertrand Blier
The Horror! The Horror!
Another in a line of paint by numbers modern horror films, The Haunting in Connecticut is based on a true story of a family who moves into a former mortuary and find it is haunted. Virginia Madsen and Elias Koteas star.
Explicit Ills, Bluetopia: The L.A. Dodgers Movie, Dakota Skye, Coco Chanel
Coraline, Mad Men: Season 2, More