Monday, 28 November 2016

DVD Roundup: cephalopod adventure edition

Remember when Pixar said that they'll try not to make sequels? Well, that seems to be going out the window in recent years, and three of their next four films are follow-ups. However, Pixar sequels tend to be very watchable (except for the dire Cars movies), so the unasked for, but willingly received, sequel to 2003's Finding Nemo which looks into the backstory of the charismatic but forgetful Dory. The film still looks amiable, and while it may repeat the beats the first film, you can't deny its beautiful animation, as well as some interesting looking new cast members, including Hank the octopus, and I'm always up for a cephalopod adventure.

Am I the only person completely disinterested in the Bourne movies? And this series is now on the fifth movie. From an outsider, Jason Bourne seems to have the same rhythm of other spy/action/thriller movies, with an elusive ex-member of an organisation trying to be coaxed back into the job, a young woman, who is pretty much his equal, playing his sidekick, and some dark, nefarious organisation who use terrorism as a front to run things, and who need to be taken down by explosions and wit. What would I know, though. I haven't watched a Bourne movie since the first one.

Louis Theroux seems to have a gift for interviewing people, many of whom are so unsavoury that we might not be able to keep a cool, polite head. So, when Theroux wanted to interview the head of Scientology, it maybe came as a surprise (or not) that they refused him. However, Theroux and his team decided to make the documentary anyway and took a leaf out of the exceptional The Act of Killing, by getting ex-members of the religion to re-enact episodes they'd witnessed. Stranger still, Scientology started keeping Theroux under surveillance too. A fascinating, if humorous, study of the secretive organisation, the poster also includes the awesome artwork of Ralph Steadman.

1979 cult video nasty The Driller Killer is being re-released, and judging by the original video cover, expect a lot of blood. Directed by and starring Abel Ferrera as the titular character, who goes on a rampage after being dumped by his punk band. Spoken highly of by Kim Newman, I've been anticipating the release of this film for a while, which stands as a time capsule of early punk New York City, as well as the always fascinating video nasty genre.

OK, if you've never heard of Tickled before, be prepared for one crazy-ass documentary. After journalist David Farrier discovers competitive tickling online, he contacts the head of the company for an interview. Unexpectedly, he gets a tonne of abuse back, much of it personal about him. What started off as something a bit jokey slips into a dark tale of abuse. It sounds almost made up, right? One documentary I'm aching to see.

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