DVDs and streaming for Nov. 3 by Boo Allen
This week, we begin inside the brain of an eleven year-old girl:
Inside Out (****)
You know those voices you keep hearing in your head? Well, they’re real, or at least that’s the premise behind this enchanting animated feature from Disney-Pixar. And, for the purposes of an animated production, what better mind to analyze than that of an excitable 11 year-old girl? Here, the brain of Riley (voiced by Kaitlyn Dias) houses a variety of emotions, all camped out in her brain waiting to send the appropriate signals, whether they be Fear (Bill Hader), Sadness (Phyllis Smith), Disgust (Mindy Kaling), Anger (Lewis Black), or the omnipresent Joy (Amy Poehler). In this early Oscar favorite for Best Animation, all the film’s voices perfectly fit either their character or an appropriate emotion. Riley travels through her every feeling as her family moves from Minnesota to San Francisco. There, she must fit in at a new school while also trying out for the hockey team. Along the way, Joy and Sadness become lost in the vibrantly-realized vault of long-term memories, leaving only disgust, anger and fear to cope with Riley’s situation, as well as two parents (Diane Lane, Kyle Maclachlan) clueless about how to handle their newly combustible daughter. Director Pete Doctor uses the full spectrum of the trademark Pixar color palate to render the rich settings and inviting characters of this foreign terrain.
Rated PG, 94 minutes.
Extras: commentary, four deleted scenes, two animated shorts, 11 minute featurettes on “The Story of the Story” and “The Women of ‘Inside Out,’” three seven minute featurettes on: 1. selecting the film’s featured emotions, and 2. on the perspectives of two filmmakers’ daughters, and 3. on the film’s sound. Plus, additional featurettes on film animation editing, as well as on how the artists designed and created the human mind. The 15 minute featurette “Mind Candy” examines how many of the various film elements were created and assembled. And more.
The Benoît Jacquot Collection:
The Disenchanted (**1/2), A Single Girl (***), Keep It Quiet (**1/2)
The Cohen Film Collection has assembled into a single package, of two discs, three unrated films from the long and varied career of veteran French director Benoît Jacquot. In The Disenchanted (1990, 78 minutes), 17 year-old Beth (Judith Godrèch) fights with her boyfriend when he suggests that she sleep with other boys. Meanwhile, she must still take time to manage the household consisting of her little brother and her single, bedridden mother, while warding off the attentions of her mother’s creepy, predator boyfriend. Jacquot balances the needs and fears of this bright young talent who fights everyone until she finds unexpected refuge with an adult who treats her like an adult. Jacquot again explores the personal complexities of the title character in A Single Girl (1995, 90 minutes). In a single day, 19 year-old Valerie (Virginie Ledoyen) tells her boyfriend she is pregnant before rushing off to her first day as a chambermaid at a large luxury hotel. There, she encounters rude co-workers along with confrontational hotel guests. The day passes as she experiences more work troubles in between another meeting with her less-than-enthusiastic boyfriend. Jacquot then surprisingly closes by jumping ahead to when Valerie’s life has changed in unexpected ways, but while she still maintains her independence and integrity. Jacquot wanders into family dynamics in Keep It Quiet (1999, 105 minutes), a fluctuating examination of a family when Gregoire (Fabrice Lucini) is released from jail. The vaguely explained reason is that he embezzled funds, yet he still claims innocence. More distracting, however, is that upon release, he seems disoriented, now becoming a late-forming humanitarian who wants to speak to everyone; everyone that is except his brother Louis (Vincent Lindon), who invites Gregoire onto his popular TV talk show to give his side of the story. Jacquot juggles other extraneous plot elements, including a dour hairdresser (Vahina Giocante) and her recently paroled boyfriend, Gregoire’s confused wife (a wasted Isabelle Huppert) and other family members who float in and out.
Extras: all three films offer individual commentary from critics Wade Major and Tim Cogshell, along with a discussion with Jacquot and film critic Kent Jones on each movie.
She’s Funny That Way (**1/2)
Director and co-writer Peter Bogdanovich returns to the genre he grew up with, and one he obviously has a deep affinity for. The 76 year-old creator of such enjoyable fare as What’s Up Doc and Paper Moon delivers a screwball comedy, one that resembles, in form anyway, such earlier classics as Bringing Up, Baby and Twentieth Century. Here, the director keeps a consistently rapid pace, even when the material slackens. And Bogdanovich’s Hollywood royalty status has enabled him to draw an excellent cast, one in which such respected British talents as Joanna Lumley and Lucy Punch are wasted in brief appearances. The ensemble cast serves the sprawling, interconnected plot of director Arnold Albertson (Owen Wilson) casting call girl Izzy (Imogen Poots) opposite his wife Delta (Kathryn Hahn) in a Broadway play written by New York playwright Josh (Will Forte) and starring Delta’s former love Seth (Rhys Ifans). From this, weave in an love obsessed judge (Austin Pendleton), Josh’s psychiatrist girlfriend Jane (Jennifer Aniston), and various other oddities (such as Richard Lewis and Cybill Shepherd playing Izzy’s parents) and something always seems to be happening, however absurd, ill-conceived, or just plain corny. With Illeana Douglas, Debi Mazar, Austin Pendleton, Jennifer Esposito, and, in cameos, Quentin Tarantino, Michael Shannon, Tatum O’Neal and Graydon Carter.
Rated R, 93 minutes.
Extras: commentary with Bogdanovich and co-writer Louise Stratten and a 17 minute “behind-the-scenes” featurette.
Also on DVD and streaming: Before We Go, Eden, The End of the Tour, The Final Girls, Stung, Vacation.