Sex! Violence! Tool Time!

Oscar-nominated animated film highlight of a sex and blood-soaked week.

A critical favourite from 2010 and an underappreciated Jonathan Demme gem from the 1980s among the DVD highlights this week.


Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling star in this almost documentary-style depiction of a marriage slowly going downhill. Williams was nominated for an Oscar for best performance by a lead actress in this film, a big hit with the critics. This film was controversially slapped with the notorious NC-17 rating for its steamy sex scenes.


Ivan Reitman directed this entry in the ‘friends with benefits’ sub-genre of romantic comedies, which stars Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher. Critics were split right down the middle; no raves, but not too many outright pans, either. Plenty of nudity, or so I’m told.


Animated French tale of an old-school illusionist and an innocent young girl he takes under his wing. Hand-drawn animation of the old school, The Illusionist is simply beautiful to watch, deeply touching, with a gorgeous musical score. Fans of adult animation will not want to miss this. Slow moving to be sure, but worth it. (Not for children, though, as the slow pace will frustrate the little ones). Nominated for best animated film Oscar.


And now for something completely different, this gore-fest from Korean director Kim Jee-woon is described by one critic as “possibly the most violent film ever. Makes Hostel look like a teddy bears’ picnic.” And he liked it! Another critic called it “a remorseless catalogue of calculated violence, casual cannibalism and sexual sadism; this inflicts over two hours of suffering on the audience ...” You have been warned.



In this comedic thriller from director Jonathan Demme (Silence of the Lambs, Philadelphia) a free-spirited woman who calls
herself Lulu (Melanie Griffith) becomes involved with a straight arrow yuppie type (Jeff Daniels). It’s all in good, dirty fun, until Lulu’s ex-husband (a very menacing Ray Liotta in his film debut) shows up, and things take a turn for the violent. This week’s release from the fine folks at Criterion is an underrated gem from the 1980s.



Some Like it Hot, the classic Billy Wilder comedy starring Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon;

The Misfits, the last film of Clark Gable, Marilyn Monroe and Montgomery Clift;

• Tom Cruise’s classic 80s’ action hit Top Gun;

Alien, Aliens, Alien 3 and Alien: Resurrection.



Home improvement

All eight — yes, eight — seasons and 204 episode of the popular sitcom Home Improvement (1991-99) comes out in a 20th anniversary boxed set. (This is the series that gave Pamela Anderson her start; she was the ‘Tool Time Girl’ for
in the first two seasons, before quitting to make
Baywatch and other — a-hem — videos.) 



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