Dreamgirls: Showstopper Edition (DreamWorks)
Upon second viewing, Bill Condon's adaptation of the venerable Broadway smash is too long by about 20 minutes; the thing drags toward the end, when the musical numbers pause for the narrative cause that's in a rush to wrap things up. The music is the best thing about this not-a-Best-Picture nominee -- not merely Jennifer Hudson's now-immortal "And I Am Telling You" blowup, but also the R&B/soul revue showdowns, Beyonce's gonna-make-you "Listen," and damned near everything from Eddie Murphy. Which is why watching this on DVD is a bit of a drag; you'll miss the energy of the multiplex audience, which usually applauded at the end of each number. The tradeoff? Ten extended musical sequences and some making-of documentaries. Missing, unfortunately, is Hudson's legendary audition. -- Robert Wilonsky
The Films of Alejandro Jodorowsky (Anchor Bay)
Here it is, folks: win, place, and show in the International What the Fuck? Film Festival. Chilean director Alejandro Jodorowsky, during his brief heyday in the early '70s, made druggy, ambitious films loaded with heavy-handed Freudian and religious symbolism, hippy-dippy politics, the slightest of plots, and loads of startling imagery. When it works, it works like gangbusters. El Topo, which made Jodorowsky a cult hero, is a heady mix of art film and western. It was also supposedly the favorite movie of John Lennon, who forked over lots of cash for its follow-up, The Holy Mountain, a movie as psychedelic and strange as anything set to celluloid. Birds fly from bullet wounds, toads climb pyramids, Tarot cards grow to life size -- you know, the usual. This monster set also contains the soundtracks to both films, plus a couple of lesser, equally weird movies. -- Harper
Mix a cast of worthy actors with a story that needn't be told, and voilà -- instant "character study." You can't get mad at Diggers, a nostalgic and lethargic look at scruffy clam-diggers on 1970s Long Island, but you won't fall in love either. Paul Rudd is great as a digger triggered into soul-searching by the death of his father, and screenwriter Ken Marino provides a funny turn as a fellow digger. You've seen it all before, but Diggers is still good-natured and low-key enough to waste a little time with. Though it's getting a simultaneous release in theaters, this is a DVD watch, for certain -- not for the deleted scenes or commentary, or even for the doc on clam-diggers. You just won't get much more out of seeing this on the big screen. -- Harper
Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.