DVDmentia: February 2006

AB-NORMAL BEAUTY
(Tartan)

Unusual shocker by director Oxide Pang (The Eye) about a female photographer, obsessed with taking pictures of death, who crosses paths with a serial killer.

THE BEAT MY HEART SKIPPED
(Wellspring)

Stylish 2005 French update of James Toback's Fingers, with a feverish lead performance by Romain Duris.

GRASS/CHANG
(Milestone)

After watching King Kong, you should see these two rare and utterly fascinating documentaries by creators Merian C. Cooper and fearless cinematographer Ernest B. Schoedsack, from 1925 and 1927, respectively.

KING KONG
(Warner)

"You're going to have the tallest, darkest leading man in Hollywood!" Merian C. Cooper promised actress Fay Wray. That turned out to be a giant ape: King Kong. This amazing two-disc special edition comes with a pristine print of the 1933 masterpiece, plus other towering primates -- Son of Kong, Mighty Joe Young -- and a documentary on the fascinating life of the film's creator, Merian C. Cooper, in which director Peter Jackson re-creates the lost spider-pit sequence.

KISS OF DEATH
(20th Century Fox)

See Richard Widmark push a wheelchair-bound woman down a flight of stairs and cackle maniacally in this 1947 film-noir classic.

LIVE FREAKY! DIE FREAKY!
(Well-spring)

John Roecker's twisted 2003 stop-motion animation re-telling of the bloody exploits of Charles Manson and the Manson Family. Like Wallace & Gromit on special K.

MA MÈRE
(TLA)

Demented 2004 French shocker by Christophe Honoré, starring a fearless Isabelle Huppert as a mother who introduces her son (The Dreamers' Louis Garrel) to her decadent lifestyle. Twisted and terrific.

PICKPOCKET
(Criterion)

Robert Bresson's 1959 masterwork about a thief -- his life, crimes and redemption. You should get down on your knees and pray in front of your TV when you watch this.

SCARLET STREET/HOUSE BY THE RIVER
(Kino)

Two great vintage thrillers by Fritz Lang, from 1945 and 1949, remastered and remarkable.

THE SIMPSONS: THE COMPLETE SEVENTH SEASON
(Fox)

Oh, come on -- you have to find out who shot Mr. Burns. Another laugh-crammed season to revel in.

STATE FAIR
(20th Century Fox)

Enjoyable 1945 musical hokum, written directly for the screen by Rodgers & Hammerstein, about a family attending the Iowa State Fair. They find love, laughs and prizes for pet pigs.

TWO FOR THE ROAD
(20th Century Fox)

Audrey Hepburn and Albert Finney star in Stanley Donen's smart, witty and touching 1967 examination of a marriage.

WAR OF THE WORLDS
(Paramount)

Stunning new transfer of the spectacular 1953 sci-fi classic. Included: the Orson Welles radio broadcast and a short documentary on the making of the film.

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