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New on Disc: 'The Killer Inside Me' and more …

4 Oct, 2010 By: Mike Clark

The Killer Inside Me

MPI/IFC, Drama, B.O. $0.2 million, $19.98 DVD, $29.98 Blu-ray, ‘R’ or disturbing brutal violence, aberrant sexual content and some graphic nudity.
Stars Casey Affleck, Jessica Alba, Kate Hudson, Ned Beatty.
Despite a certain watchability around the edges, the only scene that engenders a full emotional response is the most repulsive one in the film. The story’s crucial beating would be disturbing with any recipient, but there’s an added dimension when someone cast against type plays the victim. Here, it’s Jessica Alba. Casting — if only on paper — is what this movie has. But for such heated material, the treatment here is extremely cool, and this extends to a maladroit score of honky-tonk that works against the drama. What’s left is one of the more interesting career-trackers of recent days, plus a mildly memorable murder/cover-up drama with some adequately absorbing police procedural touches.
Extras: All three principals are featured in the DVD/Blu-ray bonus section.
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Charade (Blu-ray)

Criterion, Mystery, $39.95 Blu-ray, NR.
Stars Cary Grant, Audrey Hepburn.
Here we are in Criterion-ville with Cary Grant, Audrey Hepburn, Parisian locales and a Henry Mancini-Johnny Mercer theme song that’s effective both in its upbeat version (during the opening credits) and later on a cruise boat in one of the film’s loveliest passages. Charade is sometimes called the best Hitchcock movie not directed by Hitchcock, but despite some remarkably grisly moments, it is more of an “entertainment” film without the twisted, dark core you find even in the lightest Hitchcocks.
Extras: Criterion’s release basically transplants its standard same-price DVD to Blu-ray, complete with a typically fine Bruce Eder essay plus the mutually cantankerous commentary by director Stanley Donen and late screenwriter Peter Stone, which is widely regarded as one of the most entertaining voiceovers ever due to the “old-marrieds-at-home” tone it employs.
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Knock on Wood

Olive, Comedy, $24.95 DVD, NR.
Stars Danny Kaye, Mai Zetterling, Torin Thatcher.
Relatively obscure these days yet substantially acclaimed at the time, Danny Kaye’s head-trippy spy romp deals in part with a ventriloquist’s dummy that loses verbal control and publicly embarrasses his ostensible human controller. Knock has some first-rate Kaye showcasing in an Irish pub (singing), car dealership (the newest dream auto has a button for everything — except for perhaps turning on the ignition) and with a Russian ballet troupe (a wild number choreographed by Michael Kidd the same year as his 7 Brides for 7 Brothers triumph).
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The Real National Treasure

A&E, Documentary, $24.95 DVD, NR.
Though any informative documentary on a fascinating subject is its own justification and reward, the later parts of this hello to the Library of Congress are of overriding interest to those who love seeing classic movies on DVD and Blu-ray in a museum or repertory theater. All those preserved films have to be stored somewhere, right? The day-to-day material about one of the globe’s more specialized workplaces is fascinating as well. The documentary is part of the History Channel’s “Modern Marvel” series, and the Library is definitely one, even if George Washington’s crops (or the old-school manure he used to goose the soil) are your overriding interest.
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