DVDs in Brief
If you weren't an actual victim of Sacha Baron Cohen's confused alter ego in Borat: Cultural Learnings Of America For Make Benefit Glorious Nation Of Kazakhstan (Fox), there's an excellent chance you already enjoyed the surprise hit this fall. It's remarkable, however, how well Cohen's humor plays even once the humor has worn off. Something about a bear terrorizing schoolchildren never fails to bring a smile
Those who haven't seen D.A. Pennebaker's Bob Dylan tour documentary Don't Look Back might as well pick up Don't Look Back: '65 Tour Deluxe Edition (Docurama). The extras are mostly frills, but the oversized box is a reminder of how much the film benefits from being watched again and again
It isn't that hard, really. Come up with some likeable cop characters, concoct mysteries for them to solve, and set the whole thing in Hawaii. That way, even when the stories are routine, the scenery is exotic. The DVD set Hawaii Five-O: The First Season (Paramount) includes 24 episodes, the pilot movie, and interviews with star Jack Lord and his cohorts. All that, plus the best use of surfing in TV opening credits history
So how do you adapt Eric Schlosser's bestselling fast-food industry exposé into a feature without making it a didactic collection of stat-filled monologues that would be better suited to a documentary? Answer: You can't. But Richard Linklater's Fast Food Nation (Fox) has moments of bracing passion and empathy that alleviate the pervasive awkwardness. Still, it's sad that this protest film against corporate exploitation was greeted with such overwhelming apathy
Moviegoers who enjoy sociological info with their anal-rape jokes should check out Let's Go To Prison (Universal), a leaden prison comedy inspired by a real-life guide to surviving jail time. It doles out semi-interesting nuggets of prison trivia at regular intervals
Suggested double feature: First watch The Exorcism Of Emily Rose, a garish, effects-filled American horror film that posits a demon possession case as an argument for religion over science. Then try Requiem (IFC), an understated German drama about a young woman whose attempts to extricate herself from an extremely dogmatic religious background are thwarted by crippling "spells." Afterward, marvel at the fact that they're both versions of the same story.