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DVDs In Brief: July 4, 2012 


DVD round-up

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As a director, Bobcat Goldthwait has shown a talent for coming up with provocative high-concept hooks and backing them up with surprising human depth. Goldthwait’s disturbing satire God Bless America (Magnolia) isn’t as deep as it should be, but it certainly has a whale of a high concept, casting Joel Murray (best known as Freddy Rumsen on Mad Men) as an unemployed, divorced, middle-aged misanthrope who goes on a pop-culture killing spree, starting with the bratty subject of a My Super Sweet 16-style show. What follows is a violent comedy that turns on its hero as his mission curdles… 

Caught in an awkward spot between atmospheric thriller and mood piece with plot disruptions, The Hunter (Magnolia) stars Willem Dafoe as a mercenary who takes an assignment from a pharmaceutical company to track down the Tasmanian tiger, which may or may not be extinct. Once Dafoe leaves civilization and heads into the wilderness to track his elusive/possibly-nonexistent prey, The Hunter cuts loose from the plot and becomes pleasingly abstract. But the spell can’t be sustained for long…