Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

DVDs In Brief

Roseanne Barr was an obnoxious stand-up comic before she got her own sitcom, and she became even more obnoxious after Roseanne became a hit. But the show itself wasn't so obnoxious. The 23 episodes of Roseanne: The Complete First Season (Anchor Bay) contain plenty of jokes at the expense of the star's slobby housekeeping habits and lax parenting, but just as much of the show is about how she and co-star John Goodman keep their wits about them in a world of low-paying jobs and cheap, fatty food. It's a snapshot of America more recognizable than the cafés and idle chat of the TV hits to come…

If someone had told Jane Fonda in 1972 that she'd retire from acting to marry an eccentric billionaire, become a Christian, and eventually return to the big screen in a crass, opportunistic knockoff of Meet The Fockers, she'd probably be a little skeptical. And yet the horrific, bloodcurdling monstrosity that is Monster-In-Law (Sony) most certainly exists, God help us all…

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Kontroll (ThinkFilm) is that rare insular foreign film that feels like an upstart indie, but probably works best on the big screen, thanks to its stunning cinematography. Then again, most people probably didn't have a chance to catch Nimród Antal's gorgeously choreographed directorial debut in theaters. Antal spent nine months pushing for the right to film in Budapest's grimy subways, and his gritty, taut thriller about the day-to-day life of a group of embattled transit employees is unconventional but exciting, in a quirky, personality-driven way…

An ultra-arch, deadpan German comedy about a morbidly obese, polka-obsessed retired miner seems like a tough sell. Yet Schultze Gets The Blues (Paramount Classics) received a warm reception from American critics and audiences alike. It's a winning, bone-dry black comedy with a sensibility somewhere between early Jim Jarmusch and Napoleon Dynamite, and it achieves a lyrical, poetic quality once its tubby protagonist reaches a fairy-tale South…

The plotting is as clunky as second-rate Van Damme, but once Ong-Bak: The Thai Warrior (Magnolia) turns human phenomenon Tony Jaa loose in an alleyway chase scene, it's clear that a star is born. A refreshing return to inventive, earthbound choreography after successful wire-fu imports like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Hero, Ong-Bak lets Jaa's amazingly agile body do most of the heavy lifting.