DARE TO DABBLE IN TIME TRAVEL AND OTHER PERILIOUS TREKS
SAFETY NOT GUARANTEED
The classified ad was enticing and clearly nutso: A would-be time-traveler was planning another trip and he needed a partner; but you had to supply your own weapon, pay was upon return, and safety was not guaranteed.
When three skeptical, youthful reporters from a Seattle magazine see the ad, they think there might be a quirky human-interest story so they are assigned to locate, stalk and befriend the person who placed the ad. One of the jaded reporters is a young woman and she connects with Kenneth, the peculiar but deadly serious young man who placed the ad.
There’s no reason to think that Kenneth is not delusional, but when the mysterious nature of personal needs and obsessions becomes entwined in a relationship, the adventure unfolds with surprising sidetracks that involve all three reporters as they tie up the loose ends of their ever-more disturbing and dangerous story. I was very engrossed in this often witty, sometimes poignant, semi sci-fi tale and hugely satisfied with how it ended. It’s from the producers of LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE and Kenneth is wonderfully inhabited by Mark Duplass. Now playing in theaters.
NEW FOR HOME VIDEO
THE 39 STEPS
Alfred Hitchcock’s 1935 witty, fast-paced thriller centers on an easy going Canadian tourist (Robert Donat) suddenly enmeshed in a dangerous conspiracy and then pursued across the rugged Scottish highlands, often while handcuffed to a feisty blonde (Madeleine Carroll).
Adapted from John Buchan’s classic 1915 novel, this new transfers is a splendid, nearly pristine, Blu-ray edition with generous and interesting extras that include a short film on Hitchcock’s early tears, some unedited footage of a conversations with Hitchcock made for the BBC as well as an astute commentary from Hitchcock film scholar Marian Keane. This double-chase, wrong man, unexpected romance has just about everything that makes a film worth revisiting. Clearly, this still gripping film anticipates Hitch’s great NORTH BY NORTHWEST. Criterion. Blu-ray.
Willem Dafoe is Martin, a skilled hunter hired by a mysterious biotech corporation to trek into the Tasmanian wilderness to locate, kill and retrieve genetic material from a rumored Tasmanian tiger thought to have been extinct for decades.
Dafoe is compelling is an amoral man who finds himself in a deadly situation and discovers a spark of unexpected light in his dark soul.
At its heart, this psychological thriller is about man against nature, man against man and one man against himself. Stunning location cinematography makes this tense trip worth taking. Sam Neill costars. Magnolia. Blu-ray.
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