The Barbarian Invasions
Denys Arcand’s Oscar-winning, sometimes cloying, often funny follow-up to his Big Chill–like 1986 hit Decline of the American Empire tracks the strange reunion of a father and son in Quebec. R; $29.99.
Bernardo Bertolucci’s Parisian lovefest involving three beautiful young actors (Eva Green, Louis Garrel, and Michael Pitt) is set against the romantically revolutionary backdrop of Paris, circa 1968. “The film works fitfully as a stab at erotic, youthful ardor,” wrote New York’s Peter Rainer, “and as a celebration of movie love—the characters’ own, and Bertolucci’s.” NC-17; $29.98.
Against the Ropes
Meg Ryan’s latest flirtation with career reinvention—this time, as a perky-but-tough boxing promoter—wasn’t even a contender. PG-13; $29.95.
The Legend of Leigh Bowery
As legends go, this messy bio of eighties club legend Leigh Bowery is less heartwarming than The Legend of Bagger Vance, less action-packed than The Legend of Drunken Master, and less lovable than The Legend of Billie Jean. NR; $29.99.
Never Die Alone Ernest Dickerson’s half-baked noir imitation, starring DMX. R; $27.98.
Un Deux Trois Soleil Bertrand Blier’s stylish drama featured the breakout performance of Unfaithful’s studly Olivier Martinez. NR; $19.95.
As Jonathan Demme remakes The Manchurian Candidate with Denzel Washington in Sinatra’s role and Meryl Streep in Angela Lansbury’s, he’d better not forget the comic flourishes that invigorate the 1962 classic: the psychedelic absurdity of the garden society that becomes a communist cabal; the “yak dung” cigarette smoked by a brainwashed soldier; the evil mastermind who shops at Macy’s; or the bullet-through-a-milk-carton assassination. Director John Frankenheimer, in his droll commentary on this expanded edition, notes that he considered “every possible actor” before casting a Brit (Laurence Harvey) as his American psycho—despite an accent that makes him seem more like an English ambassador than a communist plant. “With John Kennedy’s accent at the time,” the director explains, “we just felt that it justified any accent that Laurence Harvey had.” PG-13; $14.95. Extras: commentary; trailers; new interviews with Frankenheimer pal William Friedkin and Lansbury.