DVD RE­VIEWS

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Tv -

JERRY Lee Lewis was born in Septem­ber 1935. That means when he per­formed this re­mark­able con­cert in New York in 2006, re­leased last year as a CD and this year as a con­cert spec­ta­cle on DVD, he was 71. Now, sep­tau­ge­nar­ian coun­try- blues- jazz rock­ers are not ev­ery­one’s cup of Hor­licks, and there is a chance that the young ones will al­ready have skipped to the next DVD re­view. But for any­one in­ter­ested in the ori­gins of rock n’ roll, here’s a chance to see one of the pil­lars of mod­ern mu­sic (‘‘ I’d put him on Mt Rush­more,’’ says Kid Rock) in ac­tion. View­ers needn’t be wor­ried about Zim­mer frames and walk­ing sticks. Lewis is cer­tainly not the goanna thumper he used to be, and you can for­get about the in­stru­ment be­ing played up­side down and the like. But, in­cred­i­bly, most of the voice is still there. The old falsetto takes a few songs to loosen up and sounds a bit like a lame wolf be­fore it does, but not only has the old guy still got it, he’s helped along by the cream of the mu­sic in­dus­try in bring­ing it home to you. Nearly all of the 26 tracks here are duets with the likes of Tom Jones ( Green Green Grass of Home), No­rah Jones ( Your Cheatin’ Heart ), Chris Isaak ( Some­where Over the Rain­bow ), John Fogerty, Kris Kristof­fer­son and Wil­lie Nelson. A great show, with clev­erly timed back­ground ma­te­rial, in­ter­views with the star and all of his duet part­ners. No sym­pa­thy re­quired.

Jerry Lee Lewis Live: Last Man Stand­ing ( E)

Shock ( fea­ture runs 94 min­utes) $ 25.95

Ian Cuth­bert­son EX­TRAS: Fea­turettes; ex­tra per­for­mances

Pan’s Labyrinth ( MA15+)

Hop­scotch ( fea­ture runs 112 min­utes) $ 39.95 MEX­I­CAN writer- di­rec­tor Guillermo del Toro ( Cronos , Hell­boy ) has cre­ated an ex­cep­tional film that slips eas­ily be­tween drama, fan­tasy and fright. The multi- award­win­ning Pan’s Labyrinth draws on many el­e­ments of tra­di­tional fairy­tales: the in­no­cent child, the harsh step- par­ent, loss of a lov­ing mother, magic po­tions, fairies and the pur­suit of true hap­pi­ness. Del Toro’s is a some­times cruel, some­times beau­ti­ful world, awash with amaz­ing im­agery and haunt­ing mu­sic. The film de­served its three Os­cars: for art di­rec­tion, cin­e­matog­ra­phy and make- up. The drama is set in a re­mote re­gion of Spain at the tail end of the Civil War, as rag­tag sol­diers fight Franco’s fas­cist army. A sweet lit­tle girl, Ofe­lia ( a de­light­fully nat­u­ral Ivana Ba­quero), trav­els to the moun­tains with her gen­tle mother, who has mar­ried the cold­hearted Cap­i­tan Vi­dal ( Sergei Lopez). Ofe­lia is a dreamy child, the kind who runs into the woods af­ter fairies and gets her best dress dirty ex­plor­ing. She es­capes the painful chaos around her by slip­ping into a com­pli­cated fan­tasy world, where she be­comes a princess try­ing to re­turn to her un­der­ground king­dom. Too of­ten, real life in­trudes on her quest as the war drags on, in­volv­ing ev­ery­one in the house­hold, in­clud­ing her friend Mercedes the house­keeper, played with fierce sto­icism by Mari­bel Verdu ( Y tu Mama Tam­bien ). Del Toro’s un­der­ground cre­ations — the friendly/ fear­some faun and the eye­less man guard­ing his feast — were born on the cor­ner of sweet dreams and night­mare street.

Ros­alie Hig­son EX­TRAS: DVD of in­ter­views and fea­turettes. THE dys­func­tional fam­ily has be­come some­thing of a main­stay on our small screens over the past decade, yet it seems you can al­ways rely on re­al­ity to usurp the likes of The Simp­sons or the cast of Ar­rested De­vel­op­ment for sheer pe­cu­liar­ity. Au­gusten Bur­rough’s mem­oir Run­ning with Scis­sors is re­mark­able not merely for the up­bring­ing that is the sub­ject of the book, but for the man­ner in which he melds ev­ery hor­rific in­ci­dent with large doses of hu­mour. In the film ver­sion by Ryan Mur­phy, Joseph Cross plays Au­gusten, a boy who dreams of be­com­ing a star hair­dresser ( sorry, cos­me­tol­o­gist), while cop­ing with his fa­ther’s de­ser­tion and the in­sta­bil­ity that leads his mother to give him away to her psy­chi­a­trist. With a predilec­tion for adopt­ing his pa­tients, Dr Finch ( Brian Cox) takes Au­gusten into the run­down, ram­shackle abode he shares with his down­trod­den, dog- food- eat­ing wife, Agnes ( Jill Clay­burgh), Bi­ble- dip­ping daugh­ter Hope ( Gwyneth Pal­trow) and flir­ta­tious, foul- mouthed Natalie ( Evan Rachel Wood), with whom Au­gusten forms a close bond. While the good doc­tor dishes out med­i­ca­tion and plays match­maker to his trou­bled clients, his at best un­eth­i­cal ways can be dan­ger­ous ( he leads Au­gusten into a sui­cide at­tempt as a tac­tic to avoid school). Some cru­cial episodes in the book are toned down or over­looked al­to­gether. The cast is strong, but it’s re­ally only Clay­burgh and Wood who cap­ture the spirit, hu­mour and heart of the book.

Sharon Fowler EX­TRAS: A Mem­oir by Au­gusten Bur­roughs

Run­ning With Scis­sors

( MA) Sony Pic­tures ( fea­ture runs 117 min­utes) $ 39.95

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.