Robin Wil­liams at his best

Los Angeles Times - - MOVIES - By Noel Mur­ray footage and new and old in­ter­views with the cast, in­clud­ing Wil­liams, from2006. that formed the foun­da­tion for this longer, more fully re­al­ized ef­fort. cal­en­

The Fisher King

Cri­te­rion, $29.95; Blu-ray, $39.95

The late Robin Wil­liams gave one his best per­for­mances in Terry Gil­liam’s moody 1991 dram­edy, play­ing a men­tally ill home­less man named Parry who be­lieves he’s on a quest to find the Holy Grail. Jeff Bridges plays a for­merly cyn­i­cal DJ named Jack who’s been try­ing to be a bet­ter per­son since an on-air in­ci­dent that ru­ined sev­eral peo­ple’s lives — in­clud­ing Parry’s. These bro­ken peo­ple heal each other in a film that be­came a sur­prise hit for the usu­ally un­com­mer­cial Gil­liam. Here he ap­proaches Richard LaGrave­nese’s script fairly straight­for­wardly, de­liv­er­ing a tale of re­demp­tion that res­onates with au­di­ences. Cri­te­rion’s new Blu-ray edi­tion in­cludes a Gil­liam com­men­tary track plus deleted scenes, be­hindthe-scenes

Zero Mo­ti­va­tion

Zeit­geist, $29.95

A Jury Prize-win­ner at 2014’s Tribeca Film Fes­ti­val, Is­raeli writer-di­rec­tor Talya Lavie’s la­conic com­edy tracks the daily drudgery and petty re­bel­lions among fe­male sol­diers do­ing their manda­tory na­tional ser­vice in a mil­i­tary of­fice where they can’t be fired but also can’t be inspired to try. Mildly satir­i­cal but more funny and per­sonal, this film trans­lates the com­mon ex­pe­ri­ences of many young Is­raeli women into a uni­ver­sal story about bore­dom, bu­reau­cracy and how to deal with dif­fer­ent kinds of bosses and co-work­ers. The DVD helps so­lid­ify Lavie’s rep­u­ta­tion as ama­jor tal­ent by adding a cou­ple of her shorts — in­clud­ing “The Sub­sti­tute,” the 2006 film

If You Build It

Docu­rama, $29.95

Fans of Pa­trick Creadon’s up­lift­ing crossword puz­zle doc­u­men­tary, “Word­play,” and his ter­ri­fy­ing con­sumer-debt cri­tique, “I.O.U.S.A.,” should get a lot out of his latest, which sort of splits the dif­fer­ence be­tween the hope and hand-wring­ing of his ear­lier work. Set in a poor North Carolina county over the course of a sin­gle school year, “If You Build It” fol­lows a pair of rad­i­cal ed­u­ca­tors/ de­sign­ers who show how a high school class can learn math, science, lit­er­acy, history, art, busi­ness, crafts­man­ship and self-es­teem just by tak­ing ona long-term pro­ject — in this case, con­ceiv­ing and con­struct­ing a farmer’s mar­ket pav­il­ion. Un­like so many de­press­ing “What’s wrong with our schools?” docs, this film sug­gests

NELLY TA­GAR, al­ter­na­tive ways to teach and learn, of­fer­ing a pos­si­ble blue­print for a bet­ter fu­ture.


Alchemy, $19.99; Blu-ray, $24.99

It’s never a good sign when a movie with stars as rep­utable as Pierce Bros­nan and Milla Jovovich and a di­rec­tor as solid as James “V for Vendetta” McTeigue gets dumped onto VOD and then re­leased on DVD and Bluray a month later. And sure enough, “Sur­vivor” is a real dis­ap­point­ment, telling a dully generic story about an anti-ter­ror­ist agent (played by Jovovich) who tries to out­wit a crim­i­nal mas­ter­mind (Bros­nan). Oddly lack­ing in style or energy, “Sur­vivor” is flat pulp with lit­tle rea­son to ex­ist. Those who’ve en­joyed McTeigue’s past col­lab­o­ra­tions with his men­tors the Wa­chowskis would be bet­ter off watch­ing their new Net­flix se­ries “Sense8,” which is at least mem­o­rably bizarre.


The Bridge

Cri­te­rion, $29.95; Blu-ray


Lion­s­gate, $19.98; Blu-ray, $19.99

Pound of Flesh

E1, $29.99; Blu-ray, $29.99

Zeit­geist Films

left, and Dana Ivgy in the Is­raeli com­edy “Zero Mo­ti­va­tion.”

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