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Home movies

by Philip Martin | November 5, 2010 at 4:10 a.m.

— Recent DVD releases:

Best Worst Movie (Not rated, 50 minutes) - Fun companion documentary to Troll 2 (see below) that probably provides a more satisfying viewing experience than actually sitting through the alleged “worst movie ever.” Basically, it reveals the people who made Troll 2 to be basically nice folks who fell under the thrall of a mysterious Italian director named Claudio Fragasso who had no English, no budget and to this day believes his film is a great achievement. While it’s a limited purpose documentary with editing - if you don’t already know about Troll 2 it’s likely to more confuse than bemuse you - it’s an appropriate souvenir of the experience.

Grade: 86

The Hungry Ghosts (R, 104 minutes) - Sopranos actor Michael Imperioli’s directorial debut is a John Cassavetes-style existential ensemble piece which has five New Yorkers of diverse backgrounds coping with spiritual crises over a fateful 36 hours. It’s earnest, grim, well-acted and unfortunately heavyhanded. Imperioli has the directing down, but the writing is turgid.

Grade: 83

Toy Story 3 (G, 103 minutes) - The most controversial thing I’ve written all year was that I wasn’t much moved by Toy Story 3. I appreciate it as an efficient, effective machine - even a thing of beauty. But you can’t make me love it. And it scares me just a little that somany of you love it so loudly. It’s possible to recognize excellence without forming an emotional attachment. That Toy Story 3 isn’t my favorite movie of the year doesn’t mean you’re a sucker for liking it. And it doesn’t mean my heart is three sizes too small. It just means that we like different things.

Grade: 89

Troll 2 (PG-13, 95 minutes) - A low-budget 1990 cult film, widely and reasonably considered among the worst movies ever made. The plot, such as it is, concerns vegetarian goblins (not trolls) who nevertheless eat people after turning them into plants. Or something. Anyway, it’s pretty horrible, and therefore an enjoyable gloss on human folly.

Grade: 4

Van Gogh: Brush With Genius (Not rated, 50 minutes) - Gorgeous short originally made for IMAX theaters is only somewhat marred by first-person narration in which the narrator, as van Gogh, describes his own death.

Grade: 85

Winnebago Man (Unrated, 87 minutes) - Documentary about Jack Rebney, a former broadcast journalist who obtained Internet fame after outtakes of him cursing during the production of a Winnebago sales video went viral. Nearly two decades after that presentation, filmmaker Ben Steinbauer went searching for the man behind the rants. Against all odds, Rebney manages to emerge with his dignity intact.

Grade: 87


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MovieStyle, Pages 35 on 11/05/2010

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