Susan Granger's weekly DVD update
Published 3:36 pm, Thursday, September 20, 2012
Joss Whedon ("Buffy the Vampire Slayer") slyly subverts all your spooky horror movie expectations with his macabre "Cabin in the Woods," revealing what really may be lurking in the darkness, while "The Revenant" is a horror comedy about an American soldier killed in Iraq who stuns his slacker buddy when he rises from the grave as a sort of undead zombie/vampire hybrid with an insatiable thirst for blood.
Ethan Hawke and Kristin Scott Thomas star in Pawel Pawlikowski's psychological thriller "Woman in the Fifth," set in Paris and dealing with themes of artistic inspiration and the dark frustration that comes from having ideas stunted by personal issues and/or social constraints.
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In "Hysteria," Victorian-era London is all a-twitter when Dr. Mortimer Granville (Hugh Dancy) treats his repressed female patients' nervous diseases by utilizing his new invention: the electric vibrator.
Reminiscent of "The Blackboard Jungle," Tony Kaye's soulful, surrealistic "Detachment" is a scathing indictment of our public school system, focusing on the grim, nightmarish experiences of a high school substitute teacher (Adrien Brody).
Aimed at fanatic preteens, the documentary "Katy Perry: Part of Me" celebrates the sparkly, sequined singer whose childhood dream of becoming a pop star came true.
Set in Cuba 1948, the animated, Oscar-nominated "Chico & Rita" revolves around an ambitious young piano player and a beautiful singer named Rita who has an extraordinary voice; music and desire unite them as they chase their dreams from Havana to New York, Hollywood to Paris, in an epic story spanning six decades.
Gianni Di Gregorio's "Salt of Life" serves up wistful midlife infatuations and love -- Italian style. And from Norwegian director Joachim Trier, "Oslo August 31" is the haunting, cautionary story of a resourceful 34-year-old man with a very dark mind, dramatizing the perils of drug addiction.
PICK OF THE WEEK: Culture shock lies in store for cash-strapped British seniors (Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Tom Wilkinson, Bill Nighy, Penelope Wilton) who board a plane from London to Jaipur, ready to embark on the adventurous third act of their lives in the delightfully droll "Best Exotic Marigold Hotel."