DVD Round Up, July 27, 2009: ‘Bad Lieutenant,’ ‘Bart Got a Room’

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CHICAGO – The Round-Up is back with a quintet of standard DVDs that may have gone unnoticed in your latest Best Buy circular. There’s at least one very good movie in here and a few unique independent offerings that you might want to take a peek at. We wish we had time to cover these titles in more depth, but here are the details - synopsis, cast, features - that you really need to know.

“Horsemen” was released on July 14th, 2009.

“Bad Lieutenant,” “Bart Got a Room,” “Big Man Japan,” and “The Great Buck Howard” will be released on July 28th, 2009.

“Bad Lieutenant: Special Edition”

Bad Lieutenant
Photo credit: Lionsgate

Synopsis: “Harvey Keitel is a nameless New York cop, hopelessly addicted to drugs, gambling, and sex. As he makes his way to various crime scenes, he is concerned only with taking bets from his fellow cops on the outcome of the ongoing National League playoffs. As his bad decisions drive him deeper into debt, his life becomes a surreal hell, with a constant intake of crack, coke, heroin, and booze eroding what remains of his sanity. An investigation into the rape of a nun leads to his spiritual breakdown at the church crime scene, where he sees Jesus and the road to his salvation. This gutsy, highly original tale is one of Ferrara’s most perfectly realized films and a pinnacle in the career of Keitel, whose performance transcends the screen in its sheer bravery.”

“Bad Lieutenant” stars Harvey Keitel, Victor Argo, Paul Calderone, Leonard Thomas, Robin Burrows, Frankie Thorn, Victoria Bastel, and Paul Hipp. It was written by Zoe Lund & Abel Ferrara and directed by Ferrara. The film is presented in widescreen with a 1.78:1 aspect ratio and accompanied by an English 5.1 Dolby Digital audio track. It is rated NC-17.

Special features include audio commentary with director Abel Ferrara and director of photography Ken Kelsch, and a new retrospective documentary featuring exclusive interviews with the cast and crew.

“Bart Got a Room”

Bart Got a Room
Photo credit: Anchor Bay

Synopsis: “Nerdy high school senior Danny (Steven Kaplan) spent six hundred bucks on the hotel room, the limo and the tux for his prom. He’s only missing one thing - the girl. Hampered by well-intentioned but clueless advice from his newly-divorced parents, (William H. Macy and Cheryl Hines), as well as unsympathetic mocking from his best friends (Brandon Hardesty, Alia Shawkat), Danny battles peer pressure, teen angst and his own raging hormones as he desperately searches for a prom date. Danny’s luckless quest turns to panic when he learns that even Bart - the school’s biggest dweeb - has secured not only a date, but also a hotel room for the night.”

“Bart Got a Room” stars Steven Kaplan, Alia Shawkat, Jon Polito, Jennifer Tilly, Cheryl Hines, and William H. Macy. It was written and directed by Brian Hecker. The film is presented in widescreen with a 1.85:1 aspect ratio and accompanied by a Dolby Surround 5.1 audio track. It is rated PG-13.

Special features include a “Pop-Up Production Notebook” and the film’s theatrical trailer.

“Big Man Japan”

Big Man Japan
Photo credit: Magnolia

Synopsis: “Big Man Japan is an outrageous portrayal of an original superhero. As Big Man Japan, Daisato inherited the role of defending Japan against a host of bizarre monsters. He receives high-voltage electroshocks which transform him into a stocky, stick-wielding giant several stories high. However, where his predecessors were revered as national heroes, he is an outcast among the citizens he protects.”

“Big Man Japan” stars Hitosi Matumoto, Riki Takeuchi, Ua, Ryunosuke Kamiki, and Itsuji Itao. It was written by Matumoto and Mitsuyoshi Takasi and directed by Matumoto. The film is presented in widescreen with a 1.85:1 aspect ratio and accompanied by a Japanese Dolby Digital Surround 5.1 audio track. It is rated PG-13.

Special features include “Making of Big Man Japan with Commentary” and deleted scenes.

“The Great Buck Howard”

The Great Buck Howard
Photo credit: Magnolia

Synopsis: “Once upon a time, Buck Howard (John Malkovich) spent his days in the limelight as a mentalist extraordinaire! Nowadays, it’s clear to everyone except Buck that his act has lost its luster. Convinced his comeback is imminent, Buck needs a new road manager and personal assistant. Recent law school drop-out and would-be writer Troy Gable (Colin Hanks) needs a job and a purpose. Working for the pompous, has-been mentalist fills the former requirement, but how it satisfies the latter is questionable. Nonetheless, with the aid of a fiery publicist (Emily Blunt) and a bold stroke of luck, Buck lands back in the American consciousness, taking Troy along for the ride. ”

“The Great Buck Howard” stars Colin Hanks, John Malkovich, Emily Blunt, Ricky Jay, Steve Zahn, and Tom Hanks. It was written and directed by Sean McGinly. The film is presented in widescreen with a 1.85:1 aspect ratio and accompanied by an English Dolby Digital Surround 5.1 audio track. It is rated PG.

Special features include commentary with Sean McGinly (writer/director) and Colin Hanks (actor), deleted scenes, extended scenes, outtakes, behind the scenes, “The Amazing Kreskin,” and “HDNet: A Look at The Great Buck Howard”.


Photo credit: Lionsgate

Synopsis: “At home, hardened police detective Aidan Breslin (Quaid) has grown increasingly distant from his two young sons since the death of his wife. At work, he finds himself thrust into an investigation of perverse serial killings rooted in the Biblical prophecy of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse: The White Horsemen, a master of deception and the unexpected leader hell-bent on conquest; The Red Horsemen, a sharp-witted warrior intent on turning man against man, with an innocence that hides a burning rage within; The Black Horsemen, a manipulative and dark tyrant, unbalanced but always one step ahead; and The Pale Horsemen, an executioner with disarming strength, determined to spread death through surgical precision. As Breslin grapples with each new revelation in the case, he slowly discovers a shocking connection between himself and the four suspects.”

“Horsemen” stars Dennis Quaid, Ziyi Zhang, Lou Taylor Pucci, Clifton Collins Jr., Patrick Fugit, and Peter Stormare. It was written by David Callahan and directed by Jonas Akerlund. The film is presented in widescreen with a 1.78:1 aspect ratio and accompanied by an English 5.1 Dolby Digital audio track. It is rated R.

Special features include an audio commentary by director Jonas Akerlund and director of photography Eric Broms and deleted scenes.

HollywoodChicago.com content director Brian Tallerico

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