Rack Focus

Beowulf & Grendel
(Anchor Bay)

Icelandic director Sturla Gunnarsson's aptly titled take on the Beowulf legend is less adaptation than deconstruction, its hero's blissfully uncomplicated Anglo- Saxon valor replaced by a tortured psychology and building sense of moral equivalency. The half-baked revisionism is a dead end, but the pervasive emphasis on anachronism is oddly compelling, and the foggy grayness of the landscapes is reminiscent of Roman Polanski's supremely bleak post-Manson Macbeth.

The Dead Zone
(Paramount)

David Cronenberg's Stephen King adaptation remains one of the director's most conventional, and consequently, most underrated films. This new release includes several featurettes, containing interviews with Cronenberg and King biographer Douglas E. Winter.

Spirit of the Beehive
(Criterion)

Following a run at Film Forum, Víctor Erice's first feature, one of the most celebrated works in Spanish-cinema history, gets a belated Region 1 release. Supplements include an interview with the director and a documentary called The Footsteps of a Spirit, featuring Erice and others involved in the film's making.

 
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