Rack Focus


King Kong

Bloated even by the standards of the contemporary Hollywood blockbuster, Peter Jackson’s utterly gratuitous 2005 remake is about twice as long as it needs to be, wasting an hour on tedious exposition before devolving into a morass of video-game-like fight scenes pitting Kong against various CGI monsters, all of them hideously ugly. The visual effects have a certain intrinsic value (although I’m not sure the same can be said for Jack Black’s inexplicable performance), but the movie’s most striking achievement is somehow being more racist than the far superior 1933 original. For anyone left wanting more, the extras disc includes three hours of behind-the-scenes footage.

3 Films by Louis Malle

This new four-disc box packages together three films from the popular New Wave fellow traveler. Along with the 1971 coming-of-age story Murmur of the Heart, the set includes two World War II–era dramas: Lacombe, Lucien (1974), which addressed the taboo subject of collaboration, and the crowd-pleasing Au Revoir les Enfants (1987). The supplements disc includes a new interview with Malle widow Candice Bergen and three audio interviews with the director.

(First Run)

An aging factory owner (Andrés Pazos) persuades a veteran employee (Mirella Pascual) to pose as his wife when his long-unseen brother (Jorge Bolani) comes to visit in this deadpan comedy from Uruguay. Some may be put off by the glacial pacing, but finely shaded performances all around make the most of the skeletal story line.