It's another fairly lackluster week, though the HD DVDs are starting to creep in.
Hostel (Unrated Widescreen Edition)
Eli Roth's follow-up to breakout horror indie Cabin Fever proved to be an equally surprising hit. This time out, American backpackers stumble upon a pay-to-torture resort in Eastern Europe. Nastiness ensues. And yes, Hostel 2 (and very likely 3) are on the way.
In what might be termed commentary overkill, the disc offers four different tracks, one with just Roth, another with Roth and some executive producers, including Quentin Tarantino, another with Roth, a producer, and his documentarian brother Gabriel, and finally one with Roth, the editor, a couple actors, and Harry Knowles from Ain't It Cool News. I don't think even Coppola had this much to say about The Godfather.
Breakfast on Pluto
Even if the movie got mixed reviews, Cillian Murphy's performance as the cross-dressing protagonist of this Neil Jordan adaptation of a Patrick McCabe novel received universal raves. All I know is, I saw a Dalek in the trailer, so I'm curious.
Extras include commentary by Jordan and Murphy, plus a making-of featurette. See? Just one commentary track. I'm looking in your direction, Hostel.
Mrs. Henderson Presents
Though not on the level of director Stephen Frears' best (High Fidelity, Dirty Pretty Things, Dangerous Liasons), this true story of a widow (the reliably priceless Dame Judi Dench) who starts a nude female revue in WWII-torn London with the help of a veteran showman (a package-revealing Bob Hoskins) is still solid entertainment, and an interesting reflection on what life during wartime should or should not mean for civilians.
Extras include commentary from Frears.
The Complete Mr. Arkadin
Orson Welles, the original argument for director's cut, completed many films that were later butchered before release, Mr. Arkadin among them. In an attempt to approximate what the old pro may have intended, Criterion presents three different versions on three different discs in this collection. Two of these were released previously, while the third is a new "Comprehensive Version" cut especially for this release.
There are extras galore, including commentary from Welles experts such as Jonathan Rosenbaum, interviews with folks like Peter Bogdanovich, episodes of the radio program The Lives of Harry Lime, which inspired Arkadin and prequeled The Third Man, and the novelization of Mr. Arkadin, for starters.
Serenity (HD DVD)