Home Movies/Out on Digital 2.23
Beauty and the Beast
Disney has yet another Beauty and the Beast in the pipeline. Meanwhile, the 2014 French version of La belle et la bête is out on Blu-ray and dubbed in English. Despite the fairytale voiceover narration, this rendition verges on PG-13 for several sexy scenes. A furry beast (Vincent Cassel) has imprisoned the truly beautiful Belle (Léa Seydoux) inside the ruins of a gargoyle-festooned castle where candles light by magic and banquets materialize from thin air.
(Dis)Honesty: The Truth About Lies
Enron, Lance Armstrong, subprime loans, Donald Trump—lies and liars have become as evident as they are rampant. In his documentary (Dis)Honesty, director Yael Melamede looks at lies through the studies of behavioral scientists at Duke University’s Center for Advanced Hindsight. They discover that most everyone admits to lying yet most people think they are honest and that incentives for deception seem to be accelerating in an age that demands greater speed and higher profits.
“Penny Dreadful: The Complete Series”
In the flickering gaslight of Victorian London, terrible crimes are occurring—the stuff of penny dreadfuls, the lurid pulp fiction of 19th-century Britain. Showtime’s “Penny Dreadful” is a pastiche of Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker and Oscar Wilde with vampires, their hunters, ancient Egyptian curses and a rising age of darkness. The idea is sometimes better than the screenwriting but execution isn’t bad, especially the performance of Josh Hartnett as expatriate American gunslinger Ethan Chandler.
The King of New Orleans
Veteran actor David Jensen elevates this indie film, playing Larry Shirt, an aging cabbie in New Orleans. Divorced and in declining health, he loves the driving and talking and talking and driving of his job. Although reduced to living in a FEMA trailer after Hurricane Katrina, Larry carries on with a bemused shrug. He must bite his tongue, however, as he ferries glib tourists who ask “to see the devastation” of the 9th Ward.