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Arts and Entertainment

New DVD Tuesday - The Protector, Perth, Mouchette, Border Radio, Britcoms and more

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The Protector (Tom yum goong) - Muay Thai master Tony Jaa (Ong-bak) stars as a peasant who" fights his way to Australia to avenge his father and save his family's prized elephants." The two-disc set includes both the U.S. theatrical version (cut by almost 30 minutes) and the original, uncut Thai version.

Queen's Sister - Lucy Cohu stars as the flamboyant Princess Margaret in this biopic about the sister of Britain's current monarch, Queen Elizabeth II. Princess Margaret was a glamorous figure in post-WWII Britain but had a tumultuous private life that included romantic disappointments, an unhappy marriage and a bitter divorce. The film begins in 1952 with the death of Margaret's father, King George VI, and spans the 1970s.

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British TV
My Hero (Season One) - A fish-out-of-water sitcom about an alien superhero who takes on the identity of a mild-mannered health store owner, so he can be with the girl he loves.
Rising Damp (Series 3) - A caustic 1970s British sitcom that stars Leonard Rossiter as an obnoxious, miserly landlord presiding over a menagerie of youthful, cash poor tenants.
The Royle Family (The Complete First Season) - A sitcom about a working class family that's headed by cheapskate patriarch Jim Royle (Ricky Tomlinson) and includes his frazzled wife (Suie Johnston), his lazy daughter (Caroline Aherne) and his surly teenage son (Craig Cash).

Employee of the Month - Dane Cook, the man who launched a thousand frat boys into short-lived stand-up comedy careers, co-stars with Dax Shepard in this low-rent comedy about a couple of slackers who work at a Wal-Mart-esque warehouse store. Wackiness ensues when the boys hear that the store hottie (Jessica Simpson) will date the employee of the month.

Comedy, Foreign
Cease Fire (Atash bas) - Tahmineh Milani, one of Iran's most prominent female filmmakers, turns away from her usual feminist-tinged subject matter in this lighthearted romantic comedy about bickering newlyweds. Immature Sayeh (Mahnaz Afshar) is exasperated with her chauvinist husband, Yousef (Mohammad Reza Golzar) and hopes a psychiatrist will sort everything out. One of the biggest smash hit of recent Iranian cinema.
Emergency Exit (Wyjscie awaryjne) - A 1982 Polish domestic comedy about an uptight matron (Bozena Dykiel) who is scandalized when her unmarried daughter becomes pregnant and begins scheming to find a groom (the "emergency exit") for the wayward girl.


Dress Rehearsal: The Brave Hurr's Ta'zieh - An Iranian doc directed by Nasser Taghvai about the preparation and performance of a ta'zieh, an ancient passion play that celebrates the glory of martyrdom.
Little Shaolin Monks - A doc that follows a group of children raised in the strict Shaolin Temple where they are trained in the martial arts.
Not a Photograph: The Mission of Burma Story (AKA This is Not a Photograph) - A documentary about influential Boston post-punk band Mission of Burma as they reunite in 2002, nearly two decades after their heyday.
What We Want, What We Believe: The Black Panther Party Library - This four-disc set provides a visual document of the early days of the Black Panther Party with footage shot by the Newsreel film collective. The set includes three Newsreel Films on the Black Panther Party -- Off the Pig, Mayday and Repression -- as well as a vast quantity of rare materials culled from FBI documents, correspondence, and interviews with people associated with the Black Panthers.

Border Radio - Allison Anders' first feature -- a low-budget indie made in 1987 -- is a dark and rambling drama about a musician who flees to Mexico after robbing a club. Featuring Chris D. of the Flesheaters and John Doe of X, the film is also notable as a slice of life depiction of Los Angeles' waning 1980s music scene.
Purgatory House - An inside look at the struggles and trauma of being a teenage girl written by and starring 14-year-old Celeste Davis. She plays Silver Strand, a lonely girl who commits suicide and finds herself in purgatory.

Drama, Foreign
Bab El-Oued City - Shot secretly in Algeria and released in 1994, this drama explores the chaos an violence that ensue when a baker destroys a loudspeaker that's blaring a sermon by a popular Islamic cleric.
Council of the Gods (Der Rat der Götter) - 1950 German film directed by Kurt Maetzig that stars Fritz Tillmann as Dr. Hans Scholz, an apolitical man of science who closes his eyes to the fact that the poison being produced in his factory is destined for concentration camp gas chambers. The film is based on actual testimony from the Nuremberg Trial of chemical company I.G. Farben.


The Debt Collector (Komornik) - In this award-winning Polish film (it was Poland's representative in foreign language category of the Oscars), repo man Lucek is brutally efficent and totally detached when performing his duties, but he has a change of heart after glimpsing the tragedies that have been caused by his ruthlessness.
La Moustache - An abstruse comedic drama from France about what happens when a man (Vincent Lindon) shaves his moustache and no one cares (or even seems to notice) causing his personal reality to unravel. Directed by Emmanuel Carrère from his novel of the same title and accompanied by Philip Glass' Violin Concerto.
Like A Brother (Comme un Frere) - In this French drama Benoît Delière plays a young gay man who moves to Paris and has lots of hot, anonymous sex in his search for love.
Mouchette - Robert Bresson's understated, deeply anti-sentimental melodrama about a 14-year-old schoolgirl at the mercy of her parents, her classmates and local villagers. It gets the Criterion treatment Criterion Collection that features a newly restored high-definition digital transfer of the film; new English subtitles; "Au hasard Bresson," a half-hour documentary that includes footage of Bresson directing Mouchette; "Travelling," a segment from the cine-magazine TV series Cinema, featuring on-set interviews with Bresson and actors Nadine Nortier and Jean-Claude Guilbert; the film's original theatrical trailer, cut by Jean-Luc Godard; a commentary track by film scholar Tony Rayns and a booklet with an essay by Robert Polito.
Perth - Described by many as the Singaporean Taxi Driver, this film stars Kay Tong Lim as Harry Lee, an aging, part-time security guard and taxi driver who wants only to live a comfortable life and dreams of emigrating to Perth. But when he lands a job driving for a local pimp, he falls for a prostitute who reminds him of a girl he once loved. In an attempt to win her freedom Harry goes on a violent, alcohol-fueled rampage. Check out this interview with the film's director, Djinn, in Firecracker, an online journal of East Asian cinema from the UK.
Rotation - The political becomes personal in this 1949 German film about a family torn apart over Nazism. Paul Esser stars as a mechanic who joins the Nazi party to secure his living but changes his mind, helps print resistance leaflets and is betrayed by his son, who has become a Hitler Youth member.

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Broken Sky (El Cielo dividido) - A Mexican drama from director Julian Hernandez about two gay teenagers (Miguel Canto and Fernando Arroyo) whose passionate, Edenic adoration of each other is shattered when one of them shares a kiss with another man at a nightclub.

Combat - Three separate installments comprise Patrick Carpentier's artsy, experimental, "cine-diary" The Irregularity of the Tearing, which explores intimacy and desire with blurred, shaky imagery and non-linear stories.

Summer Magic - This 1963 family-themed comedy (a remake of a 1938 film called Mother Carey's Chickens) features Hayley Mills in a musical about a Boston widow who moves her family to a house in rural Maine.

Fantasy Adventure
The Hexer - Based on the novels of author Andrzej Sapkowski, this 2001 Polish film follows the warrior Geralt the White Wolf as he battles evildoers and dragons to preserve his kingdom.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning - See how an unwanted baby is transformed into Leatherface thanks to a steady diet of violence and abuse in this prequel to the classic 1970s horror film.

Martial Arts
Seven Swords (Chat gim) - Tsui Hark's stars in this adaptation of "Seven Swordsmen from Mountain Tian," about seven master swordsmen who band together to protect an innocent village from the brutality of a vicious warlord.

Serial Killers
Final Move - Joey Travolta (brother of John) directs this thriller about a psychic and a cop who are tracking serial killer obsessed with chess. Surprisingly, this was NOT a straight-to-DVD release.

Sports Movies


Gridiron Gang - Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Xzibit turn a group of juvenile delinquents into a high school football team.
Undisputed II: Last Man Standing - This straight-to-video prison boxing drama stars Michael Jai White as a former boxing champ framed for murder and sent to Russia's most brutal prison to fight the resident champ (Scott Adkins) in an underground match.

May 6th (06/05) - A political thriller from the Netherlands that interweaves fiction and reality in a story about a photographer who uncovers a conspiracy surrounding the 2002 assassination of Pim Fortuyn, a charismatic, openly gay, anti-immigration Dutch politician. This was the last film from Dutch director Theo van Gogh, who was murdered in 2004 by a Dutch Muslim angry over van Gogh's outspoken criticism of Islam.
Inside Irvin - What happens to an agoraphobic couple who have spent 15 years inside their home when one of them tries to leave?

TV Movies
That's So Suite Life of Hannah Montana - The stars of three Disney Channel TV shows (That's So Raven, The Suite Life of Zack & Cody and Hannah Montana) -- join forces to form one marketing juggernaut.
Read it and Weep - A Disney Channel Original Movie about a teenager whose memoir becomes a best-selling book, which creates problem because she has turned herself into a wild literary alter-ego.