Romper Stomper: Special Edition
Long before laying waste to his enemies in Gladiator, Russell Crowe flaunted his acting muscles to critical acclaim as a magnetic neo-Nazi skinhead in this, Geoffrey Wright’s brutal and controversial orgy of sex, violence, and racial hatred. Too bad the extras on this crisply remastered wide-screen disc don’t deliver the same punch as the film’s compelling performances. The born brooder does reveal an unexpected enthusiasm and charm in a 1992 interview, but the other bonuses — a skinhead ”documentary” and the standard making-of affair — are just new interviews with Wright, who spends a lot of the time here, and in his commentary, defending his work. The real jolts come along the way, as he calmly offers refreshingly open confessions like ”Russell’s not the easiest person in the world to work with” and ”Russell, of course, was actually choking (Jacqueline McKenzie) there. It was very hard to get him to hold back.” Future costars, beware. B+
Up in Smoke
Here’s the flick that launched writer-stars Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong’s brand of bong show on an America still reeling from Reefer Madness. Features: Commentary by Marin and director Lou Adler, deleted scenes with commentary, theatrical trailer, anamorphic wide-screen, Dolby Digital 5.1.
His Girl Friday
Waging a battle of the sexes against Rosalind Russell’s ace reporter, Cary Grant throws a rather mean screwball in this comic standard. Features: Commentary by critic Todd McCarthy, four featurettes, theatrical trailers, full-screen, Dolby Digital mono.
The Wings of Honneamise
This story of a young pilot’s struggle against a constrictive system, tense competition, and the threat of war in his quest to be the first man in space plays like an anime version of Top Gun, without that kickin’ Kenny Loggins song. Features: Commentary by director Hiroyuki Yamaga, a deleted scene, original promotional short, conceptual art, trailers, anamorphic wide-screen, Dolby Digital 5.1 (in English).