DO YOU USE the second, supplemental disc of a new DVD set as a shaving mirror? Does it piss you off when a droning visual-effects>"/>
DO YOU USE the second, supplemental disc of a new DVD set as a shaving mirror? Does it piss you off when a droning visual-effects coordinator meticulously elucidates that breathtaking, unbelievable sequence of Neo vs. Morpheus hand-to-hand? Do you scoff at the notion of actually learning something about the film you just watched?
For all you obstinate suspenders of disbelief and, um, casual LSD users, here's your ideal double-disc package (out June 24): Punch-Drunk writer- director Paul Thomas Anderson offers zero commentaries or concrete insights on his claustrophobic departure, just a 34-minute, vaguely intoxicated, esoteric sequence of extras (which, in the liner notes, he recommends playing at random).
Twelve "Scopitones"abstract, color-bleeding, jazzy transitions inspired by the MTV-influential French "song films" of the early '60sare included, and the technique plays heavily in "Blossoms & Blood," a swooning short film ripe with . . . alternate shots of Adam Sandler and Emily Watson's central, arrested- development courtship. Yawn.
OK, the Scopitones are clearly intended to manifest the devastating, passive-aggressive, emotional earthquakes that define Sandler's blue-suited (get it?) businessman protagonist. Thankfully, a few extras exist simply to mollify fans of Anderson's lacerating, outrageous dialogue; in one deleted scene, Sandler wearily accepts inane, endless phone calls at the office from each of his seven overbearing sisters, finally snapping that a little boy playing outside is "so cute I'd like to cave his fucking head in."
Scarily misdirected hostility and gung-ho romantic obsession are pretty awkward cinematic bedfellows; at the very least, Anderson's trippy, "B-side" DVD approach suits the confounding, ambitious union of his film. ANDREW BONAZELLI
SLIGHTLY LESS confounding is the anime fave Cowboy Bebop, which also arrives June 24 along with Ron Shelton's other film about L.A. cops this year (besides Hollywood Homicide), Dark Blue. Also out, the jumbled Euro thriller Intacto; kiddie box- office poison Kangaroo Jack; the fascinating-like-a-train-wreck doc Lost in La Mancha, about Terry Gilliam's attempt to film Don Quixote; Country Teachers, which launches a new series of Chinese cinema; and The Hours, with its talent trifecta of Kidman, Streep, and Moore. EDS.