Sideways

Fox Home Entertainment, $29.98.

The sozzled saga of the windmill- infested California wine country invaded by a modern Don Quixote with a cheating schlong for a lance and a flopped novelist for a Sancho Panza, Sideways is a must- see movie. Even the Oscar-winning script (Newmarket, $19.95) and the original novel (St. Martin's Griffin, $13.95) are worth owning. But is it really worth revisiting on DVD? On the disc (available April 5 in both widescreen and full-screen versions), director Alexander Payne admits that the extras are "meager offerings": seven brief deleted scenes of modest consequence, a slender making-of featurette, and the trailer. He's not kidding.

But the commentary by stars Paul Giamatti and Thomas Haden Church is one of the most entertaining I've ever heard. Besides being smart guys with inside information and insights into acting and cinematography that few critics can match, the two use the DVD to reprise their roles in another form. They razz each other like their counterparts on-screen, only in a sweeter tone, since they're huge successes instead of risible failures, and in mock-scholarly lingo. Giamatti calls his posterior "an uninterrupted smooth connection from spine to gluteus." Chimes Haden Church, "At any moment, gnomes will rappel down your backside—" Giamatti: "—And nestle in the warm, downy hair—" "—that sits atop your fleshy French scoops!" Mr. HC aptly likens PG to the Underwood deviled ham man and a junior-varsity member of the Three Musketeers. PG calls HC "somewhat like Michael Landon." "Oh word! Word, my brother!" says HC, who also claims the "bejugged and brainy" Virginia Madsen was "freebunning—no panties!" HC's nude-butt scene with Sandra Oh elicits this: "Whoo! The cottage cheesy backside of Haden Church—" "Like two enormous Glad Bags filled with ricotta cheese!" "Like dueling pillowcases full of milk!"

Arriving April 12, Kevin Bacon plays a child molester in The Woodsman; Steven Soderbergh's all-star Ocean's Twelve gets dumped without any extras; Suspect Zero hardly scared anyone; and archival house Milestone issues a set of old films starring silent-era queen Olive Thomas. Better bets are John C. Reilly in Criminal and Oscar-nominated Don Cheadle in Hotel Rwanda. Among TV fare, look for several volumes from the Cartoon Network's Adult Swim area, including Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law. The pick of the week would have to be Almodóvar's Bad Education, with director commentary.

Eds.

dvd@seattleweekly.com

 
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