License to Drive

Anchor Bay Entertainment, $19.98.

What a wild night it proves to be when young Corey Haim fails his driver's test but decides to take the family Cadillac out on the town anyway! Is it any surprise he brings that reckless rascal Corey Feldman along for the ride? And let's not forget a 17-year-old Heather Graham passed out in the trunk.

The 1988 License (on disc May 3) was the second in a series of late-'80s masterpieces pairing Messrs. Haim and Feldman, aka the Coreys, before their increasing interest in extracurricular activities left the teenage maestros better suited for the Betty Ford Center than the box office. But, ah, what golden moments they've left us!

Those bygone days are well documented on this DVD, whose commentary track may well be one of the best such features you'll ever hear. Director Greg Beeman (now a producer on Smallville) and writer Neil Tolkin have no illusions about License; they spend most of its 90 minutes in an informative, affectionate, hilarious savagery of a film made when both were still in their early 20s. Beeman dryly speaks of Haim being "at the peak of his powers as an actor," and explains the visible bags that Tolkin notes under the teen's eyes as the result of "all that line studying." When Beeman reminisces how "a lot of things were cried over" in the trailer of Carol Kane, who plays Haim's mother, Tolkin casually queries, "'The-camera's-not-on-me' kind of crying?" Would that ubiquitous DVD extra no-shows like Woody Allen or Steven Spielberg could relax and provide such droll insight into their work.

The two stars are around, too. Haim, looking distressingly puffy, remembers that Graham "was not happy about the mono situation" when forced to kiss him despite his illness. A moussed and plucked Feldman compares the Coreys' brief brush with fame to Beatlemania. Such deliciously deluded confessions are just the icing on the cake of this Day-Glo classic.

MAY 18 brings several good foreign-language movies to disc, including Javier Bardem in The Sea Inside. Also look for Kiyoshi Kurosawa's Japanese horror flicks Charisma and Séance; the French class comedy It's Easier for a Camel . . . ; and the African drama Abouna, about two brothers looking for their missing father in Chad. There's good rude fun to be had in Team America: World Police. We'll review Kinsey soon. Our pick of the week would have to be the great documentary Hoop Dreams.

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dvd@seattleweekly.com

 
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