A special all-DVD Culture Jamming this week.
The Bad Seed
This creepy 1956 thriller about an eight-year-old girl who’s secretly an evil killing machine can still freak you out after all these years. It not only serves as a launching point for the psychological horror movies of the ’70s and ’80s, it’s also a probing look at parents’ blind love for their children, even their cold-blooded murderous ones. The movie makes its Blu-ray debut with the usual extras.
Batman: Year One
Can’t wait until the next Dark Knight movie hits theaters next year for a Batman fix? This animated feature — based on Frank Miller’s great 1987 series about the Bruce Wayne’s early days as a crime-fighter – is a tough and gritty blast. The sleek animation perfectly complements the story’s style. Best of all, Breaking Bad’s Bryan Cranston provides the voice of Jim Gordon, Batman’s only ally in Gotham.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2
The final movie in the series is also the best … and one of the best films of the year. Everything has been building to this point, and The Deathly Hallows doesn’t let up. It’s moody, sentimental, and stuffed with climatic battle scenes that pit wizard against wizard, good against evil. It’s also an extremely well-acted movie, a fitting end to one of the most beloved group of characters of the past decade.
Two more single-disc DVDs from the cult TV show’s vaults: The Touch of Satan and The Atomic Brain. The former is an early-’70s stinker about a guy who hooks up with a farmer’s daughter, who turns out to be a witch; the latter is a cheapie from a decade earlier about an old lady who wants to transplant her brain into the body of a younger woman. Mike and the robots have lots of fun with this crap.
Pearl Jam Twenty
Cameron Crowe’s documentary plays more like an anniversary gift for the band, which released its debut album 20 years ago. There’s lots of backstage scenes, as well as some insight from the group, but the movie comes alive when Pearl Jam do: onstage and tearing through some of the most durable rock songs of the past couple decades. There’s no dirt here, just great music.