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DVDs Nuts!

Lesser-seen OW approved titles

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A Serbian Film

If you’ve ever finished watching Oldboy and thought, “Boy, I really wish this movie was more screwed up and depressing,” then Srdjan Spasojevic’s deeply, deeply disturbed, uber-violent psychological horror flick, A Serbian Film, is the movie for you. Centered on the question of whether pornography is art, retired porn star Milos (Srdan Todorovićc) is pulled back into the game by a sadistic producer, Vukmir (Sergej Trifunovicć), who is out to prove that their trade is, in fact, art. Great modern films like 9 Songs and Shortbus suggest the two can certainly co-mingle, but this is just an all-out assault on the senses, particularly one’s sense of decency. Still, it contains one of the most ingeniously disgusting film murders of all time, and the blow is somewhat softened by Todorovićc’s creepy resemblance to David Spade. Yeesh. (available now)

Special Features: none

The Nightmare Before Christmas (Blu-ray 3D)

Whether or not you have kids and whether or not you celebrate this unholiest of holidays, Tim Burton’s stop-motion 1993 showstopper about a clash between Halloween and Christmas that was, according to Burton on the DVD, inspired by a moment in the ’80s when he saw a clerk change a store window display from one theme to the other, absolutely holds up to its status as a modern-day classic. This beautiful combo pack offers a pristine version of the film at all levels of tech geekdom. Although the special features have appeared on previous DVD releases, it’s still a bonus to have them collected together, especially a crystal clear transfer of Burton’s short film Frankenweenie, which looks like it was filmed this year and still plays like the punk version of E.T., and Burton’s jaw-dropping original poem that inspired the movie, which deftly combines the styles of Dickens and Dr. Seuss, peppered with all manner of traditional Christmas tales, to come up with a completely fresh yet wholly inspiring Halloween fairy tale. (available now)

Special Features: Audio commentary, featurettes, deleted scenes, original poem, short films Vincent and Frankenweenie

Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale In this feature-length expansion of a pair of beautifully shot, masterfully told short films, writer-director Jalmari Helander shows scientists using explosives to unearth what they believe is the genuine Santa Claus. But when strange and deadly things start happening, it becomes apparent that Sinterklaas is far from a jolly old elf. What plays out is a half-baked, but at times utterly enthralling, dark fairy tale that eventually abandons its hushed tones and sweeping scope in favor of a grandly silly climax out of left field. (available now)

Special Features: none

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