A lovely, light comedy/drama, Avenue Montaigne is out this week on DVD, and it's my top pick because of one scene. French country girl Jessica (Cécile De France) stumbles onto a rooftop and sees the Eiffel Tower looming across the Seine. The early morning sky is gray and threatening, but it seems like the perfect moment for the sun to burst forth upon our plucky heroine. Instead, the clouds grow darker and a rainstorm soaks her. It's a welcome reversal of expectations, for up until that point it appears Jessica will skip merrily around the upscale Avenue Montaigne forever, making friends and influencing lives with the light touch of an angel. But the rooftop rainstorm -- intercut with wordless images of the other key characters -- makes it apparent that writer/director Danièle Thompson is after something more elusive than simply riffing on Amelie. The DVD includes a "making of" feature and is anamorphic, so it should look gorgeous.

When I wrote about Dynamite Warrior earlier this week, I didn't mean to damn it with faint praise. Among the new releases, it's what I would choose for a weekend party picture rental: gather your friends, shake some cayenne on your popcorn, serve the beverages of your choice and have a cheesy good time with the Thai rocket master of your dreams. You can even be a heretic and (horrors!) play the English dub. Extras include a "making of" feature, "behind the scenes" stunts and on-set footage. Other indie releases that sound like mindless treats include Baxter, a 1989 French horror flick about a bull terrier who can think (?!), and Yo-Yo Girl Cop, a 2006 Japanese action pic about an undercover operative who uses ... wait for it .. a yo-yo as her weapon of choice. Will wonders never cease?
categories Dvds, Cinematical