The biggest story surrounding the midsummer release of the odd and messy but ultimately satisfying thriller Mr. Brooks centered around Kevin Costner's resurgence and willingness to play a killer (though personally I'm more impressed he's managed to resist playing another baseball player now for two years and counting). But Earl Brooks, the wealthy business owner and Portland "Man of the Year" honoree who dabbles in homicide on the side, isn't cut from the same cold-blooded vein as Patrick Bateman or Mickey or Mallory. He's constantly at odds with himself, and is largely let off the hook by the presence of his bloodthirsty alter-ego/invisible friend Marshall, who takes the shape of an aging William Hurt. The poor guy's got a devil on one shoulder but no angel on the other. To that effect, Mr. Brooks feels far less festive than American Psycho or Natural Born Killers, and is in some ways more surprising, even if Costner didn't do the film's suspense any favors when he spoke pre-release about making multiple Brooks movies (perhaps Mr. and Mrs. Brooks is next?). The film has plenty of other "lovable mess" qualities to it. It's overplotted: whereas Dane Cook's wannabe-slayer Mr. Smith is a necessity, a separate storyline involving an escaped convict is pure overkill. It's campy: Brooks has a secret lair, for one. And something about Demi Moore playing a multimillionaire who daylights as a cop screams bad Verhoeven. The film also inexplicably morphs into a John Woo movie for one bizarre action sequence. That all said, there's not a single dull moment to it.
Bonus Points: There's endless joy time for the serial killer enthusiast here: This disc comes with deleted scenes, commentary from director Bruce A. Evans his co-writer Raynold Gideon, and featurettes called The Birth of a Serial Killer: A Look at the Writing of Mr. Brooks, On the Set of Mr. Brooks, and Murder On Their Minds: Mr. Brooks, Marshall & Mr. Smith.
Other New DVD Releases This Week (Oct. 23)
Meet the Robinsons
Hostel: Part II
Home of the Brave
Into Great Silence
Saw III: Director's Cut
A Clockwork Orange: Special Edition
O Lucky Man: Special Edition
Hostel: Director's Cut
Wild Style: Anniversary Edition