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DVD Releases January 23, 2006

Jesus CampReviewPurchase at – The feverish spectacle of a summer camp for evangelical Christian kids is the focus of Jesus Camp, a fascinating if sometimes alarming documentary. (Shortly after its release, the movie gained a new notoriety when Ted Haggard, president of the National Association of Evangelicals, who appears near the end of the film, resigned his post amid a male prostitute’s allegations of drug use and sexual misconduct.) For most of the film, we follow a charismatic teacher, Becky Fischer, as she trains young soldiers in “God’s Army” at a camp in North Dakota. Some of the kids emerge as likable and bright, and eager to continue their work as pint-sized preachers; elsewhere, the visions of children speaking in tongues and falling to the floor in ecstasy are more troubling. Even more arresting is the vision of a generation of children home-schooled to believe that the Bible is science, or Fischer’s certainty that America’s flawed system of democracy will someday be replaced by a theocracy. (In one scene, a cardboard cut-out of George W. Bush is presented to the children, who react by laying their hands on the figure as though in a religious procession.)

This Films Is Not Yet RatedReviewPurchase at – As it turns out, Kirby Dick’s eye-opening documentary isn’t rated. When he submitted it to the Motion Picture Association of America, they slapped it with an NC-17 (though he had always intended to release it unrated). This is fitting since he sheds much-needed light on the inner workings of a secretive organization that wields great power over the movies the public gets to see (since most mainstream media won’t touch the dreaded NC-17). It’s just as well since This Film Is Not Yet Rated focuses on the more controversial films of the past three decades. Aside from the stories of filmmakers who have tussled with the MPAA, Dick hires a private investigator to determine who sits on the board, since this information isn’t in the public domain. With her assistance, he solves the mystery. Directors include Darren Aronofsky (Requiem for a Dream), Mary Harron (American Psycho), and Kimberly Peirce (Boys Don’t Cry). Though frequently humorous, This Film Is Not Yet Rated should be required viewing for serious film fans, because the MPAA doesn’t just affect what gets seen–but what gets made.

Cocaine CowboysReviewPurchase at – In the 1980s, ruthless Colombian cocaine barons invaded Miami with a brand of violence unseen in this country since Prohibition-era Chicago – and it put the city on the map. “Cocaine Cowboys” is the true story of how Miami became the drug, murder and cash capital of the United States, told by the people who made it all happen.

Tracy Ellison on November 12th, 2008 at 2:52 pm 


health care costs on May 20th, 2009 at 10:33 am 

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