Across the Universe, In Therapy, Descent

By Leo Charney
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 0 | Posted Feb. 6, 2008

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Across the Universe

DVD

What: Sixties history, romance and Beatles songs.

Why: "We're in the middle of a revolution, Jude!" That's the level of deadly dialogue in this earnest, literalistic phantasmagoria. But the script is beside the point. Julie Taymor tells the story of '60s social upheavals through Beatles songs, sung by ardent hotties who fall in love while finding themselves and saving the world. You've never seen anything like it, for better or for worse; and if you're a fan, you've now got a whole disc of extras, with five behind-the-scenes documentaries and eight extended musical numbers.


In Therapy

On Demand: HBO/hbo.com

What: Five-times-a-week therapy drama.

Why: Can therapy be entertaining? HBO keeps trying to find out. Now it has a whole show: fictional sessions in which a therapist (Gabriel Byrne) meets with four patients and then his own therapist, each on a different night, for nine weeks. The sessions play like acting-school monologues, so they're most interesting as a formatting experiment. You can mix and match episodes online, On Demand and on TV, watching them night by night, person by person, in marathons, or just (like a bad therapist) picking out your favorites.


Descent

DVD

What: Grim story of a date-raped college student.

Why: Think of it as an anti-Valentine's-Day movie--a dark melodrama about an enigmatic N.Y.C. college student (improbably played by self-possessed 27-year-old Rosario Dawson) who gets date-raped by a seductive, arrogant jock. She then "descends" into the underworld of seedy S&M sex clubs in an attempt to get revenge on her tormentor. Dawson creates a memorable portrait of a half-formed person whose cool exterior masks diffidence and ambivalence--right up to the last ambiguous moment when she suddenly sees what she's become.

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