This week, we begin in Jerusalem:
3.5 stars. Rated R, 101 minutes.
Now available on DVD and in various digital download formats.
This French-Canadian film from writer-director Anais Barbeau-Lavalette sees an idealistic young doctor, Chloe (Evelyn Brochu), travel to Israel to work.
She lives in Jerusalem, sharing a flat with Ava (Sivan Levy), a friend who serves in the Israeli army. During the day, Chloe works at a clinic for Palestinian women in Ramallah in the West Bank.
She finds herself torn, trying to please both sides and all friends, resulting in the inevitability of pleasing no one and eventually arousing personal enmity. The film ably conveys the prevalent mistrust and unease that seems to permeate the area.
The DVD includes six minutes of deleted scenes, and a three-minute short film from Kevin Papatie.
All the Boys Love Mandy Lane (2 stars) Amber Heard stars as the title character in this teen-revenge/suspense/slasher film that owes many debts.
She plays a Texas high school student who joins a group of friends for a weekend at a ranch owned by absent parents. The usual incidents — including a power failure, excessive drinking, false bravado, and fleeting figures running in front of the camera — lead to the equally inevitable grisly elimination of several of the teens.
At first, the guilty party looks to be the ranch foreman (Anson Mount). But director Jonathan Levine throws in some third-act surprises.
Made in 2006 in and around Bastrop, the film seems to have little purpose beyond showcasing Heard — who, for her part, sets a cinematic record for brushing the hair back out of her face.
Rated R, 90 minutes. The DVD includes director’s commentary.
The Last Tycoon (3 stars) No film could live up to the blue-ribbon pedigree behind this sumptuous 1976 production directed by Elia Kazan (A Streetcar Named Desire, On the Waterfront).
Based on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s unfinished final novel, Nobel laureate Harold Pinter wrote the screenplay.
Heading a star-studded cast, Robert DeNiro smoothly underplays his leading role as Monroe Stahr, the one-time “Boy Wonder” who now heads a major studio. Stahr was supposedly modeled on MGM chieftain Irving Thalberg, who died at 37 after successfully running the operation.
The meandering story follows Stahr as he deals with insecure movie stars (Tony Curtis and Jeanne Moreau), a drunken writer (Donald Pleasance), a wronged director (Dana Andrews), and the flirtatious young daughter (Theresa Russell) of another studio executive (Robert Mitchum). Jack Nicholson appears in the third act as a negotiating labor leader.
Ingrid Boulting, who has appeared in only three films since this one, plays the mysterious woman who falls into Stahr’s life and then disappears. Rated PG, 123 minutes.
The Rutles Anthology Former Monty Python member Eric Idle had a second career with his spoof of the Beatles, the similar-looking and -sounding group the Rutles.
This two-disc set holds Idle’s 1978 All You Need Is Cash (73 minutes), which played on British TV and spawned a short series. The Rutles 2: Can’t Buy Me Lunch (2004, 56 minutes), a mockumentary also written and directed by Idle, follows more of the group’s Hard Day’s Night-type antics.
The discs include commentary, an interview with Idle, an original Saturday Night Live clip featuring Lorne Michaels, and more.
And for kids this week:
Thomas and Friends: The Thomas Way In these five computer-generated episodes (58 minutes), Thomas and friends Duck, Luke and Millie drive each other’s trucks and have fun adventures. The disc contains a bonus episode, a game and “Guess Who” puzzles.
Barney: Perfectly Purple Barney and buddies Bop, BJ and Riff plan a purple party for a friend in three episodes (52 minutes) along with a match game, a read-along segment and a music video.
Angelina Ballerina: Twirling Tales Dancing mouse Angelina joins Vicky and others for a cake-themed dance day in these five episodes, totaling 61 minutes. With a “Dance Club” segment and two music videos.
Also available Tuesday on DVD: Adore, Despicable Me 2, Fast and Furious 6, Man of Tai Chi, Touchy Feely.