Bad WordsBad Words is a movie about a grown man who finds a loophole in a national spelling bee competition. Let’s just get that out of the way, first, because any man childish enough to dash the hopes of a slew of young children is obviously going to be some sort of a graceless jerk. In this case Jason Bateman plays the jerk, a man named Guy Trilby who has enough time on his hands to participate in a slew of spelling challenges leading him all the way to the big Bee.
He’s not alone in the challenge. Guy is accompanied by a reporter during his lengthy quest. Her name Jenny (Kathryn Hahn), and she’s the sort of unharried type of woman who gets to a good story even if the person she is interviewing is Sir Clam-up-a-Lot. Hahn and Bateman are both very convincing in their roles, and even when a ham-fisted romance of sorts is tied into the plot, this doesn’t affect their banter, the sort which is often as quick-witted as it is gleefully mean.
This sort of humor won’t work for everyone, especially those who are used to seeing Bateman play the nice guy in comedy. In Bad Words, a movie which is also Bateman’s directorial debut, the man chooses to go beyond stereotype and play the sort of despicable character who might not automatically resonate with audiences. Unfortunately, it’s when Guy does try to explain his horrible behavior that Bad Words loses all of its punch. The ending is less than satisfactory and borders on maudlin. However, if you want to see what Bateman can do with a new character and a camera, this small release from Universal Studios Home Entertainment is worth a watch. You can order Bad Words over at Amazon.
Best Special Feature: "The Minds And Mouths Behind Bad Words" is a pretty basic behind the scenes feature, but its lack of weird premise doesn't change the fact that it's funny and informative. A lot of it covers Batman talking about how much he identified with the sick and horrifying sense of humor his character has. Apparently, he offered the role to other people and dangled it out there, but in the end, he was the one who really identified with the character.
Other Bonus Features:
Deleted and Extended Scenes
Feature Commentary with Director Jason Bateman
Nymphomaniac: Volumes I and IILars Von Triers’ artsy and critically-liked film makes for a doozy of a Blu-ray. Magnolia Entertainment’s set takes up two entire discs, with Volume I of Nymphomaniac housed on the first disc and Volume II on the second. The movie itself is not for the faint of heart. Beyond the sexually extroverted title, the movie is purely about one woman’s quest for sex during young adulthood and beyond, and how those quests have affected her daily life and mental well-being. At the start of the story we find Joe (Charlotte Gainsbourg) in an alley soon after she’s been beaten up. An odd duck, Seligman (Stellan Skarsgård) finds her and takes her back to his place, where Nymphomaniac's tale of a young woman’s life truly begins.
While Von Trier’s work is artfully put together and features an intimate look into a young woman’s life, it’s certainly not a film for everyone, and its unrated look at Joe’s frequent and sometimes violent sexual exploits is certainly not recommended for a younger audience. That said, the set should be a good fit for those who were enamored with the outside-the-box look at life Nymphomaniac offers. Extras include featurettes on the characters, the director and the sex, as well as a behind-the-scenes look the film itself and trailers. You can purchase it over at Amazon or check out the list of other releases, following.
While summer can be a great time at the theater, there’s often a dearth of home entertainment releases as the months grow warm. This week does offer a few moderately entertaining hits, including the sequel to the stellar horror flick The Raid and some extra footage from this year’s Bad Grandpa. Unless otherwise noted, releases are available on both Blu-ray and DVD.
Other June 8 Releases
Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa .5
The Raid 2
Lake Placid: Collector’s Edition Blu-ray
Stage Fright Blu-ray
Wings: Sky Force Heroes DVD
The Class of ‘92 DVD