Video Reviews | March 1, 2014

redstarNashville. 3 discs. color. 160+ min. Robert Altman, Paramount Pictures , dist. by Criterion Collection, 2013. DVD/Blu-ray ISBN 9781604657906. $39.95. F

Probably most widely known for his third film, the breakout hit nashville031714M*A*S*H, Altman (1925–2006) made some three dozen feature films but none better than Nashville (1975). With 24 characters coming together over five days in the country music capital, this intimate epic nimbly juggles multiple plotlines that culminate in a tragic concert rally for a maverick presidential candidate. Politics, sexism, ambition, and adultery are among the themes in Altman’s deftly satirical but not condescending examination of a slice of American society nicely summed up by the line, “This isn’t Dallas, it’s Nashville!” VERDICT Selected for preservation by the National Film Registry, this magnum opus belongs in every collection, particularly in this newly refurbished edition complete with a making-of documentary among its extras.—Jeff T. Dick, Davenport, IA

redstarBig Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me. color. 113 min. Drew DeNicola & Olivia Mori, September Gurls Prods., dist. by Magnolia Home Entertainment, 2013. DVD UPC 876964006101. $26.98; Blu-ray UPC 876964006118. $29.98. Rated: PG-13. MUSIC

This first feature-length documentary by codirectors DeNicola bigstar031714and Mori traces the history of 1970s Memphis power-poppers Big Star, rock music’s arguably ultimate cult band. The film tells the commercially ignored but critically acclaimed group’s story through an extensive and well-edited collection of archival video and audio footage and new interviews with surviving band members, friends and family, critics, band associates, and a slew of musicians influenced by the group’s ultramelodic pop sound. Conversations with Big Star drummer Jody Stephens and bassist Andy Hummel, who died during production, are prominently featured, but band cofounders and fellow singer-guitarists Alex Chilton, who died in 2010 after resurrecting the group, and Chris Bell, who died in 1978 after a failed solo career, appear only in old footage and on the wonderful sound track. The filmmakers focus on how bad luck, bad record contracts, and bad blood between Bell and Chilton combined to keep Big Star from rising above perpetual cult status. VERDICT Recommended to anyone who enjoys music documentaries, including both longtime Big Star devotees and potential new fans.—­Douglas King, Univ. of South Carolina Lib., Columbia

redstarThe Welcome: A Healing Journey for War Veterans and Their Families. color. 93 min. Kim Shelton, Two Shoes Prods., dist. by Cinema Guild, 2013. DVD $99.95; acad. libs. $310 (Rental: $125). Public performance. PSYCH

This award-winning documentary chronicles a five-day retreat thewelcome031714for veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and their family members. The retreat, held over Memorial Day weekend 2008 and led by Michael Meade of the Mosaic Multicultural Foundation, culminated in a public poetry reading in Ashland, OR, the veterans’ gift to Oregon citizens. A racially and ethnically diverse group of male and female veterans of the Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan wars formed themselves into a sharing, caring, and creative community to address their struggles with PTSD and their acceptance back into American society. The film and the ongoing Welcome Home Project offer viable means of conquering PTSD and providing pathways for full social restoration of our veterans. VERDICT An extraordinarily powerful and moving exploration of our roles and responsibilities in welcoming these men and women home. Containing adult language and visceral, emotional situations, it is very highly recommended for most library collections.—Cliff Glaviano, formerly with Bowling Green State Univ. Libs., OH

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Damian Lewis Double Feature: Much Ado About Nothing; Friends and Crocodiles. color. 198+ min. Brian Percival & Stephen Poliakoff, BBC Worldwide America, 2013. DVD UPC 883929332762. $24.98. SDH subtitles. F

Daniel Day Lewis: My Brother Jonathan. 247+ min. Anthony Garner. DVD UPC 883929323272. $29.98.

Daniel Day-Lewis Triple Feature: How Many Miles to Babylon; The Insurance Man; Dangerous Corner. 276 min. DVD UPC 883929324972. $19.98.
ea. vol: 2 discs. color. BBC Worldwide America, 2013. F

The House of Eliott: Complete Collection. 9 discs. color. 29½ hrs. with booklet. BBC Worldwide TV in assoc. with A&E Network, dist. by Acorn Media, 888-870-8047; 2013. DVD ISBN 9781621721109. $99.99. SDH subtitles. F


Robert Williams: Mr. Bitchin’. color & b/w. 89+ min. Mary C. Reese & others, Rhino Films & Foundation Films, dist. by Cinema Libre Studio, 2013. DVD UPC 881394117624. $19.95. ART-GENERAL

Bob and the Monster. color. 86 min. Keirda Bahruth, Shaker Films, dist. by Cinema Guild, 2013. DVD ISBN 9780781514507. $99.95; acad. libs. $350. Public performance; home version MVDvisual, $16.95. MUSIC

A History of Great Playwrights. 2 discs. b/w. 150+ min. Ron Meyer, dist. by Ambrose Video, 800-526-4663; 2013. DVD UPC 739815005435. $149.99. Public performance; closed-captioned. THEATER


Constitution USA with Peter Sagal. 2 discs. color. 240 min. Steven Ives, tpt National Prods. & Insignia Films , dist. by PBS, 2013. DVD UPC 841887019040. $29.99. POLITICS

Unhung Hero. color. 84+ min. Brian Spitz , Breaking Glass Pictures, 2013. DVD UPC 857965003795. $19.99. PSYCH/SOC SCI

Downtown Dream. color. 45 min. Aaron Matthews, dist. by Icarus Films, 800-876-1710; 2013. DVD $348. Public performance; closed-captioned. SOC SCI

Save the Farm. color. 31+min. In English & Spanish w/English subtitles. Michael Kuehnert, Magic Lamp Media, dist. by Cinema Libre Studio, 2013. DVD UPC 881394112926. $16.95. SOC SCI


Holistic Gardening with Michael Phillips. color. 5 hrs. Ed Dooley, Mad River Media, dist. by Chelsea Green, 802-295-6300; 2013. DVD ISBN 9781603583961. $49.95. AGRI

Dying Green: Natural Burial and Land Conservation. color. 26 min. Ellen Tripler, dist. by Green Planet Films, 2012. DVD $49; acad. libs. $95. Public performance; home version $24.95. ENVIRONMENT

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