Juices Flowing

Jackass Number Two: Unrated (Paramount)

The sequel to the dumb-ass jamboree makes its predecessor look plain and inoffensive. In short: more puke, more blood, more semen (from a horse, consumed nonetheless), more shit, more piss, more everything till you'd think the Jackasses (Johnny Knoxville, Steve-O, Chris Pontius, etc.) would be tapped bone-friggin' dry. Oh, and it's also the gayest movie ever, down to the last golden dildo and anal-inserted beer bong and leech attached to a testicle framed in close-up for God knows how long. Which isn't to say it's allhorrifyingly unwatchable; for the squeamish, there are the handful of brilliant cutaways during which producer Spike Jonze traipses around Los Angeles as an elderly woman who can't keep her clothes on, which out-Borat Borat by a wide mile. Still, I've seen footage of botched surgeries easier to watch than this. Loved it anyway. Especially the "fart mask." So wrong. -- Robert Wilonsky

The Descent: Original Unrated Cut (Lions Gate)

Here's a workmanlike B movie that manages to be scary as hell. The setup's simple: It's six women, trapped in a cave...with flesh-eating monsters. But the flaw in this British import is that it's actually much more frightening before the beasts show up. After 30 minutes of dodging cave-ins, squeezing through tunnels, and climbing over ravines, you'll look forward to dealing with slavering fiends. Of course, today's horror is synonymous with gore, and the unrated cut delivers ripping, shredding, chomping, and clubbing aplenty. And there are enough extras to sate even those who got the movie's logo tattooed on their ass: two commentaries, deleted and extended scenes, docs, and even storyboards. If only every low-budget horror movie offered this much. -- Jordan Harper

The Last Kiss (DreamWorks)

Once more, this time without much feeling, Zach Braff narrates his way through a pre-midlife crisis -- here, as a man approaching his thirties, who's just discovered that his girlfriend (Jacinda Barrett) is pregnant and that another woman (Rachel Bilson) has the hots for him. The Last Kiss, based on an Italian film by Gabriele Muccino, is bereft of the heartbreaking charm of Garden Stateand the daydreamy wackiness of Scrubs. It's monotone throughout, in need of the comic relief it denies itself and the catharsis it believes itself capable of. Even the gag reel's pretty much a yawn. Also included: a music video Braff directed (because, like, he discovered the Shins, ya know?), the filmmakers talking about fave scenes (skip, seriously), and commentaries with Braff and director Tony Goldwyn. Hey, at least they love the movie. -- Wilonsky

The Black Dahlia (Universal)

When Brian De Palma fails, he does it with style -- and here's another beautiful film studded with great moments that never come together. You can't blame the source material: James Ellroy's novel is a masterpiece, and Curtis Hanson had no trouble ushering Ellroy's L.A. Confidential to the screen. De Palma gets no help from a wooden Josh Hartnett and styrofoam Scarlett Johansson. But the bigger problem is that De Palma's glossy, graceful style can't muster the wallop of Ellroy's boiling tale of L.A.'s most notorious unsolved murder. Reportedly, over an hour of footage was cut -- but we'll never know from this paltry DVD, which has a couple of interesting docs, but no deleted footage and no director's commentary. And why no one asked Ellroy to contribute a track is a mystery unto itself; the man talks just like he writes. -- Harper

 
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