Film and TV

Fever, Greed and Death

Saturday Night Fever: 30th Anniversary Special Collectors Edition
(Paramount)

For all its camp-classic status as the ultimate disco-fever dream, John Badhams movie truly is remarkable — a foul-mouthed, mean-streets masterpiece that just happens to feature a Bee Gees score that spreads like melted cheese thirty years later. And, of course, it contains the greatest performance in John Travoltas up-and-down-and-downer career. Its a thing of beauty, really — all languid menace and juvenile posturing dolled up in that iconic white suit. This version gets right the special-edition moniker: the hour-long Catching the Fever documentary, which charts the making-of through the impact-of, down to the James Dean/Sal Mineo homage to the dance-floor getdown. Its a shame Travolta wasnt involved in the doc, but you can learn how to dance like him on a separate instructional segment. — Robert Wilonsky

Wall Street: 20th Anniversary Edition
(Fox)

I was scared by Wall Street, says writer-director Oliver Stone at the beginning of the Greed Is Good documentary, among the copious new features affixed to Stone's best film — which he likens to his Scarface screenplay. Kinetic and deep-felt, as its as much an homage to Stone's financial-biz father as a dig at stock-dumping demons, Wall Street withstands twenty years of scrutiny. Its a nasty, funny, sharp piece of work about closing the deal and selling your soul, as timeless a theme as boy-meets-girl. The insightful new documentary features fresh interviews with traders and the actors. The newly released deleted scenes, with commentary from Stone, are worth a peek, too: Who knew Penn Jillette was supposed to play one of Charlie Sheen's rich high-school pals? — Wilonsky

Quentin Tarantino's Death Proof: Two-Disc Special Edition
(Genius)

Grindhouse flopped because the only Z-movie fetishists willing to sit for three hours are film critics. They swooned over Quentin Tarantino's Death Proof, but it was that film's endless chatter that slew the double features momentum. That you could have improved it by lopping off fifteen minutes bodes poorly for an extended edition — but guess what? The footage he left out is better than much of what he kept in, with more Kurt Russell and Rosario Dawson, plus a lap-dance scene. (Note to Q.T.: When in doubt, cut the chatter — keep the lap dances.) The movies final third remains a squealing success, thanks to the amazing stuntwoman/actress ZoÎ Bell. Missing is a commentary track; for such a chatty fella, Tarantino has delivered remarkably few. — Jordan Harper

A Lawyer Walks Into a Bar
(Camels Back Films)

At once a damnation and a defense of lawyers, Eric Chaikins film-fest favorite is a worthy successor to his Scrabble-fanatic doc Word Wars. Once more, with compassion and wit, he focuses on those for whom life is an endless pursuit of minutiae. He has a handful of law students and bar-taking would-bes — among them, a man whos been out of school 30 years and hasnt yet hurdled the bar, despite trying more than 40 times — mingling with TV talking heads (John Stossel, Nancy Grace), best-sellers (Scott Turow), stand-ups and actors (Michael Ian Black, Eddie Griffin), and familiar faces (Alan Dershowitz, Robert Shapiro) to lay out a case for and against law school. Its fascinating and not a little heartbreaking, this portrayal of people — some who want to help, others who wouldnt mind just laying down a little hurt. — Wilonsky

Travolta was never better. Or thinner, come to think of it.

Feeling Feverish?

Robert Wilonsky

Jordan Harper

Saturday Night Fever

John Travolta

Wall Street

Michael Douglas

A Lawyer Walks Into a Bar

Death Proof

Quentin Tarantino

Saturday Night Fever

Wall Street

A Lawyer Walks Into a Bar

Death Proof

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