Cult Hit for Nobody
Nowhere Man (Image Entertainment)
There's good reason why you've never heard of this UPN show from the mid-'90s, which lasted 25 episodes before getting shuttled off to, well, nowhere. It's a convoluted mind-fuck that owes its existence as much to The Prisoner as The Fugitive, and if you missed one episode, then nothing else made much sense. Thomas Veil (Bruce Greenwood, good but lacking essential gravitas) is a photographer without a past: One second, he's dining with the missus, the next, the wife claims not to know who he is. Of course, the government appears to be behind the rewriting of history, but the hows and whys are left hanging till the last episode--when it all gets tied up in a bundle that includes an anti-terrorism bill that would allow the president to spy on citizens after a World Trade Center attack. (Yup, you read that correctly.) Nowhere Man was an interesting experiment--one more great show that lasted long enough to become a cult hit no one remembers. --Robert Wilonsky
Grizzly Man (Lions Gate)
Timothy Treadwell was a nut. He spent 11 summers among the bears of Alaska, treating them as creatures more mystical than biological. Then they ate him. In Werner Herzog's fascinating documentary, you see Treadwell through many different eyes but mostly through his own: He compulsively recorded the wilderness, as well as his anger, depression and overpowering megalomania. A person you wouldn't want to spend five minutes with gains depth in the light of his inevitable death and the astounding nature shots he captured. Is Treadwell as foolish as he seems, or are we watching a slow-motion suicide? What isn't up for discussion is the Oscars' inexplicable failure to place Grizzly Man on the short list for documentaries. --Jordan Harper
American Pie: Band Camp (Universal)
Women's breasts plus juvenilia equal this fourth, straight-to-DVD follow-up to American Pie (a film that, in comparison, towers like Annie Hall). Band Camp lacks the charm of the first Pie, as well as the budget and the major characters--save for Eugene Levy, who apparently lost a bet. Instead, we get Tad Hilgenbrink as Matt Stifler (little brother to Seann William Scott's immortal lout), who is forced to attend a band camp staffed by Playboy Bunnies and porn stars. Wacky high jinks ensue--that is, if your definition of "wacky high jinks" includes pepper-sprayed genitalia, mass vomiting, oboe sex and semen unknowingly employed as skin cream. As for the extras: Plenty of additional hooter glimpses await, along with deleted scenes that should go unwatched by all mankind. Strangely worthwhile, however, is a raunchy bit featuring ex-porn-star Ginger Lynn Allen, who pantomimes some very detailed techniques, using bananas and mangos as genital stand-ins. --J.H.
The Football Factory (Image Entertainment)
The football hooligan, already the star of films like Green Street Hooligans, rears his ugly head once more (for a right bashing, that is) in this Brit import based on the cult novel by John King. The Football Factory repeats the chorus of its predecessors, which reveled in the brutality till succumbing to the inevitable pangs of guilt. Danny Dyer plays Tommy, a part-time florist and full-time ruffian who enjoys nothing more than a screw or a fight, whichever comes first. Directed by Nick Love (and produced by Rockstar Games, which pimps its Grand Theft Auto franchise in one scene), The Football Factory wants to be provocative and profound, but it ain't up to the task, mate. --R.W.
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