Kind rewinds


It’s obvious why the people at Fox featured a half-naked Raquel Welch on the box art for its Bedazzled release. She’s Raquel Welch in 1967, and they want to move units, so to speak. But, as if they were guided by the hand of the devil, Fox’s prominent marketing of Welch is deceptive. She’s in the movie all of five minutes. It’s Eleanor Bron, she of the more unusual sexuality and Yo La Tengo song fodder, who stars as the love interest in this Faustian comedy about a shy fast-food cook (Dudley Moore) who sells his soul to Lucifer (Peter Cook) for seven wishes, each one a foolhardy attempt to win Bron ever. This is just as bawdy and lowbrow as Harold Ramis’ 2000 remake, the episodic wish-by-wish plot growing just as tiresome. But the Moore-Cook team’s comic chemistry is devilishly whip-smart, and a few dogmatic one-liners are played up for all their irreverence. The best of the three bonus features is also the shortest, a promotional interview between Moore, as a reporter, and his interviewee Cook, reprising his role as Satan. —John Thomason

Mama’s Foot

Vivendi Visual Entertainment

When did it become all right to portray blacks as bug-eyed, shiftless, no-count idiots again? Martin Lawrence in drag? Eddie Murphy in a fatsuit? Marlon Wayans as an infant? Whatever the cause, the floodgates are open for urban comedies with the character depth of a Three Stooges short. At least this one’s got some genuine laughs, all at the expense of mama’s diseased foot, which looks like a cross between gout, leprosy and novelty store rubber vomit. Two fraternal twins with an identical allergic reaction must hustle to raise $1,000 in two days or mama’s diseased foot has to be “ampo’tated.” The race to save mama’s foot includes a failed cooking contest, hustling an ex-girlfriend for her EBT card, crashing a crap game and trying to secure a record deal. The last bit includes the biggest laughs, an extended audition which features a dozen dreadful hip-hop wannabes that should make Simon Cowell grateful American Idol doesn’t have a rap division. —Serene Dominic

42nd Street Forever: XXX-Treme Special Edition

Synapse Films

Perverts and kitsch lovers seek no more — a damn fine reel of classic porno previews has finally hit the shelves thanks to this third volume of the 42nd Street Forever trailer compilation series. Containing 46 wild ads for naughty skin flicks from the ’70s and ’80s, this is one DVD that’s a surefire party pleaser. With clips ranging from wacky (Blonde Ambition) to wonderfully weird (F), plus titillating twists on genre fare such as Dracula Exotica (“Dracula Exotica is Bizarre, Erotic, Shocking and Patriotic!”) and the sci-fi fuckfest Ultra Flesh (three words — laser beam boners!), and there’s almost no end to the dirty and daring entertainment contained in this two-hour plus package. One word of advice, best put on those brown buddy blinders for the mess of hairy puckers displayed. —Jeremy Wheeler

Le Petit Lieutenant

Koch Lorber

Xavier Beauvois’ Le Petit Lieutenant is a stunning work of documentary-like realism that deserves a larger audience. Jalil Lespert plays an aspiring plainclothes cop who forges a relationship with his older supervisor (Nathalie Baye), a recovering alcoholic, while they investigate a series of beatings along a river in Paris. Like Bruno Dumont’s L’Humanité, it’s best described as an anti-policier, investing more time in the characters’ physical and emotional well-being than in the machinations of the film’s crime plot, which generally hovers around the script’s periphery. Jarring transitions between scenes and the key absence of establishing shots ill-prepare viewers for the shocking tragedy that occurs two-thirds of the way through, delivered, like everything else, with fresh and disarming immediacy. Despite the American pop-cinema posters cluttering the characters’ walls (including Se7en, Reservoir Dogs and Saving Private Ryan), Le Petit Lieutenant is infused with a European grace, humor and lack of sentimentality. Koch Lorber has given us a terrific transfer of a terrific movie, but no DVD extras save a photo gallery and trailer. —John Thomason

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