New on DVD: Babies, Chanel & Stravinsky, Get Him to the Greek, Iron Man 2, The Killer Inside Me
(Reporting by Dan Kois, Karina Longworth, Robert Wilonsky, Nick Pinkerton & J. Hoberman.)
Did I say "Awww" at Babies? I did. Did I giggle at the adorable things babies do in Babies? Oh my, yes. Did I ovulate like a dozen times during Babies? You better believe it. Is Babies a good movie? Of course not. But that's missing the point--like asking if a porn video is a good movie. Babies gets the job done. A canny exercise in feature-length YouTube, Babies follows four international infants from birth to toddling. Cutting from rural Mongolia to Tokyo and from the Namibian desert to San Francisco, director Thomas Balmes shows us little Bayar, Mari, Ponijao, and Hattie as they nurse, sleep, poop, eat, crawl, and play. Baby Bayar is a particular star, a sort of Mongolian Ben Stiller who endures countless indignities at the hands of his mischievous older brother, a yurt-invading rooster, and a thirsty goat. (The audience also really loved it when he peed all over himself.) Other than the passage of time, there's not much of an organizing principle to Babies, and it offers little in the way of context. It's pretty much just straight-up babies, all the way through. This makes it easy to determine who will like Babies. If you're expecting a baby, you'll like Babies. If you once had a baby who is now grown, you'll like Babies. If you have a baby right now, you would like Babies, although, obviously, you'll never be able to leave the house to see it. (D.K.)
Directed by Thomas Balmes. Featuring Bayar, Mari, Ponijao, and Hattie.
Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky
Coco Chanel. Igor Stravinsky. Two iconoclasts whose contributions to their respective artistic fields left an indelible mark on the 20th century. Did you know they used to bone? After a lengthy staging of the disastrous 1913 premiere of "The Rite of Spring" (the sole sympathetic set of ears in the audience belonging to the youngish Chanel), Stravinsky jumps ahead a decade. Lacking love, hot shot Coco (Anna Mouglalis) turns workaholic like a proper rom-com heroine; Igor (Mads Mikkelsen), an unpopular genius, is living in squalid exile. She invites him, his sickly wife, and offspring to move in to her country estate, and soon the two artists are furiously humping on the piano. "Your music has more passion," sneers Mrs. Stravinsky, willing to accept the dalliance if it's good for the canon--up to a point. Lit like a David Fincher music video and shot with a gliding camera approximating a wandering eye, Stravinsky strains to convince that its lascivious pleasures have historical import. In the film's 1:1 correlation between erotic indulgence and creative innovation, hot, home-wrecking sex is justifiable only if it directly leads to the invention of Chanel No. 5. Stravinsky is the second corset-ripping French-language romance about the legendary fashion designer to hit American screens in seven months. Here, Coco is cast as a femme fatale who preys on a helpless nebbish--the Audrey Tautou-starring Coco Avant Chanel was much more fun. (K.L.)