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What to add to your queue this month

Paul

DVD Release Date: August 9, Universal Studios Home Entertainment
Simon Pegg and Nick Frost cheekily tackled zombie movies with their Shaun of the Dead, then big-budget action films with Hot Fuzz, and, now, they’ve turned to aliens. In Paul, the British duo plays UFO-obsessed sci-fi junkies who don’t quite know what to do with themselves when they come across an actual alien. The geekily inclined can look for references to Star Wars, Star Trek, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and a host of other sci-fi favorites.

 

Jane Eyre

DVD Release Date: August 16, Universal Studios Home Entertainment
This is not the book you slogged through in English class. Director Cary Fukunaga (Sin Nombre) leads a much wilder version of the film, starring Alice in Wonderland’s Mia Wasikowska and X-Men: First Class’ Michael Fassbender. A.O. Scott of the New York Times called it “a splendid example of how to tackle the daunting duty of turning a beloved work of classic literature into a movie,” writing that the “director does not exactly make the task look easy, but the wild and misty moors, thanks to the painterly eye of the cinematographer, Adriano Goldman, certainly look beautiful.”

Your Highness

DVD Release Date: August 9, Universal Studios Home Entertainment
It’s tough to be respected. Natalie Portman, who recently received the Oscar for her role in Black Swan; James Franco, often ribbed for his relentless perusal of grad-school degrees; and David Gordon Green, the director known for beautiful indie movies like George Washington and Snow Angels, have all earned a certain level of respect. But it’s nice to see them let loose, which is why we love to see them all involved in this ultra-silly, pot-addled comedy modeled after ‘80s fantasy movies.

Cul-de-sac

DVD Release Date: August 16, Criterion Collection
Out in the suburbs, we know it’s desirable to live on a cul-de-sac. But director Roman Polanski makes it all too chilling in his 1966 masterpiece, about a couple whose lives are invaded by an American gangster on the run. The DVD comes courtesy of the Criterion Collection, known for its high-quality releases, and includes a making-of documentary featuring interviews with Polanski, producer Gene Gutowski, and cinematographer Gilbert Taylor, as well as a television interview with Polanski from 1967 and more.

 

BroadwayBoxOffice [Our Pick]

Four Questions for…
Carlos Encinias, director of Altar Boyz at the Westchester Broadway Theatre

Altar Boyz, opening at the Westchester Broadway Theatre on August 4, is a simultaneous send-up of boy bands and Christian pop music. We caught up with Carlos Encinias, the director, to talk about his long-standing relationship to the show—and his favorite boy band.

   You’ve had a long history with the show. How did you first get started with it? I auditioned for the show when it was first Off-Broadway. I had to learn every part. There are five parts in the show, and they all have different blocking, different harmonies, different dance moves.

   You’ve performed every part in the show Off-Broadway. Who is your favorite character? Mark, because he’s like me in certain ways, and very different in others. He’s sensitive, but he has this larger-than-life part to his personality.  I’m too inhibited in my daily life to have those larger-than-life aspects of my personality, so it was really fun when I found the rhythm of that character on stage. 

   Is there anything new and different for the Westchester Broadway Theatre version of the show? The Westchester Broadway Theatre has a thrust stage, and it also has a couple of turntables, and we will definitely make use of those. The show is about the last night on the band’s tour, and the members address the audience and even pull an audience member up on the stage, and the thrust stage works really well for that. It’s the perfect space.

   Who is your favorite boy band? I’d have to say it’s a tie between *NSYNC and the New Kids on the Block. The New Kids on the Block was my first concert, but I say that I was just taking my sister and it wasn’t really for me. That’s my line.

BroadwayBoxOffice

Did You Know?

 photo by Joan Marcus

If you’ve seen the Tony-winning revival of Anything Goes, currently at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre on Broadway, you might recognize a familiar face: that of Jessica Walter, who plays Mrs. Evangeline Harcourt. Not only is she recognizable from her roles in Play Misty for Me and Arrested Development, but you may also see her around Pound Ridge, where she has a weekend home.