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Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013

Home Movies/Out on Digital: Aug. 14

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On the Road

The book was better, but in his best moments, director Walter Salles (The Motorcycle Diaries) evokes the birth of the Beats as a quest for experience through literature and liquor (and other drugs), in sex and wild flights of jazz, and the pursuit of adventure on the open road—before the Interstate, when America was still a place to explore. And yes, Kerouac and company could also be an irresponsible boys club. On the Road stars Sam Riley and Kristen Stewart.

The Jeffrey Dahmer Files

Interviews with the investigating detective, the medical examiner and a neighbor are the key elements in this reiteration of the infamous serial killer’s crimes. Aside from a recitation of the gruesome facts, the documentary includes the neighbor’s observation that Dahmer seemed “kindhearted”; the detective found him polite and well spoken. The docu-drama reenactments are discrete and show a man drifting at the edges of life.

Bus Stop

Marilyn Monroe wrestles with the meaning of love—literally—in this 1956 comedy (out now on Blu-ray) when she encounters a dumb-as-dirt cowboy who thinks women can be tamed like horses or roped like cattle. She’s a “bad girl” in a world without pity. The inevitable climax is annoying by contemporary standards, yet it’s not hard to find a sneaky feminist subtext in this tale of a woman at the mercy of clueless men.

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