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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Home Movies/Out on Digital: May 22

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â–  The Best Offer

Geoffrey Rush plays Virgil, a man whose sad, creased face hides many secrets. His loneliness barely masked by towering hauteur, Virgil is an art appraiser-auctioneer called into a half-ruined villa to evaluate the contents. Curiosity and, eventually, desire draw him into a fraught relationship with the agoraphobic young woman who inherited the property. Director Giuseppe Tornatore (Cinema Paradiso) evokes a mood of mysterious romantic obsession and thwarted eroticism reminiscent of the Alfred Hitchcock classic Vertigo.

â–  Unacceptable Levels

After filmmaker Ed Brown smelled something rotten in the tap water, he decided to investigate the chemicals and synthetic substances that permeate our lives. Despite its folksy tone, Unacceptable Levels is a disturbing look into the corporate-manufactured toxins that form the material substance of our world. Much of our food is genetically engineered and doused with pesticides, babies are born with their mother’s toxins and government and many scientists are telling us reassuring lies.

■ Dan Curtis’ Dracula

Oscar-winning actor Jack Palance, always sinister in his film noir roles, made an excellent Dracula in this 1973 film (out on Blu-ray). Gaunt and waxen, Palance’s vampire seemed possessed by an inner compulsion he could not control. And he was in love with his victim, Lucy (Fiona Lewis), adding pathos to the barely disguised sexuality of his bloodlust. The familiar pleasures of the well-known story were given a few fresh angles in this British production.