Roger Dodger

How to lose a girl in 10 minutes: dashing Manhattanite single Roger (Campbell Scott) volunteers to teach his virginal teen nephew Nick (Jesse Eisenberg) the art of seduction, but the ad man's nearly pathological, misanthropic honesty sends the women backpedaling in revulsion.

"A big hit in Sri Lanka," according to Scott's boisterous commentary, but generally underseen stateside, Roger gets a well-deserved workover for its March 18 DVD debut. It's rock-hard with useful, how-'bout-that? production detail. Writer-director Dylan Kidd introduces the goodies selflessly, lauding the professionalism of crew veterans that made his first time less, you know, awkward.

Among the savvy is young composer Craig Wedren, who offers meticulous, entertaining insight into a diverse scoremusic boxes, cigarette lighters, intentionally clich餠aggro housethat paces Roger and Nick's dizzying, bird-dogging adventures. Kidd frequently reiterates his goal of making the audience feel like its a part of the film, absorbing Roger's rapid-fire witticisms rather than merely observing them; he and director of photography Joaqu???Baca-Asay have a case in defending the "shaky," perspective-distorting, Blair Witch-esque handheld work. Their voyeuristic camera paints a critical thin line between "buzzing" and intoxication.

Simultaneously the DVD's best and worst extra is a mockumentary in which Eisenberg and crony Gabe Millman lead a salty, half-assed "walking tour" of Roger's Manhattan locations, only to get humiliated at every stop. Could've been funnier, but consider (a) the film's endless succession of shoot-downs, and (b) its bold resuscitation of Jennifer Beals' and Elizabeth Berkley's careers. Alcohol is Roger's lifeblood, but embarrassment is its marrow.

Andrew Bonazelli

EXPECT NO embarrassment in the proud '70s Blaxploitation documentary BaadAsssss Cinema (with Quentin Tarantino among its commentators). Nor, despite the presence of Eminem, is there any shame on 8 Mile, which reaches DVD March 18, when the also worthwhile Personal Velocity appears (with a fine supporting turn by Parker Posey). Then, too, Tim Blake Nelson's wrenching Holocaust drama The Grey Zone and his SIFF favorite Eye of God also reach disc. Welcome to Collinwood is more a waste of talent (George Clooney's included), while Auto Focus holds some creepy appeal. And, heyTruffaut's 1973 Day for Night is new to DVD!


comments powered by Disqus

Friends to Follow