There’s more shtick than you can shake a stick at in this goofy sequel to the 1995 comedy A Kid in King Arthur’s Court. Thomas Ian Nicholas returns as Calvin, a deceptively commonplace ’90s teen whose pizza-delivery job gets him mixed up in an ancient quest to help Ali Baba save Aladdin–and all of Arabia–from the evil schemes of Aladdin’s brother, Luxor. Just as Calvin relied on rollerblades and CD players to help him in the previous movie, his stash of contemporary gizmos gets him out of more than one jam when Luxor’s henchmen come looking for him. There’s a fair amount of F/X magic here–including the traditional opening of Ali Baba’s hideaway at the command "open sesame"–but silliness is the real engine of this movie. (Ali Baba and his Forty Thieves? Try Ali and his Three Lamebrained Brothers.) Comic actor Taylor Negron is very funny as Aladdin’s smart-aleck genie, stuck inside a lamp for a thousand years but hip enough to describe Luxor as "gone postal." –Tom Keogh
Pablo (El Bola) is a 12-year old boy raised in a violent and unforgiving environment. Embarrassed by his family life, he retreats from his classmates, engaging them only through a dangerous game. The arrival of a new boy at school, from whom he learns a new definition of friendship, leads to the discovery of a family where communication and love prevail over domination and violence. The film poignantly parallels the lives of a caring father unable to connect with his willful son, and that of distant Pablo (El Bola) and his abusive father who is incapable of giving him the love he needs, replacing it with something far more sinister. One imprints his son in an improbably gentle manner with a tattoo stylus, the other brutally with his fists. Told through both the children’s and adults’ points of view, Achero Manas’s El Bola is a stirring narrative that lodges in the memory. Winner – 4 Goya Awards (Spain’s Oscars). Winner – Avignon and San Sebastian Film Festivals. In Spanish with English subtitles.When sold by Amazon.com, this product will be manufactured on demand using DVD-R recordable media. Amazon.com’s standard return policy will apply.
Academy Award(r)-nominee Majid Majidi (Children of Heaven, Best Foreign Language Film, 1998) exploresthe world of a gifted blind boy at the mercy of his father’s crippling sense of shame in THE COLOR OF PARADISE. Mohammad is an energetic 8-year-old boy who is much like the other children in his small, Iranian village except in one regard, he is blind. But Mohammad doesn’t let his lack of sight hinder him, indeed, his heightened remaining senses make him even more receptive to the world around him. Young Mohammad’s optimism, however, is not shared by his widowed father, a bitter man who sees the boy’s condition as nothing but a liability, especially as it pertains to his desire to marry the village beauty.