For those who think THEY had the crappiest childhood ever and/or want to see the best documentary of the year . . . plop in Tarnation, Jonathan Caouette's video diary of the only life he knows, a life so funny and tragic and harrowing and fucked-up all at once that no review I've read (including this one) does the piece justice; you just gotta see it. Since age eight—and shortly after witnessing his mentally impaired beauty-queen mother raped by a stranger—lonely and damaged Caouette has shot miles of video of himself, his dysfunctional Texas family and his same-sex lovers. His dramatic monologue where he plays—at age 11!!!—a battered wife is worth the price of the DVD.
For those who routinely disagree with critics and/or want to watch Blue Velvet, The Wizard of Oz and Elvis Presley movies at the same time . . . good news! David Lynch and MGM finally had a meeting of the diseased minds, and the violent/erotic/revolting/laugh-out-loud-funny Wild at Heart is finally on DVD. Before he headed casts of really awful major Hollywood blockbusters such as National Treasure, Nicolas Cage was known for weird, borderline-insane, over-the-top turns in odd flicks like this 1990 Palme d'Or winner. Here, he's Sailor, an Elvis-obsessed bad boy with a heart of gold on the run with trailer-trash princess Lula (Laura Dern, in all her sexy-as-hell glory; okay, it's an acquired taste). As they drive through it, the Heartland becomes a Heart of Darkness, with carnage littering the sides of the road not just in one scene, but several. Scary monsters on their tails include Willem Dafoe; Crispin Glover; and Dern's real-life mommy dearest, Diane Ladd. This version has been remastered under Lynch's supervision, and special features include the new documentary Love, Death, Elvis & Oz: The Making ofWild at Heart and new, extended interviews with Lynch; Cage; Dern; Dafoe; Ladd; and Miss Laura Palmer herself, Sheryl Lee. (Matt Coker)