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Crazy in Alabama

Columbia's special edition DVD of Antonio Banderas' directorial debut, Crazy in Alabama, sets a new standard for quality. The film, which skips lightly from sadistic black comedy to social commentary without missing a beat, marries one of the wittiest, most thought-provoking movies in recent memory with a first-rate digital presentation, offering enough special edition content to keep viewers busy for days. The story: it's 1965, and young Peejoe (Lucas Black, the little boy from Sling Blade) lives a simple, carefree life with his family in rural Alabama. But things soon turn complicated when Peejoe's eccentric Aunt Lucille (Melanie Griffith) takes it upon herself to end her abusive marriage — by separating her husband's head from its body. She sets off, head in tow, on a madcap dash to California, seeking freedom and a new life. Peejoe, meanwhile, finds himself desperately searching for enlightenment and clarity as he is forced to confront the effects of racism for the first time. Crazy in Alabama is an exhausting, emotional tour de force, possessing the power to make viewers howl with laughter one moment, then soberly ponder society's injustice the next. It's a stunning piece of work, made even more remarkable by the knowledge that this confident, mature film is Banderas' first offering. Nor does the disc's quality end with the movie itself: Columbia TriStar has given Crazy in Alabama the care and attention it deserves, resulting in one of the finest DVDs yet released in any genre, one which belongs in the collection of any fan of quality cinema. Special features include two audio commentary tracks (one with Banderas, the other with Griffith), two "making-of" featurettes, a collection of deleted scenes (with director commentary), a blooper reel, talent files, and multiple theatrical trailers. Crazy in Alabama is presented in a stunning anamorphic (2.35:1) widescreen transfer. Keep case.
—Joe Barlow

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