' ' Cinema Romantico: One Man's Unending Quest

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

One Man's Unending Quest

In the year of 2005 a movie musical written and directed by John Turturro entitled "Romance and Cigarettes" that starred (are you ready for this cast list?) James Gandolfini, Susan Sarandon, Steve Buscemi, Mary Louise Parker, Mandy Moore, Eddie Izzard, Christopher Walken, and, oh yes, a certain actress named Kate Winslet was rumored for a winter release.

(IMDB.com offers up this plot outline: A down-and-dirty musical set in the world of working-class New York, tells a story of a husband's journey into infidelity and redemption when he must choose between his seductive mistress and his beleaguered wife. When the characters can no longer express themselves with language, they break into song, lip-synching the tunes lodged in their subconscious.)

This release did not happen. Instead it was released overseas in 2006 and since that time there had been no word on a U.S. release. I was assuming this would be a direct-to-video situation as I was aware word of mouth on the film was, shall we say, sub-stellar. I stashed it away in my Netflix queue and it's sat there like a dry log ever since with the words Unknown Release Date accompanying it. It was also nowhere to be found at my local Blockbuster store nor on their web site. Needless to say, this has not made Cinema Romantico happy.

I say "needless to say" because everyone should know full well by now that Cinema Romantico holds Ms. Winslet in the highest esteem. She is our greatest working actress, as we have previously outlined. And it is both our duty and our pleasure to say we have seen every single movie she has made. Well, every single movie except for "Romance and Cigarettes". Would this movie forever be Cinema Romantico's personal Atlantis?

But suddenly, and without warning, a faint glimmer of hope emerged! A recent issue of Entertainment Weekly included a review of "Romance and Cigarettes" in its DVD section. Was this it? Was this the moment for which we Winslet devotees had long been waiting? I checked my Netflix queue. No dice. The release date remained unknown. I checked Blockbuster online. Nada. What in God's name was going on?

Naturally, I had no choice but to Google the movie's name and discovered some intriguing information. The ever "reliable" Wikipedia advised the film was "currently scheduled for limited release on September 7, 2007". What?! Not in Chicago, it seems, as no movie theater here is playing it (and I triple-checked, believe me). I reasoned that a movie in the most limited of limited releases would have to be playing in New York City. Right? I checked the web page for the Village Voice and, lo and behold, there it was - showing at a theater on Houston St; West of 6th Ave, where it had opened on September 7. If anyone didn't know, I was IN New York City exactly two weeks before its release date.

Are you f---ing kidding me?! They couldn't bump up that release date by two weeks?! Just two?! Screw you, gods of cinema! Screw you, I say!


Agent 2112 said...

I thought about just buying the movie from Amazon.com/UK, but then I noticed that would be a region 2 dvd. Then I would need a DVD player that can play region 2 discs. I'm betting there is a bootleg copy on the net somewhere...

Anonymous said...

I believe the iDVD program that comes with the Mac plays all regions of DVDs. And I base this on absolutely nothing.