DVD quick takes

Ben Folds and WASO – Live in Perth (2005) 3/5

Ben Folds joins forces with the 90-member Western Australian Symphony Orchestra in this 80-minute DVD of concert performances in Perth, Australia, in March. Some songs make the transition; others don’t. It’s an interesting but not awe-inspiring performance. I found it enjoyable largely because about half the songs come from Rockin’ the Suburbs, Folds’ 2001 release that I think is tremendous. With absolutely no extras, this is basically a video CD.

Murderball (2005) 4/5

Acclaimed as the documentary of the year, this film looks at quadriplegics who play rugby in the Paralympics and in various national leagues. The documentary is well-done because it looks at the individuals as athletes, not as someone for whom we should fell sorry. And many of the athletes make it clear that there is no need to feel bad about what happened to them as they are quite happy with their lives. By also including the story of a newly-disabled individual, we see how far these men have come to rise to the top level of their sport. Not only is the documentary very well done, the extras are tremendous, including follow-ups with the “villain” of the story. Well-deserving of the many awards it has won.

Wonderfalls (2005) 3.5/5

Wonderfalls was a short-lived series on the Fox Network in 2004 that has become a bit of a cult classic. The basic plot is Jaye Tyler (Canadian actress Caroline Dhavernas) is a 20-something philosophy grad underachiever. She works in a tourist trap in Niagara Falls when inanimate objects start talking to her. If Jaye listens, she ends up helping people, often in unforeseen ways. Only four episodes aired and the DVD includes nine unaired episodes. Well-written with intriguing plot lines, the show was a bit too Gen Y for my tastes.

And life barrels on like a runaway train.

“Fred Jones Part 2,” Ben Folds

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