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Prisoners of War: Season One, How It All Began, Jodorowsky's Dune



Jodorowsky's Dune (PG-13)


In the 1970s, Alejandro Jodorowsky, the "spiritual warrior" behind some brilliant and upsetting films, attempted to adapt Frank Herbert's sci-fi novel Dune. His version — aided by the considerable talents of a young H.R. Giger and Dan O'Bannon, later of Alien fame, along with onscreen commitments from Orson Welles and, erm, Salvador Dali — would "change the consciousness of Hollywood executives" and "alter the future of blockbuster films." All things a creative says just before hearing, "I'll pass." But this documentary of Dune's almost-making, deftly assembled by director Frank Pavich, isn't about realistic expectations. Practically every great director has One That Got Away; what makes Jodorowsky special is that he considers failure the entire point, joyously embracing the hopelessness of changing Hollywood as one more reason to push farther out. In that way, this doc is strangely inspiring. — Justin Strout


How It All Began (NR)


Subtitled "Origins of Master Mantak Chia's Universal Healing Tao System," at first glance this DVD looks like it might either be a workout video or introductory literature into a cult. And while it definitely has elements from columns A and B, How It All Began is also an intriguing bio of Master Mantak Chia and his dream to bring Taoist Inner Alchemy and wisdom to the Western world, breaking free from the shackles that hippies had put on yoga and Hollywood martial arts. Upon opening up a small school in NYC's Chinatown, Chia forged a program called the "Healing Tao System," which apparently revolutionized this ancient art by making it wholly accessible to the West for the first time. Began constantly straddles a fine line as to just exactly what it's selling, but it really is a pretty interesting vehicle for an art form that many of us have never even heard of. — Louis Fowler


Prisoners of War: Season One (NR)

Shout! Factory

Many people love Showtime's Homeland, the award-winning series starring Claire Danes, about a brainwashed soldier returning from war. Season 1 of the exemplary Israeli series Prisoners of War is what the Americanized show, now entering its fourth season, was based on. It follows the stories of three Israeli soldiers who were held as prisoners of war for over 15 years and what happens when they finally return home, having to rebuild their lives long after the rest of the world has seemingly moved on. Between the constant questions over the details of their time away from home, the secrets of their families also come pouring out, and create almost another war for these guys. The No. 1 drama in Israel, Prisoners of War is a powerful, gripping and consistently surprising series that sets the bar high for Homeland to live up to. — Louis Fowler

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