A new DVD box set from Shout! Factory exhaustively chronicles the small-screen career of pioneering video comedian Ernie Kovacs; it's the subject of this week's long review. Andrea Gronvall recommends Incendies, a Canadian drama about two grown siblings who uncover their mother's dark past in the war-torn Middle East, and Ben Sachs recommends Stake Land, a class-conscious horror movie about two people trying to survive in a postapocalyptic rust belt plagued by vampires.
Also in the week's issue, we have new reviews of American: The Bill Hicks Story, a new documentary about the outlaw stand-up comedian; Cave of Forgotten Dreams, the first 3-D feature from German director and world explorer Werner Herzog; Fast Five, the latest gearhead wet dream, with Vin Diesel and Paul Walker; Forget Me Not, a romantic drama about a suicidal guitarist rescued by a lonely barmaid; Henry's Crime, with Keanu Reeves as a bank robber whose plan requires him to take part in a performance of The Cherry Orchard; The Kids Grow Up, an autobiographical documentary by Doug Block (51 Birch Street); Madea's Big Happy Family, the latest drag comedy from Tyler Perry; Queen of the Sun, a new eco-doc about the mysterious drop in the U.S. bee population; Uncle Kent, an erotic comedy from local indie director Joe Swanberg; and Water for Elephants, a romantic drama adapted from the novel by Sara Gruen.
Best bets for repertory: Terrence Malick's Badlands (1973), Saturday and Sunday at Music Box; Andre de Toth's Day of the Outlaw (1959), with Robert Ryan, Wednesday at the Portage; Rene Laloux's Fantastic Planet (1973), Thursday at Lincoln Hall; a double bill of Chris Marker's La Jetee (1962) and Terry Gilliam's 12 Monkeys (1995), Thursday at Doc Films; Luchino Visconti's The Leopard (1963), Saturday through Tuesday at Film Center; Terence Davies's The Long Day Closes (1992), tonight at Block Museum; Sergei Eisenstein's Potemkin (1925), Saturday at Pritzker Military Library, and Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo (1958), Wednesday at Doc.