'Don Jon' shows a superb sense of direction

January 2, 2014 

  • NEW RELEASES

    These DVDs were released this week:

    Films: Last Love; CBGB (Alan Rickman is Hilly Kristal in a biopic centering on the famous New York punk-rock nightclub); Freedom Force (animated sci-fi adventure); Love, Marilyn (HBO documentary); Sweetwater; Sanitarium; Shaolin Warrior (2011, China); Ritual; Zombie Hamlet; Cassadaga.

    TV series: Wolfblood: Season 1 (Disney).

    THE WASHINGTON POST

In Don Jon, his feature-length writing and directorial debut, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, stars as Jon, a New Jersey bartender who has no trouble bedding ladies but prefers pornography.

This disarming film proves Gordon-Levitt's deftness both behind the camera and in front of a computer screen, writing, and it gives Scarlett Johansson a star turn as Jon's foil, Barbara.

The movie starts as a raunch-fest, reveling in crass language and frank discussions about the relative merits of computer-generated ecstasy over the old-fashioned kind.

But somewhere along the way, the comedy seamlessly morphs into an incisive satire and, finally, an extremely affecting story about the value of intimacy between two real people — not actors, not avatars.

Tony Danza and Glenne Headly are wonderful as Jon's loud, sports-obsessed father and his oppressive mother who yearns to be a grandma.

Extras include shorts from Gordon Levitt's production company HitRECord: My Favorite Things: Request Video, My Favorite Things Remix: Film Preservation, Love of Objects and Vinegar. Also, on Blu-ray: a making-of and other featurettes.


NEW RELEASES

These DVDs were released this week:

Films: Last Love; CBGB (Alan Rickman is Hilly Kristal in a biopic centering on the famous New York punk-rock nightclub); Freedom Force (animated sci-fi adventure); Love, Marilyn (HBO documentary); Sweetwater; Sanitarium; Shaolin Warrior (2011, China); Ritual; Zombie Hamlet; Cassadaga.

TV series: Wolfblood: Season 1 (Disney).

THE WASHINGTON POST

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