Editor’s Notes: My Beautiful Laundrette & Killing Jimmy Hoffa are out on their respective formats July 21th.
My Beautiful Laundrette
My Beautiful Laundrette (The Criterion Collection) stars Daniel Day-Lewis as Johnny, a homeless South London cockney street punk. Omar (Gordon Warnecke), a Pakistani student, convinces his wealthy uncle into letting him take over and manage one of his money-losing enterprises, a laundry in a rough neighborhood. Omar elicits the help of former school pal Johnny, and as plans take shape for the business, they fall in love.
Killing Jimmy Hoffa
Killing Jimmy Hoffa (MVD Visual) is a documentary based on the mysterious disappearance of the labor organizer. Despite a four-decade Federal investigation and hundreds of suspects, little more is known about the crime today than it was back in 1975, the last time Hoffa was seen alive. The view of Hoffa differs, depending on the source. A self-made man who ran the nation’s largest union and was beloved by the rank and file teamsters he represented, Hoffa was also associated with corruption. Hoffa’s rise to power coincided with the glory years of the union movement and a steadily growing American economy. Naturally, this multifaceted legacy has made Hoffa an intriguing, often enigmatic personality.
For those who know only the sketchy details of the Hoffa mystery, the film is a fairly accurate primer on basic facts. Specific details about Hoffa’s early life abound. When it espouses theories about Hoffa’s disappearance, however, it becomes more tabloid in flavor. The theories are fascinating and may, in fact, be true, but they are based on speculation and questionable testimony so the claim “for the first time, the true story of when, where and why James Hoffa was murdered and why his body will never be found” should be taken as hype more than an accurate description of content.
The test of any documentary is making it interesting and avoiding dry regurgitation of facts. Killing Jimmy Hoffa succeeds in making this a fascinating trip down crime history’s Memory Lane and acquainting younger audiences with the background to what continues to be America’s most famous ongoing missing person case. There are no bonus features on the DVD release.