DVD Review: The Wolfpack

A movie about a bunch of brothers remaking a bunch of hit movies ought to be cute. The Wolfpack is a real life example of Rushmore and Be Kind Reward. Maybe this is merely another tale like those kids who spent decades remaking Raiders of the Lost Ark. The Wolfpack is more than kids aching to go to NYU film school. The six Angulo brothers grew up stuck inside a tiny apartment. Their father rarely let them outside into New York City because he had strange ways. He was a man who hated the government, but enjoyed his government assistance apartment. He home schools his kids to keep them under his control. The only real exposure the kids have is the father’s collection of home videos. These glimpses into the outside world allows the brothers to dream of escape.

After a while of merely quoting the films, the entrapped siblings break out the family video camera to recreate the entire films. They use their limited resources to create amazing costumes for their productions. They are still stuck inside, but their films use every inch of the apartment as a sound stage. Can their talent and desire get them outside? The Wolfpack is the dark side of those large family shows that recently took over certain cable channels. The film is like a film side of the documentary Surfwise that was about a dad who controlled his kids while going on an endless summer. When the brothers finally make their break to open the front door, there’s an emotional release. You wish them the best as they discover the world outside their apartment and the VHS player.

The Wolfpack remains one of my favorite screenings from the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival with it’s ability to be uplifting, unnerving and claustrophobic.

The video is 1:78:1 anamorphic. The frame is barely wider than the apartment. The VHS footage is naturally rough. The audio is 5.1 Dolby Digital. The levels are fine in the tight space. The subtitles are in English, Spanish and French.

Interview with the Wolfpack (16:17) has them not quite believing where this movie has taken them.

Interview with director Crystal Moselle (6:37) is how she made contact with them.

Mirror Heart (6:34) is a short film made by the Wolfpack. There are some amazing costumes created for the moody piece.

The making of Mirror Heart (16:08) explores how they are making their own films instead of recreating the work of others.

Window Field (6:26) is another short film made by Mukunda Angulo and starring his brothers.

The Wolfpack Goes to Hollywood: First Trip to Los Angeles (20:02) has them in Tinseltown and hanging with major directors.

Theatrical Trailer (2:16) focuses on the family stuck in the apartment.

The Wolfpack reminds parents to make sure you take your kids out of the house.

Magnolia Pictures presents The Wolfpack. Directed by: Crystal Moselle. Starring: Angulo brothers. Rated: R. Running Time: 89 minutes. Released: October 20, 2015


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