For 14 hours a day, five days a week, 10 1/2 months out of every year, Kiefer Sutherland dons his intense, award-winning Jack Bauer persona to film his hit TV show, "24."
So when he has a few precious days off, you would think Sutherland would take time to relax. Instead, he chooses to plunge headfirst into a new role -- that of a rock band's tour manager.
"I can listen to a Beatles song, and it will take me back to when I was 8. I can listen to a Led Zeppelin song, and I can feel and smell the first kiss in my life. Music transports me emotionally faster than anything I know," Sutherland says in "I Trust You to Kill Me" ($19.98, Vivendi/First Independent Pictures), an exceptional film documenting his two-week European tour with Rocco DeLuca and the Burden, the first band signed to his Ironworks Records label. The name comes from the title of the band's debut release.
Even if documentaries aren't usually to your style, it's easy to become engrossed in director Manu Boyer's eye-opening account of life on the road. It's not what you think, even for someone like Sutherland, whose name should open doors wherever he goes.
Instead, Sutherland -- despite his Emmy and Golden Globe awards and other benefits of stardom -- was not immune from the frustration, humiliation and even heartache that becomes a companion for musicians, whether they're in a Buffalo band playing local clubs or signed to label.
To watch Sutherland load gear, worry about low ticket sales and hawk a concert on the street not only speaks to his character and his belief in DeLuca's music, but also to the inherent misery of the music business.
Things don't start off well in London, where the band waits to load-in outside of the Borderline music club for more than an hour. It's so cold, the group is worried about the instruments. Once inside, there's a puzzling advertisement for the show that lists Rocco DeLuca and the Burden plus Cheap Hotel. It must be a local opening band, one of the men muses.
Sutherland finally figures it out. A memo sent to the club said "Rocco DeLuca and the Burden and we need a cheap hotel." At least Sutherland found the humor in the situation.
The show doesn't go any better. Although the band's performance is so passionate that Sutherland is overwhelmed, the small crowd was lethargic at best. "Aw, that hurt," Sutherland says.
Other stops along the way include Germany; Iceland; and Dublin, Ireland, where the show has sold only two tickets. Sutherland jumps on the phone and, within minutes, has made the concert a free show and gotten an interview with a local radio station.
But that's not enough. Sutherland hits the streets, talking up the band to strangers and handing out free tickets. Even in Ireland, people recognize "Jack Bauer." Sutherland is obviously touched and takes time for his fans, but the band is what's important to him. It's easy to see why.
DeLuca is a passionate young man with a touch of Jeff Buckley in his soul and voice. His music is haunting, but instead of being maudlin, it's almost invigorating.
The documentary draws many parallels to Sutherland and DeLuca both personally and creatively. It's intriguing to watch Sutherland become so emotionally involved in this project that he learns things about himself.
"Sometimes you have to go through something to find out why you did it," he says in the opening to the documentary, a segment repeated at the film's end after we've seen some of what he has gone through.
Fans of "24" will enjoy a few glimpses of Sutherland on the set and hearing from the show's director, Jon Cassar. That CTU set looks mighty chilly by the looks of everyone in heavy coats.
The DVD also has three music videos and "How It Started," featuring footage from Japan.
Speaking of "24," die-hard fans can already buy the first four episodes of this season on DVD with "24: Season Six Premiere" ($14.98, Fox). The disc also includes the first 12 minutes from episode/hour five of the show that has already aired.
I'm too much of a wimp to watch the gruesome "Saw" or its two sequels. That not only makes it difficult to review the DVD release of "Saw III" ($29.99, Lionsgate), but also to discuss its bonus features. Here, however, is a listing of what you'll get.
"Saw III" is available in either the R-rated theatrical edition or an unrated version that has an additional five minutes of footage and bonus features. Both versions have a commentary with director Darren Lynn Bousman, writer/executive producer Leigh Whannell and executive producers Peter Block and Jason Constantine; deleted scenes; and the featurettes "The Props of Saw III," "The Details of Death: The Traps of Saw III" and "Darren's Diary: Anatomy of a Director."
The unrated version is available in widescreen and has additional commentaries.
An unrated Blu-ray version of "Saw III" ($39.99) has even more features, including "Amanda: Evolution of a Killer" and "The Writing of Saw III." A Blu-ray disc has also been released for "Saw II" with commentaries and featurettes.
*On a more lighthearted note, "Fiddler on the Roof Collector's Edition" ($26.98, MGM) brings the beloved musical home with plenty of new featurettes, including "The Songs of Fiddler on the Roof," an interview with composer John Williams and a look back with director Norman Jewison, who also gives a commentary. Also included: production design and storyboards; the deleted song "Any Day Now"; a documentary on Jewison; production notes; and photo galleries.
*Robert Mitchum is the latest star to be featured in the wonderful "Signature Collection" from Warner Home Video. "Robert Mitchum: The Signature Collection" ($59.92) has six movies new to DVD -- "Angel Face," "Macao," "Home From the Hill," "The Sundowners," "The Good Guys & the Bad Guys" and "The Yakuza." Each title is also sold individually for $19.97.
"The Big Valley Season Two -- Volume 1" (Fox), "Catch a Fire" (Universal), "The Fabulous Baker Boys" (MGM), "Flyboys" (MGM), "The Gathering" (Genius Products), "I Dream of Jeannie: The Complete Third Season" (Sony), "The Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency: Season One" (Razor & Tie), "One Night With the King" (Fox), "Prey" (Genius Products), "Silence of the Lambs Collectors Edition" (MGM) and "Unknown" (Genius).
THE MARINE: WWE champion John Cena makes his feature-film debut as a war hero whose wife is kidnapped. An unrated version has extra footage, a making-of documentary and a commentary with Cena, co-star Kelly Carlson and director John Bonito. (29.98, Fox. Available Tuesday.)