Tuesday, October 20, 2009

DVD Releases: October 20, 2009

Lots to chose from this week, but I have a feeling that the film that most people are going to rent – seeing as how it’s the highest grossing film of the year, which depresses the hell out of me by the way, is also one of the worst of the year. Instead, why not try being adventuresome and picking up one of the smaller titles this week. Please, just do me that favor!

Cheri **
What was supposed to be Michelle Pfeiffer’s big comeback role to win her an Oscar turned into a tame, unfunny period comedy about a older woman (Pfeiffer) who is essentially a prostitute who moves from one rich man to another, breaking her first rule by falling in love. Not only that, but the man she falls for is much younger than she is (played by Rupert Friend), and the son of an associate (Kathy Bates). This is a surprisingly sloppily made film, considering the director is the great Stephen Frears, but the even bigger problem is that we feel no connection between the two lovers at the center of the movie. While the film is enjoyable in fits and starts, it never really goes anywhere. For my original review please see: http://davesmoviesite.blogspot.com/2009/06/movie-review-cheri.html

Dead Snow ***
Nazi Zombies. That is all I needed to know to make this movie a must see film. And while I may have been a little disappointed that they didn’t do MORE with the Nazi zombies angle (really, they didn’t need to be Nazis), this is still a highly entertaining homage to the horror movies of the 1980s – particularly the Evil Dead series. Hilarious, bloody as hell and thoroughly entertaining, Dead Snow is a must for fans of the genre. For my original review please see: http://davesmoviesite.blogspot.com/2009/09/movie-review-dead-snow.html

The Stoning Of Soraya M. ***
A woman is stoned to death in Iran following the fall of the Shah, and the rise of the fundamentalists. The only woman in the small town where it happened who seems to care is the woman’s aunt (Shoreh Aghdashloo), who pulls aside a Western reporter (Jim Cavizel) and tells her the story, so he can share it with the world. The film has its problems – notably that all the characters in the movie are either completely innocent, absolute monsters or gutless cowards, with no other sides to them – and the ending feels too triumphant given what happens in the movie. But the central story is powerful, and the stoning sequence one of the most shocking, and prolonger, acts of violence in any movie this year. While this is not a great movie, it is an important one. For my original review please see: http://davesmoviesite.blogspot.com/2009/08/movie-review-stoning-of-soraya-m.html

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen *
Director Michael Bay takes everything he did in the original Transformers and makes it bigger, louder and dumber in the sequel. This is a film with action sequences so chaotic that it was impossible for me to tell from one scene to the next what the hell was happening. Who had a story so brainless, yet so complicated, that I got tired of trying to figure it all out and simply let the film wash over me. It was a thoroughly miserable movie going experience, and the fact that it is the highest grossing film of the year is simply depressing. Call me a snob if you want to, but this is one of the worst films of the year. And this is coming from some who really enjoyed the first one. For my original review please see: http://davesmoviesite.blogspot.com/2009/06/movie-review-transformers-revenge-of.html

Whatever Works *** ½
Woody Allen and Larry David are natural born collaborators, and this underrated comedy is absolutely hilarious. David plays a professor, who divorces his wife, quits his job and makes out a meager living in New York teaching chess to idiots, all the while decrying who everyone in the world is nowhere near as smart as he is. Then he meets Evan Rachel Wood, a young beauty up from the South to make her way as an actress – and she is the personification of everything he hates – so of course they fall in love. Things just get stranger from there. This is one of Woody’s best and funniest comedies in recent years – with great work by David, Wood and Patricia Clarkson - and also another in his string of “atheist” movies – which of course means I loved it. For my original review please see: http://davesmoviesite.blogspot.com/2009/06/movie-review-whatever-works.html

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