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The Day the Earth Stood Still. In the Face of a Donkey Punch.

By Dustin Rowles | DVD Releases | April 7, 2009 |


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Quite a few releases today, some big, some small, some worth checking out, some not:

Bedtime Stories: After whining about theatergoers who bring their goddamn infants to the movies, Dustin conceded that Bedtime Stores was decent, if you were a child with no discerning taste: "Bedtime Stories is a silly movie, about as dumb as a box of Sandler's brain tissue, but at least Sandler's brand of humor isn't injected into adult storylines, like firemen pretending to be gay or an Israeli Special Forces soldier who moves to NYC to become a hair dresser. In other words: As mediocre as Bedtime Stories is, at least it's not offensive. R-ratings don't belong on Sandler flicks, I don't care how vulgar they are. It's still humor for kids."

The Day the Earth Stood Still: Of the movie, which didn't reveal anything new in the arsenal of Keanu Reeves faces, Dustin writes that it "is not a terrible movie; it's just not a very good one. It's well directed (Scott Derickson), it's kind of well executed, and it's incredibly well cast, which is saying something when your lead is Keanu Reeves. Despite his limitations, aside from his dreadful romantic comedies, he's not a guy that's really ever kept anyone from seeing his films. People may mock Keanu, but nobody dislikes the man. He's a comfortable presence, likeable almost for his lack of acting ability, and when he's called upon to play stoic, as he was in The Matrix trilogy, and as he is here, there's hardly an actor more capable. It's all he can do, people. And that signature Keanu face serves him well when he's asked to depict an emotionless alien nonchalantly set to destroy the human race. Moreover, when you're putting together the cast for a grim, dour, downer of a movie, you can hardly get any more grim and dour than Keanu, Jennifer Connelly, and Jon Hamm. They're famous for their inexpressiveness, and that's exactly what's called for when you're playing a scientist or an alien being trapped in the body of Keanu Reeves."

Donkey Punch: Donkey Punch is about the infamous sexual act, and after witnessing the movie, Dustin was inspired to coin another act, writing: "And though I'm not eager to coin another sexual act for the frattish masses, there is one particular form of fornication I would love to see the filmmakers engage in. It's called the garbage disposal. It's a simple act, really. Stick your dick in the sink and turn on the disposal. That'll heighten your climax, brohan."

Doubt: Dan had many nice things to say about the Oscar-nominated ensemble film, writing: "Doubt is so predictably good -- Pulitzer Prize-winning source material, top-level cast, accomplished writer-director, etc. -- that it's easy to overlook the nuances and grace notes in the execution that make it truly great. One of the best measures of a film's quality is how closely it adheres to the maxim that it's not just what you say, it's how you say it, and in that regard the film is a fantastic success, a probing, tightly woven, powerfully acted examination of the cost of faith. There's a deep honesty to the story, a kind of unflinching and completely believable way the film unfolds and the relationships become wrapped around each other that moves it beyond the area of just some abstract or academic treatise on suspicion and doubt and turns it into a living, breathing, dangerous thing."

IOUSA:Reviewed just a few days ago, Dustin wrote, of the documentary on America's debt problem, "There is a very simple but effective message in IOUSA, Patrick Creadon's follow-up to the outstanding cross-word documentary, Wordplay. And it is this: We are so fucked. Worse yet, our grandkids are supremely fucked. If we keep going at our current pace, taxpayers in the year 2040 (just 30 years away) will not only have exorbitant tax rates, but they won't get shit in return. It'll all go toward paying interest on our debt and a little Social Security. Otherwise, the federal government will have to completely shut down."

Shuttle: A very strange little horror flick, one possibly with a political message, as Dustin writes, "Either Shuttle is the most profound horror film in years, or one of the dumbest. I can't tell. I think that Shuttle is trying to make a political statement, and if that's true, it's going about doing so in a bizarrely bloody round-about way. But then again, how many horror flicks actually attempt to work in a ripped-from-the-headlines punchline? Add to that the fact that it's been so long since I've seen a decent horror flick that I'm not sure I can recognize one anymore. I forget: If you yell at the characters for an hour and forty-five minutes, reminding them of how stupid they are, does that make it a decent horror flick? Or a ridiculous one? At the very least, it makes it an engaging one, right? I cared enough about most of the characters to loudly advise them, point out the error of their ways, and beg them to avoid their inevitable demise."

The Tale of Despereaux: Agent Bedhead was mostly fond of the kids' flick, writing: "The Tale of Despereaux is brought to life through respectable computer-animation that doesn't mistake itself for the wizardry of WALL-E but, instead, relies almost exclusively on a subdued method of storytelling that would cause the Brothers Grimm to beam in something resembling pride. Indeed, this is quite the darkened tale of a two gentleman, an atypical rat and an even more unorthodox mouse, who become unlikely friends and unite for a most noble cause. The Tale of Despereaux is a rather complex story of courage, grief, longing, forgiveness, and a pair of rodent friends who, together, seek to right a set of wrongs that occur when something natural is banished from the human world."

Yes Man: No.


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