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February 27, 2008 |

By Dustin Rowles | DVD Releases | February 27, 2008 |

Beowulf: Phillip writes of Robert Zemeckis’ film that it “is at times as close to realism as animation is likely to get, with its avatars miming real actors and real movements, but other embellishments that would be impossible for anything other than a computer to simulate look like exactly that — cartoonish superfluities. Zemeckis wanted the best of both worlds — real human action and outlandish fantasy, and his inability to properly balance the two results in a bizarre brand of diffidence; Beowulf is certainly spectacular to look at, but it’s often hard to take seriously.”

Goya’s Ghosts: We actually didn’t review Goya’s Ghosts for the site, and that’s because Dustin kept zoning out during the film, rewinding it, and zoning out again. It took him four hours to watch the goddamn thing, and he just didn’t have the energy to write about it afterwards, despite the presence of Javier Bardem and Natalie Portman, neither of whom could inject even a scintilla of entertainment value in Milos Forman’s first film since 1999.

The Darjeeling Limited: Daniel, an unabashed Wes Anderson fan, states that Darjeeling “is a smart, nimble film, swinging from subtle wit to outright hilarity to devastating loss to the undying thing in all of us that keeps getting back up and walking with the pain life keeps offering. It’s funny, but not jokey; sad, but not despondent; hopeful, but not oblivious. After the slight misstep of The Life Aquatic, where Anderson’s gorgeous production attempted to hide a generally worthless and completely unlikable protagonist, Anderson returns to form by offering a moving story about the intricate chemistry between a set of three brothers — of course — that’s buoyant in its depiction of the main characters and almost sweeping in its examination of the human condition.”

Death at a Funeral: Dustin writes of Frank Oz’s film, “The script tries very hard to shoehorn a lot of embarrassing episodes and madcap gags into the funeral, but Death never really takes off in any meaningful way. Good farce relies on improbable situations, but everything in Death feels lifeless and expected — a bunch of warmed over gags from a thousand other bad comedies. Worse still, under the direction of Oz, the cast — an assortment of mostly excellent British actors — is forced to resort to crass American slapstick, which seems a waste with a crew so capable of dry British humor, of which you’ll find very little here.”

Resurrecting the Champ: Constance went on a pun kick, writing of Champ: “Resurrecting the Champ could have been a contender. Like, literally. Director Rod Lurie is responsible for The Contender, a movie that seamlessly blends political scenarios with believable emotional consequences. Resurrecting the Champ is no such animal. There are loose ends galore, and characters appear and disappear as they are needed with no real development or interest. While Samuel L. Jackson may be known for taking and ultimately making risky roles, he still couldn’t save this fixed fight.”

Beowulf Limited

This Week's DVD Releases / The Pajiba Staff

DVD Releases | February 27, 2008 |

Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here or follow him on Twitter.

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