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March 19, 2008 |

By Dustin Rowles | DVD Releases | March 19, 2008 |

Atonement: “Joe Wright has trimmed the letter but kept the spirit of the book,” Dan writes, “creating one of the more structurally and emotionally faithful adaptations of all time. But I should be very careful here: It’s not successful because it is a replica of the book, but because it takes the book’s story and (most of its) ideas and becomes as canon as canon can be in regards to literary adaptations … It’s a big, bold film, thoroughly captivating from the first lavish minute to the haunting final frames. Wright has taken McEwan’s emotionally dense novel and suffused it with a sense of sweep all too rarely seen in modern film to create something grand, and noble, and heartbreaking. It’s a different beast than the book altogether, good all on its own, but for its own distinctive ways.”

Enchanted: Agent Bedhead conceded that Enchanted “is a pleasant surprise of a children’s film that carries the so-called spirit of the season,” even though “the formulaic happy ending wins and Disney remains Disney. Still, Enchanted displays just enough cunning self-awareness within the Disney genre to make the film work as a successful family film.”

I Am Legend: Dustin frustratingly suggests that “I Am Legend is so good for so long that the last 25 minutes — which are like staring at the unflushed leavings on Taco night at Michael Bay’s house — are worse than a slap to the face; the last act is like a spiked wrecking ball into the left orb, puncturing your fibrous tunic and spilling eye collagen into your lap. Those in love with the novel’s original story and ending may as well walk toward the nearest bridge, grab the collar on the back of your shirt, and toss yourself over. Hell, I almost wish I’d left before the wrecking ball arrived, because until then, I Am Legend is a beautifully shot, almost meditative mutant flick, a quietly exhilarating cross between Resident Evil (if RE were any damn good) and Cast Away with Will Smith in the lead.”

Love in the Time of Cholera: Agent Bedhead writes of the Javier Bardem starrer, “Screenwriter Ronald Harwood quickly negates much of Love In The Time Of Cholera’s depth and inner richness. In an ill-fated attempt to fit in too many events and sweeping views of the lush Colombian landscape, the film makes room only for the love story component of the film, plus or minus the occasional mention of sickness and war, which makes it a film that only the fawning members of Oprah’s Book Club will probably adore.

Revolver: Don’t see it. Seriously. Do not watch it.

The Seeker: The Dark is Rising: Phillip, the resident fantasy enthusiast, writes that Susan Cooper’s novels are “next to impossible to adapt faithfully — it’s slow, obtuse, profound, and an Anglophile’s wet dream; each of Cooper’s five books delves into a different guise of British mythology and folklore (from English, Cornish, and Welsh angles). Ultimately, the series deserves treatment by a long BBC miniseries. What it doesn’t deserve is the complete bastardization of The Seeker, a stupid, hollow adventure romp that shares only the name of Cooper’s books and was made by a cast and crew who didn’t give two shits about their source material.”

Southland Tales: John writes of Richard Kelly’s follow-up to Donnie Darko: “If Kelly intended this as a consciously hammy fantasia with a dash of cultural and spiritual commentary, he’s made a pretty bad movie that nonetheless provides some fun. If he thinks this is a trenchant indictment masquerading as a lark, he’s made a terrible movie and almost all the laughs are on him.”

I Am Love in the Time of Atonement

This Week's DVD Releases / The Pajiba Staff

DVD Releases | March 19, 2008 |

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

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