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July 8, 2008 |

By Dustin Rowles | DVD Releases | July 8, 2008 |

The Ruins: A moderate fan of Scott Smith’s novel, Phillip was equally nonplussed with the adaptation, writing: “The film, directed by Carter Smith (no relation) from the author’s screenplay, is probably as good an adaptation as was possible. It’s not great, bedeviled by the same expositional lag and lack of sympathetic characters as the book, but finely utilizes enough lurid textures to be decent, throwaway horror.”

Sleepwalking: The movie, which features Charlize Theron in the first half hour, begins to falter once she exits the screen, Nathaniel writes. “Without the driving force of Sleepwalking’s bad mother, the screenplay by Zac Stanford (The Chumscrubber) enters a repetitive downward plot spiral before it ever hits the road

Stop-Loss: Though the Iraq War movie came and went with little notice, Phillip found Kimberly Peirce’s follow-up to Boys Don’t Cry to be a worthwhile endeavor: “With Stop-Loss, the familiar failures occur, but the film succeeds in finding a rich emotional vibrancy in unexpected, perhaps unintentional, ways. As a political statement, Stop-Loss is a failure, reducing the bureaucratic manipulation of good men and women by an uncaring administration into a simple, knee-jerk moral outcry (though I certainly agree with it). The film wears its message, like its heart, proudly on its sleeve. But where the message may fail, the heart does not; Peirce finds an emotional resonance in this story that most films on the Iraqi imbroglio have not, depicting the terrible burden faced by the families of those serving there. Rather than championing a cause, Peirce discovered the real consequences of war — that the responsibility of taking lives, whether with your guns or your orders, is a weight one will carry forever. Stop-Loss shows just how monstrous the manipulation of the men and women who voluntarily shoulder this burden is; perhaps the film is a more impressive piece of agit-prop than I realize.

Superhero Movie: Dustin describes the latest Movie Movie as such: “Tired jokes your brain-dead cousin who works at Radio Shack would laugh at, or the occasionally funny moment that’s already been exhausted by repetition, like a cubicle germ who still sneezes lines from Swingers or Borat, infecting you with his TB-infected cough blood.” He then concluded his review this way, “In fact, if I have to see one more of these goddamn films, I swear to God I’m going to single-handedly chainsaw gang-bang the Weinstein brothers in the ear for shitting the green that funds them, those fucking jabronified butter trolls. I can only hope that someone brings a class action lawsuit against them for infecting the Earth with malignant stupidity.”

The Tracey Fragments: Dustin describes the writing of this Ellen Page indie as such: “The Tracey Fragments isn’t just full of horribly pretentious gimmickry, it’s written by somebody’s petulant little sister, the one who mixes John Mayer lyrics with a string of profanities to achieve the perfect mix of faux profundity.” And although he concludes that Ellen Page doesn’t embarrass herself, “Page’s daring performance “doesn’t make up for an otherwise dreary movie-going experience, diluted by Macdonald’s own self-indulgence. And the director, who has helmed many an episode of ‘Degrassi: The Next Generation,’ even brings along the cheap production values from the show.”

Superhero Movie Ruins Sleepwalking

This Week's DVD Releases / The Pajiba Staff

DVD Releases | July 8, 2008 |

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

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