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July 29, 2008 |

By Dustin Rowles | DVD Releases | July 29, 2008 |

Another ho-hum week in DVD releases.

Doomsday: The movie, directed by The Descent’s Neil Marshall, came and went, barely scratching the box-office ($11 million domestic), but it nevertheless gets a respectful review from Ranylt, who writes: “Doomsday is what happens when an interesting genre director, whose love of classic SF and fantasy flicks scrambled his head, gets access to budget and decides to indulge. It’s a mash-up that deliberately tangles several kinds of movies together, thwarts your expectations, and thumbs its nose at unity of place. It’ll either work for you or it won’t—it’ll polarize audiences the way Reign of Fire and Equilibrium have polarized Pajibans, and after it’s had a few years to age and gel on our plasma screens, it’ll be argued over in comment threads with the same degree of disdain or passionate defense. Doomsday is a slippery wet pig of a movie that refuses to be pinned down, and if you’re not a postmodernist type of viewer, it’s probably best to stay the hell away.”

Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay: Agent Bedhead writes of the stoner sequel, “For those who were bedazzled by Harold and Kumar’s first cinematic venture, let me harsh your buzz a bit by asserting that something went quite wrong when screenwriters John Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg assumed the directorial chairs for the follow-up. Since we’re in sequel territory, one would assume bigger misadventures for the stoner duo, but, instead of fortifying the duo’s supply of weed, the size of their baggies has merely been increased and cut with the hair of your college roomate’s Chia Pet.” Still, she concluded, “For all its misguidedly overambitious and extravagant themes, Escape from Guantanamo Bay probably won’t disappoint those who look forward to a consistent supply of raunchy jokes that largely center upon our society’s unfortunate preoccupation with bodily functions.”

Never Back Down: Another movie that came and went without notice didn’t get a respectful review from AB: “In Never Back Down, fighting takes the form of entertainment for the so-called YouTube generation. This film centers around two guys, Jake (Sean Faris) and Ryan (Cam Gigandet), who evoke the lead roles from Top Gun by means of lengthy staredowns that signal their rivalry. While I’m not so sure that any reference to Tom Cruise is a good thing, Faris easily mirrors the cocky toothfulness of Maverick. In the other corner, Gigandet physically resembles the youthful Val Kilmer, but it’s too bad that he forgot about the whole acting thing. Aside from the obvious homoerotic tone conjured up by Maverick and Iceman, Never Back Down aims for the anti-coolness of Fight Club with a Karate Kid sort of storyline. However, there is no Tyler-Durdenesque critique on consumer culture and societal constructions of masculinity; similarly, no true Miyagian character steps in to demonstrate that martial arts isn’t all about fighting. Instead, director Jeff Wadlow (Cry Wolf), serves up a buff piece of marketing fluff and delivers it without an iota of irony.”

Other notable releases: Dark City, Director’s Cut and War Games, The 25th Anniversary Edition.

Harold and Kumar Never Back Down

This Week's DVD Releases / The Pajiba Staff

DVD Releases | July 29, 2008 |

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

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