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August 12, 2008 |

By Dustin Rowles | DVD Releases | August 12, 2008 |

Before we get started with today’s round-up, allow me to hit you up with a worthy solicitation (oh no, don’t skip this paragraph — we’re not Jehovah’s witnesses. Oh, come on, the DVD releases blow, anyway). We have another regular reader, phquaryn, like A Girl with Curious Hair before her, who has her sights on running a marathon to support leukemia. Running a marathon sucks — you have to train, which means doing things most of us don’t like to do, like get off the couch. She is running to honor her late grandfather, who died of non-Hodgkins Lymphoma, and if she can raise $500, she’s promised to put an AlabamaPink logo on the back of not only her marathon shirt, but those of her entire team. We don’t like to dig in the pockets of our readers, but we do like to honor Ms. Pink when we can. And it’s for a good cause. And to sweeten the deal, we’ll give a free Pajiba T-shirt to anyone who donates more than $75. Go here to donate. Come on. Fuck NPR and their six-week fund drives: Give your money to phquaryn, instead!

Moving on: We take a certain pride here at Pajiba in reviewing damn near anything released in more than one theater, assuming we have an available staffer to write it up. And yet somehow, this week’s DVD release schedule shows six (6) count ‘em six! releases that flew under our radar. We have a review for only one of this week’s releases, Smart People, but here’s a brief rundown of the rest:

Bra Boys: A documentary narrated by Russell Crowe about a Australian surf gang known as the Bra Boys (I believe there is a feature film based on this in the works, directed by Russell Crowe himself).

CJ7: A Gremlins like family film written and directed by Stephen Chow; it’s subtitled, so wear your glasses.

How the Garcia Girls Spent Their Summer: A festival-circuit film from first-time director Georgina Riedel, the movie concerns three generations of women (including America Ferrarra and Elizabeth Pena), who experience a sexual awakening over the course of one summer.

Irina Palm: A Belgian film about a 50-year-old widow trying to scrape up some money to save the life of her ill grandchild; she ultimately resorts to prostitution. Sounds like a comedy!

The Legend of God’s Gun: Starring absolutely no one I’ve ever heard of (though, a cast member’s real name is Poptart Sprinkle — she plays a prostitute), God’s Gun is about a gun-slinging preacher returns to the debaucherous town of Playa Diablo seeking revenge from the notorious scorpion-venom drinking bandito El Sobero.

Poisoned by Polonium: The Litvenenko File: I don’t know a damn thing about the filmmaker who strung the archive footage together, but the subject of this documentary is fascinating: It follows ex-spy Alexander Litvinenko from his forced exile from Russia, to his death from poisoning in November of 2006.

Smart People: Finally, Phillip wrote of Ellen Page’s follow-up to Juno — about a widowed professor (Dennis Quaid) who receives an unexpected visit from his brother (Thomas Haden Church), who changes his worldview and prompts him to fall in love with a woman (Sarah Jessica Parker) — that it “is definitely one of the most middling films I’ve seen in a while: the comedy, the drama, the romance, the characters, the story, are all as insipid as gnat’s piss. And yet the film is impossible to hate — it doesn’t fail any more than it doesn’t succeed. There’s just nothing here that’s new, or interesting, or even mildly perceptive. There should’ve been enough material in the film for a pleasant character-study, especially given the fine ensemble cast, but nobody mines it; short shrift is given to an already narrow narrative. Smart People is neither worth watching, nor worth avoiding.”

Poisoned by Smart People (and a Plea)

This Week's DVD Releases / The Pajiba Staff

DVD Releases | August 12, 2008 |

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

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