Where in the World is Osama bin Laden? Vegas? Chicago?
This Week’s DVD Releases / The Pajiba Staff
DVD Releases | August 26, 2008 | Comments ()
Chicago 10: Inexplicably, Bret Morgen’s documentary Chicago 10 slipped under the radar here — we don’t actually remember it getting a theatrical release. At any rate, Dustin saw it at Sundance in 2007, and wrote, at the time that it “was daring, radical, engrossing, and only tangentially educational. Basically, Morgen weaves together archive footage of the ‘68 Chicago riots with an animated recreation of the trial of the Chicago Seven, focusing largely on Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, William Kunstler, and Bobby Seale. In doing so, Chicago 10 provides a brilliant counter-illustration to our relative passive opposition to the current war, in the hopes of inspiring this generation to do something about it other than mutter under our fucking breaths. It’s effective, too; I was ready to march on the capital steps myself, at least until the next movie started and I forgot all about Chicago 10.”
Made of Honor: Of this Patrick Dempsey wedding film, Agent Bedhead wrote, “Take every wedding-oriented romantic comedy that you’ve ever seen and pluck out each well-worn cliché that you can possibly imagine. Then, use a shiny, pastel ribbon to tie all of them together into a fragrant, utterly extravagant bouquet, and, while standing directly in front of the most pathetic bridesmaid, toss the bouquet right over your shoulder. See what sticks, and you’ll somehow end up with a more interesting story than the latest romcom from a cast member of ‘Grey’s Anatomy.’ Made Of Honor manages to shuffle awkwardly through a predictable, seemingly endless laundry list of cinematic bridal stereotypes — the Scottish wedding theme complete with bagpipes and haggis, the fat bridesmaid (Emily Nelson) who squeezes into a size 8 dress, and the last minute horseback ride to the church — without any sense of imagination. It’s just yet another fairy tale where no one learns a lesson, yet all live happily motherfucking after.”
Redbelt: Prisco was high on this David Mamet penned and directed mixed-martial arts film, writing “Instead of a spectacular flashbulb crackling knockout in the third round, we get a technical slugfest that leaves both fighters standing at the end of the twelfth and a split decision from the judges. The ending falters, but never once veers from the path set out by Mamet. It’s a complicated movie that sticks and moves around the idealistic Mike Terry, and the audience, not with power blows but kidney punches, the kind you feel days later. Despite the definite lack of action, Mamet pins you to the mat with tension, locking an arm against your windpipe and holding you until you can barely breathe. The intensity of the performances wraps around your midsection and you pass out. Some folks will walk away from this one shaking their heads, feeling they got gypped on their tickets, but those who pay attention will feel like they just saw a warrior rise to greatness.”
What Happens in Vegas: Ah, hell. Another one of Dustin’s insufferable gimmick reviews, this one entitled, “Five Easy Steps to a Financially Successful Romantic Comedy!” ostensibly written by Joseph M. Caracciola, Jr. He hated it. Let’s leave it at that.
Where in the World is Osama Bid Laden: Ted writes of Morgan Spurlock’s follow-up to Super-Size Me: “Half of a good documentary exists in Where in the World Is Osama bin Laden?, about 45 minutes of good-natured but pointed material designed to lead a largely blindered American public to the simple reality that the vast majority of Arabs and Muslims bear no ill will toward us. A skilled documentarian would distill this concept into a key theme in a better, more ambitious documentary about our refusal as a culture to focus on or care about what really matters in international relationships. Instead, Osama delivers a steady stream of contrived scenarios essentially designed to provide opportunities for Spurlock to dish out ersatz witticisms and smirking one-liners. He’s 75% me-monkey and only about 15% filmmaker. (In fairness, the remaining 10% is a pantheon-level porn star moustache.)”
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