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Rowlesapalooza

By Genevieve Burgess | DVD Releases | December 21, 2010 | Comments ()


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Salt: "Angelina Jolie stars as Evelyn Salt in this Phillip Noyce (Patriot Games, Clear and Present Danger) throwback to Cold-War thrillers. And maybe it shouldn't matter, and maybe it makes me a raging asshole for saying this, but when casting the role for a bad-ass double, triple, or quadruple CIA Agent who will be tasked with jumping off of bridges onto moving 18-wheelers, roughing up aggressors, or standing up to a stiff wind, it might have been in the best interest of the studio to bring aboard someone capable in real life of winning two out of three arm wrestling matches with Betty White. Maybe that sounds shallow, but this is not a case of lookism, mind you: Angelina Jolie is a beautiful woman, and Wanted more than displayed her action bona fides. Unfortunately, it appears as though Ms. Jolie hasn't eaten since she left the set of Wanted, and while body dysmorphia might enhance her chances at being cast in the next George Romero production, it's hard to take seriously a Jolie bobble-head perched on a wicker coat rack as an action hero. It's not that Jolie doesn't have the talent or the presence to pull off the role, it's that she doesn't have the body mass. She's a withered carcass parading around in a blond wig and pea-coat that she probably needs invisible wires to support. And after cracking three dozen heads in Salt, you begin to wonder why no one thinks to pull out the one thing that could knock the Evelyn Salt immovable force on her ass, namely a window fan set to medium." - Dustin Rowles

Easy A: "Easy A is a 21st century teen comedy, and maybe the first really good one at that. It doesn't borrow the archetypes of those '80s standard bearers -- there's no expositional scene establishing where the various cliques are seated at the lunch table. It presents high school for what I expect it must be now: an amorphous body of singular cliques -- teenagers too busy self-identifying to align with anyone else, except in such a way as to self-identify. And so they selfishly align with Olive Penderghast (Emma Stone), a self-proclaimed nobody who is not really a nobody. You know she's not because, when she lies to her best friend about losing her virginity, everyone in the school knows it by the end of the day. And they know it because possessing that information -- and exaggerating it -- is their way of valuing their own self-worth, which no one cares about because their only concern is with themselves." - Dustin Rowles

Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps: "How the hell do you make a sequel to a 23-year-old film that manages to feel more dated than the original? I'll tell you how: Allan fucking Loeb, people. I've harped on this guy in the past, but really, this schmuck is an insult to screenwriters. Hell, he's an insult to victims of fetal alcohol syndrome. How do you give the screenwriting duties to a sequel to the financial film of an entire generation to a guy who turns his fart bubbles into prose? This is Wall Street. Maybe that doesn't mean a lot too many of you, but Gordon Gecko is a goddamn cultural icon, a cinematic villain who represents the very worst of American excess and greed. How do you hand that character over to a middle-aged child who cobbles together his scripts with yellow crayon and drool? To a guy who wrote The Switch, and who is writing the next Adam Sandler and Kevin James movies? Allan Loeb is not a screenwriter; he's a guy who strings together passages out of the Bible of Platitudes and Clichés with the trending topics on Twitter. He's a studio pinhead; a hired hand; a company man. He's a vacuous hack who'd sell you the three remaining rocks in his head for a stick of bubblegum and some belly lint." - Dustin Rowles

Step Up 3: "For all the 3D dance wizardry (and seriously: Step Up 3D makes the best use of 3D technology of any live-action movie I've seen this year), the characters can't even bother to fully inhabit one dimension, and the dialogue consists of the usual brand of cringe-worthy Disneyfied Ebonics and LOLspeak. It's a goddamn cranial cavity rotting chore to suffer through the movie when the characters aren't dancing. But when they do dance: Damn. It will blow the polyester out of your socks, puncture your testicles, and bang your ovaries -- it is as energetic, frenetic, kinetic, melt-your-face stu-fucking-pendous as Step Up 2 was, but with the added element of three dimensions." - Dustin Rowles

Devil: "In any other scenario, Devil is a decent, serviceable, throw-away horror thriller, a OK Netflix option on a quiet Friday night. The screenplay is dreadful, the dialogue is cringe-inducing, and the acting is insufferable, but as B-movies go, it's engaging enough. Five people are stuck in an elevator. The police and the building's security are incapable of retrieving them. Each time the lights flicker out in the elevator, someone ends up dead. The police can do little but stand by helplessly and watch, trying to solve which of the five is the murderer, while the victims -- growing increasingly paranoid after each death -- must await their own fate, unsure themselves of which of them is the killer. And yes: There is a twist. And yes: It is B-movie effective, which is to say, it is implausible, but it surprised me." -Dustin Rowles

Also released this week: Mega Shark vs. Crocosaurus, The Heavy



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