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Knowing When to Push the Unborn

By Dustin Rowles | DVD Releases | July 7, 2009 |

By Dustin Rowles | DVD Releases | July 7, 2009 |

Push: Phillip summed up his experience of watching the Dakota Fanning/Chris Evan’s vehicle Push, as such: “A man in the row in front of me fell asleep during my screening of Push. His head lolled back and his mouth gaped in a kind of lugubrious moan, emitting heavy sighs that would give way to apneic sputtering. First I was annoyed; what kind of numbnuts pays ten dollars to come sleep in a crowded theater with blasting speakers and flickering lights, fucking over the ambient experience for the rest of us? But really, it occurred to me that this was less his fault than the movie’s. Push is boring. Like, Benadryl-with-beer boring. Push is a movie about psychics and telepaths who fight each other with breakdancing, invisible hadoukens, and sonic screams and it is fucking boring. Suddenly that snoring imbecile offered a better film review than my words ever could.”

Knowing: Alex Proyas’ latest was a huge letdown, so wrote Dustin: “It’s a difficult movie to square with director Alex Proyas’ earlier career (The Crow, Dark City), and it’d be more comforting to blame it on the script, except that Proyas wrote it, or on studio pressures, though I can’t imagine even the liquid-brained suits at Summit Entertainment would wish that ending upon any movie. But then again, they’re the same ones who fired the director of the most successful vampire flick of all time after the first entry into the franchise. I can only guess that Proyas conjured up an interesting premise, and could find nowhere to take it but a Biblical LaLa land where golden wheat dances in a meadow. The only way it could’ve been more idiotic is if Nic Cage had stabbed his eyes out when he took the Oedipal, overacting fall to his knees as the final events unfolded. At least then, he’d have been saved from the vision the rest of us had to suffer through.”

The Unborn: David Goyer’s The Unborn wasn’t a very good movie, but it did make good use of underwear, so writes Dustin: “The Unborn is about on par with every other teenage horror flick to come out over the last few years, which is to say it’s dull, dumb, and plodding. In other words, it’s a great make-out movie. But, I’ll give Goyer this: He has a flair for visual effects; early on in The Unborn, there are some fairly creepy sequences involving the Auschwitz kid, who likes to curl himself up inside of medicine cabinets (those dybbuks! No accounting for comfort). Unfortunately, as the movie progresses, Goyer throws so many of these creepy effects at you that they lose their oomph, and after awhile, they’re fairly laughable (in fact, at the sold-out screening I attended, the audience — or at least those who remained past the half hour mark — alternated flinching and guffawing at the imagery, though by the end, half were shaking their head in exasperation). But, when Goyer wasn’t throwing dogs with upside down heads at you, he did have the good sense to point that camera at Woman in Panties’ ass, which doesn’t make for a very good horror film, but underwear aficionados may get a kick out of it.

Near Dark: This is an old movie, but it’s finally getting its DVD release, and it’s well-deserved, according to TK: “In at under 100 minutes, it feels rushed at times, although perhaps character depth was never the point — maybe simply style and atmosphere were supposed to suffice. However, it makes up for many of those weaknesses in originality and execution. Yes, it has its share of missteps, but when it hits its mark, it’s surprisingly effective. By combining a conventional vampire tale of death and rebirth with the darker tones of a crime thriller and a western’s gunslinger mentality (a daylight shootout at a hotel with local cops is particularly impressive example of this genre-bending), it creates a whole new world to serve as a vampire playground. While it’s not 100% successful, Near Dark has enough imagination and noir undertones (not to mention gore and violence) that it deserves the chance it never got in the theaters.

Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.

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