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And Away We Go

By Dustin Rowles | DVD Releases | September 29, 2009 |

By Dustin Rowles | DVD Releases | September 29, 2009 |

Away We Go: Away We Go is a genuine treasure for being an original story that wonderfully, grandly, joyously weaves together the disparate strands of what could be called Eggers’ worldview into a warm and moving tapestry. Mendes’ skillful direction and grace at handling a story of modern families is a perfect match for Eggers and Vida’s wondering and wandering journey through America to find a place to call home. To say the film is staggering genius would be overselling it, but it’s a heartbreaking work in the best of ways. — Daniel Carlson

The Girlfriend Experience: The Girlfriend Experience is an unpleasant romantic dramedy slumped drunkenly over lazy political commentary and rich bitching. Through a slipshod time shuffled narrative, we’re expected to give a shit about two bland emotionless twats. Like everything else that apes Bret Easton Ellis and misses, it grays out anything remotely intriguing with handheld camera shots and a constant shadow. The stunt casting of porn star Sasha Grey only reinforces that her best work is done up close and from the hips down. If this masturbatory fetishit was a first time film student’s project, it would be execrable but understandable. The fact that it came from Soderbergh makes it inexcusable. If you want to make experimental films, keep that shit on the festival circuit where it belongs. — Brian Prisco

Monsters vs. Aliens:The promise of 3D is that the film comes with something extra, and this “something” is, allegedly, so significant to justify a higher price tag. Whatever this added 3D ingredient brings to the cinematic table costs adds about 15% to a film’s budget, but, somehow, the outrageous price of 3D tickets would have us believe otherwise. Now, Monsters vs. Aliens demonstrates that, as least as far as DreamWorks is concerned, 3D films shall be high concept but will be achieved with minimal execution, for this entire film consists of swiftly-moving action between shameless displays of 3D gimmickry. — Agent Bedhead

Management: Jennifer Aniston’s Management is better than it has any right to be — it could’ve easily been a lousy romantic comedy that uses only the broadest of strokes and fills in the rest of the formula with pratfalls and low-brow gags. It’s marred by a few dumb missteps and, ultimately, it does hew to the rom-com formula. But there’s enough melancholy mixed in with the sweetness to make Management work as an endearing love story that captures a tiny bit of that dare-to be-great Lloyd Dobbler spirit. And the fact that is has any spirit at all is an almost remarkable feat in a marketplace dominated by Kate Hudson, Cameron Diaz, and — well — Jennifer Aniston romantic comedies. — Dustin Rowles

Television DVD Releases: “The Unit,” season four. “Life on Mars,” the complete series (American version). “The Guild,” seasons one and two. “How I Met Your Mother,” season four. “Kings,” season one. And “Daybreak,” the complete series.