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This is Totally Dustin's Fault

By Genevieve Burgess | DVD Releases | January 25, 2011 |

By Genevieve Burgess | DVD Releases | January 25, 2011 |

Red: “Robert Schwentke’s Red comes at a bit of an inopportune time. This year has seen a surprising overload of “group of killers and their hijinks” movies — The Losers, The Expendables, Operation: Endgame, The A-Team — all movies about with very similar concepts. They’re all humorous films about assassins/government operatives/mercenaries who get betrayed in some fashion, and are forced to gather together and shoot people and blow things up in an effort to clear their name. Being the last one on the list doesn’t help things, either. That said, Red has a few things going for it. It’s easily the most talented cast, the premise is a little more original, and it’s tongue-in-cheek humor is a little less broad and a little more clever.” - TK

Secretariat: “The moment you see “Walt Disney Presents” in the opening credits for a film, you know almost exactly what to expect. It’s a Disney formula, especially applied to sports dramas, that barely wavers. They could probably apply it to any movie, and get the same result: “Walt Disney Presents: The Human Centipede — The Greatest Most Inspirational Ass-to-Mouth Tale Ever Told! It’d be the story of the poor, downtrodden Dr. Hieter, who overcame a multitude of obstacles (probably back in the 1950s or 60s) including a polio limp and a socioeconomically disadvantaged past, to become the first man ever to create a human anus-to-mouth chain. And when he sewed that final lip to rectum, the music would swell, the crowd would cheer, and the audience would wipe away tears. I’m getting a little misty just thinking about it.” - Dustin Rowles

Saw: The Final Chapter: “Granted, at one point the Jigsaw Killer was denied a health-coverage claim that might have saved his life, but while many of us might sympathize with his plight, it seems unreasonable to put an insurance executive through a series of tasks that involved allowing others to die unnecessarily only, in the end, to watch that poor executive pumped full of hyrdoflouric acid, which dissolved him from the inside. There’s a grievance and appeals process that Mr. Kramer should’ve availed himself of before ending the lives of those people. Likewise, Mr. Kramer could’ve properly notified the authorities when dealing with those insidious individuals involved in a disastrous fire instead of putting them through a series of games designed to test their ability to work together. After all, there are corporate retreats that teach similar skills and at substantially less costs to human lives. Mr. Kramer unfortunately never understood that we are only human. Some of us may, on occasion, lie or cheat on a loved one. However, a bear trap designed to snap someone’s jaw apart seems somewhat excessive punishment in light of the circumstances.” - Dustin Rowles

Enter the Void: “Those of you who have escaped the foreboding lure of Gaspar Noé’s infamous Irréversible (2002) may find yourselves drawn into the psychedelic clutches of his latest film, Enter the Void (2009). In comparison to its predecessor, which featured a grueling, nine minute long-shot of the beautiful Monica Bellucci being raped (not to mention a sequence showcasing the graphic, lethal bludgeoning of a man with a fire extinguisher) , Enter the Void is fairly accessible from a narrative standpoint. The film focuses on Oscar (Nathaniel Brown), a drug dealer running the streets of Tokyo, trying to make ends meet so that he can support his displaced sister, Linda (Paz de la Huerta). As the film opens, we watch as Oscar and Linda look down at the neon-soaked streets of the alienating metropolis. After a brief discussion about the city and their lives together, Linda leaves for work at a strip club and Oscar indulges his work habit, which produces a stunning array of interlocking, atomic flakes. Shortly thereafter, Oscar is summoned to a nearby nightclub, the Void, in order to hook his friend Victor (Olly Alexander) with some drugs. When Oscar arrives, he discovers that Victor has ratted him out to the local police. Fleeing to the bathroom to dump his stash, Oscar is pursued by the police, shot, and killed. From the twenty minute mark on, we watch as Oscar enters the void, both literally and metaphysically, his life flashing before our eyes, colliding with his experiences as a spirit in the afterlife.” - Drew Morton

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest: “Stieg Larsson’s Millennium trilogy comes crashing to an abrupt conclusion in this last of the original Swedish flickery. While I felt this book was the Return of the Jedi to The Empire Strikes Back of The Girl Who Played With Fire, they do a good enough job with the film. These are massive tomes, and it’s difficult to successfully fit all the material in a film. When Chris Columbus did the first two Harry Potter films, they played out like highlight reels of the events in the books rather than actual stories. When Alfonso Cuaron took over on the third film, he made full-on changes to the world of the books, but his boldness paid off and made Prisoner of Azkaban feel like an actual film. That’s kind of what Daniel Alfredson does with the last two films in the Millennium Trilogy. This is probably the most successful of the three films, but they will always feel like representations of the more heady and intelligent materials of the books. Alfredson is currently directing a TV miniseries called Millennium which follows the exploits of these same characters, and whether it’s a clever marketing ploy or just the true nature of the stories, the films feel unfinished, like there is plenty more story to tell. If rumor holds true, Larsson’s laptop contained the materials for at least two more novels, plus notes on upwards of maybe 10 novels total. So while this temporarily closes the door on the series for now, they’re insistent on keeping that door unlocked.” - Brian Prisco

Nowhere Boy: “As we meet him, John (Aaron “Kick-Ass” Johnson) is a teen both troublesome in school and troubled at home. He envies Elvis and emulates Buddy Holly, not wanting to be a musician so much as a rock star. That’s not about to happen under the watchful eye of uptight Aunt Mimi (Kristin Scott Thomas), but once he discovers that his estranged biological mother, Julia (Anne-Marie Duff), actually lives quite near to their home, he spends more time with her, dodging school, taking up the banjo and generally trying to keep long-brewing feelings of resentment and abandonment at bay.” - William Goss

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Genevieve Burgess is a Features Contributor for Pajiba. You can follow Genevieve Burgess on Twitter.