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Underworld: The Rise of Donnie Darko's Sister

By The Pajiba Staff | DVD Releases | May 12, 2009 |

By The Pajiba Staff | DVD Releases | May 12, 2009 |

Before we kick off this week’s DVD Releases, a friendly reminder that the AlabamaPink T-Shirts are only on sale for another three days. Get it while the getting is … you know. $5 of every shirt will be contributed to Amanda’s son’s college fund. It’s a sweet-looking shirt, to boot. Buy today, before it’s too late.

S. Darko: Of the straight-to-DVD sequel stinker, Dustin writes, “I can’t review this film properly because I can’t make any goddamn sense of it. It’d be like trying to translate “King of the Hill’s” Boomhaur after he’s settled in to geriatric dementia. It’s just a garbled mess, a lump of half-assed scattershot ideas strung together to create a semblance of movie-like substance. Granted, Donnia Darko required the use of parts of my brain I’d never really utilized to piece together its messy logic, but S. Darko has forever removed the possibility of using those parts again. They’ve disintegrated. It’s a cinematic curbing, and I’ve got teeth oozing out of gray matter on a public sidewalk. Please don’t step on my cratered head.”

Taken: I think this may have been Ranylt’s last review for us, and reading it makes my heart ache. Damn. The movie reviewing world misses prose like this: “Pierre Morel, of District 13 fame, has just released his second directorial effort. Like District 13, Taken is a meditation on the immigrant question wrapped in a gut-thumping actioner. Like District 13, Taken throws a lot of sweet sweet thrills at us that can’t distract us from the subtext, for better or worse. And blimey, is that subtext — and dialogue — ham-fisted and poorly written (sorry, co-writer Luc Besson). Taken contains one of the most painful set-ups I’ve ever sat through — it’s Plot for Dummies delivered through Syrup of Exposition that’s spoonfed to us like a pack of waiting ninnies. The whole thing is mindlessly propagandic (not an oxymoron after all), and the editing in the fight and chase scenes is Bourne Ultimatum beserker-esque, and decent actors come off looking like amateurs, but all in all it’s not the worst action movie I’ve seen. It’s cobbled out of clichés, and it’s ridiculous (but not over-the-top ridiculous enough to excuse it), and it will probably wind up on the wrong side of politics, à la Dirty Harry, but it can’t be totally dismissed, either, because its tension and its star, Liam Neeson, grease its clunking mechanisms enough to get it operational.”

(Aside: Many of you may remember another former writer here, Jeremy C. Fox. He’s now President of Project10 East, a very cool nonprofit in Boston that aims to create and sustain safe spaces in schools for GLBT youth. If you’re feeling very charitable today, after you’ve bought your AlabamaPink T-Shirt, consider donating to Project10 East, too).

Underworld: The Rise of the Lycans: After Dustin got over his new obsession with Michael Sheen, he went on to write that for “fans of the first installment of the Underworld trilogy (and that should be anyone with a hard-on for black leather and fangs), Rise of the Lycans embodies the same guilty-pleasure spirit. It’s got all the elements for a nice, disposable vampire flick: Swords, mayhem, blood, hambone lines, blue-piercing eyes, sweat, grime, and Rhona Mitra’s perpetual blowjob face (seriously, though: Stay away from the vampire fellatio, kids). This one, like Underworld, has the added benefit of Nighy’s competence and Sheen’s kickassery (he looks considerably less like he did in the original, where he was all goth-pansy, and looked awfully similar to Paul Reubens in Buffy). Sure, Rise of the Lycans contains a shitload of empty calories, but there’s a lot of butter on them. It may be 90 minutes of filler material, but at least it’s tasty.

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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