Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Today's New DVDs- 8/25/09

It's been feast or famine lately--mostly lame releases for the last couple of weeks, and then today, two of my favorite films of the year hit DVD and Blu.

Adventureland: Greg Mottola's follow-up to Superbad is a quieter, more deliberate and complex film--it's got its share of big laughs (many of them thanks to Bill Heder and Kristen Wiig), but it's also a well-crafted tale of longing, maturity, and fear of impending failure. Top-shelf performances across the board, particularly from Kristen Stewart (she's never been better) and Ryan Reynolds, who is growing on me.

Duplicity: Writer/director Tony Gilroy followed up 2006's brilliant character drama Michael Clayton with a sharp, 180-degree turn--this bubbly, playful, snappy romantic comedy/industrial espionage thriller, featuring stellar supporting performances by the always-reliable Paul Giamatti and Tom Wilkinson, and sunny movie star turns by Clive Owen and Julia Roberts.

Fighting: It's predictable as hell, but Dito Montiel's off-kilter direction and sure sense of time and place help keep this formula tale interesting.

Rudo y Cursi: Carlos Cuaron's repairing of Y Tu Mama Tambien stars Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna starts off well, but quickly degenerates into the kind of contrived sports-movie narrative that we've seen a million times before.

Scrubs- The Complete Eighth Season: Zach Braff and the Sacred Heart crew make the transition from NBC to ABC fairly painlessly, and much of the most recent season is solid and funny. But its attempts to introduce new, uninteresting characters fails, and the decision to keep the show going past its perfect finale (included here) is shameful.

How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days: I don't know about you, but I've been clamoring for the Blu-ray release of Donald Petrie's 2003 classic-- the first pairing of Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey, the Doris Day and Rock Hudson of our time! It's that one movie about the guy and the girl and the bet, and when she finds out about the bet, she's so mad! But they live happily after anyway. (Oops, spoiler alert!) You should see it! Or you should stab your fucking eyes out. Either one's good.

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