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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Green Hornet, The Dilemma, and Others on DVD This Week

Shown running from the critics

Yesterday, four major DVD releases found their way onto shelves - The Green Hornet, The Dilemma, A Somewhat Gentle Man, and From Prada to Nada. Now... generally, I try to recommend a viewing for the week, based on the releases. But, this is a total grab bag here. I can recommend The Dilemma, but it won't be something everyone will enjoy (as reviews and box office returns proved); I can recommend A Somewhat Gentle Man, but that's purely based on a general perception of the film - I haven't seen it yet (I'm a terrible critic, I know). I've managed to avoid From Prada to Nada, though it's something I'll have to endure by the end of the year, regardless. And The Green Hornet is... a waste of time. 

So, yeah - there you have it. However, let's look at each release closer, just to see what might be worth your hard earned money, and valuable time. 

More after the cut--

I said in my review for The Green Hornet that it's the kind of movie that made me question the state of the superhero genere - something that hadn't really happened since Captain America back in 1990. I mean, we'll always have to suffer through movies like X-Men: The Last Stand every now and then, but they're generally made up for by the following film (shut up, I really enjoyed Wolverine), like eventually Iron Man 2 will be made up for by The Avengers (hopefully). The saddest thing about The Green Hornet, however, is that the source material couldn't even bouy the film. Narcissistic screenplay by Seth Rogen, bland performances - with the exception of Jay Chou and Christoph Waltz, and misguided direction from Michel Gondry. It's pretty, even though the colour scheme seems to consist only of shades of green and black. We get it, art direction team: those of the colours of The Green Hornet. It gets old being reminded of what we're watching through visual clues. 

The special features on the DVD, from the film's Amazon page - 

Feature commentary
"Awesoom" Gag Reel
Writing The Green Hornet
The Black Beauty: Rebirth of Cool

For my full review, click here.

Also on DVD this week, The Dilemma - a movie about a man with... well, a dilemma. He finds his best friend's wife cuddling up with a younger bro. In the midst of this moral study, we have a buddy comedy, a relationship drama, a dark satire... and Ron Howard's first comedy in about eleven years if we don't count Arrested Development. 
It was great seeing Winona Ryder deliver a hell of a performance, and Channing Tatum wound up stealing every scene he was in. But, the women (save for Ryder) are hysterically underused. In fact, that's probably the funniest thing about the film. I enjoyed it, and it's my recommendation for the week, but it has obvious flaws. Nothing feels rushed, and it all feels very thought out, but nothing in the film is sharp or exact. The screenplay is the problem here, but that branches out into other things. Performance are good, but when the people giving the performances are saying silly things, how good can the finished product be? In Winona Ryder's case, damn good. 

The special features for the DVD, according to Amazon - 

... a bit nonexistent. I'm having trouble tracking anything down. If you can find it for me, you'll get a cookie. 

For my full review, click here

Also on DVD this week - 

A Somewhat Gentle Man - The story of a gentle man, but a ruthless one when the time calls for it. He's a gangster being released from prison, and his boss needs him to off just one more guy. Reviews on the film are excellent, and Stellen Skarsgard is a phenomenal actor - that's more than enough to get me on board. Even with bad reviews, I've never been disappointed with that man's performances. The film was an official selection of the Berlin Film Festival.

I'm actually excited that the DVD is out now. I'm hoping against hope that people pick it up and give it a shot - Stellan Skarsgard needs a bigger audience. Maybe people will see him in Thor this week and want to seek out more of his work? Long shot, but it's possible. 

From Prada to Nada
- Yeah, I don't know, either. It's a pun in the title, which I generally appreciate. And it's based on Sense and Sensibility (very loosely), which I love. Alexa Vega is in it, and... I'm all about her. I like Prada... why am I not excited to see this movie? Probably because the piss poor trailer made me wince more than it made me grin. When you're selling a comedy, that's usually a bad sign. 

I'm least interested, I'll tell you know, in learning just how loose the adaptation is. I'm all for updating classic novels into modern settings. But, making it a race thing, making the girls silly 90210 rehashes... I have trouble getting behind that. Still, though - it's Alexa Vega. At the very least, I can watch it on mute, yeah?

Go get a movie, loyal readers. Pick up The Dilemma. Give A Somewhat Gentle Man a shot, and I will, too. You have a long week ahead of you. Make it better with a new movie.