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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

On DVD Today

A new breed of action zero

This will be a uniquely short article, as the two major releases on DVD aren't of any specific consequence. I Am Number Four (remember that bright yellow poster on all the buses and port-a-potties? the one with the Android QR?) and Gnomeo and Juliet come out to own on Blu-ray or DVD today. Which is more worth it?

Well, I haven't seen I Am Number Four, yet. And I probably won't for a while. There will be a review, for those of you who are aching for one for some reason, but not today. And probably not tomorrow. But, soon, and for the rest of our lives.

Gnomeo and Juliet, however, I have suffered through. Let's take a closer look at each DVD release, though, and you can decide for yourself which you might prefer.

More after the cut --

I remember walking all over San Francisco, where I make my living, and seeing posters for this film months before it came out. At first, I couldn't help bu think the man behind the needlessly big lettering was Jim Caviezel, and I was ready to see it just for him. But, it wasn't, and I was no longer interested. And then I took a closer look. This was early in the year. Like, "late last year" kind of "early in the year". The film had a while before it was released. Posters posed the question "Who is Number Four?" Well, it's the guy in the poster. That was easy to figure out. Especially since the guy in the poster proudly claimed "I Am Number Four". This movie was already losing my interest.

After solving that riddle, I was posed with a new one? "Who is Alex Pettyfer?" Well, it's Number Four. He's Number Four, so Number Four must be him. So on and so forth. Alex Pettyfer isn't just Number Four, he's also that guy in Beastly. I remember reading that I Am Number Four might be his last shot at stardom. Apparently nobody likes him. He's certainly not the star he was groomed to be.

A note about this film - all of this might be harsh. I haven't seen it, so I might love it. Who knows? Well, I know myself, and I'm guessing I probably won't dig it too much. I like it when my actors aren't combed out of CW shows and Abercrombie ads, specifically. Sure, talent might come from those places. We can look at Michelle Williams and Channing Tatum as proof of that. But, when the film seems designed to pander to the Twilight crowd, picking actors that would rather inspire a libido than an original thought? Well, I have an aversion to that for some reason. I can't figure it out. Dianna Agron gets a pass, as does Timothy Olyphant, only because they've shown true promise before. Outside of them, and possibly some interesting visuals, I'm expecting a pile of Number Two.

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

Becoming Number Six

Also out on DVD today, the misguided Disney retelling of Romeo and Juliet - Gnomeo and Juliet. It's important to understand going into this that it isn't really a retelling. Technically, it isn't even loosely based. It's based on a pun and has elements of that original story. Gnome kind of sounds like Romeo, so there's the pre-production meeting right there. And there's Elton John music. Why? There's no explanation. Frankly, I was too bored by the film to ask why anything was happening.

It's the sort of film that kills its own premise, with a hammer, in front of everyone who loved it, within the first 20-30 minutes. After that, the amusement of the idea has been chipped away and we're left wondering why we agreed to see this in the first place. Or if you're a small kid, for whom the film was designed, you're asking "what's a garden gnome anyway?" It's a small man in a funny hat who's made of porcelain. If he gets broken, he dies, right? No. He can get glued back together. So, all the dramatic tension of anything is destroyed.

The only thing I was left eager to see was the end, so I could get on to better things.

For a full review, click here.

The special features on the DVD are as follows, according to the film's Amazon page -

Elton Builds a Garden
Frog Talk with Ashley Jensen
Crocodile Rock music video

There you have it, folks - go get a movie. Preferably neither of these two. But, go get one anyway. You have a long week ahead of you.