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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

new on DVD: ‘28 Weeks Later,’ ‘Black Sheep,’ ‘You Kill Me,’ ‘Evan Almighty,’ ‘Reign Over Me,’ ‘Surf’s Up,’ more

See it:

28 Weeks Later [buy it]. From my review:

Call it 28 Weeks Later, but it’s the five years on from the horrifying 28 Days Later that have made all the difference: we are all immeasurably more anxious and on edge post-Katrina, mired in Iraq, nervous about tainted spinach and poisoned pet food and dying honeybees and April heat waves (as our friends in Europe just endured). And all that gnawing fear and nervous unease is roiling through this chillingly matter-of-fact nightmare of a movie, like a CNN breaking-news report that just hasn’t broken yet.

See it:

Black Sheep [buy it]. There are 40 million sheep in New Zealand, and four million people. You figure the odds.

You Kill Me [buy it]. Like Six Feet Under meets My Blue Heaven, this black comedy takes the touchy-feely pop psychology of self-help and crashes it into the pragmatic minimalism of the life-and-death reality of the mob.

Man Push Cart [buy it]. See this poetically, even mythologically tragic movie and rediscover how achingly lovely a film can be.

Being Caribou [buy it]. One of the most beautiful and profound documentaries about the natural world I’ve ever seen; it actually made me understand my own ideas of environmentalism in a new way.

Skip it:

Evan Almighty [buy it]. From my review:

I’m starting to think that perhaps a smoting from the Man Himself is exactly what we need, if Evan Almighty is what passes for “inspirational” these days. It’s an arbitrary stew of mindless, knee-jerk pap about being nice to people and kind to animals and stuff — does anyone really need to be told this? No, scratch that: Is there anyone alive and even half breathing who would benefit from such a “message” when it’s tacked onto a $175 million Three Stooges movie about a modern Noah hammering his thumbs and dropping logs on his feet while he builds his ark in the yard?

Reign Over Me [buy it]. Turns out Adam Sandler isn’t just a one-note comic actor: he’s a one-note dramatic actor, too.

Surf’s Up [buy it]. If you’re tired of penguins, never fear: the penguins here aren’t particularly penguiny.



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