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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

new on DVD (Region 1 and Region 2): week of January 12

Out January 12 in Region 2:

Pineapple Express [buy at Amazon U.K.]. From my red light review:

I think it’s supposed to be funny, the idea of violent pot dealers, of warring gangs of weed pushers, but it probably helps to actually be stoned while watching this to appreciate that. In fact, I wonder if the writers — Rogen, Judd Apatow, and Evan Goldberg — were high themselves when they wrote this, because a major instance of cause and effect is reversed early in the film, not that there’s much a plot to start with, but it kind of ensures that nothing hangs together here, storywise. Also, they stole the bit with the police car from their own Superbad.

(also available in Region 1, from Amazon U.S.)
Out January 13 in Region 1:

Appaloosa [buy at Amazon U.S.]. I didn’t review the film, but I did see it, and gave it a yellow light. Fans of Viggo Mortensen and Ed Harris will love it.

(available to preorder in Region 2, from Amazon U.K.)

Brideshead Revisited [buy at Amazon U.S.]. From my red light review:

I wanted to like this, because it’s British and costume-y and 1920s and 30s and I’m a complete sucker for all that jazz. And I just can’t. It’s a sumptuous production and it’s well acted by a lovely cast and it’s got all the right pedigrees… and it is boring as white toast. Hey, in fact, it’s rather like its protagonist, Charles Ryder: really quite handsome to look at but so damn tedious and somber that you want to smack some sense into him.

(available to preorder in Region 2, from Amazon U.K.)

Swing Vote [buy at Amazon U.S.]. From my red light review:

[Y]ou almost want to hug Swing Vote, too, it’s so cute in how it thinks that it’s not too late for all that, that one-man-one-vote really is something akin to, well, maybe nine innings of baseball on a glorious summer’s day. You almost don’t wanna tell the movie that, you know, baseball is corporate these days, a product to be marketed to us, and that, oh yeah, the apples for the pie were picked by undocumented workers who are virtual slaves, the ice cream was made with milk from downer cows, and Diebold is even now scheming ways to hack its voting machines to throw the upcoming presidential election to whomever it deems better for its quarterly earnings.



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