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since 1997 | by maryann johanson

won’t you watch the merely very-good movies of 2008?

In this season of Oscar nominations and critics’ awards, gala ceremonies and acceptance speeches, won’t you give a thought to the merely very-good films of 2008, those that could not make it to the rarefied ranks of the best of the the best of the best simply because they lacked, perhaps, the benefit of the presence of Meryl Streep or Heath Ledger?

They’re worthy movies, and they need your love. And they’ve even made themselves available on DVD so you can take them home and try them out. There’s no obligation, but for little more than the cost of a fancy latte at one of those downtown coffee bars, you could make a neglected, underprivileged movie very happy.

Call now, and we’ll send you a full-color brochure with beautiful pictures of worthy movies for you to choose from, including:
• Dramas such as Stop-Loss [Region 1] [Region 2] (from Boys Don’t Cry director Kimberly Peirce, about the tribulations of warriors returning home from war), The Fall [Region 1] [Region 2] (a visually beautiful and thematically bizarre phantasmagory about finding the will to live after tragedy, starring Pushing Daisies’ Lee Pace), and Then She Found Me [Region 1] [Region 2] (actress Helen Hunt’s directorial debut, a romance that’s actually both romantic and insightful).

• Dramedies including Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day [Region 1] [Region 2] (starring Frances McDormand, Amy Adams, and Lee Pace again) and Kit Kittredge: An American Girl [Region 1] (starring Abigail Breslin), both warm and wonderful depictions of how courageous girls and women soldiered on during the depths of the Great Depression.

• Horror films such as Teeth [Region 1] [Region 2] (about those dental appendages appearing in a rather mythologically significant portion of the female anatomy, to the consternation of one girl’s lovers and abusers), Stuck [Region 1] (based on the true story of the woman who hit a man with her car and left him lingering in her windshield for days), and The Signal [Region 1] (in which a rage virus drives a city to wipe itself out).

• Indies including Chop Shop [Region 1] (which makes the New York City borough of Queens look like a Third World country), Boy A [Region 1] (about a young man struggling to get past the terrible crime he committed as a child), and The Wackness [Region 1] [Region 2] (a nostalgic coming-of-age tale set in 1990s New York City).

• Foreign films such as Love Songs (Les Chansons D’Amour) [Region 1] [Region 2] (like Once, but in French, and way more romantic), Caramel [Region 1] [Region 2] (like Barbershop, but set in a Beirut beauty salon), and The Band’s Visit [Region 1] [Region 2] (like the Arab-Israeli conflict meets Brassed Off).

• Documentaries including Up the Yangtze [Region 1] [Region 2] (about how modern China isn’t anything like you’d expect it to be), Where in the World Is Osama Bin Laden? [Region 1] [Region 2] (from Super Size Me’s Morgan Spurlock), and Young@Heart [Region 1] [Region 2] (about really cool people who just happen to be really old).

Please, won’t you help? It’ll take only minutes of your time, but the warm feeling your generosity will spread will last a lifetime. Or at least as long as it takes to sell your used DVDs on Half.com.



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dvd buzz | year in review
  • Ryan

    I’ve seen The Fall, Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day, and Love Songs. I love them all so much they made my Top 10 for the year.

    I can’t wait to Netflix some of the movies you’ve listed here.

  • Deanne

    Miss Pettigrew is probably my favorite movie of 2008. I really wish more people would show it some love.

  • Der Bruno Stroszek

    Ha! This is an inspired bit of writing. For my part, I’ve seen and enjoyed The Fall, Miss Pettigrew and Caramel, and heard nothing but good things from friends about Stuck. Also, I absolutely loved Boy A. It’s definitely up for all the big awards in the Oscar ceremony I hold in my head.

  • I’d love to see Frances McDormand get some notice for Miss Pettigrew. And the script was wonderful.

    I didn’t wind up seeing Stop-Loss in the theater, so maybe I’ll Netflix it.

    I really hate most current horror and suspense as they mostly focus on the gross and disgusting and completely devoid of characterization. But I guess “Wait Until Dark” is too old-fashioned…

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