July's DVD Reviews 

Jericho, Season 2 - The character of the show changed significantly with the plot developments.  It's really almost like Chapter 2 more than Season 2, but it lost something as the mysteries and MacGuffins that drove the series were resolved.  Still, I though it concluded as best it could for a truncated season.

The Kite Runner, 2008 - Depressing the way any story involving religious fundamentalists inevitably is, but really good none the less both in plotting and execution.

Be Kind Rewind, 2008 - Michel Gondry makes these ridiculously whimsical live-action cartoons that Americans are never sure just how to take.  Sadly, this one never fnds its way well enough to be satisfying.  There are hints of subplots that never develop, and even the main story just sort of peters out without any real resolution.  On the other hand, since Tim Burton started making movies of everyone else's material (Planet of the Apes, anyone?), Gondry is our best hope for ridiculously whimsical live-action cartoons.

Return of the Living Dead: Necrolpolis, 2005 - "More brains" should have been the mantra behind everyone they rounded up.  Instead, there's nothing but a B-movie by a dumb, talentless, brainless collection of B-movie staff.

The Secret of Nimh, 1982 - I never liked this movie when I was a kid.  I thought maybe I missed something, but it really isn't that good.  Maybe I need to read the book to see what the secret is I'm missing.

Wall E, 1998 - As I watched this, I honestly thought to myself how all the efforts of everything in the history of narratives, all the invention in the history of cinema, all the work in developing computers that could churn out animation, all this finally came together.  It's the culmination of everything that came before, and it's a beautiful, beautiful piece of work.  Pixar is famous for original movies that manage to impossibly straddle multiple levels, but this is a masterpiece that at once works as a silly comedy about robots while serving as a warning about riding unchecked trends into a potentially bleak future.

Enchanted, 2008 - McDreamy is inherently unlikeable here, but Amy Adams manages to make this work even when I didn't care if it did.  Light and fun and nothing more.

Burn Notice: Season 1 - A better-than-average tv show.  The unresolved central story revolves around yet another MacGuffin that perpetually stays out of reach of the show's principals, and that's just distracting when the episode-by-episode adventures are by and large more interesting.

The Good Son, 1993 - An unintentional comedy.  This is gold if you're looking for campy, takes-itself-waaaaaay-too-seriously thrillers like the hundred others studios cranked out in the '90s.

Corpse Bride, 2005 - You already saw Nightmare before Christmas, right?  Well, there's little new here.

Journey to the Center of the Earth, 2008 - Silly.  But fun.  You don't believe the science behind it for a second (and the plot holes are so deep they almost reach China), and yet the cast manages to sell this.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 3 - Just another season of Buffy.  My ambivalence toward this show seems immortal.

Veronica Mars: Season 3 - Another case where the show changed character.  Veronica's at college now, so the first few episodes struggle to find their footing in this new setting (Eventually the writers give up and just treat it as a big high school).  However, this season ultimately manages to be as strong as the others, and it's sad that it ends with so many unresolved threads that cancellation left it with.

PICKS OF THE LITTER: If you never caught Veronica Mars when she was on a third-rate tv network, give her a chance on dvd.  The Kite Runner is hardly light fun, but it's a good story told well, something Hollywood rarely manages to find or do, respectively.  And then there's Wall E which is honestly one of the best movies ever made.  Seriously.

Copyright 2009 Ale[x]plorer.
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