Friday, April 08, 2011

Quick DVD Reviews

As far as quirky romantic comedies go, you could certain do a lot worse than this film. Rose Byrne plays a teacher who is somewhat shocked to discover that the rather eccentric man she's falling for has Asperger syndrome. The titular Adam is quite high functioning, but as his world starts to fall apart, the stress on the relationship become too much to take. The film is carried by the two leads and a good supporting cast. There's no 'happily ever after' ending, but if you're looking something not starring Katherine Heigl, you may want to give it a shot. Grade: B

Heroin Busters
This was a pretty fun, middle of the pack Euro-Crime film. Fabio Testi makes for an appealing action star, as he oozes charisma but I've got to question his outfit that makes him look like a Marshal from Outland. David Hemmings is strong in his supporting role as Testi's boss. While the story is a little rudderless in spots, Enzo Casterllari's opening 'around the world' sequence and the explicit drug use help to add a good deal of grittiness to the enterprise. Sadly, the 'climatic' airplane chase scene was boring. Grade B-

Date Night
I was pleasantly surprised by this one. Most comedies fall flat for me, and I consider it to be the trickiest of all genres. The two leads had enough chemistry to carry them through this rather convoluted plot. Like most comedies, there's a ton of stunt casting here but, from James Franco to William Fitchner, it all seems to work just fine as everyone got the memo. It's not a classic by any means, but certainly one of the more enjoyable studio comedies in recent years. Tina Fey's acting is improving at a rapid rate. Grade: B

Who is Harry Nilsson, and Why is Everybody Talkin' About Him?
This is a truly superb documentary that relies more on the subject matter than stylistic flourishes. Nilsson was a dearly beloved musical genius, and simply listening to others discuss his life and music is enough to make you fall in love with the man. It's heartbreaking to listen as his car wreck of a life is explored, but there's just enough redemption at the end to to keep you from going on a bender. I'm ready to watch it again. Grade: A

Road Games
I was delighted to revisit this early 80s Ozploitation gem, as I hadn't seen it since the late 80s. It actually works much better for me as a 38 yeard old than it did for me as a teenager. It is much more subtle than your average 80s horror film, relying on suspense and atmosphere far more than gore. It is also a showcase for Stacy Keach's talents, as it is almost a one-man show and he excels at keeping the viewer's attention. The final ten minutes could be less ridiculous but, other than that, it is a terrific, low budget thriller. Grade: A-

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