Tuesday, January 20, 2009

DVD Roundup

I'll start with a movie I've reviewed before, and just recently watched several times on DVD - the incomparable Juno. Lately I've not been interested enough in most of the movies I've seen to bother with any additional material on the DVD, but as I wrote before, there's just something about Juno that you want to know more about the actors or characters. The gag reel on the DVD is terrific, as you'd expect from these amazing comedic actors - with Jason Batemen making fun of Arrested Development. Also, the deleted scenes were perfectly edited out, but great additions to the DVD. Still a 5 star movie.The second movie I saw on DVD is Ed Harris' Appaloosa, a standard western with several very classic male stereotypes very well played by Harris, Viggo Mortensen and Jeremy Irons, a somewhat unique female character (either a horribly played character by Renee Zellweger or a horrible character well-played, I can't really decide) and a story that starts out great but falls off the rails. To get other perspectives, here's the link to the LAMBs opinions back when it was in theaters. Harris and Mortensen are legal guns for hire that have arrived in Appaloosa to rid the town of the notorious bad guy Randall Bragg (Irons). They make the rules and eventually get enough evidence to arrest Bragg, and spend a lot of time keeping him alive and arrested long enough to stand trial. Meanwhile, an odd young woman, Mrs. French (Zellweger) arrives in town looking for a man. She hooks up with Harris who thinks he loves her and the movie sort of follows her hooking up with any dominant stallion-type man who might protect her. What I meant by somewhat unique about her character is that rarely have we seen women so subtly switch between men. She's certainly a whore trying to live respectably, but doesn't bother with the niceties of breaking up with one man while pursuing another. Not a very stereotypical female character in westerns. The main reason to watch Appaloosa is Viggo Mortensen. He has a weird facial hair situation that seems appropriate to the time and place, but it's his subtle loyalty to Harris' leader and his own sense of right and wrong appearing to lead him too. I'd give it 2.5 stars/Lambs, for poor editing (should have been about 20 minutes shorter) and Zellweger's bad acting.

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