DVDs In Brief: February 3, 2010

DVDs In Brief: February 3, 2010

There’s been no shortage of post-apocalyptic visions at the movies lately, but Zombieland (Sony) stands out for the way it offers a few big laughs in the face of undead doom. Much like the shopping-mall utopia of Dawn Of The Dead, the vacant world of Zombieland often becomes a playground for mischief, as the film’s heroes gorge themselves on Hostess Sno Balls and blow away wave after wave of zombies for sport. Woody Harrelson and Jesse Eisenberg make a winning team—one brash, the other neurotic—and an inspired cameo provides a big comic highlight…

Most romantic comedies are a formulaic, reaffirming form of comfort food, but Love Happens (Universal) goes a step further, with a romance so bland and unchallenging that it’s the cinematic equivalent of pre-chewed Jell-O. Mourning widower Aaron Eckhart and jilted Manic Pixie Dream Woman Jennifer Aniston meet each other, hate each other, then learn some unchallenging life lessons from each other that involve weepy revelations and quirky quests, like a mission to steal and free a pet cockatoo. Spoiler: It’s just possible that they don’t continue hating each other through the whole film…

Amelia (Universal) must have seemed like a certain Oscar magnet at one point: A biopic about Amelia Earhart, starring a two-time Best Actress winner, from the director of Salaam Bombay and Monsoon Wedding. Then the movie actually screened and the campaign immediately deflated. Hilary Swank acquits herself reasonably well as Earhart, but Amelia is a Wikipedia movie, hitting all the highlights of her life without going any deeper…

In the grand Asian-cinema tradition of sequels that have squat to do with the originals, Ong Bak 2: The Beginning (Magnolia) takes place hundreds of years before the first film and concerns jungles bandits instead of urban warriors. But the franchise’s most important element remains the same: parkour maestro Tony Jaa kicking all kinds of ass. The last 25 minutes are nonstop action, with Jaa fighting with a triple-staff, a sword, and at one point, a live elephant…

For five dominant years in Akron, Ohio, spanning from eighth grade until the end of high school, basketball phenom LeBron “King” James and a close-knit group of teammates won seemingly every trophy in the state, all while surviving the unprecedented media attention that surrounded James’ ascension. The inspirational documentary More Than A Game (Lionsgate) collects a wealth of footage from that era, but papers over the more troubling aspects of the team’s national profile in favor of a glossier portrait of lifelong friendships.

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