DVDs In Brief: July 14, 2010

DVDs In Brief: July 14, 2010

Noah Baumbach’s follow-up to Margot At The Wedding, the equally prickly Greenberg (Sony), is a trenchant, darkly funny character study about a brittle, rage-filled misanthrope (Ben Stiller) and the friends, families, and lovers who somehow manage to tolerate him. In a revelatory performance, Stiller is all sharp edges and bile as an ex-mental patient adrift in Los Angeles, where he stumbles into a neurotic, awkward fling with Greta Gerwig, his brother’s beautiful, open, much-too-generous nanny…

There’s potential for sexy fun in the premise of a bounty hunter tracking down his bail-jumping ex-wife, but nobody responsible for making The Bounty Hunter (Sony) seems terribly interested in pursuing it. As the eponymous character, Gerard Butler adds another jerky character to his dismal filmography, while Jennifer Aniston goes through the familiar rom-com motions as a journalist on the lam. The filmmakers seem to labor under the impression that people will show up no matter what they do; fortunately, tepid box-office disabused them of that notion…

A slick reworking of Anne Fontaine’s not-so-beloved 2003 film Nathalie…, scripted by Erin Cressida Wilson, who wrote the similarly overcooked Secretary, Atom Egoyan’s Chloe (Sony) classes up lurid material as best it can, but it’s basically lipstick on a pig. With amusing similarities to a subplot in Extract, the film concerns a woman (Julianne Moore) who hires a prostitute (Amanda Seyfried) to seduce her husband, just to confirm her suspicion that he’d be unfaithful to her…

A young man dies in a car accident at the beginning of The Greatest (National Entertainment), and for the rest of the movie, his loved ones grieve for him. Where most indie movies would dilute their feelings in quirk, Shana Feste’s melodrama has a straightforward candor that’s refreshing—or would be, if the performances weren’t so uneven, and key scenes weren’t so overplayed. Only Carey Mulligan, as the dead student’s girlfriend, plays the turbulent emotions subtly…

Oscar-winner Forest Whitaker is one of American film’s most magnetic, distinguished actors. He is also, inarguably, the greatest, most distinguished actor ever to get sexually harassed by a Viagra-addled goat in a terrible broad comedy co-starring Carlos “Mind of” Mencia. That’s pretty much all that needs to be said about Our Family Wedding (Fox), a cross-cultural knock-off of Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner, a film that itself has aged like a mayonnaise sandwich left out in the sun.

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