DVDs In Brief: June 23, 2010

DVDs In Brief: June 23, 2010

Poor Jay Baruchel. He deserves just as much success as other Judd Apatow players like Seth Rogen and Jason Segel, particularly after leading the brilliant-but-cancelled Apatow series Undeclared to greatness with his self-effacing charm. But the third-rate 40-Year-Old Virgin wannabe She’s Out Of My League (Paramount) was the wrong vehicle for him. As a Pittsburgh airport-security underling with modest looks and even more modest ambitions, Baruchel does what he can to make his seduction of “perfect 10” Alice Eve seem plausible, but the forced male camaraderie and pube jokes undermine him at every turn…

Paul Greengrass and Matt Damon managed to work a lot of 21st-century anxieties into the two films they made together in the Bourne series. The inspired-by-real-life Iraq-war drama Green Zone (Universal) might have been one film too many. Or maybe it’s just too close to the facts. Rather than just providing action that mimicked the unease of global politics, Greengrass has to occasionally stop and explain real-life issues in the simplest terms possible. The approach doesn’t serve the film’s politics—or the film itself—particularly well… 

Having taken a shortcut to teen-dreamboat status with the Twilight series, Robert Pattinson makes a wan bid to be a millennial James Dean as a brooding bohemian loner in the NYC melodrama Remember Me (Summit). But the last third of the film turns on a twist so tasteless, exploitative, and shockingly ill-conceived that Pattinson’s performance will be quickly forgotten…

Christopher Plummer, Helen Mirren, Paul Giamatti, and James McAvoy bring gravitas galore to the Leo Tolstoy biopic The Last Station (Sony), but Michael Hoffman’s chronicle of Tolstoy’s last days amounts to little more than a gilded truffle. Plummer’s Tolstoy is a man of grand appetites and vision, but the movie preoccupies itself with the material wealth he accumulated during a period when he had overtly rejected it.

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