Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

DVDs in Brief

In case the new sitcom starring the Geico caveman isn't enough to convince people that pop-culture de-evolution is accelerating at an alarming rate, check out Aaron Seltzer and Jason Friedberg's omnibus parody Epic Movie (Fox), an ostensible spoof of big-budget filmmaking that targets such epic fare as Borat and Nacho Libre. Where Edgar Wright's Hot Fuzz swoons with affection for its source material, Epic Movie appears to be the work of people who've maybe seen a few commercials for the ubiquitous pop flotsam it's limply spoofing…

A sketchy, rushed adaptation of a book that itself felt like a sketchy, rushed telling of what could have been a solid story, Hannibal Rising (Weinstein) purports to tell the origin story of The Silence Of The Lambs' Hannibal Lecter, but it functions more like a high-toned snuff film, as young Hannibal (A Very Long Engagement's Gaspard Ulliel) kills his way through a series of barely characterized straw men who did him wrong as a child. The connection with a really good film is the only interesting thing going on here…

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Imagine if the Harry Potter series were about spies instead of wizards. Now imagine if it weren't very good, but featured a truly loony performance from Mickey Rourke. Got it? Now you don't have to see Alex Rider: Operation Stormbreaker (Weinstein)…

Julian Goldberger's The Hawk Is Dying (Strand) stars Paul Giamatti as a custom-car-upholstery salesman who becomes convinced that the act of properly training a red-tailed hawk will bring meaning to a life marked by unimaginable tragedy. It's a fragile little movie, and occasionally ridiculous, but Goldberger gives it an astoundingly naturalistic rhythm, and his zigzag approach to storytelling drops viewers into scenes without overexplaining. Throughout, Giamatti grounds the story in the simple needs of a lonely man…

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Philippe Garrel sets out to demythologize the French student strikes of May 1968 and afterward in his intentionally logy three-hour history-play Regular Lovers (Zeitgeist). Garrel cast his son Louis as a poet and pacifist who gets swept up in the revolutionary fervor, then sidetracked by the decadence of sponging off his waifish sculptor girlfriend and smoking opium with his rich buddies. They all spend their days talking about art, experimenting with free love, and complaining that the revolution isn't what it used to be. Before they know it, three years have gone by.

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