Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

DVDs in Brief

The ad campaign for Bridge To Terabithia (Disney) annoyed some fans of the classic book, since it made it seem as though angsty outcasts Josh Hutcherson and AnnaSophia Robb were traveling to a real magical fantasy world, instead of just finding respite in their own colorful imaginary stories about a mythical kingdom. But even in the film, the fantasy sequences—which are clearly informed by the Lord Of The Rings films and the recent The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe—take center stage, burying the charming but slightly cloying real-world sequences in which Hutcherson and Robb form an unconventional friendship…

Renée Zellweger exudes near-fatal levels of preciousness as author Beatrix Potter in the twee biopic Miss Potter (Weinstein), a relentlessly wholesome hagiography that wastes Zellweger's Down With Love co-star Ewan McGregor as Potter's saintly publisher-turned-fiancé. Just because Potter was a legendary children's author doesn't mean a film about her has to be pitched so relentlessly to 10-year-old girls…

Paul Reubens, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Paul Rudd, and Danny DeVito are just some of the big names who contribute cameos to Reno 911! Miami (Fox), a sloppy but funny adaptation of Comedy Central's quirky improvised hit about hapless cops. The gang's first big-screen adventure sends them to a police convention in Miami, where they're asked to fight crime and solve a mystery when the city's real cops are quarantined out of commission…

Advertisement

A steamy open-mouthed kiss between Heather Graham and Bridget Moynahan was the chief selling point for Gray Matters (Yari), a limp romantic triangle set in Manhattan; the footage was even "leaked" to online sources in order to drum up some interest. Based on the woeful $50,000 the film made during its brief theatrical run, it's back to the drawing board for viral video as a marketing tool. Of course, the toxic reviews didn't help, either…

With all the teenagers getting tortured and eviscerated in horror films these days, it's refreshing enough that The Abandoned, a metaphysical Spanish horror film released as part of Lions Gate's "After Dark" series, features a middle-aged heroine. Better still, the film leaves literal viscera behind for a more abstract take on the haunted-house movie, with past and present folding in on each other as a woman explores her roots in deepest Russia. Too bad the ending makes no sense.

Share This Story