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

DVDs In Brief: October 21, 2009

Illustration for article titled DVDs In Brief: October 21, 2009

There was much well-deserved hand-wringing over how a movie as lunkheaded and widely reviled as Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen (Paramount) ended the summer as the year’s biggest money-grosser, but who can be blamed for wanting to see giant robots do battle for the fate of the planet? It’s the movie equivalent of a drunken one-night stand: seduction chased with regret the following morning. And its financial success will only encourage Michael Bay’s campaign to destroy cinema, one incoherent action setpiece at a time…


Coverage of Stephen Frears’ costume drama Chéri (Miramax) largely centered on how good Michelle Pfeiffer looks in her 50s. Which is true enough, but the movie is notably gorgeous as well. Then again, it’s all spectacle and narration, with a lot of emotion, but very little plot movement. Which makes it an accurate enough translation of Colette’s 1920 romantic/comic novel, but not an entirely satisfying film…

The current Twilight-related boom in all things vampire means that virtually anything vampire-related will find an audience, regardless of quality. So the apathy that greeted Blood: The Last Vampire (Goldwyn) says something about how derivative and dull it is. Its premise of a 400-year-old half-human/half-vampire tasked with fighting her own kind isn’t far removed from the Blade series, and its third-rate winged beasties discover the limits of CGI on a budget…


The third in a Carlos Saura trilogy that includes Tango and Flamenco—though really, the cinematic rendering of music and performance has always been Saura’s stock in trade—Fados (Zeitgeist) highlights a musical style associated with the Portuguese working class. Though Saura notes the history of the fado, a 19th-century form born of the miseries of the Lisbon slums, he quickly moves onto a colorful array of dance and group performances, with a little hip-hop thrown in for good measure.

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