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True Blood: Season 3 (R)

HBO Home Video

There's an almost invisible line separating "camp" (stylish and fun) and "schlock" (boring and incompetent), and after a vastly improved second season, HBO's supernatural series True Blood crossed that fine line in this turgid third go-round. Set in a world where hypersexualized vampires have "come out of the coffin" (thus inspiring new forms of prejudice), the third season throws werewolves, werepanthers, fairies and dog-fighting shape-shifters into the supernatural mix, but to no avail. There is none of the satiric wit of the earlier seasons, and utterly bereft of ideas, the creative team falls back on that laziest of vampire tropes: pointless gore! Worse, the dumb dialogue and chaotic, non-intersecting storylines rob the returning characters (including Anna Paquin as Sookie) of the simple motivations that would have allowed us to care about them. — Daniel Barnes

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Passion Play (R)

Image Entertainment

Remember when America was totally in love with Megan Fox? Boy, we sure were stupid, blinded by the hope of a few quick glimpses of possible T 'n A so as to completely ignore the fact that she's the worst actress to come along and headline major studio movies in the past, say, 100 years. As her star quietly fades, all of those projects she's filmed are unceremoniously hitting DVD shelves, ready to be mocked. The best so far? Passion Play, starring Mickey Rourke as a junkie jazz trumpeter, Bill Murray as an affected gangster and the aforementioned Fox as a circus performer with wings. Real wings. Like, you know, bird wings. Even with material this stupid, Fox is way out of her element, trying to make her come-hither, baby-girl voice sound somewhat dramatic and womanly, but never succeeding, making the most heart-wrenching of scenes fall flat into self-parody. I loved it! — Louis Fowler

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Rubber (R)

Magnolia Home Entertainment

Rubber is the best (and only) killer tire movie you'll ever see. In the grand context of film, however, Rubber is only mildly entertaining, with far too much pretentious faux-art-house weirdness for weirdness' sake going on to actually take the movie as anything more than a bizarre novelty. It's the story of Robert, a common rubber car tire that gains consciousness and becomes a serial killer of sorts, rolling along the desert and using telekinesis to blow up animals and, eventually, humans. While this is all going on, a faceless organization has posited a group of slobby Americans to watch the proceedings, in a completely non-subtle commentary on American audiences which, while honestly accurate, is a bit of a jerk move from French director Quentin Dupieux, who's desperately trying to secure those same audiences with this movie. Hypocritical, but also very typical. — Louis Fowler

  • True Blood: Season 3, Passion Play, Rubber

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